Imperium of Man: Founders, Adeptus Astartes (Chapters, Characters, Primaris Marines), Astra Militarum, Adepta Sororitas, Inquisition, Mechanicus, Other factions
Forces of Chaos: Chaos Gods, Chaos Primarchs, Heretic Astartes
Xeno Races: Aeldari (Asuryani, Drukhari) | Necrons | Orks | T'au Empire | Tyranids
In Warhammer 40,000, the Necrons are an ancient race of robotic aliens, once a galactic superpower and now slowly becoming a threat again.
In the galaxy's distant past, before humanity, before the Eldar, there was a race known as the Necrontyr that clung to life on a bleak world under a hostile sun. Their bodies wracked with sickness, their lifespans shortened by radiation and plasma storms, they developed advanced technology to try and compensate, but to no avail. The Necrontyr eventually encountered the Old Ones, an enlightened and long-lived species, and pleaded with them to share the technology to increase their lifespans — but, again, to no avail. In a fit of jealousy, the Necrontyr declared war. They soon realized they had no hope of success, until they discovered powerful energy beings lurking within their star. A bargain was struck: the Necrontyr would provide these beings, the C'tan, with bodies made of the living metal the Necrontyr used for their spacecraft; in return, the C'tan would grant the Necrontyr immortality. Unfortunately, the C'tan used the same living metal to seal the Necrontyr's minds inside skeletal constructs, turning the race into undying slaves that would help the C'tan harvest all life from the galaxy.
Thus the Necrons were born and the C'tan and Necrons had their terrible revenge on the Old Ones. The moment victory was theirs, however, the Necrons turned on their C'tan masters in retribution for their soulless imprisonment, shattering the Star Gods into mere fragments of their former power. However, with everything that was spent fighting the Old Ones and the C'tan, the Necrons had no choice but to enter a deep sleep until such a time where they could rebuild their forces and the dynasties of the Necrontyr could rule the galaxy one more. For millions of years the Necrons have slumbered, waiting out their old enemies... and now they are waking up into a galaxy teeming with new life forms. They do not like what they see.
The Necrons strike from tomb worlds scattered across the galaxy, each containing complexes of countless inert Necron warriors. Once they awaken, or are disturbed by foolish trespassers, they set about harvesting and cleansing their surroundings of all life, down to the bacteria if necessary. Their grasp of technology surpasses even the Eldar, and the Necrons are able to teleport seemingly at will. Their weapons are hideously effective, using Gauss technology that strips a target's molecules apart one layer at a time and lightning-like Tesla energy which leaps from target to target as if it were alive, while the living metal that forms their bodies can regenerate from just about any injury.
The Necrons are a frightening force on the tabletop. Their basic Warrior units are comparable to Space Marine Scouts but with better shooting skill and weapons, their elite units include actual gods (or, at least, their remnants), their heavy weaponry can core a Land Raider, and every non-vehicle unit has a chance to stand back up from attacks that ought to kill them. The only good news for the Necrons' opponents is that their units are relatively slow and cumbersome in close combat, and cost enough points to prevent them being easily run as a horde army.
The Necrons were first introduced in a series of White Dwarf articles towards the end of 2nd Edition, and made an appearance in the spin-off game Gorkamorka, receiving their first codex during the 3rd Edition of Warhammer 40,000. The 5th Edition Codex: Necrons, released in 2011, revamped the Necrons, giving them more character and downplaying the importance of the C'tan. Their 8th Edition rules were included in Codex: Necrons released in March 2018. The Necrons were included as the Xenos forces in the 8th Edition campaign box set Forgebane where they fight against the forces of the Adeptus Mechanicus. 9th Edition saw the Necrons included in the game's starter sets, including the limited edition Indomitus set, with rules provided in October 2020's Codex: Necrons.
- Affably Evil: The 5th Edition reimagining of the Necrons saw the higher-ranked members of the Necron Dynasties retconned into fully rounded characters. While the majority are still dismissive of, if not outright hostile to, the younger races of the galaxy, some can be quite gentlemanly, and are able to hold civil conversations with articulate vocabulary.
- Ancient Astronauts: While the rest of their race slept in stasis, the Triarch Praetorians traveled the galaxy, posing as gods on primitive worlds to ensure that the Necrons had a ready source of slaves should the Great Sleep succeed, and that the laws and culture of the Necrontyr would survive should it fail.
- Ancient Tomb: In keeping with their Ancient Egyptian undead android motif, Necrons operate from Tomb Complexes that date from the dawn of the galaxy. Hidden beneath the surface of countless planets, these facilities contain the Stasis Crypts that have preserved the majority of the Necron race of aeons and are typically covered with glowing hieroglyphs. Many of the worlds that play host to a Tomb Complex have been colonized by other races since the Necrons entered the Great Sleep, and many conflicts have started after the new inhabitants of the world unwittingly uncover the sleeping race.
- Anti-Armor: In previous episodes of the game some Necron weaponry and units had special rules to represent their effects on enemy armour. The Entropic Strike special rule, for instance, could destroy a target's armour outright, leaving the target model highly vulnerable should it survive the attack.
- Anti-Magic: The Necrontyr made great use of the mysterious substance known as noctilith or blackstone to create technological wonders that could repel and dampen the effects of the Warp. The blackstone structures constructed on planets throughout the galaxy, such as the Pylons of fallen Cadia, have been noted to keep the energies of the Warp at bay and, it has been theorised, could have given the Necrons and the C'tan an advantage in the War in Heaven against the Old Ones and their Mage Species creations. In the wake of the creation of the Great Rift, the Necrons have begun building even larger pylons upon worlds throughout the galaxy to create Contra-Empyric Nexus' in an attempt to banish psychic energies and daemonic entities from realspace.
- Antimatter: Necron particle weaponry works by firing a beam of antimatter particles at an enemy. When they strike, the particles violently explode with such force that they can reduce their target to chunks of meat.
- Arch-Enemy: The animosity that the Necrons hold for the Aeldari, the most successful of the Old Ones' creations, stretches back to the War in Heaven and has only grown due to their destruction of many Tomb Worlds during the aeons of the Great Sleep. While the Aeldari now have more pressing issues, the mutual enmity between the two races has led to brutal conflicts whenever they meet. In addition to this, the Necrons are the opposites of the Aeldari in many ways: the Aeldari move quickly but are rather fragile, while Necrons are slow-moving but tough; the Aeldari are a Mage Species with considerable psychic power, while the Necrons have no pyskers due to having no souls, and make use of Anti-Magic technology; they were both created by an ancient precursor race, but the Aeldari were created to safeguard, while the Necrons were made to destroy.
- Armor-Piercing Attack:
- The highly advanced weapons used by the Necrons are renowned for their ability to make a mockery of the armour worn by lesser races. How this works depends on the weapon in question but can range from disassembling matter at an atomic level to weapons that shift between dimensions to pass straight through physical defences to strike the vital organs of the target. This effect is represented on the tabletop in different ways with the 8th Edition rules giving every weapon except particle weapons, tesla weapons and simple blades some a decent Armour Penetration characteristic.
- The weaponry used by the Mephrit Dynasty is powered by the energy of captive suns, allowing them to easily burn through even the thickest armour. The 8th and 9th Edition rules represent this with the Solar Fury Dynastic Code that give the weapons of Mephrit Dynasty units bonuses to their Armour Penetration characteristic.
- Attack Reflector: The dispersion shields carried by some Lychguard produce a sophisticated force shield that, when used at full power, can redirect the energy of enemy ranged attacks. Those editions that choose to represent this in their rules generally do so by giving shield-equipped Lychguard special rules or Stratagems that allow them to either reflect the entire enemy attack back at the firer, or give them a chance to inflict mortal wounds against the attacking unit.
- Awesome Personnel Carrier: The basic Necron Warriors can ride into battle in a Ghost Ark. Based on the machines that collected the dead when the Necrontyr were a race of flesh and blood, the Ghost Arks are floating transport vehicles that resemble skeletal Ancient Egyptian barges and are protected by advanced quantum shielding. The Arks have a bank of Gauss flayers set on either side and, in some editions, all of its passengers could fire their weapons, enabling it to unleash a massive amount of firepower against the enemy. The most distinctive feature of a Ghost Ark, however, is that it is inhabited by swarms of constructor scarabs that can rebuild all but the most seriously damaged Warrior. How this works depends on the edition but all of them allow for the resurrection of destroyed Necron Warriors in or around the Ark.
- Badass Army: The Necrons are a race of ancient warmachines that possess the most advanced technology in the entire setting, bar none. Their basic soldiers are armed with gauss weaponry that can threaten tanks, and they have self-repairing metal skin that makes it extremely hard to destroy them without similarly overpowered weapons. They defeated gods that eat hope, and broke through the defenses of Mars, one of the most heavily-defended places in the entire Imperium... with only five ships. And they aren't even all awake yet — there are a lot more of them.
- Beam Spam: One of the most basic strategies used by the Necrons is to scour the battlefield with innumerable gauss beams to exterminate their foes with overwhelming firepower. While this tactic isn't always given in-game rules, some editions do include Dynastic Tradition rules, such as 9th Edition's Pitiless Hunters rule, that improve the firepower of their Rapid Fire weapons.
- Blinded by the Light:
- The gilded bodies of some high-ranking members of the Nephrekh nobility shine so brightly that they can blind their enemies with the reflected lights of the battlefield. The Skin of Living Gold Warlord Traitnote represents this in-game by giving opponents a penalty when trying to hit the Warlord.
- The Prismatic Obfuscatron is an item of Crytek Arkananote that emits a light so bright that it makes the holder almost impossible to target with either organic, or mechanical, targeting.
- Bling of War:
- Proud and arrogant, Necron Lords and Overlords have highly ornate android bodies, often decorated with precious metals and gems. Some nobles will take this even further by decorating all their soldiers — from the lowly Warriors to the elite Lychguard — with adornments of gold, and other expensive materials, as they would never dream of going into battle without weapons that displayed their wealth.
- Due to their Phaeron's obsession with light, all members of the Nephrekh Dynasty wear burnished gold so that they shine like the stars themselves. Phaeron Sylphek and his most favoured Overlords have even had their bodies covered with skins of living metagold so shinny that it can blind their foes.
- Blood-Splattered Warrior: The background material for the Novokh Dynasty mentions that, when they were beings of flesh, their warriors performed bloody rituals during battle and the memories of these rites are reawakened by the bloodshed, causing them to display an unnatural enthusiasm for violence. As a result of this, the dynasty's warriors typically become so covered in blood that their silver bodies will stained as red as their crimson armour.
- Boom Stick: The Staffs of Light carried by many high-ranking Necrons draw in energy from the surrounding area that can then be unleashed as bolts of lightning that char the foe to a cinder.
- Broad Strokes: When first introduced at the end of 2nd Edition, the Necrons were mysterious and soulless androids led by all-powerful star gods who mercilessly harvested or destroyed all life they could find. When the faction was give a greater depth of characterisation during 5th Edition, the only part of their lore that was directly retconned was the introduction of their rebellion against the C'tan, with that edition's codex specifically mentioning some Tomb Worlds that operate similarly to their old characterisation. The section on the new C'tan units also mentions that several of the full-power C'tan the old codex and lore represented are unaccounted for, although later lore altered this again so that they became escaped Shards that have absorbed the power of other Shards.
- Came Back Wrong: Some background material mentions that each time a Necron is destroyed and is repaired/regenerated, its mind is damaged in the process. The basic Warriors who have regenerated hundreds of times are mindless constructs, but Necron Nobles who manage to stave off death retain their personalities, though the ones that have died a few times tend to suffer from delusions of grandeur and other madness. Other lore indicates that such degradation is due to the difference between the quality of bodies and reconstruction processes that the different ranks of Necron undergo.
- Characterization Marches On: When initially introduced at the end of 2nd Edition and the beginning of 3rd, the Necrons were lacking in character, consisting of little more than mindless automatons dedicated to wiping out and harvesting the galaxy's lifeforms with only the C'tan, the Deceiver in particular, showing any real personality. The 5th Edition Codex expanded the faction's characterisation, background, fighting style and unit choice considerably, Hand-Waving a lot of the early characterization as damage from their eons of stasis.
