"It is born of blood and darkness and to blood and darkness it shall return."
The Jericho Reach, once known as the Jericho Sector, is a region of space close to the Eastern Fringe of the Milky Way Galaxy in the Ultima Segmentum. This area of the galaxy was once a part of the Imperium of Man in ancient days, remaining so for millennia until it fell into an age of isolation, disintegration and evil. It has been lost to the Imperium for over four thousand Terran years. During those long millennia, many of its worlds became tainted by Chaos, whilst others were infested by dangerous xenos. To recover the Reach and restore it to the Emperor's light, the Imperium recently unleashed the Achilus Crusade.
The Achilus Crusade is a war of re-conquest fought on three fronts within the region. It is a brutal conflict waged with every weapon that the Imperium possesses and its leaders have sworn in the Emperor's name that they will never retreat and never surrender. In spite of such intentions, the Achilus Crusade may yet fail. The growing Tau Empire, ever mindful of opportunities to further spread the Greater Good, has cast covetous eyes over the worlds and resources of the Reach and has initiated its own efforts to claim it. On worlds long forsaken by the Imperium, the slaves of the Chaos Gods reign while at the Reach’s heart, unsuspected at the Crusade’s start, the servants of the Ruinous Powers have created a blasphemous domain ruled by Daemon Princes and Chaos Lords, where the mutable laws of the Warp rather than those of realspace govern the fragile bounds of space-time. Even worse, from the depths of the intergalactic void the Great Devourer has once more made itself known. The Tyranids of Hive Fleet Dagon seek to consume all the inhabited worlds that lie within the Jericho Reach and leave nothing but the corpses of dead planets spread amongst the ancient stars.
While the war between the forces of the Achilus Crusade and its many enemies rages, others with agendas far older than those of the Crusade move amongst the stars of the Jericho Reach. The Reach is watched over by the Deathwatch: the unique division of Space Marines raised from every Chapter that is bound into the service of the Inquisition and tasked with defending the Imperium from the worst alien threats. While the rest of the Imperium turned its face from the Jericho Sector after it fell, the vigilance of the Deathwatch has never wavered. In the long millennia of the Age of Shadow when the sector was sundered from the Emperor's grace, the Deathwatch still stood sentinel from their Watch Fortress and scattered Watch Stations dotted across the fallen sector. By their hands, many enemies of the Imperium have been defeated, and many great threats ended before they rose up to plague the greater Imperium of Man, even when they were unknown to the Deathwatch’s own distant masters within the Inquisition's Ordo Xenos. However, these battles have been but the prelude to the terrible strife to come, for according to many within the Imperium the Time of Ending has come at last, and the final watch has begun. The fate of the Jericho Reach now hangs in the balance and only the Deathwatch may possess the skill and tenacity required to bring victory for the leaders of the Achilus Crusade -- and protect the Emperor's children from the terrible threat to all the galaxy that breeds within the Reach's confines.
With the extraordinary discovery of the Jericho Maw Warp Gate in 777.M41, a piece of advanced technology whose mysterious creators remain unknown but which connects the Eastern Fringe to the Calixis Sector of the Segmentum Obscurus, the possibility of using this stable Warp conduit to launch an Imperial Crusade into the Jericho Reach and reclaim this strategic area of space for the Imperium quickly found favour with the High Lords of Terra. Lord Militant Tiber Achilus formulated a plan to undertake such a unique military campaign and he proceeded to muster forces from the Adeptus Astartes, the Imperial Guard, the Adepta Sororitas, and scores of Imperial Navy warships to enact the Emperor's will, all under his command. The High Lords were mindful, however, that the existence of such a Warp Gate offered dire peril as well as opportunity, and under a shroud of the deepest secrecy, with the complicity of the Inquisitorial masters of both the Calixis Sector and the Departmento Munitorum, launched an Imperial Crusade from a staging point half-way across the galaxy from the territory it intended to conquer. The Imperium soon found itself faced with significant obstacles in bringing these goals to fruition as the attempted re-conquest soon become mired in blood. The Achilus Crusade would become a grinding conflict fraught with reversals of fortune and beset by enemies both unexpected and nightmarish. As for the Lord Militant Achilus himself, he would not live to see out the campaign's first decade.
There are few worlds in the vast, scattered Imperium of Man that do not lie within the boundaries of one warzone or another, for truly it is said of the 41st Millennium that there is “only war.” For some planets, war is a passing thing, conducted in brief but intense bursts as invasions or insurrections are desperately fought off or put down. For others, it is a continual state of being, a meat grinder into which entire generations are fed. Thus it is in the warzone known as the Jericho Reach.
Once a powerful and prosperous region of the Imperium, the original Jericho Sector succumbed to darkness with the onset of its Age of Shadow. Its worlds, once shining examples of all that Mankind can be, collapsed in anarchy, while flocks, once united in their worship of the God-Emperor, turned their adoration to the Dark Gods of the Warp. One world at a time, the entire region slipped into recidivism and dread, until all vestiges of order ceased to exist. This descent into ruin coincided with the galaxy-spanning disaster that was the Age of Apostasy in the early 36th Millennium, yet while the Imperium recovered from the travails of that time, the Jericho Reach never did. Beset on numerous fronts by uncounted foes, the Imperium abandoned the Jericho Reach to its fate and, in time, the Warp itself embraced this cursed realm, cutting it off from the greater Imperium with Warp Storms of unprecedented magnitude.
Throughout its dreadful Age of Shadow, the Jericho Reach was the domain of Heretics and daemons. The followers of Chaos descended upon those worlds that could not defend themselves and the only authority was that which could be enforced by blade and by bullet. The capital of the old Jericho Sector -- the once proud world of Verronus -- was consumed by the Warp phenomena known as the Hadex Anomaly, a churning cauldron of unknowable energies that some claim bleeds time and is blessed of some vast, alien sentience. Though some worlds still cleaved to their half-remembered heritage, for most, the Emperor became little more than a distant myth, at best a cruel god who had turned his face from his children.
Yet, while the Imperium at large abandoned the Jericho Reach to its fate, one force remained. The Deathwatch, a unique Space Marine force drawn from many different Chapters that was created to serve the interests of the Inquisition, maintained its secret Watch-Stations as it stood its lonely, so-called “Long Watch.” The exact mission of the Deathwatch remains a secret known only to the most highly placed of the Imperium’s masters, for certainly they were too few to prevent the region’s descent into darkness. Yet, they never left, and when finally the Imperium discovered the Jericho-Maw Warp Gate, its advance forces found a region still watched by the relentless, black-clad Astartes.
The Jericho Reach at the end of the 41st Millennium is a realm of total war. Upon securing the so called “Well of Night,” the dark space about the Jericho Reach terminus of the Warp Gate, the Imperium launched a mighty Crusade, with the blessings of the High Lords of Terra themselves. Countless millions of warriors were committed in an effort to reclaim the lost worlds of the old Jericho Sector and beyond, to wrest control from the forces of darkness, and to shine the light of the Emperor upon a region too long lost to His favour. Yet, the Imperium found not just the servants of the Ruinous Powers ensconced amongst the worlds of the Jericho Reach, but numerous aliens too, and the most powerful of these were the collectivist Tau. The Achilus Crusade stalled and disaster was only barely avoided until, with the death of its original leader and the appointment of a new Lord Militant, the Crusade was divided into three astrographic salients, the better to face the numerous threats of the region.
Soon, however, the Crusade came to face another foe still, for the xenos Tyranids of Hive Fleet Dagon have pushed the northern-most Imperial salient back almost as far as its starting point. Confronted by intransigent servants of Chaos, determined Tau, and ravening Tyranids, the Achilus Crusade now stands on a knife's edge, with countless thousands of Imperial soldiers dying for the cause every single day. None can see an end to this age of total war and, all the while, the Deathwatch maintains its vigil, ever guarding against a foe that might still bring about the doom of the entire region.
The area of space now known as the Jericho Reach was claimed by the Emperor of Mankind's Space Marine Legions, including the Ultramarines and the Night Lords, during the Great Crusade over ten millennia ago. At that time it was called the Jericho Sector. Though few details of its founding exist within the remaining Imperial records from that time, it is known to have been an exceptionally bloody campaign. The events of the Horus Heresy and the aftermath of that galactic civil war further devastated the worlds of the sector. Nonetheless, in the following millennia untamed worlds were claimed and many xenos empires were destroyed to be claimed for humanity. The Jericho Sector became a bastion of Imperial might, carved from the cold wilderness of space and colonised by a dynamic and expanding Mankind.
Worlds that had been reduced to ash and rubble during the Heresy and the Great Scouring that followed it were rebuilt into mighty industrial centres, colonial populations grew in numbers and wealth and with them also grew the wealth and splendour of the Jericho Sector. The old wounds from the Horus Heresy slowly disappeared due to the guarantee of order and stability in the sector. From the highest obsidian spires of the Hive World of Verronus to the glittering glass shrines of sainted Eleusis, the dominion of the Imperium covered more than a hundred worlds within the sector. Through the ravages of time, wars and other disasters the Jericho Sector remained a paragon of Imperial order and strength for many millennia, until quite unexpectedly all was lost to the darkness and bloodshed from which it had been forged.
Age of Shadow
During the time that became known as the Age of Shadow in the Reach, darkness and anarchy reclaimed the Jericho Sector. This period saw the glory of the Jericho Sector wiped away, reverting the entire region to an area known only as the Jericho Reach on the astrographic charts of the Imperium's Navigators, an area of the galaxy untouched by the Emperor's light and awash in evil.
The decline began during the time of misrule, unbelief, and tyranny known as the Age of Apostasy in the early 36th Millennium. During this time of civil war when the Imperium came closer to its own destruction than any other time since the Horus Heresy, for reasons unknown, communication between the Jericho Sector and the core of the Imperium became more and more difficult. Astropaths had an increasingly hard time sending and receiving intact telepathic messages, and starships travelling in and out of the region were lost to Warp Storms that gathered as if to increase the sector’s isolation. To make matters even worse, a massive Ork WAAAGH! on a scale unseen in millennia utterly severed the great trade routes between the sector and the powerful worlds of the Imperial Realm of Ultramar to the galactic south. With the Imperium as whole awash in strife and war, the Jericho Sector became marginalised and forgotten, ultimately slipping beyond the reach of the Imperium without a single Administratum bureaucrat on Terra noting its passing.
