Hive Desoleum Primus
Legend has it that the eponymous and most populous of the three great hives of Desoleum was founded during the Great Crusade. The plains of solidiﬁed minerals attracted industry very quickly, and it became a major foundry for the war eﬀort, producing lasguns by the millions. The hive contributes large numbers to the Desoleum Involute Cadres, and at least one division is permanently stationed near the great hive for the city’s defence from threats from both within and without. Those Cadres drawn from Hive Desoleum are highly regarded, providing manpower to the Desoleum Oathsmen Grenadiers, the world’s Imperial Guard regiment known for its expertise in prosecuting urban threats.
The Consortium of Desoleum Primus
The ultimate masters of the hive city of Desoleum Primus, the Consortium, exist at the apex of a rigid system of fealty and servitude. The hive is ruled by the maintenance of unimaginably strict bonds of obedience, enforced by the implementation of a network of oaths that intertwines every single level of its highly stratiﬁed society. This complex web links every possible sphere of life, regulating everything from the subtlest of manners to the span of years a worker-serf can expect to live. All hivers carry a special cogwork device that indicates their work area and their oath of servitude. Those above them hold these oaths in their own oath-cogs, micro-embedded as tiny wheels, each an intricate snowﬂake of brass and wire. The more dominions under an oathholder, the more elaborate the device. Lady Desoleum’s oath-cog, encompassing the entirety of oaths throughout the hive and across the planet, is supremely ancient and dense, a massive snowstorm of whirling cogs that takes years to alter for new oaths. It is brought out only for affairs of state, as it is far too heavy for normal wear. Entire cloisters of Mechanicum drones exist purely to maintain its proper functioning, and legend says that should it freeze up, the hive would surely collapse.
At present, and indeed for much of the world’s history, the pre-eminent ruler of Hive Desoleum has held the oﬃce of planetary commander by dint of the sheer weight of power. The other two great hives are reluctant subjects, however, and at times their own leaders have conspired to usurp Primus’ position through subtle assassination or outright war. The Consortium is made up of several hundred mercantile interests of many diﬀerent types. Some are small dynasties controlling relatively minor concerns; others are mighty indeed, controlling many and diverse segments of Desoleum’s industry. The largest of these are referred to as the Great Houses, and account for around a dozen interests. The most well-known of the Great Houses of the Consortium are Gotha, Rhomana, Kotromahn, Elden, Konstant, Grym-Zollern, and Rosa. All other than Rosa have held their seniority for many generations, while Rosa is a new entry into the ranks of the Great Houses. Exactly how it engineered its meteoric rise is unknown, though vicious but unsubstantiated rumours abound.