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Talledus War

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Talledus War
NLArt.jpg
Conflict Long War
Date ???.M42
Location Talledus System
Outcome Eventual Imperial victory[2]
Combatants
Imperium Forces of Chaos
Commanders
Cardinal Bolifax
Canoness Serita
Captain Pellas Mir'san
Captain Jodagha Khan
Castellan Dramos (KIA)
Sir Dirkwald
Grand Apostle Kor Phaeron
Chaos Lord Yharas Kine
Warpsmith Etrogar (KIA)
Strength
See Order of Battle See Order of Battle
Casualties
Heavy Heavy

The Talledus War is a conflict being waged between the Imperium and Forces of Chaos in the Talledus System.[1a]

Overview

Seeds of Corruption

Though initially untouched by the horrors of the Great Rift, the bastion of Imperial faith that was the Veritus Sub-Sector was eventually targeted by the infamous Kor Phaeron. Acting as the Keeper of the Faith of the Word Bearers and confidant of the Daemon Primarch Lorgar himself. The Sub-Sector represented everything Kor Phaeron despised: ignorance, weakness, and petty mortal greed. Moreover, he believed that if the great Shrine World of Benediction were to fall, it would spread pure terror across Segmentum Solar that would allow for a Chaos foothold in the region. Even before the coming of the Rift, the Word Bearers Dark Apostles planted Cults across the Talledus, Leonus, and Keyfire Systems. These demagogues did not yet reveal their full treachery, instead posing as splinter-sects of the Imperial Cult to gather their strength and avoid persecution by the Ecclesiarchy and Inquisition. One such example was the Witnessers of Boras Minor, who espoused that only through enduring grief and loss could one become close to the God-Emperor. Nonetheless, these cults suffered greatly at the hands of the conservative regent of the Sub-Sector, Cardinal Bolifax. Deploying teams of brutal Missionaries, any caught practicing in these sects were subjected to immediate execution.[1b]

Soon enough these persecuted cults began to align with the Dark Gods, rallying against the tyrannical rule of Bolifax and comparing him to the infamous Goge Vandire. The Cultist demagogues used Bolifax's own brutality to sow the seeds of true heresy, guiding disenfranchised souls into the hands of the Chaos Gods. This was all directed by the Dark Apostles as they prepared for their eventual invasion of Talledus. Meanwhile Kor Phaeron called upon thousand-year debts to assemble a conglomeration of Chaos Space Marine forces from a variety of warbands and Legions, most notably the Night Lords and Iron Warriors. He also acquired Dark Mechanicum support in the form of Renegade Knight houses as well as Traitor Guard and Cultist armies. As the Chaos forces prepared, Cultists within the Talledus System paved way for their arrival. On Boras Minor the Cult of Loss planted explosives and smuggled in weapons while on Coras Veltis cultist miners used excavation lasers to burn eight-pointed stars into the planets surface. Shortly after, the Great Rift opened up. Kor Phaeron fumed from the news of Roboute Guilliman's return, and only approved the go-ahead for the invasion after receiving a vision that the Primarch would be far from Segmentum Solar due to the Indomitus Crusade.[1b]

Darkness Descends

The invasion of the Talledus System began as thirteen massive Word Bearers Battleships emerged from the Warp. Eight of these made for Benediction, while the rest set out for the Systems' other prominent worlds. Accompanying this force was an armada of lesser vessels, raiders, Space Hulks, and cargo cutters. As the Word Bearers smashed into the outnumbered and outgunned Battlefleet Sentanis around Benediction, it vomited force Dreadclaw Drop Pods to invade the world itself. As the Word Bearers commenced the assault, their Cults rose up in rebellion, shutting down the Astropathic Choirs on Boras Minor and Ghreddask. Talledus was alone as the enemy landed. Kor Phaeron knew that for his plan to succeed, Benediction must burn. As his own Word Bearers attacked the Shrine World, his allies assailed the outer system to draw away Imperial defenders and reinforcements.[1b]

