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5th Black Crusade

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Black Crusades of Abaddon the Despoiler 1st - 2nd - 3rd - 4th - 5th - 6th - 7th - 8th - 9th - 10th - 11th - 12th - 13th
5th Black Crusade
Conflict Long War
Date 723.M36
Location Elysia Sector
Outcome Chaos victory
Imperium Forces of Chaos
Unknown Abaddon the Despoiler
Imperial Guard
Imperial Navy
Astral Claws[8]
Blood Angels (MIA)
Black Legion
Flawless Host
Daemonic Legions
Entire Venerators Chapter
Entire Warhawks Chapter
Blood Angels aboard Eclipse of Hope
Doombreed imprisoned

The Fifth Black Crusade of Abaddon the Despoiler — also called the Tide of Blood, the Scouring of Elysia, and the Black Crusade of Doombreed — occurred in 723.M36.[1] Abaddon summoned the Daemon Prince Doombreed and destroyed two Chapters of Space Marines.[3]


The Fifth Black Crusade included among its many atrocities the scouring of the Elysia Sector[3], culminating in the destruction of the ancient Imperial city of Kasyr Lutien; where the entire population was sacrificed in a Chaos ritual that split the skies asunder and summoned down the uncounted hosts of the Warp[2]. The Warmaster purposefully fomented invasions on a dozen worlds within the sector, entrusting the destruction of cities, shrines and temples to his warlords while using his fleet to keep the Imperial Navy engaged in deep void skirmishes. It was Abaddon's intention to create a sector-wide conflict that would provoke a massive response from the Imperium and draw in Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes. His plans set in motion, the Warmaster led the bulk of his Black Legion to the city of Kasyr Lutien on Tarinth, burning the great city to the ground and enslaving its people. When Warhawks and Venerators Space Marines arrived on Tarinth in Chapter strength, they made an immediate assault upon Kasyr Lutien. At the same moment, Abaddon ordered the mass sacrifice of ten million citizens. Their blood funneled via the city's great canals into a vast lake of gore. Above the lake, the Warp opened up and Doombreed, greatest of all Khorne's Daemon Princes, stepped into reality and howled in triumph.[3]

Abaddon had made a dark pact with Doombreed, promising it the skulls of an entire Chapter of Space Marines in return for its service. With thousands of Bloodletters pouring forth from the lake of blood, Doombreed waded into the ranks of the Warhawks and Venerators. The Black Legion then sprang their own trap, and from prepared positions across the city, they opened fire on the loyalists, blocking their retreat. Though they fought without fear or respite, both Chapters fell that day, their warriors mutilated by the daemonic host and their gene-seed forever lost to the Imperium.[3] Among the forces mobilised against Doombreed was a force of Blood Angels aboard the battle barge Eclipse of Hope. The battle barge disappeared during the crusade[5], the Blood Angels aboard sacrificing their own freedom to imprison Doombreed on the planet Pallevon.[6]

Meanwhile while Imperial forces battled against Abaddon's assault, a Flawless Host warband led by squads of Possessed Chaos Space Marines tormented the agri worlds of Galvan II and Galvan IV. Not only did they smash their way through Imperial defence emplacements – woefully undermanned as Abaddon’s forces kept reinforcements from reaching the beleaguered worlds – but they went on to massacre the populations of several cities in a horrifically violent fashion. They raided temples and sacred shrines, leaving with powerful artefacts requested of them by Abaddon. Not satisfied with their haul, before the Flawless Host exited the planet’s orbit, they destroyed its shipyards and major factories, delivering a critical blow to the Imperium during a dark hour.[4]

Not only Chaos forces were victorious in 5th Black Crusade, but Abaddon also used them to loosen the psychic equilibrium in this region for each act of violation shattered the warp-seals that had held psychic mutation stable in that part of Galaxy.[7]