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40K Lore: Thirsting for Blood, Thirsting for Lore

4 Minute Read
Jan 14 2018

Today we continue our series on greater daemons–these daemons are thirsty.

The powers of Chaos are an insidious bunch, and though you might not think it, one of the more insidious of the lot is the Blood God, Khorne. Oh sure, subtlety and cunning are the last things any one thinks of when Khorne is concerned, but that’s exactly why his treachery must be carefully guarded against. He does not dabble in psychics, choosing instead to focus on martial prowess and anger. These are the watchwords of Khorne, and the reason his strategy is so subtle.


For he coopts everything at the heart of the Imperium. From wrath to skill as warriors to a slakeless thirst that knows no satisfaction except in the middle of combat, Khorne corrupts everything about the Imperial Ideal. Even wrath cannot be fully employed with Khorne lurking in the shadows of hate and darkness. The men and women who would use that anger to fight Humanity’s enemies BECOME them through the trickery of Khorne. But no Daemon is  as expressive of the anger and subtlety of Khorne as are the daemons of hellish strength given form: Bloodthirsters.

Bloodthirsters are the most savage and martial of the Blood God’s servants. Their bloodlust extends beyond mortal comprehension and their power is said to be only matched by the Primarchs of old.

They manifest as towering, muscular behemoths with bestial, almost canine faces, bloodied manes and sharp horns and are clad in the Brass Armour of Khorne which protects them from magic spells and from ranged attacks. In combat they use immense Axes that have been forged in the heat of Khorne’s wrath and bear the essence of a caged Greater Daemon in conjunction with a long whip known as a Gorewhip that allows them to attack more distant foes.


Now, loremasters, you may be telling yourselves that these daemons are nothing special–fearsome appearance and strange armor hewn from the warp itself, is standard demonic fare, but–like all things Khorne, it takes subtlety to determine the hidden purpose here.

Only those well versed in daemonic lore are aware of the Bloodthirster hierarchy. They are organized into eight hosts, ascending in power, prestige, and favour. Each Bloodthirster commands its own legions of daemons and possesses its own lethal skills. Underestimating even those of the eighth and weakest host is a fatal error; they are still greater daemons and far more powerful than any mortal warriors.

Indeed, look at the fearsome feats that even the least of these can boast–laying low an army of warriors. Corrupting an entire world. Battling the Primarchs.

An’ggrath the Unbound, the Guardian of the Throne of Skulls, Most Favoured of Khorne, Lord of Bloodthirsters and the Deathbringer is the mightiest Bloodthirster yet summoned from the warp, and Khorne‘s most favoured servant. His name is only whispered among the Inquisitors of the Ordo Malleus and the ranks of the Grey Knights, for it invokes dread in even the greatest of the Emperor‘s heroes.

Skarbrand was one of the greatest champions of the Blood God. He has slain untold millions, left entire worlds ravaged in his wake, and even ravaged the realms of the other Chaos Gods.[1] It is he who destroyed the First Palace of Slaanesh and killed Nurgle‘s great poxviathan. In the great battle with the most mightiest of Bloodthirsters, he received his axes – Slaughter and Carnage which imbued with the spirits of defeated enemies.[5b]However, it is also this unswayable dedication to destruction that proved to be Skarbrand’s undoing.


Gore Lord is the name given to the Bloodthirster of Khorne which rules over the vast Daemonic warband known as the Brazen Host. Commanding thousands of Daemons, Gore Lord also has managed to get Daemons of Slaanesh under his command, despite the rivalry that exists between the two Chaos Gods.

You see, Loremasters, this one commands even rival Daemonic forces. They are an insidious lot, Bloodthristers. Even preying upon humanity’s ancient past…

The Ragged Knight was born during the Steel Era of Old Earth. A holy man, calling himself Innocent, demanded that the Karthur people be burned for their sins against his God. Lord Innocent called a crusade to eradicate the Karthur, blessing the knights that answer his call with the promise that their sins shall be forgiven. In the land of Gawl, also called the Frankish Empire, they laid siege to the fortress of Albajensia. With all their sins forgiven, they burned it to the ground – massacring men, women and children. The hate, fear, rage, and bitter sense of betrayal give birth to a daemon that rises above its siblings – the Ragged Knight.

Note that as they become more powerful, their names change. They become less of a name and more a description of an idea, gnawing at the heart of the Imperium. One that can only be rooted out with cleansing flame and prayers.

Be extra vigilant tonight, Loremasters.

Author: J.R. Zambrano
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