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Characters / Warhammer 40,000: Chaos Gods

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From the warp they come, bringing gifts of destruction and corruption

"With the thirty-seven keys of Tzeentch, we open the way for our brothers. With the thousand whispers of Slaanesh, we call to them. With the twelve plagues of Nurgle, we fell their enemies. And with the mighty axe of Khorne, we cut open the world for them."

The Greater-Scope Villain of Warhammer 40,000 is Chaos, and the four greatest Chaos Gods (there are more, but they aren't nearly as powerful or well known) — Khorne, Tzeentch, Nurgle and Slaanesh — are the faces of that evil, the incarnations of humanity's vices and perversions of its virtues that would see the material universe torn down and replaced with seething madness.

The Chaos Gods are the personifications of the thoughts and emotions generated by living creatures, given sentience by the psychic energies of the Warp. Though incalculably powerful and gods by every measure of the word, they are by their nature monomaniacal and single-minded in perpetuating the concepts they embody. The Ruinous Powers are often labeled as unfathomably evil, but the truth is more complex — though the Chaos Gods do embody Rage, Scheming, Despair, and Lust, it is just as appropriate to label them the gods of Bravery, Hope, Perseverance, and Love. The interplay and incompatibility of these concepts leads to a great rivalry between the Chaos Gods, the "Great Game," an eternal conflict that consumes the Warp and spills over into the material universe.


The Dark Gods' armies in this war are their legions of daemons, fragments of their own power given form and freedom to murder: reflections of primal emotions, machines that do not obey physical laws, childhood nightmares, all have a place in a daemonic horde. Most of the time these forces are content to crash against each other within the Warp, but daemons also exult in the chance to bring their corrupting influence into the Materium, and will answer summoners' calls for aid, exploit an unskilled sorcerer's lapse in concentration, or charge en masse out of a Warp rift to bring the madness of Chaos to another world. On rare occasions, the Chaos Gods will direct their forces to work together to meet a mutually beneficial goal or defeat a common enemy, but such events are only temporary respites from the eternal competition that defines them.


While the Chaos Gods are far too powerful to be represented on the tabletop, their minions can be fielded as armies of Chaos Daemons, and play unlike any other faction. Their forces are fearless, supernaturally warded against enemy attacks, can appear from thin air, and are accompanied by a Warp Storm that generates unpredictable but occasionally devastating effects. Most are positively lethal in close combat but have little in the way of corporeal armor, and with the exception of Tzeentch's daemons are also lacking in ranged firepower. Chaos Daemons are also unique in that the same models are used in games of Warhammer, allowing them to be fielded under two different rulebooks.

Tropes applying to the Chaos Gods and their Daemons as a whole:

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    General Tropes 
  • Abstract Apotheosis: Inverted. The Chaos gods were formed from emotion, being the embodiments of despair and companionship (Nurgle); rage and martial honour (Khorne); hope and scheming (Tzeentch); and desire and lust (Slaanesh). Originally the gods were given approximate times of their formation, tied to notable events in (mostly-)human history (Nurgle during the Black Death, Khorne during the Crusades, Tzeentch during the Renaissance, and Slaanesh during the Fall of the Eldar) — aside from Slaanesh, these dates have since been retconned with the Chaos Gods now being formed during the war between the Old Ones and the Necrons/C'tan, as a result of the former's excessive use of Warp power.
  • Alien Geometries: The shapes and forms of daemons typically take these.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: Chaos Daemons are all sadistic, manipulative, and unpredictable creatures inherently hostile to mortal life.
  • Animal Motifs: Savage Wolves for Khorne, Clever Crows for Tzeentch, and Flies Equals Evil for Nurgle (even his symbol is a stylized fly). Background material notes that many Chaos cults can be disguised as animal totemists because there are many possible animals that can be revered as befitting one or more of the Chaos Gods. For example, snakes can be seen as symbols of both Slaanesh and of Tzeentch, bulls as symbols of Slaanesh or Khorne, toads and slugs of Nurgle, etc.
  • Anthropomorphic Personification: Each of the Chaos Gods are formed from the vices and fears of mortals. Their most common representations highlight their nature: Khorne, hatred and war, is usually an armored warrior; Nurgle, stagnancy and decay, is shown as a bloated, pestilent monster; Slaanesh, excessive indulgence and lust, is an impossibly beautiful man/woman; and Tzeentch, change and ambition, as a twisted mutant.
  • Apocalypse How: Fitting the descriptor of "Primordial Annihilator", the end goal of the Chaos Gods is to destroy all of reality, much like they did in the fantasy setting. The Gods are fully aware that this would inevitably end them as well, but, as embodiments of the worst aspects of human nature, they're inherently irrational and self-destructive enough to not really care.
  • Arc Number: Each god is associated with a particular number, and in certain rulesets there were benefits to fielding squads in multiples of that number, such as free upgrades to unit champions.
  • Arch-Enemy: There was one being the Dark Gods feared, and went through great effort to destroy — the God-Emperor of Mankind, whom they referred to as "the Anathema." One of the theories about what might happen to the Emperor if he ever did die (which the Eldar greatly fear) is that he would become a new Chaos God, but one of Order.
  • Artifact of Doom: Most notably in the form of Daemon Weapons, which tend to take possession of weak-willed wielders.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The Lord of Skulls is massively powerful in close combat and nearly unstoppable for anything less than another super-heavy vehicle. Unfortunately, its lack of ranged anti-tank weapons leave it outgunned compared to other super-heavy vehicles or gargantuan creatures, and it's simply not worth its obscene 888 points cost of points (chosen more to tie into Khorne's Arc Number more than for game balance reasons). In many cases, a tournament player would get more mileage from a Lord of Skulls model by converting it into a Kytan.
  • Blessed with Suck: The Gifts of Chaos are this, giving you power but at a horrible price:
    • The Gifts of Khorne will make you among the most powerful warriors in the galaxy, but you'll be in constant pain the longer you go between slaughters, eventually driving you to madness.
    • The Gifts of Tzeentch will give you psychic powers and arcane knowledge that can allow you to walk unchallenged against your opponents, but the knowledge is of things you cannot know, eventually driving you to madness.
    • The Gifts of Nurgle will give you the ability to overcome death itself, but you will be a walking corpse plagued with disease, eventually driving you to madness.
    • The Gifts of Slaanesh will make you faster than ever, and pain will not be a detriment any longer, but you will develop a need for sensation that becomes all consuming, eventually driving you to madness.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: All of them, being the embodiment of abstract concepts, are prone to this. The Dark Gods are based on emotions and exist to perpetuate those emotions, so applying mortal standards of good and evil is perhaps unfair.
  • Bright Is Not Good: Followers of Slaanesh are Sense Freaks who wear hideously garish clothing and choking perfumes at all times, being so blasé it's the only way they can feel anything. One Chaos Space Marine Legion devoted to Slaanesh wears pink and black armor for the same reason.
  • The Corrupter: The goal of any Chaos God's interaction with mortals is to tempt them into indulging in their chosen vice until they degrade into their servants. People who fall for any of the God's allure face "gifts" of physical mutation to match their spiritual corruption and quickly become unrecognizable.
  • Dash Attack: When the daemonically mutated Spined Chaos Beasts charge their enemies, they use the warp spines for which they are named to impale their prey. The 8th Edition rules represent this by the Beast having a chance of causing a hit on every nearby enemy model when it makes a Charge move.
  • Demonic Invaders: Daemons will take any chance they can get to enter the Materium with rifts caused by warp storms, summonings, out-of-control psykers, or massive amounts of death and destruction releasing innumerable hordes of daemons while they're open. The destruction of the Cadian Gate and the creation of the Great Rift have made daemonic incursions even more common, weakening reality enough that the legions of the Dark Gods can materialise and ravage the galaxy with near impunity.
  • Demon of Human Origin: Daemon Princes are distinguished due to being originally mortal servants that have pleased the Dark Powers and were rewarded with immortality and unparalleled power, in contrast to other daemons, who were created as physical extensions of Chaos itself.
  • Deal with the Devil: Many people seek the patronage of the Chaos Gods willingly, as the Gods are known to empower their followers. Khorne gives you immense strength and insurmountable martial prowess, Tzeentch gives you sorcery and heightened intellect, Slaanesh can make your charisma and senses better, and Nurgle can improve your lifespan and make you much tougher. Most usually, the person making the deal with the deity is the one who gets screwed over: Khorne's followers become mindless killers; Tzeentch's followers become power-mad, paranoid, and trapped in their own scheming, or they are betrayed by their own patron as part of His own Gambit Roulette, or they get too many mutations; Nurgle's followers often become either mindless zombies or festering, putrid husks of men; Slaanesh's followers usually become addicted to sensation, and frequently descend into rape, torture and self-mutilation. Rarely though, someone can benefit greatly from these deals, but being Gods of Chaos, they are incredibly fickle; they are just as likely to notice and reward a bored nobleman dabbling in the worship secretly as they are to reward a mighty and reputable warrior who has spent decades fighting in their patron's name.
  • The Dreaded: The Chaos Gods are justifiably some of the most feared beings in a brutal universe. So feared are they that in order to avoid accidentally attracting their attention, they are seldom referred to by name and often referred to by epithet or descriptions such as She Who Thirsts or The Changer of Ways.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: In the background material for the original edition of Warhammer 40,000, the greater Chaos Powers were described as warp storms who had gained so much power that they were able to become sentient, began to manipulate the fabric of the warp and feed on the emotions of mortals. Subsequent background material changed this to the Chaos Gods being originally formed from the interplay between mortal emotions and the forces of the Warp.
  • Eldritch Abomination: All of the Chaos Gods are disembodied malicious beings of unlimited power that exist beyond time and space, yet are still connnected to each mortal soul.
  • Emotion Eater: Every angry thought, ambition, sorrow or pleasure feeds the Dark Gods.
  • Enemy Civil War: Though they have some interest in the Materium, the Great Game, the struggle for dominance in the Immaterium, is the main priority of the Chaos Gods. It's also unwinnable, because when one becomes stronger, the others gang up on him. And if one were to succeed, Chaos would ultimately stop being, well, Chaos.
  • Energy Beings: Daemons are these in the Warp, where they attempt to break into spaceships traveling through it and devour the souls of everyone inside.
  • Equal-Opportunity Evil: Contrasted with the Imperium, where society is highly rigid, discrimination is rampant and advancement opportunities are limited at best and nonexistent at worst. The Chaos Gods aren't actively nondiscriminatory so much as they don't care about anyone's societal background or standing when it comes to how well they serve in their patron's name. Some Chaos worshippers even cite this as a reason for turning against the Imperium.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: Many mortals try to invoke the powers of Chaos for their own ends. This almost never ends well for them.
  • Evil Is Petty: All four of the Gods will take any opportunity to enact petty acts of spite against each other. They'll also gladly screw over any mortal who tries to deal with them just for their own amusement.
  • Evil Makes You Monstrous: Daemon Princes, ordinary people granted vast power by the Chaos gods, take on many daemonic aspects, to the point that it can be hard to tell that they used to be anything else. Even mortal Chaos cultists can expect to see widespread mutations as they gain the attention of their gods.
  • The Evil Prince: The aptly named Daemon Princes: former mortals elevated to daemonhood by the Dark Gods who vie for the favor of their patrons and control of the various Daemon Worlds.
  • Evil Versus Evil: Beyond the Great Game, there's a lesser deity devoted to this concept — Malal (now Malice), the embodiment of Chaos' self-defeating tendencies. Malal's worshippers target the champions of the other gods over any other goal, and the god plans to ultimately destroy Chaos itself, even if it means going down with it. For this reason Malal is known as the Renegade God, as Even Evil Has Standards.
  • Evil Virtues: Each of the Ruinous Powers is believed by some to have a grain of positive hidden deep within them.
    • For Khorne, it's Valour — he represents violent thought and impulses, but in theory these can be channeled to help protect the weak, and is also against using sorcery to defeat a foe.
    • For Nurgle, it's Love — he accepts, with genuine compassionate love, anyone, regardless of their flaws, and most of his followers are at a point where he is likely the only friend they have left. The downside is that he encourages them to revel in their flaws and never change them.
    • For Tzeentch, it's Ambition — that and hope; his doctrine wholly endorses the concepts of self-improvement, challenging one's fate, making plans for the future and the dream of a better tomorrow. Unfortunately, he doesn't care who gets hurt or used in the process of enacting these plans, and encourages his followers not to care either.
    • For Slaanesh, it's Passion — s/he also represents romantic love, artistic endeavor and enjoying all the pleasures life has to offer; like the other gods, s/he takes it to the extremes and beyond, where one's own enjoyment and pleasure trumps the lives and livelihoods of everyone else in the Universe.
  • Fantasy Pantheon: The Chaos Gods are one of the few pantheons in the 40K universe that still hold onto their power.
  • Fighting a Shadow: You can defeat a daemon, but only by imprisoning it in something or sending it back to the Warp. Granted, there are ways to permanently kill them, but they're often very complicated and/or complex so unless it was pre-planned it would just be easier to imprison or banish it.
  • Flanderization: An in-universe example. The four Chaos Gods are the avatars of fundamental features of all sentient life, and at least notionally represent positive aspects as well as negative (Khorne represents valor and justice, Nurgle represents resilience and the circle of life, Tzeentch represents change and hope, and Slaanesh represents love and passion). The problem is, the Chaos Gods have completely lost any semblance of moderation (if they had any to begin with) and now represent each of their basic features taken to ludicrous extremes: like junkies craving their next, better high, the Gods want more and more over-the-top and bloody forms of worship and want it NOW.
  • Forever War: The Chaos Gods are engaged in perpetual war with each other that they refer to as the Great Game. By their very nature as chaotic beings, the Great Game can never truly end. If any of the Gods ever won, the order their forces would bring to the Warp would effectively destroy Chaos as a concept. The Gods are well aware of this, but are compelled to continue jockeying for power between themselves by their inherently self-destructive natures. The Great Game occupies most of the forces of Chaos, with the Materium only receiving attention on occasion, handily explaining why daemonic invasions are so relatively rare.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Khorne corresponds to Choleric and Slaanesh to Sanguine pushed to their logical extremes, while Tzeentch and Nurgle respectively twist Melancholic and Phlegmatic.
  • Fusion Dance: One of the rewards that the Chaos Gods could grant their followers in the 1st Edition of the game was to be merged with a daemonic beast, such as a Juggernaut of Khorne, a Flamer of Tzeentch or a Steed of Slaanesh. The resultant composite being had the abilities of both its original mortal form and the daemonic beast, while its physical form was also a combination of the two.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: Unless properly disciplined or warded, having knowledge of Chaos can be hazardous to your mental and/or physical health. Since the Warp is the realm of thought and emotion, a mortal thinking too hard about a daemon can draw their attention and give them free access to corrupt your soul or otherwise torment your mind until you either get corrupted into a fanatical cultist or die.
  • God of Chaos: As if the name doesn't give it away, the Chaos Gods are the embodiment of Chaos represented through corruption and the extremes of various emotions and concepts.
  • God Is Evil: And there's four of them.
  • Gods Need Prayer Badly: On the one hand, Chaos feeds on the emotion of sentient races, and without mortals it could not exist — hence the Necrons' master plan to defeat it through omnicide. On the other hand, this doesn't have to come from directed worship, so simply experiencing the Chaos Gods' component emotions powers them, which is why the Emperor's militant Flat Earth Atheism couldn't kill them.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: While it's debatable whether or not the Chaos Gods are the Big Bad, they are a textbook Bigger Bad because they are definitely the worst and greatest threats around but may or may not be involved in a given Evil Plan.
  • Healing Factor: Its Unholy Vigour special rule allows a Decimator to regrow destroyed weapons and remove immobilisation from itself on a 5+, or revive itself from a Wrecked result on a 6+.
  • The Heartless: Simultaneously played straight and inverted. All emotions resonate in the Warp and serve as the fuel for the Chaos gods and their daemons, but the corrupting nature of Chaos makes negative emotions much more suited for this purpose.
  • Hellish Horse: Daemonic mounts, assuming they're even quadruped.
  • Horns of Villainy: A common feature of daemons except for those of Tzeentch, which are either misshapen and fluid in form or distinctly avian. Slaaneshi and Khornate daemons sport horns that are fairly typical for how we think horns on such a creature would look, while Nurglite daemons' horns are forked, warped and antler-like in appearance.
  • Hostile Terraforming: The longer a daemon remains in an area, the more its surroundings twist and corrupt to better match their vile home realms in the Warp. The speed of the transformation depends on the strength and number of daemons involved, as is whether or not things will return to normal if the daemons are properly exorcized.
  • I Know Your True Name: Knowing the true name of a Daemon gives someone great power over them, something that causes them to take on multiple titles and pseudonyms when dealing with others. The Daemon's god always knows their true name and they will sometimes give this name to others to punish a Daemon that displeases them. The Imperial Inquisition's Ordo Malleus and the Grey Knights will go to great lengths to discover the true name of a Daemon, listing them in the aptly named Grimoire of True Names.
  • Insubstantial Ingredients: Swords of hate, or delusion, or the like.
  • Kryptonite Factor: They're made of passion and emotion, so more focused mental states- like the one the Imperial Cult encourages- are Anathema to them. Unfortunately, it's pretty easy to slip into fanaticism, which puts the ball back in their court. For reasons unknown, the psychic power of the Emperor of Mankind is particularly devastating to them. His sword, for example, is so saturated in his power that it can grant whoever wields it the power to permanently destroy daemons.
  • Lethal Joke Character:
    • The 6th Edition codex plays up the fickleness of the gods to almost comical levels; you can't even select wargear for your units, you have to buy a "chance" and then roll for it at the beginning of the game. The Warp Storm table, which activates every turn, has just as much a chance to cripple your opponent's army as it does yours, and the dice rolls don't even scale linearly in that respect (there are both great boons and huge handicaps on both ends of the scale). However, they are the only army with access to cheap Power Weapons and invulnerable saves and there's always a chance that things will turn out better for you, because every dice roll in the game for a Daemon Player always has at least one beneficial result (even if every other result would otherwise cripple you).
    • Tzeentch's Daemons fight by casting spells, but due to the Warpflame Rule (which is on almost every single one of his spells), they can either cause mass devastation or suddenly make the opponent's units twice as strong. The "lethal" part is because Tzeentch units all count as psykers; not only can they generate a massive amount of warp charges, but each and every unit can cast spells from the Daemonology (Malefic) Discipline... which can summon more Tzeentch Daemons.
    • The Infernal Tetrad is a formation consisting of 4 Daemon Princes, each aligned with a different god. Normally this would be suicide, as four princes can cost an ungodly amount of points (the four can easily comprise a 1200 point army) and they all die to instant death-dealing weapons. However, if used correctly, you end up with a cheap, no strings attached version of the infamous Flying Circus build, except this one elevates each prince to Greater Daemon levels for free. On top of that, all Daemon princes share the same warlord trait, potentially resulting in a Daemon Prince of Khorne that can cast Tzeentch spells to all four princes running across the table and charging your opponent's face in the first turn.
  • Mad God: All four fit the gold standard, what with being perversions of abstract emotions and self-destructive desires taken to absurd extremes, but Tzeentch is particularly illogical. Each of them paradoxically tries to establish their dominance and destroy all mortal life despite knowing that accomplishing either would destroy them as well.
  • Magic Is a Monster Magnet: The use of psychic powers sends a signature into the Warp that can draw the attention of daemons and other predators. Unless they're properly trained and disciplined, a psyker is at constant risk of corruption, possession, or other assaults from daemonic forces.
  • Medieval Stasis: For all their unknowable intelligence, eternal knowledge, and, in some case, creativity, there's a significant lack of technology to the daemons and their gods. This can be especially glaring in the case of Slaanesh as that particular god was born from a race known for its ultra-tech science. A pair of his Daemonettes getting the idea to use a beast-drawn harvester as a weapon was a major technological innovation! Note that this stasis isn't complete, there is some progress from WHFB to Warhammer 40k — namely the increased variety of daemonic engines such as Khorne's Lord of Skulls. Otherwise almost everyone's stuck using swords and axes in a space age setting. Not that it seems to matter to them: their Warp-based magic makes swords, whips and spears capable of slicing though tank armor like paper.
  • Mook Maker: The Portalglyph is a mysterious daemonic artefactnote  that creates a small Warp-rift that allows the daemons of the Dark Powers to pour into the material universe. In-game, the artefact had a 50% chance of spawning units of lesser daemons every turn.
  • More Teeth than the Osmond Family: If a Daemon has teeth, expect them to have a lot of them. And to defy physical constraints when it comes to their number, their arrangement, and any other property you could think of.
  • Moving the Goalposts: Should a daemon be banished back to the warp, they can sidestep the usual time limit for their return to the material universe by being transformed into a Soul Grinder by the daemon smiths of the Forge of Souls. In return the newly created Soul Grinder must sacrifice a number of mortal souls to pay off their debt. This debt will never be paid off. As daemons are inherently untrustworthy, the amount of souls the Soul Grinder must sacrifice will keep changing, remaining ever out of reach of the desperate daemon engine.
  • No-Sell: During the 1st and 2nd Editions of the game, the supernatural physiology of daemons made them utterly immune to many forms of attack such as poisons, gasses, graviton guns and blinding attacks. These immunities were removed when the game was simplified for 3rd Edition.
  • Non-Human Head: A common mutation that the Gods of Chaos grant to their most favoured followers is to transform their head into a more pleasing form. The 1st Edition of the game represented this with one of the randomly generated Chaos Rewards resulting in a character's head transforming into that of one of his patrons Daemons, giving the character some of the abilities of the relevant daemon (Champions with the head of a Steed of Slaanesh gaining the Steed's whip-like tongue for example).
  • The Omnipotent: Within their own planes of existence. Their influence in the Materium, while still extremely palpable, is very limited by comparison.
  • Our Gods Are Different: Probably the most powerful deities in 40K canon.
  • Pieces of God: Daemons of a particular Chaos God are extensions of their being. While they do have minds of their own, they are bound to their masters and subject to their whims no matter what they think. This also applies to any Daemon Princes elevated by one of the four. The rare Daemon Princes of Chaos Undivided downplay this: they're made when a mortal sells themself to all four of the Chaos Gods, theortically giving each of the Gods an equal claim to their soul. In practice, Daemon Princes of Chaos Undivided are largely left to their own devices: if any one of the gods tries to command the Prince, the others will immediately counter the order just to spite their rival.
  • Pure Is Not Good: A being of pure Rage still wants to kill you.
  • Random Number God: Many abilities in the Chaos Daemons codex are randomly determined, which lends a lot of unpredictability and can skewer your army at the worst possible moment or take a failing army to victory in a stroke.
  • Red Baron: Their many titles are moderately safer than using the Ruinous Powers' names directly.
  • Rock Beats Laser: The daemons of Chaos tend to use extremely primitive weaponry more fitting Medieval fantasy that sci-fi. Despite this, their weapons prove far more effective than they have any right to be thanks to their reality-bending powers and magics. Ironically, this also applies to their enemies: swords and axes tend to be far more effective against them than guns because of the extremely long-standing cultural association of those weapons with defeating evils grants them more weight against creatures born of ideas.
  • Sigil Spam: Expect to see a lot of eight-pointed stars and the marks of the four great powers — Khorne (stylised skull), Nurgle (stylised fly mixed with biohazard symbol), Tzeentch (twisting, burning eye) and Slaanesh (merged male and female symbols).
  • Spider Tank: Some Daemon Engines, such as the Defiler, Soul Grinders and Brass Scorpion of Khorne, have are propelled by multiple mechanical legs.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Confusion over who held the rights to Malal led to the deity being stricken from continuity, only to be replaced by the god Malice, who has a similar interest in opposing other Chaos forces. Be'lakor also resembles Malal in many ways, though he is a Daemon Prince rather than a god.
  • Technically Naked Shapeshifter: Unless they are inherited relics or mystical items, the clothes worn by daemons are created from the same warp-essence as the daemon themselves. It is mentioned in the designers notes for the 2019 Slaaneshi daemons that the miniature designers tried to represent this by having the daemon's clothes appear to meld with their flesh.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Once in a while, the Chaos Gods will stop their infighting and work together. Fortunately, it never lasts long.
  • Top God:
    • What the Chaos Gods are constantly competing for. It's generally accepted that the top contenders are Khorne (given the state of the galaxy) and Tzeentch (given that he has the least defeats).
    • Tzeentch was once the top god due to his Staff, which literally contained all of the Magic in the world. This was the one instance where it caused the other Gods to unite against him, which required him to shatter his staff as a peace offering. Tzeentch has since been trying to piece together the staff, whose shards dropped into the mortal world and each turned into a magic spell, by sending out the Blue Scribes to collect each and every shard by recording said spells. The reason he doesn't entrust this to a more efficient greater daemon is because anyone who possesses the staff would be stronger than even him, and the Blue Scribes are constantly at each other's throats.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: The Warp and, by extension, its inhabitants, care very little for mortals' notions of linear time. For example: Slaanesh was 'born' at the end of the Eldar civilization in our universe, but in the Warp, he always existed and never existed at the same time. Other stories abound of Chaos devotees fighting daemons that turned out to be themselves after their (linear non-Warp time) future ascension.
  • Troll: They're prone to screwing around with their followers just for the heck of it. One of their favorite tricks is promising elevation to daemonhood is imminent for their mortal followers before changing their minds, moving the goalposts, or just reducing them to chaos spawn for giggles.
  • Tulpa: The Chaos Gods congealed out of the thoughts and emotions of the galaxy's sentient life forms.
  • Unseen Evil: The very first edition of the game had pictures of them, but later additions only describe them rather than portraying them in artwork. They may still appear this way, in drawings made by their worshipers or of glimpses or dream visions, but most of the time (when a physical appearance is required), the image of one of their Greater Daemons is used instead. In-canon, it's been said that all depictions of them are equally false. As none of the Four have ever left the Immaterium, none of them have ever had comprehensible physical forms.
  • We ARE Struggling Together: While they are ostensibly on the same "side," the truth is that the Chaos Gods hate each other due to representing diametrically-opposed concepts. Tzeentch is the god of change whereas Nurgle is the god of stagnation, Khorne values discipline and martial valor whereas Slaanesh values impulse and excess, Khorne expects his followers to fight their opponents head-on whereas Tzeentch's followers are offended by the very notion of a "fair fight," etc. When they do unite, it's entirely through Teeth-Clenched Teamwork, and their alliances never last. One of the few lucky breaks that the 40k Universe has going for it is that the Ruinous Powers can never join forces long enough to wipe out the non-chaos races. If any one of them gets too close to victory, the other three will team up to take them down a peg.
  • Winged Humanoid: Furies are lesser daemonic beasts that soar through the wilds of the Warp, unaligned with any of the Chaos Gods and therefore barred from their more stable realms. It is said that they are the souls of those who sought to use Chaos for their own ends rather than devote themselves to the Chaos Gods.
  • World of Chaos: Daemon Worlds, planets saturated in Warp energy and teeming with daemons and other corrupted lifeforms.
  • You Cannot Grasp the True Form: As daemons defy the laws of the material plane, mortals cannot fully comprehend them in any form. Those who observe daemon invasions into real-space have reported strange phenomena like constant blurriness or seemingly shifting features, as their minds can't process the impossible things they're seeing. Some even report that just looking at them is traumatic or outright physically painful. Not even recording equipment is capable of capturing daemons properly: audio equipment garbles their speech and cameras tend to blank them out entirely.

