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"And so when Sigmar's crown is sundered, his hammer shattered, and his divinity revealed as the mockery that it is, the Legions of Chaos will pour forth from their womb far to the north. And wherever they tread, the ground will blacken. And what they touch will wither to dust and blow away. And when they speak, all will bow before their might. And in these final days, the world shall die to make way for the new, the beautiful, and the ever-changing."

—The Tome of Corruption[2j]
Chaos Banner

A horrific Daemon banner depicting a snarling Daemon within an 8-pointed star, the unifying symbol of Chaos.

The Daemons of Chaos (pronounced "DEE-mon"[12a]), known also as Chaos Daemons, the Legions of Chaos, the Archenemy, the Great Beast[2e], or simply just Daemons, are malevolent, otherwordly entities born from the power of magic and composed entirely of magical energies that are corrupted by the deepest and darkest emotions of all mortal creatures. From their nightmarish fortresses and palaces within the extradimensional Realm of Chaos, these entities watch the mortal kingdoms with envious eyes, waiting with unblinking patience for their chance to wreak destruction and dismay upon the Known World and to feed upon the misery that they have wrought.[1a]

Of the many forces which permeate the mortal world, both magical and natural, there are but only four which hold supreme power within the Realm of Chaos. Anger, pleasure, despair and change are the four great forces which have enthralled the world in its grip, for in a world engulfed in so much war, corruption and disease, their dark presence and their malign influence is all but inevitable. It is these dark emotions and thoughts of mortals, as they flow into the Aethyr that underpins all reality, that fuel the four major Chaos Gods: Khorne the Blood God, Slaanesh the Dark Prince, Nurgle the Plaguelord and Tzeentch, the Changer of Ways.[2j]

These malevolent entities are the darkest desires and nightmares of the mortal races given form. They are the product of the misery and pain which engulfs the lands of the mortal world and so long as the mortal races continue their self-destructive habits, these entities shall continue to plague the world until its inevitable end, periodically spilling forth from the dark wound within reality that lies in the uppermost north. When the time of ending finally comes, these Daemonic entities will seize upon the opportunity to break free from their plane of existence, greedily spilling forth to rampage and slaughter in the name of the Chaos Gods.[1a] 

From the Realm of Chaos they come to conquer and destroy, creatures of magic in service to the darkest of gods. Armies flee before them. Devastation lies behind them, for destruction is the gift they bring to warriors of all races, causes and creeds. They are the Daemons of Chaos, the servants of insane and blasphemous gods, and they will not rest until the world shares their madness, until all that is clean, orderly and natural is smothered in the stuff that is raw Chaos.[1b]

History

"They come to claim us for their dark masters, to choke the world in decadence, to drown it in disease and blood. What hope can there be for the mortal world? It is assailed by nightmares and its most dangerous dreams each one given murderous form by the power of ancient and terrible gods."

Liber Malefic[3a]

None known for sure how the incursions of the nightmare entities of Chaos upon the mortal world really began; the origins of thousands of years of Human suffering; what opened the Polar Gate in the north -- no one knows for certain. Tales of the alien Old Ones in silver ships sailing on the Sea of Stars have as much credibility as the myths of the Norscan shamans who claim such-and-such god slew so-and-so Daemon. Of course, those who know, the Elves, say little. What the Men of the Old World see as truth has been cobbled together from a hundred different stories from people all over the Old World, and none-too-few from the lands beyond.[2b] 

One thing remains constant with all the tales told of the early days of the Known World: a great and unexpected calamity was unleashed. Something glorious, wonderful, and powerful died, and when it did, it tore reality asunder, bringing the horrors of Chaos into the world.[2b]

Great Catastrophe

"The Daemons of Chaos can be likened to hungry and rabid wolves. The Shepard should not waste time hating the wolf that attacks his flock. He should simply kill it."

Volkmar the Grim, Grand Theogonist of Sigmar[4a]
Warhammer Daemons of Chaos Great Catastrophe

The first great invasion of the Known World by the Daemons of Chaos during the Great Catastrophe.

The oldest legends of Men and Elves speak of the existence of a race of advanced beings known only as the "Old Ones." It is said they came to the Known World some 15,000 years before the time of Sigmar and the birth of the Empire, bringing with them a race of reptilian servants called the Slann. It is believed these servants live on in the foetid jungles of Lustria among the Lizardmen.[2b]

The Old Ones were incredibly powerful, capable of changing the very shape of the world, altering its movements around its sun, raising oceans, mountains, changing the lay and shape of the land to fit their vision of what the world should be. At the time of their arrival, the world was trapped in ice that blanketed all lands, even those of the fabled Tomb Kings, where the sands today can strip flesh from bone. But, through their agency, the Old Ones caused the ice to melt, and remade this world.[2b]

The Old Ones were as gods. They cultivated and created the Elder Races, placing them in the world. The Elves settled on the island-continent of Ulthuan, and the Old Ones placed the Dwarfs in the mountains. And who knows what other races were born? For all their efforts, and for whatever purpose they had, this new world would not last. These beings drew their power and magic from great arches in the north and south polar regions of the world, vast gates that opened up onto the heavens -- and beyond.[2b]

And, from them, the Old Ones gained their power to change the mortal world. But, due to some unknown reason, the Polar Gates exploded and collapsed, tearing the world asunder. Where once this source of good and benevolence stood, suddenly there was only a terrible and angry wound leading into the nightmare dimension of the Realm of Chaos, the source of all magic. Boiling out from this tear in reality were the Daemons of Chaos and their warping powers of magic. The effects of the gates' destruction created all manner of abominations, and so the first incursion of Chaos, remembered among the Elves as the Great Catastrophe, began.[2b]

The few remaining Slann strove to contain the damage left by the collapse of the Polar Gates, but they were too few in number, and as more and more died off, Chaos grew mightier. The Known World seemed doomed. In truth it was, but its people were not dead yet. Replacing the Slann in their struggles against the Daemons were the Elves. Emboldened by their many blessings from the Old Ones, and committed to saving their world, they rallied and fought the onrushing tide of the Daemons of Chaos for five centuries, doing their best to contain the spreading stain of their darkness. But, each victory was matched by two failures, and the Elves were pushed farther and farther south until they fought on the very shores of their islands. But then, a great Elf hero, Aenarion, passed through the sacred flame of divine energy and emerged as the first Phoenix King of Ulthuan.[2b]

Empowered by the powerful energies of the Old Ones, he and a cadre of Elven mages wove a spell of incredible power, creating a Great Vortex to draw all the ambient magic released into the world by the destruction of the Polar Gates to Ulthuan. By doing so, the Daemons were stripped of the ambient magical energy they needed to exist on the mortal plane, and the evil from the Realm of Chaos withdrew.[2b]

Aenarion eventually had a son with Morathi, a powerful Elven sorcerer, who they named Malekith. A powerful warrior and mage, he was believed to be the heir and the clearest choice to serve as Ulthuan's next Phoenix King. However, Malekith was tempted by the power of Dark Magic, and, ultimately, just like his mother, he was consumed by it. Black ambition to rule over all the Elves bloomed in his heart, earning him the title of the "Witch King."[2b]

Ulthuan would know little peace through the years, as the Witch King waged endless wars against his kinsmen. Chaos, though briefly contained, was let loose once more during the terrible Elven civil war known as the Sundering, a dark time triggered when the Witch King strove to undo the Great Vortex in his attempt to gain rulership over all of Ulthuan. This terrible act damaged the vortex that held Chaos in check and loosed its energies once more across the world. Though Malekith's efforts were ultimately thwarted by those Elves who stood against them and named themselves, perhaps arrogantly, the Asur or "High Elves," the wickedness of Malekith and his followers, the Druchii or "Dark Elves," fed the once-waning strength of the Dark Gods and restored their influence in the world.[2b]

Early Chaos Incursions

"Blind zeal breeds all the most dangerous emotions; arrogance, fear, hatred, rage, malice, despair and selfishness. These empowers the Gods of Chaos and give form to the Aethyr's daemons, who are in themselves personification of these dark emotions. Submit to these emotions, even with humanity's best interest at heart, then even were you to slay a thousand times a thousand Chaos worshippers, in the wider sense you would still be serving the cause of the daemon-gods."

