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View Full Version : High Lords of Terra? Who are they?



Hrw-Amen
29-09-2009, 18:47
I have been reading through the stuff in the last couple of 40K rulebooks on them and what appears to be lacking for some of the most important people in the Imperium at the moment is who they are?

I d not mean what positions they fill, as the actual titles etc are listed and as you would expect, an Ad-mec rep, an Administratum ep, an Imperial army rep and so on.

What I mean is who actually fills the posts in the current 40K universe, is there anything that gives actual names to the people who hold the titles and what the are their background?

It mentions things like noble families manouvering to get candidates put forward when a position becomes available and the like, but does not appear to give much details as to who those candiadates are and where they come from?

Do the High Lords sit in one endles meating on Terra, signing forms and constantly making decisions?

Do they meet once a week for a kind of Cabinet meeting, or is it more often, or less often?

Being a High Lord of Terra, do they actually have to live on Terra or do they cogitator conference, each living on some other system or does being a High Lord mean you have to move to Terra no matter what and where you come from originally?

How many actual decisions do they take themselves and how much is off-loaded to various departments?

Do they have a huge expences bill and does it get leaked to the media and so on?

I was just wondering how much they actually do themselves?

wilsongrahams
29-09-2009, 19:08
Apart from the titles as given, which you already know, there is next to nothing currently in print about them. I believe there may have been a Lord mentioned once - leader of the assassins or something, but you may have better luck from looking to the past - even though that would not be 'current' with the 'now' timeline.

canucklhead
29-09-2009, 19:23
AFAIK, there is no current literature giving the actual identities of the current High Lords of Terra, and their specific duties and rituals are also a matter of conjecture.

They are, to the extent that the literature explores, the absolute power of the Imperium. Representing each and aspect of the Imperial admin, they determine what resources shall be allocated to each issue that is brought to their attention.

You might consider some fan fiction to expand on those ideas, and who knows, it might make a good read.

Gimp
29-09-2009, 19:38
Although the Lexicanum is not that great check out the article here

http://wh40k.lexicanum.com/wiki/High_Lords_of_Terra

Crazy Ivan
29-09-2009, 19:43
We have, as far as I know, two names: Lord General Militant Huxlow and Chancellor of the Estate Imperium Seward Rosencranz (from The Imperial Infantryman's Uplifting Primer and the Imperial Munitorum Manual, respectively). However, those that fill the positions of Lord General Militant (of the Imperial Guard) and Chancellor of the Estate Imperium are not always among the High Lords (the are among the varying positions), so that still doesn't mean anything, really. We don't even know the name of the current Ecclesiarch.

I would say they mostly reside on Terra, though. What would be the point otherwise? Also, when you're a High Lord, wouldn't you grab the chance to go and live on the most holy planet in the galaxy?

By the way, we do know the names of some previous High Lords, like for example a certain Goge Vandire, Master of the Administratum...

inq.serge
29-09-2009, 20:01
The thing with the high lords are that they are replaced a little now and than, just like presidents and prime ministers, so there aren't any permanent lords. Also, the inquisition is more powerful, as they can order the execution of any of them and do not need to follow their orders. The High lords give orders, but the inquisition is in control.

Gimp
29-09-2009, 22:08
The thing with the high lords are that they are replaced a little now and than, just like presidents and prime ministers, so there aren't any permanent lords. Also, the inquisition is more powerful, as they can order the execution of any of them and do not need to follow their orders. The High lords give orders, but the inquisition is in control.

Thats not really correct.

If i remember one of the High Lords is an Iquisitor.

And just look at poeple like Vandire who took control of the High Lords and brought the Imperium to its knees.

AndrewGPaul
29-09-2009, 22:24
The Inquisition has a seat on the Council of High Lords, but I don't think there's one individual who fills the role - they just send whoever is not busy that day.

