Sunday, February 28, 2010

Rumblings in the Deeps

While Nemesis and the powers of Chaos accounted for much of the conflicts througout the first part of 010M42 they were not the only wars ragin, particularly in the largley lawless and violent expanse of the Perseus Deeps. Much of this activity was ignored by Imperial high command and the other major powers in the region, and often they were totally ignorant of it, yet certain encounters during 01-02.010M42 gave cause for concern for the larger Empires in the Aleph sector.

The Necrons continued their activity in 010M42 as they had at the end of 009M42. Imperial analyticae began to suspect that an entire tomb world, or series ot tomb worlds were stirring. Gamador had already been declared off limits and in early 010M42 there were reports of encounters between the Necrons and Chaos forces. It is believed that the Anticross attempted to land a scouting force on Enaloth but were detected, then defeated by Necron forces. Later, evidence suggests that the tendrils of Hive Fleet Nemesis, in their search for likely targets of biomass, encountered the Necrons on the same world. The result of the encounter would not be known for several weeks...

At the same time the Orks were making a nuisance of themselves in the Deeps. Having failed under Nazghat to assert themselves in the lawless zone, the ork fleet was not broken up. Nazghat merely lost interest for the time being and the directionless orks began attacking small outposts and raiding convoys of ships travelling the dangerous Perseus Run. Eventually the fleet was brought to heel by the Dark Angels fleet after several weeks of searching. However the Imperial ships only managed to drive the ork fleet off, rather than cause it much damage.

The ork fleet did however come to grief when it attacked a number of eldar transports near Aganthus. Within days of this attack the enigmatic eldar fleet, with the same markings as the one which had been encountered in the Deeps in early 010M42 smashed the ork fleet apart utterly. For the loss of just one small escort the eldar tore the orks apart, with only a handful of ork vessels managed to escape the destruction. One rogue threat had been annihilated.

Tarsis Major - New Offensive

The war on Tarsis major between Cunningham's Imperial troops and the Tau Empire had ground into stalemate by 010M42, with neither side able to adequately resource a new offensive. The Tau maintained the upper hand and thanks to the Chaos threat from the Perseus Deeps and Hive Fleet Nemesis, had regained space superiority, for what it was worth. Tarsis Major still provided the Tau with a difficult resupply headache with waystation facilities in the Mabb Nebula incomplete.

The front line on Tarsis, especially on Tuva, became a scene of raids and bombing missions, with a substantial no mans land dividing the two sides. The Tau established a network of automated drones to alert them of any impending attack, while the Imperium's manpower guarded their heavily fortified frontline, which Cunningham had substantially deepened. However three months since the last major battle, morale on the Imperial side was dropping, and the soldiers of the Imperium began to feel they were fighting a forgotten war.

The establishment of General Veers mainly Corellian battlegroups changed that. On 2002.010M42 a small spacefleet of escorts and the dauntless class cruiser Phoenix arrived at Tarsis Major with their cargo. Several new regiments from Corellia, fully equipped and ready to go into action against the Tau. Strongspear, in overall command of Tau forces following Shadowstrike's return to Melberg, expected an attack after sensor reports noted the landing. In response he bolstered the defences around Tarsis prime. In the end however Cunningham, in agreement with Major General Karl Severus, Divisional Commander, 5th Mechanised Division attached to Battle Group redemption, decided to launch an attack south, towards Silverbrook, where the element of surprise may be achieved.

As the Corellian Mechanised units moved into Tau occupied territory, it appeared Cunningham's assumtion had been correct. While the Tau responded swiftly with a highly mobile Hunter Cadre, the tactical experience of the troops faced by the Corellians appeared somewhat lacking. Their usual pin point accuracy with railgun fire was poor, allowing the Corellians to cross the river Shrike and push south west into the scrublands just north of Silverbrook. The Tau then moounted a significant counter attack on their left flank, briefly threatening to cut the Corellian lines of communication, before Leman Russ tanks and reserve special weapons units wiped out the fire warriors at the extreme tip of the Tau salient. With their counter attack smashed the Tau began to throw in troops at the Imperial bridgehead across the Shrike. Carnage followed, but the timely intervention of airborne Vendetta units devastated the Tau hammerheads and ensured that despite the Tau winning firefights on the ground, with no heavy support they would be obliged to withdraw.

