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The Hollow Sun is the crownworld of the Necron Suhbekhar Dynasty that is located in the Jericho Reach.

Like many Necron capital worlds, it is a marvel of arcane super-science the likes of which has not been seen in the galaxy for countless millennia.

No two crownworlds are alike, each reflecting something of the idiosyncrasies of those it was built to inter, but the Hollow Sun is no mere affectation of a monarch intent upon slumbering away the aeons in gaudy splendour.

Rather, it reflects the erstwhile genius of the now-insane Phaeron Ahmontekh, who upon commissioning its construction knew he was ordering his masons to build the impossible. And the impossible they gave him.

The Hollow Sun crownworld is, exactly as its name suggests, constructed deep within the raging, nucleonic furnace of a star.

The star in question lies at the heart of the Slinnar Drift region of the outer Jericho Reach and bears no outward sign of being any more or less unusual than any of the other countless stars in that vast stellar cluster.

History

The artifice that keeps the necropolis of the Hollow Sun from being consumed within its stellar core would seem as mind-shattering sorcery to even the most lore-steeped techno-magus of the Adeptus Mechanicus. It represents the very epitome of the Necrons' mastery over the fundamental powers of the physical universe.

Somehow, the Suhbekhar Dynasty has slept away the aeons within a tomb as cold as any grave, yet located within the fusion-wracked core of a blazing sun. There must surely be no power, whether technological or psychic, which could detect the presence of such a place, let alone even conceive that such a feat was possible.

Ahmontekh the Crimson Scythe did not go to such unimaginable lengths to hide his crownworld on a mere whim.

The Hollow Sun was constructed because the phaeron of the Suhbekhar Dynasty had every reason to suspect that his enemies would actively seek out his resting place throughout his aeons of sleep.

So many of the Old Ones' servants had he slain during the War in Heaven that the Crimson Scythe was marked for death from one end of the galaxy to the other.

The last of the meddlesome Oort might have fallen to his bloody scythe, the many-faced Proteans sent to the pyre and the pale Seers of Leng scattered to the corners of the galaxy, but the Aeldari had emerged from the War in Heaven as an ascendant power.

These former warriors of the Old Ones seemed content to allow the Necrons to retire to sleep away the eons, or perhaps they believed the C'tan's armies all slain. In the case of the Crimson Scythe, however, the Aeldari were intent upon ensuring he could never return from whatever exile he had embarked upon.

Ahmontekh, a master strategist as well as a fearsome warrior, knew the Aeldari would not rest in their hunt for vengeance against the slayer of so many of their former masters' progeny, and took the most thorough of precautions to ensure his sleep went undisturbed.

When he awoke, so the Crimson Scythe planned, he would turn upon what remained of the Aeldari. Then the hunters would become the hunted and the stars would be stained crimson with Aeldari blood once more.

The colossal undertaking that was the construction of the necropolis within the Hollow Sun was not limited to the necropolis itself. The Suhbekhar Dynasty maintained holdings across the entire region, and while many of these had been reduced to atoms during the War in Heaven, others remained standing.

It was impossible to replicate the creation of the Hollow Sun across so vast a territory, so the Crimson Scythe was forced to trust the lower order of royal masons to hide the lesser Tomb Worlds as best they could.

Ever the military genius, Ahmontekh ensured that those Tomb Worlds that did survive the aeons-long stasis they were to enter would find the resources they needed to rebuild their strength close at hand. Thus, numerous worlds within the Jericho Reach, and in particular within the Slinnar Drift, appear preternaturally blessed by valuable elements.

While the Crimson Scythe slumbers still, none of his underlings can be certain exactly which of these were placed to serve nearby Tomb Worlds yet to reveal themselves, which are naturally occurring, and which might represent caches put in place by other species entirely.

The 41st Millennium

Near the end of the 41st Millennium, after several solar decades since its disastrous revivification, the Hollow Sun would slowly come back online, but not in the manner that was originally intended.

The vast stasis chambers and labyrinthine passageways were still largely empty, though swarms of Canoptek Scarabs scoured them centimetre by centimetre in an effort to repair the damage done when the command program attempted to awaken Phaeron Ahmontekh.

The bulk of the effort is focused about the mighty stasis halls, wherein countless thousands, perhaps many millions of Necron Warriors and war machines lay in cold sleep.

Regent Ahhotek's Crypteks have thus far succeeded in awakening but a portion of the overall number of Necrons interred within, but their industry is ceaseless and the most arcane processes are being brought to bear to bypass the lost phaeron's command protocols and turn control over to his regent.

Of those warriors the Crypteks have been able to awaken, there number many thousands of loyal soldiers of all types, from rank after rank of warriors to the devastating Doomsday Arks.

These muster in the great precincts of the necropolis, ever ready to pass through the massive Dolmen Gate at its heart and to make war upon the galaxy as they did sixty million Terran years ago.

As it slowly awakens, the Hollow Sun is taking its place at the heart of the resurgent empire of the Suhbekhar Dynasty. The rule of the regent Ahhotekh is as incomplete in the matter of his territory as it is in that of his legions, however, and the location of every single Tomb World and other holding in the region is as yet unrevealed even to him.

As with the revivification of his dormant servants, the regent is determined to locate and muster every tomb in which an underling might lay sleeping, and many of his most cunning and stealthy warriors are scouring the outer darkness for any and all signs of them.

In doing so, they have discovered that others seek the cold tombs of the Necrons too, and a silent war is escalating in the dark places of the Outer Reach.

