Aliens are sentient non-human life. Unlike mutants, the alien is utterly separate from the sacred human form, rather than a corruption of it – a human being can give birth to a mutant, and even vice versa, but humans and aliens are biologically incompatible with each other. Unlike daemons, aliens are physical, corporeal creatures. The Ecclesiarchy teaches that the alien is a mockery of life, a blasphemous challenge to the natural and righteous supremacy of man.


Although official Ecclesiarchy doctrine always refers to the four great embodiments of evil as the daemon, the mutant, the heretic, and the “alien,” only one type of alien is known to exist on Nova: the ork. No other species of alien exists in Novan tradition or iconography, outside the fancies of children.

As of the thirty-sixth of Bloom, in the twenty-first year of Hugh Darry‘s hold of House Darry, in the Age of Steel, Olive Mollin encountered another species of alien: the eldar. In addition, the Imperial Infantryman’s Uplifting Primer speaks of yet a third species, the tyranid, which no Novan has yet seen.

On the first of Harvest in the same year, members of the 8th Breslin Infantry confirmed that they had encountered starships of the Tau in orbit around Nova prior to landing.

Interactions with Aliens

According to the church, every aspect of the alien is corrosive to the soul. As the alien’s blasphemous nature comes from its very non-humanness, so too are its food, culture, material artifacts, religion, and even language blasphemous perversions. This doctrine tends to discourage in-depth study of the alien, which is one reason why so many aspects of orkish culture are a mystery to Novans. According to official church doctrine, the only good alien is a dead alien, and the only spiritually permissible way to interact with an alien is to kill it. Anything else – trading with, speaking with, or even ignoring the alien – is a sin.

Nevertheless, most Novans (and even most priests) take a rather more practical view. While it may be the duty of every faithful servant of the Emperor to attack the alien on sight (or at the least, begin the feudal process to muster a violent response), few priests preach that the ork must be destroyed root and branch in its own territories. The Emperor’s servants have other concerns, after all – and in any case, every recorded expedition into orkish lands has ended in ignominious defeat.

In fact, the uncomfortable truth – so uncomfortable that few Novans recognize it – is that even orks are not slavering monsters bent solely on slaughter and destruction. Aliens are reasoning creatures (yet another reason to avoid interacting with them, according to the church, the better to avoid their temptations and wiles) and can be interacted with in all the ways that the Ecclesiarchy proscribes. It is not unheard of for humans to engage in peaceful trade with the ork or even to hire orks as mercenaries, although such arrangements must usually be concealed in some way (an orkish warband, for instance, might fortuitously happen upon a battle between two human armies, from such a direction that it only makes sense to attack one instead of the other …). Even the most world-weary nobles will seize the opportunity afforded by being able to accuse a rival of heretical dealings with the alien.

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