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Lord Squidar
28-07-2012, 21:02
SO i have been for some time delving into the lore about the origins of chaos, and found some interesting things. The source is lexicanum, whom in turn get it from Realm of Chaos and a few novels. I've tried to find realm of chaos, butI think its out of print.

Anywho, the chaos gods were "born" in the following order. Nurgle (unspecified time), Khorne (Middle Ages), Tzeentch (around M2) and lastly Slaanesh in M29. Nurgle is portrayed as a kind of all father, since everything in the universe goes through a cycle of decay and regrown, even the universe himself. Khorne's birth was due to the unfettered blood letting of the middle ages, with Ghengis Khan/Doombreed being the final catalyst as the human warlord with the most kills (Stalin and Hitler both just ragequit imoho :D ). Tzeentch's birth is very unspecific and we all know where Slaanesh comes from.

Now I have a few problems with this all.

Firstly, I am happy with Nurgle being the oldest, since his basic domain (life death cycle) is broad enough and applies to everything (from ameobas to star systems) to cause a god to be born.

Khorne and Tzeentch are misplaced in my own humble opinion.

Now we know the eldar and necrons are far older than humans, and have also been having wars and such before we evolved. With all the wars, the sheer and utter hatred of the Necrons and bloodshed unleashed by the Krork, surely those would be on a much larger scale than old Ghengis Khan? Aren't Eldar emotions supposed to be a billion times stronger than human, so millions of eldar swept up in battle rage in the war of heaven would seem like a pretty good birth for Khorne...

Also Tzeentch, the god of change has a suitably broad spectrum to have existed from the beginning too, in much the same way as Nurgle. It should have started with Nurgle and Tzeentch battling it out as a gestalt god that split into two at some later point that further defined the difference between the two. Also, Eldar political moves, Old One bioengineering or Necron politics and that sort of thing would again be a much better catalyst than what ever we in the 2000's have done that is so horrible to birth the god of deception (maybe its facebook, memes or Justin Bieber).

Anyways just some musings, it seems strange that there is this big theme that eldar emotions are so much stronger than human and yet they birthed only one god. I know they would not have birthed Nurgle since they were made perfect and immortal but the others should be fair game. I think it would have been a bit more subtle in my opinion if the Eldar had created these minor gods in the warp through their own actions, but slowly began to master the themselves in the big peace building up to the fall. No war means khorne gets weak, stable political system means tzeentch gets weak, nurgle gets nothing from the eldar, thus all the chaos gods are forced to turn to some lesser morsels that are growing on some backwater called terra, while the eldar make a new god with their growing hedonism.

Man long post!

Ok Warseer have at it and lets get a good debate going...

Lord Damocles
28-07-2012, 21:22
Nurgle, Khorne and Tzeentch are effectively human gods, created by humanity, so it makes sense that they didn't exist prior to humanity.

Similar entities may have existed prior to the three, embodying similar concepts, but whatever was created by the Eldar during the War in Heaven would have been different to Khorne.


I'm not sure that timeline is quite right either, I'll check Realm of Chaos.

Lord Damocles
28-07-2012, 21:27
Attached relevant passage from Realm of Chaos: The Lost and The Damned, pg.176.

Endemion
28-07-2012, 21:34
Remember the Eldar have their own god of war, the have no need for Khorne.

theunwantedbeing
28-07-2012, 22:23
I agree, the timeline for things is messed up and they didn't put enough thought into the background.

Badbones777
28-07-2012, 22:35
Remember the Eldar have their own god of war, the have no need for Khorne.


Assuming Khaine is not just a facet of Khorne in the first place of course. This was certainly hinted at in previous editions

Lord Zarkov
28-07-2012, 22:46
Assuming Khaine is not just a facet of Khorne in the first place of course. This was certainly hinted at in previous editions

In WD 127 (that introduced the Craftworlders) it is explicitly stated that Khaine is a facet of both Khorne and Slaanesh - in fact the two of them squabbling over him was what gave him the space to splinter into the materium to form the Avatars.

