|Body:||Large and dense|
Diamond in the Dust EditThe planet of Daphnia sits in orbit around the orange-white Dust star, its atmosphere similar to that of Holy Terra, save a short, 4-hour-long night where temperatures drop from a sweltering heat to near-freezing. Daphnia is a maiden Frontier world rising quickly in wealth and esteem amongst Traders, famed for it's exports of high quality mineral salts.
Such is Daphnia's natural resources that it makes it perfect conditions for the legendary Salt Flats of Onus, truly a wonder of the region. Vanilla-white, stretching out beyond the horizon, long furrows lined up like battalions of warriors on parade and gleaming in the harsh sunlight. The Flats are sparsely populated by hard-working labour villages whose purpose is to tend to the gargantuan Agri-tracs and plough-servitors that rake new salt to the surface to bake in the sun. Those who own the Flats are rapidly making a name and a few Thrones for themselves, as demand for the salt in these early years of Daphnia's re-colonisation greatly outweigh the supply.
The planet itself has a sketchy past - it is common knowledge that Daphnia is being 're'-colonised, and current records barely date a century, yet nobody knows or cares to speculate what caused human life to disappear thousands of years ago. Archaeologists have discovered plenty of relics pre-dating recolonisation, some dating millennia, and Port Precipice is one such a relic from a bygone age, recently re-inhabited and spluttering back to life.
Port Thorn Edit
The largest spaceport on Daphnia - bustling with traders, travellers and voidmen setting down for repairs and supplies, Port Thorn can supply almost anything, but be prepared to pay for it. Built from a STC for Frontier world spaceport towns, Port Thorn is believed to be the only spaceport to have succeeded in looking after itself. Scattered across the surface of the planet are eerie replica husks of Port Thorn, all but deserted and left to the ravages of time, bandits, and the local fauna.
Port Thorn's success is believed to be down to a not inconsiderable donation from a series of secret societies, and since the previous Governor, Lurz Karo, was replaced by Viceroy Hess, the names of those societies have been lost. Regardless, Port Thorn's proximity to the Salt Flats is the more publicly cited reason for its success, and Hess would prefer to keep it that way. Surprisingly, given it's size compared to the massively populated Port Precipice, Port Thorn houses the planetary Governor, his aides and the Astropathic relays required for providing the Imperium with it's tithes, yet nobody is quite sure why the Administratum chose the smaller port over it's larger rival.
Port Precipice Edit
The largest city on Daphnia and Port Thorn's only real rival in business, Port Precipice is a hive city hanging precariously over a yawning chasm, the Akuru Canyon. Once built as a floating platform on the largest freshwater river on the planet, the raging waters are now a mere trickle at the bottom of a vast canyon and the inhabitants fight for survival on a daily basis. Port Precipice prides itself on being the finest purveyor of fresh water across the planet - getting to the water at the trough of the canyon is a concerted effort, requiring thousands of labourers on hundreds of hand-cranked lifts. However, labour is not hard to come by as there is very little work elsewhere - the ruling elite keep hereditary careers in place to clamp down on budding entrepreneurs trying to turn their hand to overseeing or trading. As a result, Port Precipice attracts plenty of workers to the harsh and unfair society with the promise of guaranteed paid labour. Nobody can say how long Port Precipice has been in place - canyon formation is not a quick event, and some Scholars suggest that it must have been millennia since Port Precipice floated upon a raging current. The majority of Port Precipice is still unexplored and uninhabited, even the Scummers and lowly gangs that form will not venture into the deepest 'Troggholes' or out onto the infamous Overhang. Who can say what still exists in the deepest untouched recesses of Daphnia's history?
Dangling underneath the vast hive city lies the Waterworks, a dazzling array of ramshackle lifts, pulleys, ropes, ladders and scaffolding extending into the gloom below. The trip to the stream at the bottom of the canyon is all on foot, hand-cranked lifts, platforms on pulleys, whatever your family has inherited, and although the labourers or "Wetshoulders" keep tight lipped on their trade secrets, a round trip takes the best part of a whole day, and all the water must be carried back up in buckets or backpacks. Wetshoulders joke that Akuru Canyon water tastes better than anything else in the whole Onus Region because of the blood, sweat and tears that go into bringing it to the surface, something that no doubt has no small element of truth to it...
