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Let's see...
The Great Crusade is in its 203rd year. The Emperor has retired to Terra to work. Day-to-day-running of the Empire is managed by his Lieutenant Malcalor, while the military forces are lead by his most beloved and most capable son and general, the Warmaster Horus.
Now a psionic information reaches the Emperor from Magnus, that Horus has rebelled on Istvaan. Big-E is angry, for this kind of message has been forbidden by him, and the message damaged the psionic defences of the Imperial Palace. So Leman Russ is send to Prospero to attack Magnus.
Unfortunately, the information received was true... So within 6 Months, a large force of all available SM-Legions is mobilized (8 Legions including the Imperial Fists, who will be late and ambushed enroute to Istvaan).

Horus was the most capable of all the Emperor's Generals...
Should the Emperor have expected any kind of a trap?
Should he have taken command himself instead of leaving command to one of the Primarchs?
Did he really expect Horus waiting unprepared for the unavoidable attack by the loyalist forces?
 

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'A Thousand Sons' tells of Magnus' psionic trip to the Emperor's palace, and in that it is revealed that Magnus never had the chance to actually deliver his message. Also, it tells of how he utterly destroyed the Emperor's project.

If the project is wrecked, either the Emperor was sitting sulking in his dungeon, ignorant of Horus' imminent betrayal, or he was fighting off interlopers from the warp who were capitalising on the rent in real space that Magnus had torn open, and so couldn't get out himself. Was this not, after all, where Sanguinious was later to fell a horde of chaos minions whilst the Palace above was besieged? Though that then leaves open the matter of what the Emperor was doing from when Sanguinius took over the guard?
 

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The enemy never breached the Throne Room/Dungeons and Sangunius didn't fight a horde of daemons there- he fought them outside the walls of the Palace.

The Emperor was doing something that was more important at that moment than taking command of his forces in the Great Crusade- and when Magnus destroyed the wards protecting the Imperial Web Way the Emperor had no choice but to send all his Custodians and Sisters of Silence in to the tunnels to stem the tide of the Daemons when (The Secret War- probably a more important conflict than the Heresy itself), his troops were forced out of the Webway at incredible cost he was forced to take to the Golden Throne to secure the breach. Where he stayed for the 7 years of the Horus Heresy until he faced Horus.
 

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Bane of Empires
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Horus was the most capable of all the Emperor's Generals...
Should the Emperor have expected any kind of a trap?
Should he have taken command himself instead of leaving command to one of the Primarchs?
Did he really expect Horus waiting unprepared for the unavoidable attack by the loyalist forces?
As I believe it, the Emperor wasn't the one who ordered the Isstvan V assault on Horus. Rogal Dorn was. The Emperor (according to the Collected Visions) was entirely pre-occupied on the Golden Throne, taking up the vast majority of his consciousness was the burden of keeping the Imperial Webway sealed, he wasn't really able to get involved in the Heresy at all.

'A Thousand Sons' tells of Magnus' psionic trip to the Emperor's palace, and in that it is revealed that Magnus never had the chance to actually deliver his message.
Actually, Magnus did deliver his warning of Horus' betrayal to the Emperor (A Thousand Sons actually confirms this). But it seems (as stated in the Collected Visions I believe) that the Emperor simply ignored the warning, believing Magnus the one to be corrupted.
 

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Reading Mechanicum, it explains that the Emperor set humanity up for the task of, well everything. That he also knows the futre and basically everything that will ever happen. Then why didn't he see the Heresy?
 

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Grand Lord Munchkin
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It didn't say he knew the future. It says he set up everything he would need but not that he knew the future exactly. He may have had the gift of foresight but that's no guarantee of anything.
 

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Well it certainly gave that idea, how can one set up an entire species for something he wanted them to do, if he didn't know something big was going to happen and how to get around it.
You know, like global warming ;)
 

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Grand Lord Munchkin
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The emperor was the probably the single most intelligent and powerful psykic being to have ever existed. We have no idea what he was capable of.
 

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Though it is said that his powers of foresight were dimmed in the years preceding the Heresy, he's powerful but not omnipotent even he can be frustrated in his designs.

And what if Global Warming happened? That would just be unfortunate for civilisation as we know it, I doubt it would spell the end for humanity as a species.
 

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then again maybe he had already an inkling of this happening and on some level knew he had to allow it, who knows what the emperor knew or didn't know, after all when he retired towork on the golden throne he already had plans for magnus to take over that aspect and i have to wonder what kind of father ignores the warnings from a son who has been nothing but loyal to him? in my opinion he knew something was going to happen and i just wonder if he allowed this to happen no matter what cost as the grand design.
 

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then again maybe he had already an inkling of this happening and on some level knew he had to allow it, who knows what the emperor knew or didn't know, after all when he retired towork on the golden throne he already had plans for magnus to take over that aspect and i have to wonder what kind of father ignores the warnings from a son who has been nothing but loyal to him? in my opinion he knew something was going to happen and i just wonder if he allowed this to happen no matter what cost as the grand design.
A son that had disobeyed him twice telling him about his favourite, the son he raised up above all others? Of course the Emperor isn't going to listen to Magnus.
 

