The Adeptus Mechanicus is a technological organization, often known as the Priesthood of Mars. It holds a huge monopoly on technological knowledge in the Imperium. Their trillions of segmentums worth of Forge Worlds turn out the Imperium's most powerful and advanced weaponry and equipment. The Techpriests are vital in maintaining much of the Imperium's more technologically advanced equipment, not the least of which is the Emperor's life-sustaining Golden Throne.
While the Adeptus Mechanicus is a part of the Imperium, it has developed separately and enjoys a considerable degree of independence. Due to the great amount of power it wields, the Adeptus Mechanicus is more like an allied empire than an organization within the Imperium. The Adeptus Mechanicus also follows a different religion from the rest of the Imperium.
The symbol of the Adeptus Mechanicus is a skull that's half bone and half machine, set against the background of a black and white cog.
Adepts of the Adeptus Mechanicus are known as tech-priests. Any member of the Cult Mechanicus over the rank of menial will often be referred to as a tech-priest, though Magi and higher ranks are usually referred to by rank.
As befits the religious nature of the Mechanicus, techpriests usually wear robes, which are usually either rust-red or white. Techpriests are often cybernetically augmented. The level of a techpriest's augmentation is highly dependent on his rank within the Cult Mechanicus; a novice may have only one or two augmented systems, if any, while very senior members may have only a few biological organs left in their bodies.
Origins and History Edit
Early History Edit
The birthplace of the Martian Mechanicum was the ancient Forge World Mars. Mars was colonised early in human history, and developed separately from Terra, both culturally and technologically. The arid surface of Mars was terraformed, and under a man made atmosphere the colony flourished.
During the Dark Age of Technology, the two empires of Terra and Mars co-existed, to the mutual benefit of both. At the height of its splendour during the Golden Age, and even later in the anarchic Age of Strife, Mars dispatched millions of colony fleets into the void. A few were sent off course in the terrible Warp Storms that engulfed the galaxy at that time, but most survived. They founded new worlds in the name of the Machine God, building on them a likeness of the great factories and temples of their distant homeworld.
The Age of Strife brought an end to the glory and peace of the human domains. Across the galaxy mankind suddenly turned upon itself as a new breed of warp attuned humans emerged. Civil war engulfed trillions of human worlds, including the twin empires of Terra and Mars.
Because of lack of maintenance during this time, Mars' atmospheric radiation shields soon disintegrated, allowing deadly solar radiation to destroy the fragile ecosystem and wiping out sparse vegetation which had taken millennia to cultivate. Mars returned to being the red wasteland of the past. Plagues caused by high radiation levels slew most of the population. Many of the survivors devolved into mutants or gibbering cannibals. The destruction of the entire planet seemed likely. However, this was not to be, for a new idea began to spread among the people, a religion of survival - the Cult Mechanicus dedicated to the Machine God.
The religious devotees sought out the now scattered technology needed to rebuild temporary radiation shelters. The cult demanded absolute devotion from its followers, for only by selfless dedication and often personal sacrifice could machines be recovered or the planet saved. Under the direction of their Tech-priest leaders, the cultists set about restoring order to the world. They built shelters to protect themselves from the radiation storms, and oxygen generators and food processing machines to enable them to live behind the enclosed shielding.
There were few shelters even for the Tech-Priests and none for unbelievers. Marauders and mutant raiders tried to force their way inside the hurriedly constructed buildings. Many of the cultists died defending their shelters and some early shelters were destroyed, but the survivors emerged all the stronger and more determined. The people interpreted their survival in the face of tremendous odds as vindication of the Cult Mechanicus. Their resolve and devotion to the cult became unshakable.
While rival warlords battled over the remnants of Earth the Tech-priests built Mars anew, and the first temples of the Machine God were built. The Tech-priests scoured the ruins of Mars for surviving machinery which they enshrined within the Temple of All Knowledge. Within the temple's plasteel shell shining pistons held the vaulted roof almost a mile above. The shafts of each piston were so constructed that they moved to raise and lower the roof, altering its acoustic properties to accentuate the hymns of praise sung to the Machine God.
