The fading economy of the Antonine Cluster has affected every world in the region in one fashion or another. Some have collapsed, while other societies struggle on valiantly through this testing time, making tough choices to survive. Generally speaking, there is less change in a man's pocket now than before, and many are penniless and destitute. The widespread poverty of the cluster's people has reduced the donations collected by the local churches, and over time the cathedrals and shrines of the cluster's worlds have fallen into disrepair. The tombs of the cluster's greatest bishops on Cessorin Rex were once some of the most spectacular mausoleums in the Carthax Sector, with individual resting places covering hundreds of square kilometres with engraved corridors and towering columns. Things of beauty that attracted thousands of pilgrims daily, they were one of the primary sites of religious importance in the sector up to around eight hundred years ago. With falling collections at worship and fewer pilgrims able to afford to travel, the shrine world became a crumbling shadow of its former self. Such was the fall from grace that the Carthaxian Diocese removed Cessorin Rex from the pilgrim routes to hide the eyesore from the faithful in the early fourth century of the 41st millennium.
A few thousand devotees still live amongst the mausoleums, tending to the tombs as best they can while relying on subsistence farming to survive. A dry, cold world, Cessorin Rex has few native organisms, and its soils are of poor quality. Most of the indigenous people that remain live on a diet of tough tubers and vermin hunted amongst the ruins. Remarkably, they remain possessed of the belief that their fortunes will change, and that their poverty is a test from the God-Emperor that they must outlast. These faithful souls have struggled on for the last seven hundred years, and may have to endure another few centuries of hardship before their descendants can bring the Emperor's grace back to Cessorin Rex.
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Gaming on Cessorin Rex
Here are a few ideas for scenarios set on the Shrine World:
- The answer to our prayers! A starving tribe of destitute tomb guardians have long prayed for deliverance from their ills. While the Emperor ignored them, an envoy of Nurgle has listened, and the daemon prince has sent his devotees to their aid, bringing all number of Papa Nurgle's blessings with them. Now the tribe have been tasked with desecrating their tomb and sacrificing themselves to bring forth the daemon prince.
- Cometh the Resurrection. Amongst the tombs lies the crypt of Bishop Tamas the Born Again. A resurrectionist of Thorian tradition, Tamas believed that the Emperor's being existed in cycles, and proclaimed that his remains would be reanimated by the Emperor's will at the end of the 41st millennium. Cultists dedicated to him have flocked to the world, causing sectarian conflict. Amongst it all, something stirs in the depths of Tamas's crypt...
- Time Immemorial. Before Cessorin Rex became the resting place for the sector's clergy, it was the site of one of the greatest battles during the sector's conquest. Heathen men set thousands of warp-hexed traps for the crusaders, and not all were triggered during the assault. Now, a group of tomb guardians has stumbled into the trap and unleashed the energies of change upon themselves. Mutation roars through the populace, and burgeoning psykers draw the attentions of those beyond...
Cessorin Rex is a Shrine World, however shabby, and forms an important part of the religious landscape of the Carthaxian sector. For some within the Ecclesiarchy, its fall from grace is nothing short of an embarrassment, while there are undoubtedly leaders within the Ministorum who wish to erase all knowledge of it. Calculating cardinals and their loyal cadres of Sororitas, fanatics and assassins will be battling behind the scenes for the support of political allies and to remove those that oppose them either through scandal or subtle use of the blade. A campaign featuring Ecclesiastical warbands would make a welcome change from the norm, and allow modelling of lesser-seen archetypes for the table.