The origins of the Cestelle Alliance lie on the world of Regulus in the Hazeroth Abyss. Regulus was an agri-world run by the Administratum but when their adepts were all killed by a meteor impact, the small feudal kingdoms took over the management of their world. By the time contact with the Imperium was re-established, it was clear that the alliance of indigenous peoples was running the agri-world more efficiently than the Administratum, and the natives of Regulus were left to their own devices as long as their tithe of food was met.
From this string of events was born the Cestelle Alliance, the unified people of Regulus, who sent members to other, less promising worlds and transformed them over the following decades into fertile agri-worlds in their own rights, passing on enormous tithes to Sector Governor Hax’s government. Slowly, almost without the other Great Houses knowing, the Cestelle Alliance amassed the wealth and power to make them the equal of the other sector houses.
The Cestelle Alliance now controls many agri-worlds in the Calixis Sector. It has not escaped the notice of Lord Sector Hax that the Alliance, if it wished, could cut off food supplies to the sector’s most populated worlds and create a crisis of famine to hold the sector to ransom. To keep the Alliance firmly on the Imperial side, Hax has appointed Egoyan Cestelle as the governor of the Adrantis Nebula and continues to permit the Alliance rights to its agri-worlds.
The members of the Alliance must walk a curious tightrope between maintaining the traditions of their home worlds and kingdoms, and acting like fully recognized nobles of the Calixis Sector. The traditions of Regulus include facial tattooing (with the higher-ranking nobles sporting extraordinarily intricate scrollwork), incinerating the house’s dead on funeral pyres and praying to the Emperor in the raucous manner first taught to the people of Regulus by Imperial missionaries.
The Alliance participates in the sector’s games of politics and etiquette, even though it is considered little more than a gang of primitive yokels by most other nobles, but they are very reluctant to allow any interference on the planets they control, even resisting visits by adepts to their agri-worlds. Those few who have gone to a Cestelle Alliance world have sometimes reported wide-eyed tales of abased rituals around giant burning effigies. The Alliance goes to great lengths to show a sophisticated, aristocratic face to the Calixis Sector but some say they are unable to completely hide their primitive side. The colors of the Cestelle Alliance are red and golden yellow, and their emblem is a sea of crops, gently bending in the wind.
Many members of the Cestelle Alliance have sisters of the Orders Famulous serving their families, especially when negotiating and handling trade. Legatine Christal, a member of the Orders Famulous and from the Abbey of the Dawn, is often away from her Iocanthos fortress and has been spotted in recent years arranging a marriage between Friedrich Krin of House Krin and Josi Cestelle of the Cestelle Alliance on Scintilla. It is rumored that the Legatine even officiated at the actual ceremony and blessed the union on behalf of the Order.
The Cestelle Alliance was instrumental in the original creation of a series of collapsible bio-dome structures now known as “beetle tents” due to their distinctly insectoid profile, an easy to assemble portable bio-dome formed from polycarbonate sidings reinforced with plasteel rods. While not as easily transportable as a shelter made from cloth, beetle tents are far more durable in the face of hostile creatures and uncertain weather. Beetle tents have since passed into common use and are greatly favored by officers of the Imperial Guard. The Cestelle Alliance’s manufactora remain the largest producers of beetle tents in the sector, creating them in a variety of shapes and sizes. All of the Cestelle’s bio-dome structures are modular, allowing them to be linked into larger structures as necessary. The exterior of a beetle tent invariably includes some sort of camouflage scheme, usually a jungle-based one, though desert camouflage is also common. Beetle tents have AP 8 (Primitive), though they can be reinforced with armored panels for travelers expecting to encounter particularly hostile native fauna. There are two sizes of tent listed, holding up to a maximum of three or six adult humans respectively. The Extra Armor upgrade for a beetle tent increases its AP value to 12.
3 Person: Cost 60, WT 5kg, Common
6 Person: Cost 100, WT 10kg, Scarce
Extra Armor: Cost 80, WT +8kg, Rare