The Imperium of Mankind
Banished from the Forge World of Mars, denouncing his allegiance with Cawl and the Martian dogma Cybixx stripped his robes of colour with corrosive fluids leaving them grey and drab looking. He took with him a small war cohort consisting of hooded rangers from the Legiones Skitarii as protection and fled to the Vandrax system where he began work on the creation of his new army, dedicated to the true quest for knowledge (unhindered by the restrictions of the Imperium).
In 010.729M32, with his new force established, Cybixx went into a hibernative state leaving his new Magi to learn about Xenos weaponry with the goal of replication – he assumed this would take several millennia to master. During this hibernation, a malfunction occurred which inhibited him from reawakening. Due to the complex nature of the device, his disciples were unable to mend it and so he lay dormant amongst his thoughts, a statue of a bygone era.
After nearly 10,000 years had passed, in 009.017M42, crusade forces, consisting of ‘The Lord of Light’, battling for control over ‘The Foramen’ landed on Vandrax 3 to discover the remnants of a rusting technological empire. Inquisitor Natalia Vorushko discovered the preserved form of Archmagos Cybixx in what resembled a high security burial chamber and set her personal tech priests on reviving him. Successfully doing so, Vorushko briefed Cybixx on their current place in terms of galactic conflict. Pleased with the possibility of seeking vengeance against Mars and Cawl, he eagerly took up her offer of joining the crusade. She gifted him a personal assassin from the Callidus Temple to conduct his doings and an Ark Mechanicus, which he named ‘The Omnissiah Vengeance’, to hold his now vast legion. He swiftly began construction of his new, even more powerful force – keeping his Xenos interests to himself for if the inquisitor were to find out she would surely execute him for heresy. With nearly unlimited resources, Vorushko expects the threat of the Crusade Mechanicus to be the key to the destruction of the loyalist forces and securing the Foramen for herself.
Sector Commander, aleph Sector
Inquisitor Lord Hathek (active)
Inquisitor Hathek is an extremely old and wise Inquisitor lord who has travelled much of the galaxy. He is an amalthian and believes that change is generally for the worse. As advisor to both previous sector Cardinals and now sector commander Luthor he has always adopted the more conciliatory path, the more modest military intervention. While he had serious misgivings regarding the Federacy he did not believe that they or the Tau are the greatest threat to the Imperium and in times of war with these far greater enemies it is better to side with any allies you can find.
That being said he rejects the idea of federal expansion and would also love to see these worlds return to the faithful service of the Emperor. He believes the Eldar, Orks and Tau should be "contained" in the systems they control, but that extended campaigns to wipe these races out are foolish and unnecessary. Hathek has been the voice of reason in the sector now for decades. He worked with Inquisitor Huron investigating the Aleph Warp nulls. There is great mutual respect, though not always agreement, between the two men.
Hathek was therefore vehemently opposed to Inquisitor Vorusko's "crusade" which he considered a betrayal of the Emperor's worlds, whereas Vorushko merely saw her plan as necessary, since the Imperium continued to lose ground and resources to the enemy. Rejecting her "scorched earth" policy Hathek plunged the Sector into civil war over Libria until the matter was settled in 017M42 when the warpscar cut off Libria from Imperial aid.
Hathek also tried to stop Vorushko's agents from activating the necron device on Corticant, although his failure created the vital Foramen Interdictum. This did not stop Hathek claiming the credit for the act however, and the old Inquisitor is now leading the loyalist faction in trying to defend both tracts of the Foramen Interdictum.
Inquisitor Huron of the Ordo Xenos is substantially younger than Hathek, though no less experienced. Huron spent a lot of his time on the eastern fringe with the Rogue Trader Zaphron Atreides and saw untold wonders during their twenty year crusade.
It is these experiences which have led the Inquisitor to become an extreme radical. He views the Tau as natural allies and would gladly allow the Federacy to re-enter the Imperium as a democracy. He believes the old ways are holding the Imperium back and that its superstitious religious doctrines are dangerous. Huron spent many years on Tallax investigating Daemonic possession with the Tallaxian government and, despite his continued membership of the Inquisition he is still welcomed within Federal space.
Huron actively hated Inquisitor Xanthus and worked tirelessly to thwart the monodominant's activities, before Xanthus was killed by the Librian trooper Danel Levais on Myrentas II.
