Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Perseus Deeps Campaign suffers setback

As 01.011M42 drew to a close the Imperial crusade in the Perseus Deeps was in a good position. Bastien had been liberated and the new offensive on Ares had got off to a good start, but the council leading the crusade, made up of generals, admirals, space marine company captains, Inquisitors and other senior ranks within the power structures of the Imperium, was about to suffer a setback.

First the offensive on Ares which had been proceeding so well suddenly ground to a halt when the Claws of Lorek raised a host of daemons as the Space Wolves attempted to take the final sections of the city of Hellebron. The daemons inflicted severe casualties and by the end of a two day rampage much of settlement which had previously been in Imperial hands had been reconquered in the name of Chaos.

At the same time news from Alphe, while on the face of it an Imperial success, reached General Veers on Corticant. General Percival reported that the remaining Chaos forces there which had been in stalemate with his armies for over a year had suddenly vanished. Overnight the Alphe campaign had been won and now Percival’s armies were retaking the chaos held sectors, rooting out blasphemy and cleansing the planet of the taint of the chaos gods. This would likely take months.

The withdrawal, presumably via the use of the mysterious chaos “device”, could only mean one thing. The Master of Chaos had decided to reinforce his retreating armies in the Perseus Deeps, happy that the savage destruction wrought on Alphe would keep a significant Imperial force tied up for several months while his forces would feel the full benefit of the redeployment.

With the Ares offensive stalled and intelligence suggesting new forces at Lorek’s disposal, the news of another Dark Eldar raid on Aethor could not have been less welcome. Worse still the Space Wolves took it upon themselves to attack the Lamenters when they arrived on Aethor, an act which infuriated the non space marine members of the crusade council. The Dark Angels and other space marine chapters however refused to criticise the act, and the Space Wolves actions drove a wedge between the Imperial Guard and the Adeptus Astartes which the Inqusition now had to try hard to close.

The unnecessary Space Wolf attack may have led to the Dark Eldar raid, the aliens taking advantage of the confusion on the planet, although once the attack had started the Space Wolves eventually managed to intervene before the xenos raiders did too much damage. The events on Ares however began to overshadow Veers’ crusade and the good work which he had accomplished threatened to come to nothing.

The Claws of Lorek tried to add to Veers’ woes, sending in a small force to raid or sabotage the Imperial base on Aethor, but were detected in good time by the Groznian guard stationed there. More good news was to follow on 2801.011M42, when an attempt to break the Imperial blockade of the Deeps by Admiral Thok’s fleet was foiled by Admiral Cardale on the battleship Vanguard.

Despite struggling initially against a more manouverable enemy, the cruisers of Thok’s fleet were unable to damage the massive battleship, and despite causing damage to the cruisers under Cardale’s command, the chaos fleet were forced to return to Mordecai without forcing a passage to Parthenope, their suspected intention.

Although the Imperial fleet delivered a much needed victory for the crusade, by the beginning of 02.011M42 the continuing advance of the Imperium in the Deeps had come to grinding halt, at least for the moment.

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