"We pray for the souls adrift on the tide. May those who are lost find peace. All our fathers and all our brothers. We pray for souls adrift on the tide."
- —Ave Navigatus, Litany of Lost Souls
Named Angelis on the star charts of the Imperium of Man, the barren world was being surveyed by the Adeptus Mechanicus Explorator vessel Eternal Vigilance in 344–345.M35 when an Ork-inhabited Space Hulk crashed into it, creating a massive canyon dubbed "Da Skid" by the Orks, and irradiating the landscape of the surrounding area.
The affected area included the base station of the Imperial survey team who had been investigating the planet's complex of Necrontyr pyramid structures and attempting to determine the reason for the apparent lack of any living organisms on the world, right down to the cellular level. This lack of a biosphere suggested that the world's biosphere had been eradicated by artificial means.
The surviving Orks set about building a new starship to leave the planet and rejoin their WAAAGH!. Unfortunately for the Orks, rivalries broke out over which Ork god the ship resembled, and the construction process slowed dramatically as the two different greenskin religious factions fought for resources and territory. The vessel was eventually destroyed in the fighting.
After the destruction of the great ship, both sides decided to band together and name the vessel Gorkamorka, meaning that it could look like either of the Ork gods, Gork and Mork. As Orks have a somewhat limited vocabulary, this also became the new greenskin name for the planet.
Angelis was once a Dead World located on the edge of the northeastern fringe of the Ultima Segmentum which orbited a small binary star known as XCV-103. In 344-345.M35, the planet was being surveyed by an Imperial vessel known as Eternal Vigilance.
Led by Chief Orbologist Luteus Vox, the Imperial Explorator team had been sent to explore the alien ruins that lay under its barren surface. They had discovered a series of complex pyramid structures and were determined to discover the reason for the apprarent razing of the world's once thriving biosphere by an unknown xenos force.
Initial findings indicated that some of these structures may have been originally built by a mysterious undying mechanical race later known to the Imperium as the Necrons. But then a harbinger of doom plummeted onto this parched, barren world from the depths of space, when the planet was impacted by a gigantic vessel, a space hulk.
This vessel was manned by Orks, the most savage and barbaric species in the galaxy. The immense impact took just an instant to wipe the presence of Man from the face of the world. The shock wave created as the prow of the massive vessel struck the surface threw millions of tons of desert rock into the air and the explosive power of the impact was enough to shatter nearby stones into powder.
A pall of radiation and dust was cast over the world that would not settle for ten standard years. The climate and topography of Angelis was irrevocably shattered and remade into a new and even more savage form.
Nothing was ever heard from the Imperial expedition sent to the world again. Though the Imperium's astropaths probed far into the void, their efforts came to naught. The search eventually ended and further attempts to reach the planet were abandoned in the face of Warp Storms that engulfed the region and proved impenetrable to the voidships of the Emperor.
There was no monument raised to the crew who travelled so far across the galaxy and whose fate remains a mystery to this day. They passed beyond the knowledge of Mankind, and the only record of their expedition was a brief entry in the files of the Administratum, a file whose final entry is stamped: "All Contact Lost - Present Status Unknown."
From the Ashes
When the space hulk crashed into the planet it carved a massive canyon into the surface which the surviving Orks would dub "Da Skid." The massive vessel was inhabited by an Ork tribe on their way to take part in a galactic war of conquest, or WAAAGH!, as Orks call these violent migrations.
The crash killed almost all the Orks on board, but a few survived together with other Orkoid creatures such as Gretchin and the tiny animalistic Squigs. Others probably succumbed to the fires and the billowing clouds of radiation that leaked out from the space hulk's towering bulk. But the Orks were naturally resistant to radiation, physical damage and set backs of all kinds, and promptly set about the business of surviving.
The Orks who survived the crash developed a culture which is in many ways unique amongst their own kind. Possibly the high levels of radiation leaking from the wreckage of their space hulk had something to do with this, mutating the subtle genetic strands of Orkoid cells that had been engineered long before to transmit knowledge from generation to generation.
Finding themselves stranded upon a hostile and barren world, the Orks appeared to have turned to their scientists, known as Mekboyz, for their salvation. They Mekboyz decreed that they would build a new spacecraft from the wreckage of the old space hulk that would take them away from this world and return to the stars. The new vessel would carry them back to the WAAAGH! so that they could rejoin their greenskinned brothers in glorious galactic conquest.
From that beginning long ago the Orks have grown and prospered. The construction of the new vessel continued unabated for standard year upon year. The expanding population of Orks scurried over the planet's surface in search of raw materials. With the passing generations one Mekboy succeeded another, and the number of Mekboyz grew from just a few to tens and then hundreds.
