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Chaos Gods and Daemons

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    Khorne's MO 
  • So why does GW still say Khorne is all about strength and honor if his followers only seem concerned about spilling blood and don't seem have any sense of loyalty?
    • Because they fight fairly, don't use under-handed tactics (like Eldar, Dark Eldar, Orkz, Tau, the Imperial Guard and several chapters of Space Marines) and respect worthy adversaries. Their work ethic of testing themselves against worthy adversaries first and then killing other civilians. A piece of fluff dictates that Angron have Ulrik the Slayer a salute after he witnessed him defeat several Berzerkers, a feat that earned his attention because Berzerkers are the best individual fighters in the galaxy. Additionally, when Honsou was getting his ass kicked by a Khornate Chaos Lord, the lord stopped the battle after the two were disarmed to give Honsou the chance to get a weapon. This was in on the Iron Warriors books. As for a lack of loyalty? Berzerkers among their own kind have a fair bit of camaraderie, so long as they believe Khorne wills them together for a great slaughter. A bit of Values Dissonance here, from your PoV, Khornates killing each other means that they have no honour. From their view point, them dueling each other is an honourable contest to see who is truly favoured by Khorne and to prove their skills to their God, which is a noble and lofty thing.
    • How the hell does anybody define fighting fair in the WH40k universe anyways? Going by what other people say, World Eaters will still blow up a charging army with Titans before fighting them in close combat, that doesn't seem any more honorable than using Tzentchan sorcery tricks.
    • They won't charge you from behind as the Orks do, they don't run away from every engagement to lead you into a trap like the Eldar do, they don't torture you half to death both physically and psychologically while also running away from every engagement to lead you into even more sadistic traps as the Dark Eldar do, and they don't send trillions of men to clear a land mine by dying on it to make it safe for their precious tanks as the Imperial Guard do. In the ranks of Khorne, if you're not a marine you are expected to die in combat, but you at least die with slightly more dignity than in the guard because you don't have your fancy Political Officers threatening to kill you while they are comfortably far from the front line. Them tearing you apart with Titans before they charge you could be equated to unreasonably savage display of force; something they are known for. How is it dishonourable compared to "I sent trillions of my men to their deaths to lure you into this one spot and now I'm going to summon a massive warp rift to plunge your entire army into the abyss of Tzeentch instead of facing you on the battlefield. LOLJUSTASPLANNED"?
    • Nobody said that the Titan barrage is less honourable than the Tzeentchean magic attack - they were saying that, morally, it's basically the same so it's hard to buy claims of Khornate honor.
    • A dishonourable tactic is otherwise known as one that relies on trickery to achieve its desired effect. With a Titan you can at least see it coming. If we're going to use the yardstick of fairness in regards to measuring Khornate martial honour, then any combat between a Berserker and say, a unit of guardsmen must hence be dishonourable by your point of view because the guardsmen stand no chance against the marine. Regardless of the fact that he likely triumphed over him by a forthright application of his skill. Do you see now why where your analogy goes wrong? Anyway, few World Eater warbands utilize titans in the first instance, so it's a moot point.
    • Yeah, it's actually pretty reasonable to say that there's not much honor in seeking out opponents who have no chance against you.
    • No it isn't. To their belief system, seeking out battle wherever you can is honorable. If the opponent is strong? Even better, now you can impress Khorne. If you meet a weak opponent? Oh well, these things happen, kill it anyway for whatever reason. Quit trying to put your modern moral belief systems onto a 10,000 year old psychopathic warrior cult in service to a palpable daemonic god.
    • Well, once you get into moral relativism, anything any faction does is completely fine and honourable, because they can only be judged by their own standards, and there's no such thing as good and evil or even judgeable actions. Khornate Marines are on the same moral level as Slaaneshi Marines, the Imperium, the Dark Eldar, the Craftworlders, the Orks, and so on.
    • Look, here's the the thing, morality is different from a code of honor. Khornate warriors are not morally upright, even their own beliefs say they aren't moral. What people are saying is that they are following an honorable code in which there are rules as to how they fight. A khornate follower may not have any compunctions about slaughtering civilians but they would be appaled at the idea of triumphing because they tricked their enemy into a trap. Honor is a lot more relative and culturally dependent than morallity, and almost all societies have had different varieties and concepts of what honor was.

    "Cheerful" Horrors 
  • So, how is it that Horrors are described as "cheerful" if they serve Tzeentch rather than Nurgle? I can't imagine being happy under a guy who meticulously manipulates events so that he can safely say "You Have Outlived Your Usefulness" a lot.
    • He manipulated them to be happy so they'd do their jobs better? He wouldn't be a very able god of scheming and treachery if he let everyone see that he's just using them, most of his pawns probably think he's a very generous god. Right up until the end.
    • I always thought it was the irony of a grim god having cheerful daemons and the cheerful god having grim daemons.

