Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Great Rift

The Cicatrix Maledictum, the Crimson Path, the Mouth of Ruin, the Warpscar, the Dathedian, Gork's Grin. Just a few of the names for the Great Rift, an enormous tear in reality itself following the destruction of Cadia. Unfortunately for the Aleph Sector, the Rift itself ripped through the very heart of the region at the end of 016M42, cutting it in half and causing destruction on a massive scale not seen since the Horus Heresy. 

For the Imperium it was the final blow to their attempt to hold on to Libria and their holdings in the Zadoc subsector, but it started in the Vastrid subsector, the other side of the Perseus Deeps. First the glowing sky became more and more visible as the warp began to manifest along the path of the Great Rift, before Inardion, a previously peaceful and untouched agri-world, was sucked into the abyss in what is now reckoned to be 06.017M42.

The psychic scream from the deaths of millions was just the first of many, and across the sector daemonic possession and incursions caused havoc. The Astronomican winked out and the Imperium was unable to defend its worlds against attacks, with each system having to defend itself as best it could. Fortunately for the sector, the events of the Noctis Aeterna were mercifully brief, as the time of the Aleph Sector slowed dramatically as the great maw of chaos swept across it. Many reckoned the disappearance of the Emperor's light in mere days, others weeks, but for those on the wrong side of the rift, it never returned.

Libria fell swiftly to the Tau as the Imperial Fleet supporting it was thrown half way across the galaxy. The Tau had their own problems however, as the Aleph Expansion sphere found itself cut off from the rest of the Empire, creating a new Enclave. The Tau and Alliance dd not avoid losses either, as Parataea, and Aganthus disappeared into the Cicatrix Maledictum, and Zadoc, already a warzone with chaos, was overwhelmed with new daemonic incursions. Cernunnos, the main Tau base in the Perseus Deeps and launching point of Operation Sunstrike which established the Aleph Expansion sphere, disappeared completely without a trace.

The Federacy had little time to object to the Tau anexation of Libria, as the warp swallowed Myrentas II and Ravitane. Tallax and the rest of the Federacy were only saved by work which had been proceeding on Protogonus, creating the Federal Shield utilising ancient Necron technology. More Federal lives could have been saved, but the research had been disrupted by agents of Inquisitor Vorushko.

The Eldar in the Aleph sector suffered greatly, with the loss of Sentinel and Ares, although Ares was not consumed by the Great Rift, instead left as a lifeless blackened hulk after the Eldar themselves destroyed the world in order to prevent it falling into the hands of Chaos. The Eldar had been prepared however. The Disciples of Ynead had long predicted the events now coming to pass, and with the arrival of the Ynnari, they led the majority of the eldar population, including an entire Craftworld to safety. Those who were unwilling to leave, died. The Ynnari recognised the work of the Disciples in the preceding years, and it was for the preservation of their race that they had waged their campaigns through the Perseus Deeps. The status of the Kel Sandros craftworld remains unknown, although its position above the galactic plane is assumed to have spared the Craftworld from the ravages of the chaos incursions.

The Dark Eldar fared worse, with several Kabals wiped out by the Great Rift, including the vast installation of Slaughterpoint station. The Necrons too suffered great losses, as the weakened Harakhty dynasty was unable to repel the onslaught of daemonic armies unleashed on Scallius, Skera and Cathasaea. All were lost to the warp, and the Harakhty Dynasty was shatterd beyond salvation. Now the Charnovokh rule in the remaining Necron holds in the Perseus Deeps, while the Sautekh Dynasty look to add the rump of the Harakhty to their own domain.

In the Vork Ork Expanse, several worlds including Magark and Skabgrod suffered extinction at the hands of the forces of chaos, but the orks went down with their usual enthusiasm for a fight, and overall the orks of the Aleph Sector barely registered their loss, although their ability to unite into a Waaagh! was even further compromised.

The chaos worlds of the sector received the coming of the rift as a revelation, with ecstatic delirious joy overtaking the populations of Mordecai and Kendrenec. Little did the mortals realise that both worlds would soon be overcome by daemons and plunged into a frenzy of bloodshed as the great powers conducted the war in the rift. Kendrenec became a daemon world, with Lord Tragean ascending to daemonhood. His followers cheered rapturously as they were slain to a man by the denizens of the warp.

On Mordecai a similar fate befell the mortal population, though some were spared for the workings of the mighty fleet base. Now only the Federacy and the Tau empire stood between the reunification of the chaos worlds in the Deeps with those of the Norsfire Empire and the Enceladus subsector. A massive daemon army assailed Tallax but was repulsed, though seriously weakening the Federacy's military strength. Meanwhile on Minos, Warsmith Stahl watched the mayhem with ambivalence, realising that while his objective of overthrowing the Imperium was now closer to hand, his own personal influence over the chaos forces in the Aleph sector had been diminished.

Lastly, the effect on Hive Fleet Nemesis remains unknown. Their assault on Bastien and Corticant which had been imminent, receded. When the warp storms died down across the sector their warp signature had disappeared. Only a fool would believe the most intelligent Hive mind yet encountered had succumbed to the coming of the Cicatrix Maledictum. More likely the Hive fleet had withdrawn to a place of safety. Where it would reappear, no one could say.

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