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Discussion Starter #1
ive had a look around and cant find anything about good warp gods or havent found places that discuss my queries. i wondered why there arent any powerful good gods. im told its because the only emotions expressed strongly enough are bad ones like anger and desire. but what about a god of hope or something like that, because of all the stuff that happens in 40k i would imagine that hope would be a very prominent emotion yet it hasn't coalesced in the warp or created some sort of entity in the warp. i just thought about it one day when i thought to myself how cool it would be if you could have an opposite of chaos with archangels in place of greater deamons and paladins instead of plague marines (or something similar)
 

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Double Clutching Weasel
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Because God lost, was killed, and now the Devil reigns unopposed. Daemons run freely both through Hell and Earth, closing the gates to Heaven and blocking any access to it. Were there beings of Heaven still existing, they simply hide out in the world, hunted and stalked, fearing revealing themselves lest they be slaughtered.

In a nutshell, the lack of a "Good" power is a keystone aspect of what makes the GrimDark genre. And though I'm loath to quote myself, I feel this old post does a better job of it. Though it was a slightly different topic, I feel it's applicable.

One of the defining aspects of the Grimdark genre is that there is no black and white, there is only black and grey. This is one of the strongest ways that it differentiates from traditional good/evil dichotomies: it drops all intentions of there being a "good" force within the setting. There are no "good" forces, nor a "home base" that "good" forces would originate from.

In the 40k universe, we have an established "Hell", in the Immaterium. It is a place filled and fueled by negative emotions, where daemons frolic, and souls are sent to be tortured for all eternity. The Devil (or four) is a tangible thing, a being that is given a name, worshiped, and takes an active involvement in the affairs of mortals. Yet, there is no pretense on there being a positive reflection of this; there is no "Heaven". And this is what keeps the setting eternally dour: there is never any hope for salvation and there is no place in which your immortal soul can hope to find solace from the horrors of the universe. In a way, this also helps colour the universe. Afterall, what need is there of a Heaven when every being with a soul in the universe is going to Hell? The best that a person can hope for is the total annihilation of their soul. That is what the "good" of the setting have to hope for. Not an afterlife in Heaven, eternally happy. Not even an existence in a Purgatory. Simply annihilation.

So, how do Angels fit into all this? Well, Angels are beings of Heaven. They are the forces of "Good", combating "Evil" in the world. But look at the positive reflection of our Devil within the setting: our God-Emperor. Where the Evil gods are alive and active (even the god of death and decay is portrayed as a god teaming with life), the Good god is a corpse-ridden husk only existing because he is on life support. His involvement (either direct or indirect through "angels" and "saints") is nearly non-existent. If it happens at all, it appears to be merely by chance (ie: Miracles), in contrast to the active worshiping and giving of marks and gifts by the Chaos gods.

Angels are not beings of Hell. In a setting that has no "heaven", they can only appear in rare moments, when the Good gods can muster the effort to manifest them, like the breathless sputtering cough of a dying man. In that same vein, they disappear just as quickly.


So, to answer your question: there are no Angels in 40k. It goes against the established foundations of the genre. They cannot originate from the Warp, because the Warp is Hell, and only daemons reside in Hell by definition. Having a positive reflection of the Warp would be against the premise of what it means to be Grimdark. The Warp is not meant to be a realm of all human emotion, it is meant to be a collection of the worst of human emotion, where even positive traits (cleverness) become twisted (scheming).
 

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To add to what Klajorne has so eloquently put, there's also the fact that "good" emotions, like hope, get twisted and warped in the warp. Hope, for example, is the domain of Tzeentch. Hope is the want and the belief that things will change for the better, and he is the god of change. Slaanesh is similar, as he/she/it takes the emotion of happiness and twists it.

Which just adds to the whole grimdark: even the good stuff gets twisted and perverted to the cause of evil.
 

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Benevolent Dictator
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Yeah, it's a decision the developers made to help the game feel a little bit more gothic (in the literary sense, not the "Bullet for my Valentine" emo 'wear all black' way). In gothic literature, there aren't many truly good people, and if there are any gods at all they either don't care about humanity, or they want to kill it. Look at the factions of 40k - none of them are 'good guys' the way that the Power Rangers or G.I Joe were 'good guys'. Even the human faction is very cruel to it's own citizens (1000 people are sacrificed to the Emperor every day). The rest are all very much the same: they'll kill anyone to make sure that their goals are achieved.

