GM Notes

Sinophia

Planetary History
Sinophia was once a world of pivotal destiny and eocnomic power, but now is little more than a forlorn and forgotten relic of the past. Situated on the furthest reaches of the Ixaniad Sectore and founded in the elder days as the personal fief of the Rogue Trader Teresa Sinos at the end of her journeys, the world would (a millenium later) serve as the primary staging post of the Angevin Crusade that carved the Calixis Sector into being. In that legendary time, Sinophia was transformed into a vital way-station and bastion of civilisation on the Imperium's then-frontier, its coffers swollen in the fulfilment of the crusade's needs and the booty of conquest, whilst men who would one day be cast as saints walked its gilded forums and warships swarned its night sky. But as the centuries passed and the Calixis Sector coalesced into its own sovereignty and self-sufficiency, Sinophia's prominence began to wane as its purpose faded.
Increasingly sidelined and marginalised, much of its population-sickened by the excesses of the nobility-began to leave. Lured by the perceived freedoms of life on new worlds, they took up lawful passage as colonists. It was an exodus the rulers of Sinophia were powerless to stop, and as their world's decline accelerated, they fought back with the only means the had: money. They sought to set up merchant cartels, buy influence on other worlds through bibery, and out-bid competitors in lucrative markets. However, their struggle was ultimately futile. By taking on the new-founded economic and political powerhouse of Scintilla and Chartist Captains, the Sinophian nobles had engaged in a costly struggle they could not hope to win, and in losing their trade war, they lost all. Major shipping routes were re-directed to bypass Sinophia, the sector governorship grew blind and deaf as far as the world was concerned, and its once-vaunted nobility found themselves burdened by the crushing debts and bankruptcy. Sinophia was bought and sold; its cities slowly emptied and such recoverable assets it did have were carried off-world by rapacious creditors. Sinophia today is a world suffereing the final throes of a long-drawn-out death by economic starvation and slow civil collapse. Criminality and corruption are utterly ingrained, and what little off-world contact it has is with smugglers, independant cartels (themselves skirting the fringes of the law), and a few hardy pilgrims. Whole cities lay deserted, and where Imperial civilisation does exist, it does so in twilight, clinging desperately to the faded glories of the past amidst the crumbling decay of the present.

Planetary Data
Population: No reliable census (estimated to be fewer than 150 million, from a recorded height of 2 billion)

Tithe Grade: Exactus Minorus (planet unable to maintain regular tithe and placed under special measures as of 017.M41)

Geography/Demography: Temperate but unstable climate, remaining habitation centred on northern continent (Sinophia Magna: capital/starport, Karib City: lesser hive and industrial zone; population levels failing, Hive Argopolis: abandoned/unsafe). Sinophia also possesses extensive fertile wetlands and plains formerly cultivated but fallen to wilderness, lawlessness and widespread disuse. Sinophia's southern continents are currently evidencing extensive volcanism and seismic activity, leading to a planetwide increase in precipitation over the last several centuries.

Govermental Type: oligarchy (Quorum of Noble Families)

Planetary Govenor: The Judicery Evandus Idrani, Seventh of his Name

Adept Presence: Adeptus Administratum, Adeptus Ministorum, Adeptus Arbites - All Minor (presence much reduced from former levels)

Military: The Provost Defence Army (Organised as a PDF, low/medium, declining, not considered fit for purpose under most recent sector stragtegic review), private armed cadres of the noble houses (low/medium)

Trade/Economy/Addendum: Legitimate off-world trade with Sinophia is limited. There is a long-standing boycott of the world by the Calixis Chartist Captains, although dealings with minor cartels and independants are frequent, if erratic. Thanks in part to its dwindling population, Sinophia is largely self-sufficient in terms of food and industry, particulary in scavenging resources of its former sizable infrastructure, although the heavy tax burden imposed on the population by the local government has led to rampant criminality and corruption, further undermining civil and ecomonic stability.


