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Kaelthas

So what do you think would happen?

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The Emperor was profoundly an Atheist. Especially where it involved himself!

 

Only in some of the Black Library novels. It's interesting how, in GW's own Index Astartes series, the Emperor actually didn't seem to care at all for religion. When it came to the Word Bearers, the White Dwarf article merely notes that he was upset that they wasted precious time and resources - that's all.

A flawed premise - the Index Astartes articles are written from an in-universe perspective, with the Heresy as ancient history. The notion that the Emperor condemned religion is one that logically doesn't survive the establishment of the Church of the Saviour Emperor (the earliest widespread form of the Imperial faith).

From my understanding, many of the dissonances between events as described in the Heresy novels and events described of them from a 41st Millennium perspective are deliberate - only a handful of people in the 41st Millennium know the truth of the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy, because those events are so ancient to be more legend than history. The tale told in the collected Horus Heresy material (both the works published by Black Library, and the material published by Forge World) represents "this is what happened". Material about the Heresy that isn't part of the Heresy series represents "this is what people in the 41st Millennium believe".

We know very little about events that took place ten thousand years ago. Why expect greater accuracy from the fictional historians of a fictional civilisation that is admittedly revisionist in its recording of history?

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A flawed premise - the Index Astartes articles are written from an in-universe perspective, with the Heresy as ancient history.

 

From Marc Gascogne's explanation, the same would apply to the Horus Heresy novels. So the premise isn't flawed at all, it's merely a different take on the setting.

 

When it comes to 40k, there are no absolute truths. Nowhere. And those novels are just as full of legend, myth and made-up stuff as a codex or WD article.

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A flawed premise - the Index Astartes articles are written from an in-universe perspective, with the Heresy as ancient history.

 

From Marc Gascogne's explanation, the same would apply to the Horus Heresy novels. So the premise isn't flawed at all, it's merely a different take on the setting.

 

When it comes to 40k, there are no absolute truths. Nowhere. And those novels are just as full of legend, myth and made-up stuff as a codex or WD article.

Of course it is. It's fiction. But it exists in a context - no story exists completely independently of everything else. Every story, every piece of background text, and every rule evoking an element of narrative has an intent, and a context that it was created within and for. Being wilfully ignorant of that seems foolish.

What you seem desperate to do, however, is to assert that nobody can be right because you're not allowed to be.

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If one takes a semi-biblical take on 40k (I know, it's kinda silly but it's a good rule of thumb); "If it exists in all appropriate codexes (In this case Chaos and SM) it must be Historical (Canon)". In this case I refer to the Humiliation of the Word bearers by the Emperor himself. Their crime: Attempting to forge a religion around him. This is mentioned in several sources so I tend to take it as "Canon". The Emperor did not originally want to be worshiped nor did he want humanity worshiping the Chaos gods (Obviously!). This also led to the prohibition on Sorcery at the Council of Nikea (Did I spell that right?). The Idea being to distance the Emperor's children (The Primarchs) from the corrupting influence of chaos as much as possible. Now whether this was entirely altruistic on His part or because he wanted to wait until he could effectively "Use" the power of faith I don't know!

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Of course it is. It's fiction. But it exists in a context - no story exists completely independently of everything else. Every story, every piece of background text, and every rule evoking an element of narrative has an intent, and a context that it was created within and for. Being wilfully ignorant of that seems foolish.

 

As does assuming it only goes for one source, but somehow doesn't apply to another.

 

What you seem desperate to do, however, is to assert that nobody can be right because you're not allowed to be.

 

No, because that's how the bigwigs explained the IP to work. And I have the quotes to prove it.

 

It's funny, actually. Years ago, when I was still mistakenly believed in a canon (because that's what the fandom at large tells you when you're new and naive enough to believe it just because people say so), and we had this big discussion about bolters and armour, it was you who said that all sources are equally valid.

 

And now I'm supposedly wrong just because I repeat what you said, and make people aware of sources providing an alternate take on things? Hah.

 

If one takes a semi-biblical take on 40k (I know, it's kinda silly but it's a good rule of thumb); "If it exists in all appropriate codexes (In this case Chaos and SM) it must be Historical (Canon)". In this case I refer to the Humiliation of the Word bearers by the Emperor himself. Their crime: Attempting to forge a religion around him. This is mentioned in several sources so I tend to take it as "Canon". The Emperor did not originally want to be worshiped nor did he want humanity worshiping the Chaos gods (Obviously!).

