Hordes of Chaos
Warriors of Chaos is a Warhammer "Army Book," a supplement to the Warhammer Fantasy Battle tabletop miniature wargame. The book gives rules for playing an army of the human Chaos-worshippers from the Chaos wastes of the north, as well as in-game background information on such individuals. Within the game, the forces of Chaos were originally represented by a single army, but were later split into separate armies – daemons, warriors, and beastmen – that could contain models from each other's army lists, albeit not as core choices. This arrangement is no longer rules-legal, but the existence of a cannon crewed by Chaos Dwarfs in the current rules is a remnant of older editions.
Chaos wastes and history
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In the fictional world of Warhammer Fantasy Battle, the inter-dimensional gate that brought the "Old Ones" to the world collapsed, ripping a hole in the fabric of reality. The hole was located at the worlds north pole, and led to the "realm of Chaos". From this realm came the energy known as magic, but also the beings known as Daemons. The daemons would have destroyed the world, but the Slann and High Elven Arch-mages were able to create a vortex to drain most of the magic away. Without magic the daemons faded back to the realm of Chaos.
The area around the entrance to realm of Chaos is known as the Chaos Wastes. Because the wastes are so close to the realm of Chaos, the laws that govern Order are fluid, the weather can change instantly and the wastes are full of monsters.
The humans that live in the wastes are savages compared to humans from the Old World. They tend to live in tribes that move from area to area. Each tribe has its own beliefs and customs, but all worship the four great gods of Chaos in some form. Life is hard in the wastes, tribes are always fighting monsters and each other, making them natural born fighters. They are tall and heavily built, often dressed in furs and scraps of armor. Their bodies are covered in symbols and runes, which they believe will protect them. Like all from the chaos wastes, they likely have some form of mutation, but see this as proof that the gods favor them.
The men from the north are great sailors, and during peace times they will trade with and fight for other races. Most of the time they will be raiding the other races for plunder, slaves or glory.
At times the hole to the realm of Chaos will expand, making the Chaos wastes unlivable. This forces the southern tribes to attack other races. These incursions are rare but difficult to defeat.
The Two incursions were:
The "Great war against Chaos" was an incursion led by Asavar Kul that nearly destroyed the nation of Kislev. The incursion was stopped by the armies of Magnus the Pious at the gates of Kislev city, but the city of Praag was warped in to a living nightmare and most of Kislev was destroyed.
The "Storm of Chaos" when Archaon, Lord of End Times led his army to destroy the city of Middenheim.
Warriors of Chaos armies tend to be close-combat oriented, with few to no ranged capabilities, other than magic. Their primary tactic is simply to engage the enemy in close combat. When playing against a chaos army it is best to avoid contact via close-combat, and instead stay at a distance and utilize a gun line or magic. Almost all available units of the Warriors of Chaos may take a "Mark". A mark is a symbol that represents the one of the four gods of chaos that has granted favor upon the bearer. A marked unit gains an ability that is oriented with the mark of their God. In older editions of the army, all units were required to have the same mark.
"Marauders" are the savage tribesmen from the North, coming from the Norse race, predominantly, but also from the Kurgan realms. They are stronger fighters than the average human, and less likely to panic. "Marauders Horsemen" from birth share a destiny with their steeds, serving as a light cavalry.
"Chaos Warriors" are men who have sold their souls to the Chaos gods for power. They are one of the strongest units of the game. They wear Armour forged by the Chaos Dwarfs, that can never be removed due to the bonding of metal and flesh. The "Chosen" are the most favoured of the warriors. The Chaos gods will give them abilities like great strength and tough skin. The strongest will become "Chaos knights". They ride "chaos steeds" (strong mutant horses), and carry magical weapons. The most powerful will become "Exalted heros" and "Chaos lords". Some Chaos lords become a "Daemon prince". Some ride in Chariots or deamon steeds.
"Chaos Sorcerers" are warriors gifted with the ability to use magic. Their spells are some of the most destructive in the game, and unlike most wizards they are good in close-combat. Away from battle, they serve as priests to the Chaos gods.
The "Forsaken" are men who have been given mutations that reduce them to animal like intelligence (the men of the north see all mutation as a blessing from the gods). They serve as berseker troops. "Chaos Spawn" are those that have received one too many mutations. They look like large piles of flesh with flailing appendages and mouths. Most of them are insane or completely unaware of their own mortality. In battle they lurch towards the nearest enemy at random speeds.
The men of the north breed wolf-sized mutant dogs called "Chaos Hounds". In battle they are used to support other troops and chase down fleeing enemies.
They also use mutant versions of monsters like Trolls, Ogres, Giants, and Dragons. The army can also make use of half Ogre/half dragon monsters called Dragon Ogres.
They can use a Chaos Dwarf hellcannon.
