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An Argument for Chaos

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Bilateralrope said:

How can anyone other than the Eldar take the majority of the blame for chaos ?

 

The Eldar gave birth to a single Chaos God, yes (though, given the timeless nature of the Warp, Slaanesh could technically be regarded as having already existed before then, and may well have contributed to its own birth)...

...but Mankind gave the Chaos Gods an army, and one unlike anything that had existed before, legions of warriors totally one half of the armed forces of a civilisation that had conquered well over a million worlds in only two hundred and fifty years, led by superhuman beings whose individual might eclipses all but the most powerful of Greater Daemons.

The Horus Heresy is very much an ascendancy for Chaos, to the point where it has the means to directly influence the material universe through countless trillions of worshippers and warriors.

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MILLANDSON said:

 

 

However, if it wasn't for the Eldar creating Slaanesh, the Eye of Terror wouldn't have been formed, and the warp storms that plagued the galaxy, and prevented mankind from spreading and uniting into the plague that is now the Imperium, wouldn't have been blown out, which would have meant that humanity wouldn't have been able to become powerful enough for there to have been a Horus Heresy.

If it wasn't for the Eldar, none of that would have happened.

Now that's a bit like blaming a European butterfly for a storm in China. The Eldar never thought "Hey, let's create a new chaos god whose birth will accidentally change the warp in a way that will allow an insignificant race of monkeys to reunite with their old colonies and take over the Galaxy."

It was the Emperor who thought: "Hm, I need warriors with inhuman strength and toughness, in fact they would be perfect demonhosts so I better don't tell them demons exist, otherwise they could get strange ideas. Also I will never take any advice from a psyker regardless if it's my own son or some xenos, because I rule! Nobody can disobey me."

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Before portraying Chaos deities as a benign force in the galaxy, I think it's fair to ask 'what are their long-term goals'.

K: Endless war and blood spilled in his name.

T: Change and the eventual opening of primordial Chaos into the material world.

S: I really don't want to think about this one too much.

N: Disease, rot and decay.

 

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 I believe there's a fundamental point in this discussion that hasn't been properly acknowledged. Namely, what exactly are we comparing? The Imperium vs Chaos, The Imperium vs Chaos Deity X or The Imperium vs Chaos Warband Y? Because that's where I believe the differences in opinion come from: Some posters are comparing an organization with what must either be called a force of nature or an eldritch abomination. I believe noone is saying that Khorne is "better" than the IoM - Khorne is the primordial force of rage, honour and slaughter. An universe dominated entirely by him would mean that the barrier between the warp and reality drops and the warp engulfs all which is kind of a bad thing for humanity.

The interesting question is about those who draw their power from Khorne and their organizations, but in that case you're comparing countless individuals and one monolithic organization. Among these individuals, there are both those who are idealistic and want to make their little part of the universe a better place and those who are either completely consumed by their patron deity or were tyrannic arseholes to begin with. 

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 There are those who turned to Chaos thinking that they would be helping the Imperium (or at least the Galaxy at large).

The Alpha Legion originally turned at the request of the Cabal in order for Horus to win and eventually turn on himself and drag the Chaos Gods down with him. Now it goes without saying that Horus did not win and we're looking at the prophesy where the Chaos Gods win all after about ten thousand years or so. So...if the reason they turned to Chaos in the first place is null and void, why do they still fight for Chaos? Well actually that's not really known.

The Thousand Sons had been trying to be loyal though they didn't know their destiny had been manipulated ever since the discovery of Magnus the Red and his deal to end the Flesh Change. At the end of the Thousand Sons novel, Ahriman had vowed that he would prove the loyalty of the Thousand Sons once and forever to be on the side of humanity and the Empreror. Now of course, he and they have been a bit side-tracked since then.

The Night Lords joined Chaos because of their actions in choosing to make Fear be the reason why those of the Imperium remain loyal. They were told it was wrong...now that they are sided with Chaos? That's pretty much what the Imperium stance on things seems to be.

The Black Legion even thought they were doing humanity a favor when they were the Sons of Horus, at least at first. The Chaos Gods lied to Horus and led him to think that the Empreror had left the Great Crusade in order to go home and become a God. Then he would be able to cast away all of his sons for he would no longer need him. Now Horus was shown the truth of what the 40k universe would become as a result of this civil war, but not that it would be he who caused it all to happen.

