Massacre on the Aushabti Plains
Loyalists Involved In The Conflict
Traitors Involved In The Conflict
Army:The White Scars
Prelude to war
Captain Tiberius stood surveying the relatively open plains. A distress beacon belonging to the White Scars had been traced to this area, but they were nowhere to be seen and that made Tiberius uneasy. Oriana, his duel-headed cyber-eagle and a gift from Fulgrim before their exile, chattered anxiously on his shoulder. Not wanting to be caught unawares, he had brought with him Assault Squad Raths, Tactical Squad Darius who were accompanied by Apothecary Lepedius and Ancient Thordorian whose duel Kheres Assault cannons cycled slowly in preparation for readiness. Behind his infantry cohorts, the mighty Whirlwind Scorpius 'Perfection's Cry', the Vindicator Sabre 'Shade of Virtue' and the Sicaran 'Sword of Damocles' spewed steady clouds of fumes into the air.
"Sir..." A vox communication from Squad Darius. "...the Augury Scanners detect movement"
"The White Scars?" Tiberius asked.
"I can't say Captain. We're getting massive energy signatures approaching us, as well as faint signals from the northern flank." Tiberius's lips curled. They had come in search of answers and he had half a mind to believe they had wandered into a trap. It was then he spotted it. In the distance, speeding towards them he spotted the unmistakable bulk of a Spartan Assault Tank. "Contact!" He heard the yell from Darius resound across the vox-net.
"Raths, on me!" Tiberius said, hoisting his Thunderhammer as arcs of killing lightning surrounded it's black obsidian head. If the madness they had seen hints of on Isstvan had reached this far, then they would face it head on. Tiberius cursed inside his own head. Had the entire Imperium fallen to chaos in their absence? "Children of the Emperor!" He roared.
"Death to his foes!" Came the response.
The stage of a massacre
The Emperor's Children under the command of Captain Tiberius deployed in the South-West corner of Aushabti plains in a Vanguard deployment style. The White Scars's Spartan Assault Tank sped towards them from the North-East corner of the plains. In the North the guttural bark of chainswords and jump-packs could be heard as warriors of the Khan appeared from the North. Repeated calls for the White Scars to stand down were either ignored or responded to with threats in Low-Gothic or Chogorisian. The White Scar force's commander, a Chaplain Shiban, promised to personally take Tiberius's head when the battle was finished. Clearly this was a force meant for a Shatter Strike mission. Tiberius, aware that they would not have long until the White Scars were upon them, committed his own forces to the battle in earnest.
The opening salvos
Despite being the ones to declare the battle, the White Scars did not fire the first shots. The White Scars had moved into positions clearly anticipating their speed to award them the first round of attacks. Unfortunately, the precision of the Emperor's Children's force proved this to be false. The White Scar Assault squad to the North was in the direct line of sight of squad Darius who advanced up to meet them. As they did so, the nuncio-vox exchanged coordinates with Perfection's Cry and three missiles streaked over the head of the tactical squad, detonating in the heart of the assault squad. This deadly salvo left only 2 Astartes alive. However, Sword of Damocles had advanced up the North-West flank and its accelerator cannon swiftly put them down too. Unfortunately the Spartan had advanced behind a watchtower in the centre of the plains and thus hid itself from the rest of the 17th Millenial's guns. However, Tiberius and squad Raths formed up close to squad Darius with Ancient Thordorian behind them, ready to meet the Spartan head-on.
The White Scars respond
Striking with the speed they are famed for, the White Scars's Spartan advanced and out of it's front maw 5 Cataphractii terminators stalked, driven forwards by the oratory of Chaplain Shiban. Behind them the Spartan open-fired with its two quad-lascannon batteries at both Shade of Virtue and Ancient Thordorian. The shot on the Ancient did little more than tarnish the ornate artwork on his sarcophagus, but the shot to the Vindicator rocked it and temporarily scrambled the targeting array.
