Cult of the Punishers is a secretive and independent cult which its actions and goals are mostly unknown, consisted of genetically enhanced, close combatant Psykers whom they call the Punishers, and their servants. They inhabit the planet of Tormunglaciem, which is an Ice World, led by their Archpunisher Death.
The cult was first found by the Archbishop Himfea Gaur, as a detachment of The Church of Circrotgle, aiming the Punishers to be the instruments of the absolute justice of the True One throughout the entire galaxy. They were chosen among the Psykers who have shown promise in martial arts, to be strong in both the mind and the body. They have developed a technique which allowed them to access to one another's brain functions without drawing energy from the Warp, all done by the manipulation of electrical surge within their body.
When The Church of Circrotgle acquired Dark Eldar technology, they found new ways of making a human being physically superior to others. Involving the Haemonculi prisoners in their experiments, they created their new super soldier and upgraded the Punisher Priests with it. Thus, the final form of Punishers was born.
They spread all across the galaxy, helping those in need, and fighting against countless horrors raining upon those who cannot protect themselves.
After the Daemonic incursion happened, divisions of the Church went different ways, some just fled for immigration, some stayed thinking that Legacium can still be saved, and some only cared for the good of their own division and began pursuing radical goals. One of those divisions is, of course, the deadliest cult of the Church: Punishers.
As Daemonic Incursion of Legacium happened through their new recruits and undiscovered individuals with psionic powers, most of their members died along with the highly trained ones. With the technology to create new Punishers efficiently were assumed lost, they found another solution that will prevent their kind from getting wiped off from existence, due to their incapability to reproduce with normal humans, creating Punisher-Priestesses.
The Archpunisher, whom they call Death, rallied the few remaining Punishers under his command, along with some former servants to the Punisher Cult, to resurrect their cult to its former strength, if not make it better. First, they recovered the blueprints of the equipment and technology that is used during the genetic modification process of a Punisher, along with some Cypriests and Biopriests. They established a lab on the Frozen World of Tormunglaciem, which lies within the uncharted space, and began reverse engineering the technology to make it capable of modifying also females. But the challenge was, they needed females with psychic powers, and their technology was early, which killed many of the females during the modification process. And the remaining alive were too fragile to reproduce or carry a baby. But in ten years, they improved their work and achieved enough efficiency.
Now what they seek is to gather as many powerful female psykers as they can -along with the reproductive glands of powerful male psykers, to engineer their organs and create better offspring.
Early Creation of a Punisher
In order to get recruited as a Punisher candidate, individuals had to have strict qualifications.
- Perfect physiology
- High willpower
To be recruited as a Punisher is a great honour, but requires great sacrifices. Once agreed to become one, there's nothing to return to but death. Candidates are not allowed to see or get in touch with their former families, friends or loved ones. Besides, %92.4 of the candidates fail to complete the process of becoming an official Punisher, they mostly die, some get taken as a slave, fall into madness or go rogue.
First, candidates take part in a series of genetic modification processes. Thus increasing their physiological traits, making them highly resistant to heat, cold and radiation. Making them taller, stronger and agiler. A fully trained Punisher can be as fast as a Wych, if not faster. As the benefits are many, risks are great.
This process is divided into five phases.
- Implanting - Candidate's body is cut open from several locations and gets his body implanted with dozens of tiny machines, working similar to gene-seeds.
- Tissue replacement - Implants replaces almost every tissue in the body, making them durable to harsh environments and impacts.
- Shifting - After the tissue replacement, tissues such as veins, bones and muscles expand or elongate, making the candidate taller and athletically muscular.
- Regeneration - Once the shifting process is complete, implants are removed from the body and body stays contained in a tank to heal the scars and slightly more expanded tissues.
- Adaptation - This process is the simplest, but much as important. The mobility, flexibility, receptivity of the candidate's body is tested, along with his mental health, due to the intense pain felt during the process.
If they survive the process, the candidates are taken into a training program, where they explore their new limits. They are educated with the best of martial arts known to men or humanoid Xenos like Eldar and Tau. They are taught to be able to use every single kind of blade there is, and they are taught to be able to fight against almost every kind of creature known to the galaxy. And meanwhile, they train their psionic powers, to prevent what happened in the Legacium from happening once again.
But it is not the only training they receive. Punisher candidates are taught with such an ability not known or used widely in the galaxy. They are taught to operate and manipulate the electrical surge through neurones, without the help of psionic powers. This ability is called several similar names, such as Neuric and Neuronic. First, they are taught to use it on their own body, to remove the pain in case of a deep wound or amputation, inflicting pain to test their willpower, or boosting their muscles with extra charge, to move faster than the Punisher standards. In the next level, they learn to recognise the electrical identity of their memories occurring inside their brains. Later on, they learn to manipulate them too. In the last level of Neuronic powers, candidates learn how to operate and manipulate another individual's electrical surge, through skin interaction. They learn how to remove another's pain, and if it is the case of "punishment", they learn how to constantly inflict pain, without letting their victim faint. They learn how to monitor another's thoughts and memories, and if needed, to manipulate them. They learn how to show their own memories to others. It is unknown that if it has ever been needed, but they also learn to manipulate feelings such as pleasure too.
The Neuronic powers are fascinating, but it is probably the second most dangerous ability to master - first being the Psionic Powers. During training candidate may stop his own heartbeat, crush his internal organs with the pressure inflicted by spasms, break their own bones apart, again, by the pressure inflicted by spasms, manipulate themselves into madness, manipulate themselves into a retard, stopping some or all their brain functions, and all of above to an another individual, in a wrong attempt. And these are but a fraction of what can happen if something goes wrong. It requires focus and hundreds of thousands of hours of training to master it.
After the candidates master both training programs, if eager and able to continue as a Punisher candidate, they are granted permission to wield a special weapon, called as "True Light". Being not a single weapon alone but a type of weapon, True Light is given to the candidates in the form of the blade which they have shown promise the most with. Be it dagger or sword, glaive or spear. It first appears as a pitch black material. If activated by the Punisher, it heats up, turns black to red, red to orange, and then orange to blinding white. It becomes so hot, that its radiation slowly burns away clothes if exposed. Given the weapon, the candidate gets sent into his pilgrimage, where he will return from to his cult as an official Punisher.
Through a Webway portal, one by one, they are sent into the Dark City, Commorragh. They are forced to stay there for five solar years, forbidden to cooperate with other candidates they run into. And in the end, they have to make it back on their own, from a longer path, other than the portal which got them into there. They mostly get taken as slaves and forced to do labour, sometimes their modified physiology is noticed by Haemonculus, becoming their new test subjects. If they are lucky, the psychic presence gets noticed in the first place, and they get executed at the spot.
Upon successfully returning to the cult after five years of nightmare, if the candidate is "sane enough", he is officially recognised as a Punisher Priest by Punisher Cult.
But it is widely known that most of the Punishers end up with psychosis, dementia and such mental disorders, proving that even the ones with the highest willpower cannot take a life of a Punisher for too long.