Grand Alliance of Chaos

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The Grand Alliance of Chaos are the armies of monsters, daemons and mortals that follow the Dark Gods.[1]

Overview

Chaos

Chaos is the dark mirror of the soul, a blot upon reality that can only exist thanks to the flawed nature of mortals.[1a] Chaos is a long chain of suffering that stretched eternally from the beginning of time. Its followers view suffering a physical law, a transitive property, like heat migrating through metal.[3a] Its corruption emanates from the Realm of Chaos, beyond the boundaries of space and time. Chaos is inherently corruption. While many have tried to use its reality -warping potential it offers for noble purposes, to take its power without paying the terrible cost will only result in doomed efforts. Just as the Dark Gods are formed from the most negative and destructive emotions coalesced and given divine personification, the boons that Chaos may provide will inevitably compel those that receive them to let the darkest elements of their personality overtake them. The recipients of Chaos' boons will eventually lose themselves to their own sins, no matter how hard they might resist. With that said, the might offered by Chaos is undeniable, and in the dangerous wilds of the Mortal Realms it is not hard to understand why so many would wish to possess such might.[1a]

Realm of Chaos

The Realm of Chaos.
Main article: Realm of Chaos

The Realm of Chaos is a metaphysical dimension of pure anarchy that is constantly probing and gnawing at the edges of the realmspheres, spilling through daemonic rifts and corrupted realmgates to pollute the lands. This realm exists somewhere outside and around the Aetheric Void, whilst simultaneously not existing at all. It is here that lie the domains of the Dark Gods, an infinite, roiling hellscape of nightmares and torment given form by the passions of mortalkind. Numberless throngs of daemons roam free here, taking perverse enjoyment in the torment, mutilation and eventual obliteration of those luckless trespassers who fall into their clutches. There is no solid landscape in this realm, for everything shifts according to the whims of the Ruinous Powers, altering in appearance depending on which of the Dark Gods is currently triumphing in the Great Game.[2a]

Dark Gods

Main article: Dark Gods

From the Realm of Chaos the Ruinous Powers hold court over fields of bone and castles of flesh. Each of these dread entities is the reflection of a passion or emotion taken to the extreme. Those in the thrall of Chaos often have wildly different views on what exactly they pay homage to. Some say that there are many facets and minor deities of Chaos, others that the Ruinous Powers are but shadows cast by a singular, all-encompassing avatar of evil. However, most agree that there are five Dark Gods that comprise the pantheon of Chaos - Khorne, Tzeentch, Nurgle, Slaanesh and the Great Horned Rat. The Dark Gods, as avatars of Chaos, grant boons to their most devoted and successful followers that offer them great might at the cost of their own souls, for nothing they give is free. For one to truly excel amongst the hordes of Chaos, they must not only praise the gods, but actively seek to advance their ruinous agendas by standing in opposition to all rival gods. Even then, plenty of would-be champions are readily discarded by their patron deity in order to make way for a greater champion.[1a]

Great Game

Main article: Great Game

The never-ending struggle of each of the Chaos Gods to gain dominion over the others is known as the Great Game. This endless struggle spans the Realm of Chaos where legions of Daemons fight at the behest of their masters and the Mortal Realms where the mortal agents of the Ruinous Powers seek to grant their patron an advantage.[4a] While fighting for power, bonds are formed and then broken as Khorne, Nurgle, Tzeentch vie for domination of not only the Realm of Chaos, but also the Mortal Realms. Even the pantheon's newcomer, the Great Horned Rat, attempts to sneak into the feud.[5a]

Path to Glory

Main article: Path to Glory

Every follower of Chaos, from the lowliest Marauder tribesman to the mightiest Chaos Lord, seeks to walk what is known as the Path to Glory. Though they may worship the Chaos Gods in a variety of different forms and guises, they principles of this metaphysical path are always the same: by pleasing the Ruinous Powers through acts of escalating slaughter and ruination, it is possible for a warrior to receive their boons and perhaps even higher glory. As a champion progresses along this path they will be granted mighty weapons and infernal servants, their dark charisma and legends of their bloody deeds drawing the service of more warbands. Nevertheless, most champions will fail to ascend the heights of glory. The luckiest are simply slain in battle, but those less fortunate will be unable to bear the uncaring 'gifts' of the gods and devolve into wretched Chaos Spawn. Only the rarest few are able to achieve the ultimate reward - apotheosis, rebirth as one of the immortal Daemon Princes.[1b]

