"They leveled their outlandish weaponry at the enemy battle line, and the whining of their weapons built steadily to an earsplitting crescendo. A second later, a wave of sonic energy ripped through the Space Marines, splitting armour and bursting organs. Those that still lived fell to the dirt, wracked with brain-damaged spasms."
Sonic Weapons are a type of weaponry that cause damage through the use of intense and highly concentrated sound waves to create oscillation in the target until the target's substance, be it a living person, building, or vehicle, ruptures or fractures from the sonic stress.
These weapons range from relatively non-lethal devices that cause pain, discomfort, and confusion, to weapons potent enough that they can shake battle tanks into fragments.
Sonic Weapons are used by a variety of factions and intelligent species throughout the galaxy.
Imperial Sonic Weapons
- Sonic Disruptor - A Sonic Disruptor is a massive weapon used by Ordinatii, the massive, one-of-a-kind war machines of the Centurio Ordinatus, that utilises unique technology to produce sound waves which resonate across the battlefield, crumbling buildings, shattering bones, bursting organs and causing electronic equipment to explode as the wall of sonic energy passes over enemy forces. The frequency of sound used by the Sonic Disruptor ravages those who fall victim to it, from a subsonic rumbling that tears buildings apart to a supersonic squall that pierces eardrums and flays skin from flesh. The Sonic Disruptor scales repeatedly up and down these frequencies, causing a blast of sonic energy that rolls forward like a force wave from a massive conventional explosion. Hiding in cover is of little use, since woods and rubble are just blown apart and walls simply amplify the sonic wave if they are not shattered. Even the weighty armour of a Titan or the reinforced buttresses of a stronghold provide little protection against the wrath of a Sonic Disruptor, the first of which was deployed by the Ordinatus Mars. Targets protected by energy fields such as Void Shields will lose one shield to the sonic wave before it passes.
- Laud Hailer - Laud Hailers are used by the Adepta Sororitas ' Sisters of Battle and the Ordo Hereticus as devices intended to spread faith in the God-Emperor. Proclaiming the power of the Emperor in heavenly tones, Laud Hailers fill the enemies of Mankind with dread. These devices can be used by the Adepta Sororitas Rhino, Immolator, and Exorcist vehicles. These are usually shaped like a small angel holding a trumpet, where the trumpet contains the device's sound projection system.
Aeldari Sonic Weapons
- Banshee Mask - A Banshee Mask is an enclosing death's head helmet which contains a psychosonic amplifier that is used by the Howling Banshees Aspect Warriors of the Craftworld Asuryani. This device intensifies the warrior's battlecry into a howling shriek of psychic rage. By means of their Banshee Masks the warriors focus their enmity, flooding the central nervous system of their adversary with psychic energy and causing temporary paralysis. Howling Banshees are trained to release their rage as they charge into combat.
- Vibro-cannon - The Vibro-cannon contains a sonic field generator that creates a rapidly scaling wave of sonic energy ranging from ultrasound to hypersonic frequencies. This wave is directed along a magnetic tunnel, and when it hits, the resulting resonant frequencies shake the target apart. This is most evident when two or more Vibro-cannons cross their sonic beams, causing tremendously powerful disparate energy waves which can damage even the toughest targets. These weapons are mounted upon Support Weapon Batteries.
- Sonic Lance - The Sonic Lance is a sophisticated Aeldari Sonic Weapon which uses resonant sonic waves, the same technology found in the smaller Vibro-cannon, to shake a target apart. Also known as a Tremor Cannon, this weapon can gouge great rents in the ground, literally shake enemy battle tanks to pieces, flatten Space Marines within their Power Armour, and tear unprotected Guardsmen limb from limb.
- Sonic Torpedo - Aeldari Sonic Torpedoes, like all Aeldari Torpedoes, carry sophisticated scrambling systems and targeting sensors, making them highly accurate and difficult to shoot down. The Sonic Torpedo is a specialised variant of the standard Aeldari Torpedo. This variant uses a sonic warhead that causes a massive sonic explosion, causing extreme damage to enemy starships.
- Sonic Charge - Sonic Charges are a type of Sonic Weapon used by Aeldari flyers and spacecraft, specifically the Eagle Bomber. They are capable of blasting through the thickest armor.
Chaos Sonic Weapons
Sonic Weapons are particularly beloved of the mortal servants of Slaanesh, the Dark Prince of Pleasure, who find the extreme sounds produced by this technology pleasurable in the extreme.
The Chaos variant of these weapons also use Warp energies to enhance the potency of the sonic force produced by these weapons, and as such the following devices might be considered "psycho-sonic" weapons. The following is a list of all known Sonic Weapons employed by the forces of Chaos:
- Sonic Blaster - The main weapon of the Chaos Noise Marines, the Sonic Blaster unleashes wave after wave of devastating harmonics, and literally rips its target apart with the power of extreme sound. The weapon can unleash short riffs or long, discordant wails. A twin-linked and enlarged version of the weapon is used by Chaos Sonic Dreadnoughts.
