Heresy28 Part Three: Truth & Consequences
Day two of Heresy28 began with another two parallel games following on from the narratives established in the last entry. This time, I took on @marshal_werhner's Mechanicum, while @k0rdhal's Blackshields fought valiantly against @lunax7070's Sons of Horus with Sam's tactical insight.
After losing precious knowledge to the Blackshields, the beaten Mechanicum retreated deeper into the vault complex with the remainders of their biotech material, alarms blaring overhead, servitors scurrying about and fleeing. Little did they know, a shadow was passing overhead; the Talons of the Emperor had learned of their treachery and were racing to intercept them.
Beaten but not broken, the Custodian Guard and Sisters of Silence made themselves known to the Mechanicum, not stopping to investigate, but firing off boltguns across the complex. The Mechanicum were quick to react, however, their lightning guns taking a member of the Anathama Psykana out of action before the firefight had even started.
The Magos urged on their troops to secure the fleeing servitors from leaking any further knowledge to the Emperor's Guardians. They were confronted however by an Adeptus Custode, who, though critically wounded in the fight, single-handedly struck down much of the Mechanicum's right flank.
The fight quickly drawing to a close, the Magos and their accompanying Tech Priest saw an opening to fire upon one of the Emperor's Ten Thousand, tearing shards off his shimmering, gold armour.
Unshaken by this, however, the Custodian Blade Champion wounded the Techpriest with the bolter nestled in his Guardian Sword and charged the Magos, severing four of its mechanical appendages with one swing. The Magos, chattering to themselves, collapsed to the floor, leaking oil and blood as the Custodian approached, levelling his blade towards their throat.
'I know it's not just gene tech you scum were hiding here,' he said. 'What else did the Blackshields take from you, traitor?'
Across the continent, in the Prime Shipping Yards, the Blackshields were visited by the Sons of Horus searching for help against the Blood Angels and for forbidden knowledge to further their Warmaster's plans. Having heard of the Blackshields' possession of the Xenos artefacts, the Sons of Horus began a round of negotiation--this negotiation is quick to turn sour, however, as the Consul's terms were misunderstood by the operatives, and bolter fire rang out across the shipyard.
As Traitor Auxilia braced for incoming fire, the Astartes clashed in the shadow of the cranes, rain pouring from the scorched skies above. The Space Marines traded blows, grinding down one another's willpower as night fell. The Auxilia dug in to their barricades, forming tight lance formations to keep the Blackshields at bay. What started as a brief firefight was escalating to a war of attrition as the super-powered Astartes proved to be equally matched.
After hours of fighting, the Space Marines, worn and battered, found each other exhausted, yet failing to relent. As the Sons of Horus demanded access to their Xenos technology, the Blackshields called back their attack and instead requested support defending their prized artefacts against the prying Talons of the Emperor in exchange for vengeance against the Blood Angels and a share in the Xenos spoils.
'And what exactly are these spoils?' the Sons of Horus Consul barked.
'The Strands of Nammu,' the Blackshield replied. 'A key to a portal through the stars. A way to end this war, quickly, and for all of us.'
Sparing the Mechanicum survivors for later interrogation, the Talons of the Emperor convened with the Blood Angels and loyalist Mechanicum, sharing with them brief details of what they learned in their assault--the same information that now bonds the Blackshields and Sons of Horus in their uneasy alliance to keep the Emperor away. Hearing reports that the joint execution force of Talons, Blood Angels and Mechanicum was growing near, the traitors formed a defence line in the ruins of the gene vaults, awaiting their invasion. There, they called upon support from the traitor Mechanicum survivors.
This game was the finale of the event, a huge Kill Team game with three warbands aside. @toki.paints' Mechanicum and Blood Angels plus my Talons of the Emperor vs. @k0rdhal's Blackshields, @marshal_werhner's Mechanicum and @lunax7070's Sons of Horus, controlled by both him and Sam. To make the game work under such large warbands, we simplified some of the rules, allowing for things to happen that normally wouldn't be allowed, both to speed up the game and to create a compelling narrative. We also were allowed to activate two operatives at a time.
Deeper into the gene vaults, the traitors assembled. Though the alliance was uneasy, their shared need to keep the prying eyes of the Emperor away kept them together.
Meanwhile, the Talons advanced across pools of unrefined bulsurex, supported by the might of a Mechanicum Castellax Automata. As they approached the traitors, they captured servitors carrying vital information about the machinations of the vaults.
As Prosecutors and Mechanicum snipers opened fire upon the traitors, Blood Angels descended from the rafters. One was immediately shot from the sky by the traitors, but the rest, unperturbed, advanced towards the wall separating the loyalists from the Sons of Horus.
Further from the action, the Mechanicum and Blackshields sheltered, readying their weapons for when the assault reached them.
With a bark, the Sons of Horus commanded their Auxilia to funnel through an opening in the wall, only to be met by a pair of Blood Angels. Though wounded, the Astartes wiped the Auxilia down to their sergeant, who, in an echo of the Siege of Terra, drove his power sword through the neck of a winged Astartes, felling him, before wounding another and bringing the superhuman to the ground. The sergeant's bloody vengeance was ended, however, as a third Space Marine charged in, laying him low.
A Blood Angel swooped down into the heart of enemy territory, tossing the Mechanicum Marshal aside before succumbing to the firepower of the Blackshields who went on to harvest his geneseed.
The Castellax advanced, breaking the deadlock at the wall with the fire of its heavy bolters.
Theadia Yelsliyth clambered up to meet the firepower of the Thallax. Shrugging off heavy firepower from their Lightning Guns, she overpowered the Mechanicum, taking the objective. But before she could execute the traitor, there's a rumble. Dust fell from the ceiling of the compound, and then steel beams began to collapse. From the boots of the Space Marines and the mass bolter fire, the ceiling began to cave in, forcing the traitors further into hiding while the loyalists returned to the surface, carrying four complete dataslates detailing the path to the key of Nammu.
The Blackshields broke off from the traitors, comfortable with having replenished vital gene material for further experimentation while the Sons of Horus tracked them down in search of their promised Xenos technology.
On the surface, the loyal Mechanicum and Custodes reconvened. Arch Magos XXIVIX confronted Custodian Nurthariun Daryth, demanding for a share of their findings for experimentation in their own ranks. But in response to this heretical proposition, the Custodian, in the grip of his hand, destroyed the retrieved dataslates before escaping the ire of the Mechanicum to return to orbit.
'They didn't see, did they?' Artorius asked as they boarded the dropship. 'The Mechanicum, I mean?'
Nurthariun shook his head, revealing a final, yet undestroyed dataslate swelling with heretical knowledge. 'No, I can assure you they didn't,' he replied, placing the dataslate away. 'Now we must return to the Master of Mankind. I do believe His projects may yet have use for what we have found here.'
And that is Heresy28! What a wonderful couple days with wonderful hobbyists. It was so much fun to play some games and create a fun narrative around them, having our gaming decisions influenced by character rather than hard tactics and min-maxing.
Thank you all for reading and thank you to all who attended:
And thank you to the rest of the Baraqu gang! I can't wait for future events and to continue the Heresy28 storyline... perhaps even this year. Stay tuned!