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Chilltouch
02-09-2007, 00:45
We've all read about it. Daemons being banished with scraps of paper with Gothic written on them. The Sisters of Battle and their Acts of Faith. The various anointed weapons which don't even have power generators, but are far superior to anything else the Imperium has to offer. These are things that no simple willpower can generate. You can't go "hurr, i'm strong enough to take down a carnifex in close combat" or "hurr, i can make bullets bounce off of my armour" with plain ol' morale. It takes something else. Thing is, what is that something else?

I'll leave you to discuss it.

DantesInferno
02-09-2007, 00:48
To quote myself from another thread:

There are possible explanations of the effectiveness of things like sanctified aquilas, the miracles performed by the faithful, and so on, which don't rely on the idea that the Emperor is an interventionist God who makes these sort of things happen. For a start, the "miracles" could be psychic events caused by the latent powers of the believers. So on this explanation, if a priest holds up an aquila to ward off a daemon, it's actually the priest's latent and subconscious psychic power which causes the daemon to stop, not the fact that some conscious warp god has looked down and made it happen.

Chilltouch
02-09-2007, 00:51
I know these threads exist and are done by other people. But, I am still curious none the less and can't be bothered to spend 30 seconds searching.

Personally, I agree with Dante.

Ktotwf
02-09-2007, 00:54
Some of it can probably be explained by latent psyker-osity, but a good deal of it is an instance of extreme faith in the Emperor drawing upon the strength of the Starchild (or if you say that fluff is old, then whatever, the power of the Emperor's spirit I guess).

One of the things that most people seem to miss, is that the Imperium isn't just "1984" with some fake Big Brother set up in charge. Games Workshop could easily make that the case if they wanted to, and some of the more cynical members of the forum would probably support that version, because they feel it is somehow more intellectually sophisticated.

Games Workshop, to its credit, never really sells out its central premise, at least when the story is told from the point of view of the Imperium - that the Emperor is good, and everything and everyone else is bad. Even relatively selfish or moderate characters like Ciaphas Cain BELIEVE that the Emperor is God, and they are offended by suggestions to the contrary.

Even the back of Rogue Trader states that the only thing keeping the Imperium afloat is the superior psychic power of the Emperor.

I feel like the Emperor is less "flashy" than the Chaos Gods, and that his influence is spread wider and thinner than say, Khorne, in that he focuses on guiding the Imperium and humanity as a whole rather than giving one of his Priests shiny special powers. However, clearly he does intervene at some point in some places, and clearly his name and his powers are anathema to the forces of Chaos - they dread and fear him and his servants.

It is really set up in a way that mirrors classical beliefs in the power of the name of Jesus or God over things like Demons and vampires. To say that the Emperor is illegitimate, but that the forces of Chaos are real makes the background silly and nonsensical, at least from my viewpoint.

Iracundus
02-09-2007, 01:18
I would say it's a mix of the Starchild/Emperor and subconscious use of latent psychic ability. Some events from nudging by the Emperor, others via use of psychic ability.

Just like Sigmar in WHFB, the Emperor/Starchild appears to have a different preferred modus operandi compared to the Chaos gods. While the Chaos gods might invest more into a few, elevating them to great heights with big flashy powers, the Emperor/Starchild seems to instead nudge events here and there. The Acts of Faith of the Sisters for example are sufficiently subtle that one could say they are just "fortunate statistical anomalies".

DantesInferno
02-09-2007, 01:22
It's a galactic regime built around the worship of a corpse on a throne, Ktotwf.

To quote a piece so important to the 40k universe that it is used on the opening page of the 4th ed rulebook, the opening page of the 3rd ed rulebook and the opening page of the 2nd ed Codex Imperialis:

For more than a hundred centuries the Emperor has sat immobile on the Golden Throne of Earth. He is the master of Mankind by the will of the gods and master of a million worlds by the might of his inexhaustible armies. He is a rotting carcass writhing invisibly with power from the Dark Age of Technology. His is the Carrion Lord of the Imperium for whom a thousand souls die every day, for whom blood is drunk and flesh eaten. Human blood and human flesh - the stuff of which the Imperium is made.

