Saturday, September 7, 2013

Hobby Table VII

Hello Everyone, and welcome back!  I received a plethora of positive responses to the first of this series within a series (yes... this article has achieved series-ception), and as such I feel like it might be fun to add to it.

Remember this article is based on the idea of bringing some storytelling to the 40k universe, and after a massive scale game of 40k held by myself and many others, I felt it could be a fun task to bring some life to it beyond the models.  The last time we found ourselves reading a report sent to the Ordo Heretics by First Prefect Alea Nortellus of the Tyron System.  Of course, none of the occurrences which took place in the previous article were a part of the actual game itself, but was used to set up the setting, characters who will return in this installment, and of course, leave you with some thoughts as to what terrible threat looms on the Horizon for the populace of the Tyron System.  Now we shall continue that report.  Hopefully you're as eager as I am to see what happens next.

Imperial Records

Record Num: 997.435.425.782.166.324.021.428.937
Date of Access: 5.993.999.M41
Record Origin: Segmentum Tempestus.Tyron System.Tyron Secundus.Hive Augustine. Imperial Command Headquarters
Topic: Full disclosure of events surrounding and including the Defense of Hive Augustine.
Author: First Prefect to Governor Farenfaust, Alea Nortellus


+++ Begin Transmission Signal 002 +++

As commanded, a continued report and full disclosure of events preceding and including the Defense of Hive Augustine, permitted through direct order of the Imperial Inquisition - Ordo Hereticus, Lord Inquisitor Gias Nevil Sentarus.

Image recovery #9827464.1 "Tyn.Scd"
Date of Event: 981.999.M41 - 988.999.M41
Planet of Event Origin: Tyron Secundus
Planetary Designation: Forge World
Planetary Tithe Grade: Decuma Prima
Location: Segmentum Tempestus
Planetary Defenses: Imperial Guard "Tyron's Might"
  • Planetary Guard Forces dissolved by order of Governor Farenfaust for reconfiguration as of 980.999.M41
  • Imperial Guard Mobile Defense Fleet "Throne's Mercy" Arrival 984.999.M41
Security Level: ΓΈ
  • Tyron Secundus - Currently under siege by enemies of the Imperium
  • Planetary Governor Ricard Farenfaust reports Heretical and Xeno forces in system.
  • Confirmation of wildlife and plant-life mutations consistent with reported Tyranid Xeno invasion fleets.
  • Tyranid Xenos Reported.
  • Traitor Guardsmen Reported.
  • Traitor Adeptus Astartes Reported.
  • Tau Xenos Reported.
  • Tau Xeno Imperial Alliance Reported.
  • Tau Xeno Alliance confirmed by Planetary Governor Farenfaust.

"The Defense of Hive Augustine"

Further insights into the full extent of former Governor Varen were taken by order of Governor Farenfaust immediately upon his return to the capitol.  It seems Varen was not commanded to, nor informed any of the increased tax rates imposed upon Tyron and was using the funds for his own personal gain.  A disturbing fact to uncover, but worse still was that many of the Planetary Guard forces stationed across the globe were aware of this fact, and were not only making no reports of this known, but were actively assisting in the actions.  No doubt these men were promoted by the former governor to maintain order through-out the hives, and keep things from escalating against him.

After reporting these finding to Farenfaust, he wasted no time in taking action.  With news that several of the current Defense Force's major colonels and advisers were in fact guilty of such treason, the Governor had a major crisis on his hands.  He discussed with me the dilemma of not being able to take outright action against them, as their forces may still remain loyal to the former Governor, even after his death, and may move against his newly formed and weak government.  He decided to take a more subtle approach to the issue by enforcing a dissolution of the current forces and issued raised enlistment intensives, and conscription notices to the penal colonies on Tyron Tertius.  In this way he could remove those corrupt from power, while strengthening the system's overall defense forces.  The added perks would also help establish a firm amount of loyalty to Governor Farenfaust by the new Defense Force.  However... the system would be vulnerable during this process.  Knowing this, an order to scan all surrounding sectors for traces of conflict or potential threats to the system was conducted, all returning negative.  The risk seemed minimal and thus the orders were sent.

