|System||Rubycon IIb (2.55 AU orbital distance)|
|Class||Battlefleet Orbital Station|
|Tithe Grade||Aptus Non|
Port Wander is an Imperial Space Station orbiting on the border of the Drusus Marches. It is the last stop before the Halo Worlds.
Port Wander was founded in 917.M40 as a point of departure for investigations about vessels lost on the Drusus Marches’ fringes and as a base for military operations. It became important after the discovery of Koronus Passage in the late 40th millennium and it lost its military role taking up the one of merchant outpost.
h4.The Siege of Port Wander3
In 422.M41, Port Wander was attacked by a Waaagh! led by an Ork named Gulgrog. Due to the limited knowledge of the area and the authorities’ lack of interest in rumours about incoming Orks, Port Wander was found unprepared. When the siege proved to be inevitable, some commanders tried a last-minute escape and steadily departed from the docks. Unluckily, most of them (37 merchant haulers and transports and 12 Rogue Trader vessels) were hit by Orks’ raiders and frigates and faced wreckage. After this first battle, bulkier Ork “Kroozers” headed towards the very port, but its defenses stopped them.
During the first two years of siege (422-423.M41), Port Wander stood alone against many attacks, even fighting the many Orks who managed to land on the station about a hundred times. The enemy army lost its momentum and divided into factions; though remaining a menace, it started becoming weaker.
In the meantime, Battlefleet Calixis and Adeptus Mechanicus had prepared a rescue fleet and finally attacked the Orks following a two-step strategy: first, a Sword Frigates squadron supported by Lathe monitor-cruisers cleared the outer reaches of Rubycon system; then, Navy warships and Secutor light cruisers supported by Navy warships on patrol from Passage Watch 27 began a conflict in the system’s inner zone. As a result, instead of being routed, Orks packed together around Gulgrog’s flagship and launched a one year-long counter-attack.
At last, the war was won by Admiral Androvast Strophes, who led two-thirds of Battlefleet Calixis in a final assault that lasted two days. Admiral’s flagship – the Retribution Class Battleship Fist of Adamant – crippled Gulgrog’s flagship in a broadside duel. The Orks were not pursued into the Maw, because the Imperial Navy chose to reclaim Port Wander instead.
Being a border dwelling, Port Wander has a diverse population: traders, spies, merchant factors, pilgrims, missionaries, soldiers, sailors, Administratum functionaries and servants of the Adeptus Mechanicus. Due to the fact that through this station lots of riches flow and that the structure itself requires a lot of maintenance, its corridors and outer surfaces are filled with life1a – whose activity is overseen by Adeptus Arbites from their Precinct Complex. A Naval Commander,Larius Sans, is in charge of station’s government.
Aspect and structure
Port Wander orbits around a bloated red star and is surrounded by shattered remnants of ancient asteroids, some of which were converted into other installations – such as ship yards, housing units, research stations, repair docks, storage facilities, depots, palatial manses and estates and crude habitats. It appears as a cityscape with high cathedral towers in its centre and a lot of docks and piers on its circular rim. Due to its fast growth, the Port resembles a patchwork of different textures, since part of its structure was expanded by joining to it many small vessels, such as the Solistice Imperialis. The station’s keel is characterized by repair yards, dry docks for small vessels and elaborate devices and probes set by Adeptus Mechanicus in order to investigate Koronus Expanse’s Warp behaviour. Inside the city there are many corridors, vast markets filled with citizens and local traders (such as the Court of the Dead), and dark dens. The average temperature is 26 °C and gravity is 1.02 G.
Being the last bastion of the Empire before the Expanse, it is well guarded. Static defences count: lances, weapons batteries, torpedo launchers and void shield generators; they are all well maintained. Dynamic defence is provided by squadrons of heavily armed monitor crafts placed outside the station and Battlefleet Calixis warships’ patrols.