A Storm Upon The Horizon
The Chaos Gods
Ageless beyond the span of time, the Chaos Gods are manifestations of the emotional echoes of all living things within the Empyrean space beyond reality. There is absolutely no way for the mortal mind to comprehend these entities. Living in their ignorance is the safest bet, for to draw their attention is to become their pawn and plaything; to be used until they tire of you and consign your soul to eternal damnation.
Caveat: As inhabitants of the Empire, you may be passing familiar with the names of the Chaos Gods and some of the signs to ward them off, but in depth knowledge of the realms of chaos is usually viewed with quite a bit of suspicion, and can result in a significantly shortened lifespan thanks to zealous Sigmarite Witch Hunters.
Khorne – The Blood God
“Blood for the Blood God. Skulls for the Skull Throne!” – Khornate War Cry
Wielding a great two-handed sword and wearing burning armor of black iron and brass, Khorne’s muscular form is said to lounge upon a throne of skulls surrounded by a ocean of blood.
His snarling bestial face contorted with hate and anger, Khorne cares for no emotion save those that come when violence is done, blood is shed, and lives are taken. There need be no artifice in it, though Khorne cares not from where the skulls and blood come. A Norscan marauder bludgeoning a fellow Norscan to death with a rock or an assassin slitting a throat in one of Altdorf’s back alleys, both serve the Blood God.
Brutality and slaughter feed an eternity of unslaked blood lust. To worship Khorne is to turn your back on civilization and all that is good in the mortal form in order to kill, murder, and bleed everything you encounter.
Nurgle – The Plague Lord
“How Nurgle loves his little children! How Nurgle loves his little pets…” – Mirthful mutterings of a Great Unclean One
Nurgle is often depicted as a gigantic body bloated with boils, infestations, and infections, the skin both paper thin and leathery thick, pocked with tears through which drip bile, infections, and pus, where nurglings scamper and play among loops of rotting intestine and failing organs, and the air if filled with a foetid stink of putrescence, death, the buzzing of millions of flies. This is the Plague Lord. This is Grandfather Nurgle.
The eldest of the Chaos Gods, Nurgle draws power from entropy, the slow decay of all things. Nurgle uses poxes and illness to decay the mortal form drawing power from the misery and despair of those afflicted by what he calls his “gifts”. Often the onset of infirmity or disease drive desperate sufferers into the arms of Grandfather Nurgle as they seek to bargain for their lives.
While his lesser daemons usually act in moribund silence, Greater Daemons are known to make jokes and bellow great guffaws of laughter at the misfortune of others and sometimes even themselves. Unfortunately, those wheezing laughs are laden with exhalations of foul miasmas and disgusting phlegm.
Nurgle’s power tends to wax and wane depending on how contagious and powerful his plagues and poxes are.
Tzeentch – The Changer of Ways
“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 Weaver of All Fates. The Great Conspiritor. The Great Sorceror. All are epithets for Tzeentch, the Changer of Ways and key to the powers of magic and sorcery. Where the Chaos God Nurgle may draw power from entropy and the decay of all things, Tzeentch seeks to master them, change them, and form them anew.
Sometimes described as a fog of shifting colors and shapes, and other times as a rubbery thin body covered in fine feathers, a vulturous head and multi-hued wings, Tzeentch’s appearance is always changing and no two descriptions of him are ever alike.
One of the more insidious of the Chaos Gods, Tzeentch tempts mortals with power and the simple political machinations of Man delight and amuse him as he constructs plots and schemes that are infinitely complex in their design and sometimes even act against his own best interests.
Where Khorne seeks an eternity of bloodshed and Nurgle the slow death and decay of all things, Tzeentch’s goals are unknowable. It is suggested that there is no end to them all, and the the Weaver of All Fates schemes and plots simply to do so, constructing a plan that is beyond comprehension, inviting madness to even try.
Slaanesh – The Dark Prince
“Long shall be your suffering. Joyous be your pain.” – Asteroth, Daemon prince of Slaanesh
Where Khorne is driven by anger and rage, Tzeentch desires to change all things, and Nurgle wants to watch it all decay, Slaanesh derives power from pleasure, lust, seduction, and all the decadent, unspoken pleasures that move mortals.
The youngest of the Chaos Gods, Slaanesh is often described as an androgynous, long-limbed, and desirable person with two sets of devilish horns upon the brow.
Slaanesh is often considered the weakest of the Chaos Gods, but this idea is a fallacy. Wherever there is unslaked lust, Slaanesh is waiting. Wherever there is temptation, Slaanesh is watching. Wherever appetite outweighs restraint, Slaanesh lives.
Slaaneshi cults are as varied as the desires that move mortals, and they tend to be the most secretive of all. Hedonistic sex. Illicit narcotics. Epicurean delights of food and wine. Darker urges that make even the hardest soldier blanch with revulsion. All are playgrounds for those who worship the Prince of Pleasure.