|Galactic Position||Cloudburst, Hapster Subsector|
|System Overlord||Lady Subsector Astrid Oskoldr|
|Worlds in the system||10, 1 inhabitable, 1 undergoing terraforming|
Hapster’s ancient wealth and stability render it a valuable hub of local trade and military staging. Although the lack of long-term habitability of much of Hapster’s surface makes local expansion unlikely, the Imperial armed forces still draw heavily from its population. Sometimes, the local caste system renders this difficult.
|World Type, Name||Civilized World: Hapster|
|Tropospheric Composition||Hapster has Nitrogen 75%, Oxygen 22%, Argon 1%, Water .95%, Carbon Dioxide 0.05%|
|Government type||Adeptus Terra|
|Adept Presence||Adeptus Administratum, Adeptus Ministorum, Adeptus Astra Telepathica, Adeptus Arbites, Adeptus Mechanicus|
|Climate||Thanks to extreme axis tilt, Hapster has extensive climatological differences by location|
|Geography||Hapster has heavy tectonic activity around fault lines, and thick mountains rising from its seabed in volcanic ranges; it is half again the size of Terra, with a weak magnetic field|
|Gravity||Hapster has 1.1 Terran gravity|
|Day Length||19 Terran Hours|
|Economy||Gelt Thrones and Silver Thrones|
|Principal Exports||Concrete Mix, Timber, Fish, Plastic, Ammunition, Soldiers|
|Principal Imports||Clothing, Fertilizer, Maskos Machines, Construction Equipment, Medicines|
|Countries and Continents||Hapster has no national divisions, and eight continents|
|Military||Hapster Bronze Legionnaires (high quality Guard), Hapster Shields (medium quality PDF)|
|Contact with other Systems||Extensive|
|Tithe Grade||Decuma Particular|
Hapster holds the distinction of being the oldest continually Imperial world in the entire Cloudburst Sector, by virtue of having not started in the Cloudburst Sector. This is an ancient world, one of the very first settled in the Long March Colony Fleet’s efforts in the region over twenty thousand years before. Once, it was a coniferous forest world of evergreen trees and abundant, house-sized fern clusters. Vast herbivores slowly trawled the planet’s endless tropical forests, while darting lizards chased each other around its few open clearings. The great volcano chains in the seas produced new, barren islands, fresh for vegetation to sprout up and take root on its black soil, while the frigid polar ice caps sheltered huge predatory shark analogues that hunted pseudo-cetaceans the size of aircraft carriers.
A few millennia of peaceful inhabitation by Terran Federation citizens didn’t damage the world overmuch, but during its time of Old Night, Hapster went through rapid-fire cataclysms that destroyed whole ecosystems and depopulated the cities. First came the robots, then the onslaught of psykers, then a massive civil war that left the world vulnerable to alien enslavers. By the time the Emperor’s Legions – the 18th, specifically – finally found the world, its population was begging to integrate into a stable, safe government once more. A savage battle erupted between the Dragon Warriors and the unnamed aliens that had occupied Hapster. By the time the battle was over, five cities lay in ruins, beyond the ones that had already been unpeopled by the occupiers, but the aliens had been driven off, never to return.
Joining the Imperium was an afterthought for the Hapsterites after that. The world sided resolutely with the Imperium during the Heresy and Scouring, but contributed little to the war effort thanks to its crippled and rebuilding infrastructure. By the time that Hapster was up to a mere shade of its former power, the Heresy and Scouring were over, and the Reconstruction had begun. Hapster became the capital world of its own Subsector of nearby Agri-worlds and outposts, and the leaders of the planet’s Administratum knew they could hope for little more. There was no way past the radioactive clouds of gas that separated the Naxos Sector from the Oldlight Proximate Circuit.
No way, of course, until the arrival of Magos Explorator Justin MacDonald. His legendary excursions into the Oldlight Proximate Circuit produced safe Warp routes to worlds that Hapster and Cognomen had never known about, and brought two enormous gold rushes of exploration and colonization to the region. Hapster’s Imperial Governor petitioned for his world to become the seat of government in the new Sector-to-be, but the Segmentum Command office overruled him, and Cloudburst was chosen instead. Ultimately, Hapster was not as affected by the creation of a new Sector as they had hoped. It retained control of its own Subsector, but aside from a slight uptick in sales of its goods to its new neighbors and a more powerful fleet to defend it, Hapster continued to exist as it always had.
