40k Crusade: Crux Stars Campaign

“God Emperor save me from another such victory.”

– Lord Admiral Zinovy Nebogatov, lamenting the aftermath of retaking the Crux Stars in late M39. Nebogatov would be relieved of command 1 week after the final engagement.

Coat of arms of the Crux Stars sector. Featuring an imperial eagle, an artistic take on the major star systems and a laurel of victory made of golden Cruxian wheat on a field of green.

Current Campaign Status

Phase 2, Week 1:

Current modifiers in play

The Outer Wall
The first major defensive network for the defenders.

  • The defending alliance player has 10% more points which may only be spent on fortifications using the rules for free fortifications in the Containment Mission Pack. This bonus no longer applies once the attackers take the Outer Wall for the first time.
  • The attacking alliance player has 10% more points.
  • Regular games from any mission pack are recommended.

Momentum and Desperation

  • Attackers: Nil
  • Defenders: Nil

Phases: There are 6 to 8 phases remaining

Warzone Scores
Chaos – 0 Imperial – 0

The Rules

Army Creation

  • Starting Crusade Roster will be 50PL but games will be played using Points.
  • Psychic powers can be taken and cast multiple times (open play style) but the cast value goes up like smite.
  • One of your HQ or LOW slots can start with 6xp. This represents the leader of your crusade force.
  • Special Characters are allowed, keep in mind they don’t get xp and gain Battle Honours etc. Any relics and warlord traits still increase your Crusade Points for that battle where appropriate.
  • WYSIWYG Close Enough is Good Enough. Remember to brief your opponent before the game
  • Multiple armies are welcome, feel free to bench a team and try something new.
  • Starting games ideally around 500-750 points.

Army Upgrades

  • All Battle Honors (upgrades) will be rolled where possible. On D6 tables, roll 2d6 and pick what you like, on D3 tables, roll once.
  • If you roll a trait you already have or have the same result on both dice, reroll the affected dice.
  • If you roll a pair of traits that is totally useless, ask the campaign organisers for a reroll.
  • Battle Scars – roll 1 die. If you have an idea that suits, talk to the campaign organisers.
  • When/if your codex drops, you get a free one off re-spec for your entire army allowing you to use the new stuff from the book in question. You keep your current XP for every unit and reroll all Battle Honors, Battle Scars and Crusade Relics etc.
  • If you wish to do something drastic like swapping a unit for a new option in the codex, ask the campaign organisers.
  • Spend 2RP to re-spec a unit/character’s Battle Honours and they must miss your next game as they are off training/meditating etc. Their XP is also reset back to the beginning of their current rank. ie Blooded Rank is 6-15 XP, Steve is 9XP, respeccing drops Steve back to 6XP.

Errata

Crusade isn’t perfect. Sometimes there will be edge cases not handled by the rules. You can find the ones we have found so far and the fixes applied here.

Underdog Status

For every 5 Crusade points your opponent has over your current points, your units gain an additional xp for taking part in that battle.

Example: Dave plays against Terry. Dave’s Crusade points for the army he is fielding is 4, Terry’s is 24. At the end of the game, each of Terry’s units gains 1+4 XP for taking part.

Giving Your Army Some Narrative

The Crux stars have been deliberately made to accommodate just about any force, Imperial, Chaos, Xenos or otherwise.

Read on to find out more about the sector. Below is a living document that will chronicle the wars waged in this sector of space. If you have lore for your army, let me know and I’ll add it to the site.

Current Season: The Siege of Nipaluna

Kickoff date: August 6th

End Date: See rules

Marshall your forces. 

  • 2 major alliances, Defenders and Attackers.
    • Chaos will be attackers, while Imperium defends. 
  • You can use an old crusade roster or a new roster. 
    • Existing rosters may be played but must be at most 4 crusade points more than their opponent’s army for 1 phase of the campaign and 8 points in phase 2.  This represents the lag of more experienced forces rushing back from whatever warzone they were currently deployed in, also to give newer rosters a fighting chance.
PlayerAlliance – Main Army – Faith
JacobImperium – Astra Militarum – Death Korps Of Kreig
AndyImperium – Adeptus Custodes – Shadowkeepers of Darian Caligus
PeteImperium – Adepta Sororitas – Order of Wrathful Sacrament
Jake’s BroImperium – Grey Knights
BobChaos – Death Guard
TylerChaos – Chaos Space Marines – Sons Of Horus, The League Of Imperium Veritas
GavChaos Daemons – Tzeentch – Ushriak the Pyresworn
JakeChaos – Chaos Space Marines – Word Bearers

Onwards to victory

This campaign is a race against time to secure the Hive City before Imperial reinforcements arrive.

  • Each of the alliances will aim to secure the palace by the end of the fleet timer. 
    • The attackers will need to drop from their fleet in orbit, then slog through the layers of defenders and take the palace. 
    • The defenders will have to hold out till the timer hits 0 or through some kind of miracle, take out the attacker’s capital ship.
    • Each player will be trying to find their niche in their faction, securing legendary tiles and increased spoils of war! Will you be a champion of your alliance, slaying all in single combat or will you become a master of devastating orbital drops?

Playing a game

  • After playing a game of 40k, Kill team, Necromunda, BFG, AT or AN, use the table below to tally up your warzone points.
  • After 2 weekends of games, the campaign organizer will tally up the results and move the alliance’s desperation tokens as per their wishes and moves the attacker’s progress forward or back. More on that in the Strategy Layer. 
  • The attacker/defender Planet Strike Stratagems, Agendas and Battle Traits from the Containment Mission Pack are active for all games. Chaos players are always considered the attacker while Imperial players are the defender.
  • If a player wins more than 3 games in a row, the next time they play their opponents may trigger one of the following missions, with the opponent choosing attacker/defender: Ambush, Cut Supply Lines, Lying In Wait, The Lure.
  • The current CP changes for chapter approved will be followed.
  • Extra points given by the various warzones or by despration/momentum, can be spent on units from your Crusade Roster as normal as the effectively increase the size of your force.
    • The one exception of this is for the defender, when they gain additional points to be spent on fortifications. These must be spent in the same manneras the Defender’s Free Fortifications from the Containment Mission Pack, 3. MUSTER ARMIES.
  • Instead of using PL, use the following table for Defender’s Additional Fortifications:
Battle SizeMaximum Points of Defender’s Free Fortifications
Combat Patrol200
Incursion400
Strike Force800
Onslaught1200
  • After each game, apply the following table and figure out your total warzone points for playing the game.
Kill TeamAeronauticaCombat PatrolIncursionStrike ForceOnslaught
Play a game111111
Draw a game111234
Win a game223456
Used Warzone Mission Pack N/A N/A 1122
Fully painted111122

If you are playing a game using the Tempest Of War cards, roll on the following table before the game starts to determine the Crusade Victory Bonus:

D3 Crusade Victor Bonus Table – Tempest Of War Cards
1The victor can select two units from their army to be Marked for Greatness after the battle, instead of just 1.
2The victor of this mission gains 2 Requisition points after this battle, instead of just 1.
3After the battle, the victor can select one unit from their army that has a Crusade card (this must be a unit that can gain Battle Honours) — that unit gains a Battle Trait of your choice (make a note on the unit’s Crusade card and increase its Crusade points accordingly)

A Fair Fight Is A Good Fight

“It’s pretty shithouse to the other team if mid match you pick the soccer ball up with your hands and throw it into the goal. It’s even worse if you argue that it should win you the grand final.”

When wrestling with the combined complexity of crusade, balance dataslates, FAQs, mistakes will and can happen and are in fact a good thing, provided that we learn from them.

If they are found during the game, talk it over with your opponent to figure out a fair result to both players. If you cannot do this, call over Tyler or Bob to get a ruling. It can also be a good idea to post some of the trickier ones to the group chat in discord as they might be catching out other players as well.

Good examples of this are Bob reminding us all about the CP increase for battle honours on PL11+ units being 2 rather than 1. This caught a few of us out and was an easy fix.

The example also highlights why it’s a good idea to skim the crusade rules every now and then. When I read into this fix I found that legendary relics also similarly bump the CP points more than a regular battle honour and had to adjust my roster. Again, the in-game effect was minimal.

