Welcome to Warhammer 40k - Lexicanum! Log in and join the community.

War of Beasts

From Warhammer 40k - Lexicanum
Jump to: navigation, search
Targetdrone.gif This article is about the Wars on Vigilus; for the War against the Ork Warboss known as The Beast, see War of Beasts.
War of Beasts
Marneus Calgar leads an attack against Orks on Vigilus
Date 1.192.VCM - 25.141.VCM (New Style)
001-025.M42 (Old Style)
Location Vigilus
Outcome Ongoing, though fighting is beginning to wind down. Imperium continues to hold Vigilus[6c]
Eldar (Phase 3 Onwards)
Unaligned Invaders
Eldar (Phases 1-2)
Dark Eldar
Marneus Calgar(WIA)
Saint Celestine
Erasmus Cartavolnus
Pedro Kantor
Kardan Stronos
Krom Dragongaze
Haldor Icepelt
Gaius Acastian
Dravastis Fane
Raquilon Zandtus
Olujin Khan
Lucienne Agamemnus IX(MIA)
Deinos Agamemnus
Slyne Galluck
Nesium Caldrike
Ipluvius XIV
Temperance Blaise
Corinn Hrethnar
Barthold Dorst
Feodor Lasko
Joren Vanaklimptas
Delarique du Languille
Inquisitor Frenza
Farseer Keltoc (Phase 3+)
Big Tanka
Ogrokk Bitespider
Bootstompa Ghalgutz

Grandsire Wurm
Nemesis 9 Tyrantis
Dethru Noan

Anvirr Keltoc
Rhyloor (KIA)

Haarken Worldclaimer
Ramaghan Savasdus
Gnorrel Cantus
Veshel Thanetis
Athmar Rivetheart
Gallus Herodicus
Varrus Hekatos
Korval the Nightspear
Borgha the Red Hand
Praxis Empyrealus
Ghordar Bann
Vex Machinator
Thorosgar Bear-fist
Zhune Tzang
Coven Triplicatus
Vodt Redtooth
Pale Stalker
See Order of Battle See Order of Battle
At least several billion (both military and civilian)[3b] Heavy Ork
Heavy Genestealer
Moderate Eldar
Unknown Dark Eldar
Heavy Chaos

The War of Beasts, later sometimes known as the War of Nightmares upon the arrival of Chaos forces[6b], is the term for the ongoing conflict on the Imperial World of Vigilus.


Vigilus is a world situated within the Nachmund Gauntlet and one of the few passages through the Great Rift. As such, the planet has become strategically vital for the Imperium and has become a target for a wide number of its enemies.[1]

Phase One of the War of Beasts

The First Phase of the War of Beasts on Vigilus

The Speedwaaagh!

The first major threat to Vigilus came shortly after the formation of the Great Rift in the form of the Speedwaaagh!, a large Ork Waaagh! led by powerful Speed Freeks. The attack came as Vigilus itself was wracked by nightmares, riots, and bizarre celestial events all in association with the Rift's birth. The Ork fleet was literally spat out from the Rift seemingly at random and had not decided on any particular planet to conquer itself.[3a]

With the rift scrambling the planet's Astropaths and Psykers no foresight of the disaster had been foreseen, and the Ork fleet easily punched through Vigilus' naval cordon then crash-landed its ships in the great deserts between Hivesprawls. Those that were protected by bubble-like forcefields survived, but many Ork ships simply crashed and burned. However these surviving ships became the heart of newly erected Ork scrap-cities from which the Greenskins have used to plague Vigilus since. Reeling from the formation of the Great Rift, the defenders of Vigilus did not act as these cities were being constructed. When all the preparations were complete, the Ork Speedboss Krooldakka emerged at the head of a massive armada of Bikes, Trukks, and Wagons.[3]

At first the Orks were stymied by the bastion-class force fields that surrounded each Vigilus hivesprawl, which resulted in the greenskins simply resorting to raiding caravans that braved the deserts or battling and racing one another in a vast dust storm known as the Vhulian Swirl. But after the Great Rift grew, Warp Storms washed over Vigilus that caused the force fields to fail. It took mere hours for the Orks to swarm into each city and were on the verge of overwhelming the Imperial Guard, Sister of Battle, and Mechanicum defenders. Even the bio-dome sprawl of Mortwald was overrun and its rejuvenat complexes and forests ransacked.[3a]

The Pauper Princes

In 210.33 pevio in the new Imperial dating system a clutch of Genestealers was sent from Chancer's Vale by the Genestealer Cult known as the Pauper Princes. Only one managed to make it to Vigilus, but it was able to secrete itself in the caverns beneath Megaborealis and spread its influence. Over the ensuing years it became a Genestealer Patriarch known as Grandsire Wurm as its cult grew in size and strength.[3a]

Centuries later when the Orks began to ravage Vigilus it triggered the Genestealer Cult into a premature uprising. The Cultists refused to see their years of subterfuge and infiltration wasted due to the reckless greenskins. They staged insurrections within every Hivesprawl of Vigilus and thanks to the coordination of Grandsire Wurm were able to conduct synchronized ambushes across the planet. In Dirkden's Hivesprawl, the Pauper Princes base of power, the Cultists outnumbered the faithful and had little problem establishing a power base and having their subverted PDF regiments gain access to Mechanicus controls that allowed them to shut down the sprawl's force field. The Imperium thought this to be a mere glitch, but panic nonetheless ensued and the Orks took the opportunity to attack Dirkden.[3a]

Using their pet officers and Guardsmen the Cult then manipulated 4,000 soldiers into marching into the wastes before some 15,000 Orks, assuring them they would be withdrawn once the force fields were back up. Simultaneously, the Cultists staged an uprising in Dirksden's primary Hive and defenseless the government easily fell. They subsequently raised the force fields suddenly, trapping the Guardsmen outside to meet their end at the hands of the Orks. Many of the untainted managed to flee Dirksden as it fell, unwittingly bringing many hidden Genestealer Cultists with them to nearby Hivesprawls. Meanwhile, at Oteck Hivesprawl, the Pauper Princes struck hard as the Cult desired its plentiful water. Despite bitter fighting, the Pauper Princes were able to seize control of Oteck's water supply and corrupted it with their genetic taint.[3a]

The response of the Imperial government on Vigilus to the Genestealer Uprising was slow, and they simply dismissed the attacks as the acts of criminals that would soon be dealt with by the Adeptus Arbites. Instead, they focused their attention on shoring up their defenses and reinforcing their own positions. This allowed Vigilus' industry to effectively grind to a halt due to the cessation of export and resource convoys, a problem compounded by constant Ork raids in the wastelands. During the Battle for the Seeping Delta a force of Mechanicus Skitarii battled in rivers of industrial runoff, with both sides inflicting millions of casualties on the other. The Mechanicum only won the battle when Fabricator Vosch set the delta alight with a 600-strong Kataphron Breachers attack, burning both sides.[3a]

It was then that the first Space Marines arrived on Vigilus in the form of the Iron Hands and their Successor Chapter the Brazen Claws. Originally en route to the Stygius Crusade, they redirected their efforts after learning the crisis for their Mechanicum allies. The Iron Hands and Brazen Claws were led by Kardan Stronos, the de facto Chapter Master of the Iron Hands, who launched a Drop Pod landing in the fringe metropolitan zones of every remaining Imperial Hivesprawl but quickly making towards Megaborealis. Expecting to find Orks, instead they encountered mostly Genestealers. The Imperial Guard and Sister of Battle forces that had attempted to counter these incursions usually had their convoys swallowed by massive sinkholes before being torn apart by the Genestealer monstrosities below. With much of Vigilus' air support focused on the Orks, the Genestealers were able to gain a substantial foothold within many Hivesprawls.[3a]

By this point, the Space Wolves under also Haldor Icepelt arrived on Vigilus several months after the Iron Hands and set about cleansing Oteck Hivesprawl of xenos infestation. The Wolves hardly communicated with the Iron Hands at all, and like the rest of the Space Marines didn't even bother to send representatives to speak with Vigilus' ruling council.[3b]

The Battle of Megaborealis

At the Mechanicum Stronghold of Megaborealis, the commanding Magos Dominus of Hive Scelerus Ipluvius XIV was distracted by his studies and overly confident in his own defenses, allowing a team of Ork Kommandos to infiltrate and find a weak point in the Hivesprawl's force fields. What followed was a massive Ork Speedfreak attack. Ipluvius XIV's cogitator froze under the pressure and the leaderless Skitarii were assailed by not just the Orks but also by Genestealer Cultists of the Claw of the Thirsting Wyrm who simultaneously rose up under the leadership of Slygaxx the Prophet. The Cultists were able to steal Vortex Missiles and detonate them in the hivesprawl center, wiping out much of the assets of the defenders such as the Warlord Titan Dominus Rex. By now Archmagos Nesium Caldrike had Ipluvius XIV put into stasis and took his place. Proving a decisive commander, he was able to coordinate with the Iron Hands Kaargul Clan to stall the Genestealer momentum after bitter fighting.[3b]

