The Brotherhood of the Maw is Victorious!
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Special thanks to Dagon Kaze for the Second Great Hyperspace War comic template,
and thanks to all our sparring partners in the Nirauan invasion!


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Battle of Nirauan

ConflictSecond Great Hyperspace War
Date869 ABY
PlaceNirauan System
  • New Carannia
  • The Hand of Thrawn
OutcomeBrotherhood of the Maw Victory
  • New Carannia laid waste
  • Hand of Thrawn overrun
  • Mass casualties to both sides
Combatants
  • Brotherhood of the Maw
  • New Imperial Order
Commanders
  • Brotherhood: Darth Solipsis
  • NIO: Rurik Fel
StrengthBrotherhood:
  • Mawite Warfleet
  • Scar Hounds Tribe
  • Bloodsworn Tribe
  • Chosen Tribe
  • The Perished
  • Mawite Death Cults
  • Shi'ido Fleshtakers
  • Sith Warriors
NIO:
  • Nirauan Systems Fleet
  • Task Force Godhand
  • Task Force Kingsman
  • Strikegroup Archais
  • Strikegroup Bescane
  • Strikegroup Cathar
  • Strikegroup Diab
  • Strikegroup Err'kit
  • Vandemarian Shield Legion
  • Imperial Knights
CasualtiesBrotherhood:
  • Many warships
  • Countless marauders
  • Countless cultists
NIO:
  • Some warships
  • Countless soldiers
  • Many vehicles


Detailed Description

After the Great Battle of Coruscant prompted the New Imperial Order to withdraw from the Bastion Accords, the Brotherhood of the Maw was quick to follow up on the advantage they had created. Imperator Rurik Fel had cited the Alliance's failure to safeguard its capital as his reason for refusing to spend more Imperial lives to fight for them. The Dark Voice of the Brotherhood wished to demonstrate that the NIO was equally helpless to defend its most populous planets from the Maw's depredations, proving that nowhere in the galaxy was safe from their sinister reach. As such, he chose a highly symbolic target for the next Brotherhood attack: Nirauan. The planet was populous, cosmopolitan, and rich in trade. More than that, it had been the NIO's wartime capital during the Imperial Civil Wars.

Like Coruscant, it was not a planet the Maw could possibly hold, being far too distant from their territory. The goal was merely to sow terror and destruction, making the Imperator's government look just as impotent as the Alliance government had. But even this limited goal was no easy task. The NIO had consistently inflicted horrendous casualties on the Mawites in every engagement where they had clashed - the battles of Csilla, Ilum, Korriban, and Carlac had all proven that - and Nirauan was one of their heavily-defended fortress worlds. A brute force approach would be suicide. As such, the Brotherhood devised a brutally cunning plan. Mawite Death Cults and paid-off smugglers prepared the planetary capital, New Carannia, for an unusual kind of assault, working in the shadows to bring about the battle.

Three areas had to be captured for Nirauan to fall: the municipal spaceport, Fort Imperium, and the Hand of Thrawn.

It was impossible to move on Nirauan without alerting the NIO, and significant forces were soon assembled to hold the Mawites back. There was no way that any conventional landing craft could breach the planet's incredibly formidable air defenses... so the Brotherhood did not try. When the Mawite Warfleet arrived, quickly scattering the outnumbered Nirauan Systems Fleet, they deployed specially-modified transports. These craft deliberately crash-landed in New Carannia, falling faster than air defenses could track them. Packed full of countless marauders - and countless inertial dampers, to allow the passengers to survive - these ships smashed into the city's downtown and disgorged their dangerous cargoes, which linked up with the Death Cultists to attack the defenders.

Two full Mawite tribes packed the landing ships, each with a different objective. The Bloodsworn, under Zachariel Steelblood, pushed southwest. Their goal was to capture the spaceport and disable its air defenses, for until they did, the Brotherhood ground forces could have no reinforcements. The Scar Hounds, under The Mongrel The Mongrel , pushed due east. They were headed for the Saffia District, the city's entertainment quarter, which had no tactical value. However, Mawite-paid smugglers had moved in a number of LuchsHai speeder technicals with mounted artillery. These artillery pieces would be needed to crack the walls of Fort Imperium, which no massed infantry charge or man-portable weapon could possibly accomplish. Only if both succeeded would the city fully fall.

Of course, the Mawites also had a secret weapon, held in reserve for if either plan should falter.

