The Adeptus Ministorum is not formally part of the Adeptus Terra. Rather it is a sister organization which works hand-in-glove with the servants of Earth. The Adeptus Ministorum derives its power and authority from the common belief in the Emperor’s divinity. Also known as the Ecclesiarchy, after its chief high priest, the Ecclesiarch, the Adeptus Ministorum is vast and powerful. Its duty is to guide and interpret the innumerable ways that humanity has found to worship the Emperor, shepherding the myriad worlds of man along the unsteady path that lies between heresy and true devotion. Whole worlds lie within its administration and on many others still they are the most powerful Imperial institution.
Like the Administratum, the Ecclesiarchy is a complex and byzantine organisation. A bewildering hierarchy of priests, confessors, cardinals, novices, clerics, bishops and missionaries all owe fealty to the Ecclesiarch in his palace on Earth. Just as varied are the various roles within the Ministorum, from wandering missionaries, to charismatic preachers and theosophical scholars. Two of the most famous institutions within the Adeptus Ministorum are the training orphanages of the Schola Progenium and the battle-sisters of the Adepta Sororitas.
- 1 The Calixis Sector
- 2 Calixian Cults
- 3 Calixian Saints
- 4 Holy Days
- 5 Adepts, Clerics and Missionaries
- 6 Noble Houses and Ministorum
- 7 Pilgrim Coin and Church Tithes
- 8 In the Name of the Saint
- 9 War of the Empty Cathedrals
- 10 Expansion and the Margin Crusade
- 11 War with the Faithless
- 12 Unique Equipment
The Calixis Sector
“I believe there can be no dispute that the Calixis Sector is the rightful domain of the God-Emperor; these are His worlds and His people. We are merely his voice and the chosen interpreters of His will; but make no mistake; the authority we command is in no way diminished by this, our humble role.”
–Arch-Cardinal Ignato in an address to the Lucid Court
From the moment Solomon Haarlock first set foot upon the worlds of the Calyx Expanse, the Ministorum has had a presence within the sector. From fledgling settlements to sprawling hive worlds, the Ministorum makes its presence felt wherever the Imperium’s shadow falls and is as much a power within the sector as any other arm of the Adepta Imperialis. In fact given the presence of Saint Drusus, and the focus he draws to the Calixis Sector, on many worlds the power and influence of the church far outweighs that of either the Administratum or the direct control of Sector Lord Hax. More insidious still, the Ministorum has roots reaching into almost every facet of the sector and agents, allies and sympathizers in many of its most powerful organizations (a degree of influence and favor rivalled only by the Holy Ordos themselves). It is little wonder then that within the Calixis Sector the leaders, interests, and rivals of the Ministorum have a significant impact on the fate of its worlds and its people.
The Ministorum is a powerful force in the Calixis Sector. The area is sacred to Saint Drusus and is a destination for pilgrims from many sectors around, with many of its most notable places being religious in nature. Arch-Cardinal Ignato is energetic in keeping up the numbers of preachers and confessors active in the sector and these promulgators of the Imperial word are the most common adepts by far on most of the sector’s worlds.
Every sub-sector has their own Arch-Dioceses, ruled by a cardinal and these form the Sector Synod, headed by Ignato, which rules on spiritual matters affecting the Calixis Sector. Pious, Emperor-fearing citizens abound and pronouncements by Ignato or the Synod can be disseminated by the clergy and reach the ears of the average citizen far more effectively than through any other means. The majority of citizens perform some act of worship regularly, from trudging along to a dingy temple once a month to nightly prayers in a noble’s private chapel.
Most permanent places of worship are home to a member of the Ecclesiarchy, which means that the Ecclesiarchy’s adepts are numerous and strongly connected to the population in a way that no other adepts are. On worlds where adepts are lacking (such as Sepheris Secundus) much of the day-to-day preaching is done by lay clergy, pious individuals trained and deployed by Ecclesiarchy adepts to spread the word in places where even a devoted preacher baulks to tread. While there are few places in the Calixis Sector where the Emperor’s word is not preached, the scattered nature of the adepts and the use of lay clergy mean that strict dogma is not always observed.
Sometimes the teaching of the Imperial Creed can drift away from the Ecclesiarchical line. On Sepheris Secundus, for example, the barons and the queen are sometimes portrayed as sacred beings imbued with the Emperor’s power by lay preachers who grew up in the planet’s feudal system. On Iocanthos, mercenaries pay fealty to the Emperor as paymaster, while in Scintilla’s underhives, countless versions of the Emperor are worshipped, from a fearsome god of destruction appeased with murder to the spirit of the hives themselves. While the Imperial creed reaches everywhere in the Calixis Sector, in truth Ignato and the other cardinals of the Sector Synod often have to strive hard to maintain orthodoxy there.
Within the Calixis Sector, the Scintillan Cult is considered to hold the greatest sway over the hearts and minds of the people. This is not only because of its vast wealth and close access to the governance of the sector, but also because its many Chantries train and produce an army of confessors and preachers, all faithful to its doctrines, who travel throughout the sector to tend and shepherd the faithful. Historically these men and women have been considerably active in admonishing and sometimes crushing any opposition to their interpretation of the Imperial Creed.
The Scintillan Cult is not without competition, however. The firebrand oratory and crusading zeal of the Redemptionist movement grows apace on several worlds, not least of all on Scintilla itself. Meanwhile on many other worlds, local myths and interpretations of the faith still hold sway. This holdover of local beliefs is most particularly evident on the influential shrine world of Maccabeus Quintus where the controlling ascetic sect’s beliefs differ markedly in practice from their Scintillan brethren. Thanks in part to distance and to the Maccabeans’ disinterest in “worldly” affairs beyond their immediate borders (plus some powerful connections, including in the Ordo Malleus), relations between Maccabeus and the Scintillan Cult remain cool but civil, and no overt conflict of faith has broken out... yet.
The Sector Synod and its cardinals are only a part of the Ministorum’s presence within the Calixis Sector and there are many other layers of leadership, synods and cults stretching all the way down to the average Imperial citizen. While not common, several other Calixian worlds do have officials recognized by the Ministorum as cardinals.
Most shrine worlds for example are traditionally governed by a cardinal; such as on the Piety of Seth where Cardinal Praetus Catullas Halaby also bears the mantle of planetary governor. Each world is also often its own synod or cult; its own microcosm of the Ministorum linked in to the greater Ecclesiarchy and the Sector Synod by the cardinal of its Arch-Diocese. This is where the true power of the church lies and where it deals with day-to-day issues; often without word ever reaching the ears of Ignato and his council of cardinals.
For this reason, whenever a member of the Ecclesiarchy visits a new world, it is tradition that they introduce themselves to the governing Ministorum cult and its leading officials---even if this only done through correspondence or intermediaries and not face-to-face. This is an important act within the Ministorum, as it is considered good form to defer matters of local faith to the reigning hierophant, bishop or cardinal and not overly meddle in their affairs. The theory is that the church remains strong though the leadership of its local priests and their knowledge and control over the hearts and minds of their followers, and a System Synod will always know best how to further the interests of the Ministorum within its diocese. For the most part this concept, coupled with the distance between worlds and sub-sectors, has allowed the church to take a firm hold within the Calixis Sector where the sole governance of a far away ruling body would have only managed a weak grasp on distant worlds.
Of course, the strength of the System Synods and their leadership is a double-edged sword. While on the one hand it allows the Ministorum to dominate planets far beyond the easy reach of the core worlds, it has also fostered some fiercely independent splinter groups and divergent cults. This is largely the cause of the situation on Maccabeus Quintus and why the cult there has been allowed to flourish. If Ignato were to have his way, the Sector Synod would have much more direct control over the system cults and their leaders and a more active role in determining policy and church procedure from the hives of Scintilla all the way out to the battlefields of Protasia. In many ways this matter is core to the conflict between Ignato and Kregory, the reason Cardinal Cal Sutai Arran and the Periphery Church have gained so many allies and why Cardinal Fortis enjoys such support from worlds only nominally connected to the Imperium.
