"A single survivor was taken from a savior pod near the Saliophite’s ruin, a tech–adept who bore witness to daemon attackers and yet remained sane. The God–Emperor worked to aid His servants in this way: it was by the tech–adept’s testament we learned that a daemon lord haunts the Hazeroth warp–routes. It manifests as a war–vessel of the Archenemy, set with a great eye and vile tendrils of warp matter and attended by a daemon court shaped as void–weapons."
–From the journals of Inquisitor Felroth Gelt 3.267.788.M41
Long ago, a mighty daemonic power was torn apart within the warp of Hazeroth. Great warp–storms rolled out from its death, ravaging worlds. One single shred of this huge being, cast far, found salvation from dissolution in a drifting war–vessel lost to the warp. With the passage of time, little remained of the mighty daemon that once was, but its last remnant merged with much that was new—cruelties and knowledge consumed from the dead within the vessel and the fabric and machine spirit of the ship itself. A new daemon lord was born of this union: a lesser, stranger power cast in the form of a warship of the voids.
When the stars are right for sacrifice---when the echoes of ancient daemonic compacts tug at the daemon lord---then the ship and its court of lesser warp–entities fall upon vessels travelling the Hazeroth warp routes. Even if a victim ship manages to exit the warp, the daemon lord will follow the ship into the Materium through the portal so created.
The daemon lord manifests as an Imperial Heavy Cruiser more than five kilometers in length, but so twisted and wrapped about in warp matter as to obscure its pattern. About its hull stride greater entities of the court: cannon–daemons and thick–limbed hurlers 500 meters tall. Beneath their feet clamber thousands of smaller daemons, hundreds of diverse forms engaged in a cackling bacchanalia of violence and debauchery. Massive rune–shaped fields of burning, roiling warp matter provide a source of ammunition for the greater entities to hurl or vomit across the void. Partially formed tendrils of crackling, empowered daemonic flesh extend more than a kilometer from the hull, dissolving at the edges in conflict with the Materium. A bloodshot eyeball 400 meters wide is embedded in the vessel’s underhull, replacing the location of the command cathedra secondus.
The daemon lord can manifest in the Materium for barely a few hours, fading all the while, but that is more than long enough to destroy any single Imperial vessel. The raw warp matter cast forth as munitions corrodes hulls, drives ship crews insane, and bubbles forth transient daemonic forms whose every instinct is destruction. Even as decks are torn open to the void by the foaming corrosion of the warp, these manifested munition daemons gleefully murder and destroy.
The echoes of the daemon lord are cast far and wide across the Hazeroth Abyss on worlds such as the feral world of Dwimlicht and terrible Valos Krin, where cults sacrifice to “placate daemons of the Night Void that would otherwise devour the Emperor’s sky–ships.” Deep secrets hide beneath these primitive rituals, twisted echoes from a long–buried civilized past. A terrible fate befell these worlds long ago, when warp–storms roiled forth from the death of a mighty daemon—leaving Dwimlicht depopulated and Valos Krin a hellish wasteland. That imprint remains, and with it the secrets of the daemon lord. Somewhere is the hint that will lead to locating the daemon vessel and banishing it under massed Battlefleet fire.
The wrecked, frigid space hulk of the Amatican Renown drifts in the deep Guytoga voids. It was a victim of the daemon vessel some 20 years past, recorded as lost in Administratum ledgers. The lesser Rogue Trader Basyr Mubarion has found it but has wisely left the ghost–vessel untouched. Tales are told in orbital docks, however, and a much–embellished version of the story has finally reached the Holy Ordos, who now search for Basyr Mubarion to obtain the location of the space hulk in order to delve within and search for surviving records of auspex, cogitator, and crew that might set to rest any last denial of the fact that daemons haunt the Hazeroth Abyss.
Daemonic Ammunition Edit
Long after the daemon lord has forgotten it, one of the most recently manifested munitions drifts through a ruined space hulk left in the voids. It is faded and ghost–like, but still lethal. It is the spirit of a war–device bound within a daemon’s form---single–minded, forgetful, and destructive by turns. It is corrosive, dripping, and clawed. It melts and tears when it remembers how to act, which is becoming ever harder as it fades away within the silent wreck.