Ark Reach Secundus
Ark Reach Secundus is a world that was brought into the Imperium of Man by units of the 47th Expedition Fleet and a mixed taskforce of the Legiones Astartes during the Great Crusade. Known to the pre-Imperial inhabitants, the Avenians, as Heliosa, it was nicknamed Shrike by the Imperial elements who fought there. Ark Reach Secundus was the Cardinal World of the Avenian empire and offered significant resistance to joining the Imperium.[1c]
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Discovered by the 47th Expedition Fleet towards the end of the Great Crusade, Heliosa (as it was then known) was part of an extensive planetary alliance that covered the majority of the systems within the Ark Reach Cluster. When the leaders of this alliance refused to join the Imperium, the Astartes of the 47th - the Word Bearers - and their attached Army units were turned loose. For reasons unknown (although presumably because of the size to cover and the relative power of the Ark Reach resistance) a significant portion of the Space Wolf Legion were tasked to the campaign shortly afterwards, with forces from the Thousand Sons subsequently assigned to aid the compliance as well.
Ark Reach Secundus, the Imperial designation for Heliosa, was the last holdout world in the subsector and as a result suffered military assault by formations from all three Astartes legions led by their primarchs and all the resources available to them. Once their inevitable defeat was realised the kings of Heliosa attempted to surrender, but this offer was refused by Leman Russ, who led his legion into a determined sack of the last Heliosan stronghold and slaughtered all the defenders.[1a] The Space Wolves burnt all in their path, and when the Thousand Sons attempted to protect the planets great library there was a brief but bitter skirmish between the two legions. Russ nearly battled Magnus himself after condemning him a sorcerer, but were stopped by the intervention of Lorgar.
At the conclusion of the war of compliance on Ark Reach Secundus, Major General Hestor Navarre was installed as the planetary governor. This world required a significant garrison to ensure Imperial authority was maintained.[1b]
Geography and Planetary Conditions
Ark Reach Secundus was a planet of three enormous continents comprised almost entirely of jagged mountains. These continents were believed to have been formed as a result of violent tectonic forces aeons prior to human inhabitation.
The skies of the planet was reported to be alive with a wide variety of flying creatures causing a hazard for Imperial flying craft. [1c]
The name Shrike is derived from a native bird used by the Avenians as line breakers to attack Imperial formations. These birds were described as partially fur-bearing with razor-sharp beaks.[1c]
- 1: A Thousand Sons (Novel) by Graham McNeill