Tyrant: The Fall of Phrygia (Lore)

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THIS ACCOUNT DETAILS THE FALL OF PHRYGIA TO THE RUINOUS POWERS. IT CONSISTS OF MULTIPLE ACCOUNTS OVER THE COURSE OF M34 to M41.

The year 364.M39 was marked by an increase in Archenemy activity in the southern reaches of Ultima Segmentum and indeed the Imperium at wide. However, this report only concerns the anomalous activities of the planet Phyrgia in the Melekim subsector of the Nephilim Sector. Founded at an unknown period before the Reunification Wars of Terra the planet Phrygia was rediscovered by the Imperium of Man during the Age of Apostasy and served as both a Hive World and a Shrine World to the late Saint Eupharion III of Craterus. Before the coming of the Imperium of Man; however, the local inhabitants were members of a religion that Imperial scholars have identified as a primitive form of the worship of Chaos Undivided. In late M37 the world became the primary recruiting world of the XXXXXXXXXX {REDACTED BY INQUISITOR XXXXXX} chapter of Space Marines. The aforementioned chapter served as a bastion to the enemies of the Emperor on the southern boundary of Ultima Segmentum. In 108.M39 the Chapter encountered the Word Bearers traitor legion near a local warp anomaly known as ‘Maledictorii’, a rift in real-space allowing heretic Astartes to raid the local settlements. The actual events of the clash are unknown; however, what is known is that the ensuing events would lead to the fall of Phrygia into damnation. A young sergeant of the chapter would come under the sway of the heretical teachings of the dread  Primarch Lorgar by being exposed to several heretical texts connecting the eight-fold path with Phrygia’s ancient cults. During the campaign the chapter was faced by overwhelming odds and was abandoned by its regional allies San Leor and Perdus, who at the time were facing their own incursions. The chapter emerged victorious after nearly 40 years of constant fighting for survival; however, the chapter that emerged at the end of the Maledictorii campaign was a cold and unfeeling chapter exposed to the realities of long-term warfare against the powers of the Warp.

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This seed of heresy planted within the chapter would slowly fester for nearly 200 standard terran years and by the year 363.M39 the corrupted sergeant had reached the rank of Master of the Watch, responsible for the defense of the Fortress Monastery and Phrygia in the absence of the Chapter Master. Having swayed key members of the chapter to his secretive cause the Watch Master held sway not only over other brothers of his chapter but also over much of the local population. As 363.M39 reached it’s end and 364.M39 reared its ugly head the chapter was pulled away to engage heretic astartes emerging from the raging Maledictorii. Having been left to his devices the Watch Master accompanied by the Masters of the Forge and of Sanctity and aided by a fallen Codicier led a brutal and swift uprising against the few Astartes that remained loyal. In the following month the upstart Watch Master would go on to break all loyal resistance leaving the planet devastated but united under the banner of Chaos Undivided. With the planet now under his command the Watch Master took the name Vandael, a name used by the pre-Imperial Phrygian population to refer to the high-priest of what Imperial scholars believe to be a singular deity representing all aspects of the chaos gods, named Vandros in the ancient Phrygian tongue.

After nearly 5 years spent repelling the chaos forces of the Maledictorii the remaining marines of the XXXXXXXXX chapter returned to Phrygia battered and reduced to approximately 251 battle brothers aboard the Battle Barge Gordium and the Strike Cruiser Wildheart. However, upon return to Phrygia rather than finding a heroes welcome the chapter finds a bastion of chaos led by Vandael, the traitorous Watch Master and Tyrant of Phrygia. Teleporting to the bridge of Gordium, Vandael accompanied by all of his forces take the Chapter Master hostage and allows the Master of Sanctity to sacrifice him to all the gods of chaos with equal devotion.  Having taken control of Gordium Vandael turns the weapons on Wildheart decimating the ship. However, at the last moment Wildheart, in critical condition, slips into the Warp and escapes with only 40 near-dead battle brothers aboard. Although denied the triumph of destroying his former leaders Vandael completes his victory by using the remaining loyal battle brothers aboard Gordium as a sacrifice to summon a warp storm to cover Phrygia. The sacrifice of an Imperial hero coupled with the colossal body count lead to the former Master of Sanctity ascending to daemonhood as Dagon-Ur, servant of the eight-fold path. 

