“Fifteen billion Imperial citizens—more than three-quarters of the planet’s population—have died on the war-torn world of Dozaria. The rest are tainted by the Warp, brought down by the insidious Kassig Plague, and consideration should be given to Exterminatus.”—Recent oration of Confessor Guidonis Bernard, a member of the Ecclesiarchy newly arrived to the Corvus Cluster.
“Tell the pompous fool to stay away from Dozaria. We’ve lost too many good men to save this world; we won’t see it destroyed on a priest’s whim.”—Commissar-Colonel Aldos Venner of the 82nd Death Korps Infantry Regiment, deployed on Dozaria.
++ Status of Dozaria Campaign ++
Historical Briefing: Initial Traitor Attack
6 647 737.M41 – 6 090 728.M41
+ Classified data, Security Clearance Theta-One-Omega +
Under the authorization of the Ordo Hereticus, this briefing is provided to all senior-ranked officers to ensure they have adequate information on the origins of the war on Dozaria—and the course of the war—so as to perform their military duties with utmost efficiency and determination.—Authorization Code X-374-730-7B
* * *
The initial outbreak of the Kassig Plague was reported on 6 647 737.M41, just hours after the traitor warship, Terminus Est, suddenly appeared in orbit over the planet.
It remains unclear how the warship arrived undetected by the stellar system’s extensive sensor arrays and patrolling Imperial warships. But when orbital sensors registered its appearance in orbit above the planet, initial readings detected the launch of multiple missiles that exploded in the atmosphere above high-density population centers.
Reports of a particularly virulent disease, later identified as the plague, soon came to the attention of Imperial authorities.
The most advanced medical treatment had no impact on the progress of the disease and, within three weeks, approximately 40 percent of the planetary population was afflicted. Half of these casualties died; the remainder suffered a near-total loss of cognitive abilities, a significant degradation in physical health, and the development of extremely violent behavior toward any uninfected individual.
So severe were the effects of the disease that victims soon were referred to by surviving citizens as “zombies.”
Although the Planetary Defense Force (PDF) suffered casualties as extensively as the civilian population, military authorities did a commendable job executing infected PDF troops and rallying the uninfected to begin an effective medical and military response to the plague. A company of Blood Angels appeared three months later to help the PDF quell planet-wide civil unrest.
Alas, the initial outbreak of the plague was not the end of Dozaria’s torment. Six months after the initial outbreak, just as the plague appeared to wane in virulence, an insurrection by cultists worshipping the Ruinous Powers erupted, and this was soon followed by an invasion of the world by the Death Guard and a host of allies.
The naval defenses of Dozaria consisted of a Havoc-class frigate, a Claymore-class corvette, two Cobra-class destroyers, four defense monitors, and three orbital defense platforms. Also in the system was a strike cruiser of the Blood Angels, which had carried the 4th Company of the Sons of Sanguinius to Dozaria months earlier.
On 6 079 738.M41, a fleet of 17 traitor warships dropped out of Warp on the outskirts of the system, and all planetary defenses were put on alert. Although imperial naval assets had 10 hours to prepare for battle, they were vastly outgunned, as the invading force consisted of six capital ships, including a battlecruiser-class warship.
Almost all Imperial ships were quickly annihilated in the one-sided battle, although the strike cruiser, Winged Avenger, managed to withdraw with heavy damage. The orbital defense platforms proved a tougher obstacle for the invaders. Two destroyer-class enemy ships were destroyed, and one Inferno-class cruiser was severely damaged, before the space stations were destroyed or captured by Terminator-clad traitor Space Marines who entered the stations using boarding torpedoes.
With control of the sky above Dozaria, the traitor Astartes next launched a savage orbital bombardment of all key population centers and military targets. The planetary defense lasers on the north pole were wiped out by lance strikes, while the hive city of Mokto was vaporized after being struck by no less than 10 nuclear-armed missiles.
The attack from above did not end there. Although indiscriminate orbital fire eased after this initial bombardment, targeted missile fire continued in support of a fleet of Heldrake and Fire Lord aircraft that made their descent to the planet. But, instead of dropping traditional bombs, the aircraft sprayed large swathes of the planet with virus-laden spores. Anyone in these sprayed areas who lacked respirators soon fell victim to a new and even more virulent form of the Kassig Plague.
++ End Historical Report + +
The Corvus Cluster is a Warhammer 40K narrative campaign documenting our gaming adventures in the fantastical sci-fi universe of Games Workshop.