Fluff - The Fall of Rukt
Many trade routes fuel the Imperium, allowing easy access through regions of space often plagued by warp storms and pirates. These routes allow the ships of the imperium to move with less worry from these threats, concentrating instead on the tricky business of warp travel. These interstellar paths frequented by ships of all sizes, from Rogue Traders and small merchant ships to the giant black ships of the Astropaths, battle barges of the Adeptus Astartes and the behemothic battle fleets of the Imperial Navy.
Planetary systems lining these trade routes often form vital parts of this process. Some grow with trade, providing fuel and repairs to the passing ships, producing supplies for hungry crew. Some act as military strongpoints reinforcing the line, protecting the ships from the threats of a universe that would like nothing more than to see them dead.
The Rukt system has the benefit of being large enough to be both, and so much more besides. At a narrow choke point of open space between 2 large warp rifts, the system is a vital route that can save vessels many months of travel around, or an incredibly dangerous flight through the storm. 11 planets orbit the large orange star at the heart of the system, with several planets in the hospitable zone, capable of naturally sustaining human life. The capital planets of Rukt Primaris and Rukt Secondus, the 3rd and 4th planets, orbit at the same distance from the star in the heart of their system, but 180 degrees out of sync, but their distance gives them all round temperate climates. This allowed them to grow into well developed Agri worlds, providing food and supplies for several systems. Each have a population of over 11 billion people, but with the great value in the system a heavy class war grudge has long existed, due to the large number of oppressed farmers. Rukt II orbits in the inhospitable inner orbit of the capital worlds, but is of no less strategic importance.
The world of Rukt II is a Forge World of the Adeptus Mechanicus.
The importance of the supplies and the mechanical knowledge that the system holds gives reasonthat the planets of both Rukt VI and VIII maintain large fleets of the Imperial Navy and even acts as a permanent berth for a battle barge of the Sons of Midnight Marine Chapterchapter.
It was this system that felt the hammer blow of Chaos in the early 39th Millenium. The reasons that the insidious force of Chaos chose this system were known only to select members of the Inquisition and Adeptus Mechanicus. An ancient device below the surface of Rukt II kept the warp rifts at bay and held the passage through the storms open. This device is why the system remains open as a trade route, without it the narrow passage through the rift would close and doom many. Over the last few hundred years the warp storms orbiting the system have increased in ferocity, touching the minds of many a mortal in the system, opening them to the ideals of chaos and the powers of the warp. Denied many souls of those who should have been lost, the chaos gods grew restless and promised power to those who could answer their call and destroy the calm of the system. Their calls were answered by 3 different ruinous powers.
Many Dark Apostles of the Word Bearers chapter used a particularly violent storm in M39.441 to secret themselves onto the planets and into the hive cities and farming hab blocks of the habited worlds. Word spread amongst the indentured worked. Discontent turned to unrest, unrest turned to outrage, outrage turned to open protest against the government and by the time the ships of the Word Bearers, Death Guard and The Reapers broke out of warp space into the system the planetary governors and upper classes, were swinging from their entrails from the highest spires of the cities, chaos insignias emblazoned on their foreheads as a sacrifice to the chaos gods.
The chaos fleet was spearheaded by the battleship Ascendant Fury, a veteran battleship of the Word Bearers in service since the Heresy. It and its heavy escorts made their full speed toward the orbital ship platforms platforms of Rukt VIII where the Imperial Navy was rapidly scrambling troop ships to deal with the uprising on the habited inner planets. The force of the Chaos attack smashed the platform apart, its antigrav engines failing it as it plummeted down onto the planet, itself sparsely populated due to the very high oxygen content in the atmosphere, with all remaining 25,000 hands on board, along with 2 Imperial cruisers still tied alongside and their crew. The resultant nuclear detonation as the burning wrecks hit the ground ignited the atmosphere, immolating all on the planet’s surface.
To assault the Forge World with their current strength would be suicide, and they needed extra boons from the gods to make their final assault. Thus it was the forces of Chaos made planetfall on the capital worlds, hoping to reap enough destruction and bloodshed, so as to curry the favour of their dark powers and to lend them the unlimited power of the warp in the assault on Rukt II.
The marines of the Sons of Midnight were amongst the first to make planetfall after the true threat of cChaos had revealed itself. Heavily depleted from recent engagements with the Orks, the remaining 52 battle brothers from the 4th company still managed to overwhelm the cultist occupied Hive City of Kurst and the attached military installations. Using this as a base of operation, they were able to temporarilly drive back the chaos fleet long enough with the heavy weapon platforms in the crust of the planet for the troops ships of the Imperial Guard Ruktonian 237th to make landfall all over the planet. However the first brutal counter attack by the forces of chaos recaptured the military positions, slaughtering the Sons of Midnights 4th Company to the last man. However the marines play had favoured and concealed the true nature of the planetary defence. An inquisitor lord, protected from chaos by the diversionary sacrifice of the Adeptus Astartes managed to pass a message out system, revealing the true threat that the force of chaos posed to the system, and the rest of the Imperium.
The call for aid so grave, and placed by such a high member of the inquisition attracted the attention of not one, but two chapters of the Emperors marines. It wasn’t long before the skies of the systems planets were streaked with fire, some the drop pods of the Dark Angels and Imperial Fists, others the flaming descent of ships lost in the orbital battle.
However, the unseen consequence of the arms race occurring in system was that it drew wider attention. The Orks, so recently battled by the now deceased Sons of Midnight, were still prowling for “anuvva good fight with da giant blue guyz” and were drawn to the system by the need for a good Waagh.
The Word Bearers travelled from Hive city to Hab block, swelling their number with cultists beyond measure and were met in battle with a sea of members of Rukt’s lowest classes on their front line.
The Death Guard, lead by Typhus, worked on a similar principle, however wherever he went the force swelled with the recently dead of Grandfather Nurgle’s latest gift spread amongst the populace.
However the forces of chaos are fickle, and any alliances between them were temporary. After all there was only 1 prize on offer, and a prize shared was less attractive than one to themselves.
The battle lines were drawn. The system shook with the war call of so many warriors. The very ground beneath their feet twisted with the forces of chaos and shook with footfall and tank tread.