By now, the Imperial Guard had undertook a large scale counterattack in cooperation with Valkyrie and Vendetta squadrons of the Imperial Navy. Most of the missions involved escorting fuel and supply convoys to beleaguered outposts but were ultimately aiming to reinforce Megaborealis. The Guard armored convoys of Leman Russ Battle Tanks and Chimeras reaped a heavy toll on the Orks they met thanks to artillery support. However this served to only attract more Ork Speed Freaks and overwhelmned the Imperial Guard formations by weight of numbers. At the Battle of Mourning Gorge the 121st Goliath Armoured Battle Group was destroyed by the Ork Speedster Fragbad Squigbiter after he set off after he recklessly assailed a Deathstrike Missile with Stikkbombs. The battle ensured that nearby Storvhal would be encircled and a vital Imperial supply route was cut.[3b]

New Landfalls

By 2.230 post, the cramped slums of Hivesprawl Dontoria were already under the pressure of unknown raiders on its lowest depth (which would eventually be revealed as Dark Eldar). Compounding this problem, they received reports of an unknown vessel inbound. Despite being fired upon by the defending anti-aircraft batteries the ship managed to crash into Dontoria's center, unleashing the Gellerpox Infected into its overcrowded sprawls. However what followed next was even worse, as a detachment of Death Guard emerged in the Infected wake. Though the local Tempestus Scions of the 98th Lamdic Oxen and Arbitrators were able to contain the Infected, they were quickly overwhelmed by the Chaos Space Marine assault. Facing defeat the Tempestor Naiod ordered the lower levels fire-bombed within a two mile radius. The pitiless act seemed to work and the 98th withdrew. However shortly after a strange plague broke out across the districts of Dontoria, and it became clear that the Imperials had failed to contain Nurgle's followers. Despite the warnings of the Rogue Trader Delarique du Languille, who had experience with such plagues, the Aquilarian Council was slow to respond.[3b]

Meanwhile while en route to Vanatis IX, Marneus Calgar of the Ultramarines received a dream-vision from the astral projection of Chief Librarian Tigurius. The vision included an order from Roboute Guilliman that he could not allow Vigilus to fall under any circumstance. The trip to Vigilus proved arduous for the Ultramarines despite the mental guidance of Tigurius in place of Navigators who would have gone insane attempting to locate the world. Several Epistolaries with Tigurius nonetheless died during the ritual but it was successful in bringing the Ultramarines to Vigilus in a timely manner.[3b]

The Ultramarines quickly landed throughout Vigilus, with Calgar himself making landfall at Saint Haven to meet with the Aquilarian Council. Upon entering the chamber Calgar immediately sensed many of the Imperial bureaucrats to be Genestealer Cultists and had his accompanying Marines swiftly execute them. Calgar disbanded the council and instead ushered in the Vigilus Senate in its place.[3b]

Battle for Oteck Hivesprawl

The Space Wolves were busy with their own engagement in Oteck Hivesprawl, attempting to regain control of the precious water supply from Genestealer forces. As they battled in the streets the 14th Vigilant 'Mourning Stars' Artillery Regiment turned upon the Space Wolves, revealing themselves to be under the control of the Genestealers. They toppled city-sized structures on top of the Wolves with demolition charges, trapping them with waves of Genestealer monstrosities. Though many were dead, the Wolves were not yet defeated and they used their keen hunting senses and wolf-like sense of smell to track the xenos leaders in the darkness. After a gruelling hunt bereft with many ambushes and traps, the Wolves cornered the Claws of the Thirsting Wyrm and assailed them with the Redemptor Dreadnought Asger the Frozen. As the Genestealers died they set off new explosives, but Haldor resolved to turn this into an advantage. He ordered to his brothers above to find caches of explosives and detonate them at a set time, collapsing vast chunks of the city below into the polluted water and preventing the spread of its infected taint.[3b]

Phase Two of the War of Beasts

The 2nd Phase of the War of Beasts on Vigilus


Meanwhile on the Eldar Craftworld of Saim-Hann the Farseer Anvirr Keltoc convinced the Seer Council that the fate of Vigilus, which had some import to the future of the Eldar, could be shifted by the assassination of a single Tzeentchian Chaos Cult leader known as Vannadan the Firebrand. Keltoc foresaw his final plan, to trigger a magma eruption in Storvhal to cause a chain reaction under Saint's Haven, wiping out Vigilus' war council.[3c]

The Seer Council of Saim-Hann agreed to give Keltoc aid in the form of a strike force under Autarch Rhyloor and Spiritseer Qelanaris. Using divination to avoid the nearby Dark Eldar by Vigilus subterranean Webway Gate, the Eldar made haste for where Keltoc had foreseen Vannadan would be preaching. Striking swiftly and without mercy, Vannadan and his followers were massacred. But despite their swift action, the Imperials had received reports of the Eldar's arrival. Not knowing the situation, they assumed the xenos were the same Dark Eldar that had been raiding them throughout the war and were now engaged in open massacres of the citizenry. Within minutes of the Eldar attack, a strike team of the 47th Antrell Lions Stormtroopers were inbound.[3c]

Upon arriving the Stormtroopers immediately attacked the Eldar despite attempts by Qelanaris to explain the situation. Autarch Rhyloor was swiftly struck down and Qelanaris and the survivors withdrew, vowing revenge. Qelanaris managed to retrieve Rhyloor and his fallen comrades Spirit Stones and upon his return to Saim-Hann had him imbued in a Wraithbone shells. When Qelanaris returned, he did so at an army of both living and dead Wraith Constructs.[3c]

Carnivals of Pain

As the Imperial pursued the Craftworld Eldar, their Dark Eldar kin continued their hit-and-run raids across the planet. Their raids on Hyperia and Oteck hivesprawls were such harrowing and spectacular affairs that they became known as feared as the Carnivals of Pain. The Dark Eldar force included not just Kabalite troops but also Wych Cults and Haemonculi creations. At the head of the Dark Eldar force was the Haemonculi Coven of The Altered. The Altered were out for revenge against the sons of Ultramar after being defeated by Roboute Guilliman in a past engagement during the Indomitus Crusade. During their raids, the Dark Eldar managed to capture entire squads of Ultramarines and haul them off to Commorragh.[3c]

Dontoria Firewall

In Dontoria, the Primaris Space Marine Chapter Necropolis Hawks had arrived and were now working closely with Rogue Trader du Languille in trying to contain the Gellerpox infected. Meanwhile the Crimson Fists under Captain Jhermandes worked with the Iron Hands to construct the ultimate barrier against the plague. At the decommissioned Litmus Dock, the Necropolis Hawks and Crimson Fists fought through Chaos Mutant horrors. Following the Iron Hands instructions, the Crimson Fists used the Hellhounds of nearby Vigilant Guard to set fire to the Hivesprawl's promethium pipelines, creating a literal firewall around the infected zone.[3c]


Since the fall of the Oteck Water supply, the precious resource was becoming even scarcer on Vigilus. Dontoria was now in danger of losing its own water supply, Lake Dontor, which was now under constant vigil due to threats of contamination. Even worse, Calgar's Vigilus Senate had still not yet rediscovered the Death Guard that had made planetfall. But water was not the only scarce resource, on the false continent of Mortwald much of the planet's food and medicine was produced but with the Orks and Genestealers now threatening it production was running dry and the common people were paying the price. However Mortwald was defended by scores of veteran Guardsmen from the Ventrillian Nobles to the Vostroyan Firstborn to even now-refugee Cadian Shock Troopers under the command of Deinos, the Governor's own brother.[3c]

Thus when the Mortwald came under attack, Deinos' trench network held fast and gunned down many Orks. Well-coordinated withdrawals and kill-zones further hindered the Greenskin advance. For weeks, the Orks could not penetrate Mortwald's defenses. The Guardsmen proved equally adept at handling Genestealer uprisings in the Ejecta Districts. Lord Deinos preached the mantra which now became the rallying cry of the defenders - Mortwald would not fall. The situation for the defenders improved drastically when the Imperial Fists 5th Company under Captain Dravastis Fane arrived via aircraft and improved upon its already formidable defensive network. Ork Stompas soon emerged by their hundreds, causing Fane to fallback to higher ground before counterattacking. Shortly after loyalist Knights from Dharrovar under Joren Vanaklimptas as well as those from House Terryn arrived to further reinforce Mortwald's defenders.[3c]

The charge that came next was the stuff of legends, with the Knights of Dharrovar and Terryn making a headlong attack into the Stompa horde. Deinos reinforced them further with the Reaver Titan Heresiums Bane. However just as the Orks broke the Imperials halted their attack despite the fanatical zeal of Joren's Knights, insisting that the people of Mortwald came first. What followed next was an Ork attack every few days which was quickly driven back. Yet with each passing week, these attacks grew more and more formidable and returned with larger and larger machines of war. Soon enough, the Orks were appearing at Mortwald with machines the size of Reaver Titans. It was then that Fane made his final decision and ordered that the Ork factories churning out these monstrosities be shut down. With that, Fane led a Knight and Titan assault into the wastelands to seek out the Greenskin factories.[3c]

