|Galactic Position||Cloudburst Sector, Thimble Subsector|
|System Overlord||Lord Agrarian Alamantos Williamson|
|Worlds in the system||Six, one habitable|
|World Type, Name||Agri-World: Combine|
|Tropospheric Composition||Nitrogen 73%, Oxygen 25.5%, Argon .9%, Water .56%, Carbon dioxide .04%|
|Government type||Adeptus Administratum|
|Adept Presence||Adeptus Administratum, Adeptus Ministorum, Adeptus Mechanicus, Adeptus Astra Telepathica, Adeptus Arbites|
|Climate||Combine has planet-spanning temperate climate except at the poles|
|Geography||.92 times the size of Terra, with four large islands and one large ocean, notably strong magnetosphere|
|Gravity||In decimal Terra gravity|
|Day Length||24 Terran Hours|
|Economy||Gelt Thrones and Silver Thrones|
|Principal Exports||Food, Soil, Water, Salt, Copper|
|Principal Imports||Agricultural Machines, Harvesting Servitors, Entertainments, Fertilizers|
|Countries and Continents||Four continents, no national divisions|
|Military||Combine Condottieri (low quality PDF), Combine Swords (medium quality Guard)|
|Contact with other Systems||Infrequent|
|Tithe Grade||Exactis Tertia|
|Population||1,473,900,000 (human), 89,023,000 (servitors)|
Combine is a gift from the Emperor. That’s the only explanation that the resident farm-accountants and agricultural Tithe calculators can come up with for its astonishing bounty. By square foot, Combine is over twice as productive as any other Agri-world for over four hundred light years in every direction, which includes most of Drumnos and Naxos. Its soil seems to be blessed by the Emperor’s own will, because it never stops yielding abundant, healthy, perfectly edible fruit, legumes, vegetables, grains, nuts, and sugars. Herds of grox and bovid grow fat on endless fields of high green grass.
The agricultural boons of Combine are colossal. The world feeds over a dozen planets that cannot feed themselves unaided, or at least augments their food imports. Thimble, Cognomen, Lordarine, Coriolis, Delving, Underbar, Limmerdine, and the Celestial Guard barracks of ten primitive worlds all import food from Combine. The world itself does not import one grain of food, as its rich soil and diverse natural ecology allow for the creation of nearly any natural food, including those imported from ancient Terran Diaspora gene-vaults. The world’s mountains support the growth of nearly all vine-type fruit plants the Imperium uses today. Its deep, tropical agri-zones produce megatons of chocolate. Its misty forests grow creeping berry bushes and vines that weave together in organic vineyards the size of cities.
Combine was discovered during the closing years of the Second Gold Rush, by an Administratum mapping team working under Rogue Trader Captain Sulla Grenfoe. Grenfoe was impoverished, broken by years of failed investments. He agreed to give up his claim to the world – its agricultural value was not yet clear – in exchange for the Administratum forgoing all of his debts to them. They agreed, and though the Grenfoe line has long since died off, the Administratum has never forgotten the steal they got.
The world’s main settlement is a large city on the land bridge that connects the two smallest continents. The city, named Bounty City, is a modern Imperial metropolis, with the same guildhalls, factories, apartments and homes, and Arbites courthouses that any other Imperial city of means would have. The vast majority of the planet’s resources and arable land are either preserved for ecological reasons, or used in the sprawling farms that gave the world its name.
Unsurprisingly, a world with such great wealth and productivity plays host to several of the great Merchant Houses of the Cloudburst Sector. The Herrera and Lunther houses maintain enormous Guildhalls here, and do good trade in shipping goods between Imperial worlds, but there is no question as to which of the Houses has the largest footprint. The House Carvan holdings on Combine are the size of a township unto themselves. Over one hundred thousand Carvan employees work here. They pack food, they arrange contracts with representatives of faraway worlds, they inspect produce, they mediate disputes between neighboring farms, they test new food products, they complete microbial examinations of processed foods, and they irradiate foods for the long, long journey to hungry bellies among the stars. Although the great House Carvan is not headquartered on Combine, it may as well be, given how relatively small its holdings on Celeste are. There, its holdings amount to a few sprawling mansions and warehouses; hardly the small city it has on Combine.
The Guild and Merchant House presences on Combine are not disproportionate to its value. The world’s population is fairly small, and much of its population engages in work outside the city of Bounty. The farming and fishing logistics of the world require oversight from the Adeptus Mechanicus, as well, and for reasons that have nothing to do with the Houses or Guilds.
Combine has a soil of such hyper-fertility that its native plants can easily grow out of control. The lack of native herbivores, thanks to over-aggressive early efforts by the Imperium, means that plants that go unattended can spread so quickly that mass soil depletion and terrain overrun can occur in weeks. The native herbivores are now making a limited comeback under careful Mechanicus supervision, but now, there are regions of Combine that are so overgrown that the Imperial Navy has taken to using some of the growth zones for napalm bombing run practice.
The farms themselves are a mixture of locally-owned and Carvan-owned. The harvests usually come about so quickly that the best option for transporting the produce is massive trains. Elevated train lines crisscross the four continents. The tracks require elevation, since putting them flush with the ground would engender significant blockage from plants. Not all of its soil goes to growing food or local plants, of course. Much of the world grows textiles and dyes for Thimble, and some of it grows feed for livestock. Others grow medicinal plants, although other worlds in the sector focus on that more; Drimmerzole Secundus and Clegran Tertius are chief among them.
Exactly why the soil on Combine is so productive, the Imperium does not know. The Mechanicus and House Carvan have both examined the soil’s chemical composition, and its natural substance is not terribly different from that of Cassie’s World or Grendel. However, the soil has proven to be ineffective on other worlds. The soil does contain a surprising number of minuscule bundles of protein, no more than a few thousand molecules wide, that the Imperium has never before encountered. Analysis has so far revealed no clue as to what they are.
One idea, posited by the Mechanicus, is that the world was once the breadbasket of an unknown alliance of humans and aliens. The planet does feature one pre-Imperium artifact: a single, massive building. The building, made of steel and a rust-proofed alloy of tungsten and a high-isotope metal of unknown elements, sits on a tiny island off the coast of the second-largest continent. It is derelict, and although it contains vast machines of unknown function and origin, it is drawing no power. The tower was once even larger, prior to a cataclysmic storm that sheared the top half off. Before this, it may have been over half a mile tall. It contains no paper records or other non-electronic data, and because its power system is defunct, the actual function of the tower is a mystery. What is clear is that it had far stronger internal defenses than external, and that its builders were of variable height, from under two meters to at least four, and had human-like hands and digits.
The Combine Condottieri have no resemblance to their namesake. The rest of the Cloudburst Sector military holds the PDF here as something of a joke. The Condottieri live down to the reputation of PDF among professional soldiers. They aren’t lazy, exactly, but their drill and kit are lacking, they do not train as often as they should, and while there is a core of competent officers, flag command is awarded by seniority and connections, not merit. The Combine Swords are more competent on the whole, and get the best of the Thimble- and Cognomen-built arms and armor. They have only fielded on rare occasions, generally to protect other Agri-worlds from the Glasians or pirates. The Combine Swords use locally-produced equipment most of the time, except for uniforms, which they get in trade with Thimble.
Naturally, a world that feeds more people than any other world in three Sectors does is a prize that deserves defenses of immense power. Orbital and surface-to-space guns more than compensate for its lacking PDF, including a Xerxes III Naval anchorage and three Defense Lasers, as well as six cruise missile silos disguised as vox relay transformers. Because of its three-kilometer naval anchorage, the station can host vessels of up to light cruiser weight, and house tens of thousands of passengers. When Carvan ships come to collect megatons of food, or tithe barges come to take Terra’s Due, the system positively bristles with defenses. After all, pirates have to eat, too, and raiders have menaced more than one tithe shipment in the Dranok system.