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(WH/40k/AoS+) Stanning Slaanesh with a Clean Conscience


I used to be Ovid.
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My impression from those quotes is that Slaanesh is less the god of excess than of hunger: no matter how much of X a Slaaneshi wants, shem always wants more.


Bemused and Bewildered
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That's very much how I've always seen and interpreted it. Same with any of the Chaos Gods. They are what they are, but the gods themselves are amoral, as capable of good or evil as the winds and tides.

The dangers are that the Chaos Gods are unfettered and exist without restraint. The rage, fury, and defiance of Khorne is a part of all of us, the fight in fight or flight, the desire to rail against injustice, the impulse to protect ourselves and those we care about, frustration about the fear we've felt... but being a devotee of Khorne is like hooking your soul up to an endless stream of that rage, and that's rage without context, without purpose, and without restraint.

And that's the same with all of them. Any of the natures of the Chaos Gods are fine in moderation, but devotion to Chaos is akin to drowning in that essence.

Slaanesh is passion, pride, indulgence, obsession, curiosity... and there's good to be found there. There's creativity, and enthusiasm, and a desire to explore and understand, and a willingness to break traditions and taboos and try things that have never been tried... but drink too deep from that firehose, and you're peeling off your own skin just to see what it feels like, or playing a guy's central nervous system like a harp because music that doesn't contain screaming doesn't satisfy anymore, and every new experience you chase only sates you for a little while until you need something bigger, grander, and more extreme.

At least, that's how I've viewed it.

As an aside, it seems interesting to note that Slaanesh being a genderfluid entity seems to come from the Eldar - the other deity they've created (Ynnead, the god/goddess of the dead) appears with a similar mixture of male and female identifiers, and while far from overt, it's been part of the Eldar background that at least some facets of gender in Eldar society are performative at best (inferred from the fact that all Howling Banshee Aspect Warriors present as female, because the mask is female, but those who become Aspect Warriors are of any gender).

That has little bearing on Warhammer Fantasy or Age of Sigmar - as the relationship between Elves/Aelves and Slaanesh is different to the connection between the Eldar and She Who Thirsts - but there's some unexplored potential on the 40k side of things.


Gritty AF
Staff member
RPGnet Member
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Well there's arguably some overlap between the different Chaos Gods particularly between Slaanesh and Tzeentch. None of them are really the sort to stay tucked away in one little bailiwick.
Oh, absolutely! And as a result they're all interdependent on each other in ways that you know just irks them.

That's what I was alluding to above. Slaanesh is desire - or, more canonically, lust. But where would Khrone be without lust for battle, for example? There's certainly overlap there.

Hey, the OP asked for a spin on Slaanesh, and I gave one I thought could be a fun interpretation.

Pandora Caitiff

Goblin Princess
Validated User
Slaanesh is exuberance - playing loud music, bringing pleasure to yourself and others through chemicals and sex, and letting yourself go wild.

Slaanesh is freedom - freedom from rigid gender roles, from temperance and abstinence, and from shame.

Slaanesh is generosity - sharing pleasure and new experiences with others


Registered User
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@CrazyIvan 's descripton of the gardens of Slaanesh (i.e.: their Godrealm). Do you think anyone living inside those realms is unhappy? Or in danger of really suffering negative consequences they don't want? If any part of living in those realms was undesireable? That would be anathema to Slaanesh! As the numerous reals each with wildly different desires being catered for shows there isn't just one way that Slaanesh fulfills you.
Well, in the original descriptions of that journey, each of those sections the knight/Grey Knight passes through is basically a lie designed to entrap you for eternity. The restful beach isn't actually covered with sand, it's covered with the bone dust of people who decided to rest there and never woke again. Those frolicking, sexy maidens are actually Daemonettes waiting to tear into you. That description of Slaanesh's realm really does sound like Dante's vision of Hell, with people being tormented forever by their greatest desires (although Tzeentch's Crystal Labyrinth isn't much better at all, being as its designed to drive you insane and torture you with your hopes and dreams).

That said, we don't really know what Slaanesh is going to be like in AoS; I suspect that millennia of imprisonment have had an impact on Slaanesh. And when Slaanesh does come back, Slaanesh is going to have a wicked-hard time trying to claim the mantle of most eeeeeeeeeevil thing in AoS, or even among the Ruinous Powers for that matter (I'm looking at you, Great Horned Rat).


I used to be Ovid.
Validated User
Do you want an entirely positive spin on Slaanesh, i.e. from the Slaaneshi perspective? Because I think Pandora Caitiff's post does a good job of that. IIRC, though, Slaanesh has a fair amount of mind-control magic, which is... not good. Slaanesh was never about consent.


Registered User
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There's also the fact that, while I don't know much about AoS, the Chaos Gods of Oldhammer and 40K hadn't really been the same for at least a decade before the fantasy setting got rebooted, and possibly never were. Oldhammer, even at the very beginning, was about various shades of dark gray morality with some pitch black thrown in, while 40K plunged headfirst cheerfully into eternal blackness, and over time the two diverged even further, with Oldhammer's grays getting a bit of lightening to the point that previously wholly evil factions now had sympathetic elements, while 40K focused on elaborating on just how black the black was.
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Registered User
Validated User
AoS has largely continued that trend. Chaos and its followers aren't good guys by any means, but they've done a good job giving them more motivation and reason for what they're doing. Slaanesh as far as I've read haven't gotten as much of a viewpoint story as characters for the other gods, but they've had a bit.
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