  • Lengthy -maybe overly so- discussions with a friend of mine made me ponder about whether he's right when he postulates that Kaela Mensha Khaine, the Bloody Handed God, Slayer of Eldanesh, etc., etc., is actually no other than an aspect of Khorne that was cursed/blessed with material substance after battling the Nightbringer, AKA one of the Yngir in Eldar lore. A particular piece of fluff mentions that when he defeated the C'tan, its body was torn into metal shards and some of them got lodged into Khaine's form. He made a compelling case... I mean, both C'Tan and the Avatar are literally made of molten metal. And just let's not get started about similarities between Khaine's and Khorne's behavior and ethos.
    • Khaine and Khorne are similar, but not the same. Khaine defeating the Nightbringer and gaining the "Aspect of the Reaper" when the shards of its body imbedded themselves in him was a story in Eldar mythology, and is probably hyperbole. Khaine is an Eldar god that embodies murder, destruction and war, but above that, he is still an Eldar god, constructed by the psyche of the Eldar. Khorne is a Chaos god, made from the psychic emanations of everything else, and he embodies rage hatred, violence, and honorable warriorhood, and just about every Chaos god embodies war anyways, even if Khorne does more than the others. While they do have a similar disposition, and their spheres of influence tend to overlap, they are separate because they draw on different wells of power.
    • A good way to think about it is this: in the 40K setting, the emotional and spiritual energies and longings of sentient, sapient lifeforms influence the Immaterium, or Warp, an alternate universe of pure spirit. (How much influence depends on the lifeform: Eldar have more influence than humans, who have more influence than Tau, etc.) If that spiritual energy is not channeled through religious worship, it will coalesce in the Warp into powerful beings, some, like Nurgle, Khorne, Tzeentch, and Slaanesh, so powerful that they are called gods, and are even directly worshiped by some people, which gives them more power still. If that energy is channeled through religious worship, it will coalesce into the being so worshiped in the Warp, that is, in other words, into a god of Order. So Khorne is the Chaos god of war, while Khaine is the Eldar Order god of War. To address the similar question below about Cegorach, Cegorach is the Eldar Order trickster god, while Tzeentch is the Chaos trickster god. The Deceiver is a C'tan stargod, and not a Warp entity at all. The Imperium is monotheistic, so the Emperor is their Order god of everything.

    Chaos corruption into cartoon villainy 
  • What is it about Chaos that makes you hammy and card-carrying?
    • Hammy? tell that to Eliphas and Magnus The Red. Card carrying is fairly obious anyone who openly serves chaos acknolages that the gods they follow want to kill rape disease and mutate the entire universe ONLY people who are sociopathic monsters would knowingly work with them. There are even cases of people serving Chaos subtley without knowing.
    • Here's the thing about Chaos: It corrupts. Completely and utterly. You think the legions of Chaos all started out as psychopathic monsters? Many who joined Horus believed that they were doing so for the good of mankind. That's all Chaos needs to get a foothold on your soul, and once it has hold of you you will become twisted and evil beyond redemption, both inside and out. This is part of the reason why the Imperium is so draconian about dissent.
    • Who says that it does? It's just that the hammy, card-carrying villains tend to get a lot of attention. Remember, pretty much the entire population of Colchis worshiped the Chaos gods before Lorgar came, and Colchis was, for a medieval-tech world, a pretty decent place to live under the Covenant; it is described as a world of "peace and law."
    • Everyone in Warhammer is hammy. Oh, and Chaos isn't evil. Chaos is elemental.
    No Chaos before the Fall? But why? 
  • How come the Eldar didn't have any major problems with Chaos before their fall? Their civilization was more powerful than the Imperium!
    • Because Tzeentch wanted to make Slaanesh so he could piss off Khorne and have another divine pawn to dick around with, and the Eldar wouldn't be so self-destructively hedonistic if they had an actively visible enemy threatening them. He probably had his daemons secretly help defend the Eldar from the Khornates and Nurglites.
    • The Horus Heresy, especially in False Gods, gives the implication that the Chaos Gods had only a little interest in the material galaxy until it was going to affect them directly (i.e. the Imperial Truth), and then not until the Imperium became a psychotic, Gothic dystopia where mortal suffering became commonplace enough to empower the Dark Powers that they really wanted the material galaxy for themselves. For the Eldar empire, you had answered your own question: the Eldar didn't apparently have any interest in wiping out Chaos, so Chaos left them alone for the most part, but the odd, inevitable Chaos skirmish tainted Xeno species had been kept in check with relative ease.
    • "Really interested" ought to be taken in a relative context; because as much as they'd like the material world under their thrall, they're still more interested in their Great Game within the Realm of Chaos.
    • Who says they didn't? The Black Library's contents were largely known to the Eldar before the Fall.