- Blastmaster - The Blastmaster is a Sonic Weapon that focuses a throbbing bass note into an explosive crescendo that can burst eyeballs and rupture internal organs. By varying the frequency of the blast the effect of the weapon can be altered to produce different effects.
- Warp Amplifier - Warp Amplifiers are devastating devices that were designed to amplify emotions and sensations by projecting resonant Warp energies from rune-encrusted horns and pipes that sprout from the vehicles that they are equipped upon. The closer a creature comes to the amp, the harder it is to maintain discipline and conscious thought.
- Doom Siren - Doom Sirens are used by certain Noise Marines who have their armour fitted with a complex arrangement of pipes and tubes around their helmets which can project short-ranged sonic attacks.
- Dirge Caster - The Dirge Caster is a broadcaster, which outputs a non-stop litany of Chaos. Incomprehensible and disturbing to all others, the sound enthralls and absorbs the followers of Chaos, driving out any uncertainty or doubt. The device also emits terrifying screams, wails, and howls to demolish and confuse the enemy. A Dirge Caster cannot be used on a vehicle that already has a Warp Amplifier installed. Dirge Casters can be used by all Chaos Vehicles.
- Sonic Shrieker - An ancient modification for Power Armour helmets, the Sonic Shrieker is in essence a diminutive version of a Doom Siren, rumoured to have been adapted from xenos technology in the days of the Great Crusade. The Sonic Shrieker can be used to unleash a brief but potent sonic barrage upon an opponent at close quarters, disorienting him, and leaving him open to a killing blow. A Sonic Shrieker can only be fitted to a Power Armour Helmet, for it require to be connected to the miniature fusion reactor from the armour's backpack in order to fire, and even then, the Shrieker needs the better part of an hour to build up enough energy to fire once more when discharged.
Sonic Weapons of the Screaming Vortex
Recently, in the Warp-realspace nexus known as the Screaming Vortex between the Calixis Sector and the Koronus Expanse, the Hereteks of the world of Ghibelline have attempted to duplicate the Sonic Weapons of the Noise Marines who serve Slaanesh. So far they have encountered only limited success, as the Ghibelline variants of the Sonic Weapons are less potent and much more cumbersome than the Noise Marines' Sonic Blasters and Blastmasters, but despite this, the Ghibelline contraptions are already in high demand and frequently the prize of bloody fights amongst the Renegade inhabitants of the Screaming Vortex. Such weapons are more custom-built Chaotic artefacts than mass-produced weapons, but they fall into three categories:
- Ghibelline Shrieking Pistol - This bulky, pistol-sized weapon requires a backpack-mounted power source to operate, and its psychosonic discharges have destructive effects similar to the blasts of a Hellgun.
- Ghibelline Howling Rifle - Over one metre in length, this bulky sonic rifle fires intensely focused and extremely accurate sonic blasts over long distances. The howl of this Sniper Rifle-like weapon is so loud that it can pierce the eardrums of a being standing next to it when discharging.
- Ghibelline Hyperwave Clarion - The most complex of the weapons crafted by the Ghibelline Hereteks, this sonic wave cannon can turn bones to jelly, Ferrocrete to dust and liquefy Adamantine with its endlessly alternating barrage of sounds oscillating in frequency faster than matter can withstand. As bulky as it is destructive, even an Astartes operator will find hauling this weapon around difficult.
- Battlefleet Gothic Rulebook,pg. 134
- Codex: Chaos Space Marines (6th Edition), pp. 47, 62, 65, 68, 93, 99, 103, 106
- Codex: Chaos Space Marines (4th Edition), pp. 39, 87, 91, 97, 100-101
- Codex: Chaos Space Marines (3rd Edition, 2nd Codex), pp. 14, 20, 29, 56
- Codex: Chaos Space Marines (3rd Edition, 1st Codex), pp. 17, 21, 28-29, 43
- Codex: Eldar (4th Edition), pp. 31, 45, 63, 66
- Codex: Eldar (3rd Edition), pp. 10, 16, 45-46
- Codex: Eldar (2nd Edition), pp. 9, 23, 54, 64, 78
- Codex: Witchhunters (3rd Edition), pp. 20, 23
- Imperial Armour Apocalypse II, pg. 76
- Imperial Armour Volume Elevan - The Doom of Mymeara, pp. 162, 191-192, 204-205
- Only War: Final Testament (RPG)
- White Dwarf 191 (UK), "Ordinatus: Imperium" by Gav Thorpe, pp. 49-53
- Path of the Warrior (Novel) by Gav Thorpe, pg. 392
- Emperor's Children Sonic Dreadnought - Forge World
- Black Crusade: Tome of Excess (RPG), pp. 36-40