The Cult Mechanicus is the state religion of the Adeptus Mechanicus, which recognizes its own dogma as opposed to that of the Imperial Cult. As an organization, it is composed of the priesthood of the Adeptus Mechanicus, also known as Tech-Priests.
The Cult Mechanicus has ancient origins, developing on Mars during the Age of Strife. It was the state religion of the early Mechanicum even before the arrival of the Emperor and the commencement of the Great Crusade. When the Emperor first arrived on Mars many saw him as the Omnissiah, or the physical manifestation of the Machine God. As per the terms of the Treaty of Olympus that saw Terra and Mars unify, the Mechanicum was was still allowed to practice its faith despite the Emperor's own secular Imperial Truth. The Cult Mechanicus continues to exist to this day, distinct but related to the Imperial Cult.
According to the Cult Mechanicus, knowledge is the supreme manifestation of divinity and all creatures and technology that embody knowledge are thus holy because of it. The worth of a single man is only the sum of his knowledge - his body is simply an organic machine capable of preserving intellect. It is by this motivation that the followers of the Cult Mechanicus follow the Quest for Knowledge, seeking new technology and information to better themselves.
The Machine God, also known as the Deus Mechanicus, is the ultimate object of worship in the Cult Mechanicus. It is the Machine God that gave rise to all technologies and made them manifest through his chosen among mankind. To the Mechanicus, machines represent a higher form of life than those crudely formed from biological evolution. The planned perfection of form and function embodied in a machine are so great, that they could only have arisen from a divine source. Officially, the Cult Mechanicus maintains that the Emperor is the physical manifestation of the Machine God (the Omnissiah) and part of a trinity that also includes the Machine God and the Motive Force, the deity that gives all life and motion its continued existence.[4a]
The Cult Mechanicus also outlays a strict code of Technological conduct, dubbing a far range of innovations and fields as Tech-Heresy (Heretechnica) and its practitioners as Hereteks. These include such forbidden sciences as unleashing plagues of death across entire star systems, draining energy from stars, or distorting space-time. However the three greatest orders of Tech-Heresy are that of Abominable Intelligence, manipulating the Human genome, and study of the Warp.
While each Forge World is led by its own Fabricator General, it is the Fabricator of Mars who is considered the de facto leader of the Cult Mechanicus. Beneath the Fabricator General is the Fabricator Locum who in turn may call upon and command Magi Technicus, Metallurgicus, Alchemys, Cogitatrices, Pedanticum, Tech-assassins, hive monitors and Holy Requisitioners, who in turn can command a body of fabricators minoris, Fulgurites, Corpuscarii, overseers, underseers, stasis clerks, and techno-dervishes.[9a]
The Cult Mechanicus is organized in different Holy Orders, of which a Tech-Priest may change in time of need. The orders of the Magi pursue esoteric agendas as likely to end in triumpth as disaster. The orders of the Genetors probe biological mysteries, creating ever-stranger cyborgs and slaughtering numerous xenos to excise their biological secrets.[9a][9b] The Logis includes analyst, statistician, and logistician whose purpose is to predict future trends and make forecasts about Mechanicus expenditure and needs.[4c] The Artisans create and restore weapons of war.[9a][9b]
- Legio Cybernetica
- 1: Codex Imperialis (Background Book), pgs. 41-42
- 2: Warhammer 40,000 4th Edition Rulebook, pgs. 120-122
- 3: Index Astartes - Cult of the Machine God
- 4: Codex: Cult Mechanicus (7th Edition)
- 5: The Horus Heresy Book One - Betrayal, pgs. 17-19
- 6: Mechanicum (Novel), Chapter 1
- 7: Man of Iron (Short Story)
- 8: Deathwatch Core Rulebook, pg. 100
- 9: Codex: Adeptus Mechanicus (8th Edition)
- 10: The Horus Heresy: Age of Darkness Rulebook, pg. 124