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3rd Alcedian Division

3rd Alcedian Division Imperial Guard.

Alcedia was formerly a paradise world on the outer rim of the Imperium, and was populated as a result by pleasure seeking nobles and military upper crust on recreational leave. However, it was consumed by a Warp storm for close to a thousand years and, when the storm subsided, the planet had been transformed. From lush gardens and breathtaking mountain ranges, it had become a rugged and arid place. Seas had turned to deserts and salt flats, gardens that had once been home to a menageries of exotic flora and fauna were now vast shrub land, where mutated and ferocious creatures made their homes. The cities of those who had once lived there were in ruins, and beasts of chaos made their homes in the darkest shadows of those places.

With the warp storm dissipated, the Imperial Guard sent a small expeditionary force to reunite the planet with the rest of the Imperium. The task force of 3 divisions was sent, along with workers and techpriests, to rebuild the parched planet as a forge world. The force expected there to be no resistance, or indeed any intelligent life on the planet and set about their duty as the rest of the fleet moved on to disperse troops to the many highly contested worlds of the Imperium. Little did they know, the nobility and officers had never left.

When the Warp storm had raged over Alcedia, these aristocrats and generals had gradually succumbed to the tantalizing whispers of Slaanesh. The most influential nobles were the first to leave their cities and go to the mountains, building spectacular palaces atop them and vast tunnel networks in the mountains themselves. It was here that they indulged in depraved and forbidden acts of lust as praise to their new deity. Soon, other noble families and generals followed, abandoning their cities and forming pleasure cults on the highest peaks of Alcedia. Between these nobles, vicious underhand feuds began. Factions formed of different families, and these were constantly vying for power. The former generals drew up well equipped and trained paramilitaries so as to further their own faction's dominance. As a result, the heretics fought among themselves; from ferocious tunnel skirmishes to pitched battles of attrition on the steep slopes and jagged peaks of the mountains.

The Expeditionary Force sent to Alcedia made planetfall on an island formerly known as Nirbita. There they found a Culexis assassin temple and fortified it, making it the centre of operations on the island. The island was on the whole unaffected by the Warp storm, due to the abhorrent nature of the assassins to warp energies, which had prevented the island from being laid to waste by the storm. This was known as the Bastion to the Imperial settlers, and from here, teams of workers led by techpriests set out and began constructing a new city, with manufactoriums churning out machinery and weapons and Gothic spires piercing the sky within five years.

With a secure foothold and future planetary capital in their control, the 2nd and 3rd Divisions of what was now Alcedian PDF, set out to reclaim the mainland. They encountered no resistance on landing, and built a fortified camp, which later became the main supply port for the divisions. With some 2nd Division troops guarding the camp, which was now receiving boatloads of settlers from Nirbita, eager to exploit new land, the 3rd division and the remaining 2nd division pushed futher into the continent.

As the troops advanced, the second division secured the land, which was soon turned into frontier towns by ambitious settlers, while the 3rd traversed and cleared the lands ahead of mutated beasts and pathfinding for the 2nd Division. As the troops neared the mountains further inland, they attracted the attentions of the Slaaneshi cultists. It was then that sentries began to disappear in the dead of night without a trace. Later, supply lines were attacked by artillery from the mountains and half glimpsed shadows were seen fleeing the scene of many a destroyed ammo dump.

At first the cultists had been curious of these foreigners, as they had forgotten all about their past and the Imperium as a whole. Each faction secretly dispatched scouts, who kidnapped enemy troopers for interrogation and torture as to the reason for their arrival. One by one, they realized that their way of damned life was threatened by these invaders. They called a truce after much fighting and began planning how best to repulse these new adversaries. Soon, saboteurs attacked stores of enemy resources, the ancient guns were wheeled into commanding positions overlooking valleys and the paramilitaries prepared for war. The captured guardsmen met a protracted and painful death at the hands of the cultists.

The cultists attacked the 2nd and 3rd divisions simultaneously in the early morning. The 2nd division encamped at the bottom of the mountain ranges , holding the ground until settlers arrived. Half of the 3rd division were also at the foot of the mountains, while the other half had begun to scout the mountain. As a result, much of the 3rd went undetected , as the pathfinders had divided into smaller squad sized units and were scattered throughout the mountain in inconspicuous camps. Cultist artillery fire from the hills above flattened the camp, destroying most of the troops on their own. Then sapper teams breached the lightly guarded perimeter, and hordes of cultists wielding battered lasguns flowed into the camp, driving the surviving guardsmen into the heart of the camp. Here, the guard fought to the last against the feral dogs of chaos, scything through hordes of them with disciplined lasgun fire and a rain of heavy bolter and autocannon shells. By nightfall, the cultists were swaying round a sacrificial pyre of the dead, guard and cultist alike, baying their praise to their god.

Believing that they had won the day, the cultists returned to their caves and celebrated with feasts and orgies dedicated to Slaanesh, while their lords planned a campaign to push the settlers back into the sea. The pathfinders, having heard the guns during the day, returned to camp to find the charred remains of their comrades and banners of Slaanesh swaying eerily in the breeze. The officers of the pathfinders decided that rather than falling back to the nearest frontier settlement and digging in, where they would be severely outnumbered, they should launch a counter attck by night while the cultists were celebrating. Taking the autocannons and heavy bolters of their fallen comrades, they moved into the hills, coordinating via the vox network and locating as many tunnel entrances as possible. So as to completely trap the cultists with their small numbers, they split into four man fire teams and used demolition charges to make entrances where necessary. The 3rd division fought with a bravery and professionalism unknonw to the cultists, and in fierce firefights through the tunnels, the cultist guards were crushed by the deadly advance The mountain tunnels were so vast, the raucous cultists in their halls didn't hear the cries of their fallen and the cracks of lasgun fire until they were too late.

The fire teams regrouped on entering the halls, laying down volleys of lasfire which cut down the cultists before they could stand from their tables. The heavy bolters and autocannons were then deployed, and blew aside all cover the cultists were taking like leaves. The Slaaneshi lords rallied their troops and counterattacked, driving back the guardsmen with grenade launchers and sheer numbers.

The guard had planned for this, and rapidly retreated from the tunnel network. The cultists regrouped around the autocannon and heavy bolter emplacements, and while attempting to disassemble them to kill the guard the'd thought they'd routed, they detonated the hidden explosives the guns had been rigged with, bringing down the halls on top of them. The Guard meanwhile had began to withdraw to the nearest friendly settlement nearby to resupply, leaving cultist survivors to escape. They warned other cults in different mountains of the new forces on Alcedia, and these prepared for a guerrilla war against the Imperium's troops.

Since then, the 2nd and 3rd divisions have been restored to full size by the settlers eager to better defend their newly acquired land. They fight a constant asymmetric war against the cultist guerrillas on the frontier and progress is difficult against such a savage, insidious and numerous foe. Among all the divisions on Alcedia, the 3rd is held in the highest regard for their counter-guerrilla tactics.Although Alcedia is still seen as being in the process of colonizing by the leadership of the Imperium (and therefore have neither a world classification or a tithe obligation), they are often sought after by Ordo Hereticus inquisitors, as they are particularly specialized at fighting in all aspects of asymmetric warfare. This is useful to inquisitors who wish to be covert and conduct attacks from the civilian populace with trained professionals against rampant governors, or alternatively crush witch cults and other forbidden and secret organisations within the Imperium.


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