A Mace of Absolution is an archaic Power Weapon commonly utilised by the Deathwing Knights of the Dark Angels Chapter's 1st Company, the Deathwing. When a member of the Deathwing is deemed worthy of the honour, he is brought into the Chamber of Judgments in The Rock to face a series of challenges, each of which has been individualised to test the candidate's strength, resolve and loyalty to the Chapter past any breaking point he may possess. Should the Astartes prevail in these tests, the warrior is granted the title of Knight and passes beneath the shadowed arch at the heart of the Chamber of Judgements. The Watchers in the Dark present to him a Mace of Absolution and a Storm Shield -- both priceless heirlooms from the time of the Great Crusade in the late 30th Millennium, with powers beyond even the potency of the Astartes who will bear them. Bespiked, glowing with power and emanating an eerie mist from their vents, these ominous weapons are employed by the Deathwing Knights in their endless hunt for the Fallen Angels. In the presence of the most accursed Heretics, their power is amplified to awe-inspiring magnitude.
A Mace of Absolution is similar in function to a Power Maul, but possesses the ability to be used in a 'smite mode', where the power field of the weapon is greatly strengthened and augmented to the point that the weapon will cleave apart even the most heavily armoured vehicles and enemies with ease.
- Codex: Dark Angels (6th Edition), pp. 45, 62, 81