I played a couple of games at GW the other day and I decided to write a bit of fluff for them. In addition hopefully it will provide the jump point for further games.

Comments and Criticisms welcome as well as ideas or future developments.

Accessing Correspondence…
Enter Passcode…

Passcode: VERIFIED.

To: High Lord Vardrake of the The Lower East Terran Hive.
From: Inquisitor Lord Maximus Gracus Octavia.

My Lord I present to you here on your request a complete report of Operation Marked Vengeance and its aftermath.

Operation Marked Vengeance was, as you already know, a combined action by no less than six chapters of the Adeptus Astartes working in conjunction with the Imperial Navy and the Holy Order of the Inquisition. This Operation centred on the world of Nathos.

Nathos is a world situated precariously close to the Eye of Terror. Since M34 it has served as an auxiliary command post for Cadia. It houses extensive administratium blocks as well as an entire continent devoted to extensive Medicae facilities. Up until M39 it weathered infrequent but none the less dangerous raids from the Enemy. In late M39 a large invasion force of Iron Warrior traitor marines dropped unexpectedly out of warp space and attacked Nathos.

Nathos was well defended including both the 64th and 65th Cadian regiments as well as the 24th Mordian and the 30-53rd Nathos guard itself. However the scale of the Chaos Marines force and the presence of Traitor Titan Legions meant that after a mere 30 months most of the Imperial defences had been swept away.

By mid M40 despite frequent attempts to drive off the Iron Warriors most of the planet lay in the Enemies grip. From that time on Nathos was at the centre of several large scale Iron Warrior raids into the rest of the Imperium.

Nonetheless the Imperial defenders still held two large fortresses. One on the Northern most pole of the planet, and the other on an extensive archipelago. These areas were able to house a small but dedicated population and even engage in a limited war of attrition with the Iron Warriors.

In late M41 the Third Council of Hexion was convened to discuss a strategy for re-taking this strategically vital planet. Amongst those present at the Council included, the then General, Ursarkar E. Creed, Chapter Master Pedro Kantor of the Crimson Fists, Chapter Master Misamato Shima of the Shadow Wraiths, Cardinal Frelington and Inquisitor Lord Haxfield, who also requested myself to attend.

While it was publicly agreed that a Crusade needed to be organised and launched against Nathos to liberate the world, a more daring and unorthodox plan was decided on in secret.

Working in conjunction with each other, the Officio Assassinorum, the Ordo Hereticus, the Ordo Malleus and the Shadow Wraiths Chapter formed a strategy to use Nathos as a way to gain further knowledge on the wider plans of the Iron Warriors and perhaps even the Despoiler himself.

Reports had already filtered through from the Imperial resistance on Nathos that most of the desolate world was given over to hoards of mutated tribes. These degenerates served as thralls and serfs for the Iron Warriors and also, it was presumed, as new recruits.

The Officio Assassinorum felt confident that with the appropriate support they would be able to infiltrate the Iron Warriors hierarchy.

This stage of Imperial activates was designated as Operation Rusted Iron.

Rusted Iron was a resounding success. Within a mere 9 months repeated diversionary raids by the Shadow Wraiths had allowed no less than 30 Officio Assassinorum agents (of various status) to make planet fall and integrate themselves with the mutated chaos forces on Nathos.

Over the next four years these agents worked to infiltrate the Iron Warriors themselves. By 989 M41 nine agents including four Callidus Assassins had survived on the brutal world long enough to be inducted as serfs for the Iron Warriors.

Blessed be the Providence of the Emperor! Only a decade later the 13th Black Crusade would be unleashed on the Imperium and since then Nathos has served as a useful source of information for the movements of the Enemy.

About ten months ago reports began filtering in from the remaining sources on Nathos (regrettable reduced to six) that the Iron Warriors were building up their munitions. Even for the Iron Warriors the reports of stock piling were excessive. Rumours spoke of heavy transport ships arriving filled from prow to stern with ammunition and artillery shells and of warforges spewing out tanks and guns night and day.

It was calculated that the Iron warriors were preparing for a major invasion. Amidst the carnage of the 13th crusade no additional forces could be spared to deal with this rising threat. Worse still a Callidus assassin planted in one of the Iron Warrior fortresses had acted as a personal servant to an Iron Warrior Warsmith. The fortress was on a complete lock down and she was unable to leave. However she did manage to get a message out indicating that she had an urgent report to make.

It was decided that the skills of the Adeptus Astartes would be called upon to conduct Operation Marked Vengeance. The Marines of the Crimson Fists, Blood Angels, Black Templars, Shadow Wraiths, Hawk Lords and Ultramarines were assembled for a joint strike at the planet.

Operation Marked Vengeance would be divided into four parts.

The first part was a major naval raid by the Shadow Wraiths supported by the Imperial Navy. Using all three of their Battle Barges and no less than five Strike cruisers the Shadow Wraiths pulled away the main body of the Traitor fleet that surrounded Nathos.

This allowed three Adeptus Astartes Strike Forces to slip past unnoticed.

Strike force Emperors Vengeance, consisting of Space Marines of the Ultramarines, Crimson Fists. Black Templars and Blood Angels. The Strike Force would attack at the main warforge of the Iron Warriors on Nathos. The Strike Force would attempt to penetrate the warforges defences and then proceed to place and detonate four thermo nuclear devices. This would, it was hoped delay the planned invasion for a number of months.

