Sunday, September 29, 2019

Grey Knights expand base on Tarlius II

Following their successful defeat of the Eldar on Tarlius II, the Grey Knights consolidated their position, sending out patrols in the immediate vicinity while waiting for the imperial guard to take over their positions. These patrols quickly identified a large chaos force approaching. Clearly the enemy had become aware of the imperial presence on Tarlius II and were taking action to prevent them getting established. 

The veteran astartes were more than prepared for the assault however, and rather than the Iron Warriors the imperial bridgehead found itself under attack from the Emerald Serpent. This turned out to be favourable for the imperium however, as the daemonic creatures summoned by the tzeentch sorcerers were the preferred enemy of the Ordos Malleus space marines. Relishing their opportunity to banish the enemy from beyond, the Grey Knights charged into combat. The daemons were no match for their hated opponents and the attack on the heights around the now defunct webway portal was quickly repulsed. 

The imperium now had a secure foothold on Tarlius II, but as the dropships of guard landed in the uplands, ahead of them they now faced hundreds of miles of desolate plains, before having to face the highly fortified city that was the main base of the Iron Warriors. This settlement and it’s even more formidable central keep would need to be brought low before the war in the system could be brought to a close.

Emerald Serpent recover artefact from Cybixx

Ahriman stared across the flat plains ahead of him. He knew the task ahead of him meant conflict with an ally, but tzeentch himself had ordained this path. Here on Calliden he would retrieve the necron gateway, which arch Heretek Cybixx had refused to hand over despite the generous terms the sorcerer lord had offered. No matter. If force were necessary then so be it. The thousand sons and his daemonic allies would make short work of the Mechanicum. If only the foolish Imperial Knightly Houses hadn’t interfered at Hexis. Now the corpse worshippers knew his plans and understood the threat. Ahriman smiled. They would not thwart him, not with his patron god and even Magnus himself giving approval for once. The planet of the sorcerers would be summoned to the Aleph Sector, and the total victory of chaos would be complete just as soon as all the elements came together. The chaos sorcerer lord consulted his list of items required for the summoning ritual, an esoteric assortment not easily collected. One step at a time...

The battle between Cybixx’s mechanicum and Ahriman’s daemonic and traitor astartes force was a bitter slug fest. Cybixx was angry at Ahriman’s demands for a valuable xenos artefact, and the chaos sorcerer had no business interfering in his plans. Cybixx needed all the alien technology he could lay his hands on if his new project was to come to fruition, and he found it illogical that the Emerald Serpent would want to obstruct his endeavours. 

The fighting was costly, and although Cybixx’s constructs banished a horde of plaguebearers summoned to Ahriman’s cause, the chaos sorcerer was not put off. The two sides fought each other to a standstill, but eventually tzeentch trickery outsmarted the traitor mechanicum logic, and Ahriman got his prize. The Emerald Serpent were now one step closer to fulfilling their arcane plot.

Expedition returns to Blackstone Fortress

Lucius Valcetti gazed out at the dark shape of the space station, its lightless exterior made visible only by its sharp contrast to the maddening riot of colour all around. Roiling eddies of technicolour light surged about them in colossal storm fronts light years across. Such treacherous currents were more than capable of ripping a ship apart, yet the area around the station itself was becalmed, as if the storm served to protect it. Known as the Rifts of Hectate this area of space had long been avoided by travellers. Situated beyond the unexplored depths of the Hadron Expanse its remoteness was almost as much a disincentive to explorers as the mortal peril of the storm itself.

It had been a joint Federal – Tau science expedition that had first uncovered the existence of the station. Keen to develop a better understanding of such phenomena the eager scientists had fired a series of autonomous probes into the chaotic tumult. Most had been ripped to shreds but one, guided by fate or simply random chance, had made its way to the heart of the storm where it broadcast a steady stream of sensor data and imaging.

The existence of the alien construct and the raging warp storms that surrounded it defied rational explanation and lay far outside the Tau and Federacy's limited understanding. Reluctantly they had turned to the Eldar, hoping that their ancient understanding of the immaterium could supply the answers they sought. In this they had been only partially satisfied. The Eldar had recognised the construct as an artefact dating back to the war in heaven, known to the Imperium as a Blackstone Fortress. As to its purpose and how it generated and fuelled the surrounding storm they were as baffled as the Tau and Federacy, although they did not care to admit it. The crazed maelstrom resisting any attempt at psychic scrying and it seemed to cast no shadow on the paths of the future, its influence noticeable only as a void of possibilities that should have existed.

