The Fall of Medusa V
The Fall of Medusa V is the 2006 global campaign run by Games Workshop. Unlike the previous global campaign, Eye of Terror, the campaign is based only on one planet, Medusa V, much like the Third War for Armageddon campaign. The planet is split into several zones in which results can be posted (see below) and all armies are included in the fighting. The campaign booklet The Fall of Medusa V contains background information on the Medusa system and the various reasons as to why the armies are fighting there. Whatever the result however, Medusa V is going to be swallowed by the warp storm Van Grothe's Rapidity and will be destroyed. The regions of the planet and reasons for the presence of armies are listed below.
Areas of the Planet
The planet is drawn up in Battle Zones as well as three other uninhabited regions. These are brief summaries of the contents of the zones, for further details see the connecting articles.
- Battle Zone Articus
Articus is, as the name suggests, a frozen wasteland for the most part. It contains the Articus Plateau, a large open area of ice, three Hives (Hive Alecto, Hive Amphion and Hive Zethus), as well as an unknown object known as The Separation.
Articus Battle Zone was played by the gamers of Italy
- Battle Zone Telosa
Telosa is a vast desertified area with several important Imperial facilities within it, including two Hives (Hive Machavius and Hive Megaera) and the Deimos Spaceport. To the north is an area known as the Telosian Steppes, a massive area of steppe land where little will grow, and to the south, the northern half of Megaera's Cradle, presumably related somehow to Hive Megaera. The Deimos Spaceport is a Mars Class III Spaceport officially with a population of around 2,000,000 and minor rioting, as well as being classed as a critical objective. The Space Port is perhaps one of the most tactically important places on the planet due to it being the only place larger numbers of reinforcements can land and disembark.
- Battle Zone Verdia
Verdia is a mountainous region with no Hives but two important areas, the Monastery of Madrigales which provides a strong astropathic choir, used as the primary interplanetary communication method on the planet, and Sybilla Secundus, an enclosed compound of some kind. The monastery has a population of 90,000 and is currently loyal and a critical location, although it is noted that there is a high threat of daemonic infestation due to the high concentration of psykers. Ordo Malleus personnel have been assigned to defend the location.
Verdia Battle Zone was played by the gamers of Germany
- Battle Zone Tisiphone
Tisiphone is a mountainous region with one Hive (Hive Tisiphone) and a range of mountains called Charybdis Crest. It is also the area in which Nazdreg's Hulk crash landed, leaving a long scar on the mountainside. There are also a large number of agricultural areas here, and they have been raided many times by the Orks.
- Battle Zone Edethor
Edethor is a Hive-less region, but contains Sybilla Tertius (see Sybilla Prums (Battle Zone Hydra) and Sybilla Secundus (Battle Zone Verida)) and a mountain range known as Edethor's Mouth. It also contains about half of the Greyon Strip Mines, running throughout the region.
- Battle Zone Hydra
Hydra is a large area with a huge swathe of mines known as the Geryon Strip Mines, as well as the Raffaeleo's Spine and two installations, Hydra's Tooth at the head of the River Lethid and Sybilla Primus (See Sybilla Secundus (Battle Zone Verdia) and Sybilla Tertius (Battle Zone Edethor)). It also contains an un-named volcano.
- Battle Zone Armida
Armida contains the vast Armida Sea and Mangrove Swamps, as well as a giant crater known as the Eye of the Emperor, Hive Sthgeno and Baptiste's Wrath, presumably something to do with the Inquisition.
- Battle Zone Perseus
Perseus is possibly the largest Battle Zone but contains relatively little. A large Hive known as Hive Perseus dominates a region known as The Blasted Sands and to the north west is something called The Hole, leaving little to the imagination. The majority of the River Lethid flows through here and exits at Gorgon's Reach, an area of sands reaching out into the sea (presumably the Bone Sea). It also contains Johanne's Island, where The Mission, a huge Promethium Refinery Conglomeration is located. Four long platforms bridge the gap between the island and the main continent. It has a population of around 120,000,000 and is currently loyal, classed as a critical objective and must not fall.
