About Bachian IV
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“The poison clouds are very beautiful from orbit, and I had the pleasure of meeting one of the clanmothers at a Vilas-Lobo party on the third moon; once you get past the shocking appearance, she was surprisingly courteous for an abhuman – I was quite charmed.” – Travel diary of Lucius di Firro, 562.M41
A savage, toxic world in the corewards reaches of Subsector Tertius, Bachian IV and its attendant moons are a vassal holding of House Vilas-Lobo and a source of substantial mineral wealth for the House. The world itself is uninhabitable by unmodified humans, with a poisonous atmosphere and corrosive precipitation that defeats even the most ingenious atmospheric processors after a few months of exposure. As a result, the Vilas-Lobo scions and overseers reside on artificial habitats on the world’s three small moons, and the surface is the preserve of heavily genehanced and modified abhumans, created under license by the House’s allied Mechanicus Genetors. Organised into mine-clans, these abhumans live primarily in a generously-appointed network of cave systems under the surface, creating comparative luxury out of conditions that would kill any unprotected human in minutes.
Since its discovery and colonisation in the early 300s, the history of Bachian has mostly been a quiet one, with the abhuman population kept largely quiescent and profitable through a combination of rough Imperial discipline and promises of generous retirement packages on the moons for workers from particularly productive mine-clans. However, in the mid 500s, a series of initially cordial industrial disputes spiralled out of control when a subversive organisation known as the Black Gauntlet began to agitate amongst the clans. Wildcat strikes and property destruction followed, resulting in increasingly brutal reprisals from Vilas-Lobo overseers but complicated by the difficulty of deploying any significant force onto the planet without expensive protective equipment.
Separating the Black Gauntlet agitators from mine-clans with genuine grievances has proved a nearly impossible task for Vilas-Lobo negotiators. The competing concerns of keeping the mining exports flowing – which include rare elements vital in the manufacture of Adeptus Mechanicus neural interfaces and Gellar field maintenance tools – and keeping control over the planet has proved a nearly impossible task for a series of governors. Governor Mindinha Vilas-Lobo, the sixth governor in a decade, is eager to resolve the crisis before it attracts Crusade or – worse – Inquisitorial attention, and rumoured to be willing to negotiate with the clan-bosses on much more open terms than her replaced and assassinated predecessors.