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Luthor
21-08-2010, 04:21
The Chaos Codex says soon after being put into the Golden Throne, the Emperor lost the ability to communicate. So what exactly does the Emperor do all day? Is he used just like a figure head to rally mankind? Is there like a corrupt council that rules instead and uses him as a puppet? I always thought he could talk to people and tell them what to do.

Son of Sanguinius
21-08-2010, 04:28
His primary function is to guide the power of the Astronomicon so that long distance warp travel is possible for Imperial ships. There are many opinions (and evidence to support almost all of them) concerning the Emperor's mental condition.

Personally, I like to think of the Emperor's mind being caught in a type of subconscious limbo. His consciousness would not have fully ascended while there are living cells in his body and his soul has been slowly accumulating power through sacrifice over ten thousand years. It leaves some suspense, as we don't know what the Emperor will be like when he "awakens".

The High Lords of Terra rule in his physical absence, and these are the most powerful men and women in the Imperium. Some are undoubtedly corrupt, as the grimdark setting would dictate, but I doubt all of them are.

Vikingkingq
21-08-2010, 05:36
- Astronomicon, as already stated
- Communicates via the Imperial Tarot
- Guards the Imperium from Daemonic incursion, for a given value of "guards"
- Empowers Imperial Saints to act as "power to a point"
- Screams in unimaginable torment, forever.

And the High Lords aren't necessarily corrupt - sort of cliche, no?

Son of Sanguinius
21-08-2010, 05:41
And the High Lords aren't necessarily corrupt - sort of cliche, no?

Cliche is absolutely fine as long as they do it right. :)

totgeboren
21-08-2010, 07:20
I have never really understood the statement that he guides the power of the astronomicon.
It was around before he died, otherwise the extremely rapid expansion of all the expeditionary fleets during the Great Crusade would have been impossible.

Or when people are referring to the Emp "guiding the astronomicon", are they talking about the "Magnus-broke-the-wards-and-messed-up-the-Emps-web-way-experiment-so-lots-of-daemons-came-out"?

I see it as the astronomicon being the bright flare of the thousands of psychers making up the astronomicion coir, whom live a short life before dying from the stress.

I don't really think the Emp has got anything to do with the astronomicion.

However, he does seem to influence the Emperors Tarot, and sometimes performs miracles for the ladies (SoB).

Or, the Traitor Marines are right, and he is long dead. I don't think it would make much of a difference.

Jonman
21-08-2010, 08:38
Psychically manifests in the warp to do battle with Chaos and all manner of 'orrible gribblies.

Pepsi375mL
21-08-2010, 09:15
The Golden Throne is linked up to the Imperial Webway, which is a gate to the forces of Chaos. If the Emperor dies the Webway will open and Terra will be consumed, which will bring about the end of mankind.

It's also written that he helps with the Astronomicon, but as suggested I don't believe the Emperor is actually necessary for that to function.

The_Blind_Anarchist
21-08-2010, 09:18
He guides the astronomican, he focuses the power of it so it works better.

ryng_sting
21-08-2010, 10:02
have been impossible.

Or when people are referring to the Emp "guiding the astronomicon", are they talking about the "Magnus-broke-the-wards-and-messed-up-the-Emps-web-way-experiment-so-lots-of-daemons-came-out"?

I see it as the astronomicon being the bright flare of the thousands of psychers making up the astronomicion coir, whom live a short life before dying from the stress.

The Emperor built the Astronomicon, callibrated its beam, and served as its original power source. The Webway Crisis forced him to switch the power source to sacrifical pyskers. It was intended to be a temporary measure to free up the Emperor's powers, although he still had to callibrate the beam himself. Skip to the final battle with Horus, and the Emperor is plugged back into the Golden Throne.

The rest you know.

Iuris
21-08-2010, 10:26
First, whether he himself does anything at all is questionable. The images we have of him (there's 2-3 around) show him as a rather decayed corpse, so it's quite certain that noone gets direct verbal instructions from him or anything.

The impression I got, especially from the inquisitor book intro, is that the emperor died completely, but that his soul was bound to the corpse. This allows automated processes that required him to work on - the matrix of the Astronomican still works, like a great bonfire - just add more fuel, and the fire itself takes care of the rest. The soul binding system still works - grab a psyker, hook him up, and the power purges him - no need for a conscious emperor, just a system still in function.

