Force Weapons are advanced, psychically-attuned close combat weapons that are only effective in the hands of a psyker. Force Weapons effectively act as deadly, psychic extensions or amplifiers of the wielder's own Empyrean-spawned powers. They are designed to allow a psyker to channel deadly Warp energies into their victim, acting as a conduit between the wielder's mind and the flesh of his target. Large alien monstrosities and daemons that are resilient to conventional weapons can be slain outright by a single wound from a Force Weapon, as their bodies and minds are destroyed by the unearthly powers of the Immaterium.
Force Weapons take the form of swords, spears, warhammers, axes or other close combat melee weapons. Within the structure of the weapon is interwoven a powerful device called a Psi-Convector, formed into a precise serpentine shape which concentrates and directs psychic energy. This device sometimes appears as a decorative pattern on the blade. Force Weapons are hand-crafted to the user's specifications, quite often by the user himself, and the psyker's first challenge once the weapon is complete is to attune it to himself, to learn to channel his power through it without risk to himself or his allies and surroundings. Mastering a Force Weapon is a difficult task for even the Space Marine Librarians, but the ultimate reward is well-worth the risk, for a psyker channelling his power through his Force Weapon can strike the most powerful of foes down in one fell stroke. Once mastered, each Force Weapon is intimately attuned to its wielder's mind, and another psyker trying to wield it will find it a daunting, if not impossible task. Force Weapons are treasured possessions to their wielders, and will quite often accompany them in death, being buried or cremated alongside their owner.
A Force Weapon can be wielded without risks by a non-psyker, but in his hands, it will have none of the mighty abilities it displays in the hands of a psyker. Unlike Power Weapons, the power of a Force Weapon comes from the psyker's mind, and not some contraption sacred to the servants of the Machine God embedded in the weapon's hilt. Exceptional psykers can lend their weapon to a non-psyker and still channel their power through it, for such is their intimacy with their weapon that physical contact is no longer necessary to employ its powers.
A notable example of a unique Force Weapon is Inquisitor Gregor Eisenhorn's Runestaff, a steel staff topped with a thirteen-pointed sunburst made out of electrum. In the center of the sunburst is a skull made out of psy-reactive crystal etched with the thirteen Runes of Castigation. Other well-known Force Weapons are the Force Warhammers or Daemonhammers, the signature weapon of the Inquisitors of the Ordo Malleus, which provided that branch of the Inquisition with its name. Force Weapons are one of the few weapons that can seriously damage daemons and Daemonhosts and are often used by the members of the Ordo Malleus for that reason.
Force Weapons are also often used by the Eldar Warlocks and Farseers, who use their Witchblades and Singing Spears to devastating effects on the battlefield. Eldar Force Weapons are grown from the psycho-reactive substance known as Wraithbone, and are often of superior craftmanship and efficiency than their Imperial counterparts, but the basic principle of the psyker channeling his power through his weapon remains the same for these xenos constructs.
Types of Force Weapons
The basic Force Weapon is used by psykers of all the intelligent races of the galaxy, often taking the form of a sword, axe or staff whose design reflects the user's culture.
Space Marine Librarians who serve as Terminators wear psychically-attuned armour called the Aegis Suit. One of the weapons they typically wield to help enhance their innate psychic abilities is the Force Axe, a carbon steel axe blade which incorporates a psi-matrix. A psi-matrix is a serpentine or interlaced pattern which concentrates psychic energy. Using this weapon, a Librarian can magnify the power of his blows, shattering armour and pounding flesh with his superhuman strength.
A common item for those of the Ordo Malleus possessing psychic powers, these weapons allow an Inquisitor or Acolyte to smite Daemons with the purest of energies.
A Force Rod is a black rod of alien origin which acts as a psychic battery. Psykers may store their psychic energy in the rod to be used in the future, giving the individual an additional source of energy in combat. The rod is used as a normal Force Weapon in combat, but the wielder may draw the stored psychic energy from the rod to increase the power of the attack. Force Rods are in some ways analogous to Null Rods.
A Force Sword resembles a normal carbon-steel, plastic or ceramic blade -- but in fact it is very different. Inside the structure is interwoven a powerful psi convector, a special material formed into a precise serpentine shape which concentrates and directs psychic energy in the hands of its wielder. This sometimes appears as an interlacing or serpentine pattern on the blade. The Force Sword is psychically attuned in the same way as a Force Axe.
Nemesis Force Weapons
A Nemesis Force Weapon is a distinctive weapon used solely by the legendary daemon-hunting Grey Knights Space Marines who serve as the Ordo Malleus' Chamber Militant and who are all psykers. Finely-tuned to the wielder's mind, it is a perfect weapon to use against daemons and other denizens of the Warp. The power unleashed by a Nemesis Force Weapon is directly proportional to the individual wielder's own psychic capacity.
