SECTOR Bellerophon is a region of the Segmentum [REDACTED] roughly two hundred light years across. Although it is comprised of dozens of stars and hundreds of planets, only a handful of those are habitable or of tactical significance. The following brief contains information on key imperial worlds, xenos threats, and most curious of all, a mysterious shipwreck known throughout the sector as “The Enigma.”
Spire’s Reach names not only the planet, but its capital city: a gargantuan mega-citadel that reaches into the stratosphere. At the top is the palace of the planetary governor and Sector Lord: Harkur Cobb the XXIX, whose family has ruled since the Age of Strife. Within the confines of the great citadel, a hundred million souls live lives of cosmopolitan comfort. The city also houses the planet’s only Starport, as well as a prestigious Imperial Officer’s Schola, known off-world simply as “The Spire.”
Beyond the looming curtain wall, tens of billions occupy an iron-age landscape of peasant villages and stone castles. Here, amidst anachronistic squalor, feudal lords battle over resources and conflicting opinions concerning the exact nature of the Emperor’s divinity. The planetary governor does not concern himself with these squabbles so long as individual fiefdoms continue to meet their tithing obligations.
Although the governor does nothing to mediate the feudal bloodletting that is endemic to the planet, The Spire routinely installs its students in command positions on opposite sides of civil conflicts so that these budding commanders gain real world tactical experience before receiving commissions in the Imperial Guard. Graduates of this prestigious institution are identifiable by a patch they call “The White Eagle,” which depicts a black tower on a white aquila.
Terrain Archetypes: Rocks/Trees/Hills, Medieval Structures
THE TWINS: Phlegethon and Cocytus IV
The first is a fiery volcanic darkness where colonies of miners extract metals from black flow-stone quarries; the second is an ice-moon where similar colonies drill deep to collect chemical base components. Although the inhabitants of both have been promised lush farms on Spire’s Reach in exchange for ten generations of labor, there are nevertheless mysterious reports that some may be unhappy. Rumors grow concerning an insurgency calling itself, “The Emperor’s Writhing Shadow.”
Terrain Archeotypes: Hills and Craters, Lava flow OR snow, Mining Equipment, Imperial Structures
Promise (Crone’s Gate)
Promise is a lush maiden world of verdant jungles originally thought uninhabited by the exploratory fleets of The Great Crusade. When Horace’s revolt began, the imperial commander of Castrum IV, Gaius Thelan, promised land on this paradise world to any inhabitant of the sector who would join one of his new auxilia detachments; as a result, the world became known first as “Thelan’s Promise,” and eventually just as “Promise.”
When the fighting was done, the newly settled colonists made an unpleasant discovery: they were not alone after all. The planet was home to thousands of barbarous Aeldari survivalists calling themselves “exodites,” some of whom rode enormous indigenous lizards into battle.
There were no survivors among the recipients of Thelan’s gift. Although periodic efforts were made to conquer Promise, the natives were temporarily reinforced by allies from distant Aeldari Craftworlds through the use of sorcerous gateways attaching the planet to the realm that the Eldar call “The Webway.”
Then, approximately fifty standard years ago, something wiped out the exodites, and a Warhost from Craftworld Iybraesil established themselves amidst the ruins that the exodites left behind.
Although the newly arrived xenos insist that they are no threat to imperial interests in the Sector- that they came only to monitor other gateways leading to worlds in The Eye of Terror- few if any in the imperial bureaucracy believe them. Some even speculate that the treacherous aliens may have exterminated their own brethren as a first step to establishing a colonial beachhead. It is quite possible that the allegedly temporary settlement that the Eldar call “Crone’s Gate” is only the beginning.
Terrain Archetypes: Aeldari Ruins, Rocks/Trees/Hills, Chaos Taint
Haldur’s Folly (DA SLABS)
Early in M41, a tech priest called Haldur sought to establish a new research facility on the desert planet of Folly. Haldur began his project with the blessing of Weyland’s World, laying enormous foundation slabs each large enough to support a small city. But after a rift formed between Haldur and the Martian priests, he was forced to seek raw materials elsewhere. He made a deal with a Rogue Trader for a mountain of industrial scrap that should have enabled him to complete the next stage of his project. Instead, several years after the delivery of the metal, Haldur and his followers were butchered by an ork warband called, “The Sun Wranglas.” It is clear in retrospect that the “industrial” scrap Haldur purchased was battlefield debris infested with orc spores.
Despite numerous attempts by the Imperial Navy to purge the planet, the Orcs have not only established themselves, but also somehow cobbled ships to begin ranging off world. The greenskins have united under a charismatic leader called “Sunchoppa,” who- apparently unhappy with the desert climate- has proposed they build powerful new weapons to “krump” the local star and eliminate the “stoopid heat.”
Although imperial citizens refer to the planet as Haldur’s Folly, the Orcs themselves call it “Da Slabs,” in recognition of the enormous platforms that are now the location of regular buggy races, which are as energetic as they are lethal.
Keeping the Orcs contained is currently the primary occupation of the Imperial Navy in the sector.
Terrain Archetypes: Desert Rock Formations, Ork Scrap Structures
Tau Expeditionary Fleet
Approximately two standard years ago, a small Tau expeditionary fleet was first sighted in the sector; it has since perpetrated multiple hit-and-run maneuvers and is alleged to have attempted at least one inclusion into The Enigma.
