As capital of the Zetah system – Zetah VII is a mostly-prosperous hive world.
Due to its strategic position near the Spinward Front, Zetah VII has long served as a common stopover point for various merchant expeditions, chartist captains, and Mechanicus exploratory fleets. More than a handful of Rogue Traders have called Zetah VII home at one point or another.
Zetah VII’s power base in the sector is reinforced by the manufacturing and export capacities of its many sister planets. Featuring a wealth of raw materials, the Zetah system plays a crucial role in Calixis’ economic footing.
Two main hives and six lesser hives are scattered across Zetah VII’s surface. The largest population centers are found around the two main hives – each featuring a massive, constantly flowing void-port.
Zetah VII has already been harvested clear of all valuable resources for millennia – leaving the space between its hives as empty, desolate wastelands. Rumoured to be inhabited by the remains of an ancient god, Zetah VII’s golden deserts claim the lives of numerous pilgrims, explorers, and relic-hunters every year.
With any meaningful industry having left long ago, Zetah VII’s air remains remarkably clean and breathable, even at low altitudes. Its climate is mostly dry, and features only two significant bodies of water – remarkably small polar seas. With a semi-standard day-night cycle and a pleasant 1.21 Gs, Zetah VII provides a comfortable environment for most travellers.
Due to the system’s focus on trade, Zetah VII’s planetary government is formed from a conglomerate of four major guild houses – currently Archibald, Stefano, Zyzick, and Talamar. As a council, Zetah’s guilds have ruled the planet – and in some sense, the entire system – for four millennia.
Should a major guild house patriarch die – be it from old age or one of the multitude of weekly assassination attempts – the other lesser houses begin to jockey for power. Usually ended by brief, but incredibly costly trade wars, these disputes provide semi-regular balance to any major power struggles.
In order to create a power balance and dissuade favoritism, the council’s seat of power switches annually between both of the major hives. Month-long ceremonies mark the transition from hive to hive as the houses hold elaborate displays of pageantry and wealth.
Although they once held even more power in Calixis, Zetah’s guild houses are feeling the economic impact from the secessionist wars on the Spinward Front and the rumours of Chaos fleets at the system’s borders.
Like many other hive worlds, Zetah VII’s underbelly is ruled by numerous, often-violent cults and narcogangs. The most dangerous of these, the Bloodborne Brothers, spans across many of Zetah VII’s hives.
With a complex hierarchy, the Brothers have made a number of arrangements with the guild houses – lending their muscle for benefits in trade, smuggling, and duty evasion.
The symbol for the Brothers’ senior membership is a red drop of blood with a sword piercing its way through the center – the pommel of the blade featuring the imperial aquila. Scholars believe that this symbolizes the gang’s close ties to the guild houses and numerous imperial organizations. Through bloodshed, the Brothers have created a powerful smuggling empire.
Recently, inquisitorial agents determined that the gang’s leader, Sorgoth, had begun to smuggle and trade heretical items – including xenos artifacts.
It is rumoured that after a falling out with the Guild House Archibald, Sorgoth has also sought transport off-world, taking his place among an even larger, unknown trading operation.