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Daemonhost

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Cherubael, a bound daemonhost.

A Daemonhost is a living mortal body used as a receptacle to bind a daemon, differing from a possessee in that the daemon does not possess or control the mortal, but is bound into it. The Daemonhost is used by another mortal, often in order to use Chaos to fight Chaos.

Being an entity of the warp, a daemon cannot manifest itself in real space under normal circumstances. A daemon may instead enter the mind of a vulnerable psyker and turn the individual to its will and, through its host, affect reality. Outside of natural circumstances, and outside the Eye of Terror, daemons can exist temporarily in real space by being summoned through complex rituals.

Contents

Origins

The source of such bodies varies. Chaos Cultists will often sacrifice themselves for "the good of the cause" so their patron daemon can lead them personally. Other times an end-justifies-the-means type Inquisitor of the Ordo Malleus will sacrifice inconsequential individuals so that they can bring forth a daemon that can be interrogated for information on Chaos. Or even more diabolically, they create daemonhosts to fight other daemonic creatures. The creation of a daemonhost is considered heresy, and is enough for an Inquisitor to be declared excommunicate.

The bound daemon can be released, leaving the individual free, but usually mentally and physically scarred by the experience. Sometimes, such a mark is made that the individual is more susceptible to future daemonic possession, so that a freed individual should be executed.

Process

The host must first be inscribed with certain marks, runes and wardings to prepare it for the entrapment of a daemon. The sigils involved are largely unknown, but an essential rune called the "Rune of Voiding" must be inscribed on the chest of the host in order to empty it of any previous souls so that the daemon can be effectively contained. Apparently, this rune is sometimes ignored, as in certain occasions, the original host's mind endured. Radical Inquisitors with the resources would also string the host with chains, padlocks, amulets, and other bindings as to ensure the daemon's obedience.

Once all the preparations are made, the Incantations of Binding, the Litany of Servitus, and the Wards of Entrapment must be spoken, along with the final sealing words: "In servitutem abduco, I bind thee fast forever into this host." Note that only these were mentioned by Inquisitor Eisenhorn in his logs, and that other rites might have been involved.

If not all of the special preparations have been made, i.e. a hasty on-the-spot binding, the severe trauma of the process might be inflicted on the daemonhost, ensuring that it remains docile and unresponsive for several days.[1]

Effects on the Host

Daemonic possession eventually takes its toll on the mortal body until it is consumed and destroyed by the power. Initially, they may remain human in appearance, but over time the human form will be corrupted - its eyes will start to change, sometimes becoming blood red, or taking on the look of a cat's or snake's eyes, while the bone structure will be reformed, resulting in horns and other inhuman features.

The host also usually manifests psychic powers as a result of their close connection with a creature of the warp, sometimes so powerful that the host's body can barely contain it. They may appear to arc with electrical energy, cause minor air disturbances and often float a few inches from the ground. Daemonhosts also benefit from the invulnerability's of the daemon inhabiting its body, though the particulars may change from daemon to daemon. Some may only be harmed with silver, while others may be destroyed by sunlight. Some need to consume nothing but blood to survive. These traits may account for the stories of Vampyre cults that exist on some worlds in the Imperium.

Eventually, no matter how powerful a host's will, the experience of sharing a mind and body with a daemon will lead to insanity, effectively bringing an end to the life of the host, and allowing the warp entity to take complete control. In such cases, an exorcism may be of little benefit to the pathetic creature, and death will be the only mercy.

Notable Daemonhosts

Sources

Uncited


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