- "Is there one single greater threat to civilisation than these savages? Physically powerful, armed and armoured with both steel and sorcery, filled with evil intent. Are they even Human? All the evidence is that they are not; rather, these creatures are spontaneously generated deep within the Pits of Chaos in the Icy Wastes north of Norsca, born from the cosmic flux of creation that is primal Chaos..."
- —Albrecht Kinear, Professor Emeritus at the University of Nuln.[2a]
Chaos Warriors are evil Men who have chosen to forsake their former lives and give themselves wholly to the service of Chaos to become instruments of destruction. Many, but not all, come from the ranks of the Northmen tribes that inhabit the Chaos Wastes in the northern regions of the Old World.
- "Yet despite the momentum of their attack, the Elves were soon hard-pressed. Every Chaos Warrior was a purebred killer, his strength and capacity for slaughter augmented beyond mortal ken by the unholy blessings of the Dark Gods. Against these relentless slayers, the Elves were little match. Within moments, a dozen brave Asur had been carved to bloody ruin, their elegant scale mail scant protection against the terrible power of the Chaos Warriors..."
- —The Reaver Knights of Ulthuan encounter the Warriors of Chaos.
Within tribal societies that worship the Chaos Gods, the most favoured warriors are often gifted with a suit of hell-forged armour as a reward for their service to their chieftain. In the hierarchy of Northmen armies, Chaos Armour is often used as a clear sign of status or rank. Only the most gifted and powerful warriors are allowed to wear such armour, with the majority of Champions often donning armour of their own. Such gifted Men are said to tread the path of the gods, and head in search of glory, power and, ultimately immortality.[1a]
Chaos Warriors are fighters of great prowess, raised from strong Northmen stock, their skills honed over the years by constant battle amongst themselves and against other races. Their strength is infernal and their bodies are as tough as the Iron Mountains. Imbued with the power of Chaos and gifted with suits of daemon-plate, a Chaos Warrior is equal to several battle-hardened mortal Men.[1a]
Chaos Warriors are no longer truly Human, but living weapons, honed perfectly for the bloody tasks before them. A Chaos Warrior has no need of food, drink or sleep, for he is nourished by the carnage that he wreaks. To be a Chaos Warrior means to literally exchange your Humanity for a life of constant war in the name of the Ruinous Powers and the dark promises of power and immortality they have to offer.[1a]
Chaos Warriors generally congregate around others of their kind, often in warbands consisting entirely of Chaos Warriors who are sent into the thickest fray as powerful elite warriors. When roused to battle, a Chaos Warrior becomes a roaring, unstoppable force. Arrows and bolts patter from his hell-forged armour like hailstones upon a glacier as he strides into the enemy ranks. The thrusts of spear and halberd are deflected contemptuously, and the lifeblood of his foes spatters his armour as his jagged blade rises and falls. It is said that for every Chaos Warrior that lies dead in the ground, a circle of his enemies will also lie around him as a sign or testament to their ruthless skills in combat...[1a]
- "By planting an icon in the ground, a siren call is sent forth that Chaos Warriors must heed."
- —The Icons of Chaos.
Summoning the many minions of Chaos is a power even the lowliest servant has. Whether a Greater Daemon, a familiar, or the iron-clad warbands of the Chaos Warriors, there is always some method or ritual. For Chaos Warriors who are not led or sent by dark wings, one way is to plant a blasphemous icon in cursed ground. A sonorous call will spread, drawing Chaos Warriors and fell beasts to its source.
- The lore is contradictory on whether or not Chaos Warriors are permanently attached to their armour. Most sources state that it is only an occasional "gift" from the Chaos Gods, one that drives its recipient insane. Several Chaos Warriors such as Vardek Crom, Sigvald and Egil Styrbjorn have also demonstrated otherwise.