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kamedake88
14-02-2015, 14:24
Given the release of The Vengeful Spirit and the Talon of Horus I believe it's time to do one of these threads again. Do we at this point have a cogent definition of what the Emperor is? Can we even begin to speculate with any certainty as to what he was before Horus nearly ripped his head off?

I am not specifically talking about the gestalt soul fluff of old, given that bit of background can still explain his origins. But if you have been following the Heresy novel series and it's tie-ins, it has become clear the while the Astartes who knew him saw him as a man, he is something far, far beyond that now.

7788
15-02-2015, 14:23
Given the release of The Vengeful Spirit and the Talon of Horus I believe it's time to do one of these threads again. Do we at this point have a cogent definition of what the Emperor is? Can we even begin to speculate with any certainty as to what he was before Horus nearly ripped his head off?

I guess you can speculate all you want, free ideas for the BL author mill. But it is probable that GW doesn't know the Emperor's nature (yet). Authors can throw all the hints they want, but it is highly likely that they are not the ones who will have the final say. I think it is safe to say that these things are determined above their level, and after other considerations are taken into account.

Scammel
15-02-2015, 15:03
I guess you can speculate all you want, free ideas for the BL author mill. But it is probable that GW doesn't know the Emperor's nature (yet). Authors can throw all the hints they want, but it is highly likely that they are not the ones who will have the final say. I think it is safe to say that these things are determined above their level, and after other considerations are taken into account.

I'd wager that the nature of the Emperor was almost certainly addressed very early on in the planning of the Heresy series. Authors don't operate independently - they have group planning sessions with a degree of top-down instruction. I recall it was Abnett, for example, who devised the Remembrancers to provide a human viewpoint of the series. They might well decide to leave the big E as an enigmatic figure, but they almost certainly know how they're going to approach it and how much they're going to give away.

As it stands, it's strongly hinted that the Emperor was a perpetual with incredibly potent psychic powers, but perhaps no more than that. That changed post-Molech.

7788
15-02-2015, 15:08
Well, I think what really changed was The Horus Heresy becoming a game. Since eventually the Emperor will become a playable character, I bet the authors will have to "revise" towards that end.

Scammel
15-02-2015, 15:36
Well, I think what really changed was The Horus Heresy becoming a game. Since eventually the Emperor will become a playable character, I bet the authors will have to "revise" towards that end.

Not necessarily - let's not forget that the Emperor was a non-combatant even before the Heresy kicked off, thanks to Magnus. GW may well decide not to assign him stats or even a model. If they do get round to it, I'm sure there will be a collective effort to get him exactly 'right', as I suspect there was for the Primarchs.

kamedake88
15-02-2015, 17:49
Interesting. I'm under the assumption that the perpetuals are in fact the sensei updated and they might actually be the "children" of the emperor. I say "children" not in the biological sense but maybe he bestowed the gift of immortality highlander style to them somehow.

I also doubt we will see the emperor on the table top, as well. His rules would be out of control overpowered. My old signature on these boards for years was "to represent the emperor on the table top simply place a live hand grenade on the table, pull the pin and duck". Barring the fact that he was confined to his warp commode for the majority of the heresy, we are talking about a character that could easily mentally curb stomp all 18 primarchs at the same time. Perhaps a Reaver titan's stats in character form will suffice.

7788
15-02-2015, 18:27
Not necessarily - let's not forget that the Emperor was a non-combatant even before the Heresy kicked off, thanks to Magnus. GW may well decide not to assign him stats or even a model. If they do get round to it, I'm sure there will be a collective effort to get him exactly 'right', as I suspect there was for the Primarchs.

I don't think that is correct. According to lore the Emperor was almost always fighting Chaos one way or another, if not other lesser enemies. There are Heresy stories about it. In Athame, a very Emperor-like character shows up (in Old Earth, probably tens of thousands of years ago) to dispatch a Chaos champion/operative wielding a certain psycho-active dagger that gets a part in the Heresy (the dagger I mean). In Wolf of Ash & Fire (btw a story that makes NO sense) the Emperor's backside is saved by Horus while fighting greenskins. Yes, the Emperor of Mankind, ruler of a million worlds, is involved in a scrape with some Ork warlord. It doesn't matter if the Ork is the biggest and baddest ever. But anyway... the Emperor enjoyed a short period away from fighting: between the triumph of Ullanor and Isstvan 3. Then he was fighting the Webway war. Then he fought Horus in a duel. So there you go: you already may know the baseline the Emperor's stats are going to be based on. They are perhaps going to be based on Horus' baseline stats. Otherwise the game isn't quite interesting.

