+from Segmentum Obscurus Command, Cypra Mundi+
+to Departmento Munitorum, Terra+
The imperial forces engaged to secure the agri-world Ordel V have failed in their attempt to reclaim the planet from invading xenos forces. Elements of the Iron Hands, Blood Angels, Dark Angels, Grey Knights, and Lords of Vengeance have participated in a year long campaign for control of the world, but after the loss of the capital city, Populi Ordel, Segmentum Command has determined that the planet is now of limited tactical significance compared to other objectives within the Segmentum.
Reports from the Inquisition that an artifact of unknown provenance still exists on the planet have yet to be substantiated.
The Astartes forces were able to fight a delaying action that allowed a portion of the population, and much of the world’s industrial and materiel infrastructure, to be evacuated.
The Astartes will form the core of a new crusade fleet that will prosecute all out war against the denizen’s of the worlds of the Lazarus Reach, a frontier realm that fell from the light of the God-Emperor over 5,000 years ago. The survivors of Ordel V will be the first settlers on the worlds reclaimed during this glorious crusade.
The Astartes and Ordel survivors will rendezvous with Imperial Navy and Astra Militarum elements under the command of Warmaster Baldus, at the mining world Krakan.
The Emperor Protects.
Lord Commander Militant Drang,
Populi Ordel burned. A column of black climbed to the upper atmosphere where it mingled with smoke from a thousand other fires.
Ordel V was dead. A transmission from the Inquisitor Thundorrklappe of the Ordo Xenos recommended virus bombing the world. “A waste of munitions,” the Iron Hands Chapter Master responded. Chapter Master Timon of the Lords of Vengeance agreed. Nothing would live on that blasted surface again.
From the bridge of his battle barge, Timon surveyed the massive fleet of survivors, herded by Astartes frigates and battle barges. The population of Ordel V, and all essential materiel, were packed into those vessels. They would refit at the mining and forge world, Krakan, and the fleet would join the crusade to reclaim the lost worlds of the Lazarus Reach for the Imperium of Man. Those survivors would receive a second chance at life as colonists on newly conquered worlds.
“My lord,” a human communications officer approached, data slate in hand, “Commander Dante will survive.”
“Of course.” Timon never had any doubt. Dante survived so much, he would not die in such an insignificant skirmish.
He surveyed the burned out husk of Ordel V one last time as the fleet moved out of orbit. He swore that one day he would have his vengeance for this terrible affront to the Emperor.
The skeins of fate were a mad web on this world, twisting and writhing. Their destiny seemed clear on Iyanden, but now… Kelmon walked from the shadow of the forest. The tall grass brushed against his outstreched fingertips. The Mon-keigh cut deep into the ancient forest to build their offensive city, but the great trees resisted. They grew back with such speed and fortitude that the humans could never manage to keep them at bay. The city and the forest became a strange chimera of natural and synthetic at the periphery. He welcomed the thought that one day the world might recover, but wept for the damage already done.
Many eldar died on this world, and many that were already dead, were lost for good. A few waystones would be recovered, but many more were destroyed. The spirits of those wraith-constructs were released into the ether, to be consumed by She Who Thirsts.
Their temporary allies, Dark Kin were already gone. They disappeared as quickly as they came, raiders loaded with human captives, bound for their slave pits of Commorragh. The monster Haemonculus Urien Rakarth sent a note before he left, carried by a warrior wearing a haughty expression on his cruel and unnaturally florid face. He unrolled the message, realizing at once that it was written on the recently tanned flesh of a human captives. A tattoo of the eagle that represented the corpse-god of the imperium was at the top of the note, and below it a hand written message in flowery script. The fluid letters were deep brown, and Kelmon had no doubt were inked in the blood of the same human who donated his flesh to Rakarth’s message.
I cannot thank you enough for your invitation. The humans provide such sport. I had no idea our craftworld kin could be such fun. Please contact me if you need another world destroyed.
Kelmon dropped the note in disgust. It fluttered to the ground like a falling leaf.
“We should not have allowed their participation,” he hissed at the Eldar approaching from the ruined city.
Prince Atarax shook his head, and a grim smile cut across his face. “It was necessary, farseer. You see much, but you cannot see that?”
“I see more than you think.”
The prince and his corsair fleet, the Doom Wraiths, came unbidden to assist in the capture of this world. They were alerted by a troupe of harlequins — all of whom had now disappeared — that their presence was required. Prince Atarax, professing his devotion to the Eldar race complied.
Kelmon studied Atarax. The corsair prince and his followers walked a path that could lead to inevitable destruction. Without the structure of the craftworlds, they would lose the battle they fought with their own nature. Already, they appeared more like the Dark Kin than their craftworld brethren. They teetered at a precipice, and when they fell, there would be no redemption.
“Was our sacrifice worth the prize?” the prince demanded, interrupting Kelmon’s introspection.
