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Siege of the Fenris System

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Siege of the Fenris System
FenrisBombing.jpg
Fenris is bombarded by the Dark Angels-led Fleet
Date ~999.M41
Location Fenris System
Outcome Strategic Chaos Victory
-Sortiarius moved into the Materium
-Population of Fenris purged
Tactical Imperial Victory
-Fenris System saved but devastated
Combatants
Space Wolves
Grey Knights
Chaos Dark Angels Coalition
Commanders
Great Wolf Logan Grimnar
Wolf Priest Ulrik
Wolf Lord Harald Deathwolf
Wolf Lord Krom Dragongaze
Wolf Lord Egil Iron Wolf(KIA)
Wolf Lord Sven Bloodhowl
Bjorn
Grand Master Valdar Aurikon(KIA)
Brother-Captain Arvann Stern
Daemon Primarch Magnus
Ahriman
Daedophet
Omarhotec
Nezchad Aratos
Aarthrat
Daemon Prince Mordokh
Daemon Prince Arkh'gar
Daemon Prince
Tzen'char
Daemon Prince Malyg'nyl
Bloodthirster Vor'hakk
Chaos Lord Vykus Skayle(KIA)
Dark Apostle Hekastis Nul(KIA)
Supreme Grand Master Azrael
Captain Epathus
Iron Captain Terrek‎
Captain Vorr
Captain Bohemund
Master Himmaeus
Captain Epathus
Strength
5 Great Companies
1 Brotherhood
Kaerls
Thousand Sons
Tzaangors
Alpha Legion elements
Daemonic Legions
Brotherhood of the Serpent's Eye
Dark Angels
Ultramarines 6th Company
Clan Haarmek of the Iron Hands
Howling Griffons
Red Consuls
Marines Malevolent
Shadow Haunters
Guardians of the Covenant
Doom Griffons
and six other Chapters
Knights of House Mortan
Legio Dominatus‎
2 Imperial Guard Army Groups
2 Imperial Navy sub-Battlefleets
Losses/Survivors
Unknown, heavy Unknown, heavy Unknown


The Siege of the Fenris System was a major Chaos and later inter-Imperial conflict occurring in the final days of M41.[1]

The Space Wolves battle the Alpha Legion

Overview

Prelude

By the closing days of the 41st Millennium, major Warp Storms erupted across the Imperium, resulting in a dramatic increase in Daemonic incursions. During one such incursion on Nurades, the Space Wolves under Harald Deathwolf were saved by their mysterious 13th Great Company brethren known as the Wulfen. This marked the first time in millennia that these warriors had openly returned to their brothers. In the aftermath of the battle, the Space Wolves decided to hunt for the remaining Wulfen that were appearing alongside the rising tide of Warp Storms. Wolf Priest Ulrik believed that finding these lost Wulfen was the key to discovering the location of Leman Russ. Thus eleven of the twelve Great Companies of the Space Wolves undertook a major campaign to recover the Wulfen across the Galaxy. Fearful of how the Inquisition would view the Wulfen, their nature and return was kept from the wider Imperium.[1a]

Meanwhile, the Dark Angels arrived on Nurades and located a surviving Scout who was subsequently interrogated by the Chapter's Librarians. The Scout's mind showed his comrades on Nurades being massacred by bands of mutated Space Wolves, which led the Dark Angels to the conclusion that the Chapter had become corrupted. Azrael however refused to make a move until he had more proof.[1b] Unknown to the Dark Angels, this Scout was actually the Changeling in disguise. The Changeling later reappeared to Azrael, this time disguised as Sammael. He claimed that the Space Wolves had massacred a contingent of Dark Angels during a hunt for the Wulfen on Tranquilitus, though in truth the two Chapter's had fought together.[2]

Elsewhere, the Grey Knights were busy purging the many worlds now suffering from Daemonic incursion. They often arrived in the wake of the Spaces Wolves on their campaign, and on Mydgal Alpha Brother-Captain Arvann Stern discovered a corpse of a Wulfen warrior alongside the splattered remains of the Daemon Prince Mordokh. Thus the Grey Knights were alerted to the existence of the Wulfen.[1b] On the Shrine World of Vikurus, the Grey Knights and Space Wolves meet to discuss what exactly is going on. Stern and Logan Grimnar come to an understanding regarding the Wulfen, and the Grey Knights Brother-Captain gives the Great Wolf a warning that the Thousand Sons may be making a move on Fenris. Alarmed, Grimnar rallies nearby Great Companies and makes for the Fenris System.[1b]