Factions

Name Leader(s) Home Realm Grouping
{{{3}}} Slaves to Darkness Godsworn Overlord Eightpoints Damned Legion
{{{3}}} Blades of Khorne Lord of Khorne
Bloodthirster
Chaos Bloodbound Warhorde
Blood Legion
{{{3}}} Disciples of Tzeentch Magister
Lord of Change
Chaos Arcanite Cult
Scintillating Host
{{{3}}} Maggotkin of Nurgle Lord of Nurgle
Great Unclean One
Chaos Rotbringer Contagium
Plague Legion
{{{3}}} Hedonites of Slaanesh Lord of Pain
Keeper of Secrets
Chaos Host of Slaanesh
{{{3}}} Beasts of Chaos Beastlord
Doombull
Dragon Ogor Shaggoth
Ghur Greatfray
{{{3}}} Skaventide Verminlord Chaos Skaven Clan
{{{3}}} Legion of Azgorh Daemonsmith Aqshy
{{{3}}} Legion of Chaos Ascendant Bloodthirster
Lord of Change
Great Unclean One
Keeper of Secrets
Verminlord
Daemon Prince
Chaos Legion
{{{3}}} Monsters of Chaos

Slaves to Darkness

Beyond the fragile boundaries of civilisation, the tyrannical empires of the Slaves to Darkness dominate the lands. These corrupted tribes and clans have long been devoted to the worship of the Ruinous Powers, and like wolves prowling just beyond the campfire, they hunger to tear the Sigmarite nations to shreds. These are the great hordes of Chaos, the Lost and Damned. These tribes are the dark reflection of the Sigmarite nations, the sins of the God-King returned to lay low his works. Abandoned by their divine protectors during the Age of Chaos and ruled by fell champions - the mightiest of which is the Everchosen, Archaon - these men and women have turned to darkness in return for the power to not only survive, but to thrive and achieve true greatness. No single origin can account for the many hordes, tribes, cults and nations that comprise the Slaves to Darkness; each has their own reason for turning to the Ruinous Powers. Some tribes worshipped the Dark Gods even during the Age of Myth, unaware of their true nature until they invaded the Mortal Realms. Others are the remnants of civilisations locked out of Azyr at the Closing of the Gates, who (unsurprisingly) were then filled with hatred for the callous God-King. Whatever the case, even as the Age of Sigmar rages and his empire expands, a vast majority of humans in the Mortal Realms are still counted amongst the ranks of the Slaves to Darkness.[1b]

Every Slave to Darkness pursues the Path to Glory, which sees them performing acts of devotion to the Dark Gods in return for great boons. However, most of these champions will fail in such a pursuit. The luckiest are simply slain in battle, while some are unable to withstand the 'gifts' of their gods and devolve into Chaos Spawn. Only the rarest few will reach the end of the Path by achieving a dark apotheosis and be reborn as an immortal Daemon Prince. So tempting is this opportunity that they will betray, butcher and sacrifice all who stand in the way of their patron's attention, seeking to impress the gods through acts of unthinkable evil. Every Champion of Chaos is an individual, and thus chases glory in their own way. However, some commonality has been observed that allows the scholars to group the different types of Chaos Hordes into categories. Most mortal champions join what are known as Ravager Hordes, which compete for the right to lead as they chase the favour of the Dark Gods. Such hordes are composed of different tribal groups worshipping the Dark Gods in a variety of aspects. Cabalist Hordes, meanwhile, are formed of cabals of power-hungry Chaos Sorcerers under the leadership of a Chaos Sorcerer Lord, who gains power through the blood sacrifices of his victims. Idolator Hordes are true zealots that seek to tear down the icons of any competing gods. Most rare of all are the Despoiler Hordes, led Daemon Princes who themselves already completed their journey through the Path to Glory.

Unique amongst the Damned Legions of the Slaves to Darkness is the Host of the Everchosen and the Legion of the First Prince. The former is led by Archaon, the Everchosen champion of Chaos, who is surrounded by his retinue of Varanguard, widely feared knights who have greatly advanced down the Path to Glory. The Slaves to Darkness have long been the masters of the Eightpoints, the sub-realm between the eight Mortal Realms that hangs in the Aetheric Void. This fortress of Chaos provides passage to all the Mortal Realms, but more importantly, it is the seat of Archaon, who assembles his all-conquering host from the tribes and hordes battling in the shadow of the Varanspire.[1b] The Damned Legion is led by Archaon's rival, Be'lakor the First Prince of Chaos. His shadowy legions seek to drive Archaon out from the throne of Chaos and place their master upon what they believe is his rightful throne.[6b]

Damned Legions

Name Leader Grouping
{{{3}}} Host of the Everchosen Godsworn Overlord Chaos Horde
{{{3}}} Legion of the First Prince Godsworn Overlord Chaos Horde
{{{3}}} Knights of the Empty Throne Godsworn Overlord Chaos Horde
{{{3}}} Ravager Horde Godsworn Overlord Chaos Horde
{{{3}}} Cabalist Horde Chaos Sorcerer Lord Chaos Horde
{{{3}}} Despoiler Horde Daemon Prince Chaos Horde
{{{3}}} Idolator Horde Godsworn Overlord Chaos Horde

Blades of Khorne

Blades of Khorne charging their enemies.

