Cegorach, also known as the Laughing God, the Great Harlequin, the Great Fool and the First Fool, is one of the Gods of Eldar Mythology and the central figure of the Eldar Harlequins' belief. While most of the Eldar Gods were destroyed during the Fall of the Eldar, according to legend, this deity survived because his mocking nature distanced him from the collective psychic corruption and decadence of the ancient Eldar empire that became the Chaos God Slaanesh. Cegorach is the only authority the Harlequins recognize. Cegorach is one of only three Eldar Gods to have survived the Fall; the other two being Isha, who is held captive in the Garden of Nurgle in the Realm of Chaos within the Warp, and the War God Kaela Mensha Khaine, who lives on through his Avatars within the Infinity Circuits of the Eldar Craftworlds. It is said that during the fight between Slaanesh and Khaine the Laughing God hid behind Khaine for protection, and in the aftermath of the struggle the Laughing God fled into the Webway where Slaanesh could not find him. He still resides there, and is the only being in the universe who knows exactly where every door in the Webway leads.
Cegorach is the Eldar God of deception, stealth, creativity, art and trickery. It was he who tricked the Outsider into eating other C'tan according to Eldar legend during the War in Heaven between the Old Ones and the C'tan millions of years ago. Those Eldar who follow him, known as the Harlequins, are protected from Slaanesh in a different way from their Craftworld brethren. While Craftworld Eldar wear Spirit Stones which absorb their souls when they die to prevent them from being devoured by Slaanesh in the Warp, the Eldar Harlequins are directly protected by their faith in their God's power, becoming one with his Warp emanation upon their death. The only exception to this are the Harlequin Solitaires whose souls must be won from Slaanesh after their deaths by the Laughing God.
The Laughing God should not be confused with the C'tan called the Deceiver. There are a pair of stories in Eldar Mythology about the Laughing God and the Deceiver which sometimes cause this confusion. In one, the Laughing God tricks the Outsider into eating many other C'tan, driving him insane. In the other, the Deceiver consumed several C'tan to increase his own power and convinced the Nightbringer and the Void Dragon to do likewise. Neither of these C'tan, nor the Deceiver, were driven insane.
There is a more obvious difference between the Laughing God and the Deceiver. The Laughing God was created by the collective psychic belief of the Eldar impacting the psychically reactive energies of the Immaterium, in the same way as were Kaela Mensha Khaine, Isha and the other Eldar Gods, and as such Cegorach is an entity of the Warp. This is supported by his ability to compete for Eldar souls with Slaanesh. The Deceiver is a C'tan, a Necron Star God, a sentient being whose natural environment lies at the core of stars in realspace. A C'tan is a creature purely of the material universe; it has no soul and thus no emanation in the Warp. The mysteries of the Immaterium are beyond the comprehension of the C'tan, who find the energies of the Warp to be inimical to their existence and are thus extremely vulnerable to the use of all psychic powers.
- Warhammer 40,000: Compendium (2nd Edition)
- Codex: Eldar (4th Edition)