Author Topic: Project Damascus  (Read 10019 times)

Offline psycho

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Re: Project Damascus
« Reply #15 on: July 02, 2011, 10:54:10 PM »
wow......just wow...this is awesome and waaay more involved than anything i ever do...mine usually involve me doodling a planet and mini map...but theres only me and my dad playing and i dont have much free time anyway hahaha

keep it up mate....i wanna steal this and use it in my own campaign ill be doing shortly haha

kerby

Offline Stormgrad

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Re: Project Damascus
« Reply #16 on: July 03, 2011, 12:53:31 PM »
I love this its really good keep the work comming

Offline Zakkeg

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Re: Project Damascus
« Reply #17 on: December 01, 2011, 01:06:23 AM »
Entry III: Tethys



Population: 14 billion.
Tithe Grade: Exactus Extremis.
Geography: 77% water coverage. Single central land mass; numerous smaller land masses scattered throughout planetary ocean.
Government Type: Republic (presently under martial law).
Planetary Governor: None (formerly Xavier Volantis).
Adept Presence: Administratum; Adeptus Ministorum; Adeptus Astra Telepathica; Adeptus Arbites.
Military: PDF (presently reinforced by Imperial Guard); private security.
Trade: Tethys exports large quantities of all manner of manufactured goods, though this has been significantly hampered by the ongoing fighting in Hive Charon. Though it was originally self-supporting, overfishing and pollution have all but depleted Tethysí seas; nearly all of its foodstuffs are imported or recycled.


Settled only two years after the Damascene Investiture, Tethys is officially the fifth oldest world in the subsector (sixth if one includes Dornís Landing). When the first pioneers arrived in high orbit they saw their new world shining a brilliant cobalt blue, covered in vast cerulean seas and sweeping plains of azure grasses. Called the ďSapphire of DamascusĒ, Tethys stood as a gleaming jewel amidst the many drab brown worlds of Damascus.

This did not last, of course. Within a thousand years of its colonization, Tethys had sprouted canker-like hive cities that poisoned air, land and ocean for hundreds of miles around. By the beginning of M39 the grassy plains had become ash-choked wastelands and the clear blue seas had turned to toxic brown sludge.

The nobility, though greatly distressed by this, realized that to restore their planet to its former state would require funds several orders of magnitude greater than anything they could ever hope to muster, and would in any case severely curtail productivity. Eventually a solution was found, however: the thick blanket of smog that coated the planet would be turned their purpose, dyed the same cobalt blue that the first settlers enjoyed. Thus was the Sapphire of Damascus made to shine once more.

Today, the nobles in their spires look out across seas of blue fog that stretch as far as the eye can see, as beautiful in its own way as any of the natural splendour that Tethys once possessed. The midhivers in the thick of the cloud belt, however, live in an indigo haze where ďgood visibilityĒ is defined as being able to see to the other side of the room. Interestingly, midhivers are prone to selective colourblindness, which does help them to function somewhat in their native environment. However, when removed from these surroundings it can take upwards of several months for their vision to adjust, and until it does they often suffer headaches, nausea and the deep-seated sense that the world is somehow ďwrongĒ. Such is the price of beauty, and it is one that the aristocrats of Tethys all too gladly pay.


The Orange Insurrection

The closing years of M41 were marked by a drastic upswing in cult activity across whole of the Imperium. Of the Damascus worlds, none suffered more than Tethys. Chaos worshippers multiplied like rats in every hive; for each one that the Arbites and Magistratum stamped out two would rise to take its place. By Candlemas 999 they were stretched to breaking.

That was the day that one of the cults, the Sodalium Solis Occasus, succeeded where all others had failed. They tore open a portal to the Warp in the depths of Hive Charon, and dozens of screaming daemons forced their way through. The greatest of them took possession of the magus who had headed the ritual. Identified in Inquisitorial records as Screwtape, the daemon commanded the awed cultists to make a great sacrifice to their new god.

What followed is now remembered as the Candlemas Massacre, and it marked the true beginning of the Orange Insurrection. The Sodalium, clad in blazing orange, began to openly rebel, slaughtering faithful citizens in the streets and defiling the temples of the Ministorum with foul slogans painted in the blood of their victims. The other cults quickly threw in their support, and civil unrest became full-scale revolution.