It's also worth bearing in mind that when the Eldar were at the height of their power (and before the decay set in) Khaine would have been the pre-eminent War God in the galaxy, of whom Khorne may just have been a minor humanised facet - especially since, according to Xenology, all the Old Ones minion races except the Orks have the same pantheon of Gods.

Retrospectus
28-07-2012, 22:48
I remember reading somewhere that during the war between the old ones and necrons the warp was a relatively stable dimension which allowed the old ones to create the webway. It was only when they created highly psychic races like the eldar that the warp began destabilizing and demons began forming. perhaps the seeds of khorne and the others were planted then but it took humans to bring fully birth them (except slaanesh of course. eldar literally ****ed him into existence)

Lord Squidar
28-07-2012, 23:23
Strange that lexicanum is wrong on this:

Origins

In the early history of the galaxy, the powers of the Warp had yet to form into distinct entities. At this time, the emotions of mortals flowed and ebbed as water does in a stream. As the mortal races grew and prospered, so did the strength of their emotions. Eventually, the gods grew to such a point where they could act independently of the general flow of emotions and thus became the Gods of Chaos. They reached into the dreams of mortals and demanded praise and servitude in order to increase their own power, as the of more one emotion is exhibited (in both thought and action) the stronger that god becomes.1
The four main Gods of Chaos are
Khorne - The Blood God
Tzeentch - The Changer of the Ways
Nurgle - The Great Lord of Decay
Slaanesh - The Prince of Excess
The first three gods became sentient by the end of M2 but Slaanesh didn't fully awaken until the Fall of the Eldar in M29.

Nurgle is one of the four major Ruinous Powers. He is the the oldest of the four, most probably because he is the God of Death and Decay and those two have been part of the galaxy since the beginning. His titles include the Fly Lord, Great Corruptor, Master of Pestilence, Lord of Decay (own emphasis added)

Ok so it makes sense that the chaos gods are specifically human gods. If the eldar had their own gods dealing with the fall out of their actions, that would explain why most of the facets were covered. Afaik there was no god for hedonism, so when that went wild, they created one. Humans on the other hand had no gods and so birthed the old three.

Aluinn
28-07-2012, 23:39
As to the War in Heaven and suchlike:

1. We know the Necrons didn't create Chaos gods because they've lost their souls and thus their Warp "echoes". The Necrontyr perhaps could have done so; they certainly had wars, politics, and died of illness sometimes, though it's possible that they were somewhat like the Tau in terms of Warp presence and thus not inclined to birth gods, or even that they had their own (possibly very weak and now extinct) gods (see below) pre-C'tan-discovery.

2. The Eldar gave birth to their own pantheon; whether these are aspects of the Chaos gods as we now know them (Khaine=Khorne, Isha=Nurgle, Morai-heg=Tzeentch, etc.) is unclear but has certainly been hinted at in regards to Khaine and Khorne and, to a lesser extent, Isha and Nurgle (Nurgle "kidnaps" her in the latest Daemons codex, which you could read allegorically). Even if so, though, these deities were, at least certainly before the birth of the gods we all know and love today, of somewhat different character and identity, and probably remain so if they were not devoured by Slaanesh. That they may be manifestations of the same basic Warp power as Chaos gods of humans doesn't necessarily make them identical.

3. The Krork almost surely were Orks or became Orks, and thus probably had Gork and Mork to channel their psychic energy into. Violence expressed via Orky medium may be feeding Ork gods rather than Khorne--Khorne claims not to care "from whence the blood flows", but he obviously really does, else he wouldn't bother rewarding people who worshiped him and dedicated their violent acts to him.

(The larger point here re. Eldar and Orks is that the power of deities in the Warp seems to depend not only on deeds or emotions but also on active, conscious dedication or worship, and that it seems that creating other gods is a function of the alien nature of these species and also serves to divert power that might otherwise go to one of the Big Four in other directions, or disperse it, or something; that is, that Khorne, Nurgle, and Tzeentch are basically "human gods".)