- Battle Zone Euryales
Euryales is the central region and centre of Imperial control. It has the gigantic Hive Euryales dominating the centre and the Vigilus Penitentiary to the west, a huge complex to hold criminals. It also has Mount Erinyes and the southern half of Megaera's Cradle, as well as something known as Guilleman's Scar, running almost north south. Hive Euryales is the capitol Hive of the planet with an estimated population of 1,300,000,000 and is currently in open revolt, classed as a critical objective and must be held at all costs.
Euryales Battle Zone was played by the gamers of Spain
- Western Un-named Zone
This zone contains an area known as The Dead Zone, and the Gholus Munitions Testing Ground, possibly responsible for the creation of The Dead Zone.
- North-Eastern Un-named Zone
This zone is heavily mountainous, named the Ferrus Mountains, possibly after Ferrus Manus.
- South-Eastern Un-named Zone
This zone is mainly desert, containing the Mortise Desert and the Saline Plains
The Bone Sea is a large expanse of water covering a large area of the surface and runs along the southern edge of the map, including surrounding Johannes Island.
- Chaos Space Marines
The Chaos Space Marines have come to Medusa V because of a vision, that of Ygethmor, Sorcerer Lord of the Black Legion and Chosen of Abaddon, having seen himself rise to Daemonhood, changed into a Daemon Prince and the planet around him into a Daemon World under his control. For this to occur, the planet must be enveloped in the warp storm and, at the right moment, Ygethmor must have sacrificed millions to the Dark Gods and he will call forth the limitless power of the warp to perform this task. To do this, Ygethmor has called forth a conglomeration of warbands, each of which could be called an army in its own right and each led by a Chaos Lord hungry for success and glory.
The Tyranids are en-route to Medusa V to pick up an evolved version of a Lictor, Death Leaper. There are rumors and stories from every Hive on the planet of a murderous ghost that stalks the underhives causing misery for the security forces. Each attack is sudden and unexpected and, though the details are sketchy, all descriptions match of a killing machine that appears from nowhere, shreds all enemies and flees quickly. A fraction of Hive Fleet Behemoth have been seen breaking away from the main force, heading for Medusa V. The main objective for the Hive Fleet is to absorb Death Leaper into their forces and if possible, consume the planet before the warp storm arrives. Death Leaper however, is not just one organism, but an entire strain of Lictors with advanced chameleonic abilities, making them all but invisible. There seems to be at least one Death Leaper per Hive on the planet, and Brother-Sergeant Erasmus of the Ultramarines believes Death Leaper would make Tyranid vanguard organisms almost undetectable, meaning all Death Leaper units must be hunted down and destroyed before the Hive Fleet arrives.
The Orks have come to Medusa simply for a good time, and a good fight. The vast augers in orbit around Medusa V detected something so large that it could only be a Space Hulk and subsequent analysis makes it obvious that it is controlled by the Orks, for it is covered in glyphs and dog-tooth patterns. It is also identified as the Hulk belonging to Nazdreg Ug Urdgrub, former ally of Ghazghkull Thraka and participant in the Third War for Armageddon campaign. Nazdreg was presumed dead after his and Ghazghkull's forces were defeated in the Piscina system, but its seems he somehow escaped and has rebuilt his forces. Unfortunately, try as they might, a squad of system ships could do nothing to stop the Hulk from entering the already congested orbit above Medusa V, and eventually crashing down into Battle Zone Tisiphone, creating a long swathe of destruction that followed its skidding path until it came to rest. Imperial hopes were that the Orks would have died in the tremendous crash, which didn't register for a good amount of time, testament to the anarchy on the planet. This however was soon dashed as Orks began to pour forth from the Hulk and began to attack the surrounding farm communities. Nazdreg's attacks grow stronger as his Waaagh! grows in strength and attempts to stop him have failed. Soon however, Nazdreg's Madboyz began acting strangely, ranting about the destruction of everything. It was only when his Weirdboyz confirmed the coming of the something nasty through the warp did Nazdreg decided to get his hulk fixed and leave the area before they would be trapped and destroyed. This is why his Orks have been stripping every single piece of equipment they can from anywhere they find it. Even though they don't intend to hang around for long, they're not going to leave without a good fight first!
