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View Full Version : Was the Emperor the "first" Primarch?



Gavmo
06-07-2005, 06:39
I dont know if this has already been discussed, but could the Emperor have been the "prototype" of the Primarchs?
Lets look at the evidence;
He was around for ages,
He was the equal of many of the Primarchs - in fights and other contests,
He was a very powerful psyker,
He took out Horus.
He's done stuff that no human or even the best space marine could ever do. And yet he still "lives/exists." I figure that he would have been the first of the geneticly engineered super humans. Perhaps they thought, "Hey, this one worked out well. Lets make another 20."
So what does everyone else think?

Kensai X
06-07-2005, 06:46
Well the Primarchs were made using his genetic code so basically in a way he was the first Primarch, although the rest of the 20 Primarchs were all made at once.

Sephiroth
06-07-2005, 06:47
Technically, he isn't 'human' but something unique. Try here (http://www.criticalhit.co.uk/w40krp/emperor.shtml).

Son of Morkai
06-07-2005, 06:47
The Primarchs are a step below the Emperor. And they were created by the Emperor.

Brusilov
06-07-2005, 06:56
If the old explanation remains true (and there is nothing that says it is not), the Emperor is the result of the sacrifice of the Shaman of old. His mind is a gestalt entity of incredible psychic power, whose sole aim is to protect mankind from the predations of Chaos and allow the transformation of humanity into a full psychic race.

He is not superior from the Primarchs, he is totally different. His body of that of a mere human (a child from Anatolia born around 8,000 BC) but is enhanced by the power of his mind, making him the equal of any Primarch.

Gavmo
06-07-2005, 07:02
Wow. Sephiroth, that info cleared a lot of things up for me. Thanks for that.

DantesInferno
06-07-2005, 07:23
If the old explanation remains true (and there is nothing that says it is not), the Emperor is the result of the sacrifice of the Shaman of old. His mind is a gestalt entity of incredible psychic power, whose sole aim is to protect mankind from the predations of Chaos and allow the transformation of humanity into a full psychic race.

He is not superior from the Primarchs, he is totally different. His body of that of a mere human (a child from Anatolia born around 8,000 BC) but is enhanced by the power of his mind, making him the equal of any Primarch.

I just don't think this old stuff really fits with the way the Emperor is portrayed in more current background pieces. It doesn't explicitly contradict it either, but I think GW have recognised that the background is better if the Emperor isn't some 48 000 year old semi-divine conglomoration of mystical shamen, but rather a regular human with exceptional abilities.

For one thing, the whole irony of the Emperor's reluctant posthumous deification is lightened soomewhat if he actually was a god (or close enough) to begin with. Moreover, the whole moral ambivalence of the Heresy suffers somewhat under this version too.

However, the earlier stuff just doesn't seem to mesh well with the background at the moment anyway. For instance, surely if the Emperor had been watching human society for 48 000 years, he'd have had a better understanding of human psychology, rather than the ineptness he showed with many of his Primarchs. He'd have had 38 500 years to read Machiavelli's The Prince, and surely wouldn't hand over his entre military to his second in command.

Furthermore, if his sole purpose was to fight Chaos, surely he wouldn't have mass-produced huge armies of easily corruptible Marines to conquer an empire? Seems like he would have started off straight away with the Grey Knight program if he knew the full extent of the seductiveness of Chaos.

I just feel the current background fits a more human Emperor a lot better than some weird gesalt consciousness thing (and is besides a much more interesting theory anyway).

Wraith
06-07-2005, 09:57
As Brusilov said physiologically the Emperor is human unlike the Primarchs...

Bioh@zard
06-07-2005, 11:33
surely if the Emperor had been watching human society for 48 000 years, he'd have had a better understanding of human psychology, rather than the ineptness he showed with many of his Primarchs. He'd have had 38 500 years to read Machiavelli's The Prince, and surely wouldn't hand over his entre military to his second in command.

He thought he had created images of his incorruptable self in his primarchs. Plus the corruption of the second in command and the inability for the god/king to see it is a very old and valid concept. See also Milton's Paradise Lost, and it's basically the Horus Heresy in christian terms, just without the Battle Barges and Teleportation etc :)

I think GW is currently more interested in providing a more easily understood version of the universe in the codexes and rulebook (there used to be a truckload of "old" story material in these, yet nowadays it lessens and becomes more "to date" with each codex), to make the game more alluring for new and young players, while the black library material delves deeper into the background.

EmperorsChamp01
07-07-2005, 20:16
Hmmmmm I was born on the Same day as the emperor. BOW TO ME!!! For I am the New Emperor. I was waiting for...... Nah just kidding. That site is f-ing awsome. The emperor rocks.

Wiseman
08-07-2005, 03:05
i knew ya were lying emperors champ, your not 10 000 years old!:p

Eldacar
08-07-2005, 09:45
Furthermore, if his sole purpose was to fight Chaos, surely he wouldn't have mass-produced huge armies of easily corruptible Marines to conquer an empire? Seems like he would have started off straight away with the Grey Knight program if he knew the full extent of the seductiveness of Chaos.
Not necessarily. The Primarchs were, for the most part, uncorrupted, until Horus managed to win them over. The Chaos Space Marines, AFAIK, just followed their Primarchs. That was a reason the Space Marines were broken into chapters: a Legion was too much power for any man save the Emperor himself. So it was Horus who joined the Chaos Cult, and he was slowly drawn down the path of Chaos. From there, he merely had to convince the Primarchs. As he was the second-in-command, that gave his words some sway.
The Grey Knights came around after the Horus Heresy, and that was a response to the corruption that had spread though the Space Marines, to ensure that it didn't happen again. Of course, it has happened again, despite all efforts (the Relictors), but those occurences are very rare and very few.