To be a man is such times is to be one amongst untold billions. It is to live in the cruellest and most bloody regime imaginable....Forget the power of technology, science and common humanity. Forget the promise of progress and understanding, for there is no peace amongst the stars, only an eternity of carnage and slaughter and the laughter of thirsting gods.

This isn't "1984", it's worse.

Just because lots of people in the Imperium genuinely believe that the Emperor is an omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent God doesn't make it so in the "reality" of the 40k universe.

Ktotwf
02-09-2007, 01:27
But the fact that GW has downright said that he manipulates events and is aware of everything that goes on, and his immense psychic power is the ace in the hole that keeps the Imperium floating.

Its that SIMPLE: GW views the Emperor's power as legitimate - he isn't just some fable told to keep the Imperium in line.

He is a disgusting, Moloch-like Corpse god who devours his people and sends millions of people to their death every year, but is also the shining suffering Human messiah who promises redemption and ultimate victory.

That doesn't stop the Imperium from being a crappy, horrible, immensely dark and ****** place to exist.

The logical fallacy here is that for the Imperium to be a dark place, the Emperor has to be an imposter. He isn't - its just that for humanity to survive EVERYONE has to suffer.

Iracundus
02-09-2007, 01:30
The Emperor certainly isn't omnipotent, omniscient, or omnipresent regardless of Imperial citizen beliefs. His failures to stop the growth of the Chaos gods before the Age of the Imperium, and his failures during the Horus Heresy show he was fallible. That said however, there remains the fact he was/is undeniably powerful as an incarnate being. Even in his current state of husk/Starchild he is still directing the Astronomicon, parcelling out crumbs of his power to Astropaths, and feeding on psykers. All that points to an entity that is finite, but still present and powerful.

DantesInferno
02-09-2007, 01:34
But the fact that GW has downright said that he manipulates events and is aware of everything that goes on, and his immense psychic power is the ace in the hole that keeps the Imperium floating.

Its that SIMPLE: GW views the Emperor's power as legitimate - he isn't just some fable told to keep the Imperium in line.

Got a quote on that? Given that the perspective from which a lot of the background is written, you have to do a lot of reading between the lines. Take a look at quotes like "Worshipped by untold billions, the sorrow and sacrifices made to sustain His divine corpse ensure the continued survival of the human race in the face of a hostile galaxy." Not just "his corpse", but "His divine corpse". Gives you a sense of from what perspective the background is being written.

It's important to note that I'm not saying that the Emperor's power is legitimate or not - I think that GW deliberately leaves that hanging for interpretation. Given that, I think that the best interpretation (but not the only one) is that the Emperor's abilities to influence events are pretty strictly curtailed.

Ktotwf
02-09-2007, 01:41
Well:


In the nightmare future of the fortieth milennia, only the superior psychic mind of the Emperor shields humanity from certain extinction.


Though the Emperor is a shattered and withered creature, he still watches over and guides humankind from the restorative essences, elixirs, and billowing alchemical gales of the Golden Throne of Terra. Through his vast psychic powers, the Emperor directs the Imperium's warships through the nightmare realm of the Warp. He forsees the possible futures of the Human race, and steers humanity so that it may overcome the many trials and challenges ahead.

Those are the two that come to mind, also the mention in one of the Ragnar Blackmane novels of Ragnar's psychic vision of the galaxy, in which he sees the various forces arrayed against humanity, and then senses the will of the Emperor emenating from Terra, opposing them all.

Other than that, there are probably a trillion others that I can't be bothered to look up.

Reinn
02-09-2007, 01:53
I would say...well it says right in the Witch Hunters codex, a little quip in a box at the bottom of a page, that humanity is evolving. Humanity is in an intermediate phase in its evolution, and thus has psycic(argh sp?) potential, but is also connected to the warp, feeding and creating entities there. It then says that, at the end of mankinds evolution, mankind will be perfect psykers, immune to the warp, no longer feeding chaos, yet still drawing from it. Maybe thats why chaos wants to kill the Imperium so badly, atleast part of it.
So basically, psyker abilities come from theyre evolutional path.

Ktotwf
02-09-2007, 02:10
While I agree that the "point of view" of the writing must be taken into account, the whole "ITS TEH IMPERIUMZ PROPAGANDAR11!!!!" is more often than not used as a cop out to disregard fluff that one does not like.

Devil-Tears
02-09-2007, 02:30
Definetly potential. It maybe not to the extent of being the most powerful race, but atleast a powerful one. IMHO, the Emperor does guide his followers somewhat, but not to the point of imbuing psychic powers to each individual (ie. SoB). He acts more as a catalyst, giving humans the ability to use psychics.

Kandarin
02-09-2007, 02:31
To quote myself from another thread:

I think it's more than that, at least in the case of the effectiveness of Imperial symbols against Chaos. When a priest banishes a daemon with an aquila, he may be using some latent psychic power, but he is also fighting a being formed from the emotions and unconscious beliefs of people who believe that Imperial symbols are anathema to that which is alien or 'heretical'. The daemon is put off by the Imperial symbol because as a result of its very nature, it believes that it is. This doesn't always work, of course - more intelligent daemons may be able to see past the ruse, and stronger daemons might not be seriously hindred by it.

Tanith Ghost
02-09-2007, 02:54
While I agree that the "point of view" of the writing must be taken into account, the whole "ITS TEH IMPERIUMZ PROPAGANDAR11!!!!" is more often than not used as a cop out to disregard fluff that one does not like.


Good to see someone realizes it's not all just a chaos player wet dream out there.

The Emperor had and still has frighteningly vast powers. And he is still more than capable of granting miricles to his faithful.

Sorry, but you cannot kill all hope. Not even in 40k.

Kage2020
02-09-2007, 03:34
I cannot bring myself to vote on the subject. My own approach lies somewhere in between "Sham" and "Divinity," and "Other" doesn't seem to cut the mustard as an out for this one. If I were to decide between either Sham or Divinity? I would go with Sham. Why? Merely because it allows the potential for a placebo rather than railroading you into a specific interpretation that quite simply is not necessary.

Is any form of non-Imperial fanboyism a cop-out? Perhaps. Of course the equal argument is that statements about "omniscient narrators," even when implicit, are just another statement of fanboyism belief.

Let's just face it, even GW doesn't like to take a stance on what is 'true' or what is not. They prefer (arguably/allegedly) the fans to squabble and bicker about it. That is, make interpretations. To agree or disagree about certain things, to make informed decisions or even irrational determinations.

On the other hand, if it is argued that one statement is true above all others? Well, therein lies another agenda. :S

Kage

DantesInferno
02-09-2007, 04:49
While I agree that the "point of view" of the writing must be taken into account, the whole "ITS TEH IMPERIUMZ PROPAGANDAR11!!!!" is more often than not used as a cop out to disregard fluff that one does not like.

You can't avoid the narrative perspective issues inherent in the background pieces you read. Calling it a cop-out seems to be missing the point somewhat.

I mean, does anyone think that it is significant that the primary name that we know this character by is "The Emperor"? How should that effect our interpretation of what's being said about the character, and the perspective from which it is being said? If all the background pieces called him "the Corpse God" or "the False Emperor" or merely "Emperor [insert name here]", would you read them differently? I suspect this is why some debates about the Emperor become rather heated - the way we are referring to him is designed to sound legitimate and authoritative, and it's all too easy to get taken up in the cult of personality (much like the billions of Imperial citizens over the last 10 000 years).

A reasoned analysis should try to accommodate these perspectival issues. How about the fact that we refer to the "Loyalists" and the "Traitors" in the Horus "Heresy" - they're all pretty loaded terms, and fairly heavily weighted towards how one of the sides would have seen it. Or the "Fallen" amongst the Dark Angels. It's far too easy to blindly accept what you're being told without thinking, but the background becomes far more interesting when you apply some critical faculties to it.

There's an almost inbuilt bias to the way the background is presented.

Ktotwf
02-09-2007, 09:11
But the "Its propaganda" argument is never applied judiciously and equally - it is always used to ignore parts of the fluff that seem to favor the Imperium.

