Welcome to Warhammer 40k - Lexicanum! Log in and join the community.

Badab War

From Warhammer 40k - Lexicanum
Jump to: navigation, search
Badab War
Space Marine forces of the Red Scorpions advance during the Badab War[4]
Date 901-912.M41[2g]
Location The Maelstrom[2a]
Outcome Imperial victory[2g]
Renegade Space Marines[1a] Imperium[1a]
Lufgt Huron[1a]
Yarvan Sartaq (KIA)[1f]
Thulsa Kane[1e]
Khoisan Neotera[6]
Ahazra Redth[2h]
Lord Commander Verant Ortys[1f]
Inquisitor Jarndyce Frain[2l]
Commander Carab Culln[1h]
Commander Asterion Moloc
Commander Tyberos the Red Wake
Commander Lazaerek[1l]
Captain Pellas Mir'san[1m]
Reclusiarch Ivanus Enkomi[1m]
Captain Silas Alberec[1m]
Captain Zhrukal Androcles(KIA)[1m]
Captain Vaylund Cal[1m]
Astral Claws[1a]
Mantis Warriors[1e]
Tyrant's Legion[1h]
Battlefleet Maelstrom[1h]
Fire Hawks (Entire Chapter)[1n]
Marines Errant (6 Companies)[1n]
Red Scorpions (8 Companies)[1n]
Raptors (4 Companies)[1n]
Fire Angels (Entire Chapter)[1n]
Novamarines (2 Companies)[1n]
Howling Griffons (~250)[1n]
Sons of Medusa (6th Companies)[2i]
Exorcists (5 Companies)[2i]
Minotaurs (Entire Chapter)[2i]
Star Phantoms (Entire Chapter)[2i]
Battlefleet Karthargo[1d]
Battlefleet Solar Reserves[1f]
Inquisitiorial Stormtroopers[1f]
Ordo Hereticus[3]
Majority of Astral Claws[3]
Heavy among Lamenters[3], Executioners[3],
& Mantis Warriors[3]

The Badab War is the name given to one of the most serious rebellions in recent Imperial history. While the conflict is named for a planet (or system of the same name), the war actually took place throughout the several sectors of Imperial space known as the Maelstrom Zone. The war saw four entire Space Marine Chapters secede and rebel against the Imperium.[1a]

The Badab War is notable for several reasons; the leader of the rebellious forces, Lufgt Huron, would survive the end of the war and return to trouble Imperial space once more as the Chaos-alligned warlord known as Huron Blackheart, while the conflict itself involved a significant number of warring Space Marine Chapters as the primary participants.[1m]

While the war is officially reckoned to have lasted between 901 and 912.M41, outright warfare did not break out until 904, while the situation that led to the Badab War began much, much earlier.[1a]


Imperial records of the Badab War are subject to an Edict of Obliteration and are therefore fragmentary and occasionally contradictory. Despite this, a large amount of information on the subject remains in existence, although principally concentrated in an assemblage held 'off the record' by the Ordo Hereticus.[1k]

The Badab Schism

Badab's self-appointed planetary governor was Lufgt Huron, holder of the self-given title "Tyrant of Badab". Huron had taken this role following a failed coup exacted against the previous ruler of the planet in the year 718.M41, appointing himself to ensure no further threat could manifest against the world. For Badab was not just an important world in it's own right, it was also an Adeptus Astartes recruiting world of Huron's own chapter, the Astral Claws.[1a]

Not settling for assuming control of a single planet, Huron declared that the entire Badab sector was now his to govern "to better protect [...] them in the glory of the Emperor."[1b] Such an event was not without precedent—the Ultramarines overlordship of the Ultramar sector being the most famous example—but it could still be considered questionable in some circles.

