The Star Wolves, once counted among those of the Emperor's Angels, they have since fallen into the tight grip of Chaos, and have since been hunted as renegades and heretics. In this tale, the traitorous astartes throw themselves into the heat of battle against the 5th Company of Praeterfactors for supplies upon the surface of Dolos, a backwater Desert World that is rich in adamantium. Will the Star Wolves be able to take what they need and slay their former brothers, or will they finally fall and be embraced by the Ruinous Powers in death.
Meinuthek Silvertooth, Lord of the Star Wolves Warband stalked through the halls of the Strike Cruiser Haalibr with more speed than one might expect from someone weighed down by the bulk of a set of Tactical Dreadnought Armor. The suit of Terminator Plate was stripped of all former insignia to the False Imperium long ago, now replaced with the blasphemous iconography of the Ruinous Powers. Sheathed at his right side was a weapon of such foul demeanor that the slaves onboard would claw their eyes out rabidly if they gazed upon the blade for too long. Vlk’Xur was its name. The history of the sword was a long one that spread out across the millennium, all the way to the days of old, when gods walked among men. It had once belonged to a Warsmith of the Iron Warriors Traitor Legion, and was soon looted from that very warsmith’s corpse during the Siege of Terra by the Black Legion. Afterwards, it had been stolen by Dark Eldar pirates, before falling into the hands of a warband known as the Death Mongers. Soon after that, the Followers of Chaos made their way to the Star Wolves’ homeworld of Svalbard, where Meinuthek himself had crossed weapons with the champion who had wielded the accursed blade, before using it to behead the traitor in single combat. Afterwards, Silvertooth had taken the blade as a prize.
After that fateful day, the Star Wolves had been set on a one way course for damnation, to spit upon their oaths as angels and become servants to the Ruinous Powers of Chaos. What had once been an honorable chapter of Space Marines praised for their heroic feats in serving humanity were now traitorous heretics who were now hated and feared across the universe.
Their new path had not come without consequences, however. In their act of treachery, the Inquisition had called for their annihilation, and had sent a detachment of Grey Knights and Brazen Gauntlets to their homeworld in order to exterminate them. That had caught them off guard, and before long the Star Wolves were cut down from one thousand space marines to a laughable three hundred. Their fleet decimated, their homeworld now under the Rule of the Inquisition, they had been forced to flee onboard the last two ships they still possessed.
It had been years since that day, yet the siege was still fresh in the Space Marine’s mind. The dreaded “Eye of Terror” as the Imperium had deemed it held a vicious hold of time and space. Those who lived within the realm of the Gods experienced millennia within a matter of months, or perhaps days. There wasn’t a set structure within the Eye. At the end of the 39th Millennium, the Star Wolves had fled into the Eye of Terror to seek refuge among their fellow followers of Chaos. There, they had settled upon the Daemon World of Karkinos, which was in turn ruled by the Sons of Hathor warband.
It was there that the Star Wolves learned that among the Followers of Chaos, there were no alliances, only temporary understandings. You either served or fought, and the following years were filled with bloodshed of the highest caliber. Karkinos was reduced to a heap of charred rock. The Star Wolves had come out with a disputable victory, for while Meinuthek himself had slain Hathor, the Star Wolves had been reduced from three hundred astartes to less than two hundred. Captain Marrok – one of the last remaining officers who had survived the Siege of Svalbard – was slain during that time, and his death still haunted Silvertooth ever since. Of course, the deaths of all his fallen brethren still lurked in the bowels of the Chaos Lord’s psyche, the daemon within his blade made sure of that.
Another turn, and Meinuthek was greeted with the adamantium doors leading to the bridge of his Strike Cruiser. He marched forwards, and the doors opened when he approached. The terminator stepped through the opening and was greeted by eighth figures of similar stature. Seven of the eight figures pounded their fists against their chestplates in acknowledgement to their leader’s presence. The eighth and final member made no move to do so, instead he hunched over the dataslate in his armored hands. One of the other seven – Veteran Sergeant Galdis – furrowed his brow and exposed his teeth in a wolfish snarl.
“Show your deference to Lord Silvertooth, Warpsmith!” The grizzled Veteran demanded.
The final member of Silvertooth’s council snickered with his twin-voice. The Warpsmith was dressed in a battle-plate all too different from his fellow astartes. Instead of the regal blue, star yellow, and void black of the Star Wolves, the Warpsmith dressed in artificer armor the colour of gunmetal grey. The wolf-head of the Star Wolves was crudely painted in blue upon his left shoulder, but if it wasn’t for that then his allegiance would have been intangible. Mechatendrils sprouted from his pack like snakes, constantly hissing with their machine-voices and never resting.
The Warpsmith finally looked up from his dataslate and looked up at the Chaos Lord, giving a brief nod. “Lord Silvertooth.” His emotionless voice snarled.
“Warpsmith Ulric,” Meinuthek nodded back. “I thank you for joining use here.”
