Tuesday, 12 August 2014

World Building part 8: Background to the Path of Martyrs

Historically, during the long drawn-out and tragic period known as ‘Old Night’, the populations of the majority of the worlds inhabited by mankind in the Abstruse Sector slipped back to the worship of the Old Gods in varying guises, and were brought to compliance with the Imperial Truth only with great difficulty during the Great Crusade (M31).  Soon enough, when Horus Lupercal and many of his brother Primarchs rose up against their father, many worlds in the Abstruse Sector also rose up in support of Horus, and threw off the yoke of Imperial oppression.

For thousands of years thereafter, the Abstruse Sector became synonymous with words such as strife, unrest, and upheaval. Many were the campaigns which sought to bring this troubled region of the galaxy back to the Emperor’s light.  The ‘Path of the Martyr’ is a string of shrine worlds and moons linking the rim-ward fringes of the Seriphos Sector to the core-ward fringes of the neighbouring Abstruse Sector.  The ‘Path’ is so named as it marks the route of successful campaign of reconquest undertaken by Imperial forces led in part by Saint Felicitè, during M37.

A series of shrine worlds were erected in ensuing centuries, marking out key sites of victories, designed to act as lasting monuments to the sacrifice of millions of Imperial lives. At the end of the ‘Path’, lies the world of Felicity, which marks the site of the eventual doom and ultimate sacrifice of  Saint Felicitè, where she was stricken down as she concluded rites of banishment which ended a Daemonic incursion, and paved the way for a decisive victory against the more corporeal forces of the Archenemy.  Following this victory, the hold of chaos over the Sector waned, and was seemingly expunged. All rejoiced.

Relative peace followed until mid M39, when the entire border region between the Seriphos and Abstruse sectors was embroiled in one of the most severe warp storms in Imperial history (although due to the vagaries of misplaced data and the bureaucratic processes within the Administratum, this cannot be verified). Cut off completely from the divine light of the Astronomicon, unreachable by astropath, warp travel or even travel in real space for centuries, the Abstruse Sector had become a watchword for misfortune, nay, a curse, an augur of misery. It was a region of the galaxy that was largely ignored, although the angry stain of the warp storm dominated the skyline of many worlds at that fringe of the Seriphos Sector. A stain that was said to echo that of the very Eye of Terror itself.

In recent times, as inexplicably as it arose, the warp storm has suddenly receded.  The Path of the Martyr is once again accessible to travel, and exploratory missions of the Holy Ordos of the Inquisition have begun, with the purpose of recovering relics and attempting to ascertain the possible causes of the Warp Storm.  Eventual repopulation of the area is a secondary concern. Surrounding space is heavily interdicted by elements of the Imperial Navy which call the Seriphos Sector home.

Reports from the Holy Ordos indicate that exploratory forces of the Archenemy and the greenskin have been encountered on the Path, though the Throne knows what sinister purposes and motivations have brought them to the region…


  1. Lovely read. With the warp storm, you’ve pretty much given yourself a blank slate to work from and start up a new story.

    1. That's kind of the plan. Its setting the scene for a weekend of gaming come mid-september


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