Setting:CloudburstDelving

From 1d4chan
System
Galactic Position Cloudburst Sector, Delving Subsector
System Overlord Lord Subsector Delving Miles laDremankine
Worlds in the system 9, 2 habitable (1 uncolonized)
World Type, Name Mining World: Delving
Tropospheric Composition Nitrogen 77%, Oxygen 20%, Argon 1%, Water .01%, Carbon gasses .02%, other gasses 1.97
Religion Imperial Cult
Government type Adeptus Terra
Planetary Governor No
Adept Presence Adeptus Administratum, Adeptus Ministorum, Adeptus Mechanicus, Adeptus Arbites, Adeptus Astra Telepathica, Adeptus Astartes
Climate Dour, windy, smoggy air, with wide varieties of ecological habitats, frequent lightning storms
Geography 1.09 times the size of Terra, with frequent rain and heavy sandstorm walls of rock, canyons, frequent small quakes
Gravity 1.1 Terran gravity
Day Length 22 Terran Hours
Economy Gelt Thrones and Silver Thrones
Principal Exports Stone, Iron, Copper, Xenon, Uranium, Promethium, Tungsten, Cobalt, Silicon, Oil, Alloys, Gold
Principal Imports Food, Luxury Goods, Clothing, Mining Equipment, Soldiers
Countries and Continents Nineteen continents with no national divisions
Military Delving House Guards (medium quality PDF), Delving Field Guard (medium quality Guard), Delving Glaistig Abhuman Auxilia
Contact with other Systems Daily
Tithe Grade Decuma Particular
Population 7,008,090,000 humans/abhumans; 1,875,000 servitors


Description[edit]

There are many worlds and systems in the Cloudburst Sector that have unimaginative names. Soak, for instance, is wet. Cognomen obsesses over titles. Cloudburst is rainy. Combine grows plants. Among them all, reaching highest upwards and onwards for that prize of ‘least creative name,’ must be Delving. It is a planet where people dig.

Delving is a Mining World, a Subsector Capital, and host to a dozen warships of the Sector and Subsector battlefleets. Founded late in the Second Gold Rush, the planet was earmarked by the Mechanicus for exploitation within minutes of discovery by Archmagos Justin MacDonald. The planet’s resource wealth is extraordinary, from rich metal ore deposits to bulging oil wells. The planet’s shallow seas all but shone in MacDonald’s orbital scanners from their deposits of precious metals.

Beyond their simple wealth, however, the planet is located at a fortuitous crossing of ways. Three Warp currents stretch within a few hundred million miles of the system’s outer edge, which makes it perfect for hosting rest stations for the Imperial Chartered Fleets and Merchant Marine. Although the world would require some terraforming to be made truly habitable, that was an insignificant price to pay for the benefit of such vast wealth and strategic positioning.

MacDonald’s discovery made its way back to Cognomen, and the Council of Magi agreed with their leaders’ arguments. Delving was chosen to host a new Subsector Capital as soon as the terraforming machines were done.

However, the demands on Cognomen were mounting. The planet’s infrastructure and somewhat precarious agriculture had been crafted for protecting and feeding a world of a few billion people, far from anywhere else, and trading with nobody. With Cognomen now serving as a regional capital and the industrial hub of hundreds of billions of people, they could no longer afford to maintain such a balance. Cognomen was strapped for resources, and waiting for terraforming on Delving to conclude simply didn’t sound appealing.

Thus, a fleet of Mechanicus terraforming vessels had barely arrived on the planet and begun their work when the colonists from Fabique and other Naxos worlds arrived. The world’s development spread in two contradictory directions. The few spots on the surface where there were no resources to find sprouted cities under eco-domes, and the colonists set about the business of making the world, while thousands of Techpriests and hundreds of thousands of Tech-adepts set to work terraforming. The reactivation of the Maskos machine STC allowed the work to become both far safer and far more ecologically stable. Thousands of years have passed, and the contrast has only grown.

Now, the planet’s crust surges with wealth. Some of it goes to Delving’s own factories, but most goes to Cognomen or Thimble. The terraformers are still hard at work, hundreds of years after they were due to stop working, thanks to the incalculable gigatons of industrial waste and garbage that the Mechanicus has released into the ecosystem. The terraformers will adjust the atmosphere in one part of the world, just as an oil fire pumps vast amounts of carbon into the air somewhere else. The Maskos machines will release oxygen and cleaned ore into the hands of their operators with no pollution, while a patch of trees on the surface under a hundred years old will topple because another mining team wants the gold under their roots.

This uncoordinated and self-defeating method of making a world habitable is clearly to the world’s long-term detriment, but the results are striking. Although life on the world is unpleasant, occasionally unhealthy, and almost always dreary, the planet’s export value is higher than that of some lesser Hive Worlds, and even with an average tithe grade, it produces enough wealth to fuel both its own shipyards and those of Thimble by itself.

