Battle report - Saim Hann Wild Riders
War Seer An'Nohn cast his mind across the possible futures.
The portal at the station was key. If Chaos were to achieve
such direct access to the webway, it was likely that the Black
Library would become exposed and his forces would be lost fighting
fiends of Slanesh in less than 6 months. To live, he must lead
his forces and persuade his allies to victory.
Some must be sacrificed if all are to be saved.
That phrase resonated in his mind. The entire flight could
be lost anyway trying to pick up artifacts and activate the
portal. If the Mon-keigh allies can stand and be true, then
perhaps the sacrifice would be a small one.
The decision was made to split each of the allied forces to
ensure artifacts to activate the portal were collected in time,
and that the portal itself could be secured. An-Nohn separated
his forces into a maneuver element, with jet bikes accompanying
the swooping hawks, and a support element with the jet bikes
accompanied by a D-cannon battery. The support element would
be lead by his apprentice De'Raenn. It was his responsibility
to secure the portal. An'Nohn chose to lead the maneuver element
himself. His vast skills would be needed to seize as many artifacts
as possible, preserve his forces for the battle at the portal,
cause maximum casualties to the Chaos forces, and leave the
field of battle before the area is destroyed by the ancient's
The Mon-Kiegh called it "Man Catcher Valley." It
held a large cluster of artifacts, and was filled with carnivorous
foliage. An'Nohn foresaw this battlefield and had already installed
powerful flora-suppressor field generators on all of the jet
bikes, support platforms, and swooping hawk flight packs 6
weeks prior. The valley was located on the far side of the
Chaos landing side. Rangers reported that a World Eater force
was in route, but moving slowly because. They did not expect
Order to try to take the site. An'Nohn plotted a course to
bypass the ancient's defenses and the Chaos pickets to get
through to the valley….perhaps they would get there before
the World Eater arrived.
As An'Nohn and his forces crested the ridgeline he saw the
enemy advancing across the valley floor toward the artifacts.
He sent telepathic orders to all of his squadron leaders simultaneously:
"Sword Squadron, take point and seize the closest artifact.
Have one of your riders bond with it so you will still be able
to lead your force most effectively"
"Ospreys, advance to take the artifact on the left most
side of the valley. I have detected a defiler behind those
trees, so take care you to not linger farther from it than
this line." The copse of trees glowed a light green and
the line glowed in a fiery orange in the minds of the swooping
hawks warriors. "Select one of your warriors to bond with
the artifact so you can lead your forces in any close combat
battles the lie ahead. Leave the field as soon as you have
"Vypers, do you see this lone Chaos warrior on an attack
bike?" The Vyper gunners saw, in their mind's eyes, the
biker light up in a golden aura. "This is the leader of
the World Eater force. Put him down." "Stay out of
range of the disruption fields broadcast by the artifacts,
and move inside the barrage range of the defiler." The
zones of disruption glowed red and the range line for the defiler
glowed a fiery orange in the minds of the Vyper pilots.
"Warlocks, follow me."
The jet bikes, swooping hawks and Vypers streaked across the
valley toward the World Eaters and the artifacts that lay in
the valley between the opposing forces. The flora-suppressor
fields worked perfectly and the carnivorous plants did not
react to the presence of any of An'Nohn's forces. Unfortunately
they did not attack the Chaos forces either. Apparently even
these voracious plans would not eat some things. The World
Eaters were caught off their guard allowing An'Nohn's forces
the opportunity to fire first.
The Vypers maneuvered into position and fired bursts of plasma
at the World Eater's Leader, burning holes in his armor, and
a significant portion of his body. While such burns would have
felled most creatures of his stature, the Chaos leader seemed
to ignore much of the agonizing blasts continued to rally his
Sword Squadron formed up in front of An'Nohn and his bodyguards
and moved to the closest artifact. An'Nohn used his psychic
prescience to advise Sword Squadron's leader of any dangers
that lay in the future. Two shuriken cannon fired on a rhino
transport attempting to hide beside a hill, blowing off the
The Ospreys swooped in on an artifact while positioning themselves
so none of the Chaos forces could engage them.
