- "It is a place of degenerates and robber barons, a war zone beset on all sides and at every angle. It holds easily some of the worst horrors I have ever seen. And yet, I've also beheld some great feats beyond mortal scope, countless heroes and saints. And while they burn briefly, their examples shine on for all eternity as the stars themselves."
- —Lord Inquisitor Jacob Le'Faust
The Exile Sector is an ancient province of the Imperium of Man, resting on the Easternmost bend of the Cygnus Arm within Segmentum Ultima, to the Galactic North of the Dominion of Storms and the Dead World of Formund. Conquered during the Great Crusade personally by the Primarch Roboute Guilliman and his glorious Ultramarines Legion, the Exile Sector has long been a place of both great glory and unfathomable infamy. Long has it been a turbulent and troubled region, not only for the infamous Warp Storm the River of Exiles, whose wretched mass takes up over a quarter of the Sectors Easternmost regions, but also for her various unexplored and forbidden depths to the Galactic North, the turbulent and wild space of the Galactic West, and thousands of strange astral phenomena and unexplored regions within the core which house many a nightmarish xenos monster and fleet of savage pirates.
But regardless, the Exile Sector is home to a vast amount of proud Imperial worlds, hosting teaming legions of Imperial Guard, grand hosts of the Sisters of Battle, and several very distinguished Space Marine Chapters. Amongst these heroic hosts also abound planets ripe with the workings of industry and faith, for the Exile Sector is known most for her vast and sacred Shrine Worlds, whose militant stance trains thousands of would be militia fighters, warrior-priests, and virtuous Adeptus Sororitas. These armies of the faithful, supported by the great conclave of Forge Worlds and Rogue Trader Houses known as the Crimson Consortium, vast legions of the Imperial Guard, and the mighty Adeptus Astartes of the Exile Sector known as the Justicarium, stand against all the madness and corruption of the River of Exiles, forever locked in an endless war for the very soul of the region. Only time will tell, in this grim darkness of the 41st Millennium, if such valiance is in vain.
The War in Heaven
In the most ancient eons, before mankind's ancestors stood straight and discovered the power of stone and fire, the region of space that would become the Exile Sector was ruled by elements of the ancient Necrontyr and later Necron Empire, namely home to significant holdings of the infamous Sakhrut Dynasty. During the War in Heaven, the Sakhrut Dynasty's forces, under the command of their C'tan patron and ruthless Phaeron, made great gains for the Necron within the region that would become the Exile Sector, and their once meager Dynasty grew to grand proportions.
There are still worlds in the Exile Sector that bear the scars of Sakhrut rule, ancient tomb cities and catacombs deep within the crust of countless worlds, once monuments to the Dynasty's everlasting glory, now hollow and vacant of all but the barest Scarabs. Few of the Necron remember the Sakhrut Dynasty as anything less than a den of honorless vipers, for when the Silent King turned on the C'tan and shattered them, the Sakhrut remained loyal to the Star Gods and did battle against their erstwhile comrades. For this betrayal of their oaths and loyalty to the Triarch, they were cast down by the Silent King's armies, their tombs shattered, their cities burned, the very name of their Pheron struck from the minds of all Necrons.
Few Tomb Worlds survived the Silent King's purge, and still fewer the predations of the Eldar and Triarch Praetorians. But, as is the way of the Sakhrut, they endured, and now rest beneath the crust of Warp blasted worlds within the River of Exiles, awaiting the day they will rise again under the command of the Phaeron, known now only by the moniker the barbarians of the river have bestowed upon him in their terror... Old Bones.
The Dark Age of Technology
Following the War in Heaven and the subsequent rise and fall of the Eldar Empire, the Exile Sector became host to a small smattering of Dark Age human confederations and xenos empires, all existing within a relative state of low scale conflict for centuries. The general prosperity of the region was bolstered by the wide array of habitable worlds and resource rich planets, lending to a veritable bevy of technologically advanced enclaves and industrialized empires.
Of these, the few more notable factions would be the Kingdom of Iblis, the Torkarii Federation, and the Zoham Conglomerate, and the Nihilian Covenant. Of these, only one has survived into the modern era in any recognizable fashion, the rest either being absorbed into the Imperium of Man or falling to corruption.
The Reign of the Black King
At the onset of the Old Night, an unnamed warlord rose from obscurity to conquer vast swaths of the Exile Sector. Scattered artefacts and records from this ancient time speak in both awe and terror of this great despot king, a man oft considered a living god by those his armies crushed beneath his boot. He was known by thousands of names in as many now dead languages, Kul'Dhak the Unmaker, Baddoc the Arch Despot, Arerrgean the Conquer. But to most, he was known simply as the Black King. But at some point, the Black Kings cruel and merciless reign was ended by an unnamed savior. Under the command of this unknown individual, the various peoples subjugated by the Black King and his monstrous armies rose up and drove their oppressors back.
It is at this period that any history regarding the Black King's lost empire is closely guarded by agents of the Inquisition, for these records telling of the decline of the Black King paint a picture the Inquisition would rather not allow the vast population of the Imperium to understand in full. As the Black King's empire fell, he was believed to have consorted with the forces of Chaos, and became a Daemon Prince of terrible power. Whether he was always an agent of the Dark Gods or only turned to them in desperation is hotly debated by elements of the Inquisition, but the Black King leveled all his terrible powers and his armies now imbued with the power of the Gods against the mounting rebellion. Regardless, the Black King and his forces were eventually forced into one final stand upon an unnamed world. There, upon that most hellish field of battle, the mysterious hero was said to have slain the Black King at the cost of his own life, and that the armies of the ancient tyrant simply vanished into the ether following their masters defeat.
Often this tale is followed by scattered reports. Some ancient records say that the united people turned upon one another over scraps of the defeated overlord's empire, while others tell of the Men of Iron attacking shortly after and scattering the freed peoples to the stars. Regardless of the true series of events, shortly after this triumph, the River of Exiles itself formed, likely a result of the influence of the Black King and the great psychic instability that was created with his demise, though, as with many things surrounding this ancient legend, those few who know the whole truth debate the veracity of the claims often.
The Long Night
As the Long Night raged on with the death of the Black King, the various Dark Age empires crumbled, succumbing to the swirling darkness. The River of Exiles was born in this period, the Warp Storm utterly consuming a vast swath of heavily populated space and unleashing various nameless horrors upon the already troubled region. Only the most capable enclaves of humanity survived uncorrupted, and those who did would only be able to survive by plundering the reserves of others, and thus great fleets of sub-light warships arose. In this age of piracy and hellish warfare, many void fairing nation states arose, pirate empires that would only add to the chaos and darkness of the Long Night.
The Knight Wars
Of the few factions that rose from the ashes of the Long Night, few were as successful as the ancient Knight Houses of the Exile Sector. Houses Makadon, Rhinehof and Petrov were the only known Houses to rise from their homeworlds and spread amongst the stars, expanding into fledgling stellar empires within the relatively calm regions of the Southern Holds. House Makadon grew large and powerful, their proud Lances numbering in the hundreds, while House Petrov too expanded, their forces leaner but more experienced and ruthless. It was inevitable that the two would meet, and hostilities were almost imminent. Both Houses seeing one another as a threat to their resources and sovereignty, the infamous era known as the Knight Wars began.
For centuries House Makadon and Petrov fought amongst the worlds of the Southern Holds, their ancient weapons reducing whole worlds to utter ruin and often resulting in deadly tertiary wars of conquest against other confederations for the resources to sustain the brutal conflict. At the peak of this centuries long conflict, the ruthless House Rhineof emerged from their minor fiefs to strike at both Houses, seeking to conquer both in a rapid campaign, utilizing their highly advanced archotech weapons of mass destruction to cripple their foes and pillage what remained from the ashes.
The arrival of House Rhinehof sewed the seeds of a temporary alliance between House Makadon and Petrov, their forces fighting side by side against the interlopers. This leg of the Knight Wars came to a head during the Battle of Sobvast, an Industrial World of great strategic importance to all Knight Houses involved. During the apocalyptic battle, the forces of House Petrov betrayed House Makadon, stabbing their allies in the back as House Makadon's Lances led the charge against the Machine-Men of Draklund. Sobvast robbed the major houses of much of their forces, the climactic battle draining all three of their resources. While these petty fiefs licked their wounds, the long brutalized Houses of Hawke and Castor, having been relegated to the sidelines and often raided by all three of the major houses for resources, joined to form House Hawke-Castor. United, the Knights of House Hawke-Castor descended upon their hated foes in a savage campaign of raiding and pillaging, scorching entire worlds in a vengeance crusade.
The Knight Wars only came to a close with the arrival of the Ultramarines Legion, Primarch Roboute Guilliman brokering lasting peace between the Houses and incorporating them into the Imperial Fold with minimal bloodshed.
The Great Crusade
The Exile Sector was first graced by the light of the Emperor in the form of the mighty Ultramarines Legion, their vast fleets arriving in force to a region that supposedly boasted a great many potential boons for the ever expanding Imperium of Man. However, the Ultramarines would first have to contest with the remnants of the Torkarii Federation, a once expansive and supremely advanced Techno Barbarian empire. However, centuries of warfare against the reigning Knight Houses, combined with subsequent raids by Orks and rampant Genestealer infestations, had reduced them to but a ragged host of fortress worlds and a flotilla of sub-light warships. Though hardly a match for the teaming ranks of the Ultramarines, the conqured peoples of the Torkarii Federation provided the Imperium but a glimpse as to the quagmire they were marching into. Tales of rampant infestations of xenos cults, rampant mutation, warring Techno-Barbarian states, and freely marauding greenskin barbarians steeled the resolve of the Emperor's forces. They would bring order to this region, no matter the cost.
These various campaigns of the Great Crusade were led foremost by the Ultramarines Primarch, Roboute Guilliman.
The Mortdat Invasions
The Mortdat, vile xenos from beyond the explored regions of the Sector made themselves known shortly thereafter. While they were once the dominant power in the region they had grown decadent and stagnant after a series of clashes with the Tecnho Barbarian states on their border during the Dark Age of Technology. This changed, they recovered from their earlier losses and once again took to the stars, trying to expand their territory. The Exile Sector once again became a battlefield as the Ultramarine Legion held their ground, protecting their territorial gains from the alien invaders. These hellish battles greatly enhanced their reputation among Exile Sectors citizenery.
These conflicts greatly tested the Legion, depleting their numbers and challenging their Primarch's tactical skill. They eventually gained the advantage, launching a counterattack. This new campaign ended at the planet Nubiarch, a name still spoken in hushed a reverent tones. Gulliman, commanding the full might of the Legion fleet, broke the back of their armada under the command of Yig'Nih(roughly equivalent to Adimiral)L'aghfeph. With the fleet destroyed there was nothing to prevent the fleet from barrages from orbit, leaving the fortress world and supply hub a barren ruin. The Mortdat,their ability to wage an offensive war crippled for generations had no choice but to fall back to their holdings in the North. Gulliman capitalized on this, using the newly regained momentum to cut deep into other hostile territories.
The First Exile Wars
The Ultramarine Legion defeated such threats as the Ork Warboss Gutrucncha and Thraxian Screechers operating from the Opilar Asteroid Belt, four Battle Barges once faced a pair of thirty five kilometer Thraxian warships never seen before or since their destruction at a battle on the Indira system and it is widely believed those two vessels were the only ones of their class constructed. However these two vessels followed the typical pattern of Thraxian vessels, metal hull segments woven together with an organic substance similar to spider silk.
Their campaign against the worm like Xenos ended with the destruction and purging of the planet believed to be their homeworld.
But for all of this the First Exile Wars are better remembered for the fifteen year struggle against the Techno Barbarian warlords of the Hyrcanus System. The Imperial Army, including the first incarnations of the Exile Sector's Imperial Guard. Millions fought across the system's three planets, losing tens of thousands in a slow advance into the decaying cities. The final battle alone took over a year and killed or wounded a quarter million Imperial Army troopers.
This would be merely the first of several similar conflicts as minor human holdings were brought into line the only way they respected, through force. The Zoham Conglomerate, somehow spared the conflicts of past millenia fought for every one of their seven systems in a conflict lasting for twenty five years but after their fleet was shattered at Gailea their leaders submitted to Imperial rule, reorganizing their surviving forces into PDF and Arbites units.
The Age of Exiles
With the region firmly in Imperial hands Ierus was named the Region's capital due its ancient history and importance to the people of the Sector its governor would rule. When the final campaigns ended the Sector was safe for transit and commerce for the first time in centuries.
As the great Trade Routes across the Exile Sector began to grow the orbital shipyards around Kyberia began to take shape, producing countless merchant vessels to keep up with the new demand for resources and manufactured goods.
Merchants and explorers took to the furthest stars, establishing the Frontier worlds. a torrent of emigrants from the still densely populated worlds of the Southern Holds settled these new worlds. Imperial Army forces conquered one of the few remaining Mordtadt strongholds and earned the loyalty of the native Xireki. Their commander would rule the world as its first Imperial Governor and in time Vichy would become the seat of one of Exile's Great Houses.
Conflict still raged among the stars for with this new trade there came Piracy. The Pirate Captain Komogushi better known as "The Cloud" is still a figure of legend almost ten millenia after his death,especially on his homeworld of Harajuku. Striking with his Archotech warship no one seemed able to challenge him, not even the mighty Ultramarines who lost a Battle Barge to his depredations. His petty empire was destroyed, not from without but by internal strife among his captains,each of of whom sought greater wealth and infamy. Shujinko Basura Sei would defeat all others and this would eventually give rise to House Shujinko's Rogue Trader Dynasty.
The Age of Exiles is also marked by a great tragedy an unauthorized attempt to improve on the Warp Drive on the Southern Holds planet Talleyrand resulted in disaster, the new prototype vessel crashed in the midst of an Imperial city, killing thousands instantly. The situation grew worse when Daemons emerged, taking the entire planet in less than a week. The Sector government had no other choice but to dispatch warships and destroy Talleyrand. To this day the ruined world, nothing more than burned rock and lava fields serves as a stark reminder of their foolishness.
The Horus Heresy
The Word Bearers Legion announced their treachery with a surprise assault on the Sector Governor's palace. A single Marine, acting on invitation held open to all members of the Adeptus Astartes entered the grounds and requested a meeting with the Governor. Upon entry to the man's office he opened fire,killing the governor and several prominent officials. There was no one who could stop him from lowering the estate's shields and opening the way for a full squad of his traitorous brothers. They left almost the entire government quarter of Peregrimos in ruins before rejoining their legion, carrying with them the Governor's wife and daughters as hostages.
The Rise of the Imperial Cult
Beginning with Kluth, who adopted Redemptionist beliefs and practices without question, beginning with their own world. Cities and villages deemed "unclean" or "heretical" burned as this new faith took hold.
The Sobvast Reforms
These worlds would very quickly be known as "The Golden Cordon" While not an official designation the nickname stuck,even among the Space Marines assigned to the area. The enemies of man that dwell within the River of Exiles tested the Golden Cordon immediately. A Burcharian fleet carrying hundreds of thousands struck all along this new frontier, slowing construction considerably. The Ultramarines embarked on another campaign, drawing the fighting away from the fortress worlds.
The Reign of Blood
The Imperial Army itself stood on the brink of Civil War once again as various commanders questioned their loyalties. (fill in)
The Surviving Brides of Vandire were reorganized into The Exile Sector's Adeptus Sororitas.
The Second Exile Wars
The Second Exile War saw the sector's military forces face the hostile Xenos of the Sector yet again, fighting Ork warbosses and more dangerous still, the Eldar of the region's Craftworlds. Morrtadaus and The Scarlet Serpents clashed time and again while The Children of the Anvil vanished into the regions north of the Frontier on missions they kept secret from those outside their chapter.
The Third Exile Wars
The Twin Headed Swarm
Hive Fleet Orthros was once a typical splinter fleet, relying on swarms of weak units directed by synapse creatures. Already unique among Tyranids due to several physical advantages such as Warriors with serrated claws and Rippers with an unusually large number of extra teeth, they became an even more dangerous enemy upon their entry into the River of Exiles. Natural selection granted them unusual levels of both fury and the cunning to use it wisely and the Hive Fleet used both in their conflicts with various warbands and xenos species, devouring all in its path. Upon emerging, much stronger and horribly mutated by the exposure to Warp energies, the Fleet separated into two tendrils, earning the moniker 'The Twin Headed Swarm.' The Tyranids smashed through everything in their way, stopping only to consume.
It seemed that nothing could stop them. This forced a desperate gamble at The Battle of Kephis which saw all remaining naval assets deployed against the Hive Fleet. The clash was beyond any naval battle the Sector had ever seen with over a thousand ships all fighting as one great armada. On the surface of Kephis at least one regiment from every Imperial Guard homeworld in the sector fought alongside the private armies of the Rogue Trader Houses, House Faramond of Montelay, The Justicarum, the Deathwatch, and everything the Sector's Knight Houses could bring into battle.
