Thursday, December 13, 2018

Grey Knights join Cybixx

Archmagos Cybixx recurved aid at Destino in late 12.018M42 as the Grey Knights responded to the Adeptus Mechanicus call for aid against “Hathek’s traitors”. Having communicated with the Ordo Malleus during his visit to the Hadron Expanse, the Archmagos convinces his old allies that Hathek was still leading an unlawful war against him in the Foramen Interdictum, which had forced him to invade the Destino system in order to prevent the loss of vital work on Vandrax. Evidently the astartes believed the story, as on 1012.018M42 the Grey Knights appeared on Cybixx’s side against the loyalists. 

The Grey Knights attacked the imperial held installations on Destino IV, swiftly overpowering the imperial guard garrison. The guard themselves called for aid, and the ultramarines responded, surprised but not entirely shocked by the invasion by the inquisition astartes. The loyalist space marines briefly made their objections to the astartes, but before they got a response the Grey Knights attacked. In a vicious engagement on the barren planet, the perilous nature of the warp in the Foramen claimed several Ordo malleus lives, as they lost control of their psychic powers. Despite these setbacks the Grey Knights overcame the Ultramarines positions and forced the loyalists to withdraw, surrendering the world to Cybixx and his “crusade”. 

Inquisitor Hathek and sector commander Titus Luthor were appalled at the space marine chapters killing one another, and grew concerned over what would happen when the Lord of Ultramar found out, which he surely would. However, both the Ultramarines and Grey Knights rebuffed attempts from Luthor to mediate, while the Ordo Malleus demanded Hathek face trial by their own inquisitor Hector Rex. The situation engineered by Cybixx was rapidly spiralling out of control. 

Imperial Cult defend Menthoteph

The imperial cult kept the pressure on the alliance, even as the eldar put the regular imperial forces under pressure in the west of Hexis. In the east the Harlequins and other factions had been carrying out covert operations against the Imperium in order to stretch their defences. 

To counter this growing threat general Konev agreed to allowing the Imperial Cult militia free reign in the east near Menthoteph. With the catacombs still in necron hands or too dangerous to traverse, the general benefitted from the irregular forces’ presence in Menthoteph despite the strategic value of the second city being far less than the cost of its defence. 

The Cult proved their worth in late 12.018M42 with two important victories. First, the Sisters of Quartz were caught trying to infiltrate imperial lines and swiftly dealt with by purging fire. Later, the imperial cult discovered yet more Tyranid infestation of the lower levels of the city, and gleefully set about purging the xenos from the ruins. The imperial cult were certainly probing their worth on Hexis, a point Konev was increasingly unashamed to mention even to the astartes who made no apologies for their distaste for the irregulars.  

Sunday, December 09, 2018

Hexis: Latest snapshot

Black stone Fortress discovered in Expanse

Lucius Valcetti gazed out at the dark shape of the space station, its lightless exterior made visible only by its sharp contrast to the maddening riot of colour all around. Roiling eddies of technicolour light surged about them in colossal storm fronts light years across. Such treacherous currents were more than capable of ripping a ship apart, yet the area around the station itself was becalmed, as if the storm served to protect it. Known as the Rifts of Hectate this area of space had long been avoided by travellers. Situated beyond the unexplored depths of the Hadron Expanse its remoteness was almost as much a disincentive to explorers as the mortal peril of the storm itself.

It had been a joint Federal – Tau science expedition that had first uncovered the existence of the station. Keen to develop a better understanding of such phenomena the eager scientists had fired a series of autonomous probes into the chaotic tumult. Most had been ripped to shreds but one, guided by fate or simply random chance, had made its way to the heart of the storm where it broadcast a steady stream of sensor data and imaging.

The existence of the alien construct and the raging warp storms that surrounded it defied rational explanation and lay far outside the Tau and Federacy's limited understanding. Reluctantly they had turned to the Eldar, hoping that their ancient understanding of the immaterium could supply the answers they sought. In this they had been only partially satisfied. The Eldar had recognised the construct as an artefact dating back to the war in heaven, known to the Imperium as a Blackstone Fortress. As to its purpose and how it generated and fuelled the surrounding storm they were as baffled as the Tau and Federacy, although they did not care to admit it. The crazed maelstrom resisting any attempt at psychic scrying and it seemed to cast no shadow on the paths of the future, its influence noticeable only as a void of possibilities that should have existed.

