General Jater Elbeth was a senior commander of the Imperial Guard who served under Warmaster Slaydo during the Sabbat Worlds Crusade. Elbeth disappeared mysteriously with the forces under his command on the world of Fornax Aleph in 758.M41.
General Jater Elbeth of the Imperial Guard was a cautious man who was considered tactically brilliant and was one of Warmaster Slaydo's favourites. Had he somehow survived the mystery of Fornax Aleph, he would have undoubtedly risen to the senior rank of Lord Militant and acquired a full Imperial Guard army command of his own. The campaign on the Hive World of Fornax Aleph in 757.M41 proved to be troublesome from the very beginning, highlighting the difficulties faced by the Imperial forces when encountering a world that had been affected by Chaos in the most unnerving and inexplicable ways. Fornax Aleph had been established by long-range fleet reconnaissance to be a powerful bastion of the Forces of Chaos. Heavy fighting was expected as Fornax Aleph appeared to contain formidable hive cities and a possible Chaotic fleet reserve. Under the command of General Jater Elbeth, a large ground force composed of 7 Imperial Guard regiments of infantry and 2 armoured brigades prepared for the assault on the enemy stronghold. Their forces would be further reinforced by elements of the Iron Snakes Space Marine Chapter.
The initial assault was delayed twice due to unusually potent Warp Storms, the second of which forced the Iron Snakes into a four-month holding pattern. General Elbeth's invasion fleet also suffered from the Warp Storms, which scattered the Imperial armada as they arrived at Fornax Aleph. Unfortunately for Elbeth, only one-third of his fleet arrived unmolested. Of the promised Astartes support, there was no sign. The general cautiously moved his fleet to an out-system Warp translation point to hold until reinforcements arrived, or, in the event of an attack, translate into Warpspace at the first sign of trouble.
Not wanting to waste the opportunity, on the 303rd day of 757.M41, Elbeth ordered one of his Frigates to pass by the planet and assess the strength and disposition of the enemy forces. The Frigate reported, to the astonishment of the Elbeth's tactical staff, that they had encountered no resistance because the world's orbital fleet yards were entirely empty of activity. Furthermore, they detected no activity on the planet's surface: no electromagnetic activity, no power or industry, no motion whatsoever. According to orbital Auspex scans the great hive cities of Fornax Aleph were totally empty and abandoned. The following day, the general took advantage of the situation and landed a spearhead force in advance of the reinforcements. There was no resistance as Elbeth's forces soon discovered that the world was indeed entirely bereft of life. Plague was initially suspected or some other unknown source of planet-wide mortality, but there was no signs of either bodies or burial pits.
Appraising Warmaster Slaydo of the situation, Elbeth sent extensive reports on the strange occurrence. Fornax Aleph was, for all intents and purposes, a vacant world. Its population had simply disappeared without a trace and without explanation. Elbeth fortified his position in preparation for reinforcement. From his log it is evident that he was unnerved, and a sense of foreboding had settled upon his troops, even the ordinarily stoic Vitrians. It was also reported that throughout the hives, screams of anguish could be heard, often at the dead of night. No source or origin could be pinpointed of where the screams were coming from. Elbeth continued to send extensive astropathic reports back to the Warmaster, until on the first day of 758.M41, when transmissions from the Elbeth's liberation force abruptly ceased. Arriving 80 days later, due to severe Warp Storm delays, the Iron Snakes reported to the Warmaster that there were no Imperial forces on Fornax Aleph at all. The Iron Snakes scoured the planet for any signs of General Elbeth and his men, and their Battle Barges searched the nearby in-system. Whatever inexplicable fate had befallen the people of Fornax Aleph had now overtaken Elbeth and his liberation force as well. The Warmaster signalled to the Astartes to withdraw their forces before a similar fate befell them.
- Sabbat Worlds Crusade (Background Book), pg. 28