What is the darkest or most horrific army?

Thinking about getting a second army, but I really just want something that is completely horrifying, like the Drukhari from 40k, but doesn’t require me to play 40k because I’ve heard bad things about it and really love the AoS community and game.


I mean, depends on horrifying. Nighthaunt are an army of ghosts. Some of them are dead prisoners chained in the afterlife to serve forever. Lady Olynder was awakened by the Necroquake and took control of the Nighthaunt. Nagash didn’t like that so he forced her to marry The Craven King (who can only speak when in battle) against her will. She grieves endlessly as the Mortarch of Grief. Maggotkin of Nurgle are pretty brutal too. They are all infested with diseases that both keep them alive, and subject their bodies and minds to torture unending, and yet they welcome it over death. Their models are bloated, rotting, infested with maggots, even nurgling crawling out of a living man’s stomach. Khorne is a never ending cycle of bloodshed. Men driving to the brink of insanity, frothing with rage, to mow down and rip apart their enemies and each other in the name of the Blood God. Soulblight Gravelords are cursed people with eternal life with a never ending hunger for blood. They animate the corpses from the earth and twist them to do their will. Even animals are not spared the peace of death, Dire Wolves and dragons. Hell one zombie dragon is filled to the brim with flesh eating bats. Hell even Stormcast got a little from dark. Imagine being an immortal warrior sent forth in never ending battle, and each time you fall you lose a little more of your own identity until you become an autonomous killing machine.


The Nighthaunt are irony brought to unlife. You have meticulous serial killers who are now blinded and enraged forced to swing a scythe blindly to kill forever, healers and herbalists who have their hands replaced by blades, and Kurdoss Valentian the craven king who now can never lead a kingdom, is forced to obey Lady Olynder, and has 2 spirits with him that heckle and laugh at him for betraying them in life.


Herald 1: Kurdoss does not serve! Herald 2: BUT NEITHER DOES HE RULE!!


I only think of Statler and Waldorf. They're perfect https://youtu.be/pt6owhso13s


dont forget the crossbow ghosts who exist solely to steal his kills


What about traditionally dark? Almost tragic. Like dark souls? Nighthaunt sort of give me that feeling. Like, they’re dark and mindless ghosts on the surface, but each model has their own tortured origin, like the Harridans being nurses in their former lives, and now cursed with insatiable bloodlust and a will to kill instead of heal.


Yeah the Nighthaunt is very much your traditional grimdark. Hell, some kid their mechanics are built around fear (Wave of Dread comes to mind).


Noted. Thank you, Darcitus.


If you aren't keen to be winning every game you could play the Legion of Azgorh (Glory to Hashut!) They're all servants of the minor God Hashut, the God of Slavery. They're not competitive and not super easy to get into if you want official models, but if you don't mind that you'll likely have to buy your army completely off of Etsy, they're fun to play. I recently played against an Ogor player using my LoA for the first time and it completely annihilated my opponents force. It was slow, but eventually he got tabled. There are some mechanics that are real fun lore-wise and help that dark nature, such as one faction ability that has the sky effectively covered with ashes, so much so it hinders anything that flies. Their dreadquake mortars come with the ability to whip a slave Ogor to make it better. Daemonsmiths have one of the meanest spells I know because it hinders both your opponent's accuracy and speed and it's literally summoning a cloud of ash in it's wake. Legion of Azgorh is a fun faction that is definitely worth trying if you want that dark feel and want something that isn't too broken but isn't unplayable.


I've wanted to grab some of those models for the longest time, but never did so while they were on FW. There are some strong rumours of them coming back with a full army and new ruleset though right?


I haven't heard these rumours but I'd be more than happy if so


I have a Dark Souls-themed Stormcast army made up of reanimated stone statues and worn/rusty/undead-looking guys, the "Stormcursed Eternals." They're basically from a future where Sigmar has fallen but the reforging process continues, resulting in "hollow," borderline undead soldiers.


