"It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog."
- – 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
"He hated them, you know."
- – Kharn, when asked about Angron's opinion of his bodyguards
- – 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, 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- – Eighth Captain Khârn, from his unpublished treatise The Eighteen Legions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 "STOP HITTING YOURSELF" throughout the ordeal. 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.
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.
If Platinum games ever made a 40k action game then the player character would definitely be Khârn. Seriously what other character in the whole universe is allowed to be so freakishly strong, fast and metal enough to jump off a hive city tower landing onto a Titan's out stretchered arm dodging fire from gun barrels jutting outwards from it's hull. Using all the momentum from the Titan's movement to launch himself through the command deck's viewing window while spinning through the air weapons pointed outwards shattering the reinforced glass and killing crew members closest to the windows then slaughtering the rest of the crew on deck and finishing the Titan off by ramming its princeps into its machine spirit cogitators causing it to overload all systems and falling backwards from the trauma. Then Khârn exits the way he came in leaping outwards and being propelled through the air by an explosion while remixed metal plays in the background. This hasn't happened yet, but if Platinum made it, then you bet your ass it would have. (Well that's what Khorne fags think, really they would pick Lelith Hesperax since her sexy stylized combat fits them better than Khârn's "God of War" shit) (This anon seconds that notion even though an action vidya starring Hesperax would more or less be Bayonetta with a R rating). Or it could be a Madworld style game with Khârn killing left and right just for the lulz. Either way the canon "skull taken" counter thats in his helmet would have to make an appearance. 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+.
Anecdotes About Khârn
As I always say, Khârn the Betrayer was pretty fun to be around, and contrary to popular belief he actually had a sense of humor as well. Probably the best example was in the middle of the campaign during a sweeping of an Imperial Guard command post, with Khorne Berserkers and our Red Rivers company marching directly into the defensive fire. The closer we got, the more apparent it became that the only thing holding the Guardsmen together was a grizzled looking Commissar in full uniform, one gun turned on us and another firing on any of his men who looked like running.
Khârn was at the tip of the assault, and so he got to the Commissar first, plucking the screaming officer up by the neck and holding him over his head.
Then, out of nowhere one of the other berserkers grabs the Commissar's legs and roars "MAKE A WISH!". Well, as you can imagine everyone on both sides forgets about the fight, and watches Khârn and this other Khorne-worshiping marine just start pulling on this Commissar at both ends, the old man screaming out oaths and curses like you wouldn't believe! You could almost hear the sound of flesh tearing and bone snapping over the cheering.
Then, Khârn just let go. Totally not expecting it and pulling with all his might, the Khorne Berserker just falls backwards and starts tumbling with the near dead Commissar into a damaged hellhound, his armor grating off it and sparking!
Well, after the explosion we all turned back to Khârn, who had managed to keep a hold of the Commissar's fancy hat. Ol' Khârn put it on, and damned if it wasn't the funniest thing any of us had ever seen... till he turned to us and bellowed "I'M THE NEW COMMISSAR" at us.
They tell me five thousand traitor guardsmen died that day before someone could take that hat off him.
What a kidder!
Contrary to popular belief, Khârn the Betrayer was a pretty fun guy to be around during a blood-letting campaign. Sure, he'd get so wrapped up in the blood-lust that he'd butcher friend and foe alike but it's not like you didn't get a fair warning from his name or anything.
I served in the traitor guardsman legions known as the Red Rivers, because we got sent in first to soften up the positions and you could see our progress by the red river of our blood. I kept running into Khârn during one of the bigger scourging campaigns, and he wasn't dickish about the whole him being a space marine and me being killed by flashlights or angry glances at all.
The first time I saw him, I was on perimeter patrol at one of our forward outposts, we'd just overrun a Sororitas non-militant chapel, and I was watching from afar when Khârn strides up, cool as you like, holding the largest stone pillar I've ever seen. I turned back and the whole chapel was falling down. He'd just ripped the thing right out and was carrying it on his shoulder!
Then, if that wasn't insane enough he went and hefted this enormous pillar through the air, and crushed the entire congregation of Slaaneshi, all in one go.
I was just standing there dumbfounded when Khârn looked at me, noticing me for the first time, yet not surprised by my presence at all. He held his palm out, and I obliged him a high five. He'd earned it.
Shattered every bone in my arm doing it though.
Nice guy, that Khârn.
The second time I crossed paths with Khârn was in a later stage in the campaign. We were besieging one of the major hives of the planet, and I tell you what, that place was locked up tighter than Macha's pants. My commander, Oxlor the Vilest, was stuck in an argument with some idiot leader of some group of Death Guard. You could see the smell, it was so bad. I could tell Oxlor wasn't happy, since everyone knows the Death Guard's answer to everything is to just walk at it and watch your bits fly off. Not so good for us soft and squishy guys.
Out of nowhere, this big hand grabs our commander by the shoulder and just hefts him aside, three whole trenches back where he rebounds off a basilisk. The crew was so shocked they fired off a round on a horrible trajectory, and the shell streaked high into the sky.
Khârn the Betrayer just dusts himself down, and then picks back up what he had been holding. Now, I'm no Techpriest and I never will be, but I know a nuclear warhead when I see it. I don't know where he got it.
No one says anything, so The Betrayer just punches the Plague marine in the face, and stuffs the warhead into the leaking mess of his stomach while he was still reeling.
