Sunday, November 14, 2010

Marine forces and Eldar raid Scallius

During the first half of 11.010M42 it had become apparent that Lord General Veers' crusade against chaos in the Perseus Deeps had ground to a halt. On Bastien the slaughter of half a million men in a month had gained nothing, and the Imperial base at Corticant was surrounded by ever strengthening alien threats, while more Chaos forces flocked to the banner of Lorek.

Veers asked for reinforcements, but was denied. The Tyranid menace was winning on Betor, the Tau were barely being held on Tarsis and the Inquisition were becoming decidedly edgy about the planets Cathasaea, Gamador and Malius. The Lord General had to make do with the forces at his disposal. Veers met with his tacticae in late 10.010M42 and unexpectedly asked for advice.

There were many voices clamouring to capitalise on this rare opportunity, but Veers favoured one of them, that of master strategist Hyram Alderbrand more than the rest, and he accepted a lot of the old man's suggestions. To defeat Chaos would mean ensuring their supply was cut off. Bastien would be given enough forces to hold the line but the Chaos bases around the Bastien system must be raided, overrun or destroyed. Meanwhile Corticant was becoming a bottleneck for the Imperium. Another base was needed in the Perseus Deeps to become the centre of operations for the peripheral raids.

Veers redeployed his forces. Most of the Space Marine chapters at his disposal joined the Blood Drinkers on the newly established base of Aganthus, which Veers ordered to be enlarged and fortified. Even the Lamenters chapter, shunned by many of their peers, was included in this. The Lamenters however based themselves on the opposite side of the world to the rest of the Imperial base, which by 0511.010M42 was a riot of construction activity and a logistics nightmare.

Jellicoe increased the fleet's presence in the Deeps, the only reinforcements the crusade received, moving the fleet that had been blockading Tarsis, with little or no effect, to Corticant, while Dreyer's battlegroup moved to Aganthus. With his new dispositions Veers now plotted the next course of the Perseus Deeps campaign.

The first part of Veers' new strategy called for the annihilation of their base on Aethor. The Adeptus Astartes agreed to this task, as it would be dangerous and well behind enemy lines. Their task was to render the base at Aethor unuseable and to scout out likely landing sites for an Imperial Guard ground crusade.

The Lamenters and Red Angels carried out their tak with great zeal and courage that is expected of the genetically enhanced superhumans. The Lamenters raided the southern hemisphere, destroying a company of Khorne Bezerkers who were soon to be embarked for the War on Bastien, before blowing up the main facility in the south and returning with most of their comrades to the safety of their orbitting strike cruiser.

Meanwhile in the north a small team of Red Angels successfully scouted a likely landing ground in the northern plains of the savannah which covered much of the planet. They were spotted however by a patrol of Chaos Marines, but held their ground when the traitors attacked long enough to escape with their valuable data. They also killed a score of some of the Imperium's deadliest foes.

Much of Aethor was left untouched, though a great deal of damage had been inflicted by the raids and general Veers now had enough information to plan a landing. Then on 1611.010M42 a shocked Veers learned that the Eldar had repeated their attack of the previous month and raided Aethor themselves once again. The bloody raid, which decimated yet another company of Khorne Marines rendered the base of Aethor useless to the Chaos forces in the Perseus Deeps for several weeks.

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