The Ilithyian War (as of early 011.M42) Edit
For nearly seventy years, war has raged on the fortress world of Ilithyia. Found in the galactic north-west of the Cuir sub-sector of Carthax, this former port world sits on the mouth of the Scaro passage, the only known stable warp route between Carthax and the once prosperous Alykia sector. A century ago, this route transported billions of Thrones of cargo a year, and the generous levies placed upon the cargoes that passed through Ilithyia’s ports had allowed the world to profit in exceptional style for millennia. It seemed that the arrangement would be a long lasting one, as the Alkyia sector was both stable and affluent, with few threats more serious than the occasional raids launched by the previously indigenous Ralkarn species.
However, as is now common knowledge, it was not.
In 914.M41, Warlord Imylosst, at the head of a colossal force of traitors and heretics, swept forth into the Alykia sector through the Levigon warp turbulence, a route previously assumed impassable. Hit from an unexpected angle, Imperial forces were ill placed to defend against the attack, and the Rannl subsector was lost in only eight months. Despite the considerable military aid supplied by the Carthax sector, the Warlord’s foothold proved unassailable, and his tactical genius and sizeable force allowed him to slowly force back the Imperial presence in the sector over the next two decades. By 937.M41, it was impossible to ignore that the once affluent sector had fallen in a bloody twenty-three year war to the forces of the Ruinous Powers. There were only a few years of respite before the once valued Scaro passage began to spew forth traitors and heretics, looking to take the Carthax sector as their next prize. It is a point of pride amongst Ilithyians that when the call came, their world was not found wanting. Militarised in only a few short years, the world now serves as the first line of defence in a war that has absorbed much of the Cuir sub-sector’s resources for over sixty years - munitions supplied by the tonne from the hive world of Ismene; troops by the regiment from Pexir; fuel by the freighter from the Ienurbian asteroid fields; a small number of Inquisitors from the subsector fortress on Tarrag Quartus. Few have predicted an end to the war, for the Scaro passage is unlikely to close, and the Carthax sector cannot spare the military resources to retake the Alkyia sector, so the war is oft seen as a necessary and inevitable bulwark against Chaos.
Corporal Aderyn Aeslin Edit
This pessimistic view point began to change with what first arrived as an unassuming astropathic transmission at the Carthaxian Sector Conclave on Pillarus Prime; Inquisitor Solnes logging a report that made brief mention of a guardswoman who had single-handedly held a position for seven hours, finally succumbing to her dozen mortal wounds only when reinforcements arrived. Two days later, his next report told a new story. As the Confessor read her death rites, she drew breath once again, and rose from the slab of the regimental crematory wagon. Her first words are reported to have been “Give me a lasgun. We’re not done yet". Mere moments later, the position was hit by a surprise assault, but with her intervention, the position was held with miraculously few losses. Leading the Imperial counter attack, she and her troops slew the considerably more numerous assault force to a man. On her return, the regimental commissar, presented with a decision far beyond his station (or perhaps fearing the wrath of the troops who had rallied behind her), gave only the order to send word to the Inquisition. This second report also named her - Corporal Aderyn Aeslin of the Theklian 327th. The word quickly spread, and created schism in the halls of the Conclave – Inquisitors declared her a miracle or a fraud on mere nuances of Solnes’ wording, even as others insisted upon further investigation. Some saw an opportunity to be ruthlessly exploited whether she was saint or sin, and a silent few saw a valuable distraction. Inevitably, Ilithyia became an irresistible lure to those of power and means.
The Tigguo Cobauc High Conclave Edit
Ilithyian Intrigue Edit
The Ilithyian AssemblyEdit
On the day of the Tigguo Cobauc High Conclave, Inquisitor Kalius Solnes allowed the meeting known as "The Ilithyian Assembly", a meeting so that representatives of the Inquisition could meet with the Corporal so as to assess, and act if necessary, on the behalf of the Holy Ordos. At the time, the support of the Conclave and its key allies lay firmly with Inquisitor Josephine Cortez. With no other leading challengers, Cortez was chosen as the sole representative.
At the time, Orbital Defence Satellite 23, with an orbit-to-surface las-lance, was identified as a potential security threat, as its orbit would be over the region at the time. Trusted representatives were dispatched to secure it against possible attackers. As a further security precaution, the site was vox-suppressed so as to ensure no outside influence on the Assembly. However, this vox-suppression means information on the events that followed is scarce and the following report relies extensively on the testimonies of the Corporal's Sororitas bodyguards, Sister Rhian Phoenix of the Order of Our Martyred Lady and Sister Ashlyn Vane of the Order of the Valorous Heart.
The assembly began with the entrance of Inquisitor Cortez and her primary aides. After a brief exchange of formalities, Cortez quickly insisted on Aderyn's immediate evacuation for fear of the site's security. This discussion was interrupted only moments in by the arrival of (three?) Xenos - analysis of the Sororitas' given descriptions gives a Gamma-Six likelihood of the three parties being Tau. Recent reports suggest this party may be under the leadership of the "Water Caste" diplomat Por'el Doron'ro.
While combat started between these parties almost immediately, Aderyn quickly ordered a cease-fire, insisting that the Assembly was a meeting of words not of weapons. Inquisitor Cortez is said to have protested this decision and made an attempt to pull Aderyn from the assembly, only being prevented by the intervention of Sister Phoenix.
These events however were again interrupted by the presence of arachnid wildlife attacking Aderyn, wrapping the Corporal's leg in thick web. Both Aderyn's bodyguards responded to this attack, Sister Vane to the creature, and Sister Phoenix to the presence of a further intruder, believed to be the rogue beastmaster psyker known as "The Rat King". If the identification is correct, it is almost certain the arachnid was under the psychic control of this individual.
