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Carnage at Hive Sactum


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"Die Weaklings!" cried Varshakk as he swept his chainaxe through the body of a weeping guardsman, reversing the stroke and beheading another, whilst cutting down a further trio further down the firing step with a tight burst of bolt shells. His fellow Bezerkers leapt into the trench behind him, dismembering the rest of the Hystonian PDF platoon that stood in their way.


Looking back he glipmpsed the raw power and majesty of Lord Krystock's forces. A tide of over a ten thousand men and tanks, spearheaded by Chaos marine warbands were overrunning the defences of Hive Sactum in a tide of blood and death, and that was just the vangaurd of the chaos horde that now descended upon the sticken city, in just the same way as the half a dozen other Hystonian Hives in the last 10 weeks.


"The Blood God cries out for more skulls! Do NOT DISAPPOINT HIM!" The blood drenched marines surrounding him roared in approval, then broke into a run through the remaining trench works into the teeth of the Hystonian defences.




In orbit, Fleet Sirdar Grinkon gazed at the image of Hyston II through the hololith mounted in the centre of the bridge, seeing the trail of destruction wrought by Lord Krystock appearing like a black scar across the surface of the world, as hives and townships burned as offerings to the Dark Gods of Chaos. His mutated face distorting into a sickening smile at the thought of the rewards that would be bestowed on him by the Gods for being part of this brutal slaughter. His reverie was inturrupted by one of the bridge slaves that approached the Sirdars command throne. Getting on its knees and fearfully bowing its face to the rotten floor, it addressed him.


"Massterr" it gurgled "the sorcerors have detected a disturbance in the immaterium. Something approaches us through the warp"


"What? the sorcerors were supposed to have incerepted any astropathic messages from the planet when we first arrived. No-one knows we're here!" shouted the Fleet Sirdar.


"someone knowss massterr...somehow, the Imperium is coming. and soon" whispered the slave.




Breaking into realspace in a shower of light came the Imperial retribution fleet, over a twenty capital ships and cruisers, flanked by a dozen escort squadrons. Without slowing down from their explosive entry to the Hystonian system , they thundered into the Chaos armada. A pair of Imperial Lunar cruisers quickly sandwiched a chaos Grand cruiser and reduced it to a blazing hulk with massed broadsides. A squadron of cobra destroyers unleashed a massive torpedo salvo at a Slaughter Cruiser, destroying it even as it rammed an imperial counterpart, the explosions consuming both vessels. The Flagship of the Imperial fleet - an ancient Retribution Battleship named "Terran Steel" fired crushing broadsides into a the side of an attack craft carrier - torching the ship even as it launched its bombing waves at the Imperial armada.


Fleet Sirdar Grinkon screamed at the hololith as he watched events unfolding, unable to believe that the Dark Gods could allow this to happen. his ship - a fearsome Desolator battleship was forming the lynchpin of the chaos defensive line, its massive long rance lance batteries spitting fire into the advancing imperials.


"Masster, we have lost the 'Corruption' and the 'Unearthly Vigour' to enemy fire, and the 'Unending Pain' has taken severe damage. We must regroup!"


"COWARD!" screamed Grinkon, drawing his chainsword and disembowling the slave. However he knew the creature was correct. there was no winning this battle, the Imperials had numbers and the momentum. Reluctently he ordered the sorcerors to order the retreat and signal Lord Krystock on the surface that for now at least, he was on his own.


The Chaos fleet disengaged, leaving many of their number as burning wrecks in the void. The Imperial warfleet assumed a holding pattern in high orbit, as a second wave of troopships, mass conveyances and Adeptus Mechanicum transports exited the warp and made for the planet.




Varshakk knew something had changed in the flow of the battle even as his troops paused in their slaughter to look at the sky. Streaming through the atmosphere came wave after wave of dropships. landing in ever growing numbers on the flank of the chaos army. Swiftly deploying from their landers came the massed ranks of the Imperial Guard - Brimlock Dragoons, Mordian Iron Guard and half a dozen other regiments forming up ready to advance.


Even as the horde struggled to react to this new threat, the voice of Lord Krystock was heard on the vox-net, his distorted shrieking voice urging his loyal followers to engage the Imperial dogs, and drive them into the warp. Inspired by his Lords speech, and sensing worthy blood to spill Varshakk gathered his fellow bezerkers and ran towards this new enemy as the horde turned like the tide and rushed forward to drown the newly arrived imperials in blood and steel.


Barely had the 13th Mordian regiment exited their landers when they were engaged by the front runners of Krystocks followers. Without the support of their armour - which was still decending from orbit, the infantry fell back to time honoured drills and Mordian disipline.


