Cursed, they say, a fount of witches and other foulness. A chalice of corruption, haunted by a dead sun. They say it is but a matter of time before the stars align and the entire place is torn asunder by daemons. Of course, they say that about a great many places.
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Cursed, they say, a fount of witches and other foulness. A chalice of corruption, haunted by a dead sun. They say it is but a matter of time before the stars align and the entire place is torn asunder by daemons. Of course, they say that about a great many places. But in this case, master, the Tarot indicates it is actually true. The Calixis Sector is a sector of the Milky Way Galaxy that serves as the setting for the Warhammer 40, Dark Heresy role-playing game, which focuses on the actions of Imperial Inquisitors and their chosen Acolytes and Throne Agents.
To the trailing edge of the galaxy, the Calixis Sector is bordered by the hazardous territories of the Fydae Great Cloud and to spinward by the Scarus Sector. Bordering to coreward, its immediate neighbour is the Ixaniad Sector. To rimward lie the contested and unregulated Imperial frontiers of the Halo Stars where humans and xenos mix in the quest for power and profit in the infamous Koronus Expanse.
Conquered by Lord Militant Golgenna Angevin for the Imperium of Man almost two thousand standard years ago in the 39th Millennium during what became known as the Angevin Crusade , the Calixis Sector contains many heavily populated and important worlds, though it lies a great distance from the Imperium's core sectors.
This territory represents a vulnerable fraction of the Imperium, far from the millions-strong armies and mighty battlefleets that protect its most ancient and important worlds and defend its war-torn frontiers.
The fate of the sector is tainted with disturbing prophecies and haunted by an inexplicable evil. Within its ill-portended bounds there are countless threats to keep the Adepts of the Imperium stretched beyond capacity. It is up to a few extraordinary individuals to save the sector from being consumed by a dark future of corruption and suffering.
Like all Imperial territories, the Calixis Sector is at risk from the chronic dangers facing humanity: war, mutation, xenos activity, the mark of Chaos , and so on. However, a singular threat lurks somewhere in the Calixis Sector, a mysterious, prophesied doom that has drawn the particular scrutiny of the Inquisition to this group of worlds. This enigmatic threat, the Hereticus Tenebrae, or the Tyrant Star as it is known, is something the forces of the Inquisition most fervently wish to uncover, to comprehend and to destroy, before it is too late for the people of the Calixis Sector--and perhaps all of Mankind.
The hive world of Scintilla , situated in the Golgenna Reach sub-sector, is the capital of the Calixis Sector. However, the Calixian Conclave, led by Lord Inquisitor Caidin, is the true ultimate authority in the sector, a clandestine and all-powerful presence behind the visible emblems and figureheads of Imperial power.
No one has the power to gainsay the word of the Inquisition. The power of the Imperial Adepta, however, is rivalled by the Great Houses, the noble families and Calixian corporations, which maintain a presence across the sector.
Even the minor noble houses, those whose influence is limited to a single world, hold a great deal of power over ordinary citizens. The Calixis Sector is located in the Segmentum Obscurus , on the northern edge of the known galaxy near the Eye of Terror , and represents a portion of the considerable territories conquered by the Imperial Lord Militant Angevin almost two thousand Terran years ago in the 39th Millennium during the Angevin Crusade.
The Imperium of Man is spread impossibly thin across an estimated two-thirds of the entire galaxy. While it is true that some governors rule not just a single planet but an entire system, and that other worlds have no governor at all, the fact is that the Imperium is stretched so thinly across the void that an interstellar traveller could make his way from one edge to the other, traversing a hundred thousand light years of space, and not once cross paths with a human being. Worlds once colonised because of their location or some desirable natural resource have developed into the cores of sectors, many of which have swollen to include two hundred or more star systems.
These sectors are connected to one another by relatively stable, if still hazardous, inter-sector Warp routes and the vast, uncharted reaches between each are referred to as Wilderness Space. These unexplored depths harbour all manner of terrors, from ravening pirates to unknown alien empires, as well as untold riches, from long-lost human colonies to worlds strewn with the wealth of long-extinct xenos species.
The sector is relatively young, having been hewn from the xenos-haunted Calyx Expanse around two thousand years ago by the blood and toil of the armies of Lord Militant Angevin. The Calixis Sector is at once blessed and cursed by its location.
The Calixis Sector might not be cursed by total, all-consuming sector-wide conflict as so many other regions are, but it is nonetheless cursed. Because of such heresies, the sector is host to a high number of Inquisitors , drawn by the conspiracies and mysteries that afflict it. So many Inquisitors are active in the Calixis Sector that a degree of formalisation has developed over the centuries. The Ordos Calixis come together in the Calixian Conclave, the figurehead of which is the Lord Inquisitor Caidin , an inveterate master of intrigue whose face is ever obscured behind a mask and who is said to walk amongst the populace at will.
