Orktober – The Dust Rats – 1. LandfallFiled under: Ere Be Stuff
For those of you who don’t know who or what the Dust Rats are, let us enlighten you. The Dust Rats are a new playable faction for Gorkamorka that will be released as part of Ere Be Stuff, an expansion pack we at tUGS are working on.
We’re going to be rolling out the content for the Dust Rats over the course of the week, rather than all at once. This is mostly for practical purposes – putting all of it out at once would make for one ridiculously large post – but also so we can get your feedback on each part.
As we said earlier, this is an open beta. That means that these rules are not finalised and some things may be changed before the final release. That said, we encourage you to try out the rules and give us feedback as that is what this is for. We can test it in-house but we’re only a small group of people and we simply don’t have enough time to try out every permutation. So please, try out the rules and tell us which bits are broken or unbalanced!
Today we’re starting off with the first chunk of their background story, and then later the basic structure of a Dust Rat mob. Without further ado, here’s part one:
Far out on the Eastern Fringe, on the edge of Imperial Space lies the Ultima Segmentum, the edges of which are home to numerous planets, one of which housed a small mining colony. This facility was Dolumar IV, the furthest reach of the Imperium, truly the back of beyond. This isn’t to say there weren’t other planets nearby; they were simply silent and dead, a fact discovered by the Imperial Navy when scanning and mapping the outer regions. One dead world in particular stood out, XCV-103.EI2.75M.Bor, an arid crumbling rock more commonly known as Angelis.
Scans by the Firmament Reproached found curious energy readings and structures of unknown origin on the planet’s surface, defying explanation. Upon sensor recalibration, even more structures deeper underground raised more questions. How could a world so bereft of life be producing such unusual data?
A force was drafted and dispatched to assist an investigation, while also under orders to secure the planet if the research was deemed of ‘use’ to the Imperium. The brave young men and women were mostly conscripts with little training and like so many others in the Imperial Guard, entirely expendable. Their leaders were officers who had been unfortunate enough to irritate their superiors, such missions being ideal disposal grounds for those deemed to have become cocky and overconfident.
Once basic scans were completed by their vessel, the Eternal Vigilance, it became clear that significantly more specialised skills were required to thoroughly assess the situation. For such tasks the Imperium maintains the Adeptus Paleologos, a sprawling organisation deployed across a thousand planets to decipher information from the remnants of previous ages of civilisation.
With the archeo-team in transit, arriving some four months later, the 534th Infantry Regiment (AKA “The Desert Riders”) made landfall and established Base Station Angelis. Located in a natural valley it was nestled deep in the planet’s mountainous terrain, a truly fortified position. Attack was not expected but given the unknown nature of the structures even this preparation was more than justified. Archeo-Team XLII (AKA “Fools Gold”) made landfall in 431344.M35, expecting Angelis to be their home for the indefinite future, an expectation which would turn out to be all too apt.
Adeptus Prefectus Primus Magellan began work within days of arrival, dispatching a large number of different teams to gather data on the pyramidal structures. The strange geometry of the site fascinated him, but despite his perseverance he was unable to determine their contents. Thus began many months of excavation work, in an attempt to find the root of the energy spikes and discover what lay beneath these vast alien pyramids.
On the final day of normality a breakthrough was made – a Necrontyr sarcophagus was uncovered, the fact of which was to be immediately reported to Terra. That was the intention, but attempts to reach Dolumar IV met with silence, then static. Unbeknownst to Magellan, cataclysmic warp storms had begun, signalling the end of life as it had been known to the inhabitants of Base Station Angelis.
These storms brought with them the Ork hulk, screaming through the atmosphere and dragging the Eternal Vigilance down with it. It would be over six millennia before any Imperial Vessel could reach the planet.