Commanding the city's defenses was General Erskine Barran Erskine Barran , who oversaw the defense from Fort Imperium, in the heart of the Myrmidon Quarter. Barran divided the defenders into five Strikegroups: Archais, in the Myrmidon Quarter; Bescane, in the upper Fiyarro District; Cathar, a roving special forces group ready to rapidly respond to Mawite landings; Diab, in the lower Fiyarro and upper Pellaeon districts; and Er'kit, an armored group operating on the eastern side of the city. Also present were forces led by Aurelian Sigismund of Vandemar, who immediately struck out from Fort Imperium to head off the Bloodsworn advance toward the spaceport. All five Strikegroups came under immediate attack by Mawite marauders and death cultists, and brutal street battles broke out across the city.

In between the big Mawite pushes, small-scale struggles raged everywhere. The gunships of Strikegroup Cathar were almost immediately shot down, leaving the few survivors of Vandal Squad - Sephi Karneh and Kolson Vrask - separated and stranded in a district overrun by Mawites. Running gun battles ensued as both fought desperately to survive. Ortʹtʹo Mikla had a similar experience nearer the Myrmidon Quarter, ambushed and nearly killed by a gang of marauders while setting fission explosive traps; he escaped only by the skin of his teeth. A brutal duel soon broke out when the Mawite warlord Darth Maestus and her small, elite tribe of Chosen clashed with Imperial Knight Mogra'teksa and her troops, a struggle that left many corpses in its wake and saw both champions wounded.

Willan Tal, in command of the Galidraani 1st and 2nd divisions, resorted to brutal tactics to slow the Mawite advance: he ordered his artillery to fire into the city, leveling entire blocks filled with innocent Imperial citizens. This callous decision did succeed in greatly thinning the ranks of the Brotherhood, stealing much of their momentum. The Scar Hounds took heavy losses, and were able to proceed only by huddling around portable squad shields, reaching the outskirts of the Saffia District with less than half their original numbers. The Bloodsworn were also forced to hunker down, sheltering beneath rubble as they fought to bypass Sigismund's armored division. The main thrust of their assault slowed to a crawl, then stopped... but Steelblood had cleverly sent out a flanking force that kept moving.

The losses inflicted on the Maw here might well have decided the battle outright, if not for the presence of Darth Caelitus. The sinister Dark Lord unleashed his necromancy, and those who fell on both sides soon rose again, swelling the ranks of his Perished servants. Even as heroes of the New Imperial Order fought back against his undead horde - Imperial Knights Errant Errant and Waymar Dathrohan, the witch Amaya Vollmond, and COMPNOR agent Asa Yubari - they could not fully halt the unending rise of his minions. Only Aemilio Valaar of the 501st, stationed in the Fiyarro district, found a way to efficiently counter the necromancy: he set up body dumps covered by the Force-repelling bubbles of ysalamiri, then had the corpses of the slain hauled off before they could be revived.

At the same time, the New Sith Order made their own crash-landing at the Hand of Thrawn. Their attack was led by the Dark Voice himself, Darth Solipsis Darth Solipsis , who was determined to symbolically defeat the Imperial Knights at their birthplace. Solipsis confronted Nirauan's ruler, Lucien Dooku, on roof of the fortress. Theirs was a brutal clash of blades and sorcery. Dooku's power impressed the Sith'ari, who informed him that he would be a powerful Sith without the influence of one dear to him - the Jedi Auteme. Dooku was enraged by Solipsis's offer to remove her, and unleashed his fury through the force. The entire roof collapsed, turning the "palm" of the hand into an open fissure. Many warriors plummeted inside, some to be crushed, others to survive... and plot their coming revenge.

Within the fortress throne room, Darth Mori, the Dark Lady of Death, confronted Imperator Rurik Fel in another deadly duel. Mori pushed Fel to the bring with her combination of sorcery and saber-wielding prowess, but Fel shot back with a powerful Decree that resonated through the Force. "I am the Empire," he declared. "I am Retribution. I will suffer the darkness no longer." Mori replied that she was the result of his retribution, the cost of vengeance, and ensnared his arm with tendrils of darkness. But the Imperator was ready, and unleashed a Shatterpoint technique so powerful that it blew apart not only Mori's lightsaber, but her arm. Harnessing the kinetic power of the explosion, Mori threw out a Force wave that cracked the very stones of the chamber, giving her time to retreat... for now.

The Imperator's decree strengthened the other Imperial Knights fighting throughout the fortress. Knight Ragnar Bloodfist managed to fight his way through Darth Tennacus's sinister Whispering Swarm of xenomorphs, and even to wound the powerful Sith with his saberstaff. Knight Khroraic was able to bring down the undead monster Kyrel Ren with light-infused slugthrower bullets, a feat even a lightaxe to the chest had failed to accomplish... though Ren's ravaged form, as always, eventually managed to rise again. Ren's son Jin Kyrel, once an Imperial Knight himself, fought to get past Knight Saaveina, but her golden shield held him at bay. Still, the fortress was being rapidly swarmed by undead and Sithspawn, and the situation remained dire. The Imperator's light couldn't save everyone.