Anything more is just speculation and religious dogma. Emperor's tarot may or may not work on his base, or may just be an oracular aid to the user's own psychic powers. Saints may be powered by the emperor - or may cut out the middle man and be powered directly by the faith of those who believe.

As for the warp gateway... who knows. It's such a recent addition to the story that very little is known.

Merus
21-08-2010, 10:47
What does the Emperor do?

THE EMPEROR PROTECTS. ;)

Balgora
21-08-2010, 10:56
The images we have of him (there's 2-3 around) show him as a rather decayed corpse.

Doesn't the story that matches one of those picture make reference to something about only a few of his cells still being living?

Think it's reached the point where there's so few left they all have individual names, i can imagine some holy technician guy screaming through huge vaulted halls
"COME QUICKLY! WE JUST LOST LARRY, WE NEED MORE SACRIFICES FOR BOB AND CINDY!! HURRY MAN!!!! THE FATE OF THE IMPERIUM IS AT STAKE"

and then in a bad scottish accent a single response comes back
"i just can'y do et cap'n, we're givin it all we got!"

Chaos and Evil
21-08-2010, 11:00
So what exactly does the Emperor do all day?
Provides ambiance.

geeksquared
21-08-2010, 13:53
The way the Horus Heresy series is going, I think we'll be getting more details in the near future. Just keep reading and Dan Abnett, praise be his name, will make his will known to the faithful.

callsign-husker
21-08-2010, 15:58
ryng_sting has it right, his psychic presence in the warp is sso great that it acts as a beacon to navigators, the psyker sacrifices just shore that up: it's all in the horus heresy books, well worth a read and also mentions the webway.
As for the images of the Emperor decaying on his throne, i'm pretty sure i know the ones your referring to and IMO they're a metaphor for the state Imperium.

The Inquisition rulebook states that he is alive as one of the factions intends to kill him so that he can be reborn in all his glory, the throne is kinda like life-support.

Kage2020
21-08-2010, 16:09
And the High Lords aren't necessarily corrupt - sort of cliche, no?
On the other hand it does add a few more dimensions to the "grimdarkery" of the 40k universe as presented. After all, it has even been known (apparently) for Chaos-Tainted psykers to find their way into the Senatorum Imperialis... (IIRC)

Everyone else has all the other bits covered. :D

Well, other than being described as being the motivating force behind the Soul Binding ritual, without which communications in the Imperium would be harder than they are.

With regards to "what is the Emperor," my personal (read: fan) approach is to mix the various editions together. I'm still fond of the Star Child idea, so for me the "lynchpin soul" that was the Emperor's birth soul has gone, taking the majority of the "greater soul" of the Shaman Synergy/New Man construct with him/it. That is the Star Child. What remains is the collective and fragmenting consciousness of the Shaman, stripped of their psychic powers but with sufficient knowledge to understand that if psykers are sacrificed to then then, in a form of psychic vampirisim, they can create a psuedo-soul. It is this pseudo-soul that directs the Astronomican and is used in the Soul Binding ritual.

(The base idea for the pseudo-soul came from, IIRC, Brusilov back on 'ole Portent. I co-opted it into my own interpretation because, well, I like it. :D)

Kage

Col. Tartleton
21-08-2010, 16:36
I think it would be best if he was dead and they can't admit it. It makes everything that much more tragic. The Custodes stand guard over a mausoleum, the church worships a body on ice, the vast Imperial battle fleets navigate using a light he long stopped guiding...

The senate speaks on the behalf of the Emperor and they all know he's no longer among them but keep up a massive charade to keep the faith alive.

Its like if say Christ had died but didn't resurrect. People would have doubts that he was God. Unless they invented the idea that he did. (I'm neither agreeing or disagreeing with whether or not he resurrected.)

The Imperium exists in that vein.

Lupe
21-08-2010, 17:27
I think it would be best if he was dead and they can't admit it. It makes everything that much more tragic. The Custodes stand guard over a mausoleum, the church worships a body on ice, the vast Imperial battle fleets navigate using a light he long stopped guiding...

The senate speaks on the behalf of the Emperor and they all know he's no longer among them but keep up a massive charade to keep the faith alive.

Its like if say Christ had died but didn't resurrect. People would have doubts that he was God. Unless they invented the idea that he did. (I'm neither agreeing or disagreeing with whether or not he resurrected.)

The Imperium exists in that vein.

Actually, it would be all the more tragic if the Emperor was still alive, and dying slowly because of all the worship and sacrifices drowning whatever is left of his psychic presence.

feno12
21-08-2010, 18:55
The man in the Golden Throne is Horus, plotting and planning a way for his children to reach Terra.

Vikingkingq
21-08-2010, 19:27
The Emperor is ABSOLUTELY necessary for the Astronomican - the psykers provide the fuel, but it is the voice of the Emperor in the void that is heard. He created the damn thing, and when he was up and about, he actually could combine acting as the beacon and walking around. If the Emperor truly dies, the beacon goes out, and the Imperium is screwed.

Lord-Gen Bale Chambers
22-08-2010, 13:35
I have never really understood the statement that he guides the power of the astronomicon.
It was around before he died, otherwise the extremely rapid expansion of all the expeditionary fleets during the Great Crusade would have been impossible.


You are correct in that it was around before he died. However, his power was so great that when he was alive, he was able to power and guide the astranomicon on Terra from the otherside of the galaxy. I believe this tidbit came from the colorful piece of art that is the "Collected Visions of the Horus Heresy."

As was mentioned, it was only when Magnus broke down the wards around the new Imperial Webway that the Emperor had to redirect most of his strength to keeping the portal shut and daemons from pouring into Terra.

The sacrifice of thousands of psykers provided the power he no longer could, but he still had to guide and focus that power into the Astranomicon.

So his duties are as follows:

1. The Astranomicon: Keeps the Space traffic of the Imperium going. Without it, the Imperium as it is will crumble to a much much smaller state. Without the Astranomicon, lengthy warp jumps will become impossible and the trade and logistics currently in the Imperium will become impossible. Humanity could survive as it did prior to the Imperium on isolated planets and in small empires of densely packed systems, but dangers (Tyranids/Necrons) that were not present in the Age of Strife, will put an end to the remnents of Humanity.

2. The Soul-Binding ritual: This ritual gives Astropaths the power to resist the daemons of the warp and is done with the power of the Emperor. Without it, the living network of psykic communication across the Imperium will die as the Astropaths age and die off.

3. The Emperor's Tarot: The reading of the Emperor's tarot is used to predict threats and outcomes to a wide range of proposals and conflicts from warzones to determining if a proposed crusade has his blessing.

4. Miracles: Many phenomenon are attributed to the Emperor. From the warp storm that claimed the Cardinals fleet in the age of Apostasy to the powers and visions granted to Saints. Regardless of whether or not this is true, the masses believe and with their faith, the Emperor protects.

5. My dice: The Emperor lends my tactical prowess strength on the tabletop by guiding my blessed dice. My armies live and die by his will. :skull:

Noon
23-08-2010, 01:37
Could Anyone elaborate on the Emperor's Webway experiment? Presumably it's a portal to a part of the Webway that's controlled by Chaos...

Vikingkingq
23-08-2010, 01:48
Could Anyone elaborate on the Emperor's Webway experiment? Presumably it's a portal to a part of the Webway that's controlled by Chaos...

The Emperor attempted to build a new, human section of the Webway. This would, among other things, allow the efficient administration of the Imperium without the need for any psykers.

Magnus screwed up the process in mid-construction, causing a Warp incursion.

Noon
23-08-2010, 02:10
Gosh - that clever Emperor - so how is Webway actually constructed? That sounds like a huge undertaking for Humanity.... on a huge engineering scale.

Lord-Gen Bale Chambers
23-08-2010, 02:36
I think he was tapping into the existing Eldar Webway. Magnus tried to play hero and warn the Emperor about Horus's treachary, but he did so using sorcery to send the message. That message broke down the protective wards in the Imperial Webway and allowed daemons to flood into it.

The Custodes and Sisters of Silence waged a long, but futile battle against the daemonic hordes, but eventually had to fallback out of the webway and back into the palace. A massive bloodthirster burst through the portal into the palace, but the Emperor threw him back and placed a seal the portal with his psychic might.

The seal required a large portion of his power and this is what caused the need to start sacrificing psykers to supply power for the Astranomicon.

Gorbad Ironclaw
23-08-2010, 06:28
The Emperor is the figurehead and symbol that keep the Imperium semi-unified. Without the Imperial faith there is just a faceless bureaucracy to represent the Imperium and it would almost certainly splinter into many smaller pieces. So in that way he is crucial for the survival of the Imperium.