The Four Great Gods of Chaos:

A Wrath of Khorne Bloodthirster

"Blood for the Blood God! Skulls for the Skull Throne!"

Khorne is the Blood God, the great Lord of Rage and Taker of Skulls who is the embodiment of all violence, destruction and anger. The first of the Dark Gods to fully awaken, Khorne is empowered by the constant wars that have plagued the galaxy for aeons and, as a result, usually stands at the top of the hierarchy of Chaos Gods. The Blood God demands little from his followers except violence, blood and skulls. How these things are delivered is of little consequence to Khorne as whether it is through indiscriminate slaughter or the desire to protect others, every life taken in anger is an offering. Khorne cares not from whence the blood flows, just as long as it flows. Khorne's sacred number is 8 and numerous sages of many races throughout history have suggested that it will only be after eight ages of bloodshed have past that Khorne be sated, following a final great battle.

Khorne is normally described as an impossibly huge and muscular warrior clad in heavy bronze armour with the head of a monstrous horned canine, sitting on a mighty throne atop an endless mountain of skulls within his mighty Brass Citadel. His domain within the Realm of Chaos is a blood-soaked land of cracked plains and raging volcanoes that constantly echoes with the sounds of battle.

The daemonic servants of the Blood God are brutal beings of blood-slicked sinews, fanged maws, and curling horns. Strictly hierarchical despite their barbaric nature, these daemons are organized into one of the near numberless Blood Legions, each of which is divided into eight cohorts of eight packs of daemons.

Notable tropes include:

  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: Khartoth the Bloodhunger is a daemonsword mentioned in the background material said to be so sharp that it can cut through time as well as physical matter. The mighty weapon is the prize for the Lord of Slaughter tournament that is held upon the whim of the Blood God.
  • Anti-Magic: Khorne's hatred of sorcery translates into a degree of magic resistance for his daemons. Collars of Khorne are common magic items that offer even more protection.
  • Arch-Enemy: While Khorne despises' Tzeentch's cowardly sorcery and manipulative nature, he is fundamentally opposed to Slaanesh. Khorne's dogma teaches the spilling of blood for its own sake, while the violence inflicted by Slaanesh's followers is done simply for their own amusement. Khorne is stoic and businesslike when it comes to claiming kills, while Slaanesh revels in the act of murder or drags it out through pointless tortures.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority:
    • This is a deeply held Khornate tenet. In a Khornate warband, you achieve prestige by proving you're the deadliest warrior, and by no other method.
    • Skarbrand tried to invoke this on Khorne after being tricked by Tzeentch. Khorne tossed him so hard that he flew for eight full days.
    • Khorne is often considered the most powerful of the Chaos gods because, being the god of violence and war in a Crapsack World like Warhammer that is stuck in a Forever War, he gains power just from the hellish day-to-day existence everybody lives and fights with, which means that it's the constant asskicking of others that is actually giving him authority.
  • Ax-Crazy: Khorne is made of fury and violence, how can he not count? And yet, amazingly... he's more a zig-zagged example than just a dead-straight one. He actually has standards when it comes to slaughter, in that he doesn't allow his followers to count the slaughter of defenseless innocents toward their quota. Don't get us wrong, the defenseless innocents will still get killed when all is said and done, but they're last on the list of priorities and tend to die comparatively painlessly.
  • An Axe to Grind:
    • Due to its association with barbarism, execution and head taking, the axe is symbolically very important to Khorne's worshipers, despite the fact that the Blood God's own weapon is a massive two-handed sword.
    • Most Bloodthirsters wield massive axes known as Axes of Khorne that some background states has the essence of another Bloodthirster bound within it. The Bloodthirsters of Insensate Rage meanwhile wield even larger, two-handed versions known as Great Axes of Khorne that can cleave through a fortress wall with a single swing.
    • The Hellblades carried by 3rd Edition Bloodletter models are notable as the only version of the weapon to take the form of an axe (specifically a two-handed executioner's axe) rather than the more traditional barbed broadsword that Bloodletters have been depicted wielding before and since.
  • Bad Boss: As a being of pure rage and hatred Khorne is completely incapable of showing mercy or forgiving failure.
  • Ballistic Bone: The daemon engines known as Skull Cannons fire the fleshless and scorched skulls of those they devour. These skulls, their empty eye sockets weeping blood and their slack jaws jabbering with insane rage, are infused with the endless wrath of the Blood God himself.
  • Berserk Button: Khorne may be very easy to anger, but he is especially angered by the following:
    • Cowards. If one of the followers of Khorne displays cowardice, let's just say he won't live long.
    • Presenting him with the skulls of unworthy foes.
    • Getting screwed over by Tzeentch, or simply Tzeentch, period.
    • Slaneesh in general, due to how naturally opposed they both are.
    • Magic users and psykers. Magic weapons are OK, as is summoning Khorne's daemons. All other magic is considered cowardly.
  • BFS: He has a sword too. He once took it in a mighty rage and smote an endless, screaming crevasse in the Warp that has never healed. Given that the Warp is an immaterial place of emotion that constantly shifts and turns and that this scar is one of the few things that has remained constant should go a slight way towards preparing you for how powerful Khorne is.
  • Big Red Devil: Khorne's daemons fit this archetype, and Khorne himself is sometimes depicted this way.
  • Blood Knight: Khorne may care not from whence the blood flows, but he does put appreciation on it flowing from hard-won sources. As such, both he and Khornate worshipers always love a good fight.
  • Blood Magic: Khorne may scoff at most forms of ritual sorcery, but like any Chaos god he has his rules of sympathy in the material realm which can be used to invoke his favor, most of which involve the spilling of blood. Typically this involves his faithful anointing themselves in the blood of enemy warriors to invoke his boons, and then Paint the Battlefield Red to pave the way for his daemons to enter our realm.
  • Blood-Splattered Warrior: Followers of Khorne tend toward killing their opponents in very messy ways ("blood for the Blood God", after all) and inevitably end up painted with gore. The World Eaters' ferocity and favoring of chainaxes makes this a given.
  • Breath Weapon: Wrath of Khorne Bloodthirsters are able to breath great streams of hellfire over their enemies, burning them to cinders with Khorne's fiery anger. In the 8th Edition rules this attack is equal in power to that of a heavy flamer.
  • Brutal Honesty: Khorne looks down on deception and trickery as weak. As such, his daemons are one of the few daemons whose claims can be taken for granted (or with less salt than other daemons), for they are brutally honest when speaking, with extra emphasis on the "brutal" part.
  • Catchphrase: Khorne has what may be the most famous example in all of the Warhammer settings: "BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD! SKULLS FOR THE SKULL THRONE!"
  • Chariot Pulled by Cats: The 4th Edition Codex: Chaos Daemons allowed particularly favoured Heralds of Khorne to ride into battle on a mighty chariot pulled by one of the part-mechanical daemonic rhinos known as Juggernauts, increasing their speed and durability on the tabletop. No official model was ever produced for these Khornate war-chariots and 6th Edition replaced them with the self-propelled Blood Thrones.
  • Cool Chair: The Blood Thrones of Khorne are Daemon Engines gifted to Daemonic Heralds that have committed truly exceptional atrocities in the Blood God's name. Said to have been created from brass taken from Khorne's own infernal throne, these armoured abominations carry their master into battle, providing a platform from which the Herald can command the Blood Legions while the Throne itself crushes the enemy beneath its iron-shod wheels.
  • Cult: Downplayed. Khorne's impatience and disdain for subtlety and subterfuge means that his cults tend to be smaller and less organized than those of the other Chaos Gods, but they do exist. Primarily they tend to be composed of those in military vocations whose professional duties allow them to indulge in exalting Khorne through violence without advertising the one to whom they dedicate the deeds. Many form small squads of Sociopathic Soldiers, while others become Colonel Kilgores in the officer corps where they can influence the spilling of more blood and nudge others toward unleashing their fury in a way that serves Khorne. Others tend to thrive in the tribal societies of Feral Worlds with a history of blood sacrifices and ritual violence.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Generally if a Chaos warband manages to get a Bloodthirster summoned, the remainder of the conflict will be decided in their favor very quickly. At that point, the best defense is as quick a Tactical Withdrawal as can be managed until the Bloodthirster runs out of opponents and returns to whence it came.
  • Depending on the Writer: Sources differ on just how bloodthirsty Khorne is. Some depict him as a god of mindless slaughter, others describe Khorne as being indifferent to the weak and helpless and taking issue if a champion offers him the skulls of civilians. Some of Khorne's worshippers believe that close combat is the only way to properly fight and disdain firearms as unmanly, but Khorne also has daemon engines that amount to enormous artillery pieces.
  • Determinator: Khorne isn't kidding when he says he'll give you a will to dominate all others.
  • Does Not Like Magic: In essence, Khorne only permits sorcery so long as you're not using it to fight his battles for you, so enchanted weapons and armor are acceptable, as is summoning his daemons to participate in a battle. But using magic to slay your enemies rather than your own hands is an unacceptable sign of weakness, so not only does Khorne not have a list of spells, but taking the Mark of Khorne prevents a character from using any sorcery.
  • Do Wrong, Right: Skarbrand's attempt to usurp Khorne was never going to go unpunished, obviously, but he might have gotten an honorable death had he challenged his master directly rather than attempt a sneak attack, which Khorne saw as cowardly and prompted him to chuck the rebellious Bloodthirster from the top of his tower.
  • The Dreaded: An'ggrath, Khorne's most favoured Bloodthirster, is so greatly feared that even the mightiest of the Grey Knights can only timidly whisper his name.
  • Epic Flail: Wrath of Khorne Bloodthirsters are armed with brutal bloodfails rather than lashes of Khorne. Consisting of a heavy, spiked hammerhead attached to a length of chain, the Bloodthirster uses the bloodflail to bludgeon these warriors who try to escape its fury.
  • Evil Is Burning Hot: Khorne and his daemons are frequently depicted as wielding flaming weapons and occasionally being on fire, going with the whole Hellfire motif.
  • Evil Is Hammy: In a World of Ham, Khorne's followers manage to out-ham everyone. Ye gods...
  • Fair-Play Villain: Downplayed. Khorne despises trickery and suffering. He insists that his servants challenge opponents in direct battles. That said, he doesn't do it out of any sort of compassion: suffering and trickery feed his most hated siblings (Slaanesh and Tzeentch, respectively) and he wants his warriors to prove their strength as often as possible. Beyond that, Khorne's all for cruel, pointless slaughter as long as the blood flow and skulls pile up.
  • Flaming Sword: Bloodletters, Khorne's lesser daemons, carry daemonic flamberges wreathed in flames. Combined with their ability to suck the blood from anything they cut, it's easy to see why they're called "Hellblades".
  • Fluffy the Terrible: Zig-zagged. While Khorne sounds intimidating on paper, it's pronounced "corn".
  • Feel No Pain: Played with. In battle, Khorne Berserkers will be filled with such Unstoppable Rage that nothing short of death will stop them (severed limbs will just slow them down). However, accepting the Gifts of Khorne leads to feeling intense, unbearable pain, which even Astartes are incapable of resisting for long, the longer one goes between slaughters.
  • Four-Star Badass: Khorne himself, being a War God, is probably the originator for every tactic and stratagem of war ever created. Khornate Chaos Lords are also often this in ADDITION to being unstoppable berzerkers.
  • Full-Frontal Assault: Bloodletters of Khorne typically go into battle completely naked, their daemonic nature protecting them from their enemies, with one of their little used pseudonyms from the 1st Edition of the game being Naked Slayers. While the 2nd and 3rd Edition versions of their models didn't follow this trend, showing the models wearing loincloths, the 1st and 4th Edition models remain true to the background material.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: As the rage is one of his domains, Khorne exists in a state of perpetual anger towards everything.
  • Hates Everyone Equally: Khorne embodies hatred of all things.
  • Hell Is War: Khorne's corner of the Immaterium is typically described as an enormous battlefield, with oceans of blood and plains covered in splintered bones.
  • Hellfire: His daemons often have weapons that burn with warpfire, and his Bloodthirsters even leave flaming hoofprints as they stride.
  • Hell Hound: The Flesh Hounds of Khorne, reptilian hounds sent to chase down foes too cowardly to face Khorne in battle, particularly psykers.
  • I Have Many Names: Arnakh and Kharneth, for starters, in addition to several titles.
  • It Can Think: The biggest mistake you can make is thinking he's just a mindless brute; he's not, far from it.
  • The Juggernaut: Of particular note are the Khornate daemons called Juggernauts, which resemble flaming, metallic rhinos. Used as mounts, they aren't particularly fast, but hit with the impact of a flaming freight train.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Many of Khorne's followers start out in warrior lodges or brotherhoods, and these are the ones who ascribe their god with some semblance of honor and attempt to offer him only worthy kills. But this martial pride will eventually lead to tyranny, and then savagery — it is said that when a warrior forgets why he kills, that is when Khorne owns him body and soul.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Almost everything associated with Khorne is a terrifying combination of speed, savagery and brutality.
  • Metallic Motifs: Brass, used in his daemons' weapons and armor.
  • Might Makes Right: For Khorne, martial strength is the only true measure of a being. His followers are told that they should keep anything they are strong enough to take.
  • Muscles Are Meaningful: The mutations gifted by Khorne tend to be straightforward things which make them more efficient killers, and the most common of that are massive muscles and tough sinew, the better to cleave through the bodies of his foes. A truly blessed Khornate will have their build exaggerated to almost absurd proportions.
  • Named Weapons: His sword has been called "Warmaker" and "the End of All Things" at various points.
  • Non-Human Head: Although his features are typically concealed by a baroque helm, the Blood God has the head of a mighty hound. Many of Khorne's most powerful daemons share this monstrous visage and it is also a mutation that the Blood God sometimes grants to favoured mortal followers.
  • Nothing but Skulls: Khorne may disdain those who would pontificate instead of act, build instead of destroy, but if there is one thing his followers do seem to erect in his honor it is to build pyramids of the skulls of those who died in combat, the more recently the better.
  • Odd Job Gods: Khorne's portfolio covers death, violence, murder, hatred, rage, destruction, warfare and bloodshed... but also courage, honor, martial pride, and the will to protect others.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: In the original 1st edition background, Khorne was extremely one-dimensional, even more so than in the later fluff — he even encouraged his followers to kill their own comrades if there were no enemies available.
  • Overdrawn at the Blood Bank: A common side effect of a Khorne-related warp incursion is that when blood is spilled it will be in greater volume than mortal vessels would contain in a strictly rational universe. When the Lord of Skulls demands that the blood flow, blood will flow, even in defiance of nature.
  • Paint the Town Red: The inevitable result of any Khorne-focused warp incursion, and the goal of any of his faithful. There are stories of Bloodthirsters leading hosts in massacres so bloody the ground is covered in nothing but chum and vitae from horizon to horizon.
  • The Power of Hate: Hatred is one of his most prominent domains. Every time a mortal expresses hate in any form, Khorne feeds off of it.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: His followers are the archetype among Chaos. Khorne himself is pretty much the god of this trope.
  • Rain of Blood: Rains of hot blood are one of the most common weather conditions on Daemon Worlds ruled by followers of Khorne. This bloody downpour will also often follow Khorne’s daemonic servants when they make war in the material universe.
  • Savage Wolves:
    • In older editions, the wolf is the animal most frequently associated with Khorne, who in older editions is sometimes portrayed as having a wolf's head.
    • Flesh Hounds of Khorne are technically this in theory, but the actual creatures resembles a cross between an angry piranha and a tiny pissed off dragon. In 3rd edition, they actually looked like bloodied hounds.
  • Serrated Blade of Pain: The hellblades wielded by Khorne's Bloodletter foot troops are viciously barbed swords that tear at the flesh of their victims to maximise the bloodshed they inflict.
  • Sic 'Em: Offend the Blood God with your cowardice? His Flesh Hounds will come for you.
  • The Stoic: When not foaming-at-the-mouth furious or hateful, Khorne is this. Khorne exists only to fight and slay, and is indifferent to anything else, which is part of the reason why he hates Slaanesh so much.
  • Supernatural Fear Inducer: Some daemons of Khorne are surrounded by an aura of pure terror so strong they it can stop the hearts of weak-willed opponents with their mere presence. In the 8th Edition rules this is represented by the 'Aspect of Death' Khorne Warlord Trait that causes extra enemies to flee when they fail their Morale checks.
  • Super-Persistent Predator: Once the Flesh Hounds have the scent of a victim, they will pursue them tirelessly across the world without ever losing their track or growing tired.
  • Super Spit: In the 1st Edition of the game, Bloodletters can spit gobs of venom at their opponents, an ability that can also be received as reward by mortal Champions of Khorne.
  • Tome of Eldritch Lore: The eight brass-bound Burning Books of Khorne are said to contain the decrees of the Blood God himself, as well as list the True Name of every one of Khorne's daemons.
  • Tranquil Fury: Khorne exists in perpetual rage, but is able to remain focused on his plans despite it.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: In comparison to Tzeentch's Weak, but Skilled. As the god of bloodshed, Khorne is powerful indeed. His daemons and Chaos Berzerkers are martial adepts without peer, but strategically they don't advance beyond "run at target (while screaming the obligatory phrase), stomp target into powder, find new target, repeat until death or until all targets are gone."
  • Unstoppable Rage: One of the "gifts" he grants his followers is unending fury to whip them into a frenzy and better fight their foes.
  • Villainous Valour: Oh, how Khorne loves this. He considers it the highest virtue for his followers to find as many Worthy Opponents as possible and go up against one after the other and die gloriously while too consumed with Unstoppable Rage to even think of backing down.
  • War God: One of the best examples in all of fiction; Khorne exists only to fight and slay, and is indifferent to anything else.
  • Whip It Good: Bloodthirsters are very fond of using cruelly barbed whips alongside their battleaxes. Primarily these use these to bring in close those cowards who might (sensibly) try to back away from them.
  • Would Not Shoot a Civilian: The Khornate position on civilians is rather complicated. Some of Khorne's followers consider noncombatants to be not worthy of their attention, while others hold to the adage "Khorne cares not from where the blood flows..." A third group realizes that attacking noncombatants is a good way to goad the enemy's real warriors into battle. A fourth expands on the third group because once their blood is up after slaughtering those who stand against them they are too consumed with Khorne's Unstoppable Rage to care upon whom their blows fall.
  • You Have Failed Me: When Khorne's surprise attack against the Emperor's palace failed, he was so incensed that his outburst permanently annihilated the essences of the eight Bloodthirsters who led the attack.

