Eye of Terror
"All hope abandon, ye who enter here."
- – Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy
"So named as those inside are all terrified to turn their eyes towards the Imperium and Cadia"
The Eye of Terror or Occularis Malifica is the light years-wide black hole of chaotic psychic energy that is also the largest dimensional vortex between the Warp to the Materium and the birthplace of Slaanesh, created from the entire Eldar race's collective unconscious when they participated in a mass psychic resonance of galactic proportions. In layman's terms: they fuck-orgied-murdered each other so much all their orgasms merged into a living God Of Rape that ripped open a massive asshole into the very fabric of spacetime itself. The Eldar race had become decadent, depraved, horrifying, hedonistic, and indulgent in every possible sin and sexual vice imaginable. Yes, it is as
hot sick as it sounds.
The creation of this galactic laceration killed off the vast majority of the species in its boundaries, with any planets that remain being utterly fucked beyond comprehension after the Birth of Slaanesh. As a result the rest of the Eldar are living on Craftworlds or faraway planets, save for the BDSM addicts who are living inside the Webway. Currently, the Eye of Terror is home to the legions of traitor astartes, most of the surviving Primarchs, the greatest concentration of heresy in the materium and some unlucky Eldar who still live despite the fall (but more often than not in eternal rape.) According to the Warhammer Fantasy 8th Edition Daemons of Chaos army book, the Eye of Terror connects to the same Warp as Fantasy.
It seems in certain fluff, the Eye of Terror was named Cygnus x-1 which is an IRL black hole candidate (in fact, the first such identified) in the Cygnus Constellation. This makes absolutely no sense even by GW's standards, as the Eye was only created after the Fall, which occurred thousands of years after the real life modern date.
What it's like in there
Inside the Eye of Terror, nearly all is subject to the nutty whims of the Chaos Gods and their daemons. What this means is ANYTHING is possible inside this weird vortex. (And not possible, hey it's chaos after all!) So you have worlds in constant fluxes of change; worlds of decay where everything is kept horribly alive somehow; worlds of crystal lit from within by witchfires; and worlds made entirely from the bodies of slaves all merged and molded together... and again, somehow kept alive! It is literally a living physical hell, and any normal person going in without sanity checks will have their brains imploded. There are no maps or regions in this place - just the constant shifting battle-lines as the gods, daemons and their mortal followers battle to claim the worlds for their own.
As mentioned above, a lot of the worlds in the Eye of Terror were the old Eldar homeworlds, now referred to as the Crone worlds. There are lots of goodies still stashed away on these worlds and up for grabs, if you don't mind risking your eternal soul. Despite this, the Eldar (and other individuals cough inquistors cough) make the risky journey into the eye to acquire some loot, but most end up being corrupted or usually much worse.
The scariest part? The closer you get to the centre of the Eye (referred to as the Byysos), the weirder things get - even by Chaotic standards. Daemons and Traitor Marines will avoid getting close to it as things going near it don't tend to come back.
Despite it being an endless tempest of raw Eldritch power in the very fabric of physical creation, home to some of the most powerful and brutal warriors in the setting, it still does not deter or even frighten the Balls-of-Steel Imperial Guardsmen. This is because of the Cadian Gate.
The Cadian Gate?
Yes, the Cadian Gate.
Y'know how in those war movies, there's that one part where the soldiers are all hanging out partying before the shit hits the fan and they're pressed into service? That's kinda what the Cadian Gate is like to the Eye of Terror. Named after the planet nearest to it, the Cadian Gate is the most stable region around the Eye of Terror owing to the fact that large, strange artifacts of ancient alien design are found all over Cadia and its neighbouring planets. Because of its location in the Eye and because it's the only place not constantly fucked with Warp storms, Cadia (and indeed the entire Cadian Gate) is an enormous flash wherein the Chaos Legions raid the Imperium from their Daemon worlds - only to be completely and utterly WTFPWN3D in an ambush by 100 Baneblades and 75 Imperator Titans hiding behind a lamppost, the biggest of which happened during the Black Crusades.
