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DantesInferno
02-04-2008, 05:14
The "Sunstorm Squadron" is a datasheet recently released on the Games Workshop website as part of a group of datasheets for Apocalypse. You can find it <here> (http://uk.games-workshop.com/apocalypse/datasheets/1/).

The datasheet concerns squadrons of Fire Prisms combining their firepower to produce a truly devastating blast.

In any case, the interesting bit for background purposes is the introduction:

"Sunstorm Squadrons take their name from the legendary Sunstorm called down by the father of all Eldar gods, Asuryan. The Eldar tell of a great conflict between Asuryan and Kaelis Ra, the Destroyer of Worlds [Kaelis Ra is the Eldar term for the Nightbringer]. Such was the power of these immortal beings that neither foe could gain supremacy over the other. The Father of the Eldar was sorely pressed, however, for it was his children that were suffering as the battle raged across the void. In desperation, Asuryan rearranged the suns themselves so that their constellations spelt a time of ill omen for Kaelis Ra. With the speed of thought, Asuryan then harnessed the power of the outraged stars, and with mighty barrage of solar flares he dealt Kaelis Ra a mortal blow that all but destroyed him. It is this act that the Sunstorm Squadrons call upon when they open fire."

Supposing we take this Eldar myth at face value*, it suggests that the C'tan can be wounded or destroyed with sufficiently powerful blasts of realspace energy. This is at least a new development in our understanding of the mortality of the C'tan. At the moment, we know for sure that C'tan can be killed by other C'tan; it's fairly likely that C'tan can be wounded or killed by weapons which channel vast amounts of energy from the Warp directly into realspace (see the Talismans of Vaul article <here> (http://uk.games-workshop.com/necrons/eldar-mythology/3/)); and it's at least arguable that the C'tan could be killed by weapons which transport their targets directly into the warp.

If the C'tan are also be vulnerable to directed realspace energy, this is a further way they could be destroyed in M41. Although, of course, it's probably not a practical method for any of the races still alive in M41: using the Warp seems to be the preferred method for generating huge amounts of power anyway.

*A large assumption, but perhaps not a totally unreasonable one. Eldar culture has apparently been fairly stable and continuous since the War in Heaven, so there is likely a grain of truth to their myths from this period. Keep in mind too that lots of our other accounts of the C'tan and the War in Heaven come to us through the Eldar, so quite a bit of what we think we know about the C'tan is open to the same questions as this piece is.

LoneSniperSG
02-04-2008, 05:33
I wonder if they are perhaps implying that the very powerhouses of energy that originally fuelled the C'tan (Stars, of course) are also the one thing that can smack them on their behinds. They can absorb energy from stars, but what happens when the energy from those stars is forced upon them like a hammer blow?

Hellebore
02-04-2008, 05:40
Supposing we take this Eldar myth at face value*, it suggests that the C'tan can be wounded or destroyed with sufficiently powerful blasts of realspace energy. This is at least a new development in our understanding of the mortality of the C'tan. At the moment, we know for sure that C'tan can be killed by other C'tan;


If you think about it, a C'tan is nothing more than a concentration of realspace energy anyway. Thus if a c'tan(realspace energy) can destroy another c'tan(realspace energy) then it stands to reason that any realspace weapon of sufficent energy can do the same thing.

It's probably easier to use warp energy though...

Hellebore

Zerstoren
02-04-2008, 06:05
Akin to an over-filled balloon, perhaps?

Khaine's Messenger
02-04-2008, 06:11
If this is from the era before Asuryan separated the realms (taking Eldar myths literally), it's quite likely that the the distinction of "warp energy" and other stuff would be irrelevant at that point. I mean, the stars were said to be "outraged"...as the "victims" of C'tan feeding and yet an object of veneration to others (as providers of life), certainly they had some of their own power beyond that which could be expressed from any mere conjuration under an appropriate conjunction. Crazy stuff.

Mind you, if this is literally a combined solar storm from several star systems' worth of stars, then that says more about the scale and effort involved in the conflict, really.

Iuris
02-04-2008, 06:53
Nothing is really invulnerable in WH40k.

It's rather a case of: to seriously injure a C'tan, you need more power than the entire infinity circuit of a Craftworld can produce. IE, it's possible, but you don't have the resources to do it.

It is theoretically possible to blast a C'tan with energy. You just need at least several suns worth of energy (a C'tan will have eaten several suns worth of energy itself), and suns aren't easily moved around and similar.

It is theoretically possible to have a multitude of psykers form a new war entity by focusing their minds on it. Up to a new chaos (or order) god. Unfortunately, the existing chaos gods are entities composed of energies generated by whole civilizations' worth of psykers, so you'd need far more psykers than it would be possible to accumulate in a resonable time (especially since the existing chaos gods are also still feeding).

It's the same thing as the fact that we can already travel to another star. However, we'd need to create a generation ship (at an enormous cost to the economy of the entire world), and send it off to travel for a few thousand years. IE, possible, but not a real option.

Rockerfella
02-04-2008, 10:55
Really, really interesting.

I've always wondered about Asuryan's involvement in the WIH. As the above poster implies, it gives some indication to the level of effort and power used during this part of the conflict.

I'm guessing then that this was the conflict that sent Kaelis Ra into hiding as such? After the Khanie show down?

As HB says, if C'tan can destroy one another with realspace energy, then someone else can too; if they can harness that energy. Seemingly Asuryan could.

Cheers for the post, very interesting stuff. I'm a fan of the WIH and welcome any new developments from GW such as this.

Cheers Dante.

Archangel_Ruined
02-04-2008, 11:06
"Like a Balloon? And something bad happens?" Sorry, I love futurama... I think it's fairly certain they can be killed, and whomping one with a couple of stars worth of energy seems as good a way as any other. I wonder what would happen if weapons like nova cannons could be brought to bear on a C'Tan?

MrBigMr
02-04-2008, 11:26
Lets just reverse their polarity like they do in Star Trek all the time. It always works, so why not here. Or lets do like they did in Titan A.E. and suck the energy creatures into the batteries of our massive starship.

Rockerfella
02-04-2008, 11:47
Well, yeah.

But, its slightly different isn't it. WIH, C'tan against gods. Lets be honest, gods are going to have a good ole crack at taking them out. Asuryan didn't need to reverse the polarity, but i'm sure a space marine commander might have to. See the difference?

Nowadays, C'tan vs space marines and all the rest. C'tan win. Really. In all honesty.

Ashnari Doomsong
02-04-2008, 14:02
Mmmh. I'm not so sure about that, really - they're all horribly weakened in one way or another(the Dragon was 'subdued' by Vaul, Kaelis Ra's been nearly starved to death and lost its greatest weapon, the Outsider has been trapped inside a Dyson sphere with only a few stars to tide over and the Deciever is just a wuss) since that time, so I think that people have a fair chance against the C'tan, really.

Archangel_Ruined
02-04-2008, 14:06
No, one C'Tan versus a chapter would be a very short fight. It's the bloody 'crons they hang around with that complicate things. I think the C'Tan are like all the other major threats in the 40k universe, they can be defeated or weakened to the point of collapse with a massive, combined effort. It would be a massive combined effort though, it's the only possible situation where eldar would fight alongside slaneshii followers, tyranids alongside marines. All of the 40k universe hates the C'Tan for one reason or another, and it'd be a big fight...

Idaan
02-04-2008, 14:29
When I first read the fluff in that datasheet, I thought instantly that it's awfully made-up and inconsistent with other background. If some Eldar God killed a C'tan or destroyed his necrodermis that easily, the Eldar would boast it much more than they do with Khaine's phyrric victory over Kaelis Ra. Also Asuryan didn't manifest materially during the War in Heaven, or at least didn't like to according to MvS's version of events and the fact that the Eldar believe that he didn't take part in it.

And Asuryan isn't Father of Eldar, Kurnous is. It's like calling Hephastaeus god of beauty and poetry.

And yes I know that it's only my own interpretation ;)

ryng_sting
02-04-2008, 17:41
'Destroyed', of course, could simply mean 'destroyed his Necrodermis'.

Having said that, it's nice to see Asuryan doing something in the background. He was the greatest of all the Eldar's gods, for pete's sake.

Rockerfella
02-04-2008, 18:51
'Destroyed', of course, could simply mean 'destroyed his Necrodermis'. Well, for me, I dont think Asuryan would have gone to the trouble of shifting star systems (either metaphorically or otherwise) and manipulating (at the speed of thought) combustion and fission within said stars to send out a 'sunstorm' to slap Kaelis Ra. I think if he was after his Necrodermis, he'd have simply sent Khaine, or stabbed him with a spear himself.

This suggests to me that Asuryan was actually after Ra, as in, wanting him taken out, totally.


Having said that, it's nice to see Asuryan doing something in the background. He was the greatest of all the Eldar's gods, for pete's sake.

