The Deceiver is the C'tan or Necron Star God of trickery, lies, manipulation, and deception. Many millions of years ago, the Deceiver offered the Necrontyr bodies of living metal (made of necrodermis) to help them fight against their ancient enemies, the Old Ones. The Necrontyr agreed and their conciousnesses were transferred into waiting necrodermis bodies by the C'tan. This transfer ultimately dulled their minds and eliminated their emotions and compassion and they became the horrific, soulless Necrons, harvesting life energy across the galaxy to feed their C'tan masters.
Before the Enslavers
The Deceiver is, as its name implies, a difficult entity to track down. It enjoys using trickery, deception and lies to achieve its own ends. The other C'tan quickly learned to distrust and shun the Deceiver, and its nature was displayed most prominently when the Deceiver tricked the Necrontyr into giving up their organic bodies in favour of metallic necrodermis husks. When the Necrontyr first encountered the Deceiver, they gave it the name Mephet'ran, the Messenger and hoped it would be able to bridge the gap between the Necrontyr and the C'tan.
The Deceiver was the C'tan that steered the Necrontyr towards a war with the Old Ones, by using its words to instil hatred of their power and ageless wisdom. Eventually this led to the transformation of the Necrontyr into the Necrons, which in turn led to the next major incident in the history of the C'tan. Eldar myth says that the Deceiver was the first to set C'tan on C'tan, convincing them that each other were the "best of all feasts", but despite this the Deceiver remained one of the physically weakest C'tan and only survived by avoiding the more violent C'tan, such as the Nightbringer and the Void Dragon.
The Eldar gave the Deceiver the name "the Jackal God" and recorded that it helped both sides in the War of Heaven equally. It then employed a number of guises to accomplish its goals. It was the last to descend to its stasis tomb and the first to leave, and has had millennia to gather support. It has destroyed, through its subtle methods, the Blackstone Fortresses, the only weapons capable of destroying the C'tan and placing the remainders far out of reach of the Eldar. It is said that the Deceiver invoked the Gothic War simply to destroy or remove the Fortresses.
Translation of the Eldar Artifact
This ancient artifact tells of the signs that will portend the return of the C'tan. It has one line dedicated to the Deceiver, "...and the Jackal-God shall turn brother against brother." (7) This confirms the abilities of the Deceiver in trickery and deceit and also gives a slight reference to time, as the Deceiver would need a longer time to turn brother against brother than the Nightbringer would need to kill them both.
This is an account of the attempt by a Callidus Assassin to assassinate a Planetary Governor named Takis. She used her C'tan Phase Knife and attempted to kill Takis, but she failed and her weapon passed straight through him. He knocked her aside and took her weapon and absorbed it into his hand. We can then probably assume she was absorbed as the last line talks about how her polymorphine drug "gives human essence such a delicate flavouring" (8). The fact that the being could absorb the C'tan Phase Knife meant it could only be a C'tan, as its body was made of the same material as the weapon which would have destroyed anything else. Also, we can assume that it is the Deceiver as the only other C'tan to be released from stasis was the Nightbringer, and it would not bother to hide as a governor, it would simply kill everyone around it and consume their bodies and souls. This is proof that the Deceiver is operating to attain power in the Imperium of Man for purposes unknown.
This gives a brief overview of the Deceiver's power of guile and cunning, and then gives a list of its names in several alien cultures:
- Artemorra to the Jokaero
- Sathsarrion to the Initiates of the Gethvar
- Mohagg to the Cornochinae
- Harrimoch to the Vendichi travellers (9)
This is a brief account of the Deceiver convincing the Nightbringer to consume the other C'tan. When read alongside Games Workshop Website - Dawn of the C'tan, The Death of Light this offers the possibility that the Eldar Harlequin Laughing God is in fact The Deceiver in another form - although there are also many evidences against this, as well as the possibility that both have imitated the other on numerous occasions.
This article gives us a glimpse into the cold heart of the Deceiver. The Silvae were an agrarian society with little technology. They were visited by the Deceiver early in their development and it convinced them to worship it. It returned occasionally to reinforce their devotion and they quickly became a superstitious people. There is a sentence that merits attention: "Here, it seems to be testing them, promising the race as a whole greatness at its side should they prove worthy." This could be seen as an attempt by the Deceiver to recruit new races and create new Necrons to bolster its forces. This may indicate a shortage of Necron units since the end of the War in Heaven.
The Silvae were then introduced to the Imperium and they soon turned to violence, but the Deceiver did not show up to help them. Instead he finds them "slipping back to barbarism" and is dismayed. He then sends in his Necrons to wipe out all of the Silvae. Most of them are killed but a few survive although there is insufficient variation in the DNA to continue the race.
This shows the Deceiver's ability to sway the minds of entire planets, but also its instability as any failure is punished by destruction.
An article by Farseer Maechu of Ulthwé
This article gives a brief prediction of the future, of how the Deceiver will blur the sight of the younger races and mankind and will make them believe they are coming home when in fact they are walking into the Necron 'soulforges'.
Key Features of the Deceiver
- Use of trickery
- Low physical strength compared to other C'tan
- Last to enter/first to leave stasis tombs, has been active for a long time somewhere in the Imperium of Man
- Takes the form of others to achieve its goals, also for fun
- Instrumental in the destruction of many of the Blackstone Fortresses during the Gothic War
- Codex: Necrons (5th Edition), pg. 40
- Codex: Necrons (3rd Edition), pp. 5, 8, 27-28, 30-31, 50, 63