The regent Ahhotekh is now well aware that others have marked his dynasty's awakening, though he is far from certain which of the numerous species plaguing the galaxy knows anything of substance. He sees the hand of the Aeldari all about, though he was much gratified to discover that these erstwhile scions of the Old Ones are but a guttering remnant of their former glory in the present age.

The presence of the Orks was of little surprise, for ever have their kind infested the universe. Of the Tyranids the Necrons knew little, but recognised them for the alien foe that had decimated the Charnovokh Dynasty.

In the T'au, the regent saw traces of the work not of the Old Ones, but others of their progeny, determining that a more detailed examination would be necessary to ascertain their true heritage.

The spread of Humanity was something of a surprise to the regent and his court viziers, for it had not been predicted by the royal astrologer (who was formally disintegrated for his failure, another event he did not foresee).

The spread of mortal beings enslaved to the powers of the Warp was less of a surprise to the Necrons, for one of the last things the Suhbekhar witnessed before closing the portals of their crypts on the galaxy was the taint of the beyond questing outwards from the bleeding wounds torn in the fabric of reality at the climax of the war in the Webway.

Though the Warp and all its spawn are anathema to the soulless Necrons, they are well aware of the threat such deluded slaves represent to the resurgence of their dynasties, and the regent's legions have already fought several battles against the forces of the Ruinous Powers.

One event that concerned the Necrons of the Hollow Sun greatly was their discovery of the Hadex Anomaly. The Warp phenomenon put several of the regent's advisers in mind of the terrible things unleashed upon the galaxy by the C'tan at the height of the War in Heaven, but when they turned their attention upon it they became quite certain that the anomaly itself was looking back at them.

It is the regent's belief that the Hadex Anomaly represents a truly unknowable sentience entirely out of its own time and its own place, though to date the Necrons have not formulated a plan to confront the issue.

There are two pressing matters that the Necrons of the Hollow Sun must confront and which its forces are mustering against in ever increasing numbers.

The first is the Aeldari, for while this once-great culture has clearly fallen far, the regent is convinced the forces of the Aeldari, or of those allied to them, are active in the Jericho Reach and working against the dynasty's holdings.

The other issue is that of the Inquisition and the Deathwatch, for while the Necrons do not yet have the perspective to separate the two, they have discerned that Humanity has its champions and these too are active in denying the region to its true inheritors.

While the Aeldari prove an elusive foe, too cautious of loss to confront openly, the champions of Humanity have proven a thorn in the side of the Suhbekhar Dynasty. So formidable have the Space Marines proven that some amongst the Court of the Hollow Sun believe they represent a supreme evolution of the Human genome.

Some even hold them to be an entirely separate species, one deliberately created, perhaps even by the prescient Old Ones.

Environment

The Hollow Sun is a staggering feat of arcane stellar-engineering and dimensional manipulation. The star itself is one of those for which the Slinnar Drift is well known, a protostar that appears to all external observations to have existed far too long in its present state.

None can say whether the star was specially created for the purpose of secreting the Necron capital world at its core or if the Suhbekhar Dynasty's masons somehow bored through its raging fabric to transplant their necropolis at the very heart of its core.

Perhaps they created the necropolis elsewhere and transported it to its current location using dimension-twisting processes lost even to the resurgent Necrons. In truth, none of those stellar masons have yet awoken, and so their lost art must remain that unknown.

The necropolis of the Suhbekhar Dynasty takes the form of a city as large as any world, located at the heart of its sun and protected by arcane machine systems that take up many times more space than the stasis crypts they protect from the raging fusion core of the star.

Vast, unidentifiable systems shield the necropolis, siphoning off the raw power of an entire sun so effectively that the chambers and labyrinths within are as cold as any grave.

Vast, dusty chambers and hallways are lined with coiled machine components many hundreds of metres tall, throbbing with the power to displace dimensions and reshape reality.

Within an outer layer of machinery hundreds of kilometres thick, rest the stasis chambers of the countless Necron constructs responsible for maintaining and defending the Hollow Sun. Notable among them are the Canoptek Spyders and the many millions of scarabs that scour the systems for even the slightest trace of malfunction.

Deeper still lies the stasis chambers of the legions of the Suhbekhar Dynasty, hall after hall of slumbering Necron Warriors, almost all denied to the regent by his current inability to access the mad phaeron's command protocols.

Past the halls of the legions is the Royal Necropolis, a majestic realm wherein the most senior of the dynasty are interred in splendour, watched over by rearing statues wrought in the image of the dynasty's masters.

The most magnificent of all the mighty tombs is that of the Phaeron Ahmontekh, a mighty pyramidal structure now permanently attended by a small army of Crypteks tasked with unlocking the secrets held within his blasted, fitfully slumbering mind.

Perhaps the most impressive sight in the entire Hollow Star is the mighty central precinct. At the centre of a crescent plate of living metal so large that many hundreds of thousands of warriors could muster as one, stands the Dolmen Gate.

This structure serves as the main means by which the Necrons of the Hollow Sun gain access to the galaxy around them. The gate takes the form of two mighty pillars of dark green, living stone, rearing several hundreds metres into the air.

Crossing these is a mighty capstone bearing the glyph of the Suhbekhar Dynasty, which pulses with baleful green malignance and casts the entire scene in actinic green light.

When the gate is activated, the empty space between the stones is transformed into a dimensional portal that glows with nigh blindingly bright, green illumination. Through this portal, the legions of the Hollow Sun will one day march to retake their lost domains within the Jericho Reach and beyond.

For now, only smaller hosts pass through, intent upon the as-yet secret work of the Regent Ahhotekh.

Sources

  • Deathwatch: The Outer Reach (RPG), pp. 105-108
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