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A Mechadendrite is the term used for a large assortment of tentacle-like bionic prosthetics used by the Tech-priests of the Adeptus Mechanicus and the Techmarines of the Adeptus Astartes. A Mechadendrite is used by the Tech-priest or Techmarine for micro-construction, maintenance, scientific research and even defensive firepower. Most Mechadendrites contain a number of tools, devices or weapons that are intended to serve the specific functions required by their use. A Mechadendrite is hard-wired into the central nervous system of the Tech-priest or Techmarine and surgically attached to the spine, so that it is controlled by its user's mind using neural impulses just like a biological limb.
Mechadendrites are constructed from various metallic alloys and have innumerable motors and actuators encased within their structures. A set of Mechadendrites are normally much longer than a human's natural limbs and possess multiple segemented joints to allow maximum reach and flexibility, giving them the appearance of serpentine tentacles. Tech-priests of the Adeptus Mechanicus with the rank of Enginseer and above are known to possess and even eagerly seek out the implantation of Mechadendrites, and although they may often have only a single one of the bionic tentacles fitted, it is possible to implant as many of the augmetic limbs as the human body's anatomy will allow. Servitors can also have Mechadendrites implanted so that they can assist a Techmarine or Tech-priest in their duties.
- Ballistic Mechadendrite - This solid, shoulder-mounted Mechadendrite is designed for self-defence. This two metre mechanical limb is mounted with a sleek-looking Laspistol of Adeptus Mechanicus design.
- Lathes Mechadendrite Stabilisers - The Forge Worlds known as the Lathes in the Calixis Sector are known for mysterious and frequent gravity shifts, which can overcome even experienced Tech-priests when they are in areas not properly shielded with additional gravity plating. Years of study indicated that replating the myriad facilities would be impractical, so many in the far edges of the system began surreptitiously developing a radical Mechadendrite design to aid in their work. Instead of adding additional manipulation capabilities, pairs of gyroscopically-stabilised, heavily-clawed talons can anchor a Tech-priest firmly onto a surface, where he can conduct his furtive research more peacefully. Though considered a somewhat heretical design, more and more of this type of Mechadendrite are appearing across the Lathe Worlds.
- Exploration Mechadendrite - Built to meet the exacting standards of the Priesthood of Mars, an Exploration Mechadendrite offers peerless investigation and collection skills to the excavation-minded Explorator. Specialised, extraordinarily delicate servo-arms and collection pods all coordinate together to allow for perfect observation, collection, measurement, and archiving of up to ten separate samples. These samples are then fed through a series of filters and processes all within specially-built chambers, allowing for full analysis of their properties and market worth. In addition, as part of a backup system to flush out and sterilise the sample chambers, each can be forcefully ejected from a spout on the end of the arm if needed. This Mechadendrite also contains a built-in Auspex, chronometer, glow-lamp, and compass, and specialised sensors spread throughout the limb.
- Manipulator Mechadendrite (Servo-arm) - Also known as a Servo-arm, and possibly the most common form of Mechadendrite, this artificial limb is a great aid to those working in industrial or technical areas. This powerful shoulder-mounted Mechadendrite is designed for heavy lifting and the manipulation of industrial gear. Built of fire-hardened ceramite and steel, this limb may extend to a length of 1.5 metres. The Manipulator is tipped with two sets of gripping and crushing pincers. The viscous gripping and crushing pincers can also tether the user to gantries or suitably heavy objects and may be used in combat to make melee attacks. While powerful, the Manipulator is not subtle and attempts to use it for such tasks as Data-Slate typing, inscribing holy etchings, handling delicate objects, or the like, will only end with ruined equipment or a failed summoning.
- Medicae Mechadendrite - This two-metre long, flexible artificial limb is designed to provide medical and surgical assistance in the field. The Medicae Mechadendrite houses six injector pistons, each of which may be filled with one dose of a given type of drug. These must be supplied and replaced separately. In addition to providing first aid, the Mechadendrite’s flesh staplers may be used to staunch blood loss. A small Chainscalpel attachment reduces the difficulty of limb amputation. This Mechadendrite may be shoulder or sternum-mounted.
- Medicae/Torture Mechadendrite - Employed by the Forces of Chaos, a Medicae/Torture Mechadendrite is made of thin, dextrous, two-metre tubes of metal and plasteel tipped with a variety of fascinating needles and blades. This Mechadendrite can either heal or harm depending on the Heretic’s intent. It houses six injector pistons; each may be filled with one dose of a drug and must be supplied and replaced separately (these can also be used to inject the user). Built-in flesh staplers may be used to staunch blood loss while the Chainscalpel attachment reduces the difficulty of limb amputation.
- Optical Mechadendrite - This highly flexible, camera-studded Mechadendrite is designed to assist in inspection and detection. This Mechadendrite may extend to a length of three metres, and can reduce its width to pencil thickness. The optical feed allows the user to examine surfaces at a microscopic level and may also be used as a telescopic sight. The Optical Mechadendrite is also mounted with an infra-red torch and sensors. Finally, the Mechadendrite is fitted with a tiny but powerful glow-globe that may be tinted a variety of different colours, depending on the controller’s whim. This Mechadendrite may be shoulder or sternum-mounted.
- Utility Mechadendrite - This two-metre-long mechanical limb houses a variety of tools and attachments designed to assist a Tech-priest in the course of his holy duties. The limb also houses six injector pistons, each filled with one dose of Ligature Oil; these must be supplied and replaced separately. In addition to this, the artificial limb contains an electrically-powered censer, which can gust incense fumes over particularly troublesome faults. The censer generates one "blast" of smoke every 15 minutes, with effects depending on the acquired ingredients. This can alternatively belch smoke clouds that may be employed in melee combat to distract and choke, affecting all living creatures within a two-metre radius. Unless the censer is deactivated, those affected by the billowing smoke must rely on their sense of smell to detect the Mechadendrite's user. Also useful in combat is the cutting blade found at the end of one tip, which is similar to a knife blade.
- Black Crusade: Core Rulebook (RPG), pp. 192-193
- Dark Heresy: Core Rulebook (RPG), pp. 154-156
- Dark Heresy: The Lathe Worlds (RPG), pg. 66
- Deathwatch: Core Rulebook (RPG), pp. 89, 124-125, 177
- Inquisitor: Rulebook (Specialty Game), pg. 81
- Only War: Core Rulebook, pg. 205, 207-209
- Rogue Trader: Stars of Inequity (RPG), pg. 96
- Death or Glory (Novel) by Sandy Mitchell