Even before the Word Bearers had fired their first shots upon Benediction, the Night Lords under Yharas Kine landed a kill-team on Satrapol's Astropathic Station, butchering its occupants and detonating a Cyclonic charge at its heart. At the same time the Battleship Nightmare of Celyx slipped from the Warp at the far edge of the System, carrying thousands of captured Astropaths strapped into torment engines. Driven mad by their agony, their combined psychic scream interfered with long-range Vox communication and scrambled the minds of nearby Navigators. Imperial reinforcements were dragged out of the Warp into the Talledus System's asteroid field known as the Tears of the Emperor. There, the Night Lords fleet ambushed them and oversaw a feast of terror and plunder. Meanwhile, the Iron Warriors under Warpsmith Etrogar besieged the formidably defended world of Ghreddask. The Warpsmith saw the planet as a prime testing ground for his Soul Harvesters. The Imperial Navy Battlefleets at Ghreddask, Ios and Cemeres, attempted to flee to Benediction but suffered terrible losses due to the deaths of their Navigators. Other naval assets simply drew towards the psychic scream out of desperation.[1c]

Battle for Benediction

The Imperial defenders had no warning of the Chaos invasion, and initially reeled from the assault. On Benediction, the Imperials rallied around Canoness Serita at the Grand Honorificum, the central cathedral spires of the world. On all fronts the Chaos forces surged forward, committing terrible atrocities in order to weaken the barrier between the Materium and Immaterium. Within the Sanctum Solaris ten thousand Priests, acolytes, and Sororitas gathered in communal prayer, not moving, eating, or drinking for days even as the guns of the Word Bearers bombarded them relentlessly. Praying to the God Emperor for salvation, their whispers were answered in the form of the Salamanders Strike Cruiser Fulminating Hammer under Captain Pellas Mir'san. Kor Phaeron soon made landfall upon the River Carmine, unworried of the Imperial reinforcements.[1c]

On Benediction, the battle-hardened Imperial Guard Ghreddask 37th Armored and 101st Infantry Regiments were taken entirely by surprise as the Word Bearers landed. Worse still, Chaos Cultists emerged to throw themselves at the defenders, spilling from the under-warrens in their millions. In little more than half a day, the grounds surrounding the Honorificum were in Chaos hands. They committed atrocities and rituals in order to bring in Daemonic reinforcements and erected batteries of artillery to bombard the Void Shields surrounding the Honorificum. Captain Mir'sans' demi-company was greatly outnumbered but nonetheless struck at this host. Clearing a beachhead amidst the outer grounds of the Honorificum using Aggressors and Centurion Devastators, Mir'san desired to dictate and confine the flow of battle by harrying the main concentration of the enemy, attempting to draw them into diverting their strength to engage the Salamanders. In this way civilian losses would be lessened and the Space Marines could bear the brunt of their assault. However, attempts to reinforce the eastern flank of the loyalists were driven back by Possessed Chaos Space Marines and a fresh surge of Cultist reinforcements. Kor Phaeron did not take Mir'sans bait; the Grand Honorificum remained his focus. Meanwhile, the steadfast but sorely pressed Order of Our Martyred Lady defended the four great bridges leading to the heart of the Honorificum.[1d]

While spirited, the Imperial defense could not stand before Kor Phaeron. A thousand flayed priests were thrown into the River Carmine as his ritual reached its crescendo, beginning a great summoning that saw a wave of superheated gore sweep aside the Battle Sisters and Guardsmen. The blood tsunami struck the shielding of the Honorificum, causing the edifice to fizzle out and die. With the way open, Kor Phaeron led his warriors forth as Greater Daemons were summoned into reality. Entire districts of Benediction were overrun and the Daemons spilled into the halls of the Grand Honorificum itself. The Battle Sisters staged a desperate room-to-room defense as Canoness Serita refused to yield. They were joined by ad-hoc Ecclesiarchy militias and Zealots. Initially dismissed by the Chaos forces, it is said that the zeal and faith of these outmatched defenders caused the dead souls of Benediction to join in its defense. Golden skull-faced spirits swept forth from ancient tombs and rose high into the heavens to encircle the Grand Honorificum. These manifestations formed a shield of impassable light, blocking the way for Chaos forces. Known as the Miracle of the Saint's Wall, its radiant light caused the Daemonic allies of the Word Bearers to disintegrate into nothingness. At this moment the Salamanders launched a counterattack, driving the Word Bearers back over the bridges of the River Carmine. The Battle for Benediction had not been decided, but the Imperial defenders were able to gain a reprieve.[1d]

