Jump to content



Photo

How do you view the Emperor?


  • Please log in to reply
28 replies to this topic

#1 Kage2020

Kage2020

    Member

  • Members
  • 1,081 posts

Posted 23 November 2008 - 03:17 PM

This is one of those things that I tried on 'ole Port—sorry, Warseer—a while back. Given some of the threads over on the old FFG boards that talk about then nature of the Emperor, I thought that I would bring it back as a means of spring-boarding discussion on the metaphysics and theology of the 40k universe and the Imperium, respectively. The original goal was a bit simple, since I was going to create some RPG statistics for the various incarnations of the Emperor, drawing from the approach in Amber: DRPG, which had different interpretations/power levels for the various eldar Amberites that appear in Zelazny's Amber Chronicle books.

Of course, the thread could also die the death without any discussion! Who knows...


Okay, the original thread divided the interpretations of the Emperor into two sections: pre-Heresy and post-Heresy. First, the pre-Heresy Emperor.

Pre-Heresy Emperor

I threw up three alternative versions:

  • The God. This is the Walking God approach to the Emperor. A phenomenal psychic power house, he is also physically powerful and more than a match for the Primarchs. This Emperor would focus on physical and psychic abilities.
  • The Scientist. Although a powerful psyker tied into the "harmonious" parts of the warp, he is primarily a carer and nurturer. It is his knowledge that provides the research behind the early Imperium, and without it there is little more than technological regression. This version of the Emperor would be less powerful in terms of physical abilities, but would concentrate more on scientific skills, diplomacy, politics, etc.
  • The Trickster. The Emperor, while still a powerful psyker, rises to ascendancy through sheer manipulation, either psychic or political. This version of the Emperor is likewise not as physically powerful, and his psychic powers focus on manipulation of perceptions, illusion, etc.

You'll probably find elements of your interpretation of the Emperor in all three, but are there other approaches that you favour that aren't just the lumping together of God, Scientist, and Trickster?

Post-Heresy Emperor

This is where it gets a bit more complex since I personally do see the Emperor as all three, but singular versions are also a possibility.

  • The Corpse. Sitting shackled to the Golden Throne, the Emperor rages impotently, forced as He is to feast on the souls of the very humans that he was created to engender and protect in humanity. Separated from his soul, he uses this energy to create a pseudo-soul. Alternately, all that remains on the Throne is the Shaman Synergy, gradually fragmenting into the Many Mind, but still raging at the lost of the "keystone" soul that is the Emperor. (Personally I prefer the Many Mind option, but there we go.)
  • The Child. The Emperor's soul – his psychic energy – hides in the harmonious parts of the warp and, after millennia, begins to make dream-like attempts at influence the matterium to engender his rebirth in the matterium as a new New Man. All that resides on the Golden Throne is a dead corpse.
  • The Twin. Growing in the warp after ten millennia of worship focused around the teachings of the Imperial Cult, the Twin grows as a symbol of the oppression, hatred, and fear that is spread by the Adeptus Ministorum, the Inquisition, and the many institutions of the Imperium. This is the dark god that will be born from Humanity—god of pain and suffering, of oppression. In many ways, the Twin is Malal reborn—a Chaos God opposed to the others.

Again, what others do you see other than an amalgamation (which I use anyway, so that's kind of hypocritical, but you get the point)?


The other reason that I brought this up is because of the idea that the "Emperor," whatever that might mean (see above) acquires all the energy of humanity from the collective worship. Yet is that necessarily the case? I mean, does the Star Child get everything by proxy and, if so, what does that mean about what sits on the Golden Throne. How relevant are the conspiracies of the Illuminati in this scenario?

Anyway, just a not-so-random thought. Basically it was to look at the variation in the universe and see how this might impact upon the setting as written for Calixis.

