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Classis IV Sector Cosmora

Fleet originating from the Cosmora Archipelago

0 · 637 views · located in Aberash

a character in “The Multiverse”, as played by barney_fife

Groups

The Aschen Empire, a massive collection of semi-sovereign provinces that reigns over a great portion of the Milky Way Galaxy, paranoid, arrogant, and cruel, a once prosperous nation spirals into poverty, and self-destruction.

Description

Command Staff
Flag Officer: Admiral Michael 'Mickey' Grayson

Notable Vessels
Flagship - Reverence II Class Planetary Assault Carrier - Rapid Conversion

Strength: 3,500

Fleet Breakdown:
Iconoclast Class: x3
Punisher Class: x2
Hesperides Class: x4
Satyr Class: x5
Gemino Class: x7
Reverence I Class: 304
Mercury Class: x500
Atlas Class: x106
Sagittaron II Class: x373
Athena Class: x382
Hastati Class: x211
Hera Class: x378
Gemenon Class: x377
Picon Class: x200

So begins...

Classis IV Sector Cosmora's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Vrosh tattersoul Character Portrait: Sigan Character Portrait: Classis IV Sector Cosmora
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Six Hours prior to Nova Impact...

Watchtower Command

"Sir, I'm getting some whispers outside of the Planck field, deep space telemetry is reporting...."

Slowly his eyes widened, deep pace telemetry slowly filtering in as one after another, the ships of the Crimson Slaughter pierced the veil into real space.

The discharges of the Nova Cannons were detected first, but even at light speed it would be six hours before they would reach their intended targets, this gave the Aschen defenses ample time to come back online; but with an active Planck field, this made it difficult for FTL based weapons to be effective.

"They're still coming through!" The Lieutenant called out, as Commander Rygar watched the screens.

"Condition one! System wide lock-down! This is not a drill!" He called out on the intercom, the clock began ticking down, six hours to the initial weapons impact, and the various bridge technicians sprang to life, as alarms blared angrily.

The next action was to contact the planetary governor, tentatively, Commander Rygar picked up the phone, there was a few rings before the Governor picked up, but eventually he would.

"Commander?" The Man on the other end inquired, holding the red telephone to his ear.

"We have an invasion in progress, this is a Case Red situation, twenty thousand ships and still counting, I've also detected strategic weapons fire, Ready the troops. We're going to war, this is not a drill."

Hanging up the phone, Rygar turned to his weapons officer, readouts of the fleet pushing back from their moorings had already begun to filter in from all directions. Two Reverence IIs were moored at the Drydocks, undergroing refits, one of them managed to push away almost immediately, while the second was still moored, but was slowly reaching combat readiness.

The rest of the fleet began to calculate the incoming vectors for the incoming Nova ordinance, as well as use the deep space telemetry to calculate area of effect, Most of the fleet would be clear of the incoming ordinance. Such was the problem with sub-light combat at these distances.

Cosmora's orbital defenses came to life next, three hours into the coming engagement, it's Aegis field activated, as massive hexagonal plates of shimmering blue light flickered to life all around the planet.

Each individual hexagonal shield had it's own power source, and was capable of absorbing even the mightiest of impacts, these included impacts from the Nova cannon, though each impact would place the individual hexagonal plates under great strain.



Those on the surface had four hours to reach their underground bunker complexes, Civilians, and all non-essential personnel were ushered into the massive civil defense bunkers that were intended to see wars that never came, while Imperial soldiers marched by the millions to defensive positions all across the hundreds of settlements that dotted the planet, though many knew that even the most defensible position was useless under orbital bombardment, or worse; planetary destruction.

---




The Singularity drivers in orbit fired next, calculating the trajectory of the incoming fleet, they unleashed their ordinance in massive flashes of yellow and white, each singularity driver was designed to fire a slug of Neutronium roughly fourty meters across, that had been collapsed into the size of a basketball, and hurled at near the speed of light towards the enemy formation. Each resulting neutronium shot carrying with it the gravity well of a black hole, and the kinetic energy of a small supernova.

They fired in a salvo, with one line of orbital cannons firing, and then a second while the first line reloaded and charged for a second shot.

Hundreds of gun batteries began acquiring targeting data, as the fleet braced for the incoming ordinance.

Millions of Helldrakes would be met with millions of Dryad, Furie, and Harpy class drones launched in the Millions from the dozens of Drone Carriers attached to Classis IV. With no pilots to burn out, and thick armor, the Drones surged fourth, with the Furies packing the smallest ordinance, their 40mm Mass Accelerator cannons, to the Dryad class drones, which packed a spinal mounted 120mm Mass Driver, and two winglet mounted 60mm Mass Drivers.

The Watchtower initialized it's own defensive systems, spewing Raptor Talon, Apollo, and Viper class fighters by the tens of Thousands as pilots were scrambled, in addition the Watchtower's own gargantuan Aegis field powered to life, enforced by the Arcturus power system deep in the Watchtower's core, which extracted vacuum energy from the universe, making it extremely powerful.

Commander Rygar watched in silence as the Singularity drivers discharged their deadly ordinance, and the first of the Nova cannons impacted Cosmora and the Watchtower's shields, sending ripples throughout the superstructure.

"Shields are holding." An Officer reported, as Rygar watched the shimmering blue hexagonal plates over Cosmora slowly shift red as the Nova shells impacted, one Hexagonal panel shattered in a brilliant explosion of energy, but was quickly replaced in the lull of fire.

---


Aboard the Reverence II - Rapid Conversion.

Readouts were coming in across the board, the Invasion fleet had been tallied and accounted for, thirty some thousand strong, the Aschen found themselves outnumbered.

Growling, Admiral Grayson grasped the railing of the command console, as a Lieutenant called out.

"Enemy ships accounted for, moving CBDR, Nine Nine Seven Carom Nine One Eight. They outnumber us ten to one."

Growling he stared at the holographic readout, the flickering icons in front of him.

"Then it is an even fight..."

Grabbing the radio, he pulled it to his ear and called out.

"All hands! This is the Commander. Moments ago, this ship received word of a massive invasion against our homeworlds is under way. We do not know the size or the disposition or the strength of the enemy forces, but all indications point to a massive assault against Aschen defenses. Admiral Nagala has taken personal command of the Fleet aboard the Pride of Langara following word of the attack. "How? Why?" doesn't really matter now. What does matter is that as of this moment, we are at war. You've trained for this. You're ready for this. Stand to your duties, trust your fellow shipmates, and we'll all get through this. Further updates as we get them. Thank you."

Hanging up the receiver he called out, pointing forward.

"Engines full thrust, All ships defensive formation Epsilon! We have the home field advantage! We'll show these gallmonging aliens how to fight now! Yes by the Lords of Kobol! The enemy invasion is about to fall!"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Vrosh tattersoul Character Portrait: Sigan Character Portrait: Classis IV Sector Cosmora
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Vrosh glanced to his fleet the ships pondering on ahead of the massive flagship the shields dropped and the main gun fired, lighting the void with a massive bright light as if a star had just been born on the edge of the system. The resulting beam of energy that fired from the prow of the Armageddon burning across the void and reaching past the sun in milliseconds, striking through ships and directly at whatever held the plank pack, vaporising it. Shields would overload the moment the beam came into contact, blowing them out and reducing their emitters to scrap.

the incoming aschen salvo would batter against void shields, the power and strike hitting the shields would be dispearsed into the warp as the shields fell, the cracks of light from impacts throwing up blooms of light, the escort frontline taking the battering that the ships of the line would've shrugged off a couple thousand lighting up and destroyed, plasma generators detonating as they overload, even lumps of space where the heldrakes once were are cleared up but not much of a dent in their numbers.

The light of the beam would also be visible as it cut through the system for a full thirty minutes then dying down, whatever poor bastard on the other side of the system that may have also been hit well poor luck to them.

The Armageddon’s prow would lumber closed and the engines would power back up, thousands of his own heldrakes reduced to nothing as he without warning launched the attack, it would take another twenty to forty minutes for the weapon to be ready to fire.

The void shields powering back up and creating the translucent barriers once more.
“END THEIR MISERABLE EXISTENCE!” the fleet engaged its warp drives and in similar fashion as before in the Aurora, warp jumped into high orbit of the planet in question, heldrakes swarming from the hulls and the fleet firing all weapons at the aschen defence fleet, most shots directed away from the drydocks, as boarding torpedoes fire. Smashing into the drydocks and flooding space marines and cultists aboard to capture them.

Vrosh stayed aboard his command ship allowing his followers to kill in his name, the gun decks firing as often as possible the twenty KM ship obliterating anything smaller than it in half volleys. However escort ships and some of the cruisers would never attempt to engage instead offloading thunderhawk gunships and drop pods towards the planet’s surface below, teleportarium’s flaring into life and dropping maulerfiends and forgefiends into the fray alongside hellbrutes.

