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Key (Device)

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The Key is the name of an artifact of an artifact of Old Ones technology which allows for the accessing of The Lock and with it a device of unimaginable power known as The Weapon.[3a]

Description

The Key is composed of a great number of esoteric artefacts that were scattered across time and space during a long-ago catastrophe[1b]. The powerful Daemon Vashtorr became aware of the Key and believed that if it was restored and accessed The Lock and The Weapon he could use its power to become the fifth Chaos God[1a]. He did not know precisely what form all of these Key fragments took, but after many mortal lifespans Vashtorr learned that each had their own unique Warp signature. This would allow them to be tracked down and once all were found, the Daemon would use an infernal ritual, warp alchemy and inhuman ingenuity to restore the Key. Vashtorr would need aid to do this, however, and this led him to seek out Abaddon the Despoiler, who commanded the vast forces of the Black Legion[1b]. Though Abaddon was wary of Vashtorr at first, he agreed to enter an alliance with the Daemon to restore the Key, after Vashtorr informed him the weapon's power could be used to finally destroy the Imperium[1a]. Afterwards, Vashtorr began creating the Arks of Omen Space Hulks, with the aid of Abaddon's Dark Mechanicum allies, and gave them to the Despoiler to command. They were designed to both track down the Key-fragments and destroy any force that tried to prevent that from happening. While Abaddon would give some to high ranking Black Legion officers, he also gave some to powerful Chaos commanders that swore to aid him in his quest.[1b]

The nature of The Key remained highly mysterious; all Abaddon let his lieutenants know is that it makes the servants of the Emperor greater traitors than any Chaos Space Marine. The fragments of the Key vary greatly in size and shape, from ancient pillars to meteorite-like constructs to cogitator banks.[1b]

During the Battle of Idolatros, Vashtorr was able to complete The Key thanks to the Dissonance Engine, which was made up of the ancient Old Ones devices dubbed Tuchulcha, Ouroboros, and Plagueheart.[3a] With it, Vashtorr bore a tunnel into the reality between the Materium and Warp similar to the Webway, and plunged his planetoid vessel dubbed Wyrmwood into the abyss. Now, Vashtorr seeks to use the Key to access The Lock and with it The Weapon.[3b]

Known Key Fragments

Sources