"It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog."
- – Arthur G. Lewis, commonly misattributed to Mark Twain
"Hmm... this War Hound's name is 'Kharn'... 'KHARN'... Could he turn to worship...? Nah, too obvious."
- – Emps, prior to Kharn worshiping Khorne
- – Kharn again, during a certain duel which, unfortunately, didn't end in anyone's death
Khârn the Betrayer, aka Conan In Space and "a swell guy", is an (in)famous Khorne Berzerker who revels in bloodshed. He's arguably the third most powerful (ex-)mortal champion of Khorne, behind the World Eaters' Primarch, Angron, and Doombreed. He is Khorne's greatest mortal champion, and being mortal means you can get shit done. As is likely evident, Khârn truly enjoys beautiful bloodshed, and it's almost always he who is causing the shedding, caring little for those caught in the hilarious and fulfilling crossfire; he does not care at all. Thus, he has cultivated a wholly deserved reputation as a teamkilling fucktard (in Warhammer 40,000 rules, this is represented by assigning any close combat attacks he makes that miss the enemy to friendly units instead).
Despite him being a blood-crazed fiend who might decapitate and mutilate the guy next to him, Khârn is quite frankly a delightful fellow to be around. His horrid reputation notwithstanding, he is actually a deep-minded and fun-loving sort of bloke in or outside of glorious, exalted combat. A truly rare breed of super-human, who just wants to have wild and heretical times with his friends. He does not care whether you're a traitor, Guardsman, or a fellow Chaos Space Marine, unless of course you're an effeminate pansy who worships Slaanesh, a dishonorable sorcerer who worships Tzeentch (though his boss tells him that only applies to the cowards...who Tzeentch himself is not as fond of as people think), or the enemy, in which case he'll kill you the first chance he gets. Or if you're Erebus. Fuck Erebus.
The Man, The Myth
"The moment Angron was given mastery over us, we stopped being what the Emperor wanted, and became what our father wanted instead. How could He have not foreseen the madness to come when it was He who made it happen? Or did He even care, so long as we spilt the blood that He needed spilled to expand His realm? If you desire to cast fault for the path that the XII Legion embarked upon, the true blame could be placed nowhere other than at the Throne of Terra, at His feet."
- – Eighth Captain Khârn, from his unpublished treatise The Eighteen Legions
Before the Horus Heresy, Khârn served as Primarch Angron's equerry, able to keep himself safe from his Primarch's raging bouts and Tourette-like outbursts. He was also one of the extreme few persons within the Imperium who was capable of talking sense into his eternally angry Primarch most of the time (along with Lorgar, sometimes; and Lotara Sarrin, rarely). The best example of this is how he managed to convince Angron to command the then War Hounds legion, after the Primarch killed every other captain who tried to negotiate.
Khârn himself was also more cool and composed back then, although he still is now....compared to other World Eater marines anyways (even before Isstvan he's credited with massacres that make Death Guard feel a bit ill). Of course, by the standards of regular Space Marines, he, like the rest of his Legion, was still an unstable, murderous barbarian, second only to Clancy Brown's character in the first Highlander film. Although, in comparison to what he has become, he was rather tame. He even had a treasured bromance with Argel Tal, a Word Bearer's Captain, alas, doomed the moment Erebus found out and killed him. Khârn responded in kind (after having been informed by Lorgar who killed his bff, proving that even Lorgar hates Erebus' slimy self) by challenging Erebus to a duel to the death and beating him mercilessly. Lost records amount to Khârn grabbing both of Erebus' fists and punching him repeatedly in the face with them for half an hour, chanting cries of "WHY ARE YOU HITTING YOURSELF" throughout the ordeal, randomly punctuated by equally loud "HUH"s. Khârn was also bros with Sigismund, 1st Captain of the Imperial Fists and founder of the Black Templars, before Horus fucked everything up.