No run up, no preparation. He just fucking throws the other marine into the air at the hive. For a moment it actually looks like he's thrown the warp-damned fool OVER the hive, but as he flies over the top the basilisk shell comes down and spears him through the whole hive! There's a low boom noise, the ground shakes, and then the whole hive explodes!
Everything clears, and Khârn looks at me, and I feel about one foot tall. I don't know if he recognized me, but he leans down and whispers. Khârn WHISPERS to me.
"I was trying to hit the Emperor's Children on the other side" he confides in me, and then nudges me as though it's supposed to be our little secret.
I was in traction for a MONTH.
I've been fairly insistent to you readers out there that Khârn the Betrayer was a pretty fun guy to be around. I know he gets a bad rap for the whole 'slaughtering his own allies' thing, but unless you've been there after a battle with him you don't really appreciate how much he strives to please his chaos god.
It was after one of our many conflicts that the Red Rivers Infantry were preparing to march on to our next destination. Never mind that it was half the planet away, we Traitor Guardsmen didn't get transport vehicles. So as you can imagine when someone declared they'd found an Imperial Drop-ship in working condition everyone clamored and fought to get a free ride to our next engagement.
Knowing full well I was too far away to get on the ship, I stayed with some of my fellow traitors at the battlefield. I'd seen Khârn after the battle, and as soon as we'd gotten our marching orders he was picking up corpses and putting them down elsewhere. This took an hour before he was satisfied, and seeing an audience he happily led us up onto a hill as the drop-ship flew a pass over the top of us, probably to gloat. Proudly, Khârn gestured to the battlefield, and then waved up at the drop-ship with his other hand. I peered down the hill, and realized he'd arranged the bodies to make out words, so many killed to form:
On your drop ship hull
I planted a melta bomb
Blood for the Blood God
It was at that point the drop-ship erupted in a violent plume, and crashed down on top of the haiku. Roaring in a cheer, we lifted Khârn up together and made to carry him to the next battlefield as a sign of our appreciation and devotion to his art.
We got about five paces before our spines liquefied, but Khârn didn't hold it against us for trying.
Seriously, what a guy.
I've always said Khârn the Betrayer is a heck of a guy in spite of his reputation. But even I have often wondered just which side of him was more prevalent. The great guy or the butcher?
I got my answer when The Red Rivers sacked an Adeptus Mechanicus primary research facility. Aided by renegade tech priests we opened the bulkhead doors of the Head Magos's research chamber, and ended his life. In this room was a huge throne that the Magos used, a massive collection of wires around a cold metal frame used to interface with the facility.
Grinning, a guardsman jumped onto the throne and yelled "HEY GUYS! I'M THE EMPEROR!". We barely had time to chuckle before hearing a loud clang behind us.
Behind us stood Khârn, his axe having slipped from his grasp as he stared at us. We weren't sure what was happening till frothing blood began to spill out his helmet.
With a roar of anger that drowned out our own cries Khârn rushed the throne, ripping it out of the wall over his head as the guardsman remained sitting in it screaming helplessly. With a cry of "REVENGE!" Khârn drove the entire throne through the floor, utterly destroying it and the guardsman in an explosion of gore. We ran.
I was too slow and the other guys sealed the bulkhead behind them, leaving me alone and cowering as Khârn advanced. He was almost upon me when he stopped and burst out laughing at me.
Rattled but relieved, I burst into an exhausted laugh at the clever gag. Suitably pleased, Khârn slapped me on the back and praised me for being such a good sport. The Tech Priests tell me they've never seen a bulkhead breached by a human body before, but that's Khârn for you. Heck of a guy.
It was a normal day, just like any other, almost. Commissars were shooting their men, etc. But there I was, with the Red Rivers, sitting on some shithole of a bunker, when we just heard this loud crash. Of course, we thought it was an attack, it being in the middle of the damn night and all. A few of the guardsmen jumped next to the bunker wall, while I hit the ground. Suddenly, another crash was heard, this time closer. It sounded like it came from the inside of the bunker.
“IT’S MY DAY OFF!” Khârn spoke as he broke the reinforced concrete wall, smashed a few guardsman directly in his path, and ran off. I didn’t know what had happened until a bit later.
Across the land, several hundred kilometers out, lived a farmer, who took care of his heard of bronto-cattle. When he awoke this day, he grabbed his boots, put on his hat, got his tools, and stepped out the door, where several hundred dinosaur sized cattle were flipped on their backs with their insides scatter around the field. Carved in each one with what looked like a rusty fence post was the words “IT’S MY DAY OFF”.
Blood of the people, skin of the innocent, bones of the pure, all laid out in a complex pattern. The cultists performed the exact ritual, syllable to movements, all in accordance with whatever Tzeentch had wished. Skies were darkening, wildlife fleeing, storms that shouldn’t happen this time of year started appearing. Then, out from the bushes, Khârn leapt, slamming a cultist into the arrangement, and instantly turning him into liquefied pulp. Across the land, a sound of a giant record stopping was heard.
A single cultist watched as Khârn continued on his way, oblivious to the ritual. “Wow, I wasn’t expecting that”. He was then instantly destroyed.