Argastes
29-09-2009, 22:54
The thing with the high lords are that they are replaced a little now and than, just like presidents and prime ministers, so there aren't any permanent lords. Also, the inquisition is more powerful, as they can order the execution of any of them and do not need to follow their orders. The High lords give orders, but the inquisition is in control.

This is not true. Please don't make stuff up. The Inquisition sends a delegate to the High Lords to participate in their decision making process. This means they certainly play a significant role in the top-level decision making of the Imperium, but they don't have the powers you ascribe to them.

To the OP: No, in general, we don't get much concrete info about the specific individuals who hold the various posts that constitute the High Lords. They are generally normal humans with presumably normal human lifespans, so each post presumably changes hands once every several decades at the most. My personal guess would be that they meet anywhere from every day to every few weeks or even at longer intervals, depending on what's going on in the galaxy at the time--e.g. during times of major crisis (a new Black Crusade just hit, a new Hive Fleet has been reported on the eastern fringe, etc.) they would meet more frequently.

ghost21
29-09-2009, 23:02
This is not true. Please don't make stuff up. The Inquisition sends a delegate to the High Lords to participate in their decision making process. This means they certainly play a significant role in the top-level decision making of the Imperium, but they don't have the powers you ascribe to them.

To the OP: No, in general, we don't get much concrete info about the specific individuals who hold the various posts that constitute the High Lords. They are generally normal humans with presumably normal human lifespans, so each post presumably changes hands once every several decades at the most. My personal guess would be that they meet anywhere from every day to every few weeks or even at longer intervals, depending on what's going on in the galaxy at the time--e.g. during times of major crisis (a new Black Crusade just hit, a new Hive Fleet has been reported on the eastern fringe, etc.) they would meet more frequently.

im sure theres at least 1 space marine sitting there possibly calgar

Argastes
29-09-2009, 23:12
im sure theres at least 1 space marine sitting there possibly calgar

Don't think so. Any single SM chapter master, even Calgar, isn't nearly important enough. Remember that any single chapter master is only responsible for about a thousand warriors (superior as they may be to normal humans) and a handful of ships, usually based in a single system. Even the Ultramarines little "empire" is utterly tiny and insignificant on an Imperium-wide scale. The High Lords is composed only of people who are at the head of galaxy-spanning institutions which are essential to the functioning of the Imperium as a whole, which any given SM chapter certainly is not.

Remember also that the SM chapters are not really a part of the Imperium proper, but are like a collection of parallel, allied military micro-states, bound to the Imperium more by personal loyalty to the Emperor than by any official connection with the current Imperial government. Besides, the membership (both permanent and occasional) of the High Lords has been described by GW, and it doesn't mention anything about any Space Marines. The permanent members are:

The Master of the Administratum
The Fabricator-General of the Adeptus Mechanicus
The Ecclesiarch
The Inquisitorial delegate
The Master of the Astronomicon
The Master of the Adeptus Astra Telepathica
The Grand Master of the Officio Assassinorum
The Grand Provost Marshal of the Arbiters
The Paternoval Envoy of the Navigator nobility

Additional seats may occasionally be given to the heads of the Adeptus Custodes, Adeptus Sororitas, Imperial Guard/Departmento Munitorum, Estate Imperium, and so forth.

canucklhead
30-09-2009, 00:04
I was under the impression, perhaps mistaken, that the Lord Commander Militant was also a high Lord of Terra, tasked with the oversight of the Imperial Guard.

But I have to agree, no Space Marine, of any rank, would be a Lord. Firstly, it is not their purpose to administer the Imperium, and secondly, they would never remove themselves from their sacred duty to lead the fight against the Imperiums foes.

wilsongrahams
30-09-2009, 00:10
The position of Space Marines was mentioned specifically in Codex Imperialis in the 2nd Ed game. I don't have it with me as I work from home but the space marines fall under one of the other titles. In the diagram, the space marines are under the Ordo Malleus line of power. If I recall the line was dashed and it mentioned something about them not being under the authority of the Ordo Malleus but they share the same representation in the high lords. I'll check it out properly and return with it quoted exactly. Fortunately it was only two weeks ago that I last read it!

