“There is only one true path and that is the path of fire and pain.”
— Inquisitor Goldo, Monodomination: The Right of Man to Rule the Galaxy
The Imperium is swollen with corruption and it must be cleansed by fire and by the weapons of the pure. Only then will it be made into a realm of piety and purity, or so at least the Cult of the Emperor’s Red Redemption believes. An extreme militant cult of the Imperial Creed, they believe the only way to achieve redemption for themselves, and ultimately mankind, is to cleanse it of sinfulness. This cleansing is best achieved by fire, which leaves no trace of corruption, and by the death of the corrupt so their taint cannot spread. The Redemption justifies their purpose with a simple belief that the God-Emperor of Mankind is manifest proof of mankind’s holy destiny to rule the stars. The sinfulness that is all around keeps mankind from fulfilling its density. So it is the duty of the faithful to remove the sin that holds back mankind, to remove the chains of impurity.
The cult is drawn to poor underhives, wild frontier worlds and primitive feudal cities, feeding on the fears of common men. This extreme faith is particularly attractive to citizens who scratch out their living in remote, dangerous and forgotten parts of the sector, who are eager to blame their ill fortune and problems on the presence of unbelievers and the faithless.
Crucially, the Redemption believes that three sins encompass and surpass all others. These are the sins of abomination, witchery and heresy. Abomination is sin and corruption made manifest by the distortion and corruption of the flesh into unnatural forms, generally referred to as mutation. Witchery is the ability to use unnatural powers. Heresy is refusing the truth of the Redemption or working against its holy purpose.
The Calixian RedemptionEdit
The Adeptus Ministorum’s preachers are in short supply in the very deepest, darkest parts of the Calixis Sector’s cities. Instead, another religious force brings the fiery word of the Emperor to these forsaken places, one that operates well beyond the reach of the Adepta: the Redemption. The Redemption came to Calixis long ago from far away in the Segmentum Solar, blown like seeds in the minds of pilgrims, soldiers and priests. It found fertile ground in the slums of the Scintillan underhives and took root.
Many consider the Redemptionists to be the true terror of the underhives, rather than the bandits, mutants or criminals. Violent zealots who see sin everywhere, the tactics of the Redemptionists are simple: they roam the underhive putting sinners to the flame, holding impromptu stake-burnings, exhorting the fearful underhivers to give up their friends and relatives to the purifying fire, and preaching impassioned sermons about the intolerance of the Emperor and the wickedness of anyone who does not agree with the Redemption’s point of view. Mutants, heretics, and witches all justly fear the Redemptionist’s attentions, but such is their frenzy and zeal, numerous innocents and petty criminals often end up on their pyres as well.
The extremes of the Redemption have always found toleration in certain sections of the Ecclesiarchy and it is this toleration of intolerance that allowed the Redemption to spread, as it normally does to the depths of hives, ship bilges and factory sumps where mankind toils in ignorance. From this willing base, it spread to find adherents in the middle ranks of society: the hab workers, the scribes and tithe counters who note the tides of dissolution that wash around them and feel nothing but hate. It has even penetrated the Adeptus Terra itself, where Administratum prefects tuck their unworn red robes beneath their beds and arbitrators go to sleep reciting the Ludmillan Dictates. Behind it all, many believe there are a few senior pontiffs of the Ecclesiarchy, men and women who know that the Ministorum needs to be as strong in arms as it is in faith.
To belong to the Redemption is to embark on a lifelong quest to purge the Imperium of taint, usually through the most violent means possible. After all, the Redemption teaches that there are no half measures. The cult is also much easier to join than it is to leave, as many cultists take a very dim view of those that would “betray” the Emperor in such a way. Redemptionists have been known to turn on their own at the slightest hint of taint, tearing them to bits and burning the remains.
Within the Holy Ordos, there are very few who directly cleave to the Redemption’s creed but there are many who sympathies, even to applaud the sect’s aims and methods. In particular, those of Monodominant belief are likely to see the Redemption as little more than a crude extension of their own philosophy. It is mainly these Inquisitors who employ members of the Redemption as Acolytes, trusting to their righteous hatred to guide their Acolytes’ actions. Some even use the Redemption as a recruiting tool, taking those who have already realized the rewards of tolerance are treachery and betrayal.