Nemesis Force Halberd
As ancient in design and purpose as the Grey Knights themselves, Nemesis Force Halberds are finely-crafted polearms with long, curved blades and sturdy hafts. A Grey Knight can easily use such a weapon one-handed in short deadly chops. However, the weapon becomes even more dangerous should he wield it two-handed.
Nemesis Force Sword
A lighter version of the Nemesis Force Halberd, a Nemesis Force Sword can take many forms. Force Swords are crafted using arcane magicks and complex scientific formulae and incorporate a power field like all Nemesis Force Weapons. Their balanced grips and nearly indestructible construction makes them perfect for parrying the attacks of even the most power daemonic foe.
The most common Nemesis Force Weapon to be used by non-Grey Knights, the Nemesis Daemonhammer is often used by high-ranking Inquisitors of the Ordo Malleus. It combines the crushing power of the Daemonhammer with the arcane construction of the Nemesis Force Weapon to craft a deadly bane of the daemonic.
Always used in a pair, the Nemesis Falchions can be carried by a Grey Knight with a Storm Bolter thanks to the Storm Bolter's wrist mounting. The falchions contain monofilament circuitry that greatly enhances the speed at which they can be brought to bear.
Nemesis Warding Stave
Designed as a defensive tool, the Nemesis Warding Stave can be used in melee combat to protect a bearer from attacks that would breach even the armour of a Terminator.
Found only on the Dreadknight battle suit, the Nemesis Greatsword is a massive blade of silver and iron so large that not even an Adeptus Astartes in Power Armour can lift it. Despite its immense size, it is perfectly balanced in the hands of a Dreadknight, and is a powerful tool against even a Greater Daemon.
As a variant of the Astartes Power Fist used by Dreadnoughts, the Nemesis Doomfist is a massive weapon easily able to crush a man in its grip. Nemesis Doomfists are only found as part of the Dreadknight battle suit.
The Singing Spear is an Eldar force weapon similar to the Witchblade, but which can be thrown, returning automatically to the wielder's hand.
Unique Force Weapons
- Black Staff of Ahriman - The Black Staff of Ahriman is an ornate Force Weapon used by the Chaos Sorcerer Ahriman of the Thousand Sons Traitor Legion. It acts as a focus for his psychic energy, enabling him to call on a multitude of Chaotic psychic powers.
- Manreaper - Wielded by the infamous Typhus, the Herald of Nurgle, Manreaper is a rusted and corrupted Power Scythe that has been dipped in the filth seeping from the throne of the Plague God and now acts as a deadly and potent Force Weapon.
- Rod of Tigurius - The Rod of Tigurius is an intricate and ornate Force Weapon used by the Chief Librarian of the Ultramarines, Varro Tigurius. It enables Tigurius to channel his psychic powers into devastating attacks, especially in close combat, and with this weapon he rarely misses.
- Traitor's Bane - The Traitor's Bane is a master-crafted Force Sword used by Chief Librarian Ezekiel of the Dark Angels. It radiates fell power, and it is said that it traps the souls of any of the Chaos Space Marines slain in battle by it who once were Dark Angels and are now called Fallen Angels. Shadows draw in around the blade when the Fallen are near.
- Vitarus - The Force Sword Vitarius, "The Sanguine Blade", is wielded by Chief Librarian Mephiston of the Blood Angels. In battle, Mephiston's Force Sword bursts into crimson flame, kindled with the heat of his inner rage.
- Codex: Chaos Space Marines (4th Edition), pg. 51
- Codex: Daemonhunters (3rd Edition)
- Codex: Dark Angels (4th Edition), pg. 40
- Codex: Eldar (4th Edition)
- Codex: Space Marines (5th Edition), pg. 86
- Dark Heresy: Daemon Hunter (RPG), pp. 130-131
- Dark Heresy: The Inquisitor's Handbook (RPG), pp. 187-188
- Dark Heresy: Enemies Beyond (2nd Edition) (RPG), pg. 42
- Inquisitor (Specialty Game), pg. 80
- Warhammer 40,000: Battle Manual (2nd Edition), pp. 90-91
- Warhammer 40,000 Rulebook (6th Edition), pg. 58
- Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader (1st Edition)
- Warhammer 40,000 - Warlords of the Dark Millennium: Champions of Chaos (7th Edition), pp. 39-40, 57-58, 190-191
- Warhammer 40,000 - Warlords of the Dark Millennium: Tigurius (7th Edition), pp. 24-25
- Deus Sanguinius (Novel) by James Swallow