As the Stygian Wars dragged on, the Alpha Legion and the Stygian Empire worked on fortifying their gains and creating new more horrifying weapons with which to wage the war. Vilkor chief sorcerer to Lord Magwar and the Stygian Emperor turned his thoughts to various forms of psychic warfare. Already Vilkor was creating training programs for psychers in the Stygian Empire, weaponizing them.
Stygian battle psyche trained in Vilkors training program. Note this particular battle psycher already exhibits stigmata marking him capable of sustaining major possession.
Vilkor pondered how emotions leave manifestations on the warp in the form of shades and entities. He pondered how areas heavy with death carry the ghostly echo of death capable of physical manifestation at times. The thought then occurred to him to harness these possible manifestations and turn them to the Alpha Legion's and the Stygian Empires advantage. Vilkor resolved to experiment in this direction. Orders went out for prisoners to be taken for experimentation.
Alpha Legion marines and Stygian guardsmen leading captured Imperial Guardsmen to Vilkor after a raid.
The experiments took the better part of a year before Vilkor met with some measure of success. He had devised two practical uses of the psychic manifestations of defilement and death. Now all that remained was to weaponize them. He had ideas on that score but the Alpha legions dark Mechanicus tech priest, Zandragel needed to be consulted.
Dark mechanicus Magos and Alpha Legion tech priest Zandragel. During the Stygian wars he was personally in charge of overseeing all new weapons developments and of weapons production throughout the Stygian Empire.
Zandragel was most impressed with Vilkor's concepts and began to prepare them for production. The first was the Soul Cage mine. A prisoner was warped until all that remained was hate and a sense of betrayal at the hands of the Imperium. The prisoner was then executed in the presence of a psycher whose incantations captured the essence of hate and rage at the moment of death . The Bones were then imprinted with wards and the captured spirit imprisoned within them. The psycher would then inscribe wards of power strengthening the spirit within. The bones would then be placed lke a mine. Anyone disturbing the remains would unleash the spirit for perhaps three minutes, at which point the wards strengthening the spirit would allow it to inflict physical harm in the real world before the spirit dissipated. Vilkor trained a few psychers in it's production and Zandragel ordered it's first field test which saw spectacular results.
elements of the 3rd Anglican Foot regiment encounter spirit mines for the first time. In addition to the casualties these devices caused there was also the damage they did to morale when Imperial units ran into them.
In another application the bones of a warped prisoner were ground up and placed inside the chemical grenade mix used in smoke grenades. These grenades when detonated would briefly have the horrific sights of the wraiths form out of the smoke. It was then used in Stygian and Alpha Legion vehicles smoke launchers to great effect. The psychological effects added a combat advantage for advancing Stygian and Alpha Legion armor helping to undermine Imperial morale before the armor struck home.
Alpha Legion Rhino advancing behind a wraith smokescreen against Imperial forces.
With these two successes Zandragel and Vilkor considered yet another more lethal application. It took another month of research but by the end a new chemical weapon had been developed now all that remained was to test it.