About Macharion CDXI
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Orbiting a small brown dwarf in the Rimward Marches, Macharion is the youngest Imperial colony in the Prosperitas Sector. The earliest records of Durovera’s Crusade mark the planet as uninhabited but viable, with a climate on the warmer side of temperate. The first application for colonisation was submitted to the Administratum in 205.M41, duly interrogated and processed, returned with minor corrections in 321.M41, resubmitted immediately with minor amendments to subclauses, punctuation and righteous capitalisation reviewed, and finally returned with approval in 550.M41. Preparations for colonisation began immediately. A call for volunteers went out across the loyal planets of Subsector Secundus, and millions of pious citizens answered the cry.
The Ecclesiarchy bolstered their recruiting efforts with tales of the victories of the Lord Solar Macharius, whose Crusade and heroic death in 400.M41 were received as fresh news within living memory in the Prosperitas Sector. Inspired by his stirring tale, the colonists voted unanimously to name their new home after the Saint. Unusually, its designation CDXI refers to its place in the list of hundreds of similarly-named worlds across the Segmentum Pacificus, rather than its position in solar orbit – it is in fact the fifth planet from its star, and Administratum clerks are in a constant vicious and bitter stalemate over astrogation charts they maintain should read Macharion V.
Nearly six million Imperial citizens survived the Warp transit, and first footfall was made in 581.M41. Half of this number are already on the planet, living in a mixture of prefabricated and scratch-build accommodation on the temperate and verdant northern polar cap. The remaining half remain in cryosleep in orbiting ark shell pods, until their hardier comrades complete first stage terraforming. At current schedules, the next ten shifts of relief colonists should be woken at six-year intervals, with full population resident on the surface and a stable third generation of Macharian natives reaching working age by 641.M41. The Macharian 1st Light Infantry Regiment is scheduled for First Founding in 593.M41, and should send its first detachment to join the Crusade in the mid-590s.
The capital, named Sejanus after Macharius’ chief general and lifelong companion, is a thriving and vibrant frontier town in a constant fever of expansion. The sounds of hammering and drilling, and unceasing hymns to the Machine-Spirits of the fabricator engines building new roads and pipelines, fill the air day and night. The rough and dusty city changes so often it is widely considered unmappable; the unquestioned centre, however, is certainly Founders’ Square, supposed (apocryphally) to be centred on the exact spot on the planet where the first colonist’s boot hit Macharian dirt. The place is marked with a great statue of the planet’s patron saints, standing together and smiling towards the distant horizon. The image depicts both in full armour blazoned with the Solar sunburst and Aquila, Saint Sejanus holding Saint Macharius’ helmet in one hand, his other hand tangled affectionately in his General’s hair.
The central continental belt is currently highly inhospitable, and too hot and dry to sustain permanent settlements. However, adventurous young colonists regularly mount expeditions in sealed rover vessels into the interior deserts to conduct reconnaissance, take scientific readings to confirm the progress of terraforming, or simply flee their elders and betters for a week or two. The southern polar cap is almost completely unexplored; auspex surveys from void orbit suggest a permissible climate similar to that of the northern cap, but vast fog banks and electromagnetic interference from an unknown source (some speculate rare mineral deposits in the nearby oceans) have prevented any more in-depth surveys.
Smaller settlements some fifty miles south and east of Sejanus, with the current proposed names of Lysander and Peritas, are mapped and the land cleared; construction work is scheduled to begin in late 591.M41. Peritas is a coastal city with a good command of a fertile river delta and will eventually act as the planet’s primary shuttle port, while Lysander is high up on a rocky plateau among the mountains. The terrain is too steep for farming, but the tech-augurs’ haruspex readings suggest that the nearby cliffs are highly likely to contain substantial iron and cobalt deposits.
The planet’s newly-minted Governor is Halina Chenau, an elderly but plasteel-tough woman originally from Helaerus. After a distinguished career in the Helaerus Reconnaissance Regiment, Chenau was awarded retirement with full honours and the Governorship in lieu of higher command – some mutter that this was a ploy to get her out of Crusade High Command and far away from her political rivals, and point to her habit of speaking uncomfortable truths loudly and repeatedly where higher authority can hear them. She rules Macharion with an approach to justice that her adoring colonists characterise as tough, just and fair in the finest traditions of the Imperium. She has no genetic heirs and has not yet seen fit to adopt any colonist as her successor. When questioned on the matter by Subsector news reporters, she fondly referred to her colonist charges as “a bunch of wastrels”, “lizards” and “get out of my office, I have an autocannon”.
The first planet-born Macharians are still children, but there are many youths born during the colonists’ long warp transit who proudly consider themselves Macharian. There is a fashion among Macharian parents to name their children after figures from the legends of the Lord Solar and in the fashion of the homeworlds of his bosom companions. Names such as Philip, Olympias, Aegis, Anaxamander, Ariadne, Nike and Hippolyta are common among the younger generation of colonists, and some families have even rejected their former surnames in lieu of variants on their patron saints’ names to show their loyalty to their new homeworld.