A Chainaxe is a brutal hand-to-hand Chain Weapon crafted in the form of a great one or two-handed axe which incorporates a powered chainsaw edge. The biting action of the whirling row of monomolecular teeth means these weapons can easily hack through both flesh and armour with ease. The Chainaxe is the favorite weapon of the Khornate Berserkers found in the ranks of the Chaos Space Marines and of worshipers of the Blood God in general.
During the time of the Great Crusade in the late 30th Millennium, the Chainaxe was a standard close combat weapon used by the Assault Marines of the Space Marine Legions, finding special favour amongst the Astartes of the World Eaters Legion. The XII Legion's preference for close quarters fighting and dealing death face-to-face was demonstrated by the preponderance of close combat weaponry habitually carried by its rank and file. The dedicated assault units of the Legion added to their profusion of bloody killing tools a weapon that dated back to the techno-barbarian tribes of Terra, the broad-bladed Chainaxe. With the rediscovery of the Primarch Angron as the XII Legion's rightful master, the World Eaters' predilections for hand-to-hand bloodletting reached even greater heights than before, and the Chainaxe was further refined under Angron's direction. Such was the reputation it gained, particularly given its effectiveness against brutish xenos such as the Orks, that its use spread to several of the other Astartes Legions. In truth, this inelegant weapon could be seen as an abstract symbol of the World Eaters themselves: brutal and savage, remorseless and unsubtle, a tool with but one purpose -- to kill.
After the Traitor Legions fell to the corruption of Chaos during the Horus Heresy, the Chainaxe became synonymous as the preferred weapon of the Khornate Berserkers who began to rise in every Legion, as the axe was the sacred weapon of Khorne himself. After the Heresy, the Chainaxe found less use amongst the Loyalist Space Marine Chapters, perhaps because of its increasing association as a weapon preferred by devotees of the Blood God. However, the Astartes of some assault-oriented Loyalist Chapters like the Flesh Tearers have still been known to make use of the Chainaxe on occasion.
Notable Chainaxe PatternsEdit
- Deimos Pattern Mark II Legion Chainaxe - The most common variant of the Chainaxe utilised by the worshippers of Khorne is the ancient Deimos Pattern Mark II Legion Chainaxe, a much more powerful pattern of Chainaxe originally forged for the Assault Squads of the Space Marine Legions that draws upon the additional mechanical support provided by an Astartes' Power Armour to drive the Chainaxe's bulk at greater speeds.
- Khornate Chainaxe - A Khornate Chainaxe is a pattern of Chainaxe that has been ritually dedicated to the Blood God and is larger, heavier and more potent than its standard counterpart. It can cut through even the most heavy of armour plating with ease, and is a particular favorite weapon of Khornate Berserkers.
- Gorechild - Gorechild is a massive Chainaxe that was once wielded with its twin Gorefather by Angron, the Primarch of the World Eaters Legion during the Great Crusade and the Horus Heresy. Its chainblade teeth come from the jaws of the Mica-dragons of the Death World Luther McIntyre IX, its haft was forged from Adamantium and its head is a full three spans across. Originally dual-wielded in combat by Angron along with its twin Gorefather, it is now used as only a single weapon by Khârn the Betrayer, the Champion of Khorne amongst the World Eaters.
- Gorefather - Gorefather is the massive Chainaxe that was the twin of Gorechild and was dual-wielded by Angron during the Great Crusade and the Horus Heresy eras. Almost nothing is known about this weapon, including whether it was an identical copy of Gorechild or whether it differed in its manufacture. Its current whereabouts are also unknown.
- Brazentooth - Brazentooth was the massive two-handed Chainaxe that the Primarch Angron used before taking up Gorefather and Gorechild. Brazentooth was so large only a Primarch could wield it with any result. Brazentooth was later presented by Angron to Lorgar of the Word Bearers to cement the alliance between their two Legions at the time of the Horus Heresy. Brazentooth was apparently destroyed or lost in the vacuum of space after the destruction of the Word Bearers' ship Furious Abyss in the early days of the Heresy.
- Black Crusade: Core Rulebook (RPG), pg. 162
- Codex: Chaos Space Marines (6th Edition), pg. 64
- Codex: Chaos Space Marines (4th Edition), pp. 22, 48, 84
- Codex: Chaos Space Marines (3rd Edition, 2nd Codex), pg. 49
- Codex: Chaos (2nd Edition), pg. 75
- Imperial Armour - The Horus Heresy Betrayal - Book One, pg. 89
- Index Astartes I, "Blood Frenzy - The Flesh Tearers Space Marine Chapter," by Matthew Sprange and Gav Thorpe, pg. 49
- Index Astartes III, "Chosen of Khorne - The World Eaters Space Marine Legion," by Graham McNeill, pg. 37
- Battle for the Abyss (Novel) by Ben Counter, pg. 266
- Butcher's Nails (Audio Drama) by Aaron Dembski-Bowden
- The Weakness of Others (Novella) by Laurie Goulding
- Chosen of Khorne (Audio Drama) by Anthony Reynolds