View Full Version : The Primarchs and the Horus Heresy

25-09-2005, 00:38
Simple question, possibly complex answer.Do you think the traitor primarchs were irreconcilably tainted due to their scattering by the Chaos gods through the warp and their subsequent rebellion was unavoidable?

Or do you think that, in some cases, the Emperor made judgement errors (oh my God-Emperor! He's fallible!) driving otherwise loyal primarchs to the folds of Chaos?


Khaine's Messenger
25-09-2005, 00:47
Simple question, possibly complex answer.Do you think the traitor primarchs were irreconcilably tainted due to their scattering by the Chaos gods through the warp and their subsequent rebellion was unavoidable?

By the scattering itself? No.

Or do you think that, in some cases, the Emperor made judgement errors (oh my God-Emperor! He's fallible!) driving otherwise loyal primarchs to the folds of Chaos?

It was not the Emperor's fault alone, but a collaboration of effects external and internal, pride and hubris and unwillingness to accede power to "lesser" beings on top of the attentions of the Chaos Gods themselves...pride and hubris and unwillingness probably fed by the Emperor's nearly constant attentions and praise, but nevertheless, the Primarchs were not children and were men of great stature in their own right. One could trace them back to the Emperor alone, but that would be far too simple...about as simple as blaming it on Horus' fall from grace and poison tongue. And of course not all of them were driven to Chaos by the Emperor's choices...simply to Horus' side.

25-09-2005, 01:23
In particular, I'm thinking of the way the Emperor's actions drove Lorgar and Magnus away. Though this is probably highly debatable in Magnus' case, nature of chaos being corruptive and all that, the Emperor seems to be solely responsible for driving the word bearers from the light and into the dark.

I'm sure I had points about some of the other primarchs, need to go dig through my old fluff.


Khaine's Messenger
25-09-2005, 01:46
the Emperor seems to be solely responsible for driving the word bearers from the light and into the dark.

That's debateable. It's said that Lorgar simply went into a renewed and highly destructive fervor until several of his most trusted lieutenants (Kor Phaeron and Erebus), who had already twisted themselves towards the dark arts, presented Lorgar with the option of "something more worthy of his worship." And of course, there's Lorgar's raising on his homeworld and the whole self-reinforced notion of religious importance (he did, after all, establish his rulership of that world on the principle of the coming deific entity that he later identified as the Emperor).

The Emperor does have some great share of responsibility for Lorgar's fall and should have managed the situation better (and should have especially not chastised Lorgar in the manner that he did, expecting his supposed reason and logic to breach the mind of a fanatic), but he alone did not poison Lorgar to the point that he embraced Chaos.

25-09-2005, 01:54
But had he not acted the way he did, then Lorgar's unshakable faith would have remained firmly centred on the Emperor. It was only through his god rejecting him that Lorgar's mind became susceptible to outside influences.


25-09-2005, 02:02
I find this topic particularly interesting, and believe that there's a lot of room for personal interpretation as to the extent of the Emperor's culpability in the rebellion of his Primarchs. I myself firmly place a large amount of the blame with the Emperor, who IMO showed some horrible characteristics for a would-be galactic dictator. I'd advise you check out this thread if you're interested in the topic: the discussion is balanced and interesting: How was the Emperor a "Great Leader"? (http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=967&page=1&pp=10)

I'll take an extract of my own analyses of the Emperor's fault from that thread:
Magnus - Of course Magnus must take ultimate responsibility for ignoring the Emperor's commands, and the Emperor's final response to destroy Prospero was indeed justified, but the very fact that Magnus completely ignored the Emperor's commands reflects rather poorly on the Emperor himself, unable to command the respect or obedience of Magnus. Would a more charismatic, persuasive or authoratative leader have been able to turn Magnus? Perhaps, at least.

Lorgar - Again, the ultimate responsibility must lie with Lorgar (and Kor Phaedron, I suppose), but the Emperor's treatment of him was tactless in the extreme, and such a blunt rebuke had rather unfortunate effects. Could Lorgar's loyalty been kept by a competant leader? I would say so, after all he was only guilty of too much devotion. With more tact, the Emperor could easily have kept the Word Bearers' loyalty.

