WS 22 BS 25 S 25 T Ag Int Per – WP + Fel + Inf
Movement: Wounds: 11 Armor: Fate: 3 (Emperor’s Blessing 6+)
Psy-rating: 1 Insanity: Corruption:
Skills: Awareness, Common Lore (Adeptus Astra Telepathica), Deceive or Interrogation, Forbidden Lore (the Warp), Psyniscience
Talents: Weapon Training (Las, Low-Tech)
Traits: Sanctioned, Psyker
Equipment: Laspistol, staff or whip, light flak cloak or flak vest, micro-bead or psy focus
Aptitudes: Defense or Psyker, Psyker, Willpower, Wounds
The Constant Threat: When the character or an ally within 10 metres triggers a roll on Table 6–2: Psychic Phenomenon (see page 196), the Adeptus Astra Telepathica character can increase or decrease the result by amount equal to his Willpower bonus.
Tested on Terra: If the character takes the Psyker elite advance during character creation, he also gains the Sanctioned trait (see page 138).
Faith in the Creed: Whenever a shrine world character spends a Fate point, he rolls 1d10. On a result of 1, the character’s total number of Fate points is not reduced.
Available starting XP: 2700
Born in the shadow of great saints, the light of the Emperor blinding and embracing since birth; pious and devout, they see the world through eyes of fanatical faith and righteous hatred.
“Tread carefully, and with each step reflect on the sanctified remains surrounding you.”
–Yantho Carl, Thaur Caretaker
Shrine worlders grow up on worlds that the Imperium has deemed holy places, where the Cult of the Emperor’s power is omnipresent. While their birthplace might range from cluttered, decaying cities to scattered farmlands, or their planet from a green paradise to a forbidding rock, the power of the Emperor saturates it. Perhaps some great deed was committed here, a bold hero turning back the alien tide, or because it is the resting place for a saint with a hallowed grave dominating the surface of the world and drawing pilgrims from far and wide to gaze upon its glory. While all citizens of the Imperium are taught to venerate the glory of the Emperor in one form or another, it is the shrine worlders who perhaps have the greatest understanding and reverence of the teachings of the Imperial Cult.
Life on a shrine world
Religious grace permeates every part of a shrine world, the very spirit of the Cult of the Imperial Creed embodied by the world itself and its citizens, who embrace His divine worship. Shrine
worlders live their days with the strength of the Emperor in their hearts, and are exposed to His word in many aspects of their lives. The constant exposure to clerics, priests, and pilgrims
impacts upon their lives and gives them greater veneration for the Imperial Creed. Pilgrims also offer a rare glimpse into worlds and sectors beyond a shrine worlder’s home planet, and a taste of the wider Imperium told from the lips of those who have travelled far distances just to visit the shrines.
There is no established norm for a shrine world, only that it was the place where a saint was entombed or committed some great deed, worthy of the Adeptus Ministorum’s attention. It might have been a feral or a hive world with a well-established society before the coming of the saint. Equally, many were only outposts or dead worlds before a saint fought a final battle, or came there to find his final rest. In both cases the presence of the saint and the millions of pilgrims who make the trek have changed the world forever, giving it a new purpose and focus.
While the planet exists for the glory of the saint and as a place to worship the might of the Emperor, the constant flow of pilgrims and visitors makes such places a breeding ground for criminals and smugglers. Either selling false relics or using the pilgrim trail to transport illicit goods, a shrine world’s underbelly can be as active and dangerous as any underhive. Many shrine worlders are drawn into this shadow society, either aiding such illegal endeavours or seeing it as a chance to move offworld and make their own fortune. Even so, while some succeed and go on to find a life on the fringes of the Imperium among vile company, they remain shrine worlders at heart. They never forget the teachings of the saint, whether they live by them or not.
Shrine world characters
A shrine worlder has a unique perspective on the Imperium, raised among the harsh realities of the Imperial faith but also exposed to a constant stream of travellers from strange and far off
places. Some develop a slavish devotion to the Imperial Creed and those that claim to speak in the Emperor’s voice. Alternatively, the character might find inspiration and rise up within the ranks of the faithful to do great things, buoyed up by the glory of the Emperor.
Just as the inhabitants of a forge world are ideally shaped to enter into the ranks of the Adeptus Mechanicus, so too are those raised in these holy cities and domains are well suited to a place within the Adeptus Ministorum.
