By Will or Sword; a study of the cult of Drusus in the Imperium and the Koronus expanse

By Angmar Severus, Missionary with the Rogue Trader vessel Lazarus


It is such that within my travels on the Lazarus I have encounted a Drusian cult that called into question my own concepts of what the hero of the Angevin Crusade truly believed. It has been years since I have been called upon to write a theological thesis and as such I would apologise to you, humble reader, for the dullness of my tongue. I will outline the traditional Drusian view of power and follow with the view of this cult towards power before analysing the differences between the two.

Drusus’ Theory of Human Ascendancy.
The Saint wrote this theory when first ascended from mortality and began to lead the crusade, penning the words on a scroll of vellum made from the skin of the Yu’vath he personally killed with his holy mace. It was later copied to text and the original tome burned. This itself has been a contentious issue but the saint addresses this claiming “Humanity’s dominance of other species gives them the right to deal with them and their possessions as they see fit”. I first received a copy of Drusus’ treatise when I was a novice from the drill sergeant at the monastery and it enthralled me. He single handily justifies humanity’s ascension in such an undeniable way that it is said one thousand xeno-heretics asserted their own error after reading it.

The theory justifies the ascendance of man based on their unique connection to the Emperor. Firstly he states that in a situation the dominant force, whether this be philosophically, mentally or physically, is that with the most control over the situation. Secondly he claims that the force with control of a situation have the right and responsibility to assert their will upon it. Thirdly he asserts that due to their widening control over the galaxy (Physical dominance- F1), not to mention their mantle of the only known race in the galaxy to worship the Emperor (Spiritual dominance- F2) and their greater evolution that other races (Mental dominance- F3) that humanity is superior to all other races. From this he relates that due to this superiority humanity is undoubtedly the dominant force. He concludes that therefore it is humanity’s right and responsibility to enforce their will upon lesser races and civilisations.
Put simply:

P1: In a situation the dominant force has control over the situation
P2: The force with control over a situation has an obligation to enforce their will on lesser forces.
P3: Humanity is superior to other forces in terms of Physical strength, strength of Spirit and Mental dominance.
C1: Humanity is the dominant force in the galaxy.
C2: Humanity has an obligation to assert its will on lesser forces.

With these conclusions Drusus justifies the xenocide and subjugation of lesser forces in the galaxy, and validates his own Angevin crusade. Drusus asserts that humanity is right in conquering others, as they hold the ‘Mantle of Domination and the Sword of the Righteous’ (as he so eloquently puts it).
Some drusian theologians assert that humanity has not always held the physical or mental dominance of the galaxy and therefore their original ascendance of humanity is unjust.
The Saint answers this with the follow premises:

P1: Humanity is the only known species to worship the Emperor.
P2: Faith in the Emperor leads to physical and mental superiority over non-believers.
P3: Since his birth the Emperor has been the only true deity of mankind.
C: Since his birth humanity has had Spiritual, Physical and Mental superiority over the galaxy.

I had always interpreted this as Drusus asserting the right of Humanity to conquer others, not of the individuals right to conquer another. It does not speak of a barbarian leading other simpletons by force but a galaxy wide justification for humanity’s ownership of the known universe due to their connection with the Emperor. This view has been challenged recently at my arrival at the system Drusus’ Touch [MAP REF: 345-12-6432-AP] in the form of an attaché theory I will refer to Human Ascendancy- B.

Drusus’ Theory of Human Ascendancy- B.
As explained to me by High-Lector Sanine of world designation Bethany Prime
Within this sector they speak of Drusus as not only a conquerer or xenos but of man, and his ascendancy as a proof of his theory’s more focused purpose. I reached these parts as part of the crew of a Rogue Trader vessel, taking His Light to the outer reaches of space in my role as a missionary. It was here that I discovered the area Drusus’ Touch and became familiar with the philosophical beliefs held by its inhabitants.

They speak of Drusus’ theory as only the broad strokes of a greater work by the Saint. Speaking not only of humanity’s ownership of the galaxy but of each man’s dominance within the Imperium. They justify this by stating that:
“As the Lord-Terra must worship the Emperor so too must the humble serf, as his touch reaches from high to low. So then therefore as it is His law that determines force, why too should Drusus’ law of strength not also apply from the Lord-Commander down to the smallest ant, should he worship the Emperor?”
The premise can be simplified as an addition to the Saint’s original theory.

P1: If Drusus’ theory holds then the dominant force is that with the strongest connection to the Emperor.
P2: Things that are true on a greater scale are often true on a smaller scale.
C: The Drusian theory holds on a lesser level as well as a greater.

The people here live in a lifestyle I am familiar with, it being a strange mix of the hyper militarism of the Fortress World of my youth with the holy sanctity of the monastery where I spent my formative years. They attend church in the morning as regularly as they run combat drills and priests carry a blade on their hip like others would carry a tome. If one challenges for a position of authority a tribunal is set up to determine their strength of faith and will. Should the challenger meet these criteria the challenge is determined in the sands of the cathedral training grounds, the winner of the battle being determined chosen by the Emperor for the position in question. I have witness some dozen of these challenges in my time here and more often than not the loser of the challenge are cast into a grave in the cathedrals yard, their blood still adorning the blade of their successor. This real-world example of this form of the Saint’s teaching is not led by bloodlust or barbarism but by learning and scholarly pursuits, leading to what may be the purest form of this neo-Drusism that I have encountered.

The people here are perfectly comfortable applying their version of Drusus’ law to any situation, believing it to apply to any historical event. As they see it a Living Saint, Drusus, had all three of the necessary components to be considered the dominant force in the crusade and his crusade, in turn, had the components necessary to enforce their will on the Yu’vath and other such Xenos in the Calixus Sector.

Criticism and Analysis.
I wear Drusus’ law comfortably, the truth of human ascendancy a self-fulfilling truth in my eyes, but this new addition sits uneasy with me. It seems evident that mankind’s special connection to the Emperor makes it uniquely qualified to be the dominant force in the galaxy and conquer others as they see fit. On the scale of the galaxy or of a planet or of a single faithful man fighting a horde of xenos this seems to stand, the scale unimportant as long as it is humanity that justifies the action, not the individual. This new theory confounds this, however, as it refers to conflict within humanity itself as also following the principle. As a theologian this worries me, as it seems closer in line to the self-worship or blood worship of primitives than to the holy worship of the God Emperor. Nevertheless time will tell.

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