The Thothakh Dynasty is one of the oldest, yet smallest Necron dynasties, possessing only five worlds. They have never needed more. The Thothakh Dynasty has little appetite for war or conquest. Though Haset and its subordinate tomb worlds hide vast legions of slumbering soldiers and warmachines within their dark depths, only rarely are their military forces brought to bear, and even then they are nearly always used for self-defense.
The reason for this dynasty's insular nature is simple: it is not a dynasty of warriors, but a dynasty of chroniclers and historians.
Birth of a Dynasty
The Necrontyr idolized death. Cursed with short lifespans and painful lives under their harsh sun, the Necrontyr became a morbid and fatalistic race, seeing life as merely a brief prelude before the permanence of death, and erecting great monuments and temples to those who had come before them. As the Necrontyr Empire expanded, these grand necropolii also grew in magnificence, and slowly, a culture of craftsmen emerged, all specializing in properly memorializing death.
Skilled architects, builders of tombs and chroniclers of the dead, these individual craftsmen began to band together. Partnerships came together and became brotherhoods, brotherhoods merged and formed guilds, and each individual learned from and improved on the techniques of others. It was to nobody's surprise that the crypt-builders eventually grew large enough to become a Dynasty of their own, taking the name Thothakh, 'recorders of knowledge' in the Necrontyr language, for their duty was the record and remember the history of those who had died.
Wars of Secession
The Thothakh Dynasty already had a reputation for being filled with master architects and biographers, but it was during the Wars of Secession that they truly came to prominence, and in a new role.
As the thousands of Dynasties warred for control of their destinies, nobles began to visit the halls of Haset, the ruling world of Thothakh. Each had a single request: to have a chronicler of Thothakh loaned to them so that their deeds in battle may be recorded. Some made threats; some offered tithes of resources and technology; some offered aid in case of attack. Then-Phaeron Hyrod of the Thothakh Dynasty considered their demands, and acceded.
The Thothakh Dynasty, by dint of the services it provided, became recognized as a neutral force in the Wars of Secession. By unspoken agreement, none attacked the small and weak dynasty, and their people never came to any harm, even if found working for an enemy dynasty. And since the Phaeron's agreement, Necrontyr in the gold-and-white livery of the Thothakh Dynasty became a common sight in the royal courts of many nobles. All that the Phaeron asked for in return for his Dynasty's service was that they make history.
War in Heaven, Rebellion, and Sleep
During the War in Heaven, little about the Thothakh Dynasty's policies changed. Still it provided historians to the Necrontyr nobles. Still it remained neutral in intragalactic affairs. As it had very little in the way of soldiers, its military contributions to the war against the Old Ones were negligible. But in terms of culture, the Thothakh Dynasty blossomed.
During the War in Heaven, the Thothakh Dynasty saw a renaissance. Deeds of battle and politics transformed from simple retellings of history to ballads and epic poems as its historians began to push the boundaries of historical record. Some of the most famous Thothakh writings were made during the War in Heaven, such as Exodus, Beneath the Sun, and, towards the end of the great war's first phase, the infamous classic Star Gods.
The C'tan were important cultural figureheads. To the battered and beleagured Necrontyr, they were as gods themselves, descended from the void of space to aid them in this time of need. Chronicles of many individual C'tan were composed by the greatest historians of the Thothakh Dynasty. Among those honored were Nyadra'zatha, who taught the Necrons how to breach the Webway; the charismatic Mephet'ran, the mastermind behind the biotransference process; and dread Aza'gorod the Nightbringer, feared even by its own allies.
But the Thothakh historians were without bias. When Szarekh turned the Necrons against the C'tan, many of those historians who gave praise to the star gods wound up also recording their individual defeats. They saw no contradiction here. History was history, and it was the Thothakh Dynasty's sworn duty to record it.
By the time the Old Ones were destroyed and the C'tan shattered, the galaxy had become a very dangerous place indeed. The ferocity of the battle had caused the barrier between the Immaterium and the physical plane to wear thin, and warp storms had engulfed vast portions of space, spewing forth Enslavers, daemons, and other horrifying abominations. Thus, the Silent King, Szarekh, commanded the Necron dynasties to slumber for the next sixty million years, until the storms subsided and the galaxy could once more be ruled by the Necrontyr Empire.
Unable to ignore the overriding imperative of Szarekh's command protocol, the Thothakh Dynasty recalled all its historians from every corner of the galaxy. Its fleets returned to the worlds of the Dynasty like moths to a flame. Slowly but surely, its chroniclers filed into the depths of the stasis crypts and, under the watchful eyes of their Scarabs and Spyders, fell into a long, dark sleep.
