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Adeptus Administratum

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Adeptus Administratum

Race Mankind

Headquarters Imperial Palace (Terra)

Government Imperium of Man

Leader Master of the Administratum

Military Forces None

Pre-Horus Heresy (30th


"To know ones place is the greatest comfort, to excel within it is the greatest solace,
and a masters contentment is the greatest reward."
Codex Administratum Edition XXIIVC

The Adeptus Administratum is the administrative and bureaucratic division of the Adeptus
Terra, the heart of the gigantic bureaucracy that controls the government of the Imperium of
Man, consisting of untold billions of clerks, scribes and administrative staff constantly
working to manage the Imperium at every level, from assembling war fleets to levying taxes.
It is the largest of the departments comprising the Adeptus Terra, and ten billion
Administratum adepts work in the Imperial Palace on Terra alone. Its billions of officials on
Terra and throughout the galaxy are constantly carrying out population censuses, working out
tithes, recording and archiving information, and the million other things that are necessary for
the running of the Imperium. Such is its immense size, that whole departments of the
Administratum have been submerged by a sea of complex bureaucracy, becoming lost in
loops of paper trails. Other departments have continued to dogmatically operate and carry out
their founding function, even if the intent and requirement behind them no longer exists.


A Scribe of the Imperial Administration maintaining meticulous records of an Imperial
Expeditionary Fleet during the Great Crusade in the late 30th Millennium

The Adeptus Administratum was originally created by the Emperor of Mankind as the
Imperial Administration, the first bureaucracy for the newborn Imperium of Man, during the
closing days of the Great Crusade, following the Ullanor Crusade of the 31st Millennium.
The Imperial Administration was placed under the control of the Regent of Terra, Malcador
the Sigillite, who was titled with the esteem rank of Chief of the Imperial Administration, and
is recognised today as the first Master of the Administratum. As the single largest part of the
Adeptus Terra, the bureaucrats of the Imperial Administration were to be responsible for the
assessment of tithes, the distribution of resources, and essentially every administrative
function the Imperium required to operate. Today, uncountable and ever-changing quantities
of offices, departments and divisions deal with almost every facet of maintaining a galaxy-
spanning empire of a million worlds, and every sector, world and citizen is subject to their
scrutiny and intervention.

Within the Imperium, the agents of the Administratum are an innumerable and ever-present
facet of interstellar commerce and politics, with the largest concentrations found on worlds
with a particularly high military presence, high tithe requirements, or large-scale commerce.
In particular, extensive Administratum offices on more developed worlds house hundreds of
thousands of archivists, ordinates and prefects, who scrutinise sector-level operations with a
keen eye and unwavering adherence to ancient doctrine. Typically, the Administratum takes
little direct action in regards to matters of law or violations of it within the Adeptus Terra, as
such matters are the concern of the Adeptus Arbites. However, the attention to detail that
characterises much of the work of the Administratum often discovers criminal acts where
they would otherwise go unnoticed, detecting pirates from reports of missing ships and
locating smugglers from incongruous audits and tithe manifests. In situations such as these,
the Administratum tends to hand matters over to another Imperial Adepta so that appropriate
action can be taken. Even once others are involved, the Administratum continues to observe,
ensuring that everything happens by the book and as efficiently as possible.

By virtue of wider necessity, even at the sector scale, the Administratum enacts collective
decisions that will affect millions, even billions every day. Such actions are arrived at by a
simple and utterly impersonal process of procedure, precedent, tradition, and cold calculation
based on long-established criteria -- heedless of the level of suffering or upheaval that they
will cause at a local level. Likewise, the absolute importance the Administratum places on the
minutiae of its nightmarishly complex bureaucratic system and the strict adherence to
regulations, forms, protocols, and due process, can itself be the source of great friction and
dissatisfaction at all levels of Imperial society.

Worse still can occur when error creeps into the system, such as when the consequences of
inaccuracy, lost data, or simple incompetence manifest themselves. Though exceedingly rare,
it is quite possible for the Administratum to simply "lose a world" thanks to administrative
error, condemning it to isolation and privation, or wrongly apply a tithe grade and thus render
a world an asset-stripped wasteland. It might even misfile a request for emergency aid, which
consequently arrives years, even centuries, too late. The trouble that such errors can inflict on
a personal level are not hard to imagine; indeed, many individuals have had their records
mangled, lost, or misregistered. For such unfortunates, unless very powerful, the
consequences can be as shattering as they are impossible to rectify.

