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Warhammer 40,000

Theories involving crossovers with non-Games-Workshop franchises should go here.

Due to size, this page has been split.

The word "Dakka" is also Ork newspeak for "Danmaku".
  • Hey, if Orks can speak English....
    • They can't. That Cockney-speak actually is Orkish.

All Chaos Gods will be Killed Off for Real through Death by Irony
Slaanesh, The Perfectionist, inadvertently causes the extermination of the Dark Eldar, who birthed and fuel Slaanesh. The lord of pleasure dies due to the 'pain' of lacking fuel from the Dark Eldar, who tortured themselves to death - an orgy of "pleasure" is the cause of Slaanesh's birth and death.

Nurgle, the Plague Master, gets cured by Isha. The sudden 'change' in his life causes his death, as it conflicts with his embodiment of stagnation. Also, Nurgle realizes that the continuous evolution of his diseases, to counter Isha's cures, is an example of Tzeentchian change. This means that Nurgle's diseases are examples of evolution, which contradicts his "no change" clause. Hey, in the real world we know that we cannot defeat bacteria through artificial antibiotics because these pests continually evolve and improve themselves everytime we attempt to poison them, so how can the lord of stagnation be compatible with this biological fact that underlies all pathogens?


Tzeentch, The Chessmaster, accidentally causes his own death via For Want of a Nail. One of his plans (say, death of the Emperor) inadvertently succeeds, and the sudden stagnation due to his achievement of an ambition kills the lord of eternal continuous evolution.

Finally, Khorne, the Blood Knight who Hates Everyone Equally, becomes the Top God with the deaths of the other three - one of his main goals, of which he ironically derives 'pleasure' from, contradicting his 'no pleasure' clause. Furthermore, with Tzeentch and Slaanesh gone, Khorne has no reason to 'hate' those two anymore, conflicting with his status as lord of rage and hatred. Sure, he may be 'enraged' that he didn't get to kill them, but the lack of hatred, coupled with the "pleasure" of being the Top God, kills Khorne. In the ultimate form of irony, he doesn't die in a glorious Last Stand; he dies outside of battle, peacefully.


  • Slaanesh is fueled by the pleasure and pain of all sentient life. The Dark Eldar or even the Eldar going extinct doesn't hamper him in the slightest. In fact, killing off both of those species and feasting on their souls is one of his objectives. If Isha could cure Nurgle, she likely would have done so aeons ago. Besides, transition by itself wont kill him. His plagues technically cause the transitions and thus, change, from life to death after all. And Tzeentch doesn't do anything accidentally. Period. And even if they do kill off the Emperor, that doesn't mean that his scheming will be over. The Gods have a hand in everything and the Emperor is small fry. Remember, there are other galaxies, like the ones the Tyranid come from. And seriously? Khorne can hate everyone else left in the universe. Hell, hatred doesn't need a target anyway. He can hate the emptiness of the universe, himself, ANYTHING. And since Khorne, being the manifestation of rage and bloodthirst and honourable warriorhood, excellence at arms, etc, etc, etec CAN in fact take some satisfaction from victory. Several instances in the fluff mention him as being pleased with his followers gaining victories or causing a lot of mayhem. And anyway, he's already the Top God of Chaos and Warhammer in general due to being the most powerful already.

    • Not true about Slaanesh, technically. The extinction of the Eldar will cause the birth of a new Eldar death god, Ynnead, who will kill Slaanesh. That is, of course, with three caveats. First, that there are enough Eldar Souls in the Infinity Circuit. Since lots of soul stones have been destroyed by the Imperium, Necrons, and really just negligence, there may not be enough to summon Ynnead. Second, that Ynnead can kill Slaanesh at all. Given the power of the Harlequins this seems likely, but Slaanesh also can grow in power. Third, that Ynnead actually will be reborn and nothing will screw that up in any major way. And Khorne is not, alone, the strongest of the Chaos gods. You can't even be near Slaanesh or Tzeentch without losing your mind, nor near Nurgle without becoming a zombie. Any being strong enough to kill Slaanesh might be a one-on-one match for Khorne; the mortal Eldar are extremely good duelists, so who can say. The real question is would it be able to bring down Tzeentch - Tzeentch is the most powerful Chaos god bodily, as Chaos daemons are coagulated psychic pain and Tzeentch is the god of psychic manipulation. Could a resurrected Death God of a warrior race defeat a purely psychic entity?

    • ... No. Khorne is the single most powerful Chaos God in the canon and likely the most powerful entity in both continuities of Warhammer. The official fluff outright states as much. Liber Carnagia outright states that Khorne can emerge victorious from any battle. Secondly, Ynnead being capable of killing Slaanesh is more wishful thinking on the part of the Eldar than anything that is backed by evidence. And in the grand scheme of things, killing Slaanesh isn't really accomplishing anything because he's a flea by the standards of the gods, and yet still powerful enough to annihilate an entire pantheon. I would also emphasize the background of the Masque, who was cursed by Slaanesh after he assumed her dances for him were an insult after he was utterly thrashed by Khorne. So, your idea of Ynnead being able to stand up to Khorne if he kills Slaanesh is also incorrect.

The end of the races
Following on the above WMG, the now-defenseless Warp is easy pickings for the Tyranids, who flock to consume the attractive energy emanating from the Warp. The Necrons' Pylon technology successfully severs the bond between the two dimensions, without the side effect occurring, because the Tyranids' consumption of the Warp severely dampened its influence elsewhere. Tyranids remain trapped within the Warp, forever consuming its energy, but never erasing it, and never feeling full as they keep feasting.

Meanwhile, the Tau develop weaponry that completely repels the spores of an Ork; not only can they not reproduce, but their entire ecosystem is eradicated, and the Orkish species is exterminated. The Dark Eldar, ever-so sadomasochistic, wipe themselves out due to death via torture, directly leading to the death of Slaanesh. The Eye of Terror, which Slaanesh made, dissipates. As the Eye of Terror is home to all Chaos Space Marines, the Traitor Legions and heretics die off, s well as all of the corresponding worshipers. All Warp-originated creatures, including the Daemonic hordes, retreat back into the Warp as the last of the Chaos Gods dies. The incoming Tyranids, upon entering the Warp, feast on the endless hordes of Warp creatures and Daemons, as well as the Warp itself, waging a Forever War that keeps both at bay.

The Eldar develop the technology to destroy the personality matrix of the Necrons quicker and easier. With the tech in hand, the Eldar eradicated several dozen Tomb Worlds in their first attempts; even newly awakened Tomb Worlds fell to the Eldar. However, in their arrogance, the Eldar believed they could destroy the Necrons once and for all, so they went all-out and pressed on their assault, driving their species to the brink of extinction and allowing the Nerons to finish the job, though they were severely weakened. Prior to their loss, certain Farseers, realizing that their loss was imminent, gave schematics of their tech to their Friendly Enemy in the Tau, who finalized the anti-Necron weaponry and destroyed the remaining Tomb Worlds, eliminating the Necrons for good.

  • Umm, what about the Tau and Humanity? Kill each other off?

Khorne wants peace.
Eternal peace by having all warriors killing each other off, in the end.

Sigmar is one of the lost Primarchs
.Legend says he came to the warhammer world in a twin-tailed comet. Perhaps the comet was actually his primarch incubator, which was fired onto the planet when the chaos gods scattered them all. Think about it, primarchs are superhumans and supposedly so is Sigmar. Also, the warhammer fantasy book Liber Chaotica they make reference to a dread prince named "Mortarion" who is the 40k Primarch of Nurgle. Thus, 40k and fantasy exsist in the same universe. Perhaps the warhammer world is an old human colony that was cut off by warp storms, and is so isolated that Sigmar can't be retrieved.

  • He didn't come in the twin tailed comet. The comet merely heralded his natural birth to human parents (ie: happened at he same time). And referencing Mortarion in a book is just that - a reference. Especially considering that Word of God has it that they exist in separate universes. (also, Liber Chaotica was written before the two universes were retconned into being separate) And the Emperor's pussified, and worst of all: clean shaven ass cannot possibly withstand Sigmar's beardy manliness.
  • Are you nuts? With a jaw like that? You could shave with The Emperor's jawline. But yeah, Warhammer Fantasy being on a lost feudal world in 40,000 used to be canon. Games workshop apparently decided that keeping the two congruent was too difficult. Shrug.

