Loebos was an Imperial Death World that was the sixth planet of the Konor System in the Realm of Ultramar. Loebos was once an Aeldari Exodite World, until an Imperial invasion slaughtered the populace and rendered its World Spirit violently insane. The world came under sustained attack by the Forces of Chaos in service to Nurgle during the Plague Wars of the early 42nd Millennium, and the servants of the Plague God proved successful in claiming the planet. The oceans turned blood-red as butchered corpses bobbed and floated upon the surging tide and daemon-forged Heldrakes whirled and screeched in the skies overhead.
The servants of the Plague God sought to transform Loebos into a giant projectile aimed at destroying the other worlds of the Konor System using the linked Warp-Drives of Space Hulks that they embedded within the Death World's crust. In a desperate, near-suicidal assault upon the onrushing planet of Loebos, the armies of the Imperium averted the obliteration of the Konor System, but at the cost of the destruction of Loebos.
The Plague Wars
Having gathered significant momentum with their early victories on the outskirts of the Konor System during the Plague Wars, the armies of Chaos spread out across the region like poison seeping into the bloodstream of the Imperium.
When the Plague Wars began, Ultramar burned. The putrid warbands of the Death Guard, led by the Daemon Primarch Mortarion, launched a furious assault upon the Ultramarines' stellar empire. This eruption of all-out war threatened to drown the stars themselves in bloodshed and terror. Legions of Heretic Astartes and Chaos-spawned monstrosities have already rampaged across world after world, spreading the malignant corruption of the Dark Gods in their wake. Yet all hope is not lost. The return of the Primarch Roboute Guilliman to the region with the end of the Indomitus Crusade has stalled the seemingly unstoppable momentum of the Chaos advance. In a series of bloody battles, the armies of the Imperium -- reinforced with mighty Primaris Space Marines -- have reclaimed many worlds thought lost, forcing their hated foes to retreat and regroup.
The worshippers of Chaos sought to regain their advantage by smashing a path through the Imperial battle line to Macragge, homeworld of the Ultramarines. Had they succeeded, the greatest Imperial stronghold in the sector would have been gravely threatened, and Guilliman's forces cut-off and surrounded. To achieve this end, the Forces of Chaos had to conquer the well-located Konor System. Powered by the industrial might of the Forge World of Konor, this centre of produce and production feeds the Imperial war machine with vital shipments of munitions and machinery. Populous and prosperous, with a large and well-equipped defence force, the Konor System embodies the glorious dream that is Ultramar. Crucially, it also guarded one of the few stable Warp transit routes to the Macragge System. If the Chaos advance was not halted, Konor would have fallen, and a path to the heartland of Ultramar would be laid bare to the forces of the Ruinous Powers.
Yet the warriors of the Adeptus Astartes had no intention of ceding their rightful domain without a fight. The Ultramarines stood against the Chaos onslaught with nobility and courage, smiting the foe with Bolter and blade. And they are not alone. The military sledgehammer of the Astra Militarum rumbled into action, an armoured fist of devastating tank columns and endless regiments of soldiers that ground all before it into ashes and dust. Scattered Space Marine Chapters rushed fresh reinforcements to the war zone, seeking to aid their embattled kin. Enigmatic Tech-priests of the Adeptus Mechanicus sent forth their legions of steel, and mighty Imperial Knights bestrode the slaughter like ancient gods of war.
Every single warrior -- every Bolter round and bomb -- was vital, for the Chaos host sweeping across the Konor System was vast beyond imagining. Warriors of the Death Guard marched implacably forward, enemy fire spattering harmlessly from their rusted, ancient Power Armour and pallid, twisted flesh. In return, they unleashed bombardments of noxious toxins and flesh-melting plagues. Daemonic legions surge alongside the Chaos advance, exulting in the chance to wreak torment across the material realm. Warbands of Heretic Astartes, millions upon millions of depraved mortal Chaos Cultists, and a thousand other horrors converged upon Konor, drawn to its aura of agony and death like sharks to blood.
Circling this firestorm of destruction were predatory xenos races, ever seeking to further their own mysterious ends. Orks surged into the war in their millions, delighting in the spreading carnage. Craftworld Aeldari and Drukhari circled from afar, offering their services as mercenaries to both sides or launching raids to fulfill some unknowable agenda. Tyranid and T'au forces spilled in from the Eastern Fringe, capitalising on or drawn by the escalating conflict, while even the Necrons sent undying invasion forces to exploit the infighting of the younger races and expand their ancient empires.
No part of the Konor System was left unscarred by the war. If the Heretic Astartes' plans came to fruition, the system's own worlds would have been weaponised and turned against Ultramar. The Forces of Chaos intended to force open a route to Macragge, and that shining light of the Imperium would face obliteration.
