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View Full Version : Why did the Emperor leave the Great crusade?



Samurai33
19-10-2007, 09:44
I'm currently reading the great novels of the Horus Heresy, and though I have read a lot of fluff and background for the W40K universe I never really found why he decided to leave the crusades. Now in the novels...

possible minor spoiler

..he is pictured as having gone back to Terra to conduct some sort of work to control the warp (at least thats my take on it 5 books in).

Now the idea the made Horus turn was the idea that the Emperor was trying to attain godhood while leaving the SMs behind as mortals (supertough mortals, but nevertheless...), and I suddenly started thinking if this might not be what to some extent what the Emp was really trying to do, and if so...wouldn't Horus be somewhat justified in his anger.

Though it will probably be explained in later books, does anyone know what the master of mankind is really up to during the time leading up to the heresy?

Brother Loki
19-10-2007, 09:57
He was building a stable portal beneath the Imperial palace to give access to the Webway. This was the original purpose of the Golden Throne, to act as a control mechanism for the portal. His plan was to invade the webway so that humans could have a means of interstellar travel that didn't rely on ships entering the warp, and navigators. The idea was that by avoiding the warp altogether, humanity wouldn't be susceptible to chaos and daemonic influence.

When Magnus sent his psychic warning of Horus' treachery, it shattered the wards protecting the portal, and daemons started to pour out. The Emperor had to take his place on the Golden Throne early, to hold back the daemons, and that's why he took almost no part in the heresy. Only when the inner sanctum was under direct assault did he leave the throne, leaving Malcador the Sigillite in his place to power the mechanism. The effort killed Malcador, but gave the Emperor time to defeat Horus and get put back in the throne. The portal is presumably still there.

Its all covered in the Horus Heresy artbooks from the Black Library, written by Alan Merritt.

EarlGrey
19-10-2007, 10:07
He was building a stable portal beneath the Imperial palace to give access to the Webway. This was the original purpose of the Golden Throne, to act as a control mechanism for the portal. His plan was to invade the webway so that humans could have a means of interstellar travel that didn't rely on ships entering the warp, and navigators. The idea was that by avoiding the warp altogether, humanity wouldn't be susceptible to chaos and daemonic influence.

When Magnus sent his psychic warning of Horus' treachery, it shattered the wards protecting the portal, and daemons started to pour out. The Emperor had to take his place on the Golden Throne early, to hold back the daemons, and that's why he took almost no part in the heresy. Only when the inner sanctum was under direct assault did he leave the throne, leaving Malcador the Sigillite in his place to power the mechanism. The effort killed Malcador, but gave the Emperor time to defeat Horus and get put back in the throne. The portal is presumably still there.

Its all covered in the Horus Heresy artbooks from the Black Library, written by Alan Merritt.

This leads to why the Emperor is still on the throne (as a corpse, but his "soul" remains?), to keep the damaged portal closed and prevent daemons invading Terra.

pookie
19-10-2007, 10:13
strange how some Early fluff says the Golden Throne wasnt made until after Horus deafeat. but suppose Fluff and GW/BL publications never really tally any how.

Hulkster
19-10-2007, 10:21
i cant remember any fluff stating that it was built afterwards, only that they took his shattered body into it.

I am not sure though.

Brother Loki
19-10-2007, 10:22
I think you can read it that the throne wasn't modified into a massive life support system until after the Heresy. They clearly didn't just knock it up overnight though.

Generally speaking, the Alan Merritt stuff should be regarded as canon over other conflicting sources, because his position within the company is head of IP - it's his job to decide what is and isn't canon, and to check what other people write (such as BL writers, computer game licensees etc) for consistency with the background. That said, most GW books are written from the point of view of a character or faction within the game world, so their contradictions are easily incorporated as those people's opinions, or misinterpretations of history etc.

pookie
19-10-2007, 10:32
without having it to hand i cant quote the fluff, but it goes along the lines that the Emperor wispers instructions to Dorn on the Construction of the Golden Throne.

i agree tho with what your saying Loki, just hate these little inconsistant things, even when Mr Merritt is involved.

ankara halla
19-10-2007, 10:36
The very original background about the HH found in The Realms of Chaos books, written by the gyus who invetented the whole universe (Rick Priestley and Bryan Ansell) clearly state that the Golden Throne was built after the defeat of Horus, under the supervision of the Emperor (he was still coherent for brief lapses of time before he went compleatly silent) and that it's purpose was to keep the few remaining cells alive in his corpse so that he'd still have a link to the material universe after his soul was cast adrift in the warp.

