The Continued Saga of Shamus – Mysterious Friends

Howdy everyone, Severus here.  I had the chance to play a little bit of a narrative game this past weekend.  A few of the locals at Moxie Games and I got together and play a 1v1v1v1 game using the 40k Carnage Mission rules.  It was meant to be fun, and it was a blast!  We had orks, dark angels, chaos daemons, and white scars (dressed as Minotaurs…) represented on the field.  Since Carnage revolves around capturing a central objective, we decided to use a model to represent a fallen dark angels for the central objective.  In order to properly tell this narrative, I have decided to bring out Shamus.  If you want to see his last exploits, check it out here.

Shamus McCraken had seen a lot in the last 2 years.  He made it off Verdan III, but sadly his family did not.  Without anything holding him there, Shamus had signed up to join the 23rd Verdan Regiment of the Imperial Guard.  Since then he had seen a few wars and learned a lot about the war machine that is the Imperium.  He couldn’t say he liked it, but it kept him going.  And that was all he needed right now.

Shamus was currently deployed to Orvius IV, one of several planets in the system under siege by a mighty ork invasion.  Imperial broadcasts had said that a few infamous orks had been sited, including Ghazzkull Thraka.  Supposedly, the Terror of Armageddon was here with a few of his most trusted lieutenants, and the Dark Angels were here to put an end the beast. Shamus had learned to take Imperial propaganda with a grain of salt.

The first time Shamus had seen these Space Marines, he had been awed by their size and strength. The first time he saw one tear an ork limb from limb, he became a little wary of these warriors of the Emperor.  Word amongst the men was that the Dark Angels had been asking around camp for a dark haired man with a scar over his left eye.  The description sort of fit Shamus’ Sergeant, but he figured it was best to keep his mouth shut.

When Serg caught wind of these rumors, he seemed unsettled.  Shamus didn’t really care, that is until a group of Dark Angels bikes opened fire on his squad during a routine patrol.  For the last two nights the squad had been running and hiding, falling back against an ever increasing number of Dark Angels. Serg had some trick up his sleeve.  Shamus would have stopped to ask how he seemed to know the Dark Angels tactics, but as long as Serg kept him alive, he didn’t much care.

On the dawn of the 3rd day, it was down to just Serg and Shamus.  He had lead them to an burned out city, a previous victim of the rampaging orks.  In the outskirts, was an old rock formation.  Serg seemed to think it had some significant, and quickly scaled it.  Shamus heard him chanting in a language foreign to Shamus.  The words felt harsh and unnerving to Shamus.  Rather than dwell on it, Shamus took the chance to try to catch some rest in the shade of the rock formation.  Serg seemed to have slipped the Dark Angels for now.

The distant roar of engines and the crackle of lighting woke Shamus.  He must have dozed off, damn foolish of him.  He quickly took stock of the situation.  To the south east of him, several Dark Angel squads had formed up in a few of the ruined building and had heavy weapons trained on their position.  To the north west, bronze clad space marines with several ornate dreadnoughts had broken through the cover of the city.

These newcomers proclaimed themselves the Minotaurs and began to broadcast a message on all frequencies.  They demanded that the Dark Angels lay down their weapons by order of the High Lords of Terra.  Serg found this particularly fun; Shamus couldn’t figure out what the hell was going on.  All he knew is that he did not want to be stuck between two angry forces of the Emperor’s finest.  To make the situation worse, Shamus could make out a few of the cobbled together battlewagons favored by the ork elite making a noisy entrance from the south west.

Serg just kept laughing. Shamus figured that the old vet had finally lost it.  As Serg’s laugh grew in strength, a dark storm cloud began to form to the north east.  The maelstrom grew in strength and a size.  Lightning forked down from the clouds and struck the earth.  As the afterimages faded from Shamus’ eyes, he was greeted with an unearthly sight.  Unnatural creatures had appeared in the ruins near the storm.  Many smaller creatures, some with blood red skin and others with putrid green hues.  Serg called to these creatures as if they were allies come to his aid. 

Shamus had enough of the fool’s raving at this point.  With Serg’s attention focused on the daemons, Shamus hoisted his lasgun and started towards his Sergeant.  He brought the butt of the gun down firmly into the back of Serg’s skull, laying him out cold.  He left the motionless body on the damned rock pile.  Shamus didn’t much care if Serg lived or died at this point.  He was going to try to make it through this alive and make it back to his regiment.

