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A layout of a Hive on Necromunda

A hive is a huge urban accretion, built-up over many thousands of years, and home to countless numbers of people.[1]


Around the entire Imperium over 85% of all planets have at least one hive city cluster.[1]

Hives consist of great housing and factory blocks, forming ranges of man-made mountains. These huge towering urban complexes are known as city hives, or simply as hives, and their individual peaks or towers are called city spires or spires. A close group of hives is known as a hive cluster. There are often several thousand hives on a single Hive world. A Hive consists of many layers; the lowest layers form the underhive. Hives are worlds in themselves, where the populace has never seen the outer world, and concepts such as the ground and sky are completely alien. There are entire regions inside the hive blocked off by collapsed sections, where is found the treasure of the hive, the Archeotech hoards, ancient stores of technology.[Needs Citation]

The upper hive is the region in which the administrators of the hive and various important people live. The homes are better, space is a premium and power is free for all. Life is easy here.The spires are the furthest from the horrors of the lower levels and as such are the best fitted. They are for anyone visiting the planet, giving the best view of the surroundings. Some hive spires pierce through the cloud barriers giving a huge area to watch over.

The Underhive is the most run-down area where most of the rules are created by gangs. It is a difficult place to live where the power has long been turned off. People rule through fear and shun the rich above them in the better apartments.[Needs Citation]

The outskirts are not as bad to live in as the underhive, but certainly not an easy place to live. Power is non existant and running water and constant food supplies are rare. It is certain that people die of starvation here or of some disease spreading through the area.[Needs Citation]

Exotic planetary environments give rise to unusual hives, such as those of Landunder which cling to the floating surface crust and extend downwards into the world's oceans. Even gas giants can host hive cities suspended in their upper atmospheres, like Scitalyss or Vesmir II, which are sometimes known as skyhives. Above the latter the main hives are connected with the gas-enshrouded planet via elevator mineshafts providing a steady flow of raw materials.[2][3][4]

Main Parts of any Hive City[1]

The main Sectors of each Hive City are:

  • Sectors Imperialis - the main hive levels (the most varied and populated of divisions within a hive city);
  • Sectors Periferus - the outskirts beyond a hive's borders;
  • Sectors Mechanicus - heavy industrial zones;
  • Sectors Spirum - the upper spires;
  • Sectors Habculum - vast hab-blocks;
  • Sectors Infernus - either the underhive or the underwastes.

See also