Of course, the lack of personal enmity involved in the Administratum's actions means little to
those who may find their lives turned upside down, their families suddenly displaced or
shunted wholesale to a strange world, their protections removed, their property seized, or
themselves simply left to starve. As a result, the Administratum is both hated and feared by
all strata of Imperial society. Many, even in the other Imperial Adepta, find them hidebound,
petty, and obstructive. It is quite possible that through its work, the Administratum will breed
bitterness and discontent that can explode into outright rebellion or provide an opening for
darker forces to gain purchase.

The Administratum is also a shockingly parochial organisation, its Adepts blindly ignorant of
the nature of the world around them and naive of its many pitfalls and dangers. This naivete
in itself can leave the Administratum's myriad local offices and workers vulnerable to
individual canker, deception, and infiltration, and in any organisation where human greed,
ambition, vanity, and hubris may be found, worse still can bloom. Ironically, the
organisation's greatest defence against corruption is its own vast complexity and inertia. This
makes it woefully difficult to derail or subvert in any widespread or meaningful way. If a
thousand Adepts have to be purged simply to ensure the accuracy of a particular tithe-
repository's records, so be it. For the Administratum, nothing, not even the lives of its
servants, is personal.

Factionalism and Internal Strife in the Administratum

Any complex system that relies heavily on dogma and protocol is subject to interpretation,
and differences in such interpretation can lead to schism and discord. The Administratum is
no exception to this. Petty bickering, internal politics, and departmental rivalries can all cause
problems within the Administratum, both on the larger and local scales, although the
organisation is often at pains to never let such disputes show to outsiders. While these minor
disputes rarely amount to much in the grand scheme of things, their aftereffects can have
wider ramifications, like the ripples spreading from a stone dropped into a still pool.


Ordinate-Major of the Adeptus Administratum

Of all the Imperium's governmental divisions within the Adeptus Terra, the Administratum is
regarded as the least prestigious, but its high-ranking members are among the most powerful
people in the galaxy. If the Adeptus Terra is the machinery that drives the Imperium, the
Administratum is the grease and oil that ensures this machinery operates. Without the
Administratum, the machine would splutter to a halt and the Imperium would fail. As a result,
the Master of the Administratum is in actuality the most politically powerful member of the
High Lords of Terra.

Many Administratum positions are considered hereditary. Typical Administratum Adepts

labour within gargantuan vaults, sitting at logic-engines and Cogitator workstations. They can
be considered quite learned by Imperial standards. Like other non-combatant servants of the
Adeptus Terra, the members of the Administratum wear a monastic style of dress, their habits
varying in colour according to their rank within the Adepta and their area of responsibility.
The basic colour for the lowliest scribe is black; higher-ranking members have increasingly
lighter shades of grey, and eventually pure white.

While the Administratum is primarily responsible for all logistical operations related to the
civil aspects of the Imperium, the division of the Administratum known as the Departmento
Munitorum is responsible for the logistics of the Imperial Guard, organising military tithes,
materiel supplies, troop movements and troop deployment. The Departmento is far more
decentralised than the other divisions of the Administratum, establishing a presence on any
world with a significant tithe-grade. Distress calls from an invaded world are processed by
the Departmento, and will be passed up the ladder of bureaucratic command: star system to
Sub-sector Command to Sector Command to Segmentum Command to the Senatorum
Imperialis itself until one of them with enough resources and responsibility can deploy the
needed reinforcements.

