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ADEPTUS CUSTODES THE GOLDEN LEGION
CONTENTS Introduction ..................................................3
The Splendour of Holy Terra .......................44
Brotherhood of Demigods ............................6
The Eagle Vigilans .........................................................................53 Fury of Terra Shield Host .............................................................54
Bodyguards of the Emperor ...........................................................8 The Horus Heresy..........................................................................10 Guardians of the Golden Throne.................................................12 Shadows and Alchemy ..................................................................14 The Defences of Terra ...................................................................16 Rise of the Primarch......................................................................18 A Host of Heroes ...........................................................................20 Uniforms and Heraldry ................................................................22 The Shadowkeepers.......................................................................23 The Aquilan Shield ........................................................................24 The Dread Host..............................................................................25 The Solar Watch .............................................................................26 Emissaries Imperatus ....................................................................27 The Solar Fastness .........................................................................28 The Tale of the Ten Thousand......................................................30 Captain-General Trajann Valoris ................................................36 Shield-Captains..............................................................................37 Custodians......................................................................................38 Vexilus Praetors .............................................................................40 Vertus Praetors...............................................................................41 Venerable Contemptor Dreadnoughts .......................................42 Venerable Land Raiders................................................................43
The Army of Terra .......................................56 Captain-General Trajann Valoris ................................................58 Shield-Captain ...............................................................................59 Shield-Captain in Allarus Terminator Armour.........................60 Shield-Captain on Dawneagle Jetbike ........................................60 Custodian Guard ...........................................................................61 Custodian Wardens .......................................................................62 Vexilus Praetor in Allarus Terminator Armour ........................63 Vexilus Praetor...............................................................................64 Allarus Custodians ........................................................................65 Venerable Contemptor Dreadnought .........................................66 Vertus Praetors...............................................................................67 Venerable Land Raider .................................................................68 Armoury of the Adeptus Custodes .............................................69
Auric Mortalis .............................................72 Stratagems ......................................................................................73 Relics of Terra ................................................................................76 Warlord Traits ................................................................................78 Points Values ..................................................................................79 Tactical Objectives.........................................................................80
PRODUCED BY GAMES WORKSHOP IN NOTTINGHAM For Alan Bligh With thanks to the Mournival for their additional playtesting services Codex: Adeptus Custodes © Copyright Games Workshop Limited 2018. Codex: Adeptus Custodes, GW, Games Workshop, Space Marine, 40K, Warhammer, Warhammer 40,000, the ‘Aquila’ Double-headed Eagle logo, and all associated logos, illustrations, images, names, creatures, races, vehicles, locations, weapons, characters, and the distinctive likenesses thereof, are either ® or TM, and/or © Games Workshop Limited, variably registered around the world. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publishers. This is a work of fiction. All the characters and events portrayed in this book are fictional, and any resemblance to real people or incidents is purely coincidental. British Cataloguing-in-Publication Data. A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library. Pictures used for illustrative purposes only. Certain Citadel products may be dangerous if used incorrectly and Games Workshop does not recommend them for use by children under the age of 16 without adult supervision. Whatever your age, be careful when using glues, bladed equipment and sprays and make sure that you read and follow the instructions on the packaging.
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INTRODUCTION This grand volume of Imperial lore concerns itself with the proud and storied organisation known as the Adeptus Custodes. The content within will help you to assemble your collection of Adeptus Custodes Citadel Miniatures into a redoubtable tabletop army, ready to take the fight to the heretic, traitor and alien alike in the glorious name of the Emperor of Mankind. The Adeptus Custodes are Humanity’s greatest warriors. They are demigods clad in armour of gleaming auramite, who wield the Imperium’s deadliest and most finely crafted weapons. Theirs is a singular duty, perhaps the most important in all the galaxy, for it is to the Adeptus Custodes that the safety and sanctity of the Emperor himself is entrusted. For many thousands of years this has seen them guard the Sol System with ironclad determination, and fight secret wars of which the wider Imperium can never know. But now, with the immaterium spilling through the bounds of reality and war consuming every Imperial world, the Custodians must strike out into the stars to eliminate terrible dangers before they can come anywhere near their throne-bound master. In collecting an Adeptus Custodes army you will find yourself leading the most elite military branch of the Imperium. Every warrior you command is a figure worthy of legend. Every blow you strike will be crushing. Marshal your forces well, for they are few, but know that even a handful of the Emperor’s praetorians can seize victory over an entire army of foes.
Within this book you will find all the information you need to collect an Adeptus Custodes army and field it upon the tabletop. BROTHERHOOD OF DEMIGODS: This section gives an insight into who the Adeptus Custodes are, how they are created, and the noble yet tragic battles that they have fought for ten thousand years, along with examples of how they are assembled for battle. THE SPLENDOUR OF HOLY TERRA: Here you will find a showcase of beautifully painted Citadel Miniatures that display the varying panoply and resplendent iconography of the Adeptus Custodes, as well as example armies to inspire your own collection. THE ARMY OF TERRA: This section includes datasheets, wargear lists and weapon rules for every Adeptus Custodes unit, allowing you to field them in your games of Warhammer 40,000. AURIC MORTALIS: This section provides additional rules – including Warlord Traits, Stratagems, Relics, and matched play points – that allow you to transform your collection of Citadel Miniatures into a magnificent Adeptus Custodes shield host.
As well as being incredibly powerful on the tabletop, the Adeptus Custodes are a wonderful modelling and painting project for those who really enjoy lavishing time and attention on every model. With a small number of exquisitely detailed individual warriors and ornate war machines at your disposal, you can afford to spend as long as you wish making sure that every single model in your collection looks exceptional, both by itself and as part of a wider tabletop force.
To play games with your army, you will need a copy of the Warhammer 40,000 rules. To find out more about Warhammer 40,000 or download the free core rules, visit warhammer40000.com.
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They charged into battle like demigods, magnificent warriors seemingly stepped straight from a fresco on a cathedrum wall. The light of the Emperor shone from them like the radiance of Sol herself, and their battle cry was the booming voice of the Master of Mankind. Before their glorious charge, the worshippers of the Dark Gods were driven back like whipped curs.
BROTHERHOOD OF DEMIGODS The Adeptus Custodes are the Emperor’s personal guard. For ten millennia they have stood sentinel over the Master of Mankind and defended the gates of his palace. Yet now the Emperor’s blades are unsheathed. The Ten Thousand walk the stars in numbers not seen since the Great Crusade, and woe betide those who oppose them. No finer or more fearsome warriors are there in the Imperium than the Custodians. Biochemically fashioned from infancy to function as supreme combatants, tacticians and bodyguards, they are death incarnate to those who defy the Emperor’s will.
Though even a small force of Custodians can rip through an enemy army in a whirlwind of bloodied blades, their true purpose is not one of conquest, but of guardianship. The Custodians are the Emperor’s personal guard, his Ten Thousand, and since time immemorial their role has been to protect their master from harm.
Each Custodian is sublimely skilled, their strategic and tactical nous, bladesmanship and instinct little short of supernatural. They are to the Emperor’s Space Marines what those transhuman warriors are to unaugmented Imperial soldiery, an elevated elite whose raw strength and willpower are wholly insurmountable. However, where the warriors of the Adeptus Astartes employ squad-level tactics, their battle-brothers functioning as a cohesive whole, the Custodians fight as individuals. Each of their fiercely independent number wields weapons hand crafted for him alone, and wears intricately designed armour tailored to his precise dimensions. So equipped, a single Custodian can go toe to toe with a dozen experienced combatants. When deployed en masse, such warriors can sweep away armies many times their number.
‘Ours is the duty absolute. Ours is the vigil that must never end. Ours is the timeless honour, the willing sacrifice, the penitence enduring. We stand a watch that will never be relieved, and we stand it gladly out of adoration for he who gave us life, and whose life we must, in turn, preserve. We will never earn absolution, for we do not deserve it, but those who believe that would give us pause are fools.’ - Shield-Captain Tybalus Maxin
It was at the nadir of the period known as Old Night that the Emperor arose on Terra. The cradle world was, at that time, a nightmarish place of abhuman armies and grotesque warlords who fought in thrall to entities both malefic and debased. What records survive of that terrible age are rightly locked away within the deepest vaults of the Emperor’s palace. Were some brave scholar to somehow delve into those ancient histories, they would find that even the earliest sources concerning the Emperor’s deeds had him flanked by warriors tall and mighty, who wore plumed helms and carried spears of gold. Through all the horrors of the Unification Wars, through the doomed rebellion of the Thunder Warriors and the establishment of the nascent Imperium, and on into the sweeping conquests of the Great Crusade, the Adeptus Custodes were ever the Emperor’s blades. It is said that to have seen the Master of Mankind stride to war at the head of the Golden Legion was to have witnessed the most magnificent spectacle in human history.
Where the gilded shield companies of the Adeptus Custodes storm into battle, the enemies of the Emperor come apart like smoke in a gale. The Custodians fight like legends come to life, and with the range of tools at their disposal are able to achieve the impossible. Enemy engines of war are annihilated by swift-striking spearheads of airborne Vertus Praetors, while heretical demagogues and roaring monstrosities alike fall beneath the blades of the Allarus Terminators.
For years uncounted the Legio Custodes, as they were known then, covered themselves in glory. Led by the peerless Captain-General Constantin Valdor, they were an unstoppable force, and even during the civil strife of the Horus Heresy they remained utterly resolute and unquestionably loyal, feted throughout the Imperium as the Emperor’s finest warriors. Yet it was at the culmination of that epochal conflict that the Custodians knew defeat at last. When Warmaster Horus struck down the Emperor, the Adeptus Custodes failed in their sworn duty. They have carried the crushing shame and dishonour of doing so with them through all the millennia since.
By the time the foe realise their cause is hopeless, it is far too late. The Emperor’s praetorians have butchered their leaders, reduced their machines to scrap and cut a path to the very heart of their ranks. The only option left to the enemy to flee in dismay, and even then death is all but guaranteed. Such is the fate of those who dare to oppose the will of the Emperor.
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In the wake of the Heresy, the Legio Custodes became the Adeptus Custodes. No longer would they fight at their master’s side, for the Emperor was little more than a shattered cadaver, his potent will kept alive by the machineries of the Golden Throne. Now, instead, the Custodians were charged with protecting what remained of their beloved Emperor at any cost. They donned shrouds of mourning black as a symbol of their disgrace, a sombre raiment that they would not shed for many millennia. For thousands of years, the Adeptus Custodes have stood vigil. Thanks to the remarkable gene-craft involved in their creation, these warriors do not age as other men, and so barring catastrophic physical trauma, they are functionally immortal. With many Custodians being well over one thousand years old, they have had endless opportunity to perfect their skills, further their education across every lore and discipline, and hone their tactics so as to be ready for every eventuality. Through the rituals known as Blood Games the Adeptus Custodes have endlessly tested Terra’s defences, despatching their own
warriors under hidden aliases to test every route of attack and attempt to breach the walls and gates that protect the Golden Throne. At the same time, the Custodians have utilised fractal thought exercises, centuries-long strategic cogitations and elaborate hallucinarium mock conflicts to perfect their tactics should such a time come that they were released to fight across the Emperor’s realm again. Now, with the awakening of the Ultramarines Primarch Roboute Guilliman and his reinstating as Lord Commander of the Imperium, and the opening of the apocalyptic Great Rift, that time has finally come. Chaos-worshipping Renegades and howling tides of Daemons spill from warp storms all across the galaxy. Even the Sol System is assailed, the greatest enemies of Mankind coming within striking distance of Holy Terra itself. It has become increasingly clear that the Adeptus Custodes can no longer afford to stand silent vigil over the Emperor’s palace while the wider Imperium burns around it, the fires of war drawing closer to them by the day. The threats to the Golden Throne are now so widespread and dire that they must be stamped out pre-emptively, before they have a chance to fully manifest.
Thus, while a standing garrison of Custodians remain upon the throneworld to defend their master, dozens of shield companies have set out into the stars to take the fight directly to those who would once again prove them derelict in their duty. With them they bring the fury of the Emperor himself, sharpened by ten thousand years of preparation. Of course, this is not the only war that the Adeptus Custodes have mobilised for since the Heresy. Were the common herd of Humanity to learn of the clandestine campaigns that the Emperor’s guardians have fought upon Terra and beyond, they would doubtless be driven mad with terror. The Custodians have held back the deadly denizens of rune-locked vaults deep beneath the Himalayic Shelf, launched missions into sub-realities seething with horror, purged cults amongst the endless tunnels of Manufactora Mericum, and slain the followers of ultra-radical Inquisitors convinced that the Emperor’s final ascension can come only in death. Such battles grind on even as the Ten Thousand sweep out to rend the traitor and the heretic all across known space. Like the Imperium as a whole, the Adeptus Custodes face opposition on every front.
Upon the killing fields of Hydraphur, the Black Legion advanced in great and fearsome number. Yet though the heretics put all other Imperial servants to flight, they could not overcome the Adeptus Custodes, and against that living bastion of auramite their charge broke.
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BODYGUARDS OF THE EMPEROR The origins of the Adeptus Custodes lie buried in Humanity’s obscured past, their secrets bound inseparably to those of the Emperor himself. During the Dark Age of Technology, the human race was almost annihilated by its own hubris. Though Mankind’s first steps away from its home world were faltering, natural adaptability and belligerence of spirit soon saw it flourish in the void. Science and technology advanced at a breathtaking pace, enabling the conquest of increasingly far-flung planets. The vast reaches of the galaxy shrank as Mankind’s capabilities grew, and alien races were driven back into the shadows by the fierce light of human progress. Thinking machines and the development of ever more esoteric weapons and transportation technologies played their part, but the single greatest factor to drive this expansion was the ability – and the reckless will – to manipulate human genetics. Utterly certain of their own primacy, scientist-kings and techno-demagogues followed every strand of curiosity and exercised powers of creation that made them seem like gods. Ultimately, their hubris led them to catastrophe, and onwards to the very brink of extinction. Worlds were overrun by bloody uprisings within their own populations, much of which were mutated beyond sanity and recognition. Gene-wars consumed entire star systems, while a psychic apocalypse drowned the stars in fire. The vast empire of Humanity was shattered amidst horror and anarchy, and the oppressive shroud of Old Night settled over all. At the heart of this galactic disaster lay Terra, transformed from a glittering jewel to an apocalyptic hellscape by forbidden weapons and biological atrocities. Yet though its people fell into darkness and ignorance, many of the technologies that had led them to ruin survived, sealed away in hidden bunkers and biomantic crypts. Sure enough, as Humanity clawed its way back from the brink beneath the lashes of cruel warlords, so those selfappointed rulers discovered the weapons of old and tried once again to turn them upon one another. Terra faced the threat of a second apocalypse as gene-bred barbarians and ghastly fleshstitched ghouls made war at the behest of madmen, fanatics and techno-cannibalistic murderers.
‘For one hundred years I stood my watch amidst the sombre shadows of the Sanctum Imperialis. I was still as a statue, but always ready, always attuned to dangers unseen. Days, months, years passed by in a frenzied blur beyond those walls, yet within, little moved and nothing changed. For one hundred years I did naught but wait, yet had any threat appeared, I would have struck it down in a heartbeat. For one hundred years I stood my watch, and as it ends I can tell you this – patience is a weapon.’ - Custodian Warden Tybaris Constor
Much of this lore is lost forever, destroyed or buried in the endless archives of Terra. Yet a few still know that this was the environment in which the Emperor rose to prominence, and that he – whether living deity or apex superhuman – was a worthy inheritor to the trove of genetomantic lore left behind by Mankind’s former rulers. It was this ancient and dangerous bounty, coupled with his own incredible and unfathomable powers, that allowed the Emperor to fashion warriors with which to unite a world. That task was not a simple one, and though the Emperor sought peace for Humanity, he could not achieve his aims without war. It is known, by the most learned of Imperial Historitors, that the living weapons the Emperor used for his early conquests were the Thunder Warriors. Techno-barbarians transformed into powerful, but ultimately flawed and short-lived, super-soldiers, the Thunder
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Legions were fit for a single purpose, after which the Emperor’s use for them was done. By the time the Thunder Warriors learned of their own disposable nature, the Emperor had set his sights on grander ambitions, and created the first of the beings that would become his Space Marines.
