Requiem for a Sector
Sinophia was once a world of pivotal destiny and eocnomic power, but now is little more than a forlorn and forgotten relic of the past. Situated on the furthest reaches of the Ixaniad Sectore and founded in the elder days as the personal fief of the Rogue Trader Teresa Sinos at the end of her journeys, the world would (a millenium later) serve as the primary staging post of the Angevin Crusade that carved the Calixis Sector into being. In that legendary time, Sinophia was transformed into a vital way-station and bastion of civilisation on the Imperium’s then-frontier, its coffers swollen in the fulfilment of the crusade’s needs and the booty of conquest, whilst men who would one day be cast as saints walked its gilded forums and warships swarned its night sky. But as the centuries passed and the Calixis Sector coalesced into its own sovereignty and self-sufficiency, Sinophia’s prominence began to wane as its purpose faded.
Increasingly sidelined and marginalised, much of its population-sickened by the excesses of the nobility-began to leave. Lured by the perceived freedoms of life on new worlds, they took up lawful passage as colonists. It was an exodus the rulers of Sinophia were powerless to stop, and as their world’s decline accelerated, they fought back with the only means the had: money. They sought to set up merchant cartels, buy influence on other worlds through bibery, and out-bid competitors in lucrative markets. However, their struggle was ultimately futile. By taking on the new-founded economic and political powerhouse of Scintilla and Chartist Captains, the Sinophian nobles had engaged in a costly struggle they could not hope to win, and in losing their trade war, they lost all. Major shipping routes were re-directed to bypass Sinophia, the sector governorship grew blind and deaf as far as the world was concerned, and its once-vaunted nobility found themselves burdened by the crushing debts and bankruptcy. Sinophia was bought and sold; its cities slowly emptied and such recoverable assets it did have were carried off-world by rapacious creditors. Sinophia today is a world suffereing the final throes of a long-drawn-out death by economic starvation and slow civil collapse. Criminality and corruption are utterly ingrained, and what little off-world contact it has is with smugglers, independant cartels (themselves skirting the fringes of the law), and a few hardy pilgrims. Whole cities lay deserted, and where Imperial civilisation does exist, it does so in twilight, clinging desperately to the faded glories of the past amidst the crumbling decay of the present.
Population: No reliable census (estimated to be fewer than 150 million, from a recorded height of 2 billion)
Tithe Grade: Exactus Minorus (planet unable to maintain regular tithe and placed under special measures as of 017.M41)
Geography/Demography: Temperate but unstable climate, remaining habitation centred on northern continent (Sinophia Magna: capital/starport, Karib City: lesser hive and industrial zone; population levels failing, Hive Argopolis: abandoned/unsafe). Sinophia also possesses extensive fertile wetlands and plains formerly cultivated but fallen to wilderness, lawlessness and widespread disuse. Sinophia’s southern continents are currently evidencing extensive volcanism and seismic activity, leading to a planetwide increase in precipitation over the last several centuries.
Govermental Type: oligarchy (Quorum of Noble Families)
Planetary Govenor: The Judicery Evandus Idrani, Seventh of his Name
Adept Presence: Adeptus Administratum, Adeptus Ministorum, Adeptus Arbites – All Minor (presence much reduced from former levels)
Military: The Provost Defence Army (Organised as a PDF, low/medium, declining, not considered fit for purpose under most recent sector stragtegic review), private armed cadres of the noble houses (low/medium)
Trade/Economy/Addendum: Legitimate off-world trade with Sinophia is limited. There is a long-standing boycott of the world by the Calixis Chartist Captains, although dealings with minor cartels and independants are frequent, if erratic. Thanks in part to its dwindling population, Sinophia is largely self-sufficient in terms of food and industry, particulary in scavenging resources of its former sizable infrastructure, although the heavy tax burden imposed on the population by the local government has led to rampant criminality and corruption, further undermining civil and ecomonic stability.