Battle intro here
[Author: Anders A]
- Location: the desert city of Tartarus, Cerberus XIII
- Imperial Forces: Knights of House Terryn.
- Wild Card: Harlequins
- Chaos Forces: Daemons of Nurgle
- Points value: total of 1200 points on each side
- Combat objectives Imperium: Slay Warlord. Destroy Chaos Altar. Annihilate the enemy.
- Combat objectives Chaos: Slay Warlord. Defend the city.
- Special rules: Night Fighting all turns
As dawn came Kaspar rose from his bed, his mind set on single task; glory for house Terryn and victory for The Empire. Yet when the servitor shaved and clothed him his mind strayed to last night´s encounter. ”Would receiving aid from a xeno render him a traitor and could the slender ancient being be trusted?” he thought to himself. What really had been decided in the desert nightfall still eluded him, but what might come out of this gnawed at his consciousness. When all his gear had been attached to his armour and his oaths fastened to his breastplate he strode down the stairs of his mobile defensive bunker, set up by the workmen and women of the crew, to greet his lieutenants.
The command center was lit by halo-lights in the ceiling and the morning rays of the sun entering the firing points around the hexagonally shaped building. To the left of the miniature model-hologram of the city stood Lady Marguerite - pilot of Honor - and Dame Béatrice - pilot of Justice. Both greeted him with the strictest salute. ”What news from the city, what have the Astartes to share with us on this glorious morning?” he asked. ”The captain of the Crimson Fists, Lucenzo, reports sightings of troops along the entire city wall. Beyond, his scouts have seen dark ceremonies being carried out in honor of what can only be the foulest of entities.” Béatrice replied. ”Furthermore there have been sightings of a winged horror scouring the skies raining disease upon the land. Perhaps the bane of Hector, first captain of the Fists.” Marguerite added with a mark of disgust upon her face. ”Very well, what strategy will they employ?” Kaspar asked. ”A full frontal assault on the southern approach to the city. They will hit hard and strike fast to establish a beach-head into the city.” Marguerite continued.
”Always the center...” Marguerite said in a low voice allowing a smile to slip by her lips.
The sky was clear and the two suns made the air tremble above the landscape. The north wall of the city cast its shadow several hundred feet across the desert. From the high position of her suit Béatrice could see her liege Kaspar increase the speed as they moved closer. Heavy thuds could be heard even inside the cockpit from the purposeful stride of the three knights. But something was wrong. The sky suddenly darkened and a high buzzing sound could be heard from the west. Soon everything around them was dark and searchlights were quickly turned on. ”Enemy sighted! Right flank!” Marguerite´s voice called through the comlink. ”We have our fight” Kaspar´s voice replied. ”Unleash our fury, give them a taste of what true glory is – activate all weapons”. The darkness was lit by pulsating plasma, which hurled itself towards the wall. Kaspar´s autocannon sung like a dark organ and everything was accompanied by the hail of stubber-fire. ”May The Emperor guide us, Glory in Honour!”
Béatrice first put her suit into a slow jog pounding the sand of the desert, then increased the speed and launched the mighty knight straight towards the battlements. Justice´s mighty Reaper Chainsword stretched out and in one single blow it took a huge chunk out of the wall sending the defense batteries tumbling down in a pile of screeching metal and burning ammunition. To her right she saw through the enhanced sight of her suit that Kaspar fought his way through hordes of disfigured bodies. ”This is the work of the dark gods. But they don´t seem intent on keeping us out.” She though while making short work of the remainder of the wall section. A cloud of smoke went up to her right and Kaspar emerged on top of the ruined bastion that was the central gate. Beyond him Marguerite could be seen pounding the great bunker fortification. ”We are through. Purge this sector.” Kaspar´s voice felt reassuring and a sensation of pride welled up inside her. ”We are The Emperor´s blade and no foe shall stand against us!” She yelled and launched her suit into the courtyard. Horror struck her as she saw what lay beyond. Legions of lesser demons chanted as theycame at her. They were led by greater siege engines, putrid flesh and metal melded into a twisted insult to creation. A gigantic winged figure flew past her liege Kaspar and she could see his suit Valor Untainted turn to pursue. ”A worthy foe. This shall give me great glory!” He said over the vox. ”Marguerite, take my place and bring those fiends The Emperor´s Justice!” ”Acknowledged, for glory!” Marguerite replied and stepped in to face the two gigantic horrors head on in close melêe.