Khorne is making a new body for the Emperor

Here's what I've been thinking: Khorne wants violence. Lots and lots of violence. So, what better way to do that than to bring back the Emperor, who'd then go on a crusade to eliminate the widespread worship of him. Khorne's not far as I know. Hell, the amount of Ecclesiarchy who'd fight the Emperor claiming him to be a False Emperor would be staggering. Blood for the....well, you get the picture.

The Winds of Magic are also present in this universe

In the original Warhammer, they were energy sources derived from Chaos that allowed magic. Since warp ressonances already exist in this world, it stands to reason that the Winds exist as well. Pity everyone's being too retarded to make use of them. Everyone using a crapload of Hysh would certainly came in handy.

  • In at least two instances something akin to Ghur has been mentioned, so maybe...

Chaos has already won
Think about it. They're gods of chaos, and what place is more chaotic than the Warhammer 40k world? There's more than enough war to sate Khorne, scheming for Tzeentch, hubris for Slaanesh and Despair for Nurgle as it is, and it's basically a giant hell already. All the fighting is just the four chaos gods revelling in their own chaos-ness and playing off the mortals against each other for the lulz.
  • Jumping off that, the Imperium NEEDS Chaos. With Us or Against Us is pretty much the life and blood of the Imperium: if you're not with the Imperium you'll succumb to Chaos. Without the Warp and the mutations and other unfun things, the Imperium would eat itself alive in civil war. With nothing outside, the Imperial Guard, Space Marines and Imperial Inquisition would come to blows. Also, the Imperium's xenophobia and warmongering are enough to satiate Khorne.
    • Each Chaos God needs other Chaos Gods and the Imperium as well, because if Chaos should destroy the world and kill all sentient life, then it ceases to exist. So, they let much of the sentient life and the Imperium live, farming emotions and prayers from them.
  • One could argue that this is rather the POINT of the whole setting...
  • However, one can easily argue that Chaos has lost. Yes, there is lots of death and destruction, but it has been consistently death and destruction. None of the major factions besides the Tau (and to a smaller degree the Eldar) have changed much in 10 thousand years, leaving things in a stable (if very violent) status quo. Thus, order exists. Bloody, horrifying, violent order.
    • When the status quo is the propagation of destruction and thus change it can be counter-argued that Chaos has won even then. Furthermore, Chaos in Warhammer is quite different from the conventional idea of Chaos (the conventional idea being, for want of a better term, transition/disorder), and as long as the Gods are fed their fill, they have won. Khorne in particular, stands to gain the most from every waking second of existence. He's the God of War, after all. He and his worshipers will ALWAYS win, if things keep going as they are. And if they don't, he'll continue to win on a slightly smaller scale. Whenever someone even raises their voice in anger. In truth, the only god who could stand to lose from the consistency of the setting is Tzeentch.
      • Just as Planned...

The entire galaxy is stuck in the 41st Millennium thanks to the Warp surrounding the galaxy.
Games Workshop has hardly progressed the plot from the 41st Millennium. It's because Chaos gods know if everyone gets killed as the world gets worse, they would also cease to exist. So, with the unimaginable power of the Warp, Chaos gods has stopped time from moving, eternally sparring mortals for fun and evulz.
  • Jossed, the 8th edition moved t to the 42nd millennium.

Empy is the Chaos god of Fanatical Zeal.
Being a ridiculously high powered psyker that even the Chaos Gods feared must hint at the insane presence he has in the warp. Hell, the Astronomican was powered by him before his interment in the Golden Throne. His body withers but his warp presence grows ever stronger, fueled by the fanaticism and zeal of the Imperium. Not only that, but any alien which shows emotions of righteous zeal is also indirectly feeding Empy.
  • Or, He is the Warp God of ORDER. He brought SCIENCE, the organized, ordered understanding of the universe, back to humanity; He worked to unify all of humanity into ONE peaceful Empire; and He was a literally peerless Genetic Engineer, BRINGING ORDER AND DESIGN TO THE VERY STUFF OF EVOLUTION ITSELF. Even his misguided followers are obsessed with following rules, traditions, and orders. He is the polar opposite of Tzneetch.

The Chaos Gods, the Emperor, anything originally from the warp, is God/Jehovah/Allah/ etc.
Since in any culture with a supreme being, that being created everything (all matter and energy, anything that has a soul had it given to them during development by them.)thus they created love, happiness, beauty, etc. Unfortunately, they also would have to have created hatred, rot, massecre, etc. In the future, Satan (or his equivalents in other cultures) wages his war against this supreme being of your choice. He is defeated, but only after the being embraces his/her/its darkness. This darkness, now dominant, compartmentalizes itself into numerous individual "gods", and its light, slightly tainted by the darkness, emerges to lead the species it had chosen before, humanity.
  • Dude, that's impossible in so many ways. Firstly, the Emperor is the result of a combination of a few thousand psykers. Secondly, the Chaos Gods came into existence in the Middle Ages except for Slaanesh, who appeared during the Dark Age of Technology, due to the emotions of mortals. Thirdly, why would a fragment of god seek to stamp out all religion?
  • No, the shaman thing was but one of many explanations being thrown around. It is still unclear what the Emperor truly was. Secondly, time means nothing in the Warp. They manifested and gained their sentience at the very dawn of Creation, but that translates to trillions of years later in the material universe. They have always been sentient, and yet, have never truly been so to mere mortals. Confused yet? Well it's Chaos. Lastly, The EMPRA decided to stamp out Religion not because he thought it was 'STUPID AN' EVUL', but rather because he knew that there were certain gods in the galaxy and decided that if he allowed Humanity to continue to go down such a path, it would eventually lead to them meeting with said Gods. And also, he thought that if people stopped believing in daemons and shit, they would eventually go away. What the Great Throne Vegetable didn't realize is that Chaos is fueled by sentient thought, not explicit belief. Just clearing that up.
The Adeptus Mechanicus is the real power in the Imperium.
Think about it; The Adeptus Mechanicus has a pretty strong to a massive presence in every other Adeptus/Adepta, Officio, and Departmento in the Imperium. The Adeptus Mechanicus is capable of being completely independent from the rest of the Imperium if it choosed to be as it has all the production capacity, military might, organization, population, and resource pool to survive on it's own, though it may be somewhat diminished from secession; but the Imperium of Man would probably not survive without the Adeptus Mechanicus, and in fact the Adeptus Mechanicus can more or less destroy any other organization in the Imperium on a whim by simply withdrawing all support from it while the AM would be far less affected if another organization tried this with them. So it stands to reason that in reality, it is the Techpriests and not the Administrators, Generals, Inquisitors, Chapter Masters, or what have you who hold all the real power in the Imperium and it is Holy Mars, not Holy Terra that is the center of power in the Imperium of Man.
  • Makes sense, given how much primitive and backward the Imperium is without the Adeptus Mechanicus.
  • Keep in mind that the Machine Cult still needs the rest of the Imperium for supplies and the like. Forge Worlds need to import food and so forth. Plus their armed forces (while powerful) lack the sheer numbers to defend themselves from all the threats they would face without the assistance of the Guard/Navy/Marines/Inquistion/etc.
    • And that some SM Chapters are pretty self sufficient and tech savy on their own.

The four chaos gods were all once mortal
The chaos gods were specific people and acted like their profile.
  • Slaanesh= Eldar obviously
  • Nurgle= Necrontyr
    • Perhaps more likely the Tyranids... "plague" can be used to refer to insects as well as diseases.
  • Khorne= Human Orkz
    • Khorne being created by Humans is canon, from the Daemon Codex. His first and most powerful Daemon Prince was once a human as well.
      • I knew about the human daemon prince it pissed off atleast one person for implying that it was Genghis Khan a national hero to your average person from Mongolia being the only mongolian anyone outside the country knows the name of.
    • As a descendant of Changheiz Khan, I thought it was rather badass.
    • On the other hand, it can also be argued that Changheiz Khan, Temujin, is now the Emperor himself...
  • Tzeentch= Nobody knows because his profile doesn't fit any mentioned races

The entire games backstory is imperial propaganda
The real good guys are the Necrons.
  • Don't forget the Tau.
    • Since the Tau seem to be the goodiest of the races, that means that they actually make Chaos look like mischevious schoolchildren.
  • Then the Orks are a race near extinction and not infesting most of the galaxy.
  • The ideas of what the other races are actually like this be the case is highly amusing. Chaos is actually an army of rebels fighting against dictatorship. Daemons and Chaos Goes as are actually guardians of the warp trying to prevent it being misused. Tau are a incredibly kind race of unity and alliance. Eldar are a race of loving parental figures to the galaxy who wish to guide them to a better future. Necrons are a race of robotic warriors who are only trying to protect their tombs from invading space marines and guardsmen. Tyranids are peaceful aliens trying to protect their universe using a pre-emptive strike. Orks are a species that have been so prosecuted by the Empire that their entire culture has become warlike for their survival.
    • Perhaps there are no deamons or chaos gods. Brave Horus tried to overthrow the imperium to free mankind so he and his followers were declared to be heretics in league in with monsters. All the reports about deamons on the battlefield are just exaggerated stories of particularly powerful fighters or Xenos who allied with the free men.

the Squats aren't Extinct.
The last survivors of the Squats managed to escape extinction from the Tyranids, though they have lost most of their technology and history in the process. Stranded on a forgotten Feudal world enveloped in a warp storm, they spend their days building elaborate fortresses with magma based, lever operated traps powered by burning cats. Among the survivors, a very powerful cult devoted to Khorne has sprung up, who they call Armok...
  • Read WolfAndSister to learn what some of the survivors are up to...
    • No, they're those Watcher in the Dark guys on the Rock! The Dark Angels gave them asylum, risking the wrath of the Inquisition. They know the Inquisition knows about the Fallen and put so much effort into hiding them that the Inquisition will never think to check the Watchers out.