No doubt the aschen would react quickly, the battlecuisers and the larger battleships focusing upon the command ships of the aschen, pummeling shields and hulls with macrobattery fire and lance fire the lances piercing shields but doing significantly less damage then they would do to a unshielded target, that’s to say the lances still cut into and gauged the hulls of their targets.

And amongst the fleet kept hidden under the Armageddon’s size the husk a nurgle plague ship that began its assault, a putrid green cloud of gas dispersing from the ship filling a 3VUx3VUx3VU spherical region of space around it, the gas rusting the hulls and wasting the aschen ships within its radius away. Tendrils whipping out and battering against shields and then...a giant explosion from the husk the what must have been an EMP blast struck everything in reach but what happened next to the aschen was...barbaric, men’s minds rewritten and recoded as if machines, and the same goes for Ship wide A.Is and the drones...the scrapcode Virus...a virulent plague and made worse by its new ability to affect humans aswell as machine. However the process of humans was much more slower than on machines, days even.

Well in mere moments, the drones had new directives...dive bomb the planet...and ship A.Is taking control and turning off shields and venting atmo as the crimson slaughter continued to butcher.

The virus was a gift from the chaos god nurgle… the planet didn’t fare so well either, as the virus infected and began shutting down the shields and rejecting to fire anything at the coming invasion.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Raphael E. McGregor Character Portrait: Vrosh tattersoul Character Portrait: Sigan Character Portrait: Classis IV Sector Cosmora
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The Watchtower, protected by it's gargantuan Aegis field was also the origin of the System wide Planck field, when Vrosh fired the Armageddon gun, the beam seared towards the Watchtower, and impacted it's shields.

The Brilliant aegis field shone brightly, absorbing the monumental energy being imparted on it. And were the beam just a little bit less intense, perhaps they would have resisted it entirely.

The Shields collapsed and the beam impaled the Watchtower, fortunately it had been vaporized otherwise the entire star system would have been immediately consumed by the release of energy from a failing Arcturus core.

Somewhere, on the edge of the star system, Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries began to play.



An alien ship, roughly a kilometer in length and unlike any previous Aschen design appeared seemingly from nowhere, roughly half a void unit from one of Vrosh's escort ship.

Reality itself lensed, and bent around this alien vessel, as Wagner played even louder throughout the ship, a middle aged man at the controls.

"Dun-dun-duuuuuun dun dun dananaaaana!" He called out, making hand gestures as the strange ship careened past one of the battleships.

With this strange man, his will became reality, which meant that if reality manifest, the Battleship would be literally torn in two, as if two giant invisible hands grabbed each end, and tore the vessel asunder from aft to fore.

An action like this, there was likely no defense as a godlike mind focused it's power on making will reality.

Wagner played even louder as the ship careened past the Armageddon.

The music grew louder, and the man made a hand gesture like a gun, as ordinance seemed to pass through the strange ship as if it didn't exist at all, free to pummel into nearby Chaos or Aschen ships, as the strange alien vessel did a wide arc around the Armageddon.

"Bang." The man said, and from the strange bubble around the alien ship, a lance of energy hammered the Void shields, once, twice, thrice. But then it paused, and the moment the void shields went offline, the strange lance of energy hammered again stopping only when the void shields came back online.

Calling on the radio, a voice echoed on all Aschen channels.

"I go and get myself exiled and ol' Princy Pants has to get himself in trouble! See!? This is why we run shit!"

With a snap of his fingers, his will was made manifest once more, intent on compelling a swathe of Helldrakes back into the warp, whether they'd like to have gone or not.

"Alright mister evil demon man, this is my home, you see. And you're pissing on my lawn!"

The voice was somewhat chaotic, cocky, almost with a hint of craziness. But the pressing question was exactly how this strange ship got through the warp storms.

"You need to take your Korn and your Nurgles, and your Zeench, and get the frak out of my home!" The man called out, tauntingly as Millions of small yellow constructs began to swarm out of the alien ship, which was banking circles around the Armageddon, absorbing a punishing amount of fire without so much as a stutter.

The music in the bridge changed.



The small yellow drones, seemingly driven only by the mind of the strange entity on the alien ship, drove directly towards the Armageddon, impacting void shields, again and again, and once down the strange yellow drones darted into the ship, aiming to burrow through the hull as if it were nothing.

Once in the hull, if they managed to get inside, the small yellow drones would move directly for the Armageddon Gun's critical systems, causing enough havoc, and enough chaos to hopefully take the gun offline.

Millions more of these drones, immune to Nurgle's influence extended outwards in every direction, going after Helldrakes, pummeling frigates, Battleships, everything within striking distance of this strange alien vessel.

---

Aside from the strange ship bobbing and weaving through the Crimson Formation, serving as more as a distraction than anything, the main fleet regrouped, with the larger Aschen ships using their internal Planck systems to prevent boarders.

Within this close, the Aschen fleet unleashed a withering salvo of Turbodisruptor blasts, torpedo and missile strikes, and heavy Kinetic energy bombardments.

The two fleets were trading fire back and fourth, Aschen shields standing defiantly to the punishing incoming weapons fire, what the Shields couldn't stop, thick Kanvium hulls managed to absorb the brunt of.

Having lost control of the Drones, an automatic kill switch was engaged, and many of the drones deactivated, and began drifting lifelessly through space, while others succumbed to thick flack fire.

Orbital defenses shelled the ships from the surface.

Those on the surface were ready, dug in and ready to defend, with much of the Civilian population sequestered in their bunkers, they would fight, as Cosmora was a fairly strategically important target.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Raphael E. McGregor Character Portrait: Vrosh tattersoul Character Portrait: Sigan Character Portrait: Classis IV Sector Cosmora
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To Raphael’s dismay the Daemon engines he tried to banish, wouldn’t, they were from the materium after all.
Sigan who had been watching on the command deck of his ship that vrosh had taken, would sigh and reach out with his mind linking it with that of the so called crazy man getting in the way and with the full power of the warp rend his soul into nothing, before dragging him into the warp with himself, the two stood on a small peninsula and Sigan watched as the mad man likely healed the damage done. Thrice damned chains burst from the rock tying the man down to the ground and pinning him, with nary a flinch from the space marine. He walked over towards the man and with a piece of burning wood carved the mark of tzeentch into the man’s forehead.

The agony would be nothing to what came next as the chaos god, Tzeentch, took his gift ripping this poor bastard’s already ‘mad’ mind to sunders and feeding off the powers, with a crack of lighting a shadow covered the floating lump of land and what was sigan seemed to be a giant humanoid bird headed and winged creature nearly two stories tall. “If you’ll excuse me fool, i have an empire to usurp” returning back aboard his ship, his connection to the warp.

The fool cut off from his ship and the drones they were quickly dealt with. Vrosh glanced to Sigan before looking out at the ensuing battle, the void shields powering to life and the 20km ship’s hull regenerating from the multitude of daemons bound to it to cut the need for crew by a large margin.

The battle below upon the planet was grueling, and it was a slaughter for both sides. However it was only the lucky shots from the disruptor rifle shots that put down any of the marines while the disruptor fire slaughtered the cultists by the dozens, bolters slaughtering anyone hit by the mass reactive RPGs that were essentially the ammunition of bolters the forgefiends firing balls of ectoplasma, these daemonic energies slaughtering even tanks with each shot.

And the maulerfiends and hellbrutes, armoured monstrosities that they are tearing into the lines followed by depraved maddened possessed space marines, monster’s that had allowed themselves to become one with the daemon. But what was worse, the fear, the unmissable terror on the air, the very presence of the crimson slaughter causing even the most stalwart defender to quake in their boots, with more and more drop pods raining down from the heavens above, and the swarms of heldrakes taking control of the skies the air itself thickened and the ghosts began to form, charging ahead of the advancing Crimson slaughter marine ranks, the ghosts would dive onto and begin stabbing out throats in maddened glee as the crimson slaughter left nothing to survive.

Emplacements were greeted with the rage of orbital bombardment as more and more of the crimson fleet broke away from the fight, by now the Armageddon gun had fully recharged, the ship twisted its way around and aimed for a capital ship, its prow opening but its shields only lowering to ten active.

The escorts that remained began to guard the capital ship as it lined up its shot, as did the two battleships acting as the bodyguards.

One bunch of maddened crew rammed their escort frigate into the ship that had caused a nuisance for the Armageddon and detonated their warpdrive, zealously ripping a warp rift open and dragging their damned selves and the ship into the warp with them. However the warp was relative to the materium, so wherever Raphael was, his ship was elsewhere. Being smashed into some new space hulk.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Raphael E. McGregor Character Portrait: Vrosh tattersoul Character Portrait: Sigan Character Portrait: Classis IV Sector Cosmora
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It wasn't so much to his Dismay, as more of a curiosity, and oddly enough he went willingly with Sigan as he pulled him into what seemed to be some kind of strange reality.

