“Life’s mysteries are all but ripples in the steel.”
— Landrian proverb
Landunder is a hive world within the Malfian sub-sector of the Calixis Sector. The limp, untrustworthy planetary crust of Landunder floats freely on a deep chemical ocean. The colonies here are built to cling underneath the planetary crust in suspension. There are eight “hanging” undercities, containing almost a billion inhabitants, with trade deriving from ocean-depth mining and chemical treatment (processing plants that exploit the curious mix of oceanic chemicals).
Landunder lies along a stable Warp-route between Malfi and the Lathes. The proximity of the sub-sector to the Halo Stars makes the hive planets within an ideal recruiting ground for the Margin Crusade. Both Malfi and the Lathes rely on many of the chemicals processed from the oceans of Landunder for their own manufacturing, which has made the hives of Landunder wealthy. The planet, which consists of nine hive-cities, is ruled by a council consisting of one leader from each hive, although most of the hives look to Hive Subrique for the more important issues. Landunder was colonized during the Great Founding of 450.M39.
Due to the caustic nature of the sulphurous atmosphere, Landunder has no natural inhabitants, not even at the microaugural level. However, despite the presence of many cities that, technically, classify it as a hive world, many Tech-Priests have treated Landunder as a death world, adapting other life forms to survive the harsh environment. This has contributed to the continuing myth of the cyber-shark.
The most common makes of cyber-mastiff or grapplehawk in the Calixis Sector are built on Landunder, in Hive Subrique. The chemicals present in the Landunder’s ocean are required to process the cortical-capture technology of the Adeptus Mechanicus a procedure, developed locally for use in these fierce mechanical beasts. Tech-Priests chosen to train on Landunder to become Cyber-Mastiff Handlers spend their first several months on Landunder among the technical staff of the Precinct Tech-Priests learning the proper procedures to maintain the mechanical bodies of their future charges as well as the rituals and commands to appease and direct the machine-spirits housed within.
The Blades of Landunder Edit
“There is no blade that could not be sharper.”
The crust of Landunder floats on a toxic chemical sea, shifting over the planet’s surface at the whim of the undersea’s deep tides. On the underside of that crust cling eight great cities, their armored shells covered by intake vents, portals and docking bays like ancient organic growths. By ancient accord, no citizen of Landunder is permitted to carry a firearm because of the danger they pose to the structure of the city itself. Over the generations, the use of blades has become universal and this world has birthed some of the greatest knife-fighters in Calixian history. Their weapons (known to outsiders as “Landrian blades”) have become so much a part of the culture of the world that the guilds, crews and gangs of the eightfold cities are each separated and distinguished by the blades they favor. Each has a highly developed art of wielding their chosen blade and, from the highest born satrap to the lowest chem-scummer, everyone who lives in Landunder does so with a knife less than a sudden gesture away. It is rare indeed for a Landrian child of either sex to pass to adulthood without at least one good scar (and usually more than that) to prove their honor. Tales of the Landrian blades and the skill of their wielders has spread throughout the Calixis Sector, and wealthy collectors on Scintilla often pay large sums for “blooded” blades of good provenance.
Class: Melee (Chain)
The chain knife works on the same principle as its larger kin: the chain sword. It often appears similar to a short cleaver or wide dirk, with a squat and murderous look to it. Powered by a compact cell in the hilt, the weapon’s buzzing teeth rip through flesh with ease and splatter onlookers with hot gore. Chain knives, also known variously as “buzz blades” and “chain rippers”, are almost entirely a hive-bound weapon and common from the infamous shredder gangs of the Sibellian underhive to the fighting cages of Malfi. On Landunder, the buzz blade is famously the province of the labor gangs that control the docking airlocks of the eight cities, notorious as they are for quelling dissent with a single ragged cut to the belly, the art of which is to leave the victim screaming as long as possible before death.
Melee, 1d5+3(+SB), R, PEN 2, Tearing, WT 2.5kg, Cost 80, Scarce
“Devil’s Kiss” Landrian Stiletto
Class: Melee (Primitive)
The Devil’s Kiss is a long narrow blade that is quenched in blood during forging and sharpened only along the last five centimeters, leading to the needle-like tip. In the cities of Landunder, the Devil’s Kiss is also the name of a blade clan notorious for quiet and subtle killing, their victims bleeding out from a single, almost invisible, puncture wound. It is said that unless you are learning the fatal tricks of the clan, you will never see this deadly blade except with your own blood wetting it.
Melee, 1d5(+SB), R, PEN 3, Fast, Primitive, WT 0.3kg, Cost 55, Rare
“Emperor’s Whisper” Landrian Blade
Class: Melee (Primitive)
The Emperor’s Whisper is the blade carried by members of the powerful Tithe Guild---the powerbrokers of the eightfold cities. Crafted from ceramics and unique alloys, the result they say is “as sharp as sin”. Each is a deadly work of art, capable of slicing a hand off with a single blow and punching easily through light armor. On Landunder, the Whisper blade is more than simply a weapon; it is a badge of office and a sign of great status. To be gifted with a Whisper blade, if you are not of the Landrian Tithe Guild, is viewed as an incredible honor.
