The Sepulchrites are a reclusive cult of talented and zealous individuals who have made it their life's work to find, document, study and protect items of religious or spiritual significance. Their aggressively direct methods often bring them into conflict with other loyalist factions including the Ecclesiarchy themselves, and their habit of picking battlegrounds clean of potential religious paraphernalia has earned them a reputation of being grave robbers and thieves.
The cult began in M36 on Tanta, the spiritual capital of the Onus Region. This time was the Age of Apostasy, a time when the Imperium was awash with internal strife from the mad ruler Goge Vandire, and the Onus Region was on the brink of collapsing on itself from bloody religious wars. One such war was over the religious capital of the region - Tanta had been the seat of the Ecclesiarchy Synod for thousands of years, but orders from the High Lords of Terra were to move it to Mulier.
In an effort to quell the impending violence the Onus Arch-Deacon, who is in charge of taxation and administration of the sector, issued a number of edicts slowing, stifling or otherwise prohibiting the trade or transportation of officially ordained relics outside of Mulier. His plan was to starve Tanta of its pilgrims and redirect them to Mulier, cashing in on pilgrim coin from all the relics on show.
The Onus Cardinal, the one in charge of the religious work and worship of the sector, believed that the spiritual centre of the sector should remain at the site of greatest religious significance to the people - Tanta. If he tried to force the Arch-Deacon’s hand it would have resulted in years of violence and millions dead and, ultimately, the loss of Tanta. No matter how wrong the decision was, the Arch-Deacon ultimately had the backing of the Imperium behind him.
So, in secret, the Cardinal gathered a handful of his most trusted, able and loyal servants to undertake a dangerous quest. They were to secure holy relics in the name of the Emperor, but in doing so would distance themselves from the Church and potentially damning themselves in the eyes of the Arch-Deacon. They operated in a slim remit - the Arch-Deacon’s edicts prohibited the acquisition and transportation of officially ordained relics, the Cardinal issued an edict allowing the acquisition and transportation of non-ordained items and relics. Their job was to acquire anything from anywhere they personally deemed to have religious significance and to keep these items safe for as long as needed until Ecclesiarchy ordainers could visit the relics to ascertain their official religious merit.
Although this might take years for this to happen, they were within their legal right to obtain items before they became officially holy. Ordaining them on-site subverted the transportation laws, and the relics could remain on Tanta. The Cardinal’s servants, now called the Sepulchrites, walked a thin legal line between illumination and excommunication.
Today, although the violent conflict between Mulier and Tanta has abated, many of these restrictive edicts still exist, and the Sepulchrites go about their covert dirty work in the name of the Emperor. They recruit from all members of the church from any background - anyone who displays zeal for the protection or preservation of relics or those with particular skillsets required for the liberation of suspected items of religious interest.
Some are proficient rabble-rousers who excel at whipping pilgrims into a religious frenzy to storm facilities accused of withholding relics, whereas some are talented explorers and adventurers who spend their days probing ancient ruins or picking their way across long-forgotten battlefields.
Although they are more accepted than they were during the Age of Apostasy, they still have a reputation of being carrion-pickers and petty thieves, and they content themselves by withdrawing to isolated well-protected cathedrals and fortress-monasteries far away from the general population. They keep to themselves and although the Ecclesiarchy officially frowns on their cavalier antics, they turn a blind eye so long as the relic-hungry pilgrim coin keeps flowing into their coffers.
Relics and secrets
Recommended homeworlds Edit
Sepulchrites are recruited from men and women of the Ecclesiarchy who show a zeal for finding or defending items of particular religious significance, and as such can be from any homeworld. For characters who want strong ties to the cult, the Sepulchrites presence is greatest on Frore (Hive World) and Daphnia (Imperial World), with their headquarters being on Tanta (Shrine World).
Recommended background packages Edit
Sepulchrites can be anything from daring adventurers who explore xeno ruins to masterful orators who draw crowds of zealous pilgrims to reclaim holy relics. An interesting choice would be Penitent or Heretical Sect (RH), representing a Sepulchrite who had an extremely close call with a holy relic that turned out to be a warp artifact. For Sepulchrites whose dealings have brought them into proximity with Xenos, the Cold Trader (BoJ) package would represent a suitably adventurous cultist.
Recommended alternate career ranks Edit
For the more independent adventuring cultist, Suffering Marshall (BoJ) would be appropriate.The Redemptionist (BoM) would be a suitable career for the Sepulchrite who is not subtle about what they want and when they want it.