The High Altar within took the form of a vast database containing the whole knowledge of the Tech-priests. Even today every new discovery is dedicated to this altar. Every temple on Mars and throughout the Forge Worlds is connected to the High Altar by means of a living Transmat link, a psychic Servitor whose mind co-joins all altars of the Cult Mechanicus into one holy machine entity.3
Union with the Imperium Edit
After the Emperor formed the Imperium of Man, he engendered support with the Martian Mechanicum, an already existing empire. On Mars, he was commonly seen as the Omnissiah, the earthly representative of the Machine God. As the Mechanicum put down a small rebellion by senior tech-priests, the Fabricator-General of Mars and the Emperor signed the Treaty of Mars, allying the two empires, guaranteeing the sovereignty of each, in return for supplying the Imperium with war machines and servicing the technology of the Imperium, any and all STC technology found by the Imperium would be donated to the Mechanicum.
Known as the Tech-Priests of Mars, the Adeptus Mechanicus is based on the ancient factory world of Mars, and are a quasi-independent organisation and empire unto themselves (controlling trillions of segmentums and several outerdimensional-universes worth of individual forge-worlds to galaxy spanning shipyards and machine bays, and instant and infinite-resource manufacturing bases alongside the Imperium's worlds), with their own armed forces and institutional culture. These 'enginseers' and 'techpriests' of the Imperium create and maintain most of the Imperium's more advanced machinery and weaponry like instantaneous time-phase arrays or nano-fabricator constructors to build vehicles, ships, and weapons almost instantaneously, despite the fact that their understanding of technology is limited at best - most procedure is based on ritual and religious dogma rather than genuine engineering or mechanical skill. Their extremely conservative beliefs regarding the advancement of human technology such as locking up entire STC libraries on Mars or isolating "protectorates" of millions of Golden-age human tech-societies within their borders for the forceful takeover of resources. These fanatical actions, coupled with their stranglehold on the Imperium's manufacturing capabilities, has ensured that humanity's technological advancement has been isolated from general Imperial life for 10,000 years.
The Collegia Titanica (sometimes simply known as the Titan Legions) is an organisation within the Adeptus Mechanicus specifically mentioned as being charged with building, maintaining and controlling the greatest war machines of the Imperium - the Titans. These miles-high mechanical walkers, most millennia old, are used in the vast apocalyptic conflicts that are commonplace in the fiction's lore. They are organized within the trillions to the power of zentillions of legions stationed in each of the warzones and forgeworlds of the Galaxy, each legion numbering to the billions of power of leviathan walking engines. Titans are usually supported by the Adeptus Mechanicus' own Skitarii (or Tech-Guard), who are the mainline military arm of the Adeptus Mechanicus (roughly equivalent to cyborg Imperial Guard Legions). The many millions of different types of Titans which could range from the Warhound scout titans, to the Imperators many kilometers high, and even the planetary sized Terra and Mars- Apocalypse classes used to fight the largest enemies imaginable, such as xenos sentient planets or gas-giant daemonworlds.
Other forces of the Mechanicus even larger than the Titan legions themselves and number millinillions of solums each include the Centurio Ordinatus, caretakers of the large purpose built war machines, and Legio Cataphracti, vast phalanxes of humongous armoured fortress-vehicles, followed by the Ordo Reductor, masters of siege warfare and macro-cannon size land artillery. In the realm of the stars, the mechanicus are able to muster enough superships and land-space-vessels in their Navis Ferrum navy to easily dwarf the official Imperial Navy, the Solar Guard Armadas, and the Obscurus Bastion Blockades in trillions of orders of magnitude, though are matched in might by the entirety of the Inquisiton Taskforce-legions, extra-galactic naval expeditions, the space marine ships, and the High Lords' Devastation and Crusade armadas, which are still only a few of the Imperium's forces. In addition, they also have millions of joint Mechanicus task forces with other Imperial organizations which share advanced and specialized technology, leading to hybrid weapons, vehicles, and ships.
Although the Emperor is venerated by the Adeptus Mechanicus for his ancient knowledge and comprehension, the techpriests do not follow the Imperial Cult, but a wholly different religion, known as the Cult Mechanicus or the Cult of the Machine.
