The Deathwatch Epistolary is a special Deathwatch Librarian rank. While a normal Epistolary itself is the third rank of Space Marine Librarians, in which their primary role is chief communications officer, both on the battlefield and beyond. They are able to use their powers to project their mind through the warp, similar to the Astropaths of the Adeptus Astra Telepathica, but without the need to endure the torturous ritual of soul binding that is otherwise required. More commonly, their abilities are used over shorter distances, coordinating attacks and battle orders. For the Deathwatch which have been Retconned from hating all psykers to hating only enemy psykers, the Deathwatch use their Librarians and thus Epistolary in a different way. More importantly, Deathwatch Epistolary uses their warp powers to combat and protect their fellow brothers from other enemy psykers, as the saying goes, fight fire with fire.
As part of a Kill-team an Epistolary specifically change their role from psychic support group to Ahriman-levels of psychic Dakka. In a sense, rather than murderfucking Xenos physically, they murderfuck them psychically. Not a lot of chumps will stand before the coming of an Epistolary as their minds fill with either "HOLY SHIT THIS GUY DOES NOT FUCK AROUND!" or "HOLY SHIT THIS GUY IS FUCKING UP MY PRECOGNITION!". If the filthy Xenos somehow survive that torrent of psychic mind bullets, no problem! he/she would just end up meeting the sharpy and pointy tip of the Epistolary’s force weapon. The most important call made for a Deathwatch Epistolary is to take the field against xenos psykers.
Many alien species usually bring in their own warp-dabblers and sorcerers of varying talent submitting to those Warp Goblins, to purposefully fuck with the armies of the Imperium. Others, like the Eldar, have their own esoteric methods to shape the warp to their will. Yet others have innate psychic powers that can render them immune to conventional weaponry, dominate or stupefy Space Marines. All of these and more represent a very unpleasant case of psychic fuckery to an unprepared Kill-team without psyker support. A Librarian can warn of such perils before they are encountered, or at least in time to act against them decisively with targeted attacks.
An Epistolary can just say "FUCK THE NOISE!" and like a total bro, overcome the most potent alien psyker shenanigans and/or protect his Battle-Brothers from an overwhelming psychic miasma. With an Epistolary present, a battle is fought on two planes, both the physical and psychic, and Librarians are specially equipped for this task.
With their psychic defenses bamboozled, aliens easily suffer a case of Squad Broken to conventional kill-team tactics. Time spent in the Deathwatch offers a Librarian a unique opportunity to learn about alien psykers and to study their methods for manipulating the warp. A Deathwatch Epistolary is deeply knowledgeable about such matters, a veteran of many encounters with not just xenos creatures but their artefacts and structures too. The reading of xenos minds, while distasteful and even heretical, is acknowledged as an unpleasant art form in its own right that can expose the murky web of motivations and alien thought processes to full examination. Psychometry, the art of object reading, opens insights into the operation and purpose of things made by alien hands (or their equivalent) even long past their extinction. On many occasions looking at past relics has prevented future disasters by correctly predicting the resurgence of an alien threat at a specific site or by revealing a key weakness that can be used to bring about their doom.
Such prolonged exposure to xenos also places particularly stringent demands on an Epistolary. As you can imagine, peering into the heretical and borderline lewd thoughts of some Xenos race, could seep into the Librarian’s mind and is an ever-present peril that must be guarded against. Every piece of knowledge won can bring with it the seeds of potential destruction in the form of memetic trap or a psychic poison (Whatever the fuck that means). So the Epistolary must buckle up his psychic chastity belt against such degeneracy.
Alien Minds and Bond of Brotherhood are two psychic powers exclusive to the Deathwatch Epistolary.
|Forces of the Deathwatch|
|Command:||Forge Master - Keeper - Deathwatch Chaplain |
Watch Captain - Watch Master - Deathwatch Epistolary
|Troops:||Deathwatch First Company Veteran - Deathwatch Champion |
Terminator Squad - Veteran Squad - Kill Team - Kill Marine
|Walkers:||Venerable Dreadnought - Deathwatch Dreadnought|
|Vehicles:||Bike Squad - Rhino - Razorback |
Land Raider (Land Raider Redeemer - Land Raider Crusader)
|Spacecraft:||Kill-Ship - Boarding Torpedo |
Drop Pod - Space Marine Landing Craft
|Allies:||Space Marines - Primaris Marines|