At the Battle of Tanka Spill, Dharrovar Knights assaulted a sizable Ork scrap city to the east of Mortwald, approaching from the nearby trench network and under the cover of a dust storm. Charging headlong into the Ork lines, the Knights confused the xenos with some wanting to engage the Knights now behind them and others now wanting to keep charging at the foes ahead. The accompanying Warhound Titans took advantage of this disarray to decimate the xenos. After destroying the identified Ork factories, the Knights and Titans were ordered by Fane to withdraw. However they refused the order, and instead took the fight further into the next scrap city. There they killed thousands of Orks before being encircled.[3c]

Battle for the Aqua Meteoris

Back at Megaborealis, the Imperials were largely regaining control under Mechanicum and Space Marine assaults. The Astartes would spearhead the assaults, and the Mechanicum would follow in their wake and deal with what was left. The Mechanicus used xenos-identifying technology to find Genestealer nests and force the Pauper Princes to fallback. A month after the arrival of the Iron Hands, the Genestealer Cultists were now being forced to wage a guerrilla war.[3c]

However the situation was different in the Stygian Spires region, where the Genestealer Primus Dethru Noan still had significant holdings and had devised a plan to attack the Stygian Spires which controlled the asteroid water mining operations of Megaborealis. Noan was a rationalist more than a fanatic, and knew that the Mechanicum could be starved of water without this source. Working with the Genestealer Magus Slynte, Noan was even able to secure the agreement of Grandsire Wurm, who agreed to lead the assault himself. In a devastating shock assault from the Spire's lowest levels led by the Genestealer Patriarch and swarms of purestrain Genestealers, the initial Skitarii defenders of Stygian Spires were quickly overwhelmed and overrun. Grandsire Wurm and his purestrain Genestealers then climbed through the water pipes of the spire for a full day, enduring the constant battering pressure to emerge on the other side. With most of the Skitarii below, the top levels of the water plant were quickly taken by the Patriarch.[3d]

Phase Three of the War of Beasts

The 3rd Phase of the War of Beasts on Vigilus

The Space Marines did not leave the reckless Knights to their fate, with Fane leading an airborne assault alongside the White Scars under Olujin Khan and a Ravenwing strikeforce under Meneraeus. Supported by Imperial Navy bombers, the Space Marines quickly closed on the Knights location within the Scrap cities. Olujin's squadrons of Stormtalon Gunships mapped out approaches to the blind spots of Ork air defenses and strike into the heart of the settlement and destroyed their heavy artillery. Without artillery support, White Scars and Ravenwing bikers cut through the Ork ranks to aid the beleaguered Knights. It was at this point in the battle that the Ravenwing force broke off from the engagement and made straight for the Vhulian swirl. With half of their strike force gone in a matter of seconds, the White Scars found themselves on the verge of being overwhelmed by the growing Ork assault. Faced with no other option, Olujin Khan ordered a retreat. Unknown to all except the Unforgiven, the Dark Angels had abandoned the war effort for now to serve their own purpose.[3c]

Despite the violence and bloodshed, Calgar's Vigilus Senate was largely managing the war effort on Vigilus well and the populace was beginning to feel as if they could win back the planet. This was in spite of Calgar's decision to abandon Dirkden after the Chapter Master had judged the situation there as currently unwinnable. He undertook a massive withdrawal of Dirkden's civilian populace, using the Crimson Fists as a screen to hold off Krooldakka's Orks.[3d]

War of Nightmares: Phase One

A New Threat

The War of Nightmares, Phase I map

The new enemy to threaten Vigilus was first seen in the form of strange Vox emissions and ghosts. The Great Rift above Vigilus seemed to blacken. Psykers reported that the Emperor's Tarot was reporting the same card every reading, that of the Daemonblade crossed with the Herald of Darkness and the Knight of the Abyss. Reports of abductions and bizarre monsters in the upper spires became abundant. Those sent to investigate the latter claim were never seen again. Only the Tzeentchian Chaos Cultists recognized these signs for what it truly was: that a Chaos invasion was imminent.[3d]

By this point the Vigilus Senate had grown alarmed by the increasing activity of aerial creatures in the highest spires of Vigilus. Inquisitor Frenza of the Ordo Malleus translated the mumbling of comatose Imperial Psykers confirmed that they spoke in the black tongue of Chaos, pronouncing the arrival of a Dark King. It soon became clear to Calgar that Chaos was emerging above Vigilus itself. Soon enough the foes above Vigilus were identified as Chaos Raptors, Heldrakes, and Warp Talons scouting ahead of their main force. The leader of this blasphemous army was none other than Haarken Worldclaimer, known as the Herald of the Apocalypse. Worldclaimer announced his arrival by broadcasting his daemon-linked box network across the entire planet, reaching the minds of every living soul on Vigilus. He proclaimed that Vigilus now belonged to Abaddon the Despoiler and he would soon be there to claim it in person. As Calgar gathered an emergency meeting of the Vigilus Senate to confront this new threat, a massive Heldrake crashed through the Senate spire's glass ceiling. Calgar was saved by his Victrix Guard.[3d]

Far to the south, Thousand Sons Rubicae squads were discovered among the ruins of Kaelac's Bane, infiltrating the Oteck Hivesprawl's force-field during a routine shutdown to cause havoc inside the Imperial lines. Under Lord Commissar Barthold Dorst led an armored assault to try and repel the Rubicae, but were unable to deal with their warpfire weaponry. Meanwhile at Mortwald, a new Gellerpox Outbreak erupted and the elites of of the Hivesprawl shut themselves inside their spires with all the food and water they could find. Abandoned and without food or drink, the workers of Mortwald slowly died over the ensuing months. The Chaos and Genestealer forces took advantage of this act, spurring the desperate workers into uprisings against Imperial authority. Amid all this, the vox traffic of Vigilus was overwhelmed by the cries and suffering of atrocities that were yet to pass but would soon be upon them.[3d] Haarken has claimed that he will conquer the planet in 80 days.[4] And the worst has yet to come,[3d] as soon word that Abaddon the Despoiler himself was also inbound to Vigilus at the head of a massive Chaos armada.[6a]

Battle in the Void

Calgar was shaken by the news that the legendary Warmaster of Chaos but nonetheless responded decisively, deploying his greatest aerial assets to intercept the incoming Black Legion forces. However the Chaos Raptor hordes backed by Daemon Engines of Haarken were already on the surface of Vigilus and now broke their cover to openly attack the Imperial forces. Above Hyperia Hivesprawl Imperial and Chaos forces battled as the Alpha Legion initiatied an uprising by Cultists who had been previously disguised as loyalists of the Ecclesiarchy Mission Benevolent Hand. The Cadian 92nd Heavy Infantry attempted to prevent the Cultists from capturing a water shipment at Hub K-876. Though the Cadians destroyed the Benevolent Hand, they were badly mauled and the water deliver was ruined. This in turn triggered a worker revolt at the Magentine Arms facilities, disrupting weapons production. Worse still, the savaged Cadian forces were unable to hold back a shock assault by Alpha Legion kill-teams.[6g]

As Vigilus reeled under Chaos assault, Calgar made his plan to leave the planet, leaving the defenses to Pedro Kantor of the Crimson Fists. Calgar sought to journey to Nemendghast aboard his flagship Laurels of Victory in order to discover what had befallen the the strike force he had dispatched there. After a weeks journey into the void to the location given by Vanguard Librarian Maltis, Calgar came across a Black Legion fleet led by the legendary Vengeful Spirit itself.[6a]

Together with Arch-Commodore Hentzmann Calgar ordered his fleet to form a double cordon to intercept the Black Legion armada. Using a barrage of Torpedoes to box in the Chaos vessels, Abaddon's vessels nonetheless dove straight into the Imperial fleet. The Chaos forces were able to summon Daemons led by a Keeper of Secrets aboard the Laurels of Victory, an act of treachery that Calgar only survived thanks to his Victrix Guard. Though Calgar survived albeit wounded, there was word that similar boardings had taken place across the fleet. With Calgar wounded and under the care of his Apothecaries and the Imperial fleet reeling, Hentzmann was forced to order retreat back to Vigilus. With a single stroke, Abaddon had succeeded in opening the way to Vigilus.[6a]

Upon arriving back at Vigilus, Calgar abandoned Hive Dirkden to Genestealer Cultists and Kaelac's Bane to the Dark Eldar. Mortwald was still barely held against Orks in its lower levels and Chaos Raptors in its spires. Megaborealis was under heavy assault from the Pauper Princes, with the Omnissian Hoist water delivery relay already in Genestealer hands. Dontoria was tainted by the plagues of Nurgle and Oteck's Reservoirs was the site of an intense clash between the Pauper Princes, Raptor gangs, Space Wolves, Deathwatch, and Sisters of Battle.

