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Charadon Campaign

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Charadon Campaign
DGAlumax.jpg
Death Guard forces invading the Alumax System
Conflict Long War
Date 855-1058LRC (local time)
Early M42 (Old Style)
Location Charadon Sector
Outcome Strategic Chaos Victory
Typhus corrupts Metalica
Imperial forces retain control of Charadon Sector
Combatants
Imperium Chaos
Commanders
Abbess Morvenn Vahl
Fabricator-General Khleng (corrupted)
Chapter Master Dhane Tanielu
Chief Librarian Ioanu
Captain Maximus Epathus
Vorgha Khan
Captain Daisu'ka
Captain Vorn]
Canoness Joghilde
Canoness Merity Khol
Canoness Sigurd Chastrin
Canoness Ximena Sandro
Marshal Decitor Septrax-Tertian (KIA)
Princeps Grevan
Lieutenant-Heraldus Lihua Sheradane
Colonel Elena Broski(KIA)
Sir Havlorn (KIA)
Chaos Lord Typhus
Daemon Prince Be'lakor
Lord Discordant Akhorath Zeid
Dark Apostle Tsorr'Kanath
Sorcerer Yarron Thayl
Chaos Lord Oghlosmus Bilge
Chaos Lord Thraxoplasmox
Princeps Lathfyr (KIA)
Rotigus
Strength
See Order of Battle See Order of Battle
Losses/Survivors
Unknown, presumably heavy Unknown, presumably heavy

The Charadon Campaign began after the Noctis Aeterna, when Typhus the Traveler seized his chance to invade the Forge World of Metalica and plunged the Charadon Sector into war.[1]

As decreed by Metalica's ruling Fabricator-General Khleng, dating for the campaign is localized as the Metalican Circumscribed Chronology (abbreviated Met/Ci/Chron or LRC). To circumvent the galaxy-wide chronological inconsistencies since the formation of the Great Rift, this calendar system measures the number of labor rotation cycles on Metalica since the opening of the Rift.[4a]

Overview

Prelude (716-854 LRC)

The first warnings of the coming disaster for the Imperium came in the form of a number of omens. On Heliotyr in the Alumax System a prophet declared doom, only to be silenced by Enforcers. On Hive Achtorian on Dyroch's Reach panic erupted after aquifers began to spew gore. On Dhaku in the M'bor System, a heretical cult known as 'They Who Hear the Whispers rose up before being exterminated. On Brezantius, avian's were observed flying backwards while on Fathom the ocean depths were said to glimmer with strange luminescence. Mutations, plagues, and spontaneous psychic phenomena became widespread Sector-wide. The plagues and accompanying Plague Zombies in particular proved devastating, forcing the Excruciators Space Marines to deploy to the Astropathic relay system of Kobolt to cleanse the world. Fabricator-General Khleng sought to keep such disasters under secrecy to avoid a full panic and deployed Eradication Arks to scour worlds lost to infection such as St. Espin's Gift. Yet this did not end the series of omens and disasters, and Khleng next had his Skitarii reinforce the worlds around the Metalica System.[4a]

Into this cauldron came the Lord Discordant Akhorath Zeid, an emissary of Abaddon the Despoiler. Securing the assistance of the disdainful Typhus the Traveler through the authority Abaddon represented, Zeid assured the Death Guard First Captain that the machine-sterility Metalica represented could be swept away, replaced by the blessings of Nurgle. Typhus saw the machine-worshipping Tech-Priests of Metalica as heretics to Nurgle's organic gifts, and had his Biologus Putrifiers concoct a plague known as the Nemesis Wurm. If delivered into the heart of Metalica, even the mechanical world could be corrupted.[4a]

First phase of the Charadon Campaign[4f]

Opening Moves (855-890 LRC)

Chaos forces began their attack on the Charadon Sector with the Tri-Prong Offensive. The first blow came in the Chromyd System, link between the Oblis and Charus Sub-Sectors. However they found Imperial defenses were stronger than expected in the region due to past Dark Eldar raids by Lelith Hesperax. These forces consisted of the Lumes 124th and Savlar 88th "Zoners" alongside a Skitarii Macroclade led by Marshal Decitor Septrax-Tertian. While formidable, these forces were spread out to counter the xenos raiders and the local Death Guard commander Thraxoplasmox was able to exploit this, striking at the world of Okharium as it was being assailed by Dark Eldar raiders. On the world, the Savlari Imperial Guard conducted a fighting retreat but were mistakenly annihilated by allied Gun-Servitors after the xenos eliminated their messengers announcing the withdrawal. This allowed the Death Guard to land in flanking positions and annihilate the Imperials. Dyroch's Reach also suffered when it was attacked by a band of Dreadblade Chaos Knights known as the Company Malevolent. The traitor Knights smashed through PDF defenses and broke open the defenses of several hives before preying upon Imperial supply convoys in the open desert. On the Agri-World of Torthusa, 7 vectoriums of the Death Guard marched forward including the infamous Hollow Ones and Daemon Engine packs of the Gristlepus Guard. Yet the Imperial forces here were led by Marshal Tetrian himself, and he repeatedly outflanked the Chaos Space Marines. Yet despite a number of small victories, the Imperials could not overcome the Death Guard's supernatural endurance, biological warfare, and numerical superiority. One by one, cavern-delves fell to the Chaos forces and the conflict turned into a costly deadlock.[1a]