If mistakes or lapses in the rules are found after the game, once again talk it over with the person you played. For the most part, it is suggested that it is looked at as a learning experience for both players.

However, if the mistake is particularly bad, there are a number of fixes you could agree to, such as reversing the result of dividing the winner’s bonus between the two of you, if you do this, let the GM’s know asap. Again if no agreement can be reached, forward the details to Bob or Tyler. If a pattern of repeated problems emerges or if the incident looks like a violation rather than a slip, lapse or mistake, warzone points will be awarded to the other side.

An example of a violation would be changing relics mid-game to suit the current conditions or multiple repeated crusade roster errors that directly impacted the games being played.

The Strategic Layer

The Strategic Layer is divided up into a number of areas and generally runs the campaign outside of the games.

The Warzone Points Tracker


Each game scores points, as detailed above. 

  • Every two weeks the higher scoring side can move the campaign’s current warzone. 
  • The lower-scoring alliance can then move both desperation tokens one space. Note that you can only move the others sides token to the higher level of desperation by rolling a 5+ on a d6.

If one side has 3x the amount of warzone points, the following Overrun condition applies: 

  • They can move the current warzone twice. Note that this cannot bypass the Palace or Invasion Fleet warzone.
  • The other alliance can move their desperation token one additional space.

In the event of a draw:

  • The attackers win in the following warzones: The Invasion Fleet, No Mans Land, Outer Wall, Outer Ward.
  • The defenders count as winning in the other warzones barring the Palace.
  • The losing side does not move desperation tokens.
  • The attackers may move their desperation token one step.
  • When fighting in the Palace warzone, a draw will result in the current warzone staying as the palace. Both sides may move their desperation tracker one step.

Phase Tracker

The current phase and warzone. 

The amount of phases the relief force is away from the planet. This is a ticking clock for the attackers. 

At the start of the campaign one player from the attacking alliance will roll a dice:

  • 1~2 – The campaign will last 7 phases
  • 3~4 – The campaign will last 8 phases
  • 5~6 – The campaign will last 9 phases

This result will be sealed in an envelope. The other players will never be 100% sure if the campaign is going to end on phase 7 or 9. The player that knows the correct amount of turns cannot move the desperation token. 

It is possible to adjust this number via The Momentum and Desperation mechanic.

The Warzones

The Warzone map is mostly used for tracking the attacker’s progress in the siege.

There are 7 warzones. The starting warzone for the campaign is No Mans Land. Each warzone affects the type of games recommended and additional effects to be played during that phase.

The Invasion Fleet
The attacker’s home base. Taking the fight here for the defender is risky.

  • ZM/space hulk or insanely dense terrain boards are recommended.
  • The attacker alliance has 15% more points than the defender alliance.
  • The defensive alliance will always be the attacker in this warzone.
  • The attackers need to lose No Mans Land twice in succession to allow the defenders to attack the fleet.
  • If the attackers lose this phase they lose the campaign.

No Mans Land
The landing zone for the attacker fleet, is mostly open and allows manoeuvre warfare and rapid attacks.

  • Planet strike games using the Containment mission pack are heavily suggested for this warzone.
  • The attacker alliance will have 15% more points than the defender and will always be the attacking player.

The Outer Wall
The first major defensive network for the defenders.

  • The defending alliance player has 10% more points which may only be spent on fortifications. This bonus no longer applies once the attackers take the Outer Wall for the first time.
  • The attacking alliance player has 10% more points.

The Outer Ward
Brutal city fighting in the ‘commoner’s area’ and the planet’s major spaceport.

  • Regular games.

The Inner Wall
Bristling with void shields and redoubts, this is the most challenging defensive point on the planet.

  • The deafening alliance player has 15% more points which may only be spent on fortifications. This bonus no longer applies once the attackers take the Inner Wall for the first time.
  • The attacking alliance player has 10% more points. This bonus no longer applies once the attackers take the Inner Wall for the first time, from that point on, they have 5% more points during the Inner Wall phase

Inner Ward
Wide streets and major buildings of governance and defender’s long-term stores.

  • Regular games, with heavy terrain coverage.

Palace
Brutal corridor fighting, opening to the occasional large open space.

  • If the defenders lose this phase they lose the campaign. 
  • Insanely dense cityscape.

Momentum and Desperation

Both the attacking and defending alliances gain bonuses depending on how desperate their forces are. 

This is tracked in the chart above. Each alliance has their own desperation token, which they can move around the chart, granting them bonuses to aid them in their games. The bonuses are cumulative.

Both sides start with Even Momentum. Each level of the tree away from Even Momentum is a higher level of desperation.

You may only move vertically, picking one branch at a time. I.E the attacker may not have New Attack Plans and Orbital Dominance at the same time. 

When moving the others side’s token you can freely move to a lower level of desperation. If you wish to move it to a more desperate part of the tree, roll a +5 on a d6. If you succeed and the level branches, the other side picks which branch takes effect. If you fail the roll, you may still move the counter down a level.

Attacking Alliance Bonuses:

Orbital Dominance –
The attacker’s orbital dominance allows them to out-manoeuvre the static defenders. 

  • Each time the attacker alliance plays a game, at the start of the first battle round, they can select up to three units from their army. Remove those units from the battlefield and set them up anywhere on that battlefield that is wholly on their deployment zone.
  • One unit of the attacker’s army can be set up anywhere on the battlefield that is more than 9″ away from the enemy deployment zone and any enemy models.

New Attack Plans –
The attackers change up their tactics, changing their avenues of attack.

  • The attackers may reroll their dice to determine who goes first.
  • Attackers may reroll the mission.
  • You can use a CP Reroll twice per game for 0CP in each game. 

Increase Orbital Defence –
Seeing the defender’s tenacious defence, the attackers call on their allies to spoil the relief fleet.

  • The relief fleet arrives 1 phase later in the campaign.
  • Note that this can only be applied once. 

Level Nipaluna –
Furious, the attackers begin to level the planet in a hideous rage.

  • The attackers gain an additional 4 Firestorm Attacks or if the mission does not have firestorm attacks, they may make 4. Note this will incur narrative consequences….

We Will Bury Them –
The attackers send in *all* of their reserves.

  • The attackers gain 20% more points in their games for one phase.
  • The relief fleet arrives 1 phase sooner in the campaign.  Note that this can cause a sudden death condition. If so, the attackers can ignore the palace/invasion fleet’s Overrun protection.
  • In addition, if the attacker alliance wins a phase in the sudden death condition, they may continue the campaign until they lose a phase, keeping the 20% more points bonus active. In each of these following phases, the attacker will lose 10% of pts each continued phase.  (ie, they win the phase, next is at +10% extra points, then 0%, -10% and so on.
  • Each attacking player gains +2 Req.
  • Note that this bonus can only be applied once.

Defensive Alliance Bonuses:

Increase Munition Supplies –
The defenders damn the logistical cogitators’ predictions and draw deep on their reserves.

  • At the start of each battle round, the defensive player gains 1 extra CP. This CP does not stop the player from earning additional CP.
  • You can use a CP Reroll twice per game for 0CP in each game. 
  • Each player receives +1 Req. Note that this bonus Req can only be applied once. Further uses of Increase Munition Supplies will not trigger this benefit.


Dug-In Zealots –
The valiant defence against the odds whips the populace into a religious fervour. Every street is contested by partisan guerrillas who spend their lives freely to stop the attacker’s advance.  

  • Each time a morale test is taken for the defensive alliance, you can ignore any or all modifiers to that unit’s Leadership characteristic.
  • You can re-roll failed Morale tests taken for Defensive Alliance units.
  • You may use the Insane Bravery stratagem for 1CP three times in each game. 

Hail the Fleet –
The defenders commit an act of true desperation. Sacrificing half their astropaths, they hail every friendly fleet in the sector, beseeching them to save them before it’s too late.

  • The relief fleet arrives 1 phase sooner in the campaign.
  • Note that if this ends the campaign, it instead causes a sudden death condition. If so, the attackers can ignore the palace/invasion fleet’s Overrun protection.
  • Note that this can only be applied once. 

