Clash of Titans @Jorimel @matt23 @Draconion @dx144 + @DeranVendar @Grall_Stonefist Arnock called for Mortarion's sons and indeed they obeyed. Unlike himself, they spoke nothing, no taunts or grand declarations of their new allegiances. Silent as the grave, Death Guard legionaries came his way with bolters and chainswords barking. Dozens of bolt rounds crashed against his Terminator plate but Arnock was not deterred. And how could he be, when next to him stood one of the Emperor's own Sons, a wrathful angel with lighting storm at his call. Rulduan and Mathius were holding each Master of Rite's flank as trying to stay next to the Khan was really possible, nor did he really need protection. Forming the spearhead of the trio, with Craven still struggling to deal with the enemy armor in the back, Arnock drove into the Death Guard with all the strength he could muster and the destruction followed in his wake. Bones broke and weak flesh exploded as two lines met, Arnock claiming the first life as he parried a power mace blow and took half of the legionary's torso with a blast from his inferno pistol. Another Death Guard died, then another, now both of his Honor Guard driving into the combat and crushing skulls on their own (@matt23 Feel free to emote as many kills as you want on Assault Legionaries with your next post, both with Arnock and his squad). Grand melee ensued as White Scars rallied around their Primarch who was not about to be stopped. Yabuqa and his brothers laughed as they killed, their skill with the blade and fury of their spirit something even Emperor's Children would approve. "They are good, these savages," Mathius commented over squad vox as he unleashed a hail of rounds in close range, ripping two assault legionaries apart. "Aye, but I wouldn't call them that," Rulduan interjected as the former Sergeant crushed a chainsword of his attacker, right before he crushed his chest as well, flicking the body aside, "Every legion had its use and strangers or no, the Scared Ones are proving to be an ally I would never think they would be. Savages on the other hand, are the scum we are fighting today." While the "younger" Death Guard engaged their enemies on Ios, their more venerated member took his opponent in sights. Pholax's fire destroyed the remaining Banewolves in a mix of shells and missiles, such vehicles not really a match for one such as he. Like before, the explosion took two dozen mortal traitors alongside with them. Still, multiple projectiles came his way as the trenches were overrun by sheer amount of bodies and some of those did, in fact, caused damage. It wasn't anything serious at the moment but it could be in the long run. In any event, it didn't really matter as Pholax spotted the enemy Contemptor moving straight for him. Plasma cannon fired and he was hit straight in the "chest", shields overloading and the ceramite melted under the blast, ruining the front insignia on Pholax's casket. Second shot went wide as the Death Guard was peppered with projectiles from above, one of the Javelins under Forgemaster's command coming to Pholax's aid. It was short-lived however as the enemy Dreadnought caught sight of it and swiftly calculating the trajectory, unleashed a salvo of his own, anti-air missiles hitting the vehicle and blowing it out of sky. This momentary respite allowed Pholax to realign his assault cannon and fire of a quick burst at his opponent, armored plates falling apart as the shells hit home. But through it the Death Guard Ancient advanced without pause, soaking the damage as if it was nothing. When two such behemoths came into melee, the ground itself shook as sparks from great power weapons came into contact. Death Guard attacked first, but his fist flew wide as Pholax anticipated such strike and moved his form so that as the enemy's motorized limb passed him by, he had a perfect opening for a counter attack. His own power fist struck and it connected ammo feed driving missiles into shoulder racks, breaking them apart and causing a miniature explosion that ripped through the Death Guard's upper back and made his main range weapons completely inoperative. He was also close enough to see the accolades adorning his enemy's coffin. Not grand in artistic sense, rather a last written on two shields fixed to the sides of the great walker, Pholax could see "Terra", "Galaspar", "Drune", "Isstvan" as more notable engagements as well as the name: Battle-Captain Bodvarr. Another person was also aware of this duel as the battlefield information flooded through his