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Discussion Starter #1
A recent line in Fear to Tread made me rethink the whole concept that the Emperor was somehow purposely keeping even the Primarchs in the dark about Chaos, which some (like me) speculate was part of the reason for the Heresy taking hold. I'm coming to the thought that the Emperor wasn't keeping anything back, he just didn't have much to tell his sons at the time of the GC, and by the time it would have been helpful the matter was already settled.

In FTT, Sanguinius recollects being on Terra and reading through books on old Terran wars with descriptions of creatures identical to what the BA encounter on Signus Prime.


I recall a similar line from one of the UM books, I think in Know No Fear. Then, of course, the histories on board the Furious Abyss's Librarium leads to corruption on the ship and the emergence of Mercadie Oliton as the first Imperial Saint.

In the recent discussion thread about who will win the galactic endgame, it made me realize that prior to the turning of Horus, the SMs really don't encounter Chaos as an emergent power and fight them toe-to-toe. Many planets are encountered during the GC that have fallen to Chaos, but they're always viewed as an aberrant to the Imperial Truth to be brought into compliance, not as the Primordial Annihilator.

I got to thinking that while the Emperor knew how dangerous Chaos could be, as a force it wasn't really the enemy standing in front of the Imperium that the Xenos breeds were. The Emperor gave his sons access to the histories that included descriptions of the powers of chaos being used, but not as a force in themselves that would lead to personal downfall. Then, by the time the Emperor sensed Chaos as a unified force emerging in the Imperium he enacted the Decree of Nikea, never suspecting that the cancer was already being spread by the Word Bearers throughout the legions.

It's easy looking back 10,000 years to say the Emperor should have known, but I'm thinking he was dealing with the long game against Chaos not suspecting they were actively moving against him long before he thought they could. Whadda' ya' think?
 

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If the emperor kept it all secret then i can understand why Eldrad would not want to deal with the emperor personally keeping it a secret was the stupidest thing he could have done the unknown is the weapon of chaos ignorance just opens the door to chaos
 

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Bane of Empires
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I'm afraid most of the information points to the contrary, that the Emperor was fully aware of the Chaos Gods during the Crusade-era. A few examples:
If the emperor kept it all secret then i can understand why Eldrad would not want to deal with the emperor personally keeping it a secret was the stupidest thing he could have done the unknown is the weapon of chaos ignorance just opens the door to chaos
Keeping knowledge of Chaos restricted was actually the most sensible option.
 

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I'm afraid most of the information points to the contrary, that the Emperor was fully aware of the Chaos Gods during the Crusade-era. A few examples:






Keeping knowledge of Chaos restricted was actually the most sensible option.
How was it sensible if the people do not know and chaos comes knocking on there door with better offer they will take it infact this has happened a lot ignorance, fear of retribution and blind faith does NOT shield them at all
 

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How was it sensible if the people do not know and chaos comes knocking on there door with better offer they will take it infact this has happened a lot ignorance, fear of retribution and blind faith does NOT shield them at all
I'll quote myself from another thread to answer that point:

The catalyst for the Heresy was the corruption of Horus, which of course was not merely the result of the Imperial webway project. The corruption of the Primarchs was the culmination of millions of subtle events and deeds, not merely the result of the Emperor returning to Terra.

The Emperor had his reasons for not informing the Primarchs of his secrets. But let us speculate on the alternative; inform the Primarchs of chaos and other secrets of the universe. First and foremost such revelations at the most basic level would have undermined the Emperor's influence and authority. It may have even ensured the fall of several Primarchs. Lorgar for example, it would have validated the Old Faith of Colchis which would have had severe consequences. Mortarion's admiration of the strong and worthy may well have found admiration for beings such as gods. Fulgrim's strive for perfection in all things, such philosophy would inevitably question who was more perfect, the gods or the Emperor? Et cetera.

It's a similar situation that the Imperium finds itself in in M41. The Inquisition ruthlessly supresses any knowledge of chaos for fear that it would turn people away from the Imperial fold. Similarily the Emperor supressed such knowledge, even from his closest generals. People would question his authority, what makes him right? If there are gods out there, shouldn't they be worshipped, rather than following a mere mortal? Humans are afterall selfish, with such power available to them that knowledge of chaos offers, would the species be strong-willed enough to resist? It only takes the fall of a single individual or a small group to bring about the fall of an entire planet.
I don't agree with that. Regardless of what the Emperor told the Primarchs, they still would have had to have made the judgement for themselves. Regardless of what the Emperor said, they still would have been tempted and potentially corrupted. Your assuming knowledge of chaos would draw beings into opposition of it, but actually more often than not the sheer attraction and opportunities it offers (alongside reasons to turn against the Emperor) would have resulted in corruption. At least I think theres a stronger case for suggesting such.

