For thousands of years the Red Planet, Mars, has been ruled by the strange and mysterious sect of Tech-Priests known as the Mechanicum, or the Cult Mechanicus. This religious caste rose to dominance on Mars during the early centuries of the Age of Strife, and now lead a strong and ordered culture based around technological mastery and the worship of the Machine God, the Omnissiah. The Mechanicum’s sacred duty is to maintain, venerate and recover the techno-arcana of ages past.
The Cult Mechanicus venerate some of the most powerful war machines ever created by Mankind, such as the god-machines of the Legio Titanicus and the great battle-automata of the feared Ordo Reductor. It is the Titan Legions that commonly take the field alongside the Crusade Fleets, but stranger devices have been deployed against the most heinous of foes. During the Horus Heresy, the great data-vaults of Mars were flung open, and all manner of ancient and forbidden technologies were unleashed.
The forces of the Mechanicum are often lead by Magos from one of the many factions and sects within the Mechanicum, divided both by technological specialisation as well as rivalry and ancient feud, each Magos vies for power, knowledge and resources beneath the outward unity the organisation displays.
Every forge world maintains a standing force of tech-guard, unaugmented on the whole and drawn from their labour force. The Legio Titanicus deploy cohorts of Skitarii alongside their great battle-engines; heavy modified shock troops with a high degree of bionic implants, while the Ordo Reductor favour the inhuman Thallaxii; whatever the nature of their troops, the Mechanicum blends machine with man according to the tenets of their faith, and many technological marvels are borne into battle by these cybernetic warriors.
While reconnaissance and scouting is largely carried out by the Mechanicum’s powerful sensor-auspexes and long-range augurs, the armed forces of the Cult Mechanicus are not blind to the tactical need for swift-moving battlefield units. Some of these, such as the Avenger Strike Fighter, are also encountered amongst the mighty Crusade Fleets, and operate in a tactical support role; others are yet unknown beyond the boundaries of the wider Mechanicum. Truly, the data-stacks of Mars are filled with sequestered, forgotten knowledge.
The Tech Priests and Magos of the Mechanicum are the foremost keepers of ancient and arcane knowledge in the Imperium. Much of this knowledge is given over to the appliance of destruction in the form of weapons and technology used to obliterate the enemies of Man. These weapons can usually be seen mounted on the myriad fighting vehicles and other war machines of the Mechanicum but some of those dread weapons portable enough have been witnessed carried by more martial members of the Priesthood of Mars such as the Myrmidon Destructors.