This final stand was finally enough to shatter the invading armada but at a high cost, Kephis was left a dead rock in space and uncountable loyal servants of the Emperor were lost alongside it. The Tyranid invasion would also leave the Golden Cordon and the worlds beyond open to further attack for the first time in the Exile Sectors history.
The End March
With the massive hole torn in the worlds that make up the Golden Cordon and the forces of the sector horribly depleted by the invasion of Hive Fleet Orthros, the forces of the River were given a straight path from which to launch a bloody Black Crusade. Desperate, Sector Command demanded reinforcements. Various Imperial forces responded to this call, but one of the most notable was the Tricamerate Pact, who sent their veteran Ork fighters to stem the tide of the WAAAGH! Iron'Ed and WAAAGH! Uglyface.
Trade Routes of Note
As a large and turbulent Sector, the Exile Sector his home to several large trade routes and thousands of lesser known or secret routes. The most patrolled and traveled of these are usually major lanes utilized by both the Imperial Navy and private interests groups to shuttle Imperial Guard forces, military materiel, tithes, and eager pilgrims too and fro. The other, lesser known routes tend to be frequented by merchants and Rogue Traders, and are often plied by the Exile Sectors many dangerous pirate fleets and Chaos warbands for supplies and riches.
The Kyberian Trail
To call this massive trade route a Trail is a misnomer. While little more than a small route connecting the worlds in the Kyberia system in the early days of the Imperium it expanded in importance with Kyberia herself. It is now the most prominent and most commonly traveled route through the sector, connecting the Crossroads worlds to each other and extending far beyond the region itself. It goes as far as Syprios, the source of a wine much beloved by Exile Sector citizens.
Due to it's extreme importance to The Crossoads Subsector and the Exile Sector as a whole it is guarded by fortresses used as both trade outposts and repair yards for military and civilian vessels alike. These are cities unto themselves, housing tens of thousands of traders and techpriests on loan from the Sector's forge worlds.
For all of this there is a dark side- House Pantegrul uses the Kyberian trail to support their illicit activities, supplying narcotics and slaves to many of the Exile Sector worlds.
Named for the man who discovered it the infamous pirate captain Xavier Blackwell, who used the short but dangerous route to quickly move his ships and stolen goods. When he was finally captured he tried to trade its location and knowledge of its hazards for his life. The Adeptus Arbites recorded all he had to say, passing it along the merchant guilds and Rogue Traders of the region, and sentenced Blackwell to summary execution. At his execution before a pack of Murder Servitors, Xavier Blackwell cursed both his former crew and those who had brought him to justice swearing eternal vengeance upon their lines. Rumors abound that his spirit haunts Blackwell's Run, and there have been several sightings of his supposedly destroyed flagship, The Lady of the Lagoon. Pirate hunters and mercenaries that go in search of the so-called Ghost Pirate are reportedly never seen again.
Astral Phenomena/Regions of Note
The Exile Sector is host to a dizzying array of spacial anomalies and hazards from simple nebula and asteroid fields to Warp-borne rifts and forbidden stretches of unknown space from which no ship has returned. Chief among these is the River of Exiles, a massive Warp Storm that has raged since time immemorial in the far east of the Sector. Bordering the easternmost reaches of the Sector and the blackness of deep space between the vast arms of the Galaxy, the River is a constant source of turmoil and terror, its malevolent influence reaching far and wide. It is the source of countless warbands and baleful armies, home to the vilest traitors in the known Galaxy. However, it is bordered by an equally well known region. A string of heavily fortified militant Shrine Worlds, the Golden Cordon is the last and greatest line of defense of the Exile Sector, lauded as utterly impenetrable by Imperial propaganda.
The northernmost region of the Exile Sector is a vast and isolated expanse still shrouded in the darkness of the Old Night even so many millennia after the Imperium of Man laid claim to it. Merchants, explorers, and pirates alike actively avoid the well-named Frontier, turned away by chilling tales of malignant xenos and stranger, darker horrors said to lurk in the void between stars. Humanity's outposts are few here, but those who do persevere are a singularly determined breed, points of light in an otherwise all-consuming sea of shadows.
|Type/Climate||Population||Armed Forces||Tithe Grade|
|Sannois||Frontier World/Temperate Forest||500,000||Vichy Legionaries||Decuma Prima|
The Southern Holds
The Southern Holds are home to ancient, well established Imperial worlds that stand in sharp contrast to the more recently settled Northern Frontier and they date to the earliest days of human habitation in the region. These planets are fortresses but also centers of learning and culture. They are the holy light to which the faithful in the Sector look for guidance, its beating political heart and the pride of every world they rule over.
|Type/Climate||Population||Armed Forces||Tithe Grade|
Hive World/Sector Captial
|18,000,000,000||Ierus PDF (The Throne Guard)||Exactis Secundus|
|Stentzholt||Civilized World/Mountainous||34,000,000||The Hauswachter||Solutio Prima|
The dark shadow of heresy and evil that looms forever over the Exile Sector, the River of Exiles is a massive Warp Storm that has lasted for innumerable eons and has been a source of unfathomable woe for the inhabitants of the Exile Sector and adjacent regions since the days of the Long Night. Formed after the defeat of the legendary warlord known as the Black King, the River of Exiles has been host to daemons and other horrible beings too dark to be known to human minds. While not as large as the more infamous Maelstrom or Eye of Terror, the River of Exiles reputation is more for the sheer, unabashed evil of its inhabitants. Before the Horus Heresy, ranks of the Lost and Damned regularly skirmished with Imperial forces alongside unnameable xenos horrors, each forging a reputation for sheer savagery and ferocity.
Now it is equally infamous for housing only the most desperate and vile traitors. Unlike the Eye of Terror or Maelstrom, there is no Black Legion or Red Corsairs to bring other factions to heel, instead only an endless war between traitors so wrenched and savage that they have only the River to take refuge in, for few beyond the Exile Sector would dare trust such barbarians to fight alongside them. These are marked men, oath breakers, the twice and even thrice damned traitors of traitors. Brigands like the Storm Draugar, whose foundation is based in the abandonment of the Heresy, or the Everchosen, cast out by their Legion and marked for death. And far worse are the ancient horrors that rest within the Rivers darkest depths, such as the deathless legions of the Sakhrut Dynasty and nightmarish Old Host of the Black King.
Thus, the River of Exiles has been a constant threat to the stability of the Exile Sector, its ravenous bands of savages and misbegotten monsters smashing relentlessly against the fortress worlds of the Golden Cordon and skirmishing across the worlds of the Lost Shore with both Imperial and Ork forces for a foothold. Every now and then, a particularly massive concentration of the forces of the Archenemy will breach the Cordon, unleashing a minor Black Crusade against the Exile Sector until they are defeated and scattered to the North or forced out West.
The Lost Shore
A bleak string of ravaged and dead worlds, the Lost Shore is the no mans land between the River of Exiles and the perimeter worlds of the Golden Cordon. These desolate war worlds are constantly subject to endless conflict as the forces of Chaos and the tide of crusading Imperial forces clash over the meek resources that can be won on these hell blasted worlds. What's worse, the vast majority of the Exile Sector's Ork population blights this region, too hardy to be totally destroyed by either the forces of the River or the Cordon.
The massive Greenskin empires of Da Profet Skarbad, Gruurg Iron'Ed, and his rival Uglyface Frakka take up vast swaths of this region with remaining territory taken up by countless other minor Warbosses and Warlords. The addition of the Greenskins makes certain that even in times where Imperial and Chaos forces are on the wane, the Lost Shore will never be at peace as the Orks wage war amongst themselves as well as any other invaders. The only "static" human population of the Lost Shore are roving bands of scavengers, often living in massive sub-light ships, migrating from war zone to war zone looking for salvage on the corpse fields of the Lost Shore.
|Type/Climate||Population||Armed Forces||Tithe Grade|
Ocean World/War World
|Unknown||Iron'Ed Empire||Aptus Non|
|Uxlag||War World/Barren, Mountainous||Unknown||Iron'Ed Empire||Aptus Non|
The Golden Cordon
A host of several hundred heavily fortified Shrine Worlds that have stood long since the Great Crusade, each initially established by the hand of Roboute Guilliman himself. Over time these grand fortresses became hallowed places, the birthplaces of thousands of grand heroes and daring defenses against the forces of Chaos and Ork alike, and the hosts of countless counter-crusades. Thus the so-called Golden Cordon is both a destination for endless waves of Imperial Guard soldiers to garrison and advance from, but also the destination of nigh billions of pilgrims year after year. These fanatics and zealots bolster the defenses of the Golden Cordon, creating legion upon legion of Frateris Militia ready to fight and die in the name of the Emperor. However, the most enduring defenders of these worlds are the Sisters of Battle, the sacred maidens of war that are often recruited from the pious peoples of the Cordon worlds.
|Type/Climate||Population||Armed Forces||Tithe Grade|
|Caritas||Fortress World/Shrine World||9,000,000,000||Various Imperial Guard/Sisters of Battle Garrisons||Solutio Extremis|
|Colombanus||Armoury World/Shrine World||3,000,000,000||Various Imperial Guard/Sisters of Battle Garrisons||Decuma Tertius|
|Kurosos Prime||Fortress World/Shrine World||5,000,000,000||Various Imperial Guard/Sisters of Battle Garrisons||Decuma Particula|
|Esparas||Fortress World/Cardinal World||3,000,000,000||Various Imperial Guard/Sisters of Battle Garrisons||Exactis Tertius|
|Viora||Fortress World/Shrine World||5,000,000,000||Various Imperial Guard/Sisters of Battle Garrisons||Decuma Particula|
|Tadourl||Fortress World/Feral World/Shrine World||600,000,000||Various Imperial Guard/Sisters of Battle Garrisons||Solutio Secundus|
Located in the Center of the Sector the Crossroads is well named. The region is home to the trade capitals of the Exile Sector, a place of commerce and intrigue for all roads meet here. Refugees and renegades fleeing the west to begin new lives or soldiers traveling in an Imperial Guard Regiment, those fleeing the war torn worlds to the North and the East, traders from the ancient, well established Imperial worlds to the south- their port of call hardly matters as all pass through these worlds eventually.
|Planet/Region||Type/Climate||Population||Armed Forces||Tithe Grade|
|9,000,000,000||Battlefleet Kyberia/Kyberia Crossroads Watchmen/Pantegrul Spice Guard|
|Harajuku||Civilized World Mountains/Islands||3,000,000,000||Shujinko Great Guard/Harajuku Ashigaru|
The Western Marches
So named because the worlds of the region provide the Sector's Imperial Guard. While not directly involved in the unrest so common elsewhere in the sector, they provide the fighting men and woman that respond to threats from within and without. While the Western Marches are home to many diverse planets and peoples they work together for a common cause, the survival of the Exile Sector and the Imperium. With the fall of the Golden Cordon and the following invasions The Western Marches have been called on to fight, now more than ever.
|Planet/Region||Type/Climate||Population||Armed Forces||Tithe Grade|
|2,000,000||Holt "Blue Coat Boys"|
Civilized World Desolate Hills/Plains
|1,300,000,000||Freicdain (Haydrayan PDF)|
Icy Mountains and Valleys
|245,000,000||Gurga White Lions (PDF)|
|875,000,000||Kordakan Orbital Garrison|
Platues and Canyons
|Ventrez||Agri-world Temperate Plains and Cities||10,000,000,000||Ventrezi PDF|
|2,540,000,000||Dahakan Home Guard|
For further details see Major Worlds of the Exile Sector.
Battlefleets of the Exile Sector
Centered around the Exile Sector's capital world Ierus Battlefleet Exile is a large fleet of seventy Five ships including Four Oberon class Battleships and multiple Heavy Cruiser squadrons. Lord Admiral Alexander Brensel currently leads the Battlefleet from the bridge of his flagship Morning Star
Exile was designed to be a flexible, multipurpose fleet and they have further expanded on their flexible tactics by studying the tactics of their xeno enemies,primarily Orks. As they have fought alongside Eldar from the local craftworlds and the Tau mercenaries that are sometimes present in The Exile Sector they have learned from them as well.
This is perhaps an unusual attitude but due to the constant dangers of the Exile Sector they have learned that information and innovation are as necessary as lance batteries and torpedoes.
Kyberia is the home port of the Battlefleet that bears her name, as Kyberia sits at the center of a major trade route the Crossroads Subsector and thus was deemed worthy of its own fleet due to it's tactical significance. As such, nearly all the ships that compose the Battlefleet were constructed by Kyberian shipwrights, a fact that the planet's Merchant-Lords take no small amount of pride in.
Ironically, on of the Battlefleet's most precious assets is not Kyberian but rather foreign, the Exorcist-Class Grand Cruiser Amaranthine, formerly a part of the destroyed Battlefleet Medici of the Kashidaan Cluster. Medician refugees on Kyberia see the Amaranthine as a symbol of their cooperation with Kyberian people, when in reality the shipwrights co-opted the vessel into their Battlefleet as a means to study and mass-produce it's inner schematics. Nevertheless, they too flaunt it's symbolism, as not to raise suspicion.
At the head of Battlefleet Kyberia are the twin Retribution-Class Battleships Castor and Pollux, built in M36 and currently commanded by the brothers Isaac and Damien Wakeman. Like their flagships, the siblings are Kyberian-born twins, who share the joint position of Admiral as both are of equal rank within the Imperial Navy. Isaac's skills lie with the big guns, the battleships and cruisers, while Damien is known to be something of a tactical genius with smaller vessels. Their skills complement each other well- as brothers they each know what the other will do in any given situation allowing them to act without hesitation, one can act and know that his brother will respond accordingly. This duality has won them many victories in the field, and thus throughout the Sector the Wakeman Twins are celebrated as heroes, nearly as famous as the cruisers they command.
Forge Worlds/Titan Legions
Due to the constant need for mighty engines of war and the resource rich worlds that make up the Exile Sector, several great Forge Worlds can be found within her borders. Many of these mighty fortress-factories of the Adeptus Mechanicus have stood for eons against the darkness of the River and parts beyond, supplying the arsenal of the Imperial war machine and sending their grand Titan Legions to march on the enemies of Man.
- "As the great Omnissiah as my witness, the forge will never be silent so long as there is an enemy to mankind!"
- —The famous words of Fabricator General Usebi Kinn during the Refusal Wars
Known as the "Forge Eternal", Forge World Mallas was founded during the final days of the First Exile Wars, it's purpose to supply garrison forces along the the border of the River of Exiles. A proud Forge World and home to the equally venerable and lauded Titan Legion Legio Iudex, Forge World Mallas produces immeasurable tones of basic weapons and materiel for the nigh inexhaustible legions of the Imperium of Man. While not keen on producing particularly exotic or esoteric tools of war, the Techpreists of Mallas take pride in the sheer weight of valuable parts and vehicles they manufacture, from advanced and highly specialized agricultural machines to nigh endless fleets of Leman Russ Tanks and Chimera, to even lauded Rhino Transports and Predator Tanks. Spartan, but efficient, the forges of Mallas focus solely on quality and raw output, their adepts overseeing the maintenance of several Armory Worlds alongside the Departmento Munitorum, ensuring that the defenders of the Exile Sector and Imperium at large seldom want for raw firepower.
The resident Titan Legion of Forge World Mallas likewise represents their efficiency, Legio Iudex being well noted for swift and decisive engagements against the enemies of man, harboring large numbers of Warlord Class Titans outfitted for long range bombardment and devastating area denial. When Legio Iudex strides to war, they lay waste to the foe with salvo after salvo, sewing brutal devastation with predictable but nonetheless awe inspiring results.
- "By the fires of a thousand suns and the darkness of a million pale moons we have scoured the stars. And now... at long last... we have it. Glorious Machine God, they will is nigh."
- —Explorator Lvej Hol's inscribed words upon the sacred hull of the Emperor Class Titan Dýnami tis Theótitas
Obsessed with reclaiming the lost torch of knowledge and understanding from the still smoldering embers of the Dark Age, the adepts of Forge World Okentos Primarius have long scoured the stars of the Exile Sector in the name of the Omnissiah and Imperium of Man, the great Legio Rex and their grand Skitarii Cohorts having strode on the surfaces of a thousand alien worlds in their perilous and never ending quest. Regarded by their contemporaries as dreamers and fools, the Techpriests of Okentos Primarius are known for flights of fancy and wanderlust, their Explorator fleets scouring the desolate worlds of the Lost Shore and Frontier, often bringing elements of the Children of the Anvil Space Marine Chapter and House Rhinehof Knights with them in search of archotech and lost enclaves of humanity. However outlandish, many of these expeditions have borne fruit, and as a result Okentos Primarius regularly reproduces and preserves esoteric technologies and archotech from lost ages, ancient patterns of Plasma weaponry, long lost Grav Gun designs, even fabled Volkite weapons are still produced in limited numbers in this worlds specialized forges.
