- "If you go to Ulaka, be sure not to draw attention to yourself. The prideful always taste the best."
- —Inquisitor Sindiswa Dlamini
The Imperial world of Ulaka (or more popularly, the World of Cannibals), is a hive world located within the Vuma Sector in Segmentum Obscurus, and home to the abhumans known as the Xhasa. Ulaka formerly classed as a feral world, rediscovered by the Imperium of Man in M37 during the Age of Apostesy. Despite it's feral state before contact with the Imperium, it's people kept huge stores of weapons and technology left behind from the Dark Age of Technology to wage wars across the planet, along with records from that time.
Today, the people of Ulaka are violent, ultra-agressive cannibals. They are also known for their production and usage of high-grade, heavily adorned bionics, as well as their production of weapons so rare elsewhere in the Imperium, that they are more valuable than the people handling them. The harsh laws and culture of Ulaka insure that only those who have legitimate business on the planet are the only visitors to Ulaka. Also, it aids in ensuring that few Chaos-tainted individuals may corrupt the minds of the inhabitants.
The Imperium has given Ulaka wide berth in dealing with it's "unique" food requirements, allowing them to set up holding facilities on Ulaka's five moons, where the failures of society are rounded up, and allowed to breed and grow, suppling the Xhasa with all the food they'll ever need. Given the situtation of the region and Ulaka's location near to the Eye of Terror, the planet has been a major center of Imperial penal colonies to hold those condemned to death at the hands of the Xhasa, rather than waste precious ammuntion in endless executions.
- "You will find that we are very unlike the wider Imperium. We record all of our history. Thus, you shall know now that we are not completely ignorant of our past."
- —Nbomani Makana, Imantshi of Ulaka
The world of Ulaka was discovered and colonized in 679.M18, during the Dark Age of Technology. The colony ship known as the Insindiso, hailing from the region of Terra known as Afrika Australis (or uMzansi in Zuluensis, the native tounge of the Xhasa). It was sponsored by a group of cultural revivalists from the region, seeking to restore the culture of their ancient ancestors. The planet was originally named Vuma, meaning "thrive" in Zuluensis. The colonists set up their colony in the northern hemisphere of Vuma, where the most fertile lands of the planet were located. They named the settlement Inkaba, which would serve as the capital of the colony for next several millennia. As they were located more than 25,000 lightyears away from Terra, any help they would require would be impossible, forcing them to become completely self-suffient in all areas of life. The colonial government was lead by the Imantshi, or "head", who was the absolute ruler of Vuma. Much after what happened between the initial colonization of Ulaka and start of the Dark Age of Technology is unknown. But is known that the first ruler of Vuma was Kwanele Nxele. What he did during his administration is vague, but it is known that he established the laws and infastruture needed for the colony to thrive.
The Golden Age
The Golden Age of Vuma correlated to the beginning of the Dark Age of Technology on Ulaka, a period of Ulaka's history the Xhasa have plenty of information on. 7,000 years after the colonization of Vuma, and during the administration of Imantshi Nhlahli Dlamini, warships from Terra arrived in the sector of space Vuma was located, and in a stroke of sheer luck, ran into mining vessels from Vuma. The mining ships lead the Terran warships to Vuma, where the Terrans brought news of an alliance of human worlds under Terra's leadership, and offered Vuma a chance to join. The inhabitants jumped at the chance, and an influx of new ideas, technologies, and ideals flowed into Vuma, thus beginning the Golden Age of Vuma (today known as the Age of Progress).
The people of Vuma gained amazing new technologies from their alliance, and the one that interested their people their people the most was that of cybernetics, and form of robotics few sought to thoroughly exploit. As the years of passed, the inhabitants harnessed the art of making bionics, and soon became known as some of the best cyber-engineers in the galaxy. The people of Vuma inhanced their bionic-making abilities to a tee, and soon began making works of art that they have remained famous for to this day. The custom of replacing their eyes with cybernetic ones, came from their belief that they adored their work so much, that they intrusted their sight to it. Using the plentiful rubies on Vuma, the inhabitants carved the gems in gorgeous glimmering red balls, with circuitry hidden within, afterwhich their old eyes were replaced with these new ones.
