The diversion at Schar's World occurred during the Idiran-Culture War in 1331 CE. It was instigated by the Culture to prevent Horza, an Idiran agent, from gaining Idiran support to capture a Culture Mind seeking refuge in the Command System on Schar's World. This denial of support ultimately helped the Culture recover the Mind.



The Culture was aware of Horza's mission to capture the Mind and had unsuccessfully attempted to neutralize the Changer at Vavatch Orbital. Horza escaped that attempt and enlisted Kraiklyn's Free Company to help him.[1]

The Company made its way to Schar's World aboard Clear Air Turbulence. The Idiran 93rd Fleet was also near the Planet of the Dead attempting to capture the Mind. Horza intended to rendezvous with the fleet, transfer custody of Culture agent Balveda, send the Company on its way, pick up the equipment promised by Xoralundra and complete the mission alone.[2]

Mock BattleEdit

The ROUs Revisionist and Trade Surplus were ordered to stage a mock battle at the edge of the Quiet Barrier in the path of Clear Air Turbulence. The rationale for the mission was not given to the ships, and the Minds and crew regarded it as a dangerous and near-suicidal endeavour.[2]

The ships fired CAM, CREWS, warp charges, and other munitions. Target drones were destroyed and gas released to create debris. They also deployed shuttles with communication equipment to both transmit and jam disinformation. Once done they left the volume before Idiran forces could intercept them.[2]

Horza Goes AloneEdit

The Company detected the fracas and the messages while still two days from Schar's World and 1.5 light-years from the battle site. The first message in the expanding message shell was an obviously faked Idiran signal claiming the volume was safe and ordering the Clear Air Turbulence to rendezvous with the 93rd Fleet. Subsequent messages disavowed or contradicted previous ones.[2]

The disinformation served its intended purpose. Horza developed the impression non-existent Culture forces were between him and the Idirans. He decided the safer route was to continue to Schar's World with the Company without securing Idiran support. This would be a fatal handicap when he arrived in the Command System.[2]


  1. Consider Phlebas, chapter 8
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Consider Phlebas, chapter 9