Setting:CloudburstLimmerdine

From 1d4chan
System
Galactic Position Cloudburst Sector, Hapster Subsector
System Overlord Lord Connor Rodiel
Worlds in the system Eight, one habitable
World Type, Name Death World: Limmerdine 3
Tropospheric Composition Nitrogen 79%, Oxygen 19.7%, Argon .2%, Water .6%, Unknown 0.1%, Carbon Dioxide .4%
Religion Imperial Cult
Government type Extended Emergency Coalition (Mechanicus/Administratum/Ecclesiarchy)
Planetary Governor No
Adept Presence Adeptus Administratum, Adeptus Ministorum, Adeptus Arbites, Adeptus Mechanicus, Adeptus Astra Telepathica (system’s edge)
Climate Mixtures of natural weather and rot
Geography 87 million mi² of surface, alternating between strips of clean land and rotting waste
Gravity 1.04 Terran Gravity
Day Length 32 Terran Hours
Economy Gelt Thrones and Silver Thrones
Principal Exports N/A
Principal Imports Ecobalance Equipment, Hazard Suits, Food, Ammunition
Countries and Continents Nine continents
Military Celestial Guard and Thimblan Argent Swords
Contact with other Systems Rare
Tithe Grade Aptus Non
Population 82,342


Description[edit]

Once, Limmerdine was a verdant world of pine forest analogues, with extensive agriculture and a healthy population. Now, it is a toxic wasteland, only halfway through an arduous and expensive reconstruction process that experts think will take another twenty-five centuries at minimum.

The planet’s history in the Imperium is one of false starts, beginning days after the Administratum first formed the colony. When the Imperial settlers arrived from Hapster in M37, before the Cloudburst Sector existed, the Mechanicus had surveyed the planet and found nothing that could cause a failure of its colony plans. However, within a few weeks of settling on the planet, just as pre-fab structures were going up to provide more power and clean water, the Mechanicus withdrew the entire population into space. To their own embarrassment, they had missed something. As they dug the main colony site’s first thermoplasmic generator, the Mechanicus located enormous metal structures mere feet below the surface. When they learned of this, the Administratum leaders of the colony expedition raged at the Mechanicus for missing something in their surveys that a shovel or a magnet could have located.

Embarrassed and racing the clock, the Mechanicus began large-scale excavations posthaste, and found that the metal structures at the colony site were mostly empty, and appeared to be storage. Further investigation, conducted by Tech-adepts rushing to overcome the stranded colonists’ dwindling food supply, showed the buildings to be over eleven thousand years old, predating even the Rise of the Iron Men. The buildings had their own power supplies, a collection of broken solar panels and batteries. Beneath them, the Tech-adepts found caverns filled with junk and garbage.

Inside the structures, though, there seemed to be nothing to find. The walls of the buildings were intact, thanks to the metallurgical wunderwerk of the ancient Terrans, but their actual function and intended contents remained mysterious. Eventually, faced with the imminent loss of the world’s food supply, the Adeptus Mechanicus allowed the colonists to return and resume their plans. Although several colonists nearly died of starvation before emergency relief supplies arrived from other worlds, the disruption caused no more than a year’s delay once the colonists were back from space. The structures remained inscrutable, and were reburied, albeit with access doors dug from the surface down to allow further examination.

The colony persisted for a few more years, until M37.789.051. One dreary morning, with no warning of trouble at all, the Tech-adepts boiled out of their tunnels like ants defending a nest. They set on the other human colonists and began ripping them to pieces, shooting and cutting, and using welding torches to burn them up.

The six Arbites assigned to the pilot colony responded quickly and blasted the Tech-adepts into oblivion. Once order was restored, the Arbites braved the depths of the tunnels, but returned at once. The walls had begun vibrating at resonant frequencies, they reported, and only when they engaged the audio muffling of their helmets did going anywhere near the walls become possible. Later, each would admit to being nearly overwhelmed by the urge to kill, which faded only when they turned on their muffles.

