Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Ramilies Offensive

Ramilies IX was once a hub of activity for an entire sector. For thousands of years it was a beacon of the best the Imperium had to offer. Its populace wanted for nothing, and many of the brightest of each generation went on to become valued members of the many branches of the Adeptus Ministorum, as well as attending the Schola Progenium. All of that changed soon after the youngest Imperial Governor in history, Cestius, was possessed by a Greater Daemon of Tzeentch.

No one can say when it happened, but what has come to light is that for many generations Tzeentch had been manipulating the fates of Cestius’ entire family, moving them into positions of power, and granting them untold wealth, in exchange for loyal worship. When Cestius was appointed, he immediately began making sweeping changes, and within a few months, had declared Ramilies IX to no longer be under Imperial control. This course of action necessitated a response by the Imperium, and respond they did. Arriving with the Inquisitorial conclave was newly risen Inquisitor Amendara Garro, a daughter of one of the most influential families of Ramilies IX. She had known Cestius since they were children, and feeling responsible for not seeing his family’s corruption, chose to lead some of the fiercest attacks on the capital. Ever the crafty god, Tzeentch compounded the planets troubles with the summoning of several renegade Space Marine chapters, and through his agents, several species of Xenos. Eventually Amendara led an assault on the governor’s palace and was present when Cestius, now fully possessed by a Lord of Change was slain by Master Cheiron of the Angels Ascendant Space Marine chapter. With Cestius dead and most of the planet’s armed forces having long since turned against him, leaving only small conflicts that would easily be over within the weeks ahead, Amendara and Cheiron returned to the Imperial Flagship and reported victory to the overall commander of the war effort, Inquisitor Lord Tolan Mandoon. The planet was saved, and chaos driven out, along with the Xenos who had been manipulated by the Changer of Ways.

This was not enough for the Inquisitor Lord, and ordered the worst weapon in the Imperial arsenal be unleashed, Exterminatus. Nearly every commander present disagreed with the decision, but his word was law, and so it was that Ramilies was to be rendered lifeless. Returning to the planet the Inquisitor and Space Marine Master evacuated what forces they could before Mandoon unleashed the virus bombs, and cyclonic torpedoes, with Amendara herself only leaving in the very last Thunderhawk to lift off mere minutes before the order was carried out. Amendara left the system of her birth with her faith shaken, but strong. After refusing an order by Mandoon that she return to Nemesis Tessera, she has been declared Extremis Diabolis. Cheiron was ordered to subdue her and return her, an order he refused. It was through this act that the Angels Ascendant died, and the Dark Templars were born. The chapter’s remaining battle brothers, approximately one hundred of them swore allegiance to Amendara’s new crusade, and set off for the nearby Maelstrom.

It was several months later that they were again sighted, fiercely attacking an Imperial Guard regiment stationed on Solaris VII. When an expeditionary force was sent to investigate the massacre, they found evidence that the regiment had been worshipping Slaanesh. On numerous worlds surrounding the Maelstrom Amendara and her Templars attacked, showing no mercy in routing the worship of the dark gods. Then, as quickly as they began, the attacks stopped. Months went by with no sightings, and then, above the planet where it all began the Dark Templar Battle Barge was sighted, one year to the day of the Exterminatus order. Rumor has it that nearby systems have been alerted to a new threat, one that will bring war again to a segmentum already crippled by it. Forces are gathering, plans are being made, and in the darkness of space, an Inquisitor prepares to avenge the unjust murder of millions.

Will you help her, or hunt her? Hinder her quest for justice, or count yourself among her allies? Sides are being chosen, lines are being drawn, where will you stand?