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Crusade of Fire (War)

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2drones.gif This article is about the Imperial Crusade, for the rulebook see Crusade of Fire (Campaign Book)



Crusade of Fire
Date ???.M41
Location Corvus Sub-sector
Outcome Ongoing
Combatants
Imperium Chaos Dark Eldar
Commanders
Lord Militant Arian Vois
Wolf Lord Sigvald Deathgranter
Captain Darnath Lysander
Chapter Master Gabriel Seth
Anathrax the Foetid
Bane
Changeling
Archon Viscount Rex
Duke Sliscus
Strength
100 Imperial Guard Regiments
Elements from 5 Chapters
Imperial Navy Battlefleet
Titan Legions
Servants of Ruin Prophets of War
Losses/Survivors
Unknown Unknown Unknown


The Crusade of Fire, originally known as the Crusade of Light, was a major Imperial Crusade launched in M41 to reclaim the worlds of the Corvus Sub-sector.[1] A large-scale operation, the Crusade of Fire was the largest Imperial Crusade since the Macharian Crusade of the early 41st Millennium.[1a]

Prelude

After nearly a thousand years, the Warp Storms that had isolated the Corvus Sub-Sector finally subsided. A Crusade to reestablish Imperial rule was immediately launched under Lord Militant Arian Vois and accompanied by no less than a dozen Space Marine Companies and a hundred Imperial Guard Regiments. However, as the first ships emerged from the Warp, Lord Vois' worst fears were confirmed as much of the Sub-Sector lay in chaos and madness. Worse still, much of it was overrun by Chaos Space Marines under the Daemon Prince of Nurgle Anathrax the Foetid who had already sacrificed entire planetary populations in a dark ritual that would cast the sub-sector back into the Warp.[1] They had also discovered that a Dark Eldar raiding party known as the Prophets of War under Archon Viscount Rex was active in the sector, looking to acquire massive amounts of fresh slaves in the chaos.[1a]

The Crusade Begins

Launched amid great fanfare and a 14 day opening parade, the Crusade of Light set out to reclaim the Corvus Sub-sector. The basic plan was to land Administratum survey teams on every world who would make contact with the native populations and re-evaluate their ability to be integrated into the Imperium. Upon contact with hostile forces, Space Marine and Imperial Guard forces would forcibly take control of the planet. But no sooner did the Crusade fleet emerge from the Warp than the error of its intended plan was made clear. The Crusade of Light was too late: the Servants of Ruin stood ready for them with a fleet of Battleships. Thus it was that the Crusade of Light had become the Crusade of Fire.[1] The Lord Militant ordered the immediate deployment of the Space Marine forces accompanying the Crusade en masse, and dozens of Thunderhawks carrying the Space Marines landed on key worlds even as other Astartes forces assaulted the Chaos fleet with Boarding Torpedoes.[1a]

Junkatta

The factories of Junkatta were listed as a top priority of the Crusade and a combined force of Space Wolves and Imperial Fists quickly landed to secure key locations. However, they soon came under an ambush from Traitor Guard. Sigvald Deathgranter of the Space Wolves attacked the traitors' command section while the Imperial Fists bore of the brunt of the attack, which was led by a gigantic Soul Grinder that quickly killed the Fists' Master of the Forge. Worse still was yet to take place, as the Space Wolves soon turned their Bolters on their allies. Only as Deathgranter's axe beheaded the Traitor Guard Colonel, was the Changeling revealed and his spell undone. Their leader slain, the Traitor Guard lost the will to fight but the toll they inflicted upon the Space Marines was great. The Imperial Fists called in reinforcements and began to reclaim and refortify the central Hive of the planet.[1b]

Fighting continued in the manufactorum hives of Junkatta, where Captain Lysander led the Imperial Fists 1st Company in a desperate bid to cleanse the city of a force of Gladiator Group 138 World Eaters under the Chaos Lord and former Chapter Master Bane. Deploying a wall of Storm Shields that not even the World Eaters Terminators could breach, Lysander's Veterans held form and completed the fortification of their city.[1c]