The Blades of Khorne revel in the carnage of the battlefield. The devoted warriors of the most bloodthirsty of the Chaos Gods, they plunge headlong into the most savage and hate-fuelled fighting imaginable, earning their lord's wrathful favour with each skull they claim. The Ruinous Power known as Khorne is the god of rage and bloodshed, the manifestation of mankind's most hateful emotions. The armies that fight in his name have sold their souls to their wrathful deity and been recognized in turn for their prowess on the battlefield. With their raw strength and warrior skill, the mortal and daemonic followers of the Blood God leave entire regions as gore-slick wastelands dotted with piles of headless corpses. Some Khorne worshippers claim to possess a twisted form of martial honour, while others have given themselves utterly to their frenzied rages. Regardless of their form of devotion, the slaughter they perpetuate is sickening to behold, each outpouring hatred a holy act to honour the most brutal and uncompromising of the Chaos Gods.[1c]

Khorne's armies are uncomplicated enemies, but their savage simplicity has seen them triumph over more subtle foes time and again. Few amongst them have any patience for complex stratagems; every second not spent knee-deep in blood is seen as blasphemy to Khorne's most fervent zealots. That is not to say Khorne's generals are all mindless berserkers. Having been tempered in countless battles, they understand the nature of conflict far better than most, yet they also acknowledge that Khorne cares not from where the blood flows, merely that it does. The greater the bloodshed, the more Khorne's attention is drawn, and the more likely that those who fight in his name will be rewarded. These rewards may take the form of skull-shaped meteors of brass or daemonic reinforcements piercing into reality from the Realm of Chaos. Alone amongst the armies of the Dark Gods, the armies of Khorne do not include wizards or shamans, for the Blood God scorns magic as the tool of cowards and weaklings. The foremost armies of Khorne as known as the Bloodbound, which are the Blood God's mortal followers. Millions have perished under their blades and the greatest Bloodbound Warhordes are akin to entire nations of devoted killers, and for centuries have vented their hatred against anything foolish enough to cross their path. These Warhordes are led by Mighty Lords of Khorne, warrior monarchs who surround themselves with eight champions known as Gorechosen. Even the greatest lords of Khorne must take caution, however, for rank amongst the Bloodbound can only be achieved through displays of strength. If weakness should be detected in a Lord of Khorne, their followers will no doubt move to claim rulership themselves at the edge of a jagged axe.[1c]

Even more fearsome than the Bloodbound are Khorne's daemons, each a vicious shard of the Ruinous Power. In regions tainted with slaughter, the Daemons of Khorne can manifest within the Mortal Realms. Beneath rune-marked banners and brass icons bedecked with skulls, packs of lesser daemons known as Bloodletters and Juggernaut-riding Bloodcrushers charge forwards with bestial howls of fury, swinging their jagged Hellblades in wide decapitating arcs. Where they pass the realmscape itself writhes in rage, the ground becoming slick with gore and the air hot with furious emotions. Khorne's Blood Legions are filled with all manner of infernal beasts, from slavering Flesh Hunters who relentlessly pursue the craven, to living artillery pieces that fire burning skulls. But all pale in comparison to the Bloodthirsters, Khorne's greater daemons and sacred destroyers. These daemon lords exude such a palpable aura of wrath that even their enemies can be overcome with a frothing rage, and it has been said that the greatest of their number can slaughter entire armies alone.[1c]

Sub-Factions

Name Leader Grouping
{{{3}}} Khorne Bloodbound Lord of Khorne Bloodbound Warhorde
{{{3}}} Daemons of Khorne Bloodthirster Blood Legion

Disciples of Tzeentch

The Disciples of Tzeentch lurk in the shadows, manipulating the strands of fate to serve their whim. They are bringers of madness and pandemonium, and when they rise up in force, their foes are soon overcome by their masterful ploys and storms of blazing spellcraft. They are schemers, warlords and revolutionaries, who in their quest for power, have become both the puppets and puppeteers of fate. They triumph over their enemies through arcane firestorms, cunning and sheer unpredictability and their labyrinthine machinations have brought misery and ruin to thousands over the centuries. Whether through performing forbidden rituals in the twisted wilds of the realms, or lurking in the underbelly of Sigmar's cities waiting for the moment to strike, they patiently and carefully tug the strings of causality to suit their own ends. Thus they ensure that, when the time comes to make their move, the genius of their preparations has already outwitted every effort of their foes.[1d]