However, Huron was at this point a famed Astartes commander, known throughout the Maelstrom Zone and even beyond as a highly capable warrior and leader determined to protect the region over which he watched. Huron and the Astral Claws were the preeminent part of an organization created by the High Lords of Terra themselves: the Maelstrom Warders, a group of Space Marine chapters permanently assigned to the Maelstrom Zone as its guardians and protectors.[1a] As a result, Huron's role as the Tyrant of Badab was not in itself the cause of the war, although it was an indication of departures from behavior normally expected of a Space Marine commander that would only grow worse.[Needs Citation]

Some Imperial records of the Badab War point to Huron's withholding of the gene-seed tithe to the Adeptus Mechanicus as the slow fuse that began the conflict.[2k][7] However, sequestered Inquisitorial records reveal that Huron withheld tithes not just from the Mechanicus: in 748.M41, he chose to begin retaining nearly all of the resources available to him. It has since become clear that this was a response to the refusal of Huron's proposal that the entire Maelstrom Zone be the subject of a Crusade planned, and presumably led, by himself. The High Lords dismissed Huron's plan because Imperial forces were needed elsewhere at that time. Determined to secure the entirety of the Maelstrom Zone and to raise the forces required to do it himself, Huron began to hoard not only the planetary tithes of the Badab sector, but to block or restrict trade routes throughout local space, citing security reasons as his motivation.[1c]

Huron's activity did not cause any great concern in the various senior Imperial circles for some time; Astartes' laxity in delivering their gene-seed tithes was not exactly a new occurrence, and seeing as Huron's tithes were delivered to the Administratum through the "middle-men" of the Karthago Sector, no-one in particular high authority was disturbed by the slackening off of Badab resources.[Needs Citation]

The trade lords of the Karthargo sector themselves, however, were most disturbed by the development. Holding the charter to receive and then distribute tithes and trade from the Maelstrom Zone, Huron's actions put them in both a growing economic vice and in danger of eventually incurring the ire of the Adminstratum Segmentum Procurator-General, who did not care about the reasons behind shortfall, only that there was a shortfall in the first place.[1c]

Despite this, Huron suffered no particular censure from any Imperial body for almost the next 150 years.[Needs Citation]

Tithes, Pirates and Secession

It has been said that only two things in life are certain: death and taxes. In the Imperium of Man, these certainties are often unassailably linked. In the year 901.M41, Lufgt Huron found the taxman at his door.[Needs Citation]

A mixed Imperial Tithe Fleet, made up of Karthargan trade vessels and Mechanicus Magos Biologis ships as well as three Imperial cruisers, warped into the Badab system and summarily demanded their due.[Needs Citation]

Refusing to meet the requests of the Badab Naval forces to heave-to at the edge of the system and proclaiming their Imperial authority, the Tithe Fleet powered in-system, and in circumstances not fully explained, was fired upon and completely destroyed. Huron maintained that the Tithe Fleet refused to follow pilot instructions and threatened him with violence and was therefore treated as a hostile force, as was his right.[Needs Citation]

The Karthagans were outraged at this and at the laggardly speed at which the Adeptus Terra seemed to be moving to investigate the matter. They sent two punitive fleets into the Maelstrom Zone over the next two years, but both disappeared without trace.[Needs Citation]

At roughly the same time raider and pirate attacks in the Zone increased, further disrupting trade, and it was onto these forces that the Karthargan losses were blamed.[1d]

Huron responded to the Karthagan attitude, along with the Mechanicus involvement in the initial Tithe Fleet, as though he were being persecuted. Calling a conclave with the other Maelstrom Warders, the Lamenters and Mantis Warriors Adeptus Astartes chapters, he created his Articles of Just Seccession, which laid out his intention to separate the Maelstrom Zone from any tie to neighboring sectors of space. Complaining of the imposition made upon him and the Warders by the authorities of such sectors, he proclaimed that the Emperor-given rights of the Space Marines placed them beyond such concerns. Notably, Huron's document promised that he and the Warders would continue their holy work of guarding the Maelstrom Zone from anti-Imperial threats.[1d]

Absolutely incensed at Huron's actions, the Trade Lords of Karthargo began to complain about the affair to anyone who would listen. After being rebuffed by Ryza Naval Command and the Segmentum Procurator General, they eventually found the ear of the Fire Hawks Space Marine chapter [1d], the only Imperial body prepared to get involved in what was to most still seen as an internal Administratum matter concerning the correct procedure for gathering the tithes of Badab.[Needs Citation]


The strategic situation during the Badab War[2j]

