Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Eldar Ambush Thok

It took some time for the Grand Admiral to rebuild his shattered forces. The Tau had done considerable damage to his fleet, though the acquisition of facilities at Mordecai and Kendrenec meant that repairs were undertaken in double quick time.

Thok had also managed to wrestle the fleet of Lord Traegan from the old Chaos lord’s control. Traegan had not ventured out from his bases for five years and his crews had become restless. A quick coup while Tragean was distracted by his ongoing war against the Moonface Catechism added several new capital ships to the Admiral’s collection.

The refits had gone well, with several Carnage class vessels being refitted as Murder class. Imperial agents sent back alarming reports to the Imperial high command that the mad admiral now had as many as fifteen capital ships, including three battleships, at his disposal. This was far larger than the Zadoc subsector battlegroup but could not be confirmed. As such the reports went largely unacted upon.

Thok was still not satisfied with his forces. Using a combination of diplomacy and intimidation he soon acquired more ships from the Norsefire Chaos Empire in the Aurelis Deeps, a place his fleet had been for many centuries. Part of that fleet had stayed behind under a Nurgle commander and now Thok summoned his subordinate.

The Chaos fleet set off from Loki and began its journey to the Perseus Deeps, avoiding the Tau at Calabris and aiming to rendezvous with the rest of the Grand Admiral’s forces hubward of Calliden. Before they got there however, the five capital ships were ambushed by the Eldar.
The attack came as something of a surprise to the Chaos fleet. They had expected intervention from the Tau, and while an attack by the UFP or Imperium could not be ruled out, an ambush by the Eldar was the last thing they were expecting.

The Chaos fleet formed into a tight knot as the Eldar vessels, consisting of three cruisers and a host of escorts, used their greater manoeuvrability to avoid a major toe-to-toe clash which would leave them vulnerable to the greater weight of fire the Chaos fleet could bring to bear.

Eventually these sniping, hit and run tactics bore fruit as the Yersinia Pestis became isolated and was attacked by most of the Eldar fleet. She was left a burning wreck before the Eldar vessels fled from the guns of the remainder of the fleet behind the cover of an asteroid belt.

In their attempt to chase down the Eldar the Chaos fellet became strung out and another two vessels were hulked before the Chaos fleet fled. Only one Eldar ship had been caught, an Eclipse class cruiser who had been trapped behind a planetoid. She was blown to pieces having suffered a holo-fields failure, the only significant Eldar casualty.

The Grand Admiral flew into a towering rage when he heard of the events and vowed to wipe the Eldar out of the sub sector. Without the five extra cruisers he would now have to “make do” with his fleet of fifteen ships… Five more than the Zadoc battlegroup…

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