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Warhammer 40000: True Story

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In this thread we can look for credible explanations of many concepts from the grim darkness of 40th millenium. Let's unsilly Wh40k. Let's make it our ***** by unravelling all it's mysteries! Let's suck all the magic from the Warhammer 40000 and throw it into the abyss that even greater daemons do not dare to stare into! Starting with:

 

Psychic Powers

Psychic powers let you control matter without submitting to Newton's laws of dynamics, so to speak. With "control" I mean move it, observe it. Telepathy is reading the matter of someone's brain. Telekinesis is moving it through space. Piromancy is using powers to carry out chemical reactions, mostly those of oxygen and other atoms. All the branches of foreseeing are basically subconscious observations of the matter and making predictions data acquired this way.

 

The source of Psychic Powers

This Talent spreads through the humanity because it's carried by the virus or bacteria that can do it thanks their own psychic abilities. When it finds a host (human fetus for example) it changes his brain structure to be able to use psionics. Then it of course uses psyker's brain to alter the reality and teleport itself onto another host through the warp.

 

Chaos Gods

Chaos Gods are different kinds of psychic viruses. They all are extremely cancerogenic. They force host to grow tumors that greatly enhance some of the host's abilities, but handicap them in many other areas. Some of those tumors can grow into kind of brain structures and take over the host's body, periodically or even forever. This is often what humans of the Imperium call "a posession".

 

The Warp

Because there are many carriers of the psychic viruses and they all are capable of reading brains  (to some degree of course), therefore they are all connected in some kind of a net. Subconsiously they view it as some kind of twisted reality and they call it "The Warp". Of course many entities within it are very dangerous - for example Chaos Gods viruses mentioned before, the very apex predators of this reality.

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Personally, I'm fine with psychic powers, the Warp and even daemons as they are, as I simply like to see them all as effects of telepathy/telekinesis/etc, with the Warp effectively being a Gestalt consciousness of all the psychic activity in the galaxy.

 

However, what about this heresy?

 

 

More than ten thousand years ago, a powerful telepath, whose abilities enabled him to sway the opinions and perception of others, was born onto an Earth ravaged by civil war. By the time he was grown up, he was already an influential man, but his thirst for power had him desire more. With his most trusted followers, he staged a coup and took control over his country of birth. Then, using a mixture of military force and cunning diplomacy, he slowly extended his reach all over the world. Total domination seemed inevitable; his armies seemed to anticipate his enemy's every move, and when meeting with foreign leaders, the latter were miraculously convinced to sign pacts granting him broad powers over soon-to-be united regions.
 
It was not long until the entire planet was ravaged by wars that sought to bring every last city, every last village under the Emperor's banner. Yet still, his thirst for conquest was not insatiable. Knowing that mankind's ancestors had sent ships to the stars many generations ago, he set his gaze upon the stars, and gathered the brightest scientists of the world -- not only to build him a fleet of ships capable of reaching distant suns, but to build him an army with which to claim them. His lead geneticist, Dr. Outek, finally presented him with the first few specimens of what was to become his Space Marines, post-humans more resembling a living weapon rather than the species which spawned them. In the latter days of the Imperium, it would often be said that Space Marines could only be created from male recruits, but the truth is that the Emperor, being a misogynist, had specifically ordered the necessary treatments to be keyed specifically to the male genome.
 
Disaster struck when a rebel cell of a movement aiming to free Earth from the tyranny of its dictator infiltrated the main laboratory and - seeing themselves unable to kill what appeared like innocent infants - made away with all twenty clones, still in the process of growing in their sealed containers. Pursued by the Emperor's guards, the group chose to split up, with each of the twenty splinters taking one of the babies. Aided by sympathisers and smugglers, or sometimes outright stealing transportation, they took twenty ships and scattered all over the galaxy. With the laboratory torched, it was hoped that the Emperor's plan to deploy these creatures was at least put on hold if not thwarted entirely.
 
Unbeknownst to the rebels, the research data was backed up in auxiliary labs all across the planet, enabling a new team to continue Outek's work. Impatient and eager to start his invasion, the Emperor ordered a modification to the Space Marine project: no longer would his warriors be cloned and bred from infancy; now, his geneticists found a way to transform even adolescent boys into terrible warriors. Whilst they were marginally less impressive than the first twenty, these soldiers could be created in a third of the time, significantly speeding up the process of raising the legions.
 