The few records of this time that remain indicate a corrosive dread came to pervade the sector after it was cut-off from the rest of the Imperium. Slowly, one by one, the planets previously under direct Imperial rule from the sector capital world of Verronus slipped away. Unable to gain aid from the broader Imperium, some fell to warring on their neighbours as a result of paranoia or unbridled ambition; their leaders laid low by the flaws in their own hearts, or because they clutched at the promises of the Dark Gods. Others, such as Verronus itself, succumbed to rebellion from within. Almost within a single generation, much of the Jericho Sector had slipped into anarchy and feral barbarism due to its isolation. When the last Imperial naval patrol was recalled to Kar Duniash to take on pressing duties, they would report that the last tatters of Imperial order in the Jericho Sector were but small and ragged circles of light beset by encroaching darkness. Soon these too fell, unsung and disregarded, and the sector's Age of Shadow would claim its worlds and its people for over five millennia. Of the notable events of this period, almost nothing has been recorded. Only the Astartes of the Deathwatch know some of what happened during the Age of Shadow and even they recorded little, for their attention was cast elsewhere and their concerns encompassed far greater events than the fates of a few forlorn worlds on the edge of human space.
The formal end of Imperial civilisation within the Jericho Sector came when the great census and reassessment of the Domains of Man known as the Third Mesericordia Imperialis Mundi was declared in the 37th Millennium by the High Lords of Terra. In the course of that extensive survey of the Emperor's realm, the Jericho Sector, along with a dozen other sectors along the Eastern Fringe, were decreed to no longer exist until an Imperial Crusade could once again return them to the Imperium’s fold. The region was re-designated by Imperial astrocartographers as the Jericho Reach, and so returned in name and nature to the darkness from which it had been raised almost six thousand Terran years earlier. The Warp Storms and temporal distortion that so isolated the Jericho Reach at the start of the Age of Shadow have never truly abated, while the Imperium’s claimed borders have only shrunken further away from it. As a result, voyaging into the region remained a dangerous task only undertaken by the Deathwatch and a few Inquisitors over the last four millennia. This state of isolation changed, however, with the discovery and opening of the Jericho Maw Warp Gate which linked the Jericho Reach to the Calixis Sector on the other side of the galaxy, making this region accessible to the Imperium once again and unleashing the inevitable Imperial Crusade.
The Jericho-Maw Warp Gate
The Jericho-Maw Warp Gate connects the lost Imperial sector that is now called the Jericho Reach in the Segmentum Ultima with the turbulent Chaos-afflicted Segmentum Obscurus that is home to the Calixis Sector and the frontier region of the Halo Stars known as the Koronus Expanse. Its origins remain utterly unexplained, and its true nature is just one of the many mysteries to be found within all of these regions of the galaxy. The Warp Gate was discovered in 755.M41 by the Imperium, and was already active at that time, although for how long that was the case remains debatable among Imperial savants. Within the Inquisition's Ordo Xenos, many believe that the gate had been dormant for perhaps tens of thousands of Terran years until some unknown event triggered it no earlier than 397.M41. This timing may link the activation of the Warp Gate to the so-called “Year of Dreaming Depths,” a period of sustained and often deadly Warp disturbances that affected the Koronus Expanse around that time. What is apparent is that the Warp Gate was unknown to the people of the Jericho Sector before the Age of Night, because the sector's own once well-known Warp routes passed through its present location for centuries with no reports of any anomalous activity.
Warp Gates are stable two-way passageways between two distant interstellar locations that have been linked by the gate's technology through the Immaterium. While extraordinarily rare, they are not unknown to the Imperium, nor are they uniform in nature, appearance, or range. Perhaps the most widespread network of such gates is the Webway of the Eldar, a series of portals interconnecting an arterial network through the Warp that once spanned the ancient domains of the lost Eldar empire, although the network is now much reduced in scope and in constant peril of falling apart or to attacks by Warp entities since their ancient Fall. Other Warp Gates seem to be even older, far predating even the Eldar’s ancient rise to prominence, and belonging to beings and races like the legendary Old Ones who are little more than myths of a lost age in the galaxy's history. The Jericho-Maw Warp Gate belongs in this category, according to the Imperium's xenological savants.
The physical structures that represent the Jericho-Maw Warp Gate's two termini at opposite ends of the galaxy are identical: they are massive, irregular crescents that float alone in the vacuum of interstellar space, immobile and utterly resistant to the action of any external force upon them. They seem to have been crafted from dark stone that is shot through with bizarre geometric patterns in tarnished golden and pearlescent metal. They shimmer slightly when viewed with human eyes, almost as if they were a mirage of no substance. This is an optical illusion that may be produced by the continuous and paradoxical gravitic and electromagnetic stresses encountered within the gate’s vicinity, and the fact that the entire structure is wrapped in a powerful dimensional shearing effect much like -- although many times more powerful -- an Imperial starship’s or Titan's Void Shields.
Any solid matter that passes within the sweep of the crescent’s arms, which span a distance of over 100 kilometres, disappears into darkness and is hurled irresistibly to the other side of the gate and spat out, arriving on the other side of the galaxy, through what might be described as a "corridor" or "tunnel" in the Warp. As far as can be determined, the time taken by the transit is negligible; mere seconds of subjective time pass during an icy black dislocation that spans a distance that would normally take an Imperial starship using a standard Warp-Drive several years to traverse, if such a direct journey were even possible. The passage is not without its dangers. Though no Warp-Drive or Gellar Field is required to make use of the Warp Gate, the passage through it is a turbulent one. It was quickly discovered that any vessels not sturdily constructed that attempted to make the journey could be badly damaged or even destroyed outright by the gravimetric stresses of the transit, limiting the Warp Gate’s practical use to warships and other powerfully-built spacecraft.
The existence of the Jericho-Maw Warp Gate is not simply an enigma and an opportunity for humanity, but also a potential source of danger for the Imperium of Man, which the Imperium’s masters are very mindful of. The gate exists and it is now open and so the Imperium must either destroy it or claim it -- there is no other choice that is commensurate with the security of the Emperor's realms. But the problem has been made more complicated by the fact that the Imperium's savants have so far discovered no method for controlling the Warp Gate’s functions short of destroying the physical structure of one of the two crescent-shaped terminals. This is an action that would require something on the order of the firepower of an entire Imperial battlefleet to accomplish. As such, it was the discovery of the Warp Gate and the difficulty of either destroying it or controlling it that made the launch of the Achilus Crusade inevitable, and may ultimately force the High Lords of Terra to order far more drastic actions should it fail.
Timeline of the Jericho Reach
"We are the Imperium; we are a slave to our past. Our future is bound to things that are lost to memory and legend. This is our strength, our curse and our destiny. Ask me not of the future; ask me instead what fate is written in the deeds of the dead."
- —Yoren Kipraus, Cardinal of Verronus, martyred 245.M36
This is a brief timeline of selected events pertaining to the history of the Jericho Reach, the wider events that have shaped it and those of the Deathwatch, whose tireless vigils have held sway there. Amidst upheaval and invasion, the Deathwatch have remained. Amidst crumbling foundations of the Imperium’s might and the return of ancient foes, the Deathwatch have remained. Amidst the conquests of the Achilus Crusade and the ravages of Hive Fleet Dagon, the Deathwatch have remained. These records are taken from the Meageran Data-Looms of the slumbering cloister of Watch Fortress Erioch, clearance level Heliotrope-Sigma: Available to all Battle-Brothers of the Deathwatch. Further access and files granted only by writ of Watch Commander Mordigael. These records have had a number of important entries purged under mysterious circumstances and cannot be considered a complete or entirely true record of events. There are many enigmas within the Jericho Reach.
Pre-History of the Jericho Reach
Note: The following data is drawn from very limited available records.
- The Great Crusade (Unknown Date.ca.M30) - The volume of space later designated as the Jericho Reach is conquered during the Emperor of Mankind’s Great Crusade to unify the galaxy as a unified realm of Mankind by Imperial Fleet forces primarily under the auspices of the Ultramarines and Night Lords Space Marine Legions. The area of the Reach is sparsely populated by pre-Imperial humanity, but bears many life-sustaining and resource-rich worlds, and as such, is quickly marked as an area for Imperial colonisation and expansion. Numerous minor xenos races are exterminated in an extremely bloody campaign to bring the Reach under Imperial control, and 132 worlds are ascribed to have been brought under Imperial Compliance. Such evidence that remains indicates that the most serious opposition to the Great Crusade in the Reach was encountered in purging an entrenched Ork pocket-empire in the Reach’s Rimward portion, and most particularly in destroying the remnants of a highly technologically advanced, likely very ancient, and clearly non-humanoid xeno-form known in several records as the "Ghanathaar" who dominated the Reach’s border with the galactic Eastern Fringe. This later conflict destroys the capacity of numerous worlds in this portion of the Reach to sustain life, a factor that will shape the future Jericho Sector. The Chapel of Ages on Macragge, Chapter World of the Ultramarines, contains among its thousand shrines a Charantracite relief panel graven with the names of two thousand and thirty-three fallen Battle-Brothers who perished in the war against the "Ghan’at Hark," which is believed to pertain to this mighty conflict, but no other known records are extant.
- The Horus Heresy (Unknown Date.M31) - Through the foul machinations of Chaos and the sorrowful treachery of the Warmaster Horus, the Imperium is brought to the brink of annihilation by a great civil war that sees the realm of humanity shattered asunder and fully half of the Space Marine Legions turn against their Emperor. Although Horus and his traitors are defeated in the Siege of Terra, the Emperor is grievously wounded and must ascend the Golden Throne. A time of great darkness and bloodshed ensues, lasting nearly a millennium before a semblance of order is restored throughout the Imperium. As part of this, those Space Marine Legions who remained loyal are broken up into smaller, 1,000-Astartes Chapters during the Second Founding so that no such great rebellion can ever again be conceived.