Huron has thus far avoided Vorushko's wrath by not siding with Hathek in the Librian Heresy. He opposes her actions however, and although the two worked together to unravel the mysterious necron devices in the Aleph Sector, it can only be a matter of time before the two end up in implacable opposition.
Natalia Vorushko, Inquisitor Lord of the Ordo Hereticus, arrived in the Aleph Sector in 013M42. Alarmed by the loss of the Aleph subsector and the ongoing defeat in the Zadoc subsector, Vorushko had decided on a more permanent solution.
Educated on Terra and colleague of the now famed Inquisitor Greyfax, Vorushko has seen many heresies, and despite being once set adrift in the warp for over a century of real time, nothing phased the powerful lord Inquisitor.
Her plan for the Aleph sector was simple. The Zadoc subsector and Perseus Deeps would be cleansed by fire, exploited, and then destroyed. That way rich pickings like Libria and Bastien would not fall to the "alliance" of heretic humans and the Tau Empire, nor be consumed as food for the tyranids of Nemesis.
Vorushko sent agents to the Valitane subsector, preventing heresy and its inevitable loss to the forces of Chaos and the Tau Empire, but it was on Libria, where her path was blocked by the amalthian Inquisitor Hathek, that her real problem emerged. Hathek managed to create division in the ranks of the Imperium by his opposition to her Crusade, splitting the Imperial forces and causing a civil war between factions of the Imperium which only died down with the coming of the Cicatrix Maledictum. In the end the Crusade failed, and Libria fell to the Tau Empire anyway, which VOrushko blames solely on the actions of Hathek.
Now Vorushko is in the Dark Imperium, having abandoned the "crusade", seeking out heresy and ultimately the dismemberment of the Federacy and their Tau allies. It was her agents who brought about the formation of the Foramen Interdictum, although Hathek took the opportunity to claim responsibility and receive all the credit.
Recently Vorushko has convinced General Veers to join her Crusade, and has created a new base in the Imperium Nihilis centred on Bastien. Meanwhile she seeks to close of the unintentional second tract of the Foramen - the Foramen Minoris.
Inquisitor Xanthus (deceased)
Former monodominant Inquisitor, killed by Danel Levais at the battle for Myrentas II.
General Veers (active)
Commander of Imperial Forces, Perseus Deeps. Responsible for the success of the Crusade against chaos, he became embittered as forces were stripped away from him to fight in the Librian Heresy. Now he is rebuilding his strength under the remit of Vorushko's new Crusade.
Admiral Jellicoe (active)
Admiral John Jellicoe is the commander of the Aleph sector fleet. He is not native to the sector, having been brought up among the Navis Nobilite on Kar Dunash, the Naval capital of the Segmentum. After the failings of Choraeus and the loss of Admirals Yamamoto, Moore, Alexis and Conner in the war, Jellicoe was sent to Aleph to restore the situation.
Like Choraeus he is a pragmatic and cautious man but does not share his predecessor’s doom laden negative outlook. More importantly he is much younger.
Jellicoe’s previous assignment was as Vice Admiral in the Valen sector where he commanded one of the sector’s three battle groups and saw action against the Tau and elder fleets. It is this experience which made him first choice for the admiralty of the Aleph sector fleet.
Since taking over command Jellicoe has had mixed fortunes. He has suffered defeats at the hands of the Tau and chaos, but also secured an enormous and creditable victory over the combined fleets of the forces of Chaos in 014M42, at the battle of Bastien, which only infuriated further his arch-nemesis, Grand Admiral Thok.
Cardinal Fang (deceased)
Cardinal Fang lived all his life as a politician and was brought up in the midst of court intrigue on Cerberex. From here he manipulated himself into power, often by blackmailing or coercing various members of the council of Aleph (as the C.A.S.S. was known then).
Cardinal Fang was appointed leader of the Aleph sub sector in .087 M41. His reign was unremarkable in time of peace, though apart from ensuring that tithes were paid he had little to do apart from to become involved in intricate political weavings of the sector.
All this changed in .001 M42 when things began to go awry in the sector. It was clear from the start that he was a poor military tactician and his bombardment of Aleph 4 in a fit of rage in .002 M42 did very little to help his reputation. Eventually his interference in Imperial military affairs caused more and more disasters while his handling of the UFP situation did more to help the fledgling empire than it did to stop it.
In the end he was captured by the Eldar during the Aleph war of .002 M42 and handed over to the Dark Angels after a peace treaty was signed. He was executed on the orders of Inquisitors Hathek and Huron for crimes against the Imperium at the age of 68.
