The demesne of explorersDeep inside the darkness, isolation and strife of the Imperium Nihilus, located halfway between the Somnius Stars and Malefactus, where the Ultima Segmentum borders the hungering darkness of the Ghoul Stars, is located an single beacon of order; a Forge World of the Tech-Priests of the Adeptus Mechanicus, but one quite unlike the crown jewels of Mars, Gaia and Metallica. Established only recently, it boasted little fame or power and for a long time was considered little more than an outpost, a resupply point for Explorator fleets or refuge for tech-priests that had outstayed their welcome on more orthodox worlds. But its strategic location and toil of its independent-minded adepts forged it into a stronghold of the Mechanicus at the very edge of oblivion. And the coming of the Great Rift elevated it into rare linchpin of Imperial rule in that benighted region of the galaxy.
Last Hearth at the edgeFermya is not an archetypical Forge World like Mars; it is more like a collection of holdings, forges and stations scattered throughout the Dyrac system. From the solar farms of the inner planets and the Mechanicus enclaves on the Imperial world of Telosa, to the orbital mining operations around the gas giants and Pathfinder station at the outer edges of the system. Collectively, these linked-but-independent assets are called the ‘demesne’. It’s spiritual center is the ash world christened ‘Fermya’, where secret excavation operations dig deep to uncover technological relics from mankind’s history.
Yet this search for archeotech is not widely known within the wider Mechanicus, let alone the Imperium. For most, this was little better than another Explorator outpost or research world. The Forge World’s prestige and power was less than that of a single renowned Forge on blessed Mars. But it was an excellent resupply point for the various Explorator fleets that dared to venture to the dying embers of the dreaded Ghoul Stars. More importantly, it was a refuge for those that managed to limp back after finding something better left undisturbed. Even ship-bound Explorators began to refer to the system as home.
Soon other parties moored at Pathfinder station; Rogue Traders in search of adventure and wealth, Imperial Navy cruisers that patrolled the borders of Imperial Space, and even more secretive powers that took an interest in whatever lurked beyond the frontier. And as traffic increased, a varied collection of Mechanicus adepts found their way to the inner worlds. Often they were of the less reputable sort: innovators, xenophiles, rogues, free-thinkers, those tech-priest that had not quite strayed into techno-heresy, but who had nevertheless made themselves quite unwelcome on other Forge Worlds. Using whatever resources they brought with them, they began to construct their forges, manufactora and stations across the system.
Thus Fermya became a refuge; for those adepts who had wandered in the deep void as well as those who wanted to disappear in it. And after the Cicatrix Maledictum ripped through the galaxy, this outpost at the frontier suddenly became a single bastion of order in a galaxy that had grown much darker still.
Creation of this new Forge World can be accredited to its current Fabricator-General; Archmagos Galaan Senorus, formerly of Mars. A spirited and charismatic man, he managed to evade banishment or even outright execution for his eccentricities. Nevertheless, when he made an important discovery in the forgotten vaults of the great Martian library, he kept it secret as not to tip off his many enemies. Instead, he gathered what resources, favors and allies he could and claimed passage on an Explorator expedition bound to the galactic North. En-route Senorus presented his findings to the fleet master. Whatever was said has been crypto-locked, but Senorus managed to convince his audience to divert course to the Dyrac System.
The master of Fermya, wielding absolute power (in theory at least) is the one who was responsible for its creation. Archmagos Galaan Senorus. Genius. Maniac. Born Leader. Deceitful backstabber. Enlightened creator. Careless destroyer. Pious servant. Cynical usurper. The picture that is painted of him depends very much on who you ask.