System Synods and the variety of the worlds and cultures on which they thrive have given rise to a myriad of Imperial Cults and variances on the Imperial Creed within the Calixis Sector. This is not an unusual occurrence and one that the Ministorum encourages and tolerates in equal measures to foster the Cult of the God-Emperor in peoples and places where it might not otherwise take root. While almost every world within the Calixis Sector has a slight variance on the Imperial Creed, there are several which stand out and have, through the strength of their followers and the support of their synods, spread out across the void.
These Calixian Cults are of course only a handful of those recognized by the Ministorum. Added to these are many other minor religious variations on the Imperial Faith (almost as many as there are worlds), cults only tolerated but not fully recognized (such as Children of Shade and Cloudspeakers of Clove) and also numerous Death Cults who practice murder in the name of the God-Emperor (such as the Moritat and the now proscribed Astral Knives). There are a myriad of monastic orders, including the scholarly Codexarians of St Elo, who devote their entire lives to creating beautifully illuminated versions of an unintelligible local mistranslation of the works of Confessor Dolan Chirosius. Also common are the Elanans, who paradoxically honor their widely travelled and proselytizing patron saint by walling themselves in narrow cells and never speaking to anyone.
The Calixis Sector is full of saints, men and women who have given their lives to the glory of the Emperor. Some are very minor, only revered in a single city or town, while some can be found wherever Imperial rule extends. Large or small, saints form the human face of the Ministorum, giving worshippers something to relate to and aspire toward. Saints are also often associated with certain aspects and particular causes, such as stellar travel or guilt. Some saints are even more specialized, watching out for those that work with ill-tempered Grox for example. This means, regardless of your situation, there is always a saint watching over you and to whom you can offer a prayer of protection.
The truly devout take no chances and festoon themselves with the symbols and tokens of many saints. Saints also have a prominent place in Imperial culture beyond their religious connotations. Their names can be found on everything from worlds and stellar craft to streets and children. Often something that is akin to a saint’s cause bears their name, such as a warship called the Saint Drusus (of which there are one hundred and thirteen so named to date), so it might embody some of the fierceness of its namesake. Taking all of this into account, saints form an important part of a citizen’s life, as prolific and ever-present as the Cult of the Emperor itself.
- Drusus the Warrior
- Vidicus the Forlorn
- Rybel Gorth the Watcher in the Dark
- Quivvar Nog of Fedrid
- Elana the Unshaken
Every world in the Imperium (and often nations and communities on that world) observes its own set of holidays and religious festivals in the name of the Emperor. There are, however, a number of holidays common to many worlds in Calixis, though their time and the exact details of their execution still vary from world to world.
Feast of the Emperor’s Ascension
This annual event is the most common festival held in the Emperor’s name. It celebrates the moment, ten thousand years ago, when He was raised to the Golden Throne and made the transition to divinity. On many worlds this is a week-long event, with feasting, games and spectacles to honor the Emperor. Often symbolic sacrifices are made in His name, such as the burning of books to offer their knowledge up to Him. It is also an auspicious time to join people in wedlock or conceive children, leading to mass gatherings of citizens intent on one or both of these undertakings. It is also said that during the Emperor’s Ascension, no false judgments can be made, making it impossible to overturn a ruling made during this time.
Not all worlds celebrate the Ascension with feasts and festivals. On some, especially primitive worlds, this holiday marks a time when the Emperor looks down from His divine realm and remembers His mortal followers. It is at this time that those brave and bold enough can earn a place at His side. Thus the Ascension becomes a bloody time when men and women fight and die in an effort to please the Emperor, each trying to outdo the courage and skill of the others.
However it is celebrated, the Feast of the Emperor’s Ascension is the most notable Imperial holiday and the one that the majority of Imperial civilians observe, even if they do so only to gain a brief respite from their daily drudgery.
Drusus is the patron saint of the Calixis Sector and is venerated first among the saints on dozens of worlds. It is unsurprising, then, that he has a day dedicated to his memory and his achievements. Celebrated at the turning of a planet’s cycle, when it takes the first day of a new year, Drusus Day reminds people that “new beginnings” are the gift that Drusus brings. When he led his armies into the Calixis Sector and drove out the xenos and rebels, he brought with him the gift of brotherhood and unification from Terra.
