|Galactic Position||Cloudburst Sector, Spindle Subsector|
|System Overlord||Lord Dhaedrin Lombardi|
|Worlds in the system||10, 2 habitable (1 undergoing final terraformation efforts)|
|World Type, Name||Civilized World: Oromet|
|Tropospheric Composition||Nitrogen 77%, Oxygen 21.96%, Argon 1%, Water .01%, Carbon gasses .02%|
|Government type||Local Peerage|
|Adept Presence||Adeptus Administratum, Adeptus Ministorum, Adeptus Mechanicus, Adeptus Arbites, Adeptus Astra Telepathica|
|Climate||Rapid variation between hot and cold temperatures everywhere except the frozen poles, frequent lightning storms|
|Geography||1.11 times the size of Terra, with thick bands of mountains rising from tectonic junctures and seabed subduction zones|
|Gravity||1.06 Terran Gravity|
|Day Length||24 Terran Hours|
|Economy||Gelt Thrones and Silver Thrones|
|Principal Exports||Lithium, Carbon Chemicals, Soil, Textiles, Fruit, Soldiers|
|Principal Imports||Luxuries, Refined Metals|
|Countries and Continents||Twelve continents, eighty-five nations|
|Military||Oromet Shield Companies (medium quality PDF), Oromet Shock Troopers (medium quality Guard)|
|Contact with other Systems||Common|
|Tithe Grade||Decuma Particular|
Oromet is a world of regret and peace, a combination that rarely surfaces in the extroverted and violent Imperium of Man.
The Administratum colonized the world long after the Gold Rushes that established the Sector. In fact, the planet slipped past the Explorators and Rogue Traders that mapped the Oldlight Proximate Circuit. It was only many centuries later that the world came to the attention of the Imperium.
Originally, the world was an out-of-the-way colony of the old Terran Federation. The human populace traded extensively with aliens and other human worlds, but did so through orbitals and space stations, not surface visits. Years of work ground the rough surfaces and non-Diaspora life of the planet down to human standards, and after a time, large mercantile companies managed to gain profits and success from Oromet’s many private manufacturing concerns.
When the lean times came, they came in fire.
Absolutely unheralded and without pity, an army of the Men of Iron slammed the planet’s infrastructure to scraps. A war broke out on the surface, one that ended with an eventual human victory that crippled its remaining industries. Oromet didn’t even make it to the collapse of the Terran Federation before it fell apart. When the last of its orbitals de-orbited thanks to disuse, the resultant fires and shortages destroyed what little remained of centralized government among the people.
As was the case on hundreds of thousands of worlds across the galaxy, anarchy followed decentralization. The population felt hope rise and fall as warlord after warlord tried to unite the fractured populace and halt their decline, only for it to inexorably resume after their death or failure. By the time the Imperium found the world, its climate had broken down completely, its cities were rubble, and its people numbered a pitiful half a million worldwide.
Bringing the world into Imperial compliance was easy, now that the Ministorum had nine thousand years of practice. Missionaries, Mechanicus surveyors, Ordo Dialogous Sisters, and Administratum bureaucrats descended on the world. Plague and misfortune struck several Imperial servants low, including the leader of the Missionaries, but eventually the planet fell into line with the Administratum.
Imposing Imperial law was simplicity itself. The Administratum just picked the most popular warlords from the surviving populace and made them local governors, a system that had worked a million times before at least.
It worked on Oromet. Within two centuries, the wars had stopped, ecological cleanup had begun, farms and mines popped up across the plains, and the out-of-control climate machines had come under Mechanicus control. One hundred years after that, the world was paying a tithe, it had its own Planetary Bishop, and psyker harvesting had begun.
By all exterior appearances, the world had become a peaceful success story of the Imperium’s well-oiled Compliance machine. Small Arbites precincts and a few orbitals followed the departure of the Missionaries, and the system even received a new deep-space augury platform from the Mechanicus to keep a vigil for pirates.
Then, quite without anybody else in the Imperium noticing, all hell broke loose.
One morning, an innocuous radio broadcast from the reigning Archbishop of the planet suggested, ever so innocently, that clergy could interpret the Emperor’s Tarot as clearly as a psyker could. That raised a few eyebrows among the world’s Astropaths, certainly, since it is patently untrue, but it was so obviously untrue that they took no action. Any clergyman who attempted to read the Tarot would make a fool of themselves, as surely as the sun rises.
The Astropaths found their unease returning in somewhat greater force when the Archbishop, Haggar, actually carried out a Tarot reading, and apparently did so accurately, foretelling a great storm before it appeared on the planet. The Astropaths shrugged their shoulders and tried to forget their disquiet, but more and more, it appeared to them that Haggar had actually been blessed by the Emperor in some way. His Tarot readings were consistently accurate.
