Lelith Hesperax

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You can be the king, but watch the queen conquer.
She'll conquer you so good.

Her Excellence Lelith Hesperax is a Dark Eldar special character, the leader of the Wych Cult of Strife and the most renowned Succubus (a Wych champion) in Commorragh. She is easily one of the biggest badasses in a universe of badasses, simply because she has survived the arenas for millennia - she was already a powerful Succubus when Asdrubael Vect began his rise to power, and in fact aided him in his coup. While there are thousands of warriors who carved bloody swaths across the galaxy, she's the only one who does it without modifications, the blessing of gods, super-special weapons, or a wearable tank - she's armed only with two daggers, blades woven through her hair, a sports bra, and a thong. Not even shoes? Not even shoes.

And we're not kidding about her hair - she so skilled at twisting around the hooks woven into it that it counts as a shardnet and impaler AND as an AP2 power weapon (Well, used to. Now she can just ignore any armor save). Yes, she's so good at whipping her hair back and forth and using tiny ass daggers to find weak points that her attacks cut through terminator armor when a goddamn actual power sword won't. She is also listed as having plasma grenades, but since she isn't modeled with them, we must assume this is simply a way of granting "distracting" rules to DAT ASS.

History[edit]

Of particular note among her exploits is a story where she decided to give a special "reward" to whoever can give her the greatest opponent to fight, having grown bored of cutting the same shit over and over. Predictably, every Archon from here to Hell jumped on the bandwagon and began optimistically hunting down the best of enemies to fight, and many of them failed; Lelith slaughtered her way through captured Hive Tyrants, Eldar Autarchs and Ork Warbosses. However, one lucky Archon did finally bring out one particular Space Marine Champion. In a display of Space Marine ego-stroking in the Dark Eldar codex, the battle lasted for several hours, and before the marine died, he managed to give Lelith a nasty scar across her midriff. Of course, such a besmirching mark pissed her off to no end and when the Archon who brought the marine asked for a reward, she merely tossed him the Space Marine's sword and mentioned that the reward was to die by her blades (the Archon only lasted six minutes against her). Just goes to show you to not fuck with a woman's image.

Lelith also once got royally fucked over by the Legion of the Damned, during the battle of Thersuis, which was all just a way of drawing the Black Templar High Marshal Helbrecht into a trap in order to capture him and throw him into the arenas. Lelith started beating his ass as she always does but just before she could bag him, The legion showed up and started murdering anything not in power armor. Somehow, their bodies were immaterial, and Lelith could find no purchase on them, yet their bullets certainly weren't. She was forced to retreat in the face of this ghostly onslaught. No word on how she's coping, most likely just chalked it up to a loss and killed a few gladiators in the Crucibael as stress relief.

There is also a story about how once, an Alpha Legion Chaos Lord by the name of Jaghathra Vrax managed to really piss off Vect himself (he attacked a DE raiding party in the middle of their fun, depriving Commorragh and Asdrubael himself of a few million hard earned orgasms). In return, Vect launched an attack on Vrax's stronghold. Lelith was ordered to participate personally, and fought Vrax himself, promising him and the rest of the CSM life and freedom if he beat her. She disarmed him with the first flurry. A literal disarming, that is; the sword was still in Vrax's hands, it's just that they weren't connected to the rest of him. Then she cut off the rest of his limbs and presented the body to Asdrubael Vect. It's still howling in pain above the gates of his palace.

Oddly enough, she seems to lack the ambition and sadism of most Dark Eldar, similar to Drazhar. She knows she's the best in the arenas, and has proven it for about as long as Europe has been a thing, but she doesn't seek political power beyond leading the Wych Cult of Strife. She simply shows up before a raid with some of her back-up dancers Bloodbrides at the domain of the Archon she's choosing to work with (a rare occasion- she's often in such high demand that bids for her services have triggered kabal wars), does her thing with her Bloodbrides, and takes home interesting trophies from fallen opponents that she houses in a private museum. She's not only a gladiatrix, a noble woman, and a porn star - she's a curator. She probably catalogues that shit in a little tweed jacket late at night when nobody's looking. She's still a mass-murderer and bloody-minded warrior, but that's par for the course in 40K, so it's hard not to view her as less of monster than most Dark Eldar, and just a natural born killer.

