Caudica Secundus

About Caudica Secundus

Name:   Caudica Secundus
Image:   Caudica Secondus
Sub-Sector:   Secundus
Type:   Hive World [Devastated]
Population:   Depopulated
Climate:   Sterile
Status:   Dead World
Groups of Note: 

“There is nowhere in the Sector more pleasurable and diverting for a lover of music and fine art than the upper Spires of Caudica’s northern continent. Every truly brilliant composer since the Crusade began has studied here in their time. I have an enduring fondness for the planet and the great beauty it inspires in those of finer sensibilities.” Travel Diary of Lucius di Firro, 570.M41

Caudica Secundus was a thriving Hive-World in Subsector Secundus, first settled prior to the rise of the Imperium. It was initially settled by colonists eager to take advantage of the bountiful agricultural wealth found in its archipelagos.

What started as fishing communities grew to cities and then supercities. The booming economy was supported by the discovery of extensive mineral deposits on the southern desert continent. By mid-M41 the planet was an economic powerhouse in the subsector. The planetary governor – a semi-hereditary position, with new incumbents determined by ritual duels held between four ruling families – was widely considered one of the most respected positions in the Prosperitas Sector.

The great Hive Arcologies, forming a ring around the northern hemisphere, were inhabited by nearly six billion citizens; another four billion toiled in the desert mining hives in the south. Kept in order by a brutally efficient planetary defence force, the Hives produced all the tithes expected of a well-ordered Imperial world, including three Imperial Guard armoured cavalry regiments. The planet had a number of thriving academies of the arts, and Caudican opera of the mid-M41 is regarded throughout the Sector as the finest example of the art.

All this ended in the M41.580s. A blind Ministorum preacher appeared in the primary mining Hive. He claimed to have come from the deep desert; to have seen visions of the Emperor in the trails of the great sand-worms. His popularity spread, igniting the Lower Hives in a fervour unlike any seen on Caudica before. Reports of his disciples performing miracles, seeing the future and hearing the memories of their ancestors, caused even Upperhive dwellers to take a fashionably salacious interest in this underclass cult.

The local Ecclesiarchy, blindsided by the apparent renewal of faith among the Underhive dwellers, were slow to spot the heterodoxies and deviances spread by the preacher’s followers. By the time the alarm was raised, it was too late; the cult of the “Great Worm” had infiltrated every level of the southern continent’s mining industry, brutally murdering all who remained loyal to the God-Emperor. The planet’s industry was turned over to the treacherous cult. Panic engulfed the northern continent, leading to brutal purges as the planetary governor fought to retain control.

After a snap investigation by the Inquisition, the planet was declared irredeemable. The order to carry out an evacuation of the northern Spires, followed by Exterminatus, was relayed to the nearest vessels of Battlefleet Prosperitas.

The planet’s biosphere was eradicated by cyclonic torpedo in late M41.582. Several million refugees were first evacuated to neighbouring worlds and orbital stations, many with the assistance of the same Navy vessels which delivered the bombardment. Displaced Caudicans can be found all over Subsector Secundus. While some have adapted poorly to life off-planet, the majority of them have found ready employment in the mining industries of nearby systems.

The Caudican Guard regiments still exist, but are awaiting permission from the Departmento Munitorum to recruit from other worlds. With no source of casualty replacements, they face disbandment or amalgamation before the decade is out if permission is not forthcoming soon.

Caudica today is an airless ruin. There is some hope that the surface may become stable enough to allow servitor-led mining operations within the century.

Survivors in the Caudican Diaspora

The majority of the surviving Clans of Caudica have settled on Polarnus Station where until it’s invasion they were working in the deep warren-tunnels of the stations sublevels, aiding in operations to mine out and expand the great asteroid-facility. This exile community swelled and grew, thanks to the aid of well-placed Caudicans including an Archdeacon who did their best to help it survive, founding several social programs to better aid them. Unfortunately the arrival of Cardinal-Emissarius Grulge in 584.M41 caused a huge amount of Ecclesiastical upheaval, and the funding for these schemes dried up, as a result, and the Caudican population suffered.

The Caudican population has become more and more disillusioned over the course of losing their world with a marked rise in violent crime amongst the population, due to the rise of members of the diaspora community who do not support the Imperium like many of their elders, with many young Caudican’s turning towards these agitators for leadership. The formation of of ‘Protection Squads’ to protect the Caudican community on Polarnus Station has further polarised community opinions and militarised the anti-Imperial elements.

