- "Come brothers! Come! Let us descend upon our foes and judge them thus, the weak shall be sacrificed on the alter of the strong, and the strong enlightened to the truth of Chaos."
- —Arkhamos Esephotokylanam
Brutal and unrelenting, the Shackles of Khorne are a relatively new warband of chaos, having only coalesced at the beginning of the 40th millennium. However this has not stopped them from gaining momentum at an alarming rate. Going from engagement to engagement, seeking out the best and the strongest to convert and recruit to the service of the blood god.
As Abbadon the Despoiler rallies his forces within the Eye of Terror, another aspiring champion has appeared to sap the Warmaster of crucial support. Dark Apostle Arkhamos Esephotokylanam, disciple of Khorne, appeared from the haze of the Eye and approached a number of the Khorne worshippers under Abbadons command. His bizarrely inspiring oratory and unorthodox coercion saw a score of over two hundred worshippers of the blood god leave by his side within a day of appearing before them. Abbadon never had the time to react before they disappeared into the immaterium.
Apostle Arkhamos and his cohort of marines materialize again from the Warp and beeline directly towards a poorly defended Imperial outpost. The minimal astra millitarum presence was easily overpowered by the sudden, savage onslaught of chaos marines. However, counter to usual behaviour, the imperial forces were not butchered to a man by the chaos marines. With barely controlled restraint, the guardsmen were overpowered, disarmed, and shackled, over a thousand men and women held prisoner at the mercy of the savage disciples of Khorne. However, they were not butchered, they were not sacrificed, they were simply spoken to. At first softly, Arkhamos spoke to the amassed soldiers, praising their efforts and extolling their strengths, while questioning the rewards that the Imperium has provided them. This continued over hours, growing in pitch and intensity, questioning their faith and undermining their loyalty, goading their hatred, feeding their rage and stoking their indignation. After a day of fevered preaching, over half of the assembled guardsmen were praising the blood god and his majesty. Once this day was done, those who had converted, were told by Arkhamos to butcher and eat those who had not.
He was obeyed without hesitation.
Those who had remained loyal to the Emperor were beaten savagely with the very shackles that bound them, their bodies stripped of flesh and consumed while they still drew breath to watch. The screams were cacophonous if mercifully brief, replaced by the tearing, chewing sounds of consuming flesh. The Shackled left the next day, having feasted and re-armed, off to the next battle, off to the next recruitment, off to the next feast.
Having butchered and converted across the stars, the Shackles of Khorne descend upon the planet of Kyhmrei Prime, a fortress world renowned for its hardy, resolute warriors of fervent faith in the Emperor. Arkhamos set himself the goal of corrupting it wholly, from core to crust, and he would not displease his bloody patron. His force of marines descended upon the world in a vicious surprise attack, establishing a forward base upon the planet from which to expand out. The PDF forces reacted admirably, but their tactics were no match for the savagery and fervent devoutness to the blood god. Their outposts were overrun, the dead eaten the survivors added to the Apostles bloody horde. Within a standard Terran Year, the planetary capital fell to the massed hordes of the planets own citizenry. From there, the fortress world was put to work, turning every man, woman and child into a ferocious warrior of Khorne. Every weapon stripped, every scrap of metal re-purposed, and the ships of the Shackled were filled to bursting with fresh warriors of the blood god.
Arkhamos had achieved his goal, leaving the fortress world a desolate, bloody husk, devoid of any and all human life.
Cult and Culture
The Shackles of Khorne quite obviously, worship the blood god, Khorne the lord of skulls, but are bizzare in the manner of their worship and heraldry. As set down by Apostle Arkhamos, they are possibly the most none-lethal close combat combatants in the Galaxy, preffering to take their prey alive, so they may be converted to the worship of Khorne and join them in their red crusade. To this end, all Marines and aspirants carry great daemonforged shackles with which to bind those foes too skilled or strong to simply be killed. They are chained, and left in the warriors wake, to be collected by the masses of slaves and cultists, and carried back to where they will either be converted, or, should they prove too immovable in their faith, eaten. In this way, the Shackles of Khorne continue to grow even as they wage war, gaining momentum like a landslide.
