- "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 Chaos Gods, also referred to as the Ruinous Powers, are daemonic gods or entities whose power derives from the darker emotions and deepest psychological drives of the various intelligent species of the Warhammer World.
There are many of them extant within the Realm of Chaos but four -- Khorne, Tzeentch, Slaanesh and Nurgle -- are particularly infamous and powerful. Each embodies a particular and very basic aspect of mortal existence, those being wrath, change, pleasure, and death, respectively.
Khorne, The Blood God
Khorne, the Blood God, is the Chaos God of wrath, violence, and murder. Every act of violence and killing gives Khorne power, 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."
He is the most powerful of the Chaos Gods, and those who follow him are often possessors of great strength, berzerk courage, and savage bloodlust. In return for their service to the Blood God, he bestows upon them great individual power in combat. Khorne is the embodiment of mortal rage, the desire for vengeance, and the search for the strength needed to conquer one's foes.
Tzeentch, The Changer of Ways
Tzeentch, the Changer of Ways, is the Chaos God of sorcery, change, and manipulation. Tzeentch is closely associated with sorcery and magic, as well as dynamic mutation, and grand, convoluted scheming. The domains of history, destiny, intrigue and plots are his 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. Tzeentch 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. Tzeentch embodies mortals' ambition, hunger for knowledge, and hope for change.
Slaanesh, The Prince of Excess
Slaanesh, the Dark Prince, is the Chaos God of pleasure, passion, and decadence. Lust, pride, and self-indulgence are the hallmarks of all who follow him.
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. Slaanesh is the great rival of Khorne, whom he considers his opposite in every way. Slaanesh is the embodiment of mortals' desire for pleasure, greed, lust, and indulgence in sensation.
Nurgle, Lord of Decay
Nurgle, the Plague Lord, is the Chaos God of disease, destruction, decay, and death. His titles include the Fly Lord, Great Corruptor, Master of Pestilence, Lord of Decay (the translation of his Dark Tongue name, Nurgh-leth) and represents morbidity, disease and physical corruption.
He is described as a huge, fat, pox-infected creature with antlers, and a grotesque body. He is considered the most "friendly" of the Chaos Gods, for he is the only god to care about those who follow and worship him. His personality is considered joyful, kind, and happy in demeanour.
His main enemy is Tzeentch, the Lord of Change, because their power comes from opposing sources. Tzeentch embodies mortals' hope and ambition, while Nurgle is defiance born of despair and hopelessness. Nurgle embodies the desire of mortals to elude death and to achieve immortality and freedom from all pain.
List of Minor Chaos Gods and Aliases
The following is a list of names, their affiliated deities, and respective spheres of influence:
- Blood God (Khorne) -- Chaos God of Battle and Slaughter[1a]
- Brass Lord (Khorne) -- Chaos God of Violence and Wrath[1a]
- Chi'an Chi (Tzeentch) -- Chaos God worshipped in Cathay, particularly by the aristocracy of Beichai[5a]
- Eagle (Tzeentch) -- Northmen representation of Tzeetch[7b]
- Father of Darkness (Hashut)
- Fly Lord (Nurgle) -- Chaos God of Pestilence[1a]
- Great Beast (Unknown) -- God of Chaos Undivided
- Great Conspirator (Tzeentch) -- Chaos God of Plans[1a]
- Great Corruptor (Nurgle) -- Chaos God of Plagues[1a]
- Hound (Khorne) — Northmen representation of Khorne[7b]
- Kharnath (Khorne) -- Norscan God of Battle and Blood[1a]
- Khorne — Chaos God of Battle and Blood[1a]
- Kweethul* (Unknown) -- Chaos God of Destruction[1a]
- Lanshor (Slaanesh) -- Norscan God of Pain[1a]
- Neiglen (Nurgle) -- Norscan God of Decay[1a]
- Nurgle — Chaos God of Disease, Decay, and Entropy[1a]
- Nurglitch (Nurgle) -- Norscan God of Disease[1a]
- Onogal (Nurgle) -- Norscan God of Death and Decay[1a]
- Serpent (Slaanesh) -- Chaos God of Desire[1a]
- Shornaal (Slaanesh) -- Norscan God of Excess[1a]
- Skull Lord (Khorne) -- Chaos God of Killing[1a]
- Slaanesh — Chaos God of Pleasure[1a]
- Tzeentch — Chaos God of Change[1a]
*Some believe this is another name for the Horned Rat.[1a]
Neocho and Zuvassin
Necoho and Zuvassin are two minor renegade Gods of Chaos. They first appeared in the Something Rotten in Kislev book, 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 gods for the 2nd edition of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay by Black Industries), where they are both described as "Aspects of an unknown deity".
Both are aspects of Malal, the Renegade God, 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.
- 1: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2nd ED -- Tome of Salvation
- 1a: pg. 135
- 2: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 1st ED -- Rule Book
- 2a: pg. 210
- 3: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 1st ED -- Marienburg: Sold Down the River
- 3a: pg. 123
- 4: Palace of the Plague Lord (Novel) by C.L. Werner
- 4a: Chapter 5
- 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
- 8: Warhammer Fantasy Armies: Warriors of Chaos (7th Edition)
- 8a: pg. 194