Sword Squadron and the Ospreys each took an artifact. Their
training allowed the bond to take place without danger, and
each artifact tender was encased an a barely perceptible bubble
The Chaos response was quick. Marines from the damaged rhino
disembarked and moved out to close proximity with an artifact.
A warrior reached out, expecting a jolt. As he touched the
artifact, energy arced over the warrior's armor and a force
field encased him. The bonding was successful.
The Chaos leader gunned his bike forward toward an artifact
confident that he would get to it before the starcannon fusillade
could fell him.
The second rhino moved behind a hill and into position to
allow as fast assault of the guardian jet bikes streaking toward
the cluster of artifacts.
The defiler received its fire mission and adjusted its cannon
to strike. The valley thundered, and the defiler sent its high
explosive shell in a low arc over the trees toward the guardian
jet bikes. From its vantage, it watched a vast plume of soil
and fire rise. The pilot knew instantly that the shot was long.
The velocity of its shells was to high to allow a closer barrage.
An'Nohn saw he has seized the initiative and pressed his advantage.
While the Defiler reloaded he issued his next series of orders.
"Ospreys, take your artifact to the portal site. Move
across the roof of the portal cavern and drop down from above."
"It will take time to follow that path Seer, are you
certain?" the Ospreys' leader responded over the comm
An-Nohn responded with a rapid series of images. An arrow
streaking toward a warrior's back, but the warrior turns at
the last minute to block it with his shield. Two Chaos sentries
on a wall walking toward each other, a bright lance crew holds
fire until the exact moment that they line up and the beam
kills them both.
The Ospreys left the battlefield confident they would be at
the right place at the right time at the battle for the portal.
The guardians piloted their jet bikes between the defiler
and the Chaos commander, allowing them to bring their shuriken
cannons to bear on the second rhino. They fired, and cannon
rounds struck seeming all over the vehicle tearing chunks of
armor away in an shower of sparks that seemed to jump from
every portion facing the jet bikes. The telltale metallic snap
and ring followed as one of the rhino's drive wheels broke
away, separating a track. The rhino was going nowhere and would
have to be left on the battlefield if the crew were to escape
the ancient's time bomb.
The Vypers continued their fire on the Chaos commander, and
under intense starcannon volleys, he and his bike were turned
to ash. A lone wheel rolled on, striking an artifact before
falling to the ground.
An'Nohn and his guards were near the center of the valley
floor, behind the guardians. He headed straight for the tree
line separating his unit from the defiler. Along the way, one
of his guards bonded with a third artifact. The guard sheathed
his witch blade as the force field encased him; it would no
longer do him any good.
The resistance offered by the World Eater force started to
unravel with the loss of their commander. The Marines carrying
their artifact left the valley with their weaponless rhino
following at a safe distance to prevent system failures from
the artifact. An'Nohn had no time to pursue them and they knew
The remaining Chaos Marines emerged from their immobilized
rhino and saw the charred remains of their dead commander.
Their sergeant knew the critical nature of the mission and
time was running out. He rallied his troops forward and pressed
on the closest artifact. A wheel from his commander's attack
bike lay smoldering at its base.
The defiler thundered again, sending a shell at two Vypers
just inside the edge of its minimum barrage range. The winds
of Chaos blew, and the shell was deviated to a point right
between the bikes. The closest bike was engulfed in fire, shrapnel,
and great chunks of earth churned up by the round. It pilot
lost control and the Vyper crashed to the ground exploding
into tiny fragments. The other Vyper was at the edge of the
blast and the pilot was able to prevent a similar fate. The
gunner called down indicating he would have to power down the
starcannon because a piece of shrapnel was lodged in the fire
control assembly. An'Nohn ordered the two remaining Vypers
to leave the battlefield, effect repairs, and make best speed
to De'Raenn's detachment. He knew that he would need as many
working Vypers as possible at the portal, and he did not need
the Vypers to handle the remaining Chaos forces.
