“We found them at the edge of the valley where the sky was ablaze with a strange light. They were half-blind, tears of blood flowing from their eyes, noses, and ears. They kept ranting about flaming skies, mountains of skulls, and other nonsense. Most of them died before we could get medics to the scene.”—Excerpt of report by Sgt. Matius Grentanus, 3rd Platoon, 2nd Battaltion, 728th Cadian Regiment, responding to a distress call by an expedition that investigated strange phenomenon to the southeast of the Barad Mine.
+ Security Clearance Alpha Omega 1 +
SUBJECT: Possible Warp Phenomenon
REPORT BY: Commissar-Major Rael Dracos
REPORT TO: General Tiberius Vectrix
FILE: Warp Taint, Barad Mine Sector, Hegira
CROSS FILE: Warp, Ruinous Powers, Heresy
INPUT DATE: 3 301 738.M41
ACCESS CLEARANCE: 0-6 or higher
CC: Inquisitor Georgene Serillian
Thought of the Day: Damnation is eternal.
+ File UY/SR 2 233 +
With the greatest of dread, I must report what appears to be a previously unidentified Warp phenomenon in the “no man’s land” that exists between Imperial and ork forces outside Hegira’s Barad Mine.
The first indication that Warp energies were manifesting themselves on the moon’s surface was a report by a Primaris-level psyker of the 728th Cadian Regiment, who indicated he was suffering from nose bleeds, headaches, bad dreams, and what he described as a “psychic screaming” emanating from a region of the desert to the southeast of the strategically important mining complex.
The psyker subsequently suffered a severe seizure and died of a cerebral hemorrhage.
In response to this disturbing incident, the 728th’s commanding officer, Colonel August Klein, requested that the orbit of overhead surveillance satellites be redirected to fly over the region identified by the deceased psyker. Most of the images downloaded from the satellites were unfocused, with other sensor data corrupted, and repeated attempts to acquire more accurate visuals proved impossible.
At the same time, as senior commissar of the regiment, I reviewed various reports by troops deployed to the southeast of the mining complex. Several daily reports indicated that various patrols and forward observation posts had seen a “ghostly green glow” on the horizon, apparently emanating from a narrow valley about eight kilometers beyond the Imperial defense lines.
To determine the potential threat to Imperial defenses (as well as determine if the glow was a sign of a xeno troop build-up, Colonel Klein ordered a reconnaissance mission to investigate the area. A full platoon of Imperial guard, supported by a commissar and Primaris-level psker, were given the task.
On 3 289 738.M41, this expedition entered the small valley. They reported the discovery of a long-abandoned industrial area, dominated by ruins. There were no signs of life, but survivors of the mission report that, as they advanced down the valley, they experienced a growing sense of foreboding, headaches, and nose bleeds.
The troops were still exploring the valley as night fell, when they reporting witnessing a sudden display of irregularly flashing lights in the sky. A lightning storm quickly developed, although the lightning was unlike anything previously seen—the lightning drew strange symbols in the sky.
Staring at the lightning proved the downfall of many men, who collapsed and died quickly. The accompanying psyker went berserk, attacking the surrounding guardsmen with witchfire and killing several before the commissar put a bolt pistol round through his skull. The commissar, Commissar-Lieutenant Adrius Evander, ordered an immediate retreat.
Surviving members of the platoon, upon their return, were quarantined, debriefed by commissars with an Alpha-Omega security clearance, and ultimately executed for their exposure to the Warp. I recommend a commendation be posthumously awarded to Commissar-Lieutenant Evander.
The valley where the Warp phenomenon is emanating has been declared off limits to all military and civilian personnel, although forward observation posts and overhead satellites have been ordered to redouble their monitoring of the area.
The source of the observed Warp energies is unclear—and it also is unclear how long this phenomenon has existed, the extent of the rift in Realspace, or the potential danger it poses to nearby troops or, indeed, the entire population of Hegira.
One development that is clear—and of considerable concern—is observations of increased greenskin activity on the outer rim of the Warp-tainted valley. It is known that orks have a proven psychic ability [See attached report on ork “Weird Boyz”], and there is a significant risk that the ork invaders will seek to explore—and attempt to exploit—this phenomenon.
It is my recommendation that troop numbers be increased on the defensive line closest to the valley, and that any future investigation or occupation of the valley be turned over to the Knights of Altair. Their superior physical and psychological conditioning is likely to make them more resistant to the recorded negative impacts of the phenomenon.
With some trepidation, I also recommend requesting the assistance of the Ordo Obsuletus, a little known order of the Inquisition that specializes in the investigation of unexplained phenomenon such as we are encountering.
Although reporting this phenomenon to the Inquisition is mandatory under military regulations, I would be remiss not to acknowledge one potentially dangerous consequence of the Inquisition’s involvement: It is remotely possible that the Inquisition could find the phenomenon of grave risk to the Sector, prompting an order of Exterminatus for the entire moon.
Commissar-Major Rael Dracos
728th Cadian Regiment
Current Depoloyment: Hegira
TheGM: As with much of what happens in the Corvus Cluster, this new turn of events wasn’t pre-planned. As it happened, The Gaffer and I were preparing for a fight between orks and Space Marines the other day, and he pulled out a newly acquired Balewind Vortex to serve as one of the game’s objectives.
What’s more, he announced that Rumlar—the supreme ork warlord on Hegira— was making his first appearance on the battlefield in order to investigate this Warp phenomenon.
I felt some dread at this announcement. Bringing the Warp and Rumlar together doesn’t bode well for the Imperium. But what the heck. After all, the point of this narrative campaign is to let our hobby adventure spiral out of control and take us in directions we never intended.
So, I jumped in with both feet. We played the battle (click here for battle report), and I wrote up this top-secret memo to provide a suitable background for the serendipitous new direction for the Hegira campaign.
And I have no doubt that this seemingly random and somewhat trivial decision will have long-term repercussions. I just don’t know what they’ll be yet. Stay tuned.
The Corvus Cluster is a Warhammer 40K blog documenting our wargaming adventures in the fantastical sci-fi universe of Games Workshop.