III – For the Warrior, the only crime is cowardice

[//'I might once have called you brother, Void Baron+]
[//james_t/@the_pigs_sty+]

 

III – For the Warrior, the only crime is cowardice

  • Narrative: Height of the war. 
  • Lore: We look at the remaining Partisan Chapters in detail.
  • Works: We present forces (Killteam up to full army) of each of the Partisan Chapters, plus battle scenes.
  • Tag#warriorcowardice
*** 

It is the thirty-fourth Millennium. Or perhaps the thirty-third. Few now stand securely enough both to claim different; and to be heard. From beyond the edge of the galaxy, tales have emerged of the return of a legend, so ancient that the word is all-but forgotten. 

Primarch.

The region stands in conflict as a strange and wondrous being has assumed command over eleven Chapters Astartes, countless Regiments of the Imperial Guard and sundry Naval and Imperial Church forces. Inquisitors, Navigators, Church leaders other exceptional dignitaries and officers come to stand by him and take up the Caputmori – the skull-headed eagle that is the symbol of the Partisan cause. Across more than four hundred worlds, men and women take up arms with the aim of placing him as Regent of Terra below his supposed father. 

Every part of the divided Imperium is represented in Volnoscere's nascent and growing new Imperium.

Every part? Not quite...


***

Stage III of VI 

If you are new to the project, or returning after a long absence, this article is intended to give you a quick overview and catch-up. This blog is updated twice a week; on Wednesdays and Fridays, and you can follow along on Instagram using the tags #somethingsarebestleftforgotten and #warofthefalseprimarch

More than four decades have passed since the 'Primarch' Volnoscere first appeared. Two entire Sectors, encompassing more than six hundred principal Imperial worlds, are burning in a vicious civil war between those enforcing the High Lords of Terra's will – the Orthodox Imperium – and the Partisan forces that follow Volnoscere and his Silver Stars. 

[//The loss of Velghor drove the Flesh Eaters to ever more extreme acts of carnage.+]
[//paul_h/@themidnightmare+]

***

Getting involved

As you can see from this blog, the War of the False Primarch is an expansive project, and one that you are invited to join. However you wish to contribute – whether through artwork, writing, modelling or painting – you're very welcome. There is no need to ask permission of me, or of anyone else; nor should you feel that there is any standard of entry – the only necessary qualification is enthusiasm!

To those new to the project, to get involved in deciding the events of the War of the False Primarch: simply build, paint and post your models on Instagram. You have the entirety of the 34th Millennium to inspire and guide you; and you should feel entirely free to help construct the future history of the Silver Stars, along with the Partisan Chapters – or perhaps you feel more drawn to the Pentarchy of Blood and want to uphold the High Lords of Terra's Orthodoxy. Perhaps you want to investigate – and prosecute – the Shadow War of the Inquisition raging behind the scenes; or you want to bring the coterie of a High Lord of Terra to life. In short, paint whatever inspires you about this period. We want this project to be as free and open as possible.

The tags for this stage of the project are:
#warriorcowardice
#somethingsarebestleftforgotten
#warofthefalseprimarch 

I will comb through all contributions that use these tags and, where possible, use them here on the blog to illustrate the stories and colour text that emerges, crediting your images with your Instagram username. Do feel free to get in contact with me there with any questions by messaging @death_of_a_rubricist.

If you would like to contribute in a more formal or longform manner, get in touch through Instagram (my handle is @death_of_a_rubricist), the Facebook group, or Discord channel (the latter are both entitled +Some Things Are Best Left Forgotten+) 

There is more information on contributing and getting started at the bottom of this article.

[//Wormwood Son Assault Marine sweeps through an Osseomundan Mortuary-city+] 
[//nathan_s/@natedungeon+]


To all who are already following the events of the war – whether here on Some Things Are Best Left Forgotten; on Instagram; or via Facebook – I hope you are enjoying the blog; and encourage you to follow all of the talented and generous contributors on Instagram. Their names and Instagram aliases are below each image on the blog to help you find them. 

Before we move on, I'd like to give a personal thank-you to all the contributors; artists, writers and enthusiasts who have thus far contributed, interacted, or simply clicked 'like'. It's very much appreciated.

***

[//The burning Cardinal Worlds of Cambyses were a key target of Volnoscere's advance+]
[//jamie_c/@mutantsnakeeyes_]

***

Critical events

The following events are intended as starting points for your own exploration. There's no need to ask anyone's permission to explore – rather we'd like to see where the ideas take you. If they end up contradicting someone else's story, that's a feature, not a bug! This entire period is hidden; the key themes are secrets and lies, so finding the truths amidst multiple accounts is all part of the fun. 