Volkmar the Grim, Grand Theogonist of Sigmar[5a]

The world turned, and the Elder Races made room for the younger race of Men who emerged from their caves. The High Elves and Dwarfs traded with these primitives, though slowly at first. But, soon, Humanity spread north from the southern continent of the Southlands where they had first emerged into the world, founding simple communities along the coast of the Tilean Sea and the Black Gulf. Eventually, these peoples moved north and erected the first cities of Mankind. Of these early settlements, the doomed city of Tylos dwarfed them all. But, it would not last, for in punishment for their arrogance, the gods cast the people of Tylos low, rained the fires of heaven onto them, and sent plagues of rats. What remained would be forever after known as Skavenblight, the festering, black heart of the ratmen's Under-Empire.[2b]

And though Chaos wended its ways into the hearts and minds of these peoples, and launched attacks from the Northern Wastes where the fabric of the Realm of Chaos and the mortal world interwove, it was limited in its hold on Mankind. Throughout the millennia, Chaos would produce Daemons and let them loose, but these creatures were not of this world and could not last for long on the mortal plane. The corruption of Warpstone and the lashing Winds of Magic created herds of mutant Beastmen to inhabit the dim places, but still Chaos could not thrive for overlong, for without mortals to fear them, the Ruinous Powers could not sustain their will in the mortal world.[2b]

But then Be'lakor was born. A savage primitive from an unknown land, Be'lakor is remembered as the first mortal to give his soul to the Ruinous Powers. A powerful warrior and stalwart Champion of Chaos, the Dark Gods favoured him over any other mortal, luring him north to the Chaos Wastes, where he penetrated deeper and deeper into this bleak land until he came face-to-face with the maddening Realm of Chaos itself. The Dark Gods rewarded his courage by destroying his mortal shell and recreating him in their image: that of the very first Daemon Prince. In this new form, dedicated to the service of all the Chaos Gods in the form of Chaos Undivided, he was a terrible force.[2b]

Be'lakor stood at the head of his legions, destroying any and all who crossed his path, attracting mortals from all over the world to join his legions. In time, he was worshipped as a god himself. But, as his power and influence grew, so too did his pride. It was his arrogance and his belief that he was an equal to the true greater Gods of Chaos that spelled his downfall. The four major Ruinous Powers eventually cast Be'lakor low, and Tzeentch, the Changer of Ways, cursed him, transforming him from a demigod into a confused and crazed spirit unable to ever again take physical form. In this way, Be'lakor would ever-after exemplify the fractious nature of Chaos, forever at war with both himself and all others. He became the Dark Master, the Harbinger, He Who Crowns Conquerors. He would never again himself champion the cause of Chaos, only assist those who did.[2b]

As part of his punishment for his overweaning pride and hubris, Be'lakor would for all time be a servant and thrall to those mortals who attracted the attention of the Ruinous Powers. Be'lakor's first mortal champion of Chaos Undivided, the first Everchosen of the Dark Gods, was Morkar the Uniter. Morkar, with the help of the Harbinger, launched a massive war against the civilised realms of the Old World from the Chaos Wastes. The United might have succeeded in defeating the lands of the south had it not been for the great and united effort led by Sigmar, the first ruler of the Empire. Morkar's defeat, and the continued defeats with each failed Everchosen, refreshed the pangs of loss and frustration that Be'lakor had suffered since being cast down. The horror of his fate stripped away his sanity, and the Daemon Prince screamed for centuries, only slowing to place the Crown of Domination on the next mortal fool who sought glory as the Everchosen of the Dark Gods.[2b]

Growing Darkness

"So was it that tiny tendrils reached out from Beyond, too weak to threaten or touch the First Ones, but strong enough to caress the minds of their mortal servants. The minds of the Child Races clung blindly to these thin tendrils of Chaos, carrying them back through the imperfections of the First Ones’ Will and granting the void a foothold in the mortal plane. And so it was that the works of the First Ones were brought low, broken across the knee of Chaos. Their Great Gateways trembled and fell, and the stray thoughts and nightmares, the waking desires and dreams that dwelt within Chaos Realm, were created upon this pale reality. So arrived all magic and all the monstrous Gods and Daemons of our world. Who now or then could stand against them?"

—Richter Kless, inmate at the Great Hospice for the Insane at Frederhei[6a]

Though Morkar the Uniter was defeated, the Old World had to deal with its own problems. The Empire was in its earliest days when it pushed back the forces of Chaos under the first Everchosen, and after its few fledgeling steps, it struggled to retain its political coherence and unity, as it would throughout its history after Sigmar's disappearance. In the years that followed, Norscan raiders preyed on the coasts, sacking villages in the north, and it was clear from the actions of their foul shamans that they served the Ruinous Powers. All manner of Daemons and Champions of Chaos launched wars from the Chaos Wastes, but each was sporadic and disorganised, and so the Empire was free from a massive invasion from the north for centuries.[2b]

The rest of the Known World was not so safe. Chaos launched invasions into Grand Cathay, Naggaroth, and even the Dark Lands of the east, sparking conflicts that would last for decades and take the lives of thousands. But back in the Empire and the Old World, it seemed mortals were content to pave the way for the next Chaos incursion. Undaunted by the trials of following centuries, they embarked on the road to decadence and corruption. While Men dabbled in the forbidden, the Cult of Sigmar grew into a mighty religious and political force, rivalling the might of the Ulrican faith and overshadowing the other gods.[2b]

Heated arguments broke out into open confrontations, and such rivalries simply pushed Old Worlders even farther from the doctrines of the gods. Humanity drifted from the light of piety and good living, and turned to darker matters. No level of Old World society was exempt from this growing, moral failing. Nobles withdrew into their palaces to bask in excess, while commoners turned to hedge wizards and witches for succour from the occasional plague or supernatural threat. During these centuries, the first Chaos Cults formed, starting as intellectual societies or small gatherings of those who held heretical beliefs.[2b]

Some of the most profane volumes ever written, including the ravings of Necrodomo, were spawned and circulated among the intelligentsia in this period. The Ruinous Powers reached from the beyond to mould and twist the hearts and minds of good citizens everywhere. Then, in 1111 IC, the Black Plague struck the Empire. Believed at the time to be a curse from the gods sent as punishment for Mankind's immorality, it spread from city to city, following the paths of roads and waterways, reaching the most remote places in the land. People died by the thousands, and panic set in. Camps of diseased Humans squatted outside the walls of the Empire's great cities, while the plague claimed entire neighbourhoods inside. And, with the spread of disease came despair, and with despair, Mankind inevitably turned to Nurgle, the Master of Plague and Pestilence, to relieve their suffering at the cost of their souls. And then the ratmen -- the Skaven -- came. Appearing like grotesque parodies of man and rat, the Skaven boiled out of the ground, red eyes gleaming, slavering tongues thirsting for the blood and flesh of Humanity.[2b]

Still gripped by the Black Plague, the Empire was ill-prepared for this new threat, and the casualties of the so-called Skaven Wars mounted while soft nobles wept and wailed at their misfortune. From this rabble, a hero emerged: Mandred Skavenslayer, the Count of Middenland. He rallied the people of the Empire and fought the Skaven for nearly fifteen years. Where others had failed, Mandred succeeded in breaking the spirit of the enemy and forced them back from whence they came. Following his successes, stability returned once more, and as the newly-elected Emperor Mandred I he tried to set the course of the Empire for the years to come, purging the land of corruption and evil -- until his assassination in 1152 IC by the Skaven in vengeance for his disruption of their first attempt at achieving their Great Ascendancy.[2b]

