Stygies VIII, also known as "The Ever-Staring Cyclops," is an Imperial Forge World of the Adeptus Mechanicus that is located on the seventh and largest moon orbiting a massive gas giant on the outer fringes of the Vulcanis System in the Segmentum Pacificus of the galaxy. The planet is currently home to the Legio Honorum, a Loyalist Titan Legion also known as the "Deathbolts." The moon was previously home to both the Legio Vulcanum I and Legio Vulcanum II, but both of those Titan Legions turned Traitor during the Horus Heresy. Even before the Heresy it was very rare for a Forge World to be home to more than one Titan Legion.
The Tech-priests of Stygies VIII have an infamous reputation for their continued pursuit of forbidden xenos technology. Such is their curiosity, they wage war against the alien races of the galaxy not to conquer or exterminate, but to study. Their dangerous yearning for the war-tech of other intelligent starfaring races is often overlooked, for Stygies VIII provides a great deal of vital war materiel for the surrounding systems, and in these tempestuous times the Imperium cannot afford to lose it -- even the High Lords of Terra have deemed its continued existence vital. Even with that official sanction, a secret war unfolds upon Stygies VIII. Within its yawning reliquary-halls, battles between Deathwatch Kill-teams and Radical Tech-priests are still a disturbingly frequent occurrence. There are those amongst the Stygian priesthood who have taken their obsession with xenos war-tech to another level entirely, breaching the ancient Webway portals of the nearby sibling world of Vulcanis III and taking entire war processions into the Labyrinth Dimension of the Eldar. They seek nothing less than to find the Black Library, plunder its boundless riches of knowledge and return triumphant to Stygies VIII -- even if they have to cut their way through Eldar Harlequins, Chaos Space Marines and worse to achieve their goal.
There is no forge world less trusted than that of Stygies VIII, located on the moon of a ringed gas giant in the binary star system of Vulcanis, Stygies VIII lies far to the galactic north of Terra, perilously near the Eye of Terror. Stygies itself almost fell to Heretic forces in the times of the Horus Heresy, only being saved by the intervention of the enigmatic Aeldari race, who had their own stake in seeing that the Forces of Chaos did not gain access to such a strategic treasure which might turn the Heresy in the Warmaster Horus' favour. This event has led to Vulcanis being the home of a secretive sect within the Adeptus Mechanicus known as the Xenarites. The Xenarites are dedicated to the study and exploitation of alien technology, a policy which most Tech-priests find highly offensive. The Xenarites point to the intervention of the Eldar to assist the true followers of the Machine God as a sign that even they are subject to His will, and that it is their sacred duty to study them. Aware of the antipathy of their colleagues, the Xenarites pursue a policy of covert study, often despatching cohorts of Skitarii to garrison alien sites instead of bringing artefacts back to Forge Worlds for study as prescribed by doctrine. It is not unusual for Xenarite expeditions to come under attack from alien populations, planetary garrisons, even the Skitarii Legions of other Forge Worlds. Open war with Imperial authorities is not unknown -- these regrettable occurrences have only served to drive the Xenarites deeper underground.
The Horus Heresy
Stygies VIII was once home to two Titan Legions, Legios Vulcanum I and II. While unusual for a single star system to support two Titan Legions it is far from unknown, as Mars itself supports three. Stygies VIII was granted two Legions due to its close proximity to the Eye of Terror and the attendant risks of Chaotic attack on this important Forge World. Most of the twin Legions' war engines were on crusade with the Warmaster Horus when the Horus Heresy began. In a series of bloody surprise attacks, a core of Chaos Cultists back on Stygies VIII seized control of the Forge World's manufactorum facilities. Reduced to a small group of Loyalist Tech-priests, these valiant defenders protected the planet's Temple of Knowledge against the robed cultists and the hastily-improvised berserker machines that they had produced. Trapped and on their own, the Loyalists expected that death would eventually follow, but unanticipated liberation came on the thirty-first solar day of the siege in the form of the graceful Eldar Titans and hundreds of Jetbike-mounted warriors of the Saim-Hann Craftworld who smashed the servants of Chaos. They had not come to help the Mon-Keigh, but to deny to the Forces of Chaos such a strategically potent manufacturing world so close to the Eye of Terror. When the Horus Heresy finally ended, both of the Traitor Titan Legions of Stygies VIII fled into exile within the Eye of Terror. The planet is now home to a third, Loyalist Titan Legion, the Legio Honorum, which was established to restore the Forge World's honour in the eyes of the Emperor.
- The Xenarite Schism (335.M36) - Stygies VIII came under attack from dozens of Deathwatch Kill-teams when news of the Xenarites' dabblings with alien technology reached the Ordo Xenos. The Adeptus Mechanicus on Stygies VIII was forced to employ radical measures in order to survive the ensuing purges.
- Missing from Imperial Records (Unknown Date.M36) - Fearful of the growing record of violations against them, the forge world of Stygies VIII uses viral programming, machine canticles, and infiltration methods to destroy or alter the documentation of the Adeptus Administratum and even the datastacks of the Inquisition itself. Self-perpetuating programs ensure the obfuscation is continuous.
