"Wot 'er dem Marine-Boyz doin' 'ere? We's gots to get outta 'ere 'fore dey take our new shiny bitz! I bets dey think we's dumb and don' know wots we got. Tell da Kaptain we's goin' now! "
The Slinnar Drift is a dense star cluster found within the Jericho Reach of the Segmentum Ultima. Stretching out among the far reaches of the Achilus Crusade, with dozens of closely positioned stars, the planetary systems within the Drift are hostile wastelands.
The value of the Slinnar Drift is not measured in its habitable planets, however, but in the vast mineral and chemical resources available to any who dare enter.
Every Imperial commander within the Jericho Reach is aware of the strategic value inherent in the virtually untapped resources of this star cluster.
Marking the entrance to the Drift is the planet Sedu. It is notable for being the only planet within the Drift to be capable of supporting life. Before the Jericho Reach's "Age of Shadow," Sedu was a border planet located at the civilised edge of the original Imperial Jericho Sector.
Previously, Sedu was a typical Frontier World. The citizens were mostly miners who would venture into the Slinnar Drift to gather resources that could be either sold or put to use on Sedu itself. When the Dark Times came to the Jericho Sector, Sedu was one of the first planets to lose contact with the rest of its brethren.
When the Achilus Crusade pushed outwards towards the Drift, attempts were made to re-establish contact with the planet, although no answer was received. A detachment of the Astra Militarum's Volg 47th Regiment was deployed to the planet's surface to determine what had happened to this once proud border world.
Upon landing, they found that the face of the planet itself had changed completely from the ancient maps of the Jericho Sector. Sedu was now a complete desert with no signs of Human life. Exploring deeper into the wasteland, the Imperial Guardsmen came upon a few ragtag bands of mutants, and the occasional Ork tribe.
Returning to their ship, the crusade forces were puzzled as to what could have caused this drastic change to the planet's bio-sphere. Not only had the entire surface of the planet been changed, but no sign at all existed of the cities that had been built there. Marking it as an anomaly, the crusade pushed onward, deeper into the Drift.
The Deep Drift
Once a ship has crossed the Sedu threshold they enter into the Slinnar Drift proper. The Drift itself is comprised of dozens of protostars and their corresponding planetary systems.
So far, the crusade has not charted a single life-sustaining planet within the Drift, but the mapping process has fallen by the wayside due to the extraordinary demands placed on all Imperial ships and crew by Lord Militant Solomon Tetrarchus.
All of the planets that have been mapped have been given simple numeric designations with annotations for the specific type of resource, be it chemical or geological, that the planet harbours.
During the early parts of the mapping expeditions, strange vox signals were received by the crusade forces any time that they went near a planet that was rich in either adamantium or any material used in the creation of ceramite.
The signals were not encoded, nor did they have an apparent meaning to them. The commander in charge of the exploration fleet catalogued the signals and classified them as echoes from a long ago past.
Fragments from Beyond
During their long stewardship of the Jericho Reach, the Deathwatch have encountered many strange and ominous things. The most puzzling of all though is a discovery that was made within the Slinnar Drift.
On various worlds, most notably those that produce materials for repairing Power Armour, fragments of an as yet unidentifiable metal have been found.
This material, classified as Metal X-1794, has an unknown origin, but rigorous testing by the Adeptus Mechanicus has shown that if significant quantities of this could be found they would be able to craft a suit of Power Armour that would afford the wearer the same level of protection as if they were wearing Tactical Dreadnought Armour.
Because of this incredible find, the Deathwatch are scouring the system for any traces as to the origin of this material. Should the source ever be found, it would enhance the already prodigious abilities of a Space Marine to a level never before seen.
Notable Worlds of the Slinnar Drift
- Deathwatch: The Achilus Crusade (RPG), pp. 56-57