Eισαγωγικό για την υπόθεση Warhammer 40.000 το γνωστό παιχνίδι στρατηγικής με μινιατούρες στο οποίο βασίζεται το επίσης γνωστό real time strategy Dawn of War.
In the Grim Darkness of the Far Future, there is only War...
Ο κόσμος του Warhammer 40.000 ή 40K, αν και συμπεριλαμβάνει πολλές φυλές και ακόμη περισσότερες ιστορίες και θρύλους, βασίζεται στην ιστορία της φυλής των ανθρώπων. Τις δικής μας φυλής που και στο 40K γεννήθηκαν και μεγάλωσαν στον πλανήτη Γη, μέχρι που αποίκησαν ένα πολύ μεγάλο μέρος του Γαλαξία και έχτισαν την Αυτοκρατορία (Imperium).
Οδηγός και υπέρμαχος της ανθρωπότητας σε όλη της την πορεία μέχρι και την τεσσαρακοστή χιλιετία, υπήρξε ο Αυτοκράτορας.
Μετά από την μάχη του με τον προδότη Horus και τις δυνάμεις του Χάους, ο Αυτοκράτορας παραμένει ακίνητος, σχεδόν σε κώμα, στον Χρυσό του Θρόνο για περισσότερο από 10.000 χρόνια.
Στο παρακάτω κείμενο θα δείτε ποιός είναι ο αυτοκράτορας και πως ξεκίνησε η Αυτοκρατορία της ανθρώπινης φυλής.
THE EMPEROR (Realm of Chaos: The Lost and the Damned)
Thanks to the Imperial Cult millions upon millions of people are familiar with the traditional fables about the Emperor. Children sing his praises and listen to stories about his life. This is the Emperor that humanity knows - the Emperor of the Imperial Cult. Such is the power of the cult, and so great is the need of man to believe in its authenticity, that no-one questions its authority. As for the Emperor himself, he has neither spoken nor moved for ten thousand years. Thus the true story the Emperor's extraordinary life prior to his incarceration in the life-preserving Golden Throne is now almost wholly submerged by the pious doctrine of the Ecclesiarchy.
...The Emperor was born in the region of Earth known as Central Anatolia (a region of Turkey) in the eighth millennium BC, a place of barren mountains and cold streams.
With the waking of the warp, humanity was laid bare to its energies. The warp is an alternate universe composed entirely of psychic energy generated by the thoughts, emotions and intellectual activity of living beings. The warp, to a much lesser extent, is also influenced by plants and animals. It is sometimes known as the Sea of Souls because of its spiritual reflection of life, but it is also known as the Realm of Chaos.
When the universe was young, the warp was filled with the energies of plants and primitive animals and these psychic energies were relatively harmless; they flowed harmoniously and fluidly through all living things. With the evolution of intelligent beings, their potent minds filled the warp with new and very powerful energies.
The natural energies of the warp was harmonious but the souls of men were troubled, obsessive, guilt ridden, or imperfect. These negative energies congregated together in the warp, drawn to each other by mutual attraction, until they formed troublesome spots of disharmony, rather like a tumour in an animal. These disharmonious forces eventually became the Chaos Powers, the psychic entities we now face today. They were created from the fears, repressions and inadequacies of intelligent beings.
In the Emperor's early life the Chaos Powers were not strong and only achieved power many, many, thousands of years later.
Since the first primitive humans evolved, the species developed a special relationship with the warp. The simple hunters and harvesters of early times recognised the natural forces which flowed through all living things. Those of them that could predict the future and sense the flow of warp energy were known as shamans or tribal witch doctors. They used their powers to benefit their people.
As human numbers increased and human civilisation grew away from its natural roots, the particular warp energies created by humans began to dominate the warp. Where the energies of nature were harmonious and benign, those of man were often unpredictable and dangerous. Power, ambition, greed, lust and a thousand other human feelings took root in the warp and began to grow. As the thoughts of men became stronger, the natural rhythms of the warp were disrupted and became less accessible to the shamans. Inevitably, the process of civilisation severed mankind's links with the natural forces of the warp, and created new ones based upon his own character. In time disharmonious forces were to grow into the Chaos Powers.
The Emperor was born while the rhythm of the warp still flowed strongly through all natural things. The old shamans were guided by the warp and in their turn guided their people. But even then the growing power of humanity was making itself felt, and the shamans feared that all their knowledge would pass away. The energies they depended were becoming more and more difficult to control. Worst still, they were losing their ability to reincarnate. When a shaman died his spirit would flow through the warp, bathing in its energies, awaiting for the time when it would find a new body. With this the shamans would never die. But now these souls were being consumed by the malignant Chaos Powers.
