Friday, November 22, 2013

Tyranteous falls to the Alliance

Following the Imperial advance on Renbow, the alliance forces were quick to respond. Less than a week later Windgather's forces attacked again, defeating the Apocalypse Riders and Cunningham's guardsmen where Skyfall had failed. The renewed attack saw the alliance retake the Renbow refineries and starve the imperial forces of badly needed fuel, but the Tau and Eldar hadn't finished. For too long now the war on Tyranteous had lingered on while the war on Zadoc was neglected. The alliance wanted it finished, and quickly.

On 1711.013M42 Windgather and the eldar launched what would be the last offensive in the Tyranteous campaign. The attack broke through the imperial defences at Yellowmouth, encircling the town and driving straight for Ashwater, the last imperial city on the planet. In their way stood a resolute force of Imperial Fists, who attempted to hold firm while Cunningham brought up reinforcements. The result was a massacre as the well equipped alliance force easily outgunned and outmanouvered the astartes, picking them apart in just a few hours. The wreckage of marine tanks and equipment littered the road to Ashwater, as tau grav tanks and eldar walkers made their way to the final objective.

There was no final battle. On 2011.013M42 General Cunningham could see plainly that to attempt to defend Ashwater was folly. Even defensive battles at this stage were simply a waste of resources, and at 10:18am he contacted overall commander Shadowstrike, with whom he had dealt before. Shadowstrike accepted Cunningham's surrender, and at 11am the Imperial guard on Tyranteous laid down their arms. Some battles continued however, as the remaining astartes forces battled their way out of perilous situations, those who could boarded thunderhawks and other vessels and ran the gauntlet of tau and eldar fighters to break orbit. In Deep Space many were picked up by a strike cruiser, which had been able to remain undetected in the system for several weeks.

In the west the Adeptus Mechanicus facility of Thraxicon still held out, but bottled up in the mountains with a handful of die-hard guard units and astartes warriors, they posed no immediate threat to the alliance control of the world. Tyranteous was secure and the tau could now concentrate their efforts on the conquest of Zadoc. How much support they would recieve from the eldar in this venture had yet to become apparent.

For Cunningham his wars were finally over. For over a decade he had fought the tau, most famously on Melberg and Tarsis Major, scoring a number of famous victories but always losing the war. Over that time he had come to respect the tau, and although he remained opposed to everything they stood for, he was treated well by his captors, as were the majority of the captured guardsmen. The one grain of hope the Imperium could hold on to from the loss of the agri world, was the pressure it removed from Jellicoe's fleet. With no need to supply the troops on the ground, the Imperium's supply lines were shortened and her strategic position slightly improved. This came as little comfort to the Sector commander, but Titus Luthor immediately redoubled his efforts to hold the line on Zadoc. He would not preside over the terminal decline of imperial rule in the Aleph sector.

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