Tzeentch is known as the Architect of Fate. A mad god of hope and change, he delights in catching mortals in webs of his impossibly convoluted plots, twisting their ideals and ambitions until they serve his ends. Tzeentch has prospered more than any other Chaos God from the rise of Sigmarite nations. Civilisation's light casts its own long shadows, and in that darkness, the Arcanite cults - chosen mortal servants of the God of Fate - exert their influence and patiently serve the whims of their master. Led by their sorcerous Magisters and Fatemasters, and further reinforced by flocks of intelligent avian beastkin known as Tzaangors, these cults work to undermine the fabric of society and foment disorder and upheaval. Even the Kairic Acolytes - the lowest rank of cultist - possess some modicum of magical skill. This manifests not only in their ability to alter their own forms into muscular specimens of human perfection, but also the capability to hurl bolts of multihued fire and bind familiars such as the avian Vulcharcs to their service. Arcanite cults are present at all levels of society in the Free Cities, from labourers to paupers to vaunted nobles and scholars. To root them out is no easy feat, and by the time they have been discovered it is often too late to stop the machinations they have set in motion.[1d]

If the Arcanite cults are refuges for the ambitious and cunning, then Tzeentch's daemons are madness given form. These are the most unpredictable of all the children of the Dark Gods, and in many cases even their appearance will change wildly from one moment to the next. These daemons group themselves into Changehosts known as Scintillating Hosts, and will become drawn to beacons of sorcery or the reality-twisting monoliths known as flux-cairns. Where they go, reality itself undergoes a violent unmaking. The psychedelic warpflame they summon does not simply burn the foe, but wracks their bodies with hundreds of mutations in a matter of seconds - perhaps turning limbs into flocks of doves, or reducing those engulfed in the iridescent fires to hundreds of miniature, squabbling versions of themselves. Tzeentch's daemonic foot soldiers are known as Horrors - insanity given form. For every blow that cleaves such daemons in twain, another may reveal that the capering fiend was never there at all, or else split again into cackling brimfire imps. Even the daemons themselves are not always aware of their end goals once summoned to reality, though rarely do they care - the chance to spread madness and mayhem through the Mortal Realms is a fine end in itself. These hosts are led by Lords of Change, greater daemons of Tzeentch. These are sorcerers of incredible power and are master manipulators who have undone entire empires through their careful plotting. They are also, however, just as mercurial as their god, and the vast majority are more than content to spread anarchy for the simple joy of it.[1d]

Sub-Factions

Name Leader Grouping
{{{3}}} Tzeentch Arcanites Magister Arcanite Cult
{{{3}}} Daemons of Tzeentch Lord of Change Scintillating Host

Maggotkin of Nurgle

A gathering of Nurgle Daemons.

The Maggotkin of Nurgle are entropy and sickness given form. Charged by their disgusting deity with spreading disease across the Mortal Realms, they do not let anything stop them from accomplishing their sacred task, shrugging off the mightiest of blows and most potent of spells with wet, gurgling laughs. It can be difficult, at first, to understand why anyone would willingly turn to the worship of Nurgle. The gifs offered by this foul god take the form of putrid poxes and bloating blights, and he is empowered through the despair of those wracked by sickness and despair. In the Mortal Realms, however, hope is not a commodity found in great supply. There are regions and people that have been stretched to breaking point, endured every trial and indignity life can throw at them, and have been reduced to the point where they no longer believe victory is worth fighting for. Better to be comfortably numb to the misery and horror of life. Better still to revel in it, and drag others down to their level. It is these desperate and selfish souls that turn to 'Grandfather' Nurgle for succour, which he is only too happy to provide. The fact that it was the Plaguefather himself who often orchestrated the downfall of the new supplicants is quickly forgotten, for all can be forgiven in his pestilent embrace. Many of Nurgle's devotees become so committed to the service of their god that they actively strive to spread his corruption across the Mortal Realms. Those mortal Rotbringers who most impress their jovial god through their determination and unflagging resolve, alongside those putrid Daemons of Nurgle native to his hellish Garden form the armies of the Maggotkin. These befouled hosts are walking blights upon the land, dedicated to spreading all that is sickly and vile.[1e]

The conquering armies of the Rotbringers are known as Contagiums. Similar in nature to Nurgle himself, the number of Contagiums that beset the Mortal Realms varies wildly, their ranks swelling to epidemic proportions at times, and withering away to dregs at others. The lowest amongst them are known as Putrid Blightkings and Pusgoyle Blightlords, who are led by some Lord of Nurgle. Armed with blades and bludgeons coated with virulent toxins, often distilled from their own infected bodies, these champions of Nurgle can cause the land to wither and die by simply being in proximity, healthy mortal warriors reduced to gnarled and blackened lumps of flesh as they are overtaken by supernatural diseases. At the top of the hierarchy stand Nurgle's greatest champions, known as Maggoth Lords, who have earned the right to ride gangly-limbed maggoths into battle. Above them sit two groups of mortal champions who trace their existence to the world-that-was: the Glottkin and Tamurkhan the Maggot Lord. However, regardless of rank, Nurgle loves all his children equally, whether they are a bulging Blightking, shuffling sorcerer or rot-spewing daemon.[1e]

