Kronus is the Imperial Civilised World over which war is waged in the PC game Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - Dark Crusade. Seven of the most potent military powers in the galaxy clashed over the world, including the Eldar of Craftworld Ulthwé, the Astra Militarum, the Space Marines of the Blood Ravens Chapter, the Orks, the T'au Empire, the Word Bearers Traitor Legion of Chaos and a recently awakened force of Necrons. Each army refused to back down, beginning a terrible conflict that would go down into Imperial records as the Dark Crusade.
The Blood Ravens Space Marines ultimately proved victorious, even following an unexpected conflict with the forces of the Imperial Guard stationed on the world, and returned the planet to the rule of the Imperium of Man.
The planet appears to have a varied but temperate climate conducive to human life which was why it was chosen for colonisation in the first place.
The only visible part of Kronus is a single large continent with several nearby islands. Kronus' climate ranges from cold, icy mountains to hot deserts that lie in the northwestern region of the continent. The southeast is a region that transitions in climate from temperate to tropical jungle.
The planet bears signs of being an industrially developed planet, as large refining facilities still remain, such as in the Hyperion Peaks, or the very advanced spaceport that exists at Pavonis.
History of the Dark Crusade
Kronus was first colonised by humanity many millennia ago, during the Dark Age of Technology. It is explicitly stated that it was a battlefield between the Loyalist and Traitor forces during the Horus Heresy and certainly Titans of both sides has fought on the world. The colonisers of Kronus were also unaware that they had actually settled upon a Necron Tomb World.
The main tomb of the Necron Lord of Kronus was located under the Thur'Abis Plateau. Approximately 200 standard years before the events in the game Kronus was captured by the Tau Empire from the Imperium, although some resistance by the world's overwhelmingingly human population to xenos rule remained until the events of the Dark Crusade reclaimed the planet for the Imperium of Man, dealing the Tau a costly defeat.
Kronus was a largely peaceful colony of the T'au Empire, until an Imperial Guard regiment under the leadership of General Lukas Alexander arrived upon the planet, in pursuit of the Aeldari Farseer Taldeer of Ulthwé Craftworld on the orders of Ultima Segmentum Command, due to her actions during the recent war on Lorn V. His forces landed in the abandoned human city of Ironworks Bay and found traces of ancient Imperial relics scattered across the planet, including the Hellstorm Cannon, a weapon from a Horus Heresy-era Imperator-class Titan, the Aquila Ignis.
The city was renamed Victory Bay by General Alexander, and his Adeptus Mechanicus Tech-priests began excavating the massive Titan's Hellstorm Cannon. The Segmentum Command then gave General Alexander the title of Governor-Militant of Kronus, and tasked him with reconquering the planet for the Imperium from the T'au. He renamed his regiment the 1st Kronus Regiment, nicknaming them "the Liberators" since his soldiers were fighting to free the humans who were living under the rule of the Tau.
Farseer Taldeer, leading the forces of Craftworld Ulthwé from battling the Necrons on Lorn V, in turn, had arrived upon Kronus to continue the fight against another recently awakened Necron population, the most ancient foe of her people. These Necrons had gone into stasis in their subterranean tombs upon Kronus millions of years earlier, after their war with the Old Ones.
The Necrons had awoken when the Thur'Abis Plateau had been excavated by a human archeological team led by Thomas Macabee seeking to understand more about their world's unusually active past. Necron ruins had been visible for many Terran years to the world's human colonists and the planet's T'au rulers supported research to learn more about this mysterious culture.
The team's excavations of the Necrons ruins had ultimately opened their tombs and accelerated the awakening of the Necrons. Surprisingly, Thomas Macabee has been a possessor of the Pariah gene and he was the only member of his team who survived their unexpected awakening of the Necrons of Kronus. Of course, Macabee was transformed into a hideous Necron Pariah to act as the herald of the awakened Necron Lord of Kronus.
The Ork Warboss Gorgutz Ead'Unter had also made his way to Kronus, following the collapse of his WAAAGH! on the world of Lorn V. He carried with him from that world the skull of Lord Crull from the so-called Blood Legion of Khorne. After the Ork Warboss had "landed" his Rok on the Green Coast, he quickly set about subjugating the feral Orks already on the planet, in an attempt to rebuild his WAAAGH! and take Kronus as the heart of a new Ork empire. In a vicious battle which took place outside the Rok (which had destroyed several Orkish settlements as it landed), Gorgutz quickly subdued the local tribes under his command and launched a new WAAAAGH!