An'Nohn sent his new orders. "Sword squadron, fire on
the Marines at range, don't get close enough to be assaulted." "Warlocks,
flow me." To the Warlock at his right, he direct, "ready
An'Nohn prepared his singing spear and gunned the slow-trans
engine of his jet bike. The Warlocks followed, one with the
artifact bonded to his hand, the other with his singing spear
ready to throw. They leapt upward and over the trees on bursts
of anti-gravitic energy. As they cleared the canopy, they saw
the defiler cycling its next shell. The jet bikes landed at
the edge of the tree line. The giant barrel of the defiler
swung toward them, as its sensors intensified their angry red
glow now that a high value target had revealed it self; there
was no need to worry about minimum ranges now, the shell could
be fired directly.
An'Nonh and the Warlock threw their singing spears. An'Nohn's
spear streaked toward the thing's sensor cluster. It was a
glancing hit that seemed to stun it for only a moment. The
second spear found the ammunition compartment and the defiler
shattered in a deafening crescendo of explosions.
The remaining World Eaters were now out of options. While
additional troops and rhinos were available as reinforcements,
their commander and heaviest weapon could not be replaced.
The Chaos Marine sergeant decided that he must leave the field
immediately or die to the elder guns or the ancient's bomb.
He knew that his comrades at the portal would need each and
every man with the losses in the valley, and he decided they
An-Nohn saw they were retreating and withdrew form the valley
as well. He would have to make it to De'Raenn in time for the
battle at the portal and he had a long way to go.
As his forces raced for the portal, reports from the other
forces of order came in. Four others were victorious in their
engagements, and they had a total of 15 artifacts between them.
The Chaos forces were able to leave with only 7. Perhaps order
would win the day, even in these dark and chaotic times.
Some must be sacrificed if all are to be saved.
An-Nohn sensed that at the battle at the portal, he would
come to understand this phase that seemed to come from nowhere
The planning session had been going on for hours. Each detachment
commander was confident in his or her abilities, but none seemed
interested in coordinating their efforts for the battle ahead.
De'Raenn thought, "If this is order, seeing Chaos would
shatter the heart stone from my chest." Nothing would
be accomplished here, and he would have to rely on his persuasiveness
to try to coordinate his main effort with that of the others
when the battle at the portal came.
An'Nohn, De'Raenn's War Seer, and Farseer Mauglir of Altansar,
commander of the Ulthwé Strike Force, agreed to each
guide two groups of Mon-Kiegh in the battle. De'Raenn was charged
with coordinating his efforts with Sanguinia, commander for
the Blood Angels force, and Bjorn the Fell-Handed, commander
of the 13th Company Space Wolves force.
A holo-projector showed a wire frame schematic of the orbiting
asteroid housing the ancient's warp portal…through which
supposedly "the riches of the warp" lay. The facility
could be entered through any of four docking bays evenly spaced
around the equator of the asteroid. The combined order fleet
could only hope to secure two of the openings while battling
the Chaos fleet, meaning Chaos would be sending a strike force
after the portal as well. Neither fleet acted to take the portal
facility right away. Is seemed both sides wanted to examine
the artifacts before committing to battle. Moving hastily with
the ancient's technology had already been proven disastrous.
De'Raenn reviewed the reports from rangers he sent to the
portal shortly after the Wild Rider Fleet Arrived. The stealth
boarding torpedoes had proven their usefulness yet again. Text
and images projected directly to his optic nerves scrolled
across his field of view. The atmosphere was breathable. The
portal sat on the floor of the vast terraformed interior of
the asteroid. Each of the four bays was terriformed as well
and was open to the portal in the central area. A small cluster
of stone ruins and archways lay between the bay access points
and the portal itself. A network of full spectrum light emitters
lit the cavern to a soft twilight, and it was getting brighter
A presence touched De'Raenn's mind. Recognizing An'Nohn, De'Raenn
lowered his psychic screens and received contact.
