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Beyond the veil of reality lies the Realm of Chaos, a world of roaming magic where thoughts and feelings are given form, and where the Four Chaos Gods live: Khorne, Tzeentch, Nurgle and Slaanesh. All four rule separate realms inhabited by specific Daemons, each one a shard of their master's power and a reflection of the concepts they embody, as well as Beasts of Chaos and other thematic monsters. Most of the time the Gods and Daemons war amongst themselves, but occasionally they will set their attention to the material plane, spelling doom for all its inhabitants.
The Daemons of Chaos are a powerful yet fickle army, whose prowess waxes and wanes with the Winds of Magic and prone to simply fading away from the material world when deprived of the Winds. Their hosts are divided in four distinctive trends of units. First the straightforward close-combat monsters that are the Daemons of Khorne. Then the magic wielding Daemons of Tzeentch. Then the slow but extremely resilient Daemons of Nurgle. And finally the fragile but fast Daemons of Slaanesh. Daemons armies will usually a mix-an-match group of different Daemons with their own strengths and weaknesses.
Although the Gods and their Daemons are the enemy of the entire world, many factions being wise enough to see them as the ultimate threat to their existence, the Chaos Gods have the loyalty of some of its inhabitants. The Beastmen, as beings utterly corrupted by Chaos, rightfully see the Gods as their masters, and there are humans who, for power, earthly possessions or due to madness and seeing the truth of Chaos, have sworn themselves to these dark beings.
Despite their labeling as beings of fathomless evil, the Chaos Gods represent both the highest and most base aspects of sentient thought. The Great Powers personify Rage, Scheming, Despair, and Lust, but also Bravery, Hope, Perseverance, and Love.
Tropes applying to the Chaos Gods as a whole:
- Animal Motifs: Savage Wolves for Khorne, Creepy Crows for Tzeentch, and Flies Equals Evil for Nurgle (even his symbol is a stylized fly). These are just the most easily recognized motifs; background materials, especially the older ones, note that many Chaos cults can be disguised as mere 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.
- Big Bad Duumvirate: The Chaos Gods are the biggest threat to the world in Warhammer Fantasy, having nearly destroyed the world on a number of occasions through their demons and mortal servants.
- Blue-and-Orange Morality: All of them, being the embodiment of abstract concepts, are prone to this.
- Cosmic Plaything: They view everything that has ever existed as this.
- Deal with the Devil: The Gifts of Chaos are the result of this, giving one power but at a horrible price, each likely to eventually drive the receiver to madness:
- The Gifts of Khorne will make you among the most powerful warriors in the world, but the more you immerse yourself in his blessings, the more consumed by rage and battle-lust you'll become, with only incredible strength of will being able to stave off the madness.
- The Gifts of Tzeentch will give you magical powers and arcane knowledge that can allow you to walk unchallenged against your opponents, but the knowledge is of things you cannot know.
- The Gifts of Nurgle will give you the ability to overcome death itself, but you will be a walking corpse plagued with disease.
- 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.
- Eldritch Abomination: Physical descriptions for three of the Chaos Gods fail because of how incomprehensible they are, with the accounts of those insane enough to try glimpsing into the Realm of Chaos wildly differing from another, let alone those who tried looking upon the Dark Gods themselves. The exception is Slaanesh, who is supposed to be inhumanly beautiful.
- Enemy Civil War: Though they have some interest in the material world, the Great Game, the struggle for dominance in the Realm of Chaos, is the main priority of the Chaos Gods. It's also unwinnable, because when one becomes stronger, the others gang up on the stronger to bring him back down to a manageable level. And if one were to succeed, Chaos would ultimately stop being, well, Chaos.
- Everyone Has Standards: The Chaos Gods pleaded with Aenarion the Defender not to use the Sword of Khaine to avenge his family.
- Fantasy Pantheon: A very dark example. In Fantasy Battle, they're roughly correspondent to the Norse Gods. Khorne being Odin and Tyr, Tzeentch being Mimir and Loki, Slaanesh being Frey and Nurgle may correspond to Hel. And that's only for the Norscans, they all correspond to various Turkic or Slavic gods for the Kurgan and Hung, Tzeentch is Tengri or Sventovid (it's also notable the Kurgan name for Tzeentch - Tchar - appears to be derived from Tsar), Khorne is Kyzaghan or Perun, etc, etc.
- 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.
- God of Chaos: In case it wasn't obvious enough.
- God of Evil: And there's four of them.
- God Needs Prayer Badly: Chaos feeds off the emotions of sentient races, but otherwise doesn't need it directed at them specifically. It simply helps to focus the energy they receive.
- Greater-Scope Villain: The Chaos Gods rarely pay any attention to mortal affairs, spending the vast majority of their time fighting each other, but the powers that are available to mortals because of their very existence (and the corruption and madness that results from them) are the motivation for multiple evil factions in both settings, and created those same factions in the first place.
- The Heartless: Even positive emotions such as Hope or Acceptance feed the Chaos gods.
- Mad God: All four fit the gold standard, but Tzeentch is especially... inexplicably illogical.
- The Omnipotent: Within their own planes of existence. Their influence in the real world, while still extremely palpable, is very limited by comparison.
- Orcus on His Throne: Despite their near limitless power, the Chaos Gods very rarely take direct action. To them, that's the duty of minions, not omnipotent masters.
- Our Gods Are Different: Probably the most powerful deities in Warhammer canon.
- Pure Is Not Good: Subverted actually, the gods are neither good nor evil, but simply elemental.
- Red Baron: The True Gods, the Gods of the North, the Northern Powers, the Aesgardr, the Hungry Gods of the Dark, etc. This is just what the Norscans and other followers of Chaos call them.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Once in a while, the Chaos Gods will stop their infighting and work together. Fortunately, it never lasts long.
- Top God: The Chaos Gods are constantly competing against one-another to become the strongest member of the pantheon. Khorne holds the position most frequently, as he is empowered by conflict so he grows stronger whenever anyone fights against him, but the other gods sometimes take the position from him when their own domains grow in power and influence.
- Ultimate Evil: The very first edition of the game had pictures of them, but later additions only describe them rather than portraying them in artwork.
The major Chaos Gods are as follows:
- Blood for the Blood God! Skulls for the Skull Throne!
The Blood God, the Brass Lord of Battle, Arkhar, Kharnath, Kjorn, the Bloodwolf, the Axe-Father. Khorne is the most renowned, widespread and powerful of the Chaos Gods, he is the embodiment of hate, rage, wrath, violence and the urge to kill... but he is also comprised of martial pride, courage, the will to protect others, and honor. Khorne's commandments are simple; death and violence are what he exists for, and those who worship him strive only to kill in his name. The most common saying about Khorne is that he cares not from where the blood flows, only that it flows.
Khorne is described as resembling an impossibly huge and muscular warrior clad in bronze armor and wielding a monstrous waraxe, though he is sometimes portrayed as having the head of a monstrous horn-sprouting wolf under a great winged helmet. His sacred number is 8.
Notable tropes include:
- Khorne is fundamentally opposed to Slaanesh. Where Slaanesh is self-centered and hedonistic and its followers kill and torture to satisfy their own desires, Khornate dogma teaches spreading death and spilling blood freely for its own sake and that one should take no pleasure in anything else. Khorne is also not big on torture, which is meaningless postponing of the kill.
- Khorne also hates Tzeentch because he considers sorcery and manipulation to be cowards' weapons.
- He hates Nurgle as well due to his corpulence and passivity. Khorne believes that you have to go out and make things happen, rather than just waiting. Nurgle's careful stewardship of blessings and enhancements to his followers also runs counter to Khorne's overriding instinct to destroy.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: This is a deeply held Khornate tenant.
- Atop a Mountain of Corpses: SKULLS FOR THE SKULL THRONE!
- Ax-Crazy: Khorne is the living embodiment of hate and rage — words simply don't exist to describe just how furious he is at any given moment of the day.
- An Axe to Grind: As functionally the first real weapon of war created, the axe is symbolically very important to Khorne and his worshippers. He's often described as wielding a massive battleaxe, as well.