- Morkar the Uniter: The first Everchosen of Chaos. Once a young Norseman child who saw his village destroyed by vengeful Imperials, he was marked by the Gods from an early age. After winning innumerable victories and bringing the Norse tribes to his banner, Morkar went on even greater quests to earn the blessings of all the Chaos Gods and was crowned by Be'lakor as the Everchosen, the greatest Champion and leader of Chaos. He then invaded the Empire and nearly destroyed it before he was narrowly defeated by Sigmar in a great battle. Centuries later, Archaon sought Morkar's armour from his tomb and claimed it to show his worthiness as his successor.
- Galrauch, First of the Chaos Dragons: The two-headed Chaos Dragon is said to be the father of many of the hideous monsters that prowl the Chaos Wastes. Once a valiant enemy of chaos, until he was possessed by a Greater Daemon of Tzeentch, but some part of him still remains and fights it.
- Vardek Crom, Herald of Archaon: Also known as Crom the Conqueror. A powerful warlord of the Kul tribe, Vardek Crom is allied with Archaon. During the Storm of Chaos, Crom led his army to attack the Empire from the east while Archaon attacked from the north. Crom also defeated Waaagh! Grimgor in the beginning of the campaign, thus earning the honor of being the first mortal to fight Grimgor to a draw in single combat.
- Archaon, Lord of the End Times: A former Sigmarite templar, Archaon read a forbidden tome and learned the hidden secrets of his faith. He renounced his allegiance to Sigmar and quested for six powerful Chaos artefacts, becoming the Everchosen of Chaos and leading a massive army against the Empire. He has almost managed to slay Teclis and his brother Tyron.
- The Four: Archaon's generals during the Storm of Chaos were known as the Four, and they were all exceptionally powerful servants to their respective Gods. Archaon gathered the Four among the Norse tribes. They were known as Harrgroth, the Blooded One (champion of Khorne), Feytor the Tainted (champion of Nurgle), Styrkaar of the Sortsvinaer (champion of Slaanesh) and Melekh the Changer (champion of Tzeentch). Of these Four, only two survived the campaign, with Harrgroth being slain by Ar-Ulric Emil Valgeir, and Melekh being executed by Archaon for failing to advance his troops fast enough across the Middle Mountains (to the north of Middenheim). Melekh was then replaced for the rest of the campaign by his son, Cyspeth.
- Be'lakor, the Dark Master: The first Daemon Prince, Be'lakor spent thousands of years in an insubstantial state for angering the Chaos Gods. Upon returning to a physical form, Be'lakor was forced to crown Archaon the Lord of the End Times. Be'lakor's battle standard has the broken, reanimated body of Volkmar the Grim pinned to it. Following the campaign, Be'lakor was banished to the Realm of Chaos by the magic of Teclis.
- Prince Sigvald: A Chaos Lord of Slaanesh. He was born from an incestuous relationship between a powerful warlord and his sister. Sigvald was beautiful from birth, save for a horned birthmark on the back of his neck, and was spoiled by his father until expelled from his tribe by his father due to his "fondness for human flesh". Sigvald proceeded to murder his father in his sleep and departed for the Chaos Wastes, earning Slaanesh as his patron. Now, Sigvald marches at the head of an army devoted to himself, eradicating anyone he deems to be ugly, crude or irritating. Sigvald has burnd down cities on a whim; one story suggests that he destroyed the town of Chamburg because the wine there was not to his taste. He is spoiled by Slaanesh and is described as being extremely self-centered: his body-guards bear mirrored shields so that he may preen himself in the midst of battle. His gifts from Slaanesh have left him beautiful on the outside, but rotten inside. The ground literally reshapes itself for him and his feet float and inch above the world's surface. He wears an armor of ensorcelled gold that never rusts or gets dirty and fights with Sliverslash: a rapier said to be forged from a sliver of Slaanesh's sword.
- Valkia, the Bloody: A Daemon Princess of Khorne; said to be the consort of Khorne. Valkia was once the queen of a great tribe and gained the attention of Khorne when she slew anyone that questioned her right to rule. She then moved on to killing other Chaos lords and mighty followers of the other gods, including Locephax: a daemon prince of Slaanesh that was attracted to her. Angered when he asked her to be his slave girl, Valkia slew him in a duel and subsequently placed his head on her shield. Khorne was from then on her patron God. In gratitude, she vowed to fight her way north to the realm of Chaos and place her shield on the throne of Khorne in his honor. Yet, on her journey north she was killed in battle. Khorne, enraged over her death, brought her from the dead and elevated her into a Daemon Princess. She is described as having the legs of a Bloodletter of Khorne and the wings of a bat. Valkia carries The Spear of Slaupnir, The Scarlet Armor, and her Daemonshield.
- Vilitch, the Curseling: A Chaos Sorcerer of Tzeentch. He was born wretched and tiny yet his twin brother, Thomin, was a strong and capable warrior. Thomin became the favored child of the family, thus Vilitch was forced to do the chores around the home. To compensate for his weakness, he learned magic from the village shaman. Tired of his wretched life Vilitch prayed to Tzeentch for aid one night to become the strong child. Vilitch awoke fused to his brother, who became his mindless servant. Vilitch then destroyed the village, killed everyone, and is now the leader of a mighty army of Tzeentch.
