I had meant to get some painting done last night, but I had a bit of inspiration for something I've wanted to do for a while
back in January I made my first Croneworld Eldar pleasure cultist, which I did rather like.
However, in the light of my exodites getting a little...stranger..
.since then, I thought that the warped playthings of Slaanesh should by all rights be just as strange. So, here's my first attempts (counts-as Heralds of Slaanesh with Etherblades).Ylris sprinted across the battlefield in great leaps and bounds, ribbons billowing gracefully behind her. Desperately, she fought to keep her death-dance pitch-perfect. Every leap and footfall the very epitome of acrobatic grace. She could feel the eyes of the Prince of Perfection as a great pressure on the back of her soul, scrutinising her every move for a hint of anything out of place. On her next landing, she clipped a stone and stumbled. "No!" she screamed. A scream cut short as her soul was wrenched from her frame and returned to its eternal torment, her lifeless body slumping to the floor. Around her, her kin continued their dance unflinching, utterly absorbed in their own survival. Elsewhere, another fallen warrior rose to its feet, home to another long-dead soul plucked from the aether. Perhaps this plaything would do better, an infintessimal fraction of the vast rumbling thought processes of Slaanesh mused. This was a frightfully entertaining game!
Such is the life of a Croneworld Cultist. Cursed by their forebears, who in their arrogance thought they could birth a God in their image. Little did they know the soul-child of their race had far more sordid ambitions. They live a fraught existence as playthings for She-Who-Thirsts, yet still they endure. These cursed creatures. Desperate to avoid her attentions, and equally desperate to please her, their lives are utterly at the mercy of the most fickle of Gods.
A little refresher on the background
I've thought a reasonable amount about Chaos Eldar, coming to the conclusion that the idea of 'Eldar that just decided to worship Chaos' and 'Eldar who were corrupted by Chaos' don't quite cut the mustard fluff-wise to me. However, I'm of the opinion that you can do whatever it is you please with bending 40k fluff so long as you have a good enough reason for it, and twisted chaotic Eldar is too good of an opportunity to pass up.
I quite like the idea of Eldar who dedicated themselves to another Chaos God to try and get their protection from Slaanesh. That's got just the right nuance of desperation to it for me to like it as a piece of fluff. I can just imagine a desperate Corsair or Outcast coming to the end of their life selling their soul to one of the other gods in a desperate (and probably futile) bid to avoid being devoured. Furthermore, I can imagine one of the other Gods flaunting the fact they own an Eldar soul, demonstrating that victory over Slaanesh. It's definitely something I want to explore in the future, but for these guys I had another idea
My other idea is that Slaanesh strikes me as the sort of entity that plays with her food. Contained within her, she has billions upon billions of Eldar souls which i expect she could resurrect and toy with as she pleases, in any form she wished, before consuming them again. These Eldar wouldn't truly be alive in the conventional manner, but also wouldn't be like resurrected phantoms. As the Eldar soul retains consciousness after death, they'd not only remember who they were, but they'd also remember the centuries upon centuries of torture within the belly of Slaanesh. I imagine them as somewhat like conscious living Eldar whose souls are bound to the whims of Slaanesh.
I'd imagine the figureheads of the pleasure cults would revel in this existence, and be looked upon favourably (Favoured Playthings
I've called them). For the rest of the population caught up in the cataclysm their souls would be stuck in perpetual torture, and being resurrected as a plaything would be a desperate window in the endless torment. Also, with billions of potential souls to choose from you can bet that Slaanesh would pick up on anything that displeases her, no matter how small, and replace you with another potential candidate. So, you'd get a society constructed of Eldar desperate to please Slaanesh in any way possible borne of a desperate self-centred desire to avoid being returned to torment. They're normal Eldar, reduced to committing horrific acts by the trap they find themselves in. One of my favourite types of villain
plus, there's tons of potential for things like Learned Helplessness and Stockholm Syndrome to make interesting characters with
The other thing I'm excited about is the modelling opportunities
One of my all-time favourite GW models is this old-school Vampire Lord. It's just a fantastic sculpt:
So, I thought I'd have a go myself with my second Favoured Plaything/Herald.
What do you reckon? I'm dead chuffed if I do say so myself
here are the two together:
These two combined have also given me some ideas for some themes to carry through to the rest of my Croneworlders. Judging by the Keeper of Secrets model, Slaanesh seems to have a fondness for extra arms. My DEldar Covens Wych Cult also has a bit of a multiple-arms theme going on, which fits the 'Slaanesh is a reflection of the Eldar consciousness' thing, but means that I need to mix things up a little for the Croneworlders. The vampire lord guy is what gave me the answer with his odd arms. As a rule, people tend to find symmetry pleasing, and asymmetry slightly odd (or downright jarring when it comes to the human form). So, I think one of the themes I'm going to carry through the rest of my Croneworlders is them having 3 arms to hit the warped odd look of Chaos
More to come!