The Black Crusades
As one might imagine, the Eye of Terror is both prison and safe harbor for Abaddon the Despoiler and his Black Legion. It is from here that the Warmaster musters his forces for the infamous Black Crusades, of which there have been thirteen over the last ten millennia. Barring a few (and we mean countable on 1 hand) suicidely difficult-to-navigate gaps, most of the Eye is kept bottled up by both the raging warpstorms permanently edging it, and the crashing waves of psychic force from the Astronomicon, creating an effect called the Firetide. Ships can't even get near the edge of the Eye without getting destroyed.
Ask any long-term fan of the franchise, and eventually you'd get jokes about how much an utter joke Abaddon was given how he's tried thirteen times and yet failed to even get close to destroying Terra, but as the end of 7th Edition showed, it seems that old Zeke has gotten the last laugh. As they say, thirteenth time is a charm...
The Gathering Storm
During the events of the Gathering Storm, the Eye of Terror changed dramatically. Here, Abaddon is attempting to besiege and control Cadia to force the Eye to expand, hoping to turn it into a giant eldritch laser cannon that would cut a swath through the galaxy and consume Terra itself in the process.
The launch of the 13th Black Crusade coincided with Belisarius Cawl realizing what the Cadian Pylons actually did, rushing to Cadia to help. Trazyn the Infinite then rocked up, and helped Cawl try and close it, because he was bored and wanted to participate in some galactic historical event. Their efforts did work and managed to slowly close the Eye of Terror to weaken the traitors (and Saint Celestine and the Legion of the Damned, consequently), but Abby finally had enough of being a Meme and decided to flip the table by crashing a Blackstone Fortress onto Cadia, which destroyed the planet plus the pylons, and caused the intended effect of having the Eye of Terror expand......but we can only imagine Abaddon wide-eyed and mouth agape when he saw that the Eye expanded in the wrong direction, before promptly losing his collective shit at this point.
Rather than cutting a swath straight through Terra, the Eye instead cut the galaxy in half by creating an almost-impassable wall of warp storms that stretched from Cadia to the Maelstrom, which is now called the Great Rift. There's only two corridors on this rift that can be safely traversed by mortals and they're all heavily contested by the Imperium and Chaos.
The other side of this region that isn't on Terra's side is called the "Dark Imperium", named so because they're cut off from the Astronomican, and by extension the Emperor's Light. As you can imagine, life in what can only be described as being trapped alone in a room full of serial killers is bad, but the Imperium perseveres, while Chaos is having a blast right now.
Known worlds in the Eye of Terror
- Belial IV: An Eldar crone world, it was one of the capital worlds of the old Eldar empire. Now it is a ghostly shell but rumoured to still house countless Eldar treasures... which of course is the perfect line to have a constant string of the elf-y bastards trying to loot the place without getting their assholes ripped apart in 11 dimensions by Slaanesh.
- Medrengard: The Iron Warriors homeworld in the Eye of Terror. It is basically one big city in constant industrial motion. It is here Perturabo sulks eternally, annoyed his playmate Rogal was silly enough to get himself killed.
- Bubonicus: A daemon world owned by a daemon prince of the same name in service to Nurgle. Visions of this place give psykers across the Imperium terrible
taco-shitsnightmares that probably have some sort of plague mixed in as a bonus. This plague-ridden planet is notable for its equator-spanning line-dance in the name of Nurgle, the dancers eventually mutating into Plaguebearers and breaking off so new mortals can endlessly take their place.
- Sortiarius, the Planet of the Sorcerers: The world given by Tzeentch to Magnus the Red and the Thousand Sons as their new homeworld after the end of the Horus Heresy. It is a world wrecked by warp storms and with towers thrusting out of the crust of the planet. Magnus mostly stays on the planet in his tower with a big eye on it, which is totally not ripping off Sauron, and plans his legion's campaigns
against the Imperiumfor getting more books to nerd out. UPDATE: No longer in the Eye, because Magnus pulled it into real space. JUST AS PLANNED!
- Plague Planet: The generically named world of Mortarion. He modeled it after a dark reflection of his homeworld, Barbarus, much to Typhus's displeasure.
- Oliensis: Devoted to Slaanesh, the entire planet is actually a colossal, morbidly obese man curled into a fetal position (yes seriously), who will eat you like a Dorito (and corrupt and regurgitate you) if you try to start shit there, as an unfortunate Space Marine chapter found out during a totally fun company-sponsored vacation trip. Home of the Noise Marines. There isn't much info on who Oliensis is or how he came to be so huge.