Venerable and keenly equipped, Legio Rex is an indomitable force, relying on smaller but more maneuverable Titans such as the Reaver and Warhound and support from their Skitarii and Knight contingents. However, should the artifacts in question be of a particularly important character, Legio Rex can bring to bear the sole Imperial Emperor Class Titan known in the Exile Sector, Dýnami tis Theótitas. In spite of a lack of grandeur, the forces of Legio Rex are nonetheless potent and well versed in dealing with a wide assortment of exotic and nightmarish foes, having delved deep into the darkness of wilderness space and emerged all the wiser, if not a bit stranger, from the experience.
- "Mighty Omnissiah, we beseech thee, look over this holy construct we erect in thine honor that it may stand until the end of all time and the stars wink out, as a bastion to your undying glory!"
- —Magos Kyprtras Komeral
Both fortress and forge, the Techpreists of Forge World Dartan specialize in the construction of might siege engines and grand weapons of unmitigated destruction. Their position within the region of the Golden Cordon behooves such a specialization, as Dartan has been the subject of many a long and bloody siege, its Titan Legion, Legio Clypeus, having become famous for valiant stands against the vile Traitor Titan Legions of the River of Exiles. Supporting and arming the many shrine fortresses of the Golden Cordon, Forge World Dartan is an invaluable asset to the Imperial forces, the linchpin for many defenses and keystone of several supply lines that if cut off would leave the mighty fortresses of the Goldeon Cordon to wither and die.
- "Powering... All systems nominal... Firing... By the Omnissiah, blessed be the work we have wrought here today."
- —Fabricator General Julian Icncab commanding the Ordinatus Codnat during the Siege of Codnat Prime
Home of Legio Maxima
- "Ye can have that blessed relic after ye pry it from mine broken, self-destructing, corpse!"
- —Explorator Yang Freedman struggling with an Ork over a Graviton Gun
Home of Legio Lambastus
Knight Houses of the Exile Sector
Often bordering the Forge Worlds of the Exile Sector in clusters of fiefdoms, the Knight Worlds of the Exile Sector house the valorous and ancient Knight Houses that have long been a thorn in the Archenemy's side. Often thundering into battle alongside their forsworn lords and their mighty Titan Legions or questing at the behest of Imperial Guard commanders and Chapter Masters, the Knights are figures of much fanfare and praise, second only to the local Adeptus Astartes and Adeptus Soroitas.
The Houses of the Exile Sector are often noted as bitter rivals, each having a long list of ancestral grievances with one another, though some are far more severe than others. The bulk of these vendettas have their origin in the horrific centuries of the Knight Wars, a seven hundred year conflict in which the Knight Houses of the Exile Sector fought for supremacy over the small sphere of territory they inhabited in the calmer southern regions of the Sector. The Knight Wars only came to a halt when Primarch Roboute Guilliman arrived during the Great Crusade and brokered peace between the Houses. But still, the scars and atrocities of that dark age run deep, and to this day accusations of war crimes and dishonorable conduct of sires past fly freely at tactical meetings.
There are also the Freeblades, Knights with no House and no masters save the Emperor himself. Many of these errant warriors traverse the Sector alone, their only holdings their ship, Knight, and retainers. Some gather in groups, such as the Host of Lord Mason, but these small fellowships are far and few between and are rarely long for this ruthless galaxy. These men and women, while often the subject of both fanfare and scrutiny in equal measure, are usually unbreakable loyal to the God Emperor and His Imperium. (though some can be rather mercenary)
- "Bound by chains, but by the Sword, we are Free."
- —The motto of House Hawke-Castor
This House of dual linage was forged during the infamous Knight Wars of the Exile Sector, an alliance between two smaller and often brutalized Houses native to the eastern expanse of the Exile Sector. House Castor, a House whose homeworld of Bren was under constant siege by the forces of Chaos and House Hawke, whose homeworld of Genterius lay directly in the path of House Petrov and House Rhinehof's devastating war for supremacy in the eastern reaches. In the interest of mutual survival, the two Houses intermarried to become one, and together withstood the crucible of both the Knight Wars and constant assaults from the terrors of the River of Exiles. During the days of the Knight Wars, the fledgling House Hawke-Castor dealt savage damage to the holdings of House Rhinehof and Petrov in several brutal raiding campaigns following the lull after the infamous Sobvast Bloodbath.
Since those bygone days, House Hawke-Castor has become a distinct fusion of two very different cultures, the ruthlessly pragmatic doctrines of House Castor blending with the idealistic and occasionally naive notions of righteousness of House Hawke. This has created a House that regularly aspires to grand and noble ideals, but in practice understands the base and sometimes unceremonious practices associated with simply surviving in this strife ridden galaxy.
- "Gold in peace, steel in war."
- —The motto of House Petrov
A byword for gallantry and valor to some, a den of ruthless snakes to others, House Petrov's grand Lances have been the bane of countless foes long before the days of the Long Night and centuries after. Preferring a rapid, ruthless strikes in their Lancer type Cerastus Knights, House Petrov has a storied history filled with both grand bravery and unmasked brutality, giving the foe no quarter in their relentless assaults and sparing none who dare to stand against them.
The controversial Petrov line was naturally born from a world of conflict and nigh ceaseless war, the harsh tundra laden world of Isamov in the southern regions of the Exile Sector. Here, upon the barren plains and blizzard-savaged plateaus, the Great Nations warred for centuries. For eons blood was shed for false gods, for bare greed, for simple pride. After centuries of chaos, one of the ancient confederations rose to prominence, their Knights proving the most unrelenting and capable of the hundreds of other lesser Houses. These were the steel and gold clad winged Lancers of House Petrov. After ruthlessly purging every other noble line on the planet House Petrov took to the stars, ancient sub-light warships and colony vessels spreading across their home system and beyond.
Such expansion inevitably brought them into conflict with House Makadon, sparking a long and bloody conflict that would last for almost a thousand years. While House Makadon's superior industrial base allowed them to easily outnumber House Petrov's Knights, years of peace on their boarders and a long standing system of commissions and nepotistic favoritism regarding their highest echelons of command left them severely outclassed against Petrov's professional army. The Knight Wars only came to a close with the arrival of the Ultramarines Legion, whose coalition with House Makadon forced Petrov to surrender to Imperial rule. Threatened with sustained orbital bombardment by the Robute Guilliman himself, the heirs of House Petrov became as they are today, ruthless warriors of the Imperium, striding forth in their murderous but glorious lances against the horrors of the River.
- "For the people, for the realm."
- —The Creed of House Makadon
House Makadon's Lances have stood resplendent for untold millennia through times of peace and war, under the command of legendary philosopher kings and unfettered madmen, even in trying times such as these. House Makadon is often the standard by which natives to the Exile Sector measure all other Knights, considering Makadon's customs and mannerisms to be the most orthodox example. In truth most outsiders consider them an eccentric and passionate lot, at best highly charismatic, at worst unfathomably deranged.
Their interstellar empire spread to compass several star systems by the time of the infamous Knight Wars, in which House Makadon's supremacy over the southern expanse was challenged by Houses Petrov and Rhinehof. The Knight Wars raged on for over seven hundred years, and by the time Ultramarines, led by their Primarch Roboute Guilliman, spearheaded the first Imperial forays into the Exile Sector, House Makadon's empire numbered only three remaining habitable star systems.
At first, hostilities loomed over the Ultramarines and the Knights like a cloud, the proud Makadonian High King Phillip XIV refused to bend at the knee to anyone, be they man or Astartes. Showing his trademark patience, Roboute Guilliman managed to negotiate a treaty in which House Makadon would accept the sovereign rule of the Emperor. As per the conditions of the treaty, the Imperium would negotiate a lasting peace between the warring Knight Houses of the Exile Sector so long as they would support further endeavors to bring the region and the rest of the galaxy to heel under the rule of the Emperor.
From then on House Makadon has existed as the largest and most prestigious Knight House in the Exile Sector, holding the largest numbers of Knights and the most raw political power due to their relative independence from the Adeptus Mechanicus. However, their great lances often suffer from the inherited madness of the Makadon line, with bouts of insanity being an often unfortunate norm the higher in the hereditary hierarchy one climbs.
- "Stand strong, stand tall."
- —The motto of House Rhinehof
A fearsome Adeptus Mechanicus Knight House, the Knights of House Rhinehof has been known as the reapers of the Omnissiah since the days of the Great Crusade. In the centuries of the Long Night, House Rhinehof earned the dubious distinction as one of the most destructive of the belligerent forces involved in the Knight Wars. Safeguarding their holdings on their Night World of Draklund with stalwart distinction, House Rhinehof had long become inured to the relentless brutalities of war, having transformed their world into a post-industrial hellscape of bombed out factories and annihilated cities.
The House made easy converts to the will of the Machine God, their practice of placing purely pragmatic value on technology swiftly warped into a fanatic love of the tools of war. Unlike many Knight Houses, then General Elect Gunter Rhinehof saw both the pragmatic and the philosophical value to adopting the creed of Mars in full, he himself converting to the Machine Cult. Thus, while House Rhinehof does not have as much trust with Imperial forces outside of the Adepts of Mars, their Sacristans are noted as some of the finest in the Exile Sector and their ranks boast the largest numbers of Questoris Knights of the Exile Houses. Knights of House Rhinehof are noted to bear extensive and often extravagant bionic enhancements to show their dedication to the creed of the Omnissiah, though it should be noted that the Rhinehof Creed is a far more militant breed of devotion than that of the average Techpreist.
House Rhinehof is infamous for their ruthless conduct, however this is often misinterpreted as malicious intent by outsiders. In truth, the Knights of House Rhinehof are simply pragmatists, operating on an ancient philosophy known as the Arithmetic of War. This ancient code of conduct and battle rites is equal parts religious text and honor code of House Rhinehof, and dictates that a Knight is to be, above all, efficient. For efficiency is the breath of the Omnissiah and to act without first consulting the sacred mathematics of every action is to sin against the almighty Machine God and bring dishonor unto the name of House Rhinehof. Thus, while indeed willing to spend the lives of their allies for the sake of victory, the Knights of House Rhinehof are equally well known to throw themselves into the teeth of the enemy if such a sacrifice would serve a greater purpose. It is in this selflessness that they often win allies, but is also in this callousness that the vast majority of their detractors find their ground to protest against fighting alongside the "Machine Men of Draklund".
The Host of Lord Mason
- "Ye men, last of thine lines, stand now! Stand with me! Let thine House be remembered for all time!"
- —Lord Mason, last of the Zhulkach line, leading his Host in the famous Last March of Governor-Militant Mangdred
A collection of Knights who are the surviving members of their Houses, the Host of Lord Mason is a somewhat infamous band of Freeblades who seek a glorious death on the field of war so that the names of their Houses will live on forever in grand legend. They were brought together in one place by the unique gravitas of the last of the infamous House Zhulkach line, Lord Mason.
House Zhulkach was always known for their raw aggression and sheer battle hunger which cost them dearly during the Third Exile Wars. Utterly annihilated by the combined force of the Everchosen, Clan Mastodon, Clan Wolfe, and Legio Gargantua, House Zhulkach was relegated to the long list of Imperial forces lost in the Long War,save for one. Stricken mad with grief, the young Mason Zhulkach took on the Knight Gallant of his slain father, Dreadlord, and his remaining retainers and set off as a Freeblade, determined to die with glory. Soon the exploits of this young noble drew like minded Freeblades and the fame of the Host grew until it numbered thirteen.
As of the Time of Ending, in the wake of the invasion of Hive Fleet Orthros and the resultant End March of the forces of Chaos spilling through the shambles of the Golden Cordon, their fate remains unknown. They are believed to still be fighting on the Shrine world of Tadourl, even though the world was consumed by waves of the River.
Rogue Trader Houses
The various Rogue Trader Houses of the Exile Sector run the gamut from little more than legitimized privateer fleets run by robber barons to massive Sector spanning conglomerates whose power is not measured in mere wealth but in raw political influence and military mass that their effect on the balance of the Exile Sector is nothing short of paramount. A select few Rogue Trader Houses of the Exile Sector belong to the unique guild known as the Crimson Consortium, a loose alliance of the local Exile Sector Forge Worlds, Explorator Fleets, and even the Children of the Anvil Space Marine Chapter.
House Van Utarefson
- "We are and always will be."
- —The Creed of Van Utarefson
An ancient and mysterious House whose origins, though oft vaunted, have all but been forgotten in the Exile Sectors many eons of turmoil and chaos. House Van Utarefson's past is more allegory and myth taken at face value only for their considerable influence. Since time immemorial, House Van Utarefson has scoured the stars for various oddities and treasures, and endlessly quest for items of esoteric knowledge and value. It is in such endeavors that its long line of Patriarchs and Matriarchs have created a vast network of influence within the Sector and beyond, constructing colonies and outposts dependent on their good graces in order to survive on the outskirts of Imperial rule. House Van Utarefson enjoys a great deal of raw political power due to their involvement in the Crimson Consortium, for often the House will secure rare pieces of archotech in its expeditions and trade such relics readily with the Adeptus Mechanicus of the Exile Sector for both weapons and political favors.
House Van Utarefson are known most for their secrecy, as an aura of the unknown shrouds their innumerable activities. Rumors abound of secret fortresses in the far north and along the edge of the River, host to deep labyrinth facilitates and vaults of forbidden lore and forgotten sciences. How much of this is true none, not even the Inquisition, can say for certain. Only the highest ranking members of the Mechanicus within the Exile Sector are likely to know the truth, and they are invested in House Van Utarefson's continued prosperity.
House Van Utarefson's House Troops, the Swarchguard, are noted for their combat grade bionic augmentations and relentless loyalty to the House. House Van Utarefson also shares a close alliance with House Rhinehof, occasionally commissioning their support on various ventures.
- "Eternal prime."
- —The Creed of Pantegrul
Based on the planet Kyberia, they are the vice lords of the Exile Sector having made their name and wealth through narcotics and slavery. This is something of an open secret amongst the other Rogue Trader houses and Kyberia's leadership over whom they have a huge influence. They make no attempt to hide their wealth, displaying it via their center of operations. This huge structure towers almost two kilometers above the crowded streets of Kyberia's capital city, topped by a golden dome and a spire on each corner. It is home to the luxurious living quarters of the house leadership, their families, their trusted aides, their most favored merchant captains and any slaves they may possess.
A visitor with suitable influence is allowed access to any sort of depravity imaginable, the Pantegrul building's top level is a drug den overlooking the city and it features the best of their products.
It also features enslaved Homo Sapiens Insignitus, Axamite and Homo Ima Vipera women performing slow, sensual dances for those still aware enough to admire them, usually dressed in little more than translucent silks bearing the house colors, red and black.
The House Troops of House Pantegrul tend to hail from Axam, a feral world the House indirectly controls as the source of many of the base chemical compounds found in their drugs. This force of mercenary tribals, known as the "Spice Guard" (named after their general drug of choice) are kept in line via vice and drug addiction and given almost superhuman strength and resilience through a cocktail of combat drugs. Thus it is no surprise that the Spice Guard tend to utilize large two-handed melee weapons, only occasionally falling back on Axam Pattern wrist mounted Laspistols if the enemy cannot be closed with and hacked to death in a drug crazed fury.
- "Now you see us."
- —The Creed of Constantine
A mere three centuries ago House Constantine were no more than household servants to the Diachenko Rogue Trader Dynasty of the planet Agartha. They made the best of their situation, working their way into positions of power over several generations with one goal in mind- they would rule Agartha for themselves, paying back centuries of servitude in the blood of their oppressors. Decades of careful planning led to a single bloody day which saw the Diachenko's overthrown and their bloodline purged- leaving them free to take their masters' assets for themselves.
The Constantines were not without mercy. The Dynasty's founder, Matthias Constantine, adopted the now orphaned heir of the Diachenko family, raising the infant as his own son though his own flesh and blood children would be the ones to carry on his legacy.Their creed refers to those days, how they emerged from obscurity and into greatness almost overnight. It is also a warning to their enemies, tread lightly lest they fall prey to an attack they never predicted.
Now, 300 years later they have taken their place among the other Rogue Traders Houses of the Exile Sector. Considered upstarts and murderers by their more established rivals even all these years later they are obsessed with their image and reputation, they will not take second place to anyone or walk in another's shadow.
They are patient and calculating, thinking years or decades in advance, not moving until the time is right and all possibilities have been accounted for.
- "Born free, live free, die free."
- —The Creed of Valentine
Dreaded by the pirate scum and fellow Rogue Traders of the Exile Sector for thousands of years, House Valentine is one of the more infamous members of the Privateer Guild, the subject of both scorn and terror in copious amounts. House Valentine's comparatively recent origins result from a controversial pardon for the infamous Imperial Navy Captain Jacob Valentine in M37, and has since then gone on to become one of the most profitable group of pirate hunters and mercenaries within the Exile Sector. House Valentine's ancient flagship and base of operations, the Siluria Class Light Cruiser, Santa Anna Vindictae, is a ship so feared for her storied reputation that all but the most bloodthirsty brigand would tremble at her black visage.
