An Ogryn Charonite was a member of the Auxilia Ogryn Charonite Squads that were specialist detachments of the Imperial Army assigned to the elite Solar Auxilia Cohorts when brute strength or line-breaking was required. As their name indicated, Charonite squads were constituted solely of the physically powerful but intellectually dimwitted Abhumans known as Ogryns.
Unlike the far more common Ogryn Bulwark or Gun Ripper-squads, the Charonite squads were a far more specialised detachment that could, in some regards, be considered as the predecessors of present-day Bullgryns, although they also shared a lot in common with the infamous Chaos Ogryn Berserkers who are thought to be a bastardized version of the original Imperial Charonite-template.
Auxilia Ogryn Charonite could readily be found among the arsenals of several void-capable human pocket-civilisations of Segmentum Solar, such as the Saturnyne Enclaves. Their true origins lay lost within the Age of Strife, but they remained a common if not widespread sight during the early years of the Great Crusade. The difficult and unstable technologies used in their creation - some of them being rumoured to be of xenos provenance - has led the Adeptus Mechanicus to declare the creation of Charonites as unholy and proscribed. Realizing what a powerful addition these Charonite squads would make to the Imperial Army, the Solar Auxilia obtained a dispensation for the creation and use of Charonites in limited numbers. This was further facilitated by the strong ties the early Solar Auxilia maintained through their own origins with the Saturnyne Enclaves, Terra and the celestial keeps of Pavonis which had all retained much of their independence from the Imperial rule.
As the Horus Heresy raged, many Loyalist Solar Auxilia commands, particularly those cut off from Terra turned to the creation of Charonites to strengthen their forces, particularly as a match against the power of Traitor Legiones Astartes and Dark Mechanicum forces. The difficulty of their creation ensured that such products of Old Night did not become widespread. Charonites, however, did fight nearly continuously during the Horus Heresy, most notoriously amongst the forces of the Agathean Domain as, due to the sizeable Ogryn population of the Feral World of Othion, the Agathean Domain disposed of more than enough candidates for conversion. Ogryn Charonite squads also notoriously fought during the Treachery at Port Maw incident, when Grand Admiral LaBray released hundreds of Charonites within the corridors of his own flagship, the Triumph of Reason, when it came under assault by Sons of Horus Traitor Legionaries. Here in the confines of the battleships corridors the Charonites proved utterly deadly, tipping the balance of forces in favour of the Loyalists until Warmaster Horus Lupercal himself had to intervene to stem the tide.
- Void Armour - The Auxilia Ogryn Charonites were designed to operate alongside the Infantry Tercios of the Solar Auxilia Cohorts, which required them to be able to fight in void-environments of airless moons or even the outer hull of void-faring vessels.
- Charonite Claws - The Ogryn Charonites derive their name from their powerful main weapon, the Charonite Claws. These were heavily constructed servo-claws and matched augmentic implants designed to amplify and take advantage of an Ogryn's already formidable strength and physical stature. Charonite Claws needed to be surgically implanted, which meant that an Ogryn needed to have both his hands and forearms amputated in order to use them. Charonite Claws emerged in the early days of the Great Crusade as powerful weapons intended for use in the murderous confines of shipboard combat. Armed in this way, an Ogryn could crush flesh, and even bulkheads, and rip through armour and ceramite plate with ease. If an Ogryn Charonite could gain purchase with both his claws, they were designed to retract apart from each other with flesh-rending force, savagely dismembering their victims.
Additionally, Ogryn Charonites were equipped with drug-injectors and a "Dead-man's Switch," in case they needed to be terminated at short notice if their rage grew beyond the ability of their human officers to control.
- The Horus Heresy - Book Four: Conquest by Alan Bligh, pg. 50-51, 262
- Forge World - Solar Auxilia Ogryn Charonite Squad