"Khorne, we beseech thee. We offer you our very lifeblood! Send unto your faithful servants the means of this world's deliverance!"
- — Last words of Venerati Lhorgh
A Bloodthirster is the Greater Daemon of Khorne, and each is a manifestation of the unreasoning rage and savagery of total war. It is said that there are no more powerful masters of battle in the entire galaxy than the Greater Daemons of the Blood God and that none may stand before them. They are the very essence of brutality, every blow ever struck and life ever taken in anger distilled into a single, towering form of iron and sinew.
As the living embodiments of war, rage and murder, Bloodthirsters represent the bloodiest side of warfare and are renowned as the greatest warriors amongst daemonkind. Only the boldest and most heroic of mortal champions would even stand the slimmest chance of survival in combat with a Bloodthirster, and an even smaller chance of victory. In appearance, Bloodthirsters are the embodiments of fear and terror long-expressed in the ancient Terran legends of daemons that hungered for the souls of Mankind.
Most of these creatures stand nearly ten metres tall, whilst the mightiest of their kind are the size of a Scout Titan. Their skin is the deep red of encrusted blood. Their gore-flecked hides are covered in crimson fur the colour of spilt blood and their eyes are milky white without visible iris or pupil. Their feet are cloven and the ground burns at their passing. Their bodies are impossibly muscled and covered in iron-tipped barbs.
From their backs sprout a pair of gigantic, membranous, bat-like wings, enabling them to soar over the battlefield before diving into the fiercest and bloodiest areas of battle, striking at will. Most hideous of all are their faces, which are bestial, almost canine, the visage of Khorne's most favoured beings in the universe. Their snarling maws are filled with fangs the size of mortal swords.
"Gut them! Slaughter them! Slay them! Butcher them! Kill! Kill! Kill! Never stop, never tire! Keep doing the Lord's work!"
- —Khar-Har the Undefeatable
Bloodthirsters wear ancient, ornamented armour. Sections of their armour are adorned with the glowing skull Mark of Khorne as a sign of his blessing. The panoply of this armour is ruddy bronze or iron black, upon which the glowing-red runes of Khorne are proof against the most fearsome of psychic attacks, a fact that strikes utter horror into the hearts of the most accomplished of battle-psykers. A Bloodthirster's armour is also proof against the ranged weapons of the cowardly that would dare attempt to strike them down from a distance rather than engaging in righteous close combat.
As well as their razor-sharp claws, the Greater Daemons of Khorne are known to carry two primary weapons which epitomise murder. The first is a massive daemonic battleaxe which is the iconic weapon of Khorne, forged in the heat of the rage of the Lord of War and imbued with the essence of caged Greater Daemons. The keen-edged blade is at least the height of a Space Marine, and its haft several times longer. Perhaps the most powerful weapons ever created, these gigantic battleaxes can cleave an armoured main battle tank in half. These fearful weapons not only destroy a foe's physical body, but often consume their souls as well as an offering to the Blood God.
The second weapon a Bloodthirster carries is a long barbed whip which is capable of dealing death at range. Since Bloodthirsters are obsessed with spreading death and destruction, the use of such a weapon enables them to strike down a distant foe with the shattering power of their deafening bellow. Though not as satisfying as cleaving apart a foe with a sweep of their axe, they do allow a Bloodthirster to reach and destroy even the fastest and most agile of their foes.
But the Bloodthirsters of Khorne are not simply mindless berserker engines of war. They are the generals and ultimate champions of the daemonic legions of the Blood God. Countless Lesser Daemons march beneath them in unstoppable assaults against the enemies of their master and his chosen mortal servants. Bloodthirsters are masters of every tactic that leads to the spilling of blood. They eschew stealth and guile as the coward's way and direct their forces towards the total defeat of their enemies with stunning brutality. Against such a combination of rage and leadership, none can stand.
There are eight distinct hosts of Bloodthirsters among the daemonic legions of Khorne, but it would be a fatal error to believe that even the lowest ranked -- the Bloodthirsters of the eighth host -- are in some way lesser warriors than their kin, or that they pose a reduced threat. In truth, only those versed in daemonic lore have any notion that varied ranks of Bloodthirster exist, for all seem equally terrifying and destructive to the mortals who feel their ire upon the battlefield.
Nonetheless, each of the eight ranks of Bloodthirster possess their own lethal skills, armaments and title. Those of the eighth host, for example, are known as Bloodthirsters of Unfettered Fury. These monstrous beings are skilled if unsubtle generals and, armed with their infamous combination of axe and whip, are most often seen commanding Khorne's daemonic legions in their attacks on realspace.
