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 As they neared the intersecting pathways, the great intellect rescinded the shadow that was clouding detection to one side of each confrontation.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.