- "Raise buildings and sing songs in My Glory. In My name, pursue your arts and enshrine all Beauty. Let all people follow their every desire, sate their every hunger, and deny themselves no adventure. For it is in these things, and in other, that you will find the greatest pleasure, and it is through these things, and through each other, that you shall rise yourselves higher, even unto the steps of My Throne... You will take pleasure in all that is, though your bodies will break and your souls be forfeit. For I am Slaanesh, most jealous of Gods, and most demanding of lovers, and My Thirst for you shall never be sated..."
Slaanesh, also known as the Dark Prince, the Prince of Pleasure, the Lord of Excess, the Perfect Prince and even the Prince of Chaos, is the Chaos God of Pleasure, Passion, Excess and Decadence.
Slaanesh is the the Dark God dedicated to the pursuit of earthly gratification and the overthrow of all decent behaviour, as well as hedonism and amoral pleasure for its own sake. He is the God of Obsession, the Master of Excess in All Things, from gluttony to lust to megalomania. Out of all the pantheon, Slaanesh is the youngest of the Chaos Gods, for the complex emotions of erotic desire and decadence can only exist within the minds of intelligent races.[1g][2a]
In one sense, Slaanesh is the embodiment of romantic passion and the desire to create vibrant art. Those that most openly express such emotions are often artists, craftsmen, dancers and the more flamboyant nobles of the southern realms. However, the Prince of Chaos is also the embodiment of hubris, pride, sensation, selfish pleasure and pain-as-pleasure. Every breath is an opportunity to take in a new scent. Each glass raised is a chance to savour a new flavour. On every battlefield, each sword blow can entice a never before heard scream of pain.
From his glittering palace in the Realm of Chaos, the Lord of Excess revels in each new sensation discovered. He guides and directs the mortal inhabitants of the world to go ever further in pursuit of new heights of sensation with no concern for the morality of their quest.[1g][2a]
Unlike the influence of the other Chaos Gods, Slaanesh's power is more prevalent amongst the civilised nations of the Old World. The warlike tribes of the north have very little time to indulge themselves in their desires, for every waking moment is a simple fight for survival.
As a result, perhaps the most numerous disciples of Slaanesh hail from the decadent peoples of the south. It is only from here that a person can indulge themselves in the pleasures of life, such as beautiful artwork, culinary delights, extravagant clothing, and the pleasures of the flesh. And none have more time and wealth to indulge themselves in such delights than the wealthy nobles of the southern aristocracy.[1g][2a]
- 1 Manifestation
- 2 Personification
- 3 Followers
- 4 Trivia
- 5 Sources
- "Through the souls of your brothers and sisters I take My place amongst the Three; through their pleasure I ascend my Throne. Pleasure, for Pleasure's sake!"
- —The Satin Throne, Verses 1-7, from the Liber Chaotica.[3a]
Slaanesh, called among other things the Prince of Chaos and the Dark Prince, is the youngest of the Ruinous Powers. His is the domain of decadence and excess, but only a fool believes that Slaanesh is concerned only with the idle pleasures of the flesh. Rather, Slaanesh is fuelled by extremes of sensation, experience, and emotion. The Dark Prince of Chaos grants the power to excel in all things, pushing those who serve him far beyond the normal limits of human passion, desire, and obsession. None have dreamed until they have dreamed of the power Slaanesh can grant, their horizons expanding infinitely in the very instant their soul is forfeited.[4a]
While the Dark Prince is as yet the least of the Four Great Powers, his potential is limitless, for it is defined only by the evils men can dream of inflicting upon one another. While none of them would openly acknowledge it, the other Chaos Powers secretly fear Slaanesh. While Khorne, Nurgle, and Tzeentch fuel wars, plagues, and machinations within the world of men, Slaanesh gains power by feeding humanity’s darkest urges, stoking the fires of all that drives men forward. Ultimately, such power is self-sustaining, for heresy begets heresy. One day, Khorne will run out of foes, Nurgle’s tally of plagues will be completed, and Tzeentch’s schemes shall reach their conclusion. None, however, can foresee a time when men shall set aside their darkest passions and selfish desires and forego that which they most crave.[4a]
Were a man of the Empire to travel northwards, passing out from the shadow of the deep forests, over the cold plains of Kislev and the blasted Troll Country, and into the Northern Wastes, he would eventually reach the borders of the Realm of Chaos. The poles of the world are realms of seething magic centred upon the remains of the polar gates, where reality and unreality merge, where the physical and the spiritual intermingle in ways not possible anywhere else in the mortal realm. Were the traveller to somehow survive the predations of the savage tribes and ravening, twisted beasts that haunt the land, he would, perhaps without realising it, step across an invisible barrier and pass from the real world of stone, air, and flesh into a universe that does not exist in any logical sense. Rather, the domains into which he has passed are the kingdoms of gods and daemons, a land made from the stuff of souls and sustained by the dark will of its most powerful inhabitants – the dread Gods of Chaos.[4a]
