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This is the background for my Imperial Guard army. Any comments are welcome. In particular, does it fit in with the the canon of 40k background?
I'm not an expert, as I haven't actually read all that many 40k novels. Thanks
The Caldon Guard
The Caldon system lies far beyond the current edge of the Imperium, in an area of space now known as the Gamma Wastes. The Caldon system was first settled thousands of years ago, at a time when the Emperor at his most powerful and the Imperium dominated almost the whole of known space.
Caldon IV was the base of an Imperial Guard legion, a fortress world at the very edge of the Imperium. Tasked with securing this remote quadrant, they achieved many victories for the Emperor, putting down heresy and standing vigilent against the numerous foes which dwelt in the systems which lay further out, beyond even the Emperor's gaze. The Caldon legion was much honored and, on occaison, even assisted the Emperor's most revered servants, the Space Marines, in their holy duties.
Sometime near the start of the 40th Millenium, the warp storms, so common in the region of Caldon, begane to intensify. Following one particular mighty storm, a massive space hulk appeared in the vicinity of the outermost planet of the Caldon system. In those times, Space hulks were a common sight throughout the realms of man, and, despite the billion to one chance of finding any survivors, the Canonicus Exorior still required that all such vessels be immediately scanned for life. Ceremonial scout ships were duely dispatched from Caldon IV for what was believed to be a routine mission.
However, this particular hulk held a dark and deadly secret. The garbled distress calls from the scout ships alerted the Imperial Navy Task Force stationed on Caldon VI. Task force Alpha, which included a mighty Imperial crusier, was ordered to investigate and a state of alert was declared. Thus began the first reported contact with the life forms that would later become known as the Tyranids.
Within days, a ferocious, system-wide incursion had begun. Everywhere the Imperial Guard were forced to fall back. Only the task force sent to defend the naval yard at Caldon VI stood their ground, and was wiped out to a man. The Caldon Guard requested assistance, and those most blessed of the Emperors Servents, the Ultramarines, were sent to help. Alas, they were too late. The warp storm that had first deposited the space hulk had grown even more powerful, and travel to or from the system had become impossible. Transmissions from Caldon IV became weaker and more desparate, but the storm showed no signs of abating. Shortly afterwards, Caldon disappeared completely behind the storms and all contact was lost.
With no hope of assisting the imperial legions on Caldon, the Ultramarines were forced turned back. Preparations were made to launch a massive relief effort as soon as warp travel to Caldon became possible, but the storms did not abate, and instead continued to rage for many hundreds of years. Though the storms prevented the Tyranids from spreading, the star systems around Caldon, once shielded by its divine projection of the Emperor's light, fell, one by one, to the numerous other foes of man. In the face of these enemies Caldon was all but forgotton. Everywhere, the Imperium was in decline and, over the course of the next millenium, was slowly reduced to its present day size.
Then, one day over a thousand years after the world had disappeared behind the warp storms, the storms suddenly fell silent. Caldon IV reappeared to the eyes of man. A detachment of outer rim scouts, for this area now lay well beyond the extent of the Imperium, was sent to scan the system for any remaining signs of Tyranid infestation. What they found amazed them. Though their once mighty fortress world bore the marks of battles unimaginable, the Caldon Guard had survived. Somehow they had defeated the Tyranid hordes and managed to cling on, out here, alone and separated from rest of the Imperium for over a Millenium.
Contact was immediately made with the Caldon Guard. And thus began the strangest chapter in their story. In the millenium that had passed since the storms had severed the planet from the rest of the Imperium, the planet had evolved in a way unimaginable. Over countless lifetimes fact had become legend, and legend had become myth. Ancient traditions that had vanished elswhere were still preserved. Men marched, wore uniforms, and shouldered weapons that had long since passed from all memory even amongst the immortal scribes of the Imperia Majestica on Mars. Adherence to the Imperial Code had become a religion, and the Emperor was worshiped with even more fervour than in the past, for his children on Caldon IV now truly believed him to be a god.
Much had passed from memory about the Tyranid invasion. Inevitably, the Inquisition soon arrived to remedy this as best they could. The time of the Inquistion on Caldon was a dark one. Many thousands were consumed, their minds torn apart by a torturous process known as 'psychic extraction'. Slowly, the Inquisition gathered enough information to make sense of the stories and legends of Caldon. They surmised that, after the defeat at Caldon VI, the Imperial Armies had fallen back to Caldon IV itself, regrouped and staged a brave final resistance against the ravenous hordes of alien life forms which now infested their system. Wave after wave of hideous alien life forms had ferociously assaulted day and night for untold months. Though pushed to the very edge of defeat, the Imperial Armies had regrouped in the shattered remains of the imperial palace and, with their last strength, somehow found a way to defeat the Tyranid horde and bring the invasion to an end.
After years of careful investigation, the Inquisition was finally satisfied that no heresies had been committed. Permission was granted for the Caldon Gaurd to readmitted into the Imperial Army. The process of re-educating the Caldon Guard thus began. The road was long and difficult, but such honour and courage as had been shown in the battle against the Tyranids could not be overlooked. Their world still bore the scars, but was refortified and made whole again. A new Guard Legion was raised up, one that never-the-less presevered the now ancient traditions of the Caldon Guard. They were tasked with once again securing this region of space, in the hope that, if only their example could be followed, the Imperium might once again reach across the whole of known space and be united as one in the name of the Emperor.
And so Caldon IV stands now. A fortress world, far beyond the current extent of the Imperium. It is a bastion of hope that Imperium can rise again and her glories be restored, and a shining beacon of the Emperor's light in an otherwise darkening sky.
This is really, really excellent fluff.
The one problem I can see is the use of tyranids which seems a little early to my rather fuzzy memory of the tyranid timeline.. Maybe downtone it a bit to a genestealer infestation, since those have been happening for much longer. It could be just as horrible.. more so, in fact, because they'd have had to fight against all their relatives and former loved ones who had become brood brothers.
Also the 'psychic extraction' thing seems a bit extreme, even for the inquisition. Inquisitors have pet psychics who could probably do such a thing (if they can't do it themselves, that is), but Inquisitors are pretty rare, they probably wouldn't have time to psychically interrogate thousands of people just to ensure the taint was gone..
Nice LOTR quoteOriginally Posted by Rhetoric
I agree with Mantis on the nids front, they didn't surface in this galaxy until about 900.M41, or thereabouts. Genestealer incursions would amplify the religious nature of the regiment, in that they had to combat the ideology of the "all-father" (the Patriarch, the religion of the Genestealer Cult) they had to strengthen their own faith.
And also, a thousand years isn't enough time for the Tech-Priests to have forgotten anything, so the technology on Caldon would not be that different.
Other than that, brilliant stuff!
Thanks for the comments.
I had originally written it with genestealers, so maybe I'll change it back. I liked the idea that Caldon IV was actually the first contact with Tyranids, but the warp storms prevented them from spreading which saved the rest of the Imperium for another 900 years or something.
Yes, I suppose 1000 years isn't really all that much. I get the impression from a lot of the GW fluff that things don't change much anyway.
Sorry about the LOTR quote, I didn't even realise it!