Difference between revisions of "Adeptus Custodes"

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(→‎Capabilities: Added some about the Custodes in The Outcast Dead novel.)
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Aaron Dembski-Bowden's ''The First Heretic'' further expands on the Custodes fighting style and armoury. Each weapon used by the Custodes is gene-coded to only be used by only that Custodian (which is funny, because Argel Tal stole some, and uses them to kill loyalists). The weapons are given to them personally by the Emperor (or at least they were in the 31st millennium, they've probably dropped this rule by the 41st) and as such one of the highest [[Heresy|heresies]] possible is to allow a non-Custodian to handle the weapon. Perhaps the most notable thing about the Adeptus Custodes is the radically different combat approach between them and the Adeptus Astartes: Custodes are not brothers. While Space Marines are trained to support their battle-brothers in combat, each Custodian fights by himself, never intending to receive support from their fellow Custodes. The [[Word Bearers]] who observed this were utterly dumbfounded by this approach, thinking the fighting was just "wrong", despite their fighting being individually perfect.  They are "tigers" compared to the "wolves" the space marines represent.  Also, he has a Custodian named Vendatha kill 3 WB chapter masters in a second, and then survive a full bolter clip to the face.  And on top he has 3 Custodes kill 7 out of 11 the original possessed marines the Gal Vorbak.  Winning.
 
Aaron Dembski-Bowden's ''The First Heretic'' further expands on the Custodes fighting style and armoury. Each weapon used by the Custodes is gene-coded to only be used by only that Custodian (which is funny, because Argel Tal stole some, and uses them to kill loyalists). The weapons are given to them personally by the Emperor (or at least they were in the 31st millennium, they've probably dropped this rule by the 41st) and as such one of the highest [[Heresy|heresies]] possible is to allow a non-Custodian to handle the weapon. Perhaps the most notable thing about the Adeptus Custodes is the radically different combat approach between them and the Adeptus Astartes: Custodes are not brothers. While Space Marines are trained to support their battle-brothers in combat, each Custodian fights by himself, never intending to receive support from their fellow Custodes. The [[Word Bearers]] who observed this were utterly dumbfounded by this approach, thinking the fighting was just "wrong", despite their fighting being individually perfect.  They are "tigers" compared to the "wolves" the space marines represent.  Also, he has a Custodian named Vendatha kill 3 WB chapter masters in a second, and then survive a full bolter clip to the face.  And on top he has 3 Custodes kill 7 out of 11 the original possessed marines the Gal Vorbak.  Winning.
  
But in ''The Outcast Dead'', an armed and armoured Custodes fights an unarmed and unarmoured World Eater and [[What|loses]] when the World Eater breaks open his armour and [[Rip and tear|rips out the Custodes spine through his chest]], something he threatened to do earlier. So fuck knows how good Custodes are, since Black Library's writers can't get their collective shits together and decide.
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But in ''The Outcast Dead'', an armed and armoured Custodes fights an unarmed and unarmoured World Eater and [[What|loses]] when the World Eater breaks open his armour and [[Rip and tear|rips out the Custodes spine through his chest]], something he threatened to do earlier. So fuck knows how good Custodes are, since Black Library's writers can't get their collective shits together and decide. The thing is that Custodes are not mass produced, leading to a large discrepancy in their individual levels of strength. Most of them are better than the Astartes, but some are weaker.
  
 
==Role==
 
==Role==

Revision as of 22:12, 14 May 2014

Paladins of the 41st millennium

The Adeptus Custodes are the guardians of the Emperor of Mankind and the most badass group of genetically engineered/enhanced warriors/motherfuckers the galaxy has ever known (with the exeption for Assassins and the Primarchs). So badass in-fact that they can get away with dressing like drag queens and transvestites (they love skirts). Well, the skirts are actually a bit closer to the ancient Roman Legionaries, which is pretty awesome in itself, and on the whole they come off as elite and badass.