The Alliance powers had agreed to mount a joint expedition to the construct, each sending representatives to oversee their interests. Lucius wasn't sure how he felt about the silent, forbidding Eldar Ranger chosen as Kel Sandros' representative, although he had to admit that without her guidance the Vanguard would never have made it intact through the fury of the storm. His thoughts were interrupted by the sound of gunfire and explosions over the open vox channel. It seemed the station was not as uninhabited as had been presumed. Garbled reports of hostile contacts filtered through as the landing party fell back to the assault boats.

This turn of events was not entirely unexpected, large vessels such as this invariably became home to an assortment of scum, outlaws and hostile xenos no matter how remote or formidable their defences. Lucius decided he would lead the first expedition himself. This station would give up its secrets to him, and quite possibly make him a very rich and influential man indeed.

It was over 2 years since the first expedition had penetrated the interior of the mysterious blackstone fortress. Rogue Trader and privateer Lucius Valcetti had been forced to withdraw his team after finding the interior infested with outlaws and chaos filth. On returning to Federal space he had lobbied the Federal government for the resources and funding to mount a properly resourced expedition into the Rifts of Hectate, complete with auxiliary support vessels, scientific specialists and a complement of armed mercenaries. After finally completing the long and tortuous journey through the Foramen Ancilla and the chaos, ork and necron infested space beyond they had finally returned to station, codenamed Pandora to maintain operational security. Despite losing 2 supply ships to the raging lightening storm surrounding the station they managed to set up base camp and docking facilities within the deserted outer reaches up the xenos construct.

Somewhat familiar with what to expect from his previous visit Lucius Valcetti decided to lead the the first expedition into the interior himself, accompanied by Kel Sandros' brooding emissary, a kroot tracker and the hulking form of a bodyguard robot supplied by their federal backers. At first resistance was within expected parameters but the situation rapidly deteriorated as fresh hostiles swarmed to the area, attracted by the sound of gunfire and explosions. The kroot tracker was almost disembowelled by a  hissing xenos monstrosity that leapt out from the shadows and Lucius himself was mortally wounded as corrupted deserters from the Imperial Guard swarmed over him from a passageway. Assault cannon blazing the bodyguard robot assigned to him executed its primary directive and strode into the fray to recover Lucius' bleeding body and carry him to safety.

The expedition had been a disaster. Two of their members had been seriously injured  and confined to a medicae facility for weeks and they had made no headway in penetrating the stations secrets. The limited haul of archeotech they had come away with looked like junk at first glance. It was only on closer inspection that it turned out to contain an ancient relic from the fall of the Eldar along with and an Empyrean Chronometer that was beyond priceless. Convinced of the haul of knowledge and ancient artefacts to be found deeper within the station the Alliance's representatives in the expedition were resolved to unlock the secrets of this place or die trying.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Aleph Sector: Current Warzones

Welcome to the Aleph Sector

For the "how to join in" see this here

Lying in the Ultima Segmentum, straddling the Foramen Interdictum near the Eastern Fringe, the Aleph Sector is a critical location close to the Tau Empire and Ultramar. It is 019M42, and the Imperium is beset by enemies on all sides.

For millennia the Aleph Sector was but a backwater in Imperial affairs. Before the coming of the great rift the High Lords of Terra barely gave the sector a thought, allowing an entire subsector to secede from the Imperium and ally itself to the Tau Empire. But with the coming of the Cicatrix, all that changed… 

The Aleph Sector today stands astride the Cicatrix Maledictum, and thanks to the arcane energies of the Necron artefacts know only as “devices”, there is not only a path through the raging warp rift, but four. These pathways through the Maw, known as “Foramen”, are hotly contested by the major powers of the galaxy, for they provide access from one side to the other in relative safety. One is controlled by the Alliance, another two by chaos. Only at the Foramen Majoris does the Imperium have a foothold allowing its forces to travel into the Imperium Nihilis. Should this fall, mankind’s empire east of the Cicatrix would surely fall into ruin… 

The Imperium of Mankind
The Imperium of Mankind is led by Secto Commander Titus Luthor, with his regiments of mostly Novgorod guard and the help of several astartes chapters, notably the Grey Knights and Imperial Fists. However it is the Inquisition who stand between the light and the darkness, and although they have not always seen eye to eye, it is the inquisitor lords who hold the destiny of the Imperium in their hands. However, only Lord Hathek’s whereabouts are known, as both Inquistors Huron and Vorushko have gone missing…

The Forces of Chaos
The forces of damnation are active in the Aleph Sector, although not always united. The Iron Warriors seek to re-establish their dominion in the Perseus Deeps, while the Emerald Serpent, led by the Thousand Sons, seek more impenetrable goals. In recent years, the Arch Magus Dominus Cybixx, once thought to be a loyal member of the Mechanicum, has turned to the dark gods as well, lending his vast forces and expertise to the Ruinous Powers, and plunging the Imperium into dire peril.