- Foundation of the Jericho Sector (ca. Early M32) - After an interregnum lasting over 1200 standard years and often riven with bloodshed, the Imperium of Man's hold over the Jericho Reach is finally fully cemented, and it is re-designated the Jericho Sector in the great Imperium Universalis. The sector capital is the Hive World of Verronus which once served as a Great Crusade way-station and has maintained its links to the wider human domains in the preceding centuries, while the Shrine World of Eleusis gains prominence some centuries later for its native saint and because, legend claims, it was blessed with the tread of the Emperor’s own foot. The foundation of the sector is not without incident, however, as a suppression campaign must be fought against shadowy xenos forces who have begun to prey upon the stars of the southern zone around the star system of Oertha. The menace is driven off, and the [CENSORED], one of the Fleet-based Space Marine Chapters who take part in the campaign, claim title and right to the Feral World of [CENSORED] as one of their recruiting grounds, binding them in part to the defence of the Jericho Sector.
Golden Age of the Jericho Sector
- Golden Age of Jericho (M32 to M35) - With the wider Imperium swelling to a peak of power and influence, the Jericho Sector is but one of many that bloom into a renaissance of power and achievement as scores of Imperial worlds of every type are raised up from the rubble of past failures and the un-trodden soil of alien worlds in Mankind’s name. The Jericho Sector becomes both a bastion and exemplar of Imperial civilisation and majesty carved from the cold wilderness of space with a burgeoning population that quickly soars into the hundreds of billions. The Jericho Sector is a hub of Imperial commerce and industry with its bloody past all but forgotten, a realm of piety and devotion whose renown is such that it is spoken of on Terra as a gem of Humanity’s domains. Its goods are sought after as far afield as blessed Ultramar and distant Espandor. With the passage of millennia the power and fortunes of the Imperium wax and wane, but the Jericho Sector manages to remain strong and prosperous despite the vicissitudes of war, invasion, and petty disaster. However, the dawning of the 35th Millennium heralds both a darkening of the sector’s fate and the coming of the Deathwatch into the known histories of the Jericho Reach.
- The Nova Terra Interregnum (401.M34 - 975.M35) - During the Nova Terra Interregnum, the Imperium is divided into warring factions by civil war amongst the Imperial Commanders. During the centuries of battle and attrition that follow, the Jericho Sector (distant enough from the front lines to be spared direct contact with the conflict) is nevertheless a vocal and active supporter of the Terran Loyalists, channelling large volumes of manpower and resources to fuel the war. The drain of the sector’s resources becomes increasingly hard to sustain, leading to widespread shortages and unrest on many of the worlds of the Jericho Sector for the first time in living memory.
- The First Martyr (267.M35) - The first accessible record pertaining to Watch Fortress Erioch available to this clearance level: Balthazar Ho’Tsun, Master of the Watch, Captain of the Imperial Fists, died in an action in the Slinnar Drift. The enemy engaged by the Deathwatch and the other forces involved were not recorded.
- The Unseen Death (566.M35) - The [CENSORED] Space Marine Chapter is declared Excommunicate Traitoris for their high crimes against the Imperium. As a result, their goods and chattels are also declared forfeit by Inquisitorial order as they themselves are under sentence of death. The Feral World of [CENSORED] is therefore put under close scrutiny by the Deathwatch of Watch Fortress Erioch according to this order, and thereafter this world is subject to Exterminatus, its presence removed from all maps and charts of the Jericho Sector.
- The Burning of the White Palace (990.M35) - A series of Deathwatch Kill-teams are dispatched to the world of Vanir and perform a surgical strike against the Imperial Planetary Governor and his administration. The Kill-teams purge the Governor’s palace of all life and then detonate a series of inferno devices that reduces it and the surrounding seven square kilometres of the planet’s surface to cinder ash. This event leaves an indelible mark on Vanir’s history, and enters the mythos of the native population of Vanir as the "Wrath of the Black Angels." This incident creates an enduring legend that survives even the later collapse of the planetary civilisation and into the present day.
The Fall of Jericho
- The Fall of the Jericho Sector (M36-M37) - The fall of the Jericho Sector from grace was swift, and much is recorded of its cause before the darkness descended and blotted out hope and reason.
- The Age of Apostasy (ca. 100-600.M36) - High Lord Goge Vandire tightens his stranglehold on the Imperium, beginning a monstrous tyranny that will become known as the Reign of Blood and thereby gives birth to the Age of Apostasy, the darkest period of bloodshed and strife the Imperium has known since the Great Heresy. As part of his web of power and control over both the Adeptus Administratum and the Adeptus Ministorum, Vandire ensures that numerous key Imperial Sectors singled out either by their strategic importance or wealth are firmly within his sphere of control by placing in control of them puppet-commanders whose only loyalty lies with him. The Jericho Sector is soon encompassed by this policy and at the High Lord's direct command a new ruling partnership comprising the Lady Sector Castagar Murella and Arch-Cardinal Udo Asterus are appointed as Over-Governors Temporal and Spiritual, respectively, of the Jericho Sector. All Ecclesiarchy prelates and Imperial Commanders in the sector must bend their knees to their new masters, whose authority is backed by squadrons of the Imperial Navy and tens of thousands of Frateris Templar shock troops. Taken by surprise by this unexpected turn of events and the legitimate authority that carries out the change, the control of Vandire’s puppet rulers goes initially all but uncontested, and what little resistance that forms is quickly beaten down and a bloody period of tyranny and oppression previously unseen takes hold of the Jericho Sector. Meanwhile, the Over-Governors become infamous for the speed and callousness with which they swiftly proceed to expand their personal wealth and power. The Deathwatch of the Jericho Sector, operating in secrecy, and with their extent and holdings unknown to Vandire’s lackeys, follow their usual millennia-old pattern of non-interference in the Imperium’s worsening domestic affairs unless they impinge on their remit. However, the Master of the Watch at Watch Fortress Erioch orders all under his command to studiously protect their inviolate nature and the secrecy of the Watch. Any Frateris Templar vessel or force that strays too close or interferes with the Deathwatch’s activities is quietly and efficiently diverted or destroyed as a matter of policy, and the secrecy of the Deathwatch is maintained.
- The Voice of Truth (245.M36) - Yoren Kipraus, Cardinal of Verronus, speaks out publicly against the "worldly sin and excess" of Arch-Cardinal Asterus and is soon taken in the night by Frateris Templar forces. His basilica is stripped and laid waste and his clergy slain or enslaved. Kipraus himself, after months of torture, is declared a Heretic and is torn apart by marrow-jackals as entertainment at a great feast in the honour of the anniversary of the Over-Governors’ appointment. For his martyrdom, Kipraus will later be beatified as a Saint of the Imperial Cult by order of the future reforming Ecclesiarch Sebastian Thor.
- The Poison Hatches Out (257-262.M36) - Revolts and armed resistance movements flare up across the Jericho Sector, as quota-tallies demanded by the Over-Governors increase exponentially. While most of these insurrections are quickly and brutally crushed, the resulting collateral damage is extensive, marring the Jericho Sector’s production capacity further, which in turn means ever increasing demands to make up a shortfall that cannot be fulfilled, creating an ever-worsening cycle of repression and revolt. The Over-Governors begin a paranoiac series of purges to remove anyone that they perceive as a potential threat and increase their revenue by plundering the coffers of the Sector’s magnates and nobility. Among these, the estates and vessels of the then-absent Free Captain Mordecai Haarlock, whose holdings span the Jericho Sector and several others beyond its borders, are seized by order of Over-Governor Murella Mordercai on his return. In protest, Haarlock resists arrest, slaying those who would hold him. He flees with a single vessel, the Spear of Destiny, into the Slinnar Drift, swearing bloody vengeance.
- The Lord of Lightning (263.M36) - In response to the opening of a cell in the Omega Vault and the revealing of a broken spear of archaic design and unknown material, a Deathwatch Kill-team undertakes a quest to the Feudal World of Sovereign, which they discover suffers under the grip of a murderous xenos energy-entity known as the Thunder Lord which has offered itself as a false messiah to the natives. The spectral creature has grown strong on the life-forces of the thousands sacrificed in its name and is worshiped by an army of savage warriors. A single Deathwatch Battle-Brother returns to Watch Fortress Erioch with the Thunder Lord’s shattered crystal heart.
- Haarlock's War (263-270.M36) - Through force of personality and fear, Free Captain Mordecai Haarlock convinces a vagabond fleet of privateers, refugee merchants and disgruntled Chartist Captains to join him in a war of resistance against the Over-Governors of the Jericho Sector and those that stood with them. They begin a guerrilla war of ambush and lightning attacks against tithe-shipping, lone Frateris Templar vessels and outposts, as well as smuggling weapons and Ecclesiarchy priests who have turned against Vandire’s mastery of the Adeptus Ministorum to resistance movements against Vandire’s rule across the Jericho Reach and in neighbouring regions. Mordecai Haarlock displays an uncanny genius for this kind of shadowed warfare, both as a corsair captain and spymaster. As his infamy spreads, he becomes known as the Spider Lord. He is the single man at the centre of a web comprising countless strands of terrorist cells, spies, agents, and corsair ships. His emblem of the golden spider clutching an Imperial Aquila becomes a symbol of hope for those crushed under the Over-Governors’ rule, and a mark of fear for their vassals.
- Haarlock and Erioch (266.M36) - The annals of Watch Fortress Erioch record the arrival of The Spear of Destiny on the edge of the Erioch System. Not knowing where he is becalmed, Mordecai Haarlock moves in-system, and he is swiftly surrounded and brought under the guns of the Deathwatch. Forced to power down, Mordecai and his close associates are taken on board the Watch Fortress under guard by Kill-teams. Three days later, Haarlock and his starship are permitted to leave. He never speaks of what occurred within those three days, nor does he ever return to the Erioch System.
