Vilgalan is a shrine world located in the Sephadollion Sector. A harsh, barren planet, Vilgalan is touched by the power of the Warp, but also harbours the most fanatical zealots in the entire sector. Vilgalan thus acts as a ward against chaos in the system, despite the whispers of deceit forever at work trying to corrupt the citizens of Vilgalan.
Vilgalan was once a world completely dominated by the infernal powers of chaos, courtesy of their servants helped thin the boarder between the warp and the real world. It stayed in this state until the arrival of Saint Basirov, who led the crusade into the sector. Although Basirov died, the planet was cleansed of heretics, and Vilgalan was transformed into a shrine world in honour of Basirov. Although the taint of chaos forever looms over Vilgalan, the combined efforts of the Ecclesiarchy, Inquisition and Imperial Navy forever are on the look out for signs of corruption, where it is dealt with swiftly.
Climate and Geography
A cold, barren world, Vilgalan has an average temperature of 10°C. The planet landscape is of rocky plateaus and outcrops, and barely supports any life, whether it be plant or animal. There are very little resources of note.
Vilgalan was found by the Luna Wolves during the Great Crusade, inhabited only by a few primitive cave dwelling xenos that were quickly eradicated. The Luna Wolves moved quickly on however, with its fellow legion the Word Bearers establishing a society on the barren rock, setting up shrines and chapels dedicated to the Emperor. The world was soon the host of many thousand of men who intended to live a peaceful life on the planet.
The Horus Heresy
During the Horus Heresy the Word Bearers, having declared their devotion to chaos, quickly overran Vilgalans defences, taking the planet by force. The Dark Apostle known as Urias Lazaros ordered for a ritual to be enacted at once that would enable the Word Bearers to call upon the infernal powers of Chaos to aid them in their take over of the rest of the Sephadollion Sector.
After eight days of endless chanting and sacrifices on a genocidal scale, the ritual succeeded in its intentions. The barrier between the martial world and the realm of chaos was thinned almost to breaking point, resulting in legions of daemons pouring onto the surface of Vilgalan, intent on spilling blood. Lazaros, pleased with his efforts, ordered the Word Bearers to further advance in order to destroy the Imperium, reinforced now with his unholy allies.
This unnatural occurrence left Vilgalan scarred by the power of chaos, with its citizens defiling the shrines dedicated to the Emperor, instead creating vast icons and monoliths dedicated to the powers of chaos. Vilgalan was left in the hands of the corrupt for centuries, becoming the centre point of power within the sector as its servants overran the other planets, establishing the worship of the Ruinous Powers.
It was in 017.M31 the Imperial forces led by Lord Commander Solomon Basirov moved into the Sephadollion Sector. Accompanied by the Ultramarine legion and various regiments of Imperial guard, Basirov cut a bloody swathe through the chaos forces in the sector, retaking many of the worlds beseeched by chaos such as Lak'Vrey and Triam.
It was once the majority of the sector was cleansed when Basirov turned his attention towards Vilgalan. Vilgalan by now had utterly fallen to the powers of chaos, with daemons running rampant and unchecked around the planet. Basirov unperturbed gathered his forces and decided to enact planetfall onto the planet.
The Assault of Vilgalan
It was the Ultramarine strike force that struck first. Disembarking from their gunships, the Astartes were met with swarms of bloodthirsty daemons and deranged cultists. The Space Marines endeavoured to plough through the mob, trading the frenzied attacks of their enemies with disciplined bolter fire. As it became clear however that the Space Marines were in danger of being overrun Basirov ordered for the rest of his forces to commence the attack.
The east side of the planet was purged first, with Imperial forces gaining a foothold on what was once the main spaceport. Basirov ordered the Space Marines to move south, while a half of the guard forces moved north. Both parts of the planet fell to the Imperial forces with relative ease, with the rest of the chaos forces congregating to the western side of the planet, where the ritual enacted by Lazaros first took place.