WH40K has Tommy Westphall Syndrome
The "Emperor" is not really the emperor of anything. He is in fact an autistic with a nigh superhuman imagination who has created an entire fictional universe within his mind. This theory explains every self-contradiction and discontinuity in any piece of fluff ever. As for the Emperor himself: what better metaphor for severe autism than a man, perfectly awake and sober, yet unable to talk, move, or even survive without intervention, unknowingly victimized by those who misunderstand him (the Imperial Cult), slowly dying in a world that is nightmarish, bleak, and incomprehensible?

The 'Binary' used by the Adeptus Mechanicus is, in fact, l337.
Quick Summary of Binary: Binary is a language used by among the Adeptus Mechanicus, which is used to differentiate the their members from those who are not, and is a jealously guarded secret among the Mechanicus - the point where a character has said (quite seriously) that he would have to kill his non-Mechanicus friend if he were ever to decode the Binary language.

The Adeptus Mechanicus are a group of elitist 'players' or 'priests' - the l337 - operators of machines (computers or tanks) who look down upon those who are not knowledgeable about the machines - the n00bs - and value their machines more than the lives of others, or themselves, and wish to incorporate themselves more into these machines - using headsets to chat, implanting hard drives into your spine - and practically worship them.

Also, they absolutely hate any unorthodox or innovative methods of operation as it would make them redundant/put at a disadvantage. For the AdMech, its new machines, for the l337, its hacks/h4x. Offenders are often never given a second chance - by death or by bannage, you will not do that again!

When l337 is used around n00bs/non-adeptus Mechanicus, l337 sounds like complete gibberish; this is tricky to justify when l337 is verbalized (as opposed to written, which is easier to decode), but it may be because they 'speak' in the binary forms of the letters/numbers that they are using, as a double-substitution cipher, as regular binary (11010010) would be relatively simple to decode once anyone got a hold of a method of translating those binary codes.

Of course, as Warhammer 40,000 has a lot of tropes Turned Up to Eleven, its no surprise that the repercussions of translating l337 is a lot less permanent than that of the Adeptus Mechanicus.

  • You know this actually makes sense, and explains how they've lost so much knowledge.
    • More to the point, it explains why the Inquistion has never cracked the code. Binary would be brutally easy to crack with a calculation machine, but 1337 would be uncrackable without AI or a human involved. Given that they feed the 1's and 0's in to the machine, and get nothing a machine can read as a language out of it...
  • Jossed, Lingua-technis is a "binary" language consisting of a burst of static that only machines and augmented humans can understand.

The Emperor is Kane from Command & Conquer.
Highly charismatic, possibly immortal, manipulation of various ideologies to achieve Nod's max appeal, born thousands of years before Christ. Plus the whole abrahamic Cain & Abel thing going on could be a nice bit of backstory. Plus the setting's already grimdark, and there's a lot of nice proto-Baneblades.

Jesus is The Emperor.
A man who has lived since the beginning of humanity, is the most powerful psychic mankind has ever know and defeats evil in the penultimate battle, paving the way for his empire to rule for millenia. And he's always watching you.
  • And Christians are the Imperium. Christians put him in the cross and waged world war against every culture under his name.
    • The Imperium of Man does sound like the Roman Empire / Holy Roman Empire, concerning Warhammer 40000 had a lot of Latin terms....
  • Seeing as how the Emperor disguised himself as various influential people throughout time, there's a very good chance that, historically speaking, Jesus was The Emperor. Or, accounting for personality changes, anyone else.
  • Going by Graham McNeill's Horus Heresy book: Mechanicum one of these influential people was St George.

The Antichrist is the Emperor.
After the establishment of the star-spanning human empire in the Dark Age of Technology, it collapses as Earth is engulfed in a massive warp storm — which is actually the second coming of Jesus and heralds the Apocalypse. However, Jesus is defeated, the storm abates and the Emperor leads an army to forge the Imperium of Man. Also after the war, two of the Four Horsemen (Pestilence and Death) escape Earth and flee into the warp, becoming the Chaos gods Nurgle and Khorne. The Emperor enslaves War and uses him as the template for the Space Marines, while he himself is Conquest.
  • Nurgle and Khorne (and Tzeentch) have been around for a long, long, long time, so they couldn't have appeared as recently as the happenings on Earth. Also, while Nurgle certainly fits in with Pestilence, Khorne is more a god of battle than Death.
  • Not to mention that it is explicitly mentioned that the "Hood and scythe" depiction of death was actually ingrained into the young raced by the Nightbringer, and that he is literally why they fear death.
  • Also, from the start of the Great Crusade to the end of the Horus Heresy was 210 years. That's 3 1/2 periods of 60 years each (a short-end human lifespan), and then he was mortally wounded. And now he's worshipped as a god. Mind, he's spent more time dead than reigning, but if he were to revive, would that lead to 210 years of Jehovah's wrath followed by the return of Christ?

Muhammad is The Emperor.
A brilliant military and political mind who emerged from nowhere to unite an area of man left isolated and lost after its glory days? Successfully uniting a fractured people into a an unstoppable military power that swept aside its enemies? His progressive ideals warped by power hungry people who turned him into a deity against everything he taught? The Emperor may well have tried to build the new Empire of Man in the deserts of Arabia after failing in Nazareth.

The Emperor is Conan of Cimmeria
Nothing really earth-shattering here to add, just writing down and Emperor/Conan connection that I'm sure others have made before as well to go with the other guesses as to The Emperor's real identity. This troper's belief is that Conan is a Perpetual, but his life truly began in Cimmeria in the Hyborean Age, and the rest of the Robert Howard biographical information is accurate regarding his early life: born on the battlefield, son of a blacksmith, all that. He subconsciously rejects his psyker powers in his youth, due to both Cimmerian culture and the general awfulness of sorcerors he encounters. Time goes by, and he becomes King of Aquilonia. As the Nemedian chronicler transcribing Conan's legend completes his work, he has an unbidden flash of clarity on what the future holds for Conan, and gives us the line " tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandaled feet." He abdicates the throne of Aquilonia after a certain number of years, growing ever more restless to see the rest of what the world has to offer. His psyker abilities forcefully manifest during the cataclysm that separates the Hyborian Age from ours, and he goes into seclusion to recuperate from the ordeal. Ages go by as he lives in the shadows and legend of human civilization, and finally, after the Dark Age of Strife, he re-emerges calling himself only The Emperor. He does what he was always born to do, which is to conquer. With Conan being a Perpetual in this scenario, he will surely have words with Chaos when the Golden Throne finally breaks and he can go forth once more to tread the jewelled thrones of the galaxy beneath his armored feet.

