Imperium Maledictum — The Glorious Macharian Sector

With the release of Imperium Maledictum last month, we thought now would be a good time to take a look at the game’s setting of the Macharian Sector. While Imperium Maledictum’s robust rules and lore support games throughout the Imperium, the ‘default’ setting of the Macharian Sector is presented in all its intriguing detail. Let’s lift the lid on the sector's history, and dive into just a handful of its storied worlds.

A Complex History 

Far to the Galactic West of Terra, within the Segmentum Pacificus, lies the Macharian Sector, a storied territory of the Imperium named after its legendary conqueror. Propaganda has long held the sector as a golden beacon of glorious propriety, the rich fruit of righteous war in the Emperor’s name. The history of the Macharian Sector, and indeed its present truth, tell a far different story; one of a space assailed by vile foes from within and without, rife with dangerous opportunities for perilous adventure in your games of Imperium Maledictum.

Bought with the blood of billion soldiers, the Macharian Sector was among the first to be claimed as the Lord Solar bulldozed through the Segmentum Pacificus. War shook the stars themselves, as heretics, aliens, and even daemons fell to Macharius’ merciless strategic mastery.

Victory in what would become known as the Macharian Sector was so crushingly absolute that it remained a relatively safe staging area as the crusade continued to cleave through the void, but Macharius’ eventual death triggered a calamitous cavalcade of heretical clashes. No part of the treacherous galaxy can be held peacefully for long, and the Macharian Sector was no exception — the Lord Solar’s lieutenants turned on one another, corrupted by greed or the whispers of malign beings. Foul xenos and vile traitors saw exploitable weakness, and daemons watched the carnage unfold with twisted glee.

These Macharian Heresies are rarely mentioned, save as a cautionary tale that even the greatest of victories can crumble to naught if one does not hold the Emperor above all else. Eventually, worlds were re-conquered and the Administratum declared the Segmentum Pacificus ‘saved by the Emperor’s grace’, even as phyrric wars are waged on ten thousand fronts. History can be rewritten, but there are enemies of the Imperium that have lived long enough to remember the truths of the Macharian Crusade who still hunger for retribution.

For centuries, most facets of the Sector have been defined by the Lord Solar’s conquests. Worlds with Human populations that accepted subjugation without resistance were welcomed into the Imperium, and allowed quite broad latitude in how changes to their cultures and governance were implemented.  Those that fought against the Lord Solar were utterly crushed, their heresies purged from history, and to this day are patrolled by the watchful Macharian Vigilites to ensure absolute devotion to the Emperor.  Nobility and Planetary Governors trace their lineage back to senior officers of the Macharian Crusade, and many are engaged in centuries old feuds begun by often forgotten forebears. Most of these are based on murky rumours of events during the Macharian Heresy — but those who concern their minds with the past are often blind to the threats of the present.

Though viewed as a beacon of the Imperium’s might, the Macharian Sector is as fractious as the rest of the galaxy, beset by enemies without and within.

World of Ice

Jotungarth by JG O'Donoghue

Few who witness the bleak majesty of Jotungarth ever forget it. A merciless world, Jotungarth is shrouded in eternal gloom, wracked by ceaseless storms and covered in deadly, icy oceans. Named by the fearsome Ulrik Grimfang, legendary former Great Wolf of the Space Wolves, Jotungarth is a realm of foreboding icebergs, home to chilling ice-palaces and submerged settlements teetering on the edge of doom.

The inhabitants of this inhospitable world are a superstitious and surprisingly resilient people, clinging to life in the face of perpetual danger. Surface dwellers, or "ice siders," have adapted to the unrelenting winds with a unique sign language, while all Jotungarthers must learn to fish and defend themselves against the lethal aquatic predators that lurk beneath the waves.

Seers hold immense power in this bleak landscape, their visions guiding the fate of Jotungarth's citizens. Seeress Gytha Breen, the most enigmatic of all, dwells in a desolate iceberg cave, divining the future with cards fashioned from massive cetacean fangs. Her cryptic, ominous predictions are infamously accurate, drawing interest and fear from the Inquisition.

