A Magus, also called a Genestealer Magus, is a Genestealer hybrid who has developed the abilities of a psyker. A Magus serves as their Genestealer Cult's primary enforcer, propagandist and diplomat to those outside of the cult. They possess psychic abilities second in potency only to those of their cult's Genestealer Patriarch.
Maguses are psychically gifted and possessed of a supernatural charisma. Their control of the Genestealer hybrids and Brood Brothers around them is total. As the prophet of their Patriarch, the word of a Magus is law for those of their cult, and their telepathic abilities are more than powerful enough to enforce it.
Yet for all their commanding presence, intelligence and mental skill, each Magus is no more than an extension of the Patriarch's will through the cult's Broodmind, just as the Patriarch is an embodiment of the wider Tyranid Hive Mind.
A given cult gene-sect's Magus is its foremost link to the Imperial aristocracy, government and institutions of a world. Should the dynasty find its expansion stymied by a Planetary Governor or other strong-minded rival, a Magus may well visit the obstinate individual in person, using honeyed words and their psychic powers to either force their obedience or convert them to the cause.
In moments the deed is done, and the cult has a highly placed agent instead of a difficult adversary. The web of influence woven by a Magus ensnares all levels of Imperial society, from the upper echelons of the spire-born classes to street-level Adeptus Arbites enforcers, and even the ranks of the Astra Militarum.
A Magus is born of at least one Warp-touched parent who is already a psyker. Should an infested world harbour psychically gifted individuals of the right mental calibre, the cult's Purestrain Genestealers will sniff them out and psychically hypnotise them, then infect them with the "Genestealer's Kiss." Soon enough, one of these hosts will father or give birth to a Magus.
Tall, clean of limb and with an imposing presence, a Magus can pass for a normal human and commands respect wherever they walk. In their soul, however, they are as much a creature of the void as a member of Mankind. They hold the same otherworldly power in their eyes as the Patriarch they call lord and saviour, and are bound by the same unearthly drive to spread the cult far and wide.
It is the Magus who speaks for their hidden organisation in matters both mystical and spiritual, and in many ways they are the true mastermind behind the spread of the cult across its host planet and beyond.
Burgeoning Genestealer Cults will usually have only one of these psykers at their heart, the guiding hand of the uprising. As the insurrection swells and spreads across the surface of a planet, new sites ripe for infection are located, and new gene-sects of the cult founded.
As these brood cycles grow anew, other Maguses are born who oversee these distant regions, and the cells that operate within them. These powerful bioforms often fancy themselves rivals of their peers on the same world, believing that their gene-sire favours only one of their number as his high prophet.
They seek to outdo one another with ambitious acts of infamy and subversion. This is but an elaborate overture, of course, for their differences and festering grudges are immediately put aside when the cult's uprising begins. Any illusion of autonomy fades away, and the Maguses work in perfect concert to achieve their Patriarch's desires and unknowingly pave the way for the coming of the Tyranids.
When the hour of ascension arrives, a Magus will lead the faithful of their gene-sect to battle, unleashing the full, terrible might of their psychic powers. Where once their hypnotising gaze was employed to dominate obstinate rivals and ultimately sway them to the cult's cause, now it is used to pit their enemies against one another.
Unable to resist the spellbinding influence of the Magus, blank-eyed Imperial soldiers turn their guns upon their comrades, slaughtering them with robotic indifference. Entire squads of enemy warriors are left stumbling and dazed by waves of disorienting psychic energy, unable to react as the cult's biomorph-equipped shock troops barrel into their ranks.
Broodmind Psychic Powers
The Genestealer Patriarch and Magus are potent psykers, able to use their formidable powers to bend others to their will. This mental dominance not only ensures that the gestalt consciousness of the cult's masses serves as one, but can also be channelled to crush those who would oppose their plans before they reach fruition. The powers that a Patriarch or Magus can wield include the following abilities.
- Mass Hypnosis - The psyker's eyes glow strangely as they cast their gaze across their chosen victims, using mental dominion to put them into a trance-like state so the cult can take them apart -- or present them to the Genestealer Patriarch for infection -- at leisure.
- Mind Control - Palsied fingers twitch and facial muscles spasm as the psyker's chosen mark is taken over completely. Relegated to a mere passenger within their own body, they are forced to witness their own traitorous actions as they open fire upon or otherwise act against their trusted comrades.
- Psionic Blast - The psyker focuses the alien hatred of their kind into a blaze of pallid energies. Where their gaze falls, the enemy are consumed -- the last thing they hear is a shrill screech of triumph.
- Mental Onslaught - The psyker, well used to forcing their will upon those who would resist them, intensifies their hypnotic power to such a degree it can cause their victims' brains to swell to bursting point inside their skulls.
- Psychic Stimulus - The unknowable power of the cult's gestalt Broodmind flows into the psyker's chosen mortal instruments, spurring these cultists into a religious frenzy that sees them attack with hyperactive speed.