The Emperor knew what he was doing, he knew informing the Primarchs in regard to chaos and the warp would have been idiotic.
The Emperor informing the Primarchs of chaos but then instructing them to mindlessly follow him would cause many issues. Revealing immensely powerful (more so than he) warp entities, portraying them in a bad light and then expect none of his Primarchs to investigate or validate such things further would have been folly of the highest order. Can you imagine Magnus (untempered arrogance) not seeking validation? Fulgrim and his philosophical strive for perfection, can you imagine him not even pondering on whether or not these entities actually embodied perfection rather than the Emperor? Horus with his obsessive ambition, would the thought not even cross his mind?

What about the countless worlds across the galaxy where Imperial compliance wasn't fully established and where rebellion still gripped the thoughts of the populations. Would they not be more tempted to rebel given the knowledge of entities more powerful than the Emperor offering patronage?

What the Emperor would have done in an attempt to establish his authority, would have been to actually give the Primarchs (and the Imperium) a solid alternative to his rule.

Sorry, but whatever anyone says, the Emperor revealing knowledge of chaos to the Primarchs would have been idiotic and to the Imperium as a whole it would have been damn right suicidal.
 

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Yet corruption happens on planetary scales(dark apostles hard at work) the ignorant flock to them cause guess what many times its a better alternative hell in the imperium its work to death die and worship the emperor and we won't horribly mutilate and kill you chance for advancement pretty much none in chaos we can still mutilate you and kill you but at least you have chance to go higher than what you are small as it is. maybe only beaten by joining the Tau.

also keeping chaos a secret would be something the interex would consider dumb as hell the eldar consider it dumb as hell and there a race older and wiser than humanity see interex fully knew about chaos and i do not see them as being a monstrous evil cult fact is they dedicated there lives to fight chaos. the guy in the last church was right denying faith to them they will crave it even more

This disturbingly shows empy had absolutely no faith in mankind as in zero creating the astartes and primachs is also a testament to that. he only did his job as per he was created to do but he failed at that. or perhaps man was never ever ready for someone like the emperor who knows
 

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After all the grand plan of the Emperor was to guide mankind towards the destiny of becomming a psychic race. Anyone and everything was just cogs in his great and awful plan. Throwing a beatific smile as he used his will coax people into following him and ruthlessly slaying all whom resiststed.
 

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Bane of Empires
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Yet corruption happens on planetary scales(dark apostles hard at work) the ignorant flock to them cause guess what many times its a better alternative hell in the imperium its work to death die and worship the emperor and we won't horribly mutilate and kill you chance for advancement pretty much none in chaos we can still mutilate you and kill you but at least you have chance to go higher than what you are small as it is. maybe only beaten by joining the Tau.
The Crusade-era Imperium was very different to it's later manifestation. There seems to have been a genuine optimism, after all, the Crusade-era was a vastly improved state-of-affairs compared to the preceding Age of Strife. The ignorant weren't flocking to the side of the Chaos Gods (on a large scale anyway) during that era because there was no wide-spread knowledge of them and there was simply no need to. Knowing of Chaos and the potential and power it offers would have just increased the numbers willing to embrace it.

also keeping chaos a secret would be something the interex would consider dumb as hell the eldar consider it dumb as hell and there a race older and wiser than humanity see interex fully knew about chaos and i do not see them as being a monstrous evil cult fact is they dedicated there lives to fight chaos. the guy in the last church was right denying faith to them they will crave it even more
The Emperor's schemes were progressing to a point where Mankind was less reliant on the warp and therefore less susceptible to Chaos. Mankind had been reincorporated into a single empire ruled with the Emperor's iron fist, aliens and warp-creatures had been eradicated on monumental scales and prevented from preying on human worlds, faith, religion and superstition had been outlawed and eradicated from large swathes of the Imperium, the use of non-vital psychic powers had been banned at Nikaea, the Imperial webway project would have made warp travel obsolete. As far as the Emperor was concerned the Great Crusade had been a success and was a large part of his plan to challenge Chaos. It was always going to be a gamble but as far as the Emperor was concerned, as he retired to Terra, Mankind was fairly well positioned to shrug off the the influence of Chaos.

Why would the Emperor have taken a further gamble by revealing that near-omnipotent gods existed and were directly opposed to his rule?

As far as I'm concerned, in this regard, the Emperor had three options: to not spread the Imperial Truth and actively reveal knowledge of Chaos' existence whilst saying it's bad and hoping people don't embrace it on a large scale, to not spread the Imperial Truth and just passively ignore the issue of faith and religion in the empire hoping Chaos (in the wake of the Age of Strife where warp-creatures and Chaos cults were wide-spread) isn't able to influence humanity on a large scale, or spread the Imperial Truth and utterly reject notions of faith, worship and superstition which would thus also remove susceptibility to Chaos on a large scale.

