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"Khorne, the Blood God, rules on his towering throne of bone and marrow. Nurgle, the Fly Lord, gives his 'blessing' of disease, pestilence, and decay. Slaanesh, the perverse Lord of Pleasure, corrupts from the inside with debased rites and the misguided lure of the flesh. Tzeentch, the Lord of Change, hides his powers the least, transforming all that embrace, or oppose, his reach. All of these Ruinous Powers are mere lies. But to ignore these lies, results in transformation, corruption, and death."

—Magnus Ullersted, Witch Hunter[8a]

The Star of Chaos, the most common icon used to represent Chaos and the entities that comprise it.

The Chaos Gods, also referred to as the Ruinous Powers and the Dark Gods, are daemonic gods or entities that exist within the Aethyr whose power and very existence derives from and is sustained by the darker emotions and deepest psychological drives of the various intelligent species of the mortal world.

There are many minor Chaos Gods extant within the Realm of Chaos but the four major Chaos Gods -- Khorne, Tzeentch, Slaanesh and Nurgle -- are particularly infamous and powerful, and possess great influence over the world. Each embodies a particular and very basic aspect of mortal existence, those being wrath, change, pleasure, and death, respectively.

Some scholars of the Old World wonder why the Chaos Gods will choose to "reward" some Humans and other mortals and use them as instruments to do their will when they clearly hate Mankind and all of the other mortal races. The truth is that even unsubtle Khorne realises that his goal of turning the mortal world into a barren wasteland where there is only war and slaughter can be made easier through the machinations of those who wish to turn away from their fellow man.[10a]

Foolish mortals think that they will be rewarded in the twisted eyes of their new liege but the reality is that while some benefits may come to these traitorous beings, the Chaos Gods exist purely to tear civilisation apart and put an end to mortal existence itself. If tempting weak mortal souls to help their cause speeds their plans, then the Ruinous Powers will use the opportunity, despite their loathing of Humanity and other mortals.[10a]

Khorne, the Blood God

Mark of Khorne

Khorne, the Blood God, is the Chaos God of wrath, violence, murder, war, battle and blood. He is the embodiment of mortal rage, the desire for vengeance, and the search for the strength needed to conquer one's foes. His followers often possess great strength, berzerk courage, and savage bloodlust, and in return for their service to the Blood God, he bestows upon them great individual power in combat.

Khorne is the mightiest of the Chaos Gods. Every act of violence and killing empowers him, regardless of whether it was committed by his followers, his enemies or those ignorant of his existence. There is an age-old saying of the followers of Khorne which illustrates this best: "Khorne cares not from whence the blood flows -- only that it does."

Khornate Daemons

Tzeentch, the Changer of Ways

Mark of Tzeentch

Tzeentch, the Changer of Ways, is the Chaos God of change, ambition, evolution, destiny, trickery, lies, and sorcery. He is known by an endless multitude of names, but the chief titles he bears are the Changer of the Ways, the Master of Fortune, the Great Conspirator and the Architect of Fate. He is closely associated with magic, as well as dynamic mutation, and grand, convoluted scheming. He also embodies mortals' ambition, hunger for knowledge, and hope for change.

The domains of history, destiny, intrigue and plots are Tzeentch's chief interests, and in pursuit of these aspects he listens to the dreams and hopes of all and watches their plans take form. He is not content to merely observe, however, and chooses to interfere in the skeins of fate in order to fulfill his own, unknowably complex schemes.

Tzeentchian Daemons

Slaanesh, the Prince of Excess

Mark of Slaanesh

Slaanesh, the Dark Prince, is the Chaos God of pleasure, pain, obsession, excess, and amoral hedonism. He is the embodiment of mortal greed, lust, desire for gratification, and indulgence in sensation. Slaanesh is the great rival of Khorne, whom he considers his opposite in every way.

Slaanesh can assume any form -- male, female, hermaphrodite or asexual. When looked upon by a mortal, Slaanesh takes on the physical image of that which they find most attractive. Lust, pride, and self-indulgence are the hallmarks of all who follow him.

Slaaneshi Daemons

Nurgle, the Plague Lord

Mark of Nurgle

Nurgle, the Plague Lord, is the Chaos God of disease, decay, death, rot and rebirth. His titles include the Fly Lord, the Great Corruptor, the Master of Pestilence, the Lord of Decay and his name in the daemonic Dark Tongue, Nurgh-leth. He represents morbidity, illness and physical corruption, and embodies the desire of mortals to elude death and to achieve immortality and freedom from all pain and physical suffering. He is described as a huge, fat, pox-infected creature with antlers and a grotesque body.

