Where a precise blade fails, a closed fist follows. The planet of Greatcastle has long been deemed lost to the imperium. Previously an outpost of the Deathwatch, it has been captured and ruled by the Death Guard legion of Traitor Astartes. The followers of Nurgle have transformed the surface of the planet, and outside of their fortresses, nothing but diseased forests and ruined cities remain.
A young, ambitious chapter of Primaris Space Marines, Silver Blades, stumbled upon the planet years ago. Unaware of its corruption, a small force, led by a Chaplain, has been dispatched. It dealt with a local patrol, and moved on. But Nurgle is the god of rebirth, and all that dies will be reborn.
The chaos force easily recovered from the losses. They were more than ready for the next attack. One would surely come.
Ancient energies stirred in the middle of a destroyed imperial chapel. Once a place of the Emperor’s worship, now corrupted by Nurgle’s will. His two devout followers, Mortarion and Typhus, were tasked in overseeing a baleful ritual. The Death Guard deployed a Defiler (1), Myphitic Blight-hauler, Plague Marines (in Rhino), Poxwalkers and several characters to help in the advance – most notably, a winged Daemon Prince.
Sons of Dorn deployed aggressively – with Eliminators atop the ruined tower, and Infiltrators deep in the enemy territory, securing an objective (2) from the start. Two units of Intercessors, and squads of Aggressors and Inceptors (high in the sky) completed the Primaris half of the battalion led by a Lieutenant in the back and a Librarian at the charge. Pedro Kantor brought his firstborn brothers to battle – a Tactical Squad with a Lascannon, Venerable Dreadnought, Stormtalon Gunship and a Land Raider Crusader. On board of the vehicle a squad of Terminators was ready to deploy, backed by an Apothecary and the Chapter Master himself.
Turn 1 – Death Guard
Death Guard was ready and took the initiative. Mortarion charged the Infiltrators with ease, striking a few of them down as he did so.
Myphitic Blight-hauler traveled through the ruined building, and blasted the Aggressors with its weaponry – two fell from the barrage of missiles and melta hits. Rhino and the Daemon Prince took the left flank, towards the objective 4. Typhus advanced, spreading his horde of Poxwalkers towards the center of the battlefield and the 2nd objective. Typhus began performing his ritual at the center – he needed the area cleared out, so the Defiler aimed at the Eliminators on the tower. Luckily their camo cloaks helped them withstand the barrage – suffering only one wound.
Death Guard moves slowly, but steadily, and never backs down. Especially not on their own land. Not with their gene-father among them.
Turn 1 – Crimson Fists
The Fists learned from fighting against orks countless times and knew how to deal with hordes. A barrage of fire from Assault Cannons and bolt weapons thinned the ranks of the Poxwalkers. The Dreadnought and Land Raider moved closer, the latter ready to unleash its deadly payload upon Mortarion. A squad of Intercessors moved to the left flank towards the objective 4.
A Lascannon shot shredded the Myphitic Blight-hauler and the lone Aggressor Sergeant finished the job. The Stormtalon Gunship flew over the battlefield all the way behind the Defiler, showering the poxwalkers below with fire. The Defiler was hit too, but the Assault Cannon shells bounced off of its thick armour plates.
The Eliminators aimed at one of the Death Guard Characters hidden among the Poxwalkers and their sniper fire managed to end a Malignant Plaguecaster. This is also when Mortarion finished the rest of the Infiltrators.
After the first turn, it looked like the Crimson Fists had the advantage. They were not prepared for what happened next.
Turn 2 – Death Guard
Left flank advanced mercilessly towards the 5 Intercessors. Plague Marines emptied the Rhino, assisted by two characters – Biologus Putrifier (B) and Foul Blightspawn (A). The Daemon Prince was right beside them. Every Chaos Marine threw Plague Grenades, bolstered by the cursed skills of their supporting characters. The bombardment softened the squad of Fists for the charge that came next.
Their battle brothers in the building on the right could only watch – but they weren’t safe either. 3 Terminators in ancient and corrupted armour teleported through the Warp behind them, each wielding horrible weapons, ready to unleash the miasma and pestilence.
Meanwhile, at objective 2, Mortarion wasn’t letting up. He charged the Land Raider, and with his scythe cleaved through the thick armour plates as if it were paper – but that wasn’t all. The vehicle exploded, damaging not only the primarch, but the Dreadnought and Librarian nearby. Luckily, all the passengers managed to disembark safely.
The Defiler continued its barrage, killing an Eliminator. The tide was clearly turning.
Turn 2 – Crimson Fists
The Astartes were now on the defensive. With their forces stretched thin, they tried to stop the Terminators – to no avail however. The Lascannon shot went wide, and the barrage of bolter shots didn’t manage to penetrate mighty Terminator armour. The flyer had to move away, unfortunately its Assault Cannons were out of range and only the Heavy Bolters could shoot – it aimed at the Defiler, but again, its defence was too strong – even for the heavy rifles of the Eliminators. A squad of 3 Inceptors dropped from the skies above behind the Defiler, but their bolters still proved too weak. They decided to charge the Defiler.
Before the fighting even began, the putrid aura surrounding Mortarion managed to poison and corrode a few of those surrounding him – hurting the Apothecary and the Chapter Master, and almost destroying the Dreadnought. Terminators, bolstered by the Librarian’s Might of Heroes, managed to wound the Mortarion – but they surely hoped for much more than that. The primarch retaliated, finishing off the Dreadnought. The heroes of the chapter fought against the Prince of Decay, bringing him closer to his death, but not close enough.
Turn 3 – Death Guard
The traitor legion was now holding the objectives 1 and 4 on the left side of the battlefield.
The Defiler destroyed the Inceptors that charged it with ease, every swing of its scourge crushing their Gravis armour.
The Daemon Primarch focused its attack on the Chapter Master, and would surely strike him down then. Luckily, due to his wounds, he wasn’t able to attack as efficiently, and Kantor survived, for now, with 1 wound remaining.
The Daemon Prince charged from 4 towards the Crimson Fists holed at the objective 3, joining the Terminators.
Turn 3 – Crimson Fists
His men falling all around him, venerable heroes of the chapter he’s known for decades or hundreds of years, the Chapter Master knew what must be done.The Librarian, standing so close to the decaying primarch, was unable to bend the powers of the Warp to his will – Mortarion’s mental fortitude was clearly stronger. The Apothecary patched Kantor for his last assault, and the Chapter Master attacked with his power fist. His attacks were finally able to bring Mortarion down, but at what cost. The bloated body of the primarch, now wounded beyond repair, exploded – unable to contain the rot within any longer. It showered the Crimson Fists with putrid filth and disease – killing the Librarian and one of the Terminators. The Apothecary and Kantor were mortally wounded too. The remaining Terminators used their armour to shield the Chapter Master and the gene-seed from destruction, teleporting back with them to the battle barge in the desperate attempt to save their lives. It is currently unknown if the two Astartes not wearing the bulky Terminator armour survived the teleportation.
The remaining marines did what they could to stall the victory of the Death Guard, but at this point it was inevitable. With his last conscious thought, Pedro Kantor knew that he didn’t really slay Mortarion. His Daemonic essence would be returned to Nurgle, which will undoubtedly rebuild the Primarch to fight for him again. But if they managed to slow his plans, by decades or even hundreds of years it would take for him to come back to the material plane, that meant that the Imperium remains this tiny bit safer for now. It’s good enough. It will have to be.