Saturday, June 25, 2016
The Bandrois Swampland Flank
an NCG three-part narrative
The Vestegah system boasts an ideal solar body surrounded by fifteen planets and three debris fields. The single yellow sun of Vestegah has been classified as "stable," and has been without incident for the past 9,432 years. The fifteen planets range in size from dwarf to massive, and their only similarity is in their difference to one another: not a single planet in Vestegah system is alike, and the bodies collectively offer a wide array of resources and opportunities, however just not enough of one thing to cause a major development like a starbase or Imperial Homeworld to appear in the past eight thousand years. The system was named posthumously in honor of Conrad Vestegah, a House Ecale administrator and royal gourmand in service to the most wealty of Rogue Traders.
Nestled centrally within the third ring of planets known as the "Chargis Belt," Chargis III has boasted a temperate climate with massive plant growth, verdant plains and steaming swamps cover her surface. Chargis I is completely covered with acetous water and blanketed with foggy, acrid air, while Chargis II is a mountainous water-less high-gravity world wracked by persistent tectonic tremors. These characteristics have led to Chargis III being the only planet in the cluster where one could see a realistic chance of a permanent settlement.
Furthermore, while Chargis III is classified as "Mineral-Low," its resources include massive mineral deposits lying underneath its temperate to tropical forests filled with tall evergreen trees and vine-choked swamps. These mineral deposits contain concentrated veins of painite. Locating these veins of painite has been traditionally kept by the local populace. Painite Vein-Diviners were sometimes consulted by Imperial mining crews and dispatched secretly to mine these deposits, keeping their identity secret from the local populace, who held a spiritual connection to the forests. If the vein-diviners were ever let in on exactly what the Imperial mining conglomerates were doing, they'd never have given up their secrets.
The vast bogs that dot every square mile of land are sporadically filled with patches of death-world plant-life, stories of man-sized fly-traps and poisonous fungal spores spelling the demise of painite vein hunters are mentioned in almost every expeditionary notebook. Some of these bogs harbor great fields of a highly-nutritious peat moss that can be fermented into a paste and used to create a number of food staples. To the descendants of the early Chargis settlers, this paste is like corn, potato, and wheat all in one. This peat moss, simply called "turf" by the people, is used in nine out of ten meals and its farmers hold a hegemony in the economy.
For a the past 512 years the Imperium held a presence on Chargis III, sending investigators and instigators to steer the provincial governments in the direction of the Imperium's choosing. 37 years ago, the Imperium had set up an Imperial Corporation led by Arturos Bandrois, and put him in charge of mining for its own profit and protected his interests with a planetary defense force selected from the Militarum ranks. Direct control by the Imperium was turned over to the corporation, led by the upwardly-mobile Bandrois. This led to an eventual over harvest of painite that was noticed by some of the diviners. A general diviner strike occurred, leading to an Imperial retaliation conducted by the PDF. After the slaughter of thousands of Chargis mining slaves, the wealthiest classes of turf farmers withheld their tithe to the Bandrois Corporation, causing the business to overdraw and outlast their welcome on the planet.
During the ensuing rebellion, the planetary defense force ran out of food. When the leaders of the PDF appealed to Bandrois for help in securing food for their ranks they were denied, and after a brief foray into infighting they joined the farmers in their rebellion.
Having no protection, Bandrois fled with a few loyalists into the swamps to await extraction from the planet's surface. The PDF informed the peat farmers of the locations of the corporation mining machines, and since that time a war has been raging across the upper hemisphere on Chargis III: the indigenous farmers and the PDF rebels against the corporation loyalists and any forces the Imperium can re-route to the planet.
Currently, things have come to a head near a stronghold known as Bandrois Swamplands. This area is comprised of various hills emerging from dangerous swamplands in a 300-mile radius from Arturos Bandrois' personal hideout. Over 5,500 rebels have cornered 1,450 Imperial forces between Lake Delta (to the north) and the almost impassable Eastern Bandrois Swamplands, filled with death-world foliage and deep sink holes. Both forces have stretched the limits of their fuel reserves and ammunition. This has created a stalemate, the loyalists unable to move and the rebels unable to muster an organized killing-blow attack.
Both forces have sent out reconnaissance detachments in order to scour the local countryside for anything they can find: food, ammunition, fuel, or even locations of peinite deposits- information that can be sold in exchange for materiel.
The PDF forces sent out ten "scavenge and patrol detachments," each consisting of a complete infantry platoon with six chimera transports. Detachments 1-5 were summarily destroyed by Imperial ordinance, detachments 6-10 have been heavily depleted. Some have returned to the front with scavenged resources, but many more have been lost, eaten, or demoralized by a vicious year-long journey through the swamps. The remainders of these Detachments now exists in a single remaining force referred to as the "Upper Five," and now only 50 or so are still scouring the countryside.
This ragged force is commanded by PC Jake Taffton, supported by five infantry squads. One of these squads is led by a local named "Doc" Strop, a local hero of sorts who has survived multiple capture and torture sessions by Imperials. He now wields a mechanical arm and respirator due to his injuries.
The force only has two remaining Chimeras with fuel, and one Hellhound that is running on fumes. They're desperate to find anything in order to keep going, and stay away from the grind of the front lines.