Rats of Nipaluna
Endless bombardment and savage assaults push the defenders into the underground. The attacker’s propaganda belittles them as “rats”. Standing stalwart against the tide, a commander and his troops elect to turn an insult into heroism. Each time the defender’s alliance plays a game, at the start of the first battle round, they can select up to three units from their army. Remove those units from the battlefield and set them up anywhere on that battlefield that is wholly on their deployment zone.

  • One unit of the defender’s army can be set up anywhere on the battlefield that is more than 9″ away from the enemy deployment zone and any enemy models.
  • The defenders gain one extra MoG per game played.

Desperate Push –
Every man is thrown into the grinder, and blocking parties are stationed behind defending troops. Not one step back will be tolerated.

  • The defenders gain 25% more points in their games.
  • The defender rerolls successful morale checks. Note that Dug In Zealots will cancel this out.
  • When the defender rolls Combat Attrition, roll twice, pick the lowest result and -1 from the dice roll.
  • Units destroyed by failing morale checks or combat attrition must reroll successful Out Of Action tests.
  • This will have narrative consequences.
  • Note that this can only be applied once.

Winning the city

At the end of the campaign, once all results are applied and the relief fleet arrives:

  • If the defenders push the attackers back off their fleet, they win.
  • If the attackers fail to take the palace the defenders win.
  • If the attackers take the palace, they win.

Heroic Achievements

The war for the Nipaluna and the Hive City of Unending Dawn is epic in scope, with mighty battles fought across countless fronts. Heroic – and infamous – deeds are performed by those blessed with talent, courage and luck. While those mighty deeds might not always be enough to win a battle, they inspire fellow warriors with tales worthy of record.

The list of Heroic Achievements below are active for the duration of the campaign. At the end of each battle, each player can select one Heroic Achievement they completed during that battle.

They then select one of the following rewards:

  • Receive 2 additional war zone points for their alliance.
  • If the campaign is using Crusade forces, a player can receive that Heroic Achievement’s reward

Each Heroic Achievement’s reward can only be received once per player (in subsequent battles, they must select to receive 2 additional war zone points).

At the end of each campaign phase, the alliance that completed the most Heroic Achievements during that phase earns additional war zone points equal to the total number of players in the opposing alliances.

Heroic Achievements and their rewards are as follows:

BITTER STRUGGLE

At the end of the battle, each player adds up the total Power Rating (or, if your game is using a points limit, the points value) of the units from their army that has not been destroyed. This Heroic Achievement is completed if the total for each player’s remaining army is 10% or less of their starting total (they cannot achieve this if all of their units have been destroyed), and the difference in victory points between both players is no more than 10. Note that this Heroic Achievement would be completed by both players.

Reward: After the battle, each player can select up to three units from their army that have not been destroyed to be Marked for Greatness, instead of just one.

MIGHTY DUEL

This Heroic Achievement is completed if an enemy WARLORD is destroyed as a result of a melee attack made by your WARLORD.

Reward: 

  • Your WARLORD gains one Battle Honour.

ASSASSINATION

This Heroic Achievement is completed if an enemy WARLORD is destroyed by your WARLORD (excluding as a result of a melee attack).

Reward: 

  • Your WARLORD gains 4 experience points.

SECURE AT ALL COSTS

This Heroic Achievement is completed if, at the end of the battle, there are a minimum of four objective markers on the battlefield and you control every objective marker on the battlefield.

Reward: 

  • For each objective marker you control, select one unit from your army within range of an objective marker at the end of the battle to gain 1 experience point.
  • You gain 1 Requisition point.

ALL BUT ONE

This Heroic Achievement is completed if, at the end of the battle, a unit from your army with a Starting Strength of 10 or more models has one model remaining, and that model is within your opponent’s deployment zone, within range of an objective marker that is not within your deployment zone, or within Engagement Range of any enemy units.

Reward: 

  • Select one unit in your army that completed this Heroic Achievement.
  • That unit gains a Battle Honour.

FORTUNE FAVOURS THE BRAVE

This Heroic Achievement is completed if an enemy unit is destroyed as a result of an attack made by a model in your army, and that attack’s strength was half or less than the enemy unit’s toughness.

Reward: 

  • Select one model in your army that completed this Heroic Achievement. That model’s unit gains 5 experience points.

PSYCHIC DOMINATION

This Heroic Achievement is completed if two or more enemy units are destroyed as a result of psychic powers manifested by one PSYKER unit from your army.

Reward: 

  • Select one PSYKER unit in your army that completed this Heroic Achievement. That unit gains a Psychic Fortitude.

DEATH BEFORE DEFEAT

This Heroic Achievement is completed if every unit in your army has been destroyed, but you scored more victory points from the mission objectives (other than secondary objectives if you are playing a matched play game) than your opponent.

Reward: 

  • After the battle, select D3 units from your army. Those units automatically pass their Out of Action tests from this battle.
  • Each unit that was part of your army list gains 2 experience points, instead of 1.

REAPER

This Heroic Achievement is completed if four or more enemy units are destroyed during the battle by one unit (excluding TITANIC units) from your army.

Reward: 

  • Select one unit in your army that completed this Heroic Achievement. That unit gains 4 experience points.

BLOODIED BUT UNBROKEN

This Heroic Achievement is completed if, at the end of the battle, a CHARACTER unit from your army with one wound remaining is on the battlefield, and that unit destroyed one or more enemy units during the battle.

Reward: 

  • Select one CHARACTER unit in your army that completed this Heroic Achievement. That unit gains 4 experience points.
  • You can use the Warlord Trait Requisition on that unit for free, even if it has not gained a rank.

TACTICAL MASTERCLASS:

This Heroic Achievement is completed if a player achieves 90 victory points from the mission objectives.

Reward: 

  • After the battle, you can select three units to be marked for greatness, instead of just one.

OVERRUN

At the end of the battle, this Heroic Achievement is completed if every unit from your army (excluding AIRCRAFT units and units with the Fortification Battlefield Role) is within your opponents deployment zone and there are a minimum of four units from your army within your opponents deployment zone (excluding AIRCRAFT units and units with the Fortification Battlefield Role).

Reward: 

  • Every unit from your army within your opponent’s deployment zone gains 1 experience point.
  • You gain 1 Requisition point.

Legendary Titles

After you have played your first battle in a Seige Of Nipaluna, you can select one unit from your Order of Battle (you can only select a unit that can gain Battle Honours). Keep a Seige Of Nipaluna Achievements tally for this unit. Add 1 to this tally if your army completed one or more Heroic Achievements during that battle. Once this unit’s tally reaches 5, it gains the Legend Of Nipaluna keyword and its tally is removed from its Crusade card.

At the end of a Charadon Aflame campaign, for each Legend Of Nipaluna unit in your Crusade Force, you can select one of the Legend Of Nipaluna titles listed below, provided that unit has both the correct Faction keyword and the selected titles Heroic Achievement has been completed by your Crusade force during the campaign. That unit then gains the title’s associated ability, and its Crusade points are increased by 1. A Legend Of Nipaluna title is a Battle Honour, but does not count towards a unit’s limit of six Battle Honours. A Crusade force cannot contain two units with the same Legend Of Nipaluna title.

SERVANT OF DARKNESS
Heroic Achievement: Mighty Duel

The terror, fear and death this warrior has spread in their wake, as well as their devoted service to the dark gods, has been rewarded most handsomely.

CHAOS DAEMON or TRAITORIS ASTARTES unit only. This title cannot be given to a unit that contains any models with a Wounds characteristic of 10 or more.

  • Each time an enemy model shoots, if this unit is not the closest eligible target or within 18″ of that enemy model, then that enemy model cannot target this unit.

THE MORTARION’S CHOSEN
Heroic Achievement: All But One

This Warlord has been blessed by Mortarion himself for playing an instrumental role in the infection of Hive City Nipaluna.

DEATH GUARD unit only.

  • Add 1″ to the range of any Contagion abilities this unit has.
  • At the end of each battle in which this unit was part of your Crusade army, if you won the battle, roll one D6: on a 5+, you gain one Virulence point.

RAVAGER OF HIVE CITY UNENDING DAWN
Heroic Achievement: Reaper

The Hive City Of Unending Dawn has been left in tatters, a wasteland of ruin, horror and bloodshed, due in no small part to the campaign of destruction you have personally spearheaded.