Meanwhile at the Alumax System, an armada of Death Guard warships and Space Hulks under Oghlosmus Bilge struck. Imperial defenders consisted of the 727th Cadian Army Group under Colonel Elena Broski, who calmly organized a defense around St. Bartolph's Throne and repelled Cultists and Death Guard scouting parties. She also succeeded in getting an astrophatic distress call out of Hive Rastigan as the Legio Morbidus fell upon the Mining World of Heliotyr. With the aid of the local defenders, worker gangs were able to lay several traitor Titans low by seeding surface workings with blasting charges and pitching the machines into the craters. However in the end the Imperials had to retreat underground due to attacks by Blightlord Terminators and the spread of disease. Heliotyr fell in less than cycle as further atrocity followed as Bilge turned his attention to St. Bartolph's Throne, which by now saw two hive cities ceded to the invaders. Rather than throw more warriors into the fray, Bilge had his warriors board and capture one of the nearby Mechanicum Eradication Arks before sending the ship plummeting down onto Hive Rastigan. The resulting impact vaporized the city along with Broski and half of her forces, allowing the Chaos forces to easily advance. Only one factor stopped all of Alumax from being overrun, the Orks of Freebooter Kaptain Dregbad Skullbusta. The Greenskins ambushed Bilge's fleet at Totha Sound, distracting the Chaos forces enough for surviving Imperials to withdraw to the hidden monitor station of Meta-Obol-Gamma 4 at the system's edge. Despite the withdrawal and scattered reports of Space Marine reinforcements, for all purposes the Alumax System had fallen.[1a]

The largest Chaos armada encountered thus far next emerged at the Duralim System, where Typhus and the Terminus Est alongside Lord Zeid appeared at the head of a massive fleet. After several cycles of sweeping aside defense fleets, the Chaos forces struck at the Hive World of Resplendis. Here, the tri-conjoined Daemon Princes known as the Cystlings spawned billions of Plague Zombies. Accompanied by Plague Marines, the Nurgle armies overran most of its hives in a matter of cycles. The surviving Imperial forces were only able to survive on the highest spires of a number of hives, resupplied through desperate Valkyrie runs. Matters were worse on Magnifiria, where due to the machinations of Lord Zeid the Mechanicum Eradication Ark Necessitus-Ajax struck at the hapless world. The resulting massacre allowed Death Guard and Black Legion forces to land in force, though these were soon confronted by three macroclades of Skitarii of the Necessitus Ajax. However against these were quickly swept aside by the might of the Chaos Space Marines and accompanying Chaos Knights.[4a]

Siege of the Metalican Gates (891-940 LRC)

By this point, Khleng had finally begun to reconcile the reality of the invasions against those of his own predictions. During this time, Imperial commanders had been left to wage the defense virtually unsupported. Reinvigored, Khleng ordered that the Metalican System be protected at all costs and to this end mobilized the "Metalican Gates" for war. Consisting of the Rhodior, Brezantius, and Feiror Systems, these bastions had to be captured before any move on Metallica itself. Many outlaying systems were abandoned, leaving the hapless Imperial populations to their own fate. In some places, Imperial Guard, Sisters of Battle, and Space Marines refused the order to withdraw and continued to fight on. In the Chromyd System, the event became known as Khleng's Betrayal while at Torthusa the defending regiments were butchered. Dyroch's Reach meanwhile saw mass slaughter as one hive garrison after another attempted to surrender to the Chaos Knights of the Company Malevolent. At Chromyd remaining resistance gathered at the Death World of Sabhira, where survivors waged a guerrilla war that drove off multiple heretic warbands.[4b]