- Badass Boast: There was one for him in the Saga of Khorne from the Liber Chaotica."My Master is the beginning and he is the End. He is the Master of mortals and the core of our dead hearts. Deny him and you deny yourselves. Honour him. And acknowledge he to whom we owe it all."
- Battle Cry: Khorne has what may be the most famous example of all four in the setting: BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD! SKULLS FOR THE SKULL THRONE!
- The Berserker: Not only Khorne, but his daemons and followers.
- Hilariously, and seeing as how worshipers of Khorne really are Vikings in this continuity, Khornate warriors often perform practices that historical Berserks are said to have done in Norse sagas.
- 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 say he won't live long. Even if someone from the other side shows cowardice, Khorne will unleash the hounds.
- Presenting him with the skulls of unworthy foes.
- Slaanesh. That is all.
- Weakness of either mind, body or soul.
- BFS: He has a sword too. He once took it in a mighty rage and smote an endless, screaming crevasse in the Realm of Chaos 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, but Khorne is described as being heavily armoured with the head of a wolf.
- Blood Knight: Khorne may care not from whence the Blood flows, but he does put importance on it flowing from hard-won sources. So, both he and Khornate worshipers always love a good fight.
- Offering the skulls of the weak for his throne is certain to get you brutally killed.
- Black Knight: Khorne is described as resembling one of these.
- Blood-Splattered Warrior: BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD!
- Blue-and-Orange Morality: Can a being of such power truly be judged by mortal ethics? Khorne is the embodiment of rage, to judge him harshly for killing and destroying is like judging a forest fire evil for burning.
- In particular, it would be a fatal mistake to think that he has something against slaughtering civilians en masse because of some ethic: It's simply that he prizes more fights against a Worthy Opponent.
- 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.
- Determinator: Khorne isn't kidding when he says he'll give you a will to dominate all others.
- Decapitation Presentation: A common end result of his followers winning fights, as they collect the skulls of the worthy and put them on spikes and wargear. The worthiest are offered to Khorne, and those join the pile of the Skull Throne.
- Does Not Like Magic: In a nutshell, it's for pussies. On the other hand, Khorne has no qualms with bequeathing enchanted weapons and armors to his followers to further increase their already incredible killing power. Daemon summoning is also okay. In essence, Khorne permits sorcery so long as you're not using to fight your battles for you, expecting you to use this equipment personally or joining the daemons in the fight. Pointing out that this might be hypocrisy will see you die a death more violent than any can imagine. Khornate units are one of the few Chaos units innately blessed with some form of magic dampener and Khorne does not possess his own lore of spells (he's the only god whose mark prevents its bearer from becoming a spellcaster).
- Emotion Eater: Any expression of anger, no matter how small or for whatever reason will make Khorne more powerful. And any instance of killing will serve him, whether it is done by his followers or by those who think they oppose him.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Maybe. His shield-maiden, Valkia the Bloody, is considered by many to be his consort. She's undeniably his favorite servant, and he enjoys watching her acts of butchery more than any of his other champions, but it's unlikely that Khorne can truly feel affection for others.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Khorne detests cowards. This includes people who offer him unworthy kills.
- 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 and his followers (well mainly his followers) manage to out-ham everyone. Just hear this: Ye gods... Beware, the end of this video may cause you to have an indigestion from pork overdose.
- Expy: Bryan Ansel (essentially co-creator of Games Workshop), has stated that Khorne was the based on the Conan the Barbarian version of the Celtic deity Crom.
- Flaming Sword: The weapons of the Bloodletters, his lesser daemons, carry this effect. Combined with their ability to suck the blood from anything they cut, and it's easy to see why they're called "Hellblades".
- Flanderization: While he is still the god of martial pride and excellence at arms, early editions of Fantasy (and 40K) emphasized that his followers would spare the weak or even non-combatants, but over time he has slowly evolved into a god of mindless slaughter, who "cares not from where the blood flows, only that it flows." This aspect has been revised to Khorne being indifferent to the weak and helpless and ultimately thinking they are unworthy of his scorn, and sometimes even out-gambitting Tzeentch when he feels like thinking. He also sends his hounds upon those cowards who flee from battle, abandon their brothers, or kill non-combatants (sometimes). That said, he's far less flanderized than his 40k version.
- 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). Some champions of Khorne are actually blessed with a Healing Factor, so that even grievious wounds can't kill them.
- Four-Star Badass: Khorne himself, being a God of War, 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. One particularly good example is Egil Styrbjorn.
- Genius Bruiser: Supremely powerful and possesses knowledge of everything that's related to fighting and killing.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Eeyup. He has the most sensitive hair trigger temper, his daemons are lesser reflections of his unending rage, and he causes this trait in his mortal followers.
- Hates Everyone Equally: As the embodiment of hate.
- Hellfire: His daemons often have weapons that burn with divine fire.
- Hot-Blooded: As a living incarnation of rage and hatred, Khorne has very little in the way of emotional control, and tends to immediately act upon his latest impulse.
- Horny Vikings: Out of all the Chaos Gods, the Norse tend to revere him the most.
- I Have Many Names: Arkhar, Kharneth, Khorghar, the Blood-Wolf, the Wolf-Father, the Axe-Father, for starters. In addition to his other well deserved titles granted by other mortal races.
- In Love with Your Carnage : To Valkia the Bloody. And most of his greatest champions, really.
- Kill 'Em All: His modus operandi. Khorne is empowered by violence and bloodshed, after all.
- Might Makes Right: General Khornate philosophy is that strength is the only virtue; compassion, generosity, mercy and similar emotions are foolishness and weakness.
- Named Weapons: His sword/battlaxe has been called 'Warmaker' and 'The End of All Things'' at various points.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Khorne himself, his daemons and his followers tend to take on names that very directly describe their taste for violence and murder and their considerable skill in these things.
- Noble Demon: Subverted. While he may have a code of honor, he IS endless violence and fury incarnate.
- Odd Job Gods: Khorne's portfolio includes battle, strength, excellence-at-arms, death, rage, bloodthirst, anger, hatred, vengeance, oaths and hunting. At least amongst Norscans and other Northmen, as their view of the gods tends to be more nuanced, for obvious reasons.
- Off with His Head!: What else would "SKULLS FOR THE SKULL THRONE!" mean?
- Ominous Floating Castle: The Halls of Khorne, where the Blood God resides upon the Skull Throne.
- The Power of Hate: Khorne is characterized as literally the sapient embodiment of hate itself, colaesced into a lifeform that possesses Reality Warper abilities, if not Physical Godhood.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: Khorne is the most popular god in the North as he relates to the Norscan way of life more directly than the other gods. Life in the North is so violent and bloodthirsty that not taking Khorne as a patron would be suicidally idiotic, so there's not much of a choice.
- Rated M for Manly: He's a god of war, rage, strength, martial honour, battle and single combat, and is depicted as an impossibly muscular warrior with a horned, wolf's head sitting atop a massive throne of skulls floating in an endless sea of blood and his plane of existence is a site of never ending conflict. And his worshipers are giant, axe brandishing, war loving Blood Knight VIKINGS, who also tend to be the best melee combatants in the setting.
- Red Baron: The Blood God, the Lord of Skulls, the Lord of Battles, the Father and Inheritor of all Rage, the Brass Lord of Battles, the God of War, etc, etc.
- Savage Wolf: The wolf is Khorne's sacred animal, he's is often described as having a wolf's head, his flesh-hounds are very lupine in appearance and his titles amongst the vicious Norse tribes include "the Blood Wolf" and "the Wolf-Father".
- 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.
- Tranquil Fury: It usually overlaps with this, considering he is the God of war and murderous, Ax-Crazy rage.
- Unstoppable Rage: Very frequently. He is the god of rage, after all.
- Villainous Valour : Courage pleases Khorne greatly. If you don't show it, however... don't expect to live long.
- War God: Khorne is the Chaos God of war, battle and slaughter and of all emotions that come with them, gaining power from rage, hate and bloodthirst. He's very much a battle-oriented war god — he and his worshippers and daemons value strength and might above all else and have nothing but disdain for anything they perceive as cowardly or weak, such as stealth, deceit, magic, mercy, overly complex tactics or really any battle plan that doesn't boil down to rushing your enemy in a furious horde and hacking them to pieces in vicious close combat. Unsurprisingly, as he gains power from hate and violence and given the kind of universe Warhammer takes place in, he's generally depicted as the mightiest of the Gods of Chaos.