Why is this same argument not used against the other races? Why accept the existence of the Chaos Gods? Why believe the Eldar when they say that they had an Empire that lasted 65 million years? Why believe that there are any Tyranids left after Hive Fleet Leviathan? Why believe that there are any aliens at all, and that they simply aren't something made up by Imperial authorities to justify continuing repression of the general populace?

Sure, there is ambiguity in the way the Emperor's powers are presented, but for me that ambiguity is a matter of degree, not a free ticket to make up whatever background you want. The real ambiguity lies in the dual nature of the Emperor - both as a God and a devouring tyrant. Just because GW leaves a bit of room for personal interpretation doesn't mean you can make the Emperor into a 45 year old stripper named Jessica.

I get labeled as the "Imperial Fanboy", when I am simply trying to present my viewpoint of the Fluff after having reconciled all the available material I have seen.

No matter how much people are desperate to depict the Imperium as TEH doomzorzz, every single story seems to show the Imperium winning.

And why shouldn't they? They are a space empire of MORE THAN A MILLION WORLDS. Think about that...a million worlds. That is hard to picture mentally...imagine 200 dots on 5000 pieces of paper. I live in a city of 400,000 people - less than half the number of planets in the Imperium.

Not to mention the whole "inexhaustible armies" thing.

What everyone seems to miss is that the game universe is essentially The Imperium vs. Everyone else, with the Imperium coming out on top 95% of the time.

Like it or not, that is how it works. To denude the Imperium of what advantages it has is to make the galaxy make even LESS sense. The Imperium IS the greatest superpower in the galaxy, the Imperium IS the greatest danger to all the other races.

One of the weaknesses of the WHFB world is that they stated right from the beginning "Chaos wins." It makes it feel pointless.

40k avoids that, because there is no "end". The bad guy wins because they are ALL bad guys. People seem to have gotten mixed up and equated the fact the Imperium are the "Protagonists" with the idea that the Imperium are the "Good Guys", and by 40k logic are thus doomed.

40k isn't grim because "TEH IMPERIUMZZ IS TEH DOOMZORZZ", it is grim because the Imperium has the resources to go on fighting forever, but never the resources to win, which means eternal war, which means "a boot stamping on a human face - forever".

DantesInferno
02-09-2007, 11:11
Just to clarify: I don't have some sort of malevolent agenda to downplay the Imperium's advantages. I agree entirely with you that the Imperium is an incredibly powerful regime with vast material resources. I have no interest whatsoever in portraying the Imperium as "TEH DOOMZORZZ". In fact, it's worth pointing out that my approach makes the Imperium, and the people who have governed and served in it, even more impressive - creating a stable, albeit occasionally oppressive galactic regime capable of lasting 10 000 years, and with no substantial "Hand of God Divine Intervention" helping things out all the time.

Indeed, if the Imperium did have the benefit of a hugely powerful, largely interventionist benevolent psychic deity along with its immeasurably large armed forces, I'd expect it to be doing a bit better on the galactic stage.

All I'm saying is that you should be treating background pieces on the Emperor which read exactly like an Ecclesiarchy hymn-sheet with a bit of caution. Indeed, the very fact that we're calling him "the Emperor" all the time should raise some eyebrows, at least.

lapis_lazuli
02-09-2007, 16:04
It's 38,000 years in the future. I say these miracles are caused by concealed gadgetry.

Kage2020
02-09-2007, 21:33
All I'm saying is that you should be treating background pieces on the Emperor which read exactly like an Ecclesiarchy hymn-sheet with a bit of caution. Indeed, the very fact that we're calling him "the Emperor" all the time should raise some eyebrows, at least.
Amen to that. :D

Kage

Tanith Ghost
02-09-2007, 21:38
The Emperor is called such because he is. He is the Emperor of all humanity.
If you know his name, speak up. But until then, The Emperor is his title.

The idea of He who rules from Terra being able to offer direct support to his soldiers is no less valid than the chaos gods supporting their minions.

Kage2020
02-09-2007, 21:52
Weeeellll... Maybe, maybe not. Isn't that directly tied into how you view the Emperor? It's one of the reasons that I posted the "How do you view the Emperor" thread. After all, which bit of the Emperor does the direct supporting? Also, is that really in keeping with the background on the Emperor in the first place, or does it - as DantesInferno put it - sound like it's coming straight out of a religious text?

