Archo-flagellants and Chrono-Gladiator

Arco-flagellants

The great church of the Ministorum has almost as many different ways of dealing with heretics as there are types of heresy. All their methods include torture or death (or torture and death) to physically expunge the sin from the heretic's soul so that they may strengthen the Emperor when they die. The more extravagant punishments include the Rat Pit, skin-purging, deathmasking and arco-flagellation.

In this last instance, the heretic undergoes extensive physical surgery and mental reconditioning, turning them into frenzied berserkers. The guilty person can be implanted with a variety of weapons, such as cutting claws, pneu-mattocks and the ever popular electro-flails. The Arco-flagellant is fitted with a sealed pacifier helm containing implants that connect into the cerebrum and spinal cord, which keeps them in a calm, barely conscious state. When in this mode the Arco-flagellant's mind is filled with sacred images and verses, such as symbols of the Ecclesiarchy, pictures of Saints and looped hymnals and prayers, which enter directly into the heretic's subconscious. The helm can be deactivated by means of a trigger word, releasing inhibitors and unleashing the full fury of the Arco-flagellant. Another trigger word activates the pacifier helm again, rendering the Arco-flagellant passive once more.

They are almost unstoppable once activated as their bodies are awash with combat stimulants, pain suppressants and adrenal pumps, making them virtually immune to all pain and bordering on the unkillable except when inflicted by the most horrendous injuries. Brainwave pattern regulators turn them into psychopathic maniacs, suffused with inner agony and anguish, removing any thoughts of fear or self-preservation.

Arco-flagellants are normally used by the Ecclesiarchy's fighting forces in suicide attack units. However, an Inquisitor can request (or demand if they are confident enough) that a Cardinal turn over an Arco-flagellant or two to their authority.

As the Ministorum holds those Inquisitors who possess a more radical turn of mind in some suspicion, it is usually the more puritan and outwardly pious agents of the Inquisition who will be able to include them as part of their warrior band.

An Arco-flagellant is not a subtle weapon, and they are much appreciated by the more destructive and bloodthirsty Inquisitors, who are not afraid of some collateral damage and a few innocent casualties.

Arco-flagellant Characters

Equipment: Arco-flagellants have no equipment other than that which is cybernetically implanted into their bodies, for they are living weapons and nothing more. The sophistication of their implants will vary depending on the resources of the world they were created on, but will frequently include Rare and Exotic bionics and combat drugs.

Special Abilities: Ambidextrous; Furious assault; Fearsome; Force of will (or, more accurately, lack of will!).

Trigger word: Until the trigger word is detected by the pacifier helm (use the listening distances in the Awareness section as a guide) the Arco-flagellant acts at half Speed and responds only to vocal commands from the controlling character. Arco-flagellants are frenzied once the character controlling the Arco-flagellant speaks the appropriate trigger word (some pacifier helms may have a telepathic pick-up instead). Any combat drug dispensers and other implants will also automatically activate at the same time. This frenzied state can be ended by the controlling character uttering the trigger word within earshot, reverting the Arco-flagellant to its dormant state.

Sample trigger words include: Annihilatum; Dominesti; Rage; Exculpator; Sanguinatus; Shrive; Imperator Dei.

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