The Alliance powers had agreed to mount a joint expedition to the construct, each sending representatives to oversee their interests. Lucius wasn't sure how he felt about the silent, forbidding Eldar Ranger chosen as Kel Sandros' representative, although he had to admit that without her guidance the Vanguard would never have made it intact through the fury of the storm. His thoughts were interrupted by the sound of gunfire and explosions over the open vox channel. It seemed the station was not as uninhabited as had been presumed. Garbled reports of hostile contacts filtered through as the landing party fell back to the assault boats.

This turn of events was not entirely unexpected, large vessels such as this invariably became home to an assortment of scum, outlaws and hostile xenos no matter how remote or formidable their defences. Lucius decided he would lead the first expedition himself. This station would give up its secrets to him, and quite possibly make him a very rich and influential man indeed.

Eldar assault Haknur Plateau

Following the withdrawal of the bulk of Federal forces on Hexis the situation looked dire but Tarquil wasn't ready to concede defeat. The Tau had yet to commit more than a handful of special forces to the Hexis theatre despite the war being waged largely for their benefit, a situation Kel Sandros was no longer prepared to tolerate. Eldar ambassadors were sent to the Tau Empire to demand they dispatch a sizeable coalition to Hexis. Re-enforcements would take time to arrive, assuming the Tau could even piece together such a force from their overstretched expansion sphere. The situation on the ground needed to be stabilised urgently.

Identifying weaknesses in the Imperial defences on the Haknur Plateau Tarquil's war council resolved to strike hard and fast. If victory could be achieved with sufficient speed the cumbersome Imperial war engine would not be able to respond in time to the Eldar breakthrough. This would leave the Imperium fragmented and vulnerable in the east and allow the Alliance to join up its forces, creating a stable pocket of territory from which they could once more push into the ruins of Praxis.

Striking without warning from the early morning mists the Eldar achieved the advantage they sought. Fast moving aspect warriors annihilated the foremost lines of defences, overran air support whilst it was still on the ground and caught the Imperium's heavy armour as the crews sought desperately to ready their machines for combat.

Just as it seemed victory would be achieved with minimal casualties the Imperial infantry rallied, panic replaced by discipline as their officers screamed orders over the cacophony of war and fear was replaced by unquestioning faith and purpose as ministorum priests lead their flock in devotion to the God Emperor of mankind. The Eldar attack faltered and casualties mounted as the the throng of human infantry rallied and counter attacked. Cavalrymen threatened the Eldar warhosts flanks, able to break through and re-enforce the besieged Novgarod over rocky terrain where tanks could not pass.

The Eldar's early gains and the magnitude of the devastation wrought in the opening minutes of the attack were too much to be overcome however. With careful co-ordination the warhost cut down the infantry and cavalrymen as they pressed forwards and the pressed on to secured its final objectives. The Alliance now had a purchase on the Haknur plateau and was able to link up with the webway portal concealed in Akrash pass and the fresh Asuryani forces that had answered Tarquil's entreaties for aid.

Chaos reclaim South Girishtar

On 0812.018M42 The 144th Grand Battalion of Warsmith Stahl were ready to go on the offensive again. Stahl had concluded that his supply lines weak and so, dispatched a force to Girishtar Gate to break the Imperial defenders and bring it back under his control.

Unlike the fractious Chaos and Ork alliance, the Imperium had set heavy defences in the region with an Armoured Company of the Luna Guard supported by infantry and a Baneblade. Fortunately the Iron Warriors had caught the Luna Guard on return from patrol and had the jump on them. The Iron Warriors, knowing they were heavily outgunned, rushed the armoured column before they could bring their guns to bear, destroying half their Hellhound support and tying up several tanks with more of Stahl's daemonic experiments.

