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Acreage

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Acreage is an Imperial Feudal World.[1]

Map Basic Data Planetary Image
px Name: Acreage Acreage.jpg
Segmentum: Segmentum Obscurus[1]
Sector: Calixis Sector[1]
Subsector: Josian Reach[1]
System: Unknown
Population: Unknown
Affiliation: Imperium
Class: Feudal World[1]
Tithe Grade: Unknown

Overview

"The Emperor only asks that you obey."
Queen Coralie of Acreage.[4b]

An Imperial backwater, Acreage lies in the sub-sector of Josian Reach and is connected to the rest of the Calixis Sector by a few tenuous shipping routes. Its tithes mainly consist of ore from its mines and men for the Imperial Guard. Designated as a Feudal World, Acreage's technology is medieval and its population consists largely of degenerate peasants and bickering nobles. The Grand Realm of Ascandia, the High King's realm, spans the majority of the northern landmass.[1][2a][3a]

The world has seen much interference by the Inquisition particularly by members of the Ordo Calixis. The Inquisitor Lord Khazul once used the world to test the mettle of his then Acolyte, Inquisitor Lord Okonawk, leading to the deaths of Okonawk's entire Cadre and more than a hundred thousand Acreage civilians as well as Khazul by Okonawk's own hand. The world saw further devastation when the rogue psyker, The Burning Princess, worked in conjunction with the pirate vessel Storm Walker to consume the planet's Cathedral Mount in a holocaust of fire, slaying several senior clergymen and over ten thousand other pilgrims and citizens. Acreage has also been the site of a secret war between the Amalathian and Recongregator factions of the Inquisition for generations, with the Amalathian's attempting to preserve Acreage's current isolationism, technology and royal dynasty while the Recongregators secretly attempt to introduce new ideas, practices and off-world technology.[5a][5b][6]

The relative stability of Ascandia, and in fact most of Acreage, has been rent apart by a bloody civil war, The War of the Rhozes, in which thousands have already perished and local technology has receded from its high medieval zenith. This has been a prosperous time for the nobles, as each has taken the advantage of the mayhem of war to expand their domains or settle old scores. It has also drawn more off-world interest to Acreage, in the form of mercenaries and traders, seeking to make a profit through selling skills, training and advanced weapons.[1][2a][3a]

War of the Rhozes

The war was ignited by the death of Gordanus, the High King of Ascandia and Planetary Governor of Acreage. He had had a long and prosperous reign, and, like all good kings, he died in circumstances unexamined by most citizens. This left his twin daughters Rhozena and Rhozeia in direct succession to the throne. Unfortunately, Gordanus failed to name either one as his successor before his death. His daughters turned to their ultimate lord and master, the Emperor of Mankind, to determine which of them was to take both the throne and title of Planetary Governor and rule over all of Acreage.[2a]

An Administratum clerical error had tragically omitted the last two letters of the successor’s name from the reply, stating only that Rhoze was now officially recognised as the ruler of Acreage. Initially the claimants were cordial with each other and sent a series of requests for clarification. However, these seemed to fall on deaf ears and no further responses were forthcoming. The Administratum scrivener responsible for the initial mistaken missive, had in fact concealed the matter to avoid being chastised.[2a]

Continued silence from the Imperium caused the claimants to rapidly to resort to violence to ensure that they, and they alone, would become the ruler of Ascandia. In a matter of weeks each had amassed the support of dozens of lesser nobles, each willing to swear to the validity of their chosen queen’s claim to the throne and prove it with the blood of their citizens. The resulting conflict dragged on for at least five years with neither of the Rhozes gaining much in the way of an advantage, due in equal parts to the primitive nature for their mostly blackpowder and steel weaponry and treacherous nature of their nobles, many of whom's allegiances would change several times a day, often in the midst of a battle.[2a]

The civil conflict has actually increased the Imperial tithe, as both claimants frantically try and outdo each other in their service to the Imperium, in the hopes of receiving the external support necessary to oust their rival. This has also led to the Administratum department responsible for the initial error admitting to their involvement while supplying the dubious claim that the error was in fact a carefully crafted ploy to increase tithe rates. However, given that the war poses no threat or disruption to the planet’s role within the Imperium, it has mostly been ignored by the Adeptus. The stalemate and apparent lack of any external intervention has contributed to the likelihood of a protracted conflict with no end in sight.[2a]

Culture

Acreage operates under a feudal system, where a High King or High Queen rules over scores of lesser kings, queens and princes who in turn rule over hundreds of thousands of people and cultures. The High King's priests teach a version of the Imperial Cult that refers to the Emperor is the “King of the Sky”. Workers in the sky-mill's are expected to keep their eyes averted from the heavens when they work so high above the ground, lest they anger the Emperor with their impudence. Similarly, villages often make “candle-balloons” as votive prayer offerings.[2a][3d]

