Mirza is an Feral Ice World and Adeptus Astartes homeworld, located in Bassenheim Nebula near the Iox sector. It is governed by the White Tigers space marine chapter and is therefore non-tithable.
Mirza or, in the Imperial records, 1088-BNc2, is a large ice world. It circles its star in roughly 170.000.000 km while planet's aphelion stretches in 174.000.000 km and periphelion in 168.000.000 km. Having relatively stable orbit, it makes no significance difference in Mirza's temperature whether the planet is orbiting in its peri- or aphelion. Planet's average orbital speed is somewhere around 90000 km/h and it takes approximately 1,363 Terran years (497,41 Terran days or 11.938,05 Terran hours) for Mirza to orbit around its star.
Mirza has no remarkable satellites of its own and hosts no moons. There are however a large Trojan-fields approximately 180.000.000 km before and after the planet itself. These fields host a number of dwarf planets, not one of them being over 1000 km in diameter. Those dwarf planets, with asteroids, form the main defencive stations of the system when it comes to the chapter that resides there.
Mirza has mean radius of 6,944 km being a bit pressed from poles making it slightly oval in shape. Due its size (area: 605.939.533,68 km2) it has a bit higher gravity than Terra but not so much it would be of any hindrance to human settling on planet. The planet has rotation period of 1,942 Terran days, making one day on planet 46 hours, 36 minutes and 29 seconds resulting in a way that one year of Mirza is a bit over 256 Mirzan days.
Mirza is terrestrial planet, having mild tectonic activity. Notable area of planet's surface is covered in ice-sheet but areas around equatorial to as far north/south as tropics of cancer and capricorn are completely habitable and free of ever-frost and glaciers.
Mirza is not covered in glaciers. As the surface temperature is quite low, lots of the planet is covered in ice or permafrost but it is not totally uninhabitable.
Mirza's tectonic acticity is mild at its best. It is thought, that the mountain ranges (like Heavenstairs) were formed hundreds of thousands of years ago and are now but degrading monuments of former tectonic activity. There are six tectonic plates that move in so slow pace that they hardly ever cause earthquakes, the worst eathquake was 6,4 in Richter scale and was registered no less than 800 years ago in 7.038.121.M41. This suits fine for the space marines who built their fortress-monastery on and under mountain range.
Because of the glaciers, these numbers are quite controversial, nevertheless; in 900M41 51% of planet's surface was registered as bodies of water. Land area was only 15% (90.890.930,05 km2) and the rest, 34%, was covered by ice sheets and glaciers.
Flora & Fauna
Cold winters and mild summers have affected the planet to form evergreen plants. Most of the land area between tropics of cancer and capricorn are covered in taiga-like forests. Norther and southern many areas are in permafrost and only the hardest plants survive there. Deep-rooted trees and lichen cover the great northern/southern plains. Withdrawing glaciers have molded the planet's surface into countless of pools, ponds, lakes and eskers. Only the highest mountains have survived the planet's ice age making them truly magnificent sight in otherwise flat world.
Most of the flora on planet are lichens, grass, bushes and deep-rooted trees. Great number of different flowers cover the plains.
Planet's fauna is evolved into the harsh conditions. Many have rich subcutaneous fat and are extreme survivors of this unforgiving planet. Most of the planet's fauna is considered to be living in the seas, hundreds of different fishes, dolphines, whales and seals populate the vast seas, and shores, of Mirza. Trailed by thousands of different birds, seas of Mirza are the richest biodiversities on planet. It is why the human tribes have also settled (mostly) in the coastlines. The inland habitants are way more dangerous which is the main reason humans avoid the inland areas. Inland, even if covered in taiga and being mildly tempered, hosts terrifying megafauna-carnivores. Most of the planet's carnivores are feline-like but there are far inferior animals, such as the "stareater-bear" that grows over 8 meters tall and is known to destroy whole villages of inland people. Not all inland species are carnivores, but even the herbivores and omnivores are dangerous on their own way. Most of the planet's land-animals grow into immense sizes though there are exceptions, but by definition, Mirza's fauna is big, dangerous and carnivorous.
One of the most important "totem animals" of the world. Hediyeh tigers live around the Heavenstairs mountain range and are therefore known to all human tribes. Hediyeh tiger is respected because it plays great part in White Tigers initiation process. Tiger, in itself, possess no particular skills or traits beside its inexplicable bite force (over 200bar/2900psi) which is capable of leaving marks on the power armours of the Space Marines. Reason for such humongous force is left unanswered, but it most likely trails from the fact that hediyeh tigers tend to eat extremely tough bones of the other massive mammals on Mirza. The significance of this small animal is however mainly linked to the space marines and to the recruitment process of the White Tigers. Hediyeh tiger's fur is deep, dark grey in colour and has black tiger stripes on it. It is not unheard of, though, to see a hediyeh without stripes, as the black stripes can be hard to spot from the dark fur.