The years that followed saw the Great Crusade surge forth from the cradle of Humanity to reclaim the galaxy. First the Sol System was secured, and Mars brought back into the fold through the Emperor’s diplomacy and wisdom. Gathering pace with the technological aid of the Martian Mechanicum, the crusade forces spilled out into the void, billions upon billions of Imperial Army soldiers, proud warships, Space Marine Legions and countless other forces setting sail to reunite the stellar empire of Mankind.
Not even the most knowledgeable of the Imperium’s scholars can say when the Emperor fashioned the Custodians. The truth is hidden in fragments of the past, accounts of figures appearing in crude hieroglyphs and cave etchings, stasis-locked scads of parchment and gene-sealed tomes that no man now can open. They speak of the towering demigods that strode at the Emperor’s side, trusted bodyguards and respected counsellors that he took into his confidence. Custodians fought alongside their master before the walls of the Vilifactor’s fortress. They held back the baying flesh-packs of the transnordic reaver tribes while the Emperor slew their bloated meat-god. Custodian blades took the head of Gharsha the Decryer, pierced the heart of the Ur-queen of Atlan, and drove back the iron fiends on the red fields of Primasalia. Or at least, so the dying echoes of history suggest.
In those early days the Emperor was at the forefront of the expansion, even as his Primarch sons were rediscovered one by one and the crusade fleets became ever more scattered and autonomous in their operation. Wherever the Emperor went, there too strode the Legio Custodes, an unstoppable golden army now ten thousand strong. To them went the finest weapons and armour, and all the accumulated wealth of archeotechnological secrets unearthed by the crusading armies upon ancient human worlds. Alongside such esoterica as anti-gravitic battle tanks and terrifyingly potent disintegration rays, the Custodians also had access to the very best tried-and-tested Imperial tools of war. Their Land Raiders possessed the most exceptional and bellicose machine spirits. Their bolt weaponry, power blades and heavy weapons were all individually handcrafted by the greatest artisans the Imperium had to offer, as befitted such august and sublimely skilled warriors.
In the last years of the Unification Wars, the Thunder Warriors at last realised that their creator had cursed them with short lifespans, and turned upon him for what they saw as his betrayal. It was a cadre of several hundred Custodians, even then believed to have been led by the legendary Constantin Valdor, that stood in the Emperor’s defence, carrying out a merciless culling of the obsolete and rebellious gene-soldiers. With those last relic forces purged in a ruthless act of barbarity worthy of culminating the Age of Strife, Terra could at last be pronounced unified, and the Emperor could turn his gaze to the stars for the benefit of all Mankind.
From the hellish fastness of the Styxian Overmancers to the false empire of the Pureblood Kings, the bitter battles of the Coldharvest Campaign to the triumphant conquest of Ullanor, the Legio Custodes fought undefeated at the Emperor’s side. Led to war by the Master of Mankind himself, they were the bane of every foe. Yet they would soon face their sternest and most tragic test.
It is said that the golden-armoured giants of the Legio Custodes were the right hand of the Emperor, while the eerie witch-hunting nulls of the Silent Sisterhood were his left. Together they represent the Talons of the Emperor.
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THE HORUS HERESY Humanity’s preeminent destiny seemed assured beneath the Emperor’s rule, but it was not to be. In an act of grossest betrayal, fully half of the Space Marine Primarchs turned against their father and began a civil war more ferocious than anything Mankind had ever endured. This was the Horus Heresy, and it would see tragedy wrought on a galactic scale. The Primarchs were the pinnacle of the Emperor’s gene-craft, alchemically fashioned demigods intended to lead his wars of reconquest across the stars. By the machinations of the Dark Gods of Chaos, they were scattered across the cosmos before they had fully formed, and so were reunited with their father – and the Space Marine Legions made in their image – piecemeal as the Great Crusade came to the worlds upon which they had fallen. Arguably the greatest of their number was Horus Lupercal. It was he whom the Emperor and his Custodians found first, and who fought at his father’s side at the head of his Legion, the Luna Wolves. It was Horus whom the Emperor named Warmaster in the wake of the Triumph at Ullanor, charging his gene-son with commanding the Great Crusade in his stead while he and his Custodians returned to Terra to complete new and secret works.
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eracal swept his guardian spear in a tight arc. Its powered blade sliced through ceramite, flesh and bone, sending the traitor’s helm bouncing down the steps with the head still inside. Blood fountained, its colour rich red. Heracal raised one foot and kicked the swaying corpse in its midriff, sending it tumbling after its cranium. The Custodian scowled as two more traitors appeared at the bottom of the stairwell, clad in the panoply of the Sons of Horus. He levelled his guardian spear and let fly, directing a hail of bolt shells into the turncoats. One of them was blasted backwards, his chest-plate reduced to wreckage. The other weathered Heracal’s fire and reciprocated, discharging his bolter even as he stormed up the steps. Impacts rocked Heracal on his heels, but they couldn’t pierce his auramite plate. A lesser warrior might have gloated, glorying in his supremacy. Instead, Heracal lunged forwards with lightning speed and drove his spear tip through the traitor’s
Despite his potential it was Horus, too, who fell to the lure of the Dark Gods, who was utterly corrupted by their touch, and who led fully half of his brothers into damnation along with him. The tragic events of the Horus Heresy – a full account of which would take more than a lifetime to relate – were cataclysmic in the extreme, sundering the nascent Imperium and leaving it to burn in the fires of treachery. It is notable that while the Space Marine Legions battled furiously against one another – and the Imperial Army and Mechanicum tore themselves to shreds with internecine conflict – the Legio Custodes were strangely absent for much of the fighting. The few records that survive from that dark time provide only hints as to why that might have been, alluding to the existence of another, terrible war that took place beyond the sight of the wider Imperium, one that only the Adeptus Custodes had any chance of winning.
faceplate before he could dive aside. ‘Clear here,’ voxed Heracal, shaking the Space Marine’s corpse disdainfully from his blade. ‘West stair also clear,’ came Lytanus’ voice in response. ‘Engaging at the northern arch,’ voxed Artoris, and Heracal heard the sound of blades clashing and bolters roaring in the background. ‘They’re trying another push through the Peacemaker’s Square.’ ‘That’s three times now,’ said Heracal, setting off at a jog towards the northern arch. ‘Wiser men would have realised they cannot break us.’ ‘Wiser men would not have turned their backs upon the Emperor,’ replied Lytanus. ‘True,’ said Heracal, hearing the sounds of gunfire swelling ahead. ‘Then it falls to us to punish their foolishness.’ Rounding a corner, he cycled his guardian spear’s autoloaders and ran through a mnemic assessment of the Peacemaker’s Square, its approaches, fire arcs, blind spots and trap zones.
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Still, the Ten Thousand did take part in two pivotal conflicts during the tumultuous years of the Heresy. These were the Razing of Prospero, arguably the first battle of that dreadful era, and the Siege of Terra. The attack on Prospero came even before Horus tipped his hand in open rebellion. It was intended to be an act of censure, a punishment for the sorcerous Primarch Magnus the Red and his wayward Thousand Sons Legion. Upon their distant home world of Prospero the Thousand Sons had recklessly continued the use of psychic powers and empyric meddling in direct defiance of the Edict of Nikaea. None know for sure what finally forced the Emperor to intervene, but fragmentary sources tell of some psychic catastrophe on Terra, and an inescapable link to the powers of Magnus himself. Whatever the truth, Constantin Valdor and his Legio Custodes were charged with leading a force to Prospero
Another moment and he was at the northern arch, firelight and smoke spilling through it along with the din of battle. Heracal drew up shoulder to shoulder with Artoris, whose gold armour was drenched in the blood of the foe. ‘Well met,’ said Artoris, as he poured bolt shells into the traitor Space Marines charging through the burning gardens of the square. ‘World Eaters,’ spat Heracal, adding his fire to the salvo. ‘Deranged savages.’ ‘Just so,’ said Lytanus as he joined their impromptu firing line. ‘Let us exterminate them.’ Together, the Custodians strode out to meet the World Eaters’ charge. Every shot they fired was perfectly placed. Every step and blade swing was expertly timed, using the berserk traitors’ momentum against them. As blood sprayed and Legiones Astartes corpses crashed to the ground, Heracal felt a stern determination and unflinching conviction within him. While a single Custodian yet lived, the Imperial Palace would never fall…
CONSTANTIN VALDOR Few warriors in the entire history of the Imperium have even come close to the martial magnificence, selfless dedication and strategic excellence of Constantin Valdor, first CaptainGeneral of the Ten Thousand. So exceptional a warrior was Valdor that it is said he could even have matched a Primarch in a contest of blades. Yet Valdor’s value to the Emperor was so much more than as a mere combatant. From the earliest days of the Unification Wars – perhaps even before then – Constantin Valdor was the Emperor’s staunch companion, and his loyalty to the Master of Mankind was absolute. The Captain-General would rather have taken his own life than risk that of the Emperor; Valdor’s devotion to his master was such that there was no act he would not perform, no deed he would not consider, to ensure the Emperor’s continued survival. It is said that Constantin Valdor epitomised all that it means to be one of the Adeptus Custodes. Stoic, watchful, fiercely intelligent and – when required – a truly inspirational leader, Valdor was a true hero of the Imperium who never once faltered in his duty. It is not recorded what became of Valdor after the Emperor’s withdrawal to the Golden Throne, but there are those who believe he serves the Emperor still… ‘There are no bystanders in the war of life and death, no place the battle cannot reach; so fight it without remorse or relenting, for death will surely do the same.’ - Attributed to Captain-General Constantin Valdor
and bringing Magnus back to Terra to face his father’s judgement. Since their earliest days the Custodians had always borne the Magisterium Lex Ultima, a mark of office that made them answerable only to the Emperor himself. Yet never before had they been charged with exercising its authority for such a daunting task. Still, Valdor did not shirk from his duty. What should have been a diplomatic coup became a murderous conflict when Leman Russ, the Primarch of the Space Wolves, joined his forces to Valdor’s. Goaded by Horus’ cunning words and driven by an instinctive dislike for his sorcerous brother, Russ took the role not of Magnus’ captor, but his executioner. Though Valdor initially resisted Russ’ urgings, his hand was forced when the corruption of the sorcerers of Prospero was revealed, and so he led his gold-armoured brethren to the surface of the damned world. Fighting alongside the Sisters of Silence, whose null powers warded off the Thousand Sons’ psychic attacks, the Custodians slew many of Magnus’ followers during that tragic battle. Only with the aid of Valdor’s warriors were the Space Wolves able to extricate themselves from the slaughter before a howling warp rift consumed Prospero itself.
The aftermath of the events on Prospero was one of bewilderment and uncertainty. In comparison, by the time Horus’ Traitor Legions brought their war to the throneworld, there was no doubt where the battle lines were drawn. During that titanic siege, the Legio Custodes fought alongside the loyalist Legions to defend the Emperor and his palace. They showed no mercy to the turncoat Space Marines. They did not waver, even as megatonnes of explosive death rained from the burning skies, even as daemonic abominations spilled through the veil of reality and renegade Titans hammered the palace walls with city-levelling weaponry. Valdor and his Ten Thousand fought valiantly during that nightmarish battle, driving back one offensive after another. Despite their heroics, and to the eternal shame of the Legio Custodes, they failed in their ultimate duty. All through the Siege of Terra, Horus watched from his orbiting flagship, the Vengeful Spirit, coordinating the final battle from afar. Yet at the last, with Terra in flames and traitor forces rampaging through the palace’s outer districts, Horus lowered the shields on his battle barge. Why he did this, none
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can say. Perhaps some sliver of his old self remained, and sought to derail the Dark Gods’ plans. Perhaps he simply wished to face the Emperor before the end, and to strike his father down by his own hand. Whatever the case, the Emperor immediately gathered an elite force of Primarchs, Space Marines and Custodians, and led them in a teleport attack against Horus’ unshielded ship. The battle that followed was horrific, the Emperor’s force scattered throughout the tainted ship and forced to fight for their lives. Sanguinius, Primarch of the Blood Angels, fell to Horus’ talon, but worse was to follow. Despite the best efforts of the Custodians, they could not overcome the unnatural might of Horus. Only the Emperor was able to defeat his rebellious gene-son, but the victory came at a terrible cost. Horus’ powers shattered the Emperor’s body, leaving him a ruined husk. The Master of Mankind would be consigned to the Golden Throne forever more, its sustaining technologies keeping him on the threshold of life. So enthroned, his immense psychic power continues to guide and protect the loyal people of the Imperium – should he ever perish, Mankind would surely follow soon after.
GUARDIANS OF THE GOLDEN THRONE In the wake of the Horus Heresy, the Legio Custodes became the Adeptus Custodes. They donned mourning black, for theirs was a shame and a failing that they sought neither to forget nor be absolved of. Yet though they had met with defeat and tragedy, the Custodians’ vigil did not falter for even a moment. For ten thousand years the Adeptus Custodes have stood guard over the Golden Throne. In that time, not a single enemy has gained access to the Sanctum Imperialis. The Custodians have many tasks upon Terra. It is they who watch over not just the great gates that lead to the Emperor’s throne room, but all of the domains of the Imperial Palace. Considering the complex is a continent-sized sprawl of interconnected fortresses, cathedrums, armouries, dungeons, macro-habs, judiciariums, archives, sanctums, space ports and countless other structures, this is no mean feat. It is the Adeptus Custodes alone who decide who will be permitted audience with the Emperor, and it is an honour that is granted only in the rarest of circumstances. They patrol the endless lines of petitioners that wend through the Imperial Palace, ever watchful for those of xenos taint or heretical bent who might have contrived to penetrate the structure’s outer defences. They oversee
the soul-binding ritual that sees thousands of psykers each day drained of their life force in order to sustain the Emperor and his Astronomican.
The Adeptus Custodes guard the deepest vaults of the Imperial Palace, wherein lurk sanity-blasting secrets from the Dark Age of Technology. They despatch shield companies to inspect the defences of the Sol System, and to eliminate anything that presents even the slightest hint of a threat to the sanctity of Holy Terra. They play their endless Blood Games, one of their own number taking the role of invader or assassin to test their defences and, in doing so, to strengthen them still further.
For millennia the Custodians have gone about their duties, bound to traditions that have become ritual and rote. Yet even as the wider Imperium has stagnated around them, and the Emperor’s servants have come to view them with a mixture of superstition and awe, the Adeptus Custodes have done what they can to fend off doubt and ennui, and have never permitted despair to take them. They barely notice the fleeting mortal men that scurry around their feet, and insist upon keeping even the most ardently loyal Space Marines at a spear’s length, for what has proven fallible once may do so again. Yet this is a mantra the Custodians apply also to themselves, and thus they have never permitted themselves a moment of laxity or introspection. At times their CaptainGeneral has stood amongst the High Lords of Terra. At others he has served as one of that council’s most powerful advisors. Either way, the Adeptus Custodes continue to exercise the full authority of the Magisterium Lex Ultima, marshalling the defences of Terra as they see fit and answering to no one but their silent master in matters of security, sanctity and strength.