- The Darkfall (268.M36) - A vast city-sized vessel of unknown origin appears hurtling out of the Warp at great speed in the Andronicus System, and crashes into Andronicus Prime’s second moon, shattering it. Debris rains down on the planet, blotting out the sun and laying its verdant forests waste. All life on Andronicus Prime is exterminated in a matter of days.
- The Defector (273.M36) - Revolt against the Reign of Blood has sparked across the Imperium like wildfire, and elsewhere, the holy Sebastian Thor’s Confederation of Light is steadily destroying the strength of Vandire’s rule. Fleeing the assassin’s blade for his Thorian sympathies, Flag Captain Durek of the Imperial Navy Battlecruiser Power of Terra encounters Free Captain Haarlock and agrees to join his cause. With him he brings a network of contacts within the Imperial Navy's Battlefleet Jericho and alliance with the forces and agents of the Confederation of Light.
- The Darkling Stirs (273.M36) - Something alien stirs amid the frozen, night-shrouded surface of Andronicus Prime, and the Deathwatch respond. Kill-teams sweep the shattered ground and targeted bombardments take place from orbit. In the aftermath, a Deathwatch Watch Station is established in the turbulent asteroid fields that now strangle the near-orbital approaches to the planet.
- The Wrath of the Deathwatch (275.M36) - Lady Sector Murella, Vandire's puppet Sector Governor of the Jericho Sector, learns of the existence of fortified Deathwatch Watch Stations scattered across the sector from contacts within the Navis Nobilite. Unable to establish who controls them, but fearing that they pose a threat to her rule, she orders the Watch Stations seized. None of the forces sent to capture them ever return. Ever larger forces are sent to the fray, forcing the Deathwatch to unleash its own power in defence of its watch and sacred duty, which is not for such a petty tyrant to dispute. Realising the folly of making war on the Adeptus Astartes far too late, the Over-Governor’s power is critically weakened, and the best of her warriors and warships squandered in battle.
- Downfall of the Over-Governors (277.M36) - Free Captain Mordecai Haarlock leads a fleet of insurgent vessels in a surprise attack on Verronus, having drawn the forces of the remaining Frateris Templar warships in the Jericho Sector away through a diversionary attack on Eleusis. His strike fleet succeeded in breaking through the system’s defences. Accompanied by an elite force of unrecorded nature, Mordecai Haarlock executes Lady Sector Castagar Murella for "betrayal of the ideals and soul of the Imperium of Mankind." Meanwhile, the Arch-Cardinal Udo Asterus is torn apart by an enraged lynch mob while trying to flee.
- Aftermath of the Reign of Blood (395.M36) - After the death of Goge Vandire and the end of the Reign of Blood during the Terran Crusade, Free Captain Mordecai Haarlock is granted a Warrant of Trade and declared a Rogue Trader by the reforming Ecclesiarch Sebastian Thor. The warrant is a greater charter of writ to him and the heirs and successors of his blood unto the end of all things, and conditional first upon the restoration of order to an Imperium still plagued by heresy, war, and division. This honour is supposedly in recognition of Haarlock’s actions against Goge Vandire’s forces in the Jericho Sector, but some sources note that Mordecai had been expected to ascend to rule the Jericho Sector himself, and that the granting of the Warrant of Trade effectively banished Haarlock (who was perhaps, at best, too dangerous and resourceful a man to entrust with such a task) beyond the bounds of the Imperium once the Wars of Apostasy were over and his usefulness was at an end. Almost exactly a century later (in 395.M36), Mordecai Haarlock, taking up the mantle of Rogue Trader, vanishes from the Imperium, taking his fleet with him. What ties, if any, he kept with the Jericho Sector remain unknown. However, the dark coincidence of his deep connection to the later founding of the far distant Calixis Sector, a region that would prove inextricably linked to the Jericho Reach’s future, is a matter of shrouding mystery that has troubled many within the Inquisition.
- The Coming of the Great Storm (416.M36) - The voidship carrying Masimat Helicos, the Lord Sector Designate of the Jericho Sector, disappears during the onset of a violent Warp Storm during transit through the Empyrean, marking the beginning of the darkest days of the Jericho Sector. Astropathic messages become so unreliable that a message explaining that the official ruler of the Jericho Sector never arrived takes five years to be received at Terra. From this point, Warp Storms on the edge of the region become more violent and more frequent, all but cutting it off from any swift access to the wider Imperium, critically stymieing any efforts to rebuild or consolidate following the end of the Reign of Blood. Even the Deathwatch within the Jericho Sector is forced to retrench, as it too is largely cut off from ready access to reinforcement or re-supply, although its own resources and vessels prevent this interference from completely isolating the Astartes of Watch Fortress Erioch.
The Age of Shadows
- The Shadows Descend (M37 to M41) - Darkness and dissolution descend upon the Jericho Sector, restoring it to the name of the pre-Imperial Jericho Reach. From this point onwards, the records of its history are no more than a few fragments of an unknown whole, with only the Deathwatch’s tireless vigil maintaining any semblance of Imperial involvement in the region.
- The End of the Jericho Sector (889.M36) - The endless wars and calamities of the Imperium grind on. Still cut off, the Jericho Sector is left to fend for itself, all but entirely bereft from contact from the outside -- save from occasional deep range patrols from the Imperial Navy's Battlefleet Ultima and far-ranging trade and exploration vessels. Cut off and isolated, world after world is subsumed to horror, civil decay, or warfare, until finally in 889.M36, the Imperial authorities declare with the stroke of an auto quill that the Jericho Sector as a political entity of the Imperium of Man is no more. The region of space it once occupied is returned to being designated the Jericho Reach.
- The Star-Killa Crew (380-405.M37) - An Ork Freeboota fleet of over one hundred ships ravages the northern region of the Jericho Reach, attacking and devastating Castobel, Aurum, and Alphos. Deathwatch Codicier Kiataino masterminds a plan to destabilise the Ork forces before they can become entrenched, and succeeds in killing their Warboss and his immediate possible successors, forcing the Orks to turn on each other in a savage fight to establish dominance, neutralising the Ork threat.
- The Black Shield (651.M37) - A brother of the Deathwatch bearing no Chapter device arrives at Watch Fortress Erioch. This brother "Black Shield" calls himself Hail, and is the lone Space Marine occupant of the Rapid Strike Cruiser Unquiet Angel. Hail claims that he has learned the location of the remains of the vanished 4th Company of the Black Consuls Chapter, a force lost in its entirety a millennia before, and he seeks the aid of Watch Fortress Erioch in searching them out. Following the convening of the Chamber of Vigilance, a Kill-team joins Hail aboard the Unquiet Angel. Hail leads the Kill-team to a massive Space Hulk drifting in the dead space on the edge of the Phaegis System. The Kill-team board the vessel and succeed in recovering the banner of the Black Consuls 4th Company and a number of other Chapter relics, despite being assaulted by scores of Warp Ghouls and other foul creatures. In gratitude for the eventual return of their remains some decades later when the conveyor ship dispatched from Erioch reaches them, the Black Consuls renew their oaths to the Deathwatch with a pledge of Battle-Brothers three times what it was previously.
- The Spiders of Mataras (920.M37) - Mataras IV is subject to the final sanction of Exterminatus carried out by the Deathwatch to prevent further contamination by a parasite-colony of the horrific Hadrus Skin-Weaver xenoform from spreading to neighbouring worlds. The Hadrus is a xenos species only previously encountered in the southwestern extremes of the Segmentum Tempestus, and its presence on Mataras IV is a mystery of dire import that remains unsolved.
- The Nightmare Lords (111.M38) - The Feudal World of Ynnen falls to the tyranny of an Enslaver outbreak. A full eighty Deathwatch brothers and two Dreadnought have to undertake the elimination of the Enslavers. Only eleven Battle-Brothers return alive and both occupants of the Dreadnought sarcophagi are slain, but successfully returned to await new interments.
- The Long Night of Verronus (249.M40) - The Hive World of Verronus, once a bright star of Imperial majesty and the seat of the ancient Jericho Sector’s power, finally succumbs to centuries of slow collapse, its last threads of civilisation falling into darkness as the ill-tended powerstems that maintain its hive city spires flicker and finally die. Foul cults, witches and abominations that have thus far been kept in check only by the direst sacrifices of Verronus’ last defenders rise up, their hour come at last. With the failing of the light, all that remains is a final long night of anarchy, famine, and living nightmare.
- The Hereteks of Samech (325.M40) - An Adeptus Mechanicus Explorator fleet battles its way through the Warp Storms shrouding the Jericho Reach to re-contact the Forge World of Samech. The ships are lured into close orbit and fired on by the defence systems that ring the world. The Cult Mechanicus declares the Forge World Apostate under a penalty of death, an order that has yet to be carried out.
- The Coming of the Carnivores (360.M40) - A modified, marauding "war sphere" vessel belonging to the mercenary (and highly carnivorous) xenos species known as the Kroot appears in the Jericho Reach and attacks outlying worlds in the Black Reef region. Hunted and stalked by Deathwatch vessels and repeatedly raided by Kill-teams, the massive Kroot warship is badly damaged but manages to flee, driven away from the region.
- The Fury of Hell (656.M40) - The Hadex Anomaly comes into being, swallowing the Hive World of Verronus. It is believed that the Anomaly emerged due to the bloody rites performed by those dark souls that abided there. Across the Jericho Reach, nascent pyskers burn and daemons stalk the land as a sudden wave of unholy power ripples through the localised area of Warpspace. Those afflicted psykers are either sent irrevocably mad or transfigured into short-lived and murderous demigods who kill thousands and further push those few worlds that remain under civilised control over the brink. On Watch Fortress Erioch, a full third of the Astropathic choir dies, weeping blood. The Omega Vault opens, yielding up a holo-projector that shows only the image of a face mask in the shape of a golden human skull.