I know which option I'd pick. Don't forget that the Imperial Truth was also an effective method of influence and control over the Imperium that was part of the Emperor's plan to starve Chaos of worship.

EDIT: The only other option would have been to embrace notions of godhood himself and portray the fight against Chaos as a religious war, polarising adherents of the Emperor and Chaos. But, from The Last Church, we can see the Emperor's logic against promoting religion.

This disturbingly shows empy had absolutely no faith in mankind
I wouldn't have had much either. Without the Emperor, Mankind probably would have slipped into extinction or embraced Chaos. Even now, after one hundred centuries on the Golden Throne, he is still the only entity preventing the triumph of the Chaos Gods.
 

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You explain it so well, CotE.

It's true, it is inevitable that mankind looks to the emperor as the most powerful being with him being their leader and the most powerful being they know of. The one most worthy to respect and follow etc. So if he explicitly tells any of his subjects, even just the Primarchs, in secrecy. The likes of Lorgar and Magnus would tempted to question the superiority of the Emperor.

So between telling any of his subjects about chaos, or keeping it a secret, the latter is most sensible.

But as the horus heresy books concerned with Horus tell us, the greatest personal motivations of Horus are:
-The Great Crusade seems to be getting to a close, and he fears of his fate in a galaxy he thinks will be rid of war on any large scale.
-His father left him in secrecy, and he is envious of his imagined plan the emperor has to become more powerful than him / ascend to godhood / generally work against his previous plans.
This is all confusion inflicted by the chaos gods, or rather, their servants, as part of their plan.

So then, what if, instead of telling the whole truth, the emperor simply lies? Rather, he could tell the partial truth. A fourth option.

What if he said this: "Horus, my son, I know you might dislike that I leave you now, and that the war is almost done. But you should know that I do not go to Terra to do nothing, or anything of a selfish nature. I simply prepare for the next stage in the great crusade. For beyond the stars, there lie in wait new enemies that have yet to be faced by our might."

Of course, with the power of all four gods bearing down on him, he would be unable to resist in the end. So you might say that telling him anything like this is useless in the long run. But the Emperor can not know that. He only knows that after millenia of dependance on him, he leaves them without a single word. Except the to work on secret project(s).

If he does tell him this, or any of the primarchs (but horus most importantly) he can reassure them of their position and convince them that the webway and chaos are nothing but enemies they have yet to face.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I'm afraid most of the information points to the contrary, that the Emperor was fully aware of the Chaos Gods during the Crusade-era. A few examples:






Keeping knowledge of Chaos restricted was actually the most sensible option.
Thanks for pulling up these quotes COtE! They do blow the whole idea about the Emperor not thinking that Chaos was an immediate threat to his plans during the GC, but especially the quote from Legion demonstrates that he was communicating with the Primarchs about Chaos and their influence. The Emperor isn't giving them a Librarium Daemonicum or anything, but the quote from Legion shows that he was teaching even the most recently 'found' Primarchs (>=20 years for Alpharius/Omegon, right?) about Chaos and being pretty explicit about his plans.

Still, from the descriptions in Horus Rising/False Gods/Galaxy in Flames about the early contact with Chaos, while the Primarchs may be keyed into the concept they don't really know what Chaos means on an operatonal basis. Like being told to stay away from guns, but not what they look like or how they're discharged.

Ah well, sometimes a great notion.
 

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Thanks for pulling up these quotes COtE! They do blow the whole idea about the Emperor not thinking that Chaos was an immediate threat to his plans during the GC, but especially the quote from Legion demonstrates that he was communicating with the Primarchs about Chaos and their influence. The Emperor isn't giving them a Librarium Daemonicum or anything, but the quote from Legion shows that he was teaching even the most recently 'found' Primarchs (>=20 years for Alpharius/Omegon, right?) about Chaos and being pretty explicit about his plans.

Still, from the descriptions in Horus Rising/False Gods/Galaxy in Flames about the early contact with Chaos, while the Primarchs may be keyed into the concept they don't really know what Chaos means on an operatonal basis. Like being told to stay away from guns, but not what they look like or how they're discharged.

Ah well, sometimes a great notion.
Well, my previous post now seems completely invalid. That's what I get for reading less books than you guys I suppose.
 

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So the Emperor creates the Primarchs, and immediately starts lying to them. If CoTE is right (and it's a pretty sound theory) the reason the Emperor didn't tell them the truth about Chaos was because he was worried about that possibly leading to their betrayal or corruption.

