Friday, 27 September 2013

Lore of the Guardians of the Covenant: The Lelith Incursion. Part I

The Lelith Incursion

Part 1


One of the most famous battles the Space Marines of the Guardians of the Covenant have fought, the Lelith Incursion was also one of the must brutal, grinding the chapter down to almost two thirds of its strength, costing the lives of many Battle-Brothers. The campaign began with a cry for help from the distant world of Chordis, a planet colonised during a crusade, several centuries ago. All this reached the ears of Inquisitor Volkov, who requested an audience with Lord Guardian Solaceon. His plea was that the Chapter sent its full strength against this alien threat. Volkov, being a Psyker, had long felt a shadow approaching through his witchsight. He felt the threat was so dire, that the entire Chapter needed to rush forth to meet this threat.
With just the formal request for aid from Chordis, Solaceon and his Council of Angels found no reason to march the entirety of the Chapter to war. Something that had not been done since the Second Battle of Mortikah, several thousand years ago. And thus, not the Chapter, but a strike force comprising of elements of several squads from different companies led by Chaplain Olmas, the acting Force Commander, got seconded to the Ordo Xenos and in the ancient strike cruiser In Crimson Clad the expedition went forth to meet the Xenos threat.

The veterans of the Lelith Incursion can well remember these vile Xenos. They describe black and grey beings, clawed and fanged with red eyes. The Lelith were said to move with the shadows itself, utterly deadly and highly psychic. And there were so many. A seemingly sophisticated society with primitive but efficient ships of their own, the Lelith came forth from the uncharted regions of the Halo Stars in vast numbers. No one but the Adeptus Astartes could have met such a threat and hope to be the victor. Though the price would be high indeed.
Chaplain Olmas led the strike force valiantly, gaining a firm foothold on the surface of Chordis, digging themselves in. There was no resistance. Until night fell.
Brother Thetys was the first to fall. Out of thin air they came, clawing their way through sacred Power Armour as if it were wax. The onslaught was bloody and brutal. Within minutes, over a tenth of the strike force's strength had been sapped. The casualties on the side of the foe were even bigger. Between the gunmetal corpses, white armoured apothecaries waded through scythed and clawed Xenos bodies to reap the Chapter's Due.

Chaplain Olmas was quick to adapt to the Xenos' style of warfare, the Guardians of the Covenant having fought against countless alien races. He distributed the strike force's strength between concentrations of the enemy, his Battle-Brothers being supported by swift attack craft such as Land Speeders and Astartes Bikes. The weeks that followed were dangerous and lethal. Each force testing each other's strengths and weaknesses. It was a war of attrition. A brutal stalemate into which many bodies fair and foul were ground to a bloody pulp. Casualties on both sides were staggering, but the sheer overwhelming firepower combined with the stubbornness of the Crimson Brothers made sure they were slowly winning.
The world of Chordis got turned into a charred husk. There had been no trace of its inhabitants to begin with, but following the war, even the last traces of Imperial civilisation had been all but gone.
As Chaplain Olmas thought the battle done; the last of the Lelith had been put to the sword, he received word from the strike cruiser In Crimson Clad. Strange alien vessels were bleeding from the warp. Within moments, the sky of Chordis turned purple and strange semi-organic drop ships fell from the atmosphere, impacting upon the surface shortly after.
Chaplain Olmas suddenly understood that the fierce war on Chordis, that had cost the lives of so many of his brothers had been a mere test. Seeing no chance to return to the strike cruiser, he decided have the remnant of the strike force dug in, while the cruiser sent a a desperate plea for help.

It was well over a month later when the astropathic choir of the Spire received the distress call. Upon hearing it, Lord Guardian Solaceon gathered the entirety of the Chapter and gave the now famous speech of deliverance. In his mind it was clear. The threat was dire, and an entire sub-sector was threatened. No longer would the Guardians of the Covenant send a strike force or a company.
The entirety of the Chapter would answer the call to war.

