Adeptus Mechanicus Jump to: navigation, search Adeptus Mechanicus

  • Form of Government Theocracy
  • Official Language Lingua Technis, High Gothic, Low Gothic
  • Capital Mars
  • Head of State Fabricator General
  • Governing Body Cult Mechanicus
  • Military Forces Skitarii/Tech-guard
  • Titan Legions
  • Legio Cybernetica
  • Ordo Reductor
  • Centurio Ordinatus
  • Establishment approx. 000 M.26.

In the fictional Warhammer 40,000 universe, the Adeptus Mechanicus is an institution of the Imperium of Man dedicated to the preservation and restoration of science and technology. As an organisation it predates the Imperium itself. Though the Adeptus Mechanicus was formally integrated into the Imperium by the Treaty of Mars almost 10,000 years before the "present" of the 41st millennium, it retains an unparalleled degree of autonomy for an Imperial institution.

Whereas nearly all the rest of the Imperium follows one of the various cults of the God-Emperor, the Adeptus Mechanicus is virtually synonymous with the Cult Mechanicus, another faith that could easily be considered heretical to the rest of the Imperium if the Adeptus was not so greatly needed for the survival of the Imperium and if the Techpriests have not proven their loyalty to the Emperor in countless ways.

The Adeptus' is important because the Imperium, despite its technologically advanced state, has a very limited knowledge of how its technology functions. This has only reinforced the view that the building and use of advanced machinery is almost as a magical or religious act, fraught with ritual and inviolable instructions. The Adeptus Mechanicus, with its inherent understanding of the Machine Spirit and the Machine God, has a near-monopoly on Standard Template Construct (STC) designs and other technological knowledge, and consequently wields a large amount of power as the main supplier and repairer of everything from farming equipment to interstellar warships.

Contents [hide] 1 History 2 The Cult Mechanicus 3 Techpriests 4 Hierarchy 4.1 Fabricator General 4.2 Magos 4.2.1 Magos Explorator 4.2.2 Magos Errant 4.3 Genetor 4.4 Logis 4.5 Artisan 4.6 Enginseers 4.7 Skitarii 4.8 Menials 4.9 Servitors 4.10 Collegia Titanicus 4.10.1 Princeps 4.10.2 Moderati 4.10.3 Tactical officer 4.11 Techmarine 5 References

[edit] History The birthplace of the Adeptus Mechanicus was the ancient Forge World Mars. Mars was colonised early in human history, and developed separately from Terra in both cultural and technological lines. The arid surface of Mars was terraformed, and under a man made atmosphere the colony flourished.

During the Golden (dark) Age of technology, the two empires of Terra(Earth) and Mars co-existed, to the mutual benefit of both. At the height of its splendour during the Golden Age, and even later in the anarchic Age of Strife, Mars dispatched hundreds of colony fleets into the void. Many perished in the terrible Warp Storms that engulfed the galaxy at that time, but others survived. Those who did founded new worlds in the name of the Machine God and built on them a likeness of the great factories and Temples of their distant homeworld.

The Age of Strife brought an end to the glory and peace of the human domains. Across the galaxy mankind suddenly turned upon itself as a new breed of warp attuned humans emerged. Civil war engulfed thousands of human worlds, even the twin Empires of Terra and Mars.

On Mars many warring factions vied for power, and a brutal war was waged using arcane and unimaginably destructive weaponry. The carefully constructed atmosphere was burned away, and once more the surface was exposed to the deadly radiations of the Sun. The terraformed environment, which had teemed with life, was rendered barren again. The combatants now fought in the same red hued wastelands that the first colonists had found. Much of the population retreated underground, as any who were not equipped with a radiation suit could not long survive on the surface.

The Adeptus Mechanicus has not always proven itself 100% loyal to the Imperium. During the Horus Heresy many Adeptus Mechanicus units declared for the Warmaster Horus and fought against those still loyal to the Emperor. The Fabricator General himself sided with the Warmaster but his deputy remained loyal. Horus swayed the Fabricator with STC from the planet of Drakonis Three Eleven promising much in return for his allegiance.