In the year 904.M41, the Fire Hawks agreed to investigate the disappearance of the Kartagan punitive fleets earlier sent into the Maelstrom Zone. Shortly afterwards, a Fire Hawks vessel, the Red Harbinger, entered the Endymion Cluster, an area of the Zone controlled by the Mantis Warriors. Refusing to stand down and explain their presence when hailed by a Mantis Warriors naval force, the Red Harbinger was first crippled and then boarded by a detachment of the Mantis Warriors. The Fire Hawks refused to surrender themselves into the Mantis Warriors' authority and a fierce firefight broke out, resulting in defeat for the Fire Hawks.[1d]

With this Astartes v. Astartes conflict, the Badab War had truly begun.[Needs Citation]


After a brief parley to return the Fire Hawks prisoners taken from the Red Harbinger, hostilities erupted in earnest. The Fire Hawks deployed their full chapter and fleet in an attempt to engage the Maelstrom Warders, but were regularly unable to bring the evasive Mantis Warriors to battle and simply did not have the strength to engage the system defenses of Badab. Attempting to set a trap on the Mantis Warrior-protected world of Iblis, the Fire Hawks were refused, with both the Mantis Warriors and the Astral Claws choosing instead to seize the border-world of Sagan III, securing resources and warp-routes further into the Zone. The disgusted Fire Hawks fire-bombed Iblis and destroyed the only Mars class battlecruiser of Battlefleet Maelstom, the Sacred Tetrarch, in reply.[1e]

The Fire Hawks were forced on the defensive, with the outnumbering Maelstrom Warders trying to oust the Fire Hawks from the Zone by main force. However, this was prevented when the Fire Hawks' request for aid was answered by the arrival of another Astartes chapter, the Marines Errant.[Needs Citation]

This reinforcement did not significantly change the fortunes of the Fire Hawks, as the Marines Errant, with their strong Strike Cruiser fleet elements, decided to use half of their forces to protect neutral Imperial shipping traveling through the Maelstrom Zone.[Needs Citation]

The impact of the Marines Errant was also blunted by their contacts with the similarly heavily fleet-based Lamenters; the Marines Errant and Lamenters were linked by honour-bonds forged in war as recently as the bitter Corinth Crusade of 698.M41 and were reluctant to fight each other. Both sides therefore satisfied themselves with desultory driving-off actions, much to the ire of their respective allies.[1e]

A further blow to the loyalist forces arrived not as a military force, but a piece of astropathic news; the Executioners chapter, blood-sworn to aid the Astral Claws in recognition of an earlier event, had elected to honour the debt, deciding to at least send a minimal but powerful force to the Zone.[1e]

Towards the end of the year, Battlefleet Karthago and a small Marines Errant detachment was almost totally destroyed by a naval force of Astral Claws and Lamenters; the Star Jackal of the Marines Errant was the only capital ship that managed to escape. With the destruction of much of their fleet, the Trade Lords' active role in the Badab War was effectively over.[Needs Citation]

The Marines Errant were further weakened when they were engaged by the Mantis Warriors upon the surface of Bellerophon's Fall, where the Mantis Warriors were able to surgically excise their command structure. With the deaths of their Chapter Master and two Company Captains, the Marines Errant went into retreat.[1e]


With Space Marines now fighting each other in open warfare, the High Lords of Terra finally deigned to notice the situation in the Maelstrom Zone. They responded by dispatching a sizable task-force of Naval vessels from the Segmentum Solar reserve, Administratum Auditors, and last but not least, envoys of the Inquisition. Determined to root out the cause of the fighting, this task-force first demanded that all participants cease fire and the Secessionists surrender for questioning. When this demand was rejected by Lufgt Huron, the task-force declared that the Secessionist Chapter Masters were to be arrested and that their rights and resources were forfeit.[1f]

The Terran Legates spent the best part of the year assembling the forces they deemed necessary to eliminate the Secessionist threat. Calling in the Astartes of the Red Scorpions, Raptors, Salamanders and Fire Angels chapters, a powerful retribution force was soon ready to take part in the war.[Needs Citation]

The Marines Errant and the Fire Hawks were ordered to stand down for questioning, a process that would take the better part of a year, an order the Fire Hawks chose to follow only after they carried out the vindictive fire-bombing of Sacristan, a Mantis Warrior world in the Endymion Cluster.[Needs Citation]

As for the Trade Lords, a full Inquisitoral investigation found them guilty of multiple crimes and sentenced the entire population of their principal world to six generations of indentured servitude.[1f]


