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Warhammer 40k - Lexicanum β

Assault on Sortiarius


The Grey Knights' Prognosticars determined with the Speculum Infernus, that the Daemon Primarch Magnus was gathering significant warp power on Sortiarius. They could not determine, however, what exactly the Daemon Primarch was plotting, so a strike force was gathered to stop Magnus before he succeeded[1a]. In truth, Magnus observed the new Psychic Awakening and planned to create a psychic beacon to gather Psychic beings across the galaxy to Sortiarius in order to replenish his numbers. Some of those drawn to Sortiarius would become Daemonhosts, others sacrifices to Tzeentch. The other aspect of the ritual was to send out a wave of psychic energy that would rapidly accelerate the psychic power and development of any across an entire Sector. It was merely a preview for Magnus' ultimate plan, which was to lead Humanity's psychic evolution to its fullest potential.[1f]

The Great Rift, though, had caused the Grey Knights' forces to be stretched thin and only Brother-Captain Arvann Stern's 3rd Brotherhood could be spared. While it would be reinforced with additional forces, the Chapter knew this would not be enough to invade the Daemonic Homeworld of the Thousand Sons. It was then ultimately decided to call upon the Dark Angels for aid, as they were among the few Imperial forces that both knew of the Grey Knights' existence and had the strength to aid the Chapter in their attack[1a]. The Dark Angels agreed, but they too had suffered in the Great Rift's wake, and were able to send Master Lazarus' reinforced 5th Company to aid the Grey Knights.[1b]

The two strike forces would meet in the Prospero System and as they approached Sortiarius, they determined that Magnus was conducting a massive Chaos ritual. The site itself was protected from orbital bombardment, due to power supplied by a nearby temple-complex and so the two forces split before launching their attack. Because of their special nature, the Grey Knights directly attacked the ritual site, while the Dark Angels attacked the temple. Both in the hopes of disrupting the power protecting the ritual site and to draw in enough of the Thousand Sons' forces, so that the Grey Knights could succeed[1c]. As their attack commenced, however, the Grey Knights became entrapped by powerful illusions created by the Thousand Sons, which prevented them from reaching the ritual site. Though they knew doing so could draw in Daemons, the Grey Knights' Librarians used their powers to try and banish the illusions. A warp portal appeared instead and out from it emerged their lost Grand Master Kaldor Draigo, whose power cast away the illusions. With the path now revealed to them, the Grey Knights and Grand Master marched towards the Chaos ritual site. However the Thousand Sons forces outnumbered them greatly and Stern knew they would need to call upon the Dark Angels for help.[1d]

Due to Sortiarius' nature, however, vox contact was impossible, so instead the Grey Knights made psychic contact with the Dark Angels Librarian Baraqiel. They were shocked by what they heard from him, though, as the Dark Angels had succeeded in disrupting the temple's power, but had then begun to escape after Stern told them the ritual had been ended. The Brother-Captain knew that Daemons were behind the duplicity, and informed the Dark Angels that the ritual still continued and the Grey Knights needed their immediate aid to stop it. The Dark Angels were too far away, though, and to reach the Grey Knights in time drastic measures needed to be taken. It was determined by the strike forces' Librarians that a temporary tunnel through the warp, would need to be created in order for the Dark Angels to join the Grey Knights. Though they knew it would cost them their lives[1d], the Librarians successfully created the warp tunnel before dying as a result. Afterwards, the Grey Knights and Dark Angels fought to reach the ritual site, but were still heavily outnumbered. Stern then knew they would not stop Magnus in time and ordered his forces to form a psychic beacon, so that the Grey Knights' Strike Cruiser, Purging Sword could fire upon their location. Though it killed many of the nearby Dark Angels and Grey Knights, the Purging Sword succeeded in destroying the ritual site and ended Magnus' plot. The surviving members of the strike forces then began evacuating Sortiarius, while under fire from the vengeful Thousand Sons. Stern, Kaldor Draigo, Lazarus and the strike forces were able to successfully escape the Prospero System, but they had been forced to leave many of the Grey Knights and Dark Angels behind. The thought of what fate awaited those Space Marines captured alive by the Thousand Sons on Sortiarius, filled the strike forces' survivors with dread[1e]. The Grey Knights soon sent the Castellan Champion Garran Crowe, to rescue their lost Brothers.[2]