As the house creed would imply, House Valentine has a reputation for being fiercely independent-constantly striving to remain free of influence beyond their sworn loyalty to the Imperium of Man. Thus, dealings with other Houses or independent entities tend to be curt and purely mercenary. In keeping with this dark streak, House Valentine's main source of income is bounty hunting, a time honored practice within the Exile Sector. House Valentine is regularly contracted by both Imperial Navy and independent entities to hunt down and eradicate various groups of both human and xenos brigands that pollute the Exile Sector's Eastern and Western expanses and the House has garnered a reputation for being some of the most ruthless in their field.
It is also in this practice of privateering and bounty hunting that House Valentine fulfills its Warrant of Trade, with Prince Wallace Valentine taking his menacing fleet to parts unknown in both the Sector and the wider Galactic East, wreaking havoc across the stars for plunder and glory. Some say that the young "Prince" takes far too much joy in hunting down and eradicating pirate scum and tales of his ruthless conduct and cruel tactics having become the stuff of legend within both the Exile Sector and beyond. Further bolstering this frightful reputation for brutality are the Valentine Blades, the notoriously violent House Troops of House Valentine.
The Exile Sector is vast and her space treacherous due in part both to her distance from the Astronomicon and the baleful presence of the River of Exiles. Thus, by necessity, there are two local Houses of Navis Nobilite within her borders. These ancient and powerful Houses each have origins that stretch as far back as the very foundation on the Imperium during the Unification Wars and certainly the founding of the Sector itself. This, combined with the nature of the Navigator profession, makes these small fiefdoms some of the most influential bodies in the whole of the Sector, holding the very fate of the region in their hands. Though Navigators from other regions are not unheard of, local Navigators of the Exile Sector are reputed as more reliable within the region of their birth and in more perilous stretches of space, their proximity to the River of Exiles reportedly making them extremely capable in areas where Warp travel is most dangerous.
Powerful and couth those bearing the name of Tyxack are celebrated individuals with in the sector. Wealthy beyond measure and not afraid to boast about their fortunes Tyxack has ties in nearly every industry within the sector. From simple mining to creating extravagant luxury items and everything in between this House has long spanning ties to all over the sector.
While they enjoy appearing refined in front of the prying eye of the public they oft indulge in scandalous activities both for business and pleasure. Rumors swirl of illicit items being bought in mass and redistributed by members of the Tyxack House. Those of the Tyxack bloodline deny such claims of them having friends in low places but on occasion they have been spotted dealing with unsavory brutes.
It has been theorized by many that this house has resorted to assassinations and other nefarious actions to solidify their position of power in the region. This leads to many who cooperate with the house to stay extremely cautious.
Plying the stars of the Golden Cordon-Lost Shore border, House Mancuso at first glance appears the fiscal epitome of a Navigator House, it's holdings large and extravagant, it's members physically attractive on a level that borders on disturbing. Indeed Mancuso is a wealthy household, owing to it's long and well-established roots within the Exile Sector that supposedly date back to the first Terran Unification Wars, a fact they frequently boast of, especially when in the presence of potential patrons. Yet for all their glamours and accolades, at the heart of House Mancuso lurks a dark secret.
Due to a genetic instability present within their genome, Navigators of House Mancuso are always born with hideous deformities, transforming infants into stunted abominations festooned with vestigial limbs and cranial protrusions. None are sure exactly how the instability first developed within the household's ranks (though their are many scandalous theories), but House Mancuso goes to great lengths to maintain both their status and their image of perfection, subjecting their progeny to radical surgeries that transform them into the doll-like psykers that so many native Exilites have grown accustomed to dealing with. This trademark appearance is also earned their household the nickname "House Mannequin", a name that's frequently used when their Navigators are out of earshot.
Of late, House Mancuso has been experiencing a record amount of hideously mutated births in this last century alone, to the point where life-threatening mutations are practically commonplace, drastically thinning their numbers. Desperate to maintain their bloodline but unwilling to seek outside help for fear of their secret shame being exposed, it seems only a matter of time before this venerable household is undone from within.
Great Houses of the Exile Sector
Given the venerable nature of the Exile Sector itself, it is no small surprise that its dangerous expanse is home to several very powerful noble lines. Many of these mighty Houses have their origins within the Great Crusade, when the Ultramarines Legion swept through the Sector bringing the entire region to heel.
The current Great Houses are descended from a wide range, from grand Imperial Commanders who earned the right to settle to criminals turned defectors to the Imperial cause. Either way, their legacies are these monumentally powerful and families whose influence and power regularly shapes the fate of the Exile Sector for both and ill. The Great Houses all agree on one thing despite their opposing philosophies, the reign of Solonius Aiva has lasted long enough and his family's influence must end, however they cannot agree on who should follow him.
House Aiva has occupied a place of honor on Ierus for millennia as their ancestors were among the first to arrive among the scavengers struggling to make a life. The other scavenger families appointed them their unofficial rulers out of respect for their skills and natural ability to lead. Gulliman assumed their position was something much more formal, a claim no one disputed. With their hold on New Atlas secure and backed by the Primarch they set their sights on Ierus proper. It took the House millennia but at long last one of their sons would rule over the Exile Sector.
Currently lead by Solonius Aiva who also occupies the position of Sector Governor, the Aivas are a divisive family, either loved or hated- There is no middle ground. Their supporters look at all the good they have done for the sector while their detractors blame them for many of its current problems.
It can be assumed that the truth lies somewhere in between. While capable leaders and administrators most of them gained their position through nepotism. With their obvious skills also comes a shade of arrogance and this is perhaps their greatest flaw. They are sometimes blind to the Sector beyond the Southern Holds and so are more reactionary than most would like.
Second in influence only to House Aiva, the Stines rule over Stenzholt with a firm, sometimes tyrannical hand. It is rumored that the Stines are descended from criminals and pirates who bought pardons and land from the first planetary governor and their policies of denial and accusations of slander toward any to even suggest the possibility only fuel speculation.
Not ones to make alliances lightly, they tend to stand alone in both politics and warfare and like the other Great Houses of the Exile Sector they believe that it is time for Solonius Aiva to step down as sector governor.
Ekkehard Stine believes himself the only man worthy to lead, only a strong man and the strong house he leads can save the Exile Sector from enemies within and without. A proud, incredibly paranoid and boastful man who favors dress similar to that of an Imperial General he is more likely to solve his problems with his fists than words. While the other house heads respect this attitude when it comes to Xenos they all believe that it can only bring further harm to the already struggling sector.
- "Weave trust with trust."
- —The Creed of Shujinko
House Shujinko is an ancient and powerful House with a venerable linage that can trace itself back to the days of the first of their line, the "reformed" Pirate Lord Shujinko Bashura Sei.
Guided by the noble principles of their creed House Shujinko is known for its steadfast loyalty, cultivating alliances with the intent to honor them for centuries to come. This attitude makes them valuable friends and has served the House well in the past, as they will not hesitate to send their support in the way of ships and wealth to an ally in honest need. Such philanthropy has won them a dedicated circle of allied Houses. However, these same traits make House Shujinko a mighty and tenacious enemy for they will never forgive a slight against their honored allies nor suffer traitors within their midst. To earn the ire of House Shujinko or its partners is to bring down the wrath of not only one of the most powerful Houses in the Sector but also bring the wrath of Shujinko's smaller and opportunistic allies.
Their current leader, Shujinko Hideki is young, roughly fifty years old (though juvenat treatments make him look half his age). He wears his hair in a traditional topknot but has forsaken the robes typical of Harajuku fashion. Rarely seen without an attractive Harajuku woman on his arm or a sword at his waist he is a study in contrasts, but forever an enigma - he prefers to keep his secrets and oversee his interests quietly.
- "Glory unto the Watchmen."
- —House Holt's Maxim
Descended from the first wave of settlers to inhabit Culara they made their fortunes through hard work and careful investments. After more than five centuries they are now the planet's de facto rulers overseeing the world from an opulent orbital station, controlling the flow of trade from the world below and having influence in every division of the PDF. Their immense wealth has bought them power and influence with many Western Marches governments. Though they hate Kordakans- seeing them as savages, and Guragians, viewing their culture as inferior they are on excellent terms with the rulers of Dahak and several of the Sector's knight houses, all of whom are wealthy enough to afford the furs and exotic animals on which the house built its business.
They also have a deep interest in the work of the Order of The Bright Helix on Nihilan, the house heads Cornelius and Victoria Holt hope to use this arrangement to secure genetically perfect spouses for their children but so far the Order has refused to make such a deal. They tolerate certain useful abhumans such as Homo Ima Vipera and Ratlings who they employ as scouts and hunting guides and Ogryns for heavy labor and as protection against Culara's larger beasts.
Like the other Great Houses they have their eye on the greatest prize, the title of Sector Governor. Cornelius and Victoria do not want this for themselves but for their oldest son Vincent who resents their attempts to control his life and those of his siblings, his brother Preston and his sister Tabitha. Like the other Great Houses they despise House Aiva, believing them weak, where they are working to civilize an untamed world Solonius Aiva simply inherited the work of others.
- "With Blood that is Noble, Let Noble Deeds Reign."
- —House Vichy's Maxim
House Vichy's first patriarch was the Imperial Guard general Augustin Vichy whose regiment was granted the Right of Settlement. Upon becoming the newly conquered planet's leader he named it Sannois, recalling the village his family came from before leaving for the stars tens of thousands of years before his birth and the position of governor has been handed down the family line ever since.
Their position along the frontier has led to constant warfare against their hostile Xenos neighbors. This leads others to note that they use their power and influence as weapons against their fellow Imperials while money and political alliances are their greatest tools against aliens. Such alliances include House Faramond, the Asartes of the Lightbringers Chapter and the Ar'Cyr'Ru Mercenary Flotilla all of whom have bolstered their forces on Sannois from time to time.
Their alliances are normally ones of convenience and come to an end when they no longer benefit the house. The same is true of their relationship with the other Great Houses, They are allies for now-opposed to House Aiva but only time will tell.
Though the rulers of their own planet they have strong ties to House Faramond through marriage. The legendary Séraphine Faramond was a daughter of the Great House prior to her marriage to one of their sons and their relatives have come to their aid and by extension the entire sector countless times over the millennia.
Imperial Guard of the Exile Sector
The Exile Sector is host to a vast array of distinguished Imperial Guard Regiments, a matter of no small pride for many of its denizens. For the most part this concentration of noteworthy Guard is a result of the perpetual conflicts roaring across the border of the River of Exiles and the constant demand for troops in a swift fashion. Thus, many worlds have been put to the task in one way or another, with some rather remarkable results.
- "With all due respect sir, Haydryans do our best work when we are stuck in."
- —Sergeant Sean Dulhan of the Haydyan 343rd
Made up of a hardy and rowdy people from the rolling hills and plains of the desolate world of Haydryan, the Haydrayn Axe-Guard are a famous force of warriors native to the Exile Sector. A clannish and hot-blooded population inured to the brutalities of war, the Haydryans prefer a more melee oriented approach to combat than the average human warrior.
The Haydryans specialize as shock infantry, rapidly moving to crash into the enemy lines, protected only by their flak armor and signature Haydryan Pattern Combat Shield. (better known as the Haydryan Targe) Haydryans practice an interesting style of warfare all their own, utilizing a maneuverable buckler that leaves both hands free to operate a standard long arm and a one handed Haydryan Hatchet as a standard sidearm. In the standard firefight, the Haydryan Targe is strapped to the user's off hand in such a manner as to deflect incoming fire while allowing the Guardsman to return fire, increasing the chances of surviving long enough to close the gap with the enemy and "get to work" with their signature axes.
- "The Gurgaians are a stout, quiet, soft spoken people. Always polite, always obedient, ever industrious and diligent. Frankly the only thing that puts me at any level of unease is... well... different peoples have different reactions to combat stress. Catachans swear and holler, Cadians grow stern and cold, but the Gurgaians. Well, the Gurgaians smile."
- —Colonel Richard Kruassus, Commander of the 12th Mixed Exile Regiment
Borne of the freezing and mountainous Death World of Gurga, the Gurgaian Guard are reputed as a hardy, nigh indefatigable fighting force. Relentless, resourceful, and surprisingly durable soldiers, the natives of Gurga have earned a reputation throughout the Exile Sector for outstanding feats of combat ability and tenacity. Armed with naught but standard issue lasguns and their infamous Gurgaian Khuri (a form of large, curved combat knife) the Regiments of the Gurgaian Guard have proved themselves against the likes of daemons and monstrous xenos.
Due to the harsh and unforgiving nature of their homeworld, Gurgaians are a people naturally inured to extreme hardship and long periods of scarcity. They are also no strangers to war, as the great clans and petty kingdoms of their mountainous homeworld regularly wage violent wars over the scant resources. Therefore, the are a naturally an adaptable and enduring force, capable of extended engagements in all manner of harsh, desolate terrain. Regiments of the Gurgaian Guard are ideally utilized either as vanguard forces, operating deep within hostile territory with little support, or as guerrilla fighters, their natural hardiness and adaptability to their surroundings making them an enduring and dangerous foe in any prolonged conflict.
Kluth Irregular Guard
- "Frateris Militia by any other name, all gussied up with the best trappings the Ecclesiarchy can afford. Then again, I'd rather them charge those bloody Tyranids then have my boys thrown into the grinder."
- —Colonel Gaius Trent, 256th Cadian Shock Troopers
Also known as the Kluth Beast Hunters and Kluth Fanatics, the Kluth Irregular Guard are an infamous force of Guardsmen hailing from the War World of Kluth on the northernmost border of the Golden Cordon. A world regularly contaminated with baleful bursts of Warp energy and invaded by rampaging Techno-Barbarian pirates and Ork warbands, the people of Kluth are steeped in a violent militant witch-hunting cult and roving bands of heavily armed militiamen make up a great deal of the male population. Centuries of being a bastion of faith and Imperial rule and rooting out corruption from within and without has left the people of Kluth uniquely qualified as members of the Imperial Guard, their zealous faith and experience proving ideal on the battlefields of the 41st Millennium.
Heavily influenced and supported by elements of the Ecclesiarchy and Ordo Hereticus, the Kluth Irregular Guard marches to war clad in bright white and red robes, pointed hoods, and plates of thick carapace armor. Armed with their signature Kluth-Pattern Las-Glaives, powerful semi-automatic Lasrifles built into a long mono-edged glaive, the Kluth Irregular Guard do battle with the largest and most monstrous foes, their militant creed demanding that they throw themselves into the teeth of the most twisted and corrupted foes, for only then will they be worthy of the Emperor's redemption.
Kordakan Shock Guard
- —The oft heard battlecry of the Kordakan Shock Guard
Hailing from the hellish, war torn, Feral World of Kordak, the Kordakan Shock Guard are a practically legendary force of Imperial Guard hailing from the very heart of the Exile Sector. Warlike, savage, and as per their esoteric warrior interpretation of the Imperial Creed, utterly fearless, the Kordakan Shock Guard are utilized as devastating shock infantry and elite assault units. Each Kordakan male is often considered an eligible solider by the age of eight on his homeworld, and thus regiments raised from Kordak are already hardened veterans of constant combat amid the jungles of their homeworld against other warbands and tribes. In spite of their savage nature, the Kordakans are not unfamiliar with most Imperial weaponry, as lucrative trade in precious metals and exotic lumber with off world merchants for war materiel keeps the warlords of Kordak and their savage kinsmen well equipped.
In spite of their savage appearance and undisciplined mannerisms, the average Kordakan Shock Guardsman is a competent and capable solider, with a very strong grasp of basic battlefield tactics and logistics. (at least from an infantryman's standpoint) And are capable of far more than simply rushing headlong into the enemy, Kordakan Heavy Knives hacking away at limbs and plunging through guts. Regardless, the Kordakan Shock Guard is best known for, and considered most effective, in close combat with the enemy where their berserker fury and fearless savagery are most potently applied.
As the Kordakan Regiments are often formed from a mix of warbands a tribes, individual regiments and even individual platoons can have deep (and often strange to outsiders) warrior traditions and rituals. These range from the practice of fashioning and wearing War Masks as with the famed warriors of the Latouka tribe to the "Spirit Armor" of the Axkeum tribe's Naked Warriors. Regardless of their specific esoteric creed or faith, all Kordakans worship the God Emperor with a fanatical fervor, and hold that He is a mighty warrior god who decides the fates of "His People" via how impressive their constant feats of battlefield prowess are. Therefore, when a Kordakan falls in battle, it is simply held by his kinsmen that he was not impressive enough to keep the Emperor's attention in a galaxy of endless war and therefore lost of His protection. This has the distinct advantage/disadvantage of making Kordakans fight even more boldly as they take casualties as opposed to being demoralized, for they believe such losses are due to the Emperor's waning interest in their endeavors.