It did not take long for Haggar to shift from simply telling people he could read the Tarot to saying that only he could do it properly. This was a step too far for the planet’s psychic population, which was disproportionately small as it is on most Cloudburst worlds. One such Astropath challenged him on his assertion. When he performed a public Tarot reading, however, he realized too late that the psycrystal cards Haggar gave him to read were faked. When he proclaimed this, an offended crowd tore him apart.
By this time, Haggar had sunk into outright heresy, and turned much of the young colony against the Imperium. Oromet’s population had swollen large from the influx of new colonists from other worlds in the Imperium, who had moved there to escape overcrowding on their homeworlds. As such, very few of the people living in the cities and towns of Oromet were native to the planet, and Haggar benefited from such a diverse background in his minions. The surviving Astropaths took shelter in the Arbites Precinct Fortress in the capital, but now Haggar was whipping the populace into a frenzy with oratory and promises. His broad range of public support meant that the Administratum was all but helpless, and the Astropaths managed send out one message before the horde besieged their refuge.
With nearly a billion colonists swarming around the Precinct, there was no realistic way to keep them out forever. Even a pile of bodies would have let the invaders climb up and into the building eventually. The Arbites mobilized the PDF, but the Judges and Marshals knew very well that that would not buy them much time. Sure enough, much of the PDF had fallen under the sway of the cunning Archbishop. The PDF forces assaulted and destroyed each other in hordes outside the capital, while the Arbites used the chaos to quietly slip reinforcements in from other Precincts around the planet, and evacuate the loyal Adepts from the capital.
By the time the Ordo Hereticus had received the message, the Arbites had evacuated approximately five percent of the capital, with Capital Spaceport personnel evacuating several hundred more citizens and some loyal PDF wounded, but the writing was on the wall for all to see. There was simply no way that the Arbites and Astropaths would be able to evacuate all the people who needed to be evacuated before the fighting between PDF elements ended and the horde assaulted the Precinct Fortress in number. Covert sharpshooter assistance from Arbites snipers and the occasional loyal Enforcer managed to slow the process, but Oromet’s capital was doomed.
Ordo Hereticus operatives on Maskos and Thimble knew that the window in which they would be able to salvage the planet was closing quickly. If Haggar had made some pact that let him read the Tarot, and bring a billion people under control that quickly, there was no telling what other forces he had brought to his side. The Ordo Hereticus needed to solve the problem before it became an Ordo Malleus problem instead. Moving as quickly as they could, the Ordo pulled together a force of Throne Agents, Arbites, and Scions from Thimble, as well as five regiments of Thimble Argent Swords. Of course, a force of fifty-two thousand could hardly defeat a force of a billion, especially without a local PDF upon which to rely, but it might have provided them enough cover to capture Haggar alive and force him to recant.
The force of Loyalists arrived in orbit over Oromet just as the last of the Loyalist PDF retreated into the city, under constant attack from enraged citizens on rooftops with firebombs and caltrops. The PDF rallied around the Precinct Fortress in which the Astropaths had taken residence, prepared to make one last stand. Arbites from other Precincts around the planet had partially surrounded the city, but that was a mere cordon. Hundreds of millions of brainwashed citizens packed every street, every building. Waste overflowed the sewers and water treatment centers as the population exceeded the city’s infrastructural capacity by a factor of ten times what it had been designed for. The power draw on the city was so great that the local power plants had to institute daytime brownouts, if the Loyalist PDF hadn’t blown them up first.
Quick communications with the Astropaths that remained in the Precinct Fortress established that Haggar was actually still in the city somewhere, but he had been wise enough to relay his radio broadcasts through local telecommunications infrastructure instead of using the antenna in his cathedral. His intent was obvious enough to the Ordo troopers: force any invader to dislodge a billion people finding him.
However, Haggar’s plan hinged on none of the Astropaths that had witnessed his broken psycrystal card trick surviving long enough to report in. To his peril, two of the Astropaths that had witnessed their partner being ripped to shreds had survived, by hiding in plainclothes Arbites evacuation vehicles and riding to Precincts in other cities with less distress. They reported that Haggar had broken the Tarot cards he had given to the departed Astropath, but also their realization after the fact. Haggar was a psyker himself, a remarkably disciplined one by all indications. The Astropaths realized that his own Tarot reading could have been completely genuine, and derived from a pool of psychic power, not any strange bargains or Emperor-granted blessings.
