“++No Secutor, you may not move++ Even now conduction filaments are piercing your neural systems and unworthy flesh++ So they sent you to find me, did they?++ To carry out the Omnissiah’s judgment on me? ++ Well you found me —or more accurately I
found you, foolish puppet of meat and iron ++ Well, now you will dance on my strings not theirs ++ Ah yes, your last paltry defences fall++ In a way I envy you; in a moment you will experience the most exquisite of agonies as I rip apart and overwrite your synapses one-by-one, it should be quite the experience++ Now Secutor, open wide, Here…I… Am.”
–Cognitive data-chain forensically recovered from Secutor Rho–456-0, aftermath of the destruction of Forge-Control Lathe-Het Delta-9
The strictures and dictates of the Adeptus Mechanicus are many and harsh; they form a labyrinthine and iron-clad code that defines every aspect of the lives of the Omnissiah’s
priesthood, their outlook and practices. Their purpose is as simple as it is unwavering: to control and regulate knowledge and its use, stifle innovation, and above all maintain the Machine Cult’s stranglehold on the Imperium’s technology. To become a Heretek Savant by that phrase’s purest definition is to abandon this code, at least in the Tech-Priest’s private thoughts. It is to embrace individual innovation, experimentation, and free will and stray from the path ordained by the teachings of the Archmagos Doctrinal.
For a Tech-Priest to do so is every bit as rare, as radical and heretical as a Confessor of the Ministorum straying away from the Imperial creed, and the consequences for those that do stray, should their deviation be discovered, is every bit as harsh. Although rather than a pyre, Heretek Savants can look forward to having their implants ripped bodily from them while alive and whatever meat that remains useful recycled into servitor components to pay for their sins.
Heretek Savants can come to their renegade position for a variety of reasons, the most common of which are to do with the simple exercising of their free will away from the
structured environments of the Machine God’s domains. Such tech-heresy is particularly prevalent among those Tech-Priests who serve in the Explorator cadres or are assigned to the Inquisition’s service. The consequences of self-reliance and forced adaptation in the field away from help can affirm the Omnissian faith for some Tech-Priests, but for others it can lead them increasingly to question and to innovate in order to overcome adversity and seek their own answers. Others come to tech-heresy for darker reasons, such as personal ambition and the obsessive quest for power and knowledge which
will allow them no respite and lead them to increasingly rail against the narrow confines of the Cult Mechanicus’ approved technologies and patterns. Regardless, the path of tech-heresy is a dangerous one and as perilous in its way as tampering 45 with the powers of the warp. Exposure to the artefacts and lore of the alien and the sins of humanity’s ancient past can be every bit as corrupting, both for the body and soul.
Secrecy is as vital for Heretek Savants as for any other whose knowledge and actions would condemn them in the eyes of the Imperium because discovery will lead to sanction and destruction by the power of the Cult Mechanicus. This usually leads to a slow distancing of themselves from their fellows in the Mechanicus and a deep-seated paranoia of discovery. As a result Heretek Savants rapidly gain a merciless and suspicious streak centred on their own self-preservation, increasingly favour implanting (often heretical) weaponry and defensive systems into their own bodies, and will stop at
nothing in the service of the quest for knowledge.
Becoming a Heretek Savant
Becoming a Heretek Savant is a matter of choice and opportunity rather than induction into a secret cult or service to a master, and all that is needed is for the Tech-Priest to
turn his back on the sacred doctrines of the Omnissiah and have the will to do so. From this point on, they risk censure and destruction by the Cult Mechanicus if their heresies are discovered, and while there is nothing to stop them furthering their rank and position in the Adeptus Mechanicus, they are forever more false of heart and must remain eternally vigilant.
Breaking from the engramitically reinforced strictures and cortical routines of obedience to the Omnissiah’s dictates is a profoundly disturbing experience, and this revelatory shock inflicts 1d5 Insanity Points on the Tech-Priest when this Career Rank is first taken.
Heretek Talents: This career gives access to several additional Tech-Priest only Talents, however the technologies used for them are considered heretical and forbidden by the
Cult Mechanicus. Discovery of them by close examination, or their perceived use by other Tech-Priests might well lead to trouble.