Also, as a rule, unlike current books they weren't written from a "point of view", but were source material for a GM to set campaings on. It's as canon as it gets. Or at least was before Mr. Merrit took over and ripped the old fluff a new one.


Meh, I'm old school and a pretty beardy git when it comes to rewrites of established canon. To me it's the RT era source books which tell the strory how it is, none of that "point of view" stuff which is so popular these days...

Brother Loki
19-10-2007, 10:45
Me too, in many ways Ankara. I think that its easy enough to incorporate both though - the Emperor could easily have been working on it as something else, and whispered to Dorn how to modify it or finish construction to preserve his body. Both versions can easily be combined with a little imagination.

pookie
19-10-2007, 10:50
Me too, in many ways Ankara. I think that its easy enough to incorporate both though - the Emperor could easily have been working on it as something else, and whispered to Dorn how to modify it or finish construction to preserve his body. Both versions can easily be combined with a little imagination.

and there lies the problem, although i dont disagree, if the RT stuff that Ankara mentions says he created/constructed it after his defeat (not modified etc ) , its not possible that it exsisted before his defeat, as a portal to the web or not.

its another of those fluff quirks i guess.

Captain Stern
19-10-2007, 12:43
Again, I have trouble accepting how the work of one author can supplant the work of another and have the new hailed as the new 'canon', especially when you consider that

A. The original author probably has no idea that his work has been replaced
and
B. Those who approve the change and take it upon themselves to anoint the new work as 'canon' probably know very little about the 40k background.


EDIT/ UPDATE

I put that wrong. What I meant to say was, given that we know the reason why The Emperor retreated to Earth in the LATEST (or Merrets') version of things, maybe the question should be: what do you think the ORIGINAL reasoning was behind The Emperor's decision to go back?

Iracundus
19-10-2007, 12:47
"You can conquer the world from horseback, but you cannot rule from horseback."

pookie
19-10-2007, 12:59
Again, I have trouble accepting how the work of one author can supplant the work of another and have the new hailed as the new 'canon', especially when you consider that

A. The original author probably has no idea that his work has been replaced
and
B. Those who approve the change and take it upon themselves to anoint the new work as 'canon' probably know very little about the 40k background.


EDIT/ UPDATE

I put that wrong. What I meant to say was, given that we know the reason why The Emperor retreated to Earth in the LATEST (or Merrets') version of things, maybe the question should be: what do you think the ORIGINAL reasoning was behind The Emperor's decision to go back?

That he was consolidating what he had already won with the Primachs and was letting them do what he had made them for, leading his armys. nothing to say he didnt return to terra to start on a Web Way project or even on a new version of the primachs/SM Legions.

kris.sherriff
19-10-2007, 13:38
I always though it was quite clear that the Emperor originally went back to take his place at the head of the Imperium and left Hours to lead the crusade.
Although I do like the new stuff I try to meld it in to the old stuff where ever possible even if my view isn't exactly GW cannon its my hobby to and I can set it in whatever background I want.

Kris

DantesInferno
19-10-2007, 14:12
Again, I have trouble accepting how the work of one author can supplant the work of another and have the new hailed as the new 'canon', especially when you consider that

A. The original author probably has no idea that his work has been replaced
and
B. Those who approve the change and take it upon themselves to anoint the new work as 'canon' probably know very little about the 40k background.

This is what the Black Library website has to say about Alan Merrett, the author of the Horus Heresy Visions series, from which the Imperial Webway concept is drawn:


Alan Merrett

As one of Games Workshop's longest serving employees, Alan Merrett has held many important posts over the years - from being in charge of miniatures design, the production studio, the Golden Demon awards and the Black Library - to his current position overseeing the development of Games Workshop's wealth of intellectual proprety. Underpinning all these key roles has been his complete enthusiasm for the model soldier - an enthusiasm which has resulted in Alan being one of the driving forces behind Games Workshop's imagery.

For what it's worth, he also appears in the credits for the 2nd ed Rulebook, 2nd ed Codex Imperialis, 3rd ed Rulebook, and so on. It's probably fair to say that he knows more than "very little" about the 40k background, so I think your point B has very little merit.

