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Moloch Sacrifice
15-11-2013, 07:35
Some of the Horus Heresy books hint at the Emperor's plans for the Imperium after the Great Crusade. One key aspect is shifting the balance of power from Astartes to the civilian population. Obviously, this situation never arose, but I wonder what would happen to the primarchs of it had.

My question is, if they would no longer be leading humanity, what would the Primarchs do in a peacetime Imperium? Would they continue to lead their legions non-stop, or do you think they would take up some form of civilian life? Furthermore, who would adapt best and worst to this new situation?

Silversage
15-11-2013, 08:09
I highly doubt that even the Emperor could (or would) discard the Primarchs even if there was no more wars to be fought (at least not in the same sense as is the situation now). Yeah I know the Emprah did some stupid ***** for such a smart guy that, in my opinion, at least partially caused the Horus Heresy, but I do think he would still continue to use his sons in leading positions even in a peaceful Imperium.

That said, I do however suspect there would be trouble for many of the Primarchs to get accustomed to doing something else than fighting. Of course, there would be Guilliman, Dorn, Vulkan, Lorgar and a few others that would quickly find something else to do with their time than lead the war effort, but for example Angron, Kurze or Russ would no doubt have some major issues with standing down completely. I imagine the most vicious of them would simply HAVE to be kept on guard duty or some such, patrolling the galaxy much in the way the current Space Marine Chapters do.

Ultimately, I do not think that all of the Primarchs would be satisfied with the war over. They were built for it. It's imprinted on their psyche and cannot simply be pushed aside. Imagine trying to suddenly stop eating or breathing. That would probably be equal to a Primarch to stop waging war. There would still be a falling out at some point, by somebody and somehow. As soon as the Emperor created the Primarchs and the Ruinous Powers tossed them around, an internal conflict became inevitable.

Fear Ghoul
15-11-2013, 09:26
Didn't earlier background suggest that the Primarchs had a lifespan? Wasn't this the reason Russ was dying? If so then I'd say the Emperor could probably let time take care oft he Primarchs for him.

Camman1984
15-11-2013, 10:26
Even if the heresy hadnt happened and the imperium had become peaceful, its a huge galaxy with lots of other factions. There would be plenty to keep the more warlike primarchs busy while the other got down to efficient government.

I am sure someone like angron would relish the idea of diving into a tyranid infested world and murdering hive tyrants.

And imagine how armageddon would have gone if sanguinous had led the blood angels.

Camman1984
15-11-2013, 10:31
Just had the image of angron opening negotiations with the tau space pope. Would have gone wondefully and prevented the development of riptides and all their cheeseyness.

The bearded one
15-11-2013, 12:40
Guilliman was already actively preparing for it, and often put his ultramarines in positions as administrators and leaders in order to make them accustomed to cultural duties and administration; things outside of war. Looking at the 500 worlds, they were doing a pretty fine job.

Idaan
15-11-2013, 13:26
Didn't earlier background suggest that the Primarchs had a lifespan? Wasn't this the reason Russ was dying? If so then I'd say the Emperor could probably let time take care oft he Primarchs for him.

Codex Imperialis explicitly says that the Primarchs weren't immortal. But nowadays everything important has to be huge and incredibly-long-lived, so I doubt it's true anymore.

Lee-Full_Davis
15-11-2013, 13:42
I'm sure the Primarchs will have xeno-problems to worry about - i mean imagine a war with the Necrons, Tau or Eldar? no doubt the Primarchs would win the day but still

Camman1984
15-11-2013, 13:47
They may not be immortal but i wonder what the actual life expectancy would be? It is theoretically possible, with the correct amount of genetic tweaks and control of cell death etc to slow the aging process to the point it appears stopped, its just technically impossible with todays tech. In 30000 years at the height of the emperors genetic prowess, who knows? Maybe the primarks are not immortal but have lifespans measured in millenia. 40k era space marines can live into their 1000's and they are genetically inferior.

Moloch Sacrifice
15-11-2013, 15:46
Codex Imperialis explicitly says that the Primarchs weren't immortal. But nowadays everything important has to be huge and incredibly-long-lived, so I doubt it's true anymore.
I always assumed quotes like this were referring to the fact they can still die in battle, rather than their natural lifespan. After all, the Primarchs were not just genetically enhanced; the Emperor also used the Warp when creating them as well.

Mortimer
15-11-2013, 16:30
They may not be immortal but i wonder what the actual life expectancy would be? It is theoretically possible, with the correct amount of genetic tweaks and control of cell death etc to slow the aging process to the point it appears stopped, its just technically impossible with todays tech. In 30000 years at the height of the emperors genetic prowess, who knows? Maybe the primarks are not immortal but have lifespans measured in millenia. 40k era space marines can live into their 1000's and they are genetically inferior.

