The sixteen Universal Laws are commandments followed and obeyed by the majority of the followers of the Cult Mechanicus, such as the members of the Adeptus Mechanicus. Certain groups, like the Crucible Resolviate, strain and sometimes even choose to ignore certain laws. Such groups are largely regarded with suspicion by the majority, who remember the beginnings of the Dark Mechanicum.
The Universal Laws
The Mysteries of the Cult Mechanicus
- 1st: Life is Directed Motion.[Needs Citation]
- 2nd: The Spirit is the Spark of Life.[Needs Citation]
- 3rd: Sentience is the ability to learn the Value of Knowledge.[Needs Citation]
- 4th: Intellect is the Understanding of Knowledge.
- The Fourth Law is most commonly interpreted as stating that the ability to comprehend and utilize knowledge is the basis for the measurement of Intellect. It is entirely possible for any sentience to realize the value of knowledge (or stimulus, as some members of the Cult Mechanicus might refer to it) while only possessing simplistic levels of it. It is also possible for an Archive or Holonet to contain vast quantities of knowledge and the understanding thereof, without apprehending the value of that Knowledge. Neither of these two examples would possess true intellect in the eyes of a Tech-priest.[4a]
- 5th: Sentience is the Basest Form of Intellect.
- The so-called Fifth Law is often seen as being closely related to the Fourth Law. Tech-Priests often view Sentience as a commonly held trait, and they see it as only the first "tier" of Intellect, the lowest rung on the ladder of Understanding. Superior Intellect is generally agreed to be developed through the acquisition and understanding of knowledge.[4b]
- 6th: Understanding is the True Path to Comprehension.
- The concept of "Comprehension" holds special significance for Tech-Priests. It is often viewed as a state of transcendence, a level of Intellect that encompasses all Knowledge.[4c]
- 7th: Comprehension is the Key to all Things.
- The Seventh Law is widely seen as relating to the Sixth. Debate rages about whether "the Key to all things" is a literal or figurative expression. Many believe the Seventh Law means that Comprehension of the forces of the universe brings with it the keys to reality, the ability to implement any change or creation desired.[4d]
- 8th: The Omnissiah knows All, comprehends All.
- The Eighth Law enshrines the Omnissiah as the supreme being, the entity able to comprehend all Knowledge in the universe.[4e]
The Warnings of the Cult Mechanicus
- 9th: The Alien Mechanism is a Perversion of the True Path.[Needs Citation]
- 10th: The Soul is the Conscience of Sentience.[Needs Citation]
- 11th: A Soul can be bestowed only by the Omnissiah.[Needs Citation]
- 12th: The Soulless Sentience is the Enemy of All.
- 13th: The Knowledge of the Ancients stands Beyond Question.[Needs Citation]
- 14th: The Machine Spirit guards the Knowledge of the Ancients.[Needs Citation]
- 15th: Flesh is Fallible, but Ritual Honors the Machine Spirit.
- To a Tech-Priest, organic components are weak, forgetful, and ultimately expendable for the greater glories of the Machine God. Only the correctly prescribed rituals can purify the fallibilities of the flesh, and enable the enlightened to interact with a machine-spirit. It would be a grave crime for a Tech-Priest to dishonor a machine spirit by not enacting the proper rituals in its presence.[4f]
- 16th: To Break with Ritual is to Break with Faith.
- As imperfect, organic being, most Tech-Priests believe that they must rely on Ritual over understanding. Every screw turn and button presss is precisely documented for every mechanism they build or use. There is a strong belief that the slightest deviation from ritual is an invitation to disaster and will lead to the unleashing of uncontrollable forces. In matters such as plasma reactor maintenance rituals, this has been demonstrably true.[4g]
- 1: Deathwatch Core Rulebook, pg. 100
- 2: Mechanicus Explorator Warbands - pdf released by Specialist Games for Inquisitor (game)
- 3: Deathwatch: Mark of the Xenos, pg. 94
- 4: Dark Heresy: The Lathe Worlds