The War Begins.
The Alpha legion fleet arrived at the penal planet of Stygia just as a full scale revolt led by Alpha Legion puppet had broken out. Imperial forces trying to contain the revolt were unprepared for the sudden assault from space and within hours the entre planet along with it's prison population of 1.3 billion souls were in the hands of Chaos. The Alpha Legion then struck an accord with the revolt leader declaring him to be the new emperor of the Stygian Empire. Trainers were brought down to the planet to convert the population into an army an see to it they were properly armed while the new Emperor went with the newly arrived fleet and armies the Alpha Legion had procured for him in wilderness space to conquer a new empire. In exchange for being declared Emperor and receiving Alpha Legion support, the new Stygian Emperor tithed 10 percent of all captured and produced war material from his new empire to be turned over to Lord Magwar's 7th Hydra Grand Company of the Alpha Legion.
The Surge of Serpents
The Stygian Emperor and his new host struck out suddenly with offensives in every direction at once. Three agriworlds surrounding Stygia were the first to fall. With minimal pdf presence and little to nothing in the way of orbital defenses they were easy pickings for the Stygian Guard and Alpha Legion assaults. All three had fallen within the first month and throwing the specter of famine over nearby Imperial worlds dependent upon them. Four more worlds came under assault a month later. These Imperial worlds tried to resist but were again overwhelmed before they could adequately resist due to years of advanced preparations the Alpha Legion had made. These operations were typical of those that would then follow. Upon the arrival of the stygian fleet Alpha Legion cult cells and sleeper agents would spring into action. Communications would be cut, defenses sabotaged, key personel would be assassinated, preemptive attacks launched by cults on defense staging areas. Assaulted from within and without the planets quickly fell and were converted to serving the new Stygian Empire.
Trapped Between the Stygian Guard
and Alpha Legion cultists a pdf force
about to be wiped out.
Imperial sector command was left reeling as in a span of three months over eight worlds and two dozen moon and asteroid outposts had fallen to the Stygian Empire. Worse still was the warp surrounding the sector had begun to stir with the violence the Alpha Legion had unleashed on the sector hampering communications and reinforcements. Within another six months five more worlds had fallen to the Stygian Empire. Reports filtered in of fallen worlds given over entirely to the production of war material the raising of additional forces, and the fortification of conquered worlds. The Imperium was able to gather a large chunk of the sector fleet and sent it to the now threatened forge world of Cryxis IV with it's ring of shipyards. The Stygian empire had to be kept from taking a forgeworld at all costs.
Battle of Cryxis IV
The Imperial Fleet gathered at Cryxis IV sheltered in it's web of orbital defenses as the forgeworld prepare for war. Admiral Tulon, the Imperial fleet commander was confident in his ability to defeat the chaos Invasion armada that intelligence reports had predicted was bearing down on him. His one worry was that the chaos armada might see the strength of his position and turn away without engaging, and while that would deny chaos any chance of invading the forgeworld it would also deny him the chance to annihilate the chaos armada.
The Chaos armada emerged at the edge of the system and undeterred began making it's way straight towards the waiting Imperial fleet and Cryxis IV. Minutes before the fleets came into range the Chaos fleet sent an encrypted signal out to the forgeworld. The message contained a technovirus that turned every servitor in the system into a weapons platform for the Alpha Legion on a seek and destroy setting. Meanwhile the Fabricator General of Cryxis IV revealed his true allegiance turning the orbital defense platforms on the Imperial fleet. A dozen Imperial cruisers were crippled in the first salvo. As Admiral Tulon sought to face this new threat his manservant of thirty years walked up to him and stabbed him to death on the bridge before being cut down by ships security. On his body a hydra tattoo was discovered on his left wrist. With the Imperial fleet suddenly leaderless and beset on by the orbital defenses The Alpha legion fleet slammed into them with devastating effect. Some Imperial ships fled while others fought to the death trying to salvage something from the disaster. In the end The Imperial fleet lost 12 cruisers, 14 frigates, 1 grand cruiser, and Admiral Tulon's flagship, the Retribution Class Battleship "Divine Will". Most of these ships would be salvaged in time and used by the Stygian Empire including the "Divine Will" which was rechristened "Death Adder" and was the Stygian Emperor's personal flagship. Down below loyalist units fought Dark Mechanicus traitors, berserk servitors, and invading Stygian guard.
Loyalist Skitarii fighting Dark Mechanicus and servitors
Despite a truly heroic defense the loyalist forces were wiped out over the next three months. Cryxis IV became a Dark Mechanicus world under the Stygian Empire. The sector fleet was reeling from defeat, with sector sending pleas for reinforcements. And the Stygian Empire was growing stronger with it being only a matter of time before Cryxis IV was mass producing daemonic war material for the Stygian Empire.