- "The Quest for Knowledge drives the Mechanicus to the stars, forgotten Archeotech and un-catalogued celestial phenomena await, the voice of the Omnissiah waiting to be witnessed."
- — Explorator Enginseer Acula
An Explorator is an Adeptus Mechanicus Tech-priest who is dedicated to the exploration and exploitation of new worlds and new regions of the galaxy for the Imperium of Man. They act as part adventurer, part warrior and part emissary of the Machine Cult of Mars. Their function is to travel into the depths of the unknown and unearth the ashes of the past in order to acquire knowledge and secrets for the glory of the Omnissiah and the benefit of the Imperium. Something of a breed apart in the Adeptus Mechanicus for their independence, penchant for innovation and personal initiative, they are seen as a necessary evil by some of their fellows and vital agents of the Machine God by others. Explorators undertake their Quest for Knowledge across the stars, seeking out undiscovered data and unrecorded phenomena, forgotten archeotech hoards, and unknown life forms.
All Adeptus Mechanicus research stations, exploration starships, and outposts any distance from a Forge World are likely to be manned by Explorators. It is also the sacred function of these intrepid (or foolhardy) individuals to delve into the unexplored reaches of the galaxy, either as part of great Mechanicus-backed exploration and colonisation fleets or by attaching themselves to a Rogue Trader house to carry them into the beyond in search of both the future and, more importantly, the past. The lost achievements of Mankind’s Dark Age of Technology soared far beyond anything that can be imagined today. Only by re-learning ancient lore found scattered across the stars and painstakingly piecing it together can humanity ever achieve such dizzying heights again. Attempts at improvisation or adaptation are viewed by most followers of the Omnissiah as the height of hubris. Imagining that one can set oneself above the knowledge of the Ancients without risking the dark fate that led to the horrors of the Age of Strife is considered pure folly by the more orthodox adherents of the Machine God's faith.
Yet Explorators tend towards a greater independence of mind and inquisitive thought than adherents of the Cult Mechanicus who serve in more sheltered roles, and they often have their own secret agendas and capabilities far beyond those of their more pedestrian peers. Many Tech-priests, particularly of the more junior and provincial variety, regard the Explorators as dubious outsiders, prone to stray beyond the bounds of the arcane dogma and rigidly adhered-to precepts laid down by the inviolable teachings of the Machine Cult.
Whether or not this is true, it is undoubtedly the case that amongst the adherents of the Cult Mechanicus it is the Explorators who are the most likely to be exposed to the proscribed technologies of the alien and the sins of Mankind's dark and hidden past. In truth, Explorators are on the frontline of perils few can understand. There are more than a few Explorators who, in their desire to uncover the secrets of the universe, have fallen prey to some xenos dogma and turned from the rigid technological doctrine of the eight Universal Laws or have become corrupted by the Warp and lost their souls to the abyss of Chaos, becoming Hereteks of the Dark Mechanicus. Others have simply been driven mad from knowing too much.
But for Explorators, the risks are worth the rewards. Explorators have found some of the greatest prizes in the Quest for Knowledge, and their role in many other affairs has been key to their success and the Imperium’s continued survival. However, countless Explorators have met with grisly deaths in the hostile galaxy they explore, and on mercifully rare occasions, their ill-conceived prying has unleashed cataclysmic horrors on Mankind. When an Explorator accompanies a Rogue Trader, the arrangement may have come about by some ancient debt the Rogue Trader’s family line owed the Adeptus Mechanicus, hard bargaining, or even pure chance. Whatever the case, the Explorator will be a valued member of the Rogue Trader’s party, bringing with him a wealth of esoteric knowledge and arcane technical know-how quite beyond any other member of the crew, and often, not a little firepower of his own.
Rogue Trader ServiceEdit
As bionically-augmented servants of the Machine God, an Explorator's function is to travel into the depths of the unknown and unearth the ashes of the past in order to acquire knowledge and secrets for the glory of the Omnissiah. Something of a breed apart in the Cult Mechanicus, they are seen as a necessary evil by some of their fellows and vital agents of the Machine God by others. Explorators undertake their Quest for Knowledge across the stars, seeking out undiscovered data and unrecorded phenomena, forgotten archeotech hoards, and unknown life forms. All Mechanicus research stations, exploration ships, and outposts any distance from a Forge World are likely to be manned by Explorators. It is also the sacred function of these intrepid (or foolhardy) individuals to delve in the unexplored reaches of the galaxy, either as part of great Mechanicus-backed ﬂeets or by attaching themselves to the Rogue Trader houses to carry them into the beyond in search of both the future and, most importantly, the past.