The Fires of Storvhal

Haarken Worldclaimer meanwhile had taken control of many of the Pyroclastic Cults within Storvhal including the Sons of Vannadan. The Skitarii defenders were unable to contain the outbreak, and the Cultists conducted a great ritual on the top of Phaestos Mound. They opened a Warp Portal, from which poured Daemons of Tzeentch. Volcanoes across Storvhal began to erupt in fury, not with magma but with the multicolored flame and kaleidoscopic lightning of Tzeentch. If not for the quick action of Fabricator Vosch, the entire false continent would likely have fallen to empyric energies. Vosch used his tectonic fragdrills to redirect the pressure of the volcanic network into the Voschian Canal, causing a massive conventional eruption that annihilated both Mechanicum and Chaos forces.[6g] Though Vosch had denied Chaos their prize, Storvhal was still in Worldclaimers hands and the mountains of ash were obscuring the movements of his Raptor packs. It was clear that Vigilus on the brink of ruin and the arrival of Abaddon's armada would drive the situation over the edge.[6a]

A Wolf At the Door

It was around this point that a Space Wolves force under Wolf Lord Krom Dragongaze arrived in orbit to reinforce Vigilus. Instead of immediately landing to receive orders from Marneus Calgar, Krom instead led an assault on the Ork Rocket-powered Space Hulk Worldsmasha. Space Wolves Battle Barges smashed a path through several smaller Ork Hulks, allowing Krom and his forces to teleport directly onto the Worldsmasha. Krom defeated the commanding Greenskin Big Mek and was able to escape the vessel before sending it plummeting into Ork settlements on Vigilus. Rather than be impressed by this exploit, Krom instead found himself scolded by Calgar for the aggressive recklessness. Before the two could come to blows, Krom heard of a renewed Ork assault on Hyperia and went to go deal with the threat.[6g]

Dirkden Besieged

Despite Imperial propaganda pronouncing Calgar had returned victorious, the Chaos fleet arrived over Vigilus' orbit. The arrival caused mass chaos throughout the Imperial-held sprawls, with looting and rioting common. Large numbers of the despairing and maddened population took up the banner of Chaos or Broodmind. Others turned to the Imperial Cult and attended the Ecclesiarchy and Adepta Sororitas in great numbers. Fanatical Zealot hordes proved both an aid but often hindrance to Imperial forces. However Abaddon had not expected so many Xenos on the world. As Chaos forces attempted to capture the hivesprawls from the top-down, they encountered bolstered Genestealer forces of the Pauper Princes and Orks on every false continent. Forces to redeploy and revise their strategies, Haarken deployed the Night Lords and The Scourged under Ramaghan Savasdus and Vreanus to assault the Genestealer stronghold of Dirkden. When the Night Lords made planetfall, they slaughtered their way through the streets of Dirkden against common sinners and Genestealer Cultists alike. Resistance proved tougher than expected and the Heretic Astartes were soon fighting for their lives against Genestealer ambushes throughout the Hives under the command of Primus Hollun Desh. Though the Night Lords mowed down enormous numbers of Cultists, wave after wave assailed their lines. Ultimately a final assault led by Aberrants and Metamorphs was enough to break the Night Lords and Scourged and Dirkden remained in the hands of the Pauper Princes.[6a]

Beneath Dirkden, the Genestealers attempted to tunnel into Oteck to begin an uprising there. However they were confronted by forces of the Adepta Sororitas from the Order of the Last Prioress and the Order of the Argent Shroud. In the ensuing tunnel-fighting campaign, the Sisters discovered a vast underground network that extended towards not just Oteck but also Hyperia. Realizing that tens of thousands of miles of tunnel existed, Canoness Temperance Blaise eventually abandoned the venture for a last stand at Hyperia. Blaise would also contribute to the war effort by having forces of the Order of the Ebon Chalice and Orders Dialogus map the location of Ork Speedwaaagh! races. This allowed Imperial war and supply convoys to be well-prepared for any sudden Ork speedwaaagh! assaults. Frustrated, the Greenskins went out of their way to hunt down convoys under the protection of the Sisters of Battle.[6g]

Retaking the Hoist

The Imperial forces were meanwhile preparing to retake the Omnissian Hoist, a vital water-delivery relay station that went into Vigilus' orbit. Megaborealis was already water-starved and the situation had become dire. The structure was held by Generstealer forces of the Pauper Princes, who earlier had attempted to use the Hoist to capture the orbital mining station Sacrus Tora Hawking. While attacking the Servitor defenders of Sacrus Tora Hawking, both sides came naval attack from Magma Hounds vessels. With Chaos Marines boarding the peak of the space elevator, and Genestealers coming from below, the Imperial defenders were annihilated. The Magma Hounds then came into conflict with the advancing Genestealers, forcing the Chaos Marines to detonate a clutch of Melta Bombs. The sudden depressurization blew them and the aliens both into space. Though many of the Magma Hounds were later recovered in the void of space, they failed to capture the Hoist and never reached Vigilus' surface.[6g]

Shortly after the battle for Sacrus Tora Hawking, the Imperial launched its main counterattack on the Hoist. The assault was led by Mechanicus and Iron Hands under Captain Galkraan. Battling through Ork and Genestealer forces alike, orbital bombardment from the Strike Cruiser Darkspear was able to blast a path through the Genestealer horde and allow Mechanicus Legio Cybernetica forces to roll through into the lower levels. Meanwhile, Skitarii forces were tasked with taking the upper levels from Purestrain Genestealers. The assault went well for the Imperials, and from the pipelines of the Hoist came Grandsire Wurm himself.[6a]

The bloated monstrosity that was Grandsire Wurm reorganized the Genestealers and led a massive counterattack. The Genestealer Patriarch was able to seal himself within the primary control center of the hoist, but was assailed from Onager Dunecrawlers that had crawled up the structure without notice. Grandsire Wurm was wounded and forced to flee, and the Dunecrawler assault was able to cleanse the upper levels of Genestealers completely.[6a]

Calgar's Fires

The Word Bearers had now begun an assault on Hyperia Hivesprawl with zealous fanaticism, backed up with Iron Warriors dropped onto its peaks by low-orbiting warships. The Word Bearers sought to erect a massive network of Noctilith Crowns from which to summon the powers of the Warp.[6g] The Iron Warriors were able to coordinate pinpoint fire against the Fortress of Redemption. The structure had held against the Orks for many years, but quickly fell to the Chaos Space Marine siege masters despite a counterattack by the Imperial Fists. The Word Bearers were effective in constructing a vast array of Noctilith Crowns, bringing large amounts of Daemonic reinforcements to Vigilus.[6g]

Meanwhile, the Night Lords began another assault on Dirkden, this time targeting the Imperial Hyperia-Dirkden Fortwall in order to move into the regions south of Saint's Haven. The Black Legion Arch-Lord Discordant Vex Machinator led an assault into the water purification plants of the Lenkotz Chain and Dontoria was devastated by the Gellerpox.[6a]

Chaos and Imperial forces battle on Vigilus

Left with little choice but to take extreme action, Calgar was convinced by Lucienne Agamemnus IX to start massive fires at the throat of each of the largest hive-sprawls. He reluctantly agreed to this scorched earth tactic, and Sisters of Battle fire teams set massive conflagrations that became known as Calgar's Fires. One by one, the spires of Vigilus burned.[6a]

To make matters worse, at this point the Vengeful Spirit and its escorts finally arrived above Vigilus. The ancient vessel took up geosynchronous position above Storvhal, decimating any Imperial navy vessel that dared to try and oppose it. Ultimately the Admirals of the Imperial Navy were forced to abandon contesting the vessels presence altogether due to heavy losses.[6b]

War of Nightmares: Phase Two


Inside the Vhulian Swirl, a massive storm that plagued the lands east of Hyperia Hivesprawl, was Abaddon's first objective. From the Vengeful Spirit, Abaddon and his Bringers of Despair teleported to an ancient construct at the center of the Swirl known as the Citadel Vigilant. The fortress was currently under the control of a warband of Fallen under the former Dark Angels Librarian Osandus. These Fallen had signed a pact with Abaddon since the war on Pandorax. At the spine of the Citadel was a massive ancient weapon known as the Voidclaw, and Abaddon desired its power. Using the extreme gravity capabilities of the weapon, the Warmaster sought to reshape the Nachmund Gauntlet by firing it into the space between Vigilus and its moon Neo-Vellum.[6b]

When unleashed, the Voidclaw had a disastrous effect on Vigilus. Everything on Vigilus was pulled towards the orbiting gravitic singularity, creating a level of global catastrophe known as the Vhulian Anomaly. The anomaly first struck the orbiting Imperial vessels, who were confused due to the sudden deployment of Chaos vessels. Though the Chaos ships were shifted to points where they could conteract the effects of the anomaly with their engines, the Imperial fleet was not prepared for what hit them and were crushed and scattered by the gravitic forces that assailed them. Planetside, anything not bolted down was drawn towards the Vhulian Swirl, a crisis which affected the ramshackle Greenskins most of all. The spires of Megaborealis, Hyperia, Dirkden, and Storvhal all tumbled and fell under such forces. The planets precious water supply was also affected, with much of it escaping those reservoirs still held by the Imperium and being reabsorbed into the surrounding landscape. On Vigilus' moon of Neo-Vellum, the acidic swamps that had once been contained spilled across its surface and caused mass destruction. With one act, Abaddon had struck a blow against the Vigilus System that would be almost impossible to counter.[6b]

