|Galactic Position||Cloudburst Sector, Subsector|
|Worlds in the system||3, 1 habitable|
|World Type, Name||Mining World: Lordarine|
|Tropospheric Composition||Nitrogen 78%, Oxygen 19.8%, Argon .93%, Krypton 1.09%, Water .11%, Carbon gasses .02%|
|Government type||Adeptus Mechanicus|
|Adept Presence||Adeptus Mechanicus, Adeptus Arbites (covert)|
|Climate||Noxious winds year-round, extensive and crippling lightning storms, frequent wildfires|
|Geography||89 times the size of Terra, barren rock flats, salt plains, limited plant life|
|Gravity||.91 Terran Gravity|
|Day Length||24 Terran Hours|
|Economy||Gelt Thrones and Silver Thrones|
|Principal Exports||Gemstones, Platinum, Gold, Silver, Copper, Cogitator Parts, Uranium|
|Principal Imports||Food, Clothing, Mining Equipment|
|Countries and Continents||Four continents, no national divisions|
|Contact with other Systems||Uncommon|
|Tithe Grade||Solutio Prima|
|Population||100,000 humans; 1,985,000 servitors|
The universe has it out for Lordarine. That’s the only explanation for their misery most can think of. Lordarine is a world of tempest, hate, misery, and deeply, unyieldingly crippling horror. Renowned Archmagos Justin MacDonald discovered Lordarine and added it to the Imperium on his final mission before retiring to a desk job on Cognomen. The world’s resource deposits read like a laundry list of the Imperium’s deepest dreams of avarice. The world has precious metals, gemstones, radioactive ores, and abundant wind, thermal, and static energy. MacDonald discovered the world’s immense resources by examining its spectroscopic and surface specular content after watching the discharges of static electricity in the world’s cataclysmic lightning storms. The world has a poetic beauty when viewed from space that was lost on the near-robotic MacDonald. The people on the surface do not get to enjoy this beauty, however, because the storms routinely rip rooftops off buildings and flip cars on the surface. Storms have destroyed nearly every settlement on Lordarine’s surface, and the arrival of the Glasians in M41.900 worsened it all. Now, parts of the surface are inaccessible from wreckage and ruins all about, and much of it is tainted by the Warp.
Warp Storms lash the surface of Lordarine from time to time from the nearby permanent Warp Storm of Vasari’s Cruelty. The more dilute temporary storms that reach far enough to hit Lordarine are still lethal to anybody caught on the surface when they arrive.
It is probably unsurprising that much of the world’s population has retreated underground. Pride kept the little mining colonies of the world above ground for centuries, but now there is no advantage left to it. Mechanicus mining teams have created underground caverns and artificial cave networks for the populace to hide in until either things improve or a better solution presents itself.
The world’s rulership is Mechanicus, through and through. Larger Imperial worlds may have great guildhalls and corporate entities, but Lordarine is not so fortunate. Thanks to its Warp Storm problem, the world goes months at a time with no contact outside the system.
However, it does have one advantage that allows it to survive the Warp Storms and lightning squalls. The planet was once a world of the Terran Federation. The damage to the surface of the planet obscured that when the Explorator MacDonald discovered the planet. When the Mechanicus occupied the world for the Imperium, however, they eventually discovered several caches of archaeotechnology in an underground building, protected from the storms by thick shielding and a mountain. The Mechanicus learned that the planet had once been a research zone for a surgical tool manufacturing conglomerate, but the rise of the Iron Men had forced the company that had run it to abandon their project.
The machines the ancients had tested there were devices that could rearrange the human body temporarily, and then un-perform the same function. Not all of the machines had survived the ages intact, but enough had that the Mechanicus thought the risk to test them worthwhile.
As the environmental conditions on the planet grew worse, thanks to the strengthening Warp Storms that bled from Vasari’s Cruelty, the Mechanicus began directing the populace to retreat underground into vast chambers the ancient humans had prepared for their project. The citizens of Lordarine took shelter in these chambers during the worst of the storms above.
Given the planet’s concentration of archaeotech and unique circumstances, it was inevitable that the Mechanicus would want somebody of ambition and experience taking command. Thus, Cognomen tasked Magos Gabris with direct supervision of the planet’s populace, to make sure they were both uncorrupted by the Warp and not damaging the ancient machines.
Gabris proved skillful enough. The laboratories in the ancient complexes were damaged, some beyond repair, so he focused his energy instead on clearing out those chambers and shafts that were operable, and shielded from Warp and weather disturbances.
It was at this time that a problem began. Gabris was not immune to the lure of ancient secrets. Among the rubble of a long-abandoned laboratory, Gabris uncovered an archaeotechnological artifact, one he had never heard of before. He saw within its cold circuits and slender probes a means of severing and rejoining the nerves in the human spinal column, by such a means that the body’s own healing processes could restore any damage done.
This prize had eluded human medical science for thousands of years. Even the Imperium’s most advanced neural reconstruction technology involved clunky augmentations, brute-force gene therapies, and luck. This, here, was a chance to reclaim the lost treasures of human science. Gabris began studying it immediately.
He learned that the process was intrinsically delicate, and had to be completed in a certain timeframe, or the nerve re-stimulation could fail. Gabris managed to get several of the machines online and operational, but the finer points of their manipulation and upgrade features eluded him. Despite years of increasingly obsessive work, Gabris never managed to decipher their complex functions.
However, the Warp storms did not relent, and the lightning storms only grew worse as mining efforts depleted much of the world’s remaining resources. Gabris stopped providing routine updates to Cognomen into his research as his obsession turned to a dark fixation. As the storms grew worse and worse, the people of Lordarine demanded protection from the elements. Despite his reluctance to allow the peasantry to get involved in his precious research, Gabris eventually gave in. Gabris tested the neuro-disconnection equipment on two humans from the mining population, and despite having no brain for several minutes, both of them emerged unharmed.
When the next Warp Storm arrived, Gabris disconnected the neural systems of hundreds of miners, and all of them emerged from the incident unharmed. Delighted with his success, Gabris began disconnecting the brains of the miners with each Warp Storm, and despite the incredible danger of Lordarine’s circumstances, things seemed to be finally becoming safer.
However, Gabris is unaware of two things. First, though this is not his fault directly, the technology he is experimenting with has long been declared Heretek by Mars. They have not stopped his experiments only because they do not know of it. Second, his faith and zeal have not kept him as resistant to the effects of the Warp as he imagines. While his subjects have not been corrupted, he has been. Even as the storms grow fiercer and fiercer, Gabris’s grasp on sanity erodes. He has already begun using other surgical machines, including some of stomach-churning invasiveness, on miners who protest his actions. Miner families have seen shambling, misshapen monstrosities wearing the clothes of their missing relatives and friends out of the corners of their eyes in the depths of the mines: creations of Magos Gabris.
Gabris is still a Magos, despite his degeneration. For now, he has the loyalty of the several hundred Skitarii and Techpriests who call Lordarine home. Most are unaware of his excesses and his tyrannical treatment of the miners. None are aware of the technical illegality of using the brain-detachment machines in the first place, nor of his Warp-madness. He has not been tainted by Chaos, but the raw stuff of the Warp itself, which is harder to detect.
However, a few whispered pleas for help have reached the ears of freighter crews that came to Lordarine to collect materials for Terra’s Tithe, and traveled from there to the Arbites. A tiny, covert force of Arbites and a Throne Agent leading them are even now travelling to Lordarine, to find out what is happening, in the Emperor’s name.