Thursday, November 08, 2012

Mordecai under siege

By early 11.012M42 with Carnage almost overrun and the war going badly on Gamordal, it was obvious that the next target in the sights of the Harakhty dynasty would be the chaos fortress world of Mordecai. It was clear the necrons intended to sweep the deeps of their enemies and re-establish their interstellar empire. Mordecai, with its three inhabited worlds and formidable defences, would be a tough nut to crack, but the imperial analyticae thought the necrons would be able to do so within six months, given the strength of the chaos forces in the region, so long as the formidable fleets of Tragean, Thok and Lorek could be put out of action.

The imperium needed to know just how strong the defences of Mordecai were. If the necrons were to gain control of the system then Corticant and Bastien would be next. If it was deemed that chaos were strong, the imperium was more than happy to let the two sides battle it out for years or decades. However, if the chaos defences were found wanting, then General Veers would be directed to cancel the invasion of Grimlock and instead plan for an assault on Mordecai.

Admiral Jellicoe had grave misgivings about this strategy. The chaos fleet had still not been reduced and should they meet once again, the naval vessels of the imperium and chaos risked mutual annihilation, allowing the necrons almost a free hand at Mordecai. However, the loss of Mordecai to the necrons due to the weakness of chaos could not be tolerated in any event, although senior command balked at the idea of aiding chaos in their struggle.

To test the Mordecai defences a small force of Blood Angels agreed to go on a sabotage mission into the Mordecai system, succesfulyy landing on the outer planet of Mordecai Tersius without interception by the chaos fleet. The Blood Angels moved in force against the mining complex known as Khorne's Pit, but found the Iron Warriors present and in numbers. the chaos marines counter attacked this invading force, wuickly overwhelming the small Blood Angel contingent. With great haste the astartes force withdrew, reporting that contrary to reports, the forces of chaos were in far better shape than previously thought. The invasion of Mordecai was shelved for the time being.

The eldar however had no confidence in Mordecai's ability to hold out against the necron invasion, especially considering they knew that beneath the mines of Mordecai Tersius lay a sleeping monster. Once a major world of the necron empire, thousands of dormant warriors and their equipment lay inactive just a few hundred metres beneath the deepest mine. Realising that these forces would ensure the collapse of Mordecai even more quickly, the eldar launched their own raid against the mining outpost, using the webway to deliver their warriors directly into the field of battle.

Once again the Iron Warriors were able to meet the threat, despite the fact the eldar were actually trying to disable their greatest enemy, something the eldar were unwilling to share with the chaos forces. The eldar reasoned that if the Iron Warriors found out about the tomb world, they would try to access it themselves, no doubt waking the hibernating enemy up and generally precipitating their own doom. Arrogant or not, the eldar would have to destroy the sleeping necrons themselves.

The eldar fought with determined vigour as they approached the mines, but were halted in their tracks by a fanatical resistance by the local chaos cultist forces. No matter how hard the eldar tried they could not shift the dogged defenders and gain access to the mines. The delay ensured chaos reinforcements, led by Stahl himself, were deployed against the raiders, blasting them from short range and quickly precipitating an eldar retreat back into the webway.

In the space of a week the Iron Warriors had fought off two raids on their mining outpost. Now, under the orders of Stahl, the fleet was brought up to directly protect Mordecai Tersius, however they were still as yet blind to the fact that beneath their feet there was a timebomb just waiting to be activated. Now at last the eldar considered making this fact more public...

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