This thread is open for all, however from this post onward is only to be used for posting narrative content. All comments should posted in the 'general discussion' thread but otherwise you have complete freedom to write however you wish and in whatever style you wish. For now I'm going to avoid posting any base rules, as we should be able to trust each other for now and to play nice. Don't undermine other players stories, that sort of thing.
Otherwise, you have complete freedom to do what you want to, provided it's within the established limits of the narrative. We had issues last time with players being stuck on planets for months so i'm hoping to alleviate this problem, but you keep your army in one position if you want. There's also no real restrictions on how many forces or characters you can have, but again, stay within reason.
You can pick any race, be it Astartes, Necrons or even the Rak'Gol. How they enter the narrative and conflict is up to you.
I will most likely be updating this section with extra details and information in the future. For now however, I'm going to lead by example and start us off...
7 years later... An unspoken ceasefire has lasted throughout that time. Since it's failure to invade Serpia, as well as the complete loss of control and information on anything that happened at Dracoon, the Dominion has kept mostly to itself, their chaos and traitorous warbands keeping to star systems and sectors under their complete control, while the number of their Imperial allies shrinks.
Despite this they have not been standing idly by. Proxy wars have been raging across the stars, minor cults and renegade factions on worlds important to the conclave suddenly emboldened by an influx of weaponry and funds they never had access to before.
The conclave has been gathering as many forces as it can, many worlds eagerly volunteering countless thousands upon thousands and as many fleets as possible, but these efforts are suddenly strained as the eastern fringe finds itself cut off from half the galaxy by a warp-storm of unfathomable scale, while at the same time fighting off petty, but numerous, skirmishes on all fronts.
Even so, they believe themselves to be stronger than ever and rightly so. The Inquisition has been using the full extent of it's authority to delay the Dominion, going so far as to successfully deprive them of all information of what happened at the Dracoon system. They aren't even aware that the conclave was even present, let alone victorious. Rumours among high command even claim they have the lead on the Whitestone fortresses location and are ready to move.
Regardless, one thing is clear more than anything.
This war is not yet over.
The Dominion's Shadow Crusade.
The rain began to fall again and he had hope. Hope that he might see the sun one more time. Provided he lasted long enough for the skies to clear.
It had been 3 months. 3 months since the regiments had arrived. Light infantry from Hadarn, Brianeat and Ferusiool. Cavalry from Geona and Wrackon 5. Line infantry from the coalition of the panets of Archan, Archun and Archen. Heavy troopers from the nation of Amipaule IV. Mechanised infantry from somewhere else and armored support and more. So much more. Planets and names he’d never even heard of.
3 months since he and other 70,000 conscripts from his homeworld had been delivered. 3 months since they told them the war would be over in a few days at most. 3 months since he arrived on another planet for the first time in his life.
And they hadn’t even gotten past the first hill…
The mountain range was a Killzone. Hills and pathways all topped off by bunkers and too many emplacements to count. The cultists had taken refuge in the snowtops. They were natives to these lands. They knew all the tunnels. All the nooks and crannies to hide in.
Their anti-air defences were impossible to find at that altitude. The mountains were too sloped and rocky for tanks and armored transporation. This meant that troops had to go in on foot. And while the heavy troopers and more trained soldiers had claimed they could have conquered these lands in a matter of days, the conscripts had been sent in first.
The cultists had been grossly underestimated. They had weapons and equipment far beyond what intelligence had previously suggested. Every time they’d managed to fight up to the top of the first few hills, the enemy counter-attack had pushed them back down. Lasgun and Heavy Bolter fire ripping them open. The cultists themselves, gave question to the names they’d been giving. Their iconography hidden under layers of camouflage and webbing.
He lay back behind the rock outcropping he’d stumbled upon. Damien had no intention of moving any time soon. So many corpses littered the path he could no longer see it. The RAT-AT-AT-AT-AT! of heavy stubbers blazed around them. In the distance the sound of mortars would snap like thunder. And voices. They had grown tired of shouting. Now it was just screaming.
He turned over the lasgun. Memories of home running through his mind. The fields. The farm. The stars he watched all night as a child because there was nothing else to do.
Now he looked to hands. They were shivering. He removed the gloves. There was no frost-bite though. He wasn’t even cold, nor that wet.
Somewhere down the hill a whistle blew and roaring followed. Damien recognised it from what little training he’d been given. This whistle meant they were to prepare to charge. panic paralysed him. the enemy must surely have learnt what that noise meant by now?