That made the Ordo’s two tasks quite different. Finding a preacher of superhuman luck and charisma wasn’t typically difficult, and finding one with psychic power and no Sanction to shield his soul was even easier. However, a psyker can also assert control over the hearts of the weak and the weary, and there was every chance that the great mob in the city below would be able to fight on long after a rational force had broken and withdrawn, if Haggar was using his own power to compel him.
All this together meant that Haggar would be easier to find and harder to extract alive with conventional forces alone. The PDF Loyalists on the ground were exhausted, their ammunition all but depleted by killing their traitorous comrades, and morale hung by a thread. While the Ordo Hereticus task force awaited the arrival of the Thimblan Guard regiments, the presiding Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor sent an instruction to the system’s Lord Marshal to estimate how much time they had before the mass of civilians attacked.
The Lord Marshal estimated two days. That was how much time the Inquisition had to find the guilty Archbishop and get him out, or kill him if that was not an option. The Inquisition waited until the last minute, then ordered a white phosphorous dispersal attack on random spots around the capital.
The PDF was understandably reluctant to dump burning phosphorous on a city full of unarmed people, but enough units followed the order that the Inquisition was able to get their Scion force down into the spaceport unopposed in the chaos that followed. Meanwhile, psychic Inquisitors and Agents in orbit used their power to triangulate on any sites of unexpected psychic activity in the wake of the total panic from the incendiary attack.
They found Haggar at once, in an armored bunker beneath an abandoned PDF base. The Inquisition struck, sending dozens of Throne Agents and Arbites elites into the bunker to clear it out and capture Haggar. They found him hunched over his precious radio, still pouring psychic power into his words, commanding his brainwashed followers to kill, kill, kill.
A Tempestor Prime reached him first and beat him into a bloody coma, while the remainder of the Hereticus force attacked outwards from the spaceport. Without the psychic impulses driving them, most of the civilians ran screaming from the scene of massacres, burning corpses, and ruthless Inquisitorial justice. The ones who didn’t were either the true believers over whom Haggar had never needed to exert psychic control, the ones who had some other grievance towards the Inquisition, looters who preferred death to capture, or those driven to rage over the use of white phosphorous against civilians.
By the time the Thimblan Argent Swords arrived and joined the fighting, some roads had fifteen-foot walls of bodies. Thousands more died from being trampled or crushed by cars as the populace abandoned the city in great walls of unwashed bodies. Tens of thousands more died or went mad from the Archbishop’s psychic presence suddenly vanishing from their minds, and PDF casualties mounted to ninety eight percent by the end of the whole affair.
In the end, Haggar was taken offworld for interrogation, and some semblance of peace reigned over Oromet, one buried in a mountain of corpses. Ultimately, however, blame for the entire affair fell on the Adeptus Astra Telepathica. How had they missed a psyker as powerful as Haggar? How had a group of local Astropaths been the only ones to realize something was wrong when a clergyman could read the Tarot? Embarrassed but defiant, the Adeptus pointed out that Oromet’s own government and law enforcement had failed too, both to prevent a cleric from gaining such control over the local military and for allowing a psychic to slip through the fingers of their tithe.
As is so often the case when assigning blame takes precedence over preventative maintenance, little was done in the aftermath of the cleanup. The Munitorum assigned the Argent Sword regiments to the planet as its new PDF, and new Astropaths and Arbites flew in from Terra to replenish the local ranks. It took fourteen years of nonstop work to bring the city and its infrastructure back online, and the populace never quite recovered from losing several million people to death and millions more to madness and trauma from their psychic assaults.
Perhaps, as some sages assert, history is a cycle, and all the trappings draped over it by one era of mankind’s civilization are just terrain for the next one, but whatever lesson the local Ministorum should have learned from the Haggar incident, they did not. Not four hundred years later, yet another Oromet clergyman turned his soul’s coat. Deacon Woldenbar was no psyker, but he wanted to be. In the hateful night, as he raged and fumed over the inherent unfairness of it all, he reached out to the Emperor and begged for power. It was, predictably enough, not the Emperor who answered.
Over the next few months, thoroughly enthralled by his new daemon patron, the Deacon began his dark work. Woldenbar knew he would never be able to capture as many souls publicly as Haggar had, but his master was insatiable, and to save his own soul from the daemon’s hunger, Woldenbar turned to baser methods of control than Haggar’s subtle mind control. Starting with his parish’s children and slowly expanding his grip outward, the Deacon wended his way through the faith of his neighbors, until his Chaotic power had brought hundreds to heel. He whispered lies about the Emperor’s power, and when those lies did not take root, he would rip the souls from the truculent and cast them into the Warp to be eaten, in front of others contemplating resistance.
