"That is not dead which can eternal lie; And with strange aeons even death may die."
"Any sufficiently advanced extraterrestrial intelligence is indistinguishable from God."
- – Shermer's Last Law
The C'tan (pronounced "Kit-tahn" not "kitten"...ha) are like the 40k's weaker and more diet-lite version of Galactus: ancient and powerful Star Gods capable of warping reality when they're recently full from a buffet of planets inhabited by life. These abilities are specifically called out as non-psychic, making the C'tan the most powerful entities who do not draw strength from the Warp.
They were given physical bodies by the ancient Necrontyr. They are often called Star Vampires due to the habitat and feeding habits they evolved with, as they are capable of 'nomming entire stars with ease, but soon they found living planets to taste better. Their vast power, however, is limited to the Materium; the Warp is anathema to them, as they cannot control or enter it, and being big babies decided if they can't play in Hyperspace-Hell nobody can
which probably makes them good guys in a sense though*BLAM*which means they share one of their main goals with the Imperium of Man. Before the concept was retconned, the C'tan tampered with humanity to inject the anti-psyker Pariah gene and probably built the Cadian Pylons that created the Cadian gate by forming a bubble of normality that cuts into the Eye of Terror. In 4th edition they were responsible for massive amounts of just as planned.
And now they are
evolving reforming however.)
- 1 History
- 2 Transcendent C'Tan Shard
- 3 Known C'tan
- 3.1 Aza'Gorod, The Nightbringer
- 3.2 Mephet'ran, The Deceiver
- 3.3 Mag'ladroth, The Void Dragon
- 3.4 Tsara'noga, The Outsider
- 3.5 Nyadra'zatha, The Burning One
- 3.6 Iash'uddra, The Endless Swarm
- 3.7 Og'driada, The Arisen
- 3.8 Llandu'gor, The Flayer
- 3.9 Yggra’nya, The Moulder of Worlds
- 3.10 N’phoran,The Spiral Flame
- 3.11 Zarhulash,The Potentate
- 4 Eldritch Star Crunch
- 5 Gallery
Oldcron lore (3rd edition)
In their original incarnation in the 3rd Edition Necron Codex, the C’tan (Necrontyr for ‘Star God’) were born during the Big Bang. At this stage, they were immaterial energy entities born from suns, which they in turn fed upon. They were completely apart from material reality and spent most of their time consuming the energy of stars.
Eventually they were discovered by the Master of Technology and ever bitter Necrontyr. The Necrontyr were obsessed with studying suns, since their own evolution had been so badly impacted by their home worlds star, while their war against the Old Ones (another exceptionally advanced race who the Necrontyr had sought to exterminate out of spite) was going poorly and they were desperate to find a way to turn the tides. At this point the C’tan were barely sentient and effectively just semi-conscious clouds of energy but the Necrontyr found a way to transfer them into living metal bodies.
The first C'tan was found "sucking" the energies of the Necrontyr planet's sun, the same sun that gave off enough hard radiation to make the proto-Necrontyr’s lives nasty, brutish, and short.
The Necrontyr formed a necrodermis body and coaxed the star-sucker to inhabit it. This C'tan was later named The Nightbringer. When the Nightbringer awoke in the new body, it noticed the Necrontyr for the first time and discovered they were like Chinese take-out: really yummy and spicy, more so than bland stars, but you could eat a few thousand and still feel hungry an hour later. It took a while and much slaughter before the Necrontyr could convince the Nightbringer that they were more useful in servitude, and there were other yummy lifeforces to be eaten instead out there; only then did it stop killing them. Soon other C'tan were found and also offered necrodermis bodies.
Now possessed of actual physical forms, the C’tan began to change. Firstly, they found feeding upon the electromagnetic pulses of living bodies to be much better than feeding upon stars (even if it required many, many more bodies to sate them). Secondly, they found being worshipped as Gods very satisfying. Given their immense power, the Necrontyr basically handed over the reins of their civilisation to these entities, and so enamoured by it the C’tan developed egos. As a result of this, and probably the fact such entities were beyond concepts like morality, the C’tan became sentient and exceptionally malevolent Gods.
