Familiars and servants
Note: these rules are presented as an expanded alternative to the rules for cherubim found in the Inquisitor's Handbook.
Adapted from Ben Dell's article for Inquisitor
Cherubim require their owner to have a MIU to be effective.
Cherubim are Servitors, despite being cuter and more independently-minded than most other Servitors. They are made of vat-grown tissue and given artificial-life by the bio-magus of the Adeptus-Mechanicus. The creation of life, even the crudest Servitor parody of life, is no simple task. There are musculature and skeletal-structures, circulatory-systems and internal-organs to worry about, not to mention the 'spark' that must provide animation. The most complicated of all tasks though, is to form nervous-systems (even the most extensively programmed bionicbrain is useless without neurons to translate its programming into actions). Mono-task Servitors have the simplest form of neural-system possible, meaning reactions are slow, movements reprogrammed and responses limited. Multi-task Servitors must have a greater range-of-movement and control, requiring more complex and fine nerve-clusters. Cherubim have the most complex of all Servitor neural-systems because their Masters expect them to fulfil a variety of tasks and to move fully, mimicking child-like mannerisms and even display appropriate emotional-responses. Unlike other Servitor-creations Cherubim are never mass-produced; almost all are tailor-built for their Master. It is no wonder then, that they are the most expensive and status-laden Servitor-constructs in the Imperium.
Reason for being
Cherubim are unlike other Servitors because they are not purely functional. The form of a small, slow-moving, chubby child is not efficient for undertaking combat, heavy-lifting, maintenance, vehicle-control or any other duty commonly associated with Servitors. Though Cherubs are designed by the adepts for a particular role at the time of their creation, the primary use of all Cherubim is as decoration. They are a fashion-statement for the rich, a declaration of purity and piety for the holy (or the would-be holy) and a symbol of authority for the powerful. Regardless of the reason for their creation Cherubim inspire awe in the common-folk of the Imperium as living-embodiments of faith for the Imperial-Cult. This is further reinforced in Imperial devotional-iconography where the Cherubim plays a big part in legitimising the purity and sanctity of others, as in this picture where the appearance of the Cherub reinforces the idea that the armoured figure is divinely favoured.
Cherubim have independent-behaviour programming, more so than any other Servitor but like every Familiar they must ultimately be controlled by an MIU (Mind-Impulse-Unit). Without this link they become afraid and helpless. The bearer of the MIU to which the Cherub is attuned is its Master, and the Cherub will do anything the Master orders, even if that would lead to the Cherub's certain destruction. Because of this close link the Master can see, hear, and feel what the Cherub does and is even hurt when the Cherub is. Many Masters become very attached to their Cherubim, not just because of the MIU link, and will risk a great-deal to save their Familiar from harm.
Cherubim perform a small-range of functions and roles and rarely do any of them as well as a trained human-being could (like Gun Servo-Skulls cannot out-perform trained-warriors) they are however the most versatile Cyber-Creatures/Servitors. In fact, any Master who uses the Cherubim as a Combat-Servitor is risking an expensive resource in a role it was never designed for and is missing that they can be much more important in subtlycomplementing the abilities of their Master. Many important Imperial-servants have groups of Cherubim serving them, each aiding its Master in different ways, compensating for a skill that is lacked, complementing those that already exist or providing another valuable service. Any Inquisitor who can see the uses and benefits of these winged-servitors during their investigations and can properly utilise them, can expect to have a subtle and powerful, if slightly delicate, advantage over his opponents. Inquisitors can of course summon replacements for Cherubs destroyed in the line-of-duty and may feel the advantage they provide is worth the risk of their destruction.
Cherubim are without-doubt the most complex Familiar constructs routinely created in the Imperium, but not all Cherubim are created equal. Some are more complex and versatile than others. Some are Nephilim. Nephilim is a term used to describe any advanced-form of Cherubim; this could be caused by a quirk of the tissue-growth tanks, the work of a Master-Magos, a specially commissioned design or even the God-Emperor smiling upon His newly-created servant. Whatever the reason, Nephilim function at a highercapacity than other Cherubim. There is no consistent way to get a vat-grown Nephilim, it is as much a matter of luck and skill as any work of art and often it may not be apparent whether a Cherub is 'advanced' until it has been in service to its Master for some-time. Nephilim is a term used almost exclusively by Adeptus-Biologicus Adepts and Cherubim-connaisseurs and is an abstract-label for an ideal not a class of Cherubim; even most Masters of Nephilim are unaware of the distinction or terminology. Nephilim is a high-gothic word and literally-translates as 'Half-Breed' (though it has connotations of holiness). The reason for some Cherubim to be called this name is unclear even to most Biologicus-Adepts. Those who do know the origins of the term generally keep-quiet because the truth is less-than palatable.
