Servo-skulls are drone-like devices fashioned from human skulls - often those of pious Imperial servants, low-ranking tech-adepts, or loyal adepts of the Adeptus Terra - and then given a rudimentary Machine spirit, support systems, and anti-gravity engine to allow them to hover and drift bodiless through the air. Presumably this chance to continue their work even after death is a great honour in the Imperium.
Servo-skulls are most strongly associated with the Adeptus Mechanicus, but are used throughout the organizations of the Imperium to perform specific tasks for which they are installed with the basic equipment required, usually a pair of simple manipulator pincers, a weapon, a Pict Recorder, a projector, surgical implants, stab-light, loudhailer, or various other devices for the many roles that exist. Though they typically take the form of skulls with various mechanical appendages, other designs have also been utilised. The lords of House Draconis for example, utilised set of five servo-skulls crafted to resemble various mythical creatures, the Pegassus, the Chimaer, the Minot, the Wyvornne and the Dracon in reference to heraldic icons of each Knight House of Adrastapol.
The roles they fulfill include Librarium functionaries, medical assistants, lumen-bearers, proclaimers or scroll-carriers. Some are designed for military roles, and among these some are built with enhanced optical sensors to allow them to fulfill a scouting role.
They are also often used by Inquisitors as Familiars. In this case they are often mentally linked to the Inquisitor, allowing him to control them and see and hear through their senses. In general, Servo-skulls are useful for their ability to enter otherwise inaccessible or hazardous areas because of their small size and great maneuverability.
The Skull Probe is a military device utilized by Space Marine Chapters for reconnaissance. It is capable of moving by stealth, and can fly faster than most units can move on foot. The Skull Probe is also capable of detecting other units concealed by stealth technology. Though unarmed, they can generate an electromagnetic pulse that temporarily neutralises an enemy structure, though the Skull Probe will be destroyed in the process.
Servo Commissar-skulls are pre-programmed with litanies and admonishments, used by Commissars. They broadcast these sayings in order to properly motivate Guardsmen, as well as to remind them of their duty to the Imperium.
Aggression Enhancer Servo-skull
Aggression Enhancer Servo-skulls are used by the Adeptus Mechanicus and are equipped with binharic speakers. They constantly blurt out the Omnissiah's benedictions to smite the unworthy, and use Beta-wave generators, that stimulate the aggression centres of biological and cybernetic minds alike.
Gheistskulls are made from the skulls of deceased Imperial Navy Breachers and carry compact explosives. They accompany Breacher teams, during boarding attacks.
Mono-task Infoslave Skulls make ideal lookouts for the Adeptus Mechanicus, to watch against the sudden deployment of enemy troops.[6a]
Shroud-Skulls are specialized Servo-skulls that are equipped with auspex dampers, vox-stummers and electroshrouding incense. Small flocks are used by Phobos Strike Teams to surround an encampment, before the Shroud-Skulls use their equipment to conceal it from inquisitive foes.
Data Skulls contain a data screen set into their backs. This makes them the perfect item for relaying important targeting data, recording the findings of Inquisitorial investigations and many other uses.
- Exemplar's Eternity[6b]
- Eye of Xi-Lexum
- Scryerskull Perspicatus
- Skull of Brantor
- Tertian's Logister Cortex
- 1: Rogue Trader Rulebook, pgs. 147, 375
- 2: Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War
- 3: Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor - Martyr DLC (Last accessed on 16 May 2019)
- 4: War Zone Charadon - Act I: The Book of Rust, pg. 52 - Campaign Rules: Metalican Redoubt
- 5: Kingsblade (Novel), Chapter 2
- 6: Codex: Adeptus Mechanicus (9th Edition)
- 7: War Zone Charadon - Act II: The Book of Fire, pg. 116 - Crusade Relics
- 8: White Dwarf 30 (2014) - The Week In: Bit of the Week
- 9: Games Workshop Website: Devastator Squad (Last accessed on 27 April 2022)
- 10: Kill Team: Moroch Rules Manual, pg. 49 - Phobos Strike Team - Strategic Assets
- 11: Warhammer Community: Kill Team: Into the Dark – What’s in the Box? (Posted on 04/08/22) (Last accessed on 4 August 22)
|Forces of the Inquisition|
|Inquisitors||Lord Inquisitor • Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor • Ordo Malleus Inquisitor • Ordo Xenos Inquisitor|
|Retinue||Acolyte • Arco-Flagellant • Astropath • Autosavant • Banisher • Cherubim • Chiurgeon • Crusader • Daemonhost • Death Cult Assassin • Interrogator • Jokaero Weaponsmith • Hierophant • Lexmechanic • Mystic • Sage • Sanctioned Psyker • Servo-skull • Servitor • Sisters Dialogous • Sisters Hospitaller • Pariah • Penitent • Priest • Torturer • Veteran Guardsman • Warp-Seer|
|Other Troops||Inquisitorial Stormtroopers • Inquisitorial Pyroclasts • Deathwatch • Grey Knights • Sisters of Battle • Callidus Assassin • Culexus Assassin • Eversor Assassin • Vindicare Assassin|
|Vehicles||Chimera • Land Raider • Land Raider Crusader • Land Raider Redeemer • Razorback • Rhino • Valkyrie|
|Fleet||Inquisitorial Black Ship|