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 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.
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?