- "Chieftains are the bravest, most warlike among their kind - hurling themselves into the fray and remaining until the very end."
- —The leaders of the Northmen tribes.
The tribes of Northmen that flock southwards with any Chaos invasion are known by those in their path as Chaos Marauders. These savage barbarians fight with heavy axes and cruelly barbed flails, and charge in great howling mobs towards the foe. They have little fear of dying in battle, for they know that they fight under the scrutiny of their gods, and that cowards are beneath their deities' notice. The Chieftains that lead these warriors are a daunting sight, brooding hulks of muscle and hair whose bodies are covered in the scars and trophies of battle. Bearing weapons worn from dealing a thousand mortal injuries to those foolish enough to face them, these savage leaders are independent and fierce. These battle-hardened killers are the products of a people so steeped in conflict that, even in times of prosperity, they will fight to the death for the honour of leading the next raid.
Among the Norscans, Marauder Chieftains are blessed with Chaos Steeds, fearsome Daemonic Weapons and other mighty boons. They reside in massive, grand halls where they and their Huscarls feast and receive visitors. These halls are usually made from upturned longship hulls, specially-built great round huts or built into caves, always at the foot of some unholy monument used to summon monsters to a Chieftain's cause.
The Chieftains and Champions of the Skeggi tribe are no less warlike than their cousins in Norsca. They may forgo the wearing of heavy armour due to the sweltering heat of Lustria, but they are very well equipped, and blessed with the gifts of the Chaos Gods. Some ride upon great Cold Ones, leading the warbands of the Skeggi to battle in the search for pillage and blood.
Though there are differences between each of the Kurgan tribes, most notably the God whom they serve, they all value strength over any other virtue. They are a people of hardened warriors. Courage, skill, and brawn are their celebrated traits. The most powerful warrior of the tribe is called the Zar, their name for the Chieftain and in imitation to the Tzars of Kislev. He holds his position by dint of his power, the favour of his divine master, and the loyalty of his warriors, which he earns by bestowing onto them gifts for their service. Facial scarring is the clearest sign of a Zar’s ability, and once a battle is won, the tribe's Shaman (a Chaos Sorcerer) makes an incision on the leader’s cheek.
The Chieftains of the murderous Hung tribes are known as Kahns. They are among the cruellest and most untrustworthy of their kind.
Notable Marauder Chieftains
- Drenok Johansen - Wielder of the Great Axe and Chieftain of the Iceblood Tribe.
- Grydal - A Snaegr Chieftain renowned as the Scourge of the South, who bears the Mark of Khorne and the status of an Exalted Daemon who has attained mastery over his new form.
- Svengar of the Skaelings - The titanic Lord of the Norse who fought the Grail Companion, Marcus of Bordeleaux.
- Teiyogtei Khagan - A mighty Khagan and Chieftain of the Tong, who in ancient times forged a great empire.
- Urlfdaemonkin - Ancient chieftain of the Snaegr tribe of Norsca, ascended to become a mighty Daemon Prince of Khorne with the ability to impart the Mark of Khorne upon a supplicant.
- Valgar the Butcher - A Norscan Chieftain who led an unholy crusade into the desert-realm of Nehekhara.
- Originally, Chieftains were simple champion units in Warhammer Fantasy Battles, fighting within Maruader regiments while possessing slightly better statistics than a standard Marauder. Lore-wise, however, many Chieftains rivalled Exalted Heroes and even some Chaos Lords in terms of power and influence. In addition to this, a Chaos Lord who rules over one or more tribes of Northmen could technically be considered a Marauder Chieftain, though their other titles likely supersede this.
- Upon the release of Total War: Warhammer's Norsca DLC, Marauder Chieftains took on a pure leadership role, acting as deadly, single units as opposed to being part of a larger regiment.