I totally agree. It is nice to see Asuryan makin a move here. He is, as you say, the top of the pantheon in terms of power and position. :)

As for him not being the father of the Eldar as such? Well, he was the father of the Eldar gods as it were. The Zeus, Odin type character. Thats as good as for me. ;)

MvS
02-04-2008, 21:33
"Sunstorm Squadrons take their name from the legendary Sunstorm called down by the father of all Eldar gods, Asuryan. The Eldar tell of a great conflict between Asuryan and Kaelis Ra, the Destroyer of Worlds... Such was the power of these immortal beings that neither foe could gain supremacy over the other. The Father of the Eldar was sorely pressed, however, for it was his children that were suffering as the battle raged across the void. In desperation, Asuryan rearranged the suns themselves so that their constellations spelt a time of ill omen for Kaelis Ra. With the speed of thought, Asuryan then harnessed the power of the outraged stars, and with mighty barrage of solar flares he dealt Kaelis Ra a mortal blow that all but destroyed him. It is this act that the Sunstorm Squadrons call upon when they open fire."

For me this has to be either an analogy or a very partially remembered truth.

I mean does this refer to Khaelis Ra and Asuryan fighting mano a mano, or does it refer to the battle of their armies. If it's hand to hand why did it take Asuryan so long to decide to rearrange a bunch of stars at the speed of thought to smite Khaelis. Conversely, if it was the deaths of so many Eldar that finally provoked Asuryan into action from his metaphysical realm then this description could well be an analogy or half truth, meaning that the rearrangment of the stars to slap Khaelis down could even refer to a Warp storm that caused all the stars in a small system to clump together and go supernova (or whatever) while Khaelis Ra was in the vicinity.

Whatever the case, I'm of two minds about Asuryan being introduced as a manifested entity who had to wrestle with a powerful xeno. I prefer him as something more powerful and abstract than that. But that's just a matter of taste.

Rockerfella
02-04-2008, 21:38
Do you think Asuryan was powerful enough to re-arrange a star system from the depths of the warp?

I'm with you on the second part of your post. I didn't take it to mean that Asuryan came down in a big suit of armour to fight Ra... more that he worked from whatever realm he resides in (cos he's 'ard') and saught to destroy Kaelis Ra utterly. Not just his necrodermis. I'm guessing The Phoenix King went after the cloud of space dust that is the very essence of the C'tan itself.

I prefer it that way. Preference I guess. :)

Archangel_Ruined
02-04-2008, 23:23
I think he would have been easily powerful enough, considering what the eldar themselves were capable of before the fall. I also agree that it wouldn't have been a case of fisticuffs.

Partisan Rimmo
02-04-2008, 23:27
Threads of this really are the pinnacle are Warseer. Hell, they're the pinnacle of the internet.

I must say that the idea of overloading a C'tan's essence with the solar energy it feeds off as a weapon is actually very logical and clever. Whoever GW keep locked away coming up with this stuff, pay him more money.

As a side note, I would suggest that maybe the use of specifically stars is important. If you slap the C'tan with vast amount of any old energy, you'll obliterate his Necrodermys but his essence will still escape to the tomb world. Maybe since they are made of stars they are attuned to them in some way that a star will do permanent damage to them immediately if used right. Of course, I have no evidence for this...

Also, did Asuyran do this before or after the clash with Khaine I wonder? Massive props to OP for starting this. I had read the specific section before, but had passed over it without a second thought. A fool is me.

EDIT: Also, mad thought. Perhaps, since the Realms of the Real and the Warp were not separated back then, Asuyran did not physically move the stars himself, but the power of the Eldar Empire did, and since he is the Eldar Empire incarnate, he effectively did it and is being used as a metaphor (or maybe vice versa...)

DarkAzrael169
03-04-2008, 00:31
The C'tan are messing around with the life(Sentient beings) in this galaxy. If they really wanted too.. the Deciever could just "Decieve" his way into Mars and wake up the Void Dragon... and then the Void Dragon would eat Terra's sun(Our sun) and then the imperium would collapse... Mars would fly away from Terra and they would both be lost to space or just get into the warp(It open up and all the Traito Legions would come say hi) somehow and be lost forever, ending the Imperium...

But don't worry guys, because the C'tan are just messing with us because sentient beings taste so much better than stars do...

Imperialis_Dominatus
03-04-2008, 01:50
A way in which the C'tan are not 'ZOMG t3h pwnzor?'

:D

Subscribed.

azimaith
03-04-2008, 05:42
The "Sunstorm Squadron" is a datasheet recently released on the Games Workshop website as part of a group of datasheets for Apocalypse. You can find it <here> (http://uk.games-workshop.com/apocalypse/datasheets/1/).

The datasheet concerns squadrons of Fire Prisms combining their firepower to produce a truly devastating blast.

In any case, the interesting bit for background purposes is the introduction:

"Sunstorm Squadrons take their name from the legendary Sunstorm called down by the father of all Eldar gods, Asuryan. The Eldar tell of a great conflict between Asuryan and Kaelis Ra, the Destroyer of Worlds [Kaelis Ra is the Eldar term for the Nightbringer]. Such was the power of these immortal beings that neither foe could gain supremacy over the other. The Father of the Eldar was sorely pressed, however, for it was his children that were suffering as the battle raged across the void. In desperation, Asuryan rearranged the suns themselves so that their constellations spelt a time of ill omen for Kaelis Ra. With the speed of thought, Asuryan then harnessed the power of the outraged stars, and with mighty barrage of solar flares he dealt Kaelis Ra a mortal blow that all but destroyed him. It is this act that the Sunstorm Squadrons call upon when they open fire."

Supposing we take this Eldar myth at face value*, it suggests that the C'tan can be wounded or destroyed with sufficiently powerful blasts of realspace energy. This is at least a new development in our understanding of the mortality of the C'tan. At the moment, we know for sure that C'tan can be killed by other C'tan; it's fairly likely that C'tan can be wounded or killed by weapons which channel vast amounts of energy from the Warp directly into realspace (see the Talismans of Vaul article <here> (http://uk.games-workshop.com/necrons/eldar-mythology/3/)); and it's at least arguable that the C'tan could be killed by weapons which transport their targets directly into the warp.

Absolutely a c'tan could be killed by real space energy. Hell C'tan eat other C'tan and thats all realspace. You just need a stupid amount of it.

As for transporting into the warp, who knows. Wraithcannons won't do it and the talismans of vaul failed to do anything similar.



If the C'tan are also be vulnerable to directed realspace energy, this is a further way they could be destroyed in M41. Although, of course, it's probably not a practical method for any of the races still alive in M41: using the Warp seems to be the preferred method for generating huge amounts of power anyway.

There seems to be alot of ways to focus and utilize warp energy, especially with relatively low tech settings for real-space based tech. (More accurately, low research based)

A way in which the C'tan are not 'ZOMG t3h pwnzor?'

:D

Subscribed.

Theres still very much "Zomg t3h pwnzor" being gods, but no god in 40k is invulnerable. I mean were not talking about Eldrad doing a little dance and shooting him with a shuriken pistol, were talking about a major eldar god "moving" stars to zap the Nightbringer.

They are just difficult to kill.

But I don't know where the idea the c'tan could only be hurt by warp energy is from. We know other energy beings ate other c'tan killing them. If thats not proof positive c'tan can be killed by energy in the the materium I don't know what is.

The key to this is to realize that you've got another god shoving around stars to kill this one thing and it still didn't slay it (which indicates that in a battle between gods, even killing each other isn't easy).

Beyond that the failed attempt now gives a bit of an edge to the Nightbringer in that he knows the trick.

So what does this bit o' fluff prove?

Not much we didn't already know. The c'tan are not invincible which was never a contested point. We also can maintain that it takes a stupid amount of work to kill one. (Shoving around stars, constructing black stone fortresses, so on and so forth).

Which is all fitting with c'tan being very powerful entities.

The only time your going to see people getting their ire up on c'tan being killed is when people claim you can do it with a button push to launch a vortex missile or that some joe space marine is going to pimp slap one.

DantesInferno
03-04-2008, 10:12
If this is from the era before Asuryan separated the realms (taking Eldar myths literally), it's quite likely that the the distinction of "warp energy" and other stuff would be irrelevant at that point. I mean, the stars were said to be "outraged"...as the "victims" of C'tan feeding and yet an object of veneration to others (as providers of life), certainly they had some of their own power beyond that which could be expressed from any mere conjuration under an appropriate conjunction. Crazy stuff.

Would you care to develop any of the ideas there? I'd like to see where you're going with that...


Really, really interesting.

I've always wondered about Asuryan's involvement in the WIH. As the above poster implies, it gives some indication to the level of effort and power used during this part of the conflict.

I'm guessing then that this was the conflict that sent Kaelis Ra into hiding as such? After the Khanie show down?

Sounds reasonable, doesn't it? We know the Nightbringer reformed after his clash with Khaine, and renewed his slaughter of the Eldar. We know that he was eventually (more or less) forced into hibernation, and his harvester flagship was ambushed and hurled into the warp, removing it from him forever. This incident would appear to fit neatly into the existing continuum.

