The Chronicles Of Soloss
The windswept planet of LaFeyette is somewhat unique. Due to a shockwave from a nearby star going supernova thousands of years ago, the once lush planet, thick with forest and swamp, was well and truly wiped clean. Also caught in the resulting explosion of the star’s collapse was one of Lafeyette’s nearby moons, which was literally shattered after being struck by stray astral debris carried by the wave (a portion of this debris, a massive asteroid known as The Spire (see below), has now replaced the absent moon, and has become an offshoot of the Emperor’s Will to Lafeyette’s inhabitants.
The surface of LaFeyette not only underwent a scourging when the shockwave hit, but many smaller fragments of the moon struck the surface. The debris, pieces the size of whole continents ploughed through the planet, creating immense scars in the landscape. Some of these gargantuan canyons are hundreds, sometimes thousands, of meters high. By the time mankind made its way to LaFeyette, many years later, the planet had since stabilised, although the surface and gulfs were now battered by merciless winds.
But the new inhabitants were not without their pioneers. Rodox LaFeyette, an Engineer and Tech Priest saw an opportunity to harness the wind and with this draw power for his work. The cities that grew up over the decades all began using turbines and propellers, wherever they could be placed upon buildings to catch the wind and provide power.
There are the usual power plants of course, usually on the canyon floors, but the endless gales supply the mass power needs of the great Vertical Cities that now span the sides of the canyons. In the widest of these, free-floating turbines up to 500m long connecting to both sides of the canyon walls, catch the wind with their massive propellers. Smaller props bristle the bottom of the turbines, along with small retros, and anti-grav backups, for days where the wind isn’t so strong, and their suspension in mid-air needs to be compensated.
The upper surface of the planet does contain many vast planes between the canyons, and life does flourish, but in a far more limited fashion in contrast to the lands before supernova hit. The planes can grow crops, but again, the plants have to be deep rooted, and strong enough to survive the constant battering. But for the most part they are left as they are, as wild scrub and moor land, and very much untamed. Why tame, where no one wants to be? The gorges provide everything the populace need. The top of the canyons are generally where visitors make their entry to any of the cites, as all are topped with landing stations, with both elevators and walkways leading down to the hundreds of storeys below. Flight lower than the immediate surface is forbidden, for fear of pilot error, and colliding with the all-important turbines, numerous roof and wall props, as well as the many walkways that at times criss-cross high above the canyon floors.
The strange orbit held by The Spire means that it always points towards Holy Terra, which over the years has led to regular prayers by the populace, (which always include a certain amount of libation) made to what is essentially a very irregular obelisk in space. Priests and Acolytes of The Spire make annual pilgrimages on several of the Emperor’s days shuttling to the southern pole of the satellite, and then journeying in space suits to the summit, where a great statue of the God Emperor has been carved from the rock. The Spire has been recognised by the Ecclesiarchy and many echelons from Terra, and other high ranking worlds, will often make their way to Lafeyette to join the pilgrimages, making the world a gathering point for many of the faithful who view The Spire as proof that the Emperor has placed his blessing upon the planet.
From world to world, more serious crimes are punished in many different ways. On Lafeyette, criminals sentenced to death, or life imprisonment, can opt for The Taming as an alternative.
The surface is unforgiving, it’s bright hot sun Soloss Magna beats down mercilessly on exposed ground, high winds, dust storms and freezing nights, not to mention some of the more interesting indigenous lifeforms who have evolved and adapted to the winds. The condemned are given the option of trial by survival. Dropped on the surface from a prison transport, they awaken blindfolded, with basic food and rations for a couple of days. If they manage to make it back alive, the authorities will grant a pardon, with the former inmate, or rather outmate, having been ‘tamed’ by the furious nature of the surface. An attractive proposition to death for some, but as of yet, no one has yet survived. The last man who came within a few feet of the city of Lorsa, unfortunately collapsed and died of exhaustion.
Unfortunately, the odds these days of successfully completing The Taming, are even slimmer. Rumours are abound of Tamers. These bounty hunters will venture out in low flying craft, in search of the lost convicts trying to find their way home, and often shoot them on sight, and sell the remains to the highest bidder. There are other collectors, who wish them captured alive, usually so that they can meet out revenge for some wrong done to them by criminal, seeing that allowing them to go free amongst the wastes is not punishment enough. The law discourage Tamers, but don’t ‘strictly’ enforce it. Although any unfortunate Tamer who is arrested, may well find themselves taking a walk on the surface.