History of House Zheltychelokski

The House of Zheltychelokski is also called the House of Lyubov, successively Lords of Enosh, Counts of Lyubimaya, Counts of Boyetski, Counts Volneniye, Imperial Counts of Glavnaya, Dukes of Bozhestvennost, and Imperial Dukes and Tsars of Lyubov; junior titles include Barons Flint Hill, Barons Reykalyub, Barons Voron; distaff titles include Barons Fischhafen, Lords Medan, and Counts Rydol. The House of Zheltychelokski claims descent from the biblical heroes, Shimon and Levy; their actual descent, however, can only be proven from the time of the Great Crusade.

Early History

The first historical record of a Zheltychelokski is in Zélie de Boisvert’s The Great Crusade: A Popular History, which drew on eyewitness accounts, diaries, surviving documents, and oral tradition to produce a rather lurid rendition of the heroic struggle between man xenos when the Emperor still walked among mankind. Boisvert’s work mentions one Saul Zheltychelokski, Governor of the Four Cantons, who was assassinated about 875M30 while defending the Pax Imperialis before the rioting masses.

Boisvert never mentions the location of the “Four Cantons”, and later historians have not found it. This failure has led to speculation that both the incident and the person were figments of the author’s overactive imagination.

It is certain that Daniel Zheltychelokski participated in the Battle of Procyon as a junior officer, serving with the Emperor’s forces in the struggle against the last of the Schismatic States.

Daniel Zheltychelokski is known to have enlisted as an Auxiliary in the Sixth Dark Angel Chapter, which represented many the planets in the Calaban Cluster. Daniel was made a gunnery officer on the strike-cruiser Lucien and assumed command of his vessel early in the three-day battle after all the senior officers were killed.

During one phase of the battle, when Sulaiman Kunaitra threatened to turn the Emperor’s left flank after the desertion of one Commodore Araek, Zheltychelokski rallied the Imperial forces, and lead a desperate attack that took the enemy by surprise. The enemy command ship was heavily damaged, Kunaitra himself killed, and communications disrupted.

Most military historians point to this action as the turning point of the battle. Zheltychelokski was ennobled after the coronation as Baron Kakariad and was given large estates on that planet in the Sabbat Worlds in the Segmentum Pacificus in recognition for his services to the Imperium (914M30).

Daniel Zheltychelokski had three sons; Saul (born c. 915M30.), Ephraim (born c. 917M30), and Samuel (born 919M30); from these three men descend all the branches of the House Zheltychelokski. Saul succeeded to the Barony on his father’s death in 38M31.; Ephriam Zheltychelokski was ennobled as Baron Noria Mirar in 957M30 during the wars of expansion conducted by Henry I, Lord Khan: Samuel Zheltychelokski became Baron Anice the year before he died, in 989M30.; Saul’s son, Daniel II, was further ennobled in 994M30 as Count San Velabo.

The family fortunes fell, however, with the onset of the Horus Heresy; a bill of attainder was brought before the Sector Lord Harmond I by Alman al’Haig (a captain in the Alpha Legion), accusing Elias Zheltychelokski of supporting the exiled Emperor’s forces; but Alman himself was assassinated before the bill could be acted upon. Elias Zheltychelokski was restored to his estates by Sector Lord Harmond II and reconfirmed in his titles. Elias’s son, Daniel IV, was murdered by shortly after his accession in 184M32 (by suspected cabals loyal to the Alpha Legion), and the Zheltychelokski lands were redistributed as the sector descended into anarchy.

Thomas Zheltychelokski was instrumental in restoring Sector Lord Edward II in 207M32 and received the title Duke of Jaddua (a barely habitable moon of the main gas giant in the Lyubov system) and a fiefdom, both of which were attainted by Alman Al’Farius IV in 346M32, when Thomas II Zheltychelokski was executed. Akiva Zheltychelokski successfully petitioned for restoration of the County of Lyubimaya (a subportion of Jaddua) before the Sector Regent Hendryck Abbot in 381M32.

Middle Years

Between its establishment and the middle of the fifth Imperial millennium, House Zheltychelokski produced many sons and daughters who gained fame from their unique talents, flamboyant actions, or spectacular vices. Space constraints limit discussion to only a few of the most noteworthy.

