"For seventeen long centuries have I remained in this blade, confined within these metal walls. During all of my time of imprisonment you are the first I have seen who is worthy to bear me into battle. Come, take my hilt, and I will serve you in the manner of my kind, drawing blood of your enemies, protecting you in the midst of the fight, bringing you safely home again. Now, draw me from the scabbard and test the fineness of my balance. See how easily I swing, how my keen edge cleaves the air. A good choice, am I not? Willingly you picked me up. Your first mistake. Willingly you drew me. Your second mistake. I do not allow my servants to make three mistakes, foolish mortal…"
- — A Daemon Weapon to its new bearer.
A Daemon Weapon is a mighty artifact of Chaos, a blasphemous union of Materium matter and Immaterium spirit, and most often a gift from the Ruinous Powers to their favored servants. As the name implies, a Daemon Weapon is a weapon (most often a close quarters weapon, although Daemonic Firearms have been encountered) into which has been bound the essence of a Daemon. Quite often, the Daemon becomes bound into a weapon as punishment from his God, but sometimes, exceptional servants of Chaos manage to entreat a Daemon to assist them in their exploits of slaughter, and the Daemon binds itself willingly to its bearer.
A Daemon Weapon is a sentient item that will grants tremendous power to its bearer. The weapon itself is often quite destructive in its own right, and nigh on all Daemon Weapons allow their bearers access to their daemonic senses, heightening their perception of their surroundings. The Daemon, if it has not been driven crazy by its imprisonment, can also counsel its bearer or even manipulate him. (Tzeentchian daemons being particularly fond of and apt at this.) The simple fact of bearing a Daemon Weapon is a source of immense prestige amongst the servants of the Ruinous Powers, a true mark of the favors of the God(s), and the bearer will soon see his personal flock swell with eager underlings. But this power comes at a dangerous price: the Daemon cares neither for mortal frailties nor limitations, and will rebel if its bearer does not use it for constant slaughter or the fulfillment of the Daemon's goals. If the bearer does not succeed in controlling his weapon, he will be killed as soon as the weapon finds a better prospective bearer, quite often by its hands as the weapon withdraws its support at a critical moment.
Known types of Daemon Weapons
Daemon Weapons are by their nature unique, for every Daemon in an unique individual, however, weapons containing the essence of similar daemons will have similar properties. The Ordo Malleus has identified many types of these blasphemous weapons, to better oppose them:
Daemons of Chaos Undivided who becomes bound to weapons will often take the following form:
- Accursed Crozius - An Accursed Crozius is the mark of office of a Word Bearers Dark Apostle. When the Chaplains of the Word Bearers willing embraced Chaos they ritually desecrated their once sacred weapons. Bound within these talismans of Chaos is a Daemon of Chaos Undivided who grants the Apostle additional protection and oratory prowess.
- Dark Blade - A Dark Blade is jet-black, containing no reflection or marks that mar the perfect satin darkness of its blade although the hilt, pommel and grip are often richly embellished. The Dark Blade is a hungry killer that feasts on the souls of the slain and urges its bearer on to further acts of barbarity until it is sated.
- Dreadaxe - A Dreadaxe contains the bound essence of an entrapped entity with a vampiric thirst for souls that is especially partial to destroying daemonic rivals. These Daemons hate all others Daemons, and a Dreadaxe is especially efficient against other Daemons.
- Ether Lance - The Ether Lance is a Daemon Weapon which acts as a conduit to the Warp. Its bearer can launch bolts of Empyrean energy at his foes or draw them into the lance, eventually consuming them utterly.
- Kai Gun - A Kai Gun Daemon Weapon resembles a huge Bolter of archaic design, so large that a normal man would be unable to lift it. It is a two-handed weapon that acts as a psychic catalyst, turning the hate and malice of its firer into tangible bolts of energy.
Daemons of Khorne are only bound into a weapon as punishment or when they are vanquished. They utterly detest this imprisonment, and quickly become utterly insane.
- Axe of Khorne - Infused with a insatiable bloodlust of Khorne's own rage and fury, an Axe of Khorne is a mighty weapon borne by Bloodthirsters and favoured mortal Chaos Champions of Khorne. It is not a true Daemon Weapon in the strictest of sense, for it is not sentient and will not rebel, but the rage of the Blood God will spurn its bearer to commit carnage to a point that it will lose any instinct for self-preservation it still might possess.
- Berserker's Glaive - A Berserker's Glaive takes the form of a mighty two-handed weapon, and contains the essence of a Bloodletter. The Daemon's fury at being imprisoned is transmitted to the bearer who will be forced to constantly fight to control it. However this very fury will also tremendously augment the bearer's aptitude for carnage.
- Bloodfeeder - A Bloodfeeder takes the form of a gigantic two-handed axe, and contains the bound essence of a vanquished Bloodthirster. Only the mightiest of servants of Khorne ever wield a Bloodfeeder in battle, for the amounts of constant slaughter necessary to keep the Bloodthirster in check is nigh on impossible to achieve.
