"I would rather that you did not pray to any gods, for it would weaken your faith in man. Do not mistake the Gods of Chaos for helpful angels from some paradise dimension in the Warp. They are a dark reflection of mankind. To use their power for your own gain would implore them to do the same with you, in kind. Call upon them, and worship them if you must, but know that the "true power" of the Galaxy that I often mention is the spirit of humanity. It is the fuel that drives our universe. Never forget it." – Rain Kryze
So, this is something I think I've been putting off for over a year. To the few of you who've been keeping up with me and my original Chaos cult, the Outcastes, this deviation is a general overview of the Outcaste Orthodox faith, which is a form of Chaos worship slightly different from the standard theologies found among Chaos Cults, specifically that of the Word Bearers and Chaos Undivided. The most important point is that unlike most, the Outcastes worship five Chaos gods, not four. Before you continue, take minute to see if you can guess which god is represented where in the image above. Bonus points if you can guess the lower-left one without reading below.
Anyway, this deviation is just some general stuff about the Outcaste belief, nothing too in-depth. I'll either continue to define this stuff in future uploads, or answer questions in comments. The following is just the basics. Also note that only a little more than half of the Outcastes follow this form of worship. The Outcastes as a nation-state offer religious freedom (that doesn't mean they'll stop an angry mob from killing Emperor-loyalists, of course) in some way or another. They don't really care how you worship the Dark Gods, if you even worship them at all, as long as you're useful to the cause. Also note that the Outcastes don't regularly have access to the classic Chaos daemons (you know, bloodletters, daemonettes, nurglings, etc.). This is mostly because those specific daemons just sort of find the Outcastes to be unappealing as worshippers. The Outcaste Orthodox faith attracts different lesser daemons from each of the gods, so the daemons that the Outcastes have access to are usually much different in form and function than those in the standard game (this is mostly just because of how I'm planning to re-envision daemons in future deviations, but more on that later. I also just don't really like the idea of only specific types of daemon per god. It's Chaos, you know? Variety should always be exploited for the sake of art. Also, the daemons listed below that join the Outcastes in combat are usually superior, but less densely populated than their mainstream brethren from canon, and thus they are more difficult and costly to summon in the field. This makes them less common in Outcaste forces, reserved for emergency situations.
But I digress. Are you all done guessing? Good. Let's start with the god in the top-center, then go clockwise around the star:
- The Changer of Ways, the Master of Fortune, the Great Conspirator, the Architect of Fate, the Great Phoenix, etc.
- Tzeentch isn't changed too much from his standard portrayals, except the Outcastes normally envision him as an avian more than a serpent, due to his lesser daemons having more bird-like appearances. Tzeentch is still considered by the Outcastes to be a complete dick and one of the best trolls in the Warp, but they revere and respect him as the god of evolution and revolution, which are things they greatly care for. They often attribute fire with him, as in the "fires of change". The Outcastes only sometimes invoke worship of Tzeentch when it comes to seeking knowledge or driving ambitiously towards power, due to a combination of general distrust towards Tzeentch, and an overall Outcaste ideal of self-reliance.
- Color: Gold. The Outcastes use gold for him, rather than blue, because of his attributes of fire and rulership, and because they give blue to a different god.
- Outcaste Exclusive Daemons: Phoenixes. Tzeentchian Phoenixes are easily the most powerful of the lesser daemons that help out the Outcastes. If you want to get technical about it, Phoenixes are somewhere between lesser and greater in terms of power, and are capable of becoming greater daemons in a relatively short period of time. Phoenixes are massive, golden, dragon-like daemons that fly around on titanic wings and spit fire on enemies from above. If heavily damaged, they grow brilliantly and suicide-bomb a target for massive damage, sending warpfire in every direction, and burning those too pure to see the truth of Chaos.
- Animal: The mad eagle. The three-eyed Scipioan mad eagle is attributed to Tzeentch, due to being the most important bird of Outcaste culture. Also, mad eagle and Phoenix beak shapes are usually very similar in shape. As a nod to this, Phoenixes will usually shape three eyes on their heads to mimic those of the mad eagles.
- The Prince of Pleasure, She Who Thirsts, the Lord of Dark Delights, the Weaver of Webs, etc.
- Slaanesh is the second-weakest of the five gods, but is one of the most-worshipped by the Outcastes. Slaanesh presides over pleasure, pain, passion, art, excess, and intoxication. Sex, drugs, and rock n' roll, basically. In stark contrast to the serpentine version of Slaanesh often found in other Chaos lore, the Outcastes attribute numerous arachnid traits to Slaanesh, including multiple arms and massive, beautifully intricate webs. Slaanesh is beloved by the Outcastes for the same obvious reasons he/she is beloved by the internet.