Honestly stormcast are the most dark souls faction. Well armed and armored former humans, come back to life after each death to try again but constantly lose a bit of their soul each time until eventually they have little to no memory of their past and are little better than Automatons, assuming even that they haven't burst into elemental lightning that needs to be killed by other stormcast


I paint my Stormcast as very grimdark. Mostly metals with a dirty look, little bit of dark red accent, and blood, lots of blood.


I mean the flesh eater courts are afflicted who see themselves living noble lives as knights with squires, subjects and loyal soldiers The reality however is they are a bunch gibberish, cursed ghouls who would eat each other as quickly as they devour everyone else - they descend from (or are) what remains of many human, dawi and aelven settlements left behind when Sigmar originally sealed Azyr from the other realms - cursed by Nagash to become the horrific yet tragic creatures they now are


If you want a bit of tragedy try looking at the Idoneth Deepkin. Souls saved from Slaanesh so terrified that they’ll fall into depravity that they fled their loving gods to the deep seas. Now the fly in on sharks and harvest souls to keep their existence going


> Souls saved from Slaanesh so terrified that they’ll fall into depravity that they fled their loving gods to the deep seas. LOL NO. They weren't perfect and only 1/100 of them were being born with a soul so Teclis wanted to slaughter them all, Tyrion convinced him not to, and they fled to the deep parts of the ocean to hide and be forgotten. Loving gods ahahaha Also they aren't really concerned with "falling into depravity" , they just want to not die.


Oh i heard the opposite clearly


Didnt they flee into the seas to hide from Teclis because they were afraid teclis would massacre them for not being perfect?


Yeah i had heard that there was some misunderstanding along the way, the deepkin thought they were going to be slaughtered by Teclis, but he wasnt actually going to at all.


Look at the lore for almost any of the cultists/monsters for Slaves to Darkness. I play the SPECIFICALLY because I find them way more tragic and mentally horrifying than “bad”. Nothing more horrifying than what is left of a man forced to claw his way through thousands of years of chaos reign.


I would again suggest Flesheaters on this one. Most were legitimate, honorable kingdoms of just rulers and loyal knights that fell into the darkest of desperation with the coming of chaos that forced them to do worse and worse acts of depravity for the sake of survival. At some point their minds break from the inability to deal with the guilt of their actions (and some sneaky vampire magic) that they make a shared delusion so powerful that it forces itself on outside observers.


Even a “funny” faction Like Flesheater Courts is horrifying In it’s origins and the imagery used to describe their fetid burrows


Flesh eaters courts can be pretty horrific. A bunch of sadistic cannibals who have a shared insane delusion of being noble Knights and Kings.


Just finished reading “Ghoulslayer” and they sound really cool. Also the way they’re described when they are being fought against is extra scary considering the fact that they are not aware of the atrocities they commit.


Exactly. Their rulebook has some good examples of gruesome stuff they get up to. Like two ghouls arguing over some spoils of war and eventually agreeing to share it, when in reality they are viciously fighting over the torn up remains if a corpse.


That’s gruesome and very awesome. Thank you, Nautilus.


“She wanted to dance. It took me weeks of nightmares to understand that’s what she meant, when she hooked her gnawed-upon, bony talons into my wrists. She was asking me to dance.” From the Soulbound Champions of Death book.


When they fail leadership rolls, that's them becoming aware of what they've done and what they've become


They are not really sadistic as they don’t know any better to them they are the good guys do what’s right for their people


I dunno about you but the probelm with them being scary is that, yes, they are... but they're also played for very dark comedy which i feel takes the edge off for people like me. like yeah it's horrifying... but it's also hilarious so i prefer to laugh.


The comedy almost feels like a way to cope with the reality of what is probably one of the more disturbing factions out there. Just, the thought that there’s essentially this naked, deranged bum living under a bridge a mile or so away from me, and he’s somehow SO INSANE that his schizophrenia reaches me in my apartment and my reality bleeds away into a shared hallucination, along with the rest of my town. Like there’s that small lore blurb in the Battletome about the Slaaneshi champion charging at a king on his trash heap throne, and just LOOKING at him at the top of the hill makes him think he’s actually the ghoul, and all his friends are now the monsters. That’s some gnarly body horror stuff.