Night Haunter - A difficult one, whether to consider the Emperor's portrayal in the Night Lords IA article or the Lord of the Night novel. In the IA article, Night Haunter is practically irredeemable, doomed from the start by a twisted conception of justice. Tough to blame the Emperor in this version. However, in the novel; it suggests the Emperor deliberately used the Night Lords as his terror troops, and was planning to publically disavow their actions before the Heresy hit. In this case, the Emperor is at least partially culpable.

Fulgrim - Again, tough to see what the Emperor could have done to keep Fulgrim's loyalty. Hard to blame the Emperor here.

Perturabo - Certainly the Emperor was largely at fault here. Either
a) He never knew how the Iron Warriors were being callously run into the ground, and never bothered to find out, in which case he was guilty of negecting his duties as supreme commander (he only had 20 Legions! Would it have been that hard to find out?)
b) He knew how the Iron Warriors were being treated but didn't care, thus being largely responsible for their fall through his neglect and apathy.
c) He ordered them to be treated in that way.
None of the above are particulary appealling.

Alpharius - Never really bothered to take any interest in Alpharius at all. Surely you would try to ensure someone's loyalty before putting them in charge of a twentieth of your forces? Also could have congratulated Alpharius on his masterful tactics and rebuked Gulliman for being such a ********.

Angron - Emperor must take large share of blame for Angon's fall. The key failing was the blunder of teleporting him out against his wishes, thus ensuring Angron lost all respect for the Emperor's martial prowess. A massive failure of judgement which caused Angron to view the Emperor as a weak ruler unable to command the respect of his troops. Of course Angron's implants and psychology made him unstable, but had the Emperor teleported himself and his own troops down to fight alongside Angron's army, it seems likely Angron would have fought to the death to defend the Emperor during the Heresy.

Mortarion - Again, another big failure in judgement. Making someone swear loyalty to you after their own failure seems incredibly dumb, since it basically ensured Mortarion resented it and would eventually turn on the Emperor. Note it is different to cases where the Emperor would earn the respect of Primarchs through beating them at something (Russ, Vulkan), because in Mortarion's case it was a failure to beat a 3rd party. Also the fact he declined to remove Mortarion when it became clear that he resented his oaths of loyalty.

Horus - Not much to blame for the Emperor here, except the complete level of trust he placed in his Warmaster. A decent level of paranoia seems to be rather healthy in a would-be meglomanic galactic military dictator, and the Emperor seemed blissfully unaware of his Warmaster's actions (regarding the Iron Warriors in particular).

So, I would say overall a less than impressive performance from the would-be Emperor of Mankind.
The real question we have to ask is whether Horus would have been a better leader had their places been reversed.......

25-09-2005, 02:19
Thank you for that Dante. I've always been intrigued by this. It makes me think how things could have been different with just a bit more leadership/tact/diplomacy from the Emperor. For instance if just the three most in the balance legions hadn't gone over to Horus, then the entire course of the Horus Heresy would have been completely different.


Khaine's Messenger
25-09-2005, 02:25
But had he not acted the way he did, then Lorgar's unshakable faith would have remained firmly centred on the Emperor.

This is perhaps true. But this perhaps makes the Emperor a root of Lorgar's problems, and a major cause, but not the sole cause. The Emperor's rebuff could have turned Lorgar to even higher levels of fanaticism or extreme worship of those things the Emperor laid before him as the governing principles of the new regime...he could have even communed with his brother Primarchs, who the Emperor cited as agreeing with Lorgar that their cause was holy, but who did not subordinate their duty to the cause of conversion over conquest. Although in typical fashion, the Emperor seemed to be playing favorites by even doing so, and further twisted Lorgar's opinions...emphasizing again the Emperor's fallibility.

It was only through his god rejecting him that Lorgar's mind became susceptible to outside influences.

And Lorgar's fanaticism predisposed him towards reacting negatively towards that rebuke. Thus his own upbringing becomes a factor. The Emperor, while a major factor in Lorgar's fall, is still not the sole factor.

EDIT--I agree with a lot of Dante's points, as well.

