Warzone: Kulthenek

Warzone: Kulthenek

In the Callais subsector, the Kulthenek cluster had escaped the violence of the war thus far; while not without relevant resources, its plethora of mining facilities had never quite reached the expectations of the greater Imperium. Thus far, it had essentially escaped the notice of both the Orthodoxy and the Partisans. 

Kulthenek was once what appears to have been an inhabitable planet that underwent an external catastrophe; a sizeable section missing as if it were sheared off by a large asteroid or comet. Surrounding this broken planet was a massive asteroid field, clearly a result of the same disaster that changed the planet forever. 

[//Abhuman PDF forces of Kulthunek V+]

For many centuries prior to the raid under consideration, the system had been occupied and exploited by an offshoot of the Vostaval League, one of the Seven Hundred Leagues. The Kin who lived here had largely become naturalised into the Imperium, paying the Imperial Tithe and generally behaving as any other domain of the Imperium. Nevertheless, their government remained standoffish and isolationist, slow to react to Imperial demands and equally slow to request aid. In a typically self-pitying remark made by the explorator and archivist Bryn Mardu, on his disastrous visit from Vostaval itself, he characterised the 'squats' here thus:

It is a great deal of work for an archivist-scrivener, sifting grains of fact from the spoil-heap of apocryphal history. Indeed, it is often the case that the most assured and illuminated events change materially, and indeed profoundly, with each new examination. The involvement in the War of the False Primarch by the Homo sapiens rotundus Strongholds is such an occlusive and contradictory episode.[...]Troublingly autonomous as a matter of course, the by-blow Imperial scions of the Seven Hundred Leagues are as often ignored in the diktats of contemporary Imperial commanders as they are in the annals of galactic history. It can often be said that generations of loyal, Imperial citizenry can toil and die in the very same star systems where sprawling Squat fastnesses lie, and yet never once hear a mention of their doughty neighbours’ travails. Within such a context, naturally, rumours of wholesale Squat demise have been greatly exaggerated.[...]such antediluvian corridors and bolt-holes as were traditionally jealously guarded by the ever-profiteering Squats were excised and dissected for their usefulness beneath the callous appraisal of distant Terra. For whatsoever the reasons may be, Squat alliance with more conventional Imperial institutions drifts from unreliable at best to outright heretical, dependent upon the particular Homeworld, Imperial institution, or indeed the assigned sidereal time-stamp, it would seem. Under such murk and inconsistency were the Squats to enjoin battle during the War of the False Primarch.

[//Bryn Mardu, Comments on the Abhumans+]


The Sorrowful Years

Though unfriendly to human habitation, the minimal requirements of mining facilities allowed for multiple small teams of miners and Planetary Defence Forces to populate Kulthenek and eventually several of the moons it was able to retain. When the Pentarchy of Blood and the Extinction Fleets ravaged the Delphurnean League, Kulthenek became an unlikely place to escape to for many thousands of Delphurnean refugees. Initially, most of the newcomers had a connection – albeit tenuous – to the human miners or security forces that worked or had settled here, but as the steady trickle of the desperate and the displaced continued through the Sorrowful Years, the frontier world gained a reputation as somewhere distant and strategically unimportant. Uncomfortable, perhaps, but also safe from the war that was increasingly coming to affect every aspect of the Sector.

Such settlement was neither welcomed nor opposed by the Kin; who, while studiedly neutral in their response to both Orthodox and Partisan entreaties, were perhaps sympathetic to the needs of the ravaged Delphurnean League.

[//Frontiers like the Kulthenek system were a common place for mercenary forces – and particularly abhumans, as their hardiness or resourcefulness served them well. These two bear hallmarks of the Delphurnean League – a version of the Red Fish colour scheme – and perhaps are veterans of the First Siege of Ishim.]


Against such a backing, then, the following goes to illustrate how the war was to reach even the seemingly most unlikely and least materially valuable locales. 

Unoriginally named, Kultheneks II, III and V grew into much larger mining facilities with better habitation options though their overall military forces remained minimal as obscurity was still their greatest defence – as a result, when they were attacked, not only were they caught completely off guard, but they were quickly overwhelmed. 

'From whence they came we still know not but with great force they struck and upon their leaving naught was left but blood and silence.'

[//PDF Command+] 

A simultaneous strike was carried out against the moons' lightly garrisoned locations, overwhelming force applied and full garrisons wiped out, down to the last man, woman and child. At first it was thought to be opportunistic Xenos raiders, but it became apparent that the weaponry used had all the hallmarks of Astartes' quality. Eventually, a security recording was found. Many of the Pentarchy Chapters were known to operate in a similar reaving manner, but this unit’s colourings and markings didn’t match any known configurations. 


Were it not for earlier accounts citing these same marines at more relevant battlesites throughout the Sorrowful Years, these attacks could have been chalked up to an opportunistic Chapter, but nothing of value was ever secured or taken, no demands were ever made, no communications ever intercepted. Eventually attributed to an off-grid Vigilant group or the equally nebulous Marines Mendicant Killteam – dependant upon one's prejudices – the Orthodox history of the battle was frustratingly vague.

The only information that came up were the words 'Whispering' and 'Forge' though it remains unknown whether there is any connection between the two, whether they refer to a location, a relic or perhaps even a person…and with the scant information available, it will remain yet another unsolved mystery of the war.


The entire affair may be best characterised as irrelevant to me – and critical to you, Commander. What matters such a mystery when those of the Annulus Vow prevent movement in-and-out of the sector? Not at all. What does it matter if the Annulus Umbra were to prove permeable? Well, were that the case, you would be in extremely deep trouble.

[//Master Enoch+]