It does not help that his goals are never clear, and his methods contradictory. Often he would disappear into his private laboratories working on Omnissiah knows what, assign tasks that seemed inefficient or downright counterproductive, infuriate allies for superficial reasons, and occasionally antagonize powerful opponents over trivial matters. And yet, his position is unassailable; somehow this Forge World of rogues and outcasts is kept relatively stable, in which many see the hand of the Fabricator-General. Some claim his eccentricity is an act, intended to keep his opponents off-guard and the delicate balance intact. Others suspect he has secret access to everyone’s noospheric nodes and that he watches them all from his sanctum. Still other believe Senorus has simply shorted his circuits and is being controlled by the Locum, some shadowy faction in the council, or perhaps his pet rat. Whatever the truth, very few Tech-Priest deal with Senorus directly; day-to-day running of the Forge World is left to the perpetually overworked Fabricator-Locum and the Council-Elect, with Senorus only appearing from his private laboratories for the most holy rituals at the world’s Altar of All Knowledge, or whenever some fancy grips him.
Whatever Senorus is working in his private, and highly secured, sanctum on is one of the great mysteries of the Forge World. It is often supposed that he is preparing the final ritual to upload his consciousness into the Altar and become one with the Machine God. Many pray that the day of his ascension is close, so that leadership of the Forge World is finally up for grabs.
The Explorator fleet arrived at the backwater system mostly without incident, much to the surprise of the local Imperial Commander. Senorus, now self-appointed spokesman for the fleet and de-facto expedition leader, assured him they were not looking for conflict. In fact, they were bearing gifts. Senorus offered priceless technological marvels to the Imperial Commander, as well as the magnanimous technological patronage of the Mechanicus to develop his world. All that in exchange for ownership of the worthless ash world of Occirus and uninhibited system access.
Tempted by this remarkable offer, but also quite aware that the Mechanicus expedition had many big guns and probably would not take no for an answer, the Imperial Commander accepted. Soon, Mechanicus dropships landed on the surface of Occirus. Senorus was the first off the ramp. As he skittered over the radioactive ash, Explorator adapts around him deploying heavy excavation equipment, he renamed it after his patron saint; the mythological Father of Atomics, Enricus Fermya.
Gateway to the Ghoul StarsThe expedition found what Senorus promised would be there, but it would take many lifetimes to unearth it from the grey ash plains. Many Explorators settled down on the planet, building installations and outposts to direct the excavation. Others longed to return to the void and began preparations for new expeditions, laying the groundwork for their logistical infrastructure. Before long other Explorator expeditions called on the system, and Fermya’s future as an important Explorator hub was assured.
Despite being a benighted region (or maybe because of it) the Ghouls stars sang a siren song to explorers, adventurers and rogues of all stripes. Ambitious Rogue Traders came in search of wealth and fame. Many returned empty-handed, some not at all. Everyone had to content with the fact that no accurate star charts existed, and that the Astronomican did not reach that far from Holy Terra. The wise quickly learned to make a final stop at the location where the last glimmer of the Emperor’s Light was visible, and exchange information with other adventures on Pathfinder Station.
Forge World Fermya, and in particular Pathfinder station, gradually grew as a central shipping hub. Resupplying outbound vessels. Unloading the riches of those that returned from beyond the border. Repairing damage from far away battles and stranger encounters. As the influence and production capacity of the Forge World increased, it began to launch its own expeditions beyond. Armies created in its own forges, carried by ships laid down in its own stardocks, all in the livery of Fermya.
However, the eagerness with which the Forge World and its many visitors probed into the haunted reaches of the Ghoul Stars tended to irk some powers in the Imperium who monitor the Ghouls Stars for any threats, much preferring to let sleeping dogs lie. The Space Marines of Death Specters chapter have long since warned that the Pale Wasting still lurked in its depts, and have opened fire on vessels that approached regions declared forbidden.
Post Cicatrix MaledictumExpeditions into the Ghoul Stars have mostly been placed on indefinite hold. With the loss of the Light of the Astronomican the Forge World is preoccupied with keeping open the lines of communication within the region, Mechanicus cruisers patrol the space lanes, carrying enough troops to both offer protection and salvation to those worlds that are threatened by the many enemies that haunt the void, and to remind the more recalcitrant worlds of their oaths and duty to Omnissiah, Imperium and of course the local Forge World.
