Saturday, November 28, 2015

Zadoc: Alliance offensive lands on Ascobabria

Despite receiving less attention than the Libria campaign the war on Zadoc was still continuing, with the alliance slowly grinding down the forces of chaos. Since the departure of Warsmith Stahl and the disappearance of the Arch Cleric, the chaos armies had become fractured and disparate, with only pockets of traitor astartes support. this had allowed the alliance, particularly the tau, to downgrade their commitment to the war on Zadoc, secure in the knowledge that eventual victory was all but assured anyway.

Increasingly the Zadoc alliance forces saw major participation by ex-imperial guard formations, chiefly Librian, Zadocian, and Tyranteousean, but with elements of Novgorod and Lycaon Guard as well. These units had been integrated into the alliance army by federal representatives to fight alongside the tau for the "greater good".

By late 11.015M42 an agreement had been reached about the future of Zadoc and more importantly the subsector as a whole. In return for Libria joining the federacy, the tau would get the rest of the subsector, although there would be significant self rule on Zadoc overseen by federal officials. this agreement cemented the tau-Federacy alliance, at least for the time being.

The close alliance and working partnership between federal and tau forces allowed the tau a lower commitment on Zadoc, but by late 11.015M42 the alliance had still managed to advance to the shores of Ascobabria. Now only the Gontina Sea stood between the alliance and the chaos heartland. The plan was to take the Ascobarbrian landmass before isolating the heavily fortified and virtually impregnable Iron Warriors citadel of Gerzonne.

The assault on Ascobabria was a complete success. led by Skyfall's capable commanders and supported by numerous "Gue'vesa" human formations, the highly mechanised and well equipped alliance force stormed the shoreline south of Sartignay. The defenders attempted a counter assault but this failed, despite the summoning of daemonic entities. The alliance had established a bridgehead on Ascobabria and their final victory was in sight.

Hylas: Old warzone flares into life

After almost six months of near inactivity the war on Hylas became an active warzone once again. General Van Dorn had received much sought after reinforcement in late 09.015M42 and by late 10.015M42 he was ready to go on the offensive. Fresh Novgorod Guard regiments and the Adeptus Sororitas of the Crimson Veil Order prepared to move forward in the south, while the northern front was held on the defensive, the Voscians deployed here along with small units of Imperial Fists to bolster the guard regiments shoudl anything untoward happen.

The first assault went as planned as on 1810.015M42 large formations of Novgorod Guard assaulted the remaining ork fortress south of Brockley. Experienced ork fighters by now and supported by a knight war engine, the Novogorod army smashed apart Von Bismork's defending forces and razed the ork fortress to the ground. The risk to Brockley had been removed and the second phase of the operation could begin, an advance on Desmond in the south.

Before Van Dorn could exploit the Novgorod success however, news reached him of a new greenskin offensive in the north. Well equipped orks loyal to Na'Porkleon and ork Warboss Kogh, delighted to be in a "shootin war" once again were carening across the West Coast plains annihilating anything which got in their way. Within hours the Volscians, unused to fighting the orks, had been smashed apart, and the Imperial Fists were desperately trying to hold the line by plugging gaps.

It was a straegy doomed to failure. The elite forces of the astartes were simply overwhelmed by the number of ork boyz, lootas and trukks the greenskins threw into the offensive. Within days the Imperial Fists had withdrawn completely, leaving the Volscian guard to fend for themselves. Van Dorn knew this was an untenable position and he withdrew what forces he could to the Shifting Isles defence line in front of Sarina. North Eton was left to the orks, as well as the thousands of imperial guardsmen now trapped in West Coast.

Having gone over to the defensive in the north Van Dorn pressed ahead in the south, and managed to secure further support from the Minotaurs chapter of space marines. On Hylas, the Minotaurs had no issue with Van Dorn's loyalty to Vorushko or Hathek, and so here, deep in the Mabb nebula the imperium acted as one. Not finding an ork fleet in orbit the Minotaurs were able to strike into the heart of the battle between the Order of the Crimson Veil and the greenskins in the suburbs of Desmond.

They arrived in time to throw the orks off balance, and despite taking moderate casualties the elite imperial forces were eventually able to mop up any greenskin resistance by 2911.015M42, returning the outskirts Desmond to imperial control. The orks still controlled Finlay and the centre of Desmond however, and Van Dorn now planned a new offensive to take these settlements to turn the tide of the war on Hylas.