Kage

Ktotwf
02-09-2007, 21:54
If by religious text you mean "official GW fluff" then, yeah, I guess it does.

Tanith Ghost
02-09-2007, 22:01
I myself can't think of any other title the Emperor would be known by- Emperor, False Emperor, Master of mankind, Lord of Terra, Corpse God.
All of them in some way either include the title 'Emperor' or acknowledge his authority or godhood.

Ktotwf
02-09-2007, 22:04
There is also Gargoyle God and Weakling Seer.

Tanith Ghost
02-09-2007, 22:06
Even those acknowledge divinity or in the case of the latter, acknowledge he knew a lot more than those around him

Zazz
02-09-2007, 22:15
Let's just face it, even GW doesn't like to take a stance on what is 'true' or what is not. They prefer (arguably/allegedly) the fans to squabble and bicker about it. That is, make interpretations. To agree or disagree about certain things, to make informed decisions or even irrational determinations.


isn't that the genius of GW's entire fluff stance? If you're speaking in uncertain terms, people can believe whatever makes them happy

whenever they decided to explain or expand on the history, they alienated those who thought it went differently. see all the posters here who still are very unhappy with the reveal (or retcon if you like) that the C'tan have their roots running deep in the history of all the major races.

i seems the only way to please everyone is to keep them all in the dark, because its a good bet half of them will hate what they see.

Kriegsherr
02-09-2007, 22:40
I'd say it could be that the Sisters are just able to do miracolous deeds with their highly evolved martial art much in the same way the shaolin monks are able to do.
So its more that by controlling their breathing, by controlling every fiber of their body, by concentrating their chi (or whatever else ;) ) they can do things that normally are impossible to human beeings...

More Strength in CC and the DS 1 can be explained by superhuman marksmanship and superhuman precise hits in CC, more Initiative by a superhuman feeling for what the opponents wants to do in a fragment of a second or a very good change of fighting style or rhytm, the inv save can be explained with chi gong (the chinese breathing techniques which should make the master more resilent against damage... altough they have been proved ineffective against bullets when the boxers tried to fight against british soldiers just with swords, this is a fictionary fantasy future ;) ), and the fearless... well, this is the easiest stunt to explain.

EDIT: For the nay-sayers calling such "physical explanaitions" too far off as it was always explained with prayers and faith... do remember that a) the shaolin monks also are highly religious and spiritual beeings and people without their faith wouldn't be able to endure the rigorous training (both mental and physical) they do every day, and b) that other very faithful individuals around the globe (the hindu fakirs and gurus for example) also seem to be able to do things and endure pains no normal beeings could, that all people that break world records or do extraordinary stuff seem to be possessed by a very fixated idea and are putting all things behind one single goal (much alike very faithful and pious individuals) and in history most of the time when you read about extraordinary people like joanne d'arc, their faith seem to have been as strong as their deeds were exceptional. Sure, you can say that she was mad, but she certainly possessed the determination and the faith to reach her goal needed for her task.

Just replace all the chinese or other techniques mentioned above with some similar techniques that the daughters of the Imperator might have developed, maybe they use the prayers to free their minds and focus on a very special aspect of their body, like freezing all muscular activity to get a better aim, sensing the opponents next move, timing her hits with superhuman precision to do the most damage, or freezing the pain and stopping the bleeding with a simple act of will.
It is on the border of sience today, but some of these things have worked SOMEHOW in the past, and humanity is still far from understanding the human mind, how it works, what it is capable of, and if there are maybe some skills hidden in it not normally available to a human beeing that can be controlled to some degree by rigorous training.



Alternatively it could be that humanity is on its way to a race of psykers as the Inquisition fluff suggests, and this is just the beginning were not really full fledged psykers can concentrate their willpower through rigorous religious training and strong faith to be able to use psy-powers as long as enough of them are concentrating on the same thing.
But as a martial arts fan, I'll go with the first explanation. The SoB's are the shaolin monks of the far future while the Adeptus Astartes are the knightly orders.