At Oteck, site of the five great reservoirs of Vigilus, were large concentrations of Adeptus Arbites as well as Space Wolves and Sisters of Battle. Together with the Deathwatch, these forces had managed to contain the Genestealer Uprisings in Oteck. However, with the activation of the Voidclaw much of Oteck's water supply spilled over from gravitic forces. This effect was not only destructive; it also caused the desperate citizens of Oteck to race out and try and scoop up as much water as they could. Meanwhile, Tech-Priests within Oteck claimed the Turingsbane Datahives and analyzed its ancient data. They were able to identify the location of the Citadel Vigilant and transferred the information to the Dark Angels under order from Fabricator Vosch himself. The Tech-Priests hoped the Dark Angels could potentially destroy the Voidclaw. Later on in the war, around the same time as the Duel at Saint's Haven, the Dark Angels were eventually able to launch a strike on the Citadel Vigilant and shut down the Vhulian Anomaly.[6g]

Calgar's Gambit

Using the catastrophe rolling across Vigilus to their advantage, the Word Bearers began constructing a vast amount of Noctilith Crowns in order to harness the power of the Great Rift blazing above. At the same time, the Death Guard spread their plagues across Dontoria and the Night Lords launched a renewed assault on Dirkden. At Mortwald, the Iron Warriors were eagerly engaging their own foes, the Imperial Fists and Knights. The World Eaters were content to slaughter the defenders of the Giants, a series of crenelated plateaus in northern Oteck. Others, such as the Alpha Legion, engaged in an array of covert actions.[6b]

However, the Chaos forces did not go unopposed. Though reeling, Calgar was able to wage a campaign of misdirection and entrapment. By manipulating the demeanors of their foes, the Imperial Forces sought to drive one enemy into another and obliterate them all in a tactic inspired by Kryptman's Gambit against Hive Fleet Leviathan. Calgar ordered several Space Marine Chapter Masters fighting the battle-hungry World Eaters, Crimson Slaughter, and Red Corsairs to mount a series of fighting retreats, drawing the Heretic Astartes out of the cities and into the streets. This drew the attention of the Orks of the Speedwaaagh! who drove into the mass of Chaos forces. The Space Marines were able to withdraw via Gunship and Bulk Landers. In the space of a few hours, even the World Eaters were hard-pressed on the open terrain by the crazed and fast-moving Speedwaaagh!.[6b]


At Megaborealis Thunder Sump, Abaddon sought to destroy the Blackstone deposits preciously guarded by the Mechanicum at Silo XV. Protected by a macro-grade Refractor Field, Abaddon deployed a vast host of Daemon Engines and Brazen Beasts to assail it. At the forefront of the assault was the half-living corrupted Brazen Beasts Battle Barge Cerberite. The mutated vessel pushed low into Vigilus' orbit and pushed through Silo XV's refractor field before uncoiling ridged pseudo-pods. Down these ramps came an entire host of Daemon Engines. In this impressive force were no fewer than three Lord of Skulls. Their numbers were such that even the well-maintained Mechanicum garrison was hard-pressed.[6b]

However the arrival of the Cerberite stirred an another foe: the Orks of Krooldakka that had now long plagued Megaborealis. The Speedboss sought to investigate the 'glowy thing' now hovering above Megaborealis. Soon enough, a massive horde of Battlewagons and Trukks carrying the creations of Big Tanka smashed past the overstretched Skitarii lines around Megaborealis and stormed into Thunder Sump. The sudden arrival of frenzied Greenskins hindered the Chaos advance and soon ground it to a halt.[6b]


At Mortwald, the situation soon became dire. Vigilus had long depended on its archaeotech Bastion Force Fields to hold back the many threats to its Hivesprawls. However, they now had to contend with the Iron Warriors who themselves were masters of siegecraft. Iron Warriors Warpsmiths were able to use Scrapcode to disrupt the Bastion Fields operating systems, shutting down two-thirds of the networks. Into this disaster came an armored blitz of Iron Warriors, sweeping aside defense trenches on the flanks of Mortwald and Megaborealis. At Mortwald, The Iron Warriors were able to capture massive Tectonic Fragdrills, using them to breach whatever Trench Networks could stand against their initial assaults. Imperial Fists under Captain Dravastis Fane, backed by Knights, intervened and engaged in a vicious trench war with the Iron Warriors which resembled the legendary Iron Cage. Due to their simultaneous battles with Ork Scrap Cities in the West, the Fists did not have the manpower to hold back the Iron Warriors and were forced to withdraw to Hyperia, ceding the outer eastern, western, and northern defenses of Mortwald to Chaos. Meanwhile Deinos Agamemnus had dispatched many of his elite Ventrillian Nobles and Sonasthi Royal Guard Imperial Guard regiments to combat Genestealers in the south. Thus, when the Iron Warriors advanced to the Deinos Trench Line the Imperial defenders had little in the way to halt their advance. In typical fashion, the Iron Warriors besieged Mortwald.[6g]

Inside Mortwald, the ruling and rich of the Hivesprawl reacted to the arrival of Chaos forces by stockpiling as much food and water as they could find. In Immortalis Spirehive, the elite had more food than they could consume in a hundred lifetimes. Soon enough, these gluttonous rulers were influenced by the touch of Slaanesh in the form of Cults of Luxury and Immortality. A wave of rioting also hit Mortwald, a situation which the Flawless Host used to its advantage. Arriving at Immortalis Spirehive, the Flawless Host sought to show Lord Deinos and his compatriots the meaning of true excess. Hordes of Daemonettes were summoned by the Master of Possession Zhune Tzang and each proud spire of Mortwald soon burned from within, its rotten heart exposed for all to see. With Mortwald in disarray, the Flawless Host finally achieved their true objective given to them by the Black Legion and shut down the Hivesprawls automated defenses. This allowed 1,000 Black Legion Marines under Terminator Lord Thorosgar Bear-Fist to bypass the Deinos Trench Network entirely and launch devastating attacks on Electros and Djodrolev Hives.[6g] At the same time, the starved common people of Mortwald launched their own bloody Revolution. Khorne took full advantage of this, reducing many of the insurgents into crazed Blood Cultists.[6b] By the time the Imperial Fists and Necropolis Hawks could respond, it was too late and the streets of Mortwald ran with blood.[6g]

The Purge of Dontoria

Abaddon and his forces on Vigilus

At Dontoria's Pravdus Subsprawl region, the Death Guard under Plague Surgeon Zoculinsus struck. Years previous they had unleashed the Gellerpox into the area and sent many infected freighters into space despite the best efforts of Rogue Trader Delarique du Languille. Now with the Chaos invasion ad its peak, three of this infected freighters returned to bolster the armies of Nurgle. At the Litmus Dock, now held by the Death Guard, they landed and unleashed waves of Mutants of every size and description. However this drew the ire of The Purge, who in their quest to eradicate all impure biological life were disgusted by what they saw unleashed at Dontoria.[6b]

The Purge made planetfall at the Great Choke and set to work slaughtering citizens and Gellerpox Infected alike, hurling the corpses into the Great Choke's Manufactorums. A foul industrial miasma from the dead was spewed from Tzimitria Subsprawl that suffocated all biological life it came across. Over the next few months they continued their heretical work, capturing entire districts and turning their furnances to the purpose of genocide. Their cloud of pollution grew, and soon enough Dontoria was a lifeless barren. However many of the Death Guard and Gellerpox were angered by The Purge's sudden interference, and infighting among the scions of Nurgle erupted across Dontoria. Though it was a stalemate not even Calgar sought to disrupt with his Space Marines deployed elsewhere, it was clear that Dontoria had fallen.[6b] The remaining Imperial Guard garrisons could not defeat the forces of the Warp, and the region was abandoned by the Imperium.[6g]

In the aftermath of the fall of Dontoria, one of the main sources of water for Vigilus, Lake Donotor, was forever corrupted by the servants of Nurgle. Many water-starved citizens ventured in the wastes, risking Ork attacks. In order to protect their quarantine, Space Marine and Imperial Guard teams were forced to kill these interlopers.[6g]

War of Nightmares: Phase Three

Unlikely Alliance

It was now apparent that time was running out for Vigilus. Most Imperial forces had now congregated at Saint's Haven for a final last.[6g] The tide of Chaos was slowly crushing the Imperial defenders. Neo-Vellum's surviving relay stations reported that the Great Rift itself was expanding towards Vigilus due to the slaughter. The entire Nachmund Gauntlet was now at risk of being closed by an influx of Chaos energy. It soon became clear that Abaddon's plan was to close the Gauntlet and trap the whole of Imperium Nihilus from Terra's aid. Faced with this grim prospect, the Vigilus Senate discussed abandonment and Exterminatus of the Vigilus Warzone. However Guilliman himself had ordered that Vigilus was too vital and could not be abandoned for any reason, and Calgar dismissed such plans. The Ultramarines warlord as well as Pedro Kantor pointed out that the Genestealers and Orks had taken a significant toll upon the Chaos forces. Some victories were still being reported, such as at Magentine Veils where the misguided Imperial Guard commander Nerrogh van Thrynn used Ork mercenaries. Though victorious, he was nonetheless executed by a Commissar for the heresy.[6b]