Clearly, there was far more going on than the Mechanicus had realized, now twice in two years. The Administratum ordered the archaeotech destroyed, over the Mechanicus’s objections, and relocated the colony to elsewhere on the planet.


Thousands of years of hard work later, the planet had become a productive Agri-world of the Imperium. Its primary export was softwoods, grown in carefully tended arboreal ranches by professional farmers. Huge timber and pulping mills processed the softwoods and turned them to paper and wood products, then magnetic trains lifted them into cargo containers for its spaceports. The world had a variety of local industries that allowed it a measure of independence from the infrastructural dependencies of other Agri-worlds. The planet’s power grids had a series of local geothermal power plants and solar farms that provided abundant electricity for the cities, and the Mechanicus mined large polar deposits of manganese and nickel to produce steel for off-world foundries.

However, Limmerdine was not beyond the sight of the Emperor’s enemies. As Limmerdine sat on a Warp Route, the planet often served as a source of food and supplies for Imperial Guard infantry, which would sometimes fly by on troopships for dispatch to wars. One such convoy of troopships arrived in orbit of Limmerdine in M38.799. After sending the appropriate codes and pleasantries, the lead vessel in the small convoy asked for permission to send down some troops to enjoy a few days’ leave and buy some supplies. Limmerdine’s traffic control agreed, and the convoy sent some shuttles down. Then, this time unannounced, they sent several hundred more. Limmerdine traffic control demanded an explanation, but all channels were dead. The shuttles landed to a hasty reception from local military, but nothing could have prepared the people of Limmerdine for what happened next. Tens of thousands of Nurglite cultists and warriors poured out of the shuttles and attacked the spaceports of the planet, overrunning them in minutes. Local PDF and Arbites forces responded in kind, and the cities dissolved into fractious warzones in hours. As any sensible planetary administrator would do, the Governor gave the call to evacuate the cities into other locales with no invaded spaceports. Meanwhile, loyal SDF vessels assaulted the troopships in orbit. Two of the troopships exploded as soon as the SDF closed to firing range, revealing themselves as Q Ships, and crippled three SDF gunboats. The others attacked the SDF despite being slightly outgunned, buying time for their brethren on the surface to carry out their dark work.

As refugees poured into the outlying cities, though, the Nurglites revealed the depth of their true, depraved plan. The illnesses they carried had taken root in the water supply of several cities, and several refugee convoys fell sick over the next week with a variety of horrid Warp-spawned poxes. Millions fell sick and died, and the PDF and Arbites were not spared. Despite their numeric advantage over the invaders, they lost their grip on the initially-targeted cities. The surviving Nurglites consolidated their numbers in the capital to begin the process of summoning a monstrous daemon to reality and consume the world.

Ultimately, however, consolidating their numbers was their biggest mistake. The surviving Ecclesiarchal and military authorities of the world recognized that their objective was to create a Daemon World. If that happened, it did not matter how many people survived the plagues, for an eternity of things far worse would follow, and the living would see the dead jealously. Whipping the surviving Limmerdines into a frenzy, the preachers and officers of the Adepta charged the civilian populace of the world into the capital in a force of over seventeen million, most unarmed. The Nurglites had not expected this display of backbone and foresight from the Imperium, and they only held back the horde of roaring faithful for minutes. A solid wall of running people slammed into the ritual site, overrunning it and interrupting the conjuration. The ships in orbit, seeing that all was lost, took off for the safety of the Naxos Sector’s Nurglite worlds, and the day was technically won.

The world that the Nurglites left behind, though, was no world the Imperium wanted. Of the two hundred million residents of the planet, there were thirty people left uninfected by something. An entire continent would require sterilization, with careful bacteria and plant reintroduction over thousands of years being the only way to restore it to inhabitability. Even after the death of all of the Nurglites and the Imperials they infected with their diseases, the planet would need millennia to recover. The exact amount needed ranged in estimation, from roughly five thousand to a more realistic seven thousand, with dour predictions landing at eight thousand six hundred. The surviving population had to be checked for diseases and shipped to other worlds, lest they grow ill as well.