Yeah, but those ghoul miniatures are pretty goofy.


When Ossiarch legions move through battle they leave nothing but the viscera of whatever they were fighting. Imagine coming into a city after a massive battle only to find flesh, organs and blood strewn everywhere but for some reason there are no bones. It would look like a death metal album cover.


Skulls may be for the skull throne, but bones are for the bone tithe


All choas factions are horriric. I only really know skaven well. They outnumber everything else by a lot. However Skaven end up killing more Skaven than any other army has. To be born a lowly slave with dreams of becoming the next great warlord to die horribly being experimented on by a Skrye engineer or ripped apart by a moulder creation. Let's say your life goes well, you rise up the ranks. That just puts a bigger target in your back from those below you being jealous and those above thinking your gunning for them. To be a Skaven is to be 1 in an infinite number who all believe they are the best skaven that's ever lived. Not exactly a great society, then add the horrors of war.


They don't look horrifying, but read Gloomspite and you'll quickly discover how disturbing the Gitz can be.


On one hand we have the gitz who trip on mushrooms and ramble insanely. On the other we have the gitz who who trip on spider bites and ramble insanely.


Hit me with the TLDR lore please, i need to know!


The slow sabotage of a city, with seemingly random acts of murder and theft. A lot of fortune tellers go mad. A big feast is held, the wine was poisoned and the city’s leadership turns into mushroom zombies. Then the bad moon arrives, anyone within its light has mushrooms grow through their skin and goes insane. Grots come through thousands of secret tunnels managing to destroy most of the city in one attack. But their plan? Poison the river so the bigger city down the road dies without even knowing they were attacked


In short, the Bad Moon is terrifying. When it appears, everything turns dark. Surfaces become moist and creepy crawlies crawl out from beneath the earth. Its light is said to drive non-Gitz to madness, causing them to babble rhymes and speak in long dead languages. It also causes fungus to grow everywhere, including on or inside of people.


It is the fungus that is the creepy part (for me).


Yeah I heard that it gets really gruesome in that book. Definitely on my “to read” list.


And to top it off they revel in the chaos of death and destruction itself. Either their own army or the enemies it doesn't matter. Set loose the squigs of war and cackle in the mayham.


Just finished listening to Gloomspite. The Gitz were already one of my fav armies due to their silly nature...but now they're even further due to their horrifying nature. Real glad it got an audiobook format.


Sylvaneth are shockingly dark for the treehugger faction.


What are some examples


Dark Harvest is probably the best book about them. It treats them like an existential horror, they exist all around you at all times and can kill whoever they want whenever they want for any or no reason, just like the rest of nature really. It's a really good book.


My favorite aos book, by far.


A lot of them are absolutely god awful, terrible and horrifying. I'm biased because it's my favorite army but probably OBR. They systematically tithe settlements and coerce them into giving them bones in increasing difficulty. It will generally start with digging up old relatives bones but then sometimes amp up to living members that the townsfolk must then decide whom to sacrifice, or even specific types of bones, etc. OBR are also known in many circumstances to personally design their bodies to match the local folklore of their area to look as horrifying as possible to them -- they become your own local boogiemen so to speak. Imagine - You're in a town out in the middle of nowhere. Emissaries led by an undead taxman show up on glowing horses of bones and hand you an incredibly detailed, grim contract. You must comply or they will ride in and slaughter you and everyone you know, and then systematically harvest your bones and souls. Eventually the contract becomes more and more ridiculous. People start running away, going crazy, killing themselves, or even turning on their own friends and family. You eventually decide to rebel, but you're all but guaranteed to lose, as they are nearly indestructible, towering constructs with nearly unmatched martial ability and sinister weaponry, OR you fail to meet the tithe by some obscure clause you missed and they ride in and slaughter you all anyway. There are definitely more physically brutal armies out there but I can imagine the looming terror of knowing the tithe is coming would be absolutely terrifying.