- Festus, the Leechlord: A Chaos Sorcerer of Nurgle. Festus was a once famous doctor of Nordland who sold his soul to Nurgle in exchange for knowing how to cure all disease. This knowledge drove him insane, and now he now travels the roads with his army of Nurgle, spreading pestilence across the old world.
- Scyla Anfingrimm: A Chaos spawn that was once a Chaos Lord of Khorne. Scyla is still favored by Khorne, so is greater than a normal Spawn. Many warriors wish to challenge him so, in battle, characters may challenge to a duel. He carries the brass collar of Khorne.
- Wulfrik the Wanderer: A great warrior who drank too much beer one night and boasted that he was the greatest warrior alive. The Chaos gods sought to punish him and he is cursed to hunt other great warriors for all eternity. The gods gave him the gift of speaking any language and he must declare challenges on the battlefield. He has a flying ship called Seafang.
- Throgg, King of Trolls: A Troll who was given by The Chaos Gods the gift of intelligence. He was then named King of Trolls and one day decided to conquer everything. He now plans to lead an army of trolls and other monsters of Chaos to destroy the lands of men.
- Kholek Suneater: A giant Dragon Ogre who is believed to be the second oldest Dragon Ogre. He is considered a god by some and was once frozen in an ice glacier by Teclis but he was freed. It is known that during the Great war of Chaos, he was in Kul's army and was the one who destroyed Kislev's wall at the battle of Kislev's Gates.
- Arek Daemonclaw: A former noble of the Empire who became disillusioned with the Empire and slowly turned to Chaos, seeking out various forbidden tomes and gaining knowledge by infiltrating cults dedicated to Tzeentch. After journeying to the Chaos Wastes he pledged himself to Tzeentch and over the next century was granted many gifts for his dedication to the Changer of Ways. After meeting the mages Kelmain Blackstaff and Lhoigor Goldenrod he rose to power in the Wastes, gathering an army of hundreds of thousands before marching on Kislev. Slain at the Battle of Praag by Gotrek Gurnisson.
- Kelmain Blackstaff & Lhoigor Goldenrod: Immensely powerful sorcerers dedicated to Tzeentch. Albino twins with vulture-like features and taloned hands, their only difference was that Kelmain dressed in black and wielded an ebony and silver staff in his right hand, while Lhoigor wore gold with a golden staff in his left hand. They worked with Arek Daemonclaw to bring ruin to Kislev, but his rash actions led them to abandon him when they foresaw his death at the hands of Gotrek Gurnisson, and the imminent failure of his plans. So powerful were they that they summoned and sustained an army of daemons, and infected the centuries-old dragon Skjalindar with chaos. They moved on to Albion, there to try to manipulate the Paths of the Old Ones to allow the armies of Chaos to move through them, corrupting an immense giant in the process. There they were thwarted by Gotrek Gurnisson, Felix Jaegar and Teclis, the Elven Archmage (considered to be the greatest living sorcerer in the world), and both Teclis and Gotrek accounted for one of the sorcerers. It should be noted that, together, they seemed capable of defeating Teclis, and were regarded by the Skaven Grey Seer Thanquol as the most powerful magick-users he had ever come across.
- Azazel: a Chaos Lord of Slaanesh who lived during the time of Sigmar. He was once a tribesmen of Sigmar's tribe, the Umberogens, and his name was Gerron. In fact, his twin brother, Trivonates was one of Sigmar's best friends, but was killed during a battle with Orcs. Afterward, Gerron blamed Sigmar for his brother's death. During this time, Sigmar fell in love with Gerron's sister, Ravena. Seeking help to avenge his brother's death, Gerron went to a witch, referred to as the Old Lady of the Breckenwalsh. She agreed to help, believing that doing so would guide Sigmar down the path needed to create The Empire. She gave Gerron a cryptic message and, when he finally understood it a few years later, he planned his attack on Sigmar. However, pretending to befriend Sigmar made Gerron realize he truly liked the man but a corrupting power (whether that of Slaanesh or the witch can be debated) made him nearly kill Sigmar and kill Ravena; believing that by having relations with Sigmar no longer made her his sister. He escaped to Norsca, believing he escaped Sigmar's hunters when he never sent any. There he became a Chaos Lord of Slaanesh who aided Cormac Bloodaxe, a Chaos Lord of Khorne, in conquering the newly formed Empire. He raided The Empire's coast, killed the witch, who hadn't foreseen Gerron becoming a worshiper of Slaanesh let alone a Chaos Lord, and helped Cormac in a siege of Middenheim. During the battle, he faced Pendrag, one of Sigmar's closest friends and Azazel's former best friend. He killed him, but felt remorse for his death and fled the battlefield weeping, before being shot in the shoulder with a crossbow by Myrsa, second-in-command of Middenheim. He then fled into the forest still weeping. He was later found in a Norse village, and after dispatching Imperial raiders, found himself now travelling with a young Norse child from whom he felt the favour of the Gods' radiating. This child's name was Morkar, who would later be known as Morkar the Uniter; the First Everchosen of Chaos.