"This past year upon Alactra I have trapped and excruciated the least-hereteks known as Children of Ryne, but not because I care one iota for the forbidden cogitation-devices that Magi call a plague upon the Malfian worlds. No, I hunt the beast Nomen Ryne himself, he who seeks to return the Iron Men to existence and thereby tear down the Imperium with terrors from the Dark Age. Those who adulate him are the fingers I must follow to find the arm, shoulder, chest---and thence, his beating, blackened heart."
–From the Journals of Inquisitor Felroth Gelt 3.582.710.M41
The arch-heretek Nomen Ryne has plagued tech-priests of the Malfian and Golgenna sub-sectors since he issued his Precepts Mechanicus in the 4th century M41. Originally a Levelist, he taught a tech-focused form of that suppressed creed of equality: that the God-Emperor provided mankind with technology as weapon and shield against the darkness and that it was His most ardent desire that all men be so armed, equally and in brotherhood. Ryne declared the Mechanicus to be slavemasters and sought to spread techknowledge to all.
Nomen Ryne vanished into hiding some few years after the issuance of his Precepts, declared heretek by Mechanicus and heretic by Ministorum. The Cult of Sollex hunted Ryne’s followers most zealously, as their number included many known for their skill in constructing unsanctioned cogitators. His influence has spread and many rumors of his work remain, including theories that he is responsible for the schismatical data-patterns in the deep infotombs of Lathe-Hadd, but no connection has been proven. A chance encounter with the Inquisitorial tech-adept Cyrrik Scayl turned the heretek-hunter into a heretek himself.
It is not known whether Ryne himself was the originator of the unholy Thirteenth Pattern of Cogitation, a way to construct cogitation cores that is reviled by the Calixian Mechanicus. By the 9th century M41, such questions of origin have become unimportant. The Thirteenth Pattern is endemic amongst outlaws of Golgenna and Malfian hives; devices and unsanctioned cogitators travel the black paths of smugglers and pirates alongside vox-heresy and scofflaw augmetic limbs.
The Mechanicus hatred of Ryne has not diminished, as his name and influence have only grown over the centuries. Cults arose with the spread of cogitation-heresy, such as the Children of Ryne who worship the arch-heretek as an Imperial saint. It was through these cults that the Mechanicus and the Ordos first learned of the false-men of Nomen Ryne, for the false-men are angels in the eyes of Ryneite hereteks.
Enough false-men have been dismantled by the Ordos for their nature to be clear, albeit horrifying. The false-man is a machine built to appear as a heavily augmented tech-priest, incorporating all the traditional Mechanicus cybernetic modifications, or at least the appearance thereof. A falseman is capable of volition, speech, and planning---more than enough to cast it as the forbidden Silica Animus, an attempt to recreate the dread Men of Iron and so bring back horrors of the Dark Age of Technology. But false-men are paltry manikins by comparison to the Men of Iron. Their speech is disjointed and often irrelevant, as though mad or mind-rusted. Their reactions to circumstance are similarly telling---unexpectedly violent, strange, or illogical. Their movements are off-key and inhuman, exactly as though a machine pretended to be a man. Yet they can construct techdevices, plan ahead, and perform the functions of a fabricator tech-adept.
False Machine Temples populated by false-men exist in the Malfian subsector. The Children of Ryne believe falsemen bring messages and new tech-patterns from Nomen Ryne himself. Some false-men claim to be Nomen Ryne. It is possible that insanity and a strange form of ascension to life eternal in the embrace of the machine lies behind these centuries of heresy---but both the Cult of Sollex and the Ordos Calixis are set on destruction of the false-men and are little interested in answering deeper questions.
A dark lore of data-violation and ravishment of cogitator machine spirits has long existed in the Calixis Sector. It is suppressed by the Mechanicus at every turn, but cogitation heresy remains widespread; there are always more hereteks to carry on their damnable toil in the shadows. Many influential figures in the Imperium so greatly desire unfettered access to secret data that they turn to forbidden cogitation lore, and the careful heretek prospers by preying upon these illicit desires.
Tech-devices capable of despoiling data-vaults have spread across the Calixis Sector through the black paths of smugglers, alongside vox-heresy, unsanctioned psykers, and a thousand prohibited substances. Crime barons of the Golgenna hives call these devices “murder-cogitators.” They allow the uninitiated to pillage a cogitation array of encrypted secrets, slay the machine spirit within, and leave a steaming ruin behind. This is anathema to the Mechanicus, and Cult of Sollex hunter-cohorts show no mercy to anyone suspected of involvement with these vile devices.
The dominant pattern of murder-cogitator is produced by adorants of the arch-heretek Nomen Ryne, cultists who spread forbidden cogitation lore in the Malfian hive worlds. Many of their tainted works employ the Thirteenth Pattern of Cogitation, a heretek design abhorred by the Omnissiah no matter what purpose it is put to. A Ryneite murder-cogitator appears to be a heavy, bronze-cased data-slate ornately embossed with raised scrollwork and cherubim. Paeans declaring Nomen Ryne a saint and verses of Ryne’s Precepts Mechanicus are engraved upon the device.
A Challenging (+0) Tech-Use Test is required to successfully use a murder-cogitator. The heretek device must first be connected to the target cogitator or data-vault by a data-conduit cable. Once activated, the murder-cogitator retrieves and decrypts at least some data best matching a formulaic description provided by the heretek, and then destroys everything else. The target is rendered unusable: its cogitation core charred; its machine spirit horribly slain; and its data volatized.
The most imposing machine spirits, such as those of voidships, Machine Cult temples, or archeotech devices, are potent enough to be immune to the murder-cogitator’s embrace. Vengeance will likely soon follow any attempt to violate their sanctity, taking the form of enraged Tech-Priests and Machine Cult militants.
Cost 9,000, WT 1.5kg, Rare
Data-Conduit Cable (5m): Cost 20, WT 1kg, Scarce