Required Career: Tech-Priest.
Alternate Rank: Rank 6 or higher (6,000 xp).
Other Requirements: WP 35+, at least one Forbidden Lore Skill.
Advance Cost Type Prerequisites
Forbidden Lore (Archeotech) 100 S —
Forbidden Lore (Archeotech) +10 200 S Forbidden Lore (Archeotech)
Forbidden Lore (Archeotech) +20 300 S Forbidden Lore (Archeotech) +10
Forbidden Lore (Adeptus Mechanicus) 100 S —
Forbidden Lore (Adeptus Mechanicus) +10 200 S Forbidden Lore (Adeptus
Forbidden Lore (Adeptus Mechanicus) +20 300 S Forbidden Lore (Adeptus
Forbidden Lore (Warp) 100 S —
Exotic Weapon Training (choose one) 100 T —
Exotic Weapon Training (choose one) 100 T —
Exotic Weapon Training (choose one) 100 T —
Forbidden Lore (Warp) +10 200 S Forbidden Lore (Warp)
Forbidden Lore (Warp) +20 300 S Forbidden Lore (Warp) +10
Forbidden Lore (Psykers) 100 S —
Forbidden Lore (Psykers) +10 200 S Forbidden Lore (Psykers)
Forbidden Lore (Psykers) +20 300 S Forbidden Lore (Psykers) +10
Forbidden Lore (Xenos) 200 S —
Forbidden Lore (Xenos) +10 200 S Forbidden Lore (Xenos)
Forbidden Lore (Xenos) +20 300 S Forbidden Lore (Xenos) +10
Nightmare Field 300 T Tech-Priest
Anima Aura 400 T Tech-Priest
Aetheric Resonator 500 T Tech-Priest
Heretek Savant Talents
Prerequisites: Tech-Priest (Potentia Coil)
You have integrated the forbidden principles of the vile Sarcosan Wave Generator into your augmetic systems, allowing you to generate a field of energy that can keep what remains of your flesh animate even after it has been damaged or necrotised. By spending a Half Action you may activate the Anima Aura. The aura last for a number of Rounds equal 1d10 plus your Toughness Bonus. For as long as the Anima Aura is active, you have the Stuff of Nightmares Trait (see page 332 of the Dark Heresy Rulebook). While active, the aura also creates discordant moaning like the keening of damned souls. Each time you use this Talent you gain 1d5 Insanity Points and a level of Fatigue.
Prerequisites: Tech-Priest (Potentia Coil/Cranial Circuitry)
You have integrated strange arcane devices into the field generation capabilities of your Potentia Coil and Cranial Circuitry. These proscribed augmentations allow you to produce a mixture of subharmonic and electromagnetic interference patterns that generate a primal terror that you can taste and tune through your Cranial Circuitry. By
spending a Half Action, you may produce an effect which is the same as that of the Terrify Psychic Power (see page 180 of the Dark Heresy Rulebook) but with no power roll, psychic phenomena or possible Overbleed. The effects of the Nightmare Field are not psychic and so will not be affected by rules which govern psychic powers. When the field is activated, it makes a noise like an unearthly shrieking. Each time you use this Talent you gain 1d5 Insanity Points and a level of Fatigue.
Prerequisites: Tech-Priest (Potentia Coil/Electoo Conductor)
You can use the power of your Potentia Coil to power a hidden lattice of techno-arcane circuitry wards which create a resonant aetheric disruption field that can bar the passage of the warp energies and blunt psychic force directed against you—but not without risk of dangerous feedback contamination. The field is triggered by passing a Difficult (–10) Toughness Test and can be kept active for up to your Toughness Bonus in combat Rounds before it must re-activated again. If the Test is failed, the Tech-Priest suffers a level of Fatigue; if it is passed, the field is successfully charged and the Tech-Priest’s body and any armour he is wearing counts as being Hexagrammically Warded (see page 189 of The Inquisit or’s Handbook). Additionally, at the end of every combat Round the Resonator is active roll 1d10; on a roll of a ‘9’ you suffer 1d5 Corruption Points from the twisting energies of the warp bleeding into your body and mind.