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The Great Crusade > Pre-Heresy Background Q&A > Duration of the Great Crusade

Title: Duration of the Great Crusade
Description: How long did it last?

Marcoos - November 19, 2012 10:38 PM (GMT)
Does anyone know exactly how long the Great Crusade lasted? Also what are the boundaries that define the GC?

For the start of the GC, is it the completion of the unification of Terra? The alliance with Mars? The launch of the first warp capable fleets?

For the end of the GC, presumably the start of the Heresy? But is this Istvaan III, Istvaan V or another key event?

Regarding the duration, I always had 200 years within my mind. However, it appears that Primarchs such as Ferrus Manus have been around for 200 years, and he might not even be the 2nd Primarch found. There was also a gap of a number of years, which I believe this to around 20-30 years from the discovery of Horus to the 2nd found Primarch. With a few years to find Horus, this then suggests at least 235 years. Can anyone help me out by casting a better light on this?

Gagoc TheAncient - November 19, 2012 11:50 PM (GMT)
There is an overlap between the Great Crusade and the Wars Of Unification.
Some of the last campaigns/battles of the UW in the outer Sol system were also the first of the GC.

As for how long the Great Crusade was, it was roughly 200 years.
The Heresy was roughly 9 years.
But we don't know how long the UW was. Centuries, millennia? We can only speculate.

malika - November 20, 2012 10:54 AM (GMT)
The Great Crusade lasts as long as the author wants it to last. In some of the stories it's mentioned the Primarchs have been fighting for "hundreds of years". That generally would imply they've been at it for many centuries. Literally it could also include 200 years (since it's 2 times 100), but it would just be a weak term to use if we're only talking about two hundred years.

Marcoos - November 21, 2012 07:40 PM (GMT)
Thanks for the replies. As suspected, it's a little bit unclear, with no definitive timeline. Around 200 years seems about right.

Marcoos - November 27, 2012 10:04 PM (GMT)
Just started to reread Horus Rising (going back to the beginning :D ) and it's right there on page 16!

From the start of the Great Crusade up to 63-19 it was 203 years, or at least as far as the 'warp-dilated horologs could attest'. This was approximately 1 year after Ullanor.

I don't think we have any idea how long after Ullanor or 63-19 the Heresy began, but it must be a few years.

My best estimate is therefore now 210 years. Which means I've lost ~30 since I blogged a few days ago!

ShroudFilm - November 28, 2012 11:09 AM (GMT)
There are now hard and established facts for this. I know, because I collated them for the authors. :D

The Unification Wars did not overlap with the Great Crusade - the Unification Wars ended with the conquering of the Solar System, and then there was *an amount of time* before the Great Crusade began outside the Solar System.

798 The Great Crusade begins
~801 Horus is the first primarch to be found
963 The razing of Monarchia
~981 Alpharius is the last primarch to be found

000 Ullanor concludes, and at the Triumph the Emperor names Horus as Warmaster
001 Nikaea, and later the compliance of 63-19
002 Final compliance of 140-20, then the Blood Angels go to Kayvas
003 War with the Interex, and the Luna Wolves become Sons of Horus
004 Horus falls on Davin's moon. Late 004 and into 005, Prospero is razed
005 Isstvan III begins, and goes on for three months into 006
006 Eisenstein reaches Terra, and Isstvan V occurs mid-006
007 The battle for Calth, followed by the Underworld War which rages for ten years
008 Garro recovers Loken, the only survivor of Isstvan III
009 Guilliman names 'Imperium Secundus' in his plans
010 - 013 I can't say...
014 The Siege of Terra begins. The Heresy ends, and is followed by the Scouring
021 The Second Founding

Horus's treachery from being named Warmaster, up to the truth about Isstvan V reaching Terra, is seven years. The Age of Darkness (about which the Imperium knows very little, looking back on historical records) lasts for seven years. The Scouring also lasts for seven years.

From the time that Horus was named Warmaster, up to the last of the traitors being driven into the Eye of Terror, is 21 years.

The rest of the Heresy and the thousand years after it has already been plotted. Again, I know this because I did it.

Marcoos - November 28, 2012 01:28 PM (GMT)
Brilliant, thanks for sharing this information :D

Gagoc TheAncient - November 28, 2012 04:21 PM (GMT)
The 'overlap' between the Unification Wars and The Great Crusade was based on some excerpts saying that those who took part in the final battles over the Sol system, in the outer planets, referred to it as a crusade.

I think there's something like that in Betrayal on page 27.

Many have jumped upon that, plus similar themes in other HH books, and said that is when the Great Crusade started.

Nice to have it not only cleared up, but to be able to correct those misinformed.

Markus Krell - November 28, 2012 05:37 PM (GMT)
008 Garro recovers Loken, the only survivor of Isstvan III
, apart from Tarvitz you mean!! ;) Can we have a new little smiley face with a fishing rod please?!!

