Al-Sherar

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This page details people, events, and organisations from the /tg/ Heresy, a fan re-working of the Warhammer 40,000 Universe. See the /tg/ Heresy Timeline and Galaxy pages for more information on the Alternate Universe.

Al-Sherar
Planet Carbon Aluminum Sphere Earth-Like Lt.jpg
Type

Forge World

Population

estimated at 16,000,000,000

Planetary Governor

The Kabeer Al-Mufteen

Sector

Al-Sherar Sector

Sub Sector

Al-Sherar

Segmentum

Pacificus


Al-Sherar is the bright centre of Segmentum Pacificus, home to wonders and horrors alike. Even after breaking its shackles, I cannot help but be its slave.

- Abdul Al-Sherar, private correspondence


The Forge World Al-Sherar was one of the mightiest of the Mechanicum's outposts. It developed strong ties to the Fifth Legion, but differences in faith led to a rocky relationship with Mars. Despite their rivalry with the centre of the Machine Cult, the Kazi of Al-Sherar were extremely successful. Their homeworld was highly industrial and bolstered its strength with a series of industrial worlds. For centuries Al-Sherar would be one of the great powers of the Segmentum Pacificus, but it would be weakened by rebellions in its colonies and the decline of its allies, before eventually it was humbled by the Red Planet.

History[edit]

Modern logis describe the rise and fall of Al-Sherar as having been dictated, in a complex fashion, by the waxing and waning of Mars itself. Their arcane theories are rarely comprehensible to a mortal mind, but the essential wisdom can perhaps be understood. The success of the Mechanicus fostered many great worlds, but only one could be master.


Foundation and early expansion[edit]

Al-Sherar was settled early in the Age of Strife by one of the first colonist fleets dispatched by the Cult Mechanicum. The world the colonists found was rich in mineral resources and had a biosphere adequate for the development of the manufactoria and temples of the techpriests' civilisation. Though the young Forge World was often menaced by Amatteir raiders, the slaver-race had no stomach for the fight required to utterly subdue a planet guarded by a Titan Legion. Al-Sherar prospered, developing its own industry and looking to nearby worlds for expansion.

The other planets of Al-Sherar's system, as well as the larger moons, were soon converted into subsidiaries of the Forge World. Rather than set up new Forge Worlds proper, the Alim (tech-priests) determined to establish their colonies as Industrial Worlds with specialist tasks in mineral extraction and processing. This pattern would eventually be extended far beyond the Al-Sherar system, with the older colonies graduating from extraction to refining as their own mineral reserves were exhausted. The Forge World itself focused on assembly and the highest, most sophisticated tasks of industry.

Careful observation of the warp currents around the nearby stars showed a few navigable corridors. The most significant would be the lanes to the Iteru. The Knight World was wealthy enough in its natural resources, but more important were the warrior households; House Sobek, the Maryannu Brotherhood, and the Order of Bahri. These three maintained ancient martial traditions and held priceless STC fragments. The Diyanet's deliberations on Iteru were extraordinarily brief, with the decision to secure the world being made in less than a second. Most of the discussion between Al-Sherar's Kazi-alkudar focused on the make-up of the invading force and, in particular, who would have the honour of leading it. Eventually the decision was made to entrust Al-Sherar's Titan Legion, Legio Antsar, with the foremost role. Ameer Ibn Allas was given command in recognition of the promise he had shown against the Amatteir.

The Knights of Iteru were not easily overcome, but they lacked the might to withstand Legio Antsar. Ibn Allas was forced to destroy House Sobek, but the Ameer brought the Maryannu Brotherhood into Al-Sherar's service under a lenient version of the Sidon Protocols and subdued and enslaved the Order of Bahri. The warriors of these surviving Houses would feature prominently in Al-Sherar's later campaigns.

