One of the largest and newest armies of Iocanthos is that led by Seth the Voice, self-styled Prophet of the Emperor and figurehead of an apocalyptic splinter cult of the Imperial Creed. Vai (“prince”) Seth is almost certainly an ex-adept, probably from Port Suffering’s Administratum contingent, who became convinced that the Emperor was granting him visions that demanded he immediately take over Iocanthos. Since then, through force of personality and by tapping into Iocanthos’ need for religion and redemption, Seth has forged a ragtag but huge army with which he is challenging the most powerful rival warlords, especially that of the great Vervai.
Vai Seth himself is a slight, balding, bespectacled figure in white robes. He travels in a battered old scout vehicle converted into a mobile pulpit from which he can preach. And preach he does, almost constantly, his voice transmitted by bulky vox-units carried by his devout followers. The passion with which Seth exhorts the people of Iocanthos to claim the planet for their Emperor is genuine and convincing. Everywhere he goes he gathers more souls for his army, be they drifters looking for a purpose or hard-bitten mercenaries searching for a way to redeem themselves of their many sins. Seth is not a soldier, but he has a gift for getting others to fight for him that is so profound that it might as well have been granted by the Emperor Himself.
Seth once held a friendship with Missionary-Abbot Orland Skae, but upon learning of the location where the man intended to build his cathedral, the Imperial settlement of Stern Hope, all ties between them were severed.
The Army of the Voice Edit
Vai Seth’s army is ill-equipped, undertrained and frequently starving. It is, however, uniquely motivated, for all its members believe that fighting for Seth will grant them a far better afterlife than is awaiting all the galaxy’s other sinners. The Army of the Voice, uniquely, has no problem getting new members to replace its frequent losses, as even defeated enemies are sometimes swayed to join by Seth’s impassioned preaching. The army travels on many hundreds of vehicles, most of them looted from enemies or donated by recruits, and as a result it is constantly in the throes of a critical fuel shortage. Capturing more fuel is essential to the army’s continued existence. The men and women of the army are as varied as the sins they are trying to cleanse, but they all wear white robes, or at least they did when they joined up, for the constant travel and fighting means that most of them are actually dressed in dirty greys.
Some are armed with lasguns and other reliable weapons, but most have the hunting rifles or stub pistols they were armed with when recruited. The most experienced fighters, normally ex-mercenaries or recruits from other warlords’ armies, are referred to as Seth’s “Saints” and are the focal points of the army, instructing the enthusiastic, but often clueless, faithful in the best ways to avoid dying too quickly. In spite of the army’s inexperience it is a formidable military force. As well as having the numbers and the determination, the effect of Seth’s own presence seems to demoralize enemy troops and even cause them to flee or mutiny. Mercenaries in particular are a superstitious lot, and even an experienced killer can baulk at the idea of killing a man who so convincingly claims to be a holy man ordained by the Emperor’s will.