Basirov used a pincer formation to surround the remaining daemonic forces, trapping them before starting to purge them from their fortress that was formally a cathedral dedicated to the Emperor. Basirov stormed the central chamber himself accompanied by a squad of Ultramarines. They met resistance from a horde of bloodletters who were intent to hack down any who approached them. The battle in the cathedral lasted several hours, but by the end of it the forces of the Imperium were victories. However Basirov was lying in a pool of his own blood, after being cut down by bloodletters.
The remaining daemons and cultists on Vilgalan where cleansed via orbital bombardment. Rather then leave the world however the Ecclesiarchy requested control over it, with the intention of transforming it into a shrine world dedicated to Basirov, who had achieved sainthood with his death. The proposition was approved the Adeptus Terra, and the Ecclesiarchy set to work on establishing Vilgalan as their central powerhouse within the sector.
The Gethnian incident
Rise of the Redemptionist Cult
It was around the year 914.M41 that pilgrims from the planet Necromanda had settled onto Vilgalan, bring forth their new cult, the Cult of Redemption. Calling themselves Redemptionists they quickly gained a foothold on Vilgalan, impressing many with their radical beliefs. The main leader of the movement, a man named Xantu, led the biggest group on the planet, although cult leaders Jarvos and Holt had also started to gain power.
In 932.M41 a new Arch-Cardinal, Mathius V, was elected. This election was met with scrutiny, with many saying that Mathius, at the age of 35, was to young for the position. Mathius did not disappoint the naysayers, doing little to halt the rapid growth of the Redemptionist cults, who were free to terrorise the citizens with summary executions. Despite the death of cultist leader Jarvos to the south of the planet, which effectively helped break the Redemptionist control there, the movement still grew around the rest of the planet. Mathius reasoned the movement posed no threat, but was ordered the Order of Vengeful Drake to be on their guard and ready to mobilise their forces at a moments notice.
Xantu's coup d'etat
In 951.M41 Arch-Cardinal Mathius V died of a natural illness, with several deacons claiming ownership of the title of Arch-Cardinal, with Arch-Deacon Darius II taking position as acting Arch-Cardinal. In this infighting redemptionist leader Xantu used this as the perfect opportunity to enact his master plan. Xantus had previously garnered the support of redemptionist leader Holt, with the two cults coming together.
Soon civil unrest begun to brew within the poorer areas of Vilgalan, with the citizens starving as the government failed to elect a new leader. Rallying these citizens Xantu promised them that the strength of the redemptionist cult would provide them with strong leadership, which according to Xantu, the officials of Vilgalan had failed to show. This prompted planet-wide riots, with the Order of the Vengeful Drake quickly retreating into their fortress. Redemptionists soon ran wild in the streets, killing opposer's as they saw fit.
Darius II, in a state of panic, ordered the Adeptus Arbites to enact martial law on the planet, before retreating to the Ecclesiarchal palace. However Darius was unaware that Xantu had bribed the Arbite leaders, and was waiting for him at the palace. Xantu cut Darius down and declared himself Arch-Cardinal of Vilgalan.
The Downfall of Xantu
As Xantu declared himself Arch-Cardinal the remaining Cardinals and Arch-Deacons fled to the sanctuary of the fortress of the Order of the Vengeful Drakes, with those being left behind being killed under Xantu's orders. Chief among the survivors was Quintius Caro. Caro ordered for the Sisters of Battle to prepare arms, as he intended to usurp Xantu and establish official Ecclesiarchal rule once again.
Xantu was aware that the Order of the Black Drakes was hosting this government-in-exile, and ordered that all loyal to the Redemptionist cult move in to take the fortress. By this point any who opposed Xantu's right to rule were summarily executed by the redemptionist agents. In light of this order, redemptionist forces surrounded the Orders fortress, being mowed down by artillery from exocist missiles. Xantu refused to call off the attack, stating that the government-in-exile would be eradicated if the siege of the fortress was continued by redemptionist loyalists.
