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Binded Daemon

A Radical Inquisitor sacrifices one of his Acolytes to bind a Daemon to a new Daemonhost.

Daemonic possession refers to the ability of the malevolent entities that exist within the Immaterium known as Chaos Daemons to possess the minds and physical bodies of mortals known as Daemonhosts or individual items and machine constructs called Daemon Weapons or Daemon Engines in realspace.

Mortal and Inanimate Possession[]

Daemons can possess mortals on the other side of the barrier between dimensions by transferring some of their psychic power into the mind of a psychically "gifted" mortal victim. The mind of a psyker is the most susceptible to this influence, which is why the Imperium so greatly fears and controls psychic individuals.

The Daemons appear in dreams and visions, infusing their mortal host with a portion of Daemonic power. This eventually leads to the destruction of the possessed mortal, who is known as a Daemonhost, as their physical frame is warped by the Daemon to suit its own inhuman aesthetic.

A few mortals willingly allow themselves to be possessed, glorying in the superhuman abilities they gain, even though the energies they crave will soon destroy them. Though the physical and psychic power of a Daemon is severely limited by the physical body it possesses, the scope for mayhem and carnage is still great.


A Daemon possessing its mortal host.

Possessed mortals, particularly those who already have power and influence, can start rebellions and wage wars, plunging whole worlds into centuries of bloodshed and anarchy. The history of the galaxy is littered with devastating conflicts caused by Imperial military commanders, belligerent army generals and political leaders who have been touched by a Daemon's fell influence.

Some Heretics who serve Chaos Cults or the Ruinous Powers directly willingly offer themselves as Daemonhosts through Daemonic pacts such as those pursued by the foul Possessed Chaos Space Marines.

Another way to allow a Daemon to manifest itself in the Materium is by preparing a suitable mechanical vessel for it to inhabit. Individual weapons and vehicles from Dreadnoughts to cruisers can be ritually anointed through painstaking rituals and large sacrifices of mortal lives to serve as a host "body" for a Daemon, essentially creating a Daemon Weapon or a Daemon Engine, respectively. This process is far from easy, as Daemons dislike mechanical bodies for they are far more difficult to bend to their will and reshape than a biological one.

The difference between a simple Daemonically-possessed vehicle and a Daemon Engine lies in the crafting -- a possessed vehicle was built prior to its possession for a different purpose; a Daemon Engine imprisons a Daemon within its physical structure as a deliberate part of the mechanism's original, custom creation.

Corporeal Hosts[]


Daemonhosts created by the Nurglish Cult of Admonition and encountered by Inquisition operatives in Hive Tertium on Atoma Prime.

Mortal corpses can also be possessed by Daemons and are known as "Corporeal Hosts." These Daemonhosts were first encountered during the Horus Heresy at the Battle of Calth. These first Coporeal Hosts were slain Space Marine Legionaries, who had been reanimated by the malevolent powers of the Warp, and then fought again under the banner of the Traitor Word Bearers.

In some cases they rose, having been cut down in battle, as nothing more than wracked corpses wearing power armour split and ruptured by mass reactive projectiles like bolts. In other cases, they were altogether more whole; deceased but seeming to have surrendered their flesh and sinew to a force beyond their own will without protest.

Unholy Chaos icons sacred to the Ruinous Powers could be used to achieve this unholy resurrection, which would place the Corporeal Hosts under the control of the icons' wielder. Dedicating these icons to specific Chaos Gods ensured that only the Daemons of that particular Dark God possessed the corpses. However if the icon is destroyed, then the Daemons will be banished to the Warp and the corpses will collapse into dead flesh once more.