Just as the Iron Warriors where about to breach the defenses of the Imperial Palace on Terra, Horus fell at the hands of the Emperor. The aftermath removed any chance of Perturabo defeating the Imperial forces and specifically the Imperial Fists on Terra. Subsequently, Perturabo designed a trap for Dorn on the planet of Sebastus IV. There Perturabo had created the self styled “Eternal Fortress” that was nothing more than a sophisticated trap. The design encompassed twenty square miles of bunkers, towers, minefields, trenches, razorwire, tank traps and redoubts. At the center was a keep that acted solely as a decoy. Under the keep were a series of underground tunnels that extended outwards in a radial fashion. Using concealed doors, these tunnels connected to all the battlements. The design was ingenious and with an intent not to protect but to contain and kill.
Upon hearing of Perturabo’s fortification, Rogal Dorn publicly announced that the Imperial Fists would “dig Perturabo out of his hole and bring him back to Terra in an Iron Cage.” Roboute Guilliman attempted to dissuade Dorn from taking on the Iron Warriors alone. However, Dorn’s arrogance got the better of him and he declined any help. The Imperial Fists undertook the mission alone.
The Iron Warriors aware that Dorn had taken the bait prepared for what would be Perturabo’s climactic moment. The IV Legion waited underground as the orbital bombardment began. The Iron Warriors lured the Imperial Fists with their every move. First, the silos used to counter the orbital bombardment were placed strategically away from the fortifications. When the Imperial Fists assaulted them, they were destroyed killing all that were near. The arsenal in the silos were enough to deliberately create a dust cloud so large that the atmosphere was blanketed with debris resulting in lost communications between the Imperial Fists ground troops and orbital fleet. The silos exploding signaled to the Iron Warriors fleet to attack the unprepared Imperial Fists fleet. Taken by surprise and with reduced fighter craft due to the troop landings, the Imperial Fists fleet was forced out of position and unable to provide any support. Not being able to see the battlefield was not an issue for Iron Warriors fleet. They had already been given coordinates anticipating where the Imperial Fists would mass their troops. As the Imperial Fists marched in column formations they were decimated by the combined fire of the fortified Iron Warriors as well as the orbital bombardment.
Awaiting the Imperial Fists was a game of cat and mouse. The underground tunnels allowed the Iron Warriors to dictate when and where they would fight as well as provide a stealthy retreat. Perturabo’s tactics fractured the Imperial Fists Legion into companies, squads and eventually single marines. It was reported that the piles of Imperial Fists dead served as cover for those that remained. Rogal Dorn had anticipated an honorable battle and instead he walked into a never ending ambush that cost him nearly his entire Legion. Perturabo took pleasure in watching Dorn scream out challenges for one to one combat. After 3 months of torment, the Ultramarines arrived and breached the atmosphere with their transports to evacuate the Imperial Fists. As the wounded were being moved, Perturabo continued to disrupt the evacuation. Afterwards Rogal Dorn was broken and the Imperial Fists would not be able to mount an effective force for another 19 years.
With the conclusion of Sebastus IV, Perturabo had completed his revenge. Thereafter, Perturabo took the captured gene-seed and sacrificed it to the Chaos Gods. In return, the Chaos Gods granted Perturabo with accession to Daemon Prince.
Index Astartes I
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