Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Nazghat’s Empire resurgent

With the Imperium's success in the defence of Farport a mood of optimism spread throughout General Thaddeus Roover's commanders and led at least one into a rather rash action. Whereas before General Alexander had been cautious in his approach to the pacification of the Shadow Worlds, in early 12.009M42 he became much more bold in his attitude and strategy, especially in regard to his prosecution of the war against Warboss Nazghat.

Consulting with the Reaper Angels, who agreed to help, the General steered his formidable battlegroup to the Bothorion system on 0212.009M42 with the intention of re-establishing an Imperial presence on the world and intending to once again wrestle the planet from Nazghat's grip. He thought that with the Astartes troops attacking first and with his overwhelming superiority in space, that the deployment of ten Guard regiments would scarcely be necessary. Once again Nazghat, and Bothorion, proved him wrong.

Since winning the world for the third time Warboss Nazghat had no intention of letting it go again and had stationed some of his best warriors on the planet. His followers, numbering hundreds of millions across the Mabb Nebula, had been in the proecss of fortifying the world when the Reaper Angels attacked. At first the Space Marines made good ground and established a perimeter, but is soon became apparent they had underestimated the Orks. As half a company sacrificed themselves to the bloody violence of the greenskin race on their small perimeter, the rest were forced to begin organising a hasty evacuation.

On the other side of the planet Alexander had landed three initial regiments of Librian Guard, including the Librian 45th Grenadiers, a fully mechanised regiment with a great deal of experience. Alexander hoped this mobile forec would be able to cross the barren southern hemisphere in just a few days and catch the Ork forces by surprise, from an unexpected direction. However after just four hours of being planetside the Librians found themselves under attack.

Not only had the "surprise" landing not taken the Orks by surprise, the Librians had landed amongst some of the toughest Ork formations, who were in the southern hemisphere constructing Nazghat's fortifications. Bad intelligence and poor regard for Orky intelligence had allowed Alexander to blunder into a hornet's nest. The fighting raged for over a week, with neither side making progress and taking heavy casualties. The Librian regiment (only the 45th ever managed to deploy) suffered nearly 50% casualties before it was withdrawn and lost much of its equipment.

Technically the fighting had been evenly matched, but by 1612.009M42 the planet was once again unmolested by Imperial intrusions and Nazghat set about completing his defences. Bothorion would now need more than a mere battle group to be returned to the Emperor's light.

Following the battle an almost unheard of and most secret agreement was reached between Nazghat, and the Eldar. After hours of wary bargaining the Eldar agreed to leave Fort Sparcos to the Orks, in exchange for the complete withdrawal of Ork forces from Mael Kithlan. Amazingly both sides kept to the agreement and no shots were fired. Mael Kithlan was returned to the Eldar while Nazghat finally got his prize, the second fortress of the Mabb Nebula. Of course, the Eldar made sure what was left of the Imperial fort was utterly unuseable before departing, easily outwitting the Ork Warboss and sabotaging the installations, lacing them with booby traps.

Nazghat was not overly concerned, and all around the ruins of the Imperial fort the screams of thousands of gretchin testified to the Orks efficient trap clearing methods...

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