Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Hadron Expanse recent actions


Mordecai: Imperium retake Fort Diligence

Following the establishment of a front line at Abrax lake on Mordecai Secundus, the next logical step for Kutuzov was to retake the ruined complex of Fort Diligence. Standing on a vital strip of hardened basalt between multiple lava lakes, the complex was vital to the taking of the Abrax mines, and no meaningful assault on the mining area could take place until it had been secured. Unfortunately for the Imperium the move on Diligence was also obvious to the chaos forces, and the Emerald Serpent had already moved strong forces to its location. Worse, since the loss of the Nexus Arrangement, the Emerald Serpent was once again being directly influenced by Magnus the Red himself, as he used the power of Astralis to project manifestations of himself in multiple locations, heading up armies across the subsector. Kutuzov expected such a manifestation at Fort Diligence, and he was not disappointed.

Mass artillery fire signalled the start of the Novgorod infantry assault across the barren plains in front of the fortification complex, as shells rained down on the chaos positions for several hours. As the barrage rose to a crescendo, the powers of the warp launched a daemonic strike on the imperial batteries, but by then the Novogorod had already begun their relentless advance. On the left flank the Novgorod easily dealt with the lesser daemons and cultists opposing them, but on the right, larger daemonic warp entities stalled the infantry advance. The artillery kept firing however, frustrating Magnus and forcing him to move personally against them. This however left his own forces without his aid as the grinding infantry advance of the imperial fguard slowly began to crumble the resistance on their right. Eventually, slowly, the daemons were brought down, leaving Magnus alone and unsupported against the imperial army.

The daemon primarch, frustrated once more fled back to his daemon hold on Astralis, with its portal to the Planet of the Sorcerers. Without the Emerald Serpent daemonic entities to lead them, the remaining cultist army was easily brushed aside by superior imperial guard forces, and by 1612.020M42 Fort Diligence was once more in Imperial hands. General Kutuzov began once more planning the assault on the Abrax mining complex.


Aeldari secure Nexus Arrangement

The search for the Nexus Arrangement had gone unnoticed by the forces of chaos, and it had been by Aeldari design. Through their manipulation of the warp their powerful psychic energies had been concentrated on shielding all knowledge of the necron artefact from prying eyes, although they had been unable to deflect the Imperium, and the Necrons were bound to uncover what they were up to. Not until 1012.020M42 did Magnus the Red become aware of the eldar plans, and the deliberate psychic deception angered the daemon primarch. Yet, there was still an opportunity. Through his unrivalled mastery of the empyrean, Magnus and his sorcerers' had seen through the alien veils with which they had attempted to shroud their true intent, and their plans were now transparent to him.

Acting swiftly the daemon prince personally led a force of Thousand Sons across space and time, straight to the system of Cruthynia, breaking the very fabric of realspace and crashing upon the Ynnari and Harlequin forces on the surface of the barren world, supported by Ahriman and the Changeling himself. It was Magnus however, who was deceived. Magnus' pride had allowed him to believe he had uncovered the eldar plans all by himself and through his intellect, but it was a deflection. The Aeldari knew that when the Nexus Arrangement was unearthed, its mere presence would send a ripple through the warp, attracting the forces of chaos. Now, they had lured Magnus into a trap of their choosing, and in the battle that followed, despite losing their commander, the Thousand Sons, Magnus and Ahriman were all thrown back into the warp, the spirit of Magnus once again ejected from the mortal realm to brood angrily on the planet of the sorcerer's, and it's mirror, the daemon world Astralis.

With the chaos forces distracted, the Ynnari carefully unearthed the ancient necron artefact and managed to steal it away into the webway before the necrons or Imperium had time to stop them. The Arrangement was safe in Aeldari hands, and the Ynnari now revealed to their Craftworld and Harlequin allies what use they would have for it. The pursuit of the necron device had not merely been to deny its use to the enemy, but for a greater purpose. There were still two necron devices needed by Yvraine, and the Arrangement now gave her followers the means to extract it, without the world upon which it stood immediately falling into the warp.

Skirmishes across the Hadron Expanse

While the Imperium and Aeldari battled the elements and the slowly awakening Necron forces on Cruthynia, the other factions active in the Hadron Expanse were not idle. The Death Guard, taking advantage of the much weakened forces of general Konev on Hexis, launched a major raid from their base on the planet's major moon. Devoid of natural atmosphere, the moon provided a secure base of operations for the Death Guard, and for months they had been laying the foundations of a significant military installation. Now the space port was complete, offensive operations against the planet below could begin. Attacking without warning, the plague marines moved relentlessly against Konev's forces, and the Adeptus Custodes, still in place on Hexis until they could be reassigned to a more valuable warzone, were unable to prevent the traitor forces from ransacking Konev's already meagre supplies. Having stripped the complex bare, the Death Guard returned to the moon,. With the Imperium unable to counter the chaos military build up, it seemed inevitable that the the traitor legions would attack the main planet in force at some point in the future.

The Drukhari meanwhile, freed from their obligations to the Ynnari and the Alliance, decided it was time once more to make the Hadron Expanse a profitable venture. Having secured a number of bases in the webway close to the subsector, the dark eldar struct first against the Tau Empire, which had been largely inactive for over a year. Believing this to be a sign of weakness, the forces of Commoragh were somewhat taken by surprise when their raiding force was met by a swift response from Malkaor's hunter cadres. Far from inactive, the Tau had been building up their strength, and Echo Reach was now a military installation of some significance. Clearly the Tau were planning something big, and soon. The Drukhari managed to extricate themselves from the precipitous situation, but not before they had suffered serious casualties for next to no gain.

Monday, December 07, 2020

Carchardons surprise eldar, but are counter attacked at Cruthynia

Following the defeat of the Guard forces at the northern tomb city of Cruthynia Prime, designated Ankht from translations by imperial scholars, the Ordo Xenos sent an urgent message to all imperial forces in the region. The Nexus Arrangement was found. It resided underneath the city and the order was given to take and hold Ankht at all costs.

Reacting quickly, and realising the Imperial Guard were in no position to undertake a new offensive, the Carcharadon chapter of space marines took it upon themselves to take and hold the city, dropping directly from orbit after having detected aeldari forces in an unusually vulnerable position within the ruins. Led by harlequin forces, it was clear the xenos knew where the Arrangement was, and were working to retrieve it.

The initial drop by the space marines was devastating. An uncharacteristic lapse of judgement by the aeldari had left their forces exposed to attack, and the Carcharadons struck without mercy. The battle was over almost in the first few minutes, as the eldar force was slaughtered. Having taken the position however, the astartes now had to hold it.

The response was not long in coming. Recovering from their initial surprise the eldar knew the counter attack had to be undertaken immediately, before the Hammers of the Emperor could reinforce the positions now occupied by the Carcharadons. This time the harlequin force made no mistakes, although the stubbornness of the astartes guaranteed a bloody melee as they were reluctant to yield their hard won ground. Accepting casualties, for the cause was vital, the aeldari pushed on regardless, and by 1012.020M42 the Carcharadon positions had been completely overrun, with almost half a company of marines wiped out. The eldar suffered heavy casualties as well, but were now within reach of securing the Nexus Arrangement. Having located it, they now only had to escape out of the city back to the webway.

Percival's task force arrives at Cruthynia

After several months, the task force sent by general Percival to investigate the ruins of Cruthynia for the suspected powerful necron artefact known as the Nexus Arrangement, finally arrived in system. The fleet consisted of an imperial naval battlegroup, and established that there were no threats from spacefaring assets in the system, and proceeded without incident to the newly established base in the northern polar regions of Cruthynia Prime that the astartes had created for them.

The Hammers of the Emperor, unlike the Carcharadons, were more than willing to aid and work with the imperial guard who now began disembarking two regiments onto the planet. They were however, not above showing their contempt and disappointment at the paltry forces Percival had chosen to allocate to the endeavour.

Once the base had been secured and hardened against attack, the Novgorod Guard began offensive operations on 0712.020M42, moving south into an unexplored regions of the ruined necron city. Many of the guardsmen were visibly disturbed by the absolute silence of the world, save for a light breeze that would occasionally disturb the dust of the long dead world. Their resolve was bolstered however by the presence of the inquisitor Ivan Dostoevsky, who had come on the mission to uncover the secrets of the necrons and ensure they did not fall into the wrong hands. 

The silence was broken as soon as the guard moved cautiously into the larger of the tomb complexes that dotted the ancient city. Eldar forces suddenly appeared on both flanks, with the screeching of howling banshees audible for miles, while Wraith constructs appeared from nowhere to engage the slowly advancing infantry. The inquisitor handled the situation well, and at first the imperial guard held their ground and even managed to push further forward, especially on their right flank. On the left however, facing the awesome power of the Wraithguard, the Novgorod infantry suffered horrendous casualties and the entire flank collapsed. 

