MidHammer 40,000: Religion
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This post is dedicated to the many sects and belief systems of the 41st mellinnium. It's important to note that these pages do not necessarily describe the actual nature of the gods these cultures worship, merely how they are understood to exist.
- 1 Religion Before Lorgar's Treachery
- 2 Religion after Lorgar's Treachery
- 3 Legal Status of Religion in M41
- 4 The Aurelian Cult
- 4.1 Beliefs
- 4.1.1 Deities
- 4.1.2 Imperium Secundus
- 4.1.3 Apotheosis
- 4.1.4 The End Times
- 4.1.5 Demonic Entities
- 4.1.6 Holy Entities
- 4.2 Sacred Texts
- 4.3 Cult Organization:
- 4.4 Holy Sites
- 4.1 Beliefs
- 5 Vlka Fenrika
- 6 The Promethean Cult
- 7 Cultis Antiquitae
- 8 Syncretic Cults
- 9 Heritcal Faiths
- 10 Xenos Faith
- 10.1 Eldar Faiths
- 10.2 T'au Faiths
- 10.3 Kroot Faiths
- 11 Imperium and the Ruinous Powers
Religion Before Lorgar's Treachery
Throughout the Imperium of Man, Many have differing veiws of the Nature of The Emperor is like. Most project their own ideals onto the comatose figure, placing idealized version of their own opinions into his personality. For some he is a kind Grandfatherly figure, only seeking mankind's best interests. For others he is a righteous reformer, destined to over throw his corrupt regents and build the "True Imperium" that looks suspiciously similar to the speaker's Point of View with the Emperor as a crypto-practitioner of their own belief and ideology. Others see him as the Great Outsider, who - like a gardener - all ideas and beliefs to grow while pruning those that threaten to overrun the gardern, or have become withered and useless. Very few of those in 41st mellenium realize that their Emperor hated all of their ideas, and the current state of the imperium is only due to the benevolence of his absence, and the differing opinions of his so called "corrupt refents." During the reign of the Great Crusade, Religion was viewed by the Emperor as holding mankind back, and was aggressively supressed and destroyed. The Emperor himself took pride in his destruction of the Last Church on Terra. Even fewer know that it was his hatred of religion that ultimately drove his son Lorgar into the arms of the Ruinous powers.
Religion after Lorgar's Treachery
After the Great Treachery which saw the Emperor wounded and weak, the collective of The Imperium's Leadership was divided on the status of religion. Some, like Jaghatai Khan, saw religion as a natural part of mankind, and to take it away would be to take away something essentially human. Others like Sanguinius and Fulgrim were staunch believers in the Imperial Truth, and hoped to continue their fathers work. Ultimately such hardliners lost by a Bootleggers and Baptists alliance between The Pro Religious Faction, and the Pro-Reform Faction who used religion as a way to get their own pet reforms into the Imperium. These reformers included diverse opinions such as Magnus The Red, who sought the Council of Nikea to be overturned; Konrad Curze and Vulkan who saw the Imperial Truth as a blatant cynical lie; Horus who given his experience in the Great Treachery was eager to see any solution that could prevent another Lorgar; and Constantine Valdor who saw greater religious representation as an opportunity to weaken the Primarch's grip on the Imperium.
The outcome of months of deliberation was the New Imperial Truth or The Terran Creed. The Terran Creed established provisions as to what the common Imperial Citizen knew about Chaos and the Warp, and rubric for what grounds religions should be condemned by the Imperium. Provided that the Religion did not worship the Emperor as any sort of god, nor were any of the ruinous powers worshipped, than the religion would not be deemed heretical and rooted out. Whether or not a religion was openly accepted, let alone tolerated varried from regime to regime.
The Terran Creed
The New Imperial Truth, commonly referred to as the Terran Creed or "The 53 Precepts" was created following the council to represent The Standard of Belief and Knowledge that all imperial citizens should know. The Regency primarchs, generally disinterested in domestic administration, let alone risking another civil war over ideological rigor, set out to replace the harsh Athiest Dictums of the Imperial Truth with a milder "agnostic" creed. At the council it was mandated that All Imperial Citizens must believe in this Imperial Creed, and that any organization, religious or ideological that opposes any of these tenants will be decreed Heretical. Contrary to the original Truth, it was thought better to give the people some awareness as to who they were fighting, than to offer lies. Additionally the old world religions were consulted and, since they did not believe their gods resided in the warp, the provisions were added that excluded them from heresy, while subtly hinting their religions were false (which the The Khan protested against, but accepted the compromise with gritted teeth). The Aurelian cult was another matter, unsure whether the Aurelian cult, along with other Chaos gods (Rumors of entities called Malal or Necoho), it was decided to add precepts 45-49 and should the Creed need to be revised they would do so. The Creed was considered vague enough to encourage both persecution and tolerance when needed, while allowing for clear precedents for the condemnation of chaos cults.
The New Imperial Truth or 53 Precepts
- I know I am a Human, as a Human I am part of Mankind
- All Humans are part of Mankind
- All those who are a part of Mankind are Human
- Those who not a part of Mankind are Xenos
- A Human will not serve, obey, follow, kill for, or die for a Xenos
- Terra is a place in the Material Realm
- The Material Realm is a real place that exists
- The Material Realm is filled with Material beings
- Material Beings follow material rules
- Humans are material beings.
- My works and deeds shape the Material Realm
- Mankind derives from Terra
- Terra is a real place separate from the Immaterial
- The Galaxy is Material and the Birthright of Mankind
- The Emperor is The Leader of Mankind
- The Emperor is Material, is Human, and is from Terra
- The Emperor has Eighteen sons
- Five of The Emperors sons are traitors
- The Emperor's sons are part of Mankind
- The Emperor's loyal sons answer to the Emperor
- The Emperor's disloyal sons are enemies of the Emperor
- All Humans must serve The Emperor, for he is their leader
- To Serve the Emperor is to Serve The Imperium
- All Humans must obey The Emperor, for he is their ruler
- To Serve the Emperor is to Obey his Loyal Sons and Appointees
- All Humans must aid other humans in serving the Emperor
- All Humans must protect The Emperor because he is sovereign above all
- All Humans must fight for and die for The Emperor
- It is Mankind's greatest calling, whether in war or domestic service.
- The Emperor Protects Mankind, and will not fail to do so.
- The Emperor Protects Mankind from Material Dangers
- I believe The Emperor will lead all mankind to their birthright
- If a human tells me to disobey the Emperor, i will not obey
- If a human tells me to not serve the Emperor, i will not serve
- If a human tells me to not follow the Emperor, i will not follow.
- If a human tells me not to die for the Emperor, i will not die
- If a human tells me not to kill for the Emperor, i will kill
- The Immaterial is a not real place that exists
- The Immaterial is filled with Immaterial Beings
- The Immaterial realm follows Immaterial rules
- My Thoughts and Beliefs shape the Immaterial Realm.
- I believe The Emperor protects mankind from Immaterial Enemies
- The Immateria has "gods"' who dwell there
- These gods are not Gods
- There are no Gods in the Immateria, only gods
- The Emperor is not a god nor a God
- The Immateria has gods called The Ruinous Powers
- The Ruinous Powers are not Gods
- Mutanda is a Ruinous Power that claims magic and change
- Morta is a Ruinous Power that claims disease and stagnation
- Hedonis is a Ruinous Power that claims pleasure and perfection
- Caedes is a Ruinous Power that claims bloodshed and murder
- Indivisis is a Ruinous Power that claims all these
- Any god declared by The Imperium to be a Ruinous Power is a Ruinous power.
- I will not serve any Ruinous Power, because they do not protect man
- I will not obey any Ruinous Power, because they are not worthy of obedience
- I will obey the Emperor before I obey any god.
- If a god tells me to disobey the Emperor, i will not obey him
- If a god tells me to not serve the Emperor, i will not serve him
- If a god tells me to not follow the Emperor, i will not follow them.