Regrettably (if predictably), the traitors were not found solely amongst the disenfranchised. More than one ancient and noble family shirked their masks of loyalty and declared themselves for the Great Enemy, and their private militias brought the heretics much-needed experience and firepower. As Hive Primus of Tethys, Charon was home to several wings of the planetís armed forces, the most formidable being the planetary governorís honour guard. Had they acted swiftly, these fearsome and well-equipped warriors might have taken back Hive Charon before the rebels could become truly entrenched. Instead, Governor Volantis chose to seal himself and his forces inside the planetary governorís mansion and await reinforcements.

When reinforcements eventually did arrive, they did so in force. The bulk of Tethysí PDF was redeployed to Hive Charon, encircling the planetís beleaguered capital to await further orders. Those orders came from no less a personage than Inquisitor Mina Karparov, arriving at the head of the newly-mustered 61st Toyovan Infantry.


The Purging of Charon

This army, some twelve million strong, officially began operations 000.000.M42. Armoured divisions being essentially useless in the context of hive warfare, the combined PDF and Toyovan forces, under the direct command of the Holy Inquisition, launched their assault on foot, armed with little more than lasguns, flamers and prayer. While elite Inquisitorial kill-teams sought out and purged hotspots of aethyric corruption, the main bulk of the assault force engaged in the kind of war that the Imperial Guard had spent millennia perfecting: that of slow and brutal attrition.

Though the blood cost was unimaginably high (among the most notable casualties being both Governor Volantis and Inquisitor Karparov herself), steady gains were made, culminating in the banishment of the daemon Screwtape 5.701.005.M42. Much of Charonís vital industrial infrastructure had been preserved, though several large sections were declared Loginquitas Indefinitus, tainted beyond repair and to be shunned on pain of death.

Although the campaign was declared a success, over eight million guardsmen and countless civilians lost their lives. Though life (and far more importantly, work) has largely returned to normal in the mid- and upper-hive structure, no new planetary governor has yet been appointed, and in Charonís darkest reaches, the fighting continues to this day.


The Glass City

Given the dire straits in which Hive Charon has lately found itself, it should come as no surprise that the former political center of Tethys has lost a great deal of its sway, a situation not helped by the decimation of its aristocracy. Each of the other hives has spent enormous resources lobbying to have Charon declared Primus Exesus, and themselves named Primus Prope. The strongest claimant appears to be Hive Ianthe, currently the de facto Tethys Hive Primus, from which the Lord General Malitor Sergeyev conducts the ongoing Charon campaign.

Ianthe is known as the Glass City, which most assume to be a reflection of its architecture. While itís true that the spires are noted for their crystalline beauty and elaborate glass mosaics, the hiveís epithet actually derives from the fact that it is among the Damascus subsectorís largest producers of ferroglass. This particular facet of industry has for centuries been monopolized by House Della Rovere. Though they are better known for their rather more glamorous arms division, in truth the great House Della Rovere first rose to power and fortune from rather humbler beginnings as simple glass makers, a fact which they prefer not to advertise but which has nonetheless proven to be a remarkably reliable moneymaker through the years.

Just below the glittering spires, of course, is the midhive, choked and stained with blue soot, an appropriate metaphor for the corruption just beneath the surface of Tethysí political landscape.


The Serpent and the Toad

As previously mentioned, Ianthe is the strongest contender in the race for the title of Hive Primus. And it plays host to an equally strong candidate for the office of Imperial Governor: Lord General Malitor Sergeyev. The Lord General, it seems, has taken a liking to rulership, having effectively controlled the planet since it was officially placed under martial law when Governor Volantis was declared incompetent (and missing in any case). Some believe that the corpulent Lord General has deliberately prolonged the Charon campaign, preventing the state of emergency from being repealed and thus prolonging the imposition of martial law indefinitely. If this is indeed the case, it would be in the Lord Generalís best interests to gather allies lest the Administratum (or, Emperor forbid, the Inquisition) decide to stick its nose where it doesnít belong.

