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Index Xenos: Hive Fleet Goliath

Tyranids

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Evil Eye

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TYRANID INCURSION “HIVE FLEET GOLIATH”

 

+++ORDO XENOS PROPERTY+++

 

Requisitioned from Adeptus Biologis Magos Hariac, date //RECORD EXPUNGED//

 

By Inquisitor Shyloq Manakallian

 

The Tyranid Hive Fleet known by the codename of Goliath has positively ravaged the Segmentum Obscurus in recent times. Emerging from the Halo Stars, the Fleet has spread its tendrils into an area of Imperial space that is completely unprepared for an attack by the Tyranid menace, and closer to Terra than any other Hive Fleet thus far. Since the appearance of the Cicatrix Maledictum, some relief has been found in the fact it is currently blocked off from a direct route towards Holy Terra, but such optimism has not lasted long; the fleet has spread in multiple directions, and one of these appears to be skirting around the galactic rim, thus avoiding the Cicatrix Maledictum in its entirety. This deliberate manoeuvre towards Terra, coupled with the apparent intelligence needed to take an indirect route to avoid danger, is most disturbing.

 

Goliath, in the wake of the Great Rift, has gorged itself on cut-off worlds that lie in the Dark Imperium. With communication to this portion of Imperial space so intermittent, targeted worlds have scant chance of receiving reinforcements or aid. It has consumed so much biomass that it has begun to divide into multiple “splinter fleets” each headed in a different direction. The largest of these, as mentioned before, seems to be attempting to reach Terra, but even the smaller tendrils are of terrifying size, and the overall Hive Fleet has infested the Segmentum Obscurus with frightening speed.

 

This dossier lists details regarding overall Hive Fleet composition, genetic quirks, notable monstrosities and tactics utilized by the Fleet. I sincerely hope it is of use in combating this latest menace.

 

 

COMPOSITION:

 

Space fleets:

 

The spaceborne fleet itself is highly unusual, in that the larger Hive Ships show a great deal of mutability and variation. In fact, almost every single “controller” Hive Ship is unique, with no two command vessels being alike. There are countless bio-ships in even the smallest splinter of the Goliath, but some of the most notable encountered ships include:

 

“Razorshell”- An unusually elongated, slender vessel (proportionally at least- the ship is absolutely colossal compared to Imperial spacecraft) the void-beast known as Razorshell is oddly aggressive for a ship of its presumable importance to the fleet. It is noteworthy for the massive ramming prow with which it has been known to literally impale foes upon. Some have claimed this structure also forms part of some ranged bio-weapon but reports are inconclusive. It has also developed an extremely thick, dense, stony shell which appears to be largely unliving; it barely acknowledges most weapons fire, and rather than actually “healing” it appears to shed and regrow damaged shell, suggesting its armour is not actually alive. There has been one report of cyclonic torpedoes being deployed against it with little effect, but this is unconfirmed.

 

“Megalodon”- A much bulkier, broader vessel than Razorshell, Megalodon has developed a similar “dead” shell and uses similar aggressive tactics. Rather than a mere ramming prow, however, it is instead armed with a huge set of jaws with which it literally bites into enemy vessels. It is also notable for its particularly developed thruster vent array, which propel it at very high speeds for a craft of its size and nature. It seems to have grown from a similar “core” to Razorshell.

 

“Hermit”- A very unusual ship indeed, Hermit was believed to be a space hulk for a long time. Unlike most Hive Ships, which are purely organic, Hermit appears to be composed of an organic core encrusted in a thick layer of inorganic space debris, including asteroids, wrecked spacecraft and other assorted flotsam. This renders the ship extremely resilient to most forms of weaponry. The fact that the Tyranids appear to now be capable of using inorganic technology (albeit very crudely) is a massive cause for concern. Further information is limited due to scarce sightings of the organic components of the ship.

