It Is The 42nd Millennium ... and once more the Galaxy has become riven with strife. This time, the harsh divide is not merely the clear-cut schism between Loyalist and Traitor, Friend and Foe, or even Humanity with Dread Xenos. Rather, a far more insurmountable barrier now lies across the former swathe of the Imperium - the Cicatrix Maledictum.
And even within the still-shedding light of Mankind's fraught bastion of hope in the Imperium Sanctus, there is no unity of vision - no clarity of purpose. At the the highest levels of the Imperium, and also amidst the coiling darkness which congeals about their glittering spires - the greedy, avaricious eyes of the powerful dart in all manner of directions; their gimlet gazes locked in pursuit of petty, personal agendas as well as grand, sweeping designs several millennia in the making.
Some, to be sure, are altruistic in ethos and noble in scope; others seek to take advantage of the chaos to line their own pockets - or, worse, to settle old scores and indulge in the Great Games of the truly cardinal. Yet for the countless subsectors and hundreds of systems splayed out as trinkets or trifles it matters little. Upon the far-flung fringes of the Imperium's now greatly curtailed spanse, life proceeds much as it ever has: the Crowned Heads of the ultimate inceptors of their destinies seeming as inscrutable, uncaring, and distant as the Stars - or, when angered, as roiling, unforgiving, and inescapable as the coronal flarings of the nearest Sun.
Such is to be the fate of Adamantia.
Once a beacon of order and a bastion of the potential future for Humanity, it was brought low some four thousand years afore. The hidden truth which girded its prosperity dooming it also to desolation at the hands of its patrons' enemies elsewhere in the vicissitudinal Imperial power structure. A chapter - and an entire stellar domain - whose loyalty to the Emperor proved to be as unbreakable as their Adamantine namesake, cast unto oblivion by the envious plots and overzealous plans of their would-be domineers and despoilers.
And yet ... Memory is a curious thing. It lingers on even after that which is recalled by it may have long since crumbled to dust - or been reduced to ash via the expurgation of flame. Thus it is with the unyielding legacy of the Adamanticores. For millennia following the Fall of their formerly living Lords, the folk of the Spoil - for such Adamantia is now called - have striven to keep alive the traditions, the recollections, the faith of their forebears. This has rendered the long-term pacification of the domain, and its re-tooling into a more productively integrated demesne at the hands of this or that petty outlander lord all but an impossibility. The past refuses to pass - it cannot be placated through the transparent papering-over on offer from without. Instead, the past lives on through glinting spikes suffusing the present - seemingly pointing back toward a not-quite-forgotten future.
Amidst ruins and fanes and long-forgotten refuges scattered across the systems of the Spoil, more tangible remembrances of the glory that was Adamantia are to be found - prised free via unscrupulous treasure-seekers or shadowy reconquesta teams, clawed back and returned to their memorialized pride-of-place within them by bands of loyalists, resurrectionists, revanchists who still dream the Dream of Adamantia as She once was and as She might one day be again. Or who simply cannot abide to see the ghosts, the spirits of the past disturbed by outlanders motivated by the profits and the prophets of the worlds beyond the realm.
Some of these sites are watched over by vengeful eyes - piercing green orbs who still would quietly weep for the fate of their fallen dreams and comrades if mere human tears were permitted to them. Out in the Deep between worlds, the Dragons have long coiled to strike; and the Dead Stars still burn with ancient fury. The barrows and the stasis-crypt which dot the Spoil shall soon prove to have protected not only the artefacts of ancient days - but the select few of their archaic bearers as well! Living legends now risen and returned as revenants. Ghost-Lords for a nearly-dead realm, heritage, and faith.
Yet they shall not be the only ones to stride out onto the planes of the present from within the depths of both myth and memory.
To be a man in such times, is to behold the distant glory of ruined splendour. Not merely of the former realm of Adamantia laid low around one; but the twisting violence which reaves out across the broader Imperium. A sundering amidst the hearts of men which divides even those notionally committed to His common purpose into internecine foes that hate with the bitterness - and strike with the underhandedness - more usually reserved for direst external adversaries and truly existential peril.
All across Adamantia, the last guttering embers of the Old Flame of Heritage run the risk of becoming snuffed out - taking with them, the last sparks of hope for the future. Threats from the Past loom out of the darkness to do battle with Ancient Guardians for the Soul of the Present and the incipient promise of the Glories yet to come. The Worlds of the Spoil do not stand upon the Precipice - in truth, for Adamantia this point was reached and breached long eras ago; the only serious question being whether She shall Fall or Fly in consequence.
Forget the promise of Unity in Strength, and the sure premise of progress toward Mankind's assured shared destiny amidst the Stars - for much has been Remembered, that cannot now easily become forgotten. Forsake the easy and clear battle-lines drawn in the sand between "friend" and "foe", "traitor" and "loyalist", or "heretic" and "zealot" - for all these are but the convenient caricatures of meaningful designations, deployed by cunning comptrollers stationed far from the front lines in the shadows of battle. And foreswear the convenient bonds of unthinking adherence - in favour of a more critical appraisal of just where one's loyalties and sense of duty must truly lie.
It is said that in the Grim Darkness of Adamantia - there is only Memory. Yet here, Memory and Heritage form an active, tangible force. The Past does not Pass simply due to the mere inconvenience of being antiquated. It lies dormant, awaiting its shadowed opportunity to spring vital and resurrected back into present life. It is, in a sense, inalienable - and on the contrary, it is the Future which must be fought for.
Out upon the Steppe of Stars, a powerful myriad of Futures ride for Adamantia - Waiting to be (Re)Born.
Vox Stellarum efforts:
The Unyielding Adamanticores
[truescale Astartes, auxilia, and sectorial AdMech; M37/38]
The Haunting Harii of Hvergelmir
[truescale Astartes ... and associates]
The Unification Wars
[truescale Thunder Warriors, (Proto-)Astartes, Army of Unification, Aegyptian-style Proto-Mechanicus raiders, etc.]
[Tomb Raiding for Fun & Prophet]
[truescale loyalist IVth, VIIIth; Agents of the Sigillite; VIth; and so much more; and Umbral's amazing Traitors]
The Worlds-Wide Webway
[(Dark) Eldar, Imperial Inquisition, an a-maze-ing realmweave of fear and wondermeant]
[some rather different Inquisitorial Storm Troopers, true-scale Fire Hawks, Black Dragon, Inquisitor and associates, etc.]
For Whom The Great Bell Tolls Thrice
[attempts to put the 'priest' back in 'tech-priest' with more-medieval mechanicus]
[the log that incepted it all - at least two Inquisitors, truescale Deathwatch, local enforcers, cultists, etc.]