Throughout the ages of Mankind, there have been many cataclysmic events of such magnitude that the human race has been brought to its knees. Ork Waaaghs! have threatened Holy Terra itself before being defeated, Space Marine Chapters have been destroyed only to be restored to glory thousands of years later, and entire sectors have been overthrown by xenos and daemonic threats only to be reclaimed in the Emperor’s name. Many times has the Imperium suffered a blow thought dolorous and yet recovered. Each time, the storied histories have been lost, corrupted or rewritten by the victors of great campaigns. This leaves the majority of the Imperium’s people unaware of the galaxy-spanning wars that have been fought to secure their humble place amongst the stars.
The Historitors of the Adeptus Administratum seek, gather and dutifully collect the history of each planet within the Imperium. Once, perhaps, this was done with purpose. Now, however, it is most often an indiscriminate compilation of data, a process where scribes unthinkingly copy content onto scrolls, preserving complete records in constant fear of missing a single inconsequential letter. The ability, or even desire, to translate what these facts mean in any larger sense is almost entirely absent, found only in a few individuals who are eyed suspiciously, or perhaps punished for their enthusiasm.
The largest and most complete collection exists beneath the surface of Terra. There, the colossal under-halls stretch out of sight – endless vistas of datascrolls tower upwards like mountains. With flickering candlelight provided by floating servo-skulls, long processions of curators, scriveners, and ciphers wind through the valleys, attempting to illuminate that which was. Over the years, there have been many adjustments, by revisionists from the Adeptus Ministorum, the Inquisition and some say the High Lords of Terra themselves.