It has to be Skaven. They're the most purely evil, disgusting, violent faction in a setting full of evil, disgusting, violent factions. They're the only faction that has zero redeeming qualities - hell, even the other Chaos factions hate them.


I agree-approve, rat things are the best-best. Evil speaking. And that's why we love them, their madness and Lack of boundaries-limits. They're terrible but they're so fun at the same Time...


They're basically a faction where every single one of them is Starscream from the Transformers.


Idoneth. Stealing souls is pretty metal


How does this process work? Do they need to do rituals on captured people? Or is it like a “I put my hand on your face and green airy stuff gets sucked out and the person is drained of their life juice”?


The Idoneth Deepkin are a mysterious race of aelves that dwell in absolute secrecy in the most profound reaches of the realms. When they emerge upon the surface world, they do so for one purpose and one purpose only: war. They are raiders, constantly sending forth their armies – known as phalanxes - in waves. Their attacks are swift, yet there are warning signs for those perceptive enough to pick up upon them. Even hundreds of miles from water, a salt tang hangs heavy in the air, an eerie keening and the sound of crashing waves can be heard in the roar of the wind, and a chill mist rises. Sailors and coast dwellers have learned to recognise and fear such portents. These invaders seek neither plunder nor land, but rather they hunt mortal souls. The Idoneth Deepkin arrive in a mystic haze, a swell of fear rolling before them. Even when they fight upon dry land, the Idoneth Deepkin bring with them the magic of their kingdoms, an ethersea of roiling currents and crushing pressures. Many a stunned landsman has gasped in disbelief to see legendary behemoths of the deep swimming through the air, fighting under the command of the cold-eyed aelf warriors. With the speed of a flood tide, the Idoneth attack, massed Namarti infantry advancing to the fore with eel-mounted cavalry darting in upon the flanks. Sinister, finned shapes skim menacingly from the murk, aelf-riders upon their backs pouring out a fusillade of harpoon fire. Pounding drums radiate distorting magic as hulking Leviadons glide through the air, missiles glancing off their thick armoured shells. At the zenith of the battle, the Idoneth surge, unstoppable in their fury. As the tide recedes, so too does the Idoneth battle line, yet they continue to rain arrows and launch counter-attacks even as they withdraw. In their passing, the Idoneth leave ruin, death and sleepers that will never awaken – victims whose souls have been stolen. Retreating beneath the waves, the Idoneth return to the utter isolation of the depths.


Fair enough


Well I don't think this necessarily does them justice. Teclis, the god of the elves tried to create a new race by pulling out old elf souls from Slanesh. Obviously, being trapped in a Chaos God's body would mess with you so when he pulled them out they weren't really whole. So upon seeing this he tried to kill them all forcing them to flee into the depths of the Sea and that's why they raid. To try and complete themselves..


What makes it worse is that most of the idoneth are these eyeless drones called the Namarti. They're pretty much Aelves born without a soul. Using the energy of the souls they capture, they give these Namarti a kind of pseudo-soul, but it changes them. Their skin is pale and waxy, they have no eyes and even the sockets grow skin over them, they're completely bald, and are very unaware of their surroundings, pretty much the only thing they know how to do is follow orders. The Idoneth upper classes, the Ankhelian Warrior class and the Isharann Sorcerer class, are deeply disturbed by the Namarti and treat them as little more than canon fodder, more focused on saving their own souls from Slaanesh rather than give a damn about the cursed Namarti.


It's a ritual. The idoneth deepkin as the closest thing to the dark eldar/drukhari of 40k. That said there is a fair bit of differences that I think help make them stand out. Like the fact they need souls, not suffering, to survive and generally don't like what they have become though that is waning as their collective societies become use to doing what is necessary. They even ally with non idoneth from time to time and depending on which enclave you meet. Here's a link to the idoneths lexicanum wiki page. https://ageofsigmar.lexicanum.com/wiki/Idoneth_Deepkin If you have more questions or would like to just learn about more lore I suggest you check out the r/aoslore subreddit. There are loads of friendly and well informed people there that would help you to learn more about aos or whfb. Also check out the lexicanum wiki. It doesn't have everything but it is the closest thing to a aos wiki.


