About Mawson’s Wake
“A charming little industrial backwater. My father’s advice was quite correct – I found that one truly can source nearly anything made by human hands here, if one has the correct introductions and ready Thrones to burn. Food indifferent, locals discourteous, sunsets beautiful.” – Travel Diary of Lucius di Firro, 578.M41
|Climate:||Semi-Arid, Partial Terraforming|
|Groups of Note:|
Named for a long-forgotten pioneer in the early days of colonisation, Mawson’s Wake is a dry, dusty and tumultuous planet. Its early colonists were intended for another world, but disembarked early after sabotage to their ships’ systems. Distress calls went unanswered as the settlers fought to tame arid wastelands with unsuited equipment; the survivors struggled through generations of thirst and desperation to forge a culture of dedicated, survivalist independence. They uncovered the remains of an ancient manufactorum complex which contained copies of the patterns and equipment necessary to construct, fuel and arm Tauros rapid assault vehicles. Over decades they established sufficient patchy mineworks to begin producing the patterns and spread out into a network of small, poverty-wracked townships which persist to this day.
When the intended settlers arrived with terraforming equipment and the strong arm of government, the established colonists reacted poorly. The Guard were sent in, and new Mechanicus forces seized control of the manufactories to keep their brethren – felt to have ‘gone native’ – in check, with violent purges of tech-heretics from among the populace following. Hives were constructed for the newcomers as the revolt was brought to heel, and terraforming began.
Civil disruption, minor riots, high crime and ongoing low-level hostility dogged the planetary governor’s projects. Eventually the economic situation deteriorated such that he could only fulfil the world’s tithe by providing soldiers, and so a Tauros-mounted guard regiment – Mawson’s First Rapid Reconnaissance – were raised, by ruthless draft; trained, with the brutality necessary to force the deeply anti-authoritarian conscripts into submission; and shipped offworld. Months later, the sector high command sent hostile investigators to discover why this poorly-regarded planet’s promised regiment had not arrived: Mawson’s First had been lost in the warp.
The news provoked an outburst of violent rioting more severe than even the initial revolt against the colonists. The sectoral investigators were slain, and a full-scale rebellion ensued. The planetary governor suppressed it with overwhelming force, but the sector withdraw all support for the planet’s ongoing development in retaliation. Terraforming was halted along with all other major works, leaving only fragmentary areas fully habitable. Within a century the besieged hives were mostly abandoned for the resilient settlements, with only government forces still holding out within.
Mawson’s Wake now scrapes out an existence largely based around its vehicle construction capacity, farmed out to whichever traders – Rogue or scheduled – can arrive with ready Thrones and the raw materials for their order. Between such flurries of production, small-time blast-miners broker their materials to the Mechanicus, enabling the techpriests to produce enough Tauri to mostly offset the tithe; the planetary governor fulfils the rest with conscription at gunpoint, rounding up entire towns for the Guard. Each major recruitment drive or raising of a regiment spikes hostilities and risks revolt; another has recently erupted after the raising of Mawson’s Fourth began two years ago. Fighting has thus far been sporadic as the planetary governor’s forces bunker down. She has repeatedly cried out for support from the Crusade, the sector government or her trading partners. Rumour has it she is becoming desperate.