It was without his mortal body and the interference of the others in this new plane that he was truly able to stretch his mind.

Sigan would quickly learn there was no mortal soul to flay, and his attempts to rend the soul even with the full power of the warp did little, and Raphael was before Sigan on the peninsula not as a man cowering in fear, but a strange light, radiating feather like tendrils out in every direction.

Thrice damned chains came up, but with no limbs to bind, they seemed to pass right through the strange being that stood before Sigan.




The burning wood was incinerated as Sigan moved it towards the strange being, but something seemed off, the entity before Sigan wasn't interested in Sigan, no it was Tzeentch that it was interested in.

Two omniscient entities, meeting each-other for the first time would write compelling drama. It wouldn't be Tzeentch ripping Raphael's mind asunder and feeding off his power, but the two enveloping one another in a game of mental chess beyond mortal comprehension, infinite dimensions played all at once between Raphael and the Chaos God Tzeentch.

A Curiousity that would keep the ascended being entertained for some time. A millenia? A few hours? Eternity? Only the guiles of Tzeentch and the vast knowledge and understanding of the ascended Raphael could tell. What might have been seconds for them in their game of mental fisticuffs could sunder entire dimensions. While Raphael could not influence the warp alone, neither could the warp corrupt him, leaving him ample time to study these entities and the raw chaotic energies that created them.

Two omniscient beings trying to learn something they didn't know.

---

Back in Realspace, the Aurora had vanished, with Raphael having left, the ship left as well, slipping out of phase and vanishing to some unknown dimension, leaving the Aschen alone to contend with the Crimson Slaughter once more.

"We need to take out that capital ship if we're going to turn the tide of this battle in our favor." Admiral Grayson called out, as the entire rapid Conversion shuddered from weapons fire impacting it's shields.

Looking to the tactical readout, he checked several holographic icons. The two other Reverence IIs, the Twlight Compunction and the Revenant were both operational, their task groups holding out against the Daemonic fleet that was gunning their way for the planet.

He drew up plans, the two Aschen ships would sandwich the large 20km vessel, with size and firepower slightly erred on the side of the Reverences, being 30km in length, Grayson figured they could sandwich the Armageddon, and pummel it until it succumbed.

He plotted FTL Jumps, the spacial displacement of a jumping ship was theorized to be capable of consuming anything in it's way, as evidenced by chasms being carved out in mountains when a ship's jump was miscalculated near a planet.

The resulting spatial shockwaves would wreak havok on the Armageddon's Void Shields, and Grayson could have two Reverence IIs concentrate all their batteries on one side of the Armageddon.

Two on the side, one on top shelling with Turbodisruptors and Energy Projectors, while redirecting the Aegis Cruisers to envelop the entire formation in an Aegis field, to keep out the incoming fire of a redirected fleet.

"Sir, The cannon fired again, we lost one of our Iconoclast Battleships, and two Hastati cruisers in the firing line." A Lieutenant reported.

Growling; Grayson transmitted the tactical data to the other two Reverence IIs; it was one last ditch effort to turn the tide of the battle.

"Execute battle plan, Jump!" Grayson called out.

All three Reverence IIs immediately winked out from their respective engagements, leaving their task forces to fend against enemy cruisers, and Capital ships, but as quickly as they disappeared, they winked in, danger close within a scant 50 Kilometers from the Armageddon.

Aschen Reverence IIs winked in both on the port and starboard sides of the Armageddon, with the third jumping in above them. The resulting spatial shockwave washed out in every direction, stretching void shielding to it's maximum.

The instant the ships appeared, they began opening fire, with the pair of Reverence IIs opening fire with every weapons battery they had, concentrating everything in a sustained bombardment of the Armageddon's Void Shields. 1,500 massive Dual-Barreled Turbodisruptor banks unleashed their withering firepower, slinging massive bolts of green that struck like a drum against the Armageddon's Void shields.

The fire didn't let up.

Above the Armageddon, the Revenant jumped in, unleashing all seven-hundred fifty Turbodisruptor batteries in a sustained bombardment, on top of all six energy projectors unleashing a steady stream of energy against the void shields, pummeling them with a sustained broadside. It would only be a matter of time before the void shields collapsed on three sides, exposing the hull to massive sustained fire, that did not let up.

"Sir, weapons capacitors are beginning to deplete, we're discharging more than main engineering can replace." The weapons officer reported.

"Keep firing!" Grayson ordered.

With the sustained, concentrated fire of not one, not two, but three 30km long Reverence IIs, it would only be a matter of time before the void shields of the Armageddon gun collapsed, exposing it's hull.

The two Battleships, if they weren't consumed in the spatial distortion of the jumping ships weren't spared either, as every single weapons battery on the quadrant of the ship facing them were concentrated on them, thousands of powerful Turbodisruptor batteries pummeling their void shields without respite.

Nearly a million km away, a quantum plasmid warhead went off, enveloping millions of Helldrakes in what amounted to a supernova, as an Athena cruiser, at full burn collided with a Crimson Slaughter cruiser, detonating it's missile payload in a brilliant explosion.

---

On the surface, the denizens of the Cosmora Archipelago held strong, despite staggering losses in the face of what was nearly a limitless swarm of Daemons, ghosts, traitors, and cultists.

Entire cities were slowly beginning to fall, but the Aschen defenders held every city block, forcing the Daemonic invasion to earn every block of planet.

A blinding flash, and a mushroom cloud surged upwards, as a nuclear missile detonated in the sky, consuming thousands of Helldrakes in Nuclear fire; while thousands of Stormbringer AA Emplacements locked on, and pummeled anything in the air, though it seemed to make little difference.

Another flash, this time in an area almost totally under Daemonic control; a last ditch effort to cut a hole in the hoardes as a Thalaron warhead detonated, everything within hundreds of kilometers of the flash were instantly petrified as the cascading biogenic pulse attacked organic matter at the molecular level, anything with flesh was destroyed in an instant, even if it only meant that they were replaced by more invaders.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Raphael E. McGregor Character Portrait: Vrosh tattersoul Character Portrait: Sigan Character Portrait: Classis IV Sector Cosmora
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The thalaron warhead would in its mass destruction would slaughter the millions of culitists wading through, however the warhead likely went off over a front line, the crimson slaughter a slow advancing wall of ceramite power armour and the bestial hulled creatures that made the daemon engines. Leaving blood soaked blocks and ruins in their wake.
However, the blast would not only damage and destroy the cultists but cause damage to many of the flesh and machine constructs that were the damned daemon engines, only the battle brothers of the crimson slaughter who were fully clad in their power armour was protected from the blast.

Those wounded but surviving the blast in some merciless effect from the gods of chaos grew even more rabid, gibbering maniacs dragging their half dead bodies only to be shot down.
-------------------------------------------
As for the Armageddon.as soon as it began to take such quantities of firepower its warpdrive flared into life and the ship would ‘blink’ after a four second charge time, resulting in all but four of its void shields two be decimated, with a bright white flash of light, abandoning the two disabled battleships for dead amongst the three aschen fleet command ships and leaving them to fire upon one another. For the briefest of seconds possibly. Its new position 2.5 V.Us away, it was prow facing the two capital ships that had settled beside it. and the remaining void shields dropping to fire the Armageddon gun getting two capital ships for the price of one shot. The blast rippled through space lighting up the void once more.

Overloading the AEGIS shields in six seconds, void shields collapsing in the blink of an eye, and then vaporizing the central mass of both ships, the residual bleed off energies of the beam melting the hulls of the two bodyguard ships, the beam than began to draw upwards towards the final ship, as the Armageddon fired its forward pivoting engines to push the prow towards the third and final Reverence II.

The Husk that had been safely sitting itself under the Armageddon within it’s void shields. would release another pulse of scrapcode enveloping the entirety of the final Reverance II, even if it escaped… it wouldn’t be long before the ship itself delt with the aschen aboard. The two battleship’s, the critical damage they having taken would also cause their warp drives to detonate, ripping open rifts into the warp, the gravitational forces pulling on. shredding anything unprotected as if they were black holes. The husk would extend tendrils spiking them into the hulls of the destroyed ships and drag them through into a rift with it, effectively bored of the battle.

Four other battleships that were within ten VUs would then blink to aid and guard the Armageddon, on all sides. The firing of Nova cannons began once more now that many were reloaded, the shots point blank on Aschen terms and would wipe out millions of lives that of aschen or that of their own, nova shots ripping down shields and then much larger ships ramming the smaller aschen ships alongside full broadside Salvos.