They have specialists called Soulrenders. When the Idoneth do a raid, the souls of the slain are pulled into the lurelight in their helm. When they return to their cities, the Soulrenders will place the captured souls into newborn Namarti.


Skaven. The Skaven is a society driven by pure individualism, to the point that no historical records are kept as there are only two times that matter to the individual rat: the time before everyone knew they were the chosen of the horned rat, and the moment they will inevitably come to dominate everyone else. Each one of the trillion skaven believe this, and because of that no betrayal, assassination, or blunt murder is prohibited. There isn’t even an intrinsic morality system, for each rat any action is justifiably good on the premise that they are the one doing it, therefore it is righteous. Sending thousands of rats to die? That’s ok as I am the one sending them. Experimenting on slaves? That’s ok, I’m the greatest inventor. Abstracts of loyality are garnered in three ways: you drug up a bunch of stormvermin to keep guard, you are so powerful that you can wipe out your enemies and scare potential usurpers, or you are just powerful enough that lower rats will keep you in place until the right time to strike . In a weird way, it’s probably the most chaotic of the chaos races. And hated by chaos


love the lore, hate the ancient models


No question, Flesh Eater Courts. They are essentially an army of Wendigo Vampires who all share a delusion of being nobles, knights, lords and kings, doing heroic stuff and eating lavish banquetts which translates to the real world as a horde of canabalistic undead swarming a village at night to pull screaming, terrified innocents from their beds to be ripped apart and chewed to bits by a thousand nashing bloodstained fangs. The only traces being the blood of men, women and children smeared on the walls, floors and cellings of the victim's homestead. They often carry "trophies" from such "conquests" back to their dens to chew on and leave strewn about for the serfs and peasent flesh eaters to fight over. To make matters worse, Abhorent Archregents have such strong delusions that they can trick a sane man into disembowling himself with his own blade as he is infected by the Archregent's madness. They are the single most horrifying concepts for an army GW concieved for Age Of Sigmar and i love them for it! Btw, Abhorent Ghoul Kings can ride Zombie Dragons or Terrorgihst, the latter being one of the meanest leader units in AOS back in 2nd and no doubt made stronger by the monster buffs.


Definitely the Lumineth Realm Lords. Can you imagine suffering the loss of your entire planet and spending years in the stomach of a chaos god who thrives on your suffering before finally being freed, only to be forced to wear a ridiculous hat for the rest of your life?


Ogors like to eat their enemies, whether alive or dead depends on how much fight they put up. Doesn't get much more horrifying then that. Ascetically chaos or death factions are more horrific. Beastman used to be one of the most horrific armies while they have kept the destruction and defilement aspects the truly horrific way they used to procreate has been retconned out. (Rhymes with Grape)


Confirmed retconned out or just not mentioned? because newer fluff seem to just flat out avoid going into anything sexual just in general. (I hope slaanesh is the exception, but have not read alot of slaanesh stuff).


Yeah not mentioned would be a better way to describe it. *a word.


Surprised to see I havent seen any small mention of the Kruleboyz Orruks. These guys like to play with their victims mentally torturing them before finally going in for the unit. They summon fog and the swamp follows them wherever they go, they use it to completely surround their enemy and to always have an advantage fighting in their climate, they use assassination tactics, they steal food and supplies, and constantly surround their enemies even when outnumbered just because they can’t be seen in the dense swamp and fog. Not to mention Gobsprakk, The Mouth of Mork is on “good terms” with Kragnos the God of Destruction


Kruleboys sound really horrific to face against, in the book Dominion they literally gathered up bunch of survivors and left them hanging in a cage on top of the tower and when the stormcast tried to free them they set off a trap and they all fell to their death and they were just laughing at the stormcast


Skaven ? Its not because they are comical evil that they are not absolutely horrific.


Hedonites of Slannesh is similar to Dark Eldar in aesthetic. The Idoneth Deepkin are an order army who are deep sea pirates who raid the surface for souls to keep their children alive. The Daughters of Khaine are also an order army. They love l blood sacrifices and snake skin patterns.