- The Fifteen of Midael (175.M41) - The Deathwatch Rapid Strike Cruiser Instance of Fire is attacked by an unknown warship of an archaic Imperial design, and forced to flee before the vastly overmatching vessel. Guided by infernal power, the warship pursues the Deathwatch vessel to Midael and catches the Instance of Fire and disables it in a brief exchange of fire. Escaping to the Watch Station on Midael’s surface, the fifteen surviving Battle-Brothers make Death Oaths and prepare their last defence in the armoured tower of the Watch Station. They hold out for seventeen days against a company-strength force of Chaos Space Marines clad in red armour emblazoned with the marks of the Dark Gods. When a relief force reaches Midael, it is too late; they find the Watch Station despoiled but repairable. The bodies and armour of the fifteen defenders are never found.
- The Year of Dreaming Depths (397.M41) - A period of sustained and often deadly Warp disturbance affecting the Koronus Expanse in the Segmentum Obscurus is observed. Concurrently, the Warp Storms afflicting the Jericho Reach lessen, but do not give way. Wreckage of the Iron Promise, a Rogue Trader vessel belonging to the minor bloodline of Unurndel lost within the Koronus Expanse in this year, is later discovered on the Dead World of Belissar by the Deathwatch in the Jericho Reach.
- The Tau Invasion of Black Reef (ca. 400.M41) - At an unknown date during this period, the aggressive, expansionist xenos race known as the Tau begin wide-scale colonisation and invasion operations in the Black Reef region of the Coreward portion of the Jericho Reach. Shielded from immediate detection by the Warp Storms and other strange stellar phenomenon of the region, the Tau fleets quickly gain an entrenched foothold on several worlds, and enslave many human-populated worlds to their "Greater Good."
- The Visitation (715.M41) - Two Inquisitors arrive at Watch Fortress Erioch unannounced, their credentials and ciphers for access all in order. One calls herself Camilla Noesis, and the other claims the name Kaleb, but hides his face behind a featureless mask of tarnished silver. They give no explanation of how they learned of the Watch Fortress’s location; they simply say that the time was as it should be. Their arrival coincides with an opening of a chamber within the Omega Vault. Within is found a chronograph dating from the Dark Age of Technology which appears to be meticulously marking a countdown of time, measuring the hours and their divisions with total precision. The Chamber of Vigilance stands in discussion for thirteen days and nights. The two Inquisitors take all records of their discussions as they leave.
- The Jericho Warp Gate Opens (755.M41) - The Warp Gate in the great Warp Storms on the periphery of the Calixis Sector is discovered by the Imperial Navy Frigate Spear of Tarsus. Sensing something causing a localised area of calm in the great Warp Storm, the ship’s Navigator drops the Spear of Tarsus out of the Warp. At the centre of this sea of ethereal calm is a vast Warp Gate of xenos design. The gate is found to be active and becomes the immediate focus of the attentions of the Ordo Xenos, Deathwatch, and savants of the Adeptus Mechanicus devoted to the rare study of such arcane machinery. Preliminary investigations reveal (to not inconsiderable surprise) a static Warp conduit leading to the deadspace region bordering the Jericho Reach on the other side of the Imperium in the Segmentum Ultima.
- The Gathering of the Ascension (756.M41) - On the eve of the Feast of the Emperor’s Ascension, four Inquisitors and two hundred brothers of the Deathwatch arrive at the Watch Fortress Erioch at the same time. All claim to have received a coded message that called them to attend at the Watch Fortress. The source of the message is unknown. In the days after the Feast of Ascension, the Watch Fortress becomes a battleground of mistrust and murder, as a shapeshifting assassin of unknown origin stalks the corridors and vaults of the Watch Fortress. The assassin is caught and slain after a seventeen-hour manhunt, but only after the death of two of the four Inquisitors, nine Acolytes, and twenty-three Space Marines. [Other Details Classified]
The Age of War
- The Achilus Crusade (777.M41 to Present) - With the discovery of the stable Warp Gate from the Calixis Sector across the galaxy to the Jericho Reach, the possibility of using it to launch an Imperial Crusade into the Jericho Reach and reclaim this formerly great realm for the Imperium quickly finds favour with the High Lords of Terra. A plan was hatched under the command of Lord Militant Tiber Achilus to undertake this singular military campaign, and under his command were mustered forces ranging from the Imperial Guard, the Adeptus Astartes and Adepta Sororitas, and scores of Imperial Navy warships to enact the Imperium’s will. The High Lords were mindful, however, that the existence of the gate and what it portended offered dire peril as well as possibility, and decreed that the Achilus Crusade was to be launched from a staging point far from the territory it intended to conquer, and under a shroud of the deepest secrecy, with the complicity of the masters of both the Calixis Sector and the Departmento Munitorum. The Crusade would prove to be a bloody, grinding conflict fraught with reversals of fortune and beset by enemies both unexpected and nightmarish. As for the Lord Militant Achilus, he would not live to see out its first decade.
- The Greyhell Front (785.M41) - The Canis Salient is launched against the Tau-controlled domains of the Velk’han Sept in the Black Reef area of the Jericho Reach, reinforcing armies already fighting against the highly organised and sophisticated alien forces across the so-called Greyhell Front previously dispatched by Lord Militant Achilus. The fighting is particularly bitter. Lord Commander Ebongrave, the Imperial Salient Commander, gains a swift reputation for barbarous and unorthodox tactics.
- The Banner has Fallen (786.M41) - The death of Lord Militant Tiber Achilus occurs when the Proclamation of Wrath suffers a catastrophic Geller Field failure. Afterwards, Solomon Tetrarchus ascends to the position of Lord Militant commanding the Achilus Crusade into the Jericho Reach.
- The Council of Ashes (786.M41) - Lord Militant Tetrachus summons all senior Crusade command staff to the Fortress World of Alphos. Also present are senior members of many of the Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes present in the Crusade at that time, as well as members of the Ecclesiarchy, Adeptus Mechanicus, and the Inquisition. The gathering is a grand war council at the commencement of which fifty senior officers formerly favoured by the late Lord Militant are withdrawn from command or shifted into more junior roles. A council of new advisors and the Crusade's officer elite is formed and begins a dramatic reorganization of Crusade forces and strategy.
- Against the Tides of Hell (786.M41) -The Acheros Salient is launched towards the centre of the Jericho Reach, there to give battle to the degenerate worshippers of Chaos and their foul allies, and retake the core worlds of what was once the Jericho Sector. The resistance they meet is unexpectedly high, particularly in the daemon-haunted Cellebos Warzone and casualties incurred by the Imperial forces are massive, blocking the salient’s progress and transforming the conflict into a bloody war of attrition.
- The Achilus Crusade Conquers (787.M41) - The Orpheus Salient is launched to reclaim worlds lying along the Rimward portion of the Jericho Reach. Here, progress is relatively rapid and successful, with scores of worlds returned to Imperial control.
- The Loss of the Margin Crusade (788.M41) - Elsewhere in the Imperium, contact is finally lost with the Imperial forces of the troubled Margin Crusade. From this point on, the Margin Crusade exists as a lie, and is used to garner greater tithes and musters of troops and materiel for the Achilus Crusade from the distant Scarus, Ixaniad, and Calixis Sectors via the Warp Gate to replace heavy and ongoing losses.
- The Return of Castobel to the Imperial Fold (789.M41) - Battlegroup Santos of the Achilus Crusade reaches the Castobel System and finds that it has stayed loyal to the Imperium through four millennia of shadow and isolation. A hundred-day festival of celebration is declared. At its end, the first regiment of tithed Imperial Guard (the 1st Castobel Reborn) are lifted off the planet. The 1st Reborn will be the first in a series of Imperial Guard regiments tithed from the planet.
- The Seriphos Sanction (789.M41) - Covert operations by the Deathwatch disrupt diplomatic talks between the technologically advanced but Renegade human world of Seriphos Secundus and the emissaries of the Tau. Deathwatch Kill-teams assassinate both Tau Ethereal Caste dignitaries and representatives of the Seriphon Unity, plunging the two factions -- Renegade human and xenos -- into open warfare.
- The Liberation of Colhep (789.M41) - Battlegroup Venicus, together with a company of Storm Wardens Space Marines, breaks the alien enslavement of the Colhep Systems. A daring in-system translation from the Warp and surgical strikes against key enemy holdings in overwhelming force return the human population to Imperial rule in a single week of fighting.
- The Conquest of Eleusis (805.M41) - Warp Storms abate around the Eleusis System. Achilus Crusade forces find the once sacred world has fallen to the worship of false gods under the tyranny of a priest caste called the Charnel Oracles. It is cleansed of their dark taint by the forces of Battlegroup Argo under the personal command of General Curas in a brutal extermination campaign against the blood-glutted abominations that much of the planet’s population have devolved into. After their priests are isolated and slain, the mutants, despite their monstrous distortions of body and inhuman savagery, lack the intelligence or cohesion to mount an organised defence, thus freeing the scattered few who have remained fully human from their torment. Following the swift and merciless victory, a thousand-day re-hallowing and sanctification of the former Shrine World begins by the faithful servants of the Ecclesiarchy.
- The Destruction of the Crimson Harvest (805.M41) - A vast Space Hulk designated the Crimson Harvest and forged from the fused and twisted remains of xenos star vessels and artefacts of unknown origin appears on the edge of the Hadex Anomaly. Ships bearing the blasphemous sigils of Chaos take flight from the Dark Forge World of Samech and make their way to rendezvous with the craft, sparking a deadly series of running battles between the servants of the Ruinous Powers and attack ships from the Achilus Crusade forces operating in the Acheros Salient and the Deathwatch. The Deathwatch Kill-team under Brother-Sergeant Hurak of the Iron Hands sacrifices itself in order to plunge the Crimson Harvest into the heart of a dying star, thus denying the pawns of Chaos their prize.
- The Conquest of Vanir (807.M41) - The war against the Secessionist systems of the self-proclaimed Kingdom of Vanir is broken by a daring strike at the Hive World of Vanir by Achilus Crusade forces of the Orpheus Salient.
