Khorne

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Khorne
Khorne 01.jpg
Titles Blood God
Lord of Skulls[3a]
Rage Incarnate
Lord of Slaughter[4]
The Skull Lord[13a]
Lord of Rage[13a]
Kharnesh[13a]
The Slaughterer[13a]
Skull King[13a]
The Master of Battle[13a]
The Blood Wolf[13a]
The Drinker of Souls[13a]
Ice Reaver[13b]
King of Carnage[10c]
Blood-lord[10c]
Domains Rage[3a]
Warfare[3a]
Slaughter[3a]
Martial challenge[3a]
Type Elemental deity
Chaos God
Status Active
Aspects Arkhar[14a]
Axe Father[14a]
Blood Kraken[14a]
Brass Belladonna[14a]
Great Brass Bull[11a]
Kashorin the Skysplitter[10a]
Kronra[8]
Kharneth[10a]
Khorghar[10a]
King Cleaver[16]
Red Hound[14a]
Home Brass Citadel
Relatives Nurgle (brother)
Slaanesh (brother)
Tzeentch (brother)
7 unknown siblings
Affiliation Chaos
Followers {{{3}}}Daemons of Khorne
{{{3}}}Khorne Bloodbound
The Valrhaf of Cotha[13b]
Adjectives Khornate[3b]
"There is no room for beauty or compassion in the black heart of Khorne, for his only desire is to see the realms burn in the fires of war. The Blood God’s volcanic wrath cannot be tempered, and his favour can only be gained through ceaseless slaughter and a worthy tribute of skulls." - Age of Sigmar faction guide.

Khorne is the Chaos God of rage, warfare, slaughter and martial challenge, and the most powerful of them all. He is the destroyer of worlds and by his will thousands of civilisations have been butchered by legions of daemons and mortals alike, spilling blood and reaping mountains of skulls for his glory. Although the power has ebbed and flowed in their battle for supremacy, Khorne's has always remained dominant. He is greatly strengthened by the unending battles that consume the Mortal Realms.[4]

Pronunciation

Khorne is pronounced Korn. [12]

Manifestation

While the depictions of Khorne are as many as his worshippers, the most common depiction is as a being hundreds of feet tall with the head of a monstrous warhound with a smouldering gaze, cavernous nostrils, and a bloodstained snout with fangs like icebergs, wearing baroque armour of brass and blackened iron and wielding his favoured blade in immensely muscled arms with calloused hands. He is often depicted as wearing a great helm decorated with the skulls of conquering kings on his head and numerous brass rings adorned with the skulls of lesser gods he has slain on his hands.[3b][4][7d][9][17][22a]

Weapon

Khorne's ornate, two-handed sword is known by countless titles, such as Ender of Worlds,[4] Allslaugther,[4], Woebringer,[17] Warmaker,[17], and the End of All Things.[17] With it, the Blood God is able to slay entire armies with a single swing and, when imbued with the entirety of his wrath, rend reality asunder.[4]

Using his sword, Khorne created the Black Abyss in Aqshy, cleaving clear through the realmscape, to protect the Brimfire Gate.[18a]

Personality

His loathing is so intense it crackles around him and blackens the air. Khorne is disgusted by sorcery as he sees it as the last refuge of cowards, cheats and weaklings. He has an unquenchable thirst for blood and because of that, he disdains wars that do not produce blood or are not fuelled by fury.[9]

To him, there is no place for subtlety or aesthetics, and his black heart can only contain rage.[3a] Khorne cannot abide to pacts or alliances for long. In Khorne's eye, no weak link can be tolerated and all bloodshed is magnificent.[3b]

Khorne is more willing to directly involve himself in the both Great Game between the Chaos Gods and events in the Mortal Realms than any of his brothers. He is a god of war and slaughter, after all, and so from time to time he desires to rise from his throne and fight personally. When he does so, he is capable of destroying entire armies with a single swipe of his blade. Those few times he has intervened directly in the Mortal Realms are dread legends.[22a]

Power

Khorne's strength comes from the rampage of war and the blood that is spread. Whenever a slaughter is happening, whenever someone bleeds by the weapon of a foe or his own blade, whenever one lets its rage and hate guide their decision and actions, Khorne extends his influence and gains ground. He does not care from where the blood comes - anything that bleeds is welcome, even when his own minions start murdering each other.[7d]

Khorne can bite his own finger, drawing his own divine blood to gain visions of the future by smelling it.[9]

