The Daemonastrolabium of the Iron Maw
Hey everyone! Today is a special artwork here.
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If you may remember I painted a star ship for this warband, the Iron Maw, on which they crusade the Galaxy.
This artwork shows a pretty special part of this ship called The Daemonastrolabium.
A shared effort by the Iron Butchers Warpsmith and Dark Mechanicum Hereteks, the Daemonastrolabium is a huge, daemonic device located in the highest spire of the observatory dome of the Iron Maw.
The device, commonly known as daemon-compass, is a creation whose goal was to allow the Iron Butchers to perform warp-travel without the need of a Navigator, since the latter are rare individuals, often prone to madness or death, due to the nature of the Chaos, or unwilling to help traitor Warbands.
The Daemonastrolabium exploits the power of a trapped Slaaneshi daemon, a Lady of the Void lured into a trap by Warpsmith Varago himself, to navigate the Immaterium. The Lady of the Void is forced, by a series of punishments and rewards, to communicate to the proper device the path and the currents of the Immaterium as it sees them. Since that information is unintelligible for any human to understand, the device translates them into machine code, and then the Mechanicum Calculus Logis interprets the data to calculate and insert the right route through the Warp to come out in the corresponding place in the realspace.
While this method allows the Iron Butchers to not rely on kidnapped navigators or free-roaming daemons, is still not without flaws.
The whole operation is extremely risky, as Varago needs to control and appease the daemon in order to prevent it from breaking free. The daemon is kept, during its slumber in a status of sensorial deprivation, and oppressed by the connection with the remnants of psychic blanks kept alive in nearby sarcophagi.
Awakening the Lady of the Void requires human sacrifices to appease her thirst, and more and more sacrifices are needed during the navigation to ensure her ongoing collaboration.
Performing the navigation under such circumstances is not easy, and on more than one occasion the exit point has been all but precise, either due to some wrong calculus or the tricks of the daemon. Still, the navigation with the Daemonastrolabium proved to be way more reliable than any standard calculated jump, freeing the Iron Butchers from the need for Imperial Navigators.