40K: Fall of Cadia Overview


As Cadia Falls, a new alliance arises – but this is just the beginning…

Hey BoLS Readers! We sat down and took a look at the new Gathering Storm: Fall of Cadia book and it’s fantastic!

Be Warned: Spoilers to follow…





Still Here? Good! Let’s talk about The Fall of Cadia!

Unlike some of our typical Overviews, we don’t spend a lot of time focusing on the rules in the book. If you’re looking for those I’m sure our resident tournament ringers will have full write-ups on the days ahead.

In the Beginning…

This book is the first book in the Gathering Storm series. It sets the stage for everything that’s about to come. As far as the kick-off narrative event, this book is great! It’s got action, suspense and leaves us hanging with a cliff hanger that made me desperate for more. I really think that this book is setting the stage for the next 30 years of GW’s narrative.

Now, if you’re not spoiler averse, you’ve probably already seen most of the key plot points and seen who lives and who dies. Of the 850 million souls on Cadia, only about 4 million make it off the planet. Of those 4 million, not all of them make it to the end…and since I don’t really want to go into all the details of the ground war lets talk about the aftermath in space.


If you aren’t aware the Imperial Fist’s Fortress-Monestary/Home Base The Phalanx shows up to aid the system. This is after a plot of Be’lakor and Warsmith Shon’tu of the Iron Warriors is foiled which leaves the Imperial Fists 3rd Company brusied and battered. Skipping ahead, the Imperial Fists are able to cause a lot of damage to the Chaos Fleet and seem to have turned the tide, at least in space. However, that’s when Abaddon’s true plan comes to fruition.

A Blackstone Fortress, one of the gems of the Chaos fleet, had been “destroyed” earlier in the battle. But in reality it was a sacrifice Abaddon was willing to pay. As the plasma engines powered back up, chunks of the Fortress began to make their way to Cadia. After they get sucked in to the planet’s gravity the Imperial fleet can only watch the carnage unfold.

Cadia Cracks

Cadia is cracked and dying – the pylons which were activated to push back chaos faulter and the warp moves in to swallow Cadia up. The Imperial forces do manage to escape thanks to Creed’s sacrifice (and possible absorption into the Tesseract Vault). What follows next is a tense escape as the Chaos Fleet nips at the retreating Imperials and Ad Mech fleet. Because the Warp Tides have moved in warp travel is all but impossible so they must push their engines beyond their extremes to try and out run the Black Fleet.

The space battle was probably my favorite bit of the story – but that’s just me. I love a good “naval” combat. In the end, the majority of the Imperials make it to the edge of real space and are able to warp out. But before they can all warp out, Abaddon’s Black Fleet comes out of warp in front of them! Just as the Imperials are warping out, the Ad Mech Fleet (who had taken up a rearguard due to the fact they were the least damaged) are suddenly caught between the expansion of the Eye of Terror and Abaddon’s fleet. Their firepower is overwhelming and the Ad Mech cannot go toe-to-toe.

Just when things are looking grim, Saint Celestine (who’s with Cawl, Greyfax and a bunch of Black Templar on the Iron Resolve – the flag ship of the Ad Mech) steps in and indicates the ice moon Klasius. The Ad Mech fleet manages to get them to the ice moon and they find a few hours of respite after a relatively quiet landing.


However, the cover of the ice and snow doesn’t save them from pursuit. Heldrakes fine them and they are harassed by Chaos. But those were all just distractions until the main chaos forces were able to get to them. With their backs against the ice covered slopes, Chaos forces upon them, their salvation finally arrives!

The ice explodes in a flash of shuriken cannon fire as Jetbikes show up to attack Chaos! The Eldar have arrived and provide cover for the mixed Imperial/Ad Mech forces. They all make their escape in a massive Webway portal and escape the jaws of Abaddon’s forces…for now.

Blacktemplar Webway EldarEldar, to the Rescue?!

For me this is pretty exciting. It shows a big shake-up in the status quo. A lot of folks may hate on Abaddon’s sacrifice of the Blackstone Fortress to end Cadia, but look at the big picture: The Eye of Terror is no longer halted at Cadia. This basically means that Chaos forces will have free reign in and out of the eye – they can attack (and expand their territory) at will now.

