Mazul is a densely populated hive world situated within the confines of the Riga system. It possesses an arid climate and landscape which is complimented by the relative lack of rivers or inland seas on the planet.
It was once rich in resources but the strain of supporting forty billion people coupled with the thorough mining processes used to extract rare materials has left the world a shell of its former self.
The world sports only two continents but both are of fairly substantial size and are separated by a thin stretch of ocean.
The larger of the only two continents on the planet and home to the most cities. It is, for the most part, flat with only small hills scattered loosely around the shorelines, likely a result of some odd volcanic activity. Its vast, sprawling plains and lowlands are home to little life besides sparse shrubbery and the occasional creature.
Madia is the capital city of the planet and, though it doesn’t boast the largest population, has countless citizens within its confines. Due to its role as the capital city it is obsessively maintained and, as a result, is noticeably clean. Crime is still an issue but isn't as much of a problem as it is in neighboring hives due to a deliberate effort by the local government to cull criminal behavior. In addition to its role as the capital, it is also the bureaucratic headquarters of both the local Imperial Guard regiments, the most famous of which is the 51st Mazul Mechanized, better known as the Mazul Primus-Guard, and the System Defence Force.
Deni has garnered a sinister reputation both on and off world as being particularly rife with crime. This is in part due to its gargantuan population and the ill functioning and often corrupt local government which cares little for the matters of the average hive citizen. Arbites and Ruby Banner Brotherhood fighters often wage open war in the streets with little regard to civilians caught in the crossfire. Those who can afford to often flee the city while the destitute are forced to survive under terrible conditions. Gallius once offered an escape but that path is no longer open to any trapped within the city's confines.
The worst area of Deni, the infamous "Scarlet Level" is closed off from the rest of the city by local Arbites but Hive Citizens(even city officials and local Arbites- according to rumor) still find a way to indulge in the area's carnal pleasures and rumored cult activities. Those wishing to escape to the higher levels must often give up everything they own to pay the bribes needed to escape from the gangs, and rumored Nurgle Cult that rule the streets.
Irius is not a hive city and more of a town in comparison to the menacing facades of concrete that decorate the rest of the planet. While it is small in scale and population it possesses something that which the other hives covet. Irius earns its place on the world by being a city devoted to the production of luxury goods for both planetary and interplanetary consumption. Anything that has a high price tag, from jewelry, clothing, and even exotic body modifications is produced here. The city's wealthy live in walled compounds one step removed from private fortresses and frequently employ the lower class as servants.
Irius also houses the Headquarters of the "Guild of Companions, Escorts and Exotic Entertainers " which is influential enough, due to its high profile clientele,that it has a voice in the planetary government.
Toro is noteworthy due to its construction, for every foot the spires of its towers reach into the sky there is a deep, sprawling subterranean complex beneath the surface. It is also a manufacturing powerhouse, boasting more factories than any other hive. Toro is not without its faults however as it is notorious for the poor quality of its housing, even for the higher end homes, and for the barbaric gangs which cause mayhem all across the rockcrete landscape. The wargear built here is meant for the Imperial Guard and Arbites but is often stolen and in some cases the criminals are better equipped than law enforcement.
Motli is the smallest of the cities which can still be classified as a true hive and serves as the lone local source of food. Due to being nestled upon the craggy shores of Mazul Minor it has easy access to the ocean. The swirling waters of the dark sea are fished to the point of nearly exhausting the stocks of fish on an annual basis. While it certainly doesn’t produce enough food to feed the whole planet it does make a difference.
Part natural cave network, part mine the Plohk Hollows stretch dozens of kilometers in every direction beneath the abandoned CoreKing Mineworks, now overrun by criminals and vagrants. The Hollows are home to foul creatures like the infamous Spikeworm and worse and it remains largely unmapped as few to travel into its twisting tunnels ever return.
The world was first settled in 999.M37, some years after the Tempered Souls chapter reclaimed the neighboring Nerio System. Colonization was a slow, time consuming process and it took nearly a century before the first hive city had been fully constructed. However, once the first city was constructed, the rest of the world was quickly covered with settlements as the population continued to swell. The planet saw many centuries of prosperity as the number of citizens continued to grow and urban development carried on at an exponential pace, slowed little by the transportation of vast numbers of people to the nearby planet New Korinthos.