Libria V: Mechanicum sweep into Timberhill

With the failure of the crusade fleet to drive off the loyalists, the space around Libria V became safe enough for loaylist forces to begin landing reinforcements. There would be a significant time delay however before the imperial guard regiments would be deployable in the field, and this gave the crusade forces on the ground the initiative for at least two weeks. Immediately the crusade armies pressed the loyalists hard on Libria V, especially on the northern front, as they tried to take as much ground as possible prior to the arrival of fresh loyalist troops.

The target for the attack was the cold tundra plains to the north of the capital, Louxin city, with the crusade mechanicum leading the advance. Less prone to the cold and icy weather conditions the mechanicum were deemed ideal for the push south. Defending the northern front the Volscian guard regiments found it difficult to counter the superior crusade technology, and by the end of 11.015M42 the loyalist forces had been forced back to within 50km of the capital itself.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Dark Eldar raids resume

Alliance relations with the eldar and dark eldar had already become strained in recent months. With the disappearance of the Rillietan the dark eldar found themselves less and less bound to the cause of their kin and the rewards from their actions on Libria were becoming smaller and smaller given the risks and costs. The kabals involved in the "aleph sector venture" soon found their standing falling in Commoragh as rival kabals scorned them for dancing to the eldar tune.

The Shattered Silence had already withdrawn from the venture and decided to prove their wisdom by an orchestrated raid on Apollo's fleet in the Librian system. Because of their previous involvement in the alliance they had easy access to the system, but if the dark eldar had expected the Iron Warriors to be taken by surprise by their raid they were in for a shock.

Apollo, ever the contingency planner, was well aware of the waverings of the untrustworthy aliens and kept his fleet on alert at all times. The resulting raid was severely damaging for the dark eldar as the massed alliance gun batteries put up a storm of defensive fire. The Shattered Silence broke off the action after less than an hour realising the venture was no longer profitable.

Meanwhile in the Perseus Deeps another dark eldar kabal raided the Disciples of Y'nead on Sentinel. Neither side had been actively involved in the alliance and it showed that the two factions worked together only when it suited them. The raid was a success and very profitable for the dark eldar led by Vlokarian, and the kabal decided to continue their venture in the sector, but with no alliances. In the alliance itself the federacy along with Apollo's Iron Warriors made it clear that the eldar and their dark kin were no longer welcome at alliance meetings.

Libria V: Daralon falls to crusade

On Libria V there was no official news regarding the clash between imperial fleets, but rumour was rife. Somehow a rumour that the loyalist fleet had been crushed managed to get out and morale in the loyalist ground forces slumped even further. With expert timing the Dark Angels then attacked.

reful to dissociate themselves from either the loyalists or the crusade for many months, but had come under criticism from the inquisition and other astartes for not taking a stand. Irritated by this and further irritated by the Space Wolves' refusal to staunchly defend Inquisitor Hathek's position, despite the fact that Vorushko had been within her rights to declare the Librian edict, on 1211.015M42 the Dark Angels had committed themselves to the crusade cause within the Librian system.

The Dark Angels attacked Volscian positions on 1611.015M42 around the city of Daralon which had held out against the crusade for a considerable period of time. At first it appeared the guard forces might hold on, as the astartes failed to take key strategic positions in the city. Then it became apparent why. Fueled by burning anger from the stinging criticism of others the Dark Angels vented their fury on the loyalists. The attack soon became a slaughter and by 2011.015M42 the remaining loyalist forces had been utterly routed. Those remaining in Daralon were simply disposed of and Daralon fell.

Inconclusive action between Crusade and Loyalist fleets

The imperial fleet found out about Inquisitor Vorushko's crusade fleet on 1411.015M42. Although Jellicoe had decided the imperial navy were neutral with regard to the crusade-loyalist war in the Libria system, he had not reckoned with the power of Vorushko's influence at Kar Duniash. For several months an eniter battlegroup under the command of Admiral Cornelius had been en route to the Aleph sector at the behest of the lord inquisitor. Vorushko had carefully pitched her request at the lords of the naval sector, who were kept blind to the real intentions of the crusade by Vorushko's agents. All they knew was that planets had rebelled against the imperium, the tau were involved and Vorushko needed ships.

