Gore Sun Incursion
|Librarian Umbrane||Daemon Prince Sinewed Prince|
|Grey Knights 4th Brotherhood|| Khornate Daemonic warband|
World Eaters warband
The Grey Knights Strike Force Falchion was formed from warriors of the 4th Brotherhood to deal with the Gore Sun incursion on Vortux, and the Brother-Librarian Umbrane would lead them into battle. Umbrane had already faced the hordes of the Gore Sun and the Sinewed Prince that led them. The Librarian’s name had been carefully chosen as anathema to the Daemon Prince, linking their destinies together, and marking out Umbrane in the eyes of the Grand Masters as the Gore Sun’s doom. So it was that Umbrane gathered together his Grey Knights and brought the wrath of Titan to Vortux.
Vortux was an oceanic agri world; its citizens harvesting rift-squid swarms from their floating hive city-ships, until the arrival of a World Eaters warband drowned the world in blood. For eighty-eight days Khorne Berzerkers stalked the city-ships and island conclaves of Vortux slaughtering everything that moved, dedicating each gore-soaked kill to the Blood God and building piles of severed heads that could be seen for miles in all directions. On the dawn of the eighty-eighth day since the start of the massacre Vortux’s blue sun rose a bloody red. This was the Gore Sun, and it heralded the arrival of the Sinewed Prince.
Like a bolt of silver light, Strike Force Falchion’s Strike Cruiser appeared above Vortux, Umbrane quickly assessing the teeming daemonic shadows on the world below and the Chaos Space Marine vessel that hung in orbit like a starving dog over a fresh kill. One target on Vortux’s surface burned bright in the Librarian’s psychic senses: the largest city-ship, the Oceanus Pyramid. Even from orbit Umbrane could sense the ragged Warp-wound that festered in the heart of the pyramid and the maelstrom of murdered souls that swirled around its spires.
Determining that a teleport assault into the unknown dangers of the city-ship would be unwise, Umbrane directed his brothers to prepare for insertion by Stormraven Gunship. Meanwhile, the detachment of Paladins led by battle-brother Perdac would cripple the Chaos cruiser, preventing it from being brought to bear against them. All of this took but moments, and before the Strike Cruiser had even reached orbit a flock of Stormravens fell away from its belly toward the planet below.
The twisted blood-cult crew of the Covenant of Pain were utterly unprepared for the arrival of the Grey Knight Paladins. Perdac and his brothers appeared on the bridge of the ship in a shower of crimson light, the scar-faced lord captain barely having time to scream a warning before his head vanished in a spray of blood. Scores of Cultists charged at the Paladins from all sides, firing autoguns, laspistols and stub guns as they came. With little effort the Grey Knights killed them all, force blades weaving a pattern of bloody death through their ranks and storm bolter rounds hurling the Cultists back like gory rag dolls. In under a minute the deck was clear of foes, half a hundred dead and dying men lying at the feet of the Paladins. With single-minded purpose Perdac moved to the command console and began the process that would begin a critical overload in the ship’s plasma reactor.
Hurtling down through the red-tinged clouds, Umbrane’s Stormraven wing bore down on the Oceanus Pyramid. As they drew closer, defensive turrets hurled tracer rounds and plasma bolts across their path, filling the sky with burning trails of fire and light. The Grey Knight pilots expertly flew through the storm, their psychic senses augmenting their already superhuman reflexes and enabling them to predict and evade the erratic defensive fire. Finally close enough to engage with their own weapons, the Stormravens sent forth a salvo of stormstrike missiles. A score of contrails arced away from the formation toward the hive, and seconds later explosions blossomed to life across the structure.
Aiming for the upper landing decks of the city-ship the Grey Knights Stormravens banked sharply as they made their first pass, assault cannons and hurricane bolters clearing a way for their landing. From below, Cultists fired their weapons uselessly up at the flyers until the hammering weapons tore them apart. The first Stormraven to land delivered Umbrane and his Terminator bodyguard into the fight, the Librarian blazing a path across the landing platform with psychic flame while his brothers hacked down any survivors brave enough to charge them. From the far side of the platform Umbrane could see a dozen Khorne Berzerkers ready their weapons, drawn up from the heart of the hive by the sounds of war. The Chaos Space Marines were deadly foes and Umbrane was not about to underestimate them. Gathering his brothers, they set their halberds to receive the inevitable charge, while the Librarian sent a psychic signal to the rest of his strike force.