Terrified for the future of their race, all the shamans of Earth gathered in one place and began the longest and most important debate in the history of humanity, lasting centuries and leading to the birth of the New Man - the Emperor.
After hundreds of years of debate and research the Shamans realised that they were doomed, and that without them the human race would not survive. If they continued as they were they would only be able to survive for another one of two incarnations and the psychic entities of the warp would eventually consume the planet.
The Shamans decided to pool their own energies by incarnating into a single body. In their thousands the Shamans took poison, and in their thousands they died, and their kind was gone forever from Earth. A year later the man later to be known as the Emperor was born...
The Emperor and Human History
The Emperor had many gifts. He could ease the suffering of others and read people's minds. Most importantly he was immortal and would live forever, this the shamans made sure of because reincarnation would be impossible many thousands of years later. With the New Man being immortal he would have no need of reincarnation. He would remain unchanged through eternity.
For thirty eight thousand years the New Man wandered over the Earth and through human history. At first he merely observed the world about him, but soon he began to help where he could, using his ancient wisdom to spread efficient government, crop management, animal husbandry, technology, and peace. He always used his influence carefully, adopting the guise of a normal man, and without revealing his true nature.
Over the millennia the Emperor watched the human race develop. He travelled the entire globe, watching and helping, sometimes adopting the persona of a great leader or advisor. In times of trouble he became a crusader, a religious leader or messiah, at other times he remained a back-stage contributor to events, an advisor to kings, a court magician, a pioneering scientist. Many of the guises he adopted were humble, others became monumental figures of world history or religion. At times of crisis he would be there, steering the human race along a narrow survival path that he alone could see.
The Emperor and the Powers of Chaos
As the human race prospered the warp became increasingly disturbed so that its flow could no longer sustain the planet as it once had. Despite the New Man's best efforts to promote peace and harmony, the human character could not suppress its instinctive values of ambition, defiance, and self-satisfaction.
The Chaos Powers sensed the presence of the New Man and his efforts to curb their own power and growth. Even before they became fully conscious the Chaos Powers recognised the Emperor as their greatest enemy. Khorne was the first to wake fully, and an era of wars and conflict raged across the globe. Tzeentch was the next, and nations and politics grew to adulthood with all their implicit intrigues and double-dealings. Nurgle was the third to awake and plagues swept across continents claiming many souls for the Lord of Decay. By the end of the Middle Ages all three of these Chaos Powers had awoken to full consciousness. The fourth Power, Slaanesh, still slumbered and his rise coincided with the Fall of the Eldar.
The New Man knew that while humanity was tied to its own solar system it would be doomed. Throughout the second, third, and fourth millennia, the New Man was instrumental in the development of space technology. Soon there were human colonies throughout the galaxy.
Now the New Man cast off his raiment to become the Saviour of Man, the Emperor. Over a hundred years before the waking of Slaanesh, the Emperor sought to establish his rule over Earth and began to mould its people into a loyal army. He started to plan the re-conquest of the galaxy in anticipation of the dispersal of the warp storms around the planet.
The Emperor never made the mistake of underestimating the threat of Chaos, and in order to meet that threat he put the best scientific brains on Earth to work. Weapons and spacecraft poured out of the Martian factories to bolster beleaguered forces throughout the galaxy.
The Emperor's most long-sighted plan to counter the Chaos Powers was the creation of the Primarchs: genetically engineered super-humans with god-like powers. The Emperor's intention was to create a whole race of super-humans in the hope that they would be immune to the temptations of Chaos.
The Primarchs were to be shining examples of humans free from the taint of corruption. The energy of the uncorrupted warp would flow through them as it flowed through the Emperor himself, invigorating them and conferring special powers such as were possessed by the shamans of old.
However, the Chaos Powers knew of the Primarchs, despite the Emperor's best attempts to hide them, and in a bold move they spirited them away while they still grew in their amniotic tanks. Even for the Chaos Powers this was a massive expenditure of energy. The Primarchs were sucked through the warp and scattered on separate human worlds. At this moment in time the Chaos Powers did not have the energy to destroy the Primarchs once and for all.