As for the Emperor being a perpetual, there's no support in the lore (yet). The Emperor circa 30K hasn't died so we don't know if he can come back. And ofcourse if he's a perpetual how come he ends up in the Golden Throne. Ok, he dies and comes back in about 5 seconds.

Scammel
15-02-2015, 18:47
I don't think that is correct. According to lore the Emperor was almost always fighting Chaos one way or another, if not other lesser enemies. There are Heresy stories about it. In Athame, a very Emperor-like character shows up (in Old Earth, probably tens of thousands of years ago) to dispatch a Chaos champion/operative wielding a certain psycho-active dagger that gets a part in the Heresy (the dagger I mean). In Wolf of Ash & Fire (btw a story that makes NO sense) the Emperor's backside is saved by Horus while fighting greenskins. Yes, the Emperor of Mankind, ruler of a million worlds, is involved in a scrape with some Ork warlord. It doesn't matter if the Ork is the biggest and baddest ever. But anyway... the Emperor enjoyed a short period away from fighting: between the triumph of Ullanor and Isstvan 3. Then he was fighting the Webway war. Then he fought Horus in a duel. So there you go: you already may know the baseline the Emperor's stats are going to be based on. They are perhaps going to be based on Horus' baseline stats. Otherwise the game isn't quite interesting.

The Emperor was confined to the Throne for 99% of the Heresy, and had to remain close by even before it kicked off (the warp breach worsened over the Heresy's course). Considering that the mystery surrounding the Emperor is a big element of the entire setting, GW may well opt to reserve that mystery in lieu of producing rules that cover perhaps less than 24 hours of combat. Heck, I wouldn't be surprised if the final duel isn't even detailed in the novel series - not in a conventional fashion, anyway.


As for the Emperor being a perpetual, there's no support in the lore (yet). The Emperor circa 30K hasn't died so we don't know if he can come back.

I'd struggle to recite them off the top of my head, but I think there's been a few hints - The Outcast Dead drops a line or two about how things went down on ancient Terra and He shares some sort of link to Grammaticus (though that might only be a reference to their shared psychic powers). A quick Google search also suggests Vulkan Lives makes strong hints in this direction.


And ofcourse if he's a perpetual how come he ends up in the Golden Throne. Ok, he dies and comes back in about 5 seconds.

Perhaps his pact on Molech came with a trade-off? Perhaps Horus brutalised him so badly with Chaos soul-bullets that his regeneration just doesn't work? Vulkan certainly took a while to get back into shape on several occasions - what would a few hours of uncontrolled Chaos portal goodness do to the Imperium?

7788
15-02-2015, 19:12
That would be correct if the Horus Heresy was a story. It hasn't been that for some time. The literature is there to support something that is getting bigger and bigger. Namely, moving the playable timeline backwards to 30K and other "past" eras. I'm sure there's going to be some story-writing acrobatics to make everything marginally coherent, but all the speculation about Vulkan Lives (a very average effort as a novel) may come to nothing. In old lore Vulkan was around for thousands of years after the Heresy, though mysteriously most of the Salamanders weren't. Then he was nuked (in current lore). But he's also a likable guy. Can't kill off characters that you may want to base models on. After all, even Ferrus Manus may be brought back in some fashion, since he keeps getting mentions. Think Tormagaddon was the last?

Scammel
15-02-2015, 20:09
The Heresy might be getting expanded on, but I fail to see how concrete that's already been written in the series itself is going to become over-ridden by later books in the same series (as I say there's been a very definite direction, discussed to death by the authors, from the start). Vulkan is what he is, and Manus is most definitely very, very dead - he keeps getting a mention because of who he is, the impact some of his decisions may have had and the fact that he's the only Primarch to have died thus far.

