Monday, March 10, 2014

The Librian Heresy

The "Vorushko edict", as the inquisitorial order dated 0902.014M42 had become known, was the start of a chain of events which led to increasing bloodshed in the populous and strategically critical system of Libria. Since the Dark Angels had found the evidence, the Inquisitor lord had declared the entire system heretic, ordered its leaders replaced, and had judged that her population be subjected to one hundred years of peninant servitude. The first born of every mother would be given to the penal legions and the tithes would be doubled for the next one hundred terran years. Libria was to be exploited to the maximum for the imperial benefit.

The judgement was anaethema to the followers of Law on Libria. Different worlds reacted differently, and on the staunchly imperial Libria I and II there were moves by the local governments, who had never seen any of the benefits of trade with the Federacy nor even known about it, to cede from the rule of Libria III, the most powerful of the planets in the system. This sentiment was soon stirred up further with the arrival of Inquisitor Lord Hathek, who during 03.014M42 convinced governor Alec Corwin and governor Keven Steiger to declare their loyalty to the Imperium. They rejected the alliance, the Federacy and the lordship of Grand Judge Darius Voight, declaring him heretic. In return, a relieved Hathek pardoned the populations of the two innermost planets.

Inquisitor Hathek had realised the danger of Vorushko's policy toward Libria. Having discovered the heresy Vorushko, Hathek believed, had deliberately allowed it to fester, allowing her to excommunicate the entire system when the time was right. This would allow her to exploit the comparatively wealthy system easily, giving justification to the ruthless exploitation of over a billion imperial citizens. In this supposition Hathek was indeed partially right, the new inquisitor lord saw an opportunity to bolster the flagging imperial armies with men and equipment, but Vorushko had other motives.

In any case Hathek was determined to salvage what he could of Libria before the whole system fell into civil war. He knew that arbitrary judgement was something the Librian movement would not tolerate easily, and so offered an escape route. If the traitors were overthrown and their loyalty proven, the people of Libria might yet escape the terrible judgement hanging over them. Having convinced the loyalist Librian inner mining worlds, Hathek moved on to Libria III.

Libria III, home to over half the population and the most important world, had benefited most from the agreement with the Federacy, and its leaders knew in great detail that they had dealt with traitors and aliens. Grand Judge Darius Voight and his government could not back down nor profess their loyalty, as their guilt was now well known, however the arrival of Admiral Beattie's powerful battlegroup on 0303.014M42 had the desired effect. On the following day the government fled the capital as a military coup led by Lord General Josiah Garrett overthrew the leaders of Libria III, declaring themselves the new government on 0803.014M42, and denouncing the agreements with the Federacy.

Voight however was not finished. Across Libria III he had supporters, including members of the armed forces, who had harboured ancient enmity towards the imperium and now saw the latest arbitrary judgement from Vorushko as proof that the imperium was a lawless despotic organisation, and one which should be abandoned. They saw their future within the Federacy, who had assured them their laws and customs would be respected, under the protection and alliance with the tau empire.

Unrest soon broke out as disorder soon gripped the planet. Both sides had access to the vast military caches of the system and civil war soon followed with neither side looking particularly likely to gain a quick victory. Voight now chose to officially request aid from the Federacy and the alliance, stating that the Librian system under his leadership, ceded from the Imperium and requested membership of the Federacy. Libria IV followed, declaring itself free of the Imperial yolk. Libria V stayed quiet.

Although the civil war was unfortunate, Hathek now had a large portion of the system loyal to the imperium and his cause. To finish the war quickly, Hathek petitioned General Montgomery, commander of the Zadoc subsector, to send more troops. When he declined, citing the state of affairs on Zadoc, Hathek went to Titus Luthor himself. The imperial navy responded, agreeing to send another battlegroup, but Hathek grew concerned when the response from Luthor was vacillatory in the extreme. Hathek sensed something was amiss and on 1103.014M42 he found out just how deep the divisions were within his own Inquisition.

On 1103.014M42 Natalia Vorushko issued a second edict. She criticised Inquistor Hathek for his interference and stated that the sudden repentance and professed loyalty of some of the Librians was now irrelevant. They had been judged and found guilty and by her authority would lay down their arms or face the consequences. All on Libria would submit to the edict and her own crusade forces or pay the price. Lord Inquisitor Hathek now realised what kind of inquisitor this new arrival truly was.

No comments: