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LO's Shadow Captain
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, a quick search didn't produce the results I was looking for, so I'll throw my question out here...

It has been said several times that most Space Marines don't worship the Emperor as a God, like mostly the rest of the Imperium does.

My question is, though, can a Space Marine chapter worship something else? Not Chaos, etc., but some other God/group of Gods/Goddess (that nobody else worships and such), while still maintaining loyalty to the Imperium and the Emperor?

Would things such as the Inquisition allow this, or would they be hunted as traitors?



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The inquisition and all the ecclesiarchy would have the head of every last one of them, should they worship anything different from the emperor. Their chaplains too would never allow that. They do worship their Primarchs, but like saints of the official imperial religion, not as gods by themselves.
 

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If i recall correctly the space marines really dont worship anyone as a god although most chapters generally do have customs and rituals that are heasvilly influenced from the culture there from
 

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Son of LO
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No.
 

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I don’t think Space Marines are allowed to worship anyone but the Emperor and their Primarchs. They may not think of them as divine beings, but their ritualised prayers and traditions are just like those of any organised religion, and they certainly have faith in the Emperor. Not faith in Him as a divine being, but faith in the belief that He is the true master of humanity, and that humanity is the true master of the galaxy. While this is worship of an ideology more than it is an actual god, it nevertheless lends them power through the strength of their faith. Worshipping anyone but the Emperor would have this strength of faith weaken, and not only would this reduce their resilience towards the moral threat of Chaos, it might even have them convinced that humanity is not better off under the yoke of Imperial dominion and become traitors in the eyes of the Inquisition and fellow Marines.

In one of the fluff stories I am writing for my own amusement (and likely never finishing for lack of time, alas) I actually have a group of Marines who worship one of the ancient Eldar Goddesses (long story), and while their chosen mission is to combat external threats against humanity and don’t waste time fighting the Imperium, they don’t support it either and are therefore hunted by the Inquisition for their heretical beliefs.

~Grephaun.
 

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LO's Shadow Captain
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·

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Son of LO
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The Black Templars seem pretty convinced that he's divinity incarnate. The Grey Knights are so saturated in dogma that they tattoo litanies on their skin.

If you're talking about different faces of the Emepror like how the Mechanicus worship him as the Machine God, or how several feral and feudal worlds view him as variously a sun/ocean/forest/fire god depending on their world's natural influence, then it's entirely possible. They won't believe he actually regulates and controls life, or even that he's omnipotent, but they are likely to merely incorporate their cultural rituals into Imperial worship after becoming Space Marines.

But if you're saying something like the Space Marines worshipping the Norse pantheon or something ridiculous, then no. If they do worship their own god, he has to greatly resemble the Emperor to be acceptable. If they even worship him at all, that is.
 

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Correct, they remember him as a man, like the primarchs etc. We may think 41th millennium's people could have a different view of religion than us and just feel fine at worshipping a corpse with super psychic powers.
 

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The Emperor is definitely a god with many facets. As Ze_poodle says, the Emperor is worshipped in various primitive forms on feral worlds; according to Eisenhorn the Emperor as the Sun is one of the most common of these primitive forms. Usually, more well-educated Imperial citizens would see such interpretations of the Emperor’s might as bordering heresy. However, even within the Imperium the Emperor is considered to have multiple aspects; the Imperial Cult worships the Imperator Ascendant, the Emperor on the Golden Throne, while Marines worship Him in His aspect of the Warrior from before the ascendance when He still walked among humanity and fought its enemies, and the Adeptus Mechanicus see Him as the Omnissiah, the ultimate source of knowledge about the universe (which isn’t entirely wrong considering that he’s the only living person retaining any amount of knowledge from the Dark Age of Technology). There are many more forms than these, all adapted to whoever turns to them, but the Emperor is the centre of all of them.

~Greph.
 

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LO's Shadow Captain
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
While I know it wouldn't be natural/common, would it be feasible for a chapter of Space Marines to form a sort of religious "brotherhood" that worships multiple faces of the Emperor? And then, do the faces have to be specific as such, or can there be something like the following (from a book):

The Smith (labour), The Warrior (fighting and strength), The Stranger (death, mysteries), etc.



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As Ive said before space marines do not view the Emparor as a god. They pay homage to him as the creator of the space marines and as a great warrior/leader. If i recall the only space marines that worshipped him as a god where the World Bearers (And that dident exactly turn out all that well)
 

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One chapter (the steel cobras I think) worshipped the emporer as an animal totem, needless to say the inquisition wasn't happy and excommunicted them, they are still in the imperium, they have there base at the bottom of an ammonia sea where only a space marine could survive.