Other Chapters if I recall joined Chaos because they took a stance contrary to what the local people in charge thought was right and were declared criminals for it. The Soul Drinkers in particular had a bad strain of gene-seed and began mutating. They were not of Chaos, but were seen to be that way because of discrimination against mutants. In some cases, stand against an Inquisitor who wishes to destroy a planet and you may find your entire Chapter has to flee to the Eye of Terror or similar places to avoid being hunted. 

As the Horus Heresy novels unfold, it reveals that many of the servants of Chaos simply fell into it because of different tragedies mounting with a lack of communication. How many Space Marine Legions would have remained Loyalist if their Primarchs and their father had a communicative relationship? All he had to do was say "My sons, I'm placing Horus in charge as Warmaster. I'm going to Earth to create a new method of space travel that will take the Imperium to the entire galaxy."

In some cases it's the sons who should have spoke. What if Perturabo was able to go to his father and say "Father, my Legion grow weary of simply being a Garrison Legion. My heart hurts to split my Legion apart so. Is there another way we can do things?"

I think I digress a little bit, but for some who serve Chaos it is a means to simple power. Black and white villains. For others, it is a quest of their own. A knowledgement that what they do is right and will help all of humanity. For some, it is all that they feel remains to them for if the Imperium sees them as monsters then monsters they must be.

 

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vastrix said:

The Alpha Legion originally turned at the request of the Cabal in order for Horus to win and eventually turn on himself and drag the Chaos Gods down with him. Now it goes without saying that Horus did not win and we're looking at the prophesy where the Chaos Gods win all after about ten thousand years or so. So...if the reason they turned to Chaos in the first place is null and void, why do they still fight for Chaos? Well actually that's not really known.

I thought it was fairly obvious why they're still fighting for Chaos, given the fluff (including their warcry "For The Emperor!") we've seen. They're still trying to complete their duty to the Emperor and their promise to the Cabal, in that they are trying to get Chaos to win, so that it may snuff itself out, resulting in Chaos ultimately being defeated.

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MILLANDSON said:

 

 

I thought it was fairly obvious why they're still fighting for Chaos, given the fluff (including their warcry "For The Emperor!") we've seen. They're still trying to complete their duty to the Emperor and their promise to the Cabal, in that they are trying to get Chaos to win, so that it may snuff itself out, resulting in Chaos ultimately being defeated.

 

 

I think it's a little more debatable than that. The cabal showed Alpharius a vision of two alternative futures of the Heresy's outcome:

(1)  The Emperor is defeated, in a decade or so the Imperium collapses into chaos and creates a vast warp vortex that wipes chaos itself out. And humanity, of course.

(2) The Emperor wins but is crippled and drags out the death of humanity for 10,000 years, leaving chaos ascendant and triumphant forever. 

It must be pretty clear to the Alpha Legion by now that the chance of option (1) happening has now completely passed, and that they are living in the worst of all possible futures. So why carry on fighting for chaos?

Perhaps they've genuinely given in to despair, and simply go through the motions, knowing they're doomed. Perhaps they've now genuinely fallen to chaos.  

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I always just got the opinion that they decided, since they couldn't go back, they would continue to try to get the Imperium to collapse and allow Chaos to burn itself out, hence why they promote Chaos cults across the Imperium, and try to stir up instability.

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That's a reasonable assumption. But the vision the Cabal gave to Alpharius doesn't (as I recall) suggest that possible future 2 provided any hope of Chaos burning itself out...just that it would eventually destroy humanity. I could be wrong, though, as I haven't read the book in a while!  

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To be fair, their vision only showed a snapshot of what the Imperium would be like immediately following the Heresy, rather than what would occur for all time, and I can't imagine Alpherius giving up on his duty to the Emperor just because of a xenos vision. Personally, he seemed the type who'd continue in his duty through the patented subversive and guerilla techniques of the Alpha Legion.

