The God Emperor

The God Emperor is head of the Imperial Power, and the Ruling Lord of the House of the Masks

The Apotheosis

The Apotheosis is a blood ritual, normally carried out at the time of the Rebirth and in the Umbilicus, overlooking the Plain of Thrones, when the Candidate—elected by the Chosen—is transformed into the God Emperor, the incarnation on Earth of the Twin Gods, when his blood is turned to ichor and They become fully divine


Ichor is the fiery substance that runs as blood in the veins of the Gods. The Chosen believe that through the ritual of an Apotheosis, the blood of a God Emperor is transmuted into ichor, the purity of which They pass on to their offspring. The Chosen minutely calculate and tabulate how much ichor burns in their blood because this is the basis on which they determine status

The Rebirth

The Rebirth is a ritual carried out every year in the Plain of Thrones before the assembled tributaries off all the peoples subject to the Chosen. This is when the flesh-tithe is brought to Osrakum. The Chosen, arrayed on the thrones of the Umbilicus, witness the renewal of the God Emperor, a repurifying of his blood to purest ichor, and with Their renewal, the Commonwealth is renewed. The Apotheosis is a special version of the …

House Imago Family Tree

The reason that I explored the Imago family tree in such detail was because I wanted to understand how a House came to lose its first lineage. Such a loss occurred in House Imago—95 years before Carnelian was born—when a father and son (shown in orange) were involved in the succession crisis of the God Emperor Qusata. Their blood-taints were close enough to his that they were sacrificed at his Apotheosis. Many other Houses lost …

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