By the end of 2902.010M42 the Imperium had managed to advance in a narrow salient to within forty miles of the city of Silverbrook, but with the Barren mountains on their flank and the Tuva plain crawling with Tau forces, their position was precarious indeed.

War on Corticant

Just one week after General Veers had thought the base on Corticant secure, a new offensive by Chaos forces from the arid zone in the south made him realise that the Claws of Lorek and their allies had not, as thought, abandonned the planet. Attacking in three prongs the forces of Chaos assaulted the settlements of Corticant once again, with the Claws themselves leading the main charge against Fort Bastion. Daemons were once again summoned and flung against the civilian townships in the west of the habitable region, while the southernmost town of Ironhaven was attacked by the Anticross.

The assaults came as something of a surprise to Veers, who had underestimated the forces that the traitors had managed to land on the planet, though their use of daemons once again showed that while the Claws were now the dominant force in the region, they did not have access to the vast numbers of men or the fleets of Traegen, Shaidar Haran and Thok... Yet. Even so Admiral Jellicoe detatched a battlegroup to search for Chaos ships in the Corticant system. Despite searching for over a week the Chaos vessels remained elusive.

Despite his surprise the General was able to mobilise much of Battlegroup Apocalypse against the foe, with significant aid from the attached companies of Space Marines. The main thrust in the centre was countered by the Space Wolves, who after a determined fight forced the Claws of Lorek to retreat. In the west the Daemonic horde routed a company of Reaper Angels but suffered badly to a determined stand from Cerberex Guard units. The Cerberex Guard, again eager to fight the forces of the dark gods, proved their worth and forced the daemons back into the wilderness where they mercilessly pursued their foe into the badlands. Special dispensation was granted to these veteran Chaos fighters so that they would avoid the usual fate of those fighting against daemons, but an Inquisitor assigned himself to monitor all units coming into contact with daemons to ensure the purity of the mens' souls.

In the south west the Anticross suffered a surprise attack from the Dark Angels as they approached Ironhaven. In a hopelessly one sided battle the forces of the Anticross were badly mauled by the highly manouvreable Dark Angels forces and were soon retreating along with the Claws of Lorek. With the Chaos forces on the run General Veers sent in a regiment of Porphyrians to prevent them from escaping once again into the southern badlands. Initially it seemed the Porphyrians would overtake the fleeing Chaos forces and destroy them utterly, but the Claws put up a ferocious rear guard action which eventually broke the Porphyrian's lead elements, allowing the remaining forces to flee south.

Once the dust had settled General Veers ordered several Guard Regiments to scour the northern edge of the widlerness, searching for stragglers and destroying any remaining daemonic taint, aided by an Inquisitor from the Ordo Malleus, and several representatives from the Ecclesiarchy. In addition round the clock aerial reconnaisance was ordered over much of the planet's surface, as well as scans from space. However, Veers knew that until Jellicoe's secured the system they could not guarantee that the Chaos forces would not attack again, nor could they prevent further Chaos forces from arriving. However Veers also knew that to tie several capital ships to the system for defence would be to defeat the point of setting up the base in the first place. Corticant was a base from which Imperial power could be projected into the Deeps. Knowing this, Veers began to talk to the Imperial Navy in order to secure permanent system defences such as minefields, gun platforms and monitor defence vessels.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Tyranids eradicated from Sentinel

The Imperial forces massing at Corticant were not the only problem facing the Claws of Lorek in 02.010M42. Hive fleet Nemesis had reached the Perseus Deeps, probing the sparesely populated region for systems of biodiversity. Having landed organisms on Lucardium, a major Tau base in the region, Nemesis had also infested the Chaos held minor world of Sentinel.

