"The soul of the Machine God surrounds thee. The power of the Machine God invests thee. The hate of the Machine God drives thee. The Machine God endows thee with life. Live!"
- — The Litany of Ignition
A Kastelan Robot, also known as a Kastelan-class Robot, is an ancient and commonly used Imperial Robot utilised exclusively by the Adeptus Mechanicus' Legio Cybernetica. The Kastelan Robot combines tremendous physical might with a rugged stamina that has seen it fight the Imperium of Man's foes for ten thousand standard years.
Indeed, some of the relic robots of this class have existed much longer still. As robotic technology stems from an age prior to the foundation of the Imperium, many Forge Worlds believe a number of their Battle-Automata survive from those dark times. As damaged robot parts are cannibalised to make repairs upon machines that still function, such claims are doubtless at least partially correct.
Twice the height of a Space Marine at about 4.2 metres, the Kastelan is a nigh unstoppable force, for it is built of solid metal with a ceramite hide that allows it to stride through hails of fire without pause.
Should a maniple's ballistics subroutines be triggered, pinpoint volleys of phosphor stream into the enemy ranks, forcing those who somehow survive the storm to seek shelter as their persecutors lumber ever closer.
As the maniple approaches, the Datasmith will set the imperatives driving his robotic charges to Conqueror protocols. A moment of readjustment and the Kastelans quicken their pace, their incendine combustors burning the foe from cover as their stomping stride turns into a loping run that shivers the tortured earth.
When a maniple of Kastelans hits the enemy line it does so with the force of a battle tank squadron, each robot's barrel-sized Power Fists slamming the foe into broken ruin as they stamp their victims to bloody paste underfoot.
In addition to thick armour, Kastelan Robots are protected by a wonder from a bygone age -- the Repulsor Grid. The invisible energy shield emanates outward from each robot with a deep thrumming sound, its force capable of stopping all but the most powerful of shots.
Most incoming fire simply fizzles out against the unseen barrier, but should the deflection angle be just correct, the Repulsor Grid will send enemy shells or focused energy beams ricocheting back at the foe.
Kastelan Robots fight in maniples -- self-contained units that are sub-divisions of the Legion -- composed of between two and six Battle-Automata. The robots have a number of battle protocols that they follow, and every Kastelan must be carefully programmed for each new task, lest it simply continue ad infinitum with its existing orders.
It is not unknown for a maniple of Kastelans to stride purposefully into a lake of lava, or slaughter its way through a city even after destroying the techno-insurrectionists it was sent to eliminate. Specialist Tech-priests, such as Cybernetica Datasmiths, can adjust the Kastelan's programs during the course of a battle, allowing the unthinking Automata to respond to changing circumstances.
The cohorts of the Legio Cybernetica have marched to war in the colours of their Forge Worlds for ten thousand years, but the Kastelan Robots themselves are older than the Imperium and some call no single Forge World home. Bands of these itinerant war machines may appear in the Battle Congregations of the Cult Mechanicus, their arrival unheralded and taken as a sign of the Machine God's favour. They will allow themselves to be directed by local Tech-priests until the battle is won, after which they disappear once more, perhaps for centuries at a time.
Since the aftermath of the Warmaster Horus' rebellion ten millennia ago, Legio Cybernetica robots have been controlled completely by their masters -- not by the bio-plastic cerebra and nerve-like tendril webs of the ancient Mechanicum's constructs -- but by sanctified doctrina wafers -- fusions of bio-matter and electronics often in even shorter supply than the robots themselves.
- 1 Cybernetica Datasmith
- Maniple of 2-6 Kastelan Robots
Kastelan Robots are armed with multiple potential weapon load-outs which makes them even more versatile. Those Tech-priests with a penchant for ranged firepower will often replace Power Fists with twin-linked Phosphor Blasters, ensuring that when a maniple's ballistic subroutines trigger, the enemy is riddled with incandescent, glowing shot.
- Repulsor Grid
- Incendine Combustor - The Incendine Combustor is a type of Flamer used by Kastelan Robots. The Incendine Combustor hurls out great gouts of burning, thrice-blessed promethium. Laced with Magos-blessed unguents and ignited by a flame lit from the Perpetual Forge, each holy fire-thrower can turn a Heretek into foul tallow in a matter of solar seconds.
- Kastelan Fists - Each Kastelan uses its pair of barrel-sized Power Fists like wrecking balls to maul the enemy, the blows striking with force enough to crumple the thickest armour or tear holes in ferrocrete.
- Heavy Phosphor Blaster (Any Kastelan may replace its Incendine Combustor with a Heavy Phosphor Blaster or its Kastelan Fists with 2 Heavy Phosphor Blasters.)
The Kastelan Robot is based off the older Castellan-class Robot which first appeared in Warhammer 40,000 Compendium (1st Edition), "Imperial Robots". According to the description, the Castellan-class Robot was designed for general-purpose combat and assault actions and is also ideally suited for a wide-range of battlefield situations.
It is armed with a Power Glove on each arm as well as a Heavy Bolter mounted above its chassis for additional protection and ranged firepower. This standard configuration makes it particularly effective in siege and anti-vehicle roles, and provides an effective complement to other heavy weapon armament.
- Codex: Adeptus Mechanicus (8th Edition), pp. 19-20, 21, 24-25, 42, 64-65, 82
- Codex Adeptus Mechanicus - Cult Mechanicus (7th Edition) (Digital Edition), "Kastelan Robots," "Mars," "Lucius," "Agripinaa," "Stygies VIII," "Graia," "Metalica," "Ryza," "Weapons of Enlightenment - Incendine Combustor," pp. 80-82, 88, 97, 99, 105, 110, 112, 117, 119, 125, 131, 136, 138, 141-157, 208-210
- White Dwarf Weekly 67 (9 May 2015)
- White Dwarf Weekly 85 (12 Sept 2015), "Regiments of Renown"
- Adeptus Mechanicus: The Enigma of Flesh (Short Story) by C.L. Werner