It's gonna get better.
Since the 5th edition put the game into so bad that there's really not much pushing left, Games Workshop now has an excellent opportunity to pull out something totally unexpected and make everything loads better in one go. Because I dunno about you, but all this darkness makes the whole thing kinda depressing, and why would you want to play with anything other than Tyranids or Necrons since you know one of those two is gonna win the whole thing in the end? Preferably they would drip feed some optimism into the setting to shift it from a World Half Empty to a World Half Full. Anyway...
  • In one of his inexplicable plans, Tzeentch tricks Khorne into assassinating Slaanesh, allowing every single Eldar soul imprisoned by him to get free. Some of them finally get to the afterlife, while the others, including Eldrad Ulthran, stay, get a new physical form, and help to rebuild the Eldar back to its former glory. In addition, the psychic backlash resulting from this instantly brings their new god of death to life. Oh and, with Slaanesh gone, they also finally get to relax a bit and have a little fun, though definitely not enough to create another nasty god.
  • The Golden Throne, thanks to all its flaws, finally breaks up for good. However, instead of the Emperor dying, he actually wakes up, and begins his quest in leading the mankind from darkness. With him awaken, the Astronomican powers up again, and no longer needs souls to work. Also he relaxes a bit of the Imperium's attitude to "Xeno Filth", allowing them to establish diplomatic relations and some trading with the Eldar, Tau, and even Orks, although the races are still a bit hostile to each other.
    • Highly doubtful that the Emperor will be tolerant of aliens thats been tried.
      • Actually, its a well known fact that the Emperor's beliefs were manipulated and he never believed in all of that Space Nazism that the rest of the Imperium believes. The priests of the time entombed it, created those false claims, and because he was a being of such power (basically a human God) everyone in the Imperium was too scared to doubt this and believed the Priests. That and if they didn't they'd probably suffer a mild case of deathness.
      • No, but he COULD lead humanity into crushing the two greatest threats to it, the tyranids and necrons.
      • Actually, the Emperor was Anti Xenos. Just not anti mutant. And he didn't execute HERETI-well. I suppose that's debatable. But yeah, no matter what happens after the golden throne breaks, it makes things better. If The Emperor dies, he will either be reborn and lead humanity to the stars, or send out such massive psychic backlash, literally EVERY Eldar, most Orkz, a good number of humans, and ALL Tyranids within the milky way would die. That's a good thing because all of those suck, that, and it would mean Nids would lose a beacon (they home in on the emperor), and would go for another immense psychic power, likely in the eye of terror.
  • The Emperor shall enter the warp where he will become a REAL GOD. Then, he shall collect the souls of his bravest warriors, just as chaos collects the souls of its followers. The Emperor shall also either convert existing daemons into, or just make out of thin air, ANGELS THAT SHALL BATTLE BESIDE THE SOLDIERS OF THE IMPERIUM. But before all that soul collecting, he'll do something he's wanted to do for thousands of years: Bring his son back to life. Ass obliteration shall commence then.
    • If you believe that the Legion of the Damned are the dead spirits of slain space marines, then the first part is technically true
    • well then all that's left is for a redeemed Horus.
    • reminds me of part of the norse legend of Ragnarok, where Odin gathers fallen warriors in Valhalla for the final battle. Is, therefore, the Empreror really Odin, while Horus is Loki, and the Space wolves (Fenris the wolf) will turn traitor?
  • Some more Standard Template Constructs are discovered. In addition, the Tau and the Eldar find a couple more, and (after the Tau reverse engineer the hell out of them) sell them for humans with a moderately high price. With them, the Imperium's technology advances with some gigantic leaps.
  • With the friendlier attitude of humans and Eldar to them, the Tau can spread across the galaxy far faster than ever before. Some of them even go and hitchhike across the galaxy along in human and Eldar ships, all the way to the other side of the galaxy. And of course, their technology is getting better still.
  • With Slaanesh gone, the Laughing God emerges from the Webway, and travels around in his quest to find every single piece of Khaine and glue him back together. Khaine returns as well, and together the gods of Death, War, and Trickery, lead the Eldar against the Chaos and Necrons.
  • But then it's going to get a tad worse as well: The Dark Eldar join forces with the Emperor's Children, as both have lost their god and are all alone and orphaned. They travel across the Webway with no direction or goal whatsoever, fighting absolutely anything and everything coming to their way, being now utterly and compeletely unpredictable. Oh and, as the Emperor's Children learn of the Webway, they give access to it for all the other Chaos Marines as well, who use it to strike just about anywhere. Abbadon's 14th crusade goes through the Webway, allowing him to go past Cadia and appear all of sudden at the other side of the galaxy.
    • Wait, but don't Dark Eldar hate Slaanesh ever so bitterly as (s)he hunts their souls as well as ordinary Eldar ones?
      • Yes, that's an important distinction: The Dark Eldar are not Slaanesh worshipers; they're Slaanesh appeasers. With Slaanesh gone, they won't get nicer, but they may mellow out a little simply from the relief of losing their source of existential dread. In any case, the Dark Eldar are, right now, as bad as they could possibly get, and they were never portrayed as a cosmic threat. You certainly don't want to be captured by them, and they have a good claim to being the most evil faction in 40K (their codex even claims that they are, but its to be taken with a grain of salt because it was printed back when Churchill was PM), but they're quite possibly the weakest and least threatening race on a galactic scale.
  • The advance guards of the Tyranids and the Necrons suddenly get their asses handed to them by the temporary alliances formed by the Imperium, the Eldar, and the Tau. The Necrons become compeletely pissed off by this, and wake up every single one of their tombs all at once. Meanwhile, the main attack force of the Tyranids turned out to be a lot closer than anyone thought, and finally appears to the edge of the galaxy.
    • The new Imperium-Eldar-Tau alliance manage to do this by manufacturing really cheap gun and armor "prototypes" and "accidentally" have them fall into the hands of the Orks with an instruction guide with the very specific wording that the guns WILL cause Necrons and Tyranids to explode into a fiery mass of gore in one shot and that the armor WILL reflect all damage back to Necron and Tyranid attackers, causing them to explode into a fiery mass of gore.
      • And are greatly disconcerted by the fact that the Orks can't read.
      • Make it a picture book?
  • The final awesome battle begins.
    • Not nearly GRIMDARK enough. Also, no plan for a lighter, (even if it never gets better) ending is complete without CIAPHAS CAIN, HERO OF THE IMPERIUM!
      • Caiphas Cain will be sent as a laison to the Tau due to his actions in For The Emperor. He will accept this because it will be a nice safe diplomatic mission far from the fighting. It will of course not go that way at all
      • It will also involve Ibram Gaunt. And yes, he and Cain will get to do Back-to-Back Badasses. The sheer awesome (and Ciaphas's snarking) may be enough to kill one or more of the Traitor Primarchs.
      • The power of the awesomeness also brings Lord Commander Solar Macharius (He was just hiding), and he is once again placed in command of the Imperial Guard, with Cain on his right, Gaunt on his left, the Emperor behind him, and billions of soldiers before him, the Guard surges forth as an inexhaustible wave and purges the alien filth from our Galaxy once and for all!
      • Hey, let's not go crazy. Old Mac was a swell guy, but he ain't Commissar Cain.
      • Oh get over yourself with Cain. Macharius conquered a thousand worlds in 10 years, he is FAR better. I would also like to add that as part of this whole thing, Commissar Yarrick finally finds Thraka and crushes the life from him. Then and only then does the old man allow himself to die. He receives the greatest funeral since Sangunius and is buried on Terra itself.
      • Just to point out how much more awesome Macharius is, he conquered those thousand worlds in 7 years, 30% faster than any less awesome lesser-mortal might have done. And he never gave up; the Guard did.
      • It all depends on who things are getting better for. This troper, for one, can easily see the Imperium getting its act together and beginning the pwndernation the incoming Necrons and Tyranids. Also, Abbadon? This troper thinks we should be keeping our eye on Ahriman. last we heard of HIM, he was trying to find stuff out about the Eldar's webway...
      • Diplomatic relations? With Orks? One may as well try to open a dialogue with a Khorne Berserker.
      • Ah, but you can hire Orks as mercenaries if you've got enuff teef on hand.
      • Or alternatively the Emperors awakening will send shockwaves throughout the the Warp, causing Orcs to transform into a proud warrior race, and making them more civilized, and more like what the Old Ones had in mind in the first place.
      • And their Leader will be Warboss Thrall, with his looted daemon hammer.
      • Let us not forget the primarchs. First among them, Leman Russ wonders back onto the scene where his Wolves will proceed to get a morale boost big enough to take on a several planets worth of Chaos all at once.
      • Also, Commander Farsight turns up, the first tau psyker, using reverse engineered Eldar tech and goes on to create an army of Kroot psker's with force weapons.
      • I've imagined a breed of Tau Plasma Warriors. They're basically the Tau's (or just Farsight's) attempt to imitate the Space Marines. They're Tau Fire Warriors with a mishmash of genetic augments and splicings from Tau aligned species.
    • Alternatively, the thing the Tyranids are fleeing from reached our galaxy...and it turns out to be a cosmic force of love and goodness that makes everybody get along voluntarily.
      • You, my good sir or ma'am, are amazing, and I award you an internet.
      • In the pleasant lightness of the 42nd Millenium there can be only peace!
    • Better idea: Rather than opening up diplomatic relations with the orks, the Emperor has discovered how to "tune" his psychic power to mimic the Ork Waaagh. The orks think he's Gork or Mork (fight each other over which one), and he sends them against Chaos, the Tyranids, and the Necrons.
    The Emperor: I'm da biggest, dat means I'm da boss!
    • Or the Emperor uses his psychic powers to convince the 'Nids that the Eye of Terror is a fat free, low cal buffet and beer garden. Hive Fleet splinters flock to it, the "Shadow in the Warp" plugs the Negative Space Wedgie long enough for the Space Marines to trounce several factions and convince the Tau that there is something to Chaos. Travel in the warp becomes easy. By the time the Chaos gods re-open the eye, their forces are weakened and the 'Nids equate our galaxy to spoiled food.
  • If it gets better, it will get better in a way to sell more action figures. So — the miracle working of the living saints suddenly starts to manifest plentifully and all over the place, and even gets better, so they can protect psykers against taint and purify tainted planets. Massive crusade against Chaos is feasible. Plus unleashing a lot of new psykers against orks and tyrannids. Plus the Inquisition and Church won't like it, so you can have fighting there — especially if people protecting psykers get annoyed about the Black Ships, or if seccessionists get their hands on the miracles, or both.
    • Oh, and this includes healing miracles. The obvious way to attack the necrons is to "heal" them. They aren't so formidable in the flesh, without all that metal. It does have the disadvantages that necrons out of healing range will be kinda annoyed. (In-universe disadvantage. Out-of-universe: More action figures!)
    • Or it will escalate once the God Emperor gets-up/dies making the chaos work 10 times harder to hold him off by haing the gods ally and create units with composite traits of gods, the orks will get more dakka (perhaps, maybe, if it could, something close to in some way, enuff dakka), more of the nids will show up cause GE is is 100X more a psychic beacon when walking then before thus bringing new unit types in, the tau finally get the wrap stuff down and become 1337 at using it, the eldar have a conference and pool their resources to build greater wraithbone stuffs, it turns out the GE was sitting on the new dark eldar codex and someone yoinks it once he gets up, the necrons wake up some more horrible contraptions (possibly as a response to the massive wrap signature), Space marines get GE as an HQ + gear to match his great crusade + maybe another founding, Sisters split on the inside (GE was against being a god) so 1/2 stay rather similar but another 1/2 become much more calm and professional, IG gets new tanks in his name, did I miss anyone? PS Ciaphas Cain, HERO OF THE IMPERIUM, get a model as the god emperor's human champion as Warmaster Caiphas Cain, His Emperor's Hammer. Had to have Cain involved.
    • Yes, you missed the missing Primarchs. What the heck, all the missing primarchs, including the dead loyalist ones. The souls of all the Imperial faithful have indeed been taken in by the Emperor, and will manifest themselves in this fight. Ciaphas Cain, Ibram Gaunt, the whole nine yards.
  • Someone will FINALLY acquire enuff Dakka.
    • There is NEVER enuff' Dakka!
  • Further evidence that it will get better: recall that the 40k 'verse is essentially a Darker and Edgier version of the European Dark Ages, turned up to eleven and IN SPACE. All the loosely connected, inter-warring states are held together by a paranoid, anti-intellectual and Orwellian Corrupt Church that burns heretics and generally does exactly the opposite of what their martyr-god intended. They have an extremely dim view on the inner workings of the technology left behind by the civilization they crawled out of the ruins of (Rome/the Dark Age of Technology). The elite Space Marines are the Knights bravely serving their God by killing anyone who doesn't comply to their standards of species, genetic purity, and faith. The Eldar are the Pagans who once flourished before the advent of the Imperium, but whose civilization is now facing extinction (like due to being burned by the Church as witches), and we have the Dark Eldar/Orks as the pirates and war-obsessed Norse barbarians, with the Dark Eldar covering the rape and Orks covering more of the pillaging and burning. And the Necrons and Tyranids kind of both combine to represent the Black Death, what with the 'nids parasitically devouring everything like a plague, and the 'crons for carrying the imagery of an inexorable, implacable, menacingly slow-walking Death that the bubonic plague was associated with. Meanwhile, the Tau is of course the burgeoning Asian Civilizations (like Ancient China, India and the Arabic civilizations) which despite being isolated managed to flourish while the once-glorious West burns.