Return of Be'lakor

Though Mandred Skavenslayer purged the lands of the Empire of the loathsome ratmen, he was not successful in restoring the sense of unity needed to keep that nation bound together in the coming years. Almost nine centuries after his death, the Empire fragmented and splintered into its various Electoral Provinces, worship of the Dark Gods thrived, and evil stalked the land. Amidst the turmoil of the second millennium IC, Be'lakor broke free from the Realm of Chaos once more to walk the world of Men.[2b]

In 1999 IC, Be'lakor escaped the Realm of Chaos, slipping free long enough to settle in that hellish city known as Mordheim, devastated by the impact of a twin-tailed comet believed to be the holy retribution of Sigmar for the sinful ways of its inhabitants. In those ruins, Be'lakor became known as the "Shadowlord." But instead of freedom with his return to the mortal world, the first Daemon Prince discovered he was trapped within the boundaries of Mordheim by the lingering Dark Magic that defined that place after its death. He hoped to escape his curse of insubstantiality by using the body of the dead Chaos Lord he had once helped become an Everchosen, Khaarduun the Gloried, as a magical conduit to possess his favoured Chaos Champion Golkhan. This would provide a physical form that would free him from the incorporeal curse Tzeentch had laid upon him. Then he would usurp the place of the Everchosen and begin the End Times.[2b]

But his plans required enormous reserves of magical power twhich could only be provided by vast quantities of Warpstone. Believing this was the only way to restore his former glory and gain his freedom from the confines of the ruined city, Be'lakor began hoarding the vile substance and sending his minions forth to collect it.[2b]

What is known is that Be'lakor ruled the ruined city for long years as the Shadowlord and Dark Emperor, and his word was law. His minions were the Possessed, former Men who had surrendered themselves to the Ruinous Powers and allowed themselves to be possessed by Daemons. Daemons walked the streets of the ruined city openly, and all of Be'lakor's servants gathered ever larger-quantities of Warpstone to create more of these abominations. In the end, Be'lakor's rage and hatred consumed the mortal shell that housed him following the disruption of his plan by the adventurers Gotrek and Felix, sending him screaming back to the Realm of Chaos once more.[2b]

Great War Against Chaos

By the dawn of the 24th century IC, the grim tidings of another Chaos incursion were apparent everywhere for those who thought to look, but such was the pride of the pretender emperors of this time that no one noticed. The Empire at this time was fractured and splintered into different factions, all vying for control of the throne. Fueled by religious controversy and infighting, the once glorious Empire was on its knees. And, amidst this struggle, the poisonous touch of the Dark Gods spread.[2b]

Crops failed as a noxious blight spread across the Empire's farms, and cattle died of a strange pox. Nurgle's eye was firmly fixed on the lands of Sigmar, and though people knew a curse was upon them, they were powerless to do anything about it. While the Empire languished, a great war for dominance took place in the Chaos Wastes. Among the many tribes of the Kurgan people, the Kul tribe emerged as the dominant force, in no small part due to the efforts of the Chaos Lord Asavar Kul. This mighty chieftain had proven himself a capable warrior and great leader among his kind.[2b]

For years, he and his tribe wandered the Northern Wastes, waging war with rival tribes of the Northmen and bending their leaders to his will. His armies grew, and soon he was the greatest power in the north. Accounts of this Chaos Champion say that the light of the Dark Gods burned in his eyes, and his red-lacquered armour glowed with malevolence. With each victory, new Chaos warbands clamoured to his banner, swelling his legions until he was ready to take the prize of the civilised realms of the south.[2b]

Kul and his armies turned south and passed through the Great Skull Land, where they sold slaves for Daemonic war machines crafted by the expert hands of the Chaos Dwarfs. They then turned to the High Pass, where they gathered hordes of Beastmen and Dragon Ogres to aid their cause. Meanwhile, the Empire was in no condition to head off this mustering force.[2b]

Beastmen of the Forest of Shadows were multiplying and claiming large swathes of territory in Ostland and Ostermark. Bands of Chaos Warriors drifted throughout the northern Empire, even reaching the shadow of Altdorf's walls. Unwittingly serving as the Chaos armies' vanguard were endless hordes of Greenskins, who were driven from their homes by the approaching armies. The conflict remembered as the "Great War Against Chaos" had begun.[2b]

Darkness Descends

By autumn of 2301 IC, the Empire fully descended into anarchy. Thousands died from a famine that resulted from the blights and poxes that had ravaged the Old World's farms the summer before. Starving refugees flooded the cities, and those who stayed behind simply became food for the ravaging tribes of Beastmen. Trade all but stopped as the waterways became too unsafe to transport goods, and so more starved and died.[2b]

As always, dark times bred fanatics. Street philosophers foretold doom and despair, seeing death in all things. Bands of flagellants roamed the countryside, preying on the true agents of Chaos and innocents alike, whilst the witch hunters worked unchecked through the lands, murdering hundreds in the name of Sigmar. And, through it all, the armies of Asavar Kul continued to grow. In Kislev, the tzar grew nervous as his scouts reported a mustering force of hundreds of thousands readying an attack on their lands. Desperate for help, he sent messengers to the Empire, pleading for them to send assistance.[2b]

Word reached the Count of Ostland, who for the past few years had been fighting a losing war against the Beastmen. His hatred of Chaos eclipsed all other concerns, and so he and his depleted force rushed to Kislev to lend their swords against the coming storm. But he was alone, for the Empire was too gripped with madness to respond. Hope would bloom, however. Whilst many Men now openly embraced the Chaos Gods, a nobleman named Magnus von Bildhofen, later remembered as "Magnus the Pious," preached in Nuln and drew a large following. With his mixture of common sense and zeal, he was able to convince the people of Nuln to cast out the darkness that gripped their city and join him on his crusade to save their beloved land. Autumn gave way to winter, and the Chaos armies finally marched south.[2b]

The combined forces of Kislev and Ostland hurried north to meet them, though they knew in their hearts they were too few to stop the enemy. The forces of the Empire and Kislev were crushed by Asavar Kul's horde, and few escaped to spread news of their defeat. Kislev recoiled in horror as the Chaos Marauders and the Warriors of Chaos despoiled their northern territories, and with a few decisive moves, they crushed the last of Kislev's armies, turning hungry eyes to the fertile heartland of that defeated realm. Facing almost certain destruction, the people of Praag readied their city for the inevitable siege. Thousands of Kislevites abandoned their homes in the countryside for the protection offered by the city, bringing all the livestock they could.[2b]

In the end, the preparations were too little, too late, and disease broke out amongst the refugees. Asavar's host camped around the city and launched the occasional foray but seemed content to just harass the defenders and wait them out. The people fought as best they could, barely managing to repel the invaders with each new assault.[2b]

Then word of a new hero reached them, and they learned Magnus was coming with an army to destroy the forces of Chaos and save their city. Magnus gathered more and more Old Worlders to his cause through his sheer tenacity and his open devotion to Sigmar. All manner of people joined him, swelling his numbers to form a rag-tag force of zealots, commoners, and professional soldiers. The Elector Counts of the Empire finally set aside their petty differences and joined Magnus, adding their soldiers to the vast army. And so, Magnus and his followers moved slowly north, but their pace was not fast enough to save the besieged Kislevites.[2b]

Fall of Praag

In 2302 IC, the attack Praag had dreaded for months finally came. Asavar Kul used his entire force to destroy the city. The forces of Chaos triumphed over the defenders, taking the city in the name of their blasphemous masters. With its fall, a Black Wind from the Realm of Chaos screamed through the streets of Praag, changing and mutating everything it touched. Men and stone twisted and became as one, their souls screaming from the warped stones of the city. From its walls, distorted faces gnashed and pleaded for death.[2b]

