40K Officio Assassinorum Information

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Teleros
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40K Officio Assassinorum Information

Post by Teleros » 2008-06-27 03:07pm

Inspired in part by the recent discussion on Assassins here, I thought I'd collect what information I could find on the Officio Assassinorum in one place. There's precious little to analyse in the same manner as Connor's work, but I hope this provides useful information on the organisation, plus various other nuggets of information relating to other parts of the Imperium but from the same sources. I've included snippets of rules where I've felt they can give a rough idea of what something does - obviously where game mechanics are concerned it should be taken with a pinch of salt.


WH40K 2nd Edition - Codex: Assassins
Page 3 wrote: Its hidden Grand Master is one of the High Lords of Terra
Pretty self-explanatory, and an indication of the organisation's power.
Page 3 wrote: Only the High Lords themselves can sanction the deployment of the Assassins, for fear that their own weapons may be used against them.
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Thereafter, the High Lords took special care to control the Officio Assassinorum so that, in theory, only traitors and heretics need fear it today.
Meaning that either the use of Assassins is extremely rare, or that the High Lords merely rubber-stamp deployments, with the "special care" having grown considerably laxer since the Age of Apostasy (more on this later).
Page 3 wrote: Assassins begin their training in early childhood when they are chosen from the progeny of death worlds, feral societies and the most dangerous hive-cities of the Ipmerium. Training starts even as the ships return to Earth, with the Officio instructors testing their prospective pupils mercilessly.
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The recruits must survive on limited food and air for days at a time. They must constantly fight each other in armed and unarmed combat, in conditions of total darkness or blinding light, zero-G or crushing weight, stifling heat or freezing cold. By the time of their arrival there may be only a tenth of the prospective Assassins left, or sometimes none at all if the instructors deem every recruit to be unworthy.
On arrival at Earth the new recruits are divided amongst the hidden temples of the Officio Assassinorum. Their training becomes ever more rigorous... Days are spent battling with bone-wrenching exercise engines, fighting in deadly bouts or mastering specialist weaponry and techniques.
Sounds if anything even worse than the practices most Space Marine chapters use to recruit new Marines from.
Page 4 wrote: The Age of Apostasy raged for over two millennia, during which time the Administratum and the religious order of the Ecclesiarchy tore the Imperium apart from within. The culmination of this period was Lord Vandire's Reign of Blood... Eventually many branches of the Imperium turned against the ageing megalomaniac, resulting in the Wars of Apostasy. Five Space Marine Chapters, and the armed of the Adeptus Mechanicus fell upon the Imperial palace in an attempt to end Vandire's Reign of Blood by force. In the end Vandire's own bodyguard, the Daughters of the Emperor, turned on him after learning from the Emperor himself that Vandire was destroying the Imperium... It is during this turbulent period [shortly after Vandire died, having left the Adeptus Terra in ruins] that the Wars of Vindication took place...
Brief recap of the Age of Apostasy (struggle for power between the civil service & church basically), and Vandire's Reign of Blood. And a good reason as to why you'd want independent factions such as the Adeptus Astartes & AdMech to remain independent - Vandire was unable to control them, as he would have had the Imperium been more centralised.
Page 4 wrote: AUTOPSY REPORT
Date: 0140288.M36
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Mortician: Biologis Magos Jenob.
Two puncture wounds, both 13mm in diameter, on the body... indicate entry wounds from a pistol, fired from short range with low velocity rounds. Both the cerebral cortex and the heart muscle show signs of massive internal damage indicating use of an explosive type round and ruling out the use of stabbing or cutting instruments.
No exit wounds are apparent and no sign of any bullets or bullet fragments in the body. Lack of burning and or cauterised tissue rules out the use of energy weapons. Lack of post mortem bruising also rules out removal of the bullets by another party. I cannot find any accurate explanation for this.
A special type of bullet fired by an Exitus pistol, used by Vindicare Assassins, that decomposes after being used. It was the shots that effectively brought about an end to the Wars of Vindication, thus being at the end of the Age of Apostasy. More on this later.
Page 5 wrote: The Adeptus Administratum has vast vaults on Terra, hundreds of chambers containing some of the Imperium's darkest secrets. To locate any one vault could take someone years or even decades of searching. The key to finding a vault is to use one of the special Archive-Servitors. These Servitors are linked to a special memory-slave that holds the locations of most of the vaults. It should be stressed that for security purposes the data bank only has the locations of the vaults and not any detail of what is stored in them. We requisitioned three Archive-Servitors and placed a sensor beacon on each before inputting the vault code. Two of the Servitors malfunctioned, the first incorrectly plotting a course across a walkway that no longer existed and fell two kilometres suffering irreparable damage. The second one simply disappeared. After a two week period only one of them had successfully located the vault, its sensor beacon indicating thta it had travelled some fifty kilometres into the depths of the Terran hive.
Written by Inquisitor Jaegar, I included it for the scale of the Imperium's works on Terra - the main hive on Terra is at least 50km across or deep (and given the context may be the only one / cover most of the planet) - plus information on accessing the vaults on Terra.
Page 5 wrote: My final conclusion is that the Officio Assassinorum is in dire need of reorganisation, and like many offices of the Adeptus Administratum it needs more rigorous monitoring. This will fall into the jurisdiction of the Inquisition and we will be setting up a new department to carry out this function. The department will be called the Ordo Sicarius.
The creation of a new Ordo to monitor the Assassins. Part of the above letter, written by Inquisitor Jaegar, a member of the Ordo Sicarius.
Page 6 & 7 wrote: ...which meant that even Lord Vandire could only know a few individuals within the Officio Assassinorum.
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At the time Tziz Jarek was engaged upon a mission, infiltrating a strong warband of Dark Eldar... Jarek and his elite team of Callidus assassins hadn't been heard of for over a year and many felt that they must have failed... This was certainly the standpoint of the High Lords of Terra...