The C’tan began to remake the Necrontyr in their image. Having reduced their population to largely willing slaves, the C’tan sought to expand their dominion and both dominate and feed on all life in the galaxy. Not much is known about their worshippers, except the Nightbringer's presence caused its worshippers to have horrifying visions of death in bloodshed that drove many insane, and The Deceiver was so popular it had to send some of its followers to worship the other C'tan for fear they'd get jealous. It was The Deceiver, though the Necrontyr knew it as The Messenger, who offered them a new way to exterminate their hated foes the Old Ones as well as escape their blighted physiology. Living metal bodies. The Necrontyr accepted. In this older edition, most of the Necrontyr weren't on board with making such a huge change but they were tricked or forced into it by The Deceiver's followers. In the end the Necrontyr ceased to exist and became the C’tan’s slaves, the Necrons.
The C’tan in turn battled the Old Ones for dominion of the galaxy, and with their own immense powers and the Necron’s amazing science, began to win. In turn the C’tan enslaved trillions – either to force them to worship them as gods, or to feed upon them in ‘Red Harvests’ (or both). Large chunks of the galaxy were reduced to a wasteland. As the harvests grew thin, the C’tan turned upon each other, in large part due to the Deceiver promising the Nightbringer that his fellow Star Gods essence would taste excellent. Eventually only four were left. The Deceiver, the Nightbringer, the Void Dragon and the Outsider.
At this stage the Old One’s desperate attempts to defeat the C’tan brought the clock to midnight. With the galaxy already devested and much of the population consumed or enslaved, the Old One’s new races, populated by psykers, caused the warp to produce malevolent entities eager to enslave and destroy reality. These began to pour into reality en mass. While the C’tan were pleased with this destroying the Old One’s civilisation, they panicked. Not only were they completely incapable of manipulating the warp, it was very much capable of destroying them, and likewise, leaving them with nothing to feed upon. The C’tan attempted to cut off the material reality from the warp but devastated by infighting and unable to handle the mass warp incursions, decided upon a new approach.
The C’tan and their Necron servants would retreat to tombs erected on dead worlds and wait out the galaxy becoming an arid wasteland until it bore new species – specifically those suited to becoming slaves and servants and food.
Newcron lore (5th ed onwards)
Other C'tan gods were discovered feeding on stars, but the most significant of these was named The Deceiver (not that other Deceiver). Weaker than the others, The Deceiver is better at leveraging other entities to do what it wants. After inhabiting a necrodermis body, it adapted to the material world quickly and became very popular with the Necrontyr by means of cunning and guile - mind you, back then he was known simply as the Messenger. It was The Deceiver that convinced the Necrontyr they could escape their short lifespans and succeed in their battles against the Old Ones by inhabiting necrodermis bodies themselves. The Deceiver neglected to mention that these new Necrons would be insensate, dull-witted and easily manipulated by the C'tan. That's how they came to know his other trait - being a massive dickhead. Both figuratively and literally.
During the Necrons' war against the Old Ones, the C'tan also fought amongst themselves, destroying the necrodermis bodies they used to have an effect on the material world. After the Old Ones were rendered extinct, the Necrons turned on the few surviving, weakened C'tan, and tore them into a fuck-ton of shards which they then imprisoned in Tesseract Labyrinths. While those shards are like over nine thousand times weaker than full-strength C'tan, they are still rape machines of death and destruction, and some Necron Overlords are arrogant enough to release them on their enemies like giant grimdark
Pokemon attack animals. Still, some of the shards managed to escape and even merge to regain part of their godlike power, some can even have their own mindless Necron slaves to justify some of the old fluff. Of course, the final goal of each unchained shard is to free all other shards of himself and merge with them to form a god of pure murder and rape, capable of tearing apart entire sectors single-handedly. Though the Necrons are ever vigilant and constantly hunting the escaped shards.
tl/dr: They were once an energy based race of star-vampires, were then turned into metal gods of death, and are now slave warriors and hunted runaways trying to regain their former glory. Oh, how the mighty fall...