The Word Bearers Chaos Space Marines, under the leadership of the Dark Apostle Eliphas the Inheritor, had come to Kronus in order to avenge their defeat at the hands of the Ultramarines during the Horus Heresy. A number of cultists in the Deimos Peninsula opened a Warp Gate for the Traitor Legion in a gruesome sacrificial ritual dedicated to the Ruinous Powers of Chaos. The Word Bearers sought to turn the planet into a new Daemon World of the Warp.
The Blood Ravens Space Marines, led by young Captain Davian Thule as Force Commander, arrived on Kronus in search of Blood Ravens artefacts left behind by their forebearers during the Horus Heresy. Striking from their forward base at Castellum Incorruptus in North Vandea, they sought to eliminate all the other factions on the planet, including the Imperial Guard soldiers under General Lukas Alexander. Captain Thule was under orders from the Chief Librarian of the Chapter to purge the planet, having been told that there were sacred relics from the Chapter's mysterious early years on Kronus and these could not fall into the hands of heretics or aliens.
Captain Davian Thule led the 1st,2nd and 4th Companies of the Blood Marines to the world and ordered Governor-Militant Lukas Alexander to withdraw from Kronus along with all of his men and evacuate the world's civilians. Governor-Militant Alexander refused to take this course of action, since he was not obliged to take orders from a Space Marines captain over the conflicting orders he had from Segmentum Command, and both sides were acting on the orders of their superiors. This meant that Captain Thule and his Space Marines would be forced to fight other soldiers of the Imperium, an act which would have long-term consequences for the Chapter.
The T'au Empire had captured Kronus from the Imperium of Man some 200 standard years earlier and viewed the thriving colony on the planet as an important component of the Greater Good. They were forced to send military aid from the T'au Fire Caste when the Necrons awakened as their limited military forces were outnumbered.
The Ethereal Caste, the leaders of the T'au Empire, could not, and would not, allow one of their colonies to fall without putting up a fight. Thus, they sent the Ethereal Caste member Aun'El Shi'Ores and the Fire Caste Commander Shas'O Kais to the planet to reconquer it in the name of the Greater Good. There was reported euphoria in the capital city of Tash'n (known to the Imperium as Asharis) on the sight of the Ethereal.
Thus, the once quiet colony world of Kronus became one of the most savage battlefields in recent galactic history as the Dark Crusade unfolded. The conflict was a brutal one, with each faction engaging in heavy fighting with one another. In the end, the indomitable command of Captain Davian Thule and his Blood Ravens saw victory for the Imperium, despite the decimation of the Imperial Guard forces under General Alexander and the fall of Victory Bay to the Space Marines after brutal fighting between the two Imperial factions.
General Alexander and his surviving Imperial Guardsmen were allowed to leave the planet and return to Segmentum Command, where they called upon the Imperial Inquisition to investigate the Blood Ravens for possible heresy. Following the defeat of the 1st Kronus, Davian Thule struck hard and fast from his Chapter's forward base in North Vandea. He broke the back of each and every enemy force on Kronus; Farseer Taldeer fell to her death in the cold snow before his forces as her battered and broken Eldar warriors fled the world. The Necron Lord and deathly manifestation of the C'tan known as the Nightbringer were defeated beneath the Thur'Abis Plateau while Davian Thule and his warriors personally delivered a nuclear explosive to the heart of those catacombs which burried the Necron Tombs for all eternity.
The Ork Warboss Gorgutz saw yet another of his WAAAGH!'s ultimately crushed by the Blood Ravens Space Marines, but in his typical fashion he fled the world, sure to cause trouble for the Imperium elsewhere. The Dark Apostle Eliphas the Inheritor and his Word Bearers also suffered defeat at the hands of Thule's Blood Ravens. The Blood Ravens' Force Commander personally witnessed the Dark Apostle torn to bloody ribbons by his dark masters the Chaos Gods for his failure to take the world for Chaos.
The T'au Ethereal Aun'El Shi'Ores was slain by the stoic advance of the Space Marines and his body recovered by the hastily retreating Tau forces, an emotionally broken Commander Shas'O Kais leading his defeated survivors off the world, having been unable to hold it for the Greater Good. In the wake of the Blood Ravens' victory in the Dark Crusade, Kronus was returned to Imperial rule, though its population was evacuated as the Blood Ravens had initially desired due to the taint of aliens and Chaos that was now rampant on the world. Whether the world would be recolonised is unknown
Following the Space Marines' assault upon the Imperial Guard forces on Kronus, the Inquisition's Ordo Hereticus undertook a sweeping investigation of the Blood Ravens Chapter for signs of possible Chaos taint. Their efforts ultimately cleared the Blood Ravens and Captain Thule of any wrongdoing or taint of corruption and chalked up the entire affair to the rigid Imperial bureaucracy of Ultima Segmentum Command and the lack of clear lines of authority in the situation on Kronus.