Arijharn
15-02-2015, 22:21
I'm pretty sure they've had internal discussions on the 'nature of the Emperor', but I think that's a far cry from actually publicizing it. After all, as has been stated part of the draw to the mythos is because he is so enigmatic. As far as I'm aware, it was Horus who stated that the Emperor got the knowledge to make the Primarch's in the first place from the Chaos Gods, but he's hardly a reliable witness on all things 'Empy', especially if the Emperor is the avatar of Order or whatever vs. the Chaos Gods if his information is coming from the Chaos Gods via proxy.

I'm sure Forgeworld will release a fantastic Emperor model at some point, but not sure how fun it would be to fight with rules such as: "If you field the Emperor, you have a ML10 psyker and you win. Unless you're fighting Chaos influenced Horus, in which case you gain a Pyrrhic victory."

Spiney Norman
15-02-2015, 23:40
As for the Emperor being a perpetual, there's no support in the lore (yet). The Emperor circa 30K hasn't died so we don't know if he can come back. And ofcourse if he's a perpetual how come he ends up in the Golden Throne. Ok, he dies and comes back in about 5 seconds.

Wouldn't it be the most deliciously ironic thing in 40k if the Emperor being kept in his state of permanent, living death in the golden throne was what prevented him from dying and reincarnating? After all according to the lore the Emperor has a much longer than normal life span, which itself seems to indicate that he is a perpetual.

On the other hand if you are the guy with the off-switch to the golden throne and you're not 100% sure the Emperor really is a perpetual I guess you probably don't want to take the risk.

flota
16-02-2015, 02:11
If the alpha twins still look as small little girls after all, why couldn't the Emperor a being born from the voluntary suicide of thousand (s) of psykers retain the looks of a man in his fortys for more than 30k years?

I just wanna know what's the link between the Emperor and oll persson

The Black Shield
16-02-2015, 03:44
Oll Persson met him a long time ago and Oll Persson will end up being the Guardsman that comes between the Emperor and Horus on the Vengeful Spirit. Horus's callous murder of Oll Persson shows the Emperor that Horus is beyond redemption and needs to be destroyed.

flota
16-02-2015, 05:05
I know that was his vision (he is ollianus pious after all), but I wanna read the flashback of how they interacted before leaving Terra

Born Again
16-02-2015, 10:42
I realize this is going to be an unpopular opinion, and there's next to nothing I've seen in the more-recent HH series (admittedly which I haven't read all of) to support it, but... I hold the opinion that the Emperor may be, at least in part, an Old One. In Xenology, the stone tablet towards the end (I know, this has been discussed and argued to death...) seems to show one of the Eldar gods, implicated to be the Old Ones, leading in to a human fetus, and then spreading to black orbs interpreted to be the Umbra. However, according to the tale of their creation, the Umbra shouldn't have appeared until Slaanesh was born, some 38,000 years after the Emperor was. Depending on the exact nature of the Old Ones, I'm wondering if it would be possible for one to 'hitch a ride' so to speak along with all the souls of the shamen that collectively reincarnated themselves as the Emperor, empowering him with some of the Old Ones power. If not a physical process, or even something akin to possession, could they have transferred some of their energy in to him for safekeeping, and to ensure he could fight against the growing Warp creatures, in case something ever happened to the last of them - which, it turned out, it did.
As theories go it's pretty out there I know, and Xenology is discounted by many people, but in light of any hard evidence to the contrary, I think it's interesting enough to not rule it out.

7788
16-02-2015, 13:35
I don't see how people see the Emperor as a perpetual. The way they are described in the lore perpetuals die, then revive. That's how we (and the story characters) can tell they are perpetual. When did the Emperor die? In any case the perpetuals are a plot device that has become a monster.
The Emperor imo will become a playable character. Once Horus (the FW character - that's the one who matters - not the BL character) gets additional rules to account for him getting the Molech-related Chaos voodoo, then the Emperor's probable stats will become clearer. The bottom line for me is that I think GW hasn't yet decided how to approach this. One possible hint: the delay in writing/publishing The Master of Mankind. I would delay it, if I was GW. Otherwise you might have avoidable & unnecessary inconsistencies between the game (the Prize) and the supporting propaganda (the fluff).

In the meantime, I'm not going to add any speculation that may give GW ideas. They are taking my money already.