With Serg down, the Daemons roared in unison and began tearing across the battlefield in all directions.  A missive red winged beast took to the air and slammed into the Dark Angels lines.  The beast smashed a rhino and scattered the squad from its interior.  The Dark Angels opened fire on the Daemons, their leader bravely charging in against the beast under the cover of his men’s fire.  A stoic Chaplain engaged the winged beast in an attempt to distract it while the rest of the men, under guidance of the Commander, attempted to bring the beast down.  Its otherworldly flesh resisted all but the most determined of their efforts.

The ork battlewagons began to drive towards the rock pile, intent on catching the Dark Angels or the Daemons.  Shamus caught a glimpse of the greenskins riding in the transports, and recognized the biggest ork as Ghazzkull.  As the battlewagons cleared one of the larger standing buildings, the Minotaur’s caught site of them.  The ornate walkers all sported multiple rotary cannons which opened fire in a deafening blast, turning two of the battlewagons into smoking scrap.  Ghazzkull tore his way out of the wreckage with an angry bellow and the mob of boyz gathered around him.  The orks were mad now, and Shamus new better than to get in their way now.  Shamus darted for some ruins south of the rocks.

The daemons grew closer to the unconscious form of Serg.  They had also spotted the Minotaurs after their explosive display of firepower, and a few howling red beast with riders broke off to engage them.  These beast were quickly brought down by the guns of the Minotaur’s.  More daemons piled in around the great winged beast, eager to get to grips with the Dark Angels.  The Chaplain tried to keep the focus of the beast, but with a mighty swing of the beast’s ax, the black armored marine was reduced to a red stain.  The great beast let loose a deep laugh and began to swing at the remaining troops.  The commander bravely stepped forward to intercept the swings of the might ax, and managed to save his men.

While the leaders of the Dark Angels were tied up with the great winged beast, the rest of the Dark Angel forces focused on the Daemons swarming in front of them.  Off to the north east, another bright flash of light was followed by a load crack.  Shamus grabbed his magnoculars and looked to see what new horror had come forth.  To his surprise, he say Dark Angels in thick bone colored armor begin to open fire on the rear ranks of the flickering daemons.  The rest of the Dark Angels opened up on the grotesquely mutated flies that had begun to advance on their lines.  The bulbous winged bugs withered under the hail of fire and began to fall back.

Screaming down near his position, Shamus saw over half a dozen Dark Angels jump from a low flying aircraft.  They seemed to be equipped with flight packs used to slow their assent.  They still landed with a tremendous crash.  As the dust settled, Shamus saw the remaining ork battlewagon careen to a halt near these new arrivals.  The loud guttural laughs of the orks within could barely be heard over the cacophony of their guns opening fire.  In a blaze of bullets, rockets, and energy blasts, the Dark Angel marines that had just landed were gunned down.

Shamus looked to the west and saw a sight of pure fury.  The Great Warboss, Ghazzkull, stood defiantly in front of his ruined transport.  He let out a deep bellow that began to be taken up by all the orks.  Soon the howling hoard of boys rushed towards the Minotaurs, scrambling over the rocks that Shamus had taken shelter at just moments ago.

The Minotaur Commander cried out the order to open fire.  Two of the dreadnoughts and a trio of centurions let loose into the green menace.  The bullets bounced off Ghazzkull, and only seemed to spur on his rage.  His boys that ran behind him were not so lucky.  Some shots missed Ghazzkull, but found their targets in them.  Other shots that glanced off his armor occasionally found a new target in a nearby boy.

The remaining contemptor had been prepared to open fire on the wall of greenskins, but its attention was drawn by an arcing bolt of lightning.  As its view screens cleared, a screaming horde of red skin daemons shimmered into existence.  It let loose with its twin rotary cannons and top mounted missile launchers.  Scattered smoldering flesh surrounded the contemptor, but one lone daemon remained.  The entombed pilot would have grinned as he smashed the remaining daemon under his foot, had he the ability anymore.

Shamus tried to make a break to the south.  There wasn’t any cover near him, and the ork battlewagon was to close enough to make a safe go of it.  Cursing, Shamus checked the charges on his lasgun and hunkered down, hopeful he would continue to go unnoticed.  The unearthly bellows of the winged beast of to the east made him peak out from cover.

The great winged daemon held the broken form of the Dark Angels Commander in its oversized hand.  The remaining Dark angels were being hacked apart by the smaller red skinned daemons.  North, the bone collared terminators found the combined number of three packs of smaller daemons converge on them.  The stubborn fools tried to hold their ground.  Sensing the flow of combat going against, they opened up with their arm mounted flamer.  Using this type of weapon in close quarters was risky, but worth it.  Half a dozen creatures went down in a blaze.