By comparison, those of the sixth rank, known as Bloodthirsters of Insensate Rage, are berserk destroyers who wield immense axes as tall as a fortress gate. Nothing can stand before such terrors on the battlefield, and the Daemons of Khorne are drawn instinctively on in the wake of their furnace-hot fury.
The infamous Bloodthirsters of the third host, meanwhile, are known as the Wrath of Khorne. These beings are fire-breathing braggarts, hunters after glory who delight in humbling the mightiest heroes of the foe and butchering them in the name of their bloody lord.
Bloodthirster of Unfettered Fury
The most numerous of the Lord of Skull's Greater Daemons are the Bloodthirsters of Unfettered Fury. In one fist, these colossal, sulphur-wreathed fiends carry a massive Axe of Khorne, which can carve a battle-tank in two with a single swing. In its other hand, the Bloodthirster wields a vicious Lash of Khorne. Immense whips studded with brass spikes, these weapons slice through the air with a thunderous crack, breaking necks, entangling limbs, or driving on the Bloodletters and Flesh Hounds around them.
Bloodthirster of Insensate Rage
Bloodthirsters of Insensate Rage are the most mindlessly savage of their kind. The fires of Khorne's forge fill their chests, stoking their fury to a state of apoplexy that renders them utterly incoherent with anger. So great is their ire-fuelled strength that these daemons are able to heft immense brass axes as tall as a fortress gate, and the cohorts of Khorne are driven into a frenzy in the wake of their furnace-hot fury. The arrival of such an entity on the battlefield heralds the coming of the end.
Wrath of Khorne Bloodthirster
Soaring through the skies on vast, leathery wings, Wrath of Khorne Bloodthirsters scour the battlefield for their prey. These arrogant huntsmen are charged by Khorne with a sacred duty -- humbling the mightiest heroes of the foe and butchering them in the name of the Lord of Battle. Breathing jets of hellfire, wielding a Bloodflail and monstrous Axe of Khorne, there is no greater champion of war.
- An'ggrath the Unbound - An'ggrath is the greatest of the Bloodthirsters and the most favoured servant of the Blood God Khorne. He was most recently banished from the material realm during the Siege of Vraks in 830.M41.
- Skarbrand the Exiled One - Once the greatest of Khorne's generals, the mightiest of all Bloodthirsters, until an act of betrayal saw him cast out due to the machinations of Tzeentch, the Lord of Change, and he was exiled from the service of Khorne.
- Anarkh'ad'nron - Anarkh'ad'nron is a Bloodthirster who is part of a daemonic host comprised of followers of all four Chaos Gods. Leading a cohort of bestial Bloodletters, he followed his master, a Herald of Khorne known as Deathrender, in a campaign of slaughter and mayhem.
- An'kha'arak - A Bloodthirster who led a Chaos incursion on the Imperial world of Toreus in 579.M41 which he conquered and ruled for 300 Terran years as a Daemon World before he was drawn back into the Empyrean.
- Ax'akhan - A Bloodthirster who himself is one of eight Bloodthirsters who serve beneath Ghalh'kra the Infernus. His subordinate, the Bloodthirster Khulzar, commanded one of Khorne's daemonic Blood Legions that included amongst its eight cohorts the infamous Doom Court that took part in the Blood Crusade, and during the war for the Attila System entered battle upon the Fortress World of Alexandrum.
- Bellanoth - Bellanoth was a Greater Daemon of Khorne who was sealed within the Damnation Cache on the world of Pythos after the Horus Heresy. He was released by the Forces of Chaos in the latter 41st Millennium and was soon banished afterwards by the Catachan Jungle Fighters.
- Ghalh'kra - Ghalh'kra the Infernus is the commander of one of the Blood God's daemonic armies, the overlord of Ax'akhan and eight other Bloodthirster generals under Ax'akhan who command their own Blood Legions.
- Gore Lord - The Gore Lord is a Bloodthirster who leads a mixed host of daemonic entities who serve both Khorne and Slaanesh primarily in an unusual daemonic alliance that is known as the Brazen Host.
- Ka'bandha - One of the greatest of the Bloodthirsters, and the eternal foe of the Blood Angels Space Marines and all their Successor Chapters.
