A Monolith is a massive mobile fortress used by the Necrons as their primary planetary assault craft. A Monolith combines the properties of a transport craft, armoured destroyer and icon of undying Necron power. Its ponderous form can float across a battlefield upon its anti-gravitic engines, whilst its crystal core pulses with sickly energy that can be manipulated into powerful beams of Gauss lightning which whip out from its weapon mounts.
When its massive silhouette looms over a battlefield, it will lay waste to entire armies with strobing torrents of gauss fire and the deafening crack of its particle whip.Few armies can stand long before the immense firepower of a Monolith. Living troops are reduced to their component atoms by its punishing gauss flux arcs, while tanks rupture and explode in showers of molten steel as it focuses its energies upon them.
By contrast, enemy ordnance has little effect on the shell of a Monolith. When damaged, the war machine’s Necrodermis armour reflexively enacts self-repairs; sparking rents in its hull are sealed by living metal and impact craters smooth over as the reactive substance seeks to reassert its original form.
The true power of a Monolith, however, lies not in its in offensive capabilities or phenomenal endurance, but in the entrance to a captive wormhole that flickers at its core. This Eternity Gate links the Monolith to the vessels and Tomb Worlds of its Necron Dynasty -- allowing reinforcements to appear at the Monolith’s location almost instantaneously. Via these space-folding corridors, an Overlord can summon forth legion after legion of Necron Warriors from the very heart of his Tomb World, with which to drown an enemy planet in its own dead.
Nothing is more emblematic of Necron implacability than the Monolith. Like all Necron constructs, it is composed of the living metal Necrodermis: a complex semi-sentient alloy that ripples and flows and adapts its structure to repair damage in the blink of an eye. Targeting matrices, motive units, power conduits and command nodes -- all are capable of comprehensive and near-instantaneous self-repair.
When combined with the vehicle's slab-sided armour plates, this makes the Monolith one of the hardiest vehicles in the Necron's arsenal, and an incredibly daunting opponent for any enemy. Energy beams are absorbed and dispersed, whilst tank-busting missiles simply ricochet off the Monolith's armoured hide, leaving behind minor damage whose repair lies easily within the parameters of the living metal's arcane function.
Indeed, the only way to truly halt the advance of a Monolith is to target it with a sustained period of focussed fire. Only by punching through the armoured shell to the vital systems and crew within can there be any hope of ending its threat. Few enemies, however, have the discipline to be so precise under fire, and even they must be swift in their targeting lest they be disintegrated by the Monolith's formidable array of weaponry.
However, formidable armour comes at the cost of speed. Due to a Monolith's ponderous bulk, it cannot move at speed, unlike other Necron skimmer vehicles and the more mobile vehicles by the militaries of the other starfaring races.
Even a single Monolith can muster enough firepower to be considered a small army in its own right. The most dramatic of its armaments is the Particle Whip, channelled through a glowing focus power crystal atop the vehicle. A single ear-splitting discharge from the Particle Whip is enough to reduce tanks to smouldering wrecks and infantry to molecular vapour.
Any enemies lucky enough to have survived will then have to run the gauntlet of the Monolith’s Gauss Flux Arcs. These automated defence arrays rake the area around the Monolith in pre-programmed execution patterns, finely tuned to predict the panicked motions of foes under fire.
Yet the Monolith's greatest and most fearsome weapon is its Eternity Gate. This shimmering energy field is nothing less than a captive wormhole, bound into the very heart of the Monolith. With a simple mental command, the Monolith's crew can transform the Eternity Gate into a portal of exile, and those that fail to resist its pull are sucked out of reality entirely; banished forever to a temporal prison from which there can be no escape.
Alternatively, the Monolith's crew can use the Eternity Gate as a form of dimensional corridor, pulling squads of Necrons from elsewhere on the battlefield, orbiting starships or even far-distant Tomb Worlds and deploying them to the Monolith’s location. So is the Monolith rightly known as a forerunner to disaster; for where a Monolith teleports onto a planet’s surface, an invading Necron army is rarely far behind…
Necron Monoliths are primarily deployed to act as a central anchor for Necron battlelines, mainly due to their abilities to quickly affect repairs upon those Necrons which teleport through its Eternity Gate, their immense firepower and near-impenetrable armour. Monoliths themselves are often deployed onto a battlefield through teleportation methods, either from within a Necron tomb or from orbiting Necron fleets.
However, Monoliths can also descend safely from great heights using their sophisticated anti-gravitic engines. Monoliths have also been observed to be carried by the even larger constructs known as Megaliths; vast mobile starfaring Necron fortresses which integrate detachable Monoliths to better deploy them as support during a planetary assault.