Before Béatrice knew it she was hard pressed and engaged by hundreds of filthy plague demons who stabbed and cut at the legs of her knight. ”Nothing I can´t handle.” She thought to herself and began stomping through the crowd. Suddenly a pneumatic control system controlling the right leg gave up with an explosion. ”How is this possible? Nothing of that size should be able to penetrate my armor!” Furiously she pushed the repair system buttons but she realized that this would require her full attention. And they kept coming. Before she knew it her proud knight was tangled up to its knees in a quagmire of rotting flesh. She turned to search for aid from her fellow warriors and just as she looked up she saw Kaspar outside the wall. His knight was in horrible condition and the flying horror circling him with a greatsword the size of a house, seemed keen on making it look even worse. She saw him raise his Icarus cannon and let of a thunderous salvo. For a moment it seemed as if he had taken it down, but through the smoke it came again with renewed frenzy, oozing of flies and pestilence. ”I´m afraid I´m in too deep over my head in this one.” Kaspar´s stern voice rung over the vox. ”But I will give them one for the songs! Glory in honor!” Béatrice watched in a mix of horror and awe as the mighty titan began to rumble and the air around it trembled. With a deafening roar Valor Untainted´s reactor self-destructed and a flash of burning light blinded the sensory arrays of her suit. It was followed by a mushroom cloud that reached all the way to the sky. ”NOOOO!” Marguerite´s voice cried over the vox and from Béatrice´s position she could see how Marguerite launched Honor straight into the fray battling two rotting giants and a dozen plague flies at the same time. She wanted to help her but there were to many demons between them. It didn't matter how many she smashed, more came at her all the time. And Justice was taking heavy damage.
Another flash reached her and she knew by then that she was alone against the tide of Chaos. The loss of her comrades filled her with a fury she had never felt before. Before long she was free of the horde and then she saw it. A huge perverted ritual stone in the middle of the square. Around it hundreds of demons chanted and more came through via holes in reality. She had to destroy it! She made her damaged knight turn and with all the remaining strength of Justice she hurled herself towards it. Then it came. In her path an enormous demon appeared. She felt it was unfair. She would have no chance against it with Justice already damaged. Tears welled up behind her eyes as she cursed her kinslayers. Then, as if by divine intervention a missile tore its way through the giant shredding it before exploding in the center of its body. Slabs of meat flew across the landscape. ”Where did it come from?” She quickly assessed her surroundings but nothing could be seen. ”No time to think.” she thought to herself and with steely determination Béatrice picked up the pace again. She crushed a few more demons before standing face to face with the ritual stone. It was massive in size and emanated darkness. ”Disgusting! Abomination!” the words filled her head and she unleased the full fury of her Reaper on the stones and the structure collapsed as if made out of wooden planks. Adrenaline rushed through her body but she knew victory was hers.
As the smoke settled a slender figure walked from the gates of Tartarus approaching Béatrice. The voice was as she remembered it from the conversation it had had with Kaspar yesterday. Kaspar who was no longer with her. ”A great victory has been won, but a great price it demanded. You know now what we face here and you were right to trust me. Settle your grief quickly for tomorrow Zebaot awaits in his lair. Search for Amalthea and you shall find the truth.” The eldar took one step backwards and disappeared from reality leaving only a laughter older than time behind. Around her the city was engulfed in flames but the vox was quiet. She was alone. All alone.
Extra images courtesy of House Terryn Memorial Foundation (HTMF):