It is M40.999 by Imperial reckoning, and world of Thelema in the Segmentum Obscurus is at war. After fifty years of conflict there is no respite to the fighting, and there is no end in sight. Both sides fight with righteous fury over the devastated remains of once mighty Imperial cities.
The Forge temple known as the Kabeiroi had grown strong and powerful before the war, secretly expanding their power base over more than a century. They had moved into human society like the choking fronds of a creeping vine, patient and inexorable. The sons and daughters of the temple had grown strong, reaching the highest position of authority by the middle the M40. It is around this time though, that the organisation began to diverge from the usual sequence of events when a powerful genestealer cult reached this level of infiltration.
The great patriarch of the order, known as father Pyracmon, is a truly ancient genestealer. Ferried across the void in stasis by the hive fleet, Pyracmon was secreted into the space hulk the Age of Dreams along with many of his brothers. The hulk had been vomited forth from the warp before the fleet as it made the journey across the empty space between the galaxies. There it hung for a time before again being drawn back into warpspace. How long it remained there, none can say, as time has no meaning in the realm of the Gods.
In the beginning of M38 the Age of Dreams again appeared in real-space near the world of Draconith. It drifted for decades before eventually being marked by an explorator vessel for future investigation. The world of Thelema was tasked with mapping the hulk and recovering any items or artefacts of worth due to the presence of the mechanicus forge temple on the planet. The Theleman team sent returned with the soon-to-be new head of their Order, the genestealer Pyracmon, who was christened by the xenobiologist leader of the explorator expedition. So the new cult was born.
The devotion to the machine God was slowly subverted by the worship of Pyracmon, who had come to be seen as the voice of the machine God itself, the true omnissiah. It was not an easy or quick transition, however, with many of the magos immune to infection, necessitating their eventual destruction.
The combination of the knowledge and mysterious nature of the adeptus mechanicus and the single-minded ambition of the cult made for a powerful combination. By M40.508 it was in control of many of the most influential institutions. But the cult had suffered it's own schisms in recent years. Many of the brethren felt something was wrong with the way plans were proceeding. This, in itself was troubling, as dissent in a genestealer cult is virtually unheard of.
Pyracmon was most pleased with his growing power, but he did not feel the pull of the hive mind as it drew close to devour Thelema. The whispers in his head were not those of the great beast. They came from another place entirely.
Far beyond Thelema, in the depths of space, lie the dead husks of the hive fleet that bore Pyracmon across the stars. Designated hive fleet Hephaestus, it was caught in a violent and sudden warpstorm soon after the Age of Dreams vanished back into the ether. The entire fleet was either pulled into the warp or destroyed. Not a single tyranid creature survived. As if this weren't enough to sever the link between Pyracmon and the hive mind, the creature that emerged from the warp was no longer a creature of instinct, but independent, cunning, and hungry for power.
Power that it's new patrons were more than happy to supply. For a price.
After some mulling, here's an initial sketch of how I'd like the hybrids and brood brothers to look. Some may have bionic augmentations due to the mechanicus influence, though I'm wondering if a mechanicus, chaos worshipping genestealer coven is a little over complicated. I might lose either the chaos or mechanicus angle.
You can see here I've begun tinkering with some models. I'm gathering parts from various kits to assemble my 1st to 3rd generation hybrids and my brood brothers. Still a ways to go yet, the 1st generations in particular need careful attention.
More tinkering with the hybrids. With a rising amount of parts, I'm getting close to the look I want. The alien heads here make great ymgarl hybrids and will serve to differentiate 1st and 2nd gens from subsequent generations. I do like the bronze masks, but I need some variation in heads. I couple of ymgarl hybrids in hoods will look very Lovecraft too.
The first model assembled. This is a 3rd generation hybrid from a Ymgarl variant purestrain. He is a squad leader, hence the plasma pistol. He has some minor augmentation, it's third arm having been modified with a close combat attachment. The relic on it's back is a relative, possibly it's human grandparent.
And here's the finished model, the neophyte leader, brother Yogoth.
I've added some more members to the cult. These are part of the first squad of neophyte hybrids. Brothers Stump, Kosh and Crab.
A large aberration, brother Welt. Blind and deformed, Welt relies on the auto-senses in his autocannon to see, while a generous amount of combat stims are administered to keep the pain at bay. He counts as a weapons team.
Brother Char, melta-gunner. Char is a larger neophyte hybrid, beefed up with stims and impants. I had planned to use these masks on many of my hybrids, but I think I'll reserve it for the odd few.
The first heavy support for the cult, a Castellan class robot. There will be a maniple of five robots led by a heirarch controller, hierarch Mijur, seen here below. Mijur can belt out some mean electronica on that thing too.
Brother Scrivello, a modified 4th generation hybrid, a master mechanic/surgeon. Scrivello could pass for pure Ad Mech, at least as long as he keeps that cloak wrapped around him.
An abhuman 2nd generation acolyte hybrid, brother Faust. Again, Faust will count as a weapons team.