The Zahirah Sector Project: The Setting

Two Crusade-Class Cruisers of the Arckan Astra Militarum on patrol in the Galatea System

What is the Zahirah Sector Project?

The Zahirah Sector Project is essentially a re-writing of the current narrative of 40k, beginning at the return of the Primarch Roboute Guilliman but taking an alternative route of events after that. Due to these alternative route of events, the 40k universe is a different place in the Zahirah Sector Project. The Data Slates of Inquisitor Vuln- which has been mentioned in previous posts-are a part of the Zahirah Sector project.. To be able to define the differences in setting, I’ve presented some of the key differences in the following points:

1. The Ultramarines Primarch Roboute Guilliman is viewed with suspicion. Having been resurrected with the help of Xenos, many chapters question his moral composition. In this setting, Roboute Guilliman is a tyrant, seeking to control every aspect of the Imperium and impose order onto it. He has assumed the position of Lord Commander of the Imperium for a second time and the Custodes stand at his side, not out of loyalty to him or to follow his commands- as only the Emperor and the Captain General can command the Custodes. They stand at his side because they are following the commands of the Emperor who told them to do so in the event something like this occurs. They are to keep an eye on him and dispatch him should need be. The true commander of the Custodes is Valdor, who has returned to the Imperium after a mysterious mission. In this narrative, the Custodes still wear the Black Armor that they wore on the tragic day that the Emperor met his near demise. Valdor has more authority than Guilliman but does not lead the Imperium, only fulfills the role of its protection. As such he and the Custodes operate independently of Guilliman’s plans. The main bulk of the custodes rarely leave Terra and the Imperial Palace, though at times small groups are sent on missions outside of the Segmentum Solar.

2. Because Guilliman tasked Cawl with the creation of the Primaris Marines, they are a resource that Guilliman controls. The Ultramarines are bolstered with Primaris to the point where they are now a fully Primaris Chapter, with all of the Ultramarine Successors slowly becoming fully Primaris chapters as well. Guilliman has Launched the Indomitus Crusade against chaos and those who wish to join his ” Indomitus Legion” must allow their numbers to be bolstered by Primaris Greyshields. Those chapters who agree can have their Chapter Masters and Captains crossed over via the Rubicon procedure. This demand has caused conflict between Guilliman and the various chapters who refuse the Primaris. This does not seem to bother Guilliman, for the Indomitus Crusade was also a Founding in which several new chapters of Primaris Marines were created. It is as if Guilliman anticipated resistance to the Primaris from certain chapters, and has created Primaris Chapters as their replacement. While the chapters of the Indomitus chapters and original chapters do not fight each other openly, the Indomitus chapters rarely come to the aid of those not amongst their ranks. This has naturally caused a divide, with Firstborn chapters having to rely on each other for tactical support and preservation. This has also made firstborn marines more often regulated to defending humanity against xenos more than the Primaris forces are.

3. The divide stretches into the Mechanicus as well. Not everyone agrees with the actions of Belisarius Cawl and his constant ventures into innovation. Mars sides with Guilliman while the various other forge worlds either align with Mars, keeps a neutral stance or exclusively assist the surviving firstborn. All are loyal to the Imperium, but not all are loyal to its new ideals. The divide taking place in this setting of the imperium is one of technological progress and innovation vs traditionalism and stagnation, but it is on the side of traditionalism and stagnation. It is not truly civil war (yet) but a tension between the loyalist forces of the Imperium.

4. In this setting, Rogal Dorn is dead and his skeletal remains are on the Phalanx. Darnath Lysander is the Chapter Master of the Imperial Fists and while they and the Black Templars have resisted the Primaris, many other chapters of Dorn’s lineage have not.

5. The Primarch Vulkan has returned and is a figurehead amongst the firstborn chapters and human forces in the Imperium. Vulkan and the Salamanders are the “posterboys” of this setting instead of Roboute Guilliman and the Ultramarines.

6. In this setting, Humanity must help each other more than ever. As Guilliman has launched his crusade against the chaos legions, the human forces are not considered instrumental in this as they once were. The Inquisition governs humanity more directly than Guilliman and they stand at opposites to him but are tolerated because they fulfill a role he is no longer concerned with fulfilling. The Chamber militants of the Ordos, the Sisters of Battle and the Grey Knights take a neutral stance in this burgeoning divide, while the tradition of the Deathwatch is being contested by new Watch Fortresses, composed of Primaris Greyshields.

7. One of the biggest loyalist threats to Guilliman and the Ultramarines, is Asterion Moloc and the Minotaurs. Once the servants of the High Lords of Terra as a council, now that Guilliman has resumed the title of Lord Commander and has functionally disbanded the High Lords of Terra, the Minotaurs stand in opposition to Guilliman. They are considered renegades in all but name, and side with humanity and the firstborn forces. Many of the newer Indomitus chapters have met their demise to the Minotaurs, who seem to enjoy the challenge of facing Primaris marines.

7. Huron Blackheart and the Red Corsairs are the main archenemy of the Imperium, instead of Abbadon and the Black Legion. Infact, Huron and Abaddon fight eachother, both being champions of Chaos Undivided; wrestling for power and influence. Most of the original traitor legions side with Abbadon whereas most of the Renegade chapters side with Huron. Huron is the Shadow of Guilliman as in this narrative, Huron and the Astral Claws were chimeric Ultramarine/Sons of Horus successors.

It is for this reason that the Zahirah sector is mostly about the Inquisition and human forces, why Firstborn marines are more commonly seen in it, and why if any Primaris marines do appear in the narrative, they will be Ultramarines…and not always with the best intentions.

What is the Zahirah Sector?

The Zahirah Sector is my narrative portion of the 40k Universe, a group of 3 Subsectors and over 10 systems in which the majority of my storytelling for the Zahirah Sector will take place. We will explore the Sector in my next blog! Thank you for reading!


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