From the manual
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TRANSMITTED: Space Platform Africanus XII
TELEPATHIC DUCT: Astropath-terminus Kovacs
SUBJECT: Planetary Background
AUTHOR: Adpetus Prefectus Primus Whilhelm Franze (acting sub-Director)
PLANET VOLISTAD: VOLISTASOL
PLANETARY: BODY IV SPATIAL INDEX 1174663.5634 FROM EPICENTRE PRAGATHUS WARP GATE SYSTEM
MAIN SPACE PORT
LOCATIONS: BORODNI, PLANETARY CAPITOL
ECONOMY: STANDARD IMPERIAL TITHE STRUCTURE
RULING FAMILY: HOUSE PETCHENKA
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The following details are also known about Volistad:
Temperature - 15°C (temperate)
Population - 4.5 billion
System - Volistad system
The world was first colonised by the Imperium in 979/M35 and the Adeptus Mechanicus began terraforming initiatives to make the world suitable for Imperial colonisation, which soon commenced. However, the history of Volistad from this point on is unknown. Warp Storms isolated the planet while still in its sociological infancy, and it was left to develop on its own for the next 3,500 standard years. When Volistad was re-discovered by the Imperium in 437.M39, it was in a state of planetary civil war; the world had been reduced to a feudal state and was led by four major families - House Ochinka, House Petchenka, House Silenko, and House Volga - whose constant warfare with one another in pursuit of political dominance had brought the planet's society to its knees. The feudal in-fighting had become so fierce by the time of the return of Imperial forces, as a result of the limited use of primitive nuclear weapons by the feuding noble houses, that Volistad's eco-system was near collapse. Most of the surface had been overtaken by the oceans, which had been swollen by the melting of the world's polar ice caps.
The return of Volistad to the Imperial fold ended this feudal warfare and restored order to the world in the name of the God-Emperor. With technologically advanced troops, the Administratum's Departmentus Reclamata set to work crushing the in-fighting and re-introducing the world to the ways of the Imperium. The strongest of the Volistad noble houses, House Petchenka, was declared the house from which all of the world's hereditary Imperial Planetary Governors, known locally as Overlords, were to come. The eco-system was restored to a workable state and the natives' sub-standard technology was brought up to the Imperial standard.
For the past 2,560 standard Terran years, Volistad has been a planet strongly loyal to the Imperium. Volistad possesses two factors that make it of strategic importance to the Imperium - Astropaths and Titans. Nestled in the central region of the world called Tollcharin lies a monastery of the Adeptus Astra Telepathica. The Astronomican is a navagational reference point, essential for safe and successful traversing of the perilous realms of the Warp. The Astropaths' role on Volistad is to provide a stabilising influence at this temperamental Warp site, allowing the Astronomican to perform its function and maintaining relatively safe Warp navigation through this vital corridor of the Segmentum Tempestus. Should the distortions become too great to stabilise, or should any starships find themselves in jeopardy within the Warp, the Volistad Astropaths act as what is effectively a psychic lighthouse.
The Astra Telepathica Astropaths had to cease their "work" once the Orks of Waaagh! Skroll arrived for fear that the Ork Weirdboyz might discover them and their purpose. Should the Astra Telepathica Astropaths be destroyed, the Orks could cut off the whole sector from Imperial navigation and entire regions of space would be at their mercy. It would certainly extinguish any hope of long range reinforcements arriving in time to save Volistad.
Secondly, an Adeptus Mechanicus Explorator archaeological team discovered ancient Titans still in stasis on Volistad in 928.M41. The Titans had been placed on Volistad to protect the world during the initial Imperial terraforming mission in the 35th Millennium, and had remained undisturbed for the better part of 7,000 Terran years. The decision on what to do with the unexpected discovery of these massive and potent war machines was still pending within the Imperium's bureaucracy when the Ork assault began.
Topography and climate
Volistad is broken up into two hemispheres - the Paulis Ocean, which occupies the entirety of the planet's western hemisphere, and the continents of Doscoya, Kopolov, Langtona and Welkonnena, which are found wholly in the eastern hemisphere.
The Kopolov Fold, an inactive tectonic fault line and mountain range, slices diagonally through Doscoya, dividing it into distinct geographical and cultural regions called the Northern and Southern Reaches. The Northern Reaches mainly consist of hot desert wastes intermixed with sparse rolling plains, rocky valleys and scrubby farmland. The partly terraformed Southern Reaches are a bit more hospitable with occasional fertile farmlands, river valleys and alpine mountains, but it is not without its share of strip-mined areas, factory cities and ash plains as well.
Borodni, the main city-state of Doscoya, is located in a basin of the largest section of the Kopolov Mountains along its northern face and is on the border of the Borod ash plains. Borodni's main function is that of a spaceport. It is well equipped to provide shelter and support for abundant numbers of large voidcraft. It is an important way station for the Pargathus Warp points and the only spaceport large enough to handle the necessary volume of voidcraft that allowed effective Imperial reinforcement in the battle for Volistad.
Volistad's ecological history has rendered its weather most unusual. Constantly shifting global jet streams, an after-effect of the melted polar ice, cause dramatic and sometimes violent pressure shifts that have all but eliminated safe transport across the planet's larger oceans due to the massive storms that often develop. Travel is restricted between land masses to where the oceans are shallow, where the ionic disturbances are at a minimum. These thermal anomalies, however, cause a moderately temperate equilibrium for Volistad's climate, with no great temperature extremes from one region to the next across the globe.