Cardinal Sheriden (deceased)
Cardinal Sheriden was a controversial man. Taking over in .003 M42 to replace the executed and incompetent Cardinal Fang, the 42 year old politician had as many enemies in the Imperium as he elsewhere
Sheriden’s views were extremely liberal when compared to the average leader of the Imperium. He was particularly detested by the Dark Angels and Inquisitor Xanthus for his constant brokering of deals between the Imperium and the Federacy, an organisation they would like to see removed from the galaxy.
Cardinal Sheriden’s past didn't help him either as before being appointed by Inquisitor’s Hathek and Huron as a peacemaker, Sheriden was Vice President of Tallax, now a member of the Federacy. However he also saw military action in the Vastrid sector against the Orks as part of his military career in the Imperial Guard (Tallaxian 12th Armoured Regiment).
His heroics in the military saw him rise to power in Tallax’s democracy, but now he faced his greatest challenge, leading the Aleph 4 sector through turbulent times without getting assassinated or removed from power.
Unfortunately the cardinal was assassinated on 1401.006 M42 by agents of Chaos backed by Inquisitor Xanthus. A small team used the Chaos “device” to teleport right into the cardinal’s country home on Cerberex, all the way from Myrentas II! After slaughtering 32 guardsmen the five marines then dismembered the cardinal before retreating back to their base.
General Cunningham (captured)
Cunningham was born on Libria III in 957M41. He was educated at the Librian Military Academy before taking a commission in the Librian army in 977M41. During the Ork Wars of 980-992M41, he served with the 442nd Librian Artillery Regiment, and was awarded a Military Honour in 990M42 and the Honorifica Imperialis in 992M42. For two years after the war he served in the Straits Settlements.
In 002M42 Cunningham became the Commander of the 442nd. This was followed a year later by promotion to major-general and appointment as commander of the 3rd Rapid Reaction Task force based on Tyranteous.
The Melberg Campaign
When the Tau invaded Melberg, Cunningham held a number of short appointments commanding infantry armies before being transferred to command the Western Army Group in mid 007M42. Cunningham fought numerous actions in the Melberg campaign, consistently thwarting Tau commander Longstrides offensives and liberating the city of Gwendel. However his army suffered several setbacks fighting Shadowstrike's troops, and his Librian armies were evacuated from the planet in late 007M42 following the peace treaty made with the victorious Tau.
Cunningham avoided censure over the failure of the war on Melberg, much of which was put down to failures in the overall command of Lord Lenord, though promotion was out of the question. Cunningham retained his Librian regiments and was redeployed to the Shadow Worlds crusade force in 008M42, and later to the Southern Tuva Front on Tarsis Major. Cunningham's record on Tarsis Major was good, but he never had the equipment or support to stop the invasion. Eventually he was evacuated with his remaining forces in 011M42, and the general was once again asked to defend yet another of the Emperor's worlds, this time Tyranteous.
The same story followed and eventually this time in 013M42 General Cunningham surrendered to the Tau. For Cunningham his wars were finally over. For over a decade he had fought the tau, most famously on Melberg and Tarsis Major, scoring a number of famous victories but always losing the war. Over that time he had come to respect the tau, and although he remained opposed to everything they stood for, he was treated well by his captors, as were the majority of the captured guardsmen
The Forces of Chaos
Insane Heresy era Imperial admiral, now follower of chaos undivided
Lord Traegan (active)
Master of Kendrenec and custodian of the Grand Fleet.
Warsmith Stahl (active)
One time commander of the Iron Warriors, created the Catechism and supplanted all other chaos leaders to become Master of Chaos in 012M42. After creating the vast chaos empire of the Perseus Deeps, his downfall came after his failure at the invasion of Farport.
Moonface first appeared on Myrentas II where he assassinated Iron Warriors leader Gallowfen. Following that the daemonic presence led chaos wars on Alphe, various minor worlds then finally Cerberex, where his invasion was a ruse to steal an ancient "device" also known as the "soul hole", later found to be of Necron design.
Known rotes of the Catechism
#34 "How might Moonface be glorified?"
"The destruction of the Imperium, the overthrow of the Emperor."
#42 "Who is the master and the slave?"
"Moonface, who has control of our will in order to serve us."
#43 "Who takes with one hand and provides with the other?"
"Moonface, who takes our freedom in order to give us life."
