Standard Template Construct
The Standard Template Construct (STC) systems were complex analytical and processing programs, artificial intelligences, created during the Dark Age of Technology (M21 - M23). They are said to have contained the entirety of human technological knowledge up to that point. Following the Age of Technology, the systems became increasingly rare, until becoming lost entirely. In the current Age of the Imperium, the ancient technological knowledge survives only because it was preserved in STC hard copies.
An intact Standard Template Constructor is described as a "machine, a vast device made of brilliant white ceramics, silver piping, chromium chambers". The Constructor is controlled by a panel beside it, with amber lights to show its activation. When activated, cowlings near the floor vented steam. When a new creation was finished, a hatch on its side would open up to allow the creation to be retrieved. [1a][1b]
STC's come in all shapes and sizes, with many not even being machines at all but rather simple blueprints or pieces of fragmented digital data. Others are huge mechanical constructs that can hold an array of construction templates while directly producing working operational prototypes. STC's seem to have some degree of artificial intelligence, as the construct on Necromunda orchestrated series of industrial sabotage actions against House Hera after they unwittingly launched a hacking attack against it it.
The Dark Age of Technology saw the original development of the technology the Imperium is now reliant on, which was encapsulated into the STC systems. Along with the creation of Warp Drive technology and the human mutants known as Navigators, the STC systems were one of the major factors in mankind's expansion outside the solar system and his conquest of the stars. The STC allowed disparate mankind to maintain a standard level of technology. A complete, functioning STCs system was an evolved computer designed to provide construction details for human colonists, enabling them to build efficient shelters, generators and transports without any prior knowledge and using almost any locally available materials. For example, the user simply asked how to build a house or a tractor and the computer would supply all the necessary plans.
The Age of Strife
During the Age of Strife, the STC systems lapsed into disuse and decayed, becoming increasingly unreliable and quirky. On some worlds they were maintained, but most suffered damage by enthusiastic software specialists or subsequent jury-rigging. Hard copies of the information they contained survived much longer, and were frequently copied and passed down from generation to generation.
Some Imperial historians have theorized that scientists during the Age of Technology foresaw the coming of the Age of Strife, and created the STCs to ensure that their knowledge would not be lost to future generations.
The Age of the Imperium
In the Age of the Imperium, working STCs are practically unknown. The recovery of fragments of an STC or the templates used in one is the primary focus of the Adeptus Mechanicus's quest for knowledge. Part of this quest is also to find, collate and utilise STC print-outs. The STC is their equivalent to the font of all knowledge (which is exactly what it was intended to be). Ancient recovered print-outs from STCs are regarded as sacred texts. The Mechanicus strives to recover as much information as possible from them, hoping to find new knowledge, weapons and technologies. Although the most advanced technological information eludes the Adeptus Mechanicus, through their efforts, much has been either recovered or reconstructed through comparison of copies.[Needs Citation]
Probably the most significant find of an STC fragment was by Magos Arkhan Land in M31. This fragment contained the templates for the construction of the now famous Land Raider Main Battle Tank, and the Land Speeder, all named in honour of their discoverer. An intact, functional STC is so rare in the galaxy as to be regarded as almost mythical, an impossibility. Nevertheless, even a rumour that such a system has been found is enough to prompt a Mechanicus expedition to locate it. If a working STC could be found, it would revolutionize the entire Imperium. The technologies lost during the Age of Strife would bring humankind back to its zenith of power, pushing the boundaries of the Imperium further, and emasculating the aliens threatening mankind.[Needs Citation]
Significant STC discoveries
- In M30, the STC designs for the Baal Predator were discovered on the planet of Atium III within the ruins of Arch-Heretek Lord de Ladt’s fortress by the Blood Angels Space Marine Legion. The Blood Angels refused to hand this STC over to the Adeptus Mechancius and current is still stored on the Blood Angel's homeworld of Baal.
- Sometime in M31, the Magos Arkhan Land discovered within the Librarius Omnis the STCs for Land's Raider-Pattern Main Battle Tank, Land's Crawler multi-purpose heavy utility vehicle, the Mars Universal Land Engine (the basis of the Onager Dunecrawler), and the information on rare anti-gravitic plates used in Land's Speeder, all of which are named for him.
- During the Great Crusade, the STC for the Leman Russ Battle Tank was discovered by the Space Wolves after they had destroyed the Noman xenos. They named the fruits of the STC in honor of their Primarch.
- After the Battle of Sixty-Three Nineteen, 3 new STCs were recovered from the planet Sixty-Three Nineteen, by the Luna Wolves Astartes Legion.