 

“Crawfish”- Believed to be a subclass of Razorfiend Cruiser due to multiple sightings of very similar vessels. Crawfish are smaller but no less deadly craft that are primarily armed with a pair of truly massive scything mandibles, capable of shearing an Imperial frigate in two. They are relatively complex for their small size, harbouring many symbiotic sub-organisms, including bio-weaponry, propulsion systems and curious colonies of barnacle-like parasites which function as armour. This subspecies, whilst relatively newly encountered, appears to be truly ancient judging from surviving pieces of destroyed carcasses.

 

Planetary Organisms:

 

The Goliath is notable for its deployment of highly specialized, “bespoke” organisms that only passingly resemble their counterparts in other fleets. Heavy biomorphs and genetic adaptations are prevalent, with everything from mere Gaunts to towering Bio-Titans exhibiting extreme variation and biodiversity in comparison to other fleets.


The most common mutation, present on all Tyranid lifeforms within this fleet, is the secretion of a gummy oil from subcutaneous glands that coats the creatures' bodies in a layer of slime. The exact purpose of this is not known, though tests on recovered specimens have shown the substance has unusual thermal properties, seemingly dissipating heat from such weapons as flamers and las weaponry with contemptuous ease. Indeed, the oil is capable of extinguishing burning promethium; a deeply concerning sign which suggests that the Tyranid race is slowly growing immunities to conventional weapons.

 

One very peculiar variation from other Hive Fleets is the use of organisms with insectile, chitinous wings which are muscled extensions of the carapace, rather than the more usual membranous wings adapted from upper limbs. This allows creatures such as Tyranid Warriors to bear bio-weapons on all four of their arms whilst still being flight capable. This seems to be universal across all winged Tyranid bioforms in the Fleet, with everything from Gargoyles to Harridans being witnessed exclusively with this anatomical model.

 

Another frightening adaptation is the use of “composite creatures” by the Fleet; whilst the weapon-symbiotes of the Tyranid race have long been documented (ranging from specialized organs to simplistic creatures fused with the parent beast's anatomy), Goliath has utilized bioforms that are actually composed of two or more separate organisms of roughly equal size and genetic complexity, bonded to each other and working as one gestalt lifeform. This often takes the form of a carrier beast that supports and grants mobility to a “master” organism, usually some form of gun-beast or other support creature.

 

Some of the many bioforms peculiar to this Fleet include:

 

“Banespitter” Pyrovore (Tyranicus Pyrodactylis Macromaxillae): Derived from Pyrovore genestock but heavily refined to the point that it is barely recognizable, the Banespitter shares the basic roles of mobile flamethrower and pre-digester with its forebear but little else. Doing away with the symbiotic weapon combination of the base creature, the Banespitter is instead a single creature with one guiding intelligence, and replaces the dorsally-mounted flamespurt with a similar organ located within its sizeable mouth. It is still not greatly intelligent, but actively pursues targets to destroy with its flamespurt rather than simply eating everything in its path whilst the flamespurt symbiote “keeps watch”. It is extremely aggressive and outside of the will of the Hive Mind will stop at nothing to incinerate and then consume prey, heedless of enemy fire. Curiously, this lack of any self-preservation instinct appears to have been intentionally engineered, as when near death the creature will often put itself in harm's way and actively attempt to detonate itself, like a living suicide bomb. Combined with the fact that it appears to be far less genetically complex than its predecessor, and it appears to be designed as an expendable shock troop for linebreaking. Banespitters are fairly simple to counter on open battlefields as they are large targets, and their destruction can cause massive collateral damage to the Tyranid force. However, in enclosed environments such as cities and tunnel networks they are lethal, and should never be allowed near the rearguard of a force.

 

Spinofex (Carnifex Spinodactylis): A rare breed of Carnifex, believed to be of the Thornback subspecies, the Spinofex is identifiable by its heavily spiked carapace and use of unique bio-weapons, notably very large spinefist derivatives and dire impaler cannons similar to those found on Hive Guard.

