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Praxedes looked down at the artefact, it looked tiny and fragile in his gauntlet. It looked like bone and glowed with an ethereal light from within. Every square millimetre was covered in tiny runes that appeared xenos in origin. He carefully placed it back in its stasis container and mag-clamped it to his belt. Too many of his brothers had died for this trinket. Too many had died for his personal honour. He silently rued the day he had bent his knee to the Inquisition. He cursed himself for needing their aid and thus being in their debt. Now the debt was to be exacted and honour demanded he answer that call. After all, what was a man, an Astartes, without honour? But too many had died and the responsibility was his and his alone. He was the Chapter Master and the Spartan Legion was his responsibility. Every starship, every Astartes, every servitor. When the Inquisitorial summons had arrived he had come as bidden with a small strike force drawn from the reserve companies. It seemed a trivial errand and not wanting to forsake the Legions other commitments he had sped to the Mistra system with barely fifty Battle Brothers. Too few to prosecute a xenocidal war of annihilation but enough for the mission they had been given by the Inquisition. It had been almost insulting to Praxedes. Child's play. To penetrate a series of xenos catacombs, grab an artefact at the heart of the complex and the deliver it by hand to Inquisitor Vasha at the fortified Astra Militarum base five hundred kilometres away... Why didn't the Inquisitor go herself? Why not use the Imperial Guard? That was clear now. The catacombs had been a labyrinth full of spectral anomalies that claimed 3 of his men. When he had seemingly completed his mission and hurriedly returned to the surface he had walked into a classic ambush. His waiting transports were now burning twisted metal, his men under fire from all sides. Any other force would have crumbled under that murderous crossfire but Astartes are made of sterner stuff. Praxedes ordered his men to form square, they repelled the enemy and then launched their own counter attack which had kept the them at bay. Three days had passed since then. Three days of continuous running battles against the Eldar. The Astra Militarum base was within sight but Praxedes knew with grim certainty that the Eldar would throw all caution to the wind and try to destroy his rag tag column of survivors before they reached safety. He had to complete his mission. Honour demanded it. The dead demanded it. Already he could hear the high pitched whine of Eldar grav engines approaching. "Defensive formation Epsilon Seven! Keep advancing on the objective!"
Deployment - (Special Deployment) Set deployment by the Space Marines with Infiltrating Eldar and outflanking Reserves from both table edges.
Mission - (Special Mission) As soon as the enemy Chapter Master is slain the mission is won by the Eldar, If the Chapter Master reaches the Cadian Outpost the mission is accomplished by the Space Marines
Points - 1200pts