Despite the outwardly formal nature of the Calixian Conclave, the Inquisitors of the Calixis Sector are as riven with disagreement and schism as those of any other region. This patrician veteran of galactic intrigue and conspiracy is concerned only that each world in his realm meets its Imperial tithe, having little or no concern how this is achieved.
As with most worlds on the Imperium, the details of planetary governance are left to the Imperial Commanders on the ground. Hax is the head of a mighty infrastructure responsible for raising and coordinating the tithes of hundreds of worlds, a gargantuan task only made possible by the legions of scribes, factors, and assayers that toil ceaselessly beneath him. Possibly the most demanding challenge faced by the Calixian sector authorities is the massive, decades-long Imperial Crusade taking place in the distant region called the Jericho Reach.
Though situated on the opposite side of the galaxy to Calixis, the two are linked by a Warp Gate , through which vessels travel in the blink of an eye a distance that would normally take months, if not years, of perilous Warp navigation. The so-called Jericho-Maw Warp Gate remains a jealously guarded secret and travel through it is very often one-way. The Jericho Reach is at once a region rich in resources and a potential curse upon the Imperium.
To capture the vast wealth of the Jericho Reach and to ensure the Warp Gate remains secure, the Imperium has committed vast resources of men and materiel into the Achilus Crusade. Untold numbers of Imperial troops and limitless resources are being channelled through the Jericho-Maw Warp Gate, drawn from the Calixis Sector and beyond, and countless millions of Imperial Guard troops have already given their lives fighting on the other side of the galaxy to capture a region steeped in blood and darkness.
Please note that the record of the events in the Calixis Sector's history outlined here is by no means complete or exhaustive and offers only a snapshot of the unfolding chronicle of the Calixis Sector, as it might be made known to the Acolytes of the Inquisition.
Much of the true nature of events, as well as vital occurrences of dire import, remain hidden. The Calixis Sector is beset by many threats, but few of them are as obvious as rampaging aliens or widespread rebellion.
Perhaps the most troubling is the prophecy of the Tyrant Star , the horrific harbinger of ruin and desolation, the spectral sun which consumes light, hope and sanity. Reports of the conflict, destruction and psychic cataclysm that accompany apparitions of the black sun are often suppressed, in case disorder and fear overtake entire worlds.
The Tyrant Star, also known as Komus, is an uncategorised stellar anomaly that appears as a black dwarf star whose arrival in the sky of a world is seen as an imminent herald of catastrophe, while the existence of the Tyrant Star is itself part of a wider prophecy called the Hereticus Tenebrae that is of great interest to the Imperial Inquisition.
Unraveling this prophecy and the role of the Tyrant Star may be crucial to preventing a cataclysm that will consume not only the worlds of the Calixis Sector but perhaps the entire Imperium of Man. The baleful Tyrant Star casts an ill light upon the Calixis Sector and nowhere seems immune from its influence.
Mysteries abound, for the Calixis Sector was quite evidently occupied by more than one long-vanished civilisation in the past. The previous inhabitants of this province of the galaxy have left their indelible traces behind them. Certainly, many Inquisitors of the Calixian Conclave fervently hope that the spectral sun is a legacy of aliens long since gone to dust, for the alternatives have implications that are unspeakable. The engulfing darkness will be preceded by signs and portents, so-called herald events, that will gradually transmute human minds and make them ready to embrace the darkness.
Many believe this to be an obvious allusion to a rising of Chaos and the Warp, though this explanation is far from universally agreed. There are many considerable threats in the galaxy. The actual text of the prophecy is secured in the archives of the Bastion Serpentis, and Inquisitor Lord Zerbe, the leader of the Tyrantine Cabal of the Calixis Sector, only allows a very favoured few to examine the complete transcript.
Komus is said to be the harbinger, a portent of the encroaching darkness. The rune has resisted specific translation and no previous occurrence of it has yet been found. No two appearances have been quite the same but the pattern of visitation is usually this: with little warning, a ghostly star apparently emitting black flames and esoteric, unknown radiations, spontaneously materialises in a planetary system, shines malevolently for a few days, and then, just as mysteriously, vanishes without trace.
The visitation is accompanied by psychic disturbance, geological upheaval and sociological problems, including mass rioting and unrest. However, the Spectral Sun has also on occasion appeared less directly -- a strangely bright star at night, a phantom corona around a moon -- before disappearing.