 

Hive Custodian (Tyranicus Spinodactylis Gigantis): A large gun-beast, the Hive Custodian functions as a living point-defence weapon. Extremely heavily armoured, the creature is as a result ponderous but incredibly hard to kill. Its main weapon is an array of severely overdeveloped spine banks in its back carapace, which it is able to eject with remarkable force. There are a few different subspecies of Hive Custodian, evolved for different purposes; the most common launch dense fusillades of spines which fragment mid-air into smaller but still sizeable needles, working as a highly effective infantry suppression weapon. Rarer species exhibit spines which appear similar in biology to the ammunition of the Hive Guard's impaler cannons, and demonstrate the same self-guiding abilities- these creatures are exceptionally well-suited to destroying vehicles. In spite of the similar weaponry, it is not believed to have any relationship to the Spinofex.

 

“Blightwing” Hive Tyrant (Tyranicus Praefector Battrae): Originally believed to be a unique specimen, though there have since been many reports that conflict with this theory, the Blightwing is a somewhat peculiar Hive Tyrant submutation. Equipped with large insectile wings capable of retracting beneath armoured shells, the Blightwing is very dense and heavily armoured for a flight-capable Tyranid, with a thick and extensive carapace. Also, unlike other winged Hive Tyrants, its anatomy is largely identical to terrestrial specimens, with a conventional lower body and legs. Whilst less graceful in flight than its chiropteroid counterparts, it is much tougher and stronger, and also due to its retractable wings and fully developed legs is far less restricted in movement whilst grounded. Due to its wings being extensions of its carapace rather than dedicated limbs, its arms are free to be equipped with bio-weapons, in its case a monstrous pair of mantis-like claws and a Venom Cannon derivative. It also has a worrying connection to the Death's Head Dominatrix (see below).

 

“Death's Head” Dominatrix (Tyranicus Praepotens Mosurae): Perhaps the most dangerous Tyranid bioform encountered within Goliath, the Death's Head is a monstrous, individual permutation of the Dominatrix genus, which differs from those used by other fleets in numerous ways. First, and most obviously, it is flight capable by virtue of enormous wings (like the Blightwing these are extensions of the carapace and not converted limbs), thus rendering it far more mobile than most of its kin. Whilst most airborne Tyranids of this size tend to be relatively fragile (such as the Harridan), the Death's Head is only marginally less durable than a regular Dominatrix, and is capable of (somewhat inelegant) terrestrial travel. It is suspected that its ability to fly despite its immense weight and density is due to the extreme psychic power of the creature, with its wings acting more like psychic resonators allowing it to levitate. More worrying, however, is the Death's Head's bizarre life cycle. For unknown reasons, the Death's Head Dominatrix usually makes landfall as a “larval” form, resembling nothing so much as a colossal caterpillar. This creature is slow and ponderous but exceptionally heavily armoured and possesses the same incredible psychic power as the “adult” form, and is by no means an easy target. After as yet indeterminate criteria are met, the larva will bury underground and cocoon itself for metamorphosis into the winged adult form. In addition, should the Death's Head be destroyed, a Hive Tyrant (usually a Blightwing) will begin to grow into a new “larva”, thus perpetuating the cycle. Worse, similar to the Swarmlord, the Death's Head appears to be a rare individual sentience within the Hive Mind, which can be reabsorbed upon death and “reborn” in a new body as needed (see above), rendering it functionally immortal, even in the span of one planetary invasion. Finally, the Death's Head's psychic abilities are extreme on a level unheard of even amongst Tyranids; the creature radiates the Shadow in the Warp, and most terrifying of all it is able to subvert the wills of the weak-minded (though this is unconfirmed).

