|Cato Sicarius leads the Ultramarines Second Company to battle on Damnos[3a]|
| Captain Cato Sicarius
Chief Librarian Varro Tigurius
Venerable Dreadnought Agrippan(d)
Sergeant Antaro Chronus
| Phaeron The Undying|
| Ultramarines Second Company (100 Battle-Brothers):
6 Tactical Squads
2 Devastator Squads
2 Assault Squads
Predator Battle Tanks
Strike Cruiser Valin's Revenge
| Several thousand Necron Warriors;|
|Half the Company dead or wounded||Unknown|
Used as a Mining World since the time of the Great Crusade, Damnos was rich in resources but only given a small Planetary Defense Force and Imperial Guard garrison. Little did they know that the world had long since been a Tomb World for a sizable Necron army.
During routine repairs on the world's mining facilities, ancient ruins far older than any human settlement were discovered. The Adeptus Mechanicus immediately laid claim to them. The Tech-Priests would take several alien items from the site, which caused the Necron warriors sleeping below to emerge.[1a][3b]
Phalanx after phalanx of Necron Warriors emerged from below, descending upon the factories of Damnos Prime. Within six months, the planet's PDF had been all but overwhelmed, nearly all of the manufactorum cities had been destroyed, and the planetary capital, Kellenport, was under siege[2a].
A shroud of comm-interference preceded the Necron advance, and the now-isolated human defenders were overrun in a matter of hours. Sending out reconnaissance units of Thunderbolt fighters, none were to return to report on what they had seen. After several days, the shroud of comm-interference moved south towards Damnos Secundus. The Necrons followed in its wake, destroying everything in their path. Meanwhile, Imperial Guard reconnaissance teams discovered that Damnos Prime was completely deserted of both Necron attackers or human occupiers, just as the Planetary Governor sent an urgent astropathic call requesting immediate assistance. The Governor himself retreated to a command bunker as the Necrons launched their attack on Kellenport[1a].
Receiving aid from an Imperial Navy Battleship Nobilis, the incoming Necrons were subjected to fierce melta torpedo bombardment. At first, the battle went well for the defenders. However, triumph soon turns to disaster as a Necron bolt of compressed energy shot into the sky and destroyed the Nobilis. Necrons teleported directly into the Imperial Guard's own fortifications, killing men in their bunkers, while the Governor himself was killed by tunneling Tomb Spyders and Scarabs.[3c]
The Relief of Kellenport
The Governor's distress call was intercepted by the Ultramarines Strike Cruiser Valin's Revenge, and Captain Sicarius did not hesitate to divert the ship to Damnos. When the ship arrived in system, the Necrons quickly became aware of their arrival, and targeted fire from their surface Pylons toward the ship. Sicarius ordered the the Revenge helmsman to steer a dangerous course through the debris orbiting the planet, avoiding the devastating energy beams, most of which spiraled harmlessly into space or were blocked from the Revenge by the floating debris. The Strike Cruiser took only three hits, the last of which struck the ship amidships and forced it to withdraw from orbit, but not before it drew close enough for the Second Company to launch a Drop Pod assault[2b].
Sicarius divided his force into three groups: the first, led by Sicarius in person, struck the main body of the Necron force outside the city walls. The second, commanded by Chief Librarian Varro Tigurius, attacked the gauss siege cannons and Pylons firing on the embattled city's defenders. The third consisted entirely of unmanned Deathwind pods, which landed amid the Necron ranks and unleashed volleys of missiles.
By chance, Sicarius's assault landed too close to a Necron Command Node, which redirected several nearby phalanxes to deal with the Ultramarines. Sicarius himself led the charge against the Necron Lord and a cell of Immortals. Though Sicarius was felled by the Lord's warscythe, his Command Squad refused to break and protected their Captain, while Venerable Dreadnought Agrippan stepped in and smashed through the remaining Immortals, before destroying the Necron Lord with a single blow from his Power fist[2b]. Without their commander's direction, the Necrons retreated, and Brother Agrippan commanded the Ultramarines' pursuit that harried them throughout the rest of the day. Tigurius's attack also succeeded, causing a tremendous explosion that destroyed the Necrons' artillery and thousands more of their warriors.[2b]
With the Necrons driven back and their orbital weapons destroyed, the Valin's Revenge was able to return to orbit and debark the rest of the Second Company and its equipment, including Thunderhawk gunships and Predator tanks. Sicarius was quickly air-lifted to the Strike Cruiser's Apothecarium and his wounds treated[2a].
The Evacuation Begins
Tigurius returned from his mission in the Thanatos foothills to report that still more Necrons were awakening and preparing to march on Kellenport. The Ultramarines' strength had been reduced to little more than half, the Imperial Guard defenders were exhausted, and the city, despite the feverish efforts of the Company's Techmarines, was too damaged to serve as an effective fortress. Tigurius and Agrippan were forced to concede that Damnos was lost, and their only course of action was to hold off the Necrons long enough for the populace to evacuate[2a].
The repairs of the city's outer defences were abandoned, and re-focused on fortifying the spaceport and the central administration building. All available landing craft began to ferry civilians to the Revenge and its frigate escorts. Meanwhile, Agrippan directed a series of surgical counter-attacks to slow the Necrons' advance. Thunderhawks make air strikes, while heavier transporters deployed Predator tanks and other armoured units, to destroy selected phase generators and command nodes. These managed to delay the Necrons, but within a week Kellenport was under siege again[2a].
The Final Battle
The Ultramarines made the Necrons pay dearly for every step of their advance, over the walls of Kellenport and through the city streets. Their bravery inspired the exhausted Imperial Guardsmen to throw themselves into the fray with equal courage. Wherever things were at their worst, Tigurius or Agrippan were there, using every iota of their superhuman energy and abilities, and inspiring the defenders to heroism. Agrippan held the city's western gates alone for three hours, tearing apart the first Monolith to appear on the battlefield even after receiving a grievous wound from it.[2b]. Sergeant Antaro Chronus, the Ultramarines' greatest tank commander, led his personal Predator, the Rage of Antonius, into battle against a Necron war cell. Despite taking several broadside hits from Gauss weapons, the Rage managed to destroy the cell's phase generator and drive the cell into retreat. Techmarines who later examined the damage to the Rage considered it nothing short of miraculous that Chronus had kept the vehicle battle-ready, much less accomplished his mission[2c]. Throughout the battle, the evacuation continued, though several vessels were lost to fire from the Necrons' weaponry. By the time the defenders had been driven back to the spaceport, the last of the civilians had left Damnos and the only humans left were the defenders themselves[2b].
As the Thunderhawks Gladius and Thunderstorm came down to evacuate the last remaining defenders – forty Space Marines and twenty Guardsmen – these were being pressed into a slowly shrinking circle, but not one faltered as they fought their way to safety[2b]. As the last two Thunderhawks sped away, Agrippan was pinned down by a dozen streams of heavy gauss cannon fire, but as he died, his reactor went critical, triggering an explosion that obliterated the spaceport and every last Necron within it[2b].
- 1:Warhammer 40,000 5th Edition Rulebook
- 2: Codex: Space Marines (5th Edition)
- 3: Fall of Damnos (Novel)
- 4: Codex: Necrons (7th Edition), pg. 45 — A New Epoch Begins