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Within the Realm of Chaos there exist beings known as daemons, sentient creatures which are formed purely from raw chaotic energy. It is only when the winds of magic blow strongly and this energy leaks into the physical world that daemons can manifest outside of their usual habitat. Major Chaos incursions into the Old World usually occur as a result of the Realm of Chaos expanding far to the south, allowing the warbands of the mortal followers of the gods of Chaos to be accompanied by legions of capering daemons. When sorcerors and other magic users channel the winds of magic, daemons are drawn to them through the Aethyr like moths to a flame, and magic users run a constant risk of daemonic attack when casting spells, although in most cases this is very small.
As well as manifesting as independent beings, daemons can pass into the physical world by possessing the shell of a physical object. The most common vessel for possession is the body of a sentient being; humans are especially susceptible to possession. Daemons are capable of interacting with just about anything in the physical world - whatever can be affected by the Aethyr can be possessed - including weapons, animals, trees, buildings, even the land itself.
Types of daemons Edit
Daemons come in an infinite number of shapes and forms, but the most common by far are those which are created or harnessed by the four main gods of Chaos. These encompass a range of lesser daemons, and also the terrifying Greater Daemons, which are among the most powerful beings in the Warhammer world.
Greater Daemons Edit
Greater Daemons are the ultimate expression of the might of the Chaos gods. They normally appear as massive monsters of incredible power, sometimes able to fight an entire enemy army on their own. Some Greater Daemons have shown a degree of personality and free will. The Greater Daemons of the four major Chaos Gods are the Lord of Change of Tzeentch, the Bloodthirster of Khorne, the Great Unclean One of Nurgle, and the Keeper of Secrets of Slaanesh. Except for the Bloodthirster, all of the Greater Daemons are also powerful sorcerers.
Lesser Daemons are the most common types of daemons that can be encountered, the rank-and-file troopers of the Chaos gods. They are generally man-sized, but also have a monstrous appearance, which will reflect the nature of their god (for example, Khorne's frenzied daemons are normally blood red, heavily-armored, and wield powerful axes or swords). They are considerably less powerful than their greater counterparts. Examples include the Bloodletters of Khorne, the Daemonettes of Slaanesh, the Plaguebearers of Nurgle, and the Horrors and Flamers of Tzeentch. Also of note, there exist daemons which do not belong to a particular god; these feral, gargoyle-like beasts are known as Chaos Furies.
These are the more animal-like daemons. Some are used as hunting beasts by the followers of Chaos (or even the Chaos gods themselves), and can be used to great effect when the armies of Chaos go to war, since they can move quickly across the battlefield to engage their foes. These include the Flesh Hounds of Khorne, the Fiends of Slaanesh and the Screamers of Tzeentch. Other examples include the slug-like Beasts of Nurgle, and the swarms of miniature Nurglings that are commonly found among the armies of the pestilent god.
Followers of the Chaos gods are sometimes gifted with daemonic steeds to ride. These can take the appearance of a mutated warhorse, but there are also mounts particular to the gods of Chaos; these include the Juggernaut of Khorne, the Flying disc of Tzeentch, and the long-limbed Steed of Slaanesh.
Daemon Princes and Chaos SpawnEdit
As a mortal worshipper grows powerful with his many victories, his patron god will sometimes reward him with "gifts"; by the same token, with each failure the god could also curse him with the same "gifts". However, the gods of chaos are notoriously fickle and often they bestow their gifts without rhyme or reason. These gifts can include mutations (such as extra arms, tougher skin, wings or the ability to shoot fire from their hands), equipment (such as exotic weapons or powerful armor), or even daemonic followers (such as the aforementioned daemonic steeds). With each gift, the warrior becomes partly daemonic himself, being tied more and more to his god.
As the warrior continues to distinguish himself, and his god desires, the warrior will continue to receive gifts. These gifts can grant the receiver untold powers that will make him more powerful than any Greater Daemon. As the warrior attains more and more gifts, these gifts can lead him to one of two fates:
- If the warrior receives too many gifts and is unable to endure any more, he can become a Chaos Spawn, condemned to live out the remainder of their existence as a wildly mutated barely sentient monstrosity, living according to the whim of its god or its fellow warriors.
- A particularly successful warrior of Chaos who is able to withstand the "gifts" of his god can eventually become an exalted Daemon Prince. A Daemon Prince is among the most powerful beings that can be found among the armies of Chaos. They are frequently massive in size (much larger than a man), are very skilled warriors with the experience of hundreds of campaigns, and have many powerful daemonic abilities. However once a mortal reaches this stage he has taken on so many daemonic properties that he is now a daemon in his own right; specialized anti-daemon weapons and powers can then be used to banish the Prince back to the Realm of Chaos.
- They are not to be confused with Exalted Daemons, which are servants of the Dark Gods who have become possessed by the spirit of a daemon, rather than turned into one. Exlated Daemons are less powerfull and often follow Greater Daemons or Daemon Princes into War. Sometimes even a mortal Champion can command an Exalted Daemon to his bidding.
Some daemons can be forced into servitude by being imprisoned inside a weapon; these mighty weapons are thus called daemon weapons. Daemon Weapons are extremely rare, but also very powerful, often able to tear apart reality, shoot powerful sorcerous bolts of energy, grant the wielder extraordinary physical attributes, or perform other such unnatural feats. A Chaos warrior must exercise great caution with these weapons, however, as the imprisoned daemon will often try to rebel against his master, and attempt to devour the wielder's soul. One such weapon is the Slayer of Kings, originally used by the former Everchosen Asavar Kul, although it was lost when he was defeated. It contains the Greater Daemon U'zuhl and has been recovered by the new Everchosen: Archaon, The Lord of the End Times - Although he does not appear in WAR.
Daemonic War MachinesEdit
Siege weapons can be possessed just as regular weapons. The most common daemonic war machine is the Hellcannon, although a few others are rumoured to exist.