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I don't personally feel that any one thing can be said of the Alpha Legion any more - assuming a fractured organisation akin to that of most of the Traitor Legions, individual officers and/or warlords are now running the show for disparate warbands all over the place, each working to their own objectives (and permitted by what remains of the Legion's old heirarchy, as it obfuscates their real objectives). This can be easily demonstrated by the existence of the likes of Kernax Voldorius (a Daemon Prince of Alpha Legion origin... nothing says "I work for Chaos" like daemonhood). I can easily see the events in Legion as resulting in a schism within the Alpha Legion, with Alpharius literally being of two minds about the whole thing.

The matter is still confusing; while the Alpha Legion are noted for using "For the Emperor" as an ironic battlecry, there are apparent exceptions to that: the Alpha Legion commander in the second scenario in The Emperor Protects says "For the Emperor" amongst his dying words as he passes on some necessary exposition to the Player Characters, while the short story excerpt Black Library posted to their Facebook page last friday had Alpharius salute the other Traitor Primarchs with the 'aquila' gesture.

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MILLANDSON said:

vastrix said:

 

The Alpha Legion originally turned at the request of the Cabal in order for Horus to win and eventually turn on himself and drag the Chaos Gods down with him. Now it goes without saying that Horus did not win and we're looking at the prophesy where the Chaos Gods win all after about ten thousand years or so. So...if the reason they turned to Chaos in the first place is null and void, why do they still fight for Chaos? Well actually that's not really known.

 

I thought it was fairly obvious why they're still fighting for Chaos, given the fluff (including their warcry "For The Emperor!") we've seen. They're still trying to complete their duty to the Emperor and their promise to the Cabal, in that they are trying to get Chaos to win, so that it may snuff itself out, resulting in Chaos ultimately being defeated.

And it appears that -along with so many other stories of the Imperium- stubborn stupidity is behind things. When Horus failed, the Cabal were proved wrong, and the entire reason for the Alpha Legion turning traitor proved to be incorrect. But instead of saying 'Hey: We've been had! If we really care about the Imperium, we should seek to rejoin it.' they carried on.

Many factions fell to chaos by intent or accident or by basic stupidity, but then -when the mistake became clear- carried on treading the same path. And in some cases the fall itself was the product of such absurd logic that you can't help think that such idiots frankly deserve to be chaos spawn!

It seems that a completely blinkered approach to politics and a blindness to reality haven't evolved out of our psyche anywhere in 40,000 years. For me, I struggle to identify with many of the chaos factions and legions because they acted in such a stupid and arrogant way that my sympathy for them dried up completely.

 

 

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I agree with Siranui: I'm the EmperRor, I want help Mortarion people, but not Angron people, because I'm the EmperRor, and I'm stupid.

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 In the Horus Heresy series it show on multiple occasions how the Emperor isn't a just or caring person, but a violent, xenophobic tyrant who would gladly murder 80% of existence so that he could have his perfect empire.

Have any meetings or deals with aliens? No, kill them all. See if they are possibly benign or friendly? Of course not, they don't look like us so they are evil and lesser. (the lesser part is mentioned in several since they don't have human form. The Emperor's children novel, Fulgrim I think, spends alot of time focusing on this fact.)

Even other cultures of Humans are disgusted by the Empire and can't understand the Emperor's plan.  In truth he embodies most of the facets of the Chaos gods.  He has Khorne's bloodthristy and violent nature (rather than create perfect leaders, peacekeepers and the like he creates uber engines of destruction given flesh). Hehas the calculation and warp abilities attributed to Tzeench's followers. He has the physical perfection and near seductive ability to control others for Slaneesh, and the drive to create static (and therefor eventual rotting) that is attributed with early Nurgle.

As for the whole Imperium creating the chaos gods, since it hasn't been Retconned since the early days, it looks like first three chaos gods started to gain their seperate existences (fields of influence) during the human middle ages.  Slanneesh was millenia later.  But the warp was tainted like was earlier mentioned by the war between the C'tan/Necrontyr and the Eldergods/Old ones/Eldar et al.

As for the emperor becoming a Chaos god, as of Realm of Chaos back in the day, he is. He is becoming the star child or Star god as he is slowly worshipped and one day will be powerful enough to do the same as other chaos gods. The eldar have a similiar diety coming to life within their infinity circuits and the exodite circuits somehow.

In my mind, Chaos is only evil because of their excesses in their natures, just like the Imperium is evil for its excesses on the polar opposite side. Both sides have their moderates, but the extremes are what get the most attention and are best known IMO.