SocietyThe people of Vilgalan are of a tough breed, with the constant vigilance against chaos, and blind faith in the Emperor. Often referred to as fanatical zealots, those that commit even the slightest of heresies on Vilgalan are often summarily executed. Sometimes heretics escape to the moons and asteroid fields of the system, hiding out as pirates. Often the Imperial Navy scout for these men, and no mercy is given to them.
The culture of Vilgalan is based around the teachings of the Ecclesiarchy with every aspect of life being connected to the Imperial Creed. Divergence from the Ecclesiarchy is punished harshly usually with death.
The class divide on Vilgalan is considered rather murky. The Upper Classes while possessing wealth have little power and can have their wealth and (meaningless) titles stripped from them at the whim of the Arch-Cardinal who can subsequently take their property for the Ecclesiarchy. As such the upper class of Vilgalan is small, with many ancient households being reduced to living in poverty. To possess wealth one need only be part of the Ecclesiarchy, as they take the lions share of all the earnings on Vilgalan. This means however that those born in poverty have the potential to become affluent through joining the Ecclesiarchy. However the lower classes on Vilgalan are more likely to be purged by the Ecclesiarchy and live in squalid conditions.
The people of Vilgalan are usually frantic follows of the Ecclesiarchy, being indoctrinated at a young age, often holding the Arch-Cardinal to be a godlike figure. Those who are more sceptical are easy prey to the whispers of chaos and will quickly turn against their family and friends only to be murdered for diverging on Ecclesiarchy teachings.
There is little to no tolerance of mutants on Vilgalan who are normally killed at birth. Similarly pyskers are usually executed if their power manifest or incarcerated for the century tithes demanded by Imperial Blackships. Contempt for these groups are high with many organising witch hunts to hunt down and lynch those accused of being mutants or pyskers. These witch hunts are encouraged by the Ecclesiarchy, with preachers often leading the mobs.
Vilgalan is a theocratic totalitarian state with the incumbent Arch-Cardinal holding complete power over the planet and its inhabitants. All the major positions on the planet are held by members of the Ecclesiarchy who are chosen by the Arch-Cardinal. The Ecclesiarchys power on the planet encompasses all branches of the state including the military, administrative centres and public services. The one exception to this occurs when the Inquisition demands one of their number to serve as advisor and overseer of the planet. Usually this representative is of the Ordo Sanctorum, although members of the Ordo Hereticus and even the Ordo Militum have been known to take office.
As well as retaining absolute power over his citizens, the Arch-Cardinal also leads the Sector Synod, meaning his power and authority extend to all Ecclesiarchy institutions within the Sephadollion Sector. The Arch-Cardinal usually appoints higher ranking members of the Ecclesiarchy (usually Cardinals) to run their respective Dioceses, leaving them with a great degree of power. The Arch-Cardinal still answers to the Sector governor, the Ecclesiarch and ultimately the Adeptus Terra as well as being required to follow the word of the Inquisition. However neither of these groups regularly enforce their power onto the Arch-Cardinal except in times of need (with the exception of the Inquisition constantly monitoring the Arch-Cardinal;however it does not excise its power frequently).
The position of Arch-Cardinal is often gifted to an elected replacement. They are elected usually by the Ecclesiarch who will chose based on a list of candidates comprising of the most senior officials within the sector. The Arch-Cardinal cannot refuse to step down from their position and must retain it until death. The Inquisition have the power to remove the Arch-Cardinal from his position through summary execution if there is overwhelming evidence that he is a heretic. A loop hole allows the Inquisition to appoint a new Arch-Cardinal if this action transpires. When taking power the Arch-Cardinal often adopts a new name.
Normally it is the duty of the Arch-Deacons to interpret the Arch-Cardinals will, and it is they who often control the city states on the planet. The Arch-Deacons are merely puppets for the Arch-Cardinal however with any insubordination being punished through death. The Arch-Deacons and those of lower rank often run the more day-to-day lives of the citizens and try in be sufficient in enforcing the Cardinals word. In recent years they have grown notably harsher with more agents of the Ecclesiarchy ordering punishment to be carried out for the smallest of infractions.
