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Octarius War

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Octarius War
Ork and Tyranid forces battle on Ghorala[1]
Conflict Tyrannic Wars/Noctis Aeterna
Date 999.M41 - Present
Location Octarius Sector
Tyranids succeed in killing the Overfiend of Octarius and smashing his empire but scattered fighting continues
Cordon Impenetra stable
Ork Empire of Octarius
Waaagh! Ghazghkull
Khorne Tyranids
Overfiend of Octarius (KIA)
Overfiend Blaktoof
Ghazghkull Mag Uruk Thraka
Zog Steeltoof
Warlord Magza da Kollossus (KIA)[6]
Kogfist Steelsnappa
Warboss Stugbrog da Facegrinda
Warboss Kagrit the Redtoof
Warboss Nabrot Stubfingers
Baddkrasha (KIA)
Warboss Gibkrug
Warboss Zagrob
Warboss Ugul Ironboot
Warboss Tuskagrob Wurldkilla (KIA)
Mekboss Da Meklord
Warboss Gragnatz Stompkrumpa
Speedboss Gurgruk
Nashir Sahansun
Einrekh Phlagustok
Mezonyki Reio
Krijeni Luceior
Akrep Xie
Rakmeyr Bluewolf
Arneld Heifaast
Abrahoma Bentaal
Helmghut Karst
Ezmeralda Brynlokh
Einrekh Phlagustok
Athocles Van Roth (KIA)
Janzig Danathios
Herika Ajon
Barcelia Mung (KIA)
Eyva Phalomor
Balandiel (KIA)
Vodha Bloodprice Hive Mind
See Order of Battle See Order of Battle
See Order of Battle See Order of Battle
Massive Massive
Unknown Heavy

The Octarius War is a major conflict being waged between the Tyranid Hive Fleet Leviathan and the powerful Ork Empire of Octarius as well as tangential players such as the Imperium and Forces of Chaos.


By the end of the 41st Millennium, the Imperium was beset by the third and mightiest Tyranid Hive Fleet, Leviathan. As the swarm rampaged throughout the southern plain of the galaxy, Inquisitor Kryptman desperately looked for an answer to the Tyranid threat. Looking to the Ork Empire of Octarius, Kryptman devised a plan to utilize mankind's old foe against the invading Tyranids and, in the best case scenario, kill two birds with one stone.[1]

Kryptman led several specially equipped Deathwatch teams into the caverns of Carpathia to attempt to capture a brood of live Genestealers in a stasis field. The mission was successful, although Kryptman's force suffered heavy casualties. He then planted the brood on board the Perdition's Flame, a Space Hulk that emerged from the Warp in the path of Leviathan. As the Genestealers awoke, he destroyed the moon of Gheist in order to divert the hulk's trajectory directly towards the Octarius Empire.[1]

As the Space Hulk entered the Octarius Empire, it was boarded by Ork Lootaz seeking to plunder it, but they were quickly ambushed and impregnated by the Genestealers. They went on to spread the infestation across the entire Octarius Sector.[2] After preliminary skirmishes with the invading Genestealers, Warbosses from the Blood Axes employed the services of Boss Zagstruk and his Vulcha Squad to intercept and destroy the infestation. Even though they were successful, a tendril of Leviathan changed course towards the psychic signal of the Genestealers and invaded the Empire. The Overfiend of Octarius, Blaktoof, launched a counter-invasion directly into the oncoming Hive Fleet. Despite the Orks' efforts, a dozen worlds in the Octarius Empire became infected by the Tyranids within weeks.[1][3] Depending on the source, the date of Leviathan's invasion is either 989.M41 [3] or 999.M41 [2].


On the former Imperial world of Orrok, the Orks reacted with puzzlement when the skies darkened with millions of incoming Mycetic Spores. The Orks rushed to their weapons and barely had time to man their defences when waves of Gaunts crashed into the fortifications. The Orks counter-charged the oncoming swarm, and thousands died on both sides in only a matter of seconds. On every scale a fierce battle raged - Squigs and Rippers tore into each other underfoot as Gaunts and Ork Boyz hacked and slashed at each other; Ork Warbosses and Nobz fought against Tyranid Warriors and Carnifexes; mighty Squiggoths battled thunderously with huge Tyranid Bio-Titans; even on a microscopic level Tyranid Phage Cells consumed the aggressively spreading Orkoid Spores. Orrok was encumbered by total war on every scale. But slowly, the Orks realised they were outnumbered and surrounded. By nightfall every Ork on Orrok was killed and their corpses turned into bio-resources to feed the growing Tyranid swarm.[Needs Citation]


Shortly after Orrok fell, Leviathan descended upon Ghorala, the base of Pirate-Warboss Skarfang and his dreaded Skar Fleet. When Leviathan arrived they were countered by every Ork vessel within a dozen light years, as well as extensive mine fields hidden amongst Ghorala's asteroid belt which tore bio-ships apart in cataclysmic explosions. Ork gunships assaulted the surviving vessels before they had time to react and the Tyranid fleet was all but destroyed under Skarfang's guns. However a single bio-ship managed to break through the Ork blockade and hurl itself at Ghorala, heedless of pain or injury. It launched thousands of Mycetic Spores onto the planet's equatorial planes. Skarfang, watching the planet from afar, realised that the space battle was over and the real fight was now on the planet's surface. The Orks made planetfall to chase their foe.[1]

On the planet's surface the Tyranids were vastly outnumbered by Orks, for the first time since entering the Octarius Sector. Sensing that a war of attrition would end in their deaths, the Tyranid swarm adopted a tactic of stalking and attacking only isolated Ork patrols. But the Orks began traveling in mobs too large for the fledging swarm to face. The Tyranids then adapted again and began aiming for maximum carnage by engaging the Orks in the open. Whenever the Tyranids were on the verge of being overrun, they would retreat in unison and shelter in caves or beneath the ground until nighttime, when the Tyranid Synapse creatures would re-gather the scattered beasts to the battlefield to feed on the corpses. Ork and Tyranid bodies alike would be devoured and brought to Digestion Pools secreted in the planet's rocky mesas. Slowly but surely the Tyranids gathered more bio-resources and increased their numbers. The growing swarm changed its tactics again to engage ever larger concentrations of Orks in order to win larger sources of bio-resources.[1]

