Lust, pride and self-indulgence are the hallmarks of all who follow him. He is the youngest of the four major Chaos Gods, having come to full sentience within the Immaterium only during the 30th Millennium. While generally referred to as a "he" by humans and as a female by the Eldar , Slaanesh is actually neither gender, combining characteristics of both and perfecting them. Slaanesh typically appears in an androgynous form in which it is a woman on the right side and a man on the left with two sets of devilish horns growing from its head.
Slaanesh can assume any form; male, female, hermaphrodite or no gender at all, but it prefers male bodies. Its sacred number is six and the colours associated with Slaanesh are purple, pink and black. The name Slaanesh is a corruption of the Eldar term Slaaneth Slaa meaning "ecstasy" or "pleasure" and Neth meaning "lord" or "prince" in the Eldar Lexicon ; hence, the Prince of Pleasure , though ironically, the Eldar refer to this foul entity only as "She Who Thirsts.
Wherever mortals are ruled by their own unquenchable desires, the Dark Prince of Chaos is there in the shadows, whispering, tempting, and feasting on a banquet of souls. But this is true in all things, not just carnal pleasures. Just as importantly, Slaanesh is also the god of perfection. The singer striving for the most beautiful song or the warrior who seeks the perfect fighting techniques, both could be devotees of Slaanesh.
Slaanesh was given life by the immorality and hubris of the ancient Aeldari Empire. As their empire reached its zenith, the Eldar became lost in their own decadence, for they experience sensation and emotion to a far greater degree than any other intelligent species of the galaxy. The capabilities of their highly advanced technology meant that the Eldar did not need to labour or wage war. Instead, they were able to dedicate their lives to whatever idle pursuits took their fancy.
Over several generations, this indolence came to rule and pervert their spirits. In the Immaterium, the collective psychic reflections of their indolence and hedonism caused a new Chaos Power to stir, beginning in the 25th Millennium of the Terran calendar. Created by one species' pure dedication to indulgence, the first motes of what would become Slaanesh began to coalesce.
The Chaos Star of Slaanesh The dormant Slaanesh fed upon the unchecked collective psyche of the Eldar, drawing on their lusts and ambitions, their artistry and pursuit of excellence in all things. In turn, as Slaanesh grew, its nascent dreams trickled into the minds of the Eldar and fuelled their desires, pushing them ever onwards towards their eventual doom. Eventually, the Eldar civilisation devolved into little more than pleasure cults dedicated to every act of physical, mental and spiritual fulfillment.
Blood stained the statuary of their plazas as crowds of drug-addled maniacs sated their violent desires in the streets of the Eldar homeworlds.
On one particularly depraved night, the debauchery reached a terrible crescendo that tore out the heart of the Eldar empire and left it ravaged beyond recovery. The Fall of the Eldar in the early 30th Millennium was signalled by the birth-scream of Slaanesh, a tsunami of emotion that heralded the Prince of Pleasure arrival in the Realm of Chaos. The psychic implosion caused by Slaanesh's birth swallowed hundreds of worlds at the heart of the Eldar empire in what is now the Imperium of Man's Segmentum Obscurus , killing billions of Eldar in a single instant and devouring a great section of the galaxy in the process.
Such was its ferocity that it overwhelmed the barrier between the material and the immaterial, forming the massive, permanent Warp rift later named by men as the Eye of Terror. Rampant and hungry, Slaanesh devoured the minds and souls of the Eldar, and across the galaxy , that ancient race was almost wiped out. What fell purpose Slaanesh had in keeping Isha alive, none amongst the Eldar now know, but the Prince of Pleasure was ultimately denied his spoils: Why Grandfather Nurgle intervened is unclear, although some Eldar savants believe that the oldest of the major Chaos Gods wanted to give the youngest amongst them a good lesson about his proper place in the order of things.
Only a relative few Eldar survived Slaanesh's birth-feast. Other Eldar survivors included the Harlequin , and those Craftworld Eldar who were very far away from the Eldar homeworlds when the Warp rift formed. Most of the survivors that remain have become sworn enemies of the Dark Prince, and yet a few of them have formed isolated cabals that still behave as their ancestors did, perversely following the downward spiral of excess. That is how events are viewed from the chronology of the material universe.
In the Warp, things are different, for the Immaterium is not bound by linear four-dimensional time, and events do not occur in a strict sequence of cause and effect. As his rival gods reckon it, Slaanesh has always existed in the Warp, and yet has never existed at all. Some say that is it impossible for mortals to look upon the divine face of Slaanesh without losing their soul to him, for all who see it become willing slaves to the whims of the Dark Prince, embracing his ways with wild abandon.
The mere knowledge of Slaanesh's existence can cause a world to topple into corruption and hidden depravity. Not even the agents of the Inquisition know for sure how far his influence spreads, for wherever the lust for power and temporal gain exists, the talons of Slaanesh dig deep. Despite their best efforts, it is almost certain that the Imperium is rotten to the core, just as the Eldar empire was before it. How long before it succumbs to a similar fate?