As the Metalican Gates were fortified, scattered Imperial forces continued to fight on at the Duralim System. Here, the Excruciators and allied Chapter launched potent counterattacks at the Brezantius and Alumax Systems. At Resplendis, they launched purge-teams of Aggressors and Inceptors to strike at the Daemonic artillery hammering Hive Kenzelghar. Captain Tanielu led his veteran 1st Company in a mass-drop assault on the city's spire, reinforcing the Vostroyan Regiments on the verge of collapse. They then swept down into the zombie-choked hive below, purging wherever they went. At the Agri-World of Sustace, a combined force of Ultramarines, Raven Guard, and other Chapters fell upon daemon engine packs. Despite these displays of defiance, Typhus' armies continued to advance and the Traveler himself led the final assault against Fort Conscaris on Magnifira. On the Penal World of Oblekh, Typhus' forces triggered a mass uprising while unleashing plagues that saw the mass spawning of Miasmic Malignifiers. Meanwhile Lord Zeid appeared on Sustace and unleashed a flock of Heldrakes that slowed the Imperial counterattack with constant raids. It as at this moment that Typhus now turned his attention to the Metalican Gates proper, unleashing the Great Unclean One Rotigus onto the Feiror and Brezantius Systems. Bypassing Battlefleet Charadon and the Metalican fleets, Daemons spawned throughout the region.[4b]

As Daemonic invasions surged across the Metalican Gates, Rotigus himself appeared on the Ocean World of Fathom in the Feiror System. After cycles of oily rain that thickened its seas into an algae-clotted sludge, strains of parasitic plagues erupted amongst the Human population. A massive maw appeared at the center of Fathom's northern oceans, and from this Rotgius and the armies of Nurgle marched forth. A desperate defense began on Fathom as Bilge struck at the fortress world of Forthras in the system. At the Battle of the Felathia Sound, Bilge's forces swept aside the void defenses of Forthras and bombared the world from orbit. Two of the three Metalican Gates were now under attack. At Brezantius, Metalican forces including the Iron Skulls Titan Legion managed to hold strong on the capital of Kapston against a 2nd Plague Company attack. However, Rhodior still remained mostly untouched.[4b]

The situation however changed dramatically as a Deimos reinforcement fleet led by Archmagos Uchultor L'au alongside a Strike Cruiser of the Grey Knights. Emboldened, Lieutenant-Heraldus Sheradane of Battlefleet Charadon launched an offensive into the Feiror and Chromyd Systems as reports began to appear that the Grey Knights were purging not only the Daemonic, but those who had witnessed them. Sheradane's attack was successful in forcing Bilge' fleet to retreat which became a rout after his ships were caught between an Imperial flotilla and Ork raider fleet in the Fhorvian Nebula. In the resulting battle, Bilge himself was slain when his flagship was destroyed by Ork Kill-Kroozers. It was in the Duralim System, however, that the greatest blow fell. It was this moment that Typhus Word Bearers and Alpha Legion allies betrayed him, as both he and Lord Zeid found themselves caught out of position by a sudden onslaught of Knights of House Raven. Typhus became inundated with bad news Alexistor had been retaken in less than 10 cycles by House Raven, while on Resplendis the Chaos siege was broken by Knights and Space Marines. During the battle for Saint Bardica's Sanctum, the Cystlings were slain by Chapter Master Tanielu and Chief Librarian Ioanu. Furthermore, the Griffonica spaceport and all of its surrounding bastions were back in Imperial hands. On the agri-world of Sustace, the Legio Metalica under Princeps Grevan led a counterattack against the fortress during which Lord Zeid vanished. Despite this however, Typhus didn't care if the Metalican Gates fell, instead simply seeking to keep the enemy occupied as he undertook the last stage of his plan. He ordered a full retreat to the Alumax System, abandoning the fading Daemonic Legions, Chaos Cults, and other scattered warbands.[4b]

Meanwhile on the Mining World Dhaku, the Word Bearers under Tsorr'Kanath and the Alpha Legion under Yarron Thayl combined their forces into the Disciples Warband, to undertake their own objective. After initiating Cult uprisings across the Cyclos System and M'bor System the Warband made their move on Dhaku, making planetfall in cooperation with rising Cultist forces. However instead of being welcomed as their masters, the cultists instead opened fire on the Chaos Space Marines. These were not the expected Chaos Cultists, but rather Genestealer Cultists of the Cult of the Innerwyrm. After the initial shock of the ambush the Disciples counterattacked, undertaking rituals that trapped thousands of Genestealer Cultists within the Ukharu Consortium and hunted to extinction by Khornate Daemons. Alpha Legion assets meanwhile took over the world's Vox network and used it to out-maneuver and defeat the Genestealer Cultists of the Rhassa Consortium. The Warband was also able to capture several generators, which cut off the Cult from their main source of power. However the Cult of the Innerwyrm launched its own counter-defense in turn, unleashing Purestrain Genestealers to launch ambushes as their main forces stood their ground overwhelming attacks. The Disciples found resistance stiffest at the Dhaku Coreworks, where they fought the Innerwyrm's elite in a mishmash of temples and archeotech tunnels. Despite the fierce battle, the Warband were close to their prize. After more heavy fighting that saw Dark Apostle Tsorr'Kanath summon a Keeper of Secrets known as Listho'shy'a the Sinuous, the Disciples captured the Genestealer Patriarch Foresire Glutt, for their own nefarious reasons.[4b][4c]

Remission and Resurgence (941-989 LRC)

Second phase of the Charadon Campaign[4g]

For a hundred cycles the defenders of the Oblis Sub-Sector held out against all hardships. They now saw a time to press the advantage, but instead of uniting and pressing on as one Imperial leadership instead fractured as they pursued their own agendas and committed decentralized actions. Thanks to the efforts of the Sabhiran Swords, the entire Chromyd Front had been deadlocked for thirty cycles and Imperial forces waged a guerrilla war. Thraxoplasmox could not root out the Imperials and had committed much of his forces to the Death World of Sabhira. Under Archmagos L'au the Deimos Mechanicum were launching a powerful counterattack, but still stinging from Kheng's Betrayal the Imperial Guard and Imperial Navy were reluctant to support them. At Brezantius and Feiror, the defenders focused on consolidation. Brezantius was still plagued by lingering Chaos forces and at Kapston a Chaos Space Marine army under Gharax the Shatterer dug themselves into the Amalorian Trench-sprawl near the equatorial siege belt, battling Imperial Guard elements of the Castkorian 88th, Orvari 13th, and Pelorian 110th. The Iron Skulls meanwhile diverted themselves from the Duralim System in order to break the deadlock. The Feiror System had been hit hardest of all, and now the world was suffering from Inquisitorial purges against supposed malefic elements. Despite this, defenders in both systems reported seeing new Death Guard structures such as Miasmic Malignifiers appearing like funugus in every underhuve and wasteland. The Duralim System was most prepared to send pursuit after Chaos forces, for here Princeps Grevan and the Knights of House Raven stood ready alongside surviving Space Marines, Sisters of Battle, and Imperial Guard. Grevan waited for permission from Khleng to begin his own counterattack, but no word was forthcoming as the Archmagos once again became paralyzed by logic-loops and obsession over minituiae.[4c]

It was Chapter Master Tanielu who at last lost patience, and conducted his own last stand at Alumax without Mechanicum support. Gathering elements from the Ultramarines, Sons of Medusa, Iron Knights, Obsidian Jaguars, and others in Strike Force Scourge, the Chapter Master struck against St. Bartolph's Throne and Borthreas. The Marines faced overwhelming numbers and were reduced to hit-and-run tactics, but discovered that Chaos forces were undertaking a grand ritual. Meanwhile, Typhus sat in prayer for seven days and learned of that Lord Zeid not only lived but had betrayed him. Vowing to take his vengeance in time, Typhus also gleamed arcane lore towards a coming grand ritual. He gathered his 1st Plague Company elite as well as six other vectoriums and struck at Meta-Obol Gamma 4, a last bastion of Imperial resistance in the Skothian Grav-reefs. Forewarned by Chief Librarian [[Ioanu], Tanielu redoubled the efforts of his strike force and sought to reinforce Meta-Obol Gamma 4, but were not able to arrive before the Plague Fleet swept aside what meager Imperial naval resistance was stationed there. Only the Raven Guard under Lieutenant Sarthio was able to launch a delaying action against the Death Guard. Landing from the Terminus Est, Typhus then oversaw the implantation the last implentation of his Malignifiers and as they took root, the star-spanning network of corruption constructed by the Death Guard was completed. A massive hurricane of rot and ruin emerged on St. Bartolph's Throne, where Ioanu, and their elite veterans defended Thremas Bridge against Rotigus himself. Some of the Space Marines fled but many others fled, and the entire planet was soon consumed by decay.[4c]

Typhus' ritual soon spread throughout the entire Sector, with many planets seeing the dead rise up to fight again for Nurgle. Imperial forces throughout the entire warzone became overwhelmned by this wave of fresh enemy reinforcements. Meanwhile at the ruins of St. Bartolph's Throne, the planet was replaced by a massive Warp Rift leading directly to Metalica itserlf. The ritual had completely turned the tide of the conflict back into the hands of the Forces of Chaos. Only defenders in the Rhodior System had breathing space and these were already in transit in the Warp and unaware of what had just transpired and could not be recalled to reinforce Metalica. Typhus gathered his forces and began his grand assault upon Metalica.[4c]

Third phase of the Charadon Campaign[4h]

The Sore (990 LRC)