CHAOS unit only.

  • Add 1 to the Attacks characteristic of models in this unit.
  • Once per battle, if this unit is an INFANTRY unit, at the end of the Fight phase, if this model is within Engagement Range of any enemy units, it can fight again.

BATTLEGROUP KALLIDES LIBERATORS
Heroic Achievement: Tactical Masterclass

This warrior was instrumental in the Siege Of Hive City Of Unending Dawn. They have been honoured accordingly by Groupmaster Marran himself.

IMPERIUM unit only.

  • Once per battle, if this model is on the battlefield, when you use either a Battle Tactic or a Strategic Ploy Stratagem, that Stratagem costs 0CP. This cannot be used in conjunction with any other ability that reduces the CP cost of a Stratagem.

JURTEN’S LEGACY
Heroic Achievement: Bloodied but Unbroken

“In life, war. In death, peace. In life, shame. In death, atonement.” -Final litany of the Litany of Sacrifice, recited by Krieg Korpsmen when entering battle.

ASTRA MILITARUM model only.

  • Once per battle round, you can change the result of one hit roll, one wound roll or one saving throw made for this model to a 6 (that roll counts as having been made with an unmodified roll of 6).

UNTAINTED AND UNBOWED
Heroic Achievement: Bitter Struggle

The Grey Knights strike force tasked themselves with dealing with the Word Bearers and Tzeentchian threat. Each of their battles in the siege ratcheted up the desperation, with both sides taking grievous casualties, However, despite these odds, the Grey Knights secured and sanctified the battlefield.

  • Sanctic Astartes unit only. If this model is included in your Crusade force, when you are selecting Agendas you can select one additional Agenda; this must be the Cleanse Ground agenda from Codex: Grey Knights. This can be selected even if you have selected another Grey Knights agenda.

SALVAGER
Heroic Achievement: Secure At All Costs

Amidst the rubble and corpse piles of the siege are buried countless archeotech wonders. This warlord has salvaged an impressive stockpile of such artefacts.

  • At the end of each battle in which this unit was part of your Crusade army, if you won the battle, you can use the Relic Requisition once without spending any extra Requisition points.

AGGRESSIVE LOGISTICS
Heroic Achievement: Overrun

Amateurs study tactics while professionals study logistics. Masters simply take their enemy’s supplies and turn them on their former owners.

  • At the end of each battle in which this unit was part of your Crusade army, if you won the battle, increase your Supply Limit by 1.
  • At the end of each battle in which this unit was part of your Crusade army, roll one D6, adding 2 to the result if you won the battle: on a 6+, you gain 1 Requisition point.

AND THEY SHALL KNOW NO FEAR
Heroic Achievement: Fortune Favours the Brave

Oh God Emperor, Overseer who makes all things right. Whose power none can resist. Grant me the strength to defeat thine enemies. Grant me the will to defeat the beast. From your grace, I shall know no fear.

  • At the end of each battle in which this unit was part of your Crusade army, roll one D6, adding 2 to the result if you won the battle: on a 6+, you can select one additional unit from your army to be Marked for Greatness.

Campaign Progression

TBA

Histroy Of The Crux Stars

Pre Great Rift

Location of the Crux after the opening of the rift. Note the ‘stable’ warp corridor dubbed ‘The Strait Of Sealat Malaka’ named after the Rogue Trader Dynasty ‘The Malaka Sultanate’. The Straits start and end at the borders of the Crux.

There are many important places in the galaxy. 

Critical chokepoints for warp lanes. Strategic Redoubts. Hive worlds filled with trillions of the unwashed. For better or worse, pre great rift, The Crux Stars did not fit into this category. 

Located on the borders of the Eastern Fringe, The Crux Stars are a dense cluster of stars and planets. While resource-rich and filled with habitable planets, navigating in this sector is trying at the best of times, there are numerous dead zones of space, both in reality and the warp, created by conflicting gravity wells of its heavenly bodies, the mysterious pylons of the Ginan system and the neighbouring Ugalj Vreća nebula. The presence of so many stars in such a small area also washes the nearby planets with seasonal radiation waves and dreaded rad blasts and firestorms, commonly manifesting in mild radiation burns and slight bleaching of hair in the population of the sector.

The Imperium has maintained a presence here since the scouring, only briefly pushed off the Crux by chaotic forces during the 10th Black Crusade. Retaking the Crux, with its maze of warp routes, shipping lanes and pirate coves cost the Imperium dearly, with former Lord Admiral Zinovy Nebogatov’s reclamation fleet suffering dire losses.  

While resource-rich, the aforementioned drawbacks prohibit mass exploitation of the sector. Still, this allows its people some respite from the greater Imperium and as such its citizens of the Crux refer to themselves as “The lucky ones”. While psykers are exceedingly rare, luck and good fortune are not and the warp touched that do arise are of unusual power and ability. 

The ecology of the sector is also similarly wild, with rad resistant crops, cattle and strange wildlife in abundance, coupled with frequently raising Imperial Guard regiments locally known as ‘Diggers’, fed the Imperium’s insatiable hunger for both food and troops alike.

In late M37, A string of cunning (and corrupt) sector governors and bureaucrats has led to the Crux reducing its tithes and outside oversight to the bare minimum, allowing local forces to batter down the region’s pirate and Xenos raids. For just under 4 millennia, the Crux Stars have been relatively untouched by war when compared to their contemporaries.

This, like all things, changed when the great rift cut the galaxy in twain. 

Fighters scrambled over the fields of Cygnus, Mimosa system, Crux Sector during the opening of the rift, late M41, colourized.

 

Post Rift Crux and The Strait of Selat Malaka

The Rift Opens, War of the Khopesh and the Battle Of Shuyet

As with other places in the galaxy, the rift’s violent opening shattered the relative peace in the Crux. The sky was torn asunder, exploding into multicoloured light and then settling into a purple bruise sector-wide. Only on the Ginan system, with its so-called ‘cities of the dreamless’, did the sky remain blue.

Mimosa was immediately raided by a heretic Astartes force of League of Veritas Imperialis. Commanded by the foul heretic Astartes sorcerer Khonsu of Nerikare’s Immortals, they seized a season’s worth of grain stores and burned what they couldn’t take, before being driven off sector’s PDF, aided by a relief force of Sliver Scarabs Astartes lead by Lt Un-Amen that arrived in the weeks following the sector’s distress call. The two forces engaged in a game of cat and mouse, khopeshes clashed as each fleet attempted to use the winding realspace and warp routes to tilt the balance of power in their favour.

This game culminated in the decisive void battle of Shuyet. The Scrabs pushed the heretics back into the warp rift and the Astartes quickly made their leave, swearing to return in greater numbers should the need arise, declaring to all that the Crux was under their watch.

Despite this victory, the damage was done. The sector’s PDF and fleet are in tatters, its main food stores raided and communication with the wider imperium tenuous at best. As a whole the sector looked to the bruised sky and dimmed stars, waiting to see what nightmare would emerge.

Pic Capture Of The Battle Of Shuyet, Sliver Scrabs’ Clash With The Pure Draws To A Bloody Close

The Malaka Sultanate and the machination of the Asuryani

Sulantate briefing notes, M41


“The universe is tripartite: the sunlight of the material plane, the darkness of the spirit plane, and the twilight of the spaces betwixt the two.” – Eldar Spiritseer 

Proving their reputation of being lucky, the sector was ‘saved’ by the Rogue Trader dynasty of the Malaka Sultanate, they claimed that they had charted a course through the great rift and that the Crux sector was the lynchpin for it. The Sultanate offered a trade. They would hand over a map of the stable routes, along with enough food to feed the sector until the next harvest in exchange for a ‘fair tithe’ of all resources that followed through the newly christened ‘‘The Strait Of Sealat Malaka”

Little did the sector governor, Governor-General Corcrac, know that the Malaka Sultantate’s boons did not come from the skill of its navigators, his merchant captain’s tradecraft or “highly skilled and therefore, rather expensive” stellar cartographers but rather the Asuryani of Iyanden

Why they gave such a gift to the Sultanate is unknown at this time…

Plagues Of The Scourge Stars And The Pylons Of Ginan  

While the Crux does provide one of the few direct and safe passages to the Eastern Fringe, Mortiatian’s plague empire to the south in the Scourge Stars coupled with its proximity to the Tau Empire, Sautekh Dynasty of the Necrontyr and The Ork Empire of Charadon under Arch-Arsonist Snagrod to the east place both it and any aspiring general’s attempt to move troops from Imperium Sanctus to Nihilus in a tricky bind. 