#44 "Who is the ally and the enemy?"
"Moonface, who must destroy us to bring us to life."
Led the former followers of the Catechism to some success. Now leader of Zadoc.
Commander of the Claws of Lorek and former "Master of Chaos", Lorek has quit the region after losing much of the Perseus Deeps to the Imperial Crusade under General Veers.
The Claws of Lorek had some success, but the warmaster was heavily criticised by Warmaster Stahl of the Iron Warriors after losing the Rim Worlds to Hive Fleet Nemesis, and then losing Parthenope and finally Bastien in the Perseus Deeps to the Imperium. Lorek presided over the worst defeats for the combined forces of chaos in more than a Millenia.
Markus Lupane and Andreos Cain (active)
- See Emerald Serpent (Forces)
The Federacy And Tau Empire
In spite of his victories, Einmyrria was a disaster for the Tau and they were forced to withdraw. Longstride’s successes did not go unnoticed, though; he was promoted to Shas’O and tasked with spear-heading the Perseus Deeps Expeditionary forces.
The young officer’s forceful and impetuous style of command proved his undoing on the planet of Myrentas II, where after a string of victories his offensive gradually lost momentum against the stalwart Gue’la of the Imperial Guard. Defeats followed and soon Tau casualties were reaching levels that exceded even those endured on Einmyrria. Longstride was recalled to Cernunnos to account for his failures before the council of the Fire Caste High Command and Aun’O Y’meth.
Given a last opportunity to redeem himself, Longstride was appointed the unenviable task of the defence of the small colony of Lucardium against the ravages of a Tyranid invasion. In spite of all expectations, the young Commander held back the monstrous tide. This act went some way to helping him regain his honour and win back the respect of the Fire Caste High Command. As such, in 007M42 he was given overall command of the Tau invasion of Mellberg which would be their largest assault on the Imperium by that stage of the Mission. It was a huge gamble that, ultimately, did not pay off. In spite of some early successes by Longstride it was eventually the aloof and previously little-known Commander Shadowstrike who secured the most significant gains, both in tactical and in strategic terms.
Longstride was later side-lined to an administrative role, becoming military govenor of Tau terriorty of the divided planet of Melberg. Though he has had a chequered career many his his contemporaries (and perhaps Longstride himself) see this as an ignominious end for a commander who has so fervently fought in the name of the Greater Good.
Many in the Fire Caste pushed for the commander to be made ‘Supreme Commander’ of the Mission given his influence and co-ordination of the Fire Caste in the sector, but others remained wary of a repeat of the Farsight revolution should any one Commander be given so much power. Sunstrike served with distinction and finally retired in 013M42
Por’O Gal’en Tau’n Ly’eth
An unseen force behind the Mission, Por’O Gal’en has influenced much of the Tau success in the Aleph Sector. His chief role has been that of ambassador and diplomat, seeking out allies and trading partners for the new colonies.
His greatest success thus far has been in forging an alliance with the United Federation of Planets. The economies of both factions have flourished with increased trade between the fledgling empires, and the Federacy has welcomed the Tau as brothers-in-arms in the struggle against Chaos and the Imperium of Man.
Some in the High Command have shown disdain for the democratic and overtly liberal policies of the Federacy , but the always-pragmatic Por’O Gal’en has realised the strength of his allies and the invaluable aid they have given in the fight for Myrentas II. Though they do not yet follow the doctrine of the Greater Good, Por’O Gal’en hopes that with continued exposure to Tau philosophy and culture the Federacy may yet take up the cause and join the Empire.
A senior commander originally from Sa’cea, Commander Lightfoot is a seasoned veteran of the Third Sphere expansions and commanded Hunter Cadres that followed alongside those of the famed Shadowsun. His role in the Aleph Expansion had been relatively minor until the string of defeats on Myrentas II that lead to him replacing Longstride as Commander-in-Chief of the Perseus Deeps Expedition. His more defensive and cautious approach was welcomed by the hard-pressed Tau of Myrentas II.
Yet even the hugely able Lightfoot saw little success over that of his predecessor. The spring offensive intended to finally dislodge the Gue’la from the planet met with catastrophe at the intervention of the Imperial Airforce and the Blood Martyrs Space Marines. It reamined for the allies of the Tau , the Federacy, to win the planet from the Imperial grasp. The High Command had been forced to cede control of the planetary operations to the Federacy, unwilling to sacrifice any more lives on Myrentas II. Lightfoot continued to skirmish with the forces of Chaos and the Gue’la, but full scale military operations became increasingly untenable.