Origins & Design

The Custodes are warriors unmatched in the galaxy, genetically-engineered by the Emperor himself. The Emperor first created elite these warriors back in the old days of his conquest of Terra, making them souped-up and more long-lived versions of the already hilariously OP Thunder Warriors. While the Thunder Warriors were eventually replaced by the far more stable but slightly less powerful Space Marines, the Custodes apparently still use those ancient methods and as such lack a gene-seed.

Although the Custodes were among the first genetically-modified warriors to be created by the Emperor, they were never intended to be part of a conquering army; such a role was to be filled by the latter Adeptus Astartes armies. This is revealed both in their mindset and training: While Custodians share a genetic kinship with one another within the formation, they do not foster the same spirit of brotherhood that is instilled within the Astartes in order to function together as a unit. Indeed, each Custodian prepares and inspects his equipment individually, rather than on military parade. The individuality of each Custodes is further promoted by the fact that the processes required to produce them is not as refined or as simple as that of the Astartes and thus they are not "mass-produced" as the Astartes are; meaning that each Custodian is a unique investment for the Imperium. It was implied in False Gods that the creation of a Custode was a long and arduous process, utterly different from the creation process of a regular Astartes and much costlier, thus their relatively small numbers.

One ritual that the Custodes do share is the recognition of mighty deeds, manifested in the awarding of names, which are added to the Custodian's title to represent the actions he has performed in service to the Emperor. (Constantin Valdor obtained 1932 names prior to the assault of Horus upon Terra.) Such names were inscribed onto the inside of the warrior's battle armour as marks of individual pride.

The training of the Custodes also differed immensely from the Adeptus Astartes, since they were intended to be bodyguards rather than soldiers. It is clear from their Blood Games that Custodians are trained in the arts of assassination -- both improvised and professional -- in order to counter possible assassination attempts on the Emperor. It is common for several Custodians to be on detached duty for these Blood Games so that the organisation remains vigilant against developing threats.

Furthermore it is clear that the Custodes are also well-versed in the political etiquette of Terra, and have been known to act outside of Imperial law, to infiltrate influential Noble Houses and to investigate any potential threats. (A role that a Space Marine would never be expected to fulfill.) This aspect of the Custodian mindset is advantageous, given that the Captain-General of the order often shares a seat with the High Lords of Terra and thus allows him to navigate the political maneuverings of the Imperium's various agencies, while still remaining an awe-inspiring warrior.


Capabilities

The martial capabilities of the Adeptus Custodes remain largely unknown. What is known is that they possess skill beyond even a 'normal' member of the Adeptus Astartes. It has been said that the Adeptus Custodes are to a Space Marine what a Space Marine is to a member of the Imperial Guard. They are similar to the Grey Knights, the militant arm of the Ordo Malleus branch of the Inquisition, in that both are elite, secret organisations with close ties to the Emperor. Custodes are unique as they have neither a known Primarch nor do they use gene-seed to produce their genetic modifications. They stand a full head taller than a Space Marine and it is said that they were almost the same size as a Primarch. In fact it was said that Constantine Valdor, Chief Custodian to the Emperor during the Horus Heresy, was the same size as the traitor Primarch Alpharius of the Alpha Legion (not a great achievement after all, considering Alpharius was the shortest of Primarchs - the size of tall space marine)

Dan Abnett's Blood Games, however, provides a different version of the relationship between the Astartes and Custodes. Abnett claims that, although Custodians are slightly larger on average than Space Marines, to an observer it would be a tough bet on who would win in a fight based on strength and size alone.

James Swallow's Sword of Truth sees Captain Nathaniel Garro fight a one-on-one duel with a mid-level Custodian (if there is such a term), which he finds is one of the toughest battles of his life and only wins by playing to his opponent's overconfidence and manages to exhaust himself in the process.

