Body: Gas Giant
Gravity: Powerful
Orbital features:
  • Lesser moon x3
  • Moon x4
  • Planetary rings (debris) x2
  • Planetary rings (dust) x2
System: Tangenia

"Oh I know you'll come over to my side eventually. One word love: Curiosity. You long for freedom. You long to do what you want to do because you like it, to act on selfish impulse. You want to see what it's like. One day, you won't be able to resist."
- Rogue Trader Othello Skylar to Chief-Prosecutor Lago Dioro during the Skylar Case
Of all the planetary configurations and cosmic phenomena in the Onus Region, none have fascinated scholars more than the fantastical flying islands of Tangenia IV. A place where huge chunks of porous crust drift through the sky, broken remnants of some past cataclysm, and colossal creatures slumber in the clouds. Combined with lethal lightning storms, clashing rogue islands and the constant threat of airborne pirate attacks, Blightsky is as dangerous as it is beautiful.

Life on the Floatillas Edit

Here humanity clings to whatever land they can find, making solid ground premium real estate. The rest that cannot afford dirt between their toes take to the skies, lashing together ships, transports and other atmospheric vessels to form great rafts of steel and canvas. An ionosphere rich in lighter-than-air elements and sandwiched layers of pressure variations mean these ramshackle settlements can maintain a neutral buoyancy and sail among the clouds with little effort.

These are known as floatillas and can vary dramatically in size from a few dozen souls on board to a few dozen cities bolted together over the centuries. Most are so large and so old that their parent vessels are unidentifiable after generations of collisions, conflict and renovations. The joining of a new vessel either by accident or by design is an auspicious event - the ship's captain is allowed to sit with the floatilla's council and every soul on board celebrates the union with drinking, dancing and traditional hulldrum music.

The cacophony of metal on metal is deafening at first, every inch of the floatilla shaking from the clatter of enthusiastic souls bashing together anything that makes a noise. Slowly but surely, and without coordination or composition, the white noise becomes a beat. A low, erratic beat that swells with ale and fervour into a pounding rhythm - an overwhelming sensation of energy throbbing through your bones. For a fleeting moment, all souls on board share the beating heart of the floatilla, and the union of the ceremony is officially complete.

The tradition traces back to the founding days when the furious storms would toss individual ships around like confetti, only with the mass of other vessels could you hope to be safe. The music is intended to keep away evil spirits as well, as the pulse of noise keeps away the hungry winged things that prey on exposed crewmen in the night.

Creatures in the clouds Edit

The beasts of Blightsky come in many shapes and sizes. Most are small and parasitic or opportunistic scavengers, little more than a nuisance to a vigilant skiesman. There are immense, bloated whale-like behemoths that swim through the air as if it were water - gentle giants that sift spores and airborne algae into their sieve-like mouths. There are great predators that lurk in cloud banks and strike undefended floatillas, shelling them like oysters with powerful tentacles and vicious jaws.

The most infamous is Mús-Saag, the Seven-Headed Skyserpent, who has claimed more floatillas than any other. She has existed for as long as people can remember, the stories and songs about her echoing across schoolyards and drinking halls throughout the sector. She has never been caught and only been seen by a handful of people, who are said to have all gone mad when they laid eyes on her. After she has finished feasting on the fleshy contents of a newly-fledged floatilla she disappears with lightning speed, sinking into the abyss below.

All attempts to plumb the depths have failed, as sensor drones are lost or destroyed from the heat, pressure, or as some have speculated, disgruntled resident fauna. Adeptus Biologis scholars believe that some of the larger creatures live in the gloom, adapted to the crushing pressure, and only come up to feed on those who venture too close to the red line.

Beyond the Red Line Edit

Also known as the 'keel strip' and the 'zero out', the Red Line is a globally agreed safety line that indicates an altitude of certain danger, be it from pressure or creatures from the deep. Venturing any lower waivers the right to assistance from the airborne PDF or passing white knight captains, so scores of pilots are out every day patrolling the abyss, making sure nobody goes beyond the Red Line.

The Imperial Guard are popular among the people here, the most popular being the 101st Helldrummers. They are incredible pilots, using a seven-headed dragon as an emblem, and have a reputation for being thrill seekers and glory hunters. The Guard has an arrangement with the Adeptus Terra, as normally only the Navy have access to atmospheric craft. To avoid a mutiny crippling the planet, the Guard keep separate from the Arbites. With the exception of a few small transports, the Arbites patrol the labyrinthine floatillas and the Guard rule the skies, all under the suspicious eye of the Imperial Navy, who watch with upturned noses from their orbital base.

Blightsky PCs Edit

People here are strong-hearted and strong-headed. Their lives are literally on the edge, so risk and reward is second nature to them. When your home can be plucked from the heavens at any moment, you realise that Plan A is never an option, and so Plan B is always praying that Plan C, D or E will work.

Creating Dark Heresy PCs from Blightsky Edit

In order to create characters from Blightsky, use the Void Born template but replace the Void Accustomed and Shipwise traits with those shown below.

Skyborn Edit

Every soul born on a floatilla has an instinctive understanding of the skies, and will be drilled to know every bolt, sail and towline on board should the need arise for them to take the helm.

Benefit: Gain the Drive (Hover) and Pilot (Civilian) skills.

Hands like meathooks Edit

There are no second chances if you are thrown from the rigging or slip from a ledge during a floatilla collision - the abyss claims any man, woman or child with slow wits and weak fingers.

Benefit: You may re-roll any failed Climb tests or anything about maintaining balance, grabbing ledges or keeping hold of anything that would prevent them from falling.

Fishermans' Tales Edit

Skiesmen like nothing more than swapping tales about creatures from the deep and beyond, giving them strong knowledge of beats from far and wide. This does, however, foster a habit of being somewhat 'creative' with facts in favour of a good story.

Effect: Start with the Scholastic Lore (Beasts) skill, but take a -5 Penalty on all Scholastic Lore tests, including Beasts.

Orbital features Edit

  • Blightsky II - lesser moon - industrial metal
  • Blightsky III - lesser moon - industrial metal
  • Blightsky IV - lesser moon - Radioactive
  • Blightsky V - moon -
    • Size - vast
    • Gravity - high
    • Atmospheric presence - heavy
    • Atmospheric composition - toxic
    • Climate - ice world
    • Habitability - trapped water
  • Blightsky VI - moon -
    • Size - large
    • Gravity - high
    • Atmospheric presence - moderate
    • Atmospheric composition - pure
    • Climate - ice world
    • Habitability - inhospitable
  • Blightsky VII - moon -
    • Size - small
    • Gravity - low
    • Atmospheric presence - thin
    • Atmospheric composition - deadly
    • Climate - ice world
    • Habitability - inhospitable
  • Blightsky VIII - moon -
    • Size - large
    • Gravity - normal
    • Atmospheric presence - moderate
    • Atmospheric composition - toxic
    • Climate - cold world
    • Habitability - inhospitable

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