The lost achievements of Mankind's Dark Age of Technology soared far beyond anything that can be made today, at the end of the 41st Millennium. Only by re-learning ancient lore found scattered across the stars and painstakingly piecing it together can Man ever achieve such dizzying heights again. Attempts at improvisation, innovation or adaptation are viewed by most followers of the Omnissiah as the height of hubris. Imagining that one can set oneself above the knowledge of the Ancients without risking their deadly sins and the dark fate that led to the horrors of the Age of Strife is pure folly.
Explorators themselves tend towards a greater independence of mind and inquisitive thought than adherents of the Machine Cult in more sheltered roles, and they often have their own secret agendas and arts far beyond those of their more pedestrian peers. Many Tech-adepts, particularly of the more junior and provincial variety, regard the Explorators as dubious outsiders, prone to stray beyond the bounds of the arcane dogma and rigidly adhered-to precepts laid down by the inviolable teachings of the Machine Cult. Whether or not this is true, it is undoubtedly the case that amongst the adherents of the Cult Mechanicus it is they who are the most likely to be exposed to the proscribed technologies of the alien and the sins of the dark human past. In truth, Explorators are on the frontline of perils few can understand. There more than a few Explorators who, in their desire to uncover the secrets of the universe, have fallen prey to some xenos dogma and turned from the rigid doctrine of the eight Universal Laws, have become corrupted by Warp-twisted engramatic code and lost their souls to the abyss of Chaos, or have simply been driven mad from knowing too much.
Yet, the risks are worth the rewards, and Explorators have found many of the greatest prizes in the Quest for Knowledge, and their role in many other affairs has been key to their success and the Imperium’s survival. However, countless Explorators have met with grisly deaths in the hostile galaxy they explore, and on mercifully rare occasions, their ill-conceived prying has unleashed cataclysmic horrors on Mankind.
When an Explorator accompanies a Rogue Trader, the arrangement may have come about by some ancient debt the Rogue Trader's line owed the Cult Mechanicus, hard bargaining, or even pure chance. Whatever the case, the Explorator will be a valued member of the Rogue Trader's party, bringing with him a wealth of esoteric knowledge and arcane technical know-how quite beyond any other member of the crew, and often, not a little firepower of his own.
The Adeptus Mechanicus is a secretive organization, conducting a never-ending search for forgotten knowledge and ancient technology to hoard for itself. At the forefront of this ceaseless quest are the Explorator Fleets. While research outposts and Explorators attached to Rogue Trader crews are integral cogs in the Mechanicus' efforts to uncover forgotten knowledge from Mankind’s past, it is in the Explorator Fleets that the full resources and might of the Machine Cult are pressed toward this end. While Explorators who accompany Rogue Traders have many opportunities to explore ancient ruins and uncover forgotten secrets, their mission is ultimately secondary to that of the Rogue Trader's eternal mission for profit. Not so, in the Explorator Fleets. There, Tech-priests live amongst their own kind, not to be disturbed by the insignificant desires of those who lack the blessing of the True Flesh.
Commanding countless Serfs, Servitors, and Adepts, the Magi of the Explorator Fleets hold supreme power, just as they do on the Forge Worlds of the Mechanicus. These fleets are, like the Forge Worlds, the sovereign domain of the Adeptus Mechanicus. Even within the bounds of the Imperium, the Mechanicus is fiercely independent of the Imperial power structure. In the Koronus Expanse, Rogue Traders are well-advised to treat with the Explorator-Magi as they would a fellow Rogue Trader, or other equal. To do otherwise could be a fatal mistake.
The vessels that make up the Explorator Fleets are amongst the most sophisticated in all of the Imperium, as they are invariably constructed in the orbital dockyards of Forge Worlds, or even salvaged from ancient pre-Imperial Space Hulks. The Tech-priests apply their full knowledge and ability in crafting (or repairing, as the case may be) these starships, incorporating alchemical alloys and esoteric processes that are unavailable elsewhere. Even the newest vessels constructed by the Adeptus Mechanicus far surpass those available to all but the most powerful of Rogue Traders. However, many Explorator Fleets include vessels that are many millennia old. Explorator Fleet KX–557.V is one such fleet.