At the outer defenses, Lord Executor Noel Strasza and her snipers fought back the Mawite hordes, and even managed to fend off a squad of Sith assassins... but those snipers soon ran afoul of the witch Tegan Starfall, who - even denied the Force by the NIO defenses - managed to use stealth and cunning to pick off many of them. Perpetual frenemies Konrad Harrsk and Auria Blackmoore Auria Blackmoore ran across the dark priest known as Jester, who attempted to ensnare Auria. Though he took many wounds in the fight, Jester turned the tables on his foes when Auria attempted to infiltrate his thoughts... and found them darker and more corrupting than she could possibly have imagined. Konrad reluctantly abandoned the fight to save his darkness-weakened companion from the vile Force-wielder.

In addition to battles for the fortress itself, battles raged to claim its secrets, for the Hand of Thrawn held extensive and vital NIO datavaults. COMPNOR agent Djorn Bline raced against New Sith infiltrator Letifer to claim the main databanks. Amoral scientist - and tax evader - Zori Kapshan, well paid by the Maw and accompanied by a potent force of droids, infiltrated the fortress library in search of its secrets, only to find Inquisitor Ignatius hot on his heels. And Ziare Dyarron, once captured and tortured by the Maw until she became someone else, fought a battle within and without. Even as she fended off Mawite attackers, the secret "Mercy" personality inside her surfaced, sending secret NIO information to her master The Mongrel. In the end, her divided mind fought for both sides.

In space, the situation began to look dire for the Brotherhood. Taskmaster Tu'teggacha commanded the Mawite Warfleet, a potent force... but one dwarfed by the power of the NIO defenders. Task Force Godhand, under Wilhuff Krieg, moved to engage the Brotherhood warships, while Fiolette Fortan's Task Force Kingsman established air superiority over Nirauan. This would have dire consequences for the Mawite ground forces, for Kingsman's bombing runs were devastating to the already-ravaged marauders in the streets of New Carannia. But the Mawite fleet could not change this. The divisions in the Dark Voice's loose confederation were beginning to show, for the Final Dawn support Tu'teggacha had hoped for did not materialize. He was on his own against more than twice his numbers.

Initially, the battle against Task Force Godhand went well, with Mawite skirmishers heavily damaging the shields of the attacking battlecruiser Antares Draco. But soon the NIO flagship Ferrata revealed itself and entered the fray, and the tide swiftly turned. The Brotherhood had no answer to the Ferrata's powerful Starbreaker seismic cannon, which shredded their frigates and badly damaged the Mawite flagship Fatalis. In desperation, the Mawites turned to old tactics, ramming enemy ships and deploying boarding pods in an effort to reduce the enemy's strength where their fleet's weapons could not do so well enough. But it was all too clear that the Mawites could not break one NIO battle group, let alone two. There would be no orbital support coming for the beleaguered ground forces.

Back on the ground, dwindling Mawites and swelling undead pushed forward, though the skies were full of Willan Tal's artillery shells and Fiolette Fortan's bombs and strafing runs. General Barran deployed Death Trooper reinforcements from the Myrmidon Quarter to support Sigismund's defense against the Bloodsworn, though the Paragon of Vandemar was occupied at the time - he and Steelblood were facing off in a duel to the death, a microcosm of their armies' clash. Barran also ordered Aemilio Valaar to link up with Strike Group Diab in the Pellaeon Quarter. Valaar and his troops joined forces with Aron Gowrie of Wildcat Battalion, who provided them with AFV transport, and Shai Krayt and Alex Eldar of 16th Company, a Mandalorian unit. Together they prepared a counterattack.

With the Bloodsworn pushing south and the Scar Hounds pushing east, their landing zone in the downtown area was vacant. Valaar and his new allies pushed northeast in a sweeping outflanking maneuver, hoping to secure the Mawite LZ and effectively encircle the entire marauder force. They could then squeeze southward, hoping to recreate the bloody last stand at Mongrel's Hill, which had seen only a single Mawite survivor. With their smoothbore artillery they opened fire on the Bloodsworn rear, and the 16th attacked them from the skies with basilisk war droids. Despite this constant pressure, Steelblood's flanking force managed to circumvent the bulk of Sigismund's forces and strike the spaceport from the west, opening a small but crucial gap in the NIO air defenses.

At the same time, shapechanging Fleshtaker infiltrators subtly sabotaged Fort Imperium's air defenses, creating another tiny gap. It was clear that the Mawite secret weapon was going to be needed. The marauder champion Kryll took to the skies aboard a spider cruiser, with the deadly device secured within its hold.

