|Casualties and losses|
The Archanis Campaign was a conflict between the United Federation of Planets and the Hunters of D'Ghor in 2399, primarily in the Archanis Sector territory held by the Federation. It began with D'Ghor raids against Federation colonies and Starfleet infrastructure, the region under-defended after over two decades of peace with the Klingon Empire. Starfleet responded by dispatching the Fourth Fleet to bolster defences, provide humanitarian support to civilians, and pursue and eliminate the D'Ghor. After multiple weeks of operations, the D'Ghor launched a consolidated assault against key Federation systems, a surprise strike anticipated by Starfleet, who were reinforced by a strike team from the Klingon Defense Force. The ensuing Battle of Archanis was won by the KDF-Starfleet forces, with the D'Ghor forces decimated and the leader Kuskir, son of D'Ghor, captured.
While lone raiders may remain in the sector and the campaign has left the region devastated and vulnerable, the sustained D'Ghor assault and significant Starfleet mobilisation is over.
In mid-2399, a faction of D'Ghor ships assembled under the leadership of Kuskir, son of D'Ghor. Starfleet has limited knowledge of Kuskir's background or previous role within the Hunters, though he was believed a less influential member of the family than the heir apparent, D'Ghor's daughter D'Ghenas. At some point he secured the loyalty of enough D'Ghor captains to form a significant independent strike force, which he directed to raid Federation territory.
The Archanis Sector had long been considered by Starfleet a low strategic priority. The region had not been militarily vulnerable since the Klingon-Federation conflicts of the 2370s, and the subsequent stability of the Khitomer Accords meant few resources were directed to the border's defense. This, and the dense civilian population and rich local economy made the sector a prime raiding target for the D'Ghor.
Course of Campaign
In late May 2399, the D'Ghor launched a series of unanticipated raids against Federation-held targets in the Archanis Sector. Attacks from either lone vessels or groups of no more than three hit border defences, freight shipments, and colony worlds. Notable among these targets were the systems of the Meronia Cluster, a breadbasket of the region already afflicted by a crop blight, and the Talmiru System, situated deeper within Federation space than any other colony world attacked. The attacks included theft of valuable resources and damage to industrial and strategic infrastructure, but it was the D'Ghor's proclivity for wholesale slaughter of enemies, including civilians, that stood out.
The local Starfleet defence force, Task Group 27, was wholly unprepared for the attack. With the low strategic priority of the sector, the Task Group consisted largely of last-generation starships conducting wide-spread patrols to support civilian interests. Even where their ships met or could respond to D'Ghor strikes, they were largely outmatched by the firepower and ferocity of the Klingon raiders, and their initial losses were heavy. All immediate reports from the sector made it clear local defences could not contend either with this threat, or with the now-massive humanitarian needs of targeted colonies.
Overtures made to the Klingon Empire for assistance with the D'Ghor met deaf ears. The House of Rahtekk, sworn to the House of Lorkoth and the nearest neighbouring House, gave no more than a commitment to assist fighting the D'Ghor solely within Imperial territory. Starfleet Intelligence assessed that Imperial Houses were more focused on current territorial conflicts with the Gorn Hegemony, and were loath to divert forces either from this battle-front, or from their own territories with the risk it would leave them exposed in turn.
Left to shoulder the defence of Archanis themselves, Starfleet thus dispatched forces from the Fourth Fleet, led by Intelligence Director Rear Admiral Beckett, to the border. This multi-lateral operation directed the fleet's Task Forces to manage the disparate crises of Archanis, from border defence to civilian support to rebuilding border defence systems. The Fourth Fleet rallied to Starbase 27 ahead of this undertaking, assisted regionally by the remaining forces of Task Group 27.
Multiple key missions were given to Fourth Fleet ships, such as Task Force 93's support for the Meronia Cluster - notably including the USS Ahwahnee's escort of an essential relief convoy - and Task Force 17's construction of the Archanis Array, a sensor detection grid designed to anticipate future strikes.
Countering the D'Ghor
Turning the tide was a slow process. Starfleet rallied to the colonies in most desperate need while eliminating D'Ghor strike forces and bolstering defences against further attacks. Circumstances in the Meronia Cluster were eased by the efforts of the USS Vesta and the USS Devastator, who repelled lingering D'Ghor ships, while the Ahwahnee faced vicious opposition on her escort mission, the convoy protection detail suffering heavy losses before reaching the Meronia Cluster. Starfleet counter-strikes against D'Ghor forces met success, including the USS Endeavour's hunt and defeat of one of their largest warships and most notable commanders, and the USS Tesla's confrontation of and victory over D'Ghor forces in the Praxis System.