It seems the internecine slaughter on Isstvan III is what set him on the path of Khorne worship for good - he tells Garviel Loken "I am the 8-fold path" during their duel (although when he afterwards hears of the 8-fold path, he only has strange uncomfortable sensation - maybe best compared to some half-remembered fever-dream). Loken escapes by nudging Khârn onto the sharpened prow of a Land Raider. Skane and Kargos told him about this incident after his recovery. Interestingly, Khârn does not remember the fight itself, all he knows is that he almost died on Istvaan III. Also, no World Eater worshipped Khorne until the later dates of Heresy, which is even more interesting, considering World Eaters atheistic attitude started to change only after Angron's ascension, and that was a slow process, Khârn perhaps getting an early start as it was he who Angron, who Lorgar had chained in the basement, tasked with obtaining SKULLS FOR (Angron's) SKULL THRONE. He also killed one million people at the battle of Terra before dying. He dueled and lost to Sigismund, death by dismember.
During his time as a loyalist, he served as a Marine in the World Eaters Legion, but after the Horus Heresy he, like the rest of his Legion, become a freelancer of sorts and so he serves Noone and Khorne. In fact, Noone is the only human in existence that Khârn won't kill, because like Khârn, Peter is just a swell guy.
Khârn's name also seems similar to Khorne (Khar'neth in the Dark Tongue of Warp Daemons); strange how no one seems to have seen his Heresy coming.
His name is derived from the Farsi (Persian) word for Betrayer, so as far as Iranian Chaos players are concerned, his name is 'Betrayer the Betrayer'.
Khârn's showed up in a few books so far, and they consistently show that when he's not fighting, he's actually a pretty smart and classy motherfucker. One particular audiobook detailing when he helped out a buddy of his in some convoluted Khornate politics, and he really does have the sense of humor that doesn't put him above trolling the other World Eaters when they're muckin' about. Just like that one time. Khârn even takes it all in stride and puts some time aside to imagine how he's gonna kill and betray them. Swell guy that one.
It should also be mentioned that this guy is fucking terrifying even to other heretics. This is especially shown in Shroud of Night, where even an intercepted transmission that was him shouting his catchphrase (Kill! Maim! Burn!) is enough to send shivers down the spine of an entire Emperor's Children warband and an Alpha Legion warband.
What's more, after the Imperial Fists kill the khornate warlord, who was bigger than a fucking dreadnought and wielded axes that were on fire, their captain hears the rest of the warband chanting Khârn's name and instantly says they're fucked. You know Khârn is dangerous when even as Imperial Fist, some of the most stubborn fuckers in the galaxy, admits they are fucked.
Fun Khârn fact: He is in fact of Terran Uralian (Siberian-Russian) descent like the Kurgan from Highlander, which meshes well with Angron being a Spartacus clone and the World Eaters basically being in essence Roman-era German Barbarians in SPESS. His voice sounds like a Russian Arms Dealer, which is awesome. Also a possible reincarnation of Lu Bu.
Khârn is also, as a matter of fact, one of the oldest living Space Marines in the universe, having been born on Terra before the Great Crusade, during the Unification Wars; Ahzek Ahriman and Merir Astelan (one of the first 5,000 Space Marines, and a Fallen Angel) is his only known competition for the title.
As the latest (albeit rough draft) FAQ shows, he does also not care about not seeing the enemy, allowing him to kill even invisible units on a 2+. This applies in-universe too when Kharn kills the leader of the Sisters of Silence at the Siege of Terra without even knowing she was there.
Khârn is once again shown in the Siege of Terra series doing what he does best. Later on he battled his former friend Sigismund. The first duel goes Khârn's way thanks to his new strength by Khorne, overwhelming the better dueling skills by Siggy. Only the direct intervention of Rogal Dorn saved him, who swatted our swell guy away like a fly. Khârn would once again face his sparring partner and friend while attacking the inner palace. Siggy had the Black Sword, but what unsettled and ultimately scared Khârn was his utter silence. It made Khârn see what the future warriors of the Imperium would become: soul-dead fanatics who were unrelenting in their devotion to the Emperor. They would bring misery to the galaxy, and Khârn would fight desperately to prevent that future represented by Siggy from happening. A fight against Siggy became a fight for humanity, passion, and life. Siggy would win however, but not before being told by a dying Khârn that Siggy was far more damaged than he'd ever be. A blind man could see how hypocritical this whole segment was.