Nurgle's daemon armies are known as the Plague Legions. It is said that there are as many Plague Legions as there are spores floating through the miasmal air of the Garden of Nurgle and, while they might be individually somewhat smaller than their counterparts in the ranks of the other Dark Gods, their numbers more than makeup for this. Each Plague Legion is led by a greater daemon of Nurgle known as a Great Unclean One. Some favour armadas of airborne daemons known as Plague Drones, while others prefer burying their enemies beneath slobbering packs of Beasts of Nurgle, or slowly grinding them down with waves of grumbling Plaguebearers. These Plague Legions spill into battle with the great enthusiasm provided by the jolly Heralds of the Plague God who leads one of the seven Tallybands.[7a] Collectively, the Rotbringers and the Daemons of Nurgle make war on a hundred fronts. Nurgle's power may be challenged from many angles, but he is in no rush. The inevitable march of entropy will prove the doom of his foes just as effectively as any blessed weapon or spellcraft. When all others sicken and wither, he will be there, waiting to accept them into his repugnant fold.[1e]

Sub-Factions

Name Leader Grouping
{{{3}}} Nurgle Rotbringers Lord of Nurgle Rotbringer Contagium
{{{3}}} Daemons of Nurgle Great Unclean One Plague Legion
{{{3}}} Tamurkhan's Horde Lord of Nurgle
Great Unclean One

Hedonites of Slaanesh

Glutos Orscollion, Lord of Gluttony, leading a cadre of Myrmidesh Painbringers and Symbaresh Twinsouls.

Born from the excess of mortals, the Hedonites of Slaanesh come to bring ecstatic carnage to the realms. Though they may appear graceful, even urbane, such is a sinister mirage - for the Hedonites are monstrously cruel, and their wars are waged as much to spread suffering as to achieve any strategic goal. The Hedonites are the favoured servants and sycophants of the Dark Prince, connoisseurs of excess and ringmasters to carnivals of sin. To them the battlefield is a bacchanal of extreme sensation - fear, anger, pain and more besides - for them to indulge in. Wielding cruelly barbed weapons and wickedly sharp claws, they eviscerate the enemy, extending every death so that they may revel in the agony and terror they cause. Slaanesh is beguiling as only an immortal can be. As such, his appeal to potential worshippers is easier to understand than that of the other Chaos Gods. All Slaanesh asks of a mortal is that they indulge their deepest passions and desires without fear. What form these take does not matter, only the intensity with which they are pursued. It is this fact that makes the worship of the Dark Prince so tempting, and explains the throngs of mortal supplicants - or Sybarites, as the most favoured are known - that make war in the Hedonite armies. A lone moment of weakness, a single triumph of passion over willpower, is enough to ensnare a soul in Slaanesh's gilded chains. Many who shriek praises to the Dark Prince were once simply curious people - whether lowly citizen, or commonly pampered but impotent noble - who sought to escape the drudgery of their everyday lives by pursuing increasingly taboo acts. In time, they become terrible foes indeed, quicksilver fast and always seeking to inflict the greatest pain and confusion upon the foes.[1f]

A Sybarite's personal obsessions will often be made plain by both their typically riotous attire and how they choose to make war. Some join the Myrmidesh blade-sects, becoming elite warriors devoted to a particular style of fighting that they consider supreme. Some become addicted to high-speed kills from the back of a daemonic steed, either delivered with pinpoint accuracy at range or in bloody hit-and-run attacks. Meanwhile, the Daemons of Slaanesh are summoned only by the most debauched acts. Each of these infernal beings are slivers of the Dark Prince's own radiant essence. As such, there is a loathsome beauty to these hell-spawned warriors that even the strongest-willed find difficult to resist, an alluring horror that has drawn many proud souls to their doom. Every daemon of Slaanesh is lightning quick, possessed of natural weapons designed to lacerate and tear - all the better to prolong the foe's suffering. From the Daemonette handmaidens to the trilling Fiends, all of Slaanesh's infernal children exemplify the horrifying, enrapturing duality of their god, but none more so than the greater daemons of the Dark Prince - the Keepers of Secrets. These greater daemons are peerless warriors and sublime sorcerers alike. They can strike so quickly that they can tear apart a regiment of warriors before pausing to watch the blood spray in pleasing patterns, sighing with bliss at the maelstrom of torment that rages around them.[1f]

Despite the Dark Prince's imprisonment in Uhl-Gysh at the hands of the aelven gods, his armies have risen in power with the appearance of many now-infamous champions such as Sigvald the Magnificent, Glutos Orscollion and Shalaxi Helbane, whose names now echo through the annals of history. However, the hosts of Slaanesh remain disparate, each pursuing the goals of the warlords they idolise. The Invader Hosts seek to wreak wanton havoc as they always have. The crazed Godseeker Hosts search high and low for any trace of their lost god. The most egotistical - known as Pretenders - conspire to claim the Dark Prince's vacant throne. How his servants choose to do his unholy work matters little to Slaanesh. All he desires is for them to continue enacting their most inventive torments upon their enemies and rivals - for with every act of excessive cruelty, his freedom surely comes just that little bit closer.[1f]

Sub-Factions

Name Leader Grouping
{{{3}}} Slaanesh Sybarites Lord of Pain Host of Slaanesh
{{{3}}} Daemons of Slaanesh Keeper of Secrets Host of Slaanesh

Skaventide

Skaven boarding a Kharadron air ship.

