He watched as ripples in the water gave way to an image of flames and death. The images cleared away and then a fog filled the watery display. As the fog dissipated, a new image began to make itself visible. The image of a small box, no larger than the ancient puzzle cubes of ancient Terra. The difference here is that it glowed faintly and seemed to be reaching out to Melkor's mind from beyond time and space and through the water-filled divining dish.
Just as quickly as he invoked the visage he turned away and the image of the cube disappeared as well. A name of a planet entered the Sorceror's mind and he knew where he had to go.
AB716, 16th moon of the Mercia system was the name of the planetoid that Melkor had seen in his vision.
He implored Lord Boratheon, now a monstrous Daemon Prince, to allow him to take a contingent to the moon and find the artifact.
Boratheon looked a this small frail Sorceror which he only barely tolerated and held in great contempt and decided that he would honor his request. He honored it not because he believed that Melkor would win the day or that this artifact he spoke of would be of any use but because Boratheon knew the dangers that Melkor would face. He knew that the Ultramarines had got there first and that they would be a good test and perhaps one that was too great for the, now ancient, Sorceror to overcome.
He would send a detachment with Melkor that also included his number two, The Warpsmith, to observe.
The Warpsmith is a strange and cunning ally of Boratheon's. He had trained on Mars as an Iron Hand Tech Marine in the days and years following the Heresy. He had helped rebuild much of what was lost during the catastrophic events that tore not only the Imperium in two but also the Mechanicum in two and would eventually lead to the once great self-governing Mechanicum to become just another cog in the giant war machine that was the Imperium of Man.
The Warpsmith, as his name would imply, delved into the arcane and the machine and strived to intertwine the two for thousands of years. He initially worked for the Adeptus Mechanicus and the Iron Hands as a loyal servant but he fell under the tutelage of a Tech Adept who would take his teachings down a dark path.
The Warpsmith and his Tech Adept mentor would eventually leave Mars together and continue their studies far from the influence of the Imperium. Many strange and powerful devices would they construct and eventually he met Boratheon, then simply a Chaos Lord and leader of a small warband of Iron Warriors. Boratheon and the Warpsmith would together build vast amounts of weapons of war and build up Boratheon's legion into a force to be reckoned with.
The Warpsmith's name has never been revealed, save perhaps to Boratheon. It is a mystery, one of many that may never be revealed.
The Warpsmith would accompany Melkor and make sure that one way or another Boratheon's orders were carried out.
What those orders were, only the Warpsmith knew...
Battle Report -
The mission was one of our own devising.
Each unit killed was worth 1 VP. The Ultramarines had a Techmarine worth 2 VP and his Servitor bodyguard also worth 2 VP. If the Ultramarine player kept the Techmarine alive he would get those points and the same with the servitors.
The Techmarine and the servitors would each move randomly 2d6 inches each turn and could be shot or assaulted to death by me.
I deployed using hidden deployment and on a 4+ roll he would go first.
After deployment he deferred and I went first.
Melkor has read the surveillance reports of the Ultramarine camp and knew that his target was a particular Techmarine by the name of Achelos. His retinue of Servitors were being protected by a detachment of Ultramarines so the could finish their work. An ancient and powerful artifact was somewhere in this old settlement and Achelos had been tasked with retrieving it, but the Iron Warriors had other plans.
Iron Warriors' revealed deployment.
Melkor's plan had been to sneak up on the loyalist marines and by getting the element of surprise eliminate their heavy firepower first and then move in to take or kill Achelos.
Lining up shots.
His plan was sound in theory and his deployment seemed to be perfect. The Ogryns were going to be a major distraction along with the Obliterators and the Raptors.
Cultists of the MiguelQuasar
The Cultists had been sent along by Boratheon's orders along with The Warpsmith. Melkor had an inkling of what this was all about but he wasn't going to let them distract him.
The Ultramarine Devastators
The first target would be a unit of Ultramarine Devastators all armed with Lascannons. Melkor knew with his heavy tanks that these lascannons posed an immediate threat. He tasked the Obliterators along with the the entire left flank of his army to destroy them. After only a few minutes of focused fire they were blown apart.
The Ultramarines Techmarine Achelos was the primary target, unfortunately he was seemingly loitering around as far away from the front line as possible.
The three servitor targets next to another techmarine.
Melkor knew the Centurions could be a major impediment to his plans and he had hoped to deal with them later.
A large 20-man Marine squad.
Issuing orders to his 20-man Marine squad, Melkor and a large segment of the army advanced.
