Thursday, March 12, 2009

A History of the Hydrian Wars (Part 1)

A History of the Hydrian Wars

- An Index -

First Edition

Ephrael V. Leonov, m.s.

First published 999.M41 by appointment of Count Ferdinand von Schrader XXII with the Authority of the Hydrian Sector Administratum. Unauthorized copying of this text is punishable by death.

Introduction – ‘The Ten-Thousand Year Reich’

In the most benevolent sight of the God-Emperor, this most humble sage, whose name it is sufficient to say is irrelevant in the purpose of this text, has compiled what he hopes Your Lordship finds to be a sufficient account of the most significant historical perspectives and annotations of the area of space known as the Hydrian Sector. Particular impetus is given to the world of Prussaria, for which nearly eight thousand years has prospered in the most holy light of the God-Emperor and Terra. This is a broad and significant subject that would require many scribes and the course of several centuries to properly and thoroughly document, however I have endeavoured to provide reference to as many secondary and tertiary texts as possible to facilitate any further reading that may wish to be undertaken. This text, therefore, is first and foremost an index to the world of Prussaria and its widely varied history.

Prussaria is located in the Hydrian sector of Segmentum Obscurus; a hive world with ancient ties to the Imperium dating back as far as M.32, long known for its long, boundless plains, grasslands and forests, and by contrast: its grim and feverishly loyal Imperial Guard regiments.

The early history of this world saw its establishment as the sector naval base on the great space lanes between Segmentum Solar and the fortress worlds in the Eye of Terror. Battlefleet Hydria has ensured the security of her space since the earliest days of the Imperium, not infrequently warding off the opportunistic raids of brigands and the occasional xenos incursion by both the greenskin and Eldar races. Since history can recount, Prussaria has been ruled by the noble houses of its ancient and honoured military families; often tracing their lineage back to the time of the God-Emperor’s Great Crusade itself. Of these houses, the family of the Count Ferdinand von Schrader the XXII is the largest and most well-established, having ruled over Prussaria in His name since Day 245, 455.M41. This date of the house’s coronation is celebrated on the Prussarian calendar annually as part of the planet’s tithes in tribute to the Emperor’s day of Ascension. It is also marked by the House Reisleng as a day of mourning the death and end of the reign of Count Reisleng VIII who passed with no apparent heir.

This time of year coincides with the first Fall of Oaks; a feast celebrating the harvest which lasts fourteen rotations in the first days of the planet’s autumn seasons. This tradition dates back as far as the founding of Prussaria as an Agri-world as the yearly harvest came with the first falling leaves of the great Braemen Oak trees native to the midlands of Westreich. Prussaria is known for its great expanses of forest and grassland that cover the equatorial regions and stretch deep in to the frozen Talvarian north lands, and it maintains its rich agricultural traditions to this day. The second Fall of Oaks feast commemorates the fallen of the Reichsguardthe Prussarian Imperial Guard - whose history is as long and honoured as the planet itself. The day of mourning is marked across the entire planet, but most notably in the capital of Braemenheim, where ceremonies presided over by the Reichmarshal and First Lord of the House give thanks to the sacrifice given by Prussaria’s Imperial Guard regiments since the Founding. Pilgrimage to the capital from across the sector is common during these festivals, and it additionally marks the only time where all of the often-feuding noble houses will meet in a place of equal standing once every year, offering the opportunity for talks between all of Prussaria’s various houses, factions and classes.

Twice in the world’s history, war has ravaged Prussaria itself under the onslaught of the Emperor’s enemies. The First Prussarian War, beginning in the year seven hundred and forty five of the thirty-seventh millennium, was started by a greenskin warlord whose name history has recorded (as best as a sophisticated Gothic-tongue will allow) as ‘Grimzog Dregskull’, whose most infamous exploit was the complete annihilation of the planetary capital of Tennhauser within the opening hours of the assault. The Ork invasion of Prussaria itself lasted approximately five years, although the resultant battle to contain the greenskin threat across the sector would last an entire decade. The war resulted in widespread destruction across many of Prussaria’s largest hives, and even at the time of this writing, feral Orks still reside within the deepest parts of Prussaria’s forests.

The second conflict, better known as the First Hydrian War, began in the year five hundred and ten of the forty-first millennium as a conflict against the Arch-Enemy. With the support of Abaddon the Despoiler himself, Warmaster Crucian Rochefort (Later reference: “Butcher of Saints”, “Rochefort the Bloody”) led a sizeable warfleet across the Hydrian Sector in the Despoiler’s name, conquering and enslaving star systems before being stopped at the now-celebrated Battle of Acta Sanctorum. Detailed accounts of these conflicts can be found later in this index, although it is sufficient to say that through both conflicts, the Prussarian Imperial Guard and Battlefleet Hydria have both risen to represent some of the most formidable military organizations within Segmentum Obscurus.

In recent history, Prussaria has enjoyed a period of relative isolation from the conflicts which have ravaged the Imperium. While the Reichsguard and Battlefleet Hydria have continued to serve with distinction in actions during the most recent Armageddon wars and the Thirteenth Black Crusade, the planet itself has quietly recovered from the conflicts which it has endured, and remains a key port and fortress world for fleets travelling across the borders of Segmentum Obscurus and Segmentum Solar. Despite this, the most trying times of all may yet lie ahead for Prussaria and the Hydrian Sector: in the immediate wake of the Third Armageddon War, Thirteenth Black Crusade and the Medusa V crisis, the forces of the Hydrian Sector have been spread unprecedentedly thin over a distance of nearly ten thousand light years, and with more crises emerging every month across the Imperium, the demands placed upon them have never been so high. With burgeoning troubles within the Adeptus Administratum at the dawn of this, the forty-second millennium, should Prussaria face another crisis the likes of which it has seen twice before in its history, she may very well find herself unable to endure.

The Emperor Protects.

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