Th armageddon’s shields slowly restored and two of the four new guards, would weaken their own shields, ‘sharing them’ to charge the admiral ship’s shields.
-----------------------------
As for the mental tap dance and chess going on in the warp, Tzeentch found it interesting and amusing that such a being existed, though as the Fateweaver, he knew even the plans and plots of all his minions, and now in the presence of a being of the wider multiverse, his power was allowed to bleed forth, watch, but not manipulate, the power of other gods blocking him. No matter, right now, he would learn as much as he could from this Alteran.
---------------------
And for those crimson slaughter on the ground war they continued even in the midst of heavy losses to weapons of mass destruction, damaged daemon engines getting back up from their wounded state and pressing forward in frenzied rage, however as more crimson slaughter flooded the planet Aschen defences began to be crushed in multiple directions in slow pincer attacks. Those that surrendered in this butchery of war the crimson slaughter out of characteristics for the renegades allowed them to live. Though wounded were left for dead, they weren’t needed.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Raphael E. McGregor Character Portrait: Vrosh tattersoul Character Portrait: Necron Hordes Character Portrait: Sigan Character Portrait: Classis IV Sector Cosmora
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The instant the energies required to make the warp jump built up within the Armageddon, the three Reverence II's concentrated even more, but stopped the instant the Armageddon jumped, and then immediately jumping away themselves to pre-determined coordinates.

The Highly sophisticated AI Banks within each ship were linked with the wider fleet, using the computational power to calculate all possible variables, and act on them much faster than the human command structure could keep up.

With the tactical plan loaded, the AI's could execute contingencies and changes much faster than the human crew. And now the three Reverences had winked away almost in synchronicity with the Armageddon.

The instant the Armageddon exited the warp into realspace, the three Reverence IIs winked back in danger close, unleashing their torrent of fire once more in a game of cat and mouse with the 20km super-weapon. With only four void shields left, it would be a matter of time before the shields themselves were depleted, and concentrated weapons fire was striking the hull itself.

Nurgle's husk wasn't forgotten about either, in a carefully but speedily executed command from the Reverence's AI systems, a single Punisher class battleship, running in autistic mode to prevent viral intrusions winked in directly below the Armageddon, unleashing every single forward gun battery into the void shields protecting the hulk, and the hulk itself.

Massive 12,000 ton ferric-tungsten slugs the size of school buses were hurled towards the void shields and the hulk in a staggered salvo, along with dozens of concentrated Turbodisruptor batteries opening fire at once, concentrating the staggering firepower of the Aschen battleship on a single point within the Hulk, a jackhammer technique to bring the void shields down, and pummel the ship with everything it had.

"We need to keep up the pressure, keep pace and don't let them breathe, all ships regroup and press the attack on the command ships!" Grayson ordered, and the Aschen fleet regrouped and executed just that. Four new battleships were picked out from the fleet, with six Hastati cruisers, two Gemenon class cruisers, and a handful of Mercury Class Battlestars jumped in, surrounding the Battleships on all sides, with new tactics to surround the largest ships with what Aschen vessels remained, using point defense weaponry and powerful shields to withstand the attacks from the smaller units.

On top of the fighter screen.

Drones that weren't effected by the previous use of the Scrapcode continued to fill the void, along with those piloting Apollo, Raptor Talon, and Viper class starfighters, but there was something else, the AI banks aboard the Reverences were working on data samples from the previous scrap-code, the hyper-intelligent AIs working tirelessly to devise a vaccine, but a Vaccine was several minutes away.

They could only hope to neutralize the husk before the Scrapcode was used again, but even if it was, the effect on the Reverences wouldn't be the desired one, as their AI systems operated on a much different tier than the dumber AI systems on the Drone Carriers and the smaller ships.

These Aiyanna-Platform AIs were capable of isolating and purging hostile data in real time, before it could rend the code to serve it's purposes, as it seemed. The Scrapcode was not unlike Aiyanna-A's intruder program, thus with a common ground formed, these AI's could self-vaccinate against the hostile code.

But despite these small victories; the Aschen had taken losses, with nearly a third of the fleet lost to the onslaught, and the battle effectively at a stalemate with the Aschen holding the line by their eyeteeth, every commander knew at the back of their minds that those on the planet were likely not faring any better.

The reports were coming in that most of the smaller settlements had been overrun, or had fallen with the main defense force retreating to the larger settlements on the planet.

But the closer the Chaos Space Marines, Cultists, and Daemon engines got to the central cities, the fiercer Aschen resistance had become.

Aschen soldiers among the buildings continued to pepper the hoarde with disruptor fire, they began to draw the lines outside the major cities, especially in the capital city of Lyra, where a Thalaron warhead detonated beyond the outskirts, clearing out millions of Chaos troops, giving the Aschen just enough breathing room to push back, aided now by the Adepts of War, whom had begun to mobilize.

Fighting almost on equal footing to the Chaos Space Marines, the Adepts of War were ministers of death praying for war, fighting with the tenacity, and stubbornness of an Aschen Marine, but with the super strength, and powered armor of an Astartes, indeed the Adept's Power Armor functioned on many ways the same way as an Astartes, but offered a few advantages, such as integrated hard light shielding, thicker Kanvium armor, and a somewhat more efficient power system.

The Heavy Magnetron was also comparable to the Bolter, hurling 20mm slugs into the enemy, and when they closed in, they enjoyed intense melee combat, fighting almost on par with the Chaos Space Marines, using plasma swords, Heavy pistols, and hardened trinnium-carbide blades.

It was hopeful these Adepts in Lyra could turn the tide of the battle, but it was unlikely.

In the Warp, the mind games continued, as an Ascended Raphael was closely studying the warp, and the raw psychic energies it seemed to be comprised of.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Raphael E. McGregor Character Portrait: Vrosh tattersoul Character Portrait: Necron Hordes Character Portrait: Sigan Character Portrait: Classis IV Sector Cosmora
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Any warp born virus, for machine or flesh, wasn’t as easily killed, changing its very nature faster than the A.Is could defeat it, meaning they weren’t minutes away, they were millenia, it beat them at their own game and continued to leave them nought. Once infected, one could not save itself A.I or fleshlife.

“we’ve wasted enough time with the aschen, bring in the rest of the fleet” Sigan nodded and went into a trance, the servitors and daemons that made up much of the crew calmly kept about their duties, and just as the void shields began to regenerate popping back up even under the sustained fire the aschen flagships.

sixty thousand more crimson slaughter ships would begin breaking from the warp engaging directly onto the reverence II ships however slowly from the tears came three massive 100KM diameter stations, the blackstone fortresses were brought to bear, their warp cannons charging up in seconds and firing in up to four directions at any one time, the ancient constructs, a crowning achievement from a bygone age, the warp cannons were on the same grounds as the armageddon cannon but worked in a refined less brutish way.

However the nigh indestructible Blackstones would require the full capabilities of the aschen fleet to bring down one and even then it wouldn’t just die like any other ship. The armageddon on the other hand winked out again reappearing within the safety of the reinforcing fleet, again shields sharing to bring the armageddon’s shields to full power.

The hull smoking from the gunfire that got through, and the warp disturbances grew even more so, throwing off calculations, with the arrival of the rest of the full fleet, the Husk had returned, returning to its guardian position with the armageddon.

Well over a million guns firing on and only on the three Reverence II’s and with the sustained beams of warp energies from the fortresses focusing on the one that was above the crimson capital ship.< Vrosh sat in boredom aboard, he hadn’t engaged in the ground war because it was a show of his power that he didn’t need to and secondly he grew ever cautious, bringing all power away from the main destroyer weapon of the ship and to those of the shield and other systems.
--------------------------------

As for the ground war

The Aschen adepts could only wish they were on the same footing as the crimson slaughter marines, power blades cut through power armour as if it was nothing no matter what material it was made up of or even the barrier surrounding, because the blades phased through, secondly the Crimson slaughter had experienced warfare for six thousand years, some marines just that old, space marines were functionally immortal, the sorcerers on the ground began the chantings and so did the dark apostles, screaming maddened preachings to the dark gods driving all crimson slaughter into zealous frenzies of gore, however it was a grind but the sheer volume of the crimson slaughter began to push against them like a vice.


