Warzone: Ushant Polios

Angelus: Proditor

[//paul_h/@the_midnightmare et tom_k/ghostys_neon_rust+]


The Primarch looked up from the Traitor he was stooped over in the artificial light. The Legionnaire lay limp in his arms, his head hanging back, throat torn open. Arterial blood wept messily from the wound, spattering the Primarch's handsome features as he looked down at the whirlwind melee below.

Identifying what had caught his attention, he released the astartes from whom he was feeding, the corpse immediately forgotten. The Primarch stepped forward, dropping from the upper echelons of the bridge of the Vengeful Spirit

He touched down amidst the gore just as the corpse landed amongst the fighting Legionnaires. There was a meaty, audible crunch. The Primarch has suffered no injuries. No, what he was looking at was much more of interest. 

The Arch-Traitor. The Wolf of Cthonia. The Warmaster. His brother.


“Horrruuusss!” bellowed Sanguinius, as he spread his wings and took to the air, his majesty at once evident and primal against the overwhelming rage. Horus Lupercal looked up at the Angel from his surrounding bodyguard, their eyes meeting as keenly as their blades soon would. 

“Horrruuusss!” The Primarch descended on the black-clad Warmaster...


[//The Aegis, Enlil-Anu+]

The morning light bathed the blood-splattered face of Enlil-Anu, Chapter Master of the Marines Saturnine. They had been fighting for what seemed like hours. 

He looked up from his bodyguard, who hacked and battered at the viscera-red astartes that assailed them. Again and again they had seemed mere moments from being overwhelmed, but each time the Marines Saturnine's heavy guns and grit had somehow thrown the onrushing Flesh Eaters back. 

Enlil-Anu grimaced as more Flesh Eaters – this time clad in black daubed with red saltires – ignited their jump packs as they leapt from the highest Cathedral spire. The frantic sound of gunning chainblades echoed ahead of the warriors of the Pentarchy. 

Anu did as he always did – prepared to meet them head on. He was not going to die today, of that he was sure. The Oracular Order had prophesied it. No, the giant brute at the centre, silently eyeing him as he descended, would be the one to meet his end this day.


[//The Harvester of Sorrow+]
[//model by @encarmentalincrease, painted by paul_h/@the_midnightmare+]


Warzone Ushant Polios

[//Newly-inducted Flesh Eaters engage Marines Saturnine veterans+]
[//paul_h/@the_midnightmare et tom_k/@ghostys_neon_rust+]


[//Princip. belligerents={Orthodox alliance}//] +Flesh Eaters+]
[//Princip. belligerents={Partisan}//] +Marines Saturnine/Firebreak/Inheritors+]

The Battle for Ushant Polios occurred immediately prior to the launch of Operation Gauntlet, and involved a the Flesh Eaters and a Partisan army made up of Inheritors and Firebreak Astartes, led by the Marines Saturnine. Beyond these basic facts, little direct evidence remains. It appears to have been redacted prior to the broader Edict of Obliteration, at the hands of the Pentarchy themslves, on the order of Chapter Master Gorn of the Charnel Guard, in one of his first commands after assuming overall control of the Pentarchy. 

The conflict is notable for revealing the fate of Jan Velghor, Master of the Flesh Eaters.



In a twist of fate, however, it was precisely this early redaction that has left archaeostorians a comparatively rich record, for the later Edict of Obliteration partially bypassed the already-sanctioned system. While the primary sources were all scoured, a compelling account remained in Cassar Illiatauri's Chamber Borealis records. 

[//Polios {tithegrade=} Decuma Extremis.+]
[//This planet, the sole inhabitable body, was the epicentre of the war+]

Since the former redaction was less than thorough, we know that the campaign was on the orders of the False Primarch directly; and that his intent was simultaneously to draw the Pentarchy's remaining marauding forces out of Sector Morqub and to pull the Flesh Eaters to the spinwards reaches of Heliopolis. 


Lions led by Lions

In light of the grand Operation Gauntlet that followed, supposition leads us to surmise that the principal aim was to reduce the patrols on the Mourn Expanse and allowing the Primarch's own battle group to strike  through this route into the heart of Heliopolis.

In this, it was a success – but a very costly one. Commanded by the Marines Saturnine that had migrated to Morqub prior to the start of hostilities, Chapter Master Enlil-Anu was commanding a force made up mainly of Firebreak and Inheritors; primarily tattered survivors of the separate disasters that had befallen these two devastated Chapters. 

[//Sector map with principal belligerents during Operation: Gauntlet. Ushant Polios sits on the Rimwards reach of the Abraxas Subsector, at the lower left of the map. Deep in Orthodox territory, it had been secured and fortified by the Flesh Eaters by this point.+]

Besides the other Partisan forces, Enlil-Anu commanded a lone Company of his own Marines Saturnine, making a substantial but not overly large expeditionary force. While there is no direct evidence, it seems likely that a secondary objective of the broader conflict was to allow the divided Marines Saturnine to re-combine. Once the Ushant Polios system was secured, Enlil-Anu could leave the force in the capable hands of the newly-elevated Captain Kirat of the Inheritors and translate to the Pythinia Subsector, where the rest of his forces lay.

This was not to be. Instead, the battlegroup was the first to discover the horrible truth of the Edict of the Diet of Fools – and reveal to the 'Primarch' that the Pentarchy's forces, far from in retreat, had built up their army to a colossal size during the Sorrowful Years. While the Primarch had paused and stabilised Morqub, the High Lords had stacked their hand. It was dreadful news that Captain Kirat bore to the False Primarch.




Outline of the war

"As the Sorrowful Years drew to a close, the infamous Chaplain Constantine became the High Chaplain of the Flesh Eaters, replacing his slain predecessor. Notable for his work with Chapter Master Velghor and his infamous fall from grace, Constantine was a true hero of the Chapter and always earmarked for greatness - it is a shame that this came to pass under such tragic circumstances."

[//extr. Mythos Angelica Mortis [redacted as apocryphal in later volumes]+ ]

Situated in border territory on the Rimwards reaches of Heliopolis, the Ushant Polios system's isolation – both astrographically and politically – meant that it was otherwise bypassed by the Partisans during Operation Gauntlet, and as the Pentarchy redeployed to counterattack, the system was largely ignored by both sides. The Battle of Ushant Polios was thus the only notable conflict in the system before the events of the Edict of Obliteration, after the War proper had ended. 

As with most of the battles principally involving Astartes-on-Astartes combat, the war itself was fought in a series of brutal and swift set pieces that focussed on more heavily-industrialised regions. It was in both sides' interests to avoid collateral damage – Enlil-Anu had identified it as little more than a foothold deeper into the system, and wished to avoid antagonising the population. Meanwhile, the Flesh Eater Council – operating in place of their pointedly absent Chapter Master – saw the potential for fortifying the planet for a future assault into Morqub.

The brief and bloody fighting of the Battle of Ushant Polios, then, was little more than a blip to the planet itself: besides some superficial damage to workhousing and docking warehouses in the light industrial zones that formed warrens around the cities, the war left the workings of Ushant-Polios surprisingly untouched. 


Warzone: Ordent's Scar

The northern continents held little more than listening stations and a thin population of scribes; but it was here that Enlil-Anu dispatched Kirat of the Inheritors and three hundred Astartes. Establishing a base in the township of Ghericough, the Inheritors played a role in harrying the Flesh Eaters' reinforcements – the newly-formed 16th and 17th Companies – and preventing them from linking up with their command structure. This drew the Flesh Eaters away from both Parity City and Ourmont; successfully dispersing and diluting the Partisans' advantage of being on the defensive. 

[//The Inheritors, under Captain Kirat, clashed with the Flesh Eaters around Ordent's Scar+]

[//The loss of Velghor during the War of Ushant Polios would drive the Flesh Eaters to ever more extreme acts of carnage in the remaining years of the War of the False Primarch.+]


Warzone: Parity City, Qabr Kas

Centuries ago, Qabr Kas had been a hearty and wealthy region threaded through with rivers and woven with canals that made it ideal for industrial production. As the shallow coast silted up, however, the urban zone gradually declined in the west and headed eastwards and inland.

