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AlmightyNocturnus
04-08-2008, 05:21
I was inspired after reading different interpretations of the end of "Descent of Angels" to write a similar post about "Legion" (I finished them both last month).

STOP RIGHT HERE!!! (If you don`t want spoilers)

The end of "Legion" is perhaps the most vague of all the Horus Hersy books, but instead of the usual "Are the Alpha Legion actually siding with Emperor or Horus?" question, I want to ask this one:

"Why did the Alpha Legion allow the Cabal to continue to live at the end of the book?" :wtf:

The Alpha Legion learned that a powerful, interspecies organization was charting and even guiding humanity. They obviously believed that the Cabal was for real since they took the visions displayed to them quite seriously. Then how could they, either as defenders of mankind, or as agents of Horus, allow for the Cabal`s continued existence? I kept waiting for them to just gun down the lot of them after seeing the visions of the future on the Cabal ship.

Almighty Nocturnus

Pika_power
04-08-2008, 05:45
Because they were, in essence, followers of the Cabal. They shared the same aim. The Cabal wanted humanity gone, as did the Alpha Legion (Thanks to the Cabal).

Why not keep them alive? They thought humanity was doomed in a couple of hundred years, and if something went wrong, the Cabal could help.

AlmightyNocturnus
04-08-2008, 06:06
Interesting interpretation and one I had not though of before: The Alpha Legion fights neither for Horus nor the Emperor, but for the Cabal?!? That would explain why they didn`t gun them down.

I think any other legion would not "suffer the alien to live" and taken advantage of such a gathering to exterminate and obvious menace to mankind. The first bolter shell would have gone through the Eldar`s head probably.

Almighty Nocturnus

Eetion
04-08-2008, 08:41
Why let them live, when they can provide you visions of the future... what kind of tactical insight are you wasting by doing that.

Mechanicus
04-08-2008, 09:09
My thoughts? They couldn't destroy them - these are highly psychic aliens who more than have the combined psychic power to destroy them. Think: If they refused, what would the Cabal do? They couldn't just let them go - that would be to reveal their presence. They'd have to destroy them. So, to make it look like the Alpha Legion were going to follow them, they leave agreeing to their proposition, when instead they do what they always do: play both sides to end up with the best deal for them, maintaining the flaws of humanity rather than trying to destroy them or leave them to the Emperor's utopian claptrap. Ostensibly; they side with Horus, but have innumerable spies on the Emperor's side. Chaos takes their legion as its own (as it always does when people surrender to it) and will never let go. But the Alpha Legion's goal is still that of the ultimate Istvaanian - strengthen the Imperium through fire and destruction.

Eetion
04-08-2008, 09:37
They coukld destroy them... after all they ahd them surrounded and ambushed, with the Primarchs... Just let rip with Heavy Bolters they had placed and they win.

Mechanicus
04-08-2008, 10:01
We are talking about psychic aliens here, supposedly of and beyond the magnitude of the Emperor. If they didn't have offensive and defensive psychic powers to rival that of Alpha+ psykers (who are a bloody terror to take down, even for Astartes), I would be very amazed. :)

Phoenix Blaze
04-08-2008, 10:16
I don't think they'd be beyond the Emperor. Maybe as a collective, but not a single one would've been as powerful.

I think Alpharius stayed his hand as, of all the Primarch's, he'd be the most willing to use the help of a Xenos faction to further his own goals. Also, when a Legion turns from the Emperor, are they going to retain their "suffer not the alien to live" practice? They may want to kill the aliens for the sake of killing, but not in the same blind way loyalist Astartes do.

Brother Loki
04-08-2008, 10:18
They are the ultimate pragmatists. They would see the Cabal as a resource, not to be wasted, and wouldn't be blinded by anti-alien Imperial dogma.

Hrw-Amen
04-08-2008, 12:09
I'm not sure that the whole 'suffer not the alien to live,' thing was so much of an issue in the crusade days. There seams to be quite a few examples, even in the current time line for that matter, of alien races that are for one reason or another suffered to live and not really bothered with.