Over the years, Mekboyz evolved new ideas which they incorporated into the structure, sometimes dismantling older parts of the edifice to construct new parts, only to have their own work rebuilt or ignored by their successors. With so many Mekboyz working on the craft, some began to develop radically different ideas about how it should work, what its function was, and even what is was they were actually building.
In time, the original purpose of the massive project was lost to the Mekboyz. As the mechanical bulk grew bigger and bigger, its structure became increasingly confused and diverse. Discord reigned and positions became so entrenched that Mekboyz holding contrary views refused to speak to each other.
Soon the existence of space itself was openly questioned, and even the true origin of the hulk's wreckage and their own past was forgotten. Amongst all this anarchy of activity the Orks retained one clear thought -- that they were building their salvation. One day the machine would awake and carry them away from here and back to the WAAAGH! This was certain and no Ork would stop to question the validity or the importance of that single obvious fact.
Soon the work took on a shape and size of its own as the primeval instincts amongst the Ork population was stirred. Above the huts and workshops that the Orks called "Mektown," the bulging outer shell towered like a massive torso. The structure took on a life of its own, as the Orks came to believe that the structure was none other than a god.
What had probably started off as an accidental resemblance soon became a deliberate part of the design, and all the Orks soon began referring to this creation as "Gork" or "Mork" after the two fierce gods of all Orkdom.
As far as the Orks were concerned a wonderous thing had happened, for the gods themselves had come to save them and take them back to the WAAAGH! Or at least one of them had. And that, it seems, was the source of much of the trouble that followed.
Soon a crisis developed, stemming from the view amongst some Mekboyz that the god they had built was Gork whilst others took the view that the god was Mork. These two factions became known as Gorkers and Morkers, and the dispute soon spread to every Ork in Mektown, not just the Mekboyz.
Arguments developed into running battles, and battles into a war that raged through Mektown and the Skid. As the two factions continued their internecine conflict, both sides sought to undo the work of the other, and soon battle raged within the structure itself.
Where the two factions met they tore into each other with zealous savagery. During the fighting an Ork shell was put through a fuel tank, and before anyone could do anything to stop it, the gigantic structure was blazing from top to bottom.
This disaster finally brought the Mekboyz to their senses, and they called an immediate halt to the hostilities which still raged all over Mektown.
Birth of Gorkamorka
The Gorkers and Morkers reached an uneasy settlement in the interests of Mektown. They swore that never again would any similar argument stand in the way of their return to the WAAAGH! They agreed to accept their differences, and to share the effort of construction between them, reserving any question of the god's identity until the big day when he was ready to take them back in person.
Meanwhile, in the interests of general harmony, the god would be referred to as Gorkamorka without implication that he was either Gork or Mork, but could equally well be either or both. The dispute was not ended by any means, and the Gorker and Morker Mekboyz became, if anything, even more entrenched in their opposing viewpoints.
Likewise, the vast majority of the Orks accepted the hazy logic with exaggerated enthusiasm, and the two factions simply kept bashing each other while they were out of sight of Mektown. Nonetheless the majority of Orks present on the world now know the towering pile of machinery only as Gorkamorka.
The world of Angelis was no more, as the Ork planet also took on the name Gorkamorka. It is a sad fact that Orks have never been known for their imagination...or an extensive vocabulary.
Despite the tectonic shifts and horrendous irradiation stemming from the space hulk's crash, Human life was not wholly eradicated on Angelis' surface. Those Imperial Humans that were on the ground surveying the xenos ruins were literally buried alive in the catacombs honeycombing the plateau where they worked. Struggling to survive, they quickly devolved into a feral state as every waking moment was turned to the pursuit of immediate survival, and none had the time to maintain the few technological items they managed to salvage.
Space and food soon became a premium as well, and the survivors split into opposing warbands, almost slaughtering each other to the last person. However, during their explorations, one of the Human factions, a tribal group known as the "Junkers," chanced upon a chamber containing dormant Necron Warriors.
How these Humans managed to reawaken and lead these xenos monstrosities is unknown, but thanks to the overwhelming might of the Necrons, the Junkers quickly vanquished all other Human groups, imposed peace by force of arms and dedicated the whole of their species to the common goal of survival.
Soon the Humans reached the surface once again, and established first contact with the Orks that had started to proliferate on the surface of the world. Unimpressed by the scrawny creatures they called "Diggas" ("burrowing pests" in the Ork language), the Orks attempted to enslave them, but the Junkers retaliated by unleashing the Necrons upon the Orks, slaughtering them so utterly they now refuse to approach the Digga warrens they call Drekgar Morgruk Dreksnigslag, which can be translated as "The place where one can't escape Death" in Low Gothic.
An uneasy peace between the Orks and Diggas ensued, where the former trade weapons and vehicles to the latter in exchange for anything the Meks can use to build Gorkamorka. The Diggas, impressed by the Ork's technology and lifestyle now seek to emulate them in all things, including ferocious battles for salvage rights of the debris from the space hulk crash.
