The Hasmides System lies on the main trade route through the Achernar Sector at the confluence of the Koyrus and Iosmiri warp routes. It is the location of the Achenar sector Scholastia Psykana. With excellent connections between the sector and the rest of the Imperium, Hasmides had boomed in the early years of the Achaner sector, however as nearby Kaprun began to establish itself as the capital world, Hasmides found itself a world in decline. Until recently it was a quietly prosperous world, well connected but generally overlooked in favour of more important worlds. Recent events, however, have changed things considerably.
The Word is Borne to Hasmides
Hasmides Prime is currently an active warzone following an assault by a substantial force of Word Bearers Heretic Astartes operating under the direction of Khairon. Cults were seeded prior to the attack proper, the first hint of which was seen in a mission by Drake's team to extract an agent in deep cover. There were indications that something significant was afoot, and the Ordos Kaprun were warned of impending trouble.
The insurrection begins
Kaprun's Inquisitors found out about the impending insurrections far too late to stop all of them. Transport and religious sites were bombed, suicidal cults roamed the streets spreading as much fear as possible before being gunned down by the Magistratum, and heretical priests attempted forbidden rituals. At the same time, a cell of insurrectionists in the Kaprun system conducted a bombing of the Offices of the Admiralty on the Aureole orbital, slaying Admiral Tryphosa and her command staff, compelling a stunned Vice-Admiral Laius Ortano to assume command of the fleet and attempt to coordinate a response without the benefit of central Naval Intelligence.
The Invasion Proper
A fleet of modern Astartes-pattern warships arrived in-system claiming to be the Cobalt Scions, a newly-founded loyalist chapter. They assured Hasmides' government that they had come to help quell the insurrection. In reality, they were Word Bearers operating stolen Astartes vessels. With six full companies of marines at their disposal, they smashed the planet's defences and destroyed a huge amount of its government and infrastructure. The planetary governor was slain within the first seven minutes of the planetstrike operation.
For the next three days, demoralised planetary defence forces lacking any central control were butchered by the Astartes, leaving the heretical cults free to recruit or coerce much of the population into joining their cause.
Acting Admiral Ortano moved against the Hasmides system with almost every vessel in Battlefleet Achernar, leaving most of the usual patrol routes unguarded in a desperate bid to strike a decisive blow. The Word Bearers, expecting a response, were already starting to pull out of the now-ruined planet even as Battlefleet Achernar massed in the Kaprun system. By the time Ortano's forces arrived, the Word Bearers' fleet was already underway and heading for the Mandeville Point to escape into the warp.
Proceeding with all speed, Ortano managed to cut them off and force an engagement in what quickly became the Battle of Hasmides. As Ortano hoped, the engagement proved decisive, with most of the Chaos fleet being defeated in exchange for acceptable losses, but not without incident. The Imperial fleet spread out to enclose the foe, which in turn left Ortano's flagship, the battleshipDammerung, dangerously exposed. The Word Bearers rammed and then boarded it from their battle barge, disabling enough ship systems that they could retreat with their remaining vessels, while the rest of the Navy's fleet endeavoured, too slowly, to come about.
The Word Bearers had lost most of their fleet, but the damage to Imperial morale in the sector was significant. Hasmides remained an active combat zone full of heretical cultists and worse, the reputation of the Cobalt Scions was tainted before they had even arrived in the area, the Navy's supreme commander was dead, its flagship would need months of repairs, and the knowledge that a Heretic Astartes battle barge and strike cruiser remained at large in the region sewed widespread fear.