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The Aksha'i Cruentes: The Bloodthirsty Legions


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THE CRUENTES

 

Arkrath, the Hand of Khorne DAEMON PRINCE, 11PL
 
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For ten thousand years, the Astartes who would become Arkrath, Kratus, has led his warband of Chosen Terminators. Entering the Long War as a veteran warrior in the ranks of the XII Legion's Terminator elite, Kratus was frequently found in the most bloody of battles. This boldness amassed for him a significant following of Terminators, and they adopted the moniker of Red Butchers, once a reviled and pitied name but one that had since taken on a new sense of respect in their new worship of Khorne.
 
It was from these same ranks that a warlord named Bardûl rose to prominence, his single-minded devotion to the Blood God eclipsing even Kratus's own. When Bardûl declared the founding of the Aksha'i Cruentes and the start of the Red Crusade, Kratus stood beside him, ready to go to war with the galaxy.
 
As Bardûl's chief bodyguard and confidant, Kratus defended the man who called himself Hand of Khorne, as well as delivering justice to those who impeded the Bloodfather's dominance. It was not uncommon for Kratus to be dispatched to kill other Champions of Khorne who had displeased the Hand in some way.
 
During the War for Janus, however, Bardûl grew impatient with the gifts his Daemonic patrons bestowed upon him, and he drank too greedily from the well of power that is Chaos worship, transforming into a monstrous Chaos Spawn. The power vacuum was quickly filled by the former Terminator Champion, who tore the symbolic chainfist from his erstwhile master's broken Terminator plate and took it for his own.
 
Kratus's ascent was meteoric, and before long he was courting the same Daemonic patrons as his former master. Unlike Bardûl, however, Kratus's ambition and arrogance were tempered by personal sacrifices, having suffered several grievous wounds, including the loss of his own leg. Such losses displayed a certain dedication to the Lord of Battles, however they were still defeats in the eyes of the Blood God and would be punished. After one such defeat, Kratus was whisked away to the Warp before the alien witch's magicks could kill him.
 
It was there that Kratus was first imprisoned and tortured by his patron, known to him as Ska'nzand the Wrathforged. He was held here for eight hundred years, by his perception, however never did his faith and determination waver. Impressed by this, Ska'nzand released Kratus on a quest of penitent rage throughout the Eye of Terror for another eight hundred years.
 
In realspace only hours later, a winged figure manifested before the Cruentes, who were on the verge of tearing themselves apart to find a new leader. Monstrous in stature, this figure was armoured in what appeared to be a mockery of Terminator plate and bore a warped chainfist on its right vambrace. It did not use the name Kratus, for the man who bore that name was dead, it said.
 
This was now Arkrath, the True Hand of Khorne.
 

Warlord Trait: Hatred Incarnate

Relic: Gorget of Eternal Hate

Rank: Legendary

 

Battle Honours:

  • Scorpion Tail (Chaos Boon) - +1A
  • Serpent's Fangs (Chaos Boon) - +1 to wound in first round of combat
  • Warp Stalker (Chaos boon) - reroll advance and charge
  • Razor-edged - improve AP of melee weapon by 1
  • Blackstone Shard Amulet - cannot be targeted by psychic powers
  • Null-field Disruptor - ignores invulnerable saves
 
Baruda, Blood Priest of Kharneth DARK APOSTLE, 6PL
 
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An early convert to the Cult of the Blood God, Baruda was instrumental in the formation of the Cruentes. He wears the charcoal black armour of Loyalist chaplains in dark mockery of his misguided counterparts.

 

Baruda is an extremely - and some might say excessively - zealous individual, to the point that those around him view him with slight unease. However, there is no denying that his entreaties to the Dark Powers are an effective tool.

 

He knows the Dark ZealotryWrathful Entreaty and Illusory Supplication prayers.

 

Warlord Trait: Eternal Vendetta

Relic: Mantle of Traitors

Rank: Heroic

 

Battle Honours:

  • Detestation (Path of the Righteous) - cannot be targeted by psychic powers
  • Stoic Fervour (Path of the Righteous) - 6+ FNP, 4+ FNP vs mortal wounds
  • Just Killer (Path of the Righteous) - +1S when attacking units smaller than his :dry:
  • Daemonic Flesh (via Chaos Reward Requisition) - unit gains +1T
  • Aspect of Khorne (via Chaos Reward Requisition) - once per game free use of Fury of Khorne or Scorn of Sorcery stratagems
  • Razor-edged(?) Crozius (via Victor Bonus) - AP of Crozius improved by 1
 
Thrax Gorechosen EXALTED CHAMPION, 6PL
 
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Thrax is a wandering traveller, claiming to be an original member of the War Hounds Legion and claiming to be the bearer of the coveted relic, Gorefather. Regardless of the truth to his words, the Berzerkers who follow Thrax into battle are invariably inspired to great deeds of bloodshed as Thrax himself frequently seeks out the strongest enemies he can find.
 