- If a god tells me not to die for the Emperor, i will not die for them
- If a god tells me not to kill for the Emperor, i will report
- A Human will not serve, obey, follow, kill for, or die for a Xenos god
- Demons serve the Ruinous Powers
- I will not obey, serve, or follow Alpharius or any demon who follows Mutanda
- I will not obey, serve, or follow Angron or any demon who follows Morta
- I will not obey, serve, or follow Perturabo or any demon who follows Hedonis
- I will not obey, serve, or follow Mortarion or any demon who follows Caedes
- I will not obey, serve, or follow Lorgar or any demon who follows Indivisis
- Daemons are immaterial beings that serve the immaterial powers
- If a daemon tells me to disobey the Emperor, I will not obey him
- If a daemon tells me to not serve the Emperor, I will not serve him
- If a daemon tells me to not follow the Emperor, I will not follow them.
- If a daemon tells me not to die for the Emperor, i will not die for them
- If a daemon tells me not to kill for the Emperor, i will report them
- A Human will not serve, obey, follow, kill for, or die for a Daemon of a Xenos god
Legal Status of Religion in M41
Religions Imperium wide are free from condemnation by the Imperium so long as they are deemed compliant to The Terran Creed. That is not to say that they are necessarily accepted. Indeed, many higher level Imperial organizations openly discriminate against particualr religions, barring devotees from upper echelons of membership, if not outright banning them from any sort of leadership roles. Otherwise the treatment of religion can vary segmentum by segmentum, system by system, and planet by planet.
In the Segmentum Solar
Because the Segmentum Solar's privilege of Governance by The High Lords of Terra, it is perhaps the only place where any sort of official stance of Tolerance is kept. The High Lords of Terra have official representatives of both ancient religions and the cults of Mechanicum and Aurelian as part of their leadership. The Segmentum Solar practices a policy of official tolerance outside of Terra and Mars. So long as the religion is Compliant to The Terran Creed it is afforded certain rights and privileges in the Segmentum Solar.
Terra Itself is a little more complicated. In keeping with an official Terran decree dating from before The Great Crusade, no churches nor houses of worship are permitted on Terra. Because of this many religions with Religious seats on Terra actually have their Ecclesiastic Palaces on Luna, where the Rules are less constraining. Some of these Religions additionally have secular "Monuments" and "Museums" on terra, that despite being owned by the various churches, comply enough with of Terra's rules to be permitted. To call these "Museums" or monuments does not do these architectural masterpieces justice. These are massive complexes of schools, research centers, grand halls, plazas, the size of cities, complete with massive spaceports and lodging complexes built to house the many pilgrims (i mean visitors) who come to visit. All of these museums are effectively small primitive hive-worlds due to Terra's lack of atmosphere requiring their own life support.
These Monuments include, but are not limited to:
- The Museum of The First To Fall
- Owned by The Aurelian Cult
- Is a grand museum dedicated to those original preachers who came from the Maccragge Pilgrim Fleet
- Is also commemorating their efforts in proselytizing before Terra's atmosphere was decimated by Alpharius
- The Museum is one of the Best historical archives on the Great Treachery as well as Pre-Heresy Ultramar Culture.
- The Monument of Sacra Terra
- Owned by the Katholians
- This museum is a monument to Terra's ancient religious sites from its most ancient history.
- along with the Museum Inculabra, this is one of the few places in which any knowledge of Terra's ancient history is kept.
- The Monument of The Inculabra
- a museum located on the site of the Holy site of the Obsequiani
- this grand museum is the third most regularly traversed to places on magna terra outside of The Museum of The First to Fall and The Imperial Palace.
- At the Center of these museum is the origional complex, built and funded by none other than The Primarch Jaghatai Khan himelf.
- Along with The Sacra Terra Monument, this harbors some of the best collections of Terra's ancient history
- Saline Monument
- owned by The Apiani Cult
- This monument explains the history of The Apiani people and history, both on earth and outside it.
- It is considered to be one of the Pre-eminent centers for Merikanology.
Mars is an independent Political entity from Tera, and as such, they are subject to their own rules. The Planet of Mars is a Theocracy for the Cult Mechanicus, and intends to stay that way.
In The Segmentum Tempestus
In The Segmentum Obscura
In Grand Macharia
Grand Macharia was ultimately the result of a citizen army composed of deeply spiritual refugees and volunteers. Reclaiming the Segmentum Pacificus from Chaos was just as much a work of faith as it was combat. As such, grand macharia looks upon non-religious with suspicion, seeing a lack of faith as a liability in a realm so close to The Eye of Terror.
In The Ultima Segmentum
The Segmentum Pacificus, led by the Primarch Vulkan, officially holds the Promethean Cult to be the official creed of the Segmentum. Given the the strenuous requirements of this faith, and Vulkan's own tolerant personality it is not enforced. Several religions exist within the segmentum including a substantial following of Aurellian Cult, and its syncretized version, the Dauntless Cult.
In The Ultramar Autonomous Realm
Officially, The Ultramar Autonomous Realm holds to the tennants espoused by the New Imperial Creed. However, Ultramar is an unapolegetic Theocracy, of the Aurelian Cult. The actual government of Ultramar (The Consiliur d'Ultramari) is little more than a Noble club, governed by The Vigil Opertii and The Aurelian Ecclesiarchy. Many of Ultramar's most powerful planets are governed by "The Spiritual Lieges" Chapter Masters of the Oldest Ultramarine Foundings, while others are Ultramarine fortress monasteries who answer to a Spiritual Liege. The Eccleisarchy's sorroritas, The Handmaidens of Tarasha, are the largest and most powerful bureucratic and legal force in the Realm, rendering the actual nobility to little more than glorified clerks.
Most other religions are tolerated with the one exception being the Mechanicus. The Mechanicus cult of Mars, and its wayward sect, The Aurelian Mechanicus are in a bitter conflict with each other, with each branch seeking to contain the other outside of their territory.
The Aurelian Cult
The "Aurelian Cult" alongside Vulkan's Promethean Cult and Cult Mechanicus are the major three accepted religions in the Imperium. The Aurellian Cult in particular serves as the substitute for The Imperial Cult of Vanillahammer. As the few remaining Catholians and Kresti are quick to point out, The Religion's similarity to Trinitarianism is completely superficial. Instead, it is closer to a Triad of Ancient Rome (Jupiter, Mars, Venus). The Emperor (The Father), Gulliman (The Son), and Tarasha Euten (The Holy Spirit/Blessed Mother) form the Holy Triad of Dieties, with the Father being Supreme over the Son and Mother, but is definitely not a God. The Return of the Avenging Son is considered a sign of the End Times, when it is prophesied that The Avenging Son will return to Earth to Slay Lorgar and -Reuniting with his father and brothers- shall slay the Ruinous Powers.
Founded in Ultramar, the Aurelian Cult Worships Roboute Gulliman and The God-Emperor. It serves as this timeline's main replacement for the Ecclesiarchy. The Cult places great emphasis on the Emulation of Roboute Gulliman and his writings for how to live. They believe that in the fullness of time The Avenging Son will return with his Father in Glory to defeat the Traitors once and for all, and build an "Imperium Secundus" in the warp. The Aurelian cult would function a bit like the Bretonians as well, with Tanasha Euten acting as The Lady of The Lake. The Aurelian Cult is the Largest Religion in the Imperium claiming Trillions of Souls and almost 35% of the Imperium’s Total Population.
While the actual nuances and theology of The Aurelian Cult's Varries between holy seats. There are some core beliefs that are considered to be essential truths that Holy seats are not permitted to deny without being deemed a heretic.
There are three chief deities of the Aurelian cult: The Father, The Son, and The Queen Mother
The Not-God Emperor of Mankind, Those who practice the Aurelian Cult believe that the Spirit or Soul of the Emperor far outgrows his actual physical presence, and that while he is Physically present on Holy Terra, his spirit is everywhere. The Aurelian Cult is very careful not to call The Emperor a “God.” And while Theologians throughout the Imperium speculate on the nature and essence of Chaos Demons, The Heresiarchs, The Aurelian, or the Mother. Speculation on the Emperor himself is strictly forbidden. He is known as “The Undefinable one,” “He who is above all,” “Rightful Ruler of All Things” etc.
