“Man only spoke of it once. He say bein’ psyker not so unlike us spine-divers. Spend all your time with your parts in sea-dark, awaitin’ the day when d’ fang-fish bite.”
— Spectoris Agri-hand, Dermay
A waterworld with a thriving Imperial habitat, constructed on top of a submarine peak. With two million population this is the sector’s largest exporter of fish and fish-meal product. The “Complete Ocean” of Spectoris is the subject of many legends, with some saying that there are sentient xeno forms of vast size inhabiting the unexplored depths of the world. Others claim that the world-ocean itself is sentient. The world has only one habitat below the water, made safe from the native fish by way of coral paste, called Enkaidan.
The trade of fish is important to the people of Spectoris, to the point where their currency is often nicknamed Scales or Fins. A particular career known as a "Spine-Diver" spends most of their time in the water, where it is likely that they may be bitten by a species of fish known as a fang-fish. There exists a species of titanic fish known as the Lantern Jaw, which can crush submersible vehicles in one bite.
The Umbrian Heresy Edit
Deep in the Drusus Marches lies the world of Spectoris. An ocean planet, its surface almost completely covered by waves, its inhabitants farm the sea and export their bounty to surrounding planets and systems. Years ago it is recorded that a cult rose on the world of Spectoris, which worshipped the Emperor in His aspect as a mighty sea god, dwelling deep beneath the waters. The cult would sail out to places where the ocean grew deep and throw sacrifices into the sea. As the cult grew in power so too did its practices darken and whispers of human sacrifice and other blood rituals abounded.
Eventually the Ecclesiarchy intervened, and though they lost several agents in their investigations, the cult was unmasked. It was revealed that they worshipped a xenos being known as the Umbrian, which lived in the deepest of the world’s ocean trenches. After a violent conflict, both above and beneath the waves, the creature, its children and many of its human followers were destroyed. As a precautionary measure, all marine life not essential to food production was purged. Rumors still persist, however, that all of the Umbrian’s children were not found and some of the creatures live still in the deep waters of Spectoris, waiting and watching for the time when they shall rise again.
The Fall of House IosEdit
The House of Ios was an honored line of chartist captains, its origins pre-dating the founding of the Calixis Sector a thousand years ago. The line’s holdings were spread across five sectors, but the vast majority of the family lived on the ocean world of Spectoris. One day in 797.M41, a scion of the House of Ios returned from an out-sector Cold Trade run with a priceless gift for his daughter Antigone—a glittering gem said to have been born in the fiery heart of the very oldest of stars. The girl had the fantastic stone mounted in a filigreed headpiece, and wore it upon her brow so that all in the palace and the surrounding islands might see her status, and bow down before her.
Over the following decades, Antigone rose to become the head of her line, and her father’s island palace expand to become a marvelous city amidst the islands. In short order, she assumed total power over the House of Ios, and her line’s coffers swelled. Then, something entirely unexpected occurred.
Spectoris was ordered by the Munitorum sector command to raise a regiment for the Imperial Guard. A recruitment mission was dispatched to the islands over which the Queen of the House of Ios ruled to ascertain the fitness of its militia.
However, upon Munitorum inspection, the population of the island chain was discovered to be entirely unsuitable for induction into the Imperial Guard. The men were listless and effete and the women indolent and soft. All bore expressions of vacant distraction, and appeared disinterested in their surroundings and unresponsive to questions.
The recruiting officers escalated their investigation to include the nobles of the House of Ios, and soon, disaster befell them. Upon demanding entry into the palace itself, the officers were unexpectedly attacked by the household guards claiming that they had to protect their mistress at all costs. A slaughter ensued, but before the last of the Munitorum staff was cut down, he managed to transmit a pict-log to the troop transport waiting in orbit.
The transmission was intercepted by agents of the Inquisition, and retribution came three months later. An Ordo Malleus strike force led by Inquisitor Lord Dhar of the Scholariate at Arms descended upon the palace of the House of Ios. Nine Inquisitors, three dozen Acolytes, and a hundred storm troopers were inserted directly into the heart of the palace grounds by Valkyrie airborne assault carriers, supported by a wing of Vulture gunships. The corrupted servants of Antigone were ready for the assault and had fortified the palace, mounting air defenses upon its delicate minarets, and daubing the entire structure with blasphemous runes. In the months since the household guards had slaughtered the Munitorum staff, they had become mutated, as if the warping power of Chaos had suffused them with dark splendor. The warriors’ hands had twisted into meter-long claws, and razor-sharp horns sprouted from their heads.
They had preternatural speed and agility, and they shrieked a song of cacophonous discordance that brought men to their knees as their brains bled out from their ears. Dozens of storm troopers and Acolytes were slain in the first minutes of the assault, but Lord Dhar and his companions steeled their souls and fought through to Antigone’s throne room, and there saw just how close Spectoris was to doom.