 

What codices are you referring to, specifically? I've not seen this detail discussed, which is why I have turned to GW's Index Astartes, but maybe I've missed something.

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And I agree with LordBlades - I think the Emperor would be too smart to not use the Ministorum as a tool to keep the masses in line. It was religious indoctrination that largely kept the Imperium together for 10,000 years. Plus, why would he treat the Imperial Cult differently to the Cult Mechanicus, with whom he apparently didn't have much of a problem either?

As far as I can remember some of the hints about his life before becoming the Emperor he is meant to have appeared throughout history as significant figures... including as figures who were worshipped (or came to be worshipped as god like (I think Mr Jesus himself was hinted to be the Emperor running around 2000 years ago). Appearing as a religious figure is not without precedent (depending on how much you accept very pre-Horus Heresy series sources).

 

 

This is actually a fairly Profound point! How would the Emperor's perspective changed after existing in the warp for 10,000 years. If we follow the fluff (Think Kaldor Draigo [while you're cursing Matt Ward!]), He may not actually be insane or corrupted!

 

The old Inquisitor novels had him suffered from a splintering of his personality and basically being irrecoverably insane.

 

However, this is in a novel from way back in 1990, when the Emperor still spoke to people occasionally, even after 10,000 years.

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What codices are you referring to, specifically? I've not seen this detail discussed, which is why I have turned to GW's Index Astartes, but maybe I've missed something.

 

I thought I remembered seeing it in the Chaos Codex as well. I may be wrong but I don't have the book handy.

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I thought I remembered seeing it in the Chaos Codex as well. I may be wrong but I don't have the book handy.

 

Ah, well, if you ever happen to stumble across it, feel free to shoot me a PM. :)

 

"Everything and nothing is true" etc etc, but my personal approach is to look largely to GW's own writings for guidance, so I'd be rather interested if there was anything from the same studio that possibly contradicted the Index Astartes. I've only had a look at the 5th and 6th edition CSM codices, though, so if there was something in another book, I might have just missed it.

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The emperor would become the fifth chaos god, the lord of order & oppression. Created by humanity in the way slannesh was created by the eldar.

Nothing to back it up, but I think it would be cool.

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The emperor would become the fifth chaos god, the lord of order & oppression. Created by humanity in the way slannesh was created by the eldar.

Nothing to back it up, but I think it would be cool.

 

This is what the Emperor is in our take on the setting.

 

Can he be a Chaos God of he's the God of Order though? ;)

 

I suppose that depends rather a lot on what the Warp is. GW actually had a Chaos God of Order way back in the day, but it and several other gods have since been excised from the setting.

 

In our take on the setting, the Warp is the universe of the imagined. It isn't a state of chaos, it doesn't seek to be in a state of chaos, and it doesn't impose any kind of chaos-seeking mindset on things that dwell there. The Chaos Gods are what they are because it is what uncountable sapient beings imagine that they are. Likewise, the God Emperor is the God of Order and Stagnation because that's what uncountable sapient beings imagine that He is.

 

I should also mention that in our take on the setting, there's no sharp border between the Warp and realspace. The transition between the two is a very gradual one, and pure Warp or pure realspace exists almost nowhere. In pure realspace, things like Psychic powers do not function.

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Would he still be "The Emperor" though. He would be just how people imagined him to be, but that's not how he is/was before. It's all just Ecclesiarchy propaganda.

 

I guess the whole religion around him would probably alter his psychic footprint in the warp.

Edited by Gridash

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There was a God of Law, but he wasn't a Chaos god. Can't remember his name though (if he had one). Might be one of the Elven or Dwarven gods now.

 

The last chaos god was the Chaos God who hated Chaos and so his followers attacked other chaos worshippers where they found him (Malar, I think), but he was not a god of Law, more the ultimate expression of Chaos. They dropped him, as he trod rather heavily on some other IP they didn't want to get sued by.

 

What they all shared in common was that they were all beings in the Warp, not that they were Chaos Gods... so I guess if you hold that any god in the Immeterium is a Chaos god, then you might define them as such.

Edited by borithan

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It just seemed odd to me that he'd be a Chaos God of Order, as in, Chaos and Order are opposites.

 

Atheism is the lack of faith in gods, and there's a god of it. Order and Chaos have to exist, they can be parts of one another. It's a yin and yang thing.

 

That's just me.

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It just seemed odd to me that he'd be a Chaos God of Order, as in, Chaos and Order are opposites.

