Hive World Terra

Adeptus Astronomica

Warning: This definition may contain spoilers from any number of Games Workshop novels or source books.

Adeptus Astronomica: The Adeptus Astronomica is small organisation within the Adeptus Terra, charged with one of the most vital duties in the Imperium: maintenance of the , the psychic beacon by which Imperial shipping navigates the Warp. Without the beacon, interstellar travel within the Imperium of Man would be a haphazard and perilous business, and journey times would increase exponentially, and slowly the Imperium would collapse into a million separate worlds; divided by trackless light years.

The Adeptus recruits its members from the psychic levies of the ; a small proportion of each levy returned to Terra is always handed over to the Adeptus Astronomica by the . Consequently, the vast majority of the Adeptus are psykers of some degree themselves, the senior members of its bureaucracy especially. Those of the Astronomica who are not psykers are drawn from the slave-families who have been bonded into service with the department for generations, some since its inception. The leader of the Adeptus Astronomica is the Master of the Astronomican, whose task it is to oversee the organisation and occupy its seat within the Senatorum Imperialis, bearing the same rank as a High Lord of Terra.
Instructors form the main body of the Adeptus; some of whom are ranked as High Instructors, with special responsibility for a specific aspect of the organisations teachings. Day-to-day affairs are dealt with by lower-ranked administrators. The young pyskers are initiated as Acolytes, and taught the Lore of the Astronomican. Through this they learn to control and use their psychic powers much as they would had they been part of the normal teaching programs of the Scholastia Psykana, but the Lore of the Astronomican focuses primarily on the nature of the Warp itself. Acolytes must learn and study philosophy, seeking to attain a mystical state of self-understanding, opening them to unique perception of themselves, the Universe and the Warp.

Those who achieve this enlightened position, become the Chosen: those who give their psychic energies to create the Astronomican itself. The Chosen are regarded as having transcended this plane of existence, to have found a new and rarefied sensibility beyond that of the Instructors or even the Master. They are said to be approaching the state of mind of himself.

The headquarters of the Adeptus Astronomica is the , a remote building constructed in a sheltered crag in the heights of the mountains once known as the Himalayas, in the region formerly called Nepal.

Source: Draco by Ian Watson, White Dwarf: Issue 140 by various

Submitter: Simguinus