Hidden in the darkness, the skaven clans scheme and multiply. These maniacal ratmen eagerly prepare for the day that their numberless hordes swarm from the shadows and overrun the surface world. There is no one they will not betray - least of all each other - to achieve that goal. The skaven gnaw at the roots of reality, forever plotting and scheming to undermine their rivals. Hideous amalgamations of man and rodent, they lurk forever in the shadowed places of the Mortal Realms, carefully manipulating events to serve their ends. Many Free Peoples believe them only a myth, or at worst some verminous breed of beastman - and this suits the Council of Thirteen, the diabolical masters of skavendom, just fine. In the treacherous society of the ratmen there are fewer finer pleasures to be had than driving a blade into the back of an unsuspecting rival. Each skaven firmly believes that they are the greatest being that has ever lived and will do anything to preserve their own notions of supremacy. They are also highly paranoid, thinking that their peers are out to get them, which in fairness is usually true. It is this treachery between skaven that drives activity of the Blight City, the sub-realm stronghold of the skaven. Though the ratmen can be considered craven by most standards, preferring to let their lessers do the fighting, they will display shocking savagery when pouncing upon a weakened foe or fighting with their lives. As such, the lords of the Blight City are dangerous and cunning in the extreme, able to concoct fiendish schemes as swiftly as they can come up with an excuse to pin the failures of said scheme on a hapless rival.[1g]

The wicked nature of the skaven is reflected in their god, the Great Horned Rat. Since the fall of the World-that-Was and the imprisonment of Slaanesh, this malignant deity has become the newest member of the Ruinous Powers. His power stems from paranoia and desperation, from treachery and corruption. He would see all things crumble out of sheer malice; his paradise is no foetid garden or endless battleground, but a barren wasteland where foul winds scour the earth and mortals scrabble in the dirt amongst the chittering laughter of vermin. To the skaven, the Great Horned Rat is a reflection of their own twisted minds, and is viewed with both terror and awe. To his rare cultists amongst other races, he is a god of famine and drought, of self-destruction for the sheer shake of it and demented mania that takes hold where all one can do is delight in the failure of others. Knowing how precarious his position amongst the Ruinous Powers is, the Great Horned Rat schemes incessantly, determined to prove his might beyond doubt.[1g]

Skaven society is highly fractious and is divided into various clans, each styling themselves after one of the so-called Greater Clans. The Clans Verminus are the most populous and commonplace of these, providing hordes of Clanrats and Stormvermin elite that fills the bulk of most skaven war-swarms. Their hulking Clawlords are veterans of countless slaughters and leadership challenges who think nothing of throwing countless warriors into the meat grinder of battle. The Clans Pestilens are rabid devotees of all that is rancid and foul. They are on a quest to discover the Thirteen Great Plagues - mystical maladies of apocalyptic potential - so that they may one day infest all of creation. They are by far the most zealous of all the clans, which makes them dangerous to other ratmen who are labelled heretics for not sharing in their devotions. Their Plague Monks are filled with fanatical fervour that sees them shrug off even the most debilitating wounds. They are led by Plague Priests who act as deacons and prelates of their corrupted faith. Clans Moulder are fleshcrafters and beast tamers, who make use of warpstone to create hideous monsters by the hundreds. Their deranged Master Moulders are alchemist-surgeons of dark renown, habitually employing methods even the champions of Chaos would find repulsive in forging armies of mutants. From their breeding pits emerge slavering Giant Rats, hulking Rat Ogors and the titanic monstrosities known as Hell Pit Abominations. The Clans Skryre and their Warlock Engineers view the battlefield as a testing ground for their latest crazed creations. The dark science of the Skryre clans has birthed powerful weapons such as Warpfire Throwers and Ratling Guns, ruinous artillery in the form of Warp Lightning Cannons, and the bizarre rolling death-machines known as Doomwheels. It is also this bizarre weaponry that outfits the swollen rat-monsters known as Stormfiends, which spearhead their advances. The skaven of Clans Eshin are the spymasters and assassins of their craven race. Their infamous Deathmasters - elite murderers said to be able to scale sheer surfaces and become one with the gloom - are unusual in that they are trusted with almost complete autonomy in their mission. Their unusual position within skavendom has seen an Eshin clan act as kingmakers in civil wars between ratmen. Yet they have never exploited that influence to achieve dominion - a fact that only increases suspicion from the other clans. Manipulating all others are the Grey Seers of the Masterclan, the sorcerer-prophets of the Great Horned Rat. They are wizards of terrible power, calling upon the most ruinous sorceries to lay waste to their enemies. Though skavendom is not fully united, should the day come they are, they will be impossible to stop and the realms will surely be remade in their dreadful, debased image.[1g]

