Departmento Cartigraphicae pict-capture of the dual warp rifts known as the Hellgates (Nebroel [left], Ashaklun [right]).
Dual Warp Rifts
Thermopylae sub-Sector, Sector Occident Prime, Segmentum Solar
The Hellgates are a pair of relatively small, dual warp storms located in the Segmentum Solar which are located uncomfortably close to Holy Terra. As there are within only 1,000 light years of the Imperial Throneworld, and are a haven to renegades, outcasts and the followers of the Dark Gods, they have been deemed as an acute threat to the safety of the Imperium by the High Lords of Terra. In response, a collective known as the Hell Warders, which is made up of a quintumvirate of five Space Marine Chapters and selected by the High Lords themselves, are permanently stationed around the dual warp storms and tasked to defend the Imperium against Chaos incursions.
The Hellgates are a pair of relatively small warp rifts located in the Thermopylae sub-sector, which was once a part of the Loculus sub-sector, but was divided off, following the First Hell Crusade that took place 110-199.M36. These dual warp phenomenon are riven by warp storms so intense that stellar travel in the region is virtually impossible. With the difficulty of travelling through the region, this area of space became a haven to pirates, criminals and Renegades. Within the Hellgates are multiple Renegade Space Marines and various Chaos Warbands. Swirling with warp-energies that permeates its worlds, this region is imbued with the evil energies of the warp which slowly poisons those mad enough, or desperate enough, to reside within.
Located in the galactic core of the Thermopylae sub-sector, together, the Hellgates cover an area of around fifty or so light years across, its presence in space is marked by binary, slowly turning gyre comprised of nebulae, dust and stellar material in which countless vessels and sometimes even worlds have been lost. Though considered a Minoris Grade anomaly, these dual warp rifts still pose a potential risk to the security of the Segmentum Solar as they are located only a 1,000 light years from Holy Terra, rendering them an acute threat to the safety of the Imperium.
Remaining considerably more stable than most other warp rifts, evidence indicates that the Hellgates have been in existence since the evolution of Mankind. Due to their relative stability, the Hellgates have long served as a haven for all manner of renegades, corsairs, outcasts, exiles and other forgotten horrors. These hellish realms are ruled by all four factions of the Ruinous Powers, who constantly vie with one another for absolute supremacy. Many worlds found within the Hellgates' depths have been tainted by Chaos in some way, shaped by the individual wills of their respective masters, while others have been touched by the lapping of stranger tides. The Hellgates are a point of constant interface between the real and the unreal, realspace and the warp overlapping each other like a blurred image. Daemonic incursions and the predations of marauding Chaos warbands are common at the points within the Hellgates where these realities overlap.
Chaos Powers of Ashaklun
If you look steadily into the vortex of the Ashaklun Gate, which by the way is not at all advisable, you may catch a glimpse of the deceptively beautiful peacock hued surface of Ruhk, dominion of Xeraz the Exquisite. The roseate aura of warp-energies surrounding the gate enfold numerous systems tainted by Chaos
Xeraz the ExquisiteDaemon Prince of Slaanesh and the dominant Chaos power in the Sector. The pursuit of power is his greatest pleasure - not that he doesn't have plenty of lesser ones. Xeraz's great height and his honor guard made up of a warband from the Emperor's Children strongly suggests that he was originally a Space Marine of that Traitor Legion. The upper part of his body is sleek and beautiful and richly adorned with gold. The lower half consists of a pair of mighty bull's legs also draped with chains and studded with piercings.
KyrkeeDaemon Princess of Tzeentch. Kyrkee holds the post of chief councillor - and sometime consort - to Xeraz. Their relationship is a constant struggle for dominance using cunning, sensuality and violence - sometimes all at once - which they both seem to thoroughly enjoy. Kyrkee is incredibly ancient predating the Imperium by thirty odd millenia and was once worshipped as a minor goddess of sorcery on primitive Earth. Her face and bust are still those of a beautiful woman but who - other than Xeraz - knows what she is hiding under those abundant feathered robes of hers.
Chaos Warbands of Ashaklun
The Exquisite GuardThe personal warband of Xeraz. Formerly Commander Xeraz Xanthos of the 13th Millenial of the Emperor's Children. Physically perfect, pathologically proud and vastly ambitious Xeraz fell without a struggle eagerly embracing the power of Slaanesh and his men followed his example. Unlike many of his fellows Xeraz was able to hold his command together using his personal beauty and magnetism. Since Xeraz' ascension to Daemon Prince the Guard has been led by Lt. Commander Astyanax who styles himself the Champion of Xeraz.
