Sunday, March 06, 2011

Crusade in stalemate

If the Crusade Council had been disturbed by the passage of the crusade in late 02.011M42, then they became alarmed in early 03.011M42, and Lord General Veers began to feel increasing pressure from his superior, Lord Roover, and also the Inquisition. Things were not going according to plan.

Veers lad left Ares in what he imagined were the capable hands of the Adeptus Astartes, chiefly the Red Angels and Space Wolves under Erik Morcai, a company so errant from the usual Space Marine doctrine that they didn't even bother to consult the council over strategy. Whether Veers had left the planet to Morcai or whether the Great Company had just took it upon themselves to prosecute their personal crusade against Chaos here was an open point of contention, and one Veers took exception to being discussed in his company.

Either way the campaign had hit the buffers, and when the Red Angels were taken by surprise by Khornate Marines at Caeralon the Space Wolves moved immediately to counter the advance, using their orbiting strike cruiser to perform a drop pod assault on the settlement. Then things began to go badly wrong. Their heavy armour support was destroyed as soon as the attack began as an unexpected force of traitor Astartes loyal to Lorek himself suddenly appeared, the first time his legion had been in battle for some time.

The battle raged for almost a day and neither side gave the other any quarter, but then came news that Lorek had outflanked Morcai's forces, attacking and taking much of Ares city and leaving Hephath Station almost cut off. The Space Wolves attempted to retreat, but few of the attackers survived. With the Imperial defenders of Ares City barely holding on, the battle for Ares hung in the balance.

Meanwhile the Blood Angels, at first welcomed by Veers and the Crusade Council, showed little or no interest in participating in the planning or even the execution of the campaign proper, choosing instead to follow their own mysterious agenda. their forces landed on the daemon world of Carnage, doing some damage to the Claws of Lorek, but not enough to affect the course of events, before leaving, apparently empty handed. Veers would need better allies than this to get his crusade back on track.

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