- The Lament of Goln (810.M41) - Six Deathwatch Kill-teams under the command of Lexicanium Raphael break the attack by the Forces of Chaos on the recently conquered world of Goln. The Deathwatch attack crippled the Chaos leadership in the process of recovering a psyactive xenos artefact from the Chaotic war host’s commanding cabal. Fearing that they will be overwhelmed by a second counterattack, General Saiden, the commander of the Achilus Crusade forces occupying Goln, orders the Kill-teams to redeploy against the remaining Chaos forces. The Deathwatch forces withdraw without acknowledging the General’s "order." Goln falls three days later to a second Chaos assault.
- The Shadow of the Warp Descends on Jericho (812.M41) - Astropathic communication between parts of the Achilus Crusade and the re-conquered portions of the Jericho Reach is lost without warning. Particularly affected is the Orpheus Salient which disappears behind a crawling shadow of Warp interference.
- The Great Devourer Comes to the Jericho Reach (814.M41) - The Deathwatch warship Thunder’s Word enters the Freya System to investigate the silence of an Astropathic relay. It finds no trace of the relay and indeed no trace of any life in the Freya System. Preparing to leave the star system, the Thunder’s Word encounters two Tyranid drone ships. Its hull scored and pitted with acid and its magazines nearly exhausted, the Thunder’s Word arrives at Watch Fortress Erioch bringing the dark news that the Great Devourer has come to the Jericho Reach.
- Death in the Void (814.M41) - The Imperial Deep Range Cruiser Admiral Ishmael goes missing after attempting to make contact with the lead elements of the Achilus Crusade's Orpheus Salient. All across the northern (Rimward) portion of the Jericho Reach worlds are swallowed by darkness and horror, and the vaunted Battlegroup Argo is lost, presenting a severe blow to the forces of the Achilus Crusade.
- Hive Fleet Dagon (814.M41) - The name of the Tyranid attack into the Jericho Reach is officially designated as Hive Fleet Dagon, a possible splinter of the much larger Hive Fleet Behemoth defeated by the Imperium during the First Tyrannic War decades before, and identified as the greatest single extant threat to the success of the Achilus Crusade, and indeed the lives of every living being in the Jericho Reach. The Deathwatch remains fully engaged in facing this dire threat.
- An Era of Peril in the Jericho Reach (817.M41) - The Omega Vault is becoming increasingly active, and threats of a scale unprecedented in their scope, diversity and sheer portent stalk the stars and shadowed worlds of the Jericho Reach, leading many within the Inquisition to draw the conclusion that a great turning point in the fate of the region, perhaps of the Imperium itself, is coming to pass here in the Jericho Reach for good or ill. The Long Watch continues, and the watchers stand ready for all that is to come...
Well of Night
The Well of Night is the name the first Imperial probe ships that passed through the Maw-side terminus of the Jericho-Maw Warp Gate from the Calixis Sector gave to the stellar dead zone that awaited them on the other side. The Well of Night is an immense expanse devoid of stars or planets, its emptiness broken only by drifting, invisible dust clouds filled with particulate matter that can shred hull armour as surely as a missile salvo and deadly null-energy reefs that can suck a starship's conduits dry of power and leave it floundering in the merciless vacuum of space. At the heart of this deadly void stands the Jericho Reach terminus of the Warp Gate.
Since the Warp Gate’s discovery, repeated attempts have been made to fashion a permanent base in proximity to the Jericho terminus. This has met with repeated failure, both because of the perils of the Well of Night itself and the perilous gravitic distortions and energy waves emitted from time-to-time by the gate itself. As a compromise, the Adeptus Mechanicus maintains a warship, usually of no less than Cruiser class, on station near the gate terminus to monitor it and serve as a relay point for ships making the journey through from the Calixis terminus. Although the nominal tenure for these ships is ten months, it is rumoured in Imperial Navy circles that no single vessel during the last decade has lasted more than seven months before having to send for relief and quit its post thanks to hull degradation and mounting damage. To deal with this problem, an orbital dock above the Forge World of Lathe-Het in the Calixis Sector is now set aside permanently to attend to the ongoing need for repair of all ships that take up semi-permanent station near either terminus of the gate. Once they have passed through the Warp Gate, most starships seldom tarry long in the Well of Night before engaging their Warp-Drives and moving on to their destination.
This star system is a place of mystery and foreboding. The central astral body within this system is the Erioch star, which is a crumpled, angry white dwarf whose slow death has been measured in eons. Seven planets -- no larger in diameter than Terra -- circle this ancient star, orbiting perfectly in a circular pattern, the distance between them astronomically exact and thus unnaturally precise. The worlds of Erioch are nothing more than bare rock, completely devoid of life with no known life signs having ever existed. Even stranger, these planets bare no marks or craters that show signs of impacts with meteorites or other stellar debris. Circling the sixth planet is the Watch Fortress Erioch, the primary bastion of the Deathwatch in the Jericho Reach. It is unknown why the Watch Fortress was placed in this isolated star system. Unless granted the highest clearance and the most secret information, it is impossible for a Navigator to even locate Erioch within the Warp, never mind guide a starship into the system. Even with the appropriate information, those wishing to visit the system must drop out of the Warp into realspace at the system's edge, or not at all.
The Blood Trinity
During the bygone days of the Jericho Sector, this system was once known as the Mataras Sisters and was regarded as a jewel of the Imperium. At one time, this system supported four verdant and paradise-like Agri-Worlds that served as a breadbasket for the planets of the Jericho Sector's core. The Age of Shadows heralded a slow descent into blasphemy as the abandoned human populations soon embraced barbarity and the false promises of the Chaos Gods.
- Mataras IV (Frontier World) - This once verdant Frontier World was subjected to the final sanction of Exterminatus which was carried out by the Deathwatch in 920.M37. The three surviving worlds of Mataras became known as the Blood Trinity which thrived on internecine conflict and unceasing violence.
Vanir is a star system of inhabited worlds that was the site of a frantic battle between the forces of the Achilus Crusade and rebels loyal to the self-proclaimed Monarchs of the Kingdom of Vanir. Having withdrawn their forces after taking massive casualties from the advancing Tyranids of Hive Fleet Dagon, the desperate forces of Battlegroup Icarus soon became embroiled in a race to overcome the rebel forces that had taken possession of the system.
Achilus Crusade Salients
The Orpheus Salient was once the most secure of the three fronts of the Achilus Crusade within the Jericho Reach. The planets located rimward of the Reach were made up of sparsely populated frontier worlds and a few former Imperial planets -- many of which had kept faith with the Imperial Creed through the long millennia of the Age of Shadow. These still-Loyal worlds even managed to maintain some haphazard contact with the Imperium, providing the Crusade's scout forces with aid and intelligence about what to expect within the Reach.
- Beseritor (Hive World) - This Hive World was one of the Orpheus Salient's last great successes prior to its first encounter with the Tyranids. Being within short Warp distance to several systems under attack by Hive Fleet Dagon, this world served as a rally point and resupply station for Imperial forces involved in countering the Tyranid onslaught.
- Castobel (Hive World) - A battered Hive World ruled by noble-born elite that remained loyal to the Imperium's ways through the long Age of Shadow. Not long after its rediscovery by the Achilus Crusade, Castobel faced the deadly threat from the encroaching Tyranid fleet of Hive Dagon.
- Cocijo (Desert World) - Formerly identified as a verdant planet by ancient star charts, the world of Cocijo turned out to be an arid Desert World, with only a sparse, primitive population that had diverged too far from humanity. Branded as mutants by the Inquisition, the Crusade soon cleansed the planet of those few descendants of the ancient settlers. Those that survived the purge were used as slaves or assigned duties with the penal legions. The reasons for the once civilised planet's collapse cannot be readily explained.
- Eleusis (Shrine World) - A former Shrine World that was once a site of holy pilgrimage, basking in serene holiness for five thousand years, but during the Age of Shadow the devotions of the holy clerics were twisted to the worship of the Dark Gods of Chaos.
- Freya (Mining World) - Freya was once an Imperial Mining World, rich in raw materials which once fed the lost Forge Worlds within the Reach. During the the long millennia of the Age of Shadow the world fell into anarchy as the entire planet became a battleground for gangs, techno-barbarians, cultists and mutants. The remaining Imperial presence was a lone orbiting sensor array circling one of Freya's moons that served the Deathwatch in its secret vigil. But soon tragedy befell it, as the Tyranids made their presence known within the Reach in 814.M41.
- Hethgard (Fortress World) - A former Mining World which became sucked dry of its resources, the fortress engineers of the Achilus Crusade turned the mine-scarred surface into a formidable defensive bastion, effectively turning the world into one large fortress. Hethgard successfully defended itself from attack from the Tyranid menace of Hive Fleet Dagon.
- Manuxet (Ocean World) - This large planet is an Ocean World with thousands of islands that spread out to make up an endless archipelago. The world's population is composed of technologically inferior nomads scattered amongst these numerous islands. The small amount of land combined with the gravitational effects of its three moons causes severe storms that often accompany severe and unpredictable tidal cycles. The trade-off is that this world is teeming with sea life which provided a reliable source of food for the settlers during the long millennia of isolation.
- Xyan (Penal World) - Xyan is a hostile world whose atmosphere is covered in sulphurous fumes from the bubbling hot springs scattered across its surface. There is frequent tectonic activity caused from the planet's active core. This world also contains large swamps full of animal life that has adapted to its intensely acidic environment. The air on this world is breathable, though it tastes foul. Those that stay on this world have scar tissue in their lungs, but can tolerate the highly sulphuric atmosphere and diet better than an offworlder. Their vision has also adapted to the haze of their environment somewhat. During the age of the Jericho Sector, this world became a penal planet. Millennia later, the planet's population were the descendants of these amoral humans that survived the brutal conditions of their world. When reunited with the Crusade they did not respond well with reunifying with the Imperium.