Tiberius ordered squad Raths to fire overwatch into the advancing terminators with their bolt pistols. On deft shot pierced the eye-lens of a termintor, the explosive bolt round pulping the terminator's skull within his helmet and the warrior fell to the ground with a resounding crash. Having favoured protection over speed cost the White Scars dearly though, as the sluggishness of the Cataphractii armour meant that they could not reach the Emperor's Children before Tiberius could issue his next round of orders.
Pressing the advantage
The Emperor's Children quickly sprung into action. Tiberius and his assault squad retinue jumped to one side of the terminators whilst squad Darius swapped to combat blades and bolt pistols. Sword of Damocles moved East along the plains, moving to get a clearer shot on the Spartan's armour, hoping a lucky shot from the accelerator cannon might punch through it's formidable armour and wreck some havoc.
Shade of Virtue was still reeling from the Spartan's earlier barrage, but its controllers were keen to exact vengeance. Despite the targeting system being temporarily off-line, the Spartan was directly in-front of it. It could scarcely miss. Firing blind, the laser destroyer array over-charged the power capacitor. This, combined with the damage sustained earlier, damaged more internal systems and left the Vindicator dangerously close to exploding. However, all three shots found their marks and, although the Spartans armour deflected the first shot and the second only glanced it, the front mounted heavy-bolter was atomized by the incandescent laser beams. Sadly though, the Spartan still remained a threat even after the Sicaran added its firepower to that of the Vindicator. It's armour proved too tough for the Sicaran's guns to breach.
Intercepting reports of incoming White Scar air-support, Ancient Thordorian activated his helical targeting array and remained watchful. Squad Darius open fire with their bolt pistols. The discipline of Tiberius's warriors paid off as another two terminators collapsed. Slightly perturbed that he might go the entire battle un-bloodied, Captain Tiberius lead his assault squad retinue in a glorious charge against the remaining terminators. Oriana flew ahead of him, eliciting a painful ultrasonic screech that even the auto-dampeners in the Astartes's armour could not shut out entirely. Chaplain Shiban's post-human ears shut down for a moment to avoid damage, rendering the world silent. And so it was in silence that Tiberius came for him and before he could raise his Crozius in defence, Tiberius's thunderhammer connected with his chest and sent him sprawling on the floor with his chest now concave. The terminator's fought back, killing two of the assault squad, but spurred on by their glorious leader the remainder of the terminators were dragged down and killed.
Over the din of battle, the roar of jet-engines were heard. A Storm Eagle sped on from the Eastern flank, coming up just behind the Spartan. It unleashes it opening salvos of lascannon shots against the Sicaran, momentarily blinding it. It's vengeance batteries open fire on the compact tactical squad, the missiles hitting all 15 of them in some way. However, the power armour of the tactical marines proves to be largely impervious to the shards of shrapnel and tongues of fire that fill the air. The only wounded Astarte is swiftly tended to by apothecary Lepedius, who swiftly returned him to fighting capabilities.
The Spartan itself moved forward, sensing the Vindicator was weak. Twin salvos from its quad-lascannon arrays sealed the machine's fate and it exploded in a raging inferno.
The battle rages on
Sadly this latest set of reinforcements did not seem to be enough to turn the tide and the Emperor's Children continued to harass them. Sword of Damocles advanced North. It's targeting array began to slowly cycle up and the energy signature of the Storm Eagle was faintly visible. It's accelerator cannon cycled up and punched several holes in the flyer. Not enough to damage any systems but enough to significantly weaken the integrity of its hull. Ancient Thordorian advanced also. His twin Kheres Assault cannons had previously been out of range but now they were cycling up and the Storm Eagle's pilot, aware of the cargo he carried, performed evasive maneuvers and thus avoided the shots.
In revenge for blowing up Shade of Virtue, Tiberius and his assault squad clambered over the Spartans hull, planting several melta-bombs. One of their number did not clear the tank in time, and so was immolated by the resultant explosion but the mighty behemoth had been slain.
