Kokytos is an Ice World controlled by the Severan Dominate and located in the Periphery Sub-sector of the Calixis Sector. It is currently a front line in the conflict consuming the Spinward Front. A tragedy of epic proportions, there is little good that can come from the continued war on Kokytos. Both the Imperium and the Severan Dominate have spent countless lives on its brutally frigid surface in battles that are unlikely to affect anything beyond the planet’s boundaries. Since the Dominate's secession, leadership on both sides decided that this world could be a lynchpin in the war. Even though this belief is clearly false, all seem compelled by pride to honour that initial view and continuously escalate the engagement.
Native legends suggest that Kokytos was initially colonised by humanity when it was a temperate planet, with a climate well-suited to human habitation. This ancient effort took place long before the time of the Great Crusade, as the world and its population were only reconnected with the Imperium during the waning days of the Angevin Crusade. By that time, its climate had substantially changed -- apparently, an Ice Age had begun in the intervening millennia. A few surviving records from the initial contact between the explorers and the local population suggest that the world's natives were anxious to leave the world for a warmer climate. Unfortunately for the inhabitants, early exploration revealed that Kokytos possessed a substantial reserve of Promethium, deep beneath its icy crust. In short order, the population were assigned the task of mining this valuable resource for the good of the Imperium.
When the War of Secession with the Severan Dominate erupted, Imperial forces targeted Kokytos, under the belief that the world's Promethium reserves represented a critical asset for the war effort. The Severan Dominate exerted a significant effort so that they might retain access to these same reserves. Ultimately, this decision was a tragic mistake, as the planet's Promethium supply is now largely exhausted. Now, with little of value, both sides continue to wage a grim war across the cold and barren surface for control of a near-worthless rock.
The average daytime surface temperature on Kokytos is well below the freezing point of water. At night, it is significantly colder. Harsh winds continuously blow across its frigid surface. All of the planet's oceans are believed to be entirely enclosed by the seemingly endless ice and snow.
Ancient records indicate that Kokytos once had a robust population of indigenous life forms, including a broad variety of plants and animals capable of surviving under its extreme cold. Since the outbreak of war, sightings of these specimens have become progressively rarer. Some posit that the species are dying from the increasingly dangerous conditions, while others suggest that the surviving species have simply gone into isolation to escape the ongoing extreme cold.
Prior to the Severan Dominate's secession from the Imperium, much of the world's human population was largely self-sustaining, as it dwelt within isolated domes, designed to protect the human communities from the extreme weather. Vast hydroponic gardens were maintained by each of the communities, providing the citizens with ample food supplies that could be renewed throughout the seemingly endless cold. However, virtually all of these cities were destroyed in the opening months of the battle to control Kokytos. This has left most of the planet's population struggling to survive in the brutal environment with little in terms of survival gear or food. Unless something is done to change the severity of the environment, it is unlikely that any of the local population will survive the war effort, regardless of who might ultimately win.
- Only War: Core Rulebook (RPG), pp. 346-348
- Only War: Enemies of the Imperium (RPG), pp. 8-31