The Angevin Crusade was an Imperial Crusade into the region of space in the Segmentum Obscurus known as the Calyx Expanse that brought that dangerous frontier region under Imperial control between the years of 322 and 384.M39. In time the Calyx Expanse became the infamous Calixis Sector of the Imperium of Man.
The Angevin Crusade BeginsEdit
In 322.M39 Praetor Golgenna Angevin, a powerful noble from the Terran Court, was raised to the rank of Lord Militant in the Astra Militarum and granted a writ from the High Lords of Terra to persecute an Imperial Crusade to liberate and dominate the area of space designated as the Calyx Expanse.
His Crusade's forces were drawn principally from the Segmentum Solar and numbered over 17 million levied troops who were divided into 4 battle groups and a strategic reserve, re-enforced by elements of the Titan Legios Venator and Magna, as well as the Black Templars, Tigers Argent, Sons of Medusa and Charnel Guard Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes and a significant naval deployment drawn from the Battlefleets Solar and Obscurus. A score of Rogue Trader and Explorator fleets ranged ahead of the main Imperial forces, identifying targets and providing active reconnaissance in this dangerous region of space.
Swelling the force's already vast ranks were tens of thousands of “pauper warriors” of the Frateris Militia whipped up into a frenzy of holy zeal by the Ecclesiarchy and innumerable petty hangers-on, opportunists and logistical transports, with supplied trains leading back whole sectors away from the front. Using the well-established Frontier World of Sinophia as its forward staging post and marker, the Crusade’s main thrust was launched like an armoured fist into the heart of the Calyx Expanse across the Periphery in a two-pronged assault directed towards two prominent star systems where Rogue Traders had long-established pro-Imperial human contact: Malfi and Solomon.
Reaping of the Emperor's WrathEdit
Between 341 and 345.M39, having strongly established and fortified two salients of conquered Imperial territory into the Calyx Expanse, with their domains now anchored on the worlds of Solomon and Malfi, as well as defeated three minor xenos empires and innumerable other non-Compliant forces in the prior twenty standard years of fighting, the Angevin Crusade paused for fortification and entrenchment of its gains before the next stage of conquests began.
The Crusade was then granted a fresh influx of troops by the High Lords of Terra in recognition of its success (and the wealth already pouring into Imperial coffers from their conquests), in order to press on. Seizing the moment, the Crusade forces carried out the greatest single sweep of conquests in the conflict as the two-pronged assault from the salient's arms swept together conquering as many worlds in the pace of four standard years as had been taken in the proceeding two solar decades. These conquests formed the territory later known as the Golgenna Reach Sub-sector in a campaign that is called by Imperial chroniclers the “Reaping of the Emperor's Wrath.”
Of the many famous victories of this campaign, one of the most lauded belonged to the young General Drusus, who took the War World of Iocanthos in a single week, overthrowing a great and baleful tyranny there, while perhaps the most infamous was the Exterminatus of the world of Amun'an Morrus, whose once-human population of intelligent machines was judged too tainted by tech-heresy to continue to exist. Such horrors were attested to on this world that after its destruction its former location was stricken from all Imperial records, only to live on as a dark Calixian legend.
The Golgenna ConsolidationEdit
Between 353 and 358.M39, with the first and second great phases of its vast operation complete, (and partly owing to battle fatigue after 30 standard years of Crusade), Lord Militant Angevin's forces consolidated their hold of what was more than 200 captured worlds, and shepherded the arrival of the first wave of Imperial colonisation to the areas they controlled. During this period of relative peace, several notable regiments of the Imperial Guard who had earned great glory in the campaign (such as the Brontine Centurions) were given rights of settlement to their own worlds, while several attached forces (like the elements provided by the various Astartes Chapters) rotated out of the Crusade's service.
A Second Front Is OpenedEdit
In 359.M39 the Angevin Crusade's third great push began with a freshly-raised army group gathered from the core worlds of the Segmentum Obscurus, under the command of the Imperial Navy's High Admiral Vaakkon who opened a second front. The new army group to enter the Crusade assaulted the Calyx Expanse from the Segmentum's coreward regions, with the goal of linking up with Angevin's own forces who advanced from Golgenna to meet them.
This phase of the campaign proved disastrous, as worsening conditions in the Warp and a series of calamities and reversals beset the Imperial forces, and when the fleets finally met in 363.M39 at the world of Orendal the Imperial losses of the last four Terran years nearly equalled that of the first two solar decades of the Crusade. Angevin commanded the world of Orendal be transformed into a shrine to honour the fallen dead and then he ordered a retreat. Some say that after this time Angevin was a man broken in will and purpose. The Crusade's forces withdrew to the interior of the Golgenna Reach, and Angevin devolved command of his armies to his senior generals and admirals with mixed success, as with no clear line of authority factionalism and bitter rivalries started to appear in the ranks of the Crusade.
The Bleak YearsEdit
With the Angevin Crusade’s forward impetus stalled, its domains begin to come under repeated and sustained attack from without in the years 363-369.M39, weathering the storms of an Ork WAAAGH!, and the privations of xenos corsairs and raiders whose assaults claimed the lives of millions. Signs and omens were everywhere; a burning black fire was seen in the skies of the world of Lossal Prime solar days before all contact with the thriving Imperial colony world was lost, the wreckage of an entire overdue reinforcement battle group out of Akurion was discovered by picket ships operating on the fringes of the Ha'az'Roth region and plagues decimatednthe worlds of the Malfian Holdfast.