Finally, the Emperor's fleets set out, and their first target was wayward Mars, which had seceded from one of the old countries of Earth many generations ago. Wracked by its own civil wars, a weird sect of techno-worshipers had arisen there, but for all their arcane trappings, they had much to offer in form of safeguarded technology, much of which had gotten lost during Earth's own apocalyptic wars. Approaching this Cult Mechanicus, the Emperor once again used his telepathic powers to convince them that he was an avatar of their own god. The ruse worked, and though some of the priests proved resilient to this strange relevation of their superiors, any resistance was soon crushed by the combined armies of Earth and Mars.
 
Now the galaxy's conquest began in earnest, and terran warships upgraded with martian engines and weaponry set out to cross the distance between suns. Countless colonies fell before the might of the Emperor's Space Marines, who ruthlessly swept across lost colonies and brought them under Terra's banner by fire and sword. Taking many new worlds by storm, it did not take long until the Emperor's fleets caught up with those who had stolen his twenty clones, who had grown up to their adult forms by now.
 
The first to be recovered was a young man known as Horus. Lovingly raised by the rebels who stole him, he knew of Earth's history and the threat posed by the Emperor. The confrontation was narrowly averted, however, as the Emperor talked him down. Horus could not know, the Emperor argued, what truly happened on Earth, about the global devastation and how he had only wanted to make peace. It certainly helped that the Emperor had long since become a megalomaniac and begun to believe in his own lies, seeing himself as a savior of humankind. By subtly reaching out and touching Horus' mind with his psychic powers, the Emperor had soon convinced the clone to lay down his arms and surrender. Not long after, Horus would become his first general, leading the Emperor's Space Marines onto galactic conquest, all for the grand vision of a unified humanity.
 
The Emperor's lies would come back to haunt him during the last phase of his great crusade, however. On the world of Davin, Horus came into contact with a warrior cult that practiced deep meditation inspired by ancient asian martial arts. Honouring local culture, Horus agreed to participate in a night-long ceremony and was led into a trance. But not only did Horus gain a deeper understanding of his own self, as was the goal of the exercise -- when touching his subconscious, Horus discovered traces of the Emperor's manipulation, and how he had apparently influenced him earlier. Deeply unsettled, Horus departed Davin and began his own research into Terra's past. Discovering the truth about the Emperor's ambitions, including various massacres and total disregard for human life, the warlord began to plot against his master, and the seeds of what later generations would remember as the Horus Heresy were sown.
 
Now it has been ten thousand years since the Emperor was struck down by his own general. Ten thousand years since the rebellion saw Space Marines fight against Space Marines, with the losers being driven into exile. Terribly warped and mutated by the psychic energies at work in their hideout, they have long since ceased to resemble the noble insurgents they once were. In brutal irony, their new forms are a direct result of how Imperial propaganda indoctrinates countless billions of human citizens, and thousands of years of describing Horus' legions as horned monsters have birthed one of mankind's most terrible foes.
 
As for the Emperor himself, his ambitions were ended by Horus' own hands, and he died on the steps of the throne from which he intended to rule the stars. To replace his psychic guidance of the Imperium's fleets, his council - a coven of the realm's highest lords - convened and ultimately ordered the tech-priests to construct a replacement. It was found that just by draining a thousand psychic humans a day, it would be possible to recreate the fabled beacon the Emperor was able to project for his ships' navigators. The "harvest" was brutally enforced, and publicly backed up as being the Emperor's own command. To preserve their power, the lords made use of a burgeoning trend among the less advanced colonies: deification. With his bombastic speeches, his egocentric vanity and the dominating charisma he used to employ, it was not difficult to spread the idea of godhood, in particular as Mars already revered him as a divine entity due to his own ploy. Thus, mankind entered the Age of the God-Emperor -- a dessicated corpse as the figurehead of an unloving, bloodthirsty regime where torture and murder have become an everyday occurrence feeding and tainting the psychic substance of the Immaterium in a spiral of violence that threatens to devour an entire galaxy.

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One of the things I like about 40k is that magic and superstition exist alongside science and reason. You can understand psychic powers/psykers as 'sorcery' with an occult basis, or you can see it as 'psychic powers' with a more rational/deterministic viewpoint. Humanity in the 41st millennium veers towards the superstitious, with both the Cult Mechanicus and the Ecclesiarchy using a religious basis for their power structure. Other races, like the Tau, use a more rationalistic approach, if not towards their hierarchy than definitely to how they interact with technology. The Eldar, however, seem to have a way of looking at superstition and science/technology in a complementary way; for them, their weapons and technology (like, for example, the equipment used by Aspect Warriors) have mythic significance, but it doesn't compromise their ability to be terrifyingly effective weapons of war. 