***

While fighting continues across its expanse, Sector Morqub is largely united under the Caputmori – the skull-headed eagle that is the icon of the Partisan cause. However, more than thirty years of conflict has reduced much of the previously prosperous Delphurnean League, breadbasket of this otherwise rather penurious Sector, to smouldering ruins. Here, as elsewhere, entire populations are displaced or homeless, and look for aid. Poverty and fear of retribution war with newly-kindled hope and belief in the figure of the Primarch.

As the Pentarchy of Blood and Extinction fleets retrench in Heliopolis, the 'Primarch' and his followers pause to shore up and deal with the very human crises that threaten to bring down the New Imperium before it begains. 

Reduced to minor skirmishes for the three-year span dubbed the Sorrowful Years, the war flares up once more as Volnoscere leads his followers on the bold and expansive New Crusade. The aim: to drive into Sector Heliopolis, wipe out the reeling Orthodox forces and stamp the Primarch's authority on the region. With the strength of a Legion and eleven Chapters at his command, the fate of the Sector seems sealed...

But the Orthodoxy is not without surprises of its own. Opposing the Partisans are barricaded systems, reinforced and stoic armies, and the near-limitless supply of men and women that has ever been the Imperium's strength. Atop all this, the Chapters of the Pentarchy of Blood, refreshed and enlarged beyond Codex limits by the events of the Diet of Fools, stand ready with new leadership.

The stage is set for bloodshed and warfare on a scale hitherto unseen.

[//Legio Punica walk again+]
[//toby_h+]

***

Key Warzones and deployments

Sectorial warfare is notoriously ruinously complex, usually requiring tens of thousands of Analyticae, Strategia and rank after rank of supporting Codifiers and Catalogicians merely to ensure some level of co-ordination across a front. 

Indeed, of all the Abomination's feats during the greater war, the seemingly single-handed masterminding of a successful coordinated multi-sector assault was amongst the most convincing argument of his extraordinary nature.

The bulk of the War at this stage was fought in Sector Heliopolis as the Partisans launched a multi-pronged attack on the region with the battle-tested veterans and the bulk of their Astartes assets. Fighting continued in Morqub, but most of the warfare here was limited in scope, with small squad-level groups of Astartes heading up newly-fortified worlds garrisoned by newly-drafted forces. 

The bulk of the fighting in the Sector was between the Imperial Guard, Imperial Navy, Adeptus Mechanicus and Ecclesiarchy forces that had variously allied themselves with the Partisan and Orthodox factions, and these forces tended to be localised and static: the Partisan Regiments invading the Bastion system, for example, were embroiled in a decade-long struggle with the local PDF and Guard forces; while the soldiers sent to engage on Neo Jove met the Skitarii Legions of that world. 

The map below therefore highlights only the principal positions of the Astartes Chapters, who moved within and between these broad areas of conflict. Worthy of note is that smaller detachments or Kill Teams of virtually every Chapter could be found across Heliopolis – occasionally as part of Volnoscere's intricate plan; and sometimes simply through being isolated or stranded. 

Dozens of last stands by handfuls of Space Marines on both sides went unrecorded during this brutal and unrelenting stage of the War.

'For every battle honour, a thousand heroes die alone, unsung, and unremembered.'
[//Imperial aphorisms+]


[//Sector map with principal belligerents. Areas of Orthodox dominance in red; Partisan dominance in yellow.+]


The Partisan advance, while not unexpected by Master Enoch and the rest of Orthodox High Command, was striking in its strength and suddenness. The Partisans used holding actions to draw Pentarchy reinforcements away, while a colossal force of ten thousand Partisan Astartes ran up the channel formed by the Mourn Expanse. As the Partisans spread out here, they were met by the expanded forces of the Pentarchy. 

Meanwhile, the harrowing forces that had been advancing from Cambyses to Moreau split; with the Jade Talons and Void Barons continuing their path to meet up with the Star Wardens; while the Riven Lords moved anti-spinwards to join the main Silver Star advance that was leading the vengeful Red FishFirebreak, and Inheritors.

The Heliopolitan campaign eventually centred around five main areas. These were the four subsectors: Cambyses; Abraxas, Pythinia, and Moreau, plus the central Shieldworlds of the Myrean League. 