This also showcases that the Eldar and the Imperial forces have the same enemy and it puts them both on their back foot. They are going to have to work together to stop chaos but I have a feeling that millenniums of distrust will throw a wrench in those plans.

Cadia has been destroyed. Chaos now has free reign from the Eye of Terror. Prospero is back. And the Eldar are helping the remnants of Cadia, but why? These are exciting times for 40k Lore Junkies and I can’t wait to see what’s next!


Did you get to read the Fall of Cadia? What did you think and what’s your guess as to what’s next?

  • Damistar

    I suppose the big reveal in the next book will be the identity of the red armored Eldar. The writers made a point of his unique armor which suggests to me a new Eldar faction, perhaps a united force like the Castellan detachment.

    • Jukka Vuorisalo

      *cough* corsairs? *cough*

      • Damistar

        I’m thinking more of “Eldar Empire”. Corsairs are pirates and outcast, Exodites are backward farmers and Harlequins are too few. For the Eldar to make a difference they will need to unify the big factions of the Commorites and the Craftworlds.

      • PrimoFederalist

        Doubt it. The armor didn’t register as anything previously encountered by Cawl and was described as a combination of Eldar (specifically Aspect Warrior) and Dark Eldar armor.

    • palaeomerus

      It’d be pretty damned crazy if he turned out to be the Kahn huh?

      • Who’s Kahn?

        • ZeeLobby


          • You mean Khan? The StarTrek dude? Sorry, I don’t get it 😛

          • ZeeLobby

            Was trying to split the difference. Pretty sure he meant Kharn. I dunno if i’d put that past GW…

          • Oh.

        • Golden Yak

          Jagatai Khan, Primarch of the White Scars marines! Last seen fighting the dark eldar after the Horus Heresy, presumed by many fans to be lost in the web way. If so, it’d be pretty cool for some imperial troops to find him and lead him home.

      • Damistar

        Khan? As in the White Scars Primarch? That would beggar belief I think.

      • PrimoFederalist

        It’s not the Kahn. It’s definitely an Eldar.

    • silashand

      My bet is Vect. He is one of the few living Eldar from before the Fall, hence why his armour may reflect aspects of both craftworld and commorite since back in his day they were still one and the same.

      • Morgrim

        The problem is that he was a SLAVE either at or shortly after the Fall, so I doubt he would have preserved a suit of armour. Unless it was someone else’s armour. I could definitely see him taking one of the former Noble’s armours after taking control of Commoragh.

  • Thomson

    Yeah we got it. Eldar are the only cool guys in 40k. Everybody should play Eldar.

    • dave long island


    • ZeeLobby

      Just wait for the 12 Wraith Knight detachment in book 2!

      • I thought this was already possible with the regular codex?

        • ZeeLobby

          Ah, but now their D-cannons will be Heavy 3! They can combine for a single jump shot. Remove all WKs from the table, and flip it. Anything that’s flipped dies! Return table to it’s upright position, and place WKs back down. Celebrate!

          • Aha! Now that’s mean!

          • ZeeLobby


          • Karru

            Don’t forget that they also get Objective Secured, re-rolls to saves AND half of them are free!

          • ZeeLobby

            Buy-one-get-one. Not at the store, but on the table. Nice!

          • Shawn

            Don’t forget they can combine and transform into one giant super-heavy complete with anime music the background.

  • ZeeLobby

    So he’s got a ship that can kill planets but sacrifices a Blackstone fortress to do it instead? Am I missing something?

    • nurglitch

      The whole purpose of Cadia in the Despoiler’s master plan was as a sacrifice to the Dark Gods, to extend the boundaries of the Eye of Terror. He sacrifices the Blackstone Fortress to destroy the Cadian Gate.

      • ZeeLobby

        So the fortress was his side of the sacrifice. I guess that makes sense. Just seems wasteful. I know the chaos gods are all about sacrificing innocents and good guys, or cultists. Etc. They usually are hesitant to throw away powerful tools though.