Dostoevsky intervened personally, identifying the enemy autarch, and launching himself at the enemy leader. However the skills of the aeldari outmatched him and the inquisitor was slain without uncovering the secrets he desired. After this the Novgorod resistance remained stubborn, but eventually with their inquisitor lost and no way to continue into the city, the battered guard army withdrew back to their bases in the polar regions. Meanwhile the eldar grew ever closer to discovering the Nexus Arrangement. It was here, underneath this tomb city, and they were determined not to be thwarted by the Imperium just as they had located their prize.

Novgorod Guard launch new offensive on Mordecai

On Mordecai Secundus the follow up to the Hammers of the Emperor victory against the Dark Mechanicus was a new offensive in the eastern portion of the imperial sector, once again targeting the all important Abrax and Sathugar mine complexes, pushing east towards the lava seas of the Kuneun Traps.

Lead by the Novgorod Hussars, general Kutuzov's army pushed implacably forward, meeting the bulk of the Dark Mechanicus forces on the outskirts of the now ruined mining complex. Fighting was intense, with the Hussars beginning the operation with a devastating artillery bombardment. Supported by valkyries providing close air support, the Hussars softened up the heretek forces before delivering a precisely timed cavalry charge, sweeping the enemy from the field.

By 1012.020M42 the imperial offensive had once again resumed its slow but relentless advance against the forces of chaos, reaching the outer reaches of the mines proper, and taking the northern shores of Abrax lava lake.

Necrons defeated by Astartes at Cruthynia

On Cruthynia the fight for the Nexus Arrangement continued into 12.020M42, with the Hammers of the Emperor astartes chapter once again launching an expedition onto the surface of Cruthynia. So far, every imperial attempt to establish a permanent base on the world had been resisted, so after a number of scans the Hammers analysed where the eldar had assaulted imperial forces in previous attempts, and ascertained that there was one area eldar activity had not been previously detected. Here, amongst the ruins of a long dead necron city, the Hammers made their initial scouting landfall.

Very quickly however, the astartes realised the necrons were far from long dead, as the armies of the Silent King reacted rapidly to the interlopers. An entire necron army, undetected from space, was in position and made a move directly onto the space marine landing grounds. 

The Hammers of the Emperor were prepared for such an eventuality however, as the scans had suggested that the area was too quiet, and the main strike force was called in to deal with the necron army. Dropping in via thunderhawk the elite forces of mankind landed right in the midst of the necron force, decapitating the leadership of the ancient xenos in one stroke. The necrons did not give up easily however, and converged on the newly arrived warriors of humanity. Gradually however, with unwavering stubborness and unyielding devotion to duty, the Hammers carved their way through the necrons, until only a pile of shattered mechanical detritus remained, before phasing out. Finally the Imperium had established a bridgehead on the world.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Confusing encounters on LV-426

As their journeys across the perilous landscape of LV-426 continued, the various factions marched ever onwards. Unbeknownst to any of the commanders leading their forces, each path was leading them into direct confrontation with one of the other patrols. As they neared the intersecting pathways, the great intellect rescinded the shadow that was clouding detection to one side of each confrontation. With enough notice to detect their foes, each of the still hidden factions began to make an ad-hoc ambush site, ready to deliver a swift and crushing blow.

Making their way through a swampy region of Hell, the forces of the Thousand Sons known as The Jade Fangs waded through waist high water, their landraider crushing both vegetation and animal life too slow to move avoid it’s treads. Without warning, gunfire blasted through the undergrowth and tore into the sides of the vehicles as Grand Master Corvendus gave the signal to attack. The Precision, Grey Knights, Daemon Hunters rejoiced at the sight. But their excitement was short lived. All of their weapons fire had passed through the transports and enemy units without effect. It was at this point that the veil that was hiding the true locations of the Thousand Sons was lifted and without warning attacked the now exposed positions of the Grey Knights. The battle was a fury of psychic might, deadly laser fire and brutal close combat, but by the end, the Grey Knights were in retreat. Satisfied that their forces could continue without interruption, Phosis T’Arr ordered the advance.

Northward on the continent, the forces of the The Rhana Dandra darted across the desolated landscape of LV-426. Hastily making their way towards their target, it was only the briefest warnings that forewarned the Aeldari as the forces of Blast-pit Brides unleashed their attack. Moving with preternatural speeds, the two Eldar forces delivered blow after devastating blow. As the two forces drew blood against one another, the ever present darkness of Hell began to cloud the Drukhari Wyches’ minds and one they began to fall. Before long, the Dark Eldar withdrew, the survivors licking their wounds, searching for easier prey.

One of the more unusual conflicts happened towards the south. For the better part of the day, the forces of the Dark Angels had been following signal anomalies that alluded to their prey. They were sorely mistaken. After surrounding the encampment where the signals were coming from, Aziraphael issued his command and the Dark Angels charged in, stoicism etched on their faces. After bursting through ruins and kicking down doors, the Space Marines gazed upon an empty site. Before consulting the machine spirit of the sensor equipment, with the traditional knock against a hard surface, the hand held detectors lit up with movement blips. A sizable force for Genestealer Cultist who were Definitely not the RA swarmed the Dark Angels and a bloody melee eschewed. Victory, if it could be called that, was claimed by the Emperor’s finest, but from the toll it had taken, it was pyrrhic at best.

As the mortals vied for the upper hand against their adversaries, Neferkara The Collector marched through a canyon in the rocky region towards the east, searching for his latest addition. As he guided his force through gale force winds, the tempest itself revealed his next task. Further ahead, sound carrying on the wind, the Necrons of the Mor'khaten's Will prepared for their ambush. Little did they know, however, that Neferkara was already moving to counter their ploy. Using sacrificial warriors, the Necrons of The Forbidden Archives sprung their kin’s trap, baiting Mor'khaten to show his hand. And that he did. From positions that no longer remained safe, the warriors of Neferkara clashed with Mor'khaten's until Mor'khaten was forced to retreat back to a nearby tomb complex to plot out his next move. With the warriors already beginning to reanimate, Neferkara continued down the howling canyon.

The last of the ambushes was from the Hammers of the Emperor. Using the still ripe corpses of the Genestealer cult slain earlier, the Space Marines set an ambush for a sizable force of roving tyranids. With a kill zone erected, it didn’t take long for Hive Fleet R'lyeh’s organisms to locate the site and began to explore the area. When a sufficient amount of xenos had entered the killing fields, the Hammers unleashed devastation upon the world of Hell. What would normally have been used to overrun a small town was deployed by the marines to remove all traces of the xenos from sight. After an engagement that could have been counted in seconds, the forces of the Hive Fleet R'lyeh’s were slain to a man. Fortunately for the xenos, the organism leading them, designated “Clive” by the marines was able to relay a message to others of the fleet, warning them of what happened.

The only force with an uninterrupted journey was the Last Gasp of the Emperors Children. Whatever intellect was shaping the conflict across LV-426 had seen fit to allow them to travel without issue. They arrived at their waypoint ahead of schedule. Waiting, for the next indication of where to go.

Kutuzov returns to the offensive

Conditions on Mordecai Secundus had improved sufficiently by 11.020M42 for General Kutuzov to once again consider offensive actions. The first priority was the salient the chaos forces had driven into his lines, now occupied by forces of the Dark Mechanicus who were busy fortifying their new positions.
In order to disrupt the enemy progress, Kutuzov planned an envelopment, and the Hammers of the Emperor would provide the force that would spearhead the attack and cut off the salient from the rest of the chaos lines. The Imperial Guard would then mop up the pocket once the Dark mechanicus and cult forces were isolated.
The astartes led the way using the power of a land raider crusader. Driving into the heart of the Dark Mechanicus positions from an unexpected direction, the chaos force was thrown into confusion. Charging out with melta weapons and thunder hammers, the battle became a focal point, drawing in forces from the salient and weakening the pocket. By the time the Hammers withdrew from the battlefield the damage had been done. the chaos pocket had been pinched out and Kutuzov's follow up with an Imperial Guard advance spelled doom for the remaining forces inside the isolated enclave. By 2411.020M42 the Imperium had straightened their line and prepared to fight once more for the Abrax mines complex.

Hexis: genestealers surround Konev

In 11.020M42 the imperial forces on Hexis faced a new insidious threat from the tyranid menace on the planet. It was already known that hive fleet R'Lyeh had been using its hive mind to conduct asymmetric warfare, especially in the establishment of genestealer cults within dissident imperial forces. Having lost the strategic ground between Praxis and Menthoteph, the next threat to Konev's forces appeared when an entire regiment of guard deployed in the northern ruins of Praxis suddenly revolted, tearing itself apart as the genestealer cult that had been left to fester revealed its presence.
Before Konev had time to react, a force of crusading Adeptus Custodes took it upon themselves to quell the uprising, but were taken off guard by the number and ferocity of the cultists. A savage fight in the ruins ended with the Custodes abandoning their attempt to quash the rebellion, leaving Konev with no alternative but to draw a new defence line agains the rampaging irregular army. In late 11.020M42 the imperial sector on Hexis had been split into three parts, and Konev requested immediate reinforcement, otherwise there was a real risk of the Imperium losing the war on Hexis. Should the world fall to the tyranids, necrons or even chaos, then the inevitable fallout would be the compromise of the Imperial position in the entire Hadron Expanse. Winning the war wasn't the priority, but not losing it was.