- Warrior Heaven: Khorne's realm is one for the men who worship him, being great halls where they fight for all eternity. Warriors who died in their beds are cursed and shamed by the Blood God, and punished by being chained to forges and made to create weapons for his legions.
- What Measure Is a Non-Badass?: In-universe, this is Khorne's opinion. You are badass, good! You aren't, you are only worthy of swift death.
- The Wild Hunt: Khorne is associated with this in the cultures of those who venerate him.
- Would Not Shoot a Civilian: Originally, his followers would not harm innocent civilians out of honor, but as time went on, it started to be more about ignoring civilians because they present no challenge, and Khorne desires worthy kills. After the Worthy Opponents are out of the way, all bets are off.
- There, feel the glory of necrosis, and rejoice! Nurgle loves you, little one!
The Fly Lord, Neigel, Nierg, Nieglen, Onogal, the Crow. Portrayed as a being horrifically bloated and deformed by the ravages of disease and decay, pustular guts falling through his torn skin, pus and blood and bile and other filth oozing from every pore, Nurgle is the eldest of the Chaos Gods, and may be the most disgusting and terrifying of them. Ironically, he's also the nicest, maintaining a caring and loving manner. Nurgle claims to love all creatures — that just happens to include viruses, bacteria, fungi and other disease-causing organisms. Nurgle's followers spread disease and decay across the galaxy, forced to sing the songs of gratitude to "Grandfather" or "Papa" Nurgle. He is is born from the world's fear, despair, fortitude and the will to live no matter what.
Nurgle's sacred number is 7.
Notable tropes include:
- Affably Evil: Nurgle maintains a caring, cheerful manner. While infecting his followers with disfiguring ailments and horrific diseases and plagues.
- Arch-Enemy: Of Tzeentch. 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.
- Beneficial Disease: Nurgle's followers regard every disease as being a blessing from their lord. This is often the form that Nurgle's boons take when granted to his favored children.
- Blue-and-Orange Morality: Maybe. He claims his horrific plagues to be gifts, and that the despair they cause you are your way of saying thanks to him.
- Body Horror: Nurgle's physical form, and what frequently happens to his followers and their victims due to his "gifts".
- 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 squirming within their bulging flesh, and they can take 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.
- Despair Event Horizon: The god of this. When you have passed it and fully given up on everything, you are Nurgle's.
- Faux Affably Evil: While he's typically a jolly and generous individual despite being a horrifying God of Evil, he sometimes gets portrayed as a selfish and cruel individual hiding behind an avuncular façade.
- 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" with cancerous growths.
- Friend to All Living Things / Enemy to All Living Things: Nurgle has the attitude of the former coupled with the function of the later. The juxtaposition of the two is one of the things that makes Nurgle as creepy as he is.
- Garden of Evil: The Garden of Nurgle is this. Mostly cause it's where he gets the ingredients for his plagues.
- Graceful Loser: Nurgle's followers view death as a natural part of the cycle that will nurture rot and decay, and thus view their own defeats as inevitable.
- Lack of Empathy: Maybe subverted, as Nurgle is the only Chaos God that seems to care more about his followers than himself. Although you really don't want his help.
- The 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. This is less so in Warhammer Fantasy, however, where necromancy has become increasingly associated with "evil order".
- Odd Job Gods: Nurgle's portfolio covers Disease, Decay, Poison, Fear, Despair, Entropy, Endurance, Willpower, and Healing.
- The Patriarch: Nurgle views himself as a loving, generous, playful parental figure to his followers and they adore him for it, lovingly referring to him as "Grandfather", "Grandpa", "Papa", "Father" or "Uncle" Nurgle.
- 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: Nurgle is the being responsible for all diseases in the world, as he brews up more and more effective plagues and afflictions in his cauldron.
- Red Baron: The Plague Lord, the Fly Lord, the Plague Father, the Lord of Decay.
- Stepford Smiler: His followers are functionally this. They maintain a happy demeanor while having their bodies decaying, but joining Nurgle's happy family in the first place requires that you have a moment of absolute despair and give up on life entirely. Behind every rotting smile and burbling laugh is a soul that has given up on life.
- 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.
- 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 newest Chaos Daemons codex has retconned the Beasts of Nurgle into being the maggots of monstrous fly-beasts, which are ridden by plaguebearers to form Nurgle's Plague Drones.
- The Virus: The many "gifts" of Nurgle, including his signature Nurgle's Rot, all of which he handcrafts in his own realm in the Realm of Chaos. Each new disease in the mortal realm is because of Nurgle and his disgusting cauldron.
- Walking Wasteland: Disease, decay, rot, and corrosion are all Nurgle's domain, and his daemons and followers will spread them where ever they go to further honor Papa Nurgle.
- 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.
- Long shall be your suffering. Joyous be your pain.
The Dark Prince, the Serpent, Lashor, Loesh, She Who Thirsts. The youngest of the Dark Gods of Chaos, and the physically weakest of the Dark Gods, Slaanesh is perhaps one of the most popular to worship, as it preaches the indulgence of every whim and the seeking of every pleasure, and so it has a very wide power base among the nobility of several races. The Dark Elves, while officially dedicated exclusively to Khaine, also have a strong underground of Slaanesh worshippers; Morathi herself is a Champion of Slaanesh in all but name, and not only was her creation of the Dark Elves inspired by her dedication, she still seeks to bring them all to Slaanesh's worship. It is the embodiment of Squick, love, lust, pleasure, pain, excess, hubris, pride and desire.
Slaanesh's sacred number is 6.
Notable tropes include:
- The Ace: One could make the case. Slaanesh is the God of Pleasure, so anything that one derives pleasure from falls under its domain, and it encourages you to find pleasure in absolutely anything, and in turn Slaanesh itself enjoys cultivating new skills and experiences. This includes losing. It's actually noted that many Slaaneshi cultists turned to Slaanesh's worship to cultivate their skills to new heights. The desire to be the greatest duelist, painter, singer, sculptor, etc is just as welcome to Slaanesh as sheer hedonism.
- Ambiguous Gender: Slaanesh's traditional depiction is as an impossibly beautiful creature that is a man on its left side and a woman on its right side. The confusion is often played up for humor within the fandom.
- 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. Slaanesh also tends to regard Nurgle and his followers as ugly, smelly and disgusting.
- Beauty Is Bad: Slaanesh is perhaps the cruelest, most callous and most self-centered of all the Dark Gods.
- Charm Person: Those who gaze upon Slaanesh can do nothing but fall down and worship its inhuman beauty. This extends to its daemons, though a powerful mind can resist their presence. With Slaanesh itself, however, it doesn't matter how powerful your mind is — unless you are a god or something equally powerful, you will falter and fall before it.
- Circles of Hell: Slaanesh's castle in the Realm of Chaos is surrounded by six circular regions devoted to the six forms of desire; Avidity, Gluttony, Carnality, Paramountcy, Vainglory, and Indolency. If these regions sound familiar, they are based on the Seven Deadly Sins.
- Depraved Bisexual: There are fewer more depraved.
- Did You Just Scam Cthulhu?: Slannesh loves Elven souls more then any other type of soul, and ever since Chaos entered the world, it has constantly stolen elven souls on their way to the Underworld. However, occasionally, Leoc, the elven trickster god will try to rescue a stolen elven soul by challenging Slannesh to a game of chance... and win by cheating. One wonders why Slannesh even agrees to these games if he never wins them, but the novel experience of Slaanesh losing at something might be a factor.
- Drugs Are Bad: Inverted, as Slannesh considers anything which heightens sensory experiences to be good. Many of its followers will experiment with a wide variety of substances to better experience all the pleasures they can offer. Such followers are also one of the Chaos factions most likely to use combat drugs when going into battle.
- Evil Feels Good: Or, rather, "if it feels good, then it's not evil". Slaanesh encourages his followers to ignore all morality, sanity and any other impediments to feeling pleasure.
- Alternatively, if you gain pleasure by recognizing 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.
- Extreme Omnisexual: Anything that moves and many things that do not. If it provides a physical or emotional thrill, it goes for Slaanesh's followers, no matter what it is.