To be continued

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

A Thousand Points of Warfare: The Pictures

Last Friday night I had an awesome battle with two young lads, Melih and Rowan. Though their 1500pt list (we upscaled it a bit) was filled with some cheese (*cough* the Stormlord *cough*) and I got utterly wiped from the table, I still had a lot of fun. On my insistence, we filled the table with all sorts of terrain. The more terrain, the better.
I fielded two tactical squads, one with Ezekyle attached, the other in a rhino. A Mortis-Contemptor, a Company Master with a versatile Veterans squad, scouts and finally a rifleman dreadnought.
That against the shootiest and killiest army out there and two young rules lawyers which left no stone unturned.
All in all, though facing defeat, I had a blast.

Setting up the table.

The final set up of the battelfield.

Nightfighting. (The flash!)

This time without a flash. The scouts got wiped in two shots..

Some unpainted, but nevertheless deadly.

The Guardians march.

The Command squad in the trench.

Hunter squad. Killed with one volley of Battlesuit fire.

Into the fray!

Overview of the trenches.

The foe approaches!

Close combat!

Birds eye view.

Challenge! (Which I lost..)

Monday, 23 September 2013

Lore of the Guardians of the Covenant: Mortikah


Mortikah VII as seen from its sister planet

Mortikah VII

The primary planet located in the green zone of its star Mortikah Prime is Mortikah VII. It is a world of many mountains and vales. With soaring snowy peaks and lush and verdant valleys in between. It is a world where grassy plains meet endless mountains and oceans clash with ancient volcanoes. But despite all this, it is a scarred world as well. War has been to Mortikah several times during its history and though the planet is recovering, it is doing so slowly. Unnatural canyons formed by planet killers and the ruins and volcanic rock formed long ago by chasms in the planet's crust are grim reminders of the ancient but terrible wars. Nevertheless, Mortikah is a majestic world reminiscent of Old Earth.
In its valleys are the cities and townships and near the rivers and seas are its ports. All but the Adeptus Astartes of the Guardians of the Covenant have forgotten about the wars. It is they who remain ever vigilant, for the threat of the vile alien is never far away.

The sprawling metropolis that is Golgotha is the official capital of Mortikah VII. To imagine Golgotha, one must envision a baroque city with lots of neogothic architecture, brass piping and narrow streets. To live in Golgotha is to live in a classic Imperial City, a meritocracy where the Astartes serve as overseers of the ruling class; an elite of educated men and women from all strata of society.
Golgotha is named after the first Lord Guardian of the Chapter, the Chapter Master at the time when Mortikah VII was first colonised. For his epic deeds and achievements in several early Halo Crusades, he was deemed saintly by the Ecclessiarchy. In one of the many green valleys of Mortikah VII, a small shrine was erected. It was only after thousands of pilgrims flocked to the shrine that the city of Golgotha was slowly formed. In place of the shrine, there stands a baroque Cathedral so vast, only the spires of the Guardians' Fortress-Monastery rise higher.

Golgotha - Old Quarter


Like its namesake in the old Grecan legends of Old Earth, Sparta is first and foremost a martial city. It is this city where the biggest garrisons of the Spireguard are housed and Sparta is the global training centre for the thusly named planetary defence force. It is a city of plain architecture and buildings wrought from red stone and grim neccesity. Here the young men from all over the globe gather to train in the aspects of war. The more martially orientated Astartes stay here in a large Monastery-Outpost, overlooking the training and scouting for possible recruits, for the Chapter is ever in high demand.


The city of Lucianport was the place where Lord Guardian Lucian, a Grand Master of the Guardians of the Covenant of old, set out on an eventually doomed crusade into the Halo Stars, taking two whole companies with him, their strike cruisers swallowed by a volatile warp storm never to be heard from again. Despite all this, Lucian was deemed a hero, and the city grew into a metropolis of trade, located along the coastline and thus boasting both a sea- and a spaceport.

