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|This article contains something which makes absolutely no logical sense, such as Nazi Zombie Mercenaries, Fucking Space Orangutans, anything written by a certain Irish leper or Robin Crud-ace, Matt Ward creating (against all odds) a codex that isn't completely broken on every level. If you proceed, consider yourself warned.|
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Expect huge amounts of derp and rage, punctuated by /tg/ extracting humor from it.
|This article or section is about a topic that is particularly prone to Skub (that is, really loud and/or stupid arguments). Edit at your own risk, and read with a grain of salt, as skubby subjects have a bad habit of causing stupid, even in neutrals trying to summarize the situation.|
"In the Grim Darkness of the 41st Millennium, not even the Emperor of Mankind is safe from the horrors of Child Custody."
- – Erda in a nutshell.
- – Some anon's description of Saturnine.
- – The Emperor of Mankind
"All this over a family squabble."
- – The Bullet Farmer, Mad Max: Fury Road
Woo boy! Where do we begin. First appearing in the Horus Heresy novel: Saturnine (
an overall good novel not really I gave it a 5/10 It was OK review), Erda (Old High German for Earth. Get it? Mother Earth...) is a Perpetual who used to be one of the Emprah's most closest allies/fuckbuddy. Some Heretics even believe that she was Big E's first and only girlfriend/waifu/onahole/babyfactory throughout the aeons. Whether or not E-Money actually fertilised Mother Earth with his big, throbbing Power Sword, we have no idea, but we do know that Erda would have had the Galaxy's strongest ovaries to handle the genetic makeup of Big E's manly bits. DUN DUN DUN! Yes, Erda is the Primarch's mummy, not sure how Big Bobby G's foster mom, Tarasha Euten, is gonna feel about this. Maybe we can get them on Jeremy Kyle?!
A warning on what you are about to read: with the release of Saturnine, her entire backstory has caused Skub and Nerd Rage on a scale not seen since Matt Ward's Ultramarine Fanwank and Grey Knight Power Scaling. You have been warned.
Proof that Abnett isn’t perfect, if the cabal arc hadn’t already driven that home.
For all intents and purposes, as a Perpetual, Erda was one of the oldest living beings in the Imperium. She met the Emprah in Terra's ancient past when he was a warlord king known as Neoth in the age of the First Cities. At that time, the Golden Daddy was already shepherding Mankind into the path that would lead to the creation of the Imperium. Erda grew the hots for him and we can't really fault her for this because any normal women could not resist that guy. I mean, just look at that hair and those pecs... Aaaannnyways, Erda became one of the Emprah's closest and most loyal advisers and, during the Unification Wars, was his chief geneticist along with Astarte in the creation of the Primarch project.
However, this is where the true Skub begins. While it makes sense that the Emprah has chosen Erda as the Primarch's mom due to the fact that they are both Perpetuals and their genetics complement each other, Big-E prevented Erda from taking part in their lives so he could prepare them for the upcoming Great Crusade. This understandably pissed off Erda to no end as anyone with an overbearing mum would understand. On the other hand, she was horrified of the idea that her sons would be used by the Emperor as
automaton-like yes-men (Horus, raised by the Emperor, was anything but a yes-man even before his rebellion) as generals of the Astartes legions (and guides for the normal humans to greatness), especially as he and Malcador were all but disowned by the other Perpetuals as fringe radicals who were pushing the evolutionary envelope too fast to guide mankind's evolution into a superior species. Apparently she was one of the last to leave his inner circle. Even though the Emperor was the only one with the power and skill to see visions of what humanity had to do in order to survive. Which would mean the other Perpetuals were total morons who wanted to take it slow despite knowing that humanity didn't have time for that. To say nothing of the countless, powerful threats the Perpetuals doubtless knew were out there preying on or would plague humanity. I mean, heck, look at the difficulties encountered by the Great Crusade. Were these people completely retarded?
Because God forbid your children be raised by you to instead to be responsible adults, live a future of glory, and in the lap of luxury and immortality. Why, surely no mother would ever want that for their kids!
