In 008M42 With the loss of Cerberex and the destruction of more than 50% of the Imperial fleet the writing was on the wall. The Federacy now controlled all the jump points into the sector save one. Hartak, Orvicare and Cerberex were secured, even if the planetary systems were not. Only Kendrenec held out, a bastion of Chaos and a thorn in the Federacy's side.
Tallaxian defences were increased and bolstered while the Federacy broke up her fleet into new divisions, each one assigned to patrol the four jump points into the Aleph subsector. The remnants of the Imperial fleet fled to the Valitane and Zadoc sectors where they bolstered the fleets there. Admiral Jellicoe, still favoured by the overall sector commander, Bova Magnus, was given the job of commanding the Zadoc subsector fleet, the largest remaining fleet of the Aleph subsector. Magnus stayed at Vastrid.
Initially the commanders of the Aleph subsector were loathed to give up on the remaining worlds of the subsector, Vornax, Ravitane, Banderossa, Pirinar, Carnaq and Ciprex, but with all entry points closed it was obvious that no large supply convoys or communication convoys would be able to reach these systems before a Federal fleet could arrive and intercept it. In the end, the decision was largely made for them anyway.
Very soon after the final Imperial collapse Ravitane defected to the Federacy, followed swiftly by Banderossa. Pirinar was invaded in a bloodless revolution by Sartosan forces who came spreading news that the Imperium had shackled the medieval population needlessly for too long. The Imperium didn't bother putting up a fight. Carnaq V ceded from the Imperium and agreed to join a trading agreement, effectively becoming a Federal nation, while Ciprex, lawless as ever and effectively ungoverned made no objections when Federal and Tau traders began turning up at their docks.
Only Vornax remained loyal to the Imperium and became an isolated backwater in what was now unquestionably a UFP subector. The ruling council now grew to more than ten separate governing entities, though only the following were recognised on the council: Hartak, Tallax, Cerberex, Aleph 4, Ravitane, Banderossa, Myrentas II, Pirinar, Sartosa. Orvicare and Siebel were left out until a stable government and population were established.
The big four, Hartak, Tallax, Cerberex and Aleph 4 retained a veto on all matters of government, though the first question, whether or not to aid their Tau allies on Melberg became an interesting first test. Weary of war and busy defending their new Empire the Federacy voted against military intervention. True to form Hartak sent a force anyway.
There are plans to retake the Aleph subsector and bring it under the heel of the Imperium, but for now the Imperium has bigger worries. The Federacy after all are not hostile to other human worlds in the neighbouring sectors unlike their allies the Tau. The Federacy and Tau formally agreed their alliance in early 008.M42, though many Tau were disappointed, even irritated at the rebuff from the Federacy to join the Tau Empire. However the aliens could not disagree given that their positions were becoming overstretched in the Aleph sector.
In two decades Haskell's dream had come true and the systems of the Aleph sector had thrown of the yoke of their Imperial oppressors, at least for now, and the old Admiral decided to retire. From mid 008.M42 the Federacy became introspective as they consolidated their gains. For the Imperium it was the end of seven years of spectacular failure and the loss of an entire subsector. Now the Zadoc subsector was under threat from Necron devices, Tyranids and the Tau. They would not lose this one as well...
Vastrid SubsectorThe Vastrid sector remains largely imperial, and is now home to sector command and the Imperial Governor General Titus Luthor, nominally in charge of the entire sector. Despite harbouring orks and other aliens, the subsector is well defended and serves as a bastion against the predations of alien empires. The coming of the Cicatrix Maledictum has seen the arrival of the Indomitus Crusade, and holds one end of the Foramen Minoris, the only gateway between the forces of the Emperor and the Dark Imperium in the region.
The Imperial Navy is not always on hand to provide protection from external, and internal threats which might arise in the region, so each major planetary system maintains a substantial interstellar capability in its own right, with Valitane commanding a fleet of several capital class vessels. Most systems have only one or two cruisers but a large number of interstellar escort vessels. Valitane and Cesoria are able to construct cruiser class vessels in under ten years under the close direction of the Adeptus Mechanicus with Valitane constructing the lunar class Dominion in just one in M36. The vessel was subsequently destroyed in one of the many wars against its then bitter foe, Halle.
