A Daemon Prince of Tzeentch is a former mortal or Heretic Astartes servant of the Chaos God Tzeentch who has accomplished so much for the Lord of Change that he or she has been transformed into an immortal Daemon Prince. For a Sorcerer of the Thousand Sons Legion, the apotheosis of their service to the Grand Conspirator is to gain immortality as a Daemon Prince.
The last fragment of their mortal soul -- already warped by centuries of sadistic manipulation done unto others -- is plunged into swirling darkness, never to return. Their flesh is riven with Chaos energy, their body growing to enormous proportions to accommodate a massive surge of raw empyric matter. Muscles bulge along elongated limbs, and hands twist into many-taloned claws that drip with magic. Much of their armour and weaponry is absorbed into their new form. The Tzeentchian runes and icons bedecking their wargear become embedded in sinew, where they pulsate with bestial vigour.
Their metamorphosis renders the Daemon Prince completely unrecognisable from the living creature it once was. Its skin takes on colours more pleasing to the Changer of the Ways, growing intensely bright, terrifyingly dark, or taking on variegated hues in fluctuating configurations. Its very flesh shifts between translucency and absolute opaqueness, and curved horns and thorny gnarls sprout from the Daemon Prince's body. Some Daemon Princes grow great leathery wings with which they soar through the skies of battle; others develop a trailing cape of undulating tendrils. More esoteric changes may take form in a Daemon Prince as well -- shadows that burn with darkest fire and warp all that they touch, or halos of light indescribable in colour that pierce the thin layer of sanity protecting a mortal's soul from the Daemon Prince's gaze.
Though their new-found power is immense, there are still other beings whom the Daemon Princes call master. The Daemon Primarch Magnus the Red commands many Daemon Princes -- they are his mightiest warlords, serving as members of his Rehati and leading his Legion's cults in conflagrant wars against the Imperium. The aura of raw magic emanating from a Daemon Prince invigorates those warriors who fight alongside him, giving them glimpses of the future and whispers of daemonic knowledge. A Daemon Prince's very existence is a manifestation of its Tzeentch-given power, and in its presence the will of the Architect of Fate is made manifest upon the battlefield. Plants wither and mutate into grotesque anomalies; the skin of enemy soldiers peels back to expose writhing muscle and shivering bone; adamantium vehicle plating and ferrocrete bunker walls erupt in gnashing mouths that cry out in anguish as the Daemon Prince approaches.
The weapons a Daemon Prince carries are well suited to their monstrous form. Where the Sorcerer may once have wielded an arcane staff or ensorcelled blade, a Daemon Prince sets about its slaughtering armed with a sword or axe wrought from Warp-matter. Ripples of corruption are sent crashing outwards with each swing, and with such a weapon the Daemon Prince can sever the present from the past and future, ending an enemy champion's existence by erasing their very being. Others achieve their butchery with their talons, slicing through wave after wave of victims, spraying torrents of blood that ignite with Warpfire. Those Daemon Princes in the Crimson King's service are masters of psychic malediction, and with a snarled word they can wrack an opposing army with hideous mutations or open a portal to the oblivion of the Warp. Should a Daemon Prince somehow fall in battle, their existence persists in the Immaterium, for they are tethered forever to their patron god. By the will of Tzeentch, and by the power of their own undying hatred, they may return to the material plane to finish their fell works, and to hunt down those enemies who dared defy them.
Where other Tzeentchian daemonic entities can only exist outside the Warp for short periods of time, evaporating from existence when the maelstrom of change-magic abates, Daemon Princes can sustain their corporeal forms by waging continuous campaigns of insanity and terror. Each fiery war prosecuted and every sacrificial ritual enacted is another pluck at the strings of fate. This feeds the Daemon Prince's essence, sustaining it in the material plane and filling it with fuel for its star-spanning sorceries.
Notable Daemon Princes of Tzeentch
- Abraxes - Abraxes is a Daemon Prince of Tzeentch who was slain by the Soul Drinkers, a Renegade Chapter of Space Marines.
- Esotephres - Esotephres is a Daemon Prince of Tzeentch; little else is currently known about him.
- Ghargatuloth - Ghargatuloth, also known as the "Prince of a Thousand Faces," is a Daemon Prince who serves Tzeentch.
- Hellforged Sword
- Daemonic Axe (As replacement for Hellforged Sword)
- Malefic Talons
- Codex: Heretic Astartes - Thousand Sons (8th Edition), pp. 39, 68