Skarfang was soon attracted by all the violence and entered the ground war himself. His guttural war-cries encouraged Orks to turn the tide of battles in their favour. With the new battle-lust that Skarfang inspired, the Tyranids were slowly being pushed back. However in response, the Tyranids created Lictors with the purpose of assassinating Skarfang. But Squig-hounds foiled every one of their attempts to get close enough. The Tyranids cunningly lured Skarfang out by throwing tides of Hormagaunts at the Ork lines, and then withdrawing when the Orks roused in defence. Skarfang became infuriated as these feints were repeated from different directions but always withdrew before the Orks could fight back. On the tenth such attack, Skarfang ordered a pursuit. Battlewagons and Wartrukks bellowed after the swarm... directly into a trap. Broods of Venomthropes surrounded the Orks in a thick, toxic fog and the convey of Ork vehicles crashed into rocky outcrops or into each other. As the Orks began to choke to death in the fog, Skarfang stumbled across the Venomthropes and vented his anger on them. But when the fog receded, Skarfang found himself surrounded by Lictors. All his boyz had been killed off one at a time until he was the only Ork left. He managed to take two steps towards the enemy before a dozen claws tore him asunder.[1]

With their leader dead, the Orks on Ghorala collapsed into infighting and became easy prey for the Tyranids. Each tribe was isolated and destroyed in quick succession until, within weeks, all the Orks on Ghorala had been killed. The bio-resources of the planet were turned into new bio-ships and the Tyranid infestation quickly spread to nearby Ork worlds.[1]


On the central world of Octarius, the Overfiend of Octarius, after hearing about Orrok, marshalled the tribes and prepared the defences. When the first wave of Mycetic Spores arrived at the planet days later, a great cheer went up from the gathered Ork hordes who were itching for a great fight. Much of the battle took place in the skies and so much ammunition was fired into the air by Ork Quad-guns and Flakka-Dakka Guns that the rain was thickened by chunks of falling Tyranid flesh. Then from the west the black storm clouds drew closer and closer until they were revealed to be swarms of advancing Gargoyles. Ork Deffkoptas, Fighta-Bommers and Stormboyz roared into the air in a race to intercept the oncoming creatures. Dead Orks, burning wreckage, and hissing Tyranid ichor rained down everywhere.[2]

The Ork Boyz on the ground below began to climb the slopes, holding their Choppas high and intending to jump into the fray if only they could. Then suddenly the ground burst up and Genestealer broods flowed out of the tunnels. But the responding green tide of Orks quickly pushed them back into the crevasses and then plunged in after them. Meanwhile, Lictors scaled the mountainsides and stealthily silenced each Ork gun emplacement in turn. With the large guns down, the rain of Mycetic Spores doubled in ferocity and more and more Tyranids landed on the mountain passes to be met by equal numbers of Orks. Never before had Octarius seen such bloodshed, and the war soon spread from Octarius out to the entirety of the Octarius Sector.[2]

Escalating War

The Octarius war is continuing to escalate. In 997.M41 several Eldar warhosts entered the war, fighting against both Imperial and Ork forces.[Needs Citation] In 990999.M41 many Imperial Worlds were caught in the crossfire as the Saim-Hann Eldar entered the war, and the Raven Guard, White Scars and Salamanders Chapters united to defend the embattled planets.[Needs Citation] Recent reports indicate that the Tyranid Swarmlord has joined the assault on the Orks of Octarius.[1]

Whether the Orks or the Tyranids win the war, the victor will emerge stronger than before. Orks from light-years around are flocking to Octarius, and are growing bigger and stronger on their diet of conflict. And every Ork devoured gives more biomass to the growing Tyranid swarm, which is constantly learning and adapting new ways to defeat their foes. Kryptman succeeded in luring Leviathan to the Octarius Empire, but rather than tricking both sides into destroying each other his plan has backfired into starting a series of events that is making the Imperium's enemies stronger.[1][4]

Ghazghkull's Arrival

In 694999.M41, infamous Ork Warlord Ghazghkull Mag Uruk Thraka arrived in the Octarius Sector. He had grown bored of the Third War for Armageddon and proclaimed that he was beginning a new Great Waaagh!. By this point, the Ork forces in the sector were under the control of Zog Steeltoof, who had risen to power after Gorsnik Magash had joined the fighting on Armageddon. Seeing the opportunity for a good fight, Ghazghkull came to the aid of the Orks of Octarius and after slaying a mighty Mawloc, has rallied the Greenskins there to his cause.[5]

After reorganizing and reinvigorating the Greenskin cause in Octarius, Ghazghkull departed and is now leading an armada of five million warships towards the Imperium.[7]

Skull Hunt

After hearing about the Tyranids and Orks that clash there in an ever-escalating spiral of violence, The World Eaters warband known as the Skullhunt of Vodha Bloodprice invades the Octarius System. The World Eaters are not disappointed – within the space of a single year, over eight thousand skulls are offered to the Blood God, the smallest of which is the size of a boulder. Vodha ascends to daemonhood after slaying a Hierophant bio-titan with the greataxe of the fallen Ork Warboss Magza da Kollossus.[6]

Da Maw

After his ascension, Bloodprice organized an even greather warband from not only the Skullhunt but also the Bloodblessed, Bloody Dawn, Gorefists, and Harvest alongside hordes of Cultists, Beastmen, Chaos Knights, and Dark Mechanicum. He moved on to an Ork world dubbed "Da Maw" where horde after horde of Tyranids threw themselves into battle with Greenskins on a colossal scale. To Bloodprice, this war-strewn land was a paradise and blessing of Khorne. He used his flagship Goredrenched to lead his armada into the planet's orbit, smashing past Greenskin and Tyranid ships and aiming to land on the world to engage in total slaughter.[10c]

Imperial Involvement

Post-Great Rift, the Imperium had come to believe that Kryptmann's gambit had simply strengthened both sides and that the conflict would soon spill over into Imperial territory. As a result, Inquisitor Nashir Sahansun devised a plan dubbed the Cordon Impenetra. Drawing a sphere around the outer reaches of the space fought over by the Orks and Tyranids, he declared almost every Imperial world within the zone lost, and pushed hard for every sub-sector bordering it to bolster its defense. Many worlds joined the Cordon Impenetra. Efforts were made by the Imperials to destabilize the warring Xenos. However, ultimately, these actions proved to be in vain and the Xenos expanded outwards soon enough.[8]