Unfortunately, the way it had existed was deeply flawed. For reasons that the Administratum has been unable to define, and seem to shift and trace back through history as far as the Great Reformation, the Adeptus Arbites presence on Hapster has been profoundly troubled. No matter how many Judges and Marshals the Adeptus cycles through, no matter how many reforms and riots the people have had to endure, the interactions between the Arbites and the Menials of Hapster has always been contentious, hostile, and violent.
Fixing a date on the beginning of this strife is impossible. The historical records that exist from that long-gone era contain hints of the simmering resentment between the people of Hapster and their legal guardians as far back as detailed notes are kept. Arbites records show hostile interactions between Hapsterites and Arbites over things as petty as littering and library book overdue fees. Odder yet, those Arbites that have transferred to other Cloudburst worlds after one too many incidents rarely continue such behavior on other worlds.
Although Imperial history barely records the roots, there is no doubt that the bulk of the conflict between Hapster and its Arbites manifests in the extra-legal conduct of the population. Hapster has a higher incidence rate of Arbites falling to corruption and graft than any other Cloudburst world by a factor of two, and entire Precincts have fallen to internal conflict in the past. No other Cloudburst world can claim a fault with their Arbites to such an extent. Lord Marshal Oolan has extended multiple inquests to the world’s leadership, attempting to find a cause for this. He is not alone in his desire to know more. The Ordo Hereticus has launched no fewer than five investigations of the poor behavior and interactions of the Hapster Arbites in the past six thousand years, and none of them have turned up anything concrete. At times, it seems to stem from an indolent and lackadaisical populace that is unconcerned with law. Other times, the Arbites are found to be at fault, having fallen from the path of righteousness despite their Chaplains’ best work.
Ultimately, there is no common thread connecting these thousands of incidents of distrust and violence. While Arbites on Hapster seem to be perfectly capable of interacting with nobles and the upper classes without undue violence, interactions between Arbites and the middle to lower classes seem to end in violence far more often than needed. Local Marshal C. Lumina Copperlain is at a loss to explain this phenomenon. The Ordo Hereticus would surely have found something if the world were truly corrupted by Chaos or aliens, she insists, so the problem must be with the worlds from which Hapster draws its Arbites.
In reality, Oolan and Copperlain are in denial over the root of the problem. The fact is that Hapster’s culture and economy are intricate, nuanced, and fragile, despite or because of their age and power. The brutality and arbitrary judgments of the Arbites simply do not mesh well with Hapster’s complex lifestyles, climate, and culture. Unfortunately, despite the answer being so clear, Copperlain will almost certainly never see it. Copperlain, and most of her predecessors, sees the pressing need for the Arbites on Hapster as being the same as constant need for activity on Hapster, and behaves accordingly. Hapster does have a history of small-scale brush wars, Tithe tardiness, and occasional misbehavior by the Subsector Overlord and their family.
Hapster’s culture orbits around a complex hierarchy of families, work, art, and piety, and the blanket approach of the Arbites to problem-solving produces great resentment among the people. Hapster Bronze Legions rarely experience these problems thanks to the grim reality and pragmatism of war, and so the image of their culture rarely travels off world. Arbites are expected to be as distant and unconcerned by the locales in which they ply the law as possible, to prevent playing favorites, or the worse crime of vigilantism. However, even if the Arbites were to finally learn of the true source of their common acrimony with the local population, little would change. The Lex Imperialis is unflinching, and so are its wardens. If the Hapsterites have a culture that doesn’t mesh well with the Imperial Book of Judgment, then the fault lies with the Hapsterites, not the Book, after all.
Hapster’s unique social structure has allowed it to develop its own culture, distinct from both the Naxos and Cloudburst norm. The planet has rigid castes and no social movement to speak of, but because they are only peripherally tied to family and not at all to locale, racial or political lines do not fracture the populace. Instead, its residents compete vigorously in athletics, or more specifically, turn out by the hundreds of thousands to watch athletes picked by lottery compete in tournaments for their entertainment. Archery is the classic field, but scrumball and hockey are almost as popular. Fans of specific teams may drive for ten hours to watch the team drawn from their caste compete with the same caste from another city, or watch players from noble families clash in their state-of-the-art arenas. The worst sports riots in Cloudburst history have all happened on Hapster, sometimes with a violence and spread that would leave an Ork impressed.
