Sunday, January 27, 2013

Veers establishes Mordecai bridgehead

With Moonface defeated on Corticant General Veers was aware that the Imperium once again had the initiative over the forces of chaos in the Perseus Deeps. Veers hastily assembled a task force of fifteen Guard regiments, led by Librian and Praetorian contingents, and convinced the Imperial Navy to send a battlegroup to the outer reaches of the Mordecai system.

The target was Mordecai Tersius, a sparsely inhabited agri world on the fringe of the Mordecai system, outside the orbit of Mordecai Primaris and Secundus, which boasted formidable defences. The forces of chaos didn't regard Tersius as worth defending, as although it provided much of the systems food, a foothold on the outer world would be easily shifted once its presence were known.

However, with chaos suffering serious defeats the imperial lord General reasoned that he could overcome a counter attack and remain firmly lodged on the agri world. Once the world had fallen, he would use it as a springboard to launch a further invasion of the inner fortified worlds. The Imperial battlegroup arrived in late 01.013M42 and made landfall on the west of the main continent. For two days the imperial forces managed to land without incident, and quickly established a perimeter. Then. on 1801.013M42 the battlefleet in orbit messaged the commander on the ground, informing him of a rapidly approaching fleet of vessels. As per his standing orders, admiral Beattie withdrew his forces to deep space, leaving the guard on the ground to fend for themselves.

True to their battle plan the forces of chaos landed in strength to repulse the imperial invaders. Led by the Iron Warriors, hundreds of thousands of cultists joined the fray, and Lorek added to the chaos host by summoning a force of daemons to use as shock troops. The plan was to pound the imperial front lines, driving a hole in them, linking up with the daemons of Lorek and splitting the invasion in two. The drop site could then be taken, sealing the doom of the imperial foothold.

As the two sides met the battles raged with higher and higher intensity. In the middle of the imperial line the Librian mechanised and armoured regiments were furiously assaulted by the finest elite troops the Iron Warriors could spare, but the traitor marines found the going difficult against so much imperial armour. Unable to cope with the sheer weight of tanks, the chaos assualt began to flounder. It almost turned into a rout when their reinforcement arrived in a piecemeal and unco-ordinated fashion, the chaos terminators notably failing in their mission to destroy the Librian artillery batteries. Facing so much firepower the Iron Warriors were first stopped, then forced to retreat.

This left the daemonic assault to the rear of the imperial lines in extreme peril. Soon after they had materialised the malign warp intelligence behind Lorek's forces knew they were cut off with no hope of rescue. The plan was in disarray but in their fury the daemons attacked anyway. They turned east, assaulting the Praetorian 42nd regiment who had been assigned to guard against such an attack. The fighting was bitter as Lorek's daemons fought tooth and claw to get past the Praetorians and into the rear areas of the imperial defences. However the stoic Praetorians held fast, and they barred the way despite their casualties until finally, three days after the chaos counter-attack had began, the daemons winked out of existance and the offensive fizzled out.

Veers now had his bridgehead on Mordecai Tersius. Now the race was on to reinforce. The imperial general wanted to take the planet quickly, build it up as a base and move the war forward to Mordecai Primaris. The chaos forces, though defeated, now raced to gather reinforcements and hold the imperium on Mordecai Tersius. Even a stalemate would suit their plans. The most difficult part of the campaign for Mordecai now began.

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