Here are the background for our Horus Heresy Campaign.
Credit for this writing goes to Daniel Stennert.
The campaign takes place in a system called Lacum Itineribus. It is comprised by a number of worlds, most of whom have been made habitable by ancient terra-forming technology. During the age of strife these worlds were split among three rivaling factions that vied for control of the solar system. Their prolonged conflicts came at a price, and caused the entire system to revert in regards to their technological advancements and understanding, as much of the technology utilized by these factions was lost during the centuries of civil war that the system bore whitness to. As a consequence space travel between the planets was limited during this time and many of the warships and their weapon systems, with age, became laden with ad-hoc repairs, or were simply decomissioned as battle damage and wear rendered them unsuitable for action. By the time the imperium of man arrived, spear headed by a small contingent of Emperor’s Children and Iron Hands commanding a fleet of pre-post-humans, the planets had resorted to cheaper, more simplistic defensive measures to ward off incursions by the rivalling factions by encircling their planets with orbital defence batteries. Being so heavily fortified, the three factions initially had some success in repelling the new invaders, but their failure to present a unified front along with their armadas’ lack of both size and repair soon meant that the imperial forces could isolate defensive positions and pick them apart one at a time. Some of the most ancient battle cruisers employed by a faction known simply as “The Confederation”, the imperium came to realise, were so archaic that the crew had resorted to aiming their heavy lance batteries through means of heavy chains and pullers, as the targeting systems had broken down ages back.
When the system fell and imperial rule was imposed, a second obstacle arose. Another faction, known as the Brotherhood, had been a rigid people. Ritualistic and devoted to a god-like idol of perfection. They used crude genetical engineering in their striving towards the creation of perfect citizens and valued nothing higher than physical beauty. The imperium, being starchly against such paganistic ways, came to blows with the populace on several occasions and riots started to erupt among the populace. These uprisings, while persistent, were harshly dealt with to act as an example of the punishments that awaited any who might dare show such blatant insubordination to imperial rule. Leaving thousands of people dead across the system. But the populace of the worlds previously under the sway of the brotherhood have started to take up a devotion to idols of the emperor in turn. To the extent where imperial officials have found it needed to strike down against such proto-religious behavior.
Much like ancient Rome’s rise and fall, so too did the worlds of Lacum Itineribus fall from their technological peak under the throws of civil war. So at the time of imperial conquest the cities crowding the planets were largely built upon the ruins of older, ancient structures. Often incorporating these sleek, antique constructions into later, crude ones. Hence turning the cities a mesh of buildings both new and old, built layer upon layer with their underbellies a labyrinth of forgotten and forbidden halls.
A small contingent of iron hands were left to garrison the system while the last of the uprisings were dealt with, supported by imperial pre-post-humans and locally recruited militia. But the marines soon left as the last of the riots among the post-brotherhood population were crushed in bloody confrontations, leaving the planets in a treacherous but calm state of submission.
Present date – mid heresy.
Snippets of gleaned information suggests that Malchador the Sigilite has learned of an ancient artefact known as the Oculus which should be of great aid to the emperor and his work/war in the webway, and it is rumoured to be found in the Lacum Itineribus system. A small force of Custodes, along with a contingent of Imperial Fists, have thus been dispatched to retrieve the object that is believed to be lost in amongst the ancient buildings in the lower regions of one of the cities of the system.
They aren’t the only ones dispatched however, as Alpha Legion infiltrators intercepted some of the information and had it transponded to the Warmaster Horus and his fleet. But the information is incomplete, most noticeably so the operatives failed to obtain information as to the exact system to which the Custodes had been dispatched.
As such, Horus tooks caution and sents a number of smaller scouting fleets to the region, intent on letting them probe for information while a larger contingent of combined legion ships are set separate from his main force and head towards the sector in general.
On the imperial side, the custodies operation is left unknown to all but those involved, but imperial intelligence does catch notice of the traitorous contingent of ships as they detatch from Horus' forces, and they are soon shadowed at a distance by a smaller fleet. Simultaneously a combined fleet heading through the sector from the opposite direction have a chance encounter with one of the scouting ships as they enter a neighboring system comprised by manufactorum and supply worlds. The ship, having been locked in battle with a smaller freight-ship in an effort to board and obtain data regarding the system, is quickly dispatched and information is gathered that causes the loyalist commander to halt his fleet in-system and fortify their position, fearing that further traitor ships might soon be inbound and arriving from war-jump at any moment.
In the Lacum Itineribus system, riots are once more ravaging the worlds formerly belonging to the Brotherhood. Fueled by the underhanded machinations of Alpha legion operatives the system once more finds itself at the brink of civil war as the unruly populace turns back to their old ways and proclaim that they’ve thrown off the yolk of imperial rule, leading the other, still compliant, planets of the system to muster their forces and conduct planet-wide invasions to quell the uprisings.
Thus the system finds itself in a civil war that is quickly spiraling out of hand, and with it comes the first of the scouting vessels who roam as they wish in the system-wide chaos. Most of them, under the lead of the Emperor's Children, making planet fall on the planets of the brotherhood resurgent where they are received with open arms by (slaaneshi) cultists.