Numerous colonies of were established by Vuma, and their resources sent back to Vuma to drive the growth and prosperity of the inhabitants at the expense of the colonies. Life one Vuma had become one of leisure and thought, but with this increased prosperity came enemies, one of which was one of Vuma's own colonies, Sokaza. Sokaza was a small world located 75 lightyears away from Vuma, and home to some of the most powerful humans in the galaxy who had been welcomed to the planet by Vuma. They coveted the wealth and knowledge of Vuma, but had to "gift" these away to Vuma for protection and because as a colony, it had no rights to the resources taken from its own surface. Having come from a path of life where everything was taken from them, the leaders of Sokaza became enraged with Vuma's percieved belief of superiority, and plotted their downfall.
Sokaza could not accept the fact that Vuma was prosperous than it was, and it's leader began planning Vuma's demise. In M24, not long before the before the Age of Strife, the Sokaza government accussed Vuma of helping the Orks during the Alien Wars, and called for their expulsion from the confederation of worlds. Terra called for a formal investigation into the accusations, but using it's leverage with several other worlds, Sokaza managed to bypass Terra's attempts for a peaceful resolution to the issue. Vuma was expelled from the alliance, and barred from rejoining. However, this would not be the final act of betrayal. Sokaza did not want to compete with Vuma, which was still far more powerful than it was, would undoubtly attack them for their lies. Thus, with several other envious worlds, Sokaza assembled an assault force, and prepared to destroy Vuma, and remove a vital threat to their planned hegemony in the sector. The government of Vuma knew an attack would come, and knew that it would not be able to counter it with it's small fleet. Thus, the Imantshi, Londisizwe Sogodi, ordered the transfer of Vuma's historic knowledge and records of it's technologic work moved underground, in the hope future generations would find it.
The warships from Sokaza and it's allies arrived in the Zonda system not to long after the transfer of knowledge underground. The fleet tore into the Vuma defense vessels, which had been waiting for the attack. The Vuman forces managed to destroy a number of Sokaza ships, but could not overcome the enemy's superior numbers, and was in the end, destroyed. The Sokaza fleet entered into orbit around Vuma two hours after it destroyed the defense fleet, shooting down any fleeing vessels. As the Vumans contemplated their fate, the Sokaza warships bombarded each of Vuma's five moons, turning each into a lifeless no man's land. It didn't take long for the people on Vuma to discover what was going to happen to Vuma, and the roiting began. With their backs against the wall, the Vumans entered into a feral state, killing, raping, looting, and commiting virtually every barbarism possible. The Sokaza commanders, delighted to see their enemy turning into monsters, recorded the events for later use, afterwhich they began bombarding Vuma. The once great farmlands were turned into semibarren wastelands. The many rivers and oceans were transformed into toxic, radioactive acid. And the great, towering cities were flattened. Vuma was no more.
The Age of Blood
Vuma quickly degenerated into a barbaric world tainted by radiation and death, and no escape could be provided, as not long after the planet was attacked that the Men of Iron arose and attacked their human masters. It can be said that Vuma's destruction could be classed as much of a blessing as it was a curse, as the neighboring planets were gutted by the AI warmachines, while Vuma, long since forgetten by then, was safe from the murderous rampage of the machines. As the centuries passed, the inhabitants of the planet had changed, their few surviving leaders having developed ways for the people to survive in the barrens of the planet. The Xhasa, as the people had come to call themselves, twisted their bodies to survive in the harsh lands of the planet. As food and water were scarce, nothing went to waste, not even the bodies of the dead. As the dead begin to outnumber the living, the Xhasa took on carrion eating to survive. Though this would not be the end of their suffering.
As resources grew scarce, warfare erupted across the planet which they now called Ulaka, leading to a particular custom to expand their foodstores in the process. Tribal warfare absorbed many resources, of which one of them were food. As the dead were fed to the living, the enemies of tribes were deemed food sources as well to prevent warfare from destroying the few crops and herds left on the planet. Naturally, as the warfare increased, so to did the damage on the ecosystem and food production, and likewise, the dead began to pile up. This resulted in the Xhasa, with few other options that radioactive animals or toxic planets, to eat the one thing that wouldn't kill them; other humans. As the Xhasa adapted their biology to accept the new food source, their inability to digest others grew more prominent, to the point of inedibility. Thankfully, the Xhasa would adapt quickly enough to prevent this from wiping them out, as man could not survive on man alone.