Nihilian Genos Regiments
- "Milites sumus."
- —The High Gothic motto of the Nihilian Genos Regiments
In the black days before the arrival of the Imperium of Man, the Exile Sector was a bleak place sewn with death and ruin. The light of mankind faded, sputtered, and in many cases, winked out. But one bastion amongst the few held, concealed on a world of black rock and endless raging storms. The world of Nihillian was home to a sparse population, a strange cult of scholars and scientists, a people who had long ago abandoned greater humanity to focus upon their research. However, with the arrival of the Long Night, and the invasion of beasts and abominations from beyond their atmosphere, the strange Gene-Cults of Nihilian created the very first "Cauldron Born".
Warriors bred of a radical and highly advanced eugenics program, the Genos warriors of the Gene-Cults were far and beyond the ken of pure strain men, faster, stronger, utterly without fear or mercy. However, as time dragged on, and demand for higher and higher quality Cauldron Born warriors rose to fend off the nigh endless invasions of Orks, Daemons, and other such horrors, the bloodlines of the Cauldron Born became more potent and refined but also more vulnerable to certain defects and genetic stagnation. By the time the Ultramarines arrived on Nihilian, the primary Gene-Cult, the Order of the Bright Helix, dominated the practice of breeding Cauldron Born, untold eons of meticulous selective breeding and gene therapy creating no less than seven hundred distinct bloodlines, each with a unique "blood name" or specific surname. Each of these lines were bred for specific battlefield purposes, with some more general purpose lines being better at front line combat, while other, more specialized breeds were designed for other battlefield roles.
While greatly altered, the Cauldron Born of the Order of the Bright Helix were considered acceptable creations by the early Imperium, and swiftly the Genos Regiments were folded into the greater Imperial Army and the Order co-opted under the supervision of Imperial Gene-Wrights and elements of the Magos Biologis. During the Horus Heresy and resultant Refusal War, the Order of the Bright Helix remained loyal to the Emperor, and in a swift civil war, slew all the heretical agents within the ranks of their Imperial handlers in what is simply termed as the "Order 49 Execution", in which the Bright Helix utilized their top secret override order to swiftly retake control of their Genos Warriors, their clerics in the field and abroad proving effective in striking back against the forces of the traitor, Horus. However, the damage to the Gene Vaults of Nihilian was all but crippling, and several grand templates of vital First Blood were lost, dooming over one-hundred and four lines of Cauldron Born to extinction.
As of the modern Imperial era, Nihilian Genos Regiments serve as elite Storm Troopers, acting in small squads or single platoons attached to greater Imperial Guard Regiments and seldom acting as a lone force. That being said, it is not entirely unheard of for a Genos Regiment to be deployed at full regimental strength, though such deployments are usually to the most vital and brutal theaters of war, where an Imperial defeat would wreak unacceptable consequences across the vastness of the Emperor's realm.
Ventrez Volunteer Guard
- "It is the sacred duty of every child of Ventrez to serve for the greater glory of the Imperial state. To do so is a privilege, and to give so greatly of ones self, is to become truly a citizen of the Imperium of Man."
- —Colonel Santiago Straz, Commander of the 144th Ventrez Volunteer Guard
Born of the large and heavily industrialized Agri-World of Ventrez, the Ventrez Volunteer Guard are the planet's greatest resource, as Ventrez frequently comes short on her tithes of crop and foodstuffs due to the irregular fluctuations of its orbit, causing frequent planet-wide cold snaps and droughts. Thus the Ventrezi government has traditionally taken advantage of their world's overpopulated state, military service is mandatory upon reaching age sixteen, and only those who serve a fifteen year minimum term in one of the PDF Regiments are allowed to return home with the full rights of a citizen allowing them to participate in Ventrez's democratic world government. Those who choose not to enlist live lives of hard toil in the fields, proud but always second class citizens, as only those with service within the PDF are given the right to vote within the democratic government and to serve in offices of political power. It is a matter of great pride that every member of the massive Guard Regiments mustered from the ranks of the Ventrezi PDF is a willing volunteer, a citizen of the Imperium of Man who has elected on their own terms to place their well being and safety aside so that mankind as a species can continue to flourish under the enlightened rule of the God Emperor.
The people of Ventrez are often subject to nigh endless streams of hyper-conservative Imperial propaganda by their government, and thus are fanatically loyal and self sacrificing in the name of the Imperium. Respect and reverence unto political officers such as the Commissariat and Tempestus Scions is to be expected, as is an almost suicidal bravery in the face of the enemy. Thus, the Ventrez Volunteer Guard is known for human wave tactics supported by armored units and wars of attrition, their numbers and fanaticism allowing them to overcome and form a relentless front line. That being said, as Agri-Worlders, they are somewhat naive in their loyalty to the Imperium, and must regularly be corralled by Commissars to make the best of their lives, rather than allowing them to hold pointless positions unto the death.
- "Mind the beak lad, ol' Deathclaw is spoiling for blood."
- —Knight-Lieutenant Bram Hask regarding his Demi-Gryph mount
Hailing from the Feudal World of Dahak, the Dahakan Lancers are fearsome shock cavalry, both for their skill with a Las-Lance and the might of their noble Demi-Gryph mounts. Clad in heavy Carapace Armor and trained in the arts of war since the age of seven, the Lancers themselves are all of noble birth. Though some may be of lower titles than other higher ranking Lancers, all consider their service to the Emperor in war amongst the stars a holy birthright and fight with an unbreakable zeal.
As for their famous mounts, the Demi-Gryph is a powerful creature, bred for war centuries ago when Dahak was a technologically advanced world, it is a beast most at home on the field of battle. With the head of a noble raptoral avian and the body of a mighty feline predator, the Demi-Gryph is a creature capable of ripping infantry and even lightly armored transports to pieces. The lethality of the Demi-Gryph's claws and beak is often augmented by thick barding and bionic enhancements.
Belgudad Ogryn Auxiliaries
- "Oh sorry, Kras here isn't the talkative type. Thing is with Belgudads, they know their way around a slugthrower better than most Ogryns. Buuut their erm, other faculties, like you know, talking... Yeah, they don't talk much. At all."
- —Private Alvaro Starentz of the 234th Ventrez Volunteer Guard explaining to nature of his Abhuman comrades to the latest Regimental Commissar
Hailing from the bleak and desolate moors and plains of the small moon of Belgudad which orbits the Gas Giant Vulg, Belgudad Ogryns are a particularly hardy and unsociable sub-breed of the Abhuman species. Rediscovered during the Great Crusade era by elements of the Ultramarine expeditionary fleet, Belgudad Ogryns were noted by Imperial Army forces to be particularly organised, capable of understanding somewhat complex orders and, within a relatively short time, being capable of understanding the particulars of ranged combat weaponry to a surprising degree. This is partially due to how the nomadic hunter-gatherer tribes of Belgudad wage warfare amongst one another and bring down their prey, warriors of the tribes gather bundles of boulders and stones and hurl them at the enemy from a considerable distance, usually with deadly results. The most advanced tribes of Ogryns on Belgudad have even developed primitive slings. Thus they naturally took to heavy support weapons, levies becoming naturally capable Ogryn Gunners.
However, in spite of their apparent intelligence over their more common bretheren, Belgudad Ogryns are exceedingly willful and stoic. Few of their kind are possessed of speech beyond grunts and growls, and many, feeling naturally alienated amongst humans, choose to remain completely mute. They are also often far more independent than the average Ogryn, the typical dog like loyalty to higher officers remaining but readily ignoring anything short of an attack order from rank and file Guardsmen that they do not already have a considerable rapport with. This can raise issues certain battlefield situations, when the only warning the Ogryn gives that the enemy is upon the squad is a guttural growl and a salvo of Autocannon fire. It should also be noted that, while Belgudad Ogryns are considered superb grenadiers, their habit of pitching their massive hand grenades directly at enemies can be, whilst very amusing to their comrades, a waste of ordinance.
Kortusa Ratling Auxiliaries
- "I'm glad those wee devils are on our side!"
- —A Ventrezi Guardsman overlooks the end result of a Kortusa Ratling Latrine Bomb on a Heretic outpost
A sub-breed of the Ratling race that was rediscovered on the world of Kortusa in early M33, the Kortusa Ratling Regiments have earned a mixed form of renown in their long eons of service within the Exile Sector and abroad. Noted as particularly mischievous even among the already rambunctious race, their dual loves are fire and thieving. The Feral World of Kortusa was discovered by Imperial forces during the late years of the Great Crusade, and was originally colonized with the intent of terraforming it into a fertile Agri-World. However, the events of the Horus Heresy would see the planet cut off from the Imperium proper for over two thousand years, much of the population slain in the first deadly monsoon season which brought with it the savage hordes of native beasts known as Kyorites. Strange amphibian-like beasts with maws of snapping teeth that hibernated during most of Kortusa's solar year, emerging only with the torrential rains to consume, mate, and die, the begetting the cycle of planet wide predation anew. The only survivors of the colonists were small groups of Ratlings, originally allowed to settled from the 130th Imperial Army Abhuman Scout Auxilia, as they had managed to construct stilted houses and towers from the ruins of the colonies, fending off the blind Kyorite swarms with lasfire and improvised explosives.
Cut off from off world supplies and left to fend for themselves against the deadly beasts and flora of Kortusa, the Ratlings there quickly adapted and became much more aggressive and hardy than their common brethren. They became most adept as setting traps and crafting improvised explosives from the ruins they now inhabited to bring down large beasts, living in the forest canopy and within the tallest remaining structures, safe from all but the great Blood Jays and Murder Larks who stalked the skies. When they were eventually rediscovered in M33, Imperial commanders saw the immediate possibilities of throwing these rag tag units of Ratling clansmen into battle, though the consequences of increased illicit activity amongst the ranks and dramatically increased likelihood of exploding latrines quickly saw the enthusiasm for these otherwise supreme scouts, saboteurs, and snipers curbed.
Adeptus Astartes of the Exile Sector (The Justicarium)
There are several Chapters of Adeptus Astartes that reside within the Exile Sector, many of which were founded with the purpose of fighting back the horrors of the River of Exiles. It is due to the nature of the Exile Sector's ceaseless unrest that it his home to a disproportionately large number of Space Marine Chapters, for while the average Sector may have to deal with only a few threats worthy of the mighty Adeptus Astartes, the Exile Sector is constantly plagued by forces ruinous enough to be considered apocalyptic even in times of comparative peace.
However, such a gathering of warriors is not taken lightly by the Imperium regardless of their purpose. Already three Chapters native to the Exile Sector have fallen to the taint of heresy, the first among them the once venerated Crusade Eternal. Shortly thereafter, the Great Hammers, now known as the Black Hammers, too fell to corruption. And following even that horrific fall, so too did the lauded Fire Mandrills become mired in heresy, and were all but destroyed. Thus, the Chapters of the Exile Sector are, by both Inquisitorial decree and collective agreement amongst themselves, expected to prove their continued purity of cause and action via membership in a loose organization known as the Justicarium.
The Justicarium is a distinct conclave of Space Marines who have sworn themselves to the protection of the Exile Sector. As members of the Justicarium, these Chapters all gather at a great conclave every century in order to synergize with one another and ensure that none of their cousins are caught in the taint of heresy. When Chapter representatives arrive, they must present Chapter recruitment rates, total casualties over the last century, projected campaign maps, and much more. Said data is reviewed by an elected council made up of a single member from each Chapter, and then passed over by a triplet of Inquisitorial representatives for cross examination. In this manner, the Justicarium ensures the purity of the Chapters of the Exile Sector and allows for a level of cooperation in military campaigns. Failing to send a representative without reason to the conclave is considered a dark omen amongst the Adeptus Astartes of the Exile Sector, and results in an armed Inquisitorial force supported by no less than one Battle Company of at least four member Chapters arriving at the errant Chapter's Fortress-Monastery to investigate. In this way, the Chapters of the Exile Sector minimize the chances of any "turnover" within their ranks further fueling the already lamentable state of affairs that are the many Chaos Space Marine Warbands of the River of Exiles.
- "Swift as the Dusk. Deadly as the Dawn."
- —The grand credo of the Lightbringers
One of the two Unforgiven Chapters within the Exile Sector, the Lightbringers are noted as perhaps some of the most sardonic and fatalistic of the Lions somewhat eccentric brood within the Exile Sector. However, regardless of their cold and courtly mannerisms, the Lightbringers are known prosecutors of righteous wars and valiant efforts to spare the people of the Exile Sector from the horrors of the Traitor, Xenos, Mutant, and Heretic. They, along with the Scarlet Serpents and the Knights Exile, form the more public image of the Justicarium as the righteous force of the Emperor's will.
However, the Lightbringers will always be somewhat tainted in the eyes of their fellow Justicars, their boundless suspicion and enforced distance making them less than personable to outsiders. For the Lightbringers, as all Sons of the Lion, are forever cursed with their most secret and sacred duty. The Exile Sector is home to various Fallen enclaves, and home to cursed renegades who are far too close to the truth to ever let live. Thus, the Lightbringers strike fast and ruthlessly, utilizing their search and destroy tactics to bring forth the deadly dawn and leave naught but the mournful dusk in their wake.
- "Our Hunt begins in shame. May it end in Redemption."
- —The Creed of the Thunderwing
Yet another of the Scion of the Lion, the Angels of the Hunt are by and large revered across the Exile Sector as peerless warriors, known most for their astonishing valor and fortitude in the face of incredible odds. They have often suffered for their boldness in grave losses in both sacred wargear and the lives of their Battle-Brothers, but have so often torn victory from the jaws of defeat that none can fault their zeal. However, the Angels of the Hunt are most often ostracized by their cousins, their strange melding of the Dark Angel's knightly credos and their barbaric, neolithic culture of their home-world resulting in an esoteric cult that marks them as dangerously unpredictable.
Part of this unreliable nature can be attributed to the Chapter's sacred Long Hunt, in which they must seek out the Fallen and force their repentance. Of all the Unforgiven, the Angels of the Hunt have long made it clear that they are the most willing to do whatever is needed to ensure the honor of the Lion remains unsullied, even going so far as to commit blatant purges of those who may know too much. It is the ruthless dedication and their unflagging loyalty that make the Angels of the Hunt what they are, for they believe that once all is sacrificed upon the altar of their Legion's honor, may they then find peace in their redemption.
- "It is not the tsunami the foe should fear, nore is it the subtle riptide. The foe shall learn to fear the rogue wave, the one that has drowned you long since before you were born. We are not coincidence, we are fate."
- —Attributed to an unknown Battle-Brother of the Maverick Lords during the Altohaust Crusade
Oft lamented by their cousins and lauded by civilians, the Maverick Lords are, as their namesake would suggest, an unpredictable but nonetheless commendable addition to the Justicarium. Founded in the 22nd Founding, they are young and cocksure, hailing from the linage of the White Scars. As such, they prefer to strike swiftly and decisively, taking to battle upon their Assault Bikes and launching themselves forth with their Jump Packs. However, they are of a wily sort, and are known to employ extremely unconventional tactics should the situation arise. From disguising themselves as traitor legionaries to goading the foe with war poetry, the short history of the Chapter is rife with tales of trickery and sabotage as well as examples of courage and valor.
Thus they are often seen by other Astartes and some elements of the Inquisition and Imperial Guard as dangerously unpredictable and liberal with the edicts of the Codex Astartes. Of course, the Maverick Lords themselves care not one whit what others may think of them, for they are certain in their duty and in their honor. They consider the war against the Archenemy their own, and will rarely agree to fight it on any terms other than their own.
In spite of this rebellious streak and esoteric understanding of what it is to be a Space Marine, the Maverick Lords are still ever loyal and capable servants of the Imperium, rarely blinded by pride or hung up on ego. Theirs is a respect given freely, even if it is seldom returned. And theirs is wrath that, once provoked, will strike down the foe as if they were but an errant dingy upon a great and terrible sea.
- "Ah, but heretic, I already killed you. Ten seconds ago."
- —Commandant Ganon to the then whole Arch-Magus of the Cult of the Undying Hand
Ancient and proud sons of Sanguinius, the Scarlet Serpents have long kept vigil over the Exile Sector from their homeworld of Ainavstrast, scouring the stars of heresy and treason wherever its ilk stains the Emperor's realm. Borne of the 4th Founding, and a founding member of the Justicarium, the Scarlet Serpents are oft regarded with a great deal of respect for their legacy as slayers of the traitor and bulwark against the Daemon. However, as with all sons of the grand martyr of the Imperium, they too suffer greatly from their dual curse of the Red Thirst and Black Rage. However, it is how the Scarlet Serpents cope with these bestial instincts that marks them out amongst the scions of the Blood Angels. Discipline and poise are all important within the Scarlet Serpents, having adopted many of the courtly mannerisms and traditions of the warrior-aristocracy of Ainavstrast. Every moment is spent mastering the art of war and an appreciation cultivated for the arts and philosophy of the very Imperium they defend relentlessly with blade and bolter. It is through this endless regimen of discipline and distancing from all of the most base urges that the Scarlet Serpents hope to fight back the darkness that rests within their souls... though time will only tell if such efforts are for naught.