Kage



#2 Alasseo

Alasseo

    Member

  • Members
  • 769 posts

Posted 23 November 2008 - 06:35 PM

 I personally see the pre-Heresy Emperor as something akin to a mix of the God and the Trickster archetypes- yes, He's a ridiculously powerful psychic powerhouse, but He isn't all powerful, and is determined to take power by any means. Exactly what He meant to do with that power, I prefer not to speculate; at least, not beyond noting that His stated goal was to protect and shepherd humanity, and providing you agree with His (rather narrow) definition of humanity, His actions (as far as they can be determined) appear to support that goal.

I'd also add that I'm not entirely sure He knew exactly why he was doing what he was doing for much of that time. Indeed, if He was being guided by leftover, subconscious imperatives from the Shamans, with further clues only arising once certain trigger circumstance occurred it would certainly help explain the sudden change in plans during the Crusade: the withdrawal to Terra, the experiments in the vaults, even the production of the Primarchs and the change to the Astartes and geno-warrior projects.

 

As for post-Heresy, I like the Many Mind theory as well, although my personal take includes hints of the Deathstalker-style Overmind- sort of a Pater Mundi, as opposed to the Mater Mundi.

Likewise, I like the idea that the Star Child is going to end up as Malal reborn. However, I believe I'll have to think on the matter more before I can put a decent working take together...

 

In any case, i always enjoy these metaphysics discussions. Thanks, Kage.

 


There is no right, and no wrong, but having the bigger stick makes it so...


#3 N0-1_H3r3

N0-1_H3r3

    Former Contributing Freelance Writer

  • Members
  • 3,292 posts

Posted 23 November 2008 - 09:41 PM

Pre-heresy, I view the Emperor primarily as the Scientist - several major scientific and technological 'discoveries' made during the course of human history can be directly or indirectly attributed to him, most crucially the development of the Navigator gene (something suggested in an old Citadel Journal article about Navigators.

There's elements of the Trickster in there as well; nearly forty thousand years of adopting assorted guises and concealing his true nature makes that a given, but he's a scientist first

Which brings us to the Heresy itself - the Emperor, while possessed of immense intellect, a psychic might unparalleled by any human being before or since, and undeniable force of personality... is not especially wise. He has great plans, but seems to overlook a number of factors - most notably the potential influence of Chaos upon his other creations. Awed into subservience by his force of personality and stunned by his intelligence, few people ever saw this flaw, and when Horus turned, those loyal to the Emperor were filled with hatred at the betrayal, apparently never wondering how the Emperor in his supposedly infinite wisdom, could ever have allowed this to happen in the first place...


Writing Credits for Fantasy Flight Games: Into the Storm, Edge of the Abyss, Battlefleet Koronus, Hostile Acquisitions, Black Crusade Core Rulebook, First Founding, The Jericho Reach, The Soul Reaver, Only War, The Navis Primer and Ark of Lost Souls


#4 Castor

Castor

    Member

  • Members
  • 8 posts

Posted 24 November 2008 - 12:21 AM

I see Him as both God and Scientist, for He rose to the spheres beyond but not forgetting aboutr his children for whom he cares. He´s left his mortal boundaries behind through His death but now He is even more powerfull then in His lifetime because He is now pure form. 

It´s like the gods of old in Egypt or Babylon and so son when after their deaths the kings became gods and since that sit at the right side of their patron deity.



#5 Iari

Iari

    Member

  • Members
  • 2 posts

Posted 24 November 2008 - 01:32 AM

I'd also have to pitch for somewhere between the God and the Scientist for the early Emperor. I'd say he's more a 'God amongst men' than a true omnipotent entity, strong enough to best the primarchs in single combat but not powerful enough to simply alter reality to reflect his will. His greatest strength lay in his ability to unite humanity and rapidly advance its scientific and technological prowess, working towards an Utopian idela which was cruelly shattered by the Horus Heresy



#6 Mekanitz

Mekanitz

    Member

  • Members
  • 13 posts

Posted 24 November 2008 - 04:54 AM

I have to throw in with lari here.  The image I use behind my games is just that.  Post heresy I go with the Corpse image... though a little further.  I have mixed him in with the King in Rags and Tatters.  This being the psychic manifestation of his will.



