The forces of Chaos fell upon Astaramis like slavering wolves, bringing ruin and terror to this once proud monument of Ultramar’s glory. Yet, as the smoke cleared and the echo of gunfire ceased, the hive world remained standing, battered but unbroken. Despite suffering horrific casualties during the early stages of the Chaos onslaught, the armies of the Imperium dug in with rugged determination, hurling back each fresh assault with blistering cascades of las and bolter fire, turning to knives, makeshift weapons and fists when the slaughter boiled over into hand-to-hand combat.
Try as they might, the Chaos invaders could not break the defenders’ spirits, nor scour them from their fortifications. Their rage and frustration was only exacerbated by a series of lightning attacks by the Aeldari of the craftworlds, who emerged from the hidden labyrinth of the webway to slice into the rear of the Chaos formations. There was no formal alliance between the Imperium and these deadly raiders, but the Aeldari ever follow their own mysterious whims. Fusillades of shuriken fire and pinpoint lances of searing energy tore through the unsuspecting ranks of the invaders, and even as they regrouped and reformed, the xenos disappeared from whence they came, leaving nothing but the smoking bodies of their victims behind.
This flanking assault badly stalled the Chaos advance, buying precious time for Primaris Space Marine reinforcements to arrive on Astaramis. Unable to force a breakthrough at the vital Praxima Skyport, the massed heretical legions could only watch with furious hatred as fresh regiments of grim-faced warriors and columns of heavy armour made planetfall, rushing to shore up gaps in the Imperial line wherever they emerged. Inch by bloody inch, the Chaos invasion force was pushed back to the outer hab-zones of the hive cities, and the flag of Ultramar was raised proudly upon the highest spire of Saviour’s Landing – a symbol of defiance and Imperial might that girded the heart of every loyalist warrior.
In the wake of this vital victory, Imperial High Command immediately ramped up the production of munitions on Astaramis, and issued a decree requiring every human of fighting age to take up arms in the defence of Ultramar. Such a vast resource of manpower will be vital in the battles to come, for the war in the Konor System is far from over…