Strike Force Azul Vengeance, would be headed by the Crimson Fists. Their mission was to breach the defences of a relatively small Iron Warriors fortress, extract the Callidus assassin who held vital information concerning the Iron Warriors and then make their escape on one of the expertly piloted Thunderhawks of the Hawk Lords.

Strike Force Final Vengeance consisted of a small group of Crimson Fists. Their mission was a simple reconnaissance to investigate reports of unusual Iron Warrior activity in the Emerald Desert of Nathos. They had open orders to engage in a hit and run raid if the situation presented itself.

While the first part of Operation Marked Vengeance proceeded as planned the three strike forces almost immediately began running into difficulties.

The heavy support Strike Force Emperors Vengeance had brought with them was mostly destroyed by defence platforms as they made their aerial deployment near to the warforge. Undeterred the strike force pressed on hoping to make a breach in the perimeter defences had been struck by an earlier raid by Imperial resistance forces. The strike met a large force of Iron Warriors as they approached and were quickly surrounded and wiped out. Only a four man force of Blood Angels were able to break out of the Iron Warriors circle and extract themselves.

Strike Force Azul Vengeance had more success earlier on. They were able to catch the Iron Warriors uncharacteristically lax in their defence and breach the outer walls of the fortress and rendezvous with the Callidus assassin. As Strike Force Azul Vengeance fellback the Assassin was mortally wounded by an ambush sprung by the counterattacking Iron Warriors. Captain Eduardo of the Crimson Fists took the grim measure of eating the Callidus cerebral cortex. The Omophagea implant meant that the Captain was able to absorb much of the information the Callidus had garnered about the Iron Warriors intentions.

Even as the Crimson Fists made their retreat to await the evacuation from the Hawk Lords the perfidious Eldar struck the Crimson Fist column.

It is unclear how the Eldar were able to make their way onto Nathos, and why they should choose to ally themselves to the cause of the Iron Warriors in attacking the Crimson Fists. What is known is that the Eldar struck with speed and with overwhelming force. Although the Crimson Fists struck back ferociously they were unable to overcome the Eldar who struck down all but a handful of the Crimson Fist Strike Force before disappearing back into the wilderness of Nathos.

Following this treacherous assault the survivors made their way to the extraction point with a heavily wounded Captain Eduardo being administered by the Marines Apocathary. Closely pursued by the Iron Warriors the Marines fortified their position and prepared to wait out the 9 minutes for the Hawk Lords to arrive. The Iron warriors came within a hairs breath of dispatching the injured Captain and denying the Imperium the vital knowledge he possessed but at the last moment two Hawk Lords Thunderhawks arrived, making a daring vertical dive strike into the Iron Warriors line. Captain Eduardo and the attending Apocathary were spirited away on one of the Hawk Lords transports. The other Thunderhawk cleared a zone for a Techmarine and servitors to bring aboard the fallen form of a Venerable Dreadnought that had held the line against the Iron Warriors.

Strike Force Final Vengeance made planet fall successfully and early indications suggested there mission was proceeding smoothly. Four hours after deployment however all communications were lost. Their fate is unknown.


Total Astartes Deployed during Operation Marked Vengence: 357

Total Casualties: 163

Astartes Deployed onto Nathos
[Including Thunderhawk and Dreadnought pilots]: 148.

Casualties: 130

Apocathary Carlos Valacia, Crimson Fist Chaper, 2nd Company.
-Crimson Skull for exemplary conduct under fire.

Captain Yrin Anolanio, Shadow Wraiths Chapter, 4th Company
-Imperial Laurel for deeds of valour during the boarding of the Iron Warrior
Styx Class Cruiser Forgotten Beast.

Brother Sergeant Cicero Ajax, Hawk Lord Chapter, Talon Wing.
-Silver Talon for exemplary piloting under fire.
-Marksman’s honour for exemplary combat accuracy.


Haxda Kadis, Officio Assassinorum, Callidus Temple.
Terran Star of Honour for exemplary and courageous conduct in the service of the Emperor (posthumous).

The failure of Strike Force Emperors Vengeance and Strike Force Final Vengeance, combined with the casualty rate of forces deployed onto Nathos (in excess of 87%) would indicate that Operation Marked Vengeance was a disaster.

However Nathos ground forces casualty rates were always expected to be in excess of 70%. Further more the Shadow Wraiths were able to destroy significant portions of the Traitor defence fleet. This is an important consideration for future actions against Nathos.

The most significant development however was the successful recovery of intelligence related to the upcoming Iron Warrior offensive.

Psychic probing into Captain Eduardo’s mind indicates that the Iron Warriors plan to assault the moon of Thelos in the Yadis system. The Yadis system lies only a short warp jump from Nathos and is, as you may or may not be aware, a quarantined system. Ostensibly this is due to it being a domain of the Shadow Wraith Chapter. However in reality Thelos houses several Ordo Malleus research facilities.

The exact nature of the assault is unclear but it perhaps comes as no coincidence that Inquisitor Lord Kois, located on Thelos has reported that he has nearly finished his four-decade research into unlocking the secrets of the Canthar Stone, a pre heresy artefact that may prove a valuable weapon against the Great Enemy.

Reports from Imperial sources on Nathos indicate that a large force of Iron Warriors jumped into warp space mere hours after the conclusion of Operation Marked Vengeance.

I have requested aid from the Crimson Fist and Shadow Wraiths Chapters and we will, with the Emperors grace, arrive in the Yadis system before the accursed Iron Warriors.

I will endeavour to keep you informed of developments.

Your servant,

Inquisitor Lord Maximus Gracus Octavia.