Monday, November 23, 2020

Imperial Fists ambushed at Cruthynia

Events continued to go against the Imperium on Cruthynia as 11.020M42 progressed. With General Percival's task force still nowhere in sight, the individual astartes forces did their best to establish bridgeheads on the main world of the system, a dusty barren plain dotted with ancient necron ruins. However, the astartes forces were unused to working together, and this once again cost the Imperium as the Imperial Fists came under attack by Aeldari forces.
Highly organised and using the webway to conduct precision strikes, the harlequin forces allied to the Ynnari cause had already struck at installations being set up by the Sisters of Battle and the Carcharadon space marine chapter. Unaware of the extent of the webway portals on Cruthynia Prime, the Imperial Fists now found themselves ambushed by a strong force of agile xenos as they tried to establish a perimeter. Soon surrounded, the newest space marine base became untenable within days of its establishement, and by 1511.020M42 the latest foray into the necron tomb complexes by an imperial force had to be abandoned. Meanwhile, the Ynarri were getting ever closer to uncovering the mystery of the Nexus Arrangement.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Battles rage on the Hell planet.

With their resources gathered, the forces upon LV-426 began their arduous journey towards their respective destinations. Each of the forces had heard a different message and as such, their treks across the planet were carved. For many, the landing sites and directions may have seemed to be chosen at random, or perhaps convenience. But for those who’s mind could grasp such an intricate flow of movement, something more sinister was afoot.

The first of the two forces to clash were the Jade Fangs of the Thousand Sons and Dark Angel’s 5th Company. After recently looting a Tomb belonging to Mor'khaten's Will, the Dark Angel’s commander Aziraphael spotted the Thousand Sons approaching them. After a brief discussion as to the combat effectiveness of the Space Marines under his command, the Captain ordered the attack. As the Jade Fangs approached the location of the Necron Tomb complex, they saw that it had already been plundered by the Emperor’s lapdogs. Not wanting to miss out on a chance to destroy the Dark Angels, the Thousand Sons met them in battle. A fierce battle that could only be created when Astartes fight took place. Bolter rounds were thrown, daemons summoned and will fought against will. Though the Thousand Sons were able to bring reinforcements from the Warp, it was no enough to stop the relentless attack from the Dark Angels, and after a lightning fast engagement, the Dark Angels withdrew the victor.

Elsewhere on the continent, the fighting was equally harsh for the Ynnari. As they delicately moved their way through the dense jungles of Hell, the forces of the Aldari new that their was an issue as their psyker noticed a shadow in the warp. Before Athairnos the Wanderer was able to warn their fellow Eldar, they were assailed by the tyanids of Hive Fleet R'lyeh. A fierce battle took place, but the Eldar were able to use their significant speed advantage to destroy the Hive Tyrant and throw the remaining tyranid forces into disarray.

After furiously defending their resources from the Ynnari, the Necrons of The Forbidden Archives made their ponderous journey towards a location towards the Northern mountain ranges. With the will of their overlord commanding the steady pace, they kept their eyes pealed for the telltale signs of an incoming attack. What they did not expect, however, was the unconventional hit and run tactics of the Dark Eldar. Arriving, riding the screaming winds of Hell, the Drukhari Wyches of the Blast-pit Brides leaped into battle fro seemingly out of nowhere. Attacked, shot, and butchered, the forces of the Necrons were slowly whittled down. Only after their battle-lust was sated did the forces of the Blast-pit Brides recede out of range of the Necron weaponry. With the automatons already beginning to reassemble themselves, the Overlord Neferkara The Collector pressed ever onward.

Both enjoying the success of a previous engagement, Hammers of the Emperor and the Genestealer Cult were Definitely not the RA detected each other a moment too late. With the geology of the planet making readings from scanners “unreliable” at best, it was little surprise when the two columns met each other without prior warning. Fortunately for the Space Marines, the Emperor was looking down upon them, and they were able to sieze the initative. With a methodical assault that bordered on clinical butchering, the Genestealers were slaughtered. With the sounds of bolters giving the Emperor’s Mercy to the remaining Genestealer survivors, Brother Captain Herman took stock of his forces supplies, and continued their arduous march.

With the Dark Angels’ presence disturbing the forces of Mor'khaten's Will from their slumber, the forces of the Necrons took stock of their surroundings. Much had changed since they were last awake. The Planet was certainly different, but it mattered not. The insects that had spawned during their long sleep would be dealt with. Unleashing a small force from their underground tomb complex, the forces of the Mor'khaten arose from hidden tomb entrances. One such entrance was located near a resting group of Grey Knights. After ritually cleansing their weapons and armour from the previous attack, the Grey Knights known as The Precision detected the Necrons emerging from their tomb. Initially, the fight lent in the Gray Knight’s favour, but as the destroyed soldiers of Mor'khaten's Will began to reassemble themselves, they realised that their duty lay elsewhere. Instead of allowing themselves to be bogged down in a prolonged engagement, the Grey Knights withdrew. Their true quarry still to be found.

With the other on the planet engaged in fighting, the Last Gasp of the Emperors Children found their journey unimpeded. Where others found peril and conflict, the Traitor Marines found their march almost facile. Something was watching over the marines of the Last Gasp. Something was waiting for them to succeed.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Eldar strike back on Cruthynia

By 11.020M42 the main Imperial task force being send to Cruthynia had still not materialised. Bureaucratic delays, warp storms and lack of transport ships had delayed the Imperial Guard and mechanicus elements of the planned invasion force, and many in the Imperial hierarchy began to become frustrated with the lack of progress on something which really needed a swift response.
Faster moving forces continued to reach the system, with the addition of Carcharadon and Sisters of Battle task forces as 11.020M42 progressed. Both these forces however did not work well with others, and pursued their own agendas when arriving in system. The Aeldari took advantage of this, first roundly defeating the Carcharadons in a sudden and unexpected assault, leading with Harlequin elements. The astartes attempted to reinforce their position utilising their drop capacity from orbit, but the speed and versatility of the Harlequin force rendered this counter assault impotent, and the space marines were forced to withdraw from Cruthynia Prime, abandoning the base they had constructed.
The Sisters of Battle were not informed by the Carcharadons of the Aedlari and Harlequin threat, so the eldar attack on them some days later came as a complete surprise. The Carcharadons were the only force with any intelligence on the Harlequin force, and the lack of communication between the Imperium's various task forces, led to a second defeat on Cruthynia Prime. With their bases swiftly assaulted whenever they arrived, the Imperium were forced back into space, unable to search any of the ruins for the Nexus Arrangement. Meanwhile, as the majority of the necrons still remained in hibernation, the Aeldari were slowly working out the subtle clues that would lead them to where the ancient artefact rested.

Konev boxed in at Hexis

On the barren plains of Hexis the menace of the Tyranids had not been in any way defeated by Konev's imperial forces as 11.020M42 began. Constant draining of imperial resources had ensured that the Imperium's ability to go on any meaningful offensives had been curtailed, as more and more forces were allocated to General Percival's expedition to Cruthynia.
The Tyranids themselves, lacking significant biomass to enlarge their forces also had limited opportunities to move forward, and lacking a hive fleet were unable to leave the planet let alone the system. Hive fleet R'Lyeh had planned to take the necron device in order to use it to translocate to a system with greater resources and create a fleet of bioships, but the interventions of the Ynnari had scuppered their plans. Now they resorted to instinct, launching an attack on Imperial forces on the strategic plains between Praxis and Menthoteph. Their aims were unclear, but the hive needed to feed.
The xenos biowarriors fell upon the imperial guard defending Konev's northern battle line, a vulnerable corridor between his forces in the north and those in the south. The sudden assault took the guard forces by surprise, and after a protracted battle Konev's infantry were swept aside. The tyranids made their way into the eastern districts of Praxis, cutting imperial forces in two and threatening to surround Konev's HQ. In private, Konev's aides began to suggest that a withdrawal from the worthless planet may now be the more profitable course of action. Against this however, was the real risk that leaving would only strengthen the xenos threat, allowing them to gain enough strength to become a real threat to the region. The battles would need to continue.

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Battles of “Hell” begin

The harsh landscape of the world was unforgiving and cruel. Despite the advanced technologies and divinations of the various races, many of the forces found themselves without all of the supplies they had originally intended to bring. Whether due to the freak storms that dashed aircraft from the Sky, or freak Warp anomalies that shunted reality and dislocated items and units, all the factions vying for victory upon this world came to the same conclusion: supplies must be gathered and resources collected if we are to survive on this Hellish world.

