Saturday, April 29, 2017

Violence increases in the Perseus Deeps

While the battle for Libria continued, early 017M42 saw increasing violence in the Perseus Deeps as the main powers in the vitally important region battled for superiority. Following the Imperial campaigns and the rise of the Harakhty Dynasty, Chaos had dwindled to a small remnant centred on Mordecai and Kendrenec. Multiple efforts to invade Mordecai had failed, and although Warsmith Stahl had capitalised on this, invading Minos in 016M42, the forces of Chaos remained weak and divided.

The Tau, Necrons, and Imperium had managed to coexist in the Deeps without falling into all out war for some time. The Tau and Imperium were too busy fighting over Libria, while the Necrons lacked the strength to make use of their distraction, preferring to consolidate their existing position by ensuring war happened "elsewhere". The eldar, despite leaving the crusade, had similarly stopped interfering in wars, apparently satisfied at the "cold war stalemate" that had emerged. No one was winning, and that suited the eldar, for now.

016M42 saw this period of stability come to a dramatic end. After a number of strange uprisings and raids involving genestealers, it became apparent that Hive Fleet Nemesis, which had disappeared many years ago from the Zadoc subsector, had now arrived in the Deeps. Still travelling in the void, the main fleet had yet to exert its presence, but its tendrils began destabilising the region well in advance of the massive fleets themselves.

First, genestealer uprisings were dealt with by the Tau, Necrons and imperial forces, but at the beginning of 017M42, the Imperial colony of Hemera fell to the genestealer cults, catching the Imperium, and sector commander Titus Luthor totaly off guard. More uprisings followed, and the Harakhty dynasty proved itself unable to contain the threat. The Charnovokh, recognising the dire threat, made a number of political moves which eventually saw the Harakhty displaced, and the dynasty in the Perseus Deeps became officially under the control of the Charnovokh in 04.017M42.

Soon the policies of the Necrons changed, and the ancient xenos prioritised the elimination of the Tyranid threat. During 04.017M42 the remaining genestealer infestations on Necron worlds were purged, with major battles taking place on Gamordal. Meanwhile, the Charnovokh, despite aiding the loyalists in Libria, realised that the Imperium could not be allowed to build up too much strength in the Deeps, and so raids were launched against Imperial assets on Corticant, a world they claimed by right anyway and one they intended to take sooner or later. The Guard forces, once again caught off balance, were defeated, and the spaceport wrecked. Corticant would not be able to stage any Imperial moves to the "west" for many months.

The eldar were also active. Alarmed by the lack of preparation for a war they knew was coming, and their communications rebuffed, the Ynnari and harlequins took matters into their own hands in 04.017M42. Lightning raids on Lucardium and Corticant found the Imperial defences woefully lacking, but commander skyfall's units, refitting on Lucardium, put up a much stronger defence. Angered by the eldar attack, the alliance posted more troops to the Perseus Deeps, satisfying the eldar...

War was now coming. Tyranid activity was reported on Corticant, the lynchpin of the Imperial defence line in the Deeps and a world central to the protection of the even more valuable Bastien. Corticant, a world claimed and already assaulted once by the necrons, and critical to the eldar plan for the Deeps was now coming under the gaze of a number of forces. Who controlled Corticant would control the destiny of the Aleph Sector...

LIBRIA I: Stalemate continues

The violence on Libria I continued in the early months of 017M42 with the Imperial Loyalist forces initially making good progress in their drive northward towards the last crusade held settlements in the northwest. Overall loyalist commander general Zhukov knew that if he could take Davey and Slater the remaining crusade forces would be bottled up in the west of the planet, and without access to good supply routes, overall victory would be in sight.

The loyalists however had issues of their own. The alliance were now in full control of space in the Libria system, so supply was not only a problem for the crusade. Only small supply convoys escorted by fast astartes strike cruisers were able to get through to the inner planets, and Zhukov's army was tired and lacking in equipment, much of which was now being hurridly diverted back to Libria II thanks to the tau invasion.

Zhukov's frontal assauly reached a high when the Ultramarines secured Davey, defeating a poorly equipped Darantine Guard regiment, but the advanc now put the loyalists into a salient Zhukov didn't really like, and he expected the counter attack. It came less than a week later when the Vedrians moved in to hold Davey were assaulted from two sides by the Kreig units and the unwavering Volscians, who hd now become the backbone of Vorushko's crusade armies. The loyalists were hopelessly outnumbered and surrounded, but unexpected help came in the form of the necrons. Once again the Charnovokh dynasty appeared as if from nowhere and interfered in the Librian campaign.

The necrons were themselves under pressure in the Perseus Deeps. They were well aware that a victory for the crusade would inevitably lead to a full scale crusade against the xenos in the DEeps, and they were not sufficiently strong to counter the tau, tyranids and imperium. A loyalist victory would likely result in the Imperium consolidating their existing systems, and perhaps leave the necrons alone long enough for their armies to be fully reawakened.

The crusade armies were however even more fired up by the appearance of the necrons, and despite a dogged defence of Davey the fanatical devotion to duty saw the Volscians and Death Korps retake the settlement street by street before forceing Zhukov to retreat south before Carteret also fell. The war on Libria I would continue, setting the imperial armies against one another while the alliance steadily took the Libria system for themselves.