The Adeptus Mechanicus, known also as the Priesthood of Mars, The Machine Cult or the Mechanicum is a technocratic organization that preserves the ancient technology that the Imperium is utterly reliant upon yet understands so little about. For this reason alone, the Mechanicus has a near-unique level of autonomy within the Imperium because of their monopoly over technology – they control their own fiefdoms, Forge Worlds, where their machine-worshipping religion replaces the more traditional Imperial cult.
Created by human’s who settled the fourth planet of the Sol System, Mars, the Mechanicum flourished in the early days of human expansion into the stars, founding the ancient Martian Empire. When the Imperium was founded the Emperor forged an alliance with the Mechanicum ensuring peace between the two empires, and the supply of goods to the new Emperor’s forces. But the defection of the leadership of the Martian Empire to the service of the traitor Horus during the Imperium’s civil war, and the subsequent Martial Civil War almost destroyed the Martian Empire.
In the wake of the Heresy, the loyal Mechanicum were absorbed into the Imperium as the Adeptus Mechanicus, sacrificing a modicium of freedom in order to placate the reeling Imperium. This decision has been the cause of many internal disagreements among the Machine Cult – and is the reason why the Imperium has not made any attempt to stamp out their divergent belief in an ‘Omnissiah’ a ‘machine god’ that some associate with the God-Emperor and others believe to be a greater deity, or a state of being.
THE ADEPTUS MECHANICUS IN THE PROSPERITAS SECTOR
The Adeptus Mechanicus has a long and storied history, both as a part of the Prosperitas Crusade and in the wider Prosperitas Sector, the three major domains of the Mechanicus are their smog-shrouded Forge Worlds where forge-fires are ever-hot and the entire planetary population is committed to ceaseless production lines, feeding the Prosperitas Crusade and the Sector as a whole. Outside of these three there are many ‘lesser’ domains, such as the manufactorums on Korimesta, overseen by their Tech-Priest Overseers, and Tech-Adepts are found scattered across the sectors worlds, attending to various ancient machines.
However, one of the biggest draws of the Adepts Mechanicus to the Sector, asides from the abundant resources, is an abundance of archaeotech and ancient ruins. Vast fleets of Explorator Ships compete with rakish Rogue Traders as they blaze passages into the Untamed Worlds on the Rimward edge of the Sector, eager to find treasures of the Golden Age on human colonies untouched by the Imperium in thousands of years.
The three Forge Worlds of the Sector are all varied and unique in their nature, each one possessing it’s own complex political relationship with the Imperium, because of the complex issues regarding the independent nature of these worlds from Imperial governance, two of these Forge Worlds pre-exist M.41, having remained largely independent from the Traitor Regent of the Prosperitas Sector during the ten thousand years the Sector was governed by the Regency Government.
Ferrareus was the first of the Forge Worlds to be brought into compliance by the Prosperitas Crusade, the second primary objective after the conquest of Duroverum its-self it was taken from it’s original rulers and granted to the Mechanicum allies of Warmaster Durovera. It’s rulers owe their domain to the Imperium, and they know this well, the Legio Ferrareus, the sole Titan Legion stationed in the Sector, has almost constantly been at war since it’s formation from Engines captured from the former rulers of Ferrareus. The Arch-Magos of Ferrareus is often a regular visitor at the Sector Senatorum, and considered to be a strong ally of the Sector Governor.
Castellum is, by Galactic Terms, the neighbouring world of Ferrareus, and the other Forge’s rival, it is also the youngest of the Forge Worlds, having only been founded in mid M.41. Dismissed as a small, upstart, colony by the Leaders of Ferrareus, Castellum was founded by strong political and religious differences between the two Forges, and it is a point of contention for Ferrareus that Castellum was granted Forge World status. Castellum’s Tech Priests are, however, very good at political manoeuvring, which has otherwise protected their interests thus far, and meant their domain is a growing one.
Naximus Prime was the last of the Forge Worlds of the Prosperitas Sector to be united with the Imperium. At the far other end of the spectrum from Imperial-welcoming Ferrareus, the Mechanicus of Naximus Prime still act as if they live in the Golden Age of the Imperium, where the Mechanicum was an Empire unto it’s own. Though it did not declare for the Warmaster, and remained effectively blockaded for the ten thousand years protected by a narrow warp corridor heavily mined and guarded by Mechanicum vessels, post-unification Imperial Forces remain actively unwelcome within this domain, allowed to enter only by the permission of the Arch-Magos of the Forge.
Naximus is served also, by the lush Knight-World of Anaximund Alpha, a fertile bread-basket world, Anaximunds sole duty is to devote it’s land-space to producing the crops and raising the animals that feed the ever-hungry worker-populations of the Forges on Naximus Prime. The world is defended, by the noble warriors and their war-machine steeds, of Knight-House Qureshi – the Knight-House is bound by the ancient Sidon Protocols, forging a strange blend of the passionate warlike culture of the Knight House, and the cold logic of the Mechanicum. Effectively a slaved to Mechanicus protocol, the House is often willing to commit to Imperial endeavours when the Masters of Naximus are not, leading to friction. Given that the Household is the only one of it’s kind in the Sector, and it’s machines are sorely needed, it has become something of a point of contention between Naximus and it’s fellow Forge Worlds over attempts by their Magi to forge bonds with House Qureshi.
Between the Forge Worlds, the Explorator Fleets, and House Qureshi, the Mechanicum in the Prosperitas sector is in something of a fractured state, always bickering with itself and the Imperium at large about the best met quota’s and the correct deployment of the military might of Titans, Knights and the augmented Skitarii Legions that all three Forges possess. Most Administratum representatives to the Mechanicus will point out that on the surface, none of this strife shows, carried out in binary blurts and noospheric skirmishes, to outsiders, the Mechanicus present a united face, no matter how friendly their Forgeworld is with the Imperium. This doesn’t mean that senior Imperial officials aren’t AWARE of this strife, just that they know better than to become embroiled in the Machine-Cult’s politics.