Dwimlicht is a feral world far from the civilized core of the Calixis Sector in the Hazeroth Abyss where the primitive locals see the Emperor as a mighty star-god and shave their heads so that at night He might look into their minds with His million eyes and see that they are faithful.
Dwimlicht was massively depopulated when warp–storms roiled forth from the death of a mighty daemon. Since then, cults have arisen and perform sacrificial rites to “placate daemons of the Night Void that would otherwise devour the Emperor’s sky–ships.” Deep secrets hide beneath these primitive rituals, twisted echoes from a long–buried civilized past, containing hints that may lead to the summoning---and destruction by Battlefleet fire---of the entity now known as the Eye of the Abyss.
The Bloodwrath IncidentEdit
At the close of 604.M41, the 92nd Brontian Longknives of the Imperial Guard were dispatched to the feral world of Dwimlicht to suppress a widespread and bloody uprising. A confederacy of over a hundred tribes had formed and launched a series of assaults against the few Imperial facilities on the world. Most of these were simple Administratum census-stations, Ecclesiarchy missions, and the like, but one was an Order Famulous outpost, from which the Adepta Sororitas of the Order of the Shining Path kept watch on the natives’ society and traditions. The last thing the sisters reported before they were overrun was the natives’ involvement in a number of highly suspect ritual practices. Where formerly the tribes had made blood offerings of animals to “He who sits on the Golden Throne,” now they made living human sacrifices to “He who sits on the Brass Throne.” While the distinction might have been lost to many, the sisters saw the practice as Heretical. Through lengthy interrogations they uncovered it as the worship of the Chaos God Khorne, Lord of Battle and Bloodshed.
The 92nd Brontian was dispatched to put down the uprising before it spread to the entire world, and its officers ordered to spare none in their purge. The operation to suppress the tribal confederacy was over almost as soon as it had begun, for the tribal warriors were entirely incapable of resisting the superior firepower of the Imperial Guard. Ordinarily, such an uprising would have been expected to disperse before the Imperial troops, to adopt insurgency tactics, and to make the off-worlders bleed for every day of their occupation. Yet, this did not occur. Instead, the tribal warriors threw themselves at the Brontians’ drop-zone fortifications, screaming their veneration to their bloodthirsty god as they died on the regiment’s guns.
The Officio Tacticae advisors accompanying the operation were at a loss to explain what had happened, but most of the officers and men were relieved the campaign had concluded itself so quickly. Sector command ordered the regiment to form into company-sized groups and hunt down any further sign of the insurgency. It soon became evident that the short, if bloody, battle at the drop zone had been fought against the entirely of the uprising, and no more insurgents were discovered. The regiment discovered plenty of evidence of the bloodthirsty rituals that had taken hold of the confederacy’s tribes, and a hundred blood-fanes were put to the torch in the first days and weeks of the occupation.
The 92nd Brontian Longknives assumed occupation and escort duties, accompanying the hundreds of Ecclesiarchy missionaries dispatched to Dwinlicht to ensure no taint of any corruption remained, even though the true nature of that corruption was never revealed to them. After a year, the task was announced complete, and the regiment withdrew to be replaced with a locally raised militia force. The regiment’s company groups assembled at the drop zone, and were shuttled to a transport waiting in orbit, where they would depart on a voyage estimated to take no more than three weeks.
The voyage actually took three years, and the transport vessel finally exited the Warp near Port Wander. The vessel failed to respond to automated far-system transponder beacons, and so an armed mission was dispatched to investigate. The vessel was found to be a slaughterhouse, entirely overrun by daemons of Khorne. It was later surmised that the Imperial guardsmen had indulged in the forbidden practice of trophy-taking from the dead tribal warriors, and through these artefacts had become tainted by the same bloodthirsty corruption that had brought about the Dwinlicht uprising. At some point in the Warp transit each relic had become an open portal into the Empyrean, through which the daemonic servants of the Blood God surged.
As if this was not dire enough, the transport was drifting towards Port Wander, a major Battlefleet Calixis facility and the gateway to the Maw and the distant Koronus Expanse. The risk to the port was deemed catastrophic, and the Imperial Navy ordered the transport to be destroyed without delay. Just as a squadron of torpedo-armed frigates was about to set out from Port Wander, however, two Inquisitors of the Scholariate at Arms made their presence known to the Navy’s commanding officer. The admiral was ordered to stand down his vessels and keep them near the station as a last resort.
The incredulous naval officer was informed that an Ordo Malleus cell would be boarding the daemon-infested vessel to combat the incursion in person and discover for certain how it had happened. Only if the vessel approached to within one million kilometres of Port Wander, the admiral was ordered, was it to be destroyed.
The Ordo Malleus Inquisitors in question were the Radical Inquisitor Bellas the Elder, who believed that the tools, and indeed the servants, of Chaos could be harnessed in the defence of Mankind, and Inquisitor Dylhin, a Puritan with the exact opposite beliefs. Yet despite their differences, both Inquisitors agreed that the transport must be boarded rather than destroyed outright, though for entirely different reasons.
Exactly what happened on the transport vessel will never be known for sure, for none of the Inquisitorial cell returned and the communications logs of all naval vessels within range were later purged by Ordo Malleus data-slayer routines. However, the records of the Scholariate at Arms claim that the two Inquisitors fought side-by-side as brothers, slaying daemon after daemon as they made their way through the vessel’s blood-spattered companionways to reach the vessel’s heart, its central cargo bay. There, in the center of the rune-painted bay, stood a Bloodthirster of Khorne. Inquisitor Bellas the Elder sought to bind the Greater Daemon to his will, while Inquisitor Dylhin sought to banish it through the word of the Emperor. The three-sided battle that ensued raged bitterly for several hours. None could gain the upper hand, not even the terrifying scion of the Blood God. At the last, no one won the battle: the transport vessel crossed over the one million-kilometer mark and was destroyed utterly by a wave of torpedoes.
In their bitter rivalry and their dogged refusal to cede defeat, the Inquisitors purchased precious time for their own Acolytes to stop a terrible ritual of sacrifice elsewhere on the vessel, preventing a full daemonic incursion upon Port Wander.