Forge Polix is a Hell-Forge of the Dark Mechanicus, wholly dedicated to the Ruinous Powers, located in the Calixis Sector of the Segmentum Obscurus. This is one of three massive forge complexes located on the Chaos-controlled world known as The Hollows, one of the many strange worlds located amongst the so-called Gloaming Worlds on the outer ring of the Warp rift known as the Screaming Vortex. Forge Polix continues to wage an eternal war against the rival Hell-Forge complex known as Forge Castir.
"Torn asunder by war and united by hate. Twin Forges hammering out the chorus of battle, crafting talons of death upon brass wings. Lies, threats, contradictions, and half-truths are the local tongue. If the Hollows does not rip itself apart first, it is a lovely place to visit."
- — Asrodel the Fated
Amongst the Gloaming Worlds on the outer ring of the Screaming Vortex, few worlds are as immediately recognisable as The Hollows. From the void, the planet seems oddly deserving of the name: like a dismembered corpse, only a little more than half a world spins in orbit. The upper hemisphere is mostly intact, crumbling remains spiralling outwards from the lower half where only a stem has been left behind. Like a rotten, half-eaten fruit cast into the stars, The Hollows is a world that could only exist within the reality-bending zone of a Warp Storm.
It was not always so -- once, when it was whole, this world bore the name Hellwhisper. Rich in natural resources, habitable by a wide array of biologies, and strategically located within the Vortex, Hellwhisper was a rich prize that drew the attention of a group of outcasts from the Tech-priests of Mars. Led by Arch-Magos Elikous, the Hereteks established three massive forge complexes on Hellwhisper and swiftly earned a reputation for producing large quantities of useful technology for the denizens of the Vortex. Elikous left two of the forges to his most brilliant protégés and locked himself away in the third forge, the largest and most advanced facility. There, Elikous focused his brilliant mind and prodigious technical skills upon a mysterious project of his own devising. No records remain to explain Elikous' obsession, but there are many whispered legends of what happened next. Most of the surviving accounts vary wildly in details and often contradict each other, but the most detailed of these records are the hololiths of Graz'tzar. According to those Leximechanics possessing the proper protocols to access such proscribed data, Graz'tzar was the first Prophitect of the Stygian Order.
Whatever the true fate of Arch-Magos Elikous may have been, the survivors of both remaining forges wasted no time in declaring themselves the true heir to Elikous' legacy, triggering a struggle for control over the planet's abundant resources that has gone on for six standard centuries. Hellwhisper was carved up like a feast between the two warring forges, stripped of vast amounts of heavy metals, chemicals, and precious ores. Deep-core mining devoured huge amounts of the planet's lower hemisphere, depleting nearly half the world's total mass and beginning what was perhaps inevitable from the start. Hellwhisper was gone, and only The Hollows remained.
Now, the planet is consumed by the flames of war; armies of barely-trained menials equipped with bionic war-implants and shock-pikes clash with sophisticated Battle Servitors while orbital strikes lance down into formations of scuttling Velocireapers threatening the flanks of disciplined mechanical troops. The two Forges employ much more unusual forces as well, willing to utilise ludicrously destructive weapons, soldiers, and stratagems to settle their ancient grudge once and for all.
Although the conflict still grinds on, over the last solar decade the advantage has been grasped by the forces of the Exospectre, the undisputed master of Forge Castir, who now holds the upper hand on The Hollows. While the armies of Forge Polix still control vital areas of The Hollows -- such as the Forgeflow and Mechmoor -- they have slowly been forced back into a defensive posture. Any significant change in this bitter conflict is likely to be wrought from without rather than within -- a fact that has not escaped the two rival Dark Magi, who even now seek for allies and mercenaries to support their bid for absolute domination of The Hollows.
Both Magos Onuris and the Exospectre are constantly focused on the war between them, but both would also be greatly interested in tipping the balance of power by gaining an advantage in technology or allies. The Exospectre has already located and plundered a Necron tomb, claiming its technology for his own uses. This act has spurred Magos Onuris to try to establish contact with Necron forces in the Screaming Vortex, hoping to locate a Necron Lord with whom he can bargain for assistance against his hated foe.
