Nethamus is an Imperial Agri-World that is the first planet of the Konor System in the Realm of Ultramar. Long the breadbasket of the Konor System, Nethamus' vast crop oceans and synth-silo complexes feed countless trillions of loyal souls across the system. The world came under sustained attack by the Forces of Chaos in service to Nurgle during the Plague Wars of the early 42nd Millennium, but the Imperial forces valiantly rallied to reclaim Astaramis for the Emperor.
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 blood stream 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 Nethamus Campaign
Having brought the horror of total war to both the Konor System's manufacturing capital at Konor itself and its central source of recruits on Astaramis, the Chaos invasion fleet next sought to deny the Imperial defenders sustenance. By corrupting the breadbasket of Nethamus -- a massive, temperate Agri-World whose enormous crop oceans stretch for thousands upon thousands of miles -- the Forces of Chaos intended to starve their prey. Without Nethamus' vital food supplies, the enormous military engine of the Astra Militarum would grind to a halt. Even more deviously, the Death Guard and their allies could begin the process of distributing tainted produce throughout Ultramar. Once consumed, this plague-ridden foodstuff created an unending hunger that would tempt millions of mortal souls toward embracing the bountiful gifts of Nurgle.
Yet the Imperium, by now all too aware of the doom approaching Nethamus, had prepared a doomsday response. Soldiers and agri-workers loaded crop reserves upon vast factory-crawlers, as well as synthesizer silos capable of producing enough food to sustain the ongoing defence of the Konor System. Orbiting Imperial Battleships rained Magmatic Bombs across the planet, incinerating vast swathes of land. As the first Death Guard troops made planetfall, they unleashed their virulent contagions into the atmosphere. The spreading blight was met on all sides by colossal walls of swirling flame, or vast stretches of barren wasteland, where clouds of ash mixed with daemonic spores to create a putrid toxic rain.
The corruption of Nethamus was stalled, but if the Imperial defenders could not hold the attackers at bay, all their efforts would be for naught. The Chaos forces' armoured formations launched assault after assault upon the mobile factory-crawlers. The bravery of the Astra Militarum and Adeptus Astartes tank crews held them at bay, but many isolated crawlers were surrounded and blasted apart, or boarded by vengeful Chaos warriors, the agri-workers inside butchered and their precious cargo despoiled. If the Imperial forces continued to lose their factory-crawlers at such a rate, famine would soon spread across the Konor System and the surrounding region in a matter of solar weeks.
Yet, in the end, though inferno storms devoured most of Nethamus' southern continent, the Agri-World's precious grain-silos remained in operation. The Konor System did not starve.
Fresh from their victory at Konor, the armies of the Imperium made for the Agri-World of Nethamus, the vital food basket of the system. Their numbers were bolstered by reinforcements from the reclaimed Forge World, including legions of Skitarii and rumbling war machines. These troops would be vital in the battle for Nethamus, for the twisted Daemon Engines and corrupted armour of Chaos already stalked the Agri-World's blighted surface. Drukhari Reavers had also been sighted, racing across the vast open plains in their agile skycraft. These sadistic killers revelled in the terror and confusion of the conflict, appearing from nowhere like creatures from some terrible nightmare, snatching unfortunate souls away to serve as slaves and tormented playthings in the Dark City of Commorragh.
Some of the fiercest fighting would take place at The Neck, the mountainous valley region that connected the incinerated southern continent to the north, where the few remaining factory-crawlers still carried a precious cargo of produce. The ground was churned to an ashen wasteland beneath torrents of high-explosive shells, as regiments of Imperial tanks formed an impenetrable wall of steel, denying every inch of ground to their hated foes.
This heroic defence bought precious time for Convoy Druseus -- the largest gathering of factory-crawlers and its armoured defenders -- to reach a defensible position amidst the northern valleys. As Heretic forces closed in on all fronts, the convoy halted and its defenders hastily established fortifications, trenches and Sentry Gun arrays. In an earth-shaking tank duel, the Imperial forces drove back the assault, blasting apart Daemon Engine and corrupted tank alike, until the field was littered with the smoking wreckage of hundreds of vehicles, and the surviving enemies were forced to retreat.
The planetary capital city of Khorsis, for so long the last bastion of Imperial defenders on the planet, was finally retaken several solar days later, though by the time the last pockets of Chaos resistance had been scoured from their lairs, the great agri-hive was little more than a burned-out husk. Nethamus, though riven by firestorms and choked by roiling clouds of smoke, still clung to life. More and more Imperial reinforcements arrived planetside, and soon the factory-crawlers were surrounded by fortifications such as defence lines and Vengeance Weapon Batteries, and guarded by regiments of grim-faced Astra Militarum soldiers. With vital medical supplies and food reserves secured, the defence of the Konor System continued apace on its other worlds.
The world of Nethamus 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:
- Convoy Druseus - The largest convoy of factory-crawlers upon Nethamus is codenamed Druseus, in honour of an ancient Imperial Saint of plentiful harvests. This vast gathering of crawlers, silo-trucks and civilian vehicles is heavily guarded, and was on the move constantly once Chaos forces first made planetfall upon Nethamus. Through the sacrifice of millions of Imperial lives, the food reserves and plants stored within Druseus' immense factory-crawlers remain unspoiled, and Imperial transports circled like vultures above the convoy, making regular combat drops to secure great hauls of priceless grain. The extensive procession had to halt for fuel periodically, and it was then that the exhausted Imperial tank crews and mechanised infantry were forced to turn and face the pursuing foe, fending off the enemy's assaults until the factory-crawlers were ready to restart the convoy once more.
- The Neck - When Mortarion's armies first landed upon Nethamus and began their war of despoilment by unleashing virulent plagues, the Imperium responded with typical bluntness. Vast swathes of the planet's crop oceans were incinerated with Magmatic Bombs. Imperial forces hoped to burn out the toxic gifts of the Nurgle worshippers before they contaminated the entire planet's critical food supply. The fires raging across the southern continent have long since burned out, leaving nothing but a single enormous desert of blackened earth. Several Imperial armoured regiments defended the far north of this great spoil, where the land mass narrowed into a series of ash-choked valleys, the gateway to the remaining crop oceans of the crucial northern continent. They held at bay a large Chaos army of Daemon Engines and armour, which threatened to break through the Imperial lines and encircle the remaining mobile factory-crawler convoys that were already harried by Traitor tank formations pouring out from the polar tundra.
- Ruins of Khorsis - Once a prosperous agricultural planetary capital, the city of Khorsis fell in the first few solar weeks of the war on Nethamus. It was soon little more than a smoking ruin, claimed by the putrid hand of Nurgle. Death Guard Traitor Marines and their allies took the shattered metropolis for their base of operations, and their slaves and cultist allies have erected vast statues and shrines honouring the Lord of Decay. Bubbling plague pits and corpse-trees now line the once bustling avenues of Khorsis, and more and more Chaos forces pour into the city with every passing day. Horrific slime-dripping daemons gurgle and chortle as they hunt those few unfortunate citizens who were unable to escape the Chaos onslaught and hide within the ruins. The Imperium, however, is not willing to cede the city without a fight. Its armies were deployed to assault the Chaos stronghold, tying up reinforcements and buying precious time for the factory-crawler convoys in the north. The enormous livestock slaughteriums and devastated labour-habs of the ruined city echoed with the ceaseless thunder of artillery shells and high-explosive rounds as battle tanks clashed, while amidst the burned-out buildings, Imperial infantry fought the Warp-spawned monstrosities and Traitor regiments.
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.