We’re the Green Death brother. Ain’t no kakkin’ greenie messes with us an’ lives. Private Hobb, 1st squad, overheard during furlough in Gulch City
The splintered remnants of first squad make a hasty retreat from the plantation to a hunting lodge in the foothills of the Blackyoke Mountains.
While Fausta rests and recovers, it becomes clear that the liberated prisoners are somewhat unusual, mostly likely off-worlders. Sly overhears them arguing about taking the guardsmen to the Duke.
Fausta takes the initiatve and questions Ghill about the Duke and his trustworthiness. Bog overhears this exchange, and decides to show his hand. He offers to take the guardsmen to speak with the Duke, claiming they will be safer in the mountains.
The group votes, and though there are dissenting voices, the majority choose to go with Bog.
After a further two days hike into the mountains they come upon a Marchman encampment in an abandoned quarry. The Duke greets the guardsmen warmly, offering them refreshments. He shares his concerns and outlines the dire situation faced by the March militias.
His scouts report a large contingent of Orks, perhaps a thousand strong, with mechanized forces, moving towards the mountains. The only place they can cross in such numbers is the Yoke, a large rock formation straddling the widest pass through the mountains.
He outlines a plan to lure the Orks into an ambush and collapse the Yoke, blocking the pass. The Orks will remain a threat, but will be unable to link up with Feral tribes to the east. The guardsmen agree to assist and set about making preparations.
Fausta heads south with Bog to secure an abandoned Hellhound mired in some marshland.
Sly heads north to Fort Brevisbridge with Ghill to speak with Lt Aesman and make contact with his own platoon. Mordecai remains with the Marchmen and oversees the setting of traps and obstacles in the pass, and also renders vital medical assistance to injured militiamen.
Sly receives a cold reception at Brevisbridge, confronted by Commissar Skorse and questioned about his absence. He succeeds in blunting the Commissar’s questions and convinces Lt Aesman to provide explosives and a sapper to aid in destroying the Yoke.
Sergeant Surko also agrees to dispatch reinforcements from Fort Idlecliff. Sly also learns of his squad’s return to Fort Idlecliff and the demise of Bosko. Saddened, he returns to the Yoke with haste.
Fausta, meanwhile has been busy excavating the Hellhound. After a failed attempt to start the engine, she makes creative use of some spare parts from a mired Chimera and coaxes the beast back to life. Vek and Bog take up gunnery duties, while Fausta navigates the dilapidated tank back to the Yoke. She arrives just in time.
Ork forces are surging through the pass. In the vanguard are several warbikes and warbuggies, and lumbering further back is the Boss and his Battlewagon. Sly snipes the Boss, causing considerable injury. Mordecai blasts a rider from his warbike, sending it careening into the boulder blockade.
Hearing the chaos of battle, Fausta urges the Hellhound forward, pushing it’s engine to the limits. The tank reaches the Yoke just as the first Ork mechanised forces begin to spill through. Sheets of flame and torrents of tracer fire engulf the first Ork waves. A single warbuggy manouevres itself through and in a typically Orky display the gunner leaps aboard the Hellhound. Fausta and Vek blast the Ork moments before it can unleash a stikkbomb.
The battlewagon surges forward with uncanny speed grating along the side of the pass. Ork grapples fix themselves to the pass walls and Orks begin to climb the ropes. Several make the climb into close-combat with the Marchmen and Sly narrowly avoids engagement by blasting desperately with his sawn-off shotgun.
The first charges go off, causing half of the Yoke to collapse. The eastern charges fail to detonate and there is a moment of confusion. To the relief of all, continued fire on the battlewagon causes a secondary detonation and the remaining charges trigger, collapsing the Yoke. Hundreds of Ork infantry are crushed, as several hundred tonnes of rock falls inward. Their Boss dead and the pass blocked, the Ork forces scatter in disarray. 4th platoon arrives in force and continues to drive the Orks backwards out of the pass.
A cheer goes up along the line and the Marchmen surge forward with renewed vigour. Two hundred voices ring out in unison, praising the Emperor for their glorious victory. The day is won!