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Horus Heresy What If...

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Premise: what if the loyal legions of the Imperium were the ones to fall to Chaos and the Chaos Legions actually stayed loyal to humanity during the Horus Heresy? What would things look like?

Concept: the Emperor's grand plan was to sacrifice humanity so that he might become a fifth god of Chaos. The Emperor sought to lure Horus down the path of corruption but he saw through his schemes. Rallying the other Primarchs who had not been corrupted by their father, Horus lead the civil war against the Imperium. At the siege of Terra Horus lowered his ship's shields in a desperate bid to lure the Emperor into attacking him and distracting him from the Emperor's plan. Horus duels the Emperor but is killed, not before mortally wounding the Emperor. With the Emperor dying the "loyalists" abandon Terra, leaving Horus's forces triumphant. The Emperor is imprisoned in the Golden Throne where thousands of psychers are sacrificed to keep him chained. The Imperium is largely ignorant to what really happened as the narrative was spun that Horus tried to rescue the Emperor from the "traitors" he was surrounded by. This was necessary as the Emperor is pivotal for Warp travel in the Imperium.

What do the legions look like? How do the different personalities of the Primarchs effect the galaxy with their places switched? What "loyalist" legions fall to worshipping the individual gods of Chaos?

Edited by Skaorn, 07 September 2021 - 12:54 PM.

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Machine God

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It's been done on the Bolter & Chainsword.


Search for the Dornian Heresy.

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Dornian Heresy is an interesting take but some of the choices feel forced in that every legion is switched sides.

In reality I think there were several Legions that were finely balanced but there were others that would be hard to see coming out any other way.
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Brother Lunkhead

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Dornian Heresy is an interesting take but some of the choices feel forced in that every legion is switched sides.

In reality I think there were several Legions that were finely balanced but there were others that would be hard to see coming out any other way.

I concuryes.gif


Flipping the 40Kverse on it's head is a tricky thing. In order to do this in an interesting and entertaining manner that draws the interest of fraters who are very invested in the conventional 40K lore (whether they admit it or not) you'll need a solid foundation to build your story on. Of course there are exceptions. Guns of the South by Harry Turtledove comes to mind. Here we have a "what if" time travelers from the future introduce AK-47's to the Confederate army during the American Civil War. The fact that it was well written allowed readers to forgive the flimsy premise, however it probably would not have survived beyond the one novel (Turtledove did revisit the theme of the South winning the Civil War in another series, but it was purely history based fiction). If you are truly invested in this premise, you should create a convincing backstory.


In the conventional 40K lore, the fallen Primarchs were set up from the beginning and Horus had to be broken over time to precipitate his fall. That doesn't imply that the fallen Primarchs were just bad to the core. After all, even Angron and Mortarian wanted to liberate the populace of their worlds from the tyranny of their rulers, but their personalities were very damaged by their circumstances. What if Angron had landed on Chogoris and Jaghatai Khan on Nuceria? What if Perturabo had been sent to Macragge and Guilliman to Olympia. How would these different environments have reshaped these Primarchs. What about the Emperor? Even in the current lore, the Chaos narrative that the Emperor was just using humanity to transform himself into a chaos deity is built on a foundation of sand. What would he have done differently over the millennia to try to bring this to pass?


These are things you might want to consider while developing your narrative.  I'll be interested to see what you do with this. Good luck with your projectthumbsup.gif

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