Gulliman: The Son
The Aurelian Cult believes that Gulliman was sent by his Father to Ultramar so as to teach men how to follow him. And that by living as a human among humans, he could set an example for what The God-Emperor expects of all his Children. The annals of Gulliman's life is recorded in a several sacred texts, but his own writings about life on Ultramar and the Imperium are also treasured. It is believed that by dying on Macragge Guliman was beloved by his father and uplifted to godhood, where he now fights for the souls of those loyal to the Emperor.
The Queen Mother
Tarasha Euten, The Mother of Roboute Gulliman, she through her trials on the Flight to Holy Terra has become a god in her own right. She acts on behalf the Emperor and Her Son. She is seen as the "Facilitator" aiding man to follow the path to the Emperor laid out by Rouboute Gulliman.
The Daughters of Tanasha
- The Queen Mother Appeared to The Women of Ophelia during the m33 telling them to gather their swords and "Rebuild her Home." They eventually became the founders of The Adeptus Sororitas, as well as the leaders of the "Maccrage Cleansing."
The Quests of The Mother
- Those loyal servants of The Aurelian will receive tasks by the Queen Mother, those who dedicate their lives to The Lady of Ultramar and fulfill her tasks in protecting Mankind are bestowed with great power. Space Grail Knights!
The Golden Sorrow
- The Golden Sorrow or the Black Sorrow is believed to have been first bestowed upon The Queen Mother. Because of her connection to her son, she witnessed the death and torture of Roboute Gulliman. Certain Ultramarines are considered to receive the "The Black Sorrow in which they bear witness to the suffering and death of their fellow believers. This can be the suffering of those devout living today, or those heroes who have died like St Aeonid. To receive the suffering of Roboute himself is considered "The Golden Sorrow" and those who receive it are considered highly favored to be considered worthy to witness the Death of Gulliman.
Imperium Secundus has taken on a spiritual meaning as an Afterlife. It is believed that Rouboute is building Imperium Secundus in the warp, and all noble souls of the Imperium will join him in this new and final kingdom. The Aurelian is looking for those of noble and steadfast spirit who will join him in slaying chaos demons and transforming the warp into the imperial image.
A Core belief of The Aurelian Cult is that of Apotheosis, and that those of the Emperor can become deified. Gulliman and Tanasha have achieved Apotheosis.
Apotheosis of Gulliman
Gulliman became a god because of his torture and sacrifice at the hands of Korphaeron. His nobility of spirit allowed him to Become a god.
Apotheosis of Tanasha
Gulliman's Mother, Tarasha Euten, takes on special significance in both Ultramar and The Aurelian Cult. This is not only because of her connection to her son, but also because of the events of "The Macragge Armada." The Macragge Armada were the ships that Gulliman was able to save from Macragge's destruction along with Billions of Ultramar Citizens. The Refugee Ships went through their own Grimbright version of The Flight of The Eisenhorn, where the Gellar Field failed on their warp to Terra. Tarasha Euten stood defiant against the Demons and horrors of the warp, and took command of the fleet. Because Tarasha was there and because there were billions upon billions on board, rather than a single battleship, Tarasha was able to comfort the fearful refugees; and rally them to faith.
By Using herself and Gulliman as the focal point for their belief, the Refugees were inspired to repel the demons and were able to build a sort of substitute Gellar Field of Faith." The other result of this was that Tarasha Euten ascended into a minor god (not a demon-prince of Gulliman, a minor God, like Isha, or The Chaos God of “The Greater Good”). Gulliman himself also achieved Apotheosis as a result of this Flight and there are occasional sightings of "The Aurelian" a Man in Gold and Blue coming to the aid of The Imperium. The Tasks of The Mother: (Space Grail Knights!) Those loyal servants of The Imperium will receive tasks by the Queen Mother, those who dedicate their lives to The Lady of Ultramar and fufill her tasks in protecting Mankind are bestowed with great power.
Eventual Apotheosis of The Primarchs
It is believed that should they die, the noble primarchs will join The Aurelian in the Regency of Imperium Secundus. Whether or not they will become gods or not varries by Holy Seat.
The Non-Apotheosis of The Emperor
The Emperor will not become A God upon his death, the Emperor is the Emperor, and does not need to ascend. He is already ascended in a way greater Than The Aurelian. To say that the Emperor will become a god is Stelafilism, which is a condemned heresey. To say that the Emperor already a god is Lorgarism, and is also a condemned heresy. To say that one can become Emperor-like is Vandirism, a most condemned heresy.
The End Times
By dying, Guilliman saved the souls of humans from drowning in the warp he is building his "Imperial Secundus" in the warp. When the End Times come, The Aurelian will reunite with the Emperor, bringing with him the souls of those noble souls who served the Emperor in Life and Served him and The Aurelian in Death. Then The Aurelian with Join his brothers and all Imperials and lead them into the Eye of Terror to slaughter the ruinous powers.
The Aurelian Cult does not refer to the Ruinous powers in the same way that Cultists do. Even your average Ancillae will not know the true symbols or names of the chaos gods. When mentioning these dark beings in popular and vernacular sources, such as artwork, common portrayals, and grimoires for low-level Ancillae and non-specialist astartes, "sanctioned names" are often used. These sanctioned names and symbols come in two forms:
The forces of chaos are often refered to by the Traitor Primarchs that serve them. The myth of the Great Treachery is well taught and well known throughout the Imperium, and The old Heraldric symbols of these Entities are used in official religious artwork regarding the cult. Only church officials that specialize in demonology and excorcist astartes chapters recognize the true names and symbols of the Ruinous Powers.
- Alpharomegon The Schemer
- Is seen as a trickster force, often dissuading loyal worshippers of Gulliman towards being unfaithful or neglecting duties. Many popular depictions of corrupt leaders, ecclesiarchs, and scholars are portrayed with the symbol of Alpharomegon somewhere.
- Perturabo The Great Temptor
- Is the most commonly depicted of all of the chaos primarchs. Perturabo tempts the common man with promises of desires fufilled.
- Angron & Saporin The Corruptors
- Seen as entities encouraging despair and cowardice. The actual relationship between Angron and Saporin varries from depiction to depiction: some portray Saporin as a temptress to angron, some reverse this, some see them both falling for unknown reasons.
- Mortarion of Wroth.
- Lorgar The King of Demons
- Korphaeron The Desecrator
- Korphaeron has obtained his own place in the grimoires and pantheons of the Auerlian cult, because of his involvement with the destruction of Maccragge. He is seen as the spirit of sacrilege.
In many Aurelian grimoires there exist "Sanctioned Names and Symbols" of the Ruinous powers. These are used to refer to the chaos forces without resorting to corrupting their tomes and warriors with their actual symbols.
These holy entities do not have power inof themselves, rather, they are bestowed Miracles on behalf of their Lords, the Holy Triad.
