Horns of Hashut

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Ruinator Alpha

Horns of Hashut are war-thralls consisting mostly of Humans that have sworn themselves to the worship of the evil deity Hashut and to serve his tyrannical Duardin followers in return for allowing their continued existence. They are the vanguard of Hashut's legions, moving ahead of the Duardin legions they seek new territories to conquer which are then burned down alongside their denizens into flat featureless spoils upon which their ruthless masters set up infernal industries and staging grounds for even greater conquests.[1a]

History

Era of the Beast

The Horns of Hashut were sent to the Gnarlwood by the decree of the Father of Darkness, who ordered that the predatory jungle must be rendered desolate in advance of his coming legions and a campaign of conquest that will see vast swathes of Thondia put to the sword. The Horns of Hashut do not countenance failure. Indeed they cannot afford to, for they know all too well the gruesome fate that befalls those who displease their tyrannical master. They are also aware that time is not on their site, as the advance of Hashut's legions are measure yet unrelenting, and that they will soon reach Thondia. However, the process of burning down the Gnarlwood has proven difficult. At first, the Horns of Hashut simply tried to burn down the forest with pyres stoked with corrupted realmstone. The gnarloaks simply uprooted themselves and retreated from the inferno. Attempts to sour the earth with slag from forges or cause earthquakes by utilising spiked demolition charges likewise yielded no progress. Concern grew amongst the leadership that they may indeed fail the Father of Darkness. However, after learning of Talaxis and its hidden geomantic engines from a captured member of the Rotmire Creed, a new plan was formulated. With the power of the machines, they could transform the whole Gnarlwood into a volcanic, ashen desert - a perfect anvil upon which the Father of Darkness might raise new daemon-forges, fire temples and mustering grounds for his dark legions. Thus, the Horns of Hashut make their way to seize Talaxis, hacking and burning through the Gnarlwood, and destroying any who seek to impede their progress.[1b]

Religion

Though their ranks consist almost entirely of humans, the Horns of Hashut worship the evil duardin deity of the same name, a shadowy deity with an unquenchable lust for domination and cruelty. In exchange for their continued existence, these masked war-thralls have sworn themselves utterly to the worship of this dark entity and the service of his tyrannical followers.[1a]

Role

The Horns of Hashut serve the vanguard of an even more terrible force. They venture out ahead of Hashut's all-conquering duardin legions, seeking lands worthy of conquest. Should they find such a territory, it is the sacred duty of the Horns to slaughter all that live there, burn their dwelling and pound the land flat, leaving behind only a featureless spoil from which the humans' ruthless masters can stage further conquests, and which serves as the ideal ground upon which to erect earth-eating industrial works. One should not underestimate the zeal or ferocity of the Horns of Hashut. Having spent their entire lives amidst the hellish, fiery wastelands favoured by Chaos-worshipping duardin, these humans have long since abandoned such foolish concepts as compassion and mercy. They exist only to destroy, and they pursue this sacred purpose with a single-minded ferocity. Wearing masked helms fashioned in the image of their bull-headed god, the Horns charge headlong at their foes, crushing them in a single, devastating strike before stomping the bloodied remains flat.[1a]

Scorched Earth

Many of the Horns' common foot soldiers wield forge hammers and have stocky, well-muscled forms of blacksmiths, but this is not where their true skill lies. The prime talents of the Horns of Hashut are not those of creation, but destruction; few can reduce a land to scorched wastes as switfly as they. With mattocks and mauls they smash stone buildings into rubble, uproot trees and shovel scree and broken corpses into rivers to halt their flow. Any hint of greenery is burned away using Hashut's sacred flames, and the skeletons of foundries and smoke-belching forges are erected according to the exacting demands of the Horns' duardin masters. This ruination is seen by the Horns as an intensely spiritual act; the purging of all things weak and worthless, beauty turned to ash just as meaningless notions of mortality and justice must be excised from one's soul. When When the destruction is complete, not a single rock rests upon another; all is empty and black as Hashut's heart. There can be no negotiations with the Horns of Hashut, no reasoning with them once their cause is set in stone. They know all too well the consequences of defying their dread master's will, and would rather perish in the most hideas manner than risk angering the Father of Darkness.[1a]

Armaments

Weaponry

When it comes to matters of war, the Father of Darkness is not a being given to subtlety or clandestine acts; his dogma teaches that every challenge must be met with brutal, overwhelming violence, supplemented by devastating firepower of dark artifice. The Horns of Hashut seek to embody this ideal. Their way of war is that of the raging taurus: a headlong stampede that crushes foes entirely, rendering incapable of fighting back. The Horns' favoured weapons are similarly blunt and fearsome; they wield maces, picks and mauls that are swung full-force at enemies, splintering bones, pulping internal organs and pulverising skulls in explosions of gore. Their war-leaders, known as Ruinators, wield bidents shaped in the fashion of a bull's horns - devastating weapons when thrust forward on the charge. These tools of death are supplemented with cruel devices of duardin design: ash bombs that fill the air with blistering embers, melting flesh and scorching lungs, and grenades that detonate with deafening fury.[1a]