    Why does all this mean that things will take a turn for the better? Well, because since this is the Dark Ages there has to be a Renaissance!!!
    • That means Warhammer 40k will end like this: The Imperium deposes the Corrupt Church (most possibly through the awakening of the Emperor or after a terrible Nid/necron-induced apocalypse, or we can do it as Real Life had done it, through the the discovery of an STC that describes the Scientific Method in all its glory), succumbs to an explosion of intellectualism and rediscovery, discovers a new warp drive that doesn't rely on passing through the Warp itself and is infinitely more reliable, and expands across the far reaches of outer space where no man has ever gone before, ultimately reaching a galaxy far, far away where a new republic is established. The Tau will probably have new advancements in technology, establish a powerful empire "For The Greater Good" and become powerful rivals or allies against humanity. Eldar would also try to make their own empire to rival or become allies with the Imperium and Tau. With the Age of Reason revived, more and powerful weapons are developed, and the Imperium, Eldar and Tau, with some Orks, would be allied against the 'Nids, Necrons, sundry other Eldritch horrors that besiege the galaxy on all sides, or other rogue Ork waaaaghs. Of course, there's no modern world if it wasn't for some vestigial remnants of the old Imperium that are lead and reunited by a megalomaniac who is as powerful as the Emperor in terms of psychic powers and charisma, yet is an utter psychopath like a combination of Chaos and the past Imperial church, which causes the final awesome battle that will decide the fate of the Milky Way Galaxy.
      • Also, with the death of the powerful chaos-corrupted megalomaniac, two ways of life will emerge as dominant. One is the old secular economic system of Terra during the Dark Age of Technology, the other is the philosophy of the Greater Good, with the Tau having used the Great War to establish itself as a superpower. To seal permanent communication with all sentient life that exists, humanity created a massive network (probably what the emperor originally intended, a Webway Network through the Warp). Meanwhile, after being exterminatused, the Eldar started to redirect their squicky ways to the creation of new popular media (while the Dark Eldar opted for the alternative), and it proved too efficient, being popular throughout the said network. The rest of Chaos (except for Tzeentch) was ultimately sealed and split between two rival groups: a squick-infested wretched Hive Mind in the Interstellar Network, and a small cult of xenos. The "Greater Good" soon proved itself inefficient, the Emperor and the Chaos Gods start to lose their powers and popularity most likely due to that person, and meanwhile at the new republic in the galaxy far, far away Tzeentch took the form of a black man.....
        Why all of this? Because History repeats itself.
    • If we're repeating history with Warhammer...
      • Space Prehistory-Age of Terra and thus 1-16th millennium
      • Space Egypt/Greece/Whatever-Dark Age of Technology aka 16th to 25th millennium
      • Space End of Hellenic Era-Age of Strife aka 25th to 29th millennium
      • Space Rome-30th millennium
      • Collapse of Space Rome-The Horus Heresy, 31st millennium
      • Space Dark Ages aka Warhammer 40,000-31st to 42nd millennium
      • Space Middle Ages aka conclusion stage to Warhammer 40,000-42nd to 50th millennium
      • Space Renaissance aka theoretical Lighter and Softer sequel-51st millennium
      • Space Exploration Age-52nd to 60th millennium
      • Space Industrial Age-61st to 70th millennium
      • Space World War I, II and Cold War-71st to 80th millennium
      • Space Present Day-81st millennium
  • Alternatively, Tzeentch (the god of HOPE) turns out to have been Good All Along, his insane and seemingly pointlessly complicated plans were actually instrumental in preventing the other 3 chaos gods, the necrons, and the tyranids from gang raping the rest of the galaxy.
    • He does that for all races actually. If everyone dies he has no one to change their ways. If the world wasn't crapsack no one would have hope, because everything would be all right. He needs to keep everyone at the status quo to foster hope AND change.
  • If any of the theories about the Imperium, the Eldar, and the Tau forming an alliance come to pass, a band will be formed with members from all three races and they will play a cover of Iron Savior's "Predators". Because if things are getting un-grimdarkified then the forces of good/order will need some heroic music.
  • It's been established that the Dark Eldar no longer have psychic powers due to purposely atrophying them to hide from Slaanesh, while it's implied that humanity is evolving into a Witch Species due to their constant use and exposure to the Warp. Basically it means that as a species uses and is exposed to the Warp more often they'll also have their souls strengthened to gain access to it's abilities but being cut off or not using those powers will cause the species souls to weaken (This being 40K having a weak soul or better yet no soul is preferable). The Dark Eldars souls will eventually weaken enough that they no longer have to appease Slaanesh.