- Xana: the first and the biggest of the Dark Mechanicus Hellforges, and the primary place where traitors go to get new ships, tanks, daemon engines, armor, and guns and ammo to shoot at loyalist scum and each other. Unlike most other Hellforges that were normal daemon-worlds until DarkMechs colonized them, Xana used to be a Forgeworld before the Heresy, and got teleported into the Eye after the Heresy failed in what was pretty much a reverse version of the ritual that Magnus used later to teleport Sortiarius out.
- Fulgrim's Pleasure Planet: No one knows where it is and many have tried to find it, but since no one's succeeded yet it's safe to assume it's either located inaccessibly deep in the Eye or no one who actually located it bothered to leave and tell the others (Lorgar used the Webways to travel to the planet just before the Siege of Terra to pull Fulgrim back into command of his legion). Knowing the Emperor's Children, it's probably the latter.
- Sicarus: Homeworld of the Word Bearers, and where Lorgar sits on his sorry ass meditating all day. Kor Phaeron established his colony on this planet after the Battle of Calth, and the Word Bearers moved in later during the Great Scouring. The planet is basically a Chaotic version of Terra, right down to its "planet sized temple" status, and it's ruled over by a Dark Council rather than Lorgar himself. The largest cathedral, the Templum Inficio, is reserved for Lorgar and his heresy-fueled meditations.
- Drakaasi: One of the few Khornate daemon worlds (that we know about), this paradise features everything you'd expect from the Blood God: vast oceans of blood turning it into a red version of Venice, arenas and fighting pits around every block, a massive graveyard filled with huge-ass weapons converted into residencies, and of course a battlefield to add skulls to the skull throne. A rather interesting feature is a massive crystalline structure, which plays music dedicated to Khorne himself. Huh, guess he is a man (god?) of culture after all.
- Harmony: A major base for the Emperor's Children, this is the planet where Fabius Bile created his homemade, collector's edition Horus clone. It was later attacked by Abaddon during his big temper tantrum against the III Legion, and he had the planet's fortress, Canticle City, blown up by a falling Cruiser.
- Maeleum: The other "Chaotic Terra" in the Eye, this is where the Sons of Horus stored and worshiped their Primarch's corpse after he got his ass kicked by Emperor, until it was stolen by the Emperor's Children. Some time after the planet's abandonment, Abaddon discovered a destroyed Black Templars strike cruiser on the planet's surface, which provided him with information on the current status of the Imperium. Still later a Death Guard Sorceror Lord named Thagus Daravek used pieces of the planet's crust as ammunition against the Black Legion, though he basically missed every shot.
- Logans World: A barren place where humans and Orks fight for survival in the planet's hostile environment. We still don't know who the eponymous Logan is though. It's worth mentioning that this planet seems to be one of the few "mundane" worlds in the Eye that we know about, as well as one of the few that is firmly under Imperial control.
- Temporia: A Tzeentch-aligned Hellforge overflowing with factories, Daemon Engines, and other horrible contraptions. The Dark Mechanicus stationed here managed to yank the planet out of orbit from the Eye of Terror, using said depraved machinery to assault the Cadian Gate during the 13th Black Crusade. The Dark Mechanicus's rule is currently being contested by the Adeptus Mechanicus from the Forge World of Agripinaa. So far they seem to be in a stalemate.
- Urum: A Crone World that serves as the main base of Fabius Bile and his Consortium. Don't even ask what goes on in here (Hint* it is good, wholesome, pure fun).
- World of Immortal Sorrows: A Crone World ruled over by Elyssar'sirath, a Daemon Prince of Slaanesh. Basically the absolute worst place to be in realspace if you're an Eldar, though it might be best to avoid it if you're a human as well.
- Eidolon: At one point the location of the Blood Angels relic Encarmine, before it was recovered by Captain Leonatos on his Blood Quest. It was a semi-medieval world controlled by four Daemon Princes, as well as a MEMBER OF A TRAITOR LEGION THAT SOMEHOW STOLE DARK ANGEL ARMOR TO DISGUISE HIMSELF.