And from orbit more drop pods and teleportarum’s flared to life bringing down more troops, for the most part the 20mm shots of the aschen adepts would bounce off and ricocheted from the power armour but direct hits into weaker points would have bloody effect, khorne berserkers wielding twin chain axes barreled from the lines and into the ranks of the Adepts bringing the favored weapon of their kind to bare, the chain weapons biting in and ripping limbs off in bloody fountains even in their armour,

Then the scrapcode kicked in, on the Adept’s armour, shields shutting down and the armour locking up to receive killing blows, the gates of the city even opening up, Noise marines had joined the fray, their sonic cannons and blastmasters rendering the Adepts bloody paste inside their armour, the blastmasters even releasing sound based shockwaves so powerful rocks exploded.
----------------------------
And in the warp Tzeentch did the same studying his new acquaintance. The warp was also made up from the emotions of every living being, even more so now it was allowed to weed its way between the realities of the multiverse.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Raphael E. McGregor Character Portrait: Vrosh tattersoul Character Portrait: Necron Hordes Character Portrait: Sigan Character Portrait: Classis IV Sector Cosmora Character Portrait: United Dark Worlds
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#, as written by Lobos
Throughout the local region, amidst the detonations of vessels and munitions, the maelstrom of weapons batteries hurling their fury, and the seething energies of the warp, isolated ripples of exotic particles entered realspace in minute amounts. Insufficient on their own to warrant significant attention by those inexperienced with them, these particles marked a looming presence, a breach of a portion of a realm of non-space. Probes slipped through these minor linkages between the material universe and a dimension of alternate physical properties. Readings were taken, imagery was established, and positions marked, before these ruptures ceased.

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Within the confines of Tunnel Space, a host nearly unimaginable. Vessels in the hundreds of millions resided within the white void, midnight imperfections hanging among the swirling energies and seething particle storms, the full armada of an entire nation disposed of it's anchoring moors. Trillions of souls resided aboard the armada that was the United Dark Worlds, maintaining a state of existence within a form of security that was nigh impregnable. From cruise liners to agri-ships, manufactorums to virtual flying cities, to the lurking fist within the formations that was the entirety of the UDW's naval arm. A selection of these was now shifting their positioning, responding to a hail across the militarized channels.

Realspace had been probed, in response to the anomalous churning within Tunnel Space. The Aschen were having...difficulties.

A task force was being assembled. 80 Bahamut supercarriers, with their attendant Kraken parasite supercruisers, a core fist of capital vessels numbering 400. Three strike wings of Shrike cruiser and their escorts, Hellkyte destroyers augmented by a formation of Mjolnir missile carriers. Hundreds of Fists, a subformation of Barghast frigates with a pair of Raven corvettes. In total a representative fleet of only 6,000, a number not approaching numerical parity with the forces observed in realspace.

A number that the Aschen's experience with the UDW would enable immediate understanding that the incursion was being treated with deadly seriousness.

Across the taskforce, crew entered heuristic linkage with the AI systems, men and women and machine becoming one mind, solidifying their intervessel communications and synchronizing their translation times down to the nanosecond. One second before departure, a drone was launched ahead, bearing a simple message for a single combatant force in realspace. A single word both offered in the sake of hope, and warning.

Ignis.

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Six thousand TD footprints erupted like a barrage of thunder, high energy detonations of extradimensional particles and signals that spoke of an emergence that could not be ignored. Yet in the same breath that rode Taskforce Elient's arrival, targets were sighted, locked, and fired upon.

Tens of thousands of Hellbores spoke as one. The light of a dozen stars erupted through the region as the ravening bolts of encapsulated nuclear reactions tore apart the darkness of space at 0.9c like a shredded veil, each carrying the force of gigatons per second titanic power funneled into focused streams of devastation a mere meter across, at least three targeting every enemy ship larger than 100 meters in length in sight. Such coordination of the alpha strike was appalling, virtually impossible. Yet entirely within the grasp of the UDW fleet, enmeshed into a state of awareness that held human consciousness in synch with supercomputer precision and speed of thought.

The second wave of fire came from the launch of mass drivers, gauss cannons, and missile and torpedo fire, a scourging barrage from the lighter secondary and tertiary weapons platforms across the six thousand warships dispatched into the fray. Supermaterial slugs, armor piercing and mass-reactive explosive cannon shells, anti-fighter fragmentation missiles and multiple warhead fusion torpedoes howled in silence through space on their paths to deliver a reckoning to beggar the Reaper, but scarcely had they launched through space than the lighter Hellbores finished their cycle times, a horrifyingly short six seconds before those monstrous primary armaments of the UDW warships flashed with solar brilliance once again, fire control given free command to fire at will into the enemy.

The formation of the taskforce was disconcertingly tight, yet none of the destruction that flowed from it like a brutal tide came near enough to threaten a friendly hull, each wreathed in its battlescreen. Further defenses flowed within the UDW fleet, the onboard psionics woven into a chorus of psychic might, withholding from the unrelenting offensive as a reserve against the inevitable backlash.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Raphael E. McGregor Character Portrait: Vrosh tattersoul Character Portrait: 'Taanz 'Velzzmkt Character Portrait: Necron Hordes Character Portrait: Sigan Character Portrait: Classis IV Sector Cosmora Character Portrait: United Dark Worlds
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Admiral Grayson grit his teeth when the Armageddon seemed to be resisting all of it's firepower, the concentrated firepower of three of the Aschen Empire's most powerful classes of ship.

While it was proving difficult to write a vaccine, the highly sophisticated AI Systems of the Reverence IIs were able to at the very least hold the spread of the Scrapcode at bay, isolating and purging entire key systems in real time before the code could take hold.

Perhaps it was an absolute where Sigan and Vrosh came from, that those subject to the scrapcode were doomed, but Aschen AIs were unlike anything encountered in their part of the Multiverse. The scrapcode was viciously analyzed, and purged from it's systems.

It wasn't the scrap-code that had the Aschen concerned, it was the now Sixty-Thousand Chaos warships that jumped into the system, while Aschen FTL did not in any way interact with the warp, and was thus unaffected by the warp storms, the rest of the Empire was still mobilizing it's counterattack, and Grayson knew that Aschen reinforcements were hours, if not days away. The Aschen did not anticipate the battle moving with such swiftness. But they also didn't anticipate help.

There was a collective gasp as UDW Ships began to jump in, opening fire on the Chaos Warships, but the concentrated fire on the three Reverence IIs quickly silenced that, in the split second they had to make peace with death.


Or did they?

It was Andromeda to the rescue...

The Matokey were known as an ancient, and extremely powerful race, one not to be trifled with by the Andromeda superpowers, a race of gifted mystics in tune with nature. It seemed the incursion of the Crimson Slaughter, and the warp disturbances they brought attracted the attention of one such creature.

And he had decided to intervene.

All the combined power of the Crimson Slaughter, leveled against three lone Aschen ships was halted in an instant by a power far beyond even the mightiest Chaos god, channeling the energy of the Chousin into a physical manifestation of the wings of the Light Hawk, a flowing, shimmering barrier of light between the Crimson Slaughter and the three battered Aschen ships appeared out of nowhere. Blinded by the sheer firepower wrought fourth by the Blackstone Fortresses no doubt likely blinded the Crimson Slaughter to the new alien vessel that seemed to appear from nowhere.

A construct that was roughly 100 kilometers in length, from bow to stern, that appeared grown rather than built stood between the unstoppable Daemons of the Crimson Slaughter, and the battered, beaten Aschen fleet.

There was a psychic calm emanating from the alien ship, a becalming signal that was actually taming the roiling energies of the warp, pushing them out and away from the nearly routed Aschen vessel.

Despite the firepower that should have left nothing, this lone alien vessel remained, the moment the fire died down, the shimmering barrier also slowly vanished, as the massive vessel came about, the becalming signal silencing the warp as it grew. Sigan would be unable to rend the soul of whomever was aboard this vessel like he did Raphael, as the vessel and it's inhabitant were cut off from the influences of the warp, here the immaterium existed separate, like water from air.

That lone ship's inhabitant was 'Taanz 'Velzzmkt, the Mt'kee ship-master dispatched to the Milky way to further peace and prosperity in the Galaxy, and protect AXIS Interests.

The Encompassing threat of Chaos was enough to force him to intervene, while not entirely aligned with Aschen interests, for now they sought similar ends.

A Single psionic transmission was whisker-beamed to the UDW crews on the other side of the system.

"These are the forces of a dimension known as the Immaterium, they are as evil as they are ancient; conventional warfare only serves to worsen the situation, we must stem this tide at it's source, and slam shut the jaws of the warp."

The sudden appearance of the Matokey fleet bought the Aschen mere seconds to retreat, abandoning the Cosmora Archipelago to it's fate, 500 ships down from 3,500.

One by one the fleet began to execute their jumps, winking out through wormholes, bypassing the warp storms entirely.

---

This battle was now in the hands of the remaining Aschen, Matokey, and UDW.

Positioning itself between the advancing Crimson Slaughter, and the planet Cosmora itself, the Matokey Vessel began acquiring targets, hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands all simultaneously acquired.

