Originally built to provide access to the Eldar Webway, the Golden Throne took the form of a bulky machine-like chair suspended over gigantic mechanised doors made of gold metal. The doors were said to be large enough for a Warhound Scout Titan to walk through unbowed. The chair was linked to the portal by huge bundles of cables, wires and conduits. The whole machine was made of the same golden metal. The throne was built at one end of a vast hall big enough to house up to six fully equipped Space Marine Companies. This was the Emperor's main laboratory, which was itself at the centre of his underground complex, known as the Imperial Dungeon. Even after the Throne's construction, the lab remained littered with other huge machines and storage crates. Hundreds of red-robed technicians and labourers worked in the lab.
The Emperor built the throne as a means of entering the Webway. Having this fixed point of entry was meant to free humanity from its reliance on Warp-ships and astrotelepathy, since humans could simply enter the Webway and emerge wherever they chose in the galaxy. He sent armies of workers through the portal and had them construct a new short section of Webway linking to the rest of the abandoned Eldar network. Since the original Webway was built of a psychically resistant material which the humans could not replicate, the Emperor used his powers, via the Golden Throne, to protect the human-built section from the Warp. The Golden Throne is connected to a massive Warp beacon known as the Astronomican which generates a system of signals making faster-than-light travel in the Imperium possible.
The Horus Heresy
At the outset of the Horus Heresy, when Magnus the Red used his sorcerous powers to warn the Emperor of Horus's treachery, he inadvertently created huge holes in the Emperor's psychic shield. Daemons poured into the human-built portion of the Webway and slaughtered thousands of Adeptus Mechanicus workers there. The Custodian Guard and Sisters of Silence were left fighting a desperate battle to prevent the daemons from reaching the portal through into the Imperial Dungeon. Eventually the Imperial forces had to abandon the Webway and retreat back into the Imperial Palace. The portal was closed but only the psychic power of the Emperor was enough to keep it that way so he was forced to remain on the Golden Throne or find a suitable replacement. When the Emperor was forced to battle Horus on board the Sons of Horus flagship, the Vengeful Spirit, his place on the throne was taken briefly by Malcador the Sigillite. Malcador perished performing this endeavor, and the mortally wounded Emperor was reinstated upon the Throne after his battle with Horus. At his instruction, it was then enhanced and converted into the life-sustaining form it currently bears. The Emperor's physical form is kept alive on the Golden Throne through advanced stasis fields and psi-fusion reactors that has become beyond the understanding of the Imperium.[2a]
By late M36, the Golden Throne began to require more and more sacrifice of Psykers to remain functional. By early M41, four times the amount of Psykers were required to maintain optimal power levels of the Throne. In the last year of M41, Techpriests discovered failures in the mechanisms of the Golden Throne that are far beyond their ability to repair. [2b]
- 1: Horus Heresy: Collected Visions pg.322-328
- 1a: pg.350
- 2: Warhammer 40,000 5th Edition Rulebook
- 3: Warhammer 40,000 6th Edition Rulebook pg.170