- Color: Blue. Slaanesh is often color-coded blue by the Outcastes, and for some reason it's treated as very passionate and sexualized color by the cult. Sometimes it'll be indigo or more violet shades of blue, more in keeping with the classic Slaaneshi colors.
- Outcaste Exclusive Daemons: Trapweavers. Slaaneshi Trapweavers are feminine, and quite sexy, spider-like daemonettes that enjoy helping out the Outcastes. Unlike the fast-attack dexterity of their kindred daemonettes, Trapweavers are extremely efficient at setting traps and ambushes, but they also excel greatly as stat-buffing support units. Trapweavers can give a "spider bite" to any mortal servant of Chaos, and it's basically the equivalent of hopping them up on combat-stims, making their subject vastly more powerful, dextrous, and aware than they were before. Drug tropes apply where necessary. Unlike daemonettes that try to play the ugly/hot card and try to be beautiful and hideous at the same time, Trapweavers instead go for the transformation bit; appearing very attractive in their humanoid forms, and transforming into hideously ugly spider daemons when they need to let loose in combat. As their name implies, and in keeping with Slaaneshi tradition, Trapweavers might be hiding something special between their thighs.
- Animal: Spiders, of all shapes and forms. Slaanesh is very spider-like in Outcaste tradition. Mostly to fit their theme of "creepy, yet beautiful".
- The Lord of Decay, the Great Corruptor, the Master of Pestilence, the Sinker of Souls, the Encroaching Despair, etc.
- Nurgle is one of the most powerful of the Chaos gods, but he's surprisingly about as scarcely worshipped as Tzeentch when it comes to the Outcastes. Other than the love triangle I'll get to in a moment, Nurgle is usually only invoked by Outcastes when consecrating their dead or praying for the deaths of their enemies, you know, if Khorne is too busy at the time. Nurgle is also invoked after battles, when Khorne's worship is fleeting, and there's looting and scavenging to be done. For some reason, possibly because he's a tinkerer and a brilliant scientist himself, Nurgle has some strong worship among the Iron Caste and other Outcaste scientists, giving him something on an industrial theme. Outcaste Nurgle worshippers often have the same rusty, industrial sort of afflictions found among the Steel Maw cultists. As the Outcastes don't really believe in a god of death, they instead focus more on treating Nurgle as a god of recycling and reincorporating life and death. Otherwise, he's still treated like a friendly, jovial old man.
- Color: Black. The color of death, dread and despair. Outcastes in general don't use green for anything, so Nurgle instead gets black, which I honestly think works better.
- Outcaste Exclusive Daemons: Bonecrushers. Nurgle Bonecrushers are deathly, humorous, giant squids that equal Phoenixes in terms of sheer size. They excel as anti-anything assault units, but are generally just good at killing wherever you place them. Bonecrushers are more than just badass cephalopods, though. They can use the warp to increase the pressure in between their limbs, be it water, gravitational, or air pressure. This means they have a near-infinite capability to crush anything they get in their clutches. Like their god, Bonecrushers are also pretty funny, and generally just fun to hold a conversation with. Despite being capable of fighting anywhere, Bonecrushers are exceptionally useful underwater, or in the void of space.
- Animal: Cephalopods of all varieties. Squids and Octopi get it the most, though. Since it's nurgle, common flies and other pests are sometimes used instead. Rarely, jellyfish will be used to represent Nurgle, but these are more attributed to Malal, so the Outcastes try not to use them.
- The Righteous Traitor, the Slave of Truth, the Mother of Life, the Great Harvester, etc.
