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The Scattering was a major historical event that occurred in the chaotic period following the death of Leto Atreides II, the God-Emperor. Leto's death saw the eventual breakdown of his empire, severe famine on many worlds, and the introduction of Ixian no-ships. It was all part of The Golden Path, as put forward by Leto, which was triggered by a perceived need to diversify the human race and allow it to evolve.
Leto II's prescience allowed him to see into both the past and the future, and he believed that ten thousand years of rule by the Faufreluches had allowed the human race to become stagnant, and that drastic action on Leto's part was needed in order for the human race to survive.
Leto II was also aware that a likelihood existed that the Thinking Machines, before they were destroyed in the Butlerian Jihad, had scattered. A stagnant human race would have little chance should the machines return. The entire purpose of "Leto's Golden path" was to force the human race to abandon certainty, security, and safety as individual goals and to "scatter" not only geographically, but also to do so technologically, ideologically, and socio-politically.
As a result of this philosophy, during the reign of Leto II humanity was predominantly planet bound and ruled by an iron fist for more than 3500 years. This was in contrast to the relative freedom of expression and movement people enjoyed to a limited degree under the Faufreluches, the limits being predominantly the inherent control of feudal rule and the Spacing Guild monopoly on space travel. Indeed, Leto II exerted a level of control that was unprecedented in the Imperium, including power over the Guild and space travel, a feat that previous Emperors had been unable to accomplish. Upon Leto's death, the stalwart and long-established order of the Imperium disintegrated, as did control over freedoms and movement, and as a result, humanity rediscovered independence and nobilities on an unprecedented scale. This paved the way for humanity to "scatter" across the universe into the unknown and further evolution of the human race.
Return from the ScatteringEdit
During The Scattering, many people remained within the boundaries of the Old Imperium. Many, however, did not. Countless humans departed the Old Imperium for uncharted space, never to return. For 1500 years, humanity explored the uncharted realms of the universe beyond the boundaries of the Old Imperium. New groups and cultures evolved. After a time, some of these decided to return to the Old Imperium. Most notable of these were the Honored Matres, who were a mysterious and bizarre mutation of the Bene Gesserit, Fish Speakers, and re-awakened females from Tleilaxu Axlotl Tanks.