[Fluff] The Siege of Bruj - Chapter 1

Based on an adaptation of the Badab War Campaign, the result of 5 games of Warhammer 40k are being used to write a recount of 'The Siege of Bruj', a compendium for the background of the traitorous elements of the Emerald Fists; my homebrew chapter.  The results are being formatted with photographs of my models and the battles.  Enjoy.

Click here for more chapters, current links to the draft formatted (with pictures) version and more background.

Chapter 1 – The Fall of Bruj
“Fear both the daemon within and without for corruption knows no bounds”
excerpt, Liber Daemonicus
With the whispers of the Dark Apostle Kor Ikthon ever in his ear, Roscius, the Betrayer, Prince of Nurgle, bid his followers to the system of Bruj to reinforce the region in an effort to pave the way for Abadon's 13th Black Crusade. Lord Kurnex, one of Roscius’ most trusted lieutenants, was given command of a large contingent of traitor Emerald Fists and a small fleet of warships. Despite their misplaced allegiance to the powers of the warp, the traitor fists were progeny of the Imperial Fist's Primarch, Rogal Dorn, and were masters of defence. They were tasked with overseeing the construction of vast fortifications around Bruj Secundus to control the major warp routes passing through the system.
Before construction could begin, Imperial control of the system had to be overthrown. Near 952.1M41 the small fleet approached Bruj Secundus to lay claim to the planet. Although the Fists were as well versed in siege warfare as they were in resiting such an onslaught, Kurnex was no fool. Destroying the infrastructure of the system only to rebuild it for their own devices would delay their plans for too long. The thought of corrupting much of the populace in place of slaughtering them brought a smile to the remnants of his face and could not be ignored. Instead, agents of the dark powers had been dispatched ahead of the fleet and had ensured that the orbital defence platform and void auspex systems were off-line as the fleet approached. With no warning of an incoming attack, Kurnex moved the fleet into high orbit above the planetary governor’s palace unimpeded. Kurnex’s infiltrators did not stop at disabling the system’s defences and placed a teleport homer within the palace. With an actinic flash the Lord of Rot and his bodyguard clad in corrupt terminator armour teleported to the throne room amid the governor and his aides. As the palace guard reached for their holstered weapons a hail of storm bolter fire traced the room. Terrified administratum adepts ran for cover and were ignored; they would serve a later purpose. Kurnex strode to the defiant governor who to his credit did not fail to meet the powered armoured gaze. The governor stood tall as Kurnex rose to his full height and lashed out with his rusted lightning claw. The palace stood for mere minutes; the remaining palace guard no match for the hulking behemoths. As dawn broke, Kurnex summoned the leaders of the Administratum, Ministorum and planetary defence force to the palace. With the planet’s government seated in the grand hall, the doors were sealed and Kurnex entered; trumpeted by screams of horror. The myriad scent of fear permeated throughout the room and Kurnex breathed deeply; savouring the aroma. Sequestered at the palace, those not swayed to the Lord of Rot’s path were slain while those foolish enough to pledge their souls began the conversion of Bruj’s populace. The planetary defence force and civilian population were set on a new path with careful instruction from the captive government and cult followers expertly integrated throughout the populace. The people of Bruj continued with their lives unknowing of the corruption subtly guiding their fate.
Within weeks, the population was tasked with reinforcing the bulwarks and planetary defence network surrounding the Departmento Ministorum stores under the watchful eye of Lord Kurnex. The work details quickly increased in duration and frequency as trenches were snaked across the landscape. Such grueling labour did not stop in the lee of the inevitable accidents and the bodies were buried among the trenches lest proper burial slow progress. As the populace toiled for months the death toll rose by the tens of thousands and corpses were sown throughout the defences. Once the trenchworks were completed, the ancient ruined walls of the capital were raised anew; built upon the graves of those who had constructed them. Overworked men and women lived in overcrowded labour camps and dug in soils ripe with rotten corpses; it was not long before a plague swept through the populace. Cults of Nurgle began to coalesce as survivors turned to the aid of the apostles walking among them.
Rumours soon escaped the palace walls of the coup when the propaganda surrounding the former governor’s absence lost weight among the concerned mercantile guilds. Staff still loyal to the Imperium managed to send word of Space Marines far removed from the light of the Emperor who were controlling the population to their own end. Along with pict images of the marine's insignia the plea for help made its way to the Ordo Malleus through various acolytes in the Sector.
Lord Kurnex - The traitor elements of the Emerald Fists are led by Lords of Rot. Those battle brothers who were implanted with defective geneseed long before the Schism and possessed of exceptional natural ability soon became sergeants of their own squads. These traitors are rare, yet so is their prowess in battle. These exceptional individuals who would have been destined for great things among their loyal chapter have risen to prominence among the traitors. Blessed with the gifts of the Lord of Pestilence and innate ability they reap unimaginable carnage across the worlds of the Imperium serving as the daemon prince Roscius' lieutenants. Originally, a sergeant of a 7th company assault squad, Kurnex is a proficient brawler. He has risen in prominence among Roscius’ war host on the corpses of those he has slaughtered; kings, governors and champions all falling to his envenomed blades.
