“Things are very seldom what they seem. In my experience, they’re usually a damn sight worse.”—Inquisitor Titus Drake
* * *
6 275 743.M41
Acolyte Konrad Gallas
I have arrived on the world of Regno Borealis, a feudal world that, until recently, was isolated from the Imperium by a warp storm. It’s existence is not only a surprise to the Imperium, but its re-appearance is worrisome. Who knows what taint may corrupt this world after its long proximity to the Warp?
But that is not my concern today. It has been two months since I tracked heretical cultists, seeking to release a greater daemon from Eldar imprisonment, to the underhive of Alicante on Dozaria.
To my shame, I was unable to block their efforts in the underhive. They successfully accessed an ancient database and learned the location to ancient Eldar technology—essentially three parts of a psychic key—that will allow them to free the warp beast known as Kossogtha, allegedly imprisoned somewhere on Dozaria.
Despite the heretics’ success, not all was lost. During my clash with the cult, I managed to place a micro-transmitter on one wounded heretic before I was forced to retreat, and this allowed me to track him back to the cultist lair and strike it a deadly blow.
Alas, interrogation of captured cultists revealed that their leader, Maug Ra, and his monstrous psyker, Thaetos, already had departed for Regno Borealis.
With Inquisitor Vaarak still on Polarian, I knew time was of the essence. So, I took it upon myself to commandeer a small vessel and make immediate passage to this world.
Regno Borealis is a disturbing world. The people are grim, unfriendly, and superstitious, and I feel a sense of gloom—of wrongness—as I walk the planet’s surface. The world’s proximity to the warp storm has had its impact.
Even the land and vegetation has some intangible and unpleasant presence to it. At first glance, it appears a pristine garden world, its meadows, forests, and farms seemingly untouched by pollution, industrial development, or radiation. Yet, as you walk amidst such natural beauty, you feel a sense of dread . . . of a threat.
There is no planet-wide government. As with many feudal worlds, the vast majority of the population live in a pre-gunpowder society, farming the land with primitive tools and living in wood, straw, and mud huts. Local warlords rule what land they control. The most powerful have armies of thousands; many command no more than a few hundred.
Technology is nearly non-existent. The peasantry live in thatched huts and till the land with simple iron plows pulled by livestock. Some of the nobility proudly possess a few anachronistic pieces of technology that survived the planet’s long isolation. But, for the most part, electricity, modern medicine, clean water, sanitation, servitors, and other simple services are long-lost luxuries.
There is a small Imperial presence in one of the kingdom’s capitals—a mere 200 or so members of the Administratum that are the vanguard of future Imperial rule (not that the locals are aware of this). These Imperial authorities had few resources to assist me, although they did facilitate the hiring local mercenaries at my insistence.
These warriors are a motley lot. Armed with but swords, spears, and bows, I can only hope that Maug Ra and his followers are as poorly armed.
At least Maug Ra was easy to find. Strangers from the stars are the source of much gossip, and I quickly learned that he had joined forces with a local warlord about 400 kilometers to the northeast of my position.
Finding my quarry
I was warned by the captain of my mercenary band that this warlord, known as Sidon, the self-proclaimed overlord of Megiddo, possessed an unseemly reputation—one involving raids on neighboring villages, impaling prisoners, and engaging in dark pagan rituals.
The kingdom of Megiddo is ridiculously tiny, encompassing no more than a farm-laden valley surrounded by brooding forests. To get there, I was forced to use local transport—in short, horses. It took 10 days to make the journey through dark and gloomy forests.
Once we entered this valley, we could make out Sidon’s stone keep, rising 20 meters tall. Around it were a few score of thatched huts, a small village that housed his entourage of warriors and the serfs who farmed his land..
As we drew closer to the village, I released a surveillance drone to give us some idea of the threats ahead. Fortune was with me. The drone successfully positioned itself in a tree, apparently without drawing attention, and the device’s telescopic pict-recorder had the good fortune to spot Maug Ra and his entourage almost immediately.
What I saw was Maug Ra, Thaetos, and a well-armored warrior that was obviously Sidon. Around them, half a dozen warriors stood and watched as the leaders spoke. In the distance, I saw a stockade, with a Chaos Spawn shackled to a post.
There were other warriors milling about the village. I determined that my forces were equal to the task ahead, and I gave the order to advance.
Click here to read the conclusion of this adventure.
The Corvus Cluster is a Warhammer 40K blog documenting our gaming adventures in the fantastical sci-fi universe of Games Workshop.
Categories: Kossogtha Campaign
I like the story, map and images. My thought is are not most 40K worlds grim and the people superstitious. To me the whole 40k worlds, lore and everything about it is built on grim stories and superstition. Therefore why would a person be surprised and or bothered by this when they arrive at a new planet, especially one cut off by warpstorm.
The Ordo Hereticus specifically trains its members to resist the temptations of the warp, and Acolyte Gallas is no exception.
That said, he cannot help but feel a warp taint. There’s something “wrong” with the planet–its probably at a genetic, even molecular level. He feels it as if he were bombarded with an ultrasonic sound that he can’t quite hear but still senses it.
I assume he’s mentioned the issue in his journal as a professional observation. A member of the Inquisition must be observant, aware of potential dangers, and if he can sense the taint, that means there must be a lot wrong with the planet.
I wouldn’t be entirely surprised if the world is written off as a loss and subject to Exterminatus.
Thanks for writing.