"Front rank - FIRE!" shouted Lieutenant Gallows to his platoon as another wave of cultists charged the Mordian Positions. Even as the formost cultists fell with smoking holes punctured in them, the Mordian second rank was already firing, blasting another dozen cultists off their feet. "Thats it lads give 'em some Mordian hospitallity!" as the front rank reloaded and felled another clutch of enemy warriors as they appeared through the battlefield smoke.


Hearing the screaming of yet more enemy voices approaching, Lieutenant Gallows steadied his firing line. As the roaring increased in volume he realised it sounded louder and more brutal than mere human voices and he ordered his platoon to fix bayonets. No sooner had the order been given than the source of the voices burst through the smoke like gods of war.


"Into them Lads!" shouted Varshakk as the first volley of lasfire lanced toward him. Shrugging off the impacts his leaped a mound of dead cultists and dived feet first into the solid Mordian ranks, swinging his chainaxe in a wide arc.


"For the Emperor! Defy them!" screamed Lieutenant Gallows as he saw a blood drenched Chaos marine dive into the midst of his platoon, swiftly followed by a dozen more traitor marines, each wielding barbaric chainaxes and screaming obcenities. Within moments he saw more than a dozen of his men dismembered by the blood crazed madmen. Drawing and activating his powersword he ran into the fray. He quickly reached the first traitor, Ducking an axe swing he stepped inside the Marines guard and swung his sword with all his strength, slicing through the power armour as if it were cloth and bringing it clear in a flood of gore.


The Marine fell to the floor, almost severed at the waist, grunting in surprise as his lifeblood flowed to the sodden ground. Gallows stepped past the smoking corpse and continued through the brutal melee towards the leader of these bezerkers, who had just disarmed one of his squad sergeants and was busy pulling him limb from limb with his bare hands.


Both leaders met each others gaze at the same instant. Varshakk unclasped his horned helmet and let it fall to the ground and hefted his chainaxe with a feral grin. Gallows raised his powersword in defiance whilst Varshakk mockingly saluted, then both charged. Gallows swung his sword two handed, which Varshakk parried with the haft of his axe, returning with a downward slash that Gallows barely deflected. Gallows ducked low and slashed towards the vunerable knee joints in Varshakks armour. However, Before he could connect the blow Varshakks axe descended and took his sword arm off at the elbow in a spray of arterial blood. Crying out in surprise and shock Gallows fell to the ground, his lifeblood draining from the stump of his arm.


Varshakk knelt beside him, his purring chainaxe flicking the lieutenants blood across the ground. "You fought well Imperial swine. I will honour your courage by placing your skull at the foot of my masters throne" Gallows looked up as Varshakk raised the axe for a beheading stroke. Looking past the corrupted marines face, to the contrail scarred sky above he saw a sight that made him laugh in triumph despite the pain- a trio of superheavy landers decending on retros from orbit. Savouring the ruin that the machines contained in those vessels would wreak on the enemy he defiently looked Varshakk in the eye


Weak from pain, Gallows uttered his final words - "Burn in hell heretic - my avengers have come" With that the axe decended...




Trailing coloumns of fire the three tower block sized landing silos impacted behind the imperial guard lines. Pressure sealed hatches on the silo sides

hissed steam and opened with a metallic groan. Out of the steam emerged objects that made the imperial forces cry and weep with joy whilst making the chaos forces cry with despair, a trio of Titans from the Legio Metallica marched to war with thunderous strides.


The Warlord Titan 'Divinus Ira' came first, flanked by the two Reavers 'Prango Victoria' and 'Contego Vir'. marching towards the front lines their forms shimmered as banks of void shields powered up. Speakers mounted on the heads of the God-Machines blared Imperial Hymns and devotional prayers to inspire the guardsmen beneath them.


In the bridge of the 'Divinus Ira', Princeps Arukin surveyed the battlefield with a practiced eye. The Imperial forces had landed on the flanks of the Chaos horde, diverting them away from Hive Sactum. The veteren guard regiments had formed a solid battle line, with armour and artillary backing them up. currently the archenemy vangard was dashing itself against the solid line, although the parts of the chaos forces spearheaded by Chaos Space Marines were making greater headway. The main part of the Chaos force was still redirecting itself from its original advance on the hive, its sheer size making unwieldy. Arukin knew that in order to prevail, the huge enemy numbers had to be thinned - and he was just the man to thin them.


