So a good friend of mine, Rico, and I are long-time 40k players. And while I’m very excited about Warmachine and Hordes recently, both of us have been discussing a want to fiddle with some 40k as well. So we decided to effectively do a two person, story-driven campaign to motivate both of us to paint up a full army for 40k. When we play, we usually end up talking politics, so we thought: why not something political? So, here is the official beginning of our campaign.
The story so far:
For eleven cycles now, the three-planet system of Atreidia has seen some great changes. Consisting of three planetoids in close orbit together around a sun, the peoples of Atreidia were long ago human colonists from Terra. Yet the activity of the Maelstrom separated them from the Imperium of Man for millenia, and the small size of their planetoids meant that Imperial exploration of the Ultima Segmentum only stopped briefly at their system to reinstate rule of the Emperor, installing a planetary governor, then moving on. At that point, the Atreidians had developed rudimentary space travel of their own, and had colonized the two near planetoids as well as Atreidus Prime–calling themselves the United Systems of Atreidia (USA).
Imperial star charts map the United Systems of Atreidia where the green N’dras sept marker rests in the lower right.
Then eleven cycles ago, the Tau arrived. They first came with a Water Caste ambassador and a small retinue, then with only slightly more force. The population, far from Imperial center and even farther from concern, was quickly brought under Tau rule as they were unable to organize even passing defense. And while some citizens have come to embrace the Tau philosophy and system of rule, others resent the imposition on their rights and freedoms. New taxation provided many services that the human population lacked in the past, but the arrival of the Tau and other immigrant races from their Empire also spread a great deal of xenophobia and mistrust. As discord became more widespread, violence followed. And in the wake of that, the Tau increased their security presence in the system.
Now, a movement has started underground to violently resist the Tau oppression. Rumors tell of a charismatic, angry leader that is spreading the word of a new set of goals and leadership for the people of the United Systems of Atreidia. The slogan “Make Atreidia Great Again” has been appearing on graffiti across the planets. Those who are closer to the movement speak of the quasi-religious overtones being adopted by the human resistance. They speak of something buried in the race-memory of man and of ancient practices that are unique to mankind’s culture and unknown by the Tau. The more citizens connect with these ideas, the more unbridled rage and anger seems to suffuse their speeches and their actions. To identify each other, adherents have been crafting symbols of their affiliation: small wooden or brass carvings dyed red.
With this level of unrest, it’s only a matter of time until war sparks in the streets and full revolt happens across the United Systems of Atreidia. Will the promises of better life through cooperation and governmental action win, or will the raw fury of unbridled nationalism and chaotic rebellion triumph?