The Cult Mechanicus originated during the Age of Strife. According to its teachings, knowledge is the supreme manifestation of divinity, and all creatures and artefacts that embody knowledge are holy because of it. Machines that preserve knowledge from ancient times are also holy, and machine intelligences are no less divine than those of flesh and blood. A man's worth is only the sum of his knowledge - his body is simply an organic machine capable of preserving intellect.
To the Cult Mechanicus, machines represent a higher form of life than that created through biological evolution. The ultimate object of the cult's veneration is known as the Machine God (or the Deus Mechanicus), which is believed to have given rise to all technologies and made them manifest through his chosen illuminati among mankind. The Machine God may be the C'tan Void Dragon, who has been entombed on Mars for millenia and was worshipped by the Cult Mechanus by the Emperor's own design.
The Cult Mechanicus await the arrival of the Omnissiah, a prophesised physical avatar of the Machine God. During the Great Crusade the forces of the Emperor liberated many of the forge worlds founded as colonies of Mars in ancient times. On his arrival at many of the worlds, the Cult Mechanicus recognised the Emperor as the long awaited Omnissiah, however with his ascension of the Golden Throne at the dawn of the Imperial Age this belief was largely discredited.
The Quest for Knowledge Edit
The Adeptus Mechanicus and its cult is driven by the Quest for Knowledge, and devotes itself to research and exploration. As the STC is said to contain the sum total of all human knowledge, this is the ultimate focus of the quest. The purpose of the many exploratory missions is the recovery of STC knowledge. This urge drives the explorer fleets beyond the bosoms of the fabricator flotilias and the web of forge worlds and foundary-systems, to go into many of the advanced human worlds isolated or allied within the Imperium to trade, harvest, or even demand the ancient technologies that they have either discovered or advanced. Such searches have lead to many improvements within the Mechanicus, such as continental-sized armoured command vehicles or Titan shaped battlesuits that can fabricate entire armies and fleets within moments of landing, using nano technology and energy to mass coversion or others that use chrono duplication capable of instantaneously spawning (or annihilating) any possible entity imaginable. As a result the explorers have many friends among the Magos Terra and Skittari Assault Groups.
Many working STC systems have been recovered. However, only the publicly spread STCs survive as print-outs, some of which are many thousands of years old. Although considered the most reliable, there are very few first generation print-outs, and these are regarded as the most sacred of texts. Any rumour of a functional system is pursued fanatically, often leading to new innovations (along with personal advancement within the Mechanicus hierarchy). Most of the newly discovered technologies of the STC's along with all other time periods of innovation like the Extragalactic Expansion, Golden Age of Mankind, the Dark Age of Technology, the Lost Ages of Strife, the Great Crusade, and the Reformation of the Imperium, are supervised by the Mechanicus for their own monopoly. However this domination is anything but and many friendly (or simply powerful) associations like the Space Marines and other elite armies, the Adeptus Custodes as the beholders of the Emperor's mightiest scientists, and the Inquisition and all of their secret alliances with extra-galactic forces, the super-advanced and numerical might of the Emperor's personal militaries, or even the general Imperial world with the need to adapt to harsh enviornments (like volcanic worlds) or situations that cause technological advancement can rival the Adeptus Mechanicus (leading to much debate and beauracracy).
- The Ruling Priesthood (Techpriests):
- The Ordinary Priesthood (Techpriests):
Military Forces Edit
- Secutor: Individual warrior orders that turn themselves into machines of war, for various reasons.
- Skitarii: The techguard of the Cult/Adeptus Mechanicus
- Collegia Titanica: The Titan Legions and the Knights
- Centurio Ordinatus: Organization dealing with the leviathan Ordinatii warmachines
- Legio Cybernetica: Robotics branch of the Mechanicus dealing with controlled AI vehicles
- Ordo Reductor: Organization dealing with huge siege weaponry and massive cannon
- Legio Cataphrati: Armoured mobile fortresses on huge treads with large banks of heavy weapons
- Navis Ferrum: The mechanicus fleets of experimental ships, gigantic, adaptable, and energy-based relic vessels, and even mobile machine-fortress/ forgeworlds and planetary-system sized constructs