Aaron Dembski-Bowden's The First Heretic further expands on the Custodes fighting style and armoury. Each weapon used by the Custodes is gene-coded to only be used by only that Custodian (which is funny, because Argel Tal stole some, and uses them to kill loyalists). The weapons are given to them personally by the Emperor (or at least they were in the 31st millennium, they've probably dropped this rule by the 41st) and as such one of the highest heresies possible is to allow a non-Custodian to handle the weapon. Perhaps the most notable thing about the Adeptus Custodes is the radically different combat approach between them and the Adeptus Astartes: Custodes are not brothers. While Space Marines are trained to support their battle-brothers in combat, each Custodian fights by himself, never intending to receive support from their fellow Custodes. The Word Bearers who observed this were utterly dumbfounded by this approach, thinking the fighting was just "wrong", despite their fighting being individually perfect. They are "tigers" compared to the "wolves" the space marines represent. Also, he has a Custodian named Vendatha kill 3 WB chapter masters in a second, and then survive a full bolter clip to the face. And on top he has 3 Custodes kill 7 out of 11 the original possessed marines the Gal Vorbak. Winning.

But in The Outcast Dead, an armed and armoured Custodes fights an unarmed and unarmoured World Eater and loses when the World Eater breaks open his armour and rips out the Custodes spine through his chest, something he threatened to do earlier. So fuck knows how good Custodes are, since Black Library's writers can't get their collective shits together and decide. The thing is that Custodes are not mass produced, leading to a large discrepancy in their individual levels of strength. Most of them are better than the Astartes, but some are weaker.

Role

ChestArmor is for pussies anyway

They have the final word on security in the Imperial Palace, and even the High Lords of Terra are subservient to them within its walls.

Although their full numbers remain unknown, three hundred Custodes guard the Emperor's chambers at all times. Also, back before the God-Emperor was interred into the Golden Throne, the Adeptus Custodes was known as the Legio Custodes (Custodes Legion), and numbered in Ten thousand golden warriors. It is strongly believed that this is their same number today.

Only three hundred of the Adeptus Custodes serve as the actual personal guard of the Emperor, called the Companions. These are those Custodes that are privileged enough to be in the Emperor's physical presence. Each unit of Companions is led by a Centurion. It was one such Centurion that led a small group of Companions to meet Alicia Dominica, head of the Brides of the Emperor (later Sisters of Battle) during Vandire's Reign of Blood. One such Custodian, Constantine Valdor, was the Chief Custodian during the Horus Heresy. He was the most honoured of all the Emperor of Mankind's creations. No other being had served the Emperor for as long as he, save Malcador the Sigillite. Valdor was a proud and respectful warrior unmatched in his devotion and loyalty to the Emperor. Valdor was ever-present at the Emperor's side, always protecting him from unseen enemies and saving the Emperor's life innumerable times. Along with Malcador, Valdor was his most trusted friend and advisor.

Constantine Valdor was one of the first members of the Council of Terra. He also had a close relationship with the Primarchs Rogal Dorn and Leman Russ, although initially Russ and Valdor didn't see eye to eye. Dorn was ever-present at the Imperial Palace during the great Crusade and so Valdor and the Primarch spent much time together. On the other hand, Valdor only earned Russ's respect when the former defeated Horus in a sparring match. The two were then together during the Battle of Prospero. There is no mention of when or how Valdor was killed if he was killed at all. He stepped down from command as a High Lord so that he could protect his beloved Emperor, now ensconced within the Golden Throne.

Effectiveness

Occasionally you see questions raised on forums regarding their effectiveness after apparently spending 10,000 years on guard duty, suggesting that despite their biological augmentations; without any actual combat experience they might have simply become a symbolic organisation since Terra is so well defended by other means.

In fact the Custodians sat through most of the Age of Apostasy, not participating until the last moment to bring order when the fighting made it to the Imperial Palace. They also were mysteriously absent during The Beheading when the Officio Assassinorum started levelling city blocks. Added to the fact that the admittedly very old pictures of Custodians show them not even bothering to wear their armour any more indicates that they don't actually have very much to do these days.

However, one very important fact remains: The Golden Throne is a portal to the Webway which was broken, and it takes the Emperor every ounce of his concentration to stop that energy spilling out into a new Eye of Terror. Underneath the Imperial Palace Malcador the Sigillite showed one of the human founders of the Inquisition a series of adamantium doors the size of Imperator Titans, and even when standing at the first door it sounds like the greatest battle of all time was going on behind them.

