|Map||Basic Data||Planetary Image|
|Class:||Previously Civilised World, Adeptus Astartes Homeworld, Tomb World[9c].|
Now Dead World though being restored[9b]
|Tithe Grade:||Previously Aptus Non, now n/a|
Sotha, located in the Ultima Segmentum, is the home world of the Scythes of the Emperor Space Marine Chapter. The Chapter's Fortress-monastery, the Space Station Aegida, is located in its orbit.[9b]
Although once part of Ultramar, by M41 Sotha was the cardinal world of the Sotharan League which included many other planets in the local region.
The Great Crusade
Sotha was discovered by the Ultramarines Legion in 882.M30[5a] and brought into the Five Hundred Worlds of Ultramar.
In spite of an ideal ecosphere, there were no initial signs of previous human or xenos occupation, but after initial exploration of Mount Pharos an ancient structure of alien origin was discovered. Access to the entire world was restricted by order of the primarch Roboute Guilliman, with only a small agricultural colony to support the ongoing archaeological survey mission. The 199th Company of the Ultramarines was established as an '‘Aegida’' (shield-company) and left to garrison the world.[5b]
The company took on a badge of a scythe to represent the assistance of the local agricultural workers in clearing the vegetation.[5c]
The Horus Heresy
At the height of the Horus Heresy, at Guilliman’s command the renegade warsmith Barabas Dantioch of the Iron Warriors had been sent to Sotha to uncover the secrets of the Pharos, and succeeded in opening up instantaneous communication channels with distant Macragge. The Pharos was found to be an empathic device of ancient xenos construction, and provided a directional beacon for navigation in the absence of the Astronomican.[5d]
The planet was designated by Sevatar as a rendezvous point for the Night Lords fleet elements after the disastrous conclusion of the Thramas Crusade. It is unclear whether or not he knew of the significance that the planet had attained before giving this order. The Sothan rendezvous point was used by Gendor Skraivok, commanding the 45th Company aboard the strike cruiser Umber Prince. Two other Night Lords vessels, the Domninus Noctem and Shadow Blow, used this rendezvous point but left it after completing repairs. Some time later, a smaller Night Lords fleet under captain Krukesh the Pale, commander of 103rd Company and member of the Kyroptera, arrived and Krukesh inducted Skraivok and the Umber Prince into his order of battle. Night Lord forces under Krukesh's command launched an attack on the Sotha System that resulted in the Battle of Sotha.
In the aftermath of the battle, the emblem of the 199th Company of the Ultramarines was awarded by Roboute Guilliman with two crossed scythes as a symbol of their victory. After the formation of the Codex Astartes, the 199th continued to oversee Sotha as the Scythes of the Emperor, making the world their base of operations.
The Second Tyrannic War
In the last decade of M41, reports began to reach Sotha of unrest and rebellion spreading along the Eastern Fringe. Chapter Master Thorcyra sent Captain Cassios and the Scythes' Fifth Company to crush any uprising before it could begin before himself heading north into the Saphir Cluster. After a year, garbled communications reached Sotha from the Fifth of a widespread xenos incursion into the galaxy — this turned out to be the work of Genestealer Cultists on behalf of the Tyranids of Hive Fleet Kraken.
A general recall was issued, summoning every single battle-brother of the Chapter back to Sotha to aid in the defence of their home world. Secretly, the best and the brightest of the youth of Sotha were evacuated, as it was already suspected that it was too late to halt the alien menace and new recruits would soon be required to replace losses and rebuild the Chapter.
The invasion began with a single Hive Ship which appeared at the edge of the system. Sergeant Remas led a boarding mission to halt the ship but barely escaped with his life. Soon afterwards, a rain of Mycetic Spores brought billions of Tyranid creatures to the surface. They swarmed over the defensive barricades and the Scythes of the Emperor were decimated. The survivors were evacuated by the Chapter's remaining Thunderhawks, and fled to the death world of Miral to rendezvous with the returning Chapter Master Thorcyra.
Sotha was completely consumed by the Tyranids, and every single human serf and Chapter servant was lost. Later, Thorcyra's successor Thrasius described Sotha as having been reduced to "mere rubble in space".
During the Age of the Dark Imperium, Belisarius Cawl led an expedition to Sotha to study the Pharos along with the Scythes of the Emperor and Decimus Felix.[9d] However, the Scythes Chapter Serfs were infiltrated by the same Genestealer Cultists that had previously ravaged Sotha. During the fighting, the Scythes' Chapter Master, Thrasius, died slaying a Genestealer Patriarch while the rest of the Scythes Firstborn perished.[9a] Meanwhile the Pharos collapsed, and Cawl was forced to flee the world after the C'tan Zarhulash escaped from its bindings and the Pharos was destroyed. Cawl originally had intended to rebuild the world, though he stated this would take some time.[9b]
- Blackrock Mountains - A mountain range.[9e]
- Mount Pharos - Largest mountain of the Blackrocks. The fortress-monastery of the Scythes of the Emperor formerly sat here.[9e]
- Sothopolis - Coastal city.
- Tegean Wetlands[11a]
Flora and Fauna
Known flora and fauna prior to the tyranid invasion include:
These species are presumably extinct following the consumption of the planet's biomass.
Notably, there are no strains or breeds of horse native to Sotha. Despite this, the Company Banners and Chapter Standard of the Scythes of the Emperor prominently feature horses, believed to represent mythical horses from tales told by Oberdeii, Warden of the Pharos and first Chapter Master of the Scythes of the Emperor.[11b]
- 1: Orphans of the Kraken (Short Story)
- 2: The Shadow of the Beast (Short Story)
- 3: White Dwarf 306 (UK), pg. 52 - Index Astartes: Purge the Alien
- 4: Prince of Crows (Novella),[Needs Citation]
- 5: The Unremembered Empire (Novel)
- 5a: [Needs Citation], pg. 35
- 5b: [Needs Citation], pg. 36
- 5c: [Needs Citation], pg. 40
- 5d: [Needs Citation], pg. 42
- 6: The Blood of Sotha (Short Story)
- 7: A Safe and Shadowed Place (Short Story) — Death and Defiance (Anthology)
- 8: Pharos (Novel), [Needs Citation]
- 9: Belisarius Cawl: The Great Work (Novel)
- 10: The Aegidan Oath (Short Story) - Scythes of the Emperor (Anthology)
- 11: Slaughter at Giant's Coffin (Novel) - Scythes of the Emperor (Anthology)
- White Dwarf 218 (UK), pg. 80 The Coming of the Great Devourer