Queen Antigone sat upon her throne, the gleaming gem mounted at her brow. From the gem shone the raw energy of the Warp, and three of Dhar’s brother-Inquisitors were struck down by ravening beams of light before they could take another step. Dhar himself fought through the Warp-energy and approached the throne, pronouncing his verdict upon the Queen of the House of Ios: she had opened her soul to the Daemon Prince of Chaos, and would die by the Inquisitor’s hand.
But before Dhar could carry out his judgment, the gem doubled its infernal luminescence and the air rippled with impossible energies. Its light expanded to fill the entire dais, consuming the body of the Queen. The gem had become a gateway into the very depths of the Warp, and through it came the Daemonic servants of Slaanesh---dozens upon dozens of lithe, deadly Daemonettes.
The battle that ensued raged through the night, and by its end Dhar was the only Inquisitor left standing amidst the shattered bodies of hundreds of Daemonettes. At the very last, a Greater Daemon of Slaanesh---a Keeper of Secrets---emerged from the portal, the glittering gemstone set upon its brow. Dhar would have been outmatched and slain, were it not for intervention from an unexpected quarter. A troupe of Eldar Harlequins emerged from a rippling tear in the fabric of reality, and fell upon the daemon, moving too fast for the Inquisitor Lord to follow. The blurred forms of the Harlequins darted in and out, delivering a thousand blows, each of which was too weak to slay the daemon alone, but combined slowly robbed it of its strength and speed. At last, the leader of the troupe delivered the killing blow, skewering the daemon’s gemstone with a lightning fast lunge of his power sword.
The Keeper of Secrets was transfixed upon the Harlequin’s blade. Before the Inquisitor Lord’s eyes, its form collapsed in upon itself, until the body of Antigone of Ios lay upon the wrecked dais. Their work done, the Harlequins departed, and Lord Dhar stood alone in the corpse-strewn throne room.
Judgment had been delivered upon the House of Ios. In the months that followed, Lord Dhar led a campaign of retribution against the remaining holdings of the chartist captain line. None escaped his attentions, and even those who fled beyond the borders of Calixis were purged by his far-ranging operatives.
The name of the House of Ios was stricken from all official records, and its name never spoken again.
Spectorin Coral Paste
“Three years spent orbiting such a rich abundance of sea life as to beggar belief. Three years of constant experimentation, straining the patience of my lords and patrons. Three years of knowing that millions suffer throughout this sector for want of food. Three years of failure. Our latest submersible was destroyed today, a thousand men lost in an instant to the titanic mouth of a Lantern Jaw. This world may not hate us, but it surely hates our works. It matters not. I will find a way. If it takes a millennia, I will find a way.”
— From the early personal data-files of Magos Genetus Halix Redole
When the Lord Militant Angevin’s world surveyors first discovered the water world Spectoris, they were delighted by the vast quantities of fish that the planet seemed to promise and readily noted it as a potential agri-world for future use. As the population of the Calixis Sector grew, so to did its need for food. In 312.M41, the Sector Governor declared that the time had come to begin harvesting the piscine crop of Spectoris, a task that was to prove far easier to order than to achieve. The Imperium swiftly found that the denizens of Spectoris routinely destroyed all foreign objects that were placed within the world-ocean, effectively halting any large-scale collection efforts. For decades the legendary “complete ocean” held the Imperium at bay, leading many to believe that the world-ocean itself was sentient in some inexplicable manner.
At last, frustrated by their inability to progress, the Adeptus Mechanicus turned to one of their more eclectic-minded members, the somewhat infamous, Genetor Halix Redole. Genetor Redole was known to be associated with a faction within the Mechanicus known as the Organicists, a group of tech-priests who esteemed biological enhancement as being equal in value with the cybernetic, a somewhat radical if not heretical position from the tech-adepts point of view. Redole applied his keen intellect to the “Spectoris problem” for five years before hitting on a solution. The Genetor discovered that a form of sea life roughly analogous to terrestrial coral was attracted to certain chemicals. By blending the chemicals with a bonding agent derived from a Spectorin fish, Redole created the compound known as coral paste.
The paste draws Spectorin coral to whatever it is applied to, soon creating a “natural” layer of sea life that causes the creatures of the world-ocean to regard the encrusted vessel as native. The Genetor’s success opened the way to large scale Imperial harvesting, and coral paste is now regularly applied to all Spectorin ships, no matter their size, as well as being repeatedly caked across the entire hull of the planet’s sole underwater habitat, Enkaidan. Coral paste has proven to be useful to the colonists of Spectoris as a makeshift hull repair agent on a number of occasions. Its utility is marred by the fact it must be reapplied frequently, else the coral covering can deteriorate with lethal results. Coral paste is a highly regulated substance due to the extreme value of a great many Spectorin species of fish, which inevitably brings poachers.
Cost 225 (Free on Spectoris to agri-workers), WT 1kg, Abundant (Spectoris), Very Rare (Elsewhere)
Magi of the Mechanicus Biologis working on the water world of Spectoris developed these breathing masks for work in its subsurface processing facilities. They allow the user to filter oxygen from the water, using a synthetic gill system. These filters are somewhat delicate, and require constant immersion lest they dry out and degenerate.
Cost 100, WT 0.5kg, Scarce