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The Fall of Absolom Reach

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The Fall of Absolom Reach occurred over the course of five days and resulted in the destruction of a thriving Hive World, which left a dark stain on the records of the Imperium.[1]

Overview

Before its fall, Absolom Reach was ruled by a militaristic elite, whose excess is blamed by some for what befell it. Indeed the horrors that destroyed the Hive World, originated in a Hive's arena during the culmination of Planetary Governor Vade Pince's Supreme Tourney, a regal and self-aggrandizing gladiatorial event, that was supposed to determine the Supreme Champion of the Galaxy. It was as Torias Flint, the Governor's own gladiatorial champion, raised his bloodied weapon to the arena's vaulted ceiling, that the fabric of reality tore open and the carnage began. As thousands of Absolom Reach's elite screamed in terror, a glossy black cube, that bore a brass lock, coalesced within the vast blood-spattered arena floor, with a Daemon Prince of Khorne atop it. The Daemon Prince looked with disdain at the Governor's Champion and told the arena's crowds, that the Blood God had a Supreme Champion of his own. With that, the Daemon Prince tore the lock from the cube and Khârn the Betrayer, erupted from within it with a roar and killed Torias Flint with a single swipe of Gorechild. As the Governor's champion fell dead, hordes of World Eaters and Daemons of Khorne, emerged from the cube and began butchering their way through the terrified crowds. In the ensuing massacre, panic spread throughout the Hive, like wildfire and within hours its great gates rumbled open as panicked citizens and PDF soldiers fled into Absolom Reach's vast deserts. They found no respite however, as they were then slaughtered by the Brazen Host, a unified throng of the servants of Slaanesh and Khorne.[1]

As the butchery continued, word of the Daemonic incursion reached the Hive World's remaining PDF, who raced to defeat the threat, along with two Regiments of Cadian Shock Troops that were stationed there and a task force of the Dark Angels' Ravenwing; who had been assigned patrol duties in Absolom Reach's System. Disaster struck however, as twenty thousand Imperial Guardsmen and ninety Dark Angels advanced on the burning ruin of the arena's Hive, when the Changeling appeared. Just as the Imperium's forces began to fight the Chaos hordes emerging from the Hive, the Tzeentch Daemon gave a signal and scores of Cadian squads, thought by all to be loyal Guardsmen, shed their mortal skin and revealed themselves to be gibbering, Pink Horrors. In the sudden confusion, thousands of the PDF and Cadians died, but the Dark Angels still held their nerve and fought on - right before a phalanx of Daemon Princes led by Lord of Change Kairos Fateweaver, stormed their position and struck them down. With their deaths, the Hive World's fate was sealed, as Fateweaver offered the Ravenwing's souls as a birth-gift to the Chaos Gods and guided the Daemon Princes, known as the Council of Despair, in ushering Absolom Reach's transformation into a Daemon World.[1]

Source