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The skullreapers are the warrior-elite of the Skaramor, a blood-hungry caste feared even by other members of the tribes 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.
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.[1a]
The tribes of the Skaramor have long maintained an existence of constant battle throughout the Chaos Wastes. They rarely cross the Sea of Chaos for the Skaramor are devoted to claiming the skulls of the mightiest foes and offering them up to Khorne and for thousands of years, they have viewed all who dwell to the south as unworthy offerings. They instead 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. [1a]
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 but then have pledged themselves to the cause of Archaon Everchosen, the Lord of the End Times. Marching south in a bloody tide, the skullreapers hacked down everything that dared stand in their path. They sought 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. [1b]
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.[1a]
Weapons and Equipment
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: [1a] 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. [1b]
- End Times: Chaos Armour, Two Hand Weapons. May have Skullreaper Champion and Standard Bearer. Champion may replace Hand Weapons with Paired Ensorcelled Weapons. Mark of Khorne. [1b]
Skullreapers whose absolute devotion to Khorne sets them apart from their comrades become lunatic murdersmiths who are both feared and revered by their kin. They are guided on their path by the tribes bloodspeakers and subjected to a punishing regime of worship, conditioning and pit fights until only the most determined and murderous remain. Then they embard on the Pilgrimage of Skulls to the Brazen Cage. [1c]
- 1: Warhammer: Archaon Book II