Uraka Az'Baramael, demon prince and leader of the Skull Takers warband gestured for his chaos marines to head forward. Khorne would be pleased. This battle had been waging on for days along the new scar that rent the galaxy, and his warband had taken a massive toll on the imperial defenders. He could feel that Khorne would be pleased, and blessing may come forth if the toll went ever higher! More skulls were needed this day! His warband though, was in need of supplies. Blood for the blood god required energy packs for chainswords and chain axes, bolts for bolt pistols, and grenades for throwing.
His demon wings beat the air as he stalked forward. So far the warband had recovered three supply pods that had dropped downward from the Ultramarine's battle barge off in space. Three more pods had fallen in the ruined complex they were attacking, yet to be captured. Ultramarines. Uraka had fought them before. Always heavily supplied, they had no real wants. No desires. They seemed the opposite of his warband...high on desire and low on supply. He quickened his pace.
Uraka had left a few of his battle brothers behind, to guard the supplies from other roving bands. Following in his swift steps were an ancient Rhino loaded with berzerkers, and other groups and transports including his own landraider. Everything hinged on getting supplies for these near-mortal space marines. The air keened with the sound of chainswords and chain axes seemingly always running. Pops of bolt pistols occurred as these Khorne blessed brothers moved forward as a surge towards the thin blue lines ahead and their rage caused triggers to pull.
Soon the air sung with battle! Uraka moved ever swiftly toward the marine lines. All at once a dazzling light strike his eyes! Lascannons and missile launchers from the Ultramarines began to pelt at Uraka. A hit or two were shrugged off. Then in a blinding flash, Uraka was gone...in searing pain, he was cast back to the warp. And then...darkness and the cruel noise of laughing gods.
Tigurius of the Ultramarines smiled for a moment. One demon prince banished. Now the attention of his assigned devastator squads shifted fire to the oncoming Rhino and hulking enraged dreadnought on the left. In a flash the dreadnought was gone. Now he could clearly see the blood and skulls and brass colored spikes that had been added to the tortured Rhino transport by its corrupted followers. The struggle became serious as the Rhino reached the Ultramarine lines, and a melee erupted as a demi-tactical squad of the Third Company dismounted from their own Razorback and assaulted the Head Hunter's Rhino. Berzerkers leaped from the open top hatch, and soon with help from a dark apostle of Khorne the 6 Ultramarines were down and their razorback exploded. In response, the Ultramarines second line erupted in fire, and all eleven Skull Takers and their Rhino we were likewise dispatched.
Tigurius looked over on the right flank. Marnius Calgar awaited the enemy there. Another Third Company demi-squad surged forward to block the path of a band of berzerkers and a chaos tainted landraider. A blue flash and taste of ozone showed the arrival of First Company assault terminators to add to the defense. Soon six more Ultramarines and their accompanying razorback were down, but the chaos landraider and its assault group was likewise destroyed. While this occurred, the devastators above in the ruins kept firing downrange at the remaining chaos groups in the distance. Every chaos marine down meant fewer imperial lives in their dozens would be lost as this conflict ground on. Tigurius knew that there was a strong presence out in the desert glaring back at him. Kharn the Destroyer was here...but hiding? It was his presence that had brought Tigurius and Marneus Calgar to the surface. The Destroyer may be here, but he was not offering battle, thought Tigurius.
Kharn seethed. He had looked on as the demon princeling Uraka of the Skull Takers and his entire assault group were mowed down by lascannon, missile fire, and plasma. It was a trap. Even one such as he had known that the massive firepower of his enemies would have been too deadly to attack. The Ultramarines had baited warbands before, knowing their need for supplies. The ground had scant cover for an assault with such low numbers and the Skull Takers had no human reserves to drive before them. But now, supply would be no problem. With three of six supply pods recovered, he had what he needed for a force half of its starting size. Kharn revved up his chain axe. He looked at his hands. Blood. His own blood. Oozed from his gauntlets. He had been gripping the shattered steel beam so hard it had pierced his armor. Blood for the blood god. He squeezed his left fist and watched the blood drip onto the desert soil.
Kharn watched for a moment. He could sense a presence watching him.
Then, putting his back to the Ultramarines he stalked back towards the Skull Taker's surviving units.
With a swing of his axes he dispatched the first red armored marine he encountered, the marine's helmet dancing on the dirt for a moment. Then two more. He reached into a supply pod and grabbed as much as he could carry, eyeing the surviving Skull Takers warily as he bent forward. He then signaled to the others to pick up their needed supplies and follow him. They would swing around to the north, and look to take as many heads as possible from the enemies there. He felt a strong urge to just take the skulls of the rest of this warband now. Instead he kept his eyes to the east and loped off without the need to look back. He would slake his urge to kill these Skull Takers later that night when the battle was over and his tally secure.