Hive Sibellus from Scintilla orbit
Scintilla's most important features are its two hives: immense, multi-levelled cities that house billions of citizens. Both hives on Scintilla are largely independent, ruled by councils drawn from the nobles of the spire. The majority of the inhabitants are middle hivers, the labouring classes, without whom the planet's manufactories and trade houses would cease to function. Almost all middle hivers are owned or indentured to nobles from the great sector-wide families or from Scintilla's own lesser houses. The poorest and most neglected areas are the underhives: polluted, crime-ridden places where life is cheap and brutal gangs struggle for supremacy before violent death inevitably claims them. As long as the violence does not spill into the middle hives, the authorities are happy to let the gangs murder each other in the cesspits of the underhive. Scintilla's two great hives have always compared with one another for prestige and influence, but no rational observer could fail to acknowledge Hive Sibellus's dominance. Geographically the larger of the two hives, it is often referred to as "the Capital" or the "ruling hive", and is both the seat of political and administrative power, and the centre of the planet's manufacturing might. Hive Tarsus functions as a dark, shadowy twin, popularly referred to, by Sibellians, as the “Other Place". Hive Tarsus is a mercantile hive and controls all off world trade and commerce. Neither hive could function without the other, a fact celebrated in Scintillan proverbs and myths. However, neither great hive would openly admit to the importance of the "offspring" communities, Ambulon and Gunmetal City, both of which wield considerable influences of their own.
Population: Estimated 16,500,000,000
Area: 15,928 sq. miles
Principle Exports: Manufactured goods, ship-drive components and weaponry. It is also an important source of manpower with a huge underhive population which makes for an excellent Imperial Guard recruit source.
After being singled out and inducted into the service of the Inquisition, things have not gone as you have imagined them. Removed from your past life, you have been tested and measured, questioned and interrogated. But aside from a few lectures given in darkened chambers that left you sick to your stomach and a seemingly endless stream of codes and ciphers given to you to memorize and destroy, you have been left largely to your own devices. Lodging under a false name in an anonymous habblock in upper Hive Sibellus with many of the Administratum workers, you have been left waiting for weeks from a call from your masters for an assignment, or at least a verdict on your service.
The habitation is a step down for some of you, with a scant two rooms, spartan furnishing, and a few basic amenities. For some others, it may as well be a piece of Holy Terra, with clean running water, free electricity, three square, and privacy.
But, at last, the call has come. A blank eyed courier delivers to you a note featuring the cipher of the Holy Ordos. The message was simple and perfunctory, containing a time, a date, and a location. The instruction to come prepared and expect company is signed off with a simple epithet - The Emperor Protects.
The location is one of many similar buildings clumped together in the Administratum district of the hive, and it's through the bustling masses that you make your way to it, the only entrance unguarded. Inside is a simple waiting room, sterile and largely featureless, save for a single man, clearly modified, seated at a desk by a large, sealed door. He works quietly with an autoquill, ignoring you for the moment.
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