Monday, December 30, 2013

Raiding Iothas - Part 1

A world of grey and black.  That is what the world seemed like to Champion Nyrtus.  Ash billowing everywhere, swept for miles from the carnage of the battlefield, creeping into filters and vents.  Some cultists nearby coughed as their low grade oxygen masks were overwhelmed in their attempt to create clean air out of the tons of waste flying above the ground at all levels.

It wasn't supposed to go this way.

Nyrtus couldn't help but wonder what had happened, what had gone so wrong with the mission.  Events were unfolding as had been scripted by the thrice-damned Tzeentchian witches… thrice-damned they may be but they were always accurate.

It was supposed to be a simple raid for some top notch supplies.  Their fleet was going to come out of nowhere, hopping onto world from which some Eldar pirates had laid claim to as their base, deploy some troops on the ground to overwhelm the unsuspecting forces, grab the gear and make their swift exit.  24 hours tops.

So why are so many dead?

Shaking his head in a doomed attempt to dismiss his own questions he thought about how the mission had started to go awry just 48 hours ago…


Landing their strike force was laughably simple, it was obvious that the Eldar had no idea what was going to hit them.  Lord Bontav was leading this expedition, and he welcomed Nyrtus and his men, from Chabtor to Zaiyan and even the narcissistic Garman; every one of them good men, though they all had their flaws of course.  Of course some cultists had been brought along to do the menial labor - someone had to gather the boxes and load them up; the rest of the forces were in charge of securing the landing zone and taking out potential hostiles.  Safety had dictated that some of the cursed brethren be brought on the mission as well, though no one had wished to burden them with the task: 6 bikers and 7 Terminators, all of Nurgle.  They had been afflicted with the 'blessing' of one of the Chaos gods.

Nyrtus always found it odd how the Chaos gods' favor was sought after actively by so many other renegade marines, the warp and Chaos embraced to the fullest.  The Virtue Forsakers had never wanted to be involved with that lot…

Nyrtus pushed such thoughts to the side, they would only interfere with his operations in this mission.  Not that it was going to be difficult.  Well.  There was one who might make it difficult.

Tzeentch blessed Sorcerer Yurfalk had deemed this strike force's potency as equivalent to 'a toddler bearing a lollipop' and so he was accompanying them to try and make up for the lack of ability so that the rest of the Forsakers present wouldn't feth everything up.

Everyone kept their distance from Yurfalk, he was always unpleasant to be around.  Not only was his personality ghastly, but he was one of the few Forsakers who believed in devoting more members to the Chaos Gods.  And if that wasn't bad enough, his reasoning for it made him ten times less tolerable: he thought that they should be devoted simply because the Gods deserved to be worshipped.

oNyrtus banished Yurfalk from his mind to focus on the task at hand.  With the unloading of the horrifying Helbrute - he dared not go close enough to find out which of the Forsakers' had been deployed for fear of his life and sanity - it had become time to move out.  Calling out over the vox he hustled to meet up with his team of Chosen, 6 strong including himself.  When they had all consolidated together, they waited; the order to move out would be coming very soon.

Looking around in this momentary lull, Nyrtus could see this had once been an Imperial Industrial World, and if the debris and machines visible through the various walls that were crumbling and seared with blackened marks of lasblasts and plasma fire this world had once produced all sorts of clothing for guardsmen.  Half-made backpacks, ripped shirts, knee pads, a multitude of these items littered the ground and inside of once running factories.  But none of that was what they were after today.  Further up this hard black asphalt would be Eldar weaponry which could be used by the Forsakers in their efforts several systems away against the Ork Waaagh! that was developing.

Seemingly out of nowhere Lord Bontav appeared, nodding to Nyrtus and settling on knee before grimacing behind the Chosen champion.  Nyrtus glanced around and saw Yurfalk hurrying towards them, apparently intent on accompanying the commander in this endeavor.

As Yurfalk came next to Lord Bontav, Nyrtus thought about asking what their new orders were.  Being accompanied by both commanding officers had not been in the plan, but they hadn't been assigned to any squad yet either, so maybe it should have been expected.  Nyrtus decided to go ahead and confirm their previous orders with Lord Bontav, who was in charge of the whole force - no matter what Yurfalk thought or said.

"Sir, are we-"

A series of explosions suddenly erupted northeasterly to his position, and Nyrtus looked around suddenly confused and worried.  Had they been discovered?  None of the units had even gotten out of position and all were still in hiding.  And the immediate vox communications showed no one had even been shot at.  But that was even more worrisome.

Lord Bontav was yelling at someone over his vox, and whatever he said must have worked.  Almost immediately they had a bird in the sky sweep once, twice, three times over the nearby vicinity and then it took off in a flash.  Nyrtus waited the long 30 seconds in agony, praying that the bird's scans wouldn't show any nearby force of considerable size.

Nyrtus was sure that it was some Eldar Pirates just having fun and blowing up some leftover guardsmen vehicles in their spare time.  But with a sinking feeling he knew that wasn't the case.  That wasn't the sound of an exploding chimera that someone was taking pot shots at.  That sounded an awful lot like a Leman Russ Executioner, firing a full round of searing hot plasma at someone very near the Forsakers' positions.

Nyrtus nearly fell from shock at the scans the bird sent down.  Evidently the 'surprise' strike force was just another force entering an escalating battle.  The explosions that had sounded from the northeast had in fact come from a Leman Russ Executioner.  And evidently those sounds had drowned out everything else that was present as well, being what appeared to be an entire company of another faction of Chaos.

But that wasn't even the worst of it.  Not only was there a company of Chaos Marines with their Traitor Guard, but they had been firing at a very sizeable Ork army, complete with Lootas, Nobz, and Boyz of all shapes and sizes.  And then those Eldar that the Forsakers had been intending on slaughtering were fully battle ready and moving out, venoms, ravagers, and raiders gliding across the already wrecked landscape as they went to face off against these two other factions.  None of them yet seemed to be aware of the presence of the Virtue Forsakers, but that state wouldn’t last forever, especially not with the bird that had just flown in the sky.

Barking orders quickly, Lord Bontav deployed spotters to all sorts of positions to keep him updated on enemy troop movements.  Explosions and screams still tortured the air all around the Forsakers as they burst from hidden positions and rushed towards the enemy troops.  With such heavy firepower their only hope was to get close and show these folks who was going to lay a claim to the precious gear.

Nyrtus was lost in the battle now, shots fired uncertainly from the Eldar pirates as they suddenly realized that a completely unaccounted force had arrived on the scene, and they diverted some vehicles towards him.  The time for fighting had arrived.

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