Some time before the Horus Heresy and his ascension to the Golden Throne, the Emperor of Mankind became gravely concerned with the threats posed by Warp Sorcery and the existence of Creatures of the Warp. At the Council of Nikaea he forbade the use of Warp Sorcery by the Imperium, and created a special department of the Administratum, the Adeptus Curates, for the express purpose of gathering and collating information on these strange threats.
To combat the dangers of Xenos and the Warp, the purpose of the Adeptus Curates is to collect and analyze objects of interest, to compile information gathered by its operatives, and to make these available to the forces of the Imperium to enable them to better combat these threats.
Over time though, the mandate of the Curates has gradually widened to encompass the discovery and recovery of all sorts of Archeotech, tablets, inscriptions, STC printouts, or even STC fragments; to supervise and superintend explorator efforts and archaeological expeditions throughout the Imperium and beyond.
The Museum is a small office of the Administratum, where the Curates are created, where they receive their orders from, and where their discoveries are collated and sent on to the appropriate departments, such as the Ordos of the Inquisition, the Adeptus Mechanicus, or the Adeptus Astra Telepathica.
The Museum is also a vast storehouse where unidentified artifacts are kept and fragments of information are stored, awaiting the discovery of some new fragment which will enable the Curators to discover their meaning and purpose.
A Curator stands only a little taller than an average human, but are each stronger and faster than a Space Marine: operating anonymously, either alone or in small groups, they may be mistaken for Inquisitors, since they investigate Psychic outbreaks and Xeno ruins and discoveries, the same as some Inquisitors do. But Curates are more akin to wandering scholars: they do not carry any greater authority than any adept of the Administratum.
The Curates are explorers and archaeologists, investigating and researching the most obscure archives of knowledge, excavating ruins for ancient tablets, inscriptions and artifacts: once their mission is complete, the Curators bring all their finds to The Museum on Holy Terra for collation, analyzation, and shipment to the department which can best use the knowledge or artifact.
While Curators share a genetic kinship with one another within the organization, they do not have the same spirit of brotherhood that is instilled within the Astartes. Indeed, each Curator prepares and inspects his equipment individually, and while it is not uncommon for them to work in groups in special circumstances, Curators usually work as lone operatives.
Creation of a Curator
Recruited from the youth of Holy Terra, the Adepts of the Curates are genetically and psychologically altered, along the lines of the Adeptus Custodes to make them stronger and faster. The genetic enhancement that forms the Custodes is different from and predates that developed to create Space Marines; it is neither as refined or as simple, thus the Curators are not "mass-produced" as the Astartes are; meaning that each Curator is a unique investment for the Imperium.
Although the Curates are formidable warriors, they were never intended to be part of the Emperor's army; such a role is already filled by the Astartes. This is revealed both in their mindset and training.
The training of the Curates differs immensely from the Astartes, being explorators and scholars rather than soldiers. While each Curator is a highly-trained warrior, capable of protecting themselves and their discoveries, their training focuses on identifying, analyzing, and safely acquiring and transporting objects of interest.
A Curates Expedition is usually a small affair, consisting of a Curator and his retinue, and the equipment they cannot acquire locally. But en route, they may be joined by Imperial Guard and Navy detachments, and once on-site, if an inhabited planet they will hire laborers and bearers locally, sometimes they will hire hundreds or even thousands.
Expeditions are often collaborations between the Adeptus Curates and some other Division of the Adeptus Terra: often including an Imperial Guard and/or Navy contingent for defense, an expedition may include contingents from the Adeptus Mechanicus, Adeptus Astra Telepathica, or the Inquisition(the Brotherhood of the Watchful Eye and the Adeptus Curates often collaborate in search of something specific).
Aside from planetary digs, the Curates are often called on to explore Space Hulks alongside Imperial forces, where their expertise can prove useful in exploring the dangerous environments of the Hulks.
Apart from the Curators, the Adeptus Curates employs a large number of unaugmented humans: techs, clerks and scholars, and crewmen on the Curates' ships. Rogue Traders and regular merchants are sometimes employed on a temporary basis to provide transport or other services.
Each Curator is usually accompanied by a retinue of Explorators, which may include a Mechanicum Adept, an Astropath, Calculus Logi, lexmechanic, Sister Dialogous, or a bodyguard such as a weapons servitor or an Imperial Guard veteran.
The Curates like to travel lightly-loaded, taking with them only what they cannot acquire locally. Given that their expeditions often take them to Feral and even uninhabited worlds, they must often carry all sorts of digging tools, cleaning equipment, prefabrication buildings, and all sorts of other equipment and supplies needed to support an exploratory effort beyond outside support.
Curates travel to the far reaches of the Imperium and even beyond, often encountering enemies of mankind far beyond any support. So Curates always go armed.
While Curators have a great deal of autonomy in weapons choice, they almost never carry the powerful Bolters, because the supply requirements make them impractical on long expeditions. Particularly influential or fortunate Curators may acquire Plasma or Melta weapons, but Curates rely almost entirely on Lasgun and Autogun variants for their defense
Relations With Other Divisions of the Adeptus Terra
The Curates generally do not get on well with the Ordos of the Inquisition, but they have a close relationship with the Brotherhood of the Watchful Eye, due to their similar interests and goals.
