Blood Strife

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The Blood Strife was the period of civil war between rival sects of the Daughters of Khaine in the Age of Myth following the cult's expansion out of Hagg Nar.[1a]

Background

The expansion out of Hagg Nar had been fuelled by the growth of the cult. The increasingly crowded temple city - confined as it was to its relatively small and inhospitable island - was straining under the constant conflict between followers of rival Hag Queens as the priestesses vied for supremacy. While Morathi appreciated the rivalries as a way to cull the weak and identify the overambitious, she saw that the low-level warfare on the streets of Hagg Nar had reached a point where it was weakening the cult, not strengthening it. She commanded that a new series of quests for Shards of Khaine be undertaken and that new temple-colonies be established outside the Helleflux Isles. With this, the most troublesome Hag Queens and their followers would be separated from each other, and the conflicts would hopefully be reduced to a more manageable level.[1a]

Culling and Founding

Expansion was not limited to simply sailing across the seas to other coastal regions of the Shadrac Convergence; Morathi made use of the shadowpaths - knowledge of which she had recently stolen from Malerion - to scatter her followers all throughout the Realm of Shadow. In their new lands, the Khainites battled with monsters, orruks, and others to secure their new colonies, and at one point the High Oracle was forced to calm Sigmar when the God-King demanded answers for the slaughter of several tribes that had worshipped him. Only Morathi's production of evidence that the tribes were corrupted by Chaos prevented strife between the two members of the Pantheon of Order.[1c]

Once the land was cleared, the Hag Queens leading the expeditions founded new temples based on their interpretations of the Khainite creed. Dozens of sects established themselves with particular focus on acts of worship such as single combat, assassination, or wanton slaughter. However, the increased distance between each Hag Queen and her rivals did little to diminish the intensity of their feuds. If anything, the codification of their personal interpretation of the proper way to worship Khaine only ensured that the rivalries enmeshed themselves into the beliefs of the sects they had founded.[1a][2a]

Open Warfare

Eventually, a number of rivalries boiled over, and several of the new temple cities went to war with each other. Unlike before, Morathi made no attempt to restrain the civil wars; now that her followers could attack their enemies without threatening to throw her only city into anarchy, she was content to let the bloody spectacle play out. She was not above using the strife to further her own designs, however, and quietly tilted the scales to ensure that overly ambitious or independent-minded sects found themselves caught off-guard by their enemies.[1a][1c]

Consequences

The Blood Strife culled those sects most dangerous to Morathi's domination of the cult, as well as those who were too weak to stand on their own, in a gigantic version of the usual bloody Khainite politicking. It strengthened the High Oracle's hold over the cult while also proving that the younger temple cities could stand on their own and sustain their own independent campaigns without relying on Hagg Nar for support. Both of these would be important in the Age of Chaos and the Cathtrar Dhule to come.[1b][2a]

Several sects, such as the Grydd Var, found themselves decimated by the Blood Strife. Whether due to displeasing Morathi with their ambition or heterodoxy or simply overextending themselves, they failed to prove themselves worthy. Even those among them that manage to survive the coming Age of Chaos remain on the periphery of the cult, with little influence over its direction.[1a] Neff-Taal is an example of the Blood Strife proving lethal; unable to replenish its strength quickly enough, the temple fell to Luxcious the Keeper during the daemon's rampage through the Umbral Veil.[3a]

Sources