When the Necrontyr became the undying, metal Necrons, it may have been simultaneously the best and the worst thing to happen to the Thothakh Dynasty.
On one hand, their new necrodermis bodies gave them immortality and endurance without limit. The historians, no longer bound by mortal limitations, could now create even greater works. Indeed, once all of the Dynasty had undergone biotransference, Phaerakh Isesor decreed:
- "...Death has become meaningless. No longer shall we live in its shadow. No longer shall we memorialize it. Now, we will not simply record the histories of the deceased. Let us instead record the achievements of life."
- —Phaerakh Isesor
So it was that the Thothakh Dynasty found a new purpose. Using all the hyper-advanced science at the Necrons' disposal, the Dynasty turned its will to uncovering and recording the history of time itself. Every star ever born, every planet ever formed, every living thing that ever grew, all would be recorded and catalogued in a Grand Archive that would span all of time from the birth of the universe to the ever-moving present.
But biotransference had come with a price. Acknowledging that there were so many brilliant minds in the Thothakh Dynasty, the Cryptek Conclave granted an unusually large percentage of the Dynasty nobility-class memory engrams. Thus, a remarkable proportion of the Thothakh historians retained their free will after biotransference. But at the same time, the less fortunate historians, those who were not quite as good at their duty and so not granted high-quality bodies, had the spark of intelligence snuffed out forever.
Aside from the usual breakouts of the Flayer Virus or the Destroyer Madness, and the occasional damaged engrammatical circuitry, the Necrons of the Thothakh Dynasty awoke almost totally unscathed. Whether by cosmic luck or because they simply had so few worlds, none could say. Even their worlds, which had certainly undergone major changes over the eons, had kept their tomb complexes intact and functional.
They awoke in ones and twos, those Necrons capable of independent thought. A green glow slowly returned to their eyes as their neural circuitry began to reactivate, igniting long-unused connections and synapses. Blinking away the long sleep and relearning how to use their bodies, the Thothakh Necrons looked out into a galaxy changed enormously since they had last laid eyes on it.
Phaerakh Isesor was among the first to reawaken, and as befitting her status, did her best to ease her people back into consciousness. She brought her historians together, commanding the Canoptek caretakers to aid stragglers, identifying and quarantining those infected by the Flayer Virus, sending those with the Destroyer Madness back into slumber. Once all who could think had been reawakened, she called for a new assembly upon Haset, for she had a proclamation to make.
Speaking to the gathered historians, Isesor made a stunning decree. Before entering the Great Sleep, their Grand Archive had been a masterpiece of accumulated knowledge. But with the passage of sixty million years, much had changed since their last addition to the Archive. Simply put, there was now an enormous and unacceptable gap in their records.
It was a gap that needed to be corrected.
At Isesor's command, the explorator fleets of the Thothakh Dynasty once again took flight. In a reversal of how they had gathered to slumber, the historian ships expanded outward, a swarm of crescent shapes rising from the surfaces of the tomb worlds and vanishing into the void of space. Once more, they would record the history of the galaxy. But the Thothakh Dynasty's quest had unforeseen complications. Many new races had sprung up during their long sleep--races embroiled in constant and bitter struggle. Not to mention that without the unifying effect of Szarekh's command protocols, the Necron dynasties were often just as manipulative and combative towards others of their race.
Their quest would be arduous, but the historians would see it through.
Worlds of the Dynasty
When the Thothakh Dynasty was born, it took two worlds for its own. Since then, it has only colonized three other planets.
Crownworld and capitol of the Thothakh Dynasty, Haset is one of the largest centers of knowledge in the whole Necron Empire. It is home to the Grand Archive, and thus, it is where every historian of the Dynasty returns to once they have gathered all the information they could. The Archive is the crowning achievement of the Thothakh Dynasty; thus, Haset is also the most heavily defended of all its worlds. Battalions of Immortals maintain constant patrols through its dark halls. Squads of Lychguard enforce strict security protocols upon every new arrival, no matter their identity. Swarms of Scarabs and Wraiths keep the Archive free of damage and blemish. Some would say the measures put into place to defend the Grand Archive are overzealous, but to those who venerate history, the treasure of knowledge demands only the greatest protection.
Khmun and Asir
History is as physical as it is temporal. In the course of their studies, the historians often uncover ancient relics or other interesting specimens from the distant past. Fossils of great beasts, the lost tombs of forgotten kings, pressure-forged gems of unprecendented quality, all are equally indicative of the weight of history. These artifacts can be just as important to the Thothakh archives as the regular textual records. The coreworlds of Khmun and Asir exist to house these fragments of history. Sprawling complexes of galleries and stasis-preserved exhibitions, the twin museum worlds are so vast that it is said one can spend their entire life wandering their halls and yet only see a fraction of what they have on display. Portals of the type found in Monoliths and Night Scythes link the two together. They are two worlds intertwined, together creating a memorial to history greater than the sum of its parts.
