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How do the Imperial tithe work for Knight worlds

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In Dan Abnett's Titanicus, an example is provided (but it might not be an universal rule, I'm just specifying an actual example we see in the novels).  The Knight world of Orestes had to provide an Imperial tithe of Titans and Knight Pilots, to the point they needed outside aid from another Titan Legion to defend itself against an incursion.


Now, I also remember it had a huge Planetary Defense Force, but I do not know if it had to contribute Guardsmen as well.  Their PDF was so big that it was 3 layers deep in terms of reserves, like a sports team that had backups for their players, then backups for their backups.  The most interesting story within that novel was about a squad that was this 3rd layer, where people joined never expecting to fight, who joined for various reasons (the main character signed up to provide a little money/state benefits for her family, another was a shy girl sent by her affluent family to just make some friends, it was very sweet and tragic).  A world that had to provide Terra's due usually provided 1/10th of their PDF as Guardsmen, so considering that huge PDF, I reckoned they probably did (to explain its huge size).


Thus, in the case of the Knight world Orestes, they DEFINITELY paid an Imperial tithe in terms of Titans and Knight Pilots, and PROBABLY in Guardsmen as well.

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To complement N1SB's excellent answer, it's also worth looking at what Knight Worlds were originally envisioned as – and that is worlds on which herds of megasaurs required giant walking suits to shepherd (sauroherd?) them. I imagine that vast quantity of meat and related products (hide, bone etc.) is of prime value to the Imperium, making a number – if not the majority – of them a form of agriworld that sends supplies as their tithe. 

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I seem to remember Knight Worlds belonging to Mars, instead of Terra;


They pay their tithe to the Mechanicum in the form of their knightly services, in exchange for tech, new suits, and such.

Knights houses can be pledged to the Mechanicus or the Imperium. It's even apart of their faction mechanics on the tabletop.


I think the reference to Titanicus is great, but it seems a little out of date. Titanicus predates both the first Imperial Knight and Adeptus Mechanicus codexes, and what N1SB described doesn't seem to quite line up with what those codexes say. Not that I'm doubting the validity of Titanicus, it just comes from a different era of the Knight/AdMech "vision"


Some Questor Mechanicus houses do seem to have little autonomy; I can't remember which house (I think Atrax) was described as little more then a slave vassal of their (Dark) Mechanicum masters


On the other hand, Andy Clark's Knight books and the HH Black Books describe quite a few houses as having a fair bit of independence. The Andrastapol still answer to the Imperium, but from what I can remember they didn't pay a tithe or send regiments. Clark has described the Knight commanders in his books as being major leaders who stand separate from the other Imperial arms.


I think the answer is likely: It depends. Are they Questor Imperialis or Questor Mechanicus? What natural resources does their planet have? Population? Is the Knight World dominated by a single house, or do multiple houses vie for supremacy.


Given that some Astartes world's have tithes, I can see it likely that some Knight World's would. However some worlds might have little to offer except for their Knight Lances. I think Astartes worlds offer a fair comparison to Knight World's actually; the military power they provide offsets the lower tithing standard

Edited by sitnam
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I mean, Orestes I am pretty sure wasn't a knight world but a Forge World that produced titans. In fact, a lot of the book is centred on the titan class warfare going on, not knights. I do say it is a fantastic read and I love all the stories within it.


In terms of Tithes, I believe they do pay their tithes to Terra effectively in the end as it is as the greater Imperium it is due to however I would surmise their Tithes are not standard affairs, more along the lines of offering their aid to Imperial forces as needed as I believe within the codex (or is it engine war?) that diplomats and envoys of the Imperium often have a hard time visiting knight worlds to deal with such matters as most are extremely esoteric in their dealings with nobles (often being easily offended and requiring a lot of effort to clear up).

I would easily guess that they still offer up regiments like most planets but due to also offering knights for the imperium likely don't need to give as much as another planet might, not to mention their resource requests likely are lighter if not non-existent due to needing resources to arm, re-arm and repair knights.


I could see the Mechanicus however being an interesting sticking point. After all, they would easily offer up tech-priests and resources to aid such worlds in return purely for lances of knights to protect whatever expeditions they want to launch but at the same time needing to play nice with the Imperium is not something the mechanicus likes.


My best guess is they do pay them, but ultimately due to their unique status likely do not have a standard form of tithes. Likely closer to offering "rites of service" that a diplomat for an Imperial force could employ to call the household to action. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Orestes is indeed a Forge World. Mechanicum Knight houses form auxilia for Titan Legions so aren't as fully independent as regular Knight Houses. A 40k game against mechanicum knights wouldn't be a major battle but a skirmish on the edge of a battle involving a Titan legion. Some Mechanicum houses are based on Forge Worlds (Mars has two for example) while others are just nearby. House Raven were based on Kolosi which is not a forge world but are associated with the Legio Metalica from the eponymous Forge World.


Since Knights are you know, Knights in theme as well as name I assume that they provide military service to their liege. Which would put them in a similar area to Space Marine Chapters who I don't think pay tithes either.

Edited by Closet Skeleton
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From memory, Imperialis worlds still pay regular tithes to the Imperium. Be those food, manpower, or materials. When I say manpower, I mean your regular Imperial Guard tithes than sending knights. Knights would only go under times of great need, or if a member of the household wants to seek their own glory. 


Mechanicus ones are similar to Imperialis, except they give their tithes to the Ad-Mech.


It's been awhile since I had a deep dive of their lore, so I'm going from memory.

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