Seven Saints of Talis
Mount Blackhall is a large island located off the eastern coast of the continent and was the traditional home and headquarters of the Iron Priests. It had previously been a fortification of the Adeptus Mechanicus, responsible for the collection and refining of promethium (deposits of which the island and the surrounding seas were rich in) and the production of many technological goods.
The mountain itself, for which the island is named, rises from the center of the southern half of the isle. Before the arrival of the Mechanicus, planetary surveys indicate that it rose nearly half a kilometer into the sky, while the isle itself rose sharply and suddenly from the waters of the sea, adding an additional one hundred meters to its height. The Mechanicus, however, shaped the mountain into a massive ziggurat, rising three hundred meters above the island’s plains. Within this construction, they housed massive manufactorums, refinieries and storehouses of raw materials, as well as research laboratories, training centers and housing for the tens of thousands of menials who lived and worked in the mines and promethium wells the Machine Cult possessed.
As time went on and the production capabilities of the Machine-Temple grew, the rest of the island was converted to machine-shops, scrap-yards, recyc centers and waste dumps, which rendered the once-verdant island into an arid wasteland. Several ports were established, and promethium was taken to the mainland by ship and by massive pipes that stretched across the sea to distribution centers on the mainland.
During the War of Seven Saints, the Iron Isle (as it had become known, due to the massive plates of armor that decorated its cliffs, protecting the many weapon emplacements that defended the isle from naval attacks) produced a dizzying amount of materials for the war, primarily power armor, tanks, fighter craft, and fuel for the many vehicles of the Imperial Guard. It also served as a recovery center for wounded soldiers, as it possessed several advanced medical facilities, under the supervision of the Magos Biologis.
During the Night of Fire, the Iron Isle suffered three simultaneous nuclear strikes, its anti-aerial defenses having shot down scores more. The ziggurat withstood the blast, though the region was heavily irradiated, and wracked by tsunamis and earthquakes, which caused extensive damage to the interior of the Machine-Temple. It is unknown how many, if any, of the residents of the Iron Isle survived, for they were cut-off from the mainland in the wake of the devastation.
Nothing was heard from Mount Blackhall for nearly three hundred years, until a fleet of ships arrived at the ports of Thracia, bearing scores of Tech-Priests and a legion of servitors and Skitarri Tech-Guard. These purple-robed magi introduced themselves as the Iron Priests, and brought with them many technological wonders thought lost to Talis. For the people of the Wastelands, the arrival of the Iron Priests and the opening of their markets was a godsend. The Iron Priests did not care who they sold vehicles to, providing Thracia with farming equipment, the Reach with armored vehicles and the northern armies with tanks and artillery pieces.
Although their dominance was not to last, the Iron Priests eventually decided to violently annex almost half of Thracia. Though the soldiers of the agrarian society fought bravely, they simply could not hope to defeat the tanks and skitarri legions of the Iron Priests. At the conclusion of the fifty-year war, the Iron Priests were the dominant producers of farming equipment, promethium and food in the Wastelands, having seized Thracia’s arable lands.
The Iron Priests seemed poised to become the dominant power on the continent until disaster struck. Descending from the skies like a bolt from the heavens, a Spire Slayer descended upon Mount Blackhall in a storm of fury and fire, slaughtering scores before breaching the ziggurat, stalking through the terrified masses of menials and laborers, gorging itself on the slaughter. Then, the doom of the Iron Priests were sealed when the Slayer had feasted sufficiently to summon its storms of toxic acids, raining destruction upon all their works.
Worse still, the veil to the Immaterium was weakened by the wanton slaughter, and daemons began manifesting on the isle, tearing into the beleaguered forces. Within a week, the destruction of the Iron Priests was complete. Their oil fields burned as daemons ravaged the land.
On the mainland, Thracia, long engaged in a guerrilla-style war with the Iron Priests, sensed a sudden change. No longer were the Iron Priests patrolling their roads, and no longer were there armies of their Tech-Guard stationed in their major townships. Though ignorant of the cause of the sudden change in fortunes, the Thracian Militia surged forward, recapturing vast swaths of their former territory, setting free the citizens the Iron Priests had kept as slave-serfs for so long, and burning the works of the Machine Cult wherever they could be found.