Flagellant Orders

The Flagellant Orders are a highly conspicuous phenomenon in the contemporary Cult of Sigmar. They are not, however, a single group. Each order of flagellants has its own unique beliefs, and may be strongly opposed to all other orders. What unites them is the misguided belief that by offering up their pain, they somehow please their Gods. Since the world is such a grim place, full of suffering, grief, and bloodshed, they have no doubt that this is the preferred way of things to the Gods.[1a]

Some groups take only men, others only women, and some both, while other groups only take people of a certain age, from children to the elderly. Some take anyone, others require a probationary period. A few take temporary members, others require a lifelong commitment. Many require some specific mutilation of new members, but others trust the constant self-torture to produce mutilations pleasing to Sigmar.[1a]

Despite all these differences, the groups do have a lot in common. The most important thing is their emphasis on flagellation; or, more generally, on the infliction of pain on members of the group. A true flagellant group only tortures members of the group, although a few will beat volunteers who do not wish to join permanently. Flagellation is the most popular form of this, as it can be continued indefinitely if used in moderation, but every form of torture used in the Empire is used by some group somewhere.[1a]

The overwhelming majority of flagellants perform their torture publicly, often processing through towns while each member scourges the person in front. While doing this, the leader generally preaches the group’s unique doctrine.[1a]

Most groups form around a charismatic leader, who generally believes the recent horrific events, particularly the Storm of Chaos, are punishments sent from Sigmar because they have dishonoured the Empire. Unless the people do penance for their ways, these preachers claim, Sigmar will destroy the whole world, or let the Ruinous Powers do so. A few groups form around leaders who believe that the group can take the wrath of the Gods on itself, and then do penance for everyone. Others think that the torture will make them worthy of great gifts from Sigmar. A few groups even survive the death of the leader that brought them together, but most fall apart at that point, the members finding other groups to join.[1a]

Flagellants are generally tolerated, not least because the general population feels that they might be right, and would resist any attempt to suppress them. Individual groups that cross the line into politics or dangerous heresy are ruthlessly suppressed, but many flagellants are allowed to operate openly. A few priests even endorse their actions, and lead flagellant groups themselves.[1a]

Source Edit

  • 1: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2nd ED -- Tome of Salvation
    • 1a: pg. 107

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