The Dark Muses are a group of infamous Dark Eldar who now serve as both examples to aspire to and objects of reverence for their foul race. As far as the Dark Eldar are concerned, the Eldar Gods died in the Fall of the Eldar and they despise them for it. That the Gods had become so weak that they could be consumed by the ascendancy of Slaanesh indicates that they never deserved to exist in the first place. The exceptions are Khaela Mensha Khaine, the Eldar God of War who is still held in high regard in Commorragh and the lesser powers known as the Dark Muses who are the embodiments of selfish vice and whose clandestine worship by the ancient Eldar Pleasure Cults contributed to the demise of the Eldar Gods.
The Dark Muses are truly powerful Dark Eldar from ages past who have essentially become folkloric figures of reverence, much like the Imperial Cult's saints. Worship of these beings started sometime between the 19th and 24th Millennia by the Imperial calendar, when the traditional worship of the Eldar Gods began to wane as new sects and societies dedicated to hedonistic excess began to rise in power among the ancient Aeldari. Many epitomise a particular form of vice, whose worship and practice weakened the Eldar Gods and so helped to bring about the Fall.
Favoured by assassins and murderers is the Dark Muse Shaimesh, the Lord of Poisons, the treacherous brother of Saim-Hann the Cosmic Serpent, for whom the Craftworld Saim-Hann was named. The courtesan elite of the Cult of Lhamaea pay homage to Lhilitu, the Consort of the Void, whereas powerful Archons are more likely to follow the tenets of Vileth, a being synonymous with the immense arrogance so often displayed by the Dark Eldar. Before they enter combat, many traditionalist Wych Cults invoke the Red Crone Hekatii, or make sacrifices to Qa'leh, Mistress of Blades. Ynesth is also a Dark Muse, and is especially revered by the Kabal of the Onyx Scar. The agents of the Onyx Scar search obsessively for her ashes, rumoured to held in a chalice on the Chaos-controlled world of Sacgrave in the Screaming Vortex.
It is believed by many Dark Eldar that their current Supreme Overlord, Asdrubael Vect of the Kabal of the Black Heart, may one day join the ranks of the Dark Muses, though given his ability to cheat death again and again, this may be an honour long in the coming.
Known Dark MusesEdit
|Shaimesh, the Lord of Poisons||The Lord of Poisons is the treacherous brother of Saim-Hann the Cosmic Serpent, for whom the Craftworld Saim-Hann was named.|
|Lhilitu, Consort of the Void||The Consort of the Void's worshippers comprise a mysterious sisterhood who are desired by powerful Archons to serve as courtesans in their courts. These Lhamaeans, are renowned in Commorragh for being both imaginative lovers and exceptional poisoners. They descend from the Cult of Llamaea, whose courtesans elite also worshipped Lhilitu, and gained their knowledge of poisons from Shaimesh.|
|Vileth||Vileth is a being synonymous with the immense arrogance so often displayed by the Dark Eldar, and is particularly popular as an ideal to which many Dark Eldar Archons aspire. The Scions of Vileth are also known as the best aerial hunters of the Dark Eldar, piloting aircraft such as Razorwing jetfighters and Voidraven bombers. These Dark Eldar pilots will sometimes form mercenary aerial squadrons that will work for Kabals, Wych Cults, and the Haemonculi of the Dark City.|
|Hekatii, the Red Crone||Many traditionalist Wych Cults always invoke the favour of this legendary Wych before they enter any battle.|
|Qa'leh, the Mistress of Blades||Traditionalist Wych Cults also often seek the ritual favour of the Mistress of Blades with a sacrifice for good fortune before combat.|
|Ynesth||Ynesth is known to be a Dark Muse particularly revered by the Kabal of the Onyx Scar. It searches for her ashes in the Warp rift known as the Screaming Vortex in the Segmentum Obscurus, where they are rumoured held in a chalice on the pirate-held world of Sacgrave.|
- Codex: Dark Eldar (5th Edition), pp. 6, 20, 35, 43
- Black Crusade: Game Master's Kit (RPG), pp. 14-15
- Death From the Skies (7th Edition) (Digital Edition), "Scions of Vileth"