[edit] The Cult Mechanicus The Cult Mechanicus believes knowledge to be the manifestation of divinity, and holds that anything embodying or containing knowledge is holy because of it. The supreme object of devotion is therefore the omniscient Machine God (also known as the Deus Mechanicus or Omnissiah), an immanent and omnipotent spirit governing machinery and knowledge. Generally, this deity is held to be either subordinate to or an aspect of the God-Emperor (or, most commonly within the Cult itself, both are held to be aspects or faces of the same being), although there is a small and secret splinter sect known as the Cult of the Dragon which worships the C'tan known as the Dragon as the Omnissiah instead. The Omnissiah is believed to be friendly to humanity, and to be the originator of all human technological and scientific knowledge.

Subservient to the Omnissiah are the Machine Spirits, who are believed to inhabit all machinery and which must be appeased, lest the machinery fail. Belief in machine spirits cause the Adeptus and others they instruct to make frequent prayers, offerings and so on to their machinery and show it inordinate amounts of respect, an approach similar to that of the Scientism religion in Isaac Asimov's Foundation series.

Some believe that these actions, in turn, cause the machines to break less often since they are not mistreated and damaged with careless use, creating a self reinforcing system. However, with the ability for Techpriests to repaire tanks mid-battle with more prayers/rites than actual mechanical application, it seems that divine intervention plays an important role. The ritualized process and the worshipping of the machines leads to slower production as every bit of equipment must be inspected and "purified" to Imperial standards.

Research is also slowed to an almost nonexistent rate, because much of the old technology is lost and a complete STC unit has not yet been discovered. Another downfall of this is many blueprints for older technology (the Dreadnought, for example) are lost.

The ultimate goal of the Cult Mechanicus is to understand the Omnissiah. The communal and personal attempt at this is known as the Quest for Knowledge, and followers view this endeavour as paramount and more important than any other concern. Generally, the Quest is pursued by scientific and exploratory endeavour. The Cult believes that all knowledge already exists, and it is primarily a matter of time before it can be gathered together to complete the Quest. It is therefore disinclined to perform much original research, and considers it more important to safeguard that which it has already accrued and gather more by searching for STC templates and the like. Some original research does happen, although the results of such endeavours are strictly quarantined for many years before being disseminated publicly.

In the Quest for Knowledge, members are guided by the Sixteen Universal Laws. According to Gavin Thorpe, a prominent member of the Games Workshop design studio, the sixteen laws, or "lores" are as follows:

The MysteriesEdit

  • 01. Life is directed motion.
  • 02. The spirit is the spark of life.
  • 03. Sentience is the ability to learn the value of knowledge.
  • 04. Intellect is the understanding of knowledge.
  • 05. Sentience is the basest form of Intellect.
  • 06. Understanding is the True Path to Comprehension.
  • 07. Comprehension is the key to all things.
  • 08. The Omnissiah knows all, comprehends all.

The warningsEdit

  • 09. The alien mechanism is a perversion of the true path.
  • 10. The soul is the conscience of sentience.
  • 11. A soul can be bestowed only by the Omnissiah.
  • 12. The Soulless sentience is the enemy of all.
  • 13. The knowledge of the ancients stands beyond question.
  • 14. The machine spirit guards the knowledge of the ancients.
  • 15. Flesh is fallible, but ritual honours the machine spirit.
  • 16. To break with ritual is to break with faith.

There are numerous factions within the Adeptus Mechanicus, including the Khamrians, who pursue the forbidden science of artificial, or "abominable" intelligence; the Omnissiads, who seek to summon the Machine God into an avatar; and the Organicists, who see biological enhancement as equal to the more common cybernetic enhancements for which the Tech-Adepts are known. Some are accepted, others persecuted as heretics.

The part of the Adeptus Mechanicus that split off during the Horus Heresy is called the Dark Mechanicus. These Chaos-worshipping Magi seek to combine the power of the Warp with that of the Machine in the name of Chaos. They are also responsible for constructing the majority of war-machines for the legions of Chaos. Such creations include the Blood Pact Stalk tank or Helltalon fighter-bomber.