The most prominent member of the family during the first millennium of imperial rule was Aaron Zheltychelokski, son of Count Saul III, who was instrumental in settling the differences between various branches of the local noble Houses, thereby preventing the Khan Group from sliding into total anarchy.

In the year 603M32, he persuaded Harmond III, who ruled the sector with the title of Protector, to step down in favor of Andrew I, the son and heir of Cyrus I Lord Khan. Concentrating most of the power in his own hands, Aaron Zheltychelokski set about reorganizing the Imperial government and reestablishing the principles of The Lex Imperialis.

Thus, what had been a government of personal rule, with all its attendant chaos, became a Hierarchy in which the Sector Lords’ seat was merely one source of power counterbalanced by the Sector Moot, whose meetings became regularly scheduled for the first time, and the Guild Mercantile and the Houses of the Navis Noblite, previously dealt with through the Sector Lord. The Sector Lord’s power was further diluted by making him responsible for his actions to the Archducal Family, which itself was controlled and balanced by the Archducal Household (the immediate relatives of the reigning Sector Archduke), the Cousines (offshoots of the Archducal Household, distaff members of the Family, and collateral houses), and the local Astartes Chapter Masters (whose daughters often became royal concubines).

For his contributions to Imperial rule, Aaron was named Count Boyetski in 635M32, and was given the hand of Andrew Coranado’s daughter, Princess Juliana, thereby making him a member of the Household. Thus, began the long and close association between the two houses.

Count Simshon II Zheltychelokski (ruled 681-715M32), Aaron’s son, maintained the family grip on the imperial power by having himself named Chancellor by the Sector Moot; he was murdered by Ivan Al’Farius while making love to one of Ivan’s twenty-four mistresses.

Count Daniel VIII Zheltychelokski, younger brother of Simshon, succeeded to the family estates, but distinguished himself only as a sportsman and hunter, taking little interest in imperial politics.

His grandson, Samuel IV, was renowned in his day as an advocate of art and music which he supported by subsidizing performers on his estates.

The Reign of Blood and the Zheltychelokski Revolts

In 267M36 during a rupture within the Astartes forces known as the Reign of Blood, an Astartes captain of the Draco Legion named Sherman usurped the sector throne, killing all close archducal relations and suspending the Moot. Two of the Zheltychelokski counts, Daniel IX and Shaul II, attempted to organize resistance to Sherman’s rule, and were quickly branded as traitors.

The now-rebel Astartes of the Guardians of the Covenant Chapter joined a hastily organized Zheltychelokski force, and attacked Sherman’s homeworld, Ibleam III. The arrival of the Imperial Fleet reserves during the battle, doomed the revolution, and Daniel, his son Saul, and Shaul’s son Isaak, were all killed. Shaul Zheltychelokski was attainted, stripped of all titles and lands, and condemned to death on sight. Count Yaakov Zheltychelokski, representing the third junior line, was banished from his estates; Baron Yonaton Zheltychelokski, of the House of Zheltychelokski Anice, was executed for high treason, his son Samuel being sold into slavery; Baron Shalom Zheltychelokski was forced to cede half of his lands to the Imperium; Lord Alexander Zheltychelokski was dismissed from his imperial posts; Lady Dina Zheltychelokski was sent to an Imperial brothel for one year; and several Zheltychelokski children, including Yonah Zheltychelokski, were apprenticed to tradesmen and sheepherders.

Baron Andreas von Wikkheizer received the main Zheltychelokski fief of Karkariad, Shaul Zheltychelokski fled beyond the bounds of the sector with the last survivors of the Archduke’s House, including the recognized heir, a five-year-old grandson of Archduke William II. From the edges of known space, they conducted intermittent running battles with the Sherman’s forces, with very little gain. Shaul was killed in 304M36 during a surprise attack on rebel headquarters; his underage son, Alexei, escaped with the heir, Duke Charles. Lord Sherman I died in 351M36, as secure on his throne as any previous ruler had been; his son and successor, Egon II, was a weak and indecisive man, although not without intelligence; the Civil War degenerated into stalemate, with the rebels controlling the outer worlds of the sector, the Sector Fleet controlling the main trading worlds and the Navis Noblite selling transport to both sides.

