Varkhat is mining world on the southern edges of the Segmentum Pacficus. First colonised by rougue trades in M37, Varkhat is known primarily for it's marble deposits and for the infamous Siege of Varkhat which occurred in M41.914.
The Siege of Varkhat
The "Siege of Varkhat" is one name used to describe a series of conflicts from M41.914-931 in the Varkhat sysyem. Formally known as the Varkhese Wars, Siege can be split into 3 main stages of the war: Contact with the Dark Eldar, the Chaos uprising, and the Ork invasion. It can be simplified as follows: In M41.914 the head of the Mechanicus of Varkhat requested a Skitarii expeditionary force to scout the mountainous terrain after scans of the planet showed potential for a hidden piece of Archeotech. Transmissions from the team reported a blueprint for an STC capable of mass producing warmachines at a fraction of the cost and speed of conventional manufactorums. Such a transmission was intercepted however by the Dark Eldar. The ensuing clashes for aqussition of the template helped lure ravaging Ork and Chaos warbands towards the planet: causing a total free for all. The Imperial forces were successful at driving off the invaders under the leadership of the Colonel-Commissar Al-Campbell. However, the carnage lead to the loss of the blueprint and a huge area of uninhabbitable "Scar" on the northern hemisphere of the planet.
Contact with the Dark Eldar
"We saw the "factories" which littered Al-Anira. Mock conveyers, made of tendons and veins. Shooting pipes and pulleys from elbows and knees gushing in and out, in and out, in and out. The pain. I'll ask for the emperor's mercy, alright. Even Saint Pious wouldn't blame me for that."
- – Lieutenant Carver, Varkhat PDF
The Chaos Uprising
"Rail Carrier 2-4-7-0 respond. We've been losing communication on all Hive-Karbek-routed craft. Carrier 2-4-7-0 come in."
"There is some kind of disturbance in the cockpit, the train is speeding up. It is speeding up. We must be at 400' we're speeding up!"
- – Last civilian transmission before communication was lost at Karbek Hive.
Ork Invasion and The Scar
"The fate of our world now lies within the barrels of our cannons. Show those wretches who Varkhat belongs to!"
- – Colonel Commissar Al-Campbell
After the ruinous siege, much of the natural beauty of Varkhat has been diminished, it now serves as a highly productive mining world for the Imperium. Due to the lack of manpower on the planet, Varkhat's tithe has been primarily in money and minerals. However, the men of the near-legendary and infamous 2nd Varkhat Legion have proven that the mining world may well have a strong military tradition in the making.
As partly a result of their tactics in the great siege, the Varkhese make little use of tanks and prefer to utilise lighter and more mobile mechanised transports, artillery and air forces; enjoying a close relationship with the segmentum's naval command.
Notable forces of the Varkhese Legionnaires
The 2nd Varkhat is a heavily mechanised assault force which primarily operates in the segmentum Ultima as of M41.999. The majority of the 2nd Varkhat hailed originally from the hive world of Armageddon when the 86th Steel Legion was sent to the civilised world of Varkhat to help quell several major incursions in the system alongside the present Skitarii. The resultant merge with the legion and exemplary members of the Varkhese PDF have created a force that specialises both in mechanised warfare and assaults in the hostile and desert environments that both forces are used to. All standard troops bear gear similar to the Armageddon Steel Legion.
While originally hailed as heroes for their role in the siege of Varkhat of M41. 914, the already cordial Adeptus Mechanicus has made great use of the regiment, and they now act as the primary military arm of the several terra-forming fleets which dot the southern Ultima sector.
The combat doctrine of the 2nd Varkhat is as follows: Mass panic and destruction inflicted on the population after a mechanicus fleet violently implants their terraforming material (Usually a rapid growing strain of Gold, Mercury or Sulphur) from orbit, followed by a full assault of mechanised and airborne shock troops as they overrun the disarrayed indigenous population. Such tactics have worked to great effect. The textbook example of this being the invasion of Khalkis IV, where the Navy’s Sulphur injection gassed almost all of the planets atmosphere, leaving only several major xeno population centres inhabited. The suitably-equipped 2nd Varkhat rolled into the hubs, decimating all resistance under the treads of their Chimera transports before devastating the survivors with an array of las and melta weaponry; capturing the now successful mining world within 3 months.
As a result of such tactics the Varkhese legionnaires are notably grim and proud warriors. Treating the removal of native Xeno as more of a sport than a duty, it is unlikely that the Adeptus Mechanicus will let go of such a useful asset.