Chaos Incursion

As Grimnar's fleet arrived in the Fenris System, they found it besieged by the Ruinous Powers. Every world and planet in the system save Fenris itself was under assault. On Frostheim, Alpha Legion Chaos Lord Vykus Skayle led the assault alongside Daemons flowing onto its surface from a Warp Rift. The Alpha Legion was successful in summoning a vast storm of Daemonic Rifts across the system at the decree of Abaddon himself.

Battles erupted across the system immediately as Grimnar's relief force arrived. On Midgardia where Nurgle had gained influence the Daemons came into combat with Egil Iron Wolf's and Grimnar's Great Company's. On Valdrmani, Tzeentch gained slowly influence and corrupted its Astropathic Choirs before being assailed by Grey Knights allied to the Wolves. On Svellgard, Khorne had gained influence as the forces of Sven Bloodhowl fought for control of its orbital defenses. On Frostheim, Harald Deathwolf's Great Company battled the Alpha Legion to reclaim the fortress known as Morkai's Keep. Meanwhile on Fenris, defending Wolf Lord Krom Dragongaze dare not leave The Fang undefended but he did awaken Bjorn for counsel.[1c]

On Svellgard, Wolf Lord Sven Bloodhowl led the assault personally on the fortified nexus known as the World Wolf's Lair. The Daemons were led by a massive Bloodthirster known as Vor'hakk alongside the Daemonic Herald Raksh'as Sundersword. The Khornate Daemons fought alongside Tzeentch and Nurgle Daemons in a horde that numbered millions. Sven's reckless incursion amused the Daemons and a bloody melee erupted which became a desperate fight for survival for the Wolves. However the Daemons were so intent on overrunning the Wolves they didn't realize that the Wolves had begun to suffer from the same Curse of the Wulfen that affected their lost kin, and many of the Astartes were now becoming berserkers. This turned the tide of the battle, until Vor'hakk himself was defeated by a mob of Wulfen. Victory came for the Wolves on Svellgard, but it was steep.[1c]

On Frostheim the Battle of Morkai's Keep began in earnest when Harald Deathwolf led a Thunderwolf Cavalry assault on the Alpha Legion and Tzeentchian Daemon lies. Unknown to the Wolves, the Alpha Legion managed to activate the Keep's defenses and pummeled many Space Wolves gunships and incoming forces. As casualties climbed by the second, Lord Skayle appeared at the forefront of the slaughter, using his unnatural powers to massacre all before him as the tide of Chaos Space Marines, Daemons, and Cultists advanced. Thanks to the efforts of Wolf Scout Feingar, the defenses of Morkai's Keep were disabled and the tide turned.[1c]

On Midgardia, the planet had become had a poisonous greenhouse dedicated to Nurgle. Egil Iron Wolf and Logan Grimnar himself led the reclamation of the planet. Grimnar divided his forces in two, one led by Iron Wolf to attack the Magma Gates and another led by himself to teleport directly into the caverns beneath where most of the world's population had lived. On both fronts they were assailed by the hordes of Nurgle, slowing their progress and overstretching their limited forces as the Daemons came on in limitless numbers. Grimnar and his Wolf Guard soon came into combat with the three of the four "Infernal Tetrad" Daemon Princes: Mordokh, Arkh'gar, and Malyg'nyl. Soon all contact was lost with the Great Wolf himself.[1c]

On Valdrmani, Brother-Captain Stern led the assault to capture the dome-plex of Longhowl. They were opposed by two Tzeentchian Champions: Hekastis Nul and the last Infernal Tetrad Daemon Prince Tzen'char who had enslaved the worlds Astropathic choir and bent it to the will of the Chaos Gods. Receiving reinforcements from the Space Wolves of Krom Dragongaze, the Imperials pressed the attack. Krom and Stern reached the Astrophathic chamber just as Nul completed his ritual, turning it into a vision of hell. Stern slew Nul, but it was too late as waves of Daemons burst forth onto the planet led by Tzen'char. Stern and Krom managed to combine their efforts and strike down the Daemon Prince, causing the Daemonic host to be driven back into the Warp.[1c]

