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View Full Version : What happens to a Primarch's 'spirits' when they die?



Harwammer
07-01-2015, 18:07
As per title; what happens to Primarchs' spirits when they die?

Obviously Horus's was deleted by Big E, but what about the others that have died?

Scribe of Khorne
07-01-2015, 18:40
Anyone, whoever you are, if you have a 'soul' you are consumed by the Warp. Either the Chaos Gods, the Laughing God, or the Ork Gods.

Kesendeja
08-01-2015, 11:44
Or if you're eldar you get sucked into a rock, and put into an artificial afterlife.

AndrewGPaul
08-01-2015, 12:04
It has been stated before (in the Realms of Chaos books, I think) that most ordinary souls simply dissolve into the warp after death, but that particularly strong-willed individuals can linger on as some sort of entity. Most of them get consumed by other malevolent warp entities (or gathered up by their gods, which I suppose amounts to the same thing), but some very lucky ones might survive unnoticed.

ryng_sting
08-01-2015, 12:30
No one knows for sure when it comes to the Primarchs.

flota
08-01-2015, 23:25
Maybe one day we will know.

They said that each primarch represented an aspect of the emperor, maybe the soul returns to him. It's my opinion, not a fact

Karhedron
09-01-2015, 12:33
This has never been answered as fact. We know that sufficiently strong souls can retain their individuality and cohesion after death, I think it is safe to assume that if exceptional humans can do this, the Primarchs certainly could have persisted in some fashion. Whether they have survived the ensuing 10,000 years of floating in the Warp is another matter.

One interesting titbit comes from old Warhammer 43K project. In the late 90s, GW was toying with various ideas to update the 40K fluff and timeline. One idea that was developed was to move the setting another 3000 years into the future and resolve some of the more apocalyptic storylines (a lot like they have done with the recent "End Times" in WHFB).

The premise for this was that Cypher would eventually reach Terra and managed to kill the Emperor. This resulted in the collapse of the Astronomicon and massive Chaos incursions into realspace. On the loyalist side, several of the loyalist Primarchs would return to help save humanity in its darkest hour. Among these, Sanguinious was going to return by possessing the body of Mephiston. This shows that in at least one branching of the fluff, a Primarch's soul was able to survive in the Warp until it was able to return.

Of course, the 43K project was scrapped a long time ago. The biggest problem was that it would have marginalised most factions apart from the Imperials, Chaos and Eldar. The fluff developed for it is not really relevant but it shows that the idea was at least considered. There are a couple of small references to the 43K project in the early 3rd edition fluff. One is the story of Cypher reaching earth and killing the Emperor (and now sitting on the Golden Throne himself). The other was talking about the Cult of the Starchild (which first arose in the Realm of Chaos book and was later picked up in Ian Watson's Inquisition War trilogy). The goodies in 43K were trying to being about the awakening of the Starchild to fight Chaos on its own terms.

Scribe of Khorne
09-01-2015, 17:58
Love the Starchild fluff, it was in the 3rd ed book also, but corrupted into a Tzeentch cult! lol.

Anyway, I find it, in the current versions of fluff, very hard to believe Primarch's souls would kick around in the Warp. Eaten, possessing someone (Sanguinor?) sure, but just floating around for 10K years, eh I personally dont buy it.

Would make for interesting stories though.

OuroborosTriumphant
12-01-2015, 23:03
Something is echoing through the warp in connection to the Blood Angel geneline and Sanguinius's death; the Black Rage, Mephiston, the Sanguinor; all seem to be manifestations of some kind of Warp phenomenon. I imagine Sanguinius's soul is involved in that somehow.

Harwammer
13-01-2015, 05:02
Well, space marines are sometimes described as having this power, it seems almost psychic but not quite, of being able to consume the flesh of others in order to gain some of their memories. If I remember correctly, the Sanguinary Priests carry the still living blood of Sanguinius in their veins. This blood is then consumed to trigger a new space marine's implants.