During this moment, without Aderyn's intervention, combat again started between Inquisitor Cortez and the Xenos. Upon freeing herself, Aderyn responded to Por'Ro's pleas of amnesty, again calling a cease-fire. Por'Ro insisted that he had the support of both the new sub-sector cardinal, Tobas Kiedrow, and Lieutenant Aurelio Tkacik of the Ilithyian 23rd, an officer of the Tkacik noble house [+++ FLAG: Recommend investigation of both parties for Xeno influence+++] and thus had the right to speak at the assembly. Drawing out a red bound book claimed to be the Prensis Tome, the original copy of the prophetic writings of the Monk Prensis [+++ FLAG: The recent theft of the Prensis Tome from an Inquisition facility on Cerestne XXVIII means this may have been the original tome+++], Por'Ro quickly explained that the book detailed important elements of Aderyn's future.
Stepping forward and taking the offered book, Aderyn was returning to her bodyguards [+++FLAG: The Prensis tome was penned in High Gothic. Aderyn's Departmento Munitorum records do not show literacy in High Gothic, so it is probable she was requesting her bodyguards translate+++] when the Assembly's security was catastrophically breached by a sizeable Traitor force.Immediately giving the order to open fire, she and the other parties present inflicted several enemy casualties.
Mere seconds later, the Valkyrie Assault carrier Vengeance Wept, only recently hijacked from the Ilithyian 92nd Airborne regiment, was landed within the Assembly, crushing several trees as it suffered cascade injection failure in both engines [+++FLAG: Cascade injection failure in a single F75-MV turbojet has less than a 0.0002 incidence. Possible misidentification of the machine spirit's behaviour+++]
Faced with the situation as it was, Inquisitor Cortez gestured for Vengeance Wept (at the time, apparently unaware of its engine failure), shouting "We have to retreat! We can't win against that horde!". Corporal Aeslin is said to have agreed, fleeing around the back the Valkyrie moments before it subsequently exploded, carving a large hole in the pursuing force. This was the last recorded sighting of Corporal Aderyn Aeslin, with all surviving parties denying any later sightings.
This evacuation of the Assembly happened literal seconds before Chaos infiltrators took charge of Orbital Defence Station 23, firing it at the region using targeting data believed to have originated from a beacon later found nearby by Inquisition investigators. A critical overcharge of the station's firing capacitors resulted in both the destruction of Station 23 and the entire Assembly ground, including all who remained.
The Aftermath Edit
After the events at the Assembly, and the Corporal's subsequent disappearance, there were widespread riots across many worlds in the Cuir Subsector, arising from the religious tensions which arose between believers and unbelievers. Exact death tolls are unknown, but the extent of the violence on some of the hive worlds may mean the number was measured in the millions by the time the Arbites and PDF had restored control, itself a costly process.
The full extent of the possible societal damage was however limited by the relatively new Sector Cardinal, Tobas Kiedrow, who declared the death of the Corporal and the destruction of Orbital Defence Station 23 the obvious work of Chaos saboteurs. This act successfully rallied large swathes of the populace into the wake of the Corporal's death. This remains the official line, reinforced in 013.M42 by the Cardinal's canonisation of Aderyn Aeslin as a martyr for the Ilithyian defenders.
Amongst the Inquisition themselves, rumours that the Saint had not been killed persist, and dominated the Conclave halls on Pillarius Prime for many months after the event. However, for those that saw her as a dangerous element, some consolation can be drawn from the fact that, so far, there is no evidence of her survival.
The exact events of the High Assembly itself have also been suspect to controversy.
The presence of Xenos, rogue psykers, and ultimately the full scale breach of the boundary by a massive traitor force and a stolen Valkyrie lead many to question Inquisitor Kalius Solnes' competence, ultimately forcing him to stand down from his role in the Ilithyian Conflict.
There are also those who suggest that the unexpected failure of the Valkyrie was an act of the Corporal, as this and the craft's subsequent (and as-of-yet unexplained) detonation was instrumental in delaying the traitor force for long enough to allow almost all Imperial forces to evacuate before the site (and the enemy force itself, which is believed to have contained several high ranking leaders) was destroyed by Station 23's orbital las-lance. What, if any, intent this would mean the Emperor had for the Corporal can only be speculated upon.
Numerous reports have also come in regarding of the heretic Zophar, with information from the few survivors of Station 23 suggesting that he may have even been instrumental in the station's firing and subsequent destruction. Given these fresh reports, Lord Calleia has ordered the allocation of further Inquisition resources to tracking this notorious heretic.
In any case, it is certain that these events, and the extreme rivalries that came to light as a result, will be leaving their mark on the Carthaxian Conclave for years to come.
Cross References Edit
- Meeting the Corporal - an excerpt from Kauyon'Eshh Por'el Doron'ro's Report - Report 82645:g
- Journal Log: FLAG Keith Toffington FLAG Inquisition FLAG Spider FLAG Undead FLAG Xenos REF 8578725ADE7
- Communique Intercept: FLAG Hierophantus of Accentis FLAG Ecclesiarchy FLAG Inquisition FLAG Heretic REF 454388DD324
- Eyewitness Account: FLAG Ynserrai Glydd FLAG Ecclesiarchy FLAG Undead FLAG Valkyrie REF 94122568BC6
- Eyewitness Account: FLAG Amber Disc FLAG Blue Disc FLAG Inquisition FLAG Xenos FLAG Heretic REF 9A32F031375X
Real World Notes Edit
The Saint was the The Conclave's Autumn 2011 Inquisitor event, held at Warhammer World on October 29th. The organiser and head GM was David "Marco Skoll" Fincher.