The Pankallis Sub-sector

When the Pankallis Sub-sector was attacked, every invaded system dispatched pleas to aid. The Imperial worlds found themselves assailed by Genestealer Cult uprisings at Darkmont, Ahelmil, and Saint's Blessing. Meanwhile, the Orks of Stugbrog da Facegrinda attacked the worlds of the Semythis System, overwhelming the Feral World of Tylam and the Death World of Nazkah. The Fortress World of Kaist held out the longest, but the system was effectively conquered. The Orks next moved to the Kernak System, with the Deathskulls Warlord Nabrot Stubfingers fighting the Mechanicum of Kernak III and the Goff Kagrit the Redtoof conquering Kusolst. At the same time, Tyranids of Hive Fleet Leviathan descended upon the Systems of Anelanni, Bianzeer's Hollow, and Gydisk. The Xenos consumed their way through the ironbeech forests of Gydisk Tertius, the sauropod world of Gydisk Alpha, the Megafunghi caves of Gydisk Quartas, and the steam-powered kingdom-flotillas of Gydisk Betaris. Though elements of Imperial resistance remained, these worlds were effectively lost. Even the forces of Chaos appeared on a number of worlds, with remote tribes revealing themselves as followers of the Dark Gods. On Kherusk, full-scale Daemonic invasion erupted.[10a]

Amidst the carnage, Imperial forces rushed to aid. The Deathwatch from the Eye of Octos Watch Fortress, the Wolfspear, Atlantian Spears, Obsidian Jaguars, and Dark Krakens all responded. Dark Krakens Chapter Master Mezonyki Reio dispatched warriors to three planets in the Bianzeer's Hollow System, tasking 5th Company Captain Krijeni Luceior to combat the Tyranids on the world of Death of Bianzeer. Alongside Wolfspear Battle Leader Rakmeyr Bluewolf, Watch Master Akrep Xie, and Lord General Militant Arneld Heifaast, the Imperials coordinated their next plan of attack.[8] The Space Marines were aided by the Mechanicum of Ryza and Estaban III, each dispatching thousands of macroclades and bringing Knight and Titan allies.

The Wolfspear slaughtered a horde of Tyranids by creating an avalanche that drove all the creatures into the Mirror Sea, though the resulting tsunami destroyed Promethium rigs on the sea's bed. Locals on the Great Lakes of Peldathusa drove swarms of Tyranids onto the weakest part of the ice, sending countless of the Xenos into the freezing waters. However despite this apparent victory many Tyranids burst out, able to survive the extreme cold and continue to fight on. More ominously, troops from the PDF had observed Tyranids stalking packs of ursun-wolves in the world's equatorial permafrost for planned genetic assimilation into the swarm. These wolves were known to be highly intelligent pack-hunting alpha predators with an instinctive knowledge of the local terrain. Should their genetic material be absorbed, the war effort could go sour.[8]

Captain Luceior sent 5 squads under the command of Chaplain Talin and Codicier Ekko to the surface of the planet to engage the Tyranids of Herrdalo forest, driving them from the area to stop them from consuming the wolves. Success would also mean that they would push the xenos away from the world's methane pumps and relays beneath the Mirror Sea, ordering Lexicanium Paraon Uari and Techmarine Eroan in securing them alongside Deathwatch Kill-Teams under Akrep Xie. Lord General Heifaast also approved of the plan and committed dozens of Regiments to sweeping the forests clear while PDF militia increased patrols around the permafrost's industrial areas. Once deployed, the Imperial forces faced harsh conditions and had to deal with treacherous terrain and weather but this did not deter the Dark Krakens, who were used to such ordeals on Naktis and other battlefields. Incursors followed the tracks of xenos and wolf alike, leading Intercessors armed with Stalker Bolters into dens and nests as Reiver squads rappelled over the most arduous terrain whilst covered by Eliminators.[8]

Having come to admire the ursun-wolves, the Dark Krakens sought to actively protect them and even forbade Guardsmen from killing them. The wolves themselves cared little for this fact, and attacked the Imperials to defend their territory and claim prey. Such was their might that even several Dark Krakens were wounded and killed as Tyranid Hormagants launched ambushes from the snow alongside Lictors and Gargoyles. Dark Krakens and Tyranids fought bloody running battles through the forests as the xenos surged against the spread-out Space Marines. The campaign became increasingly protracted, forcing the Aeronautica Imperialis to launch continuous bombing runs with incendiary and burrowing delayed-fuse munitions. A war of attrition soon broke out as the Dark Krakens threw back a beast-surge in the Glonhil Valley, emerging bloody but victorious after five companies of 602nd Truskan Snowhounds vanished without a trace. It was many months before the first Imperial forces reached the forests northern boundaries, having finally pushed the Tyranids out. Even then, there was still much fighting to be done across other areas of the forest. Luceior would only declare the mission complete when every Tyranid was driven out, but was drawn away after word came from the Deathwatch of a Tyranid swarm descending on the half-complete Glacialx fortress which was protecting much of the populace. Akrep Xie immediately pulled his forces from the forest as Luceior himself also moved to defend it.[8]

Despite the best efforts of the Imperials, the Gydisk and Semythis Systems were declared lost while many others were still under attack. At Kernak III, Orks under the world's old enemy Nabrot Stubfingers struck in search of loot. He utilized his captured Mechanicum cruisers and frigates crewed by Blood Axes and captured Humans to get close to the orbital defenses, which proved more hesitant to fire upon their former blessed machinery. The Blood Axes bought time by having their Human slaves request security codes and request permission to board. By the time the Mechanicum realized what was happening it was too late, and though the orbital defenses were able to destroy some enemy vessels they were destroyed by the furious impacts of the captured Imperial ships, whose Blood Axes evacuated at the last minute. At the same time, Stubfingers dispatched forces to attack Kernak IV and destroy its House Xiphos fortress known as the Xiphon. Ork ships stormed into Kernak IV's orbit, the Greenskins dropping in herds of Squiggoths, airborne Megafortresses, and Gorkanauts to crush the House. The Knights fought valiantly but were eventually overwhelmed and the walls of the Xiphon were breached.[10b]

