Located within the Cetus Sub-sector of the Achernar Sector, Baeten was a fairly ordinary, post-terraformed world before Ariscone was prospected. As the nearest world to that hellhole it was ideally placed to take advantage of the vast mineral wealth being generated by the mining companies. Unregulated growth led to old plants and refineries being abandoned in favour of new ones. The industry moves on and leaves behind it the poisoned skeletons of factories, refineries and ore processing. Where the manufactorum guilds are in operation, Baeten is a thriving, Imperial world. The abandoned sectors – referred to as NoGo in the local patois – are sinks of poverty, gang violence and anarchy.
Kharum was just another one of Baeten's many cities until 230.M41. Situated on a vast, perfectly flat plain (referred to by locals as the Level) the Nova Shipping Federation realised that the arid, desolate landscape was the perfect setting for their long-planned dockyards. Once it became known that Nova Shipping were constructing a space dock, many other companies and guilder houses moved to construct their own docks nearby so that costs might be cut by shared fuel silos and shorter pipelines. The docklands attracted hopeful workers, offworld migrants, and rich trading guilds. Just over a century after the NSF built the original dock, Kharum had become Baeten's biggest city.
What with being the largest settlement, and having the best spaceport, the Administratum and the Planetary Governor agreed that Kharum would become Baeten's official capital. So it was that Kharum became Nova Kharum (although the locals don't usually bother with the 'Nova').
Nova Kharum is simultaneously Baeten's ugliest and most vibrant city. Almost all of the governmental buildings are grimy concrete slabs built in a rush in the early 240s, and the docks are not much prettier. In many of the prefab hab zones and towering habstacks, however, neon lights and bright fabric awnings liven the place up. Speakers thump out beats loud enough to compete with the endless rumble of shuttles and bulk lifters overhead, hawkers holler their prices, and the fatty crackle of curbside pan friers fills the air.
Pradessa was Baeten's old capital, before the NSF spaceport was built outside Nova Kharum. It is largely filled with the city residences of the nobility, with the grand old Administratum building performing only regional duties. The only two major functions left are the planetary governor's winter residence, and the Safehold/Arx Indemnis: the old Scholastia Psykana facility where the planet's psykers are kept, trained and/or incarcerated.
It is probably Baeten's most beautiful city, a world apart from the slums and urban sink-holes that have made the planet infamous.
When a new manufactorum is created, the hasty nature of development on Baeten results in a theoretically temporary town of pre-fab habitation blocks thrown up around it. The small town thus created is usually called a Prospekt, and given a number (e.g. Prospekt 27, Prospekt 58, or the infamous Prospekt 6).
The idea is to put down a Prospekt and then slowly rebuild it with proper street names, civic centres, Administratum hubs, and so on. Almost inevitably, though, these temporary dwellings end up as permanent features of the landscape, with companies unwilling to invest in redevelopment in case the manufactorum is superseded by something newer and larger. Consequently the Prospekts age badly, and end up with a hodge-podge of improvised enhancements, primitive repairs, and so on, until the area has become a colourful (if disease-ridden) slum. Many in the Administratum have argued that this creates a self-fulfilling prophecy of urban decay, and that future growth should be more carefully planned, but wherever a company build a new factory, Prospekts will keep on springing up.
Planetary Governor Viktor Stavran Tarnovask
Tarnovask's family bought their way into power centuries ago, and were instrumental in the transfer of the planetary capital to Nova Kharum. Viktor himself is regarded by others as a man of inaction, often under the guise of saving lives. His avoidance of hard decisions does mean that the civilised parts of Baeten are prosperous, and the markets buoyant. It does, however, mean that the NoGo areas remain as they have done for hundreds of years.
High General Stanislaw Ahler
Ahler is the commander-in-chief of the Planetary Defence Force (PDF). Until a recent Inquisitorial edict for the government to take control of the lawless Prospekt 6, Ahler had never presided over active combat. He comes from old money, fourth in a line of officers, and looks the part, sporting a monocle and a finely-trimmed white moustache. To his credit, he wears none of the medals traditionally awarded to Baeten's senior ranks for such achievements as doing well on the shooting range or spending a full decade in the service. Like the PDF he commands, he is honest about his shortcomings. Now that there is real combat happening under his watch, time will tell if he is an able commander or not.
Judge Mireya Lafratta of the Adeptus Arbites
Originally from Machadon, Judge Lafratta joined the Arbites right out of school and was stationed to Cetus Major, where she quickly moved up the ranks before being given command of Baeten's arbites precinct. Baeten's precinct is significantly less well-funded than Cetus Major's, not least of which because it is not explicitly meant to watch over the NoGo areas, and of course there is very little crime to police in the planet's civilised parts. The precinct is currently operating on a skeleton crew after +++DELETED::AUTH//IOH/KOV+++.