Kalf is a Frontier World in the Pereiphery of the Calixis Sector. It is the home of the Sand Devil. Once, Kalf was terrorized by the infamous heretic Myrchella Sinderfell when she and her entourage burned town after town in their path, hunted the survivors through the night, and unleashed unclean spirits to plague any who remained.
The Dance of the DeadEdit
Reports reached Inquisitor Calith Nonoro of the Ordo Hereticus of a series of strange incidents and rumors circulating in the area known as the Periphery, a sparsely inhabited but long settled volume of space that forms much of the border between the Calixis and Scarus Sectors. The reports, which concerned a number of unexplained murders and disappearances along with garbled stories of the walking dead and restless spirits, reached Nonoro through his extensive network of contacts while he was rooting out a witch cult in the rust wastes of Cyclopia. He dispatched several teams of his most able Acolytes to Sisk, Sinophia, Kalf, and other outposts to investigate the matter.
Nonoro was disturbed by the similarity of the stories and feared that a widespread cult had infiltrated these worlds. As reports from his servants arrived, he received them with growing alarm. The Sinophian connection proved to be a false lead, but on Sisk an abbey had been burned to the ground and black–robed figures seemingly impervious to gunfire had crushed all opposition. Nonoro’s Acolytes found that the natives called forth the old legend of the Night Cult to explain these events and claimed that the abbot and his priests had been punished for their sins by the Emperor as they had grown greedy and corrupt.
It was just as events on Cyclopia reached their most critical juncture that Nonoro received an emergency astropathic communiqué from Valadimar Haek, one of his senior agents and a former Adeptus Arbites marshal---the dead were walking on Kalf.
Arriving at a time of general unrest and sporadic conflict among Kalf’s Sand-Barons, the Inquisitiorial team had been drawn to the poor, lawless city of Vanitas. With the help of local mercenaries, the Acolytes attacked a secret hold of a cult of heretical faith calling itself the Children of the True Resurrection. Despite heavy casualties, they captured a most unusual prisoner---a man who was dead and yet alive. Their subject was confirmed in local records as an honorably discharged Guard veteran named Ezekiel Mather, who had been recorded as dying of blacklung three months previously. Mather’s heart did not beat nor did his lungs breathe, but he walked and talked readily, communicating his faith in the “way of the Emperor’s gift of true resurrection” with zealous fervor. The team’s sanctioned psyker attested that Mather’s mind was a dead void and his soul a “cold fathomless darkness,” but unlike some warp-animated carrionate or rotting plague husk, it was “still possessed of faculty, intelligence, and purpose.” The communiqué ended abruptly with an emergency addendum that the dead were walking in Vanitas and that the Acolytes were besieged in the city’s generator station, with no help at hand.
Nonoro, unable to immediately depart, sent out a general emergency call to the Holy Ordos and other neighboring authorities placed to respond more rapidly. It was not long before a Naval destroyer carrying Witch Hunter Sennacherib and his retinue and the Rogue Trader vessel Rake’s Progress, operating under bond to the Acolytes of Inquisitor Marr, had arrived at the planet. What occurred next is a matter of some controversy and wild speculation among the Ordos.
The official report, submitted by Sennacherib, states that he and his forces purged Vanitas. He said he found nothing more than a single witch who possessed powers to animate shambling corpses for a limited time---a very rare but hardly unknown “gift” possessed by some rogue psykers---who was being used by a local criminal gang to terrify their rivals. The witch hunter left much of the city a smoking ruin and its people scattered. However, what the natives had taken to calling the “dance of the dead” became rooted firmly in to the local psyche. Sennacherib’s report goes on to vilify the “panicked exaggeration” of Nonoro’s Acolyte Haek (who was reported dead at the time of the Witch Hunter’s arrival), the “superstitious hysteria of the Kalf natives,” and the “interference” of Marr’s Acolytes, although this last criticism was written in more guarded terms than his other accusations. Since this time, stories have begun to circulate that the Rake’s Progress broke orbit from Kalf suddenly and was fired upon by Sennacherib’s destroyer. The vessel escaped unscathed, and in the aftermath, an official protest was lodged by Nonoro with the Conclave against Sennacherib’s handling of the matter.
The Last Testament of Vladimar HaekEdit
Without evidence for any challenge to its validity, Sennacherib’s judgement and report has stood uncontested, and the Ordo Hereticus considers the matter closed. Subsequently, Nonoro removed himself from the public eye, reportedly having survived an attempt on his life on Sisk, and his location and activities are now unknown even by his fellow Inquisitors.
Rumor at the highest level of the Ordo Hereticus has it that one of Nonoro’s agents has since recovered a recording made by Vladimar Haek in his final hours, which he is preparing to use to accuse Sennacherib of presenting false evidence to the Conclave and to expose a wider conspiracy of heresy and forbidden lore. Regardless of the truth of this claim, it seems definite that the events on Kalf have now become the centre of a schism within the Ordo Hereticus and that Nonoro is now engaged in some covert investigation or perhaps even a private war. Indeed, there are some with the Ordo who are using words such as “Radical” and “rogue” when speaking of him.
Kalf Sand DevilEdit
Just under the size of a full-grown man, the Kalf Sand Devil is not particularly intelligent but it is very quick. The Sand Devil is akin to a corpse-eating desert worm, capable of burrowing through the loose sand of Kalf's many deserts. The creature's body features tough scales along with a fang-filled maw dripping with venom, as well as an advanced sense of smell to find bodies. The appearance of the creature, especially quickly and suddenly, is quite frightening to those not experienced with them. The creature seems to be almost like a “worm-hyena”, searching out carrion to feed off and making its own kills when hungry enough.