The Orks who attacked Kernak V met stiff resistance thanks to the efforts of Governor Abrahoma Bentaal, who had spent years amassing an arsenal of weapons and large garrison from the Cordon Impenetra. The Greenskins met division after division of Imperial Navy fighters and air defences, while Imperial Guard artillery bombarded the Orks' positions before armoured regiments rushed them. It was at this point that the armada of Stugbrog da Facegrinda ploughed into orbit, seeing a good fight to be had. Deploying tens of thousands of vehicles, the new arrivals swept across the planet and slaughtered Human and Ork alike. In a matter of months the Imperial garrison had been reduced to a fraction of its former strength while the Orks of Stubfinger's forces were absorbed into Stubrog. The bored Warboss moved on quickly in search of another fight, granting reprieve to the surviving Imperials. Governor Bentaal took the time to evacuate troops to Kernak II and the Suvardosha System with the aim of one day returning.[10b]

Stubrog meanwhile turned his eyes to Kernak III, using an armada of space hulks and crude vessels just as reinforcements from Ryza were arriving. Catching the Imperials off-guard, destroying the Ryza transports in orbit and wiping out swathes of Skitarii. Had it not been for the efforts of the Legio Crucius and anti-air Cadian regiments the principle landing zone used by the Ryzan forces would have bene completely overrun with Skarboyz. The fighting then raged for many months, with the Legio Crucius and Legio Kopides dueling Mega-Gargants over the ruins of Fane-Shrine 21DF730. It was a testament to the skill of Fabricator-General Ezmeralda Brynlokh's skill that she maintained an ordered defense against two simultaneous Ork attacks, manipulating the Greenskins to often fight each other. However it was not enough, and billions of Orks were present on the planet and they looted large amounts of captured Imperial vehicles. The Orks looters were churning out vehicles at a race that outpaced Kernak III's own supply abilities. With the Greenskin rampage continuing, Brynlokh realized defeat was inevitable and made arrangement for withdrawal. She committed hundreds of Skitarii Macroclades to conduct a rear-guard action during the evacuation, with most going to the Kusolst System with the intent of regrouping and securing allies for a future counterattack.[10b]

The Tyranids of Hive Fleet Leviathan attacked all of the Anelanni System's worlds at the same time, invading the Cardinal World of Phrankis, the Mausoleum World of Kherusk, and the Shrine World of Ahelmil which were under-defended and already riff with Genestealer Cult and Chaos uprisings. Phrankis was the site of a massive airborne battle between divisions of Imperial Navy fighters and air defenses and millions of Tyranid airborne organisms. Soebus was subjected to a weeks-long Spore Mine bombardment which rendered movement outside of the strongest fortifications suicidal. Eventually the bombardment ended, but despite the temporary relief of the defenders this only brought Tyranid landings. Biovore and Exocrine broods were used to deliver accurate fire to make it impossible for Imperial infantry to support the Knights of House Feurus. This made the Knights vulnerable, and they were overwhelmed by sheer weight of numbers[10b]

The powerful and well-garrisoned Fortress World of Vand was next. Void Shield generators made orbital bombardment futile, and the Tyranids instead landed at the inaccessible peaks of the Skypierce Mountains, deploying large amounts of Zoanthropes, Neurothropes, and Maleceptors. They attacked small defensive outposts using swarms of lesser Tyranids as shields and thanks to their psychic might, they caused the void shields to fizzle. In their wake came fresh waves of beasts that finished off the defenses and consumed all within. Leviathan landed swarm after swarm and turned its attention upon the remaining defenders.[10b]

Despite its low population, Bianzeer's Hollow became one of the most strategically vital battlzones as it was home to Inquisitor Nashir Sahansun base of operations as well as shielding the Octos System. The Imperials were resolved to stand their ground and extensively prepared for the coming attack. On Saint's Blessing the miners mapped their tunnels extensvely and baited areas with soiled clothing and parts of the dead. When Raveners and Termagants emerged, they triggered boobytraps which collapsed the entire tunnels. In return, the defenders suffered heavily, as the Tyranids soon adapted and tunneled around these traps to ambush Imperial forces. The desperate Imperial subterranean defenders soon earned the name 'Tunnel Devils' for their actions. On Holy Toil, the quarries demolition experts were organized into brigades which laced strategic passes with minefields. Using these tactics they killed many Tyranids in rockslides and killzones. On Death of Bianzeer thousands of trackers mounted on ice-sleds pulled by Canids lured swarms of Tyranids into the frozen Great Lakes of Peldathusa. The Tyranids did not know the safe routes through the thin ice covering, and hundreds of thousands fell into the freezing waters. However much to their horror the the Tyranids emerged from the waters unharmed and annihilated all in their path.[10b]

Four Deathwatch Watch Companies from the Eye of Octos fought in Bianzeer's Hollow, waging a valiant defense on Saint's Blessing's factory-spaceport center. Using Malleus tactics, the Deathwatch struck down burrowing xenos and raced in battle tanks to wherever they reared their heads. After slaying the tunneling organisms, the Deathwatch rushed along the Tyranid tunnels and collapsed them with explosives. In response, the Tyranids launched hundreds of tunnel raids simultaneously, slaughtering countless Guardsmen in the facility before eventually being driven away by more troops that had to be pulled off a major sallying effort. The Tyranids bombarded the defenders with barrages of Spore Mones, destroying defensive positions and inflicting horrific casualties. Despite the heavy fire, Deathwatch kill-teams calculated targeted telemetry for Imperial counter-battery fire that silenced the xenos gun-beasts, creating breathing space they needed to throw back the frontal and aerial assaults. The defenders held on and more Tyranids were drawn in, and without the Deathwatch's actions Bianzeer's Hollow would not have stood its ground against the Xenos. However the Imperials paid a heavy price, and while the Tyranid advance was eventually broken it would take years before surviving xenos were purged from the system completely.[10b]

The Kusolst System became the site of the most vicious fighting in the Pankallis Sub-Sector. Governor Helmghut Karst of the manufacturing world of Kusolst Prime wasted little time in joining the Cordon Impenetra, upping its production quotas and forcing nearby worlds to constantly supply the capital. Despite plentiful garrisons and Imperial Navy flotillas, the first threat to the system came from internal uprisings. Driven by the Governor's brutal policies, heretical and Genestealer cults grew in strength and waged their own guerrilla war. The Imperials heavy-handed retribution only further fanned the flames of the rebels. Into this came the Tyranids and Orks of Kagrit the Redtoof. However Karst issued orders that Imperial forces were only to intervene in battles between the xenos only if they caused significant damage to each other, or if the battle risked escalating to a point where it became so large it was uncontrollable. It was a strategy that worked to great effect.[10b]

