Servitors are mindless drones of flesh and metal used to carry out simple, manual tasks. They are one of the few tolerated forms of robotics tolerated in the Imperium as they are simply surgically enhanced cyborgs, not true artificial intelligence.
While many are vat-grown, often a criminal, particularly one who has offended the Cult Mechanicus, will be sentenced to "Servitude Imperpituis" and will be handed over to the Tech-priests to be mind-wiped, reprogrammed, and cybernetically-enhanced to serve some specific, rudimentary function. Servitors are mindless, possessing only the most basic of instincts. Their brains are programmed to perform only the task they were designed for. The altered and fragmented brain of a Servitor functions poorly unless constantly supervised. Most will go into a state of mindlock, babbling incoherent nonsense as the Servitor tries to assert some form of awareness.
Servitors are created by the Adeptus Mechanicus, and supplied to departments of the Adeptus Terra such as the Administratum, and to the Inquisition. Servitors make up the vast bulk of the population of Mars and other Forge Worlds, where they fulfill the role of workers.
There are many types of Servitor, each designed for a certain task. Typical Servitors are "Technomats" which operate and service machines, "Holomats" which act as holographic recordists, "Lexomats" which are like human computers with tremendous calculating powers, and "Drones" which are living robots - stupid and essentially mindless slaves ideal for menial work and little else.
Servitors are often used to carry out the more dangerous or labourous duties, such as heavy mining. They also accompany Tech-priest Enginseers on the battlefield with the Imperial Guard, as well as Space Marine Techmarines. These types aid in the repair of vehicles or sometimes carry large and dangerous weapons such as plasma cannons. For both forces, the Servitors are practically identical cybernetically, although the servitors of some Space Marine Chapters are created from failed Marine Initiates. Perhaps the most feared of all the Servitors are the Praetorian Servitors, a class of heavily armed and armoured Servitor deployed by the Adeptus Mechanicus to guard the Tech-priests and temples dedicated to the Machine God.[Needs Citation]
Common Servitor Classes
- Technical Servitors are a common sight in the Imperium; they are not intended for combat but are very useful in assisting battlefield operations. These are referred to as "mono-tasks", being physically changed and augmented to perform a specific function. Commonly they are used as load lifters and cranes, but more exotic mono-tasks include the heavy weapon mount and the mobile weapons rack. These are the standard Servitors that accompany a Tech-priest.[Needs Citation]
- Combat Servitors are modified mono-task lifters intended to fight in close combat, and they are normally equipped with some form of power fist or sword in place of their lifter arms.[Needs Citation]
- Gun Servitors are intended to provide fire support for a Tech-priest as he works, and often they will have whole limbs replaced with implant weapons. Many will have ammunition hoppers mounted somewhere on their bodies so they can lay down continuous curtains of fire without needing to reload.[Needs Citation]
- Cenobyte Servitors (also — Cenobite Servitors) assist the Chaplains of the Black Templars. They are used to carry relics into battle and intone prayers to the God-Emperor, as well as all other jobs given to normal servitors. It is known that the Neophytes of the Black Templars who failed their duty became Cenobyte Servitors.
- The Samech Redemption Servitor is a pattern designed to scavenge the wastes of Samech, and are relatively autonomous, with the ability to self-repair and an instinct to seek out valuable technology, powered mainly through Transmuter Cores. Creation of a Redemption Servitor involves heavy replacement of the neck, arm, and leg joints with pivots that provide almost 360 degree rotation, a torso with four additional limbs, creating a squat arachnid profile and most models also use epidermal armour plating. Although its design varies with the forge of manufacture, it incorporates several pieces of Samech’s electro-magnetic wargear.[Needs Citation]
- The Standard Configuration has a techxorcism cannon usually installed in the chest and fired through the gullet for neutralising other technological enemies and scavenging machines that may not be completely inert. In order to reach and disassemble precarious wreckage, also containing an auxiliary magnetic repulsion system that allows them to traverse unstable structures and its spindly limbs are capable of puncturing steel.
- Guardian Configuration servitors have their plasma cutters replaced with other armaments. Solid ammunition weapons with an extended ammo feed stored in the servitor’s hollow chest cavity. With more two climbing spindles affixed with chain or power weapons.
- The Retriever Configuration is designed for live capture, provided the target can be recovered from the servitor afterwards. They are usually mounted with a webber on its exterior, and a primitive auspex package is often added for tracking bio-signs.
- Skulker Configuration servitors are equipped for the express purpose of causing terror and disruption in Imperial populations. It is claimed that such versions have enhanced vox units that produce a range of unhallowed cries. The units are also frequently described as being rusty and in poor repair.
- Ecclesiarchal Servitors are exclusively used by the Sisters of Battle. They are specially modified by the Adeptus Mechanicus to suit the Sisters' needs and are dispatched first into combat zones to provide essential infrastructure for the Sister's campaigns; as well as providing maintenance for damaged vehicles and buildings. The Ecclesiarchal Servitor also has the ability to dismantle enemy fortifications, using its deep knowledge of structural engineering to cause extreme damage to enemy buildings.
- Xenolinguitor Servitors are designed to translate Xeno texts and write down the translations for the Imperium use.
- Kataphron Battle Servitor — Powerful war Servitors used by the Mechanicum.
Cenobite Servitor sketch.
- 1: Codex Imperialis (1993), pp. 22, 41, 45
- 2: Realm of Chaos: The Lost and the Damned (1990), "The Cult Mechanicus"
- 3: Codex: Space Marines (5th Edition), pg. 72
- 4: Deathwatch: First Founding, pg. 107
- 5: Deathwatch: Mark of the Xenos, pg. 90–91
- 6: Dawn of War: Soulstorm: unit description, unit ability description
- 7: Fire Warrior (Novel) by Simon Spurrier — Chapter 6, pg. 140
- 8: Warhammer 40,000 3rd Edition Rulebook — The Journal of Keeper Cripias
- 9: http://web.archive.org/web/20051210134551/http://uk.games-workshop.com/spacemarines/blacktemplars-concept-art/1/ (saved archive page, dated December 2005, last accessed 13 October 2016)
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