40K Lore: The Haemonculi Fleshmasters
Come Loremasters – for today we speak of the dread fleshsmiths of the Dark Kin, the Drukhari Haemonculi.
Haemonculi are Dark Eldar masters of pain, agony, and biological manipulation.
They proclaim that the infliction of this is one of the highest arts, if not the highest, and gleefully create choruses of screams and wails of agony whilst taking delight in every aspect of the discomfort of anyone unfortunate enough to fall under their blades. Haemonculi are also known as master manipulators of flesh, able to create horrific monstrosities and regenerate Dark Eldar slain in battle, provided enough of the body remains. Because of this, dark eldar of status will often make pacts with haemonculi, promising them fresh captives for their cruel art in exchange for medical treatment, biological enhancements, and even being brought back from the dead. Like most Dark Eldar groups they form into factions, known as Haemonculi Covens.
The first Haemonculi were originally the masters of the ancient Eldar Empire.
Equipment and Abilities
Haemonculi are known for carrying strange but lethal wargear unique to them. Some of this wargear is impossible to obtain even by Archons.
Some Haemonculi prefer close combat over ranged combat. These Haemonculi might equip themselves with scissorhands, Animus Vitae or with more common weapons such as Venom Blades, power weapons, Agonisers, Electrocorrosive Whips, Husk Blades or Mindphase Gauntlets and might be accompanied by their own nightmarish creations known as Wracks or bulky Grotesques as a retinue. Haemonculi who prefer ranged combat over close combat (as it may be a too ordinary way to generate pain) can be equipped with Liquifier Guns, Hexrifles or Stinger Pistols.
As every Haemonculi is old, perverse, and cunning, they carry some “dirty tricks” in their tainted sleeves. Having access to arcane wargear of the Dark Eldar they might possess some really dreadful weapons such as:
- Archangel of Pain
- Casket of Flensing
- Crucible of Malediction
- Dark Gate
- Orb of Despair
- Vexator mask
- Webway portal
Haemonculi also employ many gruesome machines and minions in battle. Though often Wracks and Grotesques do much of their dirty work, Haemonculi consider Engines of Pain to be the pinnacle of their art.
Perhaps most dangerously, The Haemonculi of the Dark City are able to transcend death entirely. By means of their twisted soul-science, they often leave a small part of their essence in rune-carved caskets and extradimensional pockets, so that even should their corporeal form be vaporised they can inhabit new flesh. For a Haemonculus to be truly extinguished he must be utterly destroyed, both corporeally and spiritually.
Disciplines and Factions
Viewing themselves as artists and master craftsmen, Haemonculi have developed many disciplines and specialties to their twisted work. These include:
- Nemesines: These Haemonculi seek the best ways to kill every creature in the material world and beyond. The ‘Ever-Nemesines’ (or Ilynneadhs in Eldar) take this art a step further, seeking to kill off ephemeral concepts such as hope and joy across entire sectors, erase knowledge or enlightenment from the galaxy, or slay great visionaries and leaders.
- Black Cornucopians: This discipline revolves around the concept that all of reality is theirs for the taking. As such, they are expert plunderers and are often architects of large-scale raids. Like Urien Rakarth, they often stock their own private pocket dimensions with enough victims to see them through centuries of isolation.
- Nadirists: These Haemonculi embrace sin and corruption more so than even their brother Covens. For them, depravity is an aim in and of itself. They seek to become gods not by the creation of malefic angels but by becoming the embodiment of pure evil.
- Phoenex: A hidden offshoot of the Ever-Nemesines. They seek to forge the Eldar race anew by the means of exterminating their own kind, be they Commorragh, Craftworlders, Harlequins, or Exodites. They believe that should the Eldar become extinct, Ynnead will be awakaned and the spiritual malaise of the Eldar lifted forever. They are the most secret of all brotherhoods, for their eagerness to see their brethren slain could see them undone. It is rumored that their philosophy is not limited to Commorragh, and that the Harlequins and even Craftworld leaders may share their goal.
- Scarlet Epicureans: Perhaps the closest spiritual descendants of the old Eldar Empire that led to the birth of Slaanesh. They revel in ever iota of sensation. Some of these maniacal orgiasts attack the military forces of realspace in order to invite unusual varieties of death, savouring the sublime moment when their lives are snuffed out. After drinking in their own last moments like a vintage draught, they will be regrown in the depths of Commorragh.
- Apparitians: Make their lairs in mirrors and delight in the capture of the vain.
- Vilethi: Named for the Dark Muse Vileth, they take part in Realspace raids purely to showcase their own superiority.
- Repugnomancers: Noted for their love of lethal traps and hidden surprises.
How Many Famed Haemonculi Do You Know Of?
~ Pray they don’t take you alive!