Supposing we do fit it in there, we now have four differing attempts at killing C'tan, offered by four different Eldar Gods.
1) Trick them into killing each other (<Cegorach> (http://uk.games-workshop.com/necrons/eldar-mythology/2/))
2) Fight them directly (<Khaine> (http://uk.games-workshop.com/necrons/eldar-mythology/1/))
3) Blast them with the power of the stars (<Asuryan> (http://uk.games-workshop.com/apocalypse/datasheets/1/))
4) Blast them with the power of the warp (<Vaul> (http://uk.games-workshop.com/necrons/eldar-mythology/3/))


For me this has to be either an analogy or a very partially remembered truth.

I mean does this refer to Khaelis Ra and Asuryan fighting mano a mano, or does it refer to the battle of their armies. If it's hand to hand why did it take Asuryan so long to decide to rearrange a bunch of stars at the speed of thought to smite Khaelis. Conversely, if it was the deaths of so many Eldar that finally provoked Asuryan into action from his metaphysical realm then this description could well be an analogy or half truth, meaning that the rearrangment of the stars to slap Khaelis down could even refer to a Warp storm that caused all the stars in a small system to clump together and go supernova (or whatever) while Khaelis Ra was in the vicinity.

Yes, indeed. The interpretations of exactly what the Eldar Gods were during the War in Heaven and how they fought the Yngir are crucial for theories of what actually happened during the War in Heaven. Were they Old Ones ascended to the Warp; newly-created Warp Gods manifesting in realspace; or merely Eldar mythology's way of saying "the Eldar desire to fight", "the Eldar ingenuity", and "the Eldar capacity to trick their enemies"? Or a combination, or something else entirely? Questions which are well and truly open for debate (and have been well and truly debated :p).

And of course it's not an issue confined to this new little background snippet: it's a consideration whenever we hear about "the Eldar Gods" doing something during the War in Heaven.


Whatever the case, I'm of two minds about Asuryan being introduced as a manifested entity who had to wrestle with a powerful xeno. I prefer him as something more powerful and abstract than that. But that's just a matter of taste.

Mmm. Well, this snippet certainly doesn't rule out a more abstract Asuryan if that's where your personal tastes lie.


As a side note, I would suggest that maybe the use of specifically stars is important. If you slap the C'tan with vast amount of any old energy, you'll obliterate his Necrodermys but his essence will still escape to the tomb world. Maybe since they are made of stars they are attuned to them in some way that a star will do permanent damage to them immediately if used right. Of course, I have no evidence for this...

An interesting suggestion. You could take a look at some of the ideas that KM was putting forward if you wanted to develop it..


Also, did Asuyran do this before or after the clash with Khaine I wonder?

After makes more sense. The Old Ones and their client races (Eldar and others) initially pushed the C'tan back, before the C'tan reunited and began to slaughter the warp-capable young races. Khaine's fight shortly after the C'tan began to fight back, Asuryan's sounds like the Eldar have been suffering for a while.


Also, mad thought. Perhaps, since the Realms of the Real and the Warp were not separated back then, Asuyran did not physically move the stars himself, but the power of the Eldar Empire did, and since he is the Eldar Empire incarnate, he effectively did it and is being used as a metaphor (or maybe vice versa...)

Certainly not a mad thought! Also probably worth thinking about what "moving the stars" could be a metaphor for?


As for transporting into the warp, who knows. Wraithcannons won't do it and the talismans of vaul failed to do anything similar.

The Talismans of Vaul were employed against the most dangerous of the C'tan, at the utter peak of its powers.


But I don't know where the idea the c'tan could only be hurt by warp energy is from. We know other energy beings ate other c'tan killing them. If thats not proof positive c'tan can be killed by energy in the the materium I don't know what is.

Well, there's some evidence that C'tan eaten by other C'tan aren't "really" killed: the ones the Outsider ate are still flowing around inside, according to the Harlequins' dance....

In any case, I think firing solar flares at the C'tan is a sufficiently new and different form of attack that it deserves some discussion of its own.


Beyond that the failed attempt now gives a bit of an edge to the Nightbringer in that he knows the trick.

The Nightbringer, of course, being well known for long-term rationality and planning...


So what does this bit o' fluff prove?

Not much we didn't already know. The c'tan are not invincible which was never a contested point. We also can maintain that it takes a stupid amount of work to kill one. (Shoving around stars, constructing black stone fortresses, so on and so forth).

Well, this piece certainly doesn't prove any new or amazing theories (hence the "if any" in the thread title). But almost nothing that we know about the War in Heaven could be described as proof: we get the ancient legends of a 60 000 000 year old war.

At the very least though, it's an interesting new tidbit on how the Eldar think their Gods fought the Yngir...

MvS
03-04-2008, 10:14
I agree with Azimaith generally speaking.

The C'tan can be destroyed by physical forces, it just takes an awful lot of power in a very short space of time (I would imagine).

I also don't have an issue with Asuryan being involved in the war against the C'tan, I just have trouble with how he did it (not as some sort of physical Avatar) and the consistency of why and when he did it. If Asuryan could arrange stars to smite Khaelis once, why not again and again until the C'tan are utterly destroyed? Other than as a story device, why are there moments where the C'tan are almost killed by the Eldar gods but where the gods didn't hound the C'tan to utter destruction?

Some sort of super Avatar of Khaine managed to shatter Khaelis Ra's necrodermis once upon a time and now we are told that Asuryan could arrange whole systems of stars to overwhelm Khaelis, but why are these always singler shot gambits? Why couldn't the gods do this consistently across the Tomb World of the C'tan until every necrodermis and Necron was destroyed? I suppose the simple answer is that the reasons are lost to history and myth but although that works for the imagery it doesn't help our discussion much. :)

Perhaps these occurences must have taken such staggering amounts of power that they were few and far between in the countless millennia that made up the so called War in Heaven. The Eldar Gods must have been exhausted to such a degree that it took them a long time (centuries?) to recover enough to attempt such monumental acts again. If it was a standard ability of Asuryan to alter Realspace to such a massive and cataclysmic degree then I would imagine he would have never stopped until his enemies had all been ground to dust.

I suppose it might be that all references to the Eldar Gods, if taken literally, refer to Avatars of some sort, or perhaps lesser manifestation within Realspace. If this was the case then it would make sense that the C'tan in their necrodermi could give the Warp gods a run for their money, and it would also explain the apparent shifts in the Warp gods' powers as well - they would be effected by psychic activity and sorcery (and other Warp related phenomena) generated by the mortals and environment around them. So in some centuries the Warp gods would utterly eclipse the C'tan in terms of raw power, while in other centuries they could probably be of a power similar to a modern day Greater Daemon or Avatar of Khaine.

Granted that this interpretation rails on my preference that Asuryan didn't manifest like other Warp gods, but I suppose there's no logical reason why it couldn't have happened this way.

Also, some people are saying that back during the C'tan/Eldar war that the Warp and Realspace were one. They weren't, although they were probably far more harmoniously connected back then than now. The Old Ones built Warpgate technology through the Warp and the Eldar perfected it into the Webway. The Warp was separate from Realspace.

I think the references that are being confused here refer to the fact that the Warp wasn't plagued by Chaos as it became later, and so was less tempestuous, nightmarish and therefore easier to draw upon or communicate through. Also the Warp gods were more controllable back then in the sense that they weren't quite so insane and demanding of their mortal worshipers as they became over the countless millions of years until the Fall.

As a net result of this I believe that any warp that filtered into Realspace was perhaps a little easier to form and control and less likely to just broil into nightmare and Chaos, so generally benevolent Warp entities could be summoned to walk around Realspace without having to collapse reality in altogether random and dangerous ways.

Perhaps..

MrBigMr
03-04-2008, 10:18
This is a bit tricky. It's true that C'Tan can eat each other, but they're not really destroyed, the energy is simply consumed, transferred into the other C'Tan (and seeing that the Outsider went mad after eathing his kin, it's possible the other C'Tan aren't gone, but suppressed and live inside the consumer). If a C'Tan can live near or in stars (come on, they're just big bombs going off), I have a hard time believing a mere mortal made gun can obliterate them. No matter how good the Eldar tech is, I'm sure they're not able to create a weapon that tops a star in strength.


It's a little like a black hole. Sure, it's created when enough mass is compressed, but you can't destroy a black hole by dumbing more mass into them. And if another black hole consumes the first one, their masses are added to each other.

MvS
03-04-2008, 10:33
This is a bit tricky. It's true that C'Tan can eat each other, but they're not really destroyed, the energy is simply consumed, transferred into the other C'Tan (and seeing that the Outsider went mad after eathing his kin, it's possible the other C'Tan aren't gone, but suppressed and live inside the consumer).

But this is precisely the point. You don't have to utterly uncreate the C'tan to effectively detroy them. If you destroy their ability to focus their dispersed energy selves into one point and/or destroy their sense of self and identity then effectively you have ended them as a threat.


