Dark Heresy: Sins of the Father
Malfi is an Imperial Hive World in the Malfian System of the Calixis Sector in the Segmentum Obscurus, 800 days’ standard travel through the Warp from the sector capital world of Scintilla. Malfi is the main population and manufacturing focus of the rimward territories of the Calixis Sector. Malfi is a semitropical, gloomy world of overbuilt hive cities and habitation ledges. Its population of 23 billion people approaches that of Scintilla and it subsists on its engineering and metalwork industries. The population of Malfi holds a grudge: they believe that Malfi should be the Calixis Sector’s capital world and its leaders and common people venomously protest the supremacy of Scintilla in the sector.
Certainly, with its super-continental hives and eradication of natural landscape, Malfi resembles a Segmentum Solar Hive World far more than any of the other worlds in the sector and its claim for capital eminence seems quite reasonable. However, politics and demographics are often fickle mistresses. Scintilla is better positioned astrographically to provide a centre of effective governance for the entire sector than Malfi. The early Sector Governors of the Calixis Sector, following Lord Angevin’s campaign to bring the Calixis Sector into the Imperium of Man, established their headquarters on Malfi, but the sector’s population has greatly expanded and spread out since then. Despite its efforts, Malfi remains a border world, colossal in both its consumption of resources and the production of its manufactoria. It satisfies itself in serving as the planetary captial of the Malfian Sub-sector, governing the Calixian territories rimward and spinward of Scintilla. The Sub-sector Governor, Jendrous Kaffiq, answers only to Lord Sector Hax himself. Malfi is a seat of the Adeptus Administratum and several powerful Calixian banking houses. Malfi’s nominal ruler and Imperial Planetary Governor is the Eminence Glydus Matriarch.
Malfi is – and this may be the very reason the sector rulers passed over it to serve as the Calixian capital – a place of the most infernal political intrigue. It is impossible to count the courtly factions vying for power and the ear of the Matriarch. The central palace is a labyrinth of chambers and anterooms, a warren that, so Malfian proverbs say, many have entered and subsequently died trying to find a way out again. Guides may be procured to steer a visiting party through the warren of Malfi’s central palace: they cannot be trusted. Every act and motion of Malfian life is about dissemblance and intrigue in the pursuit of personal advantage. Hire the wrong guide and you may be damned to years of squabbling diplomacy and sudden duels. It is said of the Malfian Palace that “life has a thousand separate doors” and this is no exaggeration. Entering Malfian society, one enters a world of complexity and deceit. Few emerge alive.
The Calixian Conclave of the Inquisition, which supports a district office on Malfi, regards the world as a particular hotbed of dissent and heresy against the Emperor and the Imperium. Apart from the many political factions and underground groups (many sponsored or run by Malfian noble houses) that support and promote Malfi’s usurpation of Scintilla’s capital world role (it is worth noting that three times in the last two centuries, Malfian dissenters have almost triggered open civil war with Scintilla), the excessively secretive and disingenuous society of the Malfian hive cities propagates many heretical relgious sects and Chaos Cults. These groups find it simple to conceal themselves within Malfi’s layered, elaborate culture of falsehood and deceit. They also find the hive citizenry to be a fertile source of amenable, pliable recruits. In recent years, the Conclave has become aware of two particularly active heretical sects, whose reach is now spreading beyond Malfi.