Cambyses

  • Précis – Already ravaged by the assault sent by the Primarch in an earlier stage of the War, the Cardinal Worlds of Cambyses were the site of vicious fighting as the fanatical Ecclesiarchy struggled to drive off the persecuting Partisans. Volnoscere had deployed his most ruthless and unrelenting Astartes here, determined to ensure that the spinwards routes were kept open to prevent the Morqub advance from becoming over-extended. The Iron Guard made their major entry into the war here, declaring for Volnoscere and quickly proving an intimidating foe for the Death Eagles and Carcharadons in the urban warfare that made up the bulk of the fighting over these old and established worlds.
  • Belligerents
    • [Pentarchy]  Death Eagles I, Carcharadons, Flesh Eaters
    • [Partisans]  Wormwood Sons, Riven Lords, Iron Guard

Abraxas

  • Précis – The Pentarchy Chapters who had led the assault on Ishim were stationed here, and the Red Fish demanded to be allowed to lead the advance. The unfamiliarly aggressive mode of warfare for the previously-balanced Chapter led both to great and swift gains, and to colossal losses. This was noted as a mar on Volnoscere's judgement by the High Lords. The more depleted Partisan Chapters  – the ravaged Firebreak especially – marched to war here alongside Silver Stars reserves, allowing their Chapter Masters to command Chapter-strength forces. In this way, the Silver Stars – notable for their relatively poor performance against the ruthless Astartes facing them, benefitted from the veteran commanders' insights.
  • Belligerents
    • [Pentarchy]  Flesh Eaters, Charnel Guard, Death Eagles I
    • [Partisan]  Silver Stars, Red Fish, Inheritors, Firebreak

Pythinia

  • Précis – A haven for Partisan forces, the Tannbach Cluster, heart of the small Pythinia Subsector had effectively been annexed by the Marines Saturnine prior to the outbreak of hostilities. The reclamation of Neo Jove – seized early in the mid war by the Marine Saturnine, was high on Master Enoch's list of priorities, and it proved a contentious site, swaying back and forth between Partisan and Pentarchy control for much of the period.
  • Belligerents
    • [Pentarchy]  Carcharadons, Red Talons, Death Eagles II
    • [Partisans]  Marine Saturnine

Moreau

  • Précis – Initially a war of strike and fade, eventually the fleet-based Chapters of the Partisans were forced into a ground war against the Red Talons and Death Eagles II. The battles here were particularly vicious and hard-fought, as the region had been hitherto largely untouched by the War. While the Pentarchy's garrisons and holdfasts across the region were well-provisioned and forewarned, not everything was against the Partisans. The draining and brutal occupation by the Red Talons had embittered many local groups, and the garrulous and charismatic Jade Talons and Void Barons found many resistance groups across the worlds of the region that hailed them as deliverers, and rose up to aid them. Although their support for the Primarch was by this point fragmenting at the revelations following Chapter Master Argo's death, the Star Wardens' key role in this stage of the war became clear towards the end of the conflict here.
  • Belligerents
    • [Pentarchy]  Red Talons, Death Eagles II 
    • [Partisan]  Star Wardens, Jade Talons, Void Barons

Myrean League


[//Storm Tyrants domains+]
[//@adeptus_avocado+]
  • Précis – Nebula-shrouded and hidden, the Myrean League Shieldworlds were a wonder of artifice and stark beauty; tightly shepherded into the Storm Tyrants' grotesque ideal of perfection. Indeed, so protective of their peculiar utopian scheme was this recondite Chapter that they became violently embroiled against Partisan and Pentarchy alike. After bitter bloodshed made it clear that resistance would result in their own extinction and the destruction of all they held dear, the Storm Tyrants at last approach the Partisans – though the defiant Chapter still insisted the 'Primarch' give his word to preserve the Shieldworlds before they would submit to his command.
  • Belligerents
    • [Pentarchy]  Charnel Guard
    • [Partisan]  Silver Stars, Storm Tyrants, Argent Heralds

***

'Veni, vidi, obliti'
[//Motto of the Ordo Redactus+]

Where do I start?

In terms of navigating the blog, look for the dark grey bar, which contains orange text saying 'Start Here'. That'll give you a quick overview, and then the stages below will walk you through the major events thus far. It's a living history, so don't feel you can't go back and flesh out something that catches your eye.

It can be a bit overwhelming trying to work out which Chapters are which, where they are in the Sector, and what they're doing. Let me first of all reassure you that this is an investigation into a deliberately hidden and obfuscated war. If you happen to write something that's seems to conflict with someone else's report, that simply adds depth and texture to the project. Victory, after all, is written by the victors!


Nevertheless, structure and some form of internal consistency can help you to get involved, so on Friday (15th October), I'll be posting an article that showcases every single Chapter – both Partisan and Pentarchy – in one article. It will have links to the major articles in which the Chapters are involved.

At this stage, in addition to models and battle scenes, I'm looking for stories and colour text that illustrate the battles, conflicts and events in the region. If you can provide images, all the better. There are literally hundreds of minor skirmishes and confrontations between the Partisans and Orthodoxy at this point, so  I suggest that you look at the map to find a system or planet to fight over. If the stories and pictures inspire you to paint or write – and if you simply want to use this material as a starting point for your own private campaigns and stories, then please feel free. There's no reason that your contributions to this secret, hidden war need be made public...

***

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