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The human Cult of Khaine is an outlawed religion within the Old World.

Overview Edit

The Lord of Murder is a curious case in the Empire. Whilst regarded as a legitimate deity, a member of the pantheon of Gods that make up the various faiths practised in the Old World, worship of Khaine is nonetheless outlawed, and with good reason. As a land of laws, there is no place for the rites and ceremonies demanded by the Bloody-Handed One. And so Khaine is shunned, his followers immolated, and what few temples the God has are razed to dissuade others from championing his filthy cause.[1a]

Despite his status as a forbidden God, Khaine has many followers in the Old World. Secret cults operate throughout the large communities and settlements, meeting in darkness and isolation to pay homage to their appalling master and to hatch murderous plots in the hopes of gaining his blessings. Although these cultists are undeterred from their efforts by the threat of the Witch Hunters’ pyres, they rarely act in the open, content to manoeuvre in the shadows. Those who oppose them tend to be found in their beds, their throats slit, or perhaps strangled or disembowelled, while their unsuspecting spouses sleep on undisturbed.[1a]

Given the opposition to this cult, the human followers of Khaine do not have a formal hierarchy. They exist in small isolated cells scattered throughout the Empire. Whilst they all share the same love of murder, there are a great number of differences between each group, with issues of dogma, purpose, and even practise being some of the most hotly debated subjects. When participating in religious ceremonies, cultists often adorn themselves in black robes trimmed in red. These symbolise the Lord of Murder’s associations with his brother Morr, and also the blood that flows from a well-delivered killing.[1a][1b]

Symbol Edit

Khaine’s symbols, though never brazenly displayed, are of the scorpion and the serpentine dagger. Dedicated followers may have a tattoo of a scorpion’s stinger on the flesh between their thumbs and forefingers, while others bear the mark beneath their left eyes.[1b]

Higher ranking cultists may also have more extensive tattooing on their backs, forearms, or on their loins. All cultists carry special daggers, noted for their wavy blades, and where possible they incorporate the image of the scorpion into their accessories, jewellery, or even clothing.[1b]

Strictures Edit

  • All death is sacred, but only murder is sacred to Khaine.[1c]
  • Murder is an act of devotion — do not rush it.[1c]
  • Murder is its own reward.[1c]
  • Do not let an opportunity to kill pass you by. Each such moment is a blessing given by Khaine.[1c]
  • Murder by the hand of another is good, murder by your own hand is better.[1c]
  • Do not betray the cult, even in death.[1c]
  • Do not conceal the work of Khaine, even if it leads to your discovery.[1c]

Area of Worship Edit

Cultists of Khaine can be found throughout the Old World, despite the fact that his worship is forbidden and punishable by death. His followers are drawn to places of depravity and suffering more than any others, for their activities are all the more easy there. Still, places of upright morals and devout worship of the righteous Gods of the Old World are by no means safe from their predations. Khaine is an almost exclusively human God (although, one should not mistake the Khaine venerated in the Empire for the Khaine among the Elves and Dark Elves), and his worship is predominantly restricted to large towns and cities — his cults thrive on human contact and quickly tear themselves apart if they find themselves without a steady source of victims.[1b]

There have always been cults of murder in the eastern Empire — dark forests breed dark minds, or so the saying goes. The closed nature of communities in the east, coupled with an intolerance and mistrust of strangers, makes it all the easier for a local cult to take root amongst native folk and operate without drawing too much attention. Although the dead rest uneasily in the eastern Empire, and supernatural horrors abound, not all unexplained murders can be pinned at the door of the Undead.[1b]

Temperament Edit

Cultists of Khaine are secretive and clandestine, and take all possible precautions to avoid being identified as members of the cult. Yet their practises make their presence all too obvious, over time.[1b]

Whenever possible — and at least once a month, if not more — victims are snatched from the streets of towns or from country roads and ritually sacrificed. This foul act is preceded by the carving of holy symbols upon the body of the victim, and concluded with the slitting of his throat. Victims are then dumped in a nearby body of water, ditch, or back alley. Variations on this procedure exist, naturally, but the regularity with which it must be performed is almost universal. Only those who will not be missed any time soon, or those who can be taken without witnesses, are kidnapped. Once a body is found, assuming that the elements or scavengers have not destroyed the evidence, a knowledgeable investigator could easily recognise the hallmarks of the cultists’ work… for all the good it does him. The method and motive become clear to the officer in question, but of the true identities of the perpetrators, few clues are left.[1b][1c]

Not all victims of the cult are killed in a ritualised manner, however, for the cult preaches that a chance to commit murder should not be passed up. The truly devout relish these murders of opportunity, performed in the alleys behind houses of ill repute and on lonely roads at night.[1c]

Several of the cult’s priests act as its leaders, but beyond their positions it is organised fairly haphazardly. Most of the cultists are lay members, the only requirement being that they have a “bloodied hand.” Prospective cultists who have second thoughts about committing the deed invariably wind up as the group’s next victim.[1c]

Divine Lore of Khaine Edit

Note: the following spells have been limited to fluff material only, and the translation thereof.

The disparate cults of Khaine, the Lord of Murder, do not share their lore; indeed, few are even aware of the existence of other cults dedicated to their God. The following prayers are an example of what a typical priest of the Scorpion Prince has at his disposal.[1d][1e]

Khaine Human Divine Magic

A Human follower of Khaine using "Bloody Hand".

  • Bloody Hand: You chant your dark dedications to the Scorpion Prince, and your hands begin to drip blood, marking you as Khaine’s chosen. Your hands drip the blood of the murdered, splashing on your foes in combat.[1e]
  • Dagger of Khaine: Your prayers imbue your dagger with Khaine’s lust for blood, giving them increased precision and magical qualities.[1e]
  • Eternal Torment: You speak your prayers over the body of a recently deceased corpse, and claim the soul for Khaine. The spirit (and corpse) becomes immune to Necromancy spells and will never know Morr’s peace as it is sent screaming to the Lord of Murder’s Dark Realm. It is said those sent to Khaine sometimes return to do the bidding of his priests; if this is true, it is a very rare event.[1e]
  • Hidden Blade: You chant prayers in your enemy’s face, misdirecting him from the true threat: the Hidden Blade. A dagger flashes from an unexpected direction, held by a hand and arm that appears as one of your own, but cannot be.[1e]
  • Sting in the Tail: Your prayers draw the killing power of the scorpion to your blade.[1e]
  • The Lord of Murder: You chant your prayer and are filled with the killing power of Khaine. The extra attacks that result can only be used in combination with a dagger.[1e]

Source Edit

  • 1: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2nd ED -- Tome of Salvation
    • 1a: pg. 129
    • 1b: pg. 130
    • 1c: pg. 131
    • 1d: pg. 221
    • 1e: pg. 222

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