The largest naval battle of the war so far, the Battle of Silent Reach, took place at the beginning of the year, when the combined fleets of the Red Scorpions and the Segmentum Solar Reserve met that of the Lamenters and Battlefleet Maelstrom. Despite the size of the clash, it led to relatively few destroyed vessels and was considered inconclusive. The only serious loss was the destruction of the Battlefleet Maelstrom flagship, the Oberon class Gauntlet of Wrath.[1f]

Following this, the appointed Imperial Commander of the loyalist force, Ortys of the Red Scorpions, led forces from his own chapter as well as from the Marines Errant and newly arrived Novamarines to assault the important world of Vyaniah. The loyalist forces were unexpectedly rebuffed by the defending Tyrant's Legion forces, although the kill ratio was estimated to be 178-to-1 in favor of the loyalists.[Needs Citation]

A second blow at this time was the arrival of the long-expected Executioners, who proved adept at performing powerful hit-and-run attacks upon Imperial installations. However, the sudden surge of loyalist Astartes into the sector, as well as the return to active duty of the cleared Fire Hawks and Marines Errant, meant that despite their losses, the loyalists had secured a stalemate in the war for the Maelstrom Zone.[1g] On Vyaniah fought also Minotaurs with using of Drop Pods assaults tactic.[5i]

An attempt to break the situation was made when Lufgt Huron unexpectedly proposed parley. Agreeing to his terms, Commander Ortys agreed to meet with Huron and Chapter Master Sartaq of the Mantis Warriors aboard a run-down way-station in orbit of the planet Shadim in the Grief system. This event is known to the Loyalists as the Betrayal at Grief. In circumstances not fully understood, the parley was disrupted by a third party force of apparent Chaos origin and in the subsequent free-for-all combat both Loyalist Chapter Masters Ortys and Secessionist Chapter Master Sartaq were killed by Chaos forces.[1g]

The death of Orys, while a tragic event, did not throw the Loyalists into disarray as might otherwise have been supposed. The arrival of further reinforcements in the form of the Howling Griffons and Sons of Medusa chapters as well as the elevation of the acclaimed Carab Culln to both mastery of the Red Scorpions and command of the loyalist forces in the Maelstrom Zone ensured morale remained high. Culln completed activation of Vengeance Station, a powerful forward base in the Zone. The Red Scorpions conducted raiding attacks on Astral Claws space lanes, while the Sons of Medusa and Novamarines interdicted the Endymion Cluster and the Sagan system respectively, beginning to pin down Secessionist forces.[1g]

The battered Fire Hawks, who had been switched to rear duty by Commander Culln, proved that they were still committed to the campaign when a surprise attack fell upon the loyalist rear sectors. After a bloody naval battle, the Fire Hawks emerged the victors over the Lamenters. The loyalist supply lines remained secure.[1g]


The battle for Gangreatha III, begun the previous year, was concluded with victory for the forces of the Raptors, Salamanders and Fire Angels over the Astral Claws and Mantis Warriors. Another important victory came about when the Raptors and Salamanders relieved the besieged loyalist world of Surngraad. The Raptors, in particular, found much glory during this action.[1h]

The Marines Errant, having taken serious losses during the war, elected to retire from the campaign, much to the ire of the Fire Hawks. Their withdrawal coincided with the arrival of the rest of the Executioners chapter, come to reinforce the crew of the Night Hag. The Executioners fell in force upon the locations defended by the Howling Griffons and inflicted tremendous casualties upon that Loyalist chapter, so much so that it was suggested that the Griffons retire from the campaign, a suggestion they resisted until 909.M41.[1h]

The Secessionists were suddenly distracted from following up this opportunity however, when the Mantis Warriors were forced to invade their own territory to oust an Ork invasion and the Astral Claws had to deal with degenerate daemon-worshipping cults springing up inside their own domain.[Needs Citation]

A further blow to Huron's forces was suffered by the unexpected arrival of another Loyalist chapter, the Minotaurs. Charging directly into battle, the Minotaurs wiped out the entire Tyrant's Legion unit stationed on Kyro. While allying themselves with Culln's command tree, the Minotaurs kept to themselves, attacking with a ferocity unmatched in the Loyalist camp until the arrival of the Carcharodons some years later. One instance when the Minotaurs are on record as working with other Astartes is when they aided the Red Scorpions in finally conquering the world of Vyaniah.[1h]


