"Just as the dead were once as we are now, so the dead places of this galaxy may once have equalled our most mighty or glittering worlds. As the cold wastes are now, then so too may our worlds be in times yet unborn."
- —Admonishment from the Seven Books of Vigilance
Before the Reach fell into its "Age of Shadow," Freya was an Imperial Mining World across which millions of indentured workers toiled in vast open-cast mines to feed the now-lost Forge Worlds of the Reach.
During the long millennia of the Age of Shadow, Freya fell into disorder and anarchy; its mine-scarred surface the battleground for countless gangs of techno-barbarians, dark-souled Chaos Cultists, and flesh-eating mutants.
The last fragment of Imperial dominion remained in space; a sensor array circling one of Freya's many moons. This special astropathic relay was one of many scattered throughout the Reach that served the Deathwatch in their secret vigil.
In a warning of what was soon to befall the entire Orpheus Salient of the Achilus Crusade, the Freya relay (which had endured through thousands of Terran years of darkness and cold) fell suddenly silent.
On 001.814.M41, the Deathwatch warship Thunder's Word entered the Freya System to investigate the troubling silence.
It found no trace of the relay and no trace of any life in the Freya System. Preparing to leave the system, Thunder's Word encountered two Tyranid drone ships that had been lurking in the orbits of Freya's moons -- a rear guard left in the wake of larger predators -- and did battle.
Its hull scored and pitted with acid and its magazines nearly exhausted, Thunder's Word arrived at Watch Fortress Erioch like a messenger riding before a storm: the Tyranids had come to the Jericho Reach. Subsequently, no attempt has been made to return to Freya.
- Deathwatch: Core Rulebook (RPG), pg. 343