Above, Miriya Caecus, Imperial Astropath of the Gilead system, loses her sight for the second time. The Great Rift, a colossal warp storm, tears through the galaxy. The storm obscures the Emperor’s light, while daemons walk freely from the warp into reality, and Cadia falls.*
After Miriya was handed over to the Black Ships, she endured the decades of torturous training required to serve the Imperium as a Sanctioned Psyker. She survived the ritual of Soul-Binding, losing her sight in exchange for a minute fraction of the Emperor’s titanic psychic power. Now an Astropath, this power protected her from the machinations of the Chaos Gods.
Upon return to her homeworld, Gilead Prime, Miriya was connected to the Astro-telepathic network of psykers on the million worlds of the Imperium. She spoke across the void to others of her kind as well as the Warp, projecting symbolically encrypted messages over light-years of space. She received other communications in kind, deciphering the strange images shown to her by the Warp, and divining the Imperial truth from the infectious lies of the Ruinous Powers. For millennia such Astropathic transmissions kept afloat the behemothic bureaucracy required to run the leviathan of military might that is the Imperium.
As the 41st Millennium drew to a close, Miriya began to receive confused and panicked messages. These messages from across the galaxy included terrifying portents of gruesome defeats, impossible resurrections, crumbling structures and strange allegiances, a shattering of reality and a terrifying awakening.
The Gods of Chaos have ripped reality. Cicatrix Maledictum, the monstrous Warp rift split the Imperium in two, a portal to the Immaterium through which daemons could walk freely into realspace. In an instant, Miriya lost her sight for a second time. The colossal Warp Storm surrounded the Gilead System, blocking her Astro-telepathic link to the other psykers.
Throughout the Gilead System, the Imperial ships’ Navigators could no longer chart courses. The Emperor’s own Astronomicon — the psychic lighthouse — was hidden by the Great Rift’s darkness.
Cut off from the Imperium and unable to travel through the Warp, the Gilead System was collapsing. No word could reach them of how the rest of humanity fared in the wake of Cicatrix Maledictum. No reinforcements came to battle the daemons that emerged from the tear in the sky above their worlds. Many suspected help would never come; others thought the rest of the Imperium may have been destroyed. The Warp spewed many horrors into the Gilead System, but also one unlikely blessing: Rogue Trader Jakel Varonius. Varonius and his flotilla of Imperial Cruisers did the impossible and pierced the gargantuan warp storm. Arriving with military reinforcements — including a small corps of neoteric Primaris Astartes — Varonius installed himself as guardian of the system. He announced a resurrected Primarch, an Imperium of redoubled strength, and — most shockingly of all — a loose, burgeoning alliance with the Aeldari.
Many regard this new ‘saviour’ with scorn. Though records show his warrant of trade is legitimate — his claims are all utterly ridiculous, and his path through the Warp is impossible to replicate. Even with his added military support, more threats appear every day, and the only Agri world in the system must somehow provide food for eight planets as well as these newcomers.
Miriya can feel the presence of more and more psykers awakening in the Gilead System. She knows the Black Ships will not come.
This accursed age needs heroes more than ever before.
*The Cadian Guard, of course, did not break.
Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd.© Games Workshop 2019