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Characters / Warhammer 40000 Necrons

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Death has arrived. We have come for you.

When the end comes it will be not at the hand of any mortal being of this or any other realm: death will come at the hands of the ancients, those who determined our fate aeons before we stood erect upon the holy ground of Terra and gazed up into the starry night.
Inquisitor Hoth

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.

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    General Necron tropes 

  • Affably Evil: The 5th Edition reimagining of the Necrons saw the higher ranked members of the Necron Dynasties retconned into fully rounded characters, some of whom (such as the special character Trazyn the Infinite) are highly cultured and gentlemanly beings who are prone to holding civil, if not downright jovial, conversations of articulate vocabulary, full of dry wit and sophisticated humor.
  • Ambiguous Robots: Necrons look like skeletal robots, but are apparently more Haunted Technology, or metal golems, or something.
  • Ancient Astronauts: While the rest of their race slept in stasis, the Triarch Praetorians travelled the galaxy, posing as gods on primitive worlds to ensure the laws and culture of the Necrontyr would survive should the Great Sleep fail.
  • Ancient Egypt: In terms of comparison to Warhammer armies, Necrons are quite similar to the Tomb Kings, taking a lot of their inspiration from Ancient Egypt (IN SPACE!). Changes in lore brought by the 5th Edition Codex bring them thematically even more in line with Ancient Egypt: Phaerons lead sector-wide "dynasties", subordinate Overlords and Lords scheme and plot against each other (and their ruler!), and many tomb worlds pursue their own agendas. All this amid the general goal of rebuilding the sundered Necrontyr Empire.
  • And I Must Scream: Happened to the entire race after the C'tan tricked them. They got better... mostly. One possible fluff explanation for the previous editions' Necrons differences from the current ones is that the earliest Necrons to awaken either went into stasis before the other ones rebelled or else their brains are just so messed up that they're permanently stuck following their original programming, unable to do anything but carry out orders given to them by masters who've been dead for millions of years...
  • Anti-Armor:
    • 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.
    • 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 Witch Species creations.
  • 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.
  • Armor-Piercing Attack: 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 Edition rules represent this with the 'Solar Fury' Dynastic Code that give the weapons of Mephrit Dynasty units a bonus to their Armour Penetration characteristic.
  • As Long as There is Evil: The Warp is anathema to the Necrons, but they realize that if they wipe out all other intelligent life, it won't be a problem any more. More immediately, they have several technologies (such as Pylons) that can dampen its influence in an area. An alternate portrayal of their plans is a grand version of the Pylon technology which will effectively sever the bonds between the two dimensions. This will, however, have the side effect of tearing out the souls of every living creature in existence and leaving their bodies as technically-alive gibbering zombies.
  • 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. During the 5th Edition of the game this was represented by a chance of reflecting enemy shots back at the firer after a successful save while the 8th Edition rules replaced this with the 'Dispersion Field Amplification' Stratagem that improved the save granted by the shield while also giving them a chance of inflicting 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 Ark is a floating transport vehicles protected by advanced quantum shielding that resemble skeletal Ancient Egyptian barges. The Arcs have a bank of Gauss flayers set on either side and, in previous editions, all of its passengers could fire their weapons, enabling it to bring massive amounts of firepower to bear against the enemy. The most distinctive feature of the 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.
  • 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.
  • Bling of War:
    • Proud and arrogant, Necron Lords and Overlords have highly ornate android bodies, often decorated with gold and precious gems. The nobles of the Nihilakh Dynasty take this even further by decorating even their lowest warriors with gold and turquoise as they would never dream of going into battle without weapons that displayed their wealth.
    • All the constructs of the Nephrekh Dynasty wear burnished gold due to their Phaeron's obsession with mastering light and becoming one with 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 mentions that, when they were beings of flesh, the warriors of the Novokh Dynasty performed bloody rituals in battle and the memories of these rites are reawakened by the bloodshed, the violence surrounding them causing them to display unnatural energy and purpose. As a result of this, a battle's conclusion will see the silver bodies of the dynasty's warriors stained with so much gore that they are as red as their crimson armour.
  • Broad Strokes: The 5th edition codex only directly Retcons the old fluff in adding the rebellion against the C'tan. It specifically mentions rogue tomb worlds that operate like the old characterizations, and the section on the new C'tan units mentions that several of the full-power C'tan the old codex and fluff represented are unaccounted for.
  • Came Back Wrong:
    • Each time a Necron "dies" and is repaired/regenerated, its life essence is damaged in the process. The basic Warriors who have regenerated hundreds of times are mindless constructs, but Necron Lords 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.