For example the Dark Angels for all the anti-non human talk hang around with those little Watcher Guys.

Unless there is really some pressing need or they attack humans it seams that the Eldar are left alone. (I know there are exceptions but as a general rule it is just as likely to find them fighting along side humanity all beit for their own ends.)

Also in the HH novels there was talk of alien races being allowed to live as 'vassel' species.

I don't know but I suspect a lot of the anti alien stuff comes from the Inquisition rather than from any particular edict of the Emperor. So long as they do not get in the way of humanities expansion, existence and overall hold on the galaxy that is.

Phoenix Blaze
04-08-2008, 14:37
True, it's more in 40K than 30K that the Imperium is totally paranoid and chooses to shoot first, but in Horus Rising, a point is made that Horus went to great lengths to make peace with the Interex rather than wipe them out. Look at Abaddon in that scene, he's all for killing them due to their relations with Xenos.

Archaon
04-08-2008, 14:51
Remember that small snippet where Konig thinks about the Emperor and that he was the only human fit to become a member of the inner circle.

The Emperor was *******' powerful and in this room was the entire inner circle of the Cabal.
Does anyone believe that even Twin Primarchs and a few Marines could stand up to them? They'd probably have their mind burned out in a few milliseconds.

Phoenix Blaze
04-08-2008, 15:24
True, I think the Cabal could've done away with the forces present. Through reading Battle for the Abyss and seeing what Mhotep was capable of, I'd imagine the Cabal could mind **** them into eternity.

But I still don't think that individually the members are stronger than the Emperor. He's supposedly the most powerful psyker ever. Hell, in 40K he holds back the four Gods of Chaos by himself and he's not even fully within the Warp!

Brother Loki
04-08-2008, 15:36
The Great Crusade was largely about exterminating all alien civilisations for goodness sake! Look at the reaction to groups like the Diasporex and the Interex, who are integrated with alien races. They are seen by the majority of the crusading forces as too polluted by alien influence to be allowed to live. Horus shocks everyone because he is willing to talk to the Interex, instead of conquering and/or exterminating them.

I see the Alpha legion as likely to take a less dogmatic view than the norm, and behave in a more pragmatic manner.

Hrw-Amen
04-08-2008, 16:16
I really don't see the crusade as being primarily about extermination. I see it more about domination. True if an alien race stands against the Imperium then it gets crushed, just the same as a errant human world. It maybe that humans mingled with and in league with aliens are more likely to resist simply becuase they have another view point as well as a human one. However if an alien race is no threat or is compliant and willing to submit then I can't see that the Emperor would have had a problem with that.

Brother Loki
04-08-2008, 16:32
We don't really know either way I guess, since there's been no mention of allowing aliens to live in peace in the HH books so far. I'd always seen the Crusade's view of Humanity's manifest destiny as inherently xenophobic though.

heretics bane
04-08-2008, 17:04
These where the very creations of the old ones themselves they would be extremly powerful and remember the emporer is thousands of souls as one body unlike the chabals.


They'd probably have their mind burned out in a few milliseconds.

If even they would have predicted thhaat they would have and predicted that they though about them predicting them aattacking them:D

Rico
04-08-2008, 23:08
My take on the ending was that it felt almost like an episode of Heroes. The main charecter(s) (Alpharius and Omegon) experiences cognitive dissonance in terms of multiple fudemental beliefs that clash should both be applied. In this case the Alpha's belief and loyalty to the Emperor and an acceptance of the Cabel's description of the concequences of a loyalist victory in the inevitable civil war (I am assuming the Alpha's accept this inevitablity of a civil war and the respective consequences).

Similar to the Tau mantra of 'The Greater Good', is it not too far fetched to believe that the Alpha Legion acts in such a way as to 'save' humanity's soul and the Galaxy by choosing the 'lesser' of two evils in order to fulfil a prefered outcome. By siding, eventually, with Horus, the Alpha Legion merely look to put in to action the Cabel's vision of events.

