Shadow of the Reach
Emperor of Mankind
“The Emperor Protects…” — The Lectitio Divinitatus
The Emperor of Mankind is the immortal ruling monarch of the Imperium of Man, and is described by the Imperial Ecclesiarchy and the Imperial Cult as the Father, Guardian and God of humanity. The Chaos Gods and the daemons of the Warp refer to him as “the Anathema” for he is the greatest embodiment of universal Order in the galaxy today. He has sat immobile, his body slowly crumbling, within the Golden Throne of Terra for over 10,000 standard years. Although once a living man, his shattered, decaying body can no longer support life, and it is kept intact only by the cybernetic mechanisms of the Golden Throne and a potent mind itself sustained by the daily sacrifice of thousands of lives. The Emperor chose to sacrifice his immortal life at the end of the Horus Heresy in the service and protection of Mankind. To humanity’s countless trillions across the galaxy-spanning Imperium, he is nothing less than a God. Through his Imperium, Mankind is united and remains one of the most powerful intelligent races in the Milky Way Galaxy as well as its most dominant in terms of both population and territory held. United under one government, Mankind is able to survive the myriad deadly threats it faces from aliens, the Forces of Chaos and the Traitors, Heretics and mutants that lie within the Imperium’s boundaries. The Imperium’s rule, carried on in the Emperor’s name since the end of the Horus Heresy by the High Lords of Terra and a multitude of Imperial organizations, has been long, oppressive and necessarily harsh. It has also resulted in technological and cultural stagnation, and a regression into tyranny, superstition and religious obfuscation and intolerance that would have horrified the Emperor.
Though he is no longer responsive to external stimuli, the Emperor still lies at the very heart of the Imperium’s continued existence. Although he cannot be directly involved in the day-to-day running of humanity’s galactic government, his existence on the Golden Throne is vital to sustaining the Imperium, since his powerful mind’s presence in the Immaterium maintains and directs the Astronomican, the psychic beacon that makes possible faster-than-light Warp travel and is vital to Imperial shipping, transportation, commerce and communication. He is said to guide his race through the psychically-reactive divination tool known as the Emperor’s Tarot, which select psykers can consult to gain a glimpse of the future and the Emperor’s will. He is also said to constantly battle the Chaos Gods in the Warp and prevent their further intrusion upon the material universe. His mind must remain vigilant at all times throughout the entire Imperium to safeguard the human race and to offer his protection to the faithful. Above all else, it is Mankind’s collective belief in the Emperor’s divinity that serves as humanity’s greatest protection from Chaos and the other hideous dangers that plague the galaxy. As the Imperial Creed has taught for over 10,000 standard years, the Emperor protects…