"Never have I seen a place so unfit for life. Seen from orbit, the planet has a sickly yellow color, the surface usually hidden from view by roiling clouds of haze, dust, and sulphuric smoke. It reminded me of a great jaundiced eye, staring balefully out into the void, and I wondered perhaps if the Calixis Sector might be better off if this eye were simply plucked out, lest its gaze fall upon and corrupt a more fertile world."

–Acolyte Grigor Kyrre, in his report to Inquisitor Felroth Gelt, 258.613.M41

Zel Secundus is a death world within the Zel System within the Drusus Marches of the Calixis Sector.

Seen from the surface, Zel Secundus is a scorchingly hot world, dry and desiccated and scoured constantly by powerful storms of sand and grit. The atmosphere is poisonous and corrosive, and any man caught outside without proper protective gear will either have the flesh rasped from his bones by the wind or his lungs filled with toxic gases. Such a death, while quick, is also agonizing.

Geologically unstable, Zel Secundus is beset by constant tremors and quakes, and volcanic eruptions are an almost daily event. Scattered across the surface of the planet are clusters of smoking vents and steaming fumaroles, usually surrounded by bubbling pools of magma or highly toxic lakes of super–hot water full of dissolved salts, heavy metals, and other chemicals. These chemicals are what give Zel Secundus its (admittedly meagre) value, as these boiling caldera produce great masses of sulphur, sulphuric compounds, and liquefied silicates. After an eruption, these rich fields are mined using immense armored crust–scrapers, which strip off the upper surface of Zel Secundus and break it down into holding tanks for shipment off–world for processing. These giant machines are similar in size to the largest vehicles in the Imperial Guard armory, and almost as well protected.

The only places man has a chance of dwelling for any length of time on this planet are the poles, which are cool enough, and stable enough, for permanent settlements. Even then, life is a constant struggle against the hostile environment, as sulphuric rains eat away at the seals around doors and windows and thick masses of toxin–laden dust clog filters and vents. Vigilance is the only weapon against Zel Secundus’s constant assault on the mining camps---vigilance and regular cycles of cleaning and maintenance.

Osedex Edit

"To illustrate the power of an Osedex, I was given pict–captures showing the scant remains of what was said to be a Baneblade tank. Sent out on a long–range patrol into the equatorial wastes, the last contact with the crew stated they were under attack from one or more Osedex---each well over 30 meters in length. I dismissed the story as a mere miner’s tale, until a brief break in the weather allowed a short reconnaissance flight, during which we passed over the skeletal remains of a Osedex. The scutes, still whole after the rest of the body had been devoured and dissolved, stretched in a line tens of meters long."

–Acolyte Grigor Kyrre, in his report to Inquisitor Felroth Gelt, 258.613.M41

Zel Secundus is a harsh world, wracked by seismic disturbances and vast atmospheric storms. What life there is to be found here has developed to withstand the extreme environment, resulting in some of the most hardy and dangerous xenos species known to the Calixis Sector. At the top of an altogether unforgiving and brutal food chain is the Osedex. Measuring 3 meters in length for a hatchling, a typical specimen is nearly three times that length, with a broad, low body that gives little resistance to the powerful winds of Zel Secundus. Resembling immense centipedes, these ravenous creatures are completely blind, detecting prey through clusters of sensitive bristles lining the underbody. As food is scare on this blasted world, Osedex will readily attack anything they perceive as prey, which is usually anything smaller than itself.

Having little to fear from their fellow inhabitants---aside from a larger Osedex---these creatures attack almost relentlessly and are extremely difficult to drive off. Once they get their mandibles into their prey, they’ll consume the victim on the spot. Offworld, the thick scales of the Osedex’s heavily armored segments are prized for their durability and protective qualities.

This has led to some attempts to actively hunt immature Osedexes, but considering the dangers inherent in simply venturing abroad on the surface, most people are content with harvesting the remains of Osedex that have died naturally. Still, there are those (usually offworlders) who feel the gains far outweigh any risks.

What little study has been done indicate Osedex grow throughout their lives---and no one is sure how long they live. There are rumors of immense Osedex measuring 30 meters or more, with a few claiming to have seen truly gigantic 100–meter Osedexes.

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