- The Fighting Narcissist: Something of a hat, Slaaneshi warriors tend towards inhumanly fast reflexes with all the arrogance it entails, especially as they're opposed to the brutal berserkers of Khorne.
- Gender Bender: 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.
- The Hedonist: Slaanesh is the embodiment of all desires and exists only to sate those desires.
- Hermaphrodite: More conventional portrayals of this are certainly within its grasp. Most of its worshipers end up like this as well.
- Horny Devils: Slaanesh and all its daemons are this.
- 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 the crux of Slaanesh's message. The other Dark Gods have some message of serving a great cause (kill everything for glory, change the world, spread "love" to everyone). Slaanesh stresses that only you matter, and everything that gets in the way of your pleasure deserves to be killed or tortured.
- Love Goddess: In a "rape is love" kind of way, and it very technically counts as one due to the Dark Prince's portfolio including Love.
- Love Makes You Evil: It does when it is the love offered by the Prince of Excess...
- Odd Job Gods: Slaanesh's portfolio covers Excess, Depravity, Pain, Perversion, Pleasure, Love, Lust, Desire, Mastery and Beauty.
- Out with a Bang: Slaanesh has a disturbingly high amount of ways to do this, not all of which are sex as we know it. Slaanesh is also said to grant his/her/it's foes one moment of ultimate ecstasy before snuffing their life out. That this is also a gift offered to Slaanesh's own followers is one of the things that makes them willing to die for their patron when their creed otherwise emphasizes self-serving behavior instead of self-sacrifice.
- The Perfectionist: Slaanesh encourages that you take your talents to the absolute peak of skill in all arenas, be it on the battlefield or not. As a consequence, its followers are often very precise fighters that rarely miss their strikes.
- Pleasure Planet: The Palace of Slaanesh. Where every possible depraved act thinkable (and some that are unthinkable) are performed.
- Power Perversion Potential: Slaanesh is arguably an inversion. The powers he grants to his followers are totally intended to be used for perverse purposes, but in a pinch can be repurposed to serve more pragmatic needs. Perfumes that cause bliss to inhale can incapacitate and fog the minds of foes, extra long tongues for tasting and stimulating can be used to ensnare, etc.
- Pragmatic Villainy: Unlike the other Chaos Gods, Slannesh does not want the world to be destroyed. Because then there would be no one to corrupt and sway, and things would get boring.
- Pronoun Trouble: Often used as a joke by the fandom, as you've probably noticed by reading this far.
- Red Baron: The Dark Prince, the Serpent, She Who Thirsts.
- Safe, Sane, and Consensual: Completely averted and rejected. The followers of Slaanesh consider safety, sanity, and consent to be blasphemous concepts for getting between them and what they want.
- Sense Freak: Taken Up to Eleven. Long time, hyper-desensitized followers will immolate themselves, just to feel something new.
- Sex Is Evil: An incarnation of this is the simplest way of viewing Slaanesh.
- Sex Is Violence: Slaanesh honestly seems to be unaware of the difference.
- So Beautiful, It's a Curse: Literally. Slaanesh is described as so beautiful that merely glancing at it can make you fall in love with it, to the extent you will sell your soul to Slaanesh right then and there without hesitation. Slaanesh does not view this as a curse.
- The Sociopath: The logical end result of the Dark Prince's ethos are followers who no longer care about other people, and only view their fellow man as objects or means to get their own thrills.
- Wicked Cultured: Slaanesh is not only about physical sensations such as sex and torture, but also enjoying such things as art and music. Generally, though, Slaanesh and his/her followers gradually move more towards the "wicked" part than the "cultured" part as time goes on.
- 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 Changer of Ways, the Great Conspirator, the Architect of Fate, Tchar, Chi'an Chi, the Raven God. The manipulative one, the Dark God who sees all things that may be and redirects the future to serve his own inscrutable whims and goals. Tzeentch is the lord of Change, and considered the second most powerful of the Chaos Gods, for Change and Chaos are synonymous. Born as the collective embodiment of the galaxy's hope and envy, Tzeentch is the patron of all who would seek change, in any form — but they may get more then they desired. Tzeentch exhorts his followers to bring change, in any form, to anyone and everyone, and psykers/sorcerers owe him particular allegiance.
Tzeentch is rarely described, but they tend to wildly vary, which is fitting for the Lord of Change. One ancient portrayal is as a ghastly, dwarfish thing, with horns arcing up from either shoulder over a head sunken into his neck and many whispering mouths crawling over his body. Another is a serpentine figure with bird like features. His sacred number is 9.
Notable tropes include:
- 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 random evolution).
- The Archmage: Tzeentch is the most powerful manipulator of sorcery and psionics in the Warhammer 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 the inventor of magic.
- Badass Bookworm: This guy is pretty much the smartest entity in Warhammer lore and the most powerful Chaos god when at full strength, which is worrying given the rumor of having all the pieces of his magical staff in his possession being true. Some might speculate Tzeentch is letting the way its fellow Gods establishing Khorne as the strongest Chaos god is just Tzeentch's plan to keep himself from being bored of winning too easily.
- 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. He can change into any colour if he wills it.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: He really has a problem with this, considering his modus operandi. 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 names. The other Gods are wary of him because of it. Ironically, he's also the one who usually forms alliances between the Chaos Gods. This is probably the biggest reason they are wary of him; if the Great Conspirator wants to team up, they already know the offer is loaded in Tzeentch's favor and will fall apart soon.
- Combat Tentacles: The appearance of random tentacles is one of Tzeentch's favorite gifts to his faithful. Sometimes it's one of your two arms transforming, sometimes it's a new limb.
- Consummate Liar: He is called the Liar God for a reason.
- Evilutionary Biologist: Tzeentch is 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 that Tzeentch doesn't comprehend moderation (or doesn't care), 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).
- Eyes Do Not Belong There: If Tzeentch feels you need more eyes, you damn well are getting more eyes.
- Failure Is the Only Option: Taken to its illogical extreme. Tzeentch will die if any of his myriad plans succeed, thus every one of his plans will fail because he sabotages them, and he has several plans that run completely contrary to each of his other plans by design (though not as the end). This is the real measure of his chessmastery skills, the fact that he has millions of these simultaneously running, most extremely complex and many spanning centuries, and not one of them succeed even by accident because he is that damn good.
- For the Lulz: Tzeentch cannot be foiled, simply because he doesn't actually have a plan to foil. If Tzeentch ever actually "won", then he would probably cease to exist, because that would mean that nothing would ever be able to change any more.
- 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 to accepting the horrible truths Tzeentch has to offer, and this is an all too common result.
- Great Gazoo: A villainous and often murderous example.
- Hopeless War: One could theorize that thanks to his inherent self-defeating disorder and the fact that he is the most Magnificent of all Magnificent Bastards, it's because of him that the cause of Chaos is eternally doomed to fail because Tzeentch can never allow it to succeed. Instead it is in his interest and integral to his nature to maintain a Forever War. Still, that is small comfort for the Empire, especially since they aren't the only ones fighting Chaos and some other horrid race could easily replace him.
- Jackass Genie: Beware his sick sense of humor and his close attention to the fine print.
- Mad God: He's a god of scheming who can never allow himself to actually win because it would kill him, so he creates plans upon plans upon plans which are all deliberately set up to fail. Even by the standards of the Chaos Gods, Tzeentch is batshit crazy.
- 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.
- Magnificent Bastard: Tzeentch is the literal god of Magnificent Bastards. Whatever you do, he will benefit, Just As Planned.
- Mobile Maze: The Maze of Tzeentch, which shifts and contorts to trap any who enter it, and it is mostly built with Alien Geometries.
- Multi-Armed and Dangerous: It's not uncommon for Tzeentch to gift his followers with new limbs, although whether or not it's helpful depends on where on your body the extra arms pop out of.
- Odd Job Gods: Tzeentch's portfolio covers Hope, Envy, Treachery, Transformation, Change, and Magic/Psionics. Tzeentch is 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 still eludes his grasp, foresight of the future. He can see the general direction of things, but it's one of the few uncertainties still hidden from him. It is this ignorance that caused him to throw Kairos into the Well of Eternity.