Realm

Main article: Dominion of Khorne

Khorne's kingdom is a blood-stained, volcanic wasteland located in the Realm of Chaos. At the centre, there is the Brass Citadel with his throne located on a mountain of skulls. From here he gazes upon the Mortal Realms, looking for worthy foes he can unleash his armies upon.[4]

Religion

Khorne's worshippers can come from anywhere - farmers who wanted to protect their property, noble knights who sought justice by spreading the blood of criminals, or even war veterans whose minds were affected by the violence and the slaughter they experienced and cannot come back to society. Many kneel to Khorne in order to turn their anger into might, into a force that will allow them to shape the world or break their chains. Others may just want to reveal the beast inside any man or are willing to experience carnage as a lifestyle. They all show a common seed: an ever-growing thirst for violence.[7a][7d]

Khorne is a pragmatic god, and the only way to pay him tribute is to commit a great massacre - worship being paid with every drop of blood spilled and a war that empowers him. Khorne does not care if the blood is from heroes or the servants of evil, only that it flows. Worshippers reap mountains of skulls for the Skull Throne, seeking to prove themselves worthy, especially in the places where his gaze falls on the Mortal Realms. Whenever worshippers are not at war, Khorne expects his followers to prepare for it; he greatly appreciates martial values and military tactics, though most of his worshipers would rather rush and kill.[4][7d]

Symbols

Khorne's symbol is a stylized skull rune, commonly represented on the dress and armour of his followers.[1]

Colours

His sacred colours are red, black, and brass - respectively, the colours of blood, death, and Khorne's own armour.[1]

Number

His sacred number is eight.[1] The number is frequently depicted in the organization of his followers; for example, there are eight hosts of Bloodthirsters and a Blood Legion consists of eight cohorts of daemons,[7e] while the Lords of the mortal Bloodbound appoint eight Gorechosen lieutenants and divide their warhordes into eight warbands.[7f]

Many legends surround the reason why eight is Khorne's sacred number. The most common is the claim that there were eight aspirants to the Skull Throne and Khorne slew the other seven, while a similar legend claims that Khorne slew eight mighty gods when he was born. As might be expected of Khornate legends, both specify the fate of the other gods' skulls: the former claims Khorne wears them as trophies while the latter claims that they formed the foundation for the Skull Throne. Other tales look to the future, saying that Khorne's rage will be sated after eight ages of blood and slaughter.[7e][14b][15a]

Sacred Objects

It is rare to see a dedicated temple for Khorne that is not a pyramid of skulls because the only way to worship Khorne is through battle, murder and, of course, blood.[7d]

The Books of Blood are holy texts dedicated to Khorne, and they are not written; they are scratched. They contain eight hundred and eighty-eight rites.[5]

The favoured weapon of many of Khorne's followers, from the lowliest Bloodreaver to the mightiest Bloodthirster, is the axe, and so these weapons are sometimes used to represent Khorne. Worthy mortal worshippers are often gifted with a daemon-forged Axe of Khorne as proof of Khorne's favour - though the daemon bound within the axe will turn on the wielder if not appeased with regular battle.[6b]

The spike collars most famously worn by the daemonic Flesh Hounds are also potent Khornate symbols. Favoured followers may be granted a similar Collar of Khorne containing a small part of the Blood God's indomitable will in order to protect them against sorcery. While many followers will wear collars of similar design to show their devotion, a true Collar of Khorne is sealed around the bearer's neck and nothing short of decapitation can remove it.[7g]

Path of Skulls

The Path of Skulls is the bloody method of worship that Khorne demands of his followers. The worship of the Blood God is performed on the battlefield, slaughtering worthy foes and offering up their skulls to Khorne. This path has its followers uniting and raiding together, collecting skulls and spilling blood from their foes. Sometimes they also kill allies and fellow worshippers in fury, grasping a greater truth that makes them especially liked by Khorne: Khorne cares not from whence the blood flows, only that it does so. The Path of Skulls is, at its core, a pact between Khorne and each individual worshipper, and has no room for shared glory.[3b][7a]

Those who follow this path and commit many atrocities might be chosen to join the ranks of the Bloodbound and be challenged with the Eight Trials of Khorne. Those that do join the mortal legions of Khorne's most devoted followers and will receive gifts from the Blood God, becoming killing machines made for war. In time, those who gain the attention of Khorne by committing many atrocities may become Lords of Khorne. Most, however, end up encountering a brutal death or worse. Despite this, each worshipper holds in his heart that he will be the one to survive to the end of the Path of Skulls where lies the promise of immortality and sacrificing their humanity for Daemon Princehood.[7a]