Some have, for varying reasons, considered the C'tan to have been gratuitously shoehorned into the setting, and claim that with the 5th edition Necron Codex they were put in their place. Make of that what you will. Generally speaking the reason is more practical. Oldcron C'tan were suppose to rival the Chaos Gods yet they weren't all that hard to table, making them look weak, and GW isn't all that into removing stuff with models, so they just claim there are weakened enslaved avatars.
And, according to most recent fluff, their necrodermis makes them look like a cross between Eldar and humans. So what the hell did the Necrontyr look like?
Transcendent C'Tan Shard
A Transcendent C'Tan Shard, introduced in Apocalypse, is a C'tan Shard that has eaten/merged with/subsumed a large number of other Shards (between twelve and several hundred), becoming scary powerful in the process. In fact, it's so powerful, it's an
Apocalypse-only Gargantuan creature as powerful as a Titan a Monstrous Creature with a power equivalent to a 6th edition Wraithknight (he had that nerf coming), all in a package the size of a regular C'tan. Funny enough, the most damage it dealt back in the day was blowing up, and not shooting the surely-not-warp-mind-bullet-lightning.
One of the most terrifying things is that a Transcendent Shard "calls" other shards of the same C'tan, hoping to absorb them and increase its own power in the process. Eventually, a loose Transcendent C'tan will reunite all loose Shards, becoming the original, nigh-on unkillable, godlike C'tan, which will no doubt be very angry at the Necrons for double-crossing them. Grimdark enough for you? No? Well, what if we told you there are ALREADY C'tan Shards on the loose? Some of them can even think for themselves. Remember the Nightbringer of Pavonis or the "golden-skinned" being who guided Abaddon to Drach'Nyen? Or maybe a Dragon sleeping on Mars?
Very few Necron dynasties have one, because it's very hard to keep something that powerful in check. It requires a massive Tesseract Vault to keep it barely contained. Despite this, there have been reports of particularly powerful/desperate/fucking stupid dynasties using the Transcendent shards without a Vault when the need arises, but only if said Shard is not yet powerful enough (which is why they are "only" MC compared to the Vault, that is a Super-heavy Flyer vehicle with upgraded C'Tan powers). In this state, the risk of the Shard going rogue increases a thousandfold, so even Assholetep thinks twice about releasing such power, because if the Transcendent Shard escapes and reunites with the other Shards of itself, the full-fledged C'tan will return. Let's leave to the reader's imagination what would happen then... After all, the Silent King had to basically sucker-punch the C'tan with a reality breaking superweapon, while they were tired and distracted, to shatter them in the first place. Even if the Necrons still had that weapon, it probably wouldn't work again.
Aza'Gorod, The Nightbringer
Here to fuck your shit up. The first C'tan revealed to inhabit realspace. Scared the crap out of a race/culture that was a threat to the race/culture that created all the other races in WH40K. Likes killing, killing and, well, killing. In short: batshit insane though in a different way than the Outsider. When the Necrons gave him a necrodermis body, he got a taste for livings and started slaughtering the Necrontyr who summoned him, only stopping when they pledged themselves to his service and pointed out there were other races to consume. Ate most of the other C'tan along with the Outsider, though he was convinced into doing so by the Deceiver while the Outsider was convinced by Cegorach, and is therefore known among his brethren as a team killing fucktard. Pretty much a giant, mechanical, space Grim Reaper that shoots lightning. He once battled the Eldar war god Khaela Mensha Khaine and lost (though he managed to give Khaine a black eye on the way out), after which he was imprisoned for millennia.
He was freed by Uriel Ventris and the Ultramarines 4th Company. And yes, that does mean the Ultrasmurfs have fucked over the entire galaxy on a scale not seen since the Eldar murderfucked Slaanesh into existence, but lets not get into that. The (Intelligent) Necrons under his authority tend to be the "silent, kill-every-living-thing" type with all the subtlety of an Angry Marine. In fact, they hate life so much that even bacteria and archaea are purged from any active Tomb World they inhabit.
