Invasion of Taladorn
The Iron Warriors had not sat idly by while Imperial Fists Captain Darnath Lysander waged his crusade of vengeance against them. Warsmith Shon'tu had raised a warband known as the Sons of the Forge from the remnants crushed by Lysander's attacks. The Iron Warriors target was the manufactorum world of Taladorn.
The assault began when the Iron Warriors fleet appeared in Taladorn's orbit and launched waves of Dreadclaw assault craft at the planet. The pods contained Warpsmiths, who activated sinister Daemon Engines to assault the planets streets. Neither the local PDF, Hive gangs and outlaws, or a flight of Valkyrie gunships proved any match for the Daemonic machines, which included Heldrakes in their ranks. Taladorn's Governor surrendered after less than a day of fighting, but the city of Taladorn Decimus in the extreme south still fought on. Located in the side of an obsidian mountain, its defences had ridden out the Iron Warriors' orbital bombardment better than most while its defensive guns were able to fend off Heldrake strafing runs. The Iron Warriors, however, left the city alone for the time being and instead set about enacting their plans for the planet. The capital city of Taladorn Primus was overrun by coiling mecharoots woven together to form a vast domed structure. This had become the Forgeheart, a citadel beneath which the Iron Warriors grafted slaves to feed to their Daemon forges and work the mines.
Taladorn had been under occupation for two months when the Imperial Fists under Lysander, commanding from the Battle Barge Storm of Wrath, finally arrived. They arrived to find that the Blood Angels had also heeded the planet's distress call and were busy engaging the Iron Warriors fleet with Azkaellon Class Frigates. Seeing the Blood Angels' attack stalling in the face of sheer numbers, Lysander ordered his forces to join the battle. The Iron Warriors responded immediately, sending three Heavy Cruisers filled with Heldrakes at the Imperial Fists' ship. As the Imperial Fists entered the battle, Imperial reinforcements arrived in the form of the Ultramarines Strike Cruiser Valin's Revenge. Having little interest for a duel in space now that reinforcements were here, Lysander ordered his ship into low orbit and deployed himself and a chosen strike force via Drop Pods that were launched at the Forgeheart on Taladorn's surface. Lysander gave the vanguard to Captain Vorn Hagen of the 5th Company and the duty of capturing the slave pens to Sergeant Julan while he teleported a squad of 1st Company Terminators into position. By this point, the Iron Warriors counterattack began in earnest.
The Iron Warriors slave troops and cultists folded quickly, leaving their masters to fend for themselves. Encountering tenacious resistance, Lysander took much of the 5th Company with him into the fortress command spire while command of the 3rd fell to Captain Vogen and drove to the forges. The further into the Forgeheart the 3rd Company drove the more twisted it became. Flesh and metal became one while many slaves had since fused with the structure itself. A running battle erupted as the 3rd Company under Vogen fought off a converging army of Iron Warriors and a Maulerfiend Daemon Engine. Vogen was killed instantly by the Maulerfiend, crushed under its massive fist. Vogen's second-in-command, Sergeant Tor Garadon, immediately took command and managed to take down the Maulerfiend with a volley of Lascannon fire. With the Daemon Engine's defeat, the Iron Warriors slowly retreated into the darkness.
Having cleared their initial objectives, at last of the 3rd Company finally emerged at the command spire. There, some thirty warriors of the 5th Company and Terminator veterans of the 1st, were already engaged in combat with the Iron Warriors. Lysander himself was at the scene, clashing with the Warsmith Shon'tu himself. As both champions mauled one another Shon'tu got word that the Ultramarines and Blood Angels had forced the Iron Warriors fleet to flee and Captain Cato Sicarius offered reinforcements. Lysander saw this as the Imperial Fists' revenge and refused any aid from the Ultramarines. Shon'tu quickly deployed a swarm of newly birthed Daemon Engines to strike down his foes while he continued his duel against Lysander. Elsewhere, the 3rd Company held off the attack of the Daemon Engines with a line of Devastators and the aid of newly arrived Stormraven Gunships. However, a Heldrake arrived and destroyed an Imperial Fists gunship, sending it straight into the 3rd Company's position. Nonetheless, thanks to the aid of 1st Company Terminators, the 5th would endure.
However, the 3rd Company under Hagan was mauled by the crash of the Stormraven and an immediate attack by Forgefiends. Dreadnought Conrath managed to destroy the monstrosity, but was quickly struck down in turn by more Daemon engines. Despite the situation for the 3rd, Lysander again refused any aid from the Ultramarines. Hagan overheard the conversation on his own comm-link and accepted Sicarius' help, sending Lysander into a rage. Nonetheless, a force of 30 Ultramarines Terminators quickly arrived to reinforce the 3rd Company, marking the turn of the battle. Soon after the Ultramarines 2nd Company arrived from two Thunderhawks. The Blood Angels Death Company under Tycho was next to arrive. Shon'tu's position was now completely hopeless, and he abandoned the fight against Lysander to flee into the tunnels below. Over the next few days the remaining Iron Warriors were finally hunted down, but no trace of Shon'tu was discovered.
In the aftermath of the battle, Lysander was forced to confront the cost of his obsession. 90 Battle-Brothers lay dead including Captain Vogen, and his refusal to accept outside reinforcements implicated him in the body count. Only a dozen battle-brothers of the 3rd Company remained fit to fight, and Lysander was forced to come before Chapter Master Vladimir Pugh to explain his actions.
- 1: Sentinels of Terra - A Codex: Space Marines Supplement (6th Edition) — The Invasion of Taladorn