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Cryptus Campaign

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Cryptus Campaign
CryptusSystem.jpg
Tyranid invasion of the Cryptus System
Conflict Tyrannic Wars
Date 998.M41
Location Cryptus System
Outcome Pyrrhic Imperial victory
Combatants
Imperium Tyranids Necrons
Commanders
Chapter Master Dante
Gabriel Seth
General Maelon Dhrost
Canoness Magda Grace
Captain Donatos Aphael
Hive Mind Overlord Zarathusa
Anrakyr the Traveler
Strength
Blood Angels 1st & 2nd Companies
Bulk of Flesh Tearers
Millions of Imperial Guard
Imperial Navy Battlefleet
Order of the Sacred Rose
Tempestus Scions
Hive Fleet Leviathan Mephrit Dynasty
Losses/Survivors
Extremely Heavy Heavy Light


The Cryptus Campaign was a major Blood Angels operation against Tyranid Hive Fleet Leviathan in 998.M41.[1]

Overview

The campaign begins when news reaches the Blood Angels' homeworld of Baal that the Cryptan Shield, intended to hold back the might of Hive Fleet Leviathan, has collapsed. Already Chapter Master Dante has put plans in motion to defend the Blood Angels' home world, strike forces fighting hit-and-run battles with Leviathan's smaller splinter fleets throughout the Red Scar.[1]

Meanwhile, the defences of Baal and her moons have been bolstered like never before, and the might of the Blood Angels' successor Chapters gathers from across the galaxy. Yet still it may not be enough, for the Tyranids are seemingly without number, and Hive Fleet Leviathan is learning the weaknesses of its prey at an exponential rate. Knowing that the consumption of the Cryptus System would open the floodgates for an unstoppable Tyranid invasion of Baal, Commander Dante takes action. At the head of a mighty strike force that comprises the 1st and 2nd Companies of the Blood Angels, Brother Corbulo, Captain Karlaen, Chief Librarian Mephiston and the bulk of Gabriel Seth's Flesh Tearers, Dante strikes out for the Cryptus System. He will see the defences shored up if such a thing is still possible, and if not will do battle with the Cryptoid Tendril directly in a desperate bid for the salvation of Baal. The Blood Angels were not alone, joined by forces from the Sisters of Battle, Imperial Guard, Ordo Tempestus, and Imperial Navy.[1][2c]

The hive fleet sailed straight through the Aegis, encasing itself in vile secretions that quickly froze into diamond-hard armour. This shield not only protected the Tyranids from the unnatural cold but was also proof against the Imperial battlefleet's massed guns. Numbering millions of bio-ships and lesser organisms, the alien tendril divided as it sailed in-system, heading to each of the inhabited worlds. The Imperial ships were brushed aside, overwhelmed by an enemy that outnumbered them many times over. The battle among the stars was lost in a span of hours, the rest of the system's defenders forced to watch, powerless, from their planetary fortifications as the Tyranids consumed the Imperial fleet and moved in for the kill. Then the invasion began in earnest and every planet of Cryptus became a target.[2c]

On Asphodex, General Maelon Dhrost led an inspired defence that denied the Tyranids the skies while channelling them into kill-zones on the ground. On Lysios, Canoness Magda Grace rallied the nomadic tribes and their caravans into a great corral as the first xenos swarms fell upon them. In the swirling blue skies of Aeros, Imperial Guard Valkyrie wings patrolled the upper atmosphere, fighting off the worst the Tyranids could throw at them.[2c]

Meanwhile, on the moon of Ixoi, the Vostroyan tank regiments fought a bitter battle in the poison mists against hordes of xenos invaders, and on Tartoros, Imperial Guardsmen struggled to defend the void domes from the hulking monsters sent against them. Everywhere battle raged unchecked, and on every planet the skies were filled with falling spores and screaming alien horrors. At first, it seemed like the Imperium might emerge victorious, and great victories were reported on both Asphodex and Lysios as the Imperial Guard and Adepta Sororitas took a heavy toll upon the invaders. The ruins of Phodia, Asphodex’s principal city, and the plains of Lysios were both thick with alien dead, but these successes were bought with the lives of countless brave Imperial defenders.[2c]

These early victories were to provide only false hope. Only after the first day of bloody fighting did the true size of the Tyranid invasion fleet become clear, as wave after wave of bio-creatures rained down from the skies to take the place of the millions already slain. Worse still, the Hive Mind was adapting at a terrifying rate, and for every tried and tested tactic the Imperium had discovered to defeat the Tyranids the Hive Mind had developed a defence. What little hope there had been died at the sight of the stars blotted out by hive ships, and the worlds of the Cryptus System seething with xenos invaders.[2c]

On Asphodex, the great city burned out of control and General Dhrost's defences were overrun. Attacked from within and without, his armies crumbled, and soon the Imperial Guard's carefully laid lines of defence had become isolated pockets of resistance that were devoured one by one. In the chaos of battle, Dhrost disappeared, and all organised resistance began to break down. On Lysios, Magda Grace's inspired defence became a desperate last stand. The Canoness held her army together until she was eventually slain by a Lictor in the final moments of the evacuation. Though many of her sisters escaped, many more perished in the final retreat. Aeros, Tartoros and Ixoi all suffered similar defeats, their defenders broken and scattered before the alien swarms.[2c]

As the second day drew to a close, the Shieldworlds had been all but broken, and the Cryptus System completely overrun by the hive fleet.[2c]

It was then that Commander Dante led the Blood Angels counterattack, first leading the defenses at Phodia and Port Helos on Asphodex. After a swift and brutal fight, the Blood Angels secured victory in this first battle. On Lysios, the Flesh Tearers suffered worse from the effects of the Black Rage but managed to emerge victorious. On Aeros, the Blood Angels 2nd Company, under Aphael, managed to secure the survivors of the planet and clear the skies of xenos intruders.[2c]

However, on Asphodex, Necron legions of the Mephrit Dynasty awoke thanks to the efforts of Anrakyr the Traveller. Anrakyr quickly formed an alliance with Necron Overlord Zarathusa. Anrakyr next organized an alliance with the Blood Angels, and together the two factions were able to defeat the Tyranids in a desperate act of Exterminatus. This was achieved by activating the ancient Necrontyr weapon known as the Magnovitrium (or the Starflame to the Necrons) and using it to ignite the core of the gas giant Aeros. While the Flesh Tearers[2a] (under the command of Gabriel Seth)[3] and Sisters of Battle made their final stand on Lysios, the Blood Angels and Necrons worked to secure relay dishes on Phodia necessary to activate the Magnovitrium. On Tartoros, the Necrons and Death Company moved to secure the great solar mirror to reflect the energies of the Starflame across the entire System. During the battle, a Transcendent C'tan and the Sanguinor used by the allied forces proved instrumental in victory.[2a]

With all the preparations set, the Magnovitrium was activated and shot out across the system like a spear of fire, incinerating everything in its path. The Tyranids were scourged from the system. However, many Imperial soldiers, civilians, Sisters of Battle, and Space Marines were lost despite their advanced preparations to take shelter. Only the Necrons emerged unscathed as they had phased out just after activation. The Imperial forces withdrew thereafter, having burnt away enormous amounts of biomass for the Tyranids and inflicting painful losses.[2b]

Nonetheless, the Cryptus Campaign proved only able to delay Leviathan. In the Devastation of Baal, the world was assailed by the Tyranid swarm.

Sources