235.817.M41 – Jericho Reach – XXIIVVI
* Watch Fortress Erioch *
Immediately following the last death rasp of the Heretics on the platform, Brother Castiel started work mending the wounds of his comrades. Brothers Orthorn and Eizen began shoving the mangled corpses of their victims down into the control center below, shouting challenges and warnings to those that would oppose the Empire. Brother Thomas set to work attempting to gain control of the pilot servitor, the previous Hero of the Margin Crusades, Uriah. After Thomas ordered Uriah to set a course for Scintilla, the team cautiously left, following the last instructions of Áinfean. They crowded into an escape shuttle and launched themselves into space. It was a fairly routine pickup.
It was not long after the return to Honored of Starlight that Brother Deadalus revealed to Orthorn and Eizen his concern about the visions he had been experienceing. He worried that the clarity of the visions, and their link to the Jerhico reach posed a possible source of information regarding activities there. Orthorn and Eizen also worried that the mere knowledge of the activities in the Reach by an Unsanctioned Psyker was also worth exploring.
The team quickly re-deployed to Port Avarice and hastily made their way to Xanthia’s club. There was a skirmish in front of the club- the Von Asters Militia had deployed several men and re-commissioned Sentinel Walkers to the club, and they were standing in front as guardians. The team advanced under heavy fire. Brother Thomas, who normally stays out of the line of fire, was targeted and hit by a burst of anti-vehicle fire that caught him off guard, nearly knocking the wind from his mechanized lungs. Brother Erik on the other hand, who was used to continual cuts, scratches, and las burns, advanced without complaint into the mass of men; perhaps his flight from combat in the previous encounter was truly the touch of The Carnivore. With missiles, meltas, and boltgun the war machines were immobilized or set alight. The crowd of men, though defiant against the Astartes, died to a man. The Kill Team quickly entered the club and found Xanthia and her companions. A deal was struck- to the discomfort of Eizen and Erik- that the remainder of Xanthia’s ‘guild’ would be transported to Foulspar nearby, and she would allow them to take Scythia into their protection. Xanthia also made Brother Orthorn give her his word, seeming to know that a while a word can be broken, to do so for an Astartes of the Ultramarines would be an anathema.
The team honored their end of the bargain and deposited the psykers in the Koronous Expanse, then returned by way of the Warp Gate to Jericho.
After debrifing and extensive medical scans, the Astartes were cleared for duty. Brother Castiel made a request into Captain Ephraim that he be permitted to pay back the brothers who rescued him rather than return immediately to Scintilla. Ephraim agreed to send the request to the Tricorn, and in the meantime placed Castiel in the ranks of the others’ Kill Team.
Two more meetings of the group were held- one was largely disciplinary in nature. Captain Ephraim chastised Castiel for his actions, that hurling sarcasm and slights at a temperamental Astartes was simply aggravating the situation. He also chastised Brother Erik for his in-field violence towards a fellow of the Deathwatch, and made it clear that under his command, he viewed challenges of that level of violence as a waste of the Emperor’s resources and would not stand for it.
The second meeting of the group was an unusual proposition from the Captain. After reviewing the information gathered from the previous mission to the Segmentum Obscurus, it seemed that the psyker that had been in contact with Deadalus was showing something to do with the planet of Castobel.
Castobel is a battered Hive world. The planet is ruled by a noble-born class that had remained loyal to the Imperium through the Age of Shadow despite being cut off from the rest of the Empire. The council of nobles was known as the Aquilan Pluracy, and kept the planet safe from xenos raiders and heretics. The Crusade forces were welcomed on their return, and the planet quickly was placed in a position where its weapons, provisions, and troops were an invaluable resource for the ongoing war.
The planet has once again lost contact with the Empire, only this time the cause was not warp storms, but the Shadow in the Warp created by the advancing fleet from Hive Fleet Dagon.
Castobel has a few things going in its favor against the Tyranid; mainly that the planet is barren, wind-scoured, and largely lifeless. There is little biomass to fuel the enemy forces. However other worlds within the Reach can and do fuel the fleet, and without some sort of intervention it is possible the world will fall.
There are six primary hives on Castobel, two have fallen. The first, Trimalov, was lost in a valiant defense. The defense of that hive is what earned Ortarna Lokk his name within the Crusade forces. He was named Lord Castellan, and given complete military control on Castobel. The second Hive, Tyralos, was destroyed in atomic fire. The public story is that the Hive sacrificed itself as it collapsed, denying the enemy of the biomass inside. The truth to that story is Lord Castellan Ortarna Lokk ordered a team of storm troopers to set off a chain reaction in the hive’s plasma reactors, destroying both the hive and a huge piece of the swarm. It is the Lokk family crest that was seen in one of Daedalus’ visions.
The Captain revealed the current situation to the Kill Team, and asked if they felt a mission to the planet was in order. Some of the Astartes showed trepidation, a near sense of defeat before even deploying on a mission of near suicidal order. What good would a handful of Deathwatch Marines do to a world being consumed by a Tyranid fleet. Such is the power of the Great Devourer, that even His most stalwart warriors have been known to balk at the idea of fighting the beasts. After deliberation, the team agrees to the mission, and the Watch Fortress begins preparations to send the Astartes to see how they can aid this embattled world.
500xp was awarded, total base xp is 28,003. 4 Renown was awarded for the action on Peleus. 6 Renown was awarded for the action on the Carnivore. Brother Erik should reduce his renown reward by 1 for his actions attacking and wounding a marine in the field, as well as abandoning a team member in combat.