Far removed from warzones like Vigilius or the Stygian sector, the sub-sector around Fermya has been a beacon of relative order and quiet. Yet all cogitations predict it will not last; sooner or later the enemies of mankind will assault this remote domain of the Deus Mechanicus in force. So the Tech-Priest shore up their defenses, clone cohort after cohort of skitarii, sanctify their weaponry and await for the inevitable storm to break.
The Dyrac System and the Demesne
The system is dominated by the ancient star of Dyrac, its orange hue and bloated size indicating it is reaching the end of its life. The sun-blasted inner planets are barren rocks with surfaces completely devoid of life, save for Mechanicus installations that somehow endure. It is assumed that the irregular shaped worlds of Luminosus and Ignis once formed a single planet that was shattered in some ancient cataclysm. Massive solar farms dot the surface of Luminosus, the resident tech-priests harvesting the vast output of the sun to power deep-core mining operations. Ignis is even more extreme; it’s highly eccentric orbit taking it through the star’s corona every cycle. No structures survive on the surface except for the heavily shielded particle-syphons that draw in stellar matter into hidden underground laboratories.
An Imperial World within a defacto Mechanicus system, Telosa was for millenia the only inhabited planet in the system. A tidelocked world, one hemisphere is a scorching desert where the bloated sun never sets. The other side is covered in perpetual night, with frigid winds blowing over frozen tundras. But where eternal night meets everlasting day, there is a strip of twilight, temperate weather and human habitation. Humanity has trived here. Mostly left to its own devices, it developed largely independent of the wider Imperium, forming several tribe-nations with noticeable cultural differences.
The coming of the Mechanicus rapidly altered life on the planet. The Tech-Priests' expertise raised the technological base significantly, now on par with developed hive worlds in the Imperium. Tech-Priests are operating from Mechanicus enclaves that are considered part of Fermya, where Forges have been erected that rival Senorus’ personal fief, but are active at every level of Telosan society. In fact, most of the system’s Tech-Priests are operating on this Imperial world, recruiting its rich source of manpower to labor in forges and manufactura. Prime example are the traditional techno-guilds in which the mechanicus has been actively (some would say aggressively) ingraining themselves. Noowadays the guilders fulfill most of the roles that on other forgeworlds would be performed by menials.
Of course these developments have their detractors; despite the technological trinkets he gained, it cannot sit well with the imperial commander that he, once absolute ruler of his planet, has effectively been reduced to a vassal of the Forge World. Everywhere on Telosa are dissidents that resent the Tech-Priests' encroachment, but outright insurrection has not occurred, for now.
At the edge of the solar habitable region lies the world of Dyrac-Telosa, tide locked to its parent sun. For millennia this Imperial world was for the only planet of any value in the system, but considered a frontier backwater at best despite its balanced economy of agriculture, mining, industry and local trade. Its alliance with the young Forge World has caused a rapid industrialization of the world, which is beginning to show the telltale signs of hive construction.
The planet formerly known as Occirus is a wasteland covered in radioactive ash, and its apparent lack of value has made the frantic Mechanicus activity on this world all the more enigmatic to outsiders. Only the Tech-Priest native to the system know its worth.
The three gas giants called the Trigemini form the system’s outer worlds, with a complex network of asteroid fields and stellar debris in between. Vast orbital refineries extract hydrogen and helium-3 from these planets, while swarms of prospector ships search the asteroid fields for rich mineral veins and ore deposits.