Revival & Expansion
Soon, the age of warfare would come to an end, as one particular man would unite the tribes and begin rebuilding the planet to a point where the warfare would not be as epidemic as the past. In 952.M35, a man known only as the Umazisi, or the Prophet, arose to unite Ulaka under a single banner, and prevent the further destruction of the planet. Consulting with the priests of his tribe, the Umazisi was able to procure ancient weapons and technology to unite the tribes of Ulaka using weaponry no chieftain could stand against. Leading a war of unification, the Umazisi wiped out all resistance mounted against him and his warriors. By 978.M35, the entirety of the planet was under the control of the Umazisi, and the restoration of the planet's ancient infrastructure began. It wasn't long until the old city of Abeka was rebuilt and repopulated, and the old technologies of the planet reactived. This ultimately lead to the Xhasa moving beyond their homeworld as they began to search for the other worlds they had colonized in the days long since past.
Under the Umazisi, Ulaka re-established contact with many of its ancient colonies, including Sokaza, which had decended into a similar state of feralism. Under the guidance of Ulaka, the worlds of the Vuma Sector were united under a single government known as the Xhasa Supremacy. As the population of the planet grew, so to did the need of the Xhasa to procure food for their people. As the animal population was still too small to support the Xhasa, they turned to the hive worlds of their sector which sought the protection of Ulaka from the Orks, Eldar, and Chaos. Ultimately, Ulaka set up its own tithe system. Along with resources, weapons, and materiale, each world with a major population was required to hand over a full tenth of the planet population to Ulaka to be sent to the prison moons of the Ithuna.
Havester fleets numbering several hundreds of vessels strong would collect the populations, and transport them to Ulaka to feed the Xhasa. Soon, Ulaka came to dominate an entire sector with a technologically advanced military and a fleet numbering in the hundreds of warships. Ulaka soon began to invade other sectors to sustain its growing population, and when hive worlds were conquered, these would become known as Harvest Worlds, planets the Ulaka Harvester Fleet would routinuely visit to collect its tithe of humans to return to Ulaka with. As the influence of Ulaka grew, so too did the eye of a major power. The Imperium of Man had been conquering numerous worlds in the region as part of its war against the Confederation of Light which was based in Segmentum Obscurus.
Re-establishing contact with Terra
- "Well, if the people don't kill you, the rain will."
- —Imperial Guardsman, speaking of his tour on Ulaka
Landscape & ClimateUlaka's surface is hidden from view by the never-ending storms the enshroud the planet, preventing starships from getting a good view of the planet surface. Underneath these storms is a semibarren, gray rock, with green glowing jungles, broken up by massive mountains, and deep, purple oceans. Thunderstorms endless wrack the planet, showering the several mega-cities with toxic chemical rain, which would kill outsiders who are exposed to the rain for too long. This is only made worse by the fact that the rain is also extremely posionous. The oceans supply the thick, toxic clouds with the fuel needed to keep going, and hurricanes are common occurence on Ulaka, and tornados outside the cities are massive pillars that never seem to run out of power. Thus, the cities are built out of a long-lasting, stone-like material which prevent the acidic storms from eroding the infastructure of Ulaka. The grey clouds that surround Ulaka blot out the sun, giving inhabitants nothing but a dark, grey landscape to look at. The cities of Ulaka are connected to one another by pipe-like super-highways capable of housing several millions of people.
These highways are flanked by other pilelines which transfer goods, minerals, fresh water, waste, and fuel from one city to the others. If the storms were removed, observers in orbit would see great, grey bloches (the cities), connected together by long thin lines (road networks), which criss-cross the world of Ulaka. The rain on Ulaka is toxic to non-Xhasa, and highly acidic. This is because the inhabitants have grown immune to the acidic in the clouds of planet, and their skin is somewhat thicker. The oceans of Ulaka are filled with extremely radioactive materials, and a cup of the stuff will kill a man in mere minutes from acute radiation posioning. Though, powerful desalination plants on the planet are capable of making the water somewhat safer to consume. Because of the dangerous landscape and posionous water supply, there is no ediable flora, and the only plants on the suface of the planet are the thick Isibane trees, which are radioactive plants that make up the massive jungles inside the cities, outside the city walls, and underground. The only plants on Ulaka have hundreds of longs antenna-like growths, with little glowing nodes on them, a result of the intense mutations of the flora on the planet.