Aided by the rabble rousing speeches of the Ecclesiarchy, who had become passionate supporters of the crusade in the segmentum, Cornelius' fleet of a few dozen imperial cruisers and other capital ships was soon being followed by a whole host of other vessels. Supply ships, converted liners, monitors and anything that could make warp jumps was soon commandeered by the priesthood to follow on a holy pilgrimage to the worlds of Saint Cybil - the Libria system.

Cornellius had become concerned by the rag tag convoy which had become spread out along a line from Kar Duniash to the Aleph Sector. He ordered the hot headed Rear Admiral Fernando ahead with the majority of the crusade fleet's naval vessels, while the admiral and his remaining ships attempted to apply some order on the mass of civilian ships following.

Vorushko was well aware the crusade fleet would soon run into Jellicoe's navy. Although defeated at the battle of Libria Jellicoe had already ordered Admiral Barham to the system, and the admiral's ships had already arrived near Libria V. She responded by placing agents with Fernando, who "explained" the situation. Finally Vorushko would be able to take the imperial navy under Jellicoe - who she quietly held responsible for treachery against her - out of the equation.

Fernando arrived and immediately found himself facing admiral Barham's patrolling vessels who had been scanning the solar flare region of the Librian star. Without warning they began to close in attack formation, agressively moving towards Barham's ships as he tried to frantically hail them on comms.

Barham fortunately had been prepared for such an eventuality by Jellicoe, who had made contingency plans for such an attack by a crusade fleet, although it still came as a shock to him that an entire imperial battlegroup had been commandeered by Vorushko. In the ensuing battle in the flare region both fleets got to within suicidal range, trading volley after volley and salvo after salvo of torpedoes.

Admiral Fernando lost six of his escorts as well as four of his cruisers crippled after an engagement lasting more than two hours, but Barham had lost the gothic class Kraken, which exploded in similar fashion to the gothic class vessels present at the battle of Libria. Once again the plasma routing for the powerful lance batteries of the gothic class were called into question, and the adeptus mechanicus began what would prove to be a long and exhaustive analysis of the perceived weakness. Following this battle all of Jellicoe's gothic class cruisers were relegated to patrol duty only.

Although Basilisk and Pegasus were crippled, the imperial fleet still had the upper hand against Fernando's badly mauled fleet. Realising if he continued the fight he faced destruction, the admiral of the crusade fleet disengaged, using the plasma discharges of the Librian star to cover his retreat. It was by no means a victory for the loyalists, and the crusade fleet was able to reach the forges of Libria I. Jellicoe, hearing of the action, immediately sent a message to Kar Duniash clarifying the situation. But the damage was done already, Vorushko was in command of the crusade fleet now and nothing the segmentum naval base did or said would make any difference.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Libria IV: Current situation in Porthaven

Libria IV: More loyalist defeat

With the space around Libria IV now clear of any orbital threat from the loyalist fleet, the alliance continued their push into Porthaven. On 0711.015M42 a large force of alliance mechanicum, loyal to the Iron Warriors of Apollo, stormed into the centre of the city. There they met fierce resistance from the Space Wolves and loyalist mechanicum, and for many hours it looked as if the alliance offensive would be stopped dead in its tracks. However eventually despite mounting casualties the Space Wolves were pushed back, and the alliance narrowly held on to vital objectives. Later on a surprise attack by the eldar caught the Novgorod guard unprepared, weakening the loyalist flank and forcing a withdrawal from the Imperial HQ in Porthaven. The loyalist command was now transferred to the Adeptus Arbites precinct and the mood was dire. Retreating inexorably without support or hope of resupply, it would only be a matter of time before the alliance secured Porthaven and control of Libria IV.

Battle of Libria System: Aftermath

The outcome of the battle of Libria had been a decisive victory for the forces of the alliance and chaos. The imperial fleet had been defeated and forced to leave the system. Admiral Collingwood had died with his ship and Admiral Jellicoe had lost six capital vessels. On the alliance side, damage was minimal and easily repaired. For chaos, Warsmith Stahl and Lord Tragaen had helped secure a victory over their common enemy, and now the pressure on their last bastiens in the Perseus Deeps would be relieved as Jellicoe switched force from there to carry on the war on Libria. Thok had come off worst. Not only had his super weapon been reduced to floating scrap, but the admiral himself was now marooned on a desolate planet, awaiting rescue. While he raged at the injustice, the rest of his fleet took the mauled Gotterdammerung in tow and left the system. At least the adeptus mechanicus had been unable to lay their hands on the prize.