Ferrus Manus (the BL character) is alive ofcourse. Fabius Bile has been cloning him at the behest of Fulgrim (in the short story Imperfect). This is a useless & irrelevant trajectory as far as the Horus Heresy story goes. However it is very useful and relevant as far as Ferrus Manus (the FW character) is concerned. All of a sudden the options for using the model expand. You CAN buy Ferrus knowing that you are not limited to pre-Dropsite Massacre scenarios.

Scammel
16-02-2015, 13:55
I don't see how people see the Emperor as a perpetual. The way they are described in the lore perpetuals die, then revive. That's how we (and the story characters) can tell they are perpetual. When did the Emperor die? In any case the perpetuals are a plot device that has become a monster.
The Emperor imo will become a playable character. Once Horus (the FW character - that's the one who matters - not the BL character) gets additional rules to account for him getting the Molech-related Chaos voodoo, then the Emperor's probable stats will become clearer. The bottom line for me is that I think GW hasn't yet decided how to approach this. One possible hint: the delay in writing/publishing The Master of Mankind. I would delay it, if I was GW. Otherwise you might have avoidable & unnecessary inconsistencies between the game (the Prize) and the supporting propaganda (the fluff).

In the meantime, I'm not going to add any speculation that may give GW ideas. They are taking my money already.

I'm not sure how you think the BL and FW teams operate - you paint quite the shambolic picture. These decisions have almost certainly been made, undoubtedly with consultation with the higher IP folks. FW is not going to accidentally cough up His rules one day, if they do at all. I'm not sure how you accredit the delay in TMoM to a collective whoopsie on the part of the BL team when Ash and Fire already details several of His personal capabilities. Again, the BL hold meetings to discuss the course of the Heresy - considering He's arguably the most important character in the setting, do you not think these patently un-thick individuals would seek to address Him?

Besides, upon checking again Vulkan Lives confirms he's a perpetual, whilst also stating he's not entirely human.


Ferrus Manus (the BL character) is alive ofcourse. Fabius Bile has been cloning him at the behest of Fulgrim (in the short story Imperfect). This is a useless & irrelevant trajectory as far as the Horus Heresy story goes. However it is very useful and relevant as far as Ferrus Manus (the FW character) is concerned. All of a sudden the options for using the model expand. You CAN buy Ferrus knowing that you are not limited to pre-Dropsite Massacre scenarios.

Ferrus is dead. A Ferrus-thing might make some form of appearance, but the Primarch of the Iron Hands is gone. The Horus-thing created post-Heresy was not the Warmaster. I can all but guarantee that there will be no real scope for using him in post-Istvaan narrative battles.

Also, would it kill you to try to conceal spoilers? Several of these books and stories are reasonably recent and detail some pivotal events.

7788
16-02-2015, 14:10
I'm sorry about the spoiler thing, you are correct. As for TMoM, I brought up the delay as a possible hint. I did not accredit it with anything, nor did I say anything about BL making an error. How can they make such an error? They are not in charge of this, they are a supporting division.

Nowhere in Vulkan Lives is unequivocally stated that the Emperor is a perpetual. In a very badly written passage, it seems as if story characters express their opinion that the Emperor is one, but even if this is what the passage actually means, it is still only a character's take. As you know, that's par for the course. GW doesn't really want to be equivocal about anything.

Story-wise the clones may not be the actual characters. Game-wise, the only difference is this: different sets of rules for the same model, depending on scenario. Beautiful. I can hear the cash registers ringing already.

ryng_sting
16-02-2015, 17:45
And ofcourse if he's a perpetual how come he ends up in the Golden Throne.

So he can keep the Terran webway gate shut, as he told Dorn & Co.

7788
16-02-2015, 19:08
So he can keep the Terran webway gate shut, as he told Dorn & Co.

This may or may not be true before his duel with Horus. After the duel, the lore so far says that he's there so that 1. he won't die 2. he can direct the Astronomican. If he is a perpetual, he just gets up after the duel with Horus, good as new, gives the daemons in the human webway a beating, scours the traitors out of the galaxy, completes the webway project, and takes up gardening.

Scammel
16-02-2015, 19:12
Considering the state Vulkan is in, it's clear that perpetual-ity comes with caveats where warp juju is concerned - and the final duel definitely has plenty of that. Of course, we simply don't know that much about events yet to be detailed in the series, but I think it's safer to assume these questions will be addressed as opposed to discounting what we've already been told as semi-gospel (Grammaticus doesn't strike as an unreliable narrator).