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  Are there really any moderates amongst the followers of Khorne? Or even Slaanesh and Nurgle?

According to Shades of Grey: Of course there are. The battlefield champion (rather than the butcher) would be one for Khorne, while a gifted surgeon might be a follower of Nurgle and a great painter of Slaanesh.

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Cifer said:

  Are there really any moderates amongst the followers of Khorne? Or even Slaanesh and Nurgle?

According to Shades of Grey: Of course there are. The battlefield champion (rather than the butcher) would be one for Khorne, while a gifted surgeon might be a follower of Nurgle and a great painter of Slaanesh.

But can you stay moderate? In the one Horus Heresy novel I have (I think Fulgrim) a few artists are "infected" on the planet of a Slaanesh-worshipping Xenos race. And the musician becomes completely unhappy with everything until he invents new musical instruments (which become the first noise marine weapons) and writes music that summons daemonettes.

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 But can you stay moderate?

Probably not any better than a DH character can stay sane and uncorrupted. But then again, what story in the 40k verse ends well in the long run?

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Mjoellnir said:

Cifer said:

 

  Are there really any moderates amongst the followers of Khorne? Or even Slaanesh and Nurgle?

According to Shades of Grey: Of course there are. The battlefield champion (rather than the butcher) would be one for Khorne, while a gifted surgeon might be a follower of Nurgle and a great painter of Slaanesh.

 

 

But can you stay moderate? In the one Horus Heresy novel I have (I think Fulgrim) a few artists are "infected" on the planet of a Slaanesh-worshipping Xenos race. And the musician becomes completely unhappy with everything until he invents new musical instruments (which become the first noise marine weapons) and writes music that summons daemonettes.

 

Those were the extremes when you read the book, the woman who invented them was a full blown slanneesh cultist (even if she didn't know it) who had gone down the extreme path.  A better example would be the woman that was the painter.  Slowly she gets more and more corrupt, over the course of a few years I think, and works her way up from a obsession with perfecting her art to using bodily fluids and other things as material, to hurting herself to killing someone to use.  Until the end she is a moderate slaneesh cultist, even if it all started due to a demonic musk.

For Khorne, any khornate general or leader is more of a moderate than the average Khorne marine.  Most of what we know of Chaos and the gods direct followers are through the chaos marines. So of course we attribute Khorne to things that the former world eaters would do, not even looking at other examples of Khorne cults and followers in WH and 40k.  A serial killer who fights his urges, a vigilante that enjoys the thrill of battle, a soldier defending his family or home are all possible moderates.

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Considering the types of aliens in the universe, and how utterly hostile like 99.99% of them are, I don't think the Emperor's stance is all that extreme.

Consider the Laer, how Fulgrim was being a xenophobic jerk when he decided they needed to be exterminated... oh, they had temples to Slaanesh. Yeah, like they would have ever been safe to include in to the Imperium.

Or the Tau, who are also a brutal facist empire too, they just have good PR. Don't tow the party line? Well they have reeducation centres, forced sterilization facilities, or just plain ol' making you disapeer in the middle of the night. Tau fanboys must hate how Deathwatch has dirtied up reputation of the little blue gits, by making them just as mean and nasty as everyone else in the 40K universe.

And there's the Eldar, who you can sympathise with over their slow slide toward extinction. But then there's that whole "genocide against humanity" thing some of them are hooked on, or just a general opinion that billions of human lives are worth a few hundred Eldar when it comes to balancing their longterm plans.

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Cifer said:

Probably not any better than a DH character can stay sane and uncorrupted. But then again, what story in the 40k verse ends well in the long run?

Well, humanity and the Eldar are still alive in a half-way unmutated and sane state even though they were dealt horrible blows 10,000 years ago. We don't know how it will end. And unless they are radical DH characters at least try to destroy chaos, not worship it while telling themselves that they are going to stay moderate.

Drace said:

Those were the extremes when you read the book, the woman who invented them was a full blown slanneesh cultist (even if she didn't know it) who had gone down the extreme path. A better example would be the woman that was the painter. Slowly she gets more and more corrupt, over the course of a few years I think, and works her way up from a obsession with perfecting her art to using bodily fluids and other things as material, to hurting herself to killing someone to use. Until the end she is a moderate slaneesh cultist, even if it all started due to a demonic musk.