Important Personages in the Eye of Terror
- Chaos Gods - You can't get higher than the arch-dukes of evil themselves. They each claim the worlds of the Eye as their own and spend every second warring to gain control of them, like supervillains trying to outdo each other in world-conquering plots. Khorne's plots focus on slaughtering everyone off each planet. Slaanesh tries to recreate his/her/its super dick move orgasm attack to take over worlds by overloading the inhabitants' very own metaphysical assholes into impossible geometries that would make Euclid's brain asplode. Tzeentch tries to use his clever plots and elaborate deathtraps to take over, even if Failbaddon the Armless is the most frequent victim of such elaborate superdickery. Nurgle just prefers to wait patiently for everything to wear out and rot everything away - good for him, not for anyone else.
- Daemon Primarchs - Each a legendary or at least major player in the Eye, some of the traitor Primarchs have their own worlds while others head the efforts of the different Chaos Gods to claim more for themselves. Because each traitor Primarch is nuttier than a fruitcake by now, they each have different, diverse reasons for warring in the Eye for control.
- Angron - He just wants to kill and rage, as the nails in his daemon-brain make him ever crazier with each passing aeon and his only relief from the rage is MOAR RAGE. Giving worlds to Khorne is just a bonus.
- Fulgrim - No one knows where the fuck he OR his ultimate pleasure world/palace is, but it gives relentless incentive for other traitors to find it. Abaddon met with him on a different planet, so he does get out sometimes, but it's probably pretty rare. After all, with a planet that's supposedly the ultimate pleasure planet, why would anyone want to leave it? Confirmed to have responded to Roboute getting back up by pouting. Fucking weak man.
- Magnus the Red - He rarely leaves his private tower, but he theoretically constantly aids in Tzeentch's vast plans to conquer everything and sometimes comes out to beat up Space Wolves. /tg/ likes to joke that he spends most of the time screaming Just As Planned every time he manages to accomplish common household tasks like dusting the blinds or pouring hellmilk over his daemon-cereal, just to massage his fragile ego after the monumental fuckups his plans seem to keep running into. He's still very much active, though. Apart from fursecuting the Wolves, he fought and chased Roboute Guilliman when he escaped from Kairos' clutches, but was stopped after he was banished by a contingent of Custodes and Sisters of Silence, when he managed to corner Big G at Luna.
- Mortarion - Has his own sweet planet, which he made into a home from home. Like most of the others, he rarely leaves his private quarters, in case his presence makes the plot edge forward. Oh, and the last time he left his planet, a certain someone graffiti'd his heart. Change, after all, is anathema to a Nurglite. Plus, well... would you invite someone whose B.O. could devastate an entire world without him lifting a finger to your little party? Typhus canonically despises Mortarion for just sitting in his planet and never doing anything and also for his insufferable sentimentality. He's now up-and-about though, he invaded Ultramar, but was stopped by Guilliman, and the Chaos Gods who decided to get into the action and annex some of Nurgle's territory, forcing him to abandon the Ultramar campaign and go back.
- Lorgar - Has been meditating since the end of the Horus Heresy, and has literally done diddly squat since then. Infact his most noteworthy action for gods know how long is teaching Abby how to summon daemons for his Black Crusades. He doesn't even lead his legion anymore, and he assigned that role to his Dark Apostles instead. He's basically the biggest NEET amongst the primarchs. He did fight against a Warp-mutated Corax in the 41st Millennium.
- Perturabo - The guy who named the place. Mostly stays sulking on his private planet because his sore mood prevents him from getting down to the hard and heavy of fighting. Occasionally he gets off his couch to devastate a Forge World or two. Launched a massive offensive to take many Imperial Worlds after the Great Rift.
- Abaddon the Despoiler - Jokes about his incompetence and lack of arms aside, Abaddon didn't get to be the Warmaster of the Black Legion for nothing. If your force runs into his in the Eye, it's probably in your best interest to either submit to the Legion and be subsumed, or run for the hills and pray to your evil gods he's got something better to do.
- Fabius Bile - A key player in the Eye, as he produces clone warriors for the traitor legions to boost their ranks and seeks ways to further improve on their genes. Such biological evil pleases Slaanesh immensely, even if Bile himself has no love for Chaos in general, seeing that they no longer have anything to offer him. The definition of Vetinari Job Security, the guy is hated and despised by even other heretics, but he is needed by them all so they can't afford to kill him.