- "There's no such thing as a "harmless" animal on Ulaka. There's just no such thing."
- —A Xhasa citizen
The flora on Ulaka is limited to only only a few types of plants, the only plant-life capable of adapting to the next climate of the planet. All of it is contaminated, and only a few of the plants have been able to thrive on Ulaka. Most of the planet is covered by grey sands and rocks, but some areas are broken up by black grass, and the glowing isibane jungles, the latter of which accounts for 55% of the planet's land surface (the rest taken up the cities, mountains, and plains).
The primary growth on Ulaka, and one of the very few thriving ones, is the Isibane tree. It is named after the Xhasa word for light, due in part to the small antenna-like growths that end with glowing node at the end. For this reason, aerial views of jungles on Ulaka are shown to glow. Isibane trees create thick, canopies, so thick in fact, that isibane jungles have cave-like paths, and are nearly impossible to cut through. The structure of these jungles makes for a beautiful view on the inside, but serve to house the immensely hostile wildlife on the planet.
Aside from the grey landscape which dominates the view of an onlooker, some areas of Ulaka are home to black grass, which is exactly what it sounds like; jet black grass. Reaching a height of some 1.5 meters, the black grass of Ulaka contains the highest concentration of radioactive material on the planet, only superceded by the oceans of the planet. It toxic to everything not born on the planet, and just grass on other worlds, is found even in the cities of Ulaka. It is a popular ingredient in everything from food to herbal remedies, and can even be found on the power lances and iklwas of the Xhasa warriors.
Most of the wildlife on Ulaka is predatorial, and dwell in the vast isibane jungles, and the black grass plains of Ulaka. After the destruction of Vuma in M24, only 4% of it's wildlife (imported from the southern lands of Africa), survived the radioactive fallout in the following years. Most of the wildlife was far to dangerous for the Xhasa to hunt, leading to their decision to resort to cannibalism.
Considered the ultimate predator by the Xhasa, the Ulaka Panther is a long and slender animal the size of an autobike, and intelligent enough to think and comprehend the actions of others. The panthers on a large skill live in massive tribes which claim territory for themselves outside the 15-story tall stone walls of Ulaka's cities. They've waged violent conflicts with those Xhasa living outsider the walls (using outcasts or criminals), and see the Xhasa as equals in terms of huntsmanship. Those Xhasa capable of doing so, seek out Ulaka panthers as steeds, and claim an unparelled level of mobility.
Black Ocelots are small mammals, most popular for their use as house pets and playmates for Xhasa children. They are tiny compared to the bike-sized, and even tank-sized panthers of Ulaka, and are commonly found within the confines of the massive isibane jungles of Ulaka. They're only use is to serve as domesticated pets, and are popular amoungst Xhasa women, who keep the ocelots inside of purses or the large sleeves of their clothing.
Silver Mambas, the most posionous animal on the face of Ulaka, are 30 feet long monsters that inhabit the massive black grass plains of Ulaka. They are usually found in the moist regions of these plains (more moist the rest of the torrent world ironically), and are silent. They are one of the few animals the Xhasa are geniunely afraid of, as they cannot sense them coming. The mamba's usually plan of attack is to slowly approach the target, and then bit it and retreat. As the target is consumed by immense pain followed by death, the mamba with then force the target down it's massive maws, and spend the next week digesting the poor creature. The poison of a silver mamba is highly valued for it's potency. Xhasa projectile weapons are tipped with silver mamba poison, as it is one of the most lethal poisons in the galaxy, and allow the Xhasa to quickly kill their target.
Popular hunting companions to the Xhasa, Ulaka Goshawks are medium-sized birds of prey, that fill the skies of Ulaka, and make up nearly two-thirds of the bird population on Ulaka. They inhabit the cities of Ulaka, and typically captured and trained by the Xhasa to serve the role of spotter in hunting parties. Ulaka Goshawks are fast-moving hunters, and capable of clawing away at a moderately protected target. Like most Ulaka's fauna, it is fully black animal, and a predator. They usually go after other goshawks, and sometimes even Xhasa children, who are taught how to capture one.
