[Fluff] The Siege of Bruj - Chapter 4

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 previous and future chapters, current links to the draft formatted (with pictures) version and more background.

Chapter 4 – Resolve

“To know the enemy would be to invite a terrible madness into one’s soul”
Nykona Sharrowkyn of the Raven Guard, circa M31

Holding high orbit above Bruj Secundus, the Tacita Nocte monitored ground communications of both the enemy and small pockets of Imperial resistance as the latter were slowly extinguished. The Raven Guard strike cruiser was invisible to those below; its reflex shielding masking it to prying eyes from the surface. The Raven Guard had been in the Bruj System for nearly a month since the battle on Occulum and the destruction of the Emerald Fist frigate; yet in that time they had not encountered other vessels beyond the destroyed frigate. It was as if the entire Emerald Fist contingent had disembarked and been abandoned by their fleet. Romitius had ordered precision strikes across the planet to disrupt enemy activity but their actions were limited to minor engagements due to the reduced combat readiness of the force and the overwhelming strength of the Emerald Fists and their heretical followers present planet side.

Upon discovering the breadth of the corruption the Fists had visited to Bruj over the last year, it became apparent that the small strike force was insufficient to end the chaos threat to the system. Now in command, Chief Librarian Romitius had sent astrotelepathic shouts through the warp to hail Captain Solari’s battlefleet. Romitius’ combat strength in the system was limited to Squad Darius and Torin’s tacticals, Squad Naphon’s terminators and Chaplain Damiken. The force’s allotment of scouts had been murdered to the man; their speeders destroyed on Occulum, Solari’s command squad under Rhaco was lost discovering the Fist’s treachery and the remaining squads were understrength due to battlefield loses and injury. Captain Solari would undoubtedly be tearing through the warp with battle brothers and heavy armour to bolster the Raven Guard strength in the system and form an assault force capable of laying the Enemy low. Romitius knew however that he could not wait for reinforcements.

On Bruj, the small pockets of resistance fighters were gradually pushed back to the last remaining holdout loyal to Terra; Omega Nine. The population of Bruj Secundus was localized around a small number of bastions peppered across the planet and the loyalists had garrisoned the last remaining fortress untouched by plague. Until now the Emerald Fists had more pressing concerns and had largely left them alone. The picket walls around the fortified community had kept the roaming plague victims from coming into contact with those inside and the winds had not been unkind in keeping Nurgle’s breath away. The time had come however and this island of hope and ignorance of Nurgle’s kindness on Bruj had become an insult to His power.

From the Tacita Nocte, an armoured column could be seen moving on the bastion. Their intent to wipe the stain of cleanliness from the face of the planet was obvious in their numbers. Romitius would not allow those who had stood resolute against corruption to be destroyed while he watched. It is said that the Emperor helps those who help themselves and the Raven Guard would bring the Emperor’s aid to those courageous men and women, with or without Captain Solari’s reinforcements.

Turning Point

With the armoured column moving at speed across the wasteland, Romitius and those remaining under his command made for Omega Nine. The Emerald Fists force resounded across the auspex albeit with numbers indiscernible. From the east a vast rolling tumult of murky ash hundreds of meters high preceding the approaching Fists concealed them from the Raven Guard landing craft. Turbulence struck and Romitius felt the storm raven fall, his mag locked armour pulling him down. A haze had enveloped the bastion and the pilot pulled up at the last moment more on instinct than sight or readouts. As they set down within Omega Nine’s meagre port, landing ramps blew open and the Raven Guard emerged with purpose. Each had been given a strategic point to defend and with haste made to his given objective. Romitius was met by the ranking officer of the impromptu defence, lieutenant Berkstrom of the planetary defence force. Without a shred of hesitancy, a credit to his resolve, Berkstrom saluted and briefed the towering space marine. The defence force was quickly reorganized and sent in squads to bolster the Raven Guard positions. A hail of lasfire from a defensible position forms the raw iron shield of humanity; yet in the presence of the Emperor’s finest these men would be transformed to tempered steel. Romitius could feel the bow wave of psychic energy pushing the visible wave of dust in front of the Emerald Fist force which was now cresting the horizon. The storm ravens and lone thunderhawk which had taken the Raven Guard to the surface were ordered to circle beyond the storm’s edge to avoid being smashed apart like a ship upon a rocky shore. Romitius was a veteran of countless battles and knew that this would be his most trying challenge, yet his faith in the Emperor told him that he would not be alone. Chaplain Damiken could be heard roaring across the vox. His resolve was immense, and his battle brothers spread across Omega Nine reiterated his words to those guardsmen manning the walls around them. Within each man and woman a sense of determination surpassing mere survival washed over them as the litanies of battle were repeated again and again.