Often the internal politics regarding the administrative workings on Vilgalan is described as a bureaucratic nightmare. The administrative branches on Vilgalan are controlled by a mixture of adepts from the Administratum and members of the Ecclesiarchy. The adepts are usually more well versed in the running of these administrative branches and clash with the officials of the Ecclesiarchy who are more concerned with enforcing their ideology onto the citizens of Vilgalan. As such the handling of bureaucratic matters is a lengthy process due to this internal infighting. This has caused many to deride the structure of Vilgalans government calling it inefficient.
The main military organisation of the is the Adeptus Sororitas minor Order Militant situated on the planet, the Order of the Vengeful Drakes. Founded shortly after the death of Saint Basirov, the Order has been used as an external military force used both by the Ecclesiarchy and the Inquisition in the Sephadollion Sector in Wars of Faith. Usually the Order deals with heretics, rebellions and chaos forces within the Sector but have faced Xenos threats as well. For example during the Visceri incursion Vilgalan was used as a bastion against the Xenos threat, and with the help of other Imperial forces the order managed to halt the Visceri in its tracks.
The Order also act as enforcers on Vilgalan, enforcing the Ecclesiarchy power on the planet. This has caused their duties to overlap with the Adeptus Arbite forces on the planet - however due to the small size of the Arbites the Order usually deals in any potential rebellions.
The Order is well trained with its training facilities stretching across the east side of the planet. Many women voluntarily sign up for service for a stable career with the Order, and safety from the frequent purges the planet undergoes. Conscription has been suggested in the past but due to the frequent corruption on Vilgalan it was deemed to risky as potential heretics could be inducted into the Order. The Order however does have frequent recruitment rates and has grown to become exceptionally large. If it were not for the Inquisitions efforts to halt recruitment the Order would encompass a large portion of the population.
The frequent corruption on Vilgalan has made the members of the Order paranoid and extremely dedicated to their duties. However this has subsequently resulted in many sisters becoming Sister Repentia for the smallest infractions.
Vilgalan lacks a dedicated PDF force instead relying on the Order of the Vengeful Drakes. At times of war a rather rag tag defence forces has been mustered, but such men receive little training and are poorly armed. However Vilgalan maintains good relationships with the Imperial Navy who serve as a orbital defence force around the planet. The Navy often scour surrounding planets and asteroids for potential heretics where they would be dealt with quickly.
Officially the task of law enforcement lies in the hands of the Adeptus Arbites. In many cases however law is instead carried out by agents of the Ecclesiarchy. The lines between religious crime (which is dealt with by the Ecclesiarchy) and conventional crime (which is dealt with by the Arbites) is blurred, meaning the two organisations have come into conflict more than once. As court is a long, expensive process with trials only being held for the rich. Instead most crimes are dealt with through summary sentences used both by the Arbites and the Ecclesiarchy with violence often being used. Corporal and capital punishment are most common with either being carried out even for minor crimes.
The Adeptus Arbites headquarters is located above the planet in a large space station where prisoners are kept. They also maintain a small training facility on the surface of the planet where recruits are picked from the numerous Schola Progeniums on the planet.
The Arbites are lax in their duties, meaning crime rates in the poorer parts of Vilgalan is high. Rather then see this as a detriment the Ecclesiarchy encourages crime in certain cases (especially in the field of narcotics) as it means the citizens have more money to pay tithes to. As a result of this however the Arbites are often used to collect tithes from the citizens that goes directly to the Ecclesiarchy. Among all of the conventional crimes dodging tithes is considered to be one of the most serious.
Vilgalan has at times tried to sustain a self sufficient industry, but every time has failed spectacularly. Vilgalan has therefore has to rely on imports from other planets, such as Dedriton for technology,Qenia for agricultural resources and Bythantis for certain raw materials. Vilgalan has started to artificially produce food, which is normally eaten by the lower classes, with officials instead taking in imported foods.
