Sauristoni is a planet within the Fariah-Lee sector in the Ultima Segmentum, under Imperium control. It is composed of dense jungle, dotted with large structures jutting above the canopy.
The population of the planet is 15 billion. Its main exports are tropical fruit and exotic beasts. They are renowned for their long braided hair and dreadlocks, and infamous for their terribly hard to understand accented speech.
The planet produces many delicacies enjoyed Imperium-wide by commoner and nobleman alike. A particularly rare treat comes in the form of jerked raptor meat. Nobles and important figures from across the galaxy often flock to Sauristoni and populate its exclusive resorts, a fact that the locals resent.
An unpopulated virgin planet, Sauristoni was discovered by the Rogue Trader Tameron Diyixo as he made a dangerous warp jump in his Conquest Class Star Galleon in order to escape attack from Dark Eldar pirates.
Heavily damaged and in desperate need of repairs, Diyixo's ship appeared within dropship landing distance of the planet. Torn between staying with his ship in case anything happened or exploring this strange new world, Diyixo eventually settled on the latter - leaving his most trusted command staff to look after his ship and attempt to make contact with the Imperium as he embarked planet-side with his personal regiment of mercenaries.
As they touched ground, they immediately noted two things - the first was the immense heat, and the second was the awe-strikingly huge sauropod-like creatures feasting on the jungle canopies. Diyixo deduced that they would provide enough meat to top up their rations when they began to run short, and so he began attempting to contact the nearest allied presence, hopeful that an Imperial ship would pass in the sector within a few months.
He did not predict the Horus Heresy, nor the fact that it would actually take three thousand years for the next Imperial ship to grace Sauristoni's soil.
After four days, an unforeseen malfunction resulted in massive explosions and the complete shutdown of all habitation systems on board the ship. Diyixo's command staff managed to jettison as much as they could out of the ship and towards the planet with their final moments, but much of this would not be found for hundreds or thousands of years. The ship would eventually drift off into space, no doubt becoming a space hulk.
Stranded without his advisers and with only mercenaries to support him, the Rogue Trader now began to realise how delicate his situation truly was. He attempted to stall for time, which fortunately for a number of months, despite growing resentment among his employees. When a warp storm broke out above the planet's surface, tensions boiled over. Schisms that had begun to form between the groups escalated into full-blown conflict, the mercenaries using what weapons they had brought to full effect on one another. Diyixo's story ended here, as he was shot in the side of the head as an old man, still desperately attempting to contact the wider universe for rescue.
Between all of this, dinosaur-like creatures much more maleficent than their herbivorous cousins began to appear around the settlement, testing the waters. Occasionally, whole conflicts would be squashed by the appearance of massive naturally-armoured killing machines, ripping into all sides of the skirmish with indiscriminate hunger. More commonly, settlements would be raided in the night by smaller, velociraptor-like creatures looking for easy game.
All parties now resigned that they would more than likely be stuck on the planet - perhaps for their entire lives. They were tired from years of fighting in the extreme heat and the threat of predators simply devouring any possible victor that may result from any conflict they may have. So, the factions decided to leave the ship completely, taking as many supplies as they could and sealing it, then going their separate ways.
Some of the groups became lost to the jungle; others, who had found the supplies jettisoned years earlier, eventually managed to get to habitable regions and thrived; others still lived the life of nomads, becoming fierce warriors and hunters, even managing to tame the ferocious creatures that roamed the jungles and use them as mounts. Even as this went on and continued for hundreds of years, tribes-folk eventually began to start going missing. At first, this was blamed on the local wildlife. Then the kidnappers began to become more brazen.
Having activated an ancient webway gate that lay dormant on the planet, Dark Eldar raiders had entered the environment of loose bands of tribesmen and found that they liked what they saw. A constant stream of under-equipped humans with which they could milk like cattle for an extended period fit well within their objective of raising their status within the city, and so for an extended portion of Sauristoni's history they were subject to screaming jetbikes screaming through the jungle trees and raiding their settlements.
Eventually, an Eldar contingency - intrigued by the activation of an ancient and strategically-unimportant webway gate - investigated the planet under cover of night for several weeks. They began dropping markers and signs for the huntsmen to follow, letting them set up killzones and strike back against their harassers, even with their limited weaponry. The tribesmen who caught glimpses of the Eldar began treating them as "good spirits", with the Dark Eldar as "bad spirits" - or the "Obe" and the "Eah". Psykers, who became community leaders and healers, would be able to sense when the Eldar were close due to their psychic signatures, but not their cousins, causing all form of superstitious malcontent.