On Darkmont, Genestealer Cults of the Shadowrock Coil dominated the mountain range known as The Spine. Imperial Guard Tangar Woad Warriors, Darkmontan Mountaineers, and Kusolst Prime Cannonors had been attempted to exterminate cultist activity for months, but to no avail. When Orks were observed approaching, the Imperials quietly withdrew and let the Greenskins engage the Genestealer Cultists. The war was tracked by Imperial reconnaissance, and as the xenos destroyed one another Humanity regrouped and rested. The Greenskins eventually won, and when they left the mountains they came up against fresh and well-supplied Imperial forces who badly mauled them. The Imperials still suffered great losses however, with Phundil's equatorial marshlands all but impossible to defend thanks to the intense heat and megafauna. On Gratu, as much Imperial forces were relieved by Tyranid forces consuming Genestealer Cultists and heretics, they were driven to near extinction by the xenos consumption of local livestock. Entire regiments were forced into quarantine after they were caught eating Tyranid corpses out of desperation. On Irnwald, a battle between Orks and Tyranids spiraled into vital factory-cities. Ultramar Auxilia super-heavy tanks duelled with mobs of Stompas and Bio-Titans as Visberg Heavytracks and Cadian armour clashed with speed mobs and Battlewagons. Hundreds of thousands of troops were committed to the effort, emerging victorious but seeing 90% of the factory district destroyed. Had it not been for constant uprisings, Imperial forces may have emerged victorious far more easily.[10b]

Fighting on Kusolst Prime became long, drawn-out, and desperate. The Imperials absorbed waves of xenos attackers as the rest of the planet was devastated. However the Imperials were able to hold and eventually launch a counterattack, emerging victorious but weakened to the point of being able likely survive another invasion.[10b]

Such was the carnage in the Pankallis Battlefront that it became known as the Pankallis Cauldron. Scattered Imperial resistance remained in the Semythis, Kernak, Anelanni, and Gydisk Systems but they had otherwise all but fallen. Kusolst and Bianzeer's Hollow still held despite furious attacks but it was deemed inevitable that they would be attacked by renewed Xenos invaders.[10b]

The Veloria Expedition

The Veloria Expedition was organized after Inquisitor Athocles Van Roth grew concerned at the state of the Tyranid and Ork war. Deathwatch kill teams of the Eye of Octos discovered an Ork Mek invention by self-appointed King Mek Baddkrasha that disrupted the synaptic control signals of the Tyranids. The Deathwatch from Watch Company Secundus under Watch Captain Daox Glykas successfully seized the device, which was embedded into the King Mek's own skull as a crown. Glykas delivered the device to Van Roth, who sought to use it to turn the tide of the war. Van Roth eventually decided to experiment with the device in the Pctarius Belt, an area believed to have been decimated entirely by Saim-Hann and Biel-Tan Craftworlds. However at the Maiden World of Veloria Orks and Tyranids fought in isolation, making it a perfect testing ground. For the operation, Van Roth organized Deathwatch, numerous Imperial Guard regiments, Militarum Tempestus, and clades of Magos Biologis. He also acquired Freeblade Knights such as Impervious Rex, The Scarred, and the White Warden.[10c]

Van Roth began field testing as soon as his forces arrived at Veloria, deploying units to capture live Tyranids and observing their behavior when in the presence of the Ork technology. He found the original crown was the only one that had any effect, and even then only when it was worn by captured Meks. After weeks of failure he received word of an Ork fleet arriving in orbit too fast to evacuate everyone. If the Imperials wanted to withdraw successfully, they needed to move to a new position so their ships could reach them without being destroyed in orbit. Van Roth planned to use Deathwatch elements to infiltrate areas of the large mountain range among whose foothills they had deployed, where there were a significant number of Tyranids. Their aim was to lure invading Orks into the Tyranids midst, using it as a distraction to withdraw. Meanwhile Van Roth and others would enter the ruined Haven Spire and destroy it, creating a detonation that would close the mountain path to any Greenskins that pursue. The other Imperial commanders such as Barcelia Mung and Daox Glykas were skeptical of the plan and advised abandoning the crown, but Van Roth refused.[10c]

Just as the Imperial plan was about to go underway, they found someone attempting to steal a transport. She claimed to be Inquisitor Avon Muir, and Van Roth met with her immediately. During the meeting the disturbed Inquisitor informed Van Roth that his plan to destroy the Haven Spire was doomed to fail as only the Eldar could hope to navigate its corridors in a short timeframe. She explained that some Eldar still lived on Velloria, and if Van Roth wanted to succeed he needed their help. With Muir's help the Imperials met with Eldar commanders from Biel-Tan, Saim-Hann, and Dragon Dancers Corsairs. In exchange for their help, the Eldar insisted on being given safe passage off-world. Van Roth reluctantly agreed to their terms. The Imperial-Eldar allied force split into three groups in hopes that at least one would reach the command center. Captain Glykas and Corsair Prince Lendathai led one group, Barcelia Mung and Farseer Yeltioc led another, and the third was led by Van Roth, Autarch Balandiel, and Warlock Entythras. Each group was accompanied by Deathwatch warriors and Van Roth's agents. However the Imperials were unaware that the Crown was drawing many Orks to the Imperial base.[10c]

The Tyranids invade[12b]

As Van Roth's forces and the Eldar explored the Haven Spire, they moved slowly. In the first hours there was no sign of the enemy, but eventually they came into contact with hostiles. Barcelia Mung's group voxxed for aid, but none came as Van Roth's group could not reach their position. He ordered his own forces move more quickly, but subsequently lost contact with their rearguard troops. Within minutes, fighting broke out as Eldar Corsairs, Tempestus Scions, and Inquisitor agents were ripped apart by Genestealers. It was only thanks to the intervention of the Deathwatch that the entire group was overwhelmed. Van Roth refused to retreat even as his own party was seemed doomed to destruction. After many running battles in its passageways, Van Roth exhausted and wounded survivors reached the crashed vessel's bridge. Autarch Balandiel had been slain while many of the Deathwatch had fallen and Barcelia Mung was soon discovered to be dead. There was no sign of Glykas and no word of his group. Nonetheless, Van Roth ordered Entythras to initiate the Haven Spire's self-destruct, something that took the xenos Psyker over a half an hour. During that time, he had to fend off several more Genestealer attacks. With the self-destruct initiated Van Roth decided to blast their way out through the hull rather than go through the dangerous paths they had arrived in. However after breaking out the Imperials and Eldar discovered that their Valkyrie transports were now flaming wrecks before a crashing Imperial Cruiser crashed straight towards the ground as the blast of the Haven Spire consumed them.[10c]