The Celestial Saints
These include holy men and women from Gulliman and The Emperor's past who are believed to be in Imperium Secundus with Gulliman. They work on behalf of him and the faithful of the galaxy. Like the Living Saints their power is granted by the Holy Triad. Examples of the Celestial Saints:
|Common Patron Saints|
|Gulliman the Conqueror||A standard for Militarist chapters.|
|Tarasha of Espandor||Patron of Navigators and Fleet-Based Chapters.|
|The Black Euten||Those who serve under the Banner of The Black Euten tend to be obsessed with the Golden Sorrow. Consequently, they also tend to be more focused on justice, rectifying wrongs, and punishing the wicked.|
|St Aeonid||Once was popular among Demon-Slaying chapters, however by the 41st mellenium Aeonid is such a ubiquitous patron saint its almost generic.|
|St Marcien the Red Angel||The Great World Eater and one of the Holy Companions. A very common Patron Saint.|
|Lord of Macragge||Aspire to be great administrators and statesmen.|
|Factoria Magna||Factoria Magna, patron of Techmarines.|
|St Konor||Followers of St Konor, Gulliman's foster-father are two fold, either they are aspiring statesmen and educators, or they are part of the Aurelian Mechanicus.|
|Spectra Pietas||Unique to Prandium, the "Will of The Primarch and Emperor," chapters see themselves as arbitors of the Emperor's will.|
|Cordinelumbae||Made popular by the Lotus hearts in the 36th Millennium, followers of Tarash of the Lotus Heart are often in the Ultima Segmentum and usually face against the T'au.|
|St Antoni||The Chapter Master of The Ultramarines and first Spiritual Liege. Those with St Antoni as their patron tend to be from Espandor.|
|St Kaspian||Kaspian Hech, once of The Word Bearers was one of The Holy Companions and patron of missionaries. A common saint for Nova Thulium chapters.|
|St Alicia||See themselves as Bastions of Orthodoxy, and with very little tolerance for heresy.|
|St Zso||Zso Shaahal Former Night Lord and one of the Holy Companions, patron of Psykers.|
|St Olanius||Despite his problematic religious background, Those with St Olanius as their Patron either aspire to his bravery or service to the Imperial Guard.|
|St Marcien The Red Angel||Incredibly popular Saint, Marcien Garvey was one of the Holy Companions. Often chosen in admiration of his endurance against adversity and pain.|
The Living Saints
The Divine Brethren The Primarchs are considered to be somewhere between gods and Saints.
- "The Protoevangelion of St Konor"
- St. Konor of Maccragge, foster father of The Aurelian, reveals unto Antoli sacred truths of the life of Rouboute Gulliman
- "The Psalter of The Matron"
- The Hymns sang by Tarasha Euten during the the "Flight to Terra"
- "The Apocalypse of The Steward"
- Account of the Last Battle for Maccragge by an unnamed Servant who remained on the planet. It was found during the Holy Crusade of Macragge in M35 reclamation by "The Daughters of Tanasha"
- "Last Testament of Aurellion"
- Collection Gulliman's Last Writings, his thoughts and warnings to the people of Ultramar, to the Imperium, and to His Astartes.
Unlike the Ecclesiarchy of The Imperium of Man, the Aurelian cult is far more heavily decentralized both dogmatically and hierarchically. Each Sanctioned Successor Chapter of the Ultramarines, Sororitas, and Human Branches of The Ecclesiarchy are considered to be micro-churches in of themselves. Several of these groups have wildly different interpretations of the writings of gulliman and the codex, and even their own traditions carried down from chapter master to chapter master. Organizations like the "Aurelian Mechanicus," or Cordinlumbae Cult are viewed to be in "harmony" with the Greater Aurelian system of beliefs. Even a few syncretized xenos faiths such as The Optibene and Ambulaequilla cults are also considered to be in harmony with the Aurelian cult (no matter how suspiciously they are viewed).
The Spiritual Lieges
The Spiritual Lieges Are the Direct Heirs to Lord Gulliman, and protectors of the Aurelian Faith. Far more than mere chaptermasters, they are keepers of a particular school or Tradition within the Aurelian Cult. These Spiritual Lieges can have different practices and additional holy texts to even permitting unique dogmas so long as they do not contradict the core tennants of Aurelian Othodoxy. Most Chapter Masters and Temples of the Aurelian Cult must align themselves to a Spiritual Liege, who is responsible for maintaining the order and discipline of their cult.
The Spiritual Lieges, by decree at the council of Terra are required to follow much stricter guidelines so as to be tolerated by the Imperium of Man. These requirements are quite stringent and impose strict size limitations, restrictions on equipment and armor, as well as being forbidden from setting foot on Terra.
The Primogenitors represent the First Seats of the Aurelian Ecclesiarchy and are responsible for the Aurelian Faith as a Whole. When they act as a council in Unison, their dogmatic actions are considered to be binding throughout the whole of the Aurelian Faith. The Other Spiritual Lieges, though autonomous within their own space, must still abide by the rules of the Thirteen. The Thirteen can also grant autonomy to Chapter Masters, elevating them to Spiritual Lieges of their own account.
- The Ultramarines
- The Original Ultramarines, and by virtue of being a First Founding Chapter, is permitted to avoid many of the rules befalling the other Spiritual Lieges. They are dogmatically very conservative, with less interest in the Philosophizing indulged in by the other Spiritual Lieges.
- The Queen's Children
- Maccragge's Honnor
- Sons of Gulliman
- The Knights of St Aeonid
- The Will of Gulliman
- Head of The Holy Seat of Prandium.
- Sons of Tarasha
- Servants of The Mother
- Guardians of the Sepulchre
- Genesis Chapter
- Heralds of Roboute
- The Hands of The Aurelian
Other Spiritual Lieges
- The Keepers of the Word
- The Sin Eaters
- The Penitent Haunters
Minor Spiritual Lieges
- The Sons of The Lotus
- Cathar Marines
- The Aurelian's Light
The Leadership of the Aurelian Cult gives primacy to "Holy Seats." Chapter Masters and Non-mutant membership of the church are all considered to be their own sub-cults with their own traditions. On occasion these leaders convene for a sacred council regarding all inter church matters.
The Cult is Headed by the Chapter Master of The Ultramarines, headquartered in Espandor. He is considered "First Among Equals" Among the Other Chapter Masters
The Chapter-masters occasionally convene at Espandor in a Conclave to discuss, declaration of heretics and inter-cult discipline. These meetings are specific ceremony-bound practices, and should not be confused with the Chapter-Masters regular Duties as leaders of the Adeptus Astartes.
The "Handmaidens of Tarasha" follow their own organizational rules, and answer only to their Spiritual Liege the "Lord of Ultramar." Because their code was seen to be derived by The Queen Mother Herself, none dare challenge it.
The Black Eutenites
(this world's black templars/death company Grimbright Sad Marines) A fanatical and controversial order of Legions who have received "The Golden Sorrow" where upon they are witness to the Suffering and Death of Rouboute Gulliman. Additionally they are witness to the "the current sufferings of gulliman today" Where they are given visions of all those in the Galaxy whose prayers are yet to be answered, or in a need of aid. They call themselves the Black Eutenites because it was reveiled to them they are in descent to Tanasha Euten, who was the First to Recieve "The Golden Sorrow" as she was spiritually connected to Roboute Gulliman as he was tortured and killed on Maccragge. While Emotionally, Spiritually, (and physically) painful the Black Eutenites see this as a great honor, and have their own term for it - "The Gift of The Mother." This order is particularly controversial because they see themselves as an order apart from the rest of The Ecclesiarchy (and the Imperium for that matter), and that they are charged by Gulliman and Tanasha themselves to right the wrongs of the imperium (including when righting said wrongs puts them at odds with the The Ecclesiarchy and other Imperial Administrations).
The Ecclesiarchy of the Aurelian Cult is Set around 13 Sacred Sites. Espandor (contentiously) holds the honor of First Among Equals. However Each Holy Seat is powerful in its own right. Every Ultramarine Successor Chapter and Sister of Battle Chapter Must Choose one Holy Seat in which they are beholden to. Terra used to be one of the most important seats, but it has been relegated following The Great Apostasy. Many are advocating that Maccragge be made into the First seat of The Aurelian cult.
Main Holy Sites
- Ist Solium Espandor
- The Oldest seat of The Ecclesiarchy in Maccragge, Espandor is considerd the capital of the Aurelian Cult. The City is a beautiful shrine world dedicated to St Antoni, Chapter Master of The Ultramarines.
- IInd Solium Bergenvan
- The Site of where Tanasha Euten's Ship Crash Landed, during Maccragge's Famous "Flight to Terra." Is one of the Oldest Seats of the Ecclesiarchy, and is also the founding site of both The Ancilliae and The First Sisters of Battle order. Most Sisters of Battle Claim this Seat as their Spiritual Liege.