As the Jade Fangs of the Thousand Sons prepared one of their profane rituals to summon forth equipment and units from the aether, they were ambushed by a patrol of Space Marines bearing the markings of the Hammers of the Emperor. With little chance to safely disconnect themselves from the ritual, the marines attacked without mercy and cut down the traitor legion where it stood.

Elsewhere across the main continent of Hell, other forces of the Imperium fought bloody battles with the relentless tides of Mor'khaten's Will. Upon finding a hidden tomb complex entrance using their auspex from the Dark Age of Technology, the warriors of the Dark Angel’s 5th company engaged in a running battle as plundered the entrance to the tomb for secrets. Whatever their true agenda was, it was near impossible to tell, the Astartes seemed pleased with results.

Where the newly awakened Necrons of Mor'khaten's Will were found to be easy pickings for the Dark Angels, the same could not be said for the already reanimated Necrons of The Forbidden Archives, when they met the Ynnari in a chance encounter. The Rhana Dandra forces of the Aeldari were caught by surprise when their foe, thought eons dead re-emerged. Though a close battle was wages between the two forces, the sheer unwillingness to lay dead prevented the Ynnari from continuing the fight and withdrew to safer ground.

Perhaps the most startling of engagements within the initial conflict of LV-426 was between the Splinter Fleet of Hive Fleet R’Lyeh and the Genestealer Cult of The Four-Wheeled Emperor. Though to an outsider, these forces would appear to be cut from the same cloth, the actions that each faction took could not be further from the truth. With a ferocity that bordered on the maniacal, the two tyranid factions stuck each other until only the forces of Genestealer Cult remained. Their bloodlust sated for the moment; they began the gruelling task of tearing into the biomass of the dead tyranids.

The last engagement during the first few hours of the Crusade was made when the Grey Knights known as The Precision were slogging through the quagmire of one of the planets many swaps. So focused on hunting the foul legions of the warp, that they were caught unaware as the raiders of Blast-Pit Brides descended. Unleashing razor-sharp blades and using cruel instruments of death, the Drukhari Wyches were unimpeded by the quagmire as they danced from tree to tree, cutting at the blessed forces of the Imperium. Only when their lust for pain had been sated, did the Drukhari forces withdraw, leaving behind bloody ruins that were once noble Astartes.

Whilst many factions fought furiously to survive, the Emperors Children known as The Last Gasp came across no other competing forces. Whether this was the will of Slaanesh, or some more insidious influence, it was impossible to tell…

Monday, October 26, 2020

Journey to “hell”

The planet’s official designation by Imperial Scholars was LV-426. To the various factions landing upon the surface, its name was Hell. LV-426 was a world, previously inhabited by Humans but was cut off by Warp Storms during the Age of Strife. Now, with the emergence of the Cicatrix Maledictum, has the planet become accessible once again. Initial scans of the planet would reveal little to no signs of intelligent life. Large seismic activity and freak super-storms ravaged the landscape. It was a planet of little respite, and even less joy.In late 020.M42, a call was received by several differing races of the galaxy. Some heard a cry for help. Others, a warning to stay away. But a very select few, heard of the promise of a great relic of a lost age. The signal was picked up by no fewer than 11 factions. Imperial, Heretical and Xenos factions all received the information and began to make all haste towards Hell. 

The first to arrive on the planet was The Jade Fangs of the Thousand Son’s Emerald Serpent Cult, making planet fall through the breaches separating the Warp from Reality. Second to arrive were The Rhana Dandra of the Aeldari, accessing the planet by hidden, long forgotten Webway portals. Third, was the Dark Angel’s 5th Company aboard the Strike Cruiser Unyielding, flying through the storm covered atmosphere by the skill of their Thunder Hawk pilots. Next, were the Necron of The Forbidden Archives from the Nephrekh Dynasty. Whilst some believe that they had always been on the planet and simply arose from a Tomb beneath the surface, others speculate that the withdrawal of the Warp Storm was merely the heralding of their arrival. 

Fifth to arrive in Realspace was Definitely not the RA, but instead a cult of Genestealers, followers of The Four Wheeled Emperor, piloting a small warp-traveling craft emerged within the system. Whether they had been drawn here by the will of the Hive Mind, or simply arrived by chance, it was impossible to say. Following the translation from the Warp of Dark Angel’s 5th Company was another Strike Cruiser, this time bearing the marks of the Hammers of the Emperor. With their ability to change their tactics almost overnight, it has been impossible to determine whom this Space Marine Chapter’s original Sire was. Despite being both from the Imperium, the two Space Marine Chapters eyed each other up with suspicion, as each believed only they should have known about this planet’s existence. 

Seventh to make themselves known on the Planet were the Necrons of Mor'khaten's Will, a subsect of the Heqetokh Dynasty. With two Necron factions making themselves known on the planet, the question of what relics could be hidden away, begins to emerge. Eighth to arrive on LV-426 were the Blast-pit Brides of the Drukhari Wyches. Using a set of Webway portals, unused in eons, the Dark Eldar screamed onto the planet, ready to butcher and enslave all those in their path. 

Ninth to arrive on the planet was a sect of the Emperor’s Children know simply as The Last Gasp. Using a profane ritual, they arrived on the planet’s surface without warning, ready to please their Dark Master. With the Thousand Son’s and the Aeldari finding an interest with the planet of LV-426, it should have been no surprise that not long after, the Grey Knights appears above the planet. Using cloaking technology thought lost during the Dark Age of Technology, The precision deployed to the planet, ready to deal out The Emperor’s Wrath. Last to arrive was a force, the few without psychic powers knew was coming. A shadow across the warp was the only tell-tale sign of the approach of a splinter fleet of Hive Fleet R'lyeh. What had drawn them to the planet was unknown. Was it the Genestealers, or something else, that had drawn them closer?

With all the different factions now on the planet, the first objective was to secure supplies…

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Necrons reanimate on Cruthynia

While general Percival's imperial task force remained en route to the system of Cruthynia, the astartes, with their faster ships and flexible formations, had already begun starting to investigate the system. In mid 10.020M42 the Imperial Fists and Space Wolves chapters each arrived at company strength, intending to establish forward bases on the two major worlds of the system nearest the largest tomb complexes. The Imperial Fists moved to Cruthynia Prime, while the Space Wolves attempted a recon mission on Cruthynia Secundus.
Both astartes chapters were taken by surprise by unexpectedly strong resistance in the form of necron armies. Instead of finding the tomb worlds in hibernation, it came as a shock to find the lords of the Ha'Tek and Heqetokh dynasties fully awake and in command of significant armed forces. Already the necron dynasties had begun rebuilding their former domains and work was moving at pace to bring the tomb worlds back to their original strength.
The Imperial Fists attempted to hold on to a perimeter in a protracted engagement against the necrons on Cruthynia Prime, but after a long struggle even the masters of seigecraft were unable to hold their positions against superior xenos forces. With their incomplete base untenable, the astartes were forced to withdraw. The recon mission by the Space Wolves faced a similar fate, as their attempt to investigate the largest tomb complex was prevented by a strong necron army. Unable to even get close to the now re-activated tombs, the Space Wolves were also forced to abandon their mission and return to their fleet vessels after taking heavy casualties.
The news of a fully awakened necron threat threw Percival's task force into dismay. Concerns over the strength and makeup of the force were raised, and the fleet paused while fresh troops and equipment were added to the expedition. The question now was whether the necron threat could even be contained at Cruthynia, let alone the Imperium's ability to find and hold onto the Nexus Arrangement.

Monday, October 19, 2020

Skarreth dynasty hunts the Nexus Arrangement

Neferkara The Collector gazed in disdain at the vermin swarming amidst the once proud ruins of his people. They belonged to one of the many opportunistic young species that had risen up to lay claim to the galaxy in the Necrontyrs absence, but these had chosen to replace much of their biological flesh with machine components. Neferkara mused that such an inadequate attempt at imitation of his own race could be considered a form of flattery, as if this species recognised the superiority of the Necrons and hoped that in aping them they might attain some small measure of their purity and greatness. It did not matter. They arrogantly presumed to take what was not theirs. They would be destroyed and their deaths would serve as a lesson to the rest of their kind.

The Magos of the Adeptus Mechanicus had been cautious at first in probing the outer chambers of the massive tomb complex, wary of awakening the slumbering legions of Necrons that undoubtedly lay within. As they pushed ever further into the ruins they began to realise that the stasis fields and canoptek workers that would have maintained the buried city had failed many millennia past leaving the sleeping Necrons helpless to the ravages of time and neglect. Eagerly they began looting the sealed chambers and pawing over the bounty of xenos artefacts and knowledge that was now theirs for the taking.