They are immortal. Just not invincible.

They can live a long long time and shrug off stuff that would fell scores of Space Marines. But as is seen with Ferrus and few others, they aren't unkillable.


The Emperor had a plan for post-great crusade.. He'd have Magnus stuck in a Chair he got the misfortune to sit in, Girlyman would run the government, Perty and Dorn would be fortifying everywhere.. and the rest would do what they do best.. Kill! Maim! Burn.

and if any step out of line, that is what the Puppies are for.

Fear Ghoul
15-11-2013, 16:47
There is also the possibility that the Heresy itself was the Emperor's redundancy plan for the Primarchs. Have them conquer the galaxy and then let them annihilate each other, subsequently eliminating any who could threaten his reign and justifying his brutally authoritarian theocracy to the masses.

Inquisitor Engel
15-11-2013, 17:00
They are immortal. Just not invincible.

They can live a long long time and shrug off stuff that would fell scores of Space Marines. But as is seen with Ferrus and few others, they aren't unkillable.

Except Vulkan. ;)

Moloch Sacrifice
15-11-2013, 18:26
There is also the possibility that the Heresy itself was the Emperor's redundancy plan for the Primarchs. Have them conquer the galaxy and then let them annihilate each other, subsequently eliminating any who could threaten his reign and justifying his brutally authoritarian theocracy to the masses.
I doubt it, given how the scattering of the Primarchs was not planned. It's not like he could have known Lorgar would become a fanatic, or Fulgrim an obsessed perfectionist. Given how the Heresy was very much driven by their individual personalities, it's unlikely this was intended by the Emperor.

Hrw-Amen
15-11-2013, 19:00
I am sure they would have plenty to do around the edges of the galaxy and unexplored bits of it for years to come, not mention going to the numerous dwarf galaxies that are closer at hand than some far off reaches of are own galaxy. Who knows what is hidden there for them to overcome and conquer for the Emperor?

TheDungen
15-11-2013, 19:17
I'd say Dorn (or was that sigismund?) was right making the imperium was the easy part, holding it would be the hard part.

ElGigante
15-11-2013, 20:24
The Galaxy is a big place. The last figure i read was 300+ billion stars in our galaxy. That's a feck of a lot to pacify. And by the time they did so, another threat would have popped up in the bit they'd already pacified. The war would never end.

Some Primarchs could fulfill non military roles, Guilleman, Sanguinius, Dorn etc. But others like Angron look like they were destined for a life being hurled into the meatgrinder because they were too dangerous to sit idle.

Perrin
16-11-2013, 09:03
Angron and Curze are really the only ones I could see becoming a problem if there wasn't a Heresy. Angron I think would have eventually be killed by the Butchers Nails, and Curze would eventually have gone completely mad, or been imprisoned/censured for the Dorn and Nostramo thing.

Fear Ghoul
16-11-2013, 14:06
I doubt it, given how the scattering of the Primarchs was not planned. It's not like he could have known Lorgar would become a fanatic, or Fulgrim an obsessed perfectionist. Given how the Heresy was very much driven by their individual personalities, it's unlikely this was intended by the Emperor.

Who says it wasn't?

Inquisitor Engel
16-11-2013, 15:36
Angron and Curze are really the only ones I could see becoming a problem if there wasn't a Heresy. Angron I think would have eventually be killed by the Butchers Nails, and Curze would eventually have gone completely mad, or been imprisoned/censured for the Dorn and Nostramo thing.

It's implied in "Betrayer" that he would have been dead VERY soon if he hadn't have been elevated to daemonhood (possibly before Fulgrim?)

nazdreg5
16-11-2013, 17:32
After the Great Crusade the primarchs gather at the edge of the galaxy, gather up a million or so marines then about 10 billion humans and go to the next galaxy!

Fizzy
17-11-2013, 05:01
It's implied in "Betrayer" that he would have been dead VERY soon if he hadn't have been elevated to daemonhood (possibly before Fulgrim?)

Lorgar suspected it but it would not be very soon. And no one knows for sure what would happened if he did not elevate to daemonhood. Because he did not get weaker as the nails bit in more. He got stronger.
He could have gone berserk and killed everyone around him until some or at least two primarchs would stop him. As we know facing Angron alone is not going to work :)

Scribe of Khorne
17-11-2013, 05:51
Lorgar suspected it but it would not be very soon. And no one knows for sure what would happened if he did not elevate to daemonhood. Because he did not get weaker as the nails bit in more. He got stronger.
He could have gone berserk and killed everyone around him until some or at least two primarchs would stop him. As we know facing Angron alone is not going to work :)

I do not believe Betrayer supports that position.

