Rounding out the player contributions to our Warhammer 40k narrative campaign is the Ianthe Sub-Sector from Paul (our fearless campaign gamemaster). Paul is tugging on many, many puppet strings behind the scenes in the campaign, but he also found time to contribute his own custom sub-sector. Behold, the Ianthe Sub-Sector!
Continuing with the player contributions to our homebrew narrative campaign (Caluphel Awakenings), here we have a rich tapestry of lore sent in by Alex highlighting his Occulta Manticora Sub-Sector. The region is home to his Salamanders faction, the Crusade of Fire.
He’s also provided several maps of individual star systems in the sub-sector. Be sure to click the images to view the large versions so you can read the gazetteer info that he came up with as well!
One of several ways to earn points in our current Caluphel Awakenings campaign is to paint up new units. Last month I knocked out a squad of Plague Marines for my Death Guard vectorium, the Maggot Magnates.
This month I am pleased to showcase another unit for the Magnates (my take on Nauseous Rotbone, the Plague Surgeon) as well as some minis painted by fellow player Jim: a trio of hulking, brutal Bullgryns known as the Bill Collectors. (Possible tagline: “Past due? No good for you.”)
I’m particularly enamored with the glowing blue effect Jim achieved on his shock mauls.
And here is Nauseous Rotbone, the Plague Surgeon for the Maggot Magnates. Hold still, this won’t hurt a bit.
That’s all for now! We’re planning a Kill Team night this weekend, so be sure to check back for photos and a game writeup.
Here’s one last faction writeup for our Caluphel Awakenings campaign! This one comes from Alex and focuses on his Salamanders Space Marine warband.
Long before the 41st millenium, during the Horus Heresy, the Primarch Vulkan had Forge Father T’kell hide nine of the powerful artifacts he had created in a hidden vault upon an unnamed world. He did this to ensure the artifacts would never fall into the hands of the traitor forces encroaching upon the loyal Imperium.
The artifacts were lost to history and hunted by loyalists, traitors, and xenos alike. The Salamanders did not recover any of the artifacts until the early 41st millenium, when Forge Father Vulkan Dir’san found the forge-ship Chalice of Fire along with the artifact known as the Eye of Vulkan drifting in space. This discovery kickstarted a new search for the rest of the artifacts. The Salamanders now have five of the nine and are still in their perpetual quest to obtain the final four.
Near the end of the 41st millenium, Techmarine Argos, the Salamanders’ Master of the Forge, discovered a clue as to the whereabouts of the vault that was meant to hide the artifacts upon the Chalice of Fire. The ship was designed to transport the artifacts to the massive vault that would hide them.
This spurred the full mobilization of a battle group meant to finally find the ancient vault once and for all and — hopefully — uncover more clues as to the whereabouts of the last four artifacts. The forces composing the battle group where the entire first company, elements of the second, third, and the seventh companies, and including large elements of the Salamanders armory and a sizable chunk of their fleet power.
The battle group was led by the Captain of the second company, Al’kehere, and Forge Father Vulkan He’stan. Now known as the Crusade of Fire, the battle group departed just as the Thirteenth Black Crusade got underway. As they were in transit, Cadia fell and the Cicatrix Maledictum formed and broke apart the fleet. Three quarters of the Crusader of Fire materialized from the warp southeast of Macragge. The rest of the fleet was lost to the warp, including the majority of the first company, the Forge Father, and almost the entirety of the Salamanders armor.
However, a beacon of light gave hope to the broken Crusade. The Salamanders’ ships picked up the astropathic calls of friendly Imperial forces in a nearby sector, above the world of Caluphel. Not knowing what had transpired or how long they had been lost in the warp, the Salamanders resolved to meet their Imperial allies — who, beyond the Crusade’s knowledge, were being reinforced by a new ally to the Imperium.
Captain Al’kehere was chosen to lead the Crusade of Fire for his knowledge of the area and its native xenos, experience he gained from prior engagements in the sector.
The captain was born near the middle of the 41st millenium to one of the few remaining nomadic tribes of Nocturne. He was discovered by the captain of the seventh company on a training mission as young Al’kehere was attempting to save his father from a firedrake with only his hammer.
It was a losing battle to be sure. The seventh company captain saved him and his father and rewarded him with a choice for his valor and courage. He would either escort them home, or Al’kehere could have the option to join the next batch of aspirants to join the seventh company.
Realizing it was an amazing honor to join the Salamanders’ ranks, he was encouraged by his father to accept the Captain’s offer. He managed to survive the grueling tests of the Salamanders and made it through his time as an aspirant to become a battle brother in the devastator core of the second company.
He rose quickly through the ranks of the second for the same courage that won him a place in the chapter’s ranks. By the end of the 41st millennium, he had achieved the rank of Captain and Master of the Watch for almost 400 years of exemplary service. During those four centuries, he perpetually fought for the Emperor and Vulkan, making him an ideal leader for the Crusade of Fire.
