If you need a refresher on what has been going on in the past you can find an in-depth timeline summary here..
Also, here are some "new" stories that aren't in the timeline yet, that you may have missed:
Melxis crashes into Nestir V
As the Imperial Fleet withdraws from Nestir V, Air Commander Max Volo's airwing makes a fighting retreat for the planet.
Everkill observes the Chaos forces in the aftermath of the Battle for the Snow Leopard's Fort.
Captain Drako muses on their loss as the Imperials at Hive Tertius scramble to relocate their forces.
The Imperial Fleet carries out emergency repairs and plan their return to Nestir V, while a Warp Storm is brewing.
After days of trying to break down the walls of the Snow Leopard's Fort, Chaos Lord Adramalech reaches for desperate measures to get the job done.
While torturing Hrud, Everkill muses about building his own Empire.
PDF Commander Norrington has a moment to reflect in the night, while repairs to Hive Primus continues.
Adramalech reflects on the problems facing him as he has learned of a prophet of the Hrud that threatens civil war among his allies.
Captain Holus makes a strange discovery, while Adramalech orders destruction on a massive scale.
While the Chaos Fleet bombs the Hive Cities of Nestir V, Adramalech and his Chaos forces are challenged by angels.
The Chaos forces finally find what they have been seeking. Then all hell breaks loose.
An Imperial Scout Patrol observes as the night sky is lit up with fire.
After a terrible battle, both in orbit and within Nestir V, the Chaos forces are ready to leave.
An Imperial Scout Patrol observe the bombardment of Mount Kea and the landing of enemy troops.
And with that, the battle begins
Aerial Battle for the Occassus Noveo Montis Mountain Fort
Written by Chaptermaster Graymantle
Brother-Codicier Korvac of the Legio's Librarium (Sigismund Himself)
Chaos Captain Apoc Everkill of the Underhand (Yogi)
As the Imperial Fleet returned to Nestir V's orbit in a spectacular military grade Warp jump, Sky Marshal Laertes Aldridge Kiel stood on the bridge of the Bloodied Scion, his customary posture radiating calm and calculated concentration. Keenly observing the feedback from the incoming Imperial Fleet, he seemed unmoved by the extremely risky manoeuvre they had just undertaken, and standing on the bridge's raised command platform with his hands characteristically clasped behind his back, he filled everyone on the bridge with a feeling of utter confidence in their ability to retake Nestir V's orbital space.
While Admiral Kiel monitored the Imperial Fleet, Captain Stride, the true master of the Legio flagship, sat at his helm-station making ready for battle. The main command bridge in front of him buzzed with activity as the Imperial ships floated into position. The Divine Messenger, The Doom’s Herald, The Shield of Dorn, The Stormwolf, The Lux Fornax, The Lux-Pollus, Silur's Revenge and many more ships that had suddenly and quite unexpectedly appeared above Nestir V, were ready for war.
Like the Imperial Fleet, the Chaos Fleet was also buzzing with activity. Massive weapons were spooling up while squadrons of Hellblades were launched into defensive positions. Aedan Radek's Furor Securis, Neigorath's Malevolent Spirit, Apoc Everkill's Consultant of Mayhem, Cryus Crom's Strages, as well as The Unending Flame, The Flamestorm, Sauel the Apostle's fleet of small ships, and many more, were all ready for a fight. Much like the Imperial Fleet, the Chaos Fleet had lost most of their Eldar allies, so where the ships of the loyalists were now supported by but a couple of ships from Craftworld Lugganeth, the Chaos Fleet was supported by the same number of ships remaining behind after the majority of the Eldar Corsairs Pirate Fleet had been forced to withdraw to Dannan-Ra.
The Chaos Fleet itself had also suffered damage when the Snow Leopard Machine Spirit had taken control of Nestir V's orbital defence satellite network, and they had been forced to destroy part of the satellite network during that attack. Thus the defensive network had been left largely devastated and inactive for now, something that left the Chaos Fleet weaker than before, but even so, they had one more surprise for the Imperials yet.
As the Imperial Fleet moved into position, the Chaos side was sitting still, luring them into their trap. Months earlier Adramalech had tasked the Fellmarines with covertly setting up twenty huge plasma cannons within Nestir V's asteroid belt. A secret network of weapons ready to support the Chaos Fleet when they would need them the most. Shortly after this Dalencius had fallen in battle and the Fellmarines had withdrawn from the Nestir V system, but before leaving, they had managed to complete their task. Now, the Chaos Forces would use this trap to defeat the Imperials in orbit once again.