Within this limitless, shifting Realm of Chaos, each of the Chaos Gods has his own territory, the unreal borders of which wax and wane as the power of each ebbs and flows. The territory of the Dark Prince of Chaos can be imagined as a peninsular of spirit-matter, a spit of land which, while nowhere near as expansive as that claimed by other gods, is supremely defensible, and utterly under the sway of Slaanesh. Unlike the other Ruinous Powers, especially Khorne, Slaanesh does not maintain a fortress or stronghold as such. Instead, his court is found inside a vast, shimmering pavilion where every excess contrived by humanity is practised to the utmost degree. It is said that this terrible place heaves with such extremes of emotion and experience that it radiates into the dreams and desires of mortals, stoking hidden flames and nurturing secret desires.[4b]
It is even said that such extremes are practised in the form of contests, adjudicated by Slaanesh himself so that his champions can be chosen and sent into the world to spread their evils amongst men. Such a place may appear vulnerable to attack by the cohorts of the Dark Prince’s brother gods. With the hosts of Slaanesh disporting themselves in every manner possible beneath the eaves of his pavilion, surely his enemies could attack and destroy his domains once and for all. But Slaanesh’s holdings are well protected indeed, for their defence is the weakness of the intruders themselves; any attacker must first pass through six circles of temptation before entering the Dark Prince’s territory. The outermost of the six rings is the Circle of Avidity, where the intruder is tempted with riches beyond measure, yet to accept them is to become immobilised in the form of a shimmering statue of gold, the soul entrapped within for all time.[4b]
The Circle of Gluttony offers any sensory excess imaginable, yet to partake of it is to engorge oneself until the body explodes under the strain. The third is the Circle of Carnality, a realm of fleshly pleasures where daemonettes masquerade in whatever bodily form the intruder most covets, only to tear him limb from limb before his desires can be assuaged. The Circle of Paramountcy offers power in its many forms, yet to linger in its halls is to succumb utterly to the doubt and paranoia that assail even the most outwardly powerful of men. In the Circle of Vainglory the intruder is seduced by visions of his own glory, yet his past victories will be mocked for eternity should he halt in the scented arbours of hubris.[4b]
The last defence is the Circle of Indolency, through which one must pass before gaining entrance to Slaanesh’s Palace of Pleasure. It is the most deadly, for it seduces with the promise of eternal rest yet ultimately grants nothing more than oblivion. In the guise of welcoming guests to his lands, Slaanesh entraps both friend and foe. Once enslaved to the Dark Prince’s will, death is a merciful release of which the damned can only dream. Those few who somehow pass through the six circles of the Dark Prince’s domains find themselves before Slaanesh himself. Mortals perceive Slaanesh as a lithesome youth, clean of limb and of indeterminate gender, though most perceive him as more male than female. His features are beguiling and young, and to look upon them is to lose one’s soul utterly. An eternity of damnation awaits the souls enslaved to the blasphemous desires of the Dark Prince of Chaos.[4b]
Slaanesh gains power and influence within the Realm of Chaos by fuelling and feeding upon extremes of emotion and experience unleashed within the mortal domains. While no mortal is immune to the temptations of the Dark Prince, some men are more likely to attract his attentions than others. In particular, the nobility seem most attracted to the gifts of Slaanesh. Without the need to toil just to place food on the table, nobles are at leisure to pursue whatever pastimes they desire, and a life of indolence is strewn with entrapments to ensnare the unwary soul. Wealth and noble birth grant power, which is all too easily abused. Nobles have access to resources few others can imagine, including libraries of ancient texts and treasuries full of priceless artefacts. What forbidden knowledge and arcane relics lurk within such places, just waiting to entrap the soul of the dilettante?[4b]