The Alliance
The “Alliance” is made up of three factions, who do not always act in unison. The strongest members of the pact are the Tau Empire, seeking to extend their holdings in the sector, and the Federacy, a human secessionist empire spanning an entire subsector following the return of Admiral Haskell – a man who was caught on the wrong side of the heresy but was cast adrift for ten long millennia in the warp. Upon his return he sought to return the sector to the Imperial Truth, renouncing the worship of the Emperor as a deity. Although the secession from the Imperium was successful, it is the Federacy’s alliance with the Tau that has prevented the Imperium from retaking their lost worlds, at least for now.

The Eldar, led by the Craftworld of Kel Sandros, have their own plans, but their main goal is to rid the galaxy of psychic taint. To this end, the establishment of the Tau as the preeminent power, defeating chaos and the Imperium would be the first step in their long and complex plan to reestablish the Aeldari as the masters of the galaxy. 

Xenos Threats
Xenos are an ever present threat in the Aleph Sector. And the most dangerous are the Necrons, the Orks and the Tyranids.

The Orks are present across the sector, but have so far not rallied around one leader for long enough to pose a significant threat.

The Necrons awoke before the coming of the Cicatrix, and began to rebuild their lost empire in the Perseus Deeps. However, since then their fortunes have faded, as many worlds have succumbed to rehibernation, for reasons as yet unknown.

The Tyranid menace has threatened the sector a number of times. Hive Fleet Nemesis ravaged scores of worlds, but has now apparently been lost in the voids of space. However, a new Hive fleet has been discovered on Hexis, and R’lyeh is an emergent threat.

Now is the time to make your mark in the Aleph Sector. The fate of the galaxy lies in your  hands!

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Traitor Mechanicum defeat Von Bismork

Archheretek Cybixx had not been seen in person since the defeats on Mordecai Tersius and his whereabouts were still uncertain. His forces had been encountered on a number of worlds, but it came as somewhat of a surprise to imperial intelligence when the former loyalist Archmagos turned up at Goreen. 

Instead of launching an attack on the strong imperial defences however, the traitor mechanicum assaulted the remaining orks in the hills surrounding the imperial base on Goreen Prime. The orks has been pushed back into the wilderness zones of the planet many months previously, and the imperial commander had not felt it pressing to expend resources chasing the orks down. Now that seemed to be an error, as Cybixx’s forces smashed the orks - thought to be a remnant of Von Bismork’s troubled warband - and completed the eradication of the greenskins in the Goreen system. 

Now the imperial commander had a real problem. Instead of ill equipped ork forces, the traitors began setting up a strong base camp in the mountains overlooking the primary space port. Alarmed, the imperial forces requested aid from General Percival - overall commander in the Hadron Expanse. Percival had his own issues however, as his forces were already stretched defending Palantir from the Alliance, and supporting Konev at Hexis. The imperium began to become deeply concerned with Cybixx’s motives.

Grey Knights secure foothold on Tarlius II

The Grey Knights continued to plan with the imperial forces for the capture of the chaos stronghold worlds in the Tarlius system in order to complete the final subjugation of Mordecai. This would secure the Foramen Majoris for the Imperium and allow Paradorn and Cybixx’s heretic forge at Vandrax to be more easily overwhelmed. 

One sticking point with the plans to eradicate chaos at Tarlius was the eldar presence. Centred around a webway portal in the barren plains of the eastern hemisphere, so far the forces of chaos had been unable to locate the portal, and any moves in that direction were ambushed and destroyed by eldar forces. 

The Grey Knights has experience with the aliens however, using their contacts in the Ordo Xenos. Using a cloaked strike cruiser the astartes dropped directly onto the Xenos artefact and began preparing the necessary mechanicum rites to close down the entry to the webway. 

As soon as they had begun, a rapid response materialised from the eldar faction known as the Sisters of Quartz. The lithe eldar attacked with shocking speed and grace the like of which the Grey Knights could not hope you match. However, experience and superior strategy overcame the agility and otherworldliness of the aeldari warriors, as the astartes had been expecting the response. 

The eldar were quickly defeated by the Ordo Malleus marines, and the webway portal was eliminated. Now the imperium had established a presence on Tarlius II, but only a tenuous one.