The Imperial Guard and Navy dislike detaching the ships and men to protect the far-flung Curates digs and camps, and the rank and file rarely enjoy rooting through old Xeno ruins when their comrades are fighting elsewhere. But the discoveries made have proved useful, or even decisive, often enough that no-one complains.
The Adeptus Astartes
Variable: the more orthodox Chapters tend to take a dim view of collecting Xeno tech and Warp sorcery rather than destroying it.
The Curates had something of an adversarial relationship with the Relictors for many years: the Astartes sought to make immediate use of the artifacts they discovered, while the Curates wanted to take them to Terra for study. Since the Relictors have been declared excommunicatus, this has blossomed into open warfare, with both groups raiding and harrying each others' explorator teams.
Adeptus Astra Telepathica
The Adeptus Curates and Adeptus Astra Telepathica obviously have converging interests, and they have often collaborated on important projects.
The Adeptus Curates has a somewhat tempestuous relationship with the Ecclesiarchy: many cardinals of the Ecclesiarchy feel the Curators are far too independent, while at times, artifacts the Ecclesiarhy considered rightly theirs, are discovered by the Curates and given to another organization entirely.
This has sometimes flared into open warfare between the Curates and the Orders Militant- particularly the Order of the Sacred Gate. At times though, the Ecclesiarchy has sought the aid of the Curates in excavating ancient shrines, and restoring holy sites to prominence.
Relations with Xenos and Heretics
Their digs often bring the Curates into conflict with the Eldar, who dislike other people taking their history.
Their expeditions sometimes bring the Curates to worlds infested by Feral Orks, but otherwise they usually stay far away from the Greenskins, preferring to let the professional soldiers deal with them.
The mighty Thousand Sons Sorcerer has on at least three occasions encountered Curates' expeditions(and probably more in which there were no survivors to report the encounter). He is believed to be in possession of several stolen artifacts, and all Curates are instructed to be on the lookout for him.
In their far-ranging missions to recover ancient technology, the Curates often find themselves at odds with these schismatics from the Dark Mechanicum.
These are purely background characters, so don't go playing with them, okay? You wanna use Bellock for a villain, go right ahead, or you want Jaloo to transport your party, that's fine, but don't go changing them or anything.
Frederick Mitchell Hedges
Perhaps the greatest Curator of all, Hedges has collected no fewer than four thousand pieces of Archeotech in a career spanning two hundred years and across the Imperium from end to end, including no fewer than twenty-nine complete STC print-outs, as well as many more fragments.
He has also played no small part in the Curates' efforts to protect their scattered camps and digs from the predations of the enemies of mankind: he has proven himself a formidable warrior, slaying the Ork Warboss Harrugk in single combat, single-handedly destroying three Chaos Warbands on separate occasions, and commanding successful defenses against many more, as well as against Orks, Eldar, Tyranids, and many others.
The civilian pilot known only as 'Jaloo' was one of many employed by the Curates to ferry supplies to the Curates camp on the uninhabited world of Materlu. Shortly after a breakthrough and the discovery of an STC print-out fragment, an Eldar Reaver Fleet appeared in-system. Despite the danger, Jaloo piloted an unarmored shuttle to the camp, and then back into space, evading the attacks of multiple flights of Eldar space fighters. Thanks to his bravery and piloting skill, the print-out and the entire Curates team was saved.
To reward him for his deed, the Curates procured a Warrant of Trade or Jaloo, making him a Rogue Trader. Since then, he has often aided the Curates, transporting teams to worlds beyond the Imperium and supporting them on-station.
The Dark Curator, Bellok
Known 'The Dark Curator' Bellock was a rival of Hedges' for many years before he discovered an ancient tablet of Xeno origin on Gamorra III, one that predated the founding of the Imperium, and perhaps even the Human species. Bellock murdered his explorator team, then escaped the planet and delivered the tablet to the infamous Chaos Warlord Haos. Apparently, this tablet enabled Haos to direct a tendril of Hive Fleet Behemoth to the Hive World Kana: the loss of Kana weakened the Jarus Sector defenses sufficiently for Haos to attack the Sector Fleet Base, and was only repelled after he had slaughtered most of the civilian population and caused much damage.
Since then, Bellock has aided numerous Champions of the Dark Powers, delivering information and ancient artifacts of power into their hands. He has also so far evaded capture despite the strenuous efforts of several Inuisitors, and the Curates themselves: he has murdered thirteen Curates, either to escape capture or to steal an artifact in their possession.
Considered by his fellows to be something of a crackpot, Foley spent many years studying ancient records on Cadia and other worlds around the Eye of Terror. He contrived the idea that an STC might remain on one of the worlds on the very edge of the great Warp Rift. Ignoring all council and sense to the contrary, he led his retinue into the Eye.
Nearly a year later, Foley returned with half his retinue. Though apparently free from corruption, they were unable to speak of what happened within the Eye, and Foley would say only that 'the STC does not exist' leading some to believe that it did but Foley was forced to destroy it.
Heroes of the Curates
If you make your own Curates characters, write about them here!