Slaanesh in the Mortal Realms
- For Slaanesh in the World-that-was see: Slaanesh in the World-That-Was.
God of Excess
Lord of Pleasure
|Followers||Hosts of Slaanesh|
Slaanesh is the most beautiful of all the Chaos Gods. He is known by many titles as the Dark Prince, the God of Excess and Lord of Pleasure. He himself is currently lost, his throne standing empty, as his minions anguish and the other powers of Chaos rejoices.[1a]
Before the Mortal Realms
At the end of the World-That-Was, he consumed so many aelven spirits that he was overwhelmed, left bloated and helpless. He withdrew into a hidden lair to digest this great meal, but he could not escape the plots of Tzeentch. Despite this and being in a near-stupefied state from feasting on aelven souls, he surpassed his brother gods in power and influence. Only the discovery of the Mortal Realms by Chaos and the promise of claiming eight new worlds stirred him from his digestive lethargy.[1b]
Age of Myths
First he started subtly influencing the Mortal Realms, snaring mortal by giving them distant echoes of sensation, but as civilisations expanded, he created cliques and cults of self-advancement and pleasure, so that they would become more easily influenced by the power of the Dark Prince.
But his greed would make him seek to devour the Aelven gods, found in Uhl-Gysh. This was a gambit to trap the god by the four aelven deities, Malerion, Morathi, Teclis and Tyrion bound the god Corpus in vast magical chains. They then removed the aelven souls he had once consumed out of him causing him torturous pain. By manipulating Khorne, Tyrion and Malerion, Tzeentch ensured that the newly born aelf gods would capture the Dark Prince.[1b]
Trapped between realms where his Hedonite worshippers could not find him, his titanic emotions raged from bitter wrath to masochistic joy, from devious contemplation to roaring, oath-swearing bellicosity. The extraction of aelf souls from Slaanesh by the aelven gofd created a sense of hollowness that was indescribable. On a physical level it was a hundred times worse than the agony of a mortal's intestines being pulled slowly through a hole in his gut while on a spiritual level, it was similar to the death of beloved offspring. The process was repeated over and over but Slaanesh thrived in intensity and found satisfaction in anguish and enlightenment in the most desperate of times.
Age of Sigmar
After few decades of both revelling in intense agony and also being tortured by it, Slaanesh began to detach a part of his mind, to not just seek a path out of his confinement but also to transform his fall into a rise to a new level of power. Though he was too tightly bound by sorcery to bring more than a sliver of his power to bear, he came in dreams to his most favoured Hedonites to grant them visions and released many of those mortals driven mad within the six circles to blight reality in his name. Scholars in Hysh and Ulgu had let their curiosity blossom beleiving that Slaanesh was long gone and gazed into the abyss and from his prison in the void, Slaanesh stared back.
The chains hooked into the Prince of Chaos, fashioned of a fusion of shadow and light magic, had no true physical form and were composed of pure and unsullied magic taken from the edges of their respective realms. They had been devised by the hermetic arts of Teclis, strengthened by the immutable truths of Tyrion, and quenched in the umbral powers of Malerion and Morathi. A cloud of misdirection and shadow surrounded the chains to prevent him from learning their secrets. Thus the Keepers of Secrets went after the aelves that helped their gods build and maintain the ritual obelisks of the Hidden Gloaming. They could not tolerate the presence of a Chaos God for long without slowly going mad and had to return to Ulgu or Hysh to recover before returning to the twilight realm. During this time they were vulnerable and the greater daemons gradually uncovered that which the seers sought most to hide who by dwelling on how best to keep those secrets safe and obsessing about their duty left themselves more open to Slaanesh’s wiles. When the seers realised their error they kept it a secret possibly due to a subtle Slaaneshi spell or fearing the wrath of their gods, spiteful Malerion and maniacal Morathi above all and none could think for long on the fact that they might one day be responsible for unleashing their race’s ancient nemesis upon the realms once more.[5a]
From the greater daemon Glittus, Slaanesh learned that the Chain of Purest Hatred could only be undone by the one who loathed Slaanesh the most. While the aelven gods believed this to be one of them in reality it was the Blood God whose hatred of Slaanesh spans for aeons. As Khorne would not willingly help Slaanesh and Slaanesh would never seek help from the blood god, Slaanesh sent the Infernal Enrapturess, Allegaria Sen’sathra to steal the sacred daemon axe Eigngrom. Khorne was enraged and sent Karanak across time and space to destroy the Daemonette and reclaim the axe. A merry dance of chase and counter-chase saw the two rivals hunt one another across the realms while Slaanesh entwined the Chain of Purest Hatred around him. Atop the Serried Peaks of Aqshy Sen’sathra used her cunning to slay Karanak. Khorne was angered and he unleashed a mind-shattering explosion of rage directed at Slaanesh that awaoke billions of slumbering mortal souls a cold sweat of terror. The blast wave rocked the runic obelisks and shattered the chain that was wound around Slaanesh into a million shards which was soon replaced by an illusion. The Chain of Utmost Betrayals could only be broken by an act of extreme dissonance such as the slaughter of thousands of unblemished souls by their own righteous protectors. Thus Slaanesh fanned the flames of Chaos cults in the cities of Order with whispers, dreams and artful seductions while ensuring that they reached a critical point all at the same time. In a realm-spanning event that would one day become known as the Fated Uprising, dozens of Chaos cults, predominantly those of Slaanesh, but also of Tzeentch and Nurgle rose up in rebellion. During the Purge of Vindicarum, the Celestial Vindicators took their blades to three quarters of the population and gouged out every trace of treachery and evil, putting to the sword every single citizen with a hint of corruption or hatred in their heart – just as Sigmar had in Azyrheim so long ago while in the Battle of Excelsis the Knights Excelsior butchered every citizen that stood against them. In Hammerhal Aqsha, the investigations of the Hammers of Sigmar, which had started with a single Lord-Castellant, escalated to open war in the streets between those under the sway of Slaanesh and the golden warriors who in their righteous wrath killed innocents. The screams of those unfairly slain by their own protectors echoed across the void, weakening the chain and turning into dust as a butchery reached its peak. The chain was again replaced by an illusion.[5a]
During the Time of Tribulations when he was being tortured, tiny wish of energy drawn from his essence, he was caught between crippling agony and blinding ecstasy and at the zenith of sensation he had visions of Nagash victory over the Mortal Realms. At first he smiled at the ancient spirits excess, feeling his needs, obsessions and megalomania that he could never escape, but then he realised that such victory would be his worst horror, sending him trashing in mad panic against his penumbral chains. Such future would be dull.