Kage2020
02-09-2007, 23:23
If by religious text you mean "official GW fluff" then, yeah, I guess it does.
And therein we have agenda, once again.

Although I'm not overtly fond of the specifics of some of the more recent background material, you have to respect it. Thus...


isn't that the genius of GW's entire fluff stance? If you're speaking in uncertain terms, people can believe whatever makes them happy
Indeed. What I'm particularly amused (in a 'kewl' way) is looking at some of the material released over the past decade and seeing how GW are actually producing myths of their original material. (At least from a certain perspective.) You have the original material that was a "tad" more minimalist, shading over towards sci-fi, and the later material that looks back on that and produces a high fantasy interpretation. It's great, though again not entirely to my tastes.

It's one of the reasons that my favourite parts of the 'fluff' involve the Eldar and the Imperium, with the Emperor's story (and his interpretation) being one of my favourite parts of it all...


whenever they decided to explain or expand on the history, they alienated those who thought it went differently.
True, true. Although once again kudos to GW for creating something that people give a damn about... or borrowing wholesale from other sources that people give a damn about and them rearranging them in an interesting fashion.

With that said, GW haven't had the greatest track record of introducing new material, and there have been arguably better ways to do it. Even then it comes down to how the fans treat the universe. GW takes an approach where you can have what you want, and then others take the approach that you must have everything that they say...


But as a martial arts fan, I'll go with the first explanation.
Which is something that I could agree with. Not everything has to be explained away with "divine intervention" (unless you want it to be) even if that is implicitly used in the description, i.e. "Acts of Faith."


The SoB's are the shaolin monks of the far future while the Adeptus Astartes are the knightly orders.
This almost literally made my cry... :cries:

Kage

Ktotwf
02-09-2007, 23:30
And therein we have agenda, once again.

Although I'm not overtly fond of the specifics of some of the more recent background material, you have to respect it. Thus...
Kage

But it isn't "more recent background." I am talking about pulling quotes off the back of Rogue Trader here.

Kage2020
02-09-2007, 23:44
I was talking generalities, Ktotwf. Unfortunately I'm not able to check my copy of RT for a number of reasons, not least of which it being thousands of miles away from me and not being pulled out of its box for almost 15 years (if not more). Then again, just because it's old doesn't mean that I necessarily give it any more credence than something that was published yesterday.

Regardless, the 40k universe is an act of preferred interpretation. It's not about ignoring material per se, but rather viewing it in a favoured light. I prefer not to buy too much into the idea of the Emperor as an actual deity, preferring to take a more cynical (some say that is a synonym for 'realism' ;)) stance towards Imperial religion, rather than an optimistic one. (Indeed, you could argue that taking an optimistic stance to the Imperial Cult and the Emperor's purported divinity is actually against the oft-cited "grim and dark" 40k universe. :D)

It is not ignoring the material, but selecting to see it in a different light. Thus instead of "divine intervention" I see flim-flam and trickery, the thousand finger bones of five saints, or a hundred death shrouds of Saint Sabbat. Instead of faithful priests of the God-Emperor, I see a cankerous bloat on the side of humanity...

None of that means that the Emperor - or whatever might pass for the Emperor - does not occasionally intervene, nor that all priests are corrupt parasites, nor that the Imperial Cult serves absolutely no point. Rather, it is just... flavour.

After all, if you wish to have a positivist approach, isn't it justifiable - permissible, rather - that someone can have a pessimistic one?

Kage

Ktotwf
02-09-2007, 23:48
Well...of course, but it should be presented as such.

In other words, don't ask for quote or present it as though you are going to make some form of argument when it all simply falls back on "I think what I think and there isn't a damn thing you are going to say to change that."

I could get the entire creative team behind Warhammer 40k to sing in a Barbershop Quartet that "The Emperor is a god...for real" and it wouldn't matter.

The EVIDENCE as much as there is any, seems to lean towards the Emperor being a God, or else I wouldn't believe it to be true to whatever extent it is.

While you can debate the validity of that evidence, what you can't provide is any real counterevidence. And thats fine...everyone is allowed their view, but they shouldn't be allowed to pass it off as legitimate if they can't back it up with something semi-compelling besides selectively ignoring evidence to suit their view of things.