Service within the Emperor’s fighting forces is also fitting for one born on a shrine world, there being no greater mark of devotion to the Emperor than sacrificing one’s life to protect others. Some of the greatest regiments were founded on shrine worlds, known for their fervour and fearlessness. Even those that find their way into the priesthood seek out battle to prove their
devotion, acting as regimental priests or shipboard confessors.
Many shrine worlders follow in the footsteps of their patron saint. The population is also moulded by faith in the saint to which it is dedicated, and even those who do not join the Ministorum or choose religious vocations often carry the saint’s teachings with them. This can also include the saint’s venerated characteristics or legendary nature, and shrine world characters could reflect their unique saint in a particular recklessness in battle, an abiding hatred for a specific xenos, or a disdain for technology.
Shrine world rules
A character from a shrine world applies the following benefits during character creation:
- + Fellowship, + Willpower, – Perception
- fate threshold 3 (Emperor’s Blessing 6+)
- home World bonus
Faith in the Creed: Whenever a shrine world character spends a Fate point, he rolls 1d10. On a result of 1, the character’s total number of Fate points is not reduced.
- Home world aptitude
- A shrine world character starts with 7+1d5 wounds.
- Recommended backgrounds
Adeptus Administratum, Adeptus Arbites, Adeptus Ministorum, Imperial Guard
Background: Astra Telepathica
The ancient and sacred organisation vital to the survival of the Imperium and Mankind; guiding ships and transmitting information across millions of scattered worlds, they bind the Imperium with their web of minds.
“My eyes were a small price to pay for what I can now see.”
–Astropath Leto Loi
Psykers are a vital part of the Imperium, linking its worlds together, aiding its soldiers in battle, and guiding its ships across the stars. They are also dangerous, for the very gift that allows them to draw power from the Warp, that otherworldly realm that exists beneath reality, can also make them conduits for its unholy power and gateways for Daemons. An untrained psyker can bring doom upon an entire world if his abilities are not kept in check. The Imperium has a rigid structure in place to watch for any who display even a hint of psychic talent and remove them from society, usually through force. Once in custody, they are trained to serve the Emperor or, if they prove too unstable, destroyed or lobotomized for the good of Mankind. The Adeptus Astra Telepathica oversees psykers within the Imperium, scouring the galaxy for new psykers and then examining and training their catches. Those that are not worthy to live must instead serve the Emperor directly, their life energies sustaining His continued existence for one more day.
Role within the Imperium
It is the cruel jest of the psyker that even though he acts to protect the Imperium, his very existence is a threat, and his mere presence draws the attentions of the denizens within the Warp. The Imperium understands the importance of using psykers. They can be found at every level of command and on nearly every world, but psykers forever remain apart from the rest of humanity, no matter how useful they might be. Living with the constant fear of death (often at the hands of one’s allies) or the terror of daemonic possession frays all but the hardest of minds. Thus, their lives are ones of constant stress and ostracism. Only the strongest can hope to survive against years of attack from the Warp each time they attempt to use its powers.
To ensure the Imperium’s safety, the Adeptus Astra Telepathica oversees the recruitment of these dangerous individuals. Its fleet of Black Ships travel endlessly from world to world, gathering anyone who shows the taint of psychic talent to take back to Terra for testing. Only a fraction of those taken survive to serve in the Adeptus Astra Telepathica. Most are sacrificed to sustain the Emperor, perhaps the most potent psyker even known. Others fall during their training, their minds or bodies torn asunder by the creatures of the Warp, or executed should their powers prove too uncontrollable or their minds unsuitable. Only after years of rigorous schooling in the Scholastia Psykana, the Adeptus Astra Telepathica’s training facilities, are they deemed fit to serve the Imperium either among its armies or as part of the great network of Astropaths conveying messages across the stars. The cycle often repeats itself, and those psykers that become sanctioned to serve within the ranks of the Adeptus Astra Telepathica sometimes go on to work the Black Ships. Others become instructors, imparting their knowledge to new generations of psykers.
Those who do not serve the Adeptus Astra Telepathica directly find themselves fulfilling duties elsewhere, as there is always demand for sanctioned psykers. This could be fighting in Mankind’s constant wars, turning their powers against the foes of the Emperor. Alternatively, they might find relative safety ensconced in the palaces of a planetary governor, a novelty for the idle nobility as they send and receive messages for their master. No matter where they live, they are always viewed with suspicion and fear. Often, this mistrust comes most strongly from their fellow psykers, for all psykers are but one faltering mental defence away from allowing the horrors of the Warp into reality.