- Red Baron: The Architect of Fate, the Changer of Ways, the Great Mutator, the Lord of Change.
- Status Quo Is God: Ironically for a god of Change, he is the greatest enforcer of this trope in-universe. The perpetual wars of the Warhammer world spring from his manipulations and schemes.
- The Trickster: The Trickster of the Chaos Gods, given his favor of deception and deceit. Although what he considers a practical joke, only he would consider funny..
- Troll: It's Tzeentch, he is the embodiment of the word and all it stands for. His followers often get killed because Tzeentch sends them incorrect visions of the future, just to get them killed.
- 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 to decay in the existing world, serves as the Last Man.
- 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 pulling this constantly against everyone else in the world. Simultaneously. Tzeentch is also pulling this constantly against himself.
They were eventually given their own codex as a separate army, in both this game and Warhammer 40,000. As a result, you can use most of the army models for both games whenever you want, which is quite handy for saving money and time.
- Abnormal Ammo: The Skull Cannons of Khorne shoot skulls obviously. However, the skulls inside the cannons are infused with a portion of Khornes mighty wrath, catching on fire and beginning to laugh as they are shot at the enemy. It makes for a fearsome range 48 Strength 10 shooting attack with the Flaming Attack and Multiple Wounds rules.
- Always Chaotic Evil: The Daemons, being shards of their malevolent masters, have no concept of right or good, just an overriding imperative that they must obey their masters. They do this by ripping off mortal skulls, killing mortals with plagues, toying with their existence or tempt mortals into damnation, and they do enjoy it.
- An Axe to Grind: Bloodthirsters favor axes. Their model is equipped with one by default, and they can take an Axe of Khorne if they are lucky with the rolls for gifts, giving them +3 Attacks if they are in contact with more than 3 enemy models.
- Anti-Magic: The Daemons of Khorne have a natural resistance to magic, as Khorne hates magic and thus his daemons too share this boon, and strong emotions give them further power, presumably fueling this resistance.
- Asteroids Monster: The Pink Horrors of Tzeentch are strange monsters that split into two Blue Horrors upon getting sufficiently injured, that will attack the enemy before disappearing too.
- The Berserker: Daemons of Khorne are all like this, described as hungering to spill blood and claim skulls in the name of their master, and as such have Hatred against everything in existence.
- Big Fancy Castle: The Palace of Slaanesh, as horrific as it is magnificent to all senses. It is surrounded by six rings made to tempt visitors in every way, and his palace at the centre is the most enthralling place of all, since merely seeing Slaanesh in person will break your will and force you to become his/her slave.
- Big Red Devil: All Daemons of Khorne are bright red, have hooves and sport Horns of Villainy.
- Blue-and-Orange Morality: Daemons of Chaos are defined first and foremost by the aspects that their master represents, as such they have no real concept of bad or good, nor does earthly possessions or glory mean anything to them. For instance, a Daemon of Nurgle loves disease and rot, and dismisses any other opinion as someone who just hasnt seen the truth yet, being quite happy to show everyone the errors of their ways.
- Close-Range Combatant: The Daemons of Chaos, as a whole, lack shooting weapons but are daunting in close quarters, although the abundant magic helps. Daemons of Khorne are even more extreme examples, being such close-combat monsters that even the lesser Bloodletters could win against the elite of mortals. However, they even lack magic and only have rare Skull Cannons.
- The Corruption: Daemonic presence influences the material plane, as the environment changes and lifeforms mutate in the presence of the foul energies of Chaos.
- Cyborg: With a touch of Magitek. Soul Grinders are daemons who surrendered themselves to the Forge of Souls to gain a half mechanical body, and were then tasked with reaping souls for the Forge in exchange for this might. Their legs are replaced with mechanical spider legs, their hand is replaced with a power claw, making them terrifying blends of daemon and machine. The legs give them Implacable Advance so they can move and shoot their weapons, and their Iron Claw is a fearsome weapon that can potentially trap opponents. Moreover, the mechanical parts give the Soul Grinders a natural Toughness 7 and a 4+ Natural Armour.
- Cyclops: One of the typical physical characteristics of a Plaguebearers of Nurgle is a single, cyclopean eye set in the centre of their faces. These eyes often weep with pus and mucus.
- Demonic Possession: The Daemons are responsible for one of the bad results while trying to use magic. When rolling a 11 for the Winds of Magic, it means a Daemon is assailing the enemy wizard, potentially possessing them if they happen to be mortal. As such a designated enemy wizard must pass a Leadership test or be replaced on the tabletop by a daemon Herald to represent the takeover.
- Demon of Human Origin: Daemon Princes were formerly mortals who were allowed to become full-fledged Daemons by impressing the Gods through a particularly impressive feat. They represent a cheaper and Jack-of-All-Stats counterpart to other Greater Daemons, being still close quarters monsters and Wizards at a lower cost.
- Eldritch Abomination: The Realm of Chaos is inhabited by many of such monsters whose appearance keeps shifting and doesn't obey the natural laws, although the models on the tabletop poorly reflect that by the nature of the medium. As such, all models in the Daemons of Chaos faction at least cause Fear by how freaky they are.
- Eldritch Location: Tzeentchs realm is this, influenced by the Lord of Change to never abide by any constant except that it changes. One of its most remarkable landmarks is the Crystal Labyrinth choke full of Alien Geometries, as walls shift, time warps, and direction doesnt mean anything. Archaon nonetheless managed to navigate it by closing his senses and only trusting his instincts.
- Emotion Eater: All Daemons are borne of the mortals psyche and feed off strong emotions. Wrath will empower Daemons of Khorne, for instance.
- Entropy and Chaos Magic: The Lores of Nurgle and Tzeentch are all about entropy for Nurgle and mutating reality for Tzeentch.
- Evil Is Visceral: Nurgle loves life, although this translates in him dispensing random growths of organs, organic ichor, or miscellaneous lifeforms inside his followers and victims. As such his Daemons often expose unpleasant organs too.
- Expy: The Lords of Change are giant vulture daemons with magical abilities. Just like the Vrocks of Dungeons & Dragons with the differences being that a Lord of Change is the highest of Tzeentch demons, while Vrocks are mid-tier in the demonic hierarchy and Lords of Changes are intelligent wizards with fine robes while Vrocks are buck-naked and a bit on the dumb side.
- Fantasy Pantheon:
- Slaanesh: Evil Is Sexy, Sense Freak, Nightmare Fetishist.
- Khorne: Blood Knight, Hellhound, Atop a Mountain of Corpses, Ax-Crazy.
- Nurgle: Affably Evil, The Pigpen, Sinister Scythe, Enemy to All Living Things, Plague Master.
- Tzeentch: The Chessmaster, Technicolour Hellfire.
- Flies Equals Evil: Flies are hugely associated with Nurgle, being harbingers of life from dead flesh. His daemons are surrounded by swarms of demonic flies, and inflict a penalty to hit them in close quarters. The Rot Flies are Big Creepy-Crawlies versions of the trope, being huge enough for Plaguebearers to ride them. As they can fly, it makes the Plague Drones surprisingly maneuverable.
- Flying Seafood Special: Screamers of Tzeentch resemble flying stingrays, being mounts and beasts of burden pulling the Burning Chariots. The Screamers can Fly and can shoot Warpflame.
- Fragile Speedster: Daemons of Slaanesh have a comparatively high Initiative compared to every other Daemons, from a minimum of 5 for Daemonettes to 10 for Keepers of Secrets, but also High Movement. However, they are quite fragile, emphasized by their need to be in close quarters where their speed really shines.
- Garden of Evil: The infamous Garden of Nurgle is a thick weald of rotting trees inhabited by daemons of Nurgle and miscellaneous beasts.
- Good Wings, Evil Wings: Bloodthirsters and Lords of Change have wings, allowing them to Fly.
- Hellfire: Half of the spells from the Lore of Tzeentch are based on throwing around Warpflame, special chaotic fire. It actually makes the spells quite unreliable compared to other lores, as they have a chance to inflict more wounds but also give their target the Regeneration rule.
- Hell Hound: Flesh Hounds of Khorne are daemonic beasts that belong to Khorne and which he sics on anyone who incurs his wrath. Being relentless predators, few can survive being hunted by a pack of these beasts. On the tabletop, Flesh Hounds of Khorne represent are a fast unit.