Vilgalan citizens primarily work in factories that enable Vilgalan to have a semi-stable economy. These factories produce weapons, foodstuffs, construction materials, and various other civilian goods. These goods are almost always made with functionality in mind, with the more exotic goods being made off world and imported onto the planet. Vilgalan rarely exports materials, but it occasionally exports slaves to worlds such as Bythantis and Qenia, thus fuelling its stagnating economy.
The majority of Viligalanians speak low gothic, with local dialects, colloquialisms and slang thrown in. The more senior members of the Ecclesiarchy are trained to speak in High Gothic, with them often delivering sermons in that tongue.
Although not born on Vilgalan Saint Solomon Basirov is considered to be a hero and is openly worshipped on the planet. Basirov was the Lord Commander of several Imperial Guard regiments in the Ultima Segmentum and led a successful crusade in the Great Scoring to cleanse the chaos forces that besieged the sector, being killed on Vilgalan. Many pilgrims come to visit the huge complex that serves as his tomb with almost all the Arch-Cardinals stating that they were "inspired" by Basirovs actions.
The current Arch-Cardinal of the planet, Erlösung XI has been extremely unpopular since taking office. Infamous for his harsh policies, Erlösung has fully excised the power he has been given, increasing the recruitment rate for the Order of the Vengeful Drakes, as well the general power of Ecclesiarchy individuals in relation to the common man. However he has also limited the power of some of the higher ranking officials within the Sector Synod, meaning that Erlösung XI holds more overall power in the Synod.
Erlösung has also reintroduced the act of regular purges in the light of the dissolution of the Redemptionist cults on the planet. He has made it legal for any and all those that are accused of being heretics to be summarily executed, and has often deployed members of the Order of the Vengeful Drakes to purify portions of the population.
Erlösung has also decreased the amount of freedoms available to the public, and enforcing more curfews and tithes that go directly to him. Erlösung has come into frequent clashes with the Inquisition and Sector governor Mordred Troy over his activities that have increased the power of the Ecclesiarchy within the sector. However Erlösung is considered a favourite to the current Ecclesiarch, Decius XXIII, who has voiced his support regarding Erlösungs actions.
Public perception of Erlösung is normally negative, with high tithe rates, increased power to the Ecclesiarchy, and semi-regular genocides being the common criticisms of his state. More positive opinions however state that he has brought stability and order to Vilgalan (especially his efforts to cull the Redemptionist movement) while his predecessor was lazy and complacent in comparison as well as purging the population of potential heretics.
The acolyte of Lady Inquisitor Jacki Vulsen hailed from the planet, and was part of the Redemptionist movement there. Although he was unaware of it at the time his actions helped weaken the Redemptionist cult on the planet due to his insistence that the cult did not try and overthrow the Arch-Cardinal.
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|Hive Worlds||Triam · Estomor · Lak'Vrey|
|Forge Worlds||Dedriton · Sillicalon|
|Other||Tangaroa · Bythantis · Vilgalan · Halcyon · Fractus · Three-Hundred Fifty · Qenia · Ancheron Prime · Cicholos · Sulakta · Assila · Carnivos · Sharash|
|Tenebarite Cabal||Jacki Vulsen · Alexei de'Ossmann · Bradan Peregrem · Avarious Van Hohen · Cherrice Bauyon · Rayas Mearas · Alexander Buhoveckey|
|Others||Mordred Troy · Dante Buhoveckey · Florianus Buhoveckey · Cutler Kar · Dalila Isiminger · Edrith Cambion · Sophia Riyeko · Skarek Usid · Dorianus Ven Adrien · Morgan Jome · Bartholomew Arinus · Zerath Devorian · Erlösung XI · Lin Mai · Mitchell Ramone|
|Human||Blazing Claws · Vitores Tenebras|
|Xenos||Visceri · Hive Fleet Erebus|