A Lord of Change.
"Do not ask which creature screams in the night. Do not question who waits for you in the shadow. It is my cry that wakes you in the night, and my body that crouches in the shadow. I am Tzeentch and you are the puppet that dances to my tune..."

The god of change, magic and plots, Tzeentch is the Architect of Fate and the Great Conspirator who manipulates everything in both the material and immaterial universes to his own ends. The Weaver of Destinies is the embodiment of ambition, envy and the hope for change, with every downtrodden worker dreaming of a better life or general working on grand strategies to defeat their enemies empowering Tzeentch. Worshipped by schemers, scholars and sorcerers alike, the followers of Tzeentch use his gifts of knowledge and foresight to advance their own agendas but must always be aware that they too are pawns in their master's game. 9 is the sacred number of the Great Sorcerer and it is typically woven into the rituals, schemes and incantations dedicated to Tzeentch to the point of insanity.

While all the gods can take almost any form they choose, accounts of Tzeentch's appearance tend to vary wildly, as befits the embodiment of Change but his most common depicted form is that of a ghastly, horned dwarfish thing with its head in its chest and whispering mouths crawling over his body. The realm of the Great Sorcerer is the Crystal Labyrinth, an impossible maze of arcane pathways that twists through nine dimensions. At the centre of the Labyrinth is the Impossible Fortress, a twisted citadel of ever-changing crystal spires and technicoloured flame that contains every piece of knowledge ever conceived by mortal minds.

The daemons of Tzeentch are a kaleidoscopic frenzy of colours, forms and energy, although they often take on forms with definite avian influence. Although nominally organised into one of the nine hosts of the nine Scintillating Legions, daemons of Tzeentch will almost constantly switch between the various formations seemingly at will, but always in line with the secret plans of the Great Conspirator.

Notable tropes include:

  • All According to Plan: Tzeentch's attitude, all the time. He plots and schemes, turning wheels within wheels, gambits within gambits, each of his plans designed to sabotage another one of his plans which in turn sabotages another, and so on ad infinitum.
  • Arch-Enemy: Of Nurgle. Nurgle is the god of cycles, despair, rot and stagnation. Tzeentch is the lord of change, hope, mutation and optimism. The two are fundamentally opposed because they want the opposite thing (endless stagnation into despair and rot vs. constant evolution). Another reason given in the novel Palace of the Plague Lord, it is stated Tzeentch hates Nurgle because of all the Chaos gods, Nurgle's actions are just too chaotic for even Tzeentch to predict, thus making Nurgle the most difficult to manipulate.
  • The Archmage: Tzeentch is the most powerful manipulator of sorcery and psionics in the Warhammer 40000 canon. He has since fallen from grace, but is still one of the undisputed masters of magicks. His staff, upon shattering, became not material pieces but rather individual spells, hence Tzeentch is literally the inventor of magic.
  • Asteroids Monster: Pink Horrors of Tzeentch split into two Blue Horrors upon death, which led to the saying "Where once was one, now there is two, where once was pink, now there is blue." Wrath of Magnus takes this one step further, and introduces rules allowing Blue Horrors to split into two of the even smaller Brimstone Horrors when "killed".
  • Badass Bookworm: As the god of magic and knowledge, Tzeentch is one of the most intelligent entities in the universe and is currently the second most powerful of the Chaos Gods.
  • Bad Boss: Tzeentch, and the majority of his most favoured Champions, consider all beings in the universe to be nothing but pawns in their grand schemes, particularly their own followers. If the death of a minions will advance their plans even a little, the Great Manipulator and his followers will have no qualms about sacrificing them. In many cases followers of Tzeentch are corrupted into his service with the outright intention that they die to advance His plans.
  • Batman Gambit: Tzeentch does this as a thought exercise, every moment of every day for all eternity.
  • Body Horror: Of all the Chaos Gods, Tzeentch is the freest in doling out mutation, simply because constant, perpetual change is his reason for existing and his followers should embrace this in mind, soul and body.
  • Bright Is Not Good: Sky blue and gold are his favoured colours. Of course, he can change into any colour if he wills it.
  • Chariot Pulled by Cats: Burning Chariots are strange, flame-wreathed vehicle ridden by Exalted Flamers and, if they can successfully steal one, Fateskimmer Heralds. Consisting of a bound Disc of Tzeentch pulled by a pair of manta-like Screamers, these chariots burn through the sky of a doomed world like a comet, its rider raining warpfire on its enemies.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: He really has a problem with this. A significant number of his own daemons would freely desert or double cross him if given the chance, save for the fact he's the only one who knows their true natures. The other Gods are wary of him because of it. Ironically, he's also the one who usually forms alliances between the Chaos Gods... which is probably the biggest reason they are wary of him.
  • Combat Tentacles: Tzeentch often blesses his followers by giving them writhing tentacles; sometimes it's one of your two arms, sometimes it's an entirely new limb.
  • Complexity Addiction: As a result of having a Gambit Roulette going, to the point that a fan theory is that he can't ever "win", because doing so would mean he would no longer have to plot, and thus would disappear in a Puff of Logic.
  • Consummate Liar: He is called the Liar God for a reason — nothing he says can be taken at face value, and most is just enough to screw over whoever is trying to deal with him.
  • Eldritch Abomination: All daemons qualify, but Tzeentch's are noteworthy for being abstract and formless compared to those of his brother gods.
  • Evil Living Flames: Slain Blue Horros split into two Brimstone Horrors, which take the form of small and malicious living flames. They're among the least and weakest of Daemonkind and are fully aware of this, and spread fire and conflagration wherever they go to feel better about themselves — other creatures look a lot less high and mighty after having been set on fire.
  • Evilutionary Biologist: Tzeentch is basically fuelled by the same energies that drive evolution, and seeks to force evolution upon others, hence the readiness with which he dispenses physical transformations. The problem is, Tzeentch doesn't comprehend moderation, and instead causes his worshippers and victims alike to evolve and mutate and change and change and change until they become indescribable horrors or die (or both).
  • Extra Eyes: The all-seeing eye is one of the symbols of the Changer of the Ways and, as such, it is common for the god's daemonic followers to sport multiple sets of eyes. Extra eyes are also a common mutation the Tzeentch will grant to his followers.
  • Eyes Do Not Belong There: If Tzeentch feels you need more eyes, you are damn well getting more eyes.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: The irony is that if Tzeentch were ever to truly dominate, there would be nothing left for him to change and therefore no point to his existence. Hence why his plans ultimately fail — the true measure of his Chessmaster skills is that none of his countless schemes allow him to be too successful, even by accident.
  • Feathered Fiend: Lords of Change, the Greater Daemons of Tzeentch, are often depicted with beaks and large, vibrant wings.
  • Flying Seafood Special: Screamers of Tzeentch are daemons that resemble, if anything, flying manta rays.
  • For the Evulz: Tzeentch's master plan? Non-existent. Instead he schemes for the sake of scheming and exults in the constant change.
  • Gambit Pileup: He gets his jollies by engineering his dozens of plots to smash into each other so he can watch the pieces fly.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation:
    • Tzeentch is the keeper of all knowledge, and may grant that knowledge to those who supplicate it from him. However, those who do so do not always have minds capable of accepting the horrible truths Tzeentch has to offer, and this is an all too common result.
    • Tzeentch also knows that knowing too much can be a problem, hence why he never dove into the well of eternity himself. He instead threw his most powerful Lord of Change, Kairos, into it. Apparently the absolute knowledge of space-time continuum was so great that an immortal daemon was aged into a crippled old man with a compulsive need to lie within minutes. Tzeentch has instead chose not to try and contain the information within himself, but have people record everything that Kairos says.
  • Great Gazoo: Tzeentch is a being of incalculable power; his blessings can give his followers the ability to warp time and space. The key word there is "can", because Tzeentch is a fickle trickster who enjoys sabotaging his followers.
  • Hover Board: Some of Tzeentch's champions ride on flying Discs of Tzeentch, actually Screamers forced into a rideable shape.
  • Jackass Genie: He loves to offer lopsided "deals" to his mortals who think they can outsmart him. Beware his sick sense of humor in his "rewards".
  • Life Drain: Upon their elevation to their new role, all Heralds of Tzeentch are gifted with a ritual knife as a mark of their new status. These weapons are enchanted to siphon the energies of those they cut to heal the Herald's wounds, something the 8th Edition rules represent by allowing the Herald to heal a wound whenever they slay an enemy with their knife.
  • Mad God: Tzeentch is a god of scheming who is aware that if any of his myriad plans succeeded and he actually won the great game he's playing with the universe, he would die, so he sets all of them up to run counter to each other and even deliberately sabotages them so that none of them can succeed, even by accident. And he loves every minute of it. Even for one of the Chaos Gods, Tzeentch is positively batshit crazy.
  • Mad Scientist: The patron god of them. Any fallen magos heretek or scholar-savant who uses For Science! as their only justification does so to Tzeentch's benefit, as innovation and evolution for its own sake without direction are His domain.
  • Magical Library: The Hidden Library of Tzeentch. It holds every magical spell, every prophecy, every piece of knowledge one could hope to find. Just two small problems: the books are alive, and they're pure evil.
  • Magic Staff: Every Herald of Tzeentch carries a staff of change. While it isn't generally used for combat, it is still a powerful magical artefact that boosts the Heralds power. In game terms, the 8th Edition rules represent this by having the staff of change boost the range of the Herald's Smite psychic power.
  • Magnificent Bastard: In-Universe, Tzeentch is the literal god of Magnificent Bastards. No matter how hard you try to defy him, whatever you do, he will benefit. It's been said that the only reason he hasn't already won the Great Game with his fellow gods is because ever ending his schemes would be antithetical to his very nature.
  • The Man Behind the Man: While Khorne is often stated to be the mightiest of the Chaos Gods, Tzeentch and his schemes are implied to be the true guiding force behind all of the Chaos gods. His realm is said to extend to all the others and provide them with a bedrock of consistency upon which to exist. When the Chaos Gods have their rare meetings and hold alliances, it is Tzeentch that makes it happen.
  • Metallic Motifs: Silver, according to Tzeentch's association with magic and alchemy-like change.
  • Mobile Maze: The Maze of Tzeentch shifts and contorts to trap any who enter it.
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: A mutation that you might gain, although whether or not it's helpful depends on where the extra arms pop out of.
  • Odd Job Gods: Tzeentch's portfolio covers Hope, Envy, Treachery, Transformation, Change, and Magic/Psionics. Tzeentch is basically the patron god of anyone who hopes to pull off any kind of plan. However, he's also the patron god of Gambit Pileups, anyone who is a Spanner in the Works or Unwitting Instigator of Doom, and ensuring you Didn't See That Coming.
  • The Omniscient: It comes with being the god of knowledge. It's implied, however, that one thing eludes his grasp, the future. He can see the general direction of things, but it's one of the few uncertainties to him. It is this that caused him to throw Kairos into the Well of Eternity.
  • Pet the Dog: In an odd way he does one towards Ahriman in the finale of his trilogy. Tzeentch actually proclaims that Ahriman served well and be given a gift before finally leaving Tzeentch's service. Though that "gift" in this case being reduced to nothing, however even that is pretty kind on Tzeentch's part once you note that no pawn of Tzeentch has left his service even after their death.
  • Random Effect Spell: Flamers of Tzeentch spew out raw chaos energy that merely looks like fire. The actual effects of getting hit from the "fire" varies widly, and can be pretty much anything. Actually being set ablaze, being mutated into a Chaos Spawn, leave you fine physically but burning your soul away, healing and mending your wounds, or doing absolutley nothing are all just a small sample of possible effects.
  • Red Baron: The Architect of Fate, the Changer of Ways, the Great Mutator, the Lord of Change.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Pink Horrors are energetic and happy, while Blue Horrors are surly and morose.
  • Shapeshifting: Characteristic of many of the daemons of the Lord of Change. Particularly, this shapeshifting is often continuous and without function, features forming and dissolving and flowing into one another without direction or reason. The change is its own justification.
  • Spell Book: The Endless Book is a daemonic relic of Tzeentch that is said to hold detailed information on every cantrip, spell and psychic ability that has ever existed. The 8th Edition rules for this powerful tome represent this by giving the daemon holding it an extra psychic power.
  • Status Quo Is God: Ironically for a god of Change, he is the greatest enforcer of this trope in-universe as his machinations ensure that no faction is able to gain an advantage over another.
  • Soul-Cutting Blade: The Hellforged Daemon Weapon of Tzeentch known as Soul Banenote  cuts through its victim's soul rather than their physical body, causing them to collapse in agony as their soul bleeds away despite suffering no visible wounds. The 8th Edition rules for the blade give it an Armour Penetration value large enough to pass straight through armour and also allows it to ignore invulnerable saves totally.
  • Technicolor Fire: Mere orange flames are far too mundane for the Lord of Change. Depending on the rules, each color of fire that Tzeentch's daemons fling has a different effect.
  • Too Many Mouths: Flamers of Tzeentch are basically a bodily trunk with a multitude of mouths on either end, all breathing unnatural fire.
  • Trickster God: Basically the Trickster of the Chaos Gods, given his favor of deception and deceit. Although what he considers a practical joke, the Inquisition would consider grounds for Exterminatus. Of the four gods, only his minions actively play tricks on mortals.
  • Übermensch: Tzeentch is the patron god of these: he constantly seeks to change, evolve, and discard old laws and restrictions in favour of making your own way based purely on your own will and vision. Nurgle, who wants decay in the existing world, serves as the Last Man.
  • Unreliable Expositor: There is little that is truly known about Tzeentch, and what is here is simply what is most often repeated. As the God of Change, the details necessarily shift from one telling to the next. However, as the God of Deception, one has to accept the possibility that even the most frequently repeated details are simply part of one long gambit of lies.
  • Voice of the Legion: It is said that when Tzeentch speaks, his words are repeated by a multitude of other voices, each offering a different, often mocking, inflection.
  • Weak, but Skilled: Compare to Khorne's Unskilled, but Strong. As the god of change in a galaxy dominated by unending stagnation, Tzeentch's forces have to rely on their magic and unpredictability to win the day.
  • Willfully Weak: Many of his followers believe that Tzeentch was once the most powerful of all the Chaos Gods but intentionally depowered himself to make the Great Game more entertaining.
  • Winds of Destiny, Change!: As the master of both fate and change, Tzeentch plays this quite literally. The mechanical upshot of this is improved invulnerable saves on the tabletop for his followers and daemons, as bullets improbably miss, munitions miraculously fail to ignite, and melee attackers stumble on something at just the wrong moment. However, Tzeentch is especially fickle, and no one should ever count on his protection being anything like absolute.
  • Wreathed in Flames:
    • The Flickering Flame Psychic Power, from the 8th Edition Discipline of Tzeentch, allows the caster to cover its minions with flickering pink and blue flame that enhances the unit's ranged attacks.
    • The daemonic artefact known as the Everstave is a magical staff that is constantly wreathed in purple fire, and any daemon who takes up the staff will also become covered in those same flames. The wielder of the Everstave is able to harness this warpfire to mutate and immolate his foes, something the 8th Edition rules represent by making the Smite psychic power easier to cast.
  • Xanatos Gambit: When the plot itself is the payoff, any of Tzeentch's schemes become this by default. The question is only which one of his pawns reaps their payoff.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: Tzeentch is basically pulling this constantly against the whole galaxy...and against himself.

