The horrors known as Cairn Wraiths were once mass murderers or cruel executioners, mortals who developed such a taste for killing that upon death their unquiet spirits rose from the underworlds to continue their spree of terror.[1b]
The souls of only the most sick and twisted mortals descend into the underworlds and become Cairn Wraiths. Most spirits simply devolve, turning into shades that are mere echoes of their former selves, dark fodder for Nagash's fell purposes. Some, however, remain defiant. Those with supreme willpower to endure the spiritual torments that strip away all that they were save their unending hatred. Only the most spiteful of mass murderers endure, and they become Cairn Wraiths – spectres that delight in hacking down mortals to watch their souls seep outwards.[1a]
Armed with a reaper scythe, Cairn Wraiths of the past were lone predators that haunted sites where amethyst magic lay heavy, such as battlefields, barrows or areas where some great tragedy occurred. Soulblight vampires sought out these killers and used magic to bind their services, for Cairn Wraiths serve no other willingly. After the floods of death magic unleashed by the Shyish necroquake, the hooded ghasts stalked the Mortal Realms in numbers never before seen. With a single act – the ritualistic building of the Great Cairnoch - Nagash bound them all instantly. Some Cairn Wraiths were shackled into the service of Necromancers, or vampires, but most drifted into Nighthaunt processions, where Knights of Shrouds made quick use of their fearsome combat prowess and eagerness to deal death.[1a]
- 1: Death Battletome: Nighthaunt.
- 2: Cairn Wraith Warscroll.
- 3: Games Workshop – Cairn Wraith.