Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Inquisition war hots up

Although the Inquisition dispute between Hathek, Huron and the council on one side, and Xanthus on the other, had cooled off after the Astartes settled the score on Ares, neither side was content to leave things as they were. Xanthus was now effectively outlawed, cut off from his usual endless resources and only commanding a few regiments of guard and a flotilla of Jellicoe's ships. Xanthus needed to sway more governors and Imperial representatives to his side, and to do that he needed to discredit the other two inquisitor lords.

To this end the Ordo Hereticus inquisitor once again planned to disrupt the Imperial-Tau alliance. Through still loyal agents, Xanthus gave false information to the Grey Knights, suggesting that a daemonic incursion was imminent on the Tau held world of Skera. Unfamiliar with the Tau dispositions in the Perseus Deeps and not bothering to check with the council, the hot headed Astartes immediately set out for the Tau system. Their strike cruisers easily evaded Tau warships and deployed a force of Grey Knights on the planet, close to the suspected daemonic outbreak centre. Unsurprisingly they found nothing, except an angry Tau force who asked why they had been assaulted. Pride quickly got in the way of negotiation and the Grey Knights soon found themselves under attack. After a brief skirmish the Ordo Malleus strike force abandoned its attack and fled the system, but the alliance still held thanks to swift interevention from Inquisitor Hathek once again. The Tau informed him however that he was on his final warning.

Hathek then directed the Grey Knights to Ares, recently retaken by the Imperium but still reporting minor intrusions from the warp. On Ares however the Grey Knights met with a government hostile to their presence, and the recently installed planetary governor refused to allow them to land, The Astartes did anyway, and found the Blood Angels already on the world pursuing their own aims. The Grey Knights demanded that the Blood Angels confirm their alliegance to the Crusade council and declare Xanthus a traitor. When they refused the Grey Knights found themselves in another uneccessary battle, although this time the Blood Angels were forced to withdraw, complaining bitterly that the Knights were exceeding their remit.

Hathek meanwhile began machinations of his own. Realising the governor of Ares was hostile to his faction, the inquisitor resolved to remove him. He reasoned, correctly that the Grey Knights could be easily swayed and used as a tool in his plans. He planted the suspicion that the government of Ares were complicit in the recent daemonic incursions on the world, and planet suitably damning evidence. On cue the Grey Knights declared the governor a heretic and attacked the capital. The ill-equipped 24th Islandlwanfa found themselves in the way and were defeated in short order by the Knights, suffering apalling casualties. The governor, all the time protesting his innocence, was summarily tried and executed under Hathek's supervision. The inquisitor then replaced the entire government with his own sympathisers, cutting another link in Xanthus' supply chain.

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