The entire Metalica System now found itself invaded by the forces of Typhus, which emerged from the Warp Rift dubbed The Sore. The Hive World of Munis Ferrum was the first to be attacked, bombarded by plague flares which infected Servitors and transformed them into murderous berserkers. These were followed by Dark Mechanicum Tech-Priests which sought to transform the planet for Nurgle. The Mining World of Plenitas and fortress-moon of Ferrovigilum were also assailed, the former by Death Guard under Lord Fecuthrott the Reaper and the latter by Lathfyr and the Legio Morbidus. On Plenitas, Plague Cults surged up against Skitarii armies backed by Ordinatus engines. The Cultists were herded by the Death Guard for human wave attacks while on Ferrovigilum the Balequeen used Titans and Chaos Knights to silence the astropathic relay, but instead found herself facing Marshal Tertian and two maniples of the Iron Skulls as well as Freeblades known as the Forgotten Company. While these battles raged, Typhus turned his attention to the Solari Anchorage, whose docks were now largely empty due to battles elsewhere. The commanding officer, Rear Admiral Vordkin, made the difficult decision to order his few remaining ships away fore the invasion hit home. In a brutal battle for the docks, the Death Guarded landed and overran the Armsmen defenders, which fought to the last.[4d]

The Metalican forces alongside reserve Imperial Guard and the Sons of Medusa fought a desperate battle wherever they could. These drove Khornate Daemonkin from the battery world of Ohmex Magnifica while on Plenitas they were able to sever Chaos supply lines. The loyalists were also able to drive off probing attacks from energy warships around the world thanks to Space Marine boarding actions. However Khleng kept most of his forces in reserve and instead sought to delay the enemy until reinforcements could arrive to save his worlds. To make matters worse for the loyalists, The Sore began to expand at a staggering rate. The Mechanicum had no idea how big it would become, and the idea that it may swallow the entire System became a possibility. Typhus did not hesitate in his assault, leading the Terminus Est and its accompanying armada upon the defense platforms surrounding Metalica. The Chaos forces endured punishing casualties until Typhus and his Blightlord Terminators alongside Dark Mechanicum Priests were able to enact a ritual on platform Archmid-Tri that unleashed data-daemons which turned the guns of the station along with those connected to it upon the Imperials.[4d]

With the rest of the Sector embattled and his distress calls mostly unheard, Forge World Metalica now stood alone against the tide of Chaos.[4d]

Battle for the Metalican System (990LRC)

The Chaos forces rapidly struck at the worlds of the Metalican System, setting a grim preview for the Forge World itself.[5]

The first to be assailed was the Hive World of Munis Ferrum, which was bombarded by Daemonic Bacteria, Plague Flies, and Datadaemons. The city of Mykara was corrupted in its entirely, while the bastion-city of Helighun was flooded by Daemonic hordes that broke out of reality in two dozen places. Many Skitarii control ships in orbit were possessed by Scrapcode that corrupted the cohorts on the surface, allowing Dark Mechanicum troops to land. Most of the Imperial forces remaining on its surface were cut off from one another due to hordes of bloodthirsty Servitors. At Hive Betus, an Archmagos was attacked by hundreds of his personal Skitarii. Sealing himself within his private bunker, he called for aid, but when the Skitarii reinforcements arrived they took grievous losses to their corrupted skin to rescue the Archmagos. At Hive Muvos, the Order of the Sacred Rose fought against the corrupted Skitarii amid being assailed by plagues and radiation. Several Imperial Guard Companies garrisoning the redoubt in Hive Thetos with a mission from the Order of Our Martyred Lady battled thousands of crazed Servitors. The beleagured defenders were saved from maniples of Serberys Raiders who lured the rotting Servitors away with hit-and-run attacks.[5]

On the asteroid-fortress of Ferrovigilum, Chaos forces led by the Legio Morbidus and Chaos Knights sought to capture and corrupt the Astropathic Relay of the System. Marshal Tetrian dispatched clades of Skitarii to pick off the Sacristans accompanying the Chaos Knights in order to cripple them. The Legio Metalica launched an offensive against the Legio Morbidus, launching an ambush that saw several traitor Titans and many Dark Mechanicus Skitarii destroyed. Meanwhile, the Forgotten Company launched a daring assault on the Legio Morbidus that saw it emerge victorious in the Battle of Titandoom Canyon.[5]

At the Battery World of Ohmex Magnifica, the Chaos forces sought to destroy the Imperial fuel and power depots. The skies above Generatorum Rho-Omnicron-Beta-XVII became the sight of an enormous air war as the Aeronautica Imperialis and Mechanicum air forces battled flocks of flying Daemon Engines and Renegade fighters. Jump troops from Chaos Space Marine warbands including the Punishers and The Unhallowed assaulted the kilometer-high wind turbines of Cyclone-Harvester Unit 8-17-LD-φ. In response, cohorts of Pteraxii were deployed, winning the day due to their sheer tenacity. However most of the wind turbines were rendered completely inoperable and hundreds more were reduced to less than 50% effiency. Meanwhile, the Nurgle-worshipping Chaos Space Marine warband known as the Poisoned Chalice infiltrated and attacked a corpse-starch processing center, hoping to infect the food it produced with the gifts of the Plague God. There, they found the plant controlled by Khorne Cultists and proceeded to massacre each other. It was into this chaos that Tempestus Scions of the 2nd Grammic Mastodons as well as Skitarii arrived. After a bloody battle, the heretics were finally destroyed, though the corpse-starch facility was devastated in the fighting. Food rations were cut, which caused fresh labor uprisings.[5]