On this day, citizens, especially soldiers, renew their vows and oaths to the Golden Throne and all it stands for. Clerics too remind people of the saint’s sacrifice and courage by putting on retellings of the crusade. In these stories, depending where the tale is told, each world often plays up its own importance, claiming that theirs was the first to be liberated or was the only one that rose up to aid the crusaders, or some equally fanciful twist. Drusus Day is a popular time for thousands of pilgrims to embark upon retracing the steps of the warriors of old.
Festival of Saints
Most saints have their own holy days that are specific to them and their deeds (such as Drusus). However, the Festival of Saints provides a day for all saints to be honored, as well as a time when new saints may be considered to join their ranks. This is especially important for very minor saints, such as Yorgic Thrice-Branded or Ewerft the Handless, who have small followings and little power within the Ecclesiarchy. During this time, stories are told and devout followers try and convert people by extolling the virtues and merits of their chosen saint. As a result, it can be a dangerous (or at least frightening) time to go near to a shrine as citizens are accosted by frothing saint worshippers dressed in bizarre costumes and spouting proverbs.
Causing an equally strong response is the chance of being raised to sainthood. While it is uncommon for anyone to be so bold as to try and claim that they themselves should become a saint (though there are a few that have tried---some with surprisingly good cases), everyone seems to know of someone who died serving the Emperor and thus deserves the eternal recognition of the Ecclesiarchy. As a result, clerics and priests are subjected to long lines of supplicants and must listen to countless hours of prattle to then judge whether any are worthy of the greater attention of the Ecclesiarchy. Needless to say, it almost never happens; the last saint raised in the Calixis Sector occurred some two centuries ago.
Every planet in the Imperium owes loyalty and gives tithe to the Emperor. Whether this tithe is collected once every solar cycle or once every one hundred years, it is the first and most important responsibility that the Emperor demands of His subjects. Because of the importance of a planet’s tithe, it has on many worlds become a sacred day known as the Emperor’s Gift. On this day when millions of tons of ore, precious metals or foodstuff are borne skyward, citizens look up and give thanks to their contribution to the great work that is the Imperium. It is also on this day that a world offers up newly raised Guard regiments, fresh-faced soldiers who leave their world forever to serve the Emperor among the stars.
These men or women spend the day of the Gift enjoying themselves and are refused very little by those they leave behind---in some places it is considered good luck to serve such soldiers before they depart. The Gift is also a time of fierce pride amongst citizens toward their world, making it dangerous to be an off-worlder, for slandering the name of a planet during the time of the Gift is almost guaranteed to start a fight. Some have speculated that it was, in fact, not the Ecclesiarchy but the Administratum that sanctioned this holiday. After all, how else could you hope to strip a planet of its wealth and leave it feeling good about it?
The Burning of Sins
Sin is a concept propagated by the Ministorum on every world it touches. It is the unconscious debt all citizens owe to the Emperor for the improper way in which they live their lives. Because most people feel bad about themselves most of the time, it is not hard for the Ministorum to convince them that they are sinners, and that they must somehow make amends. This was no doubt the logic behind the holiday known as the Burning of Sins. At this time people are allowed to absolve themselves of their wrong doings and transgressions against the Ecclesiarchy through a symbolic burning of their sins.
Great bonfires are built before cathedrals and shrines, and citizens gather, clutching their sins written onto paper. Those who are brave enough can then come forward and let the presiding cleric or priest read aloud the sin and decide whether or not to grant forgiveness. If he does so, the sin is thrown into the fire and the citizen receives a blessing and permission to leave. If however, the sin is too great for such a simple “fix”, then the citizen has a choice: they may either tithe the sin’s monetary worth to the Ecclesiarchy, (a sum decided on by the cleric), or leap into the flames themselves.
