Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Imperium evacuates Mordecai Tersius

General Van Dorn continued to try to hold on to the imperial bridgehead on Mordecai Tersius as 02.013M42 came to an end, but he was facing an uphill task. The reduced imperial forces were finding it ever more difficult to hold the line as the forces of chaos, led by the Iron Warriors, continued to probe every section of Van Dorn's line, knowing that they now had overwhelming superiority in numbers.

By 0303.013M42 the situation had become desparate, as the chaos fleet, aware that admiral Jellicoe's battlegroup had been called away to regroup before heading to the Zadoc subsector, bore down on the agri world. At the same time warlord Stahl continued to throw in wave after wave of poorly equipped but numerous fanatical cultists while holding back his elite formations, waiting for any astartes intervention.

This intervention came swiftly on 0403.013M42, as Erik Morkai's grand company dropped into the system and immediately intervened to halt the progress of the chaos tide. Initially this was successful, but once the Space Wolves were committed, Stahl committed his Iron Warriors reserves.

Savage fighting followed, and the Iron Warriors took heavy casualties, however the Space Wolves were totally unable to match the enemy's threat from the air, and chaos heldrakes caused havoc among the astartes troops while hellblades kept the air clear of imperial navy fighters. The loyalist space marines realised they had got themselves into more than they had bargained for, and immediately tried to extricate themselves from their dreadful tactical position.

Meanwhile Van Dorn, aware of the Space Wolves' failure, requested a withdrawal. reluctantly Lord General Veers agreed, and the remaining surviving regiments on Mordecai Tersius were evacuated in just two days. Van Dorn kept his job, and his life, as the imperial high command realised he had been given an impossible task. However, Veers now saw his crusade in dire trouble. With losses on Mordecai, in a campaign lasting just 33 days, adding to the forces lost to the Zadoc subsector crisis.

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