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View Full Version : Why do marines still have librarians and Chaplains?



Hlokk
03-10-2007, 16:43
Right, I don't understand why marines have these two functions. Background wise, unless someone can explain it to me, it doesnt make sence.

as far as librarians go, All marine legions were ordered to disband their librarius depts during the trial of magnus the red. IIRC, the horus heresy anthology includes a decree from the emperor saying all legions who persue warpcraft will be expunged from imperial records. So why then does this rank still exist within space marine chapter? Presumably Guilliman would have recognised the dangers of Chaos within marine organisations, yet he seems to have completely backtracked on the emperors decision. :wtf:

As far as chaplains go, the Horus Heresy series has made it fairly clear that this was a Word Bearers invention in order to prevent marines morale sliding. yet HH books also insinuate that the chaplain edict was also a way to develop the existance of lodges within the marine legions. So why would something thats been created by a traitor legion for subvertive purposes still be allowed to exist?

Please leave aside all arguements of "well, they already had the models for them" or whatnot, I just want to know, background wise, does it make sence for marines to have them, and if so, why?

darknar
03-10-2007, 16:51
not to shure about this but..

librarians are needed for research into the warp for each chapter. libarians are not truly powerfull compared to the eldar but i see that they try to limit there warp powers more than try to supress them entirly. warp grows frm idleness i think.

chaplins on the other hand. not really had a huge role or any role at all for the other chapters untill after the heresy. after the heresy they where needed to keep faith in space marines but before they wernt needed becuse spacemarines dint have faith only a strong belive in there martial skills.

however after the horus heresy they where needed to convert all spacemarines into the belive in the god emperor that had not turned to chaos

really they dont have too much background into the creation of thses two character types but whateer created them does not matter becuse both characters are friggen awsome fluff wise.

Sojourner
03-10-2007, 16:57
I can only assume that there's a perceived difference between dabbling with Chaos and using psychic power to protect others from it. Perhaps this is as simplistic as the difference between liberating warp energy without disturbing daemons, versus intentionally communing with them. One must presume that such things as throwing fireballs and incinerating someone's brain doesn't require the involvement of warp sentience. There is definitely a need for someone with both the knowledge and the sensitivity to guard against malevolent Warp-related activity. A Librarian could probably tell with only minor probing if a Brother is being influenced.

Besides, they're also logicians and record-keepers; mundane things you'd expect from our modern meaning of 'Librarian'.

Chaplains - well, it's quite possible that the Legions already had someone responsible for spiritual and moral purity; they just didn't have a name for them. Or, the pre-existing idea of a Chaplain was formalised into something quite different in the Word Bearers' case.

Minister
03-10-2007, 17:07
The Emperor's edict was against Chaos sorcery, not against the use of psionic powers. The line is fine, and blured by the modern Imperium's citizens, but the two can be clearly distinuished at the extremes if not at the border point. All sorcerers are psykers, not all psykers are sorcerers.

The Librarians perform multiple roles. Most obviously they are powerful entities on the battlefield, both ofensively and as a defense against enemy psykers. Secondly they act as communicators, having the force of will to communicate via Astrotelepathy without being damaged by the Soul Binding. Thirdly they are record keepers, the title of librarian being literal in some respects, both transcribing tactical lore and telling tales of heroism. Lastly, they are a powerful tool for weeding out corruption within the Chapter's warriors.

Leftenant Gashrog
03-10-2007, 17:24
The Emperor's edict was against Chaos sorcery, not against the use of psionic powers.

Theres conflicting fluff on the issue, the Thousand Sons IA agrees with you, the more recent Horus Heresy artbooks however states that the Emperor explicitly ordered that the Astartes would make use of no psykers other than Navigators and Astropaths: all legions were to disband their Librarium departments immediately and return their marines to the battle companies.

As for the reason they still exist, canonically we dont know, nothing has been said of the issue, I was hoping they would retcon the Horus vs Emperor story so that the Imperial Fist Terminator who sacrificed himself was a Terminator Librarian ~ so that he could rescind his order with his dying breath along with the order to melt his armour down, but when it came to it they changed it to a blasted Custode (what a total missed opportunity)

Argastes
03-10-2007, 17:30
I always thought it was clear that when Magnus is said to practice "sorcery" or "warpcraft", it doesn't just mean any psychic powers, but some specific sort of psychic powers that goes beyond what's normally acceptable and is more closely tied to Chaos itself. I mean, the Emperor himself was a powerful psyker, and astrotelepaths and other specialized psykers were in use at that time, so I don't think it makes sense to say that the Emperor considered ALL uses of psychic powers to be unacceptable. Presumably, Magnus' activities crossed some kind of line that the activities of librarians do not cross.

As for chaplains, who knows.... Sojourner's suggestion that legions other than the Word Bearers had their own 'chaplains', and just didn't call them by that name, makes some sense. Presumably the role of these marines increased in the centuries following the heresy, which is why they are prominent now but didn't bear mentioning in HH-era fiction.