Meanwhile, the Deathwatch trusted with the crown successfully crossed the mountain range with limited opposition and set up a camp at the foot, ready to withdraw as soon as the xenos were fully established in battle. As they watched the Orks land, Tyranids were drawn in and fighting broke out between the two Xenos armies. Deathwatch Librarian Heathobar was satisfied that the two sides were totally occupied and ordered a withdrawal. The Deathwatch fought a literal uphill battle to escape against the increasing number of Xenos arrivals. However as he arrived he saw the destroyed transports and knew they were doomed.[10c]

Operation Spinebreak

Operation Spinebreak was launched by the Imperium against the forces of the Ork Big Mek Kogfist Steelsnappa on the world of Fendatha. Carried out by hand-picked Death Korps of Krieg veterans, the operation sought to destabilize powerful Ork chieftains waging the Octarius War. After many weeks of training and preparation, the Krieg Kill-Teams were each given a primary target as well as secondary objectives. Thousands of Death Korps Guardsmen were deployed under cover of darkness miles from Kogfist's capital scrap-city before one force launched a suicidal distraction which allowed the others to infiltrate the Greenskin settlement. Not every Guardsmen reached Kogfist's City, many were set upon accidentally by roving Speed Freaks or slaughtered by Beast Snaggas. However the alarm was not raised, as the Orks had only recently conquered the planet and thought they had found survivors.[9]

In all, barely half of the Krieg kill teams reached the city, all exhausted and low on rations. Days later they finally infiltrated the Ork City proper after being pushed off course by Greenskin attacks.[9]


Due to its industrial output, use as an Astropath relay post, and strategically important location, the Forge World of Sigma-Ulstari was the only System in the Cordon Impenetra to not be abandoned by Inquisitor Nashir Sahansun. Commanded by Fabricator-General Einrekh Phlagustok, its forces were formidable and included a vast fleet of Defence Monitors and thousands of macroclades of Skitarii. However millions of refugees now fled to the world, with many being used as slave labor by the callous Mechanicum. The rest were herded into camps on worlds such as Nyrrvahna, Abundantia, and Molasaxum or left to rot in their transport ships for months. As the refugee crisis swelled, the first sign of Tyranid Bio-Ships were discovered.[12a]

The Tyranids first struck at the Ocean World of Deuteria, deploying winged and oceanic organisms. The xenos were met by heavy anti-aircraft fire, barrage balloons, and minefields. This Tyranids were eventually defeated by an enormously risky operation that saw the majority of the Imperial hunting flotillas gathering one place and drawing in the Tyranids, only to unleash flights of gunships with atomic depth-charges. At Sigma-Ulstari itself, the defenders were aided by its vast toxic oceans. Genestealers and Lictors identified these as threats and put down warning-scents to make sure the Tyranids would avoid them, forcing the xenos into several bottlenecks. The Tyranids were met in these places by not only Skitarii but also Imperial Guard, Knights, and the Legio Ferocastrum. War raged for the upper reaches of the planet's forge-spires and radioactive plains as Imperial Navy and Basilikon Astra fleets engaged swarms of bioships. Such was the worlds might that they broke the xenos invaders, but took heavy casualties in the process. Moreover, millions of Tyranids survived on the world and needed to be purged.[12a]

Several months later, the Sigma-Ulstari System was attacked by Blood Axes Orks under Zagrob da Butcha. After arriving in-system, the Orks attacked the Quarry World of Molaxum where they fought the planet's heavily armed stone cartels and lumber syndicates. The Orks utilized camouflage and infiltrating abilities, using the forests to capture many of the lumber syndicates enormous logging ships and converting them into warmachines. The defenders used this to finally achieve victory by using such landships to lure Zagrob to a cliff riffed by explosives, dtonating them and sending the Greenskins carshing below. The disorder caused by the Warboss' death allowed the Imperials to emerge victorious. Meanwhile, Sigma-Ulstari itself was attacked twice under Gibkrung Da Facekrumpa. The second occured only weeks later, this time under Ugul Ironboot. As with the Tyranids, the Greenskins were forced to land on the Forge World's landmasses, but this time the Imperial defenders were exhausted from their previous war. This allowed the Orks to rapidly advance, and the Imperials only found sollace when the Greenskins engaged remaining Tyranids. Eventually, due to the sheer power and tenacity of the Forge World's defenses, the Orks were defeated but Fabricator-General Phlagustok knew they could not withstand another attack.[12a]

The next invasion to strike at Sigma-Ulstari was larger than any before, coming in the form of a massive wave of Tyranids who had adapted to the chemicals of the Forge World's seas. Taking the Imperials by surprise, the Tyranids nearly gained a beachhead at Forge-Spire Thetis-Secundos but were foiled thanks to the efforts of Baron Kaerlon of House Galerius. Meanwhile, Imperial Navy aircraft of the 813th Division scrambled and saved Forge-Spire Phion-Primus from invasion. However more and more forge0spires came under attack as the Tyranids emerged, often appearing up through refuse tunnels and emerging in the spires underbellies. Hundreds of thousands of skitarii and Electro-Priest were lost in struggles to take down tunnelling Ordinatus-sized Bio-Titans. The Imperial forces were now under immense strain, but the situation grew even worse when word of an enormous Ork invasion fleet arrived. The Greenskins appeared suddenly, brought by surprise Warp Storms that erupted within the Ork Empire of Octarius. They were led by Tuskagrob Wurldkilla, who led his Snakebite hordes down upon Sigma-Ulstari in search of new foes.[12b]

