MidHammer 40,000: Macharios
Macharios the one who righted what Lorgar Destroyed
- -Horus Lupercal
Macharios Solar, Macharios Pacificus, Macharios the Anathema, Macharios Megalos, Macharios the Young, Macharios The Tragic, Macharios The Conqueror. There are thousands of names for this man, as is his right. For outside of the Emperor himself, there has been none so influential as Macharios. Lacking no resources other than his contacts and his naked ambition, he led a great conquest through the Segmentum Pacificus liberating them from the forces of The Ruinous Powers.
For many across the Galaxy, Macharios was the herald for a new era, before his birth, The Imperium was stagnating under its own weight in a bloody mellennia long war with the Ruinous powers. After Macharios died, the Empire shook off its weary slumber and began to assert itself anew on the galaxy. Macharios was the great bringer of hope, showing the galaxy that The Forces of Chaos were a threat that could not only be fought, but beaten, even overwhelmed.
Life of Macharios
Macharius grew up a caretaker of the great monuments and shrines to Humanity's great heroes. As all caretakers do, He lived among the monuments of great conquerors, great statesmen, and great leaders, showing their glory to travellers and scholars. But archivist was not to be his destiny. One night as a youth his caretaker found him weeping bitter tears before the statues he was attending. When the caretaker asked him what the matter this is what the young Macharius said. "This is not a shrine, this is a tomb! All of Terra is a tomb to our ancestors. We do not follow their example. I am surrounded by greatness it does nothing. When Izen`owre, Kaizre, Neapolitan, Bazilbee, and Karldegros were my age they shaped great kingdoms. They conquered their worlds, and what have I done? Nothing! I serve their tombs!"
- Ibn Suqrat - "The Life and Times of Maxarios Megalos"
The Tallarn Marriage
"The Vices are more clever than us, are more powerful than us, more numerous than us, and are more resourceful than us, but all that does not compensate for their fatal flaw. The Vices are Myopic and are incapable of sacrificing for something greater. A vice is doomed to serve itself." -Macharios
Impact of Macharios
"Let it be known, that when Mankind was made to stare into the black abyss, it was the abyss that blinked."
-Monument of The Katholeans: Olanius Pius, Juris Lucia Annamis, and Macharius Megalos.
The unmitigated success of The Macharian Crusade jolted a sleeping Empire to life. There was a great awakening as its citizens and leaders were no longer satisfied with waiting until the Emperor was awakened for Mankind to return to glory. A new movement and ideology was founded "Cathacathedrism" believing that the Imperium should be prepared for the Emperor's inevitable return, through great victories and reforms. Even outside of the Imperium of Man, the Macharian crusade sent shockwaves across the galaxy signaling that the end of the war with Chaos was in sight.
The Death of Chaos Undivided
Chaos Undivided was not formally repudiated or disolved, indeed there were even several Black Crusades mounted against the Imperium under the Black Legion following the Death of Macharios. What did die, however was anyone's faith in the Movement. Lorgar's vision of the secret harmony of Chaos was proven to be the Apophenia of a Deluded Fanatic. The different champions of Chaos instead saw themselves as rivals to a dwindling supply of resources. There was only the fight for survival, and the Great Game.
Lorgar, following his blunder at Cadia, saw his position of favor to Chaos fall to Bel'akor once again. Lorgar was forced to organize his crusades sulking in the shadows. Belakor tossed aside the Anthroprocentric focus of Lorgar's chaos for a return to the old ways. The Black Crusades against the IMperium were discarded in favor of a return to encouraging corruption throughout the Galaxy. Thinking that this approach would stop the bleeding and allow Chaos to recover so much of its loss strength, Bel`akor actually accelerated Chaos' territorial decline. Too much had changed since M25 and rather than prodding one awakening Galactic power, he instead foolishly prodded all of them. Following this even more disasterous 2000 year governorship, Lorgar Once again re-asserted his role as Champion of Chaos to attempt to clean up Belakor's damage.