Aside from that he is a corpse no one have cleared out of the biggest broom-cupboard in the galaxy.

Hunger
23-08-2010, 14:49
However, he [The Emperor] sometimes performs miracles for the ladies.

Hehe, him and me both...

Mr_Rose
23-08-2010, 18:48
Gosh - that clever Emperor - so how is Webway actually constructed? That sounds like a huge undertaking for Humanity.... on a huge engineering scale.
The Imperial webway portal is mostly brass and arcane unguents tued to channel the Emperor's psychic might into a series of wards against daemonic incursion, together with a bunch of void-shield and Gellar-field generators to provide the physical "tube" structure.

The original webway is constructed of semi-real wraithbone which does all of the above automatically and passively.

ryng_sting
23-08-2010, 19:44
It was a small tunnel, leading to an abandoned section of the Eldar Webway. The plan was to go from there and colonise it for human use, so freeing humanity from relying on astrotelepathy and warp travel.

Then Magnus took Tzeentch's bait and bished the whole project.

Claudio
24-08-2010, 17:07
The Emperor does nothing! Itīs just a powerless rotten corpse. It cannot even compensate his followers! Now seriously he keeps the Astronmicon working and also keeps the daemons from invading Terra through the hole ( tunnel ) in Webway.

DarthMcBob
25-08-2010, 22:35
Well, the Emperor can communicate in his current state, albeit in a limited way. He does so in Draco giving us some insight on his daily activities.


"HEAR THIS, JAQ DRACO: ONLY TINY PORTIONS OF US CAN HEED YOU, OTHERWISE WE NEGLECT OUR IMPERIUM, OF WHICH OUR SCRUTINY MUST NOT FALTER FOR AN INSTANT. FOR TIME DOES NOT HALT EVERYWHERE WITHIN THE REALM OF MAN. INDEED TIME ONLY HALTS FOR YOU."

"WE ARE AN EVER WATCHFUL LORD, ARE WE NOT? DID YOU HOPE TO GAIN OUR UNDIVIDED ATTENTION?"

"HOW ELSE SHOULD WE SOUL-BIND PSYKERS AND OVERVIEW THE WARP AND BEAM THE ASTRONOMICAN BEACON AND SURVIVE AND RECEIVE INFORMATION AND GRANT AUDIENCES ALL AT ONCE, UNLESS WE ARE MANY?"

x-esiv-4c
26-08-2010, 14:48
He doesn't do anything. He's dead.

Carlos
26-08-2010, 16:47
If mankind spread amongst the stars before unification, how did it function? The emperor wasnt around to guide them.

And it says a lot when the emperor needs 10,000 psykers to maintain his webway gate/block and one eldar farseer just needs to wave his hand to do the same.

DarthMcBob
26-08-2010, 18:17
If mankind spread amongst the stars before unification, how did it function? The emperor wasnt around to guide them.

And it says a lot when the emperor needs 10,000 psykers to maintain his webway gate/block and one eldar farseer just needs to wave his hand to do the same.

Those psykers are for powering the Astronomicon. The Emperor could orginally do it by himself, but his powers have become somewhat more tired up since then, and so they're fed to it instead.

Son of Sanguinius
26-08-2010, 18:29
And it says a lot when the emperor needs 10,000 psykers to maintain his webway gate/block and one eldar farseer just needs to wave his hand to do the same.

Not if the Emperor can't lock the door. He's human. For as powerful as he is, the very technology he uses shows that he doesn't understand how to fully manipulate Eldar (more specifically Old Ones) tech. If he can't close the gate in the same way that a Farseer can, then yeah, he'll have to keep guard. It doesn't mean the Farseer is more powerful, just that he has more useful knowledge for the circumstances.

And that point is actually refreshing (or it would be, if it turns out I'm right), because it means that the Emperor isn't omniscient, omnipresent, etc., etc. Fallibility is a fictional character's best attribute.

will564752
28-08-2010, 10:33
If mankind spread amongst the stars before unification, how did it function? The emperor wasnt around to guide them.

Not only was the Warp calmer and therefore easier to navigate, but its presumed that during the Dark Age of Technology, Mankind utilised some form of technology which enabled them to successfully navigate the Warp (instead of the Astronomican which was used post-Unification), but this technology was lost in the subsequent Age of Strife.


And it says a lot when the emperor needs 10,000 psykers to maintain his webway gate/block and one eldar farseer just needs to wave his hand to do the same.