Argastes
30-09-2009, 00:10
I was under the impression, perhaps mistaken, that the Lord Commander Militant was also a high Lord of Terra, tasked with the oversight of the Imperial Guard.

That's who I was referring to when I mentioned that "the head of the Imperial Guard/Departmento Munitorum" is sometimes given a seat. The fluff lists the Lord Commander Militant as a some-time member, not a full one. I'd imagine they give him a seat during times of military crisis, or during sessions that involve lots of military matters.

Remember that the Departmento Munitorum is a part of the Administratum, so the Lord Commander Militant's boss is the Master of the Administratum, who does hold a permanent seat on the High Lords. So even when the LCM isn't there, the IG is spoken for.

schoon
30-09-2009, 03:43
You can find a listing of the High Lords here (http://www.scholaprogenium.com/adeptus.html), including which ones are permanent and which ones have rotating seats based upon current politics.

Inquisitor Engel
30-09-2009, 06:05
Chancellor of the Estate Imperium Seward Rosencranz

Knowing GW, at least one other member is named Gildenstern! ;)

AndrewGPaul
30-09-2009, 07:22
They're probably dead.

inq.serge
30-09-2009, 08:22
This is not true. Please don't make stuff up. The Inquisition sends a delegate to the High Lords to participate in their decision making process. This means they certainly play a significant role in the top-level decision making of the Imperium, but they don't have the powers you ascribe to them.


&


Thats not really correct.

If i remember one of the High Lords is an Iquisitor.

And just look at poeple like Vandire who took control of the High Lords and brought the Imperium to its knees.

I'm not making stuff up. With not permanent, I meant that the person on that seat is replaced sometimes, due to old age, death, end of duty, change of hierarchy et.c and, the inquisitorial high lord probably has not much power since;


The Inquisition has a seat on the Council of High Lords, but I don't think there's one individual who fills the role - they just send whoever is not busy that day.

(Except that the inquisitorial highlord is more or less chosen by a conclave and sent on "Highlord Duty"), the inquisition "as whole" has however the power to control the highlords, since they are the law, and they can execute anyone except the Emperor, and destroy any planet except Terra.

However, the inquisition is not very united, and there are constant infights and wars between ideologies, and there are many ideologies, at average, 3 per inquisitor (one when he's an acolyte, one at the beginning of his inquisitorial career and one at his end. Inquisitors often change their ideologies and philosophies due to what they see and experience) . So some might have helped Vandire to power, and some might helped to overthrow him. If you heard that the inquisition is a holy order of the bravest and most pure warriors of the imperium, incorruptible and strong of will, who stand united and protect the Imperium from a certain doom, then, guess what, it is a lie. That's what stops them from taking over, that and that most of them trust the High lords (And the inquisitorial high lord can always execute anyone if they seem to do something heretical, so try to win his liking first ;) ), well that, that and that they dislike bureaucracy and paper-work, They let others do that.

So why not disband the inquisition?

Because that would be heresy, blasphemy and treason, and would make you die sooner than normal.

The inquisition is not "Logical" in any way, and very secret about their methods, but also very ununited, you could almost say that there are no inquisition, only a bunch of inquisitors.

NightrawenII
30-09-2009, 08:41
The Primarchs have also seat in the Council.

Crazy Ivan
30-09-2009, 08:55
The Primarchs have also seat in the Council.
If they do, that would be rather theoretical, considering they're all either dead, missing or have gone traitor...

gunners
30-09-2009, 09:02
The Primarchs have also seat in the Council.

Nope they don't... They are either dead or gone to "the other side"...