"It is very well. The text on the artifacts makes it
clear that they must be brought in close proximity to the portal
as quickly as possible. It does not state what happens thereafter,
but I foresee you will need six artifacts to activate the portal.
The Vypers will arrive first, then sword squadron and I will
"Were there any losses Warseer?" asked De'Raenn.
"Ot'ehl and Ja'sten were lost when their Vyper was shot
"Some must be sacrificed…" De'Raenn started.
An'Nohn finished "…if all are to be saved. You
hear it too?"
"Yes, but what does it mean Warseer?"
"We will find out in four hours." An'Nohn answered.
Reports started coming in from the detachments sent to retrieve
the ancient's artifacts. They had gathered a total of 15 of
them, more than doubling that Chaos held. Each of the Mon-Keigh
races translated the messages from the artifacts as well, and
both fleets went underway to seize the asteroid housing the
Three hours later De'Raenn and his detachment were waiting
in their boarding craft, ready to launch from the Scythe of
Vaul, an Eclipse class carrier. His seat included a command
display, which he set up to monitor the naval engagement and
the other detachment's assent to orbit. Weeks before the battle,
De'Raenn foresaw the need to bring a cargo accelerator, and
it was a good thing he did. The device was typically used to
gravitically accelerate cargo pods to orbiting vessels that
were not designed for atmospheric flight. In this case, the
Vypers, the Ospreys, the jet bikes of An'Nohn's detachment,
and their artifacts were accelerated into orbit in specially
prepared assent pods containing no machinery for the artifacts
to disrupt. With all of the stray fire from the naval battle,
and high velocity debris, the assent would still be extremely
dangerous. Four flights of fighters, and four flights of torpedo
bombers were tasked with clearing any threats to the ascending
Fifteen minutes later the Scythe of Vaul was in position.
A flying wedge of Hemlock destroyers went ahead, their lances
bisecting enemy destroyers as they went. The launch order came
and the boarding craft seemed to lurch downward and forward.
The engines then exploded to life, rocking the vessel. The
acceleration dampening fields compensated, protecting De'Raenn
and his detachment from having the life crushed from them.
Even with the dampers, the D-cannon platforms swayed against
their cradles. Landing craft from the other factions were approaching
the facility as well. The forces of order held two bays, opposite
each other, and Chaos held the other two.
De'Raenn again brought up the live feed from the rangers.
Some of the Chaos elements were arriving. He issued his initial
orders to the minds of his squadron simultaneously. "When
we land…," he began. The Warlock leading the support
battery received, "…move your battery to this position." A
clearing near a copse of trees glowed green in his mind. "You
will be protected, initially, from the dark kin and the Necrons
from this location. Advance into the trees and fire on the
enemy as they advance to the portal."
The Warlock leading the jet bikes of Serpent Squadron received, "…take
point and head for the portal. We must get there before the
The Vyper pilots and gunners received, " …move
into these positions." The crews of the Vypers each saw
where they needed to be. "Cover these approaches, nothing
must get through." indicating two open areas that Chaos
would need to cross in order to reach the portal.
De'Raenn then contacted Sanguinia of the Blood Angels over
the comm line. "If I am to hold the Chaos approaches to
the portal, I must be assisted by your Marines. My Vypers and
D-cannon will cover you."
"Agreed Eldar," she responded. "Will you protect
my artifacts if I bring them through this bay?" she asked.
"Indeed, our artifacts, and the whole of our other detachment
are coming this way."
De'Raenn called on Bjorn of the Space Wolves on the comm line.
Before De'Raenn could say anything, Bjorn spoke, "I am
sending my forces to harass the enemy backfield, and my artifact
with your jet bikes. See that no harm comes to my artifact
"Very w..., " De'Raenn started to respond, when
Bjorn cut the comm line. "And this is order," he
thought to himself as he prepared to board the asteroid that
The detachment has rehearsed boarding maneuvers often, and
it was shown again that perfect practice makes perfect. As
soon as the boarding craft landed, three Vypers flew out to
secure the approaches to the area. Jet bikes followed, exiting
in an expanding wave, taking what cover was immediately available.
