The Truth is a Lie
No, it’s not a political post. It’s way more divisive than that.
So GW leaked part 3 of their
end times of 40k GATHERING STORM! THE LONG AWAITED DECISION TO ADVANCE THE STORY LINE. Guilliman, Cypher, and Grand Master Voldus. Fighting together. For the Imperium*. What’s that asterisk doing there? They are fighting for the Emperor. Why the hell is that struck through? What’s going on?
Oh. Ok. History lesson time.
So back during the Great Crusade the Emperor was promulgating something called the Imperial Truth. The Imperial Truth is a very strict ideology based on secular beliefs and tied to a rational process for explaining phenomenon. There was no religion in the Empire. There were no gods, no demons, no magic. There was, of course, a problem with this. There ARE gods, there ARE demons and there IS magic. The Imperial Truth was a device created by the Emperor to destroy the Ruinous Powers. Basically if no one worships them, they lose power. The idea of the Imperium was to cover the galaxy in humans to the point where xenos races might as well not exist (and soon wouldn’t) and humans didn’t believe in anything other than things with strict, rational explanations.
Unsurprisingly the Chaos Gods objected. Rather strongly. The end result of this strenuous objection was the Horus Heresy. Whoever won, the Imperial Truth lost. Hard. The Ecclesiarchy was on the rise almost before the Emperor’s ass hit the Golden Throne. It went so far that the Imperial Truth was quickly replaced by The Imperial Creed. The Lectitio Divinatus was rising even as the Heresy started. Now the Ecclesiarchy dominates Imperial politics through a strict religious creed based on “The Emperor Protects” and “Worship the God-Emperor of Mankind!”
So Guilliman and Cypher were alive back in the Crusade Era. They remember the Imperial Truth, and many other truths. And they understand its importance. What they may not understand is the importance of the Imperial Creed. As I mentioned earlier, the goal of the Imperial Truth was basically to starve the ruinous powers of worship. To “kill” the Chaos Gods by letting them wither on the vine. The Chaos Gods aren’t going anywhere. They are widely worshipped and have large and powerful armies in the form of the Chaos Legions to “recruit” followers. So the Imperium has its own “God”. Whatever the Emperor wanted, the spirit of the Emperor has become not just the literal guiding light of the Imperium, but also the psychic shield behind which humanity crouches to defend itself. Without that shield the Imperium would be in a lot of trouble.
So Guilliman is back, and with him Cypher and Voldus. Honestly Voldus is a bit of a puzzle to me. He’s a really minor player where Guilliman and Cypher are huge pieces of the lore. Guilliman literally wrote the book on space marines, and Cypher probably has a weekly game of cards with Cegorach to trade tricks and pranks. But why are they on the same side? The Fallen Dark Angels have pretty conclusively been shown in league with Chaos right? Well… yes and no. A significant number of them were worshippers, and Luther fell and became a Demon Prince, but many of them were just disgusted as what they saw as mistreatment at the hands of the Lion, and then got caught up in a battle when Chaos worshippers opened fire on the Lion’s fleet. Cypher apparently represents loyalists to not only the Dark Angels Legion (as opposed to the Unforgiven) but also to the Imperial Truth. Guilliman would be, frankly, enraged, to see what has happened. He wrote the Codex Astartes as guidelines. In fact he’d written much of them before the Heresy and then put his captains and chapter masters through simulated battles to teach them to go beyond them in thought and deed. You see….
So to find the Smurf Brigade being basically thoughtless automatons, enslaved by the codex will make him unhappy. Oh and the fact that they are RELIGIOUS FANATICS to boot will be… well. Incendiary.
Fortunately for him the Smurfs are also obediant as a well trained dog so I’m fairly sure that all 500 Smurf-based chapters will be breaking out the blue paint and singing
hymns SONGS! SONGS of joy at the return of their beloved Primarch.
Where does this leave the Imperial Creed though? They certainly won’t be agreeing much with the Creed, the Ecclesiarchy or even the Inquisition. Guilliman is a pragmatist at heart but he also wants to, you know, win. You can hold off the Chaos Gods with faith in your own Chaos God as it were, but to beat them, you need the Imperial Truth. Cypher certainly understands this, and rumor has it that a good portion of the Dark Angels will paint their armor black and be following him.
But other Dark Angels won’t. This leads me to believe that in 8th edition, once the dust settles from not-the-end-times, we will end up with two “Imperial” Factions. Creedists and Truthers. Creedists will be centered on the Ecclasiarchy, most of the Inquisition, and the Adeptus Mechanicus, and be based out of Terra. I suspect that the Lion or Russ will be their Primarch (The Lion might also get killed during the Gathering Storm, which would make me very unhappy) and many chapters focused more on faith will be gathered to them. The Fists (Crimson and Imperial), the Space Wolves, Black Templar, the Asmodai faction of the Unforgiven (Dark Angels and their descendents that don’t follow Cypher) Iron Hands (who are just there for the AdMech) and Blood Angels.
Truthers will be more interesting. And also make me regret painting my Dark Angels green, I suspect. They will be centered on Guilliman, who will start YET ANOTHER IMPERIUM. Yes he has done it before. His smurf legions will be the center but other, more secular legions and their descendents will be in the fold. The Cypher faction of the Unforgiven (the Forgiven? The None-of-your-fucking-business-whether-we’ve-been-forgiven?) the Salamanders, Raven Guard, and probably the White Scars, and maybe the Alpha Legion. No I’m not kidding. I would be totally unsurprised if they came back to the Imperial Truth (NOT the Imperial Creed) and other legions could come over as well. The Iron Warriors spring to mind. Basically any legion that rebelled against the Emperor, but not in support of the Ruinous powers would probably see a lot to gain by leaving behind the corrupting influences of Chaos.
This would be amazing. It would also make Imperial factions much more interesting. And more dynamic. Does Guilliman become accepting of the Tau? Does Eldrad and his new pet God of Death try to work with the Ecclesiarchy? Do we end up with two inquisitions? I could actually see the Grey Knights going more for the Truth than the Creed. Again, battles are fought to be won, and the Imperial Creed is a big factor in the stagnation that has taken over the Imperium. I’m not saying this is the way things are going, but this is what I smell from the rumors.