The Jericho Crusade
Homeworld of Delta Sult. Iocanthos is a lawless world dominated by warlords and their huge armies, which clash across its jungles, forests and plains. The planet’s importance in the Calixis Sector is defined by the fact that it is one of the few places in the Imperium where the Ghostfire Flower can grow. Ghostfire Pollen can be refined into the combat drugs used extensively in the Penal Legions of the Imperial Guard.
Every five years, a taskforce of Administratum officials descends onto Iocanthos to gather the planet’s Ghostfire Flower tithe. The warlords exchange their harvests of Ghostfire Pollen with the Administratum in exchange for weapons, vehicles, fuel, clean water and other essentials. The warlord who hands over the most Ghostfire pollen is considered the Planetary Governor and claims the lion’s share of support from the Imperium and the title Vervai (literally “prince of princes” or “king”).
The title brings with it immense prestige and confirms the warlord’s position as the most dangerous and skilled on Iocanthos. The current Planetary Governor is Vervai “King” Skull, a terrifying warrior at the head of an enormous and supposedly invincible army of madmen and killers. The warlords of Iocanthos are also required to hand over their psykers as well as the Ghostfire harvest, but these are taken from them not by the Administratum but by nameless grey-uniformed men who herd the psykers onto their sleek black ships and take their leave.
The Administratum fully accepts the situation on Iocanthos. The Ghostfire pollen is harvested very efficiently because so many warlords’ armies battle to find every last blossom. Were the Administratum to take over Iocanthos themselves, then the planet would first have to be conquered by the Imperial Guard at enormous expense and the Administratum themselves would be hard-pressed to match the vigour with which Iocanthos’s warlords hunt down every Ghostfire flower. They therefore leave the warlords to do the hard work, safe in the knowledge that none of them can rebel against Imperial authority lest their supplies of guns and fuel be cut off.
Iocanthos’s warlords (usually styling themselves “vai” or tribal prince) battle constantly for control of the Ghostfire harvest. The Ghostfire crop cannot be cultivated normally and so once a patch of it is harvested another one must be found. The warlords’ armies are therefore constantly on the move, travelling in enormous hordes across Iocanthos’s main continent and clashing violently wherever they meet. Iocanthos’ wide plains, dense, dark forests and forbidding mountain passes are studded with old battlefields where burned out vehicles and age-bleached skeletons abound.
Four main continents and extensive island chains. Only the largest continent is populated (mountainous/rocky, dense southern forests).
The largest permanent settlement on Iocanthus is Port Suffering2, a fortified town of 2,567,560 humans3, which features a spaceport and the only office of the Administratum on the planet.
Not far north of Port Suffering is a small community in the mountains called Stern Hope which recently sprung up around the construction of the planet’s only Cathedral. Construction of the Cathedral began in 813.M41 and was consecrated circa 815.M41.
This world’s only other civilized location of note is the Abbey of the Dawn, the Adepta Sororitas’ primary training facility in the Calixis Sector. Here, initiates are trained to be fully-fledged members of the Sisterhood.
Galactic Position – 103/22/CS/SE
Climatic Phenomenon – Frequent dust storms
Water Supply – Very few natural sources of fresh water.
Local currency known as “soules”. On Iocanthos many believe their money is forever stained by the blood of mercenaries, giving rise to the idea of trading in the souls of fallen warriors.2
Principle Exports – Iocanthos’ only meaningful export is Ghostfire Pollen. The Ghostfire harvest is essential to the existence of Imperial Penal Legions in the Segmentum Obscurus
Principle Imports – Fresh water is a vital import.