It's actually gonna' get worse.
I don't know how, but it will happen. It just will.
  • Theory: There is a massive Necron army buried somewhere in the Solar System, probably on Mercury or Venus. They will awaken along with the Void Dragon, and sterilize the Solar System. This effectively destroys the Imperium. Most of the human race will be wiped out. The survivors will be forced to ally with various alien races. New factions that will receive codexes:
    • Cadian Empire: Largest human faction, ruled by Chaos Lord Creed (who has pledged allegiance to Tzeentch). Military structure based on the Imperium.
    • Clan Armageddon: Ork/human fusion, led by Warboss Yarrick after he took over Ghazgul's horde. Basically Orks with better weapons, and backed by humans in tanks.
    • Gue'Vesa: The Tau Empire has effectively doubled in size, and frequently deploys human soldiers to support their Tau infantry.
    • Craftworld Terra: Perhaps the last true Imperial loyalists, including the Blood Ravens. Allies of the Eldar.
  • Theory: The Harlequins will finally succeed in reconciling the Craftworld Eldar, the Exodites, and the Dark Kindred; and with the help of the Laughing God will combine their Waystone, World Spirit, and soul-stealing abilities to jump-start the creation of Ynnead, strengthening him with the souls of their fallen enemies. They will then re-assert their place as the lords of the galaxy in an orgy of destruction the likes of which has never before been seen; while using their reborn powers to make their ork puppets into a vast and impenetrable shield against the encroaching Tyranids.
  • Other Theory: At some point the Tyranids chow down on a few Chaos Worlds, and the devouring of all that daemon-corrupted Warp-infused flesh has an expected effect on the evolution of the Tyranids, who absorb and adapt to whatever they eat. The newest unstoppable horror of the 41st millennium: Daemon Tyranids.
  • The Tyranids and the Necrons (really their masters the C'Tan) cut a deal: The 'Nids hit Imperial Worlds while the Necrons attack the Space Marines (and their Chaos counterparts), Eldar, Dark Eldar and Orks. They split the Tau. The Nid's get to NOMNOMNOM their way to Terra and the Astronomicon, the Necrons get to see most life purged from the galaxy. Chronic Backstabbing Disorder kicks in, but not before several forge worlds and whole armies are wiped out. By the time the Necrons and Tyranids turn on each other, the forces of Chaos have the upper hand.
  • Theory for it getting worse: things will get so grimdark that whatever remains of the Imperium of Man, the Eldar Craftworlds, and the Tau Empire will be forced to work together to hold back the tide of eldritch horrors, et cetera, that beset them on all sides. It works out pretty well...until a heretical Commissar Yarrick emerges from the Eye of Terror, driven mad by the Warp and leading a horde of Chaos Orks to unite the rest of the Ork clans and crush every other faction in the galaxy. And then they get eaten by Tyranids.
    • And then the Necrons kill all the Tyranids. The universe ends.
      • Good game!
      • Because the universe has been cleared of all life, every link to the warp is closed off. Then, somewhere, someday, Terra develops life without the help of the Warp and suddenly discovers how to make fire. Cue the real world happening.
      • You win one (1) internets.
  • Just see The Shape of the Nightmare to Come.

  • Here's another way: As stated above, the 40K 'verse is Dark Age Europe IN SPACE. Now, if we take the Space Marines to be the knightly orders that existed during those medieval days, a pattern begins to form... The different Orders start to look familiar. VERY familiar. The Sanguinius-inspired chapters (Blood Angels,etc) start to look like the Knights of St.John, aka the Knights Hospitaller. The Space Wolves are the Teutonic Knights. Now that leaves but one other major chapter... the Ultramarines. The Ultramarines are by far the wealthiest, most powerful order in the fluff. They own their segmentum. They are so powerful that even the Inquisition backs off when they say "Boo"! They have their own kingdom in their segmentum, called "Ultramar". They are somewhat disliked by their fellow chapters. Now why does this sound familiar..? Oh, right! Because the Ultramarines are the friggin' KNIGHTS TEMPLAR IN SPACE! (bonus points because their little patch of space is medieval Spanish for Outremer, the kingdom that the Templars founded in the Holy Land.) Now, we ALL know what happened to the Knights Templar. Eventually, some torqued-off noble is going to team up with an Ecclesiarch and burn out the Ultramarines for some unfounded claim of Heresy. This will lead to a very nasty civil war within the Imperium, because the Smurfs are NOT gonna go out quietly.

(This will also have the beneficial aspect of giving Matt Ward a heart attack)

Everything is going, more or less, as planned for old empy, perhaps he didn't intend to get quite as injured as he did, and yes magnus bursting in trashing one of his biggest projects with his good natured bumbling probably wasn't something intended, but by and large things are going pretty well for the Emperor.Sometime during the Great Crusade The Emperor discovered something that was an even bigger threat than Chaos, could have been the Necrons below mars, could have been Tyranid DNA from a Xenos he dissected in his lab (he is a scientist after all) could be something far far worse that's yet to make an appearance. He deliberatly appeared to do nothing while the chaos gods plotted his downfall because he knew that even a galaxy wide empire of perfect order, wouldn't be enough to save humanity from the bigger bad but Chaos and the limitless power of the warp could be turned against it. Supports the Necron's as the big bad theory since they went into hibernation after losing to the warp in the first place. Though since chaos corrupts maybe he's hoping the tyranids will be corrupted and turn on each other. (feel free to speculate wildly!). An added benefit is that the galaxy, through being in a constant hell, is basically training more and more Badasses through natural selection.As evidence, Empy was more powerfull than 3 of the chaos gods combined (slaanesh came later) which means he was capable of out plotting Tzeentch a fair amount of the time. Also it's unlikely Hourus's corruption and betrayel came as much of a shock especialy since, you know, the emp sat and watched the unborn primarchs get scattered across the galaxy by the warp. Kind of a giveaway that they were up to something.

