Faith and Betrayal
The Pilgrims of Hayte
An apocalyptic murder-cult, the Pilgrims of Hayte are known for their viciousness and atrocities. Mere rumors of their presence in a particular area is enough to create near-panic among the populous. Their goal is a simple one, to destroy the Imperium and slay those serving the Emperor. The cults teachings and recruitment focus on the downtrodden, outcast, and criminal elements of Imperial society. Their core belief is that of nihilism of the spirit and utter despair, viewing humanity as a squalling blind creature at the mercy of the cosmos. To them, civilization, faith, reason, and love are all lies and dreams concocted by the Imperium to maintain their control. Thus the Pilgrims seek to sow destruction and terror in order to tear down this false reality.
The Pilgrims of Hayte are defined by the Ordo Hereticus as a “cancer cult”, as like a cancer they quietly and slowly infiltrate the unseen areas of Imperial society by establishing hidden cells that grow from within, until finally they become too widespread and powerful to oppose. Once firmly planted on a world, they will orchestrate a campaign of wanton madness and destruction. They often employ suicidal attacks by insane zealots coinciding with terrorist acts. Finally, they will unleash Daemons on a world as their final act of carnage. Once a world has been brought to ruin, the Cultists will slip away and begin the process anew on another planet.
The Bloody Solstice on Malfi is the first recorded major incident of the cult. After assassinating nobles and members of the Ecclesiarchy on Malfi, three Inquisitors and their retinues of the Ordo Hereticus are sent to investigate the threat, accompanied by 400 Arbites and PDF troops. This force eventually discovered and moved on the Cults stronghold, only to be massacred by insane cultists and Daemons in an ambush. The Cult then unleashes the ‘Bloody Solstice’ on the world, sowing terror and mayhem under the command of False Prophet Karcist. When the Imperium finally mobilizes Imperial Guard forces and regains control, Karcist and high-level cultists slip away.
Another atrocity linked to the cult is known as the Doom of the Ardent Seeker. In 799.M41, The cult infiltrates the Pilgrimage vessel Ardent Seeker. Eventually unleashing a tide of mayhem on the ship, nearly all of its 7,000 passengers would eventually die.
The Cult is led by a council of masters, known as the False Prophets and many are identified by the unique masks that they wear (most of which depict an animal of some sort) . These Sorcerers are capable of wielding the powers of the Warp and summoning Daemons. They seek to corrupt the population of a world with their teachings and widen their Cults activities, with a False Prophet at first often masquerading as a charismatic and traveling Preacher. The False Prophets themselves aid and guide promising new recruits, mostly those who have survived long enough in the Cults many dangerous raids and operations.
The Pilgrims of Hayte and the Current Campaign
Inquisitor Sand and his acolytes have had several run-ins with the Pilgrims of Hayte. The first encounter took place on the Calixis Sector’s governing planet of Scintilla in the Arastus Division of Hive Sibellus where several of Sand’s acolytes assisted in stopping a lower hive uprising that was being fueled and led by the cult. Years later, some of Sand’s acolytes would become heavily involved in foiling the plans of one of the cult’s leaders, a man known as the Beloved or Heron Mask, when they stopped his attempt to bring destruction to the world of Quaddis using the Tyrant Star. Later, Sand’s acolytes would fight the Beloved and another cult leader called the False Prophet, on the planet of Mara when the cult was attempting to make contact with the infamous Rogue Trader Eramus Haarlock. Again, the Beloved escaped destruction and is assumed to be trapped on the forbidden world and most likely dead from the elements and supernatural predators.