The Luna Guard, reckoning there was simply no hope of killing the veritable horde of human Thorakitai before they were amongst the column, focussed their fire upon the closest Daemon Prince and the Lascannon Havoc squads, punching several Astartes from their feet with overwhelming firepower and forcing a retreat. This did not however deal with the immediate threat to Stahl’s advance, as Obliterator support tore into reality at a high vantage point, heavily damaging the Baneblade. Thorakitai, Daemon Princes and Sorcerers of the Iron Warriors charged, bellowing the Unbreakable litany as they did so. The Luna Guard infantry were simply buried under an avalanche of bodies, though the Platoon Commander managed to hold off the mad clone warriors of the Thorakitai for several seconds before being beaten to death with rifle butts. 

Psychic might ripped apart the Baneblade super heavy tank, causing it to dramatically explode, bisecting the Primaris Psyker and severely injuring the Sorcerer Eznath the Unveiled. The Luna Guard column was quickly overrun, with humans and Daemons swarming over vehices while the Havocs and Obliterators cut through tanks with impunity. A single Hellhound managed to escape fleeing to the Haknur Plateau and leaving Girishtar Gate solidly in Stahl's hands. 

Cybixx returns to Destino

The war at Destino had remained quiet for weeks as Archmagos Dominus Cybixx investigated the ruins of Hexis. With that plan interrupted by the eldar Cybixx returned in a specially modified Adeptus Mechanicus cutter, a small vessel able to traverse the warp much faster than conventional spacecraft. This meant he was able to return and lead the next phase of events at the Destino system, which he wanted to conquer before Vorushko and her allies found out his true intentions. 

Cybixx’s armies had suffered setbacks in his absence. Inquisitor Hathek has left the task of defending Destino to the Imperial Guard while he investigated whether or not the Archmagos was a heretic, although the adeptus mechanicus were generally unwilling to give information to the inquisition, even the implacable opponents of Cybixx. The Sycorax guard had briefly been turned to the cause of the “crusade”, but following their defeat to the Novgorod, the Last of Sycorax had swiftly been put into play defending Destino from Cybixx’s forces, stationed on the heavily defended planet of Destino III. 

Despite the world’s ground defences against invasion, the Archmagos singled it out as a key strategic target. Using his battle station to silence the heavy imperial guns, Cybixx then launched his elite forces into a ground invasion, taking on the Last of Sycorax and their heavy tanks in two major engagements near to key imperial loyalist installations. 

In the first battle, kataphron destroyers quickly destroyed the heavy tanks, leading to a one sided engagement that quickly saw the Mechanicum destroy the loyalist positions. This victory was swiftly followed by another, with the electropriests leading the vanguard, their resilience to incoming fire causing great difficulties for the imperial guard. Unable to deal with Cybixx’s technologically superior forces, the planet quickly surrendered, adding the world to the emerging Mechanicum empire in the Foramen Interdictum. The Archmagos didn’t have things all his own way however, as resistance cells related to the imperial cult that often followed Novgorod regiments into war zones, began raiding the Mechanicum invaders, becoming a thorn in the side of Cybixx’s empire building. 

Eldar push forward on Hexis

Since their arrival at Hexis the eldar led by Farseer Cassandros had been instrumental in propping up the alliance cause in the area nearest to Praxis. While the Kel Sandros Eldar prepared to strike the imperium from Akrash pass, Cassandros led his own forces into the unclaimed area towards the imperial lines north of Praxis. Expecting to be able to consolidate their territory the eldar were surprised to find the Emerald Serpent investigating the ruins. In fact, the forces of tzeentch had deliberately sought out the eldar with the intent of inflicting a defeat on the newcomers before they could turn the tide for the alliance. 

The eldar forces however were more than capable of defending themselves. The fast moving eldar force swiftly turned the tables on the attacking chaos forces, using their speed and agility to outflank them. Ahriman, leading the attack, was once again bested and his forces scattered. The eldar completed their expansion, increasing alliance territory by a third and enveloping the western half of Praxis city. With the imperium now coming under attack from the south as well, it was the empire of mankind that suffered the most from the engagement in the western desert, as the eldar now looked to replace the imperium as the key opponents to the forces of chaos on Hexis. 

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Hexis: The prize

The Hexis campaign was not only about control and activation of the necron device. As the key powers of the sector investigated the necron ruins, it became clear that once activated the powerful artefact would create a channel of calm in the empyrean, undoing the Cicatrix and forming a stable passage across the great rift. However, the direction and form of the channel would be directed by whoever activated the device, leading to three possible outcomes, assuming the device was activated in situ. 