Praag had become Hell, a living symbol of what lay ahead for the Empire. A few escaped to bring word to the rest of Kislev, reporting all they had witnessed. The tzar was frantically training a new army to defend the capital. Magnus the Pious pushed his forces ahead to aid the last city of the north and stop Asavar Kul from entering the Empire.[2b]

But the forces of Chaos reached the city of Kislev first. They encircled the Kislevite capital and launched a terrible attack remembered to this day as the Battle at the Gates of Kislev. Aided by the Dwarfs from the Everpeak, the Dwarf Hold of Karaz-a-Karak, the ill-equipped and poorly-trained Kislevite defenders faced the Beastmen of Asavar Kul, grudgingly giving up ground until they were forced to fall back into the city itself. The Kislevites delayed the forces of Chaos just long enough for Magnus and his Imperial army to arrive.[2b]

Battle at the Gates of Kislev

Asavar Kul divided his force into two armies. One continued the attack against the city of Kislev, while the other faced Magnus the Pious. The Empire's forces descended like a righteous hammer, cutting a swathe through the Beastmen and mutants. Despite these early victories, the forces of Chaos were innumerable. The tide of battle ebbed and flowed, and it seemed that all hope for the Empire was lost in the face of the great hordes of the Dark Gods. Yet Magnus' military genius would save the day. He launched a separate attack with his cavalry and pinned the Chaos armies between three forces, throwing them into confusion. On this assault, Magnus managed to slay the twelfth Everchosen, Asavar Kul, in single combat, crushing the will of the Chaos ost to continue its assault.[2b]

Slowly the horde disintegrated and the mutants, Beastmen, and warbands of Chaos Marauders and Chaos Warriors melted away, fleeing back the way they came. With the Great War Against Chaos concluded, the Empire aided Kislev in levelling the ruins of Praag and rebuilding the great city. The Imperial army returned to Ostland and Ostermark and slaughtered the Beastmen, cleansing the land of their stain. The forces of Chaos withdrew to the Troll Country and the Northern Wastes, seemingly defeated for the last time.[2b]

Yet always does Chaos prepare for its next attack, its next incursion into the realm of Men, and for the next two centuries it bided its time, building and searching for its next great champion, its thirteenth Everchosen. The Dark Gods did not have to wait long. Soon after the Great War Against Chaos ended, a once-pious Templar of Sigmar entered the vaults below the Temple of Sigmar in Altdorf and read the prophecies of Necrodomo the Insane. The words warped his mind, and he went mad. He swore allegiance to the Dark Gods and vowed to destroy the Empire and the Cult of Sigmar. He would one day be known as Archaon.[2b]

A New Age

For the next 200 years, things quieted in the Empire. With the legalisation of sanctioned magic use in the Empire by Magnus the Pious after he was elected emperor in the wake of the Great War Against Chaos and established the Imperial Colleges of Magic, the witch hunters confined their efforts to rooting out mutants and renegade wizards.[2b]

Middenheim spearheaded the Imperial efforts to contain the Beastmen inside the borders, whilst reconstructing the ravaged provinces. Though peaceful compared to the upheavals leading to the Great War Against Chaos, this was not a time without strife. The great trading city of Marienburg and its surrounding region, the Westerland, seceded from the Empire, and a series of weak emperors allowed the lands to slip back to something akin to the decadence of the early twenty-fourth century IC.

Things changed in 2502 IC when the Emperor Karl Franz ascended the throne. Young, charismatic, and competent, this new emperor took a firm hand in guiding the Empire into the future, though even his reign has been anything but stable. In time, a new Chaos incursion began, initiating the End Times, and Archaon, the thirteenth Everchosen, returned to his homeland at the head of a vast horde of the mortal and Daemonic servants of Chaos to fulfill his destiny as the Harbinger of the Apocalypse.[2b]

Daemonic Existence

"Daemons are the denizens of the Realm of Chaos. Created by the Dark Gods, they are sent forth to aid their mortal Champions in their campaigns to conquer the lands of civilised men. Some are mindless beings of pure animosity, whilst others are cunning and carefully plot the downfall of those they claim to serve. Daemons can be summoned, bound, compelled, and killed. They are beings of magic given form from our nightmares and fears. They exist only to bring about the end of all there is."

—Viktor Wechsler, Knight of the White Wolf.[2j]
Warhammer Daemon of Chaos Bloodletter

A Bloodletter, a Lesser Daemon of the Blood God Khorne

Just as the Chaos Gods are beings of pure magic, so too are their Daemonic servants. Each Daemon of Chaos is a splinter broken off of their divine master, a distorted reflection of mortal yearning, a shard of emotion and dark desire given form and license to destroy. Thus does every Daemon reflect something of their divine master's presence, personality, motivations and methods.

Daemons of Khorne are muscled and brutal, driven to slaughter and murder, whilst those that serve Tzeentch are whimsical and devious, shunning physical combat in favour of the sorcery that Khorne so detests as cowardice.[1c]Nurglish Daemons are by far the hardiest of their kind, if somewhat moribund in thought and deed, whilst Slaaneshi Daemons are lithe and whip-quick, as delicate in form as they are vicious and sadistic in temperament.

There are also Daemons serving the minor Chaos Gods. Daemons of Hashut are creatures of metal, darkness and fire. The Horned Rat, god of the Skaven, commands mighty Verminlords, of which there are several kinds. Lastly, there are Chaos Furies, who shift and change with the Realm of Chaos, bound to no god in particular but to Chaos Undivided in general.

Regardless of form, Daemons are unnaturally resilient, able to shrug off blows that would tear another creature asunder. Indeed, a Daemon cannot truly be slain in the mortal sense of the word. Its physical body can be destroyed, true enough, but this merely banishes the Daemon's essence into the swirling wellspring of magical energy known as the Forge of Souls. Thus vanquished, the Daemon embarks on the process of creating a new body to inhabit, and dreams of vengeance against those that humbled it.[1c]

Daemons can only enter the mortal world if sustained by intense concentrations of ambient magic or if they possess a mortal body. Whilst the Winds of Magic wax strong, a Daemon is nigh unstoppable, for it cares naught for the plight of its fellows and fears nothing save the terrible wrath of the Dark Gods themselves. Thus are the battles within the Realm of Chaos fought in the name of the Great Game between the Ruinous Powers, where magic suffuses every particle of dust and air, ceaseless and interminable things, with victors but slowly determined -- if indeed they are determined at all.[1j]

Yet when the Daemons of Chaos spill over into the mortal plane, their power waxes and wanes with the Winds of Magic, making them highly unpredictable foes. A Daemonic host can vanish on the cusp of victory, cast back into the Realm of Chaos as its sustaining magic fades. Conversely, a Daemon army can be whittled away to almost nothing, only to come back stronger and fiercer than ever when the Winds of Magic howl. Thus the greatest Daemonic incursions are born of Storms of Magic, of reckless wizardly duels, and other sorcerous calamities.[1j]

In the frozen Northern Wastes, where a swirling gateway spews raw magical Chaos into the Known World from the Aethyr, Daemons have free reign to sow terror and malice; little wonder is it then that the mortal inhabitants of these climes have turned to the worship of the Daemons' divine masters. Yet the mortal world is so suffused by magical energy -- the Winds of Magic so prone to ebb and flow -- that almost any arcane event can prove sufficient to loose Daemons upon the world.[1j]

Indeed, the Known World contains many places where the walls between reality and uncreation are particularly thin, legacies of wild magic through which the Daemons of Chaos can bring ruination and death. There are countless other places where the tide of reckless magic is kept in check only by the careful artifice of mortal creatures -- the sites of Elven waystones and the temple-cities of the Lustrian Lizardmen to name but a few. The disruption -- or worse, the destruction -- of such places can loose so much raw, ambient magic that the resulting Daemonic incursion can last years, decades, or even centuries.[1j]

Types of Daemons

Daemons Of Chaos Warhammer III

The Daemon Prince of Chaos Undivided known as the Godslayer leading a legion comprised of Daemons drawn from the service of all four major Chaos Gods called the Legion of Chaos.