When their doom finally appeared it came not from within the complex as they had initially expected, but from its outskirts. Phalanxes of Necron warriors marched in from the south, but their movements were erratic and disjointed. They appeared to flicker in and out of reality as if somehow out of phase with the material universe, sometimes walking through solid objects or appearing suddenly closer if the onlooker glanced away or blinked for but an instant.

The Skitarii wasted no time and immediately launched an attack, recognising that their sacrifice was necessary to enable the senior magos to escape with their trove of relics and data. They struck hard and the first ranks of Necrons fell, only to claw their way back up moments later as severed limbs and heads squirmed across the ground and reattached themselves. At the head of the alien attackers rode a mighty lord upon a bizarre chariot composed of black marble inlaid with gold and gemstones. Each time he raised his scythe another Skitarii was cut down. Suddenly the massed ranks of Necrons vanished as if they had never been there, leaving the Skitarii momentarily alone. The reprieve was short lived as the horde of xenos blinked into existence again behind them and unleashed a fusillade of gauss fire that disintegrated armoured warriors and ripped the heart of the Skitarii ranks.

Confusion reigned but the xenos seemed more interested in pursuing their own agenda than finishing off their foe. Warriors began retrieving the artefacts that had been taken, ignoring incoming fire and attempts to dismember them with power axes, heedless of their losses and in seem cases literally walking through the Skitarii as if they weren't there. With a thrum of power the ancient gateway in the centre of the complex reignited, responding to the orders of its true masters and massed ranks of xenos began the march through the activated doleman gate.

Only one task remained. Neferkara charged his command barge into the heart of the remaining human warriors and cut down their leader in single combat. Once he returned to the Forbidden Archives with the priceless relics and artefacts he had liberated he would have his slaves engrave a fantastic mural depicting this triumph and exalting his name so that all might gaze upon it and know of his glory.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

The Aleph Sector 10.020M42

Lying in the Ultima Segmentum, straddling the Cicatrix Maledictum near the Eastern Fringe, the Aleph Sector is a critical location close to the Tau Empire and Ultramar. It is 020M42, 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, with the Perseus Deeps, Zadoc subsector and the Hadron Expanse now in the Imperium Nihilis. Wars have raged over the stable passages known as "foramen" through the great rift, created by the ancient arcane necron artefacts simply known as "devices". Only one of passageways remains however, as the Ynnari have taken all but one of the devices, plunging the imperium on the wrong side of the rift into new desparation. Lead by sector commander Titus Luthor however, the Imperium are rebuilding their strength in the Imperium Nihilis, while the inquisition search for new ways to reconnect the Empire of Mankind.
Warzone: Mordecai - Perseus Deeps
The main warzone in the Aleph Sector is the ongoing bitter war between the forces of chaos, led by the Emerald Serpent from their daemon world of Astralis, and the Imperium. Mordecai, with its three major worlds is the site of a theatre scale war, as the armies of the imperium - led by General Kutuzov - try to expand their bridgehead on the magma plains of Mordecai Secundus. The outer planet, Mordecai Tersius, has already fallen to the imperium, but the system remains contested and the fortress world of Mordecai Primaris seems almost impregnable.
Warzone: The Hadron Expanse
At the Eastern Fringe of the Aleph Sector the Hadron Expanse is newly rediscovered territory for the imperium. As vast as the rest of the sector itself, the warp storms that once raged between the Expanse and the Aleph Sector were blown calm by the coming of the rift. Here the Imperium seeks to expand its territories, but so does the Tau Empire, in loose alliance with the Aeldari of the Kel Sandros Craftworld. In the Expanse however the once proud necron dynasties are waking up, and as well as territory there are other things to be found in the Expanse.
One such artefact is the necron Nexus Arrangement. So far only the ynnari, imperium and necron factions are aware of this powerful artefact, which is strong enough to cut whole systems off from the warp. Such power would be devastating in the wrong hands, and the Ynnari are focussed on securing it before it falls into the hands of the barbarian races. It is a race against time however, as more and more forces flock to the Cruthynia system.
Hexis, a barren ancient necron tombworld was once the site of a Necron device. Although this has now been stolen by the Ynnari and the strategic importance of the system is now much reduced, the bitter "forgotten war" between the forces of chaos, necrons, imperium, ork, eldar and tyranid forces continues, as the world still has secrets to give up.
Other minor warzones exist in the Hadron Expanse as no faction is dominant across the region. The tau are seeking to increase their territory, along with their Federacy allies. Chaos, ork and necron forces are seeking to do the same, and the imperial general Percival must simultaneously deal with all these threats while supplying forces to search for necron artefacts of great significance. Meanwhile sector commander Luthor continues to strip forces away from him to bolster the ongoing titanic struggle at Mordecai.

Dark Angels join hunt at Cruthynia

The White Scars were not the only force of astartes in the Cruthynia system. Having responded to a general astartes coded astropathic signal, a company of Dark Angels had travelled to the system. It wasn't a large force, comprising of only a strike cruiser and a handful of escorts, but a company of the emperor's finest represented a significant concentration of power to be added to the White Scars. The Imperium's forces were slowly mustering at Cruthynia, as Percival's task force finally disembarked from Arawath. The hunt fo the Nexus Arrangement was now in full swing.
The Dark Angels were drawn to the site of the previous battle between the Ynnari and the necrons. Landing in force the astartes set up a perimeter around one of the tomb complexes, as their tech marines led the investigation into the underground dormant alien facility. Just hours later, a necron army appeared, immediately attacking the interlopers. The lords of the Ha'Tek dynasty now realised their system was infested with the lesser races as well as their ancient foes, and the insult was deeply felt by the overlords of the necron race, despite their soulless existence.
A fierce and drawn out battle erupted amongst the ruins of the necron empire, as the Dark Angels fought stubbornly, taking the battle to their enemy and engaging them at close range. Casualties mounted on both sides, but neither force was willing to break off from the engagement. All the while the astartes tech priests continued to investigate the ancient ruins, finding vital clues to the location and nature of the artefact the races of the Aleph Sector were now searching for in earnest. Outside, the necrons were eventually overwhelmed, as the stubborness of the space marines proved too much for the limited reanimated forces of the necron race. The lords of Ha'Tek withdrew their forces, staring in silent rage as the human cattle race desectrated their sacred places.

Monday, October 12, 2020

Necrons awaken on Cruthynia

It was only a matter of time before the necrons awoke on Cruthynia. The Ynnari, aided by their aeldari allies, had been investigating the system for some time, determined to ascertain the location of the Nexus Arrangement before the other races of the Aleph Sector. Such an artefact of power could not be allowed to fall into the wrong hands, but their investigations had probed deeper and deeper into the underground tombs of the main planet, Cruthynia Prime. Once an important tombworld of the Ha'Tek dynasty, the Ynarri's presence did not go unnoticed for long.
Even the aeldari could not entirely protect themselves from the ever watchful automated systems of the necrons. In early 10.020M42, one investigation group unwittingly tripped these ancient monitoring systems. Across the planet, ancient reanimation systems began to enact aeons old algorythms, and the tomb worlds armies began returning to full wakefulness. On Cruthynia, the lord of the Ha'Tek dynasty awoke to the unwanted presence of their ancient foe on their world. Outraged by this, as soon as enough warriors had been mobilised, an army was sent to deal with the interlopers. The Ynnari protecting the expedition into the tombs was soon attacked by an organised and effective force of warriors and their war machines. Despite a spirited defence the aeldari were steadily pushed away from the tombs, and risked encirclement. The Ynarri expedition was abandoned as the investigating team fled back to the webway portal, followed by the battered remnants of the Ynarri army. For now th necrons had reclaimed their worlds, but as more warriors woke up, the Lords of Cruthynia realised the intentions of the Ynarri, and began searching for the Nexus Arrangement themselves.

Wednesday, October 07, 2020

White Scars follow clues to the Nexus Arrangement

By 10.020M42 the Imperium had finally given a name to the system which they now suspected was the location of the powerful necron artefact known as the "Nexus Arrangement". Designated Cruthynia, a task force was being assembled by General Percival at Awarath. The plan was for this force to be sent to establish an Imperial presense in the system in order for Imperial agents to uncover the secrets of the ancient aliens. Due to Imperial bureaucracy however, this initiative would take time, and the White Scars went ahead to continue monitoring the system intending to disrupt any other forces from establishing a foothold and finding the Arrangement first.
Upon reaching the system the astartes force discovered that a small Tau mission had already arrived, and was in the process of constructing a forward base. Whether or not the Tau knew the importance of the system was unknown, but the White Scars did not wait to find out. Landing on the outer world, the space marines immediately attacked the Tau, using their superior speed and flexibility of forces to launch a swift assault. Noticing a slight opening in the enemy deployment, the bike mounted enhanced humans delivered a reckless charge. This action resulted in heavy losses for the White Scars as the entire Tau hunter cadre responded to the threat, but the close range fighting also significantly disrupted the Tau firing line, buying time for the rest of the White Scars force to close and get to grips with the xenos army. Off balance the Tau were overwhelmed, and the survivors of the action were scattered. The White Scars burned the Tau base to the ground, eliminating their presence for the system, while the space marine naval vessels searched for any tau vessels in the vicinity. Finding none, the astartes declared the system "clean", although they knew by now that the aeldari were still active in the system, and suspected that beneath the barren landscapes of the worlds of Cruthynia, necron forces slumbered in their hibernation.