In keeping with their cultured mannerisms, or perhaps at odds with them depending on the perspective, the Scarlet Serpents prefer to strike with the precision of their finely honed swords, leaping into battle on wings of flame and cutting down the enemy in elegant close combat. For eons the Chapter has cultivated a style of swordsmanship that has become uniquely their own, a rapid, one handed style built around their signature Serpent Blades, a Power Sabre designed with a stout, one sided blade. Primarily a thrusting weapon, though it can easily slice the foe in twain with a master stroke, the Serpent Blades are the epitome of Chapter philosophy of discipline and elegance, killing with speed and precision that is awe inspiring. However, the Chapter is far from inept when it comes to other, less elegant forms of combat, and are more than capable of surgically scouring the foe from the field with their bolters and heavier weaponry.
In spite of their great age and honored reputation, the Scarlet Serpents are naturally aloof, distancing themselves from their allies. This is both in an attempt to further repress their emotions and prevent as much damage as possible to the reputation of their Chapter should they fall to the predation of their darker natures. For when a Scarlet Serpent falls, it is not with any of the righteous fury of the other sons of Sanguinius, for the sudden loss of all that held the Serpent back is shockingly obvious in combat as he hacks savagely at the enemy and beings to rip them limb from limb with an unfettered blood-rage that is all consuming. Such a fall is therefore all the more severe and when combined with the constantly repressed hunger of the Red Thirst, what was once a proud and noble warrior is now a savage animal, gorging himself on the flesh of the foe whilst ripping through their ranks with mindless fury. The Scarlet Serpents treat their fallen with a measure of both pity and disgust, holding that these warriors had shown a moment of weakness, an unacceptable lapse when one is fully aware of the darkness that resides on the edge of their minds.
- "When the Primarch conquered this expanse in the name of the almighty Emperor over ten-thousand years ago, he gave our progenitor, Captain Krixus of Byzan, an order. 'Let it be seen that all men, be they of the lowest or highest birth, know the protection and prosperity of the Emperor's Imperium.' For ten-thousand years, we, the Knights Exile, have upheld that sacred order. With our bolters, with our shields and chainswords, with our bare hands. And we will uphold it until the very stars wink out, and all the worlds of the universe turn to dust!"
- —Chaplain Augustus of Rel's time honored address to the Knight Exile's latest batch of Neophytes
Proud Sons of Guilliman, the Knights Exile are an ancient Chapter who have long kept ardent watch over the Exile Sector and her peoples. For countless centuries these vaunted exemplars of the Adeptus Astartes have stood at the very gates of hell, casting back foul traitors and xenos barbarians while simultaneously seeking out and eliminating treasonous cowards and brigands that hide within the heart of the Sector. They have regularly shunned overbearing titles and gaudy honors in lieu of a quiet, hard won respect of both the noble and the common man, holding true to the spirit of their Primarch when he reformed much of the Exile Sectors then civilized worlds, that every subject of the Imperium, even the mighty Space Marine, is to earn his worth. They hold that their most sacred duty is to the common man of the Imperium, to defend all that swear their loyalty to the Emperor, no matter their standing within the grand scheme of the Imperium's political and economic machinery.
As a founding member of the Justicarium, the Knights Exile regularly act as intermediaries in both times of war and peace between their cousin Chapters. It is often the Chapter Master of the Knights Exile who oversees the Great Conclave of the Justicarium that arises every century and it is often the Knights Exile who settle disputes between Astartes of differing Chapters, their harsh but fair judgement often accepted with little dissent by their fellow Astartes.
The Knights Exile are often likened unto the ancient knights of the long lost empire of Terra that once ruled from the heart of ancient Anatolia, clad in their battle worn Power Armor, the faded royal purple of their colors still showing defiantly in the face of the enemy. Many speak of them in hushed awe, seeing their haggard forms and straightforward demeanors as signs that they are truly warriors of the people, unwavering in their defense of the Imperium from threats without and within.
- "Our Victory is Absolute."
- —Attributed to Kosa Clan Elder Wojtek Rog'Ha during the Euripides Vale Xenocide
A rare Chapter of the harsh and bellicose linage of the Gorgon, the Children of the Anvil are noted as one of the Justicarium's premiere fleet-based Chapters. Relentless hunters of the heretic and boundless bringers of Pax Imperium upon the darker reaches of the Exile Sector, the Children of the Anvil share a close bond with the Crimson Consortium, working closely with both the Forge Worlds of the Exile Sector and the myriad Rogue Trader Houses they hold under their sway. Thus it is not uncommon for a contingent of Children of the Anvil to accompany an Explorator Fleet or Rogue Trader vessel upon its voyage into parts unknown. However, the Children of the Anvil are fiercely independent, and while they may hold the Omnissiah sacred, they hold aggressively to their ancient wargear, only letting the adepts of the Crimson Consortium near their sacred relics when dire repairs are needed.
Previously unknown to the Imperium at large until they intervened during Goge Vandires Reign of Blood, the Children of the Anvil claim to have been in service to the Imperium since the 5th Founding, though there is no record of the Chapter having ever been part of that Founding. Regardless the Chapter was recognized by the Iron Hands as one of their own and formally reintroduced to the greater Imperium, though they were obliged to join the Justicarium if they were to continue to serve in the Exile Sector.
The Children of the Anvil are noted for their brooding personalities and utterly ruthless fury in combat. They are often considered ill-tempered in the extreme, often their snide, cutting remarks resulting in more than one tactical meeting devolving into fisticuffs. Furthermore, the Children of the Anvil were forced against their will to join the Justicarium and resent this breach of what they consider their Emperor given autonomy to this very day. Regardless, their sheer combat efficiency and utter loyalty to the Imperium and the almighty Omnissiah keeps their ties strong with both their fellow Justicars and the Adeptus Mechanicus.
Adeptus Sororitas Orders of the Exile Sector
Order of the Crusading Hammer
- "Look at them, these disgusting savages. Look how they beg and plead. These heathens are not worth the soot we have layed upon them. Burn them. Burn this mongrel world. Burn it all until it is clean."
- —Sister Superior Svetka Sulbad
Hard and ruthless crusaders and bearers of the light of Pax Imperium to the darkest corners of the Galaxy, the Order of the Crusading Hammer is a mighty Lesser Order Militant of the Adeptus Sororitas. Borne of a fanatic tenacity and zealous iconoclasticsm, the Order of the Crusading Hammer crusade endlessly across the border of the Lost Shore, seeking to cast down the heathen faiths of both xenos and barbarian and raise high the righteous cathedrals and temples of the Emperor upon their ashes.
All that is alien and not of the Emperor is sinful, and must be put to the torch. To this end the Order of the Crusading Hammer has a vast fleet at its disposal, as well as vast amounts of dedicated sisters, especially their fearsome Celestian corps and battle hungry Dominion squads.
Order of the Blessed Viper
- "Strike suddenly, coil around the enemy, and crush them."
- —Canoness Preceptor Siza Nomvula
Zealous and savage in the prosecution of the Emperor's enemies, the amazon warriors of the Order of the Blessed Viper hail from the Feral World of Nyoka, the planet of serpents and the final resting place of Saint Uriel. Dedicated to the Cult of Saint Uriel the Serpent Tamer, the Order of the Blessed Viper wages war in the image of their Saint's patron beast, striking swiftly and ruthlessly at the heretics who tempt the Emperor's divine fury.
Riding into battle upon their Vesper-Pattern Assault Bikes or flying into battle with their jump packs, the Order of the Blessed Viper bring swift and bloody death to the enemies of the Emperor with ruthless fast attack stratagems. Renowned for the esoteric ways of their chosen variant of the greater Imperial Cult, the Order of the Blessed Viper is generally mistrusted, their strange shamanistic practices marking them as unorthodox. But regardless it is their doctrine that make them highly valued as both line breakers and hunter killers, ideal for running down heretical scum.
Order of the Charnel House
- "From ash we come, to the ashes we take them, to ashes we return. All is but charcoal, waiting to be set alight. All is but ash in the wind, blown by the cruel and capricious winds of fate. Only the Emperor grants us solidarity, and that is in the blissful termination of our service to Him in death."
- —Cannoness Superior Aritta Immon
Grim judges of the damned and treacherous, the Order of the Charnel House are a Lesser Order Militant of the Adeptus Sororitas borne from the ranks of the Order of the Sacred Rose in the wake of the Blasphose Wars. Hailing from the hallowed ash fields of Crematoria, the Order of the Charnel House take upon themselves the mantel of the Emperor's reapers, delivering death to his foes and ushering his fallen faithful into His glorious company. Blessed with their unrelenting aim and clad in their ashen armor, the Order of the Charnel House prosecutes their endless crusade against the enemies of Man, never fearing death, for they believe themselves to be already dead.
Clad in black and bone Power Armor and frequently armed with heavy weaponry, the Sisters of the Order of the Charnel House stride forth, letting their arms sing the hymnals of the Emperor's sacrifice and inevitable resurrection. None are spared in their death march, not even their own faithful, for all are to know the Emperor in death and be judged upon the sinners pyre. Nothing save the Emperor Himself is pure in the eyes of the Order of the Charnel House, only tainted by degrees of severity. This it is the purpose of all things to burn and be destroyed, so that the Emperor may render judgement in full.
Order of the Heroine's Lance
- "If you want to get by me, foul daemon, you will have to try a lot harder than that!"
- —Attributed to the Heroine of the Lance, the Unknown Saint
A Lesser Order Militant of the Adeptus Sororitas born of the terrible days of the Second Exile War, founded to honor the sacrifice of a heroine whose origins are long lost to time and are now the stuff of divine legend, the Order of the Heroine's Lance is a famous and lauded order of daemon slayers and valiant witch-hunters. Renowned across the Imperium for their gallantry and chivalrous ways, the Battle Sisters of the Order of the Heroine's Lance are known as brash and unorthodox in their methods, but also stout of heart and borne of unbreakable determination. Standing their ground to the last and never faltering in their most sacred duties, few foes can match the raw force of will and firepower the Order of the Heroine's Lance bring to bear.
Often armed with their famous Makal-Pattern Power Spears wielded by their grand Vindex squads and consecrated Multi-Meltas borne into battle by their Retributors, the Order of the Heroine's Lance rely on precision and power in their assaults, their doctrine based around the actions of their nameless patron, striking down the most powerful and capable enemy units with a single, deft stroke. Thus, theirs is a doctrine of combined brashness and precision, eager to join battle with the enemy, but willing to withstand the punishment of being deep within the enemies ranks so that the mortal blow can be achieved.
Order of the Unbroken Seal
- "Secrets are secrets for a reason, do well to remember that guardsmen... Just a fair warning."
- —Sister Kamand
A secretive Lesser Order Militant of the Adeptus Sororitas of unknown origin and era of founding, the Order of the Unbroken Seal has garnered much in the way of infamy and fear amongst the populous of the Exile Sector for their ruthless purges and reputation for safeguarding forbidden regions and artifacts of an equally sacred and destructive nature.
Despite the well organized efforts of the Imperium's military assets there is an abundance of brigands that plague the expanses of stars that comprise the Exile Sector. Ranging from strict business men only looking to make quick riches by plundering merchants, to sadistic madmen seeking to inflict pain upon their unfortunate victims, to even vile Xenos corsairs whose goals are inscrutable to the minds of Mankind, the pirate fleets of the Exile Sector are as diverse and vile as any disease may be.
While they are feared cutthroats, the bane of small unprotected astral convoys, these renegades are seen as a minor threat to the security of the Sector when compared to the horrid forces that reside within the River. Thus, vast bands of them have been known to collect across the Sector, terrorizing shipping and even raiding frontier worlds, only being put down when they become too notorious. This has unfortunately created a reputation for the Exile Sector amongst brigands across the Galaxy as an easy place to strike it rich so long as a careful balance between infamy and anonymity is struck. This has resulted in the Western region of the Exile Sector being the one most overrun with pirate scum, as most shipping from the core of the Imperium winds its way through the trade routes in this region and because most would-be pirates enter the Sector from the greater Imperium in the Galactic West.
As stressed above, these renegades can range from typical thugs armed with a laspistols and simple sabers to full time marauders adorned with carapace armor and the finest arms they can plunder. And even then, the terrifying Xenos corsairs of the Exile Sector come armed with strange and esoteric tools of their trade that can be utterly devastating to even the most experienced Imperial Navyman.
The Covenant of Odryzus
- "Strife? No, the family does not bring strife... It brings unity, togetherness, community. Just as the Emperor must have wished for his children eons ago... As He must wish now. Come, embrace Unity, children of the Emperor... Join our Covenant."
- —Odryzus Deleflur, Magus of the Covenant, propagator of the Genestealer blight
Having blighted the stars with their vile seed, the Covenant of Odryzus was once a mere band of scavengers, void-born vagabonds in a flotilla of ram shackle ships whose line had weathered the storms of the Old Night and survived to become little more but scrap merchants within the relatively calm space of the Southern regions of the Exile Sector. That was until the convent chose to scavenge from the Space Hulk Perilous Apotheosis. Assaulted by Genestealers, but escaping with only a few dozen of their people slaughtered, the yokels had no idea one of their number was infected with the vile gene-curse of the Genestealers. Within several generations, the entire flotilla was infested with Xenos blood, their will subservient to a Genestealer Cult led by the enigmatic Magus Odryzus Deleflur.
Fancying himself a man of the cloth and church militant, 'Father' Odryzus leads his bastard cult in praise to the Emperor, and passes off the degeneracy of his flock as evolution willed by the Emperor almighty. The cult travels in secret across the stars, the flotilla having become fortified into a veritable raiding fleet, and its members have formed cells across orbital stations and small, isolated colonies across the Exile Sector. With their malignant influence, the Covenant unknowingly brought the hunger of Hive Fleet Orthros to the beleaguered Exile Sector, and thus the local forces of the Inquisition have redoubled their efforts to exterminate this impurity once and for all.
The Host of Wolves
- "Howl at death."
- —The Oath of Wolves
Originally nothing more than a mercenary troop numbering only forty men strong, the original Host of Wolves were hired on by the burgeoning Rogue Trader Kizar Valdez in the days of the Age of Apostasy. After the particularly disastrous Korush Exposition, the remaining members of the Host of Wolves mutinied and overtook the petty noble and his ship. From there the Host of Wolves grew into easily one of the most dangerous and well equipped band of outlaws next to the Punished Predators and the infamous Bastard Brigade.
Noted for military-style wargear and discipline, the Host of Wolves have become a particularly potent foe in recent years, staging several daring raids across the Western and central regions of the Exile Sector, striking at Imperial Guard garrisons and Deparmento Munitorum arms depots. Such a heightened profile has made the Host of Wolves the target of several counter raids on the part of both Battlefleet Exile and Battlefleet Kyberia, but the organization has yet to slip into oblivion.
The Bastard Brigade
- "Aye, we were at Sotruga Prime, Cordella V too. Where there's a fight to 'ave, we've been there."
- —Mark "Fingers" O'Toole
Savage marauders of the Southern Holds of the Exile Sector and terror to both merchant and navyman alike, the forces of the so-called Bastard Brigade are reportedly borne from the lawless tract of Southeastern space known as the McGideon Rift, a blasted, irradiated region constantly under the burning gaze of a hundred dying stars known as the Pyres of McGideon. Generally noted as a trouble spot with little value to the Imperium at large, the McGideon Rift is a span of lawless and dangerous space, inhabited only by those desperate for a place to escape Imperial authority or unfortunate enough to have been born there in the first place.
Eons ago, these malcontents formed the Bastard Brigade, a loose confederation of warlords and fugitives, which serve to constantly threaten the otherwise peaceful Southern Region of the Exile Sector. Armed with varying levels of wargear and ships, the fleets of the Bastard Brigade range from up armored commercial craft crewed with naught but mutants and a sparse collection of gunmen to fully crewed and stocked fleet of raiders numbering a dozen strong.
Nek Stompaz Murderfleet
- "Wot are we?"
- —Nek Stompa's usual pre-battle address to his crew, whose traditional response is "'Ded 'ard!"
The dreaded colors of the Murderfleet are known all too well by the mariners of the Western Expanse of the Exile Sector, a herald of savagery and brutality unmatched by any common fugitive from Imperial justice. Brigands of the most beastly caliber, the Greenskins that make up the crew of the infamous Kaptin Nek Stompa were once elements of the great WAAAGH! Bludbag, a primarily Goff WAAAGH! that had split from the infamous Ghazghkull Mag Uruk Thraka's own WAAAGH! Meandering off for several years in the general direction of the Exile Sector, WAAAGH! Bludbag was eventually put down by the forces of the local Adeptus Sororitas and a joint task force of the Justicarium, but the Nob known as Nek Stompa and his ship, Da Trotpuncha survived.