Great Clans

Name Leader Grouping
{{{3}}} Masterclan Grey Seer
Verminlord Warpseer
Skaven Clan
{{{3}}} Clans Skryre Arch-Warlock Skaven Clan
{{{3}}} Clans Pestilens Plague Priest
Verminlord Corruptor
Skaven Clan
{{{3}}} Clans Verminus Clawlord
Verminlord Warbringer
Skaven Clan
{{{3}}} Clans Moulder Master Moulder Skaven Clan
{{{3}}} Clans Eshin Deathmaster
Verminlord Deceiver
Skaven Clan

Beasts of Chaos

Beastlord leading Brayherd into attack.

Bloodthirsty and savage, the Beasts of Chaos are mutated monsters that dwell in the most dangerous regions of the realms. Every charge and every clubbing blow they make is powered by their frothing hatred of civilisation, underpinned by a surprising and deadly animal instinct. The Beasts of Chaos claim to be the true masters of the Mortal Realms, predating the gods and civilisation to a time when reality was their hunting grounds. From out of the warped wilds and dark forests, entire armies of beastkin - each a savage blend of man and creature - emerged to terrorise the barbarous mortal tribes. There is no land their rampages have not scarred, no race that has not felt the bite of their crude weapons and the tearing impact of their sharpened horns. To this day, the horrific excesses of the 'Horned Men' are still whispered about on the frontiers - the most ancient legends told and retold, coloured by the terror of even more recent atrocities. During the Age of Myth, the Beasts of Chaos were forced from their ancestral territories by the Pantheon of Order, condemned to scrounge on the margins of existence, yet they were never defeated. If anything, their hatred of civilisation only grew. They are despoilers who would see no stone atop another, who would grind the work of every other race into dust for spite alone, who would uproot every tree and pollute every ocean simply to satisfy their boundless hate. The most extreme of their number rage at the realms themselves, desiring to reduce all of creation to primordial sludge. The Beasts of Chaos respect only strength and displays of violence and might are determiners of authority amongst the greatfrays - as their marauding hordes are known. The greatest amongst them will rise to the rank of Beastlord, who lead the greatfrays.[1h]

Many creatures can be numbers amongst the ranks of the greatfrays, of which the most common are the gor-kin. Their forms are various though all have animalistic features, many manifesting as sharp, jutting horns and thick manes of unkempt fur that bristle across their leathery hides. Horns are an important status symbol amongst the gor-kin who form the Brayherds. The lowly Ungors possess only rudimentary nubs, while the 'true' Gors and savage chieftains who lead the raiding parties typically sport imposing crowns of keratinous protrusions. They are the masters of the ambush, packs of bloodthirsty warriors circumventing enemy battlelines and lying in wait for the signal to be given before erupting from the shadows, roaring their hatred as they crash into the surprised and terrified foe. Marching alongside the gor-kin are the blood-hungry monsters known as Bullgors, which form Warherds led by savage Doombulls. Taller than an orruk Brute and commonly bestowed with the visage of a snarling, crazed bovine, Bullgors are infamous for their cravings for warm flesh and blood. Alongside them come the Stormherds of the Dragon Ogors, former residents of the Realm of Azyr prior to their expulsion by Sigmar. These towering, half-draconic monstrosities are empowered by lightning and enact retribution upon the God-King's people at any opportunity. Strange Monsters of Chaos also fight in the armies of the greatfrays, from taloned Cockatrices with eyes of warping energy to the hideous Jabberslythes - creatures so terrible that simply to look at one can drive a man to madness. Since the Age of Chaos, the Beasts of Chaos have only prospered, and having lost their hunting grounds before they will not do so again without the most brutal of fights.[1h]

Sub-Factions

Name Leader Grouping
{{{3}}} Brayherds Beastlord Beastherd
{{{3}}} Warherds Doombull Warherd
{{{3}}} Thunderscorn Dragon Ogor Shaggoth Stormherd
{{{3}}} Monsters of Chaos

Legion of Azgorh

Twisted Duardin who sell their souls in service to Hashut, the Legion of Azgorh are infamous for the terror they spread across the Realm of Aqshy. Entrenched within a dread fortress built in the Ashcloud Mountains, they harbour utter contempt for all others. Man or beast; grot or monster – all fall before them, enslaved to fuel the Legion’s malevolent industry and sacrificial pyres. Masters of murderous war engines and unyielding iron, the realms tremble when the Legion of Azgorh marches forth.[9]

