With all this talk of games and thrones among the Loremaster-Initiates, the time has come to discuss why something as important as a throne is not a game, but instead a sacred relic of a bygone era that holds the enemies of the Imperium at bay.
Gather ’round loremasters and loremaster-initiates. Since we’ve been hearing all this talk of thrones, Loremaster Ferreum has put together a lecture on the Thrones of the Imperium, and why they are relics to be venerated as bastions of the Omnissiah’s will–as well as bulwarks against the Imperium’s myriad foes.
This is because the vast majority of thrones, with one exception, are found in the heart of Imperial Titans. Yes, this humble piece of technology may be responsible for the continuation of the Imperium. Allowing the nobility of the great Knight Houses to interface and operate the leviathan war machines known as Titans, the Throne Mechanicum is a vital part of Imperial life. Without it, mere humans wouldn’t be able to pilot even the lowliest of Titans, the mighty Imperial Knights, without considerable servitor resources. But, even this is an oversimplification.
For a Noble does not drive a Knight – he merges with it. Using interface sockets surgically inserted into his brain, the Noble is wired into the control platform known as the Throne Mechanicum. Once a pilot is plugged into his Knight during the Ritual of Becoming, the Throne allows his own thought patterns to control the machine’s movements. In return, the Noble receives sensory feedback from the Knight, allowing him to move with a fluid grace that only the war machines of the Eldar can best.
The Ritual of Becoming is no meager feat. A young aspirant, hoping to prove themselves worthy must wrestle with the energies of the Throne Mechanicum for a full night, alone. They must attempt to imprint their psyche upon it without being overwhelmed by its cerebral engrams in turn. Sometimes the process is enough to drive the aspirant mad, other times they are killed outright. Those who survive are forever changed, their childhood left behind and the mantle of knighthood now resting heavily upon their shoulders.
For a Noble imprints his own personality upon the Throne Mechanicum – traits that echo and are exaggerated in the machine, often lasting long after the Noble has died. However, the mind-link technology also directly affects the psyche of the Noble himself, implanting strong positive associations with notions of fealty, obligation and hierarchy, as well as a deep respect for the Noble’s ancestors. How such technology works and why it was originally installed remain a mystery, even to this day. It seems most likely that the mind-altering feedback routines were intentionally designed and installed during the Dark Age of Technology – a safeguard feature meant to limit the potential of a pilot to go rogue or turn upon those he was meant to protect.
There are those who claim that the Throne Mechanicum is simply a tool for the Adeptus Mechanicus to claim control over vital Knight worlds–especially since some Throne Mechanicums imbue an inborn love of the Ominissiah, from whom they are given life and form–upon their Scions. Of course, such a claim is ridiculous. The Sacristans who maintain the Knights are more than enough to ensure that Mars has its say in the disposition of the Knight forces. That and the advent of technology like the counterpart to the Throne: the Helm Mechanicum.
The Helm Mechanicum is essentially a scaled down version of the more prestigious Throne Mechanicum. Placed upon the head and connected via pre-frontal sockets to the pilot’s cerebrum, these machines do not require a full Becoming ritual in order for neural interfacing to be successful. For this reason, the prestige of piloting an Armiger is significantly less than that attached to sitting a fully fledged Throne Mechanicum. This is compounded by the fact that, while Armigers can operate independently, it is traditional for their Helms Mechanicum to be neurally slaved to the command impulses of a larger Knight, rendering them subordinate. To accept such mental serfdom is to possess the rank of Bondsman, and while this is certainly no mark of dishonour, it is far from glorious. It is for these reasons that the piloting of Armigers falls to those from the lower social strata of the Noble houses.
At any rate, Helm or Throne, both are vital to keeping the Imperium alive. So rest assured–a Throne is nothing to make light of. There shall be no games related to them whatsoever. Now, let us recite from memory the Thousand Canticles of War Long-awaited. If you should falter during the three hour recitation, we will begin again.
And remember, seasons matter not when you are at the helm of an Imperial Knight.