Omega Nine was surrounded by large ferrocrete walls and dragon’s teeth, impassable to vehicles and sure death for infantry attempting to scale them beneath raking las fire. Romitius understood this the instant the settlement became visible on their approach and had ordered the eastern gate as the primary defensive position. Two large gate houses bolstered the gate and the heavy weapons remaining to the Raven Guard were stationed here with clear firing lanes downthe approaching avenues. Abandoned habs in near-collapse following previous skirmishes lined the roadway. Romitius knew he had been correct when the murky wave washed over the walls, its tendrils enveloping everything around him. Guardsmen unfortunate enough to not have respirators quickly lost the contents of their stomachs before turning red faced and teary back towards their stations. Heralded by the nauseating wave the Emerald Fist column of armour, headed by Land Raider transports, came into view. Instantly las cannons roared from Omega Nine’s defensive positions only to deflect harmlessly off of the defiled armour. Romitius saw this for what it was and immediately ordered the las cannons to focus on other targets. The Emerald Fists had placed their heaviest armour at the fore to protect the smaller more vulnerable rhino transports following close behind. Within moments, a rhino ground to a halt, its armour penetrated by a high energy las beam. Plague marines disembarked from the immobilized craft and continued their implacable advance. A second rhino attempted to push through the broken down transport and threw a track. Its doors opened as if triggered by the cessation of movement and a viscous ichor oozed out of its passenger compartment. The ichor bubbled and frothed, loosing giant gnats from the bubbles as they broke. The vegetation around the fluid wilted and dissolved and the flies dispersed without trace.

Dorn’s fallen children would not be stopped so readily. The main spearhead was flanked by columns of siege units both material and immaterial. Thundering vindicators crashed through the derelict habs followed by daemonic spawn while daemon engines picked their way towards the ramparts; throwing aside fallen debris. Screened by the armoured prow of the vindicators the daemons gained ground while the roar of demolisher cannons forced the defenders into cover. Romitius could lend no aid to the flanks while the enemy drew ever closer to the gate; Sergeant Darius would need to marshal his remaining tactical marines and hold off the infernal beasts on his own.

From the southern flank a wall erupted as a defiler engine pushed through the shattered ferrocrete obstructing its main battle cannon. It loosed uncontrolled bursts towards the walls of Omega Nine, a blanket of acidic gore splattered where it hit. Unlucky guardsmen sloughed their skin in agony as they died. Sergeant Torin granted those nearest to him the Emperor’s mercy with his combat blade before returning fire. Waves of ethereal creatures ignited beneath the onslaught of las fire and bolter rounds yet the defiler was proof against these weapons. Romitius ordered his las cannons to loose at the engine. The ruined buildings stopped all but one of the heavy weapons from finding its mark. With an inhuman roar the defiler pitched forward, a seemingly important component of its form having been damaged. Its mechanical claws flailed in anguish as it slowly dragged itself forwards. With its main weapon incapable of elevating to an appropriate target and its advanced slowed beyond significance, Torin gripped his bolter tight and continued to express the Emperor’s rage at more immediate threats.

As the traitors neared the northern wall the vindicators turned south and unleashed their ordnance on the gate itself. Darius was in his own battle and despite his enemy splitting in two, the remainder had neared the battlements. Large toad like creatures with an agility unfathomable for their sheer girth launched over the wall. The defenders fired into the air striking the passing creatures from below. A rain of rotten viscera fell across Darius and his charges before two of the creatures caught one of his battle brothers. The frog-things pulled him in two, their mouths clacking together as they fought over the scraps of the fallen. The humans screamed in terror as the plagued reptilians crushed them underfoot. In moments Darius’ remaining marines and scant few humans formed an ever shrinking circle around him. Large bore wounds erupted from the daemons as bolt rounds found their mark. Yet Darius could see no slowing in the beasts. Unrelenting they advanced until the loyalists were shoulder to shoulder draining their last rounds of ammunition.

Upon the gatehouse Romitius watched the armoured column grind to a halt as it converged on the gate. His heavy weapons, requisitioned from squads Torin and Darius, had immobilized numerous of the smaller rhino transports. Movement became difficult for the remaining vehicles which were hemmed in by burning hulks. This came at a cost and the constant shelling of the guard towers by the Fist’s vindicators had reduced the parapets to rubble sending their defenders to the Emperor’s side. The Emerald Fists would not be deterred by a slow approach and their passengers had disembarked from their transports and marched on the gate. As a defaced land raider smashed aside an immobile rhino, a massive daemon engine strode past with ethereal claws held ready. Romitius knew their hold on the planet was lost.

