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The Mechanicum Parliament

Brotherhood of the Lost

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#1
simison

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For the organization that supposedly was responsible for the Treaty of Olympus Mon, there is precious little written of it. Only a single reference in the first Horus Heresy rulebook as far as I'm aware. 

 

My post is twofold. One, I seek any additional information might have on this august yet little-known body. Two, I also seek any writers who might want to delve into the Parliament.

 

The Brotherhood of the Lost Mechanicum expert suggests that the Parliament's power waned after the Treaty, with Kelbor-Hal consolidating power into his own hands since we see no mention of the Parliament in Mechanicum, the novel, or any 40k material.

 

Unless there's evidence to the contrary, I want to offer any writers a chance to flesh out how this happened. I'm imagining three short stories: the Parliament arguing about the Emperor's offer that leads to the Treaty, Kelbor-Hal using his new position on the War Council to sap the Parliament's strength, and the Parliament being dissolved. 

 

Whoever is willing to write this, this work once completed will be considered canon in BotL. 

 

Any interested?

 

 

 

 


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#2
Battybattybats

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I may have enough time for this before my upcoming paid writing gig.
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#3
simison

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I may have enough time for this before my upcoming paid writing gig.

 

Excellent! We can either continue this discussion here or back in the Brotherhood of the Lost sub-forum. We have a General Discussion thread there where the other members can see and help out as needed, or stay here if this is where you'd prefer to work.


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#4
Suzuteo

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I think you're reading too much into it. The Mechanicum Parliament refers to all Magi who gathered together to codify the Treaty of Mars/Olympus Mons. They are not a standing committee or a regular body. Indeed, every book on Mars describes its government as a technocracy (or a theocracy, since technical knowledge is in fact the foundation of their authority, and they worship it). That is, there is a church called the Cult Mechanicus that promotes priests in its ranks based on technical expertise in one or more fields. These priests are then allocated holdings based on their expertise and performance with prior holdings.


Edited by Suzuteo, 08 January 2018 - 04:58 AM.


#5
simison

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Potentially, but do you have any canon sources that back your claim that the Parliament was merely a temporary gathering?


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#6
Battybattybats

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Just because there's a Theocracy it doesn't follow that there wasn't a parliament. The Synod is a democratic and religious element after all, and it could very well have replaced an earlier more democratic parliament.

Feudalism still allows for democracy, the British Parliament came to be inside a feudal system with birthright of nobles granting position in the house of Lords and needing to be a land owner to get to vote ensured that ordinary folk had no say, while the King still ruled.

The Cardinals of Rome vote to elect the Pope too.

We must remember the lore describes a lot of autonomy to each forge and a lot of factional organisations, denominations and differing doctrinal interpretations. Having a systemic way to allow politicking between those bound by rules would benefit the stability of the positions beneath the Fabricator General. It'd keep the assassinations to a minimum and reduce the wastage of warfare.

The question is, was the parliament a temporary body formed periodically when specific issues arose like electing the Fabricator General when death or incapacitation came to the previous or a long lasting system replaced by a more autocratic one?
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#7
JeffTibbetts

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I may have enough time for this before my upcoming paid writing gig.

 

You have a paid writing gig? Awesome! You should PM me details on Twitter. :D 


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#8
Battybattybats

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I'm brainstorming ideas and as i'm yet to get all the Forgeworld books and i'm still making way through the novels, i'm wondering what factions of the Mechanicum are known to have existed before the Heresy and so would have significant voice in the Parliament.

The Cydonians, both the Sisterhood of Assassins and the stalk-legged Mask-seeking tradition that inspired the Ironstrider Engine appear to be amongst the oldest of factions. With iirc the Of Mars trilogy mentioning it was early settlers of Mars expecting to find a face on Mars, getting disappointed at finding it was a trick of the light on natural rock after all and so carving one there themselves.

Electro Priests are mentioned in the Binary Succession audio drama so they too at least in some form or other likely existed before the treaty, and maybe held a lot more influence back when the Omnissiah was just a prophecy so those dedicated to the Machine God and Motive Force would have had much more direct standing.

The Legios and Knight Houses of Mars date back too considering House Taranis were the prototypes for the knights sent out amongst early human colonisation before the warp drive and navigator gene.

Anyone know of any others that are sure or likely to have been amongst the older factions?


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#9
Xisor

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There'll certainly be all of the varieties of Cybernetica as pre-Imperial factions.

Though I think it's an interesting question as to how much Martian unity there would have been pre-Mars. For example, one might assume Olympus Mons was the equivalent of, say, futuristic India/China where they've seized/annexed/enlightened-the-way-to full control of the Himalayas.

Just because they hold peak significance, it doesn't mean that there wouldn't be other 'superpowers' or coalitions of forges which (if unified) could rival those geographic powers.

The reason I bring that up is, there's a possibility that the Parliament of Mars might well be a 'token' institution, or even a quasi-unofficial club (like the G8, say), rather than an official body (like the UN), or perhaps even a smaller, less encompassing body (like the EU/NATO). Or something very different again - an academic or religious institution somewhat divorced from the 'official' mortal powers of the world.