The Emperor is the fifth Chaos god.
In terms of the background, there are many similarities between the Emperor and the various Chaos gods — his physical body is insignificant compared to his presence in the Warp, human sacrifices are offered to him with tangible results, and so on. Even in terms of game mechanics, he behaves like a Chaos god: all Space Marines get morale check re-rolls that would fit quite nicely as a Mark of Chaos, like the toughness bonuses from Nurgle or the attack bonuses from Khorne.
  • Maybe, maybe not. This is one of those things which will never be resolved because that would end the setting and stop GW from selling toy soldiers. If The Emperor was ever allowed to die, he would either be Dead For Real, and Chaos would swarm out of the Eye of Terror, eat humanity like a snack, and rampage all over the place having all sorts of fun, or ascend to becoming a new warp god, annihilate the four Chaos Gods in an eyeblink and extend the Imperium across the galaxy.
    • The sales problem could be subverted by the emperor ONLY having a presence in the warp, so that the imperium still needs to defeat anything inside the galaxy without his help. Also everything moving towards the galaxy
    • This must mean that either the Emperor doesn't know this would happen, or is trapped in his life support and unable to sever it.
    • The latter has been heavily implied to be the case several times.
    • There's also the factor of how the ascension of a new Chaos God appears to require/cause reality being ripped a new one, decimating the host race in the process. The Emperor may have weighed the benefits of being a Chaos God against Sol being the center of a second Eye of Terror.
    • One of the radical factions of the Inquisition believes the latter part of this theory, and is actively trying to "pull the plug" in order to allow the Emperor to complete his apotheosis.
    • In the "Age of Ending" section of the 5th edition rulebook, it was revealed that Tech-Priests have recently discovered fatal flaws in the Golden Throne far beyond their ability to repair. Also, while the 3rd Edition rulebook had art depicting the Emperor as a withered old man wired to a throne, a similar picture in the most recent rulebook shows the Emperor as a skull-faced, shriveled corpse. Looks like we're going to find out what happens when life support fails soon enough...
      • I don't know what the one down the page is meant to be, but there seems to be a pretty clear plan in this. It takes a whole lot of worship to make a god, right? Well, at the time of the Heresy, the Emperor was only starting to slide to the "god" side of "god-king." So, he makes sure that the Throne will keep him alive for long enough, and, if humanity isn't doing well enough to repair it, it will break down and cut him loose to save them all over again. True Xanatos—[[Xanatos Gambit bossman wins either way.
  • Another argument for the Emperor already being a god (as opposed to having the potential to become one): he has daemonic servants (angels) that occasionally break into the material world and possess his favored champions (the Living Saints).
  • It's not so much that the Emperor is a Chaos God per se, as it is the case that all gods in the 40K 'verse are basically psychic quasi-daemonic entities existing mainly in the Immaterium. Older fluff indicates that Gork and Mork are already running around in the Warp after all, and they are hardly Chaotic (though Always Chaotic Evil).
  • There already is a fifth Chaos god.
    • Fine, the Emperor is the sixth Chaos God
      • Maybe the Emperor is Malal!
      • There may be some truth in that. According to The Other Wiki "Malal was at some point cast out or separated from the rest of the Chaos Gods. [...] Malal was perhaps the first of the Chaos Gods and seems to exist only to destroy the other gods and their followers. The Outcast God is both feared and loathed by the other Chaos Gods, and his power may parallel the collective power of the other Chaos Gods. [...] they were the chosen human champions/followers of Malal. Dedicated to seeking out and destroying the followers of the other Chaos Gods" Sound like anyone we know? * coughtheemperorcough*
      • Considering how much the Imperium relies on Warp travel and psykers, both of which are intrinsically tied to Chaos, you may be on to something there.
    • There are more than five already. Another posibility is Necoho, god of Atheists in the setting (I'm serious). According to the Horus Rising series and other sources, before the Heresy the Emperor hated all religion and specifically banned his own cult.
      • The Emperor is the Lady of Pain?
      • Which makes a lot of sense in a world where enough belief spawns new gods (and innumerable demons too) and you know it.
      • In the same vein, he may have become a god against his will.
      • More likely his backup plan. Originally, yes, he was going to weaken Chaos through the anti-religious Imperial truth, then cement everything by sitting Magnus on the Golden Throne to intervene through the Webway wherever a supernatural intervention was needed. When that plan went pear-shaped, he decided instead to take advantage of the worship tickling at the edge of his consciousness, joining with the image of him the Lectitio Divinitatus people were creating in the Warp to become the God-Emperor we know.
      • As far as can be seen, a warp god is no different to a * cough* regular warp entity, just WAYYYY more powerful. Perhaps you are a god if you become powerful enough in the Warp. In that sense, the Emperor could very well be a Warp God, just not one of the very loose chaos pantheon.
      • From what I have garnered from reading fluff, there are lots of Chaos Gods of lower stature then the big four (such as Zuvassin, Murphy's Law incarnate; Necoho, god of atheism, who gets stronger as he loses worshippers), Chaos Demigods so to speak, it's just that the Big Four are the most powerful -in the Milky Way at least- and have the largest cults, so they get most of the screen time... That, and copyright issues have made it hard for Games Workshop to use Malal, as he belongs to the guy that made the (I think) comic book he started out in, and not Games Workshop.
      • They're not really sure who has the rights, which is why they just let it go.
  • Assuming that the Emperor is a Chaos God, he is the god of fear and loyalty. His chosen warriors are freed from fear, just as Nurgle's worshippers are freed from despair.
  • Wouldn't the Emperor technically be the Fourth major Chaos God, since he predates Slaanesh by about 35000 years?
    • Also, if the Emperor is the fourth Chaos God, the five Chaos Gods are personifications of the five Eons from Discordianism. Khorne represents Original Chaos, the war of all against all. Tzeentch represents Discord, the dance of competing intelligent powers. Nurgle represents Confusion, the rise of universal ideology, mass movement, and totalitarianism, also represented by the semi-familial relationship between him and his followers (they call him Grandfather Nurgle). The Emperor represents Bureaucracy, the fall into petty struggles, technological decadence and social stagnation. And finally Slaanesh represents the Aftermath, when everybody falls into hedonist nihilism just before society completely falls apart.
    • Lets look at Chaos theory... The emperor is the chaos god of emergent order. Hope the other chaos gods have read Stephen H. Kellert's In the Wake of Chaos: Unpredictable Order in Dynamical Systems because a big chunk of Unpredictable order with far more followers than they could ever hope for is pissed as hell with them, and the one think holding him back is a life-support machine with cracks starting to show.
    • Okay, I want to make this very clear to... EVERYONE. This isn't FR. As a Chaos God, you're not strengthened by 'belief', you are strengthened by the expression, thought and performance of ideals, emotions, virtues and so forth that have to do with your Chosen portfolio. Just because the all too feared Throne Vegetable has a Cult that numbers in the quadrillions, it doesn't really mean shit if one goes by his powers. If he's truly the God of Order, then gentlemen, he'd be screwed. And that is because there is no fucking thing such as Order in universe like this. And once more, he'd never be able to hold a candle to the Dark Gods, who have trillions of years worth of carnage, scheming, despair and vulgarity behind them which has built up their strength. If there's ANY God more powerful than any other, it's Khorne. Because, you know, this is a setting where the tagline is, THERE IS ONLY WAR. Were the Emperor to ascend to Godhood, he'd be as powerful as any lesser Chaos God. In other words, as potent as the Gods that most Undivided Marines dedicate a spike on their armor to. INB 4 cries of "HERESY!".
      • A. Belief is an emotion. So is fear. Therefore both can technically empower a Warp Entity. B. The Emperor was already as powerful as the four Big Abominations alive. Are you saying that power would just go poof after he ascended?
      • A. Yeah, my point is that people think that the Chaos Gods draw their power from the number of people who have an explicit belief in them. They don't, hell, the Imperium's violent foreign policy has likely done more to strengthen Khorne than any of his faithful's exploits. B. No, he wasn't.
      • If we assume the Emperor has "righteous anger" in his portfolio then Khorne would be somewhat starved by a devout citizen of the emperium. Anger and such over petty or jealous things not so much. If his portfolio also included fear...well< hell he'd be pretty damn powerful from that alone.
      • Any anger at all serves Khorne. That's how the metaphysics of the Chaos Gods' sustenance works. And the reason they've grown so powerful. Also, depending on how you define 'righteous fury', Khorne's followers and the average Word Bearer has it in droves. Khorne's followers tend to be the most idealistic of Chaos Warriors, they believe they exist for nothing else but glorifying Khorne through glorious battle, after all. For example, Angron is turned to Khorne by his burning fury and obsession in avenging his fallen companions. Sounds pretty 'righteous' to me. Furthermore, in a recent Horus Heresy, it is revealed that the Emperor knew from the start that no matter what he did, Horus was gonna tear him apart. So he's likely not as high on the divine totem pole as is implied.
      • You keep using the word 'idealism'. I do not think it means what you think it means. Or, rather, that your usage makes sense by the ethical definition[1] of idealism, but not the political definition[2], which is what most people understand the word to mean. The philosophical definition[3] does not fit your usage either, but that is probably irrelevant... or would be in a setting without psykers...
      • Actually, there does seem to be a real distinction between the Chaos gods and other "gods". The former, like the daemons that serve them, have spontaneously developed from the soup of emotional nastiness in the Immaterium, and feed primarily off their designated emotions, with dedication to them just improving how much they can get from it. The other sort are outright created and sustained by belief, and get far less from feelings and events that just happen to match their nature. Beings like this definitely exist—Gork, Mork, the Eldar gods (although they may have been initially created by the Old Ones and later sustained by faith), and various sub-divine oddities like the feth of Tanith seem to fit the bill. The Emperor is more like these, or rather is the fusion of one with the immense Warp presence of his original self.
    • I would like to point out that the non-Chaotic deities are highly inferior in power to the Chaos Gods. Given that the weakest of them, Slaanesh, destroyed the majority of the Eldar pantheon alone. And do we have any confirmation that Gork and Mork exist? And saying that Weirdboyz can summon their feet isn't proof. It's a psychic ability drawn from Chaos that they have named after Gork/Mork. It proves their existence about as well as me taking a katana and calling it 'the sword of Ares' does for him.
      • Granted, although as mentioned above the Eldar pantheon were weakened by a decadence and self-absorption that left little time for faith. However, the Emperor does seem to have become the strongest of these powers, by some combination of his own starting power as a psyker, the numbers and fervor of his followers, and the sacrifice of psykers to him. It may also help that he is at least partly combined with the idea of the Machine God, who is identified by many Techpriests with all order in the universe. Depending on the strength of both connections, he may well on his way to being something neither Chaos Power nor mere living myth, but a true and possibly unique God of Order.

