Monday, March 2, 2009
Attraignnor IV Campaign: Turn 9
With the simultaneous pincer attack on the Chaos forces having been repulsed, the Tau army pulled back to consolidate their forces and reexamine their strategy in the war. The Tau in the East managed to gain control of the Railhead Depots, expanding their front in the face of the defensive line of the Chaos Marines. Meanwhile, the off-world Chaos Space Marine chapter pacified the final remaining hab block. They are now using their control of the densely populated residential areas to recruit citizens of Attraignnor IV into militia forces to help defend the Chaos held territories. This would help make up for their relative lack of numbers.
Word soon came to the populace of the western mercantile district. It was news of hope, of joy. Word soon passed to the impoverished and war beaten citizens of the Merc of the great and benevolent Lord Captain Octavio Ferranus, High King of all Attraignnor.
A once wealthy merchant by the name of Geraldius VanDyre, of House VanDyre, ran like never before attempting to escape the vile drones of their xenos oppressors. Weighed down by the heavy pack of food liberated from the stores these particular drones were guarding, Geraldius knew he wouldn't win this race. He dove around the corner into the next faceless ruin. Up and up, he decided.
Halfway up the first flight, the stairs crumbled beneath him, and the youngest son of House VanDyre fell.
The floor beneath the stairs crumbled, as did the floor below that. VanDyre landed hard and had to bite through the flesh of his own hand to stop himself from crying out. Shrapnel had impaled his right leg and he was pretty sure a couple of ribs were broken, but he was alive, and he still had the precious food. Silent and crying, Geraldius lay still where he fell as tiny blinking lights buzzing above him gave away the drones searching the floor he just fell through.
He must have blacked out for a time, for he was awakened by the sun's rays somehow finding their way to his face. He couldn't stop the cry this time as he tried to move. He couldn't stand either. As he looked around for something to brace himself with, he spotted a strange reflection from the corner of his eye. He crawled over painfully and discovered a half buried and forgotten doorway
It was the entrance to a forgotten PDF armory. Racks of rifles lined the walls. Crates of ammunition were stacked in the corner. Explosives, fatigues, body armor, it all stood before him. His prayers had been answered.
It was a miracle, the people thought. This man, their leader, came back, beaten and bloody with not only food, but a miracle. Hidden in the bowels of a Mechanicus warehouse, protected by the Mechanicus guards and techpriests who hadn't sided with the vile aliens, the citizens at last found hope. Scouts and spies were designated. The weapons store was retrieved. A resistance was formed. VanDyre had a massive banner made in the image of Ferranus' own as rumor described it and it hung from the wall of the secret warehouse to bring hope to the lost souls living there.
Reports began coming in that the enemy were withdrawing a significant part of their force from the front, and sightings were reported of a be-robed Tau accompanied by a large cadre of warriors with bright red helms issuing orders to the xenos commanders. Geraldius VanDyke knew the time was now.
As the sun rose, the resistance launched their attack. Geraldius raised the banner high and gave the order to strike.
Unfortunately, the Tau were a skilled military force. The element of surprise was lost as the resistance army moved into position. Without a word of warning or recognition, an impromptu airstrike was called in to give the xenos warriors time to form up. Heavy firepower tore into the resistance lines before the citizens let off a single shot. But the mighty banner waved, and the resistance army held. Firepower far greater than the aliens expected roared from the ruins around them, and a team of battlesuits was tore apart by massive lascannon blasts that came out of nowhere. At almost the same time, the Tau discovered another trick the resistance handed them as one of their mighty Broadsides was obliterated by a hidden booby-trap.
The resistance was made up of untrained citizens, however, and most could not get the knack for the ranged weapons. Though the heavy fire kept the aliens in cover, it was mostly ineffective, and most citizens chose to rush into point blank assaults. The casualties to these men and women of Attraignor IV were horrendous as they attempted to cross the streets, but heroes are born in such times. Mika Grosnikt led his gang, the Warp Angels, into close quarters with a squad of xenos warriors. While Mechanicus Sgt. Sigma6 beat down the warriors, the Warp Angels broke through the line and made a break for the next building. As they jumped out of windows and tore through broken walls to reach the alien sniper team, Grosnikt realized the powerful power sword given to him by the techpriests was lost in the frenzied fighting. Though he was mostly ineffective fighting with only his shotgun, the Warp Angels did him proud, cutting down the xenos machines, and decapitating their controller. Movement in the next building revealed their next target, and Mika led them on to find themselves face to face with the red helmed bodyguards of the alien in robes. Though knowing they were outmatched, the Warp Angels screamed, fired, and charged.
By the end of the engagement, the resistance had taken fully half the sector, and Geraldius VanDyre knew that his people dealt a mighty blow to their alien oppressors. The Tau forces in the sector were knocked off balance, and the long range comms were back up. VanDyre was able to contact the palace and publicly swore fealty to the High King. He gave account of what the resistance accomplished and shared their intelligence. The High King was well pleased, and took special note of the be-robed Tau leader. Geraldius was gifted the rank of Merchant Warden, and his men were commended greatly. All that remained was for Ferranus to garrison the district.
After over ten years, respite was finally within the Merc citizens' reach.
The Tau forces retreating from the Palace grounds that regrouped in the mercantile district met up with their ethereal that came down to the planets surface to witness the destruction and the chaos that has been ensuing, to judge better whether or not this pacification has run its course and the planet was lost to chaos. During the meetings and deliberations the most confusing and unfortunate turn of events happened. The uprising and fanaticism of the ruined cites people and their turn against any hope they had left on their war torn planet. Militias of all kinds poured over the city and headed straight toward their encampment. A defense was set up and the people fell in the streets not stopping to think they just threw themselves at the Tau guns. Men, women and children old or brave enough to hold a weapon fought on pushing past the defenses.
Bold and upset the Tau ethereal stood his ground through multiple bombings and mortar fire just long enough to see the faces of what type of man they were there to save. With a final assault of a wild young bunch the decision was made. With a furrow of the brow and a hiss of disapproval, the ethereal retreated back to his lander and left.