It is the final hours of the Third War for Armageddon. Helsreach and Hades burn, Imperial forces led by the Eternal Crusader have triumphed in space and Ghazghkull Thrakka has fled the system. High Marshal Helbrecht stands at a viewport, motionless, the only sound the soft thrum of his power armor. The burning hives are visible even from space, the blackened scars of a world marred by war. The silence is broken by the heavy footfalls that signal the arrival of another space marine. He walks with purpose, his cloak and tabbard flowing behind him. Helbrecht does not move as the marine kneels behind him. "You summoned me my Lord?"
“We are leaving this world after the next cycle.” Helbrecht replied, still not removing his gaze of the planet.
“The war is won then?” asked the cloaked marine.
“In space yes, but it will continue for many months yet on the ground. The greenskin warlord has fled the system leaving his kin to die upon the surface. Marshal Ricard will stay on the surface with his crusade to assist the ground forces in the Ash wastes until they are firmly in Imperial hands. But the other crusades are needed elsewhere and I wish to hunt down this creature and crush him like the filth he is.”
At this Helbrecht turned to the still kneeling marine. Something of a smile crept across Helbrecht's face. “Rise Brother Ramius. You and your marines fought with fury and honor in these past months” Marshal Christoph Ramius had lead his marines on multiple successful boarding actions during the campaign in space and won praise for his leadership among his peers. To hear it from the High Marshal himself however, was truly an honor.
“Is the Invincible Zeal to follow the Crusader in this chase?” Ramius asked as he rose.
“No.” Helbrecht said flatly. “I have a more important task for you”
“I am yours to command my Lord”
“The Achilis Crusade in the Jericho reach has faltered. They have lost their commander and their momentum, and squandered the resources that I have granted them.” The marine could sense the irritation in Helbrecht’s voice.
“I am not familiar with this region” Ramius replied, wondering whether he would have to suffer intolerable tactical discussions with human commanders.
“Few are. It is in the Eastern Fringe..”
Ramius was so surprised by this he interrupted the High Marshal. “Eastern Fringe? It could take months or even years…”
This time it was Helbrecht interrupting. “There is a warp gate in the Calixus sector that will shave your travel time to a fraction of that. You are to take the Zeal and another cruiser of your choosing and make your way to the jump gate. Once in the reach you are to cleanse the region of chaos taint and xenos filth. You will not be reinforcing the Achillis Crusade directly. Instead you will conduct your own crusade as you see fit.
Ramius was shocked, this was a great honor to lead a crusade of such magnitude. Helbrecht must have read his face because he gave another rare grin. “I know this is a huge task I have set before you brother, but I have faith that the Emperor will guide your path”
“I will not fail you.” Ramius replied. Helbrecht extended his hand and they clasped forearms.
“Fight well Brother” Helbrecht said
“For the Emperor” Replied Ramius. And thus was the Jericho Crusade was born.
Edited by Acebaur, 26 December 2018 - 04:44 PM.