There are also stories of noble-owned hunting lodges deep in the Reikwald, where the sons and daughters of the Empire’s highest-born lines retire to practise dalliances they could never risk pursuing in the cities. Some even claim that by night, they cavort about roaring fires with the beastmen of the forests, sealing some unholy pact in the name of the powers of Old Night. But it is not only members of the nobility that seek the extremes of experience. While many think of Khorne, the God of Blood and Murder, as the patron of warriors, many such men beseech the favour of Slaneesh as well. While Khorne revels in the simple, uncomplicated act of killing, however it is achieved, Slaanesh seeks the perfection of the killing blow itself and the experience of killing and dying.[4b]
Warriors that look to the Dark Prince do so to perfect their skill at arms into an artful performance, one in which each stroke of the blade is as delicate as a lover’s caress and equally as exquisite for slayer and victim. Such men drive themselves towards ever-greater extremes, yearning to master the act of killing in every one of its permutations. As much as some warriors seek to perfect their own skills, some come to revel in the cruelty of their arts, becoming masters of pain and torture in all their forms. Men in search of knowledge are also susceptible to the temptations of the Prince of Chaos.[4c]
One might expect that most men would turn to Tzeentch for the revelations they seek, but this is not always the case. Scholars who become obsessed with the details of obscure wisdom are driven to ever more extreme acts when granted the dark blessings of Slaanesh. There is no knowledge too terrible for them to bear, or so they believe, and they will make any sacrifice in the ceaseless pursuit of the teachings they crave. Such dark scholars inevitably stretch the limits of the knowledge a human mind can contain, especially where it pertains to the secret histories of the world and its creation, and of the forces that underpin reality.[4c]
The sanatoriums are said to be full of fallen scholars who gibber and rant of nameless deities and impossible places, their souls and minds blasted by the knowledge revealed to them by their dark patron. Those who serve the various creeds and cults of the Empire and beyond are especially valuable to Slaanesh, for blasphemy is one of the numerous permutations of his realm. The Dark Prince revels in pushing any and every boundary and expects his servants to do likewise. Nothing is more pleasing to Slaanesh than an outwardly pure individual, especially an officer of a creed, revelling in the very acts he condemns. Thus, the Witch Hunters must regularly search their own ranks, and those of the Cult of Sigmar, for hidden servants of the Dark Prince. Countless outwardly holy leaders have been charged with heretical crimes and put to death after the Mark of Slaanesh is discovered upon their bodies.[4c]
There are many more examples of individuals driven to excess by the dark gifts of Slaanesh. The practitioners of magic must be ever vigilant for the siren song of forbidden knowledge and power, and regular contact with the raw energies of Chaos makes them supremely susceptible to the Dark Prince’s influence. Counsellors and administrators too are often tempted by the power they wield, and those denied the full extent of their capabilities by a common birth are all the more likely to sell their souls for access to the status the nobles so jealously guard. There are lovers who love as no mortal ever could, and artists driven to create such wonders as to make onlookers pluck out their eyes so they may never be sullied by a lesser sight.[4c]
Hunters seek the ability to stalk the wilds undetected and long for preternatural aim – invariably, they are driven to hunt not beasts, but men, and some feel compelled to test their skills against Wood Elves and the like, usually with results fatal to the hunter. Invariably, those who partake of even the smallest portion of the blessing of Slaanesh are driven so far along the road to excess that their damnation is inevitable. The cruel reality of Chaos is that it will ultimately destroy all but the very strongest of those who attempt to wield it. Perhaps above all other Chaos Gods, Slaanesh revels in this process, glorying in the downfall of even the mightiest champion. In truth, a being as powerful as Slaanesh perceives even the mightiest of mortal champions as nothing more than a brief spark against a conflagration, if he perceives them at all. Though he does not know it, the servant’s excesses do nothing more than fuel the fires of his own eternal damnation.[4c]
Gifts of Slaanesh
Those who seek the blessings of any of the four Great Powers know that each gift they receive might be their last, for all too often a man is transformed into a slavering mindless spawn by the sheer potency of his patron god’s power. Mortals are fragile things to the Ruinous Powers; just as a man may not be able to pick up a fly without crushing it between his fingers, so the Chaos Gods are likely to destroy a mortal body and soul by the gifting of even the most inconsequential blessing. Of course, Slaanesh being the most capricious and wantonly cruel of the Ruinous Powers, he takes great delight in such happy accidents and cares not whether his servants welcome the gifts he bestows.[4e]
Mortals and Slaanesh