Unfortunately for all of us, Erda's way of 'saving' her children involved the creation of a Warp vortex which scattered the Primarchs across the galaxy. Yes, turns out it wasn't the interference of those Warp Goblins that scattered the Primarchs, but the action of a woman. This essentially means that rather than this fucktard ruining everything, humanity was doomed and its future stolen by a woman, again. It was an act of such idiocy and lunacy that by 'saving' the Primarchs from the Emprah, it condemned some of them to a childhood worse than death. One wonders how the likes of Angron and Mortarion are gonna react to this revelation. Not to mention Konrad Curze and the Lion. Due to this, Erda officially wins the Galaxy's worst Mom award and seeing as how some like to chastise the Big-E as being a shitty father, maybe those two truly deserve each other in the end. Ironically, judging from his raising of Horus, the Emperor was actually a very good father. It's just that when he met his other sons, they were already fully grown adults and totally foreign to him. However, in the Valdor novel it is stated that residual Chaos energy could be sensed in the room, making it plausible that Erda simply lowered the shield and let the Four do the heavy lifting. If that's the case though, then fuck, Space-Karen's offence becomes all the more unforgivable, given that she knows enough about Chaos to understand its corrupting nature. What a bitch. Also, Chaos is a frequent part of the Warp, which means the presence of the Warp will often be Chaotic and so whether Chaos was involved or not is still both debatable and likely irrelevant.
That is a big part of the skub. Not only is it a stupid move, it is redundant. Chaos already had the means and motive to scatter the primarchs. Both Horus and Argel Tal were even shown visions of them going back in time to be the agents of Chaos that did it, with Argel Tal's vision implied to have maybe actually happened. Welp, with the release of The Siege Of Terra: Warhawk, it's been confirmed from the lips of Erebus him-motherfucking-self that actually, yeah, Erda did it. What Horus and Argel Tal were shown in the Warp by the Ruinous Powers and daemons respectively was a lie. Shock. Even going so far as to reveal that "the scattering wouldn't have been possible without your [Erda's] intervention," and Erebus makes it very clear that the Chaos Gods are REEEAL glad that she did, but that they apparently aren't sure WHY she did it. For all that Erebus thrives on deception, we can probably believe him on this one. What does it say about your decision-making skills when the Ruinous Powers themselves effectively say your plan was silly? Even the Chaos Gods aren't so crazy as a woman refusing to accept she's wrong and that the man in charge isn't evil for giving his kids a luxurious and glorious future. Oh! And then she even has the shitting gall to claim that actually, it wasn't her fault what happened to the primarchs and those that fell to Chaos have only themselves and Big-E to blame. Just like a woman... For all that they disagree with Daddy on many things, Konrad, Angron, and Mortarion in particular would likely take a rather dim view of that assertion. As indeed would anyone who values cause and effect or observable reality. Jesus of Christ. Worst. Mom. EVER. Though she gets a bit of comeuppance when Erebus attacks her with some kind of Psi-mind-rape, and floods her consciousness with the truth of the consequences of her actions, making it very clear to her that this was HER fault; she had just come off an engagement with 4 greater daemons that she killed fairly easily, and which were even implied to have been true deaths (a prospect made even more likely if she had utilized Enuncia), but Erebus' attack brought her to her knees as the sheer horror of the truth, it's magnitude, and the consequences of what she'd done was laid bare.
It gets even funnier though because more than a few of the Primarchs thought that the Scattering was deliberate on the part of the Emperor. If only they knew...
And so it was that now, very late in the series, after the Cabal arc was dead, we get her helping forge the setting by being a bad mom on a galactic scale. While perhaps not to the same level as say, the Old Ones being dicks to the Necrontyr, setting in motion the War In Heaven, which ultimately would result in both the birth of Chaos and the rise of the C'tan, thus forming 40k's bedrock, Erda's bullshittery still literally imperiled the very survival of mankind as a whole. What a TWEEST!
