+ inload: Origin of an Empire: The Divided Mechanicus +

+ Origin of an Empire: A Divided Mechanicus +

For all their precious logica and supposed rationality, in my experience, the followers of the Machine seem wilfully capable of twisting their orders to suit them. 
Keep your friends close; and your enemies closer, as the proverb has it. What then, are we to make of the symbiotic dominions of the Emperor and Machine God?

Extract from All Human History – Inquisitrix Barbari Kills, Ordo Xenos

Neomechanicus Adherent Enginseer:
note diagnostic chequers.

+ An Overview of the Adeptus Mechanicus +

Since the Treaty of Mars; or Treaty of Olympus Mons, to give it its Martian title, the Mechanicum – and later the Adeptus Mechanicus – has been an empire within an empire, loyal to the Emperor as a symbol of the Machine God. Operating with a degree of independence from Imperial worlds, the Forge Worlds and their denizens have enjoyed relative autonomy from the Tithe for five millennia; instead being oathbound to supply Imperial forces – Navy, Guard and Astartes – with weapons, armour and supplies.

Even within the Adeptus Mechanicus, individual Forge Worlds – of which there are several hundred thousand, scattered across the galaxy – are sovereign realms, typically under an Archmagos Prime (their equivalent of an Imperial Governor). For much the same reasons as the worlds of the Imperium must look primarily to their own protection (cf. Inquisitrix Kills' earlier notes on Origin of an Empire: Nova Terran Interregnum), the individual Forge Worlds are left to their own devices. Mars insists only upon the submission of Holy Data to the Martian Altar Mechanicus. This comes in many forms; from physical screeds which must be transcribed, to recovered second-generation STC documents, to the physical remains of great Magi, whose mnemo-patterns are inloaded to the Altar.

The popular image of a Forge World is of a world-spanning factory; with great spills of drifting waste, and a dead, desert climate of chemical sands – and such a scene is common; not least amongst the pre-eminent Forge World Mars. However, Forge Worlds are nearly as diverse as any planet on which humanity has settled – both Imperial and the barbarous beyond-worlds.

2nd Regiment of Skitarii: Braun VI designate

+ Internal divisions +

Like any large empire or group, the Adeptus Mechanicus is full of behind-the-scenes factionalism. Most famously, this led to the division that split the Mechanicum during the events of the Horus Rebellion [...]
Now-lost technology: [Unknown designate]
[+Appendnote: Prior to the Inquisition's adoption of the resurgent Ministorum's preferred term in late M35, the Horus Heresy was referred to by many terms – a perhaps inevitable result of the idea being surpressed for so long. The decision of the Ecclesiarchy to promulgate a mythologised and highly redacted version of events as part of the official Imperial Cult cemented the term in its religious nomenclature. My learned predecessor, Barbari Kills, can perhaps be seen chafing at a resurgent Ecclesiarchy at the time of writing.][+Auth: Unfortunus Veck+].
[...]and the subsequent refounding of the faction as the 'tamed' Adeptus Mechanicus, now officially a pillar of the greater Imperium, and guaranteed both responsibilities and rights as part of the High Lords of Terra. Since then, many factions have come and gone.

Officially, the split between the Nova Terra Interregnum did not affect the Adeptus Mechanicus, and the various Forgeworlds continued to supply the local worlds to which they were indentured. Nevertheless, individual Archmagi obeyed blockade instructions between Nova Terra and Ancient Terra, and the movement of materiel. Thus in practice, if not in spirit, the Adeptus Mechanicus became divided during the Nova Terra Interregnum.


+ Domains of the Adeptus Mechanicus +

The splits in the Mechanicus, being spiritually driven and more diverse in concept, meant schismatic Forge Worlds were spread broadly across the galaxy, rather than being concentrated in a single Segmentum.

Foremost amongst the principal factions were:
  • Adeptus Mechanicus – sometimes referred to as the 'Adeptus Mechanicus Maior'; this was the largest, most influential and most conservative faction, continuing to serve the greater Imperium under Ancient Terra, and to have a seat on the High Lords. 
  • Neomechanicus – Also known as the Adeptus Mechanicus Minor, the preferred title was 'United Neomechanicus forces of Segmentum Pacificus', but it quickly became known simple as the Neomechanicus. This group was supposedly formed as a self-policing independent group of Forge Worlds within the seceding Segmentum Pacificus, in order to ensure compliance with Martian edicts during the crisis. In essence, it was a puppet state, though the Neomechanicus was forced to make a number of difficult compromises and harbour certain individuals that meant a gradual drift away from Martian rule began almost immediately. Outwardly staunchly loyal to Mars, the Neomechanicus' main distinguishing feature from their parent was their strict application of the wording of the Treaty of Olympus Mons, which means that the Archmagi of their Forge Worlds – with varying degrees of eagerness and reluctance – continued to supply the worlds of the Nova Terran Imperium. 
  • Praximal Adherents – A small group of Forge Worlds, principally in the Segmentum Solar, rallied around the Forge World Praximal to defend its right to recognise itself as truly independent. In essence, the Praximal Adherents promoted secession not just from the Imperium, but from the broader Imperium itself. That such rebellion was tolerated for so long was a mark both of how stretched Imperial resources were at this time, and the unwillingness of the High Lords to officially recognise – and thus legitimise – a second powerful group of Secessionists. 
  • Martian Suprematists – Inspired by the charismatic Prophetech Hos Chu of Vacuna, a number of Forge Worlds openly declared their support for the Ur-council, on the condition that Cult Mechanicus philosophies and laws would be recognised as official across the Nova Terran Imperium. While this was not fully successful, the Suprematists did manage to have Temples to the Machine God erected across many Imperial worlds, much to the disgust of the Adeptus Ministorum. 
  • Moirae Schismatics – The most famous group of the period, the Schismatics are fully deserving of an account of their own, which can be found later in this volume. [+noosphericinloadlink inactive+] 
  • Ancient Mechanicum of Triplex – Later to be stereotyped as independently-minded, the magi of the frontiers Forge World of Triplex-Phall were amongst the most devout and religiously-minded of all members of the Mechanicus at this point, their society all but indistinguishable from a shrineworld. Many influential Magi from Forge Worlds including Druent, Xibalba and Suzo No Otoko, expressed political sympathy for this divisive regime.
Coven of Praximal Adherents