Wrath of Iron

Meanwhile, the Iron Warriors assailed the world of Ghreddask. Warpsmith Etrogar had little interest in Kor Phaeron's grand plans, instead seeing it as an opportunity to deploy his Soul Harvester Scarax Krond. The engine latched itself into the surface of Ghreddask, digging through its surface with drills and Melta-cannons. Its titanic pseudopods burst within the walls of Ghreddask's citadel fortifications, disgorging Iron Warriors forces into unprepared foes. At the same time Chaos Knights of House Khomentis lumbered from its gatehouse, setting themselves upon the armored formations of the Imperial Guard. The Scarax Krond fed upon the destruction and carnage, spewing out a tide of Daemon Engines in return.[1e]

Just as the Iron Warriors Cruisers prepared an orbital bombardment that would have smashed the last vestigaes of Ghreddask, the Black Templars arrived under Castellan Dramos. The Templars had a small force from the Rutherian Crusade, all that could be spared due to their extensive campaigns elsewhere. Fortunately for Dramos, he could also call upon Imperial Knights from House Mortan under Sir Dirkwald. Dramos surmised that the true threat on Ghreddask was the Scarax Krond and launched a strike force against the mobile Daemon Forge as Mortan's Knights landed on the planets surface. The Iron Warriors viciously defended the Scarax Krond as Dramos personally led an Inceptor assault. The Black Templars managed to breach the engines carapace, allowing Dramos to move into its heart with a force of veterans. While they suffered grievous losses, Dramos and his command squad managed to detonate a Cyclonic charge at its heart. The resulting explosion immolated both the loyalists and heretics.[1e]

Screams in the Void

The Night Lords under Yharas Kine swept through the Tears of the Emperor asteroid field from the Nightmare of Celyx. Leading a reaver strike force, the Night Lords ravaged disorientated Imperial Navy cruisers and escorts. Such was the horror let loose by the Night Lords that the asteroid field itself soon burned blood red. As the battle for Talledus raged on, more and more incoming Imperial forces vanished in this kill-box. Salvation for the Imperials eventually came in the form of the White Scars under Jodagha Khan. Tracking the Night Lords movements for several month from the psychic spoor of their victims, the Scars stealth cruisers were able to corner the Nightmare of Celyx and its smaller brethren. The resulting void battle was swift and brutal. The smaller Night Lords force had approched under the cover of asteroids before the White Scars could bring their Lance batteries to bear. The Cruiser Thunderstone was boarded by Chaos Raptors before being driven off by White Scars Infiltrators. As soon as the tide of the battle turned, the Night Lords slipped back into the asteroid fields cover. The Scars attempted to pursue, but were confronted by traps such as Cyclonic mines and rogue astropathic signals that drew them into ambushes.[1f]

However, the Scars were eventually able to use precognition arrays to navigate a path through the haunted darkness. So began a shadow war of escalating brutality as the White Scars attempted to track down the Night Lords. As they hunted the Night Lords, the Scars came upon ambush sites of Raptors and Daemon Engines. Scars Incursors took a heavy toll clearing out each site, utilizing divinator-class auspexes to fashion a full-spectrum analysis of the battlefield and disperse this vital data to their Battle-Brothers. Meanwhile, claws of elite Chaos Terminators launched teleportation strikes into the heart of White Scars formations and Heldrakes prayed upon their dropships in the vaccum of space. Nightmarish Warp Talons breached the hulls of Space Marine Cruisers, running amok in the darkness. Yet for all the efforts of the Night Lords, the Scars were able to continually adapt with remarkable speed. They feigned retreats, drawing the Night Lords into ambushes of their own. Yet even as the battle shifted, the Nightmare of Celyx could not be hunted down.[1f]

Outcome

According to the novel Throne of Light, Imperial forces eventually emerged victorious in the Talledus War.[2]

Order of Battle

Imperium[1a]

Chaos[1a]

Sources