The commissar watched the mountains surrounding him. Fortified in his city, waiting for the forces of Chaos to come, all he needed was to wait until- “ENEMY SPOTTED. FIRE ON COORDINATES” A voice screamed through his earpiece. The basilisks quickly responded, firing at all the coordinates shouted through the comm. units. Eventually, they exhausted their ammo. The Commissar looked on the mountains, expecting to see the ruined army of Chaos. Instead, he saw nothing but splintered trees and rocks, and the craters from the barrage, which seemed to spell out “IT’S MY DAY OFF!”
You know, being a part of a Chaos Campaign isn't just one great big conga line of decadence and killing like they probably tell you in the cults. There's lots of long moments where you're sitting in some shattered ruin waiting for the sorcerers to finish divining the next place to move. During these times I try to find whatever books I can and just read a bit. Sometimes you just get propaganda, but occasionally you find something someone has hidden away from all eyes. Heretical stuff.
I found this one book in the city of Majoris Prime, bound in black leather with a big funny looking cross on it. It was full of verses and stories about a single God who did a lot of crazy shit to his followers, then had a son and killed him. It was like reading about Tzeentch without the tentacles.
That was about the time Khârn found me, apparently bored with beating the Slaanesh worshippers. He asked me what I was reading, and unable to quite explain it I passed the book to him. The berserker flicked through the first few pages idly, then as though captivated kept flicking through rapidly, head turning as he ran down the pages at lightning speeds as though possessed... I waited for him to say something, but for the longest time he just seemed entranced.
At last he looked up, staring not at me but into the distance as if struck by a revelation. I was scared, more than usual.
"I..." he started, "I have completely forgotten how to read."
Then he dared me to eat the book. A great time was had by all.
Down time between raids can be pretty boring, especially in the case of the Convent Complex of Decapitus IV, where the victims kill themselves before you get to them, and the crazies have nothing to torture. The Slaanesh guys are the worst. Without something to toy with they get all antsy and bother everyone.
The Red Rivers had deployed to a hillside nearby the complex, mostly just taking stock of our own dead's gear and handing it out to one another. Most of us were Khorne boys, but there were always a few that had to be different.
I was doing a quick search for more gear when I heard a series of almighty squeals, and a pair of bodies hurtled through the trees to my feet. I didn't have time to do anything before a head also came flying out and struck me in the face with an almighty crack. Broke my nose and knocked me dizzy.
When my head cleared I found Khârn standing over me, with a small beret on. In one hand he had a paint brush, the other a little board with paints on it (though they were all just shades of red).
"SORRY ABOUT THAT" Khârn yelled, much to my chagrin with the headache and all. He explained that he was painting, and the two fellows (Slaanesh, typical) had been giving him critique when all he wanted was a bit of peace. Once I'd gotten my bearings, I stood up and he showed me his work.
"Khârn it... it looks like a painting of my eyes?" We shared a deep stare for a moment, then Khârn looked back to his work with a sigh.
"I WAS TRYING TO DRAW A DUCK"
The Annual Red Rivers costume party is more than just a traditional excuse to get drunk and invite some Daemonettes over, and - at least to me and those few of us who lived through last year's - it will forever serve as yet another shining example of how Khârn's just a great guy to party with.
There we were, having a blast. The disco lights were flashing, and we had an entire (formerly) Imperial planet all to ourselves to get dressed up and destroy in a fest of bad techno music. Everyone had shown up, it seemed, and even Abaddon was fairly relaxed; he waited a whole three hours before killing the DJ, and we were all drunk enough at this point to not mind the smell wafting over from the plague marine contingent, who spent most of the evening moping over the fact none of the daemonettes would dance with them.
As I'd said, the party was in full swing when all of a sudden there was a horrible scream of rage, and then in through the window came everyone's favorite party guy, Khârn. He'd painted his armor all pink, and he'd ripped shreds of carapace off something to make a crude tail coming off his back. In the window he came, and landed squarely on the Daemonette I'd spent the last half hour chatting up, crushing her to a pulp and covering me in a spray of bits. He then proceeded to stand there for the next eight hours of the party, ignoring any and all attempts to lure him into conversation, or to get off the daemonette, who was still half alive after being crushed.
I was kind of despondent after that, and spent the rest of the night drinking while Khârn spent the rest of the night standing still. Finally, just before we were about to dim the lights, Khârn took in a deep breath, and in a tone of horror and fear, shouted, "LOOK OUT, SLAANESHI WHORE!"
The entire room burst into laughter. Man, what a kidder.
"WHERE IS MY EQUERRY?!" Angron's roaring voice echoed throughout the ship, buckling two bulkheads and killing an astropath within the 'anger zone'. The World Eater's Primarch stormed through the corridors with his head held high, smashing it through several ornate archways as his feet battered and dented the floor with each step like the beating of a war drum.
Captain Khârn of the Fifth Assault Company, Equerry of the World Eaters had been admiring the ornate workings of a dreadnought sarcophagus, a low sigh issuing forth from his helmet as he heard his lord approaching. With a thunderous crash, Angron threw his weight against the loudly snoring construct, sending it bowling into a nearby row of its fellows, knocking them all about like skittles.
"TREACHERY! BLOOD! HERESY!" Angron screamed, flecks of spittle splattering all over the equerry's armor, "I'LL HAVE MY REVENGE! IN BLOOD! I'LL KILL HIS FAMILY! ALL OF THEM!"
