“Rest you well my pretty one, and keep you safe the long night through.
Stray you not from the light, to crooked stair and darkened door,
For the Sleepers wait there empty eyed, my child,
With a clockwork kiss to still your heart.”
— Lullaby fragment translated from the local dialect, Hive Gloriana, Solomon
Solomon is a heavily polluted hive world in the Markayn Marches of the Calixis Sector. It is the seat of power for Cardinal Yvenna, Cardinal of the Markayn Arch-Diocese and member of the Sector Synod. Solomon is also home to the Chancellery Court, the seat of power for the Departmento Munitorium in the sector. Solomon is also home to the Adepta Sororitas library-keep of the Sanctum Dialogous (whose contents are forbidden on pain on death to those without Inquisitorial clearance). Solomon was the site of the “Morningside Incident” which was caused by the arch-heretek Magos Vathek.
The Chancellery Court on SolomonEdit
Solomon is a poisoned and decrepit hive world, given over almost exclusively to meeting the demands of the Departmento Munitorium by millennia-old accord. The callous and unflinching needs of the Munitorium has rendered the planet barren and despairing. Solomon was long ago chosen to house the labyrinthine edifice of the Halls of the Chancellery Court, resulting in the planet’s becoming the Munitorium’s seat of power in the Calixis Sector. The Chancellery Court is a conglomeration of legal apparatus, chambers, and archives that deals in the nightmarishly tangled business of Administratum, Munitorium, and High Terran Civil Law.
The court is outside of the remit and control of the Lord Sector or any other petty authority. Its halls, heavy in solemnity and ritual, process an endless stream of claim and counter-claim, suites, actions, inquests, infractions, disputes of rights, and privileges. It disposes of great estates and rules on petty misdemeanors with equal gravitas and grinding implacability. It is a place where the flick of an auto-quill can raise up a pauper to governorship or condemn a world to starvation.
Such is the size and complexity of the Chancellery Court’s workings that a large district of Hive Gloriana on Solomon is given over to housing it and the infrastructure required to keep it working. Thousands of advocates, quastors, and prefects stalk its halls, whilst beneath them tens of thousands of scribes, notaries, clerks, runners, and menials endlessly toil.
In theory, with the direct authority of the High Lords of Terra behind it, there is no greater temporal authority in the Calixis Sector. Even the office of the Lord Sector must obey the rulings of its highest court, the Consistorial Chamber, without question. In practice, however, the effect is somewhat different, as the whole system is soul-crushingly slow, pedantic, and obtuse to the point of insanity, with cases dragged out for years, decades, or even centuries. As a rule, the more important the case, the longer will be spent on hearings, reflective recesses, counter-cases, and endless deliberation and ritual. Some petitioners simply die waiting for a judgment, their whole lives simply suspended in limbo while a court decides their fate. In some infamous cases, the proceedings have passed down through the generations.
As might be imagined, such dreadful inertia often leads those who have the means to seek to accelerate the legal process or circumvent it entirely by unsavory means. Certainly deception, bribery, coercion, assassination and mass murder are all tools to be used when trying to expedite a Chancellery case. Indeed, a twilight community of reclaimators, moneylenders, and information brokers has grown up in the Court’s long shadow.
The Court’s judgments, though slow to conclude, can cause far greater strife than any single dispute or its consequences, as the ruling’s power is absolute and enforceable by the harshest measures. Many such rulings are enacted without exception, even though the cause or need of them might have long ceased to be relevant. Fortunes are wiped out, populations uprooted, and innocents condemned for the crimes of their forbearers---their fate decided at the blow of a High Jurist’s gavel.
The Hell House on SolomonEdit
The hive world of Solomon is a dark place, much given to legends and myths. One such story speaks of the Hell House. It is a myth that seems intimately linked with the shadowy operations of the Beast House, which operates here almost entirely in the shadows of the underhives with no official recognition of its existence at all.