#7 fimarach

fimarach

    Member

  • Members
  • 53 posts

Posted 24 November 2008 - 08:54 AM

The Pre Heresy is awfully large and the Emporer was alive entirely through the Age of Strife.  Very little is mentioned about the period in which he united the techno barbarians (the pre Space Marines) into One Terra under His control.  That being said there is a Caesar-like aspect to him as a Warrior/Unifier who has a vision for humanity and wants a better future for them.  I think this "aspect" of the Emporer really lead to his later Scientist and Trickster phases as his simple idea of unity became more and more complex as he realized that even as a "Superman" he could not be everywhere at once to kick tail.

 

Post Heresy - You've posited some really great archetypes here.  I really see the Emporer as more being on the crux of ascendancy to Godhood (perhaps in the same manner as the Eldar Gods like Khaine) right around the time of the Heresy.  However right at the moment that he might have ascended to true Godhood, the Mechanicus stepped in and anchored his Corpse to the material plane.  So now he more like the spectre of a God - haunting humanity but stuck from progression on to whatever state awaits him.  This megapowerful ghost is similar to your "Child" concept and has been working for 10,000 years to free itself from this half existence while at the same time trying to accomplish what the Emporer wanted in life (the progress of mankind).



#8 Bad Birch

Bad Birch

    Member

  • Members
  • 132 posts

Posted 24 November 2008 - 10:02 AM

 He's like Jesus in that he sacrificed himself to save humanity, but nobody will let him off the cross! He can't ascend and trouble us with yet more metaphysics...



#9 Doombot

Doombot

    Member

  • Members
  • 18 posts

Posted 24 November 2008 - 10:25 AM

I've always felt that the Emperor pre-heresy, based on the archetypes, was Scientist/God but the god part being more about shepard for humanity and using his "gifts" purely for the betterment of all mankind.  As for post-heresy, the corpse is probably the best overall archetype.  Sitting on the Golden Throne for 10K years probably makes one crazy and the rage he feels must be intense, but there is probably that part of him that tries to still influence things as best as he can.   Anyways those are my crazy thoughts.



#10 Bad Birch

Bad Birch

    Member

  • Members
  • 132 posts

Posted 24 November 2008 - 10:36 AM

 He's not the Emperor, he's a very naughty boy!

 



#11 Kage2020

Kage2020

    Member

  • Members
  • 1,081 posts

Posted 24 November 2008 - 03:45 PM

First off, thanks for the replies. I knew that I would get a lot of merging together of the pre-Heresy Emperor (which, for clarification, was really meant to be in and around the time of the HEresy rather than, say, just after he was born in Anatolia!), so that's cool. If I were to seriously work up RPG interpretations of the Emperor, I would probably use these as general guidelines, as well as just generally showing where GW 'fluff' seems to be leading people at the moment.

Okay, I'm also going to be forced to use the blockquote system here rather than the software quote system because, well, that system is just pants. No, pants with skid marks. And stains. 

Alasseo said:

I personally see the pre-Heresy Emperor as something akin to a mix of the God and the Trickster archetypes- yes, He's a ridiculously powerful psychic powerhouse, but He isn't all powerful, and is determined to take power by any means.

Well, the thing to remember about the initial premise is that it uses the title as a focus for the character. Commonalities are going to exist, that are a part of the flavour of the character in general, but overall the focus is going to change the perception of the character.

Let me explain with a quick example that draws from the game that inspired this focal approach: Amber: Diceless RPG. In Zelazny's books the narrator is Corwin, Prince of Amber. With his relates, the princess and princesses of Amber, Corwin was most known for his regenerative abilities and sheer endurance—if Corwin could make something be about endurance, then he could generally gain the upper hand. In fact, Erik Wujick in the RPG said this of Corwin:

Amber DRPG, p166:

Corwin got out. Grew his eyes back. Which tells you something about Corwin. Beaten, battered, drained by everything a variety of universes could throw at him, Corwin just keeps going.

