Pro Imperator! Pro Hominum!
Virbius has been cut-off from the rest of the galaxy for the last few centuries by a violent Warp storm that made travel and communication to and from the planet impossible. After more than four hundred years of isolation, it was only a few short years ago that the Warp storms finally broke, opening Virbius up to the rest of the galaxy. The Warp storm that cut off Virbius came without warning, and the people of Virbius were hard-pressed to cope with being shut off from the Imperium as a whole. The Imperial government of the planet broke down a few short decades after the Warp storm appeared, and much of the population succumbed to infighting and mass starvation soon thereafter. The survivors lost their ability to maintain the minor hives that dotted the planet and began living in Virbius’s wilderness. The surface of Virbius is mostly idyllic, long rolling plains with the occasional small mountain range or forest. The main complication of living on its surface is the immense lightning storms that slowly roll over the planet. Much of the flora native to Virbius is able to weather these storms and remain mostly intact, but the effect on people and technology is devastating. While the Virbians lost the vast majority of their technology during their diaspora, they did manage to hang on to a few STC templates for some simple vehicles. Originally used for scouting and inter-hive trade, these vehicles became the basis for the Virbians’ new society. They became a nomadic people, living in large tribe-caravans, with a few big transports surrounded by large contingents of their now-signature combat bikes. The tribes lived like this for centuries, ranging ahead of the largest lightning storms, fighting and trading with other tribe-caravans, and avoiding the now-derelict hives of the planet—until a year ago, with the arrival of the first Severan Dominate and Imperial exploratory forces The most important unexploited resource of Virbius, according to high command, is its native population. Because the natives practically live in their vehicles, there are those within the Departmento Munitorum that believe the Virbians can be converted into highly effective mechanised infantry with little training, so establishing a tithe on Virbius is a high priority. The derelict hives of Virbius also hold untapped resources. The legends the Virbians tell of them being chased out of the hives by a great enemy. They consider the hives to be forbidden and haunted, and so far no Imperial scouting parties have reported making contact with any hive-dwellers. Enginseers have noticed a few uncommon weapons and vehicles among the natives of Virbius, and believe that there are valuable STC templates likely to be found somewhere on the planet (the vehicles they use, especially, are particularly resilient), but so far campaign command has not authorized any in-depth exploration of the hives. The tribes also tell of legends that somewhere on the planet there exists a facility to harness Virbius’s huge lightning storms, for use as either a power source or a weapon, but so far no Imperial agents have been able to verify the veracity of these claims. Little record remains as to what Virbius provided the Imperium when it was still a thriving Imperial planet. The hives of Virbius are small by Imperial standards, and are unlikely to have contributed much in the way of manufacturing to the Imperial tithe. The current theory of some Departmento Munitorum officials is that the planet was likely an agri-world, or that they exported some type of valuable biological material. Requests have been made to the Administratum to discover what Virbius sent off world before it was cut off. A rush has been put on the retrieval of this information, and current estimates from the Adeptus Administratum suggest that Imperial Guard command should receive detailed records in twelve to twenty-four year The planet of Virbius is dominated by the nomadic tribes that are the descendants of the original Virbian colonists. These tribespeople have lost most of their connection to the Imperium and the galaxy as a whole, remembering the origins of their colony only as legend. They revere and worship the large lightning storms that pass over the surface of the planet, seeing them as the manifestation of the will of the Storm Lord, which confessors have determined is all that remains of the Imperial Cult on the planet. Shortly after puberty, each tribal warrior undergoes a set of secretive trials, and those who succeed are given their own combat bike and tasked with the defence of the tribe’s convoy. From a young age, these warriors live and fight on their bikes, and are able to execute impressive synchronized combat manoeuvres. Firearms are rare, and ammunition is even scarcer, so most fighting done by the tribesmen is accomplished with lances and swords or bows and arrows. Armour is also hard to come by, and while some tribal leaders and heroes may have an ancient set of flak or carapace armour, most of the biker-warriors wear heavy leathers or chainmail. Tribal warriors decorate their combat bikes with a variety of trophies; a veteran tribesman often has a bike painted with tribal markings and festooned with skulls, feathers, and the broken weapons of his enemies. Deeply ingrained into tribal culture is the danger of the old hives. They believe that monstrous creatures of unspeakable horror live there, and travelling near them is completely forbidden. Whether this is purely ignorant superstition, or whether the hives are actually filled with mutants or worse, has yet to be determined by Imperial intelligence. The tribes have recently started telling stories that the dark ones have risen up from the old hives, that they come into the night to steal women and children and kill warriors. Some tribes believe that it is the presence of the invaders from the sky who have caused this, as the attacks from the dark ones did not begin until after there was an Imperial and Dominate presence on the planet While a few large tribes have made alliances with either the Imperium or the Severan Dominate, most of the tribe-caravans of Virbius have remained neutral. The tribes don’t know what to make of the strange invaders from the sky, though most recognize that these strange people have come from a place that legend says was the home of their ancestors.