At the outer edges of the system, near the Mandeville point, are several dwarf planets, the largest of which is simply designated as Dyr-IV, or ‘Dirrif’ in the dialect of the voidsmen. Orbiting this frozen orb is Pathfinder Station; the massive station functions as a port and trading hub for Imperial shipping. It is by far the largest starport in the system as the ruling council of the Mechanicus is very reluctant to any allow non-vetted vessels (even those of their fellow tech-priests) near the inner worlds. Most interstellar cargo is transferred on the station onto intrasystem freighters, and its piers a bustling with activity, with small tugs and tenders swarming around massive cargo haulers and bulk loaders. More importantly, it is a resupply point for the various exploratory vessels that pass through on their way towards the Ghoul Stars, orbital drydock for those that return but not unscathed, and bulwark against unnamed things that might follow those vessels back to Imperial space. More than one void abomination or xeno raiding party has found its end on the station’s gun banks and torpedo salvoes.
Many were perplexed when Senorus’ claimed the planet Occirus, for it boasted little of apparent value. The world is covered in mildly radioactive ash, the atmosphere unbreathable for unaugmented humans, and possessed little in mineral wealth. The only geographical features of note are jagged and fractured mountains that cut through the ash plains. Massive dust storms endanger everything on the surface not properly armored, each particle a miniscule shard of glass that can flay exposed flesh.
But the planet’s true value lies beneath the ash dunes; remnants of another time, when humanity reigned supreme. In an forgotten Martian vault Senorus had learned that Dyrac once harbored an advanced human civilization, its origins dating back to early or even pre-Imperial times. A civilization of which the the planet of Telosa was but a minor colony. A civilization that had been destroyed in some vast conflagration.
At the center of every Forge erected on the wind-swept and radioactive plans is a bore-hole, each one penetrating the many layers of ash until it reaches vast structures that may have once been hives, forges, or something else entirely. Here Tech-Priests labor to uncover the mysteries of this ancient people. Each structure is a ruin, and ash fills every hall and chamber, but marvels are still to be found there. The neuromapping cloning pods, the weirding modules and Boltzmann devices were all found in these dead cities.
Information on these structures and their excavation is heavily restricted. Senorus and his inner circle are very determined to avoid unwanted attention from other treasure hunters, especially other Forge Worlds who are just as eager to uncover archeotech, but have a larger military force to call upon.
Because of its connection with Explorators, it is no wonder this branch of the Mechanicus has a large presence on Fermya. Most if the void assets are controlled by this cult, with a particularly large contingent on Pathfinder Station and the various deep-space observatories. The Forge World is also a haven for sects and cults that are treated with suspicion or even hostility on more orthodox worlds. Fermya boasts a significant faction of Xenarites, several Logican cults, and even Disciples of Hark. With so many sects spread over many radically different enclaves and installations, Fermya does not bother with any true centralized government. All are left to their own devices and mostly govern themselves. The only semblance of unity is formed by the Council-Elect; a circle of administrators, magi and representatives that gather to discuss policy, address quarrels and resolve issues. And yet, it is not a confederacy or representative government; all power is firmly held by Fabricator-General Senorus. However, Senorus rarely involves himself in day-to-day administration anymore, and as such it befalls the Fabricator-Locum to chair the council, evaluating requests, granting favors, assigning duties and dispensing justice as he sees fit.
Bennet Jurius is the second most powerful individual of the Forge World. And with Senorus not bothering with administration, it fall to him to keep the forges burning and the mag-levs riding on time. What follows is a daily balancing act of assigning and withdrawing favors and duties to on one hand placate the myriad bickering factions of Tech-Priests, and on the other to actually get things done.
Though undeniably bright and cunning, even before overclocking his cerebral cortex, he is constantly undermined by the fact that no-one but Senorus thinks he is worthy for such a lofty position. It has always been a mystery why Senorus chose such a young and comparatively junior Tech-Priest as his Locum. Some suspect that Jurius is a clone of Senorus, pointing out the biological resemblance between the Locum and his master. Others secretly make an even more low-brow suggestion; that Jurius is actually Senorus' biological bastard son. This is rarely taken serious, as it is quickly pointed out that Senorus is completely mechanical from the waist down.