Adventure Prologue

Your journey to an unremarkable deployment of Inquisitorial forces on the world of Cyclopea has been cut short by a priority astropathic communiation. Your vessel, the merchant scow "Tarsus's Pride", has been diverted to the ill-reputed world of Sniophia. For hours now, the battered old vessel has been preparing itself for acceleration and course change, the bleak-eyed captain muttering at the risk your masters have forced on him and that no good comes of travel to this blighted world. The other passengers of this scheduled flight have taken to shying away from your with a mixture of fear and resentment. It comes as something of a relief when at last you retire to your secure quarters to prepare for the warp transit and open your sealed, encrypted orders…

CLASSIFICATION: DARK OMEGA
DATE: 5301815.M41
SUBJECT: Recent occurances in Sinophia Magna
My Loyal Acolytes,
Contained herin this astropathic message is a report received by the court of the Arbitrator Lord Marshal via astropathic transmission from the world of Sinophia.
The report is from Fihad Constantine, adjutant to the Arbitrator Precint Marshal of Sinophia. The report attached outlines a series of violent attacks on members of the Sinophian nobility. As you may well know, under usual curcumstances, the murder of prominent citizen would not be worthy of a priority astropathic transmission - nor of the Holy Ordos' concern or of your involvement. However, the nature of the attackers might indicate a malefic aspect to the crimes, and Sinophia's past means all is sispect. Firthermore, there are other reports from this long troubled world that indicate it tips ever closer to the abyss of misrule and calamity, and these murders could provide a catacylsm for civil disorder and rebellion between the city's ruling factions. Mark the details of the attached report and take every inference to heart. You have my authority to lay open this matter, investigate whether these are simple murders or the shadow of a greater heresy in the making, and take actions such as are necessary for its removal. I am also granting you use of the Rosette. If it is deemed necessary, you must reveal your actions to the populace at large; the Arbites are aware of your impending arrival and your association with myself and the Holy Ordos.
Inquisitor Wrex Golspire
Addendum: Also attached is a short astropathic message I received from Lord Inquisitor Marr. His wishes dictate that I pass it on to yourselves.
You should all feel ever so lucky
So lucky indeed
Addendum Duo: Thought I should let you know, Interrogator Sable Haxtes has been scheduled for execution by firing squad for the crimes of gross misconduct in the field and squadering of Inquisitorial resources.
You'll probably miss it, but I'll be sure to pass on your kind words to former Interrogator Haxtes.
Addendum Trios: Oh dear, all these addendums appear to of burned out an astropath…
Third one this week

+++

Arbites Summation Report
Source: Sinophia Magna, Sinophia
Subject: Murder of Viscount Hiram Sur'Seculo
Smmary of occurance:
Viscount Hiram Sur'Seculo was the head of House Seculo, a worthy and renowned house of Sinophia. The Viscount and his party had returned home to his manse in District VII just after nightfall, when it appears they were attacked without warning. From the destruction at the scene, it is clear that the attackers ripped though the doorway with force, and it is possible they may have sustained some damage in doing so, though no blood from the attackers could be found at the scene.
There were no surviving witnesses, though it can be deduced that there were at least four to eight attackers in the murders. Psychic auto-seances confirm this.
The Viscount, his bodyguard, and five servants were killed by being beating and/or torn apart, evidencing a level of physical force greater than that of normal human limits. The attackers also looted the personal rooms of the Viscount. The destruction was considerable, and it was unclear what the attackers were seeking, nor whether the succeeded in finding what the sought. Many valuables were left scattered in disarray in the premises, some of considerably high value. Various security devices and recording equipment at the Viscount's manse inexplicably failed during the attack, only to resume working once the attack had passed. Tech-adept examination can offer no explanation for this.
Cross reference addendum to report
There have been at least two further attacks on members of the Sinophian noble and mercantile class. In both cases, the vicims were beaten and rent apart, and in at least one other, there has been an attendant robbery.
We are asking for the Holy Ordos' investigations in this matter, and I am sending this report per regulation regarding such matters. Upon arrival on Sinophia, agenst of the Conclave need only seek me out at the Arbites newly-aquired precinct hall at the twoer known locally as Haarlock's Folly. I await your guidance in this matter.
I remain a loyal servant of the Imperium and the God-Emperor
Arbitrator Adjutant Fihad Constantine

+++

CLASSIFICATION: Void/Void/Void
DATE: Error
SUBJECT: Ref: Recent occurances in Sinophia Magna
++The Sinophian matter is more than it appears ++That dark-hearted Haarlock made a home here before he disappeared ++My sources report that strange lights were reported at his "Folly" at almost the same time as +VOID VOID+ Thirteenth Hour +VOID+ and I'm sure you remember what a lovely mess that turned into ++And now 'unnatural' murder, a city on the brink of destruction, it all sounds too familiar to be co-incidence doesn't it? ++Well enough, I am sick of being in the dark, waiting for another atrocity to happen ++We must know what is going on and why, we have larger fears to contend with here ++Investigate these murders, but Sinophia be damned, find out what the Haarlock connection is, what it portends at any and all costs ++Go with my blessing and my command++
++Marr

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