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"Blood for the blood god, Skulls for the skull throne" is the battle cry for the Warhammer 40,000 Chaos legions of Khorne and his followers. Drawing strength from battle, Khorne's followers in the 41st Millennium are bloodthirsty zealots who live for war, and this card's mechanics reflect that flavor. This card costs less to cast as things on the battlefield die, whether those are your forces or an opponent's. Remember, "Khorne cares not from whence the blood flows, only that it flows."
Whether for power, salvation, or transcendence, all Kindred cults wallow in blood. They shed it in sacrifice, demand it of their followers, and exalt in it in unholy baptisms proclaiming their divine glories.
Also coinciding with the launch of Immortal Empires and Champions of Chaos is the Blood for the Blood God effects pack. This DLC is available on all digital storefronts and unlocks a whole new world of blood and gore effects in Total War: WARHAMMER III.
Khorne, also known as the "Blood God,"[3a] the "Lord of Murder"[3k], the "Lord of Skulls," "Hunter of Souls," and "the Hound" in Norsca, is the major Chaos God of war, hatred, wrath, rage, murder, blood, strength, courage and martial honour.
Khorne is the second eldest of the major Ruinous Powers and his waxing strength in this time of constant conflict often renders him the mightiest of the Chaos Gods in his effect on the mortal world and in the Great Game between the gods.[1f][2a][2b][3a] His domain encompasses the most basic and brutal of sentient emotions -- hate, anger, rage, the desire for destruction and the joy of killing one's enemies. Every act of killing or murder in the mortal world feeds and empowers Khorne; the more senseless, vicious and bloodthirsty, the better.[3g]
Khorne is the most violent and destructive of the four major Chaos Gods. He represents unrestrained aggression, mindless frenzy, and bloodshed on the battlefield. His lust for blood is unquenchable, and he is forever goading his followers to take up arms and murder in his name. Khorne'sanger and violence is an unbridled force that targets both friends and foes alike. He watches scenes of barbarism and slaughter with delight, and it is said he sounds his horn across the Chaos Wastes to incite further frenzy. During times of utter destruction and murder, Khorne's bellows resound in the Chaos Wastes, causing madness in any that might hear. Of all the Ruinous Powers, Khorne is the biggest instigator of war and destruction, constantly whipping up his followers to lay siege on the cities, towns, and hamlets of the Old World.[2d]
However, though Khorne is the god of bloody slaughter, he is also the god of martial pride and honour, of those who set themselves against the most dangerous foes and earn victory against the odds.[3g] His warriors, though gore-maddened berserkers all, take no artful approach to killing, for such indulgent displays serve only to empower Slaanesh, the honourless adversary of Khorne amongst the company of the Chaos Gods.[1f][2a][2b][3a]
A man that has put his faith in Khorne, however, is just as likely to be a blood-crazed killer as he is an honourable warrior, and oftentimes he will be both at the same time. Khorne, like all the Chaos Gods, has two sides, for he is the embodiment of martial honour and courage,[1f][2a][2b][3a] said to smile upon all feats of valour, strength, and blood-drenched warrior skill.[3g] Yet Khorne is also the divine patron of proud warriors who set themselves against the odds and emerge triumphant through the display of savagery, murderous wrath and unending bloodlust.[3g]
It is not uncommon to see Khornate Chaos Warriors and Champions of Khorne fighting amongst themselves, duelling to the death to prove their skill in combat and rise higher in the eyes of their lord. Khorne ultimately cares not from where the blood flows and the skulls are taken, only that such acts are done in his name. Only bloodletting through physical combat is acceptable however, for Khorne disdains the use of all magic. None of his followers are permitted to be sorcerers, although some will carry magic-imbued weapons or armour in order to augment their killing ability.[4a]
All of Khorne's Daemons are built to kill quickly and efficiently. While the troops of the other Ruinous Powers may fall back to recover or bring other talents into play, the Daemons of Khorne always fight to the death. Cursing their enemies, their mounds of sinewy muscle carving their last steps through the front lines, Khorne's Daemons continue to spill blood and claim skulls until the last roar of defiance and rage from their gaping maws has been silenced. Then their bodies, further sacrifices to the lord they served so faithfully, are crushed to dust and ash by the next wave of his blood-crazed troops, all screaming endlessly "Blood for the Blood God, Skulls for the Throne of Khorne!" as they pour into glorious combat.[4a]
