2 April 2015 | Relic

The Heart of the Imperium

Preview the Sol System and Affiliations in Relic: Halls of Terra

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Although pilgrims in untold billions journey to Holy Terra, the doors of the Eternity Gate have long been shut and few are given leave to enter. Of those who have basked in his glory, the fortunate few who have stood at the foot of the Golden Throne, no records tell of what they beheld. But who could put into words such an experience? 
   –Warhammer 40,000

Enter the Sanctum Imperialis and stand before the God-Emperor in Halls of Terra, an upcoming expansion for Relic! Your struggle to rescue the besieged Antian Sector from Chaos and heresy leads you on a mission to Holy Terra, where you must win the favour of the Imperium’s ruthless leaders and even plead your case to the immortal Emperor himself. If you succeed, you will return to the Antian Sector with incredible power, but failure in this notoriously dangerous political arena may cost you your life. 

Today’s preview explores some of the sacred landmarks on the Sol System side board where you must undertake treacherous negotiations with the Imperium’s rulers. It traces the path of your pilgrimage from the moment you enter the Sol System to the very foot of the Golden Throne.

Entering the Sol System

As a stalwart servant of the Imperium of Man, you avoid the fate of those billions of pilgrims who endure appalling conditions simply to gaze upon Terra from afar. You may simply spend two influence to move into the Sol System from either the Battlefleet Antias or the Grey Knight Envoy spaces in the Outer Tier of the Antian Sector. From the former, you approach Terra via Luna, where billions of people dwell beneath the moon’s lifeless surface, and myriad ships cross paths on the way to and from Terra. At this great crossroads, you can use whatever influence you have to secure passage to any space in the Sol System Outer, or Middle Tiers, or you can use your Cunning to gain an affiliation with the selfish and decadent Imperial Nobility.  At least one affiliation is necessary to enter the Imperial Palace. Affiliations may also allow you to escape conflict or gain new allies. An affiliation can also be exchanged for two influence. 

If you enter the Sol System via the Grey Knight Envoy, you must pause at Saturn’s moon, Titan. Amid the ice and liquid methane lies the fortress of the mysterious Grey Knights, the Chamber Militant of the Ordo Malleus. There, you may be identified as an Aspirant hero and sent to the Chamber of Trials, where you will tested in combat against all manner of daunting enemies. If you prove victorious, you gain a completed mission. If you want to secure an affiliation with the Inquisition, however, you must pass a difficult test of Strength – or lose a life in the attempt.

The Forge World of Mars

From either Titan or Luna you may penetrate the Ring of Iron and set foot on Mars, the Imperium’s first and greatest Forge World and the homeworld of the Adeptus Mechanicus. Mars is ruled over by the Fabricator General, who possesses at least one example of every technological construct and design that exists in the galaxy. If you visit his gargantuan palace, he may grant you the affiliation of the Adeptus Mechanicus, offer you a weapon from his seemingly infinite stockpile, or insist that you contribute one of your armaments to his collection.  Mars is also the ancient home of House Taranis, oldest of the Imperial Knight Houses and loyal servants of the Machine God. On the Titan Legion Staging Field these knights train alongside newly-constructed Titans before being deployed to battlefields across the galaxy. Here, you can gain an affiliation with the Adeptus Astartes, or they may charge you with a mission in the service of the Imperium. 

The Holiest Hive World

Most inhabitants of the Imperium of Man must be content to dream of setting foot on Holy Terra. Billions of devout pilgrims clog its wide avenues, and within the closed gates of its immense halls, countless Adepts toil to keep the Imperium running. You are among the privileged few who can enter the Halls of Terra, yet privilege does not come without peril. Failure in your negotiations with the Adeptus Arbites in the Halls of Judgement or the Adeptus Astra Telepathica in the Scholastia Psykana may cost you a life, an affiliation, or a Power card. Only the sprawling sanctuaries of the Ecclesiarchal Palace are a true safe haven. There you are certain to gain the affiliation of the devoted Adepta Sororitas, whose convent lies within the Palace. If you already have their favor, by visiting them can earn you a life. 

At the end of a massive avenue of ten thousand colossal statues, honoring the greatest heroes of human history, stand the enormous gates to the Outer Palace, surrounded by hordes of fervent pilgrims who might riot at the least provocation. With a single affiliation in hand you can pass through these gates, traverse the labrynthine hives of the Outer Palace, and approach the Sanctum Imperialis.

Inside the Imperial Palace

All your efforts have lead you here, to the gates of the Inner Palace. Here, the ever-vigilant Adeptus Custodes will harshly test your best attribute. If you fail, you must return back to the Palace Gates. If you succeed, you have a choice. You may attempt to navigate the Imperial administration's cyclopean bureaucracy in the hope of standing before the Imperial Senate. Reaching the Senatorum Imperialis requires copious amounts of influence, but the High Lords of Terra reward their petitioners well. They will at least give you more influence and an affiliation of your choice. If you are very forunate, they may even bestow upon you a Relic, perhaps the brightly burning Flame of Nocturne , or the sacred Vessel of St. Basileus .

The other option is to step past the nine towering Titanoliths, travel the mile-long Hall of Heroes, pass through the Eternity Gate's adamantium doors, enter the Sanctum Imperialis, and approach the Golden Throne. There within his fettered, ancient body, the Emperor’s mind stretches out across time and space. Your mere presence before him attests that you deserve to be named a Champion of some Imperial order. A Champion of the Imperial Nobility easily gains influence; a Champion of the Adeptus Astra Telepathica can acquire new Power cards with every test of Willpower. If you have all nine affiliations, the Emperor will transport you instantly to the Daemon World Braxias, on the edge of the Antian Sector's Warp Rift.

Champion Your Cause

Your mission to the Sol System promises unprecedented rewards and unknown dangers. To succeed and return to the Antian Sector as a Champion of the Imperium, you’ll need perseverance and a sound strategy as well as incredible Willpower, Strength, and Cunning. Billions and billions of the Imperium’s inhabitants yearn to visit the majestic halls of Terra. You have the chance not only to enter them as a privileged emissary, but to win the endorsement of the God-Emperor himself.

Upcoming previews will explore the enemies, encounters, and corruptions of the Sol System, as well as the new characters and nemesis introduced in this expansion. Prepare for your mission to the heart of the Imperium, and pre-order Halls of Terra from your local retailer today!

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