However, while this level of productivity and power is something the people of Delving can take pride in, it is not enjoyable. The world’s cities may have crystal clear water and air one week, choking smog and orange water the next. The churn and hum of business and industry may bring money and prestige to the Delving population, but that’s small solace when the food is so poor that the Guard does not accept it as rations on visiting troopships.

As expected of a Mining World, the main imports of the planet do not remotely equal in volume the exports of its mines. Luxury food and Thimble mining uniforms are the largest items by volume, followed by Mechanicus mining equipment (including Maskos machines). The world’s garrisons were traditionally rather empty compared to other shirtsleeves-habitable Mining Worlds of the Segmentum Ultima, but that changed when the Glasians arrived. Delving has been hit only lightly, but that seems like it has to change sooner or later. The current Lord Subsector has been scrambling to parley the remarkable metal output of Delving into larger military stockpiles for the PDF and Delving Guards. So far, the planet’s PDF has barely managed to keep up with both its own orders to expand and the need of other worlds in the Imperium for soldiers. Luckily, the planet’s strengthened orbital defenses are at least strong enough to hold back a limited invasion attempt by the Glasians, though a proper Cylinder would punch through after only a short delay. The planet’s atmosphere is so unpredictable that the PDF often train in the original eco-domes for the colonies, which the civilian cities long ago out-grew.

As a Subsector Capital, Delving holds large Administratum structures and workforces. The Administratum here has direct control over the central bureaucracy and military, and carefully balances the need of the system for more defenses with its need to meet its export and tithe quotas. The planet imports some complex ordinance and equipment from Cognomen and Thimble, but much of its body armor is of local manufacture, as is its own domestic artillery system. The Delving Guard field a self-propelled artillery piece, the DM-48 cannon. The 48 is a dedicated formation-breaker, and it fires locally-built 203mm high explosive or smoke shells, perfect for breaking up enemy infantry or vehicle formations, or for covering the advance of an Imperial one. It can take the same hull-mounted missile and smoke launcher upgrades as the Basilisk, and the extended communication suite of the Salamander, just in case. However, unlike the Basilisk, it cannot support a hull gun or pintle weapon.

In orbit, Delving has the same assortment of administrative and military stations that every other Subsector Capital World has in Cloudburst, including a pair of shipyards. The first is an official military yard, and routinely manufactures ships of Escort weight for the SDF and Navy. The other is far larger, but actually belongs to the great Zhong Merchant Combine. Most of the Rogue Trader ships that didn’t start life in the military are built here, at least for explorers of the Cloudburst Circuit. The Zhong yard can build any vessel of under nine kilometers in length, which means more or less anything smaller than a Universe or Oberon. However, the Zhong family does not have the technological know-how to produce the blessed picocircuit fabricators of the Saturnyne Yards, and so they cannot build ships that are especially resistant to daemonic possession; thus, they never receive contracts from the Grey Knights or Exorcists, or any other daemon-hunting organization. Individual Inquisitors of great wealth have bought upgrade suites for their personal ships from Zhong yards in the past, and even other Merchant Houses sometimes patronize the vast Zhong fabricators. Of course, only a Mechanicus overseer Techpriest can bless Warp Drive/Geller Field Projector assemblies, so the Zhong family pays several to live in their shipyards.

The huge volumes of resources produced here, including nearly every kind of metal and gem the Imperium can use (notably excepting Ceramite), fill the resource needs of several Imperial institutions. The Arbites Lockshields and Padded Carapace armor of twenty-five Imperial planets come from Delving, and so do the officers’ gear of the Cloudburst Defenders. Freight yards on the planet’s surface allow for train cars full of goods to drive straight into cargo carriers, which lift them up into orbit and off to other worlds, in a larger-scale version of the same devices in Civitavecchia on Celeste.

Delving does have a dark side that visitors are rarely welcome to see. The planet has a history of rebellions, although they have never come close to success. However, both rebellions have been halted only by the deployment of non-conventional, contaminating weapons: chemical agents for the first and plutonium bombs for the second. These incidents, plus the rampant and unregulated changes made to the world’s climate on a near-daily basis, have resulted in the world of Delving having the Sector’s highest mutant birth rate by two orders of magnitude.

However, what other worlds would view as a curse, Delving sees as an opportunity. Many of the mutants born to the world are not the flesh-crippled monsters or semi-psychic abominations that most Imperials think of when they hear the word mutant. They are, instead, of the ancient abhuman breed known as Beastmen. The Beastmen generally spawn only on their own worlds, and the Imperium barely tolerates them. However, the Beastmen of Delving receive somewhat higher rates of acceptance into Imperial life, for two reasons. First, both times that the world’s mutantcy rate has risen, it has been as the result of actions needed to keep the world Imperial in the first place, and is thus a penance in the eyes of the Delving faithful. Second, the mutations that are producing these beastmen are neither Warp-derived nor uniform. Families that never produced a beastman may produce a whole generation of them, but those beastmen may sire normal humans instead, and are less likely to fall to Chaos than any other Beastman in the galaxy.

