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An old world conquered by the Imperium at the start of the Prosperitas Crusade, Butonia was a quiet backwater planet at the fringes of sector politics but what development has occurred has been largely thanks to its position as a cross roads on a number of trade-routes. For this reason alone the Butonia capital was a vibrant and semi-modern hive with all the benefits of modern Imperial society available to the rich aristocracy. The difference is living standards between rich and poor was as stark here as anywhere in the sector and it was this simple buying power in the hands of the nobles that always meant that they could maintain personal armies and fiefdoms, bribe away any serious threat and generally maintain order through a mixture of oppression and corruption.
The lords themselves had their own rivalries and ambitions but after the calamitous Titian revolt 300 years ago all nobles agreed that should any of them resort to the support of the masses then that family will be purged utterly from the face of the planet. Baron Janus Titian had been outmanoeuvred by one of his closest rivals in his efforts to exploit new carbon-3 deposits found in the northern wastes but when he resorted to a people’s uprising using most of his families vast wealth to arm the people in a peasants revolt he found himself betrayed by one of his own blood. Despite this he was able to drag out the war last for 10 years. In the end the though the noble houses untied against him when the distant dream of emancipation was raised by Titian at an speech he gave in the northern woods. He was hunted down and killed by an assassin and within three months the war was over.
Since that time the people were treated like cattle. Little more than serfs, a nobles wealth was measured by how many people they could drive into the mines to claw out the precious Carbon-3. By 583.M41 the volume of ore that the planet paid to the Administratum was five times what it was in Titian’s time but the desire to keep the people weak meant that technological development and advanced mining techniques were simply outlawed.
Attracted by the prospect of escape many young volunteers joined the PDF but these regiments became little more than armed gangs going by names such as the “Rattlers”, “The Collectors” or “Zombies” and the behaviour of their Commanders was more akin to that of petty warlords than upstanding Imperial officers.
The Saint’s Rebellion – 583.M41
The Governor became more anxious to fulfil quotas, turning to the aid of the Adeptus Mechanicus for aid in the rapid extraction of the Carbon-3 the only thing that gave his domain value. That aid came at a price, in the long term it would pollute the atmosphere and poison the soil of Butonia – but the seeds of rebellion where born from the mass land clearances that faced the Serf population, and where Serfs refused to give up their homes, their farms, they were slaughtered by the increasingly out of control PDF.
Open rebellion against the Sector Governor erupted in M41.583 with the defection of several of the infamous PDF regiments to the side of the revolting Serfs – in response those forces loyal to the Governor began to slaughter their way through the under-armed population in order to put down the conflict. The Rebels were rallied, however, by a young woman known as Safina, who proclaimed herself a ‘Living Saint’.
At the height of what could have been a brutal civil war, the Governor was assassinated by agents unknown, without his corrupt leadership the upper classes faltered and the Serfs led by ‘Saint’ Safina have taken control of much of the planets surface. The Mechanicus in turn inflamed the situation further by claiming the papers signed by the deceased Governor give them right to mine the Carbon-3 deposits on Butonia.
The Purges – 592.M41
By 592.M41 Butonia had fallen into a state of anarchy, the Living Saint having vanished without a trace, and no true governor put in place Butonia had been forgotten by the powers of the Imperium, the rebellion suppressed, its corrupt governing class toppled, and yet, nothing changed: there was no order, no restored control, the Black Ship tithe forgotten, mutants unattended and allowed to grow in size and population… the planet needed leadership.
In 592.M41, the people, enflamed by a Redemptionist element, rose up to take control themselves, an army of the Faithful overran what few of the corrupt PDF bases remained on the planet, murdering their occupants who had divided the small world up into their own feudal domains. When the last of the petty Warlords of Butonia fell, the Faithful spread out, seized by Redemptionist dialogue they scoured the world clean of Mutant and Witch. It was only now, as the flames licked the skies of Butonia that the Imperium took notice of the situation on the world, as an army of the Faithful waited on its surface, staring at the stars awaiting promised deliverance and service to Him on Terra.
While the people of Butonia might well have once been valued as mining assets, their zeal and vigour have marked this world as an ideal source of tithes for the Astra Militarum and so, like hungry vultures, the tithe-ships have landed to fill their bellies with an eager army of the righteous.