Four days after the Military changeover was commenced, Tyron Tertius reported several oddities.  The first was the detection of a Xeno fleet moving in system at a rapid speed.  The Xenos were identified as being Tau Xenoforms.  A hail was ordered to the fleet, but Tertius reported no response from the Xeno Fleet.  With very few orbital defenses, the planet called for immediate reinforcements.  But with the changeover still in effect, most of the sector's military was without solid leadership, delaying most of the response times.  In response to this, and feeling personally responsible for the situation, Governor Farenfaust dispatched his entire company of person guard to the planet to act as a first response unit while the rest of the forces were readied.

However, it didn't seem the Tau were interested in Tertius.  Once they came within range of Secundus, and it's massive orbital relays, their destination seemed to be Tyron Primus.  Orders were to ready the planetary orbital defense platforms, and prepare to fire upon the Xeno fleet.  It was at the moment we in the Governor's palace received contact from the Xenos.  They reported no threat was intended, and that a massive threat loomed on the horizon.  Fervently seeking an audience with the Governor, it was evident by the fear in their voice something was amiss.  However, with no hostile actions taken against the Tyron system as of yet, Farenfaust reluctantly agreed to meet with the Force Commander of the fleet.  I believe the Governor wanted to avoid any military action with the defense forces still in such disarray.

Image recovery #9827464.2 "Tau.Cmd"
Nothing could have prepared us for what news they brought.  These Tau appeared to be well armed and we equipped to deal with threats of almost any origin.  I had to wonder when I saw them how many lives of those loyal to the Emperor these Xenos had slain before coming here and seeking an audience.  My mind was brought back to the present when they spoke of a massive Tyranid fleet pursuing them here.  Evidently they had taken up arms in an engagement to strike at the heart of a massive Tyranid tendril fleet that potentially threatened their worlds.  They also spoke of Imperial forces on a world near theirs where they had struck a pact to work together against the Tyranid fleet.  Something I doubt any sane commander would refuse assistance with.  They spoke of the Astartes, describing what aligned with data on the Sons of Medusa chapter, as well as a large detachment of Elysian Drop Troopers.  All was going well, when the commander of the Astartes, a Librarian known as Ferox Eynstran, began to issues radical orders.  A detailed report on how the Astartes began to fire on the allied Tau forces was given, and how many of them had sighted the Tyranid Xenos move around them as if water around rocks within a stream of carnage.

What was worse, was that the influence of Eynstran seemed immense.  The Elysians too seemed darkened by the shadow that had taken the Astartes, and that they seemed to be subjugated by the will of the Tyranids.  Worst still, they too were coming alongside the Tyranid hive fleet.  At that news, Farenfaust wasted no time forming an alliance with the Tau Commander.  If the system was to survive this threat... it would need any help it could get.

Within hours, the unspeakable validation of the Tau reports came.  It was within what could be the blink of an eye that Tertius fell.  They came from nowhere and the speed at which the invasion took place and the systematic slaughter of it's entire population of 4,237,528,671 was unmatched by any reports I could muster trying to find some information that could help us.  In order to save the system, the entire defense force was moved to the next planet in the invasion fleets path, Tyron Secundus.  Our moral was weak, but held by a thread.  It is an unmistakable side effect of facing the Tyranid menace... but knowing full well that members of the Emperor's Space Marines were coming not as aid, but as the shock troops of the enemy made the men fearful at best.  But the Emperor is not blind to our needs.  By his will, the mobile defense fleet "Throne's Mercy" was within a close warp jump to reach us.  The arrived shortly after the invasion of Tertius had commenced, and while it was too late to save it, they took up posts all across, and orbiting Secundus.  The fate of the system and the billions of humanity there rested on holding this planet.

The Mobile Fleet forces were spread across the entirety of the planet and it's orbital defense positions.  The estimations and intelligence depicted that the point of heaviest contact would be the planet's capitol, Hive Augustine.  I found it convenient that while not declining, almost every commander in the fleet had found some other place to shore up defenses with their own troops save for one, Colonel Hans Steinweg of the Imperial Guard "Death Korps" of Krieg: 33rd Artillery Regiment.  I later found out he had actually requested the Hive upon hearing it would befall the most enemy forces.  I guess the whispers of Kriegsmen suicidal tendencies were true.  However, he very quickly took what little fortifications we held and what scattered military there was and within a few hours had the Hive readied for war.  His base of operations was actually that used by Farenfaust during the Varen Incident, perhaps the only fortunate result of the timing of that situation to have occurred.

