Tartarus was a planet which, at one point, had five different forces clashing on the planet: Orks of the Blood Axes, Imperial Guard, Chaos Space Marines of the Alpha Legion, Eldar of the Biel-Tan Craftworld, and Space Marines of the Blood Ravens Chapter.
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|This page contains spoilers for:||Dawn of War (Novel Series)|
Terrain and Climate
The planet was made up of several well-populated cities among vast forests, and had at least one major river. All the water had been pumped out of one flood valley, so that it could be used as the site of the planet's capital city, Lloovre Marr. Later on, when the Blood Ravens arrived, they noted that the land around Lloovre Marr has been saturated with enough blood to be turned into a bog.
Tartarus was settled early by humanity, and evidence has been found of a small human colony on the world, roughly around the time of the Great Crusade. However, a Daemon Prince emerged from the Warp in the vicinity of Tartarus every three thousand years, the last time in M38, and seduced the whole population to Chaos.[2a]
In response, Farseer Macha of Biel-Tan arrived with an army. In the ensuing fight, the Eldar Guardians had the task of holding back the cultist forces and Bloodletter daemons, as Macha held a warp storm at bay and the Biel Tan Avatar of Khaine fought the Daemon Prince. The Eldar were victorious, but at the cost of their Avatar. Macha trapped the Daemon in a stone called the Maledictum, then buried it. To be certain that the stone could not fall into the wrong hands, the location could only be told through a series of riddles and clues.[2a]
At the same time , a small Deathwatch Kill-team accompanying Ordo Xenos Inquisitor Jhordine had been tasked with finding the Avatar's weapon, the Wailing Doom. They succeeded, though the weapon was shattered, and a Blood Ravens Captain attached to the Kill-team managed to recover a shard. After the team escaped, the shard would be used in the construction of the Daemonhammer God-Splitter. All records of this event were expunged by the Inquisition. Tartarus would be recolonized three hundred years later and treated as a new, uninhabited planet.[2a]
Over the centuries, the new colony on Tartarus successfully fended off many invasions by the Orks and pirates until 999.M41. The Daemon in the Maledictum had begun to influence the population once again, inspiring fear and heresy in many, including the Imperial Guardsmen. Simultaneously, the Alpha Legion, led by the Sorcerer Sindri Myr and the Chaos Lord Bale, tried to take advantage of the reawakening of the Maledictum, and provoked the Orks into attacking the planet. With the defense of the planet at the forefront of Imperial attentions, the Alpha Legion's actions to find the Maledictum went largely unnoticed until the Blood Ravens uncovered evidence linking the two factions.[2b]
It was during the failing defence of a key spaceport by the Imperial Guard when the Blood Ravens arrived and started to force the Orks back. Led by Gabriel Angelos and his long-time friend Librarian Isador Akios, the Blood Ravens helped hold back the green tides of Orks. In the aftermath of one battle, Angelos was confronted by Inquisitor Mordecai Toth, who urged him to take the Blood Ravens and leave Tartarus before an incoming Warp Storm arrived. Determined to root out all traces of Chaos, Angelos refused and continued the search for heretics, and later the Maledictum as he learned more about the about the artifact left by the Eldar.[2c]
In due time, the Blood Ravens would soon come into conflict with the Biel-Tan Eldar, again lead by Farseer Macha, who had been working to keep the Maledictum hidden. In a brief confrontation between Angelos and Macha, Sindri stole the Maledictum. The Blood Ravens soon attacked the Alpha Legion, who were attempting to free the Maledictum from its protective bindings. As part of a scheme by Sindri, he escaped, letting Angelos kill Bale; then Akios, who had just turned to Chaos with Sindri's help, stole the Maledictum and fled, only to have the Maledictum taken away by Sindri. In a duel, Angelos defeated and killed Akios.[2d]
Afterwards, as the Blood Ravens moved to attack the remaining Alpha Legion forces, Toth apologized to Angelos, and entrusted him with his weapon, God-Splitter. Meanwhile, Sindri had used the Maledictum to transform himself into a Daemon Prince. Aided by Toth and Macha's remaining Eldar forces, the Blood Ravens pushed back the Alpha Legion and killed Sindri.[2e]
But against Macha's desperate warnings, Angelos used God-Splitter to destroy the Maledictum, believing that doing so would destroy the Daemon within. Macha proclaimed that Angelos had "just damned us all," and swiftly departed. As Toth and the rest of the Blood Ravens began to flee the incoming Warp storm, Angelos paused and was confronted by the Daemon Prince. The Daemon revealed to Angelos that Tartarus was no more than an altar at this point, and that every death since the Orks invaded was a sacrifice to him. As "thanks" for freeing him and unknowingly providing him with the best sacrifices, the Daemon Prince allowed Angelos to escape with his life.[2f]
- 1: Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War, Single-player campaign
- 2: Dawn of War (Novel) by C.S. Goto