An energy surge that could be described as akin to the big bang itself erupted in the bowels of the Matokey vessel, and searing beams of white light flashed out in every direction, beams that contained enough energy to vaporize entire star systems condensed in a beam the width of a few meters, there were thousands of these individual beams, of which void shields would be powerless to resist.

In an instant, tens of thousands of Crimson Slaughter vessels would likely be impaled, gutted by these beams of light at once. Even the mightiest void shield patterns would be overwhelmed in the first split second of impact, and the beam sustained itself until full contact through the ship was made.

A moment later, thousands of wooden like pods were fired towards the planet, streaking through the atmosphere to visit untold power upon the Crimson Slaughter planet-side.

----

The Aschen defense across hundreds of cities had collapsed, and people were now being evacuated via the planet's Bifrost hub, the Crimson Slaughter had almost total control of all but the cities of Isca, Eger, and Lyra, where the Aschen defenses were barely holding them at bay.

Where the pods landed, they seemed to disintegrate into a primordial goo, before reforming into millions of bio-mechanical insectoid creatures.

They spread like wildfire, balefire, bolter fire, psionics did little to stop them, as the began to consume everything they could reach, cultists, daemon engines, even the Chaos Space marines would be swarmed and consumed as the creatures consumed and replicated, they were completely indiscriminate in their consumption of those on the surface, but they also differentiated between the Aschen humans, and the mutated daemons of the Crimson Slaughter.



Even the power armor was useless, as these creatures swarmed, consumed, and replicated, like a cancer these strange creatures began to spread out in every direction. There was no Helldrake, Transport, or even any frigates that got too low that could escape these creatures, as once an infestation started it spread rapidly.

It would be mere hours before these creatures consumed the whole of the Cosmora Archipelago planet, as they multiplied exponentially.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Raphael E. McGregor Character Portrait: Vrosh tattersoul Character Portrait: 'Taanz 'Velzzmkt Character Portrait: Necron Hordes Character Portrait: Sigan Character Portrait: Classis IV Sector Cosmora Character Portrait: United Dark Worlds
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With the introduction of two different fleets, Vrosh applauded himself, the slaughter that had been unending throughout the system meant for its complete demise, Sigan however had other plans raising his hand and with the click of his gauntleted hand, time throughout the sector slowed to a stand still, he turned and left the bridge, his ship the armageddon tied to his very being also seemed to be unaffected, the hull regenerating once more and the void shields going back to full power, the warp storms grew blocking navigation to the system in its entirety. And disrupting any chance of safely escaping, to jump through a warp storm through the warp or not, is to risk madness and possession. It’s just worse in the warp.

While his mind was busy plotting the intricate different fates of the crimson slaughter and his foes, he’d arrive at his sanctuary, and there his ritual began, one other was unaffected, Vrosh, his mark of khorne shielding him from the effects of the psyker. He knew this was beyond ‘Sigan’s’ power, but he needed to stop whatever was going to happen.

However as time returned the armageddon, a golden beam of baleful energies linked the armageddon to the blackstone fortress’ the prow ram reopening and the armageddon gun recharged would fire, into the retreating aschen fleet.

The crimson slaughter fleet suffered the attack of the UDW assault fairly well, the void shields going up in brilliant flashes of light, however new targets, the blackstone fortresses fired upon them as they fired on the aschen, the four main guns the stations bore spinning slowly as the shields of these ancient constructs seemed to not falter. The warp cannons never needing more than a couple seconds to obliterate a ship. And with the three linked the power of their shots were tenfold,

However Vrosh over his subvocal mic ordered the fleet to retreat, they’d been played for fools, manipulated. Vrosh drew his weapons and kicked in the door to the sanctuary where the greater daemon of tzeentch had shed its disguise, the beast turned and without a second’s hesitation released azure flames upon the Khorne champion, and so battle between the two would commence.

The crimson slaughter on the planet accepted their coming doom, free from the voices that drove them mad, the planet had been saved at a great cost and at the great pleasure of the blood god khorne.

The crimson slaughter fleet in great droves warp jumped blindly through the storms, they didn’t care, they didn’t have navigators anyway. The fleet in its entirety exited while it had the chance, though the last ship that remained was the Armageddon, warp sorceries circling the ship and to attack it would risk the wrath of gods.

Neither beast would break but he fate weaver retreated back into the warp and in his moment of clarity Vrosh destroyed the sanctuary freeing the ship from the daemon’s plans, and so the ship after but a few scant moments would exit system with its sole passenger.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Raphael E. McGregor Character Portrait: Vrosh tattersoul Character Portrait: 'Taanz 'Velzzmkt Character Portrait: Necron Hordes Character Portrait: Sigan Character Portrait: Classis IV Sector Cosmora Character Portrait: United Dark Worlds
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Having seen more than enough the Necron ship vanished from the system recalled back home.

The setting changes from Cosmora Archipelago to Aberash

Setting

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Character Portrait: Classis IV Sector Cosmora Character Portrait: Nullify Character Portrait: Bleakus
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High in orbit above the planet Aberash, seemingly from nowhere, there appeared a small contingent of Aschen cruisers attatched to the Classis IV, Cosmora Sector.

The Ships themselves cast a glimmer in the daylight sky above, and an unnatural light across the dark side of the planet.

Admiral Grayson stood silently aboard the Reverence II Rapid Conversion, a thirty-kilometer long Reverence II Class Planetary Assault Carrier, and the symbolic harbinger of an impending invasion by the Aschen Empire.

The ship itself, the largest and most easily seen in the sky was well known across the stars.

And Admiral Grayson knew it.

Watching the display, a large holographic projection of Aberash stood before him.

"So our long range sensors detected anomalous activity coming from this planet?" Admiral Grayson asked, turning to face his Executive Officer.

The man simply nodded, flicking up a display.

"Launch a prowler recon picket, have them reconnoiter the area and report their findings back to me." The Admiral said, turning back to the projection.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Classis IV Sector Cosmora Character Portrait: Nullify Character Portrait: Vindicator Character Portrait: Bleakus
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They both stopped in silence. They were sure they could hear something but they couldn't see it. They continued walking, "Where are you even taking me..", Nullify started to speak. "Well, this is all i'm telling you.. you will not like it", Bleakus exclaimed. Now they heard the same noise even louder. They looked in the sky, there it was, an assembly of ships, heading their direction.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Classis IV Sector Cosmora Character Portrait: Nullify Character Portrait: Vindicator Character Portrait: Bleakus
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The Admiral kept watching his display while deep in thought. He considered the next move, while letting the deep scan wash over the planet.

"Multiple leviathan class lifeforms detected, Admiral." The Shipboard AI reported. "Additionally, I have two humanoid lifeforms moving in this sector..." The AI said, while the holographic display of the planet moved closer, zooming in to display Bleakus, and Nullify moving across the planet's surface.

Admiral Grayson pinched the hologram to zoom in further, as was a testament to the sophisticated sensor arrays of the Reverence II, pulling the two individuals up with such fidelity, it could be considered quite a feat of technological engineering.

"Bring us about, two nine three carom one two six." Grayson ordered, and with swift compliance, the hulking, bulbous Reverence II shifted it's position, rolling to expose it's starboard side to the surface, while thousands of individual turbodisruptor batteries swiveled to life.

One of Aberash' many Gargantua were roaming the countryside nearby, but the Admiral paid them no heed.

---

There was a screeching sound, almost like an electronic wail, and a single slender, dark colored star-fighter, an Imperial Aschen Prowler darted over them, looping back around wide, while it's pilot began to snap pictures.

The setting changes from Aberash to Xamoyos

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Keith nexus Character Portrait: Classis IV Sector Cosmora Character Portrait: Goffre Alvisson Character Portrait: Empyrean Norsemen Character Portrait: Wolfgang Yorisson Character Portrait: Folios Character Portrait: Svegdir Staghelm Character Portrait: Stripe Character Portrait: Irirani Syliala
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Seemingly out of nowhere roughly three thousand kilometers off the Stjornhestr's bow, a spatial distortion erupted within Bastion's gravitational field. The distortion came on quickly, and suddenly, like a brilliant flash of light that shot forward in one direction, revealing the sudden appearance of a strange, angular machination with strange alien symbols, and an even more utilitarian, and menacing look.



The Hastati Class Cruiser Conflagration was intended to mark it's jump much further away from the planet's surface, closer to the positions further out, beyond the planet's exosphere, yet the strange vessel found itself here, on a collission course with a much smaller vessel that they were able to yet see or detect.

Commander Markos Agathon was nearly thrown from his feet as the 1.6 kilometer long cruiser lurched forward in Bastion IV's gravitational field. "Sitrep!" He called out, turning to his tactical officer. "All six engine cores have spun to zero, we're drifting!"

Another officer called out from his station. "Shields and FTL are offline, Turbodisruptor Batteries are cold, I'll have to re-key the system!"