Yonah Zheltychelokski escaped his menial existence by enlisting in the Egon’s forces under the name UlysesTrey, commandeering a ship and selling it at Barengela Beta. There he bought the assistance of the Spacing Guild for a surprise raid on Anjen Mundi and Noor that remains a classic example of the hit-and- run tactic and is often cited in military textbooks to this day.

Yonah’s raid (396M36) was the beginning of the end for the regime as it brought the situation in the Khan Group to Imperial attention; soon thereafter Guardians of the Covenant and their Valhallan allies joined the fight alongside the Zheltychelokski forces and their allies, until, at Egon’s death of natural causes in 429M36, only a few worlds remained in Draco Legion control. Egon’s son and successor, Sherman II, was murdered by his own officers after two weeks of rule, and Josif I, son of Duke Charles, was named Archduke, with his father as Regent. Only two Zheltychelokski heirs survived: Alexei Zheltychelokski was restored to all his ancestral titles; Yonah Zheltychelokski was named Count Jaddua and given vast estates in the Lyubov system. Additionally, many Valhallan guardsmen were detailed to these households insuring their military power.

At the termination of the Regency in 680M36, two decades of internecine war were used by Eliezer Zheltychelokski to further family interests. The chaos of this period was such that an Imperium-wide economic depression forced many of the Houses Minor, and several of the Houses Major, into bankruptcy or severe economic decline. Eliezer Zheltychelokski, sometimes called the “Merchant Count,” sold the family estates on Jaddua, used the money to invest in shares of undeveloped worlds, and then developed the raw resources, selling the processed goods back to the Houses at huge profit. By the time of the inauguration of Archduke Charles IV, in 701M36, Eliezer was the richest man in the sector; he used his wealth to reduce the power of the Archduke. His grandson, Benyamin, together with his brother, Meir Zheltychelokski, forced a rapid turnover in the occupants of the Sector Chair, hoping in this way to prevent any one person from achieving great power. Historians call this period “The Era of the Princes.” Zheltychelokski economic ascendancy ended in 191M37, when Archduke Sidir XIII had Count Maximillian Zheltychelokski killed during an audience; within two months Maximillian’s son, Pinchas Zheltychelokski, had Sidir XIII poisoned in his own bed. The Moot refused to recognize any Sector Lord claimants for a period of six centuries. Pinchas III Zheltychelokski signed a truce with Baron Shahrukh Kenric, a cousin of the late Archduke, and Shahrukh was named to the Sector Chair in 797M37.

As a reward for his services, Pinchas III received the Archduke’s Sister as a bride, and was named Imperial Count of Glavnaya and Duke of Bozhestvennost in the year 801M37. For most of the 37th millennium, the Zheltychelokski clan was content to manage their fiefs on Lyubov and stay out of Imperial politics.

Duke Daniel XVII Zheltychelokski. (355M38-409M38) objected to the murder of Archduke Basil III by his Astartes Commander, Harmhab (who reigned as Menemtahe VI), and made his feelings known to the Moot; Harmhab suspended that body, had Daniel arrested, and then ordered the Duke publicly whipped, blinded, and gelded, on successive days. Daniel was stripped of his titles and lands, and sent to an Imperial zoo, where he was ordered displayed “as a prime example of that endangered species, Homo perduellionis reus.”

Harmhab was soon deposed by a revolt of his household staff; the surviving heir, Kenric IV the Clever, ordered Harmhab to be planted in the street up to his neck, where passers-by were offered the opportunity of sawing on his neck with a piece of paper.

Daniel was released from his public prison and restored to his estate and titles. In his later years, he became known as gourmet of exotic foods and drink; he would spend exorbitant sums merely to sample a dish that had been extraordinarily praised or would travel great distances to obtain delicacies that could not survive transport. He died at the age of 199; his weight exceeded his age at his death by a factor of five.

The Fall of Lyubov

The heretic Jieshi Is’Malal attacked Lyubov for the first time in 609M38, shortly after the death of Daniel XVII. His son, Zalman I was a poet and historian, but he shocked the other noble houses of Lyubov and the enemy both by casting aside his meek ways and showing himself to be made of tough stuff indeed. He rallied the fractious planetary defense forces and using his own well-trained army, repelled the invaders from Lyubov. However, the victory on Lyubov was a bright spot in an otherwise dark time in the Khan Group. During the 12th Dark Jihad, Chaos forces overran much of the Khan Group Worlds. Lyubov falls but several arcologies remain in Imperial hands, Chaos occupiers are never able to consolidate their position.

