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An Arco-flagellant is a heretic deemed worthy of redemption by the Ecclesiarchy, sentenced to arco-flagellation, and turned into living weapons.


Arco-flagellants in action.

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.[Needs Citation]

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.[Needs Citation]

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.[Needs Citation]

Notable Characters


An Arco-flagellant Squad

See also