Saturday, February 8, 2014

A Dozier Introduction

We would like to invite those of you who are members of Wargamers in Japan to participate in our upcoming campaign.  

We would like to introduce The Dozier System, our setting for the campaign.  We have developed a few basic tenets of the story.  The rest of the details will be determined by you.

A Brief History

In the year M37.024, the Dozier System was wholly condemned by the Inquisition for heresy. The entirety of the system was designated for Exterminatus Extremis by virus bombing, and a payload of warheads was dispatched to Lord Inquisitor Batallius from an Ordo Malleus fortress in the Drayus Subsector, approximately 34 light years to the galactic south.  

From the beginning of the endeavor, things went dramatically sideways. In the intervening time from the order to the ship’s arrival, an agent of the heretics assassinated Batallius and the government put in place by the Imperium degenerated into anarchy and civil war. Meanwhile, though the ship , Pax Testudo, carrying the warheads arrived on time and unharmed, the strike cruiser named The Divine Wrath, carrying a Grey Knights escort meant to ensure the final sentence was carried out, was lost to the warp.  

Captain Gouzman, of the transport ship Pax Testudo, proceeded to the rendezvous point, ordering his crew to wait for further orders regarding the dispersal of their deadly payload. No such communication was forthcoming, yet still the Captain waited. The days turned into years and then to decades.  Eventually, plague came to the ship, sweeping through even the high ranking officers. The Captain, his XO, and his command staff were wiped out. As the command structure deteriorated, resources also began to become scarce. The crew formed into gangs and began a series of fierce territorial wars for survival aboard the ship. Both the knowledge of the lethal cargo and the directing of the vessel was lost with the death of the officers. The Pax Testudo drifted through the system, eventually becoming lodged in a beast of a space hulk known as "The Celestial Throne."  

The Imperium, as it so often does, had this dark secret lost in the crevices of time. The Dozier system languished on. The heretics burned through their rebellion. New heretics replaced them. Eventually, all roads led to apathy and the people throughout the various worlds forgot about their religious roots altogether as the millennia passed.  

It was during M39.112 that something incredible happened. A humble missionary vessel drifted into the outer reaches of the system and began the divine work of the Emperor. One church was built, and then a sister church. Those churches sent out more missionaries to plant more churches, until eventually, the faith moved off world, spreading in the purest way possible, with one heart touching the next. The light of the Emperor had returned to Dozier.

In M40.522, everything changed again. A shifting warp current in the nearby Chorrup Channel closed a common trade route, causing Imperial traffic to detour through the system of Dozier and turning it into a vital waypoint. However, with the influx of new commerce came new attentions. Some of these attentions were not so benign….

Round 1

The opening moves of the campaign have been made.  The Imperium is now aware that this is no small raid, but has managed to hold off the majority of the destruction.  Reinforcements for both sides have begun to trickle in.  The Imperium deployed several chapters’ worth of Marine companies to the system, as well as multiple Guard regiments, all of which are just arriving to the core worlds.  The forces of Destruction have gathered a more motley assortment of additions, as pirates and scavengers are drawn to what appears to be a fresh kill.  

This lack of central organization may be what saves the Dozier system.  Though those seeking to raze the system to ashes outnumber those who desire to protect it, they lack the coordination to topple the defenses.  Individual warlords seek out targets of opportunity.  While there are too many cells to counter directly, the guidance of Inquisitor Malkizadek has allowed the defenders to better direct their resources.  Ultimately, the fate of the system will come down to a game of the clock.  Can the garrison hold out under siege long enough to have planets worth saving, or will the deciding wave of reinforcements arrive to bones picked clean.

Currently, strike cruisers hang in orbit over the northern pole of the Dozier Prime, safe within close proximity to the massive defense satellite that protects the Dozier dockyard.  They do not stray from there, except in force, knowing that a solitary vessel is prey.  Convoys are organized to govern the deployment of reserve forces.  While this may take some time, it is viewed by the high command as better to arrive a little later than not at all.  

Though not a true alliance, pockets of attacking ships have begun to coalesce throughout the system.  From here, semi-coordinated strikes have begun in a pattern that is slowly beginning to resemble tactical order.  The largest pocket is clustered around the space hulk codenamed “The Celestial Throne.” This element is largely made up of the servants of Chaos, including traitor guard and marine forces.  Other disparate forces are scattered around the system in large enough groups to ward off any sort of surprise raid by the Imperials.

The drums of war are beating their opening number, but have yet to reach their crescendo.  Now that the illusion of a brief conflict is over, both sides are settling in to wage a full scale campaign.  Commanders continue to play coy with their forces, feinting and refusing to make a committed push until they can be sure the blow will be decisive.  Still, the action is intense, and these opening engagements will be the catalyst that pushes the fate of the system to make its first step towards destruction or survival.