- Clarke's Third Law: The Necrontyr never manifested Psychic Powers, and now that they are little more than machines with program-emulations of their former living selves, Necrons are utterly unable to access the Warp. Instead, their ultra-advanced science lets them achieve through technology what many other races must do through sorcery, with their Cryptek scientists specialising in various schools of hyper-tech that vary from controlling raw plasma to manipulating time or attacking peoples' minds.
- Cold Sniper: The snipers of the Deathmark Guilds were infamous as patient and cold-hearted killers before they underwent biotransference, and becoming unfeeling androids has only enhanced their ruthless skills. Once their prey is marked a Deathmark will track them through multiple dimensions, waiting for the perfect time to strike from their hyperspace oubliette.
- A Commander Is You: Balanced/Brute. The polar opposite of their Aeldari rivals, the Necrons are a slow but sturdy faction with great armour, lots of wounds and possess abilities that make them hard to shift without overwhelming force. They also have near-unbreakable leadership, dedicated anti-vehicle firepower, and their equivalent of psychic powers cannot be denied like normal powers.
- Continuity Drift: The Necrons' ability to phase-out and rebuild themselves safely elsewhere altered over the years. When they were first introduced, it was impossible to permanently kill a single Necron warrior outside of their tomb complex, as they would phase-out before suffering crippling damage. By the 5th Edition Codex, however, it is mentioned that a Necron's self-destruct failsafe uses the same green flash as a phase-out, in order to confound their enemies.
- Creepy Monotone: Early depictions of Necron speech typically gave them a deep, metallic monotone. As the faction has been developed, however, their speech patterns have kept the deep and metallic style, but are depicted with more emotion while conversing with others.
- Cyber Cyclops:
- All Crypteks, and many of their Canoptek constructs, sport a single large eye at the centre of their robotic faces, giving these techno-sorcerers a distinctive and sinister appearance.
- Deathmark snipers possess a single glowing eye that can track the hunter's mark that the sinister assassins place on their target through five dimensions, ensuring that their victim has nowhere to hide.
- Deflector Shields: Necron vehicles are protected by Quantum Shielding that only activates when it detects an attack, which greatly increases the staying power of their vehicles. In-game the rules for Quantum Shielding depends on the edition, with some allowing it to ignore a low amount of damage, while others simply give them a special save.
- Dem Bones: Thematically the Necrons are a science fiction version of skeletal Undead in look, tactics and their ability to get back on their feet after being destroyed. The 8th Edition Codex: Necrons even explicably compares Necron Warriors to the walking dead.
- Disintegrator Ray: The lore for Gauss weaponry mentions that it disintegrates its target one molecular layer at a time. While this effect is often described as being slower than many traditional disintegrator rays, it is also more painful and can cause damage to most targets. Due to this molecular disintegration, some editions of the game even give these weapons special rules that allow them to damage targets that would normally be impervious to basic weapons.
- Doppelgänger Spin: The Photonic Transubjectornote creates a holographic duplicate of the Cryptek carrying it to baffle the enemy's targeting and allowing them to ignore some damage from a shot as it hits the double.
- Double Weapon: The voidblades wielded by Necron nobles and the Triarch Praetorians consist of a pair of wide blades set on either side of the weapon's hilt that can destabilize the molecular bonds of any material they cut through.
- Dying Race: While the number of Necrons still slumbering equals the population of the Imperium, and they are incredibly difficult to permanently destroy, their mechanical bodies mean that they cannot reproduce and their losses can never be replaced. This is one of the reasons that many Dynasties are searching for a way to return to living bodies.
- Earthquake Machine: Geomantic Crypteks have multiple technological devices that can cause localised earth tremors, such as the seismic crucible and the tremorstave. The Crypteks use these devices in battle to limit the movement of the enemy and to attack them with the power of the earth itself. While rarely seen on the tabletop, 5th Edition included rules for these staves that made it more difficult for enemy models to move, either by reducing assault moves or making them move as if they were travelling through difficult terrain.
- Elemental Barrier: The Necrons are able to uses the same technology that they use in their tesla weaponry to surround an individual with a defensive shield of emerald lightning. Not only does this field protect the Necron from harm, but it also electrocutes any foe attacking them. Known as a Lightning Field, when included as an option, these items give the wearer an unmodifiable invulnerable save, as well as a chance of causing mortal wounds against nearby enemy units.
- Enemy Mine: While they consider the other races of the galaxy to be vastly inferior to themselves, some of the more pragmatic Necron nobles will lower themselves to fighting alongside the Imperium when they face a far greater threat. Once such instance was during the Gehenna Campaign, when the Necrons and the Blood Angels ceased fighting each other to take on a Tyranid splinter fleet that attacked the planet.
- Evil Overlord: Phaerons are the absolute rulers of their Dynasties, controlling legions of warriors and multiple worlds with an iron fist. Phaerons typically ensure their continued rule with obedience protocols that ensure the subservience of every Necron under their command.
- Faceless Goons: Due to being given mass-produced bodies during biotransference, all Necron soldiers share the same robotic skull head with no differentiation between them. The lowest form of soldier, the Necron Warriors take this even further as they are devoid of anything resembling a mind or personality, and thus have little to no individual identity.Imotekh the Stormlord: What care I that my legions are faceless? Identity matters only to those who have the ability to think: My Immortals and Lychguard, perhaps; Lords and Crypteks, certainly. For the remainder of my vassals? Well, suffice to say that the concept of glory is wasted on the inglorious.
- Fantastic Race Weapon Affinity: Their standard ranged weapon is the gauss rifle, which flays its targets alive molecule by molecule.
- Fire-Breathing Weapon: The Gauntlet of the Conflagrator is a powerful weapon that uses interdimensional technology to syphon plasmic fire from the heart of a star to create a blazing cloud of flame to engulf the enemy. A single use weapon, the 7th Edition rules gave the Gauntlet a stat line closer to plasma weapons than other flamer weapons while from 8th Edition onwards, its rules were changed so it could cause multiple mortal wounds instead.
- Fixed Forward-Facing Weapon: The Doomsday Arc's main weapon, the dreaded doomsday cannon, is fitted to fire directly forwards. The Arc itself exists primarily to power the devastating weapon, and to use its sophisticated anti-gravity engines to bring it to bear against the enemy.
- Flashy Teleportation: Alongside their use of portals, wormholes and dimensional technology to travel almost instantly from one place to another, the Necrons are the masters of teleportation, with numerous pieces of technoarcana, such as the Veil of Darkness and the Ghostwalk Mantle, that allow instantaneous transportation. The Nephrekh Dynasty in particular specialises in translocation, using metagold bodies to transform themselves into pure light and teleport across the battlefield.
- Generic Doomsday Villain: Prior to their revamp, the Necrons lacked the depth of character and background that other races had, being little more than mindless killbots who wanted to destroy all life in the galaxy. From 5th Edition onwards, however, the factions history and character were retooled, and it was established that all but the lowest ranked Necrons retain at least some of their original organic personality (though some of them suffered mental degradation while in stasis), and that each Necron noble has a specific role in their dynasty.
- Giant Spider:
- The caretaker and maintenance constructs known as Canoptek Spydersnote , are spider-like robots that are around three times the size of a Necron Immortal.
- Canoptek Wraiths are large robotic constructs with an appearance resembling a cross between a spider and a snake that towers over human-sized opponents.
- Glass Cannon:
- Until 8th Edition, Necron Doomsday Arks had an extremely powerful weapon, but were only tough due to their quantum shielding, which would fail after being penetrated. After 8th Edition, the quantum shielding rules were changed, and the Doomsday Ark gained a large number of Wounds, making it more survivable.
- Prior to their removal from canon, the Pariah were one of the Necron's most powerful close combat units, but lacked survivability due to lacking the ability to resurrect themselves and only having a single Wound.
- Glowing Mechanical Eyes: The eyes of a Necron's robotic body are often depicted on the models, and in the artwork, as emitting an eerie glow. This glow is traditionally green in colour and is normally the same colour as the energy that powers their weapons.
- God Guise: While the rest of the Necron race was in stasis, the Tetrarch Praetorians pretend to be gods to spread Necron influence among the primitive races of the galaxy.
- Gravity Master: The massive Necron warmachines known as Obelisks use their race's advanced technology to manipulate the gravity in their immediate vicinity to send enemy flying units out of control. In the 7th Edition of the game this was represented by forcing enemy fliers to test as if they were ground vehicles moving through rough terrain, while, from 8th Edition onwards, the Obelisk can cause mortal wounds against nearby enemy flyers.
- Green-Eyed Monster: The original lore for the Necrons implied that the Necrontyr simply suffered from such intense jealousy of the Old Ones' immortality, then they started a galaxy-shattering war. This was later given a little more depth with the ruling Triarch of the Necrontyr intentionally stoking this jealousy to start the War in Heaven as a means to unify their divided people.
- Healing Factor: Due to their robotic bodies, and high technological level, almost every Necron individual and vehicle has the ability to self-repair. Whether it is through the Reanimation Protocols of the lower ranks, or the more advanced Living Metal used in the creation of their vehicles and the bodies of their nobles, Necron units are able to quickly recover from all but the most catastrophic damage.
- Higher-Tech Species: The Necrons possess the most advanced technology in the contemporary timeline of the setting, and can approach Clarke's Third Law levels in some fields of science. Widespread teleportation, starships with inertialess drives, gauss and tesla energy weapons, planet-sized stasis-tombs, a plethora of Warp-suppressing equipment, their self-repairing robotic bodies and the biotransference process itself are just a few of the products of Necron science. Even the Aeldari — a race almost as old as the Necrons and who once ruled the galaxy themselves — struggle to match them in terms of science and technology.
- Homage: With bodies resembling robotic skeletons, the Necrons are a homage to the look of the T-800 from The Terminator. This homage was even more noticeable during early editions of the game, when their signature special rule, which allowed them to come back to life after being killed, was named "We'll Be Back!", a reference to Arnold Schwarzenegger's most famous line from the film.
- Immortal Genius: Crypteks have used their millennia of artificial life to gain a mastery of technology that appears almost magical to lesser species. Even the Necron Lords are impressed by their scientific aptitudes, and will often do anything they can to meet a Cryptek's price in exchange for their services.
- Immortal Procreation Clause: Since they achieved immortality by replacing their original fleshy bodies with skeletal robotic bodies, they lack any form of biological reproduction. This doesn't affect their population numbers, however, as their self-repair abilities mean that it is extremely difficult to permanently destroy a Necron construct.
- Implacable Man: Due to their mechanical nature Necrons are almost impossible to stop, simply walking through enemy fire while ignoring any minor damage they sustain. Should a Necron be more seriously damaged, the race's self-repair abilities and technology allows them to return to full effectiveness in short order. Should the Necron suffer damage that their Reanimation Protocols cannot handle, it will be teleported back to its Tomb World to undergo more thorough repairs so that they can return to the battlefield at a later date. The only way to permanently destroy a Necron is to destroy its personality matrix — which is the toughest part of its body or destroy its Tomb World, and even then there is some lore that suggests a Necron can transfer to another Tomb World controlled by their dynasty.
- Canoptek Wraiths are fitted with dimensional destabilisation matrices, an arcane device that allows the construct, in whole or in part, to phase in and out or reality at will. These devises are intended to allow the Wraith to repair the machinery of a tomb world without dismantling it, but they have proven to be just as useful on the battlefield, enabling the construct to ignore terrain and enemy fire, hide within solid matter, and to cut the flesh of their foes without touching their armour. How this is represented in game depends on the edition, with most involving special saves alongside rules that grant them movement benefits and a greater chance to get through enemy armour.
- High ranking Necrons are often equipped with phase shifters as a means of defence. These advanced pieces of technoarcana are capable of temporarily shifting the bearer into an intangible state so that enemy attacks simply pass straight through them. In all the editions of the game that they appear, phase shifters grant their bearer a an unmodifiable save and in some background material the device allows its bearer to pass through walls and restraints.
- Large Ham: The mental degradation caused by the Great Sleep has left many Necron nobles with exaggerated, bombastic personalities that are usually depicted in a hammy way in the Flavor Text and novels.
- Lightning Bruiser:
- Necron Tomb Blades are the fastest non-Aircraft unit in a Necron army but still possess a high degree of survivability due to having both the Living Metal and Reanimation Protocols abilities, as well as optional equipment that increase their basic Save characteristic and give them a special invulnerable save. Each Tomb Blade can also equipped with weapons that make them dangerous on the attack.
