Ar Ishret is an Imperial civilised world found by the pre-Imperial humans during the Dark Age of Technology. It was conquered by the Imperium during the Crusade for Nightshores and the planet's governorship was granted to the remaining members of the Imperial Guard Asharas Yek Taxamada, A group of eight regiments hailing from the lost planet Asharas.
The planetary system of Ar Ishret lies on the route from Seren and Ferghost sub-sectors to Heios sub-sector and into the heart of the Iox sector. Located within the stable and productive Iox Marches sub-sector, Ar Ishret and its population have enjoyed the wealth and prosperity of the sub-sector's wide range of industries. Due an ancient pact with the sector's first governor, Alois Carollon, Ar Ishret is not obliged to raise Imperial Guard for the vast military machine of Departmento Munitorum. Such demands are always passed onto other, more disliked and poor, worlds of the Iox sector.
Ar Ishret contains five major continents, each of which has at least one major mountain range which gives way into rolling plains and vast deserts, with deep canyons.
These are separated from each other by series of shallow seas, teeming with sea life. While the world is temperate and even arid in some places it still has an ice cap situated at the world's north pole. This region of the planet and the rivers it feeds provide much of the fresh water for the cities and farms to the south of it.
As humanity began it sojurn into the stars so did the first settlers to Ar Ishret. Their journey has its roots within the conflicts in the regions of Earth once called "The Middle East" and "North Africa". As their oral history tells it, they fled to the stars to flee the conflicts that had been tearing these regions apart since the dawn of recorded history. These stories, the truth of which no one is sure of, tell that the ultra wealthy of the Promethium rich nations pooled their resources sometime during the Dark Age of Technology and sent a colony ship into the stars with its passengers held in a primitive form of stasis.
Despite their lack of a clear destination, they arrived at Ar Ishret hundreds of years later, finding that against all odds, the planet could support human life. They settled in the vast deserts that reminded them of what they had left behind.
A series of natural disasters, starvation and unfamiliar diseases would kill many and corrupt their knowledge of the world they had left behind. Harsh conditions led to harsh leadership and little emphasis on understanding, only work. Leaders looked to the examples of the distant past in the earliest days of human civilization, how only conquerors and warriors could survive. In time those few who survived would grow into a population of millions again. But the damage was done, the local settlements had already grown into heavily fortified and militarized cities.
The cities, built around resources and easily controlled natural fortifications ruled the surrounding areas, crushing all those who resisted. In their arrogance the city dwellers forgot their past, seeing only their own accomplishments. In sharp contrast to this the poor, those who made their living as farmers and shepherds, fled to the hills, and in one case the northern ice cap, taking both technology and flawed understanding about it with them.
While the rulers of the various city states saw themselves almost as gods, those who opposed them saw the opposite. In their eyes, those who made their machines of almost divine power could only be divine themselves.
Nekhen and the Iburet Dynasty
The greatest of these city states was Nekhen, ruled over for millennia by the Iburet Dynasty, twenty seven generations of women related by either blood or adoption. Every one of them was cruel and vindictive and had no interest in lasting peace, not unlike the rulers of the other city states. Like them they sought to control all others but never had the resources. But one at least would do some good- Iburet XIX would commission a massive public park in the region of Nekhen that would become The City of Spires, to emulate "Hanging Gardens" referenced in a distorted half remembered legend from tens of thousands of years earlier.
The rule of the last, Iburet XXVII, would end during the Crusade for Nightshores at the hands of the Asharas Yek Taxamada. Even the temporary alliance she formed with all of the other states was not enough to stop the Crusading Army of the Imperium of Man.
Crusade for Nightshores and Imperial Rule
The Asharas Yek Taxamada was the first to land, driven by their desire to replace the homeworld they lost to Chaos. The natives, driven by newfound knowledge of the Imperium and hatred for the city states allied with the Imperium, providing them much needed manpower and local knowledge. The planet fell in less than a year, and the men of Asharas claimed the Right of Settlment offered to them.
While tensions were high at the beginning as the citizens and surviving armies of the conquered city states were put to work repairing the damage done by the war, in time they came to respect their new leaders who treated them better than their old rulers ever had. They assimilated into Imperial culture, billions of loyal servants of the Imperium.
Ar Ishret is ruled over by the Seniar Dynasty, descendants of the first commander of the Asharas Yek Taxamada and first Imperial Governor. While they rule the world as a whole they do so through various intermediaries. the city states still stand as regional capitals ruled over by hereditary leaders. They report to five higher ranking leaders, in control of the continents, they in turn answer to the governor.
The Seniar Dynasty have been good rulers overall, the Asharas refuse to bow to anyone who is not, but it can be harsh to those they suspect of disloyalty or heresy, The Ecclesiarchy, PDF and Adeptus Arbites work together closely to remove any hint of Chaos taint when it arises. They lost one homeworld already- they will not lose another, especially to enemies from within.