Shamus looked back to the west just in time to see the wave of ork bodies crash into the Minotaur’s Commander and his centurions.  The boys began to swarm over the cumbersome centurions.  Ghazzkull tried to vent his anger on the commander that had robbed him of his battlewagon.  A shimmering energy field absorbed the worst of the damage.  The Commander was a brave fool.  Shamus knew that force field would only hold for so long.

The great winged daemon rounded the corner and began to rampage around the fire base of Dark Angels.  Some of their braver marines charged in to try to fell the beast that had taken down their brave leaders.  The slashed and stabbed at the beast, but failed to strike a lethal blow.  A great sweep if it’s ax felled nearly half a dozen of them.  Sensing the futility of their actions, they broke from the field and fled.

In the midst of the chaos, the last fly daemon began to head towards the downed form of Shamus’ former sergeant.  A group of Dark angels with heavy weapons took aim and unleashed a fusillade into the beast.  It shimmered and convulsed under the punishment.  The creature kept going, desperate to reach the man on the rock formation.  Before it coud reach it target, another volley of fire ripped from the Dark Angels position.  This time, the creature went down for good.

The orks with the large caliber weapons saw their opportunity for glory.  And Shamus never knew an ork that shied away from glory.  They let fire with their mishmash of weapons.  Their eclectic mix of projectiles stuck home against the great wing beast.  The smoking flesh seemed to collapse in on itself, and the beast winked out of reality with an angry bellow.  The orks glory was short lived.

Bright beams of light struck out from the north west.  A landradier rumbled forth from the Minotaur’s lines, opening fire on the lone battlewagon.  The vehicle swerved to avoid fire, but ran right into the field of fires setup by the Minotaur’s contemptors.  It was an excellently organized trap.  The combined fire of the rotary cannons and missiles detonated the wagon in a great fire ball. 

Ghazzkull couldn’t care less for the fate of the flashgitz.  He continued to hammer blows onto the Minotaur commander.  The centurions were dragged down in a wave of boyz.  Bereft of all support, the brave commander was distracted for just long enough.  The shield flicker and Ghazzkull brought his massive claw down around the space marines head.  The hideous sound it made was drown out by the warlord’s bellows.  He was bleeding from many deep wounds, but the ork didn’t seem to notice them.

Ghazzkull ordered his mob forward.  Shamus saw the fatal mistake before the enraged warboss did.  The 3 contemptuous swiveled on their waists and took aim.  In a deafening fusillade, the dreadnoughts began to destroy the horde.  Bloodied and limping, the warlord shambled forward and managed to come to grips with one of the might walkers.  With one mighty blow, the great ork smashed the sarcophagi of the great machine, rendering it useless. 

The remaining 2 contemptor focused all fire on the mob, killing all but the warlord.  Ghazzkull turned to face the other walkers, but was never destined to reach him.  Another blinding blast of light from the ancient landraider felled the great ork with a smoldering hole through his chest.   A beleaguered cheer went up from the Minotaur’s lines.

The contemptors then turned their attention to the goal of this mission.  They mounted the rock formation and began to take aim at the remaining Dark Angels.  They were caught off guard by motion from the wreckage in front of Shamus.  The flashgitz had survived the blast.  After the devastation the orks had wrought on their brethren, the contemptors opened fire on the flashgitz survivors.  The beast didn’t stand a chance.  Shamus would have felt pity, but he had long learned to leave that weakness behind him.

Realizing that they prey was beyond their grasp, the Dark Angels began to fall back with their wounded.  The remaining Minotaurs converged on the rock formation.  Shamus could see the unconscious form of his former Sergeant being dragged from the field.  The remaining daemons also began to flicker out of existence. 

Shamus though on his options.  He could try to slip away in the confusion.  He didn’t know what forces were behind him.  With the hole left in the imperial lines, it could be crawling with orks.  Shamus had no plans on taking on the waagh all by himself.  Seeing as the Minotaurs hadn’t actually fired on him yet, he decided to risk it.

Clambering out of the ruined building, Shamus slowly walked towards the rock formation.  The contemptors trained their guns on him as he came into view.  A marine strolled down from the hill.  His gaze fixed on Shamus, he spoke.  “You have ten seconds to explain your actions soldier, or in the name of the High Lords of Terra, I will gun you down myself.”

Shamus thought for a quick second.  “Pretty sure Serg there isn’t who he say he is.  Beats me why those Dark Angels wanted him.”  Slapping a new energy cell in to his lasgun, Shamus growled “I don’t take kindly to those that try to kill me though.  So if you boys are going after them, count me in”