The proximity of the Scourge Stars and the Nurgle Plagues and war hosts spewing from it should have doomed the Crux. At the behest of Typhus himself, the Bubonic Astartes sallied forth, heading north into the Tau Empire and towards the Crux itself, plagues ran before it, infecting worlds and weakening armies before the hosts struck.

However, it seemed that even Nurgles most horrific plagues could not gain a foothold in the Crux. Where treatment, immune-boosting vaccine and antiseptic failed in the south, medicares in the Crux, especially in the Ginan system found their traditional methods working soundly. 

Imperial investigators had no idea why this was the case, it wasn’t until they found agents of the Plague god attempting to take down the Pylons of Ginan that they stumbled onto what maybe the source of the Crux’s good fortune. A vicious battle in the shadows erupted, with the agents of the Imperium finding themselves stretched thin. They failed in the Hive City of the Unheard Song. Nurgle forces, supported by Astartes of Vastata Cibum, almost brought down a network of pylons on Molae’va’por only to be stopped by a force of Necrontyr of the Shinichirō dynasty, who sallied forth out of the previously impenetrable Ugalj Vreća nebula, situated to the south-east of the Crux. 

Located near the Crux, the Ugalj Vreća nebula is an impenetrable void to sensors in realspace and the warp alike. Where the rift breaks on the Crux like waves on the beach, it is as stagnant as a farm dam near the Ugalj. Two flickering stars stand like the gates to the nebula, hazed auspex readings say the suns are surrounded by metallic and noctilith rings. Many have crossed the gates to explore the nebula and plunder the Blackstone within. None have returned.

Over 60 million years ago, during the War Of Heaven, the Necrontyr made the pylons and it was now their mission to not only preserve them but to amplify them. Seeking to replicate the effects of the ‘stillness’ in the Pariah Nexus within the Nephilim Sub-sector. The Xenos poured energy into the long-dormant Blackstone. While the PDF attempted to repel this new threat, they were quickly demoralised by pylon’s insidious influence, leading to a total rout of local Imperial forces.

It was only the efforts of the Adeptus Astartes of the Swords of Davion that thwarted these efforts. Under the instruction of Inquisitor Scradden and command of Equerry Owain, Strike Force Reforger deployed to counter the Necron’s charging of the pylons and then tasked themselves with saving the populace.

Falling on the Necron’s guarding the pylons, the Astartes challenged all that approach them. As for the Necrontyr? It’s doubtful that Overlord as notorious as Akída Kathréftis of the brutal Shinichirō Dynasty will allow a 100 millennia old plan to unravel. Especially given that he was charged by the Silent King himself to carry it out. 

Conflicts

The Sound Of Silence

War For The Pylons Of Ginan

“The beatings will continue until morale improves.”
– Unknown midshipman, 0146961.M02. Overheard utterings of this and other timeless statements are tallied daily by Imperial Commissars to gauge morale and general force disposition. Known as the ‘M score’ Commissars will work together to bring this number to an ‘acceptable limit’. Forces in the Ginan system are currently riding an all-time high M score, despite numerous beatings, mandatory heroic speeches, floggings and at least 3 summary executions.


While not as large or extensive as the Cadian network, the pylons of Ginan are definitely the source of the Crux’s resistance to the Great Rift. 

After a long and bloody campaign Swords of Davion fended off the machinations of Shinichirō Dynasty, seizing the Pylons of Ginan. Publicly the Davonic Astartes secure the pylons and remove the Necron influence supercharging their effects.

Privately the Astartes work with Inquisitors of the Sanguine Inquiro, balancing the heightened effects with maintaining the warp route, spiriting away portions of the pylons back to Davion, seeking to establish a safer warp route to their besieged sector.

This would prove to be a mistake, while the Shinichirō Dynasty‘s initial success in overcharging the pylons allowed the Astartes to remove a portion for their own use, their haste to bring this boon back to their besieged homeworlds allowed a new small but stable warp route to from.

The route leads to the foul chaotic empire of The League Of Veritas Imperialis. It will only be a matter of time before the Heretic Astartes, led by Imperator Daivde finds this route and ignites a civil war on a scale the Crux has never seen before.

The Scrappers War

The Rock’in Raids Of Waaaaagh Snarltoof And The Fury Of The Lamenters

The Terror Jungles Of Derwin

During the battles of the Ginan System, a Savage Ork Rock n’ Waaagh broke warp. Fresh off their battles against the Spider of Mars, Waaagh Snarltoof’s fleet careened into Crux Stars breaking out of the warp in the Rubidea system.

The orks started to do what they did best, basing themselves out of the asteroid belt near Derwin they started a massive hunt for supplies. Snarltooth’s space hulk was powerful but had an insatiable thirst for fuel and the Orks had forgotten how to stop the hulk from moving.

It was at this moment that Snarltooth’s Mek had an idea. They would simply crash the hulk into the nearest planet.

That planet happened to be Deathworld Derwin.

When local Imperial Guard are asked about dwarf planet Derwin, most describe it as a tropical hell world where nothing good can or will happen. It is a planet of insane humidity and heat, producing vicious megafauna and ugly fighting conditions. It also features an atmosphere that aggressively corrodes anything it touches.

Such a place is hell for Adeptus Mechanicus, yet they maintain sole rights over the world. This is because of the vast “Graveyard of the Fictus Aftokratoría” to the north. The site of a vast great crusade battlefield, where large elements of the XIIth Legionary fleet clashed with a doomed human empire that spurred the Emperor, it contains a treasure trove of pre-heresy, unwarp touched, refined battlefleet grade adamantium mined from the Jai system.

“Landing” on Derwin, Snarltoof set himself on raiding the graveyard and Mechanicus treasures. The mighty crash of the hulk unearthed also unearthed the bones of a mighty Gorkanaught. With the psyker weirdboy twins Chaz’rk and Dav’rk receiving visions from Gork himself or Mork, depending on what time of day you asked them, that Snarltoof would find greatness if he aided his Meks in repairing the Gorkanaught.

To do this Snarltoof needed scrap. A lot of scrap. More scrap than he had, so much so that he had to get his entire Warband to use *all* of their fingers and toes to count how many ‘scraps’ he would need. This still wasn’t enough. Grasping at straws, it was his soothsayer, weirdboy Dav’rk Bowie suggested that they use the hands and feet of dead imperials to help them count. After a solid 3 weeks of hunting down humies, this worked.

Despite the massive levels of bloodshed, this un-orky act of math enraged the Ork beyond belief, leading him to throttle Chaz’rk until Dav’rk said that there was a ton of scrap ‘over der’. ‘Over der’ was the outskirts of the Crux Stars, namely the Adeptus Mechanicus outpost of deathworld Derwin and the ship graveyard in orbit.

The Waaaagh swept the local forces aside, the Mechanicus outpost desperately called for aid and the Astartes of the Lamenters 7th Company answered. Led by noble Captain Lucien, this force of Astartes, fresh of crossing the Rubicon enmass resisted the waaaagh with fury and bolter fire.

Astartes and Orks fought bloody battles over the moon, with Snarltooth losing a leg in the process. Enraged he lead his savage orks into a ‘great hunt’ and while he stuck out alone, hunting and taming the dreaded Bona Fortuna Aprum. Taking the beast as his mount and naming it “TEARER”, he proceeded to kill many of the Lamenters in a bloody rampage.

Refusing to bow down to the Orks superior numbers, the Lamenters clashed with the orks amongst the Mechanicus trade posts. Captain Lucien embroiled himself in the fighting but he found himself slipping into the Black Rage. Attempting to hide his affliction he withdrew from the fight he entrusted the young Lexicarnum Zadkiel to save Derwin. Zadkiel had found his stride during the conflict and focused on protecting the people rather than material, a move that infuriated sector command. Nevertheless, the 7th performed well but with dire losses against the Waaggh, saving most of the sector but allowing Snarltoof to gain a critical amount of scrap for his project….