At the heart of an enormous fissure in the surface of The Hollows lies Forge Polix. Formed into a cube of brass and steel many kilometres tall, crackling Warp energy coruscates along circuit-like designs inlaid upon its surface in minute detail. Near the guttering spring of the Forgeflow, Forge Polix is hellishly lit by the subterranean dark crimson glow of magma. Nearly every portion of Forge Polix is given over to mass production; huge assembly lines churn out arms, armour, and other devices as automated stamping presses and die-castings create blades, bionics, and vehicle hulls. Much of the raw labour force of Forge Polix comes from the ranks of twisted mutants, with overseers cracking whips and guiding the efforts of shambling Chaos Spawn chained to gargantuan cogwheel assemblies.
Workers expire daily in great numbers attempting to meet the ever-rising quotas and demands of the Forge's master. The raw stuff of the Empyrean permeates Forge Polix, drawn in and concentrated by the efforts of the Idolatrex Magi. These Hereteks create, monitor, and modify various Chaos gates, Warp agitators, daemon lures, and other arcane devices designed to trap and store the power of the Warp. Many ships from Q'sal have been known to dock at Forge Polix and exchange soulengines in return for technology, slaves, and other favours.
Vast amounts of the Forge actually lie beneath the surface, extending deeply down into The Hollows' crust. Here, Magos Onuris has built his research vaults, gene-lathes, ecoliae-cells, and aenigmatoriums -- areas where he keeps his most unusual and dangerous experiments. The more interesting and unstable mutations are kept in a "pain garden" of transparent vats filled with writhing flesh. Zzzarel, the Sorcerer of Q'sal, inscribed an account of his secret visit to Forge Polix upon the flesh of a hundred slaves. The Sorcerer claimed that Magos Onuris possessed a chained Juggernaut of Khorne, kept barely under control in a heavily-warded chamber, attempting to unravel the secrets behind the daemon-beast's half-mechanical form. He relates that this affront to the Blood God was especially pleasing to Zzzarel's own master. The Sorcerer went on to describe a gleaming river of molten steel flowing through the centre of the forge, a river he believes was actually the pumping blood from the heart of a bizarre alien creature Onuris had incorporated into the very foundations of his forge.
"*Observational note* Subject 429 shows signs of systemic organ failure and severe tissue distension. Heart Rate: 198; Nerve Responsiveness: 94.327%; Mortality Probability: 93.74%. *Recommendation* Begin procedure."
- — Fragment of a data spool recovered from the wreckage of the Unchained Erudition
Within Forge Polix toil many Magi of various specialities and skills for their master, Magos Onuris. They have waged a desperate and brutal war with the forces of the Exospectre and Forge Castir for untold ages. While the Exospectre currently holds the upper hand, the war shows no signs of ending in the near future. All who dwell in Forge Polix, from the lowliest Servitor to the most learned Heretek, spend their every waking moment fighting to tip the balance of this conflict back in their favour. So desperate is Onuris that he frequently incites his minions to resort to drastic fields of study and experimentation. The Idolitrex Magi have fully embraced this call, devoting their efforts to the unremitting pursuit of innovation and experimentation. Idolitrex Magi are highly respected, if slightly disturbing, contributors to Polix's progress, and all are utterly consumed by their quest. Many pursue fields of study normally considered perilous or insane. Most retain loyalty to Onuris even once departing their ruined planet, but some formulate their own independent motivations which can become incompatible with their former master, and so become apostate Magi. Efficient and calculating to a fault, they will stop at nothing to obtain any scrap of data that may further their goals, including risking Magos Onuris' wrath for abandoning his struggle entirely and leaving The Hollows behind.
All Idolitrex Magi are unified in their tireless quest to gather information for their dark designs. Incredibly learned and driven individuals, they believe their works to be of the utmost importance. All other considerations -- including allies, resources, or anything else -- are subject to the needs of their research, and any impediment is removed as efficiently as possible. A Magos may obtain his data from a variety of subjects and sources. Some pore furiously over forgotten tomes of blasphemous lore, while others may ceaselessly hunt for long-lost technology to study and twist towards their own corrupt purposes. Many instead focus their research on xenos or Warp-fuelled technology and scour the Screaming Vortex to study and obtain potential specimens. The possibilities are endless, as each new piece of data leads the Magos ever on in an unending chain of discovery.