"What's wrong, my lord?" Khârn asked, his voice low as to not startle his already over-stimulated commander.
Angron thrust a small plastcrete cube in front of the Captain's face, three little movable rows covered in colored squares. Even if it weren't practically being crammed up his nose, Khârn could clearly make out the shapes of Angron's armored fingers forced into every tile.
"WHO MADE THIS?! I WANT TO EAT THEIR SKULL AND LINE MY BED WITH THEIR BONES! BLOOD!" Angron screamed again, utterly soaking Khârn head to toe in spittle.
"I AM AWAKE?! IS IT TIME TO BATTLE?!" One of the dreadnoughts cried out, the sarcophagus merely wobbling on its side without being connected to its proper frame, as Angron and the Tech-priests continued screaming at everything.
"And that" Khârn the Betrayer spoke to his audience of Red Rivers infantrymen, as he ineffectually plinked a skull full of blood against his mouthpiece and spilled it all down his front, "is why I decided to start killing everyone."
There were victory celebrations. That much I can remember. Blood and other body fluids flowed.
I woke up on some busted old bed in the remains of what was the Planetary Governor's palace, my blood-and-filth encrusted shirt half-draped out a nearby window. My head was ringing and as I groaned and rolled to my left, I came eye to eye with what I thought was one of those Sororitas. For a moment my heart skipped a few beats and I almost shat myself.
She smiled at me and it all came back. She'd been one of those holy ladies once, but she realized she liked burning and cutting things more than actually praying. Now she was just like me, only with more tattoos to Khorne and a rusty nail put through her lip.
"Hey there beast," that fallen lady grinned, before kissing me on the cheek and giving me a big ol' scar in the process with her 'jewelery', "You guys were phenomenal."
"'You guys'?" I groaned out, whilst rubbing my cheek. It was then I became aware of a shuffling behind me, and hurriedly I rolled over.
There was Khârn, still in full armor, reading a newspaper that was a week old, a cigar jammed in his helmet's respirator.
"Great fight." the fallen sister remarked.
Khârn glanced up from his newspaper and stared at me. After a very long moment, he put out his fist. I did the same, and as we brought our fists together, we both shouted "RESPECT KNUCKLES!" as I felt my entire arm shatter.
R&R with the Red Rivers go hand in hand with that of the World Eaters. A rare occasion, usually pretty fun and always violent. Times like these make me wonder why there is so much negativity around Equerry Khârn.
So here we are on this Grand Cruiser that Angron managed to steal, drifting near the Eye of Terror just for the fun of it. Now don't get me wrong I don't fear the Daemons of Khorne, but some Daemonettes really creep me out. On this place we were drifting around there was the odd rift here and there and the occasional daemons that come with them. Several nights in, folks are challenging Khârn to arm-wrestling and many men leave with a shattered wrist. Some Daemonette comes walking in, a bit deranged, and gives it a try.
Let me pause here for a second. I don't like Slaneeshi whores and their deceptive skills, but my dislike falls into void compared to Khârn hate. So this whore cheats and Khârn just chainaxes its head off before stomping it flat. Next comes a Keeper of Secrets and we all kinda pissed ourselves, until its head is removed by a black Hellblade. We were blessed with a visit of the Skulltaker, and Khârn challenged him to a best of three.
I lost track of how many days passed in this fearsome ordeal of honour, but at some point even Angron stepped in to spectate (of course killing a few other traitor guardsmen in the process of movement) and the Sacred Executioner lost focus for a split second and lost to Khârn 2v1 (the first round won by the daemon in an incredibly tight contest). So the daemon is pissed, kills a few guys and I lose control of my bowels and soil myself. Khârn then turns to me and misunderstands my arms-raised-in-panic-as-I-duck-to-dodge-Skulltaker's-sword for a high five opportunity. So he blocks the sword and gives me a high-five causing my bones in my arms to exit through my pants.
In this moment of silence and stillness Khârn is the first to react, mimicking my movement and yelling "DO THE CRAPDODGE!"
That night party erupted with this new dance - well, so I was told, as I only woke up three weeks later with Khârn next to my bed, screaming "WAKE UP WE'RE TAKING A HIVE WORLD", scared me shitless. Hell of a guy, that Khârn.
Despite all the stories and rumors of him slaughtering his own men, Khârn was actually a fun guy to be around.
I remember a game he would play. "Toss the guardsmen", it was called. Simple game, really. You basically picked up a guardsmen tied to a pole and tried to throw him as far as you could into a field of big pointy metal spikes. Whoever threw the farthest would win. Khârn encouraged me to give it a shot, and despite my misgivings about how weak I was, the big guy talked as if he believed I was the best person for it. So not wanting to disappoint him (and also figuring, "Why the hell not?"), I gave it a go. Not too surprising, I was too weak for the game and only managed to lift the pole (and the guardsmen tied to it) up just enough to have both fall on top of me. At first the Chaos marines started to laugh - well, some of them did; the others made loud grunting noises that sounded like they were trying to loosen some phlegm.
Khârn then walks up to me and says "Here, let me show you how it's done," and proceeds to grab the pole. He takes a step back and launches it into the air. It keeps getting higher and higher and higher. It continues its accent into the sky until eventually; we lose sight of it and just assume that it landed in some random location. As I’m beginning to stand, up alarms go off. We hear from some random cultist that some random regiment from the Imperial guard is attacking us. I get my gear and run into position. I run into a trench and begin to watch for any movement. It takes only a few minutes before I begin to see guardsmen charging towards us. The Khornate cultists and marines do their thing. Screaming “BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD!” while they hack and bludgeon the loyalists into bloody chunks.
