The Duke of pirates, Traevelliath Sliscus (Better known as "The Duke" or "Sliscus the Serpent") is the Dark Eldar answer to Prince Yriel as top space pirates, acting as the posterboy for exiled Dark Eldar who want to do what they want 'cuz a pirate is free (a popular theory is that he is Yriels father, given the mystery as to how the Iyanden craftworlder was conceived). He is as talented as a Shakespearean wordsmith, carving epic poetry into his prisoners bodies after injecting them with a buttload of poisons. He is also essentially David Bowie circa 1977.
This is how Lady Malys describes the Duke: "Amoral, despicable and impeccably dressed into the bargain". When other Dark Eldar say that about you, you know you have some serious style.
See, Sliscus was originally just some pencil-pushing something-or-other within Commorragh. However, he decided that boring shit sucked and stole three ships from Port Carmine and began his personal corsair warband, the "Sky Serpents". And so he's stuck around for a few thousand years, looting and pillaging all over the galaxy, whilst the inquisition sat slack-jawed wondering where their ships went. He became the greatest pirate that ever plied the sea of stars, which must be a testament to his skill as the commander of a legion of backstabbing bastards in his megalomaniacal vision to take over the galaxy behind a certain armless failure,
a rotting psychic vegetable HERESY! *BLAM*, and the Tomb Kings IN SPACE.
Not like that didn't affect his sanity, though. The guy's got serious moodswings which manage to have some hilarious effects that he might have learned from the legendary Assholetep. For example, he decided to parlay with some planetary government, and then decided to butcher all of the Hive Nobility because their envoy mispronounced his name. Like an asshole. Also, to add to his Megalomania, he is pretty paranoid (which makes him ironically perfectly rational for a citizen of Commorragh), feeding himself various poisons to build up his immune system. He also has a thing for wearing different clothes every single day to the point that he'd never wear the same set twice; in the novel "Lukas the Trickster" (where Sliscus is the main antagonist) Sliscus reflects that it's his personal preference, he will wear the same thing more than one day in a row but under protest. Also every outfit he wears is made of or includes body parts of most recent person he killed. Apparently his banner is also made from the flayed skin of the Lord Admiral of Segmentum Tempestus' Segmentum Fortress. Sliscus has also been said to be amused by being called a serpent; he considers himself more dangerous than any animal and thinks that "serpents" should be renamed "Sliscus' " after him instead of the other way around.
Sliscus is also a Warhammer 40k drug lord. He has access to all the best combat drugs and poisons, which are reflected in his rules, which buff himself and the army. He's also the second-most pimping Dark Eldar after Asdrubael Vect. In the 5th edition Dark Eldar "...he has his skin scrubbed thoroughly by teams of concubines every time he shares breathing space with a lesser species." and there are two reasons he's implied to be very popular with the ladies of the Wych cults (and only one of them is his drugs). So not only does he kill your army, he sweeps your girl off your feet and shows her a better time than you ever gave her. Again, in the novel about Lukas, Sliscus is revealed to have once conducted a raid on a world from a hot-tub while being serviced by a team of concubines. This confirms Sliscus to be up there with Illic, Lukas, Vect and Big-E Emperor as one of the biggest ladies' men in 40k.
The Duke's most well-known engagement was against the Space Wolves, when he organized a raid on Fenris. Inevitably he was forced to quit the planet, after Lukas the Trickster bested Lady Malys and had her lead him to the Duke's camp. As the Marine pursued the Duke, Sliscus did manage a rare feat for any Xenos, defeating a Space Marine in combat - especially a named character, and cut out one of Lukas' hearts (the only other Xenos who have done this in lore are other named characters such as Lelith, Imotekh, Obyron and the Swarmlord). Before he could finish slaying Lukas, however, he spat acid in the Duke's face and escaped.
Despite being awesome and a fan favourite, games-workshop decided to cut the Duke from the new edition of the codex, much to the disappointment of Dark Eldar fans, RIP Duke :(
If they ever do a live-action movie of 40k, in lieu of the late David Bowie, Duke Sliscus should be played by Christopher Waltz.
|Dark Eldar Lords and Ladies|
| Asdrubael Vect - Archon Tahril - Baron Sathonyx |
Drazhar - Duke Sliscus - Kheradruakh
Lady Malys - Lelith Hesperax - Urien Rakarth