Dark Heresy - Paths of Faith
- SECTOR: CALIXIS
- SUB-SECTOR: DRUSUS MARCHES
- CLASS: HIVE / WAR
- POPULATION: UNKNOWN
- TITHE GRADE: UNKNOWN
Protasia is currently designated a war-world in the Calixis Sector.
Protasia was once a devout planet with a strong Ecclesiarchy presence. Several labours of construction undertaken by the planet’s pious ruling houses were truly wondrous and attracted pilgrims in their millions. In particular the Thirty-Two Hallowed Steps, hand-carved from a sheer mountain face and inscribed with exquisite scripture, saw thousands of visitors every day. The ruling houses also employed a quasi-military force, the Golden Army of Var, to safeguard these Holy sites and to stand as a ceremonial honour guard for important personages both native and Imperial.
Despite its religious significance Protasia was primarily a hive world with an estimated population upwards of 11 billion as well as a strictly regulated mutant population (an unavoidable side effect of generations of heavy chemical manufacturing). Almost its entire planetary surface was turned over to production and the oceans were criss-crossed by massive tankers skimming valuable chemicals which built up in the water.
Records are not clear when heresy started to creep into the Ecclesiarchy synod on Protasia. Those few scholars with clearance to dwell upon such matters reckon the changes to have begun around the time of the Foulmind Heresy and suspect that Protasia’s Arch-Bishop, Galarphan, may have been exposed to the nightmares of that time, his mind broken or even taken over by some dark force. Initially, the Ecclesiarchy overlooked the rise of a handful of splinter cults within Protasia’s population but when these new cults began to gain influence with the planetary rulers and rumours of disappearing clerics the Ecclesiarchy investigated. After only a few weeks evidence was uncovered of blasphemous rituals and human sacrifice. The core of the Protasian synod and government was black with rot. The Ordo Hereticus of The Inquisition was alerted and a task force consisting of two Imperial Guard regiments accompanied by a strong contingent from the Sisters of Battle was dispatched. Unfortunately Protasia’s rulers had not been idle, nor were they unaware of the Imperium’s response. They quickly mobilised and armed a huge citizen army and easily overwhelmed the Inquisitorial task force.
The war on Protasia has now dragged on for over two decades, the hive manufactories which previously supplied the entire sub-sector now turn out bullets and shells to kill the faithful. The ongoing strife on Protasia is acutely watched not only by Sector Lord Marius Hax but also the Ecclesiarchy. Arch-Cardinal Ignato has taken a personal interest in the conflict as has Cardinal Kregory Hestor of the Drusus Marches Arch-Diocese, both using the ongoing conflict as a tool in their internal power struggles. Any news from Protasia quickly reaches the ears of the powerful…
The enemy has also seen the attention paid to Protasia and several wanted heretics are active on the world, much to the chagrin and embarrassment of both Cardinal Hestor and The Inquisition. Arch-bishop Galarphan is still believed to live, directing his heretical splinter cult and bolstering the rebel’s morale and determination. Confessor Elye the Traitor is also active on the world and is the suspect behind the corruption and eventual ritual mass suicide of the Golden Army of Var.
Protasia is a key world for the Ecclesiarchy, victory here would not only mean stamping out a particularly insidious heresy but would also be a major political triumph for Cardinal Kregory. However, the leadership for the campaign is fractured as Kregory and Ignato battle for political dominance at the expense of unity. Whilst they play politics the Imperial Guard bleeds on the ground and the schemes of the Great Enemy begin to unfold…