Aspects and Alternate Names

Sacraments and rituals dedicated to the warlike deities of the Dark Pantheons followed by the followers of Chaos vary greatly from tribe to tribe and cult to cult. But most agree that proper worship takes place on the battlefield and all of these war gods detest sorcery above all else.[14a]

Some of these alternate names for Khorneare:

History

Ancient Days

Khorne is the oldest of all the powers of chaos. In ancient days he fought with his seven brothers for the Brass Throne and still wears their skulls to this day.[14b][15a]

Age of Chaos

As Daemon Hosts begin to attack the Great Parch, Khorne makes a claim for the continent, favouring the emotional turmoil and warlike nations of the Realm of Aqshy. He attacks Nurgle, Tzeentch and the Horned Rat to guarantee his supremacy over it. From the tribes of his continent rise one of his most prominent followers, the Goretide.[10b]

The Agloraxi elite mages of Ahramentia eliminate an entire army of Khorne daemons with the Prismatikon, believing to be safe on their flying island. Khorne himself becomes offended at this posturing and manifests a red fist that strikes their flying island and crashes them into the arid lands below.[10b]

In the last centuries of the Age of Chaos complete conquest of the Mortal Realms seemed inevitable, only fugitive enclaves and hidden remnants survived and were being hunted down. Khorne knew that true power could not be shared and that it his right as the strongest to dominate. So Khorne's gaze was drawn towards more glorious battles and he unleashed his daemons legions in the Realm of Chaos, attacking the Crystal Labyrinth and the Garden of Nurgle.[3b][6a]

In the Mortal Realms, the Khorne warbands attacked their comrades and chaos armies tore themselves apart. No foes could defeat the armies of Khorne and all paid a steep price for daring to defy the mighty Khorne. Only when the rival champions of Khorne attacked each other did these campaigns of skull-taking conquest slow down. This event would be known as the Blood Times.[3b]

Age of Sigmar

Even then Khorne sought worthier foes by assaulting the closed Gates of Azyr, desiring the glory of breaking the heavens and stirring the Bloodlords into action. In this era of strife is when the Age of Sigmar began, as the Stormcast Eternals struck from heavens and shattered the Blood God's warbands. Seeing his final victory slipping away he released a bellow of rage that shook every realm to it's core and echoed through eternity. A coppery wind blasted from the Realm of Chaos and scoured the Mortal Realms and the rune of Khorne burned bright. Khorne declared that he would show them the true meaning of war.[3b]

Khorne was angry at the Grimskulls failure to protect the Whispering Gate from the Anvils of Heldenhammer, preventing a major daemon incursion on the Mortal Realms.[6a]

Khorne does not desire complete conquest of the Great Parch for himself, rather he desires for the war for its conquest to continue indefinitely.[10b]

Times of Tribulation

Khorne smelled sorcery in the winds, becoming stronger with every moment. Then he bit his own claw and drew his own blood to see a vision of the future. He saw a future where there was a bounty of skulls granted to him, some even taken a second and a third time. At first, this vision was pleasing, but he soon realised that there was no blood or fury in this war, only undead fighting in perfect synchronous with emotionless, clockwork-like movements. In rage, Khorne grabbed a vast brazen skull at the foot of his throne, crushed it into a billion splinters and hurled it across reality. These splinters would lodge themselves in the minds of mortals, so this vision would never come to pass and blood would be spilled every day in his name.[9]

Forces dedicated to Knorne

Blades of Khorne

Main article: Blades of Khorne

Collectively known as the Blades of Khorne, the devoted followers of the Blood God, plunge headlong into the most savage and hate-fuelled battles they can to earn the wrathful favour of their god through both slaughter and skulls of the fallen offered to the Skull Throne.[20a] The great atrocities they have committed upon the Mortal Realms created wounds that will take much to heal.[7d]

Bloodbound Warhordes

Main article: Khorne Bloodbound

The warhordes of the Bloodbound are the foremost mortal armies. Though countless mortals openly worship Khorne, it is the fanatical Bloodbound who have earned a measure of the Blood God's favour through their visceral deeds. The greatest of these warhordes are colossal, mobile nations of seasoned killers.[1a]

Noteworthy amongst the Bloodbound is the following cult:

  • Claws of Karanak: Worshippers of the daemonic beasts of Khorne known as Flesh Hounds. Like the Flesh Hounds, this Khornate cult hunts down those who earn the Blood God's ire, revelling in the extermination of cravens and are utterly relentless when running down their chosen prey.[19a]