Outside of The Imperium
In the Eldar Craftworlds, the complacency that they felt towards the Imperium was shattered. Previously they had thought of Mankind as a pathetic force "Propped up" by the Wounded Emperor and His remaining Primarchs. Previously the position of the Eldar towards humanity was one of outlasting, figuring that they could wait for humanity's inevitable return to the chaos and self destruction of The Age of Strife. Now they were not so sure. The grand army of Macharios with his unaugmented, unaltered humans was able to outmaneuver the immortal forces of chaos. The eldar instead began turning their criticism inward, as they asked themselves how a collection of pathetic mon'keigh were able to recover more territory than they had in their entire history since the birth of Eye of Terror. Perhaps the greatest impact of the Macharian crusade on the Eldari is two fold.
- The rise of the Ynnari.
- The Success of the Macharian Crusade saw witness to a rise of widespread dissent and contempt against the Craftworld Leadership. Whether it was fears of a new resurgent Humanity comming after them, or disappointment that no such military successes were present in Eldar history, the cautious and patient approach of the Farseers was quickly losing support among the Eldar, assasinations and mutinies were rampant, as well as a "great awakening" of Craftworld Eldars towards the remaining Deities of Cegorach and Ynnead. The latter in particular gained the most from the Post-Macharios upheaval, as Yvraine, champion of Ynnead, took full advantage of this dissent to lead a mellinia long civil war against the craftworlds, which she eventually united.
- Eldar Rift
As the Yndari rose in power and began to win the Eldar Civil War, the few remaining Craftworlds and The Dark Eldar found themselves drawing closer together, finding their each other's company significantly less repulsive than the fanatical Yndarri theocracy.
- Escalation of the Tau Proxy war.
- Origionally little more than the Dark Eldar's "experiment" into finding greater leverage with The Imperium, the Eldar's T'au Proxy was now seen as a vital counterweight to not only The Imperium, but the rising Yndarri threat. The T'au saw a rapid rise in both technological advancement and expansion during this time, aided by the Eldar, who even began encouraging the T'au to fight against the Necrons.
- T'au Empire
- For the T'au, the Macharian Crusade had less direct impact. The idea that individuals could join forces and unite successfully for a greater good wasn't exactly news. The T'au were more indirectly affected by a greater escalation of the Imperium/T'au Conflict. Both from the increased attention by the Aeldari as well as the reshifting of Imperial forces from the Obscura to Ultima Segmentum.
- The Tyrannids were about as affected by the Macharian Crusade as one could expect a galaxy consuming hivemind to be influenced by a brief blip in itheir food's quabbles. It wasn't completely immune to its influence however, as the Conquest of the Segmentum Pacificus saw the Imperium reshifting its center of military gravity from fighting Chaos to fighting Tau and Tyrannids. The greatest result of this was a significant slowdown of Hive Fleet Hydra's expansion into Ultramar.
- The Silent King had been watching human developments with interest. The Macharian conquest of the Segmentum Pacificus convinced the Silent King to once again reach out to Sanguinius for an alliance against the Tau, Tyrannids and Eldar. Seeing them as a useful tool in defeating the Old one's legacy once and for all.
The Rise of the "Independent Auxillaries"
"After Lorgar, the Imperium has been fighting as if it had a withered hand. We thought it was because the traitor cut the other off, but Macharios has forced us to confront the truth. It was we who tied off its circulation. We treated our human subjects as delicate glass ornaments sitting precariously on a shelf. Now I can only ask myself in shame, where would my Sons be if I were not so haughty?"
- Magnus The Red on Macharios
"I have always held that purity of will and mastery over one's flesh, was man's greatest assets. And nothing since Gorgon has dissuaded me. For this, my sons rebelled abandoned me for their love of sprockets. Even my brothers view my passion for the perfection of the self as quaint and foolish. Just a simple philosophy for a simple man. But when the mortal remade the Pacificus in his own image their smirks were as useless as their own weapons, and as absent as their troops." -Ferrus Manus
It would be an understatement to say that the Macharian Crusade influenced the Imperium's military strategy. Indeed the Crusade caused a tectonic shift in Sanguinius and Horus' approach to the use of auxillaries and greater military strategy. For the most part, Imperial strategy of Sanguinius had been the same as that of Horus and The Emperor's during the Great Crusade, focusing primarily on the Legiones Astartes. The Human Auxillaries were used either for Support or Cannon fodder, depending upon the legion or segmentarch in question. Normal Humans, requiring significantly larger supply needs than Astartes to be effective, were considered not being worth the logistical cost. Additionally the Human auxiliaries were considered incompetent and untrustworthy, requiring close monitoring.
