Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Windgather breaks Praetorian wall

Until the very end of 10.013M42 the Praetorian wall had held on Tyranteous. Defended by the imperial guard it had prevented the tau from breaking through and almost certainly ending the war on Tyranteous. The tau had been unwilling to expend too many lives trying to breach this formidable defence, so they simply went around it.

The outcome of the winter offensive in the west had been disasterous for the imperium and General Cunningham's troops. Half his army was gone, captured or destroyed, Fernal and Badval had fallen and the adeptus mechanicus facility at Thraxicon was beseiged. Only the Apocalypse Riders had managed to hold the tau in two critical engagements along the Grent Pass, preventing the Praetorian wall from being taken from behind. Now however Lightspear had broken through in the south, and the Apocalypse Riders were called on once again to repeat their actions and push the tau out of Grent.

The Apocalypse Riders moved out with confidence and high expectations, but commander Windgather and his eldar allies were waiting. Tau high command expected this move by the Imperium and placed their most dangerous and effective formations accordingly. As soon as the astartes came into range the tau-eldar alliance opened up on the Riders, killing their leader and throwing their charge into disorder.

With no meaningful artillery or air support the space marine bikers raced bravely but ultimately suicidally towards the tau lines. Few returned from the charge and by 2910.013M42 word had reached Cunningham of the slaughter of the Apocalypse Riders. The news crushed the general, who is said to have laughed wryly. He knew the writing was now on the wall for Tyranteous, and the position could not be saved. Two days later the tau had reached the Kethwick Sea, encircling the Praetorian wall from behind and cutting his remaining forces in two. Only a few regiments stood between the tau and the last two imperial cities. Cunningham remained outwardly defiant but in Ashwater and Yellowmouth the many agents of the Imperium began moving sacred relics and destroying valuable equipment and artefacts. The end game on Tyranteous had arrived at last.

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