Requiem for a Sector
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“Nothing and no one escapes the judgment of the Lords Dragon. The Universal Laws are absolute, therefore so are we absolute.”
To understand a Tech-Priest’s mind is to understand an intellect that has been manufactured and processed to work as smoothly and seamlessly as a Cogitator. The purpose of his being is encapsulated in the tenets of the Adeptus Mechanicus, his goals and purposes laid out by prior generations of Tech-Priests attempting to map the perfect path to enlightenment. Many of these concepts are embodied in what are called the “Universal Laws” or sometimes “The Sixteen Universal Laws,” a set of holy commandments passed down through the centuries. Whether sixteen “Universal” laws truly exist, and whether all forge worlds would fully agree upon them, is a subject of fierce debate, but most of the Universal Laws have been enshrined and widely proclaimed as core principles of the Creed Mechanicus.
The Sixteen Laws, or “lores” are as follows:
- 01. Life is directed motion.
- 02. The spirit is the spark of life.
- 03. Sentience is the ability to learn the value of knowledge.
- 04. Intellect is the understanding of knowledge.
- 05. Sentience is the basest form of Intellect.
- 06. Understanding is the True Path to Comprehension.
- 07. Comprehension is the key to all things.
- 08. The Omnissiah knows all, comprehends all.
- 09. The alien mechanism is a perversion of the True Path.
- 10. The soul is the conscience of sentience.
- 11. A soul can be bestowed only by the Omnissiah.
- 12. The Soulless sentience (i.e. the Necrons) is the enemy of all life.
- 13. The knowledge of the ancients stands beyond question.
- 14. The Machine Spirit guards the knowledge of the Ancients.
- 15. Flesh is fallible, but ritual honours the Machine Spirit.
- 16. To break with ritual is to break with faith.
Some of the more famous or controversial laws are expanded upon below.
# 4: “Intellect is the understanding of knowledge.”
The Fourth Law is most commonly interpreted as stating that the ability to comprehend and utilize knowledge is the basis for the measurement of Intellect. It is entirely possible for any sentience to realize the value of knowledge (or stimulus as some members of the Cult Mechanicus might refer to it.) while only possessing simplistic levels of it. It is possible for and Archive or Holomat to contain vast quantities of knowledge and the understanding thereof without apprehending the value of that knowledge. Neither of these two examples would possess true intellect in the eyes of a Tech-Preist.
# 5: “Sentience is the basest form of Intellect.”
The so-called Fifth Law is often seen as being closely related to the Fourth Law. Tech-Priests often view Sentience as a commonly held trait, and they see it as only the first “tier” of Intellect, the lowest rung on the ladder of Understanding. Superior Intellect is generally agreed to be developed through the acquisition and understanding of knowledge.
#6: “Understanding is the True Path to Comprehension.”
The concept of “Comprehension” holds special significance for Tech-Priests. It is often viewed as a state of transcendence, a level of Intellect that encompasses all Knowledge.
#7: “Comprehension is the Key to all things.”
The Seventh Law is widely seen as relating to the Sixth. Debate rages about whether “the Key to all things” is a literal or figurative expression. Many believe the Seventh Law means that Comprehension of the forces of the universe brings with it the keys to reality, the ability to implement any change or creation desired.
#8: “The Omnissiah knows all, comprehends all.”
The Eighth Law enshrines the Omnissiah as the supreme being, the entity able to comprehend all Knowledge in the universe.
#15: “Flesh is fallible, but Ritual Honours the Machine Spirit.”
To a Tech-Priest, organic components (like people) are weak, forgetful, and ultimately expendable for the greater glories of the Machine God. Only the correctly prescribed rituals can purify the fallibilities of the flesh, and enable the enlightened to interact with a machine-spirit. It would be a grave crime for a Tech-Priest to dishonor a machine spirit by not enacting the proper rituals in its presence.
#16: “To Break with Ritual is to Break with Faith.”
As imperfect, organic beings, most Tech-Priests believe that they must rely on Ritual over understanding. Every screw turn and button press is precisely documented for every mechanism they build or use. There is a strong belief that the slightest deviation from ritual is an invitation to disaster and will lead to the unleashing of uncontrollable forces. In matters such as plasma reactor maintenance rituals, this has been demonstrably true.
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