senses. Like his old tutor, Vitaly commanded every aspect of the battle with utmost precision, despite him being shot at from numerous sources at once. Enemy traitor infantry was now swarming the first line, even though the Death Guard assault elements were being destroyed by the Khan, Yabuqa and Arnock's efforts, there was still plenty of firepower on the enemy side to turn the tides. His position was blanketed by both mortal and Astartes fire, although he was hit couple of times, Forgemaster's aim never wavered. Stormlord's array of guns once again unleashed havoc, killing dozens of Vitaly's brothers and as their bodies were torn into pieces, the Death Guard advanced, bringing their inexhaustible line closer, Vitaly even able to see the facial features of each rare unhelmeted legionary. The first line was broken now, Extrovious and Denatus doing what they could to stem the tide but the retreat towards the defensive emplacements in the buildings was inevitable. While the Rad-troopers were annihilated by a well-placed tremor round, the courtesy of Archimedes, the Ogryns proved to be a perfect bullet-sponge and kept on going, causing Emperor's Children enough damage that they even felled the remaining Destroyers, leaving their Lord the only one alive on the field. Archimedes was active once again, his Forgemaster's invention blowing a hole on enemy Predator's side, adding to the further damage done by the aerial Javelin unit, who alongside its compatriot managed to evade most of the enemy return fire and retreat towards the friendly lines safely. Death Guard vehicle kept on moving however, mimicking more "human" elements of the Legion and roared in turn, "Herald of Espandor" now hit from three sides and forced to weather the storm. Armor plates began falling off as Predator, Stormlord and infantry fire took its toil, Archimedes himself suffering injuries from a number of shrapnel that went through the hull however as the saying goes, flesh was weak and he was quite augmented, so the enemy was yet to cause him any serious harm. In the end, it was Vitaly who tipped the scales as his entropic disruptor worked to disrupt the Stormlord's sensors and superstructure. It worked, perhaps slowly, but enough to stop it from firing as the augur array went wild under its haywire effects, tank's commander surprisingly showing signs of reluctance to attempt and shoot again, possibly hitting his own troops. The momentary respite allowed for the little scarab swarm to approach the super-heavy vehicle and while some were lost in the middle of combat as casualties of hundreds of firefights, enough of the constructs arrived and began their work. Vitaly interfaced with them and quickly received the command of Stormlord's movement straight into his feed, the Tech Priest inside of it fighting him every way but he was outmatched and could only slow the sudden hack. It would only be a matter of time before the Forgemaster of the Third Millennial adds a new member into his vehicle pool. While all of this was happening, Aleph took position in hijacked vehicle's driver seat and pushed the pedal. It was hard to actually control the tank, having to drive, aim and load at the same time, but Alephoros was able to get one shell in the loading bay and prepare a perfect shot. The crew of the last remaining enemy Leman Russ had no clue what was happening as his "ally" came at him from behind. Battle cannon was lowered and only at the last second did the traitors realized their doom, but could do nothing about it as Aleph pressed the trigger. Large projectile hit the engine compartment resulting in a big explosion that destroyed the opposing tank immediately, its crew dying in a flame storm that engulfed the insides. Aleph's action didn't go unnoticed by the enemy legionaries, more specifically the crew inside one of the Predator tanks. Obviously veterans of many campaigns, the Death Guard tank crew saw the traitor Leman Russ and fired back, autocannon rounds piercing the vehicle's hide and Aleph barely had a time to jump out before it too exploded. The blast threw him out of the tank and back-first on the nearby ground. His armor was burned, the shoulder insignia cracked and for a moment, he could only look up. There, in the air above him, a dark shape appeared that soon covered his entire vision. Ever since they deployed, Aleph's pilot brothers held the skies firmly in Third Legion's position. This changed now as the Death Guard came in force, the greater number of flyers showing and while the friendly dots still