Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Zhumogg

Slaanesh

Recommended Posts

Im putting in a Slaanesh cult and lesser demon in my next game. Im looking for good inspirational reading about Slaanesh. Is there any of the BL books that has Slaanesh as main antagonist? Ive read many of the books, but so far Ive only come across "Fulgrim" that deals with the god of Hedonism, excess, and pleasure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is a book called Liber Chaotica that is full of inspiration, stories and drawings around the four major chaos powers. It is written first with the WHfantasy world in mind, but most of it works very well for 40k as well. It is in many parts written as if by a resident of the world, wich means there are plenty of potential handouts in it as well. I don't know if this book is still in print, but check ebay, LFGS, mates and the internets overall and you should be able to find one. The ISBN nr is 1-84416-394-6.

Then I would like to add a personal recommendation of a film and a theme that I find most inspirational to slaanesh.

Passolinis film Salò o le 120 giornate di Sodoma is a very explicit illustration of dehumanitizing and abusing people and taking pleasure from their humiliation and pain in a sexualised manner. It is of course a filmatisation of Marqui de Sades book Les 120 journées de Sodome also known as l'école du libertinage (in english: 120 days of Sodom aka The School of Licentiousness). I consider myself hardened, cynical and with plenty of distance to cultural works, but this film had me retching and fast forwarding past parts of it, because I could not stand it. This is strictly for grown up viewers! The only aspect that is not at all Slaanesh in the film, is that the subjects are forced into their roles, rather than choosing it willingly, and they do not benefit from it at all. Slaanesh is imho all about hir subjects choosing their experiences because they long for them.

Another thing that I find thematically interesting about Slaanesh is how zie experiments with gender (what we think of as female and male) and sex (as in form of body and genitalia). Try using gender-neutral pronoun such as "hir" (instead of "his" or "her") and gender neutral names (depends a lot on your name culture, but ending in -i or -it is a good start for latin-rooted names) about Slaanesh cultists and daemons. This will probably make your gaming group think the cultists are quite odd, hard to relate to and maybe even alien, disturbing and inherently wrong. I know it sure as hell works that way on most people in real life, if you manage to be hard to place between the two gender stereotypes. If you go down this route, please remember that this is serious **** IRL for some people, so treat the subject with some respect. And take the chance to show off some differing approaches to sex, gender and sexuality within the Imperium as well. The 40k world is often unnecessarily sterotyped twoards men and manlyness. You know it's only the Space Marines that are required to be all male and all manly ;-)

Both these themes are to be considered quite "advanced" and you should think carefully on what sort of story you want to tell, and how interested your players are in exploring these subjects.

PS: Gender neutral pronoun on wikipedia: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hir

Enjoy your trip with the most interesting aspect of Chaos. Remember that the chaos powers are nothing but reflections of our consciousness and feelings :-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting stuff Mellon!

I would also suggest not naming Slaanesh or Slaanesh cult or Slaanesh pleasure queens. Let the acolytes figure it out. What starts out as gender-confusion and mildly disturbing freethinking among the people of the cult under scrutiny may slowly reveal a darker pattern of defiant sexuality and finally dark sin, excess and depravity.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 I recently read the warhammer fantasy, Gotrex and Felix, Trollslayer (omnibus 1), and there is a predominance of slaaneshi cults, rituals and villains.  An example, Villagers from isolated settlements are 'taken' in the night, then during a traditionally superstitious 'night of evil' (like Halloween, etc.) Obscene rites are observed in ancient stone circles where mutants and beastmen and followers of Slaanesh gather to worship their Prince of Pleasure.  It is later that the 'missing' villagers are found amongst the participants.  

Or an nasty minor noble who enjoys his drinks/drugs/women too strongly and has a nasty reputation, turns out to be a prominent cultist.

 Incorporating some of those into a campaign on a feral/feudal world might work, or even the standard group of corrupted nobles imitating a more savage past.  

 

I always find it amusing that of all the chaos gods, Slaanesh was born from a giant Eldar space-orgy.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 It could also be good to keep in mind that Slaanesh is about all forms of pleasure, not just sexual. And if I remember correctly Fulgrim fell to Slaanesh mainly because of his obsession with perfection. Since perfection leads to pleasure.

