|Other Names||The Blood God, The Lord of Skulls|
|Location/Habitat||The Warp (Warhammer 40k)|
|Threat Level||No use running|
The code of Khorne is simple: blood and more blood. His only temple is the battlefield, his sole sacrament the spilled blood of nations. Consciously or not, all warrior cultures pay him homage with their acts of murder and destruction, from headhunting tribes to his greatest followers, the planet-conquering warbands of the World Eaters Chaos Space Marines (WH40K), the Varg and Aesling tribes of Norsemen (WH:FB), and the warbands of the Bloodbound (WH:AoS).
Khorne is commonly depicted as a broad and muscular humanoid who stands hundreds of feet tall. He has the face of a savage, snarling dog, though his twisted features are all but hidden by a baroque helm decorated with the skulls of conqueror kings. Khorne's exaggerated physique is further distorted by heavy, overlapping plates of armour fashioned from brass and blackened iron. His every word is a growl of endless fury, and his roars of bloodlust echo across his realm.
Khorne is commonly shown seated on a throne of carved brass, atop a mountain of skulls, The macabre trophies are the fleshless heads of his champions, stacked alongside those of their defeated opponents. A hundred thousand species are represented, from human heads to immense Tyranid skulls. The ever-growing pile of bloodstained bone reflects the material victories of his followers, feeding Khorne's glory but never quenching his thirst for blood and death.
At Khorne's side rests a great two-handed sword, a legendary blade capable of laying waste to the substance of worlds with a single blow. This weapon is known by various names to the different intelligent races of the universe, including Woebringer, Warmaker, and the End of All Things. It is said that when Khorne takes up his sword, a single sweep can cut through reality itself.
RivalryEditKhorne hates and despises the Chaos God Slaanesh, the Prince of Pleasure, above all other beings in the galaxy. The self-indulgent sensuality of the Prince of Chaos is an affront to the warrior instincts of Khorne. The Lord of Battle dreams of one day wrapping his scarlet fingers around Slaanesh's soft, delicate neck and crushing it until the younger God’s depraved screams of pleasure become shrieks of agony and then finally go silent with a satisfying snapping of godly bone. The sense of duty, honour, and self-sacrifice that fuels part of Khorne's existence is the polar opposite to the philosophy of the followers of Slaanesh, being self-indulgent pleasure seeking. The daemonic servants of Khorne and Slaanesh often attack each other on sight, and their mortal followers are often no less eager to join battle. However, Khorne also has little respect for Tzeentch. Tzeentch's patronage of wizards and manipulators intensifies the antipathy between their respective followers and they are frequently in conflict. However, both Chaos Gods make common cause when the prospect for bloodletting is great and Tzeentch's unguessable schemes can be advanced through their mutual efforts. These are dark times for the mortal realm as the two most powerful of the Chaos Gods temporarily join forces and send their legions to war. Such pacts seldom endure for long before either Khorne's disciples or Tzeentch's manipulators inevitably turn on their erstwhile allies.
Realm of Brass and BloodEdit
Though the daemon-filled battlefields of Khorne's domain are many, and each is vast beyond reckoning, there is more to this blasted land than just blood-soaked plains populated with warring daemons. Violence and despair are constant travelling companions for any unfortunate soul cursed to briefly wander there. Each foreboding hellscape leads to another, more grim than the last. At the heart of it all, Khorne watches from his Skull Throne, surveying his lands and pitting his forces against any convenient foe, be they fellow daemons or foolhardy invaders who seek to wage a doomed war on the Lord of Battle.
It is a realm unlike any other. Storms rage perpetually across crimson skies, sending gale-force blasts seemingly composed of pure rage whipping across the plains and mountains. These angry winds tear into the land itself and rip up great chunks of stone and blood-drenched earth, tossing them violently back down hundreds of leagues away in explosions of raw destruction. The land, for its part, fights back against the brutal assault of the heavens. Earthquakes send gouts of molten brass skyward, burning up the storm clouds, temporarily ending their rage until the winds re-gather to begin their assaults anew. New mountains erupt from flat land in an instant, some thrusting into the sky like gigantic living swords, others acting as shields against the advance of the storms.
Rivers of boiling blood criss-cross the hellish landscape, dividing the realm into territories over which rival Bloodthirsters wage war. The blood-flows are not content to allow the conquered lands to rest idle. From deep below the ground, new rivers strike through the surface, splitting the lands as easily as an axe opens the bloated gut of a lazy bureaucrat. Each crimson flow sucks down all that once occupied the space, including any daemon legions that might have been marching there. As with its war against the sky, the land retaliates, pushing the banks of the rivers to close in upon themselves. The brass-spewing volcanoes send liquid metal into the rivers, evaporating the blood within and sealing the wounds with burning fury.
