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Komos, later known as Ix, is the ninth planet of the system of Eridani A. Initially a tributal of Richese, it spawned the Butlerian Jihad. It was isolated for centuries until joining the Imperium, discreetly trading technology with other worlds.
Surely one of the great ironies of history lies in the fact that the planet which conceived the anti-machine Jihad also birthed the supreme technology of Ix.
Features[edit | edit source]
- diameter at equator: 40,000 kilometers
- land area: 50%
- freshwater lakes 10%,
- salt oceans 40%.
- polar ice: very restricted,
- mean annual temperature: 22°,
- average low: 2°,
- average high: 34°.
- planet average soil base: Unusually deep (5 to 8 meters)
- Average annual rainfall: 1 meter.
- Capital: Pylos
Planet is ideal for production of grain crops over much of surface; drier sections capable of sustaining large herds of grazing animals. Estimated annual production in excess of 100 billion bushels of various grains annual; livestock 200,000 head annually.
History[edit | edit source]
Komos was a province of its neighbor, Richese which controlled Komos through the threat of force: the population of Richese was close to 500 million, and their army was larger than the total population of Komos. Richese forbade Komos space vessels, while maintaining a sizable stellar army of its own.
Richese's domination of Komos was loose. Language, religion and language of Richese were not pressed on the Komans. Except for the collection of the tribute, Komos was left almost entirely alone. The citizens of Richese, when they thought of Komos at all, considered their exploitation to be benevolent and gentle, but the Komans did not think of their overlords so; the control of Komos was far less merciless than it might have been.
The limited presence of Richese in the lives of the Komans helped to make the burden of their servitude more bearable. Most of the population had no contact whatever with the government of Richese (unless they accompanied the tribute convoys into one of the district capitals after the harvest).
During the Butlerian Jihad[edit | edit source]
The farming technology of Komos had been computerized only at a very elementary level, it had not been destroyed in the first stages of the Great Revolt.
After the artificially induced abortion of their daughter, Sarah, caused by a thinking machine director of the hospital, Jehanne approached Urania, the priestess of Kubebe to create a movement against the domination by Richese, appalled by the evidence concerning the actions of the hospital director. Jehanne and her husband, Thet'r Butler, the Logistos of Xania formed the Front for the End of Koman Exploitation, a rebel organization against Richese.
During the tribute collection week they seized the tribute fleet for transport to Richese where they discovered the chief Richesan programmers and scientists had been mostly willing participants in the actions of the machines in altering the population of Komos. These revelations resulted (principally with the aid of Urania) to the Butlerian Jihad.
In the first stages of the Jihad, Komos was nearly deserted. In 198 BG, with the Jihad about to leave Richese for the far reaches of the galaxy, Jehanne Butler ordered those Richesans who did not choose to join her to be transported to Komos as a substantial number of the technicians and mechanics from Richese who survived the wars did. Most of these men and women, able to think and act for themselves, lived to form the basis for the new population of Komos.
The survival of those machines, as well as the astonishing fecundity of the planet, ensured the survival of many of the new settlers. So began the transition of agrarian Komos to highly technological Ix.
This population was provided with two great advantages.
- First, the oddly isolated position of the system and planet, who were on the fringes of human settlement. The ravages of the Jihad, especially severe in the sector of Eridani A, resulted in even greater isolation. For several centuries after the Jihad those on Komos were cut off from contact with the rest of humanity (at first involuntarily but then by choice).
- Second, the immediate riches of the vast agricultural development of Komos produced a life of ease for the inhabitants, who thus had leisure time in which to think and experiment. The resettled technicians and mechanics of Richese naturally turned to machine technology as one way to occupy their time, taking great care to avoid the development of population controlling machines. There was some early resistance to this technology, but as the decades passed and the planet remained alone in a forgotten corner of the universe, decisive steps in the rebirth of truly sophisticated technology were taken.
As Ix[edit | edit source]
Now the planet was known by its inhabitants as Ix (derived from an ancient system of reckoning which identified the number we know by the symbol 9 as IX)
By 110 BG, Aurelius Venport and Norma Cevna, pioneers in the field of interstellar travel to a point beyond the capabilities of the new technology, they were reluctantly forced to take their research elsewhere.
Within a century the universe healed from the Butlerian Jihad but was technologically devastated. The riches of Komos had combined with the benefits of the finest scientific work to make the planet unique in the universe: a center of scientific and technological research and development center. Of course all the scientific centers and industrial complexes were concealed underground, while the surface maintained the appearance of a bucolic world devoted to agriculture.
By 25 BG, the Ixians had begun to explore into the settled worlds in order to judge the state of civilization of the outer universe, and to ascertain if there was any threat to their anonymity. There was a consideration for trade in the fields of technology but the feeling regarding the Jihad and computing machines prevented this. The deliberate isolation of Ix continued until the first century of the rule of House Corrino.