7788
16-02-2015, 19:19
Well yes, eventually everything will be patched up in some fashion. But in general, I think any character can become as reliable or unreliable as the authors (and the other Heresy decision makers) may need them to be. Was it that obvious to everyone that Torgaddon or Loken would return, just by reading the novels?

ryng_sting
19-02-2015, 12:50
This may or may not be true before his duel with Horus. After the duel, the lore so far says that he's there so that 1. he won't die 2. he can direct the Astronomican. If he is a perpetual, he just gets up after the duel with Horus, good as new, gives the daemons in the human webway a beating, scours the traitors out of the galaxy, completes the webway project, and takes up gardening.

It is true.

Perpetual or not, no one else but the Emperor can keep the Terran webway gate shut indefinitely.

Karhedron
19-02-2015, 14:35
If he is a perpetual, he just gets up after the duel with Horus, good as new, gives the daemons in the human webway a beating, scours the traitors out of the galaxy, completes the webway project, and takes up gardening.

He could not clear the daemons out of the human webway prior to his battle with Horus, it was taking most of his effort to simply hold them back. Why would he suddenly be able to do so post-heresy (even if his physical body was perpetuated)? Even if the Emperor made a miraculous recovery at 23:59:59 on 31/12/999 M41, I think he would still be stuck on the Golden Throne holding the gates shut.

dusara217
19-02-2015, 15:11
Since the original question was what is the Emprah:
The Emperor is an amalgam of thousands of Psychic Shamanms who committed mass suicide to make Super Shaman, whose would couldn't be eaten by daemomns since he's a Perpetual.

Scammel
19-02-2015, 15:29
Since the original question was what is the Emprah:
The Emperor is an amalgam of thousands of Psychic Shamanms who committed mass suicide to make Super Shaman, whose would couldn't be eaten by daemomns since he's a Perpetual.

I think it's best to wait and see how the Heresy series plays out before revisiting with gestalt-shaman-thing. It might still be true (and I could see the Emperor 'eating' Oll in the final battle) but I think we might have had a stronger hint by this point. It's also implied that he isn't human.

7788
19-02-2015, 21:18
He could not clear the daemons out of the human webway prior to his battle with Horus, it was taking most of his effort to simply hold them back. Why would he suddenly be able to do so post-heresy (even if his physical body was perpetuated)? Even if the Emperor made a miraculous recovery at 23:59:59 on 31/12/999 M41, I think he would still be stuck on the Golden Throne holding the gates shut.


We don't know if it was taking most of his effort or what exactly he was doing. There was a war in the webway involving Sisters of Silence, Custodians, assorted psykers, Mechanicum and perhaps the Emperor doing something somewhere. Exactly what, we don't know, because GW probably doesn't. We also don't know that he was keeping the gate shut after the Heresy. These are written in the lore as "rumours" or character statements, not as actual in-universe facts. That is because, written that way, can be easily reversed by GW (after having expanded the same rumours in 20 different directions among dozens of stories/game editions/supplements etc). So we don't know if the "perpetual" Emperor, being whole and as powerful as ever after the duel with Horus, just simply closes the gate. He IS a psyker that needs all 4 gods of Chaos so that he is merely put down after all. Chaos is in retreat anyway after the Battle of Terra. The warp storms retreat, the Astronomican reverts back to its prior power and transmission mode (which it seems hardly used the Emperor), and the Imperium goes to finish the job... what with the Emperor also being the galaxy's greatest psycho-geneticist who knows what else he can come up with. What to me is extremely unlikely the way the lore has been written so far is that the Emperor is a perpetual who somehow ends half-dead in sus-an-like coma on the Golden Throne. I'd love to see how this is going to play out.

Sir_Turalyon
20-02-2015, 18:33
The old background still makes sense and meshes rather good with newer stuff; humanity is abandoned creation of Old Ones with humans (or just shamans) intended to be psychic race like Eldar, and Emperor is psychic potential of entire human species merged into single soul that can rival Chaos Gods and reincarnated into single (otherwise ordinary) human body. A literal patron god (in sense of warp magnitude) of humanity. At the moment the body is almost used up and the soul runs on sacrifices and faith... not unlike other sentient warpstorms.