- In some editionsnote an Overlord in a Command Barge was extremely powerful due to its speed, multiple types of saving throw, its ability to Reanimate when killed and close combat abilities that allowed it to attack while moving past an opponent instead of engaging them in melee. Later editions toned these abilities down while still giving it a higher-than-average Move characteristic, good combat ability and survivability.
- Lightning Gun: Tesla weaponry utilises the Necron's technological mastery over the law of physics to fire arcs of lightning that leave their targets nothing but piles of charred flesh. To their targets, the lightning unleashed by these weapons appears to have a mind of its own, seemingly seeking out new prey as it arcs from one individual to the next. The only downside of Tesla weaponry is that the lightning isn't as effective against targets insulated by their armour.
- Master Swordsman: While their skill does not reach the level of Implausible Fencing Powers, the Lychguard are the greatest blademasters of the Necron race. These elite warriors take great pride in their skill and always attempt to finish their opponent with a single perfect strike, feeling annoyance and shame if they fail to land such a blow.
- Mind-Control Device: Mindshackle Scarabs are small, specialised constructs that latch onto their victim's nervous system and bypass their brain functions so that a Necron noble or Cryptek can take over their mind. The level of control a Necron has over the victim of a Mindeshackle Scarab varies depending on the situation and programming, ranging from becoming a near-mindless slave to their master's will, to simply being a Restraining Bolt to prevent the victim harming the Necron. In the 5th Edition rules, when these scarabs were used, the target had a chance of attacking themselves, or their comrades, if they failed a tougher than usual Leadership test.
- Nanomachines: Canoptek Scarabs come in all shapes and sizes, with the smallest being microscopic. While most commonly used to repair damaged Necrons — often either deployed from a Phylacterine Hive or administered by a Canoptek Reanimator — other types of Nanoscarab can be used in other ways, such as to deploy Countertemporal Nanomines that fracture time to slow advancing enemies.
- The Necrocracy: As a species, the Necrons are robotic skeletons possessed by the minds of long-dead aliens who have been sleeping in their Tomb Worlds since time immemorial. The Necrons have a carefully structured imperial hierarchy, with regular soldiers at the bottom, the Nobles (Lords and Overlords) in the middle, and the ruling Phaerons at the top, with each rank ensuring the loyalty of those below them with command protocols that ensure total obedience.
- Ominous Floating Castle: During the Second Battle of Damnos, the Necron forces unleashed the Baleful Necropolis, a massive floating tomb complex that incorporated multiple Monoliths and a Tesseract Vault into its structure. The Necropolis did massive damage to the Ultramarines before it was destroyed.
- Omnicidal Maniac: In early editions, it was unclear whether or not the Necrons' goal is to harvest life in the galaxy for unspecified ends, or just kill everything. The Fifth Edition codex retconned out the harvesting part — except those studying the biological life of the galaxy — and introduced variations so that it depends on the tomb world, with some wishing to transfer their minds into another lifeform, some wishing to wipe out all non-Necron life, and some wishing to expand their own personal empires.
- Order Versus Chaos: Their first codex portrayed Necrons as a staunchly "anti-Chaos" faction: slaves to gods that were born of the Materium, devoid of any emotions, disciplined and methodical as only undead robots could be, feeding on bio-energy instead of souls, and homogeneous to the point that there was no such thing as individuality. The Necrons were also, as is standard for this trope, portrayed as the bitterest enemies of Chaos (partly because Warp energy was the only power that could actually destroy a C'tan), even attempting to permanently sever the connection between the material and immaterial dimensions, ripping the souls out of all life everywhere in the process. This theme was Downplayed when the faction was revamped for the 5th Edition codex, mostly keeping their ordered alignment, while adding eccentricities and pushing their opposition to Chaos into the background. The end of 7th Edition, however, brought their opposition to Chaos back to the fore, a theme that continued through 8th and 9th Edition with the return of their plan to sever the link between dimensions.
- Our Wormholes Are Different: Rather than having a transport compartment like most other transport vehicles, Night Scythes and Monoliths are connected to their home tomb world by a captive wormhole, allowing them to deploy reinforcements into the thick of a battle without risking their destruction if the transport is lost. In game terms, the 8th Edition rules represent this by allowing squads kept off the battlefield to be deployed from any Night Scythe or Monolith rather than having to be deployed within a specific transport. 9th Edition, meanwhile, only allows the Monolith to deploy models kept off the battlefield at the beginning of the game (known as Strategic Reserve units), while the Night Scythe is treated like a regular Aircraft with a Transport capacity (although in this case the transported models are merely stranded off the battlefield rather than being destroyed).
- Plasma Cannon: When firing at full effect, the Doomsday cannons fitted to the Necron's Doomsday Arks are some of the most powerful plasma weaponry in the setting capable of being mounted on a regular sized vehicle. In most editions of the rules, these weapons have a Strength value in double figures, do multiple wounds and have an Armour Penetration value high enough to ignore most regular armour.
- Pocket Dimension: Deathmarks typically follow the progress of a battle from a pocket dimension known as a hyperspace oubliette. When they deem the time is right, Deathmarks are able to instantly leave this dimension and deploy straight into an optimal sniping position and take their target completely by surprise. This ability is represented in the game itself by allowing the player to deploy their Deathmark squads during a game rather at the beginning. Unlike such abilities used by other units however, many editions include rules that allow the Deathmarks to deploy during the opponent's turn, usually when the unit they are targeting enters the battlefield.
- Portal Network: During the War in Heaven the Necrons constructed the dolmen gates, portals of living stone that are able to forcibly access the Old One's webway network. With the reawakening of the dynasties, those ancient dolmen gates that have survived are used by the Necrons to travel the galaxy far quicker than any race other than the Aeldari, the current masters of the webway.
- Praetorian Guard:
- Before their race entered their eons-long slumber, the aptly-named Praetorians were the bodyguards and heralds of the Silent King and the Triarch, the ruling triumvirate of the Necrons. With the return of Szarekh, the last of the Silent Kings, and the restoration of the Triarch, the Praetorians have reaffirmed their oaths of loyalty to their master and have resumed their role as his herald.
- The Lychguard serve as the guardians, emissaries and lieutenants of the Necron nobility. Installed with loyalty engrams during biotransference, the Lychguard are utterly faithful to their masters and are more than willing to lay down their lives for those they protect.
- Precursor Killers: The ancient Necrontyr and their C'tan masters persecuted a war against the Old Ones, the oldest and most powerful race in the galaxy, that ultimately resulted in the destruction of the precursor race. Despite their victory, the Necrontyr, known as the Necrons since their Unwilling Roboticisation, were unable to enjoy their victory for long as they were forced into aeons long stasis in the aftermath of the War in Heaven.
- Proud Warrior Race Guys: The Necrons are a highly militaristic race, capable of mobilizing their entire population for war and possessing a detailed code of military honour, even if they do not always follow it. Despite this, how warlike each individual dynasty is depends on the nature of its nobility, some being willing to defend their holdings against invaders, while others are Blood Knights or would-be Galactic Conquerors.
- Psychic Link: Cryptothralls are bound to the will of the Cryptek that created them in a manner that resembles the psychic links of many warp-sensitive races. This link allows them to respond instantly to their master's commands, and compels them to go to any lengths to protect the Cryptek.
- Pyrrhic Victory: The Necrons defeated both the Old Ones and the C'tan, but this cost them the resources they needed to fight against the vengeance of the Old Ones' surviving creations, such as the Aeldari and Orks. The threat posed by these servant races forced the Necrons to hide in massive stasis-crypts, hoping to simply outlast their enemies.
- Restraining Bolt: Before bio-transference, the Necrontyr had a highly stratified hierarchical society where Blind Obedience and Undying Loyalty were the height of virtue, and to question or defy those above one's station was unthinkable, particularly for the lower ranks of society. The bio-transference procedure permanently enforced this hierarchy, with command protocols replacing loyalty with compulsion and thought-restriction. Contemporary Necrons are now utterly incapable of defying the orders of those of a higher rank, even if those above them have suffered from mental degradation and their orders are nonsensical. This does not stop Necrons on the same strata from plotting and scheming against one another however, whether through politics or all-out war.
- Revision: Early Necrons were depicted as entirely mechanistic in manner, devoid of personality, desire, or individual differences, acting only in accordance with some unknowable ancient programming that drove them to ruthlessly destroy or harvest all life, and were incapable of communication or reason. Later Editions gave higher-level Necrons actual personalities, along with the ability to communicate with the younger races and to pursue goals beyond simple functional ones. This was justified in the lore by saying that Necron tomb worlds wake up in stages, with more primitive and simple forces awakening and beginning their duties earlier, while the more advanced Necrons take additional time to bring fully back online. Therefore, the earlier Necron encounters were by forces from tomb worlds that were still in the early stages of their reactivation.
- Robot War: The Necrons are a race of robotic beings that possess the minds of an ancient race of aliens who attempted to conquer the galaxy before rebelling against the star-gods that tricked them into giving up their mortal bodies. After aeons in stasis, the Necrons are have awoken once again, and are waging war against the galaxy's biological and infernal lifeforms once again with their highly advanced weaponry and near indestructible forms.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: The Necrons use Tesseract Labyrinths, small cube-like devices that utilize the race's mastery of hyper-geometry and phase technology to imprison dangerous and powerful enemies within a pocket dimension that is impossible to escape from. When not being used as weapons, C'tan shards are kept within these devices and, due to being utterly disconnected from the warp, they also prove to be the perfect prison for even the most powerful of daemons.
- Sentry Gun: Sentry Pylons, and the larger Gauss Pylons, are automated weapons platforms that protect Necron Tomb Worlds from invasion by the lesser races. These crescent-shaped devices are typically fitted with some of the most powerful Gauss weaponry available to the Necrons and can even be equipped with a Flashy Teleportation matrix so that they can catch the enemy unawares, appearing out of nowhere in a flash of light.
- Sickly Green Glow: Necron technology is typically described as emitting an eerie "corpse-light". While there are exceptionsnote , official Necron paint schemes and artwork gives this strange glow a sickly green that is typically applied to their eyes, orbs of energy, and decorations.
- Sinister Scythe: The warscythe is the traditional weapon of Necron nobility, as well as their elite combat units, and is one of the most powerful regular close combat weapons in many editions of the game. While these weapons usually have a straight, vertical blade so that they resemble more traditional polearms, the plastic Necron Overlord model, released during 7th Edition, wields a warscythe with a more scythe-shaped blade, fitting his robotic 'lord of death' look.
- SkeleBot 9000: In order to fit their science fiction undead stylings, the Necrons resemble metallic skeletons fitted with armour plates on their arms, legs, and shoulders. Mentally, the majority of the race have the same amount of individuality as traditional skeletal undead, with only the elite warriors and nobility allowed any form of personality.
- Sky Surfing: Technomancer Crypteks often wear a Canoptek Cloak that consists of a billowing metallic cloak connected to a large, insect-like Canoptek construct. The Technomancer rides atop this flying construct to increase their manoeuvrability on the battlefield.
- Sniper Rifle: The synaptic disintegrators wielded by Deathmark assassins are sophisticated rifles that unleash powerful energy blasts that destroy both the body and mind of the target. While they lack the range of some of the setting's sniper rifles, synaptic disintegrators are exceptionally accurate, often receiving special rules that allow them to ignore some of the normal targeting restrictions during a game.
- Soul-Cutting Blade: The Necron Artefact Voidreaper is suspected to be, in whole or in part, the dreaded scythe of Aza'gorod the Nightbringer. The silver bladed scythe is capable of cutting through more than just physical matter but will also cut the soul from its victim, leaving them withered husks. The 8th Edition rules for the weapon represent the killing power of this weapon by making it automatically wound non-vehicle models on a dice roll of 2+.
- Space Fighter: In their 8th Edition background, Tomb Blades are said to have originally been developed during the War in Heaven as small, highly manoeuvrable void fighters. Fitted with high-yield weaponry and fielded in hundreds strong squadrons, the original Tomb Blades proved to be highly effective at destroying even enemy capital ships.