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Back on the Bloodied Scion, Crusade Commander Bannister was planning for the ground assault, while thousands of soldiers made ready in hangar decks and war rooms across the fleet. They would break for the planet and gather what info they could about the situation planetside before launching their troops into those areas where they were needed the most. Other warriors would remain with the fleet for boarding manoeuvres as well as for defensive actions. Bannister had just learned from Inquisitor Rugajov back on the Goldfield Voyager, that they had picked up Imperial Vox chatter from the planet. Among these were Legio forces and Bannisters own Guardian Angels. They had holed up in Ocassus, near the Mount Kea mountain range, and were currently scrambling to get their air-wing off the ground and back to the Imperial Fleet where they could better support them. With them were Brother Veteran Morg, as well as the ever so wise Legio Codicier Korvac.
There were reports of thousands of Imperial soldiers on the ground as well, as Hive Primus and Hive Secundus reported in. Hive Primus was already under attack from Chaos Hell Talons, while Hive Secundus was launching fighters to aid the Fleet in orbit. - There were even reports of a few survivors at the Hive Tertius Ruins, where the survivors joyfully reported that they were safe and in need of evacuation. Bannister was excited that the Imperials on Nestir V had weathered their month of solitude so well, but now the war was going to get fully under way again, and their survival skills as warriors would truly be put to the test.
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Following the Orbital Bombardment of Mount Kea, the Chaos forces had set up a dig site there some four days earlier. Over four thousand human soldiers had been landed in the crater left behind by their orbital lance strikes, and both Everkill's army of the Underhand, Saul the Apostle's Marines, and Adramalech's remaining Word Bearers were also there. From the devastated digital mind of the Snow Leopard Machine Spirit, they had learned that Adramalech's final goal, the prison of a greater daemon, lay deep beneath Mount Kea, where an alleged temple to the Chaos Gods had existed eons before. The walls between the material universe and the Immaterium were supposedly thinner in that place, so Adramalech had speculated wether or not the Hrud thieves that long ago had stolen the artefact imprisoning the greater daemon, had carried it there by the will of creatures whispering into their minds from beyond the material universe. As such, the Chaos Captains had also been tasked with keeping strict discipline among the rank and file in the digsite, keeping an eye out for any sign of unwanted demonic possession. Their most important job however, had been to oversee the work the soldiers did to set up the enormous digging rigs the place would need to function as a proper dig-site. The only problem was that they had no such equipment, so thus far they had only secured and built a city sized camp-site.
A plan had been put forward to secure the equipment they would need for their digging rigs however, for Hive Primus held everything they would need. With bombing runs already being carried out to soften the Hive City up, the forces of Everkill, Saul, and the Word Bearers had been getting ready to travel to Primus, attack the devastated Hive City and steal the equipment they would need, when the Imperials suddenly returned. With the Imperial Fleet back, a titanic battle erupted in space, and that battle was sure to spread planetside soon enough. With this in mind and knowing that Adramalech was still weeks from reemerging from Nestir V's Underworld, the Chaos Captains were certain that they would have to defend the digsite and the equipment already stored there themselves. This had meant a shift in focus towards mobilizing to leave for nearby Ocassus Noveo Montis instead of Hive Primus. The hope was that the old mountain fort would give them a serious advantage in coming battles, in comparison to staying out in the open.
Taking off in flyers, with many ground troops following behind in slower, ground based vehicles, a Chaos Marine Spear Tip had set off for Ocassus shortly after the battle for orbital superiority had begun in space. More sober than in a very long time, Apoc Everkill was in charge of the Chaos airwing heading for Ocassus Noveo Montis, and leading his forces from a Hellblade, Everkill felt on top of the world. With the ground racing away below him and his Underhand Marines following behind in Hellblades of their own, it wasn't long before he could see the huge and jagged mountains of Ocassus Noveo Montis reaching up from the snowy plains below. Like some enormous monument they stood, a lonesome cluster of jagged mountains in a snowy desert. As Everkill raced towards it however, he could see that something was amiss. Radar signatures confirmed that Imperial flyers were already in the air around the main mountain, and on the ground were yet more Imperials milling about like small dark dots against a white snowy backdrop. They were preparing to get a larger number of flyers in the air, something that could well spell disaster for the Chaos forces in the area. Seeing this, Everkill cursed and jetted to full throttle. With his afterburners roaring, he rose to combat altitude and ordered his Hellblade squadrons into an attack pattern behind him.
