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The Badab War is the name given to one of the most serious rebellions in recent Imperial history. While the conflict is named for a planet or system of the same name , the war actually took place throughout the several sectors of Imperial space known as the Maelstrom Zone.
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The war saw 4 entire Space Marine Chapters secede and rebel against the Imperium. The Badab War is notable for several reasons; the leader of the rebellious forces, Lufgt Huron , would survive the end of the war and return to trouble Imperial space once more as the Chaos -alligned warlord known as Huron Blackheart , while the conflict itself involved a significant number of warring Space Marine Chapters as the primary participants.
While the war is officially reckoned to have lasted between and M41 , outright warfare did not break out until , while the situation that led to the Badab War began much, much earlier.
Imperial records of the Badab War are subject to an Edict of Obliteration and are therefore fragmentary and occasionally contradictory. Despite this, a large amount of information on the subject remains in existence, although principally concentrated in an assemblage held 'off the record' by the Ordo Hereticus. Badab's self-appointed planetary governor was Lufgt Huron, holder of the self-given title " Tyrant of Badab ".
Huron had taken this role following a failed coup exacted against the previous ruler of the planet in the year M41, appointing himself to ensure no further threat could manifest against the world. For Badab was not just an important world in it's own right, it was also an Adeptus Astartes recruiting world Not settling for assuming control of a single planet, Huron declared that the entire Badab sector was now his to govern "to better protect However, Huron was at this point a famed Astartes commander, known throughout the Maelstrom Zone and even beyond as a highly capable warrior and leader determined to protect the region over which he watched.
For Huron and the Astral Claws were the pre-eminent part of an organization created by the High Lords of Terra themselves; the Maelstrom Warders , a group of Space Marine chapters permanently assigned to the Maelstrom Zone as its guardians and protectors.
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Some Imperial records of the Badab War point to Huron's withholding of the gene-seed tithe to the Adeptus Mechanicus as the slow fuse that began the conflict  , but the sequestered Inquisitorial records reveal that Huron withheld tithes not just from the Mechanicus; in M41 he chose to begin retaining nearly all of the resources available to him.
It has since become clear that this was a response to the turning-down of Huron's proposal that the entire Maelstrom Zone be the subject of an Imperial Crusade planned and presumably led by himself.
40 Facts and Lore on the Badab War in Warhammer 40K
The High Lords dismissed Huron's plan, on the grounds that Imperial forces were needed elsewhere at that time.
Determined to secure the entirety of the Maelstrom Zone and to raise the forces required to do it himself, Huron began to hoard not only the planetary tithes of the Badab sector, but to block or restrict trade routes throughout local space Huron's activity did not cause any great concern in the various senior Imperial circles for some time; Astartes chapters being lax in delivering their gene-seed tithes was not exactly a new occurrence, and seeing as Huron's tithes were delivered to the Administratum through the 'middle-men' of the Karthago Sector , no-one in particular high authority was disturbed by the slackening off of Badab resources.
The trade lords of the Karthargo sector themselves however, were most disturbed by the development.
Holding the charter to receive and then distribute tithes and trade from the Maelstrom Zone, Huron's actions put them in both a growing economic vice and in danger of eventually incurring the ire of the Adminstratum Segmentum Procurator-General who did not care of the reasons behind shortfall, only that there was a shortfall in the first place.
Despite this, Huron suffered no particular censure from any Imperial body for almost the next years. It has been said that only two things in life are certain: death and taxes.
In the Imperium of Man , these certainties are often unassailably linked.
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In the year M41, Lufgt Huron found the taxman at his door. A mixed Imperial Tithe Fleet, made up of Karthargan trade vessels and Mechanicus Magos Biologis ships as well as three Imperial cruisers , warped into the Badab System and summarily demanded their due.
Refusing to meet the requests of the Badab Naval forces to heave-to at the edge of the system and proclaiming their Imperial authority, the Tithe Fleet powered in-system Huron maintained that the Tithe Fleet refused to follow pilot instructions and threatened him with violence The Karthagans were outraged at this, and at the laggardly speed at which the Adeptus Terra seemed to be moving to investigate the matter.
They sent two punitive fleets into the Maelstrom Zone over the next two years, but both disappeared without trace. At roughly the same time raider and pirate attacks in the Zone increased, further disrupting trade, and it was onto these forces that the Karthargan losses were blamed.
Huron responded to the Karthagan attitude, along with the Mechanicus involvement in the initial Tithe Fleet, as though he were being persecuted.
Calling a conclave with the other Maelstrom Warders the Lamenters and Mantis Warriors chapters , he created his Articles of Just Seccession , which laid out his intention to separate the Maelstrom Zone from any tie to neighboring sectors of space.
