With the demise of Photobucket, this actually coincides rather well with a plan to revitalise this log with a clearer structure, a more obvious theme and more coherent storytelling. I plan to start a Hall of Honour thread clearly laying out the brief background and history of the Black One Hundred, as well as giving a much clearer and better-presented look at the models and their individual backstories.
However, as the saying goes, to plant a new seed you have to churn and hew the earth. And to advance the story of the Black One Hundred some serious bloodshed is on the horizon. The slate must be wiped clean. Old fluff must be brought full circle to a tabula rasa. Without further ado...
The Dream Shatters
Moros, in orbit, four months after the fall of Armatura
...XIV Legion IFF tags confirmed. Enemy vessels logged as Stalwart, Grim Aspect, Unyielding Resolve and Echo of Barbarus. Initiating XIII Legion combat log, Moros mark 0.00.00.00. Commanding officer - *static. audio interrupt*
*static* - lance damage to starboard engines and dorsal batteries. Atmospheric breach in dorsal habitation quarters. Emergency lockdown in effect. Redesignate Grim Aspect to capital-class vessel, unknown weaponry configuration. All ahead full. Master of Ordnance, forward bombardment cannons full effect, focus all fire on the Grim Aspect.
Enemy shields holding. Give me firing solutions for extremis-pattern ordnance. I don't care if we have to bleed the reactor dry, we maintain speed until the torpedoes have a firing solution.
Repeat, I say again, repeat last. Grim Aspect has pulled back. Its shields hold. Where is my firing solution? Stalwart and Echo of Barbarus are on our flanks, redirect starboard and port batteries to counter-ordnance fire spreads.
Negative, maintain shields at maximum capacity. Incoming ordnance, all decks brace for impa - *static, audio loss* Shield breach in forward docking bay. Seal off the entire section, that ordnance was cover for boarding torpedoes. Vent atmosphere from the forward docking bay and direct Pankrator and Pugnator tacticals to hold the forward concourse.
Brother-Captain, boarding parties on board the Ardent Vigil are confirmed. Echo of Barbarus is pulling alongside. We'll hold them but once the shields are down we won't be able to block teleporter signals or further boarding parties.
Negative, my lord. Ferrata can hold the reactor core.
Brother-Captain, with respect, your command lies elsewhere. Take the company and redeploy planetside, the magnetic storms will delay these XIV Legion inbreds.
Disobedience is why the Hundred were formed, sir.
Copy all. Ferrata, redeploy to Concourse Maximus, reactor core approach. Pankrator and Pugnator, cascading retreat toward the aft docking bay. All XIII Legion units, initiate full combat drop, Moros planetfall, maximum dispersal. Follow the Captain.
Ferrata, with me. Today the lesser Legions find out what it means to face the War Born of Macragge.
-final audio log recovered from command deck of XIII Legion vessel Ardent Vigil, crash site on Moros
For four months after the fall of Armatura, the disgraced warriors of the Black One Hundred pursued the forces of the invading foe sweeping across Ultramar and the Five Hundred Worlds. Whether the Hundred and their unidentified leader sought to return to the rest of the Legion is unclear. Certainly, minor warp storms across Ultramar appear to have isolated the Hundred from XIII Legion reunification attempts following the devastation of Calth. Over the course of four months the Hundred fought several engagements in the void and planetside against the nefarious forces of the Shadow Crusade. Striking from the battle-barge Ardent Vigil, the Hundred effected minor victories at Dacian Primaris, Justiniax and De'Veyr's World. As a small raiding force, the Hundred escaped the attention of the Traitor Legions sweeping across Ultramar for longer than might have been expected.
But ultimately it was a new foe who brought about the darkest hour of the Hundred. Above the ruined world of Moros, devastated by magnetic flux storms and gravitic anomalies, the Vigil found itself ambushed by a significant force of the warriors of Barbarus, the XIV Legion Death Guard, sweeping into Macragge's southern reaches from battles unknown.
Despite their reputation within the Legion, the Hundred reacted with the signature adaptability and tactical flexibility of the XIII Legion. The Battle of Moros lasted for seven hours without pause. The Death Guard capital class vessel Grim Aspect was structurally decimated by extremis-class ordnance, rad-phages sweeping through its decks and annihilating the mortal crew to the last man.
But the warriors of the Death Guard were no stranger to fighting through hell itself. Striding through the voracious rad-phages and devasting dispersed phosphex bombardments that had brought low the Grim Aspect, Legionnaires from the Echo of Barbarus boarded the Ardent Vigil and systematically purged deck after deck of all life, cleaving through the skeleton crew of XIII Legion warriors and mortal armsmen left behind to defend the vessel.
In the final battle aboard the Vigil, at the very heart of the vessel, Concourse Maximus, the approach to the reactor core was defended by the elite of the Black One Hundred. Breacher squad Ferrata, supported by the Destroyers of Atrox and Pugnator tactical, held the approach to the reactor core while the tech-priests of the Vigil sought to overload the vessel's reactor and deny the XIV Legion the prize of an Ultramarines vessel.
What passed in those final minutes of brutal, vicious battle do not survive in any official record. But it is known that the Vigil crashed upon the surface of Moros three hours later, its reactor core leaked dry and its gravitic stabilisers reduced to scrap.
What became of Ferrata, of Brother-Sergeant Castra, who led the defense of the Vigil in its final moments, none can say. But the brutality and desperation of the warriors who fought with bolter and blade, and when those gave out with fists and teeth and animalistic fury, can only be imagined.
The final fate of the Vigil was to be stripped by the XIV Legion before they quit Moros days later, deciding that the ongoing culling of the Hundred denied them from partaking in the critical battles faced elsewhere by their dark master, the Reaper Lord. But when the XIII Legion eventually came to reclaim their own, weeks later, Concourse Maximus was entered by Ultramarine scouts and a scene of utter devastation was found.
The Death Guard had stormed through hail after hail of withering fire, the walls and decks falling apart around them, grinding down the XIII Legion shieldwall inch by inch, man by man, bringing low the sons of Guilliman through brute tenacity and a sheer refusal to die. Even as the Vigil had fallen through Moros' orbit, the Death Guard and Ultramarines fought without regard for their own lives, tearing at each other with gladius, knife and bloodstained gauntlets.
In the days and weeks that followed, the Hundred were hunted through the tunnels and flux-storms of Moros by warriors from no less than three Legions. The Battle of Moros was the first time the warriors of the Hundred matched themselves against the relentless Legionnaires of the Fourteenth, and the trauma of that defeat would leave scars in the psyche of the warriors who bore the black-and-cobalt for decades to come.