Despite the Dark Prince’s ability to warp and corrupt the flesh of those dedicated to his worship, it is in the mind and the soul that the greatest changes are wrought. Physical mutation is almost an inevitable side effect of any contact with the power of Chaos but those who seek Slaanesh’s gifts desire something far more potent and useful. They lust not only for perfection in all they pursue, but also to exceed perfection and experience every possible aspect of a given pursuit until it is mastered utterly.[4e]
The Promise of Perfection
The perfection Slaanesh’s followers seek is anathema to the world of mortals, so that to normal men they appear to be engaged upon some hideous mockery of mortal pursuits. There is a vast gulf between what the follower sees and experiences and what the onlooker perceives, unless perhaps the witness is also blessed by the Dark Prince’s gifts. For example, a musician might draw upon the blessings of Slaanesh to produce exquisite cadences and tones that no mortal has ever heard, and he experiences such heights of delirious joy in producing them that he feels at one with his fell patron. A mere mortal forced to witness the performance might be driven utterly insane, his mind unable to process the cacophony he is hearing, his ears bleeding from the unnatural sounds they are forced to absorb. An artist might draw upon his patron’s gifts to communicate such visual splendour as no mortal eyes have ever witnessed, portraying wonders of composition and balance, concept and perspective, power and wit. A mortal forced to look upon the piece might find his eyes bleeding from the sheer atrocity exhibited, his sanity blasted for all time. A warrior blessed by the Dark Prince’s gifts moves so fast that he is appears as a blur, every artful stroke of his blade parting flesh and spilling blood in patterns that delight and inspire the servants of Slaanesh. The hedonist seeks new and novel flavours and scents, passing far beyond what decent folk consider edible and inducing witnesses to gag in disgust while he sups upon the foulest of feasts, his face a mask of delight. These and countless more pursuits are subject to the dominion of the Dark Prince and no experience is beyond his followers.[4e]
The Price of Excess
Despite the impossible heights to which Slaanesh’s servants soar, all but the smallest fraction inevitably come plummeting back down to earth to be dashed against the jagged rocks of their own sins. The power of Chaos is the most seductive, powerful, and addictive drug ever imbibed by mortal souls and, like all drugs, the addicted are doomed as soon as the first taste passes their lips. Those who dedicate their souls to Slaanesh seek to draw power from their pact, power to drive them to extremes they would never otherwise experience, but the price is terrible indeed. Ultimately, the adherents experience all there is to experience, break every taboo, exceed every mortal limitation, and impose every form of suffering the mortal mind and body can endure; all that remains is a soulless husk driven by the hollow desires of one who has seen all and knows there is nothing left to see. For a time, the universe, indeed the multiverse, was a realm of limitless splendour and variation, but now it is a pale, faded, ragged remnant sucked dry and spent of all joy.[4e]
To one dedicated to Slaanesh, such a fate is terrible indeed and one that all but those who achieve apotheosis and are granted daemonhood are doomed to meet. One might wonder exactly what the Dark Prince gains by exacting such a price from his willing servants. When the mortal mind experiences extremes of emotion, Slaanesh’s power within the ever-shifting Realm of Chaos grows at the expense of one or all of his kin. As his power waxes, so too do his territories, which encroach upon the lands of the other Chaos Gods. This process manifests in infinite forms, not least of which is the spectacle of a billion daemonettes capering through the territories of the Dark Prince’s foes, slaying rival servants with graceful flicks of their razor sharp claws as they sing the praises of their master. When his power waxes so strongly that it can no longer be contained within the Realm of Chaos, the Winds of Magic turn to storms that howl outwards from the polar gates to saturate the lands of men with the fell power of the Dark Prince, driving his servants onwards and causing them to commit countless unspeakable acts in his name. One day, the storm will be unstoppable and never abate, and all the lands shall be submerged beneath a writhing, twitching blanket of sin.[4e]
Those who venerate the Dark Prince of Chaos are wont to form secret coteries, cults, and confraternities, for, perhaps more than for servants of the other Chaos Gods, their deeds must remain hidden in order to perpetuate. Slaanesh’s followers are gregarious by nature, and their rituals require both victims and an audience, though often these are one and the same. No act, no matter how extreme or blasphemous, holds much meaning unless it is witnessed, whether by others who also venerate Slaanesh or by unwilling victims moments before they meet their end. The followers of the Great Powers organise themselves into cults – secret societies of like-minded worshippers who gather in hidden places to practice their vile creed.[4c]