The Iron Falcon is a large bird that roams the wastelands of Ulaka, preying on the smaller predator of the planet, and even some Xhasa themselves. The birds get their name from the iron-like claws they possess, clearly show to easily cut through ademantium armor with ease. They're beaks are capable of punching through an unprotected human chest, and ripping out the organs for food. These creatures are usually prevented from entering Ulaka's cities because of the massive stone walls that guard them, but these does not prevent them from conquering the skies of the cities though.
The Ingwenya is an off-shoot of the Grox, taking on the form of what would appear to be something akin to the Terran crocodile. It is used by the Xhasa as another source of food, as the generic Grox was too unpalatable for them to consume. It's hides are used to maked thick boots and gloves for those working in the toxic and highly acidic waters of Ulaka, where the Ingwenya dwells. After the grox's introduction in the Ulaka ecosystem in M36, they were forced to adapt to the relatively safe aquatic regions of Ulaka, where the predators on land could not reach them. These beasts are usually served as a secondary meal, to Xhasa soldiers, when there are no enemies to consume. The Ingwenya is the second most prolific creature in Xhasa space, second only to the Ulaka Kudu. They are breed to inhabit the many rivers of terraformed worlds within the Supremacy.
The only animal on Ulaka that eats something other than flesh, Ulaka Kudus are the primary food source of the predators on Ulaka, and the secondary source of meat for the Xhasa. The kudu's horns are popular musical instruments, and highly-prized by the Xhasa. The primary diet of the Ulaka Kudu is toxic black grass on the planet, in the vast plains hidden in the valleys of Ulaka. It is there that Xhasa hunt the animal for food, and the prized kudu horns. Like the grox for the Imperium, the kudu is the most prolific source of food within the Xhasa Supremacy, breeded on every world administrated by the Xhasa government. The grox was passed over by the Xhasa due to grox meat being found unpalatable to the consumers, thus keeping the kudu as the preferred choice of meat. However, the kudu still takes a back sit to human flesh, the "greatest meat in the galaxy".
- "The Xhasa are a race of cannibalistic monsters. The Inquisition would have loved to sterilize the planet if the High Lords and the Ecclesiarchy hadn't meddled in our affairs before we could act."
- —Inquisitor, remarking on failed attempt to destroy Ulaka
The native people of Ulaka, known as the Xhasa, are a race of abhumans, the result of which came from their need to adapt to the toxic wasteland that had become their home. When the food supplies left from before the razing of their homeworld, the Xhasa needed another source of food. With few choices to choose from, the Xhasa began eating each other. After sometime had passed, the Xhasa became immune to the effects of rotten flesh, and a number of misfortunes lead to the Xhasa evolving into an abhuman race. Because their diet consisted of human beings for well over 15,000 years, fruits and vegetables are unpalatable to the Xhasa. Only raw meat or blood will suffice. The Xhasa are capable of sensing fear in others, as well as hear their heartbeats, and smell the pheromones in humans, traits they picked up, which allowed their to hunt human beings for food. Added to their sharp eye-sight, Xhasa are natural-born predators, with few others of their skill. The only reason the Inquisition hasn't destroyed them is because they were close enough to pure humans to still serve the Emperor. However, the Inquisition has kept a close eye on the Xhasa people for any signs of corruption.
The Xhasa have powerful a mouth and tongue to help them consume other humans. They can split their jaw from it's socket to accommodate large pieces of meat. Also, it allows them to fit an entire human head into their mouth. They have four-foot long tongue, which though quite thin in appearance, is a powerful muscle which they have rather amazing control of, allowing them to either suck the blood out of their prey through a small opening on the tip, or strangle their food for consumption. However, Xhasa have stated they prefer their to be alive and very alert when they eat them. Finally, the Xhasa have sharp, serrated teeth, which appear to have some silverish coating, is needed to prevent the teeth from cracking or gaining cavities. It is believed their teeth are similar to adamantium in strength. These functions allow the Xhasa to feed efficiently, and also serve as potent weapons, and also as marks of strength and power, as male Xhasa will usually show off the size of their teeth, while women usually brag of how long and sharp their tongues are, sometimes putting elaborate piercings or rings of their tongue, while the men have intricate markings cut into their silver teeth.