Of course, the Arbites are not responsible for enforcing planetary laws. The Arbites are supposed to constrain their enforcement activities specifically to enforcing the Common Imperial, the Lex Imperialis, the Book of Judgment. Some worlds have domestic laws that infringe on the Book of Judgment more than others, of course, and if that were the case in Hapster, that would be an easy matter to fix. A few Senioris Judges could simply sit down with the local jurists and put them on a more compliant path. It’s Hapster’s culture itself that conflicts with the Imperial perception of law and propriety, not a specific precedent or stricture.
Hapster’s culture and its economy are closely tied, and vulnerable to disruption. Among the civilians of the world, social rank stems from birth and education, but mostly from the initial prospects of the civilian’s career. After basic education, citizens are expected to report to one of several employment centers around the planet. Each graduate undertakes various examinations to best determine their course in life, following arcane criteria on a listing as old as the planet. Some of the criteria refer to cities or technologies that no longer exist, people covet others to the extent that bribing the examiners is expected and encouraged. Regardless, the system does allow a semblance of order and productivity in the Hapster economy.
Hapster needs this direly, because the reliance on Dark Age technology in its economy crippled it for its absence. Hapster was a world of manufacturing, experimentation, and testing. After the initial human colonization, the planet served as a test bed for all manner of automated technologies, integrating with the world’s supply of Iron Men and other, simpler machines. The loss of that technology forced the populace of Hapster to support itself in many ways, and it was far too small to do so efficiently. The subsequent double blow of its psychic population going insane and the loss of its trading partners on Levitna crippled what was left. The regimented survival protocols of the world’s shrinking government forced the population into its strict patterns for their own sake, and for better or worse. When the aliens came, it was the last straw. The planet collapsed into near-anarchy. The alien occupiers co-opted Haspter’s venerable Civil Service tests as a means of controlling and brainwashing its citizens into compliance. After the Dragon Warriors freed the world and welcomed it into the Imperium, the Administratum reincorporated the tests and put them back to work. After ten thousand years of administrative ossification, the world’s economy has stratified into its current rigor, with no relief in sight.
The planet’s failing ecology is not helping matters. Industrial pollution, atmospheric rebalancing, extensive ruins covering much of the planet, and even a few lingering contaminants from the Iron Men uprising have rendered whole regions of the planet functionally uninhabitable. Ironically, the out-of-control plant life in many of these areas acts as a sponge for some of the pollution produced in the few, overcrowded cities that remain. The world has carefully balanced agricultural zones that alleviate most of its food requirements, but any substantial disruptions to the planet’s workforce or ecobalance will cripple Hapster.
Complicating things is the world’s proximity to several Feudal and Feral Worlds in need of Missionaries and workers. Hapster’s Administratum generally does not rely on Hapster to meet the Cloudburst Sector’s need for such people when Jodhclan and Thimble are available, but the Ecclesiarchy pays less heed to such concerns, and in two incidents in the past have abducted whole populations for impressment or service.
The planet called Hapster is the fourth planet in the system, and there are plans to terraform the third planet to Hapster’s own ecology, though the Glasian Migrations have stalled those out. The plan to terraform Cloithe, the almost Terra-sized moon of the brown dwarf Hapster 6, is proceeding slowly.
The Subsector Overlord, Astrid Oskoldr, prefers to rule from her own home, which she bought with some of her family’s colossal wealth. It is a walled, guarded compound in the high mountains of the equatorial island range. Thanks to Hapster’s extreme axial tilt, the planet’s equatorial mountains have as close as the world can have to truly static climate. Astrid’s estate is tucked into a cliffside and the plateau above it, with its own VTOL pads, a local void shield, and several fixed defense turrets. It also has its own sensor suite and extensive vegetable gardens for produce. In addition to the estate itself, which can easily house over a hundred people with its supplies, the compound has a few outlying hunting lodges in which Astrid can house visitors she wishes to woo or intimidate into aligning with her.