But soon, and unbeknownst to the traitors who quickly set to work with further destabilizing measures to simplify their mission, the shadowing loyalist fleet arrives hot on their heels.
Let the battle for Lacum Itineribus begin.
Storyline Update: 13 February
Using the chaos quickly spreading through the system of Lacum Interibus (LI) as cover, the traitorous scouting fleet managed to penetrate the system largely un-noticed. They quickly decided on setting up a staging area on a terraformed moon that had previously served as a mining planet, but which had long since been decommissioned. Initial landing was made in a ruined and overgrown population hub, the traitors thinking to use it as a make-shift base of operation while civil war raged on the main planet above/below them, but their plans were soon to be thwarted. Unbeknownst to them, a shadowing loyalist cruiser entered orbit and quickly conducted a lightning strike that caught the traitors entirely off guard.
The battle ended in a smashing defeat of the traitors who found themselves forced to retreat into the wild, leaving much of their equipment behind in their hasty withdrawal. Several skirmishes came to follow as the loyalists stalked their pray through the densely forested terrain as the traitors desperately sought to find a means to link up with those brothers who had not partaken in the landing mission.
Finaly, and exhausted with battle fatigue, a contingent of Emperor’s Children managed in securing an abandoned mining facility and made contact with the ships in orbit for extraction through means of an uncyphered transmission. Naturaly, the loyalist ship intercepted the transmission and was swift to intercept. Thus forcing the traitors into a desperate battle in the void as they fought to stave off the attackers while extracting the ground forces off the moon. Several boarding torpedoes were launched at the loyalists while the ships started bombarding one another. The following battles onboard the loyalist ship were fierce and bloody affairs as the traitors desperately fought to dismantle the shield generators while the loyalists surged forth to fend off the intruders. Once more the traitors found themselves soundly beaten, having only managed in blowing up a single shield generator before the stalwart defenders cut them down to a man.
Despite the loss of a considerable amount of their forces in the loyalist surprise attacks, both on world and off, the boarding action bought the traitors enough time to evacuate their ground forces and disengage from the loyalist fleet. This time steering for the relative safety of the planet, locked in civil war, below them…
Storyline update: 21 February
Beating a hasty retreat from Tauron, the traitors head for the relative safety of Aerelon. Seeking to take cover in amongst the debris hanging in orbit around the beleaguered planet. Task forces are dispatched to board a few key locations of interest in amongst the mass of destroyed and decommissioned defensive platforms that surround the planet. Noticeably a pair of smaller landing crafts make way for an abandoned orbital fortress and a lumbering space hulk, making entry through a massive breach in its hull. And, seeking to disrupt any pursuit the loyalists might undertake, the ships broadcast a demand to the imperial ships laying siege to the planet, warning them that traitorous elements are inbound and demand that the navy commander engage any astartes ships arriving from Tauron. The plan, while sound, is foiled by the suspicious nature of the commander. Sensing foul play the imperial ships go into high alert, scanners sweeping the void in search of the source of the received transmission.
Meanwhile the loyalists, having been delayed by the need to extract their forces off planet, have begun fortifying their position. Identifying Tauron as a suitable base for operation they have begun construction of a functional outpost. But not wanting to allow for the traitors to slip out of their grasp, a small pair of ships set off in pursuit. These arrive just in time to appear on the loyalist fleet’s scanners. Disaster is narrowly avoided by a swift sitting-down of the fleet commander by a space wolf officer. The following confusion as the fleet stands down is utilized by both Raven Guard and Alpha Legion elements to conduct a swift planet-landing, the Raven Guard drop pods slamming down just south of the planet’s major hive city from where the heretical preachings are being transmitted, while Alpha Legion landers soar down toward an abandoned power plant, having picked up on an encrypted homing beacon bearing the signature of their battle brothers.
As tensions between the loyalist fleet and the loyalist astartes calm the marines set to assessing the situation. Identifying the decommissioned orbital defense platforms as a clear threat, they too decide to dispatch landing crafts toward the orbital fortress. Any suspicions they might have had that the traitors may have decided to try to bring the weapons systems online once more are quickly proven true as the ships come under fire on approach. They force a hasty boarding action, fearing the consequences of allowing the traitors to succeed with their plans..
Meanwhile the Raven Guard start working their way into the hive city though its ancient catacombs. Not knowing that they’ve been tracked by the Alpha legion elements on world guilty for these latest planet wide uprisings. Now the two forces come to duke it out in the underground dark and the secrets that lie there-in.
The traitor landers that headed for the space hulk are quick to start working their way into the ship’s depths. The hulk has gone into full lock down, probably following the breach that tore out a large part of its hull. Progress is slow but steady, until the marines suddenly find themselves under attack!
It would seem the hulk never did serve as a battle-craft, but rather a research lap. Now, roused by the intrusion of Astartes, the mutant monstrosities that have lain dormant within the ship leap out of the dark, driven by an insatiable hunger.
So with this as an background we had our first big get together fixed.
Here are just some random pictures from the event we had the first of April, AAR from each battle will come.