- The Unknowable (991.M41) - Skitarii from Stygies VIII are sent to the Ocean World of Magogue when the planet's industry dries up its oceans to reveal Necrontyr architecture. The Skitarii fight valiantly against the Necrons of the awakening tomb complexes, allowing the planet's islander people to evacuate to a man, but are badly outmatched. Only their commanding Tech-priests, hunting for knowledge behind the lines, escape the ensuing carnage. However, in doing so they clash with the Necron Overlord Trazyn the Infinite. One by one the Tech-priests are collected in stasis fields and displayed as part of a monument to Magogue's fall.
- The Fall of Cadia (999.M41) - The 13th Black Crusade devastates much of the Cadian Sector and spreads disaster across the whole of Segmentum Obscurus. Despite heroic fighting, Cadia falls. Many refugees from the numerous campaigns find temporary safety on the forge worlds of Agripinaa and Stygies VIII, where their numbers help repel the Chaos attacks that soon follow. The loss of dozens of Titans, fleets, robots, and entire armies is a devastating and irreplaceable blow. In the wake of the disaster, the High Lords of Terra themselves decree that all forge worlds are to increase production by any means necessary.
Forge World Dogma
When the armies of Stygies VIII march to war, they do so beneath stealth screen projectors and target-befouling apparatus. That the Tech-Priests of this forge world deny owning such technology only reinforces their untrustworthy reputation.
Stygies VIII Forces Appearance
Stygies VIII Iconography
The stark white icon of Stygies VIII stands out from the dark robes of its warriors. It symbolises not just enlightenment, but the acquisition of knowledge no matter how steep the cost.
Stygies VIII Forge World Colours
Stygies VIII has been accused of heresy in the past. To show that its faith in the Omnissiah is pure, its heraldry incorporates the colours of Mars, albeit redistributed. The bulk of Stygies VIII's Skitarii wear long pitch black robes of endless night, crimson armour plate the sacred colour of Mars and burnished steel cybernetics. Should such a warrior shed his robe, he could almost pass for one of Mars' cohorts -- a similarity Stygies has exploited many times. Likewise, the deep red of the Cult Mechanicus is proudly displayed on the armour plates of the Stygian Kastelan-class Robots and the Tech-priests who command them, with icons and glyphs proudly picked out in white. The white toothed iconography which rings the sleeves and hems of their robes is reminiscent of the teeth of a cog, a symbol of great significance to the Tech-Priests of the Cult Mechanicus. This pledges their allegiance to the Machine God, and is thus important to all his servants. The officers of Stygies VIII fight at the forefront of the war for enlightenment. When their red, silver and black heraldry is sighted near an excavation or quarantine zone, the treasures inside will be seized in Stygies' name, whatever it takes.
Stygies VIII is a large Forge World that produces everything from Astra Militarum infantry weapons and battle tanks to the mighty Battle Titans of the Collegia Titanica. Stygies VIII is a Production Grade II-Extremis Forge World with a Tithe Grade of Aptus Non, meaning it pays no tithe to the Administratum, as its industrial output is considered of potent strategic value for the Imperium of Man in and of itself. The forge-cities of Stygies VIII are the homes of some of the best munitions artisans in the Imperium and they produce gun barrels, recoil dampeners, and propellent chemicals second only to Mars itself in quality.
Stygies VIII was once one of only three known Forge Worlds capable of producing Vanquisher Cannons on a large scale. After the Forge World of Tigrus was overrun in the 35th Millennium by the Ork Warlord Arrgard the Defiler and the Forge World of Gryphonne IV was consumed by Hive Fleet Leviathan in 997.M41, Stygies VIII became the sole known producer of Vanquisher Cannons. The forges of Stygies VIII are also known for producing the most common pattern of Manticores used by the Imperial Guard.
- The Omnissiah's Hand - The device known as the Omnissiah's Hand is a gauntlet lined with a concealed array of digital lasers, believed to be of Jokaero origin. Such items might be techno-heresy to other forge worlds, but many a Tech-Adept of Stygies VIII has become obsessed in their quest to replicate its technology. Thus far their best efforts have been to no avail.
The location of Stygies VIII has been listed in three different Segmentae according to different sources. In Imperial Armour Volume One its location is given as the Ultima Segmentum, in White Dwarf 260 (UK) it is listed as being in the Segmentum Obscurus. In Forge World's Horus Heresy - Book One: Betrayal and most recently the Codex: Adeptus Mechanicus - Skitarii, it is shown on galaxy maps as being located in the Segmentum Pacificus. As the latter source is the most current of the four to be released, Stygies VIII is listed above as officially located in the Segmentum Pacificus.
- Codex: Adeptus Mechanicus (8th Edition), pp. 12, 18, 33-35, 50, 95, 98-99, 101
- Codex: Adeptus Mechanicus - Cult Mechanicus (7th Edition), pp. 27, 84-86, 88, 90
- Codex: Adeptus Mechanicus - Skitarii (7th Edition), pp. 31, 37, 39, 78-84
- Imperial Armour Volume One - Imperial Guard and Imperial Navy, pp. 8, 11, 31-46, 178
- The Horus Heresy - Book One: Betrayal (Forge World Series) by Alan Bligh, pg. 11
- White Dwarf 259 (UK), "Creating Worlds - Inquisitor Campaign Settings," pg. 58