A Great Unclean One.
"There, feel the glory of necrosis, and rejoice! Nurgle loves you, little one!"

The Lord of Decay and the Master of Plagues, Grandfather Nurgle, as he is affectionately known by his daemons and followers, is the twisted embodiment of the cycle of life and the despair that comes with knowing that all things must end. The creator of every disease, virus and infection to infest the galaxy, Nurgle is extravagantly generous with his gifts, granting his followers relief from their pain and fear in return for their help in spreading his glorious creations. The sacred number of the Plague God is 7 and his obsession with this number is shared by his followers.

Nurgle typically takes the form of a disease-ridden hulk of flesh, its leathery skin covered in sores and boils and with daemons bursting from corrupted organs to suckle on Nurgle's noxious pus. Despite this hideous appearance, Nurgle himself is the most jovial of his brother gods, vibrant with laughter and bacterial life. Nurgle's domain within the Realm of Chaos takes the form of an endless garden filled with twisted trees, fungus, vines, and every disease the Great Corrupter has ever created. This garden surrounds Nurgle's mansion, an infinitely large structure of rotting timbers overgrown with poisonous plants and moss, where the Plague God endlessly toils to create new diseases.

Nurgle's daemonic servants share many aspects of their master's appearance, with the Great Unclean Ones and Nurglings being smaller facsimiles of the Lord of Decay himself. His other daemons are no less disgusting, resembling the pot-bellied victims of a thousand horrible plagues or hideously swollen slugs and mutated insects. Nurgle's daemonic creations are organised into the horrific Plague Legions, each subdivided into seven Tallybands, with each Legion representing a single part of Nurgle's cycle of decay and regeneration, such as the Epidemic Legions that spread Nurgle's gifts and the Morbidus Legions who reap the lives of the infected.

Notable tropes include:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: Nurgle saved the Eldar goddess of life, Isha, from being eaten by Slaanesh because he is in love with her and he wants to marry her. Not only is Nurgle physically repellent in all the worst possible ways, his idea of expressing love is to keep her chained up in his kitchen/lab and force-feed her the latest plagues and diseases he has brewed to test their effectiveness; she heals herself, eventually, but she still suffers them. He does, however, apparently make no efforts to notice that she whispers cures to the diseases he has created to mortal kind.
  • Acid Attack: The daemonic flail known as Effluviornote  is directly connected to the bottomless acidic waters of the Marren Mere in Nurgle's Garden. Only wielded by the greatest of Exalted Great Unclean Ones, the Effuvior can spray these corrosive waters over enemies, giving it a powerful ranged attack in addition to its usual melee attacks.
  • All Animals Are Dogs: Beasts of Nurgle are great masses of fat, disease, pus and tentacles that act like giant, hyperactive puppies. These disgusting daemons want nothing more than to play with everyone they see, pouncing on and lovingly licking any mortal they come across. Beasts become very despondent when their new playmate stops moving, having succumbed to the diseases and sheer bulk of the daemon, but they soon forget them as they see more potential friends to play with.
  • All-Loving Hero: Nurgle is a villainous version as he loves every living thing out there, but he has some sinister and/or strange ways of expressing this "love," and in this case "every living thing" includes viruses and bacteria.
  • Affably Evil: Warmhearted, jovial, fatherly... and dedicated to the proliferation of disease and decay. Terrifyingly enough, he doesn't see anything destructive or even vaguely negative about what he does: he honestly believes that his plagues are gifts to the world. His daemons, like the Great Unclean Ones and the Nurglings, behave in a pretty similar fashion.
  • An Offer You Can't Refuse: Nurgle is arguably the least palatable of the four Chaos Gods, as being twisted and deformed into a walking pile of disease and decay isn't an appealing proposition to most mortals. As such, most of Nurgle's devotees who willingly worship him are those suffering from awful afflictions and seek the strength to endure it. However, as seen with the Death Guard, Nurgle's most frequent recruiting strategy involves infecting potential followers with unbearably painful and body warping diseases and keeping them alive long after they should have died, forcing them to suffer endlessly until they swear their souls to him and accept his "gifts" of resilience.
  • And Call Him "George": Poor, poor Beasts of Nurgle. With the personality and demeanor of an excited puppy, they just want to play with all the "friends" they meet on the battlefield. However, they are about six feet long, strong enough to crush a man under their bulk, and they secrete all manner of toxins and virulent diseases, so you can guess how well that goes.
  • The Anti-Nihilist: Surprisingly enough, or perhaps unsurprisingly, Nurgle at his (relative) most positive is like this. Yes, all things will eventually die and rot, and you will most likely never achieve your dreams, but does that matter? Instead of angsting over it or spending you life trying to reach an impossible goal, you should just be happy with what you have. Nurgle loves you no matter what you do. Of course, he is the god of disease, so while he genuinely does care for you, his idea of caring involves "gifting" people with terrible diseases...
  • Arch-Enemy:
    • Of Tzeentch, who represents change and evolution while Nurgle represents stagnation and decay. Nurgle is also none too fond of Slaanesh, since Slaanesh is the god of self-indulgence and pain whereas Nurgle is the god of endurance and (in his own twisted way) community.
    • Other descriptions of Nurgle suggest he's working to undermine the very universe with rot and decay, so that it can be reborn into something even more glorious. This is why Nurgle hates Tzeentch so much; Tzeentch pointlessly interferes with Nurgle's plans whenever possible, and doesn't even really have the decency to be working towards his own goal. Endlessly mucking up other people's plans IS the point of Tzeentch.
  • Attack Animal: Nurgle will sometimes gift his favoured Champions with a pet Beast of Nurgle that will stick with their master, obey their commands and attack their enemies. In those editions where this is an option, such as with the Beast of Nurgle Chaos Reward in 2nd Edition, these Beasts are wargear options and form a small unit with their Champion on the tabletop.
  • Bad with the Bone: Inspired by a classic piece of art by Wayne England, the plague flails carried by Great Unclean Ones are depicted on their tabletop models as chains with multiple, often deformed, skulls at the end and are used to bludgeon the Greater Daemons' foes.
  • Belly Mouth: Many of Nurgle's daemonic minions have their bloated and disease-ridden stomachs split by a jagged maw that continuously drools pus and putrid saliva. This is also a common mutation gifted to the Plague God's mortal minions.
  • Beneficial Disease: Nurgle's followers regard every disease as being a blessing from their lord. More literally, this is often the form that Nurgle's boons take when granted to his favored children.
  • Benevolent Boss: Ironically for the God of Despair, Nurgle is the only Chaos God who actually cares about its followers. Of course, this is on a very strained definition of "benevolent".
  • Beware the Nice Ones:
    • He's the more caring and fatherly out of the bunch. He's also a Chaos God who thinks that infecting living things with the worst diseases imaginable is how to best show his kindness.
    • There was also the incident where the Seers of Lugganath, an army of some of the Eldar's greatest Psykers, tried to free Isha from captivity. Nurgle was unamused. Their punishment for the intrusion was....severe indeed.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: Rot Flies, daemons that resemble enormous, repulsive flies or wasps.
  • Big Fun: Tall, swollen, jovial, friendly, and eager to share many magnificent gifts with one and all. Of course, the effect is somewhat spoiled by the all-consuming putrescence and disease.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: Nurgle is the most jovial of Chaos Gods and views his many plagues as gifts he gives to the mortal world. He was born out of the reaction to inevitable pain and suffering, so many of his followers and daemons show grim fatalism. Most, including Nurgle himself, display the morose cheerfulness of embracing suffering.
  • Bloody Murder: Some of the most favoured of the Plague God's daemons have been gifted with acidic blood so deadly to mortal life that even the smallest amount can melt through flesh, bone and armour. The 8th Edition rules represent this with the 'Acidic Ichor Nurgle' Warlord Trait that has a chance to cause mortal wounds against any enemy that wounds them.
  • Body Horror: Nurgle's physical form, and what frequently happens to his followers and their victims due to his "gifts".
  • Breath Weapon: Stream of Corruption is a Nurglite psychic power, or special ability, that has appeared in most editions of the game in some form or another. When cast, the power allows the caster to unleash a stream of foulness from their mouth. Exactly what is produced can depend on the psyker, and edition, but normally includes acidic bile, poisonous gas, insects, maggots, bacteria, viruses or diseased matter in any combination. In the 8th Edition rules, the power is a psychic power available to daemons of Nurgle that does multiple mortal wounds against the targeted unit.
  • Cool Old Guy: How his followers seem to view him, as he is the oldest Chaos god.
  • Cuddle Bug: Nurglings love to cuddle together and with their new-found friends, sharing their gifts with those they come in contact with.
  • Cyclops: Plaguebearers often only have one eye; if not, they usually have three eyes arranged in the shape of Nurgle's symbol.
  • Dance Line: On the planet Bubonicus, devotees of Nurgle performing an unending line dance that circles the equator. Dancers become infected with Nurgle's Rot and slowly transform into Plaguebearer daemons. As newly-minted daemons exit the dance to serve Nurgle, new devotees join, ensuring that the dance line remains unbroken. Nurgle was so delighted with the dance that he ruled that it should continue without end.
  • Dead Weight: Though not necessarily technically "dead", many of Nurgle's more "blessed" followers and the most favored of his daemons otherwise fit into this trope. Taking the form of bloated abominations, their skin bursts with open wounds and sores they do not tend to, the stench of rot surrounds them, pus and maggots squirm within their flesh, and they can take one hell of a pounding without being discouraged.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Twisted in a way only Nurgle can. No matter how hard you resist him, he will "love" you all the more, so that when you finally give in, you really have his attention.
  • Demon of Human Origin: Plaguebearers are created from the souls of those who die from Nurgle's most favoured diseases, particularly Nurgle's Rot. The power of the Plaguebearer is determined by how long the victim endured the disease before perishing, with those who survive the longest often rising to become Daemon Heralds of Nurgle.
  • Desecrating the Dead: Nurgle's followers do this as a religious observance. Those they kill or those who die serving the Plaguefather are left out in the open and given additional open wounds. Those who were already wounded prior to being killed will have their treatments removed (bandgages, casts, stitches, etc.) so the wound is exposed again. In this way, the cycle of rot is encouraged and hastened, the bodies becoming spawning sites for more of Nurgle's diseases and their wriggling carriers.
  • Despair Event Horizon: The god of this. When you have passed it, you belong to Nurgle.
  • Determinator: One of Nurgle's areas is endurance, particularly in the face of suffering. Those who finally give up in despair will ironically find themselves discouraged by no obstacle as they rededicate themselves to Nurgle and the inevitable victory of entropy he represents.
  • Epic Fail: Not all of Nurgle's brews go to plan, with some winding up as minor inconveniences rather than world-shattering epidemics. Infamously what was supposed to be a flesh-gnawing pox somehow wound up a mild disinfectant.
  • Epic Flail: Some Great Unclean Ones are armed with plague flails, weapons consisting of numerous rusted chains tipped with decaying skulls and censers, emitting plague tainted incense, that are connected to a rotting hilt. The 8th Edition rules for this weapon allow the Greater Daemon to scythe through multiple enemy troops models with a single sweep of the flail.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: According to Black Crusades: Tome of Decay, Nurgle's armies prevent other Chaos warriors from inflicting atrocities on the worlds they conquer. For example, they've prevented Khorne's warriors from burning wilderness areas and stopped Slaneesh' warriors from defiling fallen opponents. Of course, that might just be because they want to inflict their own brand of horrors instead...
  • Everything's Louder with Bagpipes: The Sloppity Bilepiper Heralds of Nurgle carry a set of grotesque bagpipes, known as gutpipes, that are the pestilential remains of the Bilepiper's predecessor. The Bilepiper uses these putrid pipes to entertain the Great Unclean Ones and Nurglings of the Plague Legions, something represented in the 8th Edition rules by the 'Jolly Gutpipes' Ability that enhances the combat ability of these daemons in battle.
  • Evil Laugh: Nurgle's Greater Daemons are jovial beings, who often announce themselves with baritone laughter and giggling, punctuated with choking and hacking coughs, so eager are they to share the joy of their "gifts".
  • The Fatalist: In a weird way, Nurgle combines this with Hope Bringer (see below). Nurgle's followers tend to become extremely fatalistic, which is part of why they have no fear of pain or death. They consider everything that happens to have been meant to happen, and fate will lay them where it will. Death, decay, and waste happen to everything in the end, so they learn to accept and even embrace these things.
  • Fat Bastard: Great Unclean Ones, the Greater Daemons of Nurgle, are bloated, putrid beings.
  • Feel No Pain: The boon of Nurgle is that he will comfort all pain. Follow him, and you never have to worry about getting hurt again, Papa Nurgle will kiss it and make it "better"... in the most disgusting way possible.
  • Flies Equals Evil: Many of Nurgle's daemons take the form of flies, such as his Plague Drones, and many other "blessed" cultists and daemons will attract Nurgle's flies as well. They root around in filth and help spread his diseases, so he loves those little creatures dearly.
  • Friendly Enemy: Nurgle to anything not already pledged to him. He loves everything that lives, including those who fight against him, and he is willing to share gifts with even those who hate him the most... especially those who hate him the most.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Nurgle has this attitude towards all living things. Including parasites, viruses, fungi, and bacteria, and will grant you this power as well to gather all sorts of new friends to accumulate on your flesh and in your bloodstream. At the most extreme, this can turn Nurgle into an Enemy to All Living Things. The juxtaposition of the two is one of the things that makes Nurgle as creepy as he is.
  • Friend to Bugs: Nurgle and his followers adore flies, maggots, and other creepy-crawlies that spread disease.
  • Fun Size: Little Nurglings are said to be in the form of their patron, albeit in a smaller scale.
  • Garden of Evil: The Garden of Nurgle is this. Mostly because it's where he gets the ingredients for his plagues.
  • Gass Hole: While not necessarily literal flatulence, many daemons and followers of his in more advanced states of infection and rot will discharge noxious and foul-smelling gasses. This is often a corpse-gas like miasma, and is in part a cause of their bloating. Its discharge helps to spread the infectious spores and bacteria that they grow inside them, as well as attracting various swarms of carrion flies that often swirl around them. Particularly "blessed" ones may even use this as a form of attack, causing the fertile ground around them to wither and die and their foes to choke and gag with every discharge.
  • The Glomp: Beasts of Nurgle weaponize this, though unintentionally in their case. So eager are they to meet new friends on the battlefield that they will charge at them full speed and send themselves crashing into the embrace of the opposition. When one weighs several tons and is covered in aggressive bacterial cultures and toxic secretions, it tends not to go well for the one so glomped.
  • Graceful Loser: Nurgle's followers and even daemons view death as a natural part of the cycle that will nurture rot and decay, and thus view their own defeats as inevitable.
    "Victory is yours, Blood Ravens. Death comes to all flesh, even that containing an essence as glorious as my own. Such is the way of Nurgle."
  • Hope Bringer: Nurgle's followers see him as such, according to Black Crusades: Tome of Decay.
    "If all things decay, each moment is a gift. Why not use these moments to shape what is to come and secure a place in it? Why sit idly by wallowing in pain and sorrow when there is so much to do and so little time in which to do it? As these thoughts race through the minds of the newly converted, it dawns on them — their pain is deadened. Even with so many new afflictions, so much rancid corruption of the flesh, the suffering has abated. Hope arrives."
  • Horse of a Different Colour: Nurgle's Plague Drones are Plaguebearers riding on Rot Fly daemons.
  • Human Resources: Nurgle sometimes throws nearby beings into his cauldron to flavor the noxious concoctions he brews.
  • Hypocrite: Nurgle and his followers claim that decay and new life are interconnected, but Nurgle seems uninterested in fomenting life. Planets under Nurgle's influence do not go from decay to rebirth, but find themselves locked in perpetual decay.
  • Lack of Empathy: Played with. In a sick way, Nurgle is the only Chaos God that honestly seems to care more about his followers than himself... although you really don't want his help. However, Nurgle is oblivious to the fact that sentient beings do NOT want his plagues, and their misery is NOT their way of thanking him. Likewise, he refuses to consider that his imprisonment of Isha is causing her great unhappiness. Part of the problem is that when he does start to understand your problems, he feels the millions of bacteria in your system get higher priority.
  • Lethal Chef: Nurgle is always stirring his lethal brew in a mighty cauldron, with ingredients made up of whatever caustic, contagious, and rotting substance he can find, and he is always tinkering with the recipe but never getting it just right. Naturally anything coming into even remote contact with anything Nurgle cooks up will be suffering a great deal, much to Papa Nurgle's delight. He likely thinks of himself as a Supreme Chef.
  • Let Us Never Speak of This Again: Not even the boldest of Great Unclean Ones will bring up the time that Nurgle brewed up what was meant to be a horrific flesh-gnawing blight and somehow wound up with a mild disinfectant.
  • Make Them Rot: Nurgle's Rot lives up to its name, slowly turning its infected into bloating, corpse-like states before eventually killing them. Each mortal infected spawns the embryo of a Plaguebearer in Nurgle's Garden, which is finally "born" when the infected host dies. The longer and more persistently the host manages to stave off death, the more powerful the daemon created when they inevitably die.
  • Messy Maggots: Nurgle thinks those squiggling little babies are so darned cute, he loves to see them spawn everywhere. He'll even have them spawn on his favored living adherents, just so they have company. The Beasts of Nurgle are themselves giant daemonic maggots (with various body parts maggots don't naturally possess) which will eventually mutate into Rot Flies.
  • Mighty Glacier: In-game, Great Unclean Ones are very dangerous in melee and very tough. However, their Slow and Purposeful rule limits them to only moving 6" a turn, making Deep Striking with them pretty much a necessity unless the enemy is similarly slow.
  • Mind Virus: One of the most understated dangers of Nurgle is that his diseases are not limited to the purely physical. He can create pathogens that are just as dangerous and far more infectious to the mind and soul than they are to the body.
  • Mirror Character: With Slaanesh. While the two couldn't be more opposite in terms of aesthetics, their philosophies are mirror images of the same idea: self-love. While Slaaneshi worshipers take self-love to the point of self-destruction, Nurgle worshipers love themselves as they are so much that they completely stagnate, both literally and metaphorically.
  • Mystical Plague: Creating and spreading these are the primary goal of Nurgle and his forces. These daemonic diseases can have any variety of unnatural (often grotesque) properties, but are always far more virulent than any natural pathogen or anything concocted with normal science. Normal methods of medical treatment are useless in treating all but the tamest of Nurgle's plagues, so often the only thing that can be done to is to kill anyone infected and sterilize the entire area with fire to prevent the plague spreading. Even that isn't a guarantee.
  • Nausea Fuel: Invoked. Nurglites are intended to be as disgusting as possible.
  • Necromancer: Ironically, despite the fact you'd expect this to be Tzeentch's dominion, given his fixation on changing (life into death being "one of the most meaningful changes") and mastery of magic, Nurgle is the Chaos God most associated with The Undead thanks to his Zombie Plague. This is less so in Warhammer, however, where necromancy has become increasingly associated with "evil order".
  • Not Good with Rejection: Some Beasts of Nurgle eventually come to resent the fact that their playmates always go limp and feign indifference, and when finally slain by those they only want to befriend, undergo a metamorphosis into a vengeful Rot Fly. These creatures are then ridden by Plaguebearers as squadrons of Plague Drones.
  • Obliviously Evil: Nurgle genuinely believes that his plagues are gifts to the universe and the body horror he inflicts on sentient beings is an expression of love.
  • Odd Job Gods: Nurgle's portfolio covers Disease, Decay, Poison, Fear, Despair, Entropy, Endurance, Willpower, Stagnation, Rebirth, and Healing. It's been acknowledged before that most of the dead things often give birth to gross new forms of life. This makes Nurgle the Chaos God of life and death. He just represents a corrupted version of his concept: the circle of life playing out in some of the worst ways that it can.
  • Papa Wolf: Some greater daemons of Nurgle will flip out if you try to harm the little nurglings.
  • The Patriarch: Nurgle views himself as a loving, generous, playful parental figure to his followers, and his followers adore him for it, lovingly referring to him as "Grandfather", "Grandpa", "Papa", "Father" or "Uncle" Nurgle.
  • Proportionately Ponderous Parasites: Nurglings among Great Unclean Ones, crawling across its body and playing in its open wounds and bountiful guts.
  • The Pig-Pen: Why clean up? You will just get dirty again. Besides, Nurgle loves you just the way you are, no matter how filthy you get, so why not let yourself get filthy and have a bunch of friendly bacteria and maggots on your body to keep you company?
  • Plaguemaster: He's the one making all the diseases and spreading them around. It's said that much of his time is spent in his Black Mansion concocting new and more terrible plagues to "gift" the mortal world.
  • Poison Is Corrosive: Probably because what Nurgle's daemons are secreting is the essence of pure decay.
  • Pupating Peril: Occasionally, Beasts of Nurgle grow frustrated with the fact that their new "friends" refuse to play with them and eventually give in to hatred after being banished from the physical world. Retreating to the depths of Nurgle's garden, they develop a cocoon out of sheer resentfulness — in which they gradually metamorphose into the forms of giant insects so that they can take their revenge on the mortal realm as Rot Flies.
  • Required Secondary Powers: Nurgle's main boon to his followers is gaining the strength and resilience to endure nearly any physical challenge. This is a good thing since Nurgle's blessing also comes with being blighted with rotting, mutating diseases so horrifying that the bearers would otherwise be incapable of doing anything aside from screaming in agony.
  • Rule of Symbolism: Nurgle's icon is meant to evoke the biohazard symbol.
  • Scarred Equipment: Commonly employed among Nurgle's followers, and like everything else Chaos, taken to its extreme. While all equipment gets banged up with use, Nurgle's followers make a habit of not repairing superficial damage, seeing it as the just ravages of time and entropy, and part of Papa Nurgle's domain. In turn, Nurgle blesses such things, often taking the scarring to new and dangerous places, like sprouting Meat Moss from holes worn in it, and gaining functionality that transcends its physical limitations.
  • Straw Nihilist: Nurgle and his followers are all about this, even if they're all very cheerful about it. Their only purpose is to spread disease and misery further, and having abandoned all hope and ambition they have nothing explicitly to live for other than to die and feed the cycle of rot. On the flip side, they also have the endurance and willpower to not just lay down and die, which makes them all the more dangerous. Put another way, Nurgle is Tzeentch's Last Man.
  • Stockholm Syndrome: What Nurgle induces in his devotees. He corrupts their minds and infects them with disgusting, deforming diseases, and yet they adore him. This is in no small part that Nurgle loves his followers very much, in his own, twisted and abusive way.
  • Stronger with Age: As Nurgle's domain includes both decay and endurance, those who can withstand the ravages of time will find themselves increasingly blessed, which in turn gives them more endurance to last even longer. The eldest of his followers are some of the most physically warped, but also some of the most powerful.
  • Summoning Artifact: Some Great Unclean Ones carry doomsday bells, heavy, rusted bells whose grim tolling can call forth hordes of the Plague God's minions. In the 8th Edition rules, a Great Unclean One with a doomsday bell is gains a bonus when attempting to summon Nurgle daemons. The can also use them as a weapon in close combat.
  • Supernatural Fear Inducer: The grim bell known as the Entropic Knell has tolled the death sentence of entire worlds for it is the herald of Nurgle's Plague Legions. When the bell sounds across a battlefield, all mortals that hear the sound are filled with dread and despair. The 8th Edition rules represent this by reducing the Leadership characteristic of nearby enemy units.
  • Super OCD: Plaguebearers, who go about counting Nurgle's plagues and the numbers of the infected, droning on in a Creepy Monotone as they tally the numbers on a battlefield. While they can't actually finish their counts, this apparently comes from some latent desire for order in the inherent disorder that is Chaos, or symbolic that Nurgle's ultimate goal will ultimately include the downfall of Chaos as the universe is reborn into something else.
  • Swallowed Whole: Should a Rot Fly hunt down the warrior who slew it in its previous incarnation as a Beast of Nurgle, the vengeful daemon will attempt to swallow its hated enemy whole, keeping them alive within its bloated body while they will be eternally digested.
  • The Swarm:
    • Expect these anywhere near Nurgle. Many of his daemons are surrounded by swarms of flies, disease-spreading bloodsuckers, filth-spreading roaches, and carpets of maggots born from the carrion his followers leave in their wake. The little Nurglings certainly qualify as well.
    • Pyurultide, a planet under Nurgle's control in the Screaming Vortex, has an ocean of living, flesh-eating insects.
  • Technically Living Zombie: Mortal followers of Nurgle often end up so twisted by disease and rot from his "gifts" that they can no longer be considered alive in any traditional sense of the term. The only thing that separates acolytes this far gone from his outright undead creations is their continued sentience. If cut off from the Warp, many of them will drop dead on the spot as Nurgle's power was the only thing letting their rotten husks of bodies function.
  • Token Good Teammate: Subverted. Nurgle does care for his followers and "loves" all. However, he has no sense of empathy, so his "love" is expressed in twisted, horrific ways, such as "blessing" his followers with painful diseases or mutations or "rescuing" the Aeldari Goddess of Life from Slaanesh just to imprison her as a test subject for his concoctions for all eternity. On the other hand, those who disappoint or anger him will quickly learn that the Grandfather can be every bit as openly cruel and vindictive as his brothers.
  • Transflormation: The Seers of Lugganath astral-projected their forms into the Garden of Nurgle, seeking a cure for a blight ravaging their craftworld. Their punishment for intruding in Nurgle's most sacred sanctum was to be turned into screaming trees. An eternal, miserable decoration on his daily walk.
  • Victory by Endurance: Those who follow Nurgle in war win by virtue of this. Entropy claims all things, eventually, and only those who give themselves over to it fully will have the fortitude to see it through to its end, long after all others have given up, exhausting themselves in their efforts to avert it.
  • The Virus: The "gifts" of Nurgle, the most famous of which is Nurgle's Rot. Not only is it exceptionally fatal, but it transforms victims into Plaguebearer daemons.
  • Walking Wasteland:
    • Disease, decay, rot, and corrosion are all Nurgle's domain, and his daemons and followers will spread them wherever they go to further honor Papa Nurgle.
    • The mere presence of the rotting daemon engines known as Plague Hulks of Nurgle can reduce once pristine vehicles to rusted junk in moments. The 8th Edition rules represent this with the Rusting Curse ability that reduces the Armour Save of enemy vehicles in close proximity.
  • What a Piece of Junk: Vehicles, weaponry, and equipment associated with Nurgle or his servants usually goes without maintenance or even cleaning, becoming grime-coated and rusted over. Why bother, when it will just break down eventually anyway? However, thanks to Papa Nurgle's blessings, such things can continue to function just as well, if not better, as they get increasingly neglected with time. Weirdly, there are some instances of equipment and weapons doing things like getting buboes or dripping pus regardless of a(n initial) lack of organic material
  • The Worm That Walks: Some of Nurgle's daemons (such as the Plague Savants) are so full of maggots and other carrion breeders that they are practically animated by them.
  • Yandere: To Isha. After Nurgle rescued Isha from Slaanesh, he showed his "love" for her by imprisoning her in a cage and killing any warriors who attempted to liberate her.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: More than a few worlds have been overrun by undead due to one of Nurgle's diseases.