---

Are we certain that the Ring is pre-Imperial? (I'm sure it's Dark Age stuff.) In that instance, there's plenty of possibility that even many of the known bodies (Titan Legions, Legio Cybernetica etc) are nowhere near as monolithic as we'd easily assume.

---

To that end, and this was an issue I had with the 8th Edition Codex, I felt like they missed a trick by separating everything out by Forge World for their Dogma.

Rather, even just at a basic level, I think they might have been better framing the dogmas thus:

Lord Dogmatic - Glory to the Omnissiah as Mars, rolling two Canticles & Wrath stratagem.
Hyper-Rationalist - Refusal to Yield as Graia, D6 not to be slain, no falling back, resist psychics.
Praetor Electroid - Relentless March as Metallica, Shoot & Advance, sound stratagem.
Divine Light - The Solar Blessing as Lucius etc.

You get the idea. But then identify each of the titles with specific schools/factions within the various Forge Worlds. Mars is typically Lord Dogmatic, but in peculiar times their Dogma can become out-of-step with the rest of the Adeptus Mechanicus and there's often extreme bloodshed and dataclysm before the Fabricator General accedes to the will of the other Forge Worlds (politically), or they find some way to overturn it and secure a new FG who'll be more... pliable. Or the schism persists and their 'new' will becomes the orthodox dogma again.

It's still vague, but I'd be happier with that than the idea that 'All of Metallica acts like this'. Obviously there's room to fanon it for my own head canon, but it would have been more satisfactory to see it in print.

I digress.
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#10
Heliomanes

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I'm brainstorming ideas and as i'm yet to get all the Forgeworld books and i'm still making way through the novels, i'm wondering what factions of the Mechanicum are known to have existed before the Heresy and so would have significant voice in the Parliament.

The Cydonians, both the Sisterhood of Assassins and the stalk-legged Mask-seeking tradition that inspired the Ironstrider Engine appear to be amongst the oldest of factions. With iirc the Of Mars trilogy mentioning it was early settlers of Mars expecting to find a face on Mars, getting disappointed at finding it was a trick of the light on natural rock after all and so carving one there themselves.

Electro Priests are mentioned in the Binary Succession audio drama so they too at least in some form or other likely existed before the treaty, and maybe held a lot more influence back when the Omnissiah was just a prophecy so those dedicated to the Machine God and Motive Force would have had much more direct standing.

The Legios and Knight Houses of Mars date back too considering House Taranis were the prototypes for the knights sent out amongst early human colonisation before the warp drive and navigator gene.

Anyone know of any others that are sure or likely to have been amongst the older factions?

The forge world books go into detail about how a single Taghmata of the Mechanicum worked. Think of them as reinessance era city states. Semi-autonomous entities that rely on a complex web of alliances and intrigue to get a wide net of diverse orders, bands, temples and institutions to gather under a single banner when need arises.

Specifically, over pages 204-205 in book 3, there's a huge flowchart depicting the "Belicosa Potentis Omnissiah" - "Being an exemplary illustration of the military-feudal organisational structure depicted in abstract of a trans-martian forge world, as rendered by the office of the principia militaris of the great crusade".
Some notable mentions from the chart; the Ordo Reductor, Prefecture Magisterium, Basilikon Astra, Skitarius, Legio TItanicus, Knight House of the Questoris Familia, Lords Autokrator, Legio Cybernetica cults, Macrotechnica, Munitora Logis, Lacyraemara, the Magos Militant / Secutarius, and a whole category just called "associated orders and sub cults militant", such as the Myrmidon cults, Corpuscarii cults and the Explorator forces under diverse banners.

A potentially helpful bit of the flowchart focuses on this: Mars gives authority to the local Archmagos Intendant, with his Holy Synod of the Lords Magos below him, flanked by the Archmandriture or "Chamber Cardinal", with the Archmagi, Magos Majoris and Magos Ordinary below them. To this there's added a list of notable divisions of techno-arcana among the Synod.


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#11
Talonair

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Everyone here is raising very good points. My personal leaning at present is that the Martian Parliment was and (by the time of the Heresy) still is an official, permenant institution. However, as the Crusade wore on and the Mechanicum's holdings grew, and some amount of power became decentralised from Mars (such as the powerful forges of Voss and Gryphonne etc) the Martian Parliment over time became more ineffectual. Instead, the power system turned into a much less rigid, feudal system of alliances, treaties and patronage.

 

Whilst the Martian Parliment still exists, a position within the Parliment now serves as an indicator of a Magos' power, rather than the position granting that Magos power. That's my interpretation of how it works, anyway.


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#12
simison

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The reason I bring that up is, there's a possibility that the Parliament of Mars might well be a 'token' institution, or even a quasi-unofficial club (like the G8, say), rather than an official body (like the UN), or perhaps even a smaller, less encompassing body (like the EU/NATO). Or something very different again - an academic or religious institution somewhat divorced from the 'official' mortal powers of the world.

 

 

I think these are all fascinating possibilities, except for the last one. While it may have its roots in an academic or religious insitution, the Parliament's one notable act in history is a distinctly political one. Even if it was only a temporary gathering for this one event, it was invested with political authority.


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