[edit] Techpriests

Magos Explorator Delphan Gruss. Augmentations include mechadendrites, bionic arms with breacher drill "hand" and bionic head and eyes (covered in rebreather mask).Any member of the Cult Mechanicus over the rank of menial will often be referred to as a techpriest, though Magi and higher ranks are usually referred to by rank. Techpriests can usually be recognised by their clothing, which unless their work requires otherwise will usually be robes of rust-red or black coloration, and by their cyborg nature. The amount of augmentation found in a techpriest is highly dependent on rank within the Cult; a novice may have only one or two augmetic systems, if any, while very senior members may have only a few biological organs left in their bodies at all. Common augmentations include:

Bionic limbs and organs, which may replace the originals because of an accident or simply because of improved operation or special needs the techpriest may have in his work. Bionic eyes, which often allow a techpriest to see beyond the normal spectrum of human vision or boost light input to allow night vision and similar functions, zoom in/magnify an image and so on. Mechadendrites, mechanical tentacles that attach to spine, limbs or similar locations to afford the techpriest greater mobility, lifting and manipulation capabilities, easy interface with much other machinery and, in many cases, a handy weapon in a fight. Larger mechadendrites can often extrude a monomolecular blade or simply be used as a blunt instrument or to throw projectiles, in the manner of their most likely inspiration, Doctor Octopus. Autosanguination, a process by which all blood is removed and replaced with a more efficient substitute, allowing easier healing of wounds and such. Electoos, metal circuits embedded in the skin of techpriests to allow them to channel electricity. These can be used in combat, or to revive a recalcitrant machine spirit. Those who specialise in the use of these and become essentially a human electric generator are known as electro-priests or Luminen. Electro-grafts, which are similar to electoos in that they are electric circuits embedded in the skin, but are distinct in their purpose. Electro-grafts serve to interface the tech-priest with machinery, particularly sources of data. Given the right data-sources, a techpriest with electro-grafts can acquire many skills and much specialist knowledge instantly. One example of these are pilots from the planet Glavia who have Electro-grafts in the skin of their hands to enable them to interface with their ships with much greater efficiency. Vox-casters and voice-synthesizers, which often replace the normal speech organs of more senior tech-priests. The quality of the synthesized voice is highly variable, from stilted and unnatural voices only as good as or worse than today's standard to voices that sound almost entirely natural. The techpriests themselves generally don't seem to care which as long as they are understood. The benefits of this process are not clear. More uncommon but still occasionally practised augmentations include the:

Mind Impulse Unit (MIU), a direct link between a human brain and a larger piece of external machinery allowing control by thought alone as if the machinery was a part of the human's body. These are most commonly found in massive vessels such as Titans and starships, and very rare in a normal techpriest. Some techpriests may use one to control a shoulder-mounted weapon or similar devices. Binary cortex, an operation in which the brains of two techpriests are joined in one body. Usually used only when two tech-priests study the same subject and otherwise align very well in their thinking. Rite of Pure Thought, an operation which replaces the brain's creative, emotional right half with a cogitator (computer). This frees the techpriest of any remaining emotion. However, this procedure is considered somewhat extreme even among the usually non-squeamish techpriests.


The Cult Mechanicus is ordered in a strong hierarchy, but details on this hierarchy are not always clear. Generally, more highly positioned techpriests are expected to have more seniority and knowledge than lower ones, and are consequently more important as greater repositories of knowledge. A tentative mapping of this hierarchy, in order from highest to lowest, will follow below. It should be noted that specialists such as genetors and logis may not have any specific rank within the Cult as a group, but rather be ranked as individuals. Titan crews are listed last not because of their position, but because of their relative separation from the Cult.

Fabricator GeneralEdit

The Fabricator General is the highest-ranking individual within the Cult Mechanicus, and runs not only the Adeptus Mechanicus but also the planet of Mars itself. As befits his position, the Fabricator-General has a permanent seat on the council that runs the Imperium, known as the High Lords of Terra. Some players claim that this title is not unique, however, and that Fabricator General is the rank held of someone who is in charge of any Forge World, as seen in Fanatic Magazine 5, and on the Specialist Games website under the Inquisitor article "Explorator Warbands", and that the position as High Lord is only for the Fabricator General of Mars.


