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A Cherub (pl. Cherubim) is a cybernetic construct created by the Magos Biologis of the Adeptus Mechanicus for various Adepta of the Imperium of Man, including the Inquisition. Cherubim are often used by Inquisitors with psychic abilities as Familiars who can act to augment their powers. Cherubs have been intentionally shaped by the Mechanicus to resemble the child-like angels of ancient Terran myth to symbolise their purity in the eyes of the Emperor. Cherubim are usually grown in vats or clone tanks by the Magos Biologis who then outfit them with various cybernetic components depending upon the task for which they are intended. In many ways, Cherubim are simply Servitors who have been granted a unique appearance and a smaller size, as well as the ability to fly. Cherubim, like Servitors, are not considered sentient beings by the Imperium, and most could be considered to have the intelligence of an unusually bright dog or sub-sentient primate.
The bio-constructs known as Cherubim are of uncertain origin, but they are one of the few permitted examples of such bio-sculpted homunculi allowed within the Imperium. Taking the form most commonly resembling that of somewhat corpulent and unwholesome looking genderless children, they are also often implanted with augmetic feathery wings (and a grav generator) allowing limited flight. Cherubim are not truly alive at all and their synthesised, bloodless and waxen flesh needs neither to eat nor sleep and is fed from their internal power-cell. They are controlled by an augmented cortex and nervous system usually harvested from some lesser creature such as a simian, bird, swine or felid, and implanted with a set of programmed commands that allows them to perform some simple task such as copying text, fetching and carrying small items or tirelessly singing the Emperor’s praises with augmetic vocal cords. Outside the rarefied noble houses and Imperial hierarchy (most notably the Ecclesiarchy) where they are used, most citizens view Cherubim with a degree of distaste and superstitious fear. This is not entirely without cause as it is a matter of record that in rare instances Cherubim have been known to "devolve" allowing some corrupted and mangled version of their organic cortex to take over their behaviour with unpleasant consequences.
- Codex: Daemonhunters (3rd Edition), pg. 14
- Codex: Witch Hunters (3rd Edition), pg. 16
- Dark Heresy: The Inquisitor's Handbook (RPG), pg. 192
- White Dwarf Weekly #71 (06 June 2015), "Space Marines - Devastator Squad," pg. 7
- Games Workshop Online Store - Space Marine Librarian with Cherub