Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Slaves to Darkness

thought it only fitting to make the inaugural post on this blog about the first of the two books that defined what I call the 'Realms of Chaos' era. I am, of course, referring to Slaves to Darkness

This is perhaps the less sought-after of the two books. Written in 1988 by Rick Priestly and Bryan Ansell, this book details the background of the two antagonistic Chaos powers: Khorne and Slaanesh. Besides delving into the mythos surrounding these gods, the book is lavishly illustrated with a multitude of sketches and original artwork. The style is almost impressionistic, with many pictures trying to capture the madness that is the Realm of Chaos.  

Interestingly enough, the book also establishes a link between the Chaos world in Warhammer fantasy and Warhammer 40,000. This is unheard of in modern-day Games Workshop fluff, in which these setting are intentionally kept very distinct. The book is arbitrarily divided into two, with the latter half focused more on Chaos a Renegades in the futuristic setting.

The biggest thing I love about this book is the fact that it contains rules for creating your own Chaos champions and warbands. The famous Chaos Attributes table is a great example of this. This reflects a paradigm shift in the Games Workshop history. Nowadays, army books are packed with a multitude of rules which seek to 'standardize' the game and instil balance into an intrinsically unbalanced game. However, the initial years of Games Workshop's history took a different stance on 'rules'. These were intended as guidelines or ideas to be used as a springboard for one's imagination. The creators of the game made it clear that the game should be a personalized experience for all those involved, and the more unique one's army/warband/heroes were, the better.

I will stop here for now and allow the pictures to do the talking. Part of my fascination with this hobby is related to the fact that I am a very visually-oriented person, and my goal for this blog is to use as many pictures and as few words as possible to illustrate my points. To that end, I present to you Slaves to Darkness

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