The heretic Voloh Gudag, with two Death Guard bodyguards, stands in a neighborhood market–surrounded by mindless, hyperviolent “zombies.”
“Let the dead rise again. Let the dead feast on the living. Let the dead bring the damned out of the bondage of the Imperium and into the welcoming arms of Nurgle. This is the fate of all men. Let it be so.
“—Voloh Gudag, sorcerer of the Ruinous Powers and instigator of the Kassig Plague on Polarian
* * *
Announcement by Planetary Governor Julius von Soden
World of Polarian
6 901 742.M41
To the citizens of Polarian, I bring news of victory against the wretched pestilence that recently has terrorized our world.
As you know, news spread a week ago about an outbreak of the dreaded Kassig Plague in our capital city. Within days, tens of thousands of our citizens fell victim to this pestilence.
It was a horrific illness. We saw the bodies and minds of our loved ones wither before our eyes. Yet that was not the worst of it. The day came when they rose from their beds—mindless and violent—to attack us, murder us, and wander into the streets in search of new victims.
Martial law was declared. Our courageous Arbites Enforcers, supported by our Planetary Defense Force (PDF), quickly responded, battling this menace. Yet, they, too, began to fall victim to the plague. Our world was threatened with complete ruin.
But, my people, salvation arrived two days ago. A company of Space Marines—the thrice-blessed Angels of Death of the Emperor Himself—appeared in the capital to deal with this menace.
Led by Inquisitor Elam Vaarak of the Ordo Hereticus, the Astartes and a sizable force of Inquisition storm troopers brought sword and flame to the crisis—and ultimately prevailed..
Inquisitor Elam Vaarak of the Ordo Hereticus, (in the back) advances down a city street accompanied by his acolyte, two Crusader warriors, and a Tech Priest minion.
At this time, I can only share a few details about our salvation. It is known that our world’s rescue began when Inquisitor Vaarak led a small force of storm troopers into the capital city in an attempt to assassinate the vile Voloh Gudag, the heretic responsible for bringing the plague to our planet.
Alas, Gudag was protected by a bodyguard of Death Guard warriors—unspeakable Astartes traitors to the Imperium. These traitors intercepted Vaarak’s force and promptly launched an attack that nearly overwhelmed this Inquisitorial force.
The fighting was, by all reports, quite brutal. Power-armored traitors used grenades to cause significant casualties to the Inquisition storm troopers, but when one heretic grenade bounced off a wall and back at the traitors, it injured two of the giant traitor Astartes and disrupted their attack—allowing loyalist forces to counterattack and stabilize their position.
Soon after, an Astartes gunship arrived, and a squad of Knights of Altair—led by a Captain Galba—used drop ropes to rappel to the zombie-filled streets. Marching up the blood-stained cobblestones of our city, the Astartes swept aside all enemy forces in front of them. At least a thousand plague victims were shot or struck down by the glorious Knights, whose advance was as implacable as it was deadly.
This is the set-up for the “Walking Dead” skirmish game at the Shorehammer convention. Voloh Gudag set up near the middle of the table in the market square. The Inquisition entered the table near the round tower in the top-right corner. The Knights of Altair landed on the street at the bottom of the table.
Pressed by Inquisition forces, and with Astartes advancing on their rear, the Death Guard and Voloh Gudag had no choice buy to flee into the desert outside the city walls.
Inquisition forces did, of course, give pursuit. But Voloh Gudag managed to escape in a hidden shuttle to a Death Guard warship in orbit over the planet. This vessel was brought to battle by a Knights’ Strike Cruiser, but the foul craft—along with its heretical passengers—made its escape.
I can tell you now that, since this fighting, the Knights of Altair and Inquisition forces have scoured our city streets, slaughtering thousands of plague victims, while penal battalion troops have been set to work piling dead bodies and burning them with flamers.
The Knights of Altair had little difficulty with the zombies and the cultists. The Chaos fire proved ineffective against the Astartes, who slaughtered anyone foolish enough to challenge them.
So, rejoice! The crisis has passed. The contaminated areas of the city have been cordoned off—to ensure the plague does not spread—and those within the areas will receive anti-viral injections to ensure they are not contagious. Those that cannot be saved will be mercifully put to death by compassionate medicos.
Also know that when you see black smoke rising from infected areas, it is a hopeful sign. It is a sign of our victory. The dead are being consumed by holy promethium and, with their incineration, the sanctity of our world—and the righteousness of Imperial rule—is being restored.
All hail our beloved God-Emperor, and all give thanks to the valiant Inquisition and the Knights of Altair for our salvation.
— END TRANSMISSION —
TheGM: This narrative battle was fought Friday morning of the convention. I had an opportunity to fill an empty slot and, as the Death Guard, I took full opportunity of my weaponry to plaster the Inquisition with grenades.
Alas, one grenade scattered back on my forces just as I had the Inquisition on the back foot and was going to launch my killing blow. My attack force was pinned by this grenade, however, and the Inquisition quickly mounted a full-scale counterattack that hit the Death Guard hard.
Meanwhile, the “zombies” in the game were shambling to the sound of gunfire, and they began to get in the way of my Death Guard, who could neither get through to bring the Inquisition into hand-to-hand combat–nor could they regroup and turn to face the Knights of Altair.
And what an impressive sight were the Knights. They marched forward from their landing site, in the face of intense cultist fire, and mowed down anything that challenged them. It was if I was watching a scene out of a Black Library story that portrays the Astartes as unbeatable warriors—and I was the poor fool who faced them..
There was no choice for Voloh Gudag, his cultists, or the Death Guard. We had to run for our lives.
This was an important Imperial victory. Voloh Gudag was attempting to divert Imperial reinforcements from the nearby world of Dozaria, where a full-scale Death Guard invasion was under way. With Gudag’s efforts stymied, local forces alone can deal with maintaining order on Polarian.
Oh, sorry for the poor quality of the photos. I’m having problems with my camera, and I was so busy playing—and GM’ing—the game that I had to take photos hurriedly (and obviously rather poorly).
Portrait of the creature I used for Voloh Gudag is by Nuttavut Baiphowangse. (Copyrighted, art used under creative commons attribution-noncommerical-no derivative works license.
The Corvus Cluster is Warhammer 40K blog documenting our gaming adventures in the fantastical sci-fi universe of Games Workshop.