The Necrons have a slightly different agenda, although similar to the Orks in a way. Medusa VII has a tomb complex buried far below the surface in which a Necron Lord known as "The Herald of the Storm" to the Eldar has stirred. This Necron, unlike many others, is an architect of the most ancient "Great Work" begun many millennia ago. Now, with the coming of the storm, it seems the Tomb Spyders are raising the Necrons from their slumber for a purpose most dreadful. On Medusa V, two energy spikes heralded the arrival of the Necron forces, one to the north of Macavicus Hive. Here a vast storm covered the arrival of the Necrons and blinded the Imperial sensors, somehow created by the Necron Lord himself. Many phalanxes of Necrons marched under the direction of their Lord, easily overwhelming the defenders of the outer defences of the Hive. Captain Sicarius of the Ultramarines Second Company dispatched several units of his company to Macavius along with the Vostroyan XXVIIth and the defenders appear to have rallied against the threat at last. The Necrons, as always, know exactly the threat of the warp storm and have devised a stratagem that will serve them well. Unknown to the Imperium, the thrust against the Hive is simply a diversion, while legions of Scarabs and Tomb Spyders labour to erect vast monolithic structures to hold the warp at bay, powered by the harvests from those the Necrons kill within the Hive itself. Should sufficient pylons be constructed, a null shield will be created across the entire planet, thereby sheltering the entire planet from the wrath of the warp storm. The Necrons would then be free to harvest the population at will whilst the warp storm goes on harmlessly around them.
- Space Marines
The Space Marines have come to defend the world of Medusa V, primarily against the forces of Chaos and of Ygethmor. Intelligence gleaned by the Officio Assassinorum revealed the presence of Ygethmor and the horror he unleased during the Thirteenth Black Crusade is still well remembered and it is doubtless that the Imperium should suffer should Ygethmor be successful. Space Marine chapters including the Blood Angels and Space Wolves have answered Medusa's plea with entire companies and other chapters have dispatched what forces they could. Captain Cato Sicarius of the Ultramarines Second Company, hero of the Medusa Schism, has returned and taken command of the combined force. Sicarius first mission is to deploy his forces across the planet in defensive formations and to release his vessels to hunt down any space traffic that might be related to enemy forces. Sicarius knows that only by destroying Ygethmor can he stop Chaos, and has sworn an oath to hunt him down and slay him in personal combat.
The Eldar have arrived on Medusa V in an attempt to save themselves. Craftworld Alaitoc lies along the path of a webway leading to Medusa V which is always open, meaning anything can come and go from there as they see fit. With the coming warp storm and agents of Chaos and other enemy threats, the Eldar of Alaitoc have decided to close the portal to prevent it from allowing easy access to the heart of the craftworld, and to further damage the thin strands of remaining webway. The leader of Alaitoc is Elarique Swiftblade and she has marshalled forces from a dozen Craftworlds to ensure that the closing ritual goes undisturbed. Only those closest to her know that Ygethmor is already on the planet and she has some form of history with the sorcerer, possibly being willing to gamble the survival of her Craftworld for the chance of revenge.
- Dark Eldar
The Dark Eldar are not on Medusa V in some form of unified state, as are many other races. They come led by No'akei, former hand maiden and protector to Asdrubael Vect until she fell out of his favor, soon finding herself exiled from the palaces of Commorragh. She has had a glorious set of victories since then and warriors have flocked to her side, including the capture of over one thousand Tau in a single night. A dozen Imperial transports have been gutted, leaving no trace of themselves, it seems wherever she steps there is glory to be had. She seeks, in recompense for her exile, to remove Asdrubael from power and place herself in charge. Those who have sided with her see this as an opportunity not to be missed, although there is always the possibility that it could fail. To do this, No'kaei needs millions of souls to use as bribes when she returns to Commorragh and has aptly earned the name Daughter of Pain.
The Tau, unlike others, have not come to Medusa V, rather they were already there. They had set up hidden research facilities to attempt to unlock the secrets of warp travel. They are using vast scanner arrays to look at and harvest data on Van Grothe's Rapidity, hoping to unlock the secret of warp speeds. They are currently using diplomatic relations with the humans to distract them from the secret bases. They are led by Aun'T'Pel of the Ethereals, knowing full well that the ruse can only go on so long, but his forces stand ready to take the fight to the Imperium.
