|Former Death World, Destroyed
Large portions of Caliban were covered with dense forests, which in turn were inhabited by many dangerous forms of wildlife. The most feared and deadly were the Great Beasts. According to Luther, Caliban possessed a vicious intelligence that extended to its "living" forests and beastly wildlife. This intelligence was in constant conflict with the Human settlers, whom it came to despise.
Isolated from Terra for approximately 5,000, years the people of Caliban lived in a Feudal system. The noble class founded many knightly orders tasked with protecting the population from the hardships and perils that came from living in such a deadly environment. The greatest and most controversial of these orders was known simply as The Order. The Order differed from the other knightly orders in that commoners were also accepted into their ranks. Lion El'Jonson and Luther were both members of The Order and would rise through the ranks together until Jonson eventually became Grand Master. Prior to the Emperor's arrival Jonson and Luther united virtually all the knightly orders in a successful campaign to rid the planet of all the Great Beasts.
Though not technologically advanced, Calibanites were able to produce rudimentary bolters, chainswords, energy weapons, and even power armour thanks to fragments of STC's that remained on the world.
The Great Crusade
The coming of the Emperor brought much change to Caliban. Jonson disbanded the knightly orders and eventually joined the Great Crusade at the head of his legion. Vast swathes of the planet were cleared. Mines were dug and huge manufactories were built to provide for the Legion and the Emperor's Crusade. Gone were the villages and towns and in their place vast structures called arcologies were built to house the population. Much of the nobility lost their peasant farmers, and disenfranchised they turned to rebellion.
Meanwhile, Luther and a large portion of the Dark Angels returned to Caliban after a falling out with The Lion during the Sarosh campaign. Bitter, jealous, and feeling abandoned, Luther had to deal with an increasingly violent rebellion by the anti-Imperial nobility. Unbeknownst to the Dark Angels, there were also Chaos-affiliated Cultists and Sorcerers who had infiltrated Administratum staff disrupting the status quo on Caliban.
By the middle stages of the Horus Heresy the Terran cultists had been eradicated on Caliban, but Luther and his loyalists (most notably Lord Cypher, Astelan, and Zahariel) had gained a firm hold on the planet. Luther intended to proclaim Caliban independent from both the Warmaster and Imperium, but was plagued by the schemes and politicking. After the death of Belath Luther openly declared independence from Caliban and oversaw a purge of loyalist elements.
When Jonson returned from the Horus Heresy, a withering salvo of fire knocked ships out of orbit. Over many decades Luther had corrupted the remaining legion on Caliban. Jonson was furious and moved his ships back into orbit, bombarding the planet. Eventually, Jonson ordered the invasion and the loyal Dark Angels landed across the planet. The corrupt Dark Angels took hold in the Order's monastery, and Luther and Jonson faced off. The ancient home was reduced to rubble and the planet was flattened.
Eventually, due to the bombardment, the planet's crust began to shift and crack. Around the planet, the warp shifted as the dark powers realised they had failed again and a warp storm spewed forth around the planet. A swirling vortex of warp power was created around Caliban and it eventually broke apart, being pulled into the warp. Only an asteroid with the ruins of the Fortress Monastery remained. Luther was said to be found, but Jonson was nowhere to be seen. It is said that he was taken by the Watchers in the Dark.
Ten millennia later, Vashtorr the Arkifane corrupted the ruins of Caliban with his techno-sorcery, transforming it into a mobile planetoid dubbed Wyrmwood. A planetoid of roiling Warp madness and infernal Daemonic industry, Wyrmwood was heavily garrisoned by the Cult of the Arkifane and Vashtorr's other allies. At its heart was a core sub-dimension from which Vashtorr assembled the other components of the Dissonance Engine: Ouroboros, Plagueheart, and eventually the Tuchulcha.[7a]
During the Battle of Idolatros during the Arks of Omen Campaign, Wyrmwood was redirected into the Somnium Stars and used as the center of Vashtorr's plan to acquire the Tuchulcha from The Rock. The Dark Angels took the bait, and though Wyrmwood was boarded by the Unforgiven and heavily damaged Vashtorr succeeded in acquiring the last fragment of The Key he required. With the Dissonance Engine complete, Wyrmwood ascended to a level not even The Rock could harm and used its power to bore a tunnel into the reality between the Materium and Warp much like the Webway. Aboard the Wyrmwood, Vashtorr plunged the planteoid into the abyss he created in search of The Lock.[7b]
The deadly creatures that populated Caliban's forests and wilds, known as the Great Beasts or simply the beasts, plagued the people of Caliban for centuries, killing many and forcing the populace to be ever wary of the forests, until Lion El'Jonson and the Order launched their campaign of extermination. Each great beast was said to be completely unique, a species within itself. There also existed the possibility that they were spawned from the warp.
This seems to be backed up by Zahariel's journey into the Northwilds and the unseemly intelligence and cruelty displayed by the beasts. All of them were lethal in their own way and slaying one would mark a supplicant's acceptance as a full knight into the Order.
- Aldurukh: The fortress and central headquarters of The Order. It began as a simple cave that a great forgotten warrior used to fortify himself and others from the Beasts of Caliban, evolving over time. By the end of the Great Crusade, a developed city had been built around it.
- Stormhold: A city of 4 million people, the 3rd largest on Caliban.
- Dordred Heath - Part of the settlement of Storrock. Area where Luther grew up, fighting the Great Beasts.
The character Caliban grows up alone, the only human on an island. This, combined with his ancestry (the son of a witch and a daemon), results in his wild and dangerous nature. Caliban is civilised by the arrival of a great sorcerer, but eventually grows resentful of his master and seeks to rebel under a new leader. In the end, however, he remains a servant of his first master. His character arc is notably similar to that of Lion El'Jonson.
The alternate spelling "Calibaun" is a Romany word for "black," the original colour of the Dark Angels' armour.
- 1: Codex: Dark Angels (4th Edition), [Needs Citation]
- 2: Descent of Angels (Novel), [Needs Citation]
- 3: Fallen Angels (Novel), [Needs Citation]
- 4: The Unforgiven (Novel)
- 5: Angels of Caliban (Novel), Chapters 6–7
- 6: Luther: First of the Fallen (Novel) - The Tale of the Beast
- 7: Arks of Omen: The Lion