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History (Prime Reality)
In the Prime Reality, Sheriem was one of the four Archcommanders, or the leaders of the Hand of Artakha that included Kragator. However, this Kragator (like the Kragators of most alternate universes) wasn't obsessed with leaving a lasting legacy.
Following a certain Great Being’s tampering with the Matoran Universe, Kragator and Toa Helryx both played a large hand in the Hand’s dissolution; Helryx because of the damage the undisciplined agents caused, Kragator because of the lack of a central command structure. With the help of Sheriem and Koram, the other two Archcommanders, the organization was disbanded. When Helryx lay out her plans to reform the Hand into the Order of Mata Nui, Sheriem highly supported the idea and became a field officer in the organization. He lived out a content life as a hermit, narrowly evading execution by Teridax in the Reign of Shadows.
History (The Broken Order Universe)
Hand of Artakha
In the early days of the Matoran Universe, Sheriem was one of four beings created by the Great Beings with the purpose of leading the Hand of Artakha (the others being Helryx, Kragator, and Koram). In the organization’s early days, Hand agents only had to deal with malfunctioning nanotech, reprogramming them and setting them back in order. However, following the actions of a certain Great Being, the nanotech of the Matoran Universe were given sentience. The Hand was unable to deal with the newly sentient beings and when the Archcommanders tried to correct the faults in the organization, they found it was too decentralized to do so.
Seeing this, Kragator and Helryx proposed dismantling the Hand, an action Sheriem and Koram agreed to. Eventually their soldiers were scattered and the organization was but a memory. Sheriem, happy to be out from under the burden of leadership, began making plans to retire.
Meeting on Keetongu Isle
The dissolution of the Hand left Mata Nui without a protector organization, and several months later, Helryx and Kragator called a meeting on Keetongu Isle--a meeting between the four rulers and various other highly ranked beings in the Hand--to reshape the organization.
Sheriem came, regarding the establishment of a successor organization to the Hand as his duty as an Archcommander, but firmly established that he would have no part in it.
From the onset, a clash of ideals prevented a clear course of action from emerging. Helryx viewed the Hand’s bane as being the lack of discipline with its members as well as the visibility of the organization; she felt that any new organization would have to be completely invisible and highly self-disciplined. Kragator, however, viewed the Hand’s downfall as due to the lack of a centralized command structure; he felt that the Hand’s replacement would need a king, an emperor, a ruler who controlled every aspect of the organization.
Sheriem, initially doubtful of Helryx’s idea of an invisible organization, initially supported Kragator’s plan for reestablishment, but as the debate went on, he came to understand Helryx’s vision. When the fighting between Helryx and Kragator grew more and more intense, Sheriem grew to hold a more neutral stance, often having to break up much of the fighting. At one point, he even set forth his own plan, an intended compromise where the Hand’s successor was both invisible and centralized. This plan wasn’t picked up however, for neither Helryx nor Kragator intended to compromise.
When Helryx at last issued the order sending messengers throughout the universe to rally the Hand of Artakha agents to her order of Mata Nui, Kragator and his supporters attacked the base of her and her proponents. Most of Helryx’s supporters were killed and she escaped. When the Hand agents arrived at Helryx’s command, Kragator declared the formation of the Kritor Alliance based on his plan. Sheriem, furious at Kragator’s actions, left the island, acting on his plans for retirement.
Confrontation with Kragator
Sheriem made a home for himself in the southeastern area of the Northern Continent where he lived in peace for several thousand years.
Kragator, however, made the most of his rule over the Kritor Alliance, building a base on Bythrain and developing the organization into a world player. As his power grew, he grew worried that many Kritors still held allegiance to Archcommand as a whole and that the others could act on these loyalties. Koram had been killed by a Makuta on the Southern Continent and Helryx was in hiding, so the only Archcommander who held an active threat to Kragator’s rule was Sheriem.
The two met at Sheriem’s home on the Northern Continent. Kragator spent a few days at Sheriem’s house where the two reminisced and the king tried to explain his actions on Keetongu Island. Sheriem came to forgive him for the attack on Helryx and her followers, but still remained apprehensive.
Toward the end of Kragator’s stay, the king revealed the purpose of his visit. He gave Sheriem a choice; join the Kritor Empire as one of Kragator’s High Commanders… or be doomed for an eternity to the Kritor prison known as the Pit. Sheriem refused to serve Kragator, so Kragator left. Two days later, the Kritor general, Botar arrived to take him to the Pit.
The Archcomin Offering
Over the course of his prison time, Sheriem nursed a hatred for Kragator and the Kritors, swearing that if he ever got out, Kragator would suffer his vengeance. This hatred developed into a hatred of the universe in general for letting him suffer there, due to no fault of his own. Torn between feelings of hurt, resignation, and wrath, Sheriem grew unstable.
Approximately a year after the end of the Kritor/Makuta War, a Wyrak called Jokrah visited his cell. He informed the cold prisoner of the Kritor/Makuta conflict, the siege of Destral, and the death of Kragator and the Kritor Empire at Helryx’s hands. He then informed Sheriem of the existence of an organization he belonged to, worshipers of the Archcommanders, who saw the four rulers of the Hand as superhuman figures on par with the Great Beings. He told Sheriem that the organization would do anything Sheriem demanded of it.
Sheriem, taken with the thought of avenging himself on the universe, accepted.