He somehow survived this, with his fellow World Eaters finding him atop a mound of corpses, then him reviving as they carry his body to a landing ship.
Anecdotes About Khârn
This page got out of hand.
You can find those stories here.
The Wrath of Khârn
With the aide of his crew, Admiral Kirk must stop an old nemesis, Khârn...HERESY! *BLAM*
And old short story about Khârn getting shit done the Khorne-approved way! Too long; too awesome. Moved to its own page.
Record from the Scions of Darkness
Recorder: Dark Magos Wilhelman
In all the years I've been with this Tzeentchan warband, few things could prepare me for the sight that awaited me on Vasiria Secondus. Our Lord and his contingent of Sorcerers were preparing a great ritual, one that would pull the world into a massive warp-storm, and leaving the world ours to pillage, to conquer, and fortify. The planet's local PDF proved wholly incapable of stopping us, but were proving nonetheless irksome, with protracted artillery barrages from their Griffons keeping both our marines and machinery bunkered down behind cover, lest they be caught in the path of an oncoming round.
In 2 days of steady bombardment, our Lord apparently had lost his patience with the Guardsmen, and instructed his cabal of Sorcerers to continue a ritual to bring forth a tide of Daemons. The Sorcerers began work immediately in the confines of a shattered basilica of the false Emperor, and after nearly a day of sonorous chanting, the ritual began to bear fruit as a yawning rift in real-space began to open...
...And then, it happened. A bellowing scream issued forth from the fledgling daemon-gate, and echoed coldly in our ears.
BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD!
And there he was.
Tearing himself from the rift was a red-clad, gore-covered warrior, roaring chainaxe in hand, cackling in manic glee as he landed on the basilica's cracked marble floor. The cultist troops of our lord opened fire on the Khornate as he charged forward, their Autoguns pattering off his armor. Stepping forth was my Lord, who drew his Daemonblade, green warp-fire engulfing its surface as he readied to face down this crimson-armored menace, when, inexplicably, the Khornate marine paused, turned towards the Sorcerers who were now backing away, and charged forth again, leaping into the midst and sending them clattering to the floor. Reaching down, the Berserker grabbed for the Sorcerer's force staves, gathering them up under one arm and charging up the stairs, before kicking open the basilica's reinforced door and running out into the streets, laughing with riotous glee.
We heard screams, lasfire, and explosions. And then... Silence.
The Sorcerers slowly collected themselves, and the cultists moved to reinforce the door. Hours passed, and we slowly emerged from the basilica to find that the PDF was no more, every single one of the Sorcerers' force staves were thrust firmly into the engine block of each and every artillery vehicle. Scores of men lay dead from the subsequent explosions. We only learned later from Brother Panthus, a Raptor Champion, that Khârn had apparently delivered these killing blows by walking up on the ridge, and throwing the staves really, really hard. After killing the Guardsmen, he moved forward to continue a rampage into the city, slaughtering several landing members of the White Scars who were helping evacuate the civilians.
It was the first time I had ever seen my Lord in a state of stunned silence. It was just as planned, but for reasons not even the Sorcerers of Tzeentch had expected. A dark chuckle rang out from my Lord as he crossed his arms and overlooked the carnage.
"Hell of a guy, that Khârn."