A Magos is a master of technological discipline, having devoted many years of service to the Omnissiah. There are many specialist divisions known as Divisios. Magi from these are given a rank containing the specialisation of their Divisio, such as Magos Alchemys, Magos Biologis, Magos Technicus, Magos Extremis, Magos Xenologis, Magos Lexmechanicus, Magos Orbologis, Magos Cybernetica, Magos Xenobiologis, Magos Astrologicus, Magos Digitalis, Magos Fabricator, Magos Genetus, Magos Physic, and possibly many more.

There are two higher ranks that are variations of Magos, being Archmagos and Archmagos Veneratus. It is not known what specifically differentiates between any of these.

Magos ExploratorEdit

Obsessed with the quest for knowledge, the techpriests known as Magos Explorator search high and low across the known galaxy for lost Standard Template Constructs and ancient knowledge. A breed apart from regular techpriests, any Explorator or member of his team will willingly walk into forgotten catacombs, even at risk of death, for mere snippets of long-forgotten knowledge.

Magos ErrantEdit

Something of a jack of all trades, a Magos Errant studies several disciplines, including chemistry, genetics, metallurgy and more. They are then attached to Rogue Trader fleets and other similar expeditions by treaty. In return for Adeptus Mechanicus expertise in maintenance, the magos is allowed to study interesting sites the expedition comes near, transport sensitive materials and generally make use of the expedition's resources.


Basically genetic scientists, the Genetors are typically found accompanying expeditions to new or rediscovered worlds to sample new DNA or to introduce common Imperial animals to the ecosystem.


The accountants of the Mechanicus, the Logis are statisticians, analysts and logisticians. They can accurately predict almost anything with very small margins of error, making them extremely useful to anyone with an artillery piece. Considered prophetic by some, the Logis are also very good at predicting future trends and forecasts.


Artisans are exactly what the name implies; they build and design things for various purposes, from agriculture to war. Usually found with an entourage of Servitors, these adepts command labour forces of them that could rival small armies.


Enginseers are techpriests specially trained in caring for and repairing all manner of machine-spirits. They perform the more demanding maintenance tasks of the Cult Mechanicus and are often seconded to the Imperial Guard in order to maintain and repair the vehicles of the Guard. Although most Guardsmen revere their vehicles enough not to risk annoying an Enginseer through 'tinkering', some unique vehicles have been created from spare parts in time of need - much to the chagrin of the present Enginseers. Among their fellow Techpriests, Enginseers are afforded little respect, as their labours do not normally contribute to the Quest for Knowledge very much. Rather they are viewed as lowly but essential cogs in the great machine that is the Cult. Most techpriests wear robes and have mechanical arms attached to their back in order to help them in repairs. Techpriests also carry around axes, which are used as huge wrenches and as close combat weapons.


The fighting forces of the Adeptus Mechanicus, the Skitarii regiments that go to war along with Titans are equipped with various esoteric weapons of war. Part man and part machine, most Skitarii are linked to their personal weapon for increased performance. Skitarii are born into service, training with their weapon until they are of the age to be sent to a warzone. To guarantee their undying loyalty to the Mechanicus they usually undergo various forms of psychosurgery to wipe their minds of emotion and personality. Skitarii can be represented in the game by using Imperial Guard regiment rules with a focus on Doctrines and equipment that would be appropriate to a cybernetic army, and are often referred to as "Tech-Guard" in the fiction. The actual name is another example of the "Roman" influence in Imperial culture, as Skitarii in ancient Rome were warriors who used a round wooden shield called a "Skitum".


As their name suggests, Menials are menial labourers, used primarily for unskilled labour too complex for servitors to economically perform. Menials are not considered techpriests, but are usually inducted with the beliefs of the Cult Mechanicus in a simplified form. Skitarii and to some extent techpriests are recruited from the ranks of menials.


Servitors are menial laborers of the Tech-Priests, designed to perform tasks deemed too low for even the youngest adepts. They are mindless cyborgs that have to be programmed for tasks, after which they obey it to the letter and to the exclusion of everything else, including their own safety. There exists an endless variety of Servitors, from beasts of burden to heavy-weapon carriers.

