Belacane is an ancient and formerly highly influential Imperial Forge World in the Calixis Sector of the Segmentum Obscurus. The Techmage Lords of Belacane have, in recent centuries, lost much of their influence within the Adeptus Mechanicus. Once known across the galaxy for its expertise in the manufacture of temporal stasis fields, the Forge World appears now to solely be dedicated to hoarding its technologies and jealously guarding its sacred scientific wisdom.
Equatorial circumference: 18,000 Miles.
Class: Forge World.
Years and Days: Belacane takes 408 Terran days to orbit its star and spins on its axis every 30 Terran hours.
Satellites: No natural moons, but the planet maintains a vast starship repair complex in low orbit, together with a series of defensive weapons platforms.
Rough population: 2,700,000,000.
Atmospheric conditions: Belacane has a thin, unbreathable atmosphere which offers little protection from the "season of iron," a hail of asteroids that bombards the planet once every year.
Governing system: Archmagos Daedus has ruled Belacane from his vitae-tank for over three centuries. A genius of the first order, he is said to have the most encyclopaedic knowledge of stasis systems in the Imperium, and is rumoured to have been consulted in centuries past by the tech-adepts who maintain the Golden Throne and the Shrine of the Primarch on the Ultramarines' homeworld of Macragge. He has not been seen in public for over thirty years, but continues to issue decrees and manufacture quota demands via the planet's machine-spirit network, and is said to be in daily communication with the highest figures in the order.
Religions: As tech-priests make up a large percentage of the population, the Cult of the Machine God is the most prevalent faith. The Ecclesiarchy maintains small chapels for the benefit of the slave-workers.
Climate: Belacane is a rocky world with no breathable atmosphere and little surface water. The planet is, in any event, so cold that water simply turns to ice instantly. Most of the planet's water is subterranean, and great effort must be expended to mine it.
However the planet is amazingly rich in iron deposits, giving it a reddish appearance from orbit. Combined with the vast iron asteroids of the Panevrian Belt, this makes Belacane a major mining center as well as a Forge World.
Society: The people of Belacane live in gloomy underground hive cities, hermetically sealed to preserve their precious atmospheres against the environmental extremes of their world. Each city squats near vast underground ice deposits. Life is harsh, with 95% of the population consisting of indentured slave-workers who either work in the manufactori or spend their lives mining ice or iron.
The tech-priests of Belacane have a dark secret: they have lost the ability to manufacture their once-famous stasis field projectors, the device upon which their world's reputations is based. Their Archmage, Daedus, jealously hoarded all data relating to stasis fields for himself for decades, seeking to understand the inner mysteries of this long-dead technology. He claimed to his high ranking colleagues that he was on the verge of a great breakthrough: then, suddenly, he was found by his colleagues dead in his vitae tank, a victim of a severe stroke that even his mastery of technology could not prevent.
A leading cabal of techlords have kept his death a secret from the planetary population and are resorting to increasingly desperate measures to maintain the status of their world in the face of their own total ignorance about the temporal stasis technologies they are supposed to be experts in. This facade has involved senior techmages in increasingly humiliating deceptions in order to maintain this lie, the most recent of which involved 200-year-old High Magos Burke crouching in Daedus' stinking vitae-tank and imitating his booming voice for the benefit of visiting Scintillan nobles.
Water supply: A portion of the ice mined on Belacane is set aside, melted, treated and rationed out to the slave-workers.
Exports: Belacane once was an amazingly wealthy Forge World which produced virtually the entire Imperial stock of stasis fields, stasis projectors and stasis grenades. However, the supply of these items has dried up over the past 500 years, and many whisper that Belacane now lacks the means to produce them.
The planet also exports a variety of field-based technologies, such as void shields, for use on millions of Imperial planets and Imperial starships. It also produces (of course) large numbers of weapons, with a particular emphasis on large scale defence lasers for the starships of the Imperial Navy.
Imports: Foodstuffs and some rare minerals.
Defense systems: The Forge World is the base for the Lightbringers, a small Titan Legion consisting of five Warhounds and a pair of Reaver Titans. It also operates a large contingent of cybernetic Skitari tech-guard.
Most famously, however, the planet is home to the deadly Ordinatus Belacane, an ancient and forbidding device mounted upon a colossal tracked crawler which can project a vast stasis field up to a kilometre away. This field can either freeze anything in the path of its beam immobile, making it vulnerable to missile attacks, or age the target by centuries in a second if it is organic. It has not been used in anger for over 500 years, and is now regarded as too precious to leave the planet.