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A while ago, I read a short blurb somewhere, as an aside to the fact that the Chaos Gods are a reflection of the minds of the sentient beings of the Materium, which said something similar to "In a universe dominated by good, the Chaos Gods would be relatively benign creatures". This intrigued me, and fostered a lot of thought on the matter (Yes, I have no life). How would it look? I'm undecided; however, I do have a few clues. I know, for instance, that Khorne doesn't kill those "unworthy of his wrath", including the weak and unarmed - I also know Nurgle considers his diseases as 'gifts' to humanity, or sentience, and that he is very fond of and loyal to his 'children'.
Now, based on what little I know, I have reached the following state of guesswork (Hypotheses being too strong a word):
In a perfect universe, Khorne would be the 'Klingon god', representing courage, honour, and also mercy. Currently, he represents martial prowess and pride in this. This translates easily into a state of 'honourable warrior' - not lessened at all by the fact that he doesn't kill the helpless. He might also represent justice in its rawest form - simple retribution against those who 'deserve' it. If this warrior ethic is followed to its natural conclusion, he might also become the scion of comradeship - maybe even friendship - and of confronting problems and conflicts, instead of hiding them away.
Nurgle the giftgiver, Nurgle the defiant - Nurgle represents already defiance born of despair and hopelessness. This make him the perfect champion of lost causes. He considers his plagues 'gifts' to be enjoyed, which, coupled with his joviality and the way he treats his followers like beloved grandchilren - hence, the name 'Papa Nurgle' - makes him also a natural candidate for being the protector of the underdog. He might then be the god of loyalty and devotion - and maybe even familial love - and of opposition against unrighteous authority.
Already hedonism incarnate, Slaanesh might simply drop some of the less desirable forms of that - such as taking pleasure in killing. This would already make him the Chaotic equivalent of a mixed Aphrodite/Bacchus and Hathor from mythology - a goddess of love, music, drink, sports, fertility, and all the other things in life one might consider pleasant (Presumably, this would also make her a proxy deity of Warhammer!). Also, she would represent taking pleasure in the lesser things in life and basically having a nice time. Pleasure from pain might easily be seen as a perverted form of enduring pain. Thus, while Khorne supports those actively fighting, and Nurgle those who need to resist, Slaanesh would give help and aid to those who must simply endure. Whether one should attribute him with also being the goddess of laidbackness and "Hey, I'm cool." remains to be seen.
Being both the Lord of Change and the incarnation of hope, Tzeentch may be the Chaos God that is the easiest to place - Tzeentch already represents change; by simply adding the prefix 'positive', we see Tzeentch become a sort of Shiva figure - destroying what must be destroyed, improving what can be improved, and creating what should be created. Note that while Nurgle also represents decay and aging, and Khorne acts of force, Tzeentch is the master of both. Tzeentch, being the deity of psychic powers and magic also, could also be seen as representing hidden potentials and skills and talents unknown. Pray to Tzeentch, therefore, and you may be granted hidden insight into what you already possess, but haven't used. He is also the deity of hope and foresight, and therefore also the God of both optimists and realists - not those who call themselves realists at the moment, but those who will be proven correct.
Overall, however, Tzeentch is probably the hardest God to place in the pantheon, representing a litttle bit of Khorne and Nurgle with some extra bits in place.
I could of course go deeper into the issues at hand, and elaborate on Malal etc., but he would only fit into Nurgle's slot of rightful opposition, and muddy the waters even more.
This is the part where you tell me how dumb and wrong I am, and how it really would look. I'm looking forward to reading it. Post's away!
EDIT: Off topic in post #1! Oi, but it has to go - this link is too awesome to let be: Wikipedia's page on chaos magic..
All discussion on this in italics, and only after a worthwhile main topic post.
Last edited by Tutankhankh; August 24th, 2008 at 22:10.
Well, I may not be too keen on your "good versions" of the Ruinous Powers, but you do touch on something I feel is a good topic: What could represent benevolence or positive emotion within the Warp?
Emotions such as love and friendship are powerful too, and would have to resonate in the Immaterium. That's why I kinda enjoy when Colonel-Commissar Gaunt gets help from apparent "warp-ghosts". Also, what exactly powers the Saintly miracles, especially when the Saint in question is not a psyker?
1. Maybe the "non-Ruinous Powers" shy away from their corrupt kin. Could their benign nature keep them from contesting the Chaos Gods?
2. What if there was merit to Chaos's claim to Horus that the Emperor sought to become a god, but for the good of Humanity?
3. Could the "Goodly Powers" have created the Emperor during a less turbulent time (~8000B.C.), when they may have had more tangible power?
4. Regardless, I tend to think that the Emperor knew what was going to happen...
These thoughts generally lead me to two different conclusions.
1- The Emperor knew that mankind was doomed no matter what, so decided to end up in his deathless state to stave off Chaos for as long as possible, holding out hope.
2- The Emperor fully intended to become a benevolent Warp God, possibly in death, but was thwarted by placement into The Golden Throne.
Just some ideas rattling around the noggin'.
Last edited by psichotykwyrm; August 25th, 2008 at 11:16. Reason: spelling
"It takes a vast amount of self control to be this dangerous."
---Ogvai Ogvai Helmshrot, Jarl of Tra, VI Legion Astartes
It's just an idea, based off, like I said, a throwaway line somewhere saying that, in a good universe, Chaos would also be good. Simply a though-experiment. Your ideas, though, are also fascinating.
Maybe the Constructinous Powers are weakened by the current state of affairs? It's a paradox that, by fighting Chaos, you also feed it. Unless you manage to remain absolutely dispassionate and calm, that is. May be why the Inquisition is so keen on 'blanks'?
This is a thought which keeps coming up, so I'm going to give my standard response..