The resulting channel would exit on the other side of the rift in three possible stable configurations. The first would link the Lysis system directly to the warp lane to Ultramar, bypassing the Tau empire altogether. The second would provide a direct link to the Hadron Expanse from the Tau empire, while the third would connect the new worlds of the Expanse to the chaos held Enceladus subsector. 

Clearly these three options each favoured one of the main powers fighting on Hexis, but the creation of the Foramen Ignotum world still not be sufficient to exploit the new strategic reality. As with the Foramen Interdictum control of both ends of the channel, at the points where ships would have to gather before making the jump, would be of primary importance once the new passage was created. 

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Hexis Current

Eldar retake Federal base

Despite the Federal withdrawal from Hexis, the alliance had not given up on the campaign. Now chiefly led by the eldar, the alliance goals were to stop the imperium and chaos forces from securing and using the necron device. Activating the device for their own use was a secondary goal. 

On 0412.018M42 the eldar attacked the chaos held region to the south west of the city of Praxis. Lying in the shadow of the Haknur plateau this region had once been the location of the Federal base, before Warsmith Stahl had arrived. Now the eldar found the area held by roving warbands of World Eaters space marines. Stahl and the Iron Warriors had moved on, finding nothing of value in the ruins of the Librian HQ. 

The eldar found the World Eaters a difficult proposition as the fast moving xenos forces attempted to wrestle back control of the region. However, despite some initial concerns the agile eldar forces eventually managed to outmanoeuvre the traitor astartes and retake the region. This move briefly cut off the chaos forces in the heart of Praxis from any form of supply base, but this wasn’t to last. The eldar found the Federal base in ruins, a tragic reminder of the failure of the alliance campaign on Hexis so far. However now the eldar were only 60 miles from Akrash pass and linking up with their other stronghold. In between however, strong imperial forces still held the high ground. 

Emerald Serpent link up chaos forces

The Emerald Serpent showed their hand on Hexis once again in early 12.018M42 as they sought to re-establish their influence over the course of events. Led by the tzeentch sorcerer Ahriman, the forces of tzeentch, aware of the movements and intentions of the eldar in the west, new they needed to break through the imperial cordon around their positions in Praxis. Attacking through the old town region between Praxis and Menthoteph, the elite traitor forces quickly breached the imperial defences. Reacting to this an elite force of Howling Griffons and Black Templars counter attacked. 

The Black Templars, equipped with newly distributed Primaris hellblasters, managed to hold the line for a while, causing significant casualties amongst the tzeentch terminators. Ahriman himself was taken out of action by imperial shooting, but the tzeentch terminators had been a distraction.  Outflanked and out gunned, the imperial forces now had to withdraw, with the Black Templars buying Konev’s forces time to fall back to prepared positions. Their sacrifice ensured the Emerald Serpent did not make a major breakthrough, but the forces of chaos were once again linked up and the imperial cordon had been breached. 

Orks charge Praxis City. Carcharadons rescued by imperial cult

In a bizarre sequence of events the Carcharadons found themselves in the debt of the Imperial Cult on Hexis just days after they had purged the militia forces from the centre of Praxis. Following that engagement a small force of astartes had been stationed in the tight confines of the city centre ruins, ever vigilant for attack by the forces of chaos surrounding them on three sides. 

What they did not expect was an assault by the orks of Von Bismorck, who had arrived on Hexis after rumours of a “big fight” had reached the greenskin leader. After defeat at Hylas many thought this particular warband had been scattered, but the familiar greenskins turned up at Hexis and immediately threw themselves at the biggest prize right in the centre of Praxis. Whether the forces of chaos actually exerted any control over the orks is unknown, but soon despite being relatively few in number, the greenskins had overrun the centre of the ruined city and trapped the Carcharadon squad underground in the tunnels around the device chamber. 

