- "I have been chosen for greatness by the Dark Gods themselves. You, petty mortal, have been chosen only for death."
- —Eglixus, The Executioner of Trechagrad[1a]
Chaos Warshrines are mighty battle-altars of the Dark Gods, large metal palanquin that provoke the dark marvelous powers of the Ruinous Powers. The men of the north are ever conscious that their actions could catch the eye of their diabolic masters, and they do everything in their power to attract their notice. For this reason, many tribes bring blasphemous icons and unholy relics to battle, hoping to draw the gaze of the gods. The most powerful go even further, carrying vast shrines and altars into battle so that the slaughter they wreak in the names of their gods may be offered up directly to the Ruinous Powers themselves.[1a]
Chaos Warshrines can vary wildly in design. Some are mere wagons, piled high with skulls, weapons and other offerings pleasing to their god. Others are vast altars mounted atop iron platforms and borne aloft by mutant beasts that roam the Chaos Wastes, creatures whose misshapen, over-muscled bodies are evidence of the D ark Gods’ favor. Regardless of who, or what, bears a Chaos Warshrine into battle, these beasts of burden fight with unholy fervor, using their prodigious strength to lash out with fists, teeth and claws, striking down any who dare approach.[1a]
The shrine bearers are goaded towards the front lines by a Shrinemaster, who condemns the souls of the slain to the otherworldly beings of the Realm of Chaos. The prayers and sacrifices that are offered up are like sweet nectar to the Chaos Gods, and the air crackles with blasphemous power when they turn their glance towards the Warshrine. The presence of a Chaos Warshrine empowers the warriors that fight before it, the blessings of the Dark Gods manifesting in the faithful nearby.[1a]
A Chaos Warshrine’s outward appearance often reflects the persona of the deity to which it is dedicated. The Warshrines of Khorne are great constructs of brass and blades that constantly run with rivulets of blood, their every spike adorned with the rune-etched skull of a powerful enemy warrior. Those dedicated to Slaanesh are gilded carriages of scented silk, wax and human flesh, draped in the still-living skins of those whose organs have been offered to the Dark Prince. Warshrines of Nurgle are fouler still, heaped high with flyblown offal and stinking waste that is host to unimaginable parasites and plagues. The Warshrines consecrated to the Changer of the Ways are the strangest of all, their frames adorned with silver bells, caged dragonflies and crystalline bones to tinkle and chime with the music of the stars.[1a]