And as for A, why would you place such a high priority on what the individual authors intend? It's GW's IP, they can hire whoever they want to develop it in whichever direction they want. Just because an original author intended it one way doesn't mean it has to be set in stone forevermore.

Having said that, of course, I'm a fan of trying to reconcile seemingly conflicting background pieces, so you don't get into messy debates over which one is more canon. As long as you remember that they're both official, but neither one of them is necessarily true, you should be OK.

ryng_sting
19-10-2007, 17:08
If fluff didn't change over time, the Ultramarines wouldn't be a first founding legion, the Emperor would have slain Horus in a bunker, and the Tyranids would still look like refugees from a 50's B movie. Things change. Deal with it.

The older stuff asks you to believe the GT was thrown together while the dying Emperor kicked his heels in stasis until they were done. The current stuff explains it was already built, why it was already built, what pulled the Emperor out the game for much of the heresy, and why he's still there.

Brother Siccarius
19-10-2007, 17:51
If fluff didn't change over time, the Ultramarines wouldn't be a first founding legion, the Emperor would have slain Horus in a bunker, and the Tyranids would still look like refugees from a 50's B movie. Things change. Deal with it.

The older stuff asks you to believe the GT was thrown together while the dying Emperor kicked his heels in stasis until they were done. The current stuff explains it was already built, why it was already built, what pulled the Emperor out the game for much of the heresy, and why he's still there.

Orks would still be a semi-feudal society, with more decidedly "kultured" individuals, Warhammer Fantasy and 40k would be one still, Squats and Zoats, ect ect.

Except for the fact that they've already gone out and stated these things just simply aren't true of the 40k universe anymore. They went a ways to avoiding the messy details in 3rd edition only to ramp up the story more and more as 4th edition got closer and closer. They rewrote a lot in the 3rd edition, got rid of some things they didn't like and had a good go at trimming the fluff trees. They then began adding on to what they had left around 4th edition, and hence you have the way it is now.

Now we can pretty much say that what was true in the Rogue Trader days isn't necessarily true anymore. A lot of things changed since the Realms of Chaos books and using them to contradict what's now the established fluff, a good three editions since it was written, is a bit non-sensical.

J-Eire8
19-10-2007, 23:27
I know that public opinion has shifted, but I think the index astartes articles are the best/only current sources of canon regarding the heresy (despite the occasional contradictions which are also part of the mythological distant heresy appeal).
In them it states the emperor gave the instructions for the golden throne to dorn (probably had them designed already for just this occasion). The whole imperial webway/golden throne ploy is just one of the many stupid ass plot developments created in those low rent lore books created to accompany the heresy CARD GAME (yet more proof GW is dumbing down 40k so all those 4th graders can catch up), but to me it is by far the worst. A bunch of people I've spoken to( 5 so far, different 40k backgrounds), as well as myself, remember hearing that the Emperor went back to terra to work on some machine/protocol for filtering and controlling the psychic population within humanity, however no one remembers where this concept came from so I cant make any arguments for it. Honestly, those books might be the worst thing GW has ever done to 40k. 60-70% of the artwork is feeble and amateur at best, and for every interesting development in the heresy lore there are 2 idiotic ones re-imagining integral and mainline events/characteristics. Seriously, there should be a boycott, I wish there were more of y'all who felt the same.

P.S. I'm not arguing the stuff I don't like isn't canon, I fully accept that it is and has been recieved as such, all to my greater sorrow.

Captain Stern
21-10-2007, 16:35
What if Brian Herbert or Kevin J. Anderson managed to get the rights to re-write the first Dune book and did so. Would the new version supplant the original as canon?

Crazy Tom
21-10-2007, 22:20
Not in the eyes of anyone who gave a damn about the original series (and thus, the only people who would debate such things in the first place)

Noserenda
21-10-2007, 22:21
What if Brian Herbert or Kevin J. Anderson managed to get the rights to re-write the first Dune book and did so. Would the new version supplant the original as canon?

And does anyone care? Canon debate makes me want to eat my own hands...

Alpharius
21-10-2007, 22:53
And does anyone care? Canon debate makes me want to eat my own hands...

Good point, and well said.

Besides, reading Alan Merritt's version of the Horus Heresy makes me want to throw up in my mouth...