Blood Legions

Main article: Daemons of Khorne

More terrible than even the Bloodbound are the Blood Legions, the armies made up of the Daemons of Khorne and their warbeasts. Each daemon of the Legions is an extension of their master's rage and hate. They can exist in perpetuity only in those places claimed by Chaos, though slaughter grants them longevity in territories now yet befouled by their master's power.[3b][7b][20a]

Skullfrays

Main article: Skullfrays

Amongst the Greatfrays of the Beasts of Chaos there are some who embrace the worship of Khorne known as Skullfrays. As Khorne-worshipping beastmen that have been granted by their god with a portion of their undying rage and unquenchable thirst for murder. Skullfrays main goal is to drown the land in gore so that crimson rain pours from the skies, using disciplined warfare and martial prowess. The shattering of civilisations, the destruction of idols and desire for rampant anarchy are considered indulgences and discarded, mere distractions to their true purpose of turning the Mortal Realms into a slaughterhouse. After every battle they collect the skulls of the fallen and are place in piles at the bases of Herdstones as a offering to the blood god.[11a]

Khorne-Marked Warbands

Main article: Slaves to Darkness

The Slaves to Darkness are the mortal followers of the Chaos gods, and those who pledged their soul to Khorne have the Mark of Khorne upon their bodies. This mark improves their battle capabilities, by allowing them to strike harder and without hesitation or faltering. The Blood God does not bestow his mark upon wizards.[21a]

See Also

  • For Khorne in the World-That-Was see: Khorne.

Sources

Deities of the Mortal Realms and Beyond
Ascended AlarielleKragnosMalerionMorathiNagashNerontes FaneSavage MaidenSigmarSix Smiths (Ong) • TeclisTyrion
Ancestor Gods GazulGrimnirGrungniValaya
Elemental Gorkamorka (Bad MoonGorkGulping GodMorkSun-Eater)
Chaos Gods Dark Gods (Great Horned RatKhorneNurgleSlaaneshTzeentch) • Devourer of ExistenceEver-Raging FlameGreat GathererHashutNecohoNewborn (DexcessaSynessa)
Godbeast AuroxisAxactiarBitterbloodBoingobBrondtosDrakatoaFangathrakFangtharGhillnarad DhorGnorrosGuardian of the BalestormHammergordHrunspuulIgnimbrisJorharKharybtarKodzodonKrondMammothasMorbhegNagendraNharvolakNyxtorOkaenosRakka NakRavenakSarathrascaShattatuskShurihurathaSkalokSkwidmunchaSpider GodTatto'Na'KottoTestudinousUlfdengnarlUnnamed Kharibdyss GodbeastUr-PhoenixUrsricht‎Urs-Serkir
Star Titans AgraphonOhlicoatl
Zodiacal Godbeasts ArgentineBehematChimeracDracothionHydragosIgnaxLode-GriffonTwin-Headed SerpentVulcatrixVytrixYmnog
Unspecified Alhar-KrakenBeastgraveBrine-GodCinder GodCunning AgtheymaDreaming GodEightfold WatcherFirst ShadowGlareface FrazzlegitGod of SharksGod-Worm of the Great VentGorfatherGreat Bull-RoarerGreat MawGreat StinkhornIron DemiurgeKing of Broken ConstellationsLauchonLion God of EdassaLord of DustLost War Deity of the SeraphonManarchaelMirmidhMirrored TwinsMorghurMorrdaMother NightMother of All CatsMyrmidiaOuborothPrince of CatsNodh KurNulrakharObsidian EelOzolRanaldRavokSamnethSotekSpirit of the JungleStalagogTaalTjatsår MaiUnnamed God of PigeonsUnnamed God of the Order of the FurrowVannahVine GodVultzaXereusYahmBeyond the Realms (Y'ulae)
Asur Pantheon AddáiòsAeshaAnathAthaertiDrakiraErekEstreuthIshaKhaineKurnothLadriellaLileathMathlannMorai-HegNéthuThial
Old Ones ChotecHuanchiItzlQuetliQuetzlTepokTlanxaTlazcotlTzunki
ChosenDemigodsTypes (Aspect of ChaosCurse-GodDaemon-GodOld OneTutelary DeityUnderworld DeityWinter God) • Pantheons (Ancestor GodsAsurCrystal GodsDark GodsInvidianLittle Gods of WinterLords of MischiefOld Gods of AccarOrderSilent GodsSubterranean Gods)