We have another battle report today that continues the narrative from the battle reports posted recently here on the blog. The first of them featuring Black Templars Vs Blood Angels started this narrative being a “prequel” of sorts and the second one featuring the Black Templars Vs Imperial Guard continued that story.
This time around I played against Valter’s Black Templars using a unit from my Salamanders army and the Legion of the Damned a friend painted for me a while ago. We didn’t play an specific game mission, the idea being just having a bit of fun seeing toy soldiers killing each other and rolling some dice. Objectives were pretty straightforward, the Templars had to kill the Salamanders and the Salamanders only had to be alive at the end of the game.
So without further ado here it is.
The “Purging Fire” – Salamanders 4th Expeditionary fleet.
High Orbit above the Planet Shanti – Tamit-Zaa System
“That’s heresy” Exclaimed one of the senior commanders of the Imperial Guard who was present at the war room “One cannot simply throw such grave accusations about a noble Space Marine chapter and expect us to believe him sergeant Eki’Mo” disbelief was plain on the Guard commander’s face “especially one so esteemed like the Black Templars”.
“I have the scars to prove my tale general Malori, and five of my battle brothers who will tell you the same story” replied the stoic sergeant of the Salamander Chapter.
Sitting on the chair at the head of the table Vulkan He’stan had listened silently while the assembled throng of Imperial Guard officers, or Astra Militarum commanders as they insisted on being called now, and inquisition acolytes debriefed one of his sergeants. Hours had gone by and Eki’Mo had told the same tale over and over again.
He finally rose from his chair placing both hands on the marbled table covered in war maps and holographic projections of the forces in the system while addressing those in the room “I’ll have a word in private with sergeant Eki’Mo if you will esteemed lords”, the assembled lords, acolytes and officers eyed each other, but it was general Malori that expressed their displeasure “we have a right to be here, and it is our duty to hear this fantastic tale of treason and phantoms my lord Space Marine”.
Vulkan He’Stan never changed his tone to reply“Men, remove the general and his entourage from the war room and see to it that they’re safely escorted to their shuttles. Gun them down where they stand if they refuse to obey my command” the honour guard moved in unison to seize the general. Deciding they had business to attend elsewhere the small crowd left the room, the last to leave being general Maloric, who stomped his feet on his way out obviously fuming.
Turning his attention to the Space Marine sergeant still sitting Vulkan He’Stan asked in more friendly tones “would you share the story with me once more brother? Tell me of the phantoms, tell me of the Legion of the Damned”.
And so, sergeant Eki’Mo began to tell his tale once more.
According to the sergeant, the Black Templars had arrived in the early hours of morning, demanding to be taken to the commander leading the Salamander’s detachment at once. Eki’Mo had been returning from scout duties with his squad when all hell broke loose in the forward base, the Black Templars opening up with their guns on their own brothers from the Salamander chapter.
They had been advancing towards the command bunker when the sole survivor from captain’s Dekron’s command squad, the standard bearer Acion, commanded them to retreat to the fortified position in the ruins of the old cathedral. The forward base was lost, their brothers butchered by a madman disguised as a friend, “The Butcher of Thraxx” as the Black Templar’s Marshall had become known after the battle on the ruins of that city, it was their duty to escape, to let the Imperium know what had transpired there.
They fought their way out of the forward base, retreating to the fortified position in the nearby ruins and took their positions to wait the Templar’s advance, determined to hold until the Storm Ravens sent to evacuate them arrived. That’s when the Legion of the Damned came to their rescue.
The High Marshall was flanked by the Emperor’s Champion and the sole survivor of the Terminator Squad that had accompanied him into battle on that day. There had been no glory, nor had there been any traitors amongst the Salamanders. Searching what was left of the fortified ruins and the destroyed forward base issued no proof of their treason, nor of the Relic they had lost.
He had been fooled into killing Space Marines he once called friends, soiling the bonds of friendship and trust forged in a millennium of war in the name of the Emperor.
The Thunderhawk’s engines were already powering down after touching down on the landing pad, the piston and hydraulics emitted their customary hissing sound as locks were disengaged and the ship made ready to be boarded. “How was battle Commander?” saluted Marshall Hemelund extending him a hand from the Thunderhawk’s boarding ramp as it was lowered to allow the three men to embark. As he came near his subordinate High Marshall Hellbrecht spun into action holding the Marshall by his armor’s gorget and pulling the other Space Marine closer “Traitor” said Hellbrecht through gritted teeth before knee kicking the Butcher of Thraxx with bone shattering strength in the gut and head butting him in sequence as he bent forward reeling from the kick.
“Seize him” commanded Hellbrecht as the Marshall laid sprawled on the floor “we need to ascertain what’s amiss here” he said disappointment clear on his voice and boarded the Thunderhawk while the Emperor’s Champion and the Terminator dragged the Marshall inside between them.