You are the God Emperor of Mankind in the End Days and you are leading the remnants of the Imperium on an Exodus to another universe to recover and rebuild. One day you will return home to purge the Great Enemy and make Mankind the true rulers of the galaxy.
Made by torrmercury, read the awesome here
In the Beginning, There Was Man is a forum quest run by torrmercury on the Sufficient Velocity forums. The players take control of first the Emperor of Mankind and then others in their attempt to forge a new Imperium in a new Galaxy, in the hopes of growing strong enough to one day return to Terra and retake the galaxy from Chaos. At the beginning of the quest the players were offered a number of options for the quest's format and chose to play an Empire quest, leading a chosen few in an Exodus to a new home.
Like most Empire and Civilisation quests the players vote on various plans and make rolls to determine outcomes for their decisions. Unlike many such quests the size of the dice rolled is often different, for the Imperium is made of many souls with widely different capabilities. The more numerous and powerful the individual or group undertaking an action is, the larger the dice used. From 1d4s for lone individuals, to 1d12s for squads of Space Marines and all the way up to 1d100s for actions undertaken by godlike entities such as the Emperor himself. In addition to the luck of the dice the players may write in with omakes that torrmercury sorts into the catagories of Canon, Partially Canon, Annuls of History, Analysis, Legends of the Exodus and Artworks. These omakes are given bonuses related to their subject matter, the most common being a small bonus to the next related roll. As of 16/04/2016 there are 410 cataloged omakes and more waiting for torr's assessment. Omake Quest indeed.
Sadly, torr found himself unable to continue the quest, officially announcing its cancellation on April 25th, 2016.
Tropes present in this work:
- Alien Invasion: The Imperium of Mankind faced this in the quest premise, with Tyranids, Orks, Tau, and Abaddon's black crusade all gunning towards Holy Terra. It's why the Emperor felt the need to flee in the first place.
- Alt Text: Invisible text! Hiding juicy bits and pieces of the story to enhance their impact.
- A Million Is a Statistic: Averted. The God-Emperor of Mankind weeps at being forced to leave behind the trillions of people in the original Chaos-filled world.
- Author Catch Phrase: Comes out whenever a particularly great Omake is created by the players:<4, because <3 is too weak
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Let's see now, we have two literal Gods acting as the Emperor and Empress of Man and Eldarkind; two experienced loyal Primarchs who survived alone in the Warp for 13,000 years as the primary overseers of the Exodus Fleet; the Living Saint and Herald of Ynnead who fought and defeated seven Imperial Titans alone; the revived First Lord of Terra who replaced the Emperor on the Golden Throne; and the Fabricator General of Mars who dared rebuke the Might of the Omnissiah's Machine Spirit. Safe to say, anyone who has authority has earned it.
- Babies Ever After: Adam and Ynnead still have a +65 bonus on producing a Primarch the natural way. That's gotta come up sooner or later.
- Badass in Charge: The God Emperor, revived and at his power, is every bit as strong as his title would suggest.
- Back from the Dead: Malcador, via cloning by the Afril Strain.
- Badass Family: Adam, Immortal God-Emperor of Mankind, and his wife Ynnead, Eldar Goddess of Death, with their two loyal living Demi-God Primarch sons. Badass Family is an understatement.
- Big Damn Heroes: The Emperor and His Exodus, without Him, Humanity would have been destroyed.
- Gork and Mork, the Ork Gods, show up in the middle of the fight against the Gods of Chaos to hold them off, allowing the Exodus to escape.
- Big Good: Adam Kadmon, aka the God-Emperor of Mankind and hated enemy of CHAOS.
- Body Horror: Poor Corvus Corax turns out to have been playing host to a Lord of Change, who eventually starts mutating his body as it attempts to premanently wrest control from him. He gets better, though.
- Born as an Adult: Ynnead. And what a magnificent birth it was.
- Celestial Paragons and Archangels: The God Emperor and His Living Saints, as well as Ynnead and Her own Living Saints.
- Clone Jesus: Malcador is revived through cloning, with all the memories and abilities of the original save for his final dying moments.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Averted. The GM has repeatedly made it clear that he is not going to allow the Imperium to just steamroll through everything.
- This means either incredible nerfing or exceptionally crafty writing is necessary. Banning 40K from steamrolling is like banning Superman from being bullet-proof. Except the Imperium has no miraculous weaknesses.
