Beyond the Reach
Monsantine is relatively newly colonized, and its ultimate role in the Imperium is undecided. Its Governor, the disinterested Marlowe the Intolerant, pays little attention to its fate, preferring to spend his days hunting in the brush. Due to his indecisive nature, he ordered the parts for a hive but not the expertise necessary to construct it; desperate for shelter, the 30 million of the 50 million colonists have built the city of Ingenuity on top of the hive parts, with the other 20 million dispersing around the planet and taking on the role of homesteaders. Although not yet a designated agriworld, Monsantine was colonized because of its fertile soil, and it produces so much food relative to the region that whole Guard regiments rely on it as they make their campaigns.
Monsantine has a climate similar to Old Terra’s, but it is less heavily forested because of the mass deforestation caused by the colonists. It has begun to enter a period of global cooling due to the deforestation, and the local tech shrines have begun a program of producing excess greenhouse gases to counter the effect. These shrines belch their noxious fumes into the sky throughout Ingenuity. Despite their efforts, the cooling has caused the global harvests to drop. However, Guard tithes remain high; even though Monsantine is a main food source for the region, much of the population in Ingenuity is on the verge of starving.
Ingenuity has a local government parallel to the Administratum, run by the elected leaders of each profession group and called the Workers’ Council. The Worker’s Council is responsible for most local governing, including the Arbites (known as the Colonial Police). The Worker’s Council (and most of Monsantinian society) is a meritocracy, with talented individuals advancing in their professions and gaining political power. There is no real nobility outside of the Administratum.
On the homesteads, things are even more detached from the traditional Imperial lifestyle. Many farmers live in communistic utopian communities, and for the most part these are the least radical in how they choose to differ from city life. Away from the normalizing influence of the Administratum, some farmers foster increasingly independent thoughts in their hearts.
The level of technology on Monsantine is generally low. Although the planet contains around a thousand Adeptus Mechanicus adepts, there is a constant shortage of parts. Most people walk to where they need to go, and use pack animals and wagons if they need to move something large or heavy. Weaponry is very important in the increasingly dangerous city; although stubbers are relatively easy to obtain, anything as advanced as a las weapon is considered extremely precious. Nearly everyone carries a weapon of some sort while going about his daily business.
The Ecclesiarchy has yet to arrange an official presence on Monsantine, and the religious life of the people is suffering for it. Many citizens pray to their Emperor in their own way, but some more daring individuals have publicly ceased to practice the faith. The priests that arrived with the colonists have split into four major factions, colloquially known as the Emeriti, the Sons of Justice, the Gold Drinkers, and the Slaves of Enrathi. Each faction claims a division of Ingenuity as its own. There was a fifth faction, the Order of the Open Arms, but it was purged by the Sons of Justice 5 years after colonization after an Inquisitorial inspection determined that it had had dealings with xenos.