Rediscovery[edit]

Hundreds of years cut off from Mars saw Al-Sherar's beliefs diverge from the Martian orthodoxy. Language drifted. Questions were raised in the conclaves, especially over the nature of alien technology and the doctrine of the Omnissiah. By the time that Gaspard Lumey's Fifth Legion rediscovered Al-Sherar, during the Al-Sherar Sector War, these differences had become profound - if not quite enough to constitute Tech Heresy. As a result the Kabeer Al-Mufteen (high priest of the Al-Sherar) refused to recognize Fabricator General Kalkas Tygian of Mars as his spiritual superior when the question was first broached in the ninth decade of the Great Crusade. The Diyanet (Al-Sheraran Parliament) was well aware that Mars had spent huge sums of blood and treasure to subjugate Forge Worlds that had broken with the fundamental tenets of the Machine Cult, and gambled that Kalkas Tygian would not have the resources to enforce his will upon a world that differed on less critical matters. It is likely that Gaspard Lumey's early experience with the debate over Werkerde conditioned the Primarch's advice to Al-Sherar here, with the lord of the Fifth Legion perhaps believing that the Emperor would intercede again to calm tensions and make a compromise.

To the dismay of Al-Sherar and her allies, the Fabricator General began ordering forces into striking distance of the Al-Sherar Sector. This none too subtle threat brought the Diyanet to the negotiating table at Stygies VIII in 899.M30, accompanied by Antoine Antonelle of the Fifth Legion. The Kazi fought hard to retain significant independence and won a partial success. In so-called Stygies Accord, Al-Sherar made two ambiguous concessions to Mars; that the eldest Forge World was primus inter pares, and had the right to speak on behalf of the techpriests as a whole. This position left neither side entirely satisfied, but it persisted long into the Reformation.

Throughout the Great Crusade, the leaders of Al-Sherar pursued a policy of close alliance with the Space Marines of the Fifth Legion. Their own forces, such as the mighty Titans of Legio Antsar were often to be found alongside in support of Gaspard Lumey's men. The Alim also pursued their own objectives, subduing lesser Forge Worlds of the Segmentum Pacificus and settling a broad strip of Industrial Worlds. The network established over a century of military conquest, diplomacy, and colonisation gave Al-Sherar tremendous political and economic influence.

Ascendancy[edit]

At the time of the Heresy, the Kabeer Al-Mufteen was Ibn al-Haytham, who arose to this exalted position through the ranks of the Logis. His astute calculations and impartial rule over the Diyanet gave Al-Sherar great stability. Together with the material might assembled in the Great Crusade, Ibn al-Haytham's policies laid the foundation for the Forge World's brief ascendancy after the Martian Civil War. In a parallel to Gaspard Lumey's fortunes, Al-Sherar could claim to be above suspicion while their old rivals on Mars struggled to reclaim the prestige lost during the Dark Mechanicum's rebellion. Alim would be found as envoys to Forge Worlds far from the Segmentum Pacificus, even going into the Segmentum Solar itself.

This ascendancy would be fleeting. Mars may have been battered and greatly reduced by rebellion, but in the centuries following the Imperial Reformation she recovered her material superiority over Al-Sherar. The Kabeer Al-Mufteen's position became much less secure. A series of theological debates were carried out, and though Al-Sherar's spokesmen were often eloquent they were gradually forced to retreat from their positions under the threat that the doctrine of the al-gine implied that humans could "convert" xenos technology. (Perversely, while the political battle was won by Mars and Al-Sherar brought to heel, the use of certain alien technologies in the Imperium suggests that the Pacificus Forge World's al-gine doctrine may have been quietly accepted.)

Organisation[edit]

The senior priesthood are referred to as the Kazi and this name is often used to refer to the tech priests of Al-Sherar in general, though ordinary techpriests actually take the title Alim. Their chiefs are the Kazi-alkudar who meet in the Diyanet to offer advice and dissenting opinions to the Kabeer Al-Mufteen, the high priest and ruler of Al-Sherar.

