“Here a man died and a saint was born. It is a place of blessedness and of legends, and its time shall come!”
— Pontifex Grabrilus of Maccabeus Quintus
Maccabeus Quintus is a shrine world in the Drusus Marches in the Calixis Sector. A world of vast dry salt flats, dust-laden winds, and harsh chill sun; the fifth planet of the unforgiving Maccabeus star is nevertheless a blessed place. Blessed not because of the resources it is gifted with (which are few), or because of the climate (which is harsh), but because of faith that grows in the dust like the Ghostfire blooms on far Iocanthos. For this is the place were a great man fell and was raised up a saint by the glory of the Emperor.
The holy chronicles tell in the dawning days that General Drusus, commanding the Trailward salient of Angevin’s Crusade, had pushed towards the Halo Stars, hoping to carve out a stable domain in what had been a fraught and bitter decade of war, when a sudden vicious resurgence of hostilities in the systems around Spectoris at his rear caused his advance to shudder to a halt. The order to mass and regroup was given. The planet chosen for this gathering was an uncolonized world in the obscure and unoccupied Maccabeus system, and as Drusus’s forces gathered, the general himself prayed for guidance, knowing that a wrong choice could result in the collapse of the salient and jeopardize perhaps the fate of the whole Crusade. Infamy struck, and employing unholy methods, his enemies discovered Drusus’s location and unleashed a deadly and unnatural assassin against him. Drusus fell, but even as the killing blow was struck did the power of the Emperor rend the assassin apart and spared the great man. After ten days and nights in shadow did Drusus return, and the power of the Emperor was within him. In the years that followed, Drusus knew not defeat, and one after the other did his enemies fall and Calixis was born. So it was that on dry Maccabeus Quintus, the Emperor raised Drusus up, the life of a man ended and the life of a saint began.
Today Maccabeus Quintus is a world of hard, bright light and deep darkness: of open, echoing spaces, cold, arid planes and great shrine cities from which colored prayer pennants flutter. It is also a distant counterweight and perhaps one day will be a threat to the primacy of the Ecclesiarchy’s holdings on Scintilla. To those born and raised in the cold shadows of the Maccabean shrine cities, faith is central to their lives. They know that no matter the harshness of their lives, they are the children of a place favored in the sight of the Emperor. The religious traditions of Maccabeus Quintus holds great sacred worth in caponomancy: divination of the future by interpretation of pyre smoke, both of the honored dead and of purifying heretics for different purposes.
In 799.M41 a million strong mob of Frateris Militia on Maccabeus Quintus, whipped into a frenzy by the exhortations of the Grand Hierophant and his entourage of Black Priests, conducted a brilliantly successful prosecution of a deadly False Prophet of the Pilgrims of Hayte, with only a few thousand innocent victims.
The Night CultEdit
One of the oldest of these tales found throughout the Calixis Sector is that of the Night Cult. It is said to be a spectral congregation, the damned souls of false priests, traitors, and sinners doomed to make repentance to the Golden Throne in death. These lost souls, the myth claims, stand guard over the graves of the just who have fallen in the God-Emperor’s service, protect the pure of heart, and wreak dreadful vengeance against those who would prey on the faithful or disturb the rest of forgotten martyrs. The legend is not one approved of by the Ministorum, as it reeks of the worship of unclean spirits and warpcraft, but it has persisted with some local variation for as long as records go back. From Scintilla to Dusk, from Solomon to Reshia, the stories can be found, but the oldest and perhaps most dangerous spring from the shrine world of Maccabeus Quintus.
On Maccabeus the story is considered blasphemous enough to merit the pyre for professing, and here the Night Cult also carries another, older name---the Temple of the True Resurrection. Here it is linked to the time that Drusus, before his sainthood, was struck down by the enemy and rose again by the God-Emperor’s grace. In this tale, a cleric swathed in midnight black robes and bearing a fire-blacked staff appeared in the councils of Drusus’s stricken army, shaming them for their cowardice and scorning them for their lack of faith. The legend states that it was through this dark stranger’s intercession that Drusus was restored. In return, the general who would one day be venerated as an Imperial Saint bid the stranger build a new temple to the true resurrection---a cult to guard the souls of men from the great enemy, enslave the false, and punish the corrupt until the last days, when the dead would rise once more with the Emperor for the final battle.
Since then the Temple and its “cult of night” have entered the folklore of Maccabeus and beyond. To this day (although they risk their lives by doing so) many Maccabeans light black candles to the Temple to watch over the spirits of their ancestors during the winter solstice when the planet’s moons enter eclipse, and hold the belief that votive offerings left at lonely crossroads can bring about terrible vengeance by the cold hands of the Night Cult’s dread congregation.
• Night Cult - The worship of the Emperor Revenant is strong on Maccabeus Quintus
More than a simply a field projector, a Rosarius is an icon of the Imperial Creed, and is often only entrusted to the highest officials in the Ecclesiarchy. A Rosarius appears to be a square, stylised cross of adamantium or some other dense and durable metal, with a jewel or Ecclesiarchy symbol in the centre. It is worn around the neck or waist on prayer beads or a sash. However, within each is a powerful field mechanism.
A Maccabien Rosarius is named because each includes a small chip of stone cut from the bedrock of that sacred world.
A Rosarius does not give off the same glow as a Refractor Field. However, they do convert some of the energy they observe into visible light, causing them to flash and spark when they are hit. They are also a holy icon, meaning they do not suffer the touch of the foul enemies of mankind. An Ecclesiarchical Rosarius always overloads on a roll of 20 or lower when wielded by a servant of the Ruinous Powers, daemon, alien, or heretic.
Protection Rating 50, WT 0.5kg, Extremely Rare
Faith is so much a part of your life that it is as essential as the air you breathe. To ask whether you are faithful is like asking whether you are alive. You are a Maccabian and even if you are a rogue or a killer, that means you are blessed in the sight of the God-Emperor.
Creating Maccabian Characters
Use the Imperial World Home World template, replacing the Superior Origins trait with the ones detailed here:
Maccabeus Quintus is an arid and bitterly cold world with a harsh, bright sun, and prone to terrible famines and droughts which leave their mark even on its strongest inhabitants.
Effects: You take a –5 penalty on all Perception Tests that involve sight. In addition, reduce your starting Toughness by –3. In exchange, you begin play with the Resistance (Cold) talent.
Beloved of the God-Emperor
To be born on the shrine world of Maccabeus Quintus is to know that you are born of a place blessed by miracles and touched by a saint.
Effect: Increase your starting number of Fate Points by 1.