- Two STC fragments were captured from the Auretian Technocracy by the Warmaster Horus Lupercal prior to his rebellion against the Imperium. One for a new pattern of power armour, the other for lightweight solar generators capable of "supplying the power needs of an Epsilon 5 pattern forge complex".This technology was gifted to the Fabricator-General of Mars at the time, Kelbor-Hal, to secure his loyalty for the rebellion. The Technocracy had fully functional STC machines, however they were destroyed to prevent the Sons of Horus from capturing them.
- During the period known as "The Forging" in M32, a valuable STC database was rediscovered in the Cana System.
- In the end of the Icaria Crusade in M35, an ancient factory complex with databanks from the Dark Age of Technolog was located on Fornost by the Frateris Templars. The church bartered the knowledge of the location of these databanks in exchange for exclusive rights to any technologies stored within them. While the databanks only had half-formed STCs for a flame thrower equipped tank, these STCs were combined with the STC for the Rhino to create the Immolator subpattern.[16a]
- During the War of Recovery in 104.M36, several first generation copies of STC databases concerning certain individual technologies were recovered on the planets of the Mortuam Chain.
- In M36, the STCs for weapon suits known as the XV Bellam Ravager and Thermae Missile Suit were discovered by the Adeptus Mechanicus, but proved too difficult to reproduce.
- In M36, the STC for a larger chassis of Land Speeder was discovered, this would be used to created the Land Speeder Vengeance and Darkshroud variants.[27a]
- Following the Age of Apostasy the Centurion STC was discovered.[Needs Citation]
- Between 322.M39 - 384.M39, a STC database fragment, known as the "Aegis Data Fragments", was discovered in the Calixis Sector during the Angevin Crusade.
- Sometime prior to 189887.M39, Archmagos Plosk recovered five first-generation STC printouts.[18a]
- In 189887.M39, a complete STC database was discovered within the pre-Imperium void ship Spirit of Eternity. Despite resistance from the STC's A.I., Archmagos Plosk was able to download a significant fraction of the STC database before the ship managed to escape. This was an uncorrupted A.I., but it was insane with grief over the death of its captain.[18b]
- In M39, the STC template for the Omega Pattern Plasma Blastgun was discovered by Explorator Magos Valistle Hum'nal.
- Sometime in M40, the STC for improved jet engines was discovered by the Dark Angels, and named the "Lionheart" engine. These were used to create the Nephilim Jetfighter. The Dark Angels refuse to hand this STC over to the Adeptus Mechanicus.
- Prior to 775.M41, an STC for a combat knife was discovered by two Imperial Guard Scouts that was "sharper and lighter and tougher." They were hailed as heroes for this discovery, and received a planet each. The knife was adopted by 30 chapters of the Adeptus Astartes.
- Between 775.M41 - 778.M41, a Standard Template Constructor, designed to produce the legendary Men of Iron, was discovered on the planet Menazoid Epsilon, during the Sabbat Worlds Crusade by Colonel-Commissar Ibram Gaunt. However, the Constructor had been corrupted by the long-time occupation of the planet by the forces of Chaos, and so Gaunt ordered it destroyed, inadvertently thwarting the plans of Lord Militant Hechtor Dravere and Radical Inquisitor Golesh Heldane to use the Men of Iron for their own advancement.
- In 992.M41, the STCs for most of the Astraeus Super-heavy Tank were recovered by the Minotaurs chapter Astartes during the Perun Cross Incident.
- In 999.M41, an original STC Titan, a "Castigor-class autonomous bipedal weapons platform, created for fire support and siege operations", was discovered on the planet Chaeroneia. It was quite larger than an Imperator Titan and of superior technology. The Titan, and its STC A.I., were destroyed by a force of Grey Knights, although some data fragments remains were collected by the Adeptus Mechanicus.
- While connected to the Machine Spirit of the Ark Mechanicus ship Speranza, Archmagos Lexell Kotov discovered that the ship contained a complete and still updating STC database containing all the knowledge of the Men of Gold and their ancestors. He theorized that all Ark Mechanicus ships contained such a database, but that the priesthood have been unable to access the files. This information was wiped from his mind upon disconnecting from the ship's Machine Spirit.[19c]
- An unknown time before the events of Priests of Mars (Novel), Magos Ozimandian unlocked the STC engine fragment of Beta Umojas. This lead to a 5% paradigm shift.[19a]
- Less than half a millennia prior to the events of Priests of Mars (Novel), Magos Phlogiston discovered a near complete STC for a certain design of Titan-class plasma reactor kick-starter. The kick-starter was designed to bring the reactor up to full power in the shortest time possible. Among the missing data-fragments were components needed to prevent the kick-starter from driving the reactor into uncontrolled critical mass. Due to this, the designs were archived, instead of being put into production.[19b]
- An STC was discovered in the depths of Necromunda by a group that would eventually become House Van Saar. This STC is incomplete and flawed, releasing high levels of radiation on those who use it. One of House Van Saar's goals is to recover the missing pieces of this STC to stop the radiation.
