Hive Tarsus is the site of one of Scintilla’s sector-famous landmarks. The Cathedral of Illumination is the most important place of worship in the whole Calixis Sector. It is the base of operations for Arch-Cardinal Ignato, the sector’s most senior Adeptus Ministorum clergyman, who leads the Synod Calixis from the cathedral’s lavish auditorium.
A sprawling complex to rival the palaces of Sector Lord Marius Hax and of such breathtaking grandeur and beauty as to shame all other Calixian cathedrals, temples and shrines to the God-Emperor, it is also a destination for pilgrims and true believers from across the sector and beyond. Lord Deacon Euphonicus, who oversees the Cathedral, is counted among the highest ranking of Ignato’s lieutenants and is a powerful figure within the Tarsine Synod. It is also the center of Ignato’s power and the core of the Sector Synod. As a fortress of faith and bastion of the church, both physically and spiritually it marks the Ministorum’s most defensive position within the sector. If the Ecclesiarchy is taking action within the Calixis Sector the odds are that the orders can be traced back to the gleaming spires and polished halls of the Cathedral of Illumination.
The cathedral is an extraordinary collection of spires surrounding a cavernous central nave, topped with an enormous stained-glass dome, through which the scorching light of Scintilla’s equatorial sun blazes. The decoration on the cathedral is paid for by nobles and prominent citizens from across the sector, all eager to purchase a piece of the Emperor’s grace. The outside of the cathedral is covered in statues, depicting scenes of Imperial history and images of the saints, all gleaming gold in the fierce sunlight. It is said that some of the cathedral’s least accessible places conceal bizarre statues, like grotesque monsters or scenes of bizarre occult rituals.
The area around the cathedral is a forest of statues of saints and important citizens of Scintilla, the most impressive of these being an enormous statue of Saint Drusus that has pride of place outside the main doors to the nave. Inside, the cathedral is just as magnificent. The cavernous nave’s glass dome is supported by columns carved into the likenesses of past cardinals and there are enough pews to sit tens of thousands of worshippers. The nave is dominated by an altar that sits in front of a triple portrait in gold and silver, depicting the Emperor (with His face turned from the congregation) flanked by Saint Drusus and Lord Militant Angevin, as well as effigies of several saints.
Behind the altar is a choir of two thousand servitors filling the nave with soaring choruses. A pulpit overlooks the nave, and it is from here that Ignato and the other Ministorum preachers speak the word of the Emperor. On days of religious importance, such as the Feast of the Emperor’s Ascension, many thousands of nobles and adepts from across Scintilla fill the nave, while lesser citizens crowd outside in the hope of glimpsing some of the splendor within. The cathedral also contains the cardinal’s quarters, the Synod Auditorium, where the sector’s cardinals meet to discuss spiritual issues, and the Hall of Relics where holy items are kept for safekeeping and study.
These include relics of Saint Drusus’s life, including bones purported to be from Drusus’s own body (enough to reconstruct several skeletons). The Archivum Spiritual, a library of theological works and religious records, also resides below the cathedral, as do the extensive catacombs where members of the Ecclesiarchy are buried. The cathedral has a huge staff made up of both lay volunteers (mostly ex-pilgrims) and members of the Ecclesiarchy. Armed laymen of the Frateris Militia protect the cathedral, assisted by a single squad of Sisters of Battle from the Order of the Ebon Chalice.
The presence of the cathedral means that the Ecclesiarchy has immense influence in Hive Tarsus, to the extent that Cardinal Ignato has more power here than the hive’s nobles and the Frateris Militia have a stronger presence on the streets than the Magistratum. All the trade and warehousing halls of the middle hive have lay clergy preaching to the workers about the sacred nature of obedience and the heinous sins of leisure and curiosity. A large proportion of Hive Tarsus’s population is made up of pilgrims who are journeying through the city to reach the Cathedral of Illumination. Queues of pilgrims snake from the cathedral throughout the middle hive, sometimes spending years waiting for a glimpse of the cathedral while surviving off the efforts of Ecclesiarchy handouts, lay volunteers and unscrupulous traders.
The pilgrims are an essential part of Hive Tarsus’s economy and most never leave, finding themselves among the laborers of the middle hive or, for a lucky few, working as volunteers among the glittering majesty of the cathedral itself. Hive Sibellus may be the seat of power, but Hive Tarsus is the seat of faith, despite many attempts to shift the Ecclesiarchy’s base to the ruling hive. Almost single-handedly, the cathedral accounts for Hive Tarsus’s continued importance and influence in the shadow of its giant rival.
Within the shadows of the cathedral are hundreds of smaller chapels and colleges that make up the Great Chantries of Tarsus.
Fire Lance / Flame Hammer
The Fire Lance and Flame hammer are peculiar weapons created for use by the guardians of the Cathedral of Illumination as they punish the wicked. A small reserve of promethium heats the cutting edges or spikes of these weapons boiling the blood of the victims as they strike. The weapon also contains a device allowing it to discharge the flame in a spectacular blast of the Emperor’s divine will.
Damage dealt by these weapons ignores 3 points of the target’s Toughness Bonus (after modifiers such as Unnatural Toughness). In addition, the weapon cauterizes wounds it inflicts. Any ongoing bleeding effects caused by this weapon are ignored.
The weapon may also fire once as a Flamer (after which it needs refueling). Once it has done so, it ceases to heat the weapon and no longer ignores the Toughness of a target or cauterizes wounds, until it is recharged.
Fire Lance: Melee, 1d10, R, PEN 0, Two-Handed, Special, WT 4kg, Cost 550, Rare
Flame Hammer: Melee, 2d10, I, PEN 2, Unwieldy, Two-Handed, Special, WT 8kg, Cost 800, Rare
Said to be rendered from a proscription laid down by the warrior-saint Drusus himself during the war-torn days of the Angevin Crusade, this incense---a mixture of myrrh, camphor, verdigris and the crushed blossoms of the rare Iocathine rose---is prepared ritually in the vaults of the Cathedral of Illumination in Hive Tarsus and is renowned for its powerful purifying effect. Highly valued by the faithful, Drusine incense is used in high masses and ceremonies of import across the Calixis Sector, and the Holy Ordos know that folk tales of the incense’s ability to ward-off evil hold more than a grain of truth.
Drusine incense is a coarse reddish-gold crystalline powder burned in a self-heating metal censer suspended on chains called a thurible. The incense burned and dispersed in this creates a cloud up to three meters across. Within this cloud, characters with 10 or less Corruption Points are immune to the effects of the Daemonic Presence special rule. A single portion of incense burns for 1d10+20 minutes.
Cost 100ea, WT 0.5kg, Rare
Thurible: 500, WT 5kg, Rare