He is the Eveready Bunny of the Amber universe.

As a literary character, though, in translating him to a developed RPG universe (and system) there is always going to be a significant amount of interpretation. I'm sure all of us here are familiar with this process. Rather than use this as a Rubicon, or that point where we agree to disagree but beyond which we cannot really go, Wujick went, "Buggrit, I'm going to offer some different interpretations for inspiration." But each of the variations had a focus. He describes:

  • Corwin – Champion of Amber. These last powerful of the interpretations, he has the least minimum abilities that would enable him to function in his role in the game.
  • Corwin – Pattern Master. This interpretation of the character focuses on Corwin's inscribing of a new Great Pattern, an event which makes him more than he was; better than he was. This character is significantly more powerful, with greater understanding of the fundamental structure of the universe.
  • Corwin – Sorcerer of Avalon. More powerful again, this posits Corwin as a powerful Sorcerer, but one who doesn't have the depth of understanding of the "Pattern Master" Corwin, but whose focus on Sorcery gives him new and interesting abilities.

Thus, the different focus gives new avenues and depths to the character. Chances are that Corwin was a bit more than any one of these, and probably blended them, but with that focus you get a new way of perceiving the character past the generally accepted commonalities (high endurance/regeneration, cynical, dirty fighter, yet romantic at heart... etc.).

So, with that in mind, onwards...

Alasseo said:

I'd also add that I'm not entirely sure He knew exactly why he was doing what he was doing for much of that time. Indeed, if He was being guided by leftover, subconscious imperatives from the Shamans, with further clues only arising once certain trigger circumstance...

That's actually an interesting approach. So rather than the canonical precognition, it's actually a form of postcognition?

Alasseo said:

Likewise, I like the idea that the Star Child is going to end up as Malal reborn.

Well, in my original post it is the Twin that will become the variant of Malal-reborn, whereas the Child will become the new New Man; a physical messiah that may be joined with a higher consciousness in the Warp... or it may not. I haven't decided that yet, at least in my interpretation.

Alasseo said:

In any case, i always enjoy these metaphysics discussions. Thanks, Kage.

Oh, I enjoy them too. I even gave it an out in terms of applying it to Dark Heresy!

N0-1_H3r3 said:

Pre-heresy, I view the Emperor primarily as the Scientist...

The Scientist is primarily the "shepherd" interpretation, even though this is a part of all of them. The God still is geared towards bringing Humanity into a new psychic species, but then so too is the Trickster. The primary difference is in character/personality and how they achieve this goal.

Castor said:

I see Him as both God and Scientist, for He rose to the spheres beyond but not forgetting aboutr his children for whom he cares.

Well, the God is a very much "in your face" interpreted to the Emperor, one that concentrates on the physical attributes that many, erm, attribute to him. There are still qualities of the Scientist and the Trickster in him, just as Corwin maintains many of the core elements that one can attribute him from the Amber Chronicles. That wasn't really included in the first post, so my bad.

The rest, though. I have to ask: Isn't that all very in keeping with the Cult interpretation of the Emperor, since it seems inherently coloured by a singular outlook on him? (This ties into the Dark Heresy "out" that I mentioned above!)

Iari said:

I'd also have to pitch for somewhere between the God and the Scientist for the early Emperor. I'd say he's more a 'God amongst men' than a true omnipotent entity, strong enough to best the primarchs in single combat but not powerful enough to simply alter reality to reflect his will.

Well, that's practically just the God. Both the Scientist and Trickster are not defined by the ability to take on the Primarchs. The Scientist focus seems to strike me as more the diplomatic, who might use technology and psychics to win a conflict, but primarily the mind, or his intelligence. The Trickster, on the other hand, still wouldn't seem to use physical ability, but would use tricks and deceit as his first port of call.

Mekanitz said:

Post heresy I go with the Corpse image... though a little further. I have mixed him in with the King in Rags and Tatters. This being the psychic manifestation of his will.

