The Distortion Cannon, often more commonly called a "D-Cannon", and also known as a "Displacer Cannon," "Displacer," "Warp Cannon," or "Warper," is a heavy Vortex Weapon utilised by the Craftworld Aeldari and the most dangerous of all that ancient species' weapons.
If the target is not "swallowed" by the resultant Warp rift, the gravitational forces involved in opening and maintaining this overlay will literally rip the target apart. The weapon is effective against both infantry and vehicles.
Although immensely powerful, the D-Cannon's primary drawback is that it possesses only a short range, and is highly inaccurate by Aeldari standards.
To produce its effect, the Distortion Cannon makes use of the same technology as Imperial starships do to enter the Warp, essentially creating a small gateway into the Immaterium from realspace that collapses in on itself, creating a small hole into the Warp in local space-time.
A lucky target of this weapon is simply torn apart by the violent gravitational forces this process unleashes; an unlucky victim will actually be sucked bodily into the Warp, where a far worse fate awaits.
The Distortion Cannon's attack can affect a wider area than the initial target, as the localised distortion of reality causes other people and objects to be spatially displaced, which can cause unintended damage. Like all Warp-based weaponry, this unpredictability is to be expected, since the technology at issue is essentially violating the physical laws of the material universe.
The size of the Warp rift created depends on the size and power of the D-Cannon, with the larger variants of the weapon requiring more power and a larger platform or vehicle chassis to mount them. The largest D-Cannosn can be found mounted on Cobras and Aeldari Phantom Titans, and even Void Shields have proven ineffectual in defending against a D-Cannon strike made by these vehicles.
An assault by these larger and more powerful versions of the weapon is capable of creating a Warp vortex that swallows multiple enemy battle tanks in a single strike, and the shockwave produced in realspace when the rift they create closes can knock over other armoured vehicles that have otherwise avoided being sucked into the Warp.
All efforts by the Adeptus Mechanicus to study and replicate this technology have ended in gruesome failures. In 755.299.M40 unsanctioned experiments carried out by rogue Tech-priests resulted in the event remembered as the "Contagion of Eridanus" and the necessity of deploying a Grey Knights strike force to defeat the subsequent daemonic incursion.
Since that incident, more draconian measures have been taken against the Mechanicus by other Imperial organs to prevent further attempts to explore this heretical xenos technology. Those who ignore such restrictions are likely to face the wrath of the Inquisition.
- Codex: Eldar (2nd Edition), pg. 62
- Codex: Eldar (3rd Edition), pg. 46
- Codex: Eldar (4th Edition), pg. 22
- Imperial Armour Volume Eleven - The Doom of Mymeara, pp. 179, 209
- Path of the Seer (Novel) by Gav Thorpe, "Destiny," pg. 386
- Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader (1st Edition), pg. 83