Hashutaar

The most notable item worn by the most honoured warriors of the Horns of Hashut is the bull-horned war mask, the hashutaar. Forged in the taurine image of the Father of Darkness, this is more than just an intimidating symbol of office; it is an artefact of fell power, tempered in the blood and ashes of sacrificial victims and infused with potent sorcery. A hashutaar is earned only through the darkest of deeds, and it grants the bearer supernatural strength and endurance, allowing them to smash their way through solid stone walls. Each mask is crafted by its wearer, and represents their pact with Hashut - the offering of their soul in exchange with the strength to survive. According to tradition, it must be donned when the metal is red hot: an agonising process many warriors do not survive. The most ornate hashutaar possess the ability to project a cloud of blistering cinders from their flaring nostrils, immolating the closes foes and wreathing the rest in a choking cloud of black smoke.[1a]

Warband

Ruinator Alpha

Hashut chooses his Ruinator Alphas from amongst the most ruthless and tyrannical of his human war-thralls, those who have worn the hashutaar for many years and committed untold atrocities in his name. Marked out by the brass chains atop their hashutaar, they are his agents of desolation, dread figures clad in hell-forged armour and taksed with laying wate to entire territories in preparation for Hashut's next spate of conquests. None dare defy the commands of the Ruinator Alphas, which issue forth from their war-masks as booming roars, inspiring fear in any who hear them. Their every word is accompanied by a gust of smoke and blazing cinders, which only serves to further their terrifying appearance. In battle, some Alphas wield the twin-pronged spear known as the retauros - a polearm that is devastating when thrust forward on the charge. Others bear long-hafted flails that can easily shatter bones and smash enemies from their feet, leaving them helpless for a follow-up blow. Both weapons double as an Alpha's mark of rank.[1b]

Ruinators

Ruinators are second only to the Alphas, and acts as overseers and enforcers for the Horns of Hashut. Deadly fighters, they favour the use of paired weapons, a style that sits their brazen and aggressive way of war. They lower their heads and charge into battle at the head of their warriors, ramming their horns through the chest of the nearest opponent, even as their weapons lash out to impale or crush the skill of the next foe. Such a whirlwind of blows is all but impossible to defend against. One the initial shattering charging has broken the ranks of the enemy, those remaining are easily swept aside. Though they prefer to be the attacker rather than defender, Ruinators are well protected by their war plate. The runes emblazoned upon a Ruinator's armour are of duardin design; as well as offering protection against magic, they can channel the wearer's fury into devastating blasts of hell flame.[1b]

Demolishers

Demolishers are the elite warriors of the Horns of Hashut, those who have forged their own hashutaar and survived the agonising process of donning the brazen metal helmet, thus proving their devotion to the Father of Darkness. Inured to pain and granted fearsome strength by their magical war-masks, they enter battle wielding bull-headed mauls or arcane devices that belch gouts of infernal flame. Like all Horns of Hashut, Demolishers eschew heavy armour, preferring to demolish their foes in a single, devastating strike rather than give them a chance to fight back. They carry alchemical bombs that they hurl ahead of their charge, shredding their foes with hot shrapnel and sending them reeling before the Demolishers crash home and trample them into the ground.[1b]

Shatterers

The majority of the armies fielded by the Horns of Hashut consist of leather-clad humans known as Shatterers. Though they hardy and strong of limb due to an existence of endless toil, they lack the skill at arms of trained warriors. Their true task is that of demolition and destruction, and it is one that they carry out with the zeal of true believers. Wielding heavy mallets, mattocks and other brutal implements of labour, they can smash a building to rubble or splinter a great gnarloak into kindling with surprising speed and efficiency. These skills can, of course, be utilised in war; though they might lack grace, Shatterers are rugged fighters who take great joy in the crunch of hand-to-hand combat. Should they survive long enough, they hope to earn the right forge their own hashutaar and thereby seal an undying pact with Hashut.[1b]

Miniatures

Sources

Slaves to Darkness
Damned Legions Host of the Everchosen - Legion of the First Prince - Knights of the Empty Throne - Cabalists - Despoilers - Idolators - Ravagers
Warbands Chaos Legionnaires - Corvus Cabal - Cypher Lords - Darkoath Savagers - Horns of Hashut - Iron Golems - Scions of the Flame - Spire Tyrants - Splintered Fang - Tarantulos Brood - Untamed Beasts - The Unmade - Underworlds (Gnarlspirit Pack - Godsworn Hunt - Khagra's Ravagers)
Units Chaos Chariot (Gorebeast Chariot) - Chaos Chosen - Chaos Knight - Chaos Marauder (Horseman - War Mammoth) - Chaos Warrior - Chaos Warshrine - Fomoroid Crusher - Mindstealer Sphiranx - Ogroid Theridon
Daemons of Chaos Chaos Fury - Daemon Prince - Soul Grinder
Everchosen Gaunt Summoner of Tzeentch - Varanguard
Path to Glory Centaurion Marshal - Chaos Lord - Chaos Sorcerer Lord - Darkoath Chieftain - Darkoath Warqueen - Exalted Hero of Chaos - Ogroid Myrmidon
Chaos Monsters Chaos Familiar - Chaos Spawn - Curs'd Ettin - Daemonic Mount - Gorebeast - Karkadrak - Manticore - Mutalith Vortex Beast - Raptoryx - Slaughterbrute
Characters Archaon - Be'lakor - Eternus - Marakarr Blood-Sky
Background Chaos Cults - Damned Legions - Dark Gods - Darkoath - Eightpoints - Mark of Chaos - Ogroids - Path to Glory
Armoury - Artwork - Miniatures - Endless Spells