+ The Adeptus Mechanicus during the Nova Terra Interregnum +

The Nova Terra Interregnum was a time of resurgent Imperial ambition, but the Mechanicus was at its most inward-looking during this period; with co-operation becoming ever more strained, discoveries jealously hidden, and the Prime Archmagi of many worlds forbidding exloading or inloading material from off-world, for fear of sedition, rebellion or worse. As a result, the fruits of research, always few and far between, ground almost completely to a halt across the broader Imperium.

With the physical aspect of the machine – and its concomitant cultural association with duty to the Imperium – losing its appeal for many individual Magi, many turned more to more esoteric or mystical personal researches. Attendance at Cult Mechanicus meetings swelled across the galaxy as the faithful turned from their temporal research to the metaphysical search for the Machine God.
Shrine-servitors – mobile automatons bearing priestly relics and capable of automated blessing, became commonplace during this period as a result of the paucity of trained machine-clerics. [model by j.vandamnit].
Perhaps coincidentally, perhaps in cultural sympathy, the denizens of the Forge Worlds became closely aligned with the broader Imperium in this increased religiosity. With the Emperor officially recognised as the God-Emperor, expressions of faith were already on the rise across the human galaxy as a whole; and for the Forge Worlds, this came to be expressed in a ever-more heightened ritualism.

Long-standing questions regarding the nature of the Emperor, the morality of the Adeptus system and the very meaning of existence were examined from every conceivable angle; and led to many full-scale wars and conflicts. From one angle, this caused stagnation and a rolling-back of understanding not seen since the fell events of the Horus Rebellion. Those crumbs of knowledge re-gathered in the centuries since were sequestered away once more, hidden in datavaults as demands for processing power turned from the physical to the spiritual. As Forge Worlds fell, or Magi were deposed, the knowledge or license to manufacture once-popular weapon systems, such as the Astartes' Sicaran and Sabre tanks, were lost or forbidden.

Conversely, the period also saw huge advancements in metaphysics, machine ethics and cultural understanding between the Twin Imperium and the Empire of Mars. Previously restricted material flooded onto the galactic stage as the Nova Terran Army (and later, in direct response, certain regiments of the Greater Imperial Guard) began to field Rhino transports and Land Raider battle tanks once again.

It is to the Sophist-priests of the Mechanicus that many Imperial archeaohistorians have attributed the continued co-existence and alliance of the Imperium and Mechanicum; their hard-won understanding and knowledge easing rising tensions, and allowing both Imperial Commanders and their Archmagos Prime counterparts greater understanding of one another and the oppression of their respective vulgar masses.


+ Role of the Adeptus Mechanicus during the Alien Wars +

Limited local refusal or personal political statements aside, on a broad scale, adepts of the Mechanicus continued to supply their Imperial charges, regardless of their sympathies to Constantium or Nova Terra. Their own forces swelled as the now-defunct Collegia Iconoclastis gathered religiously-minded forces and led them in holy wars against 'incompatible' Forge Worlds; resulting in the loss of irreplacable knowledge.

Missionary force of Zelb
These forces were to prove essential, as many Forge Worlds were to find themselves under increased threat from xenos sources, primarily owing to the Imperial withdrawal from previously-patrolled routes. The War of Kontol Oltdell saw the triple Forge Worlds of Glim all but destroyed by a combined host of Eldar. Barathrum was besieged by orks; and even Ryza was beset by an upsurge in Ymgarli activity.

Fortunately for the Mechanicus, and the human galaxy as a whole, the spirits of the devout Magi of the time were roused in defence of their empire. Divided as they were, all factions of the Mechanicus stood firmly against the xeno.


Aspirant Techmarine of the Iron Souls Chapter Astartes
Particular note should be made of the Astartes' relationship with the Adeptus Mechanicus at this time. While many Chapters – including luminaries like the Imperial Fists, and almost all the Iron Hands' successors – continued to send aspirant techmarines on a pilgrimage to Mars for their training, other Chapter Masters broke with long-standing tradition in order to avoid appearing to favour the Greater Imperium of the High Lords of Terra. 

Instead, their aspirants were variously apprenticed to existing Techmarines (often grudgingly, owing to the Techmarine's split vows), sent to nearby primary Forge Worlds in lieu of Mars (the Ultramarines pragmatically requested their local Forge Worlds to be sanctified by various Mechanicus factions in order to mollify all sides, then extended an invitation to their successor Chapters to send aspirants for training there), or even inducted through the Chapter cult; resulting in the peculiar creation in some Chapters (such as the Desert Lions) of a generation of techmarines with no official qualification; instead reliant entirely on jury-rigging the famously resilient STC-derived wargear systems. Such actions resulted in warfare between 'heretek' Chapters and the Adeptus Mechanicus on more than one occasion.


+ Post Script +

Understanding the nature of the God-Emperor is as vital to the survival of humanity as a whole, as is oxygen, water or succour to its individual subjects.

I remain, at your service; Inquisitrix Barbari Kills.

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