Vandael, unimpeded by Imperial retaliation, reforms Phrygia into several castes dedicated to different aspects of Chaos Undivided. The castes are formed by mortals, mutants and heretic Astartes all bound to a single cause. The largest and most influential castes are:

– The Tzekoi: Led by fell Codicier Anarkronos the Rune-Etched, is devoted to the aspects of change and sorcery. The Tzekoi flaunt mutations and fell powers as gifts of their patron aspect. The Tzekoi inhabit the shifting deserts of Phrygia as travelling bands in search of ever-changing oases and half-sunken ruins left by the pre-Imperial Phrygians believing them to be home to ancient secrets of the Primordial Truth left behind on Phrygia. The Tzekoi believe their quest for knowledge embodies the all knowing nature of Vandros. The Tzekoi poses not only mutants but also walk freely in the presence of their daemonic allies, the most important of which is Vizy’reth’xrios, a Lord of Change summoned by Anarkronos as a testament to his devotion to the God of Change. The mysterious Lord of Change only speaks in cryptic riddles and wanders the deserts alone in human form until summoned to battle, wherein he changes shape into his colossal and terrifying true form.

– The Viscerae: The Viscerae are not led by any one individual, instead on the eve of battle a warrior will be given visions of the carnage to ensue and will be given the ceremonial title; Cereberus. The Cereberus is expected to lead the Viscerae in battle and eventually die a warrior’s death. The Viscerae tribes inhabit the swamplands and open plains of Phrygia, battling against one another to maintain their martial prowess. The Viscerae train with all types of weapon believing that a true warrior must master all tools of death to be one with Vandros. The Heretic Astartes of the Viscerae form the elite of the warbands and are usually the ones to receive visions; however, if a regular mortal were to receive the vision they will still be respected and lauded as the Blood God’s chosen champion. The Viscerae are also known to have a large number of Ogryn, a small population of corrupted abhumans descended from the Ogryn originally brought to the planets by the Imperium. 

– The Kurgan: The Kurgan, commanded by the Master of the Forge turned Daemonsmith Gorgos, are dedicated to melding human flesh to cold machine and daemon to extend life and create a state of everlasting stasis. The Kurgan’s fear of death has led to their internment into machines but in doing so the corrupting magics of the God of Decay blisters and ruins their flesh, allowing for disease to run rampant through their unkempt bodies. This horrific combination has led to the Kurgan being nigh-indestructible cyborg monstrosities with both disease-ridden bodies and heavy metal implants. The Kurgan’s quest to escape death is in veneration of Vandros’ immortal nature. Almost paradoxically the Kurgan, kept alive by their cybernetic implants, form a sort of walking incubator for the God of Decay’s gifts, spreading them wherever they turn their mechanical treads. The Kurgan inhabit the labyrinthine underground sprawls of Phrygia in foundries and laboratories built into cave systems. The Kurgan also have the largest number of daemon-bound machinery, boasting large numbers of Helbrutes, Fiends and Heldrakes.  

– The Totalii – While a majority of Phrygians fell to worshiping but one aspect of the pantheon of chaos the Totalii remained loyal to Vandros, whom they saw as an embodiment of a singular indivisible cosmic entity. Most notable of the Totalii is the being Dagon-Ur, previously the Master of Sanctity. Dagon-Ur’s total devotion to the eight-fold path of the undivided led to his ascendancy to Daemonhood. Although ascended Dagon-Ur is unusual in that he lacks the ambition so associated with other Daemon Princes. Dagon-Ur only wishes to serve the will of all aspects of Chaos Undivided and as such will frequently move between the castes to better understand the nature of Vandros.

Phrygia’s pre-Imperial past has led to a balanced dynamic between the separate groups and where other groups would fall to infighting the Phrygians have formed a solid separatist group on the southern fringes of the Imperium of Man. At the end of M41 the emergence of the Cicatrix Maledictum has lifted the warp storms surrounding Phrygia and opened the world to contact with the Imperium prompting Vandael the Tyrant of Phrygia to turn his eyes to new worlds to subjugate…

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