Rabid Bunny 666
25-09-2005, 02:32
the reasons why Lorgar turned was simple, he was preaching to the populaces of the planets, which slowed his crusade down, the emperor told Lorgar that his mission was to re unite humanity, not to spread faith (which, cruelly ironic, the imperium is now focalised round) which crushed Lorgars upbringing and beliefs, his Lieutennants, Kor Phaeron and the other one offered Lorgar the choice of other deities who would freely accept his worship, and he wanted revenge against the perfectness of the Ultramarines

25-09-2005, 02:38
We know that, the question is to what extent the Emperor's mismanagement contributed to the falls of the Primarchs, here Lorgar. Or to put it another way, to what extent the Emperor's actions could have, with reasonable forseeability, lead to those falls. In Lorgar's case, it seems to me that the Emperor's supreme lack of tact, whilst to some extent understandable, nevertheless was a big mistake and demonstrates poor 'people skills' for a would-be galactic dictator.

25-09-2005, 03:19
@ DantesInferno

Hmmm...I can see what you mean in some aspects and in others I don't.

Magnus the Red:

He landed on a planet populated by people with insatiable curiosity and whom are adept at studying sorcery. He would have been exposed to its power his whole life. The whole Freudian aspect comes into this. To be told that sorcery, something that he grew up with his whole life, was wrong or at least dangerous, would have been akin to talking to a blank wall.
I'm sure that Magnus after dealing with the Council of Nikaea would have just felt that had they (Emperor, other Primarchs, Inquisitors) witnessed its usage as much as he had (again showing his arrogance, as the Emperor is the strongest psyker ever born in the 40k universe) they'd see the 'light' so to speak.
Whether the Emperor was charismatic enough or not (he must have been charismatic, to ensure such loyalty from trillions of humans, people that he conquered, to convince the AM that he was the Omnissiah etc) wouldn't have much to do with it. Magnus was too stubborn and too set in his ways to listen to anyone. A more authoritative leader would not have had more effect, as Magnus would have simply gone on about his work far more secretly and still have been corrupted as a result.
Ultimately as you said, it came down to the choice that Magnus made. He made the choice to defy the Emperor's orders on a subject that the Emperor knew more about than any other. Unrestrained, open valved sorcery was pure danger. Only the refinement of the psychic potential of the human race would stop Humanity degenerating into a Chaos mess of mutants and possessees.


Lorgar's choice was to continue fighting for the Emperor the same way he had before, just with less converting and more killing. Lorgar moved his Legion onwards with renowned speed, which made the Emperor believe his lesson was learned.
To an extent Lorgar's lesson was learned. He was still convinced of the Emperor's deification (his entire life had been geared towards welcoming the Emperor through an obscure Prophecy)
It was Erebus and Kor Phaeron who changed Lorgar's loyalties by twisting what the Prophecy of Colchis really meant. Instead of the deity that would unite Mankind (or as the Prophecy said, uniting Colchis) being the Emperor, it was the Chaos Gods.
It wasn't the Emperor's fault. In order to breach the cold hard unchanging mind of a fanatic, you have to be blunt, aggressive and to the point. Calmly explaining something doesn't pierce the fog. The only way he could convince Lorgar otherwise was asserting his authority as Lorgar's 'God'
It was Lorgar that corrupted himself I believe, far from the Emperor's fault.

Night Haunter:
It seems to me that Night Haunter was doomed from the start. Rather than it being the planet that he grew up on and the Emperor's fault solely, it had probably more to do with his inherent personality.
Night Haunter was dark, twisted, depressed, showed traces of schizophrenia and malnourished most of his childhood (you can't get big and strong eating just rats and dogs and cats every couple of nights) This alone breeds a sense of distrust.
Then when you factor in the whole way he went about conquering his planet: terror raids, usurping the throne etc, you can see that he disliked authority, and never grew up with a constructive and correct sense of moral values and ethics.
To me it seems as if it was these traits that made him rebel. His incredible sense of distrust distanced Konrad from the Emperor and other Primarchs (Night Haunters only real ally and comrade was Fulgrim). Night Haunter was doomed from the start.


