Mundus Planus is the formal Imperial High Gothic name for the Feudal World its inhabitants call Chogoris, the homeworld of the White Scars Space Marine Chapter, which lies in the Ultima Segmentum of the galaxy. It is from the savage horse nomads of Chogoris that the White Scars raise their Neophytes, who are well-suited to the White Scars' highly mobile way of war.
Birthworld of the KhanEdit
The ancient text known as the Liber Historica Vangelia records that the Primarch Jaghatai Khan arrived at a world in the Ultima Segmentum originally designated by Imperial cartographers as Mundus Planus, but known to its own inhabitants as Chogoris. Chogoris is a fertile world characterised by lush greenery, soaring mountains and azure seas, which, at the time of the Great Crusade in the early 31st Millennium, had achieved a level of technology commensurate with the Late Medieval or early Renaissance periods during Old Earth's Age of Progress in which black powder weapons had only recently been introduced. A Census Imperialis of the day records that the dominant Chogorian empire at this time was an organised feudal aristocracy that had conquered most of the planet with well-equipped and highly disciplined pre-industrial armies. Armoured horsemen wearing full plate and densely packed blocks of infantry had won every campaign their ruler, the Palatine, had ever fought.
To the west of the Palatine`s empire was a vast, wind-blown steppe, known as the Empty Quarter, home to nomadic tribes of savage horsemen who for centuries had roamed the vast grasslands. The tribes of the steppes lived in tents and followed a cycle of seasonal migration from summer pastures to protected winter valleys in Chogoris' Khum Karta Mountains. Consummate horsemen and archers, these disparate tribes frequently fought one another for control of ancestral pastureland or -- as their own ballads would have it -- the sheer joy of battle. Chogorian armies had never invaded the Empty Quarter as the dry and desolate lands were of no value to the Palatine's people. However, the feudal nobles of the Palatine's state would often lead hunting bands into the steppes and take whole tribes east as slaves or capture a lone tribesmen to hunt through the mountains for sport. Many passages in the sacred text of the White Scars Chapter known as The Great Khan are devoted to detailing the full extent of Chogorian atrocities. The blood rituals and sacrifices described within these passages have led many Imperial scholars to postulate that the Palatine`s empire may have been dedicated to the worship of the Dark Gods in one of their many guises across the galaxy.
The Legend of Jaghatai KhanEdit
Jaghatai Khan's legend began near the Quonon River when Ong Khan, the leader of a small tribe known as the Talskars, first encountered the Primarch, who had arrived on Chogoris in his gestation capsule after being flung through the Warp like the other Primarchs from Terra through the intervention of the Ruinous Powers. Ong Khan believed that the glowing child was a gift from the gods and took him into his family and named him Jaghatai. It was said of Jaghatai that since his early childhood he had a "fire in his eyes," a Talskari term applied to a man who was expected to become a great warrior. It was also said about the young Jaghatai that rival steppe tribes hated the child because he had the wisdom to see beyond the constant warfare that dominated life on the steppes.
Jaghatai eventually rose to become the Khan of the Talskars after his foster father Ong Khan had fallen. Jaghatai fought many battles against the hunting bands of the Palatine and the other tribes of the Chogorian steppes. Each defeated tribe was brought within the growing Talskar confederacy and became part of the Khan's army. Jaghatai's clear military talents and the sheer force of his personality won him many followers and soon his warriors were as numerous as the stars. Jaghatai's army became known as the Mathuli, a Talskari word meaning "irresistible force." He made military service mandatory for all men within the Talskari confederacy and combined warriors of different tribes into the same units to break up their previous tribal associations and rivalries, fostering a fierce loyalty to the entirety of the Talskari people and ultimately to himself. He promoted men purely on the basis of ability and brought a feeling of shared purpose to everyone he came into contact with.
Jaghatai Khan eventually raised a large enough army from among the tribes of the steppelands, which enabled him to begin the invasion of the Palatine's realm. In the years that followed, Jaghatai's army overran the Palatine's lands, defeating the Palatine's best armies, storming his walled cities, and slaying his nobles. Cities that lay in Jaghatai Khan's path had two choices -- surrender or total destruction. The Khan's power eventually stretched from ocean to ocean, and became the largest empire the planet had ever known, conquered by a single man in less than twenty standard years. Though Jaghatai Khan dominated a vast area, he knew that his people had no desire to rule such a realm. His new empire had grown from his urge to unite the tribes and exact vengeance upon their cruel enemies, not from any hunger to occupy or rule their lands. Yet ultimate power had come to rest with the Khan and his generals. Although they were well organised militarily, the tribes had not developed the necessary political structures or cultural understandings required to rule settled populations.