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Only I knew all the Officio Assassinorum's secrets. Only I knew the codes that unleashed Eversor assassins. Only I knew the identity of every single assassin. Only I could gain access to the Officio Assassinorum's secret arsenals, containing some of the most devastating weaponry in the Imperium...
Day and night, assassins loyal to me battled against the renegades. Eversor assassins stalked the corridors, the coded identities of renegade assassins programmed into their sub-conscious... Hideouts were located and destroyed with lethal demolition charges, some so powerful that whole sections of the Imperial palace collapsed, killing many innocent people. Many loyal assassins risked using weapons from the Officio Assassinorum's secret arsenal: some were unstable, or limited in the ammount of ammunition available.
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I said the code word and the haywire grenade detonated sending an electromagnetic pulse through the chamber. Jarek looked on in horror as the energy drained from his weapons, leaving them useless. I used Jarek's moment of indecision to pull the Exitus pistol from its place on the wall and fired twice. By this time Jarek had recogered from the shock of losing his weapons, but his attempts to didge were in vain, the tiny targetting computers inside each bullet were programmed to lock onto Jarek's heat signature and would follow him whichever way he dived. The first hit Jarek in the head and the econd struck his chest. Specially chosen biodegradable rounds ensured that the weapon that killed Jarek could never be traced.
Information from the Wars of Vindication, as written by the (real) Grand Master of the Officio Assassinorum. This ties in with the autopsy report mentioned above - the rounds may have originally been high-velocity ones, but to manoeuvre inside even a large office would require that they couldn't travel too fast. No idea of how common the rounds are, but you can see why they'd be so useful for someone from the Vindicare temple - they leave no trace, explode upon penetrating (rather like some bolter rounds), and have biodegradable computer circuitry, fuel lines and the like inside that allows them to follow a human, possibly well enough to hit in the brain & heart. So much for Tau miniaturisation & their "smart" missiles - it's just a pity the Imperium doesn't use this technology elsewhere.
As for the haywire grenade - EMPs aren't meant to drain energy, so possibly this is something more advanced, and the precise mechanism is poorly understood by the Grand Master (I blame the Warp). At any rate, it affected Jarek's weapons - a C'Tan phase sword and Neural Shredder. The Lexicanum site says that haywire grendaes are used by both Eldar & Dark Eldar and emit an EMP, but under 2nd Edition I believe the Imperium had access to them too.
Page 8 wrote: All Imperial Assassins wear a protective layer known as synskin. Synskin is a spray-on second skin. It is airtight, watertight and proof against most gases. In adition it feeds counteractive agents into his bloodstream, making him completely immune to several poisons and toxins. An Imperial Assassin cannot be harmed in any way by weapons that use Choke, Scare, Hallucinogen, Toxin or Virus effects. Note that this does not include Tyranid poisons and venoms which affect the Assassin as normal.
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The Imperial Assassin's trained reflexes are augmented by the booster chemicals of his synskin and enable him to react quickly to any threat by dodging out of danger.
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Imperial Assassins have highly sophisticated bio-implants which enable them to see in the dark or through dense smoke. They are not affected by gas or smoke weapons that normally obscure vision, although the Assassin is affected by Blind grenades & missiles as normal.
Although it includes various bits of rules, it's a nice overview of the basic equipment all Assassins have when they go into battle - particularly their spray-on "synskin".
Vindicare Assassins wrote: The Vindicare temple of Assassins specialises in vengeance and revenge killings. Vindicare Assassins practise callous, unfeeling destruction which eliminates the target with contemptuous ease. They aim to bring inglorious death to the enemies of the Emperor with a sniper's bullet, and have elevated the skills of the marksman to an art form. To complement this, the Vindicare temple emphasises stealth and evasion techniques as well as weapons training. One of the temple's maxims is that a clean kill can only be made from an excellent firing position, and Vindicare assassins have been known to occupy a position overlooking their target for weeks before finally taking their shot.
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Vindicare assassins are always in great demand to support Imperial forces on the battlefields of the war-torn galaxy. Overly successful alien commanders and dangerously powerful psykers often fall beneath the cross-hairs of the Vindicare.
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For eight days he had lain absolutely still and undetected, tensing and releasing each muscle in turn to keep himself ready for action. So subtle were his movements that not a single leaf stirred, and the red feathered birds nesting above him continued to feed their young undisturbed... Seconds later a flash of crackling blue energy engulfed the Prophet as his displacer field overloaded. For a moment the Prophet stood stunned, then the second bullet hit, punching through the shining dome of his bald head...
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"Exitus Acta Probat: The Outcome Justifies The Deed." Motto of the Vindicare Temple.
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Shield Breaker. If the target is protected by a force field the field is automatically destroyed... There are no exceptions to this, even Tyranid Zoanathrope's wap fields...
Turbo-Penetrator. This has a -6 saving throw modifier and inflicts double damage (2 wounds). When rolling for armour penetration, roll D6+5 and double the result.
Hellfire. Always woundson 2+ against living targets and causes D6 wounds. Hellfire shells affect Tyranids, but do nothing to daemonic creatures. Note that this does not have a splash effect like a heavy bolter hellfire shell.
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Stealth Suit: The Stealth Suit combines chameleon chemicals with the ordinary synskin worn by Imperial Assassins.
Spy Mask: The Spy Mask contains cartridges of concentrated food and water for extended operations, and a multi-channel comm sensor for monitoring enemy communications. However, the main feature of the Spy Mask is a wide-spectrum visor which can pick out heat and energy sources at tremendous distances.