    • The aptly named Destroyers (and their Heavy and Lord Variants) and Flayed Ones have each resulted in a version of this that revolts even other Necrons. Destroyers seek to obliterate all of creation, which even the Overlords find excessive as every other Necron still desires to have their flesh and blood bodies back (which is kinda hard to do when everything is dead). Flayed Ones, on the other hand, have been infected with a virus that causes them to devolve into brutal cannibals...despite the fact that they have no digestive system (or even a functional throat) to speak of, rendering them coated in gore and reeking of death while being highly unpredictable and infectious to other Necrons.
    • Some of the less intact tomb worlds' populations (not just the rank-and-file Warriors) have been reduced to mindless drones over the course of their long sleep, such as those of the Empire of the Severed.
  • Characterization Marches On: When initially introduced at the end of 2nd Edition and the beginning of 3rd, the Necrons lacked a lot of character, consisting of 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: As machines with program-emulations of their former living selves, Necrons can't access the Warp and so can't use the Psychic Powers of other races. However, their ultra-advanced science lets them achieve through technology what many other races must do through sorcery. Their psyker equivalents, the Crypteks, specialise in various schools of ultra-tech that vary from controlling raw plasma to manipulating time to attacking peoples' minds.
  • Cold Sniper: A Deathmark's patience and determination are unmatched by any living counterpart. They are dispatched to assassinate enemy leaders and priority targets.
  • A Commander Is You: Balanced/Brute. The polar opposite of their Aeldari rivals, the Necrons are slow to get anywhere and generally want to avoid getting close if at all possible... but great armour, lots of wounds and other abilities (vehicles can regenerate, troops can often get back up) make them super-hard to shift without overwhelming force. They have near-unbreakable leadership, nice anti-vehicle firepower (though often limited to dedicated squads), and their equivalent of psyker powers (what few they have) cannot be denied like normal.
  • Continuity Drift: The Necrons' ability to phase-out and rebuild themselves safely elsewhere has been steadily nerfed. When they were first introduced, it was impossible to permanently kill a single Necron warrior before they could phase-out. In Dawn of War: Dark Crusade, the Necrons of Kronus get trapped in a cave-in and are unable to phase-out. In the 5th Edition codex, it's mentioned that a Necron's self-destruct failsafe uses the same green flash as a phase-out, in order to confound their enemies. As of The World Engine the Necrons on Borsis are dropping dead left and right, as the Enemy Civil War is messing with their systems.
  • Culture Chop Suey: Originally conceived as Egyptian mummies in space, their fluff has expanded to include influences from other pyramid-building cultures such as Mesopotamia, Pre-Columbian South America and, judging by Trazyn the Infinite's (who has a weirdly Polish-sounding name) love of cheesy knick-knacks and games of chance, Las Vegas.
  • Creepy Monotone: Necron Lords, on the rare occasions they decide to speak.
  • 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: Their vehicles use "Quantum Shielding," which greatly increases the staying power of their vehicles. In-game, Quantum Shielding allows a vehicle with the rule to ignore damage if a D6 roll is lower than the amount of damage incurred.
  • 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.
  • Determinator: In one sense, the Necrons are determined to either harvest or purge all life in the galaxy, and will wade through firefights to do so without flinching. In another sense, the standard Necron form is a walking Homage to the Terminator.
  • Disintegrator Ray: Gauss weaponry, more or less, as it vaporizes the target by stripping away its molecules.
  • 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.
  • Dug Too Deep: As noted below, investigating a seemingly-dormant Necron tomb is almost always a death sentence for the expedition.
  • Dying Race: Since the Necrons can't reproduce and they are far from invincible (though they are insanely difficult to permanently destroy), their extinction is all but certain.
  • Earthquake Machine: Geomantic Crypteks have multiple technological devices that can cause localised earth tremors, such as the seismic crucible and the treorstave. 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. The 5th Edition rules represented this by having these devices make 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 Necron Artefact the Lightning Field uses the same technology as the race's tesla weaponry to surround its wearer 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. The 8th Edition version of the rules represents this by giving the wearer a 4+ invulnerable save, as well as a 50% chance of causing mortal wounds against nearby enemy units.
  • Enemy Mine: With the Imperium of Man, as there have been a few instances where they have put aside their enmity to deal with a major threat such as the forces of Chaos or the Tyranids.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: The 5th Edition Necron codex establishes that:
    • Even other Necrons are a bit creeped out by the Flayed Ones' behavior and the nihilistic worldview of the Destroyers.
    • The Deathmarks (Necron sniper-assassins) are supposed to be deployed only against dishonorable and cowardly opponents, and their use is completely forbidden against other Necrons. However, against non-Necrons, most Overlords operate on a policy of "not honorable until proven otherwise," and as the codex points out, an honorable corpse is still a corpse.
  • Evil Overlord: Necron Overlords rule over many planets, and are only subservient to the Phaerons.
  • Expy: The entire race is one of a certain Austrian-American Governor's most famous role, right down to his Catchphrase being the original name of their signature ability.