The Noble Houses of Jotungarth are unquestionably in charge of the planet, but they dwell at a stratified remote away from the greater bulk of the populace and seldom interact with their subjects. The majority of Jotungarth nobles are augmented, usually in ways that allow them to comfortably withstand extremely cold temperatures which makes visiting their redouts a trying affair for outsiders. Planetary Governor Eineer Valgaard of House Valgaard is so heavily modified that he is said to swim daily in waters that would freeze a normal human to death in seconds.

The individual captains of the various city-ships each have total command of their massive vessel and all those aboard them, which means their posts are rife for abuse. Some are famously scrupulous, others far less so, though none are openly corrupt.

The Astra Militarum is well respected on Jotungarth and serving the Imperial Guard is seen as a highly honourable choice, granting officers a fair amount of influence within the city-ships and underwater settlements. Troop detachments raised from here wield their famed ivory-inlaid harpoons with unerring accuracy and frequently excel at stealth operations.

Shrine of Glory

Macharia by JG O'Donoghue

Renowned as the tomb world of Macharius, the shrine world is a destination for countless desperate pilgrims, drawn by the allure of a divine haven. Yet beneath the gleaming marble and gold, a cesspool of human suffering thrives, hidden in the crumbling habs and buildings that lay obscured by statues and cathedrals.

Macharia’s lugubrious blue skies belie a world shrouded in deceit. Beggars and broken pilgrims haunt the alleyways and stalls, searching for a crumb of food or a lost solar with which to buy it. The zealous scream their proclamations from every  corner, even while a handful of heretics preach in hushed whispers. All the while the merciless Frateris Militia patrol the streets, ensuring the facade of pristine majesty remains unblemished.

The Noctis Aeterna casts its pall over Macharia, causing chaos and confusion among the Ecclesiarchy. Schisms of faith emerged, the most brazen being the heresy embraced by the influential Cardinal Nolis Rayne, who preached that emerging psykers were the chosen of the Emperor. His blasphemous notions plunged Macharia into a holy war that tore through the halls of the Palace and involved much of the planet. Though most would rather forget this sorry episode, the scars remain.

Amidst the grandeur of the Macharian Confessional and the impressive presence of the Adepta Sororitas, the Ordo Hereticus clandestinely operates, investigating the decadence of the Ecclesiarchy and maintaining the purity of the shrine world.

But the darkness runs deeper. Beneath the colossal theocropolises of Macharia, the discarded and the forgotten wage war in an endless struggle for survival. These wretched souls, abandoned by the Imperium, claw at the scraps that fall from above, their faith twisted and distorted in the darkness that engulfs them.


Virida by JG O'Donoghue

Virida, a planet discovered during the Macharian Crusade, initially seemed to be a lush and unclaimed world. However, early scouting teams sent into the equatorial jungles mysteriously disappeared without a trace. Heavily armed teams that followed reported flickering lights and whispers in the dark, before they too fell silent.

The Star Phantoms Chapter of the Adeptus Astartes was the first to survive combat with the sentient jungle of Virida. This massive collective organism covered close to two-thirds of the planet and had near-total control over wide portions of the biosphere. The fauna and mobile flora were directed by beings called Viridar, gigantic xenos resembling walking trees that acted as nodes for the jungle's sapience. After half a year of fighting, the Imperium defeated the Viridar and claimed the planet.

In the following centuries, Virida slowly developed, with the potential of becoming a productive agri world. However, many whisper that the jungle is more alert than it appears, and indeed some even claim that Chaos forces which descended upon the world during the long night of the Noctis Aeterna were torn apart by it before they could threaten the Imperium outposts there.

Imperial control on Virida is limited and constantly shifting due to the murderous jungle flora and fauna. The Astra Militarum and Adeptus Mechanicus work together to maintain and protect great mobile servo-cities. Serberys Sulphurhounds accompany these lumbering behemoths, burning away the ever encroaching jungle with purging flame.

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