Naturally, the planet’s Astropathic and Arbites authorities were on the lookout for any sort of heretical or unauthorized psychic after the dangerous behavior of the Archbishop a few centuries before. Woldenbar avoided working his toxic magic on the minds of the people nearest these centers of power, staying instead in the slums and the poorhouses, where the Ministorum went and few others bothered. Over time, his lies and promised swayed more and more loyal citizens to the cause of the Dark Gods.
Beyond a point, however, the increased vigilance of the Arbites, Ministorum, and Inquisition could not be evaded. By the time the Ordo Hereticus had taken notice of the goings-on, and sent an appropriate reprisal force of Battle Sisters from the convents of Maskos and Septiim, Woldenbar had already corrupted a million souls directly and indirectly. With his tools of witchery and blackmail, Woldenbar had twisted an entire city to his words.
However, a million bewitched pawns are no match for four thousand Battle Sisters with an Inquisitor at the head and a brigade of elite tanks in the rear. Woldenbar’s dark patron, having accomplished its insidious goal, made it clear that it would abandon Woldenbar as soon as it looked like he was going to lose. When the Inquisition showed up and started infiltrating his city, Woldenbar panicked. Rousing his herd to action, he ordered his thralls to assault the Inquisitorial delegation while he attempted to undertake a ritual to bring his patron to the Materium.
His daemonic master, however, was having none of it. Having a far better idea about the content of the Inquisitorial delegation than the untrained Woldenbar, it chose instead to cut its losses. As Woldenbar pled and pled for the being of the Warp to honor its bargains and defend it, the outside of the city caught alight.
The Sisters of Battle are not a subtle force of the Emperor’s divine judgment. With the rage of four thousand Power Armored killers and eight hundred Arbites Marshals, the Inquisitorial task group assaulted the city in a lighting raid just before sunrise. Massive flare bombs that released glowing gasses and spikes of light up above the city showed hordes of Power Armored women cutting through vast ranks of Chaos-worshippers.
What the light did not reveal was something odd: a daemon had backed out of a bargain with a mortal, and not claimed their soul. Woldenbar’s pathetic entreating and meandering ritual disgusted his daemonic patron, who retreated from Woldenbar’s corrupt soul when it sensed the righteous hate of the Sisters approaching. As soon as over half of the hostile force suddenly broke or threw themselves on the blades of the Sisters, the Inquisition knew what had happened.
Once the slaughter was done, the Inquisitors cut their way to Woldenbar. Ignoring his panicked explanations and pleas for mercy, the Inquisitor at the head of the task force beat him unconscious and dragged him to a shuttle, and then took him to Celeste for cryo-imprisonment.
Oromet has only barely begun to recover from this pair of crippling heresies. Although only one city was affected the second time, the fact is that the entire planet is now suspect in the eyes of many Ordo Hereticus Inquisitors. The name Oromet is coming up quite a lot in recent discussions in the Maskos Palace, and not favorably. What is it, they wonder, that brings heretics and those vulnerable to the whispers of heresy on Oromet?
Quite aside from its predisposition to errant behavior, the planet has a few other distinct features. Oromet language, fashion, agriculture, art, and regional history are all similar across population centers. This is an artifact of its relatively large pilot population of settlers, all of whom came from the same continent on the same planet: Grhalskr, a Hive World in Drumnos Sector. Much of the Hiver culture is long since gone, of course, but Inquisitors have asked in the past if the planet’s relatively high homogeneity may lend itself to deviant thought. Or, failing that, it may at least help explain why it spreads so quickly through the populace. Of course, the planet’s capital once had a vastly more diverse populace as a result of its influx of refugees from other worlds, but the bottlenecking caused by its catastrophic destruction has lent greater homogeneity to the survivors.
Oromet’s primary interaction with the Imperium at large isn’t heresy, despite its reputation. Instead, it is a heavy exporter of complex batteries. Oromet has the Sector’s best battery manufacturing facilities outside Cognomen, and this is all due to the composition of its crust. Oromet congealed from the mingling gasses of two local nebulae, seeded by the supernebula of the ancient exploding star that shrouds the whole Cloudburst Sector. The crust has vast deposits of lithium, manganese, copper, zinc, aluminum, iron, and cobalt, all of which are valuable to the creation of batteries, capacitors, and transistors. The Mechanicus closely oversees these extraction, refinement, and shipping of these valuable metals. Its adherents see this duty as a sacred one, as they ensure the safe birth of the carriers of the Motive Force that illuminates all technology. Oromet batteries and capacitors find a home in electronics across the Circuit, thanks to their common use in tools and equipment among Rogue Traders and Explorators.
