In a dramatic conclusion to my Winds of Magic series, covering the core 8 lores of Warhammer Magic, I now present the Lore of Death. This lore has all sorts of wonder effects, which range from character sniping, to draining your opponents leadership, and the mighty Purple Sun of Xereus.
Lore Attribute: Life Leeching
For every wound caused by a Lore of Death spell, you roll a dice, on a 5+, you get an extra power dice. This means if you have a particularly offensive selection of spells, you can extend your magic phase quite far, allowing you to use more spells from your Lore of Death, or even have another caster push out a bit extra magic. As far as attributes go, this is one of the best in my opinion, it is not situational like so many other lores, though it does require you dealing wounds. The fact that most spells from the Lore of Death only hurt a single target is often going to be the limiting factor for Life Leeching, since that usually means you’ll only be rolling 2-3 dice to see if you get any bonus.
Signature Spell: Spirit Leech
The signature spell for the Lore of Death has a pretty low casting value, which can be easily cast with a single dice from a level 4. Simply put, when you cast this spell on your target model (a single enemy model), you both roll a D6 and add your unmodified LD. If your total is higher, you deal the difference in wounds to the target. The wording of the spell is actually very important, as the BRB FAQ says that your unmodified LD is the highest LD in the unit. As much as I disagree with that, it’s what the FAQ says, so that’s how it’s played for the time being. This means, if you’re taking a level 1-2 with this spell, stick him in the unit with a LD10 character for maximum effect.
1. Aspect of the Dreadknight
This spell has pretty much the lowest casting value in the game, and can be reliably cast with a single dice by a level 1 wizard, and for good reason, it kinda sucks. Casting this spell gives a unit of yours fear, or for a bit of a higher casting value, Terror. I can’t think of a time where I’d voluntarily take this spell, honestly.
2. Caress of Laniph
Here we go with another character sniping spell! This spell has a fairly short range, though can be boosted for 24″, a low casting value, and targets a single enemy model. That target is going to suffer 2D6 minus their strength, hits that wound on 4+ and ignore armour. Since most casters and BSB’s are only going to be S3/4, that’s a fairly high chance to obliterate a character without a ward save.
This Hex has a moderate casting value, a respectable 24″ range and will reduce the targets S/T by 1. Anyone who has played this game a while quickly realizes that can totally shift a combat, on top of that, for double the casting value, it can target EVERY enemy unit within 24″… Holy crap that’s awesome! Facing an army of S/T3 Ogres is not nearly as threatening, or even better, taking those pesky elves down to S/T2! This is a fantastic spell and very threatening to every opponent, if you roll it, this is a keeper.
4. Doom and Darkness
Another Hex with a 24″, though this one is Remains in Play, the target of this spell is at -3 LD, while the spell is in effect. There are many ways you can abuse this spell, since there are many abilities in the game which can be affected by LD (such as a Banshee’s scream). Additionally, if your army does cause fear (or you used Aspect of the Dreadknight), this will significantly increase the chances of your enemy unit succumbing to fear, which isn’t bad to think about. Since it is Remains in Play, you can expect that the opponent will want to dispel it in their own turn, if their unit is at any risk, so it is best used when you’re planning to take advantage of it in the same turn.
5. The Fate of Bjuna
This spell is very similar to Caress of Laniph, except for one important distinction, it cannot have a boosted range. Since it is such a short range, you can expect that your opponent will avoid it if at all possible, and it will probably only be used later in the game to any great effect. Like Caress, you roll 2D6, except this time, you subtract the targets Toughness, and it wounds on 2+, additionally, if the target survives, they’re Stupid for the rest of the game. If I had to pick between this and Caress, I would probably pick Caress every time, though this is still far from being a bad spell, even when cast against a T5 monster, you can do a couple wounds and hope that Stupidity helps you out a bit later.
6. The Purple Sun of Xereus
Purple Sun is probably the most feared spell in the game. Like any other Vortex, this spell uses a template, which remains in play after being cast. It will shoot forward from your wizard an artillery dice x3″, and anything in the path must take an Initiative test or is slain with no saves of any kind allowed. If you misfire, you center it on the wizard and scatter it D6″, everything in it’s path suffers the same fate as if you didn’t misfire. If you boost this to a whopping 25+ you can use the large blast, though often that’s overkill. If you’re facing against a low to moderate Initiative army (1-4) this spell is going to be a huge threat, though against Elves and Chaos Warriors, their I5 makes this a pretty meager power for the risk involved. Ogres are especially vulnerable, since their I2 means you’ll deal a heft amount of damage each time it is cast.
Lore of Death is accessible to: Beastmen, Daemons of Chaos, Dark Elves, High Elves, Lizardmen, Ogre Kingdoms, The Empire, Tomb Kings, Vampire Counts, Warriors of Chaos.