He has not needed to look very far. House Della Rovere has in fact been an enthusiastic supporter of his rule almost from the outset. A scion of that house, one Augustine Della Rovere, has even been made a sort of civilian aide-de-campe to Lord General Sergeyev, performing all those dreary tasks which fall beneath the Lord Generalís notice. Which is to say, Augustine Della Rovere is effectively running the planet.

Needless to say, House Della Rovere is quite pleased with this state of affairs, though they recognize that it cannot continue indefinitely. Civilian government must resume at some point, and due to a quirk of Damascene bylaw, as a major industrial concern House Della Rovere is forbidden from having its members hold high office. However, the Blackadder House has offered to support Sergeyevís claim to governorship, should he elect to resign his commission. Their only stipulation is that things remain just as they are, a condition the Lord General appears more than happy to indulge.



_________________________________________________________________________________________________


Hey, look at me! I'm a thread-necromancer!

This one was half-finished when my interest in Inquisitor waned again several months back. But here it is, waxing, so I thought I'd finish it up. I've also got Volatrin finished (it's been finished for months, in fact, but I wanted to get this one posted first - though I can't for the life of me remember why), so that'll likely go up in a day or two once the commentary on Tethys has run its course. So... thoughts?

(Once again, please do point out any typos I've missed. Operating without a net here. And by net I mean spellcheck. ;))

« Last Edit: December 01, 2011, 06:26:44 PM by Zakkeg »
Only the insane have strength enough to prosper; only those who prosper may truly judge what is sane.

Offline Zakkeg

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Re: Project Damascus
« Reply #18 on: December 04, 2011, 09:57:12 PM »
Entry IV: Volatrin



Population: 2.1 billion (estimated).
Tithe Grade: Exactus Extremis.
Geography: As a gas giant Volatrin has no geography as such, though it is notable that its extremely slow rotation leaves it without the striking ďbandedĒ effect so characteristic of Jovian planets.
Government Type: Hereditary oligarchy.
Planetary Governor: Vanus Torres.
Adept Presence: Administratum; Adeptus Ministorum; Adeptus Astra Telepathica; Adeptus Arbites.
Military: House militias; DeVayne Consortium private security forces.
Trade: As a mining world, Volatrin primarily exports raw fuel (though some refining facilities do exist). It imports many manufactured goods and over 80% of its foodstuffs; the remaining 20% is composed primarily of reconstituted organic matter.


First discovered in early M38 during a time of sector-wide fuel shortages, Volatrin was hailed by many as a gift from the Emperor Himself, sent to alleviate the suffering of His people. The gas miners (or gassers) have their own stories about it, however. To hear them tell it, the great red planet keeps her lustre only by drinking deep of the blood of the good Emperor-fearing men and women who spend their lives working down in the oppressive confines of her vapours.

Lacking any solid surface to speak of, conventional mining techniques are of course quite useless on Volatrin. Instead, colossal mining ships spend months at a time submerged in her atmosphere, searching out pockets of valuable gases (mainly those used to feed plasma reactors) and extracting them. These ships typically surface only when their holds are full, often spending months or even years without returning to the orbital stations.

Various rarer elements are also present in exploitable quantities deep within the planet, though the extreme forces at work make extracting it a suicidal prospect even by gasser standards. Some still try, of course, but few are ever heard from again.


Life Among the Clouds

Even by the standards of the Imperium, the gasserís life is not an easy one. For those who hail from the stations (known as ďskimmersĒ), the comforts of home and family are almost abstract concepts, far less real than the drudgery  and danger of existence aboard a mining ship.

These are perhaps outnumbered by those who live aboard their vessels, the ďdeepersĒ. Many were born on the ship they belong to, the latest in a long line. Some go their entire lives without ever setting foot ashore. The deepers walk a razorís edge, trusting not only their own lives but the lives of their families to the temperamental nature of the mining ships and the caprices of Volatrin herself.

Skimmers and deepers tend to dislike and mistrust one another, and seldom are both found aboard the same ship. The skimmers tend to view the deepers as ignorant, inbred and mad, while the deepers for their part see skimmers as soft-handed dandies little better than the station noblility.

