The Adeptus Mechanicus is the official name within the Imperium for what is sometimes referred to as the Cult Mechanicus or Cult of the Machine and was known historically as simply the Mechanicum. Based on Mars, the Adeptus Mechanicus acknowledge the Emperor of Mankind and worship him as the Machine God1 or Omnissiah, but they also follow their own dark and mysterious scriptures. One of the scriptures’ core teachings is that knowledge is the true manifestation of divinity in the universe. As such, the Cult Mechanicus not only seek knowledge but also seek understanding, often obtaining and exploring knowledge that would be considered esoteric, dangerous and even heretical to the ideals of the Imperium.
Their religious practices and their accumulation of knowledge– especially forbidden knowledge– is tolerated in the Imperium because of the vital role the Adeptus Mechanicus play. They provide technical and scientific expertise for the Imperium, are responsible for founding and overseeing Forge Worlds2 and are the keepers of Standard Template Construct (STC)3 designs and other advanced technological knowledge.
A sizeable contigent of Adeptus Mechanicus accompanied– some historians use the term “followed”– Logan Grimnar when he traveled to Adrilles to oversee the operations already started by Arjac Rockfist. Grimnar went to Adrilles at the behest of the Lords of Terra. It is widely speculated among historians and philosophers of the war that the Adeptus Mechanicus had received no such orders. It is also believed the intent of the Adeptus Mechanicus was contrary to that of the Vlka Fenryka. The Space Wolves were sent to destroy the heretical Jager Corps. The Adeptus Mechanicus went to study and understand not only the Jager Corps but also the other numerous forces drawn into or attracted by the conflict. Necron, Tyranid, Chaos and Tau– all in one location. It was an opportunity to which the Adeptus Mechanicus were drawn.
The Adeptus Mechanicus were active participants in the war. The Skitarii entered the theatre for the first time in a series of battles known as The Breaking Tide in the volcanic north. Their military presence was influencial, but what is of a more lasting importance is the Cult Mechanicus’ work as historians. A lot of what it is known of the Adrilles War is because of the manner in which the Cult Mechanicus gathered, catalogued and disseminated information after the war. Those at the fringe of thought claim the Cult Mechanicus parceled out only what it desired in order to control history’s perception of the war. These same also claim the Cult Mechanicus kept key information to themselves. The complete diaries of Alois Fischer, for example, are said to be kept in the vast and secret archives of Mars.
It is widely agreed that a Magos was at the head of the contingent of Adeptus Mechanicus involved in the Adrilles War, but the debate still wages as to whether it was a Magos Explorator or Magos Errant.
The Adeptus Mechanicus traveled to Adrilles in their own vessels, which then took up orbit around Adrilles among the ships of Arjac Rockfist and Logan Grimnar. Skitarii were sent to the planet’s surface and fought alongside the Space Wolves, often billeting in the positions held by these allies.
Historical data provides context to the current struggles in our part of the 40K universe. If our campaign takes liberties with canon it does so for the benefit of our game and not as a slight to the work of Games Workshop and fans of 40K.