Worshippers of Khorne include Chaos Warriors, psychotics, and berserkers. Many are sometimes drawn to his promises of bloodletting. As noted, many tribes in Norsca have been converted to his call of eternal warfare and spend their days raiding villages along the coasts of the Old World. On occasion, a warrior caught up in the frenzy of battle hears the chant of Khorne in his ears and is driven to madness, forever pledging his service as he covers himself in the blood of the fallen. Horrified companions usually kill these rare aberrations, but some slip away, making their way to the Chaos Wastes to join Khorne's horde.[2d]
Khorne is also traditionally visualized as a massive, humanoid being with skin the colour of blood. He sits upon a grand, brass throne atop a mountain of skulls and blood-covered bones -- the trophies of those that he or his followers have slain in battle or killed in his name. Khornewears intricately carved plate armour, covered in writhing runes and faces screaming in pain and torment. A huge, winged helmet sits on his head, partially obscuring his inhuman, snarling face. He favours weapons that spill the most amount of blood -- massive greatswords, axes, and huge-bladed pole arms.[2d]
Khorne's mighty throne room, built at the very top of his great Brass Citadel, is supported by eight gigantic brass pillars in honour of the sacred number of the Blood God. Khorne sits resplendent in his rage upon his brass throne, resting atop a mountain of bloody skulls, built from the countless heads of great champions his followers have slain over an immeasurable number of eons. The tower itself rises leagues into the blackened sky, surrounded by a moat of molten blood, filled with the screaming enemies of Khorne, whilst the blackened brass walls are covered with monstrous carvings that depict the endless rage of the occupant within.[4a]
Khorne is the least subtle of the Chaos Gods. He puts none of his will into any endeavour that does not cause bloodshed. His lands in the Realm of Chaos are barren, cracked and dry save for the ceaseless rivers of blood fuelled by the endless combat that occurs on them. Throughout his domain, legions of warriors fling themselves into combat purely for the sake and glory of battle.[4a]
Khorne may not be the subtlest of the Ruinous Powers but that is not to say that he does not have goals and ambitions to fulfill beyond seeing blood spilled in his name. His rage may be endless, his fury immutable, but Khorne has a savage intelligence, seeing the need to lay seeds for his destructive plans to pay off in the future.[4d]
Anarchy itself gives special pleasure to Khorne in comparison to his rival Chaos Gods, because in times of anarchy there is inevitably conflict, and when there is such widespread bloodshed, it is also inevitable that skulls shall be lifted into the air by screaming, muscled warriors offering their sacrifice to the Blood God.[4d]
Khorne is not a being that any mortal can claim to have seen; yet his very name inspires fear. Those unlucky enough to have set eyes upon his Daemons will no doubt suffer nightmares until their dying day and know that their very survival was a miracle, even if the mental scars remain. Those that have faced his mortal warriors in battle know of the frenzy, the bloodlust and the almighty strength and power that lets these brutes carry on even after receiving what would be a mortal wound to an average man.[4e]
The Blood God himself sits impassively; he simply seeks out destruction and bloodshed and cares not from where it comes or who delivers it. His indifference to his mortal servants does, however, mean that Khorne is always in need of new champions. There is a dual purpose to this need. When a warrior falls, a new one is needed to step into the breach, to take his predecessor's place so that Khorne can gain the upper hand in his struggle in the Great Game against the other Ruinous Powers.[4h]
Secondly, the introduction of new blood can be used to test his existing champions. If new and old Khornate warriors meet in a challenge, then Khorne can only benefit. If the existing champion emerges victorious, then this warrior will have learned something from the foe he has just defeated, increasing his already impressive skills with his chosen weaponry. If the challenger walks away alive from the combat, then the defeated warrior was a weakling and unfit to serve Khorne. His body will make a meagre sacrifice to the Blood God, but no more.[4h]
Through this brutal and bloody system of natural selection, Khorne slowly builds up the strength and power of his forces, waiting for the moment he can unleash them upon the unknowing mortal world. Khorne does have other plans besides defeating his rival Chaos Gods and destroying mortal civilisation, however.[4h]
Khorne realises that it is unlikely that the mortal world will fall in one swift action and so he looks to build his influence slowly, spreading destruction, anarchy, and death wherever possible. The Blood God's dedicated Chaos Marauders and Chaos Warriors look to test the boundaries of the Empire and Kislev in particular, probing for weaknesses and identifying suitable invasion points. These raids gradually weaken the defences of these two strategically vital realms of the Old World, which takes time to rebuild, whereas Khorne has an endless supply of eager warriors ready to seek bloodshed and sacrifice skulls in his name.[4h] 2b1af7f3a8