- Might from Beyond - An alien strength lurks in every being that carries the Genestealer's genetic curse. With a low whisper that rises to a scream, the psyker amplifies this hidden might, and their followers are swollen with empowering energy born of the void itself, enhancing their physical strength and combat potential.
- Bijall Calcearius - In the year 645.M39, it was a time of great strife and conflict across the galaxy. Four hundred standard years earlier, one of the wealthy families of the Vidar Sector, the Calcerarius of the Darkfall System, saw their power uprooted by an invasion of the most foul kind. The Calcearius clan, led by Februss Calcearius, fled for their lives to the planet Praedis Zeta, there to seek sanctuary in the coming centuries. It was here that the Calcearius family managed to rise to the upper echelons of Hive Primus, using careful diplomacy to gain the Planetary Governor's favour. Headed by Bijall, the ancestor of Februss, the family regained a fraction of their former political power. Some years past, Bijall Calcearius began acting very strangely. Normally a very sly and politically involved man, he had begun to remove himself from diplomatic society and shut himself away in his chambers for solar weeks at a time. Concerned for his health (and the political upheaval his death would cause), Bijall's kin spread the rumour that he had been called away on important family business. In fact, he would spend many solar hours poring over ancient and forbidden texts and conducting his experiments. Rumour spread of these experiments and their heinous biological nature, and before long, infants in his household were being born with an unnatural appearance; hybrids of a most bestial kind. Bijall had changed; he appeared off-colour and some said he could wield the psychic power of the Warp. Suspicions were aroused and the local branch of the Inquisition called for. But before he could be restrained for questioning and tests, he escaped into the Polis region of Hive Primus to continue his vile experiments. The Adeptus Arbites sent out search parties but to no avail -- he had disappeared to continue his work and the children of Polis were doomed to mutation. Word soon reached the Imperius Reavers -- a grave xenos threat had infiltrated Hive Primus; Bijall Calcearius was a vile Genestealer Cult Magus of terrible power and had begun to organically alter the population of Praedis Zeta. Using primitive Tyranid DNA, he had slowly begun to turn the innocent citizens of Hive Primus into hideous Genestealer hybrids -- mindless creatures to serve his will. Hell-bent on the destruction of life on this planet in preparation for the invasion of a Tyranid Hive Fleet, the Bijall Cult was out for blood. With riots on the streets and Imperial authority undermined, there was no time to lose. The Space Marines of the Imperius Reavers Chapter, who called Praedis Zeta their homeworld, and led by their Chapter Master, Vassile Belousov, quickly mobilised, sending messages to local Imperial allies of the threat. The xenos were to be purged at all costs. The Reavers had fought alongside their Founding Chapter in the First Tyrannic War, and the notion of the genetic abominations created by the Genestealers on Praedis Zeta was abhorrent to the Astartes. They would stop at nothing to clear their home planet of this alien threat and were utterly merciless in their pursuit of their goal. Ultimately, after a brutal and hard-fought campaign and much loss of innocent life, the Imperius Reavers were successful in cleansing their homeworld of the Genestealer taint.
- Marovitch Tenndarc - Marovitch Tenndarc was the first Magus of the Pauper Princes cult on its genesis infestation world of Chancer's Vale. He spoke with such conviction about a new life amongst the stars that thousands fell under his sway in the space of a few short solar weeks. Swathes of the world's populace united in their devotion to the Star Saviour. Every Emperor's Day, the Magus sermonised to rapturous applause about the glories to come. Tenndarc died saving the Star Saviour himself -- the cult's Genestealer Patriarch -- by diving in front of a Ratling sniper's bullet. The Abhuman assassin was torn to pieces within the hour, Tenndarc attained the status of a saint, and the cult's flock quadrupled in size. Since that day the cult has had a fierce hatred of Ratlings, and in any war zone that harbours these diminutive Imperial Guardsmen, they will go to great lengths to destroy them -- for that which nearly killed their Patriarch may one day finish the job, and this they cannot allow. "Saint" Tenndarc's mummified corpse now decorates the first sacred banner of the Pauper Princes.
- Codex: Genestealer Cults (8th Edition), pp. 28-29 43, 81, 113
- Codex: Genestealer Cults (7th Edition), pp. 26
- Warhammer 40,000: Campaign Weekend - Vidar's Fate: Praedis Zeta (PDF) - (Available Here)
|Genestealer Cults Forces|
|Command||Genestealer Patriarch • Magus • Primus|
|Specialists||Clamavus • Nexos • Biophagus • Sanctus|
|Elites||Abominant • Jackal Alphus • Kelermorph • Locus|
|Troops||Acolyte Hybrid • Neophyte Hybrid • Hybrid Metamorph • Brood Brothers • Purestrain Genestealer • Aberrant • Genestealer Familiar • Mindwyrm Familiar • Atalan Jackals|
|Vehicles||Dirtcycle • Wolfquad • Goliath Truck • Goliath Rockgrinder • Achilles Ridgerunner • Chimera • Sentinel • Leman Russ Tank (Leman Russ Eradicator • Leman Russ Exterminator • Leman Russ Vanquisher)|