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Author Topic: Why only 4 Chaos Gods?  (Read 6804 times)

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Offline lordjet

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Why only 4 Chaos Gods?
« on: March 13, 2007, 02:11:35 PM »
I know that there are supposedly minor Chaos Gods (or really powerful independent demons) but why arnt their other major Chaos Gods in the fluff?

I mean for example it is recognised in the fluff that the Necrons HATE living creatures. While you may argue that they are cut off from the warp, they cannot be completely or else they would all be like Pariahs. Therefore if the Necrons have been around since the Old Ones why hasnt all of their (and other races) hatred coalessed in the warp to form a new Chaos God? Sort of like Mephisto in the Diablo II game. Likewise why isnt their a Chaos God of Terror? You'd think that Khorne having been around slaughtering people for so long there would be a similar amount of terror to feed a new God.

Offline M_a_t_thew

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Re: Why only 4 Chaos Gods?
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2007, 02:30:52 PM »

why? cos that would be inconvenient for the people who write the fluff. they dont have to acheive logical consistency within the 40k universe, cos its theirs and they can do what they like.

nurgle was supposed to be created by the Black Death: the number of humans that were effected by the Black Death was numbered in millions, not billions, and humans were not even a particularly psychic race back then. why havent the countless billions of other inhabitants of the universe, some of whom are more psychically attuned than medieval humanity, not created major chaos gods for each and every event that appears cataclysmic to a few million of them? the answer: cos that would be complicated and clunky and inconvenient.

there was a fifth major chaos god: Malal. but he is not spoken of anymore, because of copyright issues.

'Hwaet, he on tha tid the he inne bith ne bith hrinen mid thy storme thaes wintres; ac thaet bith an eagan bryhtm and thaet laesste faec, ac he sona of wintra on thone winter eft cymeth'.

Offline Bumbles

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Re: Why only 4 Chaos Gods?
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2007, 06:53:45 PM »

why? cos that would be inconvenient for the people who write the fluff. they dont have to acheive logical consistency within the 40k universe, cos its theirs and they can do what they like.

nurgle was supposed to be created by the Black Death: the number of humans that were effected by the Black Death was numbered in millions, not billions, and humans were not even a particularly psychic race back then. why havent the countless billions of other inhabitants of the universe, some of whom are more psychically attuned than medieval humanity, not created major chaos gods for each and every event that appears cataclysmic to a few million of them? the answer: cos that would be complicated and clunky and inconvenient.

there was a fifth major chaos god: Malal. but he is not spoken of anymore, because of copyright issues.


Actually, there are TWO other Gods Malal and some other bloke whose name escapes me, but the wiki on him was rather interesting.

Offline Bellatrix the corset maker

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Re: Why only 4 Chaos Gods?
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2007, 07:27:25 PM »
i only ever heard of malal - but i liked him - the renegade who warred against the other.

was a nice counterpoint i felt.

wat were the copy right issues?
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Offline jkmoore

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Re: Why only 4 Chaos Gods?
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2007, 08:35:34 PM »
I know that there are supposedly minor Chaos Gods (or really powerful independent demons) but why arnt their other major Chaos Gods in the fluff?

I mean for example it is recognised in the fluff that the Necrons HATE living creatures. While you may argue that they are cut off from the warp, they cannot be completely or else they would all be like Pariahs. Therefore if the Necrons have been around since the Old Ones why hasnt all of their (and other races) hatred coalessed in the warp to form a new Chaos God? Sort of like Mephisto in the Diablo II game. Likewise why isnt their a Chaos God of Terror? You'd think that Khorne having been around slaughtering people for so long there would be a similar amount of terror to feed a new God.

They don't hate them. They fear them. Well, I guess that will result in another god whichever way you look at it.

As for why they didn't make new ones, it's simple:

Dey coo like dat.
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Re: Why only 4 Chaos Gods?
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2007, 10:16:16 PM »
Terror? that is close to Nurlge. Terror may lead to despair. Nurgle feeds on despair.

I think the four cover things pretty well. Hate, Pleasure, despair and erm..What ever it does Tzeentch is. All other emotions can bleed into what the four are. Minor gods I feel are like very power demon princes who think they are above the gods.
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Offline myles

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Re: Why only 4 Chaos Gods?
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2007, 11:10:50 PM »
nurgle was supposed to be created by the Black Death: the number of humans that were effected by the Black Death was numbered in millions, not billions, and humans were not even a particularly psychic race back then. why havent the countless billions of other inhabitants of the universe, some of whom are more psychically attuned than medieval humanity, not created major chaos gods for each and every event that appears cataclysmic to a few million of them? the answer: cos that would be complicated and clunky and inconvenient.

