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Fall of Tyran

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Fall of Tyran
A Hive Tyrant battles a Skitarii Vanguard
Conflict First Tyrannic War
Date 745.M41
Location Tyran
Outcome Tyranid victory
Imperium Tyranids
Magos Varnak(KIA) Hive Mind
Catachan Jungle Fighters Regiment
Thunderbolt Fighter wing
3 Light Cruisers
Hive Fleet Behemoth
All killed Unknown

The Fall of Tyran was the battle on the Research Station of Tyran that marked first contact between the Imperium and the Tyranids in 745.M41[1a], and from Tyran the newly encountered alien race received its name.


The Fall of Tyran[1a]

Imperial Explorators, in the preceding decade before the invasion, undertook a census of the planetary systems surrounding Tyran. Planets known to have been full of life were discovered reduced to lifeless, barren rock without even any living bacteria. These mysterious new Dead Worlds were reported to the Explorator General but nothing came of it. The Tyran outpost also filed its own reports of discovered dead worlds, but no help was sent and soon the Tyranids descended on the planet.[1a]

The outpost of Tyran Primus was built deep in the ruins of an ancient chain of volcanic islands. The base was well protected, already fortified against the extreme storms and dangerous sea-creatures of Tyran, and also given enough defences to stand against any pirates or aggressive aliens known to be on the edge of known space. It also boasted four giant defence lasers protected by hardened Ceramite and Void Shield generators. In turn, these emplacements were further defended by over three dozen Autocannon and Lascannon interceptors and their corresponding bastions and Proteus class bunkers. Further complimenting the ground defenses was a full regiment of Imperial Guard troops, including veterans from Catachan, backed up by the Skitarii bodyguard of Magos Varnak, the outpost's commander. Up in space, Tyran was protected by three Endeavour Light Cruisers and three full wings of Thunderbolt fighters. All this was the standard defence design for an Imperial outpost on the frontier and had proven itself against countless threats, however the Tyranids had never been encountered before.[1a]

The Invasion

Magos Varnak was undertaking a survey of nearby worlds when a massive cloud of unidentified objects entered the System. Varnak, his ship having been damaged by strange fleshy mines on the edges of the cloud, managed to return to Tyran Primus.[2] Less than a week later the invasion of Tyran began. Bio-ships were hurled against fire from the outpost's defence lasers for over an hour. But then suddenly the invaders withdrew. Varnak ordered his small fleet to immediately chase the fleeing vessels. However, after breaking through the spore cloud that masked the Tyranid fleet, Varnak discovered that fewer than a dozen alien ships had been destroyed in the initial assault, out of a fleet of several thousand. The Tyranid fleet then changed course and annihilated all the Imperial cruisers that had been drawn away from the planet.[1a]

Returning to Tyran, the Tyranids launched thousands of Mycetic Spores into the sea around Tyran Primus. The base's Astropath was unable to broadcast for help as the aliens somehow disrupted the Warp, through what became known as the Shadow in the Warp. At first, the stationed Imperial Guard held back the attackers with volleys of disciplined las-fire, but eventually parts of the defence network were destroyed allowing ever more Spores to reach the surface and unleash more Tyranid creatures. Soon the bastions were overrun, the defence laser complexes lost, and the Tyran Primus outpost swamped by invading aliens. The command bunker held out as the last secure location. As the Adamantium gate of the bunker caved in and Hormagaunts rushed in, Varnak pressed a switch sending a Data-codex, containing recordings of what had befallen Tyran, plummeting into the depths below the base. His data-codex contained a final message, warning mankind of what awaited them[1a]:

We cannot live through this. Mankind cannot live through this. In a single day they have covered this planet with a flood of living blades and needle-fanged mouths. Kill one, and ten take its place. If they are truly without number, then our race is doomed to a violent death before every shred of our civilization is scoured away by a force more voracious than the fires of hell themselves. Death! By the Machine God, Death is here! [1a]


Almost a year later, the data-codex was found by Inquisitor Kryptman, a far-sighted Inquisitor who had looked at the Explorator reports of new unexplained dead worlds and found a pattern encroaching into the galaxy. When he arrived at Tyran he discovered the entire planet, once an Ocean World, sucked utterly dry and devoid of any vegetation or life. Tyran was now a Dead World. After the planet Tyran, he gave the new alien threat the designation "Tyranids". Tyran was only the beginning in a series of battles that became the First Tyrannic War against Hive Fleet Behemoth.[1a][2]

Canon Conflicts

According to Codex: Tyranids (5th Edition), Behemoth entered the galaxy and destroyed Tyran in 745.M41.[1a] According to Codex: Space Marines (5th Edition), the Battle for Macragge took place in the same year.[3] However, Codex: Tyranids (5th Edition) states that Behemoth reached Macragge "several decades" after the death of Tyran.[1b] Also in White Dwarf 96 (UK) stated that this war's years were 678-745.M41.[4]