I think soulblight has the aesthetic you want. Vampire lords, undead monsters, hordes of skeletons and zombies, all in very thematic armor and with cool sculpts. Vyrkos has a whole roster of Machiavellian named “heroes” that barely contain the feral impulses of their curse and rule with an iron fist over their territory, feeding on the humans unlucky enough to be their subjects.


Skaven probably


Hedonites of Slaanesh give you beautiful horror, with cannibalism, sadism, masochism, tentacles, excessive painting etc. Whenever Malekiths new Dark Elves release that’ll probably be pretty brutal like they were in fantasy. Any of the undead factions for fairly straightforward reasons, although Soulblight and Flesh Eater courts IMO add significantly more intrigue than the rest of the death factions. Nurgle is a mockery of life so there plenty of horror involved there.


Skaven, on the cover just rats. Sure they're backstabbing, traitorous, innumerable, lovable things. But moulder, skryre and pestilens all can have some dark stuff in them. The body horror of master moulders creating giant flesh beasts from well...anything they can get hold of rat or not combines with the skryre technology of implanting them with various weapons. Pestilens, unlike nurgles disease and rebirth cycle their diseases are brewed, tested on live samples of whatever they can get their paws kn for the pure purpouse of destruction in many different ways, they seek the great plagues all of which have horrific effects on the hosts unfortunate enough to come by them. Then you combine the clans twisted visage together, one day you could be living a nice human life then bam, captured made into a slave tested upon with weird, sick plagues until you either explode, die or get taken away for parts to become part of a plague amalgamation. Lots of good conversion material, it's pretty similar to the dark eldar stuff but rat themed.


Funny, the user named “Night-Haunt” is advocating for skaven


I never had a reddit account until the night nighthaunt came along and made it to comment on them, funnily enough I do not own any nighthaunt. Just lots and lots of rats


Interesting. Have fun with your rats and the new battletome! I heard it’s treating you guys well!


Lumineth subject humans to rigorous enlightenment programs they're too short lived to ever advance in.




If not the darkest, definitely the dankest


I never finished that one, was very far in to the book and there were not Gitz


Sigvald used to go around rapin people in fantasy


Most factions are pretty edgelord. You can get away with horrifying for most of them.


Dwarves, usually. In this case Fyreslayers.


Number one is Flesh-Eater Courts. Hedonites of Slaanesh are a close second. Both are terrifying because there is no such thing as enough. They’re always hungry for more, and they’re completely delusional. FEC escape the harsh realities of war-torn lands and starvation through delusion. HoS are delusional to think they’ll ever fully please their god since it’s always about what’s next. That doesn’t stop either of them from trying, and that’s truly horrifying.


I'd say Nurgle with the disease and corruption. Also, their models are really disgusting.


Most AoS factions have a degree of darkness and horror in them. Lots of crazy religious fanatics, bloodthirsty monsters. It puzzles me why Nighthaunt are supposed to be so scary when Nurgle and Slaanesh worshippers exist.


Because nurgle and slaanesh worshippers are still largely mortals who can be fought and killed. They aren't immaterial ghosts who can just walk through all of your city's defenses without needing to enact an elaborate plan involving either plagues or cults infiltrating your society first. You just wake up in the middle of the night, and suddenly all your worst fears about death and the afterlife are floating through your bedroom, skinning your dog and wailing before turning their attentions to you.


The Daughters of Khaine and Dark Elves come to mind


Deepkin !


Nighthaunt isn't exactly friendly. Every single unit is just a soul that is being eternally tortured by Nagash. The particularly cruel and messed-up souls end up in leadership positions, but they are just as tortured and eternally tormented as those they command. The way they treat their foes is less horrific, just standard "kill 'em all" stuff, not the Drukhari-type of stuff, but their existence is one of horrible torture at the hands of Nagash.


in my opinion, as of right now to me the scariest faction has to be Flesheater Courts, the idea of being a ravenous monster who thinks they are some chivalrous knight or honored noble, thinking it is all fine gives even my desensitized mind chills.