So to summarise: it isn't the marines who were corrupted, their Primarchs were, and the marines just played "follow the leader".

Brusilov
08-07-2005, 15:00
On the corruption of Horus, I would also mention that Chaos went at great length to ensure that it happened, making him sick (a sick Primarch would make my hair stand just, this would be just too bizarre not to mean something darker) and placed him in the presence of a warriors' lodge that was in fact dedicated to the Chaos Gods. It was not a little push in the right direction, it was a big shove.

As far as the Emperor being unable to understand his Primarchs, I'd point out that if you live for 38,000 years you're no longer human. If you had a family they've been forgotten millennia ago, your descendants are undistinguishable from the rest of the population considering so much time as passed, the life of normal humans are nothing more than candles burning brightly and disappearing in the blink of an eye. Imagine Eldar psychology but taken to an extreme (after all Eldar seem to live around 1,000 years or somesuch).
Then Primarchs were not people, they were instruments, just like the Space Marines. The Emperor created them and saw them in this way. Moreover they had been seperated from their father and grew up on worlds that strongly shaped their beliefs, making them utterly alien to the Emperor.
Finally, as mentioned, the Emperor thought that his immunity to Chaos was in his genes, while in fact it was in his mind. So he thought he had created tools that were as uncorruptible as he and that he could thrust to do his bidding.

Incidently the Emperor being a gestalt entity does not prevent him from being human, after all his mind is only the result of the pulling together of human minds, each with its own failings, thus it is not surprising the Emperor was not perfect.

And the Emperor, whether or not he was the creation of the Shaman of Old, had been around for thousands of years before he decided the time was right to unite humanity under his rule. If you don't believe me, check the Journal of Keeper Cripias at the end of the 3rd Ed. rulebook. I'll quote the relevant passages:



And so it was that in the First Age of Man, the Golden Age, there is the Emperor Unseen and unheralded he prepares the Old Earth for the coming of Mankind and he watches and he waits. He is joined by the First Men of the Golden Race, fine of limb and strong of mind, yet still the Emperor is content to wait in shadow.

Still the Emperor, in his eternal wisdom, awaits the moment to reveal the true path to Mankindís destiny. Thus the start of the Age of Strife is heralded.

With no over-reaching authority, these lost souls and psykers sprawl unchecked across the human race. It is at this time that the Emperor reveals his true nature and sets about his plans of delivrance from anarchy.


So, even if GW does not say that he was created by the Shaman of Old, it is quite clear that he has been around for millennia, watching humanity from the shadows. The First Age of Man could be our own era, before mankind spread to the stars.
And thus I rest my case.

DantesInferno
08-07-2005, 15:06
Not necessarily. The Primarchs were, for the most part, uncorrupted, until Horus managed to win them over. The Chaos Space Marines, AFAIK, just followed their Primarchs. That was a reason the Space Marines were broken into chapters: a Legion was too much power for any man save the Emperor himself. So it was Horus who joined the Chaos Cult, and he was slowly drawn down the path of Chaos. From there, he merely had to convince the Primarchs. As he was the second-in-command, that gave his words some sway.

Many of the Primarchs were corrupted by Chaos long before Horus turned on Davin. The point is, fully half of the Emperor's mass-produced marines turned to the worship of Chaos, due to their complete lack of indoctrination. If the Emperor knew all along that Chaos was the primary opposition and was fully aware of the seductiveness of the Chaos gods, he would surely not be in such a hurry to conquer the galaxy with armies of marines with absolutely no indoctrination. Just look at the recruits into the Night Lords or World Eaters - if the Emperor was aware of the dangers of Chaos, would be be in such a hurry to fill his legions with criminals and psychopaths?

The simple fact is that it appears the Emperor was caught completely unaware by the dangers of the powers of Chaos, which seems unlikely if he was created by a group of shamen with the sole puropse of fighting Chaos.



The Grey Knights came around after the Horus Heresy, and that was a response to the corruption that had spread though the Space Marines, to ensure that it didn't happen again. Of course, it has happened again, despite all efforts (the Relictors), but those occurences are very rare and very few.


Exactly my point, the fact that corruption had spread through the legions so quickly and effortlessly indicates that the Emperor was unaware of how corrupting Chaos is. Seems a bit unlikely from a gestalt entity of incredible psychic power, whose sole aim is to protect mankind from the predations of Chaos, doesn't it?



So to summarise: it isn't the marines who were corrupted, their Primarchs were, and the marines just played "follow the leader".


Nevertheless, the marines were still corrupted, weren't they? Even though they were following their Primarchs, the point is that the Emperor had no plans in place to ensure the loyalty of the basic Marines. After the Heresy, they put in place training to ensure their loyalty and devotion. If the Emperor was there solely to fight Chaos, why didn't he think of that, and why was he in such a hurry to conquer the galaxy? Just seems to fit better if he's just another warlord abeit a powerful psyker etc, rather than the messiah against Chaos for humanity.