What is of interest to me is whether the Alphas remained pure to this belief of saving humanity - does it still exist in the current 40k universe or are they trully corrupted pawns of Chaos. Certainly the background fluff in 5th edition would suggest some of the fulfilling of the Cabel's vision - how do we now view the Alpha Legion within the 'current' timeline?

I have to say, despite sceptism of 're-telling' the Horus Heresy and potentially distorting previous universial and accepted background, I have appreciated the ability of some of the novels to provoke thought and present irony.

Phoenix Blaze
04-08-2008, 23:33
I like that Legion brought back something which the first few books did. Amazing last lines. Horus Rising and False Gods had the amazingly prophetic lines about Davin and Istvaan, which were just awesome.

"For the Emperor" at the end of Legion rocked as the line is known to be used as a war cry by the Alpha Legion, even when they turned traitor. Originally it was to confuse the enemy as many people in 40K don't even know about the Heresy, so when Astartes yelling the Emperor's name come charging at you, confusion reigns. But, with the events told in Legion, we now see that when the Alpha Legion cry "For the Emperor!", they really mean it!

PondaNagura
04-08-2008, 23:51
i kind of wonder how easy it would be to execute a collection of race with the ability to terraform a contained an alien planet for any measure of time they deem necessary.
i did feel sorry for the Geno troops, though i understood why the AL left them behind, if they were to pursue the agendas of their new 'allies'.
also i second the awesomeness of the "For the Emperor" at the end.

AlmightyNocturnus
05-08-2008, 00:17
I also enjoyed the irony (or anti-irony) of the "For the Emperor" call. And here we thought the Alpha Legion were always mocking their loyalist cousins.

But I have to agree with Brother Loki (above). Horus shocked everyone by talking to the Interex...and it still goes over and over how much the Interex were not to be trusted BECAUSE they allowed an interspecies society. The Diasporax are actually quarentined on their own planet with no escape and Horus says, "Not good enough!" and goes back to wipe out every single last one of them. So, it`s plainly obvious the even in 30K, Marines thoroughly believe in "suffer not the alien to live".

My point is that the Cabal are not just another in a long line of alien races, but they were (are) actually controlling humanity. Allowing this to continue would represent the unthinkable to anyone who followed the Emperor. As a side note, I don`t think followers of Horus would go for it either (there is that quote in the Chaos Marine dex or the Tyranid dex from a Chaos lord saying they would not allow the Tyranids to consume the Imperium because it was Chaos`s for the taking).

It`s never really discussed how powerful the Cabal are. We can only speculate. They keep John as an agent (I forgot his full name) for hundreds of years even though he is a human BECAUSE he is a powerful psycher. This might indicate not a lot of psychers (or powerful ones anyway) within the ranks of the Cabal. In the last scene, when the Alpha Legion appear and surround the Cabal, it says something about many of the Cabal members chirping and whimpering anxiously. This would seem to indicate that at least some of the Cabal members felt they were in mortal peril.

This is just my opinion, but I would have loved the book if, at the end of the story, Alpharius would have said, "Thanks for showing us our future. We have no more need for you." and then systematically executed all of the Cabal in one swoop. One more xenos threat nuetralized and then the Alpha Legion could start their war to "help" mankind.

The ending as it was written just left me going, "Wow. The Imperium and the forces of Chaos are really just a bunch of chumps being played against each other by this circle of aliens? WTF?" In my opinion, it really diminished both Horus and the Emperor - the two most central characters in 40K.

Almighty Nocturnus

cpl_hicks
05-08-2008, 01:56
They keep John as an agent (I forgot his full name) John Grammaticus

I think we have to look at the similarities between the Cabal and the Alpha Legion

Both of them believ the the utopian dream of the emporer will not work.
Both like to 'play' with others minds.
Both believe in their own superiority.

I think that when the Alpha legion looked at the Cabal they saw a kindred group who shared their same values and ideals.