If a C'Tan can live near or in stars (come on, they're just big bombs going off), I have a hard time believing a mere mortal made gun can obliterate them. No matter how good the Eldar tech is, I'm sure they're not able to create a weapon that tops a star in strength.

Well we've had hints through the imagery that the Eldar used to have weapons that could obliterate stars and planets, so I imagine that it would have been possible for them to create weapons that could do something similar to the C'tan. Just look at the Imperium with it's ability to destroy planets and harness the Warp into Vortex weaponry. These devices are terribly powerful but nothing at all compared to the Eldar at the height of their technological (technomantic?) powers, backed up by their gods.

The point is that the C'tan did not exist in isolation. They had immense technology on their side and went to war surrounded by who knows how many hundreds of thousands of Necron warriors, fleets of super advanced starships and all the scary forcefields and weaponry that go with them.

I doubt you would often have a lone C'tan threatening a whole army of Eldar equipped with their Star Destroying Cannon Of Ultimate Doom. Or if he did, I would imagine he would manifest behind Eldar lines and cut the power cables (so to speak). Clearly the 4 remaining C'tan were intelligent and powerful enough to avoid being drawn into battles that they did not stand a good chance of winning, and I imagine these C'tan had the greatest number of Necron servants to boot.


It's a little like a black hole. Sure, it's created when enough mass is compressed, but you can't destroy a black hole by dumbing more mass into them. And if another black hole consumes the first one, their masses are added to each other.
True enough, but then every natural phenomenom has a counter, no matter how inexplicable to us because or science does not know the right question to ask yet. If it is possible to create a black hole it is possible to close a black hole, albeit that one might be harder to achieve than the other.

As I indicated at the start of this post, the C'tan didn't need to be obliterated to be effectively destroyed. Perhaps they could be dispersed or have their energy altered in some way. As mentioned previously in this thread, there's always the Star Trek cure all of reversing polarities... ;)

MrBigMr
03-04-2008, 11:24
But this is precisely the point. You don't have to utterly uncreate the C'tan to effectively detroy them. If you destroy their ability to focus their dispersed energy selves into one point and/or destroy their sense of self and identity then effectively you have ended them as a threat.
You can't destroy the C'Tan that way. They'll just get therapy, rediscover themselves and come back. Only thing we can hope for is that they find Jesus along the way, see the error of their ways and try to make amends.


Well we've had hints through the imagery that the Eldar used to have weapons that could obliterate stars and planets, so I imagine that it would have been possible for them to create weapons that could do something similar to the C'tan. Just look at the Imperium with it's ability to destroy planets and harness the Warp into Vortex weaponry. These devices are terribly powerful but nothing at all compared to the Eldar at the height of their technological (technomantic?) powers, backed up by their gods.

The point is that the C'tan did not exist in isolation. They had immense technology on their side and went to war surrounded by who knows how many hundreds of thousands of Necron warriors, fleets of super advanced starships and all the scary forcefields and weaponry that go with them.

I doubt you would often have a lone C'tan threatening a whole army of Eldar equipped with their Star Destroying Cannon Of Ultimate Doom. Or if he did, I would imagine he would manifest behind Eldar lines and cut the power cables (so to speak). Clearly the 4 remaining C'tan were intelligent and powerful enough to avoid being drawn into battles that they did not stand a good chance of winning, and I imagine these C'tan had the greatest number of Necron servants to boot.
The problem is that the C'Tan didn't face the Eldar at the heigth of their power. During the War in Heaven the Eldar were nothing more than spear and sword wielding elves (so sayeth the Dawn of C'Tan article), butchered in the millions by the Necrons. The Blackstone Fortresses were a daring new technology and Vaul's last straw.

Where ever the Eldar reached during their reign, there is little if anything said about the C'Tan until their reemergence. And at that time the Eldar were well on their way to destruction.


As for planetary destruction and technology, even we're capable of leveling out our planet into a barren waste at this very moment with out nukes. I remember there being cases where the Imperium has blown up planets (as in into pieces, not just the surface). The only case of star destroying I can think of was when Abaddon tried (or did he even succeed) in turning a star into a black hole with his Blackstone Fortresses.

Maybe that's how they're suppose to work. Vaul didn't engage the Void-Dragon until it was feeding on a star. Turning the star into a black hole should have been able to suck the C'Tan into it, since they're creatures of the material plain and as such are bound by its rules.

At least that's a theory I explore in a sequel novel I'm finishing at the moment.


I doubt mere vortex bombs are enough to destroy a C'Tan. It might suck in the Necrodermis, but the C'Tan are massive clouds of energy and would surely dumb their physical bodies when something like that happens (I remember reading somewhere that if breached or damaged, the Necrodermis will eject the energy caught in it). In their true form, such a small tear in the void between real space and the Warp is like a hot needle on skin rather than being sunk into a vat of molten metal.


"You can't beat the Drej. No one can. They're pure energy."
-Korso, Titan A.E.


As mentioned previously in this thread, there's always the Star Trek cure all of reversing polarities... ;)
Yup. All we need to do now, is create a worm hole that connects Star Trek to 40K (like how in Star Wreck they had a worm hole between Star Trek and Babylon 5... I mean Star Wreck and Babel 13), lure a C'Tan into it and let it be the hippies' problem.

jfrazell
03-04-2008, 12:23
Straight up Q? Do we have writings one way or the other on whether or not Ctan were actually killed in the War in Heaven? It may be that the Big 4 are left and ate many of the Ctan, but that others were wiped out.

Rockerfella
03-04-2008, 13:03
Straight up Q? Do we have writings one way or the other on whether or not Ctan were actually killed in the War in Heaven? It may be that the Big 4 are left and ate many of the Ctan, but that others were wiped out.

Well, this is it. We always hear about the Eldar gods going after the big four C'tan, but what about those that came before them? How do we know the Gods didn't have a go at the others too? It could be the clashes were non descript and small, insignificant in comparison to the sunstorm attack and the likes.

Also, how would a C'tan hurt a god that is warp based. Lets argue Asuryan was indeed fighting from the warp somehow (personally, i prefer this interpretation, as i'm not fond of the 'avatar of Asuryan' concept) how could a c'tan attempt to harm Asuryan himself?

Iracundus
03-04-2008, 15:20
I also don't have an issue with Asuryan being involved in the war against the C'tan, I just have trouble with how he did it (not as some sort of physical Avatar) and the consistency of why and when he did it. If Asuryan could arrange stars to smite Khaelis once, why not again and again until the C'tan are utterly destroyed? Other than as a story device, why are there moments where the C'tan are almost killed by the Eldar gods but where the gods didn't hound the C'tan to utter destruction?

Either due to the one off nature of the artifacts involved (Talismans of Vaul) or the amount of energy required to pull off even the almost: super Avatar of Khaine, Sunstorm.



Some sort of super Avatar of Khaine managed to shatter Khaelis Ra's necrodermis once upon a time and now we are told that Asuryan could arrange whole systems of stars to overwhelm Khaelis, but why are these always singler shot gambits? Why couldn't the gods do this consistently across the Tomb World of the C'tan until every necrodermis and Necron was destroyed? I suppose the simple answer is that the reasons are lost to history and myth but although that works for the imagery it doesn't help our discussion much. :)

Perhaps these occurences must have taken such staggering amounts of power that they were few and far between in the countless millennia that made up the so called War in Heaven. The Eldar Gods must have been exhausted to such a degree that it took them a long time (centuries?) to recover enough to attempt such monumental acts again. If it was a standard ability of Asuryan to alter Realspace to such a massive and cataclysmic degree then I would imagine he would have never stopped until his enemies had all been ground to dust.



The Eldar gods could have also been involved in protecting their people and helping fend off the Necrons. Even if their patron C'tan has been sent packing, the Necron Lords still retain some measure of will and autonomy and could still have put pressure on the Eldar, particularly if in doing so they help cover their patron's retreat.


As for the actual specifics of the Sunstorm, perhaps it could be seen as more of your classic apocalyptic mystical ritual requiring just the right conjunction of stars to pull off. We know there are such things as warp conjunctions (see Necron Codex p. 32), so Asuryan could have taken advantage of one such advantageous conjunction (or near conjunction and then maybe nudge it a bit) to access an unusually large amount of power. Perhaps the Nightbringer was lured to a place where such a conjunction was about to happen. With such a condition, it would make sense then why this couldn't be done every time to defeat the C'tan. Either the time wouldn't be right again, or the C'tan might refuse to take the field there after having suffered defeat at that particular place.

MvS
03-04-2008, 15:21
You can't destroy the C'Tan that way. They'll just get therapy, rediscover themselves and come back. Only thing we can hope for is that they find Jesus along the way, see the error of their ways and try to make amends.
:D

My point was well meant though. We know that the Necrons had to find a way of getting the C'tan to perceive them and then communicate. C'tan consciousness was so completely different that it took centuries or millennia to do this. The C'tan probably perceived time in a different way too, so long lived and dispersed were they in their natural forms. If all that work to concentrate their awareness into tight localities with the same temporal understanding as Necrons could be undone completely, maybe this would be part of the process of un-personifying them so to speak.