- IIIrd Solium Calth
- The world now has an atmosphere thanks to the work of Fulgrim (serving as a test for Terra). The planet's great caverns continue to be used and is the site of "The Temple of St Aeonid." Many Successor chapters who focus on fighting demons have chosen Calth to be their Spiritual Liege. Calth is also one of the few worlds where the social hierarchy of the city moves down, with the surface world being filled with the poorest, and the underground caverns to be covered with beautiful shrines and mansions.
- IVth Solium Macragge Extremis (SUEU
- Solium Ultramari ex Ultramaris)
- "The Seat of Ultramar outside of Ultramar"
- Originally the seat of Maccragge in exile, and the only migratory Holy Seat, Macragge extremis tends to the spiritual needs of the many Aurelian faithful who live outside of Ultramar, especially in the Astra Militarum. The seat also became a refuge for more conservative Aurelian cult members during the Vandire and Thorian periods of Terra. It is technically the oldest Holy Seat in the Cult, with its worship predating the formal establishment of the Aurelian tennents. Its practices also heavily incorporate traditions from ancient Maccragge
- Vst Solium Novae Thulium
- The Death World Thulium and Nova Thulium are some of the most widely known and influential seats in The Imperium. This is due to their role as the seat of the "Archivists" orders who seek to record the names of all those who serve in the Aurelian Cult. On the feast of the Voyage to Terra, the Astartes and Ancillae of Nova Thulium conduct the Census Mortui a great procession where planet to planet, the cult of Thulium collect and process the names of all those who have died serving the Emperor and Lord Gulliman.
- VIth Solium Sancta Terra
- Because of The Stringent rules about religion and Cults on “Holy Terra,” The Seat of Holy Terra is not on Terra itself, but on "The Temple of The Holy Martyrs” on Luna. The Church also owns several “Monuments” on Holy Terra, that serve both sites of Pilgrimage as well as tourism. This seat has caused the most headaches for the Cult, and has prompted several schisms and heretical movements. Originally the Seat was ranked first, but following The Heresy of Sebastian Thor, it was relegated.
- VIIth Solium Masali
- The Seat of a Small agri-world cluster, Masali's official status of importance is overshadowed by its neighboring planet Quintem, where the Cult of the Walking Eagle is founded. The Spiritual Liege of Masali is consequently the leader of all Tarrasque of Ultramar, and must tend to their spiritual needs as well as those of his own flock. Otherwise, the Masali seat is very conservative as befitting an agriworld seat.
- VIIIst Solium Prandium
- A Seat famous for their unique Theology. The "Prandium School" is known for their veneration of a third entity known as Spectra Pietas or "The Spirit of Duty." The Spectra Pietas is a manifestation of Wills of the Aurelian and the Emperor that is an entity in its own right.
- The Prandium Throne is also the head of the small but devoted Gueloman Cult of Optimagna, a T'au philosophy that has syncretized Prandium's school with its own traditions.
- IXth Solium Konor
- A heavily Industrialized world, Konor is both the Birthplace and Seat of the Cult of The Aurelian Mechanicus. All Ultramarine successors and Ancillae with their equipment and techmarines.
- Xth Solium Saramanth
- XIth Solium Uldregor
- XIIth Solium Laphis
- Referred to Solium "Laxis" by more traditionalist Aurelians.
- Because of its practice of "open hand" doctrinal flexibility, and benign neglect, Laphis is infamous among more hardline members of the aurelian cult. Their Astartes chapters tend to be the most doctrinally diverse, to Laphis' detriment and benefit. Despite making some reforms following the Tau Founding, its reputation for flippancy with teachings remains.
- XIIIth (fmrly) Solium Alius
- Originally the Thirteenth seat was one held in rotation by the minor seats throughout the Faithful. Following the Maccragge Crusade, and the creation of its own seat, Macragge fills this role.
- XIIIth Solium Nova Macragge (since M40)
When Macragge was recaptured during the sisters crusade of M39, it was origionally merely a place of Pilgrimage. The Seats of San Leor, Masali, Epandor, Konor and SUEU had a presence on the planet. It was decided that that The Seat of New Maccragge would be the permanent location of The Thirteenth seat. Maccragge represents all of the minor Holy seats throughout the Galaxy, and its Spiritual Liege is selected from among their number.
Minor Holy Sites
There are several other spiritual lieges who, while not given the same clout and authority as the Great Thirteen, do have some autonomy in their own spiritual affairs, and can found Astartes Chapters and Ancillae orders.
- Located in the Ultima sector bordering Tau space. The Assam sector is the head location of the "Cordinumbae Cult." It is also the home planet of the Lotus Hearts Space Marine chapter, which is considered to be one of the few successes of the "Tau Founding."
- The Church of the Aurelian Triumphant is a minor but important seat that commemorates the Ultramarine's first victory over demonic forces.
- Despite its obvious religious Importance, Maccragge was only purged of the Demonic Taint of Nurgle following the Sister's Crusade of M37. Technically Maccragge was under the Jurisdiction of Maccragge Extremis seat, but this was considered to be too large of a domminion. Maccragge was also considered a had a sister seat of both Ophelia, Espandor, and Nova Thulium there until M39, when the Seats were united under a single Spiritual Liege.
- Formerly a site of the "Imperial Soter" cult established by Lorgar Pseudourelian, all doctrinal traces of Lorgar and his Lectitio have been purged and this seat Holy seat is considered now to be one of the most dogmatically orthodox, if perhaps over-zealously so.
- The Wealthy Talassar system has been able to assert its influence due to its over representation among Ancillae and Astartes recruits. The discipline and noble character of this planet has resulted in some of the Finest men and women to serve the Aurelian cult.
A Creed of Psykers, Travellers, and Abhumans, the Fenrisian cult of the Great Wolf is centered around the ancient Traditions of Fenris, and its mythical Primarch Leman Russ. Leman Russ is a demigod like figure similar to the Old Earth Cults for Asclepius or Heracles. Like many others, it is believed by the Vlka Fenrika that the Chaos wolves were made so not because of their own falling to Khorne, but because they were Cursed to be so by Leman Russ. In the Fenrisian faith, the "wolfness" is a representation of a man's id and passions, and so for a man to be a true follower of Russ he must conquer and subdue the wolf within him. Hence most artistic depictions of Russ show him wearing a Wolf Pelt over his armor is a demonstration of his subjugation of his inner wolf.
Curiously, the Vlka Fenrika has become particularly popular among the Abhumans of the Imperium. Disparaged by the Imperium who see them as bestial, the Path of The Wolf-father offers a clear path towards their humanity, and suppressing their beastial nature. The Space Wolves (those few that exist anyways), the people of Fenris, and Leman Russ are a testament to those who, are able to master their innate wolfness and tame it (for men tame beasts). Likewise the fall of the Fenrisian wolves to Chaos is viewed by many abhumans as a metaphor for the natural battle all men must face, and the tragedy of those who fall slave to their passions.
Religiously, the Vlka Fenrika practice many of the old religious customs of Ancient Fenris. Though these have been adapted and modified into a robust system of magic and religious rites.
Magic, Magnus, Fenris, and Maleficarum
Most of the Imperium is completely unaware of the rivalry between Magnus and Russ, mostly in no small part thanks to Russ' own writings and teachings post heresy. Russ insisted that Magnus correct Fenris in its wayward traditions and understanding of Magic and Maleficarum. Magnus, not interested in seeing two cultures destroyed by he and his brother's past rivalry, instead saw the traditions of Fenris as being, like Prospero's own society or Jaghatai's ritualistic stormseers, guidelines that ground men from the Dangers of the Warp. Through Magnus' reforms he helped Fenrisian Rune Priests align their understanding of Magic from a collection of superstition into a College of Magic. In his collection of Codexes and Magnus utilized the Fenrisian definition of "Maleficarum" as being magic granted as dark boons. All true magic comes from Fenris, the book asserts, but changes the definition of Fenris from the planet itself, to an abstract conciliarianism. To use magic from Fenris is to be in union and approval with the Rune Priests of the Magical Longhouses of Fenris.