With that in mind, here's a crazy idea: don't create beings that are almost as powerful as you are if you're even remotely worried that later corruption will be a problem. Why make Primarchs at all, anyway? Particularly intelligent Legion Masters should suffice. No need for basically creating twenty miniature versions of yourself that are (for the most part) wildly emotional children with godlike powers.

I know, I know, I'm really meta-gaming it now, but the fact that the Emperor created the Primarchs, knowing full well the risks, makes me wonder if the Heresy wasn't actually all part of his long-term plan. Maybe he wanted Horus to fall. Maybe he wanted to wind up on the Golden Throne and for the Imperium to suck for 10,000. Maybe all of this is just as planned...
 

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With that in mind, here's a crazy idea: don't create beings that are almost as powerful as you are if you're even remotely worried that later corruption will be a problem. Why make Primarchs at all, anyway? Particularly intelligent Legion Masters should suffice. No need for basically creating twenty miniature versions of yourself that are (for the most part) wildly emotional children with godlike powers.

I know, I know, I'm really meta-gaming it now, but the fact that the Emperor created the Primarchs, knowing full well the risks, makes me wonder if the Heresy wasn't actually all part of his long-term plan. Maybe he wanted Horus to fall. Maybe he wanted to wind up on the Golden Throne and for the Imperium to suck for 10,000. Maybe all of this is just as planned...
No Primarchs, no Space Marines. No Space Marines (& Primarchs), no Great Crusade.
 

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The great crusade would still happen but the emperor would have to wait a lot as in a hell of a lot longer and gather a much vaster army primarchs and space marines allowed him to bypass the wait
 

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The great crusade would still happen but the emperor would have to wait a lot as in a hell of a lot longer and gather a much vaster army primarchs and space marines allowed him to bypass the wait
Would it have succeeded?
 

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No Primarchs, no Space Marines. No Space Marines (& Primarchs), no Great Crusade.
I dunno man. We know he created the Marine's from the Primarch's genetic code, or something along those lines. I don't think that necessarily means he HAD to physically make the Primarchs. He could have just come up with their 'code,' used it as a base and created the 'filtered down' version as a template for the SM's. And even if he did have to create a living being in a test tube (pod?) in order to get his hands on the requisite material for geneseed, he could always have just ended the project once he harvested what he needed.
 

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Teaching people that Vampires dont exist is common sense, and also the denial of chaosm akes perfect sense.

Except sadly in the 30k galaxy they actually do exist, so basically not a great idea.

Its funny someone mentioned the mood of optimism of the Great Crusade.

Hmmm, papering over cracks, yes. It fits nicely.

Curze and Angron and their bloodlust, would annoy the Emperor and his image of the Imperium.
The secret werewolf curse and vampire curse of the Wolves and Angels. Don't mention them to the Emperor, please.
The Dark brooding menace of Perturabo and Mortarion, hmm keep it quiet.
The Warp meddling of Magnus, getting out of hand, and Lorgar he is a worshipper of the Emperor aggghhhh.
One by one the Primarchs are posing a contradiction to the Emperors happy Empire image, cracks appearing all over his little paradice one annoyance after another.
So the poor Emperor bumps not one but two Primarchs off, as a lesson, then beats down another (Lorgar), tries to assassinate a fourth (Curze), puts on trail for sorcery another (Magnus), then has him attacked.
It seems only Guilliman, Vulcan, Khan and masochistic Dorn can uphold the wonderful image the Emperor has of his Imperium and himself. Many Legions have gene curses, even Sanguinius the seemingly perfect.
Every slight or greater imperfection in each of his primarchs is pushing the Emperor over the edge.
His perfectionistic intolerance has destroyed its cohesion.

I Very quickly put together a few ideas that answer a few questions, i feel pleased.
 

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It wasnt the Emperor putting Magnus on trial, but he was forced to deal with it because of growing unrest and concern about his antics. I recall it was Mortarion in particular that had started it.
 

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With that in mind, here's a crazy idea: don't create beings that are almost as powerful as you are if you're even remotely worried that later corruption will be a problem.
Maybe he wasn't worried about corruption when he made them. Maybe it wasn't until after the Chaos Gods literally grabbed them out from under his nose to do whatever they wanted that he started to doubt them. If he'd been able to raise them from birth he probably wouldn't have had to worry about their personalities and philosophies pulling them away from him. So maybe the plan was to make them and tell them about Chaos, safe in the knowledge that he could control their exposure and the way they react to it. But then Chaos goes and sticks its dick in that plan so he makes a new one. It seem pretty clear to me that large parts of the Great Crusade were the Emperor adapting on the fly and basically trying to finish before it all fell down around him, maybe this is no different.
 
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