As in my first post, I see the Emperor as all three: Corpse, Child, and Twin. But I love seeing other peoples interpretations. Every now and again one of those interpretations will make my jaw drop and force me... no, make me want to change my interpretation. A discussion with some of the "old guys" on Portent first initiated this, even if the ideas have developed somewhat...

fimarach said:

The Pre Heresy is awfully large and the Emporer was alive entirely through the Age of Strife.

And all the Ages before that, back to the eighth millennium BCE. My bad for not making it clearer that I was talking specifically about him very shortly pre-Heresy. Years, or decades.

Kage



#12 Koolzoid

Koolzoid

    Member

  • Members
  • 13 posts

Posted 25 November 2008 - 01:51 AM

Pre-Heresy, I'd see the Emperor as an incredible psychic force, bordering on Godhood, casting ripples through the Warp with every breath he takes.  He's noble, driven, gifted, a shining paragon for Humanity, with dreams of a wonderous future for all.

Post-Heresy, I see him as totally and utterly bat-sh*t.

The Emperor is alive, though maybe not still in the sense that we'd recognise life, entirely.  And the shock of treachery and loss, stewed for 10,000 years in a golden box, has driven the quintessential 'being' of the Emperor totally and irrevocably insane.  So what happens when the most powerful psychic the Universe will ever know goes off the deep end?

Simple.  He takes everyone else along with him.

So there we have it.  Post-Heresy, the once-benevolent Emperor is now psychically poisoning the entire Human race, spreading his dream of Unification as a perverted, twisted fascist nightmare.  The Dark Heresy Universe is a Gothic Grimdark Hellhole because the Emperor is crazy and having a Really Bad Dream.

Anyone? :)



#13 Sammail

Sammail

    Member

  • Members
  • 29 posts

Posted 25 November 2008 - 03:25 AM

Pre-Heresy: The God, with a strong streak of the Trickster and a pinch of the Scientist thrown in.

 

Post-Heresy: The Corpse.



#14 Kage2020

Kage2020

    Member

  • Members
  • 1,081 posts

Posted 25 November 2008 - 08:31 AM

Well, since using the standard interface the other night apparently broke a thread, and because I want to reply to more than one person, guess I'm back to HTML mode.

Koolzoid said:

Pre-Heresy, I'd see the Emperor as an incredible psychic force, bordering on Godhood, casting ripples through the Warp with every breath he takes. He's noble, driven, gifted, a shining paragon for Humanity, with dreams of a wonderous future for all.

Well, do you have a focus? One of the reasons that I took the focal approach is that there are many different interpretations, and while many people – myself included – tend to have a personal approach that merges the above "focuses," and that is fair enough. However, when you do this is becomes very easy to attribute the Emperor with, well, everything under the sun. Again, fairly easy since the whole immortality, intelligence, psychic power schtick makes it easy.

Erm, the point. Yes. I hear they're important... What was it? Oh yes. Do you have some other suggestions for a "focus" that I could add to the list? I don't need to work in three, though strangely I prefer to, so the more the merrier. Ultimately, as above, I want to work these up into RPG statistics just for the sheer hell of it and, further, because the 'ole hackles rise everytime someone tells me something cannot or should not be statted...

Koolzoid said:

Post-Heresy, I see him as totally and utterly bat-sh*t.

Koolzoid said:

The Emperor is alive...

The thing is... is he? His soul has fled his body after the "mortal wounding" at the hands of Horus, and while he could remain contact with the material realm through his body while some cells remained alive, gradually these died and the communications simply... stopped. So is an existence in the warp a "life?" And just what remains on the Golden Throne? Seems questions that we all need to answer, especially when it comes down to tackling the idea of religion in the 40k universe, its relationship to "reality," and, of course, helping me out in general discussion about potential focuses for this silly little project of mine.

Sammail said:

Pre-Heresy: The God, with a strong streak of the Trickster and a pinch of the Scientist thrown in.