- Space Romans: Although the strength of their theme varies depending on the edition, Necrons are undead, android Ancient Egyptians whose "dynasties" are ruled over by Phaeronsnote whose subordinate Overlords and Lords scheme and plot against each other, and their ruler. Necron architecture also follows Ancient Egyptian style consisting of hieroglyphic covered megalithic structures, high-tech pyramids and obelisks.
- Spider Tank: The Triarch Stalker is an armoured vehicle that scuttles across the battlefield atop six spindly legs. Protected by advanced quantum shielding, these battle-walkers support Necron infantry with their highly destructive weaponry and sophisticated targeting relay.
- Sprint Shoes: High ranking Necrons often have the ability to drive their troops forward at an accelerated rate, giving them a small bonus to various types of movement. In some editions, this effect was part of the general My Will Be Done ability, but 9th Edition split it into the separate Relentless March ability.
- Star Killing:
- The Mephrit Dynasty were once famous for sun killing super-weapons that could cause a star to wither and die, or to explode into a supernova, wiping out its planets and their populations. Many of these weapons have been lost or malfunctioned over the course of the Great Sleep, however, and now the Dynasty is looking to rebuild their former strength with more mundane force of arms.
- The Celestial Orrery of the Oruscar Dynasty is an arcane machine that maps the location of every star in the galaxy. Should a star be erased from the Orrery, however, then the physical star itself will explode into a supernova. As such, the Orrery has become the target of a number of warlike factions and alien races.
- Starfish Robots: The robotic Canoptek constructs, created to act as the caretakers and guardians of the Necron's stasis-crypts during the Great Sleep, most often resemble giant mechanical insects and lizards. These constructs come in a variety of shapes and sizes from the small to dog-sized Canoptek Scarabs to the larger than man-sized Canoptek Spyders and the tank-sized, centipede-like Canoptek Tomb Sentinels.
- Stripped to the Bone: Gauss weapons do this and more by stripping off the target's matter one molecular "layer" at a time.
- Sufficiently Advanced Alien: Other races have psykers, who use the Warp to alter reality to their liking. Necrons, having no truck with the Warp, instead have Crypteks, who achieve the same (or even more elaborate) effects using technology.
- Supernatural Fear Inducer: The living-metal cloak known as the Nightmare Shroud is able to infect nearby enemies with the madness of its creator, causing them to see terrible phantoms that destroy their morale. In the 8th Edition rules, all enemy units close to the wearer of the Nightmare Shroud to suffer a penalty to their Leadership characteristic.
- Super Prototype: The Orb of Eternity was the first resurrection orb to be created and it is still far more powerful than its successors. In the 8th Edition of Warhammer 40,000 the orb is a Necron Artefact that functions in the same way as a regular resurrection orb, only with a bonus to the extra 'Reanimation Protocols' role.
- The Swarm: Canoptek Scarabs, tiny robot beetles that swarm over enemies and take them apart at the molecular level.
- Sword and Gun: Despite the combination of pistol and close combat weapon being the most common armament for assault troops in the game as a whole, the Necrons only have a single unit that can be equipped with such a combination, the Triarch Praetorians. These elite units can be armed with a voidblade and particle caster, highly advanced and destructive close assault weapons.
- Terminator Impersonator: Based in large part on Terminator skeletons, being ridiculously hard-to-kill Skelebot9000s with a special rule giving them a chance to self-repair after being killed (said special rule is called "We'll Be Back"). This is less pronounced in later editions, where they take on an Ancient Egypt IN SPACE! aesthetic.
- That's No Moon!: In the fluff, some of their larger constructs have been mistaken for planets. One of them actually was a planet with engines strapped on.
- This Is Gonna Suck: The attitudes of the tomb worlds that woke up 10,000 years too early...right in the middle of the Great Crusade. The exception was Trazyn the Infinite, who was overjoyed at being able to record such a major event.
- Time Master: Crypteks of the Chronomancy school specialise in using their arcane technology to affect the flow of time. In the 5th Edition of the game, Crypteks who specialised in this school could be given equipment that inflicted characteristic penalties to their enemies (representing the creation of a bubble of slow-time around them) or protected against enemy attacks (representing the Chronomancer gaining limited knowledge of the future).
- Tragic Dream: It's doubtful the Necrons will be made flesh again. Destroyers have embraced their cybernetic nature and now hate all flesh and blood creatures. Flayed Ones were driven mad by the need to be organic again and now hunt for flesh and gore.
- The Undead: A robotic variant, and one not all of them are too happy about.
- Turned Against Their Masters: Many of the Necrontyr leaders were horrified at being tricked by the Deceiver and his brothers into turning their race into a legion of near mindless robots. As such, once the war against the Old Ones and their creations was won, the Necrons turned their technological might against the C'tan, shattering the Star Gods into fragments and imprisoning them in extra-dimensional spaces.
- Unwilling Roboticisation:
- Not all of the Necrontyr were on board with the whole "give up your body" thing. They weren't given a choice.
- Necron Pariahs, from the 3rd and 4th Edition versions of the army, were thought to have been created from humans with the Pariah gene that had been abducted by the Necrons and been put through the same method of biotransference that the Necrons themselves went through. These units haven't been mentioned in the background material since the faction's 5th Edition Rewrite.
- Vestigial Empire: After the defeat of the Old Ones and before the rise of the Aeldari, the Necrons were the undisputed masters of the galaxy. The eons of the Great Sleep however have seen numerous tomb worlds damaged or lost, dynasties shattered and many of the Necrons themselves suffering from unforeseen mental degradation. As the race slowly awakens from their stasis they find their once mighty empire a shadow of its former selves and they have set themselves the task of reclaiming the galaxy from the lesser races and Warp abominations that now infest it.
- Villain: Exit, Stage Left: Prior to the 5th edition codex, this was a unique feature and Achilles' Heel of the Necrons. When their original numbers are reduced to 25%, the rest of the army will vanish, including corpses. Now, this simply happens to Necrons who fail their Reanimation Protocol rolls, representing their destroyed bodies being teleported away for repairs but not returning to battle.
- Villain Respect: Some of the Necron Overlords have come to grudgingly recognize a few of the Imperials as worthy warriors, up to the point they may form temporary alliances whenever a larger threat such as a Tyranid or daemonic invasion may put their tomb worlds at risk.
- We Can Rebuild Him: Originally a function of the Tomb Spyders and the backstory of their Pariahs pre-5th edition.
- We Have Reserves: The Necrons have one of the more unique takes on this trope. As a purely mechanical species, they're incapeable of reproducing or creating new Necrons—even if non-Necrontyr species could be converted into loyal Necrons, the process of biotransferance needs the cooperation of the now-hostile C'tan. However, thanks to their mastery of teleportation and self-repair, Necrons rarely suffer permanent losses in battle and can throw their troops away in unrelenting assault after assault. Furthermore, the Necrons were a galaxy-dominating species at the time of biotransferrance and the vast majority of their species (barring the weak and unsuitable) were converted into warriorsnote . In other words, while actually permanently killing a Necron is difficult but possible, any losses they do suffer are literally irreplacable—which is offset by the sheer number of Necrons possibly existing in the galaxy.
- Wizard Beard: Fulfilling the same role as wizards and psykers for the Necrons, and fitting in with their Ancient Egyptian styling, Crypteks of all types typically sport long, beardlike extensions to their skeletal chins as a mark of their station.
Cursed by the vengeful C'tan Llandu'gor, the Flayer, Flayed Ones are Necrons who have succumbed to a mental breakdown that causes them to suffer from an overwhelming hunger for the flesh of their enemies, a hunger they can never sate due to their mechanical nature. Hated and feared by other Necrons, the Flayed Ones are cast out from their tomb world only to be irresistibly drawn to a pocket dimension from where they can materialize at will to unleash their mad fury.
- Blade Below the Shoulder: A Flayed One's fingers and hands can mutate to the point that they are entirely replaced by blades or shear-like cutting tools, as the model kit depicts.
- Body Horror: Side effects of the Flayer Curse include twisted, malformed limbs, spiky protrusions on their spines and armor plates, and facial distortions.
- Creepy Souvenir: Along with the skins of their victims, Flayed Ones often wear their skulls, and even fasten large body parts such as entire torsos to theirs.
- Curse: Flayed Ones are afflicted with the Flayer Virus, a techno-curse that gives them an all consuming hunger for flesh and blood that can never be sated due to their mechanical nature. The C'tan Llandu'gor the Flayer inflicted this curse on those Necrons who destroyed him.
- Horror Hunger: One of the symptoms of being afflicted as a Flayed One is the desire to consume the flesh of the living, with the stricken Necron warrior stopping to flense the bodies of their foes and try to force the meat down their gullet... which no longer exists. This results in a Flayed One covering itself in a splattering of gore that they never clean.
- Mind Virus: The Flayer Curse corrupts a Necron's personality matrix, turning its desire to reclaim an organic body into something much more horrific. It's also contagious, and uncorrupted Necrons will either avoid getting near Flayed Ones or kill them outright when they appear.
- Pocket Dimension: Flayed Ones live in a subspace dimension when not hunting or in battle.
- Primal Stance: Flayed Ones tend to walk and stand in this manner, a grim reminder of their mental corruption.
- This Is Your Brain on Evil: The Flayer Curse's symptoms include an insatiable hunger for flesh and the obsessive compulsion to collect and horde bloody scraps of skin and bone. They can't actually eat flesh, being as they are robots... so they wear it instead.
- Was Once a Man: Played with. The novel Fall of Damnos depicts the Flayed Ones' signature tactic as an obsessive drive to reclaim the sensation of having a flesh-and-blood body.
- Wolverine Claws: Flayed Ones, as they succumb to their curse, have their fingers grow and taper out, eventually turning into a set of scalpel-sharp claws to better rip and tear the flesh of the living.
Destroyers are Necrons who have been consumed with an insane hatred for organic life and wish for nothing more than the complete annihilation of all organic life in the galaxy. To increase the efficiency of their slaughter, and to distance themselves from their hated physical form, Destroyers heavily modify their bodies, turning themselves into flying gun platforms, multi-limbed killing machines, or snake-like tunnellers. Those Necrons who fall to such madness are typically exiled from their tomb worlds, banding together in Destroyer Cults under the command of the most powerful and maniacal of their kind, the Destroyer Lords.
- Arm Cannon: Lokhust Destroyers and Heavy Destroyers will usually replace one of their arms with a gauss cannon or heavy gauss cannon, respectively. The Destroyer Lord, however, keeps both arms and wields a Staff of Light.
- Bizarre Alien Limbs: Skorpekh Destroyers have modified their bodies so that they now scuttle forward on three insectoid legs in an insane attempt to increase their speed and agility in combat.
- Close-Range Combatant: Skorpekh and Ophydian Destroyers are close ranged specialists, who favour overwhelming power and ambush tactics respectively. In order to optimise themselves for this role, both breeds of destroy often possess multiple limbs, and carry nothing except Melee type weaponry.
- Extra Eyes: Hexmark Destroyers have six eyes, each of which is tied directly to one of its six enmitic disintegrator pistols, allowing each one to individually target a different enemy at the same time.
- Guns Akimbo: Hexmark Destroyers wield an enmitic disintegrator pistol in each of its six hands, allowing it to engage multiple targets simultaneously.
- Horrifying the Horror: Destroyers unnerve and disgust orthodox Necrons, which is impressive considering the rest fall somewhere between near-mindless automatons and unshakable arrogance.
- Hover Mecha: Due to their obsessive desire to become avatars of destruction, and their disdain for anything as distinctly organic as legs, Lokhust Destroyers replace their legs with an anti-gravity platform to make themselves a more stable gun platform.
- Multi-Armed and Dangerous: In their attempts to increase the amount of carnage they can unleash, Skorpekh, Hexmark and Ophydian Destroyers attach additional arms to their robotic bodies so that they can make use of more death-dealing weapons during a battle.
- Omnicidal Maniac: Destroyers embody the Necrons' desire to cleanse the galaxy of organic life, even to the microbial level. Most other Necrons find this obsession to be extremely unnerving. For example, in The Infinite and the Divine, Trayzn comes across a damaged Destroyer who can only crawl on the ground, and it spends all of its time digging into the dirt for insects to crush with its working arm. Later on, the Destroyer's commander mentions how they are systematically working their way to the planet's ice poles to melt them so that the desalination of the seas will speed of the collapse of the planet's ecosystem.