There is, however, one point on which all gassers both skimmer and deeper can agree: the third group, the prospectors, are insane. Sinking into the haze in pursuit of the mythical ďmother-cloudĒ, prospectors have a well-deserved reputation as wild-eyed and manic madmen who spare little thought for safety and self-preservation. It is the prospectors who sail the deepest, stay under the longest, and disappear with the greatest frequency. But they remain undiscouraged, perpetually convinced that fortune is just one more dive away.


Pirates of the Deeps

Mining is by nature a hazardous occupation; ships are lost every day to oxygen failure, engine malfunction and pressure breaches. No-one questions the fate of a missing vessel. Inevitably, there are those who would take advantage of that.

Few mining vessels were originally built for the purpose; most are former interplanetary freighters converted to withstand extreme positive pressures as well as negative. Pirate ships take a similar tack; they tend to be retrofitted system patrol craft. The obvious and rather unpleasant implication of this is that the majority of pirates are former naval personnel, a notion that Battlefleet Damascus prefers to reject.

In spite of their preference for armed vessels, the weapon systems of a pirate ship are mainly for show. As firing within Volatrinís notoriously unstable atmosphere can be an act of suicide (depending on the local gas composition), and in any case would most likely destroy the spoils, pirates will generally try to take their target unawares. Lying in wait in the thickest cloud banks, a pirate vessel will wait for an unsuspecting mining ship to pass by before breaking cover to come up abeam of their prey with magna-grapples at the ready. Having latched on the pirates will create a boarding seal, cut through the victimís hull, and abscond with whatever they feel is worth taking, leaving a corpse-filled ghost ship drifting in their wake.

One particularly infamous corsair was Commodore Jonah Brigham, better known as Red Jack. He would kill half the crew of every ship he took, offering the rest a choice: join him or join their fellows. In this way he was able to assemble a sizable buccaneer fleet, feared across the whole of Volatrin. He was said to flay those who refused his terms alive, using their remains to decorate the hull of his flagship, the Hellbound. Eventually he became such an inconvenience that the Council of Oligarchs and the DeVayne Consortium jointly funded an expedition to capture Brigham, alive or dead. The Commodore would not submit, however, and lured his pursuers into a particularly volatile cloud before opening all engines, obliterating both himself and his would-be captors. Some say the Hellbound survived, however, and even today the mothers of Volatrin frighten their children into obedience with tales of Red Jack.


Here There Be Monsters

To hear the gassers tell it, thereís more to fear in the deep vapours than system failure, pressure storms and pirates. Many are the sailors who, having been bought a drink or three, will be more than happy to regale a willing listener with tales of terrible cloud serpents with adamantine fangs ten metres long, or titanic many-tentacled krakens floating blindly through the gas, waiting for some unfortunate vessel to blunder into their grasp. That no conclusive evidence of the existence of these beasts has yet been found does little to dampen the enthusiasm of the storytellers, many of whom will swear blind that they themselves narrowly escaped such a horror.

By far the most spine-chilling of these accounts revolve around Station Tertius, the Black Station. Orbital Station Tertius was lost at some point around 650.M38, mere decades after its completion. All communications went dark, and by the time a team was sent to investigate she had disappeared entirely. Without so much as a debris field to indicate Tertiusí fate, it was officially surmised that some mechanical error had brought her too close to Volatrin, where she was most likely pulled into the planetís gravity well and crushed.

Unofficially, theories range from xenos infestation to witchery to the wrath of the Emperor Himself. Some say she was simply cursed from the outset. The tales are as varied as the tellers, but the one point on which all old sailors can agree is that somewhere in the deeps the Black Station lurks, ancient and malevolent.


The Realm Above

The four remaining stations (Primus, Secundus, Quartus and Quintus) represent in many ways a world apart from that of the mining ships, but one could scarce exist without the other.

Each station was originally constructed along what might be described as a truncated cruciform pattern, some hundred and forty kilometres from the tip of one arm to that of its opposite. However, over the millennia they have all accumulated a staggering collection of impromptu docks, sensor towers and other such flotsam, to the point that they now resemble nothing so much as enormous sea urchins.

They play host to roughly a quarter billion inhabitants apiece, the vast majority of whom are gassersí families. (The gassers themselves are not generally considered residents, as they spend so little time aboard.) Those old enough to work most commonly find employment as ratcatchers, cooks, cleaning staff or any of the thousand other menial jobs that need doing aboard a space station.

