Golephic Heresy was discovered by the Ordos Calixis in 419.M41, when the forces of Inquisitor Embuleos, prosecuting Mechanicus renegades, were ravaged by faceless machine assassins built in the form of men. Inhumanly clever, fast, and silent, the machines stalked their victims by sound and heat-radiance before slaughtering them with ancient powerblades. Ultimately triumphant, though at great cost, Embuleos discovered enough in the heretek ruins to put a name to these echoes of the Dark Age of Technology: Golephs.
The Mechanicus Calixis are nothing if not secretive, and the iron wall of silence hides much from the greater Imperium. Golephic Heresy has a long history within the Calixian Machine Cult; it seduces those who seek a path to the Silica Animus, the Man-Machine that stands one step closer to the Omnissiah’s glory. Heretek-hunters of the Cult of Sollex have destroyed Golephs and the Magi who created them uncounted times in the millennia since the Angevinian era---but Golephic patterns and forbidden lore persist in labyrinthine Mechanicus data-repositories.
All of this is hidden from the uninitiated, but some few in the Holy Ordos understand. One Radical coven believes Golephs to be children of the lost machine-men of Amun’an Morrus, birthed from decaying mind patterns and unhallowed techdesigns obtained during the Angevinian Crusade. Amun’an Morrus is a cursed world---its inhabitants sold their souls and their humanity to the machine, discarding flesh for armor and minds for cogitators. They were put to the sword by the Lord-Militant Angevin in 540.M39, and Amun’an Morrus was burned in the Emperor’s Fire and stricken from the star-charts, such was the abhorrence its machine civilization inspired.
Certainly, the Goleph frame looks little like an Imperial techpattern. Limbs are smooth and long, the human-sized body sleek and the head featureless; its outer shell betrays no sign or noise of the mechanisms within. Even Golephic hereteks have little knowledge of the origins of their forbidden lore. They toil in ignorance upon Goleph mind-pattern devices, seeking secrets of the Man-Machine within this dangerous archeotech.
A Goleph machine is cast in the pattern of a man, is cunning as a man, and can hate as only a man can---an active Goleph is an unrestrained murderer. To establish control, early hereteks crafted Golephic Keys, devices designed to communicate crude sigils of instruction and castigate disobedience by disruption of mind-pathways. A punished Goleph gives every appearance of torment-thrashing and writhing in silence, and then moved to sullen obedience or careful misinterpretation of sigils. A Goleph newly raised from safe storage in a stasis field is malevolent in aspect, pausing to weigh obedience to sigil-instructions against an attempt to slaughter its masters and destroy its Key.