Drach'nyen is the Daemon Sword wielded by the Chaos Lord Abaddon the Despoiler, master of the Black Legion, former gene-son of the Primarch Horus, and most favoured servant of the Ruinous Powers. The arcane blade borne by Abaddon contains the bound essence of a potent Warp entity which can rend reality apart where the weapon strikes. Drach'nyen can rip through armour, flesh and bone without resistance. The daemonic spirit animating this fell weapon can alter the blade's appearance, revealing the skulls and faces of the souls it has devoured.
The origins of this daemonic blade are a mystery. Daemons speak of the blade in fear, calling it the "Thorn in Reality" or the "Shard of Madness". It is a weapon that existed long before the rise of Mankind and doubtless will bear witness to its end. Alive with dark intelligence, Drach'nyen has the power to sunder the material universe with its edge, cutting through matter as a mundane blade moves through smoke. In battle, Drach'nyen has been witnessed to destroy a Space Marine Land Raider and flay the souls from those it struck with a single touch. Even the hardened skin of daemons or armour sealed with the power of the Warp is little proof against its assault, as it drinks in the energy of the Immaterium like water, consuming all in its path utterly. The dark spirit that inhabits this fell weapon can alter the blade's appearance, revealing the skulls and faces of the souls it has devoured.
During the 1st Black Crusade in 781.M31, Abaddon the Despoiler made many blood pacts with the Dark Gods in the wake of Horus' defeat over seven standard centuries earlier during the Horus Heresy. In the crypts below the Tower of Silence on the world of Uralan, Abaddon recovered the potent Daemon Sword after battling his way through a haunted labyrinth to the great inner chamber where the blade had languished in stasis for millennia. After the recovery of the malefic sword, Abaddon's power swelled to inhuman proportions and the new Warmaster of Chaos become nigh unstoppable. Whole cities were burned in sacrifice to the ever-hungry daemons of Chaos, and entire armies were torn apart by gibbering Warp entities. Abaddon's power swelled to inhuman proportions as the gods of Chaos rewarded him lavishly and he undertook acts of fiendish bravery which horrified those who stood against him.
On the world of El'Phanor he led the charge against the gates of the Citadel of Kromarch. The Kromarch had built his fortress well. It had only one gate and that was composed of solid adamantium, fully three metres thick. Only one in ten of those that followed Abaddon through the barrage of fire from the walls reached the fortress' gates, and there they were trapped by Heavy Bolters to left and right. But Abaddon held aloft his Daemon Sword, black fires burning along its edges, and swept it down with a deafening bellow of fury. The gates were harder than diamond and stronger than steel but they split like cordwood before that blow and daemons feasted on the Kromarch and his kin that night.
It is said Drach'nyen can take many forms, and it only appears as a great blade in the hands of Abaddon because that is how the Warmaster of Chaos chooses it to be. In truth, the sword has no real shape or size, at least nothing that could be understood by the mind of Man. Why it chose to let Abaddon take it from its resting place beneath the Tower of Silence is also a mystery, though since that day only Abaddon has been able to wield it. If another warrior were brave enough to try and lift Drach'nyen, it would fall from his hands as if made of air, though not before rending the thief apart with Warp energy. As to why Drach'nyen fights for Abaddon, none can say for sure, though such a pact can mean nothing but woe for the forces of the Emperor and all Mankind.
- Black Legion: A Codex Chaos Space Marine Supplement (Digital Edition), pp. 28-30
- Codex: Chaos (2nd Edition), pp. 98-99
- Codex: Chaos Space Marines (6th Edition), pg. 57
- Codex: Chaos Space Marines (4th Codex), pg. 46
- Codex: Chaos Space Marines (3rd Edition, 2nd Codex), pg. 44
- Codex: Chaos Space Marines (3rd Edition, 1st Codex), pg. 22
- Warlords of the Dark Millennium: Abaddon The Despoiler (Digital Edition), pp. 9, 12, 27-28
- The Master of Mankind (Novel) by Aaron Dembski-Bowden