Each piece of the realm of battle constantly fights to obliterate the others. Each acts like a living servant of Khorne, wanting to prove to the master of the land that it is the most worthy of his rewards. A visitor to this nightmare realm would surely be driven mad, knowing that every rock, every breeze, and every drop of what should be water is an enemy, looking to kill him with just as much purpose, desire, and violence as the multitudinous daemons of the Blood God inhabiting the land. To witness the carnage of the realm of Khorne is to know that conflict is a living, breathing thing and not just a curse that troubles the worlds of mortals and machines. It is to know an eternal truth and, thus, to know despair.
At the outermost edge of this domain there lies a ring of volcanoes that have come to be known as Khorne's Rage. Reaching hundreds of miles into the air, they belch their thick black smoke and molten brass skyward, creating an impenetrable border that can neither be seen through nor navigated. Darkness and ash hang there, lit ominously from beneath by gouts of flame that incinerate the loose debris along the sides of the volcanoes. Within the ash clouds, blood storms roil. Red lightning dances across the clouds as thunder cracks and rolls.
These peaks stand as a bastion against invaders, their toxic ash and scorching brass flows enough to deter all but the most determined of forces. Those who are arrogant, or foolish, enough to make the attempt to cross the torturous border are met with more than barriers of heat and jagged rock. The very rock and brass of Khorne's Rage itself rises up to crush the attackers. Pieces of the rock break away from the side of the mountains, molten brass flowing into them in a hellish semblance of life blood. Daemons of stone and liquid metal take form, born of rage and defiance. With mindless fury and unadulterated violence, they bludgeon and scorch their foes. Once their grim task is complete, they fall back into lifeless piles, waiting for the call to reform and defend the borders of their master's realm.
The Daemon ForgesEdit
At the base of the volcanoes are the forges of the lesser furnace-daemons. In these sweltering workshops, weapons of war are crafted. All manner of axes, swords, hammers, and armour are created to supply the Blood God's eternal wars. Here, too, the components of Khorne’s Daemon Engines are made. Assembly of these huge constructs of war is conducted elsewhere, but the cogs, blades, housings, and armaments all have their beginning here, at the foot of Khorne's Rage. It is a dangerous place to reside, even by the standards of the rest of the realm. At any moment a volcano could erupt, flooding the forge with molten brass. It is of no concern to Khorne if a few daemons are incinerated in such mishaps; others rise from the Blood Pits to take their place, and the forges continue.
Despite the risks, the furnace-Daemons are able to take advantage of the dangers of Khorne's Rage. Across the plains of battle, it is almost exclusively Khorne's own minions that do battle and perish. At the fringes of the realm, however, other warriors die agonising, terrible, bloody deaths. Using tools of fiendish design and rites that even the most depraved Sorcerors of Chaos would dare not undertake, the masters of the hell-forges enslave the souls of those mortals who would dare invade the Blood God's realm and fuse them with the anvils of Khorne. The tormented screams of those thus eternally imprisoned blend with the ringing and clanging of each falling hammer that strikes the forge. When white-hot metal is placed on the anvil and pounded into form, the bound soul feels the scorching heat. Thus, as each new weapon or piece of armour is crafted in the Daemon Forges, it is born to the sounds of Khorne's enemies suffering his everlasting wrath.
The Blood PitsEdit
Energy, whether Warp-based or the Winds of Magic, constantly swirls across the realms of all of the Chaos Gods. Its currents and eddies shift and meander seemingly at random, causing mutation within the very land itself and everyone and everything they touch. In most cases, this power does not linger in any one place for long. There are, however, locations throughout the Blood God's treacherous domain where this power collects and stirs. When this happens, great craters are often gouged into the blasted plains. None can say if it takes moments or millennia for these pits to form, for time is meaningless within the Realm of Chaos.
Eventually, the Warpstorms break apart, sometimes seeping into the very pits they created. When this happens, Khorne commands his minions to intensify their efforts to harvest blood from the mortal world, using the most violent, destructive, and devastating methods they can possibly bring to bear. The souls that perish in such a campaign give their blood to a special, dark cause. Their crimson essence is collected in the pit, where it is mixed with molten brass and a measure of Khorne's own murderous bile. The resultant lake is a new Blood Pit.
It is from the Blood Pits that new daemons of Khorne arise. Bloodletters, furnace-Daemons, and many lesser fiends steadily emerge from the Warp and bile infused blood, ready to do their master's bidding. The soldiers that vomit forth from that pit will be charged from the day of their creation until the day they fail their master in combat with claiming more blood to refill their pit. Eventually a pit goes dry, but without fail, soon after it does a new storm begins to brew, restarting the cycle of bloodshed.