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Personally, I'm fine with psychic powers, the Warp and even daemons as they are, as I simply like to see them all as effects of telepathy/telekinesis/etc, with the Warp effectively being a Gestalt consciousness of all the psychic activity in the galaxy.

 

However, what about this heresy?

 

 

More than ten thousand years ago, a powerful telepath, whose abilities enabled him to sway the opinions and perception of others, was born onto an Earth ravaged by civil war. By the time he was grown up, he was already an influential man, but his thirst for power had him desire more. With his most trusted followers, he staged a coup and took control over his country of birth. Then, using a mixture of military force and cunning diplomacy, he slowly extended his reach all over the world. Total domination seemed inevitable; his armies seemed to anticipate his enemy's every move, and when meeting with foreign leaders, the latter were miraculously convinced to sign pacts granting him broad powers over soon-to-be united regions.
 
It was not long until the entire planet was ravaged by wars that sought to bring every last city, every last village under the Emperor's banner. Yet still, his thirst for conquest was not insatiable. Knowing that mankind's ancestors had sent ships to the stars many generations ago, he set his gaze upon the stars, and gathered the brightest scientists of the world -- not only to build him a fleet of ships capable of reaching distant suns, but to build him an army with which to claim them. His lead geneticist, Dr. Outek, finally presented him with the first few specimens of what was to become his Space Marines, post-humans more resembling a living weapon rather than the species which spawned them. In the latter days of the Imperium, it would often be said that Space Marines could only be created from male recruits, but the truth is that the Emperor, being a misogynist, had specifically ordered the necessary treatments to be keyed specifically to the male genome.
 
Disaster struck when a rebel cell of a movement aiming to free Earth from the tyranny of its dictator infiltrated the main laboratory and - seeing themselves unable to kill what appeared like innocent infants - made away with all twenty clones, still in the process of growing in their sealed containers. Pursued by the Emperor's guards, the group chose to split up, with each of the twenty splinters taking one of the babies. Aided by sympathisers and smugglers, or sometimes outright stealing transportation, they took twenty ships and scattered all over the galaxy. With the laboratory torched, it was hoped that the Emperor's plan to deploy these creatures was at least put on hold if not thwarted entirely.
 
Unbeknownst to the rebels, the research data was backed up in auxiliary labs all across the planet, enabling a new team to continue Outek's work. Impatient and eager to start his invasion, the Emperor ordered a modification to the Space Marine project: no longer would his warriors be cloned and bred from infancy; now, his geneticists found a way to transform even adolescent boys into terrible warriors. Whilst they were marginally less impressive than the first twenty, these soldiers could be created in a third of the time, significantly speeding up the process of raising the legions.
 
Finally, the Emperor's fleets set out, and their first target was wayward Mars, which had seceded from one of the old countries of Earth many generations ago. Wracked by its own civil wars, a weird sect of techno-worshipers had arisen there, but for all their arcane trappings, they had much to offer in form of safeguarded technology, much of which had gotten lost during Earth's own apocalyptic wars. Approaching this Cult Mechanicus, the Emperor once again used his telepathic powers to convince them that he was an avatar of their own god. The ruse worked, and though some of the priests proved resilient to this strange relevation of their superiors, any resistance was soon crushed by the combined armies of Earth and Mars.
 
Now the galaxy's conquest began in earnest, and terran warships upgraded with martian engines and weaponry set out to cross the distance between suns. Countless colonies fell before the might of the Emperor's Space Marines, who ruthlessly swept across lost colonies and brought them under Terra's banner by fire and sword. Taking many new worlds by storm, it did not take long until the Emperor's fleets caught up with those who had stolen his twenty clones, who had grown up to their adult forms by now.
 
The first to be recovered was a young man known as Horus. Lovingly raised by the rebels who stole him, he knew of Earth's history and the threat posed by the Emperor. The confrontation was narrowly averted, however, as the Emperor talked him down. Horus could not know, the Emperor argued, what truly happened on Earth, about the global devastation and how he had only wanted to make peace. It certainly helped that the Emperor had long since become a megalomaniac and begun to believe in his own lies, seeing himself as a savior of humankind. By subtly reaching out and touching Horus' mind with his psychic powers, the Emperor had soon convinced the clone to lay down his arms and surrender. Not long after, Horus would become his first general, leading the Emperor's Space Marines onto galactic conquest, all for the grand vision of a unified humanity.
 