Now, during this, I become aware that Khârn has been standing next to me the whole time. He does nothing but stand perfectly still, neither looking at me nor saying a word. Now during my little space out, the sound of a Baneblade heavy tank approaching us reminds me that I was in the midst of a battle. As I see it get closer and closer to us, I begin to slightly freak out as to how I’m gonna possibly deal with that. The thing stops to aim and proceeds to blow up a group of Khornate berserkers and cultists. Now absolutely terrified, I attempt to run for better cover but find myself paralyzed with fear (along with a need to find a clean pair of pants). Khârn then gets on one knee; rests his hand on my shoulder, points to the Baneblade and says, “You’re going to love this”. Then a most peculiar sound catches my ear. I hear a slight whistling sound, like a basilisk shell falling back to earth. Khârn then points to the sky and sure enough I see a faint object falling toward us. I take it for a shell at first, but then I realize that there would be more if the loyalists were launching an artillery strike. So ruling that out, I continue to stare at it. It gets closer and closer until I can make out its shape slightly. To my amazement, it’s the very same guardsmen tied to the pole from before. He continues to fall, getting faster and faster. Finally against all odds he actually hits the Baneblade and penetrates the armor! Now I’m not sure what exactly did it, and I do have some ideas, but whatever the case was, the tank explodes. The shrapnel and debris go flying and rip several guardsmen (a quite a few cultists as well) to shreds. Khârn turns his head to me and says in the calmest voice, “And THAT is how it’s done.” He jumps out the trench and charges toward the enemy.
Every single one of them died.
Fun guy, that Khârn.
Khârn the Betrayer is a pretty surprising guy; he's pretty well known for it, but most of the time people ignore the humorous side of these outbursts of temporary insanity.
One time, after overrunning a refugee camp that hadn't been evacuated in time we decided to engage in some party games to relieve the monotony of senseless slaughter: spin the prisoner, throw the prisoner, shoot the prisoner, prisoner of fortune etc. Now after we blink when one of them gets nailed by a 100 yard headshot from a lasgun. This is pretty impressive considering the general state of most of my regiment’s lasguns. Lately I've taken to just throwing mine at the enemy and finding a corpse to hide under if required to use it in any kind if defensive fashion.
Anyway, the ace yells, "Wooo! One shot!"
The ace is getting high-fives and cheers when Khârn appears behind him. He picks up the lasgun from the ground, overcharges the power pack, and throws it into a group of loyalists standing about a half mile away. It blows them off the face of the planet.
"WOOO!" he yells, fist in the air. "ONE SHOT!"
The guy’s priceless I tell ya. Priceless.
You know what the worst thing about besieging a hive for the Ruinous Gods is? It's not being forced to run at the hive so your bodies pile up high enough so your uncaring Traitor Astartes types can climb up you (and boy, when you're pinned under a pile of your dead comrades don't you ALWAYS get an itch?). No, it's the waiting.
We were into the sixth month of the Draxian Persecution. Hive Draxia Primary was this pretty huge hive that had somewhere along the line hopped onto the backside of a mining facility and never gotten off, burying halfway into this huge mountain that tried to race to the top. No biggie for the Red Rivers. They were going to hold us back until a small crack appeared in the defenses and then send us in to die in horrible droves.
The Khorne guys in the army didn't take so well to that, and neither did Khârn. Big fella got really antsy after about the second minute of the siege, and the ball of yarn just wasn't working the way it used to when it came to distracting him.
So we're just waiting for something to happen and Khârn grabs a bunch of us, and asks us politely to come with him. After screaming a little due to his polite request (he had charts about what he was going to do to the entire planet if we didn't. I don't know where he got the stationery), about fifty of the Rivers joined his party to ascend the Draxia Spire-Mountain.
After ten days, three dares of "I bet you can't jump that gap", an avalanche caused by Khârn punching a mountain goat and almost all of us dying in horrible ways, we finally reached the summit of the mountain. Flat on top was that summit almost eerily so... like it had been hacked off by someone with a large axe.
Anyway, we get there and what does Khârn do? Breaks out the marbles. I don't know, I don't know where he keeps getting these things. He challenges the last four of us to a game, and since we had nothing better to do we had a run of it.
Three more fatalities later and it was clear I was going to win. Khârn just didn't have the patience for marbles. He could see my smiling and in return nodded his helmeted head as if to say "Just watch THIS shot, Smug McSmuggy" ... shortly before screaming "TRICK SHOT" and hurling his sole marble down the side of the mountain.
We stood there in silence and watched as the marble plinked from sight, and a rather large amount of debris followed it. This debris loosened even more of it, and the entire mountain began to shake and tear away from the hive. Draxia Primary shuddered a moment, and then began to collapse.
Neither of us looked away from the sheer destruction and loss of life that had just been wrought, and the sound of our respect knuckles tapping together and my entire arm dislocating in the aftershock were muffled even from the great height we were at. It took a further two days for things to settle, and through it all neither of us said a word.