Commonly, cultists are highly placed members of their communities – the alderman, the magistrate, the lord, or the trader. Each cult is different, but most feature a highly compartmentalised, pyramid-shaped power structure, with each level ignorant of most of what goes on in the level above. Members hide their true identities from the bulk of the cult, though it can be guaranteed that someone will know their name and thereby hold power over them. Many cults are sprawling networks that employ their own staff s and agents, own properties, and conduct themselves more like a business or criminal enterprise than a body of worshippers. Yet, whatever form the cult takes and whatever masks it wears to disguise its true face, it is above all else a sect of men and women dedicated to the worship of a forbidden god.[4c]
Many cults have existed for decades, centuries, or, occasionally, millennia. Over generations they have spread their influence far and wide, working towards some end only the most senior of masters is aware of. It is likely that the lowest ranked cultists, whatever they do by day, are mere foot soldiers in the cult’s great undertaking and they are only allowed to glimpse a small portion of the greater plan. The exact nature of this grand undertaking varies enormously, though most have several points in common; it invariably promises a time when the cult will be able to throw off its disguise and rise up against its oppressors, tearing down or taking control of the prevailing social order. The Chaos Gods tend to approach their goal in different ways. Khorne would see the entire world shattered and the building blocks of civilisation ground to dust beneath his cloven feet. Nurgle would see it transformed in a vision of eternal festering decay and rampant re-growth.[4d]
Tzeentch wills it that time never ends, one layer of reality peeling back to reveal yet another, still more complex web of fate. Slaanesh however, seeks to impose his darkest dreams upon the world, to remake it in a vision of eternal submission and domination. Even if its lower ranked members believe otherwise, no cult is completely isolated. As they grow in power and status, new cults come into contact with older, established cults. Some worship the same Chaos God, others his brothers, and so war or alliance may follow. Some cults seek out others, especially those only recently incorporated, that they may be dominated and subsumed. The oldest and most powerful organisations have existed in one form or another since the earliest days of the Empire; their influence stretches across the world and into the highest of courts. Others seek to utterly wipe out all other cults they encounter, whether those of the same god or his rivals, dispatching sinister agents as effective as any Witch Hunter to track down their foes and destroy their works.[4d]
At several points in history, the bitterest of wars have been fought on the streets of the Empire’s cities, across the rooftops and along the secret corridors of sprawling castles. Foes determined to not only ruin one another’s works, but to offer one another’s souls to their patron gods, grapple for power while men sleep fitfully scant yards away. Anyone captured alive in these conflicts is often sacrificed in appallingly creative acts of blasphemy before hooded congregations of cultists. Often, the only sign that any such war is raging is the sudden disappearance of key members of the community, those who were highly ranked in the cult’s power structure. At the same time, the low ranked foot soldiers die by the dozen, but they are rarely missed. There are numerous cults active in the Reikland today and those dedicated to Slaanesh are particularly virile and dynamic. In Frederheim, for example, the so-called Crimson Eye has existed for nigh on seven decades, its influence spreading insidiously downstream along the River Teufel like spilled blood and infecting the minor nobility almost as far as the Court of Grünburg.[4d]
The Cult of the Exquisite Cadaver has only recently appeared in Altdorf but is thought to have its roots in dispossessed nobility out of Bögenhafen. The Brotherhood of the Perfect Deliverance is thought to be an offshoot of a far older cult that is well established in Averland and Wissenland, but so far it has been unsuccessful in subverting the established cults of the southern Reikland. The Cult of the Purple Moon recently won a long war against a number of lesser bodies in and around Eilhart and looks ready to exploit its gains and attack others based in Helmgart, Ubersreik, and Auerswald. Perhaps the newest cult in Reikland is the so-called Angels of Grissenwald, a body that, for some as yet unknown reason, other cults in the region abhor and fear in equal measure, their blasphemies too dire even for the servants of the Dark Prince to stomach.[4d]
