Originally Posted by Malus Darkblade
That quote about how the main fleet of the Tyranids arriving in a hundred years time and requiring the imperium to become 500% more efficient to even stand a chance comes to mind.
What better figure to inspire the masses into a frenzy and powerhouse than the emperor himself?
"Hi. My name is Lion El'Jonson. I was hidden in the middle of a void-sailing asteroid-fortress until my friend Leman Russ found me. It literally took him 10,000 years to dig through the entire thing to the core. These are our friends, Corax, Jaghatai Khan, and Vulkan. We found one of them in the Eye of the Terror, writing bad poetry; the other has been worked on by xenos for a long time, so go easy on him Vulkan's just been hiding.
We're here to increase your efficiency 500%."
Originally Posted by Child-of-the-Emperor
* The Imperium lost the Horus Heresy (The Emperor incapacitated, most of their empire shattered)
But, ten thousand years later, the Imperium endures. The theme of the game might be the slow ending of the Imperium (and of Humanity, perhaps) but I would argue that this has far less to do with the actions of Chaos than the mistakes and hubris of Man.
* The Chaos Gods won the Horus Heresy (The threat posed by the Emperor vanquished, the Imperium fallen into decadence, and actually benefited from the fighting/wars)
I don't know that Chaos won. There's a huge difference between Lorgar imposing worship of Chaos on Humanity and giving the Chaos gods incomparable influence and power as compared to what they have now.
Chaos at best got a consolation prize. They still get to take advantage of Human emotion (a status quo that wasn't going to go away just because religion is outlawed) and they enjoy the sacrifices of the odd cult and occasional mega-ritual (Traitor Legionnaires massacring a world here and there). But they got trumped in the worst way. The Emperor still--indirectly--exerts incomparable influence over Mankind, he still exerts influence over their domain (the Warp), and he steals "votes" from them all the time by drawing the worship of Men.
What Chaos needed was the Emperor dead and the Imperium actually destroyed. Not the Emperor installed in a god-head and the Imperium still ruling the stars.
Chaos won the heresy.
The entire point in it being set in motion was that it consequentially lead to eternal war across the galaxy.
The whole concept is explained in "Legion".
I could be remembering this wrong, but I'm pretty sure that:
1. For Chaos the be defeated in the immediate time frame
Horus needed to win and the Emperor needed to die. Thus, Horus would burn Humanity in self-loathing and rid Chaos of their "fuel".
2. If Horus didn't win, that meant that the Galaxy would have to endure 10-20,000 years of misery as Humanity died the slow way and the rest of the sentients suffered because of it. Either way,
though, the question was WHEN Humanity was going to die and HOW MUCH the rest of the Galaxy had to suffer. Not "if".
Thus, to incorporate this with my points toward Child of the Emperor, above, no one "won" the Heresy. All players involved lost to some degree.
1. Mankind lost its greatest (and most terrible) hope of being freed from the shackles of Chaos to the extent possible.
2. The Traitor Legions lost the final battle and were exiled to the Eye of Terror. Certainly none of them run around going "Man, we sure won the shit out of the Heresy!"
3. Chaos lost its greatest chance to wrap up Humanity forever.
4. The Galaxy at large lost because it got stuck with "the cruelest, most bloody regime" imaginable for ten thousand long years.
Except instead of an Imperium founded on scientific endeavor, unity, and a secular society you have the current Imperium based on lies, religious intolerance and tyrannical stagnation.
I used to think the same way, but not since the Horus Heresy novels.
The Emperor was no great innovator where the mundane facets of Man's society are concerned. We see in the HH novels (and in other fluff) that bolters, power armour, starships, Navigators, etc. all predated the Emperor. In some cases, the Emperor acted as a multiplier of sorts--his enabling longer, safer voyages through space, for instance. But the idea of a secular society was a lie as well, and a hypocritical one at that, given that the Imperium existed only thanks to a compromise that allowed the Mechanicus--then as arcane and occult in their technological endeavors as now--to keep on with their own religion. In fact, scientific endeavor in the Imperium as a whole was centrally located within the Mechanicus, who, again, had reduced technological gathering, implementation, and innovation to religious ritual.
And ultimately, the only difference between the tyranny of the current Imperium and the Great Crusade Imperium was style and a sense of optimism. People were still brutally made into mindless servitors. Military formations were still doomed to fight until they could no longer do so. Worlds still had no choice in giving up their young to go fight in the Emperor's wars. The Imperium then, as now, was all too quick to pull the trigger on entire populations to get rid of dangerous ideas or dissidents on a large enough scale. The current Imperium, by contrast, has simply reached its apex. If there were more room to expand (or the capability to do so), they would do so.
I mean, look at Macharius--that was just six centuries ago in the game's timeline. And now it's suddenly the end-times? After one guy
proved that Mankind still occasionally has the genius, gumption and raw ferocity to pull down a thousand worlds in less than four decades?!?
That's why, with respect to the design team and writers both at GW and BL, I take it with a grain of salt when concepts and themes like "the End Times" are revealed. It is
a business ultimately, even if it is based on creative endeavors, and thus it needs to flow, change a bit, and offer something to make it more enticing to purchase a product. I don't begrudge them that, just as I don't begrudge them for keeping "aces in the hole" for an opposite direction 4-5 missing Primarchs who could return to set things right, for instance, and just as I wouldn't begrudge them for actually USING such an ace.
The most business-savvy line in "Legion", since that novel came up, was Mr. Abnett--through the characters--giving us a 10,000 to 20,000
year range for Humanity's destruction.