Type: Feudal World
Planetary Governor: Under-King Alistair Durazhan IV
Population: 8 billion
Geography: High mountains and deep valleys of all kinds, from snow-covered peaks and icy crags to green-dusted hills and fertile river-worn dales.
Major Exports: The Nas’ra Mounted Cavalry and the Nas’ra Sappers, subterranean shock troops who specialise in underground/limited space cavalry maneuvers on their Ichgor mounts and tunneling-/demolition-based attacks respectively.
Upon first glance at the planet, Johainas’ra seems a deserted world. Mountains and valleys cover the surface but there are no fields to be tilled, no cities or towns to be seen; the only signs of sentient life are the few mountain-faces that have been painstakingly chipped away over decades or centuries to form gigantic vistas depicting coronations, epic battles and other such livery. Anyone stepping foot on the planet’s surface will soon realise the reason for the apparent abandonment of Johainas’ra: the naturally mountainous terrain, while beautiful in its contrasts, plays utter havoc with the planet’s weather. Dreadful storms wax hourly, moving from the base of a mountain to its peak and back again with no rhyme or reason. A valley could be flooded one week and then bone dry for years. A peak covered in snow for eons might be subject to inexplicably warm temperatures just long enough to cause devastating avalanches before freezing over again. There is simply no pause long enough for any kind of civilisation to sustain itself.
Beneath the surface, however, the world hums with life.
With the surface too harsh to live on the natives have carved out epic cities below ground, where they tend to caverns of mushroom-like Herica plants and raise herds of the ore-devouring Verrack for meat and production of Rackscum. Whole generations live and die without ever seeing the sunlight. Indeed, only those tithed to the Imperium for military service are likely to spend any great deal of time above the surface, as the natives of Johainas’ra are quite content with their lifestyle despite how backwards and technophobic it may be – for, given how unattractive the world is to travellers, very few off-worlders both to visit much less share the wonders of technology. This sits just fine with the current ruler, Under-King Alistair Durazhan IV, who is content to keep the lives of his citizens peaceful and quiescent. The Durazhan line have ruled Johainas’ra since time immemorial and he prides himself on keeping the planet in good standing with the Imperium while keeping himself in good standing with his citizens.
The average citizen spends most of his or her day either shepherding Verrack, collecting Rackscum, tending to the Herica caverns, mining, engraving or otherwise serving members of the nobility. The nobility themselves are most commonly found orchestrating trade deals between cities, undergoing military training (generally for show, though some families make it a point of honour to lead tithed units to battle amongst the stars) or involving themselves in the political circles of their home area. On Johainas’ra, duty is determined by birth and family name above all else, and fulfilling one’s duty – no matter how insignificant – is a matter of honour and pride for all. It is not uncommon for those found acting above or below their station to be exiled to the surface in punishment. This is almost always a death sentence, with only a handful of survivors known throughout the planet’s history, and even the threat of such is often enough to quiet those who would step out of line.
Known Contacts, Gangs and Organisations
- Nas’ra Mounted Cavalry – shock troopers with Ichgor mounts, trained and equipped to make the most of their mounts’ special abilities. The average Cavalryman is at ease no matter whether they are upside-down or rightside-up and have almost super-human reaction speeds to make the most of their chittering mounts. Most commonly equipped with Rackscum pistols, swords and razor-wire garottes, they are deployed in locations where the terrain is favourable to their unique combat methods and they can reap a bloody toll on the enemy.
- Nas’ra Sappers – Rackscum specialists who are veritable artisans of explosions. They use their stealth and underground expertise to burrow under enemy locations before setting off their charges, blowing compounds sky-high or simply collapsing a vital defensive location to allow the rest of the company to charge.
Native Flora, Fauna and Notable Landmarks
- Ichgor – a six-legged insectoid creature known for its flexible body and climbing ability, in addition to its terrifying pincer-like jaws. They serve as mounts for the Nas’ran Mounted Cavalry where they excel in underground and confined spaces. Special saddles are required to prevent riders from being thrown when an Ichgor decides it would rather traverse the ceiling than the floor; new riders can usually be found vomiting profusely after their first “round trip”. Their flexibility coupled with their carapace armour means that they quite easily shrug off or dodge small arms fire, while their ability to climb walls and cling to ceilings means that attacks can come from almost any direction. Stories abound of unwary raiding parties being pulled screaming off their feet by an Ichgor’s pincer jaws. Like most native creatures they are capable of living off an ore-based diet if necessary, but they much prefer meat, and feral Ichgor can be a nightmare to clear out of a cave system.
- Verrack – fat, four-legged rock eaters that resemble gigantic pill-bugs more than anything else. When scared they curl into a nigh-impenetrable ball. Unfortunately, they are incredibly stupid, and despite being anywhere from the size of a large dog to a small elephant tend to get scared by such things as falling rocks (toppled by their own eating habits). This makes tending the Verrack an exercise in babysitting above all else as the creatures have been known to scare themselves to the point where they will starve to death while curled up into a ball… or alternatively cause mass destruction as a whole herd is startled into curling up on a sloped surface, sending rolling balls of doom towards whatever – or whoever – is unfortunately at the bottom of the slope. They taste excellent, however, and their waste can be cultivated into the explosive Rackscum.
- Rackscum – an explosive compound derived from the leavings of the Verrack. It is brown, sticky and stable until exposed to heat or fire, at which point it explodes. Violently. It makes an excellent mining aide as it can be used either in paste form or refined into larger quantities of powder for a more compacted charge. When refined to powder form it can also be used in weaponry, though the skill and cost involved limits its use to those with the money or influence to access it.
- Herica – a mushroom-like family of plants that form the bulk of a native Nas’ran’s diet. They can be eaten raw (having a tough and chewy texture with a rather bland taste; dipping sauce or spices are recommended) or cooked as a meat substitute, where their ability to take on almost any flavour is highly prized amongst the planet’s more creative chefs. Indeed, the mark of a good Nas’ran chef is said to be that they can serve an entire eight-course meal without anyone realising all eight dishes were made of Herica.
Home World Bonus
Characters from Johainas’ra follow the Feudal World rules, but with the following new Home World bonus:
A Different Kind Of Sky: A character from Johainas’ra has lived the vast majority of their life underground, and is as comfortable beneath stone and rockcrete as others are beneath the sky. They gain the Dark-Sight trait and gain a +10 bonus on Stealth tests when underground or in tight quarters (e.g. lower levels of a Hive, the twisting interior of an abandoned spaceship). They also gain a usage bonus equal to their Intelligence modifier when using explosives for demolitions, and a damage bonus of half their Intelligence modifier (rounded up) when using explosives for combat. However, they take a -10 penalty to all vision-based tests when in harsh light (e.g. full sunlight, a searchlight’s beam; this can be reduced or negated by proper equipment, though this removes the character’s innate Dark-sight, as does removal of the character’s eyes) and a -10 penalty to Stealth tests when in more open areas or unconfined spaces.