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Emperor of Mankind

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Emperor of Mankind by genzoman

The Emperor before the Horus Heresy.

Emperor Upon Throne

The Emperor, as he appears now.

The Emperor of Mankind is the master of the Imperium of Man in Warhammer 40k. Referred to by the Chaos gods and daemons of the Warp as "the Anathema" and by humanity's Ecclesiarchal Cult as the God-Emperor of Mankind (among other titles), he is the ruling monarch of humanity. Once immortal, he gave it up in battle with his son, Horus Lupercal, also known as the Warmaster, to save humanity from its greatest enemy, the powers of Chaos that had corrupted Horus. Now he is a decaying corpse, seated forever on the Golden Throne in the middle of his palace on Terra, originally known as Earth, kept alive by the machinery the powered the Throne and the souls of those killed in his name all across the galaxy. Although he was, and technically still is, immortal, he claimed that he is just a man. This didn't stop cults, the largest being the future Ecclesiarchy, known as the Lectitio Divinitatus, from assuming as such.


The Emperor was born during the 8th Millenium BC, back when the three gods of Chaos (Slaanesh had not yet been born) hadn't reached their full power, in ancient central Anatolia (modern-day Turkey). He was created by the shamans of ancient Earth to keep them alive, as they were being devoured by daemons instead of reincarnating when they died and without them humanity would turn to Chaos. As each shaman died, their soul entered the Warp, until so many had overwhelmed the hungry daemons and created the future Emperor's soul. A year later, a family of Anatolian farmers had a child who possessed this soul. The collective souls of the shamans had granted the Emperor immortality and powerful psychic abilities, or magic as it was known at the time. He used these powers, under different names from human myth and history, to lead humanity to greatness and to protect it from the warp. Most of his history is unknown before the 30th Millenium AD, whereupon he became the Emperor and led humanity, first in the Unification Wars of Terra and then on the Great Crusade, where he set out to conquer the galaxy for humanity. He stopped fighting during the 35th Millenium, before the Horus Heresy, where he named his son Horus Lupercal the warmaster, leader of humanity's armies for the rest of the Great Crusade. His other 17 sons each had their own thoughts about Horus' new title, but ultimately followed his command. During the 36th Millenium, his son Horus would be corrupted and he would return to the battlefield, only to be mortally wounded by Horus after witnessing the death of his other son and Horus' brother Sanguinius. He won the battle in the end, but would be forced to spend the remainder of his life on the Golden Throne, where he'd slowly decay into nothing more than the seated corpse at the top of this page.

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