Striding past a company of Leman Russ tanks the titans powered up their weapons. Both Reavers had bulky apocalypse missile launchers mounted on their carapaces. Even as they advanced, these long ranged weapons angled skywards and unleashed a salvo of warheads into the archenemy force, huge explosions throwing archenemy troops and vehicles high into the air. as the range neared, their arm mounted turbo lasers and gatling blasters swung to bear, super-heavy munitions sawing through the archenemy ranks.


as the Reavers sowed devastation in the chaos ranks, Arukin scanned the enemy forces for the main threats to his God machines. Spying a pair of corrupted BaneBlade superheavy tanks, he tasked his weapons moderatii with their immediate destruction. The turbo laser mounted on the Warlords right carapace mount spat fire at the nearest machine, repeatedly hitting the giant vehicle and immbolising it, before the left arm mounted plasma cannon immolated it in a huge mushroom cloud before it could even return fire. Ignoring the demise of its sibling, the remaining superheavy fired back at the towering warlord. The heavy lasfire and cannon shot fired by the hulking tank had enough power to decimate an entire tank company, yet the void shields protecting Arukins machine merely flared and absorbed the impacts before they could even scratch it's blessed armour. In return the Volcano cannon mounted on the Warlords right arm spat incadescent fire and punched a hole the size of a Leman Russ right through the front of the enemy vehicle, as if it was armoured in paper.


However, the baneblade was not alone in defying the Titans. Dozens of tanks were blasting at the trio of Imperial machines. Void shields flared and collapsed under the weight of fire, and soon all three were taking impacts to their hulls. The 'Contego Vir' flanked the warlord, protecting Arukins flank and

decimating the massing Chaos armour with precise laser fire, and sending missile salvos arcing into the infantry formations. Despite being ordered to protect the right flank of the 'Divinus Ira', The 'Prango Victoria' had advanced impetuously into the thick of the enemy forces, crushing hundreds beneath its steel feet, its turbo lasers firing steady volleys at any visible armour. Its implacable advance had left a trail of destruction behind it - crushed bodies and shattered vehicle, yet its Princeps had moved beyond the cover of his comrades.


Seeing one of the hated Imperial machines alone and beyond support, Lord Krystock decided to make his personal presence felt, manouvering his bodyguard cohort near to the isolated Titan. Blessed and favoured by his patron Gods, Krystock had long since discarded his mortal flesh and had ascended to daemonhood. Bursting from the ranks of his protectors he flew at the 'Contego Vir' on mighty daemonic wings, landing on the head of the Reaver with such force that his cloven feet buckled the metre thick adamantium armour plating. As The Princeps and his bridge crew looked on in horror the Chaos Lord snarled viciously, and unsheathed his daemonic blade. Raising it above his horn crowned head and sending it stabbing into the cockpit, the massive armour plating parting like silk beneath the writhing warp spawned energies that Krystock wielded. Shearing open the head of the Titan Krystock jumped into the bridge and began the slaughter of the crew.


Arukin Watched with horror as the viewscreen of the 'Divinus Ira' showed the fate of his fellow titan. He saw as the daemonic atrocity hacked its way inside, and he saw as it tossed the still living crew members out of the bridge, to fall to the ground 20 metres below. Weeping at the sacrilege done by this Chaos spawned monstrosity, he turned to his senior weapons moderati. "Arm the Vortex missile and target the 'Contego Vir' I want that Titan cleansed!"


Lord Krystock laughed in glee as he threw the remaining crewmen out of the ruptured cockpit. Now only the Commander of the machine remained, cowering in his throne. Frantically drawing his laspistol, the Princeps fired at the Daemon Prince, stiching a row of scorch marks across Krystors armour, but doing nothing more. "Where is your bravado now old man?" mocked Krystor "Its more scary when its face to face, rather than 20 metres below you isn't it?" Shaking, the Princeps wordlessly knelt down to the bridge floor and made the sign of the Aquila. "Your false God won't save you!" Roared Krystock, but then he realised that the old man wasn't looking at him, he was looking past him, through the shattered bridge viewscreen. Turning around he saw the bigger titan facing towards him, a single contrail joining its left carapace mount to a fast approaching point of light.


"Great Gods of the Dark - NOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!" Screamed Krystock as the Vortex missile impacted, opening a warp rift that completely engulfed the 'Contego Vir' with the Chaos Lord still inside it, and sucking it into the warp and oblivion, together with several thousand nearby chaos followers.


Chocking with emotion, Arukin looked at his Moderati. "A Fine shot sir" he said, tears still streaming down his cheeks "Now let us avenge our brothers in the only way we know. Recharge the plasma cannon and give me striding speed - This battle won't win itself!"


With the death of their Lord the resolve of the Chaos forces wavered, faced by the advance of the Imperial army, and the relentless firepower of the remaining two Titans, the tide began to turn in the Imperials favour....

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