The so-called Hell House is said to be a vast decrepit spiremansion whose wealthy owners retreated from their polluted world and sealed themselves up within, using their resources to turn their home’s lower vaults into a museum for their collection of forbidden xenos beasts and mutated creatures. Legend has it that, as the years passed, the family grew ever more corrupt and insane and that they drank alien blood and conducted unspeakable experiments to keep themselves young and grant them unnatural powers. They grew increasingly obsessed with furthering their collection and obtaining the most deadly and strange xenos creatures, so that they in turn could feast on them and grow ever more powerful. It is said that in order to further their terrible ends, they gathered feral world killers and murderous beast hunters to provide them with new specimens, eventually leading them to create terrible living gholams to abduct victims to feed their awful collection.
The myth of Hell House is but one of a dozen such stories along the lines of the Sleepers, the Resurrected, the great Beast of Solomon, the night-heeled ripper and many more that intertwine and point to some dark truth beneath the world’s façade of civilization. Stories of the Hell House have been whispered for countless years and are particularly persistent in the smoke-levels of Hive Gloriana, where sudden spates of disappearances and the discovery of mutilated bodies are blamed on it. The local enforcers dismiss such assertions as foolish dreg nightmare stories and wanton scaremongering, but it is a telling fact that the stories are told and re-told in the gynsinks and Lyceums near where the Beast House organization is rumored to have links to the pit fights and gambling halls. For those investigators with an interest in hive folklore, it is noteworthy that in the oldest versions of the fable, the Hell House is sometimes called the “the House of Cages” and the name of the head of the decaying family at its heart is Sire Kor Sank, the beast father.
The Three Daughters of Atropos Edit
In 799.M39 the hive city of Atropos on Solomon, a citadel with a population of more than 100 million, went mad in a single night. The culmination of a nightmarish plot long in the making, this terrible night of insanity and wanton murder was the work of the Master Sorcerer Alrac the Broken. Long a foe of the Calixis Sector, born beyond the Emperor’s Light, founder of a dozen cults, and author of the thrice-cursed grimoire the Liber Noctis Eternem, Alrac had come to Solomon to kill this vital Imperial world in order to pay off a dark pact struck centuries before with the hellish forces beyond. As the death toll rose steadily into the tens of thousands and Atropos tore itself to shreds, violent chem-storms engulfed Solomon, and madness began to leap from ship to ship in orbit. With every drop of blood shed, Solomon tipped toward the Chaotic destruction of a full-blown warp incursion on a planetary scale. At the center of this whirlpool of violence, Alrac took the high-prelate’s throne in the gore-spattered Cathedral of Saint Morgana at the pinnacle of the Hive Spire and began his ascension to daemonhood as the gates holding back the warp began to shatter.
Plunging through the storm like a bolt from the heavens came Angelique De Falk’s gun-cutter. It had been pure chance she had been in the outer Solomon system taking on supplies in preparation for a long journey to a distant Inquisition fortress. Ill-prepared for a major confrontation, she was accompanied only by a number of junior Acolytes in training and her personal staff. Although long past the prime of her life, De Falk’s mind was sharp and her power greater than ever. So it was that in order to save Solomon and countless Imperial lives, three of De Falk’s Acolytes gave themselves up to damnation aboard her ship in hurried rituals of terrible power. The gun-cutter smashed its way into the twisted cathedral to confront Alrac at the moment of his dark apotheosis, and De Falk and three bound daemonhosts of dreadful potency confronted the ascending arch-sorcerer. The details of what occurred in the battle have never been revealed, but it is known that Alrac was torn asunder at the moment of his triumph and Atropos scoured clean. De Falk’s shattered body was borne away by her last surviving sorrowful ‘daughter,’ and she was never seen again. Whether she lived or died remains a mystery.