The Loebos Campaign
As the war in the Konor System reached its crescendo, dire Vox reports filtered in from the far edge of the region. The Death World of Loebos hurtled across space like an enormous wrecking ball, trailing a vast cloud of spore-ridden asteroids and noxious gases. This was Mortarion's final gambit for the conquest of the Konor System -- a world weaponised, powered by continent-sized engines and the fell power of the Warp. If Loebos' furious momentum was not stopped, the system-wide war still raging would be rendered irrelevant. The Death World would barrel through the system like a plague comet, trailing corruption and death in its wake, infecting world after world with Nurgle's pestilential gifts.
Long-range scans of the onrushing world have revealed the source of its momentum. Gargantuan fusion-powered Warp-Drive arrays cover Loebos' southern continent, flaring with the power of a supernova. These are engines that once powered a number of the Death Guard's vast Space Hulks, grotesque vessels from which Nurgle's chosen launch their raids into Imperial space. Through some form of dread Warpcraft, these enormous devices have been transferred to the surface of the Death World, and their colossal power has wrenched Loebos out of its circumsolar orbit around the star of Konoris and sent it speeding towards the heart of Ultramar.
The only option left to Imperial High Command is to order an all-out assault upon the world, in the hope of sabotaging the Warp engines or destroying the planet itself with a well-placed Cyclonic charge. Such a task will not be easy. The Death Guard have established towering fortresses across the only viable landing sites on Loebos, and holo-picts indicate that Chaos forces are stationed across the equatorial belt in unthinkable numbers.
Such a fearsome garrison would be terrible enough, but the planet of Loebos itself is perhaps the gravest threat to any who set foot upon its surface. Long ago the Imperium attempted to settle Loebos, only to discover that it was in fact an Aeldari world, populated by Exodite tribes. The fighting that followed was brutal, and the Aeldari population was massacred by regiments of Imperial heavy tanks and campaigns of intense firebombing. This wholesale slaughter sent Loebos' tormented World Spirit mad with grief and rage, and it lashed out at the invading humans with every weapon at its disposal. Loebos' flora and fauna fell upon the Imperial forces. Regiments of infantry were torn apart by razor-thorn vines, and tanks were dragged into bubbling acidic swamps. Only a fraction of the Imperial invasion force escaped Loebos alive.
The corruption of Nurgle only exacerbated the world's vengeful insanity. Moats of foul corpse-water ridden with every toxin imaginable kept the Chaos defenders safe within their fortifications, but any troops fighting in the wilderness had no such protection. Every available force was directed towards Loebos immediately, for time ran short. The battle for Loebos was nothing like the Konor System had ever experienced, a nightmare of apocalyptic proportions. Thousands of vehicles and millions of warriors were ground up in a murderous meat grinder, and the environment itself sought to slaughter and devour the combatants, no matter their allegiance. Yet the Imperium had to destroy Loebos, by whatever means and no matter the cost, lest the war for the Konor System ended in system-wide devastation.
There was no sense in the Imperium of Man withholding forces from the assault upon Loebos, for if the corrupted Death World remained on its relentless course, there would be little of the Konor System remaining to save. As the planet soared through space, trailing Warp energies in its wake, the Imperial Navy launched every transport ship, cargo hulk and Battlecruiser available, each vessel packed with soldiers and vehicles. This makeshift fleet made for low orbit, even as the vast Chaos armada escorting the Death World blasted thousands out of the skies in an eruption of coruscating fireballs.
Though the first wave of the planetary assault was almost entirely obliterated by ground fire or torn apart by circling clouds of Plague Drones, the second and third made landfall. Even as the Loyalist troops rushed forth to pre-designated positions, the maddened forests of Loebos came alive around them; barbed vines snatched screaming troopers away into the shadows, crystal-bladed trees impaled tanks and combat walkers, and pools of sizzling acid devoured landing ships whole. Yet, led onwards by the fearless champions of the Adeptus Astartes, the Imperial advance pushed through the lethal wilds, through vicious enemy fire and the worst that the maddened Death World could throw at them. Soon, the great Death Guard fortresses of the Trifectum Putris were crumbling under a relentless firestorm of super-heavy tank shells.
At the Circle of Mehnauris, the raging centre of the World Spirit's agonised torment, a shimmering portal emerged and disgorged ranks of agile, graceful warriors and speeding grav-tanks. The Aeldari had returned to their shattered world, and they brought with them the righteous fury of vengeance. With sword and Shuriken Cannon they struck at the contamination that had so corrupted Loebos, shattering the foul icons of Chaos that littered its surface, and slaughtering any worshippers of the Dark Gods they laid eyes upon. Some Craftworld warhosts, fueled by grief and horror at the fate of Loebos, took the opportunity to enact their revenge against the Imperium's warriors, who had so long ago savaged this once pristine world. Yet the majority of their wrath was spared for the servants of the Dark Gods, from whom they enacted a bloody toll before vanishing back into the Webway.