(On a sidenote, the edit squabbles between the Necron-affiliated Neckbeards and the Chaos-affiliated neckbeards over what basically amounted to a "who would win in a fight?" discussion about him and Khorne was hilarious for the unaffiliated to watch.)
Mephet'ran, The Deceiver
Mass dickery on a galactic scale that only Tzeentch could rival. Got the bright idea of convincing the Necrontyr to turn themselves into the zombie-mummy-skeleton-robots known as
Tomb Kings Necrons. Rumored to have implanted the Pariah Gene into humans to help combat the forces of the Warp. This has since been retconned, but that's just what he wants you to think. Spends his days taking part in "Just as planned" contests with Tzeentch, The Emprah, Cegorach the Laughing God, and maybe/probably Alpharius (and/or Omegon), though no one really wins in the end as everything they do results in a paradox. The Eldar refer to the Deceiver as "The Jackal God", because they apparently had jackals in outer space millions of years ago, and just happened to identify them with the exact same trickster label we did (Or maybe it's a "meaning" translation); The Necrontyr, however, called him Mephet'Ran, or "the messenger", making him the Necrontyr equivalent of Hermes or Thoth (or Nyarlathotep if we want to go Lovecraft) hence his golden six-pack. The (Intelligent) Necrons under his command tend to be sneaky and manipulative bastards with many of the Necron Lords under his command occupying many important positions in the Imperium of man and are the type of Necrons most likely to stop and chat with you, the second most common type. These are probably more dangerous overall than the ones who just want to kill you. One of them infiltrated the Inquisition and set himself up as Inquisitor Raleigh of the Ordos Xenos in Xenology as part of a plot to learn humanity's greatest weakness, which turned out to be knowledge since humans are insatiably curious fucks which isn't actually that far from the truth. The Deceiver may have given Failbaddon his beloved daemon sword Drach'nyen in an almost Tzeentchian scheme to reduce Abby's WS to 1 . This would, as stated above, make Abaddon too powerful to be killed and replaced as Warmaster, and therefore ensure that only Abaddon and his massive degrees of incompetence would ever be at the head of the Traitor Legions. In the old fluff, it is confirmed that the Deceiver DID give the armless Despoiler two Blackstone Fortresses. These are gigantic Eldar spaceships that can destroy stars and can kill a C'tan because it is essentially a massive Distort weapon floating in space, and as the C'Tan cannot exist within or interact with the warp, a Distort weapon will kill them instantly as anything caught in its radius is torn between the warp and realspace, potentially even sucking them in entirely. This more than anything is what has probably kept Abaddon in power. The Deceiver would also much rather they were owned by people that didn't know what they truly are rather than the Eldar or anyone affiliated with them who could reactivate and utilize the Distort weapon.
Little known fact is that The Man With No Name was the Deceiver. Seriously.
Also seeing how he gave the Silent King full control of both his mind and total control of the Necron Forces, it implies he knew the Silent King was going to turn on the C'tan, and seeing how most free Shards seem to be the Deceiver it would imply he's running around trolling others all over the place, like SG-1's Baal with all his clones. This guy gave up godhood so he could be more of a dick. That's dedication right there.