After defeating the vanguard forces of the Tyranids the Claws of Lorek again realised that with their small forces they could not hope to defeat all their enemies in the Deeps without aid. Once again the Claws turned to their daemonic allies who had rid Scallius of the Orks to rid Sentinel of the alien infestation, only this time they would make sure there was no wanton distruction after the job had been completed.

Unfortunately for the traitor marine legion it appeared the new arrangement with the daemons had somehow made them less potent, and despite some sharp skirmishes the daemons were banished back to their unearthly realm as the tide of Tyranid creatures overwhelmed the outer Chaos defences. Annoyed, the master of the Claws of Lorek returned to Sentinel, taking troops from the raid on Corticant to finish off the Tyranids and secure the world.

The Claws approached the oncoming Tyranid horde with caution. First the chaos forces held back to see the disposition of the uncomming swarm, before concentrating their forces on the extreme flank, working their way through the swarm a piece at a time. The tactic was highly successful and by the end of 02.010M42 the Chaos leaders were satisfied that the Nemesis threat had been contained. Hunting down the remaining creatures now became a sport enjoyed to the full by Khornate champions. Nemesis it seemed, had met its match in the forces of Chaos, although the hive's presence in the Perseus Deeps had only been a vanguard.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Corticant Raid Thwarted

In 02.010M42 while the Tyranid threat on Betor became the main concern of the Imperium, the forces of Chaos had not given up on their aim to conquer the Perseus Deeps once and for all. By now the Claws of Lorek had assumed overall control of Chaos forces in the Deeps following the disappearance of Moonface and the lessening of the Catechism's activities. Taking advantage of the Chaos Lord's absence the Claws of Lorek began to unify the traitor legions on the many Chaos worlds in the region and decided to launch an attack on the base of Battlegroup Apocalypse on Corticant. A small force of Claws of Lorek marines and those of the Anticross faction managed to evade Jellicoe's fleet and land in the vast unpopulated expanse of the planet.

Two days later the Chaos marines launched their assault, not intended to conquer the planet but to destroy the installations being set up by the Imperium. An entire regiment of Corellian Storm Guard blocked the Claws forces and a savage battle erupted. Gradually, despite the ferocity of the traitor marines in battle the Correlians of battlegroup apocalypse were able to prevent the Claws from reaching the inner compound. Unable to make progress the marines abandonned their raid.

Meanwhile General Veers had not fallen for the Claws' trap and he expected a second force to try to outflank and sneak in behind the main attack. So it was that the forces of the Anticross made their way around the Corellian's lines, but ran straight into a fully prepared and equipped regiment of Ceberex Guard. General Veers had chosen this defence force well, as the Cerberex Guard were both experienced at fighting chaos and held a deep hatred for the traitors. In a bloody battle the forces of the Imperium fought the Anticross to a standstill and they too were forced to abandon the raid.

The battles on Corticant had been costly for the Imperium, in terms of men and machines, but the base installations of battlegroup apocalypse had been saved. On 2202.010M42 General Veers declared the situation under control and re-commenced work on the Corticant installation. From here he could conduct operations in the Perseus Deeps avoiding the problems associated with long supply lines.

Betor Current

Tyranids Break Out of Western Contaminated Zone

The Tyranids infesting the newly active western contaminated zone allowed little time for the Imperial forces to muster a counter attack. Displaying highly aggressive behaviour and re-enforced by more bio-warriors from the hive fleet in orbit, the Tyranids boiled out of their initial drop zone and raced across the barren savannah separating them from the rich basin of the Beiliegend Sea.

They found their way barred by elite mechanised divisions of the Correllian Storm Guard. Catching the onrushing xenos in the sparsely wooded terrain typical of the region, the Correllian's maintained strong fire discipline, targeting the bio-warriors that presented the biggest threat to their armoured vehicles before moving on to known synapse nodes. When they brought down the colossal winged tyrant leading the assault they believed that they had turned the tide, but their celebrations were premature.

