+ inload: Deuce of Beasts +
Every Imperial Commander is precious to the Emperor!
No world is beyond the sight of the High Lords!
Pay your tithe!
Imprecatory text appended ca. M32 to the flyleaf of the Imperial Commander's Carte Blanche.
+ 'Every world pays its tithes. Sometimes late, sometimes after the application of force, but they always pay.' Such is the comfortable truth of the Departmento Munitorum, in its role as enforcer for the Adeptus Terra. +
+ The Imperium is vast and monolithic, and it is true that many worlds are simply so far-flung or isolated that they will receive Imperial dignitaries fewer than every tenth generation. That said, most planets in densely inhabited systems (in practise, those with more than one habitable planet) will have a number of organisations in place to ensure mutual support – those these arrangements vary –from treaties to ensure both can pay their full tithe in times of hardship, to virtual piracy, where one world will exist as a virtual parasite of another. As long as the tithe of both is paid, the Adeptus Terra cares not a jot. +
+ The Port Cassian system is a strategically vital place for the Imperium, controlling one of the main routes into the system. Being so close to orkspace, it is heavily defended and monitored. As a result, the relatively backwards feral world Dorin Antrum and the feudal world Cepheus enjoy the military and political advantages of sharing space with such luminary worlds as Exercitus, Bellatrix and Port Cassian, all vital to the continued well-being of subsector Hesiod-Siculus and Sector Antona Australis as a whole. +
+ One might expect that the two less-developed planets might be highly monitored, but in practice the two worlds are a low priority. No matter the might and power of the Imperium, its coffers run continually empty. In a system as high priority as Port Cassian, it is easy for Imperial Adepts to bypass please from textile trade envoys from an inbred principality in favour of keeping the Imperial Navy running. +
+ With little chance of long-term planetary damage or the unleashing of system-capable craft, most feudal-level wars are simply observed from orbit, as one might observe squabbling children. An Imperial troopship will be tasked with intervening if the local PDF cannot manage things. +
+ In the case of Cepheus specifically, the war is – on an Imperial level – inconsequential. Thousands may have died and millions may have been displaced, but the war shows little sign of escalating. The Imperial Commander has ensured the tithe was met not two months ago. Following this final action, he has closed the space port to both incoming and outgoing ships. This has aroused little further suspicion – after all, to most observers, this is a sensible move to ensure that the matter remains local, and that troublemakers might not escape or arrive. +
+ Where possible, the Imperial Guard will attempt to bring in troops that are local enough to arrive in short order, but not so local that they might be inclined to take sides. In orbit over Cepheus currently sit, amongst others, the Blenheim 2014th, a regiment from the Perseus system in the nearby subsector Anton Antecedent. +
+ Shuttled to the surface to receive the Imperial Commander's blessing – a service that marks the Imperium's support for the planetary governor – were a small platoon of veteran Guardsmen and women; an honour guard for their General. Amongst these was Colour Sergeant Thorna Tempest. +
+ The regiment's 'adoption' by the planet was marked by the gift of a banner – a totem of the Sun King. +
+ The shuttle has since been grounded by the dock blockade. The troops are barracked within the Sun King's palace, with their officer's last orders simply being 'hold'. Their officers were spirited away – for safety – by the Sun King's vizier, and have remained incommunicado since. Sergeant Tempest is thus the second highest-ranking Imperial soldier on Cepheus, and is finding the stretching silence disquieting. +
+ While such worlds as Cepheus might easily escape an Administratum audit, are not entirely unmonitored. The Inquisition's brooding and gloomy Unkind Palace sits within the system, after all. While low priority for the Administratum, the Inquisition views all worlds equally. An insurrection in-system, even from somewhere with a pre-industrial technology level, will inevitably draw someone's eye. +
+ When an Inquisitor has reason to suspect the Imperial Commander is not quite what he seems, it is grounds enough for that Inquisitor to make planetfall; blockade or not. +