After this failure to capture the planet, Lightfoot's support of the Federacy offensives were to prove his last action: during a routine reconnaissance mission meant to observe the Gue'la forces as they tried to evacuate the planet, Lightfoot and his cadre were ambushed and subsequently massacred by the Space Marines who had been sent to protect the fleeing Imperial army and deal the Tau one last parting shot.
Commander Rahvan Malkaor (active)
From outside the Sept, it is assumed that Malkaor, the Desert Spider, is an honorific passed from one notable Commander to the next. The first appearances of the title are attributed to an oddity of a commander who rose to prominence early in the Damocles Gulf campaign, against the Imperium. A veteran from the Pathfinder and Stealth teams, Malkaor had a flair for long range recon tactics and had made a name hunting Imperial task forces from within the deserts of contested worlds, using wide ranging hunter teams to search for any movement and hitting it without warning. This preference for individual action, while useful, did not win support with high command, who were quite content to leave the oddball Commander in the desert to his own devices.
Malkaor may have faded away had the Ethereal Auv'Vre Shorio not been assigned to oversee his Cadre. The Ethereal had found himself at odds with the higher council frequently and in an attempt to get keep two problems out of the way he was packed off to the desert. By the end of the Damocles Gulf, with reports of Imperial Commissars kicked at Valkyries and unusually explosive Russes widely circulated, the renown of the Desert Spider had grown wildly, to Shorio's satisfaction.
The name Malkaor reappeared in Imperial records very recently in the Aleph Sector, which would place him at far past the age Tau usually live to, even factoring time spent in cryogenic storage. Outside of the closed circle of the Kel'Shan sept a successor is assumed, and those in the know mostly consider it luck or some secret project, and they mostly keep their own company. Only Shorio knows the truth, the longevity of Ethereals being common knowledge and not looked at twice. What he intends with their foray into the Hadron Expanse is speculated on, but it keeps them out of the way of high command, and while they keep performing to satisfaction they have operational autonomy, and Shorio's plans continue.
Swiftstar is credited with leading the first Tau navigation across the Aurelis Deeps, a volatile area of the Aleph Sector known to harbour a great many pirates and raiders. Several Chaos and Ork fleets were met in battle, and in each engagement the Kor’O achieved decisive victories. Even the Space Marines could not break his determination to push through to his objective.
The arrival of the fleet at Cernunnos was hailed as one of the greatest triumphs of the Aleph Expansion thus far, opening new routes along which the campaign will forge ahead and the Tau Empire expand in its wake. Kor’O Swiftstar has shown himself to be pioneering figure in the Kor’Or’Vesh, his innovative approach to fleet manoeuvres and engagements leading to his own ‘Deeptide’ battle formation now quickly being adopted by other Admirals.
Ork Warboss of the Blood Axes involved in the invasion of Hylas. Has since returned to the Vork Ork expanse to fight more challenging opponents in the Cicatrix Maledictum. Allegations that he is in fact two grots standing on top of each other in a suit of Ork Mega Armour are unfounded.... There are three of them working that suit.
Waagh Kogh (active)
From what can be ascertained Warboss Nazghat was a leading warlord in the Vork Ork Empire, with considerable influence over many warbands. With inactivity from the Vork Ork Empire during the Aleph campaign it is highly likely that the leading Vork Empire warlord, of which we do not know who is, was questioned about the lack of war and expansion at such an opportune time. It can surmised that Nazghat was the primary vocal figure, attracting warbands to his side with a rallying call for an Ork Waagh on nearby sectors, whilst calling on the allegiance of others under his own influence.
Nazghat tactics hence were the use of ‘looted’ tanks, with a mobile contingent of ork trucks, bikes and buggies. Since Tarsis Major, with the destruction of Nazghat’s forces by both the Vork Empire and the forces of the Imperium, Nazghat has disappeared. Whether dead as suggested by the Ork boss found on Tarsis Major, although this warboss had low armour and next to no adornment of battle honours for a warboss like Nazghat, it would be prudent to believe that Nazghat is not dead, but in hiding. Even so, with few or no warriors under his command they do not constitute a threat to Imperial worlds. However, the Vork Empire, with the acquisition of the looted armour and battle experience of the orks that were under Nazghat’s command, may begin to step up raids in the near future.