The Spire

The Guardians of the Covenant built their Fortress-Monastery on top of the world. It is located amonst some of the tallest peaks the mountain-rich planet has to offer. The air in and around these mountains is so poor in oxygen, that only someone with the enhanced physiology of a Space Marine could hope to survive there for long periods of time. With this the Astartes made sure the Spire is inaccessible to most. If not the locale of the vast construction would stop someone from travelling there, the thin air would prevent one from staying long.
To envision the Spire is to imagine a enormous cathedral with vast spires soaring up to the sun, adorned with gargoyles and belltowers, statues of heroes, Primarchs and the Emperor of Man depicted in numerous stained glass windows. At first glance, the Spire looks more like a lavishly adorned place of worship, but alongside the towers and halls, missile silo's, hidden gun turrets and other heavy weaponry point upwards at the clear sky, ever vigilant for whatever horrors may arrive from the uncharted worlds of the Halo Zone.
The inside of the Spire houses all the conventional things one might find in a Fortress-Monastery of the Space Marines, were one so lucky to set foot in one, let alone two to compare both. Aside of this all, the things that make the Spire truly unique are its vast Librariums and stacks of knowledge, both leather-bound parchment and digital and its galleries of exquisite artwork from all over the Imperium. It is said that the Spire was built not just to house its Astartes, but to guard this vast font of knowledge above all things.

Mortikah V

The fifth planet in the Mortikah system is the sister planet to Mortikah VII, it is a lifeless grey rock where life has never sprung from the earth. Though where it is poor in terms of life, it is ever so abundant in rich and rare minerals. It is for this primary reason that the Adeptus Mechanicus has built its outpost here in the form of vast forges and an ever growing mining operation.  It is from the bowels of Mortikah V that the iconic Mortikan ore is mined. The ore is made into steel, iron and gunmetal and used in a wide variety of objects. From the holy bolters the brothers of the Guardians of the Covenant carry, to the lasguns of the Spireguard and even the piping in the city sewerage. The dark copper coloured Mortikan Ore is as abundant in Mortikan society as the Chapter itself.

Heaven Forge

The primary forge of Mortikah VII is Heaven Forge. It is here where the war machines and materiél of the Chapter is made and maintained. Being a remote Chapter located on the rim of the Imperium and the galaxy at large, it is important to be self sufficient and supplies are ever in high demand. The strong bond between the Red Priests of Mars and the Guardians of the Covenant has made this possible. Many an adept has helped leading a crusade into the uknown, for riches and spoils will be waiting for those who dare venture into the dark.
Heaven Forge is backed by the rich minerals and ores that Mortikah V bears. Aside of aiding the Chapter, the Adeptus Mechanicus has its own agenda as well, and Heaven Forge is a big part of it.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Guardians of the Covenant Fellblade Superheavy Tank - Part V: The First Layer

Hey folks,
It was about time I started painting the Fellblade. The task of starting to paint a model and deciding what colour goes where is a daunting and intimidating task. It was for this reason that this beauty of tank lay waiting in the yellow storage box since the 20th of August. But today, after my lovely girlfriend told me to just paint it and stop fussing about it so much, I started painting the first layer.

The first layer is always the most special one. It alone gives me an idea of how the model will look when finished and it motivates me to continue painting. As you can see, it still looks like babby's first warhams-model. But it's only the first layer. Those who have seen, say, the Storm Eagle will know that there will still be lots of work in a large model such as this. The Fellblade will be subjected to several more layers, washing, drybrushing, highlighting and weathering before the painting is finished. And finally as a finishing touch, I will be using the decals I've printed myself, which were featured in a post some months ago. But, each journey begins with the first few steps, and this is a giant leap towards completion.