By the time of the War of the False Primarch, Qabr Kas was a polluted industrial wasteland, where the rivers positively glowed with chemical waste, and brightly-coloured crystal plains made up most of the now largely abandoned region. 

It was a strange place for Enlil-Anu to contest, but he had rightly assessed that the Flesh Eaters would have made use of its hostile territory to establish a stronghold. Here a small range of watch-towers were patrolled by newly-inducted Flesh Eaters of the eighth – the Company having been all but wiped out during the First Battle for Ishim. 

[//Killteam Goza+]

Enlil-Anu tasked the majority of his Firebreak forces and a demi-company of Inheritors to degrade the Flesh Eaters' long-range scanning ability and silence the astrotelepathic choir here, regarding blinding his opponent as a worthwhile secondary objective of the battle. 

The Partisans ran into greater than expected resistance, and the two forces ground each other almost to nothing – indeed, while both sides claimed victory in this region, the poisoned ground was simply rendered still less desirable.


Warzone: Ourmont, Capital City

That Ushant Polios itself suffered little permanent damage in the war was in stark contrast to the damage wrought on both the Flesh Eaters and the Marines Saturnine. The key battleground of Ourmont saw horrendous losses on both sides.

Made up of dozens of layers of cramped worker habitation, echoing warehousing and sturdy manufactoria, the capital city was effectively undercover and all but impossible to effectively degrade from orbit – even if the Partisan fleet did not have Orthodox squadrons closing in. Close-in Zona Mortalis fighting would be essential to drive out the defenders.

Perhaps predictably, it was in the colossal bunker of the capital city that Ionuţ Constantine, the newly-inducted High Chaplain of the Flesh Eaters and regional commander, deployed the bulk of his forces. 

[High Chaplain Constantine, brandishing a Crozius won from the Red Fish during the Siege of Ishim. Such Caputmori-headed staves were ritually broken or destroyed by the other Pentarchy members, but the Flesh Eaters' Reclusiam took a perverse pleasure in turning them on their former owners, claiming the weapons' use undermined Partisan morale+]
[//model by craig/@biohazardmodels; painted by paul_h/@themidnightmare+]

The battle here was, as far as can be made out, a maddening and confusing battle of hundreds of connected and vicious skirmishes; the largest involving scant handfuls of Astartes, and most being essentially single combat. 

[//paul_h/@the_midnightmare et tom_k/@ghostys_neon_rust+]

Enlil Anu wasted no time in formulating his attack, sending his forces forward in narrow columns to hide their numbers, and establishing flexible supply lines that would allow his heavily-armed forces to make use of squad-mounted heavy weapons.

[//paul_h/@the_midnightmare et tom_k/@ghostys_neon_rust+]

Constantine's strategy was to allow the Partisans into the city and attempt to destroy them in detail. Unbeknownst to the invading Marines Saturnine and supporting forces, Constantine commanded nearly five hundred Flesh Eaters.

[//paul_h/@the_midnightmare et tom_k/@ghostys_neon_rust+]

As the strength of the Flesh Eaters became apparent, Enlil Anu sent new orders. Recognising the impossibility of driving out a well-prepared enemy from such close terrain (and able to indulge in their favoured method of warfare), the Marines Saturnine's Chapter Master instead ordered the advance to halt, and to set up a perimeter around a series of atomic heat-sinks in the southern quarter.


[//Close-quarters combat in Ourmont. The Marines Saturnine pictured bears specialist close-in weaponry and is pictured wearing a Flesh Eaters' helm – presumably looted from the battlefield after his own was damaged. Both are identifable as Coldforge-pattern – the Forgeworld infamously supplied thousands of Corvus-pattern suits to both sides over the course of the later war.+]
[//paul_h/@the_midnightmare et tom_k/@ghostys_neon_rust+]

Moving to surround and counter the Marines Saturnine, Constantine came to realise that Enlil-Anu was drawing power from the city to establish a teleport beacon. With such resources, the Partisan would be able to bring reinforcements in from all over the planet and fleet.