Meanwhile, strike teams of elite Imperial warriors breached the Chaos perimeter at the Decay of Hope, the largest of the deconstructed Space Hulks powering the Death World's unnatural momentum. They ventured deep into the Warp-touched halls of that dread vessel, encountering mind-shattering nightmares and slavering, flyblown horrors with every step forward. At unthinkable cost, they advanced as far as the fusion core of the great engine array, where they manually detonated a Cyclonic warhead. The resultant cataclysmic explosion enveloped the entire southern continent of Loebos in a coruscating firestorm, setting off a series of chain reactions that ruptured the planetary core. As the remnant of the Imperial forces desperately fell back to evacuation points and made for high orbit upon the remaining transport ships, the tortured world of Loebos began to come apart. In an eruption of white light, the Death World detonated. Huge chunks of the planet were sent rocketing through space, shredding Imperial and Chaos vessels alike, yet no neighbouring world of the Konor System was touched by the devastation. With the death of Loebos, the Konor System had been saved from utter ruin.
The world of Loebos possessed several areas of ultimate strategic import for any force seeking to maintain or seize control over the planet during the Plague Wars. These included:
- Circle of Mehnauris - Whatever sanity Loebos' Aeldari World Spirit once possessed was replaced by mindless agony and hatred. Nurgle's fell influence further corrupted the ancient Wraithbone circle of Mehnauris, once the spiritual centre of the planet's Exodite society. Now the enormous and intricately decorated monoliths pulsed with sickening energy, like infected wounds. Nurgle's touch weighed heavily here. The canopy of forest surrounding the Mehnauris Circle was thick with slime-dripping larval sacs and desiccated corpses, and home to buzzing swarms of plague flies and daemonic drones. The tangles of venomgorse and grapple weed that wound around the stone circle lashed out with a predatory sentience, spilling the blood of any who pressed too close -- Chaos forces were no less vulnerable to the predations of Loebos than their Imperial foes. Imperial psykers and Grey Knights commanders identified the Mehnauris Circle as radiating an intense aura of psychic energy, and theorised that if this key target was neutralised, the presence of daemonic entities upon Loebos would be significantly reduced.
- The Decay of Hope - In order to hurl Loebos out of its orbit of Konoris and use it as a weapon against the rest of the Konor System, the Death Guard broke apart a number of enormous Space Hulks, securing their fusion-powered Warp-Drive engines to the Death World's southern hemisphere. The extraordinary power of these engine arrays, designed to move planet-sized vessels through space, ripped Loebos out of its circumsolar orbit and sent it hurtling towards Imperial space within the system. The greatest source of power comes from the remnant of the Decay of Hope, a monstrous vessel once commanded by Plague Marines of the Mouldering Claw warband. This mountain of metal and Warp-touched rock reaches into the upper atmosphere, where an enormous city-sized engine burns with the power of an imploding star. Imperial forces unleashed an all-out assault upon the Decay of Hope, with the aim of penetrating its formidable defences and detonating Cyclonic warheads deep within its infrastructure. To do so they had to brave not only the formidable Chaos defences that surrounded the former Space Hulk, but the insane nightmare of its labyrinthine interior.
- Trifectum Putris - The Death Guard contingent upon Loebos occupied three monstrous redoubts arranged in the shape of Nurgle's tri-lobed rune, together known as the Trifectum Putris in High Gothic. Surrounded by moats of bubbling corpse-water and swarms of plague flies, these fortresses were almost impregnable. They dominated an imposing swathe of lowland jungle through the use of airburst plague-canisters and ceaseless volleys of viral bombardments, and transports regularly deployed from their fortified gatehouses and landing pads, heading for the world's heavily-contested combat zones. Until the Trifectum was breached, the Imperium found it almost impossible to force a significant beachhead upon Loebos. Yet the act of storming these imposing bastions was to reap a truly horrific tally upon its armies.
Fate of Konor Summer Campaign
The Konor System was the location for the 2017 worldwide Fate of Konor Summer Campaign, conducted by Games Workshop to herald the arrival of the 8th Edition of the Warhammer 40,000 tabletop war game. Each week, players at officially-recognised locations around the world, such as various game and hobby stores, would play a series of campaigns set on each world of the Konor System, representing either the Imperial defenders or the attackers of Chaos. Each battle's outcome was then logged with Games Workshop's Warhammer 40,000 website. The collective outcome of all those battles determined which force ultimately won canonical control of each planet in the system during the Plague Wars.