A Warp Talon is a Chaos Space Marine Raptor whose long exposure to the Immaterium has corrupted his physical form, enabling him to move through the veil of reality and slice between dimensions. Warp Talons are capable of striking at their enemies as if appearing from nowhere before slinking back into their nightmarish home dimension.
Like their fellow Chaos Space Marine Raptors, Warp Talons once were part of the Space Marine Legions' Assault Companies and were outfitted with the patterns of rare pre-Horus Heresy Jump Packs. Once the Heresy was underway, they quickly became addicted to the exhilaration of soaring through the skies and falling upon near-defenceless prey, cutting, stabbing and rending them in an orgy of soul-satisfying slaughter. They fell under the "protection" of an hitherto unidentified Chaos God who saw fit to give them the appearance of cruel ceramite birds of prey. The main difference between Raptors and Warp Talons is that where a Raptor has only the appearance of a bird of prey, a Warp Talon's once-human psyche has devolved to the point that he has literally become a daemonic bird of prey.
Physically, Warp Talons appear as corrupted Space Marines whose hand and feet have mutated to become massive, talon-like appendages with preternaturally sharp blade-like digits. Having been corrupted more thoroughly by the Ruinous Powers of Chaos than even their Raptor allies, Warp Talons have been reduced to an animalistic level of existence, having lost the ability to speak, reason, or create. On those rare occasions where they are grounded, they awkwardly hop and crawl around on all fours like flightless birds or bats, yearning to take flight. They communicate between each other with hideous, animal-like screeches, alien even to the other servants of Chaos. Their most outlandish ability, even to their former comrades, is their capacity to rend the veil of reality with their claws, switching between the Materium and Immaterium with ease and at will.
Their very nature means that a pack of Warp Talons is not employed but rather set loose upon enemy forces. Chaos Space Marine commanders cannot meaningfully communicate with these "subordinates", and thus employ Warp Talons by giving them something to hunt, usually by showing them a picture or a possession of the enemy's, to give the hunters the scent of the intended prey. Warp Talons are able to identify their prey while in the Immaterium through the emotional reflection of their victims' psyche in the Warp. This allows them to emerge back into realspace within direct proximity of their prey. A Warp Talon's arrival is heralded with a reality-rending flash of light, which often leaves anyone near the point of entry dazzled and awestruck. This moment of hesitation is fatal, for the Warp Talons capitalise upon their victims' disorientation and quickly lop off heads and limbs with great slashes of their talon-like hands and feet.
Warp Talons are utterly baffling to the Ordo Malleus' attempts to categorise them in an attempt to better understand them and so counter their frightening ability to slaughter the servants of the Emperor at will. They exhibit characteristics of both mortals and daemons at the same time: their ability to enter and exit the Warp at will and without the protection of a Gellar Field speaks of a blasphemous mingling of the substance of the Materium and the Immaterium. Worse yet, which of the Chaos Gods grants them their abilities is also unknown, and the fact that some Warp Talons have exhibited the Mark of Chaos of each particular Chaos God is a frustrating puzzle, as it makes it impossible to determine which of the Dark Gods is at the base of the Warp Talons' creation. Warp Talons dedicated to Khorne are frenzied butchers, springing forth from the Warp as gore-drenched whirlwinds of destruction. Those dedicated to Slaanesh behave as sadistic killers, maximizing the pain and anguish inflicted for their own pleasure. Warp Talons of Nurgle are bloated carrion birds who enjoy taking their time and toying with their prey. Those Warp Talons in service to Tzeentch channel the raw energies of the Warp, making them almost invulnerable as they slash and dismember.
Warp Talons still wear an extremely corrupted form of ancient Power Armour, and the potency of their mutated talons has been likened to that of Lightning Claws. They are still equipped with their now almost unrecognizable Jump Packs, which allow them to soar and fly above the melee in pursuit of their prey. Their most disturbing ability is their capacity to exit from the Warp in close proximity to their victims, appearing unannounced in a dazzling flash of light.
Notable Warp TalonsEdit
- Lucoryphus' Pack - During the Fall of Vilamus in 999.M41, the 10th Company of Night Lords assisted Huron Blackheart in seizing the Marines Errant reserves of gene-seed. During the infiltration of the Marines Errant's fortress-monastery, the Night Lords deployed Lucoryphus and his pack of "Raptors" that were clearly in the process of devolving into Warp Talons. Lucoryphus was the only remaining member of his pack still able to speak the dialect of Nostraman Low Gothic favoured by the Night Lords and meaningfully communicate with his fellow Legionaries, and his pack eschewed ranged weapons in favour of their claw-like appendages to hunt and slaughter their terrified prey. When at rest in the hold of the Night Lords' starship Echo of Damnation they miserably crawled on all fours or hung from the ceiling like obscene bats, yowling and screeching in protest of their inability to fly. Lucoryphus and his pack were not then fully-fledged Warp Talons, for they could not yet enter and exit the Empyrean at will, but these miserable beings were clearly on their way into mutating into a pack of those foul servants of the Dark Gods.
- Codex: Chaos Space Marines (6th Edition), pg. 49
- White Dwarf 393 (US), "New Releases - Chaos Space Marines," pg. 15
- White Dwarf 394 (UK), "New Releases - Forces of Chaos," pg. 16
- Blood Reaver (Novel) by Aaron Dembski-Bowden