Working from what the Kaptin himself considered a "Mina setbak." this single ship soon became a veritable fleet as Nek Stompa and his crew subjugated both scattered remnants of WAAAGH! Bludbag and several local Freeboota squadrons. Thus, the Murderfleet was born, and quickly became infamous for their frontier raids and savage mauling of vital Imperial merchant fleets. But Nek Stompa would only become truly a legendary scourge after the so-called "Picket 245-Q Incident" in which the forces of the Kaptin ambushed and held ransom a Black Ship of the Adeptus Astra Telepathica. Originally refusing Nek Stompa's ludicrous demands for wargear and ships, the combined forces of Battlefleet Exile and Battlefleet Kyberia both scoured the stars for the green brigand, only to be lured into skirmish after skirmish to no avail. Eventually, much to the shame of the then Sector Governor Marcus Quintus Sextus, whose bloodline has since been stripped of all title and influence, the ransom was payed and Black Ship returned to the Imperium in a most sorry state and with its precious cargo severely depleted. The current bounty for Nek Stompa's head is an astronomical figure, and comes with promises of lordship of the Pleasure World of Barvaris Prime.
The Golden Lance
- "Twas not my will that saved you Captain. Twas the will of my patron. One day it may be His will that you die, and should that day come, know that I will mildly regret it."
- —Prince Osuvel, the Laughing Prophet, Master of the Golden Lance
Da Dred Fleet of Kaptin Klaw
- "I-its... the Klaw."
- —Final Vox-recording found within wreckage of the Saint Lucian's Favor
A frightful legend within the annals of the Exile Sector, Da Dred Fleet of Kaptin Klaw is an infamous Freebooter fleet known to stalk the southernmost region of the Sector known as the Deeper Downs. Widly believed to have been destroyed by Roboute Guilliman in the aftermath of the Horus Heresy, Da Dred Fleet of Kaptin Klaw still haunts the stars, and the Kaptin himself is more than willing to exact revenge upon the descendants of the Avenging Son.
Regarded for the better part of seven hundred years as little more than a myth, it was only until the 6th Company of the Knights Exile was waylayed by the savage Kaptin Klaw and his nefarious crew in M34 that the threat was recognized for what it was. Now, after thousands of years of constant raiding and savagery that has become legendary in the annals of Sector folklore and myth, Da Dred Fleet has become a massive force, almost akin to a minor WAAAGH! in its raw destructive power. For eons the Knights Exile have made it their personal goal to take the head of the Kapin, but of them all only one has come close to that goal so ferocious this mighty Greenskin barbarian is.
The Pale Squadron
- "Ha! Poor Mon-Keigh, we did not come for your paltry ship, just the cargo. Yes, that cargo. You'd be surprised how valuable Syprian Wine is to the Madien World youths."
- —Pirate Prince Calkas the Magnificent, Lord of the Pale Squadron
Led by the famous Pirate Prince Calkas the Magnificent, the Pales Squadron is an Eldar Corsair group with its origins in the dark days of the Horus Heresy. The eldritch menace known now as Prince Calkas the Magnificent was once little more than a militia fighter of the Eldar tribes of the now dead Maiden World of Illuriauhn, whose surface came under fire by the forces of the Word Bearers during the great Refusal War that ripped through the Exile Sector during the Horus Heresy. Seeking to use the fell powers of Chaos to weaponize the
Da Fleet of Duke Shredda
- "I'll ave ya eaten saw teef by de end of dis!"
- —The Duke issues a threat to a rival Freebooter Kaptin
Along the lawless Frontier of the Exile Sector, few Greenskins have a reputation for being as indomitable as Duke Shredda. Rising from obscurity in the year M39, the self proclaimed "Duke" and his squadron of raiders were considered of little import by most authorities in the region. Then the Duke's forces decided to pay the world of Fran'Del Torey a visit. The vineyards and succulent Grox herds pillaged to the furthest extent of their ability, the Freebooters topped off their sacking of the valuable world by razing the Sector-famous Kor'Lin Fey Vineyard and Brewery to the ground. Robbed of their drink of choice for the foreseeable future, the nobility of both Sub-Sector Hilgania and Retarius demanded that the Greenskin menace be dealt with to the fullest extent possible, placing enough pressure that the Sector Governor himself had to beseech the Adeptus Astartes of the Justicarium to assist in bringing this brigand to justice.
But over a thousand years later, the infamous Duke Shredda and his band of larcenous brutes still harass the northern regions of the Exile Sector, burning settlements to the ground and regularly threatening all important merchant vessels who bring supplies to the beleaguered settlements so far away from civilized space. So wily and cunning is the Duke that he has yet to be put into a situation he and his damnable crew could not slither away from, licking their wounds and returning replenished after a brief campaign of recruitment along the bleak wilderness space of the Frontier.
The Children of Khaine
- "With these words, I commit your souls to the grasp of the Bloody Handed God."
- —Prince Barabaer, the Forgotten Avenger, Chief of the Children of Khaine
A malign cult of eldritch warriors, the Eldar Corsair fleet known as the Children of Khaine has long preyed upon the stars of the Exile Sector, brutalizing both Imperial and Xenos Shipping as well as doing battle with the horrors of the River within their own blasphemous realm. Considered by proper Eldar society as naught but a slathering band of berzerkers, the Children of Khaine are all fanatical adherents to a unique warrior path created by the so-called Forgotten Avenger, Prince Barabaer.
In eons past, Barabaer was a Striking Scorpion of the apocryphal Craftworld Hyiden, destroyed by the forces of the Black King eons before the Emperor's rise to power. Surviving the utter annihilation of his Craftworld with a small cadre of fellow Striking Scorpions and a handful of Guardians, the survivors turned to piracy, carrying on their long war regardless. Some say they have devolved into a ritualistic Cult of Khaine, their Striking Scorpions taking on a new mantle that represents Khaine's aspect as the enduring rage of the forlorn warrior, now known as Cairn Serpents, clad in eldritch death iconography and striving to make bloody sacrifices in the name of Khaine, so that vengeance may be one day brought down upon the heads of the disciples of the Dark Gods.
- "You will not be disappointed. These items are equipped with T-15 Cyclic Ion Blasters, three times more sophisticated than what the Imperium used during the Damocles Gulf Crusade, a nightmare for any foot-soldier. I'll be expecting my pay up front."
- —Por'Ui Bork'an Doran'ro, a Tau merchant to a House Pentagrul customer.
In roughly 952.M41 an Ar'Cyr'Ru Flotilla spearheaded by the Gal'leath Class Battleship, the Nem'Sha, arrived in the Exile Sector. It did not take long for these Tau to find their place in this Emperor-forsaken part of the Galaxy. Caught in the desperate times known as the "End Marches", many men were willing to pay a band of mercenaries for some extra fire support, even if they were Xenos. But the fact that the Tau Fire Warriors of the Ar'Cyr'Ru Fleet uphold their contracts with utmost zeal managed to garner the attention of some Rogue Trader Houses, most notably the Pantegrul, as well as the Great House Vichy, bolstering their forces on Sannois. Currently, the Fire Caste representative of the Flotilla, Shas'El Vior'la Dak'e'shi, was able to sign a deal that allowed these Tau to freely trade and make contracts on Kyberia, the center of all commerce in the entire Sector.
Dak'e'shi's Fire Warriors completed many contracts over the fifty or so years they've spent in the Exile Sector, usually by escorting cargo vessels, ensuring the safety of trade from all pirate and brigand activity. Although there were also times when these Tau worked for the pirates and brigands of the Sector, they were fully aware that attaining the hostility of the Imperium would be a bad move, thus they choose their contracts wisely. Their diligence earned them an embassy in Kyberia which they converted to a Harbor, a docking bay of sorts where they may land, resupply and repair their equipment in relative peace. It is known that the Tau call it "Kir'Retha" but it is not known where it exactly lies, for the Tau of Ar'Cyr'Ru prefer to keep their safe havens safely hidden.
With the frequency at which the Ar'Cyr'Ru Flotilla managed to acquire goods from trade and payment from business, the collective Ar'Cyr'Ru Fleet pooled a lot of their own resources to bolster their activity in the Sector. Considering the nature of the Exile Sector it is only obvious why the Ar'Cyr'Ru Tau would find it to be a profitable venture. Because of this, Shas'El Dak'e'shi managed to acquire a lot of power, becoming leader of the second largest Ar'Cyr'Ru Flotilla (only the Council Flotilla is greater than Dak'e'shi's by a notable margin). With the recent disappearance of Shas'El D'verl, Shas'El Dak'e'shi became the most likely candidate for replacing him as a member of "the Three Braves". But Shas'O Mont're has his doubts that D'verl is truly dead and stands adamant about his decision to not promote Dak'e'shi.
The Exile Sector is home to several different recognized Abhuman races, each brought into the Imperial fold to serve the greater will of the God Emperor.
Homo Sapiens Insignitus
- "I quite like that one..." "She's yours if you want her, a gift to a loyal friend."
- — Two house Pantegruel merchants watching an Insignitus dancer
The surreal world of Zaesta, settled by humanity sometime in the ancient past, gave rise to a unique breed of Abhuman, identified as Homo Sapiens Insignitus or Zaestians in the common Imperial lexicon. Set apart from pure strain humanity by an extreme form of heterochromia, the average Zaestian has skin covered in vibrant swirling patterns, hair that changes color seemingly at random, and colorful mismatched eyes. While they once had a thriving society, the Imperium knows little of its history before their discovery by elements of Rogue Trader House Pantegruel and their subsequent introduction to the House's infamous narcotics trade.
Within a few short generations after their discovery, the Zaestian civilization was reduced to little more than a burnt out world of slums as the entire race was addicted to the drugs House Pantegrul so generously supplied them with. They now exist as little more than slaves to the House and to their chemical dependency, working high risk jobs for their daily fix.
Unfortunately for the average Zaestian, their exotic appearance makes them prized possessions of the upper echelons of Imperial society, especially House Pantegruel's executive members. In most cases they are reduced to little more than living art, but others are put to work in more carnal professions, their lithe forms and surreal patterns pleasing to the eye in many ways. They are also utilized as assassins or bodyguards, their harsh slum covered world inuring them to violence and their severe chemical dependency making them easy to motivate and keep under control.
Homo Ima Vipera
- "I have my best... erm... men shall we say? Yes, I have my best men on the job."
- —Max "Kingpin" Pantegrul, Patriarch of House Pantegrul
Hailing from the verdant world of tropical forests and brackish swamps known as Limea, these gaunt Abhumans are difficult to tell apart from baseline humans at a glance, but this belies their particularly strange nature. Believed to be the result of Dark Age genetic engineering, Vipera have several physical traits found in ancient Terran serpents. These traits have made them valuable to several Imperial groups as spies, assassins, and general minions. While some among them keep to their code of honor and will not use their fangs in battle these do not hold to those rules.
Vipera can be identified by their slit pupils and unnaturally thin proportions, and upon closer examination are known to have small patches of vestigial scales and hollow fangs, capable of delivering a potent and almost instantly lethal Neurotoxin.
The average Vipera also has small pits at the base of the nose which allow them to perceive the world around them in the infrared spectrum, making them excellent trackers and dangerous warriors in low light situations. This, combined with amazing speed and dexterity, make the Vipera Abhuman an ideal skirmisher and assassin, a role in which the species is employed across the Exile Sector in both small Imperial Guard Auxiliaries and in the employ of various nobles and criminal lords- such as House Pantegrul who use them as spies and assassins while House Holt employ them as hunting guides and scouts in Culara's less explored regions.
- "Bastard has a Tusker with him! Bring in the heavy bolter, now damn it!"
- —Vox Log #2245, PDF Sergeant Nick Hernandez of Hive Drezden during the infamous Shootout at Block Nine
Hulking masses of steely muscle and little else, these gargantuan Abhumans bear a distinctly porcine appearance, known for their shaggy fur and namesake tusks that protrude out from under a muscular flat snout. For centuries the Tardepts Tusk-Beasts, or simply Tuskers in common Imperial Parlance, have been apart of the Exile Sectors greater regional cultures. Such an unusual status has its basis in ancient Sector tradition, as the hulking Abhumans have inhabited the Exile Sector since the dark days of the Long Night, and were dispersed across the region in the armies of thousands of warlords and planetary militias. This is due in most part to the Tusk-Beasts early enslavement during the early era of the Dark Age of Technology, as the Tusk-Beasts never advanced beyond primitive stubbers and combustion engines on their homeworld of Tardepts. Aggressive yet easily cowed due to a natural pack mentality, the Tusk-Beasts quickly spread far from their world of origin, being sold, and later even hired, as mercenaries and bodyguards. So prolific was this practice, that by the time the Ultramarines began their conquest of the region, there was practically a Tusker population on every inhabited world in the Exile Sector. However, such a status seemed to be in peril, for the Tusk-Beast is a very shocking and considerable deviation from the sacred human form.
Though common Imperial policy would be to eradicate these errant populations, Guilliman saw that the Tuskers provided little to no dissidence to Imperial rule, and served well as both frontline infantry and garrison troops. This, when compared to the cost in both time and resources needed exterminating the Tusk-Beasts from every world he encountered, made the ever pragmatic Primarch consider these particular Abhumans a "special case" as they were more or less already subservient to greater humanity. In the closing years of the First Exile Wars, Guilliman enacted the Haschost Edict, which set out a series of laws that, while they could be broadly attributed to any Abhuman under the employ or owned by a Imperial citizen in the region, were clearly meant to apply specifically to the Tusk-Beast population in the Exile Sector. Under this edict, Tardepts Tusk-Beasts were to be less than second class citizens, their populations isolated from common Imperial society and their populations strictly regulated. However, it also placed any employer or owner of a Tusker at fault should the beast break Imperial law, and very strict processes were enacted for a common citizen to acquire a proper sanction to own and or employ a Tusk-Beast.
Therefore, Tardepts Tusk-Beasts are only regularly found either legally under the command of an Imperial noble or particularly wealthy citizen as bodyguards or in the employ of various criminal elements who have illegally acquired a Tusker as a henchman. This makes Tusk-Beasts both a symbol of wealth and power, but also ties the stigma of organized crime to the species as well, even though the average Tusk-Beast is rarely wise enough to realize it is being used for nefarious purposes.
Though the Exile Sector has been settled by the Imperium for eons now, it is still rife with the taint of Xenos filth. Though few of these species have yet to be tainted by the Archenemy (and thus refuse to near the infamous River of Exiles en masse) they are still considered to be dangerous heathen threats by the Imperium as their alien ways and technologies are naught but a blight upon the Emperor's stars.
While the Ultramarines, and later the Word Bearers, purged much of the Xenos that inhabited the Sector in the golden age of the Imperium of Man, it seems that quite a few survived and even more went undetected or unmolested due to lack of priority. Most Xenos of the Exile Sector are invariably hostile, though some are more civil than their beastly forms suggests and thus have often made lucrative trade with Rogue Traders willing to look the other way. Even fewer have been sanctioned in greater numbers over the years, utilized as mercenaries in the private armies of nobles and Rogue Traders, though such a practice is generally frowned upon in more orthodox Imperial elements, such exotic minions are often considered symbols of status within the Exile Sector.
Most Xenos activity takes place to the Galactic North of the Exile Sector, where the space is generally more wild and unexplored due to astral phenomena and the aforementioned alien strongholds. However, the alien is everywhere, and there are no doubt several pockets of more mobile Xenos infestations all over the Exile Sector's more lawless expanses of space.
- "Oh hell! To the lines men! To the lines! The beasts are upon us!"
- —Yeoman Sergeant Atold Geri of the Dahakan 23rd Homeguard during the infamous Thraxian Invasion
A nightmarish species of reavers and pirates, the Thraxian Screechers or simply Screechies, have been a bane on the Exile Sector's northernmost quadrants since the days of the Great Crusade. Originally thought destroyed when Primarch Roboute Guilliman personally purged their suspected homeworld of Thraxis, they have continued to be a deadly presence in the form of their sizable raider flotillas and asteroid belt fortresses, having adapted and thrived in the vast void of open space.
Taking the shape of long, segmented arthropods with cruel, beady yellow eyes and rasping lamprey-like mouths, Thraxians, armed with their strange sonic weaponry and various taloned appendages to storm Imperial vessels utilizing a strange form of field projector that creates an electronic disturbance about their vessels not unlike a storm cloud to scramble targeting systems and then closing in via boarding torpedoes.
Their language is incomprehensible to human ears and unpronounceable to human mouths, the best any can manage is a crude approximation of a translation. Furthermore, their speech is deeply disturbing to the senses of most species, its deep and unearthly reverberations capable of causing crippling headaches, bleeding from the eyes, ears, and nose, and may finally drive the listener into abject insanity.
