The Talos Pain Engine is the most widespread of the Dark Eldar's many so-called Engines of Pain. Festooned with multiple surgical apparatus and grotesque weapons of war, the Talos is a part organic and part mechanical device conceived by the creations of a mad genius. Created by the insane Dark Eldar masters of pain known as the Haemonculi, the Talos was first constructed as a torture device, but is now employed across the galaxy's innumerable battlefields. Sweeping forward upon anti-gravitic motors, the Talos catches its victims with its razor-sharp claws and then incinerates them from the inside out. The death spasms of those captured propel the Talos towards its enemies as its unique Sting wildly spews death in all directions and its many-bladed arms cut through armour and bone alike with lashing blows. These semi-sentient machines are invaluable to the Haemonculi, as they serve as both guardians and mobile torture chambers, inflicting punishment upon all those that displease their master. The fate of those caught within the death-grip of a Talos does not end with death. The remnants of the victims caught within its grasp is siphoned out to be used in the creation of potions and elixirs.
The Talos is just one type of Pain Engine employed by the Dark Eldar Haemonculi, who are endlessly inventive in discovering new ways of dealing out pain and horror. Each of the Haemonculi Covens is always seeking to create their own, proprietary Engines of Pain that will give them a leg up over their rivals. Several of these variants include:
- Chaingoul - The Chaingoul is a clanking, cumbersome Engine of Pain favoured by the Dark Eldar Haemonculi Coven called the Prophets of Flesh.
- Shrivener - The Shrivener is a drill-legged Pain Engine used to guard facilities of the Haemonculi Coven known as the Everspiral.
- Flayer - A Flayer is a smaller variant of the Talos. Even though it is smaller than the other variants of Talos Pain Engines, it bears the same malevolence and thirst for blood and screams as its larger counterparts.
- Codex Dark Eldar (3rd Edition)
- Codex Dark Eldar (5th Edition), pg. 40