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In the Warhammer 40,000 setting, Obliterators are warped Chaos Space Marines who, through the power of Chaos, have merged with their armour, weapons, and daemonic entities to become hulking monstrosities. They were originally introduced in the 1999 Codex: Chaos Space Marines, and were first described as originating via a warp disease in the 2002 Codex.

Codex: Chaos Space Marines (1999)

Codex: Chaos Space Marines (1999), p17 — 0-1 Chaos Obliterators

The Obliterators are amongst the most enigmatic of all the Chaos Space Marine cults. It appears that they have an innate ability to manipulate machinery and manufactured materials to create their own immensely strong armour and weapons. The materials that make up their extraordinary armour seem to obey the Obliterators' every whim, assuming new forms and carrying out new functions as he wishes. How or why they are able to this no-one knows, for no Obliterator has ever communicated with another living creature and none have ever been captured alive.

Codex: Chaos Space Marines (2002)

Codex: Chaos Space Marines (2002), p27 — Obliterator Cult

Obliterators have dwelt too long in the Eye of Terror and have contracted a contagion that sears the flesh to their armour. Marine and armour become one entity, growing down the centuries into hulking, weirdly baroque leviathans able to reshape their forms to spew death at their enemies. Obliterators are no longer even Chaos Space Marines instead they are an amalgam of Marine, Daemon and Armour, each part inseparable from the rest.

Codex: Chaos Space Marines (2007)

Codex: Chaos Space Marines (2007), p35 — Obliterators

The machineries of the Chaos Space Marines include many monstrous, daemonic creations heaving with warp-power and arcane technology. Not even the adepts of Mars possess anything but the most rudimentary knowledge of how these bizarre war engines work, and likely neither do most Chaos Space Marines. Yet there is a cadre of warriors who have dedicated their lives to the pursuit of alchemical and mechanical perfection through the power of Chaos, and have turned their bodies into living weapons.

These are the Obliterators. Often once Techmarines of the Emperor's Space Marines, Obliterators are obsessed with the overlap of the material and immaterial, the organic and the inert. They use arcane knowledge they have gleaned from the powers of Chaos, and the sinister adepts of the Dark Mechanicus, to blur the boundaries between biological, technological and daemonic. Infused with this energy they are hulking warriors that can fashion weapons out of their own bodies, grow armoured plates and repair injuries that would fell lesser creatures. They are inhuman, grotesque arcano-cyborgs whose blood can become white hot plasma, whose internal organs generate electricity, whose bones are fused with titanium, and whose brains are as much machine as living flesh.

There is much speculation on the nature of the infernal bond between the Obliterators and the Chaos Gods. They do not sport obvious marks of allegiance to any particular deity, and do not bear the colours of any single legion or renegade warband. Although their exact numbers can only be guessed at, it is obvious that the Obliterators are exceedingly rare fighters. They exist outside of the warbands, moving from one to the other, exchanging their services for the opportunity to claim ancient technologies or capture exotic wargear from the Imperium and alien races.

Some Magos of Mars and members of the Inquisition have proferred the notion that Obliterators are infected with some kind of warp-based, daemon-created virus that alters reality within and around them. These theories are highly contentious, for there is little evidence to back up these claims. Opponents of the theory say that a simple virus could not exist in the way it is claimed, and that it is simple daemonic possession, in a limited way, that gives Obliterators their power. For those that face Obliterators, such discussions are irrelevant. Whatever the source of their unique abilities, Obliterators are much sought after by Chaos Lords. Whole wars have been waged to provide a cadre of these monstrous warriors with the archeotech they seek in return for future support.

"Flesh and bone are weak and mutable, and yet the daemonic is ultimately insubstantial and impotent. To be master of both matter and energy, and blend this mastery with ultimate control of one's consciousness, is to achieve true immortality - neither confined by the material, nor divorced from it.
— Heretical teachings of Magos Elizah Kaudge

Codex: Chaos Space Marines (2012)

Codex: Chaos Space Marines (2012), p42 — Obliterators

Though cadres of the mysterious Obliterators are thankfully rare, they have an alarming tendency to suddenly appear wherever the fighting is thickest, manifesting in a storm of light before laying waste to their foes. The Imperium of Man has obtained grainy footage of an Obliterator cult in action, and several theories have emerged about them as a result. Some members of the Inquisition believe they are the by-product of a heretical Dark Mechanicum quest to embody the Omnissiah, whilst others proffer the notion that Obliterators are infected with some kind of Daemon-created 'technovirus'. Opponents of the latter theory say that a technovirus could not exist in the way it is claimed, and that simple daemonic possession gives Obliterators their frighteningly powerful abilities. Only the truly learned realise that the term technovirus is just a misnomer; it is Chaos itself that mutates and corrupts the machine, just as it moulds and changes the flesh of men.

The Tome of Decay (2014)

The Tome of Decay (2014), p93 — Guelph

Obliterator (Elite)

Move: 3/6/9/18

Wounds: 44

Armour: Fleshmetal (14 All)

Total TB: 12

Skills: Awareness (Per), Dodge (Ag), Forbidden Lore (Archeotech, Daemonology, Traitor Legions, Warp) (Int), Intimidate (S), Tech Use (Int) +20.

Talents: Ambidextrous, Bolter Drill, Combat Sense, Deadeye Shot, Heavy Weapon Training, Independent Targeting, Legion Weapon Training, Storm of Iron, Target Selection, Technical Knock, Two-Weapon Wielder (Ballistic).

Traits: Auto-stabilised, Daemonic (2), Fear (2), From Beyond, Living Armoury, Size (5), Sturdy, Unnatural Strength (5), Unnatural Toughness (5), Violent Metamorphosis†.

Weapons: See Violent Metamorphosis.

†Violent Metamorphosis: Obliterators can form a number of weapons from the raw mass of their Warp-infused bodies. Obliterators manifest two weapons of varying degrees of lethality at any given time, chosen from the list below. As a Half Action, an Obliterator can reform one of his current weapons into any other weapon from the list. The GM can also feel free to have him adopt other weapons as appropriate. Standard Obliterator options are as follows:

Living Armoury: Obliterators consume ammunition and fuel for sustenance, and are thusly capable of generating massive amounts of firepower without a need to reload. The Obliterator's weapons never need to be reloaded.