Originally the term Nephilim applied only to a very-small number of Cherubim who were created not from vat-tissue but from children enslaved into Servitors, hence the practice of referring to them as an angelic 'half-breed'. Because Nephilim created in this way have already formed a natural neural-system that is infinitely more complex than any created by the Adeptus-Mchanicus, they tend to produce the most advanced and capable Cherubim and eventually the label was corrupted to indicate any high-functioning Cherub. To create a True-Nephilim, the child must be below age-6, due to problems with bone-density after this age. The child is then, for lack of better-terminology, lobotomised and embalmed. They are fed growth-retardant chemicals and what brain is left, is thoroughly mind-scrubbed. A set of wings is retrofitted to the spine, which must be severed in several-places before being respliced. Finally, they are implanted with inhibitors, fitted with cranial-pacifiers and other bionic-equipment as required. The procedure is not without its problems though; there have been recorded-incidents where the embalming-process has resulted in death, as the skin suffocates under the chemicaltreatment. Other problems have led to persistent-vegetativestates of the brain-stem so that not even an entire bionic-brain replacement will work, effectively leaving the child as an artificially-sustained carcass.
|Familiar||Number of roles||Price||Availability|
|Cherubim||one complex or two simple||30,000 + 500 / simple role + 800 / Complex role||Very rare|
|Nephilim||one complex and one simple or three simple||45,000 + 750 / simple role + 1000 / Complex role||Very Rare|
Movement: 2/4/6/12 for Cherubims and 3/6/9/18 for Nephilims
Taits: : Scrawny, Hoverer, From Beyond, Dependant on Master, Carrier
Carrier: The Charubim can hold any object up to its carrying limit value, can only use shields and other passive devices, and cannot attack
Dependent-on-Master:If the MIU-link with the Master is ever broken (either temporarily or because the Master is unconscious/dead) the Cherubim becomes scared, disoriented and will fly to the nearest, safe hiding-place.
The Gregori/Watcher: The Cherubim has an Auspex and +10 Per
Aesthetics: The Cherubim will have piercing, luminescent, third, bug-style or otherwise unusual eyes.
The Harpy: The Cherubim is fitted with blades and steel-claws (count has knives). The Cherubim obtains WS 35
Aesthetics: These Cherubim have thick-feathering and wickedly clawed bird's feet, and are almost always female.
The Reaper: The Cherubim has a cyber-optic or cyber-finger digi-weapon; usual choices and rules for Digi-weapons. The Cherubims obtains BS 40
Aesthetics: The Cherubim carries a death-motif; often skulls-onchains or has a skull-head itself. Black-cowled Reapers are common, hence the name.
The Squire: The Cherub's function is to carry heavy-items for his Master, giving it the unnatural toughtness (x2) trait. Additionally the Cherub is so attentive that whilst within 1 meter, items it carries are immediately-available to its Master, meaning a free action is used to retrieve or give them. The Weight of items carried is counted against Carrying limit.
Aesthetics: Resembles a medieval-squire or sword-boy, often wearing Heraldic-designs.
The Crusader: The Cherubim has armour on all locations, either the equivalent of Guard Flak Armour or Storm Trooper Carapace. The Weight of any armour counts against the Cherubim's Carrying limit. Additionally may spend its reaction to protect its master with its body or try and parry with a shield.
Aesthetics: It is a common-fashion to have the Cherubim in tiny suits of Crusader-armour, hence the name.
The Swift: The Cherubim has having unnatural Agility
Aesthetics: The Cherubim has larger-wings than usual and is often streamlined in its features.
The Focus: The Cherub may act as the Psy Focus for any Psychic-Power and is subject to all the rules of a psyber-eagle.
Aesthetics: The Cherubim is covered in mystic-markings and is often cloaked.
The Custodian: The Cherubim has pentagrammic/hexagrammic Wards and is linked to a null-field box (used to transport items that have psychic-emanations such as; daemon-weapons, psychic-artefacts, exotic-tomes etc). The box renders the item inside harmless for the duration, is made-of reinforced arma-plas (AP 10) and is Vox encrypto-locked. Only the owner of the Cherub can command it to sing and decrypt the vox-lock.
Aesthetics: The Cherubim often have bunches-of-keys and the null-field boxes are usually ornate-chests.
The Weapons-Loader: The Cherub carries ammo and ranged weaponry for his Master and is so-attentive that whilst within 1 meter, Ranged-Weapons it carries are immediately available to its Master; meaning a Free Action is used to retrieve them. The Weight of items carried is counted against its Carrying limits. Additionally, the Cherub has Rapid Reload Talent.
Aesthetics: Small soldier-outfits, bandoliers and bullet-belts are extremely common.
