History

Warp storm activity raises fears

Warhammer 40K blog

The Heart of Darkness, a massive warp storm that’s coreward of the Imperial world of Attila.

Citizens across the Corvus Cluster were alarmed to see the night sky stained by an eerie reddish glow as the Heart of Darkness, a longstanding warp storm, expanded significantly in recent weeks.

This expansion—now visible on planets across three sectors—has raised concerns about the security of the entire region. Warp storms can obscure the signal of the Astronomican, increasing the danger that starships will be thrown off course—or even lost to the Warp.

It is unknown if this phenomenon threatens Imperial worlds adjacent to the warp storm, such as Attila, a planet noted for providing the Imperial Guard with the famed “Rough Riders”  mounted regiments.

On occasion, warp storms expand significantly, dooming entire star systems that are engulfed by the mysterious and sentient energies of the Warp.

Suddenly appearing in the night sky on 6 165 737.M41, the warp storm’s eerie glow sparked panic and rioting on numerous worlds. Rumors quickly spread about its meaning, with some viewing the storm’s appearance as a sign of impending doom, a warning from the Emperor, or—among the more scientifically minded—the harbinger of a centuries-long period of increasing warp storm activity.

Two phenomenon related to the warp storm are particularly worrying to Imperial authorities. For one, after sharing data with surrounding star systems, astronomers throughout the Sector report that the appearance of the Heart of Darkness above many worlds was observed at the same moment.

Given that some observers were dozens of light years apart, the reports indicate that light from the warp storm’s increased luminosity crossed nearly 100 lights years almost instantaneously. Such speed violates the laws of physics.

Also worrisome is that the warp storm appears on each world as a meter-long reddish stain in the sky.

This also is a violation of the laws of physics. Even if the Heart of Darkness has doubled in size, it should appear as a nothing larger than a normal red star in the night sky of the Belliose System. Yet the warp storm is as prominent in the sky of Belliose III as it is on Atilla, a world that is dozens of light years closer to the storm.

The noted astronomer, Aurelus Calvus, an acknowledged expert in warp storm activity, has surmised that these strange phenomenon related to the warp storm’s expansion can be attributed to the influence of the Warp itself.

“It is known that time and space operate differently outside the universe as we know it,” he said. “It may prove that these phenomenon can be attributed simply to the fact that the light of the warp storm is infused with the energies of the Warp. Such is the madness of an alternate dimension whose physical laws are different from our own.”

Imperial authorities insist there is no cause for alarm, and Calvus also urged calm. “It is premature to draw any conclusions from recent events,” he said. “It’s not uncommon for any storm, whether a terrestrial hurricane or a warp storm, to wax and wane over time.”

Despite such assurances, Imperial authorities have been ordered to watch to any unusual phenomenon in the region—from an uptick in cult activity to unusual conditions during interstellar travel.

Photo courtesy of the Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes, La Palma

The Corvus Cluster is a Warhammer 40K blog documenting our wargaming adventures in the fantastical sci-fi universe of Games Workshop.

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