Legion of Chaos Ascendant

Woe betide all things - be they living or dead - when the Dark Gods set aside their ancient hatreds and take a pause from the Great Game. On these rare occasions, they unleash the full might of their daemonic hordes upon reality. The ground twists and the skies burn before the advance of the Legion of Chaos Ascendant, a force of utter desolation united under the eightfold mark of ruin. This daemonic legion is anchored to the material realms by the combined will of the Ruinous Powers and in battle, they call upon infinite reinforcements from the Realm of Chaos. An endless number of hosts form this Legion, each aligned to one of the four Ruinous Powers, but hosts may even potentially be led by Daemon Princes or Verminlords, the Greater Daemons of the Great Horned Rat.[8a]

Hosts

Name Leader Grouping
{{{3}}} Host of Rage Bloodthirster
Herald of Khorne
Host
{{{3}}} Host of Corruption Great Unclean One
Herald of Nurgle
Host
{{{3}}} Host of the Arcane Lord of Change
Herald of Tzeentch
Host
{{{3}}} Host of the Depraved Keeper of Secrets
Herald of Slaanesh
Host

Warbands

Underworlds

Below is a list of warbands prominently featured in Warhammer Underworlds:

Warband Setting Faction
{{{3}}} Garrek's Reavers Shadespire {{{3}}} Blades of Khorne
{{{3}}} Spiteclaw's Swarm Shadespire {{{3}}} Skaventide
{{{3}}} Magore's Fiends Shadespire {{{3}}} Blades of Khorne
{{{3}}} Eyes of the Nine Nightvault {{{3}}} Disciples of Tzeentch
{{{3}}} Godsworn Hunt Nightvault {{{3}}} Slaves to Darkness
{{{3}}} Grashrak's Despoilers Beastgrave {{{3}}} Beasts of Chaos
{{{3}}} Wurmspat Beastgrave {{{3}}} Maggotkin of Nurgle
{{{3}}} Dread Pageant Direchasm {{{3}}} Hedonites of Slaanesh
{{{3}}} Khagra's Ravagers Direchasm {{{3}}} Slaves to Darkness
{{{3}}} Skittershank's Clawpack Nethermaze {{{3}}} Skaventide
{{{3}}} Gorechosen of Dromm Nethermaze {{{3}}} Blades of Khorne
{{{3}}} Gnarlspirit Pack Gnarlwood {{{3}}} Slaves to Darkness
{{{3}}} Ephilim's Pandaemonium Wyrdhollow {{{3}}} Disciples of Tzeentch

Warcry

Below is a list of warbands and Chaos Cults prominently featured in Age of Sigmar: Warcry:

Name Leader Patron
{{{3}}} Chaos Legionnaires Decuriarch {{{3}}} Be'lakor
{{{3}}} Claws of Karanak Packlord {{{3}}} Karanak
{{{3}}} Corvus Cabal Shadow Piercer {{{3}}} Great Gatherer
{{{3}}} Cypher Lords Thrallmaster {{{3}}} Chaos
{{{3}}} Darkoath Savagers God-Speaker {{{3}}} Chaos
{{{3}}} Horns of Hashut Ruinator Alpha {{{3}}} Hashut
{{{3}}} Iron Golem Dominar {{{3}}} Chaos
{{{3}}} Jade Obelisk Nephrite Priestess {{{3}}} Jade God
{{{3}}} Rotmire Creed Witherlord {{{3}}} Lord Leech
{{{3}}} Scions of the Flame Blazing Lord {{{3}}} Ever-Raging Flame
{{{3}}} Spire Tyrants Pit Champion {{{3}}} Archaon
{{{3}}} Splintered Fang Trueblood {{{3}}} Coiling Ones
{{{3}}} Tarantulos Brood Broodmaster {{{3}}} Eightfold Watcher
{{{3}}} Untamed Beasts Heart-Eater {{{3}}} Devourer of Existence
{{{3}}} The Unmade Blissful One {{{3}}} Flayed Prince

Trivia

Gallery

See Also

Sources

Grand Alliances and factions
OrderChaosDestructionDeath
Beasts of Chaos (BrayherdsMonsters of ChaosThunderscornWarherds) • Legion of Chaos AscendantBlades of Khorne (Daemons of KhorneKhorne Bloodbound) • Disciples of Tzeentch (Daemons of TzeentchTzeentch Arcanites) • Hedonites of Slaanesh (Daemons of SlaaneshSlaanesh Sybarites) • Maggotkin of Nurgle (Daemons of NurgleNurgle RotbringersTamurkhan's Horde) • Skaventide (EshinMasterclanMoulderPestilensSkryreVerminus) • Slaves to Darkness (Daemons of ChaosEverchosen) • Legion of Azgorh