That changed when Macharios and his companions drove the forces of Chaos out of the Segmentum Pacificus. Suddenly it was clear that Imperial guard had a greater role to play than just defensive guard and minesweepers. Horus, under Sanguinius's command immediately set to work on reorganizing the tithes of soldiers and equipment. The Astra Militarum was reorganized into legions similar to the Astartes. Forgeworlds were now tithed to provide a greater number of commissions for common equipment.
Many of these Astra Militarum Legions were sent on "test" crusades, where they traveled through the imperium eliminating Ork incursions. And as the Tau War continued to escalate, it was the Human Astra Militarum that would pick up the call in greater numbers. This greater desire for more Human troops resulted in widespread reform and militarization of the Imperium. The thirst for conscripts saw the demand for more fortress worlds and new human legions to be created. The Segmentum Guards and auxillary forces were encouraged to provide their expert training to these newly found legions. This rapid escalation and armament of the Imperium further terrified the Eldar, continuing the rapid breakdown of Human-Eldar relations.
The Crusade for Maccragge
"And though my faith in Our Lord Guilliman is unshakable, my faith in my brothers is tried. Behold The Queen Mother despairs at her pathetic children. The men of Ultramar are squabbling, and petty. You disgrace the Aurelian and the Emperor with your putrid lives: growing fat on the gifts of The Godson. With nothing but a few battalions, the Katholeans have conquered a 1000 worlds from the Demons. Yet what of the Children of the man who conquered 500 worlds? Our gifts of The mother, ultramarines and valliant soldiers can not even manage to reconquer MacCragge? The great Lord Aurelian's home, where Great Tarasha reared him, and The Ultramarine was first forged. The land where our holy texts were written and the great sacrifice is made, we have allowed it to remain desecrate. As I speak there are demons performing vile obscenities over the throne of our great god king, and our spiritual lieges can only think of their next Banquet!" -Abbess Themaeux Gaugre' "Sermon from the Pulpit of Saranath"
The Macharian Crusade inspired a wave of copycats. Most of these varried from embarassing failures (The Crusade for Commoragh) to tragic failures (The Kroot Crusade for Pecha). Perhaps one of the few examples of such a copycat crusade being successful was the "Ancillae Crusade" This crusade, prompted by the Great Daughter of Tarasha, swept Ultramar into a frenzy to finally liberate Holy Maccrage from the Chaotic tain that had held it for 10000 years. Chaos, already weakened by the Macharian crusade, was unable to aid its outpost in Royum Ultramar. Through the Rally of the Forces of Ultramar, the demonic citadels of Maccragge were broken, and the holy relics of Roboute Gulliman were found.
The Capture of Cadia and the End of Chaos
- Though over in Macharia, The Hero lies in state
- For Gulliman to wake him up, we will not stand and wait
- The General he calls on us to charge Cadia's gate
- His soul commands us on!"
-Chant of Astra Militarum during the final crusade (To the tune of The Battle Hymmn of the Republic)
During the Macharian Crusade, Macharios made a modest Gambit. Divert Angron and Saporin's navy, by convincing chaos to intercept a percieved assault on Cadia. What he did not expect was the forces of chaos to fall in complete disarray. Between abandonment of the Occular Pacificus in mass, to singular suicide charges into the Obscura, to inter-chaos civil wars, this diversion placed Chaos on the Backfoot and was left scrambling for alternatives. This gargantuan military blunder was not unnoticed by the Imperium, as it was a clear signal that not only was Chaos undivided a Lorgarite fiction, but that Cadia itself was seen as vulnerable by its own forces. Imperial forces was no longer content to weather Chaotic Incursions, but instead became Bolder. Sanguinius led the first of many "Golden Crusades" to retake Cadia. He was ultimately successful in M43, as Cadia was surrounded and seiged into submission. The capture of Perturabo's Citadel of Cadia represented the mortal blow to chaos, from which it would never recover.