Warhammer 40K: The Enslavers – Galactic Eldritch Horror
Warhammer 40,000 doesn’t have enough cosmic horror for you? Need Lovecraftian spices in your Grimdark Latte? Meet the Slavers.
The slaversalso known as Psyrenes, Krell, dominators Where puppeteersare native entities of the Warp.
History of puppeteers
The history of the Slavers dates back to the Celestial War that took place millions of years ago between the C’tan-led Necrons and the Old Ones, along with their successor races. By this time, the Ancients had engineered a number of species closely related to the Warp to serve as warrior races of psykers against their enemy. The growing pains of these young races have disrupted the peaceful Empyrean, turning it into a hellish environment filled with now deadly Warp predators.
Eventually they shattered the boundaries between dimensions and among the most proficient of these Warp-spawned creatures were the Slavers. Using their mental powers, they dominated the minds of the Young Races and used the transmuted bodies of the Psykers as portals to bring more of their kind into the material universe. The arrival of these Warp entities brought about the final downfall of the rule of the Old Ones as their own creations fell victim to the command of the Slavers.
Smashing the Immaterium in epidemic numbers, the Slavers would take what was left of the galaxy while the C’tan retreated to ride out the storm. Thus, the galaxy became a wasteland until the psyker swarm died and allowed the galaxy to emerge with new life.
The Necron Overlord Trazyn the Infinite who is the keeper of rare artifacts is known to hold the ossified shell of a Slaver among his relics. In the Age of Imperium, the origins of these creatures are largely unknown to mankind and remain a complete mystery to them. They were known by a variety of other names in different parts of the galaxy such as Krell, Psyrens, Dominators, and Puppeteers.
Descriptions of these creatures are sparse and fragmentary, but data has been collected on their appearance as well as their feeding habits. The Ordo Malleus and the Ordo Xenos have a dual interest in the Enslavers for their warp origins and their existence as an alien species. Many Enslavers were encountered by Inquisition forces in the Scintilla system in 260.993.M41 and subsequently destroyed.
Other evidence reveals that the creatures were embedded in a rogue psyker smuggling ring run by criminal organizations including the Faxlignae. The Enslavers are believed to be the potential threat related to the Dark Pattern taking place in the Jericho Reach.
These beings from other dimensions have physical forms unlike any other known life form. They seem to possess physical bodies but seem to exist in warp space for at least part of their life cycle and are known to pose a terrible threat to all living creatures when in the material realm. In shape, they appear as barrel- or base-shaped spheroids that were about 2 meters tall and had tough, leathery skin. They are able to change their complexion at will although they are usually leathery brown.
A single large red, pink, or orange-colored sensory organ, sometimes called the eye, sits at the very top of the body, although its actual function is unknown. Around the upper part of the body is a group of pale or white or pinkish tentacles, 8 to 12 in number, all of which are one and a half meters long. As a rule, two of them are longer than the others and end in suckers. The tentacles serve as the primary sense organs as well as manipulation for the Enslaver. Although they have no legs, they move around their surroundings by floating and sometimes use their tentacles to aid them when they wish to move precisely or quickly. This method allows them to move quite quickly and allows them to change direction or speed in a manner comparable to humans or other more orthodox creatures. An Enslaver can float up to 3 meters high but is unable to fly although it is able to climb.
They have the ability to transcend normal space allowing them to easily traverse the galaxy and possibly beyond. Slavers are able to travel through warp space using the psychic vibrations of other creatures. The name mankind has given them comes from the fact that they are able to mentally enslave other creatures to their will. Through mind control, they are able to take control of the minds of other races with a single Enslaver able to dominate the minds of up to 10 creatures. Victims of this mind control retain all of their abilities, knowledge, and physical attributes despite all being under the Enslaver’s command. Victims of the Enslavers become helpless, complete puppets of their alien master’s will and perform even the most self-destructive actions without hesitation. Through mental control, however, is limited to a range of up to 50 yards.
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Their attraction to the minds of Psykers dictates the movements of Slavers with the strongest and most traceable psychic emanations from unprotected Human Psykers. Such vibrations can be detected up to ten light years away, they are tracked by an Enslaver where three of their kind often merge into a group to create a mental link with their prey. These sufferers may not realize it at first, but over time, gradual changes are imposed on their body chemistry. They become lethargic and fatigued, their skin fading, after which, within a period of 50 to 75 hours, their forms swell as the bodily tissues disintegrate and reform into a living gate of broken pulsating flesh. This becomes the victim’s end as their body is transformed into a special form of Warp Gate that serves as the link between the Materium and the Immaterium through which the trio of Enslavers travel unrestricted. Once in the Material World, they begin to enslave more Psykers, including proteges such as Astropaths who are transformed into similar gateways that allow more trios of slaves to enter the Materium.
Humanity has been unable to determine if the Slavers are intelligent in human terms. This is because they are able to act rationally and make reasonable decisions regarding their actions. They have never communicated with other races, but it is unclear whether this is because they are unable or unwilling to do so. Furthermore, they have never been observed using tools or any other form of equipment. Theoretically, a Slaver is certainly capable of using a weapon but has never been seen to do so. Instead, the manual labor is done by their psychically dominated slaves.
Slavers are slightly taller than an adult male, but other size ranges are possible as the first was the average rating. These xenos have sac-like bodies that contract with movement and are almost completely transparent, the front is recognizable by numerous tentacles starting from the anterior end and descending rearward along the bottom. The Enslaver’s face looks almost like a mask with many eye holes of varying sizes. An Enslaver also possesses the ability to gradually move in and out of the Materium as manifested from a psyker. The creatures possess psykers as demons would, but show no outward signs of possession, instead working clandestinely for their own ends – ultimately possessing other psykers to allow the passage of more slaves. Unlike demons, Enslavers can control non-psykers, whose minds they consume, enhancing their own power and allowing control of more potential slaves. Eventually, with enough slaves or extraordinary power, he may be able to control an entire hive of humans and then spread across the planet, after which the only acceptable course of action is Exterminatus.
Upon the death of a possessed psyker, the body is destroyed and the Enslaver emerges, the psyker having achieved its goal. Despite virus-like actions and the considerable threat the species poses to the Imperium, Slavers cannot possess sanctioned psykers so easily due to the preparation their minds have undergone and can be overwhelmed if enough minds are present because they will have too many minds to try and assimilate at once. Unfortunately, the protection Sanctions have is temporary, and with enough pressure on their minds, they will shatter and be obliterated by the Enslaver. Yet even so, the resistance would be enough for the psyker and the others around them to stage a physical attack.
~Who wants Enslavers to return to Warhammer 40,000 (with rules)?
Dad, gamer, editor, pilot, Texan. All games all the time since middle school. I started BoLS Interactive in 2006. I’ve been a lifelong tabletop and RPG game enthusiast, and an Internet publisher working to entertain and inform my readers every day. I’ve been playing RPGs and tabletop games since the 1970s. I’ve been playing and covering Warhammer and Warhammer 40K for over 35 years.