- Parrying Bullets: The unusual movements of Skorpekh Destroyers give them a the speed and agility to deflect enemy fire with their hypephase blades. In-game, the Whirling Onslaught Wargear Stratagemnote allows Skorpekh Destroyers using this style of movement to inflict penalties to enemy wound rolls as they deflect their shots.
- Snake People: Ophydian Destroyers have modified themselves to such an extent that they consist of an Immortal torso sitting atop a thin robotic tail. These snake-like bodies allow the insane Necrons to easily dodge enemy attacks and speed their movement through the ground.
- Straw Nihilist: Destroyers, as of the fifth edition Necron codex. After centuries of living in metal shells, they have lost any concern for the glory of battle or their own bodily integrity.
- Tunnel King: Ophydian Destroyers combine their sharp, bladed fingers with dimensional displacement technology — similar to that used by Canoptek Wraiths — to tunnel quickly through almost any surface so that they can burst through the ground beneath the feet of their prey.
Szarekh the Silent King
The last Silent King, the head of the ruling Necrontyr Triarchy, it was Szarekh who struck the deal with the Deceiver to cure his race's sickly bodies and aid them in their war against the Old Ones, resulting in the birth of the Necrons. Deeply regretting his decision, it was Szarekh who led the rebellion against the C'tan before ordering the entire Necron empire into hibernation so that they could reclaim the galaxy once the rising power of the Aeldari had been broken by time. While his race slept, Szarekh went into self-imposed exile outside the galaxy only to return to warn his people of the oncoming menace of the Tyranids.
- Arch-Enemy: Szarekh considers the Tyranids to be one of the greatest threats to the Necrons' reconquest of the galaxy, ending his self-imposed exile to help his people combat the incoming threat. The Silent King will use almost any tactic, including allying with lesser races such as humanity, if it means defeating the Great Devourer.
- The Atoner: Szarekh himself did not enter hibernation, believing he had far too much work to do to redeem himself.
- Badass Cape: Szarekh wears a long, flowing cloak made from the Necrodermis skin of a C'tan, showing his domination of the Star Gods that once enslaved his race.
- Cannot Tell a Lie: His speaker claims that since Szarekh does not talk, he can't lie. Of course, he also says Szarekh was a friend of Sanguinius despite being outside the Galaxy at the time.
- Chrome Champion: In the "Word of the Silent King" short story, Szarekh is portrayed as this. Rather than looking like a metal skeleton, the Silent King looked like a living metal man with a golden mask.
- Deflector Shield: The Silent King's Dais of Dominion is protected by a transtemporal field that scatters the energy of any enemy attack to leave Szarekh and the Final Tetriach unharmed.
- Dominance Through Furniture: He keeps and displays an imprisoned C'tan above him as a statement that, yes, he can control even the star gods and reduce them to a power source for his own ends.
- Ethnicity Monarch: He was once the ruler of all Necrontyr. In the modern day, after his having been absent from the galaxy for millions years, the Necrontyr empire has long since fractured into hundreds of squabbling dynasties, but he is determined to unify the Necrons under his rule once more and lead them to victory against their many enemies. This is contested by some of the more successful Phaerohs, such as Imotekh, who would rather see themselves in this role.
- The Exile: Szarekh made the deal with the C'tan that turned the Necrontyr into the Necrons, then led the revolt against them when they defeated the Old Ones. Blaming himself for what happened to the Necrontyr, he ordered the Necrons to go into stasis and gave the individual dynasties independence to seek out a means to restore themselves to organic life. After this, he left the Milky Way, vowing to never return... and then ran back when he discovered the Tyranids in the intergalactic void, telling the tomb worlds to wake — if the Tyranids strip the galaxy of all life, then the Necrons won't have any organic bodies to take over.
- Fire-Forged Friends: He is apparently "loathe to turn upon an ally", as seen when he and the Blood Angels pull an Enemy Mine against the Tyranids and don't immediately go back to killing each other.
- Godzilla Threshold: When Szarekh left the galaxy behind, he genuinely meant to leave what was left of his people to decide their own fate. Then he ran straight into the Hive Fleets, and promptly turned around, determined to reclaim control of the Necrons again.
- Hover Board: The Silent King rides into battle atop the Dais of Dominion that incorperates an imprisoned C'tan Shard and a pair of enslaved Phaerons. From this hovering platform, Szarekh oversees the battlefield and issues commands to his followers through his Phaerons.
- Mysterious Past: It is mentioned in the 9th Edition Codex that Szarekh's history has been hidden from his own Necron subjects, as none of them recall how Szarekh ruled, from which dynasty he originated from, or even why he went into exile in the first place. Worse, it seems that the Necrons were programmed to never dwell on these gaps in history.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: The Silent King wants the Necrons to fight the Tyranids because their campaign to devour all life in the galaxy will deprive the Necrons of any hope of transferring themselves into fleshy bodies if it succeeds. What's more, he want the Necrons to take the brunt of the effort upon themselves, so that the organic species would not feed the Tyranids with their failed attempts.
- Time Abyss: While the vast majority of the Necrons spent the time between the War in Heaven and the 41st millennium in hibernation, Szarekh was conscious and awake for the full sixty million years.
- The Slow Path: He stayed waking and lucid for the full sixty million years between the Necrons' rebellion and the present day, while the rest of his race slumbered.
Imotekh the Stormlord, Phaeron of the Sautekh Dynasty
Originally one of the most talented nemesors of the Sautekh Dynasty, Imotekh was appalled by the anarchic civil war that had engulfed the crownworld of Mandragora after the death of the phaeron during the Great Sleep. Raising his own forces, the tactically brilliant Overlord crushed his opposition and declared himself phaeron. Turning to the wider galaxy, Imotekh has begun the recreation of the ancient Necron Empire, subjugating other Dynasties and enslaving or annihilating the lesser races that infest his territory. In the wake of the opening of the Great Rift, Imotekh has launched a campaign to save and subsume those tomb worlds awaken by the catastrophe, his forces suffering high casualties defending these newly risen planets from the daemonic hordes that threaten them.
- An Arm and a Leg: Imotekh's preferred way of marking those he defeats is by severing a limb, usually the right hand. High Marshal Helbrecht of the Black Templars and Farseer Eldorath Starbane of Alaitoc have been subject to this particular mutilation by him.
- Arch-Enemy: Of High Marshal Helbrecht of the Black Templars, after Imotekh defeated and humiliated Helbrecht at the Battle of Schrödinger VII.
- Fire-Breathing Weapon: Imotekh wields a Necron artefact known as the Gauntlet of Firenote . An armoured glove and vambrace, the Gauntlet allows Imotekh to unleash sheets of green fire to consume his enemies with an attack equal in power to that of an Imperial flamer.
- Four-Star Badass: Imotekh rules an empire that outstrips those of many other factions in terms of size, and is a fearsome opponent on the battlefield. In-game, the 7th edition codex made Imotekh a Lord of War, but he was changed back to an HQ for the 8th edition rules.
- Pride: Imotekh's biggest weakness is an intense arrogant need to display his superiority to enemy commanders. Among other things, if they do not perish in battle, he almost inevitably lets them go so they can reflect on how he beat them — admittedly, usually with a severed limb or other mutilation to remember him by. In many cases, said foe will use this chance to warn or prepare their allies for any future battles with the Stormlord, turning whatever successful plan he had into a weapon against him.
- Shock and Awe: Imotekh is known as "the Stormlord" because of his ability to manipulate the weather, creating dense stormcover that periodically rains down lightning upon his enemies. In-game, Imotekh has a once-per-game attack that potentially hits a unit within 48" of him with 2-6 mortal wounds, with a 1-in-6 chance to hit each unit within 6" of the original target with D3 mortal wounds.
- Who Would Be Stupid Enough?: He's one of the most brilliant strategic minds in the galaxy, capable of outwitting everyone from humans to Tyranids to even the notoriously scheming Eldar. The only foe who gives him trouble is the Orks, who are always so psychotically stupid and reckless that he can't actually plan against their shenanigans.
Illuminor Szeras, Architect of Biotransference
The Necrontyr scientist who developed the biotransference procedure from the arcane knowledge provided by the C'tan, Szeras believes that the transformation of his race was but one step on the path of evolution towards becoming energy beings of god-like power. In an effort to make his dream a reality, Szeras performs horrific experiments in an attempt to unlock the secrets of life but, despite centuries of bloody research, the ultimate understanding he seeks remains beyond his grasp. In an attempt to secure sufficient research material, Szeras offers his ability to augment almost every facet of Necron technology to ambitious Overlords in return for living captives to continue his studies.
- Alas, Poor Yorick: Averted; Szeras' original model is studying the severed head of an Eldar, but in the fluff there'd be no emotion other than cold scientific curiosity in that scene.
- And I Must Scream: Szeras' lab machinery keeps his subjects alive and awake as they're being vivisected.
- Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Szeras always saw biotransference as merely a step on the path to becoming a being of pure energy and the ultimate goal of his research is to transcend both flesh and metal to become a god.
- Evilutionary Biologist: He loves to dissect biological specimens in order to find inspiration for upgrades to Necron technology and physical function, as well as to seek out the secrets to becoming a being of pure energy, free of all ties to the physical form.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: Well, eye in Szeras' case. In-game, the 7th edition rules gave him the Gaze of Flame, a defensive weapon which gave his eye a ghastly green glow and had a damaging effect on enemy morale which even affected Tyranids and daemons.
- Loves the Sound of Screaming: Averted; he finds it annoying that the things he operates on (without any form of sedative) make a lot of noise, so he just turns off his hearing and continues working.
- Multi-Armed and Dangerous: Szeras had two additional arms attached to his chest so that he can fight while continuing his work. While on his 5th Edition model these arms were relatively small manipulators, his 8th Edition model replaces them with full-sized arms.
- Spider People: Szeras is the mechanical equivalent, sporting four spider-like legs. His original model took this one step further, as his manipulator arms gave him the appearance of having pedipalps as well as regular arms.
- What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Szeras' only concern in regard to organic lifeforms is what he can glean from taking them apart; he is completely indifferent to the suffering they endure in his care, although the screaming does get on his nerves.
Orikan the Diviner, Seer of the Necrontyr
The most famous and talented Chronomancernote and astrologer of the Necron race, Orikan is renowned for the accuracy of his predictions. Despite this reputation, Cryptek's predictions aren't 100% accurate and Orikan is sometimes forced to rely on his greatest secret, the ability to travel back down his own timestream, to ensure that his visions come to pass. Orikan's ultimate goal is to make himself the vessel for powerful celestial energies, and after millennia of manipulation he believes this goal is almost within reach.
- And I Must Scream: Ultimately subverted as he was no worse for wear mentally. But being buried inside a planet and having to spend three centuries digging his way out towards the end of The Infinite and the Divine couldnt have been nice.
- Astrologer: Orikan is the most accomplished astromancer of the entire Necron race, able to use the movements of the stars to calculate the future with a greater degree of accuracy than any other Cryptek.
- Cassandra Truth: Orikan foresaw just how badly biotransference would turn out for the Necrontyr, but the ruling Triach at that time ignored his warnings.
- Evil Is Petty: Orikan could be an incredibly dangerous foe, but his sole concern is protecting his reputation as an impeccable diviner. As a consequence, he only acts to ensure that his predictions come true, and doesn't care about anything else.
- Goal in Life: While the many Necrons seek to undo the biotransference and return to their living forms, Orikan has dedicated his existance to taking thngs further, by become a being of pure cosmic energy and transcend the material world all together.
- Gone Horribly Wrong: When Orikan uses his time-travel ability, there is often unintended fallout. For example, when he prevented the salvation of the Imperial Navy dockyards of Helios VI by the Silver Skulls 4th Company, he caused no less than five Space Marine Chapters (including the surviving Silver Skulls) to fall upon the Lazar system and destroy the tomb world that had commissioned him to predict whether or not the dockyards would survive Waaagh! Skullkrak.
- Jerkass: Orikan has little respect for authority and treats Necron nobles with quiet sneering contempt.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Despite his massive ego and distrust of authority, Orikan is quite right that much of his people's suffering could have been avoided if the Triarch had heeded his warnings.