Wurldkilla's appearance took the Tyranids by surprise as much as it did the Imperials, forcing bioship armadas tasked withh finishinbg off the remaining Imperial vessels to break off and intercept the Greenskin armada. On the surface, the Greenskins engaged Tyranids attacking Forge-Worlds and tripartite slaughter soon broke out. Wurldkilla himself targeted the capital of Sigma-Ulstari and Fabricator-General Phlagustok's own seat, the Forge-Spire of Alpha Primaros. The Warboss sent enormous hordes to attack both routes to the Forge-Spire. At Alpha-Tertius confused infantry combat erupted thanks to the presence of kilometer-high wreckage and mangled superstructures. Here, Kommandos hunted their foes while Battle Sisters purged chamber after chamber. In the end the Orks numbers, tenacity, and sheer enjoyment saw them victorious and push through. The fighting at the Cogwall went no betters for the Imperials, with not even Titans of the Legio Ferocastrum and Knights of House Sekuris powerful enough to stop a tide of Gargants and Squiggoths.[12b]

Salvation for Sigma-Ulstari came in the form of the Rogue Trader Eyva Phalomor's Vengeance Class Grand Cruiser The Riches He Bestows. With it came the Retribution Class Battleship Faithbringer under High Admiral Herika Ajon and Indomitus Crusade Fleet Primus' Task Force V. However most imposing of all was the arrival of the Eternal Crusader, flagship of the Black Templars and commanded by High Marshal Helbrecht himself. The newly arrived Imperial forces wasted no time as the fleet broke up and set for different targets. Several Black Templars warships moved to reinforce other besieged worlds of the System as the rest raced for Sigma-Ulstari and smashed through the cordon of battling Ork and Tyranid ships. In a matter of hours the Imperials had broken through and were now arriving at Sigma-Ulstari itself, landing waves of troop transports with millions of troops, tanks, Knights, and Titans. Many of these landers were lost to marauding Ork aircraft, but many more landed and with them came Black Templars, Rift Praetors, and Axes of the Emperor Drop Pods and gunships which were deployed where the fighting was thickest.[12b]

The Rift Praetors and Axes of the Emperor landed at Alpha-Tertius under heavy gunship support as Lances of Knights from House Derthos and House Mundast moved to relieve the Cogwall. However Wurldkilla would not be denied his prize, and continued to push through the Cogway towards Alpha-Primaros despite the new arrivals. Using six gigantic explosive-rigged abttering rams pulled by Orkeosauruses, Wurldkilla was set to smash through the final wave of defenses as Helbrecht himself sought to intervene and prevent disaster. The ensuing battle became the most intense on the entire Forge World, with Aeronautica Imperialis fighters battling the Greenskins for aerial supremacy as Imperial Guard armored colums surged forward to intercept the ramshackle Greenskin vehicle armada. Helbrecht was frustrated by the inability of these attacks to stop the advance of the Orkeosauruses before realizing these creatures armored howdahs were unshielded and thus could be boarded. Black Templars and Archaeopters carrying Sicarian-class Skitarii raced towards the Orkeosauruses under heavy Fighta attack. Barely half of the Imperial aircraft reached their targets, but the Black Templars and Skitarii bravely boarded the Ork beasts nonetheless. Helbrecht himself landed upon the foremost Orkeosaurus, believed to be carrying Wurldkilla himself.[12b]

Vicious battles erupted in the multi-story-tall howdahs of the Orkeosaurses as Helbrecht came face to face with Wurldkilla. In the ensuing deal, the Warboss countered every one of the High Marshal's attacks and a counter-strike snapped one of the Space Marines arms. Wurldkilla next punched Helbrecht in the face, cracking his skull and forcing him to one knee. As Wurldkilla positioned himself for the final blow Helbrecht fired his Combi-Melta Duty's Burden at point-blank, causing the Warboss to drop to the floor in pain and allowing the High Marshal to drive his sword through his head. With his foe finally slain, Helbrecht saw that the other boarding operations had also succeeded in boarding the Orkeosaurus' and stalling the attack.[12b]

The Consumption of Octarius

The Swarmlord itself led the invasion of the Octarius System with billions of bioforms, isolating and besieging each individual Ork-held planet. The planet of Orruk fell in a matter of days while the orbital junka-port of Urmuk became the site of an enormous void battle between ramshackle vessels and titanic Bioships. The Big Mek's of the Supa-Rok Gork's Bonce rolled out increasingly bizarre weapons by the thousands, turning entire broods to dust with barrages of lightning or reducing them to puddles of goo with gravitational distortions. Much of the fighting at Urmuk and Gork's Bonce was done in narrow confines and choke points which were well known to the Ork defenders, allowing for many Blood Axe ambushes and infiltration boardings of Bioships. The Speed Freeks of Gurguk da Spleenrippa fought subterranean Tyranids on Dakkazot, causing cave-ins when the Greenskins rode over them. This only entertained the Orks more, who ran over any Tyranid that peaked its head through the surface. Meanwhile, the billions of Orks of Badsquig and thousands of Squigosaurs under Gragnatz Stompkrumpa enthusiastically engaged the Tyranids. Mobilizing every Ork upon its surface and declaring "Da Time of da Big-Kill", Stompkrumpa lost an arm, leg, and an eye in a failed attack to tame a captured Carnifex but merely viewed this as a setback.[12c]

Even Octaria, capital of the Ork Empire and seat of the Overfiend of Octarius, came under renewed attack. Already the site of massive battles between Orks, Tyranids, and Khornate forces, the Swarmlord himself led a major push that sought to finally break the stalemate. The Swarmlords vast Bio-Fleets splintered off and attacked other worlds in an attempt to draw away Ork reinforcements and supplies. Orrok was quickly consumed and its resources dedicated to the coming push.[12b]

At Badsquig, the Swarmlord saw that Stompkrumpa's Big-Kill was losing momentum. Most of his pet Squigosaurs had perished and his Beast Snaggas were finding themselves countered by the ever-adapting Tyranids. Orks were getting fewers and fewer kills, creating rising resentment that saw Stompkrumpa's authority challenged. The Warboss' own undoing came at the hands of a vast Bio-Titan that the Greenskins had never yet encountered. Equipped with fangs as tall as Orks and claws that could tear apart a Megafortress. Its piercing yellow eyes and flourescent blue skin led to the Orks naming it Da Blue One, and it became the target of every ambitious Greenskin hunter Stompkrumpa included. He planned trap after trap against the creature, sacrificing thousands of his troops to no avail. Being lured even further into the Hive Mind's trap, the Warboss soon spent every moment searching for the creature until finding it at the center of a deep, dried lakebed. Without thought, Stompkrumpa and his hordes launched an all-out attack before being surrounded by a Tyranid ambush and wiped out.[12b]