The Berzerkers were halfway across the platform, hacking a path through the fleeing Cultists, when the second Stormraven touched down. From the flyer’s open jaw Falchion’s Purgation Squad emerged, their psycannons and psilencers already charging up. The massed fire ripped into the World Eaters, punching through their power armour and sending great crimson gouts into the air. A single Berzerker reached Umbrane, staggering under his wounds but still howling for blood. The Librarian motioned his brothers back as he stepped inside the Chaos Marine’s wild chainaxe swing, avoiding the blow and plunging his force sword into his foe. With a psychic pulse Umbrane wrenched the warrior’s soul out through his sword, scattering it into the Warp. Pulling his blade free from the lifeless corpse, the Librarian led the way down into the Oceanus Pyramid.
The inside of the hive had been changed by the coming of the Gore Sun, the Sinewed Prince decorating its once grand halls and chambers with the bodies of its citizens. Everywhere headless corpses hung from the walls or were piled high in crude effigies of Khornate Daemons. Floors and ceilings dripped with blood, the vital fluids of a million slain citizens running down the walls like rain. Here and there profane symbols of the Dark Gods burned blackly on plasteel bulkheads, the blood parting around them or changing course to follow their cursed shapes. The Grey Knights strode through this hell as true sons of the Emperor, the tendrils of the Warp retreating before them, only to close in once again when they had passed.
The presence of the Grey Knights cast ripples out across the Warp, drawing in the Daemons and renegades that inhabited the city-ship. At first the Grey Knights faced only mobs of blood-cultists possessed of little skill or strength, though they were driven insane by slaughter. These the strike force cut down with measured blows of their blades, preserving their ammunition for worthier foes. Then came the World Eaters, those scattered warbands of Chaos Space Marines that had remained on the Oceanus Pyramid after its citizens had been all but slain. Umbrane was quick to unleash psychic fire and heavy weapons against them. Finally came the Daemons, the Sinewed Prince’s hordes, howling for the flesh of the Grey Knights. When at last Umbrane reached the Pascis Factorum in the belly of the city-ship several of his brothers were limping from deep wounds and every one was covered in a foul mix of congealed blood and ichor.
The Pascis Factorum was a huge, vaulted chamber where the people of the Oceanus Pyramid would harvest the deeps of Vortux; hundreds of metres of razor-nets coiled along the edges of an open well into the sea below. Now the Sinewed Prince hung above the pit, the nets choked with corpses and the red waters below thronging with Daemons of Khorne. A horror of flayed flesh and bone, the Daemon Prince leapt down to meet the Grey Knights, leaving bloody claw-prints upon the steel deck as it strode forwards. From the well, thousands of Bloodletters hauled themselves up out of the sea of blood using the ragged remains of the dead as handholds.
Umbrane and his brothers spread out, each Grey Knight giving himself space to use his Nemesis force weapon to its maximum effect. With practised ease the Purgation Squad laid down fire through the open formation, their arcane weapons slicing through the ranks of Bloodletters, each psychically charged round searing through their twisted forms. The Terminators wove spells of banishment, further confounding the mass, yet for every Daemon scattered to the Warp a handful more crawled up to take its place. Umbrane could feel the immense presence of the Sinewed Prince as it moved towards the Grey Knights, his psychic senses overwhelmed by the rage pouring off it.
The Daemons hit the Grey Knights in a blood-red torrent, Nemesis force halberds and hellblades flashing in bloody arcs. A dozen Grey Knights fell in those opening moments, the cursed hellblades of their foes carving through the gaps in their armour and Aegis. Each battle-brother struggled with multiple opponents, his weapon turning one blade only to leave him open to another. Through the throng the Sinewed Prince bore down on Umbrane, drawn by the blazing beacon of the Grey Knight’s psychic power, hatred burning in its hollow eyes. This was the moment Umbrane had been waiting for. Moments after he keyed his teleport homer, three Nemesis Dreadknights materialised into the midst of the melee. At the Librarian’s order the Dreadknights closed with the Daemon Prince, attacking it from all sides. Howling murder, the Sinewed Prince fought back, smashing one of the walkers to the ground where it vanished beneath a teeming mass of Bloodletters. The Daemon’s victory was shortlived, however, as one of the remaining Dreadknights landed a telling blow with its daemon hammer. Seeing the beast reeling, Umbrane leapt forward, plunging his force sword into the Daemon’s heart. In a storm of blood the Sinewed Prince and his army melted back into the Warp, and Vortux’s sun shone blue once more.