- An STC called Panacea , a medical miracle that could save billions of human lives from poison and disease, was found on the Imperial Forge World Verdigris IX. It was stolen by the Dark Eldar Malys and her Kabal in the Panacea Wars.
- An STC library is located on the planet Hito. This planet escaped the Warp and was reclaimed by the Imperium. The library was hidden by the local Order of Heavenly Virtues who managed to deceive Imperial agents.
- The STCs for the Lion Pattern boltgun and "Inferno" pattern Avenger ground attack craft were discovered in the space hulk Olethros by a Dark Angels Terminator squad. The bolter's STC was found in the fused wreckage of a pre-heresy Dark Angels ship: Caliban's Will. Lesser STC fragments were also recovered, such as those for a industrial plasma cooler, bunker, and military cot. STC fragments for MKIV power armor and an Arc Rifle were also recovered throughout the Space Hulk.
- The STC schematics for a Geller Device aka an Empyeral Bomb was developed on the Forgeworld Velchanos Magna and deployed in an attempt to clear a nearby warpstorm. Unfortunately the device caused the warpstorm to envelop the planet and it was declared lost for centuries. The STC was rediscovered by Magos-Explorator Omnid Torquora in the wreckage of the Stella-Xenithica. In reality, the STC had been planted in the derelict as a trap by the Iron Warriors, in a ploy to capture both forgeworlds. Omnid destroyed all copies of the STC due to it causing the destruction of two entire forgeworlds and countless Mechanicus forces.
- The STC for a type of paint, provisionally known as Substance 145XX22, was rediscovered by a combined force of Skitarii and Imperial Guard. The paint bared a unique chemical composition and allowed for the painting of wargear to be completed in a much shorter time. While the Skitarii suffered heavy causalities in recovering the STC, it was secured for the Imperium by Commissar Trast. The discovery of this STC caused rebellion on several Hive Worlds responsible for painting vehicles and forced the Imperium to enact a full compliance action upon the citizens of the pigment-wells of Agrax. Due to this, the STC was suspected of being somehow corrupted by Chaos. The STC took several hundred years to be declared uncorrupted and fully sanctioned by the Senatorum Imperialis. For securing the STC, Commissar Trast was rewarded with a governorship over a low-level agri-world and naming rights of Substance 145XX22. Unfortunately, as it took several hundred years for the STC to be fully sanctioned, it is unlikely that Commissar Trast survived long enough to receive the reward.
- 1: First And Only (Novel), Chapter 23
- 2: Monastery of Death (Short Story)
- 3: Dark Adeptus (Novel)[Needs Citation]
- 4: White Dwarf 245 (UK), pg. 21
- 5: Codex Imperialis (Background Book), pg. 42
- 6: Codex: Dark Eldar (5th Edition), pgs. 16-17
- 7: Index Astartes: Centurions[Needs Citation]
- 8: The Horus Heresy Book Seven, pg. 81
- 9: Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader, pg. 271
- 10: Space Hulk: Deathwing, Chapter 4
- 11: Necromunda: Gang War III, pgs. 6-7
- 12: Horus Rising (Novel)[Needs Citation]
- 13: Adeptus Mechanicus: Skitarius (Novel)[Needs Citation]
- 14: Adeptus Mechanicus: Tech-Priest (Novel)[Needs Citation]
- 15: Codex: Skitarii (7th Edition), pg. 31
- 16: Imperial Armour Volume Two - Space Marines and Forces of the Inquisition, pgs. 83-84
- 16a:pg. 223
- 17: Codex: Dark Angels (6th Edition), pg. 73
- 18: Death of Integrity (Novel)
- 19: Priests of Mars
- 20: Imperial Armour - Apocalypse Second Edition, pg. 20
- 21: Warhammer 40,000 5th Edition Rulebook, pg. 124
- 22: Warhammer 40,000 6th Edition Rulebook, pg. 170
- 23: STC For Paint Rediscovered! (Last accessed September 22th 2019)
- 24:[Super-Heavy Tank Rules]
- 25:Mechanicum (Novel), Chapter 1.04
- 26: Imperial Armour Volume Two - Second Edition: War Machines of the Adeptus Astartes, pg. 64
- 27: Codex Supplement: Dark Angels (9th Edition)
- 27a: The Ravenwing, Darkshrouds pg. 17
- 28: Necromunda: House of Artifice pg.12-13
- 28a: pg.25