Nevertheless, as long as he has the Fabricator-General’s blessing, Jurius will work to keep the cogs turning. Of course, many are very curious about what Senorus is doing in his sanctum. If Jurius even knows what the Fabricator-General is up to, he does not say. But if the rumors of Senorus imminent ascension are true, Jurius will be his obvious replacement as Fabricator-General. However, some whisper that without his master's patronage, Jurius position becomes vulnerable, and that he can expect challenges to his authority.
Lesser administrative and bureaucratic responsibilities are divided over trusted or favored Tech-Priests who then employs their own cult, order or acolytes to do the legwork or routine tasks. Effectively, a new impromptu bureaucracy is created whenever the power of factions and holding waxes and wanes on the council. Despite the obvious nepotism this system enables (even if Tech-Priests are very insistent they are above such things), it works well enough to prevent such large group of non-conformist Tech-Priests from settling its differences by shooting at one another. Mostly at least. Though it occasionally does lead to some awkward situations; like when diplomatic envoys were selected from a particularly aggressive sect of Myrmidons.
Nevertheless, the myriad ranks and cults of Tech-Priests are still policed. This task fall to the Forge World’s Auxillia Myrmidon which doubles as a cadre of enforcers to assure that even the most independent-minded Tech-Priest will obey the decrees of the Fabricator-General and the Council-Elect. Being Tech-Priests themselves, they cannot be awed into submission like the Skitarii are hardwired to do. And being students of war and combat, few recalcitrant Magi have the will (and layers of armor) to stand against them.
Fermya is a hodge-podge of many Mechanicus cults and sects, so there is no specific belief system other than the basic tenets of the Cult Mechanicus that all tech-priests at least can agree upon. Aside from a general fascination with the unknown, either that beyond the edges of the Imperium of those that can be found in a laboratory, belief between the various domains can vary wildly. On other Forge Worlds this would certainly lead to culls or wars of theology, but on Fermya hostilities are generally limited to political bickering. That is not to say Fermya’s tech-priests are any more tolerant than their peers on other worlds; it is just that here most Tech-Priest are quite insular and tend to ascribe to the unwritten rule that do not bother me, then I will not bother you.
The God-Emperor and the Omnissiah
Telosa was an Imperial world long before the Adeptus Mechanicus claimed its system, and as such the Imperial Creed had long since taken root there. As it was a frontier world its Ecclesiarchial presence was rather modest; though its parishes were formally part of the sector diocese, and the occasional Pontifex or zealous Missionary arrived to enforce some orthodoxy, its local cults were mostly left to their own devices. Its followers, as frontiersmen are wont to do, tended to blend piety with practicality.
The coming of the Ecclesiarchy’s rivals of the Cult of the Machine God had some profound changes on the local belief system. As the influence of the Tech-Priests waxed and introduced tangible miracles or technology, Mechanicus' beliefs diffused into the local cults. Soon the Tech-Priests were given equal deference as those typically reserved for the holy men of the Adeptus Ministorum.
Still, the Mechanicus and Ministorum are rarely cordial with one another, and they do fight a velvet war for the souls of the populace. The Adeptus Mechanicus had made great progress with indoctrinating the technological inclined factions, like the tech-guilds or the miner-clans, so that the cog is a common religious icon even outside of the Mechanicus enclaves. Conversely, the Ecclesiarchy has double-downed on its hold on the more traditional-minded groups like the farmer communes, water harvesters and freetraders.
This theological conflict occasionally results in physical violence, especially when the more devout followers of opposing cults meet over bottles of rotgut. However, most of the general populace, ever practical, is content in knowing that the Emperor demands their worship, not their understanding. For them the conflict between the worshippers of the God-Emperor and those of the Omnissiah is like arguing about which end you open a gloppit egg.