In response to your question "How hard is it to keep contact with only 20 Legions?" the answer is very.
The Emperor ruled a domain of a million planets. The sheer size is unbelievable and completely unfathomable by the human mind. Add to this the fact that the only way of fast communication was incredibly unreliable (Astropathic telepathy) and it is not hard to understand how hard it became for the Emperor, Malcador and even Horus (when he was loyal) to keep contact in any real detail. Because of the very nature of the Space Marines, as soon as an Astropathic message is sent off, the chances are they'll move off in a completely opposite direction.
The Emperor would share some of the blame. Every time the Council of Primarchs and Emperor and Malcador (which they'd have to have in order to keep any sense of real fealty and unity) the Emperor would have had ample time and oppurtunity to investigate any problems.
But this also relates to the Primarch Perturabo's personality as well. His IA states that he grew up revelling in his own superiority. So there is a good chance that whenever Perturabo met with the Emperor, Perturabo was too arrogant to admit to the Emperor "we need help" or "we need more men".
If we use those conclusions, then it is clear that Perturabo was doomed to rebel as well. If he believed he was better than the rest through sheer arrogance, there is obviously a huge chance he won't take to being ordered by the Emperor. And since the Iron Warriors did their own thing in the Heresy, for the most part (Tallarn for example), and continue to do so now, only committing to the Black Crusades out of a common cause, no real alliance, it is still evident that Perturabo has as high a level of arrogance, if not higher than the Heresy.


From the Index Astartes article, it becomes clear that Horus was keeping Alpharius for himself and had him as a protege and favourite the same way Horus was a protege and favoured son to the Emperor. The Emperor can't be at fault to a huge degree, because if the Emperor was on Terra, and Horus was crusading around the galaxy with Alpharius, it becomes impossible to build a personal relationship with him.
The Emperor could have commented on the excellence of Alpharius' skills and tactics, as they were just as efficient as Guiliman'. But as I said, it would have been hard to even know that Alpharius was operating the way he was. Horus and/or Alpharius could have just reported their victories as simply 'we won' instead of saying 'we won by guerilla warfare tactics, as opposed to Guilimans stand up and fight tactics'. So if the Emperor had any idea that Alpharius was using unorthodox tactics and causing anxiety with Guiliman it would have been minimal, dismissing it simply as 'sibling rivalry'.
Also, The Emperor trusted Horus to such a huge degree, that he may not have deemed it completely necessary to get to know Alpharius in a personal way so urgently. He would have believed that Horus would have instilled loyalty in Alpharius to the Imperium (which he did, just not to the Emperor as well)
Therefore, I believe that it wasn't the Emperor's fault here, or if so to a minimalist degree. It was down to the circumstances of which Alpharius was found and operated during the Crusade.


Allowing the Primarch's friends to die in plain sight, a good way to earn trust is not. However see it through the eyes of the Emperor. Angron is standing at the head of a rebellion. A rebellion to the authority of the planet. Angron, a Primarch, is about to be slaughtered as even he can not stand up to thousands of soldiers at one time.
The Emperor would have to have had weighed up his options. Help the rebels in a hopeless battle that would do no more than upset the majority of the populace (thus making that planet far more hard to annex into the Imperium) or let the minority be defeated and take Angron (a Primarch who took presumably hundreds of years to conceptualise and create) away to lead his armies that would liberate not just this planet, but hundreds more like it.
Also as you have noted, Angron's physiological and psychological differences to the rest of the Primarchs would have made him far more susceptible to being subverted. He was raised on a steady diet of martial honour, never back away from a challenge and rebelling against authority. All Horus had to do was appeal to this psychological diet (which he did, as the IA states) and the increased aggression that his neural implants granted him would have fuelled the aggression and there we go: instant siding with Horus, who represented more of his upbringing and ideals than the Emperor did.
To this extent, the Emperor was more involved with his falling, but only through the question of "Majority over the minority?" and failings of his that he didn't recognise and/or consider important (e.g. passive values of war unlike Angrons)

more to come...