On the Tabletop
Khârn has always been a deadly combat monster. He's not as strong as Abaddon, but he's significantly cheaper and still one of the best fighters in the game. His main characteristics have always been hitting everything on a 2+, hitting allies if he rolls a 1, and Khorne's hatred of pyskers giving him extra resistance to psyker powers used against him. His popularity apparently did not go unnoticed, considering that in between the 3rd and 4th editions, he was improved by having his cost lowered and Gorechild getting an extra D6 against vehicle armor. His power meant that armies that didn't use a Daemon Prince would typically use Khârn since he was considered the most cost effective melee option, or Abaddon if they were willing to spend the points (poor Lucius got overshadowed for specializing in something the previous three were already pretty good at). Like Abaddon, he briefly took a hit in the 6th edition due to power weapons being declared AP3, but then changed to AP2 with even more attacks and strength than before. His main drawbacks, aside from attacking allies, are that he's no more durable than a normal Chaos Lord. Khârn's main draw is that, despite his cost, he can conceivably take on any sort of enemy he can charge; having 2D6 armor penetration and an upwards of 7 attacks on the charge backed by an effective strength 7 (5 base, +1 from Gorechild, +1 from Furious Charge) and AP2, he can literally kill anything in the game and can even devastate infantry blobs, which is the standard method of dealing with characters like him. And now he has a pre-heresy mini next to the standard mini, thanks to Forge World.
Note that statistically, Khârn has enough special rules and attacks to blow up an Imperial Knight Titan on the charge in one turn (due to his insane initiative, this happens before the Knight even gets to react). However this is not recommended as the Knight will blow up and take Khârn with it. If you're willing to make the trade though, remember that Khârn is just over half of the Imperial Knight's points. You can also chip away at warlord titans, thanks to armourbane and ALWAYS HITTING ON 2+
Oddly, despite being the top dog among Khorne's mortal champions, Khârn lacks any presence in the Khorne Daemonkin codex, where he'd be able to team up with Daemons who won't pussy out because they got their asses kicked in combat without risk of a random mutation and gain armywide FNP or +1 Attacks. Yeah, you could take them as allies, but it's not the same thing.
Warhammer 40,000 8th Edition
Khârn is still one hell of a swell guy in 8th edition. He now has 5 wounds and a 4++ invulnerable save, making him a bit less of a glass cannon. He sports a rocking base 6 attacks, and the ability to fight twice per turn instead of once. Gorechild ignores all negative modifiers to-hit so Khârn is always hitting on a 2+, is S:+1 AP:-4 D:d3 meaning he will put a lot of hurt on anything he faces with his humongous amount of attacks. His plasma pistol is S:8 AP:-3 D:2, though with Gets Hot Classic Edition (on a '1' he merely suffers a mortal wound, not spontaneous existence failure, and don't forget that aura re-roll).
Not everything is good though since he lost 'furious charge' (he hits at S6 whatever happens), is no longer almost immune to psychic powers and he can never re-roll to-hits of 1 in melee (which is weird because there's a lot of auras out there that let other characters re-roll 1's; including his very own aura). For you fluff fanatics, his misses are still allocated to friendly models as usual, he's 'The Betrayer' after all. Like all characters, he also has a command ability, Kill, Maim, Burn! which allow friendly <World Eaters> units to re-roll missed to-hit rolls... within 1" of him. Yeah... One measly inch. (I mean, even the self-obsessed preening peacock has a 6" aura to boost fellow EC.) This is... rather underwhelming in an edition where characters are supposed to be less one-man-armies and more force multipliers boosting their underlings instead. I mean, it IS there to bring a risk reward to his... little side effect so it makes sense when you think about it.
Chosen of Khorne
Khârn now stars in his own audio drama and he also has a secondary role in the audio drama "Butcher's Nails". Listen to this shit. Spoilers: In a move that should surprise no one, he betrays everyone. Also, it seems he acquires himself a cool-headed equerry (who is also old enough to remember the War Hounds times). Oh, the irony. Shows up in "Trials of Azrael" again being an oddly cool-headed guy for what he is.