 

Pteranospex (Tyranicus Diaboliptera Terriblis): Believed to be an airborne derivative of the Tervigon genestock, the Pteranospex fulfils the role of a biological heavy bomber. Relatively slow by the standards of flying Tyranids, its primary weapon are highly specialized Gaunts which are little more than living bombs (cross-reference file Gauntii Autoimmolatis). Grown inside the creature's distended birthing sac and released at will, these behave differently to more common spore mines, as they will always either explode on impact or at a predetermined distance from the ground. Whilst they do not present the same area denial ability as spore mines, they do possess a far greater “payload” and are capable of destroying much tougher targets, including vehicles. Whilst the Pteranospex's destructive capabilities are considerable, its slow speed, large size and relatively poor armour make it a vulnerable target. As such it is usually encountered with other flying organisms, notably large swarms of Gargoyles, Sky-Slashers and other expendable “chaff”.

 

Teslacrine (Tyranicus Electrosclopetus): In spite of its outward appearance similar to the Exocrine and other gun-beasts, the Teslacrine is actually a relative of the Trygon. Utilizing a series of organs believed to be derived from the bio-electric pulse of its original genetic ancestor, the beast is capable of unleashing bursts of lightning from a specialized vector, depending on battlefield role. The most common of these are anti-air weapons, directing their fire skywards and destroying aircraft with frightening accuracy. However, other configurations have been witnessed on occasion, notably direct-fire weapons intended for a role roughly equivalent to a tank destroyer, whilst others have been seen with an indiscriminate burst weapon highly effective against infantry. Mercifully the Teslacrine is quite rare and also must earth itself to fire to avoid excess electrical buildup, necessitating it remains stationary to attack.

 

Eyrie Guard (Tyranicus Scutatus Avius): A subspecies of Tyrant Guard capable of flight by virtue of beetle-like wings protected by hard chitinous shields during terrestrial travel. Though less heavily protected than a regular Tyrant Guard to allow them to fly, Eyrie Guard are still incredibly well armoured and extraordinarily difficult to kill. They are usually seen protecting winged Hive Tyrants, notably the “Blightwing” variant, though they have also been sighted guarding ground-bound Tyrants, and even witnessed as independent shock troops. They are however extremely clumsy in flight, especially when outside of synaptic control; like all Tyrant Guard they are completely blind, and rely on synapse creatures for guidance.

 

Terrorgaunt (Gauntii Pavoris): A Hormagaunt derivative seemingly developed as a psychological weapon, the Terrorgaunt was first sighted in Hive Fleet Kraken's invasion forces, but have since shown up surprisingly commonly within Goliath. Sporting three-fingered claws similar to Genestealers instead of the usual talons, Terrorgaunts are rarely seen in frontline cannon-fodder roles usually associated with the Hormagaunt genus. Rather they are usually employed as infiltrators, often in the wake of burrowing organisms to allow them to move behind enemy lines. Aside from their forelimbs, Terrorgaunts are externally very similar to their parent species; most biological differences are internal. Notably they possess highly complex vocal structures, allowing them to produce a variety of noises, ranging from ear-splitting shrieks to ultrasonic frequencies that cannot be heard, but can cause deep discomfort and feelings of dread in prey. They are also noted as being unusually “sadistic” for Tyranids, exhibiting behaviour seemingly intended solely to terrify the enemy such as toying with prey and mutilating corpses. This has given rise to the theory that they were evolved as a psychological warfare genus, intended to be more expendable and easier to field in large numbers than Genestealers, which they seem to share a biological niche with.

 

Hellgaunt (Gauntii Plasmaphagus): Believed to be descended from the Termagant genus, these creatures bear weapon-symbiotes capable of discharging bursts of bio-plasma carried in pairs on their forelimbs (causing many to mistake them for spinefists). Whilst nowhere near as powerful as the bio-plasma utilized by larger creature, these “screamerfists” are still considerably dangerous and can penetrate Astartes power armour at close range. Slow to gestate due to the more complex biomechanics of their weaponry, Hellgaunts are generally not deployed in large broods, instead being treated as “special weapons units” accompanied by swarms of other, more conventional species. Hellgaunts have been sighted in other Hive Fleets before, most notably the Behemoth splinter fleet known as the Gnosom Strain. This strain cut a short but bloody swathe through several systems before being defeated at the battle of Karnobog Prime, retreating and disappearing without a trace. It has been theorized that the splinter, bloodied and weakened, was consumed by Goliath and had its biomass and unique strains folded into the larger fleet, including the Hellgaunt.

