This week we are going to take a look at the single biggest character in Warhammer 40k: Eternal Crusade! The planet Arkhona itself! While there is quite a lot about Arkhona we don’t, and can’t know, as part of the fun of playing Eternal Crusade is going to be discovering more about Arkhona and what is happening there; still there is a good deal of information about the planet available to the Eternal Crusade community.
First we will look at the physical aspects of Arkhona. To start with, Arkhona is located in the Kharon system, a trinary star system, with three suns all orbiting around one another. The Kharon system is located in the galactic northern marches of Segmentum Obscuris, at the furthest reaches of the Imperium.
Arkhona is roughly half as big as Terra, though that has not affected the gravity, so objects should act and react as if under normal Earth gravity. Arkhona was originally colonized tens of thousands of years ago, before the Imperium of Man began, and was an ice planet, before being heavily terraformed to support an ecosystem and all sorts of life, eventually becoming a typical Industrial World.
After being reabsorbed into the Imperium, Arkhona became an important Imperial Shipyard and resupply point, and was thus heavily fortified and became a Fortress World. Arkhona was a major planetary resource during the Thirteenth Black Crusade, due to its advantageous position and ability to provide a vital staging area for Imperial forces. Arkhona itself is largely barren currently, it's surface scorched and lifeless, its natural resources have all been plundered and depleted. There are perhaps a few small areas of the world that could sustain natural flora or fauna, but the players will have to discover these places once they arrive on-world.
Following the Thirteenth Crusade, life in Arkhona returned to normal, until recently. Inquisitor Severina traveled to Arkhona, with her entourage, and for reasons known only to her. After a time a psychic distress call was sent by Severina's party; this ditress call was heard by none other than Mephiston, Chief Librarian of the Blood Angels.
Mephistion immediately went about preparing a rescue party, to travel to Arkhona, determine what had happened, and provide any aid possible to the survivors. Not to be outdone, the Ultramarines also prepared an expeditionary force to travel to Arkhona. The Space Wolves have maintained a permanent outpost on Arkhona for many years, so, when contact was lost, they too prepared a response fleet. Many people believe that the Dark Angels merely followed the Wolves, so as not to be shown up by their ancient rivals; but this is not the case. The Dark Angels have a very specif reason to travel to Arkhona, but, as always, the Dark Angels hold their secrets very close, and no one outside the Chapter knows precisely why they are traveling to Arkhona.
In fact, each of the other factions, Orks, Eldar, and Traitor Marines each have their own reasons for going to Arkhona, and these things we will discover during the next eighteen months, and following the game's release, as the story of Arkhona is revealed.
Some of the more interesting tidbits that have been shared thus far: There will be certain Lore characters throughout the game, the first one being Mephiston himself, leading the Blood Angel faction. Also, while Arkhona has three suns, it has no moons; and one of the first things players will discover upon arriving in-system, is that there is a new, previously uncharted asteroid belt in the system, and one of the planets is missing!
There is lots more information coming in the near future, as the dev team start gearing up to tell us the story of Arkhona, and explaining why this barren little world has become the focus for some of the most powerful and important factions in the 41st millennium. If you would like to learn more, and actually participate in the development of this new Warhammer 40K- based game, by all means, head over to the website and join the forums. Maybe you'd like to get a Founder's Pack, the basic pack costs $40 and comes with 40000 Founder's Points you can spend in the Rogue Trader Store, to give your character that unique touch that will set him apart from the rest of the players. When the game releases, the basic game will cost $40 and will not include the 40000 points, so, if you are planning on giving this game a try, it's a pretty good deal if you become a Founder.