Complaining of the imposition made upon him and the Warders by the authorities of such sectors, he proclaimed that the Emperor -given rights of the Space Marines placed them beyond such concerns. Notably, Huron's document promised that he and the Warders would continue their holy work of guarding the Maelstrom Zone from anti-Imperial threats.
Absolutely incensed at Huron's actions, the Trade Lords of Karthargo began to complain about the affair to anyone who would listen. The only Imperial body prepared to get involved in what was to most still seen as an internal Administratum matter concerning the correct procedure for gathering the tithes of Badab. M41, the Fire Hawks agreed to investigate the disappearance of the Kartagan punitive fleets earlier sent into the Maelstrom Zone.
Refusing to stand down and explain their presence when hailed by a Mantis Warriors naval force, the Red Harbinger was first crippled and then boarded by a detachment of the Mantis Warriors.
The Fire Hawks refused to surrender themselves into the Mantis Warriors' authority and a fierce firefight broke out, resulting in defeat for the Fire Hawks. After a brief parley to return the Fire Hawks prisoners taken from the Red Harbinger , hostilities erupted in earnest.
The Fire Hawks deployed their full chapter and fleet in an attempt to engage the Maelstrom Warders, but were regularly unable to bring the evasive Mantis Warriors to battle and simply did not have the strength to engage the system defenses of Badab. Attempting to set a trap upon the Mantis Warrior-protected world of Iblis , the Fire Hawks were refused, with both the Mantis Warriors and the Astral Claws choosing instead to seize the border-world of Sagan , securing resources and warp-routes further into the Zone.
The Fire Hawks were forced on the defensive, with the outnumbering Maelstrom Warders trying to oust the Fire Hawks from the Zone by main force. This was prevented however, when the Fire Hawks' request for aid was answered by the arrival of another Astartes chapter; the Marines Errant.
This reinforcement did not significantly change the fortunes of the Fire Hawks though, as the Marines Errant, with their strong Strike Cruiser fleet elements, decided to use half of their forces to protect neutral Imperial shipping traveling through the Maelstrom Zone.
The impact of the Marines Errant was also blunted by their contacts with the similarly heavily fleet-based Lamenters chapter; the Marines Errant and Lamenters were linked by honour-bonds forged in war as recently as the Corinth Crusade and so were reluctant to combat each other.
Both sides therefore satisfied themselves with desultory driving-off actions, much to the ire of their respective allies. A further blow to the loyalist forces arrived not as a military force, but a piece of astropathic news; the Executioners chapter, blood-sworn to aid the Astral Claws in recognition of an earlier event, had elected to honour the debt, deciding to at least send a minimal - but powerful - force to the Zone.
Towards the end of the year Battlefleet Karthago and a small Marines Errant detachment was almost totally destroyed by a naval force of Astral Claws and Lamenters; the Star Jackal of the Marines Errant was the only capital ship that managed to escape.
With the destruction of much of their fleet, the Trade Lords' active role in the Badab War was effectively over. The Marines Errant were further weakened when they were engaged by the Mantis Warriors upon the surface of Bellerophon's Fall , where the Mantis Warriors were able to surgically excise their command structure.
With Space Marines now fighting each other in open warfare, the High Lords of Terra finally deigned to notice the situation in the Maelstrom Zone. They responded by dispatching a sizable task-force of Naval vessels From the Segmentum Solar reserve , Administratum Auditors and last but not least, envoys of the Inquisition.
Determined to root out the cause of the fighting, this task-force first demanded that all participants cease fire and the Secessionists surrender for questioning. When this demand was rejected by Lufgt Huron, the task-force declared that the Secessionist Chapter Masters were to be arrested and that their rights and resources were forfeit. The Terran Legates spent the best part of the year assembling the forces they deemed necessary to eliminate the Secessionist threat.
Calling in the Astartes of the Red Scorpions , Raptors , Salamanders and Fire Angels chapters, a powerful retribution force was soon ready to take part in the war.
The Marines Errant and the Fire Hawks were ordered to stand down for questioning a process that would take the better part of a year ; an order the Fire Hawks chose to follow only after they carried out the vindictive fire-bombing of Sacristan , a Mantis Warrior world in the Endymion Cluster.
As for the Trade Lords, a full Inquisitoral investigation found them guilty of multiple crimes and sentenced the entire population of their principal world to six generations of indentured servitude. The largest naval battle of the war so far, the Battle of Silent Reach, took place at the beginning of the year, when the combined fleets of the Red Scorpions and the Segmentum Solar Reserve met that of the Lamenters and Battlefleet Maelstrom.