Perhaps even at the earliest stage the space marines are able to use this sorta-but-not psychic ability and the consumption of the blood is what gives them the possibility of remembering Sanguinius's final moments?

Freak Ona Leash
13-01-2015, 20:45
Well, space marines are sometimes described as having this power, it seems almost psychic but not quite, of being able to consume the flesh of others in order to gain some of their memories. If I remember correctly, the Sanguinary Priests carry the still living blood of Sanguinius in their veins. This blood is then consumed to trigger a new space marine's implants.

Perhaps even at the earliest stage the space marines are able to use this sorta-but-not psychic ability and the consumption of the blood is what gives them the possibility of remembering Sanguinius's final moments?

That's a biotech organ of the Space Marines, not a psychic ability. The omophagea.

ryng_sting
13-01-2015, 21:44
Something is echoing through the warp in connection to the Blood Angel geneline and Sanguinius's death; the Black Rage, Mephiston, the Sanguinor; all seem to be manifestations of some kind of Warp phenomenon. I imagine Sanguinius's soul is involved in that somehow.

The Sanguinor's very mortal origins are confirmed in one of the HH short stories. Black Rage is a by-product of the BA's gene-seed, which afflicted them at least once before Sanguinius' death. Nothing on Mephiston as of yet beyond rumour and speculation.

OuroborosTriumphant
14-01-2015, 12:06
The Sanguinor's very mortal origins are confirmed in one of the HH short stories. Black Rage is a by-product of the BA's gene-seed, which afflicted them at least once before Sanguinius' death. Nothing on Mephiston as of yet beyond rumour and speculation.

I was under the impression that the Red Thirst is inherent to the gene-seed, but the Black Rage is an echo of Sanguinius' death. Am I mistaken on this point?

And yes, the Sanguinor may well be Azkaellon, but something weird is going on the Warp to have turned him into the Sanguinor.

ryng_sting
14-01-2015, 13:00
I was under the impression that the Red Thirst is inherent to the gene-seed, but the Black Rage is an echo of Sanguinius' death. Am I mistaken on this point?

The events detailed in Fear to Tread trigger Black Rage in almost the entire legion. It is said to have left 'a brooding shadow' on their souls. It's triggered again during the Siege of Terra when the BA feel Sanguinius' death. Post-Heresy Black Rage we all know.


And yes, the Sanguinor may well be Azkaellon, but something weird is going on the Warp to have turned him into the Sanguinor.

It isn't him.

Karhedron
16-01-2015, 09:45
Anyway, I find it, in the current versions of fluff, very hard to believe Primarch's souls would kick around in the Warp. Eaten, possessing someone (Sanguinor?) sure, but just floating around for 10K years, eh I personally dont buy it.

You forget that time has no meaning in the Warp. Years turn into moments, moments turn into jam and jam turns into Tuesday. :p

From the POV of contemporary Blood Angels, Sanguinius may have died 10,000 years ago. From his PoV, he may just have turned up in the warp and is now kicking and shoving to get back out. Just a possibility.


I was under the impression that the Red Thirst is inherent to the gene-seed, but the Black Rage is an echo of Sanguinius' death. Am I mistaken on this point?

Yes, I believe this is correct. Fear To Tread shows that the Red Thirst had already appeared before the Heresy. Sanguinius personally euthanised his afflicted sons and begged Horus not to tell the Emperor as he was worried about the implications of genetic instability.

Later on Signus Prime, the entire legion is struck by the Black Rage (or its precursor) when Sanguinius is maimed by Ka'bandah. This shows that there is some psychic link that inflicts the Primarch's pain on his legion. This would go onto become the Black Rage after his death.

Rufiodies
16-01-2015, 18:17
Does this occur with every legion? and is there a distance limit to this? When Ferrus Manus was killed, they say his legion on Istvaan went nuts, as if they were effected on a deeper level, unconciously, but when they tell other Iron Hands of his death, like in Riven, they marines seem to have had no idea, no change in behavior, no effects from their primarch's death.