25-09-2005, 03:20
Mortarion, like Vulkan, was defeated by the Emperor in a challenge. Mortarion challenged the Emperor that he could defeat the Overlords without his help. Vulka challenged the Emperor that he could bring back the biggest Salamander carcass.
Unlike Mortarion, who had been praised all his life and not lived the practical way that a blacksmith lives (e.g. Vulkan), resented his failure more than he did the Emperor. While Vulklan accepted that he was beaten and understood that to continue on would invite unwanted discord, Mortarion still thoroughly believed that he could have done it. The Emperor no more showed Mortarion up as he did Vulkan by saving his life.
Mortarion was also one of the Primarch's seconded to Horus. Horus would have nurtured this failure with ideas like "Look how far you got without the equipment the Emperor did!" and other arrogant ideals. This would have simply turned the disappointment at Mortarion's failure, into a grudge, then eventually arrogance "I'm stronger then the Emperor because I didn't need fancy power armour equipment to climb up the mountain!".
In this way I don't see the Emperor as the main problem. Once again it was inbred personality, childhood and peer pressure and manipulation that was the problem.


Heres the grandiose question: Would Horus have turned against the Emperor if the Emperor had continued to accompany him throughout his Crusades?
In my opinion, probably not. But in doing so, the Emperor leadership on Terra, which would have been non-existant due to crusading, would have given rise to bigger problems such as the complete and utter degradation of the administrating system.
It was necessary for the Emperor to return to Terra, to consolidate his rule. He had shown his presence enough. He had found most of the Primarchs himself (barring Alpharius) and had conquered innumerable planets at the head.
Horus was a single child for a while. As such he and the Emperor would have developed a magnificent relationship. A single father and single son often have incredibly trusting relationships, and I think that the Emperor and Horus' was no different. Certainly paranoia is good in a galactic leader, and obviously the Emperor showed this (e.g. Magnus) but there are some times when it becomes redundant and useless.
But like a lot of single children, Horus was arrogant and grandiose in his own self-importance. A lot of the other Primarchs who raised themselves or were unnecessarily praised leaders were also arrogant and/or rebelled (Perturabo/Night Haunter/Lorgar/Guiliman) and Horus was no different.
The Emperor was at fault certainly, but definately not to a huge active degree. Rather it was Horus' own temptations and arrogance that made him rebel.

25-09-2005, 11:54
It must be pointed out that Magnus was still loyal to the Emperor up until his homeworld was razed by the Space Wolves who were tasked with its destruction by the Emperor. You can debate the inherent evils of sorcery all you want, but the fact remains he was loyal to the Emperor until he was forced from his side by the Emperor's betrayal.

Lorgar did not learn his lesson and was not still convinced of the Emperor's Deification. After his rebuke, he went into a sulk on his battleship with the entirety of his legion also shipboard waiting for him to emerge, it was during this time that his advisors corrupted him.

I also disagree with you on Horus. He is one of the ones about whom the Emperor couln't really have done much. Sure, Horus was starting to view him as a distant bereaucrat, but given time they would have been reunited, either with Horus returning to Terra after the conquests, or the Emperor returning to the front after ensuring a firm foundation for the Imperial Government.


Master Fulgrim
26-09-2005, 18:47
I second Nazguires post.

But whats about me ( ;) )? How was the primarch of the "Emperors Children" corrupted?


Inquisitor Maul
26-09-2005, 20:08
Well, Fulgrim simply tried to talk Horus out of the Heresy and was corrupted in the process. Damn, Horus must have been very charismatic to turn Fulgrim by simply talking :eek:

Konrad_Curze II
26-09-2005, 20:22
Konrad's rebellion wasnt entirely the emperors doing, but he certainly helped. Konrad through his visions of the future was aware of what the emperor was planning to do to him though that could have been avoided if the emperor had more of an understanding of the necessity of konrads position. that he needed to get to the top the way he did because there was no other way in that society. and the emperor did try to help konrad by bringing him to "socialise" with the other primarchs but the problem with that arose due to a. konrad feeling withdrawn from the group, and b. the primarchs he met were people like rogal dorn who though they were better than him and most probably told him so (didnt help dorn when he got slapped around by konrad did it :D) though the way in which the emperor took konrad away was poorly executed in a sense that he sort of diminished konrad by treating him not as a mighty hero like a primarch should be but as more of a lost child (which is sort of true in a way that he was the emperors child and he was lost) and talked in a manorism that you would do a small child, which konrad didnt particularly take kindly. also the fact he sided with fulgrim who was siding with horus anyway. konrad didnt really go to chaos he went against the emperor but used very sadistic tactics when in battle

