About Burisalis Prime
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With no substantial mineral deposits and shallow, infertile soil, Burisalis Prime is a flat and almost featureless world of sweeping plains and scrub tundra. Hardly any vegetation on the planet grows to more than three feet in height; the rare stands of trees are limited to the broken hill-country of the southern polar islands.
Never heavily populated, Burisalis has seen heavy use for the last three hundred years as the training ground for the Prosperitas Sector Imperial Guard regiments and formations. Units on rotation away from the front are often sent here to hone their skills and drill together before being sent back into the maelstrom of the Crusade. With simple terrain and almost no chance of collateral damage, the planet makes an ideal location for live firing training and testing. Day and night, the plains of the planet echo to the sound of artillery and armour firing main armaments.
The Burisalis population is tiny, and almost all the permanent inhabitants are employed in the maintenance and upkeep of the training area and firing ranges. At any given time, however, the population can be doubled or tripled by the number of soldiers busy training on the planet’s surface. Most of the natives live in or around the settlement simply known as Temple, named for its dominant feature – a huge Ecclesiarchy cathedral visible from near orbit. The cathedral can comfortably fit an entire Guard Regiment within its pews, and frequently does so when pious Colonels parade their troops for a service seeking the Emperor’s blessings before they return to the war.
As with any training ground, sometimes accidents happen. The brutal demands of the Sector’s Crusade mean that casualties for pre-deployment training exercises usually run somewhere between 1% for artillery and support units, up to 5% for light role and reconnaissance infantry. Those soldiers who die without ever seeing the face of the enemy are buried on Burisalis, in the graveyards that occupy several square miles north of Temple. The cemetery also includes a number of monuments to the unburied fallen and unknown dead, which are an occasional site of pilgrimage for veterans; these are arranged in the form of circles of massive standing stones.
There is a persistent rumour that a particularly brutal Guard Colonel training on Burisalis a decade ago worked her regiment so hard that half were killed or injured and the other half deserted. If the rumours are true, the remnants of the regiment might still be living wild in the planet’s forgotten corners – but surely none could be alive after ten years in such an inhospitable place.