Chaos Cults

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The Purple Hand is the largest Chaos cult in The Empire and is dedicated to the Chaos God Tzeentch. They have 'cells' all over The Empire; cells are operational units whose sole purpose is to undermine the administration where they are based. This idea was taken from the highly organised crime syndicates of Sartosa by Purple Hand cultists who were most impressed by some of the crime lords' methods on that island. Middenheim has the largest concentration of Purple Hand operatives and it is there that the most important members of the Cult reside.

Even though the Purple Hand contains many intelligent members it is largely poorly organised and communication between the prospective cells of The Empire is very patchy due to the vast distances between the cities. It has not been unknown for a messenger to be killed by the very people the message was intended for, because they thought that he was a witch-hunter's agent. But even so, the Purple Hand is one of the best organised Chaos cults in The Empire and has substantial funds and many prominent members within its ranks.

Communication between the heads of the Ordos (see below) are made with the use of carrier pigeons. The heads only meet twice a year and the nine do not know of each other's real identities. The twice-yearly meetings take place deep within the Drak Wald forest on the nights of Hexenstag and Geheimnistag (the two nights of the year when the moons are full). In a magically hidden clearing, the masked Magistri of the three Ordos re-dedicate themselves to the service of Tzeentch, sing hymns to the Chaos God, and watch in frenzied delight as the members of the Inner Circle conclude the ceremony with a human sacrifice.

Chaos God: Tzeentch.

Power Base: Middenheim and Nuln (usually the latter). The Purple Hand also has many cells all over The Empire and has massive resources. The Windhund Haulage Company in Middenheim is a front for the Purple Hand (see Middenheim - City of Chaos).

Aims: The Purple Hand is dedicated to the overthrow of central government in The Empire. The Emperor is to be replaced by a 'puppet' and all the administrative arms of The Empire will be controlled by the Purple Hand. From this position the servants of Tzeentch will be able to wreak havoc and disruption throughout the Old World.

Methods: Covert manipulation is the key. The Purple Hand worm their way into positions of power throughout The Empire to further the cause of Tzeentch. They also infiltrate positions in the cults of Sigmar and Ulric so that they can make relations between the two cults, which are patchy to say the least anyway, insufferable; though not to the extent of the Sigmarian Heresy yet. They do not make much use of the barbaric warbands of Tzeentch within the dark forests of The Empire; they know that the cause of Tzeentch can only be made with secrecy and cunning rather than brute force and they do not trust beastmen.

Antipathies: The Purple Hand is against anyone that seeks to thwart their plans for domination of The Empire. Incredibly this also includes the other major cult dedicated to Tzeentch, the Red Crown (see below). They are as determined to destroy them as they are The Empire as they feel that their methods could damage their own influence in the country.

Organisation: Three organisations make up the Purple Hand: Ordo Novitiae (in charge of recruitment and indoctrination), Ordo Impedimentae (in charge of fund-raising), and Ordo Terribilis (in charge of research and development).

Command Structure: The head of the Purple Hand is none other than one of the Law Lords of Middenheim, Karl-Heinz Wasmeier (TEW 3 Power Behind The Throne). He is the Cult's Magister Magistri and Head of the Inner Circle. Each Ordo is headed by three high ranking cultists called 'Magistri'. The supreme Magistri of the Ordo Terribilis is Salladh-bar the Great, an Arabian Necromancer. The Magistri are either wizards, assassins, academics, or long-standing members of power and influence (important members of the City Guilds, Counsellors on one or other of the Komissions).


The Red Crown (see TEW 2 Death on the Reik) is another Chaos cult dedicated to the Great Conspirator. Unlike the Purple Hand, who favours intrigue and the infiltration of the upper echelons of society, the Red Crown favours a more direct involvement in the destabilising of the Empire: when civil authority finally breaks down the hordes of the Changer of the Way will sweep forth from the forests and crush the Empire. Even today, warbands of beastmen and mutants, as well as social misfits and outcasts, are being recruited for this purpose. Because of this, the Red Crown is very popular with militant Tzeentchian cultists and all kinds of people who delight in wanton savagery.

However, the Red Crown is not entirely a cult with brutal methods and sub-intelligent allies. There are many in its ranks, with magical talent, who can be regarded as 'sleeper' agents based in the Empire's cities and major towns. They often work alone or if absolutely necessary they will work with one other person, who will always be of lesser rank and may even be a mutant; someone who is easily subjugated and doesn't question orders. These sleeper agents try to recruit people with magical potential and tutor them in the ways of proscribed magic, ranging from Daemonic, Necromantic, Chaos and Dark Magic, and offer them substantially reduced teaching rates. It is often the case that once an apprentice starts learning these magics, especially Chaos and Dark Magic, it is too late for them to turn back, possibly with the growth of a mutation or gaining a disability, and only Tzeentch can give them sanctuary in the form of the Red Crown.

Chaos God: Tzeentch.