        • nurglitch

          It’s not a sacrifice if it’s something you don’t want.

          • ZeeLobby

            Yeah, but self-sacrifice and sacrifice aren’t always the same thing. I can sacrifice 20 cultists. They might not want it, but it’s not like I’m losing anything.

          • nurglitch

            Exactly. Why should the gods do anything for you if you’re not willing to make a real sacrifice?

          • ZeeLobby

            They’ve done a lot for their heroes in the past simply for murdering lots of people. Usually murder they enjoy. So I’d say it’s not so cut and dry.

          • Painjunky

            The chaos gods favor those who kill/do great things in their names.
            You do not have to waste your armies. Its just silly.

        • Morgrim

          Pretty sure the Planetkiller uses warp energy to do it’s killing, so the Pylons of Cadia would likely interfere with it. Whereas anti-warp defenses don’t do much against a large physical kaboom.

    • mannstein

      IIRC the Planet Killer got shot down at the end of the Gothic War, but I might be wrong about that. Its been a while since I read those books.

      • Iron Father Stronos

        I really would like to know this.

      • ZeeLobby

        Supposedly it heralded his return in the 13th Black Crusade. So unless it’s been ret-conned it should still be putting around.

        • It was supposedly destroyed at the end of the Gothic War and it hasn’t appeared yet in the new canon 13th Black Crusade, so my money is on it being saved up for later. I’d consider the current status to be heavily-damaged-but-being-repaired-and-thus-late-to-the-party.

          • ZeeLobby

            Do you have a source? I’ve been trying to find anything saying it was destroyed. Everything seems to point to that it just left the sector.

          • adamharry

            White Dwarf 239 (UK): The Slayer of Worlds by Gavin Thorpe, “History of the Origins and Activities of the ‘Planet Killer”, pg. 40

            At least thats the Lexicanum Source for the destruction of the Planet Killer.

          • Aye, and there doesn’t seem to have been anything since that’d contradict that source directly.
            Sightings after that point are unclear on whether it was the same ship and with the dialing back of the 13th Black Crusade in general, all of those things are up in the air for the time being.

            Right now, GW can pick and choose which elements to retain and how to reintroduce them, and which to scrap entirely. I firmly believe the Planet Killer will make an appearance again, but probably at a later stage.

    • EnTyme

      How do you establish a beachhead after you blow up the beach?

      • ZeeLobby

        Well the warp expanded. I think the warp is the beachhead, so in that case success! The loss of a Blackstone Fortress seems pretty steep though. I mean Eldrad killed himself to take one out.

        • He didn’t sacrifice himself, he didn’t know it was tainted. He was tricked.

          • ZeeLobby

            Ah. Well, it was power was big enough that it caused Eldrad to fall into a trap. That’s almost worse!

          • Hehe, yea, … or it’s all just bad narritive… including Eldrad getting tricked.

          • ZeeLobby

            Yeah… Seems like something that wouldn’t happen. He’s pretty on the ball, but meh, GW is known for some wacky narratives. Moreso now then ever.

          • Yea… while the overall story seams to hype everyone up, the details are… well… how did Jes put it? “what a story would that be if he’d simply blew up the planet?”

        • PrimoFederalist

          That was retconned years ago. Eldrad was alive and well the end (and wasn’t involved in the defense of Cadia as far as we know).

      • PrimoFederalist

        Planet didn’t blow up – it’s now a magma covered demon world.

        • EnTyme

          And that’s the point. Blowing up the planet would have been really short-sighted. Now they have an entire world to strike from.

    • Damistar

      I don’t believe he intended to lose the Blackstone Fortress, he just adapted to it being crippled by Phalanx. Abaddon’s always got his eyes on the prize and I’m certain he’d kill every single Chaos Marine himself if it gets him to the Emperor’s Golden Throne.

      • ZeeLobby

        Right, my point was just use planet killer day one, bing bong job done.

        I know, I know. He’s like a James Bond villain. It’s not 40K unless he gives the good guys as many ways to defeat him as possible.