The planet also has extensive vine-growth agriculture, thanks to its many mountains and volcanoes. The soil near these mountains is often rich and thick, thanks to the nutrients dislodged or deposited by these upthrusts and eruptions.
Therefore, once the local plants are cut back, this soil is perfect for growing creeping and climbing vines. Huge frameworks of hollow transparent plastic dot the sides of the mountains, growing megatons of beans, fruits, and feedstock for animals. Agri-combine trucks from House Carvan transport the food to shipping and bottling plants in the cities, which then transport the food to markets and spaceports.
Industrially, much of Oglith’s production relates to its enormous battery and capacitor manufacturing, but not all. Much of Oglith’s processed material goes to Thimble, to feed that recovering world’s insatiable need for goods. Several dozen freighters can be found on its routes back and forth, flying raw goods and food to Thimble, and bringing back fertilizers and finished products.
Oromet’s orbital infrastructure is underdeveloped, even for a world as relatively new to the Imperium as it is. Aside from some basic defensive structures and a small anchorage for its SDF gunboats, it lacks any means of repelling serious attempts at landing on the surface. While it does have a few small surface guns, they are mostly for asteroid diversion, not the destruction of warships.
Asteroid diversion is a serious concern for Oromet, however. The Mechanicus has seen fit to bless Oromet with eleven Kinetic Repulsives, surface silos that fire rockets containing powdered lead weights, to either fly alongside asteroids and divert them with gravity wells or slam into them and redirect them. The space around Oromet is aflood with debris, even worse than Thimble and Delving. The rough concurrence of several Warp routes around the world, including several crossing currents, ensures that any asteroids that get sucked into the Warp for dozens of lightyears around inevitably find themselves flung at Oromet. Of course, most fly directly into the star, but every once in a while, one passes close enough to the planet to necessitate deflection. This also means that when a Space Hulk flies through the Cloudburst Sector, Oromet is usually the first planet to see it.
This necessitates a considerable groundside defense, as an Ork-infested Space Hulk – or worse, a Genestealer-infested Space Hulk – could easily arrive in orbit over a world with as few orbital guns as Oromet. Oromet prefers quantity over quality for its armed forces, and its Shield Companies are a middling PDF at best. Training usually lasts six months, after which members of the service rotate to their hometowns, to be called up in an emergency. By contrast, the Oromet Shock Troopers are a full-time, professional force, usually recruited from volunteers of the Shield Companies. Although the Oromet Shock Troopers model their appearance and tactics after Cadian templates, actual Cadians would find a direct comparison rather offensive. Oromet troops lack most varieties of Leman Russ tank and have far lower standards of discipline, by virtue of not having an eleven-thousand-year tradition of martial excellence. Of course, to dismiss the Oromet Shock Troopers would be a mistake, since their extensive field deployments on other planets has lent them the ability to adapt to most terrain types, and they work well with psykers, unlike many Cloudburst regiments. They have few total regiments, but the ones they do have tend to specialize in containment fighting.
Oromet does have another distinguishing feature in its military. The planet plays host to a massive prison, the size of a city. Inside, over eighty million prisoners from across the Thimble Subsector, mostly Thimble itself, reside and labor for the Imperium. The prison sits on an island far from the mainland, within eyeshot of a large volcano on the planet’s north polar circle. Inside the prison, the prisoners are given three choices: sit out their sentences in ordinary confinement, trade time for labor and work it off quicker, or join a Penal Legion and redeem themselves through fighting for their lives.
The planet fields over a million Penal Legionnaires annually, with the vast majority going to fight on behalf of the Imperium in the nearby Naxos Sector. Naxos suffers intense raider and Chaos invader problems, and the inflow of Penal Legionnaires blunts the damage on the sector’s own precarious population.
There is one final point of interest on Oromet. One of the volcanic islands that dot its largest ocean is riddled with Ork warrens. Clearly, at some point in the distant past, the planet was struck by an out-of-control starship crewed by Orks. The island is large enough to support an entire Orkysystem; squigs and snotlings spawn all over the islands, and occasionally some Orks even find their way to the mainland. The Ork infestation began after the Rise of the Iron Men, else the Terran Federation would have slaughtered the greenskins, but during the tumult of the Age of Strife, the Orks there went unconstrained, and assaulted human settlements on the far shores of the oceans freely. Only after the Imperium conquered the stormy world were the Orks driven back to their island and massacred, with only a few hundred Orkoids surviving. Periodically, Oromet military personnel travel to the island to cull the herd, ensuring it never grows to critical mass again. Eliminating them entirely will almost certainly require intervention from an Astartes unit, however, as humans can barely breathe, let alone fight, in the spore-infested tunnels beneath the surface.