  • Faceless Goons: Played with. The bulk of Necron Warriors, due to having been killed and reanimated many times over, are essentially 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.
  • 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 the 8th Edition rules give it a chance to cause multiple mortal wounds.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • A battle report on the December 2010 issue of White Dwarf featured a generic Necron Lord named Imotekh the Storm Lord. And in the 5th Edition Codex next year...
    • In the more general sense, Sanctuary 101. The first recorded contact with the Necrons by the Imperium was an Adeptus Sororitas convent that was slaughtered by the Necrons. It's still a Berserk Button for many Sisters.
    • Before that there were a number of others, most notably the Blood Angels teaming up with Necrons to fight Tyranids.
  • 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.
  • Foil: With the Eldar. On the whole, Eldar move quickly but are rather squishy, while Necrons are slow-moving but beefy. The Eldar are a Witch Species with considerable psychic power and manipulate the secrets of the Warp, 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 Eldar were created to safeguard, while the Necrons were made to destroy. The list just keeps going.
  • From Bad to Worse: The Necrons with tabletop rules are garrisons and raiders for the most part. The Fifth Edition Space Marine and Grey Knights codexes mention battles with Necron weapons originally mistaken for planets which were only defeated with the loss of entire Chapters. According to the new Necron codex, what has awakened so far is just a taste of their power; depending on how many survived there may be more Necron tomb worlds than worlds in the Imperium. It gets even worse when you learn that a lot of events that were assumed to be galactic phenomena were actually caused by Necron technology being misused. While most of it is lost, there are still weapons that Overlords use to casually destroy entire solar systems on a whim. Also, Black Library books like Gods of Mars imply that their dominance over the physical plane was so complete that a device, called the Breath of the Gods by the Mechanicum, is capable of destroying time itself.
  • Generic Doomsday Villain: This was a problem often invoked prior to the 5th edition codex—it's really hard to come up with a cool background story when everyone is just a mindless killbot. Now, it's established that Necron Lords retain more of their original organic personality than their servants (though some of them Came Out of Stasis Wrong), and that each Necron Lord has a specific function in their Tomb Complexes to fulfill (even if that function no longer applies, such as gathering raw materials for a manufacturing center that no longer exists). This gives Necron players a lot more hooks for theming their army around the quirks of their Lord and carrying out a particular area of responsibility. However, it is a controversial move — other players actually liked the lack of characterisation, arguing that it provided a mysterious motif for the Necrons which is now lost because they have more set-in-stone personalities and motives, and that even these are only half-formed.
  • Giant Spider:
    • Canoptek Spyders, floating spider-like robots that perform repairs and spawn Canoptek Scarabs.
    • Wraiths appear to be part spider, part snake, part robot, and part of your worst nightmares.
  • Glass Cannon:
    • Necron tanks are only tough due to their shields; without them they're almost as fragile as Dark Eldar tanks, with the exception of the Monolith.
    • Prior to their removal from canon, the Pariah was this due to lacking the ability to resurrect themselves and 1 wound for their high cost. However, each Pariah packed a Warscythe, which at the time could ignore all types of saves (including Invulnerable Saves), making them deadly if they ever got close enough. Their Spiritual Successor, the Lychguard, does slightly better due to having what is essentially a Storm Shield while retaining the ability to resurrect.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: The Necrons' eyes emit the eerie glow of the energy that animates them, which is usually depicted as a sickly green. This is typically reflected in the models' paint schemes, especially that of the Sautekh Dynasty.
  • God Guise: Praetorians actively pretend to be gods to spread Necron influence among primitive races.
  • Godzilla Threshold: The use of Tesseract Vaults is the most desperate of tactics, as there's significant potential for the Transcendant C'tan bound inside to escape and wreak havoc on its captors.
  • 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, whereas in the 8th Edition rules the Obelisk can cause mortal wounds against nearby enemy flyers.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: The Necrons' Fatal Flaw. First they hated the Old Ones because of their long lives, then they hated the C'tan for being so superior, and now they hate anything that lives because they are alive. Also, their sickly green Glowing Eyes of Doom makes them a literal example.
  • Healing Factor: The Necrons' greatest strength is their ability to self-repair and return to "life" even after suffering catastrophic damage.
  • Higher-Tech Species: Necron technology is far more advanced than anything else in the 40K universe, to Clarke's Third Law levels. Widespread teleportation, vehicles with inertialess drives, Gauss and Tesla energy weapons, potentially planet-sized stasis-tombs, the Warp-supressing Pylons, their robotic bodies and the biotransference process itself...the list goes on and on. Even the Eldar, who have always made everyone else look like primitives, cannot hold a candle to them in terms of science and technology.
  • Homage: It's clear someone watched The Terminator before coming up with the Necrons. Not only do their skeletal forms resemble the mechanical endoskeletons of the Terminators, their signature ability to come back to life after being killed was originally named "We'll Be Back!" in the game's rules, before being renamed to "Reanimation Protocols".
