"My retinue had seen the signs, however. Charms and sigils in the markets were pale reflections of Ammicus Tole’s warp-craft. Even without seeking wilfully to call upon the Ruinous Powers, the tinkers were a pallid emanation of the arch–heretek’s presence."
–From the journals of Inquisitor Felroth Gelt: 3.506.788.M41
Ammicus Tole is an arch-heretek and former member of the Logicians who has fled to the world of Sinophia to hide from the Inquisition. For reasons entirely his own, he abruptly broke all ties with his parent heretek group and began gathering his own followers. It is presumed that Tole was serially disloyal, for he had earlier also abandoned the Cult Mechanicus for the Logicians. On the remote Periphery world, he has cultivated a cult out of the corrupted remains of the Sinophian Machine Cult.
The Magos Juris assigned to the case discovered that Tole’s group had become a cult, and he had led them into rituals of the Warp that had irrevocably corrupted the technology that they came into contact with. The Lathe-Covenant Council acted quickly to alert the Inquisition, and assisted them in rooting out the majority of the cult, although some remnants did manage to escape offworld to Cyclopea. Among the most egregious of Tole’s creations was the Prognosticaon, a device of divination that could, with the proper use of sacrificial blood, closely predict the future.
His followers are tech-witches, hereteks, and lesser sorcerers who clutch at words written by their master. Their tech-knowledge is a mix of rote practicality and mysticism, either tortured from Mechanicus adepts or gleaned from Tole’s writings. The Tome of Ammicus Tole, while largely heretical ramblings, hides true warp-rituals and working device-patterns. Most tech-witches possess only a few pages or fragments within a failing dataslate.
To all but the inner circle, Ammicus Tole is a rumour---a distant and hidden lord of tech-heresy.
Fragment of the Tome of Ammicus Tole: Cost 8,000, WT 1kg, Very Rare
Amongst the many tech-perversions bestowed upon the Calixian Sector by the arch-heretek and former Logician Ammicus Tole is the foretelling device known as a prognosticaon. It is an inverted iron pendulum suspended within an enclosure of circular hoops and surrounded by a hedge of seemingly meaningless mechanisms. The construct is usually small enough to carry in one hand and may be etched with profane symbols or heretek texts. The pendulum bobs and oscillates in response to changes in its surroundings---it is very sensitive, particularly to tides in the near Empyrean.
Patterns for the prognosticaon are ciphered within rare fragments of Ammicus Tole’s tome of rituals and chants: the cipher-keys reveal attendant scrawling as debased rituals of operation. The secret of the prognosticaon lies in perturbing the near warp in a way that steers the pendulum towards desired revelations about the future. Wizened tech-witches of Cyclopea, devotees of Ammicus Tole, accomplish this through blood sacrifice and wild ritual taught by their master’s Tome. A heretek tech-priest of the suppressed faction of Empyric Engineers might find other ways of achieving the same end, but the prognosticaon is, at its core, a tool enabled by death and suffering.
Tole’s ritual requires eight human sacrifices, achieved in a variety of unpleasant and carefully specified ways, and rousing excitement amongst eight more participants. Blood is strewn about and painted upon the prognosticaon device, and prayers offered to false gods. The tech-witch who seeks a foretelling sets Signifiers---disturbing sigils daubed in sacrificial blood at cardinal points about the device. The meaning of each Signifier is determined by the tech-witch and pertains to eight questions permitted by this tech-sorcery. With the ritual at its height, movement of the Diviner’s pendulum to one Signifier or another reveals true answers.
Employing the Prognosticaon
Dark whispers attend certain Radicals supposed to have employed the sorcery of Ammicus Tole and worse in their quest for foreknowledge. Theirs is a black and terrible path to perdition:
- Participation in Ammicus Tole’s murderous ritual adds 1d10 Corruption points.
- Deciphering fragments of Tole’s book and comprehending how the prognosticaon, ritual, and Signifiers function adds 1d5 Insanity points and 1 Corruption point.
- Setting the prognosticaon and interpreting the pendulum requires a Challenging (+0) Scholastic Lore (Occult) Test. This test should be made secretly by the Game Master---an Ocularian might never know whether he correctly read the prognosticaon. A failed test leads to random answers.
- The pendulum indicates the degree to which an answer is true by the violence of its movement, but cannot reveal new knowledge omitted from the Signifiers.
Prognosticaons show the future that would have been had the user not used the device. The user can act to change that future---but partial foreknowledge is no guarantee of success. Occult lore is rife with examples, mythical and otherwise, of actions that brought about the very future those who seek to avoid such prophices tried to avoid.
The users’s eight questions must look to the future and have simple answers: true, false, or one of a few options. For example: “Which of these two fools will betray me?” with Signifiers for Interrogator Maylle and Savant Herioth. The true answer is that betrayal lies elsewhere, but the tech-sorcery cannot reveal more from these limited Signifiers, and so the pendulum will avoid both. If the Scholastic Lore (Occult) test failed then the pendulum would randomly indicate neither, one, or both Signifiers, perhaps condemning these loyal servants to death.
Cost 5,000, WT 3kg, Rare