Saturday, November 14, 2015

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.

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