The fierce intelligence of the hive mind had been analysing the Correllian's tactics through the many eyes of its swarm and discerned that it was their strong leadership that directed them to target the swarm's weak points and held them firm in the face of the horror of the Tyranid threat. With pure primal fury Nemesis drove its will through the failing synapse network of its lead tendrils, commanding its remaining elements to target the Correllian's command structure. A rogue ravener leapt amidst the division commander's bodyguard with suicidal single mindedness, slaughtering the commander and his HQ staff before being gunned down. But it was the death of the Ordos Xenos Inquisitor advising the Correllian's that saw the telling blow. With their chain of command thrown into confusion and lacking expert advice on the Hive's weak points they were forced to retreat before subsequent waves of Tyranids.

While the Corellian's desperately tried to prevent the Tyranid advance on Kontstadt, the Reaper Angels desperately tried to prevent the creatures of Hive Fleet Nemesis from outflanking the Imperial Guard positions. In a savage battle the Space Marines were swiftly overrun and forced to withdraw from the North East of Betor. With the Imperial lines broken, the Tyranids consumed Konstadt, before overrunning Leutenbach and infiltrating the outskirts of Hauzenberg. With the region's cities falling like dominoes Imperial commanders began to fear that they lacked the assets to defeat the invasion.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Betor Current

Personal log of Inquisitor Hathek

1602.010M42: A fragmented warning from Preston, contact lost with Betor, Tyranids on Lucardium and now as far Core-ward as Sentinel. This is a full scale invasion by much more than a "splinter fleet". I just need proof. As I write this I am on board Iron Duke with Jellicoe himself on route to Betor. There we will find our hive fleet and, Emperor willing, destroy it with battery and lance fire. My agents tell me the Tyranids were fought to a standstill by the heretical forces on Sentinel, but I can take little heart from that. The fact this menace is now so widespread is of great concern in itself. Betor may be lost, even if we are victorious over the enemy in space. No taint of the xenos filth must be permitted to live on Betor - and that means a long eradication of the creatures on the planet, or the ultimate sacrifice... But kill the hive fleet, kill the means to infect other worlds. This must be our primary goal.

I am not willing to abandon Betor yet. The xenos filth must learn we will fight for every inch of the Emperor's lands and inevitably be victorious. On the other hand I feel a conversation with those with whom we "share" our region of the galaxy may now be prudent...

The Fall of Bastion Omega

Following the destruction of the Tyranid synapse nodes in the western contamination zone, Bastion Omega was built to provide a secure base of operations from which the purification of the remaining Tyranids could be completed. When Hive Fleet Nemesis arrived in the Betor system the bastion was manned by the survivors of the Porphyrian regiments mauled during their earlier posting to the still active southern contamination zone.

As the garrison of Bastion Omega rushed to battle stations they were subjected to a fearsome bombardment as bolts of bio-plasma rained down, along with fragments of rock captured from the system's asteroid belt and catapulted at the planet. The bombardment showed a frightening degree of precision, taking out virtually all of the Porphyrian's armoured support with pinpoint, peerless accuracy. Before the dust had even settled the first spores begin to fall about Bastion Omega.

The fighting was brutal and genocidal with enormous casualties on both sides in the first few minutes alone. Trygons and ravenors, long lying dormant beneath the planets surface burst up from beneath the fortifications and destroyed the remainder of the Porphyrian's armoured support before being brought down in a highly disciplined crossfire by massed ranks of guardsmen. For a brief moment there seemed to be hope for the Porphyrains as a column of Libryan Hellhounds arrived, inflicting heavy losses on the attacking waves, but then a badly wounded Carnifex made it through the stinging fusillade of fire to bring down the first bastion. As a fearsome Hive Tyrant, commander of the attack, broke through the front of the fortifications slaughtering all before it, flying Tyranids and more spores fall into the tightly packed buildings of the fortification's rear, guided down by the pheromone trail of a lurking lictor. To the west, genestealers burst out of the remains of a meteor fragment, somehow untouched by the intense heat of atmospheric entry to run amok amidst the relief forces. Assailed from all sides the Porphyrian's defence failed.

