An Electro-priest is a fanatical warrior Tech-priest of the Adeptus Mechanicus who is able to wield powerful blasts of electricity as a weapon, which makes him a valuable member of the Mechanicus' Battle Congregations. These lightning-shrouded holy men trail after sacred machines in the manner of pilgrims and mendicants following the reliquaries of an Ecclesiarchal saint. In times of war these priests will raise a great chorus of praise to the Omnissiah, their weapons buzzing with murderous energy.
Also known as "Luminen" or "the Sparks of Life," Electro-priests exist as two lesser orders of the Tech-priest hierarchy known as the Fulgurites and the Corpuscarii. They are fanatically devoted to the Motive Force, third of the Cult Mechanicus trinity including the Machine God and the Omnissiah, believing that all life and motion owes its continued existence to that ineffable divinity. Electro-priests are capable of channelling energy through anything they touch. Cybernetic grafts in their nervous system allow them to channel electrical energy through their copper-etched palms, the charge building quickly as the Electro-priest works himself into an ecstatic frenzy. At the heights of their religious mania, the truly devout can destroy enemies of the Machine God with bolts of living lightning -- or, in the case of the Fulgurites, drain their life energy as a Catachan mega-leech drains blood.
Regardless of faction, Electro-priests do not see in the conventional sense -- the channelling of sacred electric force boils the eyes in their sockets, or else melts them so they run, globular and bubbling, down the cheeks -- a sacred phenomenon the order knows as the "Omnissiah's Tears." Corpuscarius and Fulgurite alike are grateful for this gift, for they need no eyes to see -- they can sense the electromagnetic signature of both friend and foe, and perceive the world around them as a crackling vision of the Motive Force that powers all things. To the Corpuscarii, the galaxy's inhabitants are little more than dim ghosts of electric force just waiting to be sent blazing to the Omnissiah's side.
The Electro-priests' sacred calling requires their bodies be hardened, conditioned and electrosurgically prepared for the ordeal of hosting the Motive Force's sacred energy. They have become living batteries that not only absorb the Motive Force but can conduct it whither they choose. The wearing of heavy rubber boots is of paramount importance, for to simply ground the energies of their order is seen as wasteful by brazen Corpuscarii and miserly Fulgurite alike.
The schism that divides the two sects of the Electro-priests dates back to pre-Imperial times, when this offshoot of the Mechanicum of Mars was still in its infancy. The forefathers of the Corpuscarii focused their worship upon the Machine God -- they believed His light should be brought to the galaxy. His energies were to illuminate the savage, in doing so bringing more resources to their order. The Corpuscarii mounted great religious crusades to this end, expending a great deal of Mars' resources in the process, but believing the price worthwhile -- those early pioneers considered the Omnissiah's power to be infinite.
Those who would become known as the Fulgurites were aghast when they counted the cost of such crusades. They were jealously protective of the Motive Force -- that invisible deity that gives all creatures, be they mechanical or be they flesh, the power to move of their own accord. Believing their god's favour to be finite, they claimed that the Corpuscarii were flagrantly wasting the Machine God's power -- they not only abused His divine energy in illuminating their ships, but frittered His power into the ether by channelling blasts of electricity.
Incensed at these accusations, the brotherhood of Electro-priests fractured many times, and the first Conduit Wars began. To this day, Mars' surface is still scorched by the legacy of those bitter internecine battles. The dogmatic nature of all Electro-priests means this conflict will never truly be resolved. While outbreaks of open warfare between the rival factions of Electro-priests are now mercifully rare, on every Forge World innumerable smaller hostile acts -- both political and covert -- still take place on a regular basis, and neither side can forgive the transgressions of the other for long.
Fulgurite Electro-priests crackle with energies stolen from those they slay in mortal combat. A protective shroud of lightning known as a "voltagheist" field surrounds them, and their rewired veins and subcutaneous Electoo circuits thrum with divine force. The Fulgurites are amongst the most blunt and bellicose of the Omnissiah's disciples -- these holy warriors do not slay their foes at range, but bludgeon the life from Heretic and foe-machine alike. It is the creed of the Fulgurite to tear the life energy from the galaxy -- in particular the bioelectricity that animates living souls. Also known as the "Brotherhood of Petrified Lightning," the Fulgurites wish to harness the animus of their foes and bind it to the Omnissiah, reclaiming the Motive Force and solidifying it with the power that dwells in the care of the Tech-priests. The Fulgurites believe that only those found worthy in the eyes of the Machine God should possess the divine grace of His galvanising power. They would willingly render every culture that did not praise the Omnissiah totally inert, plunging the civilisations of the unenlightened into eternal night. This selfish creed is no idle philosophy, but rather a holy crusade, and they fight for it night and day.
To the Fulgurite, to waste energy is almost as vile an act as to allow the unbeliever to use it to his own ends. Rather than slaying their foes from afar or committing what they see as blasphemy by using powered weapons, these priests stride bare-chested into battle, smiting their foes in person with long-hafted Electroleech Staves. These contain conductor rods that draw the energy from those they strike and store it in powerful capacitor cells. They can rob the Motive Force from an enemy war machine, leaving it cold and dead. More unsettling still, they can suck the bioelectricity from living creatures, drawing it out in one great draught and harnessing it within their core capacitors so that same energy can later power the holy instead of the Heretic. Those so struck will collapse to the ground, their corpses left cold and motionless as stone, while the Fulgurite strides onwards, further invigorated by their holy work, deadly stave crackling with reclaimed power.
The Corpuscarii Electro-Priests (sing. Corpuscarius) are a rival faction to their Fulgurite brethren. They too are devoted to the Motive Force, and it is their desire to share its glory with every creature and machine not already so aligned. On every Forge World there are many different subsects within the factions of Electro-priests, each preferring their own rituals and rites to worship the Divine Current.
The Corpuscarii are truly blessed, for the Motive Force literally runs in their veins. In battle, the Corpuscarii advance, chanting litanies to build up the charges within their bodies. Incoming fire sparks off their voltagheist fields, sending chain reactions of arcing charges crackling outwards. At close range, the blazing fanatics can summon lightning at will, stretching out their electrostatic gauntlets to send jagged bolts of the Machine God's wrath into the foe. Those struck by these sacred energies are granted the ecstasy of full-body electrocution. For a brief second before death, the unbelievers see the light, their paroxysms shaking them apart as their bodies burn from the inside out. Such is the generosity of the Corpuscarii, for their duty is to illuminate the galaxy, and to bring the light to non-believers.
- 5-20 Fulgurite Electro-priests
- 5-20 Corpuscarii Electro-priests
- Codex: Adeptus Mechanicus (8th Edition), pp. 44-45, 80
- Codex: Adeptus Mechanicus - Cult Mechanicus (7th Edition) (Digital Edition), "Fulgurite Electro-Priests," "Corpuscarii Electro-Priests"
- Codex Imperialis (2nd Edition), pg. 41