The dreaded Banelord-class Titan is one of the most feared of all of the Chaos Titans, the Chaos counterpart to the Imperium's mighty Warlord-class Titan. Dedicated to the Blood God Khorne, the Banelord is a towering mountain of destruction.
The Banelord excels at short-ranged combat, closing with the enemy to blast them with its missiles and cannon and to smash them with its fists and tail. Only the most powerful opponents, such as the Warlord-class Battle Titan, are able to withstand the onslaught of a Banelord Titan.
Titans are the supreme fighting machines of the Imperium -- towering metal giants armoured in adamantium and armed with the mightiest weapons the Tech-priests of the Adeptus Mechanicus can devise. At the heart of every Titan a blazing Plasma Reactor harnesses the power of a sun to supply the machine's massive energy requirements. Each of these vast war machines requires a substantial crew to control and direct it. Few troops can survive the assault of a Titan's devastating weapons.
In the dark days of the Horus Heresy, great numbers of the ancient Mechanicum were lured into the service of Chaos with promises of forgotten and forbidden knowledge. The Tech-priests of Mars were pitched into bloody civil war, known as the Schism of Mars, unleashing forbidden weapons to scour the surface of the Red Planet. The Titan Legions of the Legio Titanica split into Loyalist and Traitor factions, with over half of the Titan Legions joining the Traitor cause of the Warmaster Horus.
Throughout the Heresy innumerable battles were fought between Titans on a multitude of worlds, and whole cities shook beneath the heavy tread of these awesome god-engines. With the failure of Horus' rebellion, the Traitor Titan Legions were driven into the great Warp rift known as the Eye of Terror, where they still dwell after ten Terran millennia, waiting to board space hulks and devastate the worlds of the Imperium again.
During the long sojourn among the Daemon Worlds the Renegade Titans have warped and mutated, for the mutable power of Chaos is not limited to creatures of living flesh. These gigantic engines of terror are universally feared as they wander the Daemon Worlds from battle to battle, eternally wreaking the carnage they were built for. No one quite knows whether they still contain their original crews, their lives unnaturally prolonged by the warping powers of Chaos, or something far worse.
Chaos Titans are feared and respected by the followers of Chaos as monstrous, brooding effigies of ancient gods of war. The Imperium fears the Chaos Titans as the avenging revenants of a horrific past.
Most Chaos Titans are corrupted Warlord-class Battle Titans as these were the most common type employed by the Legio Titanica at the time of the Heresy. Nearly all of them have been altered by exposure to the Warp in some way. Some have had their heads reshaped into daemonic visages, or mounted with close combat weapons or extra guns, and another common change is the addition of long sinuous tails mounting weapons or gigantic blades.
The Banelord is aligned to the Chaos God known as Khorne, and has taken on the appearance and hues associated with the Blood God. Flags, kill banners and pennants fly from the weapons and arms of the Battle Titan, with the Mark of Khorne prominently displayed. It is not known if a Banelord is an ancient, corrupted Warlord Battle Titan dating back to the Heresy era or whether it was created from scratch in one of the Hell-Forges of a Dark Mechanicum Warpsmith.
Like all servants of the Blood God, the furious-minded Banelord desires nothing more than to enter into close combat to get to grips with the enemy. Those followers of Khorne who fight alongside these ferocious war machines are strengthened by the release of psychic energy brought about by the bloodshed and death unleashed by the Banelord. Their potency increases if the battle continues to go well for the armies of Chaos. To add to its already formidable defences, the Banelord is under the protection of Khorne, and this makes it particularly resistant to psychic attacks.
- Bloodletter Battlehead - The once noble head of a Warlord Battle Titan has been horribly mutated on the Banelord by exposure to the energies of the Warp so that it resembles the features of the daemonic servants of Khorne known as Bloodletters. Jutting from the mouth of this horrific visage is a large Assault Cannon capable of spewing high explosive rounds at an enormous rate of fire.
- Hellstrike Cannon - The Hellstrike Cannon fires a massive ballistic shell that is loaded with a highly corrosive and inflammable mixture that is known appropriately as "hellfire." The shells are set to explode in mid-air just above the target, so that it splatters in as wide an area as possible with the deadly hellfire mixture. As the hellfire saturates the area it ignores cover, making it particularly potent against infantry in wooded areas or buildings.
- Havoc Missile Rack - The Havoc Missile Rack is loaded with six deadly Havoc Missiles. One or more missiles can be fired in a deadly salvo that roars towards the target at ground level to avoid enemy fire, exploding to cover a wide area in death and destruction. These missiles are fired individually so it is up to the Banelord whether or not it fires all or none of its missiles.
- Doomfist - The Doomfist is a deadly, Titan-grade hand-to-hand combat weapon which combines the close combat abilities of an infantry Chainfist and a Power Fist. In addition it is armed with a pair of built-in, Titan-grade Melta Cannons which provide a powerful ranged attack. In battle, the Doomfist can either be used in close combat or as a ranged weapon, but never both at the same time.
- Chaos Titan Tail of Khorne - The Banelord has mutated into a hellish mixture of metal and daemonic flesh with a long sinuous tail armed with a large, Titan-grade Battle Cannon on the end. In battle the tail can either be used to crush and gouge its enemies, or to fire at opponents that are too far away to be attacked in close combat.
- White Dwarf 178 (US), "Epic Titan Legions - Into the Maelstrom," by Andy Chambers, pg. 8
- White Dwarf 164 (US), "The Banelord - Chaos Titan of Khorne," by Jervis Johnson, pp. 21-25