The Shining: The Cherubim is equipped with its own personal Refractor force-field (1D10 AP).
Aesthetics: The Cherub has a special, glittering-pigmentation to its skin.
The Spy: The Cherubim is equipped with advanced cyber-senses (Awareness +20, pict/vox record and photolenses) and gains the Enhanced Senses (Taste and Smell) (Cherub can act as a food-taster, check for poisons and identify air-borne toxins like he had Chem-Use +10). When the Cherub detects gas/toxins (Awareness-check) the Master gains a reaction immediately to use any protection he has. The Cherubim has Cybernetic Lungs to help resist toxins. Finally, the Cherub has an implanted Multi-Key (and acts like he has the Security skill).
Aesthetics: Camouflage/black-out is common.
The Seer: The Cherubim adds +20 to the WP of its Master for psychic-tests only, and reduces the roll on the Psychic phenomena table by 15. It also suffers 1d5 wounds each time this occurs. The Cherubim has been Bound-to-the-Emperor and is consequently blind (like an Astropath) and sees with Warp-Sight, meaning its Master can also view like this, giving him the Psyniscience skill, but the Cherub cannot be fitted with an Internal-Auspex.
Aesthetics: The Cherubim often have blindfolds or eye-coverings of some sort. All Seers carry a psy-rystalline rod that channels the psychic-feedback to them.
The Messenger: The Cherubim is equipped with a pheromonetargeting Auspex that can match an individual's pheromonetraces if it has been provided with a sample previously. Once the Messenger has located the recipient, the message playsback/downloads. Many Imperial-Installations and Merchant-Houses sample visitor's pheromones as a standard-procedure for this reason. The Cherub has a mnemo-cluster brain capable of storing a cogitator's-worth of information that will wipe once the message is delivered. The Messenger also has the same advantage as The Swift.
Aesthetics: a toga, satchel, plumed-helm, and winged-sandals are the norm for a Messenger.
The Healer: The Cherub has Medic-ability and the equivalent of an implanted medi-kit, it also has three injector-reservoirs (three doses in each), which can hold any toxin, combat-drug, de-tox agent, or healing-drug the owner chooses.
Aesthetics: The Cherubim often have white-robes, crystal-tears sutured to the cheeks and an innocent look.
The Grenadier: The Cherubim is equipped with a belt of 5 grenades that can be dropped whilst flying. The Cherub must fly directly-overhead of the target, drop a grenade and rollto hit and scatter as normal. The grenadier gains BS 35. The grenades count against the Cherub's Carrying Mimits.
Aesthetics: The Cherubim most often look like small-soldiers, with ancient or dress-uniforms.
The Jailer: The Cherubim carries sets of null-field manacles (rendering captives docile and psykers unable to use their Psychic-Abilities) those in custody have -50 to WP-tests to even think of attempting to break-out on their own (one-test per hour, if failed, the captive will not resist in any way, if successful the captive need-not test again and can attempt break-outs). The Cherub may also have stun-collars (does 1pt damage automatically, as stun-weapon rules, one-action to activate), and injecta-cuffs (can be loaded with 1 dose of any toxin, half-action to activate). The Cherub also has +15 S so that should these stun-effects not work, it stands a chance of controlling its charge through the binding-chains (opposed Strength-rolls).
Aesthetics: Chains, keys, studded-collars and executioner's-hoods are common.
The Pariah: The Cherubim contains a null-field generator that gives it the Pariah-ability. However the Cherub cannot work in conjunction with any other Cherubim, other Cherubim become confused and overload (stunned) in the presence of a Pariah belonging to the same Master.
Aesthetics: Pariahs appear sickly and malnourished, their eyes are glossy black-pools and their feathered-wings are tattered. There is a feeling of innate-wrongness about the Cherub.
Civilian Roles (Simple)
The Sycophant: Need an ego-boost? Need a shoulder to cry on? Want to know how fabulous you are ALL-the-time? Need someone to carry your mirror? Then the Sycophant is for you.
The Love Angel: Armed with a golden-bow of love, the Love Angel oozes-charm (as well as secreting 'love'-pheromones that increase the brain's-susceptibility to sexual-attraction). Your choice of chemical-relaxant vapours, such as Iho or Obscura can also be released from its censure. Gives +10 to its master's Charm tests outside combats.
The Tailor: The perfect tailor. Speed-stitching and weaving, able to create fully-tailored garments from its onboard-supplies of thread and other materials in just a few-hours. Has skill Trade : Tailor +20
The Butler: Ever popular, the Butler can run a household without you needing to get involved, from ensuring everything is kept stocked to cleaning and serving-dinner. Has skill Trade : Valet +20
The Stenographer: The Cherub is programmed as a quillservitor, recording everything-said in its vicinity.