In the latest Psychic Awakening Narrative, a besieged chapter of the Adeptus Astartes calls for aid – but will they survive the Ork onslaught?
In The Stand of the Sabre, author Callum Davis explores yet another battlefield in the Grimdark as the Space Marines of the Obsidian Jaguars face off against the Orks. Things are looking pretty bleak as the Astartes are fighting from a defensive position. The weight of numbers is on the Ork’s side of the fight and it seems like the fighting has been going on for untold days.
The story is a pretty quick read. We’re going to discuss some aspects of it below so READ IT FIRST – Spoilers below.
First things first – the Obsidian Jaguars, as far as we can tell, are a new chapter that was created for this story. Loremasters out there, if you can find another reference to them, let us know in the comments. As of writing this, they don’t have a Lexicanum Page but I’m sure that will be added later. That said, they apparently do have some history with the Space Wolves who fought beside them before.
That fight was against the “Heretic Astartes on Bennghil VII.” Yet another new location that can be added to the Grimdark Galaxy map. We have no other information about that particular fight other than it was a battle where the Space Wolves gifted the Obsidian Jaguar’s a Arcus Strike Tank.
The battle itself is taking place on the Obsidian Jaguars’ homeworld and they have bunkered up inside their Fortress Monastery: The Sabre. Their home base is very well defended with 100 meter thick walls of volcanic rock. And while the Sabre has never fallen, things aren’t looking great. Ammo reserves are running low. And while the Marines are able to keep-up with the physical toll, their support staff (ie the servants and servitors) are starting to really show signs of fatigue.
It’s unclear just how long this fight has been going on, but if the servants “proud uniforms had been reduced to rags and their fine leather boots had been cut down to strips bound to blackened feet by discarded rope” then that SOUNDS like a pretty long time! The Obsidian Jaguars had issued an astropathic distress signal for the return of their chapter – but the call had not been answered yet. So it’s basically the garrison versus an unknown number of Orks.
In terms of numbers – we don’t get many for the Orks. However they are described as “a green tide submerging the thousands of wrecked vehicles that carpeted the open plains.” That’s…a lot. I get that this is supposed to be a heroic battle holding the line against this unknown horde. That’s why it’s both funny and telling that the POV character Captain Meznan wishes for a moment that he had “a score of Wolves to fight” with them. A “score” is 20 – so he’s wishing to have just 20 Space Wolves to help with the defense against a seemingly endless horde of Orks. We also haven’t mentioned the “numberless” Ork vessels in space, too.
Just 20 Space Wolves? Maybe that’s the point. We often lose sight of the numbers or the scale of a Warhammer 40k conflict because of our own experiences on the tabletop. The Lore in the Grimdark doesn’t line up with the way Space Marines perform on the tabletop. Yes, even with the current meta. The Marines in the Lore are more Movie Marine than what their tabletop rules showcase.
If the combined numbers of the remaining Obsidian Jaguars and 20 Space Wolves could turn the tide (at least in Meznan’s eyes) then that’s how bad ass the Space Wolves are supposed to be (in the lore). Either that or he has a death wish. Regardless, this story is all a setup. It’s part of the Psychic Awakening story arc and it’s very clearly positioning a Space Wolf vs Ork showdown. That much has been confirmed by Games Workshop. Plus, it’s Saga of the Beast!
The Space Wolves are going to come in guns blazing. They might heroically rescue the beleaguered Obsidian Jaguars – or they might be on a mission of revenge. It just depends on when they decide to show-up to fight the Orks.
What do you think? Can the Astartes of the Obsidian Jaguars hold out for reinforcements or will they be too late to save them?