Adeptus Astra Telepathica characters
Psykers are in reality mutants, a divergence of the human evolutionary process into something different and often terrifying. They have lived their whole lives with this taint, while the Imperium exploits and uses their unique abilities. As conduits to the Warp, they have also lived in constant fear of possession, or of death at the hands of the terrible denizens of that unholy place. Their earlier lives may have been filled with unexplained accidents or mental breakdowns, and at some point, discovery and capture. Many do not live long enough to be discovered, destroying themselves in bursts of uncontrolled power. Untold others are never detected and culled, a constant worry within the Adeptus Astra Telepathica and the Inquisition. On Terra there is the painful process of sanctioning, where they are tested, branded, and broken to serve the will of the Emperor. Most are unfit for continued existence, and their service ends as their energies are used to fuel the Emperor’s life force and the eternal light of the Astronomican. Those remaining are admitted to the ranks of Adeptus Astra Telepathica, deemed safe and strong enough to serve the Imperium. It can be a harsh and thankless life that breeds bitterness, the psykers’ minds in constant stress and surrounded with fear and hatred. Each day can push them further from humanity and closer to the whispering promises of the Ruinous Powers.
As part of the Adeptus Astra Telepathica, psykers have numerous areas where, though they might not be welcomed, their gifts are appreciated. Astropaths provide vital services, psychically connecting worlds and voidships and allowing the Imperium to exist. They are often more than just transmitters, and act as accomplished diviners and telepaths as well. Sanctioned psykers are also employed in Imperial Guard regiments or other Imperial forces. Such lives are often short and unforgiving, ending burnt out fighting mental battles no other human can imagine, or executed for displaying any hint of possession or madness. This is the other fate that waits for most psykers, regardless of their role in the Imperium: a slow decay of the mind until the powers of the Warp consume them, and they are turned against those they once fought so hard to protect.
Though psykers dominate the bulk of this agency, there are others. Numerous unblessed humans act as warders and minders, perhaps on Terra or on the Black Ships, all watching for any signs a psyker has become a deadly threat. Worse still for psykers are their opposites: the even more unnatural psychic untouchables. These soulless humans can negate psychic energies, and their mere nearby presence can bring a psyker to his knees with intense waves of debilitating pain. No matter their role, those from the Adeptus Astra Telepathica are always seen as outside the normal ranks of humanity, and must prove themselves with every action.
Advanced package Psyker Cost 300 XP
Prerequisites: Willpower 40
The character can now purchase psychic powers by spending experience points; see Chapter VI: Psychic Powers for full rules on purchasing and using psychic powers.
A character with the Psyker elite advance can also purchase psy rating advances to increase his psy rating.
When a character purchases an advance in his psy rating, he increases his psy rating by 1. To do this, the character spends an amount of experience equal to 200 multiplied by his new psy rating value. For example, to increase a character’s psy rating from 2 to 3 would cost 600 xp (3 x 200).
Psykers are humans able to access the terrible energies of the Warp and wield powers beyond those of other beings. Some claim them to be the next stage in humanity’s evolution, a terrible curse that surely dooms it to damnation, or both. Without proper training, each might unknowingly rip apart reality in a fountain of rapacious Daemons or burn a world to bedrock, and they are rightly feared for the terrors they might unleash in a fit of weakness or insanity.
The Imperium realises both the dangers and usefulness that psykers represent, and demands each world scour its peoples for anyone showing signs of psychic abilities; those found are to be taken on the Black Ships of the Adeptus Astra Telepathica to Terra for sanctioning. The testing they undergo reveals their future.
Immediate death comes for those judged too inferior or dangerous to exist. Many become soul-fodder to the Emperor if they have power but lack control. Countless more are trained to offer their power to the Astronomican, the shining light in the Warp that allows navigation across the stars, and thousands perish each day as their souls are drained away to power the beacon. Psykers can also serve as Astropaths, their powers strengthened through soul-binding to the Emperor in a process that steals their sight forever. The most powerful and exceptional psykers might go on to become Primaris Psykers serving on battlefields across the Imperium, or even join the Adeptus Astartes as mighty Space Marine Librarians.