Before you start talking about good chaos gods, you need to realize that no excess of emotion could ever be 'good' in the sense humans would recognize it.
I think we'd all agree that feeling love for someone is a pretty 'good' emotion. Then again, I'm pretty sure we've all also met (or perhaps even been) the horrific stalker girlfriend/boyfriend who takes it to absolute extremes and ends up making everyone miserable. Why, because they can't excercise emotional restraint.. If you can't hold back from loving someone, love becomes a self-serving prison of infatuation and dependence.
Now imagine you're a being made out of emotion. You only exist because of it, it creates your psychic body and mind. Your very consciousness is a product of that emotion.
Would you ever be able to excercise restraint? Probably not.. Would you ever see your emotion as 'evil' or 'bad', most definately not.. I mean, without it you wouldn't exist. Why hold back? Why ever hold back? Wouldn't you do everything possible to spread your emotion, the only thing keeping you alive. Asking a Chaos god to excercise restraint would be like asking a human to breathe less.
A good chaos god would die.. simply because it would suffocate itself trying to excercise restraint. Such beings lack the raw emotional power to form and give voice to their own existence.
Quite possibly maybe he is already a warp god, just not as powerful as he would be if he actually died. Think about it : He has trillionsillions of followers, he lends Acts of Faith to his most blessed followers (SIsters of Battle), and he he grants powers to legendary Saints to lead his religious forces. He may not have as visible a presence as, say, a Bloodthirster of Khorne, but he is exerting influence like a Chaos god could. Maybe once he does die it wouldn't lead to the doom of the Imperium as some believe (Although the Astronomican failing would hurt), but would lead his followers to a new dawn as he now has the power to fully exert his influence from the Warp. Maybe he can even set-up a new astronomicon that would not rely on feeding the Golden Throne psykers, but he will simply guide loyal navigators from the warp itself. He may even be able to expand the range of this new light tower to beyond the Astronomicons maximum range.2- The Emperor fully intended to become a benevolent Warp God, possibly in death, but was thwarted by placement into The Golden Throne.
"Dear Diary: Today I may of accidentally registered myself as a sex offender. WHAT IS WRONG WITH MY LIFE!" - Dinosaur Comics
Hmm, well, even if the Emperor were to die, it is not a given that the Astronomican would fail. Granted, the newest BGB blurbs seem to indicate it, but, technically, there is nothing to stop it from simply being driven by the souls of 1000 dead psykers per day. Like was mentioned in an earlier thread somewhere, the Emperor may have been needed to set it up, but it could quite possibly function independently.
The Asstronomicon would not just fall over, it would lose focus.
The Emperor takes the power generated by the Psykers and aims it and guides it so Navigators can use it as a point of reference in the warp.
If the Emperor were unplugged the energy would be unfocused, could bend or warp, or come in waves or ripples. It would make travel a lot less safe.
More Importantly the webway would open inside the palace and the daemons would spill onto Terra itself. With nobody to plug the gap, eventually the palace would fall and then so would the Astronomicon.So the Emperors ascension would mean the end of Terra unless he could use his new powers to reforge the Webway while his Custodes and Grey Knights held back the Daemons.
After that is achieved, warp travel becomes a lot less necessary, especially when all the silly Eldar are cleared out. The Imperial webway means that the once ponderous Imperium could move at a much quicker pace, to most of the galaxy, Fleets would be used primarily for defence.
I must agree with Mantis on the chaos Gods, there are no good Gods because all chaos gods are excessive and pretty narrow minded (in that they are fed by few emotions and only the creation of more of that energy is important to them) So the god of fluffy rabbits is now a daemonic rabbit who wishes to multiply the number of fluffy rabbits in the mortal realm to strengthen his powers. (of course, fluffy rabbits is not an emotion but you get the idea)
One could also put forth the idea that it is because of the gods that their is evil.
a man hates his boss for some reason, he does nothing about it and the hate is small and insignificant, the chaos god says i will give you the power to kill and replace your boss, so they gain a champion who promotes hatred among those nearby, while his hatred is magnified by chaos, and that greater hatred feeds back ito the warp to strengthen the god and the cycle builds from there.
Arch Overfiend & Grand Despot
I currently play:
Doom Eagle Space Marines
Hive Fleet Omega Tyranids
Goff Ork Boyz(dead)
Tau of O'me
Inquisitorial Xeno Hunters
and my attempted foray into fantasy
'Dark Angel Green' Dark Elves in need of fluff
I think it is true that the Chaos gods are corrupt by design. But I think the descriptions of how all four of them would be have is interesting because they do behave that way to a certain extent. Khorne is all about honour and many of his followers are honourable in a way. A good Khorne would represent retribution against those who deserve it. In other words justice or if abused it is violent revenge. Revenge and violence are all about blood, hatred, death and war for the sake of war.
Nurgle is very much about the underdog and people crying out against fate. People worship Nurgle in the hope he won't dish out plagues on them. However as they survive they become fixed on living forever no matter the cost. Slaanesh isn't purely about homicidal perversion but also just doing what you feel like. If you just do whatever you like you will becomne very selfish and then attacking others is fine. What displeases Slaanesh is showing any restraint in the pursuit of pleasure.
The good Tzeentch is about change for the better. Destroying what must be destroyed and creating what must be created. This doesn't require a person be qualified two make a decision about what to destroy or create. Typically believing we have a right to preserve, destroy and deciding anything new must have our consent is the thinking of a police state. Basically people decide what what must be done and won't let a natural progression take place. They will make things work when they should not and stop things that would work.
My point is that the descriptions of good gods are the stepping stones that sucker in people to worship the Chaos gods. These good Chaos gods are much like the evil ones. That is because none of the Chaos powers are truly evil, they are chaotic which doesn't allow for them to be pure evil. They are however selfish and petty.