Sunday, February 05, 2012

Dark Eldar make gains on drift, raid Parataea

The Dark Eldar, particularly the Shattered Silence, continued their raids in early 02.012M42, but it was clear their activity was becoming ever more focussed around the Cerrack nebula and the planet of Drift. Concerned by their continued raiding in the Vastrid subsector, the subsector commander requested more forces be directed to his region. Lord Roover agreed, and Jellicoe was commanded to send a force from the Perseus Deeps with two regiments of Imperial Guard.

Jellicoe detached four cruisers and a squadron of Firestorms from his battlegroup at Corticant, led by the Armaggedon class Valiant. At the same time, the Space Wolves detatched a strike cruiser with one company of marines which arrived at Drift on 0302.012M42, having landed their troops at the nearby Imperial base of Achreom.

The Imperial Navy battlegroup arrived shortly after, on 0502.012M42, but while inbound to the planet of Drift, the Shattered Silence kabal launched an organised assault on the Imperial forces in the system, attacking the Imperial navy with their fleet and appearing from nowhere on the ground, launching a violent raid against the Space Wolves.

On the ground, the Space Wolves found themselves in deep trouble, with the dark eldar attacking in mobile formations, completely outmanouevring the marines. Before long they were pulling back to their recently constructed bastion, and preparing to evacuate.

With success on the ground the dark eldar fleet only had to catch the Space Wolf strike cruiser in orbit over drift to score a significant victory. However, the four cruisers led by the Valiant had just arrived, and they would need dealing with first.

The two fleets approached each other warily, but the commander of the Valiant was pleased to note that his inexperienced dark eldar counterpart was approaching from his starboard quarter. This allowed the Imperial fleet to swing to port, locking on their full broadsides against the enemy. The single dark eldar cruiser qas quickly crippled and fled, and the Imperial vessels took their toll on the remaining escorts, destroying most of them. Never-the-less, three of the four Imperial ships were badly damaged, and the commodore of the battlegroup was forced to put in at Vastrid for repairs, ruling out any possibility of landing troops on Drift in the near future.

While the dark eldar grip on Drift grew ever tighter, the aliens were still active in the Perseus Deeps, taking particular interest in raiding the Tau on their lesser colonies. Between 3001.012M42 and 0602.012M42 Paratea suffered a series of raids from dark eldar forces deplyed by ship. To counter this, Admiral Shinobi moved his flag to the fleet based out of Cernunos, his other vessels being stuck at Tarsis Major undergoing repairs. With this fleet the Tau deployed in force at Parataea, hoping to stem the attacks, but on 0802.012M42 the dark eldar appeared in force, defeating the Tau and forcing them to abandon Parataea for the time being, while the dark eldar ran amok along the streets of the Tau colony.

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