The changes to the Grey Knights' background in 5th edition are a revisionist history written to cover up a political schism
  • In the current Codex, there are supposed to be 800-ish Grey Knights led by eight Grand Masters, and they've got a Purifier Order and a Supreme Grand Master elevated above the rest. In the old Codex, there were closer to 3,000, they didn't have a super-elite Purifier Order, and the whole thing was run by a council of twelve Grand Masters. The other 2,200 Grey Knights and four Grand Masters can't have abruptly vanished overnight...
    • When there was a proposal to raise Draigo to the newly-invented rank of Supreme Grand Master, a lesser portion of the Grand Masters with a strong backing among the traditionalists of the Order opposed it on the grounds that Draigo was an arrogant bastard with delusions of grandeur badly in need of seasoning, not somone who should be abruptly jumped up in the ranks for no good reason. The majority managed to force the measure through, but a good portion of the Grey Knights up and left after that and are now operating in scattered bands working for the Inquisition.

The Tau are the creations of the Old Ones.
First, a warp storm conveniently cuts the Imperium off from the Tau homeworld just as they were planning to colonize it. Then, the Ethereals show up at the darkest time in the Tau's history, to pull them out of a self-destructive spiral. Then, the Tau just happen to find a crashed ship on their planet's moon, when they really need the technology to travel faster than light. And of course, the tiny Warp signature of Tau souls keeps them from being a tempting target for the Daemons of the Warp.
  • For this to be true, Tau would have to be extremely old; yet they've only become a player on the galactic stage very recently and are commonly thought of as a young and naive race. Possibly, modern Tau grew from spores that had remained dormant for thousands of years (Orks, another Old One creation, also grow from spores), but were recently activated by some event or condition. These spores could have been spread throughout the galaxy, seeding many planets. The Tau spores on Earth activated in the second millennium. They were known as Smurfs.
    • Or some of the Old Ones survived the War in Heaven and did not make the Tau until recently. They would not be the only race that survived the war. But this begs the question of what the Old Ones have been doing between then and now.
      • Maybe they fled the Galaxy and are only now returning. Or maybe some ran into the Warp (or got trapped in a warp storm) millions of years ago, and didn't emerge until millions of years later, but to them, only a few seconds passed.
    • Which is why the theory that the Eldar created the Tau makes much more sense. Also note that 6,000 years ago, the Eldar stole a Q'Orl Swarmqueen, which they very likely used as a template for the Ethereals.
      • It doesn't make a lot of sense. The Eldar do all their stuff with warp powers, the Tau have no warp powers at all. The Eldar have a fluid society, the Tau have a strict caste system. Also, unlike the Old Ones, Eldar don't do stuff just because they can. If they made the Tau it would be for a reason, something that benefits them. Making ANOTHER rival culture that can and has killed thousands of Eldar seems very out of character.
      • Perhaps badly wounded Old Ones could survive in a kind of healing trance? This troper hasn't personally seen any fluff to contradict this, so it's entirely possible that the Tau were the result of the last of the Old Ones (maybe Tepok; their lack of warp presence links quite well with his WH Fantasy antimagic approach) waking up, noting how severely screwed the galaxy was, and opting to do something about it.

The Tau are the Necrontyr.
Try putting an (old) Necron Lord and Tau Ethereal model next to one another. Notice anything funny? Other than the one is a skinny metal facsimile of the other? The Tau have the same low warp signature that endeared the Necrontyr to the C'tan, and are clearly protected by some powerful patron. This could easily overlap with the above if they were recreated by the Old Ones for some devious purpose.
  • Both races are known for proficiency with technology.
  • The Necrontyr fought against the Old Ones as they were jealous of long lifespans. And do you know what the average lifespan of a Tau is? 40.
    • In the pre-"Hey, these Tau aren't GRIMDARK enough, let's make them ruthless bastards!" phase, the main difference was that Tau wanted to leave a legacy, Necrontyr just wanted to hurt people who lived longer than them.
      • Even in the new, more cynical version (which still isn't nearly as evil as a lot of players make them out to be) the goals of the Tau remain fundamentally idealistic, so this theory may still have some relevance.
  • Alternatively, the Tau are only a similar race to the one that made so useful servants once, and the Deceiver just can't resist.
  • Also, there is only one named Necrontyr in the Necrons codex. His name is filled with hyphens. Just like the Tau's.
  • Warp Storm cuts off the Tau home planet? Stable Time Loop. We know the Warp can do that.
  • The problem with that theory being that the Necrontyr predated even the Old Ones, so that's probably impossible... Probably.

Both The Above Theories About The Tau Are True.
As the Old Ones fought the Necrontyr and their C'tan masters through their engineered races, they had a number of side-projects going. One of these was humanity. The other, the Tau. Meddling with the Necrontyr brain chemistry to make them less competitive and imperialistic yielded small results, and physical alterations designed to increase the average lifespan and allow them to perceive the warp were only marginally more successful. Despairing of ever reforming their nemesis, the Old Ones left the proto-Tau/neo-Necrontyr on a backwater planet for later study, and continued the war.
  • At some point after the onslaught of the Enslavers and the hibernation of the Necrons, the Eldar came across the Tau. They recognised the Necrontyr by their psychic signature (or lack thereof), despite their evolution into Castes and altered physical appearance (no feet, smaller chins etc). Working off the instructions of the Old Ones, at the direction of a surviving Old One, or on their own initiative, they engineered the Ethereal Caste as described in Xenology, relishing the irony of their greatest foe becoming a potential ally, and hoping for the pheromone-effects of the Ethereal to mesh with the altered brain chemistry of the Tau, preventing the rise of another race of Omnicidal Maniacs. It worked.
    • Again, what do the Eldar get out of creating another rival race?
    • The only notable exception to this success has been Commander Farsight. Losing his Ethereal was bad enough, but not enough to result in rebellion or regression. Stumbling upon a Necron tomb rendered extinct by continental shift was. Recovering a number of artifacts, including the Dawn Blade, (the remnant of a long-devoured C'tan) a heavily coloured degree of the truth about the origins of the Tau was revealed to Farsight by crude communication with his battlesuit's A.I. Enraged by the "unwarranted puppetry" of the elder races, and the Ethereals in particular, Farsight rebelled to reclaim his race's glorious destiny, taking the Greater Good in an entirely different direction. It is unknown how he has acheived such longevity, but one Eldar Farseer claims that the C'tan the Dawn Blade was part of has found an escape route from the clutches of the Outsider - through Farsight.

The Tau Are A Chaos Breed.
Okay, Warpstorms up for most of Tau History. As T'au orbits its sun, it gets closer and further away from the storm.Now, Evolution is essentially change, and who, famously, is the Lord of Change?Tzeentch. yes thats, right, I'm hypothesizing that one of the Dark Powers had a hand in the Tau's evolution.note  Now, whenever either Tzeentch (or one of his servants) have enough reach from the Warpstorm, He/She/It causes rapid acceleration of the Tau's evolutionary process, thus the times of rapid change. It ALSO allows for an explanation of why the Mont'Au occurred. Khorne was trying to muscle in on the action, so to speak.Tzeench is of course, going to have none of this, so he brings about the Ethereals of Fio'Taun. No more infighting. and to top it off, he made them Blunt, so no more Chaos influence.Alternatively, no Khornate influence whatsoever, the periods of 'hyper-evolution' /were/ screwing with the Tau race, and the Blunt-ness is simply a result of evolution preventing the death of the Tau Race via aforementioned birth defects caused by the accelerated evolution instigated by the Chaos forces of Change.
  • Or perhaps the warp-blankness was always a feature of the Tau, but them not being massacred by the Imperium was Tzeentch's doing... I mean, if you were a Chaos God of change, and you discovered a race of intelligent creatures that had NO presence in the warp (but who were not psychopathic Omnicidal Maniac), You'd probably think "Hmmmm, potential for major CHANGE here!" And then, say you realize that those pesky humans are about to exterminate said race of blanks... What would you do? Probably shield them from harm with a Warp Storm, and poke and prod them a little to get them to evolve faster so they could gain the strength to stand against other mortal races by themselves! Which begs the question; what sneaky plan do you have for your this little blue people you have secretly sponsored?

Example of: