Well now, that was interesting.
Some serious food for thought with the poll results so far. I was a little surprised at the amount of enthusiasm shown for the Cult, but then, it is pretty loved as a niche army. The other thing was the total lack of love shown for the renegades. I guess you don't see many renegade/raider forces, it's all chaos space marines. To my mind the old metal marines look like they've spent 10,000 years slowly mutating and going insane, thought the very latest chaos marines models are definitely moving in the right direction. Space marines with spiky helmets though, no thanks.
The other thing that came to the fore was how much I was rooting for the fimir. Obviously my heart still lies with the swamp dwellers, and in any case it was never going to be a case of abandoning them once I got to two thousand points. They came in a strong second, so my decision, she is thus:
I'm going to keep on with the fimir until I get to a respectable two thousand four hundred points. At that stage I'm going to introduce a second project and work on them both, I just have too many things I want to add to the fimir army even beyond two thousand four hundred. But, it looks like I'll be looking for a lot of new conversion pieces in the tyranid range for project number two. There will be a third project beginning in January 2014, that one will have a lot of heat rays and howitzers involved...
Here, then, is the first bit of background for the Cult of the Dawn.
"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 Order of the Dawn 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 order had grown strong, reaching the highest position of authority by the middle the M40. It is around this time though, that the order 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 Calogero, is a truly ancient genestealer. Ferried across the void in stasis by the hive fleet, Calogero 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 temples on the planet. The Theleman team sent returned with the soon-to-be new head of their Order, the genestealer Calogero, who was christened by the leader of the explorator expedition. So the new cult was born.
The combination of the knowledge and mysterious nature of the ordo mechanicus and the single-minded ambition of the cult made for a powerful combination. By M40.508 the order 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 coven is virtually unheard of.
Calogero 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 Calogero across the stars. 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 Calogero 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."
There you have it. Chaos worshipping hybrid ordo mechanicus, anyone? Time to begin the great bits hunt.