- "The Machine God is dead. Long live the Machine God."
- —Warpsmith Arkturian, via station-wide Vox broadcast
A Warpsmith is a fallen Chaos Space Marine Techmarine who now serves the Ruinous Powers through the creation of daemonic war engines. As the master of the soul forges to be found within the Eye of Terror, it is by their hands that the Daemon Engines such as the Maulerfiend and the Forgefiend come to life, an unholy union of daemon and machine, ready to fight alongside the armies of Chaos.
Though each Warpsmith is an expert in battlefield repair and siege craft, his true calling lies in the soul forges of the Warp, especially those in the Eye of Terror. There, the spirits of captured Imperial machines are driven to madness as their physical forms are rebuilt into bestial and terrifying new shapes. Daemons are thrust into the cogs of giant, mechanoid birth-factories that crank out red-hot engines of destruction from their cabled wombs.
Acolytes of the Dark Mechanicum combine flesh, bone and steel with daemonic essence in ever more inventive and sickening ways. Presiding over this infernal industry are the Warpsmiths themselves -- pioneers of mechamorphosis, grim and silent as the grave save for the occasional barked order or spell of binding. When the time for conquest is finally at hand, entire armies of these growling battle engines stomp and soar into realspace -- the Warpsmiths' bitter ambition writ large and set loose upon the Imperium of Man.
- "On the fifth day the bastions fell, and those accursed techno-monsters entered the northern hab districts. The screams haunt me still."
- — Excerpt from the statement of Corporal Vegrandur, prior to his execution for Dereliction of Duty
Warpsmiths are those Heretic Astartes who serve as the masters of the machine. Exuding an air of authority combined with a hint of insanity, they are the dark echo of the Loyalist Space Marines' Techmarine. Most of these fallen Chaos-worshipping Techmarines can trace their origins back to the Priesthood of Mars, whether through the schisms of the Magi or the rigid doctrine of the Techmarines.
However, where the Adeptus Mechanicus regards technology as sacrosanct, the Warpsmiths seek to subjugate and control it. Experts in battlefield repairs and the art of siege craft, their true calling lies in the soul forges of the Warp, especially those in the Eye of Terror. There, they drive the Machine Spirits of captured Imperial vehicles and other weapons mad as their physical forms are rebuilt into bestial and terrifying new shapes.
The Warpsmiths preside over their infernal industry as pioneers of mechamorphosis, as they watch Daemon Princes thrust Lesser Daemons into the cogs of giant, mechanoid birth-factories that crank out new Daemon Engines from their cable-lined wombs. When the time for conquest is finally at hand, entire armies of these growling battle engines stomp and soar into the material world under their command, the Warpsmith's bitter ambition writ large and set loose upon the Imperium of Man.
Warpsmiths tend to be obsessive characters who believe that Mankind's ambition is limited by his mortal nature. Daemons are ultimately insubstantial of form, and machines, though physically indomitable, are all but inert. Because of this, all Warpsmiths are engaged in an eternal quest to combine the strengths of all three of these elements -- mortal, daemon and machine -- whilst eradicating their weaknesses.
They would conquer the galaxy and remould it into one giant, tainted flesh-engine if they could. The Warpsmiths themselves seek to embody this unholy fusion of man, machine and daemon; in their search for perfection, they often become more metal than flesh. Some Warpsmiths are little more than a brain and a spinal cord wired into a metallic approximation of a Chaos Space Marine; pincer limbs, Mechadendrites and fusion claws sprout from the Warpsmith's altered form next to Melta crucibles and searing welder blades.
Alliance with Dark Mechanicum
- "Flesh and bone are weak and mutable, and yet the daemonic is ultimately insubstantial and impotent. To be master of both matter and energy, and blend this mastery with ultimate control of one's consciousness, is to achieve true immortality -- neither confined by the material, nor divorced from it."
- —Heretical teachings of Magos Elizah Kaudge
When the Horus Heresy raged in the early 31st Millennium, the Mechanicum was riven by a bitter schism. Horus' agents convinced many of Mars' forgemasters that the Emperor had lied to them -- that He was not the Omnissiah after all, and that the true Machine God was entombed under the red sands of that hyper-industrialised world.
The escalating strife that resulted saw thousands of Tech-priests side with the Warmaster, turning their cyborg hosts to his cause and wreaking ever greater acts of destruction upon those they once called brothers. When the Traitor Legions were banished to the Eye of Terror, these rebel Tech-priests or Hereteks, now known as the Dark Mechanicum, went with them.
Since that time they have indulged their inhuman curiosity in a thousand despicable ways, blending flesh and steel with the stuff of Chaos to produce legions of war machines. The priesthood of the Dark Mechanicum, in a blasphemous union with the Heretic Astartes' own Warpsmiths, provide the armies of Chaos with armour, with weapons, towering Daemon Engines and even spacegoing fleets. Without them, the hosts of Chaos would soon falter.
- Arkturian - A Chaos Space Marine of the Praetors of Ruin warband, Warpsmith Arkturian is a master of the dark arts of technomancy and daemongineering. An affront to everything the Adeptus Mechanicus holds sacred, the Warpsmith holds no reverence for the machine spirits which he employs. Like a Chaos warlord who forces his servants to submit under the lash, Arkturian tortures and twists the souls of weapons, vehicles, and any other machine at his mercy to his desired ends. No device is sacred, no machine beyond his contempt. Like many Warpsmiths, Arkturian's greatest work is his neverending pursuit of the unholy union of flesh, machine, and Daemon. Each Daemon Engine is a unique perversion of science and sorcery.
- Valadrak - Valadrak is an infamous Warpsmith of Chaos. He maintained his soul-forges on the Daemon World of Temporia dedicated to Tzeentch in the Eye of Terror. Valadrak is a great creator of Daemon Engines. During the Abyssal Crusade, Valadrak used a specialised electricity-absorbing Daemon Engine to disable the fleet of the Knights Excelsior Chapter, allowing his packs of larger Chaotic creations to overwhelm them.
- 1 Warpsmith
- Fleshmetal - An iron-hard fusion of muscle, tendon and powered steel, fleshmetal forms a hideous exoskeleton over those devotees of Chaos whose bodies have melded with their Power Armour.
- Mechatendrils - Reminiscent of the standard servo-harnesses worn by the Techmarines of the Adeptus Astartes, these writhing tentacles are worn by, or even implanted into the flesh of, Chaos Warpsmiths and can bear a variety of Flamers, Meltaguns, Bolter weapons and Power Weapons.
- Bolt Pistol
- Power Axe
- Frag Grenades
- Krak Grenades
- Black Crusade: The Tome of Decay (RPG), pp. 34-35, 45, 92-93
- Codex Heretic Astartes - Chaos Space Marines (8th Edition), pp. 60, 127
- Codex: Chaos Space Marines (6th Edition), pp. 18, 34, 66, 68
- White Dwarf 393 (US), "Cover Story, New Releases: Chaos Space Marines," pp. 16-17
- Only War: No Surrender (RPG), pp. 4, 74, 84, 86-87, 89, 91-92, 95, 97, 99-109, 111-118, 136