The Diggas were not the only Humans to survive the space hulk's arrival. Despite the catastrophic re-entry and crash landing, part of the crew from the Eternal Vigilance managed to survive. However, unlike the Diggas, they had no protection against the horrendous radiation output of the space hulk and their bodies started to mutate.
Believing these mutations were a punishment for their over-reliance on technology, the "Muties" adapted their culture to follow a creed of respect for nature, and dedicated themselves to using technology only where nature did not offer an alternative. They rebuilt the ruins of the Eternal Vigilance as their settlement of Etervigila (according to the part of the vessel's name they still could read), an almost self-sufficient wonder mixing natural growth and technology.
However, keeping the more advanced technological systems of Etervigila functioning requires constant maintenance, and the Muties were soon forced to scour the desert for possible spare parts.
This brought them into conflict with the Orks and Diggas, both on the practical as well as spiritual level, as the Muties see the Orks' and Diggas' reverence for technology as an affront to their beliefs that must be exterminated.
Since space on Gorkamorka might not be sufficient for all the Orks when their new god will finally awaken, the Mekboyz have determined that only an Ork with a "tag" can get off Gorkamorka and join the great WAAAGH! led by Gorkamorka when the long-awaited day of his birth into the material universe in the form of his new technological body arrives.
However, the Meks passed a law stating that Gretchin cannot have tags, automatically stranding them on the planet. This understandably upset the Gretchin, leading to a strike, paralyzing Mektown for days. Eventually, the leaders of each community agreed to a meeting to resolve the issue.
Unsurprisingly the Orks had no intention of acquiescing to the demands of lowly Grots and a massacre ensued. Despite their best efforts the Grots were beaten back, retreating to Skid Row. There they formed "Da Kommittee," a group of Gretchin who lead the rag-tag "revolushun."
They campaign for equal rights between Orks and Grots, attack Ork mobs, steal from Mektown, and generally cause as much havoc as possible. While many Orks regard this as hilarious, a number of Ork mobs have sallied out to try and purge Skid Row of the rebel Grots and have never been seen again.
- Adeptus Mechanicum Explorator Team Investigation (Unknown Date.M35) - Adeptus Mechanicus expedition to the dead world of Angelis in orbit around binary star XCV-103 in the Borsis cluster on the north-eastern fringe of the Imperium aboard the Eternal Vigilance, following on from the initial scans performed by the Firmament Reproached.
- Imperial Assayers Despatched (8100.344.M35-8109.344.M35) - Venator and Indagator-class assayers despatched. Archaeo-investigator teams sent for by the Adeptus Mechanicus.
- Luteus Report (8112.344.M35) - Chief Orbologist Luteus Vox reports that Angelis has been dead since at least the Dark Age of Technology (ca. M15 to M25).
- Mysterious Energy Waveforms (8115.344.M35) - Energy waveform of unknown type detected emanating from 434 locations across Angelis. Possible link to deterioration of surface conditions. Sixty additional assayers requested from Dolumar IV.
- Second Luteus Report (8116.344.M35) - Chief Orbologist Luteus Vox's compiled and final report is transmitted from orbit to Mars via Dolumar IV.
- Establishment of Base Station Angelis (8121.344.M35) - Imperial Guard 534th Infantry Regiment makes landfall and begins to establish Base Station Angelis.
- Imperial Archeo-Team Arrives (4313.344.M35) - Archeo-Team XLII makes landfall.
- Imperial Excavation of Angelis Pyramids (8431.345.M35) - Adeptus Prefectus Primus Saul Magellan, site director, reports that excavation teams have begun to dig around pyramids. Survey teams have completed mapping of pyramids. Adeptus Astrologicus Herveus theorises that the positioning of the pyramids and trench correspond to the position of a constellation at the summer solstice.
- Recover of Necrontyr Artefacts (2935.971.M35) - Explorator Gorman and Explorator Adlar recover a Necrontyr sarcophagus from an ante-chamber within or beneath the Angelis pyramids. Explorator Torson leads another Paleologos Explorator team into the ante-chamber, confirming that they are of Necrontyr origin.
- Arrival of Ork Space Hulk (345.M35) - An Ork space hulk is pulled towards Angelis through a Warp rift which knocks the Eternal Vigilance out of orbit before both voidships crash into the planet's surface. "The Big Blast", a huge flash of energy which blazes across the sky, pulsing up into the stars, occurs. It is unknown whether the "Big Blast" was caused by the crash of the space hulk, or whether it was the "Big Blast" which caused the space hulk to hurtle from the Warp. All contact with the Mechanicus Explorator mission is lost.