    The changing sizes of daemons 
  • How big are greater daemons supposed to be anyways? Artwork tends to depict them as about 20 feet tall, but the models depict them as a lot smaller. Bloodthirsters I find are the most confusing, the one that Sangiunus fought is drawn is presented as being closer to him in size than the artwork depictions. Something that really confused me is how Hector Rex stabbed An'grath in the chest when the pictures depicted him as too big for Rex to reach his knees. Also, exactly how resistant to damage are they anyways? I heard somewhere that Dante beat a bloodthirster with a power ax, but they're supposed to able to steam roll whole worlds.
    • Gameplay and Story Segregation. They're generally supposed to be towering over most things. Here's a comparison. Keep in mind that the 8 feet tall Space Marine is barely to the height of his hooves. Honestly, I am very surprised that you expected the models in any way to match the fluff in scale in anything other than Apocalypse games (however it is worth noting that An'ggrath's model is similar in height to a Warhound Titan's, which is about 9 inches tall). Secondly, as for how Hector Rex and Sanguinius fought these things, well, how did Beowulf fight Grendel? How did Saint George slay the dragon? Mythology is full of giant creatures being felled by mere men, and Warhammer is known for emulating the epic feel of mythology in its lore. If that doesn't help, think of how a mammoth was felled by primitive men. And as for how Hector, Sanguinius and Dante beat them despite them wiping out star systems on a regular basis? Two words, plot armour. In Sanguinius' defense, however, he is basically a duplicate of the Emperor, so his victory is infinitely more believable. But, keep in mind that while they're in the galaxy, Daemons tend to have an unstable presence in it due to their warp-born nature. So it's hard for them to maintain their presence. Furthermore, Hector didn't fight An'ggrath alone, but with an army of Grey Knights at his back and An'ggrath still killed the majority of them IRCC. And An'ggrath's grip in reality was weakening anyway. And as for Dante, well, same basic principle, Daemons have trouble keeping themselves in reality. But mostly? They needed him to do something to show how cool he was, so a combination of plot armour and the worf effect. In essence however, as things are written from an in-universe stand point it could all be propaganda or a half truth, especially in the case of Dante, as he's in a position of authority. But to further the case of daemons, they don't think on terms of victory and defeat, at least as far as they pertain to reality. At best, their appearance in reality is little more than a momentary distraction and only because powerful servants of Chaos get a favour from them. Most of their efforts are concentrated on fighting for their patrons in the Great Game, and when they are banished to the Warp from reality, it just means that they go back to Realm of Chaos and lay out their next moves.
    • Okay, but still, it seems like bloodthirsters seem to get smaller whenever it's convenient for the plot, considering that Sangiunius supposedly lifted over his head and Hector Rex is described as stabbing An'ggrath in the chest as opposed to throwing his sword or jumping into the air and stabbing him.
    • Mayhaps Bloodthirsters at least change their size to what will give them a better fight?
    • Well, Sanguinius' story is framed in the format of a religious tale, so they're could be some metaphor and artistic license used to establish a greater theme, (unless he's actually shown heaving Ka'Bandha above his head in one the HH books, in which case, I'd argue he's a topping 10 feet tall demigod with psychic powers and could probably do it anyway). As for Hector, his fight isn't described in very much detail, he may very well have jumped.