In addition to weaving the varried fragmented Superstitions of Fenris into a greater philosophical and ideological framework, Magnus expanded and clarified the Runic system used by Fenrisian priests, removed many of the traditions that were dangerously close to worshipping the Chaos Gods, and created the Fenrisian Grimoire, a collection of wards and protections from known demons and dark gods.
Leman Russ is said to be fighting Demons and forces in The Warp. It is believed by the Vlka Fenrika, that their prayers and sacrifices aid The Wolf Son in his fight against chaos, giving him strength and protection. Additionally the Return of the Wolf to Fenris will bring about The Wolftide, when Russ will resurrect his Father and vanquish Chaos.
The Promethean Cult
The Promethean Cult of Vulkan is built around the traditions of Nocturne and centered around its founder "Father" Vulkan. Origionally only intended for His Space Marines, Vulkan has created a softer "layity" version of the Creed for the Civilians of Segmentum Pacificus. Some have charged Vulcan with doing what Lorgar did during the Great Crusade, but Vulkan argues that His Creed is more of a philosophy than a religion. Furthermore, because "The Segmentum Pacificus are an Unruly and Firey People who distrust the Imperium" Vulkan says "They need to be tempered by a way of life that encourages faith in eachother rather than faith in a higher power or institutions." Regardless, the Promethean way of life is encouraged by the Imperium as a counter to the growing strength of the Aurelian Cult.
To call the Promethean Creed a "religion" is perhaps a little too strong, as the tennants and practices of the Code are often too stringent for Everyday citizens of the Imperium to practice. The Promethean Creed is instead closer to a "Secret Society" with many of the Imperium's Warriors, Astartes, and Aristocrats practicing a form of the Promethean Cult.
Like any good secret society there are different levels of the Creed.
- "The Artificers"
- The Open Secret Society
- open to any civilians, popular with craftsmen, and entrepreneurial middle class
- Runs many charitable societies
- The Drakelings
- Lower Tier of The Secret Society
- consists of several levels.
Daughters of Nocturne
The Daughters of Nocturne have no relation to The Sisters of the Aurelian Cult, but represent an order found within the Promethean Cult. They answer to Vulkan Himself.
The Daughters of Nocturne have a very select membership, as each woman who applies must either be from Nocturne, or prove to be no more than 4th generation removed from Nocturne.
Despite their limited numbers, the Daughters of Nocturne are the single most well equipped fighting force in the Imperium. Every single piece of equipment is state of the art and crafted by Vulkan personally.
Upon the death of a sister, her equipment is gifted to her next of kin. Providing a priceless heirloom to the family. Should they decide to part with it, each segment of equipment will fetch an exhorbitantly high price as Abbesses of the Daughters of Tanasha, Imperial Gaurd Generals, Fronts for Commoragh Merchants and Aristocrats will pay to augment their own weapons with a piece of Vulkan's craftsmanship.
Absolutely no one outside of a Daughter of Nocturne has a complete set of Armor and Equipment. Even a Former High Lord of Terra was unable to get more than a Gauntlet, Breastplate, Supply kit and sidearm.
Thought to have been eliminated by The Emperor, many of the world's older religions have slowly come out of hiding, with many having established communities on other worlds. For whatever reason (change of heart? triangulating against newer warp based sects? luring them into complacency for when he is finally strong enough to smite them?), The Emperor has gone back on his original anti-religious rules, and has permitted Old World religions to establish enclaves and reclaim some of their old sacred sites.
Despite the official toleration, however, they are often harrassed by both members of the newer cults and those still adhering to the imperial truth. As such the communities of these beliefs remain secretive and taciturn about most of their faith.
In the eyes of the Imperium, these faiths are protected under the Mandatum Cultis Antiquitae (Code of Ancient Creeds). In which, because of their ancient historical connection to terra these faiths are granted exemptions from some of the statutes that fall upon other more recent creeds (ie the Aurelian cult).
The most secretive next to the Katholeans, the Old Chosen keep to their book of ancient origin. As far as anyone is aware, they do not have any specific organization instead keeping to the traditions of their local Magister. A suprising number have come out of hiding at the highest levels of their planet's society.
The Imperium was also surprised to find how many were present in Forgeworlds.
An ancient sect with an ancient organization, The Leadership has claimed an unbroken line of "Pentarchs" from 40,000 years ago. When asked where, the Katholeans suddenly become less talkative. Mellennia of Experience and suspicion of The Imperium has wrapped this organization in secrecy. They are especially suspicious of the Aurelian Cult, and most warp based entities, seeing it as a realm of Demons. Because of this, and the legacy of Olanius Pius (whom the Aurelians have attempted to co-opt as one of their own), The Katholeans are slowly gaining more acceptance within the Imperium. They also have produced a significant number of Anti-Demon warriors and successful exorcists. Many have tried to learn more about their highly secretive leadership, but all these orgs have to show for it are quite a few dead Inquisitors. For whatever reason the Katholens have good relations with (unsuprisingly) Jaghatai Khan, and (more surprisingly) The Lion El'Johnson.
Seem to be similar in teaching to Katholeans, but are completely excluded from Katholean leadership for whatever reason (they would insist the Katholians left them). When asked they usually say something about the Katholians as a "Corrupted" form of the true faith.
They are much less secretive about their faith than the Katholians, and for the Old World Faiths, a startling amount of potent psykers. The acceptance of these psykers seem to varry based on sect, with some seeing the latent children as "demonic" and are more than happy to supply the black ships, other see these potent abilities as "gifts" and use their powers primarily to better their community. Some Anti-Katholians are remarkably gifted in the arts of faith-healing, ESP, and language.
Sometimes also referred to as the "Poplibri." This somewhat more open group is divided into Scholae, but also seem to have some sort of leadership. It is a poorly kept secret that The Primarch, Jaghatai Khan, has sympathies towards this faith, if not a crypto-obsequian himself. They do not have as many issues with the use of the warp as the Katholeans do, but also advise caution and faith as a stalwart against potential corruption.
Are usually proud to point out how their faith were the first to recognize the warp over 41000 years ago. Refer to Chaos Gods as "Tull Pah." Of all of The Old World Faiths, the Octavians have been the quickest to adapt and thrive in the Primarchite Imperium. Many Octavians have even been welcomed into the Imperial Inquisition. They are both Aggressive Warriors and aggressive pacifists depending on which planetary sect, with widely varrying doctrines.
Dogmatically they sit somewhere between the Aurelian Cult and the Anti-Katholians, but structurally they are even more secretive than the Katholians. The Apicans claim to be a faith of ancient Merika. They are fierce warriors. They are also refer to Magna Terra as "D`Olilent."
In a galaxy spanning imperium that has lasted now for 10,000 years, It should not come as a suprise that some traditions have evolved and taken on new traditions, incorporating the beliefs and practices of another faith into their own.
Given that the Large and Decentralized nature of the Aurelian Cult, it should not be suprising that it tends to intermingle with other faiths. Note that regardless of what their Parent faiths think of these syncretic religions, they are not to be deemed "hereticus" unless the Imperium finds them in violation of The Terran Creed.
The Dauntless Cult
Ecclesia Impavipaulci or The Cult of "The Dauntless Few" is a sect of the Aurelian Cult that tries to build itself on the Historic Friendship between Roboute Gulliman and Vulkan.
The Cult is composed almost entirely Space Marines, and almost always Ultramarine Successors.
The "Impavidae" often incorporate customs found on Nocturne into their rituals as well as placing greater emphasis on hospitality and protection of civilian life.
Disparagingly called "Gullimanders," by other space marines. The Opinion of The Salamanders themselves varries between flattered by the imitation, to irritated.
The Aurelian Mechanicus
The Aurelian Mechanicus is a syncretized faith that is a result of some of the more techmarine heavy chapters of the Ultramarines. It has also provided cover for those who wish to worship the emperor as a god.