Some escape this net, either carefully hiding themselves away or never actively displaying their powers. Many might live out their lives never realising they are psykers, feeling only they are lucky at gambling, or able to walk through fire and death unscathed, or cursed with foul weather no matter where they travel. Inquisitors are keen judges of exceptional individuals, and might seek such a one out knowing (or even themselves not knowing) psychic abilities are present.
Becoming a psyker
Some psykers are born amidst clouds of eldritch energies, their inhuman pedigree apparent to all. Others might not manifest their powers until many years later when impossible stress triggers their mutation. Every world in the Imperium must scour its peoples for any sign of psychic activity as part of their tithes—with the Adeptus Arbites stationed there keeping careful watch for compliance—but what each world considers a sign greatly varies. Some might test for corpus buoyancy or resistance to flame, or list tales of odd occurrences in their vicinity, or any one of endless indications the world holds as certainty for psychic taint. That many die from these tests is of little concern, for a world might burn if they are lax in searching.
Learning of their own psychic abilities is enough to drive many mad, and without mental defences others quickly fall prey to the Ruinous Powers. Those who survive their sanctioning on Terra might gain protection and stability through a variety of means. Their training serves to strengthen their will, and many are also fitted with limiters or undergo psycho-surgery to help them control their abilities, lest a stray glance ignite a room or odd smell invoke a telekinetic storm. It does not make for an easy life, however, and no matter how or when it came about, a newlyemerged psyker has a lifetime of constant scrutiny and horrific threats ahead of him.
It was not until comparatively late in your youth that you set foot in a room in which the stern gaze of the God-Emperor was absent, and during your impressionable years, you were shielded by the enfolding arms of the Ministorum from much of the hardship and uncertainty so many must endure. The unyielding visage of His statues was as much a part of your upbringing as the zealous, pure faith of those closest to you. Scripture, ritual, lessons, and priestly exhortations fill your memories, rising unbidden in every quiet moment—as though the aged, white-haired clerics who taught you still remain by your shoulder in spirit, jealously guarding over your soul. All men hear the God-Emperor’s holy words if they are born under His rule, but you heard more than most before even reaching adulthood.
Effect: You gain the Unshakeable Faith Talent and a bonus of either +3 Willpower or +3 Fellowship (your choice), but you suffer –3 Weapon Skill.
Lure of the Imperium: Duty Bound
Only the ignorant believe that duty is a prison forced on others by those in power. True duty arises spontaneously from the soul, a call to service and struggle that should be neither shirked nor denied. It is your faith and your honour that impels you to places and labours far beyond the imagining of those that grub in the dirt of self-interest. Whether you serve the Aquila, strive to guide and guard the numberless masses of mankind, or serve the honour and calling of your blood, you know well the great trials and far journeys that lie ahead, and intend to see them through to the last.
Effect: Choose one of the following results and apply it to your character.
Duty to the Throne: You gain +3 Willpower and (if you meet the WP 40 prerequisite) the Armour of Contempt Talent. You suffer a –10 penalty to Interaction Skill Tests when dealing with any source outside of the Imperium (e.g., aliens and traitors).
Trials and Travails: Hand of War
The Imperium of Man is wracked by war and violence, whilst beyond its borders the strife and conflict is even worse in many regions. Not all wars, however, are equal, and you were caught
up in a bitter and terrifying campaign in which starships were left as burning hulks and cities were blasted to ruin in a vicious series of battles that saw no quarter asked or given. The war
and the enemy you fought to the death has had a profound effect on you, and to the present day, the faces of the dead haunt you still when you close your eyes. Now, you count only
those you have fought and bled with as true allies, and will never forgive your old foe. You strive hard for what you desire, for you know that death stands never more than a heartbeat away.
The Ashes of War: You gain one Weapon Training Talent of your choice, or the Leap Up
Talent, as well as the Hatred Talent against your foe in the war that defined your past. Choose from among:Orks, Eldar, mutants, Chaos worshipers, the Imperial Guard,
the Imperial Navy or void pirates.
The Face of the Enemy: You will never willingly have dealings with your sworn enemy except under the direst circumstances, and if you must do so, you suffer –10 to all Fellowship Tests in those dealings. Also, if given the slightest provocation, you will react violently towards them. (You may take a Willpower Test to avert this, modified by the provocation and the consequences of succumbing to your hatred.)
Peer (Ecclesiarchy, Common lore (Imperial Creed), +3 Willpower