We’ve been enjoying developing the backstory and evolving meta-plot for Caluphel Prime, our 40k campaign setting. With the release of the 8th edition of Warhammer 40,000, we’ve decided to update the campaign and bring it forward into the new Dark Imperium setting. We used this as an excuse to create a shiny new campaign map, too!
The new setting gives us the perfect vehicle for making such major story updates: the Cicatrix Maledictum, the galaxy-spanning warp storm that has split the Imperium asunder and ushered in a horrifying new chapter in mankind’s darkest age.
In the Caluphel system, the Great Rift erupted just as exploration of the newly rediscovered colony world was ramping up. Imperial explorator teams, joined by contingents from several Space Marine chapters, had established a few protected landing zones on the Caluphel’s surface. Opposing them were raiding parties of foul Traitor Legions as well as a vanguard from the inscrutable Tau. On the planet’s surface, advance recon teams were encountering nests of dormant Tyranids in the archeotech tunnels beneath major cities and outposts.
In short: all factions were jockeying for position on the planet’s surface even as they plumbed the depths of Caluphel’s mysteries.
All of that changed when the Great Rift — known variously as the Mouth of Ruin, the Warpscar and the Emperor’s Shriek — ripped the heavens asunder. For the fleets in orbit around Caluphel Prime, the effect was immediate and catastrophic. Massive landers and strike craft were tossed about on a roiling, churning tempest of raw warp energy.
In an instant, the armies operating on Caluphel’s surface lost their orbital support, as the fleets were blasted to pieces by the raging energies pouring out of the Great Rift. Crippled ships spiraled down through smoke and flame to crash-land on the planet’s surface.
Two such ships — Strike Cruiser Tenacity, bearing elements of the Dorn’s Disciples Space Marine Chapter, and Troop Transport Gladius, carrying a newly raised regiment of Imperial Guard — managed to crash-land more or less intact. Their passengers disembarked and began endeavoring to link up with the rumored Imperial forces already operating on the planet.
The remaining factions on Caluphel went to ground, seeking shelter in bunkers, bombed-out buildings and subterranean chambers as the warp storm raged in the heavens. The conflagration lashed the Caluphel system for a full week … and then subsided, leaving only an eerie silence.
When the hard-bitten survivors on Caluphel stepped out of their shelters and looked skyward, they didn’t see the familiar constellations of Segmentum Ultima. Instead, they saw the baleful glow of the Scourge Stars, and beyond that, the delicate spray of planets and stars of the Eastern Fringe.
It was almost impossible to comprehend, but it seemed that the Caluphel system had been pulled into the warp and relocated to the Eastern Fringe, near the borders of the Realm of Ultramar.
Within a few short days, their fears were realized. Frantic communications with other nearby Imperial listening posts confirmed that the Caluphel system had been deposited into a warp-torn section of space in the Eastern Fringe known as the Hadex Anomaly.
While the Imperials pondered the full, horrifying implications of this news, the Chaos Space Marines operating on the planet’s surface looked skyward and smiled. The Scourge Stars had recently fallen to the diseased legions of the Death Guard, and so the murderous Night Lords on Caluphel knew they would be getting reinforcements from their pustulent brothers soon enough.
Likewise, the Tau of the L’Ranna Company managed to pilot their craft down through the maelstrom and effect a hard landing on the planet’s surface. The mysterious xenos nodded solemnly and interpreted good omens in the planet’s relocation to the Hadex Anomaly. The hard-pressed Tau Empire was located relatively close by, and so the L’Ranna warriors looked forward to a reunion with their estranged cousins.
So that brings us into the current 40k storyline! The Hadex Anomaly seems like a good place for Caluphel, since it leaves open the door for more weird narrative shenanigans in the future. The location — near both the Plague Stars and the Tau Empire — is ideal for incorporating reinforcements as players add to their armies. We’re located in the lower right portion of the map, near the word “The” in “The Eastern Fringe.” (Click here for a bigger map image.)
Look for more new and exciting games in the future as we explore the new setting!