- Imperial Guard
The Imperial Guard, like the Space Marines, have answered the call of the dying world of Medusa V with an Imperial Crusade led by the Vostroyan Firstborn Lord Marshal Graf Harazahn. Over a hundred other Imperial Guard regiments are on the way or have arrived and Harazahn pledges to retain complete control of the planet no matter the cost. Among these regiments are Cadian Shock Troops, Kanak Skull Takers, Valhallan Ice Warriors, Catachan Jungle Fighters, Ventan Heavy Infantry, Tallarn Desert Raiders and Kroshin Grenadiers. Several of the commanders have expressed disdain at being placed under a Vostroyan commander, but those who know him realize that he is the man to lead them to victory. As the forces arrive, Harazahn orders them to various battlefield sites around the planet, including nine key defensive areas such as Hive Zethus and Amphion, Deimos Spaceport and Dioscuri Observatory. Only one order has been given, do not retreat.
- The Imperium
The Imperium of Man- both the Space Marines and loyal imperial guard troops were the overall victors of the campaign. Though the planet itself could not be saved, much of the civilian population was successfully evacuated from the doomed planet. In addition to the successful evacuation, many of the planet's sacred sites were defended to the bitter end, and Ygethmor's plan was thwarted. Such a victory came at a huge cost, with many Guard Troopers and Marines, led by Lord Marshal Graf Harazhan, choosing to remain on the planet to deny the enemies of the Imperium anything of value.
The forces of the Craftworlds were successful in closing the Webway portals, but their losses were heavy, including the loss of Autarch Elarique Swiftblade of Alaitoc; however, Swiftblade's death was not in vain, as she was able to personally behead Ygethmor before being slain herself by his bodyguard.
Ygethmor's plans to ascend to daemonhood were foiled; while many aspiring Chaos champions were able to achieve battlefield glory, they were unable to claim the planet for the Ruinous Powers. Ygethmor was slain by the Eldar Elarique Swiftblade, and those champions who followed him were left to their fates on the dying world.
- Dark Eldar
No'akei and her followers were successful in capturing a huge number of slaves to bring back to the dark city of Commorragh. Upon her return, No'akei entered the Hall of Blood in the Dark Tower of Asdrubael Vect in order to unseat him, only to find herself (and those loyal to her) presumably betrayed. The ultimate fate of No'akei is unknown.
The marooned space hulk Scylla, which the Ork forces had attempted to repair, was lost. Attacks from both Imperial and Chaos forces (including a "murky pestilence" left behind by Chaos) sent Nazdreg and his "Boyz" looking for another way to escape the planet. A successful raid on a nearby Imperial facility yielded a large bulk freighter. The fleeing Orks were then able to 'convince' the ship's crew to trick an Imperial battleship into 'evacuating' them. The battleship's subsequent fate is unknown.
The Tau expedition's goal, to gather information about the warp, was largely successful; however, analysis of the gathered data, and the fates of those Tau who remained behind, caused Earth Caste scientists to believe that further research would be infeasible. The Fourth Expansion of the Tau Empire was thus delayed in order to further consolidate the recent Third Expansion. Many humans joined the Tau Empire. There were great losses, personified with the loss of Commander Shadowsun's sibling, Shas’el Ty’res.
The disorganised Tyranid swarms on Medusa V were unable to make any headway in taking the planet; Imperial officials believe that the sheer diversity of opponents contributed to the inability of the Tyranids to make any progress. A Death Leaper creature, which the Hive Fleets had sought to claim, was captured by Imperial forces and has since vanished; Imperial investigations hint that Death Leaper escaped into space aboard a freighter, killed the crew, and escaped aboard a second ship which came to investigate. The Hive Fleets orbiting the planet have become inanimate bulks floating aimlessly, apparently abandoned by the Hive Mind to their fates in the warp storm.
Unable to construct the great pylons in order to secure a Null Shield around Medusa V, the leading Necron Lord, the Herald of the Storm, was left behind on the dying planet, cursed by the Deceiver himself to remain for as long as the planet endured in the warp - after which, the Deceiver would return to administer the "True punishments". The remainder of the Necron forces were teleported away along with the Deceiver.