Friday, March 13, 2015

Libria III: Alliance consolidate gains

Early 03.015M42 saw no respite for the imperium on Libria III. The arrival of the Iron Warriors on the side of the alliance had shaken the imperial forces, and even the intervention of Vorushko's elite forces hadn't managed to slow the tide of alliance gains. In addition the imperial forces within Cartasia found themselves coming under more and more scrutuiny from the Inquisitor's retinue of commissars and priests, which the Imperial commander in Newhall found particularly alarming.

In order to try to regain some control of the situation, Vorushko ordered the retaking of Parth, now garrisoned by commander Skyfall's tau. The Sky Lords, recently arrived in the Librian system would lead the attack, while Librian Guard forces launched their own offensive against the Iron Warriors in Regina.

The Sky Lords were able to make ground in the outskirts of the city of Parth without much difficulty, but soon their spearhead formation of land raiders came under sustained attack from Skyfall's advanced hunter cadres. Riptides, a number of them the latest pattern proved well shielded from the astartes weaponry, and the forward momentum of the imperial warriors was slowed. Worse still the close assault by the chapter's elite terminator unit against the command and control forces of the tau proved ineffective, as powerful technologies proved protection against even thunder hammers. To their disbelief the tau HQ crisis suits wethered the storm of blows from the Sky Lords' finest, and made an orderly withdrawal from the combat. Now out in the open, the elite warriors of the astartes found themselves targetted by the majority of the tau army, and heavy casualties were sustained amongst the best of the crusade's army.

Thus blunted, the Sky Lords assault withdrew, leaving the city of Parth to the tau. Further east sheer weight of numbers almost overwhelmed the defenders of Regina, but the Iron Warriors held firm and learning of the failure of the Sky Lords further west, the Librian forces called off the attack on 1003.015M42.

Despite failing to turn the tide of the war against the alliance, Inquisitor Vorushko wasted no time in turning the screw against her enemies within the imperium. With Inquisitor Hathek away and with "loyalist" command residing on the other side of the planet, the inquisitor started by releasing her agents into the armed forces of the imperium in the Cartasia region. Soon whole regiments had become fanatical adherents to her cause, some becoming flagellants or joining the preisthood. Gradually order began to break down in cities behind the front line, and to restore the pax imperialis, on 1303.015M42 Inquisitor Vorushko declared herself rightful governor of all Libria III, by her own decree, and effectively annexed the region of Cartasia. Thousands were killed in the loyalist ranks as they tried to escape to friendly territory, and others fled to the alliance. Meanwhile General Launceston, commander of all loyalist forces on Libria III, found himself and his forces "condemned" for generations to come by the lord Inquisitor. He needed no pursuading in joining the cause of Hathek and refused to recognise the inquisitor's authority, effectively declaring war on the crusade. The war on Libria III was now three-way.

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