A shadow is falling on the Mortal Realms – the Daughters of Khaine have come. Infused with sadistic cruelty and holy purpose, these brutal zealots will soon be yours to command thanks to a new battletome, new units and of course, Morathi herself! In the first of a multipart preview series, we’re looking into just who these savage warriors are – and how their unique abilities are represented on the tabletop.
The Daughters of Khaine are an army of aelven zealots combining the Khainite worship of their kin from the world that was with strange new powers drawn from the Realm of Shadow. Led by Morathi, they may serve Order, but their methods are extreme, and they think little of butchering the innocent populations of the Mortal Realms as they persecute the endless crusade for the shards of their shattered god.
The Daughters of Khaine came into being following the capture of Slaanesh. Morathi, having escaped the god’s clutches through magical means, helped weave the enchantment that caught Slaanesh, with Malerion, Teclis and Tyrion – ancient aelven warriors reborn as Gods of this new age – also providing aid. Together, they were able to free the aelven souls within Slaanesh, and each was rewarded with a portion to shape as they wished. Combining powerful magic with the sacrifice of her own blood, Morathi forged a new aelven race, and the Melusai and the Khinerai are the first among them.
While the Daughters of Khaine crave bloodshed and murder, they serve alongside the forces of Order – albeit tenuously. As builders of cities and civilisations, the Daughters of Khaine have little truck with the rampaging forces of Destruction, while the cold chill of Death holds little appeal to a race brought back from the brink of extinction. As for Chaos, few hate it more than the Khainites, prosecuting their crusades with particular violence against the servants of Slaanesh.
Morathi’s armies are viewed askance by the other inhabitants of Order. Rumours persist of strange, shadowy mutants among their number, and indeed, many find themselves unfortunately slain in the Khainite’s grotesque rituals – whether they come from the Chaos Wastes or are snatched from the streets of the free cities…. As they stand, the Daughters of Khaine are more tolerated than accepted, existing in a shadowy twilight, too useful to cast out.
Establishing temples across the Mortal Realms, the Daughters of Khaine scour the Mortal Realms for blood sacrifice – essential for creating more of their number – and the shards of their god, scattered across the Realms. Morathi claims to speak for Khaine, wielding his unbreakable iron heart, but none know that Morathi’s power is a lie, and Khaine is dead; the prayers that her daughters scream and the ritual offerings they make only serve to enhance her own power, not Khaine’s. Indeed, as long as Morathi bears the last vestiges of his power, there is little hope for his revival.
The Daughters of Khaine were written by studio legend and long-time writer and designer Jeremy Vetock. We managed to grab him to find out more about how he transformed this shadowy cult into a fully formed army:
On the battlefield, the Daughters of Khaine are part iron-disciplined warrior order and part fanatical cult. As battle progresses, they whip themselves into a frenzy, ignoring wounds and becoming steadily deadlier. This is represented by two new allegiance abilities. The first of these is Fanatical Faith:
This simple but effective allegiance ability helps your lightly armoured troops survive longer, as well as providing some very welcome insurance against mortal wounds. Where the Daughters of Khaine really come into their own, however, is through the Blood Rites battle trait.
The longer the Daughters of Khaine fight, the deadlier they become, as each benefit is cumulative. Get to round 5 or higher, and your army will be re-rolling 1s to run, charge, hit, wound AND save – and they’ll ignore battleshock to boot! Games against the Daughters of Khaine are going to be particularly thematic, as while you may be able to whittle their forces down, those left are only going to get stronger – and angrier.