Ulric simply nodded before returning to his dataslate. Meinuthek nodded to the others, allowing them to take their seats before he did likewise. The gathering of Meinuthek’s officers had changed over the centuries, from a gathering of captains to noncommissioned officers, there were few familiar faces. Some of his brothers were present in flesh, others were present through holographic displays. The eight councilmembers were made up of brothers Hajr, Galdis, and Vaxil. Alongside them sat the terminator veterans Thajik, and Ojvar, as well as Av Mubarek leader Radolf and Warpsmith Ulric. The eighth and final member of Silvertooth’s council was his oldest and most trusted one, First Captain Adaira. Adaira himself was not present onboard the Haalibr, but instead sat upon his own throne aboard the second strike cruiser that remained in the Star Wolves’ possession; the Tartarus.
“Brothers,” The Chaos Lord began. “The time for war is upon us. The wounds we suffered upon Karkinos are heavy, and we must rebuild our warband once more lest we fade from existence. With this in mind, I proceed to direct your attention to this.”
On cue, the table that sat in the middle of each space marine gathered buzzed to life and gave view to a holographic projection of a planet. The hue of the projection was a cyanic blue, yet the terrain was all too clear. The entire surface was covered in rocky badlands, various spires and square boxes sprouted every so often, no doubt serving as the residential areas upon the planet. All of those gathered sat back to take in every single detail they could distinguish from the projection, saying not a word.
“The planet’s name is Dolos,” Meinuthek explained. “A desert world colonized by Mankind sometime during the 37th Millenium for its rich sources of adamantium. Brother Ulric informs me that it is still plentiful in these sources, and is ripe for plundering.”
“Surely it cannot be that easy?” Adaira asked. “The Followers of the False Emperor would no doubt have a stranglehold over something that contains such valuable assets."
“That they do, Captain.” Ulric pointed out. “Dolos is currently under the protection of the Praeterfactors Chapter, Fifth Company.”
All eyes – bar those belonging to Silvertooth – turned to the Warpsmith. Silence once again reigned over the gathering chamber. It was only until Brother Ojvar spoke was the silence broken.
“The Praeterfactors,” The terminator veteran smiled savagely. “It has been sometime since we saw them.”
“Aye,” Thajik replied. “It will be good to dye my claws with their blood.”
“Sate your bloodlust brothers,” Adaira commanded. “The time for killing will come later. For now, we must plan accordingly. While Lord Silvertooth is right in the fact that we must rebuild, we cannot make the same mistakes that were taken into account upon Karkinos.”
“Adaira is correct.” Meinuthek agreed. “We must form the most effective strategy possible, so that we might avoid unnecessary casualties and claim our prize in the end.”
“What is it that you have in mind, sire?” Vaxil querried.
Meinuthek turned towards Ulric, who was still leering down at his dataslate. “Warpsmith, care to explain what you have assessed?”
Ulric sighed, before placing his dataslate on the table and raising his helmed visage to stare into the holographic projection. His mechatendrils hissed as they slithered towards the hologram and pulled at it, causing the projection to zoom out until the world was surrounded by several ships of the same blue tint.
“The world of Dolos is – as I said – under the safeguard of the Praeterfactors Chapter. The fleet that surrounds the Desert World consists of five Sword-class Frigates, two Claymore-class Corvettes, the Imperial Strike Cruiser Dorn’s Herald, and finally Augur Station Gamma-Seven-Thirty.”
“We’ve dealt with more difficult fleets in the past.” Galdis snorted.
“Yes, however this fleet’s trump card is that of Augur Station Gamma-Seven-Thirty.” Ulric explained. “If we were to charge headlong into the fleet, those onboard the Station would send for a distress call once things turned to our favor. We would then be dealing with a much bigger problem, and would most likely not survive the onslaught to no doubt follow.”
“Aye,” Thajik nodded. “Then the Station is our primary objective.”
“Precisely,” Ulric hissed with his machine-voice. “If we were to disable station Gamma-Seven-Thirty, then the rest of the battle above Dolos would fall into the palm of our hand.”
“Then all that’s left is squad placement.” Adaira wended.
Meinuthek leaned forwards, bringing his knuckles to bear under his chin. “Brother Vaxil.” The chaos lord snarled.
“Lord Silvertooth?” The raptor lord questioned.
“You shall lead the boarding actions upon the augur station along with two nine-man squads of raptors.”
Vaxil nodded slowly. “As you command.” Were the only words that he muttered.
“Brothers Ojvar, Radolf and Hajr shall lead three squads in boarding Dorn's Herald."
The chaos space marines pounded their fists against their breastplate. “Aye, milord.” They spoke in unison.
“The rest of us shall travel down to the surface of Dolos and wet our claws with the blood of our foes and take whatever resources we can muster.”
A series as appreciative howls and nods were given in response. Silvertooth dismissed his officers, allowing them to depart and prepare their squads for the combat that was on the horizon. Dolos would fall.