- Yep. This is the important part of the deviation. Isha is not a Chaos goddess, or at least, not outside of the Outcastes. This is something I wanted to reveal at the right moment, but I think that passed a while ago, so now you all get a shocking swerve. While traveling the Warp, Rain Kryze encountered Isha in the Garden of Nurgle, while trying to get the Lord of Decay's blessing. Isha, incarcerated and tortured for the past few thousand years, had a few conversations with the mortal that wound up giving Kryze the idea to use Isha to study how the gods operated. A whole bunch of theories about the Chaos and Eldar pantheons later, and Kryze wound up adding Isha to the Outcaste pantheon, tricking his followers into considering her an equal to the other four. Rather than sit back and wait for Ynnead or the God-Emperor to kick everyone's ass and save her, Kryze offered to try and empower Isha by artificially transforming her into a Chaos goddess, opening her up to the same worship that Slaanesh benefits from. I don't want to get into all the theory and metaphysics that Kryze has gone through to come up with that idea, but I'm always open to debate in comments. Anyway, since going along with Kryze's scheme, Isha has noticeably improved in strength, though is still light years away from even Slaanesh in terms of power. With only the Outcastes worshipping her, that's not likely to change any time soon, but it has at least allowed Isha to shed off enough power to send her own lesser daemons through the bars of her cell. The Outcastes worship her as the goddess of life, fertility and so on. While that might seem in contrast to the other four, I plan to write Isha as a staunch social darwinist and definitely going the way of "life is where Chaos spawns from" as far as theology goes. Isha doesn't have too many problems with Kryze's plan, since it's another angle she can play to destroy Slaanesh, but thanks to the plan, she's grown a fondness for her worshippers among the Outcastes. She was instrumental in the Outcastes creating the Neo-Eldar Ghouls, but I'll make a separate upload for them in a bit. Isha still really hates Slaanesh, but I try to give her a love triangle with Tzeentch and Nurgle that factors into how their powers affect one another (she represents birth and the fount of life, Tzeentch represents the changes of life, and Nurgle represents the end of life before it is recycled into new life, starting the cycle again. Get it?). This is also meant to counter the usual opposition between Nurgle and Tzeentch. While Khorne and Slaanesh are still enemies, Nurgle, Tzeentch, and Isha have a more complicated relationship.
- Color: White. Isha is always seen as the most pure and even "good" of the Chaos gods, and she is always given a sort of glowing "Virgin Mary" image by the Outcastes.
- Outcaste Exclusive Daemons: Tinkerers. With all the worship the Outcastes give her, Isha has been able to come up with her own daemons. While the Outcastes popularized their summoning, Tinkerers can pretty much show up randomly wherever they feel like appearing in the whole galaxy. Tinkerers are stout, glowy, black-and-white little imps that have a similar design to the Shadow Heartless from Kingdom Hearts. They are friendly, inquisitive, and curious, silent little daemons that will wander around an area and just start fixing stuff wherever they find them. Wounded human? They'll defibrillate him. Broken tank? They'll use magic to make it good as new. Gun jamming? *poof* it's fixed. They're pretty awesome. Despite belonging to Isha, other daemons rarely, if ever attack them, even in the Warp. This is mostly because Isha isn't in the "competition" among the big four gods, so the other daemons gain absolutely nothing by harming or banishing Tinkerers as they would other daemons. They know how to run from a fight, though.
- Animal: None, actually. Most Outcastes attribute Isha with mortals, especially humans, Eldar or Ghouls, but some members of the Orthodoxy find other animals to represent her with. The biggest problem of course is that Isha is the goddess of life, and therefore all living things, so it becomes difficult to pin down just one for her.
- The Blood God, the Taker of Skulls, the Lord of Rage, the Titan of Violence, the God of War, etc.
- Fuck yeah, Khorne! Blood for the blood god! Khorne is worshipped just as awesomely in the Outcastes as he is anywhere else in Chaos. Always a contender for the strongest god of the pantheon, Khorne is worshipped as the god of war, bloodshed, violence, honor, and conquest. Along with Isha and Slaanesh, he is very regularly invoked by the Outcastes, especially the Outcaste Militia in wartime. Khorne is a badass, and anyone who worships him gains badassery in kind. The only major change is that the Outcastes give him more of a stalwart, crustacean-like tank appearance, rather than his usual "giant beastman sitting on a skull throne" look. They also give him less of a medieval barbarian appeal and go for more industrialized imagery. Still plenty of melee weapons, though.
- Color: Red, duh. He's the blood god. Even the Outcastes wouldn't change that one.
- Outcaste Exclusive Daemons: Ironclads. Khornate Ironclads are powerfully-built, metallic, crab-like daemons that function very differently than their bloodletter cousins. Instead of marching into battle to RIP AND TEAR whatever is in their path, Ironclads are usually summoned by Outcastes to defend a position and hold the line against all odds. Last stands are their favored environment. They are the most durable of all lesser daemons for their size by a wide margin, and they're very good at fortifying whatever needs defending. Despite their trend towards defense, do not underestimate their offense. They're Khorne daemons, remember. A single strike from their massive claws can usually rend an enemy tank in half. However, and also unlike other Khorne daemons, Ironclads have a moderately powerful projectile attack where they launch warpfire like grenades at a far-away target. All-in-all, they make for excellent artillery units.
-Animal: Crabs and crustaceans. Outcastes give Khorne a lot of shellfish influences. That might mean they think him tastier than the other gods, but it doesn't make him any less of a total badass.
So that's about it. If you read through all of that, then congratulations, you are awesome. As always, feel free to comment on this stuff. Outcaste interpretations of the gods are one of those things that I might get some flak for, but I was in the mood to do this piece, and it's one of those things that eventually needed to be covered.
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