Unable to immediately counter this emerging threat general Konev was at a loss to support the space marines, but the Imperial Cult, determined that the prize should not fall into xenos hands, launched their own initiative into the central ruins. A fierce battle erupted in the centre of Praxis as two irregular forces battled for control of the strategic heart of the campaign, as the chaos and imperial leaders looked on in surprise. The righteous fury of the imperial militia overwhelmed the orks, retaking the centre of the city and rescuing a somewhat bemused squad of carcharadons from the underground crypts. Whether this act would be enough for the imperial cult to be accepted by the hard line astartes was unknown, but the marines had the irregulars to thank for their salvation. 

Hexis movements

Monday, December 03, 2018

Imperial Factions 12.018M42

As 018M42 drew to a close the Imperium was united once more in its purpose in the Aleph Sector. Or at least, almost. 

Vorushko‘s crusade had been set up to purge a swathe of worlds considered certain to fall to chaos or the tau empire before the coming of the Cicatrix. Started as an inquisition and astartes initiative the inquisitor lord and the Minotaurs, Sky Lords, Charcaradons and Apocalypse Riders had met significant resistance from “loyalist” forces led by another inquisitor lord - Hathek. The crusade tried to capture the Librian system and strip it of its assets before the tau had the chance to sway it to their cause or invade, but Hathek’s refusal to agree with his colleague led to the Librian war. Eventually the system fell to the Tau, precipitated in no small part by the intervention of Hathek. 

During the Librian war, thousands of firebrand preachers, encouraged by Vorushko, had created a zealous militia as well as the following of several imperial guard regiments such as the Volscians. Vorushko even persuaded the Dark Angels to join her side. However when the great rift appeared, the crusading non astartes forces melted away, making pilgrimage to Terra. The Charcaradons had taken severe casualties and the Apocalypse Riders and Minotaurs chapters had both gone missing, presumed destroyed by the Noctis Aeterna. 

After Vorushko’s agents opened the Foramen Inderdictum, saving the Perseus Deeps and much of the Imperium on the wrong side of the rift, Lord Hathek claimed the credit, and opposed Vorushko once again as she tried to destroy the secondary pathway she had unintentionally created - the Foramen Minoris. This pathway she feared would be used as a back door to the imperium by xenos and the forces of chaos, but Hathek demanded it be taken in the name of the Emperor. 

Once again the remaining crusaders took up arms against Hathek and his loyalists, while sector commander Titus Luthor, appalled by two inquisitors creating an imperial civil war, went to see newly risen Roboute Guilliman for advice. Luthor was told to sort it out himself, and returned with no immediate answers. 

By this time Archmagos Dominus Cybixx had joined forces with Vorushko, apparently agreeing with her wish to close the Foramen Minoris and setting up a well defended base at Vandrax. Cybixx apparently intended to use this base in order to close of the Foramen Minoris, which Vorushko was even more keen to do following a prophecy that “traitors will come by the second path” made by a rogue psyker before Vorushko executed him. 

Upon his return to the sector Titus Luthor pleaded with Vorushko to put an end to the new war in the Foramen. The inquisitor lord agreed, called a truce and left for the Hadron Expanse chasing rumours of the Foramen Ignotum and intending to help with the new crusade of expansion in the far galactic east of the sector. 

With Vorushko out of the way, Cybixx began to act erratically, first building a strange and powerful space station and the launching a somewhat abortive invasion of neighbouring Destino. Vorushko sent queries, but given the distance across the sector no one really knew what was going on. Both sides blamed the other for hostilities and Hathek, claiming Cybixx was a heretic, hardly helped matters, his reputation already compromised by events at Libria.

So by 12.018M42 although Vorushko’s crusade was at an end a lot of bad blood remained, especially between forces who had previously been on opposing sides in the conflict between the two Inquisitor Lords. Cybixx however travelled to Hexis, searching for ancient necron technology, and was only stopped by a xenos attack. Although apparently in line with imperial aims in the Hexis campaign, on his visit to the Expanse Cybixx was able to meet with the Black Templars, Charcaradons and even Vorushko herself. At this time no one really knew the Archmagos’ intentions, and this act was the beginning of a new chapter of woe and division within the imperium. 

Saturday, December 01, 2018

Librian Forces withdraw from Hexis

By 0312.018M42 General Kuwalski knew that the position of her Federal armies on Hexis had become untenable. With no forces to spare in the Hadron Expanse the Federacy would either have to wait possibly months for reinforcements from Libria, or request a large force to be sent from the Federacy itself. This was unlikely to get past the Federal Council, who were already cool on the idea of sending more forces to the Expanse, and even the federal fleet was only on loan from much needed duties in the Echo Cluster. If the alliance wanted now to take the Lysis system, it would need to be the eldar and tau that conquered it. 

Of Kuwalski’s original command of 50,000 troops, she was down to under half strength. Worse, the Librians had lost more than 75% of their armour and artillery, and her remaining forces consisted mostly of engineers and non combatant forces. The Federacy was spent. So what had gone wrong?

Kuwalski was not held accountable for the losses on Hexis. Firstly the forces the alliance had encountered were far larger than expected. The imperium’s assault in the first days of their major invasion had devastated the Librian armour, and privately the general held the eldar responsible for the strategic decisions in those early engagements. Following these events the sudden arrival of Warsmith Stahl had been the second major blow. The loss of the Federal base to the Iron Warriors was an unwinnable encounter where overwhelming chaos forces had simply overrun her positions. 

By mid 11.028M42 it had also become clear that the Tau were not prepared to send in more troops to reinforce the single cadre they had deployed to the planet. With the eldar also only able to send in rapid strike forces this left Kuwalski with the job of defending the entire alliance perimeter, with the imperium on one side and the chaos pact on the other. 

The final nail was the deployment of the Sycorax heavy tank divisions against the Librians. Although the federal army had faced issues with its ammunition and aiming equipment, even with more favourable firepower, victory against the super heavy vehicles was always going to be a struggle. The only brief glimmer of hope had been the elite forces sent into the centre of Hexis, which had managed a creditable record of victories against the imperial astartes squads. 

And so Kuwalski formally notified the alliance council that her federal armies would be withdrawing from Hexis. It came as no real surprise to the tau or eldar forces, but they were disappointed to learn that the federal fleet would also be leaving orbit, leaving the imperium in control of the system. Command of the remaining alliance territory was handed over to the eldar of Kel Sandros, and the ancient race now had to decide on their next move on Hexis, before either the imperium or chaos discovered a way to activate the necron device. 

Hexis movements 0112.018M42

Imperium push into West Praxis

At the beginning of 12.018M42 the imperium began its operation to capture the centre of Praxis. Konev had already surrounded the city but now made a concerted push against the defenders of the city itself. First Konev had to deal with the remaining Federal forces on his right flank. In order to deal with the Librian Guard, the Imperium deployed the Last of Sycorax and their super heavy tanks, despite the closeness of the terrain in the city ruins. 

The Librians were deployed in the ruins supported by artillery and Leman Russ battle tanks. Horrified at the sudden appearance of the lumbering imperial behemoths the Librian commander in the field desperately requested air cover from Kuwalski, but there was no time. A baneblade and a Shadowsword led the Sycorax advance, and within minutes two Leman Russ has been picked off and their infantry support annihilated by heavy Bolter fire. The Librians then launched a counter attack with their hellhounds and remaining Russ. However the flame tanks missed their mark, failing to strike a decisive blow against the Sycorax infantry. Worse, the combined fire of the federal elite plasma tanks and artillery barely scratch the imperial vehicles, and the monstrous war engines continued their orgy of destruction. One after another Librian tanks were silenced, left as burning wrecks with their turrets torn off by weapons designed to destroy titans. Some were flipped over by Volcano Cannon fire, but the manner of their demise was irrelevant. By 02.018M42 the Librians were in full retreat having lost all their remaining vehicles, unable to significantly dent the super heavies. 


With the Federacy broken, Konev turned his eyes to the centre of the city, only to find the militia of the imperial cult had already got their. Led by maniacal preachers, the religious zealots had massacred the Black Legion and taken the centre of Praxis, defeating the Sisters of Quartz in the process. The device chamber was now in the hands of the imperium, but now Konev had little idea of what to do next. 