Betrayer's Cave Edit
A cave of ill-omen for the natives, children's stories of daemons, pixies and madness all strike a particular chord with the visitors to the planet. The cave is actually home to a type of fungus nicknamed 'Betrayer's Cap' that gives off a faint luminescence and clings to the dank walls like algae. It is largely harmless and it's effects are not usually contracted via airborne spores (although prolonged exposure can have slight effects), but it is extremely soluble in water. Combined with a crystal-clear pool of water, filled via a waterfall from a natural underground spring, many wanderers have found themselves in Betrayer's Cave all too welcoming of the cool atmosphere and chilled clean water as a break from the relentless heat of the desert.
Betrayer's Cap is a powerful hallucinogenic and painkiller. Imbibing the spores dissolved in liquid will produce lucid hallucinations for minutes to hours on end, depending on the constitution of the individual. This is followed by a period of time when the imbiber feels utterly relaxed and able to withstand dangerous levels of pain, depending on the lucidity of the hallucinations. Worse 'trips' provide a greater feeling of euphoria afterwards. Betrayer's Cap is often used out in the field as an anaesthetic for when serious surgery is necessary and 'proper' drugs are not readily available. The patient must wait out the terrible visions whilst restrained, before coming down and surgery can begin in earnest, hopefully not too late.
The Bloodhold Edit
Recently discovered stronghold for the shadowy Crimson Wake, the heretics behind the Torching of Port Thorn and turning Governor Karo's back on the Emperor. Currently under investigation.
The Precipice Dreadquill Edit
Despite surviving droughts, riots, genocidal atrocities and rampaging alien beasts, Port Precipice is most famous for housing the infamous Dreadquill Inkworks. This outrageously popular cheap serial literature focuses on the exploits of detectives and criminals, supernatural entities (either real or imagined) and other things that go bump in the night.
The Dreadquill is not a work of fiction, however. It takes real world events from anonymous donors and artists across the Region, applies some creative licensing and packages them up as morality tales. They are then printed cheaply and distributed to billions of workers and labourers all across the Carthax Sector. Their 'fiction' is often a little too close to the truth, and the generally disturbing content makes the Inkworks a high priority target for local Arbites, yet all attempts to find it so far have failed miserably. Such a mighty propaganda machine would surely be a terrible weapon if it fell into the wrong hands, and organisations on all sides of the law have tried to wrest control of the Dreadquill for their own ends.
Daphnian PCs Edit
Characters from Daphnia are hard-working, optimistic and capable. They would likely have inherited their job from their parents, and would even more likely be very good at it - their tools and skills passed down from the first settler families. Being such a young colony, they are acutely aware of the wider universe, and ready access to the eye-widening Dreadquill only fuels their curiosity. Such curiosity comes at a price - the galaxy is filled with horrors, the character may even have experienced some first hand, and they always take extra precautions to protect themselves from the boogeyman.
Creating Dark Heresy PCs from Daphnia Edit
In order to create characters from Daphnia, use the Imperial World template but replace the Hagiography and Blessed Ignorance traits with those described here.
Based on a true story Edit
Although great lengths are taken to disguise names and places in the events that unfold on the pages of the Dreadquill, savvy readers can see through the allegories and begin to join the dots in the real world. Characters may come across real life people and situations that seem strangely familiar to "stories" they have read about in the Dreadquill, providing them with a surprisingly broad (but non-specific) knowledge of happenings in the universe.
Benefit: The character gains the Scholastic Lore (Legend) skill. In addition, the character may attempt any Common Lore test (including ones they do not have) with a Difficult (-10) Scholastic Lore (Legend) test instead.
Ignorance is preached as a virtue for a reason, and having glimpsed at some of the terrors that exist in the universe does terrible things to the imagination.
Penalty: If the character encounters a threat that has a Fear Rating and they are unable to identify the threat using the Based on a true story trait or otherwise, they count that threat's Fear Rating as one step higher.
Orbital features Edit
- Daphnia II - lesser moon - no known resource