Warhammer 40K Storybites: How the Cult Drew Me In

Before we talk Warhammer, Id like to provide a little background. I got into Warhammer 40k shortly after finishing school. By then, I was already into things like D&D and board games. The main barrier stopping me from entering the hobby was the fact that I didnt have the cash. That all changed when I started working.

I need to point out though that Warhammer isnt actually an expensive hobby. In most cases you only need to buy your models, paint them and youre all set forever. This makes it a cheaper hobby in the long run than video games or trading card games.

What really got me into Warhammer was when my local hobby store owner saw me running a game of Call of Cthulhu for some players at the shop. He pointed out that there was a faction in the franchise that recently just got its own army that was inspired in part by the works of HP Lovecraft.

Enter: The Genestealer Cults.

A genestealer cult is a group of people, usually humans, in the 40K universe that worships an entity called The Patriarch. He can go under many names: The Four Armed Omnissiah, The Grandsire Wurm, The Four Armed Emperor, or in the case of my cult, The Golden King.

This living god rests on his throne, hidden from society. Yes, hes real and they can talk to him. Thats more than what so many other cults and religions can say about their own gods. His followers come from all walks of life in a planets population. More often than not, they will come from the working class; people who have had enough of the tyrannical Imperium and their oppressive ways; enough of their long silent God Emperor who has done absolutely nothing for the plight of the common man.

As the cult grows, so does its reach. After years pass, politicians, generals and monarchs will be swayed by the message of the cult through either indoctrination by birth, evangelization, liberation and if the situation demands, hypnotism. The cult stands united against the tyranny of the hated Imperium, longing for change and to build a society where human life has worth and value.

The Patriarchs promise is that they will one day be free and that his brethren, the Star Gods, will allow them to ascend and be one with them when the day comes.

When the faithful day arrives, the cult liberates the planet. The military turns on itself, politicians denounce the central government and the revolution begins. Humanity would soon be free.

Little do they know that their beloved Patriarch is an alien creature known to xenos scholars as a genestealer that came to their planet to prepare it for the coming of an ancient terrible race of aliens called the tyranids. As cries of victory ring through the planets surface, the cultists dont realize that theyve only prepared themselves and their entire planet to be food for hungry alien bugs. Without the Imperial military to defend it, nothing can stop them.

Needless to say, when I got my first salary, I headed straight to the hobby store and bought my first box of cultists. My life has never been the same. Praise be to the true Emperor Glory to the Golden King.