Adepts, Clerics and Missionaries
In the shadow of the Synods and the cardinals’ politicking, legions of adepts, clerics, missionaries, and other Ministorum servants spread the faith and defend it from the core worlds to the far flung edges of the sector. These men and women serve as the front line of the Ministorum, guiding the followers of the God-Emperor in their day-to-day prayers and observances. Even on the most established worlds, such as Scintilla where the Tarsine Synod dominates the local populace, it is these lesser Ministorum functionaries which bring the word of the Imperial Creed to the people. Given the number of these Ecclesiarchy personnel, it is difficult to accurately understand or map the church’s structure beyond the ranks of its upper leadership, and in many ways this is how the Ministorum prefers it: promoting the concept that the Emperor and his followers are everyone and everywhere; inextricably woven into the very fabric of Imperial society.
To a cleric or missionary in such a system, it is as important to have unwavering faith in the God-Emperor as it is to be faithful to one’s home world, cult or System Synod. While all followers of the God-Emperor are in theory connected by their faith, it is an undeniable truth that politics often trumps religion when it comes to the interests of star systems or sub-sectors. Acolytes with connections to the church will therefore usually trace their links back to the single world or synod where they have allies or where their training in the Ministorum was conducted. Only the most well travelled and influential of individuals can count on the unconditional aid of the church beyond these local boundaries, and even then they call not on the Ministorum as a single unified entity but rather as a collection of fragmented allies drawn from scores of cults, synods and scattered worlds.
Not all arms of the Ecclesiarchy, however, are so firmly rooted on individual worlds or in solitary systems. This is especially true of two such groups of Ministorum servants within the Calixis Sector: the Red Redemption and the Mendicantine Fraters. Free of the dominion of the System Synods, both of these groups can be found on worlds across the sector, championing the cause of the Imperial Creed and actively pursing what they view as the interests of the God-Emperor. When mixing with the common citizens, outside of spires and planetary palaces, travelers will certainly see both of these cults in action; and should they cross the Ministorum it is likely that these are among the first cults to respond to such transgressions. The Redemption especially is quick to react to threats to the Imperial Creed, usually with extreme violence.
Noble Houses and Ministorum
On many worlds, the power and influence of the noble houses are tied directly into that of the church. This relationship is one that dates back to the founding of most worlds where the families that would one day rise up to be called nobles brought with them the Imperial Creed. In fact it is a tradition on many worlds that the second born son of a noble family be given up to the Ministorum for training as a cleric or confessor as part of an ancient pact that ensures good relations between the nobles and the Ecclesiarchy. A variation on this practice is known as the Chance of Faith, which waits for children to reach their naming age before setting them a religious task such as finding the image of Saint Drusus in a stone wall or spending a night in an ancestral tomb to see if they dream about the Emperor. If they pass, then the Emperor has called them and they are sent off to be trained by the church. Of course, should the child get wind of the purpose of the test, most conspire to ‘fail’ in favor of a life of noble decadence rather than one of religion. On some worlds, such as Tephaine, the links between Ministorum and the nobility are almost indistinguishable, with siblings sharing the power of both church and state between them. On others, such as Malfi, the roles of noble and priest are kept strictly separate. Regardless of local politics and the feelings of individual nobles, the fact remains that the noble houses rely on the Ministorum, as much as they chafe against its strictures, as an inviolate part of their society.
Pilgrim Coin and Church Tithes
While the Administratum is directly responsible for the planetary tithes that keep the Imperium running, the Ministorum also draws massive amounts of revenue for itself from the followers of the Imperial cults and the System Synods, as well as the thriving pilgrim trails that crisscross the sector. Presented to local governance and Imperial authority as ‘donations,’ much of this vast amount of income slips quietly through the fingers of Sector Lord Marius Hax, a situation which he has tried (without success) to remedy.
For the most part, tradition and its own measure of political power protects the Ministorum from taxation and regulation by the Administratum, but it is a complex subject at best (as are most things that include tax and the Administratum in the same sentence) riddled with loopholes and exceptions. So should an Acolyte dig deep enough, or become embroiled in such matters, he would discover that behind the hunt for heretics, the expansion of the Imperium and the war to protect the God-Emperor’s followers, another silent war is being waged between millions of church scribes and countless Administratum adepts as they fight a paper battle for every Throne the Ministorum makes.