To the east, the Scar Hounds were under heavy fire. They had to contend not only with the artillery and bombing runs, but also with Strikegroup Er'kit's APCs and walkers. Nukth Kelga'an and Knight were instrumental in preventing the marauders from gaining full control of the entertainment district, using their armored vehicles to force the infantry-only Scar Hounds into ambushes and hit-and-run attacks. Still, the Mawites did eventually recover enough of their mobile artillery to begin their bombardment of Fort Imperium, if only a much more limited bombardment than they had hoped. Dodging NIO bombers and ground troops, the speeder technicals managed to create a modest-sized breach in the fort's walls. Immediately the Scar Hounds turned from the Saffia District and rushed the breach.

The Mongrel was not among them. He had seen the flare launched by Kolson Vrask, who was making a final stand among the Saffia District's ruins, and was determined to find and eliminate the source. Before he could reach Vrask, he was ambushed by Sephi Karneh, whose powerful sidearm and clever tactics swiftly did serious damage to his chassis. Still, she was already wounded and exhausted, and he was a towering, powerful cyborg. Unleashing his own gadgets, he brought her down, leaving her badly wounded. As he stalked forward to finish her, he told her that it was "a pity that the Avatars allow only their faithful into the Galaxy To Come." She looked back at him without fear, saying "well... tell 'em Vandal Squad sent you!" Then she stuck him with an armor-piercing EMP charge.

The resulting energy feedback put them both out of the fight, each hovering at the edge of death.

West of them, the Battle of the Myrmidon Breach was swiftly unfolding. General Barran took personal command of the defenders, fighting alongside Alric Árheim, whose knights and men at arms fought bravely against the undead and marauder hordes. The valiant defense faltered when Barran, under attack from all sides, was bitten in the hand by one of Caelitus's Perished. Feeling the corruption about to spread, the tough old general managed to hack off his own forearm, but had to be brought back inside Fort Imperium for urgent medical attention. Despite this setback, the defenders of Fort Imperium were strong and bold, and were managing to hold the breach. That was when the Brotherhood unleashed their secret weapon at last, one last chance to turn the tide in their favor.

Kryll's spider cruiser flew down over New Carannia, and the NIO immediately realized something sinister was afoot. At the command of Fiolette Fortan and Shai Krayt, every available starship and artillery piece targeted the cruiser, successfully shooting it down... and detonating its payload midair. Across the city, the surviving marauders had donned Nihil Masques when they heard the signal. These masques protected them from the terrible destruction unleashed by the Brotherhood's Sonic MOAB. A wave of lethal sound raced over New Carannia, killing countless soldiers and civilians... many of whom rose again among the ranks of the Perished. It was this bomb, this final gambit, that ultimately secured victory for the Maw. But the victory came at a terrible cost.

New Carannia was in ruins, and its key landmarks fell into Mawite hands as surviving NIO forces withdrew to regroup. But with the NIO maintaining space supremacy, and Nirauan far too distant for Mawite supply lines to sustain, an awkward situation developed: the Brotherhood, though they had accomplished their objectives, could not easily withdraw. The result was that the bulk of the brutalized marauder host, having lost well over two thirds of their number, were trapped on Nirauan. Many remained so for a full month, until the NIO reconquest began. Though they had proven that the NIO city world was no safer than Coruscant had been, winning a major symbolic victory, the Brotherhood had expended tremendous resources to do it, and had gained no territory or plunder in the process.

Coupled with the Mawite defeat at Jedha (and the internal turmoil of the Vinesworn Rebellion, precipitated by Kryll's final spiral into madness in the wake of the bomb), the horrific casualties at Nirauan brought the Brotherhood's first great push against its enemies to a halt. With so many troops dead and so many warships destroyed, the Maw needed time to rebuild before it could mount another significant attack. The bold and costly defenses of Nirauan and Jedha had managed two things. First, they had proven that the Brotherhood was better at ravaging territory than taking and holding it, a revelation that forced the Dark Voice to reconsider how the entire Maw was organized (and create his unifying Holy Crusaders). Second, it had bought the galaxy a reprieve, time to rebuild and rearm.

For the Second Great Hyperspace War was far from over...


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Each of these summaries took well over 6 hours of work.
Probably closer to 8. I stopped counting.
I read through both threads start to finish three times, taking exhaustive notes.
THEN I started to write.
I studied harder for this chit than for my Master's Degree.

I'm a total Chaos masochist and this was still too much.
If I missed something cool that you did, or said it wrong, I'm sorry.
Please send me a polite PM and I will fix it.
Thanks Chaos, luv u