| Shadow Captain Moradius(KIA)
| Autarch Mauryon
Phoenix Lord Karandras
| Death Korps of Krieg
|All Raven Guard destroyed
The battles for Baran began in 914.M40 when an Ork Waaagh! under Arbuttz swept over the Exodite World of Baran. The Exodites, mounting their great reptiles, fought nobly but were overwhelmed by the Orks after several months due to the sheer size of Waaagh! Arbuttz. Moving on, Arbuttz's boyz assaulted the boundaries of the Imperium, assaulting the Death World of Gorang. In the end, however, the Zypher Sub-Sector was overrun by the Orks. For almost 300 years, this new Ork Empire was left unmolested.
Eagles and Ravens
In 204.M41, the Imperium finally launched a counteroffensive against the Zypher Ork Empire. The re-conquest was led by the Marauders, Eagle Warriors, Raven Guard, and Revilers Space Marine Chapters as well as the Death Korps of Krieg Regiments. In a long hard battle, by 224.M41 the Zypher Sub-Sector was declared cleared of Orks. The Imperial offensive spread past their previous boundaries, pushing deep into territory never before touched by humanity. The Death Korps of Krieg 127th Regiment cleared the lush world of Baran. Baran was declared free of Orks, and Imperial settlers began to colonize these newly conquered worlds.
Over the coming generations, the colonists grew but the population was never able to become significant due to constant assault by Feral Orks. The world's PDF, becoming accustomed to constant assaults and learning from the Death Korps regiments, became known as the Baran Siegemasters. Meanwhile, small numbers of Raven Guards remained to hunt down Ork Warbosses believed to be in possession of valuable Imperial technology. The Raven Guard established a small fortress on Baran's moon to facilitate their operations in the Zypher Sub-sector, Coron.[Needs Citation]
The Talons of the Eldar
Meanwhile, the Eldar of Biel-Tan had launched a cleansing purge of Ork-infested worlds that had once belonged to their race. In their path lay Baran and the Zypher Sub-Sector, lost centuries earlier. Rangers were deployed to infiltrate Baran and activate its ancient Webway Nexus. Successful in their operation, Eldar forces from Biel-Tan under Autarch Mauryon swarmed through to assault both the human colonists and Ork hordes on Baran. However the only remaining Webway Gate on Baran, known as the Gate of the Dead, was small and only large enough to fit at most Aspect Warriors.
After wiping out Feral Orks from the region around the Gate of the Dead known as The Barrows, Farseers accompanying the Warhost discovered and woke the ancient spirits of those Exodites killed by the Orks centuries earlier. The spirits joined in the assault on the Orkish horde of Boss Bogga-bogga, who deployed a Weirdboy known as Zoombanga to combat this menace. However the Weirdboy was overwhelmed by the raging Eldar spirits and Bogga-bogga was assassinated by an ambush from Striking Scorpions.
Now in control of the Barrows, the Farseers and their retinue of Bonesingers began to construct husks of Wraithbone, each with a Spirit Stone, to hold the spirits of the Exodites. Resurrected to continue their fight, the Eldar quickly created a force of Wraithguard. Now with powerful weapons too large to have been moved through Baran's small Webway gate, the Eldar continued their campaign against the world's Orks. Many of the Orks fled, assaulting the human settlements on the other side of the planet. The colonists were still unaware of any Eldar presence. Soon the Imperial capital on the world, Enderra, came under assault from the Orks. The Governor, Asberra, beat off every attack with the Baran Siegemasters. This action repeated across the human fortress-settlements, and the Imperial defenders soon became trapped in their own towns under constant Ork attack.
The Raven Guard Arrives
This new development quickly attracted the attention of the Raven Guards stationed on Baran's moon under the command of Shadow Captain Moradius. The Raven Guard quietly infiltrated the rear of the Ork forces tormenting the colonists, discovering the Eldar campaign against the greenskins. The Raven Guard ambushed the shocked Eldar with an airstrike of six Thunderhawks, forcing the aliens to fall back. A running battle then raged for hours as the Eldar reinforcements came up from the rear, and the Raven Guard forces on the ground found themselves heavily outnumbered. However the Eldar numbers quickly began to dwindle as they fell back to a ring of ancient monuments. The Raven Guard pushed forwards, determined to press the advantage. But this had proven to just be an Eldar trap.