The Secret Empire
Sheriem was taken by Jokrah to the headquarters of the Archcomin Following where he immediately set about the establishment of a secret empire. His empire was structured much like the ideas he’d originally set forth in his plan on Keetongu Isle--an invisible organization with a central monarch and bent on its own interests, not that of Mata Nui. Moreover, he followed the example set by the Makuta League and incorporated entire races into his empire, compartmentalizing them into genera. Over each of these species he would place what later became known as "Barraki-generals" or "Heads of Species" high commander. However, this proved to be his downfall as his organization became too top-heavy and would collapse under the weight of too many high commanders each with their own interests.
Immediately upon forming the Secret Empire, Seriem sent Vriin, his most trusted lieutenant to assassinate Helryx, the final Archcommander besides himself alive, the leader of the Alignment and the only one who could potentially stop him (a belief of the Archcommanders held that only another Archcommander could defeat them; however, while this was true of Kragator and Helryx, Koram would be an outlier). This, he hoped, would throw the Alignment into chaos while he secretly recruited more species and commanders. The greatest asset he had going for him and his empire was that nobody knew what species were members, what lands were theirs, who was involved (except Sheriem and Vriin), and where the empire were based (which was underground on Keetongu Isle). And while the Alignment reorganized with unexpected speed after the death of Helryx, they were still having great difficulty determining these.
Sheriem's first strike occurred when he let the Alignment think his troops had overrun the homeland of the Atelvas (in actuality, the Atelvas had joined the Secret Empire). When the Alignment positioned their forces on Artidax nearby, Secret Empire forces took them by surprise, lashing out sharply by angering native Rahi.
It was during this time that the insanity of the Kragator's exile of him to the Pit along with the mental strain on Sheriem began to become clearer and clearer as Sheriem locked himself in his room and began chanting to himself and Vriin was no use, given his nature. Consequentially, his "Barraki-general" high commanders were forced to take things into their own hands, but due to their individual interests, the fractures between them grew increasingly evident, even when Sheriem did unexpectedly appear at a meeting.
The Alignment was growing closer and closer to discovering the headquarters of the Secret Empire, Sheriem's mind cracked and he saw a vision of Kragator. The late emperor told him that his endeavor to emulate the Kritor king was doomed and that he condemned the Secret Empire. After the vision ended, Sheriem desperately gave his Barraki-generals free-rein, ordered them to begin conquering as much land as they could. This would prove to be the final nail in the coffin, however, as the generals left to do what they wanted and behaved like little more than the faux-Barraki Sheriem was trying to prove his empire wasn't. Moreover, irritated at the "ignoble" use of guerilla tactics, Kritor soldiers in the Secret Empire let leak to the Alignment the location of the headquarters, as they had been used to "noble" tactics under Kragator's empire. This dual-strike directly and indirectly of Kragator resulted in the splintering of the Secret Empire.
Sheriem realized his empire was failing as it happened. When he unleashed the Barraki-generals, this coupled with the insanity of the faux-Barraki and the tolls the Kritor/Makuta War had taken on the universe, resulted in Mata Nui falling unconscious, although to the denizens of the Matoran Universe, this took the form of a cataclysmic Great Disruption. During this, an earthquake struck the Secret Empire's base on Keetongu Island and the earth caved in on Sheriem who finally accepted Kragator's words.
During his reign and in the immediate wake of his death, Sheriem was regarded as more than just a faux-Barraki, perhaps even the greatest of all faux-Barraki. In her death, Helryx feared what Sheriem might do to the Alignment. However, the Empire's quick collapse (under mysterious circumstances credited by some to the Kritor High Commanders, some to Kragator himself, although seemingly neither hold much basis in truth) led Sheriem's reputation to devolve after a few years. In time, he was reputed to be little more than a faux-Barraki, and in Kritor revisionist history he is the least of faux-Barraki--where he's even mentioned.
Sheriem's most influential and longest-lasting contribution was in the Genus-States. Following his death, many Barraki-generals went on to become the heads of their species, and recognizing the same danger as the Reformed Makuta League (RML) and the Matoran Order had--that lone species could quickly fall to faux-Barraki, much less other Naiton-States--they soon banded together and formed a handful of Nation-States of their own. The Barrakidae, Pirakidae, Rahi Races, and Titan Union all originate from Sheriem's efforts at union. This, of course, was Sheriem's effort to fulfill (and be the fulfillment of) the ancient teacher, Pravat's prediction that Nation-States would become prominent and the only means of surviving amidst each other.
History (Select Universes)
There are some universes where Sheriem goes on after the meeting at Keetongu Island to serve in the Order of Mata Nui's inner circle. These occur about as often as not. However, when he does do so, it is usually done only after Koram and Kragator have already done so, and it is motivated by a fear that he would be the only Archcommander not involved in the Order of Mata Nui. As such, the three of them serve in the inner-circle which answers to Helryx.
One such example where this occurs is in Forsaking a Warrior of the Moirai Universe where all four Archcommanders serve in the inner circle--albeit unnamed.
Abilities and Traits
Like Kragator, Sheriem is only capable of accessing the powers of Kanohi. Additionally, Sheriem is also ten feet tall and shares a similar build to the Kritor king; however Kragator and Sheriem are not of the same species. Rather, they are both one-off beings.
Prior to his time in the Pit, Sheriem was a strong believer in Kragatorial nobility, of head-to-head combat, and of fighting the enemy on equal terms. Following his exile, Sheriem was far more aggressive, a keeper of secrets, and a guerilla warlord. This change was deliberate; Sheriem viewed Kragator’s “nobility” as what landed him in the Pit in the first place.
- Sheriem represents a sort of combination of Kragator and Helryx (and arguably Miserix).
- Sheriem’s present-day bent on conquest is partially based on Kragator’s successes; when Jokrah told Sheriem of the Kritor king’s empire, the latter felt a need to surpass Kragator, his old peer.