Wednesday, 19 December 2012
Battle Report: Defence of Dreadhaven Valley (part I)
Imperial Guard & Raven Guard
Grey Knights, Tau, Blood Angels & Necrons
Before the outbreak of the 13th Black Crusade, Ursakar Creed was known to fight with many different detachments across the breadth of the galaxy. It was upon the desert world of Turambar that Creed encountered a little known Mordian Iron Guard regiment, dubbed simply as 'The Remnants.' Creed fought alongside the Remnants Colonel, Philias Horatio Atee in several battles. This is the tale of possibly their greatest...
Dreadhaven Valley, a vital resource upon the desert world... Simple, clean, water. In the seasons of storms, rainwater would flow down the valleys sides and sink into the deep aquifers. And so, wars had been fought here throughout Turambar's history, skulls littering the ground giving the site a reputation as a refuge for travellers and a site of horror in equal measure. The Imperium had claimed it, constructing a mighty fortress in the valley's midst. And yet, all such structures were temporary, the rainfall which made the valley so vital also, in time, washed away all stains upon its surface. Ruins, both Imperial and historical slowly sunk into the sands. Relics of past wars, even archaeotech from ancient civilisations lay half buried in the sand, bringing further reason for war. And so, in the 41st millennium, the cycle continued still.
The Xenos were coming, Lieutenant Bryar announced. "What kind?" "How many?" Were the obvious questions, with a simple answer. "All of Them."
The Tau had come, with many allies. The grim spectres of death, The Necrontyr battled alongside them. But that was not all, there was something far more disturbing as well... Dark rumours, the executioners... Though their names were unknown, their deeds of terror were known throughout the lowest ranks of the guard. They were the Bringers of The Warp, silencers of the Convent, and some of the most unreliable soldiers even claim these silver clad destroyers were responsible for the genocide of Armageddon...
But against all these foes, Atee and Creed had a slim chance of hope, it may have been simply a coincidence but, upon the entrances of each of their barracks lay a small, entirely intact raven's skull... A slim hope, but it was all they had. That, and the Might of The Imperial Guard...
The Evening Before
Creed cut the end off of his cigar, lighting it in a fluid motion. His Colour Sergeant, Kell looks on at him with a frown, a dreadful vice, something he should stop one day. There's a cough, a jowelly, heavyset man draws attention to himself. Despite being many years Creed's senior, Atee had recognised the warriors ability, deferring to his command. Atee had even phrased it as Creed's very own 'tactical genius.'
"Ursakar, my men are ready to depart, we'll find our answers then return as swiftly as we can." There's a solemn nod from Creed, "we'll need those superheavy reinforcements Colonel. I'm sure of it. Lord Commissar Royden, Gunnery Master Smythe and I shall hold the fortress with the men we have."
"We've had to abandon our outer bastion after the landing pad was destroyed. Our company shall make our gather here, at this Fortress of our Redemption. There we shall hold, as the Emperor's Shield against our aggressors and we shall endure!"
The Last Night
It began, as many things do, in darkness. The Sentries stood, perched upon the fortresses tower could see the clouds come in. Dirty, great, black... unnatural.... clouds shadowing over the clear moonlight. A desert in the midst of its dry season, it should be nigh impossible. Following the darkness, came a peal of thunder and a flash of lightning, striking the ground in the distance... Then, the tremors began. The sentry scanned with his magnoculars while his partner, Jones began loading his missile launcher. Something was out there, and it was coming closer. They weren't tremors, he knew what they felt like. This was footsteps, gigantic, heavy, footsteps. And then it appeared over the horizon. Canis Nex and the sentry knew, with utter certainty that his fate had come.
Creed stared over the ramparts, the just simply wasn't enough *time.* The Raven Guard sergeant had insisted that they should fire their opening volley as early as possible. He could not have disagreed with The Emperor's Angels... However, needs must. Though he wasn't the usual commander of The Remnants, he knew they would fight with Honour in The Emperors name. The heavily armed Catachans held the front line, men of the proud Mordians, Atee's own regiment alongside them. Anchoring his flanks, were his two remaining Baneblades. Atee would return with the reinforcements in short order. The Lord Commissar waited at the side, with his Ogryn Bodyguard. The enemy would not find them wanting. He had one final ace up his sleeve.A polite cough to gain Gunnery Master Smythe's, the man engrossed in consulting his wristpad. "Status?" "MiLord Creed." The man was always so dreadfully formal. "The Vortex Missile is reporting fully fuelled, countdown is commencing. We've also commissioned timed bombardments at the prearranged coordinates."
And so it was done, all he needed to do was see how his enemies arrayed of battle and who truly came to challenge them.
Grand Master Valius of the Grey Knights Chapter completed his prayers. Not for the lives of his men, no, for he knew their lives were already in The Emperor's hands. No, he prayed for the lives of those fools in that fortress. Ignorant fools, they had no idea what they were sitting on. The *heresy* on their very doorstep. And so, it was their souls he commended to the Emperor's. Bile rose in his throat, he had committed his forces, including his Inquisitorial Warhound Titan, Canis Nex to this dark alliance.
Forces of the Tau and Kroot stood by, awaiting his orders.
And then there was a strange, hunched figure clad in a scaled cloak lurked in the background, metal plating flashing as he moved; The Stormlord. His followers rising from the very sands to join in with the assault.
An alliance of xenos, how he hated this. The Raven Guard were here, of some vain nobility, deigning to help the Guardsmens foolish cause. Their stealth was legendary but no match to the skills of his scyring. And so, Valius requested yet more aid, from the Angels of Blood. They were waiting behind the moon now, ready to respond to the Raven Guards strike. He knew, given the choice, Dante would stand with the Guardsmen and the Raven Guard but, Dante did not have a choice. Valius' gift had made sure of that. There was always something... enjoyable about turning the relics and weaponry of Chaos against the Imperium's foes. And this Relic Weapon would ensure Dante's obedience until the Battles end. What comes after? Valius would deal with that at another time.
~ When thousands of Imperial Guard cannot with the fight, send in thousands more ~
Dale: Grey Knights, Tau, Inquisitorial Warhound Titan.
Mark; Blood Angels, Necrons, Baneblade.
Al: Imperial Guard, Shadowsword, Stormblade, Fortress of Redemption.
Kurt: Raven Guard, two Baneblades.
With special thanks to Al for hosting the game and creating the cinematic story.