In the ancient Necron panoplies of war, a Canoptek Tomb Sentinel, also known simply as a Tomb Sentinel, is a truly unusual innovation. It is one of the last war machines designed by the Cryptek artificer Toholk the Blinded and was given over to the Triarch Praetorians before the Great Sleep for dissemination to the other Necron Dynasties at the Silent King’s demand. Designed as both a guardian and an aggressor, a Canoptek Tomb Sentinel is a heavily modified variant of the insectile Tomb Stalker which forgoes that war engine’s facility in close assault in order to mount a compact exile weapon able to render a battle tank into oblivion. Phasing phantom-like through the paltry defences and fortifications of the less advanced races, it can deploy its Exile Cannon within the close confines of an enemy stronghold or even within a landed starship with devastating consequences.
A Tomb Sentinel is an enormous mass of living metal carapace teeming with flashing legs and possessed of a murderous will. Easily the size of a dozen men, this centipede-like robotic construct makes use of arcane phase-generators, allowing it to stalk the Tomb Worlds of its slumbering lords, burrowing through solid ground. Tomb Sentinels are swift and relentless engines of murder that know neither pity nor remorse. Differing somewhat in scale and form, Tomb Sentinels and other similar robotic constructs primarily serve by guarding their Necron masters’ during their sleep. They are eternally vigilant in their search for intruders that might disturb the dread tombs in which their masters slumber.
Tomb Sentinels can detect the pulse of life and sense the frenzied rhythm of a panicked heartbeat through hundreds of metres of solid rock, and they use this ability to home in unerringly on their victims. This is due to the powerful sensors built into their primary sensor cluster which can work in all conditions, including complete darkness. The Sentinel’s immense size combines with its natural capacity for regeneration like all Necron constructs to create a nearly indestructible war engine. Like all the works of the undying Necrons, these insectoid creatures continue to thrash and fight with deadly ferocity despite damage or dismemberment. The individual segments of the killing-machine seem drawn to one another and will reconstitute themselves to reform the whole should they come back into contact. Indeed, only the massive use of force is capable of wounding a Tomb Sentinel in the first place.
Tomb Sentinels are extraordinarily fast and employ a form of in-built phase field generator to pass through inert matter as if it were water, bore their way through rock and stone, and effortlessly move through the debris and rough terrain that often litters a battlefield. Because of their agile and speedy nature, and their ability to move swiftly underground, Tomb Sentinels are capable of appearing directly underneath an enemy. Erupting from the earth itself, a Tomb Sentinel can attack without warning, firing its cannon into its prey and bringing its large mass and multitude of limbs to bear. After having unleashed its powerful weapon upon the enemy, a Tomb Sentinel will then disengage from combat and burrow underground again to strike elsewhere, leaving nothing in its wake. The Tomb Sentinel's phasing capability pairs with its unerring sensor-array and advanced multi-targeting protocols to make it a fearsome hunter of important enemy personnel. Given the nature of its Exile Cannon, a Tomb Sentinel is capable of banishing everything from battle tanks to the most immense xenos creature or daemonic entity to a barren pocket dimension.
All Tomb Sentinels are armed as follows:
- Exile Cannon - An Exile Cannon is a powerful and arcane Necron weapon that uses similar technologies to those employed by the smaller Transdimensional Beamer. An Exile Cannon can be used as a convenient method of banishing large amounts of unwanted debris, machinery and failed experiments from Tomb Worlds and battlefields into a pocket dimension outside of the normal space-time continuum. However, these arcane ray projectors can also just as easily unleash their energy beams to blast and banish foes, armoured vehicles, and alien creatures to a long and horrifying death from starvation by casting them into other dimensional realms beyond the material universe.
- Blades and Claws - A Tomb Sentinel can attack its foes with its myriad of blades, limbs and claws, using its brute strength and fast movement to erupt ghost-like from solid earth before smashing into the enemy lines, ripping to shreds anything that dares to flee in a storm of bladed limbs.
Some Tomb Sentinels may be upgraded with the following arms:
- Sepulchral Scarabs - Sepulchral Scarabs are a specialised variant of Canoptek Scarabs that some Canoptek Tomb Sentinels carry into battle. If the Tomb Sentinel is damaged, Sepulchral Scarabs will emerge from their hiding places on the Tomb Sentinel's carapace to quickly repair the construct, granting the Tomb Sentinel immense regenerative properties.
- Gloom Prism – A Gloom Prism can generate cloaking fields of an unknown energy type that shield the Tomb Sentinel from the effects of Warp-spawned powers, such as those wielded by psykers.
Ordo Xenos Departmento Analyticus Technical Specifications
The term "canoptek" is a play on the word "canoptic", an adjective used to refer to an ancient Egyptian vase, urn, or jar, often known as a canoptic jar, that is used to hold the viscera of an embalmed body. The Necrons' flavour has been heavily reworked in the 5th Edition to be even more evocative of ancient Egyptian cultural references.
- Imperial Armour - Volume Twelve - The Fall of Orpheus, pg. 121