A Custodian is a member of the Adeptus Custodes, the valiant transhuman bodyguard and praetorians of the Emperor of Mankind, which is based in the Imperial Palace complex on Terra. The Adeptus Custodes are the Emperor's vengeance made manifest. They defend the Master of Mankind with singular determination and breathtaking skill, and whether their vigil requires them to stand immovable before the gates of the Imperial Palace or storm into battle on a distant alien world, they do their duty without a moment's hesitation. The Adeptus Custodes is comprised of three basic forms of heavy infantrymen -- the Custodian Guard, the Custodian Wardens and the Allarus Custodians.
When Shield Companies of the Adeptus Custodes strike out to do battle with the enemies of Mankind, it is the Custodian Guard that form their backbone. These warriors are rank-and-file infantry only insomuch as their numbers are greater than those of the other, more specialised Adeptus Custodes warriors. Even a single one of their number is a terrifying force of destruction, his every shot perfectly placed, his every cut, thrust and stab a masterclass in bladesmanship, footwork and combat awareness that sees enemy corpses fall like dead leaves at his feet. Ferociously strong, phenomenally resilient, utterly without fear or doubt, the Custodian Guard are the equal of many foes' most elite warriors.
Custodian Guard are steadfast in defence and unstoppable on the attack. Such squads do not have formal memberships, and Custodians may swap from one squad to another before each new campaign, or even each new battle. With their individualistic fighting styles, the Custodian Guard do not fight as one in the way that a conventional squad of soldiers would -- it is enough for them to know that they fight shoulder to shoulder with respected comrades, and that their fellows will watch their backs when the enemy press close.
As with all of the Adeptus Custodes, Custodian Guard have the might of the Emperor flowing through their veins, and His aegis of protection hanging around them like a shield. Their traditional armament is the Guardian Spear, a golden halberd so heavy it would take several men to lift it. This composite weapon is both a powered blade capable of hewing a Chaos Space Marine in two, and a Bolter to engage threats from afar. Conversely, some Custodian Guard prefer to enter battle armed with a Sentinel Blade and Storm Shield. The Sentinel Blade is a broadsword of daunting size, so large its hilt is flanked with the double barrels of a Bolt Caster that can lay down a hail of short-range fire. It is a testament to the strength of the Custodians that they can wield these powered blades one-handed. When coupled with the armoured bulwark of the Storm Shield -- whose protective powers are augmented with a built-in energy-shield generator -- this potent combination allows the Custodian Guard to cut their foes apart while weathering even the most devastating of attacks.
As befits their elevated status, Custodian Guard squads can call upon ancient Venerable Land Raider main battle tanks to carry them to war. The combination of demigod-like warriors and enormous war engine is a terrifyingly potent one, and when several such squads advance at once, even super-heavy armour and towering daemonic abominations cannot endure their wrath.
Custodian Wardens can be recognised by the ceremonial robes that they wear over their armour. These are a mark of their veteran status, for every Custodian Warden has seen at least five Terran centuries in the Emperor's service.
Those Wardens that do not carry the iconic Guardian Spears of their order wield heavy-bladed Castellan Axes. These weapons lend themselves to an elegant and brutal combat style that sees the wielder use their exceptional strength in conjunction with their axe's momentum, launching thunderous sweeps that switch direction with breathtaking suddenness to cleave through their victims' guard and hack off heads and limbs. The Wardens can also fire concentrated volleys of Bolter fire from the hafts of their weapons, scything down those who attempt to stay out of their blades' devastating reach.
The Wardens are known amongst their comrades as level-headed and endlessly patient watchmen. Upon accepting the robes that mark their station they swear binding oaths to fight as immovable sentinels, a living fortress of auramite and sinew that no foe will ever breach. Each Warden's oaths are personal, written by the Custodian himself after a full Terran year's contemplation sat in meditation upon the precipitous ledges of the Gallowtower of the Imperial Palace. To break their vows would be worse than death to these warriors, and their determination to uphold them bolsters their already formidable wills to something of truly frightening intensity.