Explorator Fleet KX-557.VEdit
- "We have determined with 27.439% accuracy that the xenos dwellings are built atop a human city, pre-dating the Age of Strife. The virus bombs are being consecrated as we speak. Cleansing can begin upon your order."
- — Technomancer-at-Arms Gryfe to Magos-Commodore Gnothis Trannarch, translated from binaric cant.
Tasked with exploring the Halo Stars, the route of Explorator Fleet KX–557.V brought it into the Koronus Expanse many decades ago -- possibly without traversing the Koronus Passage. Since that time, however, interactions between the Explorator Fleet and the Rogue Traders who ply the Expanse have been almost nonexistent, so far is their route from the almost civilised regions of the Expanse known as Footfall and Winterscale's Realm. Year after year, the fleet continues its ponderous journey of exploration, a community of Tech-priests and gene-locked servants, isolated from the rest of Mankind.
Contact between the Adeptus Mechanicus of the Calixis Sector and Explorator Fleet KX–557.V is sporadic, to say the least. Thanks to the venerable technologies of the Priesthood of Mars, the fleet is capable of operating for extended periods of time without the need to refuel or resupply. Apart from the occasional astropathic message -- many of which never reach their intended destination -- Explorator fleet KX–557.V has had no known encounters with other Imperial forces in over a standard decade as of 815.M41. The fleet's mission is one of ongoing exploration, into the deepest reaches of the Koronus Expanse. While the Tech-priests of the fleet take an appropriate interest in unusual stellar or geologic phenomena, their primary goal is the pursuit of the Quest for Knowledge in the form of a search for archeotech, driven by the possibility of recovering STC database fragments left behind by the ancient human inhabitants of the Expanse.
Explorator Fleet KX–557.V comprises seven vessels of Cruiser class, accompanied by numerous Escorts. Additionally, this stellar caravan tows several orbital sensoriums, that it might leave a Mechanicus presence to observe any particularly worthy phenomena or star systems. These orbitals are designed to be entirely self-sufficient, accommodating a single Tech-priest and a Servitor crew almost indefinitely. Without an Astropath to transmit messages, however, the findings of such an installation can only benefit the Adeptus Mechanicus should a vessel return to retrieve the data at a later date. Thus far, Explorator Fleet KX–557.V has seeded four such orbital stations in the depths of the Koronus Expanse, but has yet to make further contact with any of them. These sensorium platforms feature formidable automated defences, as the augury arrays and other sophisticated sensor systems with which they are equipped would prove a tempting target to pirates or even unscrupulous Rogue Traders. The fleet has no way of knowing if these stations are even still intact, or if the Tech-priests left to monitor them are still alive. Some of these stations have been in operation for decades, all the while collecting data, to fill extensive Cogitator banks. All manner of secrets may be held by these isolated stations, perhaps never to be shared with the Mechanicus -- particularly if someone else collects them first.
Explorator Fleets, as with the fleets of Rogue Traders, stand to encounter any number of perils in their journeys, not least of which are ravenous xenos and piratical raiders. As befits the holders of the rarest weapons and technology known to Mankind, the Adeptus Mechanicus does not send their envoys into the cold of space unprepared. While warfare is not the function of Explorator Fleet KX–557.V, it is fully capable of defending itself, and of demolishing those xenos and heathen creations which are so great an affront to the Omnissiah that they cannot be permitted to exist. The Cruisers and Escorts of the fleet mount a fearsome array of plasma batteries, Lances, and even more esoteric ship-based weapons. The disciples of the Machine God are loathe to allow their works to fall into the hands of unbelievers, and so mount a formidable defence against boarding actions, in the form of Combat and Murder-Servitors, and even the infamous Crimson Guard of the Calixis Sector's Lathe Worlds.