“The artifact? No, it is meaningless. A bauble the Mon-keigh found during the long night. They believe it is many things, each faction expecting it to reveal the secrets they seek, but it will reveal nothing. It will corrupt the weak, and even the strong will be goaded. It may provide temporary power, but leads only to destruction. It is better left to the dead.”
“Why come here, then?” Prince Atarax demanded, “Why risk so much?”
“It was a necessary effort. The Mon-keigh are a tool of greater powers. The path from this world would have led to calamity for for all. Now they are on another path, one that could preserve the Eldar, but the future is clouded. I fear there is something we may yet need to do.”
Prince Atarax nodded cautiously. “We will do what is necessary.”
Janestus picked his way through the ruins, returning to his warband. The gathered cluster of Lords of Vegeance space marines waited expectantly.
“Did you find it?” one of the sergeants called out as he approached.
He patted the satchel hanging at his side. Heat emanated from the artifact. He could feel it even through his power armor. “Our brothers are misguided, this will help us return them to the true path.”
He climbed atop a plinth that once held a statue, now shattered and unrecognizable, half buried in ash and ruin. The artifact was in his hand, though he could not recall freeing it. He held it aloft. Wonder filled the faces of his men. This was true power. “Vengeance!” he cried out.
“Vengeance!” they echoed.
Lords of Vengeance
hey are known as the Lords of Vengeance. For millennia these Astartes have been known for their strict devotion and adherence to the imperial Saint Solkan “The Avenger” and his doctrine of total war and vengeance for all that opposed the Emperor of mankind.
Their home world of Sugarak is the imperial shrine world dedicated to Solkan and said to be the site of his greatest victory over the heathen masses. Stories tell of Solkan putting to fire over half of the population before the rest saw the true light of the Emperors kindness and bent the knee to the imperial creed. It is lost to history if Solkan was a great Lord commander Militant of the Astra Militarum, a Fleet admiral or just an extremely charismatic figure who got many to follow. What is known is that he was relentless in his pursuit of the enemies of mankind and chaos in all its form.
Apart from Sugarak, the Lords of Vengeance also have a small presence on the shrine world of Saint Arianka, the great martyr to Chaos and said to be the sister of Solkan (but many think just one of his disciples).
The Lords of vengeance wear smoke-grey armor with red outlines. This symbolizes the smoke and flames of the pyres Solkan would erect for the burning bodies of his enemies. Their most elite troops are allowed to wear black on their armor, the color preferred by Solkan himself.
Although catching the eyes of the inquisition from time to time as they investigated some of the Lords of Vengence’s more thorough cleansings of populations and worlds, the Ecclesiarchy has always backed the chapter and used their influence to calm any issues that had arose regarding the space marines past discretions, as they see them as a great tool to spread the Imperial Creed or, more likely, stop the spread of any heretical beliefs that may be spreading on a world or system.
Even with the Ecclesiarchy’s approval, the Inquisition has kept tabs on the rumors that the gene seed of the Lords of vengeance may not be as pure as its parent chapter. Back before the Heresy itself, legionaries gossiped that the Ultra Marines ranks swelled around the same time the 2nd and 11th legions were expunged. It is believed by some that the Lords of Vengeance gene seed was taken, not from a descendent of Guilliman, but rather one of his lost brothers.
Perhaps it’s this degenerative gene seed that has cause the rift in the Lords of Vengeance at this very time. After suffering numerous defeats at the hand of the Eldar on Ordel V, one of the chapters most potent Epistolaries Psyker, named Janestus, started speaking of being given the tactics and new battle gear needed to defeat the Eldar by “friends”. Although he refused to say how he came by it or what these new gifts were, many of his brothers followed him into the battlefield as the remaining Lords of Vengeance were fighting around the capital of Ordel V.
After numerous successful raids on the Elder warhost that dotted the Ordel V landscape, Janestus and his warband contacted the main force to tell them of the “awful truth” they had learned. This “truth”, as Janestus claims, is that the chapter is fighting the wrong enemy. The real enemy is the Imperium of Man itself! For why would the Imperium not allow the use of this new technology Janestus had received from his “friends”, why would they be sent to battle on a ruined Agro-planet to sap their strength and moral, why would the Mechanicum not allow the great wargear Janestus has seen wielded by his friends, Why? Because, as Janestus claims, the Imperium of man is working with Chaos and needs to be destroyed to truly destroy Chaos!
After his rambling vox-cast ended, communication with Janestus has not been regained. Squads have been sent out to track the warband down as their help will surely be needed in the coming fight, however, nothing has been found of them but the huge piles of smoking bodies left behind; both elder and human, and the sounds of screams and laughter just over the next hill.
While all recon squads have been called back to Orderl V’s capital city to prepare for the coming final battle for the planet, Janestus and his group have been labeled as missing in action, presumed dead. What has truly befallen them, and what they have truly become is not yet known.