The left flank of the Ultramarines primarily consisted of a single tactical squad.
The plan was to distract with the Obliterators, the Ogryns and the Raptors dropping n behind the tactical squad.
Three Obliterators deepstrike and one is killed by intercepting fire.
Melkor monitored the Obliterator's drop and it didn't go according to plan. "Perhaps the Gods are in a foul mood today..." muttered Melkor.
The Devastators are subsequently eliminated by concentrated fire.
"The Ultramarines may be the lapdogs of Guilliman, but they are not tactical fools. But they did not know we were coming. Taking the heavy fire power they did may indicate something...." Thought Melkor.
The Ogryn Berzerkers (Chaos Spawn) run up the middle.
Things were looking up for the Iron Warriors. Before the Ultramarines reserves arrived, the Iron Warriors were taking it to the Ultramarines. First the Devastator squad was eliminated and then the Predator was reduced to only a few wounds.
Five Raptors deepstrike behind enemy lines.
The Raptors came screaming through the atmosphere after being dropped by Thuderhawk about 5,000 feet up.
The Cultists cower behind cover.
"Melkor is making a mistake. Exposing his flank to the enemy. Perhaps my mission can be accomplished after all." thought The Warpsmith while peering into a viewscreen inside his Rhino armoured personnel carrier.
The Centurions destroy the Obliterators.
"Curses! The damned Ultramarines' Centurions have more firepower than our Obliterators! I will need to talk to our Fleshsmiths and Warpsmiths when I get back to Medrengard and have them look into upgrading the Obliterators weaponry and armour!" Melkor recorded in his personal mini recorder-cogitator-dictation device.
Ultramarine Terminators deepstrike and successfully charge an exposed Melkor.
A bright flash and an accompanying smell of Ozone marked the arrival by teleportation of a squad of Ultramarine Terminators very close to Melkor's position.
"Die Lapdogs of the Fale Emperor!" Shouted Melkor as he fired frantically with his bolt pistol into the charging Angels of Death. After a few short seconds of brutal and desperate fighting Melkor had taken many grievous wounds. With a whisper and a wave of his hand he disappeared. Where he went no one was sure. Even The Warpsmith was surprised but also a little worried. "Hopefully he is gone for good." he thought.
A Tactical Squad charges into the Ogryn Berzerkers.
The Ogryn Berzerkers fight on hack and slashing at the Space Marines hoping to kill a few but not afraid of death themselves.
The Tactical squad on the UM's left flank charges into the Raptors.
The Raptors fought bravely against the Ultramarines but were outnumbered. They would eventually fall.
The terminators plow into a 20-man squad.
After dispatching Melkor, the Ultramarine Terminators launch themselves into the 20-man marine squad.
The Iron Warriors encircle the UMs.
"Now focus fire everything we have onto those terminators!" Bellowed The Warpsmith into his vox. Every Iron Warrior turned and fired relentlessly into the blue terminators until only one was left standing.
A close combat ensues.
The final terminator was then charged by Iron Warriors intent on his death. They dragged him down after a concerted effort.
An Ogryn is still alive.
Screaming and flailing, the giant Ogryn impaled another Ultramarine and smashed a further one in the face. It was not enough, however, and he would be blasted apart by close range bolter fire after only a few minutes in the melee.
The Centurions move behind cover.
Remembering the objective, The Warpsmith turns his Rhino's augury sensors to get a bead on the enemy techmarine. "He is too far away."
A massive combat in which doesn't want to end.
More Ultramarines move into the center and continue the fight.
The IW back off and prepare to eliminate the loyalists with bullets.
The Warpsmith then orders all of the Iron Warriors engaged in combat to break off. "Fire at will!" He screams into his vox and with many deafening bangs and cracks, bolters and lascannons open up and utterly blast apart the remaining Ultramarines in the center of the table.
This combat ended shortly after this pict was taken.
Only one remained and was quickly despatched by a number of Iron Warrior marines who cahreged into him, bayonet's fixed.
The battle was over and there was much carnage. Unfortunately for the sons of Perturabo, the loyalist Techmarine and his servitors survived.
The final tally was: Iron Warriors: 7 Ultramarines: 9
Melkor lay in a pitch black room on a cold stone floor. His head was throbbing and his memory was fuzzy. "How did I get here....Where am I?" he wondered softly.
"I would also like to know how you got here. You are in the a holding cell on the Heavy Cruiser Iron's Fury of the 82nd Grand Company of the IV Legion. I am Warsmith Martok. Who are you?"
To be continued....