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seems to me then that the emperor like others would never have believed that Horus could do such a thing, but i still have a inkling that he had an idea something like this was going to happen maybe not horus, if i was the emperor and considering his zealous nature i would have thouht maybe Lorgar but i still think he knew somethng was going to happen.
 

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Well all the fluff points to the Emperor not having a clue about the impending Heresy- he's not ominopentent, his visions can be clouded (which they were in the years before the Heresy).

Really Magnus caused at least as many problems as Horus, in trying to warn the Emperor he ended up putting the loyalists at a major disadvantage, in fact I'd go as far to say that if Magnus hadn't tried to warn his Father then the loyalists would have won the Heresy with a lot less life lost.
 

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Grand Lord Munchkin
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The emperor was a narcissist. I find it difficult To believe that he could have thought that any of his creations COULD fail let alone did fail. Besides, lorgar was only ever loyal.
 

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Truly the path to damnation is paved with good intentions. The heresy occured because of the emperors failings.

Lorgar, arguably the chief architect of the heresy fell because of the emperor's insults and desire for speedy conquests.
Perturbo fell because of being largly ignored and living in Dorns shadow.
Magnus because he wanted to save his brother and save the imperium.
Fulgrim (assuming he could have discarded his sword), Angron and Mortarion are a bit more iffy, but lets say they fell out of love/ loyalty of their brother.
Kurze was a bit weird, as he never fell because of chaos, but rather personal failings.
we still don't know the extent of Alpharius's fall, but its possible he was doing what he thought was best for the imperium

The emperor was blinded by his trust in his beloved son, and wanted all the others to be like him, he had tunnel vision
 

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i honestly believe Alpharius/Omegron is working the side lines and i am so glad that finally the up to know little known about leigon is given a reason to do what they did, wouldn't surprise me that come the end of it all Alpahrius or whoever is leading them reveals why they did what they did.
 

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Grand Lord Munchkin
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Angron fell because of his nature and his hate for the emperor, I don't think he gave a shit about what his brothers thought, he only needed an excuse.
 

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and i have to wonder what kind of father ignores the warnings from a son who has been nothing but loyal to him?
I would actually say Magnus was one of the most disloyal Primarchs, if not the most disloyal Primarch during the Great Crusade.
 

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One of the big assumptions is that the Emperor viewed the primarchs as his sons not as simply his tools to achieve somehting. Most fluff writes that the Primarchs view the Emperor as a father, the other primarchs as brothers and that the Imperium portrays them as his children and the heresy was a betrayal of a father by his son.

But the big unwritten part is what does the Emperor have to say about this? The Emperor is largely left out of Black Library fiction, with him and his character being talked about, but never really being present. There are of course exceptions. for example, 'The last church' where he is portrayed as a self righteous Richard Dawkins character, pushing his way and crushing opposition. Although he works through logic, he cannot accept any difference and is willing to do anything to achieve his way. Ian Watsons Inquisition wars novels also feature the Emperor. All the years of being on the throne have destoyed his mind, subdividing it into many multiple personalitys with no idea of what the other is doing. But that is old fluff.

What does seem to be becoming apparent to me, with the heresy novels, is that the Emperor has his own agenda and is pushing it. The Primarchs and marines see him as a father figure and are loyal to him. The Emperor sees them (and mankind as a whole) as tools to achieve his goal (or goals). Not everyone who has met the Emperor is as full of praise for him as his ultra loyal subjects. Some of his subjects are even beginning to question his motives.

With this in mind, it explains why he created the primarchs. It wasn't because he wanted sons or to create heirs to his empire. It was because he needed generals and powerful ones at that. He did not have the same loyalty for his primarchs as they had for him. But he was perfectly willing to use their loyaltys.

When the emperor created the primarchs, it is strongly hinted ne used chaos as part of the creation process. It is also hinted he knew exactly how they would be and then used their personalitys to get the most out of them.

Magnus thinks the Emperor is acting like a father and friend, but instead is betrayed. He discovers the Emperoro keeps secrets from him and also sets up a show trial and stabs him in the back. The Emperor reveals that his big plan was to keep Magnus imprisioned on the golden throne and that was the reason he created a priumarch as psychically powerful as Magnus.

The reason the Emperor ignored Magnus warning is because he had always viewed him as a thing of chaos and when Magnus warned him, presumed he was acting as a chaos entity. So he did not react to the warning but gave up on Magnus and decided to move forward his plan of enslaveing him on the Golden throne.

One of the reasons the Custodes were so willing to wipe out a primarch was that they had seen the Emperor create them and knew that in reality they were chaos creations so had no trust for them.

Of course it is also possible that the Heresy featured in the Emperors grand plan. There are multiple reasons for this, but I think one of the most prominent is that the Emperoro emerged from the Heresy as basically a god.

If the Emperor had acted differently, rather than telling everyone he had to concentrate on his project in the basement, he would of crushed the heresy, but would not of let the chaos in his primarchs run amock as he planned and iun turn would of lost his chance to achieve god like status.
 
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