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The Excindio were the tortured and neutered remains of murderous Men of Iron, who had been captured by the Emperor's forces and transformed into towering multi-armed Battle-Automata, used by the Dark Angels Legion's Ironwing.[1a]

They were the last of the Abominable Intelligence that still served Mankind and the Excindio's nightmarish legends were preserved in the tales of Old Night and the worst horrors of the Unification Wars. Only the Dark Angels and the Emperor knew the Battle-Automata's true nature and the Excindio were unleashed upon the most intransigent of foes. Once they were, the Excindio became maelstroms of churning claws, gouts of arcane flame and radiation blasts. Their ancient weapons were so dangerous that only the Excindio could wield them and few foes could stand against their might. Due to the Excindio's devious nature and extreme hatred of organic life, they were installed with kill-switchs, as the Battle-Automata did not understand mercy or restraint and took a vicious delight in the carnage they caused. In this way, the Ironwing ensured the Excindio's murderous actions, did not endanger a battle or cause harm to friendly units[1a]. When not in use they were kept in stasis aboard the Invincible Reason[1b], but regardless of where they were, the Excindio were constantly watched by the Dark Angels, for signs of insubordination.[1a]

The Excindio were only unleashed under the most dire circumstances and at the direct order of the Dark Angels' Primarch, Lion El'Jonson, such as during the battle for Galatia during the Thramas Crusade. The code given by the Lion for their activation was known as the Ikaros Contingency[1b]. Later during the battle on Crucible the Lion again unleashed the Excindio, this time using seven to hold off Konrad Curze.[1c]