Large numbers of these mechanical and cybernetic warriors are retained to ensure an insurmountable defence. Additionally, should the Explorator Fleet encounter an enemy in possession of sanctioned voidships that need be returned to the fold, waves of assault boats, carrying advanced Murder-Servitors, allow for the Tech-priests of KX–557.V to acquire control of a vessel without risking its destruction through ranged fire. In the case of a truly hopeless scenario, the masters of the fleet would destroy their vessels, rather than let them fall into the hands of Heretics or aliens. By the grace of the Omnissiah, the Tech-priests pray that these self-destruct features need never be tested.
- Archmagos Saphentis - Saphentis was a senior Tech-priest of the Librarium Primaris on the Forge World of Rhyza. Appointed by the Fabricator-General of Mars, Saphentis was to lead an Explorator mission to help assist the Inquisition in the exploration of a newly-discovered planet in the Borosis System. The planet was determined by the Adeptus Mechanicus to be the Forge World of Chaeroneia, which had been lost to the Warp just over a century earlier. Saphentis would join the Inquisition in a joint mission to reclaim the lost world for the Priesthood of Mars. The initial landing force was composed of Justicar Alaric and five of his Battle-Brothers from the Grey Knights Space Marine Chapter, along with Interrogator Hawkespur, Tech-priest Thalassa, and Archmagos Saphentis. They were also supported by a twenty-man strong Tech-Guard unit. While approaching the Forge World, their landing craft was badly damaged by an asteroid field and they were forced to crash land on the planet's surface. Most of the Explorator party survived with the exception of half of the Tech-Guard unit. Making their way towards one of the world's forge cities, the Explorator party was ambushed by members of the Dark Mechanicus and their daemonic allies and Heretek creations. But the combined might of the Grey Knights and the Tech-Guard wiped them out. The Imperial explorers eventually made their way towards Primus Manufactorum Noctis' data-fortress, in the hope of acquiring STC data. But Tech-priest Thalassa mysteriously disappeared. When the Explorator team finally reached the data-fortress they were once again attacked, but this time they faced the dire threat of hunter-programs (who in reality were actually Data-Daemons) as well as Warp-corrupted Combat Servitors sent by their Dark Mechanicus masters. The Grey Knights valiantly held them at bay, while Saphentis extracted the information he sought. They were only saved from being overwhelmed by the timely intervention of Magos Antigonus, who led the Imperial party to his lair beneath the Manufactorum Noctis. Examining the data he had acquired, Archmagos Saphentis discovered that the Dark Mechanicus had been constructing hundreds of Chaos Titans, and had brought Chaeronia back into realspace to deliver these deadly war engines as tribute for the Chaos Warmaster Abaddon the Despoiler as he prepared to launch his fearsome 13th Black Crusade. Though their mission seemed futile, Interrogator Hawkespur ordered that they destroy the Chaos Titans. The Explorator party was once again attacked by the deadly Data-Daemons, only this time, they were led by a now-possessed Tech-priest Thalassa. Saphentis confronted the Heretek and beheaded her with his twin saw bladed weapons. The Dark Mechanicus then arrived to confront the Imperials with three maniples of daemon-possessed Combat Servitors. Despite being outnumbered, Saphentis was able to hold his own against the Servitors' superior weapons. During the battle, the Archmagos was confronted by a Dark Mechanicus Heretek, the Archmagos Veneratus Scaeros, who quickly overwhelmed Saphentis. Though he was now at the mercy of the Heretek, Saphentis willingly sacrificed himself by overloading his bionic eyes, which exploded in Scareos' face, critically wounding him. Saphentis then held the Dark Archmagos down long enough for Magos Antigonus to take control of a Warhound-class Titan and crush them both underfoot, valiantly sacrificing himself so that the rest of the Imperial party could escape offworld and warn the Imperium of the horrors to come.
