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Ghaslakh xenohold

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The Ghaslakh xenohold was an Ork Empire that existed at the end of the Great Crusade.[1] Centered on the world of Ghaslakh, it was located in the Eastern Fringe, rimwards of Sotha and south of the Xersinia Wastes Prohibited Zone.[2b]


After Horus was appointed Warmaster of the Great Crusade by The Emperor, he declared that the Ghaslakh xenohold was developing into a major threat to the Imperium's eastern border. Accordingly, he convinced the Officio Militaris of the need to destroy the Ork domain.[2a] Horus subsequently ordered the Ultramarines and Word Bearers Legions to prepare for a planned campaign to eliminate the Ghaslakh orks before they could endanger the Imperium's worlds. The two legions, along with a large number of Imperial Army and auxiliary forces, mustered on the planet Calth (which was both one of the prime worlds of the Ultramarines' domain of Ultramar and one of the worlds under threat from the xenos).[1] Meanwhile, the Ultramarines sent some patrols to the xenohold's worlds, and confirmed that Ork forces from the Ghaslakh region were attacking the Fortress World of Golsoria.[2a] A Company under Captain Alcaeus discovered, however, that the Ork numbers were lower than expected.[3]

The so-called Ghaslakh Crusade against the xenohold never came to pass - Horus' true purpose for gathering the Legions at Calth was so the Word Bearers, who had joined Horus' rebellion against the Imperium, could deal the Loyalist Ultramarines a crippling blow before they could oppose the Warmaster's plans.[1]

With his reports to Calth unanswered[3], Alcaeus' Ultramarines began to wage a war against the Ghaslakh Orks on their own, a struggle which increasingly transformed into a personal quest by the Captain to kill the Orks' leader, only to be also be betrayed by the Word Bearers.[4]

Following the Horus Heresy, several Imperial scholars began to question whether the Ghaslakh xenohold had ever actually existed, proposing that it might have been a mere ruse by Horus to organize the Calth muster and thus allow for the destruction of the Ultramarines. However, others pointed at the Ultramarines' own reconnaissance confirming that at least some kind of Ork formation was developing in the region alleged to be part of the Ghaslakh xenohold. One author argued that, even if the xenohold had existed, its offensive actions ultimately paled in comparison to the destruction caused by the Horus Heresy and thus faded from Humanity's awareness.[2a]