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The ubiquitous naval weapon known as the torpedo was originally invented in old terra long before man reached for the stars. The original weapons were just a little taller than a human, and were used merely against nautical warships, progressively becoming more sophisticated with guidance systems and advanced explosive warheads. The nomenclature was then transposed to its equivalent weapon arming the spaceships of nearly every space faring race. The name itself is a misnomer which becomes readily apparent when they are compared. The imperial version is far more a massive rocket than a slender torpedo. Usually the size of a tall building, about twenty stories in height, these massive torpedoes arm a variety of ships in the imperial navy and space marine fleets. The nose of the torpedo is filled with sensor probes and control sensors for auto-detection of targets as well as for the final guidance. Just behind this lies the armour penetrating explosive directional warhead which fills the forward third of the weapon. Close behind this lies the plasma reactor which fills the aft two thirds along with its fuel supply. The plasma reactor is designed to go critical seconds prior to impact, and forms part of the explosive warhead. These were capable of gouging great chunks off a battleship's hull or penetrating deep before exploding within the vitals of the ship. It was one such torpedo, of a salvo of more than two hundred, which detonated first in the engine compartment of one of the slaughter class cruisers. That was the initial explosion that broke Barradon's incredulous look as his mind registered the death of St Josmane's Hope.

Pandemonium broke loose within the tight chaos fleet formation as explosion after explosion rocked their warships. The transports were not so lucky, each one being struck by a salvo of three or four torpedoes, exploding and breaking apart, spilling terror stricken hordes in to the icy black vacuum of space. Temporarily blinded by the explosive break up of the planet, the augers and sensors in the chaos fleet were slowly coming back on line. Incredulous bridge officers watched on, dumb founded, as the space behind their fleet suddenly revealed the presence of a vast array of war ships. They were imperial war ships to be more accurate. In reality they were space marine ships of the unforgiven chapters to be exact. Mere seconds had passed from the first explosions, and the warmaster's bridge command staff was just recovering enough to attempt a response when the massive projectiles from the mass drivers of the bombardment cannons struck the bridge. In an instant, Barradon, his throne and his staff along with his traitorous dreams were pulverized by the sheer mass of the oncoming projectiles. Anyone who dared look to the rear of the chaos fleet would have been greeted with the terrifying sight of the combined battle fleets of two space marine chapters bearing upon them at flank speed.

On the bridge of the Sword of Redemption, battle barge and flagship of the Battle fleet redemption, master of the fleet Amardiel looked on with grim satisfaction. In stark contrast to the pandemonium aboard the bridge of the Death of Hope, Amardiel was surrounded by the calm and quietness so characteristic of a space marine command bridge. The gunnery officer calmly set about picking the most demanding targets and assigning the most devastating combination of firepower to each in turn. The command staff set about their delicate task of dissecting the chaos fleet caught completely of guard with virtually no ordnance deployed, ship by blasphemous ship. Amardiel allowed himself a quick smile as he voiced his thanks to the emperor. He had been the master of the battle fleet redemption for more than three centuries. In that time he had despatched strike fleets to the many quadrants of the emperor's domain. He had studied the enemy and learned of new tactics. Incessantly training his crew and commanders in fleet battle doctrine, in direct contradiction to the Codex Astartes, he had honed his battle fleet in the various aspects of space warfare. That all the unforgiven chapters did so was consolation enough, especially given their need to protect the floating bedrock that was the only remaining evidence of their home planet. He had particularly relished the new tactics developed by another space borne chapter, the Black templars, during the third war for Armageddon. The silent running techniques along with their constant practice at simultaneous mass ordnance release by all ships of the fleet, had certainly paid great dividends.