Their anonymity was threatened once the Spacing Guild reintroduced space travel into common use; in time their system would attract the attention of an expansionary society, and Ix would be destroyed once their machines were discovered. In order to avoid annihilation, the Ixians made the first move themselves and cautiously sent an ambassador to Emperor Saudir I in 55 AG, a daring and risky move, like the Spacing Guild did some decades ago.
In the Imperium[edit | edit source]
Saudir was shocked with this new information, but the possibilities became obvious: If a controlled source of technology were available to the Imperial house, the Guild, and the Great Houses, they could have the advantages of machines without their dangers to the sociopolitical system. Any solution, such as any one of the powers of the Imperium seizing control of Ix, would destabilize the Imperium.
The two sides arranged that Ix would remain isolated; the Guild would make certain that no unapproved visitors reached the system of Eridani A. The Ixians would continue to exploit Richese and Richese would become the manufacturing center for Ix. The interests of all parties were served by these balanced concessions.
Under the Atreides[edit | edit source]
After the defeat of House Corrino by the Atreides and the subsequent ascension of Leto II Atreides, became increasingly public but changed a little. Leto's attitude toward Ix was at least as ambiguous as that of other powers whose existence Leto permitted.
During the last few centuries of Leto's reign, however, the policies of the emperor underwent a subtle but consistent change. Leto ceased to enforce so strictly the ban against thinking machines, and began to use certain Ixian products himself which would have been anathema in his early reign. Ix was also tacitly permitted to begin investigation and experimentation with machines which had the potential to replace Guild navigators. The scientists of Ix believed that Leto was unaware of their progress on these constructions who was clandestinely assisting them by providing them with certain necessary ores and alloys through private channels which the Ixians believed to be their own discovery.
Societal structure[edit | edit source]
Most of the population remained at home on ranch or farm. The Komans were obdurately rural. Since the only state the Komans knew was Richese, they recognized no state. The most important political unit on Komos was also the chief social unit: the family.
Komos was ruled by the Exarch, a planetary governor appointed by Richese to rule at the discretion of the home government who also was given a small garrison, although the domination of Komos did not depend upon actual military force;
The Exarch was charged with few responsibilities by the home government, since nothing was more important than the sow of grain and livestock from Komos. Since Richese produced no foodstuffs itself, the population depended for its very existence on the bounty provided by their province. Beyond the office of Exarch, the planet was divided into ten administrative districts, whose bureaucratic chiefs were called "Logistoi". Each Logistos was chosen from the population of the administrative district he directed.
The Komans thought of the family as an organic entity, to be cared for in the same way that their land or crops were tended or cultivated. The future of each family was based on the resources of the adults and their ancestors, and that future achieved form and life in their children. Fathers retained control of the lives of their progeny until their death. An adult individual was considered fully independent for the first time, when his father died.
Koman women had no legal status; they could not appear in court or inherit without the appointment of a guardian, however they possessed great powers within the family and society at large. The religion of Komos was controlled by priestesses and similarly, the religious life of the family was in the hands of the father's wife. Just as every male hoped to head his own family one day, so every young woman hoped to guide the sacred well-being of her family.
The only other social entity worthy of note was the tribe, composed by members descended from one certain common male ancestor. They shared certain religious observances and a common burial ground. Each tribe had a chief priestesses.
Religion[edit | edit source]
Religion was matriarchal; the religion of Komos focused around the worship of the goddess Kubebe a mother-goddess, the source of all life, animal and plant. As a result religion was controlled by priestesses and the religious life of the family was in the hands of the father's wife
Naturally, the Komans were aware that these beliefs could not be reconciled with the astronomical facts of their star system. However Kubebe could have chosen to create winter by the revolution of their planet around their star; if she desired, she could also see to it that winter continued, rather than turning into the spring, changing the course of their planet's orbit, or not?
Religious rites, from birth to death, focused on Kubebe. In common with similar religions, her followers believed that each year the world died as a result of the absence of their goddess. Only her return can resurrect the planet from winter and to ensure it even the most serious rituals of mourning, cleansing, reinvigoration, and finally rejoicing became a yearly cycle.
These rituals were directed by a tribe's chief priestess, the link between the goddess and the Komans. The planet had several primary training centers for priestesses, but there was only one higher-level school from which they graduated. There they received an introduction into the training of the Bene Gesserit. All priestesses were at least qualified members of the order; it is probable that the chief priestesses were all Reverend Mothers.
Considering their vital rote in Komos' social history, it is not surprising that Urania, the priestesses of Kubebe played an essential part in the Butlerian Jihad.