Hive Essen (also known as Hive E) is located in in the western portion of Sector 9. Hive Essen is strategically located next to the largest known ore deposit in Sector 9, The Blacksteel Mine. The proximity to the Blacksteel Mine has given Hive Essen great manufacturing power, particularly for constructing rail. Hive Essen also has easy access to growing foodstuffs. The combination of rail power and food export makes Hive Essen one of the biggest settlement powers in Sector 9.
Hive Essen is the hub for three major rail lines: the Northern Line, the Southern Line, and the Western Line. The Northern line connects to the settlement of Parsade, a key stopping point on the way to Hive Tyran. The Southern Line connects to Hive Nebu by way of the settlement of Muraad. The western line leads to the settlement of Usad, a port that facilitates trade with Hive Xell over the Clearlight Sea.
Hive Essen has a reputation for being a sprawling metropolis, even in comparison to other hives. Population density is extremely high, which in the past has led to civil unrest, as well as promoting the trend towards emigration and settlement. Unions exert power in the lower hive, often in conjuction with street gangs. This assertiveness from the Unions and the difficult urban environment led to the Union Rebellion five years ago.
The house of Essen is ruled by Juran Essen, the Iron Lord. The house has a reputation for acting with a heavy hand, exerting control over the manufacturing unions and reaping great profits on the backs of the laboring classes. The House demands loyalty from the hivers, and operates more openly than the subtle manipulations of some other great houses. What they lack in finese, they make up for in brutality. House Essen values strength and authority above all, and the only response to disloyalty is violence.
Before the outbreak of the Union Rebellion, the reach of House Essen extended to the nearby settlements of Muraad, Parsade, and Usad. The rebellion, however, did great damage to the strength of the House’s enforcers. The authority of House Essen has waned in recent years among the settlements as a result.
Best estimates indicate that Hive Essen is home to between 800,000 and 1,000,000 survivors. The majority of hivers in Essen are human, but significant communities of Goliath, Gith, and Peren exist as well. Gnomes and Halflings are seen occasionally, but the rail lines has made Essen a difficult place for runners to do business. Elves are Drow are rarely, if ever, seen in Essen.
Psions exist in Essen just as they do elsewhere in Sector 9, but they are far less common than in other hives.