By now, I’m sure you’ve all heard about the current rage in the Age of Sigmar speculation pens – that the Dark Prince is gone/dead/replaced/retconned or something similar. Add swearwords, clickbait and endless threats of quitting the game for dramatic effect. But what do we really know about the subject at this point?
The few facts that are on the tables, are the following:
– Slaanesh is gone; it’s throne stands empty.
– It is captured by Tyrion and “improbable allies” against Sigmar’s orders.
– Hints are given that Malerion (leader of the Aelf Exiles) is involved, and that the followers of Slaanesh blames him.
– The followers of Slaanesh exist, and are very much seeking their missing deity.
These are the few facts we can draw from the leaks that are available so far. There are many speculations abound, of course, but what most of them seem to focus on is that Games Workshop is going to screw you, you silly Slaanesh-collecting pervert, you, because Slaanesh is very PG-unfriendly (as opposed to murder, gore and violence). We also know that the Great Horned Rat is ascended into the Chaos pantheon, leading to speculation that it has usurped the Dark Prince’s throne.
Unlike what appear to be mostly the rest of the internet, I doubt very much Slaanesh is going anywhere except Plot Device Central Station. If Games Workshop wanted to remove Slaanesh, they would have done so quietly and without comment, and certainly not added it to the lore with name, pictures and a potential storyline involving several major races and at least one other deity. From a narrative point of view, that would make no sense – you don’t actively mention things or details in a text that isn’t relevant to the continuation. This is storytelling 101. Slaanesh is definitely playing a part in the continuation of Age of Sigmar, in some way, shape or form.
Furthermore, the idea that the Great Horned Rat is simply a fifth Chaos god – why is that so hard to grasp? Because it’s not Malal, and “everyone” knows the fifth Chaos god is Malal, right? The addition of one does not necessarily mean the subtraction of another.
Finally, there’s that picture. You know the one, of the pantheon:
That sigil on the bottom, where Slaanesh is supposed to reside – it sure are hell doesn’t look like Skaven to me. It is far to sleek, elegant and circular to even remotely resemble the ramshackle iconography of the ratmen. You know what it looks like, though?
This crafty ol’ gal.
At the climax of End Times: Khaine, her attempt at sabotaging Teclis’s ritual ended with her being picked up and pulled into the Realm of Chaos by the Dark Prince itself. As in, literally. Slaanesh picked her up and sucked her into the nether, alive and intact. Which is perhaps not so strange, for those of you that was around for Storm of Chaos and remember her little pleasure cult. Sure, that was retconned, but fact is that the Cult of Pleasure has been a prevalent factor in elven lore for most of the game’s history.
I’m not going to make any predictions or speculation about where Games Workshop is going next, apart from that I fully expect Slaanesh to appear in some shape or form down the road, and play a major role in Age of Sigmar. As for wishlisting, if Daemon Princess Morathi decided to show up in glorious multi-part plastic…
Yeah. I will. So. Much.