The Acheros Salient was the central advancing arm of the Achilus Crusade. It soon became bogged down in blood and infamy. It showed the least progress in terms of worlds captured and, even given the massive losses on the Orpheus Salient, this front consumed the most Imperial lives and war materiel on the pyre of battle. For the soldiers of the Imperial Guard, serving in the Acheros Salient was akin to being deployed to hell, while to the warriors of the Adeptus Astartes this region was a battlefield made up of everything they hated and despised. For the Deathwatch, this front was a festering canker poised to make the heart of the Jericho Reach rot, wither and die.
The Acheros Salient was launched with the intention of clearing out the main opposition to the Imperial reconquest of the Jericho Reach -- the numerous worlds in the thrall of the Ruinous Powers. When the Imperium's Achilus Crusade first returned to the Jericho Reach, its leaders expected to find scattered and isolated worlds with populations that would welcome their liberators with open arms. Needless to say, the Imperium was caught unawares when this did not transpire and those populations rose up against its presence instead. Bogged down in the central zone of the Reach, the Crusade was forced to commit ever-greater numbers to the Herculean effort of reclaiming these worlds from the clutches of those who tread the path to glory in the name of the Dark Gods. Decades into the Crusade, the Imperium has made scant progress against the numerous Chaos warlords opposing the Acheros Salient, though every year millions of lives are cast upon the pyres of fruitless war.
- Alphos (Fortress World)
- Calisi (Fortress World)
- Karlack (Fortress World) - Karlack was a Fortress World and the principle seat of the Achilus Crusade, home to the single most powerful concentration of the Imperium's military might within the Reach.
- Pyrathas (Fortress World)
The Canis Salient was the largest and oldest Imperial warzone within the Jericho Reach. Located to the coreward of the Reach, its first battles were fought in a Crusade to liberate dozens of human-inhabited worlds from Tau expansion. This Imperial Crusade did not go well, however, as the Imperials soon found themselves embroiled in a war on two fronts as they were assaulted by another xenos menace, the Tyranids, who blunted the Imperial thrust. Only through great and terrible sacrifices were the forces of the Imperium able to halt the aliens from stripping the life from every world within the Canis Salient and beyond.
- Bellom (Dead World) - During the Age of Shadow when the raw material of the Warp spewed forth from rising warp storms, Bellom was scoured of all life. The Deathwatch maintain an orbital Watch Station which orbits the system's outer reaches. Though what this station stands sentinel over is lost to the ages, its very existence is reason enough to maintain it.
- Carmyn (Pleasure World) - A world used as a retreat from the horrors of war and the stresses of high-level command. Its existence was only known to those within the senior command.
- Meskaile (Death World) - One of three planets along the trailing edge of the Canis Salient. The other two worlds are Themiskon Point and Scansion Beta. Initially, these three worlds came under attack by the vanguard elements of Hive Fleet Dagon, though the reason for the interest in these worlds by the Tyranids was never ascertained.
- Scansion Beta (Dead World) - This planet was only one of many Dead Worlds that haunt the Jericho Reach.
- Spite (Fortress World) - Spite was a Fortress World from which Lord Commander Sebiascor Ebongrave marshaled the forces under his command against the Tau. This world was a heavily settled and industrialised left in ruins following an attack by human malcontents (widely believed to have been supported by the Tau) which killed millions of people.
- Thesmiskon Point (Dead World) - A once-verdant planet that harboured a rich and diverse eco-system. All that remains of it now is a lifeless rock.
- Wrath (Fortress World) - Lying at the navigable extent of the Aegle Confluence, Wrath quickly became a Fortress World for the Achilus Crusade forces. Bitter campaigns were fought to suppress the highly warlike indiginous people for several standard years until their final defeat. Soon after, Wrath was transformed into the administrative centre of the Canis Salient.
Lord Commander Ebongrave's aggressively sought to root out the Tau influence on the Imperial worlds of the Canis Salient, and so he deemed worlds that he considered to be rife with Tau emissaries and sympathisers beyond hope of redemption. He ordered them quarantined, meaning that no spacecraft were allowed in or out. To many, the horrible fates of the Quarantined Worlds were the starkest evidence of Ebongrave’s madness. The three Qurantined Worlds included:
Known Stellar Phenomenon
- The Black Reef - The Black Reef is a stellar phenomenon within the Reach that is composed of a series of gravitational anomalies that are extremely difficult to navigate for voidships. The contorted orbits and fluctuating gravities have pulled in hundreds of planets and millions of asteroids, which violently tear each other apart through collisions and their collective gravitational force. Many of these planets were inhabited long before the Age of the Imperium, and the errant planetary crust fragments are littered with the scattered ruins of ancient cities. These remnants float eternally through the strange eddies and currents of the Reef.
After the appalling reversal of fortune on the Acheros Salient, Lord Militant Tetrarchus resumed his assault on the region, pouring all reinforcements he could muster into a bloody war of grinding attrition that spanned over 50 star-systems and 25 years of struggle. The war focused around the control of key systems in what was later referred to as the Cellebos Warzone.
- Khazant (Death World) - This former Imperial world became a renowned corsair stronghold, its oppressed population enslaved to one warlord or another prior to the outset of the Achilus Crusade. The Imperial forces faced massive organised resistance on the heavily contested War World, with control of it swinging back and forth multiple times.
- Magog (Agri-World) - This Agri-world was filled with loyal citizens to the God-Emperor and the Imperial Creed, but by the time the Achilus Crusade came into contact with this planet, it had become a breeding ground and training centre for the Forces of Chaos that extended into the Jericho Reach. The planet's environment and indigenous life all bore the taint of the Warp. Though the foodstuffs are hideously deformed, Magog remains a crucial resource for providing the heretic forces with abundant food supplies.
- Tabius Rasa (Feudal World) - A technologically primitive world that had reverted to a feudal state during the Age of Shadows. Though this world only reluctantly supports human life and its weather is dramatic, the population of this planet thrived. They even managed to establish a stable society that seemed free of Warp taint.
- Vanity (Hive World) - Formerly a prominent Hive World known as Corulsiem, Vanity was once the capital of the Cellebos Sub-sector, second in its economic and military might only to Varrus itself. During the long millennia of the Jericho Reach's Age of Shadows, Corulsiem was riven with internal division and strife, which quickly devolved into a global atomic conflagration. This left the planet a barren, radioactive and haunted wasteland of shattered hive cities and fallen grandeur.
- Vespasia (Agri-World) - The world of Vespasia is a lush and verdant planet with a rich bounty that could greatly assist with the Crusade's resources. Its proximity to the Hadex Anomaly had a substantial effect on the world's population. The vast agricultural resources were managed by slaves descended from Imperial citizens and over the long millennia had completely forsaken the Imperial Creed. The vile Heretic forces of the Stigmartus provided the system's defences in exchange for a generous tithe of the planet's harvests. Living under these harsh conditions of constant degradation and threats of starvation, the population had no choice but to comply with their overlords' wishes. An unauthorised initiative by agents of the Ecclesiarchy infiltrated the slaves' culture in order to instigate a rebellion in the name of the God-Emperor. Once the world is cleansed of Chaos taint, the system should prove ripe for an Imperial Compliance action by the Achilus Crusade.
Known Stellar Phenomena
The Hadex Anomaly
At the centre of the Jericho Reach lies a raging Warp phenomenon known as the Hadex Anomaly. This malefic phenomena is similar to a Class III Warp disturbance, whose overlapping vortex of turbulence in the Immaterium spills over into realspace, distorting reality and making stellar navigation and observation nearly impossible. The origins of this phenomena can be traced to an ill-portended planetary alignment which occurred in 656.M40 -- the result of some great and bloody design of mortal Chaos worshippers, whose forbidden ritual unleashed the abyss of the Warp into reality. Nearly a dozen inhabited worlds that made up the core of the Jericho Sector of old was drowned within its hellish radiance, including the once-vaunted Hive World of Varrus. This world fell into bloody civil war and was rumoured to have been transformed into a Daemon World, where the servants of the Ruinous Powers planned the ultimate destruction of the Reach.
Scholars, savants, and madmen have striven to classify the anomaly in line with others of its type, such as the Eye of Terror, the Maelstrom, and the Gates of Fire, yet it continues to defy all classification. Though clearly a Warp/realspace overlap like most other similar events, the Hadex Anomaly exerts an exotic effect not just upon the physical realm but on the temporal as well. In their vain efforts to understand the anomaly, Imperial savants have claimed it seems to “spew time” in to the surrounding region of the Reach, disrupting the flow of events and occasionally reordering them entirely.
- Bulwark (Daemon World) - Bulwark was once a proud Fortress World which guarded the original sector capital world of Verronus, but was later claimed by the worshippers of the Blood God Khorne. Following the appearance of the Anomaly, the citizens of Bulwark perpetrated all of the atrocities that soon followed. The forsaken world soon became a massive charnel house of death and blood, lorded over by a a powerful Daemon Prince of Khorne, named Krakiota.
- Coranin (Daemon World) - When the Anomaly first appeared, this former Feral World was claimed by the Lord of Change, Tzeentch as his own. Soon the planet was transformed into a Daemon World, altered by the malign touch of the Changer of Ways, as he utterly corrupted the planet and its inhabitants.
- Durell (Daemon World) - Durrel was a former Hive World that fell to the sensuous temptations of pleasure and hedonistic desires of the Lord of Pleasure, Slaanesh. The world became one Grand Temple of Slaanesh.
- Samech (Forge World) - A former loyal Forge World of the Adeptus Mechanicus the sad truth was that the faith in the Omnissiah had been slowly dimming some centuries before the infamous event of the emergence of the Anomaly. When this stellar phenomenon consumed the world, the forges readily embraced their damnation, seeking out the Ruinous Powers to further their own aims. During the Achilus Crusade, Samech stood as the main source of armaments used against the Imperial forces. This world also came to be known as 'the iron pit', becoming a haven for debased human renegades that travelled there to trade and barter.
