Monday, January 23, 2017

Ynnead and the future of Slaanesh?

When Eldar die their souls are devoured by Slaanesh in the warp, becoming part of the deity's collective energy.  Craftworld Eldar have developed soul stones to safely preserve their souls temporarily upon death, and infinity circuits to hold their souls long term.  Within the collective spirits of the Infinity Circuits, it appears that a nascent deity is forming.  Ynnead, the elder god of the dead, is growing in power.  A few Eldar Seers believe that once every single Eldar has died, Ynnead will awaken and have the strength to defeat Slaanesh forever. In 991.M41, the Eldar Mystic Kysaduras proclaimed that the only hope of Eldar survival in the End Times would lay with Ynnead.
Eldrad Ulthran attempted to undertake a great ritual that would prematurely awaken Ynnead, involving channeling the remains of Farseers through every Infinity Circuit. The ritual would have rendered every Craftworld disabled and wreaked havoc on the Astronomican, but Slaanesh may have ultimately met its end. However, he was foiled by the Deathwatch in the Battle of Port Demesnus in the Death Masque boxed set. 

GW has indicated that Ynnead will in fact emerge shortly, and is releasing a number of models related to the deity in February as part of an event called Gathering Storm II: the fracturing of Biel-Tan.
What could this mean for Slaanesh?  GW has made little secret that it is less than thrilled with the sexualized aspects of the deity, believing that it alienates the parents of young 40K players buying models.  Slaanesh has already gone missing in the Age of Sigmar setting.  It seems that there are at least three possibilities:

First, Ynnead could destroy Slaanesh and take his place.

Second, Ynnead could fight with Slaanesh but be unable to destroy him.  Both deities could continue to exist separately in the universe.

Third, Ynnead and Slaanesh could battle and then merge.  This is probably the most intriguing possibility.
Additional questions presented include:

What will Ynnead's place be in the pantheon of deities?  What abstract metaphysical concepts will he embody?  Death?  Eldar?  Excess?  Sensation?

Will Ynnead be a strictly Eldar deity, or a general chaos god?  How powerful will he be relative to the other gods?

What is the fracturing of Biel-Tan?  Presumably some of the Eldar will choose to follow Ynnead and others will not.  How will Ynnead's emergence affect the current structure / paths / society of the craftworlds, the dark eldar, and the exodites?

How will the emergence of Ynnead fit in with the fall of Cadia, the thirteenth crusade, and the upcoming 8th edition?

Most importantly, what will this mean for the Emperor's Children and their lore?

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Six lesser known facts about Chemos and the III Legion

1.  Agrippa of Chemos was one of the greatest swordsmen in the galaxy, and one of the classic schools of fencing in the Warhammer universe is named after him.  (Source: Priests of Mars).

2. The Quarzhazat was a legendary monster of Chemos that flew high in the skies and plucked whole cities and lone travelers from mountain tops.  (Source: Fabius Bile Primogenitor).

3. Deserters of the III Legion would have to seek forgiveness in the test of steel, a gauntlet in which the members of his company would attack him freely with blades.  (Source: Fabius Bile Primogenitor).

4. The Chemosian Cantos were a holy scripture written in honor of Slaanesh in the final hours of Chemos.  (Source:  Fabius Bile Primogenitor).

5. The capital city of Chemos was Callax, and this is where the fortress monastery of the Emperor's Children was located.

6. Fulgrim once created an edifice known as the "Perfect Fortress" on the planet of Narsis.  It was very beautiful, but also intended to present the flawless defense.  (Source: Deliverance Lost).

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Six Emperor's Children Archetypes

There are six tropes that one commonly finds in Emperor's Children characters: the Aristocrat, the Otherworldly, the Master Swordsman, the Mad Scientist, the Addict, and the Defiler

The Aristocrat

The Aristocrat is a sophisticate familiar with the finer aspects of life.  He is cultured and is an expert on art, gourmet food, music, theater and cultural norms.  He can interact seamlessly with the upper crust of society, and behaves himself without embarrassment in any formal setting.  He may however also be arrogant or decadent.

Examples of this trope: Eidolon, V from V from Vendetta, James Bond, Hannibal Lecter, Magneto from X-Men, Rarity from MLP, Narsus from the Heroic Legend of Arslan, Boston Brahmins

The Otherworldly

The Otherworldly is androgynously beautiful, ethereal and magically powerful.  He is magnetically charismatic, associated with elves and commonly associated with shifting otherworldly iridescent colors.  He may have violet eyes and white or silver hair.