The world has another, far more recent problem that has all but paralyzed it. The Glasians hit Hapster in both the Fifth and Sixth Migrations, and will hit it in the Seventh. The Fifth and Sixth were barely dealt with by the Blue Daggers and Navy, as well as local PDF, but the Cloudburst forces are stretched to their very limit by the Oglith and Foraldshold problems this time (and the growing need to destroy the FCC). The local Guard and PDF centers are desperately raising every soldier they can, regardless of criminal conduct, sex, or even age in some truly desperate regions. This is already slowing the world’s economy, and if its ability to pay the tithe follows suit, the Arbites may step in, worsening the already precarious Hapster situation. Hapster survived the Migrations, but they left even more of its surface uninhabitable. Off-world teams of Mechanicus Biologis workers have begun restoring some of these areas after years of pleading by Hapster’s Overlord, but the work is slow and arduous at best. Desperate reconstruction and defensive efforts have repaired the damage to Haspter’s infrastructure and provided fixed guns for the defense of several large cities, but there is a chance it won’t be enough to preserve Hapster’s fragile economic and ecologic systems in the face of overwhelming attack.
|World Type, Name||Civilized Moon: Cloithe|
|Tropospheric Composition||Cloithe has Nitrogen 80%, Oxygen 18%, Various Noble Gasses .5%, Water .5%, Carbon Dioxide 1%|
|Government type||Adeptus Terra|
|Adept Presence||Adeptus Administratum, Adeptus Ministorum, Adeptus Astra Telepathica, Adeptus Arbites, Adeptus Mechanicus|
|Climate||Boiling hot hair except in domes, exterior very slowly cooling|
|Geography||Cloithe is a moon of the gas giant Hapster 6, and has no tectonics; it has a monoclimate of boiling hot, still air, with no liquid water yet, roughly .88 Terra’s volume|
|Gravity||Cloithe has .82 Terran gravity|
|Day Length||879 Terran Hours|
|Economy||Gelt Thrones and Silver Thrones|
|Principal Exports||None yet|
|Principal Imports||Food, Soldiers, Climate Control Machines, Soil Deacidifiers|
|Countries and Continents||Cloithe has no countries or continents|
|Contact with other Systems||Frequent|
|Tithe Grade||Aptus Non|
Cloithe is an experiment. Prior to the arrival of the Glasians, plans to terraform Cloithe and Hapster 4 to a level of habitability similar to Hapster 3 were well underway. The arrival of the Glasians canceled plans to terraform Hapster 4 at any fast pace, but Cloithe’s atmospheric and gravitic terraforming had already begun. The Cloithe project is less logistically demanding and some habitation domes are already in place.
The issue that has slowed progress to a crawl is money. Terraforming is expensive, and with the sudden need for Hapster and the rest of Cloudburst to harden its defenses (and the extra cost of equipping a whole Chapter of Space Marines with no warning), Cloithe’s terraforming has ground slowly down. The hab domes remain intact for now, but the program to make the planet’s surface habitable is three hundred years behind schedule.
Inside the hab domes, life is miserable. Every colonist who can afford to leave has done so already, and those that remain squat in poverty, ennui, and fear of what is to come. Every few decades, the Maskos machine that slowly digs out tunnels between the domes finishes its task, and the populace of each dome exchange a few thousand people desperate to see if the grass is greener on the other side. Other than that, and a bare-bones manufacturing economy, there is nothing to do on Cloithe. The Arbites have their hands full with the local Enforcers, who are just as unable to find things to occupy their time as everybody else, and have turned to brutality to relieve the boredom.
When the Glasians arrive, they rarely bother to send more than a token ship to harass Cloithe. The moon has a small garrison of Hapster Shields to protect it, but even pirates have nothing to do here. Locals have taken to essentially selling themselves as spouses to visiting Shields in the desperate hope that they will be allowed to emigrate to Hapster itself when the Shields’ unit is rotated back to home.
The Hapster system, as a Subsector Capital for ten thousand years, has a long and storied military tradition. For thousands of years, the Subsector wasn’t even part of the neighboring Naxos Sector thanks to distance. The Subsector was independent from the larger Sector command structures and answered only to the Ultima Segmentum and the Throne. That meant that Hapster shouldered the burden of defending the Subsector’s military infrastructure essentially alone for thousands of years. Understandably, this has produced a culture of strict military construction. The orbitals above Hapster are ancient and productive, and manufacture more warships by tonnage than any other system in Cloudburst outside direct Mechanicus control. The yards themselves have small beams, and can build ships no more than four kilometers in any direction, but they have also rarely stopped. Battlefleet Hapster is the largest Subsector battlefleet in Cloudburst by three capital vessels and two escorts. The largest ship the Hapster yards regularly produce is the venerable Luna cruiser.
However, since Cognomen, Thimble, and Septiim are also now producing warships at a constant rate, the demand for more ships in the Hapster fleet has dropped significantly. The sudden assaults of the Glasians have increased that demand once more, but for a period of several dozen centuries, Hapster’s yards turned to the manufacture of shuttles and freighters instead of combat vessels.
Hapster also manufactures the modular components for several variants of Navy void platforms, including some on Thunderhead and Clog. The ever-growing need for more naval stations and Rogue Trader anchorages in the region ensures that the Hapster yards never grow cold.
On the ground and on the seas, defense of the Hapster worlds falls to the Hapster Shields. Hapster’s large oceans and long coasts demand a potent navy, and the Shields deploy over three hundred warships to protect them. These range from the Sanction-class superheavy ICBM submarines to the Mako-class stealth sub hunters, and include seven Supercarriers. Most river mouths on Hapster are too ecologically fragile to support permanent fixed defenses, but several flotillas of Mechanicus-built hovercraft patrol the rivers and valleys that cut through the great pumice and volcanic obsidian islands. Hapster tithes its Guard requirements directly from the Shields, and its SDF recruits on behalf of the Navy. The Hapster Shields headquarter in a partially-submerged bunker complex built into an extinct volcano in the largest ocean of the planet, which itself is built under a sprawling complex of guns, barracks, office buildings, antennae, and armories over forty miles wide.
The Guard contingent of the entire system goes by the same name: The Bronze Legionnaires. Nobody knows which came first: the name or the camouflage, but soldiers in the bronze liveries of the Legionnaires have been a common sight in the Hapster Subsector and Naxos Sector for over eight thousand years. Because of the age and continual loyalty of the Hapster system, Bronze Legions have appeared on battlefields far from home. A full seven brigades took part in the campaign to push the Khornate army of Bloodfume out of the Gothic Sector six millennia before the Gothic War, and twelve thousand Legionnaires fought alongside the Legio Congelatio against the Dark Eldar and Chaos in the war for the Corumbino Nebula.
However, Hapster regiments also differ from most Cloudburst regiments in ways other than their history. Unlike nearly every other military force in the Astra Militarum Cloudburst, Hapster’s military bases hierarchy and tactics on neither Terra nor Septiim. Instead, their deployments superficially resemble that of the ancient world they once were: that of the Pre–Imperial Hapster. Bronze Legionnaires field in tight arrowhead formations, out of respect for how their ancestors fought with their personal energy shields and robot guards. They employ artillery at the longest possible range, even though that range is continents less than the ranges that Dark Age Concatenation Shock Guns could fire. The Bronze Legion drives their tanks down roads in staggered gap formations, as the Terran Federation Baneblade formations did long ago, even though the Hapsterites are lucky to get a single Baneblade per Brigade.
This is understandably a source of derision by other worlds’ Guardsmen and concern from the Commissariat. To be sure, Bronze Legions are as able as any other backwater world when it comes to actually fighting and better than most, but their archaic and predictable formations and tactics do leave them somewhat less able to adapt to changing circumstances. This is, of course, an apt complaint about Hapster itself. Tactically, however, the Bronze Legions are able to bring war to the Emperor’s enemies with the same fervor and tireless zeal that has allowed them to stay safe and secure after ten thousand years of Imperial decay. Armies of the Bronze Legions are among the few in the Cloudburst Sector who neither refuse to use any technologies or psionics in their tactics nor raise regiments solely by request from the Munitorum. Soldiers chosen by the Civil Service aptitude tests report to duty without complaints, at least complaints on which they act. When their unit gets tithed, they bid their families goodbye and board their ships, neat as you please. Because of their lifelong impression of duty and uncomplaining traditionalism, the Bronze Legionnaires are rarely near the top of the worry list in joint action task forces with other Guard regiments.
