The Serpent and the Eagle
Khazant is a War world: a planet-wide battlefield over which blood has been shed almost continuously since the coming of the Achilus Crusade to the Jericho Reach. Renowned for many years as a corsair stronghold, this former Imperial planet and its oppressed population have long been enslaved to one warlord or another, with Khazant’s naval dockyards and plentiful resources its principal prize. From the Achilus Crusade’s outset, Khazant was always considered a primary target, and its initial conquest, and the driving of heretic forces from the Khazant system in a year long campaign, was the last great victory of the Crusade under Lord Militant Achilus’s leadership. The former overlords of Khazant were allowed to escape; a development that, in hindsight, would later have the darkest consequences for the Crusade effort. Shortly afterwards, the newly-acclaimed Lord Militant Tetrarchus divided the Crusade to form the three salients. Raids by heretic forces into Imperial-held territories in the Cellebos region began to increase dramatically, and the Acheros Salient, under Tetrarchus’s direct command, found its main assault meeting massive, organised resistance head-on. During this period, Khazant was temporarily cut off and overwhelmed, its garrisoning forces suffering near total casualties before an Imperial counter-attack could once again contest the system.
Since then, control of Khazant has swung back and forth numerous times, and its now wrecked surface has become the principal battleground of the war in the salient. Its star system is now littered with the wrecks of craft destroyed in action, and it has become the hunting ground of raiders from both sides. These raids are punctuated by attempts from heretic and Imperial alike to run the gauntlet of enemy blockades to land reinforcements on the surface. On Khazant itself, Crusade regiments are still doing battle daily against the forces of the Stigmatus and their unholy allies on a dozen fronts across a noman’s- land, which is now little more than a tangled morass of bunkers, trench works and reeking mud. It is a war of endless artillery barrages, poison gas, grinding armour, and brutal hand-to-hand fighting that shows no sign of relenting.