As said, the emporer to the marines is a mighty, gifted man who is the ultimate example of humanity. Some chapters do worship him as a god but the original legion chapters see him as a man more than a god.

The (that elliesarchy word) started worshipping the emporer as a god after the heresy, because of his sacrifice. Before he was just the ultimate human.
 

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Son of LO
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Lost Nemesis said:
While I know it wouldn't be natural/common, would it be feasible for a chapter of Space Marines to form a sort of religious "brotherhood" that worships multiple faces of the Emperor? And then, do the faces have to be specific as such, or can there be something like the following (from a book):

The Smith (labour), The Warrior (fighting and strength), The Stranger (death, mysteries), etc.
Someone's read the new R. R. Martin book.
 

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You have to take in account that the Space Marines were around for a long time... A very long time...

They fought alongside the Emperor...

So, they have no reason to believe the Emperor was a god. The Inquisition knows that, and hates it. Would you like it, when some ancient warrior says that your god was just a cool guy that knew how to bash up orks?

Leman Russ even said that he and the Emperor were of the same level(in power). Bit optimistic but gives a nice example of the Space Marines...
 

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LO's Shadow Captain
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
ze_poodle said:
Someone's read the new R. R. Martin book.
:yes:

@Predator: Not all the Space Marines around currently were around way back when with the Emperor... actually, I'd expect there to be only a few left. If they were all from the Emperor's time (including the.. uh.. new Chapters?) then it would mean the SM had to take little to no losses at all during that entire time. If that's the case, why is nearly every picture of an SM about the SM making a heroic last stand, with a bunch of his brothers dead around him? ;)



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Because it looks dramatic.
 

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I am the Monkey King said:
Because it looks dramatic.
It’s true that Warhammer artists often seem to disregard the fluff to some degree and adhere only to the Rule of Cool, as is the case with drawings of spent shells flying from bolters as Marines charge forward into combat even though we all know that bolters fire caseless ammunitions, and the fact that Ork blood has been changed from green to red because it looks better on the figures even though it makes no sense fluff-wise.

Nevertheless, Lost Nemesis is correct when saying that only one or two loyalist Space Marines still remain who can remember the time before the Horus Heresy; most of them are in fact not very old, since most Space Marines only live to be some four hundred years old even if they don’t fall in battle. What Marines do have and ordinary Imperial citizens lack is their own records and historical scripts from that time, and that’s why they can continue to regard the Emperor as a human being and not a god when everyone else only knows Him as the divine figure on the Golden Throne.

~Greph.
 

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The only marines who could ever actually remember meeting/seeing the emporer (or any primarchs for that matter) are in dreadnaughts. Bjorn the fell-handed is the obvious example.

As Grephaun said, all the chapters keep detailed records.

As for marines thinking/worshipping the emporer as a god lies in the chaplins. A new chapter would probably worship him as a god as the chaplins where human at one point (thus being told the emporer is a god) and integrating that belief into the chapter.

A chapter's beliefs as a whole will change over time as each new marine (particularly the chaplins) would alter a story/legend (for example) slightly, everone changes stories in the way they tell them. This altercation wouldn't affect the older chapters as much as they probably have records of members of their chapter meeting the emporer (most notably the legions).
 

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Son of LO
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TehDarkPredator said:
So, they have no reason to believe the Emperor was a god. The Inquisition knows that, and hates it. Would you like it, when some ancient warrior says that your god was just a cool guy that knew how to bash up orks?
Many Inquisitors also don't believe the Emperor was a god..

Many Inquisitors know far more about the Emperor than the space marines, and they're not letting it on. ;)

Grephaun said:
It’s true that Warhammer artists often seem to disregard the fluff to some degree and adhere only to the Rule of Cool, as is the case with drawings of spent shells flying from bolters.
Not to mention that they're always pictured spraying away on full auto. I think it's the BGB which states that bolters don't fire in full auto, they can fire semi-automatically, or with a three round burst. With an ammo clip the size of a bolter, I'd be amazed if it was capable of more than a few seconds of autofire anyway.

Makes much more sense.. full auto has too much recoil to be useful.

Back to topic....

As for the Emperor, the line between man and god is very thin. From the doctrine quotes I've read, the only people who refer to the Emperor as a god (and then indirectly) are the Adeptus Mechanicus. Even the Ecclesiachs generally tend to refer to him as 'The Emperor' rather than 'Our God.'

In fact, I'd go so far as to say this distinction between man and god isn't very obvious in the Imperium. I mean, why should they have it? Their 'god' was a man anyway, why not leave him as 'the Emperor' and trust that word to sum up precisely what he is.
 
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