See the above with regards to the "focus." Do you have some suggestions for a different focus that would properly encapsulate your interpretation without attributing the Emperor as a bit of everything? Or, indeed, a separate "focus?"

Kage



#15 Manesni

Manesni

    Member

  • Members
  • 3 posts

Posted 25 November 2008 - 11:35 AM

for pre-heresy I'd go for a mixture of the god and the trickster. it just feels like the right explenation for him.

the advances he supposedly brought I mostly attribute to him being around forever and a day and remember stuff from the dark age of technology or having kept records of this period which helped others "reinvent stuff"

post heresy? hmm I'd say he's pretty much a corpse and the golden throne is actualy nothing more than a machine that replicates some of his abilities like powering the astronomicon (I believe thats what he used to do right?). the damn machine just happens to require an incredible amount of psychic energy. generated either by the big man himself, or in his absence... the thousand psykers that are sacrificed each day.

He's probably around in the warp but what he's doing there? not quite sure. I can't imagine he's completely happy about what happened to his imperium though.... poor bastard much be crying himself to sleep every night... y'know.. if he still had need for something like sleep and had a functioning body that could cry.



#16 Luddite

Luddite

    Member

  • Members
  • 708 posts

Posted 25 November 2008 - 10:24 PM

Curse you Kage!

You know, i've wracked the old noggin for a focus you hadn't thought of so i could go 'aHA!!'  But no.  You cover most of the bases pretty well.

So here goes.

 

For me, pre-Heresy (and here i'm generalising from his Shamanic 'birth' in Anatolia, through all that gold/stone/iron man kerfuffle, to the betrayal of Horus - so there may well be variation in his 'theme' during that time, but for me the 'Trickster' focus you propose is perhaps the closest.

He doesn't seem to have emerged as a visible 'power on the throne' for many millenia and even once he does, he still seems to retain that subtle influence over mankind's destiny.

For me the interesting questions are not 'what was he?', but 'what was he doing?'  What was the emperor's purpose? 

It seems clear from the earlier iterations of 40k that he was guiding Humanity in its early stages of psychic awakening.  How and why Humanity was evolving this way is unclear (although, as we've discussed elsewhere, i have my ideas about that), but one seems to be on safe ground saying that, up to the Heresy at least, Mankinds psychic evolution was progressing at a pace.  Perhaps even helped along during the DAoT and after, by genetic manipulation (hence the Navigators et. al.)?

Everything seems to have changed at the 'HH-boundary' , although there seems to have been a derailment around the time of the Eldar Fall as well(?).

So, to summarise, i see pre-H, the emperor was a 'trikster', guiding Humanity towards a new evolution into a psychic race.

Post-heresy, none of your foci quite fit for me, but that's because i have my own ideas about the Emperor that don't quite match up.  If pushed i'd say it was somewhere between the 'Child' and the 'Twin'.

The reason being that i see the Emperor as having transcended the Materium to a degree (Child), but that he does not yet have the 'psychic mass' to ascend into a 'Warp God' (or whatever - a major Warp entity akin to the Dark Gods).  While i'd not oppose the Malal model, i'm not sure, for me that's quite right, inasmuchas Mala while opposing the other Chaos Gods was indeed a Chaos God himself.  I think the Emperor has a different plan, possibly changed by his experiences.

Either, he's still pursuing his original plan, to lead and guide Humanity into a new psychic evolution, and now sees the best way to do this as becoming a 'true god' to inspire the race.

Or, he has seen the error of his ways and now needs to build the psychic power to rebuild the walls of reality, to stop human psychic evolution and save them from the horrors of Chaos.

Or...hmmm...not sure...

I'll have to have a bit more of a think...

 



#17 Alasseo

Alasseo

    Member

  • Members
  • 769 posts

Posted 26 November 2008 - 03:09 AM

 One of the things I remember from the Realms of Chaos books was that Imperial forces had access to the Mark of the Star Child, who was described as the 'good' Chaos god that is/was/will be formed from the Emperor. Since Malal does not, and officially has never existed, it occurs to me that much of the attributes that would have been assigned to him are floating free. 