The followers of almost every cult within the Calixis Sector contribute to the wealth of the church in some way. Cynical Acolytes may observe that this could be one of the main driving forces behind the Ministorum’s efforts to recruit more followers, beyond serving the glory of the God-Emperor. Regardless of motive, however, tithes are the key source of income for local churches which seldom see much support from beyond the limits of their System Synod. Such cults are constantly trying to spread their influence so as to attract more wealth and power to themselves; such a practice is even encouraged by the Sector Synod, while they may preach unity, prefer strong planetary cults and churches which can stand on their own without external support. As they say, “the Emperor helps those who help themselves,” a truism Arch-Cardinal Ignato himself likes to cite. One of the most notable results of this financial independence is on the hive world of Hredrin in the Josian Reach where the Cult of the Divine Saviour preach tithing to the God-Emperor as both a mark of gratitude for success and a sacrifice to ward off misfortune. Also known as the Tithe of Weal and Woe it has created a generation of faithful citizens intent on living a life not excessively good or excessively bad, lest they become impoverished by donations---and then have to give even more coin to repent for their misfortune!
In addition to tithing and donation, the other (possibly larger) source of church coin comes from pilgrims. The Pilgrim Paths crisscross the sector from the core worlds to the edge of the Halo Stars and back again. Every day millions and millions of pilgrims come from light years away to ply these trails, with some even travelling from distant segmentums on holy journeys which will take a lifetime to complete. The money raised from these pilgrims as they pay to visit holy sites, travel to shrine worlds or view sacred relics is vast and unlike local tithes very difficult to keep track of. Ostensibly Ignato and the Sector Synod claim all income from pilgrims within the Calixis Sector for the Calixian Ministorum. However Ignato knows that laying claim to coin and collecting it are two very different things and the Sector Synod probably only ever sees less than a third of the revenue the pilgrims provide.
The rest ends up in the hands of the shrine worlds, cults like the Mendicantine Fraters or Sisters of the Void, and the numerous con men, charlatans and vagabonds who follow the pilgrims from one world to the next like vultures stalking their prey. To combat this problem, Ignato recently commissioned the formation of the Humble Watch, clerics tasked with walking the pilgrim trails (like the Footsteps of Drusus or travelling aboard the Misericord) and hunting out those that would rob the church of its rightful share.
In the Name of the Saint
Both saints and shrine worlds are a key part of the Calixis Sector and do much to raise the church’s profile in people’s minds. As a result of the importance of these people and places it is little wonder that the Ministorum goes to great lengths to safeguard their relics and memory from those that would disgrace or defile them. Throughout the sector, Reliquarians, clerics tasked with safeguarding, recovering, and verifying relics and saints, travel between worlds to deal with new discoveries. They are few in number, however, and the claims of divine objects and sacred places are very numerous, so local priests and worshippers may wait years or even decades until a Reliquarian arrives to inspect their sacred items and pass their findings on to the Sector Synod for careful dissection and contemplation (usually taking many more years and often resulting in the church expressing no interest in the trinket, person or place). This is only a part of their purpose, however, and the majority of their time is spent chasing rumors of true relics or hunting out the true location of miraculous events or the resting place of blessed individuals.
In these matters the Reliquarians are given a very broad mandate by the church and the ability to call on resources from local synods at a moments notice if they catch the sent of a relic or saint. For their part the System Synods are usually more than happy to help, aware of the importance of the work of the Reliquarians---not to mention the revenue the discovery of a local relic could bring. On occasion a Reliquarian may also fall in with the Inquisition, usually members of the Ordo Hereticus, as their paths will cross on occasion when hunting down such lost objects. Such alliances are uneasy at best, however, as the church and the Inquisition pursue such objects for very different reasons. This means that should the Reliquarian actually find the relic he is seeking he will need to act quickly lest it disappear into the lightless vaults of the Calixian Conclave and slip beyond the reach of the church forever.
