Asherth. A frozen rock on the fringe of Imperial space. And, as it happened, a world of sudden importance to the Salamanders.
The loss of a sacred Land Raider in a battle only weeks prior stung deeply. Imperial Guard corrupted by Chaos had extinguished its fire forever, and the Salamanders of Third Company keenly felt its loss. To replace it, they needed a new source of ferranite, a mineral integral to Land Raider construction.
Third Company found such a source in Asherth.
The icy death world in the far reaches of space was rich in ferranite. The Chapter Master ordered Third Company there to secure the world, and this proved no easy task. Besides the deadly ice storms and fierce native predators, the Salamanders discovered another threat: the world was held by a large force of Orks. They bore the bright yellow of the Bad Moons, and seemed hellbent on keeping Asherth for themselves.
The Orks had destroyed a contingent of Imperial Guard that was sent in ahead of the Salamanders to establish a foothold. First priority for the sons of Nocturne was to recover what they could of the Imperial Guard’s supplies and retake the fortress overrun by the Orks.
The First Battle of Asherth: Contact Lost
Initial deployment saw the Orks scattered and the Guard utterly annihilated. The Salamanders touched down in their Thunderhawks and proceeded to advance towards the last known position of the Guard supply transports. As the mighty Astartes marched forward, one of Asherth’s terrible ice storms moved in, and all contact with the battle cruiser in orbit was lost.
Nonplussed, the Salamanders took sight of Ork vehicles and began their assault.
The battle was long and fierce. Early in the engagement, Third Company’s last remaining Land Raider Redeemer was laid low by Ork Tankbustas. If not for the Astartes’ destruction of two massive Ork vehicles, the battle may have ended right there.
An Ork Deff Dred carved a bloody swath through the Salamanders’ lines, dividing them into two forces cut off from each other. With no support or reinforcements forthcoming from orbit, the two forces were in dire straits. As the battle progressed, the Deff Dred destroyed a full squad of Centurions that tried to reunite the two halves of the Salamanders’ army.
The Orks’ trukks moved in and claimed much of the supplies left behind by the Imperial Guard. The Ork boyz laid down a withering hail of gunfire to protect their trukks and gleefully charged the Salamanders.
In response, Captain Adrax Agatone rushed into battle with the Ork warlord, a full squad of Assault Marines by his side. Though badly injured by Ork heavy weapons, Adrax cut down the Ork warlord with his relic blade.
Sensing the tide of battle was turning against them, the Orks gathered up their forces and retreated into the tunnels beneath Asherth’s surface, descending deep into the bowels of the ice world.
The ice storm passed and the Salamanders regained contact with their battle cruiser. With reinforcements sent down to repair the Redeemer and fortify the Imperial Guard facility, Adrax and his battle brothers regrouped and followed the Orks into the depths.