In Building a Principia of the Ordo Action Upon Hesh
Aurealogi Belsepanium > Anni Aureum > Machine Coven of the Lathes

[Voxslate :: signo temporis 3.317.806 M41
Capsa scientia of Savant Jonus Toll
Savant Jonus Toll]

Hesh, you say? Yes, the Principia of that Ordos action still languishes unfinished. Our good Inquisitor Belsepan requests we do well by posterity, but Inquisitors yet to be are undemanding in comparison to those presently within these hive-fortress walls.

In my defense, slow exchanges with Tech-Adept Rudenos of the Nordus Manufactory Slab are necessary to fill the many gaps in our librarum, and our knowledge of the secrets of the Mechanicus. This conversation has taken years, and continues yet; I have become more proficient in Binary Calixis-I and more familiar with the fortress Astropaths than I had ever intended.

I have recommended that Hrald add Rudenos to his Black Index; he has been nothing but helpful, at risk to himself, a true servant of the Throne. Besides, I have see the hints he will rise to the Gravitas Priesthood - and after that, who knows? How much would you give to have a Magos of Hesh in your debt?

No, you'd get more of a taste of Hesh from Grambald, or perhaps Ume if you're careful. Both participated in the destruction of the Machine Covens.

If you insist, though please recall that my knowledge is secondhand; I have only seen the forges of Hesh in pict-captures. That can hardly compare.

It is far older than the other Lathe worlds; once a repository world, a destination for cogitator pilgrims of the Mechanicus, Tech-Priests bearing datavaults and sacred information. Think of it as a shrineworld, if you like. The Mechanicus honor the Emperor by another name, and in their own strange ways.

No, it is a forge world now, and for a thousand years so. Old data temples still exist at the surface, where the hive levels thin out. Across most of Hesh, the Repository Era is a strata beneath kilometers of manufactory, alchemical mill and tech-forge, structures piled high and the lowest levels thinly populated.

Tech-Adept Rudenos has told me of archaeodata caverns, metal abysses of ancient sacred datacrystals, the resting places of ancient machine spirits, and sinkways that lead deep from the present data temples to infotombs of vast and labyrithine extent.

But I step ahead of myself. Hesh is a world of strata, you must understand. Dead and dormant archeodata below, and ages of alchemy and the forge laid down atop. Above the smoking mills of the present float the manufactory slabs, spired cities of industry and worship, twenty kilometers or more in breadth. The Gravitas Priesthood tend the spirits of suspensor shrines, hundreds in each manufactory slab, and oversee the passage of menials to and from the surface in great cable-lifts and suspensor discs.

Heresy and the mark of the Archenemy upon Hesh comes from below, from the archeodata strata. It has come before, many times, and the Magos Gravitas have quashed it. The Mechanicus are proud and secretive; I believe they would have defeated the Machine Covens alone had the Ordos not become involved, and hidden all signs of the war it required, just as they have before. The Archenemy is corruption and rust to the Tech-Adepts, and they look upon its foul work as you would look upon the rotting of your own flesh. It is a horror to them.

If I understand correctly, all the Materium is potentially a temple in the eyes of the Tech-Priests of Mars. The system of the Lathes is a sacred place for its conjunctions and gravity phases, a natural forge-shrine for the mysteries of suspensor fields. Tech-Adept Rudenos believes the Consideration of Gravity, the associations of Magos Gravitas, to form an unbroken line of archeotheology far into the past - to the seeding of Hesh and beyond.

Yes, I know where you stand on theology. Faith is blind that does not consider.

It is instructional that the great Mechanicus, even those of an ancient respository shrineworld, are in many ways as ignorant of the past as we are. Librarums burn, datacrystals are lost, machine spirits fade and die. The grand portrait remains, but the details smudge.

I digress; I have been thinking of how best to explain the Machine Covens. Translating some concepts from the Binary machine languages is surprisingly challenging.

Let me start with what I term "hereticals." A heretical is somewhat like an idea, somewhat like the bones of a dead machine spirit. It is tainted, waiting to be thought again, or remade into a new machine. No, I make an analogy by talking of bones. A piece of a spirit, a vital impulse, split from the main at death or dormancy, touched by the Empyrean or formed of forbidden concepts.

The lowest strata of Hesh, wormed with infotombs and the remains of datavaults, hide the hereticals of the Repository Era. Here and there in the dark, dead thousands of years, tainted things wait.