The Allarus Custodians deploy with sudden fury to tear the throat from the enemy army, specifically targeting key commanders or vital units. Where a strongpoint must be cracked wide open, a Traitor warship boarded or a foul demagogue slain even as he stands amidst his dedicated bodyguards, there are the Allarus Custodians deployed.
These warriors wear suits of Allarus Pattern Terminator Armour, expertly crafted armour whose worth can be measured in worlds. Driven by magnatomic generator-shrines, articulated with Leonus-class actuators, and fashioned from layered auramite and adamantium, Allarus Terminator Armour is a marvel of craftsmanship. It provides its wearer with an exceptional range of movement and near-unencumbered speed, augmented strength and resilience, and the survivability to stride unharmed from the blast of a Macrocannon shell. Coupled with the protective blessings of the Emperor, Allarus Terminator plate is arguably the most effective man-portable combat armour in the entire Imperium. Just as well, for the battles fought by Allarus Custodians demand nothing less.
Their weapons, too, are formidable. They heft Guardian Spears twice the height of a man, or swing massive Castellan Axes that can bisect a Chaos Lord or lop the head from an Ork psyker with a single blow. To supplement these weapons, Allarus Custodians also wield Balistus Grenade Launchers upon their left forearms. These drum-fed weapons can be triggered with a thought, spitting salvoes of sanctified projectiles in saturation patterns through the enemy ranks. They are also capable of launching Concussion Grenades that explode amidst bursts of electroexorcist chaff and overwhelming light and sound. Enemies subjected to these barrages are sent reeling, their senses rebelling against the onslaught even as their weapons and equipment falter and they spasm in pain. Such armaments allow Allarus Custodians to suppress and then swiftly slaughter their target's elite bodyguards, leaving their true quarry exposed in the face of their wrath.
Hand-picked by the Captain-General of the Adeptus Custodes from amongst the most bellicose of the Ten Thousand, Allarus Custodians relish the chance to plunge into the most lethal battles. Their killer instincts are razor-sharp, their wrath honed to a fine point. Yet these are no maniacal berserkers. Where many of the galaxy's most dangerous close-combat specialists allow their rage to drive them, Allarus Custodians leash their aggression wholly to their will. They land every blow with murderous strength, but also with surgical precision.
So aggressive and heroic are these warriors that, when the situation demands, they have been known to splinter their units entirely after the initial strike and scatter through the enemy's rear lines. Fighting as lone figures, the Allarus Custodians eliminate key targets, sow anarchy and confusion through unsuspecting forces, and completely destabilise the foe's formation before fresh Adeptus Custodes forces arrive to end the conflict. It is an effective tactic that has seen more than one Heretic fortress fall from within.
The Gilded Fist
In recent years, one band of Allarus Custodians has become renowned for their skill as terror troops and executioners. Known as the Gilded Fist, led by the indomitable Custodian Vanius Arcturon-Tybus, this squad has achieved remarkable feats of violence in the Emperor's name. It was the Gilded Fist who struck the head from the Ulgwyrm Cult of the Pan-Siberic Cluster, ended the insane machinations of Inquisitor D'anloxtos and led the purge of the Traitor-held Space Hulk Leviathan of Agonies before it could reach the edge of the Sol System. Unusually for Custodians, these warriors have fought side by side for solar decades now, asserting that they can best serve the Emperor operating as a single, tightly fraternal force. With such renowned members as Manastus Chaem, Parradon Helastes and Dalat Hap-Uramedes fighting shoulder to shoulder to bring low the Emperor's foes, few can doubt the veracity of this claim.
- 3-10 Custodian Guard
- 3-10 Custodian Wardens
- 3-10 Allarus Custodians
- Custodian Armour
- Guardian Spear
- Sentinel Blade (Replacement for Guardian Spear)
- Storm Shield (Replacement for Guardian Spear with Sentinel Blade)
- Allarus Terminator Armour
- Castellan Axe
- Ballistus Grenade Launcher
- Guardian Spear (Replacement for Castellan Axe)
- Codex: Adeptus Custodes (8th Edition), pp. 38-39, 61-62, 65