I was flipping through an older CSM codex, I think 4th edition, and found this warband called The Knights of Blood.
I don't like their name but I really like their color scheme and icon. I bet I could make a stencil and have a decent go at airbrushing it on, once I learn how to use the thing.
Not sure if I want to paint my entire
army this color, though. Especially where my warlord and juggernauts are concerned, I gotta have some red and brass going on! These are proper slaves of the blood god, after all. I would darken the red a bit, but I think some otherwise boring Chaos Space Marines would look really good with this Knights of Blood scheme.
It fits the fluff of my army, too: a massive host of chaos that is overwhelmingly Khornate. The Juggylord, A.K.A. "Strongules the Mad", A.K.A. "The Mangler", A.K.A. "The Herdmaster" is the undisputed warlord of this army. Once a Space Marine of a long-extinct chapter, he and his herd of 5 Juggernaut Spawn want to stomp the galaxy into a bloody paste. Like a magnet, this attracted the warband of Kharn the Betrayer and his World Eaters berzerkers and warp-corrupted contemptor dreadnought as old as the Heresy itself, eager to hang out with some new friends and spill oceans of blood.
During the battle on Nuceria where Angron ascended to daemonhood, the World Eaters Contemptor Lhorke, "The First" was killed by the daemon primarch. As the warp storm around them raged on, Khorne, not one to waste a perfectly good killing machine (they were still new, back then), warped and stitched the ruined dreadnought back together and shoved the soul of a bloodthirster into Lhorke's corpse, for good measure. There is truly nothing of Lhorke's noble and heroic spirit left inside. The World Eaters in this warband have been toting him around on a leash, keeping him in stasis until it's time to drop him in a Dreadclaw onto an enemy army, ready to explode out with his giant chainaxe and saw some Land Raiders in half.
A Daemon Prince of Khorne wielding the dreaded Black Mace is chained to this warband, kept corporeal by the constant bloodshed of enemies and this army's Cultists alike. Speaking of Cultists, there are loads of them. They're going to be covered in blood, and die all the time
, in droves.
Be'lakor is also part of this warband. Always on the lookout for pawns, he recruited The Mangler to join the 13th Black Crusade after convincing Abaddon to give over the Axe of Blind Rage as incentive. Once Abaddon witnessed The Mangler in action with the Daemon Axe, he was sold. He had his Dark Mechanicum goons construct 2 Maulerfiends, 2 Forgefiends, and 2 Heldrakes to hook The Herdmaster up with some armored killiness, along with 6 Obliterators, for good measure. Strongules and Kharn needed some ranged support. Kharn doesn't really trust Abaddon to pull this crusade off, but he really doesn't care, either. Nonstop carnage and the chance to kill Space Marines (especially Ultramarines) sound pretty good to him.
There will also be a Black Legion detachment allied to the Slaves of the Blood God, to fight alongside them as evil battle brothers. Abaddon is no fool, and knows Be'lakor can't be left to his own devices, lest he use The Mangler for his own ends. His solution is Arn Bloodfang, "Wolf Lord on Thunderwolf" Juggerlord, and his 5 "Fenrisian Wolf" Spawn. He and his squad of 10 wolfy berzerkers ("The Bloodfangs," because I'm so
original) are there to keep an eye on Be'lakor and make sure the Slaves stick to the Black Crusade game plan. And also kill things. Arn's got the Skull of Kern'gar, letting him feel the in-universe effects of Eternal Warrior and Adamantium Will. He would deny Be'lakor's Puppet Master power and then go tell on him. These are traitor Space Wolves who are also devotees of Khorne.
There will also be a contingent of Black Legion Cultists (you know, to do the dying). There's a Lord of Slaanesh with a small band of Noise Marines here, too. Because he's a devious sombitch, Be'lakor managed to convince this lord to join the warhost as well, knowing that Arn and the Bloodfangs would the feel the stereotypical hatred for the Dark Prince's minions and provide a welcome distraction to manipulate The Mangler for his own ends, exactly as Abaddon feared. I decided to paint my Fire Raptor in Black Legion colors, too. We're talking precision warfare, not blind rage that you point in the enemy's general direction and charge. Fluffwise I like it too. Abaddon is gonna have the Fire Raptors, not some random Khornate Lord. Plus, a blood red gunship just can't
compete with black. Gotta look fly while you kill while you fly, baby.
Eventually I plan to convert some Contemptors into Blood Slaughterers for this detachment, as well. The Forge World models are horrendous, which is contrary to how I feel about the majority of their sculpts.
An enigmatic Lord of Change in the form of a giant double-headed falcon bearing the Grimoire of True Names has also taken interest in the Slaves. His Heralds of Tzeentch sidekicks and horde of Horrors do his dirty work on the ground while he flies around and lets the Slaves take a mulligan if they miss their shots, and buffs those Maulerfiends or Heldrakes with the Grimoire. This Daemon Lord has also got an enslaved Soul Grinder of Nurgle with him, which he finds hilarious to unleash on the battlefield controlled like a marionette. If he wants to, he can call in his buddy the Bloodthirster, who has a huge gang of Bloodletters that love to come out and play. He's got some Seekers and Daemonettes in his deck, too, but they rarely see the light of day.
The first 12 Black Crusades were failures, but I really got a good feeling about this one. This
one will be different!