Al-Sherar's success in dominating Industrial Worlds and even small Forge Worlds was indicated by the presence of a Kazi-Zultar. These individuals were powerful adepts who ensured that Al-Sherar's subject worlds followed the whims of the Diyanet.

Doctrine and faith[edit]

Over its long history, Al-Sherar developed a distinct interpretation of the Cult Mechanicum. The Alim were highly philosophical and their doctrines generally sought to solve problems of faith. Although in many cases the differences with the Martian Orthodoxy would be brushed over as merely linguistic, some major controversies emerged. The details given here refer to the key heterodoxies in the Submission of the Alim, the mainstream views of Al-Sherar's tech priesthood at the time of the Great Crusade.

The Alim of Al-Sherar venerate the Machine God, who they know as Makinallah. However, their understanding of Machine Spirits - the al-gine - differs markedly from that of Mars. According to the Alim, the al-gine inhabit all machines, human and xenos alike, but those in human machines are subservient to Makinallah while xenos technology is animated by impious al-gine. For this reason, the tech-priests of Al-Sherar do not make offerings to the al-gine themselves, seeing this as a route to developing the ego of the al-gine and risking the creation of Abominable Intelligence. Instead, their prayers of maintenance are directed to the Makinallah in order to remind the al-gine of its rightful duties.

The doctrine of the Teknabiyyun (sing. Teknabiyy) allowed the Forge World to easily accept the Emperor of Mankind. In contrast to the Martian orthodoxy, the Alim expected no avatar of the Machine God, but rather a succession of prophets and messengers, each of whom would unfold a new revelation to mankind. It seemed clear to the techpriests of Al-Sherar that the Emperor and his Great Crusade for human unity were divinely-inspired, and this temperate position allowed for dissent to be openly expressed in the governing council of the Diyanet - and even in its subordinate Mahalla - rather than simmering under the surface.

Heterodoxy was also tolerated among the Alim and many theological questions were debated at the time of the Great Crusade. The most prominent dispute was over the nature of the Makinallah. Scholars such as Hashim 4d6'16c6f6f66 argued that the machine god had a machine nature because to have any other nature would be an imperfection. Others opposed this position as putting a limit on the limitless Makinallah, an equally troubling contradiction. Although questions of definition might seem hairsplitting distractions during the great upheavals of the Great Crusade and Hektor Heresy, they were a central part of the life of the tech priests of Al-Sherar.

Even at the worst periods of dispute between Al-Sherar and Mars, the Alim were never formally denounced for Heresy. During the more liberal period of the Great Crusade, they were seen as representative of the range of beliefs possible under the greater auspices of the Cult Mechanicum. Later, their doctrines would be pronounced as "errors" and "mistakes" that needed correction rather than a full-blooded purge. The relative gentleness of these relations is perhaps best understood by considering the implications of these views. The doctrine of the al-gine made for a less vehement denunciation of alien technology, but it hardly encouraged dabbling with Xenos science, and the Alim were known for scrupulously avoiding any technology relating to Abominable Intelligence. Similarly, the reverence paid to the Emperor as a messenger of the Machine God was pronounced, even among those Alim who occasionally voiced opinions contrary to the Imperial line. These great similarities in practice helped to keep Al-Sherar in the Imperial fold and would ease its assimilation into the orthodoxy of the Cult Mechanicus.

Military[edit]

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The vagaries of the Al-Sherar Sector tempered the Forge World's military without bloating it. The dominant Xenos of the Sector, the Amatteir, preferred raiding to conquest and set Al-Sherar's warriors the task of a long vigil rather than centuries of peace or war.

Like many of the other great Forge Worlds, Al-Sherar is home to a mighty Titan Legion, the Legio Antsar Ordo Titanicus, better known as Legio Antsar or "The Conquerors" and famous as much for the skill of its commanding Ameers as the strength of its many god-machines. During the Great Crusade, Legio Antsar was able to form the core of several Expeditionary Fleets while deploying supporting maniples to the crusades of the Fifth Legion. Similarly, the Legio Cybernetica saw service in the crusades of the Alim and their Space Marine allies.