Finally, three support platforms each with a distortion cannon
glided down the ramp and toward their position behind the protective
tree line. The two rangers that had been covering the area
withdrew into the boarding craft to return to the Scythe of
Vaul; their part in the battle was done.
As the forces of disorder came into view, De'Raenn noticed
the mission clock and saw that it had been 4 hours and 5 minutes
since his conversation with An'Nohn. He wondered, "How
does he do that?" as he waited for his units to get into
The Forces of Disorder were assembling as well, with Chaos
Marines, Necrons, and Dark Eldar assembling in the bay to the
left, and Orcs and Chaos Marines assembling in the bay to the
Across from De'Raenn's bay, several lines of Eldar and Space
Marine allies assembled as well. It looked as though the Forces
of Order were outnumbered almost 2 to 1. He hoped that enough
elder warriors waited on the other side of the Ulthwé's
gates to even the odds.
On the left flank, a group of Grotesques were prodded on by
a unit of Wyches behind them. These poor, twisted, creatures
had been tormented to the point of mindlessness, and toughened
to shrug off small arms fire. If left unchallenged, the Wyches
that hid behind their dark creations would overrun the Blood
Angels and D-Cannon platforms. Two Vypers fired their starcannon
as the creatures came into range, starting the process of thinning
the ranks and opening the way for the Marines to fire on the
Wyches before they got too close. One of the units of Space
Marines covering the approach advanced into the tree line before
them to gain cover from disintegrator fire from the Dark Eldar
Raiders that were rapidly gliding forward. The other unit of
Blood Angels waited for the Dark Eldar to come into view from
around the corner of the two bays.
The Vyper on the right flank was in position to cover the
advance of the Blood Angel's Assault Marines. The gunner saw
a sea of green Gretchen flesh approaching and began firing.
Each plasma bolt that struck home shattered its target leaving
nothing but scattering of charred meat. The starcannon was
ridiculously overpowered for such foes, but each one put down
now was one less to deal with later, and there were no better
targets in range.
De'Raenn, his guards, and Serpent Squadron streaked forward
toward the portal. He was determined to take the portal site
first to ensure no traps lay ahead for An'Nohn and the others.
The enemies recognizing the danger starcannons represent on
the battlefield returned fire attempting to shoot down the
Vypers. A Raider flew into range and fired its disintegrator
at one of the two Vypers protecting the flank. Bolts of energy
struck the cockpit killing the pilot instantly and sending
the Vyper in a rolling dive into the ground. Behind the Raider,
two long lines of Necrons marched toward the portal in the
center. Several clusters of Dark Eldar moved in the fringes.
At the other bay, a unit of Chaos Marines on a hill out of
range from the Vyper covering the right flank prepared its
lascannon. When it fired, the beam sliced the Vyper in half
causing it to fall to the ground instantly. Miraculously, the
pilot and gunner survived. They quickly emerged from the debris
and made their way back toward the assembly area and away from
the onrushing Ork horde.
Behind the two squads of Blood Angels, the distortion cannon
crew were finally ready to fire. All three cannon thrummed
as their warp cores cycled to firing mode. No one saw the three
invisible blasts of b-meson particles streak to the midst of
the advancing grotesques, but the effects of the particles'
decay were impossible to miss. Three large spheres of pure
midnight, each shrouded in a veil of crackling blue energy,
appeared in the middle of the squad of grotesques. Some were
entirely consumed; some were left writhing on the ground partially
eaten away by the warp. Half their number was lost in the blast,
but they pushed on anyway toward the Blood Angels.
De'Raenn's comm line opened, "Farseer, we come." The
display showed three Vypers on rapid approach. He tasked them
to take positions protecting the left and right flanks, filling
in for the Vypers lost.