Their biological frames are obtained either by cultivating bodies artificially in culture vats, or by using the lobotomised bodies of condemned criminals - all are subsequently augmented with mechanical limbs, computer uplink jacks and whatever accessories deemed necessary to facilitate their ordained tasks. As they cannot think for themselves, they are essentially living robots which use a human brain as their CPU.

Some servitors can have combat programs installed which enable them to function as unswervingly-loyal bodyguards. In the battlefields of the game, they form part of the retinues of Tech-priests, Techmarines and Inquisitors. These are seen on tabletop battlefields as Gun-Servitors, bearing heavy weaponry; Combat-Servitors, armed with close-quarters combat equipment; and Technical Servitors, which are intended to perform repairs instead of fighting.

Collegia TitanicusEdit

The Collegia Titanicus is the section of the Adeptus Mechanius that includes the Imperial Titans - colossal mecha. The Collegia was one of the groups of the Adeptus Mechanicus that went over to the traitor Warmaster Horus almost en masse alongside the Legio Cybernetica. The name "Adeptus Titanicus" is also used for the Titans.

The Collegia is divided into divisions, such as Divisio Mandati, Divisio Telepathica and Division Investigatus. Most important of these is the Ordo Militaris being the one that actually includes the Battle Titans, and is itself further divided into the Titan Legions: groupings of Titans such the traitor "Death's Head" legion, "Fire Wasps" legion or "War Griffons" legion. Each Legion is headed by a "Grandmaster".

Each Titan is manned by a crew consisting of a single Princeps in command, assisted by Moderati, Tactical Officer, Chief Engineer, an engineering crew, and Servitors. The number of each is dependent on the type of Titan.


Princeps training begins at an early age and ends with eight years at the Collegiate Titanicus. The cadets receive their uniforms and cybernetic implants in the final year, before field-training starts with an attachment to a currently-operating Titan for observational tours.

A Princeps commands his Titan through the "MIU link" to the Titan's "machine spirit", controlling both his crew's actions and the Titan's movements through his thoughts. The Titan becomes an extension of him; when damaged, he feels pain, when victorious, he feels elation. This link grows so strong that his mental health will slowly deteriorate when unlinked. He can assume direct control of any system, though it is usually aiming and fire control that is taken. Regardless, Titans must have both Princeps and crew to function.

The Princeps' relation to the Titan is similar to that of a Space Marine within a Dreadnought, however Titans eventually form their own minds from centuries of experience. The link in some cases gets so strong that the Princeps becomes physically-integrated into the Titan, and cannot be removed until he dies.

A Princeps who commands a unit of Titans is a "Princeps Maximus", though Titans are rarely fielded in whole units in games of Epic.


The command crew that take the Princeps's orders and act on them, monitoring the auspices and scanners, firing the weapons and making sure all systems are functioning normally. Although they have similar links to the Titan as the Princeps, they cannot assume command nor can they interface with the Princeps's neural link.

Tactical officerEdit

The third member of the bridge crew, the Tactical Officer controls and monitors all sensory inputs of a Titan, from the aural sensors to the simple visual inputs. It is also his job to spot and acquire targets for the Moderati (or Princeps) to engage. They also deal with communication, decrypting or relaying messages to the Princeps' screen as necessary.


Techmarines are chosen from the ranks of the Space Marine Chapters for their fascination with technology. They are sent to Mars for their training and when they come back they serve the same roles as Enginseers, but for their Chapter, although they are not directly connected with the Adeptus Mechanicus (though they are often considered "honorary members" of the Adeptus Mechanicus by both their Chapter and the Adeptus Mechanicus itself). Their armour is modified to accommodate their cybernetic enhancements and their back packs are upgraded with several servo arms. Their armour is painted the red rust of the Adeptus Mechanicus, but their Chapter badge is retained and displayed on one of the shoulder guards, so as not to anger the armour's machine spirit. Techmarines are able to wear full servo harnesses, huge harnesses armed with servo arms, plasma cutters, and flamers. Techmarines can also be accompanied by a full retinue of servitors; gun servitors, combat servitors, and tech servitors. They are given an axe with the Adeptus Mechanicus symbol on the head.

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