- Darkest Hour: The state of the galaxy during the End Times. Tyranid Hivefleets devoured the Ultima Segmentum, Orks overwhelmed the Segmentum Pacificus, Necrons purged the Segmentum Tempestus and the newest Black Crusade destroyed Cadia, pushing through the Segmentum Obsurus. Only the Segmentum Solar has remained untouched but the Black Crusade is projected to arrive at Terra within the next year. Billions have died and more will follow, this is Mankind's darkest hour. Only the Intervention of the Emperor ensured the survival of the human race.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: The Emperor overthrew the Chaos Gods' control of the Warp for a few seconds to give a message to all of Humanity.
- Eldritch Abomination: The Chaos Gods and their daemons, just like in the original lore.
- Fate Worse than Death: Before Corvus was rescued by Ynnead from the Immaterium, he was forced to endure the loving machinations of a horde of chaos daemons for five thousand years.
- Four-Star Badass: The Emperor and all of the Primarchs. Their awesomeness was already present in the source material, and only gets emphasized here.
- Genius Bruiser: The Emperor is a certified genius who created the Space Marines and kicks major ass.
- On that note the Krork — he looks and is as big as a typical ork, but his Genetic Memory is fully active and his bloodthirst is dialed back enough for him to think in the long term, allowing him to use the native wits orks generally don't bother with.
- God Couple: The Emperor of Mankind, God of Humanity, and Ynnead, Last Goddess of the Eldar, get married in the prologue.
- God-Emperor: The God Emperor of Mankind Adam Kadmon and His wife Ynnead.
- The Greatest Story Never Told: The Adeptus Custodes have been fighting a 10,000-year-long war against the Forces of Chaos within the Imperial Webway. The ten thousand members of the Custodes ensured not a single Daemon breached the adamantium doorway into the Imperial Palace while fighting an endless horde of Daemons, all the while nobody except the Emperor even knew about their struggle.
- It Makes Sense in Context: Any synopsis of the quest is going to fall afoul of this. Just fact that Ynnead, the Eldar Goddess of the Dead, whose purpose is usually believed to consist of wiping out Slaanesh and perhaps even the rest of the Chaos Gods, but at the expense of the rest of the Eldar, is married to the God-Emperor of Mankind is heresy to most 40k players and fans.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Corvus Corax after his rescue due to a Greater Daemon influencing his mind. He got better.
- Heartbroken Badass: The Emperor is just heartbroken at being forced to leave behind the rest of Humanity.
- Irony: One that ends up being a very good thing all around. The Imperium is the very picture of humanity being an Absolute Xenophobe as a species, and the Eldar aren't much better. What ends up saving both of them as species and allowing them to flee to another, safer universe? Their two saviors, the God-Emperor and Ynnead, falling in love almost instantly and combining their power.
- Love at First Sight: It really does not take long after Ynnead's birth for her and the God-Emperor to get married.
- Little "No": In the beginning of the quest, players were given a choice to accept help from a super-shady Chaos God (who turns out to have been Malal) in exchange for the Emperor recognizing him. Everyone went "NO", resulting in the Emperor invoking this trope so strongly that it allowed him to speak for the first time in 13 thousand years, and probably for the first time ever stunned Chaos into silence.
- Nightmare Sequence: The entire update showcasing the torment suffered by Corvus Corax. From the distortions on his memory on Terra during the Great Crusade, to being unable to do anything as his body murders his own father, rapes his Love Interest Aurora, slaughters his Marine Legion, and destroys everything that has made the Imperium of Man great.
- Painting the Medium: When gods speak in updates or makes, the text is given distinctive colors and fonts unique to each god. In particular, the Chaos Gods have their text partially obscured by text artifacts.
- Power of Love: What Ynnead used to cleanse the Emperor's soul of chaos taint and help heal his psychic wounds. To a lesser extent, the blossoming relationship between Aurora and Corvus Corvas is what initially alerted Corax to the daemon residing in his mind and eventually allowed him to throw the Greater Daemon out.
- Praetorian Guard: The Adeptus Custodes, the Emperor's bodyguards and personal legion.
- Random Number God: This being a quest where dice rolls directly affect the effectiveness of player actions, everyone prays to RNG whenever a roll is needed. It got to the point where a war started over which dice roller to use.
- We Named the Monkey "Jack": Corax's pet Gyrinx is named Eldrad.