Death In Paradise

The Faith Wars

“To Slay is to pray.”
– St Elma, Leader of The Apostles of Her Burning Tears And The Infinite Contained Lake Of His Forgiveness.

“I think often about how the false Emperor once told us that the gods are not real. Truly those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.”
– Imperator Davide, leader of Sons of Horus and The League Of Imperium Veritas.

The Jai System

Finding a new stable warp route pre-rift was good, but not necessarily something that would be news on a segmentum-wide scale.

This has changed in the Post rift Imperium and thanks to an oversight by the notoriously hot-blooded chapter of Astartes known as the Swords of Davion during their battles to hold the Ginan system, this is exactly what developed between the southern systems of the Crux stars and Imperial Nihilus.

The Jai system was the jewel of the two possible targets for predatory forces on the other side of the rift. Its three habitable worlds are a self-contained set of a population rich, resource-rich and most rare of all in the Imperium, a legitimate paradise world.

The system’s capital Ōtautahi is the largest of the three planets. Ōtautahi’s warrior culture harkens back to the Age of Strife, famously resisting The Great Crusade for 3 months until a diplomatic solution was found at the cost of massive amounts of bloodshed on both sides. The hive world supplies ample amounts of workers and prospers off the bounty of Wellesley IX’s mining network.

The resource-rich mining world of Wellesley XI has been stripped mined and tunnelled for millennia. This greed has left it a planet of massive tectonic instability. Despite this pillaging, it remains laced with Adamantium, a metal often used in conjunction with plasteel and ceramite to produce items that require incredible tensile strength, such as in the structure of power armour, Terminator Armour or the construction of Imperial Titans.

The paradise world of Eden IV is one of the jewels in the Crux Star’s crown. A resort world of Imperial nobility and retired generals, it is, for the privileged few, one of the very few outright ‘nice’ places in the Imperium. Valued beyond measure by sector aristocrats, any invading force can expect it to be fought for tooth and nail.

This trio of planets provides and force invading the Crux Stars with a ready-made jumping point into the heart of the warp lanes connecting Sanctus and Nihilus and yet This route went unnoticed by Imperial forces for months. This quickly changed when a mass landing of heretic astartes bearing the colours of the Fallen and Sons of Hours landed en masse on the system’s three planets. This event triggered bedlam.

The forces of chaos, while notionally aligned had similar but competing agendas. The Fallen warband, Order of the Shrouded Sword was commanded by the proud Valkyrion, who stylised himself as ‘The Twice Scorned’ after escaping capture by the Dark Angels, seeking to expose the lies of the chapter and the true fate of Caliban and the Lion.

The Sons of Horus on the other hand were led by “Imperator” Davide. The ever-lucky Davide had stumbled his way into obtaining an empire on the Nihilus side of the rift. The so-called League Of Imperium Veritas has given his small warband a bevy of resources, which true to Davide’s style, has cemented his belief that Horus was actually right and Abaddon dishonours his “great and very important” memory. As such the ‘true sons’ immediately started to build giant statues of Horus on the landing fields in the Jai system, rather than the sane idea of fortifications or logistic supply hubs, after all the Imperium, unlike Horus and therefore Davide, was a slow to react wallowing and wounded beast. Surely there would be no rapid reaction or response by such a flawed empire.

Within hours of the Chaos forces landing on Jai system worlds, the invasion triggered an immediate response.

An Imperial holy mission to the other side of the warp rift led by Saint Elma, consisting of Astartes from the Black Templars and Adepta Sororitas troops saw the atrocities being committed by the forces of chaos as a holy sign to bring the firey light of the Imperial creed to the masses. They were joined by the Macrossian Imperial Knights of House Macrossian led by Knight Commander Huntress. This force would be the initial Imperial counter push against the forces of chaos in the sector.

However, it was not the Imperials of the Sanctus side of the rift were not the only power reacting to the events in the Jai system. The Tau Gan’da’mu expeditionary fleet from Bor’kan saw a perfect opportunity to entrench their ideals in a vulnerable and shocked population and thus they rode to the defence of the people of the Jai system, making a truly uneasy alliance with the firebrand Imperials of the Army Of Faith. Additionally, a truly ancient rivalry stirred.

Two shadows of ancient empires, both an imperfect mirror of each’s undeath, sought to manipulate the outcome of the fighting. The Yl’Dritch Storm, led by Autarch Yranar, Farseer Ashenel and Seer Council Of The Ring sought to balance the conflict and draw in more Imperial forces into the Crux in order to achieve long-term stability on the stable warp route. The Necrons of Death Cult of Ithacus also wanted the balance the conflict, but in such a way that would depress the embers of faith in the system, preventing a firestorm of warp energy from igniting the chances of either side sweeping forth.

The stage was set for the cataclysmic war of faith of followed.

Caught unawares, the Fallen and Sons of Horus were almost driven from the sectors. The Imperials counter attack by the combined strikes of Gan’da’mu T’au and Macrossian Knights was tactically faultless and backed by a solid concentration of force and faith from the Army of Faith, the forces of chaos were in disarray. Only spoiling attacks from the Eldar and Necrons prevented the Imperials from causing a total rout of chaotic forces.

Faced with the prospect of a truly brutal defeat, Davide and Valkyrion’s forces openly clashed on Ōtautahi, each vying for dominance. It was the Sons Of Horus that emerged the victor, and as such, they dictated the new strategy. They would fall back to tactics that made them the envy of the Great Crusade, they would carry out a series of pinpoint, tip-of-the-spear strikes against the Imperial leadership, forcing the Imperials to castle up their leadership and allowing their armies to maneuver uncontested.

The strategy worked and opened up the war’s second and far more bloody phase. With chaos forces resurgent, the Imperials found themselves on the backfoot. Naturally, as things go in the Crux Stars, this change of dynamic drew in more interested parties. Sensing opportunity and ill-gotten gains, the Thousand Sons Warband Legion of Dust led by Lord Sanakht entered the battle, publically to ‘assist’ their fellow traitorous brethren but secretly to obtain long-lost legionary relics. The Black Templars of Chaplain Akket’s Crusade also arrived to shore up Imperial defences.

Brutal fighting rang out across the system. Valkyrion, falling deeper and deeper into clutches of chaos faced down Akket’s Emperor’s Champion in single combat, felling him and committing himself to openly Khornate worship, distressing more conservative members of his Warband.

Lord Sanakht made a massive impact on the second phase of the war. The ancient Astartes was a blue bolt, moving at unbelievable speeds thanks to his psychic mastery. Coined the Fastest Astartes alive, his leadership of the Thousand Sons of almost peerless. They achieved their objectives of resurrecting a fellblade, long lost on the mining world of Wellsley IX. This massive success was only tempted by Sanakht’s overconfidence. He narrowly escaped with his life during some infighting between the Thousand Sons and Sons of Horus, with the brutal Praetor Kaytuk gladly sacrificing winning the battle over catching Sanakht by pulling him out of the air and proceeding to introduce him personally to his mace, marking the first but not the last time that shards of Sanakht’s psychoactive armour where sprayed across the Jai system.

St Elma’s army of faith made quiet progress during the fighting, spreading its firey faith amongst the population and shielding them with their bodies at great cost to the small crusade she had assembled.

While these battles were taking place, forces on both sides faced constant attacks by progressively more insane and bloodied Necrons led by Oltyx, The Flayer King. The Necrons cut a bloody swath through the chaos and Imperial forces alike. Fear and confusion reigned on both sides and Oltyx’s silent crusade against the Eldar continued.

The paradise world of Eden IV suffered heavily. It was quickly turned into a Chaos stronghold, with the Fallen preaching their creed of ‘truth’ to the populace while the Sons of Horus created Horus City, a place of (re)education on the greatness of the true Emperor, Horus and his successor Davide. The Thousand Sons littered the planet with massive psychic rituals, seeking forbidden law. These acts turned the once green planet into a bloody red orb.

