|"I've seen Orks the size of Sentinels, that could punch a man's head clean off. Seen them Tyranids swarming over the ridge at Shatterpeak, all blades and fangs and spittin' acid that turned tanks into metal sludge. I was right in the middle of Kalda City when the firestorm came down, and went toe-to-toe with Chaos worshipers so crazed with their false religion that they'd keep fighting a man even as they burned up like rations on a cookfire. Through all that I learned one thing that always holds true. Don't matter how big, or crazed, or unnatural your enemy is, he can't kill you if you saw his damn head off with your Catachan fang."
— Corporal 'Razorback' Mahoney, Catachan XLI.
Amongst the many weapons of the Catachan Jungle Fighters, their Catachan Knives are one of the most valued.
The steel alloy used for these knives is only found on Catachan. A well-honed Catachan blade will not rust and its edge will remain keen even after continuous use. Catachan knives are highly valued and sought after throughout the Imperium. Many counterfeit copies are sold by roaming traders, but the only way to get an authentic Catachan knife is to take it from a Catachan.
This is not an easy task, however, as the Catachans place a tremendous value on their knives. It is said that a Catachan will rather give up his right arm than his knife. That is because for a Catachan Jungle Fighter, his knife is not simply a tool or a weapon but also a mark of his status. Each Catachan learns the craft of making knives from his parents and making your own knife is considered one of the tests of adulthood. While the basic design of the knives remains the same, there are subtle variations between family groups and individuals, depending on the height and preferences of the user.
Measuring up to twenty inches of gleaming steel, the Catachan Fang is the most common type of knife used by the Catachan regiments. It is renowned as a symbol of the Catachan Jungle Fighters across a thousand systems and is equally useful for cutting your way through jungle or enemies of humanity. This knife is also used for settling disputes between Catachans: one knife is placed in the centre of a fighting pit and the combatants must each strive to get hold of it. The duel ends when one fighter draws blood, but some duels still end with death.
Smaller than other typical designs, the blackened blade of the Night Reaper is especially suitable for infiltration and night missions, when light reflecting from a blade can mean the difference between life and death. The blade itself is triangular in shape, so any wound caused by it is unlikely to knot or heal. Catachans are also known to poison these knives using one of the many venoms native to their nightmarish world, making them even more deadly.
Named after the Catachan Devil - the fearsome predator of the Catachan jungles, this is the largest type of the traditional knives of Catachan. Anywhere between three and four feet long, the Devil's Claw is closer to a sword than a knife. The blade is hollow and half filled with mercury to give it greater swinging power. It is used mainly on the battlefield in close quarters and it has even achieved a fearsome reputation amongst Orks, who call it 'Da Cutta'. Catachan Power Swords are often identical in design to the Devil's Claw. The elite Catachan Devil Squads are also partly named after these knives, which they wield in battle.
- 1: Codex: Catachans (3rd Edition), pg. 9
- 2: Waiting Death (Short Story) by Steve Lyons
- 3: Only War: Hammer of the Emperor cp.2
- 4: Codex: Astra Militarum (8th Edition), pg. 140