“The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry.”
-Ernest Hemingway, Ancient Terran Remembrancer
On the war-torn world of Kulth (and its neighboring jungle moon Aeyras), the Imperial high command has launched a massive military operation codenamed “Operation Hammerstrike” to re-take the planet from its Ork invaders. Inquisitor Sand and his Acolytes of Romulus Cell (including Mir, who has recently returned from completion of his Crusader training at the House of the Vigilant Sword), have been tasked to join the operation with the important mission of terminating Thorgoz Foerender- the Ork Lieutenant who leads the Ork forces on the moon of Aeyras. On Aeyras, the Orks have a fortified stronghold inside a massive ancient crater called “The Teeming” and Catachan scouts are constantly monitoring the area to track Foerender’s movements. The surveillance efforts pay off, and with Foerender’s position confirmed, Sand and his retinue, supported by Imperial Guardsmen from the Catachan 14th Recon Company and Scintilla 17th Regiment, launch an assault on the fortified Ork network of buildings and tunnels on the crater’s rim- an area the Imperials call the Scrap Forts.
The night time raid proves successful, but the intense fighting between the Ork and Imperial forces cost nearly the entire strength of the 14th Company and much of the Scintilla 17th. During the raid, Inquisitor Sand and his retinue were able to kill the Ork leader but Sand is critically wounded and his Acolytes are battered. Still inside one of the Scrap Fort complexes, the Acolytes overhear Imperial vox traffic describing a massive Ork counter-assault in response to the raid and death of the leader. Imperial forces are being annihilated from the unstoppable Ork surge and those between the Fallow River and the Teeming have been ordered to pull back to the main Imperial base on Aeyras- Firebase Long-tooth. Imperial forces only have eleven hours to make it back to Firebase Long-tooth before the Imperial fleet commences with a massive orbital bombardment to the contested area- hoping to wipe out as many Orks as possible to stop the surge from overrunning all Imperial holdings on the moon.
Inquisitor Sand, his retinue and a few surviving Catachans led by Sgt. Dryak find themselves still behind enemy lines when this announcement is made and with time starting to tick by, they begin to carry out their wounded all the while fighting their way out of the Scarp Forts as mobs of Orks begin to flood their position. This is the start of a desperate and deadly trek through the harsh swamp and jungle to get out of the bombardment area in time. The group fends off several Ork mobs and Red demonstrates that his Crusader training has made him quite deadly with the power sword as he slays Orks single-handedly, including two massive Nobz, while protecting his injured Inquisitor. In addition to the Ork menace, the group must negotiate through the masses of panicked Imperial forces fighting to get out of the bombardment area. The tenements of Imperial discipline have broken down and few care for the authority of an Inquisitor or ranking military officers.
With their two remaining Catachan guardsmen, the party is able reach the massive Mechanicus Bridge that spans the Fallow River to Firebase Long-tooth. Arriving just prior to the orbital bombardment, the group finds that a huge Ork force is fighting its way across the bridge and threatens to overrun the Imperial lines on the other side. With salvation waiting on the other side of the Bridge and death at their backs, Inquisitor Sand and his Acolytes fight and sneak their way to the mid-point of the bridge where the Ork advance has momentarily stalled. Upon defeating an Ork Mek Boy and his accompanying Ork mob, the group takes a moment to rest and treat their wounded only to learn that the Orks are on the verge of breaking through to the other side of the bridge and in order to stop this, the Military Command has ordered the imminent destruction of the Mechanicus Bridge (which has already been fixed with explosives). There is no way for the party to run and fight their way across the last of the Bridge span in time so Inquisitor Sand voxes to the Imperial lines an order for immediate extraction for him and his team. Though initially reluctant, Sand is able to push his Inquisition authority to motivate the Imperial forces to send a Valkyrie, which is able to arrive and fly the team to safety just as the orbital bombardment and detonation of the bridge begins.
- GM’s Note: This mission was ran with modifications from Fantasy Flight’s free adventure by Owen Barnes. It can be found here: