About 38,000 years before the Horus Heresy a collection of Shaman from various cultures gathered together and bound their souls into a single entity. Some reports say this was a mass suicide but besides the next part most of this is at best speculation. Result is that the Emperor is born in Anatolia (Turkey) about 3000 years before the pyramids are built. Almost from his birth he dedicates his life to the singular goal of defeating the powers of Chaos due to the nature of their relationship with mankind and human souls.
Not much is mentioned about the Emperor's role in the early stages of the human race but he is supposed to have guided humanity from behind the scenes to some degree. But he is mentioned about the middle ages in Libya to have defeated the C'tan god the void dragon as it was recovering from its sleep. How he was to perform the next step is not elaborated on but needless to say he took its carcass and entombed it on mars and set forth the process that would lead to the Mechanicum worshiping a figure they would call the Omnisiah.
The Emperor was in fact a very capable farseer who likely could read the future better than the Eldar despite what they might say, mostly due to their arrogance and fear of what they do not understand. Not to tangent to much but an objective look at his actions versus the abilities of a farseer will reveal this. His lack of foresight on the HH is a direct result of the interference of the Chaos gods on his ability to read the future. The four of them actually went out of their way to stir the warp up to block his vision of the Heresy. So it bears repeating that all four of the great powers went out of their way to block the foresight of a single individual.
I brought this last part up because the Emperor foresaw the coming of the Old Night and engineered the creation of the Standard Template Construct so that too much technology would not be lost. This is also the reason why he did not choose to rise to power at this time but rather wait until its all over.
So once warp travel was capable again the Emperor started his conquest of Terra with his Custodes Guard who were the first Space Marines that even the primarchs were based upon. (though at this time they were not referred to as Custodes Guard.) It was also in this time he put forth the idea of the Imperial Truth which is a bit of a riddle. Here is my take though. In order to better prepare mankind to deal with the powers of the warp the Emperor decided to hide them from humanity. To keep their very existence a secret as best he could, and as such he set forth the Imperial Truth with the hopes that mankind would explain away warp related activity through logical scientific means. By this point in his life it would be difficult for the Emperor not to understand what he himself was so denying his own godhood was likely one more link in his chain to deny the forces of chaos. Though ironically the Emperor fully embraced godhood with his creating the prophecy of his return to Mars as the Omnisiah.
The Emperor also was well aware of mankinds self destructive behavior which was why he did not unlock all the tech vaults on Terra and Mars. He understood the danger in advanced AI and some of the other more destructive human technology. This is why the fabricator general of Mars fell to chaos, because he did not understand why the Emperor was doing the things he did (a reoccurring theme to be sure.)
After the creation of the Primarchs and the start of the great crusade things get truly interesting. After fighting with his legions and recovering his lost sons the Emperor retired to his vaults on Terra and began work on the human webway. This of course would have been his ultimate triumph over the powers of Chaos as it would have removed humanities requirement to use the warp to travel between stars. However several of his policies began to backfire at this point and though a great figure he made some mistakes. He failed to prepare his primarchs to deal with Chaos and did not reveal its true nature to them fully. As such Horus was not prepared to fight against them when they targeted his soul. He also was clearly exhibiting certain aspects of his own divine nature at this time with people in the crusade able to tap into his spirit to fight the powers of the warp and perform "miracles." But again he took the approach that ignorance was the best method for dealing with the ruinous powers.
It was perhaps around this time he realized that the heresy was going to take place or at least he had some idea of a civil war. Else there would have been no reason for his sudden fortification of Terra. He still felt that his webway which was almost complete took priority over dealing with the civil war. Then Magnus due to his ignorance of the Emperors work cast a spell to warn him of Horus that shattered his webway portal momentarily and allowed the powers of the warp to invade the tunnel the Emperor had created with his mind from the eldar webway to Terra. This in the end was why Malcador was required to use the golden throne in the Emperors place.
Well during the conflict when the Emperor finally did engage Horus in battle aboard his flagship some have argued as to why he did not kill horus sooner but it was in his nature. The Emperor had acted in a fatherly manner for 50,000 years over the human race and Horus was the closest thing to a son he had ever allowed himself to have. He wanted desperately for Horus to be savable. Despite this when Horus flayed the Imperial Fist terminator alive with a glance the Emperor resolved himself to end it and destroyed the champion of the chaos gods with a single thought, erasing his soul entirely from the warp. But at this point he was already too wounded to survive without aid. Had Magnus not breached the webway the golden throne would have revived the Emperor to full but because his will was required to keep the daemons at bay the throne would simply prolong his suffering. But he was willing to do this to save mankind.
So my impressions after having read pretty well everything regarding the Emperor is this; he was a very noble individual who constantly gave of himself to ensure mankind's survival. He had all the flaws and talents that made up mankind and used them all to walk the thin line required between compassion and unforgiving violence to ensure mankind could survive in the galaxy. In mechanicum it reveals to what lengths the Emperor went and how difficult it was to keep humanity from falling off into the void. His single greatest flaw could have been the Imperial Truth. Mankind's misunderstanding the warp led to its downfall to it. Horus would likely have laughed in their faces had he truly known what he was dealing with. Not even Magnus knew what the ruinous powers were or were capable of.
Due to the manner of his creation and the powers he wielded he was almost without a doubt a god. The ability of other people even non-psycher's to channel his power is a pretty solid hint that his divinity was no mistake. Had Magnus not played with the warp (and again by proxy had the Emperor explained the warp to Magnus) the powers of Chaos would likely have been destroyed by the 41st millennium and a golden age would reign. But hey, that's no fun right?
So now the only question left is, will he ascend to true godhood when he dies or be reborn? Or perhaps simply die?
Well what do you think?
*edited to correct birthplace and dates* Thank you Tyrak, Anaraxes, and Sons of Horus.
Edited by Prathios, 28 April 2009 - 03:57 PM.