Though alliance with the Orks was out of the question, Calgar did consider the Aeldari that he had previously battled on Vigilus. At the Rings of Nothingness Calgar himself joined the fight. During a lull in fighting Calgar called for parley with the Xenos and was met by Saim-Hann Farseer Anvirr Keltoc. Though the Farseer was eager to avenge the death of Autarch Rhyloor, he had foreseen disaster for the Eldar race should Vigilus fall. However the Saim-Hann Eldar were not known for forgiveness, and Calgar still had much negotiating to do. How he won their alliance is unclear, but eventually the Ultramarines Master succeeded in bringing the Xenos into alliance with the Imperium through a secret pact that was never made public. Of the deal, three things are known. First, that Farseer Keltoc and his senior chieftains accompanied Calgar back to the Governor's Palace. Second, the doors of the Vigilus Senate were barred and guarded by the Victrix Guard. Thirdly, members of the Aquilarian Council who had presided over the death of Rhyloor were never seen again, Lucienne Agamemnus IX and Proctor Commander Venedar amongst them.[6b]

With the stealthy Eldar vessel Vaul's Ghost now at his disposal, Calgar intended to use the craft to strike a blow against the Vengeful Spirit.[6b] To distract the Chaos forces to their true purpose, Saim-Hann Eldar were able to lead Orks at Hyperia into Chaos Space Marine strongpoints across the planet in a strategy known as the "Serpent's Lure". The Black Legion, Iron Warriors, and Traitor Titans of the Legio Decapitorum fell victim to these tactics. Of these many battles, only Calgar, Keltoc, and a select few Ultramarines commanders knew that only the battle at New Vitae Docks mattered in the long-term. The Mortwald Aerial base was sending every bulk lander it had into low orbit despite vicious attacks by the Iron Warriors. Though most of the craft contained nothing of consequence, six contained Deathstrike Missiles including two Vortex Missiles.[6c]

In orbit, the outmached Imperial fleet had been patched back together by Calgar and met the greater Chaos armada to put up a screen as to their true objective. Though 80% of the Imperial vessels were lost, the Vaul's Ghost managed to rendezvous with the vessels carrying Deathstrike Missiles. The Eldar vessel then made towards the Vengeful Spirit. The stealthy vessel was able to infiltrate the Chaos shiplines and crashed directly into the Vengeful Spirit. All six Deathstrike Missiles in its hold were detonated, creating a massive explosion that blasted a gaping hole in the side of the Gloriana Class Battleship.[6c]

Duel at Saint's Haven

At the upper spires of Saint's Haven in a region known as the Eyrie of Reflection, Calgar openly challenged the Warmaster in person. Fighting through waves of Haarken Worldclaimers Raptors with his personal guards, he stood at its highest peak and goaded Abaddon through a Ecclesiarchy vox array. Though still at the Citadel Vigilant, Abaddon could not resist the urge to humiliate the Ultramarines Chapter Master. He and his Terminator and Possessed elite were able to teleport directly to Saint's Haven and came before Calgar and his retinue. Immediately, battle broke as the two sides charged into each other.[6c]

As their bodyguards clashed around them, Calgar and Abaddon engaged in a fateful duel. The Ultramarines Chapter Master sought to keep his distance from the Chaos Warmaster and instead sought to deliver Bolter strikes from afar. Abaddon responded in turn with Bolter fire from the Talon of Horus. As a flagstone gave way under the weight of Calgar, Abaddon lept towards Calgar and injured the Ultramarine's arm with his Talon. Calgar responded with an unarmored fist that cracked Abaddon's jaw before attacking with his other fully enclosed Power Fist that lifted the Warmaster from his fleet. Angered, Abaddon swung Drach'nyen at Calgar, severing two of Calgar's fingers and slashing open his armor and destroying his secondary heart.[6c]

As Calgar fell to the ground, Haarken Worldclaimer called to Abaddon across the Black Legion Vox. He stated that the Vengeful Spirit had been critically wounded and was near destruction. It was undertaking an emergency warp jump and had only moments before it vanished from the Vigilus System altogether. Drach'nyen screamed in fury as its prey was denied to it, but Abaddon was forced to withdraw back into orbit via teleportation before he could finish Calgar. However the Warmaster left several Possessed behind to finish Calgar. Calgar's fallen form was beset by these abominations. However at this moment Calgar's enhanced Primaris biology kicked in. His Belisarian Furnace triggered, pumping stimulants into his system to give him one last burst of energy before death claimed him. With a backhand blow, Calgar was able to slay a Greater Possessed that stood over him. Shortly after, the Victrix Guard managed to reach Calgar, who was evacuated by Stormraven Gunship. The wounded Ultramarine was narrowly saved by his Apothecaries, however has not been seen on the battlefield since. Equally, Abaddon was forced to deal with what had befallen the Vengeful Spirit and left the warzone.[6c]

Vigilus' Future

Though the departure of Abaddon and his elite created a sense of relief for many of the Imperial defenders, Vigilus is still beset by violence. But without Abaddon to unite them, many of the Chaos warbands have begun to undertake their own initiatives and even fight one another.[6c]

At Megaborealis, the battle continued to rage. The Mechanicum defenders from Stygies VIII clashed with the World Eaters and disaster was only averted thanks to the Iron Hands, who undertook an artillery strike that slew every one of the crazed Chaos Space Marines. On the western side of Megaborealis, Silo XV was ravaged and much of its Blackstone reserves destroyed by the Black Legion. But the Mechanicum had hidden caches of Blackstone across the planet which the Chaos forces would never be able to discover. Together Vigilus' sister world of Sangua Terra, the Blackstone deposits were able to hold the Nachmund Gauntlet open.[6c] Abaddon still hopes to crush the Nachmund Gauntlet by deploying the dreaded Planet Killer to Sangua Terra.[6e]Though Hyperia was still contested, the hivesprawls of Oteck and Dirkden were officially classified as lost.

At Kaelac's Bane, the Dark Eldar battled the Thousand Sons around a hidden Webway Portal both sides utilized. The Drukhari utilized stolen terraforming technology at Quixotine Loop to summon blizzards against their enemies. The temperature around Kaelc's Bane plummeted well below zero. Though able to shrug off damage, the Rubicae of the Thousand Sons proved vulnerable to the extreme temperatures and became entombed in prisons of ice. The Sorcerers of the Thousand Sons were forced to abandon their Rubicae retinues and flee back into the Webway Portal.[6g] The confusion allowed them to transport hundreds of thousands of slaves back to Commorragh, including many Space Marines from the Necropolis Hawks. Meanwhile, with their task fulfilled and honor satisfied with the death of much of the Aquiliarn Council, the Eldar chose to withdraw.[6c]

What became of Krooldakka's Speedwaaagh!, none could say. Krooldakka himself was killed during a bombardment of cyclonic torpedoes that obliterated Silo XV of Thunder Sump on Megaborealis.[6b] Though the Orks are considered to now be a spent force in the cities, they still are a plague across the wastelands of Vigilus. 2/3rds of their Scrap cities endure. Word of a fun fight has reached Orks across the galaxy, consuming additional worlds of the Nachmund Sub-Sector into violence.[6c]

The Genestealer Princes of the Pauper Princes still infest Dirkden from top to bottom, but ultimately their plans on Vigilus are in tatters. The Xenos Cultists now desperately look to the void, hoping that a Tyranid Hive Fleet may arrive to bring them salvation from their fate.[6c]

Imperial propaganda now speaks of a war all but won, and how it was always darkest before the dawn. How accurate this truly is may be contested, but it is true that the long road to recovery on Vigilus has begun.[6c]

Vigilus Alone

Vigilus' Status

In the aftermath of Abaddon's withdrawal, Imperial commanders saw the situation change little for them on the ground. Chaos Space Marines continued their attacks as Genestealers and Orks rampaged across the planet. At Megaborealis Hive Sprawl, the Stygies VIII ruling Tech-Priests ignored calls to abandon their Blackstone mining network despite attacks by the Brazen Beasts, Genestealers, and Orks. However the Mechanicum soon launched a counterattack of their own, launching Sicarian-class Skitarii against the Greenskins into the mines. While initially successful, the Skitarii became bogged down in subterranean ambushes by Genestealers. Meanwhile at Hivesprawl Mortwald, the Black Legion and Daemons of Slaanesh continued to run amok, using warp power to bypass Imperial defensive lines manned by exhausted Imperial Guard. The hivesprawls chem factories had long since ceased production, and the outer defensive ring formerly manned by Space Marines were under attack from both Chaos and Ork forces. With many Space Marines having since withdrawn from the warzone, many Imperial Commanders considered Mortwald a lost cause. However Human resistance continued in the face of Corpse-King Rat, a former Hive gang boss who scored a number of unlikely victories against Chaos forces. Death Guard and Thouand Sons forces had ravaged Vigilus' capital Hivesprawl of Hyperia but soon enough turned on one another. The hivesprawls suffered tremendously in these battles, and warp anamolies saw huge disturbances which toppled entire hive spires seemingly at random. While the defense in Hyperia depserately continued, nearby Oteck Hivesprawl was declared lost to Genestealer Cults. [8a]

