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The Wrath of Khârn (Short Story)

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The Wrath of Khârn
Author William King
Publisher Black Library
Collected in Dark Imperium
Let the Galaxy Burn (Anthology)
There Is Only War (Anthology)

The Wrath of Khârn is a short story by William King.

Cover Description

Of all the enemies that the Berzerkers of Khorne wage war against in the 41st Millennium, none are so hated by their blood-soaked god as the servants of his rival, Slaanesh. As Khârn, champion of the Blood God and renowned across the galaxy as 'the Betrayer', leads an assault on the Slaaneshi Temple of Superlative Indulgence, he knows his lord's blessing is with him – but will the insidious wiles of the servants of the god of excess prove a match for the Betrayer's fury?


On an unnamed Daemon World, Khârn the Betrayer leads an outnumbered unit of Khorne Berzerkers into combat with Slaaneshi cultists, slaughtering them left and right. Khârn's personal kill-counter has reached 2,460 by the time they have reached the inner sanctum of the cultist temple (which is a still a far cry from his personal record for a day's combat). There, the cultist leader tempts them all with sensations of intense pleasure. Even Khârn feels the power of this temptation, but his unshakeable devotion to Khorne overcomes it. His fellow Berserkers, however, forget themselves and swear allegiance to Slaanesh, turning on Khârn, who, far from being angry, relishes facing worthy fighters for a change.

After dispatching every last one of his traitorous comrades, Khârn dispatches the cultist leader, then carves open his throne for what he came for: a jewel imprisoning the essence of a powerful Daemon. Like the cultist, the Daemon offers Khârn a lifetime of unrivalled ecstasy, and even Khârn is not completely immune to the power of the temptation. But if his millennia of wandering the Eye of Terror has taught him anything, it is that no man, even a Space Marine, can truly master a Daemon.

Khârn splits the jewel with Gorechild, destroying the daemon. His kill counter tops out at 2,487, and Khârn is a happy man.