|The Mungo Sector at the start of the Anachronista campaign. Purple and Blue runes mark the Chaos squares; Yellow, Red and Green logos mark the forces of the imperium.|
I'll share the events of turn one soon, but first: for the people interested in the background to our campaign, I'm going to reproduce some posts from our Facebook group which were used to set the scene.
|Just add some Wayne England skull art for the true Warhammer experience.|
THE CONSPICILLUM RIFT
The schemes of Tzeentch, the changer of the ways, can be confusing to observers who do not always realise what the end goal of a plan is until it is too late. Such is the case of the formation of the Conspicillum Rift, where the component parts of the plan of the traitors only made sense to the Ordo Chronos after the fact.
In 4987631.M41, lightning raids by the Thousand Sons saw their strike cruisers emerge from the Eye of Terror and travel to their old homeworld of Prospero, now a dead world obliterated of all life by orbital bombardment. There they somehow found deep beneath the surface a secret store of blasphemous artifacts which they were able to escape with, despite the best efforts of the Salamanders Chapter.
Meanwhile, in Segmentum Pacificus, there was the first in a series of starship losses in Mungo Sector. Over the next five yearsm nine starships vanished in what were believed to be warp accidents or petty mutinies. Although concerning for the Imperial Navy they were not initially perceived to be related to each other. Nor did the high rate of disappearances amongst Techpriests who specialised in Geller Fields produce more than an audit by the Ordo Machinum.
|40K starships are not small, nor do they drop out of Warp subtly.|
In 2992237.M41, the final piece of the puzzle fell into place as the minions of The Great Conspirator moved openly. The nine ships long thought missing all reappeared out of the warp as part of the same fleet, in the vicinity of the Conspicillum Nebula. Warped by Chaos energies and daubed in blasphemous runes they positioned themselves equidistant from each other around the nebula.
Each ship had been claimed by Chaos; each captain was a Psyker with the Mark of Tzeentch burned into his soul. They were armed with tomes of lore from Prospero and prepared for a great yet terrible work. The sorcerer-captains led their psychic thralls and daemonic familiars in a grim ritual whose enormous energy set the whole nebula cracking with power. Eight of the nine warships were destroyed at the crescendo - but the ninth found itself no longer on the edge of the Conspicillum Nebula but the Conspicillum Rift, a hole in realspace from which warp energies bled out. A new heartland of Chaos had been generated thanks to the cruel plans of M'Kachen, Daemon Prince of Tzeentch.
|Yes, all the way from a two page text story two decades ago comes our grand enemy!|
This warp phenomenon was concerning enough for the Imperium but at first seemed a matter for the Imperial Guard or local Ordo Malleus to worry about. What changed that was when debris around the Conspicillum Rift was analysed by the Ordo Malleus and proved to be something much more complicated.
Debris was found belonging to a Gloriana-Class Battleship painted in the colours of the White Scars Space Marine chapter. Such ships had not been used in millennia - yet dating analysis of the components claimed they were from a ship which had been in combat recently.
Liaising with the White Scars Techpriests on Mundus Planus it was identified as belonging to the Kojima Khan, a ship whose destruction in combat was recorded as having taken place ten thousand years ago during the Great Crusade. Yet the Magos were insistent that the ship components had come from a vessel which had been fired upon within the last few weeks.
|...but that Mycroft has no neck!|
This information was passed to the Ordo Chronos and Inquisitor Benjamin Mycroft Sellers was despatched. He and his acolytes carried out their investigations and discovered the Conspicillum Rift was not a simple warp/realspace overlap but a gateway in time. M'Kachen and his cultists had managed to create a portal through which they could travel back to the 31st Millennium and the period immediately prior to the great civil war of the Horus Heresy.
Arrests and interrogations of cultists remaining in the Mungo Sector provided additional information that allowed the Ordo Chronos to piece together what was happening. Left unchecked, the forces of Chaos would use their gateway to send vessels back in time to the 31st Millennium. There they sought to in some way change the outcome of the Horus Heresy - perhaps to tip the balance in some way as to undo the victory of the Imperium and replace the last ten thousand years of human history with a new dark age of Chaos.
|Anyone who doesn't want to go to war with Chaos... is gay.|
OPERATION: CONTRITUM HORAE
This grave threat saw a cry go out across the sector to all loyal subjects of the Emperor. Planetary governors, military officers, Ecclesiarchy preachers and the like. Inquisitor Sellers claimed his right under the authority of the immortal emperor of mankind to assemble an armed force and to prepare a counter-strike against the forces of Chaos.
Dubbed "Operation: Contritum Horae", it consisted of two main task forces. The largest naval contingent remained outside the Conspicillum Rift and would form a blockade to prevent any parties from entering the phenomenon. The rift was unstable and should only remain active for another few months, so if Traitor warships could be kept away then the risk could be minimised.
Inquisitor Sellers would join the second force, though, which would enter the rift itself. This section would contain ground forces and would be charged with preventing the machinations of the Chaos forces who had created the rift. A small number of traitors were believed to have already travelled through the rift - the dark lord M'Kachen himself and his allies, including a large contingent of Slaanesh-worshippers who had joined his cause.
|Don't let the Imperium's glass ceiling get you down - we at Slaanesh are equal opportunity employers. (As found on DeviantArt)|
Time was of the essence and so Operation: Contritum Horae had to make do with what was available in the sector. The Acanthan V Infantry Regiment, The Alban LXIII Armoured Regiment, The Paradiso Spores and the Ursan XI Artillery Regiment formed the bulk of the taskforce. Adeptus Astartes, Adeptus Sororitas and Adeptus Mechanicus assets as well as miscellaneous Imperial Guard elements supplemented this. Rumours circulated amongst commanders that even an elusive Chamber Militant of the Ordo Chronos was accompanying the fleet.
Most of the fighting men and women of this force did not entirely understand the nature of this mission - they were told they were travelling through a warp gate to a distance place with only senior officers aware of the true situation. If the Operation succeeded, they would return home to the 41st Millennium and the necessary re-education and distant postings would ensure this sensitive information did not leak out. If they failed.... then their corpses would turn to dust millennia before they were even born and they wouldn't even know it.
|In a perfect world I'd paint up the Alban LXIII using Victoria Miniatures Highlanders, though switching the gas mask heads for Commando-style beret heads from Maxmini.|