No wonder Loken was a little messed up in Legion of One!! Three years talking to a corpse and fighting the locals would test even the most hardened astartes!!
Would love to hear Loken recall his time killing the local populace and maybe a few 'infected' loyalists too!! Corpse-Tarvitz would be cool.

Shroud: Any chance of you doing an official list of when the primarchs were found? You know you want to!!
So we have a nineteen year window for the lost legions be disbanded!! :ph43r:

Marcoos - November 28, 2012 07:19 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (Markus Krell @ Nov 28 2012, 05:37 PM)

Shroud: Any chance of you doing an official list of when the primarchs were found? You know you want to!!
So we have a nineteen year window for the lost legions be disbanded!! :ph43r:

Please don't! The joy of the teasers in the novels is one of the best things for me! I'd settle for an established order the authors work without any of the contradictions!

Marcoos - November 28, 2012 08:04 PM (GMT)
Sorry, one other question! Markus, could you explain the 19 years for me?

Markus Krell - November 28, 2012 08:12 PM (GMT)
Marcoos: The two missing primarchs were around at the time that Alpharius was found (Shroud's confirmed that all twenty primarchs knew each other): but they and their legions had been expunged from Imperial records by the time of Ullanor.

Marcoos - November 28, 2012 08:47 PM (GMT)
Interesting. I take it that's unpublished as yet? I know what Shroud says is gospel, and I assume we'll see it published at some point.

However I believe there is written evidence in Deliverance Lost that goes against this (pages 247-248).

Markus Krell - November 28, 2012 09:16 PM (GMT)
I think it has largely been pieced together over the years, as opposed to being in a HH novel.

Do you mean Corax saying that he is 'number 19', but is only the eighteenth primarch to have been found? I think it was agreed on here (on another thread) that he is number 19 and the eighteenth primarch found, but that there are still two primarch yet to be found. This is also qualified by the fact that Alpharius was the last to be found (and is number 20).

Marcoos - November 28, 2012 09:46 PM (GMT)
Ref Corax, I've seen the theory that he is found 18th, but I believe that misunderstands what is written.

To quote, (cut to save my fingers);

"Yes, you have brothers," said the Emperor, smiling at his son's delight. "Seventeen of them... [snip].
"Seventeen?", Corvus asked, confused. "I remember that I was number 19..." [snip].
The Emperor's expression grew bleak, filled with deep sorrow. He looked away as he replied. "The other two," he said. "That is a conversation for another day."

The theory I have read on here is that the Emperor is sad because he hasn't found the other two. But I don't buy it. If you were missing 3, and then found one (Corax) you wouldn't be sad, you'd be filled with hope that you might find the last two. To me this is a specific reference to the lost primarchs - they are expunged, therefore Corax only has 17 remaining brothers.

However I think the following passage is the confirmation of this.

"How many of my brothers have you found?"
"Most of them", replied the Emperor.

If the above passage meant that Corax was 18th found, then why ask this question? Why not answer it with 'Duh! 17!'

So to me, this shows that Corax was found after the two lost Primarchs had been lost. As for his position of being found? I don't think it's clear. I actually have him as 18th in my own (guestimated) list, with a known Primarch and Alpharius after him but it could be anywhere between 11-19 based on the wording 'most'.

I do however realise I am not in the majority with this view *puts on hard hat*.[COLOR=blue]

Markus Krell - November 28, 2012 10:21 PM (GMT)
I think a lot of the ambiguity is to get us talking about it and also little nods to future events (40K) & the old fluff.
Alpharius was the last to be found, that's set in stone; maybe the Emperor was sad 'cos he's being portrayed as a bit of a d**k in the HH novels!! :D

My opinion is, I think the primarchs are a little 'naive' when it comes to their origin/purpose. They were brought up by humans who didn't know/understand what the primarchs were and the primarchs (not being human) aren't really able to comprehend what they're a part of yet.
The Emperor is supposed to be an infallible being with this great plan... and (according to the old fluff) lost his generals in an accident that he didn't foresee? Not sure how you can tell that to your sons without sounding incompetent!!

Does your blue safety hat signify that you're Ultramarine?! ;)

Marcoos - November 28, 2012 10:50 PM (GMT)

malika - November 29, 2012 06:59 AM (GMT)
But in Betrayal it was mentioned that the two lost Primarchs and their Legions were taken care of rather early during the Crusade, when they were still rather small...

Marcoos - November 29, 2012 09:19 AM (GMT)
Oooh, I look forward to reading that. I've only stolen a few glances at my copy, as it's supposed to be a Christmas present!

ShroudFilm - November 30, 2012 10:43 AM (GMT)
There is a list of primarchs, and the order they were found. It is not yet customer-facing, but it is used for reference...

Maybe one day? ;)

RE: Corax having seventeen brothers - he was the 18th primarch to be discovered. Alpharius was 20th. Neither of the 'missing' ones had been disposed of by that point. That's all it means! :D

Markus Krell - November 30, 2012 12:10 PM (GMT)
What about revealling which primarchs were discovered when, in a festive advent-stylee calendar!! :)

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