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I've seen two pieces of fluff regarding Obliterators and they're both a bit confusing; one of them says they're just ordinary Terminators who caught some kind of mega-rabies and melded with all kinds of weapons but are essentially members of Chaos warbands just like any other CSM, albeit "rare and prized" members, while another says they're Terminators who caught the mega-rabies then split off from whatever Legion or warband they were with to form "Obliterator Cults" who roam the warp selling their heavy weapon-hands to anyone who's asking in return for more weapons or technologies to merge with. If that's the case might it be possible for some amoral radical Inquisitor or sneaky Guard officer to hire them with the promise of much shiny weaponry to absorb?...
Maybe so, but if word gets to any other members of the all-seeing =I=, it exterminatum for him!
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The second one is correct. They are an independent entity in and of themselves. That said, I would find it very hard to believe that a Guard commander would ever enlist the services of an Obliterator Cult without having already turned to Chaos or at least defected from the Imperium. However, if his men were not behind him on the defection, then seeing a bunch of gigantic, hulking, warp-twisted monstrosities marching alongside you would be very damaging to morale. Also, even if the Guard commander had rare enough technology to offer the Obliterators, I would think that they'd just say "Screw you" and take it by force.
However, a radical inquisitor would not be hard to believe. They're much more likely to possess such technology and are also much more likely to be able to effectively deter the Obliterators from simply trying to take it. But these would have to be very radical inquisitors as Obliterators are very much warp-spawn.
sorry Charlie. But Obliterators are actually tech priests who have been infected with the the obliterator virus, a mutating techno-disease that ravishes the body and causes gross mutations to swell and form multi-various weapons in which to destroy one's foe's! havent' you ever wondered what happened to all those chaos tech-marines?
As far as the original question goes, it seems that the "obliterator cults" are indeed separate entities and form their own kind of worship and so on. I can't give any authoritative source for this, but much of what I've read that's been ok'd by GW on the matter seems to point towards the virus itself becoming the focus of the cults. And have more than a little effect on one's sanity. So it's likely that Obliterators form their own organisation and drift as they please.
There was one (non-GW staff) source that suggested that the Iron Warriors institutionalised a process of infection of its members, but given that the article that put this forward has been purged from GW's site (along with a lot of good Inquisitor stuff ), how authentic such a theory can be is questionable.
I found the section that AlbinoAlien was talking about. Page 35 of the newest Chaos Marine codex, Obliterators are "Often once Techmarines of the Emperor's Space Marines." So, they are not always this. It also says that they do not bear marks of any Chaos God or any particular warband, instead moving between warbands and exchanging their services for ancient or exotic technologies.
well xerxes there ya have it! pg 35, or something like that. thanks for gettin it for me subsocial!
but also, the part of conversion of tech priests im referencing to is in the novel Storm of Iron, where a tech priest is infected with and changed into--------an obliterator!
alright, i'll concede that point. Here's a question though, who exactly does the virus effect? can normal people get injected? or is it only those machine inclined?
So the consensus is that if an Inquisitor was Radical enough, and he could find them, he just might be able to hire... the Obliterator Team?