|Cultist redirects here. For other sorts of cultist, see Cult.|
Chaos Cults are the most dangerous of all those who plot to overthrow the rule of the Imperium from within.
All planets and civilisations belonging to the Imperium can harbour Chaos organisations, which themselves are as diverse in practice and membership as is imaginable. From the blood-soaked sacrificial cults of feral worlds to the philosophical secret societies of more advanced worlds, the temptations of Chaos can capture all. Indeed, according to the Ordo Hereticus, Chaos Cults can arise from any class of Imperial society, be it impoverished, noble, hive-gang, abhuman, soldiers, or mutant.
The objective of the Chaos Cult is to survive and eventually dominate the society. Mere survival is particularly important on Imperial worlds, where Chaos worship is the greatest of heresies and Inquisitors are always vigilant and ready to wipe out any taint of Chaos.
Generally clandestine in nature, as discovery could bring with it attention from local Arbites all the way up to the Inquisition, cults often hide behind the front of some form of legitimate organization in their attempt to accumulate local or planetary power, such as trade unions, charitable organizations, accepted religious groups and even local variants of the Imperial cult.
Extreme political organizations make good fronts for cults, as they naturally attract power-hungry and mentally unbalanced individuals, which make particularly good material for potential cult members. A very successful organization can gain real political power, even gaining enough power to make it possible for the cult to become the governing body of the planet without having to resort to rebellion.
After taking root, and as it expands in power and influence, eventually the cult may end up effectively ruling anything from a township to an entire planet. Eventually, an uprising breaks out, either on purpose or because the cult has grown too large and/or unruly to remain secret any longer. At this point, the cult can be expected to summon aid from their Chaotic masters, ranging from incurring daemonic possession to summoning the Traitor Legions. Cults may also be uprising in concert with an invasion of Chaos Marines. The ultimate aim of the cult's uprising is to overthrow the Imperial government and attain direct control of the world. After the conflict, cultists are often taken back into the Eye of Terror where they either join the damned population of a daemon world or are formed up into a Chaos Warlord's armed forces.
Dark Communes, which are the headquarters of a Cultist force. They normally consist of :
- a Cult Demagogue, Heretics whose words convince others to embrace Heresy, and leads to the formation of a Chaos Cult
- a Mindwitch, who is a Rogue Psyker,
- a Iconrach, who inspire a Cult's members by carrying its icon
- Blessed Blades, who defend a Cult's Dark Commune leaders
Accursed Cultists, who have been overcome by the powers of Chaos. They consist of either:
- Mutants, who are heavily mutated by Chaos
- Torments, whose bodies have been twisted beyond recognition by dark rituals and daemonic influence
- Cult Devotees, whose bodies have yet to become mutated by daemonic possession
Notable Chaos Cults
- 1: Chapter Approved 2001 [Needs Citation]
- 2: Realm of Chaos: The Lost and the Damned, pgs. 168–172
- 3: Games Workshop
- 4: Codex: Chaos Space Marines (6th Edition), pg. 38
- 5: White Dwarf 238 (UK), October 1999, pg. 102
- 6: Warhammer Community: Warhammer Fest online all the massive reveals right here (posted 04/05/2022) (last accessed 04/05/2022)
- 7: Games Workshop Instagram (last accessed 5/4/2022)
- 8: Codex: World Eaters (9th Edition), pg. 21
- 9: Warhammer Community: Mutate Lowly Cultists into Terrifying Monsters in Kill Team: Ashes of Faith (posted 11/05/2023) (last accessed 11/05/2023)