Mag'ladroth, The Void Dragon
The Void Dragon can exert control over any machine, making him the most influential C'tan when at full power. It has been theorized that the Emperor battled the Void Dragon and successfully managed to put it to sleep under Mars. He didn't kill the Dragon, instead using its influence to give humanity mastery over machines. Extended from this theory, it is believed by some that the Omnissiah fervently worshiped by the Adeptus Mechanicus is actually the Void Dragon, as he's supposedly the entity that causes the ramshackle excuse for technology the Imperium has to work properly. There's also an Eldar legend of their forge god Vaul failing to destroy the Dragon, only managing to force its hibernation in the so-called "Vaul Moon," although that could, in fact, be Mars itself. In case you're wondering how powerful he is, note that he was once shot at by multiple Blackstone Fortresses simultaneously (keeping in mind that even a single Blackstone Fortress can destroy a planet Death Star-style); all this managed to do was make him sleepy. Vaul, meanwhile, allegedly attacked the Dragon with an army at his back and was never heard from again. This is probably the only reason the Emperor was able to defeat the Dragon; it was just tired from his previous scuffle. To top it all off, the Empruh's psychic power is apparently the only thing C'tan are vulnerable to. In short, powerful as FUCK. The Necrons under his command are probably massive technophiles with a raging hard-on for machines... then again, they're already machines, so that would be expected, but they're probably even bigger technophiles than their fellows and emphasize their mechanicalness over their undeadness. Could be argued that he's the only C'tan who's whole, given that he was shot by the Blackstone Fortresses and went to have a little sleepy, meaning he could have avoided the Silent King's master ball. If so, it'll be a bit of a problem to catch him now that's he's hanging out in the most heavily defended solar system in the entire galaxy.
If the Void Dragon were to ever wake up, its possible that the tenuous grip on technology the Mechanicum still had could be lost entirely. Those of the Mechanicum would be affected the worst- in an old 3rd Ed Necron codex tale, one such techpriest who discovered the truth of the Dragon tore every last implant from his body in a fearful insanity. Their incredibly strange relationship with technology sees them both venerating it, entrusting themselves to it blindly while also understanding little of it, shunning technology like that of AI in the wake of the Men of Iron. Wholly dependent and wholly ignorant of their tech, the Imperium's biggest threat lurks right under their noses- under their very skin, in some literal cases. In short, any human society that isn't still wearing loincloths and banging rocks together is going to have a really bad day. The Necrons themselves seem to be aware of this too. On one occasion, a Necron force took The World Engine for a joyride and divebombed Mars. It wasn't exactly successful (meaning it was completely destroyed by the Solar Garrison), but they got robo-boots on the ground, and the fact that they were able to do it at all shook things up for the High Lords. The question is why exactly they did this, given the old and new fluff for the 'Crons gives them dramatically different relationships with the C'tan. Some Necrons probably still worship the C'tan, so they could have been trying to either free or destroy it. Or manipulating the Imperium into dedicating more forces to protect it so the nids or Chaos don't let it out by accident. Freeing it might arguably be even worse for the Necrons than the Imperium. Necron suicide cult anyone?
Tsara'noga, The Outsider
Ate at the same C'tan-cannibalism salad bar as the Nightbringer but did so due to the dickery of Cegorach the Laughing God instead of the dickery of the Deceiver, but feels bad about it; blames Eldar gods for his bad eating habits. Decided to say "screw you guys, I'm taking my ball and leaving," and currently lives in a Dyson (vacuum cleaner) Sphere outside the galaxy. A hive fleet of Tyranids decided to go AROUND this place, not just ignore it like Tyranids do with Necron tomb-worlds. Were the Tyranids scared? Dunno, it's safer to lick a bandsaw than stop to ask a Tyranid. Other beings prefer to blow their own brains out rather then look at the Outsider when he's in town. Grimdark. The (intelligent) Necrons under his command are probably batshit insane. Also to note, it is theorized HE IS THE HIVEMIND of the Tyranids, needless to say, if this is true the galaxy is screwed (But not the Blood Angels. They're good friends with the Soulless, spooky, sleepy tin skeletons that literally cannot feel any kind of emotion, logic.)
You do not mess with The Outsider. Given that he went off to sulk about being a greedy little cannibal the Outsider might be fine and dandy and not in the Silent Kings battle box in case he ever has to face a Charizard
Nyadra'zatha, The Burning One
Gee, I bet you can't guess what his shtick is. Hint: it involves Webway gates. Wait, what? Yeah, apparently the Burning One was the C'tan that told the Necrons how to break into the Dolmen Gates and troll the Old Ones on their own turf. He was implemented to give more background to the "Lord of Fire" ability, but many neckbeards believe that Games Workshop added him specifically to make us argue about whether or not he's Khaine. Whether or not this is true, you should absolutely use an Avatar of Khaine to represent a C'tan Shard with Lord of Fire and laugh when your opponent's Fire Dragon Exarch's meltagun blows up in his face.