Warlord Trait: Flames of Spite

Relic: Gorefather

Rank: Blooded

 

Battle Honours:

  • Sigil of the Shadowlord - 4+ Invul, 4+ FNP vs mortal wounds
 
Validon's Bloodthunderers 8x KHORNE BERZERKERS, 10PL
 
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Validon is one of the Cruentes' longest-serving Berzerker Champions, and has been instrumental to the cohesion of the Cruentes as a fighting force. He instituted a gradual change to the Eternal Warrior's fighting pits: instead of individual combat, the pits would focus more on squad-based combat. Through repeated training in this manner over hundreds of years, the instinct to fight in a squad of brothers became so ingrained that even in the deepest frenzy, Berzerkers would know to fight together.

 

Validon leads seven Berzerkers, collectively known as the Bloodthunderers.

 

Rank: Battle-hardened

 

Battle Honours:

  • Hate-fuelled Butchers - +1 to WS
  • Divine Guidance (Path of the Righteous) - improves melee AP by 1
 
Dreior's Hunters 8x KHORNE BERZERKERS, 10PL
 
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A newer member of the Cruentes, Dreior is a vat-grown gift from Fabius Bile's gene clinics. Implanted with false memories, he believes himself to be a veteran of the Long War, and despite his relative youth, he is a consummate fighter. He and his squad are often seen breaking through enemy lines and hunting down specific targets.

 

Dreior leads seven Berzerkers simply known as the Hunters.

 

Rank: Battle-hardened

 

Battle Honours:

  • Bitter to the Bone - can choose their Wanton state
  • Fervid Focus (Path of the Righteous) - can move horizontally through terrain and models
  • Trusted Hounds (via Warfleet Favour) - can choose a character's aura to always be in range
 
Gorm's Stalkers 8x KHORNE BERZERKERS, 10PL
 
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Another long-serving member of the Cruentes, Gorm leads the newest inductees into battle. His strict command gives these initiates their first taste at combat, and puts them on the path to becoming fully-fledged Berzerkers of the Cruentes. Gorm's habit of consuming the flesh of the dead, however, often permeates through the ranks of those under his command. As a result, a significant number of Cruentes share his cannibalistic tendencies.
 
Gorm leads seven Berzerkers known as the Stalkers.
 
Rank: Battle-hardened
 

Battle Honours:

  • Hate-fuelled Butchers - +1 to WS
  • Fervid Focus (Path of the Righteous) - can move horizontally through terrain and models
  • Serpentine Fangs (via Dark God Favour) - Gorm's attacks gain +1 to wound on the charge
 
Covenant of the Bloody Hand 20x CULTIST MOB, 5PL
 
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Despite this cultist warband's high attrition rate - or, perhaps, because of it - the cult members rarely have any trouble finding more volunteers for their ranks, as few mortal followers of Khorne can resist being given the opportunity to have their blood spilt on the battlefield.
 
Members of this warband have begun adopting a sigil of a bloody handprint as they are inducted, signifying the dead passing on their covenant to the new warriors.
 
Rank: Blooded
 
Battle Honours:
  • Believers of the True Faith - gain the Let the Galaxy Burn ability
 
Murdax's Butchers 10x CHAOS TERMINATORS, 19PL
 
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Led by the dangerously ambitious champion, Murdax, the Butchers are a sub-warband of Terminators within the Aksha'i Cruentes. Fierce warriors all, this warband adopted the nickname of Red Butchers upon their descent into the worship of the Blood God.
 
With Terminator plate being difficult to manufacture amongst the Traitor Legions, and with the World Eaters' excessively high attrition rate, the warriors in the Butchers are, ironically for their namesake, some of the more measured of the Cruentes. However, this should not be taken as a lack of aggression - they are capable of as much as their Berzerker brethren, however they have all trained for millennia to hone their use of the Butcher's Nails.
 