The two big questions raised from legion are
1)Was Alpharus killed by the Ultramarines, or was it Omegron or just another bog standard Alpha Legion member
2)Are in the 40k Universe the Alpha Legion loyal to the emperor, and are they really pissed at the Cabal.

We do know thet from the old fluff the Alphas didnt go to the eye of terror but went to the eastern fringe, which seem to have a big grouping of alien species (Tau, Nids) so maybe when the plan didnt go as expected they dicided to hunt the Cabal down and kill them.

Legion also seems to show we have one 'Traitor' legion that is actually 'loyal' (Alpha Legion), and we already suspect that we have one 'Loyal' legion that was actually 'Traitor' (Dark Angels)

Drasanil
05-08-2008, 05:35
and we already suspect that we have one 'Loyal' legion that was actually 'Traitor' (Dark Angels)

Sure and Angron has a cuddly pink bunny farm.... all in the name of Khorne of course...;)

Seriously its a big stretch of bull-flop, especially considering Luthor himself (the supposed good guy in this theory) refuses to repent claiming the Lion will return and forgive him for his betrayal, and that's not even taking into account all the other evidence against it.

Incognito
07-08-2008, 19:31
Basically, Dan Abnett has made them so much money, that he can write whatever insane **** he feels like.

Heru Talon
07-08-2008, 22:56
1)Was Alpharus killed by the Ultramarines, or was it Omegron or just another bog standard Alpha Legion member
If we look at the book Legion again we see that the Captain of the Terminators could easily be mistaken for a Primarch (he plays the role of Omegon whilst Omegon is playing Alpharius during the tent bit...). I'd say he's the guy that will end up biting the dust when GW finally gets around to write a HH book about that particular battle.



2)Are in the 40k Universe the Alpha Legion loyal to the emperor, and are they really pissed at the Cabal.
I would be, because if it hadn't been for the Cabal sticking their oar in the Alpha Legion would of fought on the Loyalist side (and the Istvaan Drop Site massacres would likely of gone a whole other route, seeing as the AL were one of the back-up Legions). Plus the Loyalists would of still had the fleet that the AL destroyed.
In fact I bet if it hadn't been for the Cabal and the AL "going traitor" the Loyalists would of won without the need for Sanguinius and the big E sacrificing themselves.

Captain Stern
08-08-2008, 03:46
Powerful as they no doubt were, the book makes it pretty clear that they were at the mercy of the space marines and the twin primarchs.

cpl_hicks
11-08-2008, 20:47
especially considering Luthor himself (the supposed good guy in this theory) refuses to repent claiming the Lion will return and forgive him for his betrayal, and that's not even taking into account all the other evidence against it.


Well if the Lion was a 'traitor' and Luther was loyal, then Luther would want to repent as while he was being loyal the rest of his leegion was being traitor.

I know i havent explained that correctly, but Luther iwants to repent as his view was against the Lions, but if the Lion was a traitor then Luther wants to repent because he was loyal but he knew that the Lions traitorness was corrct.

Glabro
12-08-2008, 00:59
Mechanicus has it right, at least about the Legion's motivations.
Alpha Legion WAS capable of deciding the Heresy (after all, if it wasn't, what was the point of the Cabal's plan for the Legion?), and it chose to affect a victory for humanity instead of obliterating it.

We know from Eldar Farseer fluff that the future is not set into two possible paths at any time, but (at least) millions of them.
The two futures the Cabal presented were just the ones they wanted to present.

Glabro
12-08-2008, 01:07
Mechanicus has it right, at least about the Legion's motivations.
Alpha Legion WAS capable of deciding the Heresy (after all, if it wasn't, what was the point of the Cabal's plan for the Legion?), and it chose to affect a victory for humanity instead of obliterating it.

We know from Eldar Farseer fluff that the future is not set into two possible paths at any time, but (at least) millions of them.
The two futures the Cabal presented were just the ones they wanted to present.