Wellesley IX emerged as a direct opposite to Eden. It became an Imperial bulwark against the darkness. Harvesting the adamantine to shore up long dormant defences from the Horus Hersey. This was coupled with a similar reinforcement of Imperial resolve on the planet by preachers from the Army of Faith and Black Templars.

So despite a valiant resurgence by the forces of Chaos, the Imperials won the day by the narrowest of margins. The Fallen, Sons of Horus and Thousand Sons saw the incoming prospect of their defeat and the worrying rumour that a massive force from Indomintus Fleet Primus’s vanguard, Battle Group Kallides immense arrival would trigger a counter-attack to Davide’s empire in the Hellina systems and following that, the other pocket chaos empires.

They summarised that this could not come to pass. Out of desperation, they would force a major engagement on Ōtautahi. Should they win, the metaphorical sword of their assault on the Crux stars would be turned aside, rather than shattered in the Jai system.

A massive chaos fleet entered low orbit on Ōtautahi. A rain of sea green and black drop pods plunged into the atmosphere. The majority of the Fallen and Sons of Horus forces would strike at St Elma and Chaplain Akket’s places of worship in the capital city. A small force of the Sons of Horus would also engage the undefended artillery fortress batteries that were ranged in to support the defence of the holy sites in the city.

In orbit, the Thousand Sons held back, for it was them and only them that foresee the actions of the Eldar of Iyanden, who after achieving their goals of bringing the fleet from Battlegroup Kallides, sought to press their advantage further by enabling the fleet to attack Nhilus directly rather than being bogged down by Chaos counter punch towards the other undefended Crux system in Nipaluna.

The battle was vicious.

The Thousand Sons clashed with Iyanden Aspect warriors led by Autarch Yranar on the Strike Cruiser Impossibile Celeritas. The Eldar fought a corridor to corridor battle with the Legion of Dust, seeking to silence the Cruiser’s formidable guns. While they fought valiantly they would prove to be unsuccessful, paving the way for Sanakht to join the fight on the surface proper.

The Sons of Horus attacking the Imperial fortress were less successful. Expecting little to no resistance, they instead were met by Eldar titans and undead warmachines. While they inflicted grievous damage to the fortress they would be almost killed to a man by the vengeful dead.

The main battle in the capital proved to be a brutal city fight. The Tau of Gan’da’mu laid down withering covering fire for the Army of Faith and the Black Templar Crusade to advance towards the Chaos lines. After hours of brutal fighting, a cunning ploy by Valkyiron and Davide opened up the gap in the Tau-Imperial alliance. Sensing that their own shakey alliance was somehow more solid than the Xenos and firebrand Imperials, the chaos forces struck hard at the epicentre of the two forces.

Sons of Horus Possessed along with Imperator Davide charged up the line, joined by the chosen of Valkyrion they cut their way into the heart of the Imperials, shattering the defender’s resolve. One by one the Imperial heroes fell to chaos blades and foul warp spawned horrors.

The Fallen, seeking to inflict one final defeat to the Imperials and to settle some old grudges, Valkyrion engaged the Emperor’s Champion in single combat, felling the Imperial champion contemptuous ease, drawing the gaze of Slannesh towards him. Not skipping a beat he levelled his sword at the Tau commander who descended into the fray.

For a moment, all seemed lost to the Imperials and their allies. Such was the scale of the impending chaos victory that threatened to undo their dominance of the conflict as a whole. The Thousand Sons joined on this sweeping advance, seeking to cement chaos victory.

It was at that moment that the Eldar counterattack joined the battle. Victorious at the Imperial Fortress, the army of the dead strode onto the battlefield, driving off and grievously wounding the entirely of the Chaos leadership, despite the best efforts of Davide and Valkyrion further cementing his deepening pact with Slannesh by reaping a gruesome toll on the army of the dead. While this didn’t totally shatter the resolve of the Chaos forces, it did prevent a total Imperial rout.

At the close of the battle, the Imperial forces claimed victory in the campaign, while the forces of chaos could at least grasp the crown of winning the final major engagement of the conflict, buying them time to make a desperate attack on the Nipaluna system, laying a brutal siege to the defensive lynchpin of the system, the Hive City of Unending Dawn. The festering wound and Chaos occupation on Eden IV will also drain resources away from the Imperials.

The Jai system at the end of the fighting. The Warp Storms retreat, despite the bloodbath of Eden IV.

Still, the Imperium rightfully obtained a notable victory. St Elma’s faith would spread like fire among the Crux Stars and beyond, tempered only by the chaotic whispers of the truths of the Horus Heresy and the Emperor’s forgotten sons. The Black Templars have similarly whipped up a storm of zeal that will spill over to Nilhus at some point in the future.

The Tau, happy with their wild success have wormed their way into the hearts of key Imperial leadership. While content to allow things to develop for now, there is no doubt that they will return in larger numbers to expand their empire.

The ‘noble’ forces of Imperial Vertius had their first major defeat in the post-rift world. However, their leader Davide is nonplussed by this. Instead, he claimed that the Jai system was obviously a glorious feint for the real prize of the Hive City of Unending Dawn.

While privately he was initially troubled that he would have to now share the potential prize of the critical hive city in order to generate the forces required to take and hold it, the sting of that particular revelation was lessened by the knowledge that his nascent empire’s resources have finally paid dividends. For the first time in thousands of years, newborn Sons of Horus and fresh equipment clad in sea green walk the stars.

The Fallen of Valkyrion are no more. Despite reaping a bloody toll of champions with his heavenfall blade and courting the attentions of Khrone and later Slannesh, Valkyrion finally fell for the third time to the army of Eldar dead on Ōtautahi during the final battle. With his departure from the land of the living and his followers in tatters, his second in command Gwain rose to prominence within the Order. While his rise was challenged by staunch supporters of Valkyrion still loyal to their deceased Lord, Gwain decreed that the Order would take a new path, one that would have nothing to do with faith.

Despite leaving yet more armour shards scattered to the winds on Ōtautahi. Lord Sanakht lived, knowing that he had reaped the rewards of success. His warhost is now armed with priceless Heresy era armour. This coupled with his psychic mastery leaves him with little doubt of future success. Time will tell where he leads his legion of the dust next.

The Necrons came all so close to perfect victory. While they did not snuff out the fires of faith they certainly dimmed it and stabilised some of the warp activity in the system. The King Of The Flayed Ones will have to take some pride in that fact, no doubt helped with the constant fear that the victorious Imperials now have of the shadows in the Jai system.

Of all the forces in play in the Jai system, it was the Eldar that came closest to a flawless victory. With almost perfect precision they tipped the scales and brought the attention of the Indomitus Crusade to the Crux stars while simultaneously bringing Chaos forces to their breaking point. Their victory is only marred by the last gasp effort of chaos forces to hold back the fleet in Nipaluna. Still, they have elected to rest easy and pursue other endeavours, with Farseer Ashenel proclaiming that it was only a matter of time before their objectives were achieved in totality.

With this, the heaviest fighting in the Jai System was brought to a close. The War In Paradise was over.

Vanguard elements of the Battlegroup Kallides consisting of Grey Knights, Adepta Sororitas, Death Korps of Kreig and even Adeptus Custodes rushed to the aid of the Hive City of Unending Dawn, landing swiftly and setting about digging into weather a siege, knowing that Davide’s new alliance of Word Bearers, Sons of Horus, Death Guard and Tzeentchian daemons were barreling towards them, seeking their share of the spoils and the defensive strong point of the Hive.

And yet there was still one final note to be played.

On the planet of Ōtautahi a black armoured figure stirred, re-animated by foul magic. Hefting his broken blade the warrior strode into the mist, eyes burning with fell favour. Every member of the Fallen Order, even though leagues away from the Jai system at this point, began hearing a familiar voice, one they all knew very well. The only words this voice spoke “The Angel Rises Again”.

7 Weeks Of Hell

The Siege Of Unending Dawn

“The mining industry might make wealth and power for a few men and women, but the many would always be smashed and battered beneath its giant treads.”
~ Rogue Trader Katharine Prichard, late M39.

Prichard is an oddity amongst her kind, while impeccably adept at her trade, she frequently was a patron of the poor and gifted in the Crux Stars. This almost heretical notion put her at odds with the water and mining barrons of Unending Dawn, who Prichard secretly waged war against from M37 to 41.

