Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Better Know a Chapter: The Steel Revenants - Major Engagements

Like any good seven-thousand-year-old Space Marine Chapter, the Steel Revenants have quite a few campaigns recorded in their massive archives. As much as I would love to write about every single one of them, most Space Marine engagements involve a few dozen Marines, a couple tanks, and a relatively short time in the field. Most Space Marine conflicts are, let's face it, not worth reading about. Because I'm not Matt Ward (SURPRISE!) and I don't get paid for that sort of thing, I'm not going to wax talkative about all the times my favorite Chapter Master victoriously wiped his own ass. However, the gaping maw of The Blog is ever hungry, and it is interesting to read about the campaigns where at least a full Battle Company takes the field for a protracted engagement.

But enough of this fool's jibba-jabba!

- The Waaagh! of H'roggut Goretoof, Slayer of Several
The Kokytus System, where the fledgeling Steel Revenants would establish their home.
Instigated by H'roggut Goretoof, the last in a line of Goretoof warbosses that held the system in their grip for nearly a millennium. The full Chapter, at this point roughly two companies in strength, participated in this battle. It was here that the Steel Revenants carved out their protectorate.

- The Waaagh! of Guthul Blackfist, Skourge O' Da Stars
The neighboring Virgil system, which had once again lapsed in its tithes to the Administratum.
Guthul Blackfist was a Big Mek whose warband featured speed freeks and dreadmobs in prominence. Three full Battle Companies marched to liberate the Virgil system, the resting place of Saint Virgil's bones, and the holiest site in all of the Aetherium Cluster.

- The Age of Apostasy
The Steel Revenants, due in large part to their close ties to the Adeptus Mechanicus, were staunch opponents of Goge Vandire's Reign of Blood. When the Frateris Templar approached the Kokytus system demanding tribute and submission, the entire Chapter mobilized. Though they were not present at the siege of the Imperial Palace, they were instrumental in rooting out some of the last stubborn Cardinals loyal to Vandire after the traitor's death.

- The Purging of Oxia
The Steel Revenants were called to assist the Iron Hands, their First Founding ancestors, in dealing with a warfleet of renegade Navy and Guard in the Segmentum Obscuris.
Chaos was found to be the cause of the uprisings, but various other factions took advantage of the conflict to advance their own agendas. All of First Company, under the legendary Chapter Master Loricus, fought in this campaign.

- The Eldar Incursion
The Gaul Cluster, a tight grouping of stars that hosts a dozen habitable planets currently under exploration by rogue traders and Mechanicus Explorator fleets.
Eldar pirates snuck into the star cluster and attacked Titos one of the planets hosting an Explorator expedition. Their suspicions aroused by the Eldar's unprovoked attacks, the Adepus Mechanicus sought aid from the Steel Revenants to unearth whatever the Eldar were so eager to hide. Fourth and Fifth Company responded to the call of Mars. In the course of the fighting, the Steel Revenants discovered a network of catacombs containing countless slumbering Necrons. The Eldar fled before a decisive blow could be struck on either side, and the entrances to the tomb-complexes were sealed. The High Lords ordered a constant vigil be kept over Titos.

- The Akeldama Heresy
Imperial renegades arose right under the nose of the Steel Revenants. Though the rebellion was put down quickly, the suspicions of the Inquisition were roused, and a conflict ensued when one tenacious inquisitor attempted to force his will upon the Chapter's leadership. Incensed by the challenge to the Chapter's sovereignty, the Chapter Master ordered the entire Chapter to arms. Several Skitarii Legions and half a dozen Titans, as well as the Knights of Glory and the Dragons Rampant joined the battle against the Inquisition. Nearly two thousand Marines and half a dozen Imperial Guard regiments responded to the Inquisition's demands for aid. For weeks, bloody skirmishes threatened to become an all-out war, and neither side was clearly in the wrong. Only a timely declaration by the High Lords stopped the conflict from descending into a bloodbath. Though the official decision from Terra was that the Inquisition was in the wrong and had violated the sovereignty of the Steel Revenants, the bad blood stemming from those tense days persists even now.