The Metalican Front

The forces of Chaos erupted from the Sore, but they were not alone. Daemons and plague came with them, quickly devastating the world closest to The Sore, Munis Ferrum. Meanwhile, many of the orbiting Skitarii control ships were corrupted by Scrapcode, corrupting many of the cybernetic warriors. By the time the Dark Mechanicum arrived upon the planet the world was already a nightmarish warzone. The armoured asteroid fortress of Ferrovigilum was soon hit as well, targeted by the Legio Morbidus and packs of Chaos Knights. While the heretics expected swift victory, they were instead met by bitter resistance from Skitarii forces led by Marshal Decitor Septrax-Tertian, the Iron Skulls, and the Forgotten Company. At the same time, the quarry world of Plentias and the battery world of Ohmex Magnifica both saw ferocious fighting. On the former the Death Guard Lord Fecuthrott the Reaper sought to drown his enemies in waves of Cultists, only to meet stiff Skitarii resistance backed by Ordinatus. On the latter, Mechanicum forces annihilated Khornate Daemonkin. Such localized victories however disguised the true situation, as they were simply secondary actions undertaken by Typhus to draw attention from Metalica itself.[6a]

Metalica and its system were not only beset, but also isolated. Localized warp disturbances caused chaos in the system while local warp routes were rendered unstable, blocking out the Astronomican and rendering reliable warp travel highly difficult. Most Imperial forces throughout the Obolis Sub-sector were in no position to aid Metalica, with most beset by their own local calamities and threats. This was in large part to The Sore's great Plague Storm, which saw thousands of Miasmic Malignifiers seeded throughout the warzone and unleashing disease, swarms of flies, and legions of the undead. However this storm effected friend and foe alike, as the Red Ridge offensive launched by Maardek Khal's Iron Warriors ground to a halt when its vehicles succumbed to ferric blight. Only on the Chromyd Front - where Cryptoemissarius L'au and her Deimosian cohorts had joined the fight - did Imperial forces manage true forward momentum. They targeted the Industrial World of Okharium, relieving Captain Glaine Kherrus and his soldiers. Thus did the Imperials secure a foothold in the system and prepared to push on to Torthusa. Yet word of these victories did not carry throughout the wider region, and on the backwater world of Dhaku another dark ritual was underway that would have dire consequences for the Imperium.[6a]

Be'lakor's Prize (990LRC-1014LRC)

The Daemon Prince Be'lakor appeared before the mighty Fortress World and Knight World of Kolossi, home of House Raven. With 4/5th of its Knights away fighting, the commanding officer, Knight Seneschal Havlorn, was nonetheless confident in his world's formidable defenses. But Be'lakor was no normal foe, and instead seeded nightmares, discord, and doubt in the minds of Kolossi's defenders. More curiously, the nights of Kolossi began to last longer and longer. Panic spread and it soon became apparent that the night were haunted by malevolent presences. Only in Kolossi's Fortress known as the Keep Inviolate did day and night continue their normal cycle. Sir Havlorn did what he could to maintain order and bring nearby civilians into the Keep, but otherwise waited the enemy out and sought to weather the storm until help arrived. Meanwhile in the void of space, the Alpha Legion warband known as The Disciples clashed with Imperial Navy and Sisters of Battle warships in the Tethras System. The two fleets engaged in their final battle above Kolossi, and the Sisters of Battle were able to land reinforcements on the besieged world.[6b]

Be'lakor had not foreseen the arrival of the Sisters of Battle, and his plans were frustrated. A third of House Raven's forces marched out to meet the new arrivals. However these had had their Throne Mechanicum corrupted by traitorous Tech-Priests within House Raven's ranks, and the corrupted Knights soon opened fire upon their fellows. Havlorn died first, hit by a point-blank Thermal Cannon blast to his cockpit. As the Keep plunged into confusion Be'lakor struck, unleashing a wave of darkness throughout the fortress. While Skitarii Cohort defenders within held firm, many of the refugees panicked or were driven insane. Those victims with psychic potential became gateways for Daemons, and the Keep was soon transformed into a warzone. The Keep's defenders fought on, but a long siege that should have ground on for an extended period instead lasted a few hours before the fortress fell.[6c]

Charadon Aflame (860 - 1026 LRC)