The only expection to this rule is warpcraft. Though several Magi Aether study the mechanics of that other dimension without interference, those that cross the hard line of communing with the entities haunting it are purged without delay. The Myrmidons that police the Forge World are well-encoded to recognize the tell-tale signs of corruption, and react with extreme prejudice. With atomics, if need be.
When mechanicus assets are being deployed for combat however, skitarii troopers and Tech-Priests alike take on a crusading zeal that is quite unlike their normally insular behavior on Fermya. Considering themselves the vanguard of the Omnissiah’s will, come to bring enlightenment to the ignorant, and take knowledge for the unworthy, they become the forces of light in a sea of darkness. Given the callousness and brutally employed to convert or steal from their enemies, the latter generally do not agree.
Specialties and technologyBeing a realm of explorers and innovators, it is no surprise that many wonderous technologies can be found on Fermya. Unfortunately, the insular nature of many of the adepts means that few of them ever leave their personal laboratories, let along come into mainstream use. On the other hand, some pieces of archeotech have been unearthed that radically changed how the Forge World functions.
First and foremost is are the cloning-pods the Tech-Priests have unearthed under the ash dunes of Fermya. Cloning, vat-growing and flesh-crafting are relatively common technologies in the Imperium, but like so many of its technologies are crude or flawed. Not so with these devices, which can produce a perfect copies of an individual, including memories. They are mostly used to resurrect favored servants long dead. It has proven especially effective with bolstering the skitarii legions, as the mass production of hale and capable individuals allows the Forge World to rapidly induct recruits into its legions, giving the Forge World the numbers to punch above its weight.
But the true hallmark of Fermya is atomics. Nuclear weapons have long since fallen out of favor with the Imperium, as these weapons pale when compared to cycloninc torpedoes, Life Eater virus weapons and vortex warheads. Yet these ancient weapons are still given the respect they are due, because of the threat of mutual destruction it posed to ancient man and the salvation if offered when it encountered the xeno races, and even more so on the world named for the mythological father of atomics. Though hardly a technological specialty as these weapons can be constructed on many worlds with even pre-spaceflight tech base, Fermya’s forges produce these weapons in unnecessarily large quantities and often with such artisan embellishments it is considered almost a waste to actually detonate them.
Legio Pharus, the Lightbringers
History makes no mention of Legio Pharus before Archmagos Senorus’ ships entered the Dyrac System, yet bulk loaders carried in their holds several titans in the livery of of the Lightbringers, banners showing numerous battle honors (and even some scorch marks of recent engagements). Where the titans came from is a bit of a mystery among the Collegia Titanica, but it is generally assumed Senorus called in favors and scraped together aid from existing Titan Legions. Whatever its origins, the new Forge World immediately set about on expanding the legions numbers, and though still one of the smallest legions, its strength increases with every proud new titan that marches out of the Forges.
The legion’s battle tactics mimic those of more established legions, further hinting to a shared ancestry, but unique to the legion is the focus on speed and keeping casualties low. As such, the Lightbringers generally avoid combat unless a solid advantage can be pressed, not averse to leading stronger opponents on a merry chase in which the shots are only traded when an aggravated enemy is goaded into an ambush.
Also unique to the legion is its culture; instead of warriors of the Omnissiah, demigods or war, or protectors of the Mechanicus, the crews of the titans see themselves as the vanguard of enlightenment, paving the way for the disciples of the Omnissiah to illuminate the ignorant. Many exploratory fleets launched fom Pathfinder Station carried titans of the Lightbringers with them for this very purpose.
Legio Pharus employs all common titan classes and weapon loadouts for its engagements, but at least one titan in every battlegroup carries a full load of atomics, as a reminder to friend and foe alike that the Legio Pharus brings light to the darkness; either the illumination of knowledge or the sickly green afterglow of atomic devastation.
