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Succubus (Warhammer 40,000)
|Succubus - Warhammer 40,000|
A representative image of a Dark Eldar Succubus
|First appearance||1st Edition Warhammer 40,000|
Warhammer 40,000, informally known as Warhammer 40K or simply 40K, is a tabletop miniature wargame produced by Games Workshop, set in a dystopian science fantasy universe. Warhammer 40,000 was created by Rick Priestley and Andy Chambers in 1987 as the futuristic companion to Warhammer Fantasy Battle, sharing many of the same game mechanics. Expansions for Warhammer 40,000 are released from time to time which give rules for urban, planetary siege and large-scale combat. The game is currently in its fifth edition, which was published in 2008.
In this world, there are creatures that are known as Succubi. The Succubi are the ruling elite of the Wych Cults. Impossibly beautiful and elegant, they often lead squads of wyches in battle - seeking out the most challenging foes to best in single combat.
The Succubi, also sometimes called Archites, are the ruling elite of the Dark Eldar Wych Cults. Extraordinarily beautiful and possessed of an elegant but deadly grace, they are born to the fury of battle and stride through its chaos surrounded by coteries of their lethal Wyches who seek out worthy alien opponents for their mistresses to kill. Every Succubus is famed across Commorragh for the precision and artistry of her kills. Their every motion is an entrancing sight, their serpentine grace almost hypnotising the viewer as they flow like a lethal work of art towards their victims. The Succubi are the true celebrities in the gladiatorial arenas of the Dark City, and when they are in the heat of combat they enjoy a jealous envy from their peers that is as close as the Dark Eldar can ever get to veneration or admiration of another being.
The Succubi are collectively called the ynnitach in the Eldar Lexicon, the "brides of death." Every Wych Cult is governed by 3 Succubi who collectively lead it in the form of a triune council. However, only one of the three actually rules the cult, whilst the other two simply try to outdo each other in the gladiatorial arenas in the hopes of increasing their power and popularity with the general populace of the Dark City. Competition among the Succubi is fierce, though any disputes between them are far more likely to be concluded through an artful decapitation or the twist of a poisoned blade than by the skillful political scheming preferred by the Archons. Succubi are vain to the point of obsession and with good reason, for the arena crowds desire not only the bloody spectacle of vicious combat but also slaughter that is aesthetically pleasing. Wyches with one too many scars have often found themselves facing unbeatable odds in an arena match simply for the crime of no longer being physically perfect enough for the jaded Dark Eldar crowd's taste.
Only those Dark Eldar Wyches who possess both deadly combat skill and the allure of physical perfection ever join the ranks of the ynnitach. A Succubus will do almost anything to preserve her stunning beauty, including feeding a multitude of lesser warriors to a gruesome death so that she may feed upon their fear and anguish to regenerate herself and present a more youthful, lithe appearance to the arena crowd upon her entrance into the fight. Yet, though each Succubus is a beauty to the eye, their hearts are cold, cruel and dispassionate and a psyker who observed a Succubus with his Witch-Sight would likely see only a grey and shrivelled hag rather than a lush temptress of the arena. The greatest of the Succubi seek through the art of death to transcend the brute violence of the arenas and become living avatars of the act of death, hoping to follow in the wake of the Dark Muses and become revered as the embodiment of a particular type of murder. Currently, the greatest of the ynnitach include the murderously amorous Helica Venomkiss, the famously bad-tempered Yctria the Flayer Queen and Lelith Hesperax, who is admired for once decapitating a dozen rival Wyches with a single pirouette of her graceful body.
No Succubus' position can be secure without regular demonstrations of her extraordinary skill in battle. As such, the Succubi often take the lead during the Dark Eldar's raids into realspace, not only to take their share of the plunder and slaves, but also to seek out champions of the lesser races and defeat them to showcase their own skills. Though the Dark Eldar generally look upon Mankind with utter contempt for what they perceive as its weakness as a species, a Succubus would gladly duel a Chapter Master of the Adeptus Astartes, as such a kill would carry respect even in the Dark City. Similarly, it is not unusual for a Succubus to have claimed similarly gruesome trophies from an Ork Warboss, a synapse creature of the Tyranids, or, the most coveted of all, an Autarch of the Craftworld Eldar. Each such kill is an opportunity for a Succubus to prove her superiority and maintain her position, so the more witnesses to these duels, the better. Succubi wear the same high-necked Wych Suits as their subordinates, and they are often armed with a close combat bladed weapon in one hand and a finely-crafted Splinter Pistol in the other. Some Succubi also make use of Plasma Grenades for crowd control during realspace raids.
A Succubus may be armed in any way they desire, having access to the Cults' equipment stocks. Often this means taking devastating close combat equipment to further enhance the strength of their squad.
In the 3rd edition rules, a succubus was the name given to the squad leader of a unit of Wyches, Reavers or Hellions rather than an independent character.
- Codex: Dark Eldar (5th Edition), pg. 36