Agathon grasped the railing, and quickly pulled himself so that he would have some balance. "Do it, and find out where we are!" Agathon ordered, as he shoved himself away from the command console. "EVE unit is offline too." The Communications officer reported, offering a brisk salute, as he handed the commander several sheets of paper.

"Right, get us back online before we decay." Agathon ordered, as the nose of the cruiser dipped slightly to reveal the planet below. The Commander briefly clasped his hands behind his back, and furrowed his brow, he was running multiple scenarios in his his head, but otherwise dismissed the notions as he moved to a command station adjacent to the main viewfinder.

"Until we can move, and fight we need to keep a low profile..." Agathon said to himself, turning to his tactical officer. "Get comms online ASAP! And someone get those damn reactor cores back online!"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Keith nexus Character Portrait: Classis IV Sector Cosmora Character Portrait: Goffre Alvisson Character Portrait: Empyrean Norsemen Character Portrait: Wolfgang Yorisson Character Portrait: Folios Character Portrait: Svegdir Staghelm Character Portrait: Stripe Character Portrait: Irirani Syliala
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Goffre Alvisson was staring out of the cockpit window of the Stjornhestr, a Norse space-faring longship known in the common tongue as the Star-horse, due to its speed and the enormous horse-bust golden prow at the front of the ship. It was a rather large ship by Viking standards, about the size of a giant Spanish galleon, though still very small in comparison to other contemporary spacecraft as it hovered above the exosphere of Bastion IV, for reasons unknown to anyone but the crew onboard.

"How is that map coming along?" the Jarl asked while looking down at the continent of Xamoyos from orbit.

"Ay, nearly finished my Lord," answered the mapmaker, who was standing on the command deck over a large round table, hand-drawing the continent and its surrounding oceans in great detail using a feather quill pen and a jar of black ink on parchment paper.

Suddenly, the spacial field around Bastion IV started to distort and bend as another ship emerged, seemingly from nowhere, flickering into existence about 1900 miles off the Stjornhestr's prow. Goffre would catch a glimpse of the flashing light as it appeared in his peripheral. The Jarl was not the only person in the cockpit to notice, as the pilot and his co-pilot turned to inform him.

"Anomaly, straight ahead," the pilot claimed, pointing to the feint bright dot in the distance.

Alvisson would turn and walk casually over to the cockpit window, peering at the Conflagration while trying to make out what it was. Goffre would extend his hand to the side as the co-pilot reached over and handed him a makeshift telescope, a simple crystal ball encased in a leather bound tube. Goffre would raise the telescope and peer once again at the object in the distance, which was now magnified under the looking glass.

"It's a ship... Not one of ours either," the Jarl said, handing the looking glass back to the co-pilot, who proceeded to glance through it as well before passing it off to the pilot.

The pilot of the Stjornhestr would stare long and hard at the Hastiti Class cruiser, taking note of its strange alien symbols and metallic design, something that none of the Empyrean Norsemen had ever seen before. Meanwhile, the jarl would signal for his bodyguards to follow him out of the control room and on to the bridge. The pilot of this particular shift was one Hanson Forstein, a seafaring captain of Nordic descent with Germanic roots. Forstein had never piloted a space-faring Viking longship before, and in fact, was the first of the Empyrean Norsemen to ever do so. He glanced back at the jarl for a brief moment, who ordered him to maintain their position as the Stjornhestr drifted slowly towards the Conflagration in space. The mapmaker also paused, but Goffre just patted him on the shoulder as he walked by and told him to keep working. Despite never having been this far from the Viking's home planet before, Goffre Alvisson seemed quite calm and relaxed as he and his bodyguards left the command deck.

Hanson Forstein glanced at his co-pilot before peering back through the looking glass. At that moment, he noticed something very strange about the alien cruiser in front of them. It appeared, to Forstein, that the cruiser was starting to tilt. The nose of the ship was leaning downwards towards the planet, and, seeing no lights or anything on the outside of the vessel, it looked to Forstein as if the cruiser had either been abandoned, or else the Conflagration's crew was experiencing some technical difficulties. He handed the telescope back to his co-pilot and pointed out the strange occurrence to him. The co-pilot agreed, and as the Stjornhestr came slowly to a halt, they decided to wait and see if the cruiser would keep heading towards them or if it would alter its course.

Forstein then turned to one of the karls on the command deck, and signalled for him to approach the gjallarhorn. The karl nodded and walked casually over to the large musical instrument, an enormous curved horn that was simply exaggerated in size and length, much bigger than the karl himself as he stood by, waiting for further instructions.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Keith nexus Character Portrait: Classis IV Sector Cosmora Character Portrait: Goffre Alvisson Character Portrait: Empyrean Norsemen Character Portrait: Wolfgang Yorisson Character Portrait: Folios Character Portrait: Svegdir Staghelm Character Portrait: Stripe Character Portrait: Irirani Syliala Character Portrait: Markos Agathon
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Slowly, the cruiser continued to tilt end over end, in a slow and uncontrolled rotation along the Y axis. Agathon shook his head, and pulled up diagnostic data related to the engine cores. While he was confident that engineering would correct the problem, he was fully aware of the timeline, and quietly grit his teeth as he returned to his main command station, slowly he lowered himself into the command chair, and rested his arm on the armrest, while his eyes stared upwards at the main viewscreen.

The entire length of the craft shuddered violently, as the reactor core attempted to ignite the impulse engines that propelled this rather large warship.

Agathon quietly listened as the engines revved angrily, sending violent vibrations throughout the superstructure of the ship, those vibrations culminated into an audible whir that reverberated throughout the entirety of the ship's superstructure, the vibrations dampened, and slowly began to quiet down into a soft hum as the lights flickered, and then brightened slightly.

"Engine cores are responding, ten percent and climbing." One of the engineering officers reported. To the outside observer, six large flames began to erupt from the rear of the ship, culminating into an intense blue-purple hue, burning hot, and clean until the rear brightened into a slight bluish green, and then settled into a shimmering blue. At that moment, the craft stopped tilting, and began to orient itself with the horizon of the planet. External lights came on one by one.

The viewscreens shimmered to life, and began to display diagnostic, and tactical data. A moment later, there was an energy surge, and the Hastati cruiser was suddenly enveloped in an odd milky white bubble of light that originated from somewhere in the ship's prow, encasing it in a cocoon of light, which shimmered brilliantly like sunlight on water, before disappearing entirely.

"Shields are coming online, holding at sixty percent and climbing." Another tactical officer reported.

One by one, massive weapon batteries along the cruiser's hull began to swivel to life, adjusting their aim, and moving slightly in synchronized unison, before retracting slightly into the hull, all pointed in the same direction.

"Gun crews report green." A Tactical officer reported. "We still do not have comms, or navigation, our EVE unit is also offline. We're still blind, deaf, and mute, sir."

"Right." Commander Agathon said aloud. "Divert power to shields, get them online in case we have any surprises."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Keith nexus Character Portrait: Classis IV Sector Cosmora Character Portrait: Goffre Alvisson Character Portrait: Empyrean Norsemen Character Portrait: Wolfgang Yorisson Character Portrait: Folios Character Portrait: Svegdir Staghelm Character Portrait: Stripe Character Portrait: Irirani Syliala Character Portrait: Markos Agathon
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Goffre and his bodyguards would walk up the stairs to the captain's quarters above the main bridge, where he had a command center similar to that of the cockpit, located directly above it, with a similar view of the Conflagration from his large gold plated mirror glass window. There, he had access to a larger telescope looking out of the enormous round crystal in the eye socket of the large golden horse-bust prow, enabling Goffre to get a much closer look at the alien cruiser from his higher vantage point. The captain's quarters was segregated from the lower command center, acting as a secondary control room in case of emergency. From this armour reinforced room, Goffre could control the entire ship, so that even if something were to happen to the main cockpit area, such as a fire or explosion, the Stjornhestr would still be operational. The main bridge branched out through the longship's inner hull into several long halls and corridors. Each corridor was separated from the others by thick air-locked armoured silver and aluminum doors, so as to be sealed off in case of a breach or emergency evacuation so that air and resources would not be lost in the open vacuum.

The Stjornhestr was an energy efficient, highly simple and economic spaceship with several comfortable living quarters and housing units, simple toiletries which allowed the ship's Nordic crew to discard their bodily waste out into space, while water was stored and recycled onboard. The large ship also featured a workout unit, sort of like a medieval Viking gym where the crew could exercise. There were large cargo containers in the loading dock for storing supplies, shipping goods and other purposes, along with the retractable draw-bridge docking ramp and thick sealed doors. There were also several escape pods and launch rooms where the smaller, canoe-like convertiboats were contained, to be used as emergency evacuation vehicles or exploring and trade vessels placed strategically throughout the longship by the engineers and designers who built it.