At Gork's Bonce, the Swarmlord surrounded the asteroid fortress and seeded it with tens of thousands of Genestealers to lie in wait for later instruction. The Tyranids next attacked from all directions as the Genestealers emerged to ambush Ork retreats and cutting off life-support systems and opening up breaches to the void which saw thousands of Orks and Xenos alike into the coldness of space. Despite taking heavy casualties, the Tyranids were systematically eradicating the Greenskins. At Dakkazot the Greenskins soon dapted to the subterranean Tyranids, using the tunnels as their own racing arenas, viewing the attacking xenos traps as obstacles in their contests. The fast-moving Orks proved difficult to pin down, and the Swarmlord next deployed hundreds of waves of winged organisms that unleashed nets of fire over swathes of territory and annihilating the Greenskins within. The Tyranids were also able to use caveins and Ork infighting to entrap the Greenskins, packing them in and slowly picking them off. At Urmuk, the Swarmlord had his Bioships launch hundreds of thousands of lamprey eel-like creatures to the flanks of the junka shipyards. These burrowed into the facilities, unleashing hundreds of Tyranid organisms that slaughtered the construction crews. With the Greenskins incapable of producing more ships, the Tyranids soon dominated its orbit and swiftly digested the planet.[12b]

The Swarmlord next struck at Octaria itself, seeking to first cut it off from receiving any further reinforcements. Thousands of bioships moved to blockade the planet, battling waves of Ork defense ships and blockade runners. The Swarmlord next landed waves of vanguard organisms to wreak havoc behind the Greenskin lines. All of this bought time for the Tyranids already on Octaria to regroup for the next coming push as the Swarmlord himself sought to establish air superiority. Waves of Tyranid winged organisms battled Ork aircraft in fearsome aerial battles that saw the invaders eventually prevail thanks to their sheer numbers. With air superiority asserted and the ground situation stabilized, the Swarmlord next moved to clear landing zones as Bioships launched waves of Mycetic Spores which carried billions of Tyranids. However while the Tyranids advanced, they took grievous casualties to the mountain-fortresses and mega-weapons of the many Meks under the Overfiend's command. Miles of rock opened up into jaw-like mechanisms, swallowing the Tyranid hordes and cutting them to pieces within with rows of buzzsaws. Scrap cities moved and changed their topography to suit the Greenskins' needs and hinder the invaders. Enormous magnets picked up Tyranids and plunged them into furnaces as large as small towns.[12b]

However despite enormous losses and setbacks caused by the Ork machinery, the Swarmlord had ample reserves and used sheer numbers and attrition to grind away the Greenskin defenses. With each passing day, more and more Bioships arrived at Octaria to begin the consumption process. These ships fed upon areas captured by the Tyranids, producing waves of fresh reinforcements for the Octarian meatgrinder. Through all of this, the Swarmlord itself never appeared on the battlefield and instead waited for the right time to strike. Meanwhile the Overfiend himself was becoming more and more isolated, separted from his chief lieutenants who were picked off one by one. The Swarmlord judged that the time was ripe to finally slay the Greenskin ruler and summoned two megaswarms to him. The first was to surround the Overfiend's army and attack from all sides, while the second was to form a second circle around the battle and act as a blockade to both prevent escape and reinforcements from arriving. At the enormous scrap-city of "Megascrap", the Swarmlord committed hundreds of Bio-Titans to the attack.[12b]

In the ensuing battle, the Tyranid numbers were seemingly endless and the Orks found themselves overwhelmed and rapidly running out of ammunition and machinery. Such were the Tyranid numbers that Tyrant Guards, and Mawlocs were expended as they were mere Gaunts. The sheer number of Tyranid bodies caused Gargants to become bogged down and unable to maneuver while the Overfiend himself was at the center of the fighting, killing Tyranids beyond count but finding himself isolated from his entourage of Skarboyz. However the moment came when the Overfiend, slaying a Carnifex, suffered a deep wound in his thigh. The Swarmlord knew the time had finally come to make his move and appeared on the battlefield with hundreds of Tyranid Guards and Carnifexes. This force clashed with the Overfiend and his remaining Skarboyz, with the Tyrant Guard and Carnifexes largely being annihilated by sweeps of massive axes and the blades of Deff Dreads. However this just let the Swarmlord engage the Overfiend himself, the Xenos command beast allowing the Greenskin to expend his energy in a flurry of strikes. The Herald of the Great Devourer kept moving and parrying, using its multiple arms to its advantages.[12c]

The Overfiend fought with unmatched ferocity, never once pausing or slowing down. But as he expended himself the Swarmlord slowly picked the Warboss apart, first severing one of the power cables to his Power Klaw. With its hydraulics cut, the Overfiend's claw became dead weight dragged at his side. The Swarmlord then abandoned its caution for unrelentingly fury, unleashing a furious attack on the Overfiend that saw its two Bone Blades smash open its head. Finally, the Swarmlord buried its maw within the Overfiend's open skull and consumed its brain. The Greenskin was truly dead, and victory was finally the Hive Mind's.[12c]

Despite the victory of Hive Fleet Leviathan against the Orks, Octarius remains a warzone. In the weeks following the Overfiends death, the Greenskins spread outwards from Octaria and infighting increased. No fewer than six Warlords have declared themselves the new Overfiend and are gathering forces to themselves. Already, the Tyranids are taking advantage of this and it is undoubtable that the Great Devourer has gained the upper hand. Meanwhile, the Imperials have stabilized the Sigma-Ulstari Front. However Fabricator-General Phlagustok is furious that Halbrecht and the relief force was not coordinated through him, and is now dedicating most of his forces to his own defense and needs.[12d]

Order of Battle


Imperial Guard

Tempestus Scions

Space Marines

Dark Krakens[10d]

Atlantian Spears[10d][10f]

Obsidian Jaguars[10d][10e]


Other Chapters

Sisters of Battle

Adeptus Mechanicus[10d]

Collegia Titanica[10d]

Knight Houses[10d]

Imperial Navy - Commanded by Lord Admiral Janzig Danathios[10d]

Aeronautica Imperialis[10d]

  • 14th Sky Lions
  • 57th Wind Wardens
  • 2nd Brazen Eagles
  • 22nd Flame Falcons

Rogue Trader Fleet of Eyva Phalomor[10d]





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