Divisions of the Administratum

The largest organisation in the Adeptus Terra, the Adeptus Administratum is itself divided
into many branches. The greater majority of its constituents have no concept of how their
work fits into any overall scheme, or even that they are part of the same bureaucracy.
Comprised of innumerable divisions and offices it is unlikely that any one man, even the
Master of the Administratum himself, has an idea of how many divisions exist within the
monstrous Administratum. Their work is an end in itself and the single most important factor
in the lives of Administratum Adepts. It is enough to perform the task; understanding is
neither required, nor welcome. It is said by the soldiers of the Imperial Guard that for each
fighting man there are a dozen scribes and at least two minor officials toiling, recording petty
details that no one will use or consider. Most of the divisions are petty and of little interest.
Known divisions of the Administratum include:

Departmento Munitorum - The Departmento Munitorum, also called the Adeptus

Munitorum, is a department or sub-division of the Adeptus Administratum devoted to
the general administration, personnel assignment, supply and logistics of the Imperial
Guard. The Munitorum has ultimate responsibility for the raising of new Imperial
Guard regiments, the training of new Imperial Guard troops, the provision of
equipment and supplies to all regiments in the field, and the transportation of troops
and equipment to and from theatres of war using the vessels of the Imperial Navy. It
is primarily a logistical organisation, like the larger Administratum of which it is a
part, but while the Administratum deals with the civilian logistics of running the entire
Imperium of Man, the Munitorum deals solely with the military logistics necessary to
fight and win the Imperium's wars on behalf of all branches of the Imperial armed

The Estate Imperium - The Estate Imperium is a division of the Administratum

described as, "..the million-strong records office of the Administratum." Presumably
its purpose is to keep and furnish records of Imperial Adepta when they are called for
by the relevant arms of the Adeptus Terra. The division's head carries the title of
Chancellor of the Estate Imperium. The Estate Imperium's importance is such that its
leader sometimes holds a position in the Senatorum Imperialis of the High Lords of
Historical Revision Unit - The Historical Revision Unit is another one of the myriad
bureaucratic departments of the Administratum, whose Adepts are the indentured
servants and Servitors known as Historitors who work within the Imperial Palace.
Their job is to revise subversive records of Imperial history into versions that are
more reverent towards the Emperor and the version of Imperial history that most
glorifies His name. The Historicus is the title of the unit's chief Adept. One of the
important duties of the Historical Revision Unit is seeking out historical records and,
if need be, destroying them when ordered to do so by their superiors in the
Administratum. Specially designated units of the Historical Revision Unit known as
Deletions Teams carry out this function. Their most common duty is performing the
vital task known as an Edict of Obliteration -- the deliberate destruction of any vital
records or historical documents pertaining to an individual or organisation that has
been declared Excommunicate Traitoris by the Emperor of Mankind, the High Lords
of Terra or the Inquisition.

Officio Medicae - The Officio Medicae is the primary arm of the Administratum that
deals with public health and medical-related issues in the Imperium, operating
government-run medical facilities throughout the galaxy and on many Imperial
worlds. In addition, they seem to oversee the management and quarantine of worlds or
groups afflicted by plagues, such as those created and spread by Nurgle, the Chaos
God of Plague. Like much of the Administratum, it is plagued by bureaucracy and

Logis Strategos - The Logis Strategos is the primary intelligence gathering and
analysis agency of the Administratum. Its primary function is to analyze the myriad of
threats to the Imperium presented by xenos and the Forces of Chaos and devise
suitable strategies to counteract them.

Munitorum Strategic Intelligence Collective - The Munitorum Strategic

Intelligence Collective is a secret arm of the Administratum that is composed of
senior Ordo Xenos Inquisitors and Magos Biologis Genetors and Xenobiologists of
the Adeptus Mechanicus. It is their primary mission to compile biological and
logistical data on the Tyranids to determine their weaknesses and devise suitable
counter-measures to future Hive Fleet invasions. These secretive reports are sent
directly to the High Lords of Terra themselves. Their analysis of all the details of the
Tyranid invasions thus far has seen them draw a startling conclusion as stark as it is
terrifying: the Hive Fleets faced by the Imperium to date are but parts of a far greater
whole, and this whole will be arriving at the Imperium's borders within less than a
standard century. They estimate that Imperial mobilisation levels will need to be
increased by a minimum of 500% -- which would effectively include every able-
bodied man, woman and child on every world in Segmentums Solar, Obscurus and
Tempestus -- to have even a hope of stopping this dire threat.

