- "Exitus Acta Probat; The outcome justifies the deed."
- — Dictatus Vindicare, the maxim of the Vindicare Temple
The Vindicare Temple is one of the temples of the Officio Assassinorum. The motto of the temple is Exitus Acta Probat, "the Outcome Justifies the Deed." Vindicare operatives are the most skilled snipers in the Imperium of Man and are usually directed to assassinate targets who are believed to have been possessed by daemonic entities or to have been corrupted by the Ruinous Powers of Chaos.
- "One or a thousand, I will kill them all."
- — Vindicare Assassin cognomen-designate LIIVI
Like the other temples of the Officio Assassinorum, the Vindicare Temple was originally the Vindicare Clade, created some time during the Great Crusade in the late 30th Millennium at the behest of Malcador the Sigillite, the Regent of Terra, who was secretly the Grand Master of Assassins, and its first Director Primus, who was known only as Sire Vindicare.
The Vindicare Clade was established in a secret location on Terra at the direction of the Grand Master of Assassins and was tasked like all of the other Assassin Clades with killing those who opposed the formation of the Imperium of Man and the will of the Emperor of Mankind. During the Horus Heresy it provided members to the secret Execution Force that contained six Assassins from all six Clades of the Officio Assassinorum to try and eliminate the Warmaster Horus. This mission ultimately failed, much to Mankind's ill fortune.
In one celebrated but ultimately classified engagement, a massed Eldar assault in the Lammas Campaign was halted by a lone Vindicator Assassin hiding in a ruined tower. The Eldar advance in the face of this tower was stalled by a hail of deadly sniper fire which slew Exarchs, Warlocks, and support weapon crews in quick succession. Eventually, the Eldar called in their scouts to clear the tower, but when they entered the ruin they found the Assassin long gone but the tower full of grenade-laden traps that offered yet more death.
The most prominent feature of the Vindicare Temple of the Officio Assassinorum is that it trains its subjects to near-perfection in the art of marksmanship; they aim to kill the Emperor's worst enemies with a single bullet. In addition to the art of sniping, Vindicare Assassins are also trained in stealth and evasion techniques in order that they may get into the most advantageous position from which to take their shot and to successfully elude capture and disappear once their target is eliminated. The necessity for these skills is determined by the fact that a kill can only be made from the best position. Indeed, Vindicare Assassins have been known to occupy a position for days, or even weeks, before taking their shot.
The Vindicare are often employed in eliminating individuals for the Imperium who are suspected of harboring daemonic entities. The hope is that they can eliminate the host before the daemon is able to manifest itself on the material plane. Characters of great charisma, many false prophets and false messiahs among them, have fallen to the Vindicare's bullet, most commonly whilst they are preaching their false beliefs to their followers and spreading heresy against the Imperium. Upon this swift, brutal, and yet simple death, the erstwhile followers of such a Heretic soon become disheartened and afraid. Countless heresies against the Imperium have been prevented with a single, well-aimed shot where legions of men would have failed.
Exitus Rifle and Pistol
- "One strike from the shadows, and I can change the tide of battle."
- — Vindicare Assassin cognomen-designate LIIVI
The signature weapon of the Vindicare Temple, this rifle is amongst the finest examples of Imperial weaponsmithing. Hand-crafted by a Magos-Artisan of the Adeptus Mechanicus, each Exitus rifle is part of a matched set—both pistol and rifle customised to the specifications of the individual Assassin. Perfectly balanced, individually crafted, a rifle will never jam, never overheats, never fails or falters. The Exitus weapons contain sophisticated Machine Spirits that are sleek and murderous, an echo of the man who wields the weapon, and in its owner's capable hands their rifle has sealed the demise of countless heretics. The Exitus weapons utilise ammunition constructed from special heavy-gravity alloys to penetrate nearly all forms of known protection. With the phenomenal killing power to punch through Ceramite plate, the Exitus Rifle can drop a Chaos Space Marine with a single well-placed shot. All Exitus weapons incorporate a silencer and a selector switch. The Exitus rifle has a built-in telescopic sight.
Vindicare Assassins are also issued a high-powered weapon known as an Exitus Pistol for close-quarters work, if necessary. The Exitus Pistol is a masterpiece of craftsmanship, a weapon as elegant as it is deadly. Unlike the larger rifle, the Exitus Pistol is mainly considered a backup weapon for a Vindicare Assassin, primarily used in those rare circumstances where the Assassin is discovered, cornered, or in need of rapid-fire capability. Under those circumstances, the Exitus Pistol performs admirably, and more than a few Vindicare Assassins owe their lives to this weapon. An Exitus Pistol has the power to punch a grown man through an armaplas wall. The recoil from an Exitus Pistol is such that only a Vindicare's enhanced musculature allows them to fire the weapon one-handed. Of course a Vindicare has no problem doing so, their accuracy and rate of fire so great that they can empty the weapon's magazine, every shot a kill, before their victims' guns have even cleared their holsters. The Exitus Pistol has a built-in silencer and is among the highest quality weapons crafted by the artificers of the Imperium of Man.
Vindicare Assassins carry a variety of specialist ammunition. All Exitus ammunition (including all special rounds) contain miniaturised Cogitator targeting-spirits (guidance computers) that make them nearly impossible to avoid. Exitus rounds can also be programmed to self-destruct. The rounds are disintegrated, consumed as if destroyed by a virus, and leave no trace behind.
Vindicare Assassins are normally issued special ammunition when sent on an assignment. These unusual rounds are very rare, and each is extremely difficult and time-consuming to craft. Therefore, the Assassin is usually given a single round of each type. Occasionally, other special rounds (such as the Hyphosphus Incendiaries) are issued in their place. The ammunition described below may only be utilised by the Exitus Rifle and the Exitus Pistol:
- Shield-Breaker Round - A Shield-Breaker Round is used by Vindicare Assassins for bypassing a high-value target personal energy shielding, such as a Conversion Field. The round overloads personal force-fields, and similar barriers with massive bursts of energy. The Shield-Breaker is specially-treated with a psychically-charged imprint, and contains a complex circuit of anti-phase technology that is little understood even by the Tech-priests of the Mechanicus. The Shield-Breaker is employed against a variety of targets such as the protective Warp fields generated by a Tyranid Zoanthrope, an Eldar Warlock's Rune Armour and the psychic shields often employed by powerful psykers.
- Hellfire Round- The Hellfire Round has devastating effects on organic matter, specifically the Tyranids.The core and tip of the standard Exitus round are replaced with a vial of virulent mutagenic bio-acid toxins. Thousands of armour-piercing micro-needles inject the target with this acid upon impact and the needles pierce the victim's flesh, pumping the acid into the target, eating away flesh and metal alike with horrific speed.
- Turbo-penetrator Round - The Turbo-penetrator Round is a hypervelocity, Adamantine-jacketed bullet surrounding a special magno-sealed flux needle. The round uses a two-stage charge to punch a diamond-hard secondary round through the thickest armour. These special rounds are renowned for their ability to pierce nearly any armour, and the hypervelocity round wreaks havoc upon any target, often by the secondary effects of its phasing passage through the target's molecular structure.
Vindicare Stealth Suit
This item of Vindicare wargear appears as a matte-black bodyglove, specially fitted for the individual Assassin. The Vindicare Temple has a long-standing pact with the Adeptus Mechanicus to craft these exquisite suits, each one combining Cameleoline-laced materials with a complex version of "synskin" to allow its wearer to blend in with his environment. This material bonds with the Assassin’s body, enhancing his reflexes and protecting him from poisons, gases, and other hazards of the battlefield. Each suit is supple and silent, allowing the Assassin to move with perfect freedom whilst still retaining its protective and chameleon qualities. It should be noted that the wargear of a Vindicare Assassin is often gene-coded to that individual and no other, and that it would take a great deal of effort to adjust the gene-coding for another user.
Vindicare Spy Mask
Issued to Imperial Assassins of the Vindicare Temple, this item's systems are incredibly advanced and sophisticated. It is said that the design for the Spy Mask is little-understood even by the Tech-priests of Mars. Internally moulded to the contours of a Vindicare Operative's facial features, each spy mask interfaces directly with the Operative's cerebellum via neural jacks located at each temple. Thus integrated, the spy mask's sensorium suite and predictive augurs exload data straight into the Vindicare's mind. Trajectories, atmospherics, thermal imaging, psychic spoor, all are superimposed directly onto an Operative's field of vision. The mask allows the Vindicare to see through dense smoke, driving snow, and can even identify likely weak points in their victim's defences, based upon intel inloads and probability scripture. This avalanche of information would disorient even a veteran Space Marine, but thanks to a Vindicare's mental augmetics, they can process it all with ease. The Spy Mask also contains cartridges of concentrated food and water for extended operations, and a multi-channel communications sensor (both Vox and Pict) for monitoring enemy communications. The mask includes a built-in Auspex scanner and readout, advanced, high-quality magnoculars, a good-quality photo-visor (making the wearer immune to the blinding effects of Photon Flash Grenades), Pict-recorder, Re-breather for hostile environments, and Vox-caster. Like their stealth suit,a Vindicare Spy Mask is also gene-coded so that it can only be activated by a specific Assassin.
Notable Vindicare Assassins
- Sire Vindicare - The founder and first Director Primus of his clade, Sire Vindicare was the namesake and founder of the Vindicare Temple. He was the foremost sniper-assassin of his age. He, along with the other founders of the various Assassin clades that would become the Assassin Temples, was present on Mount Vengeance. With his fellows he swore a pact in the shadow of the Great Crusade, an oath that breathed life into the creation of the Officio Assassinorum. The newly created clades hunted down the enemies of the Emperor through stealth and subterfuge, establishing the fact that there was no safe place to hide in the galaxy from the Emperor's justice.
- Eristede Kell - The traitor Eristede Kell was a Vindicare Assassin operating during the later stage of the Great Crusade and opening days of the Horus Heresy. He was an Assassin-at-Marque of Clade Vindicare who was ranked an Epsilon-dan, the senior-most rank within his order, which led him to be selected by his superiors to join the very first Imperial Execution Force composed of Imperial Assassins from every clade. Reunited with his biological sister, Assassin Jenniker Soalm of Clade Venenum, the Execution Force was sent to the world of Dagonet, where Imperial intelligence placed the Archtraitor Horus Lupercal. It would be the first time that the agents of the Officio Assassinorum would target a Primarch. As appointed leader of the Execution Force, Kell divised a plan to kill the Warmaster, but ultimately, their assassination attempt failed as an unforeseeable enemy, in the form of a highly adaptive Horusite assassin, clashed with the Execution Force, causing the death of the other members of the team. As sole survivor, Eristede Kell still took the shot at his designated target, only to find out that Horus had desisted and send one of his captains, Luc Sedirae in his stead. The assassination of Horus' envoy unleashed the fury of the Sons of Horus which bloodily descended on Dagonet. For a long time, Eristede Kell was believed slain in these punitive actions of the XVIth Legion, but he survived. As failure could not be tolerated, Kell resolved himself to take drastic measures: he commandeered a ship and intended to ram it right into the Vengeful Spirit’s bridge, where he suspected the Arch-Traitor lurked. As defensive fire proved too heavy, Kell resolved to take an escape pod and infiltrate the mighty vessel himself to accomplish his mission. However, by a dark twist of fate, Kell's saviour-pod landed right into a nest of unknown xenos-fauna that had manifested in the abandoned parts of the Vengeful Spirit since it had been purposely corrupted by Chaos. Escaping with his life and weapons, but not unscathed, Kell sought a hideout with a clear line of sight to his target. The envenomed bites of the xenos-serpents that had attacked him, somehow granted him a vision -- the precise, if future location of Horus. All he had to do, was remain where he was, prepare and wait. Kell waited for a number of years for the perfect shot, but in the meantime, the poison ravaged his body, slowly turning the assassin insane. It is unknown how long Kell was able to hide in the bowels of the Vengeful Spirit, but he was still in position when a second assassination attempt, led by the agents of Malcador the Sigilite, the famed Knight-Errants, was spoiled. Still fighting against the poison within him, or more likely, increasingly becoming corrupted by the power of Chaos, Kell resolved to change tactics -- instead of waiting for the Warmaster's arrival, he would draw his target to him. Murdering the only ally he had found on the ship and carving Horus' name in his former friend's flesh, Kell sent a bloody message to the Warmaster, who personally investigated the matter. Yet finally confronted with his target, Kell did take the shot but Horus saw him and snatched the round out of the air. He then confronted Kell, offering him the chance to use his Exitus Pistol to kill him. Kell fired his entire magazine, but as Horus shielded his face with his massive armored gauntlet, he was unable to kill him. Unable to assassinate Horus, and due to his inner doubts and the corrupting power of Chaos, Kell was instead turned by the Warmaster to serve the Traitors' cause. After he was corrupted, he was later sent to Terra to assassinate the first Imperial Saint, Euphrati Keeler, by order of the Warmaster. He was joined by the Alpha Legion operative known as Haln. He tracked the elusive saint to the Lectitio Divinitatus pilgrim sanctuary of Salvaguardia, located in the land of Afrik, in the outskirts of the Wasted Ranges, where he proceeded to slaughter the entire enclave with his unnatural Warp-based weapon, gifted to him by the Warmaster. Kell then tortured any survivors for information with his knife. Eventually, the pair of traitor assassins received information from an informant, which indicated that Keeler was aboard the massive Hesperides orbital plate. But they were not the only ones seeking Keeler, the Knight-Errant, Nathaniel Garro, was also looking for the living saint. Finding the location of their hidden church, Haln infiltrated the pilgrim flock as one of their own, while Kell took up a sniper's position. Unable to maintain his facade any longer, Haln broke his cover and attempted to stab Keeler when she finally made her appearance, but was bifurcated by the great sword Libertas, when Garro threw his weapon at the would-be assassin, foiling his plans. Kell fired upon the pilgrims, slaughtering many of them, before Garro finally joined the battle and fought the former Imperial assassin in close-combat. During the fight that ensued, Garro sliced off Kell's warp-cursed gun hand, and then destroyed the daemon that writhed helplessly on the ground. Before finally slaying Kell, Garro named Eristede Kell traitor, and ordered the failed assassin to stand and answer for his crimes. Incredulously, Kell replied that he was not the only traitor -- they all were in the end. They were all betrayed and then the betrayer. Kell accused Garro that he was no different than him. Garro angrily replied that he did not swear fealty to the first primarch and turn against his father, the Emperor. But Kell retorted, that Garro had turned against his own father, the Primarch Mortarion, and therefore, was a traitor in his own way. Fed up with the assassin's argument, Garro took Libertas and impaled Kell through his heart, freeing him from whatever devil's bargain he had made with the Warmaster.
- Dejedris Garamach - Dejedris Garamach was a Vindicare Assassin who successfully carried out a kill order given to his Temple to take out the predatory Dark Eldar pilot known as the Skyknife in 243.M39. Knowing that to enter Commorragh would be to court almost certain failure, Garamach determined the site of a previous sighting of the Skyknife's Razorwing Jetfighter. He mounts his vigil in the eye socket of the Threndian Colossus, subsisting on moss and the raw flesh of the birds that use the statue as its nest whilst never taking his eyes from the sky. Six years later, his vigil is rewarded when the Skyknife appears from midair in a flash of azure light. Within a half-second of its appearance Garamach puts a turbo-penetrator round into the cockpit, killing the pilot instantly.
- Morias Skult - In 924.M40, 2nd Class Assassin Skult was dispatched to the Roxanzand System to eliminate the threat of the Ork Warlord Urgak "the Unstoppable" who was uniting the disparate Ork tribes of the northern continent of the world of Roxanzand into a mighty Ork WAAAGH!.The Orks conducted a massive military build-up unabated, and most worringly, were in the process of constructing a mighty Gargant. Skult deployed without detection as a lone operative via a standard one-man Drop Pod and infiltrated the Ork camp. After killing five Ork sentries, their bodies were disposed of with hyphosphus quick-burning incendiaries. Skult then proceeded to insert himself into the near-completed Gargant. Planting high-charge, low-mass explosives throughout the various vulnerable points on the structure of the Gargant, he then extricated himself and took up a position at the top of a nearby cliff where he held a commanding view of the encampment. The next morning, Skult assassinated Urgak with a single head-shot from his Exitus Rifle. He then proceeded to fire upon the Gargant, igniting the carefully placed explosives, which caused a chain-reaction. The Gargant exploded spectacularly and Skult made good his escape. The Assassin then made his way back to his Drop Pod and was picked up. Despite this tremendous display of skill at infiltration and accuracy, Skult's mission was declared only 86% successful, for the damage dealt to the Gargant was not total enough to prevent reconstruction. However, the death of the Warlord and the delay in rebuilding the destroyed Gargant caused a slow down in the Ork's war efforts, allowing time for Imperial Navy vessels to arrive and bombard the site from orbit, effectively eliminating the Greenskin threat. Later in his career, he was part of an Imperial strike team of Officio Assassinorum operatives sent to the strife-ridden Imperial world of Opis to eliminate the rogue assassin Legienstrasse, formerly of the defunct Maerorus Temple. Though he attempted to kill her on several occasions, he ultimately failed in achieving his objective. While attempting to kill the rogue assassin one final time from an Imperial Fists Thunderhawk gunship, Legienstrasse leapt upon one of the flyer's wings and badly damaged it, causing the gunship to crash and kill everyone aboard.
- Tarim - Tarim is an assassin of the Vindicare Temple who played an instrumental role during the events on the planet Drex. He helped Inquisitor Gerhart to suppress a Chaos Cult that followed Daemons, first, by thwarting their attempt to assassinate the Inquisitor during his public proselytizing to the planet's masses, and secondly, by killing the failed killer, the heretic known as St'phen Tylr. Tarim had a habit of tattooing the names of all his victims on his left forearm to mark his kills.
- Viktor Zhau - Viktor Zhau was an assassin of the Vindicare Temple who was known for his skill and composure. He was selected to lead the Execution Force that was sent to the world of Achyllan Prime, located close to the Cadian Sector, during the Thirteenth Black Crusade in 999.M41, in order the halt the invasion of a large Chaos force of the infamous Crimson Slaughter Chaos Warband led by the Sorcerer Severin Drask. The Sorcerer was intent on sacrificing its suns with the Temple of Shades in order to create a Warp Rift that would endanger Terra itself. During this mission, the assassins were successful in assassinating Drask, but unfortunately for Zhau, he would be killed shortly thereafter, torn apart by both cultists and Crimson Slaughter Chaos Space Marines. The Temple of Shades soon collapsed thereafter, and the planet was left devastated.
Dawn of War
In the real-time strategy games for the PC Dawn of War - Winter Assault and Dawn of War: Dark Crusade, the Vindicare Assassin (simply called the Assassin in the game) is the Imperial Guard's only infiltrator unit, armed with a high-powered Sniper Rifle. Imperial Guard commanders can temporarily double the range and damage of the Vindicare's sniper rifle by ordering the unit to activate the rifle's Assassination Scope for a limited time (as prolonged use of the scope causes the rifle to overheat).
- Assassinorum Executioner Force: Rulebook (7th Edition), pp. 24-25
- Codex: Assassins (3rd Edition), pg. 4
- Codex: Assassins (2nd Edition), pp. 9-11
- Dark Heresy: Ascension (RPG), pp. 49, 139, 147-148, 155
- Dataslate: Officio Assassinorum, pg. 38
- Nemesis (Novel) by James Swallow
- Seventh Retribution (Novel) by Ben Counter
- Garro: Vow of Faith (Novella) by James Swallow
- War Without End (Anthology), "Gunsight" by James Swallow
- Assassinorum: Executioner Force (Novel) by Joe Parrino
- Divine Will (Short Story) by Andy Smillie
|Callidus Temple • Culexus Temple • Eversor Temple • Maerorus Temple • Vanus Temple • Venenum Temple • Vindicare Temple|