4. The Old Ones themselves were psychically powerful, but way too little is known of them to judge whether they might cause the birth of Chaos gods or not.

So all the actors in that whole deal way back when have "outs" insofar as the gods are concerned, or at least possibly could.

This still of course leaves all the other myriad species that evolved before humanity to account for, but I think at this point we have to just take GW's word for it that, for whatever reason, no, none of them gave birth to Khorne, Tzeentch, or Nurgle. They may have had influence over the Warp (and vice versa), but whatever was goin' on there just wasn't the birth of one of those dudes. The principle here has to be that Khorne, Tzeentch, Nurgle and even Slaanesh (though seemingly connected not only to Eldar but also to humans, if less so) are not entirely generic and that, for example, not all bloodshed actually feeds Khorne; that's just his line :) (awfully Tzeentchian of him to spin it like that huh?). Or, at least, bloodshed by humans, and done in the name of Khorne even more so, is greatly favorable to him over other kinds.

MvS
29-07-2012, 07:49
This is not the timeline I remember from the Realms of Chaos books. The order should be: Khorne, Tzeentch, Nurgle, Slaanesh.

Anyway, it's worth pointing out that the vortices of emotion in the Warp existed before these four gained sentience, because other species had been feeding into the Warp for billennia before humans even evolved.

It's also worth noting that as the 'depths' of the Warp are essentially a-temporal, so not bound by linear time, the Chaos Gods both came into being and (in a sense) have always been.

ryng_sting
29-07-2012, 07:54
Khorne is the eldest. Nurgle came third. That should seem obvious: death and decay aren't emotions, which are the staple diet of Chaos.

MvS
29-07-2012, 07:59
Some useful discussions culled from the FAQ section: http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?144840-Birth-of-the-chaos-gods

Number & names of all ‘gods’ in 40K: 1 (http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=110215)2 (http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=106105)3 (http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=158026)4 (http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=205984)5 (http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=158026)

What is the nature of ‘gods’ in 40K? Are they all connected? Is Khaine actually (or a part of) Khorne? 1 (http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=54556)2 (http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=101208)3 (http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=31994)4 (http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=204907)5 (http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=202388)6 (http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=9535)

What, specifically, are the Chaos Gods? What do they look like? Can new Chaos Gods be created? 1 (http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=155560)2 (http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=144840)3 (http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=138470)4 (http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=47343)5 (http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=61782)6 (http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=102332)7 (http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=12407)8 (http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=16932)9 (http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=25350)10 (http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=106570)11 (http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=152316)12 (http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=205446)

Are Chaos Gods ‘evil’? Are there ‘good’ Chaos Gods? 1 (http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=155222)2 (http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=231771)3 (http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=104262)

What are Daemons? What is a Greater Daemon/Daemon Prince? Are there ‘lesser’ gods? 1 (http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=31735)2 (http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=87672)3 (http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=6416)4 (http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=157842)5 (http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=160439)

TheDungen
29-07-2012, 09:27
Nurgle isnt really the god of death and decay he's the god of despair at the inevitability of death (or really despair in any form, the inevitability of death is just the main portion of it). And that emotion is far older than even rage, but it doesn't matter when they came into being they didn't reach sentience until m2.

Andy p
29-07-2012, 10:36
I like the idea of Nurgle being the oldest. Besides, out of all of them he seems....the most oddly benign. He only has to be patient since he knows eventually everything passes.

Perhaps even gods...

But it is interesting that all the other gods are...to an extent, pro-active, whereas Nurgle is more like existentialism personified.

Fear Ghoul
29-07-2012, 11:45
I preferred the version of events presented in the 3rd edition Necrons codex, which stated that the War in Heaven caused the creation of the Chaos Gods (bar Slaanesh). It always seemed much more appropriate that it took a galaxy spanning conflict with trillions of psychic beings involved to birth Chaos, rather than a few million people on some backwater planet. After all, it took thousands of years for Slaanesh to appear, and that involved trillions of intensely psychically aware Eldar satiating their passions.

