Quatel Prime- southern front - sector 182
With the success of Operation Nesting Asps the focus of the war continued on the southern front. Stygian forces continued to make progress but it ha been slow and costly. In an effort to speed up the offensive an Alpha Legion task force under adept sorcerer Kalli was dispatched by Asura to spearhead an effort in sector 182. Asura hoped that this task force could quickly capture the shrine of St. Jamal and push beyond the north south running road that ran nearby enabling follow on forces to then use the road to hammer into the flanks of the sectors north and south and speed up momentum of the continued offensive. It was further more hoped that the destruction of the shrine would weaken Imperial morale and strengthen Stygian faith. Finally Asura wanted Kalli to seize the relics of St. Jamal and have them ritually defiled in order to further appease the warp and secure easier access to their aid. Bombing strikes hammered the area around the shrine and the task force prepared to attack. Little did they realize there were about to run into far more serious resistance than they expected.
A small task force of loyalist Adeptus Astartes from the Knights of the Sacred Flame chapter had landed on Quatrel Prime. The orgins of the chapter were obscured, some believed they were a Salamander or of Iron Hands descent because of their reverence for artifice that showed up in the numbers of dreadnaughts and terminators they tended to field. Others thought them an offshoot of the Imperial fists line due to their zealous crusading nature similar to the Black Templars, indeed they called all task forces sent out by the chapter questing crusades.
The bombing raids on the area around St. Jamal's shrine gave clear indication of Stygian intent, further a brave agent of the Inquisition embedded within the Stygian Guard was able to send warning that it would be a Alpha Legion task force spearheading the attack. The Knights of the Sacred Flame advanced into the sector to intercept and beat back this attack but there were further complications.
The monks of the Shrine fearing damage from the bombing raids and worried about sudden insurgent attacks from behind Imperial lines taking advantage of the disruption of the air attacks buried most of the relics for safe keeping. It was a legitimate concern on behalf of the monks. All too often in the past a sudden air attack had been followed from a fifth column attack from insurgents aimed at assassination or sabotage. Unfortunately it further complicated things for the Knights of the Sacred Flame who vowed to recover the relics and return them to the monks who had promptly evacuated the area before the Alpha Legion task force.
The Knights of the Sacred Flame moved up and saw the advanced elements of the Alpha Legion task force already swarming around the shrine. From their position east of the road Commander Xerxes swore his battle brothers to an oath of moment vowing to recover the relics, drive off the traitors, and kill the witch leading them.
The Alpha Legion force saw the loyalist marines and let out screams of rage born of a war 10,000 years old. These were veterans of the long war and their hate burned as bright this day as it did all those centuries ago during the Horus Heresy. They made ready to attack.
Special thanks go out to John Ondich-Batson (Pictured below) for his help with this battle report. The Knights of the Sacred Flame is his marine army