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Hive Primus

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Artwork of Hive Primus from the 2003 Necromunda Rulebook.[2]

Hive Primus (also known as Hive One[4c] and The Palantine[3a]) is the capital of the Hive World Necromunda, and the setting for the Necromunda game. The hive is known across Necromunda as the Palatine after the fortified palace of Planetary Governor Lord Helmawr which is located at the top of the hive's spire. It is the largest hive on Necromunda, and is part of the Palatine Cluster, which consists of several hive cities separated by many miles but connected at different levels through a network of travel tubes and through roads across the wastelands.[3b]


Primus is effectively the planet's only spaceport, as it possesses the only shipyard and landing field large enough to handle orbital carrier ships. This is intentional on the part of the planetary government, as it ensures the planetary ruler, Lord Helmawr has a monopoly in off-world trade.[3a]

The Imperial Fists Space Marines maintain a fortress in the hive - the original purpose for the Imperial Fists' presence on the planet being to clear out an invasion of Orks, which had occupied and devastated three entire hives. The presence has since become permanent.[5]

Necromunda's fortress-precinct - the Adeptus Arbites planetary headquarters - is also located in the hive.[3a]

The Spire

Hive Primus's Spire forms the hive's upper layer, penetrating the cloud and pollution cover. It is the domain of the six Noble Houses and of Lord Gerontius of the Imperial House Helmawr.[4a] The Noble Houses consist of Catallus, Greim, Ko'Iron, Ran Lo, Ty and Ulanti.[4a]

Hive City

Below the Spire is the Hive City, separated by a large adamantium barrier known as "the Wall". The Hive City is five miles in height and home to billions of people.[4b]


Hive City is controlled by six Houses of manufacturers that control their own section. Each of these powerful Houses controls a number of hive gangs which enforce the Houses' territorial control.

  • Cawdor
  • Delaque - a mysterious House whose motives never seem clear. It is rumoured that some members of other Houses (even Noble Houses) are secretly in their employ. They make significant use of spies and prefer to hunt down their foes silently and with the minimum of fuss. Customarily dressed in long coats that conceal plenty of weapons, Delaques affect shorn heads and whispering voices, a presentation that only aids their reputation for espionage.[1a]
  • Escher
  • Goliath - Seen as barbarians by the other houses, the Goliath's are the most physically imposing of the houses. They are fierce enemies of the matriarchal Escher.
  • Orlock - House Orlock is responsible for producing ninety percent of all the iron ore in Hive Primus, earning the house the moniker "House of Iron". House Orlock and Delaque have been at each others throats for the last five years, following the assassination of Lord Hagan Orlock by members of the Delaque.
  • Van Saar - a House that deals primarily in mechanical goods, House Van Saar is known for the fine quality of their items, ensuring a good reputation and a high asking price for their work. As a result, they are the richest House in the Hive City. Wealth brings with it certain benefits, and so any Van Saar seen abroad is likely to be wearing the finest in armoured bodygloves and equipped with potent weaponry.[1b]


Below the Hive City is the more polluted, violent and lawless Underhive. There is no constant or definite border separating the Underhive from the main hive city. Fighting between the gangs of rival Houses is mostly confined to this level of the hive.

Hive Bottom

The very bottom of the Hive is a dangerous area that is structurally unsound and only mutants or similar dangerous creatures can live there. It is known as the "Sump" and is by all intents and purposes uninhabitable.[2]

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