The Space Marines
The Emperor had lost the Primarchs and he could no re-create them, and even if he could, there was not the time. The birth pangs of Slaanesh grew louder and louder as the time of his waking grew near. The Emperor thought of another plan. Using genetic material which had been imprinted from the Primarchs into laboratory golems, some of their qualities could be reproduced as discrete biological organs. By implanting these organs into a young growing body a person with some of the qualities of the Primarchs could be created. In this way the first Space Marines Chapters were founded. Each Chapter utilised genetic material derived from one of the Primarchs.
The Great Crusade
By the time that the warp storms were ended, the Space Marines and other Imperial forces were ready to re-conquer the galaxy. The forces of Chaos were already strong, and many human worlds had been taken over by Chaos Cultists or other aliens. It was a long hard struggle, but with every victory the young Imperium grew stronger as new warriors joined the Great Crusade.
The initial conquests focused upon where the Primarchs were hidden. Using his psychic powers the Emperor gradually located them and re-united them with the Space Marine Chapters. The Primarchs seemed none the worse for their brush with Chaos, having grown up to be great leaders and warriors among the local human populations. With the Primarchs the Great Crusade swept across the galaxy and humanity began to rebuild its ancient heritage. Chaos retreated to its own realms into the Eye of Terror.
The Horus Heresy
We shan't go into detail about the terrible war that almost spelt doom for humanity. It does, however, spell another chapter in the history of the Emperor. In single combat against his former friend the Warmaster Horus, the Emperor was almost slain. It was Horus who was ultimately slain in this duel and the Emperor has never recovered from that particular confrontation and never will.
The Golden Throne
The fight with Horus was waged both in the material universe and in the warp, their bodies and their spirits battling for survival. The Emperor's body was all but destroyed, and his psychic powers were also dealt a severe blow. The forces of Chaos melted away. Some of those not too long in the service of Chaos were suddenly free from its illusions and quickly switched sides, fighting with all the more vigour in their attempts to make amends for their treachery. The Emperor's body was hastily returned to Earth and placed in a life preserving bubble.
The life support unit known as the Golden Throne was quickly built to encase the Emperor. His powers survived, but his body was shattered. At first he was able to communicate semi-coherently for brief periods, later he lapsed into complete silence. That silence has remained undisturbed now for almost ten thousand years.
Released from his body, the Emperor's psychic power, his soul, was cast adrift upon the tides of the warp, to be carried on the random undercurrents and eddies of the Sea of Souls until such time as it was ready to be reborn. Although the Powers of Chaos hunted tirelessly through the warp for the Emperor's soul they could not find it. The warp is huge, and its energies dispersed and flowing. Like the shamans of old, the Emperor was at one with the whole warp, so his soul melted easily into it and so remained hidden from the Chaos Powers.
Although the Emperor was dead by an ordinary understanding of the word, while some of his cells still lived they provided a link through which his spirit could communicate with the material universe. While his body was relatively fresh it could be animated, and was even to speak a little. Thanks to this the Emperor was able to supervise the construction of a special psychic life support machine called the Golden Throne.
The Star Child
As the spirit of the Emperor drifted through the warp it gradually dissolved into the flow of energy, returning to the cosmic force of the nature of the warp in its uncorrupted form. Only a tiny core of the Emperor's humanity remained whole, like a small child bobbing upon the tide of a colossal storm in a tiny reed boat.
Thus the soul of the Emperor was cast adrift into the warp. While the Emperor's soul survived there was still hope for mankind. For just as the New Man had been born from the collective souls of the shamans of old, so the Emperor's soul might be reborn one day. But that day would lie far in the future, when the cries for a new saviour would strengthen the core of the Emperor's soul and rekindle it into new life.
Meanwhile the soul of the Emperor was merely a potential, a child awaiting birth, the Star Child. The humans there were left in charge of the Imperium had no real understanding of what had happened to the Emperor. The concept that he could be born again never occurred to them. To the rulers of the Imperium, the Emperor continues to live, though his body was broken, by means of his indisputable powers.
Only a select few individuals learned the secret over the following millennia, and they became the highly secret brotherhood known as the Illuminati. The Illuminati await the birth of the Star Child and the second coming of the New Man. They know that their knowledge makes them dangerous heretics in the eyes of the Imperium, and consequently maintain strict secrecy over their activities. They remain a secret force in human space, working their way behind the machinery of government and commerce, preparing the way for the rebirth of the New Man.
Edited by Tadaka, 25 December 2008 - 04:11.