The Jokaero are an intelligent alien species who resemble the orange-furred great apes of Old Earth known as orangutans. Though lacking any known form of language, they are capable of tremendous feats of technological construction and manipulation, and specialise in the development of weapons technology, particularly miniaturised weapons.
The Jokaero are not a naturally evolved species, but were created by the Old Ones during the War in Heaven over 60 million Terran years ago for the purpose of aiding in their conflict with the C'tan and the Necrons, along with many other intelligent races of the Milky Way Galaxy such as the Aeldari, the Rashan, the Knib and the green-skinned Krork, the possible ancestors of the Orks.
The Jokaero's physical resemblance to orangutans of ancient Terra led to some speculation by Imperial savants that the Old Ones or the Slann may have genetically manipulated and uplifted that primate species to sentience as they are known to have visited Terra on numerous occasions and to have had a hand in Mankind's own evolution.
The Jokaero's defining trait as a species is their extraordinary and seemingly in-born skill at crafting extremely advanced technologies from even the most rudimentary parts, a skill which may be related to the similar trait often seen in the Orks. The difference is that Jokaero technology will work for a member of another species, whereas Greenskin technology often will only function when used by Orks.
Recently, Inquisitors, most commonly the more Radical members of the Ordo Xenos, have been incorporating Jokaero into their retinues of Acolytes, where they make use of the Jokaero's innate affinity with technology. In the midst of battle the Jokaero can modify and manipulate the weapons and armour of the Inquisitor's retinue. These alterations may just be a simple aesthetic change, but certain Jokaero upgrades can modify the munitions of the altered weapon to massively and unexpectedly increase the weapon's damage.
The creation of force fields and the use of unexpected and potent Jokaero imaging technologies to increase the accuracy and rate of fire have also been created on the fly by the Jokaero. Jokaero are also known for achieving wonders in the miniaturisation of advanced weapons technology, as Jokaero Digi-weapons are highly sought-after across the Imperium, and influential Imperial nobles, Rogue Traders and Inquisitors have spent small fortunes in order to obtain them. Such weapons visually resemble a large ring, but the most potent ones pack the punch of an Inferno Pistol, despite such a diminutive casing.
Anatomy, Physiology and Culture
In appearance, Jokaero are heavyset, orange-furred humanoids who bear a passing resemblance to the orangutan primates of Old Earth but with retractable fingers and toes. Their physical form can be misleading to Humans as they are unparalleled masters of advanced technology. Yet none are sure whether they are truly sentient despite the fact that they are capable of remarkable acts of engineering, construction and problem solving, or are simply carrying out programmed tasks that they do not understand but have taken on the form of an instinct embedded within their psyches from birth.
Though technically brilliant, the Jokaero's skills with advanced technology seem to be innate, the result of an understanding of high technology that has been gifted to them at the genetic level, in some ways similar to Ork Mekboyz. Their abilities are instinctive, and they simply seem to know from maturity how to manipulate and construct various forms of machinery and technology to produce a given effect or outcome. This ability allows them to understand technologies that are even more advanced than those of the other advanced star-faring species of the galaxy, a gift from their creators.
When presented with sufficient technical components and resources, even if they have been badly damaged, a working group of Jokaero are capable of building anything from an advanced starship to a Lascannon. They are even able to create food synthesizers so long as they are have sufficient alloy and electronic components. Jokaero are known to be forever crafting new inventions and improvising ingenious equipment useful for a vareity of functions, though not always in the same way twice. They have a particular focus on the miniaturisation of existing weapon systems.
Jokaero are known to live in large family groupings that consist of a dozen individuals which roam the galaxy in a random fashion with their sole objective being survival. As a result, Jokaero family groups frequently arrive on inhabited worlds of the Imperium in order to scavenge for technology or any specific components that they need.
At times they are known to band together to attack specific targets in order to acquire the object that they desire. Related families often travel and work together and these groups are led by either a matriarch or a patriarch. Their natural and extraordinary technical talents mean that their weapons, equipment and tactics are fully comparable to those employed by the other starfaring races.
Jokaero are quite capable of using complex and well-coordinated attacks against their targets. Potential targets can include lone power stations, farmsteads or distant mining vessel that they raid for particular loot. The Jokaero will always seek to escape with their loot before their actions attract a response from their foes. The Jokaero's mindset means that they are unable to be reasoned with and communication is seemingly impossible as it is believed that their species has no known form of spoken or written language, and no motivation beyond simple survival. How the Jokaero seemingly communicate with each other is unknown, though they do so.
