"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. Bound within is a Daemon of Chaos Undivided who grants the Apostle additional protection and oratory prowess.
- Dark Blade: A Dark Blade contains the essence of a Lesser Daemon. This blade of perfect uniform obsidian-like matter function in a way similar to a Force Weapon, with the Daemon attempting to devour the soul of any being it strikes.
- Dreadaxe: the Dreadaxe contains the bound essence of a Daemon of Malice. These Daemons hate all others Daemons, and a Dreadaxe is especially efficient against other Daemons.
- Ether Lance: The Ether Lance is a Daemon Weapon whose inhabitant can draw forth energy from the Warp and cast it as baleful bolts of black energy.
- Kai Gun: a Kai Gun Daemon Weapon ressembles an archaic Bolter, who solidifies its bearer's hatred and rage and use it as solid ammunition.
Daemons of Khorne are only bound into a weapon as punishment or when they are vanquished. They utterly detest this emprisonment, and quickly become utterly insane.
- Axe of Khorne: Infused with a infinitesimal shard of Khorne's own rage and fury, an Axe of Khorne is a mighty weapon borne by Bloodthirsters and favourde mortal 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 emprisoned is transmitted to the bearer who will be forced to fight constantly 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 contains the essence of a Plaguebearer and joyfully spreads Nurgle's many afflictions 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.
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 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 who feeds 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 anything else.
- Needle of Desire: The Needle of Desire is a Daemon Weapon which takes the appearance of a thin hollow tube protruding from the bearer's wrist. It constantly channels Warp-tainted narcotics in it's bearer bloodstream, and allow the bearer to share this gift with anyone they stick the weapon into. To a servant of Slaanesh, it is an incredibly intense experience, and it is utterly fatal to anything else.
- Bedlam Staff: A Bedlam Staff is a Daemon Weapon who channel the psychic power of the bearer into the target, overloading its nervous system and temporarily rendering it unable to act.
- 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 which tremendously boosts the bearer psychic awareness, allowing him to detect and counter all hostile psychic powers with ease.
Unique Daemon Weapons
Some Daemon Weapons are truly unique, and they have risen to infamy alongside their bearers:
- Black Blade of Angron: Primarch Angron's personal daemonic sword, this gigantic black blade can cleave anything in two.
- Drach'nyen: bound to Abaddon the Despoiler, the mighty Daemon Sword Drach'nyen slays anything it touches outright, save its rightful master.
- 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