Rumors of the Underhive (3 901 737.M41)

Warhammer 40K blog

This image was broadcast as part of the astropathic distress call broadcast from Strathos.

Word Bearers destroy floating city of Strathos

The floating loft-city of Strathos, in the Kadai System, appears to have been destroyed by an attack by the Word Bearers, a traitorous band of Space Marines who first won infamy when they rebelled against the Emperor in M31.

Warhammer 40K blogLittle is known about the disaster on Strathos, a vast chemical refinery complex that was in low orbit over the turbulent atmosphere of a gas giant on the outer edges of its star system. The last astropathic message broadcast from Strathos indicated that traitorous Astartes had seized control—and were shutting down—the city’s gravitic generators.

A task force of Imperial Navy ships, responding to the distress call, arrived three weeks later to find no sign of the city. It is believed that, with its generators shut down, the city was drawn down by the gas giant’s powerful gravity and burned up in the atmosphere.

With no escape pods found in orbit, it is likely that the city’s 2.4 million citizens are dead. As for the Word Bearers, they were long gone. Their location is unknown, as is the motive for their deadly attack.

Mutant psykers block caravan route to Totallia

Warhammer 40K blog

The mutants of Ungolath come in many shapes and sizes. Some are grotesque, misshapen perversions of the human form. Others appear outwardly to fall within genetic norms but possess dangerous heretical powers.

The newly infamous “Twisted Helix,” a mutant terrorist group on the world of Morkai, has occupied a portion of the lone caravan route that links the hive city of Totallia with the rest of the planet’s hive cities.

Having taken responsibility for the virus bomb attack on Golgenna, the Twisted Helix has been declared Excommunicate Traitoris, an edict that calls for the complete annihilation of the cult. This latest act of terrorism–effectively isolating an entire hive city—is deemed a direct threat to the sanctity of Imperial order.

A preliminary effort to dislodge the extremists failed, as lightly armed Arbiters and PDF troops dispatched from Charcharoth were repulsed by a small army of  armored, gene-augmented mutant warriors. These traitors, most likely from the mutant-controlled city of Ungolath, were entrenched in hastily dug fortifications.

Retreating troopers claimed many casualties were caused by iridescent warp fire generated by psykers deployed among the mutant scum.

Although vehemently debunked by Imperial authorities, such reports ring true. There have been repeated rumors that the Twisted Helix, self-proclaimed followers of the mutant leader Haruspex, has created a narcotics-enslaved coven of psykers.

There is no word yet when the Council of Electors will mobilize a second military attack to break this illegal blockade of Totallia.

Quarantine zone expanded around Warp Storm

Warhammer 40K blog

The Heart of Darkness has become increasingly turbulent and dangerous in recent months.

All space within 200 light years of the expanded Heart of Darkness is now under Imperial quarantine, effectively condemning hundreds of worlds to isolation from the Imperium for what could be years, decades, centuries, or even millennia.

Spacial anomalies, temporal rifts, radiation surges, and other lethal phenomena have been increasing in the region of the Warp Storm, which has been extremely volatile since it expanded dramatically earlier this year.

Of the more than 50 Imperial Navy vessels patrolling the Heart of Darkness, two have been destroyed by Warp-related phenomena, Imperial authorities say. All ships have been withdrawn from the quarantine zone, although a naval presence will continue to patrol and monitor the huge rift in normal space from a safer distance.

The quarantine imposes a harsh sentence on those worlds affected by the Imperial decree. During the Age of Strife, which lasted from M25 to M30, worlds isolated by warp storms often experienced a cultural and technological decline—some worlds reverting to a Stone Age culture. Others fell victim to the depredations of xeno or warp invaders.

Prophet of Pythia predicts “a giant reborn”

Thanks_edited-1The prophet of Pythia—a heretical religious leader sought by the Inquisition—has foretold the discovery of an ancient Titan lost during the Great Crusade of the Emperor.

Although Imperial officials seek to squash all reports of the prophecy, rumors are running wild at the prophet’s claim that the ancient Imperius Magnificant, a Mars Pattern Reaver-class Battle Titan, lies buried on the world of Lagash.

Lagash is one of a dozen ork-occupied worlds to the galactic north of Stigmata, a planet currently under Imperial quarantine for unknown reasons. Given the high concentration of greenskins in the region, no Imperial visit to Lagash has been reported in millennia.

Although Imperial authorities discount the prophecy as “mad ravings,” some suggest that the prophet learned of the Titan’s discovery from Rogue Traders—and seeks to build his credibility by passing on this knowledge in a bid to bolster his claim of prophecy.

In any case, Imperial authorities say there is absolutely no chance that an expedition will be sent to Lagash, despite reports that the Adeptus Mechanicus are lobbying for just such an effort.

Troops gathering for attack on rebellious Adydos III

Six regiments have been gathered so far to deal with the rebellion on Adydos III, where the citizenry earlier this year overthrew the planetary government and declared independence from the Imperium.

Commander of the Imperial task force assigned to suppress the rebellion, General Corbula Sulla, recently announced that he expects he will be ready to move on Adydos III before the end of the year.

Although Imperial authorities say publicly the rebellion will be quickly suppressed, some military analysts note that even a dozen regiments may not be sufficient, and Gen. Sulla is underestimating the military challenge of reconquering a planet of 13 billion citizens.

TheGMAs I’ve said before, some rumors represent firm plans for future battles, and some are ideas that are percolating—and may come to fruition in the future.

The prophecy of Pythia, for example, was sparked by a photo I saw of a metallic hand rising out of the ground—a modeling project of some hobbyist that I stumbled upon recently.

The terrain piece was so cool I’m tempted to build one for myself, which would make it a perfect objective for a battle between the Imperial and orks. Indeed, I’ve read of just such a battle in the “fluff” of the 40K universe, and I’m eager to recreate the event.

But we’ll see. So many ideas, so little time. Sigh.

Click here to see more of the art of Fredrik Eriksson.

Click here to see more of the art of Navroz Lal.

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

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