- Just One Second Out of Sync: Orikan wields the Staff of Tomorrow, which is a fraction of a second ahead of normal spacetime and which allows Orikan to strike his enemies before they've even thought to move.
- Karma Houdini: He uses his foresight and time-travel abilities to prevent any negative consequences for him personally, even when other Necron Overlords try to punish him for his insolence.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Like Trazyn, his status during The Infinite and the Divine is more that of an Anti-Villain than anything. Still, had he not been so hasty in wanting to open Serenade's infinity gate, a Space Marine strike force would have arrived instead to cleanse it of orks, left it unhabitable and free for him and Trazyn to do what they want with. But now thanks to their intervention, not only did the Space marine strike force go and destroy a tomb world instead, the planet will soon face another invasion and be subject to an Exterminatus.
- Saying Too Much: When Trazyn puts him on trial for stealing the Astrarium Mysterios, Orikan argues that he stealing it doesn't matter as Trazyn already stole it from another Tomb World, knowing it would be destroyed by a solar flare. He then tries to use this in order to get Trazyn executed for murder when he didn't warn the Tombs world spirit, except that during his subsequent rant he lets slip that he also knew about said solar flare and also did nothing. Resulting in him having to reverse time in order to prevent them both from being executed.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Subverted in the novel The Infinite and the Divine. When Trazyn has him put on trial for breaking into his gallery, Orikan argues that the council cannot judge him because two of the three members have had dealings with him in the past, which could sway their opinions. As a result, it would be impossible for any verdict they pass to be seen as being completely free of bias. This would have succeeded in getting the case postponed if Trazyn had not invoked his right to a mediator to keep it going.
- Super Mode:
- When the stars are in a certain alignment, Orikan's body is enhanced by powerful celestial energies that greatly enhance his abilities and his ultimate goal is to manipulate events so that this state becomes permanent. In-game this is represented by the 'The Stars are Right' ability that, in all editions, boosts his characteristics to the equivalent of a C'tan Shard.
- The Infinite and the Divine goes a bit more into details as to how he attained the ability to Astral Project into an Energy Being for brief periods of time and, when given a strong enough power source, is able to effortlessly defeat six Deciever shards at once, albeit incredibly shaken mentally afterwards.
- Time Master: The most skilled of them all amongst the Crypteks of his school.
- Unskilled, but Strong: Orikan was a diviner and astromancer in life, and so while his body (like all Necrons) is incredibly strong, durable and fast (and he is an extremely competent cryptek to boot), his actual fighting abilities are almost null. The narration even comments that if his and Trazyns first physical clash in The Infinite and The Divine had happened during flesh times, the sight of a spindly Nerd and an old hunchback wrestling would almost have been comical.
- Worthy Opponent: With Trazyn. Their antics range from Sitcom Arch-Nemesis to Arch-Enemy, but they have a rivalry going back a long ways that has spikes of violence and smooth points along the way. Their contrasting personalities don't help: Trazyn's main focus in life is preserving history and enjoying culture, Necron or otherwise; while Orikan has his sterile pursuit of science and ambitions for the future. Still, as much as they hate each other, they do respect one another and acknowledge one another as the closest thing to a peer that each other will get.
- Wrestler in All of Us: He is revealed to be a rather skilled wrestler in The Infinite and the Divine, where he is forced to grapple with a genestealer that Trayzn loosed upon him. This is due to him having briefly been in training to become an Immortal prior to becoming a Cryptek.
- Year Outside, Hour Inside: During 5th Edition Orikan carried a Temporal Snare, a rare device of the Chronomancy school capable of warping space-time to trap the enemy in a bubble of slow-time. In game terms this forced the entire opposition army to move at a far slower rate in their first turn. The device hasnt been mentioned in any subsequent editions however.
Trazyn the Infinite, Archeovist of the Solemnace Galleries
The most infamous and active of the Nihilakh Dynasty's overlords, and ruler of the tomb world of Solemnace, Trazyn is an obsessive collector of histories, artefacts and events that he deems worth preserving. Trazyn will go to any lengths to acquire new pieces for his collection, employing anything from stealthy abductions to full scale invasions to get what he wants, with even other Necron factions suffering at the hands of the overlord's obsession. At the outbreak of Abaddon's 13th Black Crusade Trazyn personally travelled to Cadia in an attempt to acquire interesting items before the world's destruction and, in the wake of the opening of the Great Rift, the Archeovist has used the resulting anarchy as an opportunity to secure, catalogue, and obtain everything he considers worth saving.
- 11th-Hour Ranger: He shows up (fighting alongside the Eldar Ynnari no less) to aid the Imperium during the Fall of Cadia, with masses of Imperial reinforcements drawn from his gallery. Unfortunately, it still wasn't enough to save Cadia.
- Ace Custom: His Boom Stick, the Empathic Obliterator, which is rumored to be based on scavenged Old Ones tech. If it kills his target, it can inflict a Total Party Kill on the target's allies, too.
- Actually a Doombot: He's very fond of body-doubles. There's some question as to whether the Body Surf example below is meant to represent him swiping his subordinates' bodies or just him cleverly using disguises to mislead attackers.
- In the The Infinite and The Divine he explicitly uploads himself into bodies under his command any time his current body is killed or if he simply chooses so, displacing the previously occupying mind. Upon that the body immediately morphs into his image, and the wording implies he doesn't even have "main" body, at least, not anymore.
- Adventurer Archaeologist: Evil Overlord version, but Trazyn was and always will be a treasure hunter first, ruler of an interstellar kingdom second.
- Affably Evil: If his message to Inquisitor Valeria is anything to go by. Fall of Cadia reveals that he legitimately saw Valeria as someone of like mind, and was saddened when she was apparently killed by another inquisitor.
- And I Must Scream: In one short story, he captures a Deathwatch kill team and the Orks they were fighting and adds them to his collection, stasis-locked and posed in the midst of combat while alive and fully aware.
- Body Backup Drive: Why they call him "the Infinite." He has many of his Mooks fitted with a device that allows him to transfer his consciousness into their bodies... and transfer right back out if they get destroyed.
- Cloudcuckoolander: His interest in finding artifacts and putting them into a museum is essentially his only concern. He even thanked an Inquisitor for her generous "gift" of 5 regiments of live Catachans. This gets lampshaded in the fluff of one of his abilities — in the same way as troops he can take hold of mission objectives, but what he's actually doing is simply searching for yet another artifact. Any strategic advantage due to that is declared as sheer coincidence.
- Collector of the Strange: He takes sentient beings and uses stasis fields to convert them into displays to populate his dioramas of notable historic events. This is one of the least weird aspects of his collection, which also includes, in addition to the aforementioned "items": a stuffed Enslaver; the wraithbone choir of Altansar; a Space Marine Primarchnote ; and the preserved head of Sebastian Thor, one of the greatest saints in the Ecclesiarchy's canon (assuming it's the real one; three different Ecclesiarchy shrines all claim to have Thor's head as well). In a short story in one White Dwarf issue, he even told Capt. Sicarius of the Ultramarines, to his face, that he was considering swiping Guilliman's corpse off Macragge, as he was "an old friend". The end of Fall of Cadia strongly implies, and the Hammer and Bolter episode "Artefacts" confirms, that he's also done this to the renowned general Ursakar Creed, saving his life in the process.
- Expy: His Affably Evil nature, appearance and penchant for using body doubles to do his work, makes him a dead ringer to Doctor Doom.
- The Friend Nobody Likes: He is banned from a great number of Necron tomb worlds due to his habit of swiping anything that isn't nailed down.
- Herd-Hitting Attack: Trazyn excels at wiping out hordes, thanks to his Empathic Obliterator: if he kills a character with it, each unit from the same faction (friend or foe) within 6" takes D3 mortal wounds.
- It Amused Me:
- He's motivated entirely by stocking his collection with strange and incredible things.
- This is also his main reason for aiding the Imperium in their defense of Cadia. He thought playing the role of hero sounded fun.
- Just the First Citizen: Though technically only an Overlord, Trazyn controls so much territory and so many subordinates that he's pretty much a full-on Phaeron himself.
- Mind Control: Trazyn never leaves the tomb without a set of Mindshackle Scarabs, although this isn't reflected in the 8th edition rules.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Anti-Villain at best, but multiple times during "The Infinite and the Divine" his actions have unintended consequences:
- He intends to retrieve an artifact from an Exodite world. Said artifact is integrated into Eldars' World Spirit, and removal destroys it, essentially scouring the planet from the Eldar and making it available to incursions by Orks and conquest Imperium. Although he took and preserved the Eldars too, he never leaves his home without a stasis generator, after all.
- He pranks Orikan by unleashing a Genestealer on him. At this point he doesn't know about their biology, and it leads to the planet being infested to the point of Exterminatus. Right when he and Orikan are trying to open the necron tomb underneath.
- He's obsessed both with phaeron Nephret's body, lying in the Serenade's tomb, and his rivalry with Orikan, so he doesn't listen to the latter's warnings about Nephret being secretly a transcendent shard of Deceiver, and opens the tomb.
- After the point above he secretly traps one shard of Deceiver inside his own planet and feeds it lesser splinters in exchange for information. Orikan, narrator and even he all acknowledge that the shard will escape and bring untold ruin, the only question is when.
- Nightmare Fetishist: Some of the stuff he likes to collect, and some of the things he does to what he collects, is genuinely horrifying.
- Party in My Pocket:
Orikan: I hope you brought an army.
- Trayzn brought a number of Tesseract Labyrinths to Cadia and used them to unleash Imperial forces he'd had in storage for some time.
- And he did so again in The Infinite and the Divine, entering the final battle with forces he'd collected over the course of the book:
Trazyn: You think so little of me, dear colleague. I brought five.
- Rage-Breaking Point: When Orikan destroys an especially prized diorama during The Infinite and the Divine, the usually affable Trazyn throws all semblance of civility out the window and sends a Deathmark assassin after him. He even goes so far as to possesses the Deathmark's body so he can personally shoot Orikan, no longer caring about the artifact they'd been fighting over.Trazyn: You can keep it.
- Small Name, Big Ego: Trazyn greatly overestimates his skill in certain areas. For example, his "masterfully deceiving" pseudonyms are all simply plucked from ancient Necrontyr mythology and literature, though he might be justified in assuming his opponents aren't going to be familiar with them.
- Time Abyss: While he probably wasn't awake for the full sixty million years that Szarekh was, he was up and about for at least ten millennia, if his claims to have known the loyalist Primarchs and his knowledge of Vulkan's lost artifacts are true.
- Unskilled, but Strong: Like Orikan, he enjoys the benefits of having an almost indestructible, self-repairing, extremely strong necrodermis body that can react at speeds unmatched by nearly anything else in the galaxy. Like Orikan, having spent his entire mortal life as an archivist and even most of his time as Necron a scholar and collector above all, his actual martial skills are almost non-existent.
- Worthy Opponent: With Orikan. Their antics range from Sitcom Arch-Nemesis to Arch-Enemy, but they have a rivalry going back a long ways that has spikes of violence and smooth points along the way. Their contrasting personalities don't help: Trazyn's main focus in life is preserving history and enjoying culture, Necron or otherwise; while Orikan has his sterile pursuit of science and ambitions for the future. Still, as much as they hate each other, they do respect one another and acknowledge one another as the closest thing to a peer that each other will get.
Nemesor Zahndrekh and Vargard Obyron, Grand High Masters of Gidrim
One of the greatest generals to lead the Necron legions into battle, nemesor Zahndrekh was one of the many overlords to suffer terrible mental degradation during the Great Sleep with the result that he believes he is still a being of flesh and blood, fighting the wars of eons past. Zahndrekh's loyal bodyguard, the vargard Obyron, is well aware of their current circumstances but has given up on trying to bring his master to his senses, instead choosing to mitigate the worst of the nemesor's eccentricates, and silencing Zahndrekh's opponents and detractors in the Royal Court. Despite his madness, Zahndrekh remains a tactical genius and is still counted as one of the greatest military leaders of the Sautekh Dynasty.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Despite his robo-Alzheimer's, Zahndrekh is still a skilled ruler and an amazing general.