On the left flank, concentrated fire from the Vypers and Blood
Angels decimated an approaching squad of Dark Eldar and shot
down a Raider. The line would hold!
To the right, Vypers fired on the Chaos Marines at the hilltop,
dropping two of their number. With Chaos' attention firmly
on the Vypers, the Blood Angels' Assault Marines, bolstered
by newly arrived Death Company Assault Marines waded into the
Ork lines. Their captain wisely elected to take his artifact
to the portal, and he fell in behind the advancing jetbikes,
which were now one terrain feature from the portal.
Savaged by the combined Eldar and Blood Angels force, the
Dark Eldar returned fire, destroying the engine of another
Vyper, but achieving little else.
De'Raenn took a moment to survey the whole battlefield to
gauge what was to come. More boarding pods landed from all
forces and in all four bays. Disruption from the portal prevented
them from landing any closer. The entire area was a cacophony
of heavy fire and swirling melee. No enemy forces had as yet
landed behind De'Raenn's detachment, which was fortunate.
He felt a psychic presence reach out to him…
It was An'Nohn! "It is very well De'Raenn. You have cleared
the way for us." De'Raenn updated An'Nohn on the events
so far. "Hold the portal and defend the approaches to
it," An'Nohn ordered, "and I will lead the artifact
bearers to you."
Serpent Squadron finally reached the portal and took defensive
positions. They would have to hold as the artifacts were brought
forward. De'Raenn and his guards circled the portal itself.
He cast his mind to the possible futures for Serpent Squadron
and was struck with sadness. He decided not to burden them
with the truth. "Hold the line. An'Nohn is coming with
the artifacts. We just need to hold for a little while."
Sword Squadron arrived, with An'Nohn and his guards filing
in behind. With them was a lone Space Wolf Warrior with an
artifact. This made four that were on their way to the portal.
A message came over the comm line and De'Raenn listened. "An'Nohn," he
asked," The Ospreys are in place, should we call them
down with their artifact?"
"No, because they are needed later," he responded.
On the right flank, the Blood Angels and remaining Vyper,
and the distortion cannon battery pounded the advancing Dark
Eldar. The Wyches fell to a hail of bolter fire, and the few
Grotesques that survived the long march to the Marines were
quickly dispatched in hand-to-hand combat.
To the right, the Orks were almost wiped out in the fury of
the Blood Angels advance.
The battle looked very winnable until the final wave of Chaos
forces arrived. They landed everywhere. A gaggle of Orks landed
on the right flank, preparing their weapons, two more Raiders
landed supporting the Dark Eldar, and two pods landed deep
behind An'Nohns detachment. The doors of the farthest pod cycled
open, and Chaos Terminators emerged, raining fire upon the
Space Wolves that had been teleporting around the battlefield
harassing enemy stragglers. The other pod disgorged Necron
Destroyers, their gauss cannon blazing. De'Raenn could not
see the effect of their fire, but realized that if the Marines
fell, there were not enough Vypers remaining to handle these
enemies. De'Raenn called for a fire mission for the distortion
cannon. The cannons began to turn.
Serpent squadron adjusted to take advantage of what little
cover was available. Their bikes were simply too big to hide
behind the ruins.
An'Nohn and sword squadron advances at maximum thrust to the
portal, the two artifact bearers struggling to maintain control
at the dizzying pace.
Two more Marine landing pods dropped to the floor of the bay
behind the advancing jetbikes. One lone Marine with an artifact
emerged from one, and five Marines, one an artifact bearer,
exited the other. This made six total, but the Marines were
on foot and it would take some time for them to get to the
portal. The line had to hold a little longer.
The remaining Vypers maintained pressure, firing on the approaching
Obliterators, Ork hordes, and Dark Eldar.
The D-cannon thrummed to life again, cycling up to another
barrage. They fired again, this time at the newly arrived Chaos
Terminators that landed in the backfield. This time the spheres
of stark un-reality appeared just short of the target area.