    The objective strength of Tzeentch 
  • This wiki seems to imply that Tzeentch is the most powerful of the Chaos gods, since everything happens according to his plans, his forces only get defeated because he allows it to happen, and he could totally devour the entire galaxy if he wanted to. But shouldn't he actually be the weakest of the four? The two things that feed him are hope and change, and there's not much hope in the 41st millennium, and Status Quo Has Been God in the galaxy for the past ten thousand years. Where does all his power come from?
    • He isn't the strongest Chaos God. Khorne is, there's only war. War every waking second and he's fed by violence and rage. Tzeentch is commonly held to be the second strongest. Technically, all the Gods could destroy the galaxy if they wanted to. As it is though, they're more interested in fighting each other in the Warp than they are in messing with the galaxy. In the case of Tzeentch being second strongest, I guess you could argue that the horrible nature of the universe lends itself well to wishful thinking. Or maybe he gets off from the physical transition aspect of change ie: life -> death.
    • Tzeentch isn't the strongest because of raw power. He's the strongest because he knows how to use that power. Tzeentch also doesn't just feed off hope and change, he also feeds off ambition -of which there's no shortage.
    • And you think the other gods don't know how to use power? Tzeentch isn't the strongest Chaos God, Khorne is. This has been hammered in like a nail in every damn codex for both Fantasy and 40K.
    • No, other gods know how to use power. Tzeentch is better at it than they are, because that's his specialty.
    • Depends what you mean by powerful, Tzeentch has far more influence over the mortal world through being a great manipulator and schemer than Khorne does through brutality and conquest. In a straight up fight Khorne would win in a heartbeat but Tzeentch is smart enough to avoid that fight and exploit things to be in his favor. Look at it this way Khorne is by far the strongest in raw power but at the same time Tzeentch is capable of manipulating the other gods into helping his own schemes along. Course that doesn't mean Tzeentch is the most powerful, just that he's the smartest.
    • The Four Chaos Gods can be split into two opposing pairs (a Tactical Rock–Paper–Scissors but with more inconsistent metaphysics). Slannesh/Khorne is one of the opposing pairs and Tzeentch/Nurgle is the other. Generally, Slannesh is considered the weakest but beyond that, they can all destroy the galaxy and everything in it on a whim and can't actually ever be destroyed unless somebody does that, so, it's a bit of a moot point. Khorne is the most overtly powerful, whereas Tzeentch is the God of Magic and the God of Being Xanatos. Unsurprisingly, Tzeentch gets a lot of love here. Several fluff pieces mention that Tzeentch has the best shot of actually winning, largely because nobody (including the other gods) can comprehend the rules he plays by, but he would ultimately outwit himself and not win. Khorne is physically the most powerful (being the God of Being Physically Powerful and all), and if any of the other Chaos Gods cared, he would probably win in a straight forward fight. So it all depends on what the contest is. If this is a matter of who would be the last one left (the king of the mountain, as it were) if there was some cosmic throwdown, the answer is probably Nurgle. Nurgle is after all the God of Not Dying from Stuff.
    • Khorne is the strongest because he derives power from the most basic and primal emotion (the one every sentient creature likely feels on some level). Tzeentch, Nurgle and Slaanesh derive power from slightly more complex sensations that aren't expressed as often or strongly. Hence, Khorne is the most powerful.
    • There is always hope.
    • Yes, but there is also always rage and hatred.
  • Maybe because he's the god of controlling warp-stuff and he and the other gods(and demons) are made of warp-stuff. And live in a dimension of pure warp-stuff.

    Power comparisons, Chaos edition 
  • How powerful is a daemonhost compared to a daemon possessing someone? Assuming both daemons in their actual forms (not in another body) are equal in strength.
    • Depends on the daemon.
    • Depends also on the host and environmental conditions.

    Growing pains of Chaos Gods 
  • Slaanesh' birth created the Eye of Terror, a phenomenon that has lingered for thousands of years. Since Khorne, Nurgle, Tzeench, and the Ork gods also came into being at some point in the past, why didn't their births create lingering warp anomalies?
    • Who said they didn't?
    • There are enough unexplained large scale warp anomolies in the galaxy that any one of them could possibly be the result of chaos god birth. It should also be remembered Slaanesh is the youngest chaos god and so it could be that after awhile the anomolies created by the birth of a chaos god recede.
    • Though it does seem odd that when you consider the original lore had Khorne and Nurgle at least being born due to events here own earth - the mongol invasions and the black death, respectively. The Eye of Terror consumed the worlds that birthed Slaanesh, but obviously Terra wasn't consumed by any rifts from birthing Khorne or Nurgle. This has long since been retconned with the CG minus Slaanesh being created from the aftermath of the War in Heaven, but for a whie, Slaanesh's birth really did stand out as a major outlier when it came to the Ruinous Powers.
      • It's possible that since gods of Order ruled over the Earth at that time, they were suppressed. They may have been born on Earth, but the local gods were strong enough to kick them off before they could pull anything similar to the Eye of Terror. Humans at those times were extremely religious. As you may have noticed, our faith in our various religions has... waned, over the last few centuries, generally speaking. The Eldar were a civilization millions of years older and more advanced than ours. The simple fact of the matter was that they probably didn't worship their gods all that much anymore. I mean, they probably did believe in and worship them, but it didn't subsume every other facet of their lives anymore. And they were spread across the galaxy rather than being in one singular location. I'm imagining the Eldar gods as having further reaching influence, but less influence at any more place.
      • Also keep in mind that Slaanesh was spawned by the Eldar a psychically gifted race who feel emotions much more strongly than humans. And it formed over centuries of excess and degeneration covering thousands of worlds (the Eldar where an empire, after all) Slaanesh then devoured every Eldar soul within reach and slaughtered the Eldar pantheon, which had been specifically designed to impede the chaos powers. Basically, Slaanesh had a huge burst of power to start with, and then hir power leveled out as the primary source of power had been annihilated and consumed to start with. For all we know, the creation of the Eye of terror used up a significant portion of hir power. Slaanesh is the god of excess, not "conserving power in case you need it later".