- Horny Devils: Daemons of Slaanesh, being shards of Slaaneshs power, are unnaturally attractive to mortal foes, despite their obviously monstrous features. Their curves and revealing outfits or lack thereof help. They love above all else to tempt mortals and enslave them.
- Horse of a Different Color: Daemonettes can become Seekers when riding a Steed of Slaanesh, bipedal daemonic beasts that are part-horse and part-snake that grant the Daemons of Chaos army a very fast cavalry unit (they are classified as Fast Cavalry and have Movement 10).
- Large and in Charge: The Greater Daemons of Chaos happen to be the biggest daemons of their respective faction, towering over lesser daemons and possessing the might that comes with it.
- The Legions of Hell: The Daemons of Chaos are all part of their respective gods armies, all organized in meaningful armies relative to the holy number associated with said god. For instance, Khorne is associated with the number 9 and his Daemons are organized into 9 legions.
- Lightning Bruiser: Greater Daemons (the Great Unclean less so), they're fast, durable, and hit like tanks. The Bloodthirster can easily tangle with most special characters in the game with pretty good chance of winning. On the tabletop, the bare minimum a Greater Daemon in Strength, Toughness and Initiative is 6, as much as a Dragon.
- Luck-Based Mission: For anyone that attempts to play a Daemon Army. To represent how fickle and random Chaos is, many aspects of the army are tied to dice rolls to involve luck as much as possible. The Reign of Chaos special rule ties existing Daemon models to the Winds of Magic, of which players must make a roll every turn. An ebb of the winds will cause units to potentially disappear on the spot, but a really lucky dice roll may mean more Daemons appearing for free. Characters also do not choose upgrades like mortals, instead they roll a dice and the result determines whatever the character gets, be it a special rule or a genuine magic item.
- Made of Magic: All Daemons are made of the essence of Chaos, which is magic. As a result, they get several rules representing the fact that they are not material beings in the first place. Their attacks count as magical, they get a natural ward save but since their presence depends on the concentration of magic in the air, they also get the Daemonic Instability rule that, on a Leadership test, may automatically take out models as they fade from existence.
- Mighty Glacier: Daemons of Nurgle are quite slow, moving as fast as normal humans but benefiting at most from Initiative 4 while others can go up to Initiative and Movement 10. However, their slowness is balanced by strength and sheer toughness, as their bodies are full of maggots, rotting flesh and diseases makes them very resilient. For instance, Great Unclean Ones have Toughness 7 and 6 Wounds, without any upgrade.
- Mind Manipulation: Several spells from the Lore of Tzeentch and the entirety of the Lore of Slaanesh involve the Daemons influencing the minds of the enemy. The Lore of Slaanesh in particular involves temptation, causing strong emotions or even assaulting the souls of the enemy army with dark visions and promises.
- Mini Mook: Nurglings are diminutive Daemons that are essentially short copies of Nurgle, swarming the battlefield with numbers. They count as a Swarm unit on the tabletop and can be dangerous with 4 attacks representing their numbers.
- Mook Lieutenant: Heralds of the Chaos Gods are empowered lesser Daemons that can lead entire battalions of Daemons when Greater Daemons cannot be bothered with prizes below their standards. Even then, these Heralds are fearsome units that easily equal the Lords of their mortal equivalents stats wise.
- Non-Malicious Monster: Beasts of Nurgle are in truth jovial and friendly creatures that just want to play with everyone they meet. However, since they're are also massive beasts full of virulent diseases, and their idea of playing is to jump onto people and slobber corrosive acid on them, they end up as weapons.
- Nothing but Skulls: Khornes territory is littered with skulls whenever it is not covered by lakes of boiling blood. His own Cool Chair, the Throne of Skulls, is in the middle of a field of skulls that previously belonged to champions that made great offerings to their God.
- Our Demons Are Different: They are shards of the Chaos Gods, who themselves are the personifications of mortal emotions in the Warp. As such they possess a degree of sentience and personality, but which entirely revolves around the aspects of the psyche their associated God represents. For instance, a Daemon of Khorne will always seek battle and bloodshed.
- The Pig-Pen: The Daemons of Nurgle are quite filthy, but they prefer to see it as them being full of life: bacteria, insects and other pests are lifeforms indeed.
- Plaguemaster: Daemons of Nurgle play around the pestilent magic they are made of. The Lore of Nurgle entirely revolves around maladies and putrefaction.
- Poisoned Weapons: Plagueswords are corroded and quite dull blades, but they weep a necrotic slime that decomposes flesh to the touch. As such they count as Poisoned Weapons.
- Power Pincers: Several Daemons have pincers instead of real hands. Daemonettes have one, gaining the Armour Piercing rule to represent its grip. Soul Grinders get a giant mechanical version that can trap a single model so that their attacks automatically hit it.
- 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.
- Rhino Rampage: The Juggernauts of Khorne evoke this the most, being massive and tough beasts equipped with a unique horn on their foreheads. To represent that, they only get Movement 7 but Strength 5 and Toughness 4 as well as 3 Wounds, and their Brass Behemoth rule increases the armour save by +2 instead of the usual +1.
- Skeleton Motif: Khorne and his Daemons as a result are obsessed with skulls, and they often have skull motifs on their armors and clothing or actually sport real skulls.
- Squishy Wizard: Daemons of Tzeentch are not particularly tough in close quarters and are even relatively weak. However, they are especially attuned to Magic and are all Wizards in one form or another.
- Too Important to Walk: Those daemons that rise in favour with Nurgle will often go into battle atop a Palanquin of Nurgle carried by a horde of the diminutive plague daemons known as Nurglings. From this ornate, yet mouldering, throne the daemon can oversee the movement of his troops while the Nurglings protect their master with their teeth and claws.
- Winds of Destiny, Change: Daemons of Tzeentch are associated with the God of Fate, so it is no wonder they also have a modicum of control over how destiny unfolds. Wizards from the Daemons of Tzeentch can reroll results of 1 to represent that.
- Your Soul Is Mine: Daemons like to feast on people, more specifically their souls. None moreso than Daemons of Slaanesh who love Elven souls beyond all other options.
Be'lakor was one of the earliest Chaos warlords, leading vast hordes of Daemons to ravage the world long before the Elves rose up against them. He impressed the Chaos Gods so much they turned him into a Daemon Prince, the first time they ever did that to a mortal follower of Chaos Gods. He is still among the most powerful of all Daemon Princes and is able to grant his followers unique magic powers. But he eventually grew proud and considered himself better than the Chaos Gods themselves, so Tzeentch cursed him for his arrogance. Tzeentch made him be the one to crown new Everchosens of Chaos while never getting to become the Everchosen himself, which pisses him off to no end.
- Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: In his backstory, he was the very first mortal to be granted daemonhood. He schemed later to go even further and become the fifth God of Chaos.
- Big Bad: Of Slayer, the final book in the Gotrek and Felix series.
- Casting a Shadow: On the tabletop he's a level 4 wizard of the lore of Shadows.
- The Corrupter: He manages to exploit Hellebron's resentment at Malekith after he outlaws the cult of Khaine, and the racism of Drycha and Coeddil towards the elves, and swayed them to his side.
- Dark Is Evil: Heavily associated with darkness. He appears as a large, dark skinned daemon, is a caster of the lore of shadows, his title is "The Dark Master" etc.
- Manipulative Bastard: Be'lakor's most defining characteristic is his cunning and his love for weaving long-term plans. He was responsible for two major disasters in the world — the crushing of Mordheim beneath a warpstone meteorite and the war for Albion — and those are just the ones that are known about.
- Pride: His pride went to his head, causing him to consider himself better than the Chaos Gods.
- The Resenter: He resents how he must be the one who crowns the Everchosen instead of being the Everchosen himself.