Reflecting through the events of the past few weeks, he realised that never had he experienced such diverse events occurring within such a short time period. He was proud of what his chapter had accomplished so far. In a short span of time, they had mobilised their entire chapter from the Gothic sector, identified an ancient elder warp gate in the Cyclops sub-sector and travelled the empyrean to the region of the eye. It was a testament to the quality and experience of the navigators from the Navis Nobilite and the stability of the ancient warp gates, that they had arrived as scheduled and without losses. Re-entering real space in the vicinity of Subiaco Diablo in the Bellis Corona sector, orders from the inner circle directing them to surreptitiously move past the Cadian system en route to their home system of Caliban. He remembered the pride swelling in him, despite the mental control instilled in all space marines, when the entire battle fleets of his own chapter and that of their brothers on the Angels of vengeance had rendezvoused just outside of the Cadian system. It was a heart wrenching journey, having been sworn to secrecy, and being unable to lend a hand to the numerous calls for help in the region. Tendrils of doubt washed momentarily as he questioned the orders of the inner circle in his own mind. As they had neared the Cadian system, the situation was noted to be critical in the tiny planet of St Josmane's Hope. His belief in the chapter high command was finally restored a he received his orders. He had been given overall command of both battle fleets for a passing strike at the chaos fleets in the vicinity of St Josmane's Hope. They were not to be engaged in extended fleet actions. Despite his misgivings of avoiding action when all around them the imperial forces required assistance, he was confident in the actions of the inner circle. For the first time in more than two millennia the highest echelons of the inner circles of every unforgiven chapter were present in full strength at the Tower of Angels. The events and their consequences must indeed be of extreme importance for such a gathering to take place, and that knowledge steeled his resolve as they headed towards their rendezvous.

The emperor had guided their hand, as they floated in their powered down mode, along the path of Solar Mariatus. They had identified the numerous fleets and convoys, intercepted transmissions, located hidden ambushes and finally heard the imperial code for the destruction of Hope. They had identified Barradon's fleet just as the events were becoming critical on St Josmane's Hope. Acting rapidly, and timing their action to perfection every capable vessel launched a spread of torpedoes at the chaos fleet just as the explosive back blast blinded the sensors of the chaos fleet. They had practiced the technique of slaving the targeting system of all ships of the fleet to that of the battle barges, which linked their own information. Mechanically ejecting their torpedoes and allowing their momentum to carry them forwards for a distance before all were activated by a single command was another new technique they had developed. When coupled with their silent running mode, the first inclination of an attack the enemy had was often when the massed torpedoes ignited their power sources and accelerated to attack speed. The warships would do the same and follow in with their devastating batteries and bombardment cannons. Their orders had been to strike hard and strike fast, and they had carried it to the letter.

As the massive fleet armada swept past the crumbling remnants of St Josmane's Hope, Barradon's fleet lay crippled. The transports had blown up immediately, regurgitating their contents in to empty space to join their dark lords. Every chaos cruiser had suffered critical hits, some had already broken up. Others were drifting helplessly, laying a trail of space debris to mark their passing. A few lay burning fiercely as their plasma reactors and warp engines underwent critical meltdown, taking the surrounding escorts with them. As the massive battle barges and strike cruisers of both chapters swept past the debris, Barradon glanced at his executioners, his face contorted with evil, he vowed vengeance. His bridge was open to space, only his space marine constitution and the gifts of nurgle keeping him alive. His body was buried within the rubble that was once his command post. He looked with his minds eye at the scale of destruction that had been visited upon his fleet. His life energy was seeping away slowly. He looked to the stars and called out to his erstwhile patrons. They did not answer. He swore oaths of allegiance, and yet they remained silent. In desperation he did something that he had very cleverly avoided all these millennia. He offered up his soul to the lord of decay in the hope that he would be allowed to survive. Momentarily he felt the pestilent god accept his offering and then realised in horror that he would not be forgiven. As the last breath of his life slipped away Barradon cursed the unforgiven for a moment and then began to scream as the fickle gods of chaos abandoned him and delivered his soul to the empyrean to be feasted upon by the predators of the warp for all eternity.

"Master of the fleet to all battle brothers! Course Caliban system. Brothers we are going home! Engage warp engines!" 

With that simple command the combined fleet activated their warp engines and disappeared in to the empyrean. A moment later the fleets were gone, en route to Caliban, towards their destiny.

Months later, imperial cartographic survey teams would find the site of the battle and the attendant debris. Much debate later, the destruction of the chaos fleet would be attributed to unknown natural events, little knowing the role played by the Unforgiven. The unforgiven chapters, for their part were quite content to remain incognito, believing firmly that the outcome was far more important than public recognition.
Doctrinae Unforgiven
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Chronicled By ( Shadow Guard )
This section provides the narrative history of the events that took place during the Gathering of Angels campaign conducted by the Inner Circle, during Abaddon's Thirteenth Black Crusade. This is in no way the official GW version nor is it in anyway an attempt to infringe on their IP. There are many versions of imperial history buried within the sands of time and this is but just one of them. Read on if you dare!
GoA Volume I: Revelation
GoA Volume II: Nest of Vipers
GoA Volume IV: Battle for Caliban
GoA Volume III: The Grand Circle
GoA Appendices
GoA Volume V: Desperate Hours