Prominent during the occupation were such Zheltychelokski as the poet-Duke Shaul VII (died 829M38); Baron Manasseh Zheltychelokski Medan, the “Great Librarian”; Naftali Zheltychelokski Aravayeen, an expert on ancient weapons, of whom it was said that he could put three shots into one hole at a distance of 100 meters; Duke Ruvain II (died 315M39), the finest gourmet of his time, of whom it was said he had “a palate given by the gods”; Duke Uriah IV (died 401M39), who outlived six wives, and died in the arms of a seventh; Count Hillel Zheltychelokski Lyubimaya, who invented three new knots, was a master of perfumes, concocting one entirely new fragrance, and wrote an epic poem in Aramaic on the history of his family; Duke Amon II (died 977M39), staged an abortive rebellion against the Sultan but was defeated when several treacherous members of the local nobility refused to come to his aid, and he was seized and executed, but without forfeiture of his titles or estates which were too well fortified for the occupying Jieshi Is’Malal to take.

Zheltychelokski household troops assist in the evacuation of civilians at the end of Amon II’s abortive coup

Following Amon II’s defeat, the Zheltychelokski lords maintained their independence from the occupiers of Lyubov by playing one chaos faction off against another. In 425M40 the Zheltychelokski supported the Is’Malali demi-House of Hajus against the Slannesh-worshiping line of Irulon. Duchess Rivka Zheltychelokski threw her resources behind Fareed Hajus in 425M40, and when several of the other Houses followed her lead, Fareed was acclaimed Sultan the following year.

For her efforts, Rivka’s house was left in peace and for a brief time the attacks on Lyubimaya and Chaslov hives stopped. Her children, Fredrick II and Alyssa VII, ruled jointly after her death in 477M40. Asher, the son of Alyssa VII succeeded to the Duchy in 508M40. Asher’s son, Nachum IV, was stripped of his titles when he was implicated in an attempt of the life of Sultan Walid II; a second such episode cost him his life in 553M40.

 The Zheltychelokski remained a thorn in the side of the Is’Malali rulers of Lyubov over the next millennium. In 705M40, they supported a revolt, which was ruthlessly crushed by the Sultan’s forces. The main instrument of the the occupation forces was the Blood Pact, a regiment modelled very closely on the Imperial Guard commanded by Vizier Araek Etogaur.  The Zheltychelokskii were forced from their estates in Lyubimaya, Chaslov, and Glavnaya and forced into the hinterlands of Lyubov. Raising an army from the people of the Zarra Uplands, they continued to resist the Chaos overlords of their world even as most of the planet’s other nobility fell into decadence and treason. For centuries, the exiled Zheltychelokskii held out against their oppressors, in time the Sultan ceased to bother about the holdouts in the Uplands save for the occasional terror raid to keep them off-balance.

Re-contact with the Imperium and the Liberation of Lyubov

In a daring raid, in In 718M41 Zheltychelokski commandoes stole a ship at anchor in Lyubovhive’s starport and made a blind warp transit (frightfully dangerous under any circumstances) but managed to re-emerge from the Warp in 752M41 (from their point of view they had been in the Warp for less than two weeks). The Lyubovi emissaries contacted Macaroth’s forces. Despite an abortive attempt at liberation by Marshal Cybon in 774M41, Warmaster Macaroth demanded another invasion in 777M41. Unwilling to commit himself to the job, Marshal Cybon detailed General Andreas Carnhide to liberate the Lyubov and the other Khan Worlds.

By 778.M41, in its 23rd year, the Sabbat Worlds Crusade entered a defining phase; it successfully advanced into the highly contested territories of the Cabal Systems and made significant headway into the Carcaradon Cluster.

This hostile region formed the heartland of the Forces of Chaos within the Sabbat Worlds. The Imperial commanders on the Second Front needed to prevent the Forces of Chaos from launching a successful assault on the flanks of the Crusade’s advance. The former Imperial world of Lyubov lie in a strategically useful location on one of the main Warp jump routes and served as a source of fuel, munitions and other consumables for the Archenemy forces within the Khan Group.