- Magos-Commodore Gnothis Trannarch - Magos-Commodore Gnothis Trannarch leads the Explorator Fleet KX-557.V in its mission of discovery, commanding from the bridge of the Lathe-class Monitor-Cruiser Eternity Bell. During its extensive travels in the Koronus Expanse, his Explorator Fleet has encountered many wonders, from semi-sentient nebulae to heretofore unknown xenoforms. Despite this, the Magos' attention has long been fixated on a world that exists as little more than rumour and legends. At some point in the Explorator Fleet's journey, Magos Trannarch heard tales of a world somewhere in the Expanse that is devoid of life, yet where great edifices and technological artefacts from Mankind's distant past are maintained, through purely automated means. Further scraps of evidence -- ancient legends, corrupted data-journals, and the ravings of savant-hermits -- lent further credence to the story. The Magos became obsessed with stories of this self-sustaining, artificial world, eagerly following up on any evidence or rumours of its existence. In recent years, the Magos has conducted his fleet with a new-found sense of purpose, as if he possesses some new, vital information as to the whereabouts of this phantom machine-world, and his obsession has become the driving force behind the fleet's route and activities. If the world can be found, it would provide a trove of insights into the miraculous works of the Dark Age of Technology. How such a world might have survived the Age of Strife virtually intact is in itself a vexing question, and to find the answer would be a great discovery. Recently, Trannarch has come into possession of information regarding the machine world that has brought him into conflict with Eldar pirates of the most depraved sort. Despite the loss of life, and the atrocities inflicted by these sadistic xenos, Trannarch shows no regret, and is more driven than ever.
- Magos Delphan Gruss - Delphan Gruss is a Magos Explorator who hails from the Forge World of Arenxis Minoris, far to the galactic south. After reaching the rank of Magos he spent several decades amongst the Explorator fleets where he developed a deep knowledge of pre-Imperial technology from rediscovered worlds. His research into Standard Template Construct (STC) legends has led him to believe in the existence of an artefact known as the Omnicopaeia -- a data-storage device containing every STC blueprint created during the Dark Age of Technology. He has made it his life's quest to find this revered item, and his search frequently brings him into conflict with local authorities, members of the Inquisition and unscrupulous treasure hunters. Magos Delphan Gruss is extensively cybernetically augmented and possesses two bionic arms. The left arm has been replaced with a bionic attachment known as a Breacher, designed to drill through slag piles and bulkheads and which is equally capable of boring straight through a person. Gruss also has a bionic head that houses a re-breather mask which complements his advanced bionic lungs. He also has two bionic eyes incorporating a motion tracker, a bio-scanner and range-finder gunsights. Like most Tech-priests of the Adeptus Mechanicus, he has Mechadendrites implanted within his body.
- Magos Paladius - Mentioned in the great logi-stack archives of Mars, Magos Paladius was sent by the Fabricator-General to oversee the study of a rediscovered Hellstorm Cannon from a destroyed Imperator-class Battle Titan known as the Aquila Ignis on the world of Kronus. The Aquila Ignis was later revealed to be a Titan of the infamous Legio Mortis that took part in the coup of the Dark Mechanicus during the Schism of Mars at the beginning of the Horus Heresy. The Imperator Titan had asaulted the Loyalist-controlled Magma City which was defended by the Legio Tempestus. Though the majority of the Legio Tempestus was destroyed, the Aquila Ignis was unable to escape the destruction of Magma City as Master Adept Koriel Zeth purposely self-destructed her beloved forge city, releasing a torrent of molten magma that destroyed the main body of the Imperator Titan, leaving only its Hellstorm Cannon behind. The remnants of the Titan's massive cannon were later found near the city of Ironworks Bay in the late 41st Millennium by the 1st Kronus Regiment of the Imperial Guard. The Tech-priests of Kronus had brought this massive war-trophy back to their homeworld from Mars millennia earlier. During his researches, Magos Paladius also discovered a pre-Heresy Aeolis-class Orbital Control Post, a more efficient cousin of the Kyber-class Tracking Station, capable of tracking all planetary activity and plotting courses to evade siege formations. This valuable STC artefact was thought to have been lost for all time. While continuing his explorations of Kronus, Magos Paladius also discovered a Zeus-class Relay and Control Station which possessed orbital artillery capabilities.
- Magos Varnak - Varnak was a Magos Explorator who oversaw the Adeptus Mechanicus outpost of Tyran Primus, the first of Mankind's worlds to feel the full wrath of the new threat known as the Tyranids, in 745.M41. Though Varnak's forces put up a fierce resistance, their efforts proved futile. As the outpost of Tyran Primus was overrun and Varnak's command bunker was breached, the Magos whispered a final prayer to the beneficent Emperor and triggered a switch, sending a data-codex plummeting into the depths of the base. This codex would be the Tyran outpost's enduring legacy, for it would be found months later by one Inquisitor Kryptman, the man who would go on to dedicate his life to opposing the Tyranid menace. This vital information painted a vivid portrait of the threat that the galaxy now faced in the form of the Tyranids, who were named after the first Imperial world they had consumed.