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"Three things matter in marksmanship - location, location, location." -Training Dogma, Vindicare Temple, Officio Assassinorum.
Bits of fluff and rules for the Vindicare Assassin, including specialist Exitus rounds (basically shield-piercing, armour-piercing and "mutagenic acid carrying shrapnel" rounds).
Callidus Assassins wrote: They are often used on missions where overt interference by the Imperium would upset the intricate balance of power maintained by the High Lords of Terra.
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The Callidus temple undertakes many covert operations which may involve an Assassin infiltrating an enemy civilisation for months or even years. Their aim is to get close to the chosen target, so that they can carry out their mission. This could range from simply influencing important decisions to eliminating the target at a key moment.
To achieve their exacting tasks the Callidus temple specialises in the use and development of the shape-altering drug Polymorphine. An injection of Polymorphine allows a trained Callidus Assassin to completely change their appearance. Under the influence of the drug the user's body undergoes dramatic changes, which only a fully trained individual can keep under control. Essentially, at a cellular level, the bonds that hold the flesh, bone and nerve cells together are broken down by the Polymorphine drug, allowing the user a brief period to rearrange their cell structure. They can lengthen bones, stretch skin, change the size and shape of their muscles, convert protein cells to fat cells and vice versa. Once the Polymorphine drug has done its work the cells re-establish their bonds and the Assassin will now be changed into a new form until another injection of Polymorphine allows them to re-assume their original shape or change to another.
All the Assassins of the Callidus temple are trained in the use of Polymorphine... However, the Medicus Adepts of the Imperium have developed a range of surgical implants to allow Callidus Assassins to mimic members of alien races, like Orks and Eldar. The implants consist of flexi-cartilage and hardened synskin, similar to that used in the black carapace of Space Marines. When the Assassin is in their normal form these implants lie dormant under the flesh and within their bones. It is only when Polymorphine is injected that these implants react to stimulants within the drug and transform into the genetically encoded shapes that allow the Assassin to restructure their body into the grotesque and hunched form of an Ork, or the lithe and graceful body of an Eldar... [or the] form of a Genestealer Hybrid!
Whilst using Polymorphine an Assassin must have complete control of their body as well as total empathy with the subject they are attempting to replicate. The high level of discipline required by the complex, ritualised forms of combat also helps the Assassin achieve the inner calm and total concentration required. Over the centuries, the Masters of the Callidus temple have learnt that the female body and psyche is better able to implement these changes, and by and large the female novitiates makes better chameleons than men.
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As part of this training, the Callidus temple practises innumerable ancient and secret martial arts.
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Dictatus Callidus: "We are the killing tools of the Imperium, we live to honour the Callidus temple and die to serve the Emperor."
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C'Tan Phase Sword: The Phase Sword was found on one of the long dead worlds of the C'Tan. Excavations by the Adeptus Mechanicus uncovered numerous artefacts of extremely advanced technology, but of their makes, the enigmatic C'Tan, there was no evidence.
The blade of the Phase Sword is unusual in its ability to phase in and out of real-space by molecular realignment, so it is capable of bypassing armour and protective fields.
Neural Shredder: The Neural Shredder is of unknown origin, although some speculate that it is but one of a range of psychic weapons developed by the Adeptus Astra Telepathica... To fire the Neural Shredder place the Flamer template so that the pointed end is touching the Assassin... All models hit must pass a Leadership test with a -2 modifier to their Leadership characteristic. If the test is failed the model suffers 1 wound a -3 saving throw modifier. Armour fields do not protect against the Neural Shredder.
Poison Blades: A Callidus Assassin frequently has to operate with little or no weaponry. However, a Callidus Assassin is never totally unarmed and will always manage to secrete several needle-like Poison Blades about her person.
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Dictatus Callidus: "To assume the shape of the accursed and deliver death from the purity within you - that is to be Callidus."
Fluff and some rules for the Callidus assassin, particularly regarding Polymorphine and the equipment they need to be able to shape-shift into alien forms. The stuff about martial arts, ritualised forms of combat etc is also very different from the Vindicare style, whilst the rumoured origin of the Neural Shredder is more evidence that the AdMech doesn't have a monopoly on technology & the like (much like different Land Raider variants, although if true, this involves a lot more than merely swapping in some weapons and the like).
Eversor Assassins wrote: "Sow the seeds of damnation and I shall reap the souls of the tainted" - Modus Executus
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The Eversor specialises in shock and terror tactics... Eversor Assassins are primarily used against rebel governors who have plans to move against the Imperium with a large armed force of renegades. Rather than meet this threat with a huge and costly war that will use up precious resources and probably leave whole planets ravaged, the High Lords will sanction the use of an Eversor Assassin. An Eversor rarely has just a single target. His mission will be to rip the heart out of the rebel operation, wreaking havoc and destruction. Such brutality ensures that the renegades are totally cleansed and that no would-be successors may take over.
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Using specialised knowledge of genetics and human biology, every single Eversor Assassin is engineered to be a super-human killing machine, their bodies driven beyond normal human capabilities by genetic alterations and advanced bionics. In additio, the Eversor temple has developed a range of combat drugs to alter the Assassin's state of mind to that of a psychopath, and push his bio-enhanced body to its absolute limit.