Following the battle the fleets of Tragaen and Stahl left the system as previously agreed with Apollo. The Iron Warriors' leader received a great deal of criticism from the Federacy, but the tau were satisfied that the outcome was worth the risk of allying with an adversary. The eldar no longer turned up to alliance meetings.

On Vastrid, the mood at the imperial naval HQ was dark. Jellicoe wanted Pendragon to be court martialled, but his first order of business was to source more ships and another admiral to replace Collingwood. Fortunately for Jellicoe Inquisitor Hathek had started to exert his influence at the segmentum level, and soon Admiral Barham arrived along with replacement capital ships. This included the Retribution class battleship Leviathan, a much needed inclusion to the imperial fleet. This also meant Jellicoe was able to maintain his battlegroups guarding the Perseus Deeps, and Admiral Barham and Pendragon now had what was deemed "adequate force" pending repairs at Caitlen station, to make another attempt at removing the alliance blockade of Libria.

For the time being however the space around Libria belonged to the alliance, and this would ensure that loyalist forces would continue to suffer strategic disadvantages against the alliance and crusade forces. Fortunately the crusade did not have access to a significant fleet, but Jellicoe and Hathek were unaware that Inquisitor Vorushko had also been exerting her influence at the segmentum level, and had commandeered and imperial battlegroup of her own.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Battle of Libria System: Main Action

The battle of Libria began with the alliance-chaos fleet forming up in the outer reaches of the Libria system. Admiral Thok and the Gotterdammerung formed up on the left wing, while Tragaen and Stahl took the right flank. Apollo deployed in the centre as the entire fleet approached the incoming imperials around the rocky planet of Valbarin. Opposing him the imperial fleets of Collingwood and Pendragon approached in close order, with the Adeptus Mechanicus some way distant on their starboard wing.

Upon seeing the imperial fleet Apollo made the decision to deploy his fleet to port, with Tragaen at the rear, while Thok moved his fleet towards Apollo's flagship, closing the gap. Pendragon followed onto a parallel course, while the Adeptus Mechanicus stood off and begun firing their nova cannons.

At 14:20 system time the long range barrage from the imperial nova cannons began, and at 14:43 the Isoldr and Gotterdammerung were taking heavy fire. However the initial salvoes of the imperial fleet were generally inaccurate, and the alliance took little damage. One exception to this was the Basilisk, whose long range artillery crippled Niobium at 14:45.

The Gotterdammerung unleashed her first salvo at 14:55 as she closed and focussed her fire on Pendragon's flagship, but this gave the Adeptus Mechanicus a clear shot at the mighty weapon, and it was clear that the mechanicum were concentrating on destroying Thok's mega weapon. However the nova cannons took their time to get their range, and the "planet killer" was able to close with the imperial fleet. At the rear of the line, Tragaen and Stahl launched their escorts at Collingwood's cobras, who had become dangerously exposed in front of the cruisers. The results were spectacular, as Iwo Jima, Tobruk, Verdun, Vichy and Somme were quickly reduced to wreckage, all but annihilating the imperial escort screen.

In response to this Collingwood's fleet turned two points to port, closing with the alliance fleet. Their initial torpedo run was unimpressive however, as only Honor Eternal took any significant damage, and dropped out of line. At 15:45 firepower from Collingwood's fleet managed to cripple an additional carnage class, but now his fleet had become detached from Pendragon's his ships forming an effective salient. Apollo took advantage, with his ships, Tragaen's and Stahl's vessels concentrating their fire on admiral Pendragon's leading ships.

The barrage of fire from the alliance arc of heavy ships may have put the imperial torpedo guidance systems off, as the strike by the three gothic class on the middle of Apollo's van did far less damage than had been hoped. Only Honor Eternal was badly damaged by the imperial ordnance, and she limped away, disengaging at 16:20. The Gotterdammerung meanwhile took Pendragon to task. Sir Kay was focussed in her gunsights. The imperial vessel had no chance, and was soon heavily damaged. She tried to turn away but at 15:55 sheer weight of fire overwhelmed the imperial vessel, and she drifted away, her back broken.