When in battle, the Bronze Legions use a combination of unique radio codes, consisting of five words with no first or last letters in common, to relay sensitive tactical data to other soldiers. This is derived from an ancient Terran combat signal counterintelligence technique that hundreds of other Imperial worlds use to this day. The Bronze Legion also employs the usual array of battle cants, hand signals, and color codes that all other modern regiments use to relay information in the heat of battle, but unlike some regiments, the Regimental Master Vox Operator and Master of Signals never take to the field in Bronze Legions under any circumstances. Only when the enemy has overwhelmed all defenses and cut off all retreat do they lift their sidearms and sell their lives for Terra and Hapster.
This stems from yet another ancient tradition, one lost to the mists of time, but it can serve Hapster regiments well in battle. The loss of a regiment’s principal communications personnel in a fight can cripple that regiment’s logistics and transportation.
Another quirk of Hapster’s ancient military traditions is their love of long-range artillery. Although they make use of more or less any artillery they can get, Hapster regiments adore the super long ranges of Mechanicus siege guns. A Bronze Legion with a Leviathan or Deathstrike is a happy Legion.
Of course, those are rare and expensive, and so shell artillery rules the day in the Bronze Legion. The Earthshaker and Basilisk are timeless classics, but the Legion finds the limited range of the Basilisk irritating at times, and prefer the Hapster local product, the AM52 Projector cannon. The cannon comes in 165mm and 210mm variants. Although twice as costly as the Earthshaker and unable to mount on a mobile chassis smaller than a Stormblade, the Projector uses a rocket motor-assisted projectile to strike targets up to forty kilometers away with the 165, and seventy five-kilometers away with the 210mm cannon. There is a third variant used for airburst anti-infantry duty and smoke dispersal, but its unconventional barrel caliber of 181mm allows it to be used for nothing else and renders its parts incompatible. The Projector can carry a Hunter-Killer missile, but only supports a six-millimeter machine gun for close-in defense.
However, there are problems with the gun that prevent it from travelling to other worlds. Hapster does not have Terran-standard gravity, and the targeting computer of the gun is primitive compared to the cogitators of STC cannons. Whenever the gun ships offworld to a battlefield with different gravity levels, the weapon has to have extensive recalibrations and retargeting that wastes time and ammunition. The Mechanicus could easily fix that, but they find it vaguely offensive that the Hapsterites would so eagerly deploy a non-hallowed weapon.
Hapster infantry prefer the use of autoguns to lasweapons, though they issue both when given them by the Mechanicus. The default Hapster infantry rifle is the Cognomen Razor, which was originally derived from the few surviving examples of Mars’s own Age of Strife-era hunting weapons. The Razor complements the Hapster infantry tactical mindset well. The typical Hapster infantry unit deploys in units of seven and platoons of fifty-six plus an officer, and can thus spread through a battlefield of uneven terrain without worrying about formations breaking up. Hapster rifle teams often add light and medium machine guns to their units on a company basis, and make common use of combi-grenade attachments to augment their firepower. This is not to say that all Hapster infantry eschew energy weapons. Hapster Stormtrooper and Scion units use them exclusively, for their greater accuracy and stopping power, and some Bronze Legionnaires prefer them for their lightness and ease of reload.
The vehicle fleets of Hapster regiments tend towards artillery and heavy transports, usually those with integrated turrets like the Chimaera and Gorgon. While these units do tend to have large profiles and can be mistaken for tanks at a distance, the extra firepower helps to make up for the relative paucity of tanks in Hapster formations. The tanks they do have tend to be larger models, mostly Malcadors, both because of their age and because the delicate Hapster environment doesn’t allow for much room to train with large fleets of smaller vehicles, but can support small fleets of individually big vehicles. Hapster regiments stationed on other worlds with more robust vehicle manufacturing sometimes acquire Leman Russ and Salamander vehicles, which they eagerly add to their fleets.