The Licenian Crusade
In the year 322 of the 39th millenium the Angevin Crusade Began. Praetor Golgenna Angevin, a powerful noble from the Terran Court was raised to the rank of Lord Militant and granted a writ from the High Lords to prosecute a crusade to liberate and dominate the area of space designated as the Calyx Expanse. His crusade forces were drawn principally from the Segmentum Solar numbering over seventeen million levied troops divided into four battle groups and a strategic reserve, re-enforced by elements of the Legios Venator and Magna, as well as the Black Templars,
Tigers Argent, Sons of Medusa and Charnel Guard Chapters of Adeptus Astartes and a significant naval deployment from the battlefleets Solar and Obscurus. While a score of Rogue Trader and Explorator fleets range ahead of the main forces identifying targets and providing active reconnaissance in this dangerous region of space. Swelling the forces already vast ranks are tens of thousands of “pauper warriors” whipped up into a frenzy of holy zeal by the Ecclesiarchy and the passing of the crusade fleets and innumerable petty hangers-on, opportunists and logistical transports, with supply trains leading back whole sectors away from the front. Using the well established frontier world of Sinophia as its forward staging post and marker, the crusade’s main thrust is launched like an armoured fist into the heart of the Calyx Expanse across the Periphery in a two pronged assault into the regions heading towards two prominent systems where Rogue Traders have long established pro-Imperial human contact; Malfi and Solomon.
341-545.M39 The Reaping of the Emperor’s Wrath: Having strongly established and fortified two salients of conquered territory into the Calyx Expanse, with their domains now anchored on the worlds of Solomon and Malfi, as well as defeated three minor xenos empires and innumerable other non-compliant forces in the prior twenty years of fighting, the Crusade pauses for fortification and entrenchment of its gains before the next stage of conquests begins. The crusade is then granted a fresh influx of troops by the High Lords in recognition of its success (and the wealth already pouring from their conquests), in order to press on. Seizing the moment, the Crusade forces carry out the greatest single sweep of conquests of the conflict as the two-pronged assault from the salient arms sweep together conquering as many worlds in the apace of four years as had been taken in the proceeding two decades, forming the territory later known as the Golgenna Reach it what becomes known to the chroniclers as the “Reaping of the Emperor’s Wrath.” Of the many famous victories of this campaign, one of the most lauded belongs too the young general Drusus, who took the war-world of Iocanthos in single week, overthrowing a great and baleful tyranny there, while perhaps the most infamous is the Exterminatus of the world of Amun’an Morrus, whose once-human machine population is judged too tainted to exist. Such horrors are attested to on this world that after its destruction its former location is stricken from all records, only to live on as a dark legend.
353-558.M39 The Golgenna Consolidation: With the first and second great phases of its vast operation complete,(and partly owing to battle fatigue after thirty years of Crusade), Angevin’s forces consolidated their hold of what was more than two hundred captured worlds, and shepherded the arrival of the a first wave of Imperial colonisation to the areas they controlled. During this period of relative peace, several notable regiments who had earned great glory in the wars (such as the Brontine Centurions) were given rights of settlement to their own worlds, while several attached forces (such as the Astartes) rotated out of Crusade service.
359.M39 The Crusade Second Front is Opened: The Crusade’s third great push begins with freshly raised army group gathered from the core worlds of the Segmentum Obscurus, under the command of High Admiral Vaakkon, opening a second front. Invading from the Calyx expanse’s Coreward, with the goal of linking up with Angevin’s own forces who advance from Golgenna to meet them. This phase of the campaign proves disastrous, as worsening warp conditions and a series of calamities and reversals beset the conflict, and when the fleets finally meet in 363.M39 at Orendal the Imperial losses of the last four years nearly equal that of the first two decades of the Crusade. Angevin commands the world of Orendal to be transformed in a shrine to honour the fallen dead and retreats, some say a man broken in will and purpose, to the interior of Golgenna Reach, devolving command of his armies to his senior generals and admirals with mixed success, as with no clear line of authority factionalism and bitter rivalries start to appear in their ranks.
363-369.M39 The Bleak Years: With the Crusade’s forward impetus stalled, its domains begin to come under repeated and sustained attack from without, suffering the privations of xenos corsairs and raiders whose assaults claims the lives of millions. Signs and omens are everywhere; a burning black fire is seen in the skies of Lossal prime days before all contact with the thriving colony world is lost, the wreckage of an entire overdue re-enforcement battle group out of Akurion is discovered by picket ships operating on the fringes of the Ha’az’Roth region and plagues decimate the worlds of the Malfian Holdfast. Rebellions and cult activity rises to threaten what were thought to be stable worlds and assassins claim the life of Arch-Confessor Melcher El, the Crusade’s spiritual leader. Worsening rivalry between the generals and Imperial Commanders break out into petty conflicts, betrayals and wave of outright distrust allows matters to deteriorate further. For the first time the Crusade’s gains begin to be lost, and the Imperial forces are stretched increasingly thin in their defence of the new realm, and morale problems and discord grow in the ranks. Only the fleets of the Rogue Traders Sibylline Haarlock and Ludd Sabrehagen providing rapid transport and redeployment for the brilliant and daring counter attacks of General Drusus’s army group against the warp-worshiping xenos race known as the Yu’vath and their debased human allies prevent the entire Malfian region from collapsing and leaving the Crusade’s conquests wide open for assault. Drusus is widely acclaimed as a saviour but many power figures view him as a dangerous warmonger and would-be usurper.
