War of Fire and Shadow
Deep in the 37th Millennium the Emperors Dragons were left reeling after a brutal and costly war against Hive Fleet Medusa. The Tyranid advance had been halted and eventually destroyed by the might of the Dragon Legion but the casualties had been incredible. Almost a quarter of the legion had lost their lives in the defence of the Imperium. Even with the pre-emptive, demi godlike power of a Primarch spearheading the defence, the cost of lives had been inevitable and the entirety of the Imperial forces would have likely been lost altogether had none other than a primarch led them.
It was during the turmoil of regrouping and recovery, a roving company a Night Lord’s chanced upon a world under the Emperor’s Dragons protection and slipped secretly into orbit. Not knowing who the Loyalist Astartes were, they assumed it was just another weak upstart second founding chapter and prepared to wreak havoc and death amongst them. From the dead astartes they would loot and pilfer what they could to rearm themselves and repair their tired battered ship. With greed and violence in their hearts they descended upon the world, making way to the capital city and prepared themselves for a war of terror and carnage.
Little did they know who and what they were about to face.
Initially the Night Lords found success. Killing a squad of Emperor’s Dragons on patrol, they used skills sharpened by millennia to successfully launch an ambush to kill them. Before the last Loyalist could be killed however, he was able to send a warning signal to his brothers deeper in the city, though with a fraction of time between the message being sent and the death he knew was coming, the warning simply stated “traitor astartes, ambush”.
This message would eventually find its way to Achilles, captain of the 4th Chapter, 2nd Division Emperors Dragons Legion. This newly promoted captain was an incredibly capable tactician and a swordsman without peer. More than this, he was an Emperors Dragon. Pre-emptive counter attacks were the signature of the legion and as the attacks started to increase throughout the city and more lives were lost, particularly upon the civilians, the Dragons quickly adapted to the war they were fighting and started launching ambushes of their own.
Over the next month the Emperors Dragons would stand toe to toe against the traitorous marines of old and eventually start pushing them back. Achilles would call down more brothers from nearby sectors and the Night Lords were astounded when not just hundreds, but thousands of Emperors Dragons made planet fall.
Seeing that the war was lost, their tactics were being turned against them and the numbers becoming outrageously one sided, the Night Lords made a fighting retreat to their ship on the outskirts of the city.
The final moments of the traitors would be aboard their ship, crippled as it sat in orbit after making a desperate attempt to flee the world. In a boarding action launched from Thunderhawk Gunships, the last of the Night Lords were hunted down and killed, though not without losses. At its climax upon the bridge of the crippled ship, Achilles would challenge and duel the Night Lord Captain in single combat and slay him in a brutal melee that would end with the Dragon Captain burying his sword in the traitors throat, hatred spitting from his ruined mouth.
The brutality of the Night Lords would never be forgotten, and the cost to Astartes lives and civilian alike had been far to high. The Emperor’s Dragons had encountered a new enemy, and new lessons learned to a darker type of war.