Each Eversor Assassin developed hyper-immuno systems to counter the toxins in the many drugs used by the temple. However, a large number of the drugs are also highly addictive. Without them the Assassin will almost certainly die, with them the Assassin is turned into an unstoppable killing machine. The inevitable result of this is that the Assassin becomes addicted to the killing itself! The only way Eversor Assassins can be kept under control is to keep them in cryo-suspension until they are required for a mission. Each eversor Assassin is stored in a cryo-crypt on board one of the many hidden ships that the Eversor temple have scattered across the Imperium.
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When an Eversor is selected for a mission he is transferred from the cryo-crypt to a special drop pod, where neuro links feed the details of the mission to hime while he remains in cryo-suspension. he pod is launched at the target planet, as remote links with the spaceship reanimate the Assassin... When the pod impacts, the Assassin will be fully awake and ready to begin... He will be totally unaware of the time spent in cryo-suspension - he might have spent years or even centuries in a frozen state, but to the Assassin the time gap between the end of the lst mission and the start of the next will be mere moments.
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Code Name: Eversor Assassin 0034/H/N/Tormentius
Location: Segmentum Obscurus - Uphrateus
Missions to Date: 67
Mission Success: 98.3%
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Recruits for the Eversor temple are invariably chosen from the youngest of the available novitiates. This is because only a body which isn't fully developed is able to accept the many genetic alterations that the novitiate will undergo.
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The novitiate Assassin undergoes endo-skeletal restructuring, increasing his stamina and aerobic performance and allowing him to fight for days without tiring or the need for rest. Muscular hypertrophy enables the Assassin to explode into a fury of hyperactivity, speeding up his cerebral functions and combat reflexes. In order to cope with these changes the Assassin is given a second heart. Not only does this give the Assassin extra survivability should one heart be damaged in combat, but both hearts can kick in.
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If the trainee's body survives all of the implants and modifications then his cerebral cortex is also enahnced by fitting his brain with genetically coded lobo-chips. These chips amplify the Assassin's state of mind, turning a mere dislike for the enemy into a raging hatred, or the wish to serve the Imperium into determination to complete the mission at any cost. Adrenal ducts are implanted, speeding up the brain's higher functions, allowing the Assassin to make complex calculations and tactical decisions in seconds. The adrenal ducts are also able to feed the brain, allowing the Assassin to work briefly in a hard vacuum.
The process of turning a normal human being into a bio-enahnced killing machine is not without its dangers. Many Assassins have died on the operating talbe or, more often, from some unforeseen side-effect of their many complex bio-enhancements. A lot of the side-effects are known to the Medicus Adepts and can be vountered by glandular implants that constantly feed the necessary counter-active agents into the Assassin. owever, every Eversor Assassin is fatally flawed by his inability to totally stabilise his body. Whilts the Eversor lives he can keep everything under control using his hyper-immuno system and advanced cerebral cortex... However, should the Assassin's hearts stop or his brain fail, the chemical concotions inside him will react at a rapidly accelerating rate. As the dead Assassin's control over his body deteriorates, he spontaneously combusts with quite horrifylingly explosive results!
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The more the enemy tries to harm the Assassin, the faster and more deadly he becomes. If the Eversor Assassin is attacked in hand-to-hand combat by multiple opponents then he can use the enemies' numbers against them. For each opponent after the first, add +1 to the Assassin's Weapon Skill.
Fear. The raw ferocity and ruthlessness of the Eversor Assassins is renowened across the galaxy.
Wounding the Eversor. The Eversor Assassin's metabolism is so pumped full of combat drugs and toxins that he literally exudes poisons. If the Eversor Assassin is wounded in hand-to-hand combat then he will spray poisonous blood and cells over his attacker. The model that made the attack takes a Strength 4 hit causing 1 wound with a -1 saving throw modifier.
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If the Eversor Assassin is reduced to 0 wounds, he will explode with the same effect as a plasma grenade...
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Executor Pistol: The Executor Pistol is standard issue for all Eversor Assassins, and consists of a master-crafted bolt pistol with a combined needle pistol.
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Sentinel Array: The Sentinel Array is a pack containing motion trackers and target acquisition systems, allowing the Eversor Assassin to sense enemy troop movements from all sides.
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Neuro-Gauntlet: The Neuro-Gauntlet consists of an exo-skeleton hyper-alloy glove, with neuro-toxin injectors fitted to the fingers. The lethal toxins mean that enemies die in an excruciatingly painful and violent manner... If a model is wounded by the Neuro-Gauntlet but isn't killed, then the potent cocktail of acids and toxins will halve all its characteristics (rounding all fractions up), including any remaining Wounds... The Eversor temple constantly modifies the toxins and acids used in the Neuro-Gauntlet so that they remain effective against almost all potential enemies, this includes Tyranid creatures. However, there are no known toxins to affect daemons...
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Eversor Combat Drugs: The Eversor Assassin may take one dose of any one of the following drugs at the beginning of his turn. There are enough doses to last the entire battle.
Fury. The Assassin may triple his movement when he charges or runs. This lasts for the duration of the turn.
Terminus. Until the end of your opponent's next turn, the Assassin may carry on fighting and will not explode even he is reduced to 0 wounds! However, if the Assassin is still on 0 wounds at the end of your opponent's next turn, or at the end of the game, then he will die and explode as normal.
Destroyer. DUring his turn, if the Assassin kills his opponents and uses his follow-up move to enter another close combat, he may attack again immediately. After each follow-up move, roll a D6. On a 1-3 the Assassin gets no more attacks this turn, on a 4-6 he may fight another round of combat immediately.
Eversor Assassin fluff, mostly about the training and modifications required to create an Eversor Assassin. Although it doesn't seem that they're implanted with as many new organs as Space Marines, the processes are both superficially similar.

Meanwhile, the example Eversor Assassin details quoted above are an indication of just how effective they are, whilst the location may refer either to a ship or sector within the Segmentum Obscurus.

Finally, the rules offer plenty of interesting stuff - like the Assassin reacting ever-faster the more enemies he's in combat with, or the combat drugs they use.

For reference, the poisonous blood attack is equal to a bolt pistol shot, based on the 2nd Edition bolter rules, and more damaging than a lasgun shot. Unfortunately I can't remember what the old plasma grenades used to do though. Emperor alone knows what's flowing in an Eversor Assassin's blood...
Culexus Assassins wrote: "That which is unknown and unseen always commands the greatest fear" - Motto og the Culexus Temple
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Even amongst the upper echelons of the Officio Assassinorum this temple is always viewed with extreme caution.
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Every living being has some sort of presence in the warp, where the soul bursts through from the material universe. For non-psykers this will usually be little more than a minute spark. For psykers, however, their soul blazes, a shining beacon that can be seen by other psykers and creatures that live within the warp. The more powerful a psyker they are, the brighter their soul burns within the warp. The Culexus Assassin is special because they have, or appear to have, no presence in the warp, there is just a boid. They are, to all intents and purposes, soulless.
This extremely rare defect occurs for no known reason in less than one in a billion individuals, and most find them utterly horrifying. Those who have this defect are known by the name of Pariah, or untouchable, and meeting one is something that nor normal human being can ever forget. Their cold calculating stare draws your attention to their eyes: pools of blackness that seem to suck you into a void of nothingness. It is hardly surprising that most Pariahs are outcasts or lepers, rejected by their parents and banished from settlements.
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For a short period of time Pariahs were transported back to Terra aboard the Black Ships with other untamed psykers. Once on Earth they would be handed over for experimentation by the Biologis Departmentorium of the Adeptus Mechanicus. It wasn't long before a large number of Pariahs were languishing in the cells at the experimental laboratoriums.
Such a large number of Pariahs began to cast a shadow in the warp, blocking out the Astronomicon, the vital beacon used to guide spaceships to far reaches of the Imperium. This was the first disturbing revelation of their potency.
Other branches of the Administratum, especially those that relied upon psykers, were horrified. Soon several of the High Lords of Terra were making moves towards having Pariahs outlawed and the Inquisition was given the task of ruthlessly exterminating any more that were found.
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The decree from the Master of the Administratum [to make all Pariahs targets for extermination by the Inquisition] never came, it didn't need to. The Adeptus Mechanicus anounced that it was ending the Pariah project and made a great show of closing down the laboratoriums and executing many of the lab specimens. Satisfied that no further action was needed, the High Lords returned their attentions to other matters.
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With the help of the Officio Assassinorum, the Adeptus Mechanicus moved a few of the most promising Pariahs to a secretly constructed fortress on the edge of the galaxy, beyond the reach of the Astronomicon and the more zealous branches of the Adeptus Terra. It was here that the Culexus temple was created.
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All Pariahs and Culexus Assassins are kept within the fortress. If any are ever allowed to leave then it is always under a veil of secrecy and with the highest levels of security.
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When the Culexus temple receives a mission, an Assassin is chosen and transported to the arena of conflict aboard a specially shielded ship, much like the Black Ships of the Inquisition. In addition to this, the Assassin wears a huge helm called an Animus Speculum. During battle this is used to fired focussed blasts of psychic energy, but its primary purpose is to block out the Culexus Assassin's innate abilities. The helm is only partially effective even while it is active, most people can barely stand to be in the same room as a Pariah. Each Culexus Assassin is accompanied by a Custodian, who operates the Animus Speculum and ensures that his charge remains under his control and does not arouse suspicious amongst other forces fighting in the campaign.
The Culexus temple has found that, much like a psyker, a Pariah's capabilities can be trained and enhanced. This turns the slight distrust that a Pariah causes in the people nearby into a nauseous, head-spinning effect which is the trademark of a Culexus Assassin. On the battlefield the Culexus Assassin carries no guns or hand-to-hand weapons, for he needs none and would be distracted by their use. Once on the battlefield the Custodian, probably positioned safely within a command bunker or on an orbital battleship, will release his hold over the Assassin. The large eye in the Animus Speculum opens and only then does the full intensity of the Assassin's horrific capabilities flood the battlefield.
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He slips through battle lines and bodyguards, his negative aura muddling the minds of conventional troops, allowing him to close upon his targets. BOlts of negative warp energy blast the minds of enemy psykers and strip them of their powers before he moves in for the kill, sapping the very life-force from their bodies.
