This week, Loremasters, we take a look at the failing dynasties of a power long broken–the Necrons.
Recently, we’ve heard reports of a battle amongst the xenos–the aeldari somehow awoke a slumbering dynasty of necron and their ancient machine servants, whosee vehicles don’t even have the decency of possessing a proper machine spirit, and are surely no match for the best Mars-built materiel and good old fashioned Imperial knowhow.
Even their nascent dynasties appear to be tearing themselves apart. Consider the case if the Suhbekhar dynasty, a dynasty whose ruler is gripped to the point of insanity with rage at a rival faction of Necron.
The region known to mankind as the Jericho Reach was once, numberless aeons ago, but a portion of the holdings of a great house of the Necrons called the Suhbekhar Dynasty. The last Phaeron of the dynasty— Ahmontekh, called the Crimson Scythe was a general of great repute. It was Ahmontekh who, according to the Lamentations of Yr, defeated the proud Nuada, beloved of the Old Ones, and who plunged his mighty war-scythe into the hallowed ground of Xoth. As the War in Heaven neared its climax, it was Ahmontekh that breached the Walls of Ib and who was first to pass through the Dolmen Gate on the brink of the Ebon Void. It is said that Ahmontekh defeated beings the ancient Eldar revered as gods, and that even to this day the last of the Old Ones’ progeny hold him in a unique blend of hatred and fear. Yet, of all the legends told of mighty Ahmontekh, none are repeated so often as that of his betrayal at the hand of his cousin Setii of the Charnovokh Dynasty. It was the height of the war in the Webway and Ahmontekh’s legions had suffered greatly traversing the Halls of Oort. Ever eager, the legions of the Charnovokh engaged the Eldar holding the Great Ring, in so doing stealing the glory that was by right the Crimson Scythe’s. When at last Ahmontekh’s host carried the day and scoured the Halls of that meddlesome race, he confronted his cousin, furious at the breach in martial protocol.
Charnovokh dismissed Ahmontekh’s complaint, and so pressing were the events of the battle still raging that further confrontation was impossible. Much later, the Silent King set in motion his plan for the Great Sleep and Ahmontekh was forced to set aside the bitterness gnawing at the core of his being. After much industry, those dynasties that had survived the calamitous War in Heaven set about enacting the Silent King’s order, and at the last Ahmontekh passed into his stasis chamber, there to slumber through the long aeons until the Eldar were no longer a threat to the Necrons’ rightful dominion over the galaxy. Yet, it was not to be thus. Unknown to all but Ahmontekh himself, that small core of his being that still raged at the petty betrayal of the Charnovokhs refused to slumber. It raged for sixty million years, the seed of jealous bitterness nurtured until all that remained of the Phaeron was an iota of reason adrift upon a surging ocean of madness.
The fate of Phaeron Ahmontekh might have gone undiscovered until the very moment of his revivification were it not for the actions of the command program tasked with watching over the dynasty’s crown world as it slumbered through the aeons. As the program watched vigilantly over its silent charges, it detected a signal. Usually, it ignored such things, for they were invariably the incoherent ramblings of lesser species screaming their existence into the void, ignorant of the doom they were calling down upon their own heads. In this case, however, the signal was familiar, and aimed specifically at the crown world. It was a missive from another dynasty, and it bore the glyph-seal of the Charnovokh Dynasty.
As ancient engrams flared into being for the first time in aeons, the program set about a limited revivification process, seeking to tap into the lowest orders of its master’s consciousness in order to prepare him for what was to come. In the meantime, the program decrypted the missive, discovering it to be a plea for aid from the Charnovokh Dynasty’s ruling court. The rival house’s domains were being ravaged by an alien race descended upon the galaxy. from the depths of intergalactic space, and already countless of its holdings had fallen. The Suhbekhar’s hated rivals were besieged and beleaguered, and willing to offer anything in return for deliverance from their plight. Logic paths blazed and stasis seals parted as the control program delivered this news to the lower memetic orders of the slumbering Phaeron’s soulless consciousness. The result was devastating.
The instant the aeons-old seals were broken, sixty million years of distilled bitterness for the sender of the message burst through layer upon layer of failsafe protocols and the feedback surged unchecked through the entire system. Countless thousands of slumbering Necrons had their cortexes blasted by Ahmontekh’s rage, even though he was only partially conscious. The last process the crown world’s control program enacted before it’s own logic gates were overwhelmed was to instigate a backup protocol. Even as it perished, one line of monolithic code at a time, the program sealed off the Phaeron’s stasis crypt and selected a regent who would rule in his stead. As the empty tomb resoundedThe Venecia þo to the last of Ahmontekh’s rage, his newly appointed regent awoke, to find himself alone, and unexpectedly on the throne of an entire Necron dynasty.
There you have it–a dynasty locked in battle with itself, exactly the sort of treacherous behavior to be expected from these so-called great dynasties of the Necron.