The psyker sacrifices to the Emperor are not to keep the Imperial Webway sealed, they are to sustain the Emperor so that he can keep the Imperial Webway sealed (aswell as a multitude of other things). And Eldar Farseers cannot seal an unprotected, unwarded and unsealed webway gate with a wave of their hand, they have to reinstate the correct wards in order to seal it off (which often involves battling back hordes of daemons aswell). Mankind didn't have access to such wards, therefore the Emperor is forced to constantly use his psychic might in order to keep the portal sealed and the daemons at bay - essentially he is expending a considerable force of his will and power in order to do something that the Eldar can do with technology/wards.

Malice313
28-08-2010, 11:28
I've heard the Emperor jokingly referred to as "A lighthouse", which is actually pretty accurate.:(

Silent_Moebius
30-08-2010, 13:50
What does the Big-E do?

Created a bright signal so that the nids came to it like the moth to the light.

Tactical Retreat!
30-08-2010, 19:53
He is Sitting.

Mabd
31-08-2010, 08:33
I think the whole Shaman thing is a hoax... The Emperor is actually half-Old One. So he's doing what all space lizard types do when they've lost their metaphorical tail...: He's regenerating.

Gonna grow him a new "tail".

Ikkaan
31-08-2010, 09:11
He is doing all the mentioned things and more.

Keep in mind that he is probably not operating at his peak, bound to his physical body by the last remnants of biological life.

And through thousands of years, he keeps playing a role in the warp, influencing outcomes, manipulating battles, giving insight to his followers - while being constantly pestered by 4 major warp powers and several lesser powers.

The concept of what he is doing is totally abstract - mortals just donīt know. We just know that he is doing it (and partially succeeding) regardless of the insanely powerful opposition.

Polaria
31-08-2010, 09:27
The High Lords of Terra rule in his physical absence, and these are the most powerful men and women in the Imperium. Some are undoubtedly corrupt, as the grimdark setting would dictate, but I doubt all of them are.

Political corruption is the use of legislated powers by government officials for illegitimate private gain.

In 40K setting the High Lords of Terra have pretty much unrestricted legislative powers. Thus it is, by definition, pretty hard for them to be corrupt, because corruption means that the act needs to be illegitimate first. I would say that High Lords of Terra have legitimate right to do many things that would be corrupt in modern earth, however, in context of 40K universe it is not corrpution, because no-one really considers it as such.

A High Lord of Terra would be corrupt if he used his powers for something like breaking a sector away from Imperium and setting himself as the sole ruler of that breakaway state. He would also be utterly mad to try something as stupid as that, though.

Oh, and by the way, there is also the very real possibility that Emperor isn't doing anything, because he is stone-cold DEAD.

Overlord Krycis
31-08-2010, 15:25
If mankind spread amongst the stars before unification, how did it function? The emperor wasnt around to guide them.
Actually...we don't know if he was guiding mankind or not...he is tens of thousands of years old, he could have actually engineered the dark age (or maybe had his hand in the STC process?) Pure speculation, but it has been said that he was "behind the scenes" guiding mankind.


And it says a lot when the emperor needs 10,000 psykers to maintain his webway gate/block and one eldar farseer just needs to wave his hand to do the same.

He needs 10'000 psykers to maintain the astronomican.
He's using the bulk of his power to keep the portal closed from daemonic incursion...something that wouldn't have happened but for Magnus trying to tell on Horus and his naughtiness...
And not even Farseers can "wave a hand" to close a breached Webway portal, it usually takes the Farseer, a coven of warlocks and a LOT of time to rebuild the wards and seal it. :D

Sergeant Uriel Ventris
31-08-2010, 15:35
Well, the Emperor can communicate in his current state, albeit in a limited way. He does so in Draco giving us some insight on his daily activities.

Thank you. I thought I was the only one who had ever read this. I was beginning to think it never really happened.

FabricatorGeneralMike
31-08-2010, 18:02
Thank you. I thought I was the only one who had ever read this. I was beginning to think it never really happened.


Yes, that was a pretty good conversation Jaq has with the Emperor. Remember back in RT days the Emperor was on the Golden Throne because ruling the galaxy was a hard days work. He could communicate very infrequently and it was a great honour to have a auidence with the Emperor.

Then they shoe horned in the Horus Heresy and we all know the rest.