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Etherium: The Etherium is a highly advanced form of Aegis Suit, built into the Culexus Assassin's synskin. This, combined with the Culexus Assassin's innate abilities, means that psychic attacks pass right through him as if he were invisible. This makes it very difficult for weapons that are in any way connected to the warp to harm him. If he is attacked by warp weapons such as force swords, Witch Blades, Vortex grenades, D-cannons or psychic powers then roll a dice. On a D6 roll of 2 or more the attack has no effect on the Culexus Assassin, although the attack is not nullified. Force weapons may still wound the Assassin. However, the psyker may not... enhance the attack. If the attack has a blast marker, then other models with the blast may still be affected...
Force Matrix: The Force Matrix consists of a series of psychic conduits that run within the Assassin's Etherium, and is made from a material similar to that used in force weapons. When a psyker taps into the warp, he is not always totally efficient in using all the energy: a lot of excess energy is simply left to dissipate. The Force Matrix acts as a conductor, absorbing excess warp energy providing the Culexus Assassin, who is unable to tap directly into the warp, with a source of warp energy... At the beginning of each psychic phase roll a D3 to determine the number of force points that the Force Matrix absorbs. In addition, for each psyker within 12" you may add +1 to the score... Force points can be used to fire blasts from the Animus Speculum. Any force points left at the end of the psychic phase are lost as the Force Matrix is unable to store warp energy for a prolonged period of time. If the Energy Drain card is played then any force points are lost and the psychic phase ends as normal.
Animus Speculum: As well as acting as a restraining device, the Animus Speculum is a weapon capable of firing lethal blasts of negative psychic energy. By focussing the Assassin's aura through the single eye on the front it becomes a thin beam of energy, burning the target's brain and sucking out its soul. These blasts can be deadly to all, but psykers who rely upon the warp for energy are particularly vulnerable, and can find themselves robbed of their powers.
If a blast wounds a psyker then there is a chance that the blast will destroy one of his powers. If the Culexus Assassin gets the higher score then... the psyker must discard one of his powers, chosen at random.
Psyk-Out Grenades: Psyk-out Grenades are used exclusively by the Culexus temple and the Daemon Hunters of the Ordo Malleus. Each grenade is similar in design to a frag grenade, however it is laced with a highly dangerous substance that is only produced by the Golden Throne on Terra. The dust-like substance is heavily impregnated with negative psychic energy and is very rare. When some has been collected, the Imperium's finest armourers use the dust to create Psyk-out Grenades and Psycannon rounds.
In addition, any psykers either wholly or partially under the blast marker will be affected by the negative psychic energy. The psyker may not use any of his powers for the rest of the turn. Any psychic powers that the psyker has in play at that moment are automatically nullified...
...
Soulless. Even normal troops find the Culexus Assassin abhorrent, such that their minds refuse to believe that he could possibly exist, causing their subconscious to block out the Assassin's awful presence.
If an enemy character, squad, vehicle, vehicle squadron or support weapon battery wishes to shoot or charge at the Culexus Assassin then you must roll a D6. On a roll of a 2 or more the Culexus Assassin has dustracted the unit and they may not fire.
Psychic Abomination. ... Even monstrosities such as a Tyranid Hive Tyrant can baulk at the prospect of being permanently severed from their psychic abilities and the Hive Mind. The Culexus Assassin causes terror in all psykers. Even psykers that are immune to psychology, cause terror themselves or are assumed to automatically pass any Leadership based test must pass a Terror test. There are absolutely no exceptions to this.
Warp Disturbance. The Culexus Assassin causes the wapr to act in a very strange way. His negative psychic energy abilities cause it to swirl around him in a vortex, in effect he creates a very small, localised warp storm, making it very dangerous for psykers to use their powers [to the point of losing wounds when attempting to cast psychic powers].
Life Drain. Many psykers... also augment their physical abilities [using psychics]. Merely by moving into close proximity, a Culexus Assassin can sap a psyker of his life-force. In order to do this to its fullest effect the Culexus Assassin must physically touh the psyker.
...
This assassination is noteworthy because its target, Lord Phaedrus [Master of the Adeptus Astra Telepathica], did not die, nor was it the intention that he should die. Vandire was having considerable trouble bringing the Adeptus Astra Telepathica under his control. The Master of the Adeptus Astra Telepathica, Lrod Phaedrus, was a potent psyker and as such was not swayed by Vandire's charisma...
Vandire knew that Phaedrus was using his considerable psychic powers to stay one step ahead of him. Simply having Phaedrus killed would never do, he would just be replaced by an equally powerful psyker... Vandire lured Phaedrus into a trap, using his Culexus Assassin to nullify Phaedrus' psychic capabilities. He strapped the helpless Phaedrus to a specially prepared life-support machine, whereupon the Culexus Assassin finished the job! By permanently severing Phaedrus' ability to tap into the warp he made him incapable of using psychic powers. Normally such an operation would kill, but with a life-support system and a bribed Magos Biologis, Vandire was able to keep Phaedrus alive.
And finally, the Culexus Assassins.


WH40K 3rd Edition - Codex: Assassins
Page 2 wrote: The Officio Assassinorum is responsible only to the fabled Senatorum Imperialis - the High Lords of Terra who interpret the Emperor's Will.
In other words, they exist outside any other chains of command. Of course, this doesn't stop the Ordo Sicarius from keeping an eye on things.
Pages 2 & 4 wrote: The Eversor Assassin's Executioner Pistol has a "genetically-coded polymorphic grip", whilst both it and the Neuro-Gauntlet have "neuro-toxin synthesisers" positioned just behind the barrel of the needle gun / "hypodermic incisors" on the glove. The Neuro-Gauntlet also has a "neural shock generator".

The Exitus Longrifle barrel has an "N2O cooling sheath" around it. N2O is laughing gas, but I've no idea how effective it is as a coolant.
Self-explanatory.
Page 4 wrote: A piece of flavour text for a Vindicare assassin describes the use of "hyphosphus quick-burning incendiaries" to remove the bodies of 5 orks killed during the infiltration of their base. In addition, "specially constructed hyphosphus gel-tipped ammunition was used to set fire to the Gargant" in order to set off explosives set there earlier. The gargant was mobile until the Vindicare blew most of its back out via the explosives and the gargant's own fuel & ammo - its mobility had prevented the Imperial Navy bombarding it from orbit, due to the difficulties in locating it.
Again, self-explanatory.
Page 7 wrote: Fear me, for I am your apocalypse.
Dictatus Eversor
A motto or somesuch from the Eversor Temple.
Page 7 wrote: As he reached the end of the passage he heard the dull thump of a melta charge being set off. Half turning to look back he saw the armoured door begin to rock on its inches-thick hinges. With a screech of shearing metal, the door was ripped off its hinges, thick black smoke from the melta bomb billowing in through the opening.
Effect of a melta bomb on an armoured bunker's door. No time frame is given, and I'm unsure as to whether it's indicating that the Eversor ripped the door off its hinges after using the melta bomb, or whether the melta bomb caused this (perhaps the heat caused the metal to expand?).
Page 8 wrote: The majority of the time, an Assassin will work alone. Occasionally, however, teams of Assassins are dispatched, or an Assassin may find him or herself fighting alongside other military forces (as in the Assassination! Mission given later). Not only that, but Assassins do not just fight alongside Imperial forces. In the Imperium's history there have been many occasions when it was deemed better to aid one enemy force over another, for the long term benefit of humanity.
A reason to include an Assassin in a non-Imperial army, but also an indication of the Imperium's more pragmatic side when dealing with aliens.
Page10 wrote: Thus the Officio Assassinorum was created, and the names of Callidus, Venenum, Culexus, Vindicare, Eversor and Vanus were forever immortalised... New skills were learnt and new temples founded...
Part of a piece of flavour text describing the creation of the Officio Assassinorum at the time of the Great Crusade. It started as an unofficial group, but they revealed themselves to the Emperor, who made it official. The second sentence above also hints at other assassin temples besides these original 6. That said, it's interesting that the Culexus Temple existed before the High Lords did, as this contradicts 2nd Edition fluff about the origin of the Culexus Assassins. Perhaps the originals were psyker assassins (or pariahs, or even something completely different), but the temple had to be re-founded after some catastrophe, or changed its role over time (the Horus Heresy springs to mind).
Page 12 wrote: One of the strangest assassinations in the Officio Assassinorum's records is that of the Space Marine Primarch Konraz Curze... A Callidus Assassin managed to locate Night Haunter [Konraz Curze] within the Eye of Terror and killed him. What makes this case so different is the belief that Night Haunter is the only Primarch definitely known to have been assassinated, and that Night Haunter's powers of foresight had forewarned him of the assassination attempt, but he took no extra precautions to defend himself, claiming that the Imperium's actions vindicated his decision to rebel against the Emperor.

Urhua Thereaux, Assassin of the Venenum Temple... only succeeded in killing the committee members after spending three days poisoning all the chairs in the council's auditorium, before a meeting of the full committee.
Two bits of flavour text - the first, that a lone Callidus Assassin was able to kill a Primarch (although, given what a C'Tan Phase Sword is like, it's perhaps not as unequal as it sounds), and the second showing the sort of thing a Venenum Assassin will get up to.
Page 12 wrote: Most vexing and challenging of my duties was the implementation of the hidden order known as the Ordo Sicarius. The Ordo Sicarius was set up at my own instigation, following my investigations into the supposed death of the Grand Master of Assassins, during the conflict known as the Wars of Vindication.
...
Upon my recommendations, the following changes were made to the Officio Assassinorum:
1. The Assassin Temples were distributed to various locations, so that should one fall to alien influence, daemonmancy or heresy, the others would remain untainted.
2. All Assassination to be allowed only be a two-thirds vote of assent in the Senatorum Imperialis.
3. All Assassinations to be followed by a detailed account of the mission activity, subject to Inquisitorial inspection at any time.
4. All Assassins, with exception of those of the Eversor Temple, to undergo regularly repeated psycho-doctrination, again under the eye of the Inquisition if deemed necessary.
...
We have therefore managed to insert a number of our agents into each of the Assassin Temples. These Assassin-Inquisitors perform the roles of Assassins as would normally be expected, but during the aforementioned psycho-doctrination sessions, we are able to release from them any sensitive information which other Assassins may be less reday to divulge. In this manner, we have already headed off two assassination attempts on the High Lords themselves, and prevented the major embarrassment of the assassination of one of our own Inquisitors, who had been workingly covertly with the Orks of Lamina Sector.
...
Extract from the Memoirs of Inquisitor Jaegar, suppressed circulation by Order of Inquisitor Madak.
More information on the Ordo Sicarius and its work in keeping the Officio Assassinorum under firm control.
Page 13 wrote: As befits such proud and dedicated warriors, Space Marines are contemptuous of assassination, and will have little to do with assassins under most circumstances. There are even rumours which implicate the Officio Assassinorum in the downfall of certain Space Marine Chapters - the mysterious loss of the Fire Hawks' fleet in the warp, the unexplained destruction of the Crimson Fists' CHapter fortress on Rynn's World, the disastrous ambush of the Angels of Retribution at Alantor X and several other less well-known incidents... No definitive evidence of such activities can be brought to prove these accusations... Whether assassins truly brought about any or oall of these disasters, and whether they were operating at the behest of the High Lords of Terra or in accordance with the aims of some other group, are questions which are unlikely ever to be satisfactorily answered.
Relationships between the Officio and the Adeptus Astartes. That said, not every Marine Chapter takes such a dim view of the Officio - there's at least one Inferno! short story I can remember that involves a Chapter Master utilising the services of a Vindicare assassin to control a rebellious planetary governor.