- Revan88

Colours used: - Mechrite Red foundation paint, Boltgun Metal, Tin Bitz.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Lore of the Guardians of the Covenant: The Chapter and the Imperium

The Chapter's Relations with the Imperium

Adeptus Mechanicus
The Guardians of the Covenant have indeed very favourable relations with the Priests of Mars. The simple fact that the Mechanicum and the Guardians of Mortikah have in common that they gather and catalogue a vast wealth of information is not the only cause of this. It happened that while crusading in the Halo Stars, a Grand Master of old unearthed several intact fragments of a Standard Template Construct and granted this boon of Old Night to the Adeptus Mechanicus. The favourable relations between both faction, which were already existent, would be forged in steel and gold henceforth. Over the centuries, the Priesthood of Mars gifted the Chapter many ancient relics of ages past, such as several Contemptor Dreadnoughts from the time when the Emperor walked amongst men and even two mighty Fellblades, which they uncovered from an ancient weapons cache.
Currently, the Adeptus Mechanicus has a firm presence in the Mortikah system, occupying the Mortikah V, a barren, lifeless planet which holds vast amounts of Mortikan Ore, which is mainly used to create weapons which have a distinctly coppery colour despite being regular gunmetal. Mortikah V is a small planet, but has vast manufactorii and forges for its size.

Adeptus Astartes

As would be expected of one of the Unforgiven, the Guardians of the Covenant have good relations with their Primogenitor, the Dark Angels and the other Unforgiven chapters, but because of their remote location and passive role in hunting the Fallen, they aren't privy anymore to many of the Inner Circle's secrets and dealings.
The relations with other Chapters differ from friendly, to little more than neutral at best. Many of the Chapter's dealings and rites are frowned upon by the more martial Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes. Since a Guardian of the Covenant is unique in dedicating equal time to scholarly arts as to the ways of war, some Chapters may think of the Guardians as a lesser Chapter, not matching their own prowess in battle, though nothing could be further from the truth. Those who have fought alongside the in crimson clad brothers know better, they laud the way the Guardians of the Covenant do battle; studying their foes extensively and using minds as keen as a blade to analyse and construct a fitting plan of battle.

The Inquisition

The Holy Ordos of the Emperor's Inquisition has relatively favourable ties with the Guardians of the Covenant. None more than the Ordo Xenos. The Alienhunters have worked together with the Sons of Mortikah for thousands of years. This made sure both the Chapter and the Ordo Xenos have bonds forged in fire over the course of millennia. This relationship has clear reasons: the Guardians of the Covenant have extensive knowledge and have purged and catalogued thousands of Xenos and they are situated on the galactic rim near the Halo Stars, an uncharted region where many dangers lurk.
Over the centuries, the presence of the Inquisition has gained a firm foothold on Mortikan soil. First and foremost the Ordo Xenos has a presence in Golgotha, the Mortikan capitol under leadership of Inquisitor Basel Volkov and Watch Commander Crixus of the Deathwatch.
Secondly, the Witchhunters of the Ordo Hereticus have had a small presence as well, but the Inquisitor leading the coven has disappeared when leading a crusade into the Halo Stars. A small detachment of the Adepta Sororitas remains in the Cathedral of the Saviour Emperor in Golgotha.

Imperial Guard

Throughout their history, the Guardians of the Covenant has given shelter and supplies to Imperial Guard regiments heading into the Halo Stars. From weaponry to men-at-arms. Mortikans have supplied the armies of the Emperor with fresh sons and daughters to serve faithfully in one of the many regiments of the Imperial Guard.
It was only natural that after Mortikah got attacked by the insidious Eldar, the population founded a planetary defence force. This force, named the Spireguard after the Guardians' Fortress-Monastery, specialises in peacekeeping, policing and the defence of the Mortikah System when the Guardians of the Covenant are away from their planet. The Spireguard are equipped as regular guardsmen, wearing long crimson greatcoats with an ivory single sword emblem to set them apart from the crossed swords of their Astartes brethren. Armed with lasguns and combat knives and well disciplined, any invader would have trouble besting these brave soldiers defending their homes.
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