The Beliefs of The Aurelian Mechanicus primarily take the traditions of Cult Mechanicus and rework them to fit within the dogmatic framework of the Aurelian Cult. The primary relationship being that of The Omnissiah and all mechanical works and The relationship between The Emperor and Gulliman. This relationship then serves as the Archetype for those positions in the mechanicus.
- The Omnisiah of The Mechanical Aurelian
- Like in The Cult Mechanicus, theEmperor is The Omnissiah, the perfection of the Machine made flesh. They are allowed, but are watched with suspicion by The Mainline Aurelian Cults, Mechanicus, and Imperium. They are also the closest The Aurelian Cults can get to calling the Emperor a God without falling into Heresey.
- Mechanicus Triumphis
- The Aurelian
- In these cults, The Aurelian is sometimes called “The Great Creation.” As the Omnissiah is the Great Machine, The Aurelian, and all of the Primarchs are in a sense his construction. The Omnissiah created his primarchs as his greatest biological creations, and are the closest one can get to bio-mechanical perfection. The Traitor primarchs are thus understood to have been the Omnissiah's creation's destroyed by the "Forces of Rust and Corruption". As the first among machines, The Aurelian also gathers all Machine spirits to serve him and The Omnissiah.
- Factoria Magna
- The Mother in The Aurelian Mechanicus
- The Mother is referred to “The Mother of Mechanicus” because she participated in The Omnissiah’s Creative energies in helping to maintain the Omnissiah’s great creations and reach its fullest potential. The Mother is the Patron of all Apothecaries and Techmarines, as she is considered to be the greatest archetype of the Omnissiah's servants.
The Leadership of the Aurelian Mechanicus is located on Konor. There aren't any other Holy Seats. As such the Cult is much more centralized than the rest of The Aurelian Mechanicus.
Relationships with their Father Cults
- With The Aurelian Cult
- Officially the Aurelian Cult recognizes the Aurelian Mechanicus as a valid expression of the Aurelian Faith. They have the strongest relationship with the Astartes Aurelian Chapters, given the Techmarines.
- With the Cult Mechanicus
- The Aurelian Mechanicus is hated by the Cult Mechanicus.
A syncretism of The Octavian tradition with the Aurelian Cult. This sect views Tanasha Euten to be a reincarnation of the Clementina Magna, the Great Queen of Mercy, who descended into hell to make it a paradise. They have an ornate cosmology in which the current primarchs, and heroes are cyclical reincarnations of past heroes.Because of their syncretization with the Aurelian cult, they have become isolated by some of the more hardline Octavian sects, and as such have lost their imperial protected status as "Cultis Antiquitae." Their particular beliefs (such as belief that The Aurelian and Tanasha are two aspects of the same devinity), have put them at odds with the main branch aurelian cult.
Most of their traditions are still heavily based on the Octavian traditions as practiced in the Assam Sector, where more orthodox Octavianism is still practiced. They have representation in The Aurelian cult now, though their Spiritual Liege of Assam Bay is considered to be a sub cult similar to the Aurelian Mechanicus. The Codinelumbae have produced a few chapters of Ultramarine Astartes as well as Daughter orders.
These Faiths are considered "heresy" by both their mainline sects and the Imperium at Large. They are usually guilty of flagrantly violating several of the tennents of the Terran creed.
Unlike in Vanillahammer when heresy is thrown around by any sufficiently miffed Inquisitor. Heresy means something very specific in The Aurelian cult. It means to act “As Lorgar” who committed the Two Great Heresies by Calling the Emperor a God and by worshipping the Dark Gods. Lorgarite is sometimes used as an accusation of Heresy.
- Lorgarism is simply put to worship the Emperor as a God. A god in the Aurelian Cult is an Immaterial entity, and to do so is to call the Emperor a Chaos god. This is heretical and is seen as a gateway to the worship of The Ruinous powers.
The Emperor gave us Aurelian and His Mother so that our Prayers and dreams would serve him, not serve the monsters of the warp. He chose his son Gulliman to godhood because, of all his children, he ruled to serve his people on earth. The Gods of Aurelian and Matron Magna serve us as much as we serve them. Thus to Worship the Emperor is not truly honoring him but honoring yourself and the monsters who tricked you into doing so. The Emperor demands nothing of you but your service to the Imperium, and that is sufficient. To say otherwise is to say to The Emperor "I know how to serve you better than you."
- Maneus Calgar, Spiritual Liege of Maccragge
- Vandirism, named after the heretical former Spiritual Liege of Terra, is the belief that any human (but especially Vandire) can achieve Emperor-ness, and that The Emperor himself was once merely a man.
- Goge Vandire's sloppy synthesis of The Aurelian Cult and The Imperial Truth ultimately resulted in a major headache for the other Ecclesiarchs
- He was eventually outed by Sebastian Thor who replaced him.
- Despite condemnation by the Aurelian Cult, it has endured among many thinkers on Terra.
- Because of his well beloved personality, charismatic speeches, suicide, and disastrous successor, He has become something of a martyred hero among those detractors of The Aurelian Cult.
- Also called "Thorianism," Filastrism believes that the Emperor is trapped in his mortal coil and upon death will become a new, more powerful entity.
- Thorianism after its founder and promoter "Sebastian Thor,"
- Sebastian Thor was the Spiritual Liege of Terra who ousted the Former heretical leader, Goge Vandire
- Unlike the Bumbling self aggrandizement of Goge Vandire, the Inquisition supported reign of Sebastian Thor was an absolute disaster
- It resulted in not only a schism of Terra from the Greater Aurelian cult, but also the deaths and ousting of several Aurelian Faithful
- Sebastian Thor's theories also took root in the inquisition culminating in a inter-inquisitorial conflict, and several assassination attempts on the emperor and ecclesiarchs of Ultramar.
- The Thorian Schism is also the reason that The Aurelian Seat is banned from Holy Terra, instead by imperial decree is in exile on Luna.
- There are rumours that Sebastian Thor was a plant of Alpharius, demon prince of Tzeentch, and was part of his effort to trick the imperium into destroying itself.
- "When Ousting Goge" is now a common phrase in the Imperium used as a warning trading one problem for a much greater one.
Oh, Queen Mother, save us from Terra and its wealth of Powerful Fools with Silver Tongues and Worn Quills.
These religions, whether they are heretical offshoots of tolerated Antiquitae, or Dark Antiquitae with ancient origins, are considered heretical and are severely hunted.
Claiming to have its origins in ancient Southern Merika, the Serpentine Cult worships a Pantheon of deities. With their cheif deity being a Serpent. However, the Ordo Hereticus has noticed its tradtions and chief dieties seem to follow the worship of Khorne and Slaanesh.
Cults of The Mellenials
This cult is actually several different cults who believe that the Emperor is The Anti Christ of Katholian/Anti-Katholian tradtions, or that he is Christ himself. Both are deemed heretical by The Ordo Hereticus.
Religion seems to even be a concept among the Xenos. Imperial views of Xenos faith is congruent to The Imperium's opinion on the Xenos themselves.
The Elusive Eldar seem to worship their old deities who survived the Birth of Slaanesh. That is not to say they are polythiestic. While all of the Eldar believe in many gods, they exclusively worship only one. As such nearly all of the Eldar world is divided into different Cults. It falls upon these gods to rescue their followers souls from the Grasp of Slaanesh.
Harlequins (Cult of Cegorach)
Cult of Cegorach, the Laughing God, who escaped the clutches of Slaanesh was the god of tricksters and clowns. His cult is incredibly popular in the Black Markets of Commorragh.
Isha has two cults who claim to worship her, each with completely opposing beliefs.
The Handmaidens of Isha
The successors of her origional cult, the Handmaidens of Isha plot, plan, and conspire to rescue Isha from The Gardens of Nurgle. They have so far been the most reliably pro-imperial faction, in the hopes that their defeat of Chaos will lead to the rescue of Isha.
A banal name underlying a sinister practice. The Posadh worship "The Holy Union" of Nurgle and Isha. They give themselves to The Rotfather in exchange for long life, durability and protection against Slaanesh. The Posadh practice perverted versions of the old rituals practiced under Isha.
The Ynnari (Cult of Ynnead)
Incredibly secretive about their beliefs. Thought of by the Imperial authorities as either "Elven Atheists 'worshiping' a dead god of death," or some sort of murder cult similar to Heretical Antiquitae Serpentine Cult. The Ynnari worship Ynnead who does not exist. They instead keep their dead souls in an infinity circuit, and proclaim that they will raise The Eldar God of The Dead. The Imperial Inquisition likes to keep an eye on them, but for the most part they are considered to be a low threat. The only person in the Imperium who seems to think differently is Konrad Curze, who actively hunts down and brutally murders any Ynnari he finds.
Most T'au faiths have some sort of concept of "The Greater Good" or collective destiny. What that greater good is and how to serve it seems to varry.
The sanctioned faith of Cerullian Socii, and the belief of the Wuni enclaves. The Wuni believe that the "Greater Good" is seen by The Emperor, and that he will lead both T'au and Humanity to a brighter tomorrow. To call this belief a faith is perhaps a stretch, but it hasn't stopped the Tribune of the Faithful from acting on its behalf.
- The Por school
The Fio peoples call "The Greater Good" many names, but it tends to be anthropromorphized into a god or goddess of some sort. Imperial scholars speculate that the many Por nations had some similar "god of fate" and these entities were syncretized together. This benign being controls the Fate of the Universe, and only those who serve its will will prosper. It is thought that The Emperor of Mankind is currently "The Greater Good's" favorite and first disciple.
- The Fio school
- Seems to be vestigial from the ancient mythologies of the Primitive Fio Nations. The Por understanding is that The Greater good is the will of the universe. The Greater Good is discovered when you understand the path life has laid out for you
Guelomin Tau (Optibene Cult)
Given the T'au's close proximity to Ultramar, and Ultramar's infectious fanaticism, it was inevitable that The T'au would attempt to syncretize their own views with those of the The Followers of the Avenging Son. The Guelomin or Optibene cult is rooted in the WuNi scholars from the Fio school taking influence from the Unique Holy seat of Prandium. In The Optibene cult "The Greatest Good" is understood to be "Spirit of Sacrifice" that is the will formed by the Emperor, Gulliman, and Tanasha. This Spirit while originating in The Emperor, and acting through Gulliman/Queen Mother, is a separate entity in of itself. The Guelomin T'au answer to The Prandium Seat, whom they regard as their Spiritual Liege, though his presences is rarely felt.
The Tau'Va Creed
Established by the Ethereals following their great revolt, the T'au Va nation believes that they are compelled to serve "the Greater Good" and the sacrifice of the Individual for the health, wealth and safety of the Collective. The Greater Good is the inner harmony of the Material universe that directs the T'au to become better than themselves. Eventually by serving the Greater Good, the path will lead to "The Last Sacrifice" in which The T'au will have triumphed over Xenos, sickness, dissent, and even death itself. Every T'au knows that the Ethereals intrinsically know the path towards the Greater Good, and by obedience to them, they can eventually reach it. Xenos can be capable of serving the Greater Good, but they innately have no capacity to understand it. In fact it is known that the Xenos mind actively "drowns out" the greater good through their noisy thoughts and beliefs. They are completely incapable serving without the guidance of the Ethereals, which is why Xenos must be strictly controlled.
The Kroots have been with the Imperium the Longest, and because of this have absorbed more of the Imperium's understanding of religion. Whether or not the Kroot have syncretized their faith, their cultural traditions of ancestor worship seems to be consistent.
The Cult of The Walking Eagle
Practised primarily by the Tarrasque peoples of Royum Ultramar, the Cult Worships none other than Roboute Gulliman and Tarasha Euten as the Supreme Ancestors. The religion has a complicated history with both Pious Ultramari and With other Kroot Cultures. To the other Kroot, the Cult is viewed with as suspicion, thought to be one Kroot's mad fantasies, or even a conspiracy by Ultramar to tame the Kroot and destroy Kroot Culture. Most Ultramari, conversely find the traditions and practices of the Cult of The Walking Eagle repulsive at best, outright blasphemous at worst. So repulsive in fact, the Aurelian Cult of Calth attempted to extinguish it in M39, only halted by "the great chastizement" wherupon the church was subject to such supernatural disasters and The Black Eutenites were forced by their god to slaughter the Entire Ecclesiarchy of the Planet. The people of Ultramar are forced to recognize that their Kroots are also spiritual brethren, but that doesn't mean they will not show their immense disfavor of their younger avian brethren. The cult also isn't helped by its controversial figure, Wabat Ghleemin son of Tash'nka Ghlee-min, who later in life started to descend into paranoia, doomsday prophesying, and demagoguery. Nevertheless The Tarrasque of Ultramar have at least some devotion to the cult, and the relationship between the Tarrasque and Ultramari represent perhaps the closest humanity has come to recognizing the shared destiny of another species since the Lost Interex Empire.
The Cult of The Walking Eagle was founded by the high priest Tash'nka Ghlee-min, the hero of Masali. Tash'nka, then a lone mercenary fighting an Tau Incursion onto Quintan of the Masali system. According to legend, she received a vision of The Aurelian, saying that he and his line would be blessed by the Aurelian, and that he and her descendants would be of "Gulliman's Lineage" should she serve him. Augmented with his holy strength and bearing the sacred image of the Primarch as an Eagle-like Kroot, Tash'nka was able to single handedly overwhelm the T'au forces until The Reinforcements were to arrive.
The Consumation of Roboute
Most traditions and practices of The Walking Eagle are little more than Old Kroot practices given a Ultramarine Blue coating, such as the Sacred fire Dances on religious holiday. Others are Ultramari practices that have been appropriated into the "Kroot" such as the saints, grail quests, and use of iconography and sacred images. However one tradition laid out by Tash'nka Ghlee-min, that is unique is the practice of the Sacred Consumation. The tradition traces back to Tash'nka, as one of the first rituals of the cult. The vision of the Roboute commanded the frightened Tash'nka on Quintan to consume the geneseed of a nearby fallen Ultramarine. The consumption of humans in Kroot society is a severe taboo in Kroot society, and so such an act was unthinkable. The vison ordered him, saying that is required to be admitted into Imperium Secundus as his lineage.
In continuation of this sacred tradition, it is required of all new members of the Cult to consume the Geneseed of Roboute Gulliman, in order to bear witness to his sacred lineage. By doing so in sacred ritual and with pledge to Roboute they believe they're souls are transformed into human ones, made into the spiritual lineage of The Primarch itself. The ritual behind this sacred consumption is very ornate and long, with each organ having its own ritual.
Sacred Image of The Walking Eagle
The Sacred Image of the Walking Eagle is still held in the sacred shrine of "The Great Eagle" on Quintan. The image shows a well-developed athletic adult male Kroot adorned with golden feathers. The Kroot male, believed by the Kroot to be Roboute Gulliman, is making the sign of the Aquila and adorned in the armor of a Kroot Eldar. This armor was adorned with symbols of the Ultramarine. Additionally, the figure brandishes large wings common among many of the Tarrasque. Surrounded by the image are the words in Low Gothic local to Ultramar "Fight as my warriors, fight for my countrymen, die as my children." The sacred image has been replicated and copied to be used as battle heraldry by Tarrasque across the Imperium.
Since then other imagery of the Aurelian Cult has been appropriate by the walking eagle. Often famous saints have been given similar localized appearances as the Image of the Aurelian Cult. Sacred images of Aeonid Theil for instance, show him as wearing Blue painted Kroot armor similar to Gulliman, brandishing an ancient Kroot Black Powder Rifle. His face is painted red in homage to Aeonid's famous Red Helmet.
Imperium and the Ruinous Powers