During these seemingly endless skirmishes, the warp storm began to wane, pockets of open space opening between the warp energies. While unstable at first, it took only days after the first opening for it to almost completely clear. The rest of the sector had been long-claimed by the Imperium by this point and had been awaiting whatever dangers lay behind Sauristoni's skies with baited breath. Fifteen regiments of the People's Army of Hu'lan dropped straight down and began mapping out the planet, surprising all inhabitants. The tribes-people were awestruck by the task force, swearing fealty to the Emperor once again as the huge amount of infantrymen cleared vast amount of jungle to make way for their armoured columns. General Jyung thought them nothing more than savages, but used the knowledge they had been ironically given by the Eldar to track down and obliterate the webway gate while all of the forces were scattered by this sudden development. All Eldar - regardless of their affiliation were soon trapped on the planet - were ruthlessly hunted down, though rumours abound that some roam its jungles to this day.
The planet was soon cracked down upon by missionaries from the Ecclesiarchy, many of its superstitions squashed in barely any time at all as the only things close to gods that they had ever known were thoroughly routed by the soldiers of the Imperium.
The Hu'lan were commended on their quick work, which incidentally involved destroying several hundred miles of jungle (including several heavily-populated settlements) in order to finally eliminate their targets.
In the present, Sauristoni has become a world popular for its exports and for the large areas of open jungle, for which the upper class from other worlds flock across the entire galaxy in droves to experience hunting the rare game living within its borders.
The Sauristoni exist as largely carefree individuals, the planet overall quite wealthy because of its rare goods and services. Large areas are still however on the edges of dense jungle, existing as loose communities in shacks and shanties as they exist on hunting and providing soldiers for Imperial tithes.
Whilst they once revered the Eldar, they now hate them as much as their Dark Eldar cousins. They still refer to them as separate entities, much to the confusion of the wider Imperium, who generally cannot tell the difference. Rumours still persist of natives engaged in "the old ways" well out into the wilderness, worshiping the Eldar in secret. These rumours are flatly denied by the populace, though small-scale conflicts are sometimes found, written off as "disagreements while hunting".
The Sauristoni have passed tales of the haphazard genocide the Hu'lanians imposed on them down throughout generations, many still hating the Hu'lan for their past transgressions, as well as for their favoured status within the sector throughout the Imperium.
The Sauristoni Ghostchasers are an army of the Imperium of Man revered for their tracking and scouting abilities. Skilled in baiting in the enemy with sniper fire and then taking the cameoline covers off from their heavy bolters and lascannons within the undergrowth in order to eliminate their enemies within carefully-planned killzones, the Ghostchasers have carved a name for themselves out of causing a large impact with a small amount of men.
They mobilise only with light vehicles, preferring to stay on the move with Chimeras and Scout Sentinels. They also have light cavalry forces riding a fast and agile dinosaur-like creature from their home planet which are used for lightning raids, scouting, setting up traps, and luring enemies into ambushes.
The bog-standard Guardsman wears a flak vest, accented by tribal decoration and tanned reptilian hides. Many also employ the use of cameoline cloaks for protection from enemy sight while in cover. Their veterans are often easily picked out from amongst the average soldiers by the white skull face-paint that they wear, as well as the scarring which they proudly display.
Their name comes from one particular incident in which the 2nd Sauristoni were serving alongside the 25th Praetorian Guard. Both regiments were engaged in fighting orks in a drawn-out campaign on the planet Ferrigal when the Sauristoni commander (one Colonel Kingston) deduced that the orks were far too unimaginative to be destroying their emplacements so deep into their lines, an act which was causing many long delays along the front.
The Praetorians ignored his suspicions, accusing him of "chasing ghosts", as well as being a superstitious tribal savage. Acting purely out of a hunch (and knowing full well the consequences if he was wrong), he ordered his troops to search for certain signs and markers in the nearby forested areas, just as his father had taught him as a young hunter. Readily enough, the signs of Eldar activity were discovered, and the saboteurs were tracked and caught completely unaware. Interrogation revealed that they were merely hours away from hitting their next intended target - the forward command centre.
The men took on the title of "Ghostchasers" as an honorary title from this point forward, both to boast their superior tracking skill and also to mock those who had doubted them.
They are prized amongst the Inquisitorial retinues of the Ordo Xenos for their knowledge on Eldar habits, often being selected as guides in forays onto planets with reported Eldar presence.