Chaos Resurgent: The Corvus Cluster is under onslaught by the forces of Chaos. Traitor Astartes, supported by cultists and renegades who follow heretical gods, have launched a series of attacks on planets that previously had never known the taint of the enemies of the god-Emperor.
Already beset by serious xeno invasions, Imperial authorities are struggling to respond the growing onslaught of traitor forces—attacks that range from small raids to full-scale planetary invasions. At least one world has fallen to a multi-million-man army led by the remnants of the Emperor’s Children Legion, an Astartes force that turned traitor during the Horus Heresy.
The Adeptus Arbites and Inquisition are ruthlessly attempting to suppress rumors of these attacks. Anyone found “propulgating dangerous, inaccurate, and demoralizing rumors that threaten civil order” are at risk of being taken into custody and sent to a penal regiment, at best, or face, if physically unfit for military duty, execution.
So take care in repeating what follows: a highlight of the most disturbing rumors spreading across the region:
Space Wolves join fight against the Necrons
The Space Wolves—one of the most honored Space Marine chapters in the galaxy—have reportedly entered the war against the Necrons on Tophet.
Although their numbers are unclear, scores of Space Wolves—riding Fenrisian Wolves that tower as much as three meters in height—have made landfall in the treacherous Falgarus Mountains of the beleaguered Tophet.
To date, it’s unclear why the Necrons are active in the mountain range. The terrain is rugged in the extreme, and weather conditions are harsh, infamous for their sub-arctic temperatures, sub-zero temperatures, and gale-strength winds.
But the Space Wolves, whose home world of Fenris is classified as a Death World, appear determined to challenge the xenos in this forbidding environment.
No information is available about the military conflict now under way in the mountains. Also, it’s unclear why the Space Wolves would commit precious military resources to Tophet, which is halfway across the galaxy from their home world.
Night Lords kidnap 1.2 million on Satorus
The industrial planet of Satorus was victim to a horrifying raid by traitor Astartes calling themselves the “Night Lords.”
Descending on the city of Excalbia, the Night Lords and thousands of heretical cultists swept away resistance by local Arbites forces and captured more than 1.2 million Imperial citizens. A fleet of orbital landers shuttled these wretched souls to massive transport ships in orbit.
More than a dozen Planetary Defense Force (PDF) regiments responded to the surprise attack, rushing to the scene to battle the traitors. But all efforts to enter the city were repulsed with heavy casualties. In one battle, an entire regiment was slaughtered to the last man, while voxcasters behind enemy lines blared a repeated message: “We have come for you.”
At the end of their seven-day raid, the traitor Astartes forces returned to their orbiting ships and fled, abandoning tens of thousands of heretical allies. Against this rabble, the PDF was able to make headway in the fighting and finally retook the city after a six-week assault.
In addition to those kidnapped, civilian casualties are estimated 3.1 million, while PDF losses reportedly topped 200,000.
Representatives of the Ordo Hereticus have arrived on Satorus to interrogate the handful of city survivors, captured heretics, and PDF troops that were exposed to the corruption of traitor forces.
The current location of the Night Lords—and their future intentions—are unknown.
Emperor’s Children seize Vanamon
A far more serious threat to the security of the Corvus Cluster is the fall of the Armory World of Vanamon to the Emperor’s Children, a shockingly blasphemous name for a warband of traitor Astartes.
It’s not clear how traitor forces managed to seize this strategically valuable planet, and Imperial authorities are alarmed that a planet with more than six million PDF troops could fall without broadcasting a distress call.
Also alarming is the name of the invading force. Although Imperial authorities insist that there is no record of a warband called the Emperor’s Children operating in the Corvus Cluster, some historical scholars note that, during the God-Emperor’s Great Crusade, the Third Legion of his mighty Astartes army was known as the Emperor’s Children.
It is rumored that this Legion turned against the God-Emperor during the time of the Horus Heresy, and some of these traitors escaped the Siege of Terra and fled to the eye of Terror. Some say these traitor Astartes still dwell in that corrupt Warp storm and occasionally rally forth to bring terror to Imperial worlds.
Whatever the truth, the loss of Vanamon is devastating for military forces across half a dozen sectors. The planet’s industrial capacity was nearly half that of a Forge World, and it was famous for its prodigious output of small-arms weaponry (lasguns, meltaguns, heavy bolters, etc.).
The loss of this source of weapons, some military officials whisper, will severely disrupt the combat effectiveness of thousands of Imperial Guard and PDF regiments—and undermine the security of the entire Corvus Cluster.
Heretics drive Arbites from shanty town
Given recent news, there should be little interest in the civil unrest ofa shanty town of only 100,000 Imperial citizens. But when that town is situated behind Imperial lines on the war-torn world of Dozaria, itself beset by traitor Death Guard Astartes, the security implications become more serious.
That’s why attention has recently turned to the poverty-stricken labor town known as Maggot’s Hovel, situated in the southern hemisphere of Dozaria.
World has just reached Belliose III that the Adeptus Arbites, the respected if feared law-enforcement arm of the Imperium, have “withdrawn” from Maggot’s Hovel after weeks of escalating civil unrest and violence specifically targeting 1,000-strong detachment of Enforcers in the town.
A more accurate representation of events is that the Arbites fled for their lives. In the weeks before their retreat, more than 120 Enforcers were killed by sniper attacks, street-side bombs, and ambushes by rioting civilians. In time, the Arbites found themselves besieged within their own precinct headquarters.
Such a retreat by the Adeptus Arbites is unheard of. What’s more, this attack on Imperial authority, if unanswered, could destabilize civil order on Dozaria—and encourage heretical cults on dozens of worlds. Thus, it is almost certain that the rumor mill will soon be reporting that the Arbites have returned to Maggot’s Hovel with overwhelming force—or the military has bombed the town into oblivion.
TheGM: What is going on? In recent years, the forces of Chaos have been a minor irritant for Imperial authorities, who have focused on the threats of growing xeno military action.
I haven’t any answers. But I can’t help wondering:
• A few years ago, the Warp storm known as the Heart of Darkness began to expand, drawing numerous planets into the horrors of the Immaterium. And traitor Astartes have long used such storms as a launching point for attacks against the Imperium.
• It is known that the Night Lords are active in the Vandershall Subsector. The loss of stable Warp routes to the region isolated the subsector for decades, but recently a stable Warp route has been re-established. Have the Night Lords discovered this potential avenue for invasion?
• What happened to the Mograin Crusade? When contact was restored with the Vandershall Subsector, also known as the “Burning Frontier,” Imperial forces were sent to restore Imperial control. But there’s been no word from these forces for far too long.
I may be TheGM. But what’s fun about a narrative campaign is that it writes itself. I’m as much in the dark about what comes next as you are.
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