- The Eldar Invasion
Perhaps in retaliation for the deaths inflicted on the previous Eldar strike force, or perhaps in an effort to silence the tomb-world once and for all, an Eldar craftworld emerged in the Gaul cluster and engaged in all-out war with the Mechanicus outpost on the tomb-world. Once again, the Revenants rushed to provide succor to their longtime allies. Two full companies fought in this campaign. This time, the Necrons awoke and joined the battle, reaping the souls of human and Eldar alike. The Eldar once again fled, leaving the bloodied members of Second and Third Companies to stem the Necron tide. Three Land Raiders were lost during this campaign, a truly grievous blow to the Chapter's armoury.

- First Waaagh! of Pug'Lak the Unclean
The neighboring Virgil system, site of several flourishing hive-worlds.
Pug'Lak the Unclean is a warboss, or perhaps a succession of warbosses under the same alias, that has proven nemesis to the Steel Revenants chapter for millennia [No, Autocorrect, I will NOT write the word "millenniums" in my blog]. Each time he is beaten, and each time he retreats before the deathblow can be dealt. Though he has launched dozens of campaigns against the Aetherium cluster, only three times has his warband grown to the proportions necessary to instigate a WAAAAGH! Two full Battle Companies, the Third and Fourth, and all of the reserves from Sixth Company fought this engagement.

- The Second Waaagh! of Pug'Lak the Unclean
Pug'Lak the Unclean returns to the Virgil system, hungering for revenge. This time, he has managed to secure a force of mercenary Kroot, who work together with his own mobs of Kommandos to turn the forests of planet Purgatos into terrifying deathtraps. Much of the surface of Purgatos is scarred and burnt in the ensuing conflict, and the ecological damage is slow in healing. Again, Third and Fourth company and the reserves of Sixth Company broke the back of the Ork war machine.

- The Death of Xiphon Akefia
An unknown system in realspace.
Two strike cruisers followed Pug'Lak the Unclean when he fled from the Virgil system with the intent of stopping the beast once and for all, but when the Orks' hulk emerged it was in a patch of space from which no stars could be seen. What followed was a deadly game of cat-and-mouse between the Struke Cruisers Xiphon's Fist and The Spear of Lucifer and Pug'Lak's ramshackle fleet of spacecraft. The Revenants were eventually forced to withdraw for resupply and to replace the battle-brothers lost in the fighting. It was during this campaign that Xiphon Akefia, Chapter Master of the Steel Revenants, was slain and Arcades Dolor ascended to leadership over the chapter.

- The Cortez Nebula Incident
In the Cortez Nebula, near Terra.
The Cortez Nebula incident was almost a colossal disaster for the Revenants. The Revenants, commanded by Crusade-Captain Aleksos, were guided to the nebula by Chapter librarians who experienced visions pertaining to a great cache of lost technology once posessed by the original Iron Hands legion. In actuality, the visions were a trap set by a sorceror of the Thousand Sons. Once within the nebula, the Revenants were denied exit by a sudden, fierce warp storm. A desperate battle ensued, with the Revenants first battling boarding actions on their own ships, then fighting treacherous chaos forces on tiny planetoids within the nebula. The warp storm disappeared several days later with no more warning than when it first spawned, and the battered remnants of Third Company limped home to lick their wounds.

-The Third Waaagh! of Pug'Lak the Unclean
The Kokytus System
After Pug'Lak's retreat into regions unknown, nothing was heard from him for two decades. Ork activity within the Revenants' domain was nearly unheard of. Then, twenty years after fleeing, Puglak returned with a vengeance. This time, his target was not the Virgil system, but the Revenants' own home system of Kokytus. He had allies among the Dark Eldar and together the two races took the Revenants by surprise. Pitched battles were fought on every planet in the system in a conflict that still rages to this day. Despite the strife on the home front, the Revenants continue to send out forces to defend the rest of the Imperium, but a return home is no longer a guarantee of safety or rest.

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