How these daemons remain aloft is something of a mystery, and they can navigate planetary atmospheres, the void of space, and the Immaterium with equal ease and speed. Some have theorised that they fly upon or swim through ambient Warp energy rather than upon actual air or water.
As they fly, Screamers leave behind contrails of multi-coloured sparks, and they emit the piercing, high-frequency whine that gives these creatures their name. The few who have fought these creatures and survived explain that the scream of the Sky-sharks has a profoundly disconcerting psychological effect. They soar through the skies of the Warp in predatory groups in a constant search for souls to devour and deliver to their master.
Screamers are glimmering sky-sharks that ride upon the winds of magic as a bird glides upon the breeze. They have no real conscious thought and are instead driven by a powerful hunting instinct. In the Realm of Chaos, Screamers roam the tides of magic, preying upon the shadow-souls of mortal creatures, lone Chaos Furies and other unfortunate magical ephemera.
Indeed, once a pack of Screamers has the scent of a mortal's shadow-self, they pursue it ruthlessly through the myriad immaterial planes that compose the Realm of Chaos. Once the Screamers catch their doomed prey it is torn to pieces in an eyeblink, the gossamer shreds of its soul-stuff offered up as a gift to Tzeentch.
Screamers are very agile due to their ability of flight and possess a feral but cunning intellect. Though they are able to use magic-based attacks, their greatest weapons are their so-called "Warp Jaws" which allow them to chew through all kinds of solid matter, even the armoured hide of a voidship.
In a direct confrontation there are few that can withstand their jaws or outrun their wings. Large packs of Screamers can often be found outside the realm of Tzeentch where they hunt after starships that traverse the Warp. Like all daemons, the only real burden they have to face in trying to assault man-made vehicles native to realspace are Gellar Fields, which they systematically probe for weak spots.
Even then there is no safety, for Screamers have been known to burrow through the Geller Fields of voidcraft they find adrift, peeling open the hull and allowing Chaos energy to flood the ship. As those inside flounder and choke, their own mutating anatomies squeezing them of their life, the Screamers pour in to devour the crew in their last terrified moments of existence.
When manifesting in the Materium, Screamers hunt with a cunning that belies their rather base intellect. Streaking across the sky, leaving sparkling multi-coloured trails behind them, Screamers generally keep to a lofty altitude. From this vantage point they search the ground below for worthy sacrifices to their master. Once they have located suitable prey, the Screamers dive down from on high, emitting unnatural arcs of Warp lightning.
Anything left standing after their initial slashing attack is snatched up in the Screamer's jaws, to be either devoured on the wing or dropped from great heights to smash into the ground far below. As they possess only a modicum of intelligence, Screamers are often used as scouts and skirmishers by other, more powerful daemons or ambitious Sorcerers. However, if control ever lapses, the Screamers return to their more instinctive behaviour and are likely to turn on their former master.
Shoals of Screamers are drawn to battles in realspace where panic and confusion hang thick in the air. The Sorcerers of the Thousand Sons Legion expedite the daemons' arrival with rituals that open direct portals to the Screamers' usual feeding grounds. From these the abominations swoop into reality, ignoring the laws of gravity and effects of atmospheric conditions that can hamper other flying creatures.
As the Screamers fly across the battlefield their lashing tails whip down to impale those below with brutal barbs. Those not bisected or disembowelled outright are weakened physically and spiritually, and are marked by the Screamers as a later meal.
Discs of Tzeentch
Tzeentch will sometimes award one of his Champions or Daemonic Heralds with a Screamer to use as a mount to carry him into battle. However, the Changer of Ways must first remake the daemon into a steed known as a Disc of Tzeentch. Tzeentch reshapes the Screamer into a Disc using a series of potent rituals and sorcerous ceremonies and binds it with bands and chains of Warp-forged gold and silver.
The Great Shaper sometimes chooses to cover the Discs with eyes, to equip it with magical blades of living metal, or to add tentacles, feathers, scales, or bony plates. Through this reshaping process, the wild hunter becomes bound to its rider's will. The Champion or Daemonic Herald so mounted gains the Screamer's speed and ability to fly, and can take advantage of his Disc's psychically attuned senses, its lightning attacks, and the psychological edge of its unnerving scream.
In even rarer instances, a herald or champion is given a flying chariot pulled by two Screamers. In either case, the steed is capable of carrying its rider not only across real space, but into the warp as well.
Such creations are usually seen at the head of vast hosts of daemons and have announced the doom of several planets in the Koronus Expanse.
- Black Crusade: The Tome of Fate (RPG), pp. 7, 19, 104-105
- Codex Heretic Astartes - Thousand Sons (8th Edition), pp. 53, 78
- Codex: Chaos Daemons (6th Edition), pg. 41
- Codex: Chaos Daemons (4th Edition), pg. 43
- Rogue Trader: The Koronus Bestiary (RPG), pg. 121
- Games Workshop Catalogue: Screamers of Tzeentch