Vengeance for the dead
Rather than retreat, as a human or xenos foe might have done, the Sons of the Khan seemed eager to exact vengeance on the 17th Millenial for the perceived wrongs they had done. The Storm Eagle flew low and disgorged its cargo of 17 tactical marines, each one already had their pistols and combat blades drawn. Their salvo of bolt pistol rounds proved incredibly effective, slaying three of squad Darius. However, in the ensuing charge, squad Darius gunned down three of their number in return. Sergeant Darius stepped forward to challenge the White Scars sergeant. Unfortunately, the Chogorisian dodged all but one of his blows and grabbed Darius's phoenix spear in the palm of his power fist. With a flex of his fist the weapon was shattered and Darius only had a moment to feel the deep shame of his failure before the White Scar sergeant punched a hole in his chest. Elsewhere, only one other Emperor's Child was killed, with two Chargrisians killed in return. This close to victory the Emperor's Children refused to give in and the White Scars would not let their dead go un-avenged and so the two squads remained locked together.
The final blow
The low altitude and relative stillness that the Storm Eagle had been forced to adopt to disembark its cargo proved its undoing at numerous rounds from Ancient Thordorian and the Sicaran tore apart it's fuselage and engines and wreaked its weapons, leaving it grounded and harmless. Determined to end this quickly, Tiberius ordered his assault squad retinue once more into the fray against the remaining White Scar tactical squad...
Tiberius's armour was scorched in places and slick with viscera. He still had no more clarity on why the White Scars had attacked them but it was almost immaterial at this point. They had attacked, and they had failed. All that remained was to deal with the stragglers.
"Children of the Emperor!" he yelled once more, spurring his faithful assault squad on as the barreled toward the remaining sons of The Great Khan.
"Death to his foes!" Tiberius could spot apothecary Lepedius fending of attacks from a power-fist wielding White Scar over the fallen body of Sergeant Darius. Tiberius would not let the vital work of the Apothecarion go to waste by letting him die.
"Honourless cur, face me" He called out. The White Scar turned.
"Who are you, that I might know whose head I bring to the Khan?" the Scar asked.
"I am Captain Tiberius Loculus, Commander of the Seventeenth Millennial. I will inscribe it on your corpse, so that all will know who ended your arrogant boasts."
"We shall see." Said the Scar as he came running for Tiberius. Perhaps Darius had struggled to read the Scars surprisingly quick movements, but Tiberius did not. Tiberius blocked the two strikes the White Scar made, the head of his hammer meeting the knuckles of his opponent's fist before swinging his hammer in an arc that, by all rights, should not be possible to perform so quickly with such a heavy weapon. The blow was an uppercut that connected with the Scar's helmet and reduced his skull to red mist. His lifeless body fell forwards at Tiberius's feet.
"No, we won't." Tiberius looked around. His assault squad had been reduced by several members, but the White Scars were faring considerably worse. There was just over half a dozen left now. "Disarm them and prepare them for transport" he ordered. In his peripheral vision he saw a flash of steel and turned aside in time for the combat blade glance of his chest-plate. His thunderhammer lashed out again, obliterating the White Scar's hand and blade. Tiberius kicked him to the floor. "Lepedius, sedate this man." The apothecary did as he was ordered and then ran off to tend to the dead and sedate the other still-living White Scars.
"Captain, why are we taking prisoners?" Sergeant Raths said as he approached Tiberius.
"Whatever madness had gripped the Astartes on Isstvan has clearly gripped these men too. Now we found no evidence of White Scars in the Isstvan system, so clearly this is not contained to the legions we found signs of there. These men will tell us exactly what is the meaning of this chaos." Possibilities were already in the back of his mind. Perhaps this was some kind of pathogen similar to what had affected the IIIrd legion in the early days, except it drove Astartes mad. Perhaps it was some kind of warp-sickness. Perhaps the madness of Old Night had returned whilst they were beyond the light of the Astronomican.
"And what of the rest of them sir?" Raths said gesturing the the wreckages behind Tiberius and breaking him out of his wandering thoughts.
"What of them? Anyone who investigates this distress beacon will find what we expected to find; the signs of a massacre."
|Skirmish Designation||Victor||Defeated||Faction Victor|
|Massacre on the Aushabti Plains~1452988166||L-III-0620||The White Scars||L-III-0620|
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