Apothecary Iscario Seneca of the Tiger Claws, masquerading as an Astral Claw[1o]

Not long into the year a question that had been concerning Imperial tacticians was at last seemingly answered. The interrogation of a captured Astral Claws Apothecary took an unexpected turn when the prisoner revealed that he was in fact a member of the Tiger Claws, an Astral Claws Cursed Founding chapter long thought long lost. Further Inquisitorial research would eventually establish that the reasons Huron had withheld gene-seed for so long was that not only was he attempting to enlarge the size of the Astral Claws beyond Codex norms, he was attempting to secretly rebuild this formerly assumed extinct successor chapter, hiding extant members within their parent chapter. This explained why the Astral Claws appeared able to take losses but not lose fighting strength.[1h]

The Inquisition were also able to discover that the Astral Claws had allied themselves with a group of heretek scavengers in order to recover a buried weapons store on the world of Cygnax. The loyalists moved to intercept, the Sons of Medusa taking the lead backed up by a newly-arrived Exorcists. The two chapters soon disagreed over the best way to prosecute the campaign, and the Exorcists were pulled out and added to the forces assembled for the Sagan offensive. This force also included heavy presence of the Red Scorpions and Fire Angels as well as squad support from the Salamanders, Raptors and Novamarines. This was a particularly intense battle, with the Astral Claws refusing to give up the planet; they eventually released Virus Bombs in an effort to defeat the loyalists.[Needs Citation]

While this attempt was unsuccessful, it did cause significant casualties amongst the Fire Angels, who bore the brunt of the fighting. Nevertheless, the world was taken by Loyalists. This was a significant step in the war, as holding Sagan effectively cut the Endymion Cluster off from Badab, more-or-less trapping the Mantis Warriors in their home territory and cutting off the ability of the Mantis Warriors and the Astral Claws to support each other easily.[1i]

Around this time, and running into the new year, several chapters present in the Maelstrom Zone were dismissed from the campaign in stages by the Inquisition. The Novamarines, Raptors and the badly mauled Howling Griffons were all released from service, theoretically so that they could be available to combat an expected Waaagh! elsewhere in the segmentum but, according to Inquisitorial files at any rate, they were dismissed because it was felt that they were not "hard-line" enoug to be fully trusted to be in at the kill of the Secessionists now the end of the war was felt to be in sight.[Needs Citation]

The Inquisition attempted to dismiss the Salamanders element present in the Zone for the same reason, but the marines of this influential First Founding were able to resist the pressure to agree to reassignment. [1i]

An example of the kind of conduct the Inquisition wished to see performed by the loyalist chapters present can be seen in how the Minotaurs dealt with the Lamenters in this year. Tracking down their Chapter Barque, Mater Lacrimarum, they provoked the Lamenters into rushing to its defense and right into a trap. In a vicious close-quarters fleet action, replete with multiple boarding assaults, the Minotaurs were eventually able to totally crush the Lamenters' strength, forcing their remaining 300+ marines, most wounded, to surrender. [1i]

This devastating blow to the Secessionists was swiftly followed by another. Discovering that the Astral Claws had an established materiel transfer site with a local Forge World, the Red Scorpions and Salamanders, in what would become known as the Angstrom Incident, ambushed the handover, destroying the cache of equipment and wrecking the possibility of any future materiel transfer between the Mechanicus of Angstrom and the Astral Claws.[1i]


With the Lamenters removed from the war, the worlds of Sagan III and Vyaniah in Loyalist hands and the Angstrom Mechanicus neutralised, the Secessionists were placed heavily on the back foot at the beginning of the year, a position they seemed unable to break out from. Despite this, the loyalists were largely unable to continue with their successes as they were heavily involved in reorganizing their own forces for much of the year. Also, the Ork menace once again raised its green head in the Endyminion cluster, a situation the Mantis Warriors took advantage of in order to inflict serious casualties on the already-battered Fire Angels.[1i]

With the Astral Claws falling back to dig into the Badab system, most of their fleet elements having been destroyed or damaged, the only serious strikes made against the loyalists this year were by the roving Executioners chapter, whose base of operations in the Maelstrom Zone could not be pinned down.[1i]


