As members of a proscribed Imperial Death Cult, the Astral Knives must keep their beliefs secret to all but their most trusted confidents. A secret society within the closed society of the void born, the Astral Knife cult takes it upon themselves, as a sacred duty, to keep mankind safe during voyages through the warp. If a voyage suffers, dark portents are witnessed or danger draws close in the warp, the Astral Knives carry out a sacrifice to ensure the Emperor’s protection. Those most obviously “unclean” targets, such as mutants and psykers, are selected first, but almost anyone might be selected in consultation with ritual foretelling.
Some fifty years ago the Ordos Calixis declared the Astral Knives a heretical sect after it was found that worshippers of the Ruinous Powers had infiltrated large parts of the cult, and a concerted purge was undertaken. Despite this, the entrenched and widely dispersed death cult lives on, although scattered and in far fewer in numbers than before.
An Astral Knife cultist is usually born rather than made, with certain void families having long traditions of involvement with the cult, either as assassins themselves or in tacitly providing support. Nor are they ravening killers. They are taught instead that their murders, often arranged to seem as accidents, are a dreadful but necessary duty. Some members grieve over their victims when appropriate, although many seek to hone their skills further by taking payment for the use of their skills among the void born, particularly if the target is a “dirtsider” or not of the ship.
Assassin: The Astral Knives
Cost: 200 XP
Some more Radical elements of the Inquisition have chosen, where possible, to absorb the surviving untainted Astral Knives into their service as skilled spies and killers, and the Knives for their part, are keen to prove their faith.
Effects: Apply all of the following changes to your character:
Skills: You begin play with Ciphers (Secret Society---Astral Knives) (Int) and Deceive (Fel). You may also treat Forbidden Lore (Warp) (Int) and Tech Use (Int) as Basic Skills.
Corruption: You start the game with 1d5 Corruption Points.
Note: Astral Knives are members of a proscribed society. If this becomes generally known, they may well suffer the wrath of the Arbites, Witch Hunters and Inquisitors less “understanding” than their master.