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RolfSoldaat

Gene-stealer cults

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I was reading trough 40k lore and stumbled upon Gene-stealer cults.

Uncovering and destroying one of these seems like an excellent set-up for a Dark Heresy story arc.

 

However, I've got no idea how challenging such a mission would be. Is it even feasible for a couple of acolytes to take on a Gene-stealer cult? 

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Well a gene-stealer cult is usually made up of one or several genestealers finding their way into a hive, infecting several or dozens of people who then breed to make several hybrids who then breed to create more and diverse gene-stealers, including lords and magicians (hybrids that are psykers, old lore name). That takes several years, and up to hundreds (or thousands) of members.

So while your group of Acolytes might find those guys is do-able, and while it is only 1 symbiont and a few infected/hybrids it is possible to deal with them.

But a full-blown cult would require the might of the Guard, the PDFs or a Deathwatch Kill team to deal with it.

Edited by segara82

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Aye, it all depends on how far the "infestation" has already proceeded...

 

Alternatively, do not focus on destroying the cult by yourself, but rather sabotaging it in a way that the reinforcements that your team can call in will have an easier time doing so. Imagine you are on a world where anyone in the government or the local military could be a brainwashed sleeper agent for the xenos threat. Imagine the local shrines and temples infiltrated and turned into recruitment grounds for genestealers (a la the Universal Brotherhood in Shadowrun). You know you absolutely need to prevent the cult from gaining access to [the geothermic power plant/the underground laboratory/the holy site/the water filtration system/...], but who would you turn to for help, who could you risk to enlist for your covert cause? You would face an intrigueing mixture of artificial red tape, mysterious friendly fire accidents, loyal soldiers and enforcers who suddenly turn traitor, unarmed civilians throwing themselves in front of your guns just so the shot does not hit an obvious enemy, ... and maybe, just maybe even the hideous form of the Genestealer themselves.

 

It could be a race for time where the team must secure and evacuate an important relic or VIP without the cult gaining knowledge of this mission, as it would surely speed up their plans and trigger a premature rebellion that threatens the safety of the mission objective. The world is already doomed - the question is: what happens to the team and whatever or whoever they were sent to save?

 

How about saving the life of a Cardinal who happens to be a friend of the Inquisitor, or just important enough for the sector to warrant a careful extraction?
 
"Preachers are sometimes known as Defenders of the Faith, as they and their militias often form the first line of defence against insidious Chaos and Genestealer cults or other heretical sects. When a planet is subjected to an alien invasion, it is the Preachers who mobilise the population into defending their homes from the godless heathens who attack them. They frequently aid the Judges and their Adeptus Arbites in local purges, and their familiarity with the citizenry makes them useful for intelligence gathering by higher officials and the Inquisition. [...] Often a Genestealer or Chaos cult will mark out the Ecclesiarchy as the first target for its attention. In the more civilised places of the Imperium, this offensive will usually be political in nature, trying to reduce Ministorum tithes, undermining the influence of the Cardinal or Preacher, and so on. In the more lawless regions though, open terrorism and attacks are more normal. Under cover of darkness, the cult's members will attempt to destroy the local shrine and kill its members."

 

For further inspiration: the Index Xenos Genestealer article from WD #266

Edited by Lynata

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