Nurgle is considered the most "friendly" of the Chaos Gods, for he is the only god to care about those who follow and worship him. He is considered joyful, kind, and happy in his demeanour. His main enemy is Tzeentch, the Lord of Change, because their power comes from opposing sources. Tzeentch embodies the hopes and ambition of mortals, while Nurgle is their defiance born of hopelessness and despair.

Nurglite Daemons

Necoho and Zuvassin

Necoho and Zuvassin are two minor Renegade Chaos Gods. They first appeared in the Something Rotten in Kislev adventure, a part of the Enemy Within campaign for the 1st Edition of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay. They made a major return in the Tome of Salvation, a supplement about deities for the 2nd Edition of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay by Black Industries, where they are both described as "aspects of an unknown deity."

Both are actually aspects of Malal, the Renegade God of Chaos, who is no longer present in the Warhammer setting. This is due to a copyright conflict between Games Workshop and the authors of the comic The Quest of Kaleb Daark, which appeared in the Citadel Journal in the 1980s. After that time, Games Workshop lost its rights to Malal and had to substitute Zuvassin and Necoho as the Renegade Gods of Chaos instead.

List of Chaos Gods and Aliases

The following is a list of names, their affiliated deities, and respective spheres of influence:

A

B

  • Blood God (Khorne) — Chaos God of war, rage, murder, wrath, battle and blood[1a]
  • Brass Lord (Khorne) — Chaos God of violence and wrath[1a]

C

D

  • Despoiler (Slaanesh) — Chaos God of pleasure, pain, obsession, excess, amoral hedonism[1a]

E

F

  • Father of Darkness (Hashut) - Chaos God of fire, greed and tyranny, patron of the Chaos Dwarfs
  • Fly Lord (Nurgle) — Chaos God of disease, decay, rot, rebirth [1a]

G

H

K

  • Kharnath (Khorne)Norscan god of battle and blood[1a]
  • Khorne — Chaos God of war, rage, murder, wrath, battle and blood[1a]
  • Kweethul** — Chaos God of ruin and destruction; some scholars believe this may simply be another name for the Horned Rat. [1a]

L

M

  • Malal — Renegade Chaos God of destruction and strife[2a]

N

  • Necoho — Chaos God of doubt[1a]
  • Neiglen (Nurgle)Norscan god of decay[1a]
  • Nurgle — Chaos God of disease, decay, rot, rebirth[1a]
  • Nurglitch (Nurgle) — Norscan god of disease[1a]

O

  • Onogal (Nurgle) — Norscan God of Death and Decay[1a]

R

  • The Reveller (Slaanesh) - Chaos god of excess, lust, and decadence. Northmen alias for Slaanesh.[9a]

S

  • The Serpent (Slaanesh) — Chaos God of pleasure, pain, obsession, excess, amoral hedonism[1a]
  • Shornaal (Slaanesh)Norscan god of excess[1a]
  • Skull Lord (Khorne) — Chaos God of of war, rage, murder, wrath, battle and blood[1a]
  • Slaa (Slaanesh)Beastmen name for Slaanesh[7a]
  • Slaanesh — Chaos God of pleasure, pain, obsession, excess, amoral hedonism[1a]

T

Z

Sources

  • 1: Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2nd Edition: Tome of Salvation (RPG)
    • 1a: pg. 135
  • 2: Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 1st Edition: Rule Book (RPG)
    • 2a: pg. 210
  • 3: Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 1st Edition: Marienburg: Sold Down the River (RPG)
    • 3a: pg. 123
  • 4: Palace of the Plague Lord (Novel) by C.L. Werner
  • 5: Warhammer Fantasy Armies: Warriors of Chaos (7th Edition)
    • 5a: pg. 38
  • 6: Blood for the Blood God (Novel) by C.L. Werner
  • 7 Total War: Warhammer (PC Game)
  • 8: Warhammer Fantasy Armies: Warriors of Chaos (7th Edition)
    • 8a: pg. 194
  • 9: Valkia the Bloody (Novel) by Sarah Cawkwell
  • 10: Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 3rd Edition: Liber Carnagia - The Book of Blood (RPG)
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