However when the Shyish necroquake created by Nagash erupted across the cosmos, it rocked every Mortal Realm, subrealm and void-borne satellite to its foundations and instantly shattered the chain which was bound to the cosmic law of the realmspheres themselves, as the implosion of Shyish was an event of such magnitude it reordered the laws of reality across every realm at once. Further the web-like tissues of misdirection made from the spider-web realmstone of Ulgu by the arts of Malerion that covered the chains were torn although were not dispersed entirely due to the skill of Malerion. Slaanesh spotted the damage in the lie-sheaths of each chain nonetheless, for his senses were becoming clearer by the day. He learned the secrets of dozens of chains that had been damaged by the unravelling of their fabric, and committed them to memory even as their magical integrity was repaired once more by the talented aelven mages that acted as his jailers.[5a]
Due to its whims and the ability to shift both form and substance on a whim, with the art of the depraved often depicts him as parody of human desire. Because of this and the great pains they take to never appear the same way twice, Slaanesh is more undefinable by mortals than any of the other Chaos God.[5b]
His most common depictions are of a half-male, half female horned hermaphrodite or of a flawless youth with perfect, smooth limbs and a pair of hypnotic eyes, abyssal dark in nature. These forms are often dressed with sumptuous finery that exaggerates their form rather than conceal it. His devotees portrait him in strange ways, like in the aspects of Oslaan and Shlarranesh.[5b]
There are other more esoteric depictions made by hi enemies. Out of fear the Hyshian schools of enlightenment represent him with a melody written on a six bar stave, used by many aelven survivors out of fear of drawing his gaze. The Seraphon depict him as an icon, a angular spiral with each twist symbolising a act or decision that leads deeper into corruption.[5b]
Slaanesh takes great pleasure in the torture that the Aelf Gods inflict upon him. His greatest horror is to find something dull, such as the potential future where Nagash won and converted the Mortal Realms without life or celebration.
The Dark Prince loves the taste of aelven souls, for they have highly attuned emotions and are naturally passionate, obsessive and focused beings. This extends to their deities, which are a irresistible target for him.
Slaanesh desires the edges of the Mortal Realms more than any other, because that is where the most pure and lethal incarnation of that Realm's nature. Such extremes greatly please the Dark Prince, especially the spectacular transformative disasters from mortal that wander there, amusing them to no end. Because of this the god seeks to claim these mutable and volatile territories, such that many of these places already connect to Slaanesh's domain.[5b]
Like all Chaos Gods Slaanesh is given animus by mortal emotion, but unlike the other he is given form and power by the nature of feelings and desires. Instead he is his powered by the degree one's emotions, as everything taken in excess empowers the Dark Prince.[5b]
Aspects and Alternate Names
- Decadent Fiend: A apex defiler, breeder and feaster worshipped by the Slakefrays
- Pallid Bull: A secret cult within the city of Threnstice worshipped this aspect and atracted the Doombull Ghor-Garghorr[5c]
- Oslaan: An aspect depicted in the artwork of the Gelder Vizier. An immense obese glutton of unknown gender covered in obscene tattoos.[5b]
- Shlarranesh: As aspect depicted by Bhan Gaddr. A great white serpent made of writhing bodies, with four arms tipped in knives and their true screaming face hidden behind one stolen fom an impossibly serene woman.[5b]
- Slaa-Nulthé: An aspect refered by the Stargazers of Ulthar. She who Devours is an ever-staring eye, at the center of a vortex of shrieking maws.[5b]
- 1: Mighty Battles
- 2: Malign Portents
- 3: Battletome: Beasts of Chaos (2018) - Legendary Desecrators, pg. 22-27
- 4: Warhammer Community - Slaanesh in the Mortal Realms
- 5: Battletome: Hedonites of Slaanesh (2019)
|Deities of the Mortal Realms|
|Incarnates||Alarielle - Gorkamorka - Grimnir - Grungni - Malerion - Nagash - Sigmar - Teclis - Tyrion|
|Zodiacal Godbeasts||Argentine - Auroxis - Behemat - Boingob - Chimerac - Dracothion - Fangathrak - Gnorros - Hydragos - Ignax - Kharybtar - Lode-Griffon - Nharvolak - Nyxtor - Tatto'Na'Kotto - Ur-Phoenix - Ursricht- Vulcatrix - Vytrix - Ymnog|
|Chaos Gods||Great Horned Rat - Hashut - Khorne - Morghur - Necoho - Nurgle - Slaanesh - Tzeentch|
|Underworld Deities||Brine-God - Vultza - Vannah - Xereus|
|Other||Bad Moon - Gazul - Khaine - Kurnoth - Lunaghast - Manarchael - Mathlann - Morrda - Myrmidia - Sotek - Y'ulea|