Wolves of GoreA warband of the Black Legion led by Chaos Champion Symon Gorehanded. They were formerly the proud 11th Company of the Sons of Horus, the 'Cthonian Wolves', and Symon Tempel their noble captain. Tempel was a Terran legionary but he embraced the changes brought by the Cthonian brothers who became his subordinates and was a strong unifying voice in the XVIth. Devoted to Horus Symon was bitterly disappointed by his failure to become one of the Primarch's trusted Mournivals but continued to model himself on Horus in every way leading inevitably to his fall. Symon and his Wolves' only ambition is to avenge the death of their Primarch by destroying the Imperium.
Lodge of the Black MoonThis Black Legion warband traces it's origins back to a destroyer squad of the 5th company, Great Crusade Destroyer squads were equipped with ancient and hideous chemical and radiation weapons. The horror which such tainted arms inspired in their fellow Astartes caused them to shun the battle-brothers who wielded them, thus the equality and fellowship of the Warrior Lodge meant more to the Destroyer Marines than their fellows. Chaos Champion Poul Deathwalker, was formerly Sergeant Poul Kerkyon of the Deathwalker Destroyer Squad and a lodge-master.
The HiddenFollowers of Tzeentch the origins of the Hidden are - well - hidden. They are expert infiltrators apparently able to turn invisible at will and possibly even change shape. It has been suggested that they in fact have no physical bodies at all but are merely will and warp-energy. Imperial Savants hyposthesize that the Hidden are descended from the Scout Auxilia of the Thousand Sons who were called 'the Hidden Ones' and used their forbidden powers infiltrate and decieve, reprogramming targets into agents of the fallen Legion. The similarity in name and strategy is obvious.
The Warlocks UnchainedThe origins of this warband are uncertain. According to some authorities their ranks are filled by failed and escaped Exorcist neophytes, others claim that they are fallen librarians from many chapters. Possibly both versions are true. It is known that the band is divided into Sorcerors and Daemonhosts who may or may not be under their control. Their leader, known as the Great Beast, for his abhorrent mutations, is rumored to be not merely possessed but living in symbiosis with a Daemon of Tzeentch
The Carrion CrowsThis warband, dedicated to Tzeentch, were originally the 8th company of the Loyalist Space Marine Chapter the War Ravens. In the first century M35 the strike cruiser carrying the 8th company was on it's way home from participation in the Repression of Akkad. While still at a considerable distance from the chapter's monastery world of Morrigan in Donorian sector astropathic contact was lost mid-communication presumably due to a sudden warp surge overwhelming the cruiser's geller field. When the cruiser reappeared two centuries later it had been renamed the Carrion Eater and the Chaos marines aboard were calling themselves the Carrion Crows.
Chaos Powers of Nebroel
The alternating fires of a sickly green or orange-red pulsing from this gate indicates the presence of two Daemon worlds within it: The Nurgleite world of Lazar and Kaleel which belongs to followers of Khorne.
The GrossmutterDaemon Princess of Nurgle and mistress of Lazar. The Grossmutter's skin is pallid where it isn' t inflamed, her eyes are a watery blue and her kindly smile shows a mouthfull of rotted teeth. For all her lazy, Nurgelite good nature the Grossmutter is not about to let herself be imposed upon by Xeraz who, in her opinion puts on airs and claims an authority he has no right to exercise over his peers among which she counts herself. Her near neighbor, the Khornate Lakkesh, adds her bit to the Grossmutter's annoyances by permitting her bored warriors to attack their neighboring Daemon world if no other target presents itself.
LakkeshDaemon Princess of Khorne and governor of Kaleel. Lakkesh's origins are uncertain and her appearance gives no clues. She is a blue skinned hominid creature with three red eyes, Multiple arms, usually waving weapons, are constantly sprouting from her trunk and being re-absorbed. She adorns herself with skulls and bones and her disordered mass of hair is stained and matted with blood. As a vassal of Khorne her immediate concern is to appease her demanding master with blood and skulls. If no Imperials are available Lakkesh will not hesitate to raid her neighbors and supposed allies to keep Khorne happy.
Chaos Bands of Nebroel
The Green Death
The Piebald Purge
The Arms of Lakkesh
The Fire Reavers
The Brazen Bulls
- "Excuse me, it is my turn to monologue, you will get yours when I finish. Now where was I?"
- — Xeraz the Exquisite to Valkyura Warpschild.
- "As long as they fight each other, they aren't much of a problem. Its when they get together that I worry."
- — Inquisitor Jacob Flux on the various warbands inside the Hellgates