Arco-flagellation is a method of penitence administered by the Adeptus Mechanicus but appointed by the Ecclesiarchy. It is used to punish any heresy not terrible enough to warrant immediate execution. The point of such extravagant punishments is to physically expunge the sin from a heretic's soul so that they may strengthen the Emperor when they die.
In arco-flagellation, 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 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.
Arco-flagellants are almost unstoppable once activated as their bodies become stimmed with combat drugs and pain killers, making them heedless of most injuries they sustain. 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. An Arco-flagellant is not a subtle weapon, and they are much appreciated by the more bloody-minded Inquisitors, who are not afraid of some collateral damage and a few innocent casualties.
- Codex: Witch Hunters. Published by Games Workshop UK in 2003. ISBN 1-84154-485-X
- Inquisitor Rulebook
|HQ||Supreme Grand Master • Grand Master • Brother-Captain • Brotherhood Champion • Librarian • Ordo Malleus Inquisitor • Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor • Ordo Xenos Inquisitor|
|Elites||Techmarine • Purifier Squad • Venerable Dreadnought • Paladin Squad • Callidus Assassin • Eversor Assassin • Culexus Assassin • Vindicare Assassin • Inquisitorial Henchmen Warband|
|Troops||Terminator Squad • Strike Squad|
|Fast Attack||Stormraven Gunship • Interceptor Squad|
|Heavy Support||Purgation Squad • Dreadnought • Nemesis Dreadknight • Land Raider • Land Raider Crusader • Land Raider Redeemer|
|Transports||Rhino • Razorback • Inquisitorial Chimera|
|Special Characters||Kaldor Draigo (HQ) • Vorth Mordrak (HQ) • Arvann Stern (HQ) • Garran Crowe (HQ) • Anval Thawn (Troops) • Torquemada Coteaz (HQ) • Fyodor Karamazov (HQ) • Helynna Valeria (HQ)|
|HQ||Canoness • Celestian • Sister Dialogus • Sister Hospitaller|
|Elites||Celestian Squad • Sisters Repentia Squad • Preacher|
|Troops||Battle Sister Squad|
|Fast Attack||Seraphim Squad • Dominion Squad|
|Heavy Support||Retributor Squad • Exorcist • Penitent Engine|
|Transports||Rhino • Immolator • Repressor|
|Special Characters||Saint Celestine (HQ) • Kyrinov (HQ) • Uriah Jacobus (HQ)|