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Marking of the body is extremely common within the Empire. Most everyone—sailors, priests, soldiers, Magisters, and even nobles—adorn their bodies with tattoos, brands, scars, piercings, or other markings. Cultists prefer marking their body with symbols of their faith, for although a talisman can be taken away or an altar smashed, nothing short of death can remove a tattoo from the faithful's skin.[1a]

Ritual markings can be hidden from view and revealed only to other cultists, or be brazenly open, showing the cultist’s zeal to the masses or to terrorise their enemies in battle. Cultists of Manann, Sigmar, Taal and Rhya, and Ulric are the most likely to adorn their body in places that are visible, while cultists of Morr, Ranald, Shallya, and Verena prefer to keep theirs hidden from view or have far fewer than normal. Cultists of Myrmidia straddle the middle ground, with some eschewing markings altogether, whilst others cover themselves from head to toe in tattoos, brands, and scars.[1a]

Tattoo artists can be found in every large city and many smaller towns—some consider this marking an aspect of their faith, and charge nothing for their services or merely the cost of materials.[1a]

For many cultists, the act of getting one of these markings is considered a rite of passage by itself. Although people can and do get these adornments just because they enjoy both the process and the way they look, many cultists combine receiving a new tattoo, brand, or scar along with a ritual in honour of the Gods.[1a]

Branding is a much more intense and barbaric custom, most commonly found in the far north of the Empire. Warriors, soldiers, mercenaries, and particularly cultists of Ulric apply searing hot brands to their arms, legs, or chests, both to permanently mark their body, and to show their bravery and ability to let pain pass through them. Scarification is similar in its level of pain and the dedication required by the person receiving it. Like tattoos, scars created in this way can be crude and simple, or intricate works of art. Once the cuts are made, herbs, ink, or ashes are rubbed into the wounds so they heal in a way that keeps the scars fresh and vivid.[1a][1b]

Source

  • 1: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2nd ED -- Tome of Salvation
    • 1a: pg. 89
    • 1b: pg. 90

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