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Necrons battle the Ultramarines [5]
The Necrons rise

The Necrons are a race of mechanical warriors, created from the Necrontyr. They have lain dormant in their stasis-tombs for sixty million years.[8a] They are ancient beyond reckoning, pre-dating even the Eldar. At long last, however, they are beginning to awaken, seeking to reestablish the supremacy of the Necron Dynasties over the Galaxy once more. [4a]


The Necrons' story is one of ancient betrayal. Aeons ago, sixty million years before the 41st Millennium, the Necrontyr race reigned supreme over the Galaxy. However as their great empire grew ever wider and more diverse, the unity that had made them strong was eroded and bitter rebellions known as the First Wars of Secession erupted as entire realms fought for independence. The Triarch - the ruling council of Necrontyr - realised that only the threat of an external enemy would bring unity once more and saw the Old Ones as the perfect subjects for the wrath of their race. Already jealous of the Old Ones seemingly eternal life spans, the Necrontyr went to war with the Old Ones, the separatists abandoned their rebellion, and the War in Heaven began. [4b]

The War in Heaven was one of the bloodiest wars in Galactic history, and it soon became apparent that the Necrontyr could never defeat the Old Ones and their mastery of the Warp despite their advanced technology. On the verge of total defeat, the unity of the Necrontyr began to fracture once more in the Second Wars of Secession. The Triarchs again desperately searched for a unifying force, and their prayers were answered by the ancient and godlike C'tan, who were drawn to the Necrontyr by the beacon of their raw hatred for the Old Ones. Seeking the aid of these all-powerful star gods, the Necrontyr sought the favour of the C'tan and constructed bodies of living metal to contain their essence. [4b]

So it was that a C'tan known as the Deciever came before Szarekh the Silent King, lord of the Triarch. Telling the Silent King that his kind had also fought and been defeated by the Old Ones and were now looking for vengeance. Promising them not only victory in the War in Heaven but also the immortality every Necrontyr craved, the Silent King and the Triarch eagerly agreed to an alliance, and so forever doomed their race. Beginning the great biotransferance, the weak flesh of the Necrontyr was replaced with immortal bodies of living metal. The C'tan drank off the torrent of cast-off life and energy and grew stronger as Szarekh, now in a machine body himself, realised he had made a terrible mistake. The Necrontyr may now be immortal and unified, but they had lost their souls in the process. Thus the soulless machines known as the Necrons were born. [4c]

With the C'tan and Necrons fighting as one, the Old Ones were overwhelmed and defeated in a bloody purge across the Galaxy that saw whole systems devoured by the reality-warping powers of the Star Gods and legions of immortal Necron warriors, who managed to infiltrate the Webway and assail the Old Ones at every corner of the Galaxy. The Necrons burst into the Old Ones' strongest fortresses, overcoming their magics and technology and forced the Old Ones to seed planets with life to help fight the C'tan, including the Eldar and Orks. Ultimately the increasingly desperate Old Ones were themselves wiped out after mistakenly unleashing Warp-spawn perils [4c] such as the Enslavers.

Throughout the final stages of the War in Heaven, Szarekh bided his time, waiting for the moment where the C'tan would be most vulnerable. With the Old Ones finally defeated, the Silent King struck and led a Necron revolt against the arrogant C'tan. The Necrons focused the unimaginable energies of the living universe into weapons too mighty for even the C'tan to endure. The C'tan, almost impossible to destroy entirely due to their very nature, were instead shattered into shards. Yet even with the defeat of both the Old Ones and C'tan, the Silent King saw that the time of the Necrons was - for the moment - over. The mantle of galactic domination would soon pass to the Eldar, who had fought alongside the Old Ones in the War in Heaven. The Necrons, weakened by the War in Heaven and the revolt aganst the C'tan, could not stand against them. Yet the Silent King knew that the time of the Eldar would pass, as did the time of all flesh. So it was that the Silent King ordered the remaining Necron cities to be transformed into great tomb complexes threaded with stasis-crypts. The Necrons were laid to rest, ordered to sleep for sixty million years and then reawaken, ready to rebuild all that was lost and restore the dynasties to their former glory. Yet the Silent King did not join his subjects. Destroying the command protocols by which he had controlled his people, the Silent King left the Galaxy, there to find whatever measure of solace or penance he could. [4c]

For sixty million years the Necrons remained in their deathless slumber in their tombs in what became known as the Great Sleep. As time passed, many Tomb Worlds fell prey to malfunction or ill-fortune. Some were destroyed by marauding Eldar. These failures destroyed millions, if not billions of dormant Necrons. But when the Tomb Worlds did begin to reawaken, it was not simultaneously. Some awoke to see the Great Crusade, others during the Age of Apostasy. Most however awoke during the later years of M41, but even still billions of Necrons lay dormant. [4d]

In 783.M41, the Eldar Farseer Eldrad Ulthran of Craftworld Ulthwé witnessed a vision where on the Dead World of Maedrex, an Imperial Explorator team would arrive and unwittingly awaken the Necrons on that planet. To prevent this, the Eldar struck quickly and destroyed the Imperial ships before descending onto the planet where they purged it of the Necron presence. [3] Later the first reported contact between the Necrons and the Imperium of Man came in 897.M41 during the raid on Sanctuary 101 which was garrisoned by the Adepta Sororitas. At the time, the invaders were identified as an unknown form of xenos species but later reported as being the first encounter with the awakening Necrons. Its also later reported that the invaders did not attack the colony but instead emerged from the ground itself. [3]


Necron territory across the galaxy

In appearance, the Necrons are skeletal parodies of living beings with swirling green energies emanating from their mechanical limbs and baleful lifeless emerald eyes. All of their numbers possess sophisticated auto-repair systems throughout their exo-skeletal systems that can repair even the most crippling of damages. While this can keep them functioning constantly, should there be irreparable damage sustained, the Necron "phases out". Both their minds and their bodies are teleported to the nearest tomb complex where they either remain in storage until repairs are made or a new body is forged. This act does, however, come at a cost as each act of transferrence leads to a decay in the Necron's engrams. As such, those Necrons that have "died" and phased out hundreds of times suffer the most for they become little more than automatons who have lost the memory of the creature that they used to be in life. [2]

Necron society itself is hierarchical. The highest of the Necrons are the Phaerons, the ruler of entire dynasties which comprise many worlds. Beneath these are the Overlords, who rule clusters of Tomb Worlds within their Phaeron's domain. Beneath the Overlords are the Lords, each overseeing a Tomb World. Phaerons and Overlords are served by a Royal Court of Necron Lords and Crypteks. The size of a Royal Court is not only prestigious, it is also an indication of that military power of the noble who rules it. [4f]

In combat, the Necrons are unyielding war machines that bring swift death to their prey. Armed with Gauss weaponry that strip an opponent's molecules one layer at a time, the Necrons have fearsome firepower. Also, the Necrons have a remarkable ability to repair themselves. This gives the Necrons incredible staying power in a battle, which makes them an enemy dreaded by all races. [1]

The Necron fleet is a small but deadly force capable of destroying most ships very easily. They also don't make use of the same form of interstellar travel, the Warp, as other races do, making them difficult to intercept. Their fleets are analysed in the Necron Fleetforge. Also, on particularly rare occasions, a super heavy Necron device called a Necron Pylon is seen. It is feared for its extreme power and ability to appear anywhere on the battlefield. [1]

Notable Battles

Notable Necrons

Necron hierarchy

Other information