Khorne

Khorne grew from a single survivalist emotion: in his case, the emotion was rage. Khorne is the Chaos god of hate, war, violence and killing; for this reason he bears sobriquets such as Blood God and Lord of Skulls.

Khorne is a spartan god of war who acts outwardly by seeking the death of others, preferring close combat over ranged weaponry; as such, he is completely opposed to the hedonistic Slaanesh, an inwardly acting god who seeks pleasure in every act and experience. He has a strong distrust of wizards and sorcerers, whom he sees as cowards; this means he is also highly suspicious of Tzeentch, although they are not archenemies. In both game settings, these relationships affect the makeup of an army which is dedicated to Khorne.

He is described as an extremely well-muscled, beast-headed monster sitting on a brass throne atop a mountain of skulls in the middle of a sea of blood. The skulls are described as belonging to both his victims and his worshippers alike, as Khorne cares not from whence the blood flows. Due to the immense amount of violence and killing occurring throughout the universe, Khorne is the strongest of the Chaos gods. The colours associated with him are red, brass and black, and these colours feature prominently in his demonic hordes and are usually adopted by his followers. The correct adjective to indicate individuals and events related to this God is "Khornate".

Cult of Khorne

As the god of mindless rage and slaughter, Khorne's mortal followers in both settings are nearly uncontrollable warriors of exceptional martial skills. Khorne's followers share their god's straightforward philosophy on combat, preferring to run directly at their foes in order to engage and defeat them in hand to hand combat.

In Warhammer 40,000, the Chaos Space Marines who worship Khorne are known as "Berzerkers". They typically come from the World Eaters Legion but are not exclusive to that legion. These frenzied warriors generally wield chainaxes as their weapon of choice since the axe is Khorne's preferred weapon, but other close combat or short ranged weapons such as swords or pistols are also used. Also, it is stated that Khorne's preferred number is eight, thus squads of Berzerkers and Khornate daemons are typically eight in number.

In Warhammer Fantasy Battle, Khornate champions are usually seen in red and brass and typically carry large axes, although other weapons such as swords and spears appear occasionally. The Khorne rune is typically displayed prominently on their armour.

Unlike the other three gods, Khorne's followers are stated as never building temples in his honour. Instead, they worship their god on the battlefield, praising him with battlecries along the lines of "Blood for the Blood God! Skulls for the Skull Throne!". However, four temples dedicated to Khorne do appear on Lorn V in Dawn of War: Winter Assault - these were simply large pillars with pools of blood around them.

Within the setting there are a number of daemons that are specifically associated with Khorne and may be included as part of a Khorne related force:

  • Bloodletters - are ugly, crook-backed horned humanoid daemons with cloven hooves who tote blood-drinking battleaxes or swords known as Hellblades, which are forged at the foot of the Throne of Skulls; and wear armour of daemonic brass. They enter horrific frenzies in battle.
  • Flesh Hounds - are monstrous and ferocious canine creatures, notorious for their ability to track down their chosen prey. They bear enchanted collars that make them highly resistant to magic or psychic influences.
  • Bloodthirsters - are the greater daemons of Khorne. Of all the Daemons, they bear the greatest resemblance to stereotypical western demons such as the Balrog from J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth, having a human body, cloven hooves instead of feet, leathery bat-like wings and horned dog-like or humanoid heads. They wield a whip and a massive two-headed battle axe simultaneously in battle. As the greatest manifestation of the god of war, the dreaded Bloodthirster is one of the most powerful warriors that can be found on the battlefields of both Warhammer Fantasy and Warhammer 40,000.
  • Juggernauts - are massive four-legged creatures made of living metal whose blood is liquid fire. They are generally given as steeds to favoured champions of Khorne.