Heru Talon
12-08-2008, 01:26
Alpha Legion WAS capable of deciding the Heresy (after all, if it wasn't, what was the point of the Cabal's plan for the Legion?), and it chose to affect a victory for humanity instead of obliterating it.
I have to disagree, the Alpha Legion's two choices were 1 help Horus win (which meant going Traitor) or 2 Fight on the Loyalist side and prolong the Imperium's demise.

As I see it the Cabal were wrong and by having the AL join with the Traitors they created the future they didn't want.

Eetion
12-08-2008, 09:31
Then why did Horus lose...
Why did the AL not fight in the siege of Terra, How did the White Scars get to Terra, The motivations for Alpharius splitting the Legion into smaller warbands chasing lesser objectives.

Just because the AL sided with one faction doesnt actually mean aything unless their subsequent actions were made to support that faction, rather than sabotage their efforts.

Imperialis_Dominatus
12-08-2008, 10:07
Just what I was thinking, Eetion, the Alphas have played the Cabal.

I also like the idea of them being loyalists in the Istvaanian sense.

Lord Dante
12-08-2008, 10:28
On the subject of the Cabal being more powerful psy-wise than the Emp I dont think that makes sense.

When JG meets the Emp he remarks he feels like an ant in the galaxy or somthing in comparison to the Emps power.

So with that comment in mind, I dont think the Cabal are even remotely close to the Emps power.

Imperialis_Dominatus
12-08-2008, 10:40
Of course, that was only Grammaticus, and the other members of the Cabal looked down on him. Particularly the Eldar.

In retrospect, that seems to be the modus operandi of Eldar no matter how powerful someone is though. "Screw you, we're better because... well... because we're Elves in Space!"

I like the thought that the Emperor was more powerful than the Cabal myself, and it would play into the whole 'pride before a fall' thing if the Cabal thought itself better than its own superior.

Lord Dante
12-08-2008, 10:45
It would make more sense.

i cant remember now, as i read legion months ago, but does JG ever mention how much more powerfull the rest of the Cabal are in comparison to himself?

Glabro
12-08-2008, 15:07
I have to disagree, the Alpha Legion's two choices were 1 help Horus win (which meant going Traitor) or 2 Fight on the Loyalist side and prolong the Imperium's demise.


Yes, that's the simple, apparent conclusion. However, the Alpha Legion (or Dan Abnett, for that matter), is anything but a simpleton.

Just study what the Legion did during the Heresy and you'll see.

Heru Talon
12-08-2008, 17:10
Just study what the Legion did during the Heresy and you'll see.
It doesn't matter if the AL did squat all during the rest of the Heresy they'd already participated in the neutering of three loyalist Legions at Istvaan. In fact it's even suggested that the AL had a major hand in planning the massacre (seeing as it is an awful lot like something the AL would do).

If the Alpha Legion had remained on the Loyalist side the Istvaan massacre could have gone a whole other direction.

Eetion
12-08-2008, 21:39
It doesn't matter if the AL did squat all during the rest of the Heresy they'd already participated in the neutering of three loyalist Legions at Istvaan. In fact it's even suggested that the AL had a major hand in planning the massacre (seeing as it is an awful lot like something the AL would do).

If the Alpha Legion had remained on the Loyalist side the Istvaan massacre could have gone a whole other direction.

No.. No it wouldnt...
It would still have been a slaughter... Just would have taken longer... the true Imps would still have been slaughtered, they were still masively outnumbered, and Alpharius would have blown his cover.
This is always going to be a game of manipulation on Alpharius's part... Brute Strength wont win this one.

Fulgrim's Gimp
12-08-2008, 21:58
The Alpha legion would be more likely to pursue a third way where Chaos nearly wins but humanity still exists on a knife edge like in the 40k setting. Also the Cabal's visions are at odds with those of Eldrad in Fulgrim. It may be possible the Cabal were not entirely truthful because of xenophobia towards mankind or pawns themselves.