The next largest group are the merchants; as a natural outgrowth of its role as an exporter of fuel, Volatrin has become one of the subsectorís primary trading posts. Several decks of each station are given over to enormous bazaars, wherein all manner of goods and services are exchanged at all hours Ė legal and otherwise. They say that one can find oneís heartís desire in the markets of Volatrin. Whether one can pay for it is of course another matter entirely.

Beyond this, the stations are home to the usual assortment of priests, scribes, medicae, Enginseers et cetera. And of course Volatrin has its aristocracy as well. The highest of these are the Oligarchs, the masters of the clouds and all their accompanying riches.


The Ruling Class

As a ship must have its captain, so too must a station have its commander Ė so say the Oligarchs, at any rate. The Oligarchs are the lords of Volatrin, each ruling his station according to his own fancies with little interference from the others. Only when an issue affects the whole of Volatrin will they consult one another, forming a Council of Oligarchs in an attempt to come to some mutually acceptable arrangement.

Though the Oligarchs are nominally equals, the Administratum dictates that each planet must have a single governor. By tradition the post falls to the master of Station Primus, this being the oldest and (usually) richest of the four stations. The other three are generally more than willing to pay a token tribute to the Oligarch of Station Primus in the name of avoiding the additional administrative headaches that governorship brings.

The Oligarchsí positions are not always as secure as they would have outsiders believe, however. Each station hosts several aristocratic houses besides that of its Oligarch, known as the Patricians. They are a viperous, backstabbing and power hungry lot, and more than once a weak Oligarch has been brought down to be replaced by those he thought his lessers. This most recently occurred in 976.M41, when House Felbranche (which had ruled Station Primus, and by extension Volatrin, for the better part of a millennium) suffered a series of financial blows, ultimately finding its position usurped by the ambitious House Torres. Though the family is now a mere shadow of its former self, already the Felbranche matriarch Dame Genevieve is said to be plotting her houseís return to power.


The DeVayne Interest

Controlling at least as large a share of Volatrinís mining operations as all her native noble houses combined, the DeVayne Consortium should by rights be a major political force aboard the stations. However, this is not the case.

Volatrinís nobility, fractious though they may be, tend to close ranks when dealing with foreigners, a tendency which has left the Consortium stymied. While economically powerful, it is all they can do to keep the Oligarchs from exercising their rights of Dominium Eminens and seizing the DeVayne holdings for themselves.

Being forced to walk on eggshells for the benefit of ďjumped-up backwater barons with delusions of grandeur,Ē to quote one DeVayne director, understandably frustrates said directors to no end. After all, Volatrin would be nothing without DeVayne. (Or at least thatís how the Consortium chooses to see it.)

Other foreign interests, economic or otherwise, tend to encounter similar obstructions when dealing with the higher echelons of Volatrinís power structure; even agents of the Imperial Inquisition will tend to receive a chilly reception from the aristocracy. This very unwelcomeness might endear them to the DeVayne Consortium, however, and the Consortium can be a powerful ally Ė as long as its own needs are met first, of course.


_________________________________________________________________________________________________



Well, so much for commentary. But as I said, this one's been finished for months, so there's really no reason not to post it.

Please, if anyone has anything - anything - to say about Project Damascus, do so. Criticism is fine. In point of fact, it's encouraged. I'm just asking for some feedback here. I'm a very poor self-motivator, and it's hard to remain interested without some sense that what I'm doing is at least vaguely worthy of comment, good, bad or otherwise.

(I fully acknowledge that this is a character flaw, but that's life. To quote Popeye, I yam what I yam. :P)


Only the insane have strength enough to prosper; only those who prosper may truly judge what is sane.

Offline TheNephew

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Re: Project Damascus
« Reply #19 on: February 28, 2012, 11:18:34 PM »
I like the background you've constructed - it fits the tone of the fluff I remember reading all those years ago when I was up to date with that sort of thing.