The gods in 40k are no different. Any time there is a good emotion like Hope (actually, Hope manifests as Nurgle in the fluff) it gets twisted, like Marneus said. This is because the strongest emotions are the primal emotions. Think about it:

Nurgle - is actually based on the name of a real historical fertility god. Whenever people are glad for new life (a baby being born, flowers blooming) Nurgle is there. The trouble is that a lethal fungus releasing spores, influenza cells multiplying, and maggots hatching in a decaying corpse - these are also new lives. That's why Nurgle's followers are glad to be the hosts of so many diseases - all life is sacred, and to be a vessel of one of Nurgle's sacred lives is a blessing.
Nurgle is not the god of Death and Decay, as he is so often portrayed. He is the god of the natural order of things. In Nurgle's eyes, you are born, you live and breed new life (from the babies you make, to the bacteria growing in your gut), then you die and become fuel for the cycle. If you consider that Nurgle champions the natural order, it makes a lot more sense why he hates Tzeentch so much.

Khorne - is hatred. Pure and simple. But there are no good killings. Look at the actual crusades between Christians and Muslims - there was no right or wrong. Both sides fought because they thought their belief was the right and just cause. Both sides committed terrible atrocities, and the soldiers from both sides killed other people who had families and hopes and dreams, just like them. Khorne is not just mindless, rage-induced murder. He is all killing. From Sweeny Todd slitting throats for revenge and personal gain, to the holy warrior killing infidels in a faraway land, and the "plain crazy" murders too.

Slaanesh - is perfection. You like music, but there is some music out there that you know is just awful. You wish that music would go away, or you don't want to listen to it? You taste food prepared by a competent chef and it is amazing, you think that you could eat it every day. But you have also tasted food that you wouldn't give to your dog, and you never want to eat it again. You see a beautiful person and you want to be their friend, or their "friend" - and you'd rather be around them than be surrounded by ugly people. Slaanesh is all of that - he's never satisfied with what's in front of him, he always wants it to be better. This music is great, but Slaanesh is sure that there is someone who does it better, and he'll find them. The reason Slaanesh characters always seem like perverts is because they're the ultimate 'hipsters' or elitists. They want the best of everything - what was good yesterday is now passe and boring. When you can't feel pleasure anymore, you start exploring the depths of pain.
Slaanesh hates Khorne because Khorne is barbaric. Khorne has no appreciation for fine art, or for good music, or for the feeling of dying. Khorne just burns and destroys. Slaanesh at least has the good sense to rape and pillage first.

Tzeentch - is the desire for change, often for the sheer sake of change. The same thing which causes a person to get 'cabin fever' or experience wanderlust, that's Tzeentch. When a little kid won't stop asking 'why', that's Tzeentch:
"Why is the sky blue"
Because it is.
"But why? Why not green?"
Because that would be wrong.
"Why is that wrong? I like green"
etc etc
That's Tzeentch. Tzeentch gives you the power to make the sky green. Or purple. Or pink.
If you're taking a test and saying "man, I wish that I was smarter so I could ace this" that's Tzeentch. He'll make you smart. You don't even have to study!
Tzeentch is not hope. Tzeentch is wish gratification. You can hope that you pass the test, and that does nothing for Tzeentch. You can wake up and wish that the sky were green, and Tzeentch won't raise a finger. But if you wish that you were smart, or that you could make the sky green, Tzeentch will absolutely offer you the power to do that and more. The selfish desire to make the world in your image.
Nurgle and Tzeentch don't get along because Tzeentch messes up the natural order of things. To Nurgle, time passes, people are born and die, and that's just how it is. To Tzeentch, time is entirely irrelevent - if you wish that you could ride a Delorean back to the 50's, Tzeentch will toss you the keys faster than you can say "Marty McFly". If you wish that you could turn your dead friend from wormfood back to a living person - bam! But Nurgle hates that, because your friend was supposed to lay there and be food so that more worms could be born, and flowers could have fertilizer to bloom.

So whenever you think "why no good Warp gods", ask yourself what emotion you want them to encapsulate. Love? Nurgle loves you no matter what. "Love"? Slaanesh has all the lovin' you need, baby. Control over the girl of your dreams? Slaanesh is your guy. And if you want the love of some higher power, well, Khorne will give it to you, but you gotta fight for it.
See?
 

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ISIS Secret Agent Squishy
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Cap, one of these days you're going to have to explain to me how you're not the Official "Repository of all GW Knowledge, Lore and Concepts"...
 

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Benevolent Dictator
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Cap, one of these days you're going to have to explain to me how you're not the Official "Repository of all GW Knowledge, Lore and Concepts"...
I'm not the only one. VisitorQ used to be able to throw down some serious lore. You also just have to know where to look.
I started playing Warhammer when I was 9 or 10 years old. I couldn't really afford the models yet, so I just read the books and stuff. I had a lot of free time to just sit and read like that, and it was great because that was the time before "Corporate GW" just trying to sell you stuff.
WHFRP and a large collection of several editions of the books really helps too. People don't consider it, but you can actually find Dark Elf fluff in the High Elf book, and so on. The older Lizardmen books were treasure troves, considering their 5ed book pretty much had the "true" creation story for the entire Warhammer world.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
if most things have some kind of representation in the warp then why isnt there a chaos god of anarchy and disorder, he would clearly be the strongest of gods because of the 40k setting wouldnt he?
 

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if most things have some kind of representation in the warp then why isnt there a chaos god of anarchy and disorder, he would clearly be the strongest of gods because of the 40k setting wouldnt he?
Because anarchy and disorder are not emotions.
 

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I'd still say that Tzeentch is the god of hope, as hope is the desire for change; ie, hope is wanting things to change for the better. Nurgle is despair and desperation, because people turn to him only when they have no other choice but death. He's more a god of acceptance than hope, as one accepts and embraces their situation when they embrace Nurgle.
 

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Benevolent Dictator
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I'd still say that Tzeentch is the god of hope, as hope is the desire for change; ie, hope is wanting things to change for the better. Nurgle is despair and desperation, because people turn to him only when they have no other choice but death. He's more a god of acceptance than hope, as one accepts and embraces their situation when they embrace Nurgle.
Yeah, I'll give you that, as I couldn't find the "Nurgle = Hope" bit in my books. Maybe it was a reference to 'hope' being what drives a lot of people to Nurgle, the idea that "I have hope that there is a cure for this (there isn't)" because Nurgle isn't a 'reaping' god. He's actually a good guy on the whole, because like I said - he stands for the natural order. Yeah, he's focused a lot more on the disgusting nature of life, but that's because he's a Chaos God after all, not just a clean-cut outstanding god of life like Isha or anything.

if most things have some kind of representation in the warp then why isnt there a chaos god of anarchy and disorder, he would clearly be the strongest of gods because of the 40k setting wouldnt he?
Because anarchy and disorder are not emotions.
HISTORY LESSON! (this time, a real-life one! )

There was a god of disorder and anarchy. His name is Malal. He exists/existed in Warhammer Fantasy exclusively, but has been ported over as the minor god 'Malice' in 40k.
His the embodiment of Chaos' tendency towards anarchy and self destruction. His sacred number was 11, and his emblem was a skull, one half black, and one half white. He had very few followers, almost always loners, as pure anarchists aren't stereotypically apt to form lasting bonds. Having so few followers, Malal is described as a weak or sickly god, and only grows in power when all of Chaos (Chaos undivided) gains influence, because of the associated anarchy and indiscriminate destruction. To sustain himself, it seems that Malal would work out a contract between himself and someone wronged by Chaos. In return for the power to "fight Chaos with Chaos", Malal would slowly sap the champion's life force, turning them pale and sickly, like himself. There are rumors that these champions would eventually become living-dead.

Malal was first introduced in a comic book way back in the days when Warhammer didn't exist as 'Games Workshop' but as 'Citadel', from 1985-1987. His chief follower, and protagonist of the comics was Kaleb Daark (now a member here, oddly enough). His adventures fighting against Chaos led him to work on the side of good quite frequently, as a bit of a "Punisher-esque" antihero. Malal was entirely retconned in 1988. GW no longer wanted the comic books in which he was featured, but they hadn't purchased the rights for the characters therein, so the two brothers writing the comics decided to take the vengeful way out and keep their fiction. Thus, Malal ceased to exist. Kinda.

'Malice' shows up in 40k and Fantasy from time to time as a lesser Chaos god who fights against Chaos. Also, some of the weapons and characters attributed to him have survived into later editions. Daark's axe, the 'Dreadaxe' was an item in the Warriors of Chaos books. The Ogre 'Skrag the Slaughterer' was also originally a follower of Malal, within the core WHFB mythos. When Malal fell, these items and characters were not a copywritten part of the comics, and therefore carried on into subsequent generation.
Also, a lot of the fluff for Be'lakor seems to imply that the Chaos Gods ganged-up on Malal and cast him out from the warp, crash landing him in Albion (off the coast of the Old World) and that he is attempting to rise again.

In 40k you have the Sons of Malice, who wear a black/white bisected power armor, and are known to fight against Chaos.
 

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LO's Shadow Captain
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Two sides notes from this old member:

1) Malal is definitely my favourite of all the Chaos Gods. I'm still surprised more people don't know about his existence (or former existence, I guess).

2) Wouldn't the game and lore be a tad bit, well, boring if we always had the stereotypical Good vs. Evil (TM) fight going on? I think the lack of a true "good" God, in the Warp or otherwise, lends a certain darkness to the fluff that makes it unlike many other stories. Plus, it'd be a kind of lame tagline: "In the grim writing of the far future, there is only cliches."



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Double Clutching Weasel
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1) Malal is definitely my favourite of all the Chaos Gods. I'm still surprised more people don't know about his existence (or former existence, I guess).
In many ways, 40k lore is mutable, and has been constantly growing and refining since its inception. It requires a certain level of "double-think" to follow it throughout the years. Malal is about as relevant as Pariahs these days, and it's hard to say that it remain within the fluff into the future.

It's always a shame, though, when some aspect of the fluff that you (general you) enjoy disappears from established canon, but that's just the nature of the beast. In some ways, this is a good thing, because the constant invention and removal is what keeps the setting "alive". Especially considering how the timeline is frozen in place.
 

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Interrogator-Chaplain
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Two sides notes from this old member:

1) Malal is definitely my favourite of all the Chaos Gods. I'm still surprised more people don't know about his existence (or former existence, I guess).

2) Wouldn't the game and lore be a tad bit, well, boring if we always had the stereotypical Good vs. Evil (TM) fight going on? I think the lack of a true "good" God, in the Warp or otherwise, lends a certain darkness to the fluff that makes it unlike many other stories. Plus, it'd be a kind of lame tagline: "In the grim writing of the far future, there is only cliches."
Well, all things considered the 40k universe is an entirety of cliches :D


Also remember that used to be, and notions that still do exist (at least sharded/weakended/irrelevant) good gods. Isha and if you can consider him 'good' Cegorach (spelling)?

The entire elven pantheon before the warp got twisted, assuming they were not powerfull old ones, were gods that had nothing to do with the warp (presumably) . Nurgule though does have Isha imprisoned so one can only ponder.

EDIT: THe thing is none of these, both the warp entities and not are 'Gods'. They are just powerfull entities of the warp. They can influence things, but cannot stear everything were they want it alone, they also follow certain laws. The definition of 'God' is something that is beyond laws and concearns, is omnipotent, knows what is/was/will be, is immortal and can do everything with a simple notion. None of the 'Gods' of the 40k universe can achieve all of those. They have their limitations and are too stuck into their individual aspects.So in my book they are just overtly powerfull beings that seem godlike to the mortal races. Something that the big E came dangerously close to achieve.
 

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Benevolent Dictator
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EDIT: THe thing is none of these, both the warp entities and not are 'Gods'. They are just powerfull entities of the warp. They can influence things, but cannot stear everything were they want it alone, they also follow certain laws. The definition of 'God' is something that is beyond laws and concearns, is omnipotent, knows what is/was/will be, is immortal and can do everything with a simple notion. None of the 'Gods' of the 40k universe can achieve all of those. They have their limitations and are too stuck into their individual aspects.So in my book they are just overtly powerfull beings that seem godlike to the mortal races. Something that the big E came dangerously close to achieve.
Nah, the idea that a god has to be omnipotent and all powerful is actually pretty new, and localized primarily to the Jewish->Christian->Muslim faiths, and the few alternative monotheists. If you look at the a lot of the older religions, particularly the pantheist belief systems (multiple gods), you realize that they are all very similar to the Warhammer "gods". The "big three" of Classical History would be the Greek/Roman Pantheon, and the Celtic/Nordic pantheon. When you look at gods like Zeuss/Jupiter or Thor, they are "king gods" and still aren't omnipotent. The other gods can play tricks upon them, and there are limitations to their powers, even over the mortal world.

Also, the Warp always existed, and the Eldar Gods did indeed have ties to it. I'm not positive how the Old Ones factor in to 40k lore, but I know that in Fantasy, they are the ones who opened the rift between the Warp and Reality. For the Eldar Gods, the hubris of the Eldar eventually led to the birth of Slaanesh - it can be assumed that the Eldar gods were created the same way, that Slaanesh is essentially the Eldar god of excess.

I have always viewed the 40k and Fantasy mythology to be one of faith. In Fantasy, Sigmar = Emperor. He was "just a guy" at the start of his life, but rises to become something more because eventually the entire realm came to believe that he was more than human. Where the Chaos Gods thrive on lack of faith - fueled by raw emotion and base desires - the other gods are created because enough people believe in them. Very similar to Douglas Adams' "Hitchhikers Trilogoy", when he explains that God died in a puff of reason once the world collectively stopped believing in him.
 

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Double Clutching Weasel
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Nah, the idea that a god has to be omnipotent and all powerful is actually pretty new, and localized primarily to the Jewish->Christian->Muslim faiths, and the few alternative monotheists. If you look at the a lot of the older religions, particularly the pantheist belief systems (multiple gods), you realize that they are all very similar to the Warhammer "gods". The "big three" of Classical History would be the Greek/Roman Pantheon, and the Celtic/Nordic pantheon. When you look at gods like Zeuss/Jupiter or Thor, they are "king gods" and still aren't omnipotent. The other gods can play tricks upon them, and there are limitations to their powers, even over the mortal world.
Zoroastrianism was the root of monotheistic religions, as it was the inspiration for our later single-God, good vs evil, omnipotent religions (ie: Judaism, Christianity, Islam). Prior to that, at least in Western religions, there was much more focus on religions where "Gods as celebrities", and had more limitations akin to your modern day superhero than the omnipotent "God".

In a way, Western religions had "things they were in charge of", but were fairly open to what they could actually do. For example, Ares might have been the God of War, but it's not as though anybody couldn't have picked up a spear and gone on a stabbing spree. He didn't have any special "War Powers", he had powers that all gods had (turn into critters, fast travel, immortality but not invincibility, etc), he just had a different job than others had.

Ultimately, though, I think we're just splitting hairs. At what point of "being able to manifest creations on a whim" and "immortal creature" and "lives on its own plane of existance" does one go from being a god, to being God? Really, the separation just seems to be whether one part of a polytheistic pantheon or monotheistic one.


Also, the Warp always existed, and the Eldar Gods did indeed have ties to it. I'm not positive how the Old Ones factor in to 40k lore, but I know that in Fantasy, they are the ones who opened the rift between the Warp and Reality. For the Eldar Gods, the hubris of the Eldar eventually led to the birth of Slaanesh - it can be assumed that the Eldar gods were created the same way, that Slaanesh is essentially the Eldar god of excess.

I have always viewed the 40k and Fantasy mythology to be one of faith. In Fantasy, Sigmar = Emperor. He was "just a guy" at the start of his life, but rises to become something more because eventually the entire realm came to believe that he was more than human. Where the Chaos Gods thrive on lack of faith - fueled by raw emotion and base desires - the other gods are created because enough people believe in them. Very similar to Douglas Adams' "Hitchhikers Trilogoy", when he explains that God died in a puff of reason once the world collectively stopped believing in him.
Part of the problem with 40k origin stories, is that it's hard to tell what is still valid canon, and what has been removed over the years.

But, I'm trying to remember if 40k really ever discusses how the Old Ones came across their connection to the Warp. It's just a given that the Old Ones use the Warp as their thing, it's their shtick, along with all their progeny. But they treat the Warp as a tool to be used, similar to how the Eldar would treat the Warp if they did not have to concern themselves with She Who Thirsts. In the end, though, the Warp also is the cause of their downfall (Old Ones and their creations suffered from the Enslaver plague, but not non-Warp creatures like the Necrons).

The 40k pantheon works out really wierd, in that it's not cut and dry that they all hung out in the Warp. In fact, I'd argue that Eldar gods never did, and would think that the Warp was always a "bad place". Case in point, though somewhat outdated now: old fluff talks about the Eldar gods having interactions with the C'Tan named the Deceiver, but in old fluff the Warp was anathema to the C'Tan and the C'Tan could no travel there.

Or perhaps the Eldar gods simply traveled between dimensions with much more freedom than any others. Afterall, the C'Tan were restricted to the material realm, and never had the option to travel to the Warp. On the other side of the coin, the Chaos gods are also restricted to the Warp, where they exist as both rather nebulous concepts, as well as persons in their own right. Yet Khorne doesn't really make appearances to the material realm. He doesn't take vacations to Mars. Instead, portions of his personality are manifested to the material realm as lesser daemons (well, lesser than Khorne). So, the way the two fought between themselves was not directly. There were no slug-fest between the Nightbringer and Khorne, because that was impossible. So, instead, the C'Tan (in old fluff) "fought" against the Chaos gods through attempts to close off the Warp.

So, in that way, Eldar gods were "their own thing", as different from the Chaos gods as the Chaos gods were different from the C'Tan because they either seemed to travel between the realms freely or (and this is my theory), they existed in their own place. And of course, and I cannot emphasize this enough, that's even if the Eldar gods existed as actual "gods" at all.

Part of the Eldar thing (being elves and such) is that they are supposed to talk entirely in metaphors and poetry. So, Eldar gods might not have ever been actual beings, but simply stories and parables that occurred to the Eldar race manifested as anthropomorphic entities. Interpreting Eldar stories to be literally talking about "gods" might just be our human interpretation.

As for the Emperor: while he was never as powerful as he was during his 30k period, the guy was always the mover and shaker of the world, changing the paths of destiny every time he surfaced. It rather changes depending on the story, but sometimes he's immortal and sometimes he's mortal and resurrects here and there. But his power does not manifest from the faith of his followers; he was most powerful at a time when he was discouraging such worship among humankind.

Really, only the Warp and its creatures are fueled by following and faith.
 

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Interrogator-Chaplain
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Nah, the idea that a god has to be omnipotent and all powerful is actually pretty new, and localized primarily to the Jewish->Christian->Muslim faiths, and the few alternative monotheists. If you look at the a lot of the older religions, particularly the pantheist belief systems (multiple gods), you realize that they are all very similar to the Warhammer "gods". The "big three" of Classical History would be the Greek/Roman Pantheon, and the Celtic/Nordic pantheon. When you look at gods like Zeuss/Jupiter or Thor, they are "king gods" and still aren't omnipotent. The other gods can play tricks upon them, and there are limitations to their powers, even over the mortal world.

Also, the Warp always existed, and the Eldar Gods did indeed have ties to it. I'm not positive how the Old Ones factor in to 40k lore, but I know that in Fantasy, they are the ones who opened the rift between the Warp and Reality. For the Eldar Gods, the hubris of the Eldar eventually led to the birth of Slaanesh - it can be assumed that the Eldar gods were created the same way, that Slaanesh is essentially the Eldar god of excess.

I have always viewed the 40k and Fantasy mythology to be one of faith. In Fantasy, Sigmar = Emperor. He was "just a guy" at the start of his life, but rises to become something more because eventually the entire realm came to believe that he was more than human. Where the Chaos Gods thrive on lack of faith - fueled by raw emotion and base desires - the other gods are created because enough people believe in them. Very similar to Douglas Adams' "Hitchhikers Trilogoy", when he explains that God died in a puff of reason once the world collectively stopped believing in him.

Actually no, the Greek/Roman gods were omnipotent. There is an ancient story (forgive me I forget the names now) of a Greek king that he actually wanted to put it to the test. He killed his own son and invited the gods to a feast of stew (the stew beeen made by his own sons corpse). The gods used their powers to make him forget the fact, resulting in him eating his son, realising it and going irrevocably mad.
 

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God's nutcase
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So, in that way, Eldar gods were "their own thing", as different from the Chaos gods as the Chaos gods were different from the C'Tan because they either seemed to travel between the realms freely or (and this is my theory), they existed in their own place. And of course, and I cannot emphasize this enough, that's even if the Eldar gods existed as actual "gods" at all.

Part of the Eldar thing (being elves and such) is that they are supposed to talk entirely in metaphors and poetry. So, Eldar gods might not have ever been actual beings, but simply stories and parables that occurred to the Eldar race manifested as anthropomorphic entities. Interpreting Eldar stories to be literally talking about "gods" might just be our human interpretation.
This is possible, but given the conflation between the C'tan and the various stages of the Eldar mythical cycle, combined with some hints at Eldanesh and Ulthanesh being almost the "founding fathers" of the Eldar and the general stance that the Old Ones didn't have much Warp capability themselves so they built races that did, I see the Eldar gods as being sentient weapons that gained a little too much autonomy, and spiralled further out of control once the Old Ones fell.
 
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