Raven’s Flight
Captain Aajz Solari of the Raven Guard 2nd Company had always maintained a strong working relationship with the Segmentum’s inquisition. Upon hearing mixed rumours that the Emerald Fists had fallen to chaos in 953M41, a small strike force of Raven Guard led by Solari’s second in command and protege, Azinias Rhaco, travelled to Bruj to investigate sightings of an Emerald Fists stronghold. The system was located at a major junction of two warp routes important to the Imperium’s rapid response to incursions from the Eye of Terror yet far from any trade routes. Bruj was not a heavily populated system and had been ravaged by numerous minor battles during the 3rd, 5th and 10th Black Crusades. With the resources of the Imperium stretched among innumerable conflicts across the galaxy the rebuilding of the Bruj system floundered. The remaining military infrastructure within the system consisted of a planetary defence orbital platform, a series of fortified bastions on the surface of Bruj Secundus and an automated sensor system stationed on the 2nd moon of Bruj Extremus.
Having fought side by side with the honoured Emerald Fist’s 3rd captain during the Dorek campaign, Captain Solari sought to confirm the rumours before condemning the Fists and his brother at arms. And so he sent his second in his stead to confirm the allegations brought to bear against his battle brother. The Raven Guard strike force translated into real space at the far edge of the system. Initial long range auspex scans detected nothing amiss within Bruj. Imperial beacons remained functional and vox traffic appeared normal. Ever cautious, the fleet moved silently cloaked beneath their reflex shielding. The strike force set high anchor on the void-ward side of Bruj Extremus and prepared to land on its 2nd moon designated Occulum. When asked, the librarius could sense nothing on the moon’s surface beyond feelings of impending loss as the surrounding warp storms pressed heavily on their minds. Before making the presence of the fleet known the Raven Guard would up-link with the listening post’s cogitators. Rhaco ordered 10th company Sergeant Helas Novusi, along with four squads of initiates and several Land Speeders to descend to the surface of Occulum to investigate and retrieve detailed information from the installation. Lead by Novusi, the recon team quietly descended on Occulum. Meanwhile Rhaco selected four of his battle brothers and boarded a small vessel to attempt contact with the Fists on Bruj Secundus; in their wake they left the strike force waiting behind Bruj Extremus. Against the warnings of his war council, Rhaco slowly crossed the void toward the planet transmitting on open vox channels to contact the Fists. His captain had doubts and Rhaco would see them confirmed with his own eyes.
 19th among the Founding Legions, the scions of Corax have ever stayed true to their Emperor. Using the tactics and strategies perfected by their Primarch, the Raven Guard are masters of the unseen war. The tools of their trade are stealth and sabotage, used with brutal efficiency to carry out lightning raids with pinpoint accuracy. Their strikes specifically engineered to hit at the weak point of the foe.
Following the communique with Inquisitor Tritonirus, Solari had sent his most trusted friend and second in command, Azinias Rhaco, to Bruj Secondus to find the truth of the accusations that were being levelled at an Astartes he had shared a kinship with. A kinship forged through the crucible of war is one not easily broken. And so it was that Rhaco departed with nearly one half of a company of battle brothers and the remainder of Solari’s Command Squad, which he had led since its formation.
Veteran Sergeant Rhaco and Solari’s Command Squad
Centuries ago near the southernmost reaches of Imperial space, Azinias Rhaco and his squad were tasked with the infiltration and destruction of a Dark Eldar staging area in the Petus system. It was here that the PDF had been outmanoeuvred by the Dark Eldar, and the battle had come to a standstill as the pilfering xenos harried supply lanes with impunity. The location of the staging area was not known to the PDF and without the ability to bring their guns to bear on it, had operated for months unopposed.. The staging area itself consisted of several outlying buildings and munitions stores, as well as several prisons and torture cells. It was here that Rhaco and his squad turned the tide of the battle and forced the Dark Eldar onto their heels. The staging area was thought to be an insurmountable obstacle in the path of the PDF and they had all but exhausted their resources attempting to locate it. What the PDF could not do for weeks, the Ravens accomplished before dawn broke the next day. What baffled the PDF most however was the means in which it was accomplished. Eyewitness accounts gave mixed responses and reports were wildy in-congruent.
Excerpt from Trooper Rheman’s Personal Eyewitness Testimony regarding the Dark Eldar destruction
“It was dark that night, the moon was hidden by the storm overhead. We saw their sentries patrolling amongst the walls through the cages and suddenly they were gone, as if the thunder itself took them. We looked at one another, asking what had happened.. No one saw anything. Next thing we know there’s a prison break, and all power goes down in the compound. We were totally blind. How anyone could fight in that I don’t know. By the time morning broke we had made our way outside the compound. Some of us went to investigate but what we found was...nothing. Not a trace of hard battle. It was as if some terrible vengeance of the Emperor himself had been brought down on them.”
At least that’s what those faithful proclaimed. The rest of them...claimed spirits, ghosts, wraiths.....


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