More importantly, I like the idea of having a range of well fleshed out settings built by Conclavers - I got tangled up constructing a couple of planets (possibly an ice-planet styled around Mortal Engines, possibly with Dosamdt, if he's still a known name around these parts, DA and a few others), mostly because I like the idea of having a few common bases for Conclave hooks, scenarios, campaigns, stories and histories to be set in.

The scale and level of detail are close to spot on too - a framework it'd be easy to slot a few extra bits into to build a storyline or set of circumstances to move forward from, without much restrictive detail to contradict.

Are you still working on it?

Apologies for the necromancy.

Offline Easy E

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Re: Project Damascus
« Reply #20 on: April 10, 2012, 09:02:31 PM »
Tethys- I wasn't supper keen on the caus eof the revolt being obviously and well-known because of Demon infestation.  It seems like that would lead to soemthign more than what happened to the planet.

Volatrin- That was preety much perfect.  I loved the story about The Black Station, and the entire thing was full of interesting story hooks. 

   
^Cheapskate^

Offline Zakkeg

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Re: Project Damascus
« Reply #21 on: May 17, 2012, 08:30:46 AM »
Validation! ;D ;D ;D

Ahem.

Are you still working on it?

Well, I wasn't at the time of your post (as I believe I mentioned upthread, my level of interest in Inquisitor is a bit... tidal), but I find myself once again committed. Which is to say, a new entry shall be presented shortly.

Tethys- I wasn't super keen on the cause of the revolt being obviously and well-known because of Daemon infestation.  It seems like that would lead to something more than what happened to the planet.

Ah. What we have here is a failure to communicate - I didn't intend to imply that the daemonic element was well-known outside the ranks of the Inquisition. Clearly that's on me as the author. Upon further reflection, that whole bit may be a little superfluous anyway. I may just excise the daemonic element entirely. Glad you like Volatrin, though. (To be entirely candid, I think it may be the best of the lot so far.)

Coming Soon: Dorn's Landing (or, how I learned to stop worrying and love the Omnissiah).


Only the insane have strength enough to prosper; only those who prosper may truly judge what is sane.

Offline Zakkeg

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Re: Project Damascus
« Reply #22 on: May 21, 2012, 09:29:30 AM »
Entry V: Dorn's Landing



Population: 3.6 billion (excluding servitors).
Production Grade: II-Extremis
Tithe Grade: Aptus Non.
Geography: No records exist of the planetís original geography, but today Dornís Landing is covered from pole to pole in seas of toxic black sludge and deserts of rusted metal, peppered with factory-habs and dominated by the monolithic manufactora.
Government Type: Adeptus Mechanicus.
Planetary Governor: Fabricator-General Donad Omenthes.
Adept Presence: Adeptus Mechanicus.
Military: Skitarii PDF; Legio Diluvium.
Trade: Dornís Landing is responsible for nearly 14% of the sectorís output of manufactured goods, most notably starship components but also tanks, personal arms, prefabricated builings and many civilian articles. Thanks to high geothermal activity from which to draw power and archeotech reclamation systems capable of rendering inorganic materials into a nutritious paste, it is also essentially self-sustaining.


Dornís Landing is arguably the most productive forge world in the Fortis sector, and certainly the oldest. In point of fact, it has been continuously inhabited for longer than any other world in the sector, perhaps even the segmentum. When Horatio Sarnovich and his pioneering armies swept through the wide swathe of wilderness space that was to become the Damascus subsector, they were very much surprised to discover a populated and functioning (if somewhat dilapidated) forge world waiting for them, apparently undisturbed and forgotten to all since the Great Crusade.

The first sally to the surface, led by the Lord Militant himself, was greeted with remarkable nonchalance by the Mechanicus priests who received them; they simply behaved as though the five thousand year lapse in communication with the wider Imperium had not happened. Indeed, they seemed to think the Great Crusade was ongoing, professing obliviousness to the civil war which nearly brought down the fledgling Imperium and was presumably the cause of the tech-priestsí long isolation Ė though this again they took in stride. They proved so utterly unflappable that Lord Militant Sarnovich is quoted to have said: ďI do believe that if the Emperor Himself materialized here and now, riding a grox and projecting fire from his arse, these machine-men would not so much as bat an eyelash.Ē (The Lord Militant was not noted for his delicate manners.)