Alliance stop Cybixx’s plan

Cassandros shifted his perception. Flames danced in infinity, clawing and claiming millenia of the work of the souls of his people. He felt more than saw the dreams unrealised, the labours of brilliance older than civilisations vanish in the sweeping tide of unreality that consumed all, and the sharp clarity as the foundation of the planet, alike the foundation of the people, cracked and was rent asunder. A world died, a dream died and wonders older than life ages of planets were lost.

Lorwellyn burned in the infinite madness of the Cicatrix Maledictum.

The Farseer brought himself back to the present, and the short term. Simple concerns: the humans digging towards things they did not understand, to paw like a baby creature at the fires of reality altering power, never learning that they would be burned. As they could not be allowed to continue, wheels had been set in motion. The promise of salvage had drawn the primitive Orks into the maw of the Imperials' defences, allowing his own limited but capable forces to act with impunity. It was a blunt solution, but it would suffice.

With Archmagos Cybixx digging towards the Necron crypts buried far below Hexis, the Eldar of the Alliance resolved that the Imperials could not be allowed the final piece they would need to claim victory on the planet. Farseer Cassandros and his forces moved, bribing every Ork they could find to attack the Imperial base while they set up for the killing stroke. Cybixx was not unprepared however, with his own potent forces supported by forces of the Carcharadons and Black Templars Astartes Chapters, and well set defences.

The Ork assault hit harder than the techpriest had anticipated however, swamping the front lines of their defences and turning the planned countercharge into a desperate attempt to clear their own positions. The mobility of the Astartes began to shine, with the initial waves of Ork attacks hacked down and the Warboss slain in single combat with Tyberos of the Carcharadons, and the Black Templars showing their grit and fervour. The Mechanicum troops however were beset by both the best equipped of the Orks and the direct attention of the Eldar, and in spite of their excellent marksmanship, downing the Eldar air cover, they began to be overwhelmed, not helped by a local youth in a scuba suit who had turned up and insisted they were an Imperial Assassin, before being slain by an irate Ork.

Although the Astartes were able to clear the Ork threat, the Eldar swept forward and drove off the few marines still standing, Farseer Cassandros cutting down the final Astartes as he stood over the generator site.

With Akrash pass taken, the Alliance had staved off disaster, but the fight would continue to be uphill, and the Eldar would be carrying weight they could ill afford with their limited numbers.

Harlequins stop Alliance rot

The harlequins of the Sisters of Quartz new well by now that the Alliance presence on Hexis was in trouble. They knew the remaining 30,000 or so federal troops, mainly Librians, would soon come under attack from Konev’s much larger imperial army. The small forces of the eldar, especially with the recent losses, could not help. The Sisters however did take action to make sure the webway portal in the city was not taken by the chaos forces now bearing down on it. 

To get to the portal and ensure it’s whereabouts were concealed or even better moved, the Sisters had to charge through a band of Khorne Berzerkers who had managed to avoid the wrath of the Black Legion. The shock of the arrival of the lithe and acrobatic eldar unsettled the khornate warriors, and before the World Eaters understood what was really going on they had lost more than half their force. Disorganised and unsure of what to do, the traitor astartes held their positions, impotent as the eldar disappeared once again into the ruins of the great city, moving the webway portal safely to the outskirts where Malkaor’s Tau expedition still held precious alliance territory. 

Infighting amongst allies creates uncertainty

As 12.018M42 began, infighting between the chaos and imperial forces escalated. Not content with their status as “hanger on” the recently arrived World Eaters decided to launch their own claim on the chaos device, bored of what they perceived as inactivity by Stahl while he consolidated his forces. The Black Legion however, fully committed to the warsmith’s aims, blocked the small World Eaters force and bloodshed erupted in the chaos held areas of the city, as the Khornate Berzerkers threw themselves at their chaos brethren. The khorne legion was stopped, but the Blood God got his rewards in any case. 

Meanwhile in the imperial sector the forces of the imperial cult were once again attacked and “purged” from the central ruins of Praxis. Worried that the fanatical cult were a danger to imperial plans and not entirely trusting their religious zeal, this time the Grey Knights removed the irregular forces from the city. At Nova Kazan, the imperial base, many of the Novgorod regiments and the Ecclesiarchy pleaded with General Konev to put an end to the purges, but the general had no say over the actions of the actions of the astartes. 

Friday, November 30, 2018