Slaanesh (eldar - Sai'lanthresh) is the Chaos God of lust, greed, excess, pain, pleasure, perfection, and hedonism. Slaanesh was the last of the major Chaos Gods to be born—coming into existence with the collapse of the Eldar civilisation.
- 1 Overview
- 2 The Palace of Slaanesh
- 3 Daemons of Slaanesh
- 4 Forces dedicated to Slaanesh
- 5 Notable Servants of Slaanesh
- 6 Gifts of Slaanesh
- 7 Sources
The name Slaanesh derives from Slaaneth — the god's name in the language of Chaos, (Slaa meaning "ecstasy", "pleasure", etc, Neth meaning "lord of", "master of", or "prince of"; hence, the Prince of Pleasure). The correct adjective of things associated with Slaanesh (such as its worshipers) is "Slaaneshi".[Needs Citation]
Slaanesh typically appears in a form which is female on the right side and male on the left, with two sets of horns rising from its flowing golden hair. It can, however, assume any form—male, female, hermaphrodite or asexual—but prefers male bodies. Its sacred number is six. The symbol of Slaanesh combines the conventional symbols for male and female. It is also known by a multitude of titles, such as Prince of Chaos, Prince of Excess, Prince of Pleasure and Lord of Dark Delights.[Needs Citation] To the Eldar, who name it Sai'lanthresh (literally - She Who Thirsts), and also by the Lovecraftian titles of , She Who Is Not Named, The Great Enemy, The Great Serpent, etc. [Needs Citation]
Slaanesh was fully born at the moment of the Fall of the Eldar. The birth of Slaanesh created the Eye of Terror and slew most of the Eldar except those far enough away from the Eldar homeworlds to escape. This event also slew all the Eldar gods except for Khaine (who was shattered into many pieces), the Laughing God — Cegorach, and Isha — who was, according to one Craftworld, taken captive by the Chaos God Nurgle.
Slaanesh has a neutral attitude to some of the other Gods of Chaos (as he is generally too caught up in his own pleasures to be interested in rivalries or alliances), but his particular enemy is Khorne, whose belief in pain and death is completely opposed to Slaanesh's principle of a life of unrestricted pleasure.[Needs Citation]
Worship of Slaanesh
Slaanesh's symbol is rarely worn openly by its followers. They instead often wear items of jewelry bearing erotic motifs. Followers dress in robes which are often opened to leave the right side of the chest uncovered, a requirement of many of the rituals involved in his worship. Pastel and electric shades are the chief colours, although white may be used as well. These colours are also sometimes carried over into everyday wear, although they may be modified to fit in with current fashions. In all cases, all Slaanesh followers wear garb of sensuously high quality.[1b]
Even the most militant of Slaanesh's followers do not deny themselves this hedonistic lifestyle; cultist hideouts may be fortified and stocked with weapons, but they are equally stocked with luxurious furniture, sumptuous food, and erotic decorations.[10a]
In the mythology of the primitive inhabitants of Fenris, "Sla Nahesh" (presumably a misinterpretation of Slaanesh) is an evil deity, described as the offspring of the dark god Horus and the dragon goddess Skrinneir, and is imprisoned within one of the planet's volcanic islands after being defeated by Leman Russ.
The Palace of Slaanesh
The Palace of Slaanesh is Slaanesh's realm within the Warp. Those that dare his realm risk becoming trapped in its warped delights for eternity.
Daemons of Slaanesh
The Legions of Excess
The armies of Slaanesh are known as the Legions of Excess. Each Legion is commanded by a Keeper of Secrets, though there are cases where a favored Daemon Prince is known to have lordship instead. Below these commanders are Daemon Princes or Heralds of Slaanesh, each in command of one of six formations. While some of the Dark Prince's generals are obsessive in commanding a single type of legion, the majority will change formations as mood or need suits them.
There are several types of Legions of execess. Flayer Legions are geared towards wanton destruction and their many Daemonettes take great pleasure in the act. The Hunter Legions are masters of quick kills and are built primarily around fast moving cavalry and chariots. The flamboyant Glamiatrix Legions are the most sorcerous, relying heavily upon psychic powers and mesmerism. The Terror Legions are a shock force specializing in elaborate and gory displays of combat, infamous for unleashing a barrage upon the senses that can overwhelm weak-willed enemies. The Legions of Eternal Punishment have no specialty, but rather call upon the damnations of Slaanesh, intermixing magics and temptation alongside battlecraft. The strangest of Slaanesh's legions are known as the Courante Legions. To them, battle is but a dance and their Daemons whirl about one another as they slay their foes in bizarrely choreographed maneuvers. While they lack the speed of other Legions, their elegance and creativity captures the favor of their master more than practical assaults could ever hope.
