In case you were wondering, some of the parts to make my groovy Rough Riders were sculpted by Rob at Curious Constructs.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

The Ruins of Medusa V: The Issue of Inquisitor Sasppenny.


The situation was tense. Fifty of the Emperors beloved Blood Angel Space Marines surrounded the mixed Praetorian Guard force. Neither side had moved as they waited. Fifteen, twenty, then thirty minutes passed. The two ranking officers, Major Holtman and Colonel Ackland, exchanged knowing glances. Finally Ackland offered, 
“I say, this is getting rather ridiculous. Hmm, Stand fast old boy, I’ll see to it.”
With that, Ackland marched out to a Blood Angel shielded in gleaming gold armour. After saluting he said 
“My Lord Captain, Do you have orders?” 
The Blood Angel Captain blankly stared down at the Colonel from his ornate battle mask. There was silence for a moment, then in a booming yet softly rounded voice the golden marine spoke, 
“We are here, as are you, at the bidding of Inquisitor Virgil Sasppenny. We await His holy orders.”
“Yes Lord, but may I respectfully point out that the storm will soon descend on the planet again. If the Inquisitor has been waylaid we cannot stay here indefinitely. We engaged a traitor force on our journey here; it would be unfortunate if some ill fate had befallen the Inquisitor.”
There was silence, until finally the Blood Angel spoke again, 
Ackland tuned to march back to his fellow Praetorians, a sea of scarlet girt by blood red. He whispered to himself
Sorry my good chap, but old Sasppenny won’t be giving out any execution orders today.”

 Inquisitor Virgil Sasppenny, Missing In Action on Medusa V, presumed dead.
Search attempts withdrawn due to warp storms. 

In high orbit around Medusa V, The general hustle and bustle of shipboard life upon the Grand Cruiser Praetoriae Vindictam was interrupted by a young voice, distorted with an electronic edge on the mech-tube*.
“Attention. The following Officers are immediately required to briefing room Alpha 3; from the Thunder Guard – Colonel Ackland, Captain Gason, Lieutenant Talaw; from the 1st Expeditionary – Major Holtman, First Captain Williams, Lieutenant Reave,  Lieutenant Champion; from the 40th Line – Captain Thomas, Captain Nedell, Lieutenant Gadbolt, Lieutenant Brodhurst, Lieutenant Caine; from the 10th Armoured – Captain Frargstein , Lieutenant Crugbine. All stations be advised, departure from high orbit in six hours, thirty nine minutes. Standby for drills and pre warp testing. That is all”.
Lt Champion, Lt Reave and Capt Williams jumped from their chairs at the polished mess table and stared at each other. 
“Well I wonder what that could be about”, Reave spat at Williams in an overly sarcastic tone. Before he could reprimand the plucky Lieutenant, Lt Brodhurst’s head appeared in the hatchway-
“Emperor’s Holy Balls I knew we couldn't just wonder back on board after…”
“Shut it Lieutenant!”, demanded Williams. “Come on lets go.”

On arriving at the briefing room they all gave Colonel Ackland a respectful nod and “Sir” as they past. All except for Lt Reave who ignored him. Once inside, no one spoke. They could hear Brigadier Weeton from down the hall yelling at his aid as they approached. Then suddenly he was in the room. 
“Stand Fast” – Ackland snapped the Brigadier a salute, which he flippantly returned.
“Will someone tell me what Heresy is going on here?! Holtman, how did you all make it back on board?!”
Holtman snapped to attention, 
“We commandeered a civilian transport Sir; our military lander seemed to be rerouted”.
“Where is the Inquisitor!!” the Brigadier fired at Ackland.
“M I A, Sir”, Ackland answered unhelpfully.
“Right!” the Brigadier huffed pushing Ackland to the side and bearing down on Lt Caine- 
“Tell me everything from the start! You were all ordered to rendezvous with the Inquisitor’s force at the Promethium Refinery Conglomeration on Johanne's Island, what happened?!”
Lt Caine was unable to pull his gaze from the Brigadier’s.
“Um, Sir we all grouped at Johanne's Island Bridge and proceeded to The Mission, the refinery Sir, after receiving the special orders from Inquisitor Sasppenny. En root we stumbled on an enemy force. They didn't spot us so we laid an ambush ahead at a narrow pass leading to the refinery.”
“What enemy?! Who was this?! How did any enemy not ‘spot’ eight roaring tanks, twenty five thundering cavalry and a few hundred guardsmen!!!?” bellowed the Brigadier.
Caine shrugged nervously struggling to speak. 
“They were traitors?” he offered.
Ackland, feeling more helpful, offered his expiation, 
“We ambushed the force, cut them down, then continued to the mission. The Armour was left on the roadside, as ordered, and we all moved to the checkpoint on foot. Shortly after, a force of Blood Angels moved in and formed a harbour around us. We waited for the Inquisitor and his force but they never arrived.”
Brigadier Weeton, looking unimpressed, narrowed his eyes at Ackland and wondered, 
“had Ackland been emphasising the ‘we’ in his statement to point out that while he had fought on the surface, I had stayed here in orbit?”
The two men were both brigade commanders, Weeton of the 5th Praetorian (combined arms) Brigade, and Auckland of the 3rd Thunder Guard Cavalry Brigade. Weeton, as a full brigadier however, had seniority over the colonel.
Colonel Ackland took the opportunity to continue- 
“The Van Grothe Warp Storm was playing havoc with the coms Sir, I spoke to the Blood Angels Captain, they had other orders. With the storm worsening we couldn't simply stay there forever.  The Blood Angels said they would search for the inquisitor…”
“Did he!! Did he now Colonel!! So you thought you’d all just leave the surface then?” the Brigadier interrupted.
Major Holtman came to attention again, 
“Our departure orders had been given Sir, by you, before we received the special tasking by the Inquisitor.”
The Brigadier looked at them all, still unimpressed by the story. Switching to a lower calmer voice,
“Where are the commissars that were attached to the 40th, Captain Thomas?”
“They were killed during the ambush”, Thomas quickly forwarded.
The Brigadier slammed his fist on to the briefing table –
“Everyone below the rank of Major is dismissed!”
In unison the junior officers snapped a salute and marched out closing the hatch behind them. 

In the briefing room Brigadier Weeton slumped into a large leather chair by the briefing table.
“We are all going to be shot for this” he said, mostly to himself. Then he added, with a sigh, “Well you would have all been shot by now anyway so what’s the bloody difference.”
Ackland gave him a look while curling his moustache,
“I honestly have no idea what you are talking about Sir.”
“Indeed”, answered the Brigadier. “Pull something like this again and I’ll shoot you myself. All the men are on extra duties and half rations… for… for dereliction of duty. Dismissed.”
“Nice try old boy” thought Ackland - Holtman’s ‘1st Expeditionary’ were under the control of the Admiral, being Imperial Navy, and his cavalry were his. Both officers and their men were only attached to the 5th brigade as support, not directly under Weetons command. Holtman and Ackland saluted but only Holtman turned to walk away.
“Something to add Colonel?” asked the Brigadier
“Sorry Sir, It’s just… dereliction of duty?”
Brigadier Weeton looked up at Colonel Ackland- 
“Yes, they failed to do their duty and die for the Emperor”.


The Praetorian forces that left the ruins of Medusa V were a different force then one that arrived two months prior. Where previously there was mistrust and scepticism, now there was only assured reliance of the character and strength of brothers in arms.

The 5th combined arms brigade had being transformed from a group of many regiments into a single fighting fist, and with a second fist of the 1st Expeditionary and the Thunder Guard, together a joint guardianship had been forged in battle becoming one body. Over the campaign, officers had led men from other regiments, artillery stood next to the riflemen, and tanks rumbled next to cavalry.  Colonel Ackland had directed artillery barrages, Major Holtman had ordered ranked fire from the red coats and Captain Thomas had ordered Expeditionary men to dig in.They had faced daemons and banished them back to the warp. They had faced Chaos Marines and gunned them down with volley after volley of Las fire. Not even dreaded Chaos Terminators, Demonic Lords or even the feared Inquisition were enough to lay the mighty Praetorians low.

But was Inquisitor Sasppenny really killed by the guard in an ambush? Would noble heroes of  Praetoria do such a thing? And what was the Inquisitor investigating in the guardsmen? Was there a small hidden blemish of Chaos left on those that fought? Had the mighty Fate Waver left a cunning seed? Only the Emperor knows the ultimate truth.

Campaign record:

The Lost Magistratus – Victory  
Major Holtman (1st Exp) -Minor wounds.
First Captain Williams (1st Exp) -Wounded, evacuated to Praetoriae Vindictam.
Lieutenant Caine (40th Line)

The Engagement of Vanquish Vally – Draw
Colonel Ackland (3rd Bde TG)
Captain Gason (3rd Bde TG)
Lieutenant Creswell (1st Exp) -KIA.
Lieutenant Reave(1st Exp)

The Action at Scourged Hill - Defeat
Colonel Ackland (3rd Bde TG) -Wounded, returned to active service.
Lieutenant Talaw (3rd Bde TG) -Wounded, evacuated to Praetoriae Vindictam.
Captain Faltmond (40th Line) -KIA.
Lieutenant Caine (40th Line)
Lieutenant Crugbine (10th Amr)

The Incursion at Camp Exceller – Heroic  Victory
Captain Thomas (40th Line)
Lieutenant Caine (40th Line)
Lieutenant Brodhurst (40th Line)

Battle of Victory Square – Heroic  Victory
Captain Frargstein (10th Amr)
Captain Nedell (40th Line)
Lieutenant Gadbolt (40th Line)
Lieutenant Champion (1st Exp)


  1. Excellent campaign summary!

    What strange and terrible world will the 5th Combined be deployed to next I wonder?

  2. A very entertaining write up to be sure.

    I'll be tallying the last few battle reports tomorrow night and declare the winner(s).

    I'm glad to see that the regiment(s) made it off the planet before the warp storm retuned with its full fury.

  3. Love it! Poor old guard, always expected to perish, even in victory.

  4. Sounds like Col A might need to be somewhere else during Brig Weeton's impending accident.

    Good job I didn't say that out loud....

  5. Love the write up, superbly dark :)

    And you've won a Liebster Award, you can check my blog for the details.