Even before the beginning of the Heresy, Al-Sherar's Taghmata Omnissiah were deployed far from the Forge World itself. Tech-Guard regiments gave security to the Dar al-Amn and occasionally fought against resurgent Xenos forces.


Vassals and allies[edit]

Al-Sherar's Knight Households were based on Iteru. The thrall-knight Order of Bahri is the largest and best-known, but they shared Iteru with the dashing "Mahars" of the Maryannu Brotherhood.

The pact between the Kabeer Al-Mufteen and the Primarch of the Fifth Legion was founded shortly before Al-Sherar achieved Compliance with the Imperial Truth. Gaspard Lumey's TechMarines almost all owed their training to Al-Sherar and many of his warriors recognised the Alim as their brothers in battle.

Similarly, Al-Sherar could often turn to Ciban IV and her colonies for supporting regiments of Ciban Chasseurs. Although not as capable in battle as the elite warriors of the Mechanicum, the Chasseurs were disciplined, flexible soldiers who could put a "human face" on Al-Sherar's campaigns.

Nearby Ghalhal pursued a cautious policy, attempting to tack between Al-Sherar and Mars with her independence intact. Nevertheless, Ghalhal's Titans - the Ordo Cataegis - and her allies in the Markian Corps could often be found alongside the warriors of the Alim. During the Hektor Heresy, the Markians and Cataegis would play a key role in defending the Al-Sherar Sector, though no sentimental honours were laid at their feet by the Kabeer Al-Mufteen.

Domain[edit]

Al-Sherar is a rocky planet somewhat larger than Holy Terra. Its natural state is largely overgrown by the great forges of the Kazi, but the man-made geography of this world is striking. Visitors to the Forge World typically alight at the tethered astrarium known as Bab al-Nasr. This installation guards and counterweights a great space elevator that eases the transport of goods and people to and from Al-Sherar. The Bab al-Nasr's vast docking bays are some of the busiest in the entire Segmentum.

The Dar al-Amn[edit]

The doctrine of the Teknabiyyun spiritually fortified Al-Sherar's armies for a long campaign of conquest. Unlike on other Forge Worlds, where the Emperor's divinity was assumed and his judgment later questioned, the Alim always believed that a higher message would supersede that of the Emperor. Therefore, they set out to conquer as part of the Great Crusade, making their pacts and alliances with an eye to establishing new satellites and spreading their doctrine to the lesser Forges of the Segmentum Pacificus. The Industrial Worlds that owed direct allegiance to Al-Sherar and were protected by its forces were collectively known as the Dar al-Amn - the House of Safety.

Especially in the Al-Sherar Sector, but to some extent in other nearby Sectors, the worlds of the Dar al-Amn were organized as producers of semi-finished goods. Raw materials - typically from Al-Sherar's allies, such as Ciban IV and her colonies - would be shipped to Industrial Worlds and converted into parts. Worlds such as Nhà Máy produced ceramite, ferrocrete, plasteel, and promethium, while Al-Sherar itself served as a gigantic assembly platform, bringing materials manufactured across hundreds of lightyears together into a torrent of finished goods. Although vastly inferior to ancient Mars as a standalone entity, Al-Sherar's highly-efficient outsourcing of production made the Kabeer Al-Mufteen one of the most powerful Imperial leaders in the Segmentum Pacificus.

Although they would enjoy great success for a time, in the Heresy Al-Sherar would face uprisings from the Forge Worlds it had once mastered. Worlds such as the mining twins, Kanz and Khamm, rose up in revolt when the Heresy began. Worse was to come when the garrisons of the key outposts of Mukhayam and Qalea defected to the rebellion.