Friday, September 16, 2016

The Aleph Sector: An Introduction

Aleph Sector Background

The Aleph sector lies on the eastern edge of the galaxy in the Perseus spiral arm. It is in the Ultima segmentum and is close to the Tau empire. Until recently the sector was one of relative peace where Imperial citizens went about their daily lives earning a living and paying their taxes to the Emperor of Mankind on ancient Terra. Then war came. First it started sporadically with incursions by Chaos raiders and Ork pirates. Very little out of the ordinary.

Then with the Chaos crusade of 003.M42 and the establishment of the sepratist Federacy the stability of the region collapsed. Gradually the violence swept from the capital subsector of Aleph itself, into the Sadoc subsector, as the Federacy and tau vied with the forces of chaos, necrons and tyranids to overrun the imperial rule of the region.

The sector is made up of the Aleph, Zadoc, Vastrid, Valitane and Charybdis subsectors. Charybdis has not been part of the imperium for centuries, while the Aleph subsector itself is now the home of the tau allied Federacy. For now Valitane and Vastrid remain largely under Imperial control but Zadoc is falling into anarchy. In addition the lawless depths between subsectors contain their own hazards, the chief of these being the Perseus Deeps.

Major Factions

- Loyalist Imperium
The loyalist forces are those imperial forces specifically engaged by Inquisitor Hathek against both the alliance and the crusade forces of Natalia Vorushko in the Librian campaign. They are largely imperial guard formations, although a number of astartes chapters including the Crimsons Fists and Blood Martyrs do not accept the edicts of Vorushko, as they largely overrule and contradict what had already been established by another Inquisitor Lord - Hathek himself. Largely suffering defeats, having been removed from Libria III, the loyalists are none the less supplied by the imperial fleet, who in 016M42 finally "declared" for the loyalist faction, while the crusade managed to acquire a significant portion of the fleet for their own usage.

- Crusade
The Crusade is led by the powerful Inquisitor Lord Natalia Vorushko. She has judged the sector, particularly the system of Libria as guilty of treason. She has observed the decline of the imperium to the alliance, as world after world has fallen to the encroaching tau and federal territories. To counter this unstoppable momentum Vorushko has enlisted the help of some of the more ruthless and single minded astartes, including the Apocalypse Riders, Sky Lords and Minotaurs. With these chapters at her disposal she intends to exploit then raze Libria - and any other system in the path of the tau advance - enslaving the population and denying the world's resources to the alliance. Inquisitor Hathek is diametrically opposed to this scorched earth policy, and his opposition has directly led to the three faction war in the Libria system.

- The Alliance (Tau & Federacy)
The Alliance is made up primarily of the Federacy, an empire created from the imperial worlds of the Aleph subsector by Admiral Haskell, an advocate of the original imperial creed lost in the warp since the Horus Heresy. Now the Federacy have been joined by their own astartes, original Iron Warriors similarly trapped in the warp then released some ten thousand years later. Still loyal to the emperor but not regarding him a god, legion commander Apollo now leads his marines in the name of an organisation of a dozen worlds committed to the heretical ideas of democracy, learning and progress.. Allied to this human empire is the tau, although the xenos would much rather incorporate the federacy into their empire. The eldar were committed to the alliance cause, but tensions over the dark eldar and internal factionalism saw the eldar split from the alliance in 016M42.

- Chaos
Led by Warsmith Stahl of the Iron Warriors the forces of chaos are actively engaged on a number of worlds. Over the years many forces and leaders have come and gone, with the position of "Master of Chaos" in the sector changing hands many times. Moonface, Shaidar Haran, Lorek, The Arch Cleric the Anticross and Warsmith Gallowfen have held the title, but now it is Stahl who looks on in dismay as the power of chaos once more enters a decline. Years of campaigning have taken their toll on the forces of chaos, but Stahl has built great defences on Zadoc and Minos, and his forces are well dug in. Now he seeks reinforcements to continue his campaign to retake the once vast chaos realm, which he has begun with the securing of Minos in 016M42.

Minor Forces
The Eldar, having left the alliance, are now solely interested in their own affairs. They have several craftworlds and other holdings such as maiden worlds in the Aleph sector, and will intervene whenever they feel events are moving in such a way to threaten their own small "empire". Meanwhile the Kel Sandros Eldar continue to manipulate events to promote the eventual Eldar supremacy in the galaxy, their own private goal.

The Orks remain an ever present threat in the Aleph Sector, but have never been numerous enough or united enough to pose a real threat. At present their wars on Hylas and Fort Sparcos provide the greenskins with enough sport, and the chances of a significant Waagh! at present seem remote.

Hive fleet Nemesis, once a potent threat which ravaged the Rim Worlds and annihilated three major systems in the Zadoc subsector, has apparently disappeared, the hive mind having moved away from the sector into the vast inter-sector space. However recent expeditions to supposedly dead worlds in the wake of Nemesis have discovered still living remnants of the hive fleet.

The Necrons, having re-established the Harakhty Dynasty in the Perseus Deeps, are now inward looking and fighting amongst themselves.

Major Warzones

Libria & the Zadoc Subsector
The Zadoc subsector, closest to the Tau empire, remains at war. Zadoc itself is a long drawn out ground war between Stahl's dug in forces of chaos and the Tau-Federal Alliance. In the Mabb Nebula there are frequent conflicts between the orks, Imperium and tau, including the four year long grionding campaign on Hylas between the Greenskins and General Van Dorn, while in space the Imperial navy attempts to keep supplies to New Cerberex and Hylas open.

In the Libria System itself a three way conflict between the loyalists, crusade and alliance continues. The Crusade hold the innermost and outermost planets, Libria I and V, while the most important, Libria III, is contested by the alliance. The loyalists are on the back foot. They control the unimportant world of Libria II but are rapidly losing the ocean-world of Libria IV.

In space, the loyalist and alliance fleets are the largest, but Inquisitor Vorushko has secured a small battlegroup. In addition the strike cruisers of the astartes loyal to her can be called upon for lightning strikes. The crusade does not have a large enough fleet to compete with the other two factions just yet, but the growing religious fanatacism behind the crusade has led to the formation of the rag tag "pilgrim fleet".

Persues Deeps
The Perseus Deeps remain the front line between the young civilisations of the alliance, the established Imperium and ancient enemies. The Necrons dominate much of the Deeps, but around the edges the forces of chaos are rising once more, and the eldar are securing world after world.

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