The most intelligent and capable of a cult's Acolyte Hybrids will be entrusted with a sacred duty -- the bearing of the cult's colours into battle. Though the cult's sigils and slogans spread ever further as it gains influence, they remain cryptic, their clandestine meanings known only to a few.
Once the Primus and Magus muster their kin for the final uprising, however, the most favoured hybrids are presented with ornate standards lovingly fashioned by the prey-creatures that gave birth to them. In solemn ritual these banners are emblazoned with the cult's icon, not hidden away, but displayed proudly in bright colours.
Alongside their imposing heraldry, the icons of the cults are strung with many treasures fashioned from xenos biomatter. The vials that hang from the icon glimmer with an unsettling luminescence. They are filled with pheromonal secretions taken from the Genestealer Patriarch itself. The scent of these sacred oils further emboldens both the Iconward and nearby cultists, filling them with a transcendent euphoria and deadening their nerves to pain and trauma. Lashed to the banner's pole are chitinous blades grown from splinters of the cult-father's hardened exoskeleton, holy relics that resonate with its divine power.
Many cults add their own heirloom artefacts to the icon -- the bleached bones of fallen saints, symbolic weapons of resistance, or the captured heraldry of their enemies defaced with the sinister iconography of the cult.
Iconwards are amongst the fiercest fighters to emerge from the early spawning cycles; they must be, for the banners they carry are an overt display of the cult's supremacy that swiftly draws the eye of enemy champions and zealots. These blessed Acolytes defend their sacred artefact with single-minded focus, gladly sacrificing their own flesh and that of nearby broodkin to prevent even the most minor damage to their charge.
The pseudo-religious artefacts hoisted aloft by the Iconwards have an electrifying effect upon the greater masses of the cult. The totem is a galvanising sight for one who has the taint of the Genestealer in their blood -- so much so that many an uprising's battles have been won simply because the Acolyte Iconward raised their standard.
Not only do they form rallying points and statements of conquest, they also inspire those around them to greater feats of devotion and self-sacrifice -- for the Acolyte carries the glory of the broodkin writ large, the underworld heraldry of Patriarch, Primus and Magus held high for all to see.
- Rending claw
- Blasting Charge
- Sacred Cult Banner - The sight of a cult's banner flying in the hot breeze of war stirs the soul
of the Patriarch’s chosen. Such rapture can send the devoted throng into a frenzy of contempt for the unblessed adversary.
- Codex: Genestealer Cultists (8th Edition), pp. 45, 82
- Codex: Genestealer Cultists (7th Edition), pp. 28, 100