The crew adjusted the particle speed and began the firing sequence
The Forces of Disorder lashed out in every direction, in a
frenzy of fire and melee, seemingly loosing consideration of
the portal and basking in the carnage. The Necrons and Terminators
appeared too busy to react to the barrage, and they continued
to fire on the space wolves.
Two jetbikes of Serpent squadron lit up brightly just before
exploding, the tell-tale mark of enemy lascannon finding their
targets, and a volley of armor-piercing missiles struck one
of the three remaining Vypers perforating its slow-trans engine
and sending it crashing to the ground.
An Ork landing pod clumsily impacted near the D-cannon battery,
and close to the advancing Marine artifact bearers. Gretchen
swarmed from the pod and began firing on the battery crew,
killing one guardian; the Gretchen's poor marksmanship and
the concealment offered by the tree line would not save them
for long. Their Warlock, Ra'Thenn, telepathically called to
De'Raenn, "What are your orders?" An'Nohn, monitoring
the situation, called the Ospeys down, "Your time is now.
Land as close to the portal as you can and direct your grenades
at the Gretchen." To De'Raenn he sent, "The decision
is yours. I can not help you." Two imperatives glowed
in the possible futures. First, the Gretchen must be stopped
from getting the Marine artifact bearers bogged down in a melee.
Second was to stop the cluster of Necron destroyers from advancing
up the back lines, gunning down the artifact bearers in a hale
of fire, or stopping them in a melee of their own. There was
a chance the Ospreys' grenades would miss, but it is a chance
that had to be taken. "Ra'Thenn, target the destroyers
and Terminators again."
"Very well Seer."
As the Gretchen prepared to move out toward the D-cannon crews,
a hail of grenades landed in the Gretchen's midst. The blasts
engulfed their group entirely, killing 15 of the 30 creatures.
The Ospreys landed between the Gretchen and the portal, solidly
placed to prevent the Gretchen from taking advantage of their
position. As the last Osprey landed, they opened up with their
las-blasters, killing 6 more of the creatures.
Sword squadron , An'Nohn and his retinue, and the Marine captain
artifact bearer finally arrived at the portal. The artifact
carriers sat at the center of a ring of jetbikes. The four
shuriken cannon on site blazed at the Orks and the handful
of Obliterators still advancing on the portal. While the shurikens
cut through the Orks, they were ineffective against the Obliterators.
The two remaining Vypers repositioned as best they could and
maintained fire, but the Obliterators were too tough, and the
Orks too numerous.
Ra'Thenn gave the fire order and the D-cannon fired again.
This time the shots were true. All of the Terminators, and
two of the destroyers were consumed in three crackling globes
of warp energy. Only one destroyer remained.
An'Nohn and De'Raenn surveyed the battle, looking for Chaos
artifact bearers, and for new advancing threats. Only one enemy
artifact bearer was visible, marching along with as advancing
line of Necrons and Dark Eldar. The Blood Angels would have
to hold them away from the portal. The advance of the Ulthwé Strike
force became apparent as dozens of black guardians emerged
from warp gates, preventing Chaos units that landed in their
backfield from advancing to the portal. At the Ork assembly
area, only a few mobs remained due to the success of the Blood
Angels. Three of Order's artifacts were already at the portal,
and four more were being carried forward.
Undaunted by the incoming fire, the Obliterators advanced
and fired las-cannon at Serpent squadron again, destroying
another bike. At the left flank, lines of Necrons and Dark
Eldar, easily forty in number, supported by two Raiders advanced
on the Blood Angels positions, firing as they advanced. The
combined fire of Necron warriors and destroyers and the hand
to hand ferracity of the Dark Eldar warriors would likely crush
al of Order's units that held the portal. The Dark Eldar's
artifact drew closer, but was he was still some time from the
portal area already held by An'Nohn and the jetbike squadrons.