A barren fringeworld, Tassis is rarely visited. Before biotransference, Tassis was a tomb world in the most literal sense: a place where the dead were buried. It is a planet of crypts and necropolii, mute testaments to the harshness of Necrontyr life. But in recent times, the dead have had other company.
With the construction of the Grand Archive, the memorials of Tassis became redundant. Tassis is a world of quarantine now. Those Necrons infected with the Flayer Virus are unceremoniously exiled to this dead world, with the hope that they never return to plague the other worlds of the Thothakh Dynasty. For their part, the Flayed Ones have been content to remain there. The tombs of Tassis are streaked with rancid blood and rotting gore from their hunts, spilled over from the pocket dimension the Flayed Ones usually inhabit. Only the foolish venture here of their own volition.
Located far from the other Thothakh worlds, the fringeworld of Tauri is a place where the most dangerous specimens of the historians' excavations are kept. In containment chambers constantly maintained by swarms of Scarabs and Spiders are things too important to leave behind yet too hazardous to be examined by unpracticed hands. Here are warp-touched artifacts, bound daemons, captured Enslavers. A temporally frozen Eldar Farseer is the centerpiece of one room. In another, colossal chamber is suspended an ancient and dormant Tyranid Bioship. And at the very core of the Tauri galleries, in its most secure vaults, is a long hallway studded with shielded alcoves. In each alcove rests a Tesseract Labyrinth. Each one holds a C'tan Shard. They are all that remains of Nemet'aron the Watcher, the only C'tan the Thothakh Dynasty ever shattered.
While the Thothakh Dynasty is very insular in nature, its work brings its people into contact with all the races of the galaxy. Some of them are accepting; the Tau in particular are more welcoming than others. Others are too steeped in old hatreds to even consider dealing with them.
The Thothakh Dynasty is afforded much respect from most other dynasties for the services they provide. Some, however, have different views.
- Imotekh the Stormlord does not believe he needs others to record his deeds for him. His actions speak louder than any words the Thothakh Dynasty can scribe.
- Trazyn the Infinite is held in contempt by Phaerakh Isesor. His preference for spectacle over historical accuracy particularly grates on her sensibilities.
- Orikan the Diviner, for his skill at astromancy, is constantly sought out by Thothakh historians reasoning that if he can predict the future, he can also read the past. His chronomantic abilities remain unknown.
Imperium of Man
Of all the upstart races of the galaxy, none have impressed the Dynasty more than humans have. Exceeding all expectations, mankind has risen to dominate vast swathes of the galactic plane, pushing aside older and stronger races like the Eldar. Their spiritual leader, the God-Emperor, is of particular interest to the Thothakh Dynasty, who are baffled as to how a psyker so powerful and influential could have risen from a comparatively psychically weak race.
The intense xenophobia of the Imperium is not exactly encouraging to historians seeking to visit its worlds for study, but there are always a few planetary governors willing to at least tolerate an alien delegate, even one from a race as physically imposing as the Necrons. The historians usually only make a cursory, peaceful introduction before doing any research, seeing it as a good idea to not look like an advance guard for an invasion by letting the locals know they're there. Some, however, go as far to request whole planetary archives so as to speed up their work. The record-keeping of the Imperium is often questionable at best, however, so they must be meticulously fact-checked before being accepted as truth.
The Eldar are aware of the Thothakh Dynasty's (relatively) peaceful nature. It makes no difference to them. Necrons are Necrons--the ancient enemy, no matter what their work is. Historians seeking to examine Craftworlds or Maiden Worlds must be very careful to avoid detection, else the Eldar would destroy them with all possible swiftness.
Still, the Thothakh Dynasty is persistent in trying to uncover Eldar history-- that gigantic Warp rift the Imperium calls the Eye of Terror wasn't there sixty million years ago, and all evidence points to the Eldar being responsible for its existence. Many Thothakh historians would be very pleased indeed to learn the full story behind its creations, partly for historical record, partly to laugh at the fate of the once-proud Eldar.
There is another point of interest for the Dynasty regarding the Eldar, and that is their fabled Black Library. The sheer volume of knowledge held within tempts even the most hardline historians, and more than a few of the Dynasty have sought it out within the Webway, through the handful of Dolmen Gates they still possess. Most return empty-handed, bringing back only fresh scars: the Webway does not take kindly to intruders. A handful have simply vanished.