THE COMPANIONS The Companions are a three-hundred-strong force that forms the direct bodyguard of the Emperor while he sits upon the Golden Throne. They are hand-picked for their duties by the Captain-General, who chooses his candidates based upon painstaking assessments of each warrior’s performance in training and battle, as well as their mental acuity, spiritual fortitude and countless other indicative factors. There can be no more important duty in all of the Imperium than to shield the Emperor himself. As such, no consideration for rank or veteran status is given when appointing Custodians to the Companions, and those passed over in favour of younger or less experienced candidates take no offence.
rotated out with immediate effect, replaced by a fresh inductee to their ranks. Again, this is no mark of dishonour, merely a pragmatic admission that even a Custodian cannot perform such a taxing duty indefinitely. The longest any individual has stood the Companion’s Watch was Astoran Kalos, who endured for a full century before at last surrendering his place amongst the silent ranks. Those who have served amongst the Companions are more likely to lend their talents to the grim bodyguards known as the Aquilan Shields. Such Custodians have protected the lives of the greatest and most august personages in the Imperium, most notably the High Lords of Terra themselves. From the Master of the Navigators’ Guild to the High Logisticar of the Adeptus Administratum, the Lord Militant of the Imperium to the shadowed Master of the Officio Assassinorum, former Companions have acted as guardians for them all. To the Ten Thousand such duties are simply an extension of their vows to protect the Emperor, in this case by safeguarding those assets most important to the successful running of his Imperium. Still, it is a role that has earned the Adeptus Custodes much favour in the eyes of Terra’s noble elite.
The vigil of the Companions is unending, and though they are of course rotated out for brief periods of rest, it is still a purgatorial duty. Arrayed in ranks around the Golden Throne, these wardens stand for incredible lengths of time, unmoving, unspeaking, poised constantly upon the cusp of battle readiness in case the slightest threat were to present itself. It is mentally and spiritually exhausting, even for the demigods of the Adeptus Custodes, and so when the Captain-General judges that a Companion has served long enough they will be
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SHADOWS AND ALCHEMY It was the Emperor himself that invented the process by which the warriors of the Adeptus Custodes are created. More than ten thousand years later, the same processes are still utilised, remaining every bit as shrouded in secrecy and tradition as they were during the Great Crusade. If it can truly be said that the Space Marines are the sons of the Primarchs, then the Adeptus Custodes are the progeny of the Emperor himself. His might permeates them, his blessings so powerful that they can shield the Custodians from hurts both physical and empyric. The greatness of the Master of Mankind runs in their veins, burns in their eyes, and charges the air around them so that all faithful warriors instinctively respect and fear these demigods of war.
‘With but a handful of Custodians at his side, the Emperor crushed the anarchist warlords of Old Night and took Terra for his own. With but a few hundred he cemented that conquest and laid low the Thunder Warriors’ revolt. Now there are ten thousand of us, ready to strike out into the galaxy with all of our might. Ten. Thousand. Exactly what chance do you think your traitorous brothers stand against us, cur?’ - Shield-Captain Yorta’karin Desmodages, during the interrogation of Varsidious the Whisperer
is created by the introduction of gene-seed to the body, as well as the implantation of supporting organs. Between them, these modifications reshape those who receive them into living weapons. By comparison, whatever mysterious bio-alchemy is used to trigger the transformation into a Custodian occurs on an entirely deeper level, taking root in the cells, perhaps even the soul, of an aspirant. The process of ascension goes beyond the purely physical and spiritual. Those who would join the brotherhood of the Adeptus Custodes are mentally indoctrinated; their psyches are rebuilt from the ground up, their mental architecture fortified as the Imperial Palace itself was fortified in the face of Horus’ treachery, until it becomes an impregnable fastness or else collapses under its own weight.
The method by which such remarkable individuals are created has always been known only to those of the Imperial household, and is carried out by the most accomplished chirurgeons and bio-alchemists of Terra within gilded laboratories locked away from the sight of Humanity’s masses. With the Adeptus Custodes fighting only for the Emperor himself, and beholden to the commands and scrutiny of no other, the secrets of their recruitment have never been revealed, for not even the High Lords of Terra have the right to demand them.
Each aspirant endures thousands of hours of such psycho-indoctrination and mnemic conditioning. Their education is mercilessly absolute, information beaten into the metal of their minds at a punishing rate that drives many mad. They must grasp not only the tenets of warfare in all its forms, and learn every method of assassination, counter-espionage, threat recognition and death dealing known to Mankind, but also expand their minds in far more esoteric directions. Diplomacy and statecraft, astrogation and interstellar geography, history, philosophy, theosophy, artistry and countless other subjects must all be mastered to a breathtakingly high degree.
It is known that all Custodians begin their lives as the infant sons of the noble houses of Terra. It is a mark of incredible prestige to surrender one’s child to this most glorious of callings within the Imperium, and many notable clans amongst the Terran aristocracy have willingly given up almost entire generations of newborn sons to earn it. Such children are taken in when they are still in infancy, for the earlier the genetic metamorphosis into a warrior of the Adeptus Custodes begins, the better a chance it has of success. Huge crowds line the Avenue of Sacrifice outside the Ascensor’s Gate when such an intake occurs. They fill the air with frenzied cheering and prayer as the great and good of Terra’s high society parade before them, soaking in the adoration of the masses even as they surrender their progeny forever into the Emperor’s care.
Much of this education is a throwback to the days when the Custodians were expected not only to provide the Emperor with protection, but also counsel and conversation. It has become a tradition applied by rote, but still its benefits are apparent. Not only does such an avalanche of information screen out those whose psyches are not sufficiently robust, but it further ensures that – almost alone in a dark and dreadful age – the Adeptus Custodes retain the enlightenment and perspective commonplace during the Great Crusade. Of course, with such blessings comes a tragic comprehension of the depths to which the Imperium has sunk; it is a credit to the Adeptus Custodes that such a realisation does not drive them to despair.
There is a reason that – despite their remarkable lifespan – the Adeptus Custodes have never numbered more than approximately ten thousand warriors. Simply put, for every worthy aspirant who succeeds, thousands are found wanting. A Space Marine
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No truth is withheld from the Adeptus Custodes, for in order to do their duty without impediment they must possess all of the facts about the dark terrors that seek to conquer the galaxy. Such sanityeroding revelations quickly eliminate those inductees who do not have sufficient spiritual fortitude to do their duty. Those that remain can be counted upon not only to understand the deeper ramifications of the war for the Emperor’s realm, but to recognise why such truths must never be allowed to spread beyond their own ranks. How long the process of creating a Custodian takes is unknown beyond the walls of the Imperial Palace. All those who survive emerge as magnificent praetorians, their sculpted physiques and altered minds so utterly other that they adopt entirely new personalities. They draw their names from ancient texts, deriving them from heroes, monsters and gods of old Terran mythology. Not only is this practice regarded as being entirely appropriate for such transcendent beings, it also allows the noble families of Terra to save face. All can – and will – claim that it was their offspring that showed the fortitude to become a Custodian, and none will gainsay them. Though the minds of the Custodians are armoured against the machinations of witches and psykers, they themselves never exhibit such abilities. The Emperor allowed for no chink in the defences of his
bodyguards, for while battlefield psykers are undoubtedly powerful living weapons, they are also unstable ones. Their minds are prone to invasion by warp entities, a danger that no member of the Adeptus Custodes need ever face.
weapons for each new Custodian. Certain names such as the Clan Halbrinmir or the Clan Gestaxtis are renowned for their martial masterworks, and their augmetically enhanced artisan-barons are famed for the wonders they have wrought.
For those superlative individuals that do survive to join the golden ranks, their comrades afford them immediate respect. There are no juniors amongst the Adeptus Custodes – only worthy warriors who understand the full burden of responsibility that their power and authority brings.
The Adeptus Custodes also have access to an incomparable armoury of technology, much of it dating back thousands of years. From the sleek Dawneagle jetbikes of the Vertus Praetors and the magnificent Allarus-pattern Terminator armour, to Land Raiders and Contemptor Dreadnoughts that saw battle during the Great Crusade, such equipment epitomises the proven excellence of all Adeptus Custodes materiel. The tools of war wielded by the Emperor’s guardians never fail or falter, for they are handmade by the Imperium’s most skilled smiths and maintained to the most painstaking standards imaginable. Just as the warriors who protect the Golden Throne must be utterly without fault or weakness, so must be the equipment they rely upon to discharge their duties.
A Custodian’s roll of honour is encompassed by his name. Though all begin with a single epithet, as these warriors achieve great deeds they are awarded additional names to reflect them. In days past, the Emperor himself would bestow these titles. Now it falls to the Captain-General, or occasionally a Shield-Captain in the field, to bestow the honour on his comrades. Custodians who have served for many centuries typically have dozens of names inscribed within the plates of their armour or – in some cases – even etched microscopically into their bones. Along with their name, ascension to the ranks of the Adeptus Custodes earns each individual their own armour and weapons. Entire bloodlines of exceptionally skilled artisans dwell within gilded towers on Terra, their purpose to fashion the auramite armour and perfectly balanced
These incredible armaments, the endless training regimes that the Custodians undergo, the years-long holo-conflicts through which they battle, and the shadowshrouded wars they fight in the Emperor’s name throughout the Sol System and far beyond – all these factors ensure that the Ten Thousand are the finest fighting force in the entire Imperium.
THE EYES OF THE EMPEROR Though functionally immortal, even the warriors of the Adeptus Custodes eventually tire. Some suffer physical hurts that impact upon their ability to perform their duties, with lost limbs, artificial eyes or augmetic organs lessening their physical perfection. Others find their mental faculties beginning to erode, however slightly, acknowledging that their reaction times or mnemic awareness are not quite what they once were. For the vast majority of warriors, a tenth-of-a-second reduction in the speed at which blows are stuck or parried might be considered negligible. For a Custodian, it is error enough to necessitate that their watch come to an end. When a Custodian judges himself no longer fit for duty he surrenders all of his equipment to the Hall of Armaments and vanishes into the void of the galaxy clad in hooded black robes. Such noble exiles still serve the Emperor, however, for wherever they travel they observe. Some work alone, dark and ominous figures slipping through the shadows of the Emperor’s realm. Others cultivate networks of informants and agents, using fear and intimidation to secure compliance where loyalty and honour will not suffice. Should they bear witness to a situation developing that they believe might threaten Terra or the Emperor, these watchers use secret channels to communicate a warning to the Captain-General. So do response forces of the Adeptus Custodes launch punitive and often pre-emptive strikes throughout the Imperium, forewarned of danger by the Eyes of the Emperor.
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THE DEFENCES OF TERRA The Emperor’s palace on Terra is the largest and most impregnable defensive structure in the Imperium. It sprawls across an entire mountain range, stretching for thousands of miles over the surface of the throneworld. The Adeptus Custodes are responsible for the defence of this immense fortress, a duty they discharge with tireless diligence. In the days of the Great Crusade, the Imperial Palace was a surpassing wonder of engineering. Yet the necessity to fortify that beautiful structure against the baleful intentions of Warmaster Horus – and the subsequent widespread devastation suffered at the hands of his traitor hordes – wrought irrevocable changes. In the wake of the heresy, the Imperial Palace was rebuilt as the mightiest fortress in human history. The ten millennia since have seen it become ever more bloated, polluted and immense. The palace’s former asceticism lies buried beneath strata of gothic ornamentation and the brutal grandeur of the Cult Imperialis. What once was bright and magnificent is now vast and lowering, a hunched architectural monstrosity that wears its martial might like a challenge to the terrors of the darkling void. There can be no clearer metaphor for the fate of the wider Imperium, but though the palace is a grotesque mockery of its former self, still the Custodes guard it well. This is no small task. The circumference of the palace’s outermost walls is measured in thousands of miles. The towering spires
of its macro-habs and space ports break through the atmosphere and rise into the void like the spines of some bioluminescent beast. Its sub-levels dig deep into Terra’s holy bedrock, in some places reaching a depth of hundreds of miles below the surface. Its corridors, chambers, vaults, fastnesses and plazas are so multitudinous that no single record remains to list them all, and the societal sub-nations, clan holdings and techno-urbanic serf tribes that dwell within its walls could populate entire star systems. Despite this, the Adeptus Custodes have always proven equal to the duty of overseeing the palace’s defence. It is they who patrol the colossal and seemingly endless walls, who stand guard over the sanctums and armouries, who patrol the petitioners’ highways, the famed space ports and the vast fortifications. They inspect the endless miles of orbital guns and defensive silos, and maintain a wary guard over the hidden vaults deep within the palace which contain secrets so dreadful that they could bring about the fall of Humanity were they ever released.
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And yet, the Adeptus Custodes find the manpower and dedication to do so much more. For thousands of years, their shield hosts have mustered in secret and set out aboard requisitioned warships to strike down threats identified by the roaming Eyes of the Emperor. Bands of Custodians have regularly patrolled the Sol System, serving as rotating garrisons for military facilities based around Luna, Venus, Pluto and numerous deep-space star fortresses that watch the approaches to Terra. The Adeptus Custodes have also long liaised with the Imperial Fists Space Marine Chapter, who still maintain their role as joint guardians of the Sol System, and whose immense star fort – known as Phalanx – has often held a protective orbit over the throneworld. The Adeptus Custodes have remained unwavering in these duties for thousands of years. Now, even as the galaxy darkens around them and new wars arise for them to fight, they are more determined than ever to ensure the Imperial Palace, and the whole of Terra, stand inviolable.
THE IMPERIAL PALACE
THE TOWER AQUILANE
Being a cartographic representation of the most holy demesnes of the Imperial Palace on Terra
THE DARK CELLS
THE SANCTUM OF A THOUSAND EYES
THE SANCTUM IMPERIALIS
THE LION’S GATE AVENUE OF SACRIFICE
ASCENSOR’S GATE
VIGILATUM ORBITAL BATTERY
FORTRESS OF THE TRIBUNATE
The immensity of the Imperial Palace is breathtaking in its magnificence. Towering even taller than the mountain range upon which it was built, it is a monument to the grandiose martial might of Humanity.
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‘A wise man draws his swords when the time is right to wield them. A fool dies with blades still sheathed, fearing that there might yet come a time of greater need. For the sake of Emperor and Imperium both, we must take the fight to our enemies.’ - Trajann Valoris to Roboute Guilliman in the wake of the Lion’s Gate Incursion
RISE OF THE PRIMARCH In the last days before the gathering storm broke and the Great Rift tore the void in two, a bright light of hope was kindled within the galactic empire of Ultramar. Through great sacrifice and unnatural artifice, Roboute Guilliman, Primarch of the Ultramarines, was restored from the brink of death. His coming would herald great changes for the Imperium. When the Traitor Legions fell upon the Imperial Palace at the culmination of the Horus Heresy, Roboute Guilliman and his Ultramarines were too far away to fight in their father’s defence. Perhaps, had it been otherwise, the fate of the galaxy would have been very different. Whatever the case, following his revival Guilliman was determined that he would not make the same mistake twice. Seeing the darkness rising to swamp the Imperium, he launched a desperate crusade across the stars that brought him by strange and bloody roads to the throneworld itself.
Daemons tore through the skin of reality and assaulted the Lion’s Gate. Legions of howling Daemons surged towards the Emperor’s palace in a crimson tidal wave, and a frenzied battle ensued. The battleship-sized gun emplacements flanking the Lion’s Gate blasted glowing craters in the diabolical horde, but alone they had no hope of prevailing. Led by Roboute Guilliman and Captain-General Valoris, a combined host of the Adeptus Custodes, Ultramarines and Sisters of Silence marched out to meet the Daemons before the walls of the Emperor’s palace.
Guilliman was welcomed with all honour on Terra, permitted audience with the Emperor by Aquila Commander Kalim Varanor and reinstated as Lord Commander of the Imperium by an assemblage of the High Lords of Terra. Though the returned Primarch remained outwardly stern and regal, he had been shaken to the core by what had become of his father’s empire. He quickly began instating changes that would permit the Imperium to fight back against the onrushing hordes of Chaos, bulldozing the bureaucratic stubbornness and hidebound pedantry of the Adeptus Terra as he went. Guilliman’s return came not a moment too soon, for he had not been long at his labours when the cascading fury of the Great Rift washed over the Sol System. Though not directly struck by warp storms, Terra bore the brunt of empyric shock waves that temporarily extinguished the light of the Astronomican, and wrought havoc and misery from the planet’s highest spires to its deepest crypts. The Adeptus Custodes found themselves putting down riots, doomsday cult uprisings and rampaging packs of luckless petitioners driven to madness and cannibalism. Bands of Custodian Wardens stood their ground in the shadowed undervaults far beneath the palace as runic sigils burned out and timeless horrors burst from their containment cells. Worse was to follow. Seeking to strike the decapitating blow that would bring the Imperium to ruin, a vast horde of Khornate
In scenes that echoed the horror of the Siege of Terra ten millennia before, the golden warriors of the Adeptus Custodes faced the Blood God’s savage butchers blade to blade. This time, led by some of the Imperium’s greatest champions and driven by a furious determination never to fail again, they prevailed. One by one, the eight Bloodthirsters that led the attack were blown apart or cut down. The cost in lives was great, with noble defenders who had stood guard over the Emperor for thousands of years brought low by the brazen weapons of Khorne’s hateful Daemons. Yet even as the skies boiled blood-red and carmine rains slicked the ground, the legions of Khorne faded from reality with howls of frustration and rage. The Lion’s Gate Incursion proved a stark truth. While great swathes of witnesses were corralled and exterminated by the Inquisition, and efforts made to obliterate
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all evidence of the conflict, the masters of the Adeptus Custodes formally recognised that Terra’s defence could no longer be guaranteed without greater proactive measures. If the servants of the Dark Gods had bypassed the defences of the cradle of Humanity. Behind locked doors, complex wards and layers of psy-protections, Valoris and Guilliman ratified a formal amendment to the role of the Adeptus Custodes. The palace must still be guarded, of course, and the Companions’ watch must continue within the Emperor’s throne room. However, as a logical extension of the vows of duty they had sworn, the Adeptus Custodes committed to greatly extending their extra-solar activities. Aided by oracular doomscryers and alphalevel astropathic intercepts, and guided in part by the continued efforts of the Eyes of the Emperor, more shield hosts than ever before struck out from Terra. The aim of these forces was to exterminate utterly the most deadly threats to the Emperor himself. This mission might take them all across the galaxy, even into the shadows of the Imperium Nihilus beyond the sprawl of the Great Rift, but always their focus would be the sanctity of Terra. In this capacity a number of shield companies attached themselves to Guilliman’s Indomitus Crusade, reprising the role of the Emperor’s emissaries in bearing Primaris reinforcements and technology to the beleaguered Space Marine Chapters, and ensuring they understood that this was a gift from the Master of Mankind himself. It was not to be squandered or refused. Other shield companies relocated to permanently garrison the Sol System’s outer defences, or travelled further afield in order to watch over the primary warp routes that remained stable paths to the throneworld. Others still took even more esoteric mantles, becoming hunters after arch-heretics, questors for artefacts crucial to the ongoing survival of the Imperium, or redoubling their efforts in their wars against Humanity’s hidden foes. Not since the Great Crusade had so many Custodians bestrode the stars…
A HOST OF HEROES From outside, the organisation of the Ten Thousand seems byzantine. When they deign to account themselves at all to other Imperial bodies their ranks appear complex and highly stratified. Yet much of this is tradition, or else purposeful misdirection; in practice, the Adeptus Custodes use a robust and easily adaptable system to organise their forces. The Adeptus Custodes operate as a military force, a gathering of champions each of whom possesses unassailable authority over virtually any other organisation in the Imperium. Conversely, no Imperial agent can give a Custodian orders. Even such worthies as the High Lords of Terra and Lord Commander Guilliman are able only to request – not demand – their aid. As befits such a body of elite warriors, the internal hierarchy of the Adeptus Custodes is remarkably flat. The Captain-General commands the Ten Thousand, inheriting a post that has been passed down from one gallant leader to the next ever since the mysterious disappearance of Constantin Valdor. The Captain-General has absolute authority over the Custodes, acting as the ritual proxy for the Emperor himself and speaking with the voice of the Master of Mankind. Beneath the Captain-General is the Custodian Tribunate, a group of ten veteran Custodians who act as advisors to the Captain-General. Membership of this body changes periodically to ensure a blend of established wisdom and fresh ideas. A Custodian must have earned at least ten names before he can serve on the Tribunate, and have led his comrades
victoriously in battle on at least three occasions. Once he joins the Tribunate, a Custodian must serve for at least ten years. During this time he will not see the front lines, for he is too busy bending all of his considerable intellect to supporting – strategically and diplomatically – the Captain-General. Below this ruling council are the ShieldCaptains, who fulfil the roles of inspiring leaders, gifted generals and selfless champions. Their titles vary enormously, from Supreme Castellans and Aquila Commanders to Master Guardians, often borne in accordance with the specific duties to which they have been assigned. It is Shield-Captains that take charge of the Adeptus Custodes’ military engagements; one is typically afforded overall command of an operation, while several others of his rank may lend him their strength and wisdom in a supporting capacity. The remainder of the Custodians possess roughly equivalent status to one another, forming loose warrior bands traditionally known as sodalities. There are varying strategic roles within the organisation to which some Custodians find themselves better suited. However, whether this be the rapid jetbike troops of the Vertus Praetors,
the heavy assault specialists of the Allarus Custodians, or the unwavering Wardens, they still operate within a meritocracy that sees them afforded whatever honour their comrades believe them worthy of. A singular force of the Adeptus Custodes is referred to as a shield company. The numbers within such a formation can vary considerably, hand-picked by their Shield-Captain for the task at hand and ranging from a small band to a sizeable army complete with jetbikes, tanks and Dreadnoughts. Under normal circumstances, a shield company includes no more than one Shield-Captain and perhaps thirty to forty Custodians. When a larger force is required, multiple shield companies gather into forces known as shield hosts. Led by conclaves of ShieldCaptains and boasting tens, sometimes hundreds of Custodians, shield hosts have the martial strength to crush enemy armies and bring entire star systems to heel. The gathering of such might is a momentous undertaking – a shield host is only assembled to accomplish those tasks that no other Imperial force could be trusted with, and its warriors march to war with a singular and implacable determination to enact the Emperor’s will.
THE MISERICORDIA When an aspirant ascends to the ranks of the Adeptus Custodes, he is presented with a beautifully fashioned knife known as a misericordia. These weapons are filigreed with gold and theldrite, their hilts moulded to the owner’s unique grip and their blades imbued with micromolecular dissonator spirits that allow them to slice through the thickest armour as though it wasn’t there at all.
The misericordia still shows its wielder to be the Emperor’s sanctioned executioner, yet since his fall these blades bear a second, grimmer meaning. They have become weapons of vengeance, to be turned upon those who betrayed the Emperor and left him a broken shell. Every time a misericordia is plunged into a traitor’s heart, so it is said, a minuscule measure of revenge is exacted on behalf of the Emperor himself. Though the Custodians are typically immune to such superstition, there are those amongst their ranks who harbour the hope that if enough traitor blood is spilt with these blades, it may in some way restore their master. Another school of thought, the adherents of which are known as the Miserians, believe that through the wounds inflicted with misericordia they will slowly bleed the great descendants of Horus, inflicting a death by a thousand cuts upon the Black Legion and their masters. Thus, though Custodians have the right to carry their misericordia or not as they see fit, it is rare indeed that they go to battle against the Heretic Astartes without these blades at their hips.
More than a lethal sidearm, the misericordia signifies something greater. Its traditional meaning is said to date all the way back to the darkest days of Terran history, when cruel warlords ruled by the blade alone. These weapons of oppression were known as misericordia. Yet as the Emperor led his wars of unification, his Custodians are believed to have co-opted the term for their own use. No longer would the misericordia be a symbol of tyrannical rule. Instead, it came to represent the right of the bearer to act as the arbiter of the Emperor’s judgement, and to put to death those tyrants, lunatics and demagogues who stood against him.
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CUSTODES DEPLOYMENTS The Adeptus Custodes differ from the vast majority of Imperial military organisations in that their armies obey only the loosest regimentation. Those Custodians that lead each force are permitted vast autonomy in selecting whatever forces they believe they will require to complete their mission, with only the broadest organisational guidelines by which to abide.
THE GILDED TALONS SHIELD COMPANY Typically, a shield company is led by a single Shield-Captain, though sometimes it will include additional champions who act as his companions.
SHIELD-CAPTAIN
CUSTODIAN GUARD
CUSTODIAN GUARD
The Gilded Talons shield company fights under the leadership of Shield-Captain Archturus Paliades. As is typical with such organisations, their members often fight amongst the ranks of other shield companies also, but when Paliades calls, all of his comrades who can will answer. The composition of this shield company was determined by the Shield-Captain to suit his strategic needs; others might contain wildly different arrays of troop types and vehicles.
VEXILUS PRAETOR
ALLARUS TERMINATORS
Imperatus Auxila Land Raider Glorious Wrath Land Raider Justice Delivered Contemptor, Talorian Contemptor, Euramedes Seconded Cruiser Voidhawk Phemus, Eye of the Emperor
VERTUS PRAETORS
Supporting assets attached to shield companies are designated as Imperatus Auxila. These range from war engines and Dreadnoughts to seconded warships, and even noncombatant field agents.
THE SOLAR FURIES SHIELD HOST COMMANDERS
SHIELD COMPANY
SHIELD COMPANY
The Solar Furies first assembled in late M36, to battle against a Necron awakening on a world perilously close to Terra. They have fought together many times since, typically gathering to eliminate suddenly arising threats close to or within the Sol System. It is important to note that the Solar Furies is a very large shield host – any formation that brings two or more shield companies together beneath the leadership of multiple ShieldCaptains is considered to be a shield host.
SHIELD COMPANY
A shield host is typically commanded by multiple Shield-Captains, supported by the wise counsel of several Vexilus Praetors.
SHIELD COMPANY
Maximus Auxila 10 Venerable Land Raiders 7 Contemptor Dreadnoughts Adeptus Custodes Falchionclass battleship, the Starfire 5 co-opted Imperial warships Various field agents
21
SHIELD COMPANY
Shield hosts gather all the auxiliary assets of their shield companies under the single umbrella heading of Maximus Auxila. From a practical point of view, however, these assets still fight with their parent shield companies.
UNIFORMS AND HERALDRY Each Custodian’s armour and weapons are crafted specifically for them by hand. Thus, each suit of armour is an individual work of exceptional craftsmanship with its own unique flourishes and decorations. Yet all Custodians maintain certain standardised elements to their wargear that help them to quickly identify one another’s place both on and off the battlefield.
The right shoulder guard of a Custodian’s armour depicts the Imperial Aquila, a sigil of eternal vigilance and a sign of the Custodian’s mandate to enact – by force if necessary – the will of the Emperor himself.
1
2
3
The gems set into each Custodian’s armour are individually mined from deep beneath the surface of Terra and hand cut by skilled artisans. Their colouration is flawlessly precise, an art form in its own right, not only across the Custodian’s armour, but across that of his entire shield company. When a Custodian switches from one such organisation to another, the stones will be carefully extracted from his armour and replaced with those of an appropriate colour if needs be. The colour panels on the Custodian’s left shoulder guard show clearly to which shield company or shield host they belong. The latter organisational tier takes precedence for these purposes. This colouration will often match the Custodian’s tabard, along with any robes he may wear.
5
All Adeptus Custodes armour is made from the incredibly rare substance known as auramite. Its natural colouration is a lustrous gold, a hue entirely appropriate for the Emperor’s personal guardians. However, through closely guarded alchemical processes, auramite can be tinted, or its colour changed altogether on a molecular level. It is a painstaking and costly process, but considered far more suited to the Custodians’ importance than simple repainting.
4
22
The haft or hilt of a Custodian’s weapon is sometimes worked – or, in many cases, reworked – to match the colouration of their armour. This is not standard amongst all shield companies, however.
THE SHADOWKEEPERS WARDERS OF THE DARK CELLS There are terrible things locked away beneath the Emperor’s palace, eldritch terrors from the depths of Old Night that could annihilate the Imperium. To the Shadowkeepers falls the duty of standing guard over them unto the end of time. The Shadowkeepers hold the keys to the rune-locked portals hidden deep beneath the Imperial Palace. They alone know the ways by which the runic locks may be disengaged, the wards unbound and the sanctic circles breached. They alone know that these things must never happen, for the Dark Cells hold such horrors at bay that Mankind’s sanity would not survive their release. A full shield host is devoted to this grim responsibility, over a hundred Custodians patrolling the dark and silent corridors, vigilantly watching over the last terrors of Old Night. It is a task that would soon drive most men mad, for though neither sight nor sound can escape the forbidden cells, the air of those corridors is charged with dread. A perpetual menace thickens the shadows and makes them crawl. Even the superhumans of the Adeptus Custodes are forever on edge in those dark oubliettes, for the sense of unspeakable threat never wanes. It is a testament to the discipline and spiritual fortitude of the Shadowkeepers that they stand their guard unflinching, sometimes for decades at a time.
The ranks of this shield host include many Custodian Wardens, whose oaths of protection help them to focus upon the task at hand to the exclusion of all else. The leaders of these forbidding sentries carry ancient weapons of mysterious provenance, their use intended as a last resort should anything ever break free from the Dark Cells. For ten thousand years the Shadowkeepers have performed their duty, yet the coming of the Great Rift changed everything. With the power of Chaos spilling raw and seething into the spaces between the stars, new abominations have come to light. Worse still are the cells that stand suddenly empty, the entities and artefacts once contained within spirited away by some unholy force to curse the galaxy once more. Fearing the consequences of such dread remnants of the Age of Strife falling into the wrong hands, the Shadowkeepers at last sent warriors out into the galaxy. These jailers must trammel that which should not be, slaughtering all who seek to impede them, before returning their foul prizes to the cells where they belong.
Custodian Warden Jaeharl Feldorus Ghau, who stands amongst the steely eyed ranks of the Shadowkeepers. The sable of Ghau’s armour is one with the gloom of the Dark Cells, while the rich crimson of his left shoulder guard and robes complete the attire of his shield host. Custodian Ghau has guarded the Dark Cells for seventeen years, during which time he has been called upon to leave Terra thrice on heavily veiled reclamation missions. It was Ghau’s blade that slew the Slithering Dreamer on Tarnus IV, a grim achievement that is reflected in the new names inscribed within his black armour.
