Armies, Battle Reports, Narrative Campaigns
Corinthian Crusade - Chapter 1
It began with a misunderstanding.
The Tau Xenos believed they had a right live on this planet. We, The Black Templars of the Eternal Crusade, believed they had no right to live at all.
Discovering a garden world on the edge of Imperium space is no small thing. Flush with life and resources, a planet such as this can become a bastion of prosperity to fuel a new age of Imperial expansion. The surveyors who found this world would name it Corinth and quickly set about colonizing its untainted surface.
Trouble began when the colonists encountered strange cannibalistic beasts that would hunt and devour any who ventured into their dark territory. Civilian hunting partys and the local Militarum garrison were effective enough at rooting the creatures out, but the colonists soon learned that these beasts had masters.
Several glittering Xenos colonies had sprung up on the other side of the planet like Plas-Steel boils on the pure face of Corinth. The Tau Xenos, as they are called, had come to colonize this world as well and were using the ferocious beasts as a buffer between themselves and their human counterparts. Despite this petty trick, war soon erupted between Human and Xenos. As it should. It was not, however, this war that brought about the Corinthian Crusade. It was the unholy peace that followed it which was the catalyst to spark our mighty wrath.
Rumors of treaties, bargains, and blasphemous co-existence began leaking from the planet like pus from a cursed infection. By the time the traitorist rumors were confirmed by a loyal member of the Administratum, it was far too late. The Xenos and their infection of the mind that they call “The Greater Good” had already taken root. Many of humanities own colonists and outpost had forsaken their human honor and purity to swear allegiance to the rotten lies of these fiendish Tau Xenos.
When word of the heresy on Corinth finally reached the Black Templars, High Marshal Helbrecht cursed loudly and shouted for a righteous crusade to purge the planet and all surrounding space of any Xenos influence. The High Marshal charged our company with the honor and named our Castellan, Vitus, to the position of Marshal.
Vitus Company of the Corinthian Crusade was 100 brothers strong when we set off on this holy crusade in our blessed strike cruiser, Fury’s Reward. It took six weeks to reach the remote colony and by the time we translated into system, our righteous fury was at its peak and our will to fight overflowed.
We hit the Xenos hard on the first day of battle, giving them no time to bargain or plead for their miserable lives. A vanguard of our best warriors hit their strongest military outpost, while the rest of the company dropped on their largest settlement.
It was a glorious thing to behold our command battalion swooping in on Thunderhawk transports while the drop pods of our brother filled the sky with fire just a few miles away. Our glory would be brief, however, as alarms were raised and planetary defenses enacted much more swiftly than anticipated. Many of our knights were blasted apart along with their drop pods before they could reach the gleaming Xenos settlements. Those that did reach the city found a strong and determined defense waiting for them. It was almost as if they knew we were coming.
Meanwhile, our command battalion of elite warriors (which included myself) found less resistance at the military outpost than we had hoped, but still a significant threat. We faced mostly what passed for Xenos infantry and slaughtered them with great fury. However, in our zeal to destroy the enemy wholesale, we left our Marshall unattended, and to our great shame he was gunned down by a cowardly Xenos sniper team. In the hours that followed, holy war raged and both sides felt the sting of devastating casualties. It fell to our Champion, Domitus, to lead the crusade after our Marshal’s death, but he did so with with a heavy heart as he felt personally responsible for allowing our Marshal to fall.
I’m told by traitorous locals that the Xenos name for this world translates into “Hope”. We, the Sons of Dorn and Knights of the Eternal Crusade will show them the folly of such a name. For in this dark and foul universe there is no place for hope or weak sentiment. Only death and the Emperor’s Will prevails against the powers of Chaos and Xenos filth, and no power in the universe stands before the righteous might of the Black Templars.
Chaplain Valerius -Acting Castellan of the Hopeless Crusade.
Corinthian Crusade - Chapter 2
On the first night we prepared for a counter-attack.