The Hive City Of Unending Dawn, Pre Chaos Attack

The Niplauna system is one of the more unconventional regions in the Imperium. Named after its sole habitable planet, the system consists of a supermassive gas giant at its core, known as Niplauna Prime with the system’s lone habitable planet of Niplauna Secondus orbiting it. Its star, the tiny brown dwarf star named Bila, sits in tidally locked orbit with the habitable world, effectively leading the dance between it as Nimplauna Prime. The rest of the system is an almost impenetrable mess of gases, debris and failed rocky planets.

This creates an interesting planetary dynamic that under any other human regime, would have been a place of scientific wonder and experiment, however, these are not kind times and the Imperium is sadly anything but curious.

Niplauna Secondus is a planet of two halves. One, facing the gas giant is a rolling ocean tipped with a massive and truly inhospitable ice shelf that attracts massive meteor showers and impacts. Futherest way the sun, the ocean is capped by a truly massive dome of ice. The rapid cooling of almost 60c warm water at the equator to sheer ice mountains creates weather systems of brutal storms, coupled with the meteor impacts making it all but impossible to sustain regular life on the so-called ‘Winter’s Cap’. However, it is this barrage of ice and rare metals that feeds both the sea and the Imperium’s insatiable hunger for material and water.

The other half is a desert of such extreme unlivable heat that even the Adeptus Astartes would fear to tread. The ‘Summer’s Cap ‘ is the area closest to Secondus’s dwarf sun and is constantly bathed in insane heat and solar wind. Radiation and fire reek havoc in this region and once again, contribute to Niplauna Secondus’s brutal weather with airborne rolling literal radioactive firestorms turning the sand to glass in the desert.

While this all seems to create a planet that is simultaneously too hot to live on while also being far too cold, there is the aforementioned bounty of rare materials and base blocks of all human life, water and while Niplauna is such an out-of-the-way system in an out of the way sector that it claims no representation on the Crux Stars’ official coat of arms, it does have immense value and once ships do reach the mandeville point, decent access to the wider Imperium pre the great rift.

Naturally, this drew in motivated people looking for a gold mine of profit. After numerous setbacks and failed attempts, ranging from before the great crusade era til after the Crux Stars entry into the Imperium of Man post scouring, it was not until in late M33 that the Kinehart family lucked their way into riches.

The Niplauna system, with Primus, Secondus and “Bila” pictured from left to right.

While inhabitable at it’s extremes, the planet did have the narrowest band of breathable atmosphere and temperatures that did not require a survival suit at its equator. What stopped a permanent settlement from forming in this region was the constant tsunamis of water and radioactive glass ‘dagger dust’ from the winter and summer caps. This constrained and frustrated the Imperium from taking advantage of the rich resources and the bulky and slow water mining operations from taking place. This did not stop the brave and the desperate from landing on the equator and exploring into the colder regions with the hope of finding easy pickings of adamantium or other rare riches.

It wasn’t until the already wealthy Kinehart family charted a small ship in late M33 that that changed the system’s fate. By a stroke of misfortune, the Kinehart’s ship miscalculated their entry from the Mandeville point, crashing into a massive asteroid streaking towards the planet. However their luck turned and saved them from almost certain death, instead, their ship the ‘Meus Odium’ kicked off a Rube Goldberg like series of effects and knocked the asteroid off course.

Instead of hitting the planet towards the Winter’s Cap, it plunged into the equator, with the Meus Odium spinning off the asteroid like a flea jumping from dogs back into low orbit around Secondus. The planet reacted much in the same way it always had when struck by a large object. A storm of water and radioactive glass purged life from the planet, caring not about the lives of the miners that stalked its surface. The crew of Meus Odium watched on, knowing their engines were gone and their orbit doomed to crash them into the storms below them in a matter of months.

It was during the 3rd month after some of the initial storms finally broke that the crew and Kinehart finally saw the crater of the asteroid that doomed them. It had made a massive depression on the equator and through chance made a perfectly sheltered space. After briefly coaxing the engines back into life, they plunged into the safe haven and began turning their ship into a settlement.

It was at this moment that Kinehart realised what was possible and also realised the contract he had with the upper members of Menus Odium’s crew. Namely their stake in whatever they found. This would give them claim to any potential settlement on the planet that the ship generated and therefore untold riches. Kinehart was not satisfied with his mere 51% share of unimaginable wealth and quickly set up a plot to gain passage on the next mining ship that came through. While the details of this plan are lost to time, he managed to swindle, lie and bribe his way on a vessel that returned him to his holdings in the Crux Stars. He then returned with a small private militia, landed at the now semi-functional settlement and killed every remaining stake member of Menus Odium.

The passing of Mellina saw the ship grow into a mining enclave and then Hive City with 4 massive starports feeding an obscene tithe of material to the Imperium, making the Kinehart family rich beyond means. The lack of a proper night on the equator gave Kinehart the city’s name, The City Of Unending Dawn.

Until the rift broke the galaxy in twain, the Kineharts abused their wealth and ruled without fear. The water exports to wider Imperium brought protection that the rest of the Crux Stars did not enjoy and the rump system quietly enjoyed wagging the tail of the politics of the sector for its own means, exploiting the Crux’s population for an expendable workforce in exchange for satisfying most of the sectors post M37 tithe.

The city also grew but was still contained by the width and depth of the crater they depend on for survival. Still, the crater was vast and the city formed into a hive, that gave save haven to mining teams that exploited its wealth of water and riches. Using the shelter of the city and its infrastructure, the hive expanded downwards when its spire hit the upper limits of the crater. It is underground that the poor and desperate cling to life in between insanely dangerous mining work parties towards the Winter’s Cap, supporting the rich that dwell above. This industry of mineral and water wealth, propped up by human suffering and callous disregard for life feeds the four great spaceports outside of the city.

Post rift this changed. Much of its wider Imperium routes that led to Nhilus and were cut off, leaving them dependent on the rest of the system for safe exports of water and mining products for the first time. Still, the planet’s resources and difficult warp route into the Crux’s new strategic warp lanes brought it relative safety compared most in the Imperium.

This changed much like the Jai system when the Pylons of Ginan were tampered with by the Swords of Davion. A stable warp lane to Nhilus formed. What saved Niplauna from the initial Chaos invasion was that difficult warp route into the Crux, making the Jai system’s 3 valuable planets a much better staging point for further resource gains.

With push back from the Jai system, the blade of the Chaos invasion was not shattered and instead has been deflected onto Niplauna. Imperator Davide, who originally saw Niplauna as a jewel for his crown that he would not share with The Fallen or The Thousand Sons has been faced with a choice of compromising this goal or seeing his empire face an nearly unstoppable invasion.

Ever the pragmatist, Davide now seeks to split the system’s bounty with two warbands consisting of Death Guard, Word Bearers. His efforts also have seen the machinations of their Tzeetchan deamon Ushriak the Pyresworn, who may or may not be the guileful arch-deceiver of the corrupted riddles.

The Imperium however has not been caught flatfooted. Aware of Davide’s plot they have rushed the vanguard of their Battlegroup Kallides to the system.

The combined vanguard force is more than formidable. The bulk of the force is made up of Adepta Sororitas and Astra Milltarum under the watchful Canoness Commander Lucina Asperitus of the Order of Wrathful Sacrament and Death Korps of Kreig under Major Rummel. Attached to this are the mighty Adeptus Custodes commanded by the ever-skillful Blade Champion of the Shadowkeepers, Darian Caligus, and a secret contingent of Grey Knights who are undoubtably opposed to the Ushriak, who is reportedly a possible match for even their supreme might. This force has dug in on the Hive City, bracing themselves for the last ditch thrust of the Chaos invasion into the Crux.

Should they prevail, the Battlegroup will push into Davide’s empire in Imperium Nihilus. If they fail, the Heretic Astartes and the daemonic allies will be able to weather the storm and force Kallides to take the long way through the Crux and most importantly to Davide, away from his small empire.

Collectively from the highest spire of Kinehart riches to the lowest slum of rad tainted poor, the city fortified, held its breath and waited for the invasion.

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