The Xhasa have plenty of sanctioned psykers who were allowed to remain on their homeworld to serve there (as well as an attempt to prevent the Xhasa from spreading to other worlds). They are marked by their heavily tattooed skin, which marks their positions as psykers. During the Age of Apostasy, the people of Ulaka made an agreement with the High Lords of Terra which allowed any psykers born on Ulaka to attain sanctioned status, in return for a group of old STCs they had (the Xhasa had known of the Imperium's search for such items, and fabricated new ones). The Imperium has kept it's word, but the Ordo Heriticus has become rather hostile toward the psykers of Ulaka, believing them not be of the grade needed to serve the Emperor. The psykers of Ulaka are trained at the Grand Citadel of Abeka, where older psykers pass on their knowledge and skills to the newer psykers. The weakest of Ulaka's psykers are sent to Terra to become Astropaths, and the rouge psykers are sent there to feed the Emperor. So far, Ulaka has remained loyal to the Imperium, and there has been no reason thus far to eliminate the inhabitants. All Xhasa psykers are overseen by the Cult of Isithixo, the Xhasa's branch of the Imperial Cult.
- "The Xhasa do not take prisoners. They take meals."
- —Imperial trader
Xhasa Terror Troops
The Xhasa Terror Troops are the multi-billion man army tasked with protecting both Ulaka and it's assets. It is made up of volunteers trained in the vast radioactive wastelands of Ulaka. They specialize in terror tactics as their name suggests, as well urban combat, and warfare in hostile terrain. They are usually sent to fight on worlds that are typically undergoing geological development, or torrent worlds where lightning and hurricanes tend to hamper Imperial Guard formations. They are denoted by their black power armor, and silver and gold trims depending on the rank of the wearer. As is the Xhasa way, they usually come with enormous bionic additions, and are completely or partially bald from the increased radition on the homeworld. The standard weaponry of a Xhasa terror trooper is usually a Blazegun, which a deadlier variant of the Hellgun. Blazeguns are quite advanced weapons, and require no energy cell backpacks for power. Additionally, the elite soldiers known as the Flayers, carry Neutron Blasters, which are basically the beefed up versions of the Plasma Guns in the Imperial Guard.
The Xhasa Terror Troops operate primarily within the Vuma Sector, serving in the place of the Imperial Guard, which ceded control of the sector's defences to Ulaka. Thus, it has a hightened alert status, attempting to prevent another Chaos incursion like the once in 988.M41 from happening again. The Inquisition, as is it's habit, keeps a close eye on Ulaka's PDF, ensuring that it remembers to whom it's loyalty belongs. The Terror Troops recruit their members from Ulaka and the surrounding Xhasa colonies, and maintains a standard of quality found on few other worlds. Their technological edge and superior numbers help make up for their slow reaction times due to the limitations of Warp, a problem Xhasa scientists have secretly been trying to bypass. All equipment used by the Terror Troops are produced on Ulaka, do to a hatred of the "poorly designed and fabricated" wares of the Imperial Forge Worlds. One notable fact of the Xhasa Terror Troops is their intergration of both sexes, and their regiments consisting of infantry, armor, and artillery, two things the Imperial Guard has prohibited it's own regiments from doing.
On worlds where the terrain is too hostile for even the Terror Troops of Ulaka, or where massive casualties are expected, Ulaka makes use of their robotic armies known as the Ulaka Tek-Legions. The Inquitions has attempted to condemn the Xhasa's use of robot soldiers, but both the High Lords of Terra and Ulaka have stated that the Tek-Legionnaries have no A.I., and the Xhasa have even told the Inquisitors to think of the robots as "servo-skulls with bodies", or "servitors with without the flesh". Ulaka has been pushing the limits of their authority, and it's sickening the Inquisition. These robotic soldiers are equipped with standard lasguns, and produced on a level that allows them to thrown in battle with little worry of production cost. Such robots have limited intelligence, and know only how to fight, and nothing more. They are controlled by massive warships that orbit the planet to be conquered, and the destruction of that ship with result in all Tek-Legionnaries under it's control to shut down.
