A Chaplain Dreadnought, also known as the Chaplain Venerable Dreadnought, is a variant of the Castraferrum Dreadnought combat walker used by the Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes. Dreadnoughts are cybernetic combat walkers that house the mortal remains of a fallen Space Marine hero so that he may continue fighting for the Emperor of Mankind and his Chapter even after his body has been fatally crippled.
Chaplain Dreadnoughts are also considered a variant of the Venerable Dreadnought, as all Chaplain Dreadnoughts are just as highly venerated by their Chapter as the oldest of the Ancients amongst them. Chaplain Dreadnoughts differ from standard Imperial Dreadnoughts in that their occupants are Astartes Chaplains.
A Chaplain is a specialist officer of the Adeptus Astartes that serves as the appointed spiritual leader of a Space Marine Chapter. Chaplains are the warrior-priests who administer to the spiritual well-being of their fellow Battle-Brothers, instilling in them the values and beliefs of the Chapter and promoting the veneration or, in much rarer cases, the actual worship of the Emperor as a god.
When a Chaplain falls in battle and is damaged beyond repair he may be placed in a Dreadnought, as Chaplains offer their Battle-Brothers unparalleled morale benefits. A Chaplain afforded the honour of being encased within a Dreadnought chassis becomes a highly respected living shrine to the glory of the Chapter. Chaplain Dreadnoughts are unwavering in their faith and conviction and show righteous hate for the enemies of Mankind. They will take to the field of battle with their Vox and speaker systems shouting a booming oratory that stokes the fires of wrath in the hearts of their Battle-Brothers.
Much like Venerable Dreadnoughts, Chaplain Dreadnoughts are veterans of countless wars and have gained vast amounts of knowledge and insight into the ways of war over the course of their long lifetimes. These warriors have such faith in the Emperor that they become almost impervious to damage, and can only be stopped by the complete and total destruction of their armoured sarcophagus. These Dreadnoughts will use their wisdom and spiritual teachings to shape generation after generation of new Space Marines for their Chapter.
Chaplain Dreadnoughts can be armed in the same manner as all other Castraferrum Dreadnoughts. Chaplain Dreadnoughts are usually armed with a Dreadnought Close Combat Weapon and a long-range weapon arm. The most common close-combat weapons found on these Dreadnoughts are a bladed version of the common Dreadnought Powerfist that is sometimes referred to as a Dreadnought Power Claw.
These weapons are most common on Dreadnoughts of any type that utilise the Mark IV Dreadnought chassis. There are rarer patterns of Dreadnought Powerfists that take the shape of a four-fingered human hand, and rarer ones still that feature a full five fingers. These rare patterns allow Dreadnoughts the use of an opposable thumb, which provides a greater degree of manual dexterity when picking up objects or enemies.
Chaplain Dreadnoughts can take any of the long-range weapons used by other Dreadnoughts, such as twin-linked Lascannons, Heavy Bolters, Heavy Flamers, or Autocannons, along with weapons such as Plasma Cannons, Flamestorm Cannons, Assault Cannons, and Multi-Meltas. The combat walker can forgo the use of long-range weapons entirely and be armed with two Dreadnought Close Combat Weapons.
Much like all Dreadnoughts, Chaplain Dreadnought close-combat weapons are usually outfitted with either built-in weaponry or weapons that are attached to the underside of the walker's chassis, such as a Storm Bolter or a Heavy Flamer. Chaplain Dreadnoughts can also be outfitted with Extra Armour Plating, usually in the form of ostentatious icons of gold that depict the entombed warrior's status as a Chaplain and spiritual leader of the Chapter.
Chaplain Dreadnoughts are outfitted to appear similar to the common iconography of a Space Marine Chaplain's Power Armour, so that they are all black in colour and possess a skull-shaped helmet and other skeletal ornamentation. These Dreadnoughts can be equipped with both Searchlights and Smoke Launchers and any other upgrades that may be unique to their respective Chapters.
Known Chaplain Dreadnoughts
The following are all known Imperial Chaplain Dreadnoughts:
- Nalr - Nalr is a Chaplain Dreadnought of the Red Scorpions Chapter. Nalr fought with his brethren during the Siege of Vraks against the Vraksian Traitor Militia and the Forces of Chaos.
- Armand Titus - Titus was a Chaplain Dreadnought of the Howling Griffons Chapter. Titus fought alongside his Chapter during the Badab War where he was destroyed by the forces of the Secessionist Executioners Chapter. The Howling Griffons later discovered that the Executioners had honoured the Chaplain Dreadnought's sacrifice by laying out the wreck of his sarcophagus within a ring of broken weapons, and placing one of their own shattered standards in the warmachine's lifeless grasp.
- 1 Chaplain Venerable Dreadnought
A standard Chaplain Venerable Dreadnought is armed and equipped with:
- Two Dreadnought Close Combat Weapons (Dreadnought Powerfists or Power Claws) with built-in Storm Bolters
- Extra Armour Plating
- Smoke Launchers
- Reliquarius - A Dreadnought version of the Rosarius carried by Space Marine Chaplains. The device houses a powerful protective Conversion Field emitter that grants additional protection from enemy fire.
- Heavy Flamer (A Chaplain Venerable Dreadnought may replace one or both of its built-in Storm Bolters)
- A Dreadnought Inferno Cannon
- A Multi-Melta
- A Flamestorm Cannon
- A Heavy Plasma Cannon
- An Assault Cannon
- A set of twin-linked Heavy Bolters
- A set of twin-linked Heavy Flamers
- A set of twin-linked Lascannons
- A set of twin-linked Autocannons
Adeptus Mechanicus Technical Specifications
|Vehicle Name:||Chaplain Dreadnought||Main Armament:||Weapon Arm-mounted twin-linked Heavy Bolters|
|Forge World of Origin:||Mars||Secondary Armament:||Dreadnought Close Combat Weapon with attached or in-built Storm Bolter|
|Known Patterns:||I - IV||Traverse:||360 degrees|
|Crew:||1 Implanted Operator||Elevation:||-90 to 90 degrees|
|Powerplant:||Thermic Reactor||Main Ammunition:||2,000 Rounds|
|Weight:||12 Tonnes||Secondary Ammunition:||1,000 Rounds|
|Height:||3.7 metres||Superstructure:||75 millimetres|
|Ground Clearance:||N/A||Hull:||75 millimetres|
|Max Speed On-Road:||10 kilometres per hour (approx.)||Gun Mantlet:||N/A|
|Max Speed Off-Road:||5 kilometres per hour (approx.)||Vehicle Designation:||8681-756-0115-DR 040|
|Transport Capacity:||N/A||Firing Ports:||N/A|
- Imperial Armour Volume Six - The Siege of Vraks - Part Two, pp. 128-130, 132
- Imperial Armour Volume Seven - The Siege of Vraks - Part Three, pg. 73
- Imperial Armour Volume Nine - The Badab War - Part One, pp. 134, 158-159
- Imperial Armour Volume Ten - The Badab War - Part Two, pg. 208
- Imperial Armour Apocalypse (2nd Edition), pp. 30, 35
- Imperial Armour Index: Forces of the Adeptus Astartes (8th Edition), pg. 27