Though Space Marines normally were granted command authority over the Imperial Guard within any Imperial campaign, that authority was not clear in the case of Kronus and the Inquisition determined that both Imperial factions had acted with honour during the Dark Crusade.
This question was not resolved and would emerge again when during the conflict in the Kaurava System the Blood Ravens, the Imperial Guard and a third Imperial faction, the Adepta Sororitas' Sisters of Battle, would come to blows once more. The issue of which Imperial organisation had preeminent authority in a war zone when the lines of command had not previously been established by the Imperial bureaucracy remained a major problem for the Imperium of Man in future conflicts.
Places of Note
- Deimos Peninsula: Once the most beautiful place on Kronus, the Deimos Peninsula was turned into a hellscape of Chaos after the arrival of the Word BearersTraitor Legion on the planet. It later housed the Warp gate responsible for bringing more of the Chaos Marines onto the planet.
- Thur'Abis Plateau: Sitting in the middle of the greatest desert on Kronus, the Thur'Abis Plateau was actually a catacomb of Necron origin, and this is where the Necrons emerged to destroy the living once again after they were awakened by an ill-fated archeological expedition to the region.
- Green Coast: Situated in the southwestern part of Kronus' major continent, the Green Coast is the main habitat for the Orks living on the planet. After having "landed" his Rok in the area, Warboss Gorgutz Ead'Unter made this tropical region of dense jungle his base of operations.
- North Vandea: Situated on the northeastern coast of Kronus' major continent, the region of North Vandea houses the Blood Ravens' Castellum Incorruptus, and serves as their main base of operations on Kronus.
- Victory Bay: Originally known as Ironworks Bay, this once-abandoned Imperial city was renamed Victory Bay after the forces of the Imperial Guard's 1st Kronus Regiment ("the Liberators") led by Governor-Militant Lukas Alexander, arrived on the world and discovered an ancient Hellstorm Cannon, taken from an Imperator-class Titan during the Horus Heresy, in the middle of the city. It was later named the Imperial capital city of the planet.
- Or'es Tash'n: Known as Asharis during the time of Imperial rule on Kronus, Tash'n was the Tau Empire's capital city on Kronus, and it housed a large number of Tau and Kroot inhabitants as well as a not inconsiderable number of humans. It is situated slightly to the northwest of the Thur'Abis Plateau.
- Tyrea: Located on the far northwestern corner of the embattled main continent, Tyrea is the site of Farseer Taldeer's primary base of operations for the Craftworld Ulthwé forces on Kronus seeking to contain the most recent awakening of the Necrons. A large Webway gate connects the base to her wraithship on the edge of the Kronus System.
Other Important Regions
- Pavonis: Pavonis was a great city located roughly in the center of the embattled regions of Kronus, to the north of the Thur'Abis Plateau. Pavonis is the planet's primary spaceport. The region is home to an ancient Adeptus Mechanicus planetary tracking system combined with Tau Air Caste technology, which would allow those who controlled it to avoid enemy fire while making deep strikes from orbit, allowing attacks to be launched anywhere on the planet using that faction's air assets to transport its troops without resistance (with the exception of each faction's headquarters regions).
- Vandean Coast: Kronus' primary manufacturing facilities are located in the Vandean Coast. Though dormant, these Manufactorias can be reactivated by an attacking force, allowing more production of troops and vehicles for their Dark Crusade war effort.
- Eres Badlands: Located west of the Deimos Peninsula, the Eres Badlands were the location of a powerful Greater Daemon of Khorne who had been imprisoned beneath the surface during the Horus Heresy battles fought on Kronus. This daemon sought the blood of mortals to feed its power. In return for providing the souls demanded, the Daemon would grant any who could control it the power to make multiple attacks across the world's surface.
- Hyperion Peaks: The range of mountains called the Hyperion Peaks were located north of the Green Coast. With its extremely rich minerals and Manufactorias in almost perfect condition, the faction in control of this region can deploy forward bases, which is a devastating advantage in battle. But the Hyperion Peaks were not easy to capture, due to their location in the middle of one of Kronus' greatest deserts, allowing any defending force the opportunity to seize a commanding defensive position.
- Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - Dark Crusade (PC game)
- Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II (PC game)
- Dark Crusade - Blood Ravens After Action Report