He was not getting weaker in terms of physical strength, however the mind doesnt care. Sleep Deprivation can lead to death, and the Nails where not being dealt with, it was a losing battle that as a Primarch, he just had the joy of fighting longer.

Angron would have died, and it would have been likely within decades, if not centuries at least is what I feel was being suggested by the book.

As for the topic.

The 'monsters' (World Eaters and Night Lords) would have had to go for sure. They have no place in a united human empire after that, I think they go looking, or waiting, for Xeno's, and the rest of the Legions either migrate into 'normal' operation (ultramarines) or slink off and do their own thing (Wolves, Scars)

Nazguire
17-11-2013, 06:18
Lorgar suspected it but it would not be very soon. And no one knows for sure what would happened if he did not elevate to daemonhood. Because he did not get weaker as the nails bit in more. He got stronger.
He could have gone berserk and killed everyone around him until some or at least two primarchs would stop him. As we know facing Angron alone is not going to work :)

At the rate of degeneration to the mind that he was suffering (he'd only been with his Legion for something like just over 50 years by the Horus Heresy) the novel suggest it would have been quite soon if Lorgar hadn't done what he did. There's entire chapters in the book that state that whilst once Angron could at least prosecute a campaign satisfactorily, if not bluntly, his mind was degenerating rapidly in the years just prior to the Heresy, to the point where he was completely losing his mind regularly, hence the Communion and what they had to do to bring him back on Armatura

If the Heresy hadn't happened the World Eaters and their Primarch would have had to have been put down quite quickly as the Imperium started to make the transition from war machine to civilly administered state. The degeneration on both Angron's mind and the World Eater's minds was too severe and causing too much damage for them to remain a viable and controllable army for much longer.

The same thing would have happened with the Night Lords. Konrad's mind was falling apart by the time of the Heresy. Dark visions, deep paranoia, deep self-loathing and the desire to lash out at anything around him, the Imperium trying to rein him and his Legion in. If it wasn't for the Heresy the Emperor would have put down the Night Lords as well without a thought.

KingCro
17-11-2013, 06:19
I never understood the idea that the legions feared that they would be out of work and useless after the crusade. There are so many worlds at the edge of the galaxy and beyond. Why not expand the Imperium even further? Plus you would need marines to protect against new threats that would inevitably come *cough* necrons,tyranids,tau *cough* Also there are so many threats still within the Imperium. Its constantly said how the orks alone out number the imperium. Why not sent the legions to all the ork worlds and slowly wipe them out? Angron would have a grand old time with that job! Plus you have things like eldar/dark eldar pirates, you could go around hunting them down too. Seems like plenty of work for the legions to do after the crusade.

Nazguire
17-11-2013, 06:26
I think with that that it is not so much that they would literally be out of work. It's the very idea that after all their hard work, blood, sweat and tears that they could be replaced or stood down that frightened them. The idea would be far more scary than the actual reality, in my opinion. Whilst the Orks and stuff would no doubt keep them busy for decades to come, the seed of an idea that they will not be needed at some point, possibly, would set them on edge more than anything.

Scribe of Khorne
17-11-2013, 06:27
The later HH works have fairly plainly tried to paint the picture that there was little significant known threat, at the outbreak of the HH.

Unified Imperium, with the legions of that time period in size and power? Humanity on the doorstep of the webway? Forget it. :p

Without the Heresy, humanity wins.

Everto
17-11-2013, 18:02
Wasn't there a bit in the outcast dead explaining what the emperor did with his warriors when they were no longer useful to him.

Flame Boy
17-11-2013, 18:41
Wasn't there a bit in the outcast dead explaining what the emperor did with his warriors when they were no longer useful to him.

That's a very good point that I'd forgotten about. For all the decorative friezes of the Emperor's hard work reuniting Terra, there's not many traces of the soldiers that stood beside him.

The Lion's Shade
17-11-2013, 20:34
I think the Imperium would still need to be controlled by a military entity so while many troops would be de-militarized, I think the Primarchs would be assigned sector of the galaxy to be set under their responsibility.

KingCro
18-11-2013, 04:02
That's a very good point that I'd forgotten about. For all the decorative friezes of the Emperor's hard work reuniting Terra, there's not many traces of the soldiers that stood beside him.

true but that is because the thunder warriors were brutes that kne nothing but how to fight. the Emperor specifically created the marines to be more well rounded and do more than just fight.