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The Dark Prince's Realm is divided into six different domains, arranged in concentric rings around Slaanesh's Palace of Pleasure. This domain is commonly thought a paradise by the mortal souls lured here, but nothing is precisely what it seems. Each region is formed around one of the six deadly seductions: Avidity, Gluttony, Carnality, Paramountcy, Vainglory and Indolency. These circles are not only a continuous celebration of Slaanesh's needs and desires, but also his chief defence. An intruder must pass through each of the six circles in turn before reaching the palace within - an act of will that few souls, mortal or daemonic, can perform. As one moves from circle to circle, the desire to succumb becomes increasingly overwhelming. Once mortals have sampled the pleasures of Slaanesh’s realm, they cannot stop; compelled towards excess, they think nothing of the consequences - only of the pleasure that indulgence brings. Some, much too late, discover the trap that has been set for them, but this matters not to Slaanesh, who finds moans of ecstasy or cries of horror equally satisfactory, providing they are heartfelt.[1a]

The Circle of Avidity forms the outermost boundary of Slaanesh's domain. The temptations within its borders seek to awaken an interloper’s sense of greed. Gold is here, ingots and coins beyond counting. Precious stones are sunk deep into every wall, and gilded sculptures line every path. All who attempt to seize this wealth are doomed. The gemstones hatch daemonic birthlings that burrow beneath the skin and eat their victim from inside to out. To lay but a finger upon Slaanesh’s statuary is to join it, your consciousness rendered immortal, but forever trapped in an immobile golden body.[1a]

Should greed not ensnare, then the next circle is that of Gluttony, with sumptuous banquets and rivers of wine. A single taste reduces the imbiber to a bloated fool whose only desire is to gorge until his tortured body gives way under the strain. Beyond the Circle of Gluttony lies that of Carnality, a debauched place where all manner of fleshly pleasures may be sampled. Lissome maidens walk the verdant fields, their face and form seemingly sprung from heart’s dearest desire. Yet to tryst with such a creature is purest folly, for there are clawed hands and serpent’s teeth beneath the glamour, and an appetite for fleshly pleasures of a different sort.[1a]

Upon entering the next circle, the traveller is greeted by the roar of an adulating crowd, for this is the Circle of Paramountcy, where intruders are tempted with power and all its application. Armies, their numbers so great as to blacken the plains, greet those of martial bent, whilst the politically minded are also met in kind, with nations to guide and vassals to rule. For any traveller with a desire for personal power within his heart this is a paradise of sorts for a time, a place where every whim is obeyed, and every command fulfilled. Yet to tarry within this circle is to be overcome with paranoia, to see a dagger beneath every smile and poison in every chalice - the cheering throng becomes a tortuous and inescapable prison.[1a]

The Circle of Vainglory is a garden, its maze of paths thick with beautiful flowers and heavy with thorns. Here, unseen voices whisper reminders of past glories, of achievements great and small. Most deadly of all is the remembrance of circles conquered and temptations unheeded. Each step an intruder takes with pride in his heart leads him further from his path, drawing him deeper and deeper into the choked undergrowth. There he swiftly falls prey to the tearing briars and roots, whilst the chanting thorn-children of the garden weave his every failure into a mocking epitaph.[1a]

Last, and most dangerous, is the Circle of Indolency, a serene domain of heavenly choirs and perfumed seas. All within this circle, whether root and branch or stock and stone, works to lull the mind and senses. A single draft of the ambrosial waters can rob a mortal of purpose and will. To sleep here is to never again awaken. The lone and level sands that crunch underfoot are the desiccated husks of all those who have succumbed, and the ethereal voices are their souls in torment. If this final and most insidious of circles is traversed, then a traveller can finally ascend to the seat of Slaanesh’s power.[1a]

Slaanesh does not have a stronghold as such, merely a luxurious palace wherein his daemonic followers pay court. This shimmering alcazar haunts the dreams and nightmares of mortals in a way that no other place can. It is said that contests in every manner of excess are to be found within the palace and its fleshy walls pulse to the rhythms within. These debauched competitions occur in six great halls, each cavernous chamber devoted to one of the six deadly seductions of Slaanesh. Such are the incredible depths to which these earthly sins are pursued that their practitioners pass beyond pleasure into torments so terrible that only the truest devotees of Slaanesh can take joy in them.[1a]

Source Edit

  • 1 Warhammer Armies: Daemons of Chaos (8th Edition)
    • 1a -- pg. 12

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