But there is some tension in the government with certain factions believing that the Seniar Dynasty has ruled long enough, it has nothing to do with the Dark Powers their discontent is simply politics, and nothing has ever come of it.
A fairly isolated group, the polar dwellers remained unaware of, or simply unconcerned with, the events of the desert cities. They only took notice of the rest of the world when the Asharas arrived but stayed neutral in the conflict. With the rest of the world conquered, the new governor sent a representative to them with a message- join the Imperium or be destroyed. Acting on the same newfound knowledge as the hill people they became loyal citizens of Ar Ishret.
To this day they remain mostly isolated, interacting with almost no one except those who live in their scattered polar cities but they do speak to their government through those appointed to rule them on governor Seniar's behalf.
They have embraced the technology that the Imperium has provided, using cargo aircraft to carry twenty ton blocks of ice and foods unavailable anywhere else, trading their precious cargos for whatever they cannot provide for themselves.
There is some tension between the two cultures with the desert dwellers seeing their northern neighbors as barbarians, where they favor lightweight flowing garments the Polar Culture favors leather and fur, not caring to keep their long hair and beards neat.
In turn they see the city dwellers as weak, lazy and easily corrupted. They have more respect for the hill people, they believe that their life of hard work keeps them both from falling to Chaos, both cultures are fond of the maxim "Idleness leads to Heresy."
Once the seat of power for the Mad Queen Iburet XXVII, the city of Nekhen burned by her hand. The new citizens of this Imperial world simply rebuilt on the same site, making it greater than it ever was under the rule of her twisted dynasty. Under Imperial control the city was rebuilt into a ring, with the City of Spires in the center, the Merchant City around that and the Low City making up the outer ring, with residential and commercial neighborhoods scattered throughout.
City of Spires
The oldest part of the city, separated from the rest of the city as a whole by a wide canyon with a river flowing at its bottom it has always been a symbol of power and superiority and remains so in the hands of Seniar Dynasty. The bridge connecting the City of Spires is tens of thousands of years old, a triumph of engineering and a planetary treasure to the people of the city and Ar Ishret as a whole.
This district contains the homes of the Governor, his family and his government as well as the headquarters for all governmental and Ecclesiarchy functions.
These buildings have floors of white marble with the coat of arms of the Seniar Dynasty, the battle flags of the Asharas Taxamadae and their battle honors inlaid on them in Onyx, with the Imperial Aquila taking a position of honor above them.
The shining spires and minarets of steel and stained glass from which the area gets it name tower above the city around it, reaching hundreds of meters into Ar Ishret's crystal blue skies and house flocks of Roujan Mountain Hawks and the birds they prey on.
As noted above, the City of Spires also houses a massive garden, though it was heavily damaged in the conquest of the world it was rebuild and has flourished ever since, becoming almost a small ecosystem all its own.
The Merchant city is built around An Qazava's major spaceport, a vast structure the size of a city on its own. The vast rows of merchant stalls stretch for kilometers in every direction, offering products from all over the Iox Sector and from the industries, farms, orchards and vineyards of Ar Ishret. Many of these foods and drinks are for sale at the many food stands and eateries and (sometimes questionable) entertainment venues that call these dusty streets home.
Other, more illicit goods can be found here as well, as with any large Imperial city. Anything from Obscura and local narcotics to illegal weapons and those unafraid to wield them for the right price.
These things persist despite the best efforts of the local Arbites who are in constant battle with the criminal gangs who care little for anything but their own interests.
Named not for its geography, despite it being on the outer fringes of the city but rather for those who live in it. The so called "low men" who work the factories and waste processors and other vital jobs that tend to be forgotten about. This is menial, low paying work but necessary as the city would fall apart without them.
Al Zarihan is the second city founded by the Asharas. Almost as large as An Qazava and almost as important, it houses the high command for Ar Ishret's PDF as well as the primary factories that produce their equipment. As an industrial city it also produces regional farming and metal goods.
Another of the conquered city states and now a regional capital on Ar Ishret. Best known for the quality of its two products.
Enkylu produces olives in numbers small enough that only the wealthy can afford them. While this is a source of some tension to the Mountain clans that call the area home they do appreciate the irony, they grow rich off those who had once oppressed them.
Since Ar Ishret has not raised Imperial Guard regiments since the Asharas claimed the planet, the PDF are their first line of defense, a responsibility the people of Enkylu take very seriously.
The harshest desert on Ar Ishret is barely capable of supporting life, except for the Sanood Oasis. Nestled in the shadow of a giant sand dune, it produces two species of palm trees and its dates and coconuts are something of a local food staple. The oasis is large enough for a small town, named Sanood to have grown up around it, and it's since become a tourist site.