The Redemption’s masked foot soldiers are clad in red robes and are armed with anything that burns, from lit torches to flamers. The most blessed among them carry the eviscerator, a massive two-handed chainsaw, with which to mortify the flesh of sinners. Many Redemptionists are broken-minded souls who have lost everything to the violence of the underhive, and seek solace and vengeance in the religious hatred promised by the cult. The Cult of the Redemption is strong in many areas of the Imperium and was probably brought to the Calixis Sector by zealots making a pilgrimage to the Cathedral of Illumination.
In the Calixis Sector, the Redemption is only a real force in the underhives of Scintilla and on the frontier worlds along the Hazeroth Abyss where mutation is a common curse. However, it has recently made gains both among the survivors of war-torn Tranch and among the natives of strife-ridden Iocanthos, where its apocalyptic preaching’s have found ready converts. The cult is organized into many Crusades, each led by a charismatic deacon. Though the Crusades operate independently, they all recognize the authority of one woman, the Archdeacon Ludmilla.
The cult only observes the holy days of the Emperor, who they see as the only true power in the Imperium. They are distrustful of other cults and saints, always suspecting them of corruption and treachery. The cult’s membership is made up mostly of the poor, downtrodden and illiterate masses of the Imperium who find within its ranks a sense of power and purpose. These unflagging soldiers of faith are led by dangerous and charismatic individuals, driven by their devotion to the Emperor. The Redemption has many symbols throughout the Imperium, though within the Calixis Sector the most common is the sign of crossed torches.
Recently, the Redemption has found much fertile ground in which to grow in the Markayn Marches, though they have been staunchly opposed by Cardinal Yvenna, overseer of the Markayn Arch-Diocese and member of the Sector Synod. She and Archdeacon Ludmilla have waged a shadow war on several planets in the Markayn Sub, notably Dreah, Prol IX and Mosul. Ecclesiarchy priests have battled Redemptionists across the Marches, and it seems only a matter of time before things deteriorate further and open fighting begins as either Ludmilla declares the Markayn Synods corrupt and compromised by the dark powers or Yvenna tires of the Redmeptionist’s meddling and brings the full weight of her diocese and its resources crashing down upon their heads.
The Ludmillan DictatesEdit
Archdeacon Ludmilla is the self-styled leader of the Redemption in the Calix is Sector, who has crushed those who oppose her with ruthless efficiency . To cement her spiritual rulership, Ludmilla released a number of dictates to which all those true and pure should adhere to:
- Red is the color of Redemption; it is the colour of fire and blood.
- Do not consume narcotics, alcohol or other substances that give pleasure. They are sin given substance.
- Do not suffer the witch to live; cast them to the fire.
- Do not suffer the mutant to live; rend their flesh apart.
- Do not suffer the heretic for they have heard the Emperor’s truth and have heeded it not. Force them to penance and then to death.
- Should the Emperor’s service require you to appear as others, do so. The mask and red robes of Redemption must be donned when the time comes to set the sinner to their fate.
- When you take up the weapons of the Emperor, do not show your face. You are the Emperor’s tool and not on your own business.
- Pain is a gift: mortification is a duty that should be performed daily.
The Disciples of Duran EckertEdit
The Drusus Shrine World (also known as Sentinel) is home to a sect of Redemptionists born from the works and service of an Acolyte cell. The legend tells that Duran Eckert was an assassin of considerable skill in service of the Inquisition. He grew weary of the endless killing required of him, performing his duties without passion and risking corruption as a result. In time he was nearly killed in the line of duty and received a vision of Saint Drusus leading armies in the name of the God-Emperor. His new found faith gave purpose to his slaughter and other assassins fell to his Redemptionist creed.