Known Monolith Formations
- Monolith Phalanx - Armed with technology perfected before Mankind ever rose from their primordial soup, the Necrons utilise weapons and strategies incomprehensible to all other intelligent races. Though the Warp is anathema to the metallic legions of the former Necrontyr, there are many other dimensions they can use of which other races are wholly ignorant. Using their mastering of space-time manipulation, the Necrons were able to create worlds within worlds, stable null fields and all manner of other exotic battlefield conditions. This is most evident in the use of Monoliths in a formation the Ordo Xenos has dubbed the Monolith Phalanx. In this particular configuration, at certain pivotal places in the four-dimensional universe, the presence of three or more Monoliths within effective range of each other can emit a frequency waveform that distorts space-time and creates a powerful energy field known as a nodal grid. As witnessed during the Rincairn’s Flow Massacre, two or more Monoliths in a Monolith Phalanx near each other can create a Nightshroud barrier between them. Enemy shots which pass through this barrier lose energy and strength whilst the Nightshroud also obscures those Necrons behind it. A Nightshroud is also anathema to psykers and as such they cannot cast their psychic powers through it. However, if three or more Monoliths in a Monolith Phalanx are close enough, they can project a nodal grid, which bolsters Necrons within the grid itself by enhancing their already potent resistance to damage, making them all but impossible to destroy. A nodal grid also acts as a null field upon the battlefield, completely draining the energies of psykers within its range. All Necron Monoliths in a Monolith Phalanx formation will always teleport onto the battlefield, their unheralded arrival spelling doom to their enemies.
- Doomsday Phalanx - To date, there have been no confirmed records of Necrons fielding super-heavy vehicles comparable with the likes of the Imperial Baneblade and the Eldar Scorpion. Instead, the Necrons seem to favour the deployment of specialised Monolith formations whose combined might is greater than the sum of their parts. Such is the case with the Doomsday Phalanx. First sighted during the Damnos Incident, but since reported in many other conflicts, the Doomsday Phalanx holds at its core a heavily modified Monolith, named a Doomsday Monolith by the Imperium, that is protected by a phase shift energy generator of unknown design, and has been noted to be capable of focusing awesome destructive energies into devastating viridian beams which can be fired from its Gauss Obliterator. Worse still, a "Doomsday Monolith" is inevitably accompanied by several lesser constructions whose eldritch power it can siphon towards its own cataclysmic ends.
- Baleful Necropolis – A complex known as a Baleful Necropolis is the most potent of all a Tomb World’s defences. These colossal hovering fortresses are more than mere battle stations, but the very buildings of a Necron Tomb, raised into the sky to rain destruction upon the luckless invaders. To hold so many massive structures aloft requires a power source beyond the ken of lesser races, yet a single Tesseract Vault is equal to the task. These multi-phasic prisons not only cage the most powerful C'tan Shards, but also leech and redirect their essence to fuel other arcane devices. Such is the sheer spectacle and destructive fury of a Baleful Necropolis’ cyclopean assault that the ranking Nemesor will also inevitably commandeer it to spear his own phalanxes. A Baleful Necropolis formation usually consists of a single Tesseract Vault that powers eight Monoliths around it. When operating in such a manner, the Tesseract Vault is able to harness a specialised Annihilator Beam weapon, and can draw power from nearby Monoliths to enhance the beam's range. The Tesseract Vault also projects a Supreme Shield Matrix around itself, protecting nearby Monoliths and itself with an energy field that only grows more powerful with every additional Monolith under its protection.
All Necron Monoliths are armed with a large power matrix crystal mounted atop its pyramidal form. This crystal can focus its alien energies to unleash devastating arcs of anti-matter lightning; in other words, the crystal serves as a massive Particle Whip. The explosions caused by this weapon will often affect large areas and can cause great damage to infantry and vehicles alike.
Monoliths are also armed with four Gauss Flux Arc projectors positioned around its hull. Effectively batteries of three Gauss Flayers each, these weapons are often used to scour the immediate area around the Monolith clean of enemies.
Finally, all Necron Monoliths feature a powerful wormhole portal known as an Eternity Gate which is built into their forward hull face. The Eternity Gate can act as both a dimensional portal to teleport Necrons through from other worlds or elsewhere on the battlefield, as well as significantly aiding their repair processes whilst they do so. It can also serve as another offensive weapon, a portal of exile which can suck in and banish enemies nearby into oblivion.
Ordo Xenos Departmento Analyticus Technical Specifications
- Apocalypse (4th Edition), pg. 165
- Apocalypse (6th Edition), pg. 170
- Apocalypse Reload, pg. 49
- Black Crusade: Hand of Corruption (RPG), pg. 81
- Codex: Necrons (3rd Edition), pp. 2, 21
- Codex: Necrons (5th Edition), pp. 21, 47
- Codex: Necrons (7th Edition) (Digital Edition), pp. 45, 175