Melee or Thrown, 5m, 1d5+1(+SB), R, PEN 2, Balanced, WT 0.5kg, Cost 150, Very Rare
Class: Melee (Primitive)
Considered a cursed and ill-omened blade on Landunder for its dark history, the Render was created to take its victim apart slowly, piece by painful piece. A butcher-blade as long as man’s forearm, its double cutting edges are covered with dozens of intricate serrations and hooks to maximize the victim’s suffering and blood loss. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Render clan, nominally meat-mongers and tanners, have been repeatedly linked with murder cults and the worst criminal atrocities, and of all the Landrian clans they have the most sadistic and sinister reputation.
Melee, 1d5+1(+SB), R, PEN 0, Primitive, Tearing, WT 1.2kg, Cost 50, Rare
Landrian “Sigilite” Knife
Class: Melee (Primitive)
Named after a half-forgotten holy figure from a time long past, the Sigilite is a curious weapon wielded by the gelt-brokers of Landunder, (it is they who barter the price with crystal miners for the load yielded from the deepsea mineral chimneys). Traditionally a defensive weapon intended to protect the broker from robbery, the weapon is formed outlandishly from a set of intersecting steel crescents, sharpened along their edges, tapering-off to wicked points. The blade’s curious shape, combined with the twirls and circling passes of the gelt brokers knife-work, allows it to deflect incoming blows before delivering savage raking counter-attacks.
Melee, 1d5(+SB), R, PEN 3, Defensive, WT 0.75kg, Cost 85, Rare
A somewhat misnamed apparatus, aerial pinions were not designed to allow a user to soar through the air, but rather to prevent divers from sinking to their deaths in the chemical oceans of Landunder. The “hanging” colonies of Landunder are mounted on the undersides of the planet’s continents floating upon a vast chemical sea. Chemical mining, research and undercity maintenance must all be done “outside”, which is when aerial pinions are employed. A set of pinions resembles a webbed body harness festooned with articulated blades each of which is connected to a coiled, reinforced ceramite line. The lines are in turn attached to small motors that contain integral highly specialized logic-engines. A diver using a set of aerial pinions typically connects two or more lines into the city or ground above, using the blades as either grappling hooks or spiking them deep into the crust of the planet, as the pinion’s logic-engines dictate. Most harnesses support four blade-and-line sets, allowing a user to set two lines, while using the other two for cautious movement. Skilled users eventually upgrade to a six blade-and-line set and are capable of moving at truly remarkable speeds. A fully extended set of aerial pinions resembles a great pair of wings from a distance, hence the name.
There are rumors of acrobatic individuals finding uses for aerial pinions far from the chemical oceans of Landunder. There is no shortage of dark places where it would be useful to hide, unobserved and unsuspected, on many worlds. The upper shadows of a hive city are an excellent spot for an agile aerial pinion-equipped assassin to attack from. A character using aerial pinions can move at half his normal rate, but can neither Run nor Charge. A character using the advanced six blade-and-line aerial pinions can make an Agility Test in order to move at normal rates for as long as he wishes, until he comes to a stop. A separate Agility Test is required to use a Run or Charge Action. Failure indicates that one of the lines doesn’t connect or one of the logic-engines fails momentarily, instantly halting the character. Three or more degrees of failure mean that the character has overstretched his aerial pinions’ lines and become unmoored. On Landunder, that means he’s sinking; elsewhere that he is probably falling.
4 Line: Cost 300, WT 10kg, Scarce
6 Line: Cost 500, WT 15kg, Rare
The Cyber-Mastiff ’s of Hive Subrique are well known for their augmented gene-spoor and scent tracking abilities. Several attempts have been made to create portable versions of the device, but none have met with any success among the Calixian Adeptus Mechanicus. Refusing to believe that such a thing was impossible, Tech-Wright Ontuo began a lifelong quest to uncover the secrets of the chemicals in the oceans of Landsunder, and to unlock their detection secrets. The end result was the Landrian Revealer.
Rather than processing the data through a cogitator, the Landrian Revealer fills the users eyes with phero-conductive chemicals, literally allowing him to see scents and other biological markers. This augmetic is typically installed on a single eye, so that the user may still choose to see the world normally most of the time. A character equipped with a Landrian Revealer gains the Heightened Sense (Smell) and Talented (Tracking) talents. In addition, when blinded he may locate targets by their smell and only suffers a -10 penalty to Ballistic or Weapon Skill tests. It is a half-action to flood the eye with chemicals, activating the device.
Good Quality versions of the Landrian Revealer impose no penalty to Ballistic Skill and Weapon Skill Tests when blinded. Those of Best Quality also include powerful Photo-visors or Infra-Red goggle augmentations.