"I know this now: Resque believes fervently in imperfection and sin, but she is a madwoman for whom mankind is beyond redemption."
–From the Journals of Inquisitor Felroth Gelt 3.937.750.M41
In the first decades of the 8th century M41, the Sinners’ Plagues flared like pox-marks upon worlds of the Drusus Marches. It was a time of weeping, uprising, and apostasy, a riot of fear that brought death and corruption far beyond that of the Plagues themselves. The stricken suffered a rapid and dire mutation of twisted bone and misshapen growth within hours or days of contagion—and warping of the mind soon followed that of the flesh.
The Calixian Ecclesiarchy called it the God-Emperor’s Scourge, preaching that the Plagues were a punishment for hidden corruption, the sins of the soul made manifest and apparent upon the flesh. False seers and cults arose, predicting the next victim world of the Plague of Sins Revealed. Structures both civil and orbital burned across the Marches.
Yet the Plagues were not an act of the God-Emperor or a curse of dark gods, but the work of the heretek Magos Biologis Sar Resque. Resque was declared heretek and Excommunicate by a Mechanicus tribunal in 710.M41, after deliberately releasing a mutation-plague upon Outpost 1253. She fled with her followers, and the Sinners’ Plagues blossomed in her wake. It was not until 718.M41, when the Cult of Sollex battled Resque’s warships in the outer voids of Tygress I, that the Inquisition learned the truth. The Iron Wall of silence had held for eight long years whilst the Sollexi hunted Excommunicate Resque and she sowed plague and mutation across the Marches.
The last group of Resque’s heretek followers were destroyed along with the colony hive of Teruxyne in 722.M41, but the Plagues have continued throughout the Marches, a lesser outbreak once or twice in each decade. Resque herself remains at large, working towards a goal that is largely unknown to the Ordos and kept a dark secret within the Mechanicus.
The hidden truth is that Resque suffers the mind-rust of Transcendency: she denies the Omnissiah’s existence, believing instead that the Omnissiah Who Will Be must arise from the Mechanicus. Resque is creating a grand tech-heresy of genetic corruption---enacting data-psalms upon sacred genes, tainting the pattern of man as though it were a cogitator and her Plagues the key-slate. She seeks the Golden Gene-Pattern, believing it unlocks the race of Men Beyond Men---beings of infinite knowledge, each one an Omnissiah. Fragments left by past hereteks have taught Resque to watch for the Five False Patterns, each an abhuman monster that is nonetheless a step upon the road to Transcendence.
Later Sinners’ Plagues have already created some examples of the First False Pattern, a profoundly mutated class of being Resque calls the Transfigured. A Transfigured’s flesh is made strong, its appearance warped far from human, yet in some way glowing with righteous health and vigor. Its twisted face has a saint’s calm and surety. A Transfigured has intelligence and will to dwarf any Magos, but has become alien and incomprehensible to men.
A Transfigured is almost a mutant-saint, cast into a new life and understanding by no choice of its own, and worshipped by lesser Plague victims that it tends as best it can. This care might be a remnant of compassion from its former human life, or perhaps a sign that it has left Imperial cruelties far behind. The contagious few still capable in their madness defend the Transfigured with their lives.
Servants of Sar Resque are continuing her work on the frontier world of Zel Tertius, creating mutant hordes tended to by a pair of Transfigured twins.