WH40K 4th Edition - Codex: Daemonhunters
Pages 26 - 28 wrote: The skills of the Vindicare temple are commonly used to slay those who are suspected of harbouring a daemonic entity before it emerges onto the material plane.
...
The daemonic minions of Chaos find the presence of these agents [Culexus Assassins] intolerable; the innate abilities of the Culexus are anathema to the forces that bind them to the material plane. Bolts of negative Warp energy blast the minds of enemy psykers and strip daemons of their powers before the Culexus moves in for the kill, sapping the very life-force from their cursed forms.
...
Whilst the more overt forces of the Ordo Malleus will face the daemonic minions of Chaos on the battlefield, the Eversor will operate behind enemy lines nd eradicate the infection at its source.
This is all the Codex has to offer in the way of new or semi-new information unfortunately - perhaps the most notable point is the effect Culexus Assassins have on daemons, and which is backed up by Jurgen's effects on Emeli in "The Traitor's Hand". Assassin missions still have to be sanctioned by the High Lords of Terra.

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Post by andrewgpaul » 2008-06-27 03:20pm

A quick note on the other Assassin temples; the Venenum temple specialises in poinsoning, apparently. Probably not as much battlefield use as the 4 detailed in the game rules.
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Post by NecronLord » 2008-06-27 04:14pm

There's not necesserily much contradiction between the torture-the-pariahs and the later background of them existing during the great crusade. Just change 'High Lords' to 'Council of Terra' and you've got it. Sisters being established on Luna, and (more potent? more numerous?) Cullexus being established on the orphan world.
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Post by Connor MacLeod » 2008-06-27 04:22pm

I'll cover assassins piecemeal later on probably, but alot of this is rather new to me, so I'm content with this and it will provide some useful material for analysis later.

there are a few things to touch on:



The best sources for (quantitaitve) data on at least certain Assassins is probably the Inquisition War novels (Meh'lindi) and Wolfblade (where Ragnar faces off against one.). I think in another a Culexus was deployed in a short story or something like that (Maybe it was the Andy Chambers one with the Necrons and the multi-GW laser fence), but eh.

You are right about the Vindicare IIRC, there was a Space Marine who did that (I remember it because it had planet-based nova cannon as well) and it was failry impressive. I believe CS Goto has a short story involving a sniper-assassin as well. Imperial Armour V has a sniper-assassin as well (though he failed)

Just how common/frequently Assasins are used seems to depend on how well connected you are. An Assassin was employed on Taros in IA3, and that wasn't even a partticularily minor conflict. Its probably safe to conclude though that major conflicts (like Armageddon) will involve assassins, though. Which reminsd me, in wolfblade an Assassin was used for "personal purposes" and apparently without knowledge of the High Lords at large...



Terra's hives have been in many sources described as spanning the entire continents (so they're probably hundreds if not thousands of km across) as I recall, and there's also extensive subterranean fortifications and whatnot.

Its worth noting that Terra is able to endure bombardments well in excess of 1 billion + megatons (going by the accounts of the horus Heresy game fluff, Wolfblade, etc.)
Last edited by Connor MacLeod on 2008-06-27 04:46pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by Connor MacLeod » 2008-06-27 04:33pm

The autopsy was interesting for the cauterisation bit... that's one of the few non novel references to energy weapon cauterisation that I know of (and that they can cause wounds potentially comparable to a bullet.).. esp large-calibre bullets

Oh yeah.. the "Hyphosus quick burning"
incendiaries.. assumign its not technobabble disappearing tircks, it would take a WHOLE shitload of energy to cremate a human body to ashes (to get rid of bodies.. shot of reducing it to subatomic particles that's about as "gone" as it will be.)

Mind you, cremation won't exactly be "quiet" or "stealthy" unless they're in a very enclosed space and have a convenient means for disposing of the remains and byproducts and such (nevermind all the waste energy... we're talking low GJ energies per ork body at least.)

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Post by Connor MacLeod » 2008-06-27 04:38pm

Oh.. and the use of "N20" as a gas propellant.. technically I do believe you can use pressurized gasses as a propellant. you won't get high velocities neccecsarily, but it also doesn't have the combustion effects of gun propellant (less noise, no smoke, etc.) and you don't need casings. The exit velocity would probably be subsonic, but that would work with an assasination tool anyhow.

I assume the N20 thing is just meant as an inside joke or something.

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Post by Teleros » 2008-06-27 04:50pm

The best sources for (quantitaitve) data on at least certain Assassins is probably the Inquisition War novels (Meh'lindi) and Wolfblade (where Ragnar faces off against one.). I think in another a Culexus was deployed in a short story or something like that (Maybe it was the Andy Chambers one with the Necrons and the multi-GW laser fence), but eh.
Unfortunately I don't have any of them, so I've been pretty much limited to the Codices :( .
You are right about the Vindicare IIRC, there was a Space Marine who did that (I remember it because it had planet-based nova cannon as well) and it was failry impressive.
It was "The Emperor's Will" by David Charters, in Inferno! #24, and republished in "Crucible of War".
Just how common/frequently Assasins are used seems to depend on how well connected you are. An Assassin was employed on Taros in IA3, and that wasn't even a partticularily minor conflict. Its probably safe to conclude though that major conflicts (like Armageddon) will involve assassins, though.
Dawn of War: Dark Crusade has the Imperial Guard commander using assassins often enough, and there is at least one (killed by Eldar Pathfinders IIRC) in the Winter Assault IG / Eldar campaign. Soulstorm I've yet to play through though.

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Post by Teleros » 2008-06-27 04:54pm

Connor MacLeod wrote:I assume the N20 thing is just meant as an inside joke or something.
Same, although it was used as a coolant rather than propellant.

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