A Warp Gate is a point in realspace which is linked to another point in realspace by a tunnel through the Warp. The tunnel somehow avoids the normal disturbances of Warpspace, allowing a journey to be made within a fixed time and in perfect safety. The existence of Warp Gates represents something of a mystery, and much debate rages over whether they are natural or artificial. If artificial, then none can say who made them or for what purpose. Furthermore, some Warp Gates have been artificially enhanced, their entrances delineated by mechanical constructions whose exact function can only be guessed at. Other Warp Gates are mere black holes in space.
Warp Gates occur in the depths of space, at the boundaries of solar systems, within solar systems, and even on planets. The largest are easily big enough to permit the passage of spacecraft and are usually situated at the edge of a solar system or amongst its outer planets. Other gates are only large enough to permit the passage of small vehicles, or perhaps human-sized creatures. These occur mostly on planet surfaces and lead directly to other gates on the surfaces of other planets. All gates are rare, the smaller types extremely so. Planetary gates are often disguised, or respond only to electrical, psychic, or other signals, which would seem to indicate a certain amount of intended secrecy on the part of their builders.
All space-going races are prepared to utilise Warp Gates when they find them, although discovering where they lead can often be hazardous. Many gates appear to be defective, and can dump a voidship randomly into Warpspace. Others can lead to places which may once have been stars or planets, but which are now no more than empty space. The possibility of emerging into a distant, hostile alien star empire also has to be considered. It may be that voidcraft vanishing into Warpspace have been transported beyond the galaxy itself. Warp Gates often become extremely important to whoever controls them, and many are of vital strategic value to the Imperium. Imperial Commanders and other interests vie for control of a Warp Gate in their sphere of influence, and these relics are often heavily defended against outside attack.
- Dark Heresy: Enemies Beyond (2nd Edition) (RPG), pg. 136
- Realm of Chaos: Slaves to Darkness (1st Edition), pg. 212
- Rogue Trader: Core Rulebook (RPG), pp. 310-313