Idaan
29-07-2012, 12:18
I preferred the version of events presented in the 3rd edition Necrons codex, which stated that the War in Heaven caused the creation of the Chaos Gods (bar Slaanesh). It always seemed much more appropriate that it took a galaxy spanning conflict with trillions of psychic beings involved to birth Chaos, rather than a few million people on some backwater planet. After all, it took thousands of years for Slaanesh to appear, and that involved trillions of intensely psychically aware Eldar satiating their passions.
That is still valid, because the new Necron codex mentions upheaval in the warp as well.

Most people see a contradiction between the new version and that in "Lost and the Damned", because they think that the Big Four are so general and basic that they can be the only Chaos gods of their respective ideas. That is not so - they are dominant because their main contributor, humanity is the dominant race. Take Khorne - to our minds he has all traits that befit an embodiment of rage. But to a race of insectoids that evolved on a world poor in metals, the concept of "Blood for the Blood God, Skulls for his Brazen Throne" wouldn't really evoke anything, because they don't know what skulls, blood or brass are. This might be seen as just window dressing, but in the world in which belief shapes reality (or un-reality), myths and appearance are everything. Same thing with other gods: a race of silicone-based lifeforms wouldn't see Nurgle as a rotting sack of flesh, but, say, a rock withered by erosion. A six-breasted Slaaneshi daemonette wouldn't appeal to a gaseous alien, however decadent he might be.

So while the "Four Properties of the Primordial Annihilator" (as the Cabal in "Legion" called them) are eternal and basic, the "masks" imposed on them by mortals in order to understand them change, waxing and waning along with these mortals. So the fact that Khorne awakened in the Middle Ages doesn't mean that all across the galaxy alien Chaos cultists had to change their beliefs. Rather, Khorne was a small entity on the surface of the Vortex of Rage, that grew as humanity spread across the galaxy and became dominant.

Badbones777
29-07-2012, 14:22
In WD 127 (that introduced the Craftworlders) it is explicitly stated that Khaine is a facet of both Khorne and Slaanesh - in fact the two of them squabbling over him was what gave him the space to splinter into the materium to form the Avatars.

It's also worth bearing in mind that when the Eldar were at the height of their power (and before the decay set in) Khaine would have been the pre-eminent War God in the galaxy, of whom Khorne may just have been a minor humanised facet - especially since, according to Xenology, all the Old Ones minion races except the Orks have the same pantheon of Gods.

Top stuff! WD127 seems to be even further back than I thought though!

Wyrmwood
29-07-2012, 17:54
As the flow of time in the Warp isn't linear, the moment humanity gave birth to Nurgle, Khorne and Tzeentch would it be fair to say that from that point on, it would be as though they had always existed?

Fluxeor
29-07-2012, 18:49
The key point to note really is that the gods/powers existed before thier awakening/sentience. There's nothing fishy about them, they just have more influence than they did before humanities contributions.

AveImperator123
29-07-2012, 20:23
I think the idea that the Gods have always existed could mean 1. They slumbered before awakening due to civilizations' influence or 2. Vagaries of time in the warp means that even if a god is born at some concrete moment in real time, the warp would twist it in a way such that the god always existed. Complicated I know, but the warp does weird things.

Wraith
30-07-2012, 16:53
Anyone ever read up on the background of the character Vivec in the Elder Scrolls games mythos?

He was a mortal elf who attained apotheosis via an arcane device. The religion based around his nature as a deity does not reference his time as a mortal rather constructs what appears to be a fabricated and somewhat surreal and fantastical story where he was a god from birth. When the creation myth is questioned and Vivec's mortal beginnings pointed out the explanation is thus: upon achieving god-hood Vivec's power and nature as a deity is such that he made his fantastical creation myth 'true' by virtue of his ability to dictate reality, past, present and future.

In this same way, the Chaos Gods likely have humble and less omnipotent/omnipresent origins, including a point of creation, however once they attained a certain threshold of power they simultaneously had a beginning and have always existed.

I think it likely some demons, including demon princes with mortal origins have reached this logic-defying threshold.