Grand Armada of Ulaka
As Ulaka is typically avoided by Imperials due to the Xhasa's hunger for the flesh of sentient beings, the planet is thus responsible for it's own protection, which also includes building and maintaining it's navy. The Grand Armada of Ulaka is charged with the defense of Ulaka, the Unya system, and the Izimu Sector, all of which have been handed over to the Xhasa by the High Lords of Terra. They did so not because they trust the Xhasa, but because they felt that that region of space, located in the far northeast of Segmentum Obscurus, as relatively worthless, and not worth transporting millions of Imperial troops to the sector to defend. The Grand Armada is granted great freedom in handling it's own affairs, maintaining a seperate command structure than the rigidly established one within the Imperial Navy. Do to the freedom granted them, the Navy uses technology significantly more advanced than the Imperium's. In the place of Lance Batteries, the Ulaka Navy makes use of Neutron Cannons, which fire black-in-red lasers, which as about twice as strong as a standard lance.
- "They do not know fear. But they relish the effect it has on others."
- —Inquisitor of the Ordo Hereticus
The people of Ulaka, known as the Xhasa, are a canniblistic race of cybernetic abhumans, who have built their culture around hate and mistrust of outsiders. As for their canniblistic hungry, it come from the days of regression during the Age of Strife, when the only food on the planet were fellow humans. The Xhasa are thus avoided for that very reason, as they are keen to watch out for any person that is too foolish to stay remain outside of a group. Once alone with a person, a Xhasa will usually attempt to devour them. If the thought of getting eaten by another person wasn't bad enough, the Xhasa have hunting parties which rotiunely travel to other worlds of the Imperium to "harvest" the poor, the homeless, the prisoners, and unwanted nuisances living there, and bring them back to Ulaka for food. Additionally, the Xhasa have even set up internment facilities on the five moons of Ulaka, and filled them with humans from other worlds, who's sole purpose is to serve as a steady food source for Ulaka. A grim fate for any caught by the Xhasa.
On a brighter note, the Xhasa are profilic users of bionics. During the Dark Age of Technology, the world of Ulaka was reknown for it's masterly crafted bionics, the creation of which they saw as an art. Every level of Ulaka society, from the rich to the poor, to the young and the old, has use form of bionics. It is not uncommon for middle-class Xhasa to have a low-grade suit of power armor, or a wealthy Xhasa to have a completely cybernetic body. The Xhasa put in years of work into intricately creating detailed bionics armor and weaponry. They would lovingly design each piece of technology, and ensure that it would come out as a true work of art. Of all of their bionics, the Xhasa are best known for their cybernetic eyes. They replaced their old eyes with ruby gems, with unnoticeable circutry underneath. These gems allow them to see thermal trails, which help them hunt for food. The Xhasa managed to hold on to their ancient, culturally advanced Dark Age culture, in which they see technology as an art within itself.
Life on Ulaka
Life on Ulaka is virturally lethal for the Xhasa inhabitants. Radiation left behind from the bombardment of Ulaka in M24, though minimial today, is still an issue, as the water, food supplies, and soil, all contain some level of contamination. Because of this, the Xhasa have no natural hair, save for a few areas on the face, and any that is on the head is artifical (through the use of a genetic modification). The Xhasa must also deal with predators they share the planet with. The Ulaka Panther is semi-sentient creature capable of performing complex thought, and thus treated with a level of respect and awe. During the Age of Apostesy, the Xhasa fought a war against the intelligent animals of the planet, known as the Beast Wars, and lasted for two hundred years.
Such was the skill of the creatures, that they fought the far larger and technologically advanced Xhasa to a draw. These animals are just the beginning of their troubles. The planet of Ulaka is a semibarren, torrent world, with lightning storms all-year long, creating lightning bolts powerful enough to strike down an entire company of soldiers. Thus, to prevent the storms from destroying their homes, the Xhasa had to build stone cities, using a mineral native to Ulaka. All Xhasa learn survival skills to help them grow into adulthood without getting mawed to death by the beasts outside the city walls, or dying from acute radiation posioning because of straying into the wrong parts of the Ulaka wastelands.