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The Palatine Aquila of the ancient Imperium

The Nanyte Blaster is a dangerous, nanotechnological relic weapon from Humanity's Dark Age of Technology, a relatively common class of potent Dark Age archeotech used by uncounted heroes and legends of the Great Crusade.

The Nanyte Blaster is a bullet-shaped weapon of gleaming metal that hosts a hive containing many millions of nanoscopic machines. Upon release, they are capable of stripping any target of its constituent atoms in an instant.

The ancient Mechanicum understood the principles on which the nanytes operated, but not how they replicated within the hive, for all who attempted to study the process were attacked themselves, the machines seemingly unwilling to surrender the secrets of their creation.

When an entity is slain by this weapon, the nanytes replicate uncontrollably to the point of being able to spread to a nearby target with the same effectiveness of the blaster weapon itself; there is no way of knowing how far the chain reaction of ravenous replication can spread from one casualty to the next.


The Great Crusade came in the wake of the Age of Strife, a long and terrible era during which Mankind unleashed and was laid low by weapons of star-razing destructive power and genocidal scope, many born during the preceding Age of Technology.

When the Emperor's crusading forces pushed back the darkness that had fallen upon the worlds of Mankind, evidence of the ancient and terrible artefacts were found and studied by the tech-savants of the Mechanicum, who coveted them greatly.

Occasionally, one of these examples of ancient archaeotech would be recovered and taken up by the heroes of the Great Crusade itself, becoming a potent relic, its name and legend as widespread and celebrated as the Crusaders who bore it into battle.

As the Great Crusade continued ever onwards, multiple examples of some types of relic were encountered and great effort was committed to cataloguing their class, understanding their nature and replicating their function. Often the Mechanicum could fathom the basic technology underpinning a relic, but could not create a functioning copy.

Nonetheless, the effort to decode the ancient technological foundation of such artefacts continued, with other discoveries made in the process expanding the canon of the Machine God exponentially.


  • The Horus Heresy - Book Four: Conquest (Forge World Series) by Alan Bligh, pp. 222-223