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Rybel Gorth the Watcher in the Dark

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Rybel Gorth is unusual among the saints of the Calixis Sector because in life he was a psyker. Shunned by the Ecclesiarchy at the time and held in deep suspicion by much of Imperial society, Gorth was seen as a “necessary” second-class citizen. It is written that in his early life he worked aboard a warp-faring vessel, aiding the Navigator and helping to protect its passengers and crew. His story begins, however, during the evacuation of Canopus during the Heresy of Numbers. At this time, the world was being turned to ashes by bitter civil war and a great army of heretics had turned upon the Ecclesiarchy.

Formerly a haven for religious learning and scholarly study, Canopus was filled with thousands of prominent and learned members of the Ecclesiarchy. Rybel Gorth’s ship was the only one to reach the world before the end and took aboard hundreds of Ministorum officials and scholars before making a hasty retreat into the warp. Tragically, however, the ship became lost in the warp and years dragged by as it searched for escape. During this time, the crew and passengers began to die. Fearing the loss of the wealth of knowledge he had been part of rescuing, Gorth used his powers to draw out and store the minds of those who died, keeping them safe within his own. When the ship finally broke free and found its way to safe harbor, Gorth was half mad with a brain brimming with a hundred minds. Before he died, he transcribed the gathered knowledge of the scholars of Canopus, ensuring its survival. For his sacrifice, the Ecclesiarchy at the time blessed his memory and raised him to sainthood.

Rybel Gorth has few shrines and statues erected in his honor. Even now, centuries after his death, a certain distaste of him exists within the Ministorum. Even the majority of citizens who know of him, see him more as a malevolent presence rather than a source of comfort and guidance. They associate their fears about psykers and the warp with the saint, seeing him as the embodiment of this evil. There are those, however, that do not have their vision clouded by such fears. These are mostly scholars, adepts and, of course, psykers.

These people see Gorth for what he was---a powerful psyker who was able to use his gift to hold the warp at bay and keep safe those around him. He has become a protector of those who would deal with the forbidden and the unknown, especially psykers who try and divine secrets from the warp or use it to send messages across the stars. Psykers often say prayers to Rybel Gorth when they use their powers, hoping that he will protect them from the perils of the warp. Scholars who seek ancient secrets also pray to him lest they unearth or awaken the unnatural. The tale of Rybel Gorth is also often taught to Imperial psykers during their training, impressing upon them the importance of their devotion to the Emperor and the Imperium.

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