    Black morality or orange morality 
  • Exactly how evil are the daemons anyway? It's true that their presence is responsible for a alot of suffering in the Imperium as well as any other sentient mortal race that happens to find its way in its tentacles, but is that less depravity and more Blue and Orange Morality? In the warp, Daemons are practically immortal. No matter how many times they're slain, they just respawn back in their chosen realm in the Immaterium. They can rape, kill, and torture as much as they want in the warp and come back from it brand new. And since they're formed from humanity's most vicious urges, things that would cause discomfort to a human (burning rage, treachery, depression, and extreme lust) are the average mindset of daemons and their gods. A Keeper of Secrets would regard his sexual depravities no more differently than watching a pleasant television program. Could the reason the Daemons want to enslave all mortal beings to the throes of chaos is because, like a group of ax-crazy colonialists, they believe that it's the best thing for them? And if not, is what they do to their Chaos cultists any more different than the conquistadores exploiting the natives for labor for the sake of prosperity for their kingdoms?
    • Evil is subjective, and it seems that you seem to view evil as something that in entirely about needless, self-aware sadism and not simply causing harm (a very classical view of evil was entirely divorced from the perpetrators' motives, and even natural things like hurricanes and poisons were "evils"). Daemons are pure evil in this sense, in that they cause harm to the materium without benefiting it in any way. They are also explicitly sadistic and cruel, reveling in murder and rape, so yes, they're evil because, no matter how they perceive it, they are harming unwilling victims. And once you go the way of moral relativism, good and evil become simply measures of deviation from the norm, so whatever. And as for that last point, the conquistadors are generally viewed as being evil - or at least terribly misguided - for just those reasons.

    Nobody expected the Chaos Inquisition! 
  • How come there is no signs of a Chaos Inquisition? I'm aware that Inquisitors turning over to the Ruinous Powers is considered a rarity, but shouldn't there be Inquisitors that have the same goal as every other Chaos Space Marine in the 40k Universe?
    • You mean 'the actual Inquisition'? Because the Inquisition is always nearly one step away from pure Chaos heresy.
    • Chaos Inquisitors exist - they're just supremely rare, because you don't get to be an Inquisitor without going through a pretty rigorous screening process. That said, Inquisitors who have completely fallen to Chaos (and not just Radicals who still claim to serve the Emperor) have been brought up before - at least one Black Library story features an Inquisitor secretly serving Tzeentch (with an appropriate Mark hidden on his skin).
    • If you mean why doesn't Chaos have an equivalent 'evil knockoff' version of the Inquisition organization as a whole as opposed to just a handful of fallen inquisitors, I would pose the question as to exactly what that organization would do. Chaos doesn't have the strict rules and bans that the Imperium imposes on it's citizens. The individual gods have their commandments and taboos, but they're kind of self-policing on that. At most they could be on the lookout for loyalist spies in their midst, but the corrupting nature of the warp plus the sheer horror of what the average chaos force does in a week makes long term infiltration unlikely to succeed. So really, Chaos doesn't have an Inquisition equivalent because there is no purpose for one.
    Slaaneshi allegiances 
  • Why is Slaanesh a Chaos god instead of an Eldar god? Slaanesh congealed from the energies released by large-scale Eldar depravity, so how did Slaanesh become a universal Chaos deity instead of a strictly Eldar one?
    • It's simple. The way it works is this: the emotional and spiritual energies of sapient beings coalesce in the Immaterium into beings that represent and thrive off of those energies; the mightiest of these beings are called gods. When those emotional and spiritual energies are channeled through sincere worship, they go to the worshiped beings; otherwise, they remained channeled and disordered, and go to chaotic beings as a result. So when the Eldar channel their sense of love and compassion for others through the worship of Isha, that energy goes to Isha, the Eldar goddess of love, life, and healing. Otherwise, their, and everyone else's, love and compassion for others goes to Nurgle, the Chaos god of love and compassion, healing and sickness. The Eldar never formally worshiped Slaanesh. They created him through unchanneled and unfocused passion and sensualism. This is why organized religion suppresses chaos: it channels sapients' spiritual energies into gods of Order, instead of gods of Chaos; needless to say, formal, sincere worship of the Chaos gods, as from all sorts of Chaos worshipers, also empowers the Chaos gods.
    • And important thing to know about the Eldar gods is this: they were specifically created by the Eldar as tools to help them. Eldar gods were, quite literally, crafted by intense worship and belief to strengthen different aspects of the Eldar's society, and most importantly, these gods helped and protected the Eldar. Slaanesh... doesn't. Slaanesh may have been birthed by the Eldar, but it certainly doesn't serve the Eldar people like their gods do.

