As the great struggle for Heavensreach looms, it is time to take a closer look at the battlefields and strongpoints of this world. Each of these battlegrounds will be host to numerous and titanic conflicts between the Imperium and its assailants. Each battleground is vital to the defence of this world, and each will bring catastrophe if it falls . . .
Kasr Ferocia on Heavensreach is its weakest point. A near impenetrable citadel that scrapes the upper atmosphere of the planet, it is shaped as a great pyramid. Its exterior is smoothed ferrocrete, though on its lowermost portions shanties and industrial habs have cropped up on the exterior of the pyramid. This near-uncrackable bastion is the weakest point on Heavensreach. If Kasr Ferocia is nearly impenetrable, the other seven Kasrs are impossibly so. At least, they are impossibly so without the tram network honeycombing the planet. The only reliable access to the tram network is through the Kasrs, which act as transportation hubs in their deepest regions.
If Kasr Ferocia can be taken, the planet can be taken as xenos, traitors, and monstrosities surge through the underdepths that network across the world like ley lines. The surface of Heavensreach, less than a decade ago a golden and beautiful paradise world, is now a desolate wasteland, nuked into submission and gassed with a thousand toxins, both by the invaders and the defenders. It can only be described as a hell of ditches and fortifications. Green-blue vapours wallow in the bottoms of the trenches and at the pits of craters, appearing like water to the uninitiated, and without proper protection will burn a man to bone in a matter of moments.
Only the bravest, or most suicidal, of the Emperor’s defenders guard this realm, and only the most violently insane of its assailants would dare land out in the trenchscape rather than attempt a direct siege on the Kasr. Yet a foothold in the trenchscape would offer the same ironic safety to an alien invasion force as it does to the kriegsmen holding the line, so it may be a worthwhile pursuit. Regardless of speculation, Heavensreach is readied for war, and Kasr Ferocia, once a bustling metropolis, will be the first to fall.
Spira Castellum is a colossal space station in geosynchronous orbit of Heavensreach. Boasting the largest and most stable grav-elevator for shipping goods to and from the planet’s surface, the Spira has been reconfigured and retrofitted as the system’s premier battlestation. Housing more than two dozen bio-habs of various states, the interior of the Spira is as varied as any temperate imperial world, with lush jungle habs, arid scrubland, and botanical gardens with advanced, archeotech hydroponics providing more than enough food to feed the entire flotilla and fleet guarding the system.
While the station remains the breadbasket of Heavensreach, in supplement to the cavernous fungal plantations in the planets underdepths, it’s primary function is now the moving of troops and munitions from orbit to the planet and vice versa as the Imperator General demands. The once lively greens and murals now give way to stripped gunmetal and ashen red soils, carried on the boots of troopers recalled to and from the planet’s surface on a near daily basis to adjust to the ebb and tide of the frontlines.
Portentia is a great silver gas giant in orbit of Heavensreach’s sun. Consisting largely of hyperliquids and ultradense gasses, the core of the planet is a non-Newtonian semistable fluid which, if proper measures are taken, can be effectively traversed on foot, though its quicksilver bogs are reminiscent of sucking muds and quicksands. Strange algae-like biofilm coats the silvery fluids, creating an illusion of surface. Several buoyant research stations dot the planets surface, in addition to countless satellites that constantly monitor the planet. You do not have the intel nor the security clearance to know why.
Antigone is Heavensreach’s largest moon. Terraformed and designated as a garden world, the social elite of Heavensreach often spent most of their time in their summer palaces upon the lush and vibrant world. Massive sculptures are carved out of the moon’s many natural rock pillars, and are a distinct aqueous green, which is often peddled on nearby black markets as Heaven Glass, and its export from the moon is prohibited legally and, somewhat inexplicably, religiously.
After the Sacking of Persephone by the Orkish warlord Gargrim the Black, most of the nobles who made their home hoisted their wealth and sailed their private cruisers away across the vastness of oblivion to the neighbouring sector, the Vandal Reach. Now, a sprawling military-agricultural operation spans the surface, and Antigone remains the most heavily fleet-guarded asset the Imperium controls in the subsector.
Vesper was a neighbouring world to Heavensreach, hosting nearly half as many citizens as its sibling world. Rich in industry and metals, the planet was a mining hub in the sector, rivalled only by the Sprawl and its asteroid mines to the galactic west (though contact with that entire subsector has been dark for nearly five years).
After shipments of precious and industrial metals ceased to arrive from the Imperium, the Sprawl, and the worlds now composing the Andorheim Compact, the Pontifex-Imperator of Heavensreach had no choice but to order the strip mining of Vesper to provide the raw materials necessary to bolster Heavensreach in defence against the coming Black Waaagh. Vesper’s planet cracking was delayed when the orkish horde was splintered at Royalta. This proved a disastrous error, as after the Black Waaaghs destruction, the other xenos and traitor forces were only freer to raid and pillage Imperial space without threat of Orkish retribution. The delay in production cost Imperial forces the Black Reef, and after its destruction, efforts were redoubled, and Vesper was shattered into a thousand pieces, each holding more valuable materials than the last. If the space and earth-slabs of Vesper are denied to the Imperium, their ship production and repairs will grind to a halt. They cannot be lost.