It was Khârn who broke the silence, that competitive look somehow burning from what little I could see of his crazed eyes set in his helmet, as he bent forwards simply so he could stare right into my face. I could see up his nose too. It was pretty gross.
"RACE TO THE BOTTOM"
Don't worry, Khârn made sure it was fair by giving me a head-start. Even pushed me hard enough that I cleared about half of the mountain. Medics are telling me that I should probably be dead instead of unable to move or feel my anything, but Khârn himself told me no one ever won a race by not landing head first in the twisted wreckage of humanity's folly.
He's a deep guy.
The absolute worst part about being in the Red Rivers (aside from the food) is interplanetary travel. You would think with the whole falling to ruinous powers thing that you'd be able to get to where you wanted to go easy as pie, but then you take an actual trip and the Chaos Space Marines dragging you along as death fodder burst into fits of laughter when you ask why the Gellar Field hasn't activated. Then a horror crawls out your nose.
Mostly it's the boredom that gets you though, when they stuff you down in the dark holds with nothing to do but play cards and avoid sleeping near the Slaanesh worshippers. It wasn't so bad though. One time we were down there and saw Khârn walking around just knocking on the hold walls. We assumed he'd been asked politely to come down here after once again trying to commandeer the ship and crash it into the other ones so that they could make an explosion to make them go faster. So there he was, just wandering, knocking and listening. Bored as we were, we followed him, just to see where it would go.
Well, it took most of the trip and a great deal of wandering but as the call to prepare for planetfall began to go out, Khârn finally got the knock he wanted, and promptly punched through the wall. Just pulled back and walloped a great big tear in the bulkhead. Which exposed us to space. Khârn saw our looks of horror as the void threatened to pull us out, and quickly made over to grab a few of us then jumped out of the hole, cool as you like.
Well, I've made plenty of planetfalls but never before was I instructed on how to enter the atmosphere surfing on a berserker Chaos Marine. I don't think I'll grow most of my hair or skin back, but I'll have one heck of a story to tell my kids. A story about a heck of a ride on a heck of a guy.
High above the world of Peacarius (soon to be renamed SLAUGHTERBLOODDEATH), the World Eaters and Emperor's Children stood waiting aboard Angron's flagship "BLOOD AND MURDER YOU NAME THE BLOODY THING" as their Primarchs held a conference for war. The people of Peacarius were a timid lot, not well versed in the ways of warfare, and had made the fatal error of suing for peace the very second Angron's ships had entered orbit. When Fulgrim arrived it was to find the World Eaters Primarch trying to tape a nuclear warhead to each his fists, but lacking the ability to do it one handed had meant that instead he'd been kicking drop-ships at the Peacarius capital and screaming into space.
The equerry of the World Eaters regarded the perfect array of troops resplendent in the golden aquila, and then his own men as they stood twitching and idly swinging their deactivated chain-axes at one another so they harmlessly bounced off each other's helmets. It was no secret that neither Legion got along, but the orders of their Emperor and their Warmaster were to be obeyed. Khârn let out a sigh, as he heard his Primarch storming down the hallways towards them.
"DAMNATION AND SKULLS" Angron cried out, kicking a bulkhead door open as he forced two screaming Remembrancers into his mouth and ate them, "WHY HAVE WE NOT LEFT YET EQUERRY?!"
"My lord. You destroyed all our landing craft trying to weld them together into a bigger landing craft" Khârn the Equerry answered. In response Angron began to headbutt the floor. Roused from their non-killing stupor, the other World Eaters began to do so as well. Khârn sighed. He wasn't sure he had enough yarn in stock to calm them all down.
"WELL UNTIL WE GET THE THRICE BLOOD DAMNED THINGS I'M GOING TO BE REARRANGING THE SKULL TROPHIES IN MY DAMNED TEN TIMES BLOOD MURDER BEDROOM" Angron screamed, before storming out. Seconds later there was an almighty crash, and the section of the ship that housed Angron could be seen making entry into the planet's atmosphere.
"Do not worry, equerry" Fulgrim spoke softly as he appeared inexplicably behind Khârn, "We will assist your Primarch as best we can..."
Khârn was going to respond, but became distinctly aware of Fulgrim's tongue caressing his ear.
The Traitor Guardsmen eyed each other nervously. They had asked Khârn to tell them another story about his time before the Horus Heresy, but after agreeing to do so, he had begun to sit there staring at the campfire. After a minute froth began to build up around his helmet's mouthpiece, and he crushed the skull he had been drinking from. Everyone was too terrified to move or say a word, each hoping for someone else to make the first move.
They were trapped there for weeks.
Khârn the Betrayer, as I've often told skeptics from other legions, is a hell of a guy. His mighty axe isn't his greatest weapon; it's his charm.
Take the battle of Camrae III. We hadn't expected the loyalist legions there to last for more than a week, but the thrice-damned Imperium had managed to sneak a massive Warlord Titan onto the planet without our knowledge. (They'd literally buried it under a mountain. CREEEEEEEEEE...) We'd been trying to kill the thing for a solid month, but wherever the war machine tromped, the legions of Chaos died.
That was, until Tuesday.