War of the Empty Cathedrals
It is no secret that the church has little love for the Adeptus Mechanicus and their worship of the Omnissiah. While many accept that this is merely another cult and variation on the Imperial Creed, the Ministorum in general finds the Mechanicus’ practices distasteful and an affront to the more traditional methods of revering the God-Emperor. Of course as an astute Acolyte may discern, this as all just smoke and mirrors, for the real friction between the Ministorum and the Adeptus Mechanicus is one revolving around the influence of Sector Lord Marius Hax, the Calixian Noble Houses and the Planetary Governors. The problem is part of what has become know as the War of the Empty Cathedrals, and is without a doubt the most significant conflict between the two organizations within the sector.
The root of the issue comes from the fact that the church, under the auspice of the God-Emperor, lays claim to every world in the Calixis Sector. The logic goes that if it is part of the Imperium then it belongs to the Emperor, and if it belongs to the Emperor then it is part of the Ministorum’s interests and area of operations. Of course numerous worlds and systems within the sector have little or no real church presence on them; because they have been gifted to the Adeptus Mechanicus by the Sector Lord and turned into forge worlds. These are classified by the Ecclesiarchy as ‘Empty Cathedrals’ or worlds waiting for the presence of the church to bring them wholly into the light of the Emperor. The most notable of these worlds is the Lathe system in the Golgenna Reach, a center of the Mechanics’ power within the sector.
During the expansion of the Imperium into the Calixis Sector and bloody years of the Angevin Crusade, the church set up a mission within the system. The mission was then expected to grow into the roots of a strong Ministorum presence, as it has on countless other worlds, and weave them into the fabric of the greater church. However the grant of the system by Drusus in 380.M39 to the Adeptus Mechanicus effectively wiped away all Ecclesiarchy control in one fell swoop. Never content to see its power contested, and not one to forget, the church has waged a quiet war for influence in the system ever since, one that has endured for more than two millennia. Rarely, however, does the conflict turn into open violence between the two mighty factions. Instead, it is mostly played out as a war of influence between Ignato and his opposite number on Scintilla, Magos Luol Rho, for the ear and favor of the Sector Lord. As unlikely as it seems that the Ministorum will ever again set foot in any great numbers on the worlds of the Lathe system, their faith and fervor means that they will never stop trying.
Expansion and the Margin Crusade
Along the edge of the Calixis Sector, the Imperium wages war against the dark to push back its borders and reclaim the worlds of man for the Emperor. Alongside crusading soldiers, brave pilgrims and the legendary Rogue Traders, the missionaries and clerics of the Ministorum are at the forefront of this expansion. Nominally occurring all along the edges of the sector, as well as into the numerous uncharted regions within it, this expansion is mostly focused within the Periphery and the nearby Koronus Expanse, the latter connected to the sector via the warp gate at Port Wander. Cardinal Fortis oversees much of these efforts, especially within the Periphery where his clerics, confessors and missionaries make the perilous journey out beyond the dead worlds of Sleef and into the darkness of the spinward rim. He has also however recently taken a keen interest in some of the lost human worlds of the Expanse, such as those recently charted within the aptly named Heathen Stars and has petitioned the Sector Synod for more resources to try and reclaim these wayward planets in the name of the God-Emperor.
Fortis is of course not the only Cardinal to take an interest in the expansion of the Ministorum to the Halo Stars. Kregory, in his efforts to draw as much power to himself as possible and increase his standing with the church, has become a close ally of the Rogue Trader Jonquin Saul. A financial and trading dynasty, the Saul family has seen its fortunes rise of late with the support of the Cardinal of the Drusian Arch-Diocese at its back and has launched several expeditions into the Expanse. The price of such an alliance however may be more than Jonquin has bargained for and though to date Kregory’s requests have been relatively reasonable (investigate a star here, take on board a cleric there, leave these sealed letters at your ports of call) it seems likely that the time is fast approaching when the cardinal will ask for something more, something Jonquin may have a hard time refusing.
