Explorator teams discovered Phyrr a few decades after Lord Militant Golgenna Angevin finished conquering the Calixis Sector, part of a massive effort by Sector Governor Drususto to survey and catalogue the Imperium’s newest domain.
From space, Phyrr looked like a glimmering, blue-green jewel, with pristine oceans, rolling sun–warmed plains, and lush forests. It was truly a rarity amongst the dying stars and deserted planets of the Hazeroth Abyss. The Tech-priest Magos amongst the explorator team determined the atmosphere was safe to breathe. The explorators dispatched a shore party with all haste.
The ship lost contact with the shore party 10 minutes after they landed on the planet’s surface. A second party, larger and better armed, was dispatched---they too, fell silent shortly after planetfall. It was only when the captain sent a third party equipped with sealed void suits and autonomous servo–probes that the explorators learned Phyrr’s deadly secret.
Though the water of Phyrr is pure and the air clean, every plant and animal on the planet is completely lethal to human life. If ingested, a handful of spores can kill a full grown man within an hour, and a bite or sting from any of the planet’s indigenous creatures slays more quickly than that.
The gene–toxins contained within the animal and plant life of Phyrr devastate the cells of any non–native creature, quickly rendering that creature into a skeleton surrounded by a pool of bloody sludge. After years of unsuccessful (and often fatal) experimentation, the Magos Biologos declared there was no cure or inoculation against Phyrr, save a contained bio–suit. The only way to safely inhabit the planet was to virus–bomb it first.
However, as fate would have it, those same toxins so deadly to humanity are also extremely valuable to some of the more esoteric and incomprehensible industries of the Biologus branch of the Mechanicus. Few can comprehend what the Tech–priests do with these bio–compounds, but it is vital enough that the Administratum has bequeathed Phyrr to the Mechanicus as a harvest–world.
A thousand years after its discovery, the planet is still mostly pristine and uninhabited. The Mechanicus keep a small spaceport and research facility on the larger of Phyrr’s two moons, and a larger harvest facility on Phyrr’s surface. The facility is staffed by criminals---for whom Phyrr is considered a death sentence. Although the air is quad–filtered, the entire complex void–shielded, and the convicts equipped with bio–suits, a single failure to follow decontamination procedures kills dozens. The Mechanicus require “complete personnel replenishment” every few years.
The Mechanicus remotely operate the facility from the moon base. They do not bother with guards or security systems---there is nowhere for the prisoners to escape. Should the convicts become violent or riotous, the Tech–priests are willing to switch off the air filters and let Phyrr’s nature take its course.
Ships seldom stop at Phyrr save the occasional heavily armored convoy of the Mechanicus, arriving to pick up the accumulated stocks of bio–compounds. More rarely, prison scows arrive bearing a new supply of labor for the planet–side facilities. Chartist captains avoid the planet, for the Tech-priests of Phyrr are an insular bunch, disinterested in trading.
Some of the crews of the prison scows tell stories, however. They claim to have seen strange ships entering Phyrr’s atmosphere on the far side of the planet, ships that do not respond to hails or commands. The Tech-priests of Phyrr claim they know of no unauthorized ships in their domain. However, there are rumors whispered throughout the sector of a secret pyramid buried deep in the darkest jungles of Phyrr. The stories speak of a temple dedicated to an ancient fellowship of assassins, but if anyone has been foolish enough to explore the jungles of Phyrr, he has never returned.
Phyrr Cat Edit
"As I watched, the creature stopped pacing and stared at me with unreadable green eyes, as if it were studying me. My hexagrammically-warded pendant grew warmer, as if the cat were employing some inner sight against me. I wanted to bring my vat–psyker to investigate further, but Lyra refused."
–From the Journals of Inquisitor Felroth Gelt: 203.717.M41
The Phyrr Cat is the apex predator of the plains and forests of Phyrr, located deep within the Hazeroth Abyss. These felids grow rather large, some of the oldest reaching the size of a small pony. They are completely carnivorous, but also very reclusive. A Phyrr Cat’s prowess in stealth is so phenomenal that someone travelling through Phyrr’s forests could pass within 4 meters of one and never know it was there.
That is not to say Phyrr Cats will not stalk and kill a man if given the opportunity. The penal harvest teams stationed on Phyrr live in terror of the creatures. They are doubly dangerous---if their teeth and claws do not kill a person outright, the unfortunate is still doomed. Like every other plant and animal on Phyrr, the Phyrr Cat is toxic to human life. If that were not enough, there is some evidence to suggest that Phyrr Cats have some sort of ingrained psychic ability, allowing them to hunt without using their more mundane senses. Certainly, in several cases the cats have savagely attacked psykers who strayed too close to them.
Although the Phyrr Cat is toxic to humans, the reverse is not true. Some ambitious Rogue Traders travel to Phyrr to capture the creatures to sell to noble game preserves and mid– hive carnivora. The reward is often worth the cost in men the planet inevitably extracts. For those interested in such pursuits, little rivals the sight of a Phyrr Cat on the hunt.