The Emperor and the KhanEdit
The noted Imperial historian Carpinus, who compiled a detailed history of the Great Crusade in the so-called Speculum Historiale, noted that Jaghatai`s armies finished the destruction of the Palatine`s realm a mere six months before the Emperor of Mankind's expeditionary fleet reached Chogoris. When the two men met, it is said that the Khan knew he had finally met someone who embodied the ultimate ideal he had striven all his life to achieve, someone who could unite all the stars in the sky and bring true unity to all Mankind. At his palace in the Chogorian city of Quan Zhou, in front of all his generals, Jaghatai Khan dropped to one knee and swore eternal fealty to the Emperor. Brought into the Great Crusade and quickly brought up to speed on Imperial culture and the purpose of the Great Crusade, the Primarch was given command of the V Legion of Space Marines, superhuman warriors who the Emperor had created from Jaghatai's own genome. The Khan's Terran-born gene-sons adopted the practice of bearing the long facial scars of their Primarch's Talskar tribesmen that ran from forehead to chin to show that they were warriors, and renamed themselves the White Scars in honour of their Primarch's people. The Great Khan ascended to the heavens with the Emperor, passing the Khanship of Chogoris and the Talskar to his general Ogedei. Many of Jaghatai`s followers elected to join their Khan and became Space Marines within the Vth Legion. The White Scars' Legionary culture soon came to be dominated by the beliefs and practices of the nomadic tribes of Chogoris.
Chogoris at PresentEdit
Chogoris is a fertile world that still exists in a semi-feudal state. With the departure of the Great Khan, Ogedei became the new leader of the Talskar tribes and, while he was a great warrior, he was no Jaghatai Khan. Without the Primarch, the tribes soon returned to their warring ways and within the space of a few years, the unified empire of the tribes created by Jaghatai had ceased to exist. The tribes went back to their homelands in the steppes and life on Chogoris carried on much as it had before the arrival of the Great Khan. Some of the Primarch`s biographers claim that the Khan must have known that this would happen and yet left anyway. They suggest that perhaps he desired the restoration of the old inter-tribal warfare in order to keep his people strong enough to provide future recruits for his new Legion of Astartes. Indeed, in the millennia that followed, many men would rise to unite the tribes, but none would ever succeed as spectacularly as Jaghatai Khan.
To this day the Chapter Master of the White Scars is known as the Great Khan and dwells in Jaghatai`s palace of Quan Zhou, atop the highest, most inaccessible peak in the Khum Karta Mountains. The marbled fortress-monastery of the White Scars is a magnificent sight, but few outsiders have ever been allowed within it. The mountain city and its savage beauty is famed throughout the Ultima Segmentum and its walls are said to contain rivers and forests running with game, which the Great Khan hunts for sport. The winding valley-pass that leads up to the fortress monastery's adamantium gates is lined with the severed heads of countless defeated foes, and the feasting halls within its marbled walls are heavily hung with a great wealth of trophies taken by the White Scars' greatest heroes from thousands of battlefields. Like other fortress monasteries, Quan is armoured and void-shielded to withstand any siege or bombardment from land, air or space, its walls bristle with enough heavy ordnance to flatten a hive city. Every aerial approach to the monastery is protected by Icarus Pattern Lascannons and a macro-laser known as Khan's Fury, which stands a spear of vengeance to any space-borne enemies that dare attack the White Scars. The fortress monastery's Librarius is a lightning-wracked spire where the Chapter's Librarians, often referred to as Stormseers study lore and chronicle the deeds of the Khans. They also preside over the Chapter's astropaths as they relay physic messages throughout the void, communicating with the greater Imperium and those brotherhoods hunting across the galaxy.
The Stormseers of the White Scars venture down into the steppes every ten summers to observe the Chogorian tribes and their battles, picking the best and bravest warriors amongst them and returning with them to Quan Zhou where they will undergo the process to become Space Marines. The pyre-tombs of fallen White Scars in the Khum Karta (which means "The Mountains that Scrape the Stars" in the native dialect of the Talskars) are places of great pilgrimage for young tribal warriors, and those that survive a journey through one of these dangerous valleys are considered especially courageous and worthy of becoming Aspirants to join the White Scars.
- Codex: Space Marines (6th Edition), pg. 37
- Codex: Space Marines (5th Edition), pg. 50 (Map)
- Deathwatch: First Founding (RPG), pp. 27-34
- Index Astartes I, "Lightning Attack - The White Scars Space Marines Chapter," pp. 40-47
- Warhammer 40,000: Apocalypse
- White Dwarf 257 (UK), "Index Astartes I: Index Astartes - Lightning Attack - The White Scars Space Marine Chapter"