Naphon and his terminators stood at the ready just inside the gate; it would soon fall leaving him and his veteran brothers to stem the tide of corruption. Romitius hurried past to Omega Nine’s port and signalled lieutenant Berkstrom. His enhanced senses cleansed the cacophony of battle from the vox feed as Berkstrom acknowledged. Romitius ordered the remaining human defenders to disengage where able and head to the landing platforms along with any civilians who had been unable to take up arms. He then sat. Amidst the tumult of battle and the swirling plague winds he began to chant. Cross legged in his powered armour and hands clasped to his temples, his long remembered prayers to the Emperor were his focus. With crisp speech, he repeated texts read long ago during his trials at the Librarius and his eyes rolled back in his skull. A faint glow emanated from his open eyes and the faint smell of ozone permeated the area as the circuits on his psychic hood sparked in fury. His arms shot outward and his head snapped toward the sky. A burst of the Emperor’s divine will shone to the heavens penetrating the psychic storm, pushing its vile effects beyond the boundaries of the landing platforms.

The plague toads had bathed the defenders in corrosive ichor, melting skin and armour with equal ease. Lasbolt and chainblade had taken all but one of the beasts down but as Darius wiped blood from his eyes he was alone. Hatred coursed through him as he side stepped his fallen battle brothers, their midnight black armour pocked and pitted. The toad, nearly two meters tall and twice as wide, arched its head back as if to clear it’s throat. With a grotesque sound it hurled forward, maw wide, ejecting a fluorescent green bolus of death. Darius rolled wide and plunged his chainsword into the thing’s neck. Carrying his momentum he leveraged himself up onto its back while it flailed violently. Grabbing a protruding horn from the beast’s head with one hand Darius held fast while working the chainsword through its neck. An impossible volume of putrid chemicals gushed from the wound, soaking into the stonework. Pustules on its back vented caustic fumes which ate into the soft components of Darius’ armour. He screamed in fury as his skin boiled and his foe was slain by his hand, pooling beneath him. Looking up from his victory his eyes were met by a horrid simulacrum of a space marine.

With the defenders of the gatehouse slain under the oppressive fire of vindicators there was little the Raven Guard could do to protect the gate. A bipedal war engine nearly as tall as the gate itself sank its ghostly claws into the reinforced ferrocrete. Flares of light erupted from the punctures and traced along the bracing before disappearing into the gatehouse mechanisms to either side. The metal began to rust as the ferrocrete began to weather and crumble. Within moments the gate appeared to age beyond function and the daemon removed its weapons and stepped aside. In its wake the Emerald Fists land raider surged forward and shattered the gateway in a puff of dust and flaked metal. As its assault ramp opened Naphon and his squad formed a shield wall and prepared for whatever emerged.

Through the eye of the storm bolstered by Romitius’ focus, the Raven Guard storm ravens and thunderhawk returned to set down within the landing area. Hundreds of civilians and wounded planetary defence troops crowded toward their ramps and those of the few bulk landers at Omega Nine. As the rabble hurled themselves over one another children were trampled and the injured were left to their own. The loading master could do little to control the situation and the craft merely took off when their holds were at capacity. The space marine vessels pitched toward the Tacita Nocte, hopeful they could make a second approach. The bulk landers, outfitted to ferry foodstuffs from the surface to awaiting merchant vessels, had not been used for evacuation as there had been nowhere to run. With the Raven Guard to foster them however, the people of Omega Nine tore through the doors of grain hoppers and made space where ever able. The massive landers struggled against the planets gravity as they gained altitude; there would be no second run.