On Tuesday, we'd been chasing a legion of weakened Astartes down a long, winding canyon to slaughter them in the name of Khorne, when we heard the war-horn of the Titan braying its triumph as it emerged around a bend in the rocky passage. Our blood turned to water and our knees turned to jelly as we realized that we were trapped in the canyon we had sought to turn to our advantage, about to be undone by the gargantuan deathbringer. The loyalist Astartes hooted at us as the house-sized cannons began to glow with the fire of a thousand suns, warming up our demise, and we gritted our teeth in anticipation of the end.
Then, we saw Khârn.
He was running along the edge of the sheer sides of the rocky canyon, full-tilt, his armor-clad boots kicking rocks, dirt, and occasionally small animals over the cliff face as he sprinted. With both loyalist and Chaos Marine alike looking on in awe, he coiled his legs beneath him, crushing a couple of deep footprints into the solid rock at the cliff edge, and launched himself into the air. For a brief moment, time stood still as he sailed over the heads of the combatants below, his arms gracefully extended like a swan's wings, if that swan had been fathered by a Chaos god and granted an insatiable lust for blood.
With a clang, he landed on the bridge of the Titan, the void shields swirling uselessly around him. He drew back one superhuman fist and punched a giant goddamned hole in the armor of the machine with a sound like two Thunderhawks colliding in midair. His monstrous hands grappled the torn adamantium and as the metal shuddered under the force of his sheer rage he paused as he cast his gaze into the hole he had created.
"TEN POINTS," bellowed Khârn as he continued to peel the Titan's armor back like a car door. Raw sunlight was cast into the titan's cockpit for the first time in millennia, and the crew turned to face their aggressor. The Princeps had just removed himself from the machine but had barely any time to react and only yelped in terror as Khârn ripped him from his control seat and tossed him out into the open air. The red dot that was Khârn scrambled inside and we, at that point, could only figure that he was giving himself a crash course with learning how to pilot the damned thing.
Every warrior froze as the Titan seized up and began jerking about, when from over the sound systems Styx's "Mr. Roboto" began blasting out over the battlefield as the Titan itself began rampaging across the canyon floor. The fighting resumed as quickly as it had halted, the loyalists fighting in a last ditch effort to flee from being caught underfoot by the formerly Imperial-controlled Titan. The men of the Red Rivers could barely aim their lasguns properly as we all roared with laughter through the whole ordeal. As the battle drew to a close, we finally lost it and gripped our sides in laughter as the Titan finally collapsed onto its back and went critical after Khârn cleared the scene. As he came back up to us I raised my arm for a high five, which he gladly obliged and broke every bone in my hand.
As he looked back over the smoking husk and ruined corpses strewn about the canyon I asked him what caused him to lose his balance, and he looked down at me and said, "I WAS TRYING TO GET IT TO BREAKDANCE BUT IT HAD NO SOUL."
That's Khârn for you. Hell of a guy.
As I've said countless of times, Khârn The Betrayer is a pretty fun guy to be around. This was incredibly evident at that one specific Take Your Kid To Work Day. Khârn had decided to bring his adopted son that day, and boy, was it hilarious. You see, his son is in to all the crazy stuff that he is, like butchering people in the name of Khorne, but Khârn's son is only a kid.
Well, we were advancing on a hive city, when a squad of Imperial Fists terminators ran up to aid the besieged guardsmen. Khârn's son, with his father not too far behind, jumped up, and wildly swung at the loyalists with his axe. After they had dispatched the squad, Khârn gave his son a big pat on the back that would have crumpled the spine of a normal human and said, "SON, I'M SO PROUD OF YOU!". He was so happy, it almost looked like he was crying. Then his son just said "Daddy, I'm bored. Let's play a game!" He then proceeded to pick up two of the fallen space marines' Thunder Hammers, tossed one to Khârn, and then ran towards the entrenched Imperial Guard. What happened next was probably one of the funniest things you will ever see. He was playing Whack-A-Mole with the Guardsmen. Every time one of them popped up, he immediately smashed them with the hammer, causing huge waves of gore to fly across the battlefield. Khârn, after he realized what his son was doing, joined in with the fun. After a few minutes, the trench was turned into a pool of red paste, and all the guardsmen were dead. Khârn walked back towards us, and said "I HAVEN'T HAD THIS MUCH FUN IN YEARS!" He then gave offered me a fist pump, which liquified every muscle in my arm.
Hell of a guy, that Khârn.
So me and my detachement of Traitor Guardsmen were stationed with a World Eater warband around Cyrax-VII. Warmaster Abaddon had declared he wanted the planet purged and that we were to sent him the heads of all Imperials on the main hive cities. I don't know why he wanted that, but talk was someone down there had made a really lousy song called "The Ballad of No-Armsbaddon" and he couldn't abide that. Anyway, we were sitting on the trenches desperately trying to get this brand-new Autocannon to work, when the ground trembles beneath us and the sun seems to go out for some reason. I just went back to trying to dislodge the autocannon's firing mechanism with a piece of someone's femur, I figured one of the World Eaters had decided to try and pilot a Melta Bomb and had exploded in the atmosphere.
Anyway I realized my fellow Traitor Guardsmen had stopped talking, so I looked up. Right there at the edge of the trench was a Blood Angel Dreadnought just staring at us, actually leaning down on us as if trying to figure out what we were, or doing whatever Dreadnoughts call leaning.
"WAIT A MINUTE, THIS ISN'T MY SIDE OF THE BATTLE LINE".
I felt my inner ear liquefy right on the spot.