I mean were they even truly 'persons' before becoming focussed and embodied into the necrodermi, or were they more like massive, diffused, ethereal amoeba type entities who fed on radiation or electromagnetism (or whatever), possessing a sort of intelligence and self awareness, but not in the sense that mortals like Necrons, Eldar or humans would understand?


The problem is that the C'Tan didn't face the Eldar at the heigth of their power.
Good point. I meant at the height of their connection the Warp, when their deities walked amongst them and when their sorcery was of truly monumental levels. We know that millions of El;dar were killed by the Necrons, but we also know that the war went backk and forth with the Eldar winning many battles and campaigns with the help of other races and their gods and/or the Old Ones.


As for planetary destruction and technology, even we're capable of leveling out our planet into a barren waste at this very moment with out nukes.

Indeed! I considered making that very observation in my last post.


The only case of star destroying I can think of was when Abaddon tried (or did he even succeed) in turning a star into a black hole with his Blackstone Fortresses.
Although I don't have them with me, I'me sure that somewhere in the Necron literature there are references to whole regions of space, including stars, being devestated during the war, and not just by the C'tan. Can anyone check this?


Maybe that's how they're suppose to work.. {snip}...At least that's a theory I explore in a sequel novel I'm finishing at the moment.
Sounds cool! When's it being released?


I doubt mere vortex bombs are enough to destroy a C'Tan.

I agree. It would take something of the size and power of the Talismans of Vaul to rip enough warp into Realspace to kill a C'tan, or at least rtrap or incapacitate it enough so that it ceases to be a problem.


All we need to do now, is create a worm hole that connects Star Trek to 40K..... lure a C'Tan into it and let it be the hippies' problem.

Khaelis Ra versus the Q Continuum. Marvellous. :)

azimaith
03-04-2008, 15:36
Maybe that's how they're suppose to work. Vaul didn't engage the Void-Dragon until it was feeding on a star. Turning the star into a black hole should have been able to suck the C'Tan into it, since they're creatures of the material plain and as such are bound by its rules.

At least that's a theory I explore in a sequel novel I'm finishing at the moment.

Actually according to the necron codex they bend the rules of physics to their wills. It says such a couple times in the necron codex. How much they can bend them we don't know.

Thanatos_elNyx
03-04-2008, 16:22
... the Deciever is just a wuss

I really don't think that someone who spends their spare time pretending to be a planetary govenor and eats Imperial Assassins for the larf can be described as a wuss.

Especially when said individual was responsible for the creation of hte Necrons and the destruction of so many of his compeditors through guile and misdirection.

MrBigMr
03-04-2008, 17:45
I mean were they even truly 'persons' before becoming focussed and embodied into the necrodermi, or were they more like massive, diffused, ethereal amoeba type entities who fed on radiation or electromagnetism (or whatever), possessing a sort of intelligence and self awareness, but not in the sense that mortals like Necrons, Eldar or humans would understand?
I remember some theory that before being trapped, they were just floating space jellyfishes of energy. But once the Necrons lured the Nightbringer into the necrodermis, all that energy, an astronomical cloud of it, squeezed into a single body triggered something in them. Maybe that made them sentient. Like how big cloud of gas can be packed and it detonates into a star, they C'Tan might have gained an actual consciousness in the process.

But that's just something I've heard.


Sounds cool! When's it being released?
Today, tomorrow or sunday. Not saturday. I'm going to a 40K larp then.
The first novel is in my sig.


Actually according to the necron codex they bend the rules of physics to their wills. It says such a couple times in the necron codex. How much they can bend them we don't know.
I doubt they can turn water into wine or anything like that. I would think that they have a great understanding of the material universe and as such know how to manipulate it via telling the Necrons what to do. If they could do anything they want, they would rule them all.

Emperor's Grace
03-04-2008, 18:49
I wonder if they are perhaps implying that the very powerhouses of energy that originally fuelled the C'tan (Stars, of course) are also the one thing that can smack them on their behinds. They can absorb energy from stars, but what happens when the energy from those stars is forced upon them like a hammer blow?

Mr Creosote?


Absolutely a c'tan could be killed by real space energy. Hell C'tan eat other C'tan and thats all realspace. You just need a stupid amount of it.

I'll agree on "stupid amount". He focused how many stars worth of energy?

Ashnari Doomsong
03-04-2008, 20:13
I really don't think that someone who spends their spare time pretending to be a planetary govenor and eats Imperial Assassins for the larf can be described as a wuss.

Especially when said individual was responsible for the creation of hte Necrons and the destruction of so many of his compeditors through guile and misdirection.

Yep. Loki was kind of a wuss as well, but he was still cunning as hell and perfectly capable of kicking the butt of most uppity mortals. He was still a *god*.
One does not exclude the others, after all.

Sekhmet
03-04-2008, 21:54
You can't destroy the C'Tan that way. They'll just get therapy, rediscover themselves and come back. Only thing we can hope for is that they find Jesus along the way, see the error of their ways and try to make amends.

Just hope, when they find Jesus, they don't eat him for fun.



Maybe that's how they're suppose to work. Vaul didn't engage the Void-Dragon until it was feeding on a star. Turning the star into a black hole should have been able to suck the C'Tan into it, since they're creatures of the material plain and as such are bound by its rules.

Then again, a black hole is a gravitational singularity from which light cannot escape. C'tan know how to move faster than light. They either found ways to entirely ignore relativity (which is VERY possible), or they have their own dimension through which to move (which is also VERY possible)... or both.

If they see a black hole form in front of them, they'll just shrug and move away.

Black holes are NOT infinitely sucking vortexes of doom. They have the same mass as before. If you suddenly turned into a black hole right now, your event horizon would be microscopic. You would not suck in your computer, you would not wreck your room. Honestly, if you turned into a black hole right now, no one would be able to see you. You'd then be affected by the earth's gravity and move towards the center of the planet at 9.8m/s^2, until you reached the center of the planet. You'd then move past it and fly out the other side at -9.8m/s^2, then bounce around the center of the planet until you finally reach 0 relative velocity. Throughout all of this, you'd be absorbing molecules at a time, as that's about how big your event horizon would be. Maybe in a million years you'd finally "suck in" the entire Earth. Maybe. Then again, you may just create a stable cavern an inch in diameter at the center of the planet and never grow larger, then slowly decay until you're no longer a black hole.

If a sun they were feeding off of somehow turned into a black hole instantly, the C'tan wouldn't feel any change in gravity whatsoever. They would notice it got a lot darker, but for a being alive for billions of years (yes, billions), the presence of a black hole would be painfully obvious. And they wouldn't have to do anything out of the ordinary (no phasing, no faster than light), to escape, either. They'd just drift away.

Now if Vaul somehow figured out a way to somehow increase the mass of the star by a million times without increasing its volume, it would form a black hole by itself and quite possibly suck in the C'tan (if it didn't cheat physics). But then Vaul would be creating matter and breaking thermodynamics.

azimaith
03-04-2008, 22:25
I doubt they can turn water into wine or anything like that.

I can turn water into wine. What do you think alot of wine is :P/



I would think that they have a great understanding of the material universe and as such know how to manipulate it via telling the Necrons what to do. If they could do anything they want, they would rule them all.
According to the book it says:

"The Old One's mastery of the warp was now countered by the C'tans utter supremacy in the material universe, and the enemies of the Necrons suffered greatly in the slaughter which followed."
Page 25 Necron dex.

"The C'tan are able to warp reality around them to varying degrees."
P27 "Immune to Natural Law" How much "Varying degrees is, I don't know.

"The C'tan weild the primal energies of creation. Their power is such that they can defy natural laws and alter the fabric of reality itself. Even if a C'tan is detroyed in battle, its essence will reform in a Necron tomb and return to wreak its vengeance later."
P27

So they can most definately defy natural laws and alter the fabric of reality (as much is said).
What laws they defy are at least somewhat defined. Obviously they can't defy everything or they'd be invulnerable to real space weaponry (the whole sunstorm fluff is against that) but they can defy some. How many exactly, to what degree, and how quickly we don't know. But they are definately not beholden to all natural laws nor is it just a matter of understanding them as they both contradict the statement that they can defy natural law and alter the fabric of reality.

Sekhmet
03-04-2008, 23:00
So they can most definately defy natural laws and alter the fabric of reality (as much is said).
What laws they defy are at least somewhat defined. Obviously they can't defy everything or they'd be invulnerable to real space weaponry (the whole sunstorm fluff is against that) but they can defy some

I think they can ... defy gravity. :angel:



edit: if you knew me really well, the above line is so puntastic it's amazing.

DantesInferno
03-04-2008, 23:09
According to the book it says:

"The Old One's mastery of the warp was now countered by the C'tans utter supremacy in the material universe, and the enemies of the Necrons suffered greatly in the slaughter which followed."
Page 25 Necron dex.