Thus, the Delving Beastmen are permitted as second-class citizens. Some find work as laborers, some find work as Mechanicus resource deposit scouts, while others serve as bodyguards for less discerning nobles. Most, however, wind up in the Imperial Guard, where they partake of an ancient Imperial tradition: the Abhuman Militia.

Delving Military[edit]

As far back as the Unification Wars, the mutants of the Imperium have had two fates: death or service. Mutants that are genuine in their desire to serve mankind have been lumped into Auxilia units to serve the Officio Munitorum since it was still called the Imperial Army. Delving is the only world in the Cloudburst Sector (though, notably, not the entirety of Cloudburst, since the Circuit world of Crispin has some too) that produces armed Beastmen for the Imperial Guard. The Delving Glaistig Auxilia mobilize in rough regiments, using the typical Imperial formation rather than the Cloudburst-specific Septiim template. They usually append to Delving or Celeste regiments, and specialize in urban and jungle battle. The animal they most resemble from the waist down is the now-extinct Terran Anthrohircius, or so the Mechanicus theorizes.

When fielded against human enemies, Glaistig are not typically the first line of combatants, given the Delving command’s concern about having humans and abhumans fight. When fighting anything else, however, Glaistig Auxilia throw themselves into battle with ferocity and zeal that would do a Templar Militia proud. They typically employ a variety of slug-throwing and shot weapons, but also use the locally-manufactured M938 shoulder-mounted grenade launcher and M939 grenade sling, which propel 25mm and 40mm explosives respectively. This allows them to lay down a torrent of flash and krak blasts in advance of their forces, suppressing enemy actions until the Glaistig are practically on top of them.

Glaistig Auxilia who perform to exemplary standards are given certain privileges in Delving life, such as owning businesses and even officer commissions, and commissioned Glaistig who live long enough to retire can even join the regional Officio Munitorum command offices, though few choose to do so.

Regular Delving Guard organize in the Septiim template. Since their Subsector houses the hugely productive Septiim system, and their system produces untold billions of pounds of high-quality ore and petrochemicals, Delving Guard are well-supplied with fresh, high-quality food and weapons, making them excellent campaigners. As such, they have accompanied Imperial Crusades into regions of space at the edges of the Imperium and within its borders alike. Delving Guard specialize in night combat and toxic-atmosphere war, but are capable of fighting in other environments if they need to and are warned in advance.

Delving Guard prefer the use of the Macharius and Malcador tanks to that of the Leman Russ. Because of their size and firepower, these tanks make for ideal Armored Spear formations, charging over the lines of enemies behind a hail of gunfire and shells. Delving Guard troopers are less specialized than Septiim ones, but their deadly armored vehicles and high-tech body armor allow them to pierce defenses that most Imperial Guard units would struggle with. The troops of the Delving Guard may, at times, work alongside Skitarii and even the Legio Congelatio to conquer worlds of mutual interest to the Imperium and Mechanicus, often those that are about to stop being in the Cloudburst Circuit and become a part of the Cloudburst Sector.

The same terraforming machines that are (occasionally) rendering Delving comfortably habitable are also now hard at work on the surface of Delving 7, which should be as habitable as any other Imperial world in eight hundred years. If the stripping of resources on Delving itself ends before then, and its ecology stabilizes somewhat, some terraforming machines could be relocated to Delving 7 to accelerate the process there. Mechanicus Magi Biologis have suggested dumping quadrillions of cyanobacteria on Delving 7’s slurry of chemical and water oceans to accelerate the formation of an oxygen-rich atmosphere, but so far, the budget for such things is all but spent on Delving itself. Delving’s moon, Delving b, is a silicate-carbon block with some nickel and iron in it, of no resource value compared to Delving’s vast mineral deposits. This indicates to the Mechanicus that it may be a capture moon instead of a congealment moon like Luna is.

On occasion, Blue Daggers visit Delving’s capital, to inform them of the Chapter’s developments, actions, and needs. Either the Chapter Master or an appointed representative flies to Delving prior to each Migration to review the world’s role in repelling the aliens, and to drop off any Marines that will be needed to protect the world itself if the aliens have targeted it. So far, the world has been hit only once, during the Third Glasian Migration. However, the Administratum has noticed with unease that the Subsector Capital worlds have been hit disproportionally often by the aliens, as has Septiim in Delving’s own Subsector. Realistically, if the scale of the enemy attacks increases as it has been, there is no chance Delving won’t be hit again if the patterns hold true. As such, the Subsector Navy leadership has begun investing in system-edge early warning satellites to detect the strange FTL engines of the Glasian Cylinders, which seem to shut down when they come within a certain distance of bodies with gravity wells akin to those of stars.