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Cult of Khaine

A Witch Elf, priestess of Khaine.

The Cult of Khaine is the most popular and important religion of the Dark Elves, and the official state religion of the kingdom of Naggaroth (though not the only one).

The centre of the cult, the great temple of Khaine, is located in Har Ganeth[1a], but all cities possess at least one temple[2], if not several. Villages, ships and Black Arks usually have a shrine.

History

When northern barbarians raided Ulthuan, captive warriors were sacrificed to lend the Elves of Nagarythe the power of Khaine. Prisoners were bound to altars and then sacrificed before the enemy to let them know similar fates would befall them when they were defeated. After the death of Aenarion died, most of the kingdoms of the elves moved away from his worship but it continued in Nagarythe. [5]

The Brides of Khaine, priestesses of the cult, maintained his temples and were responsible for the pre-battle sacrifices, but as peace dawned, they were deprived of sacrifices for their god. When Malekith sought to destroy the Cult of Slaanesh that had been formed by his mother, the followers of Khaine were employed by him to hunt the chaos cultists down. [5]

Malekith had the Khainites plant evidence of Slaanesh worship in the homes of his enemies, the prisoners were then given to the priestesses for sacrifice. When he finally moved against the Phoenix King, the priestesses attacked the temple of Asuryan, slaughtering all within. [5]

When Malekith and his followers retreated to the frozen north, the cults of both Slaanesh and Khaine vied for the favour of the Witch King and alhtough he desired only one to serve him, he allowed them to fight for supremacy. Hellebron, the High Priestess of Khaine constantly attempted to undermine Morathi but the mother of the Witch King was a match for her, with some Brides of Khaine pronuncing her their Queen. The stalemate between them would lead to the very first Death Night. [5]

Hellebrone commanded hundreds of nobles and sorecerers that supported Morathi to be abducted from their beds and sacrificed and it is said Morathi herself had to flee on her Dark Pegasus. Malkeith summoned Hellebrone the next morning and the Priestesses revealed that she had created her own Cauldron of Blood, an artefact that had previously only been available to the Witch Kings mother. The display of magical prowess required to create the cauldrons led to the Daughters being called Witch Elves from that day onwards. [5]

Morathi countered by declaring herself Queen of the cult of Khaine, much to the anger of Hellebrone but she was partially placated by Malekith declaring that the Witch Elves would be able to stalk the streets of his cities each year in a repeat of the first Death Night. The Hag Queens who bathed in the new cauldrons did however find that their regained beauty faded across the year and had to be restored by new sacrifices on Death Night. [5]

Organization

The Witch Elves are the brides and priestesses of Khaine, Lord of Murder. Young Witch Elves are led by Hag’s who answer to older and wiser Death Hags[1b], who in turn are accountable to the extremely old Hag Queens [3a].

The Hag Queens obey Hellebron, leader of the cult of Khaine and thereby ruler of Har Ganeth[1c]. Hellebron's authority is unofficially challenged by Morathi who covertly holds the allegiance of several Witch Elves.

Below the Witch Elves come the Executioners[1a] and the Assassins.

Worship

The cult worships Khaine through the constant sacrifice of helpless victims, slain without mercy by the Witch Elves and the Executioners. These victims are usually prisoners of war or civilians captured in raids. They are usually High Elves, humans or Dwarfs but sometimes also Dark Elves.

Gallery

Notes

  • Former editions presented Ghrond as the centre of the cult of Khaine.[2][3b]

Sources

Dark Elves
Units Assassin - Beastmaster - Black Ark Fleetmaster - Black Guard - Bleaksword - Bloodwrack Medusa - Bloodwrack Shrine - Cauldron of Blood - Cold One Chariot - Cold One Knight - Corsair - Dark Elf War Altar - Dark Elf City Commander - Dark Elf City Guard - Dark Elf Slave Warrior - Dark Rider - Darkshard - Death Hag - Doomfire Warlock - Doomsteed - Dreadlord - Dreadspear - Executioner - Harpy - High Beastmaster - Kharibdyss - Master - Reaper Bolt Thrower - Scourgerunner Chariot - Shade - Sisters of Slaughter - Sorceress - Supreme Sorceress - War Hydra - Witch Elves
Characters Akholrak - Alandrian - Alexandra - Amara - Anethra Helbane - Ashniel - Balial - Bracchus - Caldath - Cassandra - Daerlythe - Dijin Katal - Dorian Silverblade - Drutheira - Duriath Helbane - Ebnir Soulflayer - Felicion Heartkeeper - Furion - Gloreir - Hellebron - Hotek - Kaldor - Khalion - Kharbana - Kharlissa - Khelthrai - Kouran - Laithikir Fellheart - Lokhir Fellheart - Malchior -Malekith - Malida - Malus Darkblade - Maranith - Megara - Mengil Manhide - Morathi - Mordrin Kain - Mortharor - Rakarth - Ruerl - Seraphon - Sevekai - Shadowblade - Spite - Sulekh - Syrillia - Tullaris - Urathion - Urian Poisonblade - Vidor - Yeurl
Cities and outposts Clar Karond - Ghrond - Har Ganeth - Har Kaldra - Hag Graef - Karond Kar - Naggarond
Black Arks Ark of Naggor - Blessed Dread - Bringer of Joyous Oblivion - Citadel of Damnation - Citadel of Desolation - Citadel of Spite - Claw of Dominion - Cleaver of Souls - Ecstasy of Pain - Fortress of Eternal Terror - Harbinger of Pain - Immortal Agony - Intolerable Delight - Jade Palace of Pain - Palace of Joyous Oblivion - Ravager of Souls - Shadow of Despair - Talon of Agony - Temple of Spite - Tower of Blessed Dread - Tower of Infinite Pleasures - Tower of Oblivion - Ultimate Oblivion
Images - Magic Items - Miniatures - Vehicles