All of this has really stuck with me. I love the take.
it also occurs that given what we now know about the Cawdor - they may perhaps get a bit around the tech-priest issue through i) the 'reclamation of scrap' approach [i.e. a lot of their 'manufacture' isn't , per se , manufacture - although dependent upon how hidebound a techpriest is, the elements involved in making something that's almost-functional work again may very well infringe heavily into mechanicus territory ... or it may not - I mean, cleaning out a jam in an autorifle *does* possibly require sacred unguents and a litany, but I highly doubt that every ordinary Guardsman eqiupped iwth one is expected to get the local Enginseer to handle such relatively mundane tasks - and instead would do it themselves, *using* said lubricants and litany, as htey've been indoctrinated to do so .. it's also possible that certain 'field modifications' may fall into this category likewise] ;
ii) their particular understanding of the Imperial Cult - I mean, the way they see it, it's not implausible that the acts required to build those really-not-guardian-spears out of a sharp pointy bit , a pole , and whatever ballistic weapon they can lay their hands not-upon, as it is done in conscious imitation of the Divinely Mandated Form of the Weapons of the Emperor's Angels/Saints [i.e. the Custodes], as done by His Locally Appointed Servents [i.e. whichever Cawdor get charged with doing such things] - well, they might not see why this requires a tech-priest. Particularly given , as the Omissiah is the Emperor , it's merely 'another' form of Imperial Clergy, potentially unlikely to be found in any great concentration down amidst the scrap-heaps of hte Underhive unless something .. odd is afoot.
Certainly, it is an interestingly observed tendency for the religiously fanatical to 'give themselves permission' to 'bend' or even outright flaunt otherwise iron-clad rules as and as needs fit.
Now, i am not claiming that any of the above is, strictly speaking, background accurate. And of course, there are very solid arguments that the second point, in particular, is *wrong* in terms of Imperial Theology.
But unless we are seriously believing that there is a mendicant order of tech-priests out there going from hab-hold to hab-hold wrapping together autoguns and crowbars to form crudely larptastic "Guardian Spears" ... which, given 40k ... there actually very well *might be* ... it is a not *entirely* implausible explanation.
Although I now have an idea for , as somebody might have mentioned upthread , long-forgotten perhaps even low-key voluntary-exiled tech-priest orders cut off for whatever reason from commune with Mars continuing to do as they've done for centuries beforehand and producing material output which, if inspected by a 'legit' tech-priest somewehre, somewhen else, will not *especially* raise any serious eyebrows about heretek or unwarranted "innovation" by the non-schooled and un-learned filthy-handed ordinary Imperials.
Using Cawdor & downhive as an opportunity not only to explore the "extremes" of Imperial society, and religiosity, but also to hugely look at the effects of... schisms and isolationism.
I'm curious to delve into the feasibility of Necromunda for a variety of Mechanicus sub-cults, going being the (far too simple, in my esteem) Corpuscarii & Fulgirite divides, but drawing on a ton of the more obscure bits of lore, culture and theology. (Real world and 40k.)
Who needs Cawdor when you could be looking at an isolated Mechanicus cult who've unexpectedly uncovered some xenos-or-low-key-unusual heretical stuff. Stuff that was institutionally outlawed, not for "real" heresy, but for doctrinal heresy.
Less xenarite schisms, more Gnostic gospels. Less Gnostic Demiurge, more accidental Demiurg!
Edited by Xisor, 07 August 2018 - 04:09 PM.