Fermya’s military forces are very standard compared to other Forge Worlds, aside from the fact Macroclades are referred to as Legions, presumably to add some gravitas. Though not yet at the same level as worlds like Gaia and Lucius, let alone Agrippina and Mars, the legions are plentiful and capable, thanks to Fermya’s cloning facilities. Organization structure allows for easy incorporation of Knight or Titan support, as well as the various martial sects of the Tech-Priests.
Knights of Ascalon
The armored warriors of the Knight World of Ascalon are loyal allies to the Tech-Priests of Fermya. This was not always so, and according to some in the Adeptus Terra, it is a bought loyalty. Saying this to a Knight of House Ritter would result in an immediate challenge to an honor duel, and most likely a very gory demise of the offending party.
Nevertheless, there is no denying that the knightly houses once paid homage to the Imperium, with the High Kings of House Steffald barely tolerating Fermya’s overtures of mutual benefit. Most vassals followed the example of their liege. Only the minor house of Ritter responded positively to the emissaries of the Omnissiah. The Tech-Priests exploited this opening by offering massive support to House Ritter, within decades turning it from a minor house to a power that rivalled that of the High King himself.
House Ritter remained fiercely loyal to its liege, and served with distinction and honor. Nevertheless, after the fierce Edge Cluster war the royal house was decimated, its king and his heirs killed. House Ritter filled the vacuum by a series of politically astute marriages and gathering support from other houses via (Mechanicus’ supplied) material aid, combining the royal bloodline with theirs. This began the reign of the House Ritter and effectively switching Ascalon’s undying loyalty to the Mechanicus.
Combat doctrine is based on rapid deployment and maneuver warfare. Here speed is essential and Skitarii are programmed to take the initiative. Every cohort is equipped with multiple transports, often enough to move the entire formation. This probably has its origin in Fermya’s Explorator roots. These pioneers knew the value of speed; both when snatching away Archeotech from sluggish guardians, as well as beating a hasty retreat after accidentally awakening some ancient horror.
Unique to Fermyan strike forces is that they always carry atomics, and are willing to use them. Skitarii alphas have been know to request nuking their own position when about to be overrun. Mostly they are used on the offensive however. Either to blow holes in enemy defenses, or as terror weapons against soft targets.
Navigator House Hansa
Though still incredibly wealthy compared to the destitute masses of humanity, the navigator house of Hansa is considered a clan of paupers, vagabonds and drifters by their peers, with few planet bound holdings and not even a presence in the Navigator District on Terra. They are tight-lipped about their origins, but given the deadly games of intrigue that the navigator families play, it is safe to assume that at some point they were banished to the dark corners of the Galaxy by their rivals, forced to eke out a living away from the lucrative trade lanes, well-mapped sectors and stable warp currents. They had to offer their services to those no sensible navigator would work for; captains bold, desperate or foolish enough to take the plunge into the darkest recesses of space. In these high-risk voyages to stellar wildernesses, where the Astronomican grows dim, dangerous anomalies are unmapped and unknown horrors prowl, House Hansa had to adapt and hone their skills just to endure.
And endured they have. Though presumably many of their clansmen were lost in doomed voyages, along with their ships and everyone on it, those that survived acquired the skills to carve out a new niche; to boldly go where no man has gone before, and have a not bad change of actually coming back. Most importantly, they learned to combine their mystical sight with raw data from the warp drive’s cogitators to improve the accuracy and range of calculated hops through the warp, allowing reasonable navigation even when the Astronomican was obscured.
Whether it is their skill in navigating unmapped space far from the light of the Astronomican, or simply because they are cheap, Archmagos Senorus enlisted House Hansa to pilot his ships. They have been supplying most of the navigators for Fermya’s void ships ever since.
As can be expected of a realm of explorers, Fermya boasts significant naval assets. Its cruisers can challenge anything smaller than a battleship, and have the support of several escorts at all times. The fleet does not have one of the awe-inpiring Ark Mechanicus, but as cruisers are deployed in groups when fleet actions are expected, this is not seen as a major disadvantage.
