Monday, November 12, 2012

Nemesis reaches Aornis

Almost a month after the fall of Rhesius and New Sparta, Aornis came under attack from the splinter hive fleet of Nemesis which had been remorselessy driving through the Rim worlds consuming everything in its path. Somehow Daedalon and Priam had been spared, but three inhabited worlds in the cluster had succumbed. The invasion of Aornis came as no surprise to the chaos forces, as it was clear the path the splinter fleet was taking, and the time delay corresponded exactly with expectations.

Aornis itself suffered serious tectonic shifts as the hive fleet approached, giving ample forewarning of the attack. In response the Iron Warriors reinforced the world, sending hordes of fanatical cultists to fight to the last, and units of experienced traitor astartes to try to halt the hive fleet. Thok, Traegen and Lorek were loathe to send any form of fleet assistance however, as they were too busy ensuring the defences of Mordecai were as strong as possible. The forces of chaos would have to defeat Nemesis on the surface of Aornis itself.

The reinforcements were large in number, but the force put on the world in just one day by the tyranids was astounding. Very quickly the Iron Warriors found their outer defence lines overrun and were forced to retreat to secondary bastions. The battles became exceptionally bloody, with the Iron Warriors launching a counter offensive along the entire front line on 1011.012M42. Despite vigorous prosecution of the assault, it was to no avail. The tyranids just kept pouring more and more creatures into the breaches created and very soon the local chaos commander realised the continued offensive was a battle of attrition they couldn't hope to win. The offensive was cancelled and the Iron Warriors retreated behind their defences, determined to make the tyranids pay in considerable biomass for every inch of ground on Aornis.

This in effect was the strategy of many of the races facing the tyranid threat. If Nemesis couldn't be destroyed it could be "convinced" that the price of victory was too high on certain worlds. Unfortunately the strength of Nemesis had so far overwhelmed all opponents, and only on Fort Sparcos were the tyranids finding a more stubborn foe. In imperial circles general Brooke was becoming ever more worried. The loss of Betor and Alphe had been painful, as had the fiasco on Rhesius, but now the splinter tendril in the Rim worlds pointed in an uncomfortable direction, towards the bastion worlds of the subsector, Zadoc and Libria.

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