- First Pre-Digga War (Unknown Date.M35) - First Pre-Digga War, as Adeptus Mechanicus Explorators are trapped in tunnels beneath the Necrontyr pyramids, forcing them to fight for control of machines which can create food from air, and lights which burn for a lifetime.
- Construction of New Ork Vessel (Unknown Date.M35) - The surviving Orks begin construction of a new vessel from the wreckage of the crashed Space Hulk in order to return to the WAAAGH!.
- Communication with Angelis Lost (Unknown Date.M35) - The Imperium abandons further attempts to reach Angelis after astropathic contact fails, and impenetrable Warp Storms continue to block the planet. The only record of the Imperial expedition is a brief entry in the files of the Adeptus Mechanicus, whose final entry is stamped "All Contact Lost –- Present Status Unknown."
- Second Pre-Digga War (Unknown Date.M35) - Several generations after the initial crash of the Ork space hulk, a Second Pre-Digga War occurs, as Human tribes beneath the pyramids fight for space and resources.
- The Schism (Unknown Date) - An event known as "The Schism" occurs amongst the remaining Orks. Some of the Orks believe that their new vessel was a likeness of Gork (the "Gorkers"), while others believe that it was a likeness of Mork (the "Morkers"). This results in internecine fighting, which leads to the catastrophic destruction of the vessel. Following this disaster, both sides agree to a cessation of hostilities and attempt to work together. It is agreed that the vessel will be referred to as "Gorkamorka" in the future to prevent any similar argument standing in the way of the Orks' return to the WAAAGH!
- Restoration of the Etervigila (Unknown Date) - Over several centuries, survivors from the Eternal Vigilance, who have been mutated from the Human baseline by radiation leaking from the wreck of the space hulk (known as "Muties") restore the wreck of their ship (renamed Etervigila) to much of its former glory, and roam the desert for remnants of their forebears' technology as well as any evidence of their passing.
- Wrecker War (Unknown Date) - The "Wreckers" tribe beneath the pyramids emerge from the darkest depths of the tunnels after making an alliance of sorts with its Necron inhabitants. Each Wrecker becomes the head of a tribe, as each surrenders or is destroyed in turn.
- Necrons Unleashed (Unknown Date) - Several generations after the Wrecker War, the Humans beneath the pyramids dig their way out and encounter Orks who are conducting their own excavations. The Orks name the Humans "Diggas" and promptly enslave them. One night, the pyramids glow with power as huge portals open, unleashing an army of Necrons upon the Orks, who are massacred. The Orks name the pyramids "Morgargdurlurkgulskardregsnikslag" (which roughly translates into Low Gothic as the "Fortress of ancient, terrifying power, land of waiting death, pain and destruction").
- Necrons Onslaught (Unknown Date) - Several solar years after the massacre at the pyramids, the Necron legions continue to sweep towards the Orks' base at Mektown, destroying mobs and whole forts.
- Warp Storms Cease (Unknown Date.M41) - The Warp Storms shrouding Angelis finally cease. Another Imperial expedition is sent to the planet.
- The Angelis Boat (692.M41) - Imperial excavations uncover a Necron Dirge-class Raider several hundred metres below the surface of Angelis. The ship, referred to as the Angelis Boat, rises entirely out of the sand and departs without a trace.
- Ordos Xenos Kill-Team (Unknown Date.M41) - An Ordo Xenos Kill-team is dispatched to Angelis. All contact is soon lost.
- Ultramarines Investigation (020.974.M41) - Ultramarines Chapter Master Marneus Calgar leads a force drawn from the 2nd and 10th Companies to Angelis to investigate the disappearance of the Ordo Xenos Kill-team. The Ultramarines are attacked by Necrons. With the 2nd Company's defences in no state to withstand the assault, Calgar orders a devastating counterattack; through executing his bold plan, the Ultramarines break through the attacking lines, link up with nearby allied forces and encircle the alien horrors. None of the Necrons escaped alive.
- Necron Tomb Complex Discovered (Unknown Date.M41) - A recently unearthed Necron tomb complex is explored by Ultramarine Scouts who once again come into conflict with Necron forces.
- Battlefleet Gothic: Armada, pg. 78
- Codex: Necrons, (3rd Ed), "Alignment of Alien Structure on Angelis", pg. 32
- Codex: Space Marines (4th Ed), pg. 74
- Digganob (Specialty Game), pp. 5-8, 29, 57-58
- Gorkamorka: Da Uvver Book (Specialty Game), pp. 4-10, 16, 103-105
- Gubbinz 1, "Da Necron Rayd", pp. 13-15
- Warhammer 40,000: Rulebook (4th Edition), pg. 183
- Warhammer 40,000: Rulebook (5th Edition), pg. 181
- White Dwarf 216 (UK), "Something in the Dark of Space" (Back Cover)
- The Fall of Damnos (Novel) by Nick Kyme, pg. 63