- "Easy, I hear the Longfingers can smell fear, so whatever you do don't pani-"
- —The final words of Underhive assassin Claudius McTavish
Nightmarish creatures hailing from the depths of the Exile Sector's northernmost reaches, the Xireki, also known as Longfingers and Gun-Rats by the urban Imperial lexicon, are a diminutive Xenos species often utilized as assassins and mercenaries by unscrupulous individuals across the Exile Sector. Usually no larger than a Ratling, at first glance the robed forms of Xireki could be mistaken for a stunted mutant or particularly small human. However, one glance at the creature's disgustingly bulbous yellow eyes, gaunt face and hairy limbs reveal its horrible alien nature.
These nimble and gaunt horrors are renowned for their stealth and murderous nature, their swift forms skittering through pitch blackness with ease. Noted for their disproportionately long and nimble fingers, Xireki specialize in laying traps and ambushes, leaping from the shadows with blades and weapons bared and coldly putting down their targets with alarming speed. Many of them put these skills to use fighting for House Vichy on Sannois where their effectiveness is vastly increased by the dense jungle.
Though reviled by mainstream and polite society, Xireki often find work under various criminal outlaws and the occasionally eccentric noble or Inquisitor. As they have a natural feel for the energy of the Warp, Xireki can be utilized as a sort of barometer, capable of sniffing out artifacts or persons tainted by Chaos. As Xireki are fearful and superstitious creatures by nature, they tend to revile the forces of Chaos with a passion, and it is this hatred that motivated many members of the species to assist Imperial forces during the Scouring and Horus Heresy, earning them some measure of kindness from the Imperium at large. (at least until their homeworld is discovered)
- "Ah, a Terribilis ungue venator, otherwise known as a Yol'Thadat Sword-Spawn. A fine specimen indeed! You know my great grand uncle had a pair? Twins they were."
- —Nobility of the Exile Sector oft regard Xenos bodyguards the way one might consider an exotic weapon
A frightful race of stalking reavers, the Yol'Thadat hail from the murky depths of Exile Sectors northern expanses, their homeworld unknown, their history prior to contact with the Imperium a mystery. However, it is known that long before the rise of the Imperium, the Yol'Thadat were, and to this day still are, prized amongst other sentient races as extremely capable minions. Specimens of the so called Sword-Spawn are known to loan their services to any being with enough collateral to afford their services, from the lowest of pirate princes to the most wealthy Imperial aristocrats, the Sword-Spawn can be found across the breadth and width of the Exile Sector under the employ of innumerable masters.
Yol'Thadat are humanoid in shape, though their finer anatomy is definitively alien, their bodies covered in spiky growths and their massive maws filled with needle sharp teeth. Yol'Thadat are strict, and voracious, carnivores, freely dining on any raw meat available in vast quantities. As paltry wealth is of little value to such a ravenous beast, a Yol'Thadat's employer must merely keep his charge fed and supplied with things to slice into bloody ribbons in order to ensure the beasts loyalty. The average Yol'Thadat strikes an impressive visage, muscular yet lithe, with broad features and piercing red eyes. Their namesake comes in the form of a pair of retractable dewclaws, each easily equal the length of their forearms. Though naturally made of a form of chitinous substance, most Yol'Thadat have undergone the coming of age ceremony for warriors of their race, which sees their dewclaws impregnated with adamantium and honed to a mono-molecular edge, making them some of the finest blades within the Exile Sector. A few, particularly fortunate Yol'Thadat, have even undergone insensitive cybernetic surgery in order to transform their bladed forearms into Power Weapons, easily tripling their potential for mayhem and slaughter.
Yol'Thadat move with a speed and grace that belies their beastly countenance, more than capable of outmaneuvering even the finest human sword master. They are also possessed of considerable strength and fortitude, capable of ripping an Ork asunder with their bear hands and possessing several redundant organs that allow them to weather particularly savaging blows. Yol'Thadat are also capable of utilizing various other forms of weaponry besides their formidable dewclaws, though they would be opposed to allowing their blades to go unbloodied. Thus, Yol'Thadat Sword-Spawn are a common sight throughout the Exile Sector, serving various elites as bodyguards and assassins, and are one of the few Xenos species within the River to be regularly sanctioned by Imperial law to operate within Imperial settlements openly.
- "I-its the Spindlies! Keep shooting! Keep frakki- AHHHHHH!"
- —The final garbled parts of a Vox recording recovered from the charred remains of Sgt.Hakiem Singh of the Khazamga 12th Infantry
Easily one of the more terrifying Xenos to plague the Exile Sector and one of the oldest foes of humanity, the Mortdatian race has warred with mankind since the lost times of the Dark Age of Technology. Hailing from the Hell World of Mortdat, the Modrat Striders rule over a sizable empire in the dark and unexplored places within the northern depths of the Exile Sector, and thus have been a consistent foe for the forces of the Imperium. Possessed of ancient and utterly devastating weapons, the Mortdatian Empire has done battle with both the Legions of old and the modern forces of the Imperium on for eons and remain a foe spoken of with equal parts hatred and grudging fear by hundreds of Imperial warriors. Even the great Robout Guilliman himself remarked upon them as a challenging foe for his Legion, stating that, were it not for their vile and alien nature, they would almost be worthy of his respect.
The average Mortdatian is a loathsome looking creature, little more than a bloated cephalopod-like mass of clammy white flesh and spiked tentacles with a massive rasping mouth at the center. This infernal visage is completed by a pair of blood red eyes with a strange goat-like pupils and a rigid dorsal fin supported by several poisonous spines. At the center of this fanged sucker mouth is the Mortdatian's spike-tipped "tongue", which it uses to pierce it's prey's skull, sucking out its brain for nourishment. Though strong enough to haul their massive bodies across land and rip several men limb from limb with their tentacles and remarkably resilient to sudden changes in pressure and gravity, their slimy, fleshy bodies are no less vulnerable than a human man to lasfire and bullets. (though blunt weapons do little to harm their boneless bodies)
However, it is not the Mortdat's body that grants their species such power, but their massive, highly complex brains. The average Mortdatian can live for thousands of years, and their ability to absorb and process knowledge is equal or grater than that of even the Eldar. This natural intellect allowed the Mortdatians to construct great masterworks of science and engineering, from their mighty starships to the great war engines they glean their common colloquialism from. The average Mortdat warrior goes to battle in what Imperial forces term a "Strider", a three legged, heavily armored walker that is about the size of the average Sentinel Scout Walker. While appearing diminutive and fragile at first glance, these slender war machines are outfitted with terrible weapons, Volkite rifles and Rad Beams, superheated bladed tendrils and stabbing claws capable of cutting through vehicles with ease, and even strange psycho-conductive weapons that can project the sheer evil intent of it's pilot as a malevolent blast of concussive psychic energy. The Strider is also outfitted with a Ion Shield and its deceptively slim form belies the strength of its alien metals, capable of weathering considerable amounts of sustained heavy weapons fire before finally collapsing in a twitching heap.
The Mortdat arsenal is greater than the simple infantry walkers however, with several massive tripod war engines and various other models of fighter craft and mobile artillery, the Mortdatian Empire is capable of making war upon entire Sub-Sectors with disastrous results. However, the bloody eons of the Great Crusade have made the naturally fearful Mortdat weary of mankind, content to cower in the darkness of uncharted space, attacking only to take "livestock" and wreak havoc upon their hated enemies, the Space Marines whose forbears so humbled them during the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy.
- "Though craven, the Seranthum have shown considerable boldness in their infiltration of Imperial society. It seems to be a common tactic to take refuge in audacity, hiding in plain sight, taking the shapes and personas of people of high status and power. Subtly, though a natural strength of the species, seems to oft give way to an affection to irony."
- —Memoirs of the late Inquisitor Haban Keel, circa M37
An enigmatic species of shape shifters and assassins, the Seranthum have stalked the Exile Sector since the days of the Long Night. First officially recognized as more than local folklore by the Imperium following the Bodwice Uprising during the Great Crusade, in which a cell of Seranthum were discovered at the center of the rebellion and the several direct attempts on Primarch Roboute Guilliman's life, the Seranthum have infested various worlds of the Exile Sector for millennia, creating secret societies and vast conspiracies. The purpose of these colonies vary from cell to cell, but generally it is to feed the insidious hunger of these cyclopian horrors.
Their world of origin is unknown, but strongly believed to rest somewhere in the forbidden Al-Takern Nebula. Several Inquisitorial expeditions were sent into the nebula to hopefully locate the fabled Seranthum homeworld and destroy it, none of which have ever been heard from again.
Through what is believed to be a combination of an innate psychic power and advanced light-scrambling technology, Seranthum can take on a human disguise that is almost flawless. However, their eerily thin and tall bodies still mark them, though due to their strange powers it hardly hinders a Seranthum from simply fading into the crowd or vanishing into the shadows. Seranthum are noted to be terrifyingly fast and athletic, capable of acrobatic stunts and maneuvers with ease that was thought to be exclusive to the Eldar race. However, they also seem to be comparatively frail, easily killed outright by a simple blow to the head with a sufficiently blunt object. Of course, getting the drop on a Seranthum is a daunting prospect indeed, for the cyclopian xenos seem to possess almost a sixth sense when it comes to danger.
In their true form, Seranthum are vaguely humanoid, possessing two arms, two legs, and a single head. However, their almost translucently pale skin, hairless head and body, and single, bulbous black eye show that they are anything but human. Their face is featureless save for the aforementioned grotesque eye and a quartet of rasping lamprey-like mouths placed at the cheeks, forehead, and chin of the head. Seranthum feed of human blood and spinal fluid, and are also known to devour human brains as well. However, their lust for human souls is by far their most insidious hunger. Seranthum naturally possess a wide range of horrifying psychic powers, most of which fall into the Telepathic Disciplines, manipulating the prey's mind to sew terror and confusion before closing in for the kill. A Seranthum's chief power is the ability to paralyze and even kill with its heinous gaze, savagely attacking and draining the victims soul until all that remains is a mindless husk, which is consumed at the monsters leisure.
Though baring distant similarities to humans with the Navigator gene, autopsies have shown that while the Seranthum could have at one point been human, eons of genetic drift and nightmarish evolution have led to a completely different species, terrible enough to be classified as alien lifeforms as opposed to a mutant or abhuman.
Seranthum societies exist solely to feed their species hunger and secure power for their other depraved pleasures. They are a species of infiltrators and hedonists, constantly seeking more power and influence within the civilizations they infest. It is not uncommon for all levels of society to be afflicted with these scourges, the Seranthum conspiracies working in a strict hierarchy of nobles, enforcers, and commoners. Common Seranthum tend to run the gamut in status, taking the forms of priests, small business owners, and other community leaders. Some, known amongst their own kin by the derogatory title of "Feeders", are simple vagrants, living in the underhives and other unscrupulous areas of civilization, providing nothing to the conspiracies cause and causing occasional trouble with high profile attacks. The noble and common Seranthum castes have little love for Feeders for these very reasons, but see them as useful pawns when the time comes to eliminate those who may have come too close to the truth.
The Seranthum possess examples of their own technology, though these are mostly grizzly torture devices and bionic implants meant to aid in their disguises and protect them from the predations of the Warp. Usually Seranthum enforcers will use exotic Imperial weapons such as Needlers, but standard military grade arms are also common. Only elite enforcers are armed with rare examples of Seranthum plasma weaponry, potent examples of plasma technology, capable of slaying fully armored Astartes with ease. Seranthum plasma weapons are noted as superior to any Imperial counterpart, possessing advanced coolant generators and heat-sinks to prevent overheating. Some savvy to the designs call them "Coldstars", as the weapons are notorious for the chilling vapors that escape during the firing process.
Craftworld Yilm Slai
- "My ancestors struck down your kind once before, and we will do so again. Know well Necron, I have not surrendered the mantle of my people. Not yet."
- —Autarch Shim Yi as he stares down Old Bones during the dark days of the End March
The enigmatic Eldar race, scattered across the stars, once knew of the region known as the Exile Sector only in myth. A place where, in ancient times before the rise of the Eldar Empire, the forbears of the Eldar did battle with the armies of the Necron, and entire stars were sundered in their passing. The inhabitants of Craftworld Yilm Slai came to the Exile Sector untold millennia ago seeking to, at least in part, rekindle that lost legacy of glory. In the dark eons preceding the Fall of the Eldar, the Seers of Craftworld Yilm Slai were amongst the first to abandon the ancestral heart of the Eldar Empire and venture deep into the untamed wilderness of the greater Milky Way. Waylaid then by the various savage races of the stars, the Eldar of Yilm Slai adopted a preference for remaining scarce in the face of a potential enemy rather swiftly.
By the time the Fall finally destroyed the Eldar Empire, Craftworld Yilm Slai and its inhabitants had already settled within the black reaches of the northern expanse of what would become the Exile Sector, living in isolation and seeding several Maiden Worlds across the bleak range of space no human would ever conquer. Certain in their survival with the introduction of the Aspect Shrines, the scholars of Craftworld Yilm Slai set off on their eternal mission to gather up and preserve the lost relics of their now dead civilization, scouring the stars of the Exile Sector for ancient artifacts of the War in Heaven, that they may somehow atone for the failures of their forebears.
To this end, the Eldar of Craftworld Yilm Slai have dubbed themselves the guardians of the Sector, preservers of Eldar interests within the region and custodians of the many light-years of wilderness space beyond even the most remote Imperial colony. In battle, warriors of Craftworld Yilm Slai fight with the Eldar's trademark speed and grace, but also employ a great deal of Xenos mercenaries and Corsairs, their people capable but more interested with the Paths of the Scholar and Seer than those of the Guardian and Aspect Warriors.
- "What's the matter neverborn? Too fast for you? Fine then, I'll give you the slower approach!"
- —Exarch Ruhlkisar of the Biting Sphinxes Aspect Shrine in battle with a Bloodthirster of Khorne
Ruthless and capricious the warlike Craftworld Morrtadaus has long been a thorn in the Imperium's side since the days of the Great Crusade. Born of a fractious union of several ancient Eldar families, Craftworld Morrtadaus did not so much escape the Fall as fortuitously blunder away from it to seek out their rivals in Craftworld Yilm Slai. In the time before the Fall, the two merchant-noble households that controlled these two Craftworlds had been staunch and bitter foes, feuds over trade routes and other such petty arguments regularly spilling over into open combat. At the time of the Fall, Craftworld Morrtadaus had taken on several companies of deadly Eldar mercenaries to supplement their usual warriors, intent on tracking down and destroying their eons old foe once and for all.
However, when the Fall destroyed the Eldar Empire, the puckish warriors of Craftworld Morrtadaus swiftly reevaluated their priorities. Having taken on nought but armed warriors before they left their doomed homeland, the minds of the Craftworld's leadership quickly took to raiding as a means to keep control of their hired guns and supply themselves. Desperation became tradition, and soon, Craftworld Morrtadaus had become known amongst its surviving fellows as the "Corsair World", the mercenaries eventually becoming small fiefs of Corsair Princes eternally serving the mighty Craftworld.
Throughout the Old Night Craftworld Morrtadaus raided and pillaged, but also adopted the ways of their other, more noble brethren, hoping to save their souls from the ravages of She Who Thirsts and avoid falling to the depths of depravity that have consumed their Dark Kin cousins. In their efforts to adopt the more regimented ways of the Paths and Aspect Shrines, a warrior who would become known as a Phoenix Lord rose from their ranks. Originally a Corsair who adopted the ways of the Striking Scorpions Aspect Warriors, this roguish warrior, known as Argnaer Lrah, would go on to become the founder of the Biting Sphinxes Aspect Shrine. Based on Kaela Mensha Khaine aspect as a gallant warrior, the Biting Sphinxes specialize in unorthodox and flashy assaults on the enemy, combining the patient stalker tactics of the Striking Scorpions with the violent mischief of the Eldar Corsairs.
Feel Free to Add Your Own!
- "Humanity is a race born to war and to conflict. It is safe to say we have perfected it. We have perfected ourselves. There is no greater example of such divine evolution as the Adeptus Astartes. I can state with absolute faith and certainty that the Cauldron Born are second to only to those divine creations of the Emperor. They are the pride and honor of Nihilian."
- —Gehret Sevarius, Gene-Saviant of the Order of the Bright Helix
- "I've thought of perhaps sending some of my trade ships through there but the risks far outweigh the potential gains. The place is filled with vile pirates and foul xenos. Not to mention the nest of heretics that also reside there."
- —Corbonis Nobleman
- "Worse than the Podromos Reach, but better than the Eye of Terror."
- —St. Athaliah the Flame rating the Exile Sector.
- "A place of great good and great evil. A place where I may breathe the air of many worlds and count the stars in their night skies. Here I gather with my brothers around the council fires and sing the war songs of two peoples, mine and Caliban both. Their spirits still live amongt us in memory."
- —Grand Master Grand Master Hellemar River-Walker, Angels of the Hunt 7th Company
- "We're going to need more men. A lot more."