Nobles are especially prone to be seduced into the service of Slaanesh via a life of unfettered indolence. It is said that many of the Chaos worshipping cults that exist across the Empire have sprung up amongst coteries of idle nobles, individuals whose decadence has transmuted from selfish dalliance to something far darker and ultimately destructive. In such groups, the frisson of trifling indecency all too easily turns to overt and deliberate blasphemy and iconoclasm. Equally, bored yet inquisitive minds are easily turned from the exotic to the esoteric; from there it is but a short, damning journey to the pursuit of forbidden knowledge. Those who plot and scheme against rivals or more favoured kin are led astray by the promise of undreamed power, while those afflicted with some weakness, whether real or imagined, might find a means to overcome it, if only they will pay the price.[4d]
When the dalliances of the idle nobility turn into the active pursuit of power, the agents of the Ruinous Powers are ready to offer counsel and lead the damned even further astray. Hooded strangers appear in the small hours and tell the glazed-eyed nobles of power and experience even they have never imagined. Missives are written and rituals conducted. Blood is spilled and pacts are sealed. Souls are bartered and unspeakable deeds performed. All too soon, the group of nobles seeking distraction from the petty concerns of everyday life have become a cult, its members fearful of discovery by the Sigmarite Witch Hunters who have suddenly appeared in town. Before they realise it, the nobles are devotees of the Ruinous Powers, already numbered among the uncounted ranks of the lost and the damned.[4d]
Minions of the Dark Prince
What manner of mortal heeds the siren song of the Dark Prince and pledges their souls to Slaanesh? Certainly, those born of noble blood are easy meat for the Great Corruptor, but so too are many others, from artists and musicians to politicians and warriors. When the Winds of Magic gather strength and the hordes of Slaanesh muster, two types of warrior can be found in the ranks of his mortal hosts– those born in the lands of men and those born into the service of Slaanesh. Those who hear the call of Slaanesh and make their way north to join his magnificent hordes are fortunate indeed to even begin their journey, for the Templars of Sigmar are ever watchful for those bearing the mark of the Dark Prince. It is fair to say that most men of the Old World who hear Slaneesh’s call fall long before they can answer it.
Some are consumed by their passions, drinking too deeply of the wine of obsession so that their sins are clear to all around them. Others find themselves gifted with such marks of their patron that they must flee to the woods before their true nature is revealed, but most of them fall easy prey to the beastmen and other fell denizens of the forests and never realise the visions that haunt their fevered dreams. Unless their dark passions are husbanded by an established cult, such tragic figures invariably signal their pact with the Dark Prince for all to see, the evidence of their sins impossible to ignore. A very few, however, manage to contain the excesses of their dark desires in such a way as not to attract unwanted attention and work their way northwards to join the hordes of Chaos.
The journey is a mighty feat in itself and is sure to stand the champion in good stead when he encounters the denizens of the Chaos Wastes, who will challenge him the instant he passes into their lands. Such men must fight duel after duel against savage barbarians and towering warriors of Chaos, proving themselves ever more worthy to tread the northern lands with every head they take. The few who reach the lands of a tribe dedicated to Slaanesh have proven themselves worthy of not just joining those tribes, but of leading them into battle, though more duels await them should they decide to take control of an army of their own. Having made it so far, some mortals simply keep going, passing out of the knowledge of the tribes and into the far north, where the lands writhe and the skies boil under the baleful influence of raw Chaos. Whether they enter the Realm of Chaos itself or pass into some other unfathomable reality, none can say, though certainly they do so in the name of the Dark Prince of Chaos.
Hordes of Slaanesh
As with each of the Chaos Gods, there are entire tribes dedicated to the Dark Prince in the far north. These peoples exist in a harsh land of constant war, where men must be strong and guileful to survive, and as such one might imagine that the hedonism often associated with Slaanesh would be out of place. What soft pleasures might be found amidst a land of howling gales and hard ground? In truth, the pleasures sought and found by those who serve the Dark Prince are those of war, in all its forms. In a land where no law applies other than the will of the strong, the servants of Slaanesh openly venerate their fell god, practising every extreme of emotion and experience possible. If there are no laws, there are no crimes, and the power of Slaanesh waxes ever stronger.