Lyubov effectively fell in 750.M41 and suffered under the occupation of the Forces of Chaos for two and a half decades. Several of its hive cities still managed to remain under Imperial control for most of that time, plunging the world into constant warfare as a result.

Lord Militant Cybon ordered Lyubov to be retaken in late 777.M41 and gave command of the operation to General Andreas Carnhide. Carnhide’s forces could achieve planetfall with minimal losses because of the landing zones already held by friendly Zheltychelokski forces in the Uplands. With aid from the Zheltychelokski clan and their allies and supporters, General Andreas Carnhide liberated Lyubov in 778M41 after a lightning campaign that lasted less than 90 days. The Imperial Duchy of that world was awarded to General Elias III Zheltychelokski Lyubov in recognition of his family’s unwavering support of the Imperium during the occupation and subsequent liberation.

The significant Forces of Chaos awaited Carnhide on Lyubov. Within the occupied zones, the Etogaur (military governor) raised substantial Chaos Cult armies and levies of forcibly conscripted citizens from the indigenous pop-ulation tainted by the touch of the Warp.

The main Archenemy force garrisoned the “Trans-continental Nexus”, a heavily populated zone where the bulk of the planet’s hive cities and manufactorums lay. Numerous war machines, armor, aircraft, corrupted Chaos Titans, and even a considerable number of Chaos Space Marines reinforced these cult forces. The Chaos army also included the deadly and ferocious clan army of the Blood Pact.

The Blood Pact forces served under the personal command of Araek Etogaur. Imperial scholars believe that the name “Etogaur” is a rank of honorific meaning, meaning “Sub-” or “Demi-Gaur”, perhaps denoting an equivalent rank comparable to Colonel or General in the Imperial Guard. This capable and charismatic leader forged the usually fractious Forces of Chaos into a singular, coherent structure.

A brutal campaign fought between the Imperial Crusade and the occupying Chaos forces on Lyubov ensued, culminating in the final assault on the gigantic main Hive City of Lyubovhive. In the years of Chaotic occupation, the forces of the Archenemy turned the hive into a nearly impervious fortress, with a heavily armored outer structure embellished with innumerable gun emplacements and malevolent antipersonnel devices. Araek Etogaur established his command headquarters there, and planned to make his final, defiant last stand in Lyubovhive.

As the Imperials made a furious thrust into the wounded hive city, they encountered fewer Blood Pact forces and more levies of cultists. A great fire soon broke out in the main hive’s northern sectors, burning unchecked until one fifth of the hive burned.

General Carnhide focused on his main goal of finding and destroying the focus of Lyubov resistance — Araek Etogaur. He drove his forces relentlessly forwards, knowing full well that victory lie within his grasp. Late on the seventy-third day of the campaign, three fire teams from the 82nd Carnelian Light Foot finally ran the Etogaur to ground.

Driving ahead of the main advance, the fire teams encountered unexpected resistance from a squad of Blood Pact warriors. A fire fight ensued, which left three of the foe dead on the causeway outside, and the remainder of the enemy to retreat into a vandalised Censorium.

Checking for signs of life, the Imperial medic noticed the dead foes were not attired like the average Blood Pact warrior. Alerted to this unusual turn of events, the squad leader alerted command for support. The fire teams soon found themselves under renewed fire from the Censorium before any support could arrive. They encountered stiff resistance from all quarters, but the Imperials valiantly fought on.

By the time a squad of Storm Troopers arrived to support the beleaguered fire teams, the squad leader believed he spotted the rogue Etogaur. He quickly pursued him with two other members of his squad through the lower quad and towards the west door of the Censorium. Cornered, the Etogaur drew a barbed Chainsword, snarled like a cornered animal and lunged to attack. His two subordinates fell to the attack, and the squad leader missed the Etogaur with his first two shots. With one charge in his weapon’s power pack remaining, the squad leader fired one last time into the snarling face of his foe. Araek Etogaur fell dead. Sporadic fighting continued for weeks afterwards on the battered Hive World, but the death of Araek Etogaur made Imperial victory inevitable.