367.M39 The Transfiguration of Drusus: According to some sources, betrayed by agents of his rivals among Angevin’s generals, Drusus is attacked by a deadly assassin while rallying his depleted forces on Maccabeus Quintus and is seemingly slain, before rising again – an event many see as a true miracle and a clear mark of the Emperor’s favour. The Drusine Imperial Cult begins to flourish in his shadow, already revering him as a living saint, while shadowy agencies, some say belonging to the Ordo Malleus of the Inquisition also bring new aid to his forces in the persecution of the Yu’vath and their allies (which include traitors within the Imperial’s own ranks). During these engagements, an Imperial Guardswoman has a vision of the Emperor on the desert-world of Entheo, becoming the living-Saint Serena, and with the aid of the Grey Knights, breaks the back of the Yu’vath in the Trailing third of their blasphemous empire. Drusus forces the Angevin Crusade’s beginning the third and final great phase of conquests destroying the powers that controlled much of what would later be known as the Drusus marches in his honour, laying waste to as many worlds as he dominated.
370-610.M39 The Great Founding: Mass colonial expeditions from the overpopulated worlds of the distant Segmentum Solar, and from nearer afield in the troubled Mandragora and Gehenna Sectors arrive within the fledgling sectors of Calixis, Scarus and Ixaniad, creating a great influx of population to the region.
372.M39 The Death of Angevin: Golgenna Angevin dies at his palace on Quaddis, the official judgement is natural causes, with rumours accounting his decline in health to advanced old age and a surfeit of fine living, darker stories persist of the Officio Assassinorum’s hand in matters as punishment for his latter failings. Drusus is named Lord Militant by wide acclaim in his stead (with both Departmento Munitorium and Inquisition backing) and as soon as a state period of mourning for the late Angevin is over, immediately sets to re-forging the region’s military forces for a final counter attack into the regions of the Adrantis Nebula and remaining
strongholds of the Yu’vath Hell Worlds.
384.M39 The Angevin Crusade officially Ends in the Birth of the Ixaniad Sector: With the final defeat of the xenos Yu’vath and the Bale Childer, and the Exterminatus of their homeworlds, the final serious organised resistance to Imperial Rule in the Calyx Expanse ends and Drusus declares the Crusade to be complete. Drusus installed with full rights and title by the Equerry Primaris of the High Lords of Terra as the first Lord Sector Calixis to much acclaim. Drusus installs his trusted High Admiral Soren as the first Lord-Sector of the Ixaniad sector. Full effective pacification of the new sectors will however consume much blood and material of the Imperial war machine for a further three centuries to come.
707-709.M39 The First Licenian Revolt: The seven worlds of the Licenian Republic revolt against the imposition of the Pax Imperialis in their subsector. Despite superior quality spacecraft and warships, the Licenians’ lack of warp drive technology limits their mobility. The revolt is ruthlessly suppressed resulting in the extermination of a half-dozen Licenian noble houses and an economy crippled for a hundred years. Imperial forces take the opportunity to loot the worlds of the former Republic. Many ancient technologies and unique historical records are destroyed or lost.
211-226.M40 The Meritech Wars: The clans of the Merates Cluster, a group of worlds on the border between the Calixis and Ixaniad sectors, secede from the Imperium, rallying many renegade factions to their cause, raiding deep into the sector and causing widespread disruption and anarchy. The wars, at their height, pose the greatest threat to the sector’s stability in generations and even threatens to provoke internecine conflict with the bordering Calixis Sector. Thanks to the ruthlessness of Lady-Sector Lydia Rees of Ixaniad and the rising power of Myram Harvala as Lord-Sector Calixis, the Meritech clans are crushed and the worlds of the cluster are scoured clean of life. In the aftermath, the tech-heretic conspiracy of the Logicians is claimed as the masterminds behind the war.
678-680.M40 The Licenian Heresy Arises: Almost a thousand years after the last revolt, the Licenian subsector of the Ixaniad sector falls to a virulent heresy. Lord-Sector Alim D’rien gathers a significant military force to suppress the heresy, all of which is lost when the entire subsector is engulfed in powerful, persistent warp storms. The disaster results in the political downfall of the Lord-Sector, and most records of the failed Crusade are suppressed or lost in the political aftermath.
419.M41 Licenian Subsector Emerges: Rogue Trader Callista Flamel reports that the warp storms that have cut off the Licenian Subsector have waned, permitting travel once more. Lord-Sector Tyrolius Malus sends Task Force Litany to investigate along with every available Rogue Trader dynasty.