Necrons claim Haknur Plateau on Hexis

On Hexis as 020M42 progressed, general Konev gradually found his command withering away. As the importance of the system had declined, his superior, general Percival, continued to strip forces away from the Hexis front. Some in Percival's staff argued for full withdrawal, but the Adeptus Mechanicus resisted strongly. They still had ongoing work analysing the ruins of Praxis and Menthoteph, and did not want the system abandonned. Many of the Novgorod staff, keenly aware of the sacrifices the men under Konev's command had already made, simply refused to consider a withdrawl on ideological grounds.

The weakened state of the Imperial defenders resulted in the necrons overwhelming the limited defences on the Haknur plateau, and Konev had to organise a hasty counter attack to retake the hills overlooking the Akrash pass. The Novogorod armour led the way with the cavalry, specially modified for the harsh conditions on the planet, following on behind. Sighting their enemy the imperial armour opened fire causing mass casualties, followed by a full cavalry charge. the guard expected to simply overrun the necron positions, but the ancient unliving xenos would not stay dead. Constantly renimating, the necron warriors mired the imperial assault into a war of attrition, hampering the Hussar's ability to take key objectives. Repeated assaults on the first Haknur ridge and eventually Konev decided the position did not warrant the continual loss of his forces. The necrons secured the Haknur plateau, bringing into question the feasibility of the imperial hold at Akrash Pass.

Thursday, October 01, 2020

Sisters of Battle cripple chaos forces.

On Mordecai in late 09.020M42 the Sisters of Battle were once again able to deliver a crippling blow to the forces of chaos as the Emerald Serpent tried once again to force the breach in Kutusov's lines. The result was similar to the last attempt, as the Sisters of Battle once again reacted with a fierce counter attack of their own, hammering the chaos forces with their Exorcists and delivering their close combat specialists with Rhino transports. The result was another bloody defeat for the chaos forces, who had not expected the Imperium to expect the same move twice. Overthinking the situation once again, the lords of Tzeentch had fallen for their own elaborate plan and counter plan, while the Imperium simply reacted to actual events, rather than imagined enemy strategies.
The blow to chaos forces was significant, as while the strategic situation had remained in the traitor's favour, they had failed to make the most of it. Kutuzov still had a significant bridgehead on Mordecai Secundus, and by 0110.020M42 the strategic situation had changed. A third Space Station in the Perseus Deeps, this time at Parthenope, now meant the Imperial war effort had a much stronger supply situation. Bastien, Parthenope and Mordecai Tersius now provided a stable self sufficient supply network, capable of meeting the needs of Kutuzov's crusade force. With fresh reinforcements, munitions and food building up daily, the time for the Imperium to go on the offensive once more was now at hand.

Dark Eldar raid driven off by Ecclessiarchy

While the majority of the Sisters of Battle sent to the Aleph Sector were deployed on Mordecai, one element travelled to the Hadron Expanse to reinforce General Percival. Their skills were soon needed, as the Dark Eldar, presumably acting under the coordination of Archon Lord Vlokarion, began conducting systematic raids of Imperial systems. In truth, this was in order to distract the Imperium from the ongoing hunt for the Nexus Arrangement, but the unexpected arrival of the Adeptus Sororitas upset the Archon's plans entirely.
In late 09.020M42 one Dark Eldar attack on Awarath was met by a fierce counter move by the Sisters of Battle. The Repentia once again delivered a brutal strike, ravaging the left flank of the Drukhari force that had deployed to defend their raiders. Overwhelming firepower and faith helped the Sororitas to take out the xenos transports one by one, and the agility of the Drakhari apparently deserted one squad, who died to a man while trying to disembark from a destroyed Venom. The embarrassing event only added insult to injury as the Drukhari first lost their fighting cohesion, which then became a general rout to their webway portal, with the Sisters of Battle in hot pursuit.
Worse still for Vlokarion, his raiders had left behind crucial evidence of their plans. On the dead body of their leader, the Imperium were able to obtain vital intelligence, uncovering the fact that the Nexus Arrangement was indeed on the unclassified system where the Adeptus Mechanicus suspected. Taking this news to General Percival and the Inquisition, the Imperium began laying plans for a full scale invasion of the system. Whether they would be able to get their in time before the Ynnari discovered the artefact for themselves, remained unknown.

Sisters of Battle hold the line

Having breached Kutuzov's line in the south, the forces of chaos moved swiftly to expand the breach. The Dark Mechanicus had forced the break, but the Emerald Serpent now moved in force against the Imperial lines. Using their elite forces the Thousand Sons legion intended to pick off Kutuzov's reserves allowing their regular troops to move up and encircle the entirety of the Imperial left flank. This move would isolate fully one third of the Imperial forces and, it was hoped, bring to an end the Imperial invasion of Mordecai Secundus.
Kutuzov however had new allies. The Ecclesiarchy, declaring the war on Mordecai a crusade, had sent their own force of Adeptus Sororitas to the system, and this new elite force was ready in reserve for just such a move by the Emerald Serpent. As the Thousand Sons and their daemonic and beast allies moved forward, they were soon halted and forced to defend against a spirited counter attack from the Emperor's faithful. The chaos force defended themselves around a firebase of preditors and rubric marines, while the more mobile daemonic and tzangor forces spread out to meet the Sororitas attack. Initially the Excorcist artillery failed to have much impact on the traitor forces, but the Sisters of Battle moved forward in their Immolators, disembarked at point blank range and tore the chaos front line to shreds. Many of the faithful sisters fell, but the Repentia sacrificed themselves in the noble duty of the Emperor.
The disruption of this near suicidal attack gave the imperial force time to find their range, and now the Seraphim and Exorcists were able to draw line of sight to the chaos fire base, silencing the traitor predators and allowing the rest of the Sisters to take up critical positions on the battlefield. The Emerald Serpent responded by delivering a precision teleport drop by their terminators, but this was too little too late. The imperial counter attack had secured vital objectives and now gave Kutuzov's army a critical defensive advantage. The Emerald Serpent retreated to their start lines and the chaos breakthrough was prevented.

Monday, September 28, 2020

Drukhari ambush Mechanicus in Hadron Expanse

While the war between the Imperium and Chaos continued in the Perseus Deeps, the Adeptus Mechanicus were continuing their efforts to locate and acquire necron technology in the Hadron Expanse. General Pervical, overall commander of the Expanse, had given authority for the Mechaniucum to continue their missions in the region, and provided them with additional naval and ground support, but in reality Percival had little option. The Adeptus Mechanicus remained a law unto themselves, and their failure to locate the Nexus Arrangement had led them instead to track the movements of the Aeldari, who they believed had now located the mysterious object.
This intelligence tracking led the Mechanicum to the system classified only as 4e/65/78/75/73 on star charts. The system contained a number of apparently barren but inhabitable worlds, one of which showed signs of a previous civilisation. Here the Adeptus Mechanicus landed, set up a base, and began exploring the ruins. Perhaps here was the location of the Nexus Arrangement, as Aeldari vessel activity had been tracked to this system.
Little did the Mechanicum know that they had been themselves tracked by the Drukhari of Vlokarion. Behind the Imperial fleet, a Dark Eldar cruiser, cloaked by its mimic engine, had recorded the Imperial landings and were planning their own ambush. Vlokarion coveted the Nexus Arrangement for himself, but for now was "allied" with Yvraine so that the Aeldari could possess the artefact. He could not risk his plans being upset by the sudden arrival of the Imperium on the scene, and took action.
The Drukhari attack on the Adeptus Mechanicus started with swift raids, but soon devolved into a bloody slogfest which saw casualties mount on both sides. The Drukhari commander was alarmed, but Vlokarion was uncaring. So long as the Imperium were driven off the cost was sufficient. The battle continued for days before the Mechanicum decided to stubbornly resist was too expensive, and the agents of the Omnissiah withdrew from the world. They remained in system however, watching for any activity, still unaware they were themselves being watched.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Forgotten Sons raid Aether Striders


+++Incoming Transmission+++

+++Subject: Mordecai, status update, addendum+++

+++ =][=+++


Lord Inquisitor Hathek

We have picked up the trail of the Adeptus Astartes Chapter of seemingly the Ultima Founding who have attacked both Imperial, Xenos and traitor forces throughout the subsector. I have included a report of actions they partook in.

Sire I begin with a recap of the status of Mordecai. As you are no doubt aware the long drawn out stalemate on Mordecai has continued unabated. For every successful push the Imperial forces make we are driven back in another sector by the traitors. The situation on the eastern flank is particularly dire. Enemy forces had nearly broken through Kutuzov's lines a few weeks earlier and the situation has barely stabilised. 