Rudenos has hinted over the years of a great heresy of the ancient data temples, but will not speak of it; this is taboo upon Hesh, known amongst the Gravitas Priesthood but never spoken. I have been forced to speculate on a thin gruel of fragments and myth, but I believe it to be a archaic variety of Transcendancy.

I don't think you want to know. It is more theology, albeit heretical. Are you sure? Very well.

The Transcendant heretic refutes the Omnissiah, the Emperor as Machine God honored by the Mechanicus. Some declare the Omnissiah corrupt or blinded, some see Him as lost far from the Imperium, while others deny His very existence. Heresy enough for you, yes? That is but the first page, however. All Transcendants see a path to become the Omnissiah, summon the Omnissiah or create the Omnissiah. These paths vary in their details, but the spiral of heresy and power hunger inevitably leads to warp-craft - and the warp-craft of corrupted Magos is accomplished upon a very great scale, while the Archenemy savors success.

There are other heresies peculiar to the Mechanicus that cause great revulsion to attend the Transcendants; perversions of machine spirits and the holy rituals of Magos associations that I do not fully understand. Tech-Adept Rudenos would never explain these matters to me, an outsider.

Never speak of Transcendancy with Tech-Adepts; it will not go well.

[Voxslate :: signo temporis 3.318.806 M41
Capsa scientia of Savant Jonus Toll
Savant Jonus Toll]

What can I say? My drafts are more tidy, barely, but you're not a reader. I am trying to condense the essence of it, gleaned and correlated from many sources.

You know how the Covens became visible, in reaching out into the rest of the sub. There was the matter of the Navigator's Spire and the theft of the Navatrix Aurum that led Mirel Terice, Emperor rest her, and thence the Inquisitor back to Hesh - and the Suppression Purge thereafter. You know of the obvious consequences and heresies, but this Principia attempts to catalogue all that was not shared by the Magos Gravitas, that the Ordos might understand first causes and need for further action.

Yes, the Magos were most reluctant. They are proud beyond measure, and it is a horror to them for any outsider to have seen corruption of their sacred duties upon Hesh. It is fortunate that some few individuals and minor Factions Theologic understand that removal of that stain will come through cooperation with the Ordos, not the angry maintenance of the Iron Wall.

The Repository Era strata of Hesh, the infotombs, the buried dataspires, the silver etchwalls, the machine spirit seed vaults, are a sacred trust of the Tech-Priests. You might view it as a saint's relic, of vast extent, kept in state by Cathedra Ecclesiarchs. The Machine Cults' purpose is to gather all that is known in service of the Emperor as God Machine, and the archeodata of Hesh is held in waiting to join that ultimate goal.

As I said, the strata are empty of industry. There might be feral menials or wild, broken servitors and errant machine spirits here and there, lost from the lowest manufacturies and alchemical mills, but Tech-Adepts descend below the forge levels but rarely.

Tech-Adept Rudenos has provided me with some insight into the sacred tasks that lead Tech-Priests into the Repository Era labyrinths. Consecrations of deep nodeways and forge foundation struts must be remade on certain conjunctions of the Lathes. Processionals made through the the Datavault Ultimus some kilometers under the the servitor halls beneath the flight of the Nordus Manufactory Slab propriates angry suspensor machine spirits. Cleansers hunt down ferals that might disrupt the operation of the forges.

Of more interest to me are some the ancient customs by which Tech-Adepts are initiated into the Consideration of Gravity. Some ceremonies take place within the present data temples, where the forge strata are thinnest. Questing to retrieve acheotech suspensors from the deep Repository Era and Early Forge strata is viewed with favor, as are those who demonstrate devotion to the Machine God by returning such lost devices to operation in the manufactory slabs.

I believe it is in this way that Covens of Transcendancy return to the Hesh forges again and again. Initiates, their augmentics, or the devices they maintain are corrupted by a heretical from the depths. The corruption spreads from machine to machine, from adept to adept, perhaps warp-tainted from the very start, or perhaps the Archenemy is only invoked later, once the heresy has spread far enough to delve more forbidden archeodata from the infotombs.

It may never be known how the Covens most recently purged came to be. Angry, Transcendant machine spirits dominating the Tech-Priests who served them, perhaps, empowered by the Archenemy to work their corruption. Bothe Ume described Tech-Adepts dragged by their augmentics into battle, crying for help, menials fused screaming into the machines they tended, and the machine spirits of cogitators and vault seals turning against the Nordus Tech-Guard.

[ Posted by Reason on March 23, 2008 ]