- Cool Old Guy: Zahndrekh is this in killer alien space robot form. A Necron who suffered some mental damage, and now believes he is still a Necrontyr, as such he is quite friendly to most people he meets and believes in honorable fighting tactics and conduct.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Zahndrekh's prisoners are taken into his ship, shown the glories of the Necrontyr Empire, feasted at meals the old fellow can't quite eat anymore, and generally treated quite civilly. His cameo in The Twice-Dead King: Ruin indicates he was like this even in life; his method of mediating a treaty between two warring dynasties involves saying whatever comes to mind and cracking jokes that mortally offend both parties.
- Cloudcuckoolander's Minder: All of Zahndrekh's prisoners are eventually dealt with by Obyron, who drops them off somewhere or just kills them and makes it look like an accident.
- Dangerous Forbidden Technique: In the novella Severed, Obyron can push the inner workings of his Necron body to its limits (for instance turning his chronosenses to the maximum, using divination algorithms, or making his central energy reactor turn half of its energy into mass), which allows him to have Combat Clairvoyance and become The Juggernaut. However, the technique overclocks his body and it becomes susceptible to critical failure, and plus, Obyron loses chunks of his memory whenever he does this.
- Decadent Court: Completely averted. Zahndrekh is honorable and doesn't hold with political factions and in-fighting, and Obyron helps keep his master's court that way by disassembling any nobles who try to overthrow him.
- Expy: Zahndrekh and Obyron are basically 40K's version of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza given a suitably macabre twist. The way their original models were posed was explicitly to make them the Necron counterparts to Creed and Kell.
- Insane Equals Violent: Inverted. Zahndrekh's insanity actually makes him less violent than almost everyone else in the setting.
- Make It Look Like an Accident: Zahndrekh still feels compelled by long-discarded articles of war to take prisoners, so it falls to his adjutant and bodyguard Obyron to ensure that the prisoners were "killed while trying to escape" once enough time has passed.
- Master Swordsman: Obyron, though his Weapon of Choice is the Warscythe.
- Man Behind the Man: Subverted. Though many would expect this, even other Necrons, Obyron is quite content to be Zahndrekh's aide and simply "smooths things out" for the deranged ruler. He also makes sure that no one else gets to either.
- Obfuscating Insanity: Some of Zahndrekh's dialog at the conclusion of the novella Severed indicate that he could be more aware of the reality of his situation than he usually seems to be, only for him to contradict himself almost immediately afterwards. The author, Nate Crowely, has stated that this depiction was based on a relative with Parkinson's and that his awareness of his condition varies.I think Zahndrekh comes and goes, too. Yes, there is the moment at the end where he reveals that his condition may not be entirely what it seems — but I think that for long stretches of time, it truly is what it appears to be. Whether it began as a coping mechanism or not, more often than not now, he does not see the same world as Obyron.
- Shout-Out: In 8th edition, one of the possible results for Zahndrekh's Transient Madness rule is titled "Solarmills? Charge!", a reference to the famous incident where Don Quixote attacked windmills under the impression that they were giants.
- Stone Wall: Zahndrekh is mediocre on the offense, but between his excellent saves and special rules he can tank hits until the robo-cows come home. Also, any enemy he's pinned down in melee is at risk of having Obyron teleport in and cut them in half.
- Undying Loyalty: Though they are now both metal skeletons and his master is completely out of his gourd, Obyron still loyally serves Zahndrekh with all his might. He can even teleport directly to his lord's side if the old fellow's engaged.Only the deathless can truly comprehend the burden of unfailing loyalty.
Anrakyr the Traveller, Lord of the Pyrrhian Legions
Unlike many of his fellow overlords, Anrakyr awoke from the Great Sleep with much of his mind and sanity intact. His mind is now filled with a single purpose: the reunification of the Necron dynasties. Abdicating his position as ruler of the tomb world of Pyrrhia, Anrakyr now searches the galaxy for still sleeping tomb worlds and doing what he can to reawaken them, even if that means the destruction of lesser races that have unknowingly colonised the world in the eons since the Necrons entered their stasis-sleep. In return for his assistance, Anrakyr requests that his allies permanently surrender a tithe of warriors and equipment to assist him in his mission, taking his due whether the tomb world in question agrees to the 'request' or not.
- Abdicate the Throne: He did this so that he would be free to travel the galaxy and awaken other tomb worlds.
- Base-Breaking Character: In-Universe, there are almost as many Necrons who see him as the worst kind of masterless brigand as there are those who consider him the highest avatar of nobility. It's noted that this corresponds directly with whether their world reinforced his armies willingly or not.
- Blade on a Stick: He wields a Warscythe, a traditional weapon of Necron nobility.
- Dirty Business: If the quote above is any indication, this is his attitude regarding cleansing tomb worlds of non-Necron life. However, there are times that he does get seriously pissed about it, especially if the "invaders" have damaged or destroyed the buried tomb complex.
- Honor Before Reason:
- He has badly reduced his forces in several pointless wars against the current inhabitants of worlds where the Necron tombs were long ago destroyed.
- When Illuminor Szeras went against his orders by having soldiers he wanted to spare killed, he was so disgusted that he immediately called off their alliance, not caring how beneficial it might have been.
- I Did What I Had to Do: Anrakyr justifies seizing warriors and weapons from tomb worlds unwilling to part with them in this manner, as he needs them to bolster his own constantly-worn down armies so that his overall mission can succeed.
- Technopath: He can take control of enemy vehicles and turn them against their side. In-game, this translates to a chance to take control of a weapon on a vehicle within 12" of him.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Begrudgingly aided the Blood Angels when Hive Fleet Leviathan attacked them because a Necron Core World was in the way.
- Walking the Earth: Anrakyr travels from tomb world to tomb world, helping out whatever Necron forces are there and making every attempt to erase what might be inhabiting those worlds other than Necrons.
Vast energy beings that feed on stars, the C'tan manipulated the sickly Necrontyr race into becoming the mechanical slave race known as the Necrons. Once the war against the Old Ones was won however, the Necrons overthrew their cruel and duplicitous masters, shattering the immortal Star Gods into numerous shards and imprisoning them in extra-dimensional prisons to be used as living weapons by their former slaves.
- Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu:
- In the current fluff, the Necrons defeated the C'tan but were forced to go into hibernation as a consequence.
- In-game, if you destroy a C'tan shard, it will explode and potentially kill anything near it.
- Combat Tentacles: Transcendent C'tan are surrounded by withering tendrils of crackling energy that they can use to attack their enemies. In the 8th Edition of the game, these tendrils are able to cleave through most armour and can cause massive damage to enemy models.
- Defeat Equals Explosion: Defeating a C'tan shard in battles is quite dangerous because it means the necrodermis shell that contains the C'tan is destroyed, releasing the energy contained within in a violent explosion. Throughout the editions of the game, several rules have represented this by having nearby units being hurt whenever the C'tan models were destroyed.
- Eldritch Abomination: Ancient star-gods billions of years old, who originated as vast, shapeless entities that ate stars. In the modern day they've been bound to physical form and gone from eating stars to eating Life Energy, but remain some of the most powerful and alien entities in the galaxy.
- Elite Four: There used to be more of them, but by the 41st millennium, the only remaining ones are the Nightbringer, the Deceiver, the Void Dragon, and the Outsider. As time went on, GW started introducing more of them.
- Emotion Eater: Mainly gibbering terror. Their big favorite, though, is "Life Energy", the bio-electricity of most living beings. Of course, to a being that used to suck the nuclear reactions from the hearts of stars, one human being (or whatever) isn't even an appetiser...
- Fatal Flaw: Gluttony. After feeding on the souls of the lesser beings, some C'tan started eating each other.
- Greater-Scope Villain: Prior to 5th Edition, the C'tan were competing with the Chaos Gods for this. These days, they are only at a small fraction of their former power, but their presence is still felt despite their reduced roles and power. There are Deceiver shards known to be loose around the Galaxy and it has been confirmed by supplementary novels that a shard of the Void Dragon lays dormant in Mars.
- Jerkass Gods: The C'tan callously manipulated and enslaved the Necrontyr, and then forced them to become the Necrons. Mephet'ran, the Deceiver, ups that by going so far as to trick his fellow Jerkass Gods into eating each other.
- Leaking Can of Evil: Transcendent C'tan are too powerful to be fully contained within the Pocket Dimension of a Tesseract Labyrinth, and are held within Tesseract Vaults instead. A Tesseract Vault is a massive anti-gravity vehicle that seals its supremely powerful prisoner by channelling the Transcendent C'tan's own power back at the heartless star-god to erode its artificial body as quickly as it can repair itself, thus offering some measure of control over the C'tan's abilities. Even this isn't enough to fully contain the power of the Transcendent C'tan, however, and the Vault itself is constantly being disintegrated, forcing numerous Canoptek constructs to constantly repair the prison.
- Magma Man: C'tan Shards are able to use their power of the material universe to cause magma to rise from a planet's mantle. This Seismic Assault C'tan power immolates its targets and, from 8th Edition onwards, gives the C'tan the chance to inflict multiple mortal wounds on the target.
- Multiple-Choice Past: As a means of explaining some of the changes that the C'tan have gone through over the course of the various editions of the game, the 8th Edition Codex: Necrons mentions that the in-universe knowledge of the C'tan is often fragmentary and contradictory, with even the records held by the Aeldari in the Black Library, on Ulthwé and on Alaitoc being unable to agree on hard facts.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: The four most well-known C'tan are known mostly by their titles, rather than their true names:
- Aza'Gorod, the Nightbringer
- Mephet'ran, the Deceiver
- Mag'ladroth, the Void Dragon
- Tsara'noga, the Outsider
- Pieces of God: The C'tan, the oldest known beings in the universe, got their asses handed to them by the Necrons and were shattered into dozens of Shards. The Shards are autonomous, acting as what are basically demigods, and the Necrons are trying to capture and tame them. Transcendant C'tan are what happens if too many Shards merge together — if enough of them unite, they reform into the original C'tan. This is obviously something the Necrons try to prevent at all costs.
- Playing with Fire: Their mastery of the physical universe allows all C'tan to spontaneously create and manipulate fire to some extent. In game this is represented by the Cosmic Fire Power of the C'tan, which sees the Shard call down a pillar of black fire to immolate the enemy, having a 50% chance of causing multiple mortal wounds against nearby enemy units in the 8th Edition version of the rules.
- Power Floats: The near-unlimited power of C'tan, even in shard form, allows them to ignore the forces of gravity and float steadily across the battlefield. The 8th Edition rules represent this by giving them the Fly Keyword so that they follow the same rules as models with jump packs and wings.
- Reality Warper: To C'tan, reality is merely another weapon to turn upon their foes. C'tan Shards are able to summon forth storms of annihilating negative matter, shatter the very bones of a planet itself or even cast their enemies out of existence with but a thought.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The personalities of the two playable C'tan are opposites. The Deceiver loves to screw with other beings in several different ways; the Nightbringer just wants to kill lots and lots of people. The Deceiver has screwed the Nightbringer over several times, first convincing it to eat other C'tan so that it would have less competition and then telling the Old Ones where its tomb world was at the end of the War in Heaven.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: Transcendent C'tan Shards are imprisoned within Tesseract Vaults, which barely contain the struggling C'tan from breaking loose. The Necrons often bring said vaults to war, but usually as a last resort, for the vengeful C'tan are likely to bring their wrath upon their jailers should they break free of their prisons.
- Shock and Awe: Their mastery of the material universe allows the C'tan to create and control lightning at will, something that is represented in game by the "Transdimensional Thunderbolt" Power of the C'tan. In 7th Edition this Power allowed the C'tan to unleash a powerful attack with the same special rules as tesla weapons. The 8th Edition rules for the attack meanwhile give the C'tan the chance of causing mortal wounds against multiple units.
- Star Killing: Before encountering the Necrontyrs, the C'tan were essentially star parasites, leeching off the energy from the stars and shortening the stars' lifespan significantly. They then changed their diet and became emotion eaters after meeting the Necrontyrs.
- Star Power: With the Power of the C'Tan "Sky of Falling Stars". With it, C'tan Shards can create a meteor shower and bombard their foes with "beautiful spheres of light". In the 9th Edition rules, it means that C'tan Shards can inflict D3 Mortal Wounds to potentially up to three enemy units in the vicinity.