Fort Abruphus’ continues to have both poor supplies and stretched resources - the soldiers are exhausted and there have been a number of mistakes made. Furthermore, the defending forces have been terrorised for weeks by four Renegade Knights.

The Knights claim fealty to the Aether Striders and are led by Sir Sinak Asmodor who pilots the Knight Tyrant “Machina Infernus”. His three companions are (or were); Hunt mistress Skasse Tyranthus piloting “the Hound of Souls”, the Witch Vortatha Krast, piloting “Infinite Hate” and Prince Tragget Griffith piloting “Blisslbringer”. The officers on the front line had, either through incompetence or through sheer exhaustion been unable to pin down the four rampaging knights, content as they were in destruction and carnage over a true battle strategy, or so it seemed.

Unbeknownst to the forces on the ground, the band of Knights had been rampaging with a specific purpose sire. The Witch Vortatha Krast had what, on further investigation a ritual that would tear a hole into reality, unleashing a daemonic host. The souls gathered, all that was needed was to cast the ritual. This is the point of interest to the Forgotten Sons.

On the morning of 1909.020M42 two Thunderhawks broke through the atmosphere, having deployed via Strike Cruiser. Quite how the Strike Cruiser was able to enter system undetected to us is a mystery. The Thunderhawks gave no hail or call sign, they just appeared at random to forces on the ground, who were not quick enough to shoot them down. Whether that was fortunate or not I would not dare say.

The Astartes deployed approximately 1.5 kilometres beyond the furthest Imperial front line, forming defensive positions. How they got the intel is unknown is unclear, however what is clear is they knew were the Witch was to perform the ritual and had deployed to stop the renegades succeeding.

Sire I took the liberty of deploying scout servo skulls and redirecting some orbiting assets to monitor the situation on the ground where the Astartes were, and so, can give a detailed report.

The Astartes deployed in a deliberately provocative manner, anchoring their right flank heavily while leaving their left flank undefended. Unbeknown to the Knights several stealth assets had deployed on the left flank, out of sight. The Hound of Skulls charged towards the Astartes defensive position at speeds I would not have thought possible, yet the Astartes seemed to have anticipated this move, rapidly pulling back into a crescent formation, which Skasse dutifully charged into, allowing herself to be encircled. Despite limited anti-armour the Astartes strategically targeted weak joints on the Knights in a manner other chapters often deem “dishonourable” with their bolters, staggering and throwing off the Hound of Souls charge. Skasse’s intended target – the Repulsor, was damaged but not destroyed by the things massive power claw.

Prince Tragget Griffith was able to destroy an Aggressor that was screening the main battle line. On the Astartes left flank the Infiltrator and Eliminator teams continually harassed Asmodor, not able to damage him, nor even trying, but rather simply slow him down. The Witch was casting her ritual, but the Astartes were clearly focussed upon the four Knights destruction, encircling Skasse and bringing her low with concentrated fire, finally ending her when a Redemptor Dreadnought charged and ripped her mutated body from her cockpit.

The left flank of the Astartes fared less well, with casualties mounting, which they seemed uncaring towards. Whoever these Astartes are, I must admire their dedication sire. Prince Tragget continued firing, however the Astartes had trapped and cornered him with low orbit drops of Supressor and Inceptor teams completing the trap and reducing his engine, and seemingly him to a broken mass. At the sight of two engines destroyed by the Astartes, who were moving to encircle the Witch, Krast abandoned her ritual and fled before she could suffer the fate of Skasse and Tragget. It is unknown if Asmodor and Krast are still working together, however it is believed that the Astartes in question are in pursuit of them. The ritual was stopped, and the east flank given some much needed respite.

I, with some reluctance share the last element of this report. In post battle action, it appears the Astartes executed several Imperial Guard officers on the eastern flank. We have a vox recording, taken by a ‘Trooper Sidorov’ of the Novgorod Guard. The officers had just been executed, and there were viscera over the receiver as well as lowering power fields. I have done what I can to clear the interference.

+++ Recording starts+++

Astarte: “Mortal. Trooper Sidorov, you are spared this punishment as it was not you who failed the Imperium, rather your superiors. Carry this message to ‘your’ General Kutuzov. We tolerate your failings no longer, we offer this warning, and only this warning. Do better, or meet the judgement of the Emperor.”

Trooper Sidorov: “S-s-sire, I need a to know who is sending the message… P-please”

Astarte: “Brave. Very brave of you mortal to challenge your betters. But. Acceptable. Primum de Oblitus, tell them that.

++++ Recording ends ++++

Lord Inquisitor Hathek. I took the liberty of trying to find more about this ‘Primum’. I tried searching the archives for the name, with no results. I searched for the full term associated with the Ultima founding, no results. Then I considered the literal High Gothic “First of the Forgotten”. Again, sire, no results. Whoever this Astartes was, according to interrogation of Sidorov (who has since been administered the Emperor’s peace), the Astarte bore the livery of one of high rank, perhaps even a Chapter Master. There could not have been an Ultima Chapter of no record sire, it’s impossible is it not?  I shall continue to investigate.

Your humble servant 

Adept Luthor Maute

+++Transmission ends+++

+++ =][=+++


Scrivener Gleon notes: Adept Maute’s location is currently unknown, he failed to report to handlers some days after this transmission was sent.

Chaos break through imperial defences on Mordecai Secundus

In mid 09.020M42 the forces of chaos brought into the field a new force that had not been deployed against general Kutuzov's forces. Making the warp jump from the daemon forge at Vandrax in the now collapsed Foramen Interdictum to Astralis, a force of Dark Mechanicus joined the Emerald Serpent and the Death Guard on the front lines on Mordecai Secundus. After a detailed analysis, the heretic techno magi put their knowledge to good use, blowing a hole in Kutuzov's front line entrenchments and advancing an armada of troop transports through the gap.
to counter this Kutuzov launched his own counter offensive, releasing a regiment of mobile reserves in the form of Tempestus Scions. the Scions scouted out the approaching armada, with their lead forces in Tauroxes, taking positions in old ruins once dedicated to the Emperor in ages past. Identifying the approaching army, the Scions called in their shock troops, making precision drops while  valkyries provided missle and lascannon air support. This initial counter attack managed to wreck an entire flank of transports, but the Dark Mechanicus responded, shooting down a Valkyrie and wiping out the first squads of drop troops.
The battle intensified as the second wave of imperial stormtroopers were sent in, hammering the Mechanicus forces and reducing their vehicles to wreckage. The chaos forces were not deterred however, and disembarked their infantry. Backed up by two legged mobile weapons platforms, the mechanicus forces engaged the imperial army in a close combat melee which quickly became a stalemate. The chaos forces held the critical objectives, but were taking heavy casualties. In the end however, the Scions were unable to gain air superiority, which cost them the battle. The Dark Mechanicus air power eventually neutralised the Valkyries, leaving the Scions at the mercy of the chaos air force. Realising this was an untenable situation, Kutuzov withdrew the remaining elite forces in order to preserve their strength. By late 09.020M42 the chaos forces had established a significant salient in imperial lines which now threatened the imperial HQ.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Decisive fleet action at Mordecai

In early 09.020M42 the Imperial Navy knew they had to force a favourable action with the fleets of chaos in order to increase the amount of supplies reaching Kutuzov's troops on the ground at Mordecai Secundus. If they could not break the blockade, Kutuzov's situation on the planet would become untentable, and the war lost. Astralis was still effectively unassailable, and an attack on the fleet base would be suicide. However, Admiral Gorshkov decided to bait the enemy into an equal fight, by sending in a large convoy with his battlegroup lying in wait behind.
Seeing a large Imperial convoy trying to break the blockade, the chaos fleet moved in for the kill. As soon as they did, the Imperial fleet assessed the threat. The battlegroup was not the entire chaos fleet, but a sizeable force centred around a Despolier class battleship escorted by several cruisers, moving in close formation towards the Imperial convoy. Assessing the odds as somewhat even, Gorshkov closed aggressively with the chaos fleet.
The Emerald Serpent fleet was surprised by the appearance of Gorshkov's battlegroup, and the Imperial admiral focussed his fire on the Despoiler. The chaos flagship took heavy fire, impairing the enemy admiral's ability to control his fleet. Orders were sent but ignored, and the natural inclination for the chaos captain's to squabble with each other was exposed, as the chaos battlefleet became less of a coherent force with its flagship under heavy fire.
By the time the two fleets had closed with each other to exchange real fire, the Despoiler was already limping. This was followed by a catastrophic detonation of a carnage class cruiser, the destruction of which crippled the chaos fleet's second largest warship, an Acheron class heavy cruiser. Seizing his chance, Gorshkov manouevered his fleet even closer, launching a devastating set of teleport attacks against the crippled vessel. The chaos ship was reduced to a drifting hulk, and the chaos fleet, now having lost two of their capital ships with only one of their enemy more suffering any serious damage, attempted to flee. Gorshkov managed to launch a wave of attack craft to put the Despoiler out of action before the remaining chaos ships were scattered. The battle had been a decisive Imperial victory. A battleship and two cruisers had been taken out of action, while the Imperium had suffered significant damage to only one of Gorshkov's dominators. The convoy reached its destination unscathed, and while the odds were still favourable to the traitors, an entire battlegroup had been neutralised, effectively giving the Imperial navy a 3-2 advantage in ships in the Mordecai system.