In fact, though unbeknownst to the Flesh Eaters, the Partisan Chapter Master had already deployed the bulk of his warriors; no reinforcements were coming. Nevertheless Constantine was a cold-minded and capable tactician – cautious, by the standards of the Flesh Eaters. Determined to minimise casualties to his own forces, he tightened his grip on the Marines Saturnine positions only gradually. Three hours were to pass as the Flesh Eaters moved carefully into position. 

[//paul_h/@the_midnightmare et tom_k/@ghostys_neon_rust+]

Light skirmishing continued, the Marines Saturnine alternately engaging and falling back street by street, gradually drawing the Flesh Eaters forward. It was only when a Flesh Eaters techmarine was finally able to patch into the Marines Saturnine comm-net – by use of a captured Lieutenant's armour – that the truth became apparent.

Enlil Anu's plan was to draw in the Flesh Eaters before quickly falling back to a teleport site; evacuating his force and simultaneously translate a nova cannon shell into their place – completely bypassing the defences of the city and catching the Flesh Eaters unprepared and contained. Such ordnance in an enclosed space would all but wipe the city from the surface of the world; and be the end of all Flesh Eaters within miles. 


[//paul_h/@the_midnightmare et tom_k/@ghostys_neon_rust+]

Horrified, Constantine threw caution to the wind, and personally led the Flesh Eaters in an all-out attack. Wrong-footed. the Marines Saturnine were thrown back by the ferocity and unexpected speed of the attack – and more so by the deployment of black-armoured and seemingly berserk warriors in black plate painted with red saltires: the dread Death Company.

[//paul_h/@the_midnightmare et tom_k/@ghostys_neon_rust+]

The fighting at the last was brutal in the extreme, with the Death Company storming over the Marines Saturnine's hastily-prepared position. It was here that the Harvester of Sorrow made an appearance – and came to duel with Enlil Anu. Neither left the field standing.

Sanguinius landed amongst the melee with the force of a sonic boom, kinetic energy dissipated around him in all directions, sending Sons of Horus and Blood Angels flailing alike. The Primarch rose to his full height, the miasma of the fight around him framing his size among the astartes. The din fell almost silent for a second as he raised his left hand accusingly at the Warmaster and bellowed once again - “Horrrussss!!”



Enlil-Anu knew the giant. It was infamous. The Flesh Eaters' abomination, the Harvester of Sorrow – or Sin – depending on which side you supported.

The name of the atavistic freak did not matter to him. Massive, and standing much taller than an average astartes, it was clad in the morbid black of the Death Company. 

It was pointing silently at him.

A grille-visored helm, crowned with a horned beast's skull, sat atop his head. Enlil-Anu's unwavering gaze  took in his mark's large war-mace and a murderous, crackling lightning claw. The Harvester started to stride towards him, swatting aside Marine Saturnine and Flesh Eater alike as he did so. Anu gripped his shield and flexed his neck as he loosened up ready for the fight. Today was not his endpoint.

[//paul_h/@the_midnightmare et tom_k/ghostys_neon_rust+]


His stride became a run as he charged the Warmaster. The battle seemed to draw back around them, leaving them to their own destiny. They met with the clang of plate on plate, and the Primarch pulled back as he felt Horus’ weight transfer. If he had intended to put the Angel off-balance, he had failed: both stayed on their feet; Sanguinius pressing the attack as the Warmaster turned his stumble into a feint. 

On the bridge of the Vengeful Spirit, they went for each other again. The Primarch clawed at his brother with unrelenting hatred, swinging the giant warmace he found in his hand against Horus’ shield. 





Anu stumbled back under the weight of the attacks. He held his relic shield up as it held true against the mace-blows. They were savage, but far from raw. Instinct's command had not robbed his attacker of any of his skill, and the Marines Saturnine's Master unconsciously adapted his stance. 


Hefting his shield, Horus forced him back – and then a stinging blow swung in to the Angel's side, knocking the wind from him...


...as the Flesh Eater reeled, Anu swung to knock the Harvester further off-balance. Somehow, the brute swayed aside and, before the next blow could land...


...he dug his claw into Horus’ flank with a cry...


