Enkidu is a Feral World of the Askellon Sector.The world is impossibly dense, possess dark forests and endless swamps. An incredible array of fearsome beasts, most of them defying all categorisation and no two ever seeming to conform to even the broadest genus, roam its surface. So mindlessly hostile are the things of tooth, claw, and tentacle that dominate the benighted lands that the feral human populace must live high in the enormous, twisting, and distorted trees.
Warriors daubed in bright paints defend villages made of wood and the metal debris from earlier efforts to subdue the world. Huts of crudely joined armour plating cling precariously to the sides of oversized trees, linked together with rope bridges upon which warrior-sentinels maintain ceaseless vigil against the ravening abominations below.
The humans of Enkidu are hardy, for only the strongest survive in such an environment. Yet, despite the danger posed by the beast-things of the forest, these are not the primary cause of death. Rather, their own violent nature ensures that most deaths come from their fellow men in the ceaseless wars within the treetops, the fallen dead feeding the wild things of the forest and perhaps dissuading them from venturing upwards.
No village, many thousands of which are scattered across the surface, is untouched by war, though it is rare for the winner to have time to enjoy the spoils of victory. Instead of taking control of the territory of the defeated, the victors take their choice of the vanquished themselves, who are dragged away into slavery. Thus, each of the tribes is divided into two, ever-shifting classes: the tribal rulers who are free and who have taken a prisoner, and those who are not free, having been enslaved.
This rank as free or slave can change with the rising and setting of the sun, for while they fight vigorously to defend their villages and avoid enslavement, if defeated and captured they accept their new status with unusual quiescence, given their fierce essence. As part of the tribe, even slaves fight in the next battle; should they themselves take a prisoner they are elevated in the tribe as free. To flee or avoid battle is literally unthinkable; no Enkiduan can even put such concepts into words.
Enkidu has been part of the sector’s recorded history for as far back as such things exist, and its key location should have made it one of the great powers of Askellon. Yet, travel to the surface of Enkidu is forbidden, a decree from millennia ago still enforced by a sizeable military presence stationed in orbit. Few know even of the myths surrounding the rationale, only that the order has never been rescinded and thus it must be obeyed, with new ships replenishing the blockading fleet each generation. Below the warships, the world and its natives continue their endless wars, yet it is its peace that gained Imperial notice.
Eye of the Storm
There are no known surviving records of Enkidu’s discovery; it primarily exists as little more than scattered footnotes to more important historical events such as the Fall of Karsis or the shattering of the Libris system. It garnered little space in the system’s many data-vaults, with only two instances of note over the millennia. A minor Administratum adept on Juno began correlating travel across the Thule sub-sector, and noted an abyssal series of data concerning the Enkidu system. There were many records of missionaries venturing to the planet, but no mention of any returning. He found forty-seven instances of impressment landings from Rogue Trader ships or in support of regimental musterings, but nothing to indicate any men left the world. Further research indicated even the visitation to install a Planetary Governor disappeared without a trace. This was duly noted, filed for review, but given the mountains of data his sect generated each day there was no notice of it for years.
The second came about as part of Arch-Magos Kapellax’s revelations concerning the Pandaemonium. Almost lost within his multi-layered flux charts showing the Infernal Storm’s rage was one area of calm. So small was this area that it went unnoticed for many more generations, until one of the later factions devoted to worshipfully studying his grand work made the discovery. It seemed as if each time the raw Warp-stuff of the storm has crept and coiled along the space lanes of the sector, in every single instance it has recoiled as if in terror from the Enkidu system. The group struggled to arrive at formulae to explain the phenomenon, and kept their finding hidden lest others learn of it and possibly use it to degrade the memory of the great Magos. Enkidu later became a pawn in a sector-wide conflict between rival Imperial branches. It was in the aftermath of the Nova Terra Interregnum that the sector was gripped by a period of bitter recrimination, as the Ecclesiarchy attempted to gain ascendancy over the Adeptus Terra. As part of the so-called Cataclysm of Souls late in the 36th Millennia, coinciding with a powerful surge of the Pandaemonium, the Ecclesiarchy of Askellon sought to use the sector’s current woes as palpable evidence that the Emperor had found the people wanting and refused to aid them. In so doing, they unleashed a wave of zealous redemption. Wars of Faith raged everywhere, as fanatical militias purged the unrighteous system by system. Seeking to further its power, the Ecclesiarchy laid claim to many worlds, justifying many through ancient records showing of missionarius landings.