In fighting at Boltarean sees Death Guard take control

In fighting on Boltarean sees Death Guard take control
While the war on Mordecai continued to drain Imperial resources, the forces of chaos were also fixed on the system and the prosecution of the war there. The Emerald Serpent in particular had focussed its resources in their mission to remove te loyalist presence from Mordecai Secundus, taking advantage of Warsmith Stahl's retreat into his lair in the Enceladus Subsector. The daemon princes, brothers millenia ago, would now seize their chance to become the dominant force of chaos in the Perseus Deeps.
This did however mean that the Hadron Expanse became a lesser concern, and while the Death Guard were happy to ally themselves with the Serpent in the Deeps, on the Eastern Fringe they had other ideas. Central to the plan devised by the sons of Mortarion was the ultimate destruction of Ultramar and the enslavement of the Ultima segmentum to the ruinous plagues of Nurgle. To facilitate this they had begun to create their own bases in the Hadron Expanse, and now wanted to claim the chaos world of Boltarean for their own.
The Death Guard gave the remaining Emerald Serpent forces on Boltarean fair warning, but the pride of the Thousand Sons prevented any amicable solution. The scions of Nurgle moved on the Boltarean capital in force, and a long drawn out battle ensued outside the city. Aeons old grudges were settled, as the brutal fighting continued for days. Neither side were quick to give any quarter to their opponents, but in the end the unnatural durability of the Death Guard secured victory. The sons of Mortarion raised their flag above the capital of the chaos world, claiming dominance over all chaos forces in the Hadron Expanse.

Federacy and Imperium clash in the Hadron Expanse

In the Hadron Expanse there was a shift away from Hexis throughout mid 020M42 as all factions began to realise the irrelevance of that theatre. the war would continue to ravage the inhospitable desert worlds and countless lives would continue to be lost, but the wider subsector now began to take a more prominent position in the struggle for dominance over the region. The Alliance, especially the Tau, had begun to attack worlds in line with their "Hadron Expansion Sphere". The Federacy, although allied with this cause, did not want their hard work and cooperation to lead to an entirely Tau based domination in the region. Already Mimir, the seat of Federal power in the Expanse, had Tau bases and complexes, and the new governor of the Federal mission to the Expanse, Grandt Naylock, wanted at least one system that could be claimed entirely for the Federacy.
To do this, the Federal explorers began identifying likely systems. One such system was Tanis, an inhabited human system with a wealth of exploitable resources and ideal colonisation prospects. Keen to jump on the opportunity before the Tau, Naylock authorised an expedition. The Federal fleet delivered a sizeable force of Librian and Tallaxian forces to the system, along with a small battlegroup of naval vessels. The inhabitants welcomed the visitors and immediately aligned themselves with the Federal cause, even if they still retained some vestiges of their prior loyalty to the Imperium from millenia ago when the Hadron Expanse had last been connected to the Aleph sector.
At least, most of them became aligned. Unfortunately for Naylock, a pro-imperial "cult" sent a message into the void appealing for aid. This was intercepted by General Percival's astropaths at Arawath. Pleased by the find, but alarmed by the Federal takeover, Percival began to draw up plans to intervene. Before the planning stages had even properly begun however, the Space Wolves intervened unilaterally themselves, landing on the inhabited worlds of Tanis and taking control. The federal regiments took up positions to face this new threat, but following a decisive strike against their armour by the Space Wolves' fliers, the federal forces struggled with inaccurate and ineffective fire against the imperial air power, wasting precious time and ammunition while the Space Wolves' ground forces closed the distance. The Librian Guard tried to put the astartes off balance by conducting an aerial drop of stormtrooper forces, but this failed, allowing the elite sons of Fenrir to make contact with the Librian lines and simply roll them up.
The battle had been a shambles for the Federacy, who abandoned the system for the time being, chased out of it by the Space Wolves' strike cruisers and escorts. The astartes notified Percival of their actions, and began establishing a base on Tanis, which they immediately renamed "Canis" for their efforts. Now they would have to wait and see if the Alliance or other forces took interest in this newly discovered system.

White Scars hold the line on Mordecai Secundus

By 09.042M42 general Kutuzov had stabilised the eastern front on Mordecai. His guard regiments had dug in, but the supply situation was still dire. The forces of chaos knew this, so did not let up in their attempt to break down the imperial defences and break through to Kutuzov's command HQ. By now this HQ had become a sprawling complex controlling the entire war effort. If this was compromised the war on Mordecai Secundus would be over.
While the Emerald Serpent continued to pressure on all fronts, in early 09.042 the Death Guard did manage to penetrate Kutuzov's lines in the south. A force of elite traitor astartes managed to established a position splitting Kutuzov's defences, opening up a gap between two Novgorod Regiments. Held in reserve, the loyalist astartes now struck against this new threat. A force of White Scars, using their greater mobility, advanced on the Death Guard positions on two flanks, keeping their distance while peppering the traitors with constant fire. To deal with this threat the Death Guard units were forced to split up and attempt to deal with both attacking forces. They did manage to close the distance and make contact with some of the White Scars' bike squads, but the loyalist space marines had deliberately engineered a layered formation.
Now pinned by their engagement with the White Scars' advance units, the remaining space marines delivered their countercharge, encircling the Death Guard forces and reducing each pocket in turn. By 0509.M42 the chaos bridgehead across Kutuzov's defensive line had been eliminated, and the White Scars withdrew, allowing the Novgorod Guard to restore the unbroken defensive lines facing off against the Nurgle threat.

Friday, August 28, 2020

Hobbiton invaded by Death Guard

While the focus of imperial attention remained firmly fixed on the Mordecai theatre, general Percival remained in overall command of the Hadron Expanse theatre. Overall his forces had been depleted, with most guard formations being concentrated with Konev's army on Hexis. Hussaria had been lost, but the Imperium still held onto Goreen, Arawath and Vanir. Although the strategically important system of Palantir now had a chaos presence on Dale, Percival had his eyes fixed towards the Tau empire and its allies, as his intelligence suggested that the Emerald Serpent at Boltarean was no longer a threat.

Percival was unaware however of the Death Guard's ambitions in the Hadron Expanse. Rather than simply aid the forces at Mordecai, Mortarion's children had decided to spreadh their forces widely to maximise the pressure - and plague - they could spread. It came as a complete surprise to Percival when in late 08.020M42 the garrison commander of Hobbiton reported an invasion by plague marines.

The Death Guard were supported by the fleets of Thok, not the Emerald Serpent, and Admiral Craddock was forced to withdraw. The Imperial Navy could not risk a space battle with so much of their strength supporting Kutuzov at Mordecai. The garrison was quickly overun but fortunately the Space Wolves were in the vicinity and organised their own counter offensive. The Wolves initially surprised the traitor astartes who had not been expecting such a response from the Imperium, but the stubborn and unnatural durability of the plague marines eventually carried them to victory, and the Space Wolf counter attack faltered. By the end of 08.020M42 much of Hobbiton had once again been overrun by chaos forces, and Percival was facing a war on two fronts, with limited resources.

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Malkaor's Tau establish foothold at Boltarean

In the Hadron Expanse the Tau and alliance forces had been regrouping and refitting following their success at Hussaria. Now they were once again ready to prosecute the war once more, establishing the Hadron Expansion Sphere for the greater good. On their list were the imperial systems of Arawath and Palantir, but the war between the chaos forces and the Imperium on Hobbiton indicated to the Tau command that the chaos forces in the subsector could not be ignored.
Malkaor suggested a considered plan. Instead of an all out assault against the chaos forces, he proposed to set up a base in the Boltarean system on the outer planet of Portega. Weakly defended, this world should fall rapidly, as the ice planet only had a few inhabited zones. If a base could be set up here, then a way-station built, the chaos forces of Boltarean could be effectively bottled up, allowing the Empire to expand without interference.

The plan was approved, and Malkaor's appearance at Boltarean caught the defenders completely by surprise. A Darrantine regiment had been posted to defend the outer world, equipped with a Deathstrike missile system intended to obliterate anything that came too close for comfort. Malkaor's troops were too swift and too brutal however, and the battle was over before the countdown sequence had even completed. The Deathstrike never fired, and the outer planet of Portega fell to the Tau. Part one of the Tau plan to neutralise chaos in the Hadron Expanse had been completed.