Thought for the Day: “Across the void of space men, live as they have lived for millennia upon the sand, rock, and soil of worlds bathed in the light of alien suns. So is Humanity’s seed cast far and wide beyond the knowledge of Man, to thrive bitterly in the darkness, to take root and cling with robust and savage determination.“
Turn of the Tide
As the tide turned on his left flank, Agamunzu understood the need to put pressure on the Space Marines. With Ioculus’ motorized attack stopped, the Necron Overlord pressed his troops forward to take advantage of their sudden vulnerability. His warriors and Wraiths continued their advance, seeking to strike the disembarked Space Marines before they could recover.
At the same time, the Necron Overlord brought in his reserves to cut off the enemy’s retreat. A Night Scythe passed overhead, teleporting a squad of Immortals behind the Space Marines. Out of nowhere, a squad of Destroyers also appeared, effectively completing the encirclement of the humans.
+ + Attack ! Attack! Attack! + +
Even as Agamunzu shrieked the orders, he signaled his command barge forward. Speeding over the heads of his advancing warriors, the barge accelerated, its shields deflecting the fire of the Space Marines’ boltguns. As the barge raced over the enemy position, the overlord leaded over the skimmer’s side and swung his warscythe, lopping off the heads of two of the gray-armored humans.
Ah, the glory of war, the ancient Necron thought with satisfaction. I shall take one of these new warriors alive and have my crypteks dissect him to see why they are different.
The Necron counterattack had been unexpected, but Ioculus had centuries of experience in warfare. In an instant, he was issuing orders in response. The Crusader Squad turned away from the advancing Necron warriors, using the wrecked Rhinos as cover as they targeted the newly arrived Immortals.
Supported by fire from another squad deployed in a nearby refinery tower, the Space Marines poured volley after volley of boltgun fire into the cybernetic enemy until they all fell and disappeared in a flash of light.
Meanwhile, the Sternguard turned its attention to the floating Destroyers, loading their boltguns with Vengeance Rounds and wiping out half the enemy’s numbers . The surviving Destroyers quickly were destroyed by a well-placed round from a Vindicator Tank that arrived at Ioculus’ orders.
As Agmunzu took stock of these reverses, his command barge suffered a powerful blow. Flame and shrapnel engulfed the Overlord, who suddenly found himself flying through the air and slamming into the ground, his body battered as he tumbled 30 meters across the ground before coming to a halt.
His senses overwhelmed, his body struggling to repair the damage suffered, Agmunzu knew he was vulnerable. So did Ioculus. The crisis of the battle had arrived, and the High Marshal ordered the Bloody Vengeance forward. Just as Agmunzu began to rise, the Land Raider shuddered to a halt only 20 meters away, its front ramp fell, and Ioculus and his honor guard charged down the ramp directly at the Overlord.
The powerful Necron’s eyes glowed green with an intensity of hatred, as he swung his warscythe. To his surprise, however, his swing came to a jarring halt. The human warlord’s chainsword, another treasured relic of the Astartes, met the xeno weapon and, instead of shattering, held firm. At that moment, Agmunzu felt a moment of doubt.
The fighting that followed was the stuff of legend. First, Ioculus and the Chapter Champion, Torund Reinhart, attacked the Overlord with a barrage of blows, which the he xeno parried with some difficulty. But then Agmunzu found a gap in Ioculus’ defenses and countered with an attack of his own.
It was only when the rest of the Honor Guard pressed home the attack, forcing the Overlord to defend himself from all sides, did Reinhard finally find his opportunity. Fending off a blow from the Agmunzu, he stepped back, and as the Overlord turned to deal with Ioculus, Reinhard leapt forward to thrust his doublehanded sword deep into the flank of the xenos’ torso.
With a scream of outrage and hatred, the Overlord crumpled and blinked out of existence.
With their master gone, and their left flank collapsed, the remaining Necrons were forced to rely on ancient defensive protocols that lacked the flexibility and initiative to respond to the Knights’ aggressive tactics. Within the hour, the xenos were in full retreat.
Flush with victory over a powerful opponent, Ioculus silently recited the Litany of Calm, so as restore his stoic outer demeanor in the presence of his warriors. The battle over, he assessed the casualties and found them acceptable. To his relief, he also learned that Brother-Chaplain Vauquelin was alive, his severely inured body found half-buried in the ruins close to where he’d fallen.
Far away, deep beneath the surface of Tophet, a restored Agmunzu also assessed the battle results. Glowering at the projections of casualties, he saw that nearly half his warriors and vehicles were damaged, recoverable only because of the ancient technologies that transported his army back to restoration facilities in his tomb.
I must learn more about these strange new warriors. They are unlike the other primitives. They are almost worthy opponents. I am ashamed to have been defeated. They shall pay. I shall find their leader, and I will bring him to battle—one on one. And I will gloat over his death.
The Corvus Cluster is a Warhammer 40K blog documenting our gaming adventures in the fantastical sci-fi universe of Games Workshop.
Categories: Tophet Campaign