The Matter of SolomonEdit
A web of conspiracy exists in the underhives of Solomon that has resisted attempts to dig it out from its roots for more than a millennium. The Sleepers---to give them their popular name---have long lived in local legend as the face of the night’s terrors on Solomon, and their existence has become a part of the fearful landscape of this blighted hive world, a tale to frighten children that is both disturbing and very real. What little that can be ascertained is that the cult (if cult it truly is) resists all attempts to track it down to the source, and the local authorities have largely given up trying to do anything but contain it.
The Inquisition, however, is aware of the truth that this seeming complacency hides a genuine fear of the Sleepers on the part of Solomon’s ruling elites, and the evidence of failed operations to find them in the past has long been suppressed. In its choice of victim, the Sleepers seem only to abduct people from the fringes of society and those who stray where they shouldn’t, further enhancing their mythic status. The cult’s abductors, known as “husks,” in the local slang for their pale and malnourished state, are little more than living human automatons. When caught or killed, they remain completely silent, untraceable, beyond interrogation, and utterly blank to the strongest psychic probing as to their origins. Who the real Sleepers are is a question that has concerned the Holy Ordos for generations, but not something it has ever been able to discover, although several Inquisitors have gone missing in trying to do so. One persistent theory, the origin of which is difficult to place, holds that the Sleepers are in fact a highly secret Radical faction of the Inquisition itself; some stories claim Isstvanian in doctrine. Their goal, it is said, is to create a state in the human mind where the horrors of the universe can no longer touch it, and their experiments in fear and madness have been going on for more than a thousand years without end.
Artifico-Biologis, 0.5 I Hypo Pistol
Class: Exotic (Hypo Pistol)
This compact and intricate handgun, crafted from clockwork and brass, is a Cult Mechanicus device used by the Magos Biologis and their agents to subdue living specimens. By the use of a cunningly fashioned mechanical spring, it fires a short-range injector dart fitted with a penetrating filament that delivers a chemical payload directly into the target’s bloodstream. Nominally a tool for the Biologis or Medicae, it is actually quite commonly found in the hands of bounty hunters, criminal scum or even enforcers who want to take their prey alive. The weapon has its most sinister reputation on the hive world of Solomon, where an often-purged and darkly fabled cult known as the “sleepers” have been using these devices to abduct victims for so long that they and their predations have become a tale to frighten children.
The usual payload for a hypo pistol is strixis tincture, a powerful soporific, although, almost any chemical, toxin or even viral agent could be used. When filled with the strixis tincture, any living target damaged by the weapon must pass a Hard (–20) Toughness Test or fall comatose for 1d10 × 3 minutes. On a failure by three or more degrees, the target is comatose for 1d5 hours instead.
Injector darts are designed not to unduly harm their targets. Roll for Damage as normal to overcome the target’s Toughness Bonus and Armour Points. Any Damage in excess is reduced to 1 point.
Hypo-pistol ammo is Scarce and each hypo-dart has a base cost of 8 Thrones each.
Pistol, 20m, S/–/–, 1d5+2, R, PEN 2, Clip 3, RLD 2Full, WT 1kg, Cost 1,000, Scarce
While the search for priceless archeotech is one of the most profitable endeavors a Rogue Trader can undertake, there are those who dedicate their lives to the suppression and elimination of many wondrous items from the Dark Age of Technology. One such item sought after by both camps is the Void Abacus, most famously unearthed on the cursed Munitorum planet of Solomon in the Markayn Marches but also recovered in the bowels of many an ancient hive spire or nameless space hulk. For these can do something very valuable indeed---when integrated into a ship’s auspex and propulsion systems they can allow a ship to make accurate void jumps four or five times longer than normal without a Navigator’s aid. This allows many more types of ships to travel safely, something the Navigator’s Guild cannot allow. While the Guild cannot directly outlaw their use, they can act to buy, destroy, or sabotage any and all they can find. That they will arrange for the same fate to befall to any vessel found using one is an open secret as well. Having an Abacus networked into a ship’s systems allows the crew to safely plot warp jumps of up to 5-10 days in duration with an Ordinary (+10) Navigation Test.
WT 65kg, Near Unique