“The flesh is strong!”
–Common Pure Form maxim
The Adeptus Ministorum and the Adeptus Mechanicus have never enjoyed a healthy working relationship within the Calixis Sector. Conflicts between the two organizations tend to be wars of words, though, political battles fought in the capital worlds of the Sector, rather than outright conflict between men and machines. Nevertheless, there have been several overt conflicts, such as the attack on the Explorator vessel Omega Inquiry from an Adepta Sororita strike force on the far edges of the Halo Stars. There are no official records of the encounter, but the Tricorn contains sealed datavaults hinting at an abhuman strain that the Mechanicus had uncovered far from civilized space, and the Ministorum’s reactions of horror when their spies reported the discovery. Retaliatory bombardments obliterated two outpost convents, and was about to escalate further before secretive diplomacy and unnamed offerings settled the matter. Such incidents are still rare, but with the gradual rise of a group calling itself the Cult of the Pure Form this could begin to change.
It is not known exactly who founded the Cult of the Pure Form, but their influence began in the Malfian Sub-sector in the immediate aftermath of the Malygrisian Tech-Heresy. The traitorous Tech-Priest and his followers decimated untold worlds with their devastating weaponry, and some began to think that the existence of the Adeptus Mechanicus would lead to another, inevitable war. The followers of this emerging cult feared that this coming doom would scour humankind from the galaxy, leaving only the cold, barely-human flesh and machine hybrids of the Mechanicum behind. This twisted line of logic grew quickly until the first major anti-Mechanicum movement of the Calixis Sector’s history began to swell, with loud marches and violent demonstrations.
In an unexpected move, and one that likely came about due to Cult Mechanicus political maneuvering on Scintilla, the Sector Synod declared the leaders of the emergent cult Apostate. Over the next fifty years these leaders began to disappear, some dying in mysterious accidents and others in outright assassinations. Some thought that the Inquisition was to blame, and others whispered of the Officio Assassinorum’s involvement, but very few were aware that the Lords Dragon had carried out this early intervention, and that their clandestine methods had managed to stifle the movement before it could truly become established. Displeased that the Lords Dragon had stepped beyond their usual bounds and were acting outside of the domains of the Lathes Worlds, the Inquisition sought to move against them. To appease the Calixian Conclave, the Lords Dragon handed over what information they had on the new sect. Their hope was that the Inquisition would continue the aggressive work against the Cult, but the Inquisition instead scaled back these efforts to more passive monitoring.
For a time, it seemed as though this early intercession had succeeded, but, like an unchecked weed, the Cult of the Pure Form rose once again. This time, the cult threw out its previous methods in favor of a slower approach, and rather than attempting to whip the people of a single sub-sector into a frenzy, the new Pure Form leaders instead chose to let their hatred for the Mechanicus simmer on worlds across the entire Sector. Unlike before, the Sector Synod made no moves to denounce the Cult of the Pure Form; some even whispered they had begun to covertly support it. Many Inquisitors began investigating the cult to see if they had been motivated by something other than a fervent love of the Emperor, but over time, some members of the Calixian Conclave---especially puritans of the Ordo Hereticus---began to see them as actually displaying agreeable philosophies, as well as acting as a valuable check against the Mechanicum within the Sector. This has not gone unnoticed in the Lathes. Slowly but surely, the rising cult is sparking a conflict, one that has edged closer to ignition with each passing year.
The Cult of the Pure Form’s members differ from other Ministorum sects within the Calixis Sector in that they do not hate the Adeptus Mechanicus purely for their worship of the Omnissiah (although that certainly is part of it). They are not anti-technology either; they simply wish to wrest control of such power away from the Mechanicum so that “uncorrupted” humans might control it. Their true ire stems from the extensive use of cybernetics and other mechanical implants that virtually every member of the Adeptus Mechanicus possesses. To the cult, the most pure form in the universe is that of the human body, and to defile it by removing untainted flesh and grafting on artificial limbs is nothing short of heresy.
Many of the members of the Cult of the Pure Form have cybernetic implants when they join, and soon undergo a ritual known as the Purity of Flesh to remove the implants from their bodies. This violent ritual usually leaves the participant missing limbs or eyes, and can rob them of their ability to hear or even speak, but once completed the new cult member enters the ranks of the “Shriven,” blessed men and women who have seen the purity of Mankind, have unshackled themselves from their prisons of cybernetic augmentation, and who now walk the path of the God-Emperor. The bulk of the cult’s ranks are made up of those lucky enough to have lived without the defilement of cybernetics, and are referred to as the “Untouched.” Each Untouched member comes to the sect for different reasons, but most are spurred on by a love of the God-Emperor and an inherent mistrust of the Adeptus Mechanicus.
However, the Cult of the Pure Form does not sit by and wait for people to see its point of view, and has instituted their own group of missionaries. This third group is the most powerful within the cult, and are known as the “Reformed.” Acting as the public face of the cult, the Reformed are a large, sector-spanning network. They commonly preach that the God-Emperor had not a single cybernetic in the days when He walked amongst mortals, and that if He was pure of flesh, then so too should His subjects be. The Reformed consist of Shriven who have reversed the process of bionic implantation, creating implants not of unholy cybernetics, but instead made out of pure flesh. These vat-grown limbs and organs are often quite crude, and in many cases misshapen, but in the eyes of the cult they are pure and represent the future that it sees for Mankind.
Becoming a Cultist of the Pure FormEdit
There are many ways to be tempted to join the Cult of the Pure Form. For some, it is due to a feeling of betrayal, where replacement cybernetics have caused more harm than good, and the poor soul shackled by them is looking for a form of release among the ranks of the Shriven. Others, after hearing the words of the Reformed, have come to understand that the continued existence of the Adeptus Mechanicus is nothing but a disaster waiting to happen, and that it is their holy duty to do something to stop them. Others join out of a fear that if they begin to receive cybernetics that they will lose something of their own souls, and eagerly join the ranks of the Untouched to avoid this horrific fate. A select few might even be contacted directly by the cult’s senior members, as their membership would greatly benefit the cult’s standing and appeal across the Sector. The cult also offers a strong brotherhood and a cause to motivate new meaning into previously meaningless lives. Those who achieve such purity in their flesh may find their spirit even stronger than before, and certainly stronger than those who foolishly trust their bodies to the machine.
Upon becoming a member of the Cult of the Pure Form, the character gains the Excommunicate Mechanicum Trait.
Required Career: Adept, Arbitrator, Assassin, Cleric, Guardsman, Imperial Psyker, Scum
Alternate Rank: Cleric: Rank 2 or higher (500 XP); All others---Rank 4 or higher (2,000 XP)
Other Requirements: Any Acolyte who possess any bionics/cybernetics when taking this Alternate Rank must take the Purity of Flesh Talent before he may take any further advances. Acolytes who do not possess any bionics/ cybernetics when selecting this Rank must select the Gift of Purity Talent before they may take any further advances.
Designed for use within more primitive projectile weapons such as crossbows and hand bows, the “Purity” round has recently come back in to favor, as the Cult of the Pure Form expands its influence. Each round has a small haywire generator that activates the moment the shot strikes its target, leaving little chance to escape. Purity Rounds are purchased like regular crossbow and hand bow quarrels, and can be adapted for stub revolvers and stub automatics but their cost is doubled.
Cost 300, Haywire (2), Very Rare