- Ka'jagga'nath, the Unbound, Lord of the Bloodtide - Ka'jagga'nath was originally imprisoned in a stasis-reliquary within the Basilica of St. Mariel on the Imperial world of Van Horne. He was accidentally released during renovations, taking one of the labourers as his Daemonhost. He would proceed to unleash a tide of gore and within a matter of solar days he had corrupted the entirety of the planet to the service of the Blood God. Ka'jagga'nath was finally defeated by the Grey Knights' 4th Brotherhood. Their purity overcame the blood tide and they were able to banish the Greater Daemon's soul back into the Empyrean.
- Khan'zhar the Red - Khan'zhar led the Red Legions of Khornate daemons against the Fortress World of Cadia during the climax of Abaddon the Despoiler's 13th Black Crusade in 999.M41.
- Kar'voth - Kar'voth is a Bloodthirster who encountered Kaldor Draigo, the Supreme Grand Master of the Grey Knights, who had been physically cast into the Realm of Chaos and doomed to walk its myriad paths. Atop the Blood Falls, where the acrid ichor of Khorne's fallen champions tumbled endlessly into the void, Draigo slew Kar'voth in single combat.
- Kha Ak-Lash Kha-Aksha, the Usurper - Kha Ak-Lash Kha Aksha is infamous among daemons for attempting to turn against its own Chaos God. For this affront, the Usurper was punished severely by Khorne, imprisoned within a mighty axe of Warp-forged metal which the Blood God cast out from the Warp and into realspace. This ancient and feared weapon became known as the Axe of Kha-Aksha and is currently in the possession of one of the many mutants on the Gloaming World of Messia's night side.
- Khulzhar - Khulzhar is a Bloodthirster of Unfettered Fury, one of eight Bloodthirster generals who command eight daemonic Blood Legions under the control of the Bloodthirster commander Ax'akhan, who himself is one of eight Bloodthirsters who command forces that comprise the overall daemonic army of Ghalh'kra the Infernus. Khulzhar led one of the many daemonic legions that took part in the Blood Crusade, and during the war for the Attila System, took personal command of the Herald of Khorne Un'grath the Undefeated's cohort -- the feared Doom Court.
- Storm Prince - The Storm Prince was a Bloodthirster trapped beneath the frozen surface of the world of Acheron, lost in the Warp for centuries. When the Blood Ravens Space Marines, the Eldar of Craftworld Biel-Tan and the Orks led by Warboss Gorgutz all come to Acheron in search of the legendary aretfact known as the Spear of Khaine, the use of the weapon awakens the daemon. Only by combining their forces in an uneasy alliance were the three factions able to defeat the Storm Prince and prevent him from unleashing a rampage across the galaxy in the name of the Blood God.
- Vangash'hagash, the Ever-Bloody - Vangash'hagash is a Bloodthirster and lord of the Daemon World of Kathalon within the Eye of Terror, where the daemonic legions of Khorne and Tzeentch have fought each other for control for millennia.
- Black Crusade: Core Rulebook (RPG), pp. 15, 339
- Black Crusade: The Tome of Blood (RPG), pp. 8-9, 11-13, 19, 40-41, 45, 61, 63, 66, 86-87, 118, 120, 134, 137, 139
- Codex: Chaos Daemons (8th Edition), pp. 13, 34, 86-88
- Codex: Chaos Daemons (6th Edition), pg. 28
- Codex: Chaos Daemons (4th Edition), pp. 18-20, 28
- Codex: Chaos Space Marines (3rd Edition, 2nd Codex)
- Codex: Grey Knights (5th Edition), pp. 15, 39
- Codex: Khorne Daemonkin (7th Edition) (Digital Edition), "Forces of the Khorne Daemonkin - Bloodthirsters"
- Dawn of War III (PC Game)
- Deathwatch: Mark of the Xenos, pg. 100
- Horus Heresy: Collected Visions
- Imperial Armour - Apocalypse, pg. 96
- Imperial Armour Volume Seven - The Siege of Vraks - Part Three, pp. 165-165, 168-169
- Liber Chaotica: Khorne, pp. 76-79
- Realms of Chaos: Slaves to Darkness (2nd Edition), pg. 25
- Warhammer 40,000: Rulebook (8th Edition), pg. 161
- White Dwarf 368 (UK) "Daemons," pp. 25-27
- Pandorax (Novel), by C.Z.Dunn
- Games Workshop Catalogue: Chaos Daemons Bloodthirster
- Forge World: Bloodthirster, Greater Daemon of Khorne