- Oh, and in case you didn't get it: he's a pyromaniac asshole. The only reason he wanted to go into the Webway was to burn the fuck out of it.
Once had his own rules in both Champions of Fenris and Shield of Baal: Exterminatus. All his attacks have Soul Blaze and has a special power of S5 AP4 assault 2D6 ignores cover soul blaze and the special rule Wall of Fire which means all the attacks auto-hit including flyers and models blocked by line of sight.
These were for special missions however and not a special character that any army could take. Instead there is a formation in Exterminatus to represent the Burning One, which is squad consisting of a single shard and two Crypteks, where the whole unit uses the Toughness of the Shard and it also gets Feel No Pain. Despite its name, the formation could easily apply to any other C'Tan as well.
Finally has a model, since it's confirmed that a shard of the Burning One is trapped above the Silent King's throne. Oh, and he's wearing its flayed skin. Grimdark.
Iash'uddra, The Endless Swarm
Nothing is known about this guy but his name. Contrary to some fa/tg/uys belief, he is not a reference to Tau Quest, but rather to the old fan theory in which the Tyranids were led by a C'tan. Again, GW is actively trying to make us argue and fanwank, the trollan fucks.
Of course if you don't want to subscribe to GW's fuckery it could be where the Scarabs come from, since they are, arguably, a huge swarm of mechanical undead bugs.
If this post is to be believed, he's the Scarab creator indeed! Also, apparently, his form is not as solid as those of other C'tan, looking more like gestalt being of Scarabs, barely holding together in humanoid form, instead.
Og'driada, The Arisen
Even less is known about him, than about Iash'uddra (his only canonical appearance so far), but, if this post is to be believed, this C'tan is the oldest one of them all, roused from sleep by the consumption of the Necrontyr and shrouded in heavy robes.
Llandu'gor, The Flayer
Llandu'Gor is responsible for the Flayed Ones. The Necrons sharded him so hard he completely died, but he managed to infect thousands of Necrons with his hunger as a final dick move, turning them into warped ghouls with a gore fetish and teleportation powers. Which basically means that he has millions of Necrons under his influence, and that this number is continuously growing, because the Flayer Curse is contagious.
The exact wording of the curse is as follows:
"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."
Apparently named after a Welsh village, must be a nice place. (NB: depends which Welsh villages, there are heaps of Llansomethings)
Yggra’nya, The Moulder of Worlds
Yggra’nya was the C'tan responsible for the creation of the World Engine, known as Borsis to the Necrons. After getting sharded and imprisoned on Borsis, let's just say he wasn't all that fond of the folks who took over the place in his absence. When the Astral Knights came down for their suicide attack on the planet, he convinced them to free him, and promptly proceeded to fuck up the ruling Overlord and every power generator on the planet, opening up the World Engine for bombardment from the Imperial Fleet. After that, he hightailed it out of there and probably went off into another galaxy to fuck around with, like he said he would. Or not, considering he seemed to have Deceiver levels of dickery.
Another shard of the Worldmaker was present on Damnos when the Ultramarines returned to retake it for the Imperium after Cato Sicarius' first attempt. Contained within a Tesseract Vault, it was happily powering an entire floating Necron City when Marneus Calgar decided to say fuck it and dual-wield a Gauss Pylon to blow the damn thing up and release the C'tan shard within.Yggra'nya shouted with its newfound freedom, and the shout grew until it was cracking the earth beneath it, until Cato threw a Vortex grenade and sucked it into the Warp.
N’phoran,The Spiral Flame
Very little is known about this guy beside information found in Necron 8th ed codex page 100. He is burning everything to dust in that little text they have wrote (poor Tyranids) in codex. Sounds a tiny bit familiar like The Burning One, but who am i to judge?