The Khan Worlds Today

The Zheltychelokskii have ruled Lyubov and the Khan Worlds for years since its liberation from the forces of the Archenemy. The current Tsar of Lyubov is Yoel “Grozny” Sladivgorod Zheltychelokski, a young robust man of 19 years years. Tsarina Keterayna is 8 years his senior. They have no children yet, so the the succession is not yet secure. Tsar Yoel rules a restive realm and contends with a resurgent Chaos threat, potential disloyalty from his underlings and even less wholesome threats to his rule.

Under the terms of the re-integration Lyubov and her sister worlds in the Khan Group are guaranteed tolerance of their religious and cultural autonomy in return for political adhesion to the Imperium. For over two centuries the Imperium has kept its word and Lyubov forces have assisted in the Defense of Piscina IV and defended the Imperium in the 3rd Armageddon War, in the 13th Dark Crusade and the evacuation of Medusa V.

The Khan Group is part of the Protectorate Levantine, a semi-autonomous region protected and governed by the Guardians of the Covenant Space Marine Chapter. Also, like most vassal states of the Imperium, the Protectorate is internally independent and as such doesn’t agree with the Imperium on a wide variety of issues.

Lyubov Culture and Society

 You can never know true cold until you have lived through a Lyubov winter. The chill seeps into your joints like a trickle of ice water, freezing their motion and shivering into your very soul. Even when the sun spreads through the deep gray blanket of clouds, it· does not warm you. The rays shine blindingly white from snow-covered trees, and the world seems like a tremendous forest of spun glass. When the winter has reached you, truly covered you in ice, you feel as though you may never know warmth again.

During the long winter nights, the people of Lyubov gather in their houses and tell tales of the Tsars of old, sing songs of the long war against the forces of the Sultan and the Archenemy and dream of happier days to come. The world of Lyubov was liberated from the Ruinous Powers at great cost and even now suffers raids from marauding heretics and traitors. In the deep forests, beastmen multiply and grow ever bolder in their raids against isolated farmsteads. Orks raiders from off-world or from feral ork tribes that occasionally appear in the south take a heavy toll on the defenders of Lyubov.

The world of Lyubov lies in the Segmentum Pacifica. The further east one travels from Holy Terra, the fainter the Astronomicon grows and the weaker the Imperium’s grip becomes. Societies conform less and less to the Imperial norm. Lyubov is one such world.

The winters of Lyubov are harsh and cruelly long and for months the land is gripped by snow blizzards and ice. The townships of Lyubov are mainly built of timber for stone is rare and only the most important of the cities have stone buildings and walls. In the ancient capital city of Lyubovhive the massive white buildings are topped by vast gilded domes and decorated with golden statues and gargoyles. It has been said that Lyubov is a poor world filled with rich people. It is certainly true that the people that live in this beleaguered land have an outlook on life that strangers often find surprisingly positive. For Lyubov is under constant threat of invasion. Armies of savage Chaos Reavers often venture to Lyubov, raiding and pillaging, and to make matters worse Lyubov lies right on the border of the Satyressia Wastes, so that any Chaos incursion passes through the world (and its people) first.

To aid them in their struggle against these murderous foes, the Tsars of Lyubov have forged strong ties with the Imperium. This alliance benefits both Lyubov and the Imperium, as the High Lords have long understood the benefit of an Eastern bulwark against the tides of Chaos.

Despite the constant threat of invading armies, the people of Lyubov sing and dance and play as much as or perhaps more than the people of any other world in the Imperium. Some say that their relative happiness derives from their love of strong drink. Whether this is true or not, Lyubovitch certainly do enjoy their spirits; in fact many of their people attribute almost magical qualities to that most famous of Lyubovitch drinks – moshka.

The Lyubov tend to be quiet in the face of strangers, but they hold much joy in their hearts. In fact, they are loud and boisterous when amongst their own people. The Lyubov are known to be extremely brave warriors, and they hold a loathing for Chaos that is much stronger than most of the peoples of the Imperium. While many subjects of the Imperium may remain ignorant to the initial signs of a Chaos cult, Lyubovs will immediately seek out any signs of depravity and cleanse the infected individuals with sword and flame. Most citizens of Lyubov have lost homes or loved ones to the warriors of Chaos, and they realize that anything less than constant vigilance could lead to their downfall. They are therefore unrelenting in their resolve against their ancient enemies. Lyubovs give the forces of Chaos no quarter and expect none in return.