"The C'tan are able to warp reality around them to varying degrees."
P27 "Immune to Natural Law" How much "Varying degrees is, I don't know.

"The C'tan weild the primal energies of creation. Their power is such that they can defy natural laws and alter the fabric of reality itself. Even if a C'tan is detroyed in battle, its essence will reform in a Necron tomb and return to wreak its vengeance later."
P27

So they can most definately defy natural laws and alter the fabric of reality (as much is said).
What laws they defy are at least somewhat defined. Obviously they can't defy everything or they'd be invulnerable to real space weaponry (the whole sunstorm fluff is against that) but they can defy some. How many exactly, to what degree, and how quickly we don't know. But they are definately not beholden to all natural laws nor is it just a matter of understanding them as they both contradict the statement that they can defy natural law and alter the fabric of reality.

Of course, those statements need to be read with a grain of salt. If you take it at face value, it appears to be internally contradictory. After all, isn't the definition of "physical laws" meant to preclude them being changed at will by physical creatures?

A more sensible interpretation would seem to be that the C'tan are so utterly advanced that they appear to be able to change natural laws (for instance, to whoever wrote that passage of the Necron Codex).

azimaith
03-04-2008, 23:15
Of course, those statements need to be read with a grain of salt. If you take it at face value, it appears to be internally contradictory. After all, isn't the definition of "physical laws" meant to preclude them being changed at will by physical creatures?

Only if you say its a forgone conclusion that the c'tan is a physical creature and somehow different in his manipulation than a warp creature is. (Not in source, in ability to do stuff)



A more sensible interpretation would seem to be that the C'tan are so utterly advanced that they appear to be able to change natural laws (for instance, to whoever wrote that passage of the Necron Codex).
How does that make any more sense. The C'tan aren't listed as coming with super float-o-metric hover discs to float around or Hydrophasic Hooba joobas to phase in and out.

They've always been described as doing it through personal ability which would indicate its the creature itself, not technology that kicks physics in the jibblies. They're big crazy star gods and they mess around with physics. The idea they are constrained by all the physical laws or that they don't have "magic handwavium powers" is not supported by the fluff.

It justs says they do this and that and its all very impressive.

More than any other race there is a layer of assumptions made on the necrons, and more specifically, the c'tan with no basis in the fluff background. Whats written in the codex and in the fluff is much different than whats shot around the forums all the time.

Sekhmet
03-04-2008, 23:18
Of course, those statements need to be read with a grain of salt. If you take it at face value, it appears to be internally contradictory. After all, isn't the definition of "physical laws" meant to preclude them being changed at will by physical creatures?

A more sensible interpretation would seem to be that the C'tan are so utterly advanced that they appear to be able to change natural laws (for instance, to whoever wrote that passage of the Necron Codex).

Or maybe they're discussing our perception of physical laws, which aren't actually laws, but rather guidelines that appear to be laws, but are in reality, wrong.

Like how it was impossible for a heavier-than-air machine to fly, or to break the sound barrier, or to leave our planet, or a fully deterministic universe...

DantesInferno
03-04-2008, 23:39
Only if you say its a forgone conclusion that the c'tan is a physical creature and somehow different in his manipulation than a warp creature is. (Not in source, in ability to do stuff)

Sorry? Surely we all agree that the C'tan are, broadly speaking, creatures of the physical universe?


How does that make any more sense. The C'tan aren't listed as coming with super float-o-metric hover discs to float around or Hydrophasic Hooba joobas to phase in and out.

They've always been described as doing it through personal ability which would indicate its the creature itself, not technology that kicks physics in the jibblies. They're big crazy star gods and they mess around with physics. The idea they are constrained by all the physical laws or that they don't have "magic handwavium powers" is not supported by the fluff.

It justs says they do this and that and its all very impressive.

More than any other race there is a layer of assumptions made on the necrons, and more specifically, the c'tan with no basis in the fluff background. Whats written in the codex and in the fluff is much different than whats shot around the forums all the time.

Perhaps you misunderstood my point. I certainly don't have a point with the C'tan doing impressive stuff on their own, and not aided by technology. I only dispute that these impressive feats should be seen as the C'tan arbitrarily changing natural laws (because that doesn't really make sense).

For example: C'tan rises up and floats across the room.

Explanation 1: The C'tan has obviously defied gravity! Maybe it changed the gravitational constant?
Explanation 2: The C'tan has obviously manipulated natural forces in such a way that it appears to have defied gravity. Obviously we can't possibly begin to imagine how the C'tan would be able to do such a thing because our knowledge of the physical universe is so inadequate. But assuming there are natural laws, the C'tan have to be bound by them. Otherwise there are no natural laws.


Or maybe they're discussing our perception of physical laws, which aren't actually laws, but rather guidelines that appear to be laws, but are in reality, wrong.

Like how it was impossible for a heavier-than-air machine to fly, or to break the sound barrier, or to leave our planet, or a fully deterministic universe...

It's not much of a claim to be able to change natural laws at a whim, if it then turns out that the things you can change at a whim weren't natural laws anyway....

azimaith
03-04-2008, 23:44
Sorry? Surely we all agree that the C'tan are, broadly speaking, creatures of the physical universe?

At least the physical universe, how many planes of existence they exist on is completely unknown. Humans for example exist in a fashion in 2 planes. One, the materium, two, reflected in the warp. So much so that certain humans can actually be turned into gateways between these two dimensions.



Perhaps you misunderstood my point. I certainly don't have a point with the C'tan doing impressive stuff on their own, and not aided by technology. I only dispute that these impressive feats should be seen as the C'tan arbitrarily changing natural laws (because that doesn't really make sense).

For example: C'tan rises up and floats across the room.

Explanation 1: The C'tan has obviously defied gravity! Maybe it changed the gravitational constant?
Explanation 2: The C'tan has obviously manipulated natural forces in such a way that it appears to have defied gravity. Obviously we can't possibly begin to imagine how the C'tan would be able to do such a thing because our knowledge of the physical universe is so inadequate. But assuming there are natural laws, the C'tan have to be bound by them. Otherwise there are no natural laws.

Why do c'tan have to be bound by specific natural laws any more than warp entities are bound by them. They do things via handwavium. How do they float? The same way a psyker might fly/float. He just does because he can bend rules.

C'tan "need" to be bound by natural laws as much as a psyker shooting lightning or using telepathy.



It's not much of a claim to be able to change natural laws at a whim, if it then turns out that the things you can change at a whim weren't natural laws anyway....
Well they aren't immutable natural laws anyway as that would be irresistable force vs immovable object. If its an immutable law it wouldn't be broken.

Iracundus
04-04-2008, 00:00
In 40K, flying or floating isn't a violation of natural law as there is such a thing as anti-gravity. The Eldar have big heavy vehicles floating around all the time. Likewise, a psyker levitating off the ground isn't necessarily "violating" anything either as he is using warp energy, presumably to create an anti-gravity field. We know warp energy can be converted to realspace energy as the Eldar do so on their Craftworlds, drawing psychic energy from the wraithbone core and converting some of that to light and heat to keep alive in the depths of interstellar space. Likewise, we have descriptions of human psykers channeling warp energy to create fire and lightning that otherwise interact normally with physical matter.

The C'tan may certainly have a versatile command of realspace energies, but they seem to be limited in how quickly they can react. They may be able to do a lot of things, but they certainly don't seem to do them all at once. Simple things like man portable lascannons, missile launchers, autocannon have a significant chance of damaging their necrodermis even with their phasing in and out. Some of these things are just refinements of the ancient thrown rock: ie they are using kinetic energy to inflict damage. Sheer number of shots and attacks seem capable of overwhelming their ability to cope or negate at once.

azimaith
04-04-2008, 00:07
In 40K, flying or floating isn't a violation of natural law as there is such a thing as anti-gravity. The Eldar have big heavy vehicles floating around all the time. Likewise, a psyker levitating off the ground isn't necessarily "violating" anything either as he is using warp energy, presumably to create an anti-gravity field. We know warp energy can be converted to realspace energy as the Eldar do so on their Craftworlds, drawing psychic energy from the wraithbone core and converting some of that to light and heat to keep alive in the depths of interstellar space. Likewise, we have descriptions of human psykers channeling warp energy to create fire and lightning that otherwise interact normally with physical matter.

Pretty much. So what defying natural law actually means isn't really well defined. As I said before, its obvious they can't always do it from the fluff piece above.



The C'tan may certainly have a versatile command of realspace energies, but they seem to be limited in how quickly they can react. They may be able to do a lot of things, but they certainly don't seem to do them all at once. Simple things like man portable lascannons, missile launchers, autocannon have a significant chance of damaging their necrodermis even with their phasing in and out.

This I am not sure of, it depends how swift Khaine was. For khaine he seemed to mostly ignore things until khaine got it just right and skewered him. You'd think they just go around on the battlefield and never phase in at all.

The biggest problem in deterimining the extent of what they can do is from a lack of detail on them actually fighting (not just killing) against normal weaponry.