A Keeper of Secrets.
"Long shall be your suffering. Joyous be your pain."

The Dark Prince Slaanesh, known as She Who Thirsts to the Aeldari, is the youngest of the Chaos Gods who was born from the decadence and depravity that gripped the once great Aeldari empire. When the immorality was at its peak Slaanesh was born, consuming the souls of the majority of the Aeldari race, destroying their gods and tearing reality asunder to create the Eye of Terror where the heart of the once mighty civilisation had been. Slaanesh is the embodiment of obsession, excess, and the unchecked desires that reside in the hearts of mortals. The patron of aesthetes, hedonists and artists, the Prince of Pleasure is fed by all who would let their obsessions rule them, with even his brothers inadvertently giving strength to the god they see as a young upstart. Slaanesh's sacred number is 6, his daemonic and mortal servants using the number obsessively to gain their gods favour.

While all the Chaos Gods can change shape at will, Slaanesh does so more than his brothers, taking the form of each viewer's greatest desires. Many of his worshippers depict Slaanesh as a figure split down the middle into both sexes, female on the right and male on the left. Whatever his appearance, Slaanesh is said to be divinely beautiful and no mortal can look upon his perfect features without losing their soul. The Realm of Slaanesh is split into six circles, each representing on aspect of sin and obsession from gluttony to avarice and lust. At the centre of these circles sits the elegant spires of the Palace of Slaanesh where the Prince of Pleasure indulges his every desire.

Like their master, daemons of Slaanesh are able to take on the form most desired by those they face but when they drop this charade, they reveal disturbingly beautiful and lithe form sporting horns, claws and tails. Slaanesh's minions are all incredibly swift and agile, able to mesmerise those that stand against them. Each of Slaanesh's daemonic Legions of Excess is divided into six cavalcades with the overall tactics and composition of each Legion left to the whims their Keeper of Secrets general.

Notable tropes include:

  • The Ace: Many of Slaanesh's worshipers hope to excel in their chosen vocation, be it warfare or something as mundane as sculpting or cooking. The problem is that Slaanesh's definition of fine art tends to horrify others with more "unrefined" tastes.
  • All Men Are Perverts: While hedonists of all varieties fuel Slaanesh, depictions of this tend to emphasize the sexual angle.
  • Ambiguous Gender: Humans consider Slaanesh male, while the Eldar consider Slaanesh female. Both are equally inapplicable. Slaanesh's faithful will also often be gradually blessed with the gift of androgyny as a reward for their hedonism.
  • Amplifier Artifact: The Jewel of Excessnote , is an Artefact of Excess available to Exalted Keepers of Secrets that contains the souls of every psyker the powerful Daemon has killed. The Exalted Greater Daemon is able to tap into the power granted by these trapped souls, making it more likely that they will have the power to manifest or deny a psychic power.
  • Anti-Magic: The soporific calls of the Fiends of Slaanesh are both sonic and psychic in nature and make it hard for mortal psykers to maintain the concentration required for them to use their abilities. The Disruptive Song ability from the 8th Edition rules gives a penalty to all enemy psykers when they attempt to manifest a power.
  • Arch-Enemy:
    • Of Khorne, whose mindless barbarism contains no thought of the self. Also a lesser enemy of Nurgle, who is similarly 'selfless' and focused on spreading his blessings to others instead of sating oneself.
    • More generally, Slaanesh is viewed as the Arch Enemy of the entire Eldar race, even the Dark Eldar in a somewhat perverse way. Since being birthed by the Eldar, Slaanesh has quite a taste for Eldar souls, and the remaining fragments of Eldar society define themselves by how they avoid being consumed by Slaanesh upon death. In-game, this is represented by the Craftworld Eldar having a rule that lets them fight more ferociously against Daemons of Slaanesh, but also at the same time be pantshittingly terrified of them.
  • The Baby of the Bunch: Slaanesh is the youngest of the Chaos Gods, born from the unfettered hedonism of Eldar society.
  • Beauty Is Bad: Slaanesh is the most physically beautiful of the Chaos Gods but is perhaps the cruelest, most callous and most self-centered of them.
  • Beware My Stinger Tail: The daemonic Fiends of Slaanesh have long, sinuous tails that are tipped with a viciously sharp barbed stinger. These stingers drip a highly venomous liquid capable of bringing exquisite agony and death to any mortal creature. In the 8th Edition, this vicious barbed tail can punch through all but the thickest of armour and does multiple wounds with each hit.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: Slaneesh has possibly the Bluest and Orangest Morality out of all of the Chaos Gods. Khorne wants violence, Nurgle wants companionship and spreading his illnesses, Tzeentch is all about changing and plotting, and Slaneesh wants pleasure. However, its comprehension of the concept of "pleasure" is vast and so incomprehensible that even the other Gods are confused by it.
  • Chariot Pulled by Cats: Some Seeker Daemonettes and Heralds ride into battle on silvered chariots, covered in razor-sharp blades and pulled by the strange, sinuous bipeds known as Steeds of Slaanesh. These impossibly swift daemonic beasts are able to pull the Seeker Chariots and Hellflayers of Slaanesh's Cavalcades at blinding speeds, leaving vivid blurs of colour in their wake.
  • Charm Person: Slaanesh's daemons possess what is sometimes called an "Aura of Acquiescence" that compels mortals to bow down and worship their inhuman beauty, save for those with the strongest wills. Slaanesh of course has an even more powerful version of this which no one can resist.
  • Combat Aestheticist: And how! Any fighter under Slaanesh's service will be this, seeing beauty in the art of dealing death, having an almost obsessive relationship with the most beautiful and elegant weapons for the job, and finding the capacity for carnage exhilarating in its immaculate execution.
  • Combat Tentacles: The Contorted Epitome protects itself with pair of coiled, metallic tentacles that, in the 8th Edition rules, can cleave through light armour and hit with the power of a heavy bolter.
  • The Corrupter: While all of Chaos corrupts, Slaanesh takes particular pleasure in the act of the corruption itself. The purer and more upstanding the victim, the greater the high when they give themselves over to Slaanesh's debasement. The greatest example of this is what happened to the ancient Eldar. While the Warp energy that would eventually become Slaanesh was gathering, it began to gain some sentience and started to corrupt the Eldar, leading them to take their hedonism and violence to truly horrific extremes, accelerating the growth of the Warp energy even further.
  • Dance Battler: While all of Slaanesh's daemons fight with unnatural grace, some of the Dark Prince's daemonic champions perform a particularly manic dance of death in battle, slaughtering the enemies of the Lord of Excess with a ruthless grace. The 8th Edition rules represent this with the 'Murderdance' Slaaneshi Warlord Trait that increases the amount of Attacks a daemonic Warlord can make when charging.
  • Death by Sex: The inevitable result of bringing Slaanesh into carnal matters, partly due to increasingly destructive acts and partly because of who (or what) you might be boinking.
  • Deathless and Debauched: On top of being the immortal god of pleasure and debauchery, Slaanesh favours his most devoted servants with a measure of immortality, as with all servants of Chaos... but some can rise even higher and become Daemon Princes devoted to an eternity of ever-worsening hedonism. Slaaneshi Princes often manage to turn entire planets into Daemon Worlds devoted to their sick practices.
  • The Dreaded: Hence why the Eldar use titles like "the Great Enemy" or "She Who Thirsts" instead of Slaanesh's actual name.
  • Drugs Are Bad: Slaanesh considers anything which heightens sensory experiences to be wonderful, and many Slaaneshi warriors indulge in combat drugs (as well as more recreational substances) before battle. Given that Slaanesh is a Chaos God, this is obviously intended to be a sign of horrible depravity and the evil of drugs rather than casting drug (ab)use as a positive thing (though Slaanesh and his/her/hir/its followers would naturally disagree).
  • Evil Feels Good: Or, rather, "if it feels good, then it's not evil". Slaanesh's followers are encouraged to ignore all morality, sanity and any other impediments to feeling pleasure. Alternatively, if you gain pleasure by recognising something as evil and perverse and doing it anyway, or even doing it because it is evil and that's how you get your jollies, come join in the fun.
  • Exotic Weapon Supremacy: Common among Slaaneshi warriors and daemons who wield is the use of weapons that seem unusual, impractical, and require extensive reflexes and training to even be reasonably competent with. This is primarily a vanity thing, as being able to master something so unusual is only something someone with a rare and dedicated passionate for the craft of it all could manage. The showiness of the act of using it is part of the satisfaction the wielder gains from it, and they frequently practice until deadly with it.
  • Extreme Libido: As is well documented, Slaanesh is the god of excess and extremes. Libido is no exception.
  • Extreme Omnisexual: Anything That Moves, many things that don't. Anything with a pole or hole, and where a hole is lacking, make one. If it provides a physical or emotional thrill, it goes for Slaanesh's followers, no matter what it is.
  • Fantastic Arousal: Many of Slaanesh's gifts are done for this explicit reason. If Slaanesh decides a follower deserves a new body part, you can bet that body part will be a vector for new sensations with which to continue to explore their indulgences.
  • Fashionable Asymmetry: Slaanesh's daemons tend to have an uneven distribution of horns, claws, breasts...
  • A Form You Are Comfortable With: Any form it takes on, male, female, or otherwise, is actually reflecting the desires of whoever lays eyes on Slaanesh.
  • A Fate Worse Than Death: Unless an Eldar uses a special precaution — such as a Soulstone or one of the various strategies of the Dark Eldar — his or her soul is forfeit to Slaanesh upon death, due to the fact that the decadence that gave birth to the god occurred in the center of the original Eldar civilization.
  • The Fighting Narcissist: Something of a hat, as Slaaneshi warriors tend towards inhumanly fast reflexes with all the arrogance it entails, especially as they're opposed to the brutal berserkers of Khorne.
  • Food Chains: The second circle of the Realm of Slaanesh consists of a lavish feast that will induce a ravishing hunger on anyone who even thinks of indulging in the unearthly banquet. Those who do indulge in the circle's temptations find themselves unable to stop eating, becoming morbidly obese lumps of flesh that can do nothing other than cram more and more food into their mouths.
  • Fragile Speedster: When compared with the other deity's followers, Daemons of Slaanesh are relatively squishy and weak, yet they're undeniably the quickest and the fastest. For example, their basic troops have higher movement speed, a special rule allowing them to assault after running (effectively increasing their combat speed further), the ability to always strike first in melee, and on top of it, attacking two times per phase as opposed to once as most others lesser daemons do.
  • Full-Frontal Assault: As befitting a load of Succubi and Incubi. The models will at the very least be wearing a courtesy loincloth, however.
  • Glamour: One of Slaanesh's qualities, to the point of overpowering any mortal who comes into Slaanesh's presence. Slaanesh's servants may be gifted with a lesser form of this as well, and many of the leaders of Chaos movements get the unnatural charisma they use to recruit and incite fanatical followers from their veneration of Slaanesh.
  • God-Eating: Ate at the Eldar pantheon along with Eldar souls on their birth, of which only a few survived.
  • The Heavy:
    • The forces of Chaos only really started picking up steam after Slaanesh was born. Not only did Slaanesh rile up the other Chaos Gods, its birth created the Eye of Terror which made invading the Materium a lot easier.
    • Every conflict that involves the Eldar can be traced back to Slaanesh's birth, from their division into the three factions to all of the wars they've since waged against pretty much any race, has been to stave off Slaanesh eating their souls. This is because regardless of how an Eldar dies, his/her soul is claimed by Slaanesh upon death unless a Soulstone is nearby or Cegorach is willing to fight for it, so even unrelated conflicts will have Slaanesh as the primary motivator to not die.
  • The Hedonist: Slaanesh and its followers are ultimately about seeking pleasureful sensations. This typically starts out with sex, torture, and/or murder, but inevitably degenerates into seeking out any sensation and learning to find it pleasurable and unique, up to and including fighting wars to see what losing is like and extreme self-mutilation as pleasure becomes confused with pain. Making this worse is that over time the sensations begin to dull, driving Slaanesh's followers to seek out greater and more intense extremes.
  • Hemo Erotic: Along with every other kind of depraved erotic form out there. Many Slaaneshi cultists eventually resort to cutting themselves while indulging in other pleasures because nothing less will provide the heights of sensation they are addicted to.
  • Hermaphrodite: More conventional portrayals of Slaanesh, and the fate of some of Slaanesh's favored servants.
  • Horse of a Different Color: Steeds of Slaanesh are bipedal daemonic beasts that resemble a strange mix of a snake and an ostrich. Described in the lore as acting almost in a manner similar to horses and birds as they roam the meadows and dales of Slaanesh's, Daemonettes and some favoured mortal champions capture these strange and deadly creatures ride to war as incredibly quick cavalry units.
  • Hot as Hell: Slaanesh adores beauty, grants it to followers as a blessing, and Slaaneshi daemons have a strong streak of allure to them. However, like with all things, Slaanesh takes this to excess, and with further mutation the beauty gradually passes beyond "normal" and into the realm of unreal perfection that is as disturbing as it is attractive.
  • Hypnotic Eyes: Some favoured Champions of Slaanesh are gifted with an eldritch gaze that distracts and saps the will of their enemies. The 2nd Edition of the game represented this with the Gaze of Slaanesh Chaos Reward that reduced the Attacks characteristic of the model's hand-to-hand combat opponent.
  • It Amused Me: That they might receive pleasure from the act is the only reason followers of Slaanesh need to do anything.
  • It's All About Me: It really is; Slaanesh's domain covers vanity and personal fulfillment, so their devotees tend to be narcissistic freaks who will abuse and betray anyone and anything if it gives them pleasure.
  • Kill the God: After being born and gorging on the souls of trillions of Eldar, Slaanesh made a bee-line for the Eldar pantheon, effortlessly (and elegantly) slaughtering all but two: Isha, the Goddess of Life (who was saved/kidnapped by Nurgle) and Cegorach, the Laughing God (who evaded Slaanesh and now resides in the Webway). That being said, Khaine, the God of War and Murder, was shattered into millions of pieces that came to rest in the Craftworlds and can become the Avatars of Khaine through ritual sacrifice.
  • Lean and Mean: While Khorne's blessed have huge packs of ropy muscles, Nurgle's blessed are bloated with corruption, and Tzeench's blessed fit arbitrary body shapes, Slaanesh's blessed often have a sensual thinness with a sadistic streak miles wide.
  • Life Drain: The Keeper of Secrets bound within the daemonsword Soulstealer, from the 8th Edition Codex: Chaos Daemons, will use a portion of the energy it gains from consuming the soul of a slain foe to heal the wounds of its wielder.
  • Love Goddess: Well, more of a Lust Goddess. Slaanesh represents desire in all forms,including desire for lovers.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Some Greater Daemons of Slaanesh go into battle carrying a shining aegis. These shields can protect against any damage the Keeper of Secrets sustains, be it physical or metaphysical. In the 8th Edition rules, this defence is represented by a chance to ignore both regular and mortal wounds.
  • Mad Artist: The patron god of them. Slaanesh adores perfection and beauty, no matter how twisted that beauty must be to achieve that perfection. An example from Fulgrim is of an artist who used blood, bile and feces as paint.
  • Magic Mirror: The Contorted Epitome is a large daemonic mirror that daemons of Slaanesh often bring to the battlefield with them. Introduced during the 8th Edition of the game, the Epitome's mere presence is able to invigorate nearby daemons of Slaanesh, absorb the energy of enemy attacks and inescapably captivate enemy warriors reflected in its surface.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: The 2nd Edition Chaos Reward upgrade allowed a character to emit an unnaturally loud, soul-crushing scream during battle that would cause any enemy model they charged to take a Fear test.
  • Merger of Souls: Slaanesh was born when countless Eldar souls that died in extremely decadent orgies and sadistic slaughters coalesced together into a single entity. The resulting hole in spacetime, the Eye of Terror, shattered the Eldar empire.
  • Mirror Character: With Nurgle. While the two couldn't be more opposite in terms of aesthetics, their philosophies are mirror images of the same idea: self-love. While Nurgle worshipers take self-love to the point of utter stagnation, Slaaneshi worshipers take self-love to the point of complete self-destruction, both literal and metaphorical.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: Fiends of Slaanesh have a scorpion's legs, tail and stinger, a somewhat anteater-ish head, and a humanoid torso with clawed hands and of course, breasts.
  • Mood-Swinger: Slaanesh is notorious for being the most fickle of the Chaos Gods, to the point where even the others aren't quite certain what he's thinking. Descriptions of his personality range from disarmingly charming to unimaginably sadistic.
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: Keepers of Secrets, the Greater Daemons of Slaanesh, possess two regular arms and two pincer arms.
  • Multiboobage: The 3rd Edition Slaanesh Daemon models are notorious for having up to three sets of breasts, sometimes with eyes instead of nipples. This was something of an aberration however as most prior and subsequent depictions, both on the tabletop and in the background material, have described Daemonettes as having a single breast but can be Hand Waved due to their Glamour abilities.
  • Multipurpose Tongue: Steeds of Slaanesh have a long whip-like tongue several meters long that is coated by a paralyzing poison. The Steeds use these tongues to attack their enemies, immobilizing the opponent so that they are helpless against their rider's tender mercies.
  • The Muse: The background material for Infernal Enrapturess Heralds of Slaanesh states that they act as muses for mortal artists who attempt to create beauty during the darkest of times. The Enrapturess will encourage her chosen artist to rid themselves of their inhibitions so that they can produce the perfect piece of art or music, slowly enhancing their obsessions until they are driven mad, or die of hunger as they forsake food to complete their great work.
  • Musical Assassin: The Infernal Enrapturess Heralds of Slaaneshnote  use their grotesque heartstring lyres to send waves of sonic energy through the enemy ranks, causing them to dance until they rip themselves apart, or to explode as their joyful emotions burst from their flesh. In-game this is represented by the choice of two attack, one that causes multiple, lower strength attacks, or a single powerful blast.
  • Nipple and Dimed: The 3rd Edition models for Daemonettes aroused... controversy by eschewing the previous versions' Chainmail Bikinis. As of 4th Edition, however, the Daemonettes have been retooled as more androgynous, and either have corsets or don't need them. Fan reactions to the change were predictably mixed.
  • Non-Mammalian Mammaries: The serpentine Steeds of Slaanesh presumably aren't mammals, but still have breasts. Taken to extremes with an army featured in a White Dwarf battle report, which featured breasts on a Rhino APC.
  • No Pronunciation Guide: Pronunciation of the Darkling Prince's name varies on who you ask: it could be "SLAH-nesh", with the syllables distinct and the first emphasized, the reversed "Slah-NESH", or "Slaanesh", with syllables spoken quickly and neither receiving emphasis.
  • Odd Job Gods: Slaanesh's portfolio covers excess, depravity, pain, perversion, pleasure, love, lust, desire, mastery and beauty.
  • Otherworldly and Sexually Ambiguous: All of the Chaos Gods are technically genderless entities, but Slaanesh follows this most blatantly. They and their servants are known for taking the hermaphroditic forms, mixing and matching masculine and feminine features. By default, humans speak of Slaanesh as a male figure, while the Aeldari speak of it in feminine terms (the name "Slaanesh" translates as "She Who Thirsts" in the Aeldari language).
  • Our Minotaurs Are Different: The traditional form of Slaanesh's Greater Daemons, the Keepers of Secrets, is that of a massive, four-armed minotaur with a large bovine head sporting numerous great horns. The bovine aspect of the Greater Daemon is often represented in the models themselves normally having a minotaur-like head option. Even the 8th Edition model, the most elegant and human-like of the Keeper of Secrets models, has a bovine-like head option.
  • Out with a Bang: Slaanesh has a disturbing amount of ways to do this, not all of which are literal sex as we know it. Slaanesh's foes, and followers, are said to be gifted with one moment of ultimate ecstasy before their soul is consumed, which is why Slaaneshi cultists are willing to die for their patron when their creed otherwise emphasizes self-serving behavior instead of self-sacrifice.
  • Overly-Long Tongue: A blessing given to some of Slaanesh's daemons and its occasional mortal worshiper. It is useful both for being a vector for sensation as well as source for stimulation, both of which Slaanesh approves of.
  • The Perfectionist: Anything less than perfect is an insult.
  • Pleasure Planet: The Palace of Slaanesh, where every possible depraved act thinkable (and some that are unthinkable) is performed.
  • Power Perversion Potential: In a bit of an inversion, Slaanesh's gifts are designed for perverse purposes, but end up being just as useful on the battlefield as the boudoir. Perfumes that cause bliss when inhaled can incapacitate and fog the minds of foes, extra long tongues for tasting and stimulating can be used to ensnare, etc.
  • Pronoun Trouble: Often used as a joke by the fandom.
  • Red Baron: The Dark Prince, the Serpent, She Who Thirsts.
  • Regal Ruff: Some Daemonettes and Heralds of Slaanesh, particularly those in high favour, wear Elizabethan-style ruffs as part of their debauched, aristocratic appearance.
  • Sense Freak: Long time, hyper-desensitized followers will literally immolate themselves, just to feel something new.
  • Sex Is Evil: The simplest way of viewing Slaanesh, though nowhere near the whole picture.
  • Sex Is Violence: Slaanesh honestly seems to be unaware of the difference.
  • Sex Shifter: Slaanesh can freely switch between male, female, hermaphrodite, and any other blending of gender features one can imagine. Some of its followers acquire this as a "gift" as well.
  • Shapeshifter Default Form: Slaanesh's most common form is that of a male and female put together at their respective vertical middles.
  • Shapeshifting: The only consistent aspect of Slaanesh's appearance is terrible beauty. Beyond that, Slaanesh will appear as a reflection of what is most desired by the observer. In this way, it is A Form You Lust After.
  • Shapeshifting Seducer: Slaanesh and his daemons, almost always assume the form most desired by those who look at her/him.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Kinda. Slaanesh is at least sometimes female, whereas the other three Chaos Gods are clearly male.
  • The Social Expert: A frequent gift given to Slaanesh's most faithful, along with their unnatural charisma. Their ability to read and appeal to the desires, conscious or unconscious, of others makes them highly successful at interpersonal manipulations. Those who evangelize Chaos will frequently appeal to Slaanesh in seeking this gift.
  • Soul Eating:
    • Slaanesh literally devours the souls of Aeldari after they die, unless protected using a Soul Stone. They dread being consumed by She Who Thirsts more than anything else.
    • The 8th Edition Hellforged Daemon sword Soulstealer consumes the souls of those it slays, healing its wielder. The blade is particularly thirsty for Aeldari souls, something represented in-game by a re-roll to wound against them.
  • Spiked Wheels: The Seeker Chariots ridden into battle by some Daemonettes are festooned with razor sharp blades, including great scythe-like blades mounted on their viciously barbed wheels. The Daemonette charioteers take great pleasure in driving their elegantly brutal machines into the enemy at great speed, resulting in their victims turning into a red mist as they are lacerated by the chariot's blades. In the 8th Edition of the game, these bladed wheels are represented by the Scything Impact Ability that gives the Seeker Chariot a chance of inflicting mortal wounds when it charges into combat.
  • Succubi and Incubi: Slaanesh and all its daemons are basically this, particularly the Daemonettes.
  • Taken for Granite: One of the punishments Slaanesh inflicts upon those daemonic servants who displease him is to turn them into unfeeling marble statues so that they can no longer partake in the pain and pleasure that they crave.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: Slaanesh has a definite birth-date (the Fall of the Eldar empire around the 31st millennium) yet, due to the nature of the Warp, once Slaanesh existed Slaanesh had always existed. Slaanesh is still considered the "youngest" of the Ruinous Powers, however.
  • Too Kinky to Torture: The Inquisition has found that the best way to break a Slaaneshi prisoner is through a sensory deprivation tank.
  • Victory Is Boring: For a daemon of Slaanesh, the desire for something is more important than the actual achieving of it. If there is something such a daemon wants, it will be prone to working toward having it with an obsessive zeal, but once it actually gets it, the interest in it quickly wanes and it looks for a new conquest. The only time something it already has inspires any interest on its part is if its mastery or ownership of that thing is threatened.
  • Weak, but Skilled: Slaanesh has a fair number of warriors as followers, though obviously not as many as Khorne. In comparison to the brutal fury of Khorne though, Slaanesh's warriors seek mastery of their skills, to make that perfect shot or flawlessly win that next sword duel. If it falls into the desire for the perfection of self, it is Slaanesh's domain, even in combat, and the skills of some of the followers reflect that.
  • Whip It Good:
    • The Alluresses who ride atop Seeker Chariots are armed with a pair of lashes of torment rather than the crab-like claws that most Daemonettes sport. The Alluress uses these long, multi-tailed barbed whips to drive the Steeds of Slaanesh pulling the Chariot to extra speed and (in the 8th Edition of the Game) can use them to strike their opponents with the same power as a bolt pistol.
    • As the greatest creations of the deity of sadists, some Keepers of Secrets go into battle with a living whip. These Greater Daemonsnote  are able to unleash flurries of powerful blows with these weapons with pinpoint accuracy, both at range and in the close confines of melee combat.
  • Wicked Cultured: Slaanesh is not just about physical sensations such as sex and torture, but also enjoying such things as art and music. Generally, though, Slaanesh's followers gradually move more towards the "wicked" part than the "cultured" part as time goes on, finding beauty in, for example, art drawn in human blood or the musical screams of someone being tortured to death...
  • Your Soul Is Mine!:
    • The blades attached to the wheels and axels of Seeker Chariots and Hellflayers are enchanted to dig deep into the souls of their victims, ripping their spiritual essence from their mortal remains and feeding it further into the war machine's infernal mechanisms.
    • In a more general sense, Slaanesh claimed ownership of every Aldari soul upon its birth. Those too close to ground zero dropped right on the spot, and those who 'escaped' will inevitably find their souls in Slaanesh's clutches when they die.

Notable Daemons of the Chaos Gods

    Daemons of Khorne 

Skarbrand, the Exiled One

Once one of the greatest Bloodthirsters, Skarbrand fell from Khorne's favour after Tzeentch manipulated the mighty Greater Daemon into striking the Blood God while he was distracted. In punishment for making a cowardly strike instead of a direct challenge, Khorne scoured Skarbrand's mind of all thought and emotion except pure rage before hurling the fallen daemon through the warp for eight days and nights. Skarbrand now spreads bloodlust throughout the mortal and immortal universes, slaying all who stand against him and spilling more blood for his master than he ever did before his fall. As Abaddon launched his 13th Black Crusade and the Great Rift split the galaxy, Skarbrand has become more active than ever, his boundless rage creating powerful warp storms wherever he manifests.

  • Arch-Enemy: An'ggrath, who replaced Skarbrand as Khorne's favored Bloodthirster. They hate each other more than anything else, but Khorne has expressly forbade them from duking it out, as such a duel would never end and be a waste of their time when they could be doing more productive things—like spilling blood and collecting skulls in his name.
  • Ax-Crazy: Even more so than normal, for a Khornate daemon. He literally has no emotion left in him except fury.
  • Beard of Barbarism: The massively powerful Skarbrand is the only Bloodthirster to sport a beard. The mighty greater daemon's beard is plaited, hung with bones, and is longer than a man is tall.
  • Body-Count Competition: During the events of Fracture of Biel-Tan, Skarbrand was challenged by the Masque of Slaanesh to a contest to see which of the exiled daemons could reap the most Eldar souls for their patron. When the Exiled One discovered that the Masque was just using him and had no intention of comparing their tallies, he led a horde of daemons into the heart of Biel-Tan to chase after the capering Herald.
  • Dirty Coward: Usually no, but he tried to kill Khorne with a sneak attack. Had he challenged Khorne directly, he likely would have received an honorable (though gruesome) demise instead of being hurled through the air for eight days and getting eternally banished from his home.
  • Dual Wielding: Skarbrand wields twin daemon-axes, Slaughter and Carnage, which he wrested from other Bloodthirsters he defeated in combat. Each contains the souls of those they've killed.
  • The Exile: Khorne banished Skarbrand from his realm for having the gall to attempt to strike at him. Skarbrand ultimately wants to get back into Khorne's good graces. His efforts are for naught but he's too insane to realize it.
  • Fallen Angel: He's a demonic variant on this trope — he was once his god's mightiest and most favored champion, but attempted to strike Khorne down in a fit of pride and rage and was punished by being physically thrown out of the Blood God's domain, shattering his wings and leaving him forever exiled.
  • Feral Villain: He attempted to strike Khorne himself in a sneak attack. The Blood God responded by burning all thoughts and emotions from his mind except pure rage, and then threw him out of his realm. In the modern day, nothing is left of the former champion but endless, mindless fury, devoid of any kind of thought, reflection or personality, and the Exiled One rages endlessly across the world as he vents himself on whatever he happens to encounter.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: Skarbrand faced off against Dante, Chapter Master of the Blood Angels, at the Gates of Pandemonium, but was cloven in two by Dante and banished back to the Warp.
  • Hate Plague: Every unit near Skarbrand, friend or foe, becomes just as frenzied as he is, requiring a very high morale check to retreat if they are standing too close to him (while also gaining bonuses to their attacks).
  • How the Mighty Have Fallen: He used to be the most powerful Bloodthirster around and Khorne's favored champion. Now he's a broken and insane ruin, desperately seeking favor he can never obtain.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: During battle, Skarbrand is able to unleash a Bellow of Endless Fury, a mighty shout so loud and full of wrath that it can break bones and stop hearts. In the 8th Edition of the game this Bellow is represented by a random number of attacks that automatically hit with the power of a heavy bolter.
  • Spanner in the Works: In The Gathering Storm, he winds up being one to Kairos Fateweaver. Tzeentch's vizier actually managed to capture Roboute Guilliman and his entire Terran Crusade in the depths of the Maelstrom, planning to drive them all insane to be loosed on the galaxy at a time and place of his choosing. Skarbrand, caring absolutely nothing for the other daemon's plans, led a massive Khornate army to attack the prison and claim the Primarch's skull for Khorne. In the ensuing battle, Guilliman and some of his allies managed to escape.
  • The Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny: Averted, though not for lack of trying. Skarbrand and An'ggrath would love nothing more than to have one, but Khorne won't allow it.

Skulltaker, the Champion of Khorne

A Bloodletter who displayed an unparalleled talent for decapitation from the moment of his creation, U'Zuhl was appointed as Khorne's Sacred Executioner after decapitating every other contender for the position without taking a single wound himself. Granted the title of Skulltaker, he has stalked the galaxy ever since, taking the heads of everything from Ork warlords to Grey Knight Grand Masters and presented their skulls to his master.

  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: In older editions Skulltaker had the option of riding into battle upon the mighty Juggernaut of Khorne, Khul'tyran. The 7th Edition Codex: Khorne Daemonkin removed Khul'tyran as an option and he hasn't been mentioned in the background material since.
  • Combat by Champion: As Khorne's champion, Skulltaker must issue and accept challenges in close combat whenever possible.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: He likes to draw out his victims' agony, slowly dismembering them before taking their skulls.
  • Decapitation Presentation: He lives for the sole purpose of tracking down powerful foes, killing them in single combat, and presenting their skulls to his god.
  • Elite Army: While it doesn't have any in-game rules, the background material mentions that Skulltaker leads the Cohort of Blood, a force consisting of the most powerful Bloodletters, to fight for the Blood God's daemonic legions.
  • Flaming Skulls: He weaponizes this, wreathing his victim's head in fire and burning their flesh away before wrenching off the still-burning skull as a trophy.
  • Hero Killer: Among his kills are two Grey Knight Brother Captains, aka the absolute best soldiers that the Imperium has against daemons, as well as a Warboss and seventeen Eldar exarchs.
  • Skeletons in the Coat Closet: Skulltaker wears the Cloak of Skulls, an infernal cloak weaved with the screaming skulls of those that gave the mighty Herald the greatest challenge. This cloak is as hard as iron and protects Skulltaker from the unworthy attacks of his chosen victims.
  • Worthy Opponent: He prefers these — cowards who try to run from his challenge are cut down without a second thought, but Skulltaker takes his time with foes who agree to duel him. If they put up a really good fight before dying, Khorne lets him keep their heads.