 

Malgant (Gauntii Degenerus): Not a true subspecies per se, Malgants are instead the weaponization of “quality control failure” of other Gaunt species. It has been discovered that in many Hive Fleets, for reasons unclear (genetic code degeneration, malnutrition, Warp exposure and lack of sufficiently varied biomass) out of the numberless Gaunts created, some will exhibit biological defects and mutations that leave them unsuited for deployment. Most Fleets will simply reabsorb these “rejects” and recycle their biomass into new broods, but Goliath has demonstrated a very unusual habit of deploying large amounts of these often badly deformed Gaunts as vanguard cannon-fodder. Whilst presumably any specimens that are too badly malformed will be recycled as with any other fleet, this practice has given a pair of advantages. The first is sheer numbers, as when the first waves are expected to be slaughtered anyway it matters not if they are not combat-optimal. The second is more interesting; any mutations that would otherwise lead to “rejection” that prove to be beneficial may be incorporated into future batches of Gaunts, thus allowing Goliath a greatly accelerated evolutionary rate. Malgants, being derived from all manner of Gaunt species, suffering from a variety of defects and being fielded as mixed “rabbles” are incredibly varied, with everything from unusual colourations, skeletal deformities, nonfunctional bioweapons, nonstandard size and even supernumary limbs being recorded. Most Malgants are nothing more than a distraction, but some have been witnessed bearing mutations that mark them out as more dangerous than the average Gaunt, most notably the infamous “Wriggling Lurker” which [DATA CORRUPTED]

 

Pyrogaunt (Gauntii Autoimmolatis Locomotus): Almost identical to the Hormagaunt in most respects, the Pyrogaunt bears on its back carapace a bulbous chitinous growth, studded with spines and filled with various noxious fluids. The creatures are directed by synapse control or their own instincts to seek out weak spots in enemy lines, and upon reaching their target will spectacularly detonate themselves in a blast capable of shattering ferrocrete. As living suicide bombs, they generally are only seen in relatively small numbers, usually carried into battle by transport organisms such as the Cerebore or hidden amongst large broods of other Gaunts, as due to their nature as walking explosives they are potentially vulnerable targets if unprotected.

 

“The Pale Death” (Tyranicus Subterra Verdimortis): Believed to be the size of a Hive Tyrant if reports are true, the Pale Death is a possibly unique creature resembling the dreaded Red Terror in some manners. Serpentine in bodily configuration, the Pale Death is named for its peculiar albino colouration, with the normally vivid red skin of Goliath being extremely pale and its carapace being almost translucent. There is precious little data on it, with most information being gathered from survivor accounts- what is known is that the creature is a proficient ambush hunter, and is extremely quiet for a monster of its size.

 

“The Needle-Fiend” (Tyranicus Exsanguinator Gigantis): A unique(?) Dimachaeron that was first sighted during Goliath's attack on the planetary shipyard of Lothia II, the so-called Needle-Fiend was notorious for being able to navigate the dense industrial complexes of the world with stealth that should have been utterly impossible given its sheer mass. Whilst physiologically fairly similar to its parent species, the Needle-Fiend varied in a few ways- its limbs were developed quite differently, with its upper arms being long and spindly, but tipped with shorter, hooked talons, whilst its lower pair of arms were equipped with long prehensile tentacles. However, its most notable deviation from its genestock was its mouthparts, which were grown into a long chitinous proboscis capable of punching through ceramite armour. It used this in place of the more common “spine maw” to drain victims, injecting them with digestive venom before sucking out their liquefied innards. It also displayed cunning and subtlety unheard of from the usually incredibly direct Dimachaeron, avoiding confrontation until it could reach its chosen target, and then strike whilst the quarry was vulnerable. It succeeded in butchering several Imperial commanders (including Captain Artellos Veul of the Lionhearts Space Marine chapter) and countless guardsmen and civilians before apparently being slain by members of the 28th Yrkan Grenadiers. However, there have been unverified reports of attacks by a creature matching descriptions of the Needle-Fiend in subsequent Goliath invasions- whether this is a respawning of the same creature or not is unclear.

 

“The Death Roaches” (Tyranicus Gladius Exterri): An extremely highly adapted and intelligent brood of Tyranid Warriors specially evolved for clandestine operations far behind enemy lines. Very little is known about these creatures as survivors from encounters with them are extremely rare. What is known is that [DATA CORRUPTED]


“Wolf Spider” (Tyranicus Chameleo Irpex): A unique Lictor associated with the Death Roaches. Exact divergences from standard Lictor biology unknown, pict-captures are few and low quality. Very scant information exists.

 

“Twitcher” (Tyranicus Sclopetis Iudex): Rumoured Tyranid organism that functions as a sniper, believed to be based on Hive Guard genestock. Existence unverified.

 

“Queen Carrion” (Tyranicus Scortum): =][= CENSORED BY ORDER OF THE INQUISITION- NO SUCH CREATURE DOES OR CAN EXIST. ANY DOCUMENT FOUND TO ENTERTAIN THE EXISTENCE OF THIS HERETICAL SUPPOSITION IS TO BE DESTROYED AND ITS CREATORS/DISTRIBUTORS INVESTIGATED FOR BLASPHEMOUS FABRICATION =][=

 

NOTABLE ACTIONS:

Destruction of Gunndiall IV: The first recorded contact with Goliath, shortly before the 13th Black Crusade. Gunndiall IV was a well-fortified garrison world dangerously close to the Halo Stars, and bore the scars of many conflicts, including Chaos incursions and Drukhari raids- all of which had been repulsed. The arrival of the Hive Fleet, unfortunately, coincided with a resupply shipment failing to be delivered due to unknown factors, leaving the world understocked on munitions, rations and other essential materiel. This, combined with still recovering from an attempted siege by Chaos warlord Torgus Kroll, left the normally impregnable world vulnerable to the Tyranids, and Gunndiall IV fell within five weeks. A handful of survivors escaped, without whom we might not have been made aware of Goliath's arrival until much later due to the subsequent opening of the Cicatrix Maledictum.

 

Consumption of Lothia: Despite being listed as the second encounter with the Hive Fleet, it is suspected that the havoc wrought by the Cicatrix Maledictum and the widespread disruption of the Astronomicon and Astropath communications allowed Goliath to prey on many cut-off worlds in the meantime without any record of their destruction. A system given over to the construction of spacecraft, star-fortresses and the like, Lothia was protected by a full Imperial Navy battlegroup under the command of Admiral Juania Rultk. Alas, Goliath's own voidbourne craft had grown massive and numerous in the intervening period since their last appearance, presumably from gorging on poorly defended worlds, and Rultk's fleet was horrendously mauled and forced into retreat, leaving the shipwright worlds to their fate. Lothia II, the heart of the ship-building operation, put up an admirable defence in spite of the overwhelming numbers of both the Tyranids and the newly-discovered Genestealer cult known as the Black Advent (cross-reference file X1837-Sigma for further information) but ultimately fell.

 

Second Battle of Karnobog Prime: The embattled hive world known as Karnobog Prime was no stranger to the Tyranid menace, having already fought off the Behemoth splinter fleet known as the Gnosom Strain previously. It is theorized that surviving Tyranid organisms were able to evade detection and call Hive Fleet Goliath to their location, though another theory is that the broken remnants of the Gnosom Strain were absorbed by Goliath, which proceeded to use the information gathered by the previous fleet to launch a second, more cunning assault. Once again heralded by the arrival of the Black Advent cult, Goliath fell upon Karnobog Prime with swarms of aerial assault bioforms. The Gnosom Strain had been defeated by well-coordinated air support, which this new menace had taken steps to counter with its own specialized air superiority organisms- most notably highly adapted Hive Crones. In the end, however, thanks to the intervention of the Obsidian Eagle Space Marine Chapter, the fleet was repulsed, but not without having caused massive damage to the planet and having completely consumed the planet's moon, Karnobog Secundus. Worse was to come, however...