Wasn't that silly bit of humanocentric fluff retconned into oblivion, where it rightfully belongs?
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Offline Czar

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Re: Why only 4 Chaos Gods?
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2007, 10:06:44 PM »
Malal was written about in a comic or something, so the author and GW went their serperate ways and that's where the copyright issues come from. He was a pretty cool concept really - the most chaotic of the chaos gods, as in he just fought against them all. You could say he was the Chaos God of... Chaos! He's probably still alluded to, but not by name.

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Offline Sybarite24

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Re: Why only 4 Chaos Gods?
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2007, 10:51:53 PM »
Tzeentch is the God of Change.



As to why are there 4 major gods?  Well, because there are!  Who knows?  Why are there only 4 major oceans?  Because that's just the way it is.  Chaos aren't like the greeks with a god of war, fire, sheep, rocks, biscuits, etc.
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Offline Karynos

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Re: Why only 4 Chaos Gods?
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2007, 10:59:54 PM »
Well, there may not be other Chaos Gods, but there are other entities formed through major events, or the psychic personas of a race. For example, Eldar god Ynnead is forming now, the god of Eldar death. Then there are other entities that are arguably as powerful as gods, or have a huge psychic presence in the warp, such as the Hive Mind, or even the Emperor. However, the 4 Chaos Gods are mainstays of the dark side of sentient attitudes, made corrupted by the psychic energies of the races modified by the Old Ones. Major dark aspects are covered by the pantheon of 4.
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Offline Irandrura

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Re: Why only 4 Chaos Gods?
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2007, 11:35:03 PM »
Actually, there are TWO other Gods Malal and some other bloke whose name escapes me, but the wiki on him was rather interesting.

Something Rotten in Kislev, a WFRP adventure, mentioned two other gods of Chaos, Necoho and Zuvassin. You could assume their existence into 40k if you liked, and why not?

Zuvassin is the god of mischance and bad luck. He has no particular agenda, nor does he do anything really dramatic, he just makes little, irritating pieces of bad luck occur. This can have major consequences - say, a stray bullet hitting a general could change the course of an entire war. As you might expect, very few people seriously worship him.

Necoho is the god of atheism, which rightly sounds ridiculous. He's the patron of the lost or disenfranchised, the faithless and the bitter. His followers almost never actually worship him, due to being atheist and all, but he draws power from them nonetheless. The sort of people who go around putting bombs in cathedrals, that type of person. Necoho is, as you might expect, rather confused. His overall agenda is to destroy the gods and all religion. The WFRP adventure ended with the players destroying a temple to Necoho - the only temple to him in the entire world - which resulted in Necoho appearing to them and congratulating them for striking a blow against organised religion, while also quite annoyed at them for destroying his temple.

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Not yet. It can be rationalised to fit into the symbolic loss of innocence of mankind without completely destroying the metaphysics of the Warp, so I'd rather do that than just ignore it.
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Re: Why only 4 Chaos Gods?
« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2007, 12:25:15 AM »
i'm sure that FAntasy actually has numerous other gods of Chaos, but these are only seen as minor gods so there is still only the major 4 (/5 if you include Malal).

Also Malal was the god of conflict, rather than teh god of Chaos.
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Offline Kage2020

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Re: Why only 4 Chaos Gods?
« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2007, 09:17:18 AM »
Yet the 40k 'fluff' also has numerous Minor Powers of Chaos as described in the Realms of Chaos: The Lost and the Damned.  In fact there was even a random generation chart for them (GW seemingly favouring that for their more in-depth products).

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Offline M_a_t_thew

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Re: Why only 4 Chaos Gods?
« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2007, 09:36:17 AM »

Quote
Necoho is the god of atheism

sheesh. chaos is supposed to be anarchic going on evil, and someone at GW thought about it and decided that 'atheism' deserved to classed as such? what fine upstanding enlightenment position would they stigmatise next? the chaos god of democracy, perhaps?

bah. i'd not come across 'Something Rotten in Kislev' before, but its immediately been filed under 'annoying fluff'.

'Hwaet, he on tha tid the he inne bith ne bith hrinen mid thy storme thaes wintres; ac thaet bith an eagan bryhtm and thaet laesste faec, ac he sona of wintra on thone winter eft cymeth'.

Offline Locarno

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Re: Why only 4 Chaos Gods?
« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2007, 09:50:15 AM »
Malal was the god of conflict, but his 'emotional' aspect was hatred (especially grievance)

in a similar way:

Khorne=Rage
Nurgle=Despair
Slaanesh=Lust
Tzeench=Dissatisfaction & Curiosity (sounds bad. I can't really think of a one-word emotion that fits. 'Scheming-ness', maybe)

Remember that there are countless lesser powers, any of which can represent whatever you like. The line between the most powerful daemons and the lesser gods is a very blurred one.


As to why there are only 4 major chaos gods - they aren't gods in the classical 'we have always been and always will be' sense; they are a mirror to the physical universe; they were kindled initially by specific events and their nature mirrors the nature of those events - Slaanesh coming from the fall of the eldar, for example. Nurgle might have grown out of the social and emotional decay and despair resulting from the enslaver plague and collapse of society post war-in-heaven (for example - that's entirely my own idea for Nurgle's origin, but you get the concept).

