Wednesday, July 08, 2009

War in the Shadow Worlds

While the campaigns on Tarsis, Alphe and Betor continued as 009M42 progressed, the war between the races in the Shadow Worlds had not died down. At the beginning of 07.009M42 the Tau controlled Hylas and Memnon while the Imperium had a number of installations on Daedalon. Bothorion was still under Ork control while Coronus and Danelloth remained contested.

By the middle of 07.009M42 Elan Ro had progressed his campaign in the region, all but taking Danelloth, bottling up the Orks in a small region of the planet pock marked with ramshackle Ork forts. On 1007.009M42 Elan Ro declared the planet cleansed of Ork infestation and set about building a settlement for the Tau Empire.

Meanwhile Inquisitor Nikopolidis of the Ordo Malleus, recouperating on his blackship from his recent wounds suffered on Betor, sent an expeditionary force to the Shadow Worlds to investigate rumours of daemon summoning by the Catechism some months previously. This led him to Daedalon, but on the way his indentured forces conducted a series of raids on the Orks at Coronus, seriously weakening the Ork hold on the planet and allowing the relatively small Dark Angel and Cerberex Imperial Guard regiments to take more ground from their adversaries. The retaking of Coronus looked within sight after almost a year of intermittent fighting.

Then, on 0807.009M42 an unexpected event occurred. Following his departure from Tarsis Major commander Fastblade had relocated to the new Tau base on Memnon and by early 07.009M42 was deep into negotiations with Imperial envoys over the prospect of sending a significant Tau force to Betor to aid the Imperium in its fight against the Tyranids. While these negotiations continued, Fastblade received communication that his primary base was under attack.

Confused, the Tau concluded their talks for the day, and Fastblade was astonished to find Eldar forces in action against his troops at his main headquarters. The Eldar raid had occurred at dawn, but the Tau had detected their approach and railgun shots were the first sign that combat was underway. As the pale Memnon sun rose over the Tau base the Eldar attempted to press home their attack, but accurate fire from Fastblades Hammerheads and the timely intervention of his elite stealth suits saved the base from destruction. Even so the base itself took heavy damage, attacked by the mighty fists of a Wraithlord.

More distrubingly the Tau witnessed a strange group of Eldar amongst the more regular aliens they had encountered. Brightly painted, graceful figures whose style in combat made the fighting look like an elegant dance... One of death for the Tau. Eventually these strange figures were also driven off and the Tau were left wondering at the motive behind the attack on their base.

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