From the twisted realm of the Chaos Wastes come legions of warriors and monstrosities devoted to the four Ruinous Powers. Raised in battle, these great warriors fight for glory and the favour of their mighty gods. Immortality and everlasting power are the rewards for those who are strong; mutation and madness await the weak-willed and foolish. Led by Champions of Chaos, these forces will not rest until the entire Warhammer world is laid to ruin and under the sway of the Dark Gods.
Living in the Warp the four Dark Gods stand diametrically opposed to the races that follow Order. The forces of Chaos consist of daemons and beings of some of the races of universe that have joined Chaos in it's eternal service in exchange for power and immortality. One of the most common of all the races that Chaos has enslaved, are Humans and the Space Marines. Known as the Chaos Space Marines of the Traitor Legions, Space Marines that have denounced the Emperor of Mankind and sort favour of the Dark Gods. In the eyes of a Chaos Space Marine, a loyalist is something to be pitied and put out of its misery. To a Space Marine, a traitor is a representation of weakness, something to be destroyed and reminder to be ever watchful for the powers of corruption.
The four Dark Gods:
- Knorne: God of Blood, Force, Anger, Bravery, Valor, Retribution, Unrelenting Fury and War.
- Nurgle: God of Decay, Deformity, Joy, Neuroses, Necrosis, Pity, Despair, Stagnation, Diease and Physical Corruption.
- Tzeentch: God of Change, Evolution, Subtlely, Hope, Greed, Mutation, Magic and Endless Schemes and Plots.
- Slaanesh: God of Hedonism, Masochism, Sadism, Passion, Addiction, Sex, Wealth and Psychological Corruption.
Chaos is a primordial, malevolent, turbulent force originated from a alternate dimension where the laws of nature and causality do not apply, the thoughts, desires, and emotions of sentient creatures are made manifest in the form of psychic entities. These entities are the Chaos Gods, the personifications of the thoughts and emotions generated by living creatures, given sentience by the psychic energies of the Warp. Though incalculably powerful and gods by every measure of the word, they are by their nature monomaniacal and single-minded in perpetuating the concepts they embody. The Ruinous Powers are often labeled as unfathomably evil, but the truth is more complex - though the Chaos Gods do embody Rage, Scheming, Despair, and Lust, it is just as appropriate to label them the gods of Bravery, Hope, Perseverance, and Love.
The interplay and incompatibility of these concepts leads to a great rivalry between the Chaos Gods, the "Great Game," an eternal conflict that consumes the Warp and spills over into the material universe.The Dark Gods' armies in this war are their legions of daemons, fragments of their own power given form and freedom to murder: reflections of primal emotions, machines that do not obey physical laws, childhood nightmares, all have a place in a daemonic horde. Most of the time these forces are content to crash against each other within the Warp, but daemons also exult in the chance to bring their corrupting influence into the Materium, and will answer summoners' calls for aid, exploit an unskilled sorcerer's lapse in concentration, or charge en masse out of a Warp rift to bring the madness of Chaos to another world. On rare occasions, the Chaos Gods will direct their forces to work together to meet a mutually beneficial goal or defeat a common enemy, but such events are only temporary respites from the eternal competition that defines them.
Chaos corrupts Mankind so easily because it speaks to the character flaws inherent in every man and woman and seeks to exploit the weaknesses of their all-too-human natures. Consciously or not, every human emotion fuels the Dark Gods in some way - the determination to fight empowers Khorne, the desire to seek change and hope fuels Tzeentch, the manifestation for a loved one can feed Slaanesh and seeking for endurance pleases Nurgle. For Chaos to be truly eradicated, it would require extinguish the very things that make us human. It takes an extraordinary individual of truly iron will and selflessness to resist the serial temptations of Chaos. It is also these inherent character flaws that produce the rampant physical and anatomical mutations of individuals exposed to Chaotic energies, as these mutations are driven by the inner flaws of the person's psyche being made manifest in their physical person as Chaos bridges the gap between the Immaterium and realspace.
The Ruinous Powers are generous masters with their mortal servants, and a Chaos Champion whose acts of worship pleases his patron(s) will soon bear the mark of their favors in his very flesh. Khorne rewards his servants with enhanced strength, vitality and prowess in combat, particularly physical and melee combat. Tzeentch will grant them sorcery and nigh-infinite knowledge, Slaanesh will give you pleasures and sensations while Nurgle will give you endurance through disease so you may no longer suffer. The Gods are fickle and perfidious however, as these gifts will always turn on their worshipers who will spill the blood of both friend and foe, mutate and transform completely out of control, grow completely dull and seek new depraved ways to feel sensation and spread diseases and death whenever they pass. If they receive too many gifts may be turned into monstrous abominations called Chaos Spawn, twisted and mutated by their "blessings" and driven insane. Those that completely gain their master' favor will ascend as Daemon Princes, immortal demigods that rule various daemonic worlds in their name.