War Zone Fenris

As the Fenris System burned, the Dark Angels arrived. Led by The Rock itself, the Dark Angels were not alone. They had brought fourteen Chapters with them including the Ultramarines 6th Company, Howling Griffons, Red Consuls, Marines Malevolent, Shadow Haunters, Guardians of the Covenant, Doom Griffons and Clan Haarmek of the Iron Hands Chapter. The Crusade fleet also included the Knights of House Mortan, the Titans of Legio Dominatus, two Imperial Navy sub-battlefleets and three Astra Militarum Army Groups[3]. The Dark Angels expressed their intent to cleanse the System of Daemonic taint and they would not allow the Wolves to fall into damnation. With that, Azrael ordered that the bombardment of Fenris begin.[1c]

The Thousand Sons invade Fenris

However the Dark Angels had been sucked into the treachery of Tzeentch, as the Vox officer of the bridge of The Rock was in fact the Changeling. This was exposed by Grey Knights Captain Stern and Wolf Lord Ragnar Blackmane, and the revealed Daemon summoned a Warp host to the bridge of the Dark Angels Fortress-Station, resulting in a chaotic battle. Azrael, Belial, Stern, Blackmane, Asmodai, and others all engaged in a vicious hunt for the Changeling deep into The Rock. The Changeling sought to wreak further havoc by exposing the Dark Angels' greatest secret to the wider Imperium and release the captured Fallen. In the end, the Changeling was defeated by the Space Marines and the Dark Angels realized that the Wolves were not the true threat.[4a]

The invasion of Fenris

Wrath of Magnus

Meanwhile on Midgardia, Logan Grimnar and his Wolf Guard became separated from Egil Iron Wolf's army and were assailed by a Daemonic and Thousand Sons ambush orchestrated by the Daemon Primarch Magnus the Red. The Crimson King had watched the current chaos and saw an opportunity to exact revenge on the Space Wolves for the Burning of Prospero 10,000 years earlier. It had been Magnus that had unleashed the Changeling and its machinations throughout the Imperium, and now the time had come for the Primarch to launch the finishing stroke.[4a]

The Thousand Sons simultaneously struck at The Fang on Fenris itself. The Thousand Sons landed throughout Fenris on Silver Towers, avoiding the Fangs formidable defensive guns. As fighting among the Imperial forces ceased in the face of the Chaos threat Harald Deathwolf and Sven Bloodhowl were able to combine with Iron Hands, Ultramarines, and Shadow Haunters elements on Fenris and launch a counterattack, destroying a Silver Tower at Yrokja Glacier. However the Silver Towers contained not just Daemonic entities, but Rubicae, Sorcerers, and Tzaangors. The Imperial forces were exhausted and disorganized and could not prevent an all-out invasion of Fenris.[4a]

By day 3 of the invasion, each Silver Tower was the site of an arcane ritual being conducted by the Thousand Sons Sorcerers. Their 9 hour, 9 minute, and 9 second ritual was conducted over a captive Space Wolf sacrifice. Combined together, the ritual managed to summon Magnus the Red himself to the realm of Fenris. With him came Ahriman and those other commanders who had been banished from Magnus' side following the casting of the Rubric including Nezchad Aratos, Aarthrat, and Omarhotec. Ahriman and Magnus had temporarily reconciled over the shared prize of bringing doom to Fenris. Quickly after Magnus' arrival Fenris erupted into a living hell. Volcanic activity erupted, glaciers shifted, and warp phenomena transformed the landscape into a portrait of madness. The Thousand Sons Silver Towers targeted each nexus of power on Fenris, shattering it and slowly tearing the world apart. After several days only one nexus remained: The Fang itself. The first move Magnus made on the Fang was to teleport Pyromancers and Daemons led by Xarax Throtep into the depths of the fortress. These invaders were met by Bran Redmaw and his forces as well as their Wulfen allies. These defenders were soon joined by the full might of the Space Wolves unawakened Dreadnoughts, activated in their vaults by Iron Priests.[4b]

Around the same time, Egil Iron Wolf reappeared on the Battle Barge Allfather's Honour with Logan Grimnar accompanying him. He had managed to teleport the High King off Midgardia before it was overrun by a plague created by Mortarion that Magnus had acquired. Immediately Grimnar joined with his Grey Knights allies and solemnly launched Exterminatus upon Midgardia, putting the doomed and tainted world out of its misery. Furious, Grimnar vowed revenge against Magnus.[4c]

Magnus, Lord of Fenris

Meanwhile the Traitors began their advance upon the Fang, being met with fierce resistance in the valleys before the fortress known as the Wolf's Gullet. Grimnar and his forces launched an orbital strike into their rear, sowing havoc but being forced back due to sorcererous rituals which created lakes of lava around the Wolves. Grimnar had sought to trap the Wolves but it soon became apparent that Magnus had predicted this move and had trapped them instead. Grimnar managed to turn the tide by having his gunship freeze the lakes of lava with their Helfrost Cannons, giving the Wolves a bridge from which to escape. It was then that Grimnar and his forces were confronted by Ahriman and his Scarab Occult.[4c]

As the Champions of Fenris fought Ahriman’s undying legions, their battle-brothers converged upon the Wolf’s Gullet. Egil Iron Wolf had pushed every one of his war machines to the limit in order to reach it at this critical hour, attacking from the north after being redeployed by bulk lander. The Wolves were not alone, the Dark Angels and Grey Knights fought beside them as allies. However Magnus himself soon appeared on the plains of Asaheim, quickly defeating five Grey Knights Dreadknights and killing Grand Master Valdar Aurikon. Not even direct orbital bombardment and attacks by Njal Stormcaller and his Rune Priests could harm the Primarch. Magnus next reached into the heavens and tore the Imperial orbiting ships into Fenris' atmosphere. He detonated their reactors, bathing the plains of Asaheim in light and destruction.[4c]

Just at his moment of triumph, Egil Iron Wolf charged at Magnus with the Spear of Russ. The Wolf Lord was vaporized from the waist up, but Grimnar was able to catch the Spear and drive the Axe of Morkai into the Daemon Primarch. The weapon had in fact been forged by Khorne, and its energies were enough to harm the Crimson King. This in turn gave the Grey Knights Purifiers enough time to conduct a banishing ritual, sending Magnus back to the Warp. With him went the Thousand Sons and their Daemonic allies. Now all of the Traitors and Daemons had been pulled back into the Warp, and those remaining were quickly hunted down by the remaining Imperials.[4c]

In the aftermath of the war, Fenris was saved but devastated and few Imperial defenders were left. Frostheim had been reduced to a wasteland of bone, its icy mantle melted away to reveal a thick stratum of fossils. There were those who said that under the new moon some of these skeletons came alive, hunting for the blood of those mortals still eking their lives from the osseous wastes. Svellgard, the ocean moon, was evacuated over the course of a long and difficult month. As it passed close to the Wolf’s Eye, it was subjected to a barrage from solar storms induced by Midgardia’s demise. Solar flares lashed its surface, turning the once-tainted seas to steam. Though barren, it was subsequently resettled, its sandy islands turned to mountains of glass amidst the hard-baked crust of the seabed. Valdrmani, the Wolf Moon, remained a hellish wasteland. It had been the site of a Daemon ritual of surpassing size, and though it had since been reconsecrated there were sightings of Warp-gheists for weeks. The moon was wracked by electrical storms and hurricanes of flesh-stripping intensity, but it rode out the catastrophe, rebuilt by the Adepts of the Imperium into an astropathic relay station. As was the case with the First War for Armageddon the Ordo Hereticus and Grey Knights purged the Human survivors of the campaign, for they had witnessed a Daemon Primarch itself. With reluctant approval, Grimnar doomed the tribal warriors of Fenris to liquidation.[4c]

Furious and seeking revenge, Grimnar and the majority of the remaining Space Wolves made haste for the Cadian Gate, which was in the midst of Abaddon's 13th Black Crusade. Meanwhile on Terra itself, the High Lords were alarmed by the news of Daemon Primarchs plaguing the Imperium once more. They summoned no great army to respond, but instead living weapons of the Emperor. Human in appearance, but with the power to unmake a god.[4c]

Meanwhile within the Warp, Magnus roared a howl of triumph. His plan had succeeded and the Sortiarius was transported by a ritual fueled from Midgardia's sacrifice. It reappeared over desolate Prospero, bringing with it a great Warp Rift and hordes of Daemons. The Imperium would never be the same.[4c]

Sources