Introduced In Belisarius Cawl: The Great Work to wank said titular character, he is first shown as one of eight C'tan shards(the others were consumed by him during their sleep) powering the Pharos on Sotha. He is then freed by Cawl who, in an effort to betray the C'tan, submitted to him and allowed Zarhulash to access the current state of the Galaxy. In that same scene it is implied that the actual Necrodermis cage-body is hard for the "human" mind to make sense of until it reduced it to a "sensible" human-esque form. During the Interactions with Cawl he claims that the C'tan are truly divine while the Machine God is a Lie, the Chaos Gods are mere conciousness as a result of warp disturbances, and the Emperor is "a weapon".
Shortly before Cawl's sudden and inevitable Hackerman betrayal and after bossing around both Cawl and Token "Brown" Captain Felix battling robo-bugs, he manages to gain control of the local Canoptek constructs which quickly peel him out of his skin revealing that the actual C'tan looks closer to a miniature sun. Of course right after realizing Cawl betrayed him he is then confronted with a choice: smack Cawl and risk getting swallowed by the black hole created by a collapsing Pharos device, or escaping through a portal made by Cawl leading to a tasty Sun to eat on the far side of the Galaxy. He of course goes for the latter swearing vengeance and the like on Cawl.
This all has some Implications: C'tan shards can't tussle with a singularity, though it is unknown if a full C'tan can, the appearance of a shard may be more eldritch/cosmic horror-ish than otherwise implied, it doesn't take much for a shard to get rid of his skin-cage, and this shard is well and truly free from the necrons. It remains to see if anything interesting gets done with him or if he's a one and done kinda deal.
Eldritch Star Crunch
In their original forms the C'tan were Monstrous Creatures with fairly insane stat lines; toughness 8, 5 wounds and 4+/4++ as well as the ability to move through terrain freely and in general be very unpleasant to deal with. C'tan could not be assaulted without leadership checks, and if destroyed, detonated and caused damage to all units around them (this does not also take into account the slew of unique rules both kept). They were not cheap; the Nightbringer sat at 360pts, the Deceiver at 300.
Eight edition allowed a fair bit of cheese with the biggest, stinkiest wheel being the Deceiver. His teleport ability was one of the main reason that a fairly neglected army was able to score big as it allowed you to Deep Strike several units where they could most easily rape your opponent's lines.
9th Edition Zoomer Primer
Ninth edition boosted every shard in a major way, making them almost mandatory. It introduced the Void Dragon and gifted all shards with a stats buff as well as the Necrodermis rule, making it so they cannot lose more than 3 wounds per phase (a.k.a Prophet of Gork and Mork but easier to say). They still have the same ability to cast two (with one extra random one with a stratagem) powers at the end of the movement phase, all of which cannot be denied and get off on low rolls, dealing a shitton of mortal wounds.
Naturally, there had to be a casualty and it ended up being the Deceiver. Our sweet prince of cheese received a simple but devastating nerf : his teleport can now only redeploy units in the deployment zone. It didn't receive any real compensation either, so it's likely that he'll end up being discarded for the others.
The cheap, working man's shard this time around is the
Noodle Transcendent C'tan. It doesn't have any incredible rules or weapons, but he does have the same choice of two powers as well as a neat table to roll for that grants him 2 out of 6 random and largely good buffs. Considering his price he might be a good call in a list that finds itself short of points but in need of mortal wounds.
Now the two big lads : the Void Dragon, fittingly for something that allegedly drove the Mechanicus' zeal, a vehicle hunting nightmare. He has access to a fairly unique piercing ranged attack that deals damage to its target as well as anything in between. That makes him hazardous to its potential screen but a definite beast with enhanced damage to vehicles (rolling D3+3 instead of D6 on them). He also seems to like munching on Rhino meat since he derives healing from destroying them.
And the absolute king of the group the Rapebringer. 6 attacks at S14 AP-4, damage D6 - ignores invulnerable saves and Feel No Pain saves. That's all.
The Deceiver would make more sense here, but who would bother complaining about minutia like that?
YOU KNOW WHAT THIS PAGE NEEDS? MORE FIRE!
Did someone say Tyranid barbecue?