The Rivers of BloodEdit
Dividing one region of Khorne's realm from another like jagged crimson scars on the scorched land are the rivers of blood. These miles-wide flows are filled with the blood of those who have fallen in service to Khorne, be they victims or followers. Nearly all blood that is shed on his behalf finds its way to these sanguine canals. The blood itself is hot to the point of boiling. Steam made of vaporised blood hangs in the air all along the length of the rivers, creating a palpable red cast to the regions through which they run. Gigantic bubbles rise to the surface, carrying with them occasional remains of something that was unfortunate enough to have fallen into the river. As the bubbles burst, globules of steaming hot blood launch hundreds of feet into the air, coming back to the ground and landing on the shores in splatter patterns that often resemble the spray of an opened artery.
The Lake of SlaughterEdit
Thousands of blood rivers cut through the land and end up emptying over a bleak precipice miles high, plunging downward in waterfalls of gore. The lake that forms at the base of the wall is larger than any ocean in the mortal realm and populated with creatures that cannot be. Leviathans of brass and bone swim through the lake, devouring all as they pass. Soaring above the lake, Bloodthirsters fight with dragons of pure, solid blood. Those that stray too close to the surface of the lake risk being snatched out of the air by the very lake itself, so hungry is it for carnage. Rising waves on the surface take the shape of warriors and do battle, crashing violently into each other and falling back to the surface in a rain of scattered blood.
The Brass FortressEdit
On the far shore of the Lake of Slaughter, the ground is littered with skulls, so many, in fact, that whatever foundation may lie beneath them cannot be touched. For miles these skulls stretch away from the shore, and in the distance there rises a great black wall. This is the outer wall of Khorne's brass citadel. Upon the wall stand guardian daemons, with eyes as sharp as their fangs and swords. They watch for any intruder, ready to defend their master to the last. Within the walls there are thousands of Flesh Hounds patrolling the skull-yard, sniffing out the blood scent of any who would dare attempt incursion. In the skies, flying between the outer walls and the inner keep, elite Bloodthirsters listen for sounds of invasion on the wind. It is rare that any force musters the strength to assault the Brass Fortress, its guardians deterring all but the most foolish or daring of Khorne's rivals from even trying.
When the attempt is made, the might of the Blood God's personal host is brought to bear with a fury and rage that threatens to rip a hole between realms. While Khorne's brother gods could gain much power should they defeat him in his fortress, the risk of counter-invasion is too great for such wars to be waged without dire cause. It is said that if Khorne himself should rouse from his throne and personally go to war against the other Dark Gods, his favoured blade would end them all in one mighty sweep, but that such an act would have calamitous results that not even Tzeentch could predict. It is said that Khorne himself was once consumed by such rage that he took up his sword and smote the ground, splitting it asunder for eternity. Because of this, an uneasy state of balance exists. When Khorne does obliterate the invading armies of his brother Gods, they do not exact retribution directly. When the threat is ended, neither does Khorne press the advantage, but rather turns back toward his inner sanctum and reclaims his place atop the Throne of Skulls.
The Throne of SkullsEdit
In the very centre of the brass citadel, beyond the Bastion Stair and the eight Iron Pillars, Khorne watches over all his minions from his seat on the Throne of Skulls. From there he commands his legions to bring war to the distant corners of the galaxy. Every victory he witnesses leaves him thirsting for more blood. With every defeat, he takes the blood of a failed champion and adds it to the rivers of his realm. Blood will be his; if he must harvest it from his own minions, so be it. Surrounding the Throne on all sides is a mound of skulls that holds Khorne aloft on his perch. Champions and fallen enemies alike contribute to the mass of bone. The skulls closest to him belong to his favoured Champions who have perished in service to their lord after hundreds of violent campaigns.
In the Warhammer 40,000 depiction of the Blood God's realm, there exists an area of continuous war. This is the location of the undying WAAAGH! of the Ork warboss Tuska the Daemon-Killa. The tale goes that the warboss Tuska, after having defeated an unknown Warp entity, sent his entire Kill-Krooza into the Eye of Terror as part of a WAAAGH! designed to find fresh combatants. After attacking daemon-worlds belonging to Khorne's rivals, the WAAAGH! crashed on a flesh world that belonged to the Blood Prince, a powerful Khornate Daemon Prince. The Warboss' horde was eventually slain to an Ork by the Blood Prince and his minions, but his joy in the murderous spectacle was such that Khorne himself ensured the Greenskin crusade rose once more on the very next dawn.
History repeated itself over and over again as the Orks fought tooth and nail, never once showing signs of surrender or despair. The Blood God was so impressed by their limitless battlelust that he took the Orks into his own domain. In the shadow of the Brass Citadel, his elite Bloodletter generals battle against the Daemon-Killa's undying horde on a daily basis. Each cycle, great clouds of fungal spores are released by the dying Greenskins to take root and flourish in the bloodstained foothills of the Osseous Peaks. Yet more Orks are born, grow to maturity and charge into battle once more.
Daemons of KhorneEdit
- Flesh Hounds