Enkidu was one such world. A minor force swept across the planet, but its fate was never noticed amidst the roiling storms of war. In the aftermath of the Cataclysm, the Ecclesiarchy sought to consolidate their newfound holdings, and, on discovering their loss in this system, was determined to take it. Their zeal was multiplied when the Kapellaxian Secrets were woven into a routine Astropathic transmission to the Basilica on Juno. There was no authorship for the data, but then Arch-Cardinal, Vasil Bordo, seized on it as a sign from the Emperor of the world’s holy nature. He convened a mighty gathering of Ecclesiarchy leaders across the sector in the Convocation of Arakadi. For many days the matter was debated, as sermons were preached and arguments were presented. At length, the Arch-Cardinal prevailed and his arguments swayed the majority of the leaders present to his cause. A new, final War of Faith was declared, its intent to conquer Enkidu and make it a stronghold of the faithful where they might find sanctuary from the taint of the ever-seething Warp. Secretly, his trusted prelates knew his actual goal was to subvert the entrenched Askellon nobility under the pretence of a religious war, and establish himself as ruler of a new, impregnable sector capital.
The War of Suppression
The Enkidu Suppression, as this new War of Faith became known, was launched almost before the echoes of Arch-Cardinal Bordo’s frothing sermon had faded away. The Ecclesiarchy mobilised the faithful of numerous worlds, herding many thousands of armed civilians onto bulk cargo vessels on each for delivery to the Enkidu system. All too soon, the skies over Enkidu were aflame with the bright contrails of descending vessels of every size and class. Across entire continents, hordes of zealous holy warriors spilled into the forests, desperate to take what many believed would prove their promised land. Bordo himself lead the first landing, ceremonial flame-pike held high as his chem-altered warriors assaulted the enemies they knew must be hiding in the verdant darkness. In his final words, he decreed that no other feet should trod upon the world until he emerged victorious, blessed to lead the sector in the Emperor’s Name.
The cardinals in the Basilica eagerly awaited word of the righteous crusade, but only found silence for many weeks. The astropathic choir there finally could pluck a single, fragmented message from the turbulent Immaterium, curdled with such emotional layering so powerful that half the choir fell to gibbering insanity. Only two words could be discerned: “It knows.”
The Enkidu Interdiction
With Bordo’s death, efforts to invade the Feral World ended. The remnants of the Suppression evaporated without his fierce will binding them together, and with them much of the Ecclesiarchy’s power in the Askellon Sector. It would take many centuries for the Ecclesiarchy to regain its strength. In the aftermath of this defeat there followed a period of intense debate and recrimination as the Arch-Cardinal’s successors sought desperately to cling to power. Conspirators amongst the Ecclesiarchy’s ranks manoeuvred themselves into new positions. A quiet but deadly war broke out amongst the highest echelons, assassins and infiltrators slaying dozens of senior prelates.
The Ecclesiarchy retains control over the world, and due to Bordo’s final decree it remains forcibly isolated. None dared gainsay his word, fearing his return one day. The Ecclesiarchy drew upon ancient debts with the Imperial Navy fleets of Askellon to quarantine the planet. Such is Bordo’s power—even in absence— and the intransigent nature of the Ecclesiarchial bureaucracy, that it still holds after so many years. Despite the blockade, however, there are tales of expeditions that claimed to have set foot and returned.
Surreptitious landings have made vid-captures of the fearsome creatures on the ground, and the warring natives in the trees. Often their recordings are all that remain, showing eldritch arcs of energy before dissolving into static. Taproom tales in Port Aquila say the planet is littered with crashed ships and ruins from primordial colonies, but the dense forests hide details even from orbital auspex scans. One tall story even has huge, silvered hulls half-buried in the lush earth. Some claim that the population of Enkidu is descended from the same stock as the nobility of the Askellon Sector, marking them as descendants of the original colony fleet. Others insist that one of the lost founding vessels, carrying Enkidu’s ancestors, was carrying a fully functional Standard Template Construct system.
More still are certain that at some point during the population’s development, a sub-population of psykers emerged, able to repel the attentions of the denizens of the Warp. There are always rumours of Rogue Trader or Mechanicum expeditions attempting to circumvent the quarantine, with no reported success. The only certitude, it appears, is that the world still resists the Pandaemonium’s rage, and possibly might be the only one left sacrosanct should the storm finally devour Askellon.
Departmento Cartographicae Planetary DatabaseEdit
- Government Type: Remote Protectorate
- Planetary Governor: Admiral Yukon Dzann
- Adept Presence: None on surface, Adeptus Terra and Adeptus Mechanicus presence in orbit.
- Geography: Planet-wide forests, cold/frozen swamps at poles
- Military: Interdiction fleet stationed in orbit
- Economy: None
- Tithe Grade: None
- Dark Heresy: Core Rulebook (2nd Edition) (RPG), pp. 338-339