Geography

The north of Acreage, referred to as Ascadia, is the domain of Arcreage's High King. It is consists of thousands of miles of of dark icy forests, rugged mountains and lonely plains, spotted with small villages, gruel fields and sky-mills. Minimal air traffic occupies the skies, as the majority of the planet is a no fly zone. The city of Olrankan, also known as 'the Floating City', sprawls along a section of the realm's southern coast, at a junction between the Sea of Sorrows and the Chitin Swamps. Elevated out of the swamp by countless rotting posts, the city has profited greatly from its close proximity to the Emperor's Island, one of the planets few spaceports. [1][2a][2b]

Emperor's Island is a small offshore island, described as a monolithic mess of mingled structures and twisted architecture, with a vast central area being converted into a landing zone. The island host's a selection of low-income housing, retail areas, gambling dens and fighting pits, referred to as 'The Bilges', which carters to travelers and salvagers. The center of the island is dominated by large tower, used to coordinate Vox transmissions and monitor the spaceport, while a selection of rickety docks located at the island's underbelly connects it by boat to the mainland.[2b][2f]

Olrankan is ruled over by Prince Orcan and is regularly besieged by his rival's, who covet the wealth the city's proximity to the spaceport has afforded it. However, the prince's access to offworld weapons and soldiers, in particular his guardsmen referred to as the 'Plumes', has enabled him to repulse his rivals each time. While the city demonstrates little in the way of urban planning, certain features can be easily identified including 'The Wharf' which covers the entire seaward side of the city, 'The Hovels' which covers the largest part of the city and houses most of its residences, while 'The Wall' refers to both the cities defensive barricade, as well as structures within its vicinity. The city also hosts the 'The Fabricators District', an industrial area given over to a vast collection of warehouses and factories, mostly specialising in harvesting the various species of swamp weeds and edible insects and rendering them down into clothing or food products. At the city's centre, ringed by a palisade, rests 'The Hill', named in reference to the taller buildings and higher support posts rather than a natural geographic elevation. The Hill is primarily occupied by Prince Orcan and other well-to-do citizens and is guarded by the most elite Plumes.[2a][2g]

Flora and Fauna

Acreage has been blessed with a rich biosphere. As a Feudal World, reliant on their own agriculture, Acreage boasts at least one Grox-like creature, whose thick hides are used insulate users of the Lightning Chains and Lightning Gauntlets. Another native creature, the Furbog, is a swamp predator whose organs are harvested and fermented to be distilled as an alcoholic beverage. Other agricultural products including a field grown, greyish gruel-producing plant and the common hedge plant, Maidensfoil, whose ground-down petals and pollen can be ingested as a anesthetic. The swamps surrounding Olrakan also contain a selection of edible weeds and insects that can be rendered down into food and clothing. Olrakan is also host to a small group of Slaugth's, who've used the carnage of the civil war as conceal for their feeding. [1][2a][2c][2d][2e][2g][3a]

Military

Acreage boasts a strong military culture, leading to regular tithes of men to the Imperial Guard and several unique patterns of weapons and armour. Though they typically rely on medieval and black powder weaponry, the artisans and weaponsmiths of Acreage have also created weapons such as the Lightning Chains and Lightning Gauntlets. These armaments take advantage of a unique alloy found only on Acreage, which stores kinetic energy and discharges it in the form of blue, electrical sparks when swung with sufficient force. Additionally some off-worlders and more elite guardsmen, like Olrankan's Plumes, have access to more advanced solid projectile weaponry and flak armour.[3a]

Acreage styles of armour tends be primitive. Most notably the planet is known for producing bucklers with small metal spikes lining the rim, to turn the shields into deadly throwing weapons and Silkmail. Silkmail is a fine chainmail typically purchased by nobles and off-world collectors, renowned for its light weight and comfort.[3a][3b]

Products

In addition to recruits for the Imperial Guard, Acreage's exports raw materials, especially ores including one unique alloy which has the ability to store and discharge kinetic energy. They also export their unique weapons and armour including Lightning Chains, Lightning Gauntlets and Silkmail as well herbal anesthetics such as powdered Maidensfoil. Their currency is referred to as 'Lords' and 'Ladies' with each noble charged with minting their own currency. The value of these denominations is wholly dependant on their maker's personal fortune.[2a][2d][3a][3b][4a]

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Sources

Black Industries' "Guide to the Calixis Sector", pg. 22