Sunday, November 14, 2010

Battle of Parthenope

With the Imperium losing ground on Bastien the news that Chaos vessels had been sighted near Parthenope was most unwelcome. In late 10.010M42 an estimated four or five traitor vessels were detected near Parthenope.

Jellicoe dispatched the newly arrived battlegroup Cardale to investigate the threat, assuming that the force belonged to Tragean, Thok or Shaidar Haran. The three largest chaos fleets known to exist in the sector.

Commodore Cardale led the battleship Agamemnon, the cruisers Glorious, Cressy, Aboukir and Repulse, along with three sword class escorts to the Parthenope system on 1111.010M42. There he was rather surprised, and somewhat alarmed to find the sensor returns of five capital ships, none of which had been encountered before.
After a detailed search of old Imperial naval records the ships were identified as the battleship Savage Messiah, the heavy cruisers Iron Juggernaut and Hand of Tartarus and the cruisers Devastation and Black Wolf. Somehow Lorek, the “Master of Chaos” had got his hands on a fleet.

Cardale immediately gave battle, informing Jellicoe before he drew up his battle line. The two gothic class vessels deployed slightly to starboard of the Agamemnon while the Nova cannon equipped Glorious and Repulse brought up the rear.

The two fleets approached each other with the chaos fleet attempting to close the distance quickly to avoid long range nova cannon fire. Despite taking several hits the chaos fleet made it, though Savage Messiah suffered some damage. Cardale, feeling the time was right began to prepare for his tactical move which he hoped would rake the chaos fleet’s stern and deliver him the battle.

Just as he was deploying his ships for the turn, a strange reading appeared of the fleet’s aft, throwing the Imperial force into confusion and losing valuable minutes. A daemon ship had appeared, and then just as suddenlty vanished.

This confusion allowed the chaos fleet to weather the storm of the Imperial battle line and at close range pummel the closest ship, the Repulse with devastating firepower. She attempted to break off but her fires picked her out against the blackness of space. Within an minutes concentrated chaos firepower had reduced the ship to a smoking hulk.

Having lost one of his capital ships Cardale now successfully crossed the chaos fleet’s “T”, swinging Agamemnon and her two gothic class consorts round the rear of the chaos battleship. Opening up with massed lance fire the Savage Messiah and Black Wolf were soon crippled. Fortress of Hate soon followed, a lucky nova cannon hit from the Imperial battleship causing horrific damage.

Then once again the daemonship appeared, but this time took on corporeal form. Identifying it as the ex-Harbinger of Pain the Imperial fleet opened up as she charged them in a suicidal action. The daemonship met the same fate as the Repulse reduced to a spinning, drifting hulk of metal which disintegrated against a wandering asteroid. Whether or not the ship would be seen again however, was not discussed.

Following the loss of the daemonship the chaos fleet disengaged its crippled cruisers. Soon the traitor forces were reduced to a mere two capital ships, facing a battleship and three cruisers, though Glorious was forced to disengage soon after the destruction of the daemonship as both remaining chaos vessels targeted the Imperial carrier as the closest target.

Taking no chances Commodore Cardale continued to shadow the two chaos vessels for some time, before they decided they had suffered enough losses and disengaged. The Imperium had won the battle, but the loss of Repulse, though her hulk was towed back to Caitlen Station some time later, left a bitter taste in Jellicoe’s mouth.

Repulse hulked
Glorious crippled

Harbinger of Pain hulked
Savage Messiah crippled
Black Wolf crippled
Fortress of Hate crippled

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