The coming of the Great Rift and the Blackness that followed in its wake was damaging but not nearly as catastrophic as for other parts of the Imperium. Explorator fleets operating at the edge of the Astronomican already had to content with the fact that the Astronomican was barely visible at this range, and by necessity had to rely on short calculated hops through the warp. As such, after the initial warp storms had passed, this familiarity allowed the bulk of the Forge Wold’s naval assets, and the Explorator fleets that operated alongside it, to limp back to its moorings on Pathfinder Station.
With the Great Rift effectively cutting of some Explorator Fleets from their original Forge World, Fermya has become their de-facto home base, lending their strength to the defense of the system and the sector as a whole. Even some Rogue Traders are employing the station as their staging area.
Further in-system the Forge world has deployed system defense monitors; ships of nearly cruiser mass, but without warp capability. Though lacking the versatility of warp-cabable warships, they are easier to construct, much easier to maintain, and will present a formidable obstacle for any enemy fighting its way to the inner system.
Motto & war cryOfficial Forge World motto: In darkness, let there be light.
Popular war cry (unsanctioned): Light them up!
Warriors of noteAs exploration and warfare go hand-in-hand, Fermya has acquired its fair share of heroes and veterans. Still, most adepts consider warfare a means to an end, and give it little thought once the fighting stops. As such, only dedicated combatants like the skitarii have a warrior culture.
Fermyan skitarii are cloned from favored retainers, often themselves noted warriors. Though these skitarii are as expendable as any other, they are allowed a lot of independence by their Tech-Priest overlords, as well as retaining their personal idiosyncrasies. The Jon-Sigma series have a sense of humor that borders into insubordination. The Tjarli-Delta type tends to avoid quick and efficient kills and prefers to slowly disassemble foes, all the while broadcasting a very unsettling laugh. The Holden-Epsilon models are notorious among Astra Militarium personnel for bumming commodities to feed their insatiable addictions, including lho-sticks, amasec, ‘slaught, weapons grade promethium, bolt propellant, combat neurotoxins and wallnuts. The Duncan-Omega models have a peculiar tendency to (try to) fraternize with mature (and well-endowed) double-X chromosome humans, not letting small issues like having attained the Crux Mechanicus or possessing vibroblades as hands dissuade them from their philandering.
The most controversial warrior ‘hero’ among the Tech-Priests of Fermya is without a doubt ‘Barking’ Toade Tellus-Omicron the First/Second/Third/…/Nth. A Genetor whose recklessness cannot be kept in check by his cranial implants, and whose eagerness to slay the enemies of the Omnissiah far outstrips his combat protocols and skill at arms. Normally this would’ve led to a regrettable but inconsequential end to the Genetor’s existence, but ‘Barking’ Toade has a ready supply of his own clones that replace him every time he falls. Though each incarnation is as exasperatingly reckless and inept at combat as the original, and cloning oneself for a measure of immortality is considered tacky by his peers, most wouldn't really mind if the Genetor insists in getting himself killed again. Unfortunately, as of its third incarnation Toade has somewhat realized his less than stellar battlefield performance. But instead of upgrading his battle algorithms or weaponry, he opted to replace his standard potentia coil with an unstable nuclear core. Now whenever he is cut down, his opponent kills Toade, himself, all troopers around them and a significant part of the battlefield in nuclear fire. Which tends to annoy his peers that are both more subtle-minded and averse to buffeting shockwaves and radiation burns. His senior status in the cult has prevented Toade from being denied service on the front lines, so canny Domini have resorted to surrounding Toade with expendable troops, goad him to charge at a concentration of enemies far away from their own forces, and stand well back. At least then they get some mildly effective results whenever the Tech-Priest takes to the field that blows up quicker than the notorious Catachan Barking Toad.
Edited by Quantum, 08 April 2020 - 02:13 PM.