Contents [ show ] Birth of the Dark Prince "Find pleasure in every moment, indulge in every whim. Let lesser races feel the burden of their crude lives. We are beyond such concerns or worries. Every power is ours to use, every sensation ours to experience.
We are truly masters of the galaxy, and all others exist only to satisfy our curiosities. We have earned our position of power. Let us forever taste the fruits of such achievement. Time itself is ours to command.
Over thousands and thousands of years, the ancient Eldar, a race with souls of limitless passion and nearly limitless psychic capabilities, allowed themselves to be consumed with decadence. Because of their powers, passions, and unique connections to the Warp, the disturbances their depravity touched off were singularly dangerous.
Even just this vague bit of knowledge is little more than rumour to most inhabitants of the galaxy. Still fewer are privy to the secrets hidden with the shrouded and nearly inaccessible vaults of the Black Library , the ancient repository of Eldar knowledge located deep within the Webway. Within these sombre chambers, ancient manuscripts point to an unspeakable event that changed the galaxy forever.
From the perverse thoughts, actions, and deeds of the Eldar a new god was born, a very real god that was indeed a reflection of the species that unwittingly gave him life.
His violent birth signalled the eventual death of the race. The tomes of the Black Library say that Slaanesh was born from the uncontrolled and excessive need for sensation that had come to preoccupy every moment of every day for nearly every Eldar. Through the incredibly advanced technology and psychic mastery that the species had developed over the Terran millennia, they passed the days living in unimaginable luxury. They had no need to concern themselves with matters such as daily survival, manual labour, or warding off external threats.
Nor did they feel bound by social constraints. They had no need to think of how their actions would affect others, not even within their own families, since there would never be a time when they needed anything from them.
Everything was at all times theirs. The passions that burned deeply within their souls were unbound and freely explored to depths that other intelligent races could not fathom.
A mind freed from all concerns of reciprocation or fear of reprisal is able to turn fully inward and wander into unknown places, seeking previously unconsidered diversions and sensations. When an entire race unshackled its minds in this way, unusually powerful psychic energy was cast into the Warp, and the unnatural essences that reside in the Warp responded. The darkest moment of Eldar history -- the Fall -- is chronicled as a cautionary tale, one that the keepers of the Black Library, known as the Black Council, study continually.
Their hope is that some path toward a return to ascendance, or at least a way to avoid their ever-looming doom, can be found.
The tale says that the vast majority of the members of the ancient Aeldari race, unprepared as they were for the god their unbridled passion and perversion had birthed, were consumed in an instant.
Their minds, and worse their souls, were connected to Chaos in a way they could not have foreseen. They had become slaves to darkness, and when their new-born master hungered, the souls of the race were forfeit as his sustenance. Allure of Slaanesh Ancient depiction of Slaanesh, Dark Prince of Pleasure and Doom of the Eldar For most of the remaining Eldar , the birth of Slaanesh and the fall of their civilisation marked a profound change in the course they would take, not only through history, but also as a people.
Retreating to their Craftworlds , they forged a new way of life, defined by discipline and a determination to fight back against their doom and survive. This resolve was bolstered by fear, which brought the overwhelming majority of those who resisted change in line. Slaanesh was not content with the souls he had harvested in the moment of his birth. He continued to seek out the remaining Eldar, savouring the succulent taste of each soul he claimed. For a member of a race once so proud and seemingly eternal, the thought of being snuffed out forever to nourish a twisted god was terrifying.
That it was a deity of their own creation only served to magnify the horror. Yet some refused to change. Whether from pride, a sense of defiance, or the simple inability to change, some Eldar continued down a path of excess and sensual indulgence and do so to this day.
They live each moment knowing it could be their last, not only in mortal life, but in eternal existence. This heightened feeling of risk, of spending each moment on the edge of a knife, fuels them to indulge in even greater acts of depravity and to push the limits of sensation.
They are not, however, the only ones who damn themselves this way. The powers of Chaos hold sway over so many not because they represent some esoteric concept with rare appeal; no, they are so insidious because they are precisely the opposite. With Khorne , it is the inherent nature of conflict and struggle. For Nurgle , it is the inevitability of death and decay, and to these certainties unto the end.
For Tzeentch , it is the ever-changing nature of the universe and the need to feel some measure of control. These are all base instincts, primal parts of the lives of every living thing. Slaanesh is no different. His appeal is grounded in such seemingly innocent ideals -- every being's pursuit of happiness and the desire to improve. Very little, if anything, holds more sway over the heart of any mortal, no matter the species, than desire in all its forms.
All beings want more than they have. They are never content. Where an Imperial Guardsman seeks glory, he finds Slaanesh. Where a Rogue Trader seeks wealth, he finds Slaanesh. Wherever there are desires, at the end of the quest to sate those desires lies Slaanesh, and utter damnation.
Sensation Without Limitations "Well of course my people love me. Only the insane would consider otherwise! Accelerate work on the Grand Hall of Statuary, so all may adore me even when I am not with them. They are not enough. Though the decimation of the Eldar and his pursuit of the remaining few of their race is a source of great joy to Slaanesh, he has much, much grander desires to fulfil.