Skullreaper

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A Skullreaper.

Skullreapers of Khorne are huge Chaos Warriors clad in heavy half-plate and gifted with horrific mutations that enhance their already terrifying martial prowess.[3]

Overview

The tribes of the Skaramor have long maintained an existence of constant battle throughout the Chaos Wastes. That they have rarely crossed the Sea of Chaos is a matter of choice; the Skaramor are devoted to claiming the skulls of the mightiest foes and offering them up to Khorne. For thousands of years, they have viewed all who dwell to the south as unworthy offerings, electing instead to prey upon the hardened survivors and mighty champions of the Chaos Wastes. They have hunted down the greatest monsters, and hurled themselves outnumbered into battle against warbands of warriors or daemons time and again. Thus they themselves have become ever stronger and more battle-hardened. Now, as the End Times draw on, the assembled tribes of the Skaramor are amongst the greatest and most fearsome mortal armies in the world.[4]

The skullreapers are the warrior-elite of the Skaramor, a blood-hungry caste even among a people feared for their wanton battle-lust. They are wrath and they are ruin – howling, blood-mad reavers who fight and kill for the glory of Khorne. Few are they who can stand against them in battle, and countless are the skulls they have lain before the Skull Throne.[4]

The skullreapers are murderous devotees of the Blood God, every last warrior devoted body and soul to Khorne's everlasting war. Where they march, the skies flicker an arterial crimson, rivers turn to gushing blood and the ground cracks open, venting furnace-hot steam and molten brass. Their war cries are closer to howls and screams, shot through with the maddened thunder of foe-skin drums and harsh braying of horns. They know little of discipline and strategy, and care even less: the charge of the skullreapers is a disordered stampede, an avalanche of brazen blades, bunched muscle, and screaming rage. Every warrior fights as an individual, seeking to win Khorne's regard through the frenzied slaughter that he wreaks. Amongst lesser warriors, such anarchic division would prove disastrous. Not so for the skullreapers. So utterly overwhelming is their onset, so blood-mad is each individual warrior, that even the staunchest foe will soon be swept away before the red tide.[4]

The skullreapers have dwelt so long amid the lethal horrors of the Chaos Wastes that they no longer seem entirely human. Their bodies are so thick with muscle they can easily tear a man limb from limb with their bare hands. They tower head and shoulders above even the marauder tribesmen who fight at their side, and can shrug off the most grievous wounds without breaking their stride. Each skullreaper is an engine of destruction, bludgeoning, hacking, whirling and stamping with a speed that belies his massive bulk. Once amongst the press of the foe, a single such warrior can wreak terrible havoc, each axe-swing hurling broken bodies to the ground as sprays of blood fill the air. En masse, the skullreapers transform a battlefield into a hellish abattoir.[4]

As if the physical might and frenzied devotion of the Skaramor were not enough, many tribesmen wield Khornate blades. Neither truly mortal nor wholly daemonic in manufacture, these axes are forged by the twisted smiths that reside atop the Tower of Screams. It is a right of proving for skullreapers to fight their way to the top of this looming fortress, hacking their way through the damned shades of those who have been slain within its deadly corridors. Those who reach the forgeworks at the tower's apex are rewarded with the awful weapons they seek: axes forged in daemonfire and quenched in murderers' blood. Armed with such blades, the skullreapers become more deadly still, their foes struck with incredible force, tearing even sorcerous and incorporeal beings apart with their savage and frenzied blows.[4]

It is not difficult to see why the skullreapers have long been amongst the most feared denizens of the Chaos Wastes. Until the End Times, however, they were content to serve Khorne's will in the far north. Now, following the commands of their wrathful god, they have pledged themselves to the cause of Archaon Everchosen, the Lord of the End Times. Marching south in a bloody tide, the skullreapers have hacked down everything that dared stand in their path. They seek to offer their god his greatest tribute ever in blood and skulls: the skullreapers will kill, and kill, and kill, until all their foes are slain, or they themselves are no more.[4]

Age of Sigmar

Driven by a hunger to claim worthy skulls for the Blood God, these hulking brutes live up to their name with every battle they fight.[3]

The charge of the Skullreapers crashes home like a blow from Khorne’s own blade. Granted inhuman strength and stature by the Blood God, they smash the enemy apart in terrifying displays of raw might, hurling grown men through the air or barging them to the ground before stomping them to death with gore-caked boots. Disturbingly, they are able to scent the worthiest skulls like monstrous hunting hounds. More than once, a Skullreaper has claimed the heads of several worthy foes with a single blow, their bodies collapsing even as he hoists the gory trophies aloft in triumph.[3]

The most numerous Bloodbound warriors are the Bloodreaver tribes, and it is from their ranks that the Skullreapers arise. Over time, most Bloodreavers either fall in battle or succumb to madness. Those who survive row ever stronger, their flesh and souls alike transformed by the bloody worship of Khorne. Eventually, they will undertake the Trial of Skulls, risking all for a chance to ascend to true power. The specifics of this trial vary from tribe to tribe, and realm to realm. At its heart, however, lies the offering up of eight truly worthy skulls to Khorne every single day.[3]

The Trial of Skulls is not a single test, but rather a deadly grind of dedication and endurance in which only constant battle offers any hope of success. Khorne knows no forgiveness, and those who fail to prove their devotion are struck down by crippling mutations. Such forsaken Skullreapers often offer up their own head as a last resort, for a quick death is preferable to the alternative. This looming threat lends the Skullreapers a manic determination in battle, for nothing could be worse than the horrible consequences should they appear weak in the eyes of their wrathful god.[3]

The leader of a unit of Skullreapers is known as a Skullseeker a warrior who has received a mutation from Khorne alongside his usual weapons.[3]

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