Adra
02-09-2007, 23:50
I thaink its a little bit of everything. Im sure that technology comes into it somewhere (force feilds that are said the be the Emperors will shielding them from harm..) and propaganda (cant hurt if people feel they are protected) but i also feel that as well as all this there is a spark of devine influence. The Emperors influence is not as direct of powerful as chaos but it is close to that type of influence. Trappped between death and rebirth the will of the emperor swims about and true belife in his awesome power, call for it in the most dire sistuation, does warent him aiding that person in some way.

The SOB im not sure about...maybe its true devine influence,,,or maybe just posetive thinking.

Kage2020
03-09-2007, 01:00
Well, since the axes are a-grinding there is little to do other than bow out. Suffice to say that you seem to find having an interpretation of the 40k universe as offensive, especially when it diverges from the supposed "letter of the law" and, of course, your own opinion. You talk about evidence (almost as an immutable thing), but deny that evidence can have multiple interpretations depending on preference, interpretation and, of course, creative agenda. Which is fine. As you say, everyone is entitled to their opinion regardless of whether they distinguish it with phrases such as 'for me,' except when it is blatantly expressing an opinion in general.

I'm afraid that my opinion of the Emperor was formed from the Realms of Chaos duology (which I cannot quote unendingly -- that whole IP gig) and, as an anthropologist, my own somewhat cynical approach to the concept of religion and religious organisations. (Which does not deny any good that they do.) Everything else I see as moving forwards from that point, a product of when I gave up the hobby for other (for me) more interesting things, though never gave up the love for the universe.

Ah well. Since it is clear that there must be only "one true way" (how ironic)...

////////////////////////Kage

Kriegsherr
03-09-2007, 10:41
Which is something that I could agree with. Not everything has to be explained away with "divine intervention" (unless you want it to be) even if that is implicitly used in the description, i.e. "Acts of Faith."



Yep.... to be honest, most martial artists tried to shroud their actual techniques behind a veil of myths and made up stories so they would seem more like magic tricks than actual physical abilities.

There were different reasons to do this:
- opponents should have a hard time reading your moves, getting your intention and especially copying your moves. As soon as someone got one of your techniques, and especially understood how it was executed, chances were high that it wouldn't be effective used on this opponent again.
- the martial artist wanted to be seen as an invincible superhuman possessing almost magical abilities. One of the most important reasons for this was, that most martial artists knew a fight was most easy to win if there was no actual fighting involved. And that any fight could be their last one, especially back in the days almost all fighting, armed or unarmed, were to the death or at least risking your life because of insufficient security equipment.
- Most martial artist made a living out of their skills back in the days (as some of them still do today), so it was important for them to keep most of their techniques secret, as the last thing they wanted to do was give away all their techniques to a "competitior" that was also training students and then would have a serious bussiness advantage.

There are very good examples of western martial artists that hid some of their techniques behind very occult or religious things. For example the spanish masters of the "Verdera Destreza", the spanish style of renaissance rapier fencing, used occult circles filled with occult symbols taken out directly from the book of a famous spanish occultist to describe the way the fighters should move during combat. Also there might have been some secret attacks hidden beneath the symbols, but we only know that not all techniques of the spanish style were really written down.
Also the german masters of the hand-and-a-half sword have hidden some of their teachings in rhymes only their students would know the meaning of.

Same can be seen in asian martial arts. Most styles had secret techniques, and all the philosophical, religious and pre-scientific talk about "chi" and such can be seen as just a way to describe a physical technique that is hard to describe without the scientific knowledge of today (and in some cases, even science today is far from really understanding it) while mystifing it in the same move.
Also most moves had really complex names that weren't describing the techniques very well, but were a nice shortname for the techniques and only the students of the style really would know what the technique is all about.


With the daughters of the Imperator having their roots in a religious martial artist cult, I see this as a very good excuse for their abilities.

Martial art is more about tricks, deceiving your opponent, giving your opponent false information while getting as much information as possible about your opponent (both before, while and after the actual fight) then about strength and agility....