...but before they wernt needed becuse spacemarines dint have faith only a strong belive in there martial skills.

however after the horus heresy they where needed to convert all spacemarines into the belive in the god emperor that had not turned to chaos

I should remind you that the Space Marines do NOT view the Emperor as a god; they venerate him (and the Primarchs) with a sort of quasi-religious hero/ancestor worship, since he is their lord, creator, and the savior of mankind, but they don't see him as a god. They remember and obey his express decrees, made in the times of the Great Crusade, that he was not to be deified; these decrees have been forgotten/ignored by the Ecclesiarchy and the rest of the Imperium.

It's never really discussed much, but it is at least hinted that the Space Marines, at least some of them, actually believe in and worship various gods, in addition to their veneration of the Emperor and Primarchs. I think it's a shame that the fluff has never delved deeper into the various religions and cults of the Marines, but I guess GW is reluctant to explore that issue because it might dilute the Marine's image as 'holy warriors of the Emperor' and confuse people--after all, worshipping various pantheons of pre-Imperial war gods could seem suspiciously Chaotic to someone who's view of the 40K universe has been cast into a simplistic black-and-white image by prior fluff.

EDIT: Okay, Lieutenant Gashrog's statement seems to disprove my assumption about what "sorcery" meant in the context of the Emperor's decree. Chalk it up to yet another stupid piece of fluff forced into being by the HH books, I guess.

Green-is-best
03-10-2007, 17:40
I think the real answer is much simpler, if less interesting. Chaplains and Librarians predate most of the current fluff on Space Marines, and certainly any of the stuff in the HH books and the art books. So, when the new fluff was created, they either had to remove them or just leave em there and hope nobody thought too much about it.

Argastes
03-10-2007, 17:45
I think the real answer is much simpler, if less interesting. Chaplains and Librarians predate most of the current fluff on Space Marines, and certainly any of the stuff in the HH books and the art books. So, when the new fluff was created, they either had to remove them or just leave em there and hope nobody thought too much about it.

Hahah, yes... that's obviously the reality of the situation, since the chaplain/librarian models go back to RT and could never be given the squat treatment now, but the OP did say that he was looking for speculation on potential reasons within the confines of fluff, not answers based on reality.

Feor
03-10-2007, 17:52
Librarians were banned by the Nikea Decree, however, during the Siege of Terra it was found that Psychic Powers are especially useful for battling the Daemonic, so Librarians were allowed to return to active service, since everything suggested that the Daemonic would be making a comeback.

Chaplains, as a concept, started in the Word Bearers, but they were spread to the other legions to ensure that the Chapter's Librarians were kept from using their powers, and also that any other edicts passed down were properly followed. In some cases they ended up leading warrior lodges, in others they probably decried warrior lodges in much the same way as Lokken.

Green-is-best
03-10-2007, 17:53
Hahah, yes... that's obviously the reality of the situation, since the chaplain/librarian models go back to RT and could never be given the squat treatment now, but the OP did say that he was looking for speculation on potential reasons within the confines of fluff, not answers based on reality.

Hmmmm.... well maybe that's the fluff answer too. Since all the old school Mk6 guys all had their office badges painted rather than sculpted on, maybe they just gave themselves a quick coat of ultramarine blue or terracotta and hoped nobody would notice they were breaking the rules. :cheese:

mistformsquirrel
03-10-2007, 17:55
I could have sworn I read that Chaplains came into being, not just through the Word Bearers, but rather by Imperial Decree, both as moral watchdogs of the chapter, and to keep an eye on the Librarians.

Also, remember the council of Nikea (sp?); The Witch Hunters (not the Ordo Hereticus, just "witch hunters" in a general sense) made the case that all psychic powers were immensely dangerous and potentially the bane of Man, while Magnus made the case that psykers were potentially among the most beneficial and powerful beings the Imperium could rely on.

In the end, a case was made by Librarians drawn from several legions, that psychic powers were a necessary part of the Space Marine arsenal; but that sorcery (drawing on conscious warp-powers), was too dangerous to be commanded by anyone, human or Marine.

So the Emperor banned sorcery, created the rank of Chaplain as much to watch over the Librarians as anything else; but allowed the legions to maintain their Librariums.

At least thats how I remember it >.>

thorgrim
03-10-2007, 18:05
I know that the first chaplins were formed to keep an eye on the librarians and that after the liabrius was disbanded the chaplins were re-tasked with ensuring the moral and well being of their specific legion. As to the librarians it is logical to assume that after the events of the heresy and the Imperium reconising the threat posed by Chaos that the libraius was reformed in order to give the chapters some defense against the powers of chaos and to further the imperiums understanding of the warp.

ryng_sting
03-10-2007, 18:18
So why then does this rank still exist within space marine chapter? Presumably Guilliman would have recognised the dangers of Chaos within marine organisations, yet he seems to have completely backtracked on the emperors decision.

Because they were needed in the aftermath of the largest Chaos assault the Imperium had ever known. Presumably the ban was lifted until the Scouring was over, by which time the people with the authority to reinstate it were dead. The Librarian post endured, and so the Imperium re-wrote the outcome of the Council of Nikaea.



As far as chaplains go, the Horus Heresy series has made it fairly clear that this was a Word Bearers invention in order to prevent marines morale sliding. yet HH books also insinuate that the chaplain edict was also a way to develop the existance of lodges within the marine legions.

Wrong way round. The WB used their Chaplains to do this. Malcador made the Chaplain Edict to monitor morale and enforce the psyker ban.