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On the ground Captain Drako was just stepping onto the ramp of his Patriach Class Thunderhawk when he spotted small black dots approaching fast on the horizon. The huge transport's engines were already screaming and ready to take off, but to the side, their much larger Devourer class dropship Cillus, aka Thumper, was still not quite ready to fly. Drako wasn't certain the approaching dots were enemies, but as the front hatch of the Thunderhawk closed behind him, he decided to open a channel to Codicer Korvac who was already airborn onboard his Legio Thunderhawk Gunship. “Korvac! I've spotted incoming from the north-west. ID unknown. Advice caution!”, Drako signalled. A short second later he received a reply from Korvac. “Copy that 8.1.2. We have already seen them. They appear to be Hellblades and they're coming in hot. Vultures are moving to intercept. Over”. Drako cursed, but kept his composure as he hurried for the Thunderhawk cockpit. “Copy that!”, he said. “We will be in the air as soon as we can”.
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Courageously, Codicer Korvac of the Legio took control of the situation in the air as the enemy Hellblades came at them in an attack formation. The majority of the Imperial flyers out of the Occassus Noveo Montis Mountain Fort hadn't gotten off the ground yet and the engines of the huge Devouerer class landingcraft weren't even warm. If it was shot down now, close to a thousand Imperial Guardsmen and civilians would perish in a seething fireball of scrap metal. With that in mind, Korvac had ordered their small team of fifteen Vulture Gunships, as well as his own Legio Thunderhawk against the incoming Chaos forces. They would have to defend their vulnerable allies during the take-off phase of their evacuation. Korvac understood however, that he and the ten Legio Marines onboard, as well as Cruento Manus and his eighteen Marines from The Bloodied Hand Chapter would have no business staying around for an aerial battle, and that they should land and man the battlements of the mountain fort below instead if at all possible. - A Marine's place was after all not to sit idly by in some potential death-trap where they couldn't use their abilities to help control the outcome of the battle itself.
Outside the Thunderhawk missiles went flying and countermeasures were launched. Over the vox network Korvac could hear the professional but desperate voices of pilots from both sides trying to gain the upper hand. “Legio, Legio, check your six and roll, roll, roll”, came the voice of one of their escorts as the pilot warned them of an incoming enemy to their rear. Korvac felt the Thunderhawk lurch as the pilot moved it into an evasive manoeuvre designed to shake the enemy off their tail, and the wise old librarian thanked the Emperor that he and everyone else onboard were strapped down in their flight seats.
Outside, a Vulture went up in flames and another crashed and burned as a formation of vastly superior Hellblades outmanoeuvred them. “Emperor's teeth, what the frag are you people doing?”, the Vulture team's CAG asked aloud on the vox network. “Quit your Charlie Foxtrot Colour Actions and get the bloody damned job done!”. At that a Hellblade actually went down to one of the Vultures, while another suddenly whirred past Korvac's Thunderhawk and the pilot was once again forced to make harsh and sudden evasive manoeuvres. “Team leader, get your double ugly dot on the deck”, came the Vulture Air-wing CAG's orders over the vox. “This aint your game and you know it! - We got our fangs out now and there will be hell to pay!”. Korvac's pilot heard the CAG's complaints, but had no time to comply just then, as he was righting the heavy Gunship back up while firing off a salvo of missiles at a squadron of enemy planes and scoring two hits. That is when a strafing-run of bolt rounds suddenly pattered off the thick metal skin of the Thunderhawk as yet another Hellblade came in to take a bite out of the big bird.
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Onboard his Hellblade, Everkill was having way to much fun. He rolled a couple of times and then sped off to the right after having hit the black and red Thunderhawk he had just snuck up on, but the new flight path took him into the trajectory of an enemy flyer and he almost hit it head on. Only a harsh dive followed by an insane pull-up and unbelievably powerful jet engines saved his life. No regular human would have survived the G-forces he was subjecting himself to, and Everkill could feel his twin hearts working overtime as the Hellblade speed upwards leaving Nestir V behind. For a moment he let himself relax and regain his composure as he continued to climb into a loop, going way outside the reach of the immediate battle below. As he hung upside down, he could see the battle as clearly as a god he thought. Another two Hellblades went down, while far off in the distance small black dots that could only be Chaos ground vehicles were approaching the battle zone. They were probably a couple of hours out yet though. Closer to his position, a couple of Vulture Gunships worked together to take out yet another Hellblade, and another Vulture narrowly avoided being shot down. The pilots of those Vultures were damned good Everkill observed before spotting the Black Thunderhawk again. It was being pursued by a couple of Hellblades and smoking from one engine. Below it, it appeared as if though maybe the ground-based Imperials were finally ready to get airborn as well, then Everkill's serene moment of up-side-down observation was over. His Hellblade fell out of the loop and he struggled to get back on target, chasing down his prey of choice, the Legio Thunderhawk.