The Custodians are fighting a warp incursion on Terran soil 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year for 10000 years. A battle which cannot be won unless someone figures out how to fix the Throne and seal the breach, and since only the Emperor knew how it operated in the first place it's likely that the incursion can ONLY by held at bay. The Custodians visible throughout the palace are simply being rotated out for rest and recuperation and nobody knows about the major warzone underneath their feet.

So while the Grey Knights are cruising through the galaxy responding to daemonic threats, the Custodians are holding the line at home, fighting perhaps the most significant (and secret) battle in the history of mankind, making them perhaps the most badass of any fighting forces EVER.

Notable Custodians

  • Amon Tauromachian- One of the most notable Custodes. In combat, unarmoured, versus three " Migou" (I see what you did there) or Genestock Ogres from Nei Monggol (Ogryns anybody?) Amon is impressive, he is apparently strong enough to effortlessly break an Ogryn's arm, relieving it of its punch-dagger, then ram it through the poor sods skull. One of them grabs him from behind in a bear hug, which he literally shrugs off, then punches his hand through the Ogryn's chest and rips out its heart. Mary Sue you say? All this is from Dan Abnett himself from his short story Blood Games.
  • Constantin Valdor- The big cheese of the Custodian Guard, he is a mary sue of epic proportions (Almost like Kaldor Draigo). A monster of a man, he was described as being a head taller than Amon (who was already significantly larger than an Astartes) and the size of a Primarch (Alpharius to be exact). At one point he defeated Horus himself in a sparring match, however, it is never stated how old Horus was when the duel took place. Valdor was one of the Emperors closest friends and his second most trusted advisor (Malcador the Sigillite being #1). He was described as being the mightiest warrior in the entire Imperium with the exception of the Primarchs and Big E himself (he was almost killed by Phosis T'Kar on Prospero however). Naturally he shared a close relationship with a number of the Primarchs, the most notable being Horus, Rogal Dorn, and Leman Russ. At the end of the Heresy, he was one of the high lords of Terra, but stepped down sometime after that to be able to look after the Emperor personally. Possibly still the leader of the custodes, making him the oldest living human in the galaxy (shove it, Bjorn), at least until Games Workshop comments on Custodes' mortality. Also, he rolls with the officio assassinorum, so he earns massive bonus points there.


And people bitch about Space Marines and Grey Knights having overdone armor....

See Also

Imperial Eagle.jpg Institutes within the Imperium of Man Imperial Eagle.jpg
Adeptus Terra: Adeptus Administratum - Adeptus Astra Telepathica
Adeptus Astronomica - Senatorum Imperialis
Adeptus Mechanicus: Adeptus Titanicus - Explorator Fleet - Legio Cybernetica - Skitarii
Armed Forces: Adeptus Arbites - Adeptus Custodes - Planetary Defense Force - Sisters of Silence
Imperial Army: Afriel Strain - Adeptus Astartes - Gland War Veteran
Imperial Guard - Imperial Navy - Imperial Knights - Militarum Tempestus
Imperial Cult: Adeptus Ministorum - Adepta Sororitas - Death Cults - Schola Progenium
Inquisition: Ordo Chronos - Ordo Hereticus - Ordo Malleus - Ordo Necros
Ordo Sepulturum - Ordo Sicarius - Ordo Xenos
Officio Assassinorum: Callidus - Culexus - Eversor - Maerorus - Vanus - Venenum - Vindicare
Great Crusade: Corps of Iterators - Legiones Astartes - Remembrancer Order - Solar Auxilia
Unification Wars: Legio Cataegis
Other: League of Black Ships - Navis Nobilite - Rogue Traders - Ambassador Imperialis
Abhumans & Denizens: Beastmen - Caryatids - Felinids - Humans - Nightsiders - Troths - Neandors
Ogryns - Ratlings - Scalies - Scavvies - Squats - Subs - Pelagers - Longshanks
Notable Members: God-Emperor of Mankind - Malcador the Sigillite
The Perpetuals - The Primarchs - Sebastian Thor
Erda - Ollanius Pius