23
THE LOCKWARDEN There have been many ShieldCaptains charged with mastery of the Shadowkeepers. This appointment confers the title of Lockwarden, a name that is borne in perpetuity and garners solemn respect from every other member of the Ten Thousand. The Lockwarden must be the sternest of all guardians, the most unrelenting and alert gaoler on the face of Terra. Moreover, should any creature or relic escape the Dark Cells, or newly emerged threat need to be imprisoned therein, it is the duty of the Lockwarden to personally oversee the operation. The current incumbent of this position is Shield-Captain Borsa Thursk, who has been Lockwarden for a century and a half. He is a grim and frighteningly intense warrior whose utter fearlessness and steely vigilance make him ideal for his role. It speaks volumes about the dire condition of the galaxy that Thursk left Terra but twice before the breaking of the storm, yet he has barely set foot there since the Great Rift yawned wide.
THE AQUILAN SHIELD THE GILDED GUARDIANS Certain servants of the Emperor bear great responsibilities deemed directly relevant to the safety of Terra. Such esteemed figures are afforded the protection of the Aquilan Shield, at least until their usefulness is thought to be at its end. As the doomscryers of the Imperial Palace sift the tides of the empyrean for warnings of disaster, they also take note of those who – through example, thought or deed – are likely to avert such catastrophes before they threaten the Golden Throne. These fated individuals are honoured with the protection of the Aquilan Shield, for in this way a small band of Custodians can ensure a significant martial or spiritual asset survives to act in the Emperor’s defence.
‘The duty of the Emperor’s defence does not end at the walls of the Imperial Palace. Our war is like an endless game of regicide, played over countless boards against infinite foes at once. In such a contest one must be constantly pre-emptive, always cunning and ever ready to seize any advantage that presents itself. Our gaze must rove far afield, and our every move must be perfectly executed. To do any less is to court final defeat.’
The Aquilan Shield have acted as bodyguards to High Lords, Sororitas Canonesses, Lord Inquisitors, Astra Militarum generals and Space Marine Captains. They have even protected two crusade leaders bearing the title of Warmaster, staunchly ignoring the historic associations with he who first held that rank. Yet they have also appeared amidst flares of golden light to watch over firebrand frontline preachers, bewildered militia leaders and others of apparently little import. The only unifying factor amongst them all is that, while attending their duties beneath the gimlet gaze of the Emperor’s own guards, these individuals are expected to achieve incredible things in the defence of the throneworld. The Aquilan Shield fight to ensure such a future comes to pass, shielding their charges from harm until the exact moment the usefulness of the person under their protection is deemed spent. At that point they depart without a word, leaving those they guarded to look to their own defence. Tragedy often follows, but this is of no concern to the Aquilan Shield – providing it does not jeopardise the safety of the Golden Throne.
The Aquilan Shield are an informal brotherhood laced through the ranks of the Adeptus Custodes. They typically operate in small warrior bands, journeying across the stars to stand watch over their charges wherever they may be. No warning is given nor permission asked – the warriors of the Aquilan Shield appear as if from nowhere, avatars of the Emperor’s will who announce their quarry to be under the protection of the Master of Mankind. Such an honour is beyond compare, and is never refused no matter the circumstances or the individual chosen.
- Captain-General Trajann Valoris Tauramacchis Ossian is a Custodian Warden who has stood amongst the ranks of the Aquilan Shield for over four centuries. His allegiance is indicated by the royal purple colouration of his left shoulder guard and his robes. In his time amongst the Aquilan Shield, Ossian has defended the life of Arch-Cardinal Mumbres from daemonic assassins, watched over High Lord Veynd during the Red Razor Uprisings, and protected a bewildered young preacher named Lorrin from the horrors of the war on Phinalium until the priest’s selfless martyrdom earned him sainthood and turned the tide of a war across an entire sector.
24
THE DREAD HOST INSTRUMENT OF THE EMPEROR’S WRATH Fear is a familiar weapon to the Imperium, used to deter enemies and keep seething populations in line. Yet there is no terror as pure and absolute as that invoked when the Emperor’s own fury is unleashed to punish his foes. The Dread Host represents a breathtaking concentration of military might. It numbers hundreds of Custodians, organised into multiple shield hosts and transported aboard a trio of pre-heresy warships known as the Moiraides. The nature of this army is simple: they are the deliverers of the Emperor’s judgement, his anger and his punishment made manifest.
force. They slaughter the enemy’s warriors and reduce their war engines to wreckage. They cast down their false idols and set them aflame. They topple their cities, sunder their strongholds, and butcher their allies and followers. They make grisly examples of those who would dare lead such a challenge to the Emperor’s dominion, ignoring all attempts at surrender and foiling all bids at flight. By the time the Dread Host are done with their war, nothing remains of their chosen victims but the gruesome tales of their brutal demise at the Emperor’s hand.
Not for them the pinpoint rapid strike, the hidden war or the measured defensive action. Instead, the assembled Shield-Captains of the Dread Host identify the most visible and dramatic threats to the Segmentum Solar and unleash upon them such overwhelming annihilation that it sends shock waves rolling through the warp itself. Sometimes one warship is sent, sometimes two; only a handful of times in the entire history of the Imperium have all three of the Moiraides loosed their passengers against a single foe. Yet always the effect is the same. Spearheaded by dozens of Allarus Custodians, the Dread Host fall upon their victims with unstoppable
The Dread Host have smashed Ork Waaaghs!, obliterated rebellious star systems and crushed traitor crusades. They have fought against enemies thousands of times their number and humbled them through strategy, speed and strength. With every campaign they spread the terror of the Emperor’s wrath. The breathtaking bloodshed and absolute destruction they leave in their wake has dissuaded hundreds of uprisings and invasions before they could even begin.
Custodian Guard Kallisarian Tristraen Desh has been a member of the Dread Host for only six months. In that time, he has already taken part in two separate military campaigns within a galactic stone’s throw of Terra. During the purge on Chormium, he ruthlessly slew well over two hundred renegade guardsmen. At the battle for the corvinium mines of Triton, Desh impaled a Genestealer Patriarch, ending its perilous cult uprising in a sizzling spray of ichor. He proudly displays the sable shoulder guard and white pteruges of his shield host, which is itself one of several that currently wear the colours of the Dread Host.
25
THE SANCTUM OF A THOUSAND EYES The stronghold of the Dread Host rises to dominate an entire district of the Imperial Palace. This armoured bastion is lit with electro-braziers and arc-lumen of immense size, all angled to under-light the five hundred enormous eagle statues that line the Sanctum’s upper battlements. Each as large as a superheavy tank, these ominous sculptures are posed in vigilant stances, many staring up into the stellar gulf while the remainder peer down upon the thronging processionals below. Superstition runs rife that the eagles of the Sanctum of a Thousand Eyes can perceive disloyalty no matter where it lies, and that the Emperor looks through their avian eyes to see the darkness in men’s hearts. To some extent this is true; each eagle contains a complex array of long-range augurs, servitor cogitation banks and multi-spectral listening devices that feed floods of information down into the Sanctum’s
TYPE Rapid Fire 1
S
AP
D
ABILITIES
5
-1
2
Misericordia
Melee
Melee
User
-2
1
Watcher’s Axe (melee)
Melee Melee Aegis of the Emperor (pg 56)
x2
-3
D3
ABILITIES
Auramite Halo: Trajann Valoris has a 3+ invulnerable save. Legendary Commander: You can re-roll hit rolls and wound rolls of 1 made for friendly ADEPTUS CUSTODES units within 6' of Trajann Valoris.
Each time the bearer fights, it can make 1 additional attack with this weapon unless it is also equipped with a storm shield. Moment Shackle: Once per battle, if Trajann Valoris is on the battlefield, you can do one of the following: Regain D3 wounds lost by Trajann Valoris during this phase (you cannot do this during an attack or if Trajann Valoris is slain). At the end of the Fight phase, pile in and attack with Trajann Valoris an additional time. Regain up to D3 Command Points spent when you use a Stratagem (but no more than were spent on the Stratagem).
FACTION KEYWORDS
IMPERIUM, ADEPTUS CUSTODES
KEYWORDS
CHARACTER, INFANTRY, CAPTAIN-GENERAL TRAJANN VALORIS
‘The hotter the forge, the finer the blade, or so they say. The forge of war in which we now find ourselves blazes hotter than anything the Imperium has seen in ten millennia. We of the Adeptus Custodes were built to endure these fires. They will not be our end. Instead, we will be honed to the finest cutting edge, that we may be the bane of even the foulest heretics.’ - Captain-General Trajann Valoris
58
‘We are vigilance unending. We are duty unstinting. We are punishment inescapable. We are the Adeptus Custodes, and all must fear our wrath.’ - Shield-Captain Rothrian Ganyth
A Shield-Captain holds his guardian spear and his misericordia ready as he leads his comrades to war.
7
SHIELD-CAPTAIN
NAME
M
WS
BS
S
T
W
A
Ld
Sv
Shield-Captain
6'
2+
2+
5
5
6
5
9
2+
A Shield-Captain is a single model armed with a guardian spear.
WEAPON Castellan axe (shooting) Guardian spear (shooting) Sentinel blade (shooting) Castellan axe (melee) Guardian spear (melee) Misericordia Sentinel blade (melee)
WARGEAR OPTIONS
ABILITIES
RANGE
TYPE
S
AP
D
ABILITIES
24'
Rapid Fire 1
4
-1
2
-
24' 12' Melee Melee
Rapid Fire 1 Pistol 2 Melee Melee
4 4 +3 +1
-1 0 -2 -3
2 1 D3 D3
Each time the bearer fights, it can make 1 additional Melee Melee User -2 1 attack with this weapon unless it is also equipped with a storm shield. Melee Melee User -3 D3 This model may replace its guardian spear with a sentinel blade or a castellan axe. This model may take a misericordia. If this model is armed with a sentinel blade, it may take a storm shield. Aegis of the Emperor (pg 56) Storm Shield: A model equipped with a storm shield has a 3+ invulnerable save. Inspirational Fighter: You can re-roll hit rolls of 1 made for friendly ADEPTUS CUSTODES units within 6' of this model.
FACTION KEYWORDS
IMPERIUM, ADEPTUS CUSTODES
KEYWORDS
CHARACTER, INFANTRY, SHIELD-CAPTAIN
59
8
SHIELD-CAPTAIN IN ALLARUS TERMINATOR ARMOUR
NAME
M
WS
BS
S
T
W
A
Ld
Sv
Shield-Captain in Allarus Terminator Armour
6'
2+
2+
5
5
7
5
9
2+
A Shield-Captain in Allarus Terminator Armour is a single model armed with a guardian spear and balistus grenade launcher.
WEAPON
RANGE
TYPE
S
AP
D
ABILITIES
Balistus grenade launcher
12'
Assault D3
4
-3
1
-
Castellan axe (shooting)
24'
Rapid Fire 1
4
-1
2
-
24' Melee Melee
Rapid Fire 1 Melee Melee
4 +3 +1
-1 -2 -3
2 D3 D3
Guardian spear (shooting) Castellan axe (melee) Guardian spear (melee) Misericordia
WARGEAR OPTIONS ABILITIES
Each time the bearer fights, it can make 1 additional Melee Melee User -2 1 attack with this weapon unless it is also equipped with a storm shield. This model may replace its guardian spear with a castellan axe. This model may take a misericordia. Aegis of the Emperor (pg 56) From Golden Light: During deployment, you can set up this model in a Godstrike-pattern teleportarium Inspirational Fighter: You can re-roll hit rolls of array instead of placing it on the battlefield. At the 1 made for friendly ADEPTUS CUSTODES units end of any of your Movement phases this model within 6' of this model. can teleport into battle – set it up anywhere on the battlefield that is more than 9' away from any enemy models.
FACTION KEYWORDS
IMPERIUM, ADEPTUS CUSTODES
KEYWORDS
CHARACTER, INFANTRY, TERMINATOR, SHIELD-CAPTAIN
SHIELD-CAPTAIN
9
ON DAWNEAGLE JETBIKE NAME
M
WS
BS
S
T
W
A
Ld
Sv
Shield-Captain on Dawneagle Jetbike
14'
2+
2+
5
6
7
5
9
2+
A Shield-Captain on Dawneagle Jetbike is a single model armed with an interceptor lance. His jetbike is equipped with a hurricane bolter.
WEAPON
RANGE
Hurricane bolter Salvo launcher
24' Rapid Fire 6 4 0 1 When attacking with this weapon, choose one of the profiles below. You can re-roll failed wound rolls for this weapon if the 24' Heavy 1 8 -4 D6 target is a VEHICLE. Add 1 to all hit rolls made for this weapon against targets 24' Heavy D3 7 -1 D3 that can FLY. Subtract 1 from the hit rolls made for this weapon against all other targets. You can re-roll failed wound rolls for this weapon on a Melee Melee +1 -3 D3 turn in which its bearer made a successful charge. Each time the bearer fights, it can make 1 additional Melee Melee User -2 1 attack with this weapon unless it is also equipped with a storm shield. This model may replace its hurricane bolter with a salvo launcher. This model may take a misericordia. Aegis of the Emperor (pg 56) Implacable Vanguard: When this model Advances, add 6' to its Move characteristic for that Movement phase Inspirational Fighter: You can re-roll hit rolls of 1 instead of rolling a dice. made for friendly ADEPTUS CUSTODES units within 6' of this model.
- Melta missile - Flakkburst missile Interceptor lance Misericordia
WARGEAR OPTIONS ABILITIES
TYPE
S
AP
D
FACTION KEYWORDS
IMPERIUM, ADEPTUS CUSTODES
KEYWORDS
CHARACTER, BIKER, FLY, SHIELD-CAPTAIN
60
ABILITIES
8
CUSTODIAN GUARD
NAME
M
WS
BS
S
T
W
A
Ld
Sv
Custodian Guard
6'
2+
2+
5
5
3
3
8
2+
This unit contains 3 Custodian Guard. It can include up to 7 additional Custodian Guard (Power Rating +3 per model). Each model is armed with a guardian spear.
WEAPON
RANGE
TYPE
S
AP
D
Guardian spear (shooting) Sentinel blade (shooting) Guardian spear (melee)
24' 12' Melee
Rapid Fire 1 Pistol 2 Melee
4 4 +1
-1 0 -3
2 1 D3
Misericordia Sentinel blade (melee)
WARGEAR OPTIONS ABILITIES
ABILITIES
Each time the bearer fights, it can make 1 additional Melee Melee User -2 1 attack with this weapon unless it is also equipped with a storm shield. Melee Melee User -3 D3 Any model may replace its guardian spear with a sentinel blade and storm shield. Any model may take a misericordia. Aegis of the Emperor (pg 56) Storm Shield: A model equipped with a storm shield has a 3+ invulnerable save.
FACTION KEYWORDS
IMPERIUM, ADEPTUS CUSTODES
KEYWORDS
INFANTRY, CUSTODIAN GUARD
Storming from the sanctum gates with their bolt weapons blazing, the Custodian Guard drive the Thousand Sons back.
61
10
CUSTODIAN WARDENS
NAME
M
WS
BS
S
T
W
A
Ld
Sv
Custodian Warden
6'
2+
2+
5
5
3
4
9
2+
This unit contains 3 Custodian Wardens. It can include up to 7 additional Custodian Wardens (Power Rating +4 per model). Each model is armed with a castellan axe and misericordia.
WEAPON
RANGE
TYPE
S
AP
D
ABILITIES
Castellan axe (shooting)
24'
Rapid Fire 1
4
-1
2
-
Guardian spear (shooting)
24'
Rapid Fire 1
4
-1
2
-
Castellan axe (melee)
Melee
Melee
+3
-2
D3
-
Guardian spear (melee)
Melee
Melee
+1
-3
D3
Misericordia
Melee
Melee
User
-2
1
Each time the bearer fights, it can make 1 additional attack with this weapon unless it is also equipped with a storm shield.
