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The Age of Redemption was an era of the broader Age of the Imperium that began roughly in ca. 010.M37 and ended in ca. 112.M38. These dates are only approximate.

The Age of Redemption followed the civil conflicts of the Age of Apostasy in the 36th Millennium and was marked by a tremendous surge in religious fervour among the peoples of the Imperium of Man.

This was expressed in the form of a new willingness to launch countless Imperial Crusades and other conflicts against those deemed to be the enemies of the God-Emperor.

The Age of Redemption came to an end early in the 38th Millennium as the power of the Imperium began to weaken under increasing assault from Chaos and xenos enemies. This marked the start of the long period of slow decline and stagnation known as "The Waning."

Notable Events

The Age of Redemption marked the era when the Imperium recovered from the sins of apostasy unleashed in the prior millennium in a rain of blood and tears. The Imperial Cult grew in zeal as never before.

Heretic pyres burned night and day on a thousand Imperial worlds as the people of the Imperium sought to mortify their sins against the God-Emperor through the scourging of the flesh of others.

Imperial Crusade after crusade was launched by the Adeptus Astartes and other Imperial military forces to recapture the lost wealth of the Imperium and push back the hordes of Chaos, Orks and other alien threats to Humanity.

This religious fervour eventually peaked in an orgy of fanatical devotion to crusading in the Emperor's name and thousands of worlds were left with inadequate defences as sector fleets of the Imperial Navy, Space Marine Chapters and Astra Militarum regiments were drawn into longer and more terrible crusades spurred on by this religious fanaticism.

Wrath of the Chaos Sun

In 010.M37 the Wrath of the Chaos Sun fell upon the Imperium when the red giant star at the heart of the Maxil Beta System exploded in an expanding cloud of Warpflame. The inhabitants of every world for hundreds of light years were either mutated beyond recognition or possessed by the denizens of the Warp.

In response, the High Lords of Terra ordered the mobilisation of whatever Imperial forces were close at hand. So it is that the Grey Knights were joined by a dozen other Chapters, countless Imperial Guard regiments and the nascent Orders Militant of the Adepta Sororitas.

The resulting battle did much to heal the remaining wounds in the Imperial body politic that had been opened by Goge Vandire's treachery during the Reign of Blood.

Great Cull

In 020.M37, the High Lords of Terra, in their mercy, began a systematic and deadly purge within the ranks of the Adeptus Terra's bureaucracy and on many worlds across the galaxy to ensure that such a corruption of faith as occurred during the Reign of Blood could never happen again. This purge becomes known as the "Great Cull."

Abbysal Crusade & Occlusiad War

Among the most devastating of the conflicts unleashed during the Age of Redemption were the Abyssal Crusade and the Occlusiad War.

The Abyssal Crusade of 321.M37 began when Saint Basilius found thirty Space Marine Chapters wanting in their devotion to the Emperor.

The guilty embarked upon a crusade into the Eye of Terror to earn their salvation and purge those Human-settled worlds stolen from Mankind by the birth of Slaanesh.

The Occlusiad War of 555.M37 started when the northwestern fringe of the galaxy was ravaged by the Heretics known as the Apostles of the Blind King, rogue Tech-priests who viewed Humanity's very existence as an utter affront to the Machine God.

The Apostles had uncovered wondrous artefacts from the Dark Age of Technology that made possible the transformation of ordinary stars into supernovae. The constellations of the galaxy were changed forever when the Apostles purged the outer Segmentum Obscurus of human life using these weapons.

War raged for a solar decade until the Navigator Joyre Macran discovered the palace-warship of the Blind King hidden in a fold of the Warp. Escaping with this crucial intelligence, Macran guided the Imperial Navy's Emperor-class Battleship Dominus Astra to the palace's location.

The Blind King was killed and the genocide ended when the Dominus Astra 's Lance batteries pierced the palace-warship's hull and without his psychically prescient leadership the Apostles were swiftly overcome and their weapons hidden away in the vaults of Mars.

Benedictine War

The Benedictine War was a War of Faith that targeted the Benedictine Sub-sector in the 37th Millennium. It was led by the Black Templars Chapter and five Orders Militant of the Adepta Sororitas, though it included many other armies dedicated to the faith of the God-Emperor.