So, anyway, it had gotten lost see, but now he knew he was actually looking down on Traitor Guardsmen.
Well, what did we do you ask me ? Well, I just flung the Autocannon away and focused very hard on digging a hiding-hole on the ground with my bare-hands. Few of my fellow Guardsmen tried to open fire with their Lasguns and some yelled and did this little dance.
The Dreadnought just started spinning his Power-Fist in the air and stomping everything.
"FEEL THE EMPEROR'S WRATH! DIE IN HOLY FIRAH! NO MERCY OR DESPAIR! PREPARE TO BE PURGED!"
So anyway, in half-way through the hole already when I realized there's not enough time, so I decided just to close my eyes and wait for it. Maybe the Dreadnought wouldn't rip me limb by limb, instead just blowing me into ashes with its flamer and maybe some Daemon wouldn't use my soul as toilet paper. I might just be that lucky, you'd be surprised how much luck counts.
But right at that moment the Dreadnought just simply stops dead in is tracks. If Dreadnoughts had expressions I'd tell you this one looked very confused. I head this loud sound of metal being torn open and the Dreadnought just moved in the awkward position, knees caved in and... urh... whatever it has for an ass, tucked backwards. Then it started to shake itself from one side to the other. You could hear the servo units being crushed and torn apart, and the Marine corpse inside being awfully frustrated.
"WAIT A MINUTE...WHAT THE... WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON."
Then out of nowhere, this huge Khornate Berserker just erupts from the Dreadnought's sarcophagus, covered in amniotic fluid and blood, sending sharp shards of ceramite flying everywhere.
It was Khârn. He had crawled inside the Dreadnought's behind and burst out the other end.
Boy let me tell you, we were terrified. We had heard about Khârn's reputation and we just thought about the word "From the frying pan into the fire", because the Dreadnought was dead, but now we were facing this guy known Galaxy-wide as "The Betrayer".
I was about to go back into digging my hole when we realized Khârn was giggling. Actually giggling.
We looked up and he was just standing there, waist deep inside a Dreadnought sarcophagus and holding his hands next to his massive chest as if they where tiny claws.
"LOOK AT ME! LOOK AT ME! I'M AN ALIEN! SCREEEEE! SCRREEE!!!"
We just lost it right there, and started laughing. Khârn scrambled back inside the Dreadnought and pulled down some pieces of the dead Marine from inside along with some Power Cables. He then piloted the Dreadnought carcass right into the Emperor's Children detachment while yelling "SCRREEEEEE!", stomping around and picking up Emperor's Children marines to fling at us yelling "CATCH!"
It took a whole battalion of Black Legionnaires to convince him he was not an Alien.
I can't say it enough. Khârn the Betrayer is such a great guy. Us Red Rivers were stationed on some Death World fighting a greenskin horde, and we were in the middle of this massive blizzard. The snow was so deep that only Dreadnoughts could make any headway through it, and the lot of us Traitor Guardsmen were frozen and thoroughly miserable. Every time we got attacked, we lost another company, and there was lots of grumbling about the lack of help from the Chaos Marines.
Anyway, on this one attack, the greenskins crashed over the top of this snowdrift we were hiding behind. A bloodbath follows as we try to take down these berserk Orks. Limbs are flying everywhere, and I'm crouching in a puddle of pee, hunkered behind a big pile of snow. A couple of squads try to run away and the next thing I know, they're flying through the air with their armour smashed to pieces.
Khârn had been standing behind our lines trying to contemplate the existence of the number three.
He turned around and sneezed as a bit of snow got up his nose, promptly breaking every bone in the Traitor Guardsmen's bodies. Shouting "GO AWAY"" he reduced the greenskin horde to shredded meat with sheer, concentrated rage (and causing a minor earthquake in the process). The entire area gets spattered with pieces of flesh and broken bone, and Khârn grabs the closest surviving Guardsman.
"ALL I WANTED WAS SOME PEACE AND QUIET"
He's stood there melting the snow with the intensity of his anger, and suddenly throws the Guardsman through the air shouting "DUCK HUNT!" and empties the Guardsman's bolter mag into him, causing the body to explode in a bloody mist.
Khârn turns to me, causing me to soil myself all over again, then gestures at the ruined Guardsmen covered in gore.
"MILK FOR THE KHORNE FLAKES"
Despite my terror I start laughing hysterically and hold up my hand for a high five at his joke. He shattered my arm into thirty-eight pieces and it took them a week to dig me out of the snowdrift.
Boy, what a comedian, that Khârn.
The Wrath of Khârn
With the aide of his crew, Admiral Kirk must stop an old nemesis, Khârn...HERESY! *BLAM*
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."
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."
"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 rage, brutal, without mercy. But you? You will be worse. Rip and Tear, until it is done."
- – Khârn to what may or may not be his son just before he reawakens to fight Khorne’s oppressors.
"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
Iskandar Khayon - Kharn - Kor Phaeron - Lheorvine Ukris - Lucius
Lugft Huron - Luther - Madox - Necrosius the Undying - Sevatar
Shon'tu - Svane Vulfbad - Talos - Typhus - Ygethmor - Zhufor
|Araghast the Pillager - Azariah Kyras - Bale - Crull - Eliphas The Inheritor |
Firaeveus Carron - Kain - Nemeroth - Neroth - Sindri Myr - Varius