I don't remember the book too well (it kind of frustrated me, I had expected the Imperials to be smarter in the past without the Ecclesiarchy and all that crap that comes with it. I was wrong.) However a painter killing someone to use his bodily fluids as paint isn't moderate.

Drace said:

For Khorne, any khornate general or leader is more of a moderate than the average Khorne marine. Most of what we know of Chaos and the gods direct followers are through the chaos marines. So of course we attribute Khorne to things that the former world eaters would do, not even looking at other examples of Khorne cults and followers in WH and 40k. A serial killer who fights his urges, a vigilante that enjoys the thrill of battle, a soldier defending his family or home are all possible moderates.

We know of the chaos marines and the daemons. The only other Khorne cultists that come to mind for me is the Blood Pact. Okay those are not mindless berserkers but they still spill lots of "blood for the blood god!" Something a serial killer who would fight his urges or a soldier defending his home wouldn't.

Blood Pact said:

Considering the types of aliens in the universe, and how utterly hostile like 99.99% of them are, I don't think the Emperor's stance is all that extreme.

Consider the Laer, how Fulgrim was being a xenophobic jerk when he decided they needed to be exterminated... oh, they had temples to Slaanesh. Yeah, like they would have ever been safe to include in to the Imperium.

Yeah, that was a good deed through bad motivation. But think of the Diasporex. They never did anything to harm the Imperium, they weren't chaos worshipers... Just an alliance of humans with diverse alien species.

Blood Pact said:

Or the Tau, who are also a brutal facist empire too, they just have good PR. Don't tow the party line? Well they have reeducation centres, forced sterilization facilities, or just plain ol' making you disapeer in the middle of the night. Tau fanboys must hate how Deathwatch has dirtied up reputation of the little blue gits, by making them just as mean and nasty as everyone else in the 40K universe.

I never liked the Tau and I never will. But that's hardly a reason for genocide.

Blood Pact said:

And there's the Eldar, who you can sympathise with over their slow slide toward extinction. But then there's that whole "genocide against humanity" thing some of them are hooked on, or just a general opinion that billions of human lives are worth a few hundred Eldar when it comes to balancing their longterm plans.

Yeah, unfortunately Eldar have a very similar amount of morons as humanity. It seems some of the bad blood comes from the meeting of Eldrath and Fulgrim, another big part was probably the Emperor ignoring the warning about Horus. That makes it kind of understandable that they see humans as expendable morons. It's pretty much the same way the High Lords and the Inquisition see them. Still, Eldar and Imperium are the peoples most likely to ally when it is necessary.

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Blood Pact said:

And there's the Eldar, who you can sympathise with over their slow slide toward extinction. But then there's that whole "genocide against humanity" thing some of them are hooked on, or just a general opinion that billions of human lives are worth a few hundred Eldar when it comes to balancing their longterm plans.

Considering the Imperium will ocasionally sacrifice a few million just to kill a few thousand aliens, I don't find the Eldar stance all that extreme.  I tend to sympathize with them (post-Slaanesh) more than anybody else in the 40k universe.

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Mjoellnir said:


 

I don't remember the book too well (it kind of frustrated me, I had expected the Imperials to be smarter in the past without the Ecclesiarchy and all that crap that comes with it. I was wrong.) However a painter killing someone to use his bodily fluids as paint isn't moderate.

 

With her I was showing how she was for the most part a moderate until she killed the guy to use as paint/material

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Drace said:

As for the whole Imperium creating the chaos gods, since it hasn't been Retconned since the early days, it looks like first three chaos gods started to gain their seperate existences (fields of influence) during the human middle ages.  Slanneesh was millenia later.  But the warp was tainted like was earlier mentioned by the war between the C'tan/Necrontyr and the Eldergods/Old ones/Eldar et al.

I was under the impression that it had been changed so that Nurgle, Tzeentch and Khorne had existed before the human races, and had begun to emerge during/just after the War of the Heavens.

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 I thought it was that the warp became unstable and inhospitable/hostile during the war of the heavens, and the 3 first greater gods didn't get full sentiency until around m2 or the late middle ages?

But then again, you could be right and it could be changed. I still forget Orks are now spores sometimes.

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