The Enemy Within
Warriors of Chaos
The most deadly of the Empire’s enemies are the merciless tribes of Chaos. The northern provinces are still reeling from the last Chaos invasion, while the coasts are harried by the fierce marauder clans of Norsca. Typical marauders are tall and muscular, with long, knotted hair and beards, and wild eyes. Blasphemous sigils are tattooed on their flesh, and they heft cruel weapons. Some wear heavy furs, some go into battle naked. Others wear armour, heavily spiked and decorated with skulls. The most powerful Chaos warriors wear baroque plate armour, carved with eldritch runes and sometimes fused to their flesh as a second skin. Many proudly bear horrific mutations – for some, all semblance of humanity has disappeared beneath a writhing mass of talons, tentacles, and warped flesh.
Although the south has yet to experience the fury of a marauder horde, the taint of the Chaos Wastes is far-reaching. Even in the Reikland, folk are born with the mark of Chaos corruption, or develop such mutations in later life. Whether they have two heads or a hidden tail, mutants are an affront to Sigmar, and Imperial law requires communities to kill these cursed individuals. However, many escape into the forests where they form robber bands, attacking travellers and coaching inns. Spurned by society, they turn to the Chaos gods for succour.
The priests of Sigmar warn their flocks to avoid the temptations of Chaos. The dark gods might appear to a person in dreams, whispering promises in return for worship. Lust, vengeance, power, or the promise of immortality might corrupt the weak of soul.
Chaos cults honour the dark gods and secretly proselytise their damned faith. They eagerly welcome new devotees, especially those ‘favoured’ with mutation. Cultists seek to corrupt the Empire’s moral strength and ensure its collapse from within when the final Chaos invasion comes. They infect every level of Imperial society. In the cities, highly organised cults infiltrate the aristocracy, control politicians, and win over commoners in the guise of agitating for freedom. In the countryside, covens of witches and warlocks meet to worship the dark gods, sacrificing innocents in return for the power to wither crops and hex enemies. Cultists are secretive and paranoid, for the price of discovery is execution on a witch hunter’s pyre.
In the naïve belief that they can use them as powerful servants, cultists sometimes summon daemons, hellish incarnations of raw Chaos. Daemons invariably slaughter their summoners and escape to cause untold havoc and suffering.