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"Behind him wait the Legions of his Master, arrayed in armour fluted and droved with gold, brighter than the sun and darker than midnight. Each holds a shrieking sword, each shrieks in disharmony with his blade, each joins the chorus of Chaos, a promise of worse than death for those that hear it. Beneath their feet the earth writhes at their touch, as if seeking to escape their presence."
Codex Daemonica.[3a]

Bloodletter of Khorne.

Bloodletters, known also as Khorne’s Chosen, the Teeth of Death, Naked Slayers, Takers of Skulls, or Horned Ones are the Daemonic foot soldiers in Khorne’s legions.

Overview

Bloodletters gather in regiments, chanting their brutal praises to Khorne. Each unit of Bloodletters marches beneath a gore-soaked banner upon which the names of their victims are inscribed. When loosed to the fray, Bloodletters sprint from one enemy to the next, hacking the foe apart before springing away in search of new victims. With each fresh kill, the Bloodletters loose great shouts of victory that echo across the battlefield and chill the souls of all who hear.[1a] They are full of hate, and they live to fight. They are carnage incarnate, and they know only killing.[2a]

Each Bloodletter carries a Hellblades, a jagged iron sword whose blackened blade glows with heinous enchantment. A wound from one of these weapons can slay even the hardiest heroes, draining their soul and sucking dry their shrivelled corpse. The Hellblade is formed from the Bloodletter’s own essence and can never be discarded nor torn from its grasp. Each life taken by the Hellblade strengthens the Bloodletter, fuelling both its power and rage. As such, a Bloodletter is even more terrifying at a battle’s close than its start, having gorged itself on the slaughter it has caused, overwhelmed by the need to take more skulls for Khorne.[1a]

Appearance

A horrific portrait of a Bloodletter going to war.

Bloodletters in their favoured state stand taller than a man, though they are stooped and hunched so their faces lie at a height similar to ours. Their rangy bodies are slim with a muscled, wry strength. Their horns and clawsare blackened and flecked with crimson and their feet are turned and cloven like those of a goat. They wear naught but scraps of armour and plate, most often brass or bronze, stamped and pressed in daemonic forges and welded there upon their bodies. Their skin beneath runs from the deepest red to near orange and is hard as brass forged upon the anvil of ceaseless war. It also drips constantly with blood, for they frequently paint their bodies with the gore from their enemies.[2a][4a]

Their heads are stretched tall with two ridged horns coloured as bone, sprouting from their temples. Their snarling, bestial faces, twisted by rage, are overlarge with the skin pulled taut, so it appears as a skull. Their visages are framed by horns sprouting from the sides of their skulls and shaggy manes that run down their backs, their hair like black wire that was moulded and spiked by gore. Their eyes are deeply set, milk-white and without pupil. They have sharp, fanged teeth, behind which lies a long, black tongue that slides and caresses their razor-toothed mouths. Their spittle is said to be an acid that may burn metal and scourge the skin beneath.[2a][4a]

Warfare

A Bloodletter atacking a Tzar Guard.

These creatures are the lower daemons in the pantheon of Khorne. They fight as Khorne 's footsoldiers in vicious mobs, which bray and keen for blood. They march forwards in serried ranks, carrying tattered banners and other unholy marks of their devotion. And as they march, there can be heard a surrusant chanting, a litany of words that some claim are evil enchantments. Others swear they hear the names of fallen comrades,[4a] and indeed, they chant the names of those they’ve slain in battle.[2a]

Although Khorne is a god of honour, there is no foul trick or cruel tactic that is beneath the Bloodletters. They represent all that is vile and low in battle: the cruel savagery, the desperate ferocity, and the gleeful sadism when victory is seized. Once the marching monsters have closed in on their foe their order is lost as they work themselves into a frenzy at the prospect of bloodletting. They will charge forward, shrieking the praises of their lord.[4a]

Bloodletters always fight with terrible swords known as Hellblades, laughing when they thump into the flesh of their foes.[2a] These may be a blade, axe or any manner of weapon, and they might even fight with tooth and claw, for they care not how the blood is spilt, only that it flows. Their arms and bodies are the stuff of Chaos and will tear through all that does not bear the protective enchantments of Sigmar, just as only consecrated weapons or the purifying fire may stand a chance of killing these fell beasts.[4a]

Though it is in battle that they be found, first and foremost, the touch of evil spreads into every mortal heart, and with that follows the daemonic. Thus it is not only the warriors of Kislev and the north that need fear the threat of the daemon, but us all. They are eternal, and uncaring of the passing of the ages, and can exist wherever the corruption runs deep.[4a] Numberless, they fight amongst each other for the honour of being dispatched to the mortal world, to take the fight against those who oppose Chaos and chop their enemies into quivering pieces of meat.[2a]

In the Ode de Martin Lantre, the Questing Knights do battle with these daemons in the Bretonnian heartwood. In Imperial Chronicles, witch-hunters have discovered them in villages deep within the Empire. And the legends are many of the wandering bands of adventurers who have faced these monsters deep within damnable shrines of the mountains and wastelands, forgotten by all except the creatures that protect them.[4a] __

Sources

  • 1: Warhammer Armies: Daemons of Chaos (8th Edition)
    • 1a: pg. 29
  • 2: Tome of Corruption (2nd Edition Fantasy Roleplay)
    • 2a: pg. 225
  • 3: Realm of Chaos: Slaves to Darkness (supplement)
    • 3a: pg. 18
  • 4: Liber Chaotica (Volume I)
    • 4a: pg. 72
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