The Maelstrom is a massive warp rift, second only to the Eye of Terror in size, that lies at the center of the galaxy and scars the physical universe and the Immaterium beyond. It’s a fell beacon for those that would find solace in hell, and an impenetrable gyre in which reality and unreality mingle. Unlike the Eye of Terror, which was created by the birth of the Chaos God Slaanesh, the Maelstrom is, as far as Imperial scholars can ascertain, a naturally-occurring phenomenon. As such, the boundaries of the Maelstrom wax and wane, expanding and receding into realspace with some regularity. In the wake of Abaddon’s Thirteenth Black Crusade and the destruction of Cadia, the galaxy has been torn in half by a massive warp tear known as the Cicatrix Maledictum. These rifts run across the known galaxy, connecting the storms of the Eye of Terror and the Maelstrom and cutting off vast swaths of the Ultima Segmentum. It is a dark time when whole systems have been lost to the roiling energies of the empyrean and the madness of the warp. But it is not only a time of loss: These new rifts have reshaped and changed other storms. In particular, the Maelstrom has receded in parts of the Ultima Segmentum, in a region known as the Demeter Sector. Here, the warp’s retreating tides have revealed an entire system once thought lost to the warp: The Astradus System.
Millennia ago, before the Horus Heresy, the Astradus system was an important colonial outpost attached to Demeter Sector. Then the Emperor was betrayed, and Astradus — and thousands of systems like it — paid the price. Any untouched Imperial world from before the Heresy offers the promise of reliquaries, constructs, and arcane technologies beyond imagining. An entire system of such worlds is an unthinkable gift from the Emperor. The loss of Cadia will not be for naught; the Imperium will begin to recover its worth here, in Astradus. But be forewarned and forearmed: You will not be the only warlord with their eyes on this bounty. Even now, degenerate xenos, illegal vultures, and The Great Enemy begin to circle what rightfully belongs to the Imperium.
The Astradus campaign uses some unique mechanics to represent how the armies and warlords involved pursue opponents, gather assets and turn those assets to their advantage throughout the course of the campaign. The campaign rules on these pages contain everything you need to know to participate in the campaign and wage war on the system.
You can (and should!) read more about this amazing campaign at the links below. If you are interested in running this campaign with your gaming group (or just learning from an experienced GM as you craft your own campaign) you’ll get a lot of great info about the development process from Robert.
- Introducing the Astradus Campaign
- The Astradus Campaign Part 2: Warmasters
- The Astradus Campaign Part 3: Starting the Campaign
- The Astradus Campaign Part 3: Summertime in Astradus: A Campaign Update
- Making your own Warmaster Characters for Astradus
You can see all of the Goonhammer articles related to the Astradus Campaign here.