Rogue Trader: Cold Trade of the Dominion of Saint Mordechai
“Apparatus phasmatis mos servo vos.”
Mankind has become lost in an age of faith and dogma against the Chaos Gods as prayers go to the ultimate ruler of reality; the Emperor of Mankind.
The ultimate goal of the Cult Mechanicus is to understand the Omnissiah. The communal and individual attempt of Mechanicus believers at this is known as the Quest for Knowledge and the Cult’s followers view this endeavour as paramount and more important than any other concern. Generally, the Quest is pursued through scientific and exploratory endeavours. 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 (i.e. Plato’s Forms of Knowledge and Noesis). The Mechanicus’ members are therefore disinclined to perform much original research, and they consider it more important to safeguard that knowledge which they already have accrued and gather more by searching for Standard Template Construct systems (S.T.C.s) and similar lost pieces of ancient human technology (arechotech).
Some original research does happen within the Adeptus Mechanicus, 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, the sixteen laws (or lores) are as follows:
• 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.
• 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 (i.e. Necrons) 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.
Ranks of the Adeptus Mechanicus
The following is my interpretation of the ranks of the Adeptus Mechanicus. The ranks are all canon (except where otherwise noted in the bibliography below, in which case I am searching through my collection to find where I saw it); their placement is my interpretation based on the evidence. All comments welcome.
There are five classes in the Adeptus Mechanicus: The Adepts Inferior, the Novitiates, the Adepts Minoris, the Adepts Majoris, and the Adepts Superior.
First in the Adepts Inferior, you have the lay-brothers, those whose only connection to the cult is a brief tutelage in a temple of the machine-god. These use the skills that they learn in their everyday jobs.
Then there are the menials, those who do routine work on the Forgeworlds that isn’t delegated to the servitors.
Those who have technical potential can become a tech-acolyte as Adepts Novitiates. These, like all Mechanicus personnel below the rank of Fabricator-General and Archmagos Ultima, are on a constant rota of work (in the Mechanicum), study (in a Seminary), or dissemination (working amongst the Imperial institutions). They begin to learn of the Sixteen Universal Lores, and begin to learn of the Mysteries of Technology.
The next rank up from tech-acolyte is technographer; these learn the mysteries of the Hex Signs and treating Machine Spirits. They become proficient in a particular divisio that reflects their abilities best, and are apprenticed to that divisio. They will learn the ways of that divisio. When working or disseminated, they will chiefly be serving as either more advanced technicians, for when their simple rites and preparations fail, and servicing and using more complicated technology.
The highest ranking novitiate in the institution is known as the chief initiate.
Each divisio has different Adepts Minoris ranks, and each of these is an expert in a particular subset of the skills in the divisio, such as munitions (in Artisan), generation, augury, cryostasis (in Technicus), etc. A few and their ranks in order of seniority, lowest to highest:
• Divisio Logis [Analysing data and predicting trends, discrete mathematics]: logistician
• Divisio Lexmechanicus [Recording data and statistics, applied mathematics]: calculus logi (lexmechanic), arch-calculus logi
• Divisio Digitalis [Digital encoding and logic engines, computer sciences]: cogitator
• Divisio Investigatus [Constructing and designing advanced military systems]: fabricator-architect
• Divisio Technicus [Advanced general repairs and tech-exorcisms]: mech-wright, luminen, enginseer, high enginseer, pater machinae)
• Divisio Prefectus [Administration]: tech-administrator
• Divisio Mandati [Military command]: secutor, myrmidon, centurius, tribune
• Divisio Fabricator [Construction]: construction adept, fabricator-master
• Divisio Astrologicus [Astrophysics and astrology]: observator
• Divisio Archaeologis/Archeos [Archaeology]: excavator
• Divisio Xenologis [Alien Technology or Aliens in general. NB, not accepted on all Forge Worlds]: acquisitor, praefect acquisitor
• Divisio Pecuniae [Business/production logistics and arithmetic]: numerist
• Unknown Divisiones [In no particular order]: transmechanic, tech-abbot, runic priest, machina-mentor, emissary
The first of the Adepts Majoris is simply an adaptation of the divisio name, IE, genetors of Divisio Genetor, orbologists of Divisio Orbologis, biologes of Divisio Biologis (though technomancer is also used on some Forgeworlds), astrologici of Divisio Astrologicus, etc. One thing to note: Unless otherwise stated (Logis, Biologis) any divisio ending is “is” adds a “t” on the end to make this rank. These are the first of the Ruling Members of the Cult Mechanicus, or Adepts Majoris. The ruling members are entitled to do research, but still undergo the rota of work, study and dissemination. There are exceptions to the standard rule, such as techno-archeologist of Divisio Archaeologis, magnus of Divisio Mandati, and on some Forgeworlds, mech-deacon is used instead of prefectus of Divisio Prefectus. These all have the suffix: primaris, primus, secundus, tertius.
Above this is the "chief [divisio adaptation, as seen above]. So chief artisan, chief orbologist, etc. These are in charge of all of the Adepts Minoris of their divisio in the ship/institution. Some notable exceptions: genetor-council, chief engineer
The next member is the [divisio name]-major (Roughly equivalent to a bachelors degree, presumably). NB, presumably, a tech-priest can change the divisio in which s/he serves within the departmento (Departmento Manufacturum is responsible for manufacturing, and includes all divisiones that are involved in construction, design, metallurgy, etc. Departmentorium Biologis is responsible for biology, and any involved in biology are in this departmento). There are naming exceptions, notably the cyber-seers of Divisio Astrographicus and the omniprophets of the Divisio Errant. Presumably these have the suffix: primaris, primus, secundus, tertius.
Above this is the most well known rank of the Cult Mechanicus: The Magos [divisio]. Occasionally known as Technomagos, or even magister, these can control multiple laboratories. These have offices on the Forgeworld or research station where they are located. The title “magos” may be an abbreviation for “magister of science”. These have the suffix of either: primus, secundus, tertius. Primaris equivalent is known as High Magos.
A title given to the most senior magos on the ship/institution is known as the “Chief Magos”.
An Archmagos controls a sector on a Forgeworld. Each Archmagos may found or take charge a Seminary that can train new members of the Cult Mechanicus. This is most likely to be equivalent to a doctorate equivalent. In the Archmagos’ work, s/he is in charge of an aspect of a Forgeworld’s running, such as managing work rotas for the entire Forgeworld, etc.
Above them is the Archmagos Veneratus, which may be the highest ranking member of the divisio on the Forgeworld. They still have the control of an aspect of the Forgeworld’s running.
The first rank of the Adepts Superior, which does not have a divisio attached to it, is Archmagos Ultima, and it is the second in command of the Forgeworld, controlling the Archmagi and is effectively chief-in-command of the Armed forces of the Forgeworld. The most powerful Archmagos Ultima is the Archmagos Ultima of Mars.
A Fabricator-General is in charge of a Forgeworld, and the fabricator-general is subordinate only to the Fabricator-General of Mars, who rules and directs the entire Adeptus Mechanicus. Like the Archmagos Ultima of Mars, the fabricator-general of Mars is often referred to as the Fabricator-General.