Monday, October 21, 2013

Ork fleet arrives at Hylas

The war on Hylas had seen some advances by the imperium during 10.013M42. Following Na'Porkleon's destruction of West Coast and Birego, the Adeptus Mechanicus push south was further built on by the Crimson Fists, who with only a small force achieved victory over the orks north of Berkeley. This allowed the imperium to gradually push forward, and by 2010.013M42 the ongoing gradual retreat of the orks in the north had annoyed Na'Porkleon enough to do something about it.

The erratic ork Warlord transferred several "divi-juns" to the northern front, bashing several warbands on the way to knock them into shape. One such warband gave the warlord a shock, as during the skirmish Na'Porkleon's elite troops were more than once seen to be making "taktikal with-draw-alls" in the face of such horrors as units of grots... However despite these embarrassments the ork warboss successfully transferred a large force to the northern front, intent on wiping out remaining imperial resistance on Hylas.

The Dark Eldar were also active on Hylas, appearing unexpectedly and launching mostly unsuccessful or downright disasterous raids on the Crimson Fists and orks from somewhere in the broken country around the massive mount Flynn. The motives were unknown, but data brought back to the imperial intelligence and inquisition positively identified the force as nothing to do with the Shattered Silence kabal.

In space there was far worse news for the imperium. Jellicoe's fleet led by the Iron Duke herself reached the Hylas system in 10.013M42 expecting to find a few roks. These would be cleared then supply lines re-opened to the planet. However when Jellicoe's powerful force arrived, the Iron Duke and her five cruiser battlegroup found to their horror perhaps a dozen roks and a giant space hulk.

Jellicoe had no choice but to try to break through the ork line, which formed and immediately closed with the imperial formation. During the battle several ork roks were reduced to rubble and in a close in engagement the Iron Duke duelled with the hulk, inflicting significant damage but taking crippling hits in the process. Warspite was reduced to a wreck and several other vessels were crippled. Worse still one fifth of the Iron Duke was taken over by an ork boarding party, and the battles in the lower decks would continue for weeks. Jellicoe's battlegroup, badly mauled was forced to return to Caitlen station for repairs, leaving the orks to make good their repairs in system, and adding to the difficulties faced by Van Dorn on the surface of Hylas.

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