Here’s a peek at John’s faction in our Caluphel Awakenings campaign: the Juventius Free Regiment.
Rather than go with a “typical” 40k army, John has sketched out a fighting force firmly ensconced in the moral gray area of the Warhammer 40,000 universe. And we all know there’s plenty of that! After all, you can’t have grimdark without some grimgray lurking on the periphery.
When the Great Rift opened and the Emperer’s grace fled sub-sector Juventius, Imperial Command ordered a mass exodus toward Holy Terra. The faithful obeyed, taking to their ships and entering the warp on an ill-fated retreat. No one has seen or heard from them since.
Those who declined such folly invited war from the Imperium’s zealots who remained in the Juventius sub-sector. The survivors thwarted an exterminatus attempt, and fended off rearguard attacks from the retreating faithful. Within weeks, they were alone in the sub-sector. The war galvanized those who survived into a well-organized provisional government backed by a capable fighting force of former Imperial Guardsmen. The Independent Systems of Juventius was born.
Knowing their tenuous position in the galaxy, Juventius Independent Command dispatched the Free Regiment to Caluphel sub-sector, with orders to contain and divert threats away from Juventius. Failing that, the regiment will provide early warning home, and fight delaying actions against potential invaders.
Free Regiment Command enjoys broad latitude in executing its mission, and will likely fight alongside anyone who prevents one single faction from consolidating power in the Caluphel system.
As if those problems weren’t enough, Juventius security forces must also contend with a rising counter-culture of pleasure cults that threatens to weaken the sub-sector against her enemies and further antagonize the dreaded Ordo Hereticus.
Free Regiment Leadership (from left): Admiral Naria Helles, Security Chief Narcus Grine, and Colonel Adric Boden
Admiral Helles commanded the battleship Indomitable, responsible for carrying out the exterminatus order when it came. Instead, she murdered the Lord Commissar aboard the Indomitable and ordered a full attack on faithful war vessels. Despite provoking a bloodbath, her decision forced the faithful to cut losses and flee the sub-sector. Helles is now an esteemed voice on the ruling council of Juventius, highly regarded with a spotless reputation. She thrives in chaos, and secretly supports the pleasure cults blossoming throughout the sub-sector. In a different universe, she would have been a dancer.
Chief Narcus Grine still considers himself faithful to the Emperor, believing that the panicked idiocy of his brethren who fled displayed the true lapse of faith. He fills his little free time with fervent study, secure in the knowledge that the path to happiness lies in the Emperor’s teachings. He suspects the influence of demons upon the wicked pleasure cults. As security chief, with access to once forbidden tracts on demonology, he has begun to learn and understand the true nature of humanity’s greatest foes. Grines will tend to take personal command of security teams dispatched to respond to any violent consequences of pleasure cultists’ debauchery.
To Colonel Adric Boden, knowledge is power. Before the faithful fled, the Emperor was the surest route to both, despite His servants’ sanctimonious hoarding of access. When the Emperor’s light darkened, Boden chose his new surest route to knowledge and power, the independent Juventius. So far, he is pleased with his decision. He commands the best fighting force available to the sub-sector, and the fate all Juventius depends on his success. Most of all, he knows that Caluphel is rife with secrets, and aches for the chance uncover and control them.
Here’s another look at one of the factions taking part in the Caluphel Awakenings campaign: the 42nd Auxiliary Armored Fist Relief Battlation, better known as Jim’s glorious armored Imperial Guard tank army!
Buckle up, because Jim has provided an absolute treasure trove of photos of his amazing figures and vehicles. We’re a family-friendly site here at Comrade’s Wargames, but I think the term “tank porn” probably applies here.
Let’s lead off with this stunning and atmospheric photo of a lone Leman Russ, silhouetted against the darkening sky.
Oh, you want more? Jim’s got you covered. Check this out.
Not good enough? Maybe you want to see a superheavy? Feast your eyes on Big Papa.
Just amazing work from Jim. And so much of it — he’s been working on this army off and on since 1997!
Anyway, here’s the lore he came up with.
The 42nd Auxiliary Armored Fist Relief Battalion is an ad hoc fighting force made up from survivors of Imperial battle fleets forced out of the warp after the catastrophic advent of the Cicatrix Maledictum — the great warp storm that rent the galaxy asunder and ushered in a new dark age for the Imperium of Man.
In the chaos that followed the warp storm, fragmented Imperial Guard units on the Eastern Fringe found their way to Caluphel Prime, where a motley collection of strike cruisers and troop transports anchored in high orbit and considered their options. Virtually no senior officers survived the journey, leaving this ad hoc battalion mostly leaderless, even as it faces the gathering storm on Caluphel.
A temporary leader arose — a Knight Commander named Argos. He was chosen from among his peers to lead a reactionary armored force to the planet’s surface. Of Argos, not much is known — either of the man himself, nor the legend that he may become.