“It shall be as if you never existed, and only the darkness shall mourn your passing.”
–Reassembled from the data-files of Inquisitor Voyitz following his unexplained death
Members of the Adeptus Mechanicus within the Calixis Sector maintain whispered accounts of a hidden planet amid the domains of the Lathe Worlds. This planet has no official designation, and any record of its discovery or founding—if the planet ever existed at all---is absent from every known record and star chart. Those who know of it do not freely articulate what they have learned, for fear of becoming the target of powerful and unseen forces. Only within the most clandestine and influential cabals and circles of the Lathes does the planet have a name: Lacuna.
Lacuna is a small, airless world whose exact location remains a carefully guarded secret. A layer of fine, jet-black sediment known as Lacuna Dust covers the planet’s entire surface. This dust is inert to the electromagnetic waves of the visible light spectrum, among others, meaning that the planet is perpetually covered in unnatural darkness. The planet’s remarkable surface composition and lack of atmosphere also make the planet impossible to detect against the blackness of space, especially by the feeble light of its pale sun. Rumors and conjectures about the planet are rife, and the Lathe-Covenant is quick to refute that any world matching Lacuna’s description exists within their domain. However, small handfuls of Lacuna Dust occasionally appear in the many black markets of the Calixis Sector from time to time, further fuelling the rumors and suppositions concerning this mysterious planet.
The Obsidian Forge is the only foundry on Lacuna. Here the ruling Fabricator, a Magos who has assumed the title Obscurus, performs the necessary litanies and observances to maintain his technological charges. Inside this secluded complex are dimly lit workshops and laboratories, teeming with logi-sealed and hypnoath-bound Tech-Priests, each one endlessly tinkering with and dissecting devices that would tantalise any Explorator. So thorough are the encryptions placed within these servants’ synaptic cogitators, many are unable to ever fully comprehend the extent of their work at any given time.
At the center of the facility, automated gun-turrets, armed Skitarii, and a host of other, more subtle security measures safeguard a pair of great bronze doors. Each door is reinforced with layers of adamantium, and etched with intricate copper devotions and inlaid circuits dedicated to the Omnissiah. Beyond this formidable entranceway, a labyrinth of vaults and chambers encompasses the many artefacts and relics of Lacuna. Every sector of this convoluted maze contains a deadly security apparatus, each a unique and devious contraption capable of eliminating anyone lacking the Fabricator’s authorization. Tales of the priceless treasures within these guarded tombs vary from ancient archeotech, to STC printouts, and even technology stretching back to the earliest days of Man’s conquest of the stars.
The Obsidian Forge is where the Skitarii and other military forces of Lacuna stand silent vigil against any who would try to breach the darkness surrounding the foundry. The most specialized of these are the deadly Vigilies Servitors. These warriors wield potent and rare weapons, proficient at destroying adversaries of a mechanical nature, and are Lacuna’s first and finest guardians. However, some say that the Fabricator Obscurus has another weapon under his control; one powerful enough to devastate entire legions and even strike Imperial warships from orbit. Whether or not these rumors have any validity, the mere possibility of one of the legendary Ordinatus Platforms on Lacuna makes it an alluring target for any who desire power and the ability to crush their enemies.
Shadows and DustEdit
The Obsidian Forge is not the only structure on this world of almost perpetual darkness. The secluded nature of Lacuna, combined with the dim days and pitch black nights, attracts many Magos who believe their work too risky or important to draw attention. As a result, additional autonomous research stations and hidden complexes dot the planet’s gloomy exterior. The exact number of these facilities and their official occupants are mysteries, save to the Fabricator Obscurus, and each exists in almost absolute secrecy.
Only those within the Lathe Worlds who wield considerable influence and authority are typically able to learn of Lacuna’s existence, let alone obtain the authorization to set foot upon its surface. This clearance is surreptitiously presented in the form of a writ of Celatus e Arcanus. The writ states that, as long as there is no evidence of heretical activity or planetary peril, the bearer is allowed to pursue his research on Lacuna in absolute seclusion. Those who obtain such writs are wise to hide their existence, lest they become objects of contention and conflict.
On Lacuna, the holders of these writs are known only to the Fabricator himself. Additionally, a record of each writ is transcribed onto memory parchment and bound within a great tome. This book remains with a designated servitor, whose sole function is to carry and maintain his sacred charge. The volume’s comprehensive bio-genetic locks are precisely calibrated to recognize only the Fabricator’s unique structural dimensions. Any unauthorized attempts to access the work automatically trigger a self-immolation protocol within the manuscript’s sub-dermal systems.
