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View Full Version : Horus heresy novels: nagging questions



Vandur Last
13-04-2008, 01:25
Hi all im reading the HH novels and am currently up to the second book.
Already there are a few things that seem a little strange to me, which i was hoping someone might be able to explain.

SPOLIERS

1) If the Crusaders/Imperium doesnt believe in Chaos and Daemons... then how do they explain how the Primarchs were scattered across the Galaxy?

2) If these is no such thing as Chaos are we to believe that for 200 years there have been almost no incidents of ships being lost in the immaterium or returning to real-space warped and mutated etc?

3) If these is no Chaos, are we to believe that the Crusade travelled across the entire Galaxy and not on one single planet did they come across any Beastmen, Daomon cults or Chaos Sorcerors? One single casting of Tzeench's Flames or gibbering Bloodletter would have called the entire Imperiums belief in Aethism into question. So is it reasonable that while re-conquering 1 million worlds, they didnt come across a single lvl1 psyker?

4) This last one is alot less pressing but i thought id throw it in there anyway.

The Imperium reviles and looks down upon those who believe in mysticism and religon. It seems that even the Adeptus Mechanicus is more of a secular organisation than a cult. Why, then, do they build gigantic Titans in shape of men? In 40K the idea is that they are epic monuments to the glory of the Emperors divine wrath and power. How do you justify the vast costs in resources and logistic support for these impractical war machines?

Kaoslord
13-04-2008, 02:07
1. They don't, really. They just seem to accept that forces hostile to the Emperor were responsible.

2. They accept the existance of hostile warp entities, and that these entities can be pretty powerful. Horus knew what happened in the Whisperheads was the result of the warp. They just don't acknowledge that there may be an overarching malign intellect controlling them. This is all discussed in Horus Rising

3. They came accross plenty of abhumans, demon worshippers, and aliens who knew about the warp. They just "knew" that these people were wrong about the warp containing gods. Psykers are known and stratergies for their eradication are in play - look at the Silent Sisterhood in Flight of the Eisenstein. The Emperor banned their use in the Council of Nikea, which is mentioned several times in that book.

4. There's some hokey justification in the original AdMech background that bipedal locomotion is most useful on Mars, due to terrain. Ultimately, the system was proven to work on 90% of the worlds of the Great Crusade, and proved to be quite a demoralising factor for the enemy to see a two hundred foot goliath with gigantic cannons on it's arms striding towards them. Ultimately, it was a Gork Complex that lead to them being worshipped - Orks build Gargants and they will at some point start worshipping them as an embodiment of their gods.

CELS
13-04-2008, 03:25
I think Kaoslord answers question 2, 3 and 4 very well. Also, they came across plenty of psykers during the Great Crusade, some of which may have been worshipping chaos. However, they still just saw them as psykers who were misguided and worshipping fictional gods that did not exist. And of course, the existence of psykers was far from new to the Imperium - psykers began appearing in the Age of Technology all over the galaxy, and by the time of the Great Crusade, there was nothing new about them. In fact, the Imperium already had Astropaths during the Great Crusade, I believe.

As to question 1, I have a different answer.

1) The Imperium didn't pretend the warp didn't exist. Pretty much everyone in the Imperium was aware of the warp and thus were aware of anomalies caused by the warp. Ships getting delayed, lost, misplaced - all that was common knowledge by now. Warp rifts had probably also been encountered, and warp storms were common in the Age of Strife and thus probably also common knowledge. The disappearance of the Primarchs was thus probably explained as a random warp anomaly, an inexplicable warp rift or something like that. A natural phenomenon without the involvement of gods, angels or daemons. (As to whether the Emperor and his most trusted allies held this opinion? Probably not.)

Damage,Inc.
13-04-2008, 05:51
Hi all im reading the HH novels and am currently up to the second book.
Already there are a few things that seem a little strange to me, which i was hoping someone might be able to explain.

SPOLIERS

1) If the Crusaders/Imperium doesnt believe in Chaos and Daemons... then how do they explain how the Primarchs were scattered across the Galaxy?

2) If these is no such thing as Chaos are we to believe that for 200 years there have been almost no incidents of ships being lost in the immaterium or returning to real-space warped and mutated etc?

3) If these is no Chaos, are we to believe that the Crusade travelled across the entire Galaxy and not on one single planet did they come across any Beastmen, Daomon cults or Chaos Sorcerors? One single casting of Tzeench's Flames or gibbering Bloodletter would have called the entire Imperiums belief in Aethism into question. So is it reasonable that while re-conquering 1 million worlds, they didnt come across a single lvl1 psyker?

4) This last one is alot less pressing but i thought id throw it in there anyway.

The Imperium reviles and looks down upon those who believe in mysticism and religon. It seems that even the Adeptus Mechanicus is more of a secular organisation than a cult. Why, then, do they build gigantic Titans in shape of men? In 40K the idea is that they are epic monuments to the glory of the Emperors divine wrath and power. How do you justify the vast costs in resources and logistic support for these impractical war machines?