- Sufficiently Advanced Alien: The C'tan are the oldest beings in the 40K universe, and were immensely powerful at their peak, but not having physical bodies meant that their ability to influence things was limited.
- Time Abyss: The C'Tan are literally billions of years old. They demonstrably existed before the Old Ones/Necrontyr war millions of years back, and according to some accounts were created during the birth of the universe itself.
- Touch of Death: Nothing a C'tan knocks down is getting back up again.
- Time Master: With the Power of the C'Tan "Time's Arrow". C'tan shards can twist the flow of causality and remould temporal streams to erase a foe's existence from space and time. In the 9th Edition rules for the Necrons, it means that C'tans can potentially remove a model with a dice roll, provided they don't have too many Wounds.
- Villain Decay: Courtesy of the retconned lore. Originally, C'tan were some of the most ferocious things any army could face. They were star gods in living metal bodies in lore; they were nigh-unstoppable death machines on the tabletop. These days, both in lore and on the table, C'tan are less threatening than your average greater daemon, particularly because Matt Ward pretty much undid all their accomplishments. Oldcron fans were pissed. In fact, it got so bad that GW issued a characteristic Shrug of God stating that despite the unavoidable loss of badassery, the C'tan were merely set back by the Necrons' rebellion and there are a lot of C'tan Shards and even whole C'tan who remain unaccounted for, allowing those who actually like them to assume that there are C'tan who regained control of their Necron jailers or went on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge after breaking free.
Aza'gorod, the Nightbringer
A powerful and sadistic god, the Nightbringer originally inhabited the star of the Necrontyr home world and was worshipped as death incarnate by the short-lived species.
- Almighty Idiot: The shards of the Nightbringer are absurdly powerful even housing only a fraction of his strength but are little more than weapons, with his memories having been sealed.
- Ax-Crazy: The Nightbringer loves nothing more than to kill with its own raw power.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: So obsessed with death and suffering is the Nightbringer that he used his power to kill in manners that even the Haemonculi of the Dark Eldar can't rival.
- Dark Is Evil: Aza'Gorod has the title of the Nightbringer because death is associated with darkness in his case.
- Deadly Gaze: The Nightbringer's has a special power named the "Gaze of Death", described as having dark energies leap from the Nightbringer shard's eyes (and maw), reducing foes to blackened bones.
- The Dreaded: The Nightbringer's face is feared as the literal personification of death for the sheer amount of killing he did across so many species. Even now his shards are used with caution, as if mishandled and his memories returned it could lead to a resurgence of his path of butchery.
- God of the Dead: Took the pantheon position as such and took to showing his power by way of slaughter and ordering his followers to kill en masse as well.
- The Grim Reaper: The Nightbringer is obsessed with causing dread and death. In his heyday, he traumatized intelligent life so badly that conceptions of death as a scythe-wielding reaper are the result of racial memory along with all things' fear of death... except the Orks.
- Immortals Fear Death: For all the Nightbringer's obsession with hurting and killing when he himself is threatened with the possibility of a bomb imprisoning his body for millions of years which he may not survive he responds by fleeing combat.
- Know When to Fold 'Em: For a Mad God the Nightbringer is functional and when threatened with millions of years of more imprisonment after it was freed and began slaughtering the rescuing Space Marines, the Nightbringer chooses to withdraw and regain its strength.
- Life Drain: A rule exclusive to the Nightbringer, who loved feeding on the life energy of the living. In the 9th Edition of the game, the rule "Drain Life" makes the Nightbringer especially deadly in assault as it negates any rule that would allow a model to ignore the wound it loses.
- Mind Rape: The Nightbringer casts visions of death, suffering and fear in all who witness him, with many permanently damaged or even dying from the horrific images he sends them.
- Omnicidal Maniac: The Nightbringer craves nothing but death and destruction and wishes for nothing more than to kill until there's none left to be done.
- Religion of Evil: The Nightbringer interacted with Necrontyr where he encouraged them to kill in his name as horribly as possible.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: The Necrons have to be careful handling his shards, as were he to regain his memories and restore his strength, it could easily spell the end of all existence.
- Sinister Scythe: It wields a large scythe in battle, and this imagery is burned into the psyches of many lesser races as the personification of death. In the 9th Edition of the rules, the "Scythe of the Nightbringer" is a potent melee weapon which can be used either in a "reaping sweep" with each successful hit being double and thus perfect for hordes of weaker units, or alternatively the Nightbringer can perform an "entropic blow", a truly potent attack at double the Nightbringer's natural Strength stat and which ignores Invulnerable Saves.
- Ungrateful Bastard: A group of Space Marines believed freeing him would result in the Nightbringer rewarding them... instead he begins to massacre the force that unsealed him, his hatred for life still burning bright.
- Unstoppable Rage: What drives the Nightbringer is anger and hatred for life and all that lives.
Mephet'ran, the Deceiver
Originally known as the Messenger, the manipulative and capricious star god that would become the Deceiver was one of the architects of the biotransference process that would create the Necrons.
- Believing Their Own Lies: All of the Deceiver's shards became delusional following its shattering and enslavement, each convinced that they are still in control and that it is the Necrons who are the slaves.
- The Charmer: His words are dangerously corruptive and his very manipulations themselves are said to be the single deadliest weapon in the War in Heaven.
- The Chessmaster: The Deceiver is an expert at playing long-running games and knows when to act and what to say to orchestrate entire galactic conflicts in his favor.
- Evil Genius: The Deceiver makes up for being the least powerful of the C'tan by being the most intelligent. Tellingly, he's the one who deals with manipulating the Necrontyr into giving up their free will.
- Fantastic Racism: Like all C'tan, the Deceiver is apathetic to the fates of mortals and views himself as far superior to any other race in the galaxy.
- Final Solution: After growing bored of a race he had worship him as a God, the Deceiver orders his faithful amongst the Necrons to wipe them out.
- Hated by All: Once rumors began to spread of the Deceiver's deceptions and treachery, its reputation among the other C'tan took a nose dive, and when the Necrons rebelled none of them came to its aid.
- Inferiority Superiority Complex: The Deceiver is implied to fawn over his own intelligence out of a feeling of weakness for being less powerful physically than other C'tan and shuts out these feelings by telling himself he's the most brilliant thing in the galaxy.
- Ironic Hell: The Deceiver now lives his days as broken shards that all believe he's the ultimate mastermind behind the Necrons when in reality he's being used as their slave to be used as a weapon.
- Light Is Not Good: The Deceiver has a bright, prominently golden appearance.
- Master of Illusion: The Deceiver's has a special rule named "Grand Illusion" which is meant to represent the fact that it casts illusions to throw off enemy commanders about the deployment of the Necrons. To represent the illusions, Necrons players can redeploy three units on the table at the beginning of each game.
- Manipulative Bastard: The Deceiver's hobbies include playing Xanatos Speed Chess and competing with the Eldar and Tzeentch for the title of "most Manipulative Bastard in 40K." A few things being attributed to more than one in the fluff help. For instance, the Laughing God is credited with the Outsider's cannibalism (and resulting madness), while the Deceiver pulled the exact same trick on the Nightbringer. Then again, the Deceiver and the Laughing God could be the same being.
- Mind Rape: The Deceiver's power "Cosmic Insanity" floods its victims with terrible cosmic truths, overwhelming even the strongest minds and driving them insane instantly and irrevocably. In-game, this Power of the C'tan can potentially inflict mortal wounds on enemy units depending the enemy's Leadership characteristic and a dice roll.
- Monstrous Cannibalism: The twisted Deceiver ate dead C'tan during the War in Heaven to feel superior to stronger members of his race.
- Playing Both Sides: Took to manipulating not only the Necrontyr but also the Old Ones and even other C'tan to conquer as many star zones for his own consumption as possible.
- Smug Snake: A clever manipulator, the Deceiver is nonetheless so self-assured of his capabilities that his lies wind up being his undoing. In the end of the War in Heaven, he's left completely alone as no one trusts him and have turned to reviling him.
- Trickster God: A very dark and twisted example. The Deceiver was the C'tan responsible for the most will-sapping of the oppressive measures against the Necrontyr and continued using its words to ensure the War in Heaven was as bloody as possible.
Mag'ladroth, the Void Dragon
One of the most powerful of the star gods, the Void Dragon was able to create almost invincible warriors. Despite its power, the Void Dragon was defeated and shattered during the Necron rebellion, its shards sealed on various planets around the galaxy.
- Anti-Vehicle: Thanks to its affinity with technology, the Void Dragon is especially suited to destroying Vehicles in-game. In the 9th Edition rules, most of its weapons inflict more damage to Vehicles, and its exclusive power "Voltaic Storm" not only inflicts more damage to Vehicles, it forces them to used their half-strength characteristics.
- Beware My Stinger Tail: Shards of the Void Dragon possess a long, segmented tail tipped with a pair of razor-sharp blades, which they use to slash at their opponents in melee, gaining additional attacks during each round of combat.
- The Blank: The Void Dragon's shard doesn't have a face. Its head is a hollow slab of necrodermis decorated with a Necron rune.
- Dragons Are Divine: It's theorized to be the Machine God that the Mechanicus worship. Its actual model has an eldritch appearance, like a cross between an angel and a dragon.
- Godzilla Threshold: During the Rangdan Xenocides, the Rangda were such a brutal and deadly foe that the Emperor himself briefly unsealed the Noctis Labyrinth to use the Void Dragon's shard against them. Afterwards, all records relating to this cataclysmic war were sealed.
- Javelin Thrower: The primary ranged attack of Shards of the Void Dragon is to throw its spear like a javelin. The cast spear travels with such speed and power that it can pass through both flesh and steel with equal ease, causing wounds on every unit and vehicle between the Shard and its target.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: It is heavily implied that the "Machine God" the Adeptus Mechanicus has been worshiping for millennia is actually a shard of the Void Dragon, entombed deep within the labyrinths of Mars. Sort of. The Emperor massively Out-Gambitted it and more or less ensured the actual Cult of the Dragon will always be a tiny minority.
- Top God: Usually recognized as the most powerful of the four remaining C'tan.
- World's Strongest Man: One of the most powerful beings in the 40k universe, and perhaps the most powerful purely physical being. Its mastery over technology makes it supremely powerful, its army was noted to be stronger, tougher, and deadlier than other C'tan's, and it survived an encounter with multiple Blackstone Fortresses, Warp-based weapons specifically designed to take down a C'tan.
Tsara'noga, the Outsider
An utterly insane star god, the very gaze of the Outsider can drive mortals mad. Little is known about the mad god but certain Aeldari texts and prophesies indicate that he was imprisoned outside the galaxy by the Aeldari god Kurnous the Hunter.
- Brown Note Being: It induces insanity in anything near it.
- Last of His Kind: Having fled the galaxy before the Necrons overthrew and enslaved it's kin, the Outsider is the only known C'tan that has not been sharded.
- The Exile: The Outsider is currently undergoing self-imposed exile within a Dyson Sphere. The experience, combined with the fact that the other C'tan it consumed are still awake inside of it, has driven it completely insane.
Llandu'gor, the Flayer
A C'Tan who was shattered so badly that it truly died, but not before cursing its killers to become the crazed Flayed Ones.
- Dying Curse: With its dying moments, it cursed its Necron destroyers with the Flayer virus, dooming them to degenerate into Flayed Ones over time.
- Hate Plague: The Necrons are vulnerable to the Flayer Virus, the Flayer's curse, which steals their sanity before sending them on a murderous rampage.
- Posthumous Character: It's notable for being the only C'Tan to actually be killed during the Necrons' original rebellion.
Nyadra'zatha, the Burning One
A C'tan assosiated with fire, it was the Burning One that allowed the Necrontyr to access the Old Ones' webway. Legend states that after the War in Heaven, Nyadra'zatha was shattered by the Silent King himself.
- Pyromaniac: It showed the Necrons how to access the Eldar's Webway because it wanted to burn it.
Yggra'nya, the World Maker
The C'tan responsable for the creation of the World Engine, Yggra'nya was imprisoned within its own creation after its defeat.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Angry at its defeat and improsonment, and when the Astral Knights showed up on their suicide run the World Maker convinced them to free him if he'd help them in turn. When they did, he wrecked the World Engine enough before leaving that the Imperial fleet could finish it off.