A sufficiently turbulent event involving a majority of the psychically active galactic population can trigger the birth of a chaos god; the four there are imply there have been four such major events, and minor gods (i.e. those born of the warp, not greater daemon princes who were once mortal, even if their level of power may be comparable) may come from equivalent but smaller-scale events.

If you can stage the conditions right, creating a chaos god of biscuits could be quite possible.


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Offline Felix Faustus

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Re: Why only 4 Chaos Gods?
« Reply #15 on: March 16, 2007, 01:41:07 PM »
If you can stage the conditions right, creating a chaos god of biscuits could be quite possible.

Thats going in my sig  ;)

Well, as to Malal, he might be cut out of the fluff but he is still referred to often enough...or if not that - he is inferred.
If you can stage the conditions right, creating a chaos god of biscuits could be quite possible.

Offline M_a_t_thew

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Re: Why only 4 Chaos Gods?
« Reply #16 on: March 16, 2007, 02:31:21 PM »

one of my pet-theories is that cypher is a champion of malal. cypher tends to attract pet-theories though. as does malal.

so i guess i just put the two together.

'Hwaet, he on tha tid the he inne bith ne bith hrinen mid thy storme thaes wintres; ac thaet bith an eagan bryhtm and thaet laesste faec, ac he sona of wintra on thone winter eft cymeth'.

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Re: Why only 4 Chaos Gods?
« Reply #17 on: March 16, 2007, 02:36:47 PM »
Quote
sheesh. chaos is supposed to be anarchic going on evil, and someone at GW thought about it and decided that 'atheism' deserved to classed as such? what fine upstanding enlightenment position would they stigmatise next? the chaos god of democracy, perhaps?

Well, that's a more modern approach to the concept of Chaos. In the eighties, GW hadn't yet gone all-out on the concept of Chaos = Evil, especially in WFRP. Here's the definition the Chaos alignment from the WFRP rulebook anno 1986:

Quote
Chaotics stand for change; they believe that stability leads to stagnation, so that endless destruction and renewal is the only way to progress. They see all forms of social behaviour, natural order and physical permanence as a barrier to themselves and to the Chaos Gods...A Chaotic character can vary wildly between extremes of behaviour, sometimes even appearing to be Lawful or Good for a little while.

The whole concept of Chaos was still very close to the ideas of Michael Moorcock (whence the idea had originally come) with a dash of Cthulhu. Chaos was not inherently evil, it was simply utterly incomprehensible. It appears evil because it stands for never-ending change, destruction and renewal, which is antiethical to the desires of most sane, material beings.

Chaos filtered through the imperfect understanding and emotions of humans (and other, similar, sentient beings) results in its embodiment as a set of gods and godlings with a decidedly destructive bent, i.e. the Big Four of the Warhammer universe.

Something Rotten in Kislev simply runs with the original concept - that Chaos is full of unending possibilities, to the point of containing the seeds of its own destruction. Thus, Necoho - a god whose Chaotic nature manifests itself in a contradiction that should logically make his existence impossible: a deity who is against the whole idea of gods and religion. I always rather liked him, he's a very sympathetic chap, overall.  ;)


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Re: Why only 4 Chaos Gods?
« Reply #18 on: March 16, 2007, 02:41:35 PM »
Terror? that is close to Nurlge. Terror may lead to despair. Nurgle feeds on despair.

I think the four cover things pretty well. Hate, Pleasure, despair and erm..What ever it does Tzeentch is. All other emotions can bleed into what the four are. Minor gods I feel are like very power demon princes who think they are above the gods.
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Khorne: rage, anger
Nurgle: despair
Slaanesh: lust, pleasure
Tzeentch: hope, optimism.

Hope? i hear you cry, But surely hope is a good thing?

It is, but it can be perverted, which is the point of Tzeentch really.
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Offline M_a_t_thew

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Re: Why only 4 Chaos Gods?
« Reply #19 on: March 16, 2007, 02:55:54 PM »

Quote
Chaos was not inherently evil, it was simply utterly incomprehensible. It appears evil because it stands for never-ending change, destruction and renewal, which is antiethical to the desires of most sane, material beings.

thats interesting stuff. in 1986 i could just about read, but i wasnt reading WFRP fluff, so its new to me.

however, i can see how GW would have had a difficult time maintaining that subtlety when they mixed it with the medieval-church influences of 40k. in that context chaos has to take the role of satan, which tends to polarise things a bit.

'Hwaet, he on tha tid the he inne bith ne bith hrinen mid thy storme thaes wintres; ac thaet bith an eagan bryhtm and thaet laesste faec, ac he sona of wintra on thone winter eft cymeth'.

 


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