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Invasion of the Stygius Sector

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Invasion of the Stygius Sector
Invasion of the Stygian Sector (Codex Iron Hands).jpg
Date ???.M42
Location Stygius Sector
Outcome Overall Chaos victory
Imperium victorious on Mordian[2]
Forces of Chaos
Iron Father Kardan Stronos[2]
Iron-Captain Caanok Var[2]
Daemon Primarch Magnus, Lord of Change M'Kachen, Lord of Change Kairos Fateweaver
Ahrak Deathshriek[2]
See Order of Battle See Order of Battle
Heavy Unknown

The Invasion of the Stygius Sector was a major battle fought by the Imperium, sometime after the Thirteenth Black Crusade.[1]


The invasion began after the creation of the Great Rift, during the Thirteenth Black Crusade, when the Chaos God Tzeentch grew jealous of its Brother Nurgle's newly acquired domain of the Scourge Stars. While Tzeentch began to underman Nurgle's control of the Scourge Stars, the Chaos God also wished to corrupt a realm of space for itself and selected the Imperium's Stygius Sector to be its domain. This was due to the fact that Stygius Sector was still awash with Warp Storms created by the Great Rift's opening and as a result, the light of the Astronomicon could no longer be seen there; all of which, made the Sector an inviting target for the Chaos God's forces.[1]

The opening phase of the invasion saw Cult uprisings begin across a score of the Sector's isolated worlds and the actions of the Changeling added to the Sector's troubles, as the Daemon traveled from world to world, spreading havoc and confusion. However, it was only when the Stygius Sector's worlds were seething with rebellion that the true invasion began, as Tzeentch's Daemons and Chaos Space Marines were unleashed upon the Sector. With the Daemon Primarch Magnus and his Thousand Sons, along with the Lord of Change M'Kachen and its Great Changehost, among Tzeentch's forces, three of the Stygius Sector's Systems were swiftly taken; with only the Imperium world Mordian being able to resist the Chaos God's invasion. Shortly afterwards though, the light of the Astronomicon, began to miraculously reach the Sector and its beleaguered defenders immediately sent out a request for aid.[1]

When the Imperium received the request for aid, the Stygius Crusade was hastily assembled and sent to defend the Sector, but when it arrived seven sub-sectors had already fallen into Tzeentch's hands. Despite being heavily outnumbered, the Stygius Crusade immediately fought to stem any further losses to the Chaos God's invasion and launched attacks to reclaim the worlds already claimed by Tzeentch's forces. The battles that followed were epic in size and savagery, but though the Crusade was able to break Tzeentch's siege on Mordian, they were hit with several devastating setbacks. Chief among them, was that due to the Great Rift and local Warp Storms, the worlds of the Stygius Sector began to mutate into nightmarish realms and several of the Crusade's fleets were lost, when they were seized by the Warp and hurled into the distant past or future. The Warp also claimed the Imperium world Dakidda and with it, the entire 44th Necromundan Regiment which had just combat dropped onto the invaded world. This was just the start of the Stygius Crusade's downfall, as Tzeentch's hordes began to overwhelm the Crusade's forces and even the ghosts of the dead rose up to aid the Chaos God's conquest of the embattled sector.[1]

However, just as the Crusade began to fall to Tzeentch's might, a large strike force from the Craftworld Ulthwe arrived in the Sector without warning and began to push back the Chaos God's forces. The Eldar did not arrive to aid the Crusade against the forces of Chaos though. Instead, the Craftworld's Seer Council contacted the Crusade's commanders and told them they could not save the Stygius Sector and staying there would not aid the Imperium. Indeed, the Seer Council claimed the visions they had received, showed only the Crusade's destruction if they stayed and warned that Magnus knew this as well. Despite the mistrust the Imperium had for the Eldar, the Crusade's commanders agreed to retreat and evacuated what forces they could, as Ulthwe's strike force acted as a rearguard against Tzeentch's hordes. Eventually though, the Crusade and Eldar were both forced to retreat and the Stygius Sector became the first of the domains, Tzeentch planned on claiming for itself.[1]

Second Relief of Mordian

As Imperial forces withdrew from the Stygius Sector the Iron Hands refused to retreat and instead gathered on Mordian, itself under siege from Chaos forces. Alongside a mere dozen or so Regiments of the Mordian Iron Guard, the Iron Hands sought to reforge themselves and purge their weakness displayed earlier in the campaign. During the Siege the Iron Hands were joined by allies enraged by the defeatism of the Imperial forces, among them the Brazen Claws, Fire Lords, Silver Skulls, Sons of Medusa, and Iron Lords in what became known as the Iron Crusade. They arrived on Mordian to find the planet terrorized by a Night Lords warband under Ahrak Deathshriek and his Raptor hordes. Deathshriek planned to use the terror to power a ritual that would plunge the entire world into the Warp.[2]

The Iron Hands and their allies struck with customary bluntness, emerging without warning from the Warp and engaging the traitor fleet in orbit and launching a Drop Pod assault on Mordian's capital. Clan Avernii under Iron Captain Caanok Var led the charge and Deathshriek drove his Cultists into their guns. One by one, the remaining Iron Hands Clan Companies joined the battle and Deathshriek was wounded in single battle by Iron Captain Var. Even as the Iron Warriors drop zone came under fresh assault from Benedictian Guard and the Cult of the Whispered Word, renegade Warlords from across the sector united in their realization that the Iron Hands could be wholly destroyed. With their assault faltering Deathshriek claimed victory as he led his fleet against the Iron Hands in space, outnumbering their ships three to one. It was at this point that the Iron Hands Successor Chapters arrived. Deathshriek's armada was caught in disarray and crushed. The loyalist ships rained obliteration below To the Mordian populace, the bombardment must have seemed indiscriminate, but nothing could have been further from the truth. The doctrine of Hammer and the Storm had been pursued planetside as well as in the trackless void, the Iron Hands’ assault calculated to stir the renegades and traitors into reckless deeds. What had seemed a faltering advance had merely paused while Techmarines labored to erect void shields and reinforce the capitol’s surviving bunkers. Thus the Iron Hands and those portions of the populace they deemed worthy of survival endured the firestorm. Their foes, caught in the open and drunk on the prospect of imminent victory, were not so fortunate. In a little over one standard hour’s bombardment, the Chaos hold on Mordian was broken for the second time. Eventually other Imperial reinforcements arrived from Cypra Mundi and the Iron Crusade was able to not only push Chaos forces off Mordian, but to counterattack into nearby worlds.[2]

Initial projections of a recoverable situation were methodically reassessed, and the Iron Council concluded that the inconstant xenos of Ulthwé had crafted a self-fulfilling prophecy to the detriment of Mankind. Kardan Stronos in particular came to believe that had the Imperial forces held their ground, four of the six systems could have been held for acceptable cost. This, he now revised to two. The warp corridor between Mordian and Cypra Mundi had proven resistant to the grasp of the Noctis Aeterna offering a ready supply of materiel from the forge world, but this alone would not be enough. The bounteous worlds of the neighboring Khravos System would have to have to be secured – a campaign whose outcomes fell well within acceptable parameters. Thus ignoring Eldar prophecies insisting doom, the Iron Council unleashed a second phase of the campaign, with a plan to scour the surviving worlds of the Mordian System and wresting the refineries and shipyards of Kharvos from Chaos. As of now, the battle continues.[2]

Order of Battle


On Mordian

Mordian relief force:

Assault on Tarkan

Operation Prismata

Disaster at Rimenok

Eldar forces


On Mordian

On Dhobash, commanded by Magnus the Red

On Prismata

On Rimenok, commanded by Fateweaver