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Apollyon stood at the middle of the sanctum internus, the command centre of the keep. It had been the bridge of the "Angelus Lionus" when it was the primarch's flag ship. Iy had been the ideal chamber to be converted in to a command centre. It's high position allowing a direct field of vision across the asteroid belt in addition to the numerous sensor displays that filled each wall. Digital astrogation charts and targeting cogitators lined every spare vertical surface. The centrepiece of attention was the three dimensional tactical display, revealing the positions of all known threats within the system. A much larger display was positioned on one corner of the chamber, once again sporting a three dimensional display, but this time encompassing the entire galaxy. Multiple icons flickered on them identifying various degrees of information and potential leads regarding the fallen including sightings and attack co-ordinates. It was from this chamber that the Knights of the Order had planned and carried out their campaign of redemption for ten thousand years. Now the sanctity of this ultra secret redoubt was about to be violated by the heretics who had betrayed the emperor all those years ago. Apollyon promised to himself that those same men will pay dearly for this sacrilege.

They had tracked the progress of the invasion fleet from the moment it entered real space. They had been expecting the invasion for days now, thanks to the constant flow of intelligence coming their way from the Tower of Angels, all of it earned with the blood of their brethren on the battlefield. He had personally overseen the implementation of multiple layers of defensive sensor grids and weapon stations. Their numbers were small but they had many surprises for any uninvited intruders. He had raised an eyebrow as the chaos fleet continued at flank speed directly towards the co-ordinates of the keep, ostensibly towards their doom at the hands of the massive asteroids in their path. His suspicions of enemy infiltrators was very quickly confirmed as a string of explosions and advanced implosion devices disrupted every sensor, weapon array and asteroid in the path of the advancing fleet. The symbols indicating the enemy fleet flickered and disappeared momentarily, along with a large number of icons denoting the defensive systems. A wide and long path of undefended and clear space now lay aimed directly at the position of the keep. Apollyon silently admired the efforts of the enemy infiltrators. They had indeed done their work very well, but they had to contend with the grit and determination of the unforgiven. At a single spoken command one of the techmarines at the console activated a series of runes. In response numerous dormant sensor augers activated themselves from across the other quadrants, criss-crossing the entire system with their passive systems. The dark swathe on Apollyon's tactical display came alive again with icons demarcating the enemy ships. He would not be blinded so easily. He smiled quietly, noting that the path of safety could easily be converted in to an alley of death. He prepared to unleash his wrath at the oncoming enemy.

Gravad adjusted the thrusters of the massive raptor jump packs with a deftness that belied his massive form. Gentle thrusts were all that were needed to direct his silent journey across the void towards the massive bedrock that contained the keep. There he would make history. There, his skills and battle lust would buy him infamous accord. On his command his four companions had deployed similarly but to other, pre determined points. He silently saluted the defenders of the keep for their foresight as the extensive array of sensor augers he ahd deployed detected the activation of the dormant systems. He smiled, knowing that here he would find a worthy adversary. Two of his men were deploying to asteroids on either flank of the cleared path, to intercede against any last minute interferences. The other two followed him at a distance, quietly deploying to the surface of the bedrock that held the fused remains of the ancient space ship.

On the bridge of the "Renegade's Death" Dalamere concentrated anxiously. A path had been blown clear for them. Gregor was right she thought to herself, perhaps she should not have undertaken this mission. It was escalating in to a major conflict by the minute. She put aside her misgivings and concentrated on the mission at hand. Success was the only chance for survival. She had ordered the raiders to lead in spearhead formations of three and her cruisers were entering the space in line astern. The "Eviscerator" deployed a little behind them, keeping the troop transports between her squadron and itself. The attack craft from the Eviscerator screamed past the Dalamere's squadron of cruisers, oblivious the fact that they were in the sights of Dalamere's close in weapons until they had passed. She had stood mesmerised at their intended target. The remnants of a massive ancient battleship fused to a large mass of asteroid. The magnificence of the battleship's construction hadn't diminished with time or its partial destruction. Whatever was within this ancient wreck, going by the defences they had had to overcome so far, she could expect it to be no easy fight. She uttered a brief order and the massed batteries of her fleet began their age old occupation of unleash death and destruction. Slowing down to take synchronous orbit within range of the target asteroid, the ships lights dimmed and vibrations increased as the masse gun batteries began their unholy task.