With preparations for war completed, Governor Farenfaust relinquished command of the city to Colonel Steinweg.  Upon his command, orders for the governing council were simple, "Your lives are not what I am here to defend.  My men and I are here to protect the Imperium.  If you wish to keep yourselves from harm, you should remain here.  My forces will keep the fighting in the streets.  Regardless of who it is in command of the 33rd when this engagement is ended, they shall return here to reaffirm your command of the city, but until then, I shall be with my men."  His grim outlook was almost shocking, but I suppose that is the kind of man who could commit his men and himself to a frontal assault on such an enemy.

Image recovery #9827464.3 "Hve.Aug"
I must admit, the council and I were stationed in the Imperial Command Headquarters throughout the engagement, so what intelligence I have on the actual battle itself is based on Vox feeds I overheard during the engagement.  What I do know is that the enemy came under cover of darkness, bringing with them a host of firepower, both Xeno and Imperial in nature.  Their artillery was fierce but they were under a continuous barrage of artillery from our own lines as well.  The outer defense line was overrun just before dawn, and the main entrance to the city was used to bottleneck the incoming assault troops, spearheaded by traitor Marines and a host of Tyranids.  Reports of several ambushes on key enemy targets were conducted by the Tau allied forces from within ruins along the main entrance road.  Evidently these were quite effective at reducing the forward mechanized forces of the corrupted Space Marines... something Colonel Steinweg was ready to capitalize on quickly.  The thunderous sound of Imperial artillery pounded the enemy ground forces, las fire from entrenched Guardsmen, and cacophonous explosions in the skies as Tau anti-aircraft fire connected with their targets resonated across the foundations of the entire Hive.

What baffled me the most was the report of the Tyranid forces halting shortly after the destruction of their Tyrant.  The Punisher class Leman Russ "Iron Duke" under command of Commissariat Tank Commander Higgonds took this beast as it's primary target, exclaiming "The foul stench of that wretched creature's life offends me, and offends the Imperium.  Let us determine how much of the Duke's holy fire it can withstand!"  With its death, the horde of Tyranids seemed to be scattered and leaderless.  It was evidently a sight to see, as some reported they stopped dead from full sprints and retreated.  Even the heretical forces seemed to be effected by it's death as confusion and mistrust washed over their ranks.

I began to wonder what the true strength of these forces were, seeming to fall easily before the combined might of defense army's firepower.  One such example of their skill was a single guardsmen of the enemy lines surviving his aircraft plunging to the ground in a hail of debris, and then having the spirit to assault one of the largest Xeno constructs I have lived to see to this day.  He even held the things attention for what was reported as nearly half an hour.  If that is the might of their army, taking a single guardsmen and making him almost indestructible once they reach hand to hand combat, then we are beyond fortunate the defense force was comprised of heavy firepower and artillery.

The last of the enemies to fall was a surviving squad of Space marines under the command of one of their Librarians.  It is unclear as to whether of not it was Eynstran or not, but the unit was felled upon by a massive charge from the Death Riders of the Krieg 33rd.  However, it seemed that a massive construct had landed in the city, and from the reports I received, it came from the wreckage of a downed ship of the Sons of Medusa.  The marines seemed intent on making it to that particular piece of the battlefield and managed to reclaim something from the wreckage.  Before the Marines were able to be run through by the Death Riders, they seemed to disappear from sight.  Scanners indicated some form of warp activity from the Librarian, and the unit was later detected miles away, outside of effective artillery range.

Hive Augustine was held, and the enemy forces is in retreat.  However, Colonel Steinweg, Governor Farenfaust, and even the Tau Commander all have suspicions about what it was that was recovered from that wreckage.  An enemy that powerful doesn't just throw itself before the onslaught of artillery without a purpose.  Something worth sacrificing a large sum of their Space Marines, their Traitor Guard, and even their Tyranid forces was taken.  Before the war for the Tyron System is over, I suspect we'll find out exactly what it was we failed to keep from them.

+++ End Transmission Signal 002 +++



 Well there you have it.  I hope you guys enjoyed it.  We are thinking about getting another massive scale game put together that turns the tides, and has the other side defending their landing zone and base of operations on Secundus.  If that happens, we might find out what it was that was taken by those crafty Space Marines, and what the fate of the Tyron system will be.


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