Pendragon was firing back however, and a lucky nova cannon shot at Niobium crippled her at 16:30, forcing the Iron Warriors' cruiser to withdraw. Collingwood however was in trouble. His ships were now on an all or nothing charge against the centre of Apollo's fleet. Once again the ordnance strike was ineffective. Torpedoes missed and the bomber waves did little damage, leaving Wyvern, Manticore and Harpy in a perilous position. Wyvern was quickly crippled, but worse was to follow.

Meanwhile as the Adeptus Mechanicus continued to stand off, shelling the alliance fleet from range, Thok was closing in on Pendragon. Combined fire from Pendragon and the mechanicum crippled Valkurer, and then the Gotterdammerung herself, Sir Lancelot causing the most severe damage at 16:40. By 17:20 however it was clear Collingwood would not be able to extricate himself from the alliance guns. Manticore and Harpy were quickly crippled, and at 17:23 Manticore exploded after repeated hits from Stahl's flagship. The ensuing explosion further damaged Manticore, but at 17:45 more murderous fire, this time from Apollo's fleet, detonated Manticore's primary plasma drive. The Apocalyptic explosion ripped through Collingwood's fleet, setting of a chain reaction which resulted in the total destruction of Harpy, and Collingwood himself.

At about the same time, the Gotterdammerung was finally put out of action by the Valente Deo, but the destruction of THok's superweapon was of secondary importance to Pendragon as at 17:50, Collingwood's remaining ships disengaged. Pendragon now faced the full force of the alliance fleet, while the Adpetus Mechanicus still failed to close with the enemy. Pendragon began to wonder if their mission had been to destroy the Gotterdammerung while not risking their own vessels...

At 18:00 Pendragon elected to withdraw, but this proved less than an easy task for Sir Robin. Left at the back of the imperial fleet the alliance first crippled her engines then destroyed her at leisure. At 18:30 the action ceased as the imperium withdrew. The battle of Libria was over and despite losing the planet killer Apollo had secured Librian space for the alliance. The imperium had lost six capital ships and an admiral. Admiral Thok meanwhile had escaped the wreck of the Gotterdammerung and now found himself marooned on the planet Valbarin, although his hulk of a super weapon had been successfully taken in tow by the rest of his fleet.

Battle of Libria System: Order of Battle

Admiral Pendragon
Sir Lancelot (Apocalypse)
Sir Bors (Vengeance)
Sir Percival (Dictator)
Sir Kay (Lunar) - hulked
Sir Hector (Lunar) - crippled
Sir Robin (Dominator) - destroyed
2x3 Swords - destroyed
Admiral Collingwood:
Wyvern (Gothic) - exploded
Manticore (Gothic) - exploded

Kraken (Gothic)
Chimera (Dictator)
Harpy (Dictator) - hulked
3x cobras - destroyed
4x cobras - 1 escaped
Adeptus Mechanicus
Magos Vaspasian
Esto Perpetua
Valente Deo

Admiral Tragean
Doombringer (Hades)
Unforgiveable (Devastation)
Doomblade (Carnage)
Rapturous Agony (Carnage)
2 sqn Iconoclasts
Admiral Stahl
Unbreakable Litany (Hades)
Strength Eternal (Carnage)
Honor Eternal (Carnage) - crippled
Pride of Charybdis (Styx)
Infidels x3
Admiral Thok
Tannhauser (Carnage)
Valkurer (Slaughter) - crippled
Tristan (Devastation)
Isolde (Devastation)
Lowengrin (Acheron) - destroyed
Gotterdammerung - hulked
Admiral Apollo
Iron Victory (Desolator)
Niobium (Acheron) - crippled
Barium (Hades)
Titanium (Devastation)
Pollonium (Carnage) - crippled
Iron Without (Slaughter)
Iron Within (Slaughter)

Battle of Libria System: Prelude

By early 11.015M42 the alliance were fully aware that the imperium intended to reinforce the Libria system. Alliance spies knew that Jellicoe had sent admirals Collingwood and Pendragon to flush the numerically inferior alliance fleet out of the system, and they had a tip off that the adeptus mechanicus would be lending their support.