Rebellions and cult activity rose to threaten what were thought to be stable worlds and assassins claimed the life of Arch-Confessor Melcher El, the Crusade'd spiritual leader and Ecclesiarchy adviser. Worsening political rivalries between the Crusade's generals and Imperial Commanders broke out into petty conflicts. Betrayals and a wave of outright distrust between the Crusade's leaders allowed matters to deteriorate further. For the first time the Crusade's gains began to be lost, and the Imperial forces were stretched increasingly thin in their defence of the new realm. Morale problems and discord grew in the ranks.
Only the fleets of the Rogue Traders Sibylline Haarlock and Ludd Sabrehagen provided the rapid transport and redeployment needed to support the brilliant and daring counterattacks of General Drusus' army group against the Warp-worshiping xenos race known as the Yu'vath and their debased human allies which prevented the entire Malfian region from collapsing and leaving the Crusade's conquests wide open for assault. Drusus was widely acclaimed as a saviour but many powerful figures in the Crusade viewed him as a dangerous warmonger, rival and would-be usurper.
The Transfiguration of DrususEdit
According to some sources, betrayed by agents of his rivals among Lord Militant Angevin's generals, Drusus was attacked in 367.M39 by a deadly assassin whilst rallying his depleted forces on the world of Maccabeus Quintus and was seemingly slain, before rising again -- an event many saw as a true miracle and a clear mark of the Emperor's favour. The Drusine sect of the Imperial Cult began to flourish in his shadow, already revering him as a living Saint, while shadowy agencies, some say belonging to the Ordo Malleus of the Inquisition, also brought new aid to his forces in the persecution of the Yu'vath and their human allies (which included Traitors within the Imperials' own ranks).
Almost by sheer force of personality and by independently rallying much of the Crusade's forces to his own banner with tacit backing from the wider Imperial powers (including the involvement of a sizable force from the Iron Hands Astartes Chapter), Drusus ordered the launch of the Angevin Crusade's third and final phase of conquests. This campaign succeeded in destroying the powers that controlled much of what would later be known as the Drusus Marches Sub-sector in General Drusus' honour, laying waste to as many worlds as he dominated.
The Great FoundingEdit
Between the years 370 and 610.M39, mass colonial expeditions from the overpopulated worlds of the distant Segmentum Solar, and from nearer afield in the troubled Mandragora and Gehenna Sectors arrived within the fledgling Calixis Sector, creating a great influx of human population to the region.
Death of AngevinEdit
Lord Militant Golgenna Angevin died at his palace on the world of Quaddis in 372.M39. Though the official cause of death was listed as natural causes, rumours lay his decline in health on advanced old age and a surfeit of fine living. Darker stories persisted of the Officio Assassinorum's hand in matters as punishment for his later failings in the prosecution of the Angevin Crusade.
Drusus was named Lord Militant by wide acclaim in Angevin's stead (with the political support of both the Departmento Munitorum and the Inquisition) and as soon as a state period of mourning for the late Angevin was over, Drusus immediately set to re-forging the region's military forces for a final counterattack into the regions of the Adrantis Nebula and the remaining strongholds of the Yu'vath Hell Worlds.
The Grant of The LathesEdit
In recognition of their invaluable assistance and heavy losses in the purging of the taint of the Adrantians, as well as their service to the Angevin Crusade in solar decades past, Drusus granted the Lathe System to be the sole domain of the Adeptus Mechanicus in perpetuity, and ratified their claims to several other worlds and rights of free and unchecked passage through the stars the Crusade had conquered. By this act, the Lords of Mars were bound in strength both to the fledgling sector and to Drusus' own banner.
End of the Crusade and Birth of the Calixis SectorEdit
With the final defeat of the xenos known as the Yu'vath and the Bale Childer and the Exterminatus of their homeworlds, the final serious organised resistance to Imperial rule in the Calyx Expanse ended and Drusus declared the Angevin Crusade to be complete in 384.M39. Drusus was installed with full rights and title by the Equerry Primaris of the High Lords of Terra as the first Lord Sector Calixis to much acclaim.
Amongst his first acts were the confirming of the world of Scintilla as his sector capital, the ratification of the great trade charters for the new sector's mercantile shipmasters and rising commercial powers that had maintained the Crusade. This bound the sector's life blood of trade and created what would become the great Chartist families and first great Calixian noble houses. His other achievements included the creation of the sector's great legal code, the Corpus Presidium Calixis and the installation of a Calixian Holy Synod of the Adeptus Ministorum at Hive Tarsus on Scintilla. The full effective pacification of the sector continued to consume much blood and treasure of the Imperial war machine for a further three Terran centuries to come.
The first and greatest Lord Sector, Drusus, died in 417.M39 and was succeeded by Marshal Corin Shultus, his former aide de camp and distant kinsmen to the late Angevin. The final resting place of Drusus' mortal remains is kept a secret, although rumours circulated that he was taken back to Maccabeus Quintus to be interred at the site of his "first death." Mass lamentation and unrest accompany the news of his passing and the entire sector undergoes a seven-standard-year cycle of mourning.
- Dark Heresy: Apocrypha - Dark Heresy Timeline by Alan Bligh (RPG Web Supplement), pp. 1-4