Principia Summaris: Historia Portae Interdictus, Hive Tarsus
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I. Gapped Portae Seals

Prior to the War of Vault-Lord Xercos, Xercos the Ugly as he came to be called, the hereditary Portae Guard had become corrupt and lax. Promissaries changed hands, and the vault-lords, gang masters, slavers and the Exiled Below had traffic with their betters.

Over the years, the loathed taint of underhive and outland crept back once more into Moanlith Processional levels, low servatory habs on the Tullen Flankwall, the Square of Saint Hess, and the noisesome spiral-cage bazaar. The Noble Houses of Hive Tarsus, whose edicts created the Portae Interdictus centuries before, cared not for the suffering of the least of their servants. The Tarsus Arbites, who cared greatly, had no influence upon Noble House and Portae Family.

II. Half a Hive, Laid Upon Half a Hive

The railheads of Hive Tarsus vie for space a kilometer above ground with shuttle-ports and House Mechantalis cargo plazas, all above the Portae levels. Ceramite rails arc up high over the outland ruins, upon great pylons marked with the crest of Fallen House Yonu, as if echoing Yonu disdain for the wretches below.

Beneath the manufacturing and servatory levels, below the internal Portae, great hive gates stand corroded open, or fallen to the cratered ferrocrete. Any vermin who care may enter and leave; lines of the poor and wasted line the poor paths between looming wreckage linking polluted outland to collapsed hive layers.

Tarsus proper stands atop Tarsus Interdictus, the foundation made outcast.

III. Petty Wars of Vault-Lords

Over the centuries since the Portae Interdictus sliced the hive in two, the underhive barrens birthed vault-lords of statue great and small. They warred over fresh water, over pride, over scraps of impure food. They enslaved the Exiled Below and the low-born, and built paltry armies from hive-gangs that were the only strength in the lowest habs before the Portae.

The greatest of the vault-lords occupied the Flankwall and Inner and Crush sectors of Tarsus Interdictus, whilst the weak and their followers were ousted to the fog-choked outlands of wreckage, manufactory ruins and pollution-choked waterways of the Hive Establishment era.

As the Portae Interdictus became porous with the passage of time and greed, vault-lords warred over control of the Black Paths of smuggers, deserters, narcolords and outcasts. Forbidden wealth seeped down into the underhive from above, slowly, and every glint fought over bitterly. Some vault-lords became rich, building small fortresses within the Crush sectors of Tarsus Interdictus and setting treaties with narcolords as though their equals.

IV. Xercos the Ugly

Xercos the Ugly was as none of the the vault-lords who came before. No-one knows from whence he came to Tarsus Interdictus. His first act was to seek out the most renowned of the petty vault-lords, and slay him for his title. In the years that followed, he slew many more, gathering an army of outcasts to bring harsh order to the underhive sections beneath Slope Gamma and inward to the Triple Spine.

Xercos declared himself Vault-Lord Maximus, and plotted the destruction of those vermin and refusers who yet held the crush-mazes and ducting vaults against the forays of his raiding parties. All the while, he extended his reach ever upward, corrupting the Portae Guard families Dreffus and Ibfis completely. Their taste for slaves and narcoleptics made from pollution-sinks in the Low Crush brought weapons, devices of the Mechanicum and goods from the mid-hive, further ensuring Xercos' dominance.

[ Posted by Reason on March 22, 2008 ]