While the Ministorum constantly picks at the darkness surrounding the Imperium, from time to time it also embarks on grand crusades, hurling men and ships into the void to carve out new realms in fire and blood. Since the creation of the Calixis Sector, the Ministorum have initiated and sanctioned hundreds of crusades down the centuries from minor expeditions to reclaim lost territory to massive undertakings intended to forge whole new sectors in their wake. Perhaps one of the largest and most recent of these has been the Margin Crusade. Led by High Confessor Corvinus, it embarked in the year 784.M41 across the Periphery and into the darkness of the galactic north; a flotilla of dozens of cruisers and millions of troops. In the three decades since, dozens more ships and millions more troops have been raised in the name of the crusade and sent off into the void never to return. What only a handful of the highest ranking members of the Sector Synod know however is that Corvinus is dead, slain by alien hands on a distant world and his crusade smashed to bloody wreckage amongst the stars.
Despite this however the Ministorum continues to fabricate news of the crusade’s success and to draw fresh troops and vessels from the compliant worlds of the sector. Some of these the church uses for itself (outside the sector of course), the majority however find their way to other fronts far from the light of their home stars. The church finds having an active crusade useful in more ways than one. Quite apart from the resources it generates, it allows them to draw attention away from more local problems and the concerns of the System Synods and planetary governance. So as long as it serves their purpose the Margin Crusade will continue to exist, toppling fictitious alien empires and reclaiming distant worlds for the Imperium.
War with the Faithless
The church also spends a great deal of time and effort hunting down the faithless and those that have turned from the light of the God-Emperor. Not to be confused with the ceaseless hunt for heresy and heretics by both the Ministorum and the Ordo Herectius, the faithless are those that were once devout members of the church and have since betrayed it. While it is true many of these faithless are also demented heretics, the church takes a personal interest in their recovery and repentance as their actions are seen as a slight against the Ministorum and the Imperial Creed itself. The list of the faithless is long indeed and includes numerous names such as the Apostate Bishop Saren, architect of the Burning Heresy; Cleric Tablor Zul, once a missionary and now self-proclaimed king of the moon Zul’s Landing; and Confessor Elye the Traitor, who sided with the Golden Army of Var during the opening days of the Protasian conflict. No misdeed, however, is too large or too small for the church to overlook or ignore and part of the Sector Synod’s task is approving names to add to the growing list marking them forever with the stamp of the unrepentant.
The most significant example of this war with the faithless exists on Protasia, a world in the Drusus Marches where an ongoing Imperial military campaign is trying to reclaim the world from separatist forces. Once a devout planet, the Ministorum enjoyed a strong presence on Protasia and holy wonders such as the Thirty-Two Hallowed Steps and the Golden Army of Var drew pilgrims from across the sector. However in the wake of the Foulmind Heresy and the nightmare of the Hundredfold Host, the church on Protasia changed. While records remain unclear, it is believed that the leader of the Protasian Synod, Arch-Bishop Galarphan, or at least something wearing his skin, was responsible for this first great schism and the first seeds of the separatist movement which would grow and thrive under his watchful eye. At first the Sector Synod was not overly concerned with the rise of new cults and the disappearance of a few pilgrims and clerics; it was only later when human sacrifices and dark rituals were uncovered did it discover just how rotten the core of the Protasian Synod had become.
Now Ignato sees the strife engulfing this world as the personal business of the church and has caused both Cardinal Kregory and Sector Lord Marius Hax great pains as he meddles in their efforts to pacify the world. Ignato believes that somewhere on Protasia the Arch-Bishop Galarphan still lives, directing his splinter faith and fuelling the moral and determination of the separatists, and the Arch-Cardinal would like nothing more than to bring him back to Scintilla in chains to meet the just and righteous retribution of the God-Emperor.
A tome or data-slate containing a thrice-blessed collection of catechisms, castigations, and psalms first assembled by Pius Mefonte in the 4th century M41. These are some of the best-known verses of the Calixian Ministorum, and the work itself---ornamented, gilded, and set with flowing pennons of scripture—is a sign that he who owns it is holy and well-versed in the God-Emperor’s teachings. It grants a +10 bonus to Charm Tests involving religious oratory or inspiration and an Imperial audience.
Weight 2kg, Scarce