WARGEAR OPTIONS ABILITIES
Any model may replace its castellan axe with a guardian spear. Aegis of the Emperor (pg 56) Binding Oaths: Roll a D6 each time a model in this unit loses a wound; on a 6 the damage is ignored and that wound is not lost.
FACTION KEYWORDS
IMPERIUM, ADEPTUS CUSTODES
KEYWORDS
INFANTRY, CUSTODIAN WARDENS
Custodian Wardens stand firm against the advancing Chaos Space Marine forces.
62
‘Raise your vexilla high! Though the battlefield might blaze with the fury of the foe, though death might whirl about you in a storm, though the fallen may lie ten deep underfoot, raise your vexilla! Drive back the darkness and horror with its golden radiance, until all is redeemed by the glory of the Emperor of Mankind.’ - Aetheus Urdanesh, Vexilus Praetor
7
VEXILUS PRAETOR IN ALLARUS TERMINATOR ARMOUR
NAME
M
WS
BS
S
T
W
A
Ld
Sv
Vexilus Praetor in Allarus Terminator Armour
6'
2+
2+
5
5
6
4
9
2+
A Vexilus Praetor in Allarus Terminator Armour is a single model armed with a balistus grenade launcher.
WEAPON Balistus grenade launcher Misericordia
WARGEAR OPTIONS ABILITIES
RANGE 12' Melee
TYPE
S
AP
D
ABILITIES
Assault D3
4
-3
1
User
-2
1
Each time the bearer fights, it can make 1 additional attack with this weapon unless it is also equipped with a storm shield.
Melee
This model may take a misericordia. Aegis of the Emperor (pg 56) From Golden Light: During deployment, you can set up this model in a Godstrike-pattern teleportarium array instead of placing it on the battlefield. At the end of any of your Movement phases this model can teleport into battle – set it up anywhere on the battlefield that is more than 9' away from any enemy models. Custodes Vexilla: You can re-roll failed Morale tests for friendly IMPERIUM INFANTRY and BIKER units within 6' of this model. In addition, when you add this model to your army, choose one of the following vexillas for this model to carry: Vexilla Imperius: ADEPTUS CUSTODES models (other than VEHICLES) add 1 to their Attacks characteristic whilst their unit is within 6' of any friendly VEXILUS PRAETORS with this vexilla. Vexilla Defensor: IMPERIUM INFANTRY units have a 5+ invulnerable save against ranged weapons whilst they are wholly within 9' of any friendly VEXILUS PRAETORS with this vexilla. Vexilla Magnifica: Your opponent must subtract 1 from hit rolls in the Shooting phase for attacks that target ADEPTUS CUSTODES units within 6' of any friendly VEXILUS PRAETORS with this vexilla.
FACTION KEYWORDS
IMPERIUM, ADEPTUS CUSTODES
KEYWORDS
CHARACTER, INFANTRY, TERMINATOR, VEXILUS PRAETOR
63
6
VEXILUS PRAETOR
NAME
M
WS
BS
S
T
W
A
Ld
Sv
Vexilus Praetor
6'
2+
2+
5
5
5
4
9
2+
A Vexilus Praetor is a single model armed with a guardian spear, castellan axe or storm shield.
WEAPON
RANGE
TYPE
S
AP
D
ABILITIES
Castellan axe (shooting)
24'
Rapid Fire 1
4
-1
2
-
Guardian spear (shooting)
24'
Rapid Fire 1
4
-1
2
-
Melee Melee
+3 +1
-2 -3
D3 D3
Castellan axe (melee) Guardian spear (melee) Misericordia
WARGEAR OPTIONS ABILITIES
Melee Melee
Each time the bearer fights, it can make 1 additional Melee Melee User -2 1 attack with this weapon unless it is also equipped with a storm shield. This model may replace its guardian spear, castellan axe or storm shield with a misericordia. If this model does not replace its wargear with a misericordia, it may take a misericordia. Aegis of the Emperor (pg 56) Storm Shield: A model equipped with a storm shield has a 3+ invulnerable save. Custodes Vexilla: You can re-roll failed Morale tests for friendly IMPERIUM INFANTRY and BIKER units within 6' of this model. In addition, when you add this model to your army, choose one of the following vexillas for this model to carry: Vexilla Imperius: ADEPTUS CUSTODES models (other than VEHICLES) add 1 to their Attacks characteristic whilst their unit is within 6' of any friendly VEXILUS PRAETORS with this vexilla. Vexilla Defensor: IMPERIUM INFANTRY units have a 5+ invulnerable save against ranged weapons whilst they are wholly within 9' of any friendly VEXILUS PRAETORS with this vexilla. Vexilla Magnifica: Your opponent must subtract 1 from hit rolls in the Shooting phase for attacks that target ADEPTUS CUSTODES units within 6' of any friendly VEXILUS PRAETORS with this vexilla.
FACTION KEYWORDS
IMPERIUM, ADEPTUS CUSTODES
KEYWORDS
CHARACTER, INFANTRY, VEXILUS PRAETOR
‘It was upon Gathalamor Prime, before the ruins of the Sanctic Citadel, that Custodian Erasmian Alhoris Cassabar Lychansis slew a trio of traitor champions single-handed. Though bloodied by the fight near-unto death, Lychansis battled on for six more hours and felled dozens of the heretic foe. At battle’s end, when the threat was passed and his wounds bound, Lychansis’ comrades agreed that he had earned great honour through his deeds. So did he become a Vexilus Praetor, who would bear his shield company’s honour onto the field of war.’ - Extract, the Battle for Gathalamor
64
13
ALLARUS CUSTODIANS
NAME
M
WS
BS
S
T
W
A
Ld
Sv
Allarus Custodian
6'
2+
2+
5
5
4
4
9
2+
This unit contains 3 Allarus Custodians. It can include up to 7 additional Allarus Custodians (Power Rating +5 per model). Each model is armed with a castellan axe and a balistus grenade launcher.
WEAPON
RANGE
TYPE
S
AP
D
Balistus grenade launcher Castellan axe (shooting) Guardian spear (shooting) Castellan axe (melee) Guardian spear (melee)
12' 24' 24' Melee Melee
Assault D3 Rapid Fire 1 Rapid Fire 1 Melee Melee
4 4 4 +3 +1
-3 -1 -1 -2 -3
1 2 2 D3 D3
Misericordia
WARGEAR OPTIONS ABILITIES
ABILITIES
Each time the bearer fights, it can make 1 additional Melee Melee User -2 1 attack with this weapon unless it is also equipped with a storm shield. Any model may replace its castellan axe with a guardian spear. Any model may take a misericordia. Aegis of the Emperor (pg 56) Slayers of Tyrants: When models in this unit pile in and consolidate, they can move up to 3' towards the nearest enemy CHARACTER even if it is not the nearest enemy model, so long as they finish this move within 1' of an enemy unit.
From Golden Light: During deployment, you can set up this unit in a Godstrike-pattern teleportarium array instead of placing them on the battlefield. At the end of any of your Movement phases they can teleport into battle – set them up anywhere on the battlefield that is more than 9' away from any enemy models.
FACTION KEYWORDS
IMPERIUM, ADEPTUS CUSTODES
KEYWORDS
INFANTRY, TERMINATOR, ALLARUS CUSTODIANS
As the teleport flare subsides, a trio of Allarus Custodians step forth to lock blades with the putrescent Death Guard.
65
10
VENERABLE CONTEMPTOR DREADNOUGHT
NAME
M
WS
BS
S
T
W
A
Ld
Sv
Venerable Contemptor Dreadnought
*
*
*
7
7
10
4
8
2+
DAMAGE Some of this model’s characteristics change as it suffers damage, as shown below:
REMAINING W
M
WS
BS
6-10+ 3-5 1-2
9' 6' 4'
2+ 3+ 4+
2+ 3+ 4+
A Venerable Contemptor Dreadnought is a single model equipped with a Dreadnought combat weapon, multi-melta and combi-bolter.
WEAPON
RANGE
Combi-bolter Kheres-pattern assault cannon Multi-melta
S
AP
D
ABILITIES
24'
Rapid Fire 2
4
0
1
-
24'
Heavy 6
7
-1
1
-
24'
Dreadnought combat weapon
WARGEAR OPTIONS ABILITIES
TYPE
Melee
Heavy 1
8
-4
D6
Melee
x2
-3
3
If the target is within half range of this weapon, roll two dice when inflicting damage with it and discard the lowest result. -
This model may replace its multi-melta with a Kheres-pattern assault cannon. Atomantic Shielding: This model has a 5+ invulnerable save. Unyielding Ancient: Roll a D6 each time this model loses a wound; on a 6 the damage is ignored and that wound is not lost.
Explodes: If this model is reduced to 0 wounds, roll a D6 before removing it from the battlefield. On a 6 it explodes, and each unit within 6' suffers D3 mortal wounds.
FACTION KEYWORDS
IMPERIUM, ADEPTUS CUSTODES
KEYWORDS
VEHICLE, DREADNOUGHT, VENERABLE CONTEMPTOR DREADNOUGHT
‘I fought atop the walls of the Emperor’s palace when the Great Beast’s Waaagh! crashed against them. There I fell, yet was reborn in this ageless body of auramite. I fought upon the battlefields of Ghosaris during the Moirae Schism, and crushed the servants of the Dark Mechanicus without mercy. I stood immovable in the face of the Blood Cults of Tsydon, and slew all who came against me. Still I fight, and so shall I always, for my debt to the Emperor shall never be paid.’ - Venerable Contemptor Dreadnought Uriaxes
66
Streaking down from the lofty heights of the Spire of Victories, the Vertus Praetors swoop into battle.
15
VERTUS PRAETORS
NAME
M
WS
BS
S
T
W
A
Ld
Sv
Vertus Praetor
14'
2+
2+
5
6
4
4
9
2+
This unit contains 3 Vertus Praetors. It can include up to 7 additional Vertus Praetors (Power Rating +5 per model). Each model is armed with an interceptor lance, and each of their Dawneagle jetbikes is equipped with a hurricane bolter.
WEAPON
RANGE
Hurricane bolter Salvo launcher
24' Rapid Fire 6 4 0 1 When attacking with this weapon, choose one of the profiles below. You can re-roll failed wound rolls for this weapon if the 24' Heavy 1 8 -4 D6 target is a VEHICLE. Add 1 to all hit rolls made for this weapon against targets 24' Heavy D3 7 -1 D3 that can FLY. Subtract 1 from the hit rolls made for this weapon against all other targets. You can re-roll failed wound rolls for this weapon on a Melee Melee +1 -3 D3 turn in which its bearer made a successful charge. Each time the bearer fights, it can make 1 additional Melee Melee User -2 1 attack with this weapon unless it is also equipped with a storm shield. Any model may replace its hurricane bolter with a salvo launcher. Any model may take a misericordia.
- Melta missile - Flakkburst missile Interceptor lance Misericordia
WARGEAR OPTIONS ABILITIES
TYPE
S
AP
D
ABILITIES
Aegis of the Emperor (pg 56) Implacable Vanguard: When this unit Advances, add 6' to its Move characteristic for that Movement phase instead of rolling a dice.
FACTION KEYWORDS
IMPERIUM, ADEPTUS CUSTODES
KEYWORDS
BIKER, FLY, VERTUS PRAETORS
67
VENERABLE LAND RAIDER
21
DAMAGE Some of this model’s characteristics change as it suffers damage, as shown below:
NAME
M
WS
BS
S
T
W
A
Ld
Sv
REMAINING W
M
BS
A
Venerable Land Raider
*
6+
*
8
8
16
*
9
2+
9-16+ 5-8 1-4
10' 5' 3'
2+ 3+ 4+
6 D6 1
A Venerable Land Raider is a single model equipped with a twin heavy bolter and two twin lascannons.
WEAPON
RANGE
TYPE
S
AP
D
Heavy 1
8
-2
D6
Hunter-killer missile
48'
Storm bolter Twin heavy bolter Twin lascannon
24' Rapid Fire 2 4 0 36' Heavy 6 5 -1 48' Heavy 2 9 -3 This model may take a hunter-killer missile. This model may take a storm bolter.
WARGEAR OPTIONS ABILITIES
1 1 D6
ABILITIES A model can only fire each of its hunter-killer missiles once per battle. -
Power of the Machine Spirit: This model does not suffer the penalty to hit rolls for moving and firing Heavy weapons.
Unyielding Ancient: Roll a D6 each time this model loses a wound; on a 6 the damage is ignored and that wound is not lost.
Smoke Launchers: Once per game, instead of shooting any weapons in the Shooting phase, this model can use its smoke launchers; until your next Shooting phase your opponent must subtract 1 from all hit rolls for ranged weapons that target this vehicle.
Explodes: If this model is reduced to 0 wounds, roll a D6 before removing it from the battlefield and before any embarked models disembark. On a 6 it explodes, and each unit within 6' suffers D6 mortal wounds.
TRANSPORT
This model can transport 5 ADEPTUS CUSTODES INFANTRY models.
FACTION KEYWORDS
IMPERIUM, ADEPTUS CUSTODES
KEYWORDS
VEHICLE, TRANSPORT, LAND RAIDER, VENERABLE LAND RAIDER
A Venerable Land Raider rumbles through the fog shrouded streets, weapons tracking in search of targets.
68
ARMOURY OF THE ADEPTUS CUSTODES The Adeptus Custodes have weapons and wargear unparalleled across the galaxy, each a masterwork of absolute lethality in the hands of the Emperor’s guardians. The profiles for all of their wargear are detailed below.
RANGED WEAPONS WEAPON
RANGE
TYPE
S
AP
D
ABILITIES
Balistus grenade launcher Castellan axe (shooting) Combi-bolter Guardian spear (shooting)
12' 24' 24' 24'
Assault D3 Rapid Fire 1 Rapid Fire 2 Rapid Fire 1
4 4 4 4
-3 -1 0 -1
1 2 1 2
Hunter-killer missile
48'
Heavy 1
8
-2
D6
Hurricane bolter Kheres-pattern assault cannon
24'
Rapid Fire 6
4
0
1
A model can only fire each of its hunter-killer missiles once per battle. -
24'
Heavy 6
7
-1
1
-
Multi-melta
24'
Heavy 1
8
-4
D6
Salvo launcher
If the target is within half range of this weapon, roll two dice when inflicting damage with it and discard the lowest result.
When attacking with this weapon, choose one of the profiles below. You can re-roll failed wound rolls for this weapon if the target is a VEHICLE. Add 1 to all hit rolls made for this weapon against targets that can FLY. Subtract 1 from the hit rolls made for this weapon against all other targets.
- Melta missile
24'
Heavy 1
8
-4
D6
- Flakkburst missile
24'
Heavy D3
7
-1
D3
Sentinel blade (shooting)
12'
Pistol 2
4
0
1
-
Storm bolter Twin heavy bolter Twin lascannon Watcher’s Axe (shooting)
24' 36' 48' 24'
Rapid Fire 2 Heavy 6 Heavy 2 Rapid Fire 1
4 5 9 5
0 -1 -3 -1
1 1 D6 2
-
MELEE WEAPONS WEAPON
RANGE
TYPE
S
AP
D
ABILITIES
Castellan axe (melee) Dreadnought combat weapon Guardian spear (melee)
Melee
Melee
+3
-2
D3
-
Melee
Melee
x2
-3
3
-
Melee
Melee
+1
-3
D3
Interceptor lance
Melee
Melee
+1
-3
D3
Misericordia
Melee
Melee
User
-2
1
Sentinel blade (melee) Watcher’s Axe (melee)
Melee Melee
Melee Melee
User x2
-3 -3
D3 D3
You can re-roll failed wound rolls for this weapon on a turn in which its bearer made a successful charge. Each time the bearer fights, it can make 1 additional attack with this weapon unless it is also equipped with a storm shield. -
‘When all other recourse is deemed insufficient, when the throneworld itself stands square in the path of peril, then are the Adeptus Custodes unleashed. For such crucial theatres of war, where defeat could bring the ruin of Mankind itself, it is our solemn duty to provide these heroes with the very finest weapons and armour that Humanity can provide. To do any less would be foolish, dishonourable and tantamount to heresy of the highest order.’ - Nurthias Drund, Master Artificer of the Forge Aquilan
69
As the Great Rift burst open like a ragged wound, the Blood Legions of Khorne spilled forth to attack Holy Terra itself. Stood upon the steps before the Lion’s Gate, Trajann Valoris and Roboute Guilliman led the combined force that drove them back.
