“Heresy, they call it. They are fools. The heresy is to have the technology to achieve your will, and to renounce it in favor of politics and outdated traditions. I spit upon the Opus Machina, and I am damned in the eyes of the Omnissiah. I am strangely content, knowing that.”
-Magos Vathek, infamous heretek known as the Unkillable
Magos Vathek is an arch-heretek and former member of the Lathe-Covenant Council. Infamous both in the Tech-Priesthood and amongst the Inquisition, Vathek devised several machines that operate on a principle known as the “Sarcosan wave,” originally rediscovered by Umbra Malygris. Sarcosan wave generators restore a measure of life to the dead, animating corpses with an unnatural hunger in an unspeakable mockery of the living. The Sarcosan wave generators built into Vathek’s own carapace have allowed his survival in many encounters that should have been fatal.
The facts of Magos Vathek’s career, before he was cast out from the Adeptus Mechanicus and became a hunted renegade are entirely unknown, and the tech-priest authorities have been singularly unforthcoming in this regard. It is thought that he was attached to the Explorator fleets of Archmagos Paracelsus Thule before some incident or event drove him mad, turning him into a renegade hunted equally by the Inquisition and the forces of the Machine Cult. His known aliases include the Brass Lord, the Necro-Sage, Vathek the Undying, the Dockside Ripper and many more.
Vathek’s goals are well known to the Inquisition (though no less dire for that). He is obsessed with the accumulation, perfection and manipulation of dark technologies to perfect a means of preserving and restoring life within previously dead tissue, although he is also known to have created forbidden weaponry, crafted flesh gholams, and experimented with a variety of prohibited alchemical and energy systems. To this end, he has exhaustively researched and uncovered countless banned and heretical technologies. Some are far older than the Imperium, while others are even xenos in origin.
In addition, upwards of three thousand Imperial citizens have died in his vile experiments, most notably in a mass casualty event known as the “Morningside Incident” on Solomon, and on a smaller scale during the “dockside ripper” murders on Dreah. At the end of the latter, Vathek slew a Mechanicus force sent to destroy him and escaped offworld. Even worse, the suffering of some of his victims have been prolonged in some horrific ‘unlife.’ To the Inquisition, Vathek is a highly dangerous threat to the Imperium who must be eliminated at all costs, and they are willing to pursue him to the darkest corners of the Calixis Sector. This zeal in hunting him is only exceeded by the Mechanicus, who constantly have dozens of kill-teams pursuing him.
He is also known to have attacked a previously unknown resurrectionist cult on the cemetery world of Pilgrim's Pause and left great slaughter in his wake, plundering the cult’s own dark secrets. It is also believed he has some hand in the work of Caste Necrosis, a hidden group within the Hippocrasian Sect, or he may have simply inspired them. Vathek’s current whereabouts and activities remain unknown.
In appearance, Vathek looks to be a heavily augmented tech-priest, habitually robed in tattered black, surrounded by a multitude of black-iron and brass mechadendrites fitted with surgical tools, callipers, and energy coils. He is known to have incorporated the forbidden technology of a Sarkossan wave generator into his own carapace, and his face is covered by a silver skull mask grafted onto necrotic muscle and bone. He is believed to be no longer “alive” in any meaningful sense, but propelled by the power of his own dark technology. He has proven extremely difficult to slow or destroy with conventional weapons fire, and extreme measures are to be advised when confronting him.
Magos Vathek is an archetypical mad scientist, an insane genius willing to sacrifice everything to learn his secrets. Therefore, he is most likely to be found in locations where he may work undisturbed, such as backwater planets without substantial Imperial presence, or the darkest depths of a hive world. Vathek is also extremely solitary, and is unlikely to join forces with local recidivist or criminal elements. Simply put, he has no interest in their goals or motivations, and they have nothing to provide him, save further subjects for his experiments.
Aside from his drive for dark scientific lore, Vathek appears to have no known goals or plans. He also does not cooperate with or serve others. This does not mean, however, that Vathek is alone or vulnerable in his laboratories. As a former tech-magos, he is likely to set up a wide variety of security systems ranging from las-trips to proximity mines, and have a veritable army of servitors (or reanimated corpses) he can throw at his enemies.
According to the agents of the Lords Dragon, Vathek has made preparations to leave the Calixis Sector for some distant destination. He has begun forming around him a group of similarly apostate Tech-Priests that has been dubbed “the Stygiasts.” The speculum umbrae is a similar creation of the Animal Mori, that purports to allow communication with spirits of the dead. Firmly renounced by the Lathe-Covenant Council, the current theory within the Calixian Mechanicus is that such devices instead are contacting the Warp or are somehow transmitting “echoes” of living souls rather than the truly dead. This has not tempered the Logicutioners when they find those possessing such heresies.