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The early morning mist laid a thick carpet low over the surrounding land. The usual waking melodies of the resident fauna were absent on this day. A few rays of sunshine struggled to penetrate the dark overlay of smog. A low rumble could be heard in the distance. A rumble created by the constant chanting of blasted slogans by a mast horde of humanity as they made their way towards the outskirts of Kasr Badden. The low rumble grew in volume, rising to a high pitched cacophony as the massive war host arrived by foot to the position of their leader. He had advanced alone against the three rings of the Kasr defences and not a single shot was fired. The psychological impact on the advancing sycophants was immense. It appeared to them that their gods favoured the purple armoured giant of a warrior, and they would look upon them with favour too.

Ikrare-Kormodan had not moved from the position he had taken up on his lone arrival at the rear of the defence rings, nearly three hours ago. The massive tremor caused by the advance of six million cultists could be felt all the way to the outskirts of the city itself. He continued to receive and relay information to his various sub-commands, simply by his thought processes which controlled the functions of the armoured suit he wore. The many headed monster of terran mythology which he wore on his shoulder pad represented not only the insignia of his legion but also their modus operandi. His command was split in to numerous self-contained units, each of which was capable of self-sustained operations over a long period. Some of these command units were assigned to take control of the milling mass of debased humanity that even now trudged passed him towards the open gates of the Kasr. Others had taken control of various traitor regiments within the city itself, and even more blocked the routes by which potential reinforcements may arrive. Most powerful of all his efforts was that which was aimed at deception and subterfuge. He had managed to have many valiant imperial units re-deploying in the wrong places, firing on their own units and in general cause a complete breakdown of coordination within the region of Kasr Badden. He had kept many of his plans in reserve for potential surprises and the fluid events that would always occur after battle commences. He noted with satisfaction that the last of the traitor horde were well on their way towards the Kasr. These hordes were extremely well trained and his agents who had arrived in the world over the past millennia had indeed exceeded his expectations. Secret covens had been in existence for hundreds of years, training, planning and generally infiltrating every level of society on this one city. He looked at Braynor with some distaste. Ikrare himself was a traitor, but he considered the imperial lackeys to be the true traitors and the carrion god to be the great betrayer of humanity. However, Braynor was actually a traitor to his own legion and by his own admission had fought against his own primarch. That was one thing that Ikrare was incapable of. His warrior code would never allow him to battle against his own primarch and battle brothers. Why that black robed angel chose to offer him his services, Ikrare would never know, but for that he could never truly be trusted. Such were the tangible differences between those who fought against the lord of humanity.

Messages from his Alpha Legion units began to roll in as the enemy responded to the sudden collapse of an entire section of the front. Many imperial units continued to find themselves in the wrong place or assigned completely contradicting orders. Command and control had nearly collapsed in the city. Then came the expected reports of space marine reinforcements arriving within the city. Despite the closure of the spaceport within the city, the largest on Kasr Sonnen, pace marines had deployed there in force by assault, and were even now racing the face him. He smiled as he initiated yet another of his integrated plans. The Detrosian XVIII regiment had already redeployed to face the arrival of the space marine contingent. They had prepared defences in depth in the outskirts of the city. The cityscape would limit the much vaunted manoeuvrability of space marine formations and drag them in to a war of attrition. Once caught within the molasses of city fighting, they would be surrounded on all sides by the traitor units within the city while the overwhelming mass of his advancing army would simply flood over them. He continued directing the movement of his units with confidence as reports reached them of the identity of the new arrivals. An entire company of Spacewolves and another of the Dark Angels were on their way to meet him in battle and meet their destruction. More trophies for his war room, he smiled inwardly.

He was so deeply mesmerised in conducting the command of the myriad units that obeyed him, that he nearly missed a warning sign. One of his observation teams within city had failed to report. There were hundreds of such teams, mostly humans but some traitor marines, scattered about in each and every city on Kasr Sonnen. The constant stream of information that was relayed to his command consoles built in to his armour would have overwhelmed even a space marine let alone a normal human. But he was Ikrare the manipulator, chosen of the chaos gods and blessed by them. He and his armour were one and the entity that dwelt within the armour enhanced him to the state of demi-god. In an instant he had interrogated and questioned a number of relevant units and the waiting Detrosian XVIII combat teams. The answers were unanimous. The space marine reinforcements had left the spaceport but had not arrived at the expected point of contact. The imperial dictum stated in no uncertain terms that in such situations, the reinforcing units must move to consolidate the weakened defences, and he had set his trap appropriately. Yet the recently arrived space marine reinforcements had failed to make contact with the waiting Detrosian XVIII units. As he frantically tried to ascertain the whereabouts of those missing enemy formations, alert warnings began to stream in.

