A Volkite Weapon is an arcane term used by the Adeptus Mechanicus to refer to a class of powerful thermal ray weapons whose technology is pre-Imperial in origin and dates back to the Age of Strife. These weapons possessed considerable killing power, surpassing most other armaments of their size. Blasts from Volkite Weapons were even known to be able to penetrate the thick ceramite plates of Space Marine Power Armour with one concentrated shot. Volkite Weapons produced a deflagrating attack, in which subsonic combustion caused by a beam of thermal energy propagated through a material by thermodynamic heat transfer so that hot burning material heated the next layer of cold material and ignited it. A Volkite Weapon's heat ray had a devastating effect on organic matter, explosively burning flesh into ash and jetting fire.
Unfortunately, Volkite Weapons of the various types were difficult to manufacture, even for the most able of the Mechanicum's forges, and the demands of the expanding Great Crusade in the late 30th Millennium swiftly overwhelmed the supply of these relic-weapons. Once relatively common within the fledgling Space Marine Legions, Volkite Weapons had fallen largely from favour by the time the Horus Heresy began in the early 31st Millennium and had been superseded by the far more flexible and utilitarian Terran Bolter. Those few examples of a Volkite Weapon that remained in service were the purview of only a few specialised units at the outbreak of the conflict that tore the Imperium apart in a galaxy-spanning civil war. Volkite Weapons in the present time are exceedingly rare, and are scarcely ever seen amongst the Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes in the late 41st Millennium.
These rare weapons were also once the standard armament of a significant number of Solar Auxilia infantry sections, becoming increasingly rare as the Great Crusade had worn on, and by the Horus Heresy became the preserve of only the most elite of their Veletaris units, and to carry such a weapon became a thing of great distinction in the ranks of the Solar Auxilia, the weapons themselves passing from soldier to soldier as time went on. The weapons of the Solar Auxilia's officer class had a tendency to be highly idiosyncratic in nature, with each officer allowed to furnish their own personal arms, allowing for considerable variation and indeed competition between them to do so, with the sword of various forms being held commonly as the mark of an officer.
- Volkite Serpenta - The pistol variant of a Volkite Weapon, sometimes carried by high-ranking soldiers of the Imperial Army during the Great Crusade era.
- Volkite Blaster - The Volkite Blaster is one of the few types of Volkite Weapon still used by the Imperium in the late 41st Millennium. Volkite Blasters are known to be wielded by Adeptus Mechanicus Magos Dominus.
- Volkite Charger - The assault weapon variant of a Volkite Weapon carried by Space Marine infantry.
- Volkite Caliver - A Volkite heavy weapon variant carried by Space Marine infantry.
- Volkite Culverin - The Volkite Culverin is the heaviest and most potent man-portable iteration of all Volkite technology, and was used by the ancient Legiones Astartes Legion Heavy Support Squads and their Contemptor Pattern Dreadnoughts.
- Volkite Carronade - A Volkite heavy weapon variant, mounted on the Glaive Super-Heavy Special Weapons Tank, a variant of the Fellblade.
- Volkite Chieorovile - A Volkite heavy weapon variant, these are used by the Questoris Knight Styrix.
- Volkite Sentinel - Slaved weapons systems controlled independently by their own Servitor-brain, Volkite Sentinels were defensive weapons found on a number of larger Mechanicum war engines, most commonly the Triaros Armoured Conveyer. Each Volkite Sentinel was a pintle-mounted Volkite charger which could be fired in addition to any other weapons the vehicle was carrying, able to target units separately from the vehicle's main armament.
- Volkite Incinerator - A powerful purpose-designed Volkite ray weapon that was mounted in the chest-unit of each Ursarax Tech-guard, allowing it to both attack its victims at range with a lethal Volkite beam and also by grabbing its foe within its claws and drawing them in to suffer the full brunt of this discharge at point-blank range. This confined ray blast was particularly devastating in its power and was able to disintegrate even heavily armoured warriors in mere moments.
- Durak Rask - The former Marshall of Ordnance of the Death Guard Legion during the Great Crusade who used a Volkite Serpenta in combination with a Thunder Hammer in battle.
- Artellus Numeon - The former First Captain of the Salamanders Legion who used a Volkite weapon mounted on his Power Halberd.
- Fulgrim - The Primarch of the Emperor's Children Legion who used a master-crafted Volkite Charger named Firebrand.
- Codex: Cult Mechanicus (7th Edition) (Digital Edition), "Weapons of Enlightenment"
- The Horus Heresy - Book One: Betrayal (Forge World Series) by Alan Bligh, pg. 233
- The Horus Heresy - Book Two: Massacre (Forge World Series) by Alan Bligh, pp. 103, 127, 205
- The Horus Heresy - Book Three: Extermination (Forge World Series) by Alan Bligh, pp. 101, 120, 224-225
- The Horus Heresy - Book Four: Conquest (Forge World Series) by Alan Bligh, pp. 83, 87, 189, 246-247
- The Horus Heresy - Book Five: Tempest (Forge World Series) by Alan Bligh, pp. 92, 181
- Vulkan Lives (Novel) by Nick Kyme
- Vengeful Spirit (Novel) by Graham McNeill
- Forge World Webstore - Volkite Calivers
- Forge World Webstore - Volkite Chargers
- Forge World Webstore - Legion Moritat with Volkite Serpenta
- Forge World Webstore - Legion Volkite Culverin Set
- Forge World Webstore - Telerac Pattern Volkite Culverins Set
- Forge World Webstore - Contemptor Pattern Volkite Culverin
- Forge World Webstore - Legion Glaive