- Winged Humanoid: Like many daemon princes, his default form is a large horned humanoid with a pair of bat-like wings
Once the mightiest of all Khorne's Bloodthirsters, the marshal of Blood God's war-hosts and his strong right hand, favored over all others. Skarbrand fell to the machinations of Tzeentch and allowed his pride to cloud his judgement. He betrayed Khorne, allowing his rage to overwhelm him to the point of striking at Khorne himself when his back was turned. Although this was only enough to cut a tiny chink into Khorne's armor, the Blood God's fury was boundless; he throttled Skarbrand's very soul, squeezing him dry of every aspect of personality beyond rage, before hurling him across the Realm of Chaos, banished forever from Khorne's sight. Now a mindless engine of destruction, his wings ruined, Skarbrand rages endlessly across the Realm of Chaos and the mortal world alike, taking mountains of skulls and spilling oceans of gore, but never to find redemption in the eyes of his former master.
- An Axe to Grind: He carries two of them, named Slaughter and Carnage. In game, they are paired Magic Weapons that ignore armour saves.
- Ax-Crazy: He's so Ax-Crazy he actually induces Sanity Slippage by his mere presence, driving all others on the battlefield into homicidal spasms of pure hatred. His rule Rage Embodied allows him to never lose Frenzy and forces all models on the table to have Hatred while he's still alive.
- Fallen Angel: Can be seen as the Warhammer version of this.
- Good Wings, Evil Wings: His wings, originally bat-like, have been shredded, leaving nothing but bare bone and dripping gore. He can't fly any more as a result.
- Lightning Bruiser: Not as much as normal Bloodthirster since he can't fly, but he does move faster on foot and hits harder.
- Make Me Wanna Shout: Skarbrand is capable of bellowing with such force that it shatters buildings and pulverizes living beings, giving him a Breath Weapon on the tabletop.
- Unwitting Pawn: Skarbrand was so crazy that it was a simple thing for Tzeentch to manipulate the mighty Bloodthirster into attacking Khorne as part of the ongoing conflict between the Chaos Gods. To his credit he took off a chink of Khorne's armour but was branded, his wings ripped off and exiled for his treachery.
Khorne's greatest Bloodletter, who roams the Realm of Chaos and beyond atop the mighty Juggernaut Khul'tyran, seeking out mighty warriors to challenge and claim the skulls of. The most challenging foes have the honor of being used to comprise U'zuhl's cloak of skulls.
- Anti-Magic: His Locus of Abjuration gives him Magic Resistance.
- Badass Cape: His Cloak of Skulls is covered in enchanted skulls, giving him a 4+ armour save.
- BFS: Like most Bloodletters, he's got one. He has the Slayer Sword, giving him Flaming Attacks and the Killing Blow rules. In a duel he gains Heroic Killing Blow.
- Hero Killer: What he's designed to be in game. He packs a special rule that allows him to instantly killing anything if he rolls a 5 or 6 when rolling to wound, unless it's immune to that. His Skulls for the Skull Throne! rule forces him to issue and accept challenges.
- Red Baron: His name is U'zhul, though he's far more commonly known by the epithet 'Skulltaker'.
- Skeletons in the Coat Closet: He wears a cloak made of skulls woven together with gristle and gore.
Greatest and most terrible of all Khorne's Flesh Hounds, this three-headed daemon beast is Khorne's chosen hunter, sent to claim whoever has transgressed against Khorne's warrior creed or offered an insult to the Blood God's colossal pride. With his first head able to track his prey through space, the second head through time and the final head through the victim's own thoughts, only the mad can hope to escape the Hound of Vengeance.
- Anti-Magic: His Brass Collar of Bloody Vengeance gives it Magic Resistance but also forces enemy Wizard to suffer a Strength 10 hit when they miscasts near Karanak.
- Canis Major: Flesh Hounds being giant, muscular red lizard-wolves.
- Hell Hound: Combines Hunter and Portent. As far as mythological parallels go, he's a combination of Cerberus (the three-headed guardian of Hades from Classical Mythology), Gramr (Cerberus' Norse Mythology equivalent), and Freki & Geri (the wolf companions of Odin from Norse Mythology).
- Multiple Head Case: Three heads. One tracks the prey through the material world, the other through time, and the last through the prey's own mind.
- Scarily Competent Tracker: As stated above, one head is capable of tracking a target's scent anywhere in the material world, the second head can track through time itself, and the third head can track the target by their own thoughts. Its Prey of the Blood God rule allows it to reroll fails rolls to hit and wound against a single chosen model.
Oldest and most powerful of all the Lords of Change, Amon'Chakai is said to hold ultimate knowledge over fate and destiny. He despises order and civilization, and works to see it all torn down, so that Chaos might rule. It is said he sees the threads of destiny as easily as a man sees the path before him, and he works to elevate and destroy both his enemies and his allies in accordance to his own mysterious whims.
- Anti-Magic: If Amon'Chakai targets a wizard with his All-Seeing Eye, he can permanently strip them of the ability to cast a random spell.
- Arch-Enemy: Amon'Chakai absolutely despises Nurgle and his followers, even more so than the standard Lord of Change. As such, he has the "Hatred" rule towards them.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Debuted in the original "Champions of Chaos" sourcebook as one of only two daemonic special characters. He subsequently was removed from canon.
- Evil Sorcerer: Even amongst the Lords of Change, Amon'Chakai is a powerful wizard. In a game where most wizards max out at 4th level, he's a 5th level wizard.
- The Generic Guy: Amon'Chakai's greatest flaw as a character is that he's not really that unique. He mostly comes off as a standard Lord of Change, but Up to Eleven. This may have caused him to be replaced with Kairos Fateweaver.
- The Jinx: Weaponized with his unique power, the Hand of Destiny, which lets Amon'Chakai blight the fate of a single enemy model. All attacks against that model hit automatically for the rest of the battle, even if Amon'Chakai is killed.
- Seers: His All-Seeing Eye ability allows him to choose an enemy character and force its player to reveal all of that model's equipment, magic items, special abilities and spells.
- Winds of Destiny, Change: His ability to manipulate destiny and fate is central to his character, and manifests in-game as the source of his Hand of Destiny power.
A two-headed Lord of Change created when Tzeentch hurled Kairos into the dread Well of Eternity at the heart of his Impossible Fortress, Kairos is the only being who can be said to know things even beyond Tzeentch's understanding. His right head sees all possible futures as clearly as day, while his left head sees the past without the petty filters of perspective and bias, his only weakness being that he cannot see the present. Tzeentch's right-hand minion, Kairos sits in the depths of the Impossible Fortress, whispering dread secrets revealed to him by the Well, even as nine times nine Lords of Change transcribe his babbling with quills plucked from their own plumage and Tzeentch's own blood as the ink.
- Disability Super Power: Physically crippled and blind to the present, but can perfectly see in both past and future and is, without question, the most powerful spellcaster in the Warhammer World — in the tabletop game, he is a Level 4 Wizard and can chose spells from ALL of the eight winds of common magic.
- The Dragon: To Archaon in the End Times, until he was executed through being sacrificed for treachery against the Everchosen.
- Evil Genius: A formidable sorcerer and also a supreme seer for having been plunged into the Well of Eternity.
- Good Wings, Evil Wings: Kairos Fateweaver has wings like all Lords of Change.
- Genius Cripple: A formidably powerful sorcerer, but shriveled and feeble thanks to his experience of being thrown into the Well of Eternity aging him rapidly. He's also blind to the present (although one of his two heads can see the past and the other the future), which means he is virtually incapable of fighting in close combat.
- Magic Staff: His Staff of Tomorrow allows the player to reroll a single D6 dice per roll, allowing Kairos to change destiny.
- Multiple Head Case: His two heads have a habit of arguing with each other, having different opinions on what is going to happen.
- Seer: The best, even Tzeentch cannot see as much as Kairos although Kairos has trouble seeing the present now. His Oracle of Eternity rule gives him a 4+ ward save as he foresees every threat.
- The Starscream: Kairos serves as Archaon's advisor during the Chaos invasion of the Empire, though it was a given that the Fateweaver has been actively trying to undermine him.
- Why Won't You Die?: Likely to get this response from players because he has an impressive ward save that he gets re-rolls on, and can use magic to heal himself. The result is that he can easily be harder to kill than Great Unclean One.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: After the fall of Middenheim, Kairos is beheaded by Archaon, who decided that he needed Khorne's might more than Tzeentch's guile, and his blood is used to summon the Bloodthirster Ka'Bandha.