After Erda pulled an oopsy, she then went into hiding for many years. E-Money understandably, had the mother of all God rage, but strangely enough, he never sought to retaliate against Erda (possibly having figured out through divination that the current timeline of eternal stalemate and war was the only option), even when he knew where she was. Or maybe he just uncharacteristically forgave her due to his love of playing favourites. By the time of the Siege of Terra, Erda was living in exile at Guelb, an ancient site in Mauritania close to her birthplace, with a group of servants and even her own personal Space Marine called Leetu. Leetu claimed to be an original Astartes predating the creation of the Legions and the diversification of the Gene-seed that came with the Primarch project; an odd statement since other lore claims that the Dark Angels were the baseline and the other Legions had their gene-seed cultivated from modified DA stuff, guess DA was the more refined basis. Alternatively, he could just as easily be an unrefined prototype much in the way that Cawl's Primaris prototype, Alpha Primus, is in the current era. His name comes from "LE 2", which might mean "Legion Two" and trigger our missing Primarch sensors but is really a reference to the prototype Space Marine miniature.
She was eventually visited by John Grammaticus doing his best Nathan Drake impression. Grammaticus sought Erda's help in getting into the Imperial Palace and had also arranged to rendezvous with Oll Persson at her home. Erda was shocked to hear that Oll had become involved in the affairs of the Human race again, and expressed worry over his fate when he did not arrive. Though sympathetic to John's cause she ultimately said she had no way to help him enter the Palace due to, you know, a certain couple's quarrel. In Warhawk, Erebus visits her to convince her to join Chaos because of...reasons. Seriously, Erebus just...appears out of nowhere. How that Dick knew about Erda or why he was even remotely interested in that dumb broad, we have no clue. Predictably, she says no and gets jumped by 4 Greater Daemons and wins due to super-special-psychic-mumbo-jumbo™ Bullshit and/or utilizing Enuncia (specifically, she transformed into a knockoff of the Wiccan Triple Goddess), but was severely wounded in the process by Erebus. He tells her again but this time, to worship him if she wants to live. She spits at him, which predictably leads to Erebus poking her face with the Athame, killing her...sort of, it cuts off before the finishing blow. Overall, pretty fucking lame way to go on both parties, both from Erebus thinking a 48,000 year old Karen would help in anyway to the Heresy and for Erda in getting punt to the face. So yeah, Erda came and went, which again asks the question on what was the point of her existence if you give her less screen time than fucking Calliphone!?
Thank you Dan Abnett, for this fine addition to the established story. Why Chris Wraight was allowed to kill her off we can only guess. Though at least 99.95% of the fandom are hoping her death sticks. Unfortunately, that might prove unlikely since truly killing a perpetual makes truly killing a daemon look like a mundane task, and Erebus only used his athame; and while ordinarily a formidable pokey-stick, multiple previous books in the Horus Heresy have pretty firmly established that (unless your name is Magnus or you're Big-E himself) to permakill a Perpetual requires fulgurite. Indeed, one book in particular, Old Earth, has an entire B-Plot about this very topic, and suffice it to say that if it had been as simple as acquiring an athame, that would have been a much shorter book. Nor indeed would this be the first time Erebus prematurely declared victory. Add to that, there's also the unfortunate aside that Erebus apparently "killed" her offscreen, which is so often a narrative copout (and a blatant one at that) to provide an opening for an easy possible return at some point later on in the future of the story. BUT even if she doesn't stay dead, there's NO need to show the readers that. If nothing else, it provides an out. Thank fuck. Say that she got wounded enough to also be interned like the Emperor and she directs some esoteric function personally or something and leave it at that. On the other-hand, the athame is a Nurgle artifact and so perhaps could rot her soul or cause an injury her power can't heal, leaving her unconscious and plagued by the horror of the future that is entirely her fault for being a self-righteous bitch... Though considering fucking Guilliman was able to just shrug off an athame wound at the Battle of Calth, that might be a long shot. Erda's a little bit like Spock's half brother Sybok from Star Trek V; it happened, it's canon, but it's so outrageously stupid that everyone just pretends like it never happened. The only good reason to bring her back would be to have her to run into some sort of Konrad Curze ghost or Warp manifestation and have him do his usual thing...
Her addition is stupid, still I can see why Erebus would want someone linked to the Astartes and Primarch projects to help boost either production or quality of marines once the siege is over. Anyway she'll come back in a stupid ritual using her symbolic connection to attack/corrupt either the Emperor or the loyal Primarchs only for that loyalist Wordbearer with the fulgurite to use it to kill her for good instead of assassinating Lorgar.