Avisia is a Feudal World in the Tamahl Sector of Segmentum Obscurus, located in the galactic north. It is one of the many minor worlds in the Imperium of Man whose economy revolves around agriculture, with its main purpose being to produce foodstuffs for the larger Industrial and Hive Worlds of Mankind. The centuries of exploitation have taken their toll, however, and throughout the 41st millennium the planet's production rate has been dropping as the amount of arable land decreases.
Records indicate that the planet has always been terrestrial, similarly to Terra, covered in lush forests and jungles, large oceans, along with some tundras at the poles and deserts around the equator. This great environment is ideally suited for agriculture and much of the surface is covered in grasslands used for farming large amounts of food. Among the technology introduced by the Imperium is machinery and genetic manipulation that allows for more effective production of food and in larger quantities. All of this exists on a few larger continents, as well as some smaller ones surrounded by minor islands.
The world's cities are small settlements by Imperial standards, with the largest one containing five million people. Avisia has always been this way so not much changed during the Old Night, but since the Imperium rediscovered the world more urbanization and industrialization has been taking place, which is partly to blame for the decrease in arable land.
Locations of Note
Patrimonium Sancti Grigori
The Patrimonium Sancti Grigori (Patrimony of Saint Grigorio) is the name of the royal palace of the King of Avisia, located within a large castle complex at the planet's capital city. It consists of four large structures, known as the north, south, west, and east palaces, each for a different purpose. The main complexes are surrounded by lush gardens which are the site of parties held by the aristocrats of the Royal Court. The Patrimonium spans an area that is fifteen square kilometers in total and requires a staff of ten thousand people to maintain and guard. It is also the political center of Avisia and the location of all governmental and religious functions.
The world of Avisia was first thought to have been colonized around M17 by a colony ship traveling at sublight speeds. Aboard the vessel, a ruling aristocracy had been created over the course of the long voyage, and at the time they arrived the colonists formed a monarchy. Their technology initially allowed them develop their planet to some extent. Thanks to the richness of the resources Avisia became fairly self-sufficient, although it became cut off from the rest of human civilization as the Warp storms intensified around M23-M25. As the Age of Strife began, the Avisian ruling regime clamped down on the subjects in order to prevent the mass panic from turning into a revolt. Development of the world also stopped permanently as most of the technology was lost during the Old Night, and thus the planet became stuck in a state of primitive stagnation.
However, due to the abundance of food and fresh farmland, it did not fall apart into chaos and continued to function on its own. Over time, the Avisians developed a rigid social system with an aristocracy that represented about 15-20% of the population and a commoner class that represented about 80-85%. The planet's social structure was feudalistic and its economy was mainly agrarian. Avisia continued to exist in this isolated state until being rediscovered by Mankind during the Great Crusade. The technology of the offworlders mystified the population of the backwards planet and they quickly pledged allegiance to their new overlords. Agreeing to join the Imperium, the Avisian rulers gave access to their planet's food resources to the Emperor of Man.
However, by the 41st Millennium, the planet's resources had started running out after many centuries of exploitation, and thus Avisia has become an increasingly backwater and forgotten world on the edge of civilization. It makes up for its downturn in production by establishing regiments of the Imperial Guard to fight for the Emperor. The monarch at the time, King Grigorio XVII, led the regiments himself, and for distinguished services he was posthumously made an Imperial Saint. Since then, he has been held in high regard by all Avisian subjects and is considered to be the patron-saint of the Royal Military Order, the planet's Imperial Guard regiments. In they years after the Horus Heresy, the Imperial Cult has been promoted by the ruling house and cathedrals for worshiping the God-Emperor are commonplace among the castled towns of Avisia.
Avisia is a hereditary monarchy ruled by the House of Valthex, which has been in power since about M17 and has ruled the planet in an unbroken succession. However, the major historic regions of the country continue to be autonomous of the central government, making the Avisian state a federal constitutional monarchy. Other than in matters of war and managing the factories, the rulers of these monarchies are left largely to themselves in exchange for pledging fealty to the King as vassals. The Avisian monarchies include:
- Kingdom of Mecetti - The largest and most powerful of the kingdoms, it is under the direct rule of the King of Avisia (who also holds the title King of Mecetti).
- Kingdom of Reena
- Kingdom of Nidantha
- Grand Duchy of Cadriaan
- Grand Duchy of Melantha
- Duchy of Valthex-Korda and Synat - One of the smaller regions, it is ruled by a cadet branch of the House of Valthex, the House of Valthex-Korda and Synat.
- Duchy of Barnaba
- Duchy of Calipsa
Over the centuries, Avisian society was molded into a feudalistic structure, with a nobility comprising about 15-20% of the population ruling over a commoner class. The aristocratic houses came into existence aboard the colony ships that brought the first settlers to Avisia and have been ruling in an unbroken line since those times. For most of its existence, the Avisian social structure was rigidly divided and movement up the hierarchy was difficult at best. However, since the 40th millennium, restrictions have been eased and commoners can obtain the lowest noble rank of Imperial Knight. It is done either by purchasing it with money, or by surviving military service and being noted for a meritorious act (a policy called "noble by spilled blood").
- Crown Prince, designated heir to the Empire
- Grand Duke, the only known instances of this rank were all sons of the Kaiser.
- Imperial Knight, the lowest noble rank, barely above commoner.
The common class of the industrial world is indoctrinated from birth to be loyal to the elite and to the Emperor. One of the monarchs who lived during the Great Crusade and became a Saint after falling in battle, Grigorio XVII, is worshiped and used by the state as an example of what all Avisian citizen should aspire to be like. In that sense, Avisian society is quasi-fascistic, though in matters outside of required military service and maintaining efficiency in the farm fields, the King rarely interferes with internal affairs of different regions. As a result, the minor monarchies on Avisia have quite a bit of autonomy and thus the citizens are spared from excessive authoritarianism of the central government.
Since the death of King St. Grigorio in battle during the Great Crusade, the Imperial Cult has gained a popular following among both the commoners and the nobility, promoted by the House of Valthex. The faith is used as justification for both the planet's affiliation with the Imperium and the divine right of the monarchs to rule, who it is said were 'blessed' by the Emperor as his vassals. Many churches and cathedrals can be found among the industrial centers of Avisia.
Daily life for the average common citizen center around toiling away in the fields, if not serving in the Imperial Guard or PDF, or doing some bureaucratic desk job. Nobles typically get high-ranking posts in the administrations of municipalities, as well as officer commissions in the military.
Planetary Defense Force
The planet's combined ground and air forces are known as the Royal Avisian Land Forces. Each state of Avisia maintains its own army, although it is under overall command of the King of Avisia. The total number of troops fluctuates over time but it has usually been in the range of two to four million men. it is considered to be decently-equipped and well-drilled, but still relies on numbers to overcome the more dangerous threats to humanity that could potentially threaten Avisia. Since much of the planetary surface is covered in oceans, there is a large maritime fleet maintained by the royal government. Airships with primitive engines are used to provide air support and transportation, although advisers of the Imperial Military Mission estimate that in actual combat against the threats posed by Chaos their value would be limited.
- Main article: Avisian Royal Military Order
The regiments of the Imperial Guard that originate on Avisia are referred to as the Royal Military Order.