Though they might share many characteristics, no two Daemons are entirely alike -- all the infinite variety that Chaos commands can be found amongst the warriors of the Daemonic hosts. Many Daemons sport extra appendages, ensorcelled weapons or other, even odder, powers that are the envy -- or sometimes the pity -- of their peers. Such oddities are bestowed by the Daemon's divine patron in celebration of glorious service or in punishment for ignominious failure. It's not always possible to tell one from the other among the servants of Chaos.[1c]

Though they are birthed of Chaos, there seems a strange order to the Daemonspawn of the Dark Gods. Scholars and daemonologists have identified types of Daemons, ranked by relative levels of power, and countless in number. Each seems unique in their awfulness, but they are also alike.[2j]

There are distinct forms that arise to curse the Old World time and again, each foul typology fulfilling a particular role in some unknowable master plan. There is no understanding the reasons for the existence of these Daemon breeds; there is simply the inscrutable way of Chaos. There are three loose groups of Daemons generally recognised by mortals: Daemonic Beasts, Lesser and Greater Daemons, though even these classifications do not encompass Exalted Daemons, Daemon Princes, or the myriad of the least of all fiends that lurk in the spaces between the home domains of the Ruinous Powers in the Realm of Chaos, such as the Chaos Furies.[2j]

Daemonic Beasts

Daemonic Beasts are lowly fiends that exist only to serve the wishes and needs of mortal servants of the Chaos Gods. Champions sometimes use them as steeds or as grunts in their armies. Their dim intelligence doesn't make them any less dangerous, and in some ways it makes them more so, since they have no concerns for their own health and safety.[2j]

Though it is possible for a mortal to summon one of these creatures, they are more often sent into the mortal world at the behest of the Dark Gods. When bound to the service of a Chaos Champion or similar master, they seem to be able to cross the borders between the Chaos Wastes and the Realm of Chaos with impunity, entering and leaving the different dimensions at will.[2j]

Lesser Daemons

Lesser Daemons have the capacity for thought and reason, and they plot and plan in their ongoing effort to undo Mankind's and the other mortal races' morality. Though powerful or horrifying, most mortals can deal with them for short periods without compromising their sanity or lives.[2j]

Greater Daemons

Greater Daemons are harbingers of doom, the most powerful servants of the Dark Gods in existence. They are among the mightiest creatures in all Creation, and when they appear, they scorch the very land for miles around with the sheer potency of their Chaos corruption.[2j]

Daemon Princes

A Daemon Prince is a former mortal servant of the Chaos Gods who has been raised to become a Daemon as a reward for their extraordinary service to their divine patron during life. Daemon Princes are among the greatest and most powerful servants of Chaos.[11a]

These beings are those mortals who followed Chaos with a deep and fervent faith, pledging themselves body and soul to the service of the Dark Gods. They know that there is a great prize for those who show unflinching devotion. Should a Chaos Champion survive the endless battles and the ravaging mutations granted by their masters whilst still finding favour in the eyes of their fickle gods, they may attain the ultimate reward. The divine patron of the Champion will elevate them to his side as a Daemon Prince, a being of godlike power, forever bound to darkness and the will of their patron god.[11a]

Despite the fact that they were not born as Daemons, those Chaos Champions that attain the status of Daemon Prince gain immortality and become the enemy of all that is true and natural in the mortal world. All who set foot upon the path of Chaos eventually seek this apotheosis, the glorious moment of metamorphosis where they shrug off their mortal shell and become a being of undying darkness. But for every Chaos Champion who raises their horned head and roars their triumph to the skies as a newborn Daemon Prince, untold thousands perish on the field of battle or end their lives as mewling Chaos Spawn.[11a]

Half-Daemons

" Have no doubt, though, Archaon of the distant Empire. You are blessed with Daemon lineage. You are the son of a prince, chosen one -- which in some corners of this foetid world would make you a prince in your own right."

— A Tzeentchian Changeling informs Archaon of his heritage

Half-Daemons[7a] are entities who, through one means or method, have half the power of a pure Daemon. They are a mongrel mixture of the Daemonic essence of the Dark Gods and something else. Sometimes this means an entity that bears the soul of a Daemon, while inhabiting a mortal body.

Others are unnatural fusions of Daemonic and other creatures, such as the Beastfiends who are half-Daemon and half mortal beast. Some Half-Daemons, though, are sired or dammed by Chaos monsters; the Beastfiend Ograx the Great was sired by a Bloodthirster [7a], and Orghotts Daemonspew was rumoured to be the spawn of a tryst between a Great Unclean One and a Human witch.[8a] Archaon himself is said to be the son of the first Daemon Prince, Be'lakor, and a common Human woman. Indeed, Be'lakor was considered the thirteenth Everchosen's "father-in-shadow," and called Archaon his "son-in-shadow."[7b]

The term Half-Daemon is also applied to former Daemons whose physical forms have been melded with Warpmetal machinery crafted at the Forge of Souls in the Realm of Chaos, transforming them into partial constructs, such as the Stemcutter of Nurgle or the Soul Grinders who serve each of the major Chaos Gods.[8b]

Verminlords

Verminlords are the Daemons of the Horned Rat, the minor Chaos God of the Skaven. These Daemons are by far the strongest and most fearsome beings the Under-Empire has ever known.[9a]

Verminlords can be born of different origins. All of them are fragmented embodiments of the Horned Rat, just as all other Daemons are ultimately only fragments of their related Chaos God. Some Verminlords are formed from the very thoughts of the Horned Rat itself like most Daemons of Chaos, while others are elevated and formerly mortal Skaven Lords of Decay, the rulers of the Under-Empire as members of its Council of Thirteen, warped into something greater by their verminous deity after their deaths.[9a]

Though they are loathe to step into the mortal realm, for there they are vulnerable, Verminlords absolutely choke the impossible landscape of the Realm of Ruin, home of their god and themselves within the Aethyr. Here, there are as many of them as there are mortal Skaven, potentially making them the most numerous of all Daemonkind.[9a]

K'daai

The K'daai, known in the dark tongue of the Chaos Dwarfs as the K'daai Zharr, which means "Scion of Fire" or "Fireborn," are mighty Daemonic fire-elementals which serve the Daemonsmiths of the Chaos Dwarf empire in the Dark Lands.[10a]

Daemonic Incursions

For a complete chronology of Daemonic incursions into the Known World, please see Daemons of Chaos Timeline


"I see a world drowned in fire and plague, where madness is the only reason, and death is the only respite. That world will soon be ours, unless we fight these hellspawn with every weapon at our command."

Luthor Huss, Prophet of Sigmar[1k]
Warhammer Daemons of Chaos Invasion

A Daemonic invasion into the mortal world of epic scale.