Dirkden Hivesprawl had likewise been abandoned in the face of Genestealer Cult assaults, and fighting soon erupted between the Xenos cultists and The Scourged Chaos Space Marines. Storvhal was initially lost, but determined Skitarii counterattacks were seeing some gains being made against Orks and Genestealers. Only Kaelac's Bane, the southern industrial and water production region, had managed to stay relatively intact against invaders. Despite this, water production suffered greatly in the face of Dark Eldar, Genestealer, and Chaos attacks. In the wastes, Warbands of Orks continued to rampage with near-impunity, operating their fast-moving vehicles out of massive scrap cities. The greatest of these was Fort Dakka, seat of Krooldakka himself. The Warboss' latest scheme was to supplement his capital with an even greater fortress, and he coveted a usubterranean ancient stronghold that had been exposed during battles between Abaddon's forces and the Dark Angels. However the lair was inhabitated by the Iron Warriors warlord Venghaz, and the Greenskins soon came into conflict with hordes of Daemon Engines. In space, the remaining Ork and Chaos Space Marine ships continued to battle one another while still posing a threat to any surviving Imperial vessels. Chaos forces remained active on Vigilus' moon of Neo-Vellum, battling Genestealers for control of its Astrophatic Choir. Meanwhile, the satellite planetoid Hearthlack became occupied by the Word Bearers.[8a]

For the Imperials, Calgar's wounding had unforeseen consequences. Rumors of his fate spread throughout the Imperial ranks, and many thought he was dead. Confusion reigned, and the Imperial war council that had once been dominated by Calgar broke apart. Space Marine and Imperial Guard officers splintered into factions looking for their own victories, and many Imperial troops became demoralized by false rumors of Calgar's death. Some even sided with Chaos and Genestealer Cult forces out of despair and a desperate hope for survival against a situation they thought doomed. At the same time, the Adeptus Ministorum declared Calgar a saint and a growing cult grew around the wounded Chapter master. Meanwhile, the Space Marines that had withdrawn often redployed to neighboring worlds, considering Vigilus secure enough to secure the outlying Nachmund Sub-Sector against enemy forces. Soon enough Imperial counterattacks were launched on the Systems of Urastor, Jagdeth, Magna, and the Twins of Fundis.[8b]

Vigilus Reinforced

Meanwhile in the Yolaris System, which lays along one of the few stable warp channels of the Nachmund Gauntlet, was under threat from a massive Chaos Fleet and was being reinforced by thousands of Sisters of Battle from the Order of the Bloody Rose as well as 9 capital ships of the Imperial Navy and a horde of Frateris Militia, Arco-Flagellants, and Penitent Engines. The Imperial Navy vessels were joined by Ecclesiarchy Invasion Cathedrums and mixed donated ships. It was placed under the command of the Ecclesiarchy under Canoness Corinn Hrethnar and dubbed the 'Crusade of Mina's Consecration. The Crusader Fleet made good progress as they neared the Mandeville Point, but just as they reached their destination a massive Warp Storm erupted which swallowed the System whole. Three Navigators died in the calamity and the Mars Class Battlecruiser Halo of Sol suffered a Gellar Field failure. The ships that survived toiled in the Warp for months, desperatley searching for a way out until surviving Navigators identified the faint light of the Astronomican. When they reemerged into the Materium, the Crusade Fleet found itself on the edge of the Vigilus System. Disgusted by what she found on the surface, Canoness Hrethnarr launched her crusade at Vigilus and absorbed the surviving Sororitas forces there. She then launched a vicious counterattack which drove Chaos Space Marines further south.[8b]

The Crusaders were joined by other piecemeal reinforcements which arrived in the system, such as the Vageshizzari 87th Army Group and Inquisitor Erasmus Cartavolnus of the Ordo Malleus. Cartavolnus believed he had discovered the source of the disruptive effects befalling the Nachmund gauntlet in the form of Blackstone structures dubbed Noctilith Crowns. The Inquisitor announced his attention to destroy these structures and sever the Warp's connection on Vigilus. At the Ordo Malleus' command was the Black Iconoclasts, an elite force of hand-picked specialists recruited from a wide variety of backgrounds. With little cooperation from the secretive Mechanicum, Cartavolnus launched a search for the Crowns. He eventually was able to discover one at the southern edge of Megaborealis near Grisport. The location was surrounded by Cultists sworn to the Word Bearers alongside Tech-Priests and serfs which had joined them. The Inquisition launched the Black Iconoclasts at the Chaos flanks via Chimera transports as Cartavolnus took command of the outlying battle from the shocked Imperial Guard officer. Cartavolnus launched Imperial Guard in a sacrifical first wave, having his Black Iconoclasts follow behind. As his forces battled the Black Legion Marines around him, Cartavolnus used his psychic powers to break the Noctilith Crown.[8b]

Ultimatum at Storvhal

During his psychic ritual to break the crown, he learned of many more as well as their locations. He then split his forces into a number of secret armies, sending them to strike at several of the crowns locations alongside requisitioned Imperial Guard, Sisters of Battle, and Imperial Fists forces already present on Vigilus. The best of the Black Iconoclasts alongside Cartavolnus himself made for Storvhal, where he sensed a nexus of the noctilith crown's power. There, he found rampaging packs of Daemon Engines, Brazen Beasts, and Chaos Cultists attacking the exhausted Mechanicum,House Raven, Sisters of Battle, and Imperial Guard defenders. At the volcanoe known as Phaestos Mound, a cabal of Black Legion Warpsmiths and Masters of Possession maintained the nexus which Caratvolnus sought. It was here that through mass sacrifice and dark rituals, the Chaos forces created new Noctilith crowns from Blackstone mined on Vigilus itself.[8b]

Finding the Imperial forces at Storvhal in disarray, Cartavolnus quickly established his authority over them by torturing many captured officers and transmitting their agony across the wider area. He then launched a mass attack towards Mount Phaestos, taking heavy losses amongst his requsitioned armies but caring little. While the Imperials were united by faith and fear, the Chaos forces were disjointed and often refused to come to the aid of one another. This allowed Cartavolnus' forces to prevail and reach the summit of the volcanoe. It was then that their offensive started slowing, and the Inqusitor himself alongside his Black Iconoclasts entered the fray and enacted his ritual to seal the Crown.[8b]

Escaping the Rift

Meanwhile at Orgalnafor, Imperial forces faced a desperate situation. Led the Cadian 203rd Regiment under General D'hosar, the Imperial armies included Mordian Iron Guard, Death Korps of Krieg, Santosh, and Keruvar Imperial Guard. They were assailed by Chaos forces led by the Black Legion, whose Chaos Space Marines initially undertook guerrilla and special operations. Despite this the Imperials were able to launch counterattacks, and after grueling fighting retook many cities from Cultist hordes. The Imperial Guard was close to winning the war until Black Legion reinforcements arrived from space. Chaos Cruisers launched orbital bombardments which devastated the Imperial positions as gunships landed fresh Chaos Space Marines alongside tanks and Daemon Engines. In a week, the Imperial front had collapsed and contact was lost with General D'hosar, whose Capitol Imperialis command vehicle was destroyed by Maulerfiends and Raptors.[8c]

Brigadier General Van Telost then assumed command alongside the orbiting Rear Admiral Fhallen. Together, they reorganized the defenses and prevented a total rout. However the two both knew Orgalnafor was lost, and sought to evacuate as many assets from the world as possible. Using the Guard for many distractionary and deceptive efforts, the Imperials secretely sought to evacuate their most precious assets. However word spread of the truth, and panic began to erupt in the Imperial ranks. In orbit, several Imperial vessels were lost keeping the evacuation points secure. After evuacting all they could the Imperial fleet withdrew, leaving 200,000 soldiers behind. Their fight was not over however, as during the breakout from the system more Imperial vessels were lost to attacks by Chaos warships. In time the event would become known as the Orgalnafor Massacre. Within the Warp the fleet desperately sought a safe point, accidentally ariving at Vigilus due to its illuminating beacon within the Immaterium.[8c]

The Coronal War

On Vigilus, Caratvolnus managed to establish some cohesion amongst the Imperial commanders through the power of his presence and station. He managed to exact forces from Imperial Guard Officers, Space Marine commanders, and leaders of the Sisters of Battle alike and intended to use these to destroy the remaining Crowns. Amongst these was Proctor-Commander Threneddis of the Vigilant Guard, who had assumed commander after the suspicious disappearance of her predecessor Venedar. Threneddis had earned a strong reputation for herself during the fighting on Vigilus, earning praise from even the Space Marines. From the Order of Our Martyred Lady, Caratvolnus was able to requisition the forces of Canoness Temperance Blaise. With these commanders overseeing his hodgepodge force, Caratvolnus set about to his task.[8d]