During the campaign, several Aeldari worlds were captured and in the ensuing conflict two Black Templar High Marshals were slain in rapid succession.

Due to these losses, the Ecclesiarch himself declared an end to the war, claiming that the Imperial forces had achieved enough in the Emperor's name.

However the new High Marshal of the Black Templars Constantine continued the campaign regardless and the Black Templars alone successfully purged the remaining worlds of the sub-sector of the xenos assaulting them.

Lost Crusade

By 754.M37, on thousands of planets, menials rebelled against their dreary drudgery with wild-eyed leaders espousing a better way of life -- a galaxy of tolerance. The movement proved especially popular amongst the youth of the Imperium, earning it the title of the "Children's Crusade."

Billions of earnest pilgrims were lured to seek transport to Terra; some were waylaid by pirates, but the majority disappeared into the Warp. They became known collectively as the "Lost Crusade."

7th Black Crusade

The 7th Black Crusade, also remembered informally as the "Ghost War," was a Black Crusade against the forces of the Imperium led by the infamous Chaos Lord Abaddon the Despoiler and his Black Legion, launched out of the Eye of Terror in 811.M37.  At this time, the forces of Chaos spewed forth from the great Warp rift past Cadia and then disappeared.

This event is what earned this conflict its informal name of the Ghost War. The following years saw a game of hide-and-seek played between the forces of Chaos and the Imperium of Man which spread confusion, paranoia, disinformation and deceit across the galaxy.

Raids became commonplace in far-flung areas but eventually the servants of the Dark Gods returned to the Eye of Terror, having caused enough trouble but having proven unable to significantly degrade Imperial defensive capabilities at that time.

Heavenfall Massacres

In 956.M37 the Heavenfall Massacres unfolded. Little else is known about them in the Imperial records.

8th Black Crusade

In 999.M37, Abaddon the Despoiler launched the 8th Black Crusade of Chaos out of the Eye of Terror into Imperial space.

During this incursion into the realms of Mankind, Abaddon completed a complex series of ritualistic massacres known as the "Skullgather" in the name of Tzeentch, the Changer of Ways.

On worlds throughout the Segmentum Obscurus, Imperial citizens were slaughtered in precise numbers using esoteric rituals.

Only when the Inquisition finally broke the code of damnation was the Imperium able to bring an end to the Black Legion's rampage across the segmentum in time with these mysterious attacks, but not before countless worlds had been saturated in death and Abbadon's true aim -- to gain access to the favour of Tzeentch -- ha dbeen achieved.

Abyssal Crusade Returns

Having purged more than 400 worlds within the Eye of Terror, the survivors of the Abyssal Crusade returned to Imperial space in 112.M38.

Without pausing to claim the honours due for such a successful and protracted Imperial Crusade, Chapter Master Konvak Lann of the Vorpal Swords declares the now-ancient Saint Basillius a false idol and adoration of him tantamount to betrayal of the Emperor.

In less than a standard year, every known sepulchre and shrine dedicated to the false saint is destroyed. After his execution, his bones, along with countless relics, books of doctrine and thousands of living worshippers, are placed on a derelict bulk-freighter and launched directly into a nearby star.

Sources

  • Black Legion - A Codex: Chaos Space Marines Supplement (6th Edition) (Digital Edition), pp. 35-37, 39, 70-71, "The Ghost War"
  • Codex Adeptus Astartes - Space Marines (8th Edition), pg. 45
  • Codex: Chaos Space Marines (3rd Edition, 2nd Codex), pg. 8
  • Codex: Heretic Astartes - Chaos Space Marines (8th Edition), pg. 23
  • Warhammer 40,000: Rulebook (8th Edition), pp. 40-47, 50-53, 123, 134, 152, 164-166
  • Warhammer 40,000: Rulebook (6th Edition), pp. 168-177
  • Warhammer 40,000: Rulebook (5th Edition), pp. 122-129
Warhammer 40,000 Timeline
Pre-Imperial Eras War in HeavenAge of TerraAge of TechnologyAge of StrifeFall of the Aeldari
Founding of the Imperium Unification WarsGreat CrusadeHorus HeresyGreat Scouring
Age of the Imperium Time of RebirthThe ForgingNova Terra InterregnumAge of ApostasyAge of RedemptionThe WaningTime of EndingEra Indomitus
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