    Chaos is screwed, isn't it? 
  • Isn't Chaos already screwed over? After all, even if Chaos managed to wipe out the Imperium, they would still have to fight the Orks (who are not as suspectible to corruption as humans due to the WAAAAGH), the Tau (who have next to no Warp presence) and the Tyranids (who don't feel any emotions at all and have their Shadow in the Warp).
    • The Chaos Gods don't actually want to win. The forces of Chaos do legitimately want to burn the galaxy and especially the Imperium, but the Ruinous Powers themselves don't actually want that to happen. They enjoy the current status quo where they can gorge themselves off all the conflict that the Imperium generates. And so long as the Imperium stands, the tau pose little threat due to the relatively insignificant scale of their empire, and da orkz are too disorganized to do anything on the grand scale. The Chaos Gods are kind of quaking in their boots over the threat of the Hive Mind, though. But seeing as how that threat coming to fruition would require Gee Dubs moving the story forward and how that simply isn't likely to happen...
    • Chaos itself doesn't care about the Imperium, the Orks, the Tau, or anyone else. The corporeal agents of Chaos, like the Chaos Space Marines, however, do care, but the actual Chaos Gods don't particularly care who is feeding them emotions as long as there's something out there feeding the gods what they want.

     Original scale of Chaos-god creation. 
  • I know this isn't really an issue anymore as Khorne, Nurgle, and Tzeentch have since been retconned as to having been born during the War in Heaven between the Necrons and the Old Ones, but going back to earlier fluff, I found it odd that while Khorne and Nurgle were born/given sentience by events as small in scale (relative to the galactic level) as the Mongol invasions and the black death, it took centuries of the Eldar empire declining into hedonism and debauchery to birth Slaanesh. This seems way out of proportion when the others were birthed from the events of a single planet. I imagine that this may have been part of the reasoning for the War in Heaven retcon, but still, it seems odd to me.
    • 40K is, for all its variety, rather humanocentric, and note that humans are Chaos Gods' top minions, meaning that Chaos fluff would also be humanocentric. Perhaps Mongol invasion and Black Death had the misfortune of happening at the same time as catastrophes happening to other races (eg. giant interplanetary genocide and teleporter-transmitted plague a la Dahak). The reason why human events rather than bigger ones were assumed to be the source of Khorne and Nurgle could be that while humans endured, those alien races went the way of Eldar, only difference being that they died off before records were written.

