Blackstone 101

Forgebane isn’t just packed with awesome models – it also features some very interesting plot developments for Warhammer 40,000 centred around a fascinating material that could well save the Imperium from the brink of annihilation – if they can pry it from the cold, dead-ish (and robotic) hands of the Necrons.

Blackstone has existed in the background of Warhammer 40,000 for decades, in the form of the Cadian pylons and the Blackstone Fortresses. Related somehow to both the Necrons and the mysterious Old Ones, blackstone interacts with the warp like no other material. In the form of the Cadian pylons, it proved essential for calming the tides of the warp and holding the Eye of Terror at bay to create the Cadian Gate – an issue Abaddon the Despoiler dealt with rather expediently by destroying Cadia.

Say what you like about the Warmaster, but he’s a lateral thinker. The Cadian pylons aren’t the only such examples of warp-neutralising blackstone structures from across the galaxy, and many lesser examples exist, forgotten by time, on worlds throughout the Imperium.

…a Blackstone Fortress?

This is where things get complicated for the Imperium. Blackstone Fortresses aren’t just named that because of the colour – they’re crafted out of the stuff, hence their prodigious durability and strange powers. Constructed by forces unknown in the time before time, Blackstone Fortresses are the ultimate weapon of Chaos due to blackstone’s OTHER property.

When polarised one way, blackstone stabilises the warp. When polarised the other, it amplifies it. It’s in this way that Abaddon’s Blackstone Fortress could project solid blasts of empyric energy and didn’t just absorb his summoned daemonic allies. While Abaddon may have used one of his Blackstone Fortresses to destroy Cadia (got a problem with some blackstone megastructures? Just smash them with another blackstone megastructure!) there’s still another held by the forces of Chaos, with Huron Blackheart having received one as a gift during the 13th Black Crusade.

Well, this is where the War in Heaven comes in. Before the Necrons all went into hibernation sixty million years ago (or so – time gets a bit wobbly when the warp is involved), the Necrons battled the Old Ones, the first sentient beings in the galaxy, jealous as they were of the Old Ones’ immortality.

Very little is known about this war (and most Overlords are too senile or insane to remember), but one theory is that the Necrons developed structures like the Cadian pylons in order to fight their ancient foes. Or maybe they stole the technology from their enemies and turned it against them. In any case, they seem to have left piles of it all over the galaxy – unattended – when they went to sleep. 

As the Necrons are now waking up, they seek once more to reclaim their territory of old, including their blackstone monuments and caches, for some grand and terrible work (grand and terrible works being any given Cryptek’s current craft project).

Apart from preventing the Necrons from doing… who knows what… with it, you mean? Well – the Adeptus Mechanicus has a plan. If they can gather enough blackstone (which happens to be located on many worlds already settled by these mysterious engineers – alongside awakening Necron tombs), they’re intending to build a network of new pylons along the length of the Great Rift, then switching them on – basically, like stitching a wound closed, except with a lot more chanting and potentially dooming the universe to annihilation by thirsting gods.

Brave, aren’t you? Forgebane allows you to join this battle for blackstone on the side of either the ambitious Adeptus Mechanicus or the re-emergent Necrons.

You’ll be able to pre-order your copy this weekend. In the meantime, you can share your wild theories about what this means for the 41st Millennium as a whole on the Warhammer 40,000 Facebook page.

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