The Caudicans are a multi-ethnic group comprising the three main ethnic groups within the Prosperitas Sector, but in possession of their own distinct cultural quirks as a planet. The majority of Caudicans belong to a Mining Clan although the name is a misnomer for the Mining Clans controlled the arable archipelagoes and their agriculture as well as the desert mining hives. The Clans bridged upperhive/underhive social divides often with underhive gangs serving as muscle for when Clan disagreements turned violent, but the world was mostly civilised and minimal in its violence, to be without a Clan was to be a social pariah. Indeed one of the groups the Cult of the Great Worm converted en-mass were the dispossessed of clan, though quite to taboo they brought many clans together under their banner.

There were just under a hundred clans at the time of Caudica’s destruction but with many corrupted by the cult, or lost in the death of the world, along with subsequent marrying and intermingling to survive as a people after the loss of their homeworld there are only a handful left. Clan is more important now after the death of Caudica then it ever was on the world. Though it is the general opinion of the Caudicans that all the Clans need to worth together for the collective survival of their people. The clan-marks that many caudican’s wear on their face are believed to have begun as ‘barcoding’ for scanners to identify slaves, but that origin has long-since been forgotten and the technological patterns of straight lines and angular shapes that make up Caudican markings has evolved as another artform of their people, every Caudican has a tale to tell about their Clan marks, and the only way to really learn another’s clan is by talking to them about it, especially now with so many clans mingled together.

Some of the Surviving Clans are;

  • Clan Rojav (Horizontal Vertical Markings in Black): This clan, originally nomadic, had a reputation for deep desert navigation before the Exterminatus. They specialised in reconnaissance and survival in hostile terrain, and often scouted new mineral deposits for Imperial trade houses. They have struggled to adapt to life in the close confines of Polarnus, with many of the elders suffering from intense and crippling claustrophobia.
  • Clan Dreis (Diagonal Markings in Green) – Largely lost in the exterminatus, Clan Dreis was re-founded on Polarnus Station by Sannah Dreis one of the pre-eminent Caudican community leaders and the only surviving scion of the original Clan. Clan Dreis is one of the most hostile of the surviving Clans towards the Imperium and their number are often targeted by Imperial Enforcers.
  • Clan Wren (Horizontal Markings in Blue) – This clan was largely offworld during the exterminatus, with the bulk of their number serving as the Caudican 2nd Armoured Regiment. They are a clan most notable for their conservatism and their strict codes of honor that made them the prime target for the planetary tithe of Guard recruits. Perhaps the most martial of the survivors though split by it’s loyalty to the Imperial Guard and their anger and feelings of betrayal of the death of Caudica, and the struggle of the Caudican regiments to retain their name.
  • Clan Hashd (Crosshatched Markings in Purple) – The Hashd clan had a long history as caretakers, guides and protectors of the sacred shrines found across Caudica. Pious but also pragmatic, many of their number found work with the security forces of Polarnus, protecting the mining warrens and keeping order among their fellow clans.
  • Clan Huld (Zig-Zag Markings in Red) – Although there are many higher ranked survivors of Clan Huld left in the sector, they mostly show allegiance to Archdeacon Anactos Huld,  a community leader of the Caudican diaspora on Polarnus Station, and a devoted believer in the God-Emperor. The Clan is highly opposed to Clan Dreis, but has been known to work with them for the greater good.

While Clan is less of a divide between the surviving Caudican’s their opinions on the Imperium are widely split, with a greater majority remain largely loyal citizens, a growing angry, mostly young, minority are increasingly hostile to the Imperium, and are often prey for seditionists like the Rising Flame, or even Cults – this is something that the more rational Caudican people have done everything to prevent, acutely aware of the ability of the Imperium to sanction their entire surviving population to death should they perceive the Caudican people to be irrevocably tainted.

The Caudican’s tend to mingle artistic expression with their work ethic, the arts are a precious thing to them so many Caudican’s will possess an art alongside their other more practical talents, and although the Imperium may see this as worthless, the Caudican’s have survived financially as much by working hard for the Imperium as selling their artistic talents to visitors to their settlements, and as a result they are still greatly in demand by the Imperial Nobility when they require artistic talents.

Overall, the Caudican’s are a broken people, but they have a fiery will to survive and maintain their culture that is unlike many Imperial populations, the leaders of the surviving clans know that the day may come that there are no Caudican’s left to carry on their traditions and bonds of Clan and that the memory of the Caudican people will fade into the long history of extinct cultures within the Imperium.