There was a space marine armoured column smashing its way around the right flank, completely ignoring any damage to civilian and military structures. They were cleaving a path through the cityscape outflanking the Detrosians on the right while another was coming along the left in a similar pattern. The points of thrust of both those columns would bring them together in a pincer movement on the plains of Kasr Badden, where the Venturi-Argosi LV had been annihilated. The only difference was that their arrival would have been timed at catching his advancing hordes in that open field. The results would have been disastrous if allowed to occur. It was indeed a bold plan by the space marine commander, who had not only divided his force in to two, but also chosen to launch simultaneous flank assaults with no frontal attack. He was putting his force at risk from flanking counter thrusts from the Detrosians and was obviously relying on his heavy armour, high mobility and the shock effects of his tactics to shatter the advancing enemy force.  Amused by the tactical flair of his opponent, he set in motion a counter plan, as always being prepared with pre-planned strategies for every contingency. The leading elements of his war host immediately halted, forming in to tactical dispositions and delaying their advance. The Detrosian XVIII immediately began to redeploy to face the open fields again, ranging their long range artillery on the killing ground, ready to mete out the same treatment to the space marines that they had done to the Venturi-Argosi. Their mobile armoured units moved to the edge of the city to reform for an armoured counter thrust in to the flanks of the loyalist forces. Intelligence reported that the vehicles of the flanking force on his left bore the insignias of the Dark Angels and those on the right that of Spacewolves. Accordingly he deployed his massive horde, with long range anti armour weaponry concentrated on the right, and much of his heavy firepower aimed at the same flank. He would annihilate the feral warrior sons of Russ with his firepower, avoiding close combat at which they obviously excelled. On the other hand his mobile troops would advance directly in to the path of the Dark Angels, aiming to assault them before they could deploy from their vehicles and bring their formidable firepower to bear. For this task he had within his command, with oaths of loyalty and fealty sworn a large formation of World Eaters, or more commonly known by their feared name of Khorne Beserkers. With these blood thirsty madmen as the cutting edge he would shatter the angels in a furious charge and then envelop the Spaecwolves while the Detrosians pummelled them in to oblivion.

He now concentrated on observing the grand view of the battle taking form. His tactical display built within his suit of armour was somewhat limited for this purpose, and so he signalled his personal command centre to be brought forward. A massive war machine, a mutated parody of an ancient land raider lurched forward with a will of its own. Like a pet animal obeying his master, it arrived next to him and opened the massive ramp. Inside, the foul stench that was the aroma of the ruinous powers wafted freely. Twisting and writhing machinery and consoles displayed the tactical situation with millions of icons. Where inert machine started and where sentient beings ended remained impossible to see. Body parts and even complete bodies were fused to the various panels and functioned as one. With an air of supreme confidence Ikrare stepped in to his command vehicle to review the battle that was about to commence. Braynor stood just outside the vehicle, obviously finding the stench of the interior distasteful. Ikrare cared none for that fallen angel. He had more pressing matters to attend. He spent a few minutes viewing the grand dispositions of the forces arrayed for battle and rapidly barked out a few orders to numerous other units and teams. His eyes narrowed sharply as his displays showed that each of the flanking space marine forces had split in to two, with one half of each continuing to charge forward, while the rear half of each were speeding to join forces in the middle. With practiced ease the two forces joined in the centre, amongst the recent debris that marked the passage of the Venturi-Argosi LV regiment, the embarked marines rapidly deploying to take up fire positions. What did surprise him was the fact that both forces had sent fully half of their complement charging forward within easy reach of his waiting hordes who even as he watched restlessly began to move forward to meet the enemy.
Doctrinae Unforgiven
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Gathering of Angels
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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