The technical skills of the Jokaero mean that they can serve as an incredible resource to other species who can gain control over them. However, such a task is incredibly difficult as they tend to want to build only technology that fulfills their immediate needs or those of their preferred companions. As such, attempts at capturing Jokaero to compel them to work on specific projects often fail disastrously as these xenos will simply create new inventions that allow them to escape any confinement.
Inquisitorial retinues that possess a Jokaero Weaponsmith in their ranks often see the xenos immediately making its mark, as it performs minor yet perplexing modifications to the Acolytes' weapons and wargear. These "enhancements" do not always provide an advantage to the item in question but simply "feel" right to the Jokaero.
This reality can be frustrating to a Jokaero's allies who balk at the unknown alterations that have been made to sanctioned Adeptus Mechanicus patterns of technology based on no clear or logical rationale. Yet, at the same time, after using the modified gear, few Acolytes will refuse the efforts of the alien weaponsmith. The random nature of the upgrades are impossible to predict, as a Jokaero is equally capable of turning a Lascannon into something far more formidable after a only few moments of inspiration, or simply add a decorative knotwork to the barrel that has no other function.
The creations of the Jokaero include not only Digital Weapons but also Defence Orbs. In addition, they are also the creators of the unique devices known as the Spy-flies, tiny, vibrating crystalline automatons that resemble flying insects seen on many worlds and are used to carry out visual and audio reconnaissance on unwitting targets. The fact that these machines required psychic input led Inquisitor Jaq Draco to suspect that the Jokaero may also possess psychic powers.
Jokaero defensive force field technology are created from altered Imperial force field emitters that operate under a similar principle as the massive Gellar Fields that protect Imperial starships from the entities of the Warp. As a result of this change, Jokaero force field emitters are highly prized by the Calixis Sector's Ordo Malleus operatives as a potent form of protection against daemonic threats.
Jokaero light-sculptures are known to be an exotic form of alien art that is showcased by certain officials within the Imperium.
The Jokaero's understanding of astrophysics is also unusually deep, as they seem capable of tapping into unseen power-currents that run throughout the galaxy and are unknown to all of the other intelligent star-faring races. Jokaero starships take full advantage of this knowledge, as they are open-structured lattices that resemble a unique polyhedron and are unlike any other star-faring species' vessels so far encountered by Mankind.
This unusual open structure is vital to the design as it draws upon those same, unknown instellar currents of energy that the Jokaero are aware of and channel it in a similar manner as Force Weapons do for psychic energy through the vessel's unique spiral shape. Thus, Jokaero vessels are able to move, manoevure and even enter the Warp by simply making ongoing physical alterations to the starship's shape so that it might draw more readily upon this unseen energy.
Although some sources distinctly conclude that the Jokaero have no known form of language, Codex: Necrons (3rd Edition) states that they are aware of the existence of the C'tan called the Deceiver who they name "Artemorra." It is unknown whether this is a ret-con of the older material or simply an oversight on the part of the authors.
Notes on Sourcing
Jokarero originally appeared in Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader, the 1st Edition rulebook, where it is speculated that they were created by the Slann, an earlier concept for the Old Ones, and were the makers of Digital Weapons. Their next notable appearance was in Codex: Necrons (3rd Edition) which established that they had, in fact, been created by the Old Ones.
The Jokaero's most recent appearance is in Codex: Grey Knights (5th Edition) as Inquisitorial henchmen where they are referred to as "Jokaero Weaponsmiths." Novels such as those of the Inquisition War Trilogy make mention of the Jokaero as being the creators of devices such as Digital Weapons and Spy-Flies.
In Codex: Witch Hunters (3rd Edition), on page 11, an indirect mention is made of the Jokaero as being an alien race that were the creators of relic Digital Weapons.
- Codex: Grey Knights (5th Edition), pg. 50
- Codex: Necrons (3rd Edition), pp. 26-27
- Dark Heresy: Ascension (RPG), pg. 138
- Dark Heresy: Daemon Hunter (RPG), pg. 72
- Inquisitor (Specialist Game), pg. 74
- Rogue Trader: Core Rulebook (RPG), pg. 127
- Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader (1st Edition), pp. 196-197
- Warhammer 40,000: Will of Iron (Four Issue Comic Series)
- Draco (Novel) by Ian Watson, pg. 72
- Xenos (Novel) in Eisenhorn (Omnibus Novel) by Dan Abnett, Ch. 7, pg. 70