Slaanesh is worshipped throughout the north and the Chaos Wastes in all manner of aspects and known by a staggering range of names. The Tribe of the Serpent, for example, calls him Loeth, and holds that he lives in the seas about Norsca. Hundreds of tribes revel in every extreme of war and death, arts that they practice daily in wars against one another and the nations of the south. The tribes dedicated to Slaanesh are among the cruellest mortals of the wastes for they seek not simply to slay their foes, but to inflict symphonies of misery upon them. They prefer to debilitate and capture rather than slay, so that they might bind the defeated and haul them back to their settlements. They are masters of torture, which they regard as the ultimate worship of their fell lord. Before each battle, the marauders of Slaanesh imbibe all manner of narcotic substances, often of magical aspect, and under their heady influence make war as the supreme celebration of the Dark Prince’s blessing.
Marauders of Slaanesh
Marauders of Slaanesh are vain creatures that take as much pride in their physical appearance as in their abilities. Those who choose war as their obsession endeavour to exceed perfection by honing their bodies until they are as deadly as any blade. Some are mountains of rippling muscle, while others are creatures of whipcord sinew. As many are hulking brutes as are lithe and agile sylphs, yet their standards of outward perfection are entirely at odds with those of the people of the south. To mortal eyes, marauders of Slaanesh are disturbingly alluring, bearing proudly the symbols of their blasphemy. Swirling tattoos trace the contours of flesh, while the runes of the Dark Prince are brazenly born on armour and shield. Perhaps worst of all are the scented oils many apply to their skin before battle, cloying musk that dulls the senses of the marauders’ opponents, making it all the more joyous to cut them down.
Chaos Warriors of Slaanesh
Chaos Warriors dedicated to the Dark Prince of Chaos are regarded by the people of the north as walking avatars of their god. Their bodies are clad in Chaos armour gifted to them by their fell patron and fused to their flesh in a hideous, symbiotic union. Many leave portions of pale flesh bare, as if to titillate their opponents with the illusion of weakness, inviting him to attempt to strike at that imagined weak spot. Chaos warriors of Slaanesh truly walk the path of damnation and excess and the strongest are fated to become mighty champions. Consumed by their own dark passions, they appear distant and something other than human. Their followers bathe in this otherworldly glory, driven by the need for the master’s approval to commit still further atrocity. Enemies are frequently struck dumb by the sight of Slaneesh’s champions, unable to raise a shield to ward the blow that brings their own doom.
Chaos Sorcerers of Slaanesh
Sorcerers of Slaanesh are masters of the most dire and secret arts. Their magic focuses on the scrying of hidden truths, blasphemy and coercion, and domination and submission. With a softly whispered incantation, a sorcerer of Slaanesh can make a man believe that the twisted abomination before him is the most pure and beautiful of maidens. With a sly cantrip, he can turn brother upon brother. With a subtle invocation he can tempt the strongest soul with the promise of its most cherished desires.
Beastmen of Slaanesh
Beastmen perceive the world in a manner wholly at odds with the way mankind sees it, but who is to say their vision is not the true face of reality? Unlike humanity, beastmen do not sell their souls in return for power, nor do they undertake pacts or bargains with the Ruinous Powers. Beastmen are children of Chaos and they are born into its service. Their world is a one of power and war, where the raw stuff of Chaos runs through all things. To the beastmen, the being men call Slaanesh is the power that grants them the virility that swells the dark forests with their kind. He seeds the hatred of man within the children of Chaos, a hatred they have nurtured for uncounted generations and expressed in their befouling of man’s most cherished symbols of faith. Those beastmen especially bestowed with the qualities of Slaanesh are sometimes called by heretics Slaangor. To the beastmen warherds, slaangor are worshipped exemplars of potency and power.
- Some clues seems to indicate that Nahmud the Dark Maiden could be related to Slaanesh, if not being one of his aspects. In the Dark Prince's Realm there is also a location named Grove of the Dark Maiden.[5a]
- 1: Warhammer Armies: Warriors of Chaos (8th edition)
- 2: Tome of Corruption (2th edition Fantasy Roleplay)
- 3: Liber Chaotica: Slaanesh (Volume II)
- 3a: pg. 1
- 4: Liber Ecstatica (3rd Edition Fantasy Roleplay)
- 5: Warhammer RPG 2st Edition: Tome of Salvation
- 5a: pg. 160-163