The mighty Hive Tyrant rampaged through the complex unchecked, ripping through bunker after bunker with its massive talons and screaming its primal triumph to the skies!

The Tyranids left no survivors. When the sun set the Porphyrian's bio-matter was already a part of the new synapse node that lay sprawling over the ruins of Bastion Omega.

The defence of outpost 13

While Preston was dictating his message to Inquisitor Hathek, who was still returning to the Betor system having thought the main Nemesis threat had passed, the Tyranid infestation once again launched itself on the defenders of the Imperium. This time the alien horde launched itself towards Lindesberg on Sonnige Insel. For weeks before the plant life around the outpost, the main garrisoned base on the road to the settlement, had been growing out of control and it was all the Librian defenders could do to stop the outpost being overrun by the native flora. Realising this meant an imminent increase in Tyranid activity General Dempsey put the Librian division on high alert. On 1402.010M42 the Tyranids attacked.

Covering their advance using the heavy vegetation a horde of alien creatures flung itself at outpost 13 with amazing savagery and, to the disconsternation of the defenders, significant cunning. The main horde of creatures made to attack the compound directly, leading its commander to commit his reserves, before swinging right and attacking the compound from the Librian's less well defended left flank. After initial bloody exchanges on both sides the Tyranids soon got the upper hand and before the end of the day the remaining Librian defenders were falling back towards Lindesberg itself, badly mauled and with most of their tanks shredded by monstrous beasts. Now Lindesberg, cut off, appealled to Governor Kovane for help, but he and Dempsey knew that without reinforcement from off world, they could not spare any troops to defend the south west. Especially given that just a few hours later, much worse was to happen in the



++For the urgent attention of Inquisitor Hathek++
++Priority: Alpha Prime Extremis++

I beg leave to report that a massive armada of Tyranid vessels has arrived in the Betor system. This is no splinter fleet, and if it too belongs to the Nemesis strain responsible for the planet's current contamination then the assurances provided to us by Inquisitor Lord Varnius are but ash.

Concurrent with the Hive Fleet's arrival Betor has suffered massive earthquakes. Thousands of citizens lie trapped under rubble and the planet's infrastructure is a shambles. The populace has been thrown into paroxysms of uncontrolled panic, insanity and despair and has resorted to uncontrolled rioting. Numerous rebel groups have taken to the streets and attacked Imperial troops and there are unconfirmed reports of genestealers boiling from the sewers. I have the Adeptus Arbites and PDF doing all the can, but it is like fighting a wildfire with a guardsman's canteen.

Even as I dictate this message the shadow in the warp is upon us once more and we have no astropathic contact with the rest of the Imperium. The sky is black with an unnatural fog, innumerable spore pods and flying Tyranid bioforms. I can only pray this blockade runner reaches you. I implore you, nay, I beg you to send re-enforcements with all haste or we are surely lost.

My the God-Emperor preserve us.

Lord Commander Preston, Betor theatre.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Betor suffers massive earthquakes

Adepts of the Departmento Geologis have reported a sudden massive increase in tectonic activity on Betor with numerous earthquakes hitting the main continent. These have become increasingly more severe of late, culminating in a massive Tsunami that has swept away countless fishing villages on the continents east coast.

The frightened populace is becoming restless, declaring these disasters a sign that the Emperor has abandoned Betor's populace and seen fit to visit vengeance unto them for their sins. Numerous doomsday cults have arisen in the major cities. The Adeptus Arbites are ruthlessly suppressing these cults wherever they are found.