The truth behind the legend is, however, very different. Duran Eckert was in fact two people. Duran, a faithful cleric, served alongside Eckert for many years, and they learned to trust each other. When Eckert became corrupted by the warp, Duran had little choice but to end his heresy while on assignment. Desperately needing to complete their mission, Duran took Eckert’s name and crafted a ruse to inspire a small Death-Cult to his cause. Only the highest ranking members of the Disciples of Duran Eckert know the truth, and those who do understand that even self deception can be a weapon against the enemies of mankind.
Class: Melee (Chain)
Favored by Ecclesiarchy zealots and witch-hunters, the eviscerator is an obscenely large double-handed chain weapon fitted with a crude version of the disruption field generator more commonly found on power-blades. Although very unwieldy and tiring to use, the eviscerator is fully capable of ripping an armored man in half or tearing open the most blasphemously corrupted mutant in a single stroke. Outside of the agents of the Holy Ordos, the Redemptionist sects that plague the lower levels of the hives of Scintilla employ the eviscerator as a weapon of terror and corporal mortification. Any character that rolls 96–00 on their attack roll while wielding an eviscerator risks losing control of the roaring chain blade and must succeed on an Agility Test or take Damage as if struck by the weapon (including the wielder’s SB).
Melee, 1d10+10(+SB), R, Pen 5, Tearing, Special, Unwieldy, WT 12kg, Cost 750, Scarce
Alternate Career RankEdit
A strict adherence to the vengeful spirit of the Imperial Creed is the first step down the road of the Redemptionist. Faithful communities from all across the Imperium of Man produce Redemptionists and their cults. It is possible for these men and women to be a member of one of these cults (perhaps coming from a Redemptionist monastic community). It is equally likely that a Cardinal or Inquisitor had a Redeemer prepared from birth to serve in a specific capacity.
Alternate Rank: 1 (0 XP)
Starting Talents: A character who replaces Rank 1 with Redemptionist also replaces Basic Weapon Training (Primitive) or Thrown Weapon Training with Melee Weapon Training (Chain) or Basic Weapon Training (Flame).
Starting Equipment: A character who replaces Rank 1 with Redemptionist also replaces all starting equipment with a Common Quality Chainsword or Common Quality Flamer, and Shield Robes.
Income: The Character’s income becomes Supine Class.
Cleric: Redemptionist Firebrand
Cost: 200 XP
For all their ravings, pyromania, and complete lack of subtlety, the Redemptionists do have both fearless hatred for mankind’s enemies and religious zeal in abundance---both qualities that the Holy Ordos has an appetite for in its Acolytes. Redemptionist clerics brought into Inquisitorial service are likely to be the cream of the crop: smarter, more able and less openly “crazed” than their fellows; able to handle the needs of covert operations without going off on a rampage at the first sign of heresy. They are no less fanatical than any other of their kind, though, and once the time is ripe, they spare no effort or sacrifice to see the Emperor’s enemies burnt for their sins.
Effects: Apply all of the following changes to your character:
Characteristics: Reduce starting Fellowship by –5.
Skills: You begin play with Interrogation (WP) and Intimidate (S).
Talents: You start with Unshakable Faith and Basic Weapon Training (Flame) or Melee Weapon Training (Chain).
Insanity Point: You begin the game with 1d5 Insanity Points.
In taking this Advance, you aren’t simply entering a cult but are subscribing to a fixed and narrow view of everything in the Imperium. If, for example, another player is a psyker or a mutant of any kind, you view them as a heretic and think there is only one correct response---burn them. This Career Path is best taken by Acolytes of an Inquisitor of Puritan view and preferably by Acolytes of a Monodominant or similar firebrand hardliner.
Advance Cost: 150 XP
Effect: You gain the Flagellant and Frenzy talents, and the Secret Tongue (the Redemption) skill. You also gain the True Believer trait.
True Believer (Trait): As a true believer, you must cleave to the Ludmillan Dictates. Violating these dictates or acting against their teachings (even if under direct order or pain of death) causes you profound discomfort and mental stress. In such instances, you must succeed on a Willpower Test. If you fail, roll on the Shock Table). The GM sets the Difficulty based on the severity of the breach of faith.