        • Jonathan B.

          Also, Abaddon just has to monologue about how the forces of the Emperor can’t stop him and how the galaxy will soon be his.

    • Painjunky

      Chaos just should have nuked cadia the first chance they get. They do not need planet killer to do this.
      The writing is terrible.
      It doesn’t make any sense.

    • Golden Yak

      Something something the pylons block warp cannon fire? That’s how I’d rationalize it, anyway.

      The pylons might block warp energy, but they can’t stop giant chunks of physical debris crashing into the planet.

    • PrimoFederalist

      He was on Vengeful Spirit the entire time now that you mention it. There wasn’t any mention of Planet Killer.

  • ZeeLobby

    This reminds me a lot of Fantasy end times. Gonna comfortably sit back and wait to see this outcome before diving in.

    • SupPupPup

      Its going down! Grab your ratlings and hide in the corner.

      End Times are upon us!

      • ZeeLobby

        Nooooooo! Not the ratings!

        With how convoluted GW story writing can be, I wouldn’t be shocked if the man in the red Eldar armor wasn’t a rattling on stilts :O.

    • David Leimbach

      Tomb kings, er, I mean Necrons are going to be “Squatted”, er, uh I mean “Sistered”??? Sisters players are going to start feeling a bit Empired next year. (Waited for ages then *poof*)

  • Guillermo Cordido

    i’m waiting for the Tau role in the future of the galaxy.

    • Iron Father Stronos

      Its vs the Nids and Orks!

    • PrimoFederalist

      Ugh, hopefully food for Tyranids.

  • Karru

    So now they start pulling this again? So 8th edition “Order” faction will include Imperium and Eldar? Now all they need to do is add Tau and Necrons in there and the cake is pretty much finished.

    • EnTyme

      Because a temporary alliance between enemies is unheard of!

      • Karru

        Considering what “temporary” alliances did during End Times, I have very right to be worried.

    • David Leimbach

      Brain boys are coming back. Next year “warcraft” style Orks will be sippin tea and sayning “Oi, thank yar mate!”.

    • DJ860

      I think it’s more likely that we’d see an Armies of the Imperium faction and an Eldar Empire faction or something to that extent, but that they could ally.

      • Karru

        It looks like it’s going to be like the End Times. Eldar divide themselves, Dark Eldar joins Eldar and then join the Imperium as “Order”.

  • We now got confirmation though that the guy in the mist in the gate is just ordinary infantry size, because behind him there’s HUGE silhouettes of Wraithknights… not that I personally thought any different, but there had been wild guess of that being a Wraith-construct… well… it’s not, he’s indeed the guy in red. And he’s wearing a black’n’white sword in his hand. A straight sword as used by Autarchs, not a curved one as used by Archons.

  • SilentPony

    So…why can’t the Eye expand in every direction? Why is Cadia, a single planet, preventing a time and space breaking rift into hell from expanding everywhere else? Like sure, Cadia has a magic science bubble that protects IT. Why can the Warp just consume the Galaxy and leave Cadia in its little bubble?

    • PrimoFederalist

      There were whole series of planets with similar pylon structures spread throughout the Cadia Gate. We don’t know if any are left now, but it’s made clear that many if not all previous Black Crusades were actually targeted at taking out the pylons on other planets.

  • Drew_Da_Destroya

    Hmmm, the Black Templar willingly follow some Foul Xenos into a Foul Xenos Portal? Are they losing their edge or something?

    • PrimoFederalist

      Their party was led there by Saint Celestine.

