Setting:Brighthammer 40,000/Warp Horrors
(This is a Brighthammer 40k Second Edition article.)
The Universal Destroyer
Alias: The many-bodied Beast; The Nameless; Mother of All and None
The Universal Destroyer was formed the terrible Great Old Ones fell. All the rage of the battle, the sense of betrayal and the nihilism that accompanies a passing age formed into one speck of all-encompassing hatred. Within a minute of its existence, this speck had absorbed all remaining Warp Horrors which fought on the side of the Great Old Ones. Within an hour, it was tearing reality apart and destroyed Itza. Within a day, only the ascension of the Ork brainboyz Gork and Mork could stop the many-bodies beast from completely dragging the entire galaxy into the Warp.
Aided by many lesser deities, Gork and Mork were the prime opponents of the Universal Destroyer during the millennia before the formation of the Lord of Order. During that time, Warp travel was known as synonym for instant, horrifying death. As soon as the Lord of Order gained sentience, however, the Destroyer was forced to change its modus operandi.
Since the first sapient species had risen, there had been psykers - those people who could affect the Warp and were affected by it. Some species were even born without any who could not interact with the Warp. The Destroyer ruthlessly consumed any and all who were not protected by their own measures or by other Warp deities. Those that it could not consume were hunted down by minor manifestations. Thus began another age of darkness.
Finally, millennia later, the Eldar succeeded in creating their god of Passion, Slaanesh. The shock waves weakened the Destroyer and the following assault all but destroyed it. For all times, the core of its being, the speck of sheer hatred, was gone. But, the Destroyer did not truly die, as it had never been a single being. Instead, the Warp Horrors which made up its being were released, to wreak havoc on the galaxy again. While few were destroyed outright, many were sealed, and some escaped justice.
To this day, shadowy remnants of the Universal Destroyer haunt both Immaterium and Materium. Thankfully, the Adeptus Telepathica, the entire Ork race, and the Bright Eldar are countering its worldly influence while Gork, Mork, the Eldar goddess Isha, and the Lords of Order stand vigilant against its corruption of the Immaterium.
It is hoped that in time, its death throes will end. Then, finally, the galaxy might know all-encompassing peace at last.
Alias: The Krell; The Dominators; The Puppeteers
During the War of Souls, the Destroyer created small manifestations. Those, undetected by the forces of Order, drifted with the currents of the Immaterium, until roused by psychic emanations of material creatures. Burrowing into the unfortunate victims' soul, the Enslavers would turn them into living portals to the Warp within days.
Finally, the Enslavers would burst forth into the doomed world en masse, taking over and consuming ever more victims. The absorbed souls were fed directly to the Destroyer, which it would use to create ever more Enslavers.
Despite the annihilation of the Destroyer, the Enslavers endure. Uneducated, untrained Psykers still fall prey to their whispers. While the souls they absorb are no longer fed to the destroyer, more than one unlucky world has been completely depopulated by the remaining Enslavers. Quite a few Initiates of Order take it as their personal missions to find and destroy as many Enslavers as possible, so this threat might be vanquished in the foreseeable future.
The Screaming Fog
When the speck of hatred that made up the core of the Destroyer disappeared, not all Warp Horrors and Psykers that it consumed over the millennia could manifest again. Those that could not are doomed to drift in the currents of the Warp as some kind of fog. While the fog itself is unable to consciously act, it is easily manipulated by rogue or careless Psykers; however, prolonged contact with it invariably drives living minds completely and utterly insane.
Should a mad or careless Psyker manage to locate and consolidate a sufficiently large amount of fog (which is no small feat itself), the world they reside on is utterly doomed. People will be driven mad, the dead will rise from their graves, the stars will change, ships will fail to reach the planet in time to avert disaster, even some other Warp Horror might be drawn to the Psyker.
The fog itself cannot be destroyed, but the destruction of its vessel forces it back into the Warp, where it is again a helpless victim to its currents.
The Wanderer of the Warp
Alias: The Oldest Brother; Spirit of Shadow
The Wanderer of the Warp is a ancient Horror; possibly one of the few remaining of the Great Old Ones' original servants. It is encountered maybe twice every millennium, but some of its appearances have been well documented. It may appear when a summon of an Order Daemon is improperly warded, gradually superimposing itself over the Daemon until it gains access to the Materium in its stead. Its appearance varies; generally, its body appears looking like one of its summoners, replicating clothes down to insignificant details; however, the Wanderer's body does not emulate flesh but solid shadow. Terribly powerful, it has been known to immediately attack its summoners, not stopping until a sufficient level of destruction has been inflicted. It has been observed to immolate its victims, as well as turn parts of its body into piercing weapons. While powerful, it can be defeated and sent back into the Warp; in one notable encounter, the Primarch Rogal Dorn single-handedly fought it to a bloody stalemate until it retreated through a Warp portal, clearly weakened by the encounter. The Adeptus Telepathica theorizes that this Horror is a manifestation of man's desire to hide his darkest secrets from himself.
The Dread Moon
Alias: The Watcher in Darkness
The Dread Moon may appear in the Materium when an entire planet is engulfed in war, should that planet have at least one moon. Its manifestation superimposes the moon with the image of an unblinking reptilian eye. Its influence (aside from the visual manifestation) is subtle: peace negotiations fail, comrades are more likely to start infighting, equipment fails with the most dangerous effects possible. As soon as the war ceases, the manifestation disappears. At least two hundred and twenty-four wars since the rise of the Empire of Man have been stopped dead as soon as the Watcher in Darkness appeared in the system - both sides realizing that the only way to survive this encounter was peaceful negotiation. The Adeptus Telepathica fears that it may be allied to the dread Tau, as it has been seen during their last three attempted invasions of imperial planets.
A Horror of unknown origin, Doom Rider may appear in the midst of battle through a portal, fight a random battler, and then disappear again. It appears as a motorcycle-riding man with his head on fire. The Adeptus Telepathica is unable to determine who or what this Horror is, its motivation is a total mystery (but it probably has something to do with cocaine, and eating kittens covered in LSD).
Appearing as leathery winged beasts, Furies are thought to be formed by a gathering of souls of the Universal Destroyers. Their influence of the Materium and Immaterium is rare, as destroying them in both realms is a high priority of the Gods of Order and their servants. Individual Furies might escape this fate and assist cults of the Destroyer for a while, before inevitably consuming the cultists' souls to increase their own power.