Essentially, a Warlock is a Witch who is very aware of the dangers of using Dark Magic, but does not care—in fact he relies upon it. These vile magic users actively seek to study the ways of Chaos and to become proficient in the arts of summoning and controlling Daemons, often referring to themselves as “Daemonologists.”
Since they are self-taught and so much of their magic is based on experimentation, however, most Warlocks have unique views of magic and the world. It is this individuality that makes it so hard for the witch hunters to root them out. Despite the many dangers, some Witches survive without submitting themselves to the judgement of the Imperial Colleges and in time, grow in experience and strength. Using Dark Magic is immensely dangerous, even more so than using one of the refracted Colours of Magic. There is little training a human can undergo to defend against the corrupting and physically destructive affects of using it. Yet some such Witches grow to become ever more aware of the nature of the Dark Magic they are using, and through sheer force of will and an ego of borderline or true megalomania, they even manage to find ways to harness it with increasing dependability, apparently wrestling it into a semblance of submission.
Essentially, Warlocks are successful and powerful Witches who are very aware that they are using Dark Magic, but do not care — in fact they rely upon it. Unlike all Hedge Wizards or even most Witches, these few are no longer innocent bystanders, dupes, or ignorant fumblers with powers they do not understand. They are fully aware of what it is they are doing and actively enjoy the incredible raw power at their fingertips. Whether through trial and error, supernatural assistance, through the rare instruction of another Warlock, very rarely, an illegal secret society, or through finding or stealing tomes of forbidden knowledge, Warlocks actively seek to study the ways of Dark Magic and endeavour to become proficient in cruel and destructive spells to further their own ends.
By merit of the fact they use Dark Magic so frequently, Warlocks pose a very real danger, both to those around them and to themselves. They have towering egos, iron-like will, and are always very hardy physically. Because they knowingly and willingly seek out and have embraced Dark Magic, they also tend to be paranoid megalomaniacs. Few Warlocks are alike in terms of talent. As they are generally self-taught, they develop individualized spells and abilities. However, all Warlocks tend to fall in one of two groups: Daemonologists and Necromancers.
The Warlock Perspective
- On True Magic: The great lie must be revealed. The Archmage Teclis has duped men into believing that true magic is beyond their understanding. The founding of the Eight Colleges ensures the Imperials practice a fragmented form of magic, while the devious elves withhold the real secrets to power. The vilification of the Dark Lores is yet another deception intended to curtail man’s knowledge of the aethyr, by exploiting irrational fears of daemons and necromancy. The warlock rejects these deceptions, and embraces Chaos lore and Dark Magic as essential components to controlling aethyr.[2a]
- On Dark Magic: Although the tedious witch hunters constantly lecture that the slightest exposure to Dark Magic is highly corruptive, this is another gross exaggeration intended to spread fear and misinformation. Dark Magic, or Dhar, is simply the stagnation of aethyric energy. As such, a proficient warlock can manipulate and control it in the same way that the blacksmith manipulates fire.[2a]
- On Necromancy: It is a simple matter for the elves to condemn necromancy, since they often live for hundreds of years or more. Why should mankind be condemned to a fraction of that time when there exists an opportunity to extend life? The ancient Lahmians venerated necromancy and they were among the most advanced civilisations of their time. The creation of undead minions is a situation borne out of necessity, when one is hunted across every acre of his homeland.[2a]
- On Daemonology: The warlock’s trade with daemonkind is perhaps the truest example of his even-handed approach to the study of the aethyr. For what better specimen to learn from than a denizen of the aethyr itself! The summoning of daemons is a perilous business, but minor daemons are quite limited mentally and easy to control. Greater daemons can be a bit trickier to deal with, and it is imperative to establish dominance early.[2a]
- Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2nd ED -- Realms of Sorcery (pg. 129, 131).
- 2: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2nd ED -- Career Compendium
- 2a: pg. 223