Rank: Heroic
Upgrades: Red Butchers (via Specialist Reinforcements Requisition)
 
Battle Honours:
  • Ambition's Edge - Murdax gains +1A, +1W and +1Ld
  • Trusted Hounds - can benefit from certain character auras outside of range
  • Hate-fuelled Butchers - +1WS
  • Fervid Focus (via Path of the Righteous: Glorious Ceremony Requisition) - can move horizontally through terrain and models
 
Vervek the Condemned HELLBRUTE, 7PL
 
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Vervek's fate is a cautionary tale for any individual who stands in the way of a mighty Champion of Khorne and his glory, for this former Terminator stole a trophy kill that Kratus had claimed. In the eyes of the Blood Father, of course, such triviality didn't matter - however, in the eyes of the corporeal judge and executioner claiming the god's authority, he was little more than a usurper. Vervek was carved out of his Terminator plate with little care, being no more than a head and torso before he was entombed within a Dreadnought's sarcophagus.
 
Rank: Battle-ready
 
Xarian the Bloody Idiot HELLBRUTE, 7PL
 
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Once the champion of a whole Cruentes warband, Xarian - formerly known also as Doomgore - was deposed of his position after it was apparent that he did not deserve to lead. Originally, he was the lieutenant of a rival World Eaters warband, the control over which he seized through betrayal, before he pledged them to the Cruentes. As a reward for bolstering their ranks, Xarian was gifted with command of his own warband and a rebellious Daemon sword.

 

The sword resisted Xarian's ownership at first, having not been seized through combat. However, after several battles, Xarian appeased the weapon by stabbing it through his own stomach. Amused by this attempt at sacrifice, the sword appeared to capitulate.

 

It soon became apparent that the sword still had not deemed Xarian worthy. Even though its power had been unlocked, it still rebelled at some of the worst moments possible, often leading to Xarian's defeat.

 

Out of frustration, several conspirators - including Kratus and his Terminators - turned on the champion, dismembering his body and burying the Daemon sword deep within the Eternal Warrior. Xarian was kept alive as an amusement, more than anything, and was interred within a dreadnought sarcophagus.

 

Xarian is a Helbrute, armed with a plasma cannon and hammer.

 

Rank: Battle-hardened

 

Battle Honours:

  • Hate-fuelled Butcher - +1 to WS
  • Despoiler Without Mercy - +1 to BS

 

Chaos Rhino Motorpool CHAOS RHINOS, 4PL x2
 
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Ranks: 
  • Rhino I - Battle-ready
  • Rhino II - Battle-ready
  • Rhino III - deleted
 
 
Bardûl the Wretched Fool CHAOS SPAWN, 1PL
 
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A horrid, mutated mess of flesh, Bardûl is kept by the Cruentes as a "living" cautionary tale for those who would squander the gifts of the gods. Bardûl was once a mighty Champion of Khorne, blessed by the Blood God's favour and a promising locus around which the shattered remnants of the World Eaters Legion could gather.
 
However, Bardûl was tempted with more power than he could bear. One of his Daemonic patrons offered him a tiny sliver of immortality, but the Chaos Lord demanded more. In a painful twist of hubris, the mighty Hand of Khorne was wracked with torment as his wrathful masters poured ever more mutating power of Chaos into the champion, until he was no longer recognisable.
 
Rank: Battle-hardened
 
Battle Honours:
  • Fleet of Foot - +1Mv, +1 Advance and Charge rolls
  • Grizzled - 6+ FNP
 
THE PACT CRUENTES - DAEMONIC ALLIES
 
Gorethane RENDMASTER, 7PL
 
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Equally at home hewing through ranks of foes from atop its warped chariot as it is duelling with enemy champions, the Gorethane is a dark master of battle. It can be seen directing its Bloodletter hordes from the front, always eager to slay.
 

Warlord Trait: Glory of Battle

Rank: Battle-ready

 
Bloodseeker SKULLMASTER, 7PL
 
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The Bloodseeker is a swift butcher, and one of the first Neverborn to swear allegiance to Arkrath during his penance. Wielding the accursed axe Bloodbane and thundering into battle atop a loping Juggernaut, the Bloodseeker is a terrifying foe in battle.
 

Relic: A'rgath, King of Blades

Rank: Battle-ready

 
Bloodletter Packs 6PL
 
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Rank: Battle-ready
 
Bloodcrushers 6PL
 

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Rank: Battle-ready
 
Flesh Hounds 5PL

 

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Rank: Battle-ready

Edited by Cheex

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