The construction of the Archanis Array was heavily opposed by the D'Ghor, who launched multiple attacks on civilian targets to force the ships of Task Force 17 away from this operation, and an attack on the Haydorian System itself, the site of the central array, left the USS Odyssey seriously damaged. Securing the system and continuing construction operations required a combined mission of multiple Fourth Fleet ships, delaying the deployment of the Array.
Reports from disparate operations and sources suggested the D'Ghor had cast a wide net for their campaign into Archanis. A Hazard Team of the USS Arcturus answered a distress call of Orion refugees fleeing from Klingon space, while the USS Yorktown, several hundred light-years from the Archanis Sector, discovered and destroyed a D'Ghor weapons facility. A Hazard Team of Task Force 93 identified likewise identified and eliminated distant D'Ghor operations within The Triangle supporting the Archanis Sector. The indiscriminate nature of the D'Ghor's raids delivered several unusual allies to Starfleet, such as the independent bird-of-prey Vondem Thorn which launched several attacks on D'Ghor ships, by rumour with the blessing and support of several Starfleet captains.
The Battle of Archanis
With data gathered from these encounters, Fourth Fleet Intelligence anticipated the next D'Ghor move: a major strike against the Archanis, Taldir, and Legera systems. Three of the most heavily-populated systems near the border, officers theorised that Kuskir had targeted them only once Starfleet had deployed in force, the D'Ghor desiring a mass battle. Under the command of Admiral Beckett, ships of the Fourth Fleet and Task Group 27 rallied to meet this strike. Furthermore, ongoing diplomatic overtures to the Klingon Empire finally bore fruit. Envoys from Task Force 72 under Rear Admiral Belvedere secured a commitment of a KDF strike team, though these forces reached the Archanis Sector only after battle had broken out.
Despite this advance warning, Starfleet's preparation suffered setbacks. A secondary, smaller strike force was detected en route to the Haydorian System and the Archanis Array, whose construction would halt any further D'Ghor operations in their tracks. Starships from Task Force 17 and Task Force 86 deployed to repel this assault, challenged by the D'Ghor deliberately attacking civilian targets to try to divert Starfleet from protecting the array, and thus victory was not without losses.
Forces at Archanis, Taldir, and Legera were ultimately victorious against the D'Ghor strike, the early detection of the attack having allowed sophisticated defence tactics and the timely arrival of the KDF strike force turning the tide. The D'Ghor suffered massive losses before their scattered retreat, pursued by Imperial ships, and Kuskir, son of D'Ghor, was captured by Starfleet.
With the back broken of regional D'Ghor forces, no more than lone sightings of their ships were reported in the sector after the battle. This was verified by the Archanis Array, whose coverage allowed early detection of any further attacks of the Hunters. Admiral Beckett was satisfied that the danger was past, and the Fourth Fleet stood down to largely return to their previous operations.
Word of the D'Ghor's attack on the Archanis Sector had horrified the wider Federation, as what might have once been dismissed as the common danger of a distant border was escalated in the public eye by the deliberate targeting and slaughter of civilians. With the danger passed, the Federation committed to assisting the long-term recovery of the sector. With multiple colonies heavily damaged or destroyed and local faith in the Federation or Starfleet shaken, this has promised to be a significant project. Furthermore, intelligence suggested the Orion Syndicate may have played some role in supporting D'Ghor operations, an issue requiring further investigation. As such, some Starfleet ships beyond merely Task Group 27 have remained or been posted to assist in ongoing operations within the Archanis Sector.
It remains unclear what impact the D'Ghor's attack will have upon Federation policy. The campaign saw an unusually large amount of public sympathy for such a remote region in an era where Federation interests have prioritised internal defences, rather than border protection. Meanwhile, some in Starfleet - including Admiral Beckett - have tried to downplay the significance of the attack, fearing the danger would be used to justify pulling back Starfleet operations beyond the Federation's borders and immediate protection. Perhaps the most undeniably positive fallout of the campaign, however, has been a renewed commitment of mutual defence and aid between the United Federation of Planets and the Klingon Empire.
The condition of D'Ghor forces, with the loss of so many ships and one of D'Ghor's sons remains unknown. For now, the D'Ghor appear to have gone into hiding.
Out of Character
The Archanis Campaign was the first Campaign run by the Lore Office, starting in February 2021 and running for 10 weeks. During this period, Bravo Fleet writers produced more than a quarter of a million words in their stories depicting the Fourth Fleet's adventures against the D'Ghor. The description above is only a summary of some of the most notable In Character events. The archives of this campaign can be found on the Bravo Fleet Forums.