Personal Log of Herodotus Dauchus
4 056 010.M42
Orwellus Spire – Heavensreach Prime
Throughout the spire of Kasr Ferocia, the numberless souls of humanity pray for deliverance. Clutching beads and overwhelming shrines, they cry out for their safety.
Those brave and able bodied line up to receive weapons, uniforms, and an increased ration. Every corridor of this hive booms and crackles with the sound of orbital weapons and void shields. The Hive is a fortress, and for now it holds.
As my retainers collected and catalogued the vital documents of this world, I took audience with its masters. Though my Ordo is less known for military engagements, I have near near-infinite access to logic engines, military histories, and strategic lore. I also have centuries of experience avoiding death. I thought perhaps I could assist them.
In that highest spire, the atmosphere was tense. Though my Rosette gave me access, the high command paid me little notice, distracted as they were with the invasion. I am an old man, carrying bundles of scrolls and pushing a levitating cogitator. My power armour is old and battered, of an archaic and unrecognizable design. I wear no medals. I was irritated, but unsurprised, and instead decided to record the situation.
The fleet was maneuvering into position. Intelligence reported the the first heretics would arrive within the week. And then, at impossible speed, the great devourer arrived.
The Imperial fleet was prepared to defend against the heretics and traitors, but was neither ready in formation nor tactically flexible enough to fight back against the swarm. Though the tendril was small, it still overwhelmed the orbital defences and struck directly at Portentia, annihilating a portion of the Death Korp artillery garrison.
I had thought it was impossible for the swarm to arrive so quickly. What Xenos lore I have recorded described them as unable to use the warp to propel themselves, instead relying on strange and massive beasts. Yet here they arrived at near light speed, hurtling into the the system on a wave of gravity and inertia. Be this by captured wormhole, or malefic design, I am unsure, but their arrival was closely followed by the archenemy and a medley of opportunistic Xenos. Battle began immediately.
Using the chaos and confusion in orbit, nearly half of the arch-enemy’s landing parties and boarding crews were able to gain a foothold. On Portentia a strange and uncatalogued army of heretics fought alongside the Heretic Astartes, making swift and frightening gains before stopping short of the Elysians. Able to drive back even a contingent of Dark Angels (though reportedly taking heavy losses), the Heretic army matches descriptions seen across the Pegasus Gulf during the Crusade of Reconquest. There is little provable data available, but my sources tell me that they herald from a yet-undiscovered world, beyond the Emperor’s gaze. Little is known, but their affiliation with the arch-enemy is proof enough of their intentions, and there is rumours that they have dark designs and dabble in mind-altering sorceries.
High above Heavensreach, Spira Castellum was surprised by an infiltration of the disciples of that-who-is-called Nurgle. With cursed and foul intentions, they attacked the docks, building a beachhead to dock their plague-ship. A counter-attack from the Black Templars and Deathwatch Astartes was unsuccessful, and a rear guard action was fought amongst the orbital refineries.
Despite my stature as an Inquisitor, I was not notified by the presence of the Deatchwatch. This troubles me, as it shows a loss of confidence and breakdown of communication within Imperial forces. I will send a scribe from the compiler-militant, or perhaps contact them directly myself.
Kasr Ferocia itself is yet to see significant bloodshed. Though a massive hoard of opportunistic Greenskins has made planetfall, the entrenchments and chemical wastes have already slowed combat to a halt. Similarly, while it is clear that the enemy has gained a foothold on Vesper and Antigone, no reports can be verified, and orbital auspex report a temporary stalemate.
War rages on all fronts. The situation is far more dire than i predicted or even imagined. I will return to my compiler-militant. Our work must be triaged and pursued in earnest.