Now, on the eve of M42, the planet has recovered approximately forty-five percent of its damaged surface area. The rivers of pus and blood that poured into the local water table and ocean were easier to clean up, but the land area has required extensive prayer from both the Mechanicus and Ministorum, as well as untold millions of Thrones to salvage. In some areas, the Mechanicus has simply given up on the challenge, and resorted to using brute force terraforming techniques to restore the land.

With so many worlds having swelled the numbers of the region since the incident that led to the destruction of so much of Limmerdine, some in the Administratum have begun to question whether the process to restore Limmerdine is really worth the effort. There are several primitive worlds in the Cloudburst Sector and Circuit that could easily replace Limmerdine’s industrial and agricultural output. The fact that the planet was the site of a near-victory by Nurgle over the Imperium is just another reason to abandon it, as far as the Astra Militarum is concerned.

The loudest voice for the planet’s restoration, however, is not the Mechanicus or Ministorum, but the Inquisition. Inquisitors of the Ordos Hereticus and Malleus are convinced by the behaviors of Nurglite groups in the past that the cult that attacked Limmerdine did so for a reason, and they may well return to the site to attempt their ritual again. Lady Inquisitrix Mizuki Kimihira of the Ordo Malleus has been studying the ways of Nurglite cults for over two hundred years. She thinks that the physical location of the planet, relative to the Pox Ring of Nurgle worlds in the Naxos Sector, is of great significance to the efforts of Chaos in some way. She desires the world’s restoration, and for its defenses and population to be ready for the return of the Nurglites. Whether there is truth to her suspicion, only time can tell, but certainly the Nurglites have affected attempts to retake the world for themselves. As recently as one hundred ten years before the First Glasian Migration, Nurgle-aligned pirates and raiders assaulted the small Imperial restoration task force on the planet, carrying out harrying strikes and distraction runs as if keeping the Imperials from noticing something. Whatever their goal, they retreated after losing a ship, and did not return.


Today, Limmerdine has only a few tens of thousands of people on it, all of them members of either the restoration task force or the military barracks protecting them. The tiny contingent of Arbites and Ecclesiarchal personnel attached to this task force spend their time obsessively patrolling and praying over the workers, ensuring that their souls remain properly aligned to their task, and do not stray from the light of the Emperor.

Their task is worsened by battle. Periodically, the shambling remains of the dead from past populations of the world rise from the dirt and attack the camps. Most of the remains are human, and most of those are from the Imperial colony, but sometimes large animals from the deep woods or humans from the original human colony the world hosted thousands of years before the Imperium rise also. The camps of the restoration task force started as flakboard and slat, but have since upgraded to reinforced plasteel and ferrocrete bunkers, with entirely air-sealed interiors and extensive auto-turrets. Unfortunately, the planet’s scars will not heal faster if more money or people are thrown at them. The Mechanicus can’t accelerate all natural processes, and so some of the restoration of the planet must come from effort and not resources.

When the reanimated skeletons rise, however, they do so in groups, and they attack regardless of the hour. The reanimated beings have caused more than two hundred interruptions in work protocols serious enough to merit delay while the field teams recall to their bunkers for safety. Arbites and Guards in their Thimble-built aircars swoop and soar above the hordes of teeming undead, using incendiaries and concussion bombs to crack their bones. Once the hordes have abated, the work can resume. To the Inquisition’s cautious hope, areas that have had Mechanicus and Ministorum abatement work done and prayers recited rarely have problems with the animated dead, which means the restoration work may be having the intended effect. The skeletal beings are less durable while walking over ground that is so hallowed, too, so the perimeter becomes easier to secure with each passing year.