- Technoarchaeologist Arkhan Land - Arkhan Land is one of the most famous members of the Adeptus Mechanicus. For he rediscovered, at the very dawn of the Imperium during the Great Crusade, the lost STC template for a heavy armoured battle tank originally known as "Land's Raider" (later known as the Land Raider). These discoveries were made during Technoarchaeologist Land's great expedition into the fabled Librarius Omnis on Mars. The main aim of Land's expedition into the labyrinth catacombs of Mars was to find a fully functioning STC database. In this he failed, but two other discoveries were made which revolutionised technical thinking for millennia to come. The first was a near complete database of STC information about a heavily armoured main battle tank. The second discovery unearthed information on rare anti-gravitic plates, and theories on their uses, which eventually would lead to the construction of the first "Land's Speeder" (later known as a Land Speeder). Without Land's discovery it is likely that there would be no anti-gravitic vehicles remaining in use by the Imperium at all. Land would not live long enough to see the Land Speeder come into existence. The Land Crawler is another of the STC constructs re-discovered by Arkhan Land at the birth of the Imperium. Unlike the more famous Land Raider and Land Speeder, the Land Crawler is not a military vehicle but an agricultural one. Countless billions of Land Crawlers are used on Agri-worlds across the Imperium, where its versatility, ease of maintenance, and forgiving driving characteristics make it hugely popular. It has been argued by more than one Imperial historian that the humble Land Crawler is by far the single most important STC construct discovered by Arkhan Land; after all, even Space Marines need to eat. Land would later be killed on his second expedition into the Librarius Omnis, the victim of a psychic entity which destroyed his entire party. What secrets of the Dark Ages died with him remain a mystery.
- Chief Artisan Tilvius - Chief Artisan Tilvius rediscovered the lost STC database template for the Razorback armoured personnel carrier variant in the 36th Millennium whilst on an expedition across the Southern Rim of the galaxy. The Razorback find was the main triumph of his quest, although rumours abound that another STC template was found but has never seen production. After its rediscovery, the Razorback template was rapidly adopted by the Adeptus Mechanicus as part of the STC canon, and in just under 200 Terran years, the first Razorback was field-tested. Existing records had already indicated that a troop carrying variant of the Predator had been a forerunner of the Predator tank, and the Razorback seemed to fit the description closely. When Tilvius returned with evidence of the vehicle's existence, the Lords of Mars quickly recognised it. The omens were deemed good, and work commenced on the new vehicle's construction.
- "Too often, the meddling of humanity uncovers things it should not know, your kind's base thoughts unclouded by regret and driven only by reckless ambition. I think the universe would thank me if I killed you now, before you can do any greater harm."
- — Caedovir Oriosrith of Iliasanae's Weeping
- Discovery of the Hrud (Unknown Date.M31) - The vile xenos species known as the Hrud was discovered on a world in a region of space the Eldar warned the Adeptus Mechanicus Explorators to avoid. The Explorators did not trust the xenos' warning and entered the star system anyway, precipitating the first contact between humans and the Hrud sometime during the Great Crusade in the 31st Millennium. Classified as a hostile alien species after they destroyed the Explorator mission to their homeworld, the Astartes of the Iron Warriors Legion undertook a xenocidal war against the Hrud warrens on Gugann during the Great Crusade that nearly exterminated the species. However, Iron Warriors garrisons also suffered defeats at the hands of the Vulpa Strait migration of Hrud on Krak Fiorina, Stratopolae, and the Fortress World of Gholgis in the final years of the Great Crusade, proving that the Hrud remained a continuing threat to the Imperium.
- Discovery of the Tau (Unknown Date.M35) - The homeworld of the Tau race, T'au, was discovered in the 35th Millennium and catalogued by the Adeptus Mechanicus Explorator starship Land's Vision. They determined that its population of sentient xenos were a primitive people at the Stone Age level of development who had only just mastered fire. But over the course of six millennia they developed very rapidly as a space-faring species until they emerged as an extremely techncially advanced xenos species that is now seeking to build its own interstellar empire in the Eastern Fringe of the galaxy while pursuing an all-encompassing secular ideology known as the Greater Good.