The command centre which occupied the "Eviscerator's" bridge was dark and wreaked of fear. The light levels were extremely low and the vid-logs and display screens were almost invisible to the human eye. Dragnarth looked around, wary of danger at every passing moment. His enhanced senses were able to see and feel his surroundings but only with a superhuman effort. He was surprised at the ease with which the band of space marines who commanded the bridge functioned in this near invisible level of lighting. He had heard much about them, members of the Night Lords legion. They had no firm allegiance to any one faith, much like himself, but where they differed was in their unremitting urge for wanton destruction of human life. He himself had allowed first his pride and then his anger to cloud his judgement. Ten millennia ago he had taken the path that had given him the chance to live beyond any human life span but had damned him irredeemably in the process. Yet he now fought on, in his own way, despite being betrayed on numerous occasions. First it was the emperor, then it was their primarch and now even the man whom he had begun to believe was the last best hope, Cypher, had all betrayed him. He had expected their hunters to suffer a hammer blow, when Cypher had made his pacts with the despoiler. Yet nothing had happened. They had run rings around their younger brethren in the Cadian and Agripinaa systems but slowly the imperial lackeys were closing in. Only one man had the will to take the fight to the hunters. Only one man now held his allegiance. It was on his bidding that he, Dragnarth, commander of the first company, the fourth chapter of the first legion, put his life at risk in the company of these abominable lords of the night. He would personally lead the main strike in to the keep. His two companions stood ready for any danger as the Night Lords went about their preparations. Through the vid-screens he could see the battle being joined as the invasion fleet began to deliver a veritable storm of fire power on their target. Flaring of void shields and tiny trails of fiery comets representing return fire could be seen even at this distance.

In one corner of the Eviscerator's command centre, Bowdane the Stalker looked on with suspicion and contempt at the three renegade Dark Angels on his bridge. He did not like space marines of any ilk, unless they were of the gene seed of Night Haunter. His hate for everything that represented the Imperium was even greater, which was the only reason that these men had been allowed to enter his command centre and yet live. He assimilated all the tactical data from the ongoing battle. His attack craft were forming up to strike at the void shield generators of the out post. He knew that his overlord, Gravad, would be even now moving to interdict more of the defensive grid. That was one warrior he had much respect for. As mutated serfs cowered next to him, making their last minute adjustments to his blasphemed terminator armour, he spared a moment to accept that even he did not know the overall plan. His sensor-augers had detected a mass displacement within the warp space close to them, and this could only be a follow up force. Why such a force was required, he had not been told, nevertheless, being the paranoid tactician he had with held two flights of bombers for an emergency. On his command his assault troops were loading in to the boarding torpedoes. His attack wings were staring their bombing runs on the out post. His body guard of terminator armoured giants stood ready next to him. They would deploy in two separate groups as planned. Gravad's own raptor squads were ready for direct deployment from the Eviscerator's launch bays. As soon as Gravad gave the command they would let loose mayhem in yet another imperial outpost. Anticipation subconsciously caused him to flex his lightning claws, inadvertently decapitating one of the mutated slaves who was connecting the power generator inputs to the terminator armour's teleportation mechanism. The rest of the band of slave workers scurried off in to the darkness. No one noticed the power input leads that had slipped from the dead slave's hands. His men were ready, and so was he!

Doctrinae Unforgiven
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Member of the Inner Circle
EPIC Strategy
Gathering of Angels
Apocrypha Caliban
Codex Astartes Angelus Mortis
Legio Infitiales Venia
Battle Honours
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