The planetary capital city of Volistad is Polvanya, located on Volistad's Kopolov steppes. Polvanya's original main spire was toppled when a large meteorite struck a nearby mountain, causing a massive section of that mountain to fragment and impact with the main spire. The huge structure toppled like a megalithic tree, its five-mile-length falling point down, piercing the great hive city below, causing the death of hundreds of thousands, including all of the native noble houses. The whole area of the hive was rendered uninhabitable due to the structural damage and intensive chemical and radioactive contamination from the numerous industrial sites within the hive that had been destroyed. A new spire has since been built for Polvanya and a new political infrastructure formed. Also, a religious cult arose following the event, known as the Volikstad Order. The members of the Order tend to inhabit the more accessible ruins of the damaged hive sections and control the recovery of any items that could be gained from an exploration of the ruins now called the Hellspire. It is said that the Volikstad Order also maintains many mutants unseen among its brethren. These mutants are said to inhabit and guard the deeper and more central areas of the Hellspire, as if it were a holy shrine.
The entirety of the planet's ruling house - Petchenka - were tragically wiped out when their island retreat of Mosvanyus off the Ribashka Peninsula was destroyed as a result of the Orks' original landing. When the Ork space hulk crash-landed, it activated a spur of the Kopolov Fold fault and triggered massive seismic and volcanic activity. A massive tidal wave took the ruling house's family unaware and destroyed the island and its inhabitants. The only survivor of the ruling branch of the family was Uri Olikov Petchenka, now the 5th Overlord of Volistad and the nephew of the last Overlord Primus. As fate would have it, Uri Petchenka survived only because he had been bedridden for several years and he refused to accompany the royal party to their retreat at Mosvanyus due to “personal” reasons involving his servant Mikael Kolostoy.
Volistad has a single moon, which is never named during the events of Final Liberation. It is only seen briefly in the cutscenes and features in the game's introduction where the Orks destroy its meagre defences in short order.
The Ork invasion
The Ork incursion began when Warboss Skroll made a controlled crash-landing of his space hulk into the Ribashka Peninsula in the northeast corner of the continent of Doscoya. The hulk came to rest in a deep crater, with some of its damaged gothic spires still standing. Other surfaces were built upon by the Orks for the purposes of their war efforts and personal aesthetics. Conveyors and tracks ran up the slopes of the scarred crater to the rim where an ever-growing Greenskin settlement formed with factory buildings, workshops, gantries and crane arms overhanging the edge like a titanic spider lying on its back.
The Orks currently have outposts of varying strengths spread out over vast areas of Doscoya. The futher from their base the Orks get, the less potent their forces are, but their own reinforcements trickle in with alarming regularity as the Waaagh!'s notoriety spreads.
There was one stroke of luck in the Imperium's favour. Two Ork mobz from different klanz had set out for the southwestern corner of the continent in order to secure the region's small spaceport and any riches to be found there for themselves. A Bad Moonz Stompa mob under Warboss Urkthrall Kraka and a Blood Axes armoured division under Groznok Kull set out in an unofficial race for the region. Unfortunately for the Orks, they came within shooting distance of each other. The result was disastrous for them. Both detachments effectively destroyed one another. The result of which was that the south western peninsula was left poorly defended by the Orks and was an ideal location for the Imperium to establish an initial foothold for retaking Volistad.
The world was ultimately rescued from the Ork invasion by the arrival of an Imperial Guard liberation fleet assisted by elements of the Ultramarines. The Guardsmen and Astartes proved capable of getting the world's hidden force of Titans operational once more, which proved decisive in bringing an end to the Ork assault.
- The name 'Volistad' is loosely based on a combination of Holistic Designs Inc. and the Russian cities Stalingrad and Leningrad (containing the same 'olist' letters in sequence and sounding similar to 'grad.')
- There is some confusion as to how the Orks arrived. The manual alludes to Warboss Skroll crashing his Space Hulk into Lutov's Wastes in a controlled manner, but also says the Warboss captured an Imperial ship and used it to transport his Waaagh! to the planet instead. Since the Sanguinius Terra arrives during the campaign, the latter explanation is more plausible.
- Representatives from two of the houses can be seen in the game's cutscenes. Uri Petchenka is the planetary governor/Overlord from the ruling House Petchenka, while General Mikial Silenko is a military commander of House Silenko.
- Petchenka's mistress/wife also makes a brief appearance but goes uncredited. It is unclear if she is from a noble house or not, though her aloof manner in the cutscene suggests the former.
- Petchenka's downfall is inspired by the events of the Second War for Armageddon and the incompetence of Herman Von Strab. After Commissar Holt relieves him of command, he places General Silenko (who appears unsurprised at this turn of events) at his disposal and is not heard from or seen again (presumably he was executed for laxity and excess after a trial.)
- The campaign to free Volistad bears striking similarities to the Second War for Armageddon.
- With Petchenka removed and the rest of his house wiped out, it is likely that House Silenko became the ruling Imperial family after the Reclamation of Volistad.
- Despite the information available, there is no indicator where in Segmentum Tempestus Volistad is.