Daemons of Excess
Daemons of Slaanesh are elegant and eerily beautiful, agile and graceful while also cruel and violent to the extreme. Slaanesh's servants are both horrific and alluring, mesmerizing and loathsome. Although they can not match the raw power of Khorne's armies, the resiliency of Nurgle's tallybands, or the eldritch might of Tzeentch's hosts, Daemons of Slaanesh are possessed of a speed and lethality that is unequaled.
- Keepers of Secrets
- the Greater Daemons of Slaanesh. They can resemble huge, bestial and ugly creatures or lithe, terrifying creatures with an unholy beauty.
- the common Daemons of Slaanesh they are disturbingly beautiful - often feminine on one side, masculine on the other. They usually have crab-like claws instead of hands.
- Infernal Enrapturess
- Herald of Slaanesh
- Steeds of Slaanesh
- the daemonic mounts of Slaanesh, lurid snakelike creatures who lash with their prehensile tongues. They are often ridden by Daemonettes, as well as gifted to favoured Champions.
- Fiends of Slaanesh
- the daemonic beasts of Slaanesh, they are a bizarre hybrid of insectoid, reptilian and human.
- Flight-capable Daemons
- Cackling Abomination
Daemon Engines of Slaanesh
A Daemon Engine is a part-technological, part-daemonic vehicle, those dedicated to Slaanesh include the Slaanesh Subjugator and Sonic Dreadnought
Titans of Slaanesh
Forces dedicated to Slaanesh
Chaos Space Marines
- The Emperor's Children — Chaos Space Marines, once amongst the Emperor's most loyal servants they turned traitor during the Horus Heresy. Most of their remaining members are little more than hedonistic psychopaths who often wield unique sonic weaponry in battle.
Over the thousands of years since the Horus Heresy, a few other Space Marine chapters have inevitably fallen to the seductions of Slaanesh and become renegades. Among these are[Needs Citation]:
- The Violators
- The Flawless Host
- Angels of Ecstasy
- The Corpus Brethren
- The Children of Torment
- The Exquisite Host
- The Silken Death
- The Punishers
- The Sirens of Agony
Renegades and Cults
- House Glaw
- Cult of Frantic Flensing
- Cult of the Hedonic Lord
- Pirate Princes of the Ragged Helix
- Flesh Shapers of Melancholia
- Hollow Cult
- Sons of the Silver King
- Vanitine Hedonites
- The Golden Host
- The Decadent Horde
Traitor Titan Legions
Notable Servants of Slaanesh
- Fulgrim — Primarch of the Emperor's Children, now a powerful Daemon Prince
- Zarakynel — the most revered of Slaanesh's Keepers of Secrets
- N'Kari — A Daemon Prince who fought on Horus's Battle barge during the Heresy
- Shalaxi Helbane - A Keeper of Secrets
- The Masque — A powerful Daemonette and Daemonic Herald of Slaanesh
- Lucius the Eternal — former Captain of the Emperor's Children, now a favoured Champion of Slaanesh
- Syll'Esske - Daemon Prince
- Jihar the Lacerator
- Emeli Duboir — leader of a Chaos cult on Slawkenberg, later manifests as a powerful Daemoness on Adumbria[10b]
Gifts of Slaanesh
As with all the Chaos Gods, Slaanesh will often reward his most favoured followers with special gifts and blessings. Slaanesh's gifts can take many forms, including physical mutations, daemon weapons or an exotic appearance.
- 1: Realm of Chaos: Slaves to Darkness (1988)
- 2: Realm of Chaos: The Lost and the Damned (1990), pg. 80
- 3: 'The Torturer's Tale', saved archived page of GW site (dated May 2008, last accessed 19 January 2018)
- 4: Codex: Chaos Daemons (4th Edition),[Needs Citation]
- 5: Saved Archived Page of the Games-Workshop Site (dated March 2011, last accessed 19 January 2018)
- 6: Space Wolf (Novel) — The Space Wolf Omnibus, Chapter One, pg. 28
- 7: Xenos (Novel) — Eisenhorn (Omnibus), Chapter Twenty-One, pg. 212
- 8: Index Astartes I, pg. 26
- 9: The Art of Warhammer 40,000 pg. 156
- 10: The Traitor's Hand (Novel) — Ciaphas Cain: Hero of the Imperium
- 11: The Beguiling (Short Story)
- 12: Codex: Chaos Daemons (6th Edition), pg. 17
- 13: Codex: Chaos Daemons (8th Edition) — The Legions of Excess
- 14: Dark Hunters: Umbra Sumus (Novel), Chapter 23
- 15: Pain Aeterna (Short Story)
- 16: Warhammer 40,000 9th Edition Rulebook pg.37-38
- 17: White Dwarf 124 (UK) pg.69
- 18: War Zone Nachmund: Rift War, pg. 33
- 19: Codex: Aeldari (9th Edition), pg. 11