Daemonic invasions of the mortal world are seldom motivated by territory or plunder, for the otherworldly minions of the Dark Gods have no desire for material wealth. Sometimes, incursions are a key element in some divine scheme for supremacy, the lives and deaths of mortals made over into extra pieces upon the Great Game's sprawling board. But underpinning this truth is that for both the Chaos Gods and the Daemons they command, the mortal world is another canvas upon which to paint their own madness. The destruction wrought by a Daemon is often not a means to an end, but merely the inevitable by-product of that Daemon expressing itself the only way it knows how. Like the Dark Gods they serve, the Daemons of Chaos are generous with their gifts to mortals, whether the recipient wishes to receive them or no.[1k]

Nurgle's Daemonic minions spread plague not to bring suffering and despair, but because they are driven to do so by the dark spark of the Plague Lord's divine essence within them. They cannot conceive of why their diseases should cause such dismay amongst their mortal victims, for a Daemon of Nurgle finds nothing more joyous than to be afflicted by pox or pestilence.[1k]

Daemons of Slaanesh revel in excess, and the torment they bring is -- as far as they are concerned -- the most philanthropic of blessings. Similarly, Tzeentch's Daemons subvert and mutate the natural order not out of cruelty, but are motivated by a combination of their own easily-provoked boredom and the assumption that their mortal victims must similarly be driven to ennui by their static and staid existences -- something instantly cured by the mutating gift of change.[1k]

Only Daemons of Khorne are truly selfish, ever seeking to claim skulls for the Skull Throne and so rise to higher status in their dread master's eyes.[1k]

In this way, Daemons are akin to malicious children who possess a box of fascinating toys that are fragile by nature but unlimited in number. After all, in its own way, the mortal world is as resilient as the Realm of Chaos. A city humbled by plague or broken by war will inevitably recover; a mortal army torn to bloody ruin by fang, blade, and claw or blasted apart by sorcery will soon be replenished or replaced. This may take hundreds of years and cost untold thousands of mortal lives along the way, but Daemons don't reckon time as mortals do, and inevitably find something else to draw their interest in the meantime.[1k]

If the Daemons even comprehend the harm they are causing to mortals, they most certainly do not care. Inevitably, and with few exceptions, the mortals of the Known World react unfavourably to the Daemons' "beneficence," and assemble their armies to do battle. Though the Daemons are always somewhat dismayed at this most obvious rejection of their gifts -- all save the Daemons of Khorne, who simply view an enemy army as a single, massive offering to the Blood God waiting to be claimed -- their innate joy of battle swiftly overtakes them.[1k]

After an eternity of fighting their fellow Daemons in the Realm of Chaos, the opportunity to strive against mortals -- with their shifting and unpredictable natures -- is a fresh and invigorating experience all of its own. At this point, the biggest and most powerful Daemon in the host assumes overall command. Occasionally, such primacy is guaranteed by that Daemon's standing within the dark pantheon, but most of the time it is a privilege that must be fought for.[1k]

Such bouts of dominance can rage for days, as the various pretenders -- and the portions of the host at their individual command -- battle for control. Once his opponents have been cowed or banished, the victorious Daemon enjoys unbroachable authority -- for a few days at least -- guaranteeing that any foe the host encounters will find the Daemons united and of a single purpose.[1k]

Notable Daemonic Incursions

  • Great War Against Chaos (2301-2304 IC) - The Great War Against Chaos was the second greatest Chaos invasion of the mortal world in the early 24th century IC, during which time the borders of the Realm of Chaos briefly extended as far south as the Kislevite fortress-city of Praag.
  • The End Times (2519-2528 IC) - The last and perhaps the bloodiest Chaos invasion since the Great Catstrophe itself which resulted in the ultimate destruction of the mortal world and the final victory of Chaos in the early 26th century IC.

Forces of the Daemons of Chaos

"They are wickedness made flesh, cruel licentiousness given form. Truth will not save you, for truth has no hold over such aberrations. Courage cannot save you, for they sup your courage as readily as your fear. Faith is the only defence you can trust."

Arch-Lector Markad to the Congregation of Ulric[1n]
Warhammer Daemons of Chaos Warfare

The legions of Chaos unleashed.

For a mortal, there can be few more terrifying experiences than to be caught in the path of a Daemonic army. Heralds of the Dark Gods ride at the army's head. They spread the proclamations of their masters in a tongue so dark and twisted that it somehow pierces even the guttural battlechants of Khorne's Bloodletters and the discordant singing of Slaaneshi Daemonettes.[1k]

As the main host grows nearer, a shadow falls across the sky, the sun's light choked from the air by the unfurled wings of roaring Bloodthirsters and squawking Chaos Furies. If there are Daemons of Nurgle amongst the host, the next thing to be noticed is a bowel-loosening foul odour, and the baleful drone of a thousand plump, black flies. Now the very ground upon which the Daemonic host marches starts to ripple and flow, as Tzeentch's Daemons spread their gifts of change with rampant glee; water flows uphill, trees twist into blackened and writhing tentacles and the air is suffused with multihued fire.[1k]

In the final moments before battle, the Daemonic host falls silent, tens of thousands of eager Daemonic eyes watching to see if the mortals will stand and fight, or flee in terror. Then the air rings to the sound of a hundred sonorous horns. Roaring and bellowing, shrieking and squealing, the Daemons hurl themselves forward to assail the doomed foe.[1k]

Where the enemy is strongest, there do the Daemonic horde's direst warriors attack. Soul Grinders advance with clanking strides, great iron pistons thumping and Harvester Cannons booming. Great Unclean Ones lumber forward, bellowing joyfully with each sweep of their rust-pitted weapons, their massive bulk smothering or trampling any foolish enough not to evade their ponderous coming. Keepers of Secrets hack and tear their way through the foe, each blow exquisitely placed to ensure maximum suffering; Lords of Change send rippling waves of untrammelled sorcery arcing through the enemy ranks, mutating and incinerating all in their path.[1k]

Should a particularly bold or desperate foe withstand these, then they must hold fast before the mighty Bloodthirsters of Khorne, the raging Daemonic reavers whose tireless axes claim skulls by the thousand and spill rivers of blood. Few indeed are the mortals who can manage such a feat.[1k]

When the enemy breaks and flees, snarling Flesh Hounds and chittering Fiends of Slaanesh bound and skitter in pursuit. Diminutive Nurglings swarm over the corpses, picking at eyeballs and playing all manner of foul games with the discarded entrails.[1k] 

As terrifying as Daemonic incursions are, they are nothing as to what would occur should the ambient Winds of Magic across the Known World grow strong enough to allow Daemons to walk the mortal plane at will, as during the Great Catastrophe. On that day, the world will be subsumed into the Realm of Chaos, and all who yet live will be consumed by insanity and death.[1k]

Daemonic Infantry

  • Chaos Furies - Chaos Furies are yowling shards of malevolent magical energy -- Chaos in its purest form. With little in the way of intelligence, Furies are utterly subservient to the whims of the Dark Gods, and shift in aspect and power as the balance of the dark pantheon alters in the Realm of Chaos. They are easily subjugated by other Daemons, whom they regard with a mix of dread and awe. Furies swarm at the edges of the battle, avoiding the thickest fighting if they can.
  • Bloodletters - Bloodletters, known also as Khorne's Chosen, the Teeth of Death, Naked Slayers, Takers of Skulls, or Horned Ones, are the foot soldiers in Khorne's Daemonic legions, deadly Daemonic warriors believed to have been foremost amongst the Blood God's followers in mortal life and whose will is as implacable and blood-hungry as Khorne himself.
  • Pink Horrors - Pink Horrors, known also as Whirling Destroyers, Squealers or Spinning Sourguts, are the Daemonic footsoldiers of Tzeentch, identified by their luminescent pink skin and their squeals of high-pitched laughter. Spellcasting fills Pink Horrors with joy, and they emit especial merriment as eldritch energy screeches from their upraised hands.
  • Flamers - Flamers, known also as Burning Horrors, Flame Spouters, Flaming Whirlwinds or simply as Fire Daemons, are powerful Daemonic entities of Tzeentch best known for their ability to conjure Daemonic fire. Capable of a fair turn of speed, expelling gaseous ichor through the fungoid "skirt" at their base, THEY bound and leap across the ground with considerable mischievous gusto.
  • Nurglings - Nurglings are the very image of Nurgle himself, having friendly, mischievous faces and bloated, green bodies fitted with disproportionate limbs. The only difference is their size. A Nurgling is no taller than a foot high. These foul things inhabit the bodies of larger Daemons, preferably the Great Unclean Ones who spawn them.
  • Plaguebearers - Plaguebearers, known also as the Tainted Ones, the One-Eyed Rotters, Horned Rotbags, Maggotkin, Rotbearers and the Tallymen of Plagues, are the rank and file of Nurgle's legions, crafted from the soul-stuff of mortals who have been slain by Nurgle's Rot.
  • Daemonettes - Daemonettes, known also as the Children of Slaanesh, the Debauched Ones, the Bringers of Joyous Degradation and the Decadent Seekers are the most numerous of all Slaanesh's Daemonic servants. They are shrouded in a hypnotic glamour, seditious magics that bestow their repulsive, savage features with perverse beauty.