Exactly why the Tau are here or what they are attempting to achieve is unclear, but imperial agents have learned the name of the fleet commander: ________________. According to Administratum records, she is a known dissident with…
Once home to a single lush continent surrounded by a sea of blue, Weyland’s World is now a mechanized megapolis floating in the petrochemical run off of the Omnissiah’s glory. From sea to shuddering sea, the world-city thrums with the holy rhythms of fabrication, and the binharic cries of self-flagellating electro priests crackle in orgiastic reverie.
Founded late in M36 by a flotilla of Martian pilgrims, Weyland’s World is the industrial heartbeat of Sector Belleraphon. Every Imperial planet for a hundred light years depends on Weyland’s World for the fabrication and maintenance of essential technologies.
The Forgeworld in turn relies on imperial mining colonies situated on its two moons: Plegathon and Cocytus IV to provide it with the fuel and raw materials for which it has insatiable hunger.
(The last essential resource- human flesh from which servitors can be rendered- is delivered regularly from Spire’s Reach, where feudal judicial codes yield convicts in abundance.)
Although technically entitled to protection by the Imperial Navy and the Fortress World of Castrum IV, Weyland’s World maintains its own elite private army that it might promote its interests without bowing and scraping to the fleshy commanders of the Omnisiah’s less evolved forces.
Terrain Archetypes: Mechanicus, Forgeworld, Industrial
In M31 the fortress world of Castrum IV was one of five bulwark planets devoted to securing this region of space against Horus and the Ruinous Powers. Of those original five, Castrum IV is the only one that remains active and intact. Entirely under the joint auspices of the Imperial Navy and the Imperial Guard, Castrum IV- or “Fort Number Four” as it is known in Low Gothic- is a planet given over entirely to military concerns. Its surface is peppered with fortifications, defense batteries, and squat brutalist cities where every citizen is sworn into the Astra Militarum on their 16th birthdays.
In addition to providing the sector’s primary defenses, Castrum IV is also a base of operations for imperial forces visiting from out-of-sector. A Raven Guard capital ship called The Shrike’s Fury is currently at anchor there, and rumors persist of a detachment of White Scars assembled on the planet itself, (although the exact reasons for the sudden appearance of the Adeptus Astartes remains a matter of speculation.)
Any large-scale military endeavor in the Sector is likely to see Castrum IV as the primary staging point for imperial forces.
Terrain Archetypes: Imperial Ruins, Imperial Foritifications
In the ancient days of The Great Crusade, Perdullio VI, was home to a civilization of mutants whose pollution of the human form necessitated total extermination. The entire planet is now a cemetery for crusaders slain bringing the divine light of the Emperor to Sector Belleraphon. Its only living inhabitants are a convent of Sisters of Battle who honor the dead with perpetual prayers and mortification of the flesh. Nevertheless, in recent years strange reports persist of fell lights glimpsed from orbit that cannot easily be explained with reference to known atmospheric phenomenon.
Terrain Archetypes: Rocks/Trees/Hills, Imperial Monuments, Imperial Ruins, Necron Ruins
Meridian Prime (Starhold)
Meridian Prime- called Starhold by its denizens- is desert world ruled by the knightly house of Kulenov, which- (although oath-sworn to the Emperor-) considers itself in fealty directly to the Golden Throne, and therefore outside the purview of military officers and even the Sector Lord himself.
Fighting when and where they will, the Noble Lords of Meridian Prime are proud, unpredictable, and independently minded in their interpretation of imperial decree. For example, they routinely trade with both the Tau and the Eldar, refusing to regard these Xenos breeds as categorical threats to the Emperor’s peace. In fact, it was exactly this attitude of tolerance that led to the abduction and execution of the former Lord Commander by inquisitors of the Ordo Xenos.
Despite the fate of his predecessor, the current Lord Commander, Alexi Kulenov, continues to both honor his oath to the emperor and to treat individual aliens as potential allies and trade partners. If he did not have the most powerful war machines in the Imperium at his beck and call, it is unlikely he could avoid being branded a heretic.
During the Great Crusade, Meridian Prime was so named because it marked the dividing line in the sector between worlds that accepted the divine authority of the Emperor and those that required illumination. Initially, House Kulenov did not embrace the Emperor’s divinity, and the ensuing war rendered their once verdant homeworld a desert. Although they harbor no resentment, among themselves they still call the planet by its pre-conquest name: Starhold, which is also the name of their greatest fortress.
Terrain Archetypes: Desert Rock Formations, Imperial Foritifications
If there is anything that may eventually mark Sector Bellerophon for greater attention from the Imperium Proper, it is the presence of The Enigma: a mysterious shipwreck of unknown origin that some speculate might predate the Unification Wars.
The vessel is becalmed in a celestial deadzone where it exists in only partial translation: half the ship is in realspace, while the other half is caught in the empyrean currents of The Warp. Whispers that its hull contains alloys made from the psychoplastic the eldar call Wraithbone and Noctilith- (the substance that comprises the Great Blackstone Fortresses-) may be just the wild speculations of technopriests, but so far the vessel has proved impervious to attempts to destroy it along with any heretical technologies it may contain.
Although entrance to the Enigma is technically restricted by both The Ordo Malleus and the Ordo Xenos, rumors persist of regular expeditions by both imperial and alien factions to discover what secrets may lurk in its warp-polluted depths. If it is true that the vessel, which appears about the size of an imperial capital ship, is in fact significantly larger on the inside than on the outside, then the stories of large-scale engagements fought on its decks between these interlopers may not be entirely without merit.
Terrain Archetype: Alien Archeotech, Ship Interior