P'tarix and Xirat'p, the Bue Scribes, are eternally squabbling Blue Horrors charged by Tzeentch with hunting down all spells and fragments of arcane lore in existence.
- Achievement In Ignorance: Xirat'p doesn't really know how to cast spell nor does it even know how magic works, he just reads the incantations aloud. Nevertheless, it still casts the spells effortlessly.
- Counter-Attack: Their Spell Syphon rule allows them to make a casting attempt for each successful cast the enemy has performed the last turn. The more magic the enemy uses, the better the Scribes can use it to attack the enemy.
- The Dividual: The Blue Scribes are treated as one single character since they never stray away from each other.
- Gotta Catch Them All: Their reason for existence is to recover Tzeentch's magical might by recording all spells in existence, with P'tarix writing them down and Xirat'p casting them to check whether or not they're the real deal.
- The Starscream: Defied. Tzeentch created them so that P'tarix can write magic down, but cannot read what he has written, while Xirat'p can read the resultant spell-scrolls but can't understand what he has read enough to write it down. This prevents the duo from simply amassing the magical might and challenging Tzeentch, because they can only do their role and nothing else.
- Sdrawkcab Name: P'tarix and his companion Xirat'p are clear examples to each other. And there may not even be a real order.
- Spell Book: The Scribes have the Scrolls of Sorcery allowing them to cast any spell from a chosen lore although the spell is randomly chosen and won't work if no one is in range.
- Too Important to Walk: The Blue Scribes don't walk but stand on a Disc of Tzeentch allowing them to Fly, as they have a lot of time and space to cover in their search for spells.
Tzeentch's personal shapeshifting minion, who uses his abilities to sow chaos, confusion and mischief across the Realm of Chaos and beyond.
- Asteroids Monster: His Locus of Transmogrification allows it to spawn more Blue Horrors of Tzeentch upon death.
- The Faceless: The Changeling's true face is hidden under a hood.
- I Know Your True Name: Victim of this; Tzeentch is the only one who knows the Changeling's true name and form, so he alone can control the creature.
- Perpetually Protean: According to his fellow daemons, he's changed so many times that he's long since forgotten his original appearance: 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.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: The Changeling's signature power is to assume anyone's appearance and mimic to perfection how they behave. His Formless Horror rule allows it to change its stats to match that of any other enemy model.
- Wild Card: Although Tzeentch likes to pretend everything the Changeling does is in his name, the truth is that the Chaos God simply lets the Changeling do whatever it pleases, even if sometimes it undermines one of Tzeentch's schemes, not that he didn't have a myriad of other ones playing out at the same time.
A Great Unclean One fascinated with the breeding of new, virulent strains of disease, determined to one day create a plague that can infect and destroy the Gods themselves.
- Abnormal Ammo: Throws nurglings plucked from his own festering boils and open sores, soaked in brewed plagues, at people. His Necrotic Missiles are a 36" range Strength 5 shooting attack that ignores armour save and are Slow to Fire.
- Archenemy: He has Hatred against Dwarfs because of their natural resistance to disease, but also because they defeated him once.
- The Atoner: His creation involved him accidentally destroying what would have been Nurgle's greatest plague, and he has dedicated his existence to replacing it. Nurgle himself just thought the event (Ku'Gath was a Nurgling that fell into the pot and became a Greater Daemon after drinking it dry) was funny and doesn't seem bothered by the loss at all.
- Mook Maker: Ku'Gath is infested with Nurglings who constantly come out of his body to refill the ranks of Nurgle. His Nurgling Infestation rule allows nearby Nurglings units to recover lost wounds.
- Plague Master: But of course. He is a Level 1 Wizard using the Lore of Nurgle.
- Too Important to Walk: Ku'Gath sits atop a Palanquin of Nurgle.
Nurgle's personal Tallyman, a member of the seven Proctors of Pestilence, charged with cataloguing all of the Plaguelord's innumerable diseases.
- 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.
- Too Important to Walk: Epidemius sits atop a Palanquin so that he's free to observe and record all diseases and what they do.
- Unstable Equilibrium: Epidemius' signature rule is The Tally of Pestilence, rewarding Daemons of Nurgle with powerful stats buffs the more wounds they inflict.
One of the oldest and most powerful daemon princes in the service of Slaanesh, Azazel is believed to have once been a leader of the Gerreon tribe in the days when Sigmar was uniting the future peoples of the Empire. He betrayed Sigmar and then fled north to the Chaos Wastes, where Slaanesh took him in and elevated him to become the commander of the Dark Prince's daemonic legions. His darkly sensual beauty is said to be second only to his master, and many of those who have tried to face him have instead succumbed to desire and thrown themselves at his feet to die or become his playthings.
- Ambiguous Innocence: In his description, it is stated that his eyes are simultaneously full of innocence, and yet cruel, calculating, and devoid of pity.
- Beware My Stinger Tail: His twin-forked tail is able to grapple foes and impede their attacks in earlier editions of the game.
- Charm Person: His most iconic power is his ability to enthrall the minds of others with his unearthly beauty. In-game, this is handled as the "Temptator" special rule, which lets him try to control an adjacent enemy each round. In 6th edition, he can only control a victim for one turn, but in earlier editions, the victim became a permanent addition to the Chaos forces if he succeeded.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: He was introduced in "Champions of Chaos" as one of only two daemonic special characters, and the only daemon prince character. His last appearance was a vaguely official update for 6th edition's Hordes of Chaos in Citadel Journal #50.
- Face of an Angel, Mind of a Demon: Azazel looks like a stunningly beautiful angelic being, but is a sociopathic, narcissistic monster who considers all other beings to be expendable toys.
- Fallen Angel: This is his defining motif, with white feathered wings and white skin meant to conjure up the image of a traditional Christian angel... until you spot the horns, the tail, and the chitinous claw-blade for a hand.
- The Fighting Narcissist: Like all Slaaneshi characters, he is narcissistic to the point of solipsism, but his vainglory and ego don't prevent him from being a very skilled and lethally focused fighter.
- Good Wings, Evil Wings: Subverted; despite being very much a Chaos-aligned daemon prince, Azazel has swan-like white feathered wings.
- Light Is Not Good: He has porcelain white skin and feathers, dresses in the finest brightly colored silks and huge, shining jewels, and looks almost like an angel at first glance. He's also an utterly heartless monster.
- Magic Knight: Whilst he's primarily a martial combatant, he's also a modestly skilled (2nd level) wizard, specialized in the daemonic magics of Slaanesh.
- Meaningful Name: "Azazel", in Jewish traditions, is a Fallen Angel who governs the concept of "Impurity".
- Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: Azazel's porcelain white skin and long, flaxen, jet-black hair are meant to convey the idea that he is hauntingly, soul-damningly beautiful.
- Red Right Hand: His horns, his chitinous claw left hand and his tail all taint the image of a beauteous angel that he otherwise presents.
- Wolverine Claws: Azazel's left hand is a massive, lustrous claw that is so sharp it can cut through almost anything. In his first appearance, this claw granted Azazel a bonus attack with a +2 bonus to Strength that did 1-3 wounds per hit.
Once one of Slaanesh's most favored dancer-concubines, cursed to dance forever more when Slaanesh perceived her efforts at cheering them after a then-recent defeat to Khorne as mockery and then banished from Slaanesh's sight. Wherever she treads, she sweeps mortals and daemons alike into dancing with her until she leaves or they die. Usually the latter.
- The Aloner: She was cursed by Slaanesh to dance forever and then cast out. Her Dance Alone rule means she cannot join units.
- Dance Battler: She is the greatest dancer among Slaanesh's daemons. However, her Eternal Dance also affects nearby unit and depending on the dance chosen, will force various stats penalties on them.
- Multi-Armed and Dangerous: The Masque has three arms, two of which end in the viciously sharp claws typical of all Daemonettes. Her third arm is more humanlike and carries her staff that sports the masks of comedy and tragedy.
- Poor Communication Kills: She tried to cheer Slaanesh up with her greatest dance yet after a crushing defeat, but Slaanesh mistook it as mockery and cast her out.
- Red Baron: The Eternal Dancer.
- Super Reflexes: Her Unnatural Reflexes grants her a 3+ Ward Save.