Yet the Fabricator Obscurus carries another work, and ritually encoded mag-locks and thrice-oiled cyclilic-autolinks seal the black tome from any who dare look inside. Said to hold physical copies of all the STCs and data regarding the many secrets of Lacuna, this collection is a sacred work, and its safekeeping is one of the Fabricator’s highest duties.
Due to this general lack of direct supervision, it is unknown how many of Lacuna’s facilities are still active, what manner of research is taking place, or even whether or not the occupants are still alive. Some holdings have silently changed hands multiple times over the years, and it is not uncommon for entire shadow wars of espionage and covert raids to ensue between rival Magos over secret experiments and relics. The Fabricator Obscurus frowns upon such overt acts, as he continuously monitors his realm via a network of orbiting satellites and ultraviolet pic casters.
Any evidence of potential hostility or questionable activity provokes brutal, callous, and efficient reprisals from Lacuna’s military forces. However, very few Magos are willing to directly accuse their rivals of anything, for doing so may compromise their own secrecy. This has led to a tactic known as Acts of Illumination, which refers to the strategic use of lighting against opponents, in order to draw attention down upon the intended target at a crucial moment. The Fabricator Obscurus sees this stratagem as a useful way of culling the less-deserving inhabitants and maintaining his own authority.
Those able to navigate the many rivalries and conspiracies of Lacuna’s occupants are allowed to reap the rewards of a planet with almost unlimited access to resources from across the Lathe Worlds. The Fabricator Obscurus relays every requisition communiqué, having verified its source-code, to the Lathe System, which processes it with all the haste due to labours vital to the Adeptus Mechanicus. Unlimited test subjects, use of restricted items or xenos specimens, rare power sources of untold complexity and purity, and the raw materials to build an entire frigate are all available with but a brief binaric cant and the authorization codes of a writ bearer.
Oftentimes, the true dangers on Lacuna result not from petty rivalries, but instead from the hidden depths of the facilities themselves. Many members of the Adeptus Mechanicus, whom most would consider dangerously radical, have deceived, bribed, and occasionally murdered their way onto the planet’s surface, with the intent of gaining access to these secluded chambers and the abundant resources within for their own depraved works. These cunning individuals pose a constant danger to the domain of the Fabricator Obscurus, whose forces remain constantly vigilant for signs of their works.
A Discovery in the BlacknessEdit
Inquisitor Byrun Voyitz of the Ordos Hereticus first brought Lacuna, or LPXT293721.1 as he designated it, to members of the Calixian Conclave. Shortly before his unexpected death, he had discovered a consistent pattern of alterations amongst the data files of Heretek Apostate Gelfalom Vornsik, that Voyitz believed to represent a planet or ship. The recovered fragments of the Inquisitor’s last transmissions tell of his discovery of a dark world, feebly lit and almost indistinguishable from the inky black void. His ship’s sudden destruction prevented the transcription of the remainder of the communication. The two attending Astropaths who attempted to receive the transmission were subsequently found dead at their stations, impaled upon their autoquills.
The Tattered MagosEdit
There are many whispered half-truths and rumors among the scattered dwellers of Lacuna. One such tale is that of the Tattered Magos, a ghostly apparition and supposed denizen of the Warp that stalks the planet’s fabled darkness. Legends say that he was once a renowned Tech-Priest who disappeared during a catastrophic meltdown that obliterated his lab, as well as any knowledge of his rumored experiments involving Warp energy. Whatever his purpose, something must have gone terribly wrong---or incredibly right---as, when next he was seen, the Magos was quite changed.
The Tattered Magos is known to manifest as a spectral apparition, shrouded in charred and tattered robes, with mechadendrites and cybernetics that show signs of damage and scorching. Caught between the physical and immaterial realms, the Magos is able to pass between the two at will, but appears unable to remain in one or the other indefinitely. He can only fully manifest within the physical realm for a brief time, and his appearance often alters by decades or even centuries from one manifestation to the next. Whether or not this ghostly figure has any reasons for remaining on Lacuna is unknown.
Throughout the Calixian underworld there is a rare substance commonly referred to as Dark Mask or Lacuna dust, although it is not known if Lacuna is its true world of origin. Said to be a darker than the void itself, the substance can be used to cover a surface, or even a person, rendering him all but invisible in low-light situations. Even active scanners have difficulty locating items coated in Dark Mask.
Dark Mask can be applied to anything, including weapons, clothing, and bare skin. When hiding in shadow or during low-light situations, Dark Mask gives a +60 bonus to Concealment Tests. Characters using scanning equipment, such as auspexes, can only locate someone or something covered in Dark Mask if they pass a Very Hard (–30) Tech-Use Test when using the device. A single canister of Dark Mask contains enough dust to cover a single standardsized human (plus clothing and basic equipment).
Cost 450, Very Rare