Almost all the important inhabited Imperial systems are governed by hereditary monarchies and these have intermarried over millennia, so that the ruler of one system is almost certainly distantly related to all the others. Great aristocratic houses have risen and fallen over the centuries and at times all the systems have been ruled over by one house; with two notable exceptions.
Borielle is a cardinal world and the spiritual home of the subsector. The Ecclesiarchy holds sway on Borielle and its ruler, although an Imperial Governor himself, is also the high priest of the Emperor’s church for all of Valitane. He is officially titled the Emperor’s Pontiff of Valitane, but is usually known as “Holy Father”. The Pontiff has the power to excommunicate rulers of systems and has done so in the past, leading to religious wars throughout the region.
Cyprarcaea is home to the Adeptus Mechanicus, and although only 150,000 men live on the world, they are supported by untold legions of servitors and constructs of the machine god. The governor of this world holds the key to all technology in the subsector and jealously guards the information. The cult of the machine god have agents and spies on every world, both servicing each worlds’ needs and ensuring knowledge doesn’t fall into the wrong hands; the general populace and ruling classes of each world.
Munitions and military equipment are built on every world, even the agri worlds, although Valitane and Cesoria produce most by head of population. Cesoria’s production of military hardware is by far surpassed by that of Halle, but the planet is nominally designated an agri-world, thanks to its prodigious production of food products, mostly bound for Valitane and Euphannur.
Cesoria itself is a strange case, as it isn’t ruled by a planetary governor. Instead it is home to a number of colonies, and most of the population are regarded as savages or barbarians, and kept that way by their colonial rulers from the other worlds. There are also colonies on minor worlds thoughout the system, and rampant imperialism has lead to several wars over the centuries. Some smaller systems still rule themselves, but are often caught up in the political rivalries between the major systems, some of which are small dynastic empires in their own right.
The Enceladus sector was lost to the imperium millennia ago, and is now controlled by heretical chaos warlords and petty ork empires. It is an area the Tau will seek to expand into, as it borders their young empire, while the reclamation of the region by the imperium has long been an aspiration.
The Hadron expanse lies to the galactic east on the eastern rim of the galaxy. Some postulate that the Cicatrix has an end, and that finding this end will allow safe passage around the warpscar. Others believe there are hidden passages or "fords" across the raging maw, but there are many parsecs of space to cover, much of it barren wilderness, and until recently completely inaccessible to warp travel.
For millenia, warp storms have raged around the Expanse, and the area has been effectively cut off from exploration. For the Imperium information is scant, but it is known that human colonies lie beyond the storms waiting do be rediscovered, if they survived. The Tau view the area as untapped resource, while the eldar webway, while extending to planets in the Expanse, has been shut off with psychic wards, warning all not to break the seal.
What exactly lies in the Hadron expanse is unknown, but with the coming of the Cicatrix Maledictum and the Noctis Aeterna, the warp storms raging about the Hadron expanse stuttered, then became completely calm. The Hadron expanse was once again accessible to the rest of the galaxy, but initially the factions of the Aleph sector had bigger things to worry about. The Hadron Expanse went un-noticed.
The Hadron Expanse now lies in the Imperium Nihilis, an area of the galaxy where the astronomicon no longer shines. Through the Foramen Interdictum however, a weak shaft of the emperor's light pierces the darkness, illuminating the Imperium's last holdings in the sector, and shining faintly towards the Expanse. With the war over the Foramen reaching stalemate, the Imperium are now seeking a second path across the Cicatrix, but they are not alone. The Tau, encouraged by the eldar, are seeking their own path to reconnect their scattered enclaves, cut off by the warpscar, while the forces of chaos are eager to exploit this new realm in order to encircle the Imperium. There is much to discover, and from mid-018M42 onwards, expeditions of exploration and conquest began to be assembled to cross into the Hadron expanse.
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