Force Weapons are advanced, psychically-attuned close combat weapons that are only effective in the hands of a psyker. Force Weapons effectively act as deadly, psychic extensions or amplifiers of the wielder's own Empyrean-spawned powers. They are designed to allow a psyker to channel deadly Warp energies into their victim, acting as a conduit between the wielder's mind and the flesh of his target. Large alien monstrosities and daemons that are resilient to conventional weapons can be slain outright by a single wound from a Force Weapon, as their bodies and minds are destroyed by the unearthly powers of the Immaterium.
Force Weapons take the form of swords, spears, warhammers, axes or other close combat melee weapons. Within the structure of the weapon is interwoven a powerful device called a Psi-Convector, formed into a precise serpentine shape which concentrates and directs psychic energy. This device sometimes appears as a decorative pattern on the blade. Force Weapons are hand-crafted to the user's specifications, quite often by the user himself, and the psyker's first challenge once the weapon is complete is to attune it to himself, to learn to channel his power through it without risk to himself or his allies and surroundings. Mastering a Force Weapon is a difficult task for even the Space Marine Librarians, but the ultimate reward is well-worth the risk, for a psyker channelling his power through his Force Weapon can strike the most powerful of foes down in one fell stroke. Once mastered, each Force Weapon is intimately attuned to its wielder's mind, and another psyker trying to wield it will find it a daunting, if not impossible task. Force Weapons are treasured possessions to their wielders, and will quite often accompany them in death, being buried or cremated alongside their owner.
A Force Weapon can be wielded without risks by a non-psyker, but in his hands, it will have none of the mighty abilities it displays in the hands of a psyker. Unlike Power Weapons, the power of a Force Weapon comes from the psyker's mind, and not some contraption sacred to the servants of the Machine God embedded in the weapon's hilt. Exceptional psykers can lend their weapon to a non-psyker and still channel their power through it, for such is their intimacy with their weapon that physical contact is no longer necessary to employ its powers.
A notable example of a unique Force Weapon is Inquisitor Gregor Eisenhorn's Runestaff, a steel staff topped with a thirteen-pointed sunburst made out of electrum. In the center of the sunburst is a skull made out of psy-reactive crystal etched with the thirteen Runes of Castigation. Other well-known Force Weapons are the Force Warhammers or Daemonhammers, the signature weapon of the Inquisitors of the Ordo Malleus, which provided that branch of the Inquisition with its name. Force Weapons are one of the few weapons that can seriously damage daemons and Daemonhosts and are often used by the members of the Ordo Malleus for that reason.
Force Weapons are also often used by the Eldar Warlocks and Farseers, who use their Witchblades and Singing Spears to devastating effects on the battlefield. Eldar Force Weapons are grown from the psycho-reactive substance known as Wraithbone, and are often of superior craftmanship and efficiency than their Imperial counterparts, but the basic principle of the psyker channeling his power through his weapon remains the same for these xenos constructs.
Types of Force Weapons
The basic force weapon is used by psykers of all the intelligent races, often taking the form of a sword, axe or staff whose design reflects the user's culture.
Force Rods are black rods of alien origin which act as psychic batteries. Psykers may store their psychic energy in the rod to be used in the future, giving the individual an additional source of energy in combat. The rod is used as a normal force weapon in combat, but the wielder may draw the stored psychic energy from the rod to increase the power of the attack. Force rods are in some ways analogous to null rods.
Nemesis Force Weapon
The Nemesis Force Weapon is used solely by the Grey Knights Space Marines who serve as the Ordo Malleus' Chamber Militant and who are all psykers. The power unleashed by a Nemesis Weapon is directly proportional to the individual wielder's own psychic capacity.
The Singing Spear is an Eldar force weapon similar to the Witchblade, but which can be thrown, returning automatically to the wielder's hand.
Unique Force Weapons
Rod of Tigurius
The Rod of Tigurius is an intricate and ornate force weapon used by the Chief Librarian of the Ultramarines, Varro Tigurius. It enables Tigurius to channel his psychic powers into devastating attacks, especially in close combat, and with this weapon he rarely misses.
The Traitor's Bane is a master-crafted force sword used by Chief Librarian Ezekiel of the Dark Angels. It radiates fell power, and it is said that it traps the souls of any of the Chaos Space Marines who once were Dark Angels and are now called the Fallen Angels who are slain in battle by it, and that shadows draw in around the blade when the Fallen are near.
Black Staff of Ahriman
The Black Staff of Ahriman is an ornate force weapon used by the Chaos Sorcerer Ahriman of the Thousand Sons Traitor Legion. It acts as a focus for his psychic energy, enabling him to call on a multitude of Chaotic psychic powers.
- Warhammer 40,000 Rulebook (4th Edition)
- Codex: Daemonhunters (3rd Edition)
- Codex: Eldar (4th Edition)
- Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader
- Codex: Space Marines (4th Edition)
- Codex: Chaos Space Marines (4th Edition)
- Warhammer 40,000: Battle Manual (1st Edition)
- Codex: Dark Angels (4th Edition)
- Inquisitor (Specialty Game), pg.80