It was clear from the vox chatter that our offensive in the xenos city had been smashed and what forces that remained were in full retreat. Domitus gave orders for our brothers to rally with us at the captured xenos base, but he did not give the order with much zeal or faith in its efficacy. Nevertheless, we made ready what defenses we could and prepared for the glorious battle to come with all the spirit befitting knights of the Emperor.
Meanwhile, above us, the Fury’s Reward waged it’s own righteous war against the planets newly active orbital defenses and a small flotilla of attack craft that had been hidden on the far side of Corinth’s moon. Again, the Tau xenos invaders seemed curiously well-prepared for our arrival.
Forge Brother Marcus was given the honour of commanding our company’s Strike Cruise as the rest of us assaulted the planet. Now, it was only he and a few Neophytes and servitors who would have to win a decisive battle in space if our crusade for this wayward planet was to continue. Without the Fury’s Reward we would be without supplies or support, and our only means of transport would be on foot through mostly unsurveyed wilderness. In short, we would be doomed to failure.
I do not know the specifics of the orbital battle, those would be best told by Marcus himself, but it suffices to say that he won a costly but crucial victory for our crusade that day. Though badly damaged, The Fury was able to destroy all enemy ships and defenses around the planet, and with its last burst of power from battered engines the venerable cruiser was able to achieve a geosynchronous orbit over our position.
The Tau xenos are a cautious foe. As the battle for orbital supremacy raged in the heavens we on the ground were forced to wait impatiently for our own chance at glory. It finally came in the darkness of night when a swarm of enemy transports and gunships raced silently for our position. We waited until the very last moment to open fire.
As a rule, Templars do not surrender and we do not take prisoners. However, upon our initial capture of this wretched xenos base we discovered a number of human non-combatants working in the command bunker. After dispatching their xenos overlords we detained these traitorous humans for… questioning. Among the many things we learned from this questioning was that some of these humans had access to the blasphemous machines that commanded the Xenos base defenses.
The soulless automatic turrets of the base defenses opened fire on the enemy vanguard with ruthless efficiency, knocking them from the sky and blunting what was meant to be their killing blow against us. Most of their airships died in that opening salvo and those that survived were torn from the sky by Brother Antonius and the Lascannons of his mighty dreadnought, Persecutio Sanctus.
With their air cover shattered, the enemy had to assault on foot, across open terrain, with infantry and armored battle suits. This is the type of warfare we Templars were made for, and our counter charge against the onrushing enemy was as well-timed as it was brutal.
Domitus led our final charge personally and killed the remaining xenos warlord with his ebon blade. With the enemy scattered and retreating, many of our brothers cheered and basked in the glory of victory. Domitus, however, did not. Our champion was still sullen and guilt ridden, and it was then that he confided in me that his quest for vengeance will make him poorly suited to command. And so, he named me Castellan of the Corinthian Crusade and bade me to act as commander in all but name.
My first duty was to count the dead and record the living in our muster. It was a meager tally.
Corinthian Crusade Muster: End of Day 1
- -Brother Domitus, Emperor’s Champion (Marshal Provisoriam)
- -Brother Valerius, Chaplain (Acting Castellan)
- -Brother Borius, Apothecary (Medicus Primus)
- -Honored Brother Albus in Persecutio Sanctus (Dreadnought)
- -Brother Sergeant Felix, Senior NCO (1st Crusader Platoon)
- -Sword Brother Decimus, Senior NCO (1st Assault Platoon)
- -1st Anti-Armor Squad, 4 Veteran Knights (Meltagun)
- -1st Crusader Platoon, 10 Brother Initiates
- -1st Assault Platoon, 10 Sword Brother Initiates
Chaplain Valerius -Acting Castellan of the Hopeless Crusade.
Army – Black Templar
Skirmish – Black Templar vs Death Guard
Battle – Black Templar vs Tau Dal’yth