Khainite Assassins are masters of a subtle and murderous magic, trained from infancy to be the chosen warriors of Khaine. They move silently and with a precision that surpasses even the standards of other Elves. Blindfolded, an Assassin can walk sure-footedly across the spears of an embattled phalanx, or strike a precise flurry of blows so that each cut exploits a different weakness of armour or flesh.[1a]
The Cult of Khaine hires out its Assassins to the rulers of Naggaroth in exchange for sacrifices, wealth and political favour. Though the price is high, the Assassins' skills are such that there is a constant demand for their services. Many Assassins ply their deadly trade in the Dark Elf cities, eliminating their employer's competitors and aiding in coups against the ruling families. Some are hired by admirals of Black Arks to train Corsairs or sow terror amongst the targets of their raids. Assassins are also often employed to ensure loyalty amongst a Dreadlord's regiments. Such is an Assassin's skill at mimicry and concealment that the troops he accompanies usually remain wholly ignorant of the infiltrator within their ranks. The uncertainty this causes helps to keep rebellion to a minimum, for no Dark Elf can be absolutely certain with who he is conspiring.[1a]
Assassins are masters of using poison, and they coat their weapons with a variety of toxins -- some are deadly, others paralyze or stupefy their victim. One scratch from some of these poisons is enough to send a man into agonising paroxysms as his nerves burn, his heart explodes or his bones crack and shatter. The Assassins take great pleasure in the awful demises of their victims and can keep prisoners alive for many days. Often, they can extract confessions and information from captives much more quickly that the crude tortures used by other Naggarothi interrogators.[1a]
Nowhere in Naggaroth do Khainite Assassin cults flourish more than they do in Hag Graef, where a single Assassin might answer to a hundred different masters in the course of a year. Under such circumstances, discretion and silence have become traits valued as highly as more traditional skills. As a result, many Assassins sew their mouths closed, sever their own vocal chords or nail their jaws shut to ensure they are no longer physically capable of revealing an employer's identity.[1b]
The Assassins of Naggaroth are chosen by the Witch Elves in an unimaginably cruel ritual. Babies stolen during Death Night are taken to the temple of Khaine. Here they are thrown into cauldrons of boiling oil. Most die in indescribable agony, their cries mingling with the cold laughter of the assembled brides of Khaine. But some live. Miraculously, by the will of Khaine, they survive their terrible ordeal and emerge unharmed.[2a]
These children are then branded with the rune of Khaine and given tutelage under the Master Assassins who dwell in the temples of the bloody-handed god. They learn the Way of the Poisoned Sword, and the secrets of moving silently and unseen. They become supreme killers and murderers, and are masters of disguise and experts in the muse of all known kinds of toxins and poisons. Such is the prowess of a Dark Elf Assassin that in battle he is capable of besting almost any opponent, the victim hardly seeing the knife that kills him; such is the speed of a trained Assassin.[2a]
The Assassins are the chief tool of terror in the service of the Witch King. Wherever his armies go, the Assassins go with them. Many a wizard and general has died by the cold blade of a Dark Elf Assassin.[2a]
Infamous Khainite Assassins
- Shadowblade - Hellebron's chief Assassin.
- Hakoer - The former Master Assassin of Hellebron.