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Jericho Reach

The Jericho Reach, once known as the Jericho Sector, is a region of space close to the Eastern Fringe of the Milky Way Galaxy in the Ultima Segmentum. This area of the galaxy was once a part of the Imperium of Man in ancient days, remaining so for millennia until it fell into an age of isolation, disintegration and evil. It has been lost to the Imperium for over four thousand Terran years.

History

There are few worlds in the vast, scattered Imperium of Man that do not lie within the boundaries of one warzone or another, for truly it is said of the 41st Millennium that there is “only war.” For some planets, war is a passing thing, conducted in brief but intense bursts as invasions or insurrections are desperately fought off or put down. For others, it is a continual state of being, a meat grinder into which entire generations are fed. Thus it is in the warzone known as the Jericho Reach.
Once a powerful and prosperous region of the Imperium, the original Jericho Sector succumbed to darkness with the onset of its Age of Shadow. Its worlds, once shining examples of all that Mankind can be, collapsed in anarchy, while flocks, once united in their worship of the God-Emperor, turned their adoration to the Dark Gods of the Warp. One world at a time, the entire region slipped into recidivism and dread, until all vestiges of order ceased to exist. This descent into ruin coincided with the galaxy-spanning disaster that was the Age of Apostasy in the early 36th Millennium, yet while the Imperium recovered from the travails of that time, the Jericho Reach never did. Beset on numerous fronts by uncounted foes, the Imperium abandoned the Jericho Reach to its fate and, in time, the Warp itself embraced this cursed realm, cutting it off from the greater Imperium with Warp Storms of unprecedented magnitude.

Throughout its dreadful Age of Shadow, the Jericho Reach was the domain of Heretics and daemons. The followers of Chaos descended upon those worlds that could not defend themselves and the only authority was that which could be enforced by blade and by bullet. The capital of the old Jericho Sector — the once proud world of Verronus — was consumed by the Warp phenomena known as the Hadex Anomaly, a churning cauldron of unknowable energies that some claim bleeds time and is blessed of some vast, alien sentience. Though some worlds still cleaved to their half-remembered heritage, for most, the Emperor became little more than a distant myth, at best a cruel god who had turned his face from his children.

Yet, while the Imperium at large abandoned the Jericho Reach to its fate, one force remained. The Deathwatch, a unique Space Marine force drawn from many different Chapters that was created to serve the interests of the Inquisition, maintained its secret Watch-Stations as it stood its lonely, so-called “Long Watch.” The exact mission of the Deathwatch remains a secret known only to the most highly placed of the Imperium’s masters, for certainly they were too few to prevent the region’s descent into darkness. Yet, they never left, and when finally the Imperium discovered the Jericho-Maw Warp Gate, its advance forces found a region still watched by the relentless, black-clad Astartes.

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