Everything centered around the bridge. The mapmaker had just finished drawing his survey of Xamoyos from the command deck over the large round table. Towards the back of the Stjornhestr was a second control room, also with a third cockpit located at the stern. Due to the design of the Viking-esque longship, the Stjornhestr could move forward or backwards quite easily, so that the back of the ship could be quickly converted to become the front of the ship if need-be. Ventilation systems, air ducts and water pipes ran all through the ship's hull, allowing access to air and water in every living quarters. These pipes all connected to the engineer stations, eventually ending at the main storage facility which contained several greenhouses and natural biomes where plants were grown and cultivated through photosynthesis with the help of honey bees and natural starlight. These giant greenhouses were separated from one another to prevent water and air from escaping in case one or two of the greenhouses were damaged. Crew members worked inside these hot dome-shaped gold plated glass containers, planting and harvesting crops to feed the ship's 500 occupants. They also helped to tend to the hive boxes, and gather medicinal herbs to be transported to the medbay for safekeeping.

The whole system ran on pressurization, gravity, and other very simple mechanics. The ship was controlled and steered using a keel, large oar-shaped solar sails which could be moved around, tilted or repositioned, and solar-powered purple crystals which acted like rechargable glowing batteries, but generated magical energy more similar to ectoplasm than AC/DC electricity, yet produced some of the same mysterious effects of a plasma globe or lamp with colorful lightning-like filmaments that seemed dangerous at first glance, but were actually completely harmless to the touch, though powerful enough to cause a person's hair to stand on end just like static electricity. The aluminum reinforced hull would protect the longship from Röntgen radiation, X-ray scanners and electromagnetic discharges, if such a thing was even a necessity given the Empyrean Norsemen's lack of sophisticated machinery. The aluminum, silver and titanium alloy were actually chosen for their molding capabilities, flexibility and lightweight to enable the Stjornhestr to travel faster through the cosmos.

These crystals, when charged, allowed the Stjornhestr to bend the space and gravity field around it, allowing the ship to hover silently through the heavens at great speeds. Along both sides of the Stjornhestr were enormous round plates which resembled amplified bass speakers, arranged just like shields along the side of a normal Viking Age longship, only these shields were much different, and were operated individually from the defensive weapon control stations, as were the two large glowing crystals at the sternpost and stempost which could be used as prisms to generate magic and concentrate high-powered beams of energy, either for propelling the ship through outer space or for targeting in-coming missiles in order to immobilize them or detonate them before contact, similar to a microwave, EMP or laser defense system. There were no radios, satellite tethers, radars, computers or electrical equipment onboard. Instead, the Stjornhestr was operated manually or with the use of magic.

Otherwise, the Stjornhestr was shaped much like a typical Viking longship with a stern, a prow, a keel and a long narrow hull. The hull itself was made of silver, titanium and steel, reinforced with aluminum. The stern was also made of silver and aluminum, reinforced with crucible steel and titanium. The prow was fitted over the front bow of the hull and made of thick solid gold. The keel ran longways along the bottom of the hull, and was also made of pure gold. The inside of the ship was made of aluminum and silver, while the seats and beds were made of hard oak wood with leather bindings and comfortable, cushioned plant fabrics such as cotton or wool. The tables and benches were made of oak, while the captain's quarters featured silk sheets and curtains. In place of electricity, the Empyrean Norsemen had simple oil lanterns, wax candles and torches which provided light throughout the ship. In place of radios, they had gjallarhorns and crude telehorn systems which operated with the use of vibrations on long strings that ran from one end of the ship to the other.

The crew had a very simple hierarchy or social structure with Goffre Alvisson being the jarl, in a red uniform. His personal bodyguards wore black, bearskin coats with visored helms and silver armor. Below them were the karls or freemen, who made up 90% of his leidang, dressed in blue, while the rest were thralls or servants in green who performed most of the ship's manual labour, such as carrying supplies, cooking meals in the kitchen and feeding the animals at the cargo containers. This included shire horses, goats or ibexes, domesticated hogs and cattle. There were also hunting dogs, forest cats and ravens which the Empyrean Norsemen had trained to speak and deliver messages back and forth if needed. The entire ship had its own little miniature ecosystem. The greenhouses produced several varieties of trees, plants, flora, grasses and fungi including many edible crops, roots, grains, fruits, nuts, seeds and vegetables to be used either as a food source or for medicinal reasons. The plants and trees provided the oxygen the crew needed to sustain for several months, or possibly even many years in deep space depending on their voyage, while the gold plating inside the mirrored windows protected the passengers from harmful gamma waves and radiation, but this was more of a secondary function or added benefit, for all of the gold and silver within the Stjornhestr was magically imbued and actually served as protection against space debris or incoming missiles and lasers.

As the pilot of the Stjornhestr peered through his looking glass again, Hanson Forstein noticed a flicker in the lights aboard the alien cruiser. Just then, a voice came through the telehorn on top of the control desk. Jarl Goffre had witnessed it too from the cabin above. Forstein picked up the cow horn that was attached to the string and placed it to his ear. The muffled voice of Goffre was barely audible and unrecognizable to the other karls inside the cockpit, but Forstein just listened and nodded quietly before responding with a simple "Yes my lord" before setting the phone down and turning to his co-pilot, who was waiting for further instructions. The co-pilot for this mission was a young man named Rolegh, who appeared to be in his early twenties with short blonde hair and blue eyes which matched his lace-tied V-neck long sleeved blue shirt and baggy trousers. He wore brown leather high-top shoes with lacings around his ankles and pantlegs, and a golden arm-ring on his left arm close to the shoulder. This was the typical attire of most of the freemen on the ship, but Forstein and Rolegh also had silver vegvisir necklaces rather than the more common mjolnir necklaces worn by the other karls, signifying that they were in charge of piloting the ship.

"That was Jarl Goffre, he wants us to reposition the Stjornhestr and sink into the sky. We're ready to explore the surface" the pilot said.

The co-pilot nodded and turned around on his swiveling wooden chair seat to face the control systems. There in front of him was a control panel with switches, wheels, Norse compasses and levers inscribed with runic symbols. Forstein then turned to the karl at the gjallarhorn and motioned for him to blow the horn with one finger. The karl nodded, and grasping the end of the gjallarhorn, he took a breath and blew into it. The sound was loud, deep and long, similar to the sound of a horn on a large tug boat. The sound travelled from one end of the longship to the other, causing the entire hull of the Stjornhestr to vibrate as it alerted the crew. Upon hearing the sound of the gjallarhorn, all 500 passengers aboard the space-faring vessel would jump up and become active, going to different places and taking up various positions within the many corridors and cabins as Forstein had Rolegh prepared to lower the Stjornhestr towards the surface of the planet. Meanwhile, the jarl continued to stare at the Conflagration through his own large telescope in the captain's quarters, watching as a milky white surge of energy enveloped the Hastiti Class cruiser for a moment like a transparent bubble before vanishing.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Keith nexus Character Portrait: Classis IV Sector Cosmora Character Portrait: Goffre Alvisson Character Portrait: Synri Character Portrait: Empyrean Norsemen Character Portrait: Wolfgang Yorisson Character Portrait: Folios Character Portrait: Svegdir Staghelm Character Portrait: Stripe Character Portrait: Irirani Syliala Character Portrait: Markos Agathon
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Commander Agathon continued to stare out at the viewscreen in front of him, watching the stars as they flitted about on the screen, and he kept his eyes on the planet below, everything was in it’s place, and the Commander was eagerly waiting the re-establishment of communications, and navigation so they could figure out where they were, and make the necessary course corrections.

“One degree angle nominal, yaw twenty percent, pitch correction minus twenty niner niner, carom two niner three.” A Bridge officer reported, as he manipulated a control stick on his console to correct the yaw, and pitch issues from one of the automated stabilizers.

“Stabilization complete.” The officer reported, right as a large three-dimensional representation of the star system flickered into view, a whirring reverberating through the entire CIC as the Kapisi, the OVI Carrier, and an unusual vessel were all highlighted in varying colors to denote their possible threat status.

“We have multiple contacts.” The bridge officer reported, as the Commander narrowed his eyes.

“Can we establish comms?”

The bridge officer shook his head. “Astrometrics is still working on getting navigation back online, we won’t have comms for awhile, but we can move and fight if we need.”

The commander nodded.

“Bring us to condition two throughout the ship.”

With the order given, the lights in the CIC dimmed to a dull amber, and the crew began moving to their stations quickly, preparing for a possible emergency.

The Conflagration itself moved forward ever so slightly, as weapon batteries began to move from their recessed emplacements, and into a ready position.

“All decks report condition two.” The Executive officer reported.