Karanak, the Hound of Vengeance

The greatest, and most favoured, of Khorne's Flesh Hounds, Karanak is the infernal incarnation of the Blood God's desire for revenge. When an individual, be they mortal or daemonic, rouses Khorne's rage, Karanak is unleashed to hunt them down, not returning to its master's side until its prey has been run down and slaughtered. When not on the hunt, Karanak guards the Blood God's throne room, tearing apart anything that enters without the permission of its master.

  • Anti-Magic: His Brass Collar of Bloody Vengeance not only protects him from psychic attacks, but also increases the odds that any nearby psykers will suffer a Critical Failure when using their abilities.
  • Expy: A three-headed Hellhound who acts as his master's watchdog, like Cerberus.
  • Hero Killer: Before the start of the game, you get to designate which enemy character is on Khorne's hit list, so that Karanak can re-roll failed attempts to hit and wound them in close combat.
  • Multiple Head Case: Karanak has three heads, each of which is able to track his prey a different way. The first head can follow its quarry's scent across space, the second can see the prey across time while the third can sense his prey's thoughts.
  • Super-Persistent Predator: Once Karanak has caught the scent of a target, he will never rest or cease pursuing his victim — he will simply keep coming, again and again forever, until his quarry has been killed.
  • Super Senses: One of Karanak's heads can track his quarry across space, another across time, and the third can sense his prey's very thoughts.
  • The Wild Hunt: When Karanak is on the hunt, he attracts other daemons of Khorne who follow in his wake, eager to slate their bloodthirst on those near Karanak's target.

Doombreed, Daemon Prince of Khorne

The oldest and most powerful of Khorne's Daemon Princes, Doombreed was once a mighty warlord on ancient Terra where his acts of genocide and murder greatly impressed the Blood God. During his 5th Black Crusade, Abaddon sacrificed two entire Chapters of Astartes to Doombreed in order to secure a dark pact with the Daemon Prince. To honour this pact, Doombreed was one of the Daemon Lords that fought with the Warmaster's forces when he launched his 13th Black Crusade and, after the opening of the Great Rift, leads the second wave of Khorne's Blood Crusade, alongside the Bloodthirster Ka'Bandha, as it ravages the galaxy.

  • Anti-Magic: Doombreed wears a powerful Collar of Khorne that makes him totally immune to psychic attacks. He also wields the Rod of Khorne, a staff of twisted bone that can kill a psyker with its mere presence.
  • Armor of Invincibility: Doombreed's Chaos Armour had the best armour save in the game during 2nd Edition at 2+ on 2D6 that could be re-rolled if failed.
  • Demoted to Extra: Doombreed hasn’t had official rules since 2nd Edition but is still mentioned every so often in the background material.
  • Dual Wielding: Doombreed wields an Axe of Khorne in one hand and the Rod of Khorne in the other.
  • Purposely Overpowered: Doombreed is said to be more powerful than even the Daemon Primarchs and as such his 2nd Edition rules were exceptional, even for an edition infamous for overpowered characters.
  • Put on a Bus: Doombreed was removed as a playable character during 3rd Edition.
  • Riddle for the Ages: Exactly which perpetrator of atrocities he was prior to ascension is open to debate, the most popular candidate being Genghis Khan (Hitler and Stalin are also considered). A more disturbing theory is that he's yet to be born.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: During the Horus Heresy, Doombreed fought against the Emperor alongside N'kari, a Greater Daemonnote  of Slaanesh when the Master of Mankind boarded the Vengeful Spirit during the climax of the Siege of Terra. Only the favour that Khorne held for Horus and the power of his opponent forced Doombreed to fight alongside a daemon of the Blood God's most hated brother.
  • Time Abyss: Doombreed is the oldest former human Daemon Prince and, if the theories about his identity are correct, was blessed with Daemonhood when he was still on Earth.

Ka'bandha, Daemon Lord of the Ruinstorm

One of Khorne's most powerful and loyal subordinates, Ka'bandha supplanted Skarbrand following the latter's exile and has menaced the Imperium since the end of the Horus Heresy. He has a special enmity towards the Blood Angels and their Primarch, Sanguinius, as he seeded the Red Thirst among the Astartes in an attempt to turn them to Chaos and out of revenge for Sanguinius besting him in combat twice.

  • Arch-Enemy: Towards the Blood Angels in general and Sanguinius in particular; Ka'bandha is the source of the Red Thirst and has returned several times to try and finish his corruption of the Sons of Sanguinius. In his Horus Heresy rules, Ka'bandha will gain a variety of buffs designed specifically to make him better at killing Sanguinius if the Primarch is on the table.
  • The Ghost: Despite being fairly important in the lore of the Blood Angels and appearing in several major events, Ka'bandha had no official model until 2022 and only has rules for the Horus Heresy line.
  • Hero Killer: To date, Ka'bandha is the only daemon of any god to defeat a Primarch in battle, and Sanguinius at that. Though Sanguinius returned the favor twice over before his death, it's still an impressive feat.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Ka'bandha feels this way towards the Blood Angels, such that he personally intervened when Hive Fleet Leviathan attacked Baal, slaughtering the Tyranids for daring to try and claim his prize.
  • Wakeup Call Boss: Ka'Bandha's incursion as leader of the Ruinstorm was one of the first and largest encounters between the Imperium and the Chaos Gods, and his initial defeat of Sanguinius showed that not only was the Warp real, the entities within were incredibly dangerous as well.

    Daemons of Tzeentch 

Kairos Fateweaver, the Oracle of Tzeentch

In an attempt to uncover the mysteries of the Well of Eternity, a vortex said to be the source and destination for all time and space, Tzeentch threw his Lord of Change vizier, Kairos Fateweaver, into the maelstrom to see what would happen. When the greater daemon emerged from the Well, he had been changed by his ordeal, having been unnaturally aged and sporting a second head. The changes wrought on Kairos wasn't limited to the physical, however, as the Lord of Change had been granted knowledge of both the past and the future, even if this had left him blind to the present and now spends much of his time dictating his visions to an army of scribes. In addition to this important duty, Kairos still takes to the battlefield in order to see his master's plans enacted as intended, something that has become even more common since the opening of the Great Rift, clashing with the resurrected Roboute Guilliman, leading an invasion of Nurgle's Garden and emerging victorious during the Clash of Champions between the Dark Gods.

  • Affably Evil: As written by John French in the short story "Fateweaver" where he is remarkably pleasant to the Space Marine who is trying to hunt him down, going so far as to apologize for having to kill him.
  • The Archmage: Between his two heads, Kairos knows every psychic power in Tzeentch's repertoire, and can draw powers from four other disciplines, making him one of the most devastating psykers in the game.
  • Didn't See That Coming:
    • The irony of Kairos' condition is that it leaves him totally blind to the present. This leads him to subvert Combat Clairvoyance and be next to useless in close combat.
    • In The Gathering Storm, his foresight somehow misses Skarbrand leading a massive Khornate attack on his base.
    • His rules in 4th edition made him flee the battle if he suffers a wound and failed a leadership test. He runs away because after suffering the wound, he may suspect that Tzeentch intentionally fogged up his visions of the future to try and off him (as otherwise he would have literally seen the attack coming). This was removed in subsequent editions.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: At one point he manages to capture Roboute Guilliman, an impressive feat even for a daemon of his prodigious strength.
  • Evil Chancellor: He's Tzeentch's Grand Vizier and closest adviser, although he cannot always be trusted.
  • Evil Cripple: Kairos' condition leaves him physically debilitated and useless in close combat.
  • Forced Transformation: Kairos' weapon, the Staff of Tomorrow, is said to be the physical embodiment of the power of change and anyone struck by it is blessed with agonising mutations. The 8th Edition rules represent this by allowing the Chaos player to add a Chaos Spawn to their army whenever Kairos kills an enemy character with the Staff.
  • Knights and Knaves: Some mortals and daemons consult Kairos for advice, only to learn that, while one head will give them the truthful answer to their question, the other will give an equally plausible yet contradictory answer.
  • Mad Oracle: Kairos' time within the Well of Eternity has left the daemon unhinged, even by the standards of daemons. Kairos can often be found mumbling to himself about events still to come and will launch into mad outbursts about futures that only he has perceived.
  • Meaningful Name: The word "kairos" in English is defined as "a time when conditions are right for the accomplishment of a crucial action", or in other words, "the opportune and decisive moment", which encapsulates one of the most essential aspects of Tzeenthcian scheming; it also derives from the Greek word καιρός, which literally means"time", and therefore seems to be an allusion to to the Well of Eternity that he had been dunked into.
  • Multiple Head Case: Kairos' two heads do not always concur on what to do, and never concur on the prophesies they hand out.
  • The Older Immortal: Kairos was unnaturally aged by his journey through the Well of Eternity.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: There is exactly one documented instance in the fluff where both of Kairos' heads were in agreement — during Lorgar's pilgrimage to the Eye of Terror, both heads bluntly told him that there would come a time where he would either assist Chaos in achieving a lasting victory at the cost of sparing Guilliman his wrath or avenge Monarchia but allow the Imperium to survive the coming storm. It's heavily implied that Lorgar sacking Caleb and initiating the Shadow Crusade is the event in question, and that he chose vengeance against the Ultramarines over victory for Chaos.

The Changeling, the Trickster of Tzeentch

The Changeling is the embodiment of Tzeentch's deception and can assume any form it chooses with absolute perfection, save for that of his master for Tzeentch will suffer no mimicry. The Changeling has been granted far more autonomy than many daemons, enjoying leading mortals and daemons across the galaxy into disaster, and has even played practical jokes on the other Chaos Gods on occasion. At times, however, the Architect of Fate will give his Trickster a specific mission and prior to the events of the 13th Black Crusade, the Changeling was instrumental in setting-up the events that led to the Siege of the Fenris System and the return of the Daemon Primarch Magnus the Red to the material universe.

  • Doppelgänger: The Changeling is able to take the form of almost creature in existence from a humble Gretchin to a mighty Greater Daemon. The Changeling uses this ability to sow confusion and manipulate the fate and actions of mortals to advance the plots of its master or simply for its own entertainment.
  • Exact Words: As with all daemons, the wording of your request is of utmost importance. Not only will the Changeling follow it to the letter, but he will do everything within said letter to utterly screw you over.
  • In the Hood: He keeps his face shrouded by a hooded cloak. It's rumored among other Heralds that inside the hood, he constantly shifts his face into previous forms he's taken to try to figure out what his real face is.
  • Jerkass Genie: In the guise of a Keeper of Secrets, he traded the souls of a traitorous governor's daughters for something that would end an Imperial siege — the teleport homer of some Dark Angels terminators.
  • Mirror Match: When faced with a mighty warrior the Changeling will transform itself into its opponent, using their own skill and strength against them. The 8th Edition of the game represents this with the "Formless Horror" ability that allows the Changeling to use its opponent's combat statistics instead of its own.
  • Perpetually Protean: Whenever he appears undisguised, he wears a hooded cloak to hide the fact that he's constantly cycling through different forms in a desperate attempt to rediscover his old self — or so the rumors claim.
  • Traumatic Haircut: One of his practical jokes involved cutting Slaanesh's hair with a stolen Hellblade while the Dark Prince slept.
  • The Trickster: He delights in confounding and manipulating his victims.
  • Whoopee Cushion: He pulled the 40k equivalent of an ancient gag when he snuck a trio of Nurglings onto the Skull Throne right before Khorne sat down.

The Blue Scribes, the Azure Arcanologists
"Ygethmor's Flaming Blizzard, say thee? Bumbleheaded no-brain! This calls for the Vaunted Transmogrophication of Colchis. Watch this!"

Legend has it that at one point the other Chaos Gods conspired to depose Tzeentch after the Changer of Ways came to dominate the Warp and that his unsurpassed power was shattered into countless crystalline fragments of sorcerous power. After his defeat, Tzeentch tasked the cantankerous Blue Horrors P'tarix and Xirat'p with the recovery of the power that he lost, now taking the form of various spells and psychic abilities. Traveling the galaxy on a Disc of Tzeentch overloaded with arcane scrolls and tomes, their unending search frequently leads them to battlefields where they use their arsenal of accumulated lore to devastating effect.

  • Hover Board: The Scribes travel on a Disk of Tzeentch, a flying machine containing a sorcerously-bound Screamer daemon.
  • Mana Drain: P'tarix can siphon the warp energy unleashed by enemy psykers so that it can be studied and categorized as part of their search for the shards of Tzeentch's staff. The 8th Edition of the game represents this with the P'tarix's Sorcerous Syphon ability that makes it more difficult for nearby enemy psykers to manifest their abilities.
  • The Pen Is Mightier: If a foe manages to get close enough to the Scribes to threaten them with physical combat, the pair will retaliate with their knife-sharp quills, all the while arguing about whose fault it is that they are in such a situation.
  • Power Limiter: Tzeentch altered the Scribes to ensure that they couldn't effectively use the knowledge they acquire. P'tarix can transcribe the spells they find, but can't read. Xirat'p, on the other hand, can read his brother's writing, but can't understand it. They're also both Blue Horrors so that they would eternally be at each other's throats (as well as being dumber than two halves of a peanut), never getting the idea that they could work together to utilize the power they hold effectively.
  • Random Effect Spell: As a result of their limitations, in battle the Scribes sling spells at random without knowing what's going to happen. This is reflected in-game by randomly determining their psychic power each turn.
  • Sdrawkcab Name: Created together from the same Pink Horror to fulfil their role, the twin Blue Horrors P'tarix and Xirat'p share the same name, only reversed.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Tzeentch specifically selected these two because they're too stupid and argumentative to ever realize what they could do with all the power they're accumulating.

Aetaos'rau'keres, the Slayer of Souls

An insanely powerful Exalted Lord of Change, Aetaos'rau'keres is one of the most feared of all Tzeentch's daemons, and he is venerated only by the most apocalyptic of cults. Only Tzeentch knows the full history of his greatest daemon for Aetaos'rau'keres has killed anyone else who has dared to research his past. While he may have the powers of a demi-god, Tzeentch has shackled the mighty daemon's will to such an extent it has driven Aetaos'rau'keres to madness, leaving nothing in his mind except the desire to obliterate worlds.

  • Attack Reflector: One of his abilities allow him to bounce back enemy Psyker ability directed towards him, and make them take Mortal Damage.
  • The Dreaded: Even by Greater Daemons standard, as he doesn't whether you're friend or foe.
  • Leave No Witnesses: Aetaos'Rau'Keres has murdered everybody, mortal and daemon alike, who knows anything about his true nature. The only reason he's still "loyal" is because Tzeentch is the only person left in the universe who could sell out his secret.
  • Magic Staff: Keres' powerful staff, the Staff of Cataclysm, is able to channel the power of a warp storm to attack the Exalted Greater Daemon's enemies. In-game this attack inflicts a massive number of attacks against enemy units that, in the 8th Edition version of the rules, can use the lives of the enemy to summon Flamers of Tzeentch to the battlefield.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Once Keres is summoned, he would not stop until everything in the planet is dead and/or ashes. As 1d4chan put it, he's a paranoid and unfathomably pissed off Exterminatus on legs (and wings).
  • Summon Magic: Even for a Lord of Change, Aetaos'rau'keres is particularly adept in the summoning of other daemonic beings into the material universe. How this is represented in the game changes depending on the edition with some giving Keres a special attack that summons Tzeentchian daemons rather than doing damage, while the 8th Edition rules give the Exalted Lord of Change a re-roll on any attempts to summon daemons during a game.
  • Try to Fit That on a Business Card: As with all daemons, Aetaos'rau'keres has a large number of titles, pseudonyms and use-names, including the Slayer of Souls, Lord of Hosts, Shadow of All Colours and None, Ashenwing, and Tzeentch's Mad Satrap. Aetaos'rau'keres has so many such titles that even his entry in Forge World's 2013 sourcebook Imperial Armour: Apocalypse doesn't note them all, simply ending the list with "etc."

    Daemons of Nurgle 

Rotigus Rainfather, the Generous One

A powerful Great Unclean One, Rotigus is the embodiment of the Plague God’s generosity and will happily render assistance to any desperate enough to seek aid at any price. Wielding a staff made from a branch of his god's favourite tree and constantly followed by a diseased storm that gifts those who surround the greater daemon with the Plague God's blessings, Rotigus leads the Plague Legions across the galaxy to claim worlds for the glory of the Great Corrupter. Since his actions during the Skull Lands War, where he saved the Garden of Nurgle from an out-of-control warpfire inferno, Rotigus has risen greatly in Nurgle's favour and his fellow Greater Daemons believe it is only a matter of time before he is elevated to the status of Exalted Great Unclean One.

  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Rotigus listens to despairing mortals' supplications and always delivers in a twisted manner. There's an incident where the T'au Earth Caste farmers of Dh'artan, so desperate for rain as their hydro-tech broke, give in to the superstitions of the indigenous tribes of the sept. The resulting downpour is welcome until it engulfs the entire planet and turns it into a plague-ridden swamp.
  • Breath Weapon: Rotigus has been blessed with the ability to vomit an endless stream of rotten meat, acids and plague water. His miniature visually represents this with the tide of maggots pouring out of his mouth.
  • Explosive Breeder: When the beasts of agri-world Ullden went sterile, Rotigus "helped" out by gifting them with fertile beasts... who just kept on giving birth, covering the grounds with mutated and shrieking abominations.
  • Fertile Feet: The Rainfather is regarded by primitives as a fertility god; where he goes, your crops and animals would be plentiful, thanks to his rain and fertility blessing. Problem is, he takes this to horrifying extremes. Unending rainfall has turned entire planets into disease-ridden swamplands, and animals have been known to endlessly churn offspring that they cover the ground even when they're horribly misshapen from various mutations.
  • Green Thumb: In a typically twisted manner. Rotigus can make the flora and fauna around him grow and multiply out of control, the resulting death and rot exponentially adding to the destruction he causes.
  • The Rival: To Ku'gath, the previous named Great Unclean One. The Plague Wars series explains that he's recently surpassed the former as Nurgle's most favored Greater Daemon.
  • Staff of Authority: Rotigus wields the gnarlrod, a staff made from the branch of the hornebeam tree, one of the favourite plants of the Plague God. Not only is this branch a powerful weapon, the fact that the Rainfather is allowed to wield it shows how high the mighty Great Unclean One stands in Nurgle's favour.
  • Too Many Mouths: The opening in Rotigus' belly is a leering fang-filled mouth, and a snarling face is emerging from the muscles in the open tear in his left arm.
  • Weird Weather: Rotigus is always accompanied by Nurgle's Deluge, a downpour of filthy, pestilent water that perpetually hovers over him and drowns those nearby in the gifts of Nurgle.

Ku'gath Plaguefather, the Foetid Brewmaster

An unusually sombre Great Unclean One, Ku'gath was once a regular Nurgling who accidentally imbibed one of the most potent and noxious diseases that Nurgle had ever created. Although Nurgle was more amused than annoyed at his loss, Ku'gath has devoted his existence to recreating his father's masterwork, travelling the galaxy in search of ingredients and test subjects to perfect his hideous brew.