No astronomer has successfully explained the eerie phenomenon. It belies human science and has thus far evaded close investigation. Its visitations cannot be predicted. The Tyrantine Cabal believes that the Spectral Sun phenomenon is the Tyrant Star, Komus, as it so closely matches various descriptions in the prophecy. Some suggest the Tyrant Star is the ghost image of some stellar body in the immaterium, shining through the worn fabric of space. Others say it is a mirror image, a Warpspace star that is partially translating into realspace , trying to find a way through.
Yet others claim that the Tyrant Star is an artificial body, driven by xenos engines and mechanisms Mankind cannot comprehend. Whatever the truth, the phenomenon is a fact. It has manifested eighteen times in the Calixis Sector during the last century. Every single visitation has caused public unrest and geological instability. Where the Tyrant Star appears, earthquakes and volcanic upsurges follow.
A world will experience a violent period of upset and revolution prior to its appearance. Many more psykers than usual will be born or become active. Mutation will occur. These things will usually take place in the two or three months leading up to a manifestation.
Signs and portents will be widespread: these generally are a matter of birthmarks, odd runic sigils appearing upon walls without explanation and the rise of fanatical cults.
Some sources also describe premonitory halfsightings, fleeting glimpses of the black-flamed sun in mirrors, pools, puddles or even on the surface of wine or water in drinking vessels. Mass panic and insanity precede a visitation of the Tyrant Star. Sometimes, disorder and civil unrest lead to nothing and, for all the portents and cues, the Tyrant Star never actually appears, though this may be because it has manifested in a way that is hard to detect.
On at least two recorded occasions, the Tyrant Star has appeared merely as a distant star above a world, no larger than a morning star, instead of eclipsing the local sun. The Tyrantine Cabal believes it is a vital part of its work in the Calixis Sector to trace and investigate these visitations, and to actually be on site to witness a manifestation. Zerbe hopes that important data may be gathered during a genuine sighting. In the sector at large, the visitations are a matter of myth and rumour.
The Inquisition has carefully suppressed any official confirmation of the phenomenon. Scintilla is the capital world of the Calixis Sector of the Segmentum Obscurus , and is a thriving Imperial hub that supports the largest planetary population in the sector.
Scintilla is a world of splendours where the wealthy and powerful compete with ruthless appetite. Astonishing magnificence abounds, from the wondrous fashions of the hive nobility to the towering spectacle of the hives themselves. Landmarks like the Lucid Palace and the Cathedral of Illumination are famous throughout the sector. Scintilla is also a world of corruption. Moral decay eats away at the noble houses, members of which are often deluded by their own wealth and status.
In the rarefied culture of the high-born, the corruption of power and privilege runs deep. Noble houses consider themselves sometimes correctly as above or outside of Imperial law and can wield immense influence. Their attitude towards those lower-born is callous: it is not unknown for thrill-seeking degenerates from noble houses to prey upon lesser humans as sport, often feeding secret Chaos cults devoted to Slaanesh. At the other end of the social spectrum, the underhives are rife with mutants, outlaws and ultra-violent gangs, as well as the psychotic zealots of the Redemption.
The middle hivers trapped between the aristo spires and the rancid underhives live out thankless lives of unending toil, where ignorance is a virtue, and death is a reward for a lifetime of loyal, drone servitude, fulfilling the exorbitant tithes levied on Scintilla by the Administratum.
When Black Industries published Dark Heresy , they openly requested fans to submit descriptions of planets. Various of the submissions they received were edited and used to expand the newly-created Calixis Sector, becoming an official part of the game's setting. The core rulebook of course had limited space, so the full descriptions for all the planets that Black Industries accepted were published on the company's website, forming a freely-accessible gazetteer of the Calixis Sector. Following Games Workshop 's closure of the Black Industries imprint, Fantasy Flight Games acquired the licence to publish role-playing games set in the Warhammer Fantasy and Warhammer 40, universes. They retained an on-line gazetteer for the Calixis Sector, but in a cut-down form that detailed only the major worlds. This PDF can still be found, circulated by fans on various internet forums dedicated to discussing Dark Heresy and related games. The content that is still retained on the FFG website includes details of the Calixis Sector, its subsectors, types of planet, and Scintilla.
By wabbitking , August 10, in Dark Heresy. Yeah, what he said. I used to have a link to it in my Encyclopaedia Calixia , but it's no longer active. My web-fu turned up nothing, and the Dark Reign fansite doesn't seem to exist anymore. I have a hard-copy printout of it somewhere, but I hate typing too much to try to reconstitute it On a related note, be sure to check out glyph21 's Planet Glossary - very useful for 'filling in the blanks'. I do have the The Calixis Sector Encyclopedia a 40pg document.