Shale Orbital Augury

> Shale
>> Imperial Reclamation Fleet: Initial Orbital Augury
>> Evidence of Tyranno-forming: Nil
>> Contact with Imperial Governor: Nil
>> Contact with Adeptus Arbites: Nil
>>> Hololith view selected
>>> Points of note from Imperial records have been appended


1 . The last known location of ‘Platform 02’, the second mobile giga-rig designed to harvest precious metals as it crawls through the shifting mineral seas of Shale. Contact was lost several years before the Tyranid system invasion. The cause of its disappearance – and of its predecessor ‘Platform 01’ – remains unknown. A number of theories have been put forward, including Demiurg raids, fatal dust-static build up and attack by an as yet unclassified massive indigenous dust serpent. There is no conclusive evidence for any of these theories.

It is worth noting that both giga-rigs are likely to hold significant mineral and technological wealth if they can be located.

2. The xenos artefacts known locally as ‘The Fingerbones’ are near-identical to numerous other examples found along the Eastern Fringe, and as they appear to be in a dormant state have never warranted any special investigation. The best account we have is an extract from noted scribe Howtopher Buxcraft’s encyclopaedic travelogue, The Long Way Round, or, My Travels Along the Eastern Fringe.

“As our sand-train crested the dune I got my first view of the so-called Fingerbones. Even at this distance it was obvious how they got their name – or so I thought. Silhouetted against the pale sky, the henge of Xenos artefacts looked for all the world like a giant skeletal hand clawing up through the dirt.
It was only when our path bought us closer did I learn the real reason for their name. As the desert wind whipped dust and scree against the structures they made a hollow knocking sound, like the rattle of dried bones. That chilling noise followed us across the desert for a number of hours as we continued our journey to the west…”

3. Site of suspected Demiurg hostile contact. Prospector Team 4235 declared missing in 989.M41. A partial vid-capture of stout, diminutive warriors was the only evidence of Demiurg involvement.

4. The entrance to the southern polar catacombs, a short distance from the planet’s current magnetic south pole. The catacombs are believe to be naturally occurring and extensive, but are largely unsurveyed. Orbital augury shows null results.

5. The location of the infamous dust serpent “sighting”. Although the original holo-pic was exposed as a hoax intended to devalue the area’s prospecting rights in 749.M39, a small tourist industry has sprung up in recent years. Many wealthy Imperial citizens from surrounding systems travelled to Shale in the hope of being the one to finally hunt down and kill the legendary beast. So far none have met with any success.

6. The planet’s capital city, First Dig, is found in the northern hemisphere. Built around the original mining settlement, First Dig has grown from shanty town to sprawling city over the course of several millennia. First Dig exists as several levels both above ground in the desert sun and below ground in the old mine workings. Due to ample space it has spread outwards rather than upwards over the years, unlike many other Imperial settlements.
Although self sustaining algae vats can provide the city with enough nutrient paste to indefinitely feed its population, First Dig is dependent on off-world supplies to supplement all but the most rudimentary living conditions. Wide spread civil unrest is suspected following the system annexation by the Tyranids. It should be noted that the Imperial Governor’s control over the lower levels of First Dig has often been nominal at best.