Homeworld: Shrine World

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 withinthe 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.

Sample shrine world: Ossuar
Located in the Pollom System, the Creed of Remembrance rules Ossuar in the name of the Ecclesiarchy. A mausoleum covers much of the main continent, where several of the blessed saints who helped found Askellon are laid to rest in archaeotech stasis chambers. Flocks of attendants labour constantly here, the idea of the saints becoming exposed to time too horrible to contemplate.
Many more oil the gleaming statuary and herd the many millions of faithful through the labyrinthine walkways. After spending years to reach the planet, many pilgrims perish in the additional years travelling from the outskirts to the sanctified remains within.

Shrine world rules
A character from a shrine world applies the following benefits during character creation:
Characteristic modifiers

  • 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