- "Is not the only constant in the universe change? One day all this will be dust, and even the stars above will flicker and grow dim. Your life is but a tiny candle in the darkness, and your death an afterthought, shorn of meaning by its insignificance. Come, little one, and let me show you how brightly your flame can burn..."
- —Viltreska, Lord of the Flies[5a]
The Sorcerers of Chaos are powerful spellcasters who use the raw Winds of Magic to cast spells. Masters of Dark Magic, there is little beyond their might. They can transport themselves over vast distances, call upon the fires of Tzeentch, slaughter men by the scores, and more. But such magic comes at a terrible price. As they tap the energies of Chaos, their sanity withers whilst their bodies twist and mutate with the invoked energies.
Chaos Sorcerers may be found amongst the savage tribes of the north, serving as oracles and counsellors, but many also come from the lands of the Empire and beyond. These individuals, finding the limitations on magic within the Colleges too restrictive, and lured by the power to be held by dabbling in Daemonology, drift north to bring themselves closer to the source of their magic, learning through trial and error.
What separates Chaos Sorcerers from other spellcasters, namely the Magisters of the Empire, Witches, and Warlocks, is that these individuals derive their power directly from their Gods. So, only servants of Nurgle, Slaanesh, and Tzeentch may become Chaos Sorcerers (Khorne abhors magic).
Types of Sorcerer
- Maledictors are Shamans and Witch Doctors, minor spellcasters at best. They dabble in the dark arts, but have little understanding of what it is that they do. A few join a warband in the hopes of gaining a better understanding of the nature of Chaos.
- Doomweavers are distinct from the lesser Chaos Sorcerers because of their deeper understanding of the workings of magic. These spellcasters select one Chaos patron to serve, and draw upon magic as granted by this profane God. Doomweavers advise Chaos Champions, or at least, bind themselves to a powerful warlord.
- Soulflayers barely resemble their former selves, as they are riddled with mutations. These individuals are warped by the magic they wield, becoming both more and less than what they were. Mighty spellcasters, Soulflayers are among the most potent servants of Chaos, eclipsed only by the Cataclysts. Most Soulflayers may command a coven of Maledictors, instructing them in the arts of Dark Magic.
- Cataclysts rival the Exalted Champions of Chaos in sheer magnitude. They can conjure up the most profane Daemons and level legions with their corrupt energy, becoming living vessels of the raw energy of Chaos. Their minds are blasted by the experiences they have endured, and they are mere shadows of their former selves. Cataclysts always employ Daemons to do their bidding and are valued members of any Chaos Horde.
Those Champions of Chaos who offer their souls to the Dark Gods in return for the mastery of forbidden lore achieve great power, at a cost. The raw Winds of Magic are often too much for their sanity to bear. Only the strong-willed can wield such fearsome magic.[4a]
Sorcerers devoted to Nurgle can inflict suffering and affliction at a whim. Clad in decaying Chaos armour and rotten robes, their body host to a hundred ailments, their incantations can cause flesh to blister and skin to slough from muscle. They can enchant worms to infest a victim’s organs, consuming him slowly from within, and can rain down boiling bile from the sky. They also have the power to regenerate injured flesh, scabbing over wounds in mockery of Shallya’s blessings.[4a]
Chaos Sorcerers are powerful and dangerous foes, using more of the Winds of Magic than their counterparts at the Colleges of Magic despite the risk of mutation, corruption, or even worse fates. Sorcerers of Slaanesh are powerful spellcasters capable of distorting and distracting the mind to cause seizures, frenzies, and delusions.[3a]
Some sorcerers of Slaanesh are former students and acolytes of the Imperial colleges who have fallen and turned to Chaos. There are many reasons why a man may sell his soul to the daemonic power of Slaanesh. Perhaps the wizard felt impotent in comparison to his peers or simply desired even greater power. Others, delighting in their creations and cantrips, have fallen into a pattern of excess, devolving over time into a devotee of Slaanesh until their greed transforms them into a mere puppet, a tool of the Ruinous Powers.[3a]
These depraved sorcerers take great joy in using their powers for destruction or pleasure, weaving through the Winds of Magic with their minds and basking in pure Chaos energies.[3a]
Others still are men from the harsh north that have been raised to Chaos. Either through prayer, mutation, or sheer luck, these sorcerers have become attuned to the Winds of Magic and are bestowed with the same great powers as their fallen brethren.[3a]
Masters of the darkest magic, Chaos Sorcerers are rightly feared. To face one is battle is to know that your very soul is in jeopardy, but it is those that have dedicated themselves to Tzeentch that wield the greatest power. Champions as they are of the Master of Magic, the Sorcerers of Tzeentch have the deepest knowledge of the dark arts, and possess the necessary skills to perform the greatest acts of daemonic summoning.[2a]
Often found in an advisory position to powerful champions of the Gods seeking their gift of foresight, the scheming and manipulative nature of Sorcerers of Tzeentch will usually leave little doubt who wields the true power behind the scenes, though their supposed masters usually remain oblivious to that fact.[2a]
A Sorcerer of Tzeentch will traditionally be garbed in robes of deep blue, and will almost certainly bear signs of mutation, such as an avian head, tentacles, or hands and feet that end in razor-sharp talons. Some Sorcerers wear lavishly detailed belts and shoulder pads of jewel-studded gold, whilst others wear baroque suits of skull-emblazoned Chaos Armour and ornate helmets.[2a]
All will carry a magic staff that blazes with evil power, engraved with runes of hate and disharmony that are an anathema to the witch-sight of their rivals in magic. Particularly favoured Sorcerers may receive the gift of a daemonic Disc of Tzeentch to carry them into battle, offering them unrivalled speed and manoeuvrability - a superb platform from which to unleash their devastating spells.[2a]
Even among the skilled and devoted Sorcerers of Tzeentch, some ascend to a level of arcane power that rivals the mightiest wizards the Colleges of Magic have at their disposal. These individuals are called Sorcerer Lords, and the magic they wield is truly frightening. A Sorcerer Lord is a formidable opponent – cunning, devious, and cruel. He may lead an entire warband of fellow disciples or daemons of Tzeentch, manipulating the talents of his followers as easily as he manipulates the Winds of Magic in service of the Great Conspirator.[2a]
- 1: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2nd ED -- Tome of Corruption
- 2: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 3rd ED -- The Book of Change
- 2a: pg. 26
- 3: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 3rd ED -- The Book of Pleasure
- 3a: pg. 16
- 4: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 3rd ED -- The Book of Plague
- 4a: pg. 26
- 5: Warhammer Armies: Warriors of Chaos (8th Edition)
- 5a: pg. 27