Daemonic Cavalry and Artillery

  • Bloodcrushers of Khorne - The Bloodcrushers of Khorne, known also as Soulcrushers, the Feet of Khorne, or even Juggers, are the most favoured of all Bloodletters. Bloodcrushers are Khorne's shock cavalry, a deadly combination of battle-frenzied Bloodletter and the unstoppable crushing mass of the Daemonic beast that is a Juggernaut of Khorne.
  • Blood Thrones of Khorne - The Blood Thrones of Khorne, known also as the Clanking Boneshredders, the Blood-soaked Spires or the Dreadskull Totems, are mighty Daemon Engines, armoured in brass and driven into battle by iron-shod wheels that crush and mangle all who stand in their path.
  • Skull Cannons of Khorne - The Skull Cannons of Khorne, known also as Hellforged Bellowers, the Bonegrinders or the Clinkerfiends, are massive Daemon Engines of Khorne, large, wheeled constructs into which a Daemon has been bound, that fire fiery skulls at the foe. Legend tells that the Skull Cannons of Khorne were forged in the furnaces at the foot of the Blood God's throne in the Realm of Chaos and beaten into shape upon his mighty anvil.
  • Burning Chariot of Tzeentch - Burning Chariots of Tzeentch are large Daemon Engines of Tzeentch which hurtle across the Realm of Chaos like incandescent meteors, bringing the Great Sorcerer's chosen emissaries to every corner of existence. As they blaze through the heavens of the mortal world, Chariots of Tzeentch are commonly mistaken for comets, which are in turn interpreted as omens of great events and terrible wars.
  • Plague Drones of Nurgle - The Plague Drones of Nurgle, known also as Blighted Swarmers, Festerwings and Bubonic Buzzers, are the high-ranking Plaguebearers of Nurgle. These stewards of Nurgle's Garden ride into the mortal realm mounted upon Rot Flies -- colossal Daemon-insects whose appearance is so repugnant it leaves festering scars upon the mind.
  • Seekers of Slaanesh - The Seekers of Slaanesh, known also as the Riders of Slaanesh, Disciples of Decadence or Darkling Delighters, are the Prince of Chaos' outriders, darkling Daemonettes mounted on swift Daemonic Steeds of Slaanesh. Malign of intent and with the predatory swiftness of a striking cobra, Seekers dart across the endless battlefields of the Realm of Chaos, springing ambushes on vulnerable prey.
  • Seeker Chariots of Slaanesh - Seeker Chariots, known also as Shrieking Shandredhans, Glorious Doomriders or Pallid Vanguards, are fast-moving Daemon Engines of Slaanesh. As the straining Steeds of Slaanesh urge the chariot to full speed, swirling shapes sear the air with unholy hues and the metal axles screech in a disharmony akin to the wailing of tormented souls.
  • Hellflayers of Slaanesh - The Hellflayers of Slaanesh, known also as Scented Harvesters, the Decadent Reavers or the Shred-Chain Sisters, are swift-moving Daemon Engines that ride hither and yon across the alabaster plains, their reaping blades cutting and slicing the distaff flesh into small pieces that Slaanesh's otherworldly flora can easily devour.

Daemonic Warbeasts

  • Flesh Hounds - Flesh Hounds, known also as Blood Trackers, the Inevitable Ones or the Hounds of Wrath, are rapacious, wolf-like Daemons, both reptilian and savagely canine in aspect. They are Khorne's blood-hunters, lithe yet powerful, able to dart aside from a swordsman's strike and pull a knight from the saddle all as part of the same fluid motion.
  • Screamers - Screamers, known also as Sky-Sharks, Swoopers or Shrieking Skyrays, are glimmering, manta-ray-like Daemonic entities that ride upon the Winds of Magic as a bird glides upon the breeze. They roam the tides of magic, preying upon the shadow-souls of mortal creatures, lone Chaos Furies and other unfortunate magical ephemera.
  • Discs of Tzeentch - The Discs of Tzeentch are large, sentient, Daemonic creatures that were transformed from an ordinary Screamer into large, disc-like shapes to better suit the Chaos Sorcerers who bind them into swift mounts. They float in the clouds of swirling energy that makes up the Realm of Chaos, drifting through the Aethyr, feasting on less powerful Daemons and the souls of the damned.
  • Beasts of Nurgle - Beasts of Nurgle, known also as Slime Hounds, Putrid Bouncers or even Tentacled Plaguehounds, are massive, lumbering fiends that are as stupid as they are ugly -- and they are hideously ugly, though quite friendly and playful, though mortals rarely live long enough to appreciate the deadly affection of their newfound "friend."
  • Steeds of Slaanesh - Steeds of Slaanesh go by many names -- Flesh Lickers, Tongue Flayers, Degraded Ones, Whips of Slaanesh. They are strange, disturbing Daemonic creatures that roam in herds along the borders of the Realm of Chaos.
  • Fiends of Slaanesh - The Fiends of Slaanesh, also known as Hunting Beasts of Slaanesh, are a foul race of Daemonic creatures. Spawned from the mad mind of the Serpent, these creatures combine the traits of a scorpion, a Human and a reptile into one unholy abomination.
  • Soul Grinders - Soul Grinders, known also as Doomstriders, Harvesters of Souls and Clinkerspawn, are massive, sentient Daemon Engines created for the sole purpose of killing and collecting souls to remove themselves from the Warpmetal prison they were placed in the by the Forge of Souls and restore their original appearance and identity.

Daemonic Lords

  • Daemon Princes - Daemon Princes are powerful Greater Daemons who were once the greatest and most powerful mortal servants of Chaos in all of existence. These beings are those who followed Chaos with a deep and fervent faith, pledging themselves body and soul to the service of the Dark Gods. They knew that there was the great prize of Daemonic immortailty for those who showed unflinching devotion, and they managed to claim their apotheosis through the successful completion of a thousand dark deeds.
  • Bloodthirsters - Bloodthirsters, the Greater Daemons of Khorne, are known by many bloody titles such as the Lords of Skulls, the Fists of Khorne, the Drinkers of Blood, the Eaters of Gore and Flesh, the High-Handed Slayers,[ 2a] the Deathbringers of Khorne, the Bloodied Ones and also the Guardians of the Throne are not only the most deadly of Khorne's servants, but the mightiest of warriors among the Daemons of Chaos.
  • Lords of Change - The Lords of Change, known also as the Winged Watchers, the Eyes of Tzeentch and the Feathered Lords are the Greater Daemons of Tzeentch. They are the greatest and most magically powerful of all Daemonkind. These bird-daemons of Tzeentch are hideously unpredictable and manipulative.
  • Great Unclean Ones - The Great Unclean Ones, known also as Fly Masters, the Stench Lords, Nurgle's Plaguefathers or simply Plague Lords, are the Greater Daemons of Nurgle whose plague and diseases can put low even the mightiest of Daemons.
  • Keepers of Secrets - The Keepers of Secrets are the Greater Daemons of Slaanesh, known also as the Slayers of Slaanesh, the Feasters of Pain and the Great Horned Ones. They are ruiners of purity, a despoiler of the faithful and a harbinger of damnation. A Keeper of Secrets draws strength from the spiritual corruption of others, and feasts upon sin and excess as a mortal might sup fine wines and sweetmeats.