From within the belly of the Emerald Fist land raider hulking suits of armour manufactured by the Dark Mechanicus emerged. Five in total their dilapidated armour dripping grime and unknowable fluid. The armour moaned in disrepair as the walking tanks stepped onto Omega Nine’s soil with combi-bolters roaring. Naphon and his three brothers were all that remained to stop the deluge of chaos from entering the holdout. Gathering speed they ran forwards, shields down as a wedge, toward the Emerald Fists. Naphon struck the central chaos terminator with his stormshield with such force that it strode back three steps to be pinned against the land raider. In the space created by the Raven’s wedge, he moved aside in time for a thunderhammer to decapitate the traitor. With now even odds, they turned again to face their foe as the land raider vacated the gate. Power fist met storm shield as bolt rounds erupted harmlessly from terminator armour. Miniature novas of energy burst between the power fields of chain fists and thunderhammers as the two groups parried and struck in a slow dance. Naphon and his squad moved with purpose to reposition themselves between the forces of chaos and the landing pads but were too embroiled to halt an oncoming rhino until it was too late. Veteran brother Ranus lurched in front of the rhino in an attempt to stop it and was spun aside as the rhino careened into a group of civilians desperately hoping for a return flight of the bulk landers. Ranus’ was caught in the left arm by a chain fist which sunk deep, tearing through adamantium and bone with ease before he could bring up his shield. The rhino detonated in a indigo conflagration which threw those around it to the ground. As the fumes from the explosion settled on the masses they began to choke on their own vomit. A cascade of illness passed almost as quickly as the panic. Naphon and his squad fell in on Ranus and disengaged toward the landing pad under an onslaught of bolt rounds.

Face to face with the Emerald Fists’ warlord, the embodiment of prowess and decay amongst the fallen chapter, Darius knew he could not outrun this foe. Having held the northern flank this long he knew he would die with honour. Darius was about to prime his remaining krak grenades when a thunderous roar signalled Chaplain Damiken’s arrival. Bellowing in fury the chaplain shouldered into the traitor marine. Over the crack of ceramite Damiken ordered Darius to fall back. He would not let more of his battle brothers fall to this creature. The assault on Omega Nine would not continue while he lived. Darius faltered at first not willing to abandoned his chaplain yet when the order was repeated through gritted teeth, Darius’ psychoconditioning overrode his will and he turned back toward the landing pads.

Lieutenant Berkstrom had arrived at the landing site and was struggling to maintain order. The remaining populace was attempting to force itself onto the landing pad to escape the spreading plague as numerous rhinos began to vent their toxic cargo. Incoming plague marines could be seen fanning out through the fumes. Darius as well as squads Naphon and Torin had made it to the landing pad and were loosing shots into the Emerald Fists wherever line of sight permitted. From those who had fallen beneath the pungent clouds released by the Emerald Fist rhinos individuals soon began to rise; crying and drooling blood. Berkstrom reacted quickly and ordered the last bouts of promethium available to him sprayed into the panicked crowd. Their deaths were inevitable and expediting it would slow the tide of corruption. The cleansing flame flashed to life forming a screaming barrier against the plague, its light forcing back the sickening hue from the landing pad. As if heralded by the moat of fire, the Raven Guard transports touched down at speed. The Raven Guard dragged the unconscious Romitius aboard and loaded themselves onto the three vessels and what civilians they could. Engines pushed to their limits, the craft followed the ever closing within the tumult previously held at bay by Romitius. As the swirling winds closed behind them and the Raven Guard breached the atmosphere, Chaplain Damiken’s indicator light blinked out.

A vast majority of the traitor armoury is comprised of relics stolen during the Schism. These machines are kept fighting by the warband's warp smiths and supplemented with new and horrifying creations touched by the warp. When the Emerald Fists fled into the Eye of Terror they quickly set to forming allegiances with the Dark Mechanicum and the denizens of their twisted forges. The Fists, caring little for tech-lore, have pledged their future plunder to the flesh metal overlords of the Dark Mechanicum in exchange for an endless supply of war machines to persecute Roscius’ eternal war.

Reports of Emerald Fist forces fighting alongside the forces of chaos rarely involve tales of full scale daemonic incursion; for tales of this magnitude do not leave the sanity of the few survivors to whisper them. Far more common are descriptions of strange mechanical beasts flying support or walking among the Fists. Of particular note are the flying constructs known as blight drones. These foul machines can be heard approaching with a sound akin to a swarm of flies. A large mass of flesh protected by thick armour plating is held aloft by two rotors. Whether this merger of armour and flesh is spawned directly from the warp or hammered into existence by Emerald Fists' warp smiths aboard their fleet vessels is unknown. A popular suspicion among the Ordo Malleus is that of fatally wounded marines giving themselves fully to the corruption of the warp and becoming engorged with unknown plagues; destined to live on and spread rot and suffering from their bloated selves.


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks man. My buddy has completely lost interest in helping me with this any more so I think I'm going to write up the last battle (which we finished in the fall) and maybe some rigged photographs to make it look more like a finish.

  2. An excellent read, I can imagine the battles in my minds eye from your evocative account. Great work and keep it going!

    1. Thanks for the feedback. That's all caught up though. I can't promise when the next piece will come out.


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