Volkite Weapons 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 Dark Age of Technology or 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 target 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 and the military forces of the ancient Mechanicum, 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Weapons had fallen largely from favour by the time the Horus Heresy began in the early 31st Millennium and had been superseded by the far more flexible and utilitarian Terran Bolter.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 thermal weapons were also once the standard armament of a significant number of Solar Auxilia infantry regiments of the Imperial Army, becoming increasingly scarce as the Great Crusade wore on, and by the Horus Heresy became the preserve of only the most elite of their Veletaris units. 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 as an indicator of elite status.
The pistol variant of a Volkite Weapon wielded single-handed, the Volkite Serpenta was sometimes carried by high-ranking soldiers of the Imperial Army and the Tech-priests of the Mechanicum during the Great Crusade era.
The Volkite Charger was the assault weapon variant of a Volkite Weapon carried by Space Marine infantry and the military forces of the Mechanicum. Whilst not benefiting from the range or power of its larger cousins, the Charger retained the Volkite thermal ray's deflagrating effects and allowed its wielder a greater degree of movement. Volkite Chargers were often employed by Legion Tactical Support Squads.
The Volkite Caliver was a Volkite heavy weapon variant carried by Space Marine and Mechanicum infantry forces. A Volkite rifle with a devastating effect on flesh and bone, the Volkite Caliver was often employed by mobile Legion Tactical Support Squads, utilising firepower superior to that of the more common Bolter that would eventually replace it as the standard infantry weapon of the Space Marine Legions.
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, which could mount two of these heavy weapons on a single arm.
The Volkite Carronade was a Volkite heavy weapon variant, mounted as the primary turret armament on the Glaive Super-Heavy Special Weapons Tank, a variant of the Fellblade. A Volkite Carronade could destroy large enemy targets in a single sweep.
The Volkite Demi-Culverin was a Volkite heavy weapon variant mounted as the primary turret armament on the Leman Russ Incinerator tank. A powerful weapon dating back to the Dark Age of Technology, the Demi-Culverin could tear through infantry squads with ease.
The Volkite Sentinel was an automated, slaved weapon systems controlled independently by its own Servitor-brain. Volkite Sentinels were used as defensive weapons found on a number of larger Mechanicum war engines, most commonly the Triaros Armoured Conveyer. Each Volkite Sentinel was actually a pintle-mounted Volkite Charger which could be fired in addition to any other weapons the vehicle was carrying. Because of its Servitor brain, the Volkite Sentinel was able to target units separately from the vehicle's main armament or the direction of its gunners.
The Volkite Incinerator was 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 at such short range.
- 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 Adeptus Mechanicus - Cult Mechanicus (7th Edition) (Digital Edition), "Weapons of Enlightenment - Volkite Blaster"
- 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, 278
- 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