Regardless, the Adeptus Mechanicus of the planet (which they identified as F-8863, but conceded that the uninitiated had once referred to as Dornís Landing) proved amenable to serving as a forward supply base for the crusade. After all, while times may have changed, their duties had not. Thus was Dornís Landing reassimilated into the Imperium of Man.


A Million Tiny Cogs

Every man, woman and child of Dornís Landing is but one miniscule part of the great machine that is the forge world. And the machine does not rest. Families live and work in the same space, enormous factory-habs scattered across the planetís face, each one home to a million human labourers.

From the age of six, the people of Dornís Landing are put to work, first performing simple tasks such as polishing and scrubbing. At the age of ten, they are assessed by their tech-priest masters and reassigned according to their aptitudes. Some become machinists, some shift overseers, some line workers. Some are inducted into the lowest mysteries of the Machine Cult and become lay-clerics of the Omnissiah, or are given combat training and join the ranks of the Skitarii. A very few will be received into the Adeptus Mechanicus proper, becoming the next generation of tech-priests.

For the majority, those whose paths will not take them far beyond the comforting red ochre walls of the factory-hab into which they were born, there will be one last transition. When they are old and weary, too decrepit to perform their duties, they will make a pilgrimage to the nearest of the reclamation facilities. There their souls are sent to their eternal rest, while their bodies are augmented with crude bionics and their minds stripped down to the barest essentials. Once the process is complete, they are returned to the factory-habs to aid their descendants by performing those menial tasks for which higher brain function is not required. In this way, the people of Dornís Landing are permitted to spend not only their lives but their deaths toiling for the greater glory of the Omnissiah.


Titans of Industry

Far from the factory-habs stand the manufactora of the Adeptus Mechanicus. Unlike the common manufactora found on industrialized worlds throughout the Imperium, these are no mere production facilities. Each one is temple, fortress, and fabrication center. They are monumental structures which have existed since long before the Sarnovich Crusade, built using construction methods now lost to mankind. Indeed, some whisper that they are not of human origin at all. Such whispers are heresy, of course, but rumours persist nevertheless.

The great manufactora are not staffed by ordinary men. For one who is not fully initiated into the Machine Cult to even set foot within the gates is a crime punishable by nothing less than death. Advanced servitors tend to the machinery, whilst red-robed adepts stalk the vaulted halls, uttering strange hymns and swinging censers filled with oily incense.

The greatest of the manufactora is Goliant, a structure large enough to rival many hive cities. Goliant is constructed atop, around and even through a quasi-dormant volcano, and is home to both the Fabricator-General of Dornís Landing and the god-machines of the Legio Diluvium. Its basalt spires stand in stark contrast to the rust-red mountain from which they thrust, bringing to mind nothing so much as the dead fingers of some primordial giant clawing its way from the planetís crust. Ancient and proscribed Dornish legends hold that they are precisely that, and that one day it will awaken to tear the world asunder.


Rust and Ruins

As impressive as the civilized sections of Dornís Landing may be, the vast deserts of oxidized metal that divide them them serve as ample proof that the Dornís Landing of today is nothing compared to what it once was.

These wastelands are rife with forgotten treasures, and the tech-priests know it. But for every Magos Archaeologis, there are a hundred or more illegal salvage gangs prowling the ruins. Consequently, it should come as no surprise that the lionís share of the loot falls into the hands of these degenerate plunderers. Though they sell much of their hauls to black marketeers in the factory-habs (and the occasional offworlder), they tend to keep anything truly useful for themselves. This means that the very best of Dornish archeotech will generally change hands only through violence.

The same can be said of the richest finds; a gang that discovers a particularly lucrative site will be prepared to defend it with their lives. Barricades will be erected, then shelters. The gang may grow as others hear of the find and defect, and eventually a sort of makeshift city can form. These have been known to last for decades, but eventually the well will run dry or the Mechanicus will learn of the find, and these scrap cities will become ghost towns overnight Ė just one more ruin in a sea of shambles.


Ghosts in the Machine

None now living can say with any certainty what happened to level the ancient forge-cities and temple-foundries that once encompassed Dornís Landing. But perhaps there is a clue to be found in the so-called ďnull zonesĒ scattered throughout the deep wastes.