Chaos Marines and cultists

    Chaos Space Marines and mathematics 
  • Why the chaos space marines aren't obliterated yet ? I don't doubt their aptitude, but still : they are nine traitor legions, which bring us "only" 90.000 chaos marines. Horus Heresy had surely take an heavy death toll, not doubt about the World Eaters' disbanding and Kharn's ax crazy rampage... and the thirteen failed crusades of Abaddon. After ten thousand years of wars, treason, I wonder how the chaos space marines simply survive and replenish their ranks ?
    • While there is a point here, it should be noted the CSM retreated to the chaos warped eye of terror, a place where the very fabric of time and space are twisted and mutation runs rampant, while not confirmed obviously it is easy to imagine each marine lasting far longer than a loyalist counterpart. Skipping through time, surviving fatal wounds through sorcery and mutation, even stuff like spawning anew or splitting in two...anything is possible in the warp. And as others mention, more marines go traitor all the time and to varying degrees, although of course due to the Codex Astartes splitting legions into many more smaller pieces in less staggering quantities at one time. However, i don't see how they could "recruit" just like SM and don't remember reading that. If so its not the same...wouldn't make sense for the powers of chaos to conjure power armor from the warp and magically infuse gene seed only in the best even....why not just do so for every follower and have ridiculously more CSM than SM. And the worlds occupied in the warp are described as Hell worlds. Like Hell as in the fiery pit of torment and madness. Not a lot recruits on daemon infested wastelands.
    • It depends on the warband but most of them recruit its even stated that they work with Fabius Bile to leave only the strongest candidates left. They tend to just have new Power armor made or use looted power armor, remember Chaos has access to many Forgeworlds that turned traitor. For geneseed its pretty much the same as the armor just make more or steal it from dead enemies most of the Chaos Primarchs are alive so they are entirely capable of making more. When you wonder about where they get recruits you have to remember that Chaos needs living people for it to actually exist and on most Daemon Worlds there is usually at least a small human population devoted to the various gods, Daemon Worlds are just inhospitable enough to be hellish Death Worlds that weed out the weak but not to the point where everyone dies, in fact that gives many candidates for becoming Space Marines the only flaw being that the recruitment process for chaos tends to be even more dangerous than the loyalist method. Also eventually a normal human servant of chaos has enough mutations to be close enough to a marine that when wearing Power Armor they are indistinguishable.
      • Chaos chapters also have less stringent requirements for choosing who become marines since loyalist chapters hav to weed out the insane and mutants while those are considered bonuses to the chaos chapters.
    • They recruit from the worlds their primarch has taken over or just from the best of the chaos cults. Its actually been stated a couple times that Marines who fought in the Heresy are very few and tend to be incredibly powerful warlords.
    • The majority of the troops that make up Chaos armies aren't Chaos Marines. They're humans who've joined Chaos cults for various reasons. The vast majority of the soldiers in any Chaos army are going to be corrupted, baseline humans. In addition, loyalist Marines can turn to Chaos, and do so often enough. In some cases entire chapters have turned Traitor.
    • All of that is true, but when Horus went Judas Iscariot on the Emperor, about one-half of the space marine legions sided with him. Keep in mind, that's LEGIONS, not chapters. Before the Horus Heresy, the space marines were organized into legions that could have numbered in the tens of thousands, if not millions, of marines. That's why the loyalists are part of 1000-man units called chapters; that way, if any more of them went rogue it would be much easier to stop a single chapter than a single legion. We don't really know how many loyalist chapters there are, but let's say there are 1000 chapters. That means there are one million loyalist space marines; in such a vast and grimdark universe it's quite possible that many of the loyalists were simply worn down over time, while chaos marines are kept alive through various means.
    • According to the Horus Heresy series, the legions started out with roughly 100,000 marines each
    • By the Heresy the biggest Legion were Ultramarines who had roughly 250,000 men. The smallest were Thousand Sons and Space Wolves, both around 10,000 soldiers strong. All the legions seemed to start from 10,000 soldiers and built up their forces by further recruiting.
    • In a more Unique case the Alpha legion, who may or may be traitors or simply waiting to back-stab chaos, have remained as far from the eye of terror as possible, And managed to capture a stock of gene-seed somewhere in the past, so they alone may be the only traitor legion to still be recruiting in the traditional sense.
    • Can't they just produce their own? They still have implants.
    • Also, keep in mind that the 10,000 Marines = a Space Marine Legion fluff is a bit outdated nowadays. Now, the number is more like 100,000.
    • The Emperor Children Legion was almost wiped out during Geneseed Crisis. note  By the beginning of the Heresy they had grown in numbers up to 140,000 soldiers. Logic dictates that no Legion would have trouble expanding their numbers from founding 10,000 members. Except for Space Wolves and Thousand Sons for their mutations made the process far less efficient.
    • The Traitor Legions (or rather, the warbands they splintered into) continue to recruit new members and turn them into Marines just like loyalist chapters do, only less efficiently as they have no reliable source of trustworthy gene-seed (raids by Chaos Marines on loyalist Marine strongholds to loot gene-seed are not unheard of). Also, the Chaos Marines have maintained a steady inflow of new members by corrupting loyalist Marines post-Heresy; entire chapters going rogue and becoming warbands of Chaos Marines are not unknown (The Crimson Sabers becoming the Crimson Slaughter, the Astral Claws becoming the Red Corsairs, and many, many other examples), and treason on a smaller scale (companies, squads, even individual Marines) is continuously happening as well.
    • This is very inaccurate. Space Marine Legions don't have just 10,000 men. A Legion can have as low as 10,000 or as high as 250,000 as was the case with the Ultramarine. The Black Legion alone can have hundreds of thousands (The Black Legion is said to outnumber the Word Bearers 10 to 1. The WB had 100,000 men during the Horus Heresy). A better question to ask is how the Loyalist even stand a chance against the Traitors.

    The Amazing Alpha Legion 
  • Are the Alpha Legion really bad guys? They seem to not get along with the other Chaos forces and seem self-aware of their place in the galaxy.
    • Their ultimate goal is to bring the Imperium of Man crashing down. That makes them Bad Guys.
    • I dunno, there has been a recent revelation that their battlecry of "For the Emperor!" was not being said in a mocking way...
    • It's called "Necessarily Evil".
    • You really don't get it. Let me say it again: Everyone is Bad Guy here. Every. Single. One.
    • The whole point of Alpha Legion is that everything about their Legion is a secret.

