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40K Loremaster: Khârn

6 Minute Read
Jun 11 2019
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Today Loremasters we speak of one who carved a red wake across the Imperium for 9000 years – Khârn the Betrayer.

Khârn, also known as Khârn the Betrayer is a Chaos Space Marine of the World Eaters Legion. Khârn is the greatest of all the Champions of Khorne, second only to the Daemon Prince Angron in power. He is the avatar of Khorne, embodying that god’s indiscriminate rage and bloodlust.

Early Great Crusade

During the Great Crusade, Khârn was a Space Marine of the War Hounds Legion, eventually rising to become Captain of the Eighth Assault Company.

When the War Hounds’ primarch, Angron, was found, the entire Legion rejoiced, but their elation turned to horror when their progenitor rejected them and disavowed any interest in joining the Emperor‘s forces. After forcibly teleporting the primarch aboard their Battle Barge, as the Emperor had ordered, the War Hounds were forced to keep him imprisoned in a cargo hold, where he killed every Marine officer who attempted to treat with him. While the rest of the battle-barge’s command staff hovered in indecision, Khârn – the next ranking officer – was the only one who volunteered to try next.

Angron attacked Khârn as soon as he entered, and came dangerously close to killing him, but Khârn kept his composure, in such contrast to the previous officers that Angron was reluctantly impressed. Khârn swore to Angron that his refusal to fight back was not cowardice, but rather the complete awe and obedience which all of the War Hounds held for their primarch. He also managed to convince Angron that, if Angron was hungry for war, then the entire Legion was at his command, and the Crusade offered a whole galaxy worth of enemies to slaughter.

Khârn succeeded where the other Captains had failed, and led his primarch to the bridge of the ship to assume command of his Legion. Seeking to gain his fathers respect and emulate his strength Kharn later volunteered to have the Butcher’s Nails installed into his brain, which at the time had a 100% fatality rate. However Kharn survived the process, being the very first World Eater to endure the Nails and earn Angron’s acknowledgment.

During the Crusade, Khârn served as Angron’s equerry, often acting as a voice of reason that cooled his primarch’s bloody rages (a surprising contrast with the person Khârn was destined to become). His love of killing is so great that he has actually had a kill counter installed in the lens of his helmet. This kill counter was made from arcane technology and was a gift from the Warmaster Horus himself.

Shortly before the Battle of Isstvan III, Khârn had gained a reputation as a brilliant, but unstable warrior. Encountering him aboard the Vengeful Spirit, Nathaniel Garro reflected that some of the rumors surrounding the World Eater involved atrocities that even the most battle-hardened Death Guards found hard to stomach. Through his dueling matches and joint campaigning with other Astartes, Kharn established friendships with Argel Tal, Garviel Loken, Sigismund, and Nassir Amit.

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Horus Heresy

During the infighting on Isstvan III, Khârn was believed killed in action while fighting Garviel Loken of the Luna Wolves, a loyalistdetermined to stop Horus. Khârn engaged in close combat with Loken, only to be thrown against the dozer blades of a nearby vehicle, impaling his chest. It was believed that the blow was fatal, but this proved false.

Kharn later takes part in the Shadow Crusade, forming a friendship with Word Bearer Captain Argel Tal. Tal even proved able to calm Kharn, which led to Erebus becoming worried that his destiny as the Betrayer would be foiled. After Erebus arranged the death of Tal, an enraged Kharn nearly slew the Word Bearer Chaplain. Following the events on Nuceria and the transformation of Angron into a Daemonic entity, Kharn was the first one whom the Primarch spoke to. Angron ordered Kharn to massacre the slaves on the lower decks of the Conqueror and build him a skull throne.

Following the transformation of Angron, the World Eaters went on to mindlessly slaughter any world they came across. Kharn accompanied Angron throughout this, and continued to insist that the Primarch was dying. Angron and his Legion refused all summons by Horus to muster at Ullanor in preparation for the drive on Terra. This eventually caused the Iron Warriors under Perturabo himself to track the World Eaters to Deluge. On the world, they found the population butchered and erected into a giant mound. At the top of it stood Kharn, who pleaded with Pertuarbo and his forces to leave before it was too late. Soon enough, Angron led an attack of World Eaters and Khornate Daemons against the Iron Warriors. Eventually the two sides came to an agreement to leave for Ullanor following the arrival of the Ultramarines.

Siege of Terra

During the culminating siege of the Imperial Palace, Khârn was at the forefront of every assault. When the battle ended with the loyalist forces victorious, Khârn lay dead upon a mound of corpses at the walls of the Inner Palace. His fellow World Eaters carried his corpse away with them as they fought their way back to their ships. Once on board they discovered that by some dark miracle, he still lived. Whether Khorne himself breathed life back into the berserker’s body or whether the relentless clamour of battle revived his blood-lusting spirit remains a mystery, but since the Heresy Khârn has survived the bloodiest battles to the current age and never came so close to death again.

Post Heresy

At the Battle of Skalathrax, between the Emperor’s Children and the World Eaters, Khârn became both legendary and infamous amongst his legion. When the World Eaters’ advance stalled, even though they were close to victory, Khârn became disgusted at their weakness and flew into a berserk rage, slaughtering friend and foe alike. Because of this, the World Eaters were completely scattered into small, individual war bands, and have seldom, if ever, fought as a unified Legion since then. Khârn’s actions at Skalathrax earned him the sobriquet “The Betrayer”, which he has carried ever since.

During the Thirteenth Black Crusade his wrath was unleashed upon the Imperium as Khârn, alongside a few of the most insane of Khorne Berserkers were loosed on the Emperor’s warriors flocking to the defence of Cadia. During the Crusade he was a key Chaos commander during the Diamor Campaign, where he led his Butcherhorde against the Blood Angels, Adeptus Mechanicus and Imperial Titans on the planet of Amethal.

After the opening of the Great Rift, Khârn senses the presence of Saint Celestine on the planet of Tsadrekha and heads there to claim her skull for Khorne. After carving a path in the Imperial defences, the berserker fights the Living Saint, killing her in a duel.

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Wargear

Khârn wields a Plasma pistol and the ancient chainaxe known as Gorechild (which, along with its twin Gorefather, was wielded by Angron himself during the Heresy), rimmed with the teeth of a Mica Dragon.

Learn More of the World Eaters

Lexicanum

~Pay these dark myths no mind dear adepts. If one day you encounter this “betrayer”, simply deploy your Kataphron Destroyers – to put this dog down.

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