Grubnar
17-01-2015, 11:04
Horus: Soul obliterated by the Emperor.

Sanguinius: We don't know, it is quite possible his soul is raging in the warp.

Ferrus Mannus: We don't know.

Rogal Dorn: We don't know.

Konrad Cruse: We don't know. (Wait! Was that a soulstone, like the Eldar use?!?)

Robute Guilliman: Not actually dead. In stasis.

Lionel Johnson: Not actually dead. Sleeping/in hibernation.

flota
17-01-2015, 19:16
Russ is missing too
But the magnus in the battle of the fang implies something bad happened to him.

The khan is missing too
And I don't know if Vulcan is really dead

khirsath
18-01-2015, 22:19
I always liked the idea that the Night Haunter's soul formed the nexus of a warp coalescence. Essentially he becomes the core of a growing warp entity based on fear and terror, fed by those emotions in the mortal plane. The souls of dead primarchs could form the basis for a new set of minor deities. Certainly they were powerful souls to begin with and with the resulting 10k years of 'feeding' from the emotions of the Imperium they could grow even stronger.

Karhedron
19-01-2015, 12:30
Does this occur with every legion?

We simply don't know. The only Primarchs we have evidence for a link are Sanguinius and Ferrus. Sanguinius was one of the most psychically gifted Primarchs (after Magnus of course) which may be a partial explanation. Ferrus is a mystery and he was killed off too quickly in the HH novels to flesh any details out further.

It is worth noting that the psychic link aspect of the Black Rage is a more recent innovation. In the original Death Company fluff, it stated that the Blood Angels' geneseed stocks were damaged during the Siege of Terra. After the Horus Heresy, new geneseed was harvested from cells in Sanguinius' corpse. The Black Rage was because his life experiences (and his death) were etched into his DNA.

Technobabble of course since memory does not really have a genetic component. In some ways, the psychic-link fluff is more realistic but it is worth bearing in mind that technically it is a ret-con.

Haskear
13-02-2015, 21:55
I think Ferrus has survived in some way through the living metal that was his fore arms, like a kind of T1000 esque way, and is in someway involved in the mechanicum but is not known to them. Sanguinius I think is in the warp as a minor deity, we know belief is a powerful force in the 40k universe and I'm sure I have read that Sanguinius is highly venerated by the imperial cult. I believe this entity has something to do with the sanguinor and other blood angel phenomenon, I think the red thirst and black rage however are linked to both geneseed flaw and original death echo effect

Kiro
26-02-2015, 04:41
But the Magnus in the battle of the fang implies something bad happened to him.


What now?

/char

Sandlemad
26-02-2015, 13:21
It is worth noting that the psychic link aspect of the Black Rage is a more recent innovation. In the original Death Company fluff, it stated that the Blood Angels' geneseed stocks were damaged during the Siege of Terra. After the Horus Heresy, new geneseed was harvested from cells in Sanguinius' corpse. The Black Rage was because his life experiences (and his death) were etched into his DNA.

Technobabble of course since memory does not really have a genetic component. In some ways, the psychic-link fluff is more realistic but it is worth bearing in mind that technically it is a ret-con.

That's really interesting, have to say I rather prefer it to the current back-and-forth of psychic effects between Ka'bandha and Sanguinius. Similarly the stuff with Ferrus' bitterness lasting past death seems silly.


What now?

/char

It's when Magnus has a little monologue to the statue of Russ before breaking it over his knee. Nothing definitive.


Magnus lost his smile. 'You took no pleasure in what you did. I knew that then, and I know it now. But all things change, my brother. I'm not the same as I was, and you're... well, let us not mention where you are now.'

Danny76
26-02-2015, 20:16
Where you are now may just be referencing the eye of terror / warp or whatever...

