From 1d4chan

An Arco-flagellant is the result of a rare case where a filthy heretic is deemed redeemable enough to be inducted back into the ranks of the Imperium. Of course, such a severe crime is often not left unpunished, and the Ecclesiarchy are sensible enough to punish them in the most appropriate way possible: by turning them into living weapons.

Arco-flagellants occupy a weird ethical and moral ground within /tg/: on one hand the idea of turning convicted criminals into biological weapons would make most modern governments shit themselves... on the other hand, these are traitor heretics we are talking about and sending them to a warzone to redeem themselves of their past wrong doings is quite noble in a way. Plus, the fans know that the souls of those people really are on the line and a short time of extreme suffering in life beats an eternity of suffering far beyond mere definitions in the Warp.

See also Penitent Engines, which are the same general concept but for those who have been very very naughty.

Getting new plastic models with the updated Sisters release.


The process of arco-flagellation is a method of penitence administered by the Adeptus Mechanicus, but appointed by the Ecclesiarchy. It is used to punish any heresy not terrible enough to warrant immediate execution. The point of such extravagant punishments is to physically expunge the sin from a heretic's soul so that they may strengthen the Emperor when they die.

In arco-flagellation, the heretic undergoes extensive physical surgery and mental reconditioning, turning them into frenzied berserkers. The guilty person is lobotomised and his prefrontal cortex is fried, eliminating any possibility of higher-level thought. Notably, this part is usually done at the very end of the surgery so they can feel the pain of the punishment. He can be implanted with a variety of weapons, such as cutting claws, pneu-mattocks and electro-flails. The Arco-flagellant is fitted with a sealed pacifier helm containing implants and drug-injection pumps that connect into the cerebrum and spinal cord, which keeps them in a calm, barely conscious state. When in this mode the Arco-flagellant's mind is filled with sacred images and verses, such as symbols of the Ecclesiarchy, pictures of Saints and looped hymnals and prayers, which enter directly into the heretic's subconscious. The helm can be deactivated by means of a trigger word, releasing inhibitors and unleashing the full fury Tard Rage of the Arco-flagellant. Another trigger word activates the pacifier helm again, rendering the Arco-flagellant passive once more.

Arco-flagellants are almost unstoppable once activated, as the combat drugs and painkillers shot directly into their spine turns them into roided out maniacs, making them heedless of most injuries they sustain. They are literally Imperial Khorne Berserkers. Arco-flagellants are normally used by the Ecclesiarchy's fighting forces in suicide attack units, because if running blindly into heretical lasgun fire doesn't kill them, the combat stims making the flagellant's body shit itself to death due to the strain of holy combat usually does. However, an Inquisitor can request (or demand if they are confident enough) that a Cardinal turn over an Arco-flagellant or two to their authority. An Arco-flagellant is not a subtle weapon, and they are much appreciated by the more bloody-minded Inquisitors, who are not afraid of some collateral damage and a few innocent casualties. Of course, the Imperial Guard is all to happy to have more cannon fodder too and commanders with Ecclesiarchal ties might get to have some as well.

There are also incredibly rare Arco-flagellants made from Blanks called Serpahs, which are used by Inquisitors serving near warp rifts or guarding the most important Inquisition prisons and facilities.

The moral? If you're going to commit heresy, make it bad enough you're just killed on the spot or be ready to kill yourself. Or be genuinely repentant and volunteer to serve as canon fodder after a round of regular brainwashing instead of being just redeemable enough that an Arco-flagellation is considered more practical than simple repentance.

Forces of the Sisters of Battle
Command: Triumph of Saint Katherine - Canoness
Ecclesiarchy Battle Conclave - Imagifier
Ministorum Priest - Palatine - Dogmata
Sororitas Command Squad
Troops: Avenging Angel - Arco-flagellant - Battle Sister Squad
Celestians - Crusaders - Death Cult Assassin
Dominion Squad - Novitiate Squad - Retributor Squad
Seraphim Squad - Sisters Repentia - Zephyrim Squad
Vehicles: Castigator Tank - Exorcist - Immolator
Paragon Warsuit - Penitent Engine
Repressor - Rhino - Mortifier
Special Vehicles: Pulpit of Saint Holline's Basilica
Mobile Cathedral
Flyers: Avenger Strike Fighter
Spacecraft: Aquila Lander - Drop Pod
Saints: Living Saint - Geminae Superia
Non Militant: Orders Dialogous - Orders Famulous - Orders Hospitaler
Orders Pronatus - Hagiolater
Allies: Black Templars
Forces of the Inquisition
Command: Inquisitor (Ordo Malleus Inquisitor - Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor
Ordo Xenos Inquisitor
Retinue: Acolyte - Arbites Enforcer - Arco-flagellant - Astropath - Banisher
Cherubim - Chiurgeon - Crusaders - Daemonhost - Death Cult Assassin
Jokaero - Hierophant - Mystic - Sanctioned Psyker - Sage (Autosavant
Lexmechanic - Sister Dialogous) - Servo-skull - Servitor - Sister Hospitaler
Pariah - Penitent - Ministorum Priest - Militarum Veteran Squad - Warp-Seer
Inquisitorial Pyroclast
Auxiliaries: Inquisitorial Stormtroopers - Deathwatch - Grey Knights
Sisters of Battle - Callidus Assassin - Culexus Assassin
Eversor Assassin - Vindicare Assassin - Vanus Assassin
Venenum Asssassin
Vehicles: Chimera - Land Raider (Land Raider Crusader
Land Raider Redeemer) - Razorback - Rhino
Special Vehicles: Throne of Judgement
Flyers: Valkyrie
Spacecraft: Aquila Lander - Gun-Cutter - Inquisitorial Black Ship