The Genestealer Cults are a faction of humans who have been infected with the genestealer virus and have become loyal to the Tyranid race.
These Xenos-infected worshippers are often depicted as being secretive and covert, operating in the shadows and working towards the eventual invasion of the Imperium by the Tyranids. Beginning with an infection, each generation of Genestealer hybrid undermines the Imperium and keeps their mutations hidden under robes and industrial clothing until the day of reckoning when their existence is finally revealed.
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- Some cultists are monstrous, hiding in dank tunnels with robes and multi-limbed mutations. Others are pallid and bald, passing themselves off as Imperial citizens. The lifecycle of these mutations are multigenerational, and whenever a Genestealer implants a victim, a horrific birth will soon follow. As more breeding occurs, Genestealer Hybrids will change from grotesque and misshapen creatures to near-human imposters.
Sneaky, sneaky, don't you think?
- As they evolve into near-human appearances, Genestealer Cults will infiltrate and corrupt various organizations and institutions in the Imperium to weaken its defenses. These can include members of parliament, well-positioned planetary guards, and even food substations which can carry viruses.
Get. In. My. BELLY!
- Genestealer Cults may experience external conflicts as they stage their uprising, notably with the Inquisition or the Astra Militarum. Should they be victorious in beating back the Imperium, the arrival of their ‘Star Gods’ the Tyranids carries with them an insightful reward: in the last moments before they are consumed, the Genestealer’s psychic influence ‘wears thin’ and cultists realize they’ve been manipulated all along and there is no ascension — just becoming food. By this point, though, it’s too late.