...the crackling talons cut straight into his artificer-wrought plate. Anu roared in pain. For a moment, he could sense the charge cooking his organs, the talons swirling about inside his very body. The Harvester of Sorrow hefted the Chapter Master in the air...


...Another bellow, tinged with triumph, roared out of the Angel as he held his opponent high. 


A blow to his temple made him drop to a knee and lose his grip...

[//paul_h/@the_midnightmare et tom_k/ghostys_neon_rust+]


...Anu forced his way free and swung his shield again at the reeling Harvester’s helm. The baroque head gear splintered; nearly came loose. A moment's respite, then he was holding the shield up again as the hammer blows came once more. The shield held true, its machine spirit whining under the stress. Again. Again. Again

The blows were becoming too much – yet Anu knew this was not his end point. He grimaced in pain as he again tried to force his way clear, and as he hefted he did not see the blow which hit the side of his right leg...


...it was Horus’ turn to go down. Again. Again. Again...


...came the flurry of blows as Anu struggled to raise his shield once more.



Again. Again. Again came the blows.


[//The Flesh Eaters' Death Company engage the Marines Saturnine Expeditionary Force+]
[//paul_h/@the_midnightmare et tom_k/ghostys_neon_rust+]

At last, silence of a sort.

Breathing heavily, blood-mist rasping through his ruined helm and steam pluming in the cold air from every rent in his plate, the giant loomed over his opponent's broken form. Taking a step, the Harvester stood on and stamped down on Anu's left leg, shattering it to match his prone right. The Harvester looked to the sky, triumphant, the killing blow was readied, but Anu bared his gory teeth in a defiant grimace. This was not his end point. 

This. Was. Not. His end point. 

As the mace came down, Enlil-Anu, Chapter Master of the Marines Saturnine, deflected the blow – and continuing the movement, back-handed his relic shield into the head of the Harvester of Sorrow, sending the already damaged helm flying into the surrounding melee.

Anu lay there broken as the deranged Flesh Eater fell back, blood poring from the wound on the side of his head, his skull clearly broken. Blearily, they made eye contact and Anu knew exactly who this had been. 

Had’ was the operative word. 

Old, dried blood – likely not his – caked his chin. Lank, long hair framed the fanged, snarling visage. It was him for certain, though all sign of reason was gone.

Chapter Master Jan Velghor of the Flesh Eaters and Chapter Master Enlil-Anu of the Marines Saturnine stared silently at each other in the morning light for the briefest of moments. Perhaps it was in Anu’s mind, but the battle din around them seemed to fade away. Velghor was little more than a beast, thought Anu through his own pain; the cogitators in his suit working overdrive to release meds into his system.

“Horrrussss!” Velghor bellowed as he staggered backwards, frothing at the mouth, his fearsome features contorted into a look of purest, rawest rage. It was momentary and slight, but Anu felt an air of pity for him. 

He did not, however, feel the pale-armoured hands grip him around his shoulders. As his guard rallied around his broken form, the last thing he saw as he slipped into unconsciousness was Velghor drop to one knee, screaming, as golden-winged warriors descended from the sky to his side. Then it went black.



Even as the surviving Marines Saturnine managed to buy some breathing space by driving back the Flesh Eaters, their Chapter Master fell; defeated, though not slain. Command fell to the Company Captain who ordered a full evacuation. Alas for the Partisans, insufficient time had passed for the nova cannon shell to be prepared and shipped; and so their teleport gambit failed. They left nearly seventy of their warriors dead in the city; having reaped a comparable toll from their opponents – perhaps a measure of the new Flesh Eaters' relative inexperience, given their superior position; or perhaps a measure of the speed with which Constantine was forced to change his plan.


The war thus ended with a tactical defeat but a strategic victory for the Partisans under Enlil Anu. Even as they fell back to journey to the Subsector Pythina, the Flesh Eaters began to gather their forces in Abraxas and Cambyses, leaving the central Mourn Expanse nearly unmonitored...



"Blood shall be paid in blood; pain in pain; and life with life. 
Thus it is said, and it is thus avowed."
[//High Chaplain Constantine of the Flesh Eaters+]