Far from any factory-habs, the null zones are places the tech-priests shun and even the boldest scavengers fear to tread. Light bends in strange ways there, creating inexplicable shimmers in the air and causing shadows to move of their own accord. The superstitious speak of stranger phenomena, of men vanishing without a trace, pulled into an umbral netherworld of infinite and everlasting torment. They say the anguished screams of these unfortunates sometimes pierce the veil, echoing across the endless fields of rust.

More disturbing to the less credulous is that these blighted places steadfastly defy all augury. Every scan quite literally reveals nothing whatsoever Ė any device more advanced than a simple pict-corder behaves as though presented with empty space (hence the null zonesí appellation). Probing psykers tend to have slightly more luck, if one can call it that; they have an alarming propensity to shriek, soil themselves and claw their own faces off. (Of course, at least one skeptical Magos has noted that such behaviour is not altogether unusual for psykers.)

After great frustration, most tech-priests of Dornís Landing have come to accept that there are simply some articles of Knowledge which the Omnissiah did not intend for man to possess. Several novitiates of each generation buck this common wisdom; most see the error of their ways after a wasted year or two. A few persist, however, believing that the Quest for Knowledge demands nothing less.


The Floating Market

Intriguing though the surface of Dornís Landing may be to some, its greatest value to the Imperium is in fact found some four hundred kilometres above, for here orbits the greatest shipyard in the sector: Port Jacondo.

Jacondo Station was named for the revered Fabricator-General, who ruled Dornís Landing for much of the 38th millennium. His first act upon assuming the office was to decree the construction of a great orbital manufactorum, the better to serve the needs of the increasingly beleaguered Battlefleet Fortis. Though hindered by a series of setbacks, Jacondo Station was officially completed in 467.M38, roughly one hundred and eighty-four years after the projectís inception. Not content with this legacy, Fabricator-General Jacondo went on to originate several new patterns for a variety of starship components. Jacondoís designs are noted for being more robust and powerful than the Imperial standard, if also somewhat more bulky (a tendency which continues to characterize most patterns originating from Dornís Landing, from laspistols to waste reclamators).

The Jacondo-pattern plasma drive in particular proved so effective that Battlefleet Fortis began to gradually refit many of its vessels, giving rise to a semi-permanent naval population Ė much to the chagrin of the tech-priests, who considered Jacondo Station to be the sovereign territory of the Adeptus Mechanicus. In deference to this, Battlefleet Fortis petitioned the Mechanicus to approve the construction of a sister-station to orbit Dornís Landing in lockstep with Jacondo, which the tech-priests gratefully approved. Thus, Port Jacondo was born.

The millennia since have seen two more significant space stations and several dozen lesser satellites added to Port Jacondo, and the lines delineating who controls what have become decidedly blurred. It remains highly productive, however, having churned out an average of nearly a ship a decade over the last thirty-five centuries, to say nothing of the countless repairs, refits and individual components produced. Though the vast majority of these are destined for Battlefleet Fortis, an extravagantly wealthy patron occasionally commissions a ship of their own. For those who are merely filthy rich, the auction block is likely to hold better prospects. Here starships change hands on a regular basis, as the Imperial Navy offloads mothballed warships and recaptured pirate vessels, chartists fallen on hard times liquidate their assets, and the occasional Rogue Trader hocks a recent acquisition of dubious legality. For an aspiring shipowner in the Damascus subsector, Port Jacondo is nearly always the first and last stop.


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Like Tethys, this one's a bit unfocused - a product of having done it in fits and starts, I reckon. But I'm happy with it, in general. (Of course, you shouldn't let that stop you from ripping it to shreds if you feel there's cause. ;))

Regrettably, I can't take most of the credit for the image - I couldn't create a satisfactory effect for the life of me, so I nicked someone else's hard work and simply adapted it to suit my needs. If you know where the original came from, let me know so I can give credit where it's due.
Only the insane have strength enough to prosper; only those who prosper may truly judge what is sane.

Offline MEHughes

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Re: Project Damascus
« Reply #23 on: June 03, 2012, 07:22:54 PM »
Excellent work Zakkeg, really like what you've written here.