Some of these things are just refinements of the ancient thrown rock: ie they are using kinetic energy to inflict damage. Sheer number of shots and attacks seem capable of overwhelming their ability to cope or negate at once.
Once again I have no idea. Until we actually see a fluff piece where they engage in that kind of combat theres no fluff basis for what happens exactly. I wouldn't use basic codex rules because that changes just about everything.

Iracundus
04-04-2008, 00:15
Once again I have no idea. Until we actually see a fluff piece where they engage in that kind of combat theres no fluff basis for what happens exactly. I wouldn't use basic codex rules because that changes just about everything.

There is because rules do give guidelines with regards to fluff. That is how we know a lascannon is stronger than an autocannon or a plasma gun. It is how we know how deadly a shuriken cannon should be compared to a lasgun. It is how we know that Wraiths despite phasing in and out all the time, are not perfect in their timing, and how both in rules and in the Codex and novels they can be destroyed with sufficient number of attacks. There is no difference between those examples and how a C'tan's phasing can be overwhelmed by sheer number conventional attacks. Whether in Epic or in 40K, a C'tan single handedly charging an IG army gunline results in one thing: a destroyed necrodermis. That is a practical reason why the Necrons or other servants are necessary. The C'tan cannot be everywhere at once, and they cannot do everything at once at their location. Once again this sounds more like dredging for excuses to try and avoid admitting the C'tan could be anything less than "OMG uber ownz0r!!!1!"

azimaith
04-04-2008, 00:30
Except then you have things like lasguns only hurting people 50% of the time, necrons being shot to death with an autocannon just as likely to get back up as one shot by a grot blasta, and marines only hitting enemies at any range 66% of the time.

Using game mechanics doesn't coincide with fluff.

Surely a rhino shouldn't suffer penetrating hits from a needle sniper rifle then *explode* despite that being possible in the game.

The necrons are necessary because the C'tan are not omnipotent (and probably also because they're lazy and spoiled). As for their actual capabilities in fluff its unknown. The game stats for c'tan make them a joke which in turn would make things like Khaine a joke for failing to kill the nightbringer rather immediately, which in turn makes Asyuryans ploy against the nightbringer a joke because it couldn't even gather enough power there, which then makes the talismans of vaul a joke because they failed to kill them as well. So unless you want to start arguing that warbosses with a big shiny claw hit as hard as a lance strike and that humans only suffer casualty causing damage from lasguns 50% of the time when shot I don't see how you can use game stats.

And once again, I can post without implying the people i'm talking to are fanboys, why don't you do the same. Otherwise your going to get this thread closed like the last.

DantesInferno
04-04-2008, 00:37
At least the physical universe, how many planes of existence they exist on is completely unknown. Humans for example exist in a fashion in 2 planes. One, the materium, two, reflected in the warp. So much so that certain humans can actually be turned into gateways between these two dimensions.

Claiming that the C'tan can exist outside the physical universe is just sophistry. Whatever other "planes of existence" the C'tan operate in, they're just different bits of the physical universe which humans and Eldar don't understand enough to access. But Necrontyr science can access them, which should tell us something about the nature of these other "planes of existence".


Why do c'tan have to be bound by specific natural laws any more than warp entities are bound by them. They do things via handwavium. How do they float? The same way a psyker might fly/float. He just does because he can bend rules.

C'tan "need" to be bound by natural laws as much as a psyker shooting lightning or using telepathy.

C'tan don't float in the same way that psykers do. Psykers go outside the limits of the physical universe to "bend" its laws, bring in more energy, and so forth. The C'tan work within the limits of the physical universe, but in ways which are so beyond the comprehension of other races that it seems like they're breaking those limits.


Well they aren't immutable natural laws anyway as that would be irresistable force vs immovable object. If its an immutable law it wouldn't be broken.

Yes, indeed. So the C'tan don't break natural laws!

In any case, this discussion is somewhat beside the point. The main disagreement seems to be over whether other "planes of existence" like the phase spaces into which the C'tan and Necrons travel count as part of the "physical universe". I think it's pretty clear that they do, but there doesn't seem to be anything of substance riding on the distinction.

azimaith
04-04-2008, 00:46
Claiming that the C'tan can exist outside the physical universe is just sophistry. Whatever other "planes of existence" the C'tan operate in, they're just different bits of the physical universe which humans and Eldar don't understand enough to access. But Necrontyr science can access them, which should tell us something about the nature of these other "planes of existence".

I don't see how its any more sophistry than the dual nature of humanity in the warp and in the materium. If psykers can pull reality defying power from the warp, why not the c'tan from elsewhere. Its all of course just theory and assumption of course. The truth is we don't know exactly how they do it, just that they do.



C'tan don't float in the same way that psykers do. Psykers go outside the limits of the physical universe to "bend" its laws, bring in more energy, and so forth. The C'tan work within the limits of the physical universe, but in ways which are so beyond the comprehension of other races that it seems like they're breaking those limits.

Except it tells us that they defy natural law. I take that to mean what it says. It never tells us specifically how they do it just that they do, so that line of reasoning is no more supported than the idea they do it because they slept at a holiday inn at the beginning of the universe.



Yes, indeed. So the C'tan don't break natural laws!

But they defy them. This is sophistry because psykers don't "Break" natural law either. If it was natural law it would not be broken thus by it being broken proves its not natural law. Semantics.



In any case, this discussion is somewhat beside the point. The main disagreement seems to be over whether other "planes of existence" like the phase spaces into which the C'tan and Necrons travel count as part of the "physical universe". I think it's pretty clear that they do, but there doesn't seem to be anything of substance riding on the distinction.
Its not clear at all how they do it, where they go, if anywhere. Its just plain old not described. We have things that tell us they do X Y and Z, but how they do it is not mentioned thus its really only clear that they do X Y and Z, not how they go about it if there is any reasonable explanation beyond "they're star gods."

Iracundus
04-04-2008, 00:49
Except then you have things like lasguns only hurting people 50% of the time, necrons being shot to death with an autocannon just as likely to get back up as one shot by a grot blasta, and marines only hitting enemies at any range 66% of the time.

Using game mechanics doesn't coincide with fluff.

Surely a rhino shouldn't suffer penetrating hits from a needle sniper rifle then *explode* despite that being possible in the game.



Read the first sentence of my post. They are guidelines not accurate down to the millimeter simulations. Surviving a hit in 40K doesn't necessarily mean unwounded or undamaged. It may mean that but also mean they are wounded but still combat worthy. The Necron hit and downed by a grot blasta would have been unlucky to have taken a hit in vulnerable locations or internal workings, which an autocannon would be more likely to do, but the end result of a Necron down on the ground with important damage would be the same.

A Rhino could definitely still suffer exploding hits from needle rifles. If you read the background, needle rifles are still ultimately laser rifles, creating a hole in the target for the following needle sliver of toxin. That same laser could conceivably hit a fuel tank, or ammunition storage and set off a reaction. It would be no different than a bolter or a lasgun doing so. The odds are against it but it exists. In the rulebook itself, it says sniper weapon effects represent the chance of hitting such vulnerable spots as vision ports, fuel, and ammo.

The C'tan as they currently are, are a joke compared to their War in Heaven days. On the grand scale of things, the active ones are only recently out of their long hibernation. The Nightbringer was on the brink of starving to final death when he finally got out. How long would it take for them to power up? Nobody knows. Could be ages. The fact their capabilities are weak now is not in question. They may have been capable of more in the past, but right now they can be smothered by sufficient IG shell fire. The facts and guidelines that hold true for other races hold true for the C'tan and the Necrons as well. It doesn't suddenly become "not valid background" at the point where it shows the C'tan in a less than flattering light.

Sekhmet
04-04-2008, 00:51
I've given up on any thread with these properties:
Discussing C'tan
Azimaith on opposite sides of DantesInferno
Rockerfella also taking part

Combined, those three say mostly everything there is to be said, and have said it before in about 10 other threads already.

azimaith
04-04-2008, 01:06
I think the problem is your definition of C'tan and mine. My definition of a C'tan is the energy being which is no more flattened by shell fire than a radio wave is. You seem to be using C'tan and necrodermis interchangeably.
Necrodermis's can be flattened by shell fire, melted by lasers, blown to bits by tank fire, and most other inventive methods of inflicting damage. The c'tan isn't.

I do think its likely the nightbringer *would* be more able to protect his necrodermis without starvation of course, but in and of itself, the necrodermis and how hard it is to destroy is very different from the c'tan and how hard it is to destroy.

Sekhmet any thread discussing C'tan is inevitably going to have the same stuff popping up all the time. It does burn time though.