Legio Dominus make sweeping advance on Hexis

For months the war on Hexis had been quiescent with neither side making any serious moves to remove the other from the face of the now ravaged and radioactive landscape that was now the hell around the capital city of Praxis. However General Konev, recognising the potential strategic benefit of controlling the northern end of the Foramen Ignotum, was not about to give up an go home.

Having dealt with - or so he felt - the Tyranid threat on his northern flank, Konev petitioned for more resources from imperial high command. Sector commander Titus Luthor was loathed time invest more efforts at Hexis however. Already the alliance were chipping away at imperial gains in the Hadron Expanse, and the main focus of imperial efforts was now at Mordecai and the Foramen Interdictum. No imperial guard help would be forthcoming.

Konev was not to be disappointed entirely however, as in 09.019M42 the titans of Legio Dominus and their attendant knights arrived, responding to Konev’s appeals for aid, and immediately set about planning an offensive.

The titans and knights would be ineffective in the compact ruins of Praxis, so it was agreed Legio Dominus would strike out from the east, attempting to surround chaos forces in Menthoteph and cut off their supply lines. Then, if the ground could be held, Konev would be able to conduct later offensives against the city and its device chanber from three sides.

The initial assault went as planned. The eastern chaos flank was only weakly defended, Stahl’s iron warriors having mostly departed and the remaining troops not wishing to spend too long in the radioactive wastelands south of the ruined cities. However as Menthoteph was surrounded, the Emerald Serpent reacted.

Deploying their own titans and moving forward in strength, the Aether Striders traitor household met their loyalist counterparts on the southern plains known as the great ash wastes. The set piece battle raged for many hours, with the main thrust of the Emerald Serpent coming on the imperial left flank, where ruins of an old settlement impeded the ability of House Corvus’ helverins to lay down withering fire.

On the imperial right, the combined efforts of a Castellan, Warhound and Helverin squadron decimated the traitor forces, knocking out knight after knight with only minimal damage in return. On the left however, the imperial force suffered as the Emerald Serpebt deployed their lords discordant and a Khytan in close combat, duelling with a Knight Errant and its supporting Armiger Warglaives.

The battle in the ruins was intense, and the imperial knights were never going to defeat the chaos force opposing them. However they fought valiantly, the knight Errant doggedly refusing to yield, and its eventual sacrifice was well worth it for Konev’s force, as the combat in the ruins significantly and fatally delayed the Emerald Serpent counter attack.

By the time the ruins had been wrestled from the stubborn imperial forces, the Legio Dominus titans had arrived. After a brief Titan duel, the Aether Striders realised their position was untenable and withdrew to the west, allowing general Konev to consolidate his position and dig in just kilometres from the ashen ruin that had once been Stahl’s HQ.

By late 09.019M42 the front line had stabilised, seeing the imperial armies capturing hundreds of miles of territory. It was however just blasted wasteland, and despite the victory and the improvement of the imperial strategic position, the forces of chaos still retained control over the device chamber and much of the ruined city of Praxis.

Wednesday, September 04, 2019

Imperium halt Alliance at Palantir

Following the invasion of the Palantir System in 08.019M42 the Imperium were expectinmg the Alliance's next move in the system. Unable to send a large fleet to contest the invasion from space, the Imperium turned to its elite forces, appealing to any astartes that could defend the innermost world of Bree from the alliance forces, led by the fearsome might of the Knightly House of Chardonnay.


Loyal to the federal forgeworld of Vornax, the Knightly house had shown no sign of fulfilling its oaths to the Emperor and continued to prosecute the war on behalf of the alliance. Claiming that the Imperial Truth had been abandoned by fanatics after the heresy, House Chardonnay maintained as did the Federacy, that their way was more in line with the Emperor's wishes than the acts of the Imperium of Mankind.


Political ideology was no longer debated however, as the Imperium had long since declared the Federal worlds Excommunicate Traitoris, and on 2808.019M42 House Chardonnay's powerful war engines deployed on Bree. The sparsely populated world could not put up a fight, but the Grey Knights and Hammers of the Emperor soon arrived to stop the Knights from simply overrunning the last Imperial holding in the system.


Battles raged for the next few days, with the Imperial forces taking severe casualties from the traitor knights. Both the leaders of the allied astartes chapters were killed, and the war engines proved difficult to bring down. However by 0409.019M42 the force realised that if it were to maintain control of Hobbiton and Dale, it could not sustain losses such as they were, and the invasion of Bree was postponed.


The Imperium had won an important victory, even if the strategic position was still very poor in the Hadron Expanse. Expecting a counter attack, the astartes oversaw the construction of significant defences, and requested additional garrison forces from General Percival.