The Defence of Hermetica was a notable Imperial military campaign carried out by the Minotaurs Space Marine Chapter against the forces of the Word Bearers Traitor Legion on the world of Hermetica in 760.M41. This vital Hive World was the capital of the Chonma Sector in the Segmentum Solar, and it came under a massive assault from a vast mutant horde numbering in the millions, led by the armies of the Word Bearers Dark Apostle Leyak the Devourer in 659.M41. The Chaos attack arrived from a Warp Rift that opened on the system's edge and was carried aboard a colossal Space Hulk designated the Nightmare Paradox.
Although Hermetica was well-protected, owing to the suddenness of the onslaught and the sheer scale of the Chaotic attack, the system's outer defences were soon overwhelmed, and the trans-continental hive cities of Hermetica itself swiftly became battlegrounds on which its beleaguered defenders fought desperately against the tide of damned horrors that assailed them. In 760.M41, the Minotaurs Chapter were the first outside force to respond to Hermetica's strangled pleas for help, and using their Chapter fleet's firepower for cover, they cut off the invaders from orbit and swiftly counter-assaulted the main Chaotic foothold on the planet at Hive Casaubon, centered on the Basilica of Saint Lehsor the Anchorite.
The Minotaurs' assault was devastating and indiscriminate, and after a heavy bombardment of their landing zones they smashed through the cathedral district's plazas and temples in attack columns of heavy armour heedless of the cost in civilian lives. The Minotaurs' advance was relentless, blasting apart any strong point they encountered and driving the enemy before them along with thousands of trapped civilians fleeing the carnage but who had nowhere to run.
Swiftly the cathedral complex itself was encircled and bombarded; its kilometre-high main spire toppled in a crossfire of turbo-laser strikes from the wings of the Minotaurs' Thunderhawk gunships. Into this storm of debris and ash, the Terminators and assault squads of the Chapter attacked to wipe out any survivors, led by their Chapter Master Asterion Moloc at the forefront of the attack. Fighting his way into the depths of the basilica vaults, it was Asterion Moloc who slaughtered the foul Leyak's daemon-possessed bodyguard and struck a mortal blow to their hulking, toad-like master. But before the fatal stroke could be dealt to the Dark Apostle, he fled into the Warp through the use of his black arts.
The degenerate mutant tide fought on, but now leaderless and without direction, it was beaten back and contained until the arrival of the Imperial 17th Battle Group and Imperial Guard regiments from Necromunda which purged the world of the Chaos taint. Deflected from its course by Nova Cannon strikes, the Hulk Nightmare Paradox, now silent, occupies a quarantined orbit in the distant reaches of the star system, awaiting further detailed examination by the Grey Knights and the agents of the Adeptus Mechanicus.
- Imperial Armour Volume Ten, The Badab War - Part Two, pg. 109