Kel Sandros abandons Saim Lann

The small task force deployed to Saim Lann by Craftworld Kel Sandros had met with initial successes but lacked the strength to cleanse the planet. For months the Eldar and their exodite allies fought a guerilla war, attacking vital hive nodes and hunting the Tyranids, even as they themselves were hunted in turn. With its forces stretched to breaking point across innumerable warzones, the ruling council of Kel Sandros had no choice but to recall their forces from Saim Lann. Farseer Tarquil wept bitter tears at the prospect of abandoning a precious exodite world to the alien menace and in a final desperate bid summoned his forces to take on the Tyranids head on and remove their taint from the planet once and for all.

Following the guidance of the runes the Eldar mustered at the head of a narrow valley. Here the Tyranids would be constrained and their numerical advantage neutralised. A thin line of aspect warriors was all that stood in the way of the horde, but with the Avatar of Kel Sandros at their head they would give no ground.

The fighting lasted for days and casualties were high on both sides. When the dust settled the bodies of Tyranids coated the valley floor, mingled with the brutalised forms of aspect warriors. A massive crater, still radiating heat, lay at the head of the valley where the Avatar had been banished back to its Craftworld core, the burnt carcasses of numerous ravenors lying about it. The Eldar had succeeded in bottling the Tyranids within the valley, preventing them from breaking through and overrunning the planet but had been forced to give ground. As a final act of defiance before his forces abandoned Saim Lann, Farseer Tarquil petitioned the mysterious Harlequins for aid. Other Eldar would have to stand in the defence of Saim Lann from now on.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Personal log of Inquisitor Hathek

Reports from across the Zadoc subsector have re-awoken my troubled mind in regard to Lord Varnius' so-called "splinter" fleet. For many months Betor has remained at phase 3 and our forces there have not been able to eradicate the xenos threat. The tyranids are deeply entrenched in the honeycomb of caves on the west coast of the Abfalle, a barren scrubland devoid of settlement and the loss of Eigenfeld and Marsenberg proves we are by no means masters of this infestation. Thankfully Renestein, overrun by Nemesis only last month, was cleared of the beasts by the timely arrival of a chapter of Space Wolves. It seems the Astartes at least have not forgotten the alien menace, while I fear my requests for Imperial Guard regiments are often met with deliberate obstruction. I cannot prove this, and to fully assert my authority at this time may not be the wisest of choices. I do not want to risk a schism with the Ordos Xenos, particularly Varnius, until I am sure it is necessary... And I have my evidence.

Worrying news reached me today. Betor is not alone in its infestation. My agents in the sector, posted to keep watch over events within the Emperor's domain, have reported Tyranid infestations on the Eldar world, known to their race as Saim Lann, where they are fighting for the survival of their world. I do not know if this is Nemesis, or a re-invigoration of Triton, but the news from Lucardium, one of the Tau colonies in the Perseus Deeps, makes me ever more sure this new strain is far more widespread than Lord Varnius would have me believe.

Lucardium was assaulted by Tyranids in 007M42, and my agent there has confirmed the Tau know this is not the same genotype. The Tyranids on Lucardium are not from Triton, but are genetically distinct. I have asked my agent for a biologis sample, though this may be difficult to achieve without the Tau becoming suspicious of his activities. I must be sure. If my agent is unsuccessful I may have to contact the Tau directly. If Nemesis has reached Lucardium in force it will prove Varnius wrong and I will be able to request more aid. Jellicoe is aware of my investigations and is a trusted ally. I will need more in the months to come...

Fleet Commander Renown

Renown (estimated)

Jellicoe 86 Solar Admiral

Haskell 45 Fleet Admiral

Swiftstar 32 Fleet Admiral

Dark Angels 32 Fleet Admiral

Other Tau 30 Admiral

Traegen 25 Chaos Lord

Shadar Haran 18 Chaos Tyrant

Admiral Thokk 15 Chaos Tyrant

Choraeus 11 Subsector Commander (deceased)

Eldar (Ian) 8 Lord

Eldar 7 Commander

Other Imperial 5 Commander

Adeptus Mechanicus 2 Commander

Tyranids 1 ?

Doenitz 0 Commander

Night Lords -1 Commander

Orks -4 Commander