- Hellblade - Forged from the essence of a vanquished Bloodletter, a Hellblade is the stardard weapon of Bloodletters. Like an Axe of Khorne, it is not a true Daemon Weapon in the strictest of sense, for it is not sentient and will not rebel.
Weapons containing a daemon of Nurgle serve as a conduit for Nurgle's favorite diseases.
- Manreaper - A Manreaper is an enormous Power Scythe that has been dipped in the filth of Nurgle himself. Carrying a shard of the Plague God himself, these virulent weapons are much sought after by the servants of Nurgle, even if they sometimes claim the life of their bearer as well.
- Pandemic Staff - A Pandemic Staff is a close combat weapon that acts as a vessel of Nurgle's favourite contagions, their afflictions joyfully spread in the Materium.
- Plaguebringer - Plaguebringers are forged from the very essence of Nurgle's best diseases, and are utterly fatal to any living being. The standard weapon of Plaguebearers, it is not a true Daemon Weapon in the strictest of sense, for it is not sentient and will not rebel.
- Plague Knife - The hallmark weapon of the Death Guard Traitor Legion, which was originally their close combat blade, a broad trench dagger, which was a brutal and efficient weapon in hand-to-hand combat. When Astartes of the Death Guard were transformed by the corrupting influence of Nurgle, these blades transformed as well. Now they have become Plague Knives, corroded weapons coated with rust and numerous diseases, the better to spread Father Nurgle's vile blessings across the galaxy. Only those pure in his sight such as his Plague Marines are granted such a weapon, and any lesser being suffering even the slightest wound is gifted with one of his innumerable creations such as Nurgle's Rot or the Weeping Pox.
- Plague Sword - A Plague Sword is a large corroded sword that rips with venomous pus and the pestilent blessings of Grandfather Nurgle, utterly lethal to mortal foes.
Weapons containing a Daemon of Slaanesh focuses on overloading the victim's senses, inducing a long and excruciating agony instead of slaying outright.
- Blissgiver - A Blissgiver is a Daemon Weapon that takes the form of a slender blade or writhing whip whose merest touch can induce a pleasurable coma, allowing the victim to be captured alive.
- Lash of Torment - A Lash of Torment is a Daemon Weapon resembling an animated whip that twists and coils with a mind of its own, feeding on a victim's terror and pain, before telepathically sharing it with any close being. This is highly entertaining for servants of Slaanesh, and utterly horrifying for its victims.
- Needle of Desire - The Needle of Desire is a Daemon Weapon which takes the appearance of a long, slim double-pointed needle inscribed with runes within runes to a microscopic level. One half is embedded in the arm of the Chaos Champion bearing it where it absorbs the foul narcotics naturally synthesised by Champions of Slaanesh, allowing the bearer to inject those into other beings using the other end of the Needle. The bearer will often share this gift with friend and foe; and while to another servant of Slaanesh it is an incredibly intense experience, it is utterly fatal to anything else.
- Bedlam Staff - A Bedlam Staff is an ancient Daemon Weapon that takes the form of a stave which are exclusively employed by Thousand Sons Chaos Sorcerers to use as a foci for their powers. The few remaining examples of these fell weapons are steeped in ten millennia of wild psychic power. Enemies struck by the power of these powerful staves, have their nervous systems overloaded rendering conscious thought from their minds, leaving them unable to act and vulnerable to further attack.
- Deathscreamer - A Deathscreamer is a Daemon weapon who channels the psychic power of its bearer into howling bolts of arcane energy who rip their target apart.
- Warp Blade - A Warp Blade is a Daemon Weapon that is gifted to the mightiest of sorcerers and most devious of plotters, a Warp Blade has the power to dissipate and scatter psychic energy aimed at its bearer. This tends to attract the denizens of the Warp who hungrily sniff out the source of the power.
Unique Daemon Weapons
Some Daemon Weapons are truly unique, and they have risen to infamy alongside their bearers:
- Agoniser - Found in the vaults of Occatus I, the Agoniser is a potent and mighty daemon-possessed Runesword wielded by the fallen Adeptus Sororitas Miriael Sabathiel. Snaking tubes connect it to a needle in Miriael's arm, where it absorbs the foul narcotics naturally synthesised by the bodies of Champions of Slaanesh. She also wields a daemonic Bolter, another gift to her from Slaanesh for her service as his Champion.
- Artekus Scourge - The Artekus Scourge is a daemonic weapon originally born by the infamous Chapter Master Artekus Bardane of the Excommunicate Traitoris Relictors Space Marine Chapter. This weapon appears as a flail tipped with balls of pure energy in the form of screaming daemonic faces. The flail snaps and gnashes at the souls of those it hits.
- Black Blade of Angron - Primarch Angron's personal daemonic sword, this gigantic black blade could cleave anything in two. This weapon was destroyed by the powerful psychic defense of the Grey Knights during the Second War for Armageddon.