A relative lull in the hostilities met the new year, but this did not mean that both sides were idle. An invasion force composed of elements of the Sons of Medusa and forces of the Inquisition once more invaded the contested world of Galen VI, but this time met with success. Although the world was ultimately spared major damage, much of its population was forced into servitude as punishment for their transgressions, either through service in the penal legions, or deposited elsewhere in the Maelstrom zone to aid in rebuilding the shattered infrastructure of many other worlds that had felt the touch of the greater war.[2e]

This year would also see the addition of a dark presence to the forces of the Loyalists in the form of the Carcharodons Astartes Chapter. Taking almost everyone by surprise, this mysterious force offered its service to the cause of the Imperium, and while Commander Culln had his own misgivings, he immediately sent the newcomers to work in subjugating the worlds of the Endymion Cluster. The Carcharodons took to this task with grim gusto, and in a campaign of systematic terror left entire populations slaughtered and worlds with nothing but ash. Eventually the Mantis Warriors, who made their home in the Tranquility system, were forced to intervene, but this played directly into the Carcharodons' plans. Eventually bereft of numbers and worn down by the brutal assaults of the Loyalist Chapter, the Mantis Warriors surrendered.[2f]

It was during this time that the Fire Angels, in part due to the heavy casualties it had suffered over the course of the war, and in part due to disgust over the Carcharodons' methods, elected to withdraw from the campaign. They returned to their home world in honor, and begun the painful process of rebuilding its strength.[2f]


During this period the Loyalist and Secessionist forces entered a period of escalating engagements. A strike force composed of Salamanders and Minotaurs, led by Captain Pellas Mir'San, attacked the world of Lamptan, where their enemies were gradually amassing strong numbers. The lightning raid was a success, and yielded an additional bonus in the form of recovered Space Marine gene-seed, stolen from the Loyalist fallen by the Astral Claws Corpse Taker Apothecaries since the uprising started.[2g]

Known But Undated Battles of Badab War

The Palace of Thorns

The final battle of the Badab War would be against the Astral Claws stronghold known as the Palace of Thorns located on the world of Badab itself. The assault was carried out primarily by the Star Phantoms Chapter. Almost impregnable to ground assault, the Star Phantoms instead assaulted the Palace via drop pods and thunderhawks under the cover of a colossal orbital bombardment. More then five hundred Space Marines from the seven full companies which participated in the assault survived their initial entry. A bitter struggle then erupted between the Astral Claws and Star Phantoms as they vied for control of the palace while the fleet in orbit traded fire with the defense lasers and missile silos of Huron's stronghold.[3]

Using their knowledge of the complex and operating from well-prepared positions, the Astral Claws would launch intricate ambushes against the attackers, holding back the Star Phantoms and even pushing them back for a time. Assault squads on both sides shed their jump packs in favor of stealth, whilst Assault Terminators spearheaded assaults. Hundreds of Space Marines - Loyalist and Renegade- were slaughtered as they battled through the Palace of Thorns. Teams of Star Phantoms equipped with meltabombs and specialized demolition charges infiltrated the sewer network beneath the palace until they finally reached the defense batteries that had kept the city safe from mass invasion. Destroying the power generators that supplied them, Badab's defense guns were finally silenced and legions of Ordo Hereticus Stormtroopers joined the Star Phantoms' offensive. The Astral Claws were finally thrown into a full retreat.[3]

It was at this point when Captain Androcles of the Star Phantoms confronted Huron, ambushing him as the traitors fled to their landing craft. The Star Phantoms captain fired his combi-melta, critically injuring Huron and putting the remaining Astral Claws in flight. The Astral Claws managed to delay their pursuers by laying booby traps, and more than two hundred Astral Claws escaped the Palace of Thorns into the Maelstrom, the badly wounded Huron included.[3]

With the Astral Claws rebellion finally put down, one of the worst Space Marine rebellions was over. The Mantis Warriors, Executioners, and Lamenters were shown mercy on the condition of a penitent Crusade. The Astral Claws however turned the Maelstrom into their new refuge. Huron would rename himself Huron Blackheart and now fully recovered from his wounds, renamed the chapter the Red Corsairs. Gradually delving into Chaos, the Red Corsairs have been joined by many other Space Marine renegades and are still among the most persistent problems for the Imperium along the Maelstrom Zone.[3]

See also