"BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD! SKULLS FOR THE SKULL THRONE!"
- —War cry of Khorne's minions
A Herald of Khorne is an elite form of Bloodletter, a Lesser Daemon of Khorne. Leading the cohorts of the daemonic Blood Legions are the Heralds of Khorne, leering visions of damnation brought to life.
Whether marching at the head of the daemonic warriors they lead, or riding to war atop a Juggernaut, the daemons of Khorne fight all the harder in their presence.
The Heralds of Khorne are the strongest and most brutal of the Bloodletters, chosen from the ranks of their brethren by the Blood God himself. It is said that upon selection they are set against other aspiring Heralds in a vast arena of the Brass Citadel in the Realm of Chaos known as the Skullpit, forced to participate in a contest of champions to wean out the undeserving.
The energies of those who fall are reclaimed by Khorne and given to those that remain. Thus the victor becomes swollen with power, and their Hellblade, having leeched a measure of this new strength, becomes known henceforth as a Blade of Blood. Its wielder too is given a title, one that befits their achievements and preferred method of warfare.
Whether a Bloodmaster, Skullmaster, Sacred Executioner, Rendmaster or any other type of Herald, each is a ferocious warrior, and leads the Khornate daemon packs beneath them to enact the will of their ruling Bloodthirster.
"Heed me, wretches, for thy doom cometh. All who pass before my gaze shall die in offering to Khorne. But before the slaughter begins, I bid thee all to fight – to strain thine utmost against us in glorious combat. While all thy skulls shall be taken for the almighty, those who die on their feet may yet find the Blood God’s favour. Thou may think the manner in which thy lifeblood runs out meaningless, but I can assure thee that a coward’s suffering shall never end – never! So raise whatever weapons thou can muster and hope that thy feeble offering is worthy. I relish the carnage that shall be… now, my Crimson Cohort, begin! Let the blood flow!"
- —Kzar'tark, Bloodmaster of the Crimson Cohort, before the epic slaughter of the hive city of Skyreen
Those Heralds who have performed particularly noteworthy acts of violence are given the title of Bloodmaster. Rampaging masters of combat, each delights in decapitating their prey and plunging their wailing Blade of Blood deep into the beating hearts of their enemies.
A Bloodmaster cannot simply give in to its desire for slaughter, however, for the Herald's primary role on the battlefield is as a director of the massacre. To this end, these daemonic champions imbue the daemons of the cohort they lead with a portion of their own eternal malice, heightening the inherent bloodlust of the minions of Khorne to fever pitch.
There are those amongst the Heralds of Khorne that favour the headlong charge of daemonic cavalry, that relish the sensation of skulls shattering beneath brazen hooves, and will thunder into the thick of battle to seek out the worthiest opponents.
These champions are known as Skullmasters, and are forces of utter devastation on the battlefield. Mounted atop a Juggernaut -- a steed of living brass and boiling blood -- a Skullmaster is most often found in Khorne's daemonic armies leading a cohort of a Brazen Thunder Legion, and in battle is always at the forefront of a Bloodcrusher cavalry charge.
What foes their daemonic mount does not gore or crush underfoot are quickly dispatched by the Skullmaster's blade of blood, which lashes out with spiteful ferocity.
A Rendmaster is a Herald of Khorne who stands so high in the favour of the Blood God that they have been granted the right to ride atop a Blood Throne of Khorne.
From atop his macabre perch, the Herald searches for those foes whose plundered skulls will make the most audacious offerings to the Blood God. Then the Herald spurs his Blood Throne forward, howling with unspeakable joy as he readies his Hellblade for the kill.
When the Blood Throne arrives at the enemy lines, the hurtling mass of brass and spikes ploughs through entire formations, leaving only mangled flesh behind.
The two standard Bloodletters and the Rendmaster atop the hellish engine are well practised at hacking down those that survive the impact.
A Sacred Executioner is a special kind of Herald of Khorne who ranks among the most highly favoured and powerful of the Blood God's daemonic servants.
Many of the skulls taken as trophies by these Daemons are given over to Khorne itself in the Realm of Chaos for display within the Brass Citadel or are incorporated into the Skull Throne itself.
Notable Heralds of Khorne
- Skulltaker - Skulltaker, also known as U'Zuhl, is an infamous Skullmaster Herald who has claimed a Juggernaut Daemonic Steed as his mount and has been anointed as the Blood God's own Sacred Executioner.
- Ka'Shan'kha - Ka'Shan'kha is a Herald of Khorne who commanded a force of Daemon Engines known as the Crimson Destroyers. He was punished for disobedience with the task of serving as a commander of a supporting fire unit instead of leading the charge into the fray and took part in the Siege of the Fenris System in 999.M41 alongside the Bloodthirster Vor'hakk.
- Korvak Bladelord - Korvak Bladelord was a Herald of Khorne who participated in the Siege of the Fenris System in 999.M41.
- Raksh'as Sundersword - Raksh'as Sundersword is a Herald of Khorne. An infamous warrior in the Blood God's daemonic armies, Raksh'as is broke the lines of Slaanesh's Wanton Jaunt during the War of Seven Chimes and severed the head of the Ork Warboss Golg on Muraxia. Though of only limited ability as a strategist, he is a deadly opponent in combat and an often decisive leader of his cohort. During the Siege of the Fenris System in 999.M41, Raksh'as served alongside the Bloodthirster Vor'hakk.
- Kinslayer - Kinslayer is a powerful Herald of Khorne. One of the most powerful servants of the Blood God on the Daemon World of Crucible in the Calixis Sector, Kinslayer keept his underlings disciplined between battles and engaged in a never-ending quest to find opponents who served the other Dark Gods. He also was wont to deliberately herd vast numbers of mortal souls onto a battlefield in the Empyrean, where they can share in the joy of combat through their agonising wounds.
- Black Crusade: The Tome of Blood (RPG), pg. 86
- Codex: Chaos Daemons (8th Edition), pp. 36-37, 42, 89-90
- Codex: Chaos Daemons (4th Edition), pp. 32-35
- Legacy of Russ 2 - The Young Wolf's Return (Short Story) by Robbie MacNiven
- War Zone Fenris: Curse of the Wulfen (7th Edition), (Digital Edition), Ch. 3, "The Svellgard Incursion"
- Warhammer Community - New Bloodmaster Model