Planet's flora and fauna is categorized under the PSS1 -licence rather than AIS2 -licence. Some of the megafauna have been transported around the Iox and other neighbour sectors, as they have been proven to be great meat-producers and are therefore registered in AIS.
Humans on Mirza
As said, humans that live on Mirza, are mostly nomadic tribes. The most permanent settlements are located in the coastlines and those who live further inland are more nomadic by nature. Even the seas host many bigger and smaller islands, the humans of Mirza do not cross the seas. Even getting one in a boat would be quite a job, as they fear water over everything else, especially open seas. The seas of Mirza host so many huge beasts that humans have left oceans to be. Those living on coastlines do fish on small boats or dinghies, but solely in river deltas and shallow coastal waters left between the islands.
By nature, humans of Mirza grow somewhere around 190 cm tall and because of the harsh nature and hard life, are well suited for space marines.
Human communities on Mirza have shared distinct charasteristic. All communities are matriarchal instead of patriarchal, as usually seems to be the way with humans. Women, usually the oldest one with the more stationed clans but with more nomadic tribes it can as well be the strongest one, rule over the clans and tribes of Mirza for being way more numerous. It is also an ancient belief on Mirza, that the women's divine, or otherworldly, power to give birth to new human beings gives the right to rule to women. It is also wrong to think that women would do all the "men's jobs", like metalcraft, labouring and like. Women hold exclusive right to hunt, but it is the men's job to keep the women safe, being physically more powerful and apt for hard work.
This kind of status of women have not always been on Mirza, but it became more and more common after the White Tigers chapter took heavy losses during their extensive crusading prior 810.M36 when the shortage of Battle-Brothers was finally noticed as a threat to the chapter. This resulted in quick recruiting system, taking the most promising members of many clans of ages between 9 and 14. These events in late M36 made the populations distribution between men and women greatly unbalanced (not all Space Marine aspirants survive to become full battle-brothers) and so the women took the men's part in many communities. Finally after the Crusade for Nightshores in 051.M37 and the teachings of the Gem-seer, the amount of males grew, slowly. Women however had gained their status and refused to let go of it.
Many tribes have their own initiation processes, how one is to become the matriarch, after the previous has passed away or become incapable of holding her title. Most common way, is to hunt something big and fierce, like to show the suspicious men that the women can take it. Those tribes that live in the heartlands of Mirza, tend to go after "stareater-bears" whose hulking frames would make a lesser man, or woman, to wet himself. Tribes living in the northern highlands (see picture) tend to hunt the infamous "yeti" or "man-devil", sort of a primate. However, it is strictly forbidden to hunt the hediyeh tigers for any reason and women, in general, have no right to even touch the noble cat of the Five Gods.
For some yet unknown reason, the Mirza's residents have really low psionic levels as a whole. The whole population produces so few psykers, that the chapter's Librarium is almost always undermanned. This, nevertheless, is a good thing too, as the fear of warp-driven psyker wreaking havok on planet is really negligible. When native population happens to produce psyker of its own, they are usually referred as seers.
Most common ways that psychic powers appear to manifest on Mirza, are verminspeaking and divination. Many psykers form their own secretive patterns, habits and things to ensure their power over rest of the population. These seers are also used by White Tigers in a supersticious manner. Most notorious seer was the Gem-seer, who is known of naming the chapter's masters after the Nineteen-Eleven Catastrophe during Crusade for Nightshores.
Planet is governed, or more appropriately - owned, by White Tigers space marine chapter. The chapter master, Great Silver Lord, is officially stated as the ruler of the planet and this is the case most of a time. For the natives, chapter's Master of the Recruits, known as Lord of Hunters, is a messenger of the Great Silver Lord which is why the Lord of Hunters has quite amount of power in his grasp.
Mirza's natives believe they are governed by five gods, Great Silver Lord, Crimson Lord, Indigo Lord, Onyx Lord and Lord of Hunters, of which four live in the Silver Citadel (chapter's fortress-monastery) and one roams the world to seek appropriate aspirants to join their heavenly party. Chapter's masters are seen as holding the ultimate power over the planet and the natives, which they in fact do hold.
1 - AIS = Approved Imperial Species 2 - PSS = Planetary Specific Species