27-09-2005, 01:00
Nazguire makes some very good points, but I'd just like to again draw the distinction between the Primarchs' responsibility for their turn and the Emperor's. For instance, Mortarion's fall was bred from and caused by his own resentment. However, the Emperor should be held accountable for firstly causing the resentment in the first place, and then failing to remove Mortarion when the resentment became apparent. Perturabo should have brought his concerns to the Emperor, but likewise the Emperor should have taken the responsibility to find out how his Legions were being run.

I see the Emperor's chief failing as lacking the necessary paranoia to be an effective galactic military dictator. Allowing someone to take complete, unrestricted access to your armed forces, no matter how trustworthy they may appear, just seems suicidal. Whether or not his trust was misplaced is also irrelevant (though it of course was), the issue is whether the Emperor's complete trust was evidence of capable leadership. Likewise I find it amazing that the Emperor did not have his own mechanisms for getting intelligence from each of his legions. Maybe giving each Primarch a bodyguard of Custodes would have alerted the Emperor to the fact that he managed to lose the support of half(!?!) his armed forces. He placed Alpharius in charge of 1/20th of his forces despite knowing nothing about him or his allegiances. He had no knowledge of how the Iron Warriors were being treated or of Perturabo's resentment (unless of course he was responsible for the callous disregard for the IW). To be an effective galactic ruler, I would expect a much higher level of micromanagement, rather than the laissez-faire attitude the Emperor seems to have taken.

Master Fulgrim
27-09-2005, 10:15
Micromanagement at a galactic scale... :D

Well, the focus in the Space Marine-backround is clearly at the Emperors role as military leader, but in fact the Emperor had also a lot of civilian administrative work to do.

And he already knew it before. So he created the primarches as military leaders, to have his hands free for his administrative tasks. Otherwise he might have lead his legions alone.

And i think, thats one of the points, the later traitorprimarches didnt understand, so they were unable to split between their role as military commanders and their role as sons.
And that is the reason, why they were so upset, when the emperor demanded results.

Also they were very arrogant too. Sure, Dorn and Gulliman showed also a quite arrogant behaviour, but unlike their traitorous brothers they did their job and didnt expect, that the emperor will help them with every little problem. In fact you can even call the behaviour of the traitorprimarches a little bit childish: How should the emperor know of the problems of a legion, that is millions of lightyears away?

But this brings me to another point, that i didnt read very often in this discussion: The role of Chaos. I dont think, that the turning of the later Chaoslegions is just a result of psychology, because we are talking about grown men here and not of small childs, who react very easy in a radical way. This men had goals, friendships and views, that wont turn them to that way, because of a few smaller problems. So i suppose, that they were "brainwashed" by wrong friends, fake counselours and twisted allies, who also blew up such key-sentences and broke connections to the emperor. Or to say it in another way: Chaos did it.


27-09-2005, 11:02
OK, I'll clarify a bit. Obviously it would be impossible for the Emperor to have totally perfect focus on both the administrative (or political) and military aspects of running a galatic government, but surely there would be an efficient and practical middle ground where the Emperor would keep an eye on his military commanders, direct general operations, but also have the other eye on the running of a government.

I find it almost incomprehensible that the Emperor would initiate a set up where the Primarchs were entrusted entirely with the military operations of his Empire, yet the Emperor received none of his own intelligence on their movements, or their intentions. For that matter, the Emperor doesn't actually seem to have set up an internal intelligence gathing organisation at all, which I would see as essential for a large scale dictatorship.

