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Chaos is a faction in the Warhammer 40,000 universe. Chaos is linked to the Warp and the creatures that dwell within it, most notable among them being the Chaos Gods, as well as their mortal worshipers and followers.
"Chaos" is a catch all term for hostile entities that dwell in the Immaterium or "warp space". The thoughts and feelings of beings living in "normal space" have an effect on the energy of of warp space. This is not normally an issue on the scale of a single sapient species on a single planet, but when a species develops space travel -- especially interstellar travel via warp space propulsion -- their collective effects on warp space can be substantial. With the explosive expansion of humanity across the galaxy following their discovery of interstellar travel via the warp, human thoughts and feelings began to strongly affect the power and ambition of certain entities in the Immaterium.
The most powerful entities of the Immaterium are the Chaos Gods, the beings that draw the most power from the collective thoughts and desires of sapient beings in normal space.
- Khorne, the chaos god of war
- Nurgle, the chaos god of decay
- Slaanesh, the chaos god of pleasure
- Tzeentch, the chaos god of change
While many chaos forces worship only one of the Chaos Gods, many more worship all of them as a single whole known as Chaos Undivided.
Forces of Chaos
- Chaos Space Marines
- Corrupted members of the Adeptus Mechanicus
- Various Cults of Chaos Worshipers, among the more notable of Which being the Blood Pact
The Forces of Chaos are a considerable menace, and in some rare cases the Imperium of Man and the Eldar have considered them enough of a menace to temporarily ally against them. All Chaos forces attempt to advance the agendas of their particular gods, making them enemies of virtually all other civilizations, but this also makes them prone to fighting among themselves. Some Chaos forces will even attack anything they come across for the sheer sake of causing destruction. Increasing their threat, they can corrupt beings of any species they encounter to join them.
Although Chaos Space Marines wield weapons that are out of date compared to what the Imperium uses, the technological stagnation of the Imperium generally negates any potential gap in equipment, and some of the older equipment used by Chaos forces is in fact technologically superior to new equipment produced by the Imperium.
Chaos frequently appears in debates as a factor that would pose a danger if if an outside faction were to invade the Imperium.