Power Base: Altdorf. The Red Crown has substantial resources and remains the second most powerful Chaos cult in The Empire. They have many bands of mutants, beastmen and Warriors of Chaos at their disposal. 

Aims: The complete destruction of the Empire through force of arms.

Methods: The Red Crown has infiltrated some areas of Imperial government but on a much smaller scale than the Purple Hand. Whenever a troupe of knights leaves the City for a Beastman Hunt the Red Crown will immediately set up an ambush in the forest to destroy the knights. They have no qualms in using the temperamental and volatile Warriors of Chaos to destroy their foes.

Antipathies: The Red Crown despise cultists of the Purple Hand and the feeling is mutual. Their methods are so different that an alliance is unthinkable.

Organisation: There are two branches within the cult, one which deals with the recruitment of mutants, Beastmen, and Chaos warriors, and one which deals with the day-to-day running of the cult, i.e. the removal of tiresome opponents.

Command Structure: The Red Crown's head is typically known as the Master of Change. Those in charge of the recruitment of Beastmen and mutants are usually mutants themselves. They spend most of their time in the forests drumming up support for the cult among the vicious warbands and cementing alliances. One of the most prominent members of the Red Crown is a one Etelka Herzen. She is a wizard of consummate knowledge on the subject of warpstone and has recently been charged with the task of finding a warpstone rock that is said to be in the region of the Barren Hills... Another important member is Ulfhednar the Destroyer, a Chaos Warrior. He only cares for military matters and is seeking for a base in the Empire in which to launch attacks against its soldiers and citizens.


The Crimson Sickle is dedicated to the worship of Khorne, the Blood God. There are very few of Khorne's cults in the Empire as his worship is usually centred around the battlefields of the Chaos wastes where the aspects of the Blood God can be fully 'appreciated': frenzy, anger, rage, destruction, violence, and the spilling of blood. Even in the Empire, such things are difficult to do in a civilised country. However, the Crimson Sickle hopes to change all this by recruiting as many cut-throats, thugs, murderers, anarchists, and generally any unpleasant people, into their ranks and then inflict as much widespread murder as possible in the name of Khorne. Frequently, though, this ragtag bunch fight each other to be of any threat; occasionally small groups attend snotball matches where they find it very easy to ignite the flames of thuggery amongst the hooligans.

In truth, the cult of the Crimson Sickle is a ship without sails and, a lot of the time, a ship without a captain. It lacks any kind of stability and any real aims. As long as there are people to kill that is good enough for them. Some individuals have tried to give the cult some kind of direction and purpose but have themselves been murdered for their efforts, usually on orders of the cult's leader. The cult's leader, Konrad, has resisted any attempts to remove him so far but it could only be a matter of time before someone else takes the reins of the head of the Crimson Sickle.

Chaos God: Khorne.

Power Base: Wherever there is anyone to kill. Prisons and slave ships are particularly popular sites for 'the work of Khorne' as are the slums of cities and towns.

Aims: Killing people.

Methods: Any method where death is assured is good enough.

Antipathies: Just about everyone is hated. Cultists of the Crimson Sickle particularly loath followers of Slaanesh, wizards or anyone using magical spells.

Organisation: There is no organisational structure. The ranks of the Crimson Sickle changes almost every week as the life expectancy of new recruits is not long. Only the criminally insane and bloodthirsty, or the lucky ones, survive for any length of time and even then they kill anyone in the ranks who they deem as a rival. This is a necessity if one wishes to survive in the cult of the Crimson Sickle.

Command Structure: The head of the cult is Konrad Waldheim. He has managed to remain as leader for an amazing six months, an outstanding achievement for the Crimson Sickle; this could be down to his possession of a Blood Stone, the device which allows the user to summon a Daemon of Khorne. No-one particularly wants to try their luck against a Daemon so no-one threatens his leadership, though there are many that want to. Any dissention in the ranks is met with swift death either by his hands or by his Chaos Warrior bodyguard, Niklaus Schwerin, or the Bloodletter Daemon which lies imprisoned in the Blood Stone. Konrad shares power with no-one and remains the supreme leader until someone of sufficient power comes along and dares challenge him.


The Jade Sceptre, named after the rod carried by Slaanesh, used to be the largest Slaaneshi cult in The Empire. Today its numbers are rather small and its Middenheim base only numbers some twenty individuals. But it is only a matter of time before this sleeping giant awakes. There are so many people out there who worship pleasure above everything else and the Jade Sceptre is committed to recruiting them.

The reason for the Jade Sceptre's decline can be put down to the untimely death of its energetic leader, a one Anika-Elise Nikse the daughter of Baron von Nordland and second wife to Graft Boris Todbring. She was only 23 years old and her death remains something of a mystery. Some have claimed that she was murdered by a witch-hunter or, as is the popular belief, she was murdered by Purple Hand cultists who were alarmed at the Jade Sceptre's growth.

