The Salient Cluster
Welcome to the Salient Cluster.
For thousands of years, since the dawn of the Imperium, the Salient Cluster has stood resolute against the terrors of the galaxy, its billions of citizens across dozens of worlds paying fealty to the God-Emperor of Mankind through blood, sweat, and tears; always ready to sacrifice for Him-on-Earth.
To the naked eye, it is a place of stability, its worlds prosperous and lively, its populace humble and stoic, despite their aloof and isolated nature. To many, this is a pocket of peace in a war-ravaged galaxy, a dull gem in a sea of mud.
This “peace” is not one born of idle chance or a lack of strength, for its battle-tested Guard regiments are some of the finest in the sector, always on alert for the signs of the heretic, the alien, or worse. But behind them stands the true face of the Cluster’s power, the Omydan Mechanicum, a potent force in its own right, who themselves enjoy compacts and writs from bygone eras that ensure their supremacy is never in question.
Beside them, the greatest Engines of the Imperium walk to war, with Omyda itself maintaining the patronage and fealty of not only the Questoris Knight House Ataman, but even a small detachment of Legio Crucius God-Engines, their mighty tread felt only in the times of greatest need, or celebration.
But for every soldier, every Skitarius, there are those who operate in the shadows, dozens of Inquisitorial Cells and Storm-trooper units prosecuting unseen wars on the Emperor’s behalf in the bowels of the Cluster’s hive-cities, their own ranks both bolstered and threatened at times by the power of various other enigmatic armies, whose allegiances lies either with their house, clan, or more commonly, the highest bidder.
Above them all stands the Astral Guard Astartes Chapter, paragons of battle, their lineage and duty as wardens to the Salient Cluster dating back thousands of years, their histories replete with great and terrible wars across the galaxy, each victory claimed marking another ancient oath fulfilled.
Together, these mighty forces stand as the Cluster’s shield, repelling any foe brazen enough to try their luck.
Understandably, as guarded as the Cluster is by such honorable soldiers, the attitude of its citizens is one of prideful security, believing themselves safe behind such legions, their only worry; the two routes into the Cluster. Imperial Proclamations spread across void do nothing to cast doubt on that belief, praising the Cluster and its accomplishments across the breadth of the Imperium. But not all is as it seems…
Indeed, those who recognize the propaganda for what it is are cursed, forced to see the truths they have uncovered, the myriad of threats that face the Cluster on a usual basis repulsed only through the expenditure of thousands of lives, each one paying the blood-price for the safety of those who will never know their struggle. They know of the dark omens and portents that shroud the Cluster, violence reaching levels unseen since the Emperor’s Great Crusade and the slaughter of the Heresy. They can see the unseen talons of anarchy closing in, each beginning to squeeze the Cluster like a vice.
These enlightened few know of the Cluster's civil war, its outbreak brutally suppressed by pogroms initiated by the Inquisition. Once thought unimaginable, a full third of the Astral Guard Chapter turned on the Emperor’s Light in pursuit of some unknown aim. Beside them marched a sizable force of Omydan Janissaries and Guard forces, all at the behest of a mad prophet, his lunatic ravings casting a dark pall over the Cluster’s elite.
They see the rise in cult activity on Hakann, which plunged the world into chaos, while reports began to emerge of a new Orkoid threat growing along the Cluster’s western edge, a region previously thought to have no connection to the rest of the galaxy outside the hyper-fortified Beshkorian Path. Meanwhile, on Turiz, a new menace emerged to threaten the Cluster’s worlds, while an ominous silence from Tuumonsha clouded Imperial efforts there, the extensive network of agents and monitoring stations mysteriously unresponsive to Imperial hails.
This was the state of the Cluster in 999.M41, its warriors already hard-pressed to contain their foes, embattled in dozens of silent wars against foes most people knew nothing about.
Then, the Cicatrix Maledictum opened.
Like a raw and bloody wound, it tore across part of the cluster, its backlash sending thousands across the sector into fits of madness. From this wound in reality spilled the forces of the Iron Warriors Legion, seeking to settle a grudge that has festered in their black hearts for ten millennia.
For sixty years, the Cluster fought a brutal war on all fronts, their soldiers dying in droves for a sheer seconds of strategic control. Entire battlegroups were sacrificed to the meatgrinder of war, and only the vast numerical strength of the Omydan Janissariate proved capable of keeping the horrors beyond at bay, millions of Skitarii dying just to hold back the wave of insanity that now crashed at their borders.
For their part, the surviving Astral Guard fought bravely, coming out of their self-imposed exile to stem the tide that threatened their legacy, selling their lives dearly in one last bid to keep the oaths forged in the days of the Primarchs. Alas, the toll on their already battered numbers was too high, and now, whatever remains of the Astral Guard limps across the stars of the Cluster, bound eternally to their once proud fleet.
However, hope remains, as a small force of Space Marines from the Raptors Chapter, arrived through pure chance, joined the war in time to battle viciously against their traitorous kin, holding the Vylian Rift against all odds while Imperial Generals fortified the world of Samarghast. Behind them came a sizable force of Greyshield Primaris, who fought hard to repel the Cluster’s invaders, only departing when the main Iron Warriors’ attack had been blunted and the Rift fortified against further encroachment.
Their departure was marked by one final gift to the Cluster- a new Chapter, known as the Void Shrikes, formed to shield its vulnerable worlds. They wasted no time in throwing themselves into conflicts across the Cluster. Sons of the Khan, they proved adept at rooting out the Cults that had taken hold across the Cluster, and purged a number of enemy strongholds before returning to their vigil over the pathways into the Cluster, taking up the mantle of Wardens to the Cluster, so recently vacated by the remnants of the Astral Guard.
20 years of relative peace have passed since then. The Void Shrikes remain watchful, and their gene-cousins in the Raptors Garrison remaining to train alongside their brethren, their own numbers bolstered by Primaris reinforcements. Even the Astral Guard have made their presence felt in minor skirmishes across the realm, coming out of seclusion for the first time in decades.
For their part, the battered Mechanicum has come back to fighting strength quickly, and across the Cluster new Guard regiments are being raised, nominally in honor of Lord Guilliman’s successful completion of the Indomitus Crusade. Only the highest generals and tacticians know the true reason behind this muster, and hushed conversations abound of the storm about to break upon the Cluster's shores.
As it stands, the Salient Cluster sits in the eye, primed for war on a colossal scale. Armies and fleets moving in strengths unseen since the days of the Heresy are readying themselves to make the Cluster a battleground of epic proportions.
The countdown has begun, and it will not be long before blood is shed…
Welcome, everyone, to something I've debated starting before, but never got around to until now!
Both are still active (despite a lack of new content... ) and will continue to be updated, serving as the home for those armies. But, as I am a strict devotee to the Great Hobby Butterfly and constantly changing armies, I figured one primary log would do better service to both my armies and my sanity, than a dozen new ones that would pop in and out of use.
Therefore, I present the Salient Cluster, a small group of worlds that I have claimed as my own, where my resin-and-plastic-and-very-occasionally-metal hordes can duke it out. Here, both my future 30k and 40k armies will reside, in both a fluff and WIP state, accompanied by small one-off projects, concepts, ETL pledges (Go AOD!) and whatever other shenanigans my warp-tainted mind can come up with.
If you have any questions, please, feel free to ask, and I look forward to any C&C you may have.
Edited by Phatsquirre1, 07 April 2021 - 04:28 PM.