- Discovery of Inculaba (998.M41) - Explorator Magos Marco Pteronus lead an archeological expedition to the Dead World of Inculaba, discovering a long-lost Adeptus Mechanicus geno-lab. During excavation of the site it was discovered that buried deep within the rock of this barren world were secrets that had lain undiscovered for 5,000 standard years. Secrets regarding a Founding of the Space Marines sometimes referred to as the Cursed Founding. The Cursed 21st Founding was the largest Founding of Space Marine Chapters since the Second Founding following the Horus Heresy. It had taken place in the 36th Millennium shortly before the start of the Age of Apostasy. Upon further explorations of the site, it was discovered that the geno-lab was indeed the site of the secret project known as "Homo Sapiens Novus," where Mechanicus Genetors attempted to perfect and remove the existing, identified deficiencies in flawed Astartes gene-seed, and ultimately begin the production of new and improved Primarch-like Space Marines. But their project was doomed to failure as the Genetors proved far less skilled in the genetic sciences than the Emperor of Mankind, and their efforts resulted in the development of seriously flawed gene-seed that was used to craft the organ implants for the new Chapters. A secret vid-log of the former project manager revealed the full extent of their failure. The most seriously afflicted Chapters exhibited spontaneous and extreme physical corruption, turning them into a race no longer human or sane. Most of the Space Marine Chapters Founded during this time eventually turned Traitor and swore themselves to Chaos or met a gruesome end at the hands of other Space Marine Chapters and the Inquisition's Ordo Hereticus. Others developed genetic idiosyncrasies, mutations that strained the tolerance of the Inquisition and threatened the Chapter's survival. The Founding itself ended when one of its projects, already corrupted by Chaos, sent a signal through the Warp and alerted the vile Traitor Fabius Bile to its existence. Bile was a former Apothecary of the Emperor's Children Traitor Legion who served Chaos Undivided by seeking out new recruits for the Traitor Legions. The Explorator team further discovered that there was a hidden laboratorium that contained three large incubation tanks with an enormous human male floating in amniotic fluid within each one. The physiology of these giants were similar to Space Marines, but the subjects were far larger than normal Astartes. Two of these tubes were obviously damaged, the fluid within cloudy and stagnant, but the third still appeared to be functioning. Autopsies were performed on two of the bodies while the revivification process was begun on the third. An agent of the Inquisition that had been inserted within the Adeptus Mechanicus some years ago reported the disturbing news of the discovery from the archaeological site on Inculaba. A Grey Knights team was despatched to prevent the sacred technology of this site from falling into the wrong hands. But by the time they arrived, they found no trace of the Adeptus Mechanicus Explorator team and no sign of their vessel. The site was as bereft of life as a world stripped by the Tyranids. There were no bodies discovered and no evidence of any attackers. Astropaths detected a residual Warp trail, but were unable to discern its direction. The site was then bombed from orbit with Cyclonic Torpedoes and all record of it was expunged from the Imperial bureaucracy. The Inquisition fears that what was on this world is now gone, taken by the agents of Chaos, and that they will eventually rue the day that this cursed place was discovered anew.
- Codex Imperialis (2nd Edition), by Rick Priestley, pg. 90
- Codex: Tau Empire (4th Edition)
- Codex: Tau (3rd Edition)
- Codex: Tyranid (5th Edition), pg. 9
- Imperial Armour Volume Two - Space Marines and the Forces of the Inquisition, pp. 49, 83, 117
- Imperial Armour Volume Ten - The Badab War - Part Two
- Index Astartes III, "Steel Chariots - Space Marine Land Raider"
- Planetstrike (5th Edition), pg. 54
- Rogue Trader: Core Rulebook (RPG), pp. 52-55
- Rogue Trader: Stars of Inequity (RPG), pp. 125-128
- Warhammer 40,000: Compendium (1st Edition), pg. 153
- Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor Core Rulebook (RPG), pg. 105
- Warhammer 40,000: Rulebook (6th Edition)
- Xenology (Background Book), pg. 80
- Mechanicus (Novel) by Graham McNeill
- Dark Adeptus (Novel) by Ben Counter
- Kill Team (Novel) by Gav Thorpe
- Dawn of War: Dark Crusade (PC Game)