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Warhammer 40K: Slaanesh’s Original Spells Were SO Creepy!

3 Minute Read
Sep 20 2022
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Step back over three decades 1988, when Slaanesh was new and the Dark Prince’s magic was extra, EXTRA creepy. You’ve been warned.

Once, Slaanesh was new, and the God of Excess got a grand rollout in 1988’s Realm of Chaos: Slaves to Darkness, alongside his/her/its arch-rival – Khorne. In later decades this Great Game rivalry would be brushed under the carpet. Not to mention that little “suggested for mature readers” warning on the cover.

All of the Dark Prince’s original foundational lore, deamons, magic, and rivalries came from this book. While Slaanesh has had lots of magic and spells across both Warhammer Fantasy, 40K, WFRP, and Age of Sigmar down through the years – they are all descendants of the following set of originals. These are the spells that set the foundational tone for the Dark Prince and you can see echoes of them to this very day in active current rule sets from GW.

The Spells of Slaanesh

Acquiescence – The bread and butter of Slaanesh. With only a symbol of Slaanesh needed as a spell component – it’s easy to cast. The effects are threefold, and useful whether used on friends or foes. It’s especially effective and insulting to use on Khornate victims. You do have to be in physical contact – so be careful – they blood god’s minions can be angry.

Dance, baby dance!

Pavane of Slaanesh – With only a flask of wine needed – most Slaanesh magic users will have the needed components on hand. You can cast it on a group, and it has a range of 24″ (or 48 feet in WFRP), keeping you at a safe and hilarious distance. Remember the victims don’t just dance… they dance LEWDLY! I’m sure your DM will add the salacious details in their descriptions.

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Beam of Slaanesh – The much safer ranged version of Acquiescence is much more difficult to cast, but worth the cost. Same components – so it’s just a matter of needing a more powerful caster to pull it off. I love that “rainbow light” flies from the caster’s fingertips, and can kill followers of Khorne dead in a puddle or euphoric delight.  For once, they won’t die mad.

Eat it (with rainbows) Khorne!

Fleshy Curse – Ahh, the old fan favorite! This spell is truly horrible all around. Horribly difficult to cast, and with horrible effects on its hapless and doomed target. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse – take a look at Fleshy Curse’s semi-legendary spell components from back in the day when the GW design team pulled no punches:

A severed humanoid limb, and 144 living spiders, all sewn into the skin of a Goblin, Gnome, or Halfling. You BETTER take care of the spiders – each and every one… not a 143, and not 145, you better have it JUST RIGHT! But the payoff is more than worth it.

The spell components in WFRP were clearly powered by 1980s cocaine.

~ Where do you see parallels and echoes of these in current Slaanesh spells?

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