- Venkrous (Daemon World) - Venkrous was a formally lush and beautiful Agri-world before the Anomaly appeared. It soon became twisted and warped by the rotting touch of the Plague Lord Nurgle.
The Charon Stars, located near the Hadex Anomaly, were filled with life tainted by the Warp. It was also the wretched domain from which the Dark Powers were in control of the heretics that contested the Cellebos Warzone. It was here that the corrupted priests of Chaos and Chaos Lords made sacrificial offerings in order to appease the Anomaly itself, in an attempt to win favour from their Dark Gods. Though these stars no longer glow a sickly red, their worlds are hardly cleansed of its corrupting influence, possibly bearing the taint of Chaos for millennia to come.
The Greyhell Front
The Greyhell Front was one of the two main war zones where the Imperial forces of the Achilus Crusade were concentrated. The Imperial Guard and Imperial Navy struggled to establish footholds close to Tau-occupied space. This volatile region of the Reach was regarded as a meat grinder by the Imperial troops serving there.
- Baraban (Feral World) - Baraban is a Feral World of endless temperate forests and was home to huge Vespid and Kroot armies. The war on Baraban was a conventional one, but the forces of the Imperial Guard were constantly denied victory as they fell apart in terror and disarray as they were assailed by strange ghosts of unknown origins.
- Bekrin (Cardinal World) - Bekrin is a Cardinal World and the religious capital of the Ecclesiarchy diocese covering much of what was the Canis Salient. Its clergy was forced to evacuate the planet to escape the approaching Tyranids Hive Fleet, and though they were turned aside before they reached Bekrin, the world was never resettled.
- Dakinor (Dead World)
- Ravacene (Death World) - Ravacene is a notorious Death World, covered in ash-choked forests from the volcanoes that cover the planet's single planet-wide continent. It is said that this is how the Greyhell Front derived its name. The Imperial Guard fought a bleak, brutal war of attrition against both the Kroot and the planet alike.
- Veren (Feral World) - The Feral World of Veren is a world of glassy black mountains and shallow oceans teeming with life. Though Veren was of little strategic value, the Tau were determined to prevent the Imperium from conquering this planet. Convinced that something lay on Veren that the Tau wanted to defend, the Imperial Guard was dispatched to fight a brutal campaign against the Tau for control of the contested world.
The Outer Reach
- Jove's Descent (Feral World) - This strange and mysterious world has drawn both human renegades and Rogue Traders to its jungle-covered surface to penetrate the mystery of the ruins of what may have once been the centre of a xenos empire believed destroyed during the Great Crusade.
- Polyphemnos (Death World) - Polyphemnos is a huge, heavy-gravity primordial planet and is an infamous Death world, forbidden to human contact even during the rule of the Jericho Sector.
- Shedu (Desert World) - Shedu is a Desert world that once marked the boundary of the old Jericho Sector's civilised worlds and the start of its spinward frontier. It later became the domain of a few debased mutants and scattered clans of warring Orks. This arid, desert planet is the only life sustaining world found on the edge of the Slinnar Drift.
Known Stellar Phenomenon
- Slinnar Drift - The Slinnar Drift is a long and drawn out star cluster that is notable for the curious stability of the local Warpspace within the region. This stellar formation's planetary system, though hostile, possesses much mineral wealth as well as exotic chemical elements actively produced by its active proto-stars.
The Velk'Han Sept is comprised of a cluster of worlds that have fallen entirely to the forces of the Tau, their human populations turned from the Pax Imperium to the collectivist doctrine that is the Greater Good. Velk'Han Sept is located in the Jericho Reach and is one of the furthest Septs away from Tau Empire. This Sept is also a great source of anger from the Imperium of Man and is a key reason as to why the High Lords of Terra commissioned the start of the Achilus Crusade. The conquest of the Velk'Han Sept is a primary objective of the Imperial Crusade in the Canis Salient.
- Amenophis IV (Hive World) - A blockaded Hive World with a large native human population. The humans of this world were controlled by an unknown form of machine intelligence known as the Array. Long ago the people of this world discovered lost Standard Template Construct (STC) technology and utilised its knowledge to build an advanced meta-cogitation array. But soon the device attained sentience and it purged all knowledge of the Emperor, Terra, the Imperium and the Imperial Creed and enslaved the humans to its will.
- Ea (Tau Ruled World) - A world that is composed primarily of deep seas in a vivid violet hue and studded with a multitude of scattered islands. This world had no human population when it was sequestered by the Tau. This world soon became a retreat of sorts for the Ethereal Caste, who used the planet as a place to seek peace and inner harmony, meditating on the proper path for the Tau Empire to take.
- Highlock IV (Feral World) - A former abandoned Imperial world resting on the edge of the Stygian Break which joined the Tau Empire when it expanded into the Reach. The hardy human population of this high gravity world of ice and snow is covered in hair and incredibly tough. They formed elite formations of dedicated, skilled warriors known as the Highlock Freemen and were used by the Tau as shock troops.
- Iphigenia (Tau Ruled World) - The world of Iphigenia is a human world with a large population, totaling around seven billion. Its people are born into one of several dozen tribes, ruled by their own king, and in turn united under a High King. Alongside the tribal kings, the people of this world owe their fealty to Tau emissaries known as the Grey Kings. The tribal kings hand over their most technically skilled people to the orbital stations on which the Grey Kings live, and there, re-educate these chosen few and train them in the use of Tau technology. They are then sent to work elsewhere in the Sept under an Earth Caste work team or Air Caste starship crews.
- Innana (Mining World) - A barren world that contains highly desirable minerals beneath its surface. When the Tau first encountered the small human population of Innana, they offered them a choice; become a part of their empire and help serve as labour in their strip-mining facilities, or be moved off-world and be scattered amongst the various worlds of the Velk'Han Sept. The entire human population unanimously voted to leave their former homeworld. Innana soon after became a primary Mining world that helped fuel the campaign against the Imperial Crusade at the Greyhell Front.
- Jaya (Tau Ruled World) - A planet abundant in natural resources, Jaya hosted a human population that was relatively advanced technologically and culturally and had existed there for millennia. Jaya had survived the worst of the Age of Shadow relatively unscathed, continuing their way of life virtually unchanged for millennia. When they first encountered the Tau they welcomed them, but soon realized these alien's intentions and quickly mustered their military forces to defend their world. Within six months the Tau attacked and subjugated the entire population. After several decades of rule, they soon faced the threat of Hive Fleet Dagon, which had sent vanguard organisms ahead of the main axis of advance to infect the few isolated pockets of human resistance. The Tau vigorously pursued these isolated humans to 're-code' them to prevent their potential genetic corruption caused by the Tyranid Hive Mind.
- Krrk'tikit (Tau Ruled World) - On the surface, the world of Krrk'tikit is a barren rock bereft of any identifiable terrain features, but beneath its surface lay crystalline caves that riddle the planet to its very core. Humans never settled this world, and the Tau gave it over to their Vespid auxiliaries who built city-hives into the largest chambers.
- Tsua'Malor (Tau Ruled World) - Tsua'Malor is the capital world of the Velk'Han Sept and the headquarters of the Mal'caor Shi. It was formerly an advanced human world that was transformed into shining example of civilisation and enlightenment by Earth Caste architects.
- Va'Jiya (Feral World) - A world populated by numerous tribes of savage humans, this world has a strange eco-system that developed around a strange day/night cycle that causes its forests to rapidly grow during the 'day', followed by an equally rapid decomposition period during the 'night'. With the rising of the sun the endless cycle resumes. This planet is covered in deep, dark forests and fetid swamps. The hyper-violent human population devolved into separate tribes that continuously waged bitter wars against one another.
- Vallia (Death World) - An inhospitable Death World whose surface is covered in a large canopy of jungle, every corner of the surface in choked in carnivorous flora and fauna. When encountered by the Tau they made an interesting discovery that every sentient plant and animal on this deadly world was interconnected which extended into a form of gestalt intelligence that was able to mobilise the world's lifeforms to repel any who would dare set foot in its domains.
- Zurcon (Tau Ruled World) - This world is located beyond the coreward borders of the old Jericho Sector. Once held in high regard by the Imperium, Zurcon managed to remain faithful to the Imperium and the Imperial Creed when the entire sector was plunged into the Age of Shadow. When the Tau discovered this world, they infiltrated the ruling class of Zurcon to help insinuate their own beliefs to subtly influence the human population without them being aware of it. The humans were left entirely in the thrall of the Tau Empire, left unaware of the presence of the Achilus Crusade and left ignorant of their manipulation to wage war against their own kind.
Chaos and the Jericho Reach
The Jericho Reach is a region steeped in the fell energies of the Warp, a place where the ambitious and the bold can earn true glory and power unheard of. A man could raise a millions-strong army dedicated to the Ruinous Powers and lead it in person against a similar number of the Corpse-Emperor’s deluded lapdogs. Few other regions offer such glory, for here the Imperium is the aggressor, rather than the defender, and its armies are being held at bay as ever-greater numbers are fed into the eternal meat grinder of war. Entire planets have been transformed into blasted battlefields, tattered banners bearing the fell runes of the Dark Gods fluttering proudly overhead. Death stalks such places in a myriad of forms and the servants of Chaos are manifold. Crazed cultists bellow their praises to the roiling skies while Chaos Titans make the earth tremble with their passing. The mighty Traitor Legionaries fight side by side with renegades and mutants and the most powerful of Chaos Sorcerers open gateways to hell through which the daemonic legions swarm. The stars around the Hadex Anomaly truly belong to the Ruinous Powers and their mortal servants are dedicated to holding them against any enemies.
- Deathwatch: Core Rulebook (RPG), pp. 321-356
- Deathwatch: First Founding (RPG), pg. 81
- Deathwatch: The Achilus Assault (RPG)
- Deathwatch: The Outer Reach (RPG)
- Deathwatch: Know No Fear: History of the Jericho Reach (RPG)
- Only War: Core Rulebook (RPG), pg. 326
- Black Crusade: Core Rulebook (RPG), pg. 321