Born Again
28-02-2015, 11:38
This has never been answered as fact. We know that sufficiently strong souls can retain their individuality and cohesion after death, I think it is safe to assume that if exceptional humans can do this, the Primarchs certainly could have persisted in some fashion. Whether they have survived the ensuing 10,000 years of floating in the Warp is another matter.

One interesting titbit comes from old Warhammer 43K project. In the late 90s, GW was toying with various ideas to update the 40K fluff and timeline. One idea that was developed was to move the setting another 3000 years into the future and resolve some of the more apocalyptic storylines (a lot like they have done with the recent "End Times" in WHFB).

The premise for this was that Cypher would eventually reach Terra and managed to kill the Emperor. This resulted in the collapse of the Astronomicon and massive Chaos incursions into realspace. On the loyalist side, several of the loyalist Primarchs would return to help save humanity in its darkest hour. Among these, Sanguinious was going to return by possessing the body of Mephiston. This shows that in at least one branching of the fluff, a Primarch's soul was able to survive in the Warp until it was able to return.

Of course, the 43K project was scrapped a long time ago. The biggest problem was that it would have marginalised most factions apart from the Imperials, Chaos and Eldar. The fluff developed for it is not really relevant but it shows that the idea was at least considered. There are a couple of small references to the 43K project in the early 3rd edition fluff. One is the story of Cypher reaching earth and killing the Emperor (and now sitting on the Golden Throne himself). The other was talking about the Cult of the Starchild (which first arose in the Realm of Chaos book and was later picked up in Ian Watson's Inquisition War trilogy). The goodies in 43K were trying to being about the awakening of the Starchild to fight Chaos on its own terms.

I've not heard of this 43k project before. Where is this coming from? If it was GW and not fan-based, what is the source that made it public if it wasn't used? I've never seen it mentioned anywhere before.

agurus1
02-03-2015, 02:40
We simply don't know. The only Primarchs we have evidence for a link are Sanguinius and Ferrus. Sanguinius was one of the most psychically gifted Primarchs (after Magnus of course) which may be a partial explanation. Ferrus is a mystery and he was killed off too quickly in the HH novels to flesh any details out further.

It is worth noting that the psychic link aspect of the Black Rage is a more recent innovation. In the original Death Company fluff, it stated that the Blood Angels' geneseed stocks were damaged during the Siege of Terra. After the Horus Heresy, new geneseed was harvested from cells in Sanguinius' corpse. The Black Rage was because his life experiences (and his death) were etched into his DNA.

Technobabble of course since memory does not really have a genetic component. In some ways, the psychic-link fluff is more realistic but it is worth bearing in mind that technically it is a ret-con.

There is actually new evidence being revealed now that DNA can store information and memory which can be passed down through generations via genes, subconsciously of course. Kinda cool if you have ever read Dune though!

Karhedron
02-03-2015, 09:34
I've not heard of this 43k project before. Where is this coming from? If it was GW and not fan-based, what is the source that made it public if it wasn't used? I've never seen it mentioned anywhere before.

I went for a job interview at GW about 18 months before 3rd edition was released and chatted to some of the staff and they talked about some of the ideas they were playing with for advancing the timeline. I don't know how far advanced the ideas were, they may have been little more than the output of brainstorming sessions. However I was very interested in them at the time and slightly surprised when 3rd edition came out that they had decided to freeze the status quo. I noticed a few items slipped into the early 3rd edition fluff as legends and rumours that matched what I had year a year or two before which is why they stood out to me.

Back then there wasn't any of the current Black Library range of novels. Most of the 40K fluff was contained in WD and the codices. Only Ian Watson's novels and a few other pieces expanded the fluff as ongoing stories.

Karhedron
02-03-2015, 09:36
There is actually new evidence being revealed now that DNA can store information and memory which can be passed down through generations via genes, subconsciously of course. Kinda cool if you have ever read Dune though!

I thought that was to do with the environment affecting gene expression which was then passed on to children (epigenetics) rather than specific memories. Either way, Dune is certainly cool though. :)