Today we talk of galactic pre-history. The rise, wars, and disappearance of the Necrontyr race – who would one day become the Necrons.
The Necrontyr’s planet of origin was barren and radiation-blasted, making it incredibly hostile to life. Their bodies were ridden with radiation sickness and they lived a morbid life, constantly fearful of their coming deaths. Their cities were built in anticipation of their demise, little more than vast tomb complexes with a few temporary homes for the living.
The Necrontyr attempted to overcome their mortality with scientific means, but realized after thousands of years that their bodies could not be changed to survive on the planet. Instead, they developed spacefaring technology, though of a much slower and more uncertain nature than the methods of the Old Ones. Where the Old Ones were able to move between the stars in seconds, the Necrontyr had to use slow-moving ships, equipped with stasis crypts, to reach out to the stars. They clad their ships in living metal to withstand the rigors of space flight.
After much time, they met the Old Ones. This meeting between a short-lived, dour race and a hopeful, nigh-immortal one set a fire of rage burning in the hearts of the Necrontyr. From this moment on, they turned their entire lives to destroying the Old Ones.
When war was declared, the Necrontyr realized they would never be able to win. They were constantly outmaneuvered by the Old Ones’ mastery of the Webway. Eventually, they were pushed back to being merely an annoyance in the outer regions among the Halo Stars. The fury of the Necrontyr was cooled after many thousands of years of imprisonment, while their disgust of the Old Ones turned into an utter hatred of all life.
The Wars of Secession
The First War of Secession took place before the Necrontyr race battled the Old Ones in the War in Heaven or encountered the C’tan. As a result of the vast expansion of their race, the nobles of the dynasties established independent realms from the Necrontyr empire and fought against both the Triarch and one another. It was only ended when the Triarch found a greater enemy for the dynasties to unite against, the Old Ones.
The Second War of Secession took place during the War in Heaven. As the war against the Old Ones deteriorated and the Necrontyr race became but a minor annoyance to them, the Necrontyr dynasties again fractured and fought for dominance over one another. The wars only ended with the appearance of the C’tan, whose promises of immortality and victory over the Old Ones gave the Necrontyr reason to unite once more
The Star Gods
As their star had haunted their own existence, the Necrontyr studied the stars in an attempt to understand more of how they worked and to try to find something they could unleash on the Old Ones. Eventually, they found something so ancient as to predate even the Old Ones. This sentience fed on the stars they orbited but had little conception of the universe around them other than satisfying their need for energy. This was the weapon they needed to fight the Old Ones. Their etheric form made them invincible to conventional weapons. They were named C’tan, or Star Gods.
How the Necrontyr managed to communicate with these beings is unknown, but the Necrontyr knew these beings could not understand the material universe without a physical, material body. So they made bodies for these creatures out of their living metal, allowing these bodies to expand and change at will. Supposedly, “translucent streams of force” were seen as the first being moved across the incorporeal starlight bridge into the body forged for it.
The first being to come across the starlight bridge was Aza’gorod, the Night Bringer. As the creature became more manifest and intelligent, the Necrontyr began to worship the C’tan as gods for their supreme power. The C’tan turned the Necrontyr into slaves and enjoyed ruling over them with cruelty and disgust.
The Necrons Rise
Soon the Necrontyr were ready to begin the battle anew with the Old Ones. The C’tan then made a proposition to the Necrontyr that they could not refuse: immortality for their race. Their cursed flesh would be discarded in favor of bodies like their gods’, made of living metal. Their bodies would be consumed and their minds transferred into the new metal bodies with which they could continue the war with the Old Ones. Whether the Necrontyr knew the consequences of this is unknown, but their entire race was purged when it was transferred into the metal bodies. Their minds were dulled and they were drawn into eternal servitude. Only a few of the Necrontyr retained any form of independent thought, but it was much reduced. The Necrontyr were no more, and the Necrons were born.
The War In Heaven
The War in Heaven was an ancient and devastating conflict fought roughly sixty million years before the 41st Millennium between the Necrontyr (and later Necron) race and their C’tan allies and the Old Ones.
It had become apparent that despite their superior numbers and advanced technologies, the Necrontyr couldn’t hope to defeat the Old Ones and their mastery of the Warp. Pushed to the edge of the galaxy and becoming a minor annoyance to the seemingly unstoppable Old Ones, Necrontyr began descending into disunity and rebellion once more.
However, the situation changed dramatically when the Necrontyr forged an alliance with the vampiric C’tan, star gods of immense power which helped the Necrontyr transfer their essence into bodies of living metal, becoming soulless Necrons in the process. Gorging themselves off the abandoned Necrontyr souls and with legions of immortal machines at their command, the C’tan and Necrontyr were able to turn the tide against the Old Ones.
Aftermath and Hibernation
Becoming increasingly desperate, the Old Ones created new psychic races like the Eldar and the Orks to aid them. In the end, however this doomed their race, as Warp-spawned plagues such as the Enslavers were unwittingly unleashed by the Old Ones, who were finally scattered, then defeated, and finally destroyed between the C’tan, Necron, and Warp-spawned horrors. In the end, The Silent King ordered the Necrons to entomb themselves in their worlds to wait out the Enslaver plague and rise 20 million years later to reclaim the galaxy.
For the Eldar, the War in Heaven has passed into mythology and is now described as a conflict where the Eldar God of war, Kaela Mensha Khaine, waged war upon his fellow gods as well as the followers of Eldanesh.
The “Dead Race”
During the Age of the Imperium, the Necrontyr became one of a thousand dead or forgotten civilizations that interested only the offices of the Explorator Archaeos. The Administratum would not put the pieces together linking their fragmentary knowledge of the Necrontyr with the reawakening Necron Tomb Worlds until far, far too late.
~With the Silent King returned, the long struggle begins again.