Why not have them floating around as the 'flipside' of the worship of the Star Child? On the one hand, the Star Child (if he is ever born) is going to be working towards order and stable psychic humanity, but on the other hand He will also be working to stamp out Chaos and safeguard humanity. Sort of like the dichotomy between the various mendicant orders and the Knights Templar; or better, the almost split personality of the Knights Hospitaller.

 

Of course, for that to ever come about, there must be a critical mass of faith (such as that which precipitated the eldar Fall), and I rather like the idea that the Ministorum has (possibly accidentally) been misdirecting all the faith and psychic energy the Emperor would need. Instead of building up to form a new god (the Numen, a god for New Man?), it has kept the soul of the Emperor trapped in his corpse. I believe that if the early split between the Inquisitors had played out the other way, and the (proto-)Thorians/Horusians had managed to switch off the Throne and 'kill' the Emperor, there would have been a new one born (all that shamanic power, still fused together, along with whatever power gained along the way). However, because the Emperor has been a corpse for the past ten millennia, the souls of those who created him are fragmenting. Someone who manages to get into direct psychic communion with the Emperor may find only one of those fragments, and believe the Emperor is still hale and whole in there, or they may find several, with the result being the sort of thing Jaq Draco encountered- apparent madness...

If the Throne were to be switched off 'today' I'm not sure whether the trapped souls of the shamans will merely increase the number of powerful psyker births, or if the misdirected faith, denied its focus (BTW Kage, 'foci' is the plural), will coalesce into the Dark and Terrible chaos god the Illuminati and Sensei Knights fear.

 

Actually, speaking of the Sensei Knights, it's possible that those are 'merely' the souls of shamans who have escaped the Many-Mind post-mortem, and been reincarnated Thorian style as a partial avatar of the mighty power of the Emperor...

 


There is no right, and no wrong, but having the bigger stick makes it so...


#18 Lochmoigh

Lochmoigh

    Member

  • Members
  • 3 posts

Posted 26 November 2008 - 03:14 AM

Koolzoid said:

Pre-Heresy, I'd see the Emperor as an incredible psychic force, bordering on Godhood, casting ripples through the Warp with every breath he takes.  He's noble, driven, gifted, a shining paragon for Humanity, with dreams of a wonderous future for all.

Post-Heresy, I see him as totally and utterly bat-sh*t.

The Emperor is alive, though maybe not still in the sense that we'd recognise life, entirely.  And the shock of treachery and loss, stewed for 10,000 years in a golden box, has driven the quintessential 'being' of the Emperor totally and irrevocably insane.  So what happens when the most powerful psychic the Universe will ever know goes off the deep end?

Simple.  He takes everyone else along with him.

So there we have it.  Post-Heresy, the once-benevolent Emperor is now psychically poisoning the entire Human race, spreading his dream of Unification as a perverted, twisted fascist nightmare.  The Dark Heresy Universe is a Gothic Grimdark Hellhole because the Emperor is crazy and having a Really Bad Dream.

Anyone? :)

 

I lkie the post heresy explanation, fits the mood of the setting. Pre heresy i see a man like caesar- driven to conquer and a facade of nobility while really wanting to gather power to himself. The actions of pacification at all costs point to someone who does not want free will in his subjects just compliance.



#19 Kage2020

Kage2020

    Member

  • Members
  • 1,081 posts

Posted 26 November 2008 - 06:07 AM

Once again, replies to multiple discussants forces me to the ugly reply system...

Alasseo said:

Why not have them floating around as the 'flipside' of the worship of the Star Child? On the one hand, the Star Child (if he is ever born) is going to be working towards order and stable psychic humanity, but on the other hand He will also be working to stamp out Chaos and safeguard humanity. Sort of like the dichotomy between the various mendicant orders and the Knights Templar; or better, the almost split personality of the Knights Hospitaller.