The Inquisitor launched his next attack at the northern end of Oteck Hivesprawl against dug-in Word Bearers positions. Using his psychic powers to banish Daemons, Caratvolnus managed to fight his way through their lines as his Iconoclasts commander Major LeGantz launched a multi-pronged combined arms assault alongside Imperial Navy aircraft. Together with Imperial Guard forces from the Tallarn Desert Raiders and Tekarn Iron Men, and Bullgryns, Caratvolnus was able to fight his way to the Noctilith Crown at the center of the Word Bearers position and destroy it. He then struck at Bore-Hive Ultrist, facing stiff resistance from a small but veteran detachment of Black Legion Chaos Space Marines. For weeks fighting raged and Caratvolnus was again successful, but his forces had taken heavy losses. Undeterred, he next struck at the eastern Outskirts of Mortwald, using the 105/412th Catchan Infantry Regiment dubbed Jagger's Devilskins to push into irrigation networks heavily defended by Orks and Genestealer Cultists. The Catachans fought for days, but never encountered any Noctilith Crowns. Cartavolnus realized his psychic senses had failed him, and this misstep caused a delay in his schedule.[8d]

Despite this setback, the Inquisitor had nonetheless achieved a large tally of successes. Across Vigilus the madness and despair that had come with the Noctilith Crowns began to partially recede, helping Imperial morale and allowing for easier communication.[8d]

Sacrifice and Revelation

As the sacrifice on Vigilus continued, a growing cult of martyrdom encouraged by the Ecclesiarchy swept across the world. The religious ferver reached a peak when it was reported Saint Celestine herself had appeared in Hyperia Hivesprawl, and it was this revered figure who was able to rally Imperial defenders and finally slow the Black Legion advance there. In the subsequent defense of Saint's Haven it is said tens of thousands of Imperial troops were lost, but they eventually forced the Black Legion to withdraw. Celestine departed the region soonafter, reappearing at Megaborealis at the fortwall leading to Dontoria.[8d]

At Megaborealis, Celestine met with Hrethnar of the Order of the Bloody Rose and commanded the whole of the Orders forces on the world cease their operations and instead muster for an attack on the corrupted city of Dontoria. After a passionate speech to the assembled Imperial forces, Celestine herself led a vicious purge of Dontoria. Fighting through Poxwalkers, Celestine had orbiting vessels launch a ferocious bombardment which annihilated the vast hordes of these creatures. The Sisters then forged through into Dontoria's outer districts and with their ships in orbit began to purge the entire false continent. Celestines efforts would shine all the way to Terra and become a symbol to Chaos that Vigilus was not theirs to take.[8d]

The Fate of Vigilus

After Celestine's stand, order began to return to much of Vigilus' command. The new command staff on Vigilus was dominated by the Ecclesiarchy, becoming known as the Synod Vigilant. Inquisitor Caratvolnus along with his retinue and those who had fought under him vanished, their mission apparently accomplished. Imperial forces oversaw a general purge in this period of renewal, cleansing much of the planet of its Warp and Xenos taint.[8d]

Thanks to the explosion of faith, Imperial forces became reinvigored and Greenskin and Genestealer Cult forces soon began to leave the warzone entirely. Many of the orbiting Ork warships had left, stranding the remaining Orks there as the ambitious Bootstompa Ghalgutz began his scheme to build his grandest bastion atop an ancient stronghold that had been uncovered in the fighting. Meanwhile many more of the Genestealer fanatics remained and began to scheme to use the religious fervor erupting to their own advantage. Outside of the walls of Dontoria, a gaint sinkhole appeared and from it emerged the few cultists that had survived in Dontoria. While greeted by their kin as a blessing, in truth they carried many foul diseases that would infect other cult cells.[8d]

By this point, the Forces of Chaos were the most numerous enemy the Imperials faced. These were led by the Black Legion Lord Korval the Nightspear and the Sorcerer Xagramothis as well as Borgha the Red Hand, who had originally served in the World Eaters. They had all been given orders by Abaddon before his withdrawal to continue the war in whatever means they could. These were joined by the Alpha Legion Master Omicron, who sent Operatives into open-air religious sermons to sow disunity amongst the Imperial congregations. There was also the Iron Warriors of Warsmith Veszrax, which operated at the outer most fringes of the System and preyed upon refugee ships emerging from the Mandeville Point. He hacked into the systems of these vessels, turning them into ghost vessels that drifted towards Vigilus as a distraction to draw Imperial forces out of their positions so they could be annihilated by the reduced but still capable Chaos Space Marine warbands.[8d]

At the northern end of the Nachmund Gauntlet, the situation was worse for the Imperials. Dozens of worlds and outposts had fallen and the mercantatile coalition of Vigilus nobility known as the Thort Ascendancy was reported destroyed by a large Chaos fleet. Chaos forces had also claimed the Shipyards of Proxiten Rhule, the mining colonies beneath Vendigast , the Star Fort Gorheim, and the asccretion disc of St. Marnius' Halo. At Qu'arth, an Imperial fleet sent to relieve Kennet Majoris which consisted of 24 cruisers and 3 dozen escorts simply vanished in a sudden surge from the Great Rift. The Rifts expansion had been slowed by Cartavolnus, but it was still very much active.[8d]

Vigilus was now alone, assailed but surviving. Abaddon turned his attention to the rest of the Nachmund Gauntlet, fixing his gaze firmly upon Dharrovar.[8d]

Order of Battle[3c]



  • Fort Dakka — Forces of Speedlord Krooldakka
      • Krooldakka Blitz Brigade — 12 Battlewagon Mobs
      • Ozgrog's Kult of Speed — 54 Speed mobs
      • Boss Narkas' Speedin Kult — 17 speed mobs
      • Da Oil Guzzlas — 7 speed mobs
      • Da Hubdrop Skinflintz — 2 speedmobs
    • Tanka Spill — Forces of Mekboss Big Tanka
    • Drogzot's Crater — Forces of Big Mek Drogzot
      • Mekanik Stormboyz — 22 mob-hordes
      • Richgit Drukk's Speedsin Supastarz — 17 speed mobs
      • Drogzot's Grave Raidaz — 12 Mobs
      • Big Rigg's Tanka Crawlaz — 53 Battle Tankas
      • Duffa's Goff Rokkers — 1 Kill Mob
    • Runthive — Forces of Ogrokk Bitespider
    • Mekstop City — Forces of Big Mek Lugnatz
      • Lugnatz' Blitza Boys — 8 Battlewagon mobs
      • Da Kogtribe Grindaz — 33 scrapper mobs
      • Da Skrapyard Dogz — 12 scrapper mobs
      • Kommander Grokker's Ladz fer Hire — 12 mercenary mobs
      • Grokker's Tankmurkz — 2 mechanized mobs
      • Stormboss Stampskull's Skyburna Korps — 12 Mobs
      • Drokk's Rivet Krew — 1 Speed Mob
    • Gork's Landing — Forces of Big Mek Zogbag
    • Da Wheel Hub — Forces of Big Mek Tankskrappa
      • Tramskrappa's Dread Mob — 54 Super-heavy walkers
      • Da Wheelboss Mekmob — 2 speed mobs
      • Speedsta Bosskult — 12 speed mobs
      • Murk's Squigz-on-da-move — 1 speed mob auxilia
      • Boss Dekkit's Blitz Brigade — 1 Battlewagon Mob
      • Da Great Gargant Gorzilla — 1 Mega-Gargant
    • Rakkuk's Mekmaze — Forces of Big Mek Rakkuk
      • Rakkuk's Speed Freek Eleet — 44 Speed Mobs
      • Nakkadakk's Doom Skwadron — 31 Flyboy sky mobs
      • Warhog's Dakka-planes — 12 Flyboy sky mobs
      • Lockjaw's Blastamob — 1 speed mob
      • Boss Shokk's Shokkaboyz — 1 speed mob
      • Krogskukk's boyz — 1 kill mob
    • Skumtown — Forces of Mad Goff Murk
      • Deffstompa's Goff Krushas — 41 mobs
      • Da No-mess Kill Krew — 11 mobs
      • Da Black Axes — 19 mobs
      • Da Heavy Triggaz — 8 mobs
    • Hurrikane Rekk — Forces of Bad Mek Ragzakka
      • Da Lootin Pillagers — 3 Loota hordes
      • Da Nikkin' Flingaz — 3 grot hordes
      • Da Swirlygig Riders — 2 Loota hordes
      • Da Bigmob Burnkrew — 3 Burna hordes
      • Krogzak's Burnaz — 1 kill mob
      • Da Pyro-Mekaniak Speedaz — 1 speed mob
      • Da Big Gutz — 14 super-heavy walkers

Genestealer Cults



Dark Eldar

Related Campaigns