The Emperor's lies would come back to haunt him during the last phase of his great crusade, however. On the world of Davin, Horus came into contact with a warrior cult that practiced deep meditation inspired by ancient asian martial arts. Honouring local culture, Horus agreed to participate in a night-long ceremony and was led into a trance. But not only did Horus gain a deeper understanding of his own self, as was the goal of the exercise -- when touching his subconscious, Horus discovered traces of the Emperor's manipulation, and how he had apparently influenced him earlier. Deeply unsettled, Horus departed Davin and began his own research into Terra's past. Discovering the truth about the Emperor's ambitions, including various massacres and total disregard for human life, the warlord began to plot against his master, and the seeds of what later generations would remember as the Horus Heresy were sown.
 
Now it has been ten thousand years since the Emperor was struck down by his own general. Ten thousand years since the rebellion saw Space Marines fight against Space Marines, with the losers being driven into exile. Terribly warped and mutated by the psychic energies at work in their hideout, they have long since ceased to resemble the noble insurgents they once were. In brutal irony, their new forms are a direct result of how Imperial propaganda indoctrinates countless billions of human citizens, and thousands of years of describing Horus' legions as horned monsters have birthed one of mankind's most terrible foes.
 
As for the Emperor himself, his ambitions were ended by Horus' own hands, and he died on the steps of the throne from which he intended to rule the stars. To replace his psychic guidance of the Imperium's fleets, his council - a coven of the realm's highest lords - convened and ultimately ordered the tech-priests to construct a replacement. It was found that just by draining a thousand psychic humans a day, it would be possible to recreate the fabled beacon the Emperor was able to project for his ships' navigators. The "harvest" was brutally enforced, and publicly backed up as being the Emperor's own command. To preserve their power, the lords made use of a burgeoning trend among the less advanced colonies: deification. With his bombastic speeches, his egocentric vanity and the dominating charisma he used to employ, it was not difficult to spread the idea of godhood, in particular as Mars already revered him as a divine entity due to his own ploy. Thus, mankind entered the Age of the God-Emperor -- a dessicated corpse as the figurehead of an unloving, bloodthirsty regime where torture and murder have become an everyday occurrence feeding and tainting the psychic substance of the Immaterium in a spiral of violence that threatens to devour an entire galaxy.

 

 

Ironically enough you can find traces of this in the HH novels :)

 

The later books are painting the Big E in quite a different light than what we are used to.

He actually did* manipulate and mindwipe Horus and severall other primarchs.

 

 

 

 

 

* yes I know you don't like to think of the HH books as "undeniable truth". :)

Edited by Robin Graves

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WARNING: INCOMMING HERESY!

 

  • Malcador was a failsafe created by those who made the Emperor  in case the Emperor got out of hand.
  • Malacador finsihed off the Emperor and confined him to the golden throne so he could reign instead.
  • Horus was put on the Golden Throne because the imperium needed a figurehead and the Emperor had died.
  • The Emperor Survived his duel with Horus. He left in the disguise of an adeptus custodes, and had the astronomican  reconfigured to run on human souls. His curent werabouts are unknown..
  • Night Haunter survived the assasination attempt.
  • A still loyal Alpharius formed a new Kabal with several of the missing primarchs: Russ, Curze, and Jagathai Khan.
  • Sanguinius rose from the dead.
  • Alpha legion. Alpha legion everywhere!
  •  

Ok that's enough conspiracy heresy nonsense from me ;)

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In my 40k universe....

the Emperor's spirit is alive and well. and haunts the golden throne.

 

And 1000 psykers sit around him in the astronomicon,

 and augment the psychic beacon, but only 1d10 die each day.

 

Anyways, the Emperor is a good person, and helps out the Imperium.

Since he is only a psychic being, this help takes the form of things a pysker can do:

 

Such as warnings, visions, messages, encouragement, and insight for his citizens,

 and fear, misdirection, bad intel and confusion for his enemies.

 

But since there are trillions of imperial citizens, the odds of you personally getting help are low.

 but it does happen, and there are verifiable miracles in his name,

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And I guess some people also end up misinterpreting those visions. Or they are afraid of those who recieve them because they don't understand.

 

Citizen A: "Guys! I'm hearing a voice!"

Citizen B: "He's Insane! get him!"

Inquisitior: "He's possessed! Burn him!"

 

Citizen A: " No guys, wait! It's cool! It's the Emperor!"

Citizen B: "What?"

Citizen A: " I hear the voice of the Emperor! In my head!"

Inquisitor: "... Lies! Heretic! Kill him!"

 

The Emperor: "Ugh! Not again! This is why nothing get's done around here!"

Edited by Robin Graves

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