But before that The emperor created the Council of Terra, with only Horus as part time member. Following the Horus Heresy, the High Lords of Terra succeeded the Council of Terra as the main executive body of the Imperium. Here was Guilliman from time to time present as Lord Commander of the Imperium. Since he has fallen "ill", the Imperium has no primarchs "left"..
So no Primarchs sit at the table, or where they meet up..:p

:Edit: you beat me to it Crazy Ivan!

Inquisitor S.
30-09-2009, 09:06
1.) the council the primarchs were in was the war council which is something completely different from the Senate

2.)
The position of Space Marines was mentioned specifically in Codex Imperialis in the 2nd Ed game. I don't have it with me as I work from home but the space marines fall under one of the other titles. In the diagram, the space marines are under the Ordo Malleus line of power. If I recall the line was dashed and it mentioned something about them not being under the authority of the Ordo Malleus but they share the same representation in the high lords. I'll check it out properly and return with it quoted exactly. Fortunately it was only two weeks ago that I last read it!
No, the Space Marines are not represented in the Senate. The diagram you are talking about merely states who is in power over who and has nothing to do with who sits in the Senate.

LordLucan
30-09-2009, 12:24
The High Lords constantly change, either through the rotational nature of several posts, death due to natural causes (even augmented humans aren't going to last for millennia) and assassinations. Remember that, during the 'Beheading' of M32 I believe, ALL of the High Lords were killed. Many of them would also die during Vandire's reign I suspect.

When you say who are the High Lords, which year/century/millennia to you refer to? Because they'd be a different line up each time I'd wager. I'm not sure who is on the Council of High Lords during 999.M41, but then again I don't think they've been named have they? Officially?

Argastes
30-09-2009, 12:44
the inquisition "as whole" has however the power to control the highlords, since they are the law, and they can execute anyone except the Emperor, and destroy any planet except Terra.

It's not that simple. They have the theoretical legal authority to do this, but that's not the same thing as being practically able to do so. If they went around trying to control the High Lords by threatening to execute the Master of the Administratum and impose Exterminatus on important planets and so forth, they'd rapidly throw the Imperium into chaos and civil war (and end up with a result that wasn't necessarily good for them). The Inquisition itself might not survive the consequences of that sort of action.

Remember that the Imperial government's power structure is based on permanent alliances between several essentially autonomous institutions: The AdMech, the Ecclesiarchy, and the Administatum being the main ones. All of them are essentially self-contained governments in their own right, but none of them is capable of governing the entire Imperium on it's own, they are all dependent on each other to provide the various services that are needed to keep the Imperium running. The Inquisition is no different. It's certainly a very powerful institution--look at how the KGB manipulated Soviet internal politics on many occasions--but that doesn't mean it can unilaterally bully everyone else in the Imperial government. It has to be carefully how flagrantly it abuses it's power for political ends, because it is ultimately interdependent with the other powerful institutions of the Imperium. It's not some ultimate power sitting above all others and free to do whatever it wants, it's part of an interconnected political power structure built on reciprocal dependencies. It's power to investigate, execute, and commandeer is theoretically unlimited, but that power rests on the willingness of the rest of the Imperium to play along. Where would they find themselves if the AdMech, the Ecclesiarchy, and the Administratum turned against them in response to excessive political manipulation?

Don't get me wrong, I'm sure there have been many occasions where the Inquisition successfully manipulated the High Lords' decision-making process in order to obtain a result desirable to them (as I said, look at what the KGB was able to do in the Soviet Union). But the same is probably true of the other High Lords (or even of officials who aren't on the High Lords at all). In times when the post of the Master of the Administratum was filled by a cunning and resourceful man, and several other High Lords were less adroit, the Master of the Administratum would be able to manipulate the council according to his desires. In times when a powerful and cunning Ecclesiarch was in office, the Adeptus Ministorum might have an undue degree of control over Imperial decision making. And so forth. The ability to influence top-level Imperial decision making isn't going to be exclusive to the Inquisition, other institutions will have it too at different times; and conversely, NO institution--even the Inquisition--can be said to outright and permanently control that process.