+ inload: The Alien Wars setting +

+ Background to the Nova Terra Interregnum +

In retrospect, the broad history of the Nova Terra Interregnum is one of Imperial ambition, division and decline. The preceding centuries had seen the Ecclesiarchy enjoy a rise in influence, culminating in the recognition of the Emperor as a God; followed by the gradual reassertion of the Administratum. Such tension inevitably led to conflict. Few historians would have realised how massive the convulsions would be, or how radically they would redraw the Imperium's path.

The conflict between these two pillars of Imperial power was, of course, complex and multi-layered. Some histories paint the Nova Terra Interregnum as a conflict between the neo-rationalism of Nova Terra against an increasingly theocratic Imperium, while others identify the Ur-Council as the acceptably bureaucratic face of a fundamentally religious movement. The truth probably lies between these poles: the scale of events is simply too vast and complex to summarise neatly. 

While later records boldly state that an Imperial Segmentum – Pacificus, to the galactic West – broke off from the Imperium, this is only true in the broadest sense. The immutable borders of Pacificus, established during the Great Crusade itself, may obey human reason; but the galaxy is a messy place. Five thousand years of gradual astral movement have shifted the locations of stars and systems, and new worlds are being re-discovered and lost all the time. 

+ Nova Terra +

Certainly the world of Nova Terra became a beacon for visionaries, dissidents, malcontents and dreamers. It was a beautiful and highly influential planet; at the hub of a reliable web of warp-transport and well defended from attack. Nova Terra was well-placed to influence Imperial politics. Five thousand years of wise diplomacy, investment and demonstrations of loyalty ensured that it radiated a sense of Imperial power and certainty that had gradually been lost from Ancient Terra itself amidst fifty centuries of petty power struggles, megalomaniac government and panicky, reactionary rule.

The period immediately prior to the Interregnum saw the High Lords of Terra lost in petty internal squabbles that saw the Imperium as a whole stagnate. After a number of assassinations, counter-insurgencies and open warfare on Terra, the Adeptus Custodes declared that the High Lords would have to be represented in absentia in order to ensure the safety of the Emperor's person; and governance of the Imperium became even more bureaucratic, disjointed and delayed than usual.

In exasperation, many systems turned to Segmental government; regarding the High Lords as too distant. Nova Terra was an obvious choice of regional government. It was well-regarded and admired by both the Administratum and Ecclesiarchy, and enjoyed considerable support across the sector owing to it acting as a bastion for stability during the War of the False Primarch in M33.

Nova Terra declared its Ur-Council  as the highest point of authority in the Imperium at some point in M34 – supposedly reluctantly, though it had rapidly and unashamedly gathered support and declarations of loyalty since its formation some two centuries prior. 

The Ur-Council of Nova Terra 
The Ur-council was a group of the great and good (or at least powerful and ruthless) of the Segmentum, with many similarities to the High Lords. Present on the Ur-Council were seats for representatives for the Inquisition; Adeptus Ministorum; Administratum; Adeptus Mechanicus and Imperial Navy. Indeed, a number of the figures were ex-High Lords themselves, including the Master of Assassins – who had resigned his seat on Terra in disgust.

Events began to spiral quickly after conflicting order from Terra caused elements of Battlefleet Pacificus to variously deploy and disarm; an embarrassing state of affairs that saw a number of oppportunistic worlds rebel in the face of Imperial inaction and equivocation. Hydraphur, the seat of the Segmentum Navy, declared that henceforth it would only obey orders from Terra once they had been ratified by Nova Terra. 

Conflict with Terra was all but inevitable once the Imperial Commanders of Colcha and Guryan, famed seats of resistance and bywords for loyalty owing to their actions during the Plague of Unbelief, immediately followed suit, drafting a proposal that stated that – while Ancient Terra should be respected as the birthplace of humanity and seat of the God-Emperor – Nova Terra was the obvious choice for temporal power to be focussed; as the Ur-council could provide more stable and clear-sighted leadership than the corrupt and discredited High Lords.


+ Shifting loyalties +

One after another, countless worlds and systems came to declare for Nova Terra. Within a century, fifteen thousand systems had openly rejected the High Lords' rules; and by the time the numbers reached one hundred thousand systems – roughly a third of the Segmentum, with the remainder remaining pointedly neutral, Nova Terra made an official edict that Segmentum Pacificus would dissolve its connection with the rest of the Imperium. This was, of course, couched in diplomatic language, but the intent was clear.

The High Lords' response was weak and vacillating; with the bickering chamber unable to come to a united response. A number of small fleets fought isolated actions, but the skirmishes were limited and lacked coherence – not to mention the forces' understandable reluctance to engage supposedly friendly Imperial forces. 
None of this is to suggest that Nova Terra's governance was in any way less labyrinthine or complex than Ancient Terra's. The edict had only come to fruition through blackmail, hidden influence and a number of assassinations. As the saying goes; power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.



Suber said...

I love this all. I'm already preparing some stuff that I think might fit in the ambientation. I'll let you know!

apologist said...

Thanks, Suber – looking forward to seeing what such a talented hobbyist as yourself can come up with :)