Since the appearance of the Heart of Darkness in the night sky of many Sector worlds, the rumor mills have been busy in the underhives. Here’s the latest scuttlebutt:
An Imperial Navy cruiser has reported the appearance of a large Eldar fleet skirting the perimeter of the Heart of Darkness.
No information is available on when the xeno fleet was discovered—or the identity of the navy vessel that communicated the sighting. It is known, however, that naval patrols near the warp storm have increased since the Heart of Darkness expanded several months ago. (See Warp storm activity raises fears)
According to authorities at Nguyen Naval Base in the Belliose System, the Eldar fleet—consisting of 20 vessels—does not pose an immediate threat to Imperial worlds. It is believed the xeno’s interest in the warp storm is scientific in nature.
Mysterious illness reported on numerous worlds
More than a score of planets in at least three sectors have reported outbreaks of a mysterious ailment that destroys the minds of its victims and leaves nothing left but violent, disease-ridden madmen to threaten the healthy.
Reported soon after the expansion of the Heart of Darkness, some whisper the illness is a return of the Kassig Plague, which claimed millions of victims nearly two centuries ago. (See Chaos Warlock Voloh Gudag)
Imperial authorities dismiss such gossip, yet an Imperial Navy vessel fired upon—and destroyed—a merchant ship that approached Belliose III with a request that medical assistance be provided to aid the ship’s crew with a “growing epidemic” on board.
Shipping banned on Dryilian Warp Route
It is official: The rumors were true that an Edict of Vetitum Locus would be declared, prohibiting Imperial shipping on the warp route that passes between the Stigmata and Dryilian Systems.
Numerous merchant vessels—and, it’s rumored, an entire naval task force—have disappeared along the once-busy warp route.
The latest ship to disappear was The Pride of Belliose, a Jericho-class transporter, owned by House Feracci. The ship’s astropath signaled the ship was under attack by “metal monsters.”
Imperial defenses on Hegira reinforced with armor
Three armored companies of the 728th Cadian Regiment, delayed in its arrival by turbulent conditions in the Warp, finally have caught up with the rest of the regiment that’s been battling ork invaders on Hegira for nearly two years.
The third through sixth armored companies arrived in the Sculptor System on 3 334 737.M41. At least 6 percent of the Imperial Guardsmen aboard, as well as 10 percent of the transport ship’s crew, are listed as fatalities.
Reports suggest the ship, In the Emperor’s Footsteps, was buffeted by serious turbulence and that its Gellar Field failed for just an instant—not long enough to allow Warp entities to enter the ship, but enough to expose the crew and passengers to the madness of the Immaterium. A number of individuals reportedly were driven insane, and the regiment’s commissars were forced to summarily execute entire squads of guardsmen.
It is rumored that the three companies will undergo an extensive psychological evaluation before any guardsmen are permitted to move about freely—or gain access to a weapon.
Artwork of eldar fleet, titled “It’s BIG ALRIGHT,” is courtesy of The First Magelord of the DeviantArt website. Click here to see more of his art.
The Corvus Cluster is a Warhammer 40K blog documenting our adventures in the fantastical sci-fi universe of Games Workshop.