The Big Warhammer 40,000 Preview – What We Want To See: Part 3
I’m really looking forward to the Warhammer 40,000 preview on Saturday, but more than just the thrill of seeing a whole load of new miniatures I have to admit this time I’m probably more excited about what we may learn regarding the development of the overall Warhammer 40,000 narrative…
If we look back over the last three to four years, there has been a lot of change to the Warhammer 40,000 universe (arguably more change than the previous 10-20 years combined!). We’ve had the return of the Primarchs, the fall of Cadia, the Galaxy dividing Cicatrix Maledictum to name but a couple of stand out developments. It’s fair to say that the age old status-quo that existed in the Warhammer 40,000 setting for such a long period of time and through several editions of the game has definetly shifted during 8th edition.
In addition to these plot developments we’ve also been treated to some fantastic rules suplements and miniature releases recently. The game feels much bigger nowadays with Games Workshop better supporting a lot of what used to be considered fringe factions (such as the Admech, Harelquins, Genestealer Cults and Sisters of Battle). The promotion of these long neglected factions to the forefront of the current Warhammer 40,000 story arc has enabled Games Workshop to move away from the tried and tested Space Marines vs Chaos Space Marines narrative that we have seen play out across numerous Black Crusades over the years (but to little advancement of the 40,000 setting) and allowed them to start writing new story arc and make drastic changes to the setting such as the destruction of Cadia or the fall of the Biel-Tan Craftworld!
So all this has me really excited to see what will happen in the next chapter of Warhammer 40,000, and I think we will get a glimpse of this in the preview on Saturaday. So what do I think we’ll see….
The Return of the Silent King
Well I think this is a no brainer really 🙂 We were treated to a really cool teaser trailer a week a go which strongly hinted at the return of a character who is pretty much a Necron version of the Emperor of Mankind.
I think it goes without saying we’re going to be treated to some excellent new Necron kits at some point in the near future but what will the return of such a powerful entity mean for the Warhammer 40,000 setting? By all accounts the Silent King was a formidable foe, beyond even the Aeldari at the height of their power. For such a long time the Imperium has endured against the xenos menace whilst simultaneously holding the Cadian Gate against the forces of Chaos. Sure there have been Tyranid invasions, several wars for Armageddon and number of Black Crusades but as mentioned earlier, this status-quo never really changed…
But things are different now…there is no longer a Cadian Gate, the Imperium is now literally divided and the Demi-God Primarchs are abroad once again in the Galaxy. I’m hoping this next chapter of the Warhammer 40,000 story will focus heavily on this Silent King character and we’re about to witness the beginning of another Galaxy upheaving event on scale in line with those we saw in the Gathering Storm narrative…
The Emperor and the Dragon
There is perhaps only one entity who could conceivably contend with the Silent King and that is the Emperor of Mankind himself. I’ve been enjoying the Warhammer 40,000 setting for about 25 years now but barring some excellent Horus Heresy novels, the Emperor has only ever really existed as a remote and distant idea in the current setting. We all know he is there, confined to his Golden Throne on Terra since the dying days of the Heresy. This whole concept has been fixed into the lore with very little change over the years…but as we’ve seen recently, the status-quo that has existed for so long is perhaps not so sacred any longer. Will the Emperor play a more active role in this next chapter of the Warhammer 40,000 story…or will he be finally fail altogether (I think I can hear the Inquisition at the door…)
The Emperor himself also has a history with the C’tan. The Horus Heresy novel Mechanicum contains some excellent stories describing the Emperor’s battle against The Dragon and it’s subsequent imprisonment on Mars. If the focus of Warhammer 40,000 does indeed move towards the Silent King as the main antagonist then I wonder if we will see as development of this plot thread. The Silent King will not have forgiven the C’tan for their part in the destruction of the Necrontyr race, perhaps The Dragon will awaken and escape from his captivity at the Silent King’s approach? I expect it will need an army of devoted followers if it is to stand any hope of staying the Silent King’s wrath and perhaps the Admech of Mars’ loyality to the Omnissiah on Terra will be truly tested in the near future?
The Return of the Old Ones
Ancient foes of the Silent King and Necrontyr, the Old Ones were finally defeated following the Necrontyr’s transformation into the immortal Necron race. The Old Ones left behind many younger races in their wake such as the Aeldari and also such wonders as the Webway (a creation that the Emperor himself sought to exploit for Mankind’s benefit).
The question is, were the Old Ones really destroyed or did they only flee into exile in order to escape their doom? Certainly we know that the Aeldari Gods existed (and some stilll do – Cegorach the Laughing God). but there remain lots of unanswered questions – are they one and the same, do they endure still? It would be really cool to see this whole section of background developed further and I can’t think of a better opportunity than with the return of the Silent King himself. It was an Aeldari God that aided the resurection of a Primarch during The Gathering Storm story arc and I wonder whether we could see the Old Ones return and seek to resurect the Emperor himself?
Although many are ignorant to the threat the Necrons and their Silent King pose there are some among the Aeldari who have remained ever vigilent over the millienia. The Alaitoc Craftworlders and Harlequins have ever sought to waylay the awakening of Necron Tombworlds but there is another group of Aeldari that could perhaps be developed futher in light of these new plot developments – The Exodites. These Aeldari are said to more closely resemble those ancient pre-fall Eldar. If the legends are true and the Old Ones created the Aeldari to fight against the Necrons during the War in Heaven then I wonder whether the armies of the Exodites would closely resemble those same armies that fought in this ancient conflict. Perhaps the Exodites remember better than most how to fight the Necrons, perhaps they even possess mighty relics of the Old Ones themselves? Maybe the the other races of the Galaxy will seek to acquire such relics in their own wars against the Necrons and in doing so draw the ever reclusive Exodites into the forefront of the Warhammer 40,000 setting?
So there you have it, my wishlist of what I’d really like to see a glimpse of during the Warhammer 40,000 preview. Not long to wait and we’ll be able to see whether any of the Sprues and Brews team were on the money 🙂