It was at this time that Indomitus Crusade ships from Battle Group Tarsus arrived in the Phlegyr Sub-sector. At its head was the Martyr's Halo, the flagship of Abbess and High Lord Morvenn Vahl. Vahl had personally led a force to relieve Charadon, departing from Fleet Primus. With her came a huge force of Sisters of Battle from the Orders including Our Martyred Lady and Ebon Chalice as well as numerous Space Marines, Imperial Guard Regiments, and Knights from House Griffith and House Draconis. There was even a small but potent contingent of the Talons of the Emperor. Vahl acted swiftly and decisively, coordinating with Inquisitor Bastobrevian to dispatch Task Force III to the ongoing fight in the Tri-Forge Cluster. Meanwhile she led the rest of her force on a series of short jumps to the Iap and Eladagh Systems of the Lirac Sub-Sector. Here, they encountered both heretical pirates and fleeing Imperial ships. Both were quickly destroyed, for cowards were judged as equally heretical as the pirates by Vahl.[6d]

Vahl quickly developed a strategy, having the worlds of the Eladagh System send their defenders to her own fleet as she moved on to to the Duralim System. Missions of Soroitas next landed upon the Cardinal World of Alexistor, purging the planet of its zombies. They were swiftly joined by Imperial Guard, Skitarii, and Knights. Similar cleansing purges were repeated throughout the region as Battle Group Tarsus pushed deep into the Obolis Sub-sector. In some places this punitive campaign met resistance from fellow Imperials, such as on Brezantius where Ultramarines Lieutenant Agelpus attempted to stop the slaughter before relenting at Vahl's seal of authority.[6d]

The Battle for Feiror (1027 - 1057 LRC)

After his escape from the world of Sustace, Lord Zeid had withdrawn his warband from the frontlines and instead bided his time. He decided to abandon Typhus' agenda and instead wage his own hunt within the Sector. The Feiror System proved to be an ideal hunting ground, with millions of Imperial Guardsmen and other defenders falling before Zeid's nightmarish creatures. Soon Zeid led his own Black Legion forces in a full-scale attack, taking world after world. With the Imperial authorities in the area despised by their own population due to their brutish behaviors, the slaughter that followed was painfully one-sided. Several months later, the first ships from Battle Group Tarsus arrived. Led by the Fulminators Strike Cruiser Kastoran alongside two Imperial Navy escorts, the Imperials were beset by Black Legion and Night Lords warships. On the Kastoran escaped, with many of its compliment falling to dark sorcery in the nightmare that had transpired. They returned to Imperial space to report that the System had fallen entirely.[6d]

In the wake of the incident Morven Vahl, Princeps Grevan, Chapter Master Tanielu, and an assortment of Magi held a council of war and agreed to launch an offensive towards Feiror. Waves of Imperial vessels arrived in-system and immediately met resistance from not only the Black Legion but also Heldrakes, malefic scrap code, and Gellerpox Infected. The Imperials endured high casualties but nonetheless drove on to their objective, with barely half of their own surviving to launch an assault on the Hive World of Fylenis. There, Knights and Iron Skulls Titans faced massed renegade armor and airpower as well as malevolent sorcery. Imperial ships had to fire from orbit to try and contain the crisis. Meanwhile on Ferryk, the Excruciators, Mentors, and Novamarines led a massed host of Battle Sisters, Skitarii, and Imperial Guard that degenerated into a grueling meatgrinder. Still the Imperials drove deeper into the system, engaging major threats as they came across them. with Vahl herself leading forces to the Ocean World of Fathom.[6d]

The Invasion of Metalica (990 - 1035 LRC)

At Metalica, the crisis only got worse and worse. Orbital defense platforms had been corrupted by the influence of Nurgle, turning on the defenders and forcing the Imperial armada under Sons of Medusa Captain Diogenos away. Next began the landings on Metalica itself, with Typhus intending to push to the world's Primary Industrial Cluster and deliver a phage known as the Nemesis Wurm into its hearts, dooming the planet to an agonizing death. The Imperial defenders would not sit idly by however, firing upon the incoming waves of Chaos landing craft with surface-to-air defenses and aircraft. The first ground battles were largely Chaos delaying actions, with the Southern Polar Dual-cluster hit by a trio of Death Guard Terminator contamination teams. Each was led by a Biologus Putrifier, and upon penetrating deep into the Pole's reclamation shrines these warriors were able to deliver devastating corruption. These corrupted shrines recycled tainted materials into greater Metalica, spreading disease and discord. As he deployed similar underhanded tactics across the planet, he dispatched his Third Plague Company to capture pitoval choke points. These warbands spent their lives to ensure that reinforcements from across Metalica could not reach the Prime Industrial Cluster. Meanwhile, Typhus' own hosts secured a foothold in the Mechanical wilderness and weapons-testing range known as the Ironclad Expanse. The main Death Guard force pushed north, preceded by packs of swift Daemon Engines. Despite the chaos unfolding Fabricator-General Khleng reacted stubbornly and sought to contest every piece of ground upon sacred Metalica.[6d]