Outnumbered and outgunned the situation looked bleak for Apollo's Iron Warrior fleet. The tau were unable to reinforce in time, as they were continuing their blockade of the Zadoc system. The federacy, concerned with their own borders and still repairing several vessels after Pendragon's surprise attack were also unwilling to send a fleet. The Iron Warriors would have to face the imperial fleet alone.

Warsmith Apollo didn't like those odds. Without consulting the alliance council, who he knew would voice significant misgivings, the astartes legion commander took matters into his own hands. Using his contacts with his former brethren Apollo managed to convinced Warsmith Stahl to send aid. Although the two commanders shared no love for one another and had been enemies in the horus heresy, and more recently, Apollo wasn't above an alliance to defeat the imperium. Stahl would send forces, but it wouldn't be enough.

Apollo then struck another, more contraversial bargain. Realising the ends justify the means he contacted the mad admiral Thok, promising an opportunity to crush the imperial fleet who the admiral hated with intense passion. Thok, relishing the opportunity to face his nemesis Admiral Jellicoe, readily agreed, and prepared to bring the might of the Gotterdammerung. Apollo's agents didn't mention Jellicoe himself would not be present.

The fleets arrived in the Libria system on 0311.015M42, ahead of the imperial force. Tagging along were a number of ships loyal to lord Tragaen, as the chaos lord was unwilling to let Stahl and Thok claim all the credit for the destruction of the imperial fleet. Tragaen also wanted information on the "planet killer" of Thok, the Gotterdammerung. On 0511.015M42 the imperial fleet arrived in system, and both sides drew up their battle lines for the ensuing engagement.

Libria III current status

Libria IV current status

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Libria V: Acronia Valley falls to crusade

Having lost the opportunity to break through into the Acronia Valley with her astartes forces, Vorushko turned to the order of the Crimson Veil and their ever growing imperial guard regiments - mostly Vannaheim but increasingly made up of Librian, Novgorod and even Volscian "defectors". Though these were nominally autonomous under Vorushko, in reality the Adeptus Sororitas made their decisions for them, and worked closely in every operation to ensure their continued faithfulness to the Emperor and the righteousness of the crusade.

Thus imbued with religious zeal and enthusiasm, the crusade guard regiments and the sisters of battle launched a frontal offensive against the defenders of the Acronia Valley on 0311.015M42. Well equipped and with their faith in the Emperor the crusade forces slowly but surely defeated the combined Space Wolf and Volscian defences. As the imperial line collapsed the Space Wolves managed to pull back to safer positions, but much of the Volscian army was destroyed or surrendered to the crusade. Finally Vorushko had wrestled back the initiative on Libria V after a hard slog.

Libria III: Minotaurs assault alliance

With the loyalists ably defending on Libria V, Vorushko requested a new assault on Libria III against the alliance. Against her small but elite forces the alliance had deployed carefully, with their best units, namely the tau and Iron Warriors elements, strategically placed to intevene in any assault on the northern cities and the industrial complexes of Cartasia. By contrast, Librian and eldar forces were known to be operating in the east, behind the easily defensible Varras Isthmus front line and the city of Lazurus.

The arrival of the Imperial fleet of Pendragon, Collingwood and the Adeptus Mechanicus was the opportunity the crusade needed. As the federal fleet departed to the jump point the Minotaurs made an astonishingly audacious assault directly at the heart of Lazarus from orbit. The counter attack came swiftly, and although the astartes were significantly outnumbered by their alliance foes, they held on admirably, allowing a strike from Vorushko's highly variegated convential non-astartes forces to push through the Fulmar gap and into the Varras Isthmus. Lazarus was abandoned within days and within a week the alliance had lost control of the Isthmus altogether.

Libria V: Loyalists hold on in Acronia Valley

The victory over the loyalists by the 12th Kalvor Expeditionary force allowed the crusade to effect a breakthrough assault on the defenders in the Acronia Valley. As usual the Apocalypse Riders were sent in to acomplish this task, and they saw immediate action as the Novgorod Guard regiments stood in their path. Past experience had taught them a lot however, and now the Novgorod were routinely backed up by Adeptus Mechanicus Knights.

The affair was bloody and protracted, and although the Apocalypse Riders inflicted massive casualties on the loyalists, the time for a breakthrough had long passed by the time Vorushlo called off the assault. Time was pressing and she couldn't waste her precious resources on frontal assaults. The Acronia Valley would have to be cracked another way.