An Æther Ray is an aerial Daemon Engine of Tzeentch, created on the world of Q'Sal, located in the Screaming Vortex, a Warp Rift that separates the Calixis Sector of the Segmentum Obscurus from the Koronus Expanse region of the Halo Stars. Q'Sal is a self-sufficient, largely peaceful and highly industrious world, whose Heretic inhabitants have the freedom to use the power of the Warp in their creations. Ruled over by the powerful Sorcerer-Technocrats of the three cities of Tarnor, Velklir and Surgub, the Æther Ray is the direct result of all three often rival cities working more or less together in its creation.
The Æther Ray is a relatively new construct, designed after the Pact of R'Suleir which brought a rare time of peace between the three cities. This period ended quickly, but not before this new Daemon Engine took flight. Æther Rays act both transports for the elite of Q'Sal as well as a powerful symbol of each its cities' might. Those viewing the beast soaring above them know the terrible power enchained within, and the even greater power it took to keep such a creature bound in service.
Built on a light alloy chassis and draped with metallic fabric daubed with runes that burn the eye, the main chassis is massive and smooth, more akin to ocean life than the air. Once infused with the essence of bound Screamers of Tzeentch, however, it shows its true nature. The fabric hardens as the foul energies permeate the material, translating gross matter into a fleshy alloy that ill-refracts light and brushes off gravity. Sharpened wings grow out from the sides, and an iridescent fluked tail emerges from the rear. Quasi-organic strands extrude along the back, ready for those who dare ride atop the beast to grab hold for their very lives. When the change is complete, the form reveals the daemons used in its creation, a huge flattened metallic ray now ready to take flight. The very air around it shimmers with the contained hate of the daemons bound within, eager for escape and destruction.
Each Æther Ray is bound to a specific Sorcerer with runes infused with the tendrils of his soul, so while theft is impractical, sabotage is not uncommon. Slight alterations in the runic bindings have enabled some to be used for travel across the void, using globes that appear as thin as soap bubbles to contain lives of the riders. Further research suggests that Warp travel is also possible for these Daemon Engines, though no one is known to have tried. To ride atop a Ray, knowing that if the daemon should break its shackles even the smallest amount can lead to a painful, plummeting death, is fearful enough. To ride one through the Sea of Souls could lead to a fate far worse, for death would be only the beginning of an eternity of torments. Some whisper that this has already been accomplished, and Æther Rays are ready to glide above new worlds to spread the might of Q'Sal across the Screaming Vortex.
Æther Rays are commonly crafted in three sizes, depending on the desires of their Sorcerer-creator. Passengers ride along the back and sides of the Daemon Engine, holding on via cleverly extruded grips and foot anchors as they fly to their inscribed destination, praying to the Changer of Ways that his eyes not turn to them whilst in transit.
Ordo Malleus Departmento Analyticus Technical Specifications
The Ordo Malleus has not yet determined the technical specifications for this Daemon Engine, if such a thing is even possible.
- Black Crusade: The Tome of Fate (RPG), pp. 77-78, 81
|Chaos Undivided||Death Wheel • Decimator • Defiler • Forgefiend • Heldrake • Maulerfiend • Soul Grinder • Venomcrawler •Wirewolf|
|Khorne||Blood Reaper • Blood Slaughterer • Blood Throne of Khorne • Brass Scorpion • Cauldron of Blood • Death Dealer • Doom Blaster • Kytan • Lord of Battles • Lord of Skulls • Skull Cannon of Khorne • Tower of Skulls|
|Nurgle||Blight Drone • Contagion • Foetid Bloat-drone • Myphitic Blight-hauler • Plague Hulk • Plague Tower • Plagueburst Crawler|
|Tzeentch||Æther Ray • The Auruntaur • Doom Wing • Fire Lord • Mirrorfiend • Silver Tower|
|Slaanesh||Hell-Knight • Hell-Scourge • Hell-Strider • Questor Scout Titan • Subjugator|