Sunday, October 18, 2009

Shadowstrike saves Ol Cha

Following the overwhelming success of Operation Triton the Tau held the majority of Tarsis Major’s land masses and major infrastructure. Shadowstrike immediately submitted further plans for a push on the planetary capital that would effectively break the Imperium on Tarsis, but was frustrated to find his plans blocked by the ethereals. The wars on Melberg and Tarsis had already consumed vast quantities of material and resources. With threats to the Tau Empire growing these resources were now needed elsewhere and despite Shadowstrike’s influence within the ethereal caste the war on Tarsis was downgraded to a low priority. Without the re-enforcements and supplies needed for major offensive operations Shadowstrike had no choice but to secure his gains and wait.

For the most part the Imperials were also content to settle down and regroup but with the arrival of the Venerators they finally made their long expected counter attack, taking Silverbrook with a combined air drop and mechanised assault and cutting off large quantities of Ol‘Cha‘s forces from supply.

Unwilling to abandon these troops to death or capture Shadowstrike ordered the Tau air caste to fly in supplies allowing the desperate remnants of Ol‘Chas Cadres to hold out against the fierce Imperial attacks. This bought Shadowstrike the time to organise a counter attack. Just before dawn Ol’Chas forces advanced on Silverbrook and secured a beachhead on the cities outskirts just as Mantas began launching from hidden underground air bases in the Tuvan Industrial Zone. As the sun broke the horizon these forces dropped directly into Silverbrook’s suburbs and drove like a lightening bolt for the cities heart. Expected an attack from the south the massed ranks of the Imperial Guard were completely wrong footed. Only the Venerators were able to respond in time to offer significant resistance.

As fierce fighting erupted near the cities central administrative hub the Venerators drove straight into the Tau guns. At first things appeared to go well for the Emperor’s finest as the chapter’s terminators and assault troops ripped into the Tau, destroying many of their most valuable assets. But they had failed to spot a stealthy flanking manoeuvre lead by Shadowstrike himself. Even as the veterans of the first company slaughtered all before them they were oblivious to the stealth troops and fire warriors closing in on their rearmost positions. Too late the Venerators realised the danger as their rearguard came under fierce assault.

As they prepared to retreat to their transports and counter this new threat there was a scream of jet engines and a brilliant flash as their land raiders exploded, leaving them isolated and impotent as the Piranha skimmers retreated into the distance. Without aid the Venerator’s rearguard of tactical marines was unable to repel the Tau attack and the Venerators were forced to withdraw or face being surrounded and annihilated. Seeing the city fall the Librian Guard regiments had no choice but to retreat back to their original lines or be cut off.

Shadowstrike’s operation had succeeded but at a high price. Once again Shadowstrike sent petitions to the Ethereals to once more prioritise the war on Tarsis, emphasising that the planet could not be considered secure until the capital was in Tau hands.

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