Posted 13/08/2018

Lore: Tooth and Claw

The events which take place in Tooth and Claw continue the story that began in Warhammer 40,000: Kill Team, and reveal the full extent of the threat faced by the world of Vigilus, while hinting at future events that may yet come to pass…


Vigilus is a planetary asset deemed vital to the Imperium’s continued survival. Situated on the far side of the Nachmund Gauntlet – the only stable route through the dreaded Cicatrix Maledictum – the strategic importance of Vigilus to the Imperium cannot be overstated.

Vigilus comprises a number of continent-sized hivesprawls that, in recent years, have become filled to overflowing with refugees seeking to escape the horrors besetting the worlds of the Imperium Nihilus beyond its aegis. Each such sprawl is protected by psychically charged Bastion-class force fields that render comatose any who would seek to breach their boundaries, enabling the defenders to slaughter them at leisure. These force fields proved so effective that even when an Ork Waaagh! smashed into Vigilus, the greenskins were unable to assail the hivesprawls beyond, so took to seeking entertainment elsewhere by engaging in violent races across the sweeping open plains that separate the vast hivesprawls.

However, since the Great Rift tore across the galaxy, these Bastion-class force fields began to experience glitches, and eventually collapsed entirely to leave the hivesprawls open to attack. To make matters worse, the tide of Orks that poured past the inactive force field networks also had other, unforeseen consequences…


For many years, a Genestealer Cult calling itself the Claw of the Thirsting Wyrm had been thriving in the shadows of Vigilus. Having taken root in the subterranean depths below the militarised reservoir known as Greigan Hollow, many of their number had never seen the sky before their bloody uprising brought them to the planet’s surface. Unbeknownst to the Vigilite defenders, the threat posed by the Ork Waaagh! that attacked the planet’s hivesprawls had directly forced the cult’s hand, for their long-planned time to rise was still a few months off.

Despite the initial successes achieved by roving kill teams of Skitarii sent to counter these new attacks, every attempt to track the Genestealer Cultist threat to its source met with failure. Assailed by xenos from without and within, the Aquiliarian Council that governed Vigilus sent out a desperate call for aid – unless the Genestealer Cults could be eliminated, Vigilus was as good as doomed.


A strike force from the Blackmanes Great Company, led by Primaris Battle Leader Haldor Icepelt, had been thrown wildly off course as it travelled to reinforce the beleaguered Imperial armies battling the Chaos forces rampaging across the Stygius Sector. Upon receiving the distress signal from Vigilus, Icepelt immediately ordered his ship, Wind of Fimnir, to change course. The Battle Leader was acutely aware that, should Vigilus fall, any retreat from the Stygius Sector could become impossible. Upon arrival, the Space Wolves vessel forced a passage through the flotilla of Ork spacecraft orbiting Vigilus and Strike Force Icepelt made planetfall.

By relying on their incredibly acute senses – a trait of the Canis Helix unique to the gene-seed of the Space Wolves Chapter – and the instinctive hunting skills inherited by those born of Fenris, the Space Wolves were able to achieve results that even the most advanced technology of the Adeptus Mechanicus had failed to deliver. Within a matter of days, the Space Wolves were on the trail of the Genestealer Cult’s that had eluded the defenders of Vigilus for months. But it was only when Icepelt led his warriors into the ruined cityscape of Greigan Hollow that the full extent of the Genestealer Cults menace was revealed and the true battle for the survival of Vigilus began…

Want to learn even more about the lore of Tooth and Claw? Check out Phil Kelly’s video here:

If you want to read all about the desperate struggle fought between the Space Wolves and Genestealer Cults on Vigilus, and refight some of the key battles, you can pre-order a copy of Tooth and Claw on Saturday.

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