Corvus Majoris

On Corvus Majoris, the Howling Griffons were the first to engage the enemy forces after coming under Alpha Legion ambush. Putting up a vicious resistance, the Griffons drove back the Alpha Legion Chosen and Forgefiends and won the day.[1b]

Alfrost

On Alfrost, the Space Wolves were attacked by a Dark Eldar raiding party that emerged from a Webway Portal. As the Space Wolves vanguard was slain by Wyches and their tanks destroyed by overhead Razorwing Jetfighters, the tide turned as Long Fangs activated a Skyfire Nexus, their rockets reducing the sleek jetfighters to debris. Deathgranter joined battle with the Dark Eldar Succubus and though he slew her, her handmaidens brought the Space Wolf down and managed to drag him back to Commorragh.[1b]

Voidspan Point & Savrap

At Voidspan Point, the Dark Eldar warlord Duke Sliscus immediately took control of the vital station and used it to his advantage by immediately leading a raid on the Jungle World of Savrap, seeking the treasures that were rumored to lay within its depths. However, the Dark Eldar forces quickly ran into the Flesh Tearers under Reclusiarch Carnaevon who led a Death Company into the xenos ranks alongside a Deathwatch Kill-Team. But Sliscus soon showed his own hand, deploying his Necron allies who forced the Astartes to withdraw.[1c]

Sovven

On the irradiated world of Sovven, having escaped from the pits of Commorragh, Sivgald Deathgranter led the Space Wolves into battle once more against the Alpha Legion, who had claimed many shelters on the surface. The Legion struck on many fronts, wrecking the Space Wolves' tanks while the Wolves Grey Hunters were busy gunning down their Cultist allies. After a fierce day's battle, as darkness fell, the Alpha Legion were forced from a key bunker.[1c]

Even as the Alpha Legion were forced to abandon their Cultists to take the battle to the newly arrived Flesh Tearers for an ancient relic, the Alpha Legion would not relent. Their warlord, going by the common Alpha Legion alias of Alpharius, drove wave after wave of Chaos Marines into the poisonous sludge that hid the relic, nearly a dozen succumbing to its toxicity. The Alpha Legion Hellbrute was destroyed by a lucky shot from Epistolary Vekt's Plasma Pistol, but a nearby Forgefiend survived repeated Astartes attacks to obliterate much of the Flesh Tearers forces. In the end, Alpharius was slain in a challenge with Vekt, but his warriors took advantage of the chaos to escape with the relic.[1d]

Illias

On the labyrinth-like world of Illias, the World Eaters warband Gladiator Group 138 were able to gain the upper hand against the Howling Griffons. However, the tide turned when a combined assault by Captain Xerxes and Chaplain Strabo caught the World Eaters' line in a pincer. The final straw to the World Eaters defeat came when Khorne "gifted" the World Eaters' Chaos Lord with the dubious reward of Spawndom. Their leader reduced to a dribbling beast, the World Eaters withdrew to the ruins.[1c]

Later, the Flesh Tearers arrived on Illias and jumped into the fray in a fierce counterattack. Their Tactical Marines digging themselves up as their Assault Marines and Sanguinary Guard tore into the World Eaters' Berzerkers, the World Eaters Terminators launched a fierce counterattack which nearly turned the tide. However, the day was won by the Flesh Tearers Chapter Master Gabriel Seth, who leapt from his Stormraven and carved apart Bane, the World Eaters warlord.[1d]

Unctious

On the Daemon World of Unctious, the Word Bearers and their Cultist slaves gave themselves willingly to Daemons, creating hordes of savage Possessed Marines and Cultists that hurled themselves at the newly arrived Space Wolves alongside Rhinos and Maulerfiends. Even as the mighty Deathgranter slew a squad of the Traitor Marines, Canis Wolfborn was pulled from his Thunderwolf by a swarm of possessed Cultists. However, Wolfborn survived, his claws carving a path through the traitor masses.[1d]

The largest and most decisive battle of the Crusade soon developed on Unctious, as both loyalist Titans of the Collegia Titanica and Chaos Titans of the Traitor Titan Legions arrived to do battle.[1e]

Crusade Forces

Imperial

Chaos

Dark Eldar

Sources