Even through the death of the daughter of the Baron of Nordland, the Jade Sceptre has a powerful member, a one Gotthard von Wittgenstein (see TEW 3 Power Behind The Throne) or Gotthard Goebbels, as he is known in his professional life. Gotthard was bored with life in Castle Wittgenstein and left for Middenheim. He sought the cult of the Jade Sceptre and made such an impression on Anika that he was made Deviant Master or DM. Through Gotthard's charisma and his reputation as a swindler, Anika suggested to Gotthard that he infiltrate the Merchant's Guild. This he did and within six months, through much string-pulling and crooked dealings, he was made not only the Chairman but head of the Komission for Commerce, Trade, and Taxation.

The Jade Sceptre holds the night of Geheimnisnacht above all nights. It is a night of perversity, debauchery, decadence, hedonism, orgies, pain and rapturous torture. The night of Geheimnisnacht, a time dear to all Slaanesh worshippers, starts with the ritual sacrifice of a newborn baby and ends with the sacrifice of a beautiful young girl - or boy, but a female is always the preferred choice.

Chaos God: Slaanesh.

Power Base: Middenheim. They have enough cash to live a life of limitless pleasure.

Aims: To give pleasure and pain to as many people as possible, especially those from the upper and ruling classes.

Methods: Members of the Jade Sceptre enjoy using a cocktail of alcoholic beverages and drugs when any of them are invited to attend a formal dinner or ball, which are their favourite occasions to prey on victims or to recruit new members, in order to induce a near paralytic state in a protagonist. Once a victim has experienced enough pleasure they are usually tortured and then killed.

Antipathies: The Jade Sceptre is not warm to any other Chaos cults although they are willing to ally for a brief period when necessary if it means their continued survival.

Organisation: The cult centres round the 'Deviants & Decadents'; a group of about twenty wealthy young rakes some of whom are the sons and daughters of Barons. They represent the Inner Circle and are themselves heads of smaller groups throughout the Empire, each numbering about six to twelve people (always multiples of 6, the Chaos God's number.) All of them are very wealthy and with wealth comes plenty of opportunity for debauchery.

Command Structure: Gotthard von Wittgenstein is the head of the Jade Sceptre since Anika's death. He is quite influential in Middenheim, as one would expect being the Komission Governor where he is known as Gotthard Goebbels, and is able to gain access to places that other cultists could only dream of in the upper echelons of Middenheim society. He is also able to protect the Jade Sceptre from any unwelcome involvement from the Watch. 


The Black Monks is a cult of outcast deviants and anyone else with disfigurements either from birth defects or caused by disease. They are a cult dedicated to the worship of Nurgle, the Plague Lord. No normal person would even think of entering their ranks, at least no-one of sane mind. The majority of the cultists of the Black Monks have some form of disfigurement or disease and it is because of that that they wear hooded cloaks or robes.

The Black Monks live a life underground, which is usually in the sewers of a city or major town, only to rise to the surface when business is at hand. Often they will come into contact with other dwellers of the sewers and this sometimes leads to conflict with the Skaven. However, since their aims are more or less the same, the Black Monks and Skaven may even ally together.

Today, the cult of the Black Monks number some fifty six individuals, one of the largest cults to Nurgle in The Empire. The largest concentration of cultists lie in Middenheim but small cells operate in all the cities.

Chaos God: Nurgle.

Power Base: Middenheim is where the leadership dwells because of the city's complex sewer system. The Black Monks' cells operate in all other cities of The Empire.

Aims: The Black Monks sole aim is to spread disease, pestilence, and famine to all corners of The Empire. Once that has been achieved the true servants of Nurgle will inherit the land.

Methods: The Black Monks use whatever methods they can to cause disease. They will poison water supplies and sabotage food stocks. They will also unleash swarms of insects, carrying the deadly Black Plague, onto populations. In recent years the Black Monks have not had the resources to disease entire populations but the time will come...

Antipathies: The Black Monks have an unremitting hatred for clerics of Shallya. They will do anything to inflict some revolting disease on a Shallya hospice, temple, or hospital.

Organisation: There are two organisations, one that deals with obtaining research on disease, and another that deals with intelligence and planning. The Black Monks have recently found and bribed a Skaven to lead them to the secrets of the ratmen's disease technology. This Skaven is now head of research.

Command Structure: The leader of the cult of the Black Monks is known as the 'Bubonic Fly' and he is Klaus Theodor. He was the soul survivor of a plague which afflicted his village many years ago, a plague that was induced by the Black Monks. The Black Monks were so shocked that anyone could possibly have survived that they took this to be an omen from Nurgle himself and promptly recruited him; they especially admired Klaus's colourful buboes. Very soon Klaus became involved with the operations of the cult directly and rose through the ranks to become the Bubonic Fly.

Among the ranks of the Black Monks is a Skaven called S'slick. The ratman claims to be a renegade sorcerer of Clan Pestilens and the Black Monks have found no reason to doubt him even though there are many who do not trust him. S'slick has been aiding the cult by creating and spreading new diseases; a small laboratory in the sewers has been dedicated to him for this purpose where he distils the contents of great disease-vats. What grows and ferments in these vats is anyone's guess.