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Weird new xenos mini could upend Warhammer 40k lore

A strange new hovering alien bug might just mark the return of the dreaded Enslavers to the Warhammer 40k universe - here’s their history.

Warhammer 40k lore - a possible Enslaver mini, a bloated, floating, tick-like creature with tentacular mouth and a single red eye

Games Workshop has revealed a single picture of a strange, hovering blob monster, partway between a tick and a face hugger, and promises a full reveal on Saturday May 18. We’re already excited, because this looks remarkably like a forgotten but very impactful xenos species, the Enslavers, with massive implications for Warhammer 40k lore.

Enslavers are a lesser-known Warhammer 40k xenos race which has never had models, though a drawing and rules appeared in the original Rogue Trader rulebook and in White Dwarf 292. Enslavers have a bloated, fleshy body, a single eye, and have been depicted with tentacles and mandibular claws.

Warhammer 40k Enslaver - a ticklike entity with a large head and trailing tentacles - as depicted in White Dwarf 292

Enslavers have the grisly ability to transform 40k psykers into living warp portals, which the Enslavers then use to travel between worlds. Once in place they will psychically dominate the inhabitants of a planet, enslaving them to their will.

With the psychic trauma of the Great Rift splitting the Imperium in two, and the Psychic Awakening causing an unprecedented number of new psykers to manifest their powers, now is the perfect time for an Enslaver invasion. The Enslavers are a sufficiently apocalyptic threat that they could be the basis of a whole new Warhammer 40k faction.

However, it’s possible this mini will appear in a spin-off game: Necromunda often receives deep lore cuts well before Warhammer 40k does. Perhaps another game line will show up in Saturday’s Warhammer 40k preview, which wasn’t revealed in Games Workshop’s teaser article. It’s not too long since GW was using Warhammer Quest: Blackstone Fortress to release new minis based on classic Warhammer 40k lore, like the Zoat and Ambull:

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While Enslavers only get an occasional mention in current 40k lore, they played an important role in the third edition Warhammer 40k Codex for the Necrons. In that version of the lore, the Necron and C’tan War in Heaven against the Old Ones threw the Warp into uproar. This caused mass psychic awakenings among the mortal races, and plagues of Enslavers swept across the galaxy, annihilating sentient life in their path.

Although the C’tan and their Necron servants won the war, they were forced to enter a multi-million year slumber to wait out the plague that was decimating their food source. Much of the rest of the Necrons lore was updated for fifth edition and the Enslavers weren’t mentioned in the War in Heaven, but they’re still around – Trazyn the Infinite keeps an ossified Enslaver husk in his archive on Solemnace.

Wargamer will be covering the Warhammer 40k preview on Saturday and will of course let you know how our speculations pan out. Follow Wargamer on Google News to make sure you don’t miss our updates!