Iracundus
04-04-2008, 01:17
I am not using necrodermis and C'tan interchangeably. The necrodermis is the C'tan's "clothing" so to speak. However every time this is flattened or destroyed by shell fire, the C'tan is subjected to the inconvenience of going to the nearest Necron facility and getting a new one instead of doing whatever he had originally wanted to on that battlefield. If the weakened C'tan of the 40K era were able to more reliably protect their nercrodermis, they would have done so already rather than be at such relatively high risk of being inconvenienced. The relative ease of breaching the necrodermis is therefore an indicator of the reduced capabilities of the C'tan within it.

azimaith
04-04-2008, 01:19
Right, which I essentially said. Thats why I say don't use the book statline as the stats for the Nightbringer because its really the stats for the nightbringer in his necrodermis. The Nightbringer himself isn't a toughness 8 5 wound stargod with a 4+ invulnerable. His necrodermis is a toughness 8 5 wound with a 4+ invulnerable. We don't have the "Nightbringer" himself's statline.

Iracundus
04-04-2008, 01:25
The C'tan do not interact with anything except stars or other massive phenomena in their natural forms. They are always in their necrodermis when interacting with the rest of the world so those stats are the ones that matter. The stats for the Nightbringer in the Codex are for all practical purposes the stats of the Nightbringer, albeit in his starving state. The very fact he is a T8 4++ save vulnerable to Guard tanks and heavy weapons is an indication of how reduced he is.

DantesInferno
04-04-2008, 01:33
I don't see how its any more sophistry than the dual nature of humanity in the warp and in the materium. If psykers can pull reality defying power from the warp, why not the c'tan from elsewhere. Its all of course just theory and assumption of course. The truth is we don't know exactly how they do it, just that they do.

It's different because there's a difference between the Warp and the other dimensions the Necrons use. "Phase space" and the other such dimensions are accessible purely through science and the application of reason and logic, while the Warp isn't. The Necrons can develop technology to enter as many other dimensions of the physical universe as you'd like, but they can't enter the Warp, because it is explicitly not subject to physical laws. It requires something else, something dualistic.


Except it tells us that they defy natural law. I take that to mean what it says. It never tells us specifically how they do it just that they do, so that line of reasoning is no more supported than the idea they do it because they slept at a holiday inn at the beginning of the universe.

Perhaps, then, we think they defy natural law in the same way that a child thinks an plane defies gravity? That is, just using natural laws to get effects which seem magical to those who don't understand.

It's not an argument about whether the C'tan defy natural law or not, it's an argument about what it means to say that the C'tan defy natural law.


Its not clear at all how they do it, where they go, if anywhere. Its just plain old not described. We have things that tell us they do X Y and Z, but how they do it is not mentioned thus its really only clear that they do X Y and Z, not how they go about it if there is any reasonable explanation beyond "they're star gods."

Indeed. We agree that the C'tan can do X, Y, and Z. My point is that it makes more sense to explain X, Y, and Z as behaviour which conforms to the physical laws, even if we don't understand them yet. Rather than saying that the C'tan can arbitrarily change natural laws, which seems to be a contradiction in terms.


I've given up on any thread with these properties:
Discussing C'tan
Azimaith on opposite sides of DantesInferno
Rockerfella also taking part

Combined, those three say mostly everything there is to be said, and have said it before in about 10 other threads already.

Surprisingly enough, I originally started this thread because we have a new piece of background which sheds fresh light on the C'tan and their potential vulnerabilities during the War in Heaven.

If you want some new discussion, rather than giving up, why don't you try to bring the thread back to the interesting new elements which we were originally talking about in this thread?

ReveredChaplainDrake
04-04-2008, 01:51
I love conspiracy theory threads about C'tans. It's quite the compensation for Necrons being such a frustrating army in the game.

You have to really take this Eldar Mythology with a grain of salt. Had this sun-blasting happened in the Imperium, you can rest assured that the Ecclesiarchy would almost instantly attribute this otherwise "lucky" occurrence as an act of the Emperor. As a litmus test for "reality", if it makes sense to a Tau (read: 40k's agnostics), it's real. If the Tau were around during the War in Heaven, they would've seen a bunch of elves fighitng a bunch of robots and gone ":wtf:?!?!" because they can't figure out what everybody's so worked up about.

I don't think the Nightbringer can actually "starve". Maybe it just feels like it is. C'tan don't need to eat. They just are eaters, and just because they're not eating all the time doesn't change the fact that they are capable of eating stuff.

When Kaelis Ra, the "first" C'tan, crossed the Starlight Bridge, the first thing it did was eat the Necrontyr who gave it life. Its nature didn't change until the Necrontyr started worshipping it as a god. At that point the Nightbringer got full of himself and thus became coercable, as the Necrontyr tricked the Nightbringer into fighting and eating the Old Ones instead. It sure made the Necrontyr happy, though I bet Sotek wasn't too thrilled. Meanwhile the Nightbringer was just doing what comes naturally: eating the Yummy Ones. However, his sustenance was not from the Old Ones or the Necrontyr that he ate, but from those left that worshipped and feared it.

In the Necron Codex, Mephetran comes out and tells a human that the Enslavers drove the C'tan to hibernation not because the C'tan were being harmed, but because their food was being harmed. Not that they needed the food, the Deceiver promptly added, just that the C'tan really preferred having the living ones around for some reason that us humies are too stupid to comprehend. So something about us sustains the C'tan, but it's not our soul, or even our essence. It's our fear. Which is why the C'tan don't just wipe out the galaxy mercilessly. If a farmer harvests all his grain but doesn't plant any more, does he stop existing? No, he just eats something else, but he's not a farmer anymore.

So where does this tie in to the Nightbringer's ability to die? Well if the Nightbringer were to stop being worshipped as a death-bringer, "he" would lose his personality, this being the truly immortal part of the C'tans. Like humans, C'tans have multiple parts. They have a physical body that munches on stuff, the same energy bound by the Necrodermis, and a higher, individualistic essence that separates one C'tan's behavioral patterns from another. (The Outsider actually has many of these essences, which is why he's nuts. In all other cases though, the essence of the eaten C'tan was subdued as it forfeited its identity to its cannibal. This didn't happen to the Outsider due to how the Outsider ate its victims, and probably has something to do with Mephetran / the Laughing God.) But if the Nightbringer stopped being feared, he would just turn into a cold lump of energy. He'd still be energy, but that energy would cease to be "The Nightbringer". He escaped this fate, however, with his galaxy-wide fear curse, right before he went into stasis. This ensured that he would still be feared and would not cease to exist while he waited. Apparently, it worked.

Sekhmet
04-04-2008, 02:54
It's different because there's a difference between the Warp and the other dimensions the Necrons use. "Phase space" and the other such dimensions are accessible purely through science and the application of reason and logic, while the Warp isn't. The Necrons can develop technology to enter as many other dimensions of the physical universe as you'd like, but they can't enter the Warp, because it is explicitly not subject to physical laws. It requires something else, something dualistic.


Um.. you can enter the warp purely through science. That's how warp travel happens.

Now navigating is a different story. I'm positive if the Necrons/C'tan can cut off the warp with technology, it's a pretty strong indication that they could enter the warp if they wanted to... but they don't. They have no reason to, and back in the day, the warp itself was fighting against them. So while they can enter the warp purely through science, it's not something they should do.

I mean, the Tau can enter the warp, but only do so in short periods of time so that they don't get horribly lost.

And by "given up", I meant that I'll just pick apart random pieces of information people post and disprove them, but not contribute to the overall bigger issues. It's more fun and less frustrating.


I love conspiracy theory threads about C'tans. It's quite the compensation for Necrons being such a frustrating army in the game.

You have to really take this Eldar Mythology with a grain of salt. Had this sun-blasting happened in the Imperium, you can rest assured that the Ecclesiarchy would almost instantly attribute this otherwise "lucky" occurrence as an act of the Emperor. As a litmus test for "reality", if it makes sense to a Tau (read: 40k's agnostics), it's real. If the Tau were around during the War in Heaven, they would've seen a bunch of elves fighitng a bunch of robots and gone ":wtf:?!?!" because they can't figure out what everybody's so worked up about.

I don't think the Nightbringer can actually "starve". Maybe it just feels like it is. C'tan don't need to eat. They just are eaters, and just because they're not eating all the time doesn't change the fact that they are capable of eating stuff.

When Kaelis Ra, the "first" C'tan, crossed the Starlight Bridge, the first thing it did was eat the Necrontyr who gave it life. Its nature didn't change until the Necrontyr started worshipping it as a god. At that point the Nightbringer got full of himself and thus became coercable, as the Necrontyr tricked the Nightbringer into fighting and eating the Old Ones instead. It sure made the Necrontyr happy, though I bet Sotek wasn't too thrilled. Meanwhile the Nightbringer was just doing what comes naturally: eating the Yummy Ones. However, his sustenance was not from the Old Ones or the Necrontyr that he ate, but from those left that worshipped and feared it.

In the Necron Codex, Mephetran comes out and tells a human that the Enslavers drove the C'tan to hibernation not because the C'tan were being harmed, but because their food was being harmed. Not that they needed the food, the Deceiver promptly added, just that the C'tan really preferred having the living ones around for some reason that us humies are too stupid to comprehend. So something about us sustains the C'tan, but it's not our soul, or even our essence. It's our fear. Which is why the C'tan don't just wipe out the