Despite their stubborn defenses, Typhus' plans proved too much for Khleng to counter and at the miles-high stacks of Saint Facimilus the Replicator's Datacanyon Imperial and Chaos armor clashed. As the Chaos advance faltered, fresh Death Guard reinforcements landed from above outflanked the Imperials. Metalican forces were forced to retreat and Typhus pushed deeper still. At the peak of the fighting the Plague Ship Corpsemaker was disabled by the Imperial Battleship Vordkin's Revenge and fell from the skies, creating a devastating impact. Typhus begins to grow frustrated and knows that The Sore's existence is not permanent, and time for him runs short. Thus he throws everything he has into a devastating onslaught. Codenamed the Plaguebringer Offensive, Typhus' final attack saw a massive armored and artillery thrust towards the Primary Industrial Cluster. Wading through the fire came the last Titans of the Legio Morbidus. Blooded but undefeated, the Imperial defenders surged to meet the corrupted Titans. Iron Skulls Titans and Knights of House Raven marched alongside Imperial Guard and Sisters of Battle tanks, and in the ensuing close-quarters battle both sides took heavy losses. At the height of the fighting the Legio Morbidus Lord Lathfyr, piloting the Imperator Titan Despair Incarnate, entered the fray. Khleng ordered more and more forces to bring down the corrupted god-engine, but still it marched forwards and reaped devastation in its wake.[6e]

Right before the Macrosanctum itself, the Imperials launched a last-ditch attack upon the rogue Imperator. The Titan was hit by archaeotech Vortex Missiles and ground to a halt as Typhus' horde spewed through the gap left by its rampage. At the head of the attack was Typhus and his Second Plague Company elite. Despite the disabling of the Despair Incarnate the Imperial defenders reeled before the attack, but at the last line of defense Typhus came before Marshal Tertian and his Skitarii elite which by this point had been held in reserve. Typhus' own Land Raider was damaged in the battle that followed, and he felt his offensive withering. Typhus and his Terminator Elite exited their vehicles and led a final desperate attack, hoping to reach the Macrosanctum and deliver the Nemesis Wurm. Despite being wounded multiple times, Typhus continued to lead his elites in an inexorable advance. At the entrance to the Macrosanctum itself Tertian and his Skitarii Vanguards confronted Typhus and his Terminators. However Tertian was overwhelmned by the Destroyer Hive and decapitated by Typhus, who next tore down the entrance to Khleng's own command room. Victorious, Typhus had his accompanying Dark Mechanicus Tech-Priest's plunge the cocoon of the Nemesis Wurm into the body of the Fabricator-General.[6e]

Aftermath

After delivering his phage Typhus and his entourage vanished from Metalica. Despite suffering 80% casualties, the Death Guard had achieved its objective. Anarchy followed in the wake of the Chaos withdrawal as mutants, rogue servitors, and other malefic entities continued to roam Metalica's surface. Though Typhus' Daemonic armies also vanished back into The Sore, there was little cause for Imperial celebration. The Nemesis Wurm had infected the Prime Industrial Cluster, creating mutated growths throughout Metalica's mechanical surface and corrupting its ancient data network. While at first Mechanicum repair teams seemed able to contain the phage through a massive purge that saw even the mutated form of Khleng disposed of, seven cycles later the disease appeared anew. It has since appeared again and again in an endless cycle of manifestation and purgation.[6f]

With Typhus' departure, the many Warp Storms around the Charadon Sector began to disperse. While the region was declared pacified by the Imperium, but Metalica was all but crippled while House Raven had lost their homeworld. Many more worlds throughout the Sector remained permanently quarantined as swathes of refugees moved into the surrounding regions. It would take years of effort and many lives to truly reclaim the region. Abaddon's influence loomed over the Sector, and the Warmaster of Chaos had secured a bloody victory through Typhus.[6f]

The final battle of the Charadon campaign itself took place on Fathom, where Morvann Vahl faced Lord Zeid's heretics. The High Lord pursued the Lord Discordant with dogged determination as hundreds of thousands died. Vahl led an invasion of the immnese hab-sprawl at Omnis. Despite multiple woundings, Vahl was aided by Chapter Master Tanielu and his Excruciators and managed to drive off the Chaos Forces after long hours of bloody fighting. However Vahl was denied her final battle with Zeid, who instead chose to escape. As he escaped in his massive orbital lander Vahl and Princeps Grevan launched a punishing naval attack that saw the vessel plunge down into Omnis, destroying two square miles of the megastructure. Lord Discordant Zeid was not seen again.[6f]

Related Campaigns

Order of Battle[4e]

Early Campaign

Late Campaign[6g]

Source