Battle of Gathalamor
The battle began when the Grand Battalion of the Iron Warriors under the command of Torvann Lokk and a contingent of the Word Bearers Chaos Space Marines under Kar-Gatharr assailed the holy Imperial world of Gathalamor Prime. The overall traitor commander was the Sorcerer Tenebrus, known as the Hand of Abaddon. Facing them were the 84th Mordian and 40th Phyroxian Tankers Imperial Guard Regiments, five lances of House Kamidar Knights, as well as the Order of the Argent Shroud under Canoness Imelda Veritas.
Despite fierce resistance from the loyalists, Word Bearer Dark Apostles summoned Daemons, and the fight turned viciously against the Imperial defenders. These brave souls dug in to stage their last stand in the ruins of Gathalamor's macro-cathedral. As the hordes of traitors mobilized for the final attack, a preliminarily force of the Indomitus Crusade's Fleet Primus arrived in the form of the Adeptus Custodes Emissaries Imperatus Shield-Host under Shield-Captain Marcus Achallor and a Demi-Company of Unnumbered Sons from the line of Rogal Dorn. These forces were deployed under the direct command of Guilliman himself, who had recieved warning for traitor plans on Gathalamor from the Eldar Farseer Illiyanne Natasé. Meanwhile, Traitor forces were carrying out their own plans. Under orders from Tenebrus, the Kar-Gatharr's Cultists under Tharador Yheng managed to excavate deep beneath the catacombs of the world and recover the ring of Cardinal Bucharis. The relic proved ritually important in powering the Dark Mechanicum superweapon constructed upon Gathalamor, a massive cannon built from the bones of the untold billions buried on its surface.[2a]
Upon arriving in the system, the Imperial relief mission came under the assault from the Chaos bone cannon, which fired waves of angry spirits which proved impervious to all point defense fire. The Imperial fleet was devastated by the attack[2b], but a group of loyalists led by Shield-Captain Achallor managed to land upon Gathalmor's surface. The Custodes battled through crazed Chaos-infused Servitors and were aided by Sisters, who revealed the ghosts of Gathalamor were countered by prayers to the Emperor. As the Custodes reached the Bone Cannon, they were confronted by Kar-Gatharr and his Word Bearers. The Dark Apostle had now been swollen into a monstrous form thanks to the powers of Chaos, and managed to slay Achallor in combat. However the Dark Apostle could not the power of faith, and was subsequently struck down by Veritas and her surviving Sisters. With the Bone Cannon secured and Kar-Gatharr dead, Tenebrus fled Gathalamor with the Ring of Bucharis in hand.[2c][2d]
Meanwhile, additional Imperial forces were able to land on the world. These included 50 Custodes led by Tribune Colquan himself.[2d] Inspired by the arrival of these demigods the Mordians, Knights, and Sisters of Battle advanced, prayer songs rising from their ranks. The Word Bearers and their Daemonic allies launched a savage counter-attack, but, after three days of vicious fighting, the traitors were broken in the Battle for the Statue Steps. With fresh Imperial reinforcements arriving and Tenebrus having fled, the Custodes departed for Terra while the Grey Knights began the grim purge of those they had rescued in the macro-cathedral, for they knew too much of Chaos.[1a]
In the original source describing the battle, the Custodes forces were led by Trajann Valoris himself as well as Grey Knights under Voldus. These are absent in the battle's most recent telling in the Dawn of Fire novel The Gate of Bones.
- 1: Codex: Adeptus Custodes (8th Edition)
- 2: The Gate of Bones (Novel), Chapter Seven