The Warp as it's defined is not really chaos as we define the term. That's more of a colloquial term that's been given to it to describe it by various cultures. The Immaterium is actually a realm where emotion gives rise to it's own physics. Thus the human desire (Key word) for order and stability could certainly give rise to it's own form within the warp (And thus the power of the God-Emperor). as stated earlier, that may or may not not bear great resemblance to the actual being that was the original "seed" of that belief. 

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You could see "order" as being a reality-warping lack of entropy. Imagine if things stopped decaying, stopped dying, etc. Thousands of years, millions of years, and nothing changes, nothing disappears. It sounds nice enough, but it would be a nightmare to live in a place like that. It's like being in a wax museum of reality. This also fits in with what the emperor and imperium are trying to do, in a way. If you're trying to make it creepy for the players, play up the way things affected by the chaos god of order are like facsimiles devoid of life, how change is violently rejected, how the chaos of the human spirit is destroyed because of the problem it poses.

Now consider that the universe has been at war for millennia, with little to no changes, and wonder if maybe the chaos god of order has already won.

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Strictly speaking, the "Chaos God of Atheism" exists only in a single source in a single poorly-regarded adventure book for WFRP 1st edition. I don't recall that particular entity ever being mentioned in a 40k source at any point.

The Gods of Law and Malal were all created at roughly the same time by the same person, and thus share the same fate - they're not allowed to be part of the Warhammer Fantasy setting anymore, because GW don't possess the rights to use them (it's the origin for GW's more draconian approach to handling their IP). Necoho and Zuvassin (the Chaos Gods of Doubt and Undoing, respectively, introduced in Something Rotten in Kislev (1988, the fourth part of the five-part Enemy Within campaign, and something of a letdown after the high quality of the first three parts) in part because GW weren't allowed to use Malal anymore. There are a couple of knowing, sidelong references to Malal here and there - the Sons of Malice Traitor Marines being the best-known one.

All this existed because Warhammer (and 40k, by extension after the addition of Chaos in the Realms of Chaos books - the original 40k setting as depicted in the Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader book didn't include any mention of Chaos) drew the idea of Law and Chaos from Moorcock's work, where Law and Chaos (rather than Good and Evil) are the fundamental forces at war, but both are bad if not kept in balance (D&D borrowed the same concept, but their alignment system adds back in Good and Evil as well, which screws up the "too much of one alignment is bad" notion).

However, that's changed considerably as things have progressed - the idea of "Law vs Chaos" doesn't exist in its original form in 40k. If anything, the "Order vs Chaos" battle of 40k these days is more "the order of the material universe vs the ephemeral nature of the Warp".

My preferred interpretation relies on a different definition of Chaos. While the most straightforward contemporary definitions would suggest Chaos as disorder, randomness, uncertainty, anarchy, etc., I've come to favour an older definition - khaos (incidentally, an alternative spelling used in reference to the language of daemons and magic in some sources), which refers to the formless abyssal void that preceded the creation of the universe.

In this sense, Chaos and the Warp are synonymous - the Warp is the formless unreality within which all realities dwell ("word of god" from GW head office is that the Warhammer World and the 40k Universe are distinct universes connected by the Warp, which neatly fits the old background of the Old Ones travelling between universes through the Immaterium), and the Chaos Gods are the turbulent, tempestuous pseudo-intellects that exist as a reflection of mortal existence in the universe - echoes of mortal thought and deed across the aeons, coalesced into entities of existential malice.

Consequently, my theories and inferences tend to posit that exposure to the Warp is anathema to the material universe - the Warp unmakes reality, unravelling natural law, and while sufficiently strong-willed individuals can exert their will upon it (psykers manifest psychic powers by drawing on the unmatter of the Warp and commanding it to take a particular form), it is the fundamental antithesis of all that is constant, consistent, and material.

I could go into more detail - I've been developing a singular theory of the Warp for over a decade now - but that should suffice here. In this regard, the idea of a Chaos God of Order is entirely feasible - but the order it imposes may be the endless oblivion of the empty Warp, or the absolute dominion of material law. The Ruinous Powers do tend to promote the furthest extremes of a given notion, and even they have some 'lawful' elements (Nurgle promotes stagnation and acceptance of the inevitable as much as creeping decay and despair, Slaanesh and Khorne are sensation and fury, respectively, without end, Tzeentch's schemes rely on the ordered structure of cause and effect to bear out).

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