Monday, 18 January 2016

Die Damen von Kaos

The Season's Queen. Demon princess, a Persephone bride to Tzeentch's underworld. Spring and Summer are his seasons when growth and change and the unfurling of seeds bring out new life, renewal, and thaw the bones of winter dead. Then she is abroad in the realms of magic, tending young demons, lambing the damned mutants, tilling and planting fields of warp lilies, spinetrees, spellgrass. In Autumn and Winter she is in the mortal realm, foul mooded, pining for her husband and his gardens of everchange. She builds little models to relieve the tedium out of living souls and their tiresome, slow morphing bodies.

Clothed demagogue. Clothes have a secret language that the wearer does not know but the reader does. Treacherous words: 'Fool.' 'Buffoon'. 'Pauper'. Women more than men must learn their language for fear of wearing the clothes that say 'Victim.' 'Target.' 'Asking for it.' The cruelty of men made the language of cloth, but Tzeentch is jealous of all secrets. Those women who learn the true language of clothes are precious to him, and if they petition him and make supplications he will grant them garments of surpassing beauty and unignorable voice. Clothes that say 'Mistress,' 'Lady,' 'Regent of all who have eyes to see,' in tones too loud to ignore and too regal to disobey.

Nonwomen. A madness that takes over good women and true. The minds of many melt and mingle - they are one person of many bodies, or one body of many parts. Until they are found out they go about their several businesses to one purpose, exalting the lord of the strange in secret fashions, making by nine parts and nine unseeming gestures a single cantation, or building in nine points nine innocent icons that together and apart are of unholy purpose. They corrupt by inches, churn the good sod to foul mud. When they touch they flow together like melting candles.

Scratching beauty. Once, Nurgle wagered Slaanesh that he could make a maiden stare longer into a mirror glass than could his sister-brother. Slaanesh found a maiden plain and gave to her a glass in which she saw herself more beautiful than any other girl abouts. And into this glass she would stare for hours on end, longing for a face that was not real. But in the end she cursed the mirror and cast it down and it shattered to pieces beside her, for she knew the face was not and could never be hers. And to another maiden, beautiful, did Nurgle give a mirror that showed her beauty truly and to great effect - except that it showed upon her a blemish mark that no other mirror showed. And though she could not find it except in the mirror yet the maiden picked at this blemish and plied her skin with caustics in an effort to be rid of it, and in time her skin was damaged sorely and the blemish that was not real became so. And now the mirror showed her ever more awful and terrible ailments and deformities that were not in truth part of her yet fair face, and in her desperation to be rid of them she with lance and scalpel and foul ointment ripped and tore and flensed her own flesh until it was ruined utterly, a hole of sores and flowing wounds that she could not help but pick, pick, pick at. And at last, having won the bet some time ago, and being not overly cruel, Nurgle entered her mind and let her see herself as she truly was, a creature of disease entire, a mouldering beauty fit to host the Lords and Ladies of plague. And she is his faithful servant, and she delights in sharing her gifts with others.

Blister sisters. Peat cutters and charcoal burners for the fire beneath the pot wherein Nurgle brews novel contagion. Their affliction begins with a single blister on the forehead which soon grows down the face, claiming the eyes and nose, and back over the scalp, loosing the hair. The cheeks split at the corner of the lips so that the grin grows idiotically broader until it reaches the ears, which then fall off. Buboes swell their groin and armpits, their limbs bloat with water and bad blood and their skin cracks and spills. They are slow to notice intruders but relentless with their peat mattocks and splitting axes.

Midden maidens. Infinite cruelty in the punishment of witches, adulteresses, infanticides. When a woman, drowning in a midden, forsakes all - her family, God and soul - for the mere hope of revenge, then is she Nurgle's. He changes the savour of dung to wine, and she lives in sewers and privies, and spits cholera in wells.

Hunt bitches. The God of the Hunt is a loutish oaf who rejects womankind from his band. Khorne has no compunctions such. Sleek skinned, long legged, great distended jaws and teeth sharpened to points or capped in brass. Run in packs and delight in running huntsmen to ground, then tearing them apart.

Blood widows. War begets widows and orphans. Those who harbour rage more than grief, desire revenge more than peace may tread the path of Khorne. He lends them the strength they desire, and seeds in their heart a blood hunger that will only grow. The mightiest follow the Wronged Queen in her scythed chariot, her mane of flowing fire.

Brass Spiders. Male Brass Spiders exist, piddling small demons of no consequence. The females are giantesses, armoured greatly, eight limbs speartipped, mandibles like spiked mangles, eight jewelled red eyes. They topple fortresses and build funnel webs of human bone.

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