Lelith is known as a woman of very few words (not as few as Drazhar, still) whose prefered method of communication is through violence. She is said to have an unexpectedly cute voice though, which she may not be proud of.

She also manages the Crucibael (sigh, is Vect just wandering around Commarragh naming things after himself? Actually nevermind, that sounds like classic him), the greatest arena in the universe, with Reaver arenas the size of cities and a coliseum carved of living jade. Vect has commented that this grandeur is appropriate, for "Lelith Hesperax is the greatest treasure of the Dark City, and one does not display one's finest emerald amid squalor." D'aaaaaw. That's Adorabael Vect.

She and a good number of other Dark Eldar decided to ditch Commarragh and left to join Yvraine's new Ynnari Eldar faction. Yvraine thinks Lelith's reason for helping her out is simply that she likes the idea of breaking Slaanesh's hold on the Eldar so she can bask in the adoration of her fans in the arena for millennia to come without the need to keep her soul topped up. Then again, Lelith did kill her earlier that day so she could just be grumbling about that. The new Codex reveals that, while it's unknown whether or not she turned over a new leaf, Lelith desires to capture Lucius the Eternal and duel him to the death. Lelith knows about his knack of possessing his killer, but she thinks the ability is tied to his armor, which she plans to remove before dueling him. Other lore also implies that possessing his killer won't work in the Webway, which happens to be HQ for Dark Eldar.

There is a possibility that she has dated a particular Farseer, but this is just an unsubstantiated rumor that Lelith will flay people alive for spreading. And don't even think about mentioning the allegations of the mon'keigh fuckbuddy she's taken a shine to unless you want to see what your guts look like on the outside of your body.

Perhaps most importantly, Lofn thinks Auntie Lelith "is really cool!". Woe (and numerous stab wounds) be to anyone who reminds her of how much she adores her niece. If /tg/ is to be believed, she also has a daughter.

On tabletop[edit]

Unfortunately, despite the very solid fluff behind it, her model doesn't see as much use as it could. Lelith only has a mediocre strength of 3 and lacks access to combat drugs (Lelly is straight-edge - NOT EVEN ONCE, YOU GUYS)- the only way to up her strength is with the furious charge granted by Power from Pain. She's a whirlwhind of attacks, but she lacks the punch to turn those into wounds. 7th ed. threw her a bone and gave her "reroll failed to-wound rolls" which is nice, but still not enough to reliably take on enemy characters and the made her do drugs. However, she is great against tarpits of Strength 3 troops, and is fucking hilarious against Tau. She used to gain X attacks, where X is the difference between her insane weapon skill of 9 and the highest WS value amongst her opponents, but now she just has Rampage. She also has a hilariously high Ballistic skill - also 9 - despite having no ranged weapons until the 6th edition grenade update. You can just imagine an Archon begging her to at least carry a Blaster, but BITCH STUCK UP. WE'RE GETTIN REAL TIRED OF YO SHIT, HESPERAX. Her WS spikes to 10 if she's your Warlord.

8th edition is out now and Games Workshop decided to return mix up everything that made her special. Her brief experimentation with drugs in 7th ed is over; Lelith is straight-edge again! She got a nice buff to her movement range, her invuln save is up to a 3+, and she buffs up all nearby <WYCH CULT OF STRIFE> models, which can include any Reaver Jetbikes, Hellions, Beastmasters, and Wyches.

More like "Succubus of the Cult of Waifu," amiright? *BLAM* HERESY

The C.S. Goto version[edit]

  • A "second" Lelith Hesperax exists in the book "Warrior Aspect" by C.S. Goto, a Slaanesh-worshiping psyker overlord and underling-murdering idiot who dwells in the Eye of Terror. This is so totally irreconcilable with all Dark Eldar lore in general and with the Lelith Hesperax described above (even going by her slimmer 3rd Edition fluff) in particular, that we have to mark this up to an imposter, a coincidental name similarity ("Lelith Hesperax" is probably the Dark Eldar equivalent of "David Smith"), or the madness of the Black-Irish Leper.
Dark Eldar Lords and Ladies
Asdrubael Vect - Archon Tahril - Baron Sathonyx
Drazhar - Duke Sliscus - Kheradruakh
Lady Malys - Lelith Hesperax - Urien Rakarth