Shock Weapons like the Shock Maul are designed to be generally non-lethal, assaulting the victim with incapacitating force through electrical shocks released on impact.
As Shock Weapons have little or no destructive impact on flesh other than minor electrical burn marks, they are useful for crowd control and “encouraging” workers such as shipboard press gangs or other forced labour.
A Shock Maul resembles a club surrounded in an electrical energy field which disrupts the surface of solid matter. The depth of the field can be adjusted to bash a hole through a wall or merely administer an irresistible knock-out blow to subdue a victim. The electrical energy that is discharged can cause severe burns on impact and can disrupt the nervous system.
A Power Maul is essentially the same weapon, save that it is surrounded in a power field like other Power Weapons whose primary purpose is to create molecular disruption that can be lethal in close combat.
Unlike the Power Axe, the maul is always held in one hand, leaving the other hand free for a pistol, Suppression Shield or other weapon. These fearsome weapons are most commonly found in the hands of the Adeptus Arbites and local Enforcer squads on countless Imperial worlds who enforce local and Imperial law.
While Shock Mauls are intended for crowd control and riot suppression, in the hands of an enthusiastic user they can also be deadly combat weapons.
The more lethal form of the weapon, the Power Maul, is often used for close combat by the forces of the Adeptus Astartes.
Shock and Power Maul Variants
- Agni Pattern Power Maul - A relatively small and inexpensively manufactured model of Power Maul, this weapon is weighted towards the hilt, and as such is regarded by some Power Weapon connoisseurs as somewhat graceless. It is common in "second line" precincts (as they are locally known) where trouble is not particularly expected, or among vehicle crews who value its handy proportions. Like all true Power Mauls, it has energy settings which can be adjusted to the circumstances.
- Bone Maul - This two-handed melee weapon is commonly found amongst the feral tribes on the Writhing World. Each dull grey bone maul is covered with runic etchings created by that world's biomancers and stains of ancient flesh and blood. Each is also much heavier and stronger than any weapon crafted from normal bone. With each bloody impact the maul becomes cleaner and brighter than when the battle began, until the foe is dead and it appears as gleaming ivory. After the battle it slowly tarnishes again, until it returns to its original dull grey colour.
- Cyclopea Pattern Power Maul - A huge and intimidating two-handed weapon unique to the Calixis Sector, this Power Maul contains a monstrously overcharged disruption field which actively shatters the bonds between the molecules contained within items it strikes. Resembling a feudal mace, this maul has only one power setting: maximal. Potent enough to crush groundcars or send shattered opponents flying dozens of feet with a single stroke, this weapon is reserved for the most intense riots. It is designed to awe and terrorise the enemies of the Adeptus Arbites, and to send entire mobs cowering before the user.
- Lathe Pattern Power Maul - A light, slender, and elegant model of Power Maul, this unusual weapon (crafted only on demand in the Calixis Sector) has a spiked handguard and a long, straight, un-weighted haft. It must be handled more like a sword than a club, which some users find frustrating, and critics have labelled the weapon fussy and difficult to master. However, the Arbitrators manning the Precinct Fortresses of the Lathe Worlds find that the slender profile is highly effective in the dense corridors of the manufactoria. Those who take the time to familiarise themselves with the pattern's idiosyncrasies declare it one of the finest examples of a Power Maul ever made. The apparent fragility of the design is misleading, and the versatile power field is more than capable of inflicting the same damage against opponents as models with a more brutal heft.
- Meridius Pattern Mark VI Power Maul - The Meridius Mark VI Power Maul was the favoured variant of the weapon used in close combat by the Astartes of the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy eras.
- Ultima Pattern Arbites Power Maul - This pattern of Power Maul is a versatile, one-handed weapon with two power settings. At its low setting, the maul's head delivers an electrical shock powerful enough to stun (and sometimes kill) its targets, just like a regular Shock Maul. At the high setting however, the energy forms a crackling power field that can sunder steel, armour, and flesh. The Power Maul of the Adeptus Arbites is as much a symbol of Imperial authority as it is a weapon, and one that is seared into the minds of petty criminals and serious recidivists alike. While rank-and-file Arbitrators make do with simple Shock Mauls, veteran Proctors or the feared Judges prefer to wield the far more impressive Ultima Pattern Power Maul.
Notable Power Mauls
- Worldbreaker - Worldbreaker was the infamous personal weapon of the Warmaster Horus Lupercal, supposedly forged by the hands of the Emperor Himself. After the end of the Heresy, it was destroyed in combat with a clone of the Warmaster during the Legion War by Horus' successor as the Warmaster of Chaos, Abaddon the Despoiler.
- Forgebreaker - Forgebreaker was the legendary warhammer forged by Fulgrim, Primarch of the Emperor's Children, in a contest of smithing skill with his brother, Ferrus Manus of the Iron Hands. The weapon was taken back by Fulgrim before the start of the Horus Heresy following his failed bid to convince Ferrus to turn to the service of the Warmaster Horus and the Traitor Legions. Following the Drop Site Massacre on Istvaan V, Fulgrim, now possessed by a Chaos daemon, presented the weapon to Horus along with Ferrus' head as a sign of his allegiance. The weapon was eventually given to Perturabo of the Iron Warriors, who used it until it was taken from him during an assault on a world around the Eye of Terror by the Morlock captain of the Iron Hands Legion's Clan Avernii, thus returning one of the most prized artefacts of their lost Primarch to the X Legion. By the late 41st Millennium, the weapon had some how found its way into the armoury of the Blood Ravens Chapter.
- Illuminarum - Illuminarum was an ornate sceptre-Power Maul fashioned for Lorgar by his fellow Primarch Ferrus Manus, who was a master weaponsmith, in a rare display of filial affection due to the aid provided to the Iron Hands by the Word Bearers Legion on Galadon Secondus during the Great Crusade. As long as a normal Astartes warrior, it was a formidable weapon that was perfectly balanced for Lorgar's strength and size. Apocryphally, Illuminarum was seen as the pattern on which the Astartes Chaplains' Crozius Arcanum were later based.
- Weight of Duty - The Weight of Duty is an Adeptus Astartes Power Maul that is a relic of the Hammers of Dorn Chapter. Its flat head is lined with a miniature grav-plate, similar to those that line the decks of great Imperial voidships. Upon striking a foe, the grav-plate activates for a brief instant, multiplying the hammer's impact many times over by dramatically increasing its descending weight.
- Lost Mace of Corswain - The Lost Mace of Corswain is a Power Maul once wielded by the legendary Paladin Corswain of the Dark Angels Legion. Long thought lost, it was recovered from the Space Hulk Olethros by the Deathwing company in the late 41st Millennium.
- Black Crusade: Core Rulebook (RPG), pg. pp. 165, 167
- Dark Heresy: Core Rulebook (RPG), pg. 141
- Dark Heresy: Book of Judgement (RPG), pg. 61
- Deathwatch: Honour the Chapter (RPG), pg. 136
- Inquisition: Core Rulebook (RPG), pg. 77
- Talon of Horus (Novel) by Aaron Dembski-Bowden, Ch. 19
- The Horus Heresy Book Two: Massacre (Forge World Series) by Alan Bligh, pg. 261
- The Horus Heresy Book Five: Tempest (Forge World Series) by Alan Bligh, pg. 93
- Warhammer 40,000: Battle Manual (2nd Edition), pg. 34
- Warhammer 40,000: Rulebook (6th Edition), pg. 58
- Warhammer 40,000: Wargear (2nd Edition), pg. 10
- Space Hulk: Deathwing (Video Game), Pre-Order DLC