Another curious oddity to the Shackles of Khorne is their Alabaster white armour, trimmed with black, unusual for those in worship to the blood god. They do this once again at the instruction of their Dark apostle, and the methodology behind it is surprisingly simple. The Shackled believe it to be shameful to Khorne to falsely display the bloodshed they have wrought, and as such painting ones armour red is a grievous sin, and believe that the only crimson that should coat their armour should be the blood of their foes. Before each battle, the plates of their armour are meticulously cleaned and polished to an alabaster white, so that at battles end, it is easy to tell which brothers have spilt the most blood for the wrathful god. These paragons of Khorne are then rewarded by their lord for the blood tithe they have provided, and also for any mighty warriors their shackles have bound.
Geneseed and Recruitment
The Shackles of Khorne are not particularly fussy where they acquire their geneseed, only that they do so they can create more disciples of the blood God. Potential aspirants are chosen from amongst the hordes of cultists that battle alongside their Space marine brethren, those who serve valiantly, or display particular savagery, cunning or patronage of the blood god. These Cultists are taken away and begin the long process of transformation into a Chaos Space Marine. However, this is not the end of their trials. Similar to the scouts of their loyalist brethren, initiates of the Shackled must continue to prove their devotion and ability in battle. They do this by leading the bands of Cultists that accompany the Shackles of Khorne, acting as cultist leaders as they walk the long, bloody path to immortality. These Aspirants are armed little better than their yet to be uplifted brothers, primarily savage axes and blades, eschewing the use of ranged weapons in favour of duel wielding melee. The closer a aspirant approaches to becoming a fully formed space marine, they are taken away from their ever distant throngs of cultists and placed in squads of similarly aged initiates. These bands of savage, demi-space marines are ordered to where the fighting is fiercest, so that only those who survive the most brutal of combat clad in only their faith and the blood of foes are elevated to the hallowed rank of Chaos Space marine. Those who fall die in glorious battle, pleasing the Blood God even in their death, for Khorne cares no from whence the blood flows.
Arkhamos Esephotokylanam, Apostle of the Shackles of Khorne
Little is known of the insanely charismatic and uncharacteristically controlled Apostle of Khorne who leads the Shackles of Khorne, aside from his fervent faith and ridiculously long name. He appeared as suddenly as he left with a score of Abbadons supposedly loyal Khornate followers, and has crusaded across the stars gathering momentum wherever he goes. For a disciple of the Blood God, Arkhamos is as skilled an orator and as cunning a tactician as any follower of the more lucid chaos gods, and his breathtaking charisma would put any Slaaneshi temptress to shame. He rides to battle astride the great Warp-beast, Daggerhide, and smites his foes from its back with his great two handed crozium. Flanked on both sides by his Daemon possessed honour guard, and surrounded by the seas of cultists that flock to his banner.
Rahzah Kholm, Slaughtermaster of the Red tide
Rahzah is a butcher kept barely in check by Arhamos' stern guidance. Aspiring Champion of the Shackles of Khornes amassed Berzerker squads, it is Rahzah who leads his brothers to bloody slaughter, and decides who is worthy of being presented to his liege lord. Wielding his immense daemon axe, forged from the Jawbone of a greater daemon of Khorne, Rahzah wades a bloody path through his foes, his axe hacking and shackles binding wherever he goes.
Orenthus Tylamon, Master Fleshcrafter
Tylamon holds the sacred duty of moulding future children of Khorne, administering and reclaiming usable geneseed for the purposes of creating new Chaos Space marines. In this function, Tylamon also acts as the warbands Warpsmith, for he is not actually a fully fledged space marine. Tylamon is in fact a Heretek Biologus, but has tailored his mechanical body to better fit in with his Space marine comrades. Given that over 95% of his body is mechanical, this was not a difficult feat.
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