AURIC MORTALIS In this section you’ll find rules for Battle-forged armies that include ADEPTUS CUSTODES Detachments – that is, any Detachment which only includes ADEPTUS CUSTODES units. These rules include the abilities below and a series of Stratagems. This section also includes the Adeptus Custodes’ unique Warlord Traits, Relics and Tactical Objectives. Together, these rules reflect the character and fighting style of the Adeptus Custodes in your games of Warhammer 40,000.
ABILITIES
SWORN GUARDIANS
If your army is Battle-forged, all INFANTRY and BIKER units in ADEPTUS CUSTODES Detachments gain the Sworn Guardians and the Emperor’s Chosen abilities.
The Ten Thousand are the ultimate executors of the Emperor’s will. They fight with absolute certainty and an unshakeable conviction in the rightness and necessity of their every action. They possess a truly manifest destiny, and they are as unstoppable in seizing that which is theirs – and by extension the Emperor’s – as they are in defending it.
THE EMPEROR’S CHOSEN The foremost guardians of the Emperor are eternally blessed, bearing the Master of Mankind’s unearthly protection at all times.
A unit with this ability that is within range of an objective marker (as specified in the mission) controls the objective marker even if there are more enemy models within range of that objective marker. If an enemy unit within range of the same objective marker has a similar ability, then the objective marker is controlled by the player who has the most models within range of it as normal.
This unit’s invulnerable save is improved by 1 (to a maximum of 3+).
‘The Emperor’s realm is a festering ruin of overcrowded worlds drowning in their own ignorance and fear. It is a tumbledown ghetto that burns from end to end with the flames of war. They do not deserve their Emperor. They do not deserve us. None of that alters the fact that our duty must be done…’ - Telchor, Custodian Guard
72
STRATAGEMS If your army is Battle-forged and includes any ADEPTUS CUSTODES Detachments (excluding Auxiliary Support Detachments), you have access to the Stratagems shown on the following pages, meaning you can spend Command Points to activate them. These reflect the unique strategies used by the forces of the Adeptus Custodes on the battlefield.
1CP/3CP
FROM GOLDEN LIGHT THEY COME
EVER VIGILANT
2CP
Adeptus Custodes Stratagem
Adeptus Custodes Stratagem
Through use of ancient Godstrike-pattern teleportariums, the Custodians can deploy straight into the heart of battle.
They are the Emperor’s own vigilance. They see all.
Use this Stratagem immediately after your opponent sets up a unit that is arriving on the battlefield as reinforcements within 12' of an ADEPTUS CUSTODES INFANTRY unit from your army. That unit can immediately shoot at the enemy unit as if it were the Shooting phase, but you must subtract 1 from all the resulting hit rolls.
Use this Stratagem during deployment. Instead of placing them on the battlefield, you can set up one ADEPTUS CUSTODES INFANTRY , BIKER or DREADNOUGHT unit from your army in a Godstrike-pattern teleportarium array for 1 CP, or two such units for 3 CPs. At the end of any of your Movement phases these units can teleport into battle – set them up anywhere on the battlefield that is more than 9' away from any enemy models. This Stratagem can only be used once per battle.
VEXILLA TELEPORT HOMER
3CP
Adeptus Custodes Stratagem
1CP
Custodes vexillas incorporate sophisticated teleport homers, allowing daring strikes into the heart of the enemy army.
UNFLINCHING Adeptus Custodes Stratagem
Use this Stratagem at the end of your Movement phase. When you set up a teleporting ADEPTUS CUSTODES unit at the end of the phase, you can set it up wholly within 6' of a friendly VEXILUS PRAETOR (other than one that was set up in this turn) and more than 3' from enemy models. Any models that cannot be set up this way are destroyed.
With glacial calm and superhuman reactions, the Custodians meet the enemy charge with a hail of deadly firepower.
Use this Stratagem in your opponent’s Charge phase. Choose an ADEPTUS CUSTODES unit from your army. When models in this unit fire Overwatch in this phase, they require a roll of 5+ (rather than 6) to successfully hit.
1CP/3CP 2CP
UNLEASH THE LIONS
Adeptus Custodes Stratagem
Adeptus Custodes Stratagem
In dire need, the warriors of the Adeptus Custodes bear into battle weapons not used since the siege of the Imperial Palace.
Many are the tales of heroic bands of Allarus Custodians engaging entire armies in fierce battle.
Use this Stratagem before the battle. Your army can have one extra Relic of Terra for 1 CP, or two extra Relics of Terra for 3 CPs. All of the Relics of Terra that you include must be different and be given to different ADEPTUS CUSTODES CHARACTERS . You can only use this Stratagem once per battle.
Use this Stratagem at the start of your Movement phase. Select a unit of Allarus Custodians from your army on the battlefield. That unit is immediately split into separate units, each containing a single model.
1CP
OPEN THE VAULTS
TANGLEFOOT GRENADE 1CP
Adeptus Custodes Stratagem
AVATARS OF THE EMPEROR Adeptus Custodes Stratagem
These rare grenades cause localised distortions in gravity, space and time that send the enemy stumbling in disarray.
The sight of the Emperor’s vengeance embodied and unleashed on the foe is enough to steel the resolve of the most beleaguered armies.
Use this Stratagem at the beginning of your opponent’s Movement or Charge phase. Choose an enemy unit within 12' of an ADEPTUS CUSTODES INFANTRY unit from your army and roll a D6. Your opponent must reduce that unit’s Movement characteristic or charge distance by the result until the end of the phase. Units with the FLY keyword are not affected.
Use this Stratagem at the beginning of the Morale phase. Choose an ADEPTUS CUSTODES unit from your army (other than a VEHICLE). You can use that unit’s Leadership characteristic when taking Morale tests for friendly IMPERIUM units within 6' of that unit in this phase.
73
1CP
SHOULDER THE MANTLE
1CP
Adeptus Custodes Stratagem
Use this Stratagem when your Warlord is slain. Choose a SHIELD-CAPTAIN on the battlefield from your army. They become your Warlord – choose or generate a Warlord Trait for them immediately. For the purposes of the mission, your Warlord is not considered to have been slain while this model is on the battlefield.
Use this Stratagem in your Shooting phase, when choosing a unit of Vertus Praetors from your army to make their ranged attacks. If they all fire flakkburst missiles at the same target with the FLY keyword, you can re-roll failed wound rolls for these attacks.
1CP
NETWORKED MACHINE SPIRITS
The spark of divinity within every Custodian can sometimes unravel the sorcerous manifestations of the enemy. Use this Stratagem when an enemy PSYKER manifests
The machine spirits of the Adeptus Custodes’ Land Raiders can be networked to provide almost supernatural accuracy.
Use this Stratagem in your Shooting phase. Choose a Venerable Land Raider from your army and at least one other friendly Venerable Land Raider within 6' of that model. None of the chosen models suffer any penalties to their hit rolls until the end of the phase.
a psychic power within 12' of an ADEPTUS CUSTODES INFANTRY or ADEPTUS CUSTODES BIKER unit from your army. You can take a Deny the Witch test for that unit as if it were a PSYKER.
1CP
Adeptus Custodes Stratagem
Adeptus Custodes Stratagem
When a Vexilus Praetor plants their vexilla in the ground, they can project the power of the ancient standard even further.
Use this Stratagem at the end of your Movement phase. Choose a VEXILUS PRAETOR from your army that did not move in that phase. You can increase the range of the Custodes Vexilla ability for that model by 6' until your next Movement phase. The VEXILUS PRAETOR that you chose cannot charge this turn.
Use this Stratagem in your opponent’s Fight phase after an enemy unit that charged has fought. Choose an ADEPTUS CUSTODES unit from your army that is within 3' of an objective marker and fight with it next.
INSPIRE FEAR 1CP
Adeptus Custodes Stratagem
PIERCING STRIKE Adeptus Custodes Stratagem
To see the lions of the Emperor in all of their battle fury is to see one’s death, inevitable and swift approaching.
Placing their spear blows perfectly, the Custodians pierce armour joints and vital systems to slay enemy war engines.
Use this Stratagem at the beginning of the Morale phase. Choose one of your ADEPTUS CUSTODES units (other than a VEHICLE). Your opponent must add 1 to Morale tests taken for enemy units within 3' of that unit in this phase.
2CP
PLANT THE VEXILLA
INDOMITABLE GUARDIANS Once they have their objective, the warriors of the Adeptus Custodes will not be moved.
1CP
SPARK OF DIVINITY Adeptus Custodes Stratagem
Adeptus Custodes Stratagem
1CP
Adeptus Custodes Stratagem Vertus Praetors are experts at lacing the skies with inescapable webs of flakk detonations.
Should the leader of an Adeptus Custodes army fall, a worthy comrade always stands ready to take his place.
1CP
BURST MISSILE NET
Use this Stratagem when you select an ADEPTUS CUSTODES unit from your army to attack in the Fight phase. Add 1 to wound rolls made for that unit’s guardian spears until the end of the phase.
SENTINEL STORM 2CP
Adeptus Custodes Stratagem
INESCAPABLE VENGEANCE
The Custodians fire their bolt casters point-blank into their foes even as they swing their sentinel blades, a lethal technique that only such skilled warriors could employ.
The Allarus Custodians are single-minded when they have their target in their sight.
Use this Stratagem at the end of your opponent’s Shooting phase. Choose one of your ADEPTUS CUSTODES units that is within 1' of an enemy unit. The unit you chose can shoot with its sentinel blades as if it were your Shooting phase.
Use this Stratagem when you select a unit of Allarus Custodians from your army to make their attacks in the Shooting phase. They can target enemy CHARACTERS with their attacks, even if they are not the closest enemy model.
Adeptus Custodes Stratagem
74
1CP
WISDOM OF THE ANCIENTS
2CP
Adeptus Custodes Stratagem
Adeptus Custodes Stratagem
The Dreadnoughts of the Adeptus Custodes have seen millennia of war, and can guide their comrades with their wisdom.
Even to their last breath, the heroic warriors of the Adeptus Custodes continue to fight on against those who would oppose the Master of Mankind.
Use this Stratagem at the start of any phase. Select an ADEPTUS CUSTODES DREADNOUGHT from your army. Until the end of the phase, you can re-roll hit rolls of 1 for friendly ADEPTUS CUSTODES units within 6' of it.
1CP
Use this Stratagem when an ADEPTUS CUSTODES CHARACTER from your army is slain. Before removing the model from the battlefield, it can immediately either shoot as if it were the Shooting phase, or fight as if it were the Fight phase.
CASTELLAN STRIKE Adeptus Custodes Stratagem
1CP
The arcing strike of a castellan axe can be all but inescapable, and can hack open weak spots for other blades to exploit.
The loss of a Custodian is commemorated by the tolling of the Bell of Lost Souls on Terra, and by their comrades’ bloody vengeance on the battlefield.
Use this Stratagem when you select an ADEPTUS CUSTODES unit from your army to attack in the Fight phase. Until the end of the phase, increase the Attacks characteristic of each model in the unit by 1 for each model from that unit that was slain this turn.
CONCUSSION GRENADES Adeptus Custodes Stratagem
1CP
With the press of a rune, the balistus grenade launcher can switch to firing archeotech rounds designed to incapacitate.
BRINGERS OF THE EMPEROR’S JUSTICE Adeptus Custodes Stratagem The Adeptus Custodes have never forgiven the Traitor Legions for their part in Horus’ rebellion. Whenever the chance arises, they exact vengeance with lethal efficiency.
Use this Stratagem in your Shooting phase, when choosing a unit of Allarus Custodians from your army to attack. Until the end of the phase, their balistus grenade launchers have an AP characteristic of 0, and INFANTRY units that are hit by these attacks are stunned until the end of the turn – they cannot fire Overwatch and your opponent must subtract 1 from hit rolls made for the unit.
1CP
AVENGE THE FALLEN Adeptus Custodes Stratagem
Use this Stratagem when you select one of your ADEPTUS CUSTODES units to attack in the Fight phase. As long as more than one model in the unit is attacking with a castellan axe, and they all target the same unit, improve the AP of that unit’s castellan axes to -3 until the end of the phase.
1CP
EVEN IN DEATH…
Use this Stratagem when an ADEPTUS CUSTODES unit from your army is chosen to attack in the Fight phase. Each time you make a hit roll of 6+ for a model in that unit during this phase, it can, if it was targeting a HERETIC ASTARTES unit, immediately make an extra attack against the same unit using the same weapon. If it was targeting a BLACK LEGION unit, it instead makes an extra attack on a hit roll of 4+. These extra attacks cannot themselves generate any further attacks.
EYES OF THE EMPEROR Adeptus Custodes Stratagem The Adeptus Custodes strike suddenly, guided by intelligence offered by the Eyes of the Emperor.
Use this Stratagem when you generate a Tactical Objective. You can discard that Tactical Objective immediately and generate a new Tactical Objective.
2CP
3CP
STOOPING DIVE Adeptus Custodes Stratagem Guided by their predictive auguries and centuries of combat experience, the Vertus Praetors excel at swooping down to intercept threats the moment they manifest themselves.
Use this Stratagem at the end of your opponent’s Charge phase. Choose an ADEPTUS CUSTODES BIKER unit from your army that is within 12' of an enemy unit. You can declare a charge with that unit as if it were your Charge phase. If the unit’s charge is successful, that unit fights before all other units in the subsequent Fight phase – even before charging units. If your opponent has any units with similar abilities, take it in turns to resolve them, beginning with your opponent.
VICTOR OF THE BLOOD GAMES Adeptus Custodes Stratagem What foe can withstand a warrior who has overcome the defences of Holy Terra itself?
Use this Stratagem when you set up an ADEPTUS CUSTODES CHARACTER from your army during deployment. You can re-roll one hit roll, one wound roll or one save roll for this model in each turn.
75
RELICS OF TERRA During the Great Crusade, the Custodians hoarded some of the most powerful and esoteric weapons technology ever encountered by the Imperium. Though much of it was expended during the Horus Heresy, some of these ancient artefacts still exist, locked away in vaults deep beneath the Imperial Palace, waiting to be borne to war when the need is greatest. If your army is led by an Adeptus Custodes Warlord, you may give one of the following Relics of Terra to an ADEPTUS CUSTODES CHARACTER in your army. Named characters such as Captain-General Trajann Valoris cannot be given any of the following relics – they have their own unique wargear. Note that some weapons replace one of the model’s existing weapons. Where this is the case, you must, if you are playing a matched play game or are otherwise using points values, still pay the cost of the weapon that is being replaced. Write down any Relics of Terra your characters have on your army roster.
GATEKEEPER
AURIC AQUILAS
This potent weapon thrums with barely contained power. Its machine spirits are capable of near-prescient predictive targeting, allowing the wielder to mow down the enemy before they can come within blade’s reach.