    Where are you, Chaos Chaplains? 
  • Why is it that even though every Space Marine Chapter has Chaplains, their Evil Counterparts, the Dark Apostles, are exclusive to the Word Bearers?
    • Because the Word Bearers are religious fanatics devoted to Chaos as a whole. The Dark Apostles are a sign of just how fanatical they are; most Chaos Marines are priests in and of themselves, and Sorcerers generally fill in the role of full-time priests in most other CSM groups. Only the Word Bearers are sufficiently faithful and fanatical enough to have developed a cadre of non-Sorcerer priests.
    • Most chapters who go rogue (remember, we're supposed to focus on them now) tend to casually murder their Chaplains, because Chaplains generally go for Incorruptible Pure Pureness. In the other Legions, some were taken out in normal battle (like the one Lucius decapitates in Galaxy in Flames), some simply became Chaos Lords (or Chaos Spawn), and some are stabbed in the back.
    • Those Chaplains who remained part of the Traitor Legions, along with the Apothecaries and Techpriests, often became slightly odd warband leaders rather than remaining focused solely on their specialization. The Word Bearers are the only ones who maintained their equivalent as a distinct institution.
    • On TT and Black Crusade at least, Dark Apostles aren't inherently Word Bearers. It's just that the best Apostles are.
    • It depends on edition; 8th edition Chaos Marine codex made Dark Apostles a generic HQ choice, rather than specifically restricting it to Word Bearers Legion forces. As for why Dark Apostles are most associated with the Word Bearers? It's because A: the Word Bearers are the Religious Bruisers of the Traitor Legions, so it makes sense that most of their leaders would be mad Chaos preachers rather than "mere" warlords, and B: according to the Horus Heresy novels, the position of Chaplain didn't exist outside of the Word Bearers until after the Heresy, which was when the Imperial Cult became the ruling theocracy, rather than a heretical cult that the Emperor himself tried to stomp out.
    Resilient Marines 
  • How come the Plague Marines are more resilient then ordinary Chaos Marines? Aren't they essentially bags of pus and rotten guts encased in rusted armor? I can understand indifference to pain, but which of those constituents provide for extra protection from bolts and laser blasts?
    • It goes way beyond pain tolerance. Nurgle is the Chaos God of resilience and determination as well as despair and disease. The power they wield as his servants and champions reflects that by making them far, far tougher than other Chaos Marines.
    • How does one prevent opponents from continuing to fight? There is pain (removing their ability to concentrate), muscle damage (removing their ability to move), organ damage (long term for things like liver/kidneys or more instant for things like heart/lungs/brain), limb removal, or even the Chunky Salsa effect. Only the last two are guaranteed to be effective against Plague Marines, as they are already suffering so much pain and damage yet they are still moving regardless, so a bit extra isn't going to do much. Think of them as especially resilient and heavily armed zombies.
    • This is pretty much it. The Plague Marines have a bonus point in toughness, and the Feel No Pain rule, and all of this on top of their Power Armor; while they are harder to kill than roaches on steroids, they're not too dramatically difficult to kill (at least when compared to other marines). Notable ways of getting rid of them are power weapons, AP 2 weapons, AP 1 weapons, and anything that invokes the Instant Death Rule.

    The (lack of) logic to the Black Crusades 
  • In an effort to shore up criticism amongst the fanbase that Abaddon is incompetent, the lore around the thirteen black crusades was recently changed. Where previously it seemed like Abaddon, with the full forces of Chaos behind him, tried - and failed - thirteen times in a row to take over Cadia, the new lore clarifies that most of the time Abaddon's objectives weren't Cadia, but targets elsewhere in the Imperium. Great in theory, except it falls apart under closer examination. The whole reason why Cadia has been made the most fortified Imperial world in existence that isn't orbiting Sol was because it was smack-dab in the middle of the only stable route into and out of the Eye of Terror (the Cadian Gate). While small Chaos warfleets could gamble and try less well-travelled routes to evade the Imperial blockade, this was always painted as a huge risk, as the odds of getting caught in a Warp Storm were high. As such, pretty much the only route for a major invasion fleet to enter the Imperium was by going through Cadia. If Abaddon could move large Chaos armies across the Imperium to wherever his Black Crusades took him... why all the fuss about Cadia? More to the point, why not just gather the legions together and make another run at Terra instead of doing things the painfully slow way?
    • It's actually easily explained: whenever he launches an offensive out of the Cadian Gate, Abaddon brings with himself enough forces to tie up Battlefleet Cadia and reach whatever other goal he has, be it recovering some artifact, destroy something, or assassinate a rival warlord. And he doesn't attack Holy Terra because the defences of the Cadian Gate are so powerful that whatever spills out wouldn't even scratch the defences of Pluto, let alone the other planets. In short, as long as Cadia resists Abaddon won't be able to bring out of the Gate enough forces to attack Holy Terra with even an half-chance of survival, but what manages to pass can and will do damage elsewhere.

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