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Back onboard his Thunderhawk, Korvac was actually disoriented for a moment as the super heavy war machine pulled out of a sharp manoeuvre and came about, opening up on an enemy flyer and sinking it. Disorientation wasn't something a Marine often felt, but air-combat was obviously not Korvac's strongest side, he thought. They had been hit earlier, but the Thunderhawk could take it. Even so, Korvac felt his marines would stand a better chance on the ground. It was clear the Chaos forces had come to take the mountain fort of Ocassus, and that meant it should be defended. Korvac could see the other Imperial flyers were now finally off the ground, as yet another couple of his Vultures went down in cork-screws, smoke trailing behind their devastated forms. Opening a vox-link to Captain Drako's Command Hawk, Korvac could see the huge black Gunship was airborn at last, and that the Devourer class dropship Thumper was lumbering along behind it, gaining speed. Thinking to ask that the remaining Marines join him on the ground in setting up a defence of the mountain fort below, Korvac found that the latest hit to his Thunderhawk had knocked out their long-range communications array, and so he couldn't reach anyone else. He would just have to order his pilots to land and hope the other Marines spotted him, understood the plan and followed suit. “Take us about and set us down as close to the fort entrance as you can”, Korvac ordered his pilot. It was time to take the fight to the ground.
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Above the Thunderhawk, coming in at a steep decline, Everkill checked his instruments. He was getting ready for some ground action as he was certain his next move would bring the enemy Thunderhawk down for sure. Sighting in on the descending Gunship, Everkill watched yet another Hellblade and a couple of Vultures blow up in the high speed battle above Nestir V's surface. Coming out of his loop. Everkill had set his sights cleanly for the Thunderhawk and now he was right behind it and coming down fast. He maxed out his jet engines and decided it was time. Flipping open a safety cover, he depressed a button on his flight-stick and released his entire payload of missiles into a nearby squadron of Vulture Gunships. Then with his sights set, he activated his pre-programmed auto-pilot and set a course straight for the top rear of the landing Thunderhawk. The huge ship approached at an insane speed and he could see it growing larger before suddenly, everything exploded around Everkill. He could feel himself being ripped from his Hellblade and intense pain shot through his body. Then the world was suddenly calm again and he was floating on air.
Below him, the Hellblade he had just jettisoned from continued on his preset crash course, heading straight for the biggest, most dangerous target Everkill had seen in this battle; Korvac's Legio Thunderhawk. The Gunship took the incoming Hellblade on the side and one of the wings of the Thunderhawk was torn asunder. From Everkills position up above in a grav-shute, he could see the Thunderhawk go careening out of control, crashing and exploding into thousands of pieces on the snowy mountain-side. The Thunderawk's impact shook the side of the mountain and unleashed an enormous avalanche that buried the entrance to fort Ocassus in it's path. Everkill cursed out loud. He had taken down his target, but he hadn't figured on making his true goal harder to reach in doing so.
Eventually Everkill touched down on the snowy ground of Nestir V and released the Grav-shute harness from his back. Above him, the rest of the Chaos forces were finally able to take down the remaining of the Imperials' fifteen Vulture Gunships. The Imperial fighter pilots had given their lives in delaying the Chaos flyers long enough for the majority of the Imperials to escape, but it hadn't been entirely enough, for as Everkill looked upon from the mountain-side, the Hellblades caught up with and shot down two out of the Imperials' three Valkyrie Skytalons, leaving a couple of Chimera transports plummeting towards certain doom. Then another five Arvus Lighters went down with all their cargo. Thanks to the sacrifice of a few brave pilots, a handful Marines and Codicer Korvac however, the rest of the Imperials managed to escape into orbit.
Down on the snowy mountain-side of Nestir V, Everkill watched the Imperials turn tail and run while Arvus Lighter shrapnel was falling, burning, from the sky. “Pathetic!”, Everkill screamed at the disappearing forms of the Imperials, and he truly meant it.
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Back onboard the Devourer class dropship Cillus, Captain Morg of the Legio, his team of eight Legio Marines, and the remaining Marines from the Bloodied Hand Chapter were shocked at the sight of their friends and allies going up in a fireball against the mountain-side down below. They all wanted to turn back and fight, but knew that they could make more of an impact elsewhere. For now their main focus would have to be to aid the Imperial Fleet in regaining a foothold over Nestr V. Even so it felt wrong to leave the battle down below behind, and furious at what he had seen, Captain Morg of the Legio swore revenge.
And thus we conclude Battle 01 for Round 03 of the Nestir V AoD.
– Next up, is R3B2.
Edited by Chaptermaster Graymantle, 22 April 2012 - 09:46 PM.