That is, in essence, what the Child and the Twin represent. The Child maintains the more positive side of the fight against Chaos as represented with the normally "positive" writings about the Emperor-as-New Man. On the other hand, what the people of the Imperium worship, and what is perpetuated in the Emperor's name, does not really gel with what we are given to understand of the Emperor. Hence, worship of the Emperor fuels the Twin—what is "moral" for the Imperium does not necessarily equate to the absolutist concept of "morals" that lines up against the absolute evil of Chaos.

Alasseo said:

the souls of those who created him are fragmenting. Someone who manages to get into direct psychic communion with the Emperor may find only one of those fragments, and believe the Emperor is still hale and whole in there, or they may find several, with the result being the sort of thing Jaq Draco encountered- apparent madness...

Indeed, I have long since viewed the Watson's "Many Mind" approach to be not the Emperor per se, but rather the fragmenting gestalt of the "Shaman Synergy" after they lost the keystone soul that was the Emperor. Well, that and all that psychic energy, hence I was rather fond of the discussion in the day on Portent where Brusilov suggested that the Sacrifice is there to create a pseudo-soul that allows the "Emperor" to continue with his Overwatch... Well, I think that it's a cool idea!

Alasseo said:

BTW Kage, 'foci' is the plural...

It was late, and there was a bottle of red wine involved, thus my brain inserted "to concentrate on something"... When my brain eventually caught up, I'm afraid the 5 minutes had passed so I was unable to edit it. Stupid forum quirk.

Alasseo said:

Actually, speaking of the Sensei Knights, it's possible that those are 'merely' the souls of shamans who have escaped the Many-Mind post-mortem, and been reincarnated Thorian style as a partial avatar of the mighty power of the Emperor...

That's actually a surprisingly unique idea, or at least one that I haven't come across before. Kudos. Have to think about that one and how it might relate to the premise of Saints, Astropaths, and other daimons...

Lochmoigh said:

Pre heresy i see a man like caesar- driven to conquer and a facade of nobility while really wanting to gather power to himself.

And just how would you represent that in terms of a focus for an RPG interpretation of the Emperor?


Since we seem to be sticking primarily to views and interpretations of the Emperor – rather than how this might play out in Dark Heresy or the more broader "40k RPG" games — how would people here begin to stat out a pre-Heresy Emperor? For example, the God is fairly easy since you just make him physically very powerful, "head and shoulders above the Primarchs," since in the common imagery of the 40k universe size does matter, focus more on the combat abilities, strategies, etc., and less on those that would be covered by the Scientist or the Trickster. But what else?

Kage



#20 Koolzoid

Koolzoid

    Member

  • Members
  • 13 posts

Posted 27 November 2008 - 04:09 AM

Kage2020, if I had to try and define my Pre-heresy vision of the Emperor with a 'focus' of sorts, I'd probably choose the term 'Paragon'.  For me, the Emperor (prior to taking a one-way trip to La-La-Land) was simply the best that Humanity had to offer - almost, if you like, the next Evolutionary step.  He'd unlocked the full potential of the human mind to transcend and control the Warp and was going to use it for the betterment of all Mankind.

We all know how that turned out for him.

I still think he's 'alive', but like I said, not in the sense that we would really understand it.  There's still something in the Universe that considers itself the Emperor of Humanity, even if it's a non-Euclidean psychic entity anchored to a rotting sack of meat in a big golden coffin, infesting the minds of every human being in the galaxy with his rabid facist paranoia, and with a standing mandate to bring any *other* psychic to him for him to *directly* infect (lest they become a threat to him) and to kill any who won't submit themselves to his 'conditioning' - or 'sanctioning', as he likes to call it.  Guess that kinda neatly gives another explanation as to why Psykers get treated the way they do :)

So, Post-Heresy focus for the Emperor from my perspective?  Hmmm... "Insane Psychic Disease" too unfocussed?  How about just 'Madman"?






© 2013 Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc. Fantasy Flight Games and the FFG logo are ® of Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc.  All rights reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Contact | User Support | Rules Questions | Help | RSS