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Explorator teams discovered Phyrr a few decades after Lord Militant Angevin finished conquering the Calixis Sector, part of a massive effort by Sector Governor Drusus to survey and catalogue the Imperium’s newest domain. From space, Phyrr looked like a glimmering, blue–green jewel, with pristine oceans, rolling sun–warmed plains, and lush forests with a breathable atmosphere.
Though the water of Phyrr is pure and the air clean, every plant and animal on the planet is completely lethal to human life. If ingested, a handful of spores can kill a full grown man within an hour, and a bite or sting from any of the planet’s indigenous creatures slays more quickly than that. The gene–toxins contained within the animal and plant life of Phyrr devastate the cells of any non–native creature, quickly rendering that creature into a skeleton surrounded by a pool of bloody sludge.
After years of unsuccessful experimentation, the Magos Biologis declared there was no cure or inoculation against Phyrr, save a contained bio–suit. However, those same toxins so deadly to humanity are also extremely valuable to some of the more esoteric and incomprehensible industries of the Biologus branch of the Mechanicus so that the Administratum has bequeathed Phyrr to the Mechanicus as a harvest–world.
The Mechanicus keep a small spaceport and research facility on the larger of Phyrr’s two moons, and a larger harvest facility on Phyrr’s surface. The facility is staffed by criminals for whom Phyrr is considered a death sentence. Although the air is quad–filtered, the entire complex void–shielded, and the convicts equipped with bio–suits, a single failure to follow decontamination procedures kills dozens. The Mechanicus require “complete personnel replenishment” every few years. The Mechanicus remotely operate the facility from the moon base. They do not bother with guards or security systems since there is nowhere for the prisoners to escape. Should the convicts become violent or riotous, the Tech–priests are willing to switch off the air filters and let Phyrr’s nature take its course.
Ships seldom stop at Phyrr save the occasional heavily armoured convoy of the Mechanicus, arriving to pick up the accumulated stocks of bio–compounds. More rarely, prison scows arrive bearing a new supply of labour for the planet–side facilities. Chartist captains generally avoid the planet, for the Tech-priests of Phyrr are disinterested in trading.