The remaining Gretchen near the battery emplacement fired,
badly wounding two more crewmen. Only three remained, and they
could only man two of the three guns. The crew held on, rotating
their cannon again to fire on the Obliterators. The blast on
one cannon engulfed one Obliterator, leaving only the smoldering
tip of a las-cannon, which fell to the ground.
Two Marine bearers on foot finally made their way to the portal,
one more was still needed.
Only the Warlock and two guardians remained of Serpent squadron,
but they held firm and fired on the Obliterators that had been
decimating them. Finally, one shot found a hole punched by
a starcannon, and one of the abominations fell.
The Vyper protecting the left flank fired at the Obliterators
as well, burning one to ash with its starcannon as the creature's
armor gave way. Only one Obliterator remained.
The Osprey's exarch called to Ra'Thenn, "Fear not, we
will crush these green beasts."
"No." Ra'Thenn responded. You must get your artifact
to the portal before the Dark Eldar and Necrons get there,
or all of this will be for nothing."
"But you will not last Warlock; we are swift, there is
time," the Exarch responded.
"There is no more time. Hurry, you will need all of your
speed to reach the portal. Some must be sacrificed if all are
to be saved." Ra'Thenn had made his decision. An'Nohn
and De'Raenn heard all of this an understood.
"Your loss will diminish us all. We obey." With
that, the Ospreys leapt into the air and made their best possible
speed for the portal. They moved far to quickly to make effective
use of their las-blasters. The bikes of Sword squadron held
positions just ahead of them.
The last Obliterator fired on Serpent squadron, incinerating
another bike. This was followed with a volley of armored piercing
missiles that struck home, wiping out Serpent squadron to a
The Necrons and Dark Eldar approached to the edge of their
bay and were about to enter the central area housing the portal.
The Blood Angels backed from their positions in the tree line
and toward the portal to form a last line of defense, but they
knew they were hopelessly outmatched.
Ra'Thenn and his remaining cannon crew took cover in the tree
line as best they could, but their last shot left them vulnerable
from three sides. Dark Elder warriors gleefully sprayed shredder
rounds in general vicinity of the crews while the Necron warriors
methodically concentrated their fire from crewman to crewman.
Each fell in turn to the fusillade of magnetically accelerated
spikes. Ra'Thenn and his guardians were no more.
The Dark Eldar's artifact bearer, noting the close proximity
of a Vyper, advanced toward it The disruption field of the
artifact shut the Vyper down immediately, sending it crashing
to the ground.
On the right flank, Sword squadron took positions before the
advancing Orks. An'Nohn saw two Orks brandishing crude missile
launchers, preparing to fire. He reached out to one creature's
mind, easily taking over its autonomic functions. An'Nohn stopped
its pulmonary system and constricted all of its muscles to
their maximum potential. It collapsed to the ground twisted
and dead. The other Ork fired, destroying one of Sword's bikes.
An instant later, the Ospreys with their artifact reached
the portal. Arcs of power coruscated along its ringed shape,
dancing and flickering across it. Bolts lashed out to the four
corners of the central hangar area whipping immense force fields
to life that cut off the surrounding forces, trapping those
near the portal for the final conflict. With an otherworldly
whooshing sound the atmospheric pressure equalized between
the hangar and the destination. The portal flashed to life,
showing a staging area and control room. The remaining warriors
fell upon one another, their vigor renewed as they realize
the rumors of a stable warp portal may have been true.
Within the field, only a few Necron destroyers and Dark Eldar
warriors were left to face the savage ferocity of the Ospreys,
and the horde of black guardians. Most of the Forces of Chaos
were trapped outside the energy field, and they watched as
their brothers were slaughtered within.
Those outside the field fought bitterly as they retreated
to their boarding pods and landing pods in an effort to get
back to their fleets. The Chaos ships retreated to warp space
as soon as their troops had returned. Their commanders had
no desire to watch helplessly as the Forces of Order exploited
the warp portal.
In the staging area, on the other side, An'Nohn, Farseer Mauglir,
and Sanguinia looked upon the ancient wonders.