Daemonic Heroes

Notable Daemons of Chaos

  • Karanak - Karanak, known as the Hound of Vengeance, the Endless Hunter and the Talon of the Skull Throne, is the three-headed Flesh Hound that prowls and guards Khorne's grand throne room. He never sleeps, for like the Blood God's unreasoning vengeance, Karanak is ever watchful.
  • Skarbrand - Skarbrand, known also as the Exiled One, the Wrathful Reaper, or the Drinker of Blood, was once the greatest of all Khorne's Daemons, an Exalted Bloodthirster. An eternity of battle in the Blood God's name had brought Skarbrand victories uncounted. It was he who tore down the gates of Slaanesh's first palace and visited ruin therein. It was he who led the eight Hosts of Murder to their triumph over the combined armies of the other Chaos Gods. But his arrogance, hubris and sheer rage, secretly fanned by Tzeentch, grew so great that he actually attacked his Chaos God patron. For this supreme transgression, Skarbrand had his personality and intellect excised by the Blood God, leaving only his rage. He was exiled from the Blood God's Domain and forced to wander the immortal and mortal worlds, where he seeks to atone for his sin and end his exile by piling thousands of new skulls upon the Skull Throne of Khorne.
  • Blue Scribes - The Blue Scribes, sometimes known as Azure Arcanologists, Wandering Wizards, and Tzeentch's Quaestors, are a pair of powerful Blue Horrors which ride their Disc of Tzeentch through realms eternal and mortal, squabbling as they seek fragments of their god Tzeentch lost to the Winds of Magic to bind them with parchment and ink. P'tarix scrawls frantically with a quill crafted from a Lord of Change's pinfeather. Xirat'p reads the written words to check for mistakes; in so doing unleashing the power bound within on any mortal or Daemon unfortunate enough to be nearby.
  • The Changeling - The Changeling, known as the Perplexing Prankster, the Deceiving Horror, or even Tzeentch's Trickster, is a Pink Horror that personifies the part of Tzeentch's psyche that is the meddler and the deceiver. He is the ultimate trickster, who can take the form of other beings, from the tiniest of insects to the most massive of Greater Daemons.
  • Kairos Fateweaver - Kairos Fateweaver, known also as the Oracle of Tzeentch, the Keeper of the Destiny Scrolls, and even the Mocking Watcher, is perhaps the most powerful of the Lords of Change due to the actions of his master, Tzeentch, the Changer of Ways. The Daemon now knows every spell in existence, and every action before it's conceived. Ever since he clawed his way back from the Well of Eternity which he was thrown into by Tzeentch after years uncounted within its depths, Kairos can see things that are hidden even to Tzeentch. Since his return from the Well of Eternity, Kairos has possessed two heads. Kairos' right head sees possible futures as clear as day. No scheme is hidden from its sight and the infinite possibilities of tomorrow crystallise into irrefutable fact. Kairos' left head sees the past without the petty colourations of subjective perspective and bias. Past and future pulse through a body shrivelled and twisted by its passage through the Well of Eternity. Valuable as this vision is, it comes with a heavy cost. Both of Kairos' heads are blind to the present; he cannot see time as it passes -- only events that are to come or whose time has already lapsed.
  • Epidemius - Epidemius, known also as the Maggot King, the Plagued Panjandrum and Reckoner of Mortality, is a Plaguebearer, Herald of Nurgle and Nurgle's chosen Tallyman, one of the seven Proctors of Pestilence and the cataloguer of all the Plaguelord's diseases. Epidemius' task is an unending one, and it generates a great deal of paperwork, so he rides a palanquin to share the burden -- and to more easily force a path through Nurgle's hordes.
  • Ku'gath Plaguefather - Ku'gath Plaguefather, known also as the Foetid Brewmaster, the Plagueweaver, and also as the Rotting Poxmaker, is one of the most favoured of Nurgle's chosen. Whilst other Great Unclean Ones work to spread the plagues already extant, Ku'gath is fascinated by the breeding of new and virulent life.
  • Masque of Slaanesh - The Masque of Slaanesh, known also as the Eternal Dancer, Accursed Maiden, and Darkling Deceiver, was once the most favoured of all the Daemonettes. She danced for the joy of performance and wove enrapturing displays so dazzling that they could strike even immortal gods silent with awe. Yet the Masque was undone when Slaanesh suffered his most terrible loss in the Great Game, maneuvered by Tzeentch into a war with Khorne and Nurgle that he could not hope to win. Thinking to ease Slaanesh's mind and ills, the Masque danced for her dark lord. Never before had she performed with such skill. She glided across that ballroom floor of broken dreams and sundered promises, each sensuous and graceful motion flowing effortlessly into the next. No mortal could have watched her dance that eve and remained unmoved, yet Slaanesh was angry at his defeat, and his proud heart filled with the acrid pain of humiliation. As he watched the Daemonette dance her faultless dance, Slaanesh saw only a barbed jest at his expense, a subtle mockery aimed at his wounded pride. All at once, the Dark Prince could bear no more and flew into a terrible rage. He laid a curse upon the Masque, condemning her to dance throughout eternity against her will, unable to rest her limbs or take the merest pause to savour other experiences. Her dances would now speak in testament of Slaanesh's glory, every motion a stylized rendition of one of the Dark Prince's great victories. His ire spent, Slaanesh turned his back upon the Masque and retired to his inner chambers, where the touch of his handmaidens could perhaps temporarily heal his great hurt.

See Also

Sources

  • 1: Warhammer Armies: Daemons of Chaos (8th Edition)
    • 1a: pg. 3
    • 1b: pg. 5
    • 1c: pg. 6
    • 1d: pg. 8
    • 1e: pg. 9
    • 1f: pg. 10
    • 1g: pg. 11
    • 1h: pg. 12
    • 1i: pg. 13
    • 1j: pg. 14
    • 1k: pg. 15
    • 1l: pg. 16
    • 1m: pg. 17
    • 1n: pg. 18
    • 1o: pg. 19
    • 1p: pg. 20
    • 1q: pg. 21
    • 1r: pg. 22
    • 1s: pg. 23
  • 2: Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2nd Edition: Tome of Corruption (RPG)
    • 2a: pg. 3-6
    • 2b: pg. 7-13
    • 2c: pg. 14-24
    • 2d: pg. 80
    • 2e: pg. 132
    • 2f: pp. 194-195
    • 2g: pp. 196-199
    • 2h: pp. 200-205
    • 2i: pp. 194-195
    • 2j: pg. 223
  • 3: Warhammer Armies: Daemons of Chaos (7th Edition)
    • 3a: "Backcover"
  • 4: Liber Chaotica Volume II: Slaanesh (Background Book)
    • 4a: pg. 20
  • 5: Liber Chaotica Volume IV: Tzeentch (Background Book)
  • 6: Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2nd Edition: Realm of Sorcery (RPG)
    • 6a: pg. 17
  • 7: Archaon: Lord of Chaos (Novel)
    • 7a: Ch. 1
    • Template:End: Prologue
  • 8 Warhammer: The End Times Vol II: Glottkin (8th Edition)
    • 8a: pg. 26
    • 8b: pg. 104
  • 9: Warhammer Armies: Skaven (7th Edition)
    • 9a: pg. 40
  • 10: Tamurkhan: The Throne of Chaos (8th Edition)
  • 11: Warhammer Armies: Warriors of Chaos (8th Edition)
  • 12: White Dwarf (December 2019)
    • 12a: "Worlds of Warhammer" by Phil Kelly, pg. 9
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