 

I think that Slaanesh could be made very interesting if you show your players that he/she/it is about more than just sex and hedonism. Maybe throw in an insanely skilled swordsman who fell for the same reason Fulgrim did?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Storhamster, you've got an excellent point there. The best part about slaanesh is that zie is so accessible. It's much harer to appreciate murder or diseases, and only manipulating bastards enjoy Tzeentchs ideology. The real trick for a GM who wishes her players (or at least their acolytes) to think long and hard about what is important is to make the ideals and goals of the Slaanesh followers very sympathetic. It's all about very human things, such as loving your spouse(-s) and your family very much, striving for perfection, enjoying a good meal in pleasant company, experiencing the thrill of an excited moment, sharing this experience with others etc.

Contrast this with either a very dour and puritan version of the Imperial creed that demands that you love the Emperor more than any human, keep to your designated place and status in life, eat only what you need to service the Empire, do your dutys with dedication to their effect on the Empire rather than for the effect on yourself, do not brag about your achievements etc. For most modern players in our individual world the Slaanesh way of life will seem like the much more reasonable way of doing things.

If you want to twist it another turn, make the imperial creed similar to a modern one or perhaps how a Space Marine would consider things, and let it propose exactly the same practical ideals as the Slaanesh cult, with the only difference being in the names and lore they claim as a reason. Such as: Love and take care of your near and dear (your battlebrothers if you are a Space Marine) so you can be a reflection of the Emperors love for all humans. Strive for perfection in all things, let your skill be a praise to the Emperor. Enjoy and praise the food that the Emperor provides, to lack in gratefulness is a sin. Revel in doing the Emperors duty because a deed well done in the Emperors name is it's own reward. Share your achievements with your sisters and brothers so that you might inspire them to greater deeds in the Emperors name.

 

Adventure synopsis

Have the acolytes infiltrate and feel the company and love of a perfectly reasonable, maybe slightly idealistic, hippie collective. They should not be sent to the spot to investigate that collective family, but rather to research into something else nearby, with a spot in the family being provided to them as a cover. Let the acolytes get to know a very harmless great-family that unfortunately seems to have been influenced somewhat by nearby cults, so they hold Slaaneshi ideals such as companionship higher than Imperial ideals such as willingness to sacrifice. Hence they must be purged with flamers in the name of the Emperor. A nasty GM lets the family die one by named one to the acolytes hands. Optional is frightened crying children hiding in pillow-forts. This should suitably illustrate the Imperiums fascist ideologies and the grim-dark world. As a twist this is all a setup by their Inq who wants to test their resolve and dedication to imperial creed. She/he grooms a few apparently harmless but obviously heretic collectives like this in order to test potential acolytes. This modus would probably be open both to radical inq and to puritans who wants to see that the acolytes are uncorruptable.

One scene I'd love to play out is this: Have the acolytes be invited to a celebration where it will be obvious that this family embraces the Emperor in a quite unusual way. In fact they embrace the Emperor rather litterary every sixth day by acting up a devotional play called "the Embracing of the Emperor", whereupon they draw lot among the family to see who gets to enact the role of the Emperor. This person is then carressed and embraced by the other family members. Make this as sexual as your player group would feel comfortable with, or as subtle as you want to keep it. You can let it slide into nakedness and orgasms all around (or maybe only for the emperor), to the sound of praising the Emperor and the gifts he gives. I reccomend excluding the children of the story in this scene if you plan to have it in the worse end of the scale. Sexual abuse of kids is a theme to be _very_ careful with in RPGs. A successful CL(Ecclesiarchy) could let the player know that this is a rather unusual but not inherently heretical way to show appreciation of the Emperor of mankind. A good way to escalate this is to let the players take part in the more platonic praisings and huggings of the Emperor that happens day 1-5 so they feel more relaxed and familiar with the scene. When it is time for the climax (pun unintended) of the story let one of the players be selected by chance to play the part of the Emperor. Then have the family members be all happy for her/his sake because it's a sixth-night, and it is considered extra lucky and holy to be chosen to represent the Emperor that night. Then the family says goodnight to all the kids under [your groups age of comfortability] wich in itself might be a warning sign, and the real celebration can start!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...