  • PrimoFederalist

    So here’s a few more spoilers/things I thought were interesting:

    -I got the impression (based on memory) that this book picked up right after the Codex: Eye of Terror left off but rather than a stalemate, Chaos was winning and it continues from there (i.e. Cadia has been battered and they’ve basically fallen back to one final Kasr).
    -All (or most) previous Black Crusades were not failures but rather targeted at destroying the same mysterious pylons on other planets in the vicinity of the Cadian Gate.
    -The EOT warp storm expands, engulfing Cadia (which is now a lava-covered demon planet).
    -This is all part of Abaddon’s plan, something involving the “Crimson Path” which will lead him to Terra.
    -This “Crimson Path” plan involves destroying all kinds of Necron (Old One?) pylons is likely going to lead to something catastrophic like destroying the galaxy or engulfing everything in Chaos, but Abaddon doesn’t care because he just wants revenge.
    -A fleet from a local system arrives at Cadia during a lull in the fighting and said they only outran the Chaos fleet because “slate-grey” battle cruisers with faded Space Wolves insignia intercepted the fleet while they fled. When Orven Highfell (new Iron Wolves Wolf Lord) is asked about it but only gives a stony glare and says nothing. Probably 13th Great Company.
    -The Legion of the Damned, St. Celestine, etc. are definitely creatures of the Warp – i.e. the Emperor’s power/will is basically a “good” Chaos god.
    -Creed is now part of Trazyn’s collection.
    -Belisarius Cawl is involved in some secret deal/pact with the Harlequins and/or Eldar going back millennia
    -Cawl has some kind of artifact (or something) in stasis he found on Cadia which is associated with a name that Abaddon hadn’t heard since Davin – when Abaddon learned it was on Cawl’s ship as the survivors fled Cadia, his entire fleet began targeting the Ark Mechanicus to get it (or destroy it).
    -The Eldar who saved the day were from many different craftworlds and included Commorrites and Eldrad Ulthran.
    -There’s a female Eldar in flowing robes directing everything. Next to her is another Eldar warrior in strange armor “echoing both Craftworld Aspect armour and the crueller plate of the Commorrite pirates.”
    -Almost definitely an “Order Alliance” is coming: at the very end of the story portion, Veilwalker says to Cawl “The ending has passed. It is time for a new beginning. There is a parley to be struck, if you have the courage.”

    -My take aways: Abaddon’s actions seen to have endangered reality itself, so the Eldar have unified (or mostly unified) and they’ve come up with a plan that involves teaming up with the Imperium (or factions therein). The Eldar believe a “new beginning” is coming, the details of which will be hammered out with a parlay with the Imperials. I wonder if they’re going to combine Ynnead with the Emperor or something like that? The Emperor is demonstrably active in the Warp (Legion of the Damned and St Celestine), and Ynnead is often thought to be reborn in Warp to take on Slaanesh. Something big is going to happen.

    • BlooDeck

      The Cult Mechanicus book had a weird hint about the AdMech striking a pact beneath Commorragh after discovering the irrevocably failures in the Golden Throne. Perhaps Cawl was there for that?

      • PrimoFederalist

        Yes, that’s what I figured it may have been referencing. I’ve not read the book which discussed the Eldar involvement with the Golden Throne, but I’d heard about it and that’s what I thought of, too.

  • Rafał Pytlak

    so no more “50 mile corridor” of safe warpspace? Now chaos fleet can go through the whole lenght of the Eye? Which is like, few systems long?

  • 6Cobra

    “This also showcases that the Eldar and the Imperial forces.. are going to have to work together to stop chaos but I have a feeling that millenniums of distrust will throw a wrench in those plans.”

    I certainly hope so. Both the Eldar and the Imperium are bad guys by any meaningful understanding of the word, and if “grimdark” means anything anymore, they should sacrifice the *ahem* greater good in a welter of self-defeating violence, ignorance, and hatred.

    Put more simply.. Black Templars inside the Webway? There is only one way this should end.

  • Chardun

    I thought the purpose of capturing Cadia was that the Black Crusades needed a stable route out of the Eye. Destroying Cadia just denied them that exit. If they didn’t need it, then they could have left at any time they wanted through a “side door”.

    Maybe I shouldn’t look too closely to GWs fluff, so I don’t find all those holes…

    • DJ860

      I’m not sure it was confirmed destroyed, just that it had been overtaken by the boundaries of the eye. Might be wrong.

  • Damien Coté

    “Heldrakes fine them”

    Buhahahahaha… The parking authority gets you every time… even in the grim dark… Didn’t know Heldrakes were having such a tough time finding employment since the FAQ