An Idolitrex Magos views experimentation as an incredibly valuable research tool, which he habitually uses to further explore his dreadful theories and concepts. Suffering is merely a statistic to these callous individuals, registered only as variations in biological rhythms or the suitability of subjects for future research. These macabre trials are conducted without thought to morality or their effects on the world around them, and frequently end in tragedy and death. These Magi often dabble in the forbidden arts of sorcery, and most include such studies in their dreadful creations. Idolitrex Magi must rely heavily on rituals and arcane lore to enhance their sorcerous talents, as a result of the severe biological augmentations they regularly undergo. Ironically, their rituals often draw upon the discarded rites of the Adeptus Mechanicus, though these rites are irreparably corrupted by this dark purpose.
Such a Heretek is a welcome, though never fully trusted, member of any Chaos warband. All Idolitrex Magi have vast amounts of data and lore -- as well as the advanced technical skills and abilities befitting their station -- at their disposal, and may be persuaded to craft unique and deadly devices for the right incentive. Most find experimentation more useful than loyalty, however, which often leads to the sacrificing of others for the Magos' eternal research.
Notable Forge Polix Personnel
- Magos Onuris - Overlord of Forge Polix and a masterful mech-wright, Magos Onuris greedily covets the entirety of The Hollows for himself. Like his rival the Exospectre, few know any solid details of his past; the story propagated amongst his apprentices is that he was once a celebrated Artisan of the Auxilia Myrmidon. Stymied in his desire to study and craft new technologies that incorporated Warp energy, he was cast out from the Adeptus Mechanicus after a savage struggle that spread strife across three Knight Worlds. Explorator Cassian of Sanctum has disputed this tale as a fabrication, suggesting instead that Onuris is an expatriate from the hell-forges of Xana II. Further muddying the waters, fragmentary records on Altar-Templum-Calixis-Est–17 contain some supporting evidence for both possibilities. With a mind as twisted as it is brilliant, Magos Onuris has an unhealthy obsession with blending the Warp and technology together into new and unconventional forms. The ever-mutating Death-Masques are one of the Magos' most infamous creations, alongside the newer and less-well-known Harrowhounds. Onuris himself is often accompanied by a reeking, lurching "honour guard" of Chaos Spawn, former assistants and the inevitable result of tampering too often with Warp energy. The Magos accepts apprentices regardless of temperament or even skill, pragmatically assuming that most will die or mutate uncontrollably before they can learn enough to become dangerous to him. Many of his more talented and disciplined assistants are taught secret lore relating to combining the Warp and technology, becoming Idolitrex Magi. These apprentices are given much more latitude and trust, and many venture forth deeper into the Screaming Vortex on special missions for their patron. One explanation for Forge Polix's remarkable resilience in the war for The Hollows is Magos Onuris' unparalleled control and direction of his Battle Servitors. Time and again, only the perfectly executed manoeuvres of Onuris' forces have turned certain defeat into bloody victory. The infamous Renegade Nina Black declared that the Magos' accomplishments are built upon a rare and powerful Prime Logis Key that he had somehow acquired and bent to his own use, but no one has been able to confirm such an outlandish story.
- Enginseer Diabolicus - Perhaps the most common Idolitrex Magi, these Dark Magi attend the many terrifying combinations of technology and Warpcraft that accompany Forge Polix's armies into battle. They have witnessed first-hand the effectiveness of these creations and each has spent countless years perfecting their unholy charges. Competition amongst these Enginseers is fierce and deadly, as each searches for any advantage in the struggle to outdo his rivals in his accomplishments.
Polixian Specialised Units
- Transmaterium - Forge Polix remains saturated in Warp energy due to the constant ministrations of the Transmateriums and their attendants. These Idolitrex Magi specialise in adapting the ancient knowledge of the Mechanicus towards channelling the terrible energies of the Immaterium as power sources, and are responsible for the sustenance and maintenance of the hell-forge's many arcane devices. These Magi greatly resemble corrupt parodies of their Mechanicus brethren, surrounding themselves with profane sigils and rites meant to channel the favour of far darker things than the Omnissiah.
