Darkness is a fact of life on the third moon of Lengua, a gas giant undergoing extensive harvesting operations by the Adeptus Mechanicus. Due to an astronomical quirk, the moon’s orbit of the planet matches the world’s orbit of the local star. As such, the moon is permanently shrouded in a deep night.
But it is far from lifeless.
Life has developed to cope with the lack of light, and whether it evolved naturally or was introduced during some long forgotten effort at colonisation is unknown. What is known is that the humans of Lengua III are primitive compared to the majority of the Imperium, and live a tribal existence amongst the ruins of their distant past.
Many make use of salvaged weapons, and even interact with agents of the Mechanicum on occasion, who they revere as priests.
One of these tribes is known as the Moonlit Pack, and it is the only family Kadis Beatrix has ever known.
Part of the Pack
Kadis’ childhood was very much like that of any tribal – she grew up learning the ways of her people, how to hunt, how to fight, and how to express herself. All the children of the tribe were taught the same things, but it was left to them to choose how to best go about doing them.
She chose to hunt not with traps and patience, but by bringing it down from range before it caught wind of her scent. She strived for her shots to be clean and accurate, causing no undue pain.
She chose to fight on the front lines, to look her enemy in the face and know them. They were not prey to be killed, but warriors to be respected.
She chose to express herself through art, painting with simple brushes or even her fingers on the skins of slain beasts and the plates of her armour.
As she grew, she was taught more of the tribe’s ways. How the strong were the ones who were worthy to lead, responsible for protecting those weaker than themselves. How arguments were settled swiftly and decisively in ritual combat beneath the giant moon of their world, sparkling with lights. She became better at fighting thanks to this – her temper and recklessness earning her the nickname “Blaze” as well as more than a few bruises.
Then the night of her coming of age came. The Moonlit Pack’s traditions dictated that all those coming of age within the tribe were to venture into the dark and hunt down a beast, before returning to the tribe to face a set of challenges that would decide where the best place in the tribe’s rank would be for them.
Kadis’ hunt led her to a lone wolf prowling a day away from where the Pack had setup camp. Her bow was not enough to slay the creature, and she was forced to defend herself in melee. Ultimately, the young woman emerged victorious, and carried her trophy back to the camp with her, face flushed with pride. Her skill at arms was quickly recognised, and she swiftly passed the other trials that confirmed that her place was amidst the tribe’s warriors.
Conflict was as much a part of life for the tribes of Lengua III as the ever-present darkness, lit only by the light of the numerous facilities floating in the upper atmosphere of the looming gas giant. Mostly the battles the tribals took part in involved resources or honour, but there is one instance in recent history where the conflict was about faith.
The battle against the tribe known as the Offspring of the Mother - the heretic tribe that slew the red-robed priests of the Machine Cult.
One of the few laws that applied to all the tribes of Lengua III was to pay respect to the red robes and to leave them alone to tend to the holy temples of light. The Offspring tribe spat in the face of those laws, and claimed one of the temples for themselves, slaying all the red robes within.
The other tribes refused to stand for such blasphemy, especially when surviving red robes promised great rewards upon those who avenged the fallen and reclaimed the temple in their name. And when the Moonlit Pack went to war, Kadis went with them…