A Perpetual was an individual who was a member of a mutant branch of the human species who possessed seemingly superhuman abilities. Some were born with their abilities naturally, while others received them through artificial genetic intervention using advanced technology. However, every Perpetual was known to be effectively immortal, never aging and capable of ultimately healing almost any injury as a result of their extraordinarily rapid and efficient cellular regeneration. It is this capability that is responsible for their name. Perpetuals have been known to survive dismemberment, suffocation, decapitation and even directed energy assaults, their bodies always regenerating and even bringing them back to life after clinical death.
Humans can either naturally be born as Perpetuals or be artificially transformed into one through the use of advanced alien technology, such as that used by the xenos alliance known as the Cabal. But the origin of human Perpetuals who are born naturally remains unknown, as some, like Alivia Sureka and the Emperor of Mankind Himself, have existed since the earliest ages of human civilisation on Old Earth.
The only way known to permanently kill a true Perpetual is with the spear-like artefact called the Fulgurite, which was a byproduct of the Emperor of Mankind's psychically-produced lightning fusing sand on the world of Traoris, a planet liberated from Chaos Cultists and sorcerers by the Emperor during the Great Crusade in 898.M30. The resulting mineral retained a portion of the Emperor's power, and was capable of overcoming even a Perpetual's natural regeneration.
- The Emperor of Mankind
- The Primarch Vulkan of the Salamanders Legion
- John Grammaticus
- Ollanius Pius (Ollanius Persson)
- Damon Prytanis
- Alivia Sureka
- Anval Thawn
- Cyrene Valantion
- Betrayer (Novel) by Aaron Demski-Bowden
- Fabius Bile: Primogenitor (Novel) by Josh Reynolds
- The Ghost Halls (Short Story) by L.J. Goulding
- Know No Fear (Novel) by Dan Abnett, pp. 208-209
- Legion (Novel) by Dan Abnett
- Perpetual (Audio Book) by Dan Abnett
- The Unremembered Empire (Novel) by Dan Abnett
- Vengeful Spirit by Graham McNeill
- Vulkan Lives (Novel) by Nick Kyme