Despite the size of the clash, it led to relatively few destroyed vessels and was considered inconclusive. The only serious loss was the destruction of the Battlefleet Maelstrom flagship, the Oberon class Gauntlet of Wrath. Following this, the appointed Imperial Commander of the loyalist force, Ortys of the Red Scorpions, led forces from his own chapter as well as from the Marines Errant and newly arrived Novamarines to assault the important world of Vyaniah.
The loyalist forces were unexpectedly rebuffed by the defending Tyrant's Legion forces, although the kill ratio was estimated to be to-1 in favor of the loyalists. A second blow at this time was the arrival of the long-expected Executioners, who proved adept at performing powerful hit-and-run attacks upon Imperial installations.
However, the sudden surge of loyalist Astartes into the sector, as well as the return to active duty of the cleared Fire Hawks and Marines Errant, meant that despite their losses, the loyalists had secured a stalemate in the war for the Maelstrom Zone.
An attempt to break the situation was made when Lufgt Huron unexpectedly proposed a parley. Agreeing to his terms, Commander Ortys agreed to meet with Huron and Chapter Master Sartaq of the Mantis Warriors aboard a run-down way-station in orbit of the planet Shadim in the Grief system.
This event is known to the Loyalists as the Betrayal at Grief. In circumstances not fully understood, the parley was disrupted by a third party force of apparent Chaotic origin and in the subsequent free-for-all combat both Chapter Masters Ortys and Sartaq were killed.
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The death of Orys, while a tragic event, did not throw the loyalists into disarray as might otherwise have been supposed. The arrival of further reinforcements in the form of the Howling Griffons and Sons of Medusa chapters as well as the elevation of the acclaimed Carab Culln to both mastery of the Red Scorpions and command of the loyalist forces in the Maelstrom Zone ensured morale remained high.
Culln completed activation of Vengeance Station , a powerful forward base in the Zone. The Red Scorpions conducted raiding attacks on Astral Claws space lanes, while the Sons of Medusa and Novamarines interdicted the Endymion Cluster and the Sagan system respectively, beginning to pin down Secessionist forces. The battered Fire Hawks - who had been switched to rear duty by Commander Culln - proved that they were still committed to the campaign when a surprise attack fell upon the loyalist rear sectors.
After a bloody naval battle, the Fire Hawks emerged the victors over the Lamenters.
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The loyalist supply lines remained secure. Another important victory came about when the Raptors and Salamanders relieved the besieged loyalist world of Surngraad. The Raptors, in particular, found much glory during this action. The Marines Errant, having taken serious losses during the war, elected to retire from the campaign, much to the ire of the Fire Hawks.
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Their withdrawal coincided with the arrival of the rest of the Executioners chapter, come to reinforce the crew of the Night Hag. The Executioners fell in force upon the locations defended by the Howling Griffons and inflicted tremendous casualties upon the loyalist chapter - so much so that it was suggested that the Griffons retire from the campaign, a suggestion they resisted until the year The Secessionists were suddenly distracted from following up this opportunity however, when the Mantis Warriors were forced to invade their own territory to oust an Ork invasion and the Astral Claws had to deal with degenerate daemon -worshiping cults springing up inside their own domain.
A further blow to Huron's forces was suffered by the unexpected arrival of another loyalist chapter; the Minotaurs. Charging directly into battle, the Minotaurs wiped out the entire Tyrant's Legion unit stationed on Kyro.
While allying themselves with Culln's command tree, the Minotaurs kept to themselves, attacking with a ferocity unmatched in the loyalist forces until the arrival of the Carcharodons some years later.
One instance when the Minotaurs are on record as working with other Astartes is when they aided the Red Scorpions in finally conquering the world of Vyaniah.
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Not long into the year a question that had been concerning Imperial tacticians was at last seemingly answered. The interrogation of a captured Astral Claws Apothecary took an unexpected turn when the prisoner revealed that he was in fact a member of the Tiger Claws chapter, an Astral Claws descendent long thought lost.
Further Inquisitorial research would eventually establish that the reasons Huron had withheld gene-seed for so long was that not only was he attempting to enlarge the size of the Astral Claws beyond Codex norms, he was attempting to secretly rebuild the almost wiped-out successor chapter, hiding the extant members within their parent chapter.
This explained why the Astral Claws appeared able to take losses but not lose their fighting strength. The Inquisition were also able to discover that the Astral Claws had allied themselves with a group of heretek scavengers in order to recover a buried weapons store on the world of Cygnax.
The loyalists moved to intercept, the Sons of Medusa taking the lead backed up by a newly arrived company of the Exorcists.
The two chapters soon disagreed over the best way to prosecute the campaign, and the Exorcists were pulled out and added to the forces assembled for the Sagan offensive. This force also included heavy presence of the Red Scorpions and Fire Angels as well as squad support from the Salamanders, Raptors and Novamarines.