Incorporating forbidden secrets of ancient archeotech from the Dark Age of Technology, Auric Aquilas is a truly magnificent gravitic jetbike. Swift as thought and protected by a shimmering golden force field, it bears its rider swiftly and safely into battle.
Model with a guardian spear only. The Gatekeeper replaces the model’s guardian spear and has the following profile:
BIKER model only. This model has a 3+ invulnerable save. In
WEAPON
RANGE
Gatekeeper (shooting) 24' Gatekeeper (melee)
Melee
TYPE
S
AP
addition, you can re-roll failed charge rolls made for this model.
THE PRAETORIAN PLATE
D
Rapid Fire 3
4
-1
2
Melee
+1
-3
D3
This suit of Allarus Terminator armour – itself a handcrafted relic of great antiquity – has been adapted to incorporate a still more ancient empyric beacon and archeotech teleport-shunter that allows its wearer to leap directly through the warp to the aid of those he is sworn to defend.
Abilities: Overwatch attacks made with this weapon successfully hit on rolls of 3+ rather than 6.
TERMINATOR model only. When you set the bearer up, choose a friendly IMPERIUM CHARACTER . At the end of your opponent’s
Charge phase, if there is an enemy model within 1' of that character, you can remove the bearer from the battlefield (if they are on the battlefield) and, even if they were not on the battlefield, set them up within 3' of that character and within 1' of an enemy model. The bearer is not considered to have charged.
RAIMENT OF SORROWS Handwoven by the sisters of the Order of Lamentations and allowed to sit in state at the foot of the Golden Throne for a full century, this shroud-like raiment is a potent reminder of the Custodians’ one great defeat. Its presence fills them with a cold determination to never fail again.
THE VEILED BLADE
Roll a D6 each time a friendly ADEPTUS CUSTODES INFANTRY or BIKER model is destroyed within 6' of the bearer, before removing the model as a casualty. On a 4+ that model musters one last surge of strength before succumbing to its wounds; it can either shoot with one of its weapons as if it were the Shooting phase, or make a single attack as if it were the Fight phase. You cannot use the Even in Death… Stratagem on a model that does so.
An ancient blade that burns with a bitterly cold and dark energy, the Veiled Blade is bestowed upon a Custodian who has vowed to recover that which should remain hidden from Humanity and return it to the Dark Cells. Model with a sentinel blade only. The Veiled Blade replaces the model’s sentinel blade and has the following profile:
EAGLE’S EYE This magnificent helm incorporates sensorium-gheists, trapped within micro-reliquaries and compelled to shriek their technomantic warnings to the wearer whenever danger threatens.
WEAPON
RANGE
Veiled Blade (shooting)
12'
Pistol 2
4
0
1
Veiled Blade (melee)
Melee
Melee
User
-3
D3
Improve this model’s invulnerable save by 1 (to a maximum of 3+).
Abilities: Each time the bearer fights whilst they are within 3' of an objective marker, they can make 2 additional attacks with this weapon.
76
TYPE
S
AP
D
EMPEROR’S LIGHT
FULMINARIS AGGRESSOR
Said to have been crafted from a crystallised shard of the Emperor’s glorious light, this masterwork misericordia has been borne into battle by three separate Captain-Generals. It is said to flood the heart of its victim with holy radiance, and is an object of dread to traitors and heretics alike.
This vexilla was fashioned after the fall of Goge Vandire to honour the wrath of the Emperor in punishing traitors and tyrants. Its microthundercoil generatorum crackles with barely restrained power that arcs out to annihilate nearby foes. Model with a Vexilla Defensor only. The Fulminaris Aggressor replaces that model’s vexilla: it loses the Custodes Vexilla ability. Instead, friendly IMPERIUM INFANTRY and BIKER units within 6' of the bearer in the Morale phase automatically pass Morale tests, and the Fulminaris Aggressor has the following weapon profile:
Model with a misericordia only. The Emperor’s Light replaces the model’s misericordia and has the following profile:
WEAPON
RANGE
Emperor’s Light
Melee
TYPE Melee
S User
AP -2
D 1
Abilities: Each time the bearer fights, it can make 1 additional attack with this weapon unless it is also equipped with a storm shield. In addition, add 1 to any Morale tests taken by enemy units within 12' of the bearer.
WEAPON
RANGE
Fulminaris Aggressor (shooting)
8'
Fulminaris Melee Aggressor (melee)
WRATH ANGELIS This ancient and expertly crafted vexilla was created for the battle against the Orks upon the world of Ullanor. During that conflict, pinpoint fire support was key to victory. Thus, this vexilla incorporates a multi-spectral targeting shrine that links to warships in orbit and guides in trans-atmospheric strikes with remarkable accuracy.
Assault 1
10
-4
1
Melee
+2
-1
1
Model with a Vexilla Magnifica only. The Faith Absolute replaces that model’s vexilla: it loses the Custodes Vexilla ability. Instead, friendly IMPERIUM INFANTRY and BIKER units within 6' of the bearer in the Morale phase automatically pass Morale tests, and the bearer can attempt to deny one psychic power in each enemy Psychic phase as if they were a PSYKER.
‘Whatever the weapons we wield, whatever the deeds we perform, they are justified. Without us, the Golden Throne would fall, and without the Emperor to guide them, Humanity would follow.’
Model with a balistus grenade launcher only. The Obliteratum replaces the model’s balistus grenade launcher and has the following profile:
12'
-1
This ominous vexilla was created for the infamous Witching Wars. It is able to discharge a pulse of disruptive contra-empyric energies that can unmake an onrushing psychic manifestation in a heartbeat.
This dread vambrace weapon incorporates several forbidden technologies whose possession would be death to any beyond the Adeptus Custodes. It fires concentrated antimatter, compressed within splinterglass canisters that shatter upon impact. Victims are annihilated on a molecular level by the night-black blasts caused by this weapon’s fire, vanishing in terrifying eruptions of nothingness.
Obliteratum
4
FAITH ABSOLUTE
OBLITERATUM
AP
Assault D6
If the bearer is on the battlefield, at the beginning of the game but before the first turn you can remove them and up to one friendly ADEPTUS CUSTODES unit within 6' of them from the battlefield and set them up again following the mission rules. You must set them up on the battlefield.
Your opponent must subtract 1 from the Attacks characteristic of enemy CHARACTERS whilst they are within 6' of the bearer (to a minimum of 1). In addition, in missions that use victory points, if the bearer slays the enemy Warlord in the Fight phase, you score an additional D3 victory points.
S
D
This finely worked pauldron is awarded to whichever living Custodian currently holds the greatest tally of victories in the Blood Games. It is rare, of course, that even the resourceful warriors of the Adeptus Custodes succeed in these endeavours, and so to honour one who has done so more times than any other is only right. He who bears the Castellan’s Mark is guaranteed to be a superlative strategic genius, an expert in spotting and exploiting weaknesses with merciless efficiency.
These fetters were forged in the Dark Age of Technology, and adapt themselves to shut down the neural nets of any sentient beings, rendering even the thought of escape impossible. They are used to capture the Imperium’s most dangerous foes.
TYPE
AP
THE CASTELLAN’S MARK
AURIC SHACKLES
RANGE
S
Abilities: Attacks made with this weapon’s shooting profile automatically hit.
Model with a Vexilla Magnifica only. The Wrath Angelis replaces that model’s vexilla: it loses the Custodes Vexilla ability. Instead, friendly IMPERIUM INFANTRY and BIKER units within 6' of the bearer in the Morale phase automatically pass Morale tests, and once per battle in your Movement phase, if the bearer does not move, you can roll a D6 for each unit (friend or foe) within 6'. Subtract 1 from the result if the unit being rolled for is a CHARACTER , or 2 from the result if the unit being rolled for is ADEPTUS CUSTODES . On a 4+ the unit being rolled for suffers D3 mortal wounds.
WEAPON
TYPE
D
- Ganestus Talorn, Allarus Custodian
D3
77
WARLORD TRAITS Those Custodians that lead their brethren into battle are amongst the most accomplished warriors in the entire Imperium. Their mastery of strategy, tactics and every aspect of combat are second to none. If the Warlord of your army is an ADEPTUS CUSTODES CHARACTER , you can pick their Warlord Trait from the Adeptus Custodes Warlord Traits table, or roll a D6 and consult the table to generate their Warlord Trait.
D6 RESULT 1 CHAMPION OF THE IMPERIUM
‘Let them come, insidious monsters that they are. Let them flow like a tide into the killing zone. Await my signal to activate the teleportariums, and then let us unleash the Emperor’s fury upon these abominations from every direction at once.’ - Oldorian Mefistal, Shield-Captain of the Dread Host
4 IMPREGNABLE MIND
This Warlord is amongst the finest champions in the entire Imperium, and their presence inspires all nearby to acts of heroism.
No blandishment or invasion by the enemy can overcome the fortress of this Warlord’s mind, and his strength of will can crush that of lesser beings.
Friendly ADEPTUS CUSTODES INFANTRY , BIKER and DREADNOUGHT units that are within 12' of your Warlord at the start of your opponent’s Charge phase can make Heroic Interventions this phase in the same manner as CHARACTERS .
Your Warlord can attempt to Deny the Witch once in each of your opponent’s Psychic phases as if they were a PSYKER. When they do so, add 1 to the result of the Deny the Witch test.
5 RADIANT MANTLE The holy light of the Emperor himself glows around this magnificent warrior in a sublime halo. Enemies are blinded by its glory, forced to recoil in pain and terror.
2 PEERLESS WARRIOR With every masterful strike and artful parry, this Warlord proves himself the master of one-to-one combat against even the most terrible foes.
Your opponent must subtract 1 from hit rolls that target your Warlord.
Each time you make a hit roll of 6+ for your Warlord in the Fight phase, they can immediately make an extra attack against the same unit using the same weapon. These extra attacks cannot themselves generate any further attacks.
6 EMPEROR’S COMPANION As a member of the Adeptus Custodes’ inner circle, this Warlord is amongst the deadliest of his order. You can re-roll the dice for the damage inflicted by your Warlord’s attacks.
3 SUPERIOR CREATION The cellular alchemy that went into the creation of this heroic warrior rendered him breathtakingly resilient. Each time your Warlord loses a wound, roll a D6; on a 5+ your Warlord does not lose that wound.
NAMED CHARACTERS AND WARLORD TRAITS The Captain-General of the Adeptus Custodes is renowned for his methodology as much as for his deeds on the battlefield. If he is your Warlord, he must be given the associated Warlord Trait shown below.
NAMED CHARACTER
WARLORD TRAIT
Captain-General Trajann Valoris
Champion of the Imperium
78
POINTS VALUES If you are playing a matched play game, or a game that uses a points limit, you can use the following lists to determine the total points cost of your army. Simply add together the points values of all your models, as well as the weapons and wargear they are equipped with, to determine your army’s total points value.
UNITS UNIT Allarus Custodians Custodian Guard Custodian Wardens Shield-Captain Shield-Captain in Allarus Terminator Armour Shield-Captain on Dawneagle Jetbike Venerable Contemptor Dreadnought Venerable Land Raider Vertus Praetors Vexilus Praetor Vexilus Praetor in Allarus Terminator Armour
RANGED WEAPONS MODELS POINTS PER MODEL (Does not include wargear) PER UNIT 3-10 3-10 3-10 1
70 40 49 110
1
130
1
150
1
130
1 3-10 1
283 80 80
1
100
WEAPON Balistus grenade launcher Castellan axe Combi-bolter Guardian spear Hunter-killer missile Hurricane bolter Kheres-pattern assault cannon Multi-melta Salvo launcher Sentinel blade Storm bolter Twin heavy bolter Twin lascannon
POINTS PER WEAPON 0 14 2 12 6 10 25 27 25 9 2 17 50
MELEE WEAPONS WEAPON
NAMED CHARACTERS UNIT Captain-General Trajann Valoris
MODELS PER UNIT
POINTS PER MODEL
1
250
Dreadnought combat weapon Interceptor lance Misericordia
(Includes wargear)
POINTS PER WEAPON 40 0 4
OTHER WARGEAR WARGEAR Storm shield (CHARACTERS) Storm shield (other models) Vexilla Defensor Vexilla Imperius Vexilla Magnifica
79
POINTS PER ITEM 15 10 20 50 30
TACTICAL OBJECTIVES The Adeptus Custodes engage in battles that would leave lesser armies in ruin. They seize victory in the Emperor’s name when no one else can, and prove their absolute supremacy over their enemies with every perfectly placed shot, every killing bladestroke, and every crushing conquest they achieve. If your army is led by an ADEPTUS CUSTODES Warlord, these Tactical Objectives replace the Capture and Control Tactical Objectives (numbers 11-16) in the Warhammer 40,000 rulebook. If a mission uses Tactical Objectives, players use the normal rules for using Tactical Objectives with the following exception: when an Adeptus Custodes player generates a Capture and Control objective (numbers 11-16), they instead generate the corresponding Adeptus Custodes Tactical Objective, as shown below. Other Tactical Objectives (numbers 21-66) are generated normally.
11
DELIVER VICTORY
D66
Eliminate Threats
13
War Zone Secure
14
Keep Them At Spear’s Length
15
Crush Their Resistance
16
The Emperor’s Vengeance
15
Adeptus Custodes
KEEP THEM AT SPEAR’S LENGTH
Adeptus Custodes
CRUSH THEIR RESISTANCE
Adeptus Custodes
No matter the odds they face, the Adeptus Custodes can seize victory from even the most desperate strategic situation. When you generate this Tactical Objective, your opponent chooses an objective marker. Score D3 victory points at the end of the turn if you control this objective marker.
Score 1 victory point at the end of your turn if at least one enemy unit was destroyed in your turn. If three or more enemy units were destroyed in your turn, score D3 victory points instead.
WAR ZONE SECURE
12
Score 1 victory point at the end of your turn if there are no other units within 3' of ADEPTUS CUSTODES units from your army (with the exception of other friendly ADEPTUS CUSTODES units). You cannot score this objective in your first turn.
The Ten Thousand only deploy when a threat is so great that it could directly bring harm to the throneworld itself. When such dangers are eliminated, it is cause for great celebration.
13
Deliver Victory
The Adeptus Custodes trust no one beyond their own ranks, for all others are fallible. They keep allies and enemies alike at a distance of two spear lengths.
Score 1 victory point at the end of your turn if you score at least 1 victory point from another Tactical Objective in your turn.
ELIMINATE THREATS
11
14
Adeptus Custodes
Victory for the Adeptus Custodes inevitably has far-reaching ramifications for the entire Imperium.
12
TACTICAL OBJECTIVE
16
Adeptus Custodes
Some dangers to the Golden Throne are so great that entire war zones must be mercilessly controlled in order to find and neutralise them.
THE EMPEROR’S VENGEANCE
Adeptus Custodes
The Adeptus Custodes advance swiftly and crush their enemies with uncompromising ferocity. Score D3 victory points if you control an objective marker that was controlled by your opponent at the start of the turn. If you control three or more objective markers that were controlled by your opponent at the start of the turn, score D3+3 victory points instead.
Score 1 victory point at the end of your turn if you hold at least three objective markers.
‘Remember what we fight for, my comrades. The sanctity and safety of the Golden Throne itself, the safety of the very Master of Mankind, relies upon our victory here this day. Now raise your spears, gird your minds and souls, and let us banish these vile Daemons so that we may once more say we did our duty.’ - Captain-General Trajann Valoris, before the Battle of Lion’s Gate
80
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