blinked on the back of the map display, the number of red markers increased almost exponentially. The largest such enemy marker came almost right on top of Aleph in form of a great Storm Bird attack craft. It had no special markings as you would expect, only a High Gothic number "I" next to the white skull, the symbol of the Fourteenth. It hovered in the air, unloading a great salvo of missiles into the friendly lines in order to clear the ground and allow deployment of troops. However not just any troops as Aleph saw clearly the creature standing atop its ramp, before jumping down from it and landing nearby, thankfully not sparing the Blade Exemplar a single glance. He was tall and perhaps gaunt, face hidden behind a breather mask, although he didn't look sick, far from it. He brought the death himself, the sickness following in his wake. Giant scythe long as him was held firmly in one hand while another unholstered an ancient-looking gun. Eyes set far behind into pale face revealed pure hatred for his opponent that he saw across the battlefield and without a word, marched to face. As Mortarion went after the Khagan, who saw the challenge for what it was and moved to intercept his brother, more Death Guard began deploying, almost an entire company's worth coming in the first wave alongside their Primarch. However in Aleph's case, situation became a slightly more desperate as two giant figures came behind the Lord of Death, copying him in every aspect. They wore artificer Terminator Plate and carried so-called Manreapers, the unwieldy yet strangely effective power scythes. The first one followed Mortarion, intercepting any White Scar that might've been foolish enough to attack his lord personally, while the second one saw Aleph in the mud nearby and lumbered right towards him, raising the great scythe in total silence, preparing to cleave Alephoros in two and kill him in one blow. More and more Death Guard troops appeared and while the Khan's Golden Keshig flew in mind-dazing patterns around the battlefield trying to thin their ranks, there were simply not enough of them to do anything else but slow the attrition and prolong the battle, hopefully long enough for their Chief Librarian to do what he wanted and make their sacrifice worthy - if simply killing the traitors and avenging their fallen brothers wasn't an enough reason for it. Death Guard: Mortarion: 150, Stormbird: , Deathshroud: 25/25, Predator Destructors:  , Line-brothers: 142, Ancient Bodvarr:  Stormlord: , Ogryns: 10, Traitor Infantry: Infinite Company Extrovious and friends: Yabuqa’s White Scars: 24, Emperor’s Children legionaries: 60, Herald of Espandor: , Javelins: 6/6 DPC, Golden Keshig:21, Jaghatai Khan:150 Aleph:17 Vitaly:22 Denatus:25 Extrovious:20 Pholax:  Arnock:27 Tides of War: Minor Death Guard's advantage; 1st line broken, moving to second line [108/188] Conditions: Vitaly holds Stormlord's movement commands. He needs 2 more successful hacking rolls before the vehicle falls into his hands completely. Storm Eagle flyby can be used to do a high-power attack against the Stormbird with a great chance of taking it out. Each one can use 1d10 heal anytime during combat (by Jendon’s proxy servo skulls) while Pholax can get healed any number of times for 1d6 by Vitaly’s scarabs (Vitaly still needs to designate his own action for each heal). Traitor infantry will start with one low-powered attack (hits on 16+) that is rolled against each of the chars and they will get 1 additional attack with each passing turn representing their increasing numbers. You spending one attack against the traitor infantry will nullify the attacks made at your char for the duration of the turn. Feel free to emote kills on both the mortals and Death Guard as you wish. There are three defensive lines, first is the initial defenses, second line is buildings, third line is circle around the alien structure. Holding first line gives you bonus in attack and defensive rolls. Holding second line gives you bonus in defensive rolls. Third line gives you no bonus but gives the enemy bonus in attack rolls. Suffering casualties equal to 1/3 of your current HP bars (not counting PC chars) will cause a line to break. I will do raw numbers, so that rounds up to 63 (126). You can summon air strike twice during this fight, one is Stormbird bombardment (bonus against armor) and one is Storm Eagle flyby (bonus against infantry). These can happen in the same turn. Fight will last for either 4 or 5 turns, depending on the rolls made by Yesugei (in the other part).