Though he was going to lose to Abaddon once, until a Bloodthirster broke them up and even then Khârn didn't stop until it told him that it was Khorne's will for him to work with Abaddon (for the time-being any way) and reap skulls. Khârn also killed Saint Celestine, for what that's worth anyway.
"Maim! Kill! Burn! Maim! Kill! Burn!Maim! Kill! Burn! Maim! Kill! Burn! Maim! Kill! Burn! Maim! Kill! Burn! Maim! Kill! Burn! Maim! Kill! Burn! Maim! Kill! Burn! Maim! Kill! Burn! Maim! Kill! Burn! Maim! Kill! Burn! Maim! Kill! Burn! Maim! Kill! Burn! Maim! Kill! Burn! Maim! Kill! Burn! Maim! Kill! Burn! Maim! Kill! Burn! Maim! Kill! Burn! Maim! Kill! Burn! Maim! Kill! Burn! Maim! Kill! Burn! Maim! Kill! Burn! Maim! Kill! Burn! Maim! Kill! Burn! Maim! Kill! Burn! Maim! Kill! Burn! Maim! Kill! Burn! Maim! Kill! Burn! Maim! Kill! Burn! Maim! Kill! Burn! Maim! Kill! Burn! Maim! Kill! Burn! Maim! Kill! Burn! Maim! Kill! Burn! Maim! Kill! Burn! Maim! Kill! Burn! Maim! Kill! Burn! Maim! Kill! Burn! Maim! Kill! Burn! Maim! Kill! Burn! Maim! Kill! Burn! Maim! Kill! Burn! Maim! Kill! Burn! Maim! Kill! Burn! Maim! Kill! Burn! Maim! Kill! Burn! Maim! Kill! Burn! Maim! Kill! Burn! Maim! Kill! Burn! Maim! Kill! Burn! Maim! Kill! Burn! Maim! Kill! Burn! Maim! Kill! Burn! Maim! Kill! Burn! Maim! Kill! Burn! Maim! Kill! Burn!"
- – Khârn
"Only a fool takes Khârn for a mindless brute or a rabid dog. Under that blood-soaked helm lurks an intelligence and cunning that makes him a masterful killer. Trust me when I say that there is a dark purpose to his madness."
- – The Armless Failure about Khârn. Pretty awesome.
"STOP HITTING YOURSELF! STOP HITTING YOURSELF! STOP HITTING YOURSELF!"
- – Captain Khârn, showing his gratitude for how Erebus treated his best friend,
and surprisingly enough refrain from team-killingand forcing Erebus to bail out with some psychic fuckery before being brutalize by gorechild.
- – Khârn, after dropping Erebus to his knees in a duel to the death, for the third time in the novel Betrayer
"They are the malice, hatred, and rage left behind after Eons of unending torment. Brutal, unrelenting, bloodthirsty, without mercy, empathy, or remorse. Therefore you...like me, you must be worse. Rip and Tear, until nothing remains, then and only then will it be done."
- – Doomguy to Khârn just before he joins doomguy’s personal warband to fight Khorne’s rogue operators...As well as anything connected to Slaanesh
"Many, I’m sure, but no more than usual."
- – His response to Argel Tal asking how many times he almost died this morning
|Famous members of the Traitor Legions|
|Abaddon - Ahzek Ahriman - Argel Tal - Cypher - Doomrider |
Eidolon - Erebus - Fabius Bile - Haarken Worldclaimer - Honsou - Horus Aximand
Iskandar Khayon - Kharn - Kor Phaeron - Lheorvine Ukris - Lucius
Lugft Huron - Luther - Madox - Maloghurst - Necrosius the Undying - Occam - Sevatar
Shon'tu - Svane Vulfbad - Talos - Telemachon Lyras - Typhus - Ygethmor - Zardu Layak - Zhufor
|Araghast the Pillager - Azariah Kyras - Bale - Crull - Eliphas The Inheritor |
Firaeveus Carron - Kain - Nemeroth - Neroth - Sindri Myr - Varius