 

Fall of the Obsidian Eagles: A product of Guilliman's Ultima Founding, the Obsidian Eagles were crucial in the defence of Karnobog Prime. Tragically, the relatively young Chapter's fortress-monastery of Taloheim was targeted by a separate tendril of Goliath whilst what was at the time (falsely) believed to be the entirety, or at least majority, of the new fleet was engaged with the ongoing conflict. With most of the Chapter busy with the defence of Karnobog, the remainder of the Eagles proved easy prey for Goliath, and by the time a distress signal was sent it was already too late. With their gene-seed banks consumed the Chapter was almost certainly doomed anyway, but the enraged Obsidian Eagles proceeded to make a suicidal assault on the departing Tyranids. With the exception of a single Astartes, the entire Chapter was destroyed.

 

Martyrdom of Saint Elsha: With the death toll of the Goliath rising and now including a full Chapter of Primaris Space Marines, efforts were made to fortify systems in the path of the Tyranids. Critical amongst these was Sybaster, the famed bastion-shrine upon which the forces of the Imperium had emerged victorious against the previously undefeated daemonic legions of Rggl'thr the Resplendent, driving the warpspawn back to unreality with blessed bolt and fire. Confident that the Emperor was watching over them, when Hive Fleet Goliath descended upon the world, morale was high and the defenders were well-prepared; indeed, the Tyranids seemed to be losing the battle fairly quickly. Perhaps lulled into a false sense of security, the defenders of the world- amongst them a large contingent of the Order of the Ivory Musket and a force of Space Marines of the Warborn- began a counter-offensive against the Tyranids, intending to hunt down their leader-beasts and render the swarm impotent and aimless, lead by the famed heroine Sister Superior Elsha. This proved to be a grave mistake, for the apparently ineffective assaults against the main fortification of Sanctpillar and subsequent retreats had been a feint to draw the overconfident Imperial forces out and spread them thin. In reality, a mere fraction of the swarm's forces- mostly consisting of weaker creatures and scores of wretched Malgants- had been sent against the bastion walls. The counter-attack was soon faced with considerably more lethal opposition, including large amounts of modified Venomthropes spewing psychoactive spores, leading to widespread hallucinations and madness amongst any that were unfortunate enough to inhale them. Surely enough, they became easy prey for the Tyranids and were massacred in short order, with only Elsha, a few Battle Sisters, and a small coterie of Guardswomen and Space Marines escaping. Whilst this was happening, another wave of far more well-coordinated Tyranid bioforms launched a second wave of attacks on Sanctpillar, this time preceded by Pteranospex bio-bombers raining death from above, whilst Ravener broods emerged from the depths. Sanctpillar was swiftly overrun, and whilst Elsha's embattled group of survivors were able to organize a surprisingly effective resistance against the monstrosities (enough to allow for the evacuation of at least some of the population of Sybaster) Elsha herself was ultimately slain when =][= FURTHER DETAILS DELETED =][=. Her surviving companions have since entered Ordo Xenos service, and she is considered a minor saint for her heroism against the unnumbered hordes of the Goliath.

 

Rise of the Black Advent: Following the fall of Sybaster, portents of doom became widespread across the Sector, with a peculiar branch of the Imperial Creed taking root proclaiming the Tyranids to be the Emperor's divine punishment for the sins of Mankind, and Sybaster's consumption being proof that none were above His wrath. This cult took many permutations across the sector, with actual practices and beliefs being hugely varied, but all following the principle that death at the claws of Goliath to be His will, and resistance to be heresy. This has since been uncovered as a Genestealer cult of massive size, but due to the sheer variation in behaviour, heraldry and scripture of the cult, it is incredibly difficult to identify infestations. Further information will be forthcoming.


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