- Dread Bioligis - Deep beneath Forge Polix lie the research vaults of Magos Onuris, where his more interesting mutant specimens are contained. Idolitrex Magi toil within the countless laboratories, observation chambers, and gene-lathes, endlessly twisting and warping the flesh of their victims into new and horrifying fodder for Onuris' armies. They delight in pushing the limits of their flesh-craft and many have left the Hollows to seek out new and more exotic forms to corrupt.
- Death-Masque - The industry of Forge Polix is often tainted with the energies of the Empyrean, a product of its master's unhealthy obsession of matching the Warp and technology. Magos Onuris is fascinated by the prospect of gaining a measure of control over the Warp's formless corruption, and few of his creations embody this more than the Death-Masques. Not quite a living creature and much more than a Combat Servitor, a Death-Masque combines the unstable form of a Chaos Spawn with a massive metal skull-mask from which extends a number of electrodes, wires, and conduits deep into the Spawn's shifting flesh. The mask itself contains a number of simple augur arrays and a complex arcano-cogitator that, in combination with a regimen of forbidden drugs and bloody rituals, forms a control system to direct the creature's actions and can even stimulate its own flesh to contort and change upon command. Thus does the Death-Masque mutate and twist every inch of its own body to better adapt to its enemy and honour Tzeentch. Magos Onuris is quite proud of his achievement and keeps a large number of Death-Masques prowling the corridors of Forge Polix and the rim of the Forgeflow, ever alert for attackers from his rival. Although Death-Masques are most commonly encountered on The Hollows, a handful have been traded to other Chaos warlords and creatures of influence in the Screaming Vortex. More than a few have ended up as curiosities on Q'sal and gladiator-beasts on the Writhing World. Kravek the Apostate claims to have encountered a wild pack of Death-Masques running loose in the deepest jungles of Malignia. If true, surely Magos Onuris would bargain well for the return of his lost minions.
- Harrowhound - A Harrowhound is creature that is created by integrating the Warp and advanced technology together and crafting a cunning shell surrounding a captive Warp entity. The shell resembles a massive metal canine, its joints and eyes blazing with corruptive radiance. To keep these fell creatures from rampaging uncontrollably, the Indolitrex Magi must forge a psyber-link between the Harrowhound and a possessed operator to guide the creature from the safety of a rune-carved war casket. Harrowhounds are excellent trackers, rivalling anything in service to the Corpse God in their ability to hunt down and kill prey in a variety of environments. The metal skin of the Harrowhound's shell is quite durable, and their daemonic nature gives them many advantages over any creature of flesh and blood. However, even the most carefully-built physical frame eventually fails when attempting to contain raw Warp energy, and Harrowhounds are no exception. It is only a matter of time before the Exospectre picks up on this weakness and devises a way to exploit it.
Notable Polixian Technology
- The Hollow Blades - One of the more famous weapon designs of the Screaming Vortex are the Hollow Blades, a common name given to a pair of curved swords -- one made by Forge Polix, the other by Forge Castir. The blades are so well-regarded that the Heretic Astartes of the Traitor Legions have been known to seek them out, and the warriors of the Thousand Sons have a particular affinity for the peculiar, sickle-like shape the blades take.
- Polix Heavy Khopesh - Forge Polix's Hollow Blades mirror their heavy industry. Bulky and brutal, the long, curved blades can cut through the thickest armour and cleave a man in two with a single swipe.
- Magma Suit - Forge Polix of The Hollows prides itself on its Power Armour construction techniques, a set of secrets it guards jealously from its rival on the other side of the planet. Magma Suits were originally designed to keep valued mining overseers safe from sudden surges of molten rock, but have proven quite adaptable for use in combat and have become highly desired throughout the Screaming Vortex. A Magma Suit is a suit of standard human-sized Power Armour that has all the standard abilities of Imperial Power Armour, as well as the following sub-systems and upgrades: Osmatic Gill Life Sustainer, Vox Link, Sustainable Power Source, and Recoil Suppression. Additionally, a Magma Suit grants the wearer resistance to intense heat.
- Black Crusade: The Tome of Fate (RPG), pp. 36-37, 39, 40, 84, 86-87, 90-91