Guardsmen came running up from the bottom of the hill again, screaming profanities and worse. Another fresh company. More people coming to die.
Only this time, they didn’t. Instead the enemy retreated. Damien barely realised it until the new conscripts charged past him unharmed. “W-What’s happening?” he called out.
“They’re retreating!” Someone called out. “Back into their tunnels!” cried a second. “Come on! Come with us!”
They ran past and he remained in place. His mind turned over countless times, trying to figure out what to think, but as more and more surged past him his adrenaline took over. He roared with them, readied his bayonet and ran up the hill.
70,000 kilometres away, in orbit over another side of the planet, the space port drifted across upper atmosphere. Planetary Governor Russo watched from his office as another Imperial transport ship arrive. “What do you call this then?”
The guest took a sip of his drink. “A complication.”
“A complication? A COMPLICATION?”
“Woah,” the acolyte laid down his glass, “no need to-“
“You said a few weeks! A few weeks to mop up the insurgents, only a couple of regiments. It’s been months and no progress has been made!”
“We’ve cleared entire cities of chaos taint, I’d hardly call that a failure.”
“That’s a lie and you know it!” Russo grunted and swiped an expensive looking vase off his table. The Acolyte winced as it smashed on the polished floor. “Do you have any idea how this looks?”
“If you’re worried about your Approval ratings, I assure you the Inquisition is-“
“Approval ratings? That’s the least of my problems! How many corpses are you leaving over my lands? How much radiation have your… what are they called- Eradicators? -leaked into my streets?”
The Inquisitorial apprentice realised that his tactic wasn’t working so he changed his approach. “I get that. I do, I get that, really. And I can only apologise. This is not what I or anyone else wanted either.”
Russo was about to blurt something out but stopped himself. He grunted and lent back against his desk, sighing. He raised a close fist, eyes level. Singh couldn’t help but admire that. Even when under such pressure he still retained the aura of a leadership. “I know… But surely there’s other options?”
There wasn’t. Since the galaxy had split in half from a sudden and violent warpstorm, all contact with the other half had been lost. And that wasn’t to even mention the increasing number of incursions going on in the Eastern fringe. Worlds closer to the Cicatrix Maledictum were seeing overwhelming numbers of chaotic incursions, though as far as Inquisitor Valeryia’s apprentice Singh was aware, none had managed to reach this far.
Regardless, Segmentum command had appointed that priority one. As such, while the conclave had been building up quite the force over the past few years, they were facing issues doing so now. Naval fleets and Astra Militarum regiments were being redirected to fortress worlds far away and had no care for the conclaves mission. Even the worlds that did, every one out of two had already been over-tithed in preparation for the worst.
This had delayed the conclave but not halted them. They simply now had to go around and recruit regiments in person. Meetings and political deals had to be made with planetary Governors, much like Russo right now, whose planet was of excellent commercial and strategic value for the Conclave.
But the planet had a rising insurgent problem. One that would need to be removed before it affects the conclave in the long run. Russo wanted to leave it to his personal PDF, whose knowledge of the different cultures and nations on the planet Meropis would handle it better. But the conclave needed a quick answer. So spare Astra Militarum regiments had been deployed instead.
“I have no doubt your PDF is up to the highest standard Governor, but we have to be realistic. The Astra Militarum is being delayed because these cultists have weapons we hadn’t anticipated. While it isn’t exactly going as expected, had your PDF tried to take them on, they would be facing similar resistance, perhaps even worse if left to fester in their corruption. I assure you, while not ideal, this is by far one of the better options.”
Russo nodded but he could tell by the look on his face he wasn’t convinced. “I hope so Inquisitor. I truly do.”
“Then may I inquire to you a question?”
“Do you doubt us?”
Russo looked straight at him. “Are you asking me if I’m loyal?”
“Oh, heavens no, your faith in the emperor is without doubt, I assure you. I’m just interested in your feelings towards the conclave.” He shrugged. “off the record of course.”
“You’ve asked me to commit my entire planet for a classified cause, against a classified enemy, in a classified crusade for a classified goal for a classified reason. So, you’ll understand why I, but no doubt many other planetary governors, are a tad bit unconvinced.
Singh smouldered. “I appreciate your honesty. But if you feel like that then why commit at all?”
“Because despite your secrets, of which there are many, the threat you face is the same we do. And it is very, much, real…”