After quite some time the progress began to slow down until stagnation became the norm. The population continued to gradually increase throughout the years but industry was unable to maintain the same pace. In addition to the slow growth of industry the natural resources that were once so rich began to disappear; by the 41st millennium nearly every mine had been picked clean and those that still had ore were on the way to becoming depleted.
As a whole, the inhabitants of Mazul lack any unifying traits beyond coming from the same world. The customs of the people varies greatly from hive to hive as though they were from different planets entirely. The average person from Madia will walk, talk(in one of at least five documented variants of Low Gothic), act, and even dress differently from someone from Motli.
In general they dress in response to the year round heat, favoring short sleeves and loose, flowing clothing. Due to the heat and relative scarcity of potable water,fountains and vases with real flowers are signs of extreme wealth but even the poorest citizen will still offer a glass of cold water to guests, a social gesture akin to a religious ritual.
Their religious rituals also involve water, but vary somewhat by region. It's common to see the wealthy bathe statues of the Emperor and the loyalist Primarchs with clean water at least once a week, thanking them for all they've done.
Mazul is ruled by a Planetary Governor, who in theory has absolute authority over all matters pertaining to Imperial Law but his power is held in check by his or her "advisory council" made up of influential Mazul citizens and businesses including the Admiral in overall command of the SDF.
Quarantino Lancellotta, a scion of the powerful Lancellota family currently occupies the position.
51st Mazul Mechanized "Mazul Primus-Guard"
System Defense Force
The Battle of Riga Binary convinced the planetary governor to purchase a defense fleet from Medici shipyards, they received training on how to operate them from Battlefleet Officers before it was destroyed by Hive Fleet Erebus in 745.M41. They have retained some of the sexist views of the men who trained them but this has only served to motivate the female officers and crew.
Its command squadron is composed of four Dauntless class light cruisers while the bulk of the fleet is composed of lighter vessels. While the crew is often pressed from the lower classes, only the wealthy can become officers and it's not uncommon for them to bring personal servants to their new posting.
Ruby Banner Brotherhood
The ruthless Obscura Lords of Mazul, their influence can be felt in many cities on the planet, especially Deni, as their interests run the gamut of illicit behavior on Mazul, from the narcotics trade to arms dealing and human trafficking and rumor has it they sell these unfortunate souls to Chaos Cults .
Guild of Companions, Escorts and Exotic Entertainers
The guild was established in its earliest form by Jenette Donten as a means for otherwise unemployed and destitute women to earn a living by providing company for miners.
In the four millenia since the organization has grown into a respected institution among the upper class and nobility of Mazul, who employ their services as informal advisers or simply as an evening's diversion. As noted above their high profile clientele has given them a voice in government, with one Guild leader, Lady Serena LaRoe, even becoming Planetary Governor.
While not held in the same esteem among the middle and lower classes, it is a way for their female relatives to escape poverty as they recruit their members from among them.
Those chosen are taken from their homes at age sixteen and for the next five years are trained in philosophy,literature, art, political theory and various forms of dance. However, it should be noted that they are not joygirls and their carefully worded contracts specify that they are not to be employed for such purposes.
Hailing from Motil, she was one of several guild members chosen for an evening of exotic dance at a Governor's birthday celebration.
The twenty- two year old's performance caught they eye of Vincent Kateman, captain of the Governor's personal guard. They quickly became lovers and when they married she took on his family name, co-founding a noble line that endures on Mazul to this day.
A reptile similar to a Terran tortoise its kept as a pet by entire generations of wealthy families while the poor use its eggs as an easily obtained and renewable food source,
Moti Sea Skipper
A small fish caught in huge numbers off the coast of Moti, despite its small size its known to leap more than a meter into the air, earning itself its moniker. While a staple food for coastal settlements the average hive citizen has more than likely never tasted it, it spoils quickly and must be processed and eaten quickly.
Large carnivorous insects hatched in swarms of hundreds, only the strongest survive the harsh subterranean world of predators and the species' own cannibalistic urges. As the species is blind it must rely on the large spikes that protrude from its exoskeleton for protection, these spikes grow as the creature does, with the largest examples ever seen growing to fifteen meters long with meter long spikes.
Those few that make it to the surface do not survive long, they are not built for Mazul's harsh sun but once they grow to their full size they are the rulers of the underground, having forced the CoreKing company to cease operations after the deaths of several mining crews.
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- "All Hive Worlds are the same in essence, but Mazul stands out; mainly because of their infatuation with water. Makes sense on some degree, but it's still odd. "
- —Inquisitor Jacob Flux