- Black Blade of Antwyr - The Blade of Antwyr is a Warp-spawned weapon that was captured by the Daemon-hunting Grey Knights Space Marine Chapter and is impervious to all means at the the Grey Knights' disposal to destroy it. The Grey Knights were reluctant to simply cast the dangerous artefact into the void of interstellar space where they knew that eventually a new bearer would be drawn to its evil aura or to seal it away in a vault within their fortress-monastery as it would only invite corruption to the Chamber's guardians. A fateful decision was made to place the Black Blade of Antwyr into the safest prison the Grey Knights could conceive; the hands of the Chapter's own Purifiers. Castellan Garran Crowe is the current guardian of the malefic weapon, and it continuously brings him into both physical and spiritual peril by tempting him with Chaotic promises of power or seeking to bind his will with black sorcery.
- Black Staff of Ahriman - This ancient and ornate Force Weapon provides a potent focus for the powerful psychic energies of the infamous Chaos Sorcerer Ahriman of the Thousand Sons Traitor Legion.
- Blade of Phaedron - A Chapter relic of the Excommunicated Relictors Chapter, inside the Blade of Phaedron lies the seething soul of a daemon possessed of a great enmity for all its kin. Although it is unremarkable when employed against a living thing, against a daemon the blade will blaze white with the pure heat of the captive daemon's rage.
- Drach'nyen - Bound to the will of the mighty Chaos Lord Abaddon the Despoiler, this arcane blade contains the bound essence of Drach'nyen, a writhing Warp entity that can rend reality apart.
- Goreseeker - Containing a Flesh Hound of Khorne, this razor-fanged axe confers those creatures' best known traits upon the one who wields it. It was last seen in the hands of the Aspiring Champion Gorath Varix, leading a warband of Khorne Berserkers during a raid on Midael. Varix was confirmed dead in the battle’s aftermath, but the weapon was nowhere to be found.
- Khartoth the Bloodhunger - Is a mighty Daemonsword that has the capability of cutting through not only matter but also time. The Daemons of the Blood God's realm are known to take part in an immense tournament. Khorne takes the Daemonsword and hides it within one of his Flesh Hounds. The legions of Khorne fall upon each other with sword and axe, slaughtering and butchering one another in order to obtain the fell weapon. The Daemon brave, strong or fortunate enough to slay the Flesh Hound containing the Daemonsword becomes the Lord of the Slaughter and may wield Bloodhunger for a day or an age, as Khorne sees fit, the Lord of the Slaughter enjoying great privilege in battle. When Khorne grows weary of his Lord of Slaughter's exploits, a new Flesh Hound devours the wielder and the Daemonsword, combining their essence, and the Blood God begins the tournament anew.
- Nach'ra'ael the Hungering - The final prison of the Daemon Prince Nach’ra’ael, this sword was crafted specifically to hold the daemon by artisans enslaved by a rival’s warband, the name of which is long lost to history. A horrifically powerful weapon, the blade seems to move between the worlds of the Screaming Vortex seemingly at random, appearing occasionally in the hands of a warlord powerful enough to claim it without succumbing to the weapon’s inhabitant. In this, Nach’ra’ael perhaps has the last laugh, for it has managed to reclaim former glories by possessing unworthy wielders.
- Silence - Silence, to give it the macabre nickname favoured by its wielder the Daemon-Primarch Mortarion of the Death Guard Traitor Legion, Silence is a massive two-handed battle scythe with a blade span as long as most human warriors are tall. This formidable weapon is accounted as one of the most fearsome blades wielded by any Primarch. Since Mortarion's finding by the Emperor during the Great Crusade, there have been dark whispers that the blade is of xenos-tainted origin, and some familiar with the legend of the Death Guard Primarch's early life believe it to be none other than the weapon of the terrible charnel creature that once named himself Mortarion's "father."
- Sword of St. Aquitaine - The Sword of St. Aquitaine was recovered by the Relictors Chapter immediately prior to its debasement and subsequent possession by a daemonic entity, and contains a nightmarish creature of such power it can turn day into night.
- Vilemaw - Once borne into battle by Ahn Sokar, the Icon Bearer and later Coryphaus of the Word Bearers Traitor Legions’ 39th Host, this Bolter somehow found its way to a makeshift shrine of bone and steel on the reaver world of Iniquity, awaiting a worthy master. Though the beast within is only a minor warp entity, little more than an astral spectre, the weapon itself is a relic of the Traitor Legions, proud and belligerent, and unwilling to suffer the touch of mortals. With every unworthy soul who attempts to claim this weapon, the shrine grows a little larger.
- Black Crusade: Core Rulebook (RPG), pp. 194-202
- Codex: Chaos Daemons (4th Edition), pp. 32, 40
- Codex: Chaos Space Marines (6th Edition), pp. 64-65, 69
- Codex: Chaos Space Marines (4th Edition), pg. 93
- Codex: Chaos Space Marines (3rd Edition, 2nd Codex), pp. 13, 19-20, 43-44, 47-48, 51, 55-56, 59, 61
- Codex: Chaos Space Marines (3rd Edition, 1st Codex), pp. 28-29
- Dark Heresy: The Radical's Handbook (RPG), pp. 174, 179-183
- Realms of Chaos - Slaves to Darkness (2nd Edition), pp. 94-97
- White Dwarf 273 (US), "Index Malleus - Infernal Threat" by Phil Kelly & Graham McNeill, pp. 90, 92