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Maesa is a Frontier World controlled by the Severan Dominate and located in the Periphery Sub-sector of the Calixis Sector. It is currently a front line in the conflict consuming the Spinward Front. Maesa is a world in utter ruin. At one time it was classed by the Administratum as a Frontier World, its population existing in a subsistence state in a number of scattered cities. When WAAAGH! Grimtoof descended upon Maesa, its people fought valiantly to defend their world, but ultimately had no chance of repulsing the overwhelming invasion. Within six solar months, the world had fallen, the surviving populace rounded up by the Orks in slave pens holding thousands in the grimmest conditions imaginable. Though Imperial forces were too far distant to intervene, a small infiltration mission had been launched to observe the invasion, and it was this team who were the first to observe a change in the Orks' strategy. Instead of slaughtering the defeated natives as they so often did, the Orks rounded them up and set them to work in vast, ramshackle labour camps producing arms and armaments for the Warlord Grimtoof's vast armies. This event marked a turning point in the Ork invasion and its significance was so great that the team set off on the perilous return to the Spinward Front High Command immediately.
Though only a few members of the infiltration team made it back, those that did carried such important intelligence that the Imperial Navy mustered a scratch task force of long-range Cruisers and Escort squadrons, and set out for Maesa without delay. When they reached the planet, almost three solar months after its fall, they found a world transformed. The cities had become huge, ramshackled manufacturing centres and countless Ork vessels teemed in orbit as they loaded hundreds of thousands of tonnes of materiel every day. The task force’s orders were clear and, with a prayer upon his lips, the admiral commanding ordered the cities razed to the ground by a massive orbital bombardment. The Ork slave labour camps were destroyed in a single night, their manufacturing capacity utterly ruined, along with hundreds of thousands of enslaved Maesans, whose souls were commended to the Emperor.
Since this so-called "Scouring of Maesa," the world has been transformed into a warzone. The Imperium has launched several planetstrike operations there, but the bulk of the fight has been undertaken by the natives themselves. Those not slain in the Scouring rose up against their alien overlords and now fight the bitterest of wars through the ruins of their former homes. The cities are blackened shells while the land all about is cratered and dead, yet still the Maesans fight on against the Orks. Grimtoof was outraged by the Scouring, for he views the numbers of slaves in his service as a measure of his power and he has ordered them all recaptured or slain. Though distant from the Imperium's front lines, the battle for Maesa looks set to rage on until one side or the other is defeated.
- Only War: Core Rulebook (RPG), pp. 346-348
- Only War: Enemies of the Imperium (RPG), pp. 8-31