The Seventh Sanctum are an insane group of ponies hailing from outside Equestria. Once an Equestria religion based on the magic relating to the number 7, the real reason for the cult was lost over time under the leaders' sadism and blood thirst.
They are led en mass as one organism by the leaders of the Sanctum, truly warped ponies, centuries old who are deluded into the idea of an elitist pony race, and belive themself to be immortal because they were born on the Seventh day of the Seventh month of the Seventh millenium. Their belief in anything good faded over time, and the religion became a cult, deranged and blood thirsty.
The Sanctum are one of the the few self contained oranisations in Equestria, not relating to any other criminal organisations.
RecruitmentThe original members of the Sanctum were truly insane, and belived thoroughly in their own cause, however as time went on, their numbers dwindled, as most ponies were appauled by the Seventh Sanctums actions and beliefs. This led them to the most sick and twisted part of the Sanctum, their conversion machines. Anypony the sanctum caputure alive is attached to the machine by a cranial cap and hoof straps. The machine requires the subject to forget all their previous memories, and to make a subject lose focus on their self, it stimulates the brains pain sensors at random intervels. Because all bar a few cultists are pure black, one device is responsible for tattooing the entire body black, this removes the cutie mark, further blurring the ponies identity, and another for any other body modifications, such as cutting away excess fat, removing higher brain functions and correcting any muscle defects. The whole process is done without anasthetic, to help the patient forget their previous life, and usually takes two days of solid work to complete. Once done, the victim is filled with adrenaline to keep them awake, and indoctrinated with The Seventh Sanctum's propaganda. The battle cries enemies hear on the field are often legitamate screams of pain from newly converted members.
Occasionaly, the process can fail, and produces mutated creatures, or kills outright. On rare occasions, it works too well and produces ridiculously strong ponies with sole loyalty to the Sanctum's leadership, these are useless on the battle field, but provide excelent guards for the Leaders themselves. These pitiful creatures often sport huge wings, red body patches and bizzare pupils in their eyes. As a side effect of this process, the members are made infertile and cannot produce offspring.
Pre-Nightmare MoonThe Sanctum were in their fist incarnation, a pony religious order, beliving in supremecy of certain pony groups above others. Over time, the leaders of the religion became corrupted by greed and hatred, untill eventualy the religion was outlawed in Equestria. Those still loyal journeyed to the dragon lands far above Equestria, where they became bitter and vengeful. The sanctum dropped their religious views and became hell bend on the destruction of anypony they deemed 'weak' to create an ideal world of elite ponies. Leading members raided Equestria Laboratories, and stole gene manipulation equipment that was being tested, as well as kidnapping one of the leading scientists, Dr Sine. In captivity, they tortured Dr Sine and forced him to reveal the secrets of the technology they had stolen. Eventualy, he told them everything, and the Sanctum began to test said technology on foals. They warped the doctor's mind so badly that he was driven to madness. Before all the nobility in him was gone, he attempted suicide by throwing himself into heavy machinary, to destroy the evil the sanctum had infected him with, but he only managed to cripple his body, and caused it permanate blindness. After he was treated by the cultists crude medics, he joined them as their lead scientist. Under his guidence they performed many crude and experimental modifications to foals they kidnapped, resulting in deformed but incredibly addapted and loyal creatures, to the point of fanatical devotion to the leaders. Using mind warping technology, and many large tattooing machines, the Sanctum began to build their numbers outside Equestria.
Post-Nightmare MoonAfter Nightmare Moon's banishment, the sancum launced a mass attack of 5000 troops on Canterlot, they were defeated by the royal guards and Equestrian Army, but both sides took heavy casualties. The Sanctum went back into hiding, to create a larger force than ever before. It was arround this point that Dr Sine found the artifact, a damaged relic from an ancient race, long before ponydom existed. It created a It led to a huge floating city, but not like Cloudsdale. It was made from metal, and it was full of bones. Many ponies had died in the city, more like a floating tomb than anything else, though to have been corrupted and warped by chaos . This was exactly what the deranged wanna-be-god emporers of the sanctum needed. They refitted the city as their stronghold, and raided and reinforced from there.