Well... back in the day (oh god, I am going to dig up some damn old fluff here) Titans were built during the latter days of the DAoT, or at least the mighty Warlords were. Adeptus Titanicus datasheets on the Warlord titans described the design as dating back that far, and in fact were used during the Final War (which I assume must have been agains the Iron Men and the terrbile scourgings that prequaled the Age of Strife. So therefore, the AdMech didn't make the titan pattern to begin with, since they didn't exist back then, and are still producing titans today based around the STC from that age and from patterns that worked. The AdMech don't seem to experiment with things like giant plasma reactors much these days, at least not since Ganymede was destroyed by Warp experiments... but that is yet more ancient and undeveloped fluff.

Given the the Imperial Guard are based somewhere between WWI and WWII in terms of technology and organization I would have to say that the Titans were GW's version of land battleships from that era.

As for Chaos, I imagine that the birth of Slaanesh that pushed away the warp storms and let the Emperor start the Great Crusade may have caused a general pause in Chaos incursions into real space. I would guess that the resources needed to moved into real space would be soaked up by the other three powers attempting to keep a new competator from getting too powerful. Also, I imagine that they were pretty surprised, just like the Eldar that caused it. Imagine one day Khorne is happily sending forth warbands to terrorize small planets somewhere, then gets a giant "WTF?! Nurg, Tzttench, you guys hear that?"

nightgant98c
13-04-2008, 12:12
As far as psykers are concerned, they knew very well about them. The Emperor is a psyker, so was Magnus and a large number of the Thousand Sons.

Damage,Inc.
13-04-2008, 19:18
As far as psykers are concerned, they knew very well about them. The Emperor is a psyker, so was Magnus and a large number of the Thousand Sons.

Yes the did know about them. The psykers that became warp conduits happened at the beginning of the Age of Strife. The Primarchs and Emperor come much later. Even in the HH novels it is mentioned that there are psykers on Terra, but this is after the warp storms and the fall of the old Human empire from the DAoT. It is also hinted at that one of the things the Emperor did was to purge the psykers on Terra after the Unification War.

ryng_sting
13-04-2008, 21:23
Because the original Titans were designed that way, and the AM has reproduced them ever since.

Chaos activity was typically explained away as the work of either deluded fanatics, xenos races, or rogue psykers. This served a dual purpose: to cover up the truth about Chaos, and to strengthen the Imperium's anti-religion/psyker/xenos policies.

This, of course, flavours the delicious irony of the 31st millenium. The Emperor, the man who exalted knowledge and reason, and yet kept his 'sons', the Primarchs, in ignorance. The man who had direct knowledge of the Chaos gods, and yet denied the truth of their existence. So far as we know, only Horus received a quasi-explanation from the Emperor about daemons- they're just more xenos filth, borne of the warp. This is not exactly a lie. But neither is it the whole truth, and Horus's discovery of same is vital to his fall from grace. You might argue that the gulf between the Emperor and Horus's accounts of Chaos is as ultimately responsible for the HH as anything the Word Bearers did.

Feor
13-04-2008, 21:39
The Emperor had explained to several of his sons the nature of the Warp. Magnus, being a psyker of impressive power, got the most detailed explanations, but all of them seemed to have gotten a basic crash course. Just the Emperor maintained that the Chaos Gods were not, in fact, gods. Just very powerful Xenos from the warp. The only Primarch that ever seemed truly surprised by the fact that there were things in the Warp was the Lion in Descent of Angels. Alpharius seems deeply knowledgable about chaos in Legion, Fulgrim isn't too quick to recognize Chaos, but he knows what it is once he figures it out. Horus recognizes Warp entities, and in Collected Visions, when Sanguinius goes to the Trap Horus sent him to before the Siege of Terra he seemed to recognize the Khornate Daemons for what they were.

Damage,Inc.
14-04-2008, 09:14
This, of course, flavours the delicious irony of the 31st millenium. The Emperor, the man who exalted knowledge and reason, and yet kept his 'sons', the Primarchs, in ignorance. The man who had direct knowledge of the Chaos gods, and yet denied the truth of their existence.

Irony was always a central plot element of the 40K universe. Back then 3rd ed Chaos codex was released Andy Chambers and Jervis Johnson admitted in a WD interview that the Eternal Emperor of Man kind <i>was</i> dead and that the Space Marines, who were no longer human due to their training, indoctrination, and implants, were worshipping him as a god. This was during the time when Mankind was still seen as the "on the brink" race between evolving into the galaxy's major power and being extinguished forever. Ironically the one force set to preserve Humanity, the Space Marines, were no longer human themselves and very much seperated from the human understanding of life.


The Emperor had explained to several of his sons the nature of the Warp. Magnus, being a psyker of impressive power, got the most detailed explanations, but all of them seemed to have gotten a basic crash course.

I imagine that was like a father telling his son about sex after catching him masturbating. "Look, son... there's something I've been meaning to tell you about and I think it's about time..."