Solomon is a densely populated and heavily industrialised Hive World of the Imperium of Man located within the Markayn Marches Sub-sector of the Calixis Sector. This pollution-shrouded world is plagued by suspicion, greed and superstitions such as that of the Beast of Solomon.
Human habitation on Solomon predates the Angevin Crusade that founded the Calixis Sector. The planet's current name is believed to be attributed to the Rogue Trader Solomon Haarlock, who some sources accredit with using the world as a base of operations during his explorations of the sector in the late 36th Millennium. The pre-Imperial human habitation of the planet is often thought to have attributed to certain anomalies of culture and technology evident on Solomon and not present on other worlds in the sector, and consequently the cause of occasional finds of previously unknown archeotech on the planet.
The Chancellery Court
Solomon is a poisoned and decrepit Hive World, given over almost exclusively to meeting the demands of the Departmento Munitorum by millennia-old accord. The callous and unflinching needs of the Munitorum 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 Munitorum'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, Munitorum, 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, lawsuits, actions, inquests, infractions, disputes of rights, and privileges. It disposes of great estates and rules on petty misdemeanours 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 Calixian 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 standard years, solar 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 judgement, 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 bureaucratic inertia often leads those who have the means to seek to accelerate the legal process or circumvent it entirely by unsavoury 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 forbears -- their fate decided at the blow of a High Jurist's gavel.
The Matter of Solomon
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 have long been suppressed.
In their choice of victim, the Sleepers seem only to abduct people from the fringes of Solomonite 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 Istvaanian 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 standard years without end.
Dreaming Dead of Hive Gloriana
The belief of millions carried across centuries ripples the Calixian Warp. Fears take form in the foaming madness that lies within the Immaterium. The hidden truth of Hive Gloriana is that the Warp has long stalked the Crushtop alley depths in the form of murder-spirits that possess ruined Servitors, summoned and sustained by the retelling of low-hive myths. The Crushtop District of Hive Gloriana upon Solomon is crisscrossed by narrow chasm-alleys, each a full league deep but of barely a stone's throw between facing hab structures. Denizens descend by the Choking Stair or the steam-hydraulic tithe platforms, and sunlight is soon lost to a canopy of cable bridges, overhangs, and boardwalks. An ever-present haze sinks from uphive promethium refineries and fyceline alchemical plants to cloud these narrow, crowded thoroughfares.
The alley depths clear by night, even though night is barely distinguishable from day. Hereditary lumen bearers retreat to caves carved from the crush and communal rooms that were once generatoria. Doors and shutters close, bolts are thrown, and Aquila charms hung and blessed. The blackness is absolute. Nightwalkers and thieves upon lumen-lit boardways and cable-bridges half a league above look down and make the sign of the Aquila as a ward against the depths. In the blackest depths lies the crush fundament, an alley floor made of ruins of the ancient hive pressed flat by the weight of years. There on the boundary, outcasts, Sanctioned Thieves, and hopeless, excess workers of the Waiting Guilds tell their tales. These least-citizens believe in ghosts of the old hive, long-dead servants of daemons defeated by the God-Emperor and driven below. Dreams are a gate: dreamers must be protected by prayers and Aquila charms, lest murderous ghosts rise from the crush and wear their bodies. The lowhivers believe that Servitors and the recently dead are those who dream most deeply. Crushtop District mortuaries are shrines to the God-Emperor, and any appearance of labour-Servitors in the alleys is cause for disturbance and rumour.
The eyes of a possessed Servitor are glowing pools steaming with Warp-light, its churning dreams filled with murderous desire. Makeshift knife gripped in metal fingers, facial actuators clicking and twisting in ways beyond their design, the Servitor hunts its lone victims through the night alley depths, feeding upon the terror of their final moments. In the alley depths, many mornings see ritually dismembered bodies discovered at the crush boundary. The low-hivers make the sign of the Aquila and hurry to raise the remains to their shrine-mortuaries. Thus, the Warp continues to corrupt labour-Servitors one by one whilst the Inquisition searches Hive Gloriana for witch-cults and Heretics that don't exist.
The Beast of Solomon
Solomon is a blighted, slowly dying, and heavily industrialised Hive World where rebellion, superstition, and hate fester in the shadowed canyons of rockcrete and steel. Its hives are pollution-shrouded places plagued by suspicion, greed, and unrest. Between the towering monolithic citadels of Solomon's hive metropolises, thousands of square kilometres of rusting pipelines, thundering processing vats, and fire-belching pyro-towers cover the landscape and darken the skies with a thick haze of black smog. In the lightless spaces of these Interior Industrial Zones, or simply the "Interior" as the Solomonites call them, many terrors are said to haunt unseen. Of these tales, the dark legend of the so-called "Curse of Solomon" or "Beast of Solomon" is perhaps one of the oldest, most consistent, and most widely recounted. It is passed from generation to generation among the unfortunates forced to dwell in the work-houses and labour in the depths of Solomon's Interior. It is a myth of some monstrous alien thing that stalks the darkness seeking only to kill, a shadow within shadows, and of good men taken without warning to gristly deaths with only bloody shreds left to mark their passing.
The Beast is an envoy of merciless death made manifest and a horror never fully seen -- a thing lurking at the edge of the terrified minds of the populace. Yet the Beast is no mere tale, but an ingrained fear that alone is powerful enough to move ordinary men and women to commit horrors in its name. Worse yet, the monster itself may be far more real and dangerous than the most febrile imaginings of those bound by its terrors can conceive.
Departmento Cartographicae Planetary Database
- Population: 13 billion
- Geography/Demography: Super-continental hive and industrial structure, which has led to the eradication of all natural landscape, interspersed with polluted seas. High levels of environmental toxicity, highly turbulent weather patterns with corrosive rainstorms and electrical disturbances are common. Conditions on Solomon are at the limits of human sustainability and are only maintained by a network of macro-atmospheric processing units. The population of Solomon is in steady decline.
- Government Type: Parliamentrary Oligarchy under the supervision of the Departmento Munitorum.
- Planetary Governor: Arch-Prefect Garth Jarndyce.
- Adept Presence: Very High. Departmento Munitorum, Administratum, Adeptus Arbites.
- Native Flora and Fauna: None, centuries of extreme manufacturing process have destroyed planet's biosphere, killing most native life-forms and limiting the majority of human habitation to protected hive cities.
- Religion: The power of the Adeptus Ministorum is present on Solomon, yet its influence is weak. The general citizens of Solomon regard the Imperial Cult as a "tool of Solomon's upper classes and planetary government."
- Military: Munitorum Security Forces, Parliamentary Guard (Planetary Defence Forces), numerous small private armies of the individual tithe guilds.
- Countries and Continents: There are five hive city citadels that cover the majority of Solomon's main continent and house most of the planetary population: Gloriana, Atropos, Morigan, Albia and Wrath. Between the hives, much of the landscape is occupied by industrial infrastructure: pipe-farms, refinery complexes, chem-processing works, pyro-vent towers, foundries and storage facilities. The rest is deserted wasteland, toxic seas, and abandoned urban zones and cities, much of which is now classified as unsuitable for long-term human survival. These areas, which cover tens of thousands of square kilometres, are officially designated as the Interior Industrialised and Infastructural Zones by the Departmento Munitorum.
- Tithe Grade: Exactus Extremis (Special).
- Dark Heresy: Creatures Anathema (RPG), pg. 19
- Dark Heresy: Disciples of the Dark Gods (RPG), pp. 167, 228-229
- Dark Heresy: The Radical's Handbook (RPG), pg. 125