  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Ku'gath is nowhere to be seen or mentioned in the 8th edition Daemons codex, and the role of a named Great Unclean One seems to have been transferred to Rotigus. The Plague Wars series explains that after a spectacularly failed attempt to pull Ultramar into the Warp that ended with much of Nurgle's Garden getting torched by the Emperor and the god himself getting wounded, Ku'gath has fallen dramatically in Nurgle's esteem and so can expect to be banished from realspace for a very long time to come.
  • Combat Medic: Nurgling swarms recover wounds when near Ku'gath, as he's so infested with them that he can spare some as reinforcements.
  • The Eeyore: The Dark Imperium novel series characterizes Ku'gath as being self-loathing and depressive. Ku'gath considers himself to be such a failure that he is never happy, is always pessimistic and is always gloomy when talking to his allies. He even orders his armies to be less happy, but isn't listened to. In fact, Rotigus calls him out on his attitude, interpreting it as Ku'gath wanting attention.
  • Fastball Special: He prefers to test his latest attempt at Nurgle's master plague by throwing infected Nurglings to splatter into the enemy.
  • Freak Lab Accident: Ku'gath is what he is because, while crawling on Nurgle's body, he fell into the Plaguelord's vat of diseases and consumed its contents, transforming into a Great Unclean One.
  • Inadequate Inheritor: He sees himself as having robbed Nurgle of his greatest achievement and is obsessed with recreating it. Nurgle, for his part, is very pleased with what Ku'gath has become but is content to let him carry on his experiments.
  • Too Important to Walk: Ku'gath and his field equipment are carried on a living carpet of Nurglings, which he constantly replenishes from his own rotten guts.

Epidemius, the Tallyman of Nurgle

One of the Proctors of Pestilence who lead Nurgle's Plague Legions, Epidemius is one of the greatest of the Lord of Decay's daemonic heralds. As a mark of his favour, the Plague God has granted Epidemius the endless task of judging and recording the effectiveness of his deadly creations and the Nurgle's Tallyman, and his Nurgling assistants, constantly observe outbreaks and battles involving Nurgle's forces, carefully noting every last sore, pustule and plague unleashed on the mortal universe.

  • Gotta Catch Them All: Epidemius is tasked with recording Nurgle's every disease, which he is hard pressed to do as Nurgle can produce them faster than Epidemius can record them.
  • Human Resources: All of Epidemius' parchment or ink is grown or secreted by his research assistants.
  • Too Important to Walk: As a mark of his rank, and so that he can concentrate fully on his important task, Epidemius is carried into battle atop a rotten palanquin borne by a tide of unusually serious Nurglings who also act as the Tallyman's assistants and bodyguards.
  • Unstable Equilibrium: His Tally of Pestilence special rules provides buffs to nearby models based on how many Wounds have been dealt by Nurgle's daemons. By the end of the game, Epidemius and his bodyguards can be unstoppable.

Horticulous Slimux, the Grand Cultivator

An ancient Herald of Nurgle, Horticulous has been the head gardener of the Garden of Nurgle for aeons, developing an affinity with the diseased flora that surround the Plague God's manse that is rivaled only by Nurgle himself. Although Horticulous would much rather spend the rest of his daemonic existing doing nothing more than tending to his master's garden, Nurgle highly values the skills of the Grand Cultivator and whether it is seeding outcrops of the Garden of Nurgle around Khorne's Brass Citadel or leading the Plague Legions in the material universe, the Lord of Decay always has work for his head gardener.

  • The Beastmaster: Horticulous is able to attract and command Beasts of Nurgle. The 8th Edition rules represent this with the Beast Handler ability that gives Beasts of Nurgle fighting alongside Horticulous bonuses in combat.
  • Fertile Feet: In a twisted version of the trope, Horticulous causes the diseased and mutated flora of the Garden of Nurgle to sprout in his wake whenever he walks the material universe. The 8th Edition rules represent this by allowing the Daemon player to add a Feculent Gnarlmaw to their army at the end of each Movement phase.
  • Meaningful Name: The name Horticulous sounds close to horticulture, fitting with his role as Nurgle’s Grand Cultivator.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: Mulch is a snail-like creature with an ammonite shell and caterpillar-like prolegs.
  • Motivation on a Stick: Horticulous dislikes Nurglings and will often feed them to his mount Mulch. In order to get the daemonic mount moving at a reasonable pace, he will often dangle a bound and struggling Nurgling from a stick in front of Mulch’s ravenous maw.
  • Oral Fixation: Horticulous’ model is chewing on a human bone in the same manner as a stereotypical country farmer chews on a stalk of wheat or corn. This is intended to strengthen the agricultural theme of Nurgle’s head gardener.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: He'd rather stay in the Garden forever without harming anyone instead of killing people or corrupting worlds, but if the Father orders him to do it, or something threatens the Garden itself, he will ride on and fight without mercy.
  • Shear Menace: Instead of a balesword or plaguesword, the traditional weapons of a Herald of Nurgle, Horticulous goes into battle armed with a pair of rusted and filth-covered lopping shears that are just as efficient at cutting up the enemies of Grandfather Nurgle as they are pruning his garden.

    Daemons of Slaanesh 

Shalaxi Helbane, Monarch of the Hunt

The greatest warrior amongst the daemons of the Dark Prince, Shalaxi Helbane represents martial perfection and was created to hunt and defeat the Greater Daemons of the other Chaos Gods. In order to regain the favoured position that it lost due to being defeated by the Grey Knights, Helbane was unleashed to hunt down Yvraine and the Yncarne in an attempt to stop the rise of the Ynnari and the birth of Ynnead.

  • Actually a Doombot: At the Battle of Iathglas, Helbane appeared to have been defeated after a hard-fought fight with champions of every Aeldari culture, including the Phoenix Lord Jain Zar, the Queen of Knives Lelith Hesperax and Yvraine the High Priestess of the Whispering God. Almost immediately, however, Helbane revealed that the creature the Aeldari fought was really nothing more than a warp echo of the Monarch of the Hunt, given enough form to test the strength of its quarry.
  • Blade on a Stick: Helbane wields Soulpiercer, a massive spear longer than the Greater Daemon is tall that was forged specifically to slay enemy champions. The 8th Edition rules represent this by giving Soulpiercer a powerful stat line that becomes even more dangerous when Helbane fights enemy Character models.
  • World's Best Warrior: Shalaxi Helbane is martial perfection made manifest, created to be the greatest of the Dark Prince's warriors. The powerful Keeper of Secrets has been tasked with hunting down and defeating the greater daemons of the other Chaos Gods, particularly the Bloodthirsters of Slaanesh's hated rival Khorne, as well as those mortal heroes that oppose the Dark Prince's will. To perform this role, the 8th Edition rules for Helbane give the Keeper of Secrets a number of abilities and weapons that are designed to kill enemy Characters, such as the Monarch of the Hunt ability that makes it easier for Helbane to engage an enemy Character in close combat.

The Masque of Slaanesh, Eternal Dancer of Slaanesh
"The players have come, the stage is set — let the arcane dance begin! There shall be voyeurs and artistes, supplicants and sacrifices, a role for everyone and everything. But alas, no survivors."

Once the most favoured of Slaanesh's handmaidens, the Masque was cursed by her capricious master after her misjudged attempt to brighten the mood of the Dark Prince after a humiliating loss was taken as mockery. Declaring that she should dance for all eternity, Slaanesh banished the Masque from his presence so that the daemonic herald now pirouettes and leaps across reality, entrancing all who see her until they are compelled to join her revelry. Despite her exile, Slaanesh still enjoys watching the Masque's performances, his fickle whims driving his former favourite to unsurpassed heights of acrobatic violence, such as during her invasion of Biel-Tan's Infinity Circuit.

  • Achilles' Heel: The compelling factor of the Masque's dancing doesn't work against Solitaires, as they are the only Harlequins that can take on the role of Slaanesh. A Solitaire defeated the Masque after a days-long dance combat because of this, freeing both the Harlequins and the audience she had ensnared.
  • Body-Count Competition: In order or manipulate him into destroying the seal on the Ursulia webway portal, the Masque challenged Skarbrand to a contest to see which of the exiled daemons could reap the most Eldar souls for their patron.
  • Dance Battler: The Masque, who used to be Slaaneshi's favourite dancer before slighting her lord and being cursed to battle for all eternity. She never stops dancing, but can still fight in close combat as normal.
  • Evil Counterpart: To the Eldar Harlequins, as she is a dark mirror of their techniques and purpose.
  • Involuntary Dance: Slaanesh cursed the Masque to dance throughout time and space for all eternity for her disastrous attempt to cheer up the Prince of Pleasure. The curse is so powerful that those mortals who see her dance are compelled to join the Herald in its dance until they collapse from exhaustion. While this isn't always fully represented in the Masque's rules, her 8th Edition ability The Eternal Dance makes a nearby enemy unit easier to hit as they are forced to dance rather than defend themselves.
  • Magic Dance: The Masque has several options to choose from, which allow her to root an enemy unit in place with her Dance of Caging, foil an enemy's attempt at shooting with the Dance of Dreaming, or simply kill them with the Dance of Death.
  • Super Reflexes: She's so unnaturally agile that she can re-roll failed Invulnerable saves.

Doomrider, Daemon Prince of Slaanesh
"As I ride to war, the scent of death washes over me like the wind itself. All my senses come to life, and each kill becomes more exhilarating than the last!"

A mighty Daemon Prince of Slaanesh, Doomrider's origins are a mystery; all that is known for sure is that he was a former Chaos Space Marine. Riding a daemonic motorcycle that can fly through the air on flaming wheels, Doomrider can be summoned by Slaanesh's followers to run down their prey, but he is notoriously unpredictable and seldom stays on any battlefield for long.

  • Assassin Outclassin': The White Scars have targeted him for death and sent several Masters of the Hunt to take his head; Doomrider mounts their skulls on his bike.
  • Back for the Dead: He's the main villain in "Master of the Hunt" and is killed (well, defeated) by Kor’sarro Khan.
  • Badass Biker: Literally the Daemon Prince of them.
  • Drugs Are Good: Known to enthusiastically indulge even post apotheosis (when he presumably would not need to in order to achieve a high.)
  • Expy: At least in terms of his image. He's pretty much Ghost Rider in Power Armor.
  • Flaming Hair: The fandom wrote a song about it comparing Doomrider to Richard Pryor.
  • Four Is Death: Didn't go so well for him during the 4th hunt.
  • Joke Character: While appealing in concept, Doomrider had the "He Comes, He Goes" special rule that meant he had a 1 in 6 chance to disappear at the end of each turn. This included the turn he was summoned, potentially making him a complete waste of points.
  • Off with His Head!: Doomrider's ultimate fate, getting his head chopped off by Kor'sarro Khan and mounted on a pike outside the White Scars' fortress monestary (after sewing his mouth shut to keep him from annoying them with his constant chatter).
  • Put on the Bus: His model is no longer sold, and he hasn't had rules since the 3rd Edition Chaos Codex.
  • Sword and Gun: Doomrider wields a daemonsword described in his Summoning Ritual as "throbbing" and a plasma pistol described as "pulsing" and "gushing".

Syll'Esske, The Vengeful Alliance
The most wholesome couple in the Immaterium

A symbiotically paired Daemon Prince and Herald of Slaanesh, Syll Lewdtongue and Esske the Scarred are a fearsome force on the battlefield that perfectly complement each other's strengths and weaknesses to become a synchronized duet of death for the Prince of Pleasure.

  • An Axe to Grind: Esske wields the Axe of Dominion, a truly massive two-handed axe that increases his already prodigious strength and cleaves through armor like butter.
  • Battle Couple: They cherish each other more than anything else and fight furiously to spare the other whatever pain they can while they serve Slaanesh. This is even reflected in their rules where, after one of the pair fights in the Fight phase, the other can fight with their equipped weapon at the end of the phase.
  • Deal with the Devil: After being killed by other Heralds for her champion being too successful in the arenas, Syll cut a deal with the Hereteks of the Soul Forge to turn herself into a Soul Grinder. This would allow Syll to reunite with Esske more quickly, at the expense of having to pay the debt back to the Soul Forge. What Syll didn't know, however, was that the Heralds who had stabbed her in the back had cut a deal with the Soul Forge to drive her new form mad and send her into a battle where Esske would be fighting so that the insane Herald-turned-Soul Grinder would kill her favored mortal and be driven into despair. See the entry for Last Stand for how well that turned out.
  • Dying Declaration of Love: Inverted; Esske, upon seeing the Soul Grinder that Syll had turned herself into trundling towards him in a frenzy, recognized who it was and what she had done to be reunited with him. Not wishing to harm the only being he had ever connected with, Esske laid down his arms and let Syll attack him, affirming their love by letting Syll kill him.
  • Fusion Dance: Sort of; while they aren't a single individual formed from two, Slaanesh specifically linked their souls and essences together so that they would always fight in perfect synchrony. This is reflected in their statistics where they have all the benefits of both a Herald of Slaanesh and a Daemon Prince of Slaanesh in one unit, including gaining an additional casting for psychic powers because Syll can cast one as a Herald and Esske can cast one as a Daemon Prince.
  • Last Stand: Subverted; After reuniting with each other on the battlefield the pair were faced with a Khornate war host and no allies save for some exhausted gladiators. Esske had been blinded in the melee before Syll found him, and Syll had expended a large chunk of her energy reviving Esske from death. Knowing that it was the end, Syll climbed up onto Esske's shoulders to direct him through the battle and make a glorious last stand for the Prince of Pleasure against the forces of their most hated enemy. What followed was a rallying of the gladiators as Syll'Esske fought in perfect synchrony despite their exhaustion and Esske's blindness, cutting a path through the war host and fighting all the way back to the safety of the Palace of Slaanesh.
  • Love at First Sight: When Syll first set eyes on Esske in the gladiatorial arenas outside of the Palace of Slaanesh she knew that he would be her greatest champion, and she went through hell and back again to mold Esske into the champion that she knew he could become.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Syll's reaction when, after murdering Esske on accident after her Soul Grinder body was driven into a frenzy, she was restored to her Daemonette form and given the clarity to realize what she had done.
  • Portmanteau Couple Name: Their shared name Syll'Esske is taken from both of their first names. For reference, Syll is the Herald of Slaanesh and Esske is the Daemon Prince that she is riding.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Suffice to say, the first thing the newly christened Syll'Esske did after being elevated into the Vengeful Alliance that they are is get back at the scheming Heralds that tried to separate them.
  • Whip It Good: Like many other Heralds of Slaanesh, Syll wields the Lashes of Torment to attack her opponents at range or in melee.

    Daemons of Chaos Undivided 

Be'lakor, the Dark Master

The first mortal being to be elevated to the position of Daemon Prince, Be'lakor gained favour with all four of the Dark Powers and was bestowed with daemonic power from all of them. Though immensely powerful, Be'lakor proved almost uncontrollable due to the conflicting natures of his multiple masters and soon the Gods turned their attentions to other mortals that they could solely control. Insanely jealous of the other Daemons and mortal Champions who have taken the favour of his patrons, Be'lakor has since dedicated his existence to undermining and thwarting the plans of those he sees as usurpers. Since the opening of the Great Rift, the Dark Master has been seen fighting alongside a number of Heretic Astartes warbands, including that of Abaddon himself, but what his plans are remain unknown.

  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: Be'lakor wields the Blade of Shadow, a monstrous weapon that continuously changes backwards and forwards between solidity and shadow, enabling it to slice through any armour. In the 9th edition of the game, not only does the sword have a very high damage and armor piercing value (though not as high as it had been in previous games), its Armor-Piercing Attack mode can ignore Invulnerable saves entirely, something that normally requires magic to do.
  • Canon Immigrant: Be'lakor began life as the Big Bad of the Warhammer Fantasy Gaiden Game Mordheim before being introduced into its parent game. Later, the Dark Master was introduced to the Warhammer 40,000 with his backstory rewritten slightly to fit the setting.
  • Chained by Fashion: Chains with skulls and helmets bolted to them adorn his wings.
  • God Guise: Some Imperial Xenoarchaeologists have discovered ancient alien artefacts and pictograms depicting a being resembling the Dark Master ruling over and enslaving early galactic civilizations and during the period of Old Night as a daemonic god.
  • Hidden Agenda Villain: Be'lakor's endgame is a mystery to anyone that knows of him, and given he operates from the shadows more often than not he likes to keep it that way. Speculation abouts that he intends to find a means to ascend and become a new Chaos God, perhaps as one more challenge against those that created and then abandoned him.
  • Intangibility: Be'lakor is thought to be able to turn his body into living shadow so that enemy attacks pass harmlessly through him. The 9th edition rules reflect this by giving Be'lakor not only a high invulnerable save, but also several debuffs to shooting and melee attacks that make it difficult for anyone to hit or wound him at any range.
  • Shrouded in Myth: Very little is known of Be'lakor's history, and much of what is could be suspect due the Daemon Prince’s predisposition towards lies, manipulation and secrecy.
  • Super Prototype: Be'lakor was the first and greatest Daemon Prince created by the Chaos Gods and was, at his height, so powerful that he was nearly impossible to fully control. Although his powers have been diminished since losing the favour of his patrons, Be'lakor is still counted as one of the most powerful Daemon Princes in existence, with his 9th Edition rules putting him in the same league as the Four's Greater Daemons.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: He is in many ways a reimaging of the Chaos god Malal, who represented the idea of Chaos turning upon itself, but was dropped from the lore long ago due to copyright issues. His name is basically "Kaleb" spelled backwards, which refers to Malal's favoured champion Kaleb Daark, and his sword has the same abilitiy to ignore Invulnerable saves as the Dreadaxe, which was a weapon associated with Malal.
  • Unwitting Pawn: While he believes that his position as a Daemon Prince of Chaos Undivided grants him more free will than his younger fellows, the truth is that whenever he succeeds in defeating a follower of one Chaos God he is invariably fulfilling the plans one or more of the remaining gods, his own desire to prove his superiority blinding him to the restriction placed upon him at his ascension.

Vashtorr the Arkifane
I have an offer for you
Vashtorr the Arkifane is a newly unveiled Chaos demigod, somewhere between being a Daemon Prince and full blown god of Chaos on the scale of the Great Four, and was notably not uplifted from a mortal the way that Daemon Princes are. Vashtorr is formed from concepts and emotions relating to craft and creation, and as such is the lord of the Soul Forge and is the patron deity of all chaotic machines such as Soul Grinders, Maulerfiends, and those dedicated to the Cult of Destruction and the Obliterator Virus such as Obliterators, Mutilators, and the Dark Mechanicum.
  • Ambiguous Gender: Downplayed; Vashtorr is referred to with masculine pronouns, but his voice in his introductory video vacillates between a high, warbling feminine voice and a low, mechanical masculine one.
  • Deal with the Devil: Made one with Abbadon the Despoiler as a part of Abbadon's Arks of Omen plan to turn space hulks (amalgamated ship wreckages and asteroid bits soaked in warp energy) into chaos-aligned warships to spread throughout the Imperium. Abaddon gets a powerful ally that can manipulate the hulks at a level no other Chaos entity can to further his plan, and Vashtorr gets power from the tech-heresy and dark creation necessary to enact the plan. Exactly who is getting screwed over in this plan remains to be seen, but someone eventually will be just by the nature of Chaos itself.
  • Drop the Hammer: Wields the Hammer of the Soul Forge, a massive daemonic hammer that is used both in the creation of daemon engines and in the destruction of Vashtorr's foes.
  • Human Sacrifice: Par for the course for Chaos, but notable in that, as a demigod of Chaos, Vashtorr can take corporeal form in the Materium if the proper offerings are made. These offerings consist typically of metal, machinery, and copious amounts of flesh.
  • Industrialized Evil: The demigod of this concept; every chaotic machine and act of tech-heresy committed by mortals empowers and fuels Vashtorr, and when he takes corporeal form he appears as a hideous amalgamation of flesh and machine.
  • Playing Both Sides: Vashtorr, as a separate Chaos demigod from the Great Four, is unaligned with any of the greater powers of the Immaterium. Instead he acts as an arms dealer and broker between the players of the Great Game, selling out his daemon engines and weaponry to whoever will pay him for them in sacrfices of materials or souls.

The difference between gods and daemons largely depends upon where one is standing at the time.