A horrific portrait of the Masque of Slaanesh

The Masque of Slaanesh, known also as the Eternal Dancer, Accursed Maiden, and Darkling Deceiver was once the most favoured of all the Daemonettes. She danced for the joy of performance and wove enrapturing displays so dazzling that they could strike even immortal gods silent with awe. The dance's tempo changes as the story of Slaanesh progresses. In the Dance of Dreaming, where the slumbering prince waits to be born, the Masque and her chorus drift in sedentary and languid movements.[1a]

Conversely, the Pageant of Pain, re-enacting one of Slaanesh's great victories over Khorne, is a tableau of spasmodic movements that ends with the entranced cast tearing at each other's throats and eyes. Not all the dances are from the past — they are drawn from all points in time. The power of the Masque's curse allows her to recreate events yet to come, from the caging of Loec and the purging with fire of Nurgle's garden, all the way up to the legendary Rhan'k'adanra, the final battle and twilight of the gods. Any who survive these manifestations have only the scantest memories of what truly occurred. They see only the ruin and death around them, and feel only the bone-weary agony of a body pushed beyond its limits. Meanwhile and elsewhere, the Masque dances on.[1a]


Yet the Masque was undone when Slaanesh suffered his most terrible loss in the Great Game, maneuvered by Tzeentch into a war with Khorne and Nurgle that he could not hope to win. Thinking to ease Slaanesh's mind and ills, the Masque danced for her dark lord. Never before had she performed with such skill. She glided across that ballroom floor of broken dreams and sundered promises, each sensuous and graceful motion flowing effortlessly into the next. No mortal could have watched her dance that eve and remained unmoved, yet Slaanesh was angry at his defeat, and his proud heart filled with the acrid pain of humiliation. As he watched the Daemonette dance her faultless dance, Slaanesh saw only a barbed jest at his expense, a subtle mockery aimed at his wounded pride.[1a]

All at once, the Dark Prince could bear no more and flew into a terrible rage. He laid a curse upon the Masque, condemning her to dance throughout eternity against her will, unable to rest her limbs or take the merest pause to savour other experiences. Her dances would now speak in testament of Slaanesh's glory, every motion a stylized rendition of one of the Dark Prince's great victories. His ire spent, Slaanesh turned his back upon the Masque and retired to his inner chambers, where the touch of his handmaidens could perhaps temporarily heal his great hurt.[1a]

So has the Masque been doomed ever since. She dances across the mortal and immortal planes to music only she can hear, never able to rest. She is drawn to places of sensory excess and is wont to appear before the high table at great feasts, or during the closing act of a fine opera. Her golden mask flickers and changes as her dance progresses, taking the guise of the characters she portrays. Such is the power of the Masque's curse that all nearby are drawn into her unholy pageant. Eternal Daemon or mortal man, all play their parts in her fluid pantomime as flawlessly as if they had been rehearsing for the moment all their lives.[1a]


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  • 1 Warhammer Armies: Daemons of Chaos (8th Edition)
    • 1a -- pg. 55
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