Examples of this trope: FulgrimThe RadiantElricSaruman of LOTR, Oberon from Shakespeare, Veela from Harry Potter, Targaryens from Song of Fire and Ice, Alexandria's Genesis, Aasimar from AD&D

The Master Swordsman

The Master Swordsman has dedicated himself to perfection with the blade.  No one can draw a weapon faster than him, swing it with less effort, or make it look more beautiful

Examples of this trope: Lucius, Ravasch Cario, Agrippa, Ardantes, Tachibana Ukyo from Samurai Showdown, Sasaki Kojiro from ancient Japan, Inigo Montoya from Princess Bride, Raphael from Soul Calibur, Kensai class in AD&D.

The Mad Scientist has a master plan that he is trying to accomplish for the sake of progress, which only he has the genius to envision or put into motion.  Others are needless constrained by petty matters such as morals and societal norms, but the Mad Scientist has transcended such limitations.

Examples of this trope: Fabius Bile, Frankenstein, Villains in Dr. Who, Daedalus, Nikola Tesla, Einstein, Thomas Edison, Emmett L. Brown from Back to the Future, Dr. MoreauDr. Strangelove, Professor Farnsworth from Futurama, Hojo from FF VII

The Addict

The Addict is one who is able to feel transcendental bliss through self abandon to a mystical, reality altering experience, whether it is drugs, religion, lurid behavior, music, dance or some other source.  The Addict needs a constant supply to refresh his addiction, or risks going into withdrawal.  The Addict may be seeking to attain some ultimate nirvana like experience by becoming permanently one with the ultimate experience.

Examples of this trope: Noise Marines, Slaanesh, the Eldar, Rumi the sufi, Jim Morrison of the Doors, Slo-Mo in Dredd, the Wretched in Wow

The Defiler

The Defiler engages in all sorts of depraved, horrifying behavior, ordinarily involving pain, disgust, torture, perversion, cruelty or body horror.  A true example of chaotic evil, the Defiler acts sadistically out of a villainous desire for self gratification, and without concern for the suffering of his victims.

Examples of this trope: Fabius Bile, the Joker, Mr. Blonde from Reservoir Dogs, Alex from Clockwork Orange, T-Bird from The Crow, Buffalo Bill from Silence of the Lambs, Bellatrix Lestrange from Harry Potter, Magic Man from Adventure Time, Marquis de Sade

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

The Essential Emperor's Children Storyline

It can be somewhat overwhelming to start reading Black Library books.  It's hard to know where to start and know what the most important novels are to read to get the story.  While I've done a fairly complete index of all Black Library fiction related to the Emperor's Children in the past, I thought it might be useful to present a pared down reading list in order to provide a new reader with the essential Emperor's Children storyline.

Here are essential books in the storyline:

1. Fulgrim

Fulgrim is the central Emperor's Children novel.  It presents a vivid picture of the legion in its pre-heresy glory, and details step by step how they fall to chaos.

2. The Reflection Crack'd

The Reflection Crack'd is a very important short story.  It establishes that Fulgrim is clearly in control of the path of the legion, and that he has a definite path in mind for his sons.

3. Angel Exterminatus

Angel Exterminatus is a pretty horrifying novel, but it describes in detail the ascension of Fulgrim to daemon princehood.

4. Path to Heaven

Path of Heaven may be one of the best novels of the Horus Heresy.  Having ascended, Fulgrim has essentially left the Legion to its own devices.  Eidolon has taken control of a third of the legion, which is rapidly being corrupted to chaos.  Nevertheless the Emperor's Children seek to prevent the White Scars from returning to Terra to defend the Emperor.

(Because the Horus Heresy is not yet complete, it is fairly certain that additional novels will be added to this list after Path of Heaven.)

5. Talon of Horus

Paradoxically Talon of Horus is an optional inclusion to this essentials list.  It does not centrally feature the III Legion, but it does provide a short but insightful snap shot into their activities after the Horus Heresy.

6. Fabius Bile: Primogenitor

While a 40K book, this bio pict on Fabius Bile provides a wealth of information regarding the state of the Emperor's Children in the 41st millennium.

Hope this is helpful!