Monday, 23 September 2013

Lore of the Guardians of the Covenant: Mortikah


Mortikah VII as seen from its sister planet

Mortikah VII

The primary planet located in the green zone of its star Mortikah Prime is Mortikah VII. It is a world of many mountains and vales. With soaring snowy peaks and lush and verdant valleys in between. It is a world where grassy plains meet endless mountains and oceans clash with ancient volcanoes. But despite all this, it is a scarred world as well. War has been to Mortikah several times during its history and though the planet is recovering, it is doing so slowly. Unnatural canyons formed by planet killers and the ruins and volcanic rock formed long ago by chasms in the planet's crust are grim reminders of the ancient but terrible wars. Nevertheless, Mortikah is a majestic world reminiscent of Old Earth.
In its valleys are the cities and townships and near the rivers and seas are its ports. All but the Adeptus Astartes of the Guardians of the Covenant have forgotten about the wars. It is they who remain ever vigilant, for the threat of the vile alien is never far away.

The sprawling metropolis that is Golgotha is the official capital of Mortikah VII. To imagine Golgotha, one must envision a baroque city with lots of neogothic architecture, brass piping and narrow streets. To live in Golgotha is to live in a classic Imperial City, a meritocracy where the Astartes serve as overseers of the ruling class; an elite of educated men and women from all strata of society.
Golgotha is named after the first Lord Guardian of the Chapter, the Chapter Master at the time when Mortikah VII was first colonised. For his epic deeds and achievements in several early Halo Crusades, he was deemed saintly by the Ecclessiarchy. In one of the many green valleys of Mortikah VII, a small shrine was erected. It was only after thousands of pilgrims flocked to the shrine that the city of Golgotha was slowly formed. In place of the shrine, there stands a baroque Cathedral so vast, only the spires of the Guardians' Fortress-Monastery rise higher.

Golgotha - Old Quarter


Like its namesake in the old Grecan legends of Old Earth, Sparta is first and foremost a martial city. It is this city where the biggest garrisons of the Spireguard are housed and Sparta is the global training centre for the thusly named planetary defence force. It is a city of plain architecture and buildings wrought from red stone and grim neccesity. Here the young men from all over the globe gather to train in the aspects of war. The more martially orientated Astartes stay here in a large Monastery-Outpost, overlooking the training and scouting for possible recruits, for the Chapter is ever in high demand.


The city of Lucianport was the place where Lord Guardian Lucian, a Grand Master of the Guardians of the Covenant of old, set out on an eventually doomed crusade into the Halo Stars, taking two whole companies with him, their strike cruisers swallowed by a volatile warp storm never to be heard from again. Despite all this, Lucian was deemed a hero, and the city grew into a metropolis of trade, located along the coastline and thus boasting both a sea- and a spaceport.

The Spire

The Guardians of the Covenant built their Fortress-Monastery on top of the world. It is located amonst some of the tallest peaks the mountain-rich planet has to offer. The air in and around these mountains is so poor in oxygen, that only someone with the enhanced physiology of a Space Marine could hope to survive there for long periods of time. With this the Astartes made sure the Spire is inaccessible to most. If not the locale of the vast construction would stop someone from travelling there, the thin air would prevent one from staying long.
To envision the Spire is to imagine a enormous cathedral with vast spires soaring up to the sun, adorned with gargoyles and belltowers, statues of heroes, Primarchs and the Emperor of Man depicted in numerous stained glass windows. At first glance, the Spire looks more like a lavishly adorned place of worship, but alongside the towers and halls, missile silo's, hidden gun turrets and other heavy weaponry point upwards at the clear sky, ever vigilant for whatever horrors may arrive from the uncharted worlds of the Halo Zone.
The inside of the Spire houses all the conventional things one might find in a Fortress-Monastery of the Space Marines, were one so lucky to set foot in one, let alone two to compare both. Aside of this all, the things that make the Spire truly unique are its vast Librariums and stacks of knowledge, both leather-bound parchment and digital and its galleries of exquisite artwork from all over the Imperium. It is said that the Spire was built not just to house its Astartes, but to guard this vast font of knowledge above all things.

Mortikah V

The fifth planet in the Mortikah system is the sister planet to Mortikah VII, it is a lifeless grey rock where life has never sprung from the earth. Though where it is poor in terms of life, it is ever so abundant in rich and rare minerals. It is for this primary reason that the Adeptus Mechanicus has built its outpost here in the form of vast forges and an ever growing mining operation.  It is from the bowels of Mortikah V that the iconic Mortikan ore is mined. The ore is made into steel, iron and gunmetal and used in a wide variety of objects. From the holy bolters the brothers of the Guardians of the Covenant carry, to the lasguns of the Spireguard and even the piping in the city sewerage. The dark copper coloured Mortikan Ore is as abundant in Mortikan society as the Chapter itself.

Heaven Forge

The primary forge of Mortikah VII is Heaven Forge. It is here where the war machines and materiél of the Chapter is made and maintained. Being a remote Chapter located on the rim of the Imperium and the galaxy at large, it is important to be self sufficient and supplies are ever in high demand. The strong bond between the Red Priests of Mars and the Guardians of the Covenant has made this possible. Many an adept has helped leading a crusade into the uknown, for riches and spoils will be waiting for those who dare venture into the dark.
Heaven Forge is backed by the rich minerals and ores that Mortikah V bears. Aside of aiding the Chapter, the Adeptus Mechanicus has its own agenda as well, and Heaven Forge is a big part of it.

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