Tithes Chamber Notaries, sub. Planetary Census (Abhumans) - The Tithes

Chamber Notaries, sub. Planetary Census (Abhuman) is a sub-division of the Adeptus
Administratum that oversees the classification and recognition of stable and
sanctioned Abhuman strains within the Imperium. Of these, forty-six types are now
listed as extinct, and no records have been received of a further twelve strains for over
a generation, suggesting that they too have died out or been assimilated back into the
general population of Mankind. The status of the remaining fifteen Abhuman races is
quite varied and there is permanent disagreement about their specific classification
amongst the Adepts of the Tithes Chamber Notaries. The most noteworthy and
contentious matter concerning the Adepts is the Ogryn (Homo sapiens gigantus)
matrix of Abhuman strains.

Divisio Auditae - Unique to the Calixis Sector is the Divisio Auditae, which oversees
matters of significant interest to the Administratum from incorrect tithes to the
adjudication of Warrants of Trade granted to Imperial merchants in the sector. The
Divisio Auditae was established in the early 8th century of the 41st Millennium,
created as one of the first acts of the Lord Calixis Marius Hax, and it reports directly
to Hax himself and to its superiors in the Administratum.

o Questors - Known more commonly (but unofficially) as Quaestors, these

Auditors are empowered to travel the Calixis Sector and demand access to all
records of any planetary government or organisation they come across; only
the most powerful of individuals can deny a Quaestors demands, though even
these few exceptions try Lord Haxs patience. Anything they discover that
seems worthy of attention is reported, to be acted upon by other agents of Lord
Hax or other Imperial agents as deemed appropriate. Under the command of
Prefect Salassar Aoghan Annovestes, a minor functionary from the Sephris
Secundus elevated through the ranks of the Administratum, the ranks of the
Divisio Auditae have swollen to include over 6,000 separate Questors. Each
possesses the freedom to move and investigate whatever and wherever they
see fit, much to the consternation of the Inquisition, Planetary Governors, and
Rogue Traders who see such freedom of remit for an official who is essentially
a bureaucrat as dangerous and intrusive into matters better left in other hands.

Ranks and Titles of the Administratum

There are countless ranks and titles used within the Administratum; this system of
nomenclature is also used within the Adeptus Terra as a whole. Some examples include:

Master of the Administratum - The Master of the Administration is the titular head
of the Adepta, who sits on the Senatorum Imperialis as one of the High Lords of

Adeptus (or Adept) - An Adept is the title of all members of the Adeptus Terra, from
the highest-ranking to the most petty of functionaries.

Prefectus (or Prefect) - Prefect is a title used by Administratum officers and officials.

Master - Master is a title used by Administratum departmental heads.

Ordinate - Ordinate is a title used by minor administrative officials.

Curator - Curator is a title used by Administratum Adepts who maintain the ancient
records of the Imperium; the rank also requires associated historical and linguistic
knowledge and is therefore considered somewhat prestigious.

Scribe - Scribe is a title used by the lowly functionaries of the Administratum

responsible for keeping records.

Cipher - Cipher is a title used by a special form of Imperial messengers; they

memorise dictation with a single scan, repeating it verbatim when they reach their
destination; they have no knowledge of the messages they carry.

Menial - Menial is a title used by lowly, non-specialized but free workers recruited
from the non-Adept population, essentially the Administratum's janitors and

Subordinate - Subordinate is a title used by the hereditary slaves of the Adeptus Terra
who serve as engineers and craftsmen, as well as in other unskilled occupations.

Codex Imperialis, pp. 12-14

Codex: Eye of Terror (3rd Edition), pg. 13

Codex: Tyranids (3rd Edition), pg. 41

Dark Heresy: Core Rulebook (RPG), pg. 44

Dark Heresy: Disciples of the Dark Gods (RPG), pp. 165-166

Imperial Armour Volume Eight - Raid on Kastorel-Novem, pg.7

Imperial Munitorum Manual, pp. 3, 8

Rogue Trader: Hostile Acquisition, pp. 88-90

Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader, pg. 140

Warhammer 40,000: Rulebook (Digital Edition) (7th Edition), pp. 271, 275, 281, 283,
286, 298, 301, 304, 321, 339, 374, 386, 464, 540-541, 544, 546, 550

Warhammer 40,000: Rulebook (6th Edition), pp. 139, 404-405

Deliverance Lost (Novel) by Gav Thorpe

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