Is there an authoritative source stating whether or not blanks in Warhammer 40,000 have souls? (as opposed to pariahs which definitely do not?)

I seem to recall around 3e that there was no real distinction between blanks and pariahs but that seems to have changed in the intervening years, however what precisely differentiates a blank and a pariah is unclear.

  • 1
    Is this in relation to the games or the novels/fiction?
    – AncientSwordRage
    Commented Apr 11, 2012 at 14:47
  • Just curious, why are you asking? If this is for general curiousity as to the backstory of creatures in WH40k, this is the place. If the answer to this question affects the interpretation of a game rule, then the Gaming SE would be the better place to ask.
    – KeithS
    Commented Apr 11, 2012 at 18:03
  • @KeithS - just backstory Commented Apr 12, 2012 at 2:57
  • @KeithS: the novels are required to follow the game, not the other way around.
    – aramis
    Commented Apr 12, 2012 at 23:47
  • @aramis - well, the rulebooks and codices, as well as White Dwarf have tremendous amounts of background material. Commented Apr 13, 2012 at 12:20

1 Answer 1


Yes, blanks have souls.

The terms blank, pariah and untouchable are currently interchangeable. It's related to the 'Pariah gene', which is what gives them their ability.

Some of these individuals had degrees of immunity to psychic powers and the energies of the warp; some - known as Untouchables or Blanks - had fields so powerful that their presence disrupted the powers of or wounded psychic beings

- Atlas Infernal, by Rob Sanders, page 284

and from just further up that page:

Clone embryos, gene sequenced from blacksoul null-stock

In the collection of short stories "Tales of Heresy", in the story "The Voice" by James Swallow, three sisters of silence encounter a vision from the warp and near the end of the story it is revealed that they do:

'I have done terrible things to get to this place,' said the voice. 'Pacts and accords that have scarred my soul'.

'We are Untouchable' Leilani husked. 'They say we have no souls'.

'We have,' came the reply. 'Else I would have had nothing to burn, no coin to pay my way here.'

- Tales of Heresy, The Voice, page 267

The pariah gene merely blocks out the connection to the warp, giving the appearance of a lack of soul, but it doesn't actually stop them from having one.

The grey Knights codex states about Culexus assassins:

Culexus Assassins are primarily chosen because they have or appear to have, no presence in the warp - they are, to all intents and purposes, soulless.

- Codex: Grey Knights, page 53

The 40k rules book expands on the information about these assassins:

Culexus Assassins, by far the rarest, are chosen from those few individuals who possess [sic] the Pariah gene, making them null-entities in the Warp.

- Warhammer 40k rulebook, 6th edition, page 181


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