Loremasters today we delve into Abaddon’s next attempts to overthrow the Imperium – the 3rd-4th Black Crusades.
A Black Crusade is an incursion that is formed when the usually disparate forces of Chaos unite under a particularly strong Chaos Champion and go forth en masse to wage war against the Imperium of Man.
Following the devastating events of the Horus Heresy, the Imperium began the Great Scouring, a campaign to cast out all traitors who had sided with Chaos and drove them into the warp stormknown as the Eye of Terror. There, the followers of Chaos began to fight among each other for domination and territory and their vast armies eventually fractured.
Even so, the threat the exiles posed was far from gone. To this day they seek to overthrow the Imperium, launching separate raids and invasions against it. Once or twice within a millennium however, an exceptional Chaos Champion rises who is strong enough to bring his fellow warlords and their hosts under his sway. When this happens ancient rivalries are set aside and uneasy alliances are forged, clearing the way for what is called a Black Crusade.
The forces and fleets that gather for a Black Crusade are made up of all types of Chaos servants: the multitudinous hordes of the Lost and the Damned, ancient and towering Chaos Titans, the bizarre war machines of the Dark Mechanicum and the Daemons of the warp. Leading them into the realm of man are the vengeful warbands of the Chaos Space Marines.
When the crusade is launched, whole worlds fall prey to the rampaging hordes and the Dark Gods themselves divert their attention to the material realm, delighting in the sacrifices made in their names. Still, the nature of Chaos is fickle and unless it is repelled by the defenders, the crusade is bound to splinter into separate hosts and warbands who pursue their own ambitions.
3rd Black Crusade
During the Third Black Crusade, to distract the Imperium from his desecration of the Saint Gerstahl‘s tomb on the Shrine World of the same name, Abaddon launched an attack on Cadia. Here the Warmaster unleashed the Daemon Prince Tallomin, so-called ‘Prince of Princes’, against the Cadian Gate. Abaddon had convinced the creature that the blood of the Adeptus Astartes could grant him unheard-of strength and the power to crush his rivals within the Eye of Terror. In a brutal assault, Tallomin and his daemonic minions slew many millions of Imperial soldiers and lured no less than a dozen loyalist Space Marine Chapters to battle. In the end, the ferocious warriors of the Space Wolves finally drove the Daemon Prince into the Warp, but Abaddon had already achieved his aim, destroying the remains of Saint Gerstahl and forestalling any chance of his prophecy’s fulfillment.
4th Black Crusade
The 4th Black Crusade would prove to be highly costly to the Imperium, seeing the destruction of the Citadel of Kromarch and the loss of many lives. The attack began in 001.M34 and was led by Abaddon the Despoiler. Abaddon had learnt well from his last two Black Crusades and besieged the walls of Cadia while taking the bulk of his forces out into the wilds of the Segmentum Obscurus.
On his drive to Terra, Abaddon landed his forces on El’Phanor and this was where his attack would end. Abaddon led his forces personally against the defenders, his followers and warriors dropping all around him in the attack on the great citadel of the Kromarch, until the walls crumbled and his attack was pressed home thanks to his Daemon Sword Drach’nyen sundering the gates. Abaddon then gave his troops free reign over the city and no man, woman or child was free from the assaults of Chaos. This move doomed Abaddon however, as it gave the Imperial forces time to regroup and plan revenge on Chaos. The Imperial forces fell on the tide of Chaos and wiped it from the face of the planet, few escaping back to the Eye of Terror, signalling the end of the Black Crusade.
Abaddon slew the Kromarch ruling over El’Phanor with Drach’nyen during the 4th Black Crusade