The stones revealed themselves to be small Webway gates, and a flood of Eldar reinforcements suddenly appeared to encircle the Raven Guard. Autarch Mauryon himself led the ambush. The Raven Guard force was wiped out over several hours.
The Battle of Vaul's Gate
Meanwhile, the sporadic Ork attacks on the human settlements of Baran had united into a massive Waaagh! now under the control of Warboss Snagga 'Big Teef', who had gained his position through his size and power after the death of Bogga-bogga. Snagga unleashed his new horde on the human capital of Enderra, finally overrunning the heavily defended city. Mauryon used this distraction to launch an attack against the Ork horde. However the Autarch had miscalculated, the Orks numbered in the hundreds of thousands and were too great for the small Eldar warhost. The Eldar suffered hundreds of casualties and were forced to fall back.
After the battle, Snagga-snagga ordered the construction of great machines of war, a task overseen by Mekboyz Wurzbag and Durrboz. Two massive Gargants were constructed, each named 'Bigga'. The Orks then pursued cutoff forces of Eldar that remained in their vicinity, assaulting a force of fleeing Striking Scorpions under Exarch Suerymane at an ancient Exodite Shrine. Inside, the Eldar discovered the remains of Phoenix Lord Karandras, lost three centuries earlier in the initial Ork conquests. The Phoenix Lord was resurrected, greatly bolstering Mauryon's warhost.
However despite this gain, Mauryon knew that without larger vehicles his cause against the Orks was doomed. Thus the Eldar had to take the only large Webway Gate on the planet, known as Vaul's Gate. The Autarch led his army on a swift overland march, the fast speed of Eldar warriors covering the distance in mere hours. The gate, held by Orks who had no idea of its value, was nonetheless the base of operations of Snagga-snagga and his twin Gargants. Knowing he could not face this Ork army in a pitched battle, Mauryon planned for a single decisive surprise attack. Swooping Hawks and Warp Spiders launched the initial assault, driving the Ork lines forward further and further with hit-and-run tactics.
As the Orks moved forward, Mauryon committed his last great gambit. His small squadron of Nightwing fighters and Phoenix bombers plunged from the skies. Launching a concentrated attack, the first Ork Gargant fell to a combined force of Eldar aircraft and Swooping Hawks. By this point, Orks from both flanks rushed towards the centered towards the other embroiled Gargant. Falling into a trap, the Ork right flank fell into an ambush of Rangers. The Orks took heavy casualties, but large numbers of Battlewagons and Trukks filled with Boyz managed to reach the Gargant. The Eldar flyers were then forced to flee after three Phoenix bombers were shot down. But now with the Orks' attention drawn to the center of the field, Mauryon finally saw his chance to attack Vaul's Gate directly.
The Autarch, Karandras, and hundreds of Aspect Warriors surged forward over the shallow bluff between them and Vaul's Gate. But despite his clever strategy, the Eldar attack still was blunted by the sheer number of Orks in their path. Mauryon pushed forward again and this time broke through. By this point, the last surviving Gargant rumbled towards Mauryon's position, itself now surrounded by Ork mobs and wagons. The Eldar at the gate held back the Ork flood as the Farseer's preformed the complicated ritual necessary to open such a large gate. The Gargant opened fire at the gate, killing two of the Farseers. Nonetheless, the Eldar Farseers were successful and the gate blinked into life. As the Orks began to overrun the Eldar forces, three giant Phantom Titans stepped through the gate.
The last Ork Gargant lasted scant moments, blasted apart by concentrated fire. Mauryon spotted the shocked Warboss and plunged his Power spear through Snagga-snagga's heart. The Ork horde fell apart before the advancing Eldar, utterly defeated.
- 1: http://web.archive.org/web/20101123004839/http://www.games-workshop.com/MEDIA_CustomProductCatalog/m1320010_Swordwind_Part_3_-_Baran_War.pdf Swordwind Part 3: The Baran War (saved archive page, dated November 2010, last accessed 13 January 2016)