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Rophanon

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Rophanon is a planetary system located in the star cluster known as the Protean Ebb.

Map Basic Data Planetary Image
px Name: Rophanon px
Segmentum: Probable Segmentum Tempestus
Sector: Unknown
Subsector: Unknown
System: Rophanon System
Population: 1,893,300,000, now Exterminatus
Affiliation: Imperium
Class: Former Paradise World, now Dead World
Tithe Grade: Exactis Secundus, now untithed

History

The planet was first settled by one of the successive waves of human colonists spreading out from the Sol system during the Dark Age of Technology. It was gleefully colonised due to its lush vegetation and relatively innocuous fauna. The world prospered, and at the time of the Great Crusade, Rophanon willfully joined the Imperium contributing men for the Imperial Army.[1]

Rophanon's luck turned in the last decades of M37, when a quorum of High Masters of the Administratum declared the planet requisitioned. The act was due to centuries of strategic preparation, wherein the system was identified as suitable for a massive data archive facility. The archive was meant to process, classify and store billions of unwanted, outdated or useless reports, messages, dispatches and communiqés, from the entire Sector. With this act the planet lost its independence and its people were declared entirely subject of the Administratum. There was still a council of hereditary governors, but it was stripped of all practical authority and remained only as a facade, to avoid upsetting the already embittered Rophanon populace.[1]

As centuries passed and the data facilities reached their optimum operations, the beauty of the planet was not lost, and it became a prized retirement location for highly placed members of the Administratum and occasionally for other personalities such as high-ranking Imperial Navy officers, Rogue Traders, Inquisitors, etc. It is said that at least three High Lords of Terra ended their days walking the beautiful gardens of Rophanon.[1]

In a situation of such disparity, rebellious seeds were easy to spread and grow. On the one hand, the stubborn aristocracy secretly hoped to reclaim its position of power from the Administratum. On the other, the populace longed for the old times where they worked and broke their backs for their own land instead of a petty bureaucracy. Bitterness became sedition, sedition became rebellion and rebellion became heresy in 990.M40.[1]

On that date, after careful planning, the Chairman of the Council of Rophanon, Kruker Voor gave the word. Simultaneously every menial, servant and worker rose together and spread havoc in the Administratum buildings. Thousands of adepts were killed in their beds, burned alive as their working places were put to the flame or were simply trampled by the angry mob. Surprise was complete and in the first few day there was little Imperial authority could do to contain the uprising.[1]

What little remained of the loyal Arbites and PDF forces was rallied by chance. Lord General Artemis Blythe was, at the time, on Rophanon recovering from serious injuries suffered during his last actions in the Dragan Reach campaign. Blythe immediately realized that the remaining loyal forces were composed mainly of off-worlders and resolved to call for aid from the closest systems. This aid arrived in the form of a mixed detachment from an Imperial crusade fleet three months out of the Rophanon system.[1]

The ensuing war rapidly became a war of attrition as the lush jungles provided infinite cover for the guerrilla patrols commanded by Voor, as opposed to the scarce knowledge of the ground possessed by the regular Imperial forces. The perimeter of Rophanon City (the world's capital) was heavily entrenched as both sides called for reinforcements and neither was able to break the siege one way or another. Three years passed. In 993.M40, Blythe was contacted by an Inquisitor of the Ordo Xenos, warning him that strands of what would become known in later years as Hive Fleet Leviathan were approaching the galaxy from below the ecliptic plane and were headed through, among other systems, the Protean Ebb. Hearing this news, Blythe is said to have grinned a lopsided and grim smile and pronounced the following words: "I'll have them both then, Voor and the xenos at once. They can spend themselves in their bloody embrace." Three days later, the strategy encompassing Blythe's statement was announced: the Imperial forces would use Rophanon as bait, luring part of the Hive Fleet into the system. Once in the system, Tyranid efforts would be spent in preying on Voor's rebel forces, effectively ending the three-year-old state of attrition.[1]

Of course, all Imperial forces would be pulled off until the aliens reached their late biomass consumption phases. At that point, the ultimate sanction would be called, consuming both the rebels and the aliens: Exterminatus.[1]

Two stages were crucial: the commitment of as many bio-ships as possible and the full extraction of the loyalist regiments. As regards the first, Imperial Navy fleets engaged the bio-ships of Hive Fleet Leviathan in an ever-growing series of hit and run attacks and boarding actions (most of which were executed by Deathwatch kill-teams) which succeeded in drawing the xenos' attention. On Rophanon itself, Blythe successfully disengaged from Voor's forces and, most importantly, without leaving a clue of what really was going to happen to the doomed planet.[1]

The Tyranid attack was fearless and overwhelming, consuming the rebels and all the rest of the living habitat in a few weeks. Then, a very small vessel equipped with the fastest drives and the most complex shielding devices slipped through the Hive Fleet picket ships and unloaded a single cyclonic torpedo, declaring the final death of a world and the xenos lifeforms on its surface. The Rophanon rebellion was crushed and an impressive (albeit not fatal) blow was dealt to Leviathan.[1]

See Also

Sources