And finally, I wouldn't read too much into the involvement of the Chaos Gods in the Heresy. Most of the Primarchs joined Horus' side completely independently of Chaos influence, at least of the 'whisperings of the Gods' type (Mortarion, Angron, Night Haunter, Alpharius, Perturabo). The way I see it, the Heresy was bascially a political/personal rebellion, with Chaos playing a lesser role in 'brainwashing' people than you would expect. Basically, the fact was that the various legions were fighting for Horus as the alternative Emperor of Mankind, not really for the Chaos Gods directly (intitally, anyway).

EDIT: Oh, and for Nazguire, I'd just like to defend Horus a bit if I may. It's very easy to criticise him for arrogance and ingratitude, but perhaps rebellion was the only morally acceptable course of action for him. After all, all evidence indicates that many of the Primarchs, perhaps including Horus himself, were acting in what they thought were Humanity's best interests. If Horus had first-hand seen all the examples of the Emperor's inabilities to act as a capable galactic dictator, perhaps he was right in thinking Humanity needed a better leader to survive as a galactic Empire. I think it is beyond question that Horus would have made a better Emperor if the postions of the two had been swapped - his innate understanding for power and psychology seems lightyears ahead of the Emperor's, and its hard to see him alienating so many of the Primarchs so quickly. Moreover, the Emperor's realm was already starting to splinter - Night Haunter and his legion had basically gone renegade, the Word Bearers were secretly worshipping Chaos, the Thousand Sons were ignoring the Emperor's commands and strolling down the path of sorcery towards Tzeentch worship. Not to mention the other three legions just itching to throw off their oaths of allegiance to the Emperor (Iron Warriors, Death Guard, World Eaters). Perhaps a quick successful rebellion, and the formation of a new order under a more capable leader as opposed to a slow drawn-out implosion of the Emperor's realm offered Humanity its best chances. Just thinking ol' Horus can get a bit of a bad rep when he may have been doing all he could to ensure Humanity's survival.

27-09-2005, 20:22
Simple question, possibly complex answer.Do you think the traitor primarchs were irreconcilably tainted due to their scattering by the Chaos gods through the warp and their subsequent rebellion was unavoidable?

Or do you think that, in some cases, the Emperor made judgement errors (oh my God-Emperor! He's fallible!) driving otherwise loyal primarchs to the folds of Chaos?


Magnus the Red was self-evidently tampered with from the get-go, and the old fluff said so outright. Tzeentch took care to insert into his foetal form an insatiable curiosity for arcane arts and learning, and left him a mutant. But the others - except, possibly, Sanguinius - no.

I don't think the turn of about half the traitors was inevitable. My belief is that Angron, Perturabo, Lorgar and Night Haunter and their legions, by virtue of their methods and mindset, were always going to rebel at some point. But the others might not have. Chaos had to go to great lengths to snare Horus, setting into motion the chain of events on Davin; had they failed, it all might have come to nothing. From then on, the other legions were manipulated by the man they looked up to the most out of comradeship: no one would question his edicts. Horus knew how to play on people's feelings to elicit a response, and especially those legions that formed his vanguard.

Don't underestimate the role of simple geopgraphy in all this: had the White Scars been part of Horus's vanguard, instead of the Alpha Legion for instance, then the story might have been different. The legions who remained loyal were also those that tended to be part of the campaigns physically closest to the Emperor. And - let's be honest - the Emperor didn't get everything right. A more direct eye there, a little information there might have made all the difference.

And, by the way, wow does a man as intelligent and wise as the Emperor visit the Night Lords' home-world and come away perfectly satisfied with what he sees?!

Konrad_Curze II
02-10-2005, 20:03
And, by the way, wow does a man as intelligent and wise as the Emperor visit the Night Lords' home-world and come away perfectly satisfied with what he sees?!

probably because he couldnt see anything with it being so bloody dark!

02-10-2005, 20:59
Touche. :)

03-10-2005, 04:32
Well, Fulgrim simply tried to talk Horus out of the Heresy and was corrupted in the process. Damn, Horus must have been very charismatic to turn Fulgrim by simply talking :eek:

Horus didn't simply just talk to Fulgrim and corrupt him. He implanted a slither of a daemon inside Fulgrims head that perverted his ideals. Well that was the old background.

Nowadays, there always was a daemon inside Fulgrim, just was latent until Horus brought it to the fore unwittingly.