  • Immortality Immorality: The Necrons achieved immortality at the cost of their free will, their flesh and their sanity.
  • Immortal Procreation Clause: Since they achieved immortality at the cost of their original fleshy bodies, they can't reproduce anymore either.
  • Implacable Man:
    • Necrons narrowly beat out Space Marines, Orks, and Imperial Guard commanders as 40K's embodiment of this trope. The race, as a whole is this. Unless you manage to destroy a Necron's personality matrix — which is the toughest part of its body — its Virtual Ghost will just be broadcasted back to its tomb world, where a new body can be made on the cheap, and with Reanimation Protocols, can be sent directly back into the same combat where it was defeated. Even without those, the only other way to permanently defeat a Necron is to attack the tomb world directly...and even then, it's implied the vast majority of Necrons are just broadcasted to other tomb worlds.
    • In 4th Edition, it's stated that the entire Necron's body is teleported back to the tomb world for repairs, and it's outright stated that Necrons are the only faction to have literally suffered 0 casualties in all conflicts as this teleporting shenanigans (called Phasing Out) was a fail safe to deny the enemy the ability to study their technology.
  • Intangibility:
    • 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, allowing the construct to ignore terrain and enemy fire, hide it from the enemy, and to cut the flesh of their foes without touching their armour. How this is represented in game depends on the edition, with 8th Edition giving them a 3+ invulnerable save, movement benefits and respectable Armour Penetrating stats.
    • High ranking Necrons are 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 editions of the game phase shifters grant their bearer a 4+ invulnerable save and in some background materialnote  the device allows its bearer to pass through walls and restraints.
  • Large Ham: Some of the Necron Lords.
  • Lightning Bruiser:
    • Necron fast attack units, and especially their fleets. Considering the amount of things that can deep strike, teleportation shenanigans and their superfast jets, Necrons might just be the fastest slow faction in 40K.
    • Necron vehicles. Apart from Flyers, almost all Necron tanks have an effective AV 13 facing the enemynote  and are all of the skimmer class. They still pack the same kind of weaponry on normal Necrons, which is extremely devastating against the right targets.
    • Overlords in Command Barges, especially during the 5th edition codex transferring into 7th edition; due to a quirk in the rules, if the Overlord came back, the entire chariot came back with him. He also had a nigh-impenetrable 2+/3++ armor/invulnerable save and came back on a 4+, essentially making him unkillable barring a stroke of bad luck. He also could wield the Warscythe, which could be used in drive by beheadings instead of normal combat proper. Most of the nerfs that happened were directly in response to this little cross-editions booboo, and the Barge-lord is still considered one of the top melee monsters in the codex.
  • Lightning Gun: Tesla cannons and Staffs of Light function as these. Hand Waved, mainly in that the Necrons are so advanced they can tell the laws of physics to shut up and go sit in a corner.
  • Master Swordsman: Lychguard take so much pride in their skill with the scythe and sword that they lose morale if they fail to kill a target with the first strike.
  • Mind Control: Mindshackle Scarabs take over a Necron's foe's mind and are typically used to force him to attack himself and his comrades. In-game, in the 5th edition codex, when they were used, the target had to make a Leadership test using an extra die, and attack himself or his unit D3 times if he failed.
  • More Dakka: Overwhelming firepower was always the Necrons' most favored tactic, and remains just as prevalent eons after being turned into lifeless machines as it did when they were still flesh and blood.
  • Nanomachines: Micro-scarabs, which are part of the Necrons' self-repair systems.
  • The Necrocracy: The Necrons are a futuristic version of the trope. They're an updated version of the Tomb Kings from Warhammer, an entire race of the spirits of long-dead aliens encased in metal skeletons by their divine overlords. They inhabit the dead tomb worlds in the galaxy, and have a carefully structured imperial hierarchy, with regular soldiers at the bottom, Phaerons and (Over)Lords in the middle, and the godlike star beings the C'tan at the top.
  • Normal Fish in a Tiny Pond: The Sautekh went from the third most powerful Necron dynasty to the most well known because many of their tomb worlds were untouched during The Great Sleep.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: Used extensively in the 4th Edition Codex and sparingly in the 5th, the Necron army is infamous for its lack of war-cries, screams, taunts, or pretty much any sound besides their guns. They simply march forward lock-step in eerie silence, firing their weapons in volleys until the enemy is wiped out. Done away with for the most part recently, as the basic Necron Warriors now scream when they Phase Out.
  • 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: It's somewhat unclear whether or not the Necrons' goal is to harvest life in the galaxy, or just kill everything. The Fifth Edition codex pretty much retconned out the harvesting part, except for Trazyn the Infinite, and introduced variations so that it depends on the tomb world. Most would rather find a way to get their souls back, the easiest being find a lifeform and transfer their minds to it. Destroyers are the exception, as they hate everything, and want to kill anything!
  • Order Versus Chaos: Their first codex portrayed Necrons as essentially the "anti-Chaos" faction: slaves to gods that were born of the Materium, devoid of any emotions, disciplined and methodical as only immortal robots could be, feeding on bio-energy instead of souls, and homogenous 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 plotting to seal away the two dimensions altogether (which would have ripped the souls out of all life everywhere in the universe). This theme was abandoned with the 5th edition codex, which confronted the fact that these very traits that emphasized them as the Order to oppose Chaos made them... well, bland and extremely difficult to characterise meaningfully. However, they retain a lot of the quirks that made them an Order army and opposite to Chaos, if only because Matt Ward could only get away with so much.
  • 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.
  • 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 the 8th Edition 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 the they deem the time is right, Deathmarks are able to 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, most editions 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:
    • The aptly named Praetorians were the bodyguards and heralds of the Triarch, the ruling triumvirate of the Necrons, before the they entered their eons long slumber. With the return of the Silent King, the only surviving member 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 Old Ones. 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 an aeons-long stasis in the aftermath of the War in Heaven.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guys: Follow a very strict code of honor...too bad the question of which non-Necrons it applies to is usually left to the Overlord in charge.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: The Necrons defeated both the Old Ones and the C'Tan but this cost them the resources they needed to fight the resurging Eldar and Orks, so they went into cryostasis hoping they would just outlive their enemies. Their impossibly powerful technology and nigh-immortality doesn't hide the fact that they are fighting a losing war for their own existence.
  • Restraining Bolt: Before biotransference, 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 an unthinkable transgression. The biotransference formalized this with command protocols, replacing loyalty with compulsion and thought-restriction. Contemporary Necrons are literally incapable of defying the orders of those from a higher court, even if those above them Came Back Wrong and the orders are nonsense. This does not stop Necrons on the same strata from plotting, scheming, and trying to outmaneuver one another though, whether through politics or on the battlefield.
  • 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 scour life, utterly ruthless and incapable of communication or reason. Later Editions added different personalities and customization for higher level Necrons, even adding abilities to communicate and pursue goals beyond simple functional ones. This was justified 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. Hence, the earlier Necron encounters were by forces from tomb worlds that were still in the early stages of their reactivation.
  • Robot War: Usually brutally short ones, too.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can:
    • Necron tomb worlds. The Adeptus Mechanicus has a notoriously poor record with uncovering them, becoming enamored of all the shiny technology, waking the Necrons up, and dying horribly. In the new Codex the awakened Necrons are trying to reawaken the rest of the tomb worlds. Although many have been lost to attack or celestial phenomena, there are still believed to be millions lying dormant. Since Necrons can inhabit any world, not just those capable of supporting life, and the number of uninhabitable worlds vastly outnumber the inhabitable ones, it's possible the Necrons outnumber even the Orks.
    • Tesseract Vaults, enormous flying machines which are prisons for Transcendent C'tan shards, channeling their power into devastating weaponry. The C'tan shard is constantly tearing away at the Vault trying to break out, but the Canoptek Leeches mounted on the Vault's walls repair the damage.
    • The Necrons use Tesseract Labyrinths, small cube-like devices that utilize the Necrons; 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: The Necrons use automated weapons platforms known as Sentry Pylons to protect their tomb worlds from invasion by the lesser races. These crescent-shaped devices can even be fitted with a teleportation matrix so that they can catch the enemy unawares as they appear out of nowhere with a flash of light.
  • Shock and Awe: As the page states, the aptly named Tesla weapons, which fire a kind of living lightning that bounces around and hits nearby targets after the initial strike. This is reflected in-game by any To Hit rolls of 6 counting as three hits instead of one.
  • Sickly Green Glow: Gauss-based technology and whatever "embalming" techniques went into making the Necrons are described as emitting a "corpse-light." Necron paint schemes typically give them bright green eyes and occasionally green in the grooves in their torsos, along with lots of green orbs and (hemi)spherical decorations, representing this eerie glow.
  • Sinister Scythe: The traditional weapon of Necron nobility and their elite combat units is the warscythe, one of the most powerful close combat weapons in the game. While most of these weapons 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.
  • Single-Stroke Battle: Lychguard pride themselves on this killing their foe with a Clean Cut, even going as far as to stand still in the middle of a melee waiting for the perfect strike. Thanks to being Made of Iron (even among a race that's Made of Iron) it's rarely a problem.
  • SkeleBot 9000: The Necrons are Robotic Skeletons.
  • The Slow Walk: The Necrons have been waiting millions of years. They don't need to rush.
  • 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 in, synaptic disintegrators are highly accurate and often receive 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 tecnoarcana, 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.
  • 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.

    Specific Necron types 
A number of Necrons have specialized into noticeably abnormal types for various reasons.

Flayed Ones

To those who have turned their faces away. To those who are faithless and wretched in their jealousies. To those who have denied us. To those who have denied me. I will wreak vengeance. I will wrench your souls and break your bones. I will cast hunger through your accursed existence. Down the eons, you will not forget. I will grant you this gift from love turned aside and make you like me, break you in my image as you have broken me. I shall cast the fear of myself into you and all of your kind. I am Llandu'gor. I am the hunger. I am the flayer, and from this moment, you shall be too.
— The Curse of Llandu'gor the Flayer

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.


I acknowledge no master, save for the almighty spectre of death. In its name, I will reap all signs of life from this galaxy, leaving nothing but a barren monument to timeless inevitability.
Executioner Ezandrakh

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: 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.
  • Hover Mecha: Destroyers are a smaller example of this, as their feet fuse together and eventually form into an anti-gravity platform. Their obsessive need to become avatars of destruction causes them to disdain things so inefficient as legs when they have the technology to enable much more efficient locomotion with which to deliver death.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Destroyers embody the Necrons' desire to cleanse the galaxy of organic life, to an extreme that most other Necrons find unnerving.
  • 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.

    Famed among the Ancients 
Some particularly famous and powerful Necron Lords have reawakened.

Szarekh the Silent King

Through technology we thought to defeat the natural order. But the onset of eternity cannot be denied forever: the universe will see us humbled for our presumption. Yet its methods of attack are limited. We long ago removed our bodies from mortality's grasp and bartered away our souls for technological baubles and the trappings of power. Our minds, then, are all that remains for us to lose, and it is here that the next stroke against us will fall. Though our individual afflictions may take different forms, sooner or later we will all be lost to madness.

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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 an elaborate, floating dais that incorperates an imprissoned C'tan Shard and a pair of enslaved Phaerons. From this hovering platform, Szarekh oversees the battlefield and issues commands his followers.
  • 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

Order. Unity. Obedience. We taught the galaxy these things long ago, and we will do so again.

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.
  • 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

Immortality is not quite the same as invulnerability, but it is close enough.

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

Time is a weapon like any other. If nothing else, I can simply wait for my foes to rot!

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.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Time Master: The most skilled of them all amongst the Crypteks of his school.
  • 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 hasn’t been mentioned in any subsequent editions however.

Trazyn the Infinite, Archeovist of the Solemnace Galleries

Dear Lady, let me express my fulsome appreciation for your most generous gift. It is so very rare to discover another of my own kind that appreciates my work, therefore to find understanding amongst a member of another race is nothing short of a revelation. I realise that you briefly trod my galleries, but the fact that you spotted in so short a time that my Acabrius War collection was lacking three regiments of Catachan warriors reveals that you truly have a collector's eye for detail. And to send five regiments! [...] so please allow me to repay your gift with one of my own. Accompanying this message is the Hyperstone Maze, one of a series of Tesseract Labyrinths constructed at the height of the Charnovokh Dynasty. It is a trinket really, only of interest to scholars such as you and I, but I trust you will find it amusing — assuming you have the wit to escape its clutches, of course.
— Hyperscroll message from Trazyn the Infinite, addressed to Inquisitor Valeria, c. 805.M41

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.

  • 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.
  • 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 converts them into hard-light holograms to populate his dioramas of notable prehistoric 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 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. There's a reason his Fan Nickname is Trollzyn the Tarpit Breaker.
  • It Amused Me:
    • He's motivated entirely by stocking his collection with strange and incredible things. Fanon has him as the biggest Troll of the 41st Millenium.
    • 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.
  • 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: Trayzn brought a number of Tesseract Labyrinths to Cadia and used them to unleash Imperial forces he'd had in storage for some time.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Nemesor Zahndrekh and Vargard Obyron, Grand High Masters of Gidrim

See, Obyron, the separatists come – attempting to outflank me just as they did at the Fourth Battle of Vyndakh. How they calculate that daubing themselves green and roaring like savages will produce a different outcome, I cannot fathom; but it is of no account. Ready my legions – another glorious victory shall soon be ours.
Nemesor Zahndrekh to Vargard Obyron, prior to the crushing defeat of WAAAGH! Bludtoof

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.
  • 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.
  • Deadly 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.
  • 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

I am not capricious, nor am I given to cruel acts for their own sakes. It is simply a fact that you and your kind have trespassed, and thus invited extermination. Curse you for putting me to this inconvenience.
Anrakyr the Traveller to the Tau Ethereal Aun’taniel prior to the Harvest of Ka’mais

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.

The C'tan
The shards of the Deceiver and the Nightbringer.
They came to us as gods and we, like fools, took them at their word. Mephet'ran the Deceiver, Aza'gorod the Nightbringer, Iash'uddra the Endless Swarm — I curse their names, and the names of all their malevolent brethren.
— From the Chronicles of Szarekh, Last of the Silent Kings

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.

    General C'tan tropes 
  • 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.
  • 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 Force, 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.
  • Emotion Eater: Mainly gibbering terror. Their big favorite, though, is "Life Force", 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 badasse, 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.

    Specific C'tan  

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.

  • Dark Is Evil: Aza'Gorod has the title of the Nightbringer because death is associated with darkness in his case.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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.

  • 0% Approval Rating: 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.
  • 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.
  • Light Is Not Good: The Deceiver has a bright, prominently golden appearance.
  • The Trickster: 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.

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.

  • Dragons Are Divine: It's theorized to be the Machine God that the Mechanicus worship. His actual model has an eldritch appearance, like a cross between an angel and a dragon.
  • 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 him and more or less ensured the actual Cult of the Dragon will always be a tiny minority.
  • 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 were 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.

  • 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.
  • 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

  • Pyromaniac: It showed the Necrons how to access the Eldar's Webway because it wanted to burn it.

Yggra'nya, the World Maker

  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: It was responsible for the creation of the World Engine and was sharded and imprisoned inside it to help power it. He was a little bitter about that, and when the Astral Knights showed up on their suicide run he 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.

We are born for a darker purpose than that of mere existence. There will come a time when stygian night never ends, where dead stars will spread before us like islands that slumber on the ocean, and when the beings that hid like shadows will feed on us forever.

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