Saturday, November 22, 2014

Aethor setbacks continue

The imperial reversals on Aethor continued as the end of 11.014M42 approached. In the north the Vale of ice remained in eldar hands, although the Sisters of Battle were loathed to leave the Shrine of Celeste in xenos hands, especially after the brave last stand of the sisters who had defended it for the emperor. On 2011.014M42 they undertook their own mission independent of the rest of the imperium, launching a significant raid on the Biel Tan who had deployed around the shrine.

The Biel Tan may have expected a counter assault by the imperium, but the fury of the sisters' assault, backed up by a small force of Vannaheim imperial guard indentured to their service, tool the eldar by surprise. A furious skirmish erupted, and after a few hours the holding force of eldar were soundly defeated. The imperial force did not spend long at the shrine, just long enough to recover the precious holy relics then withdraw. Though a local victory, the overall strategic situation had not been changed by the daring raid.

Later on the same day imperial fortunes took a turn for the worse as the Shattered silence moved forward from their positions on Middlevale towards the capital of the world. The first line of defenders were the Novgorod Guard, dug in on the hills overlooking the valley as it narrowed to the neck before widening into the broad plain infront of the capital, Clade. Here the largely infantry based guard with heavy artillery support, at first managed to deny the Shattered Silence kabal any ground, as the dark eldar struggled to outflank the imperial positions.

Eventually however the relentless attacks from the xenos forces wore down the Novgorod defenders, and by 2311.014M42 the positions at the Neck were surrounded and cut off. The imperium retreated to their second line of defence, and the three valleys were cut off from the capital.

In space, Admiral Pendragon on his flagship Sir Gallahad detected an unidentified fleet in the Aethor system. Moving to investigate, he discovered a force of Shattered Silence cruisers. A brief skirmish developed, with inconclusive results, but elements of the imperial fleet were driven off by the xenos vessels, and it became clear that the system itself was now contested. This would make reinforcing the imperial forces on Aethor more challenging, as the threat from raids was now clear, while the eldar were able to use the webway with impugnity.

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