About Polarnus Station
|Groups of Note:||Crusade High Command|
“I found it a noisy, overpeopled sort of place; much like a Hive World but with none of the quaint historical charm. There is an excellent restaurant on level Omega-16 with stunning viewscreens overlooking the asteroid belt. The Epsilon sector was rather too full of the servants of the Machine-God for my liking, all bare metal and no taste for proper interior decoration; we did not linger there. The guards on the hydroponics complex lack a sense of humour.” – Travel Diary of Lucius di Firro, 545.M41
The origins of Polarnus Station are lost to sector legend. The station is in a stable orbit around a star which boasts no habitable worlds, but a vast series of asteroid fields in orbital belts which suggest some ancient disaster struck the system. Polarnus itself is a massive asteroid, hollowed out by some ancient beings or powers unknown into a honeycombed series of sealed chambers and passageways the size of a Hive-continent.
Polarnus has been continuously inhabited as far back as records of the Prosperitas Sector go. Its importance in the Sector comes from a number of factors, including its position close to the tri-subsector boundary, the presence of high natural deposits of iron, adamantium and aeschinyte in the nearby asteroid belts, and the massive hollowed-out bays on the dark side of the station allowing the ingress of ships up to Grand Cruiser size for maintenance and dry dock repair.
The asteroid was traditionally governed by a cabal of merchant princes, who fought amongst themselves for power and position. With the arrival of the Prosperitas Crusade, the ruling merchant prince capitulated immediately and unquestioningly at the arrival of Imperial forces in 055.M41, upholding a long reputation for being willing to sell anything and everything on the Station to the highest bidder. As a result of their compliance, the inhabitants of Polarnus station were permitted to go about their business largely untroubled, so long as they continued to supply and outfit Imperial forces.
In the centuries since the arrival of the Crusade, an uneasy power-sharing agreement has developed between Crusade High Command, the ruling Governor, and the Magos of the local Adeptus Mechanicus priesthood. These three powers form a triumvirate of sorts, with vicious political manouevering and power-plays common.
The Commandant of Polarnus Station, representing the administrative arm of Crusade High Command, is in charge of all those forces quartered temporarily at Polarnus. This is a thankless job usually given to a competent but universally disliked Guard or Navy officer. The incumbent takes responsibility for every drunken soldier who murders a Polarnus native, and every inexperienced Navy pilot who crashes into an asteroid within rescue distance of the station. The current holder is Vice-Admiral Denita Chandier. She wishes she wasn’t.
The Adeptus Mechanicus have arrived in their droves in the last centuries to oversee mining in the system, accomplish vital repairs to the Battlefleet Prosperitas fleet, and investigate the rumours of ancient archaeotech devices hidden at the heart of the labyrinthine asteroid. Their current leader is Magos-Artisan Jerubaal Honorius. He is deeply concerned with the ongoing archaeotech investigation, and often knocks heads with Denita Chandier, who believes he could prioritise more resource to fleet repair.
The old guard of Polarnians are presided over by Vanessa Kwarteng, the head of the Blue Fin Trade Cabal. Publicly, she is a genial, friendly, hands-off ruler, who believes in profit and free enterprise for everyone, particularly her close personal friends. Privately, she is ruthlessly competent operator who made her way to the top of the Kwarteng family by a vicious campaign of intimidation and assassination. She makes a great deal of profit out of the criminal gangs which sell luxuries – many of them, supposedly, illicit – to bored soldiers and ratings on shore leave.
The two areas which any Polarnian will take great pleasure in telling a new visitor about are the hydroponics complex and the supposed “missing levels”. The hydroponics complex is a masterwork of ancient engineering, much of it poorly understood even by the priests of the Cult Mechanicum. It comprises an artificial garden the size of a respectable country estate, modelled after the terrain of an Agri world, complete with trees, paths, an artificial holosky and semi-randomised atmospheric controls simulating planetary weather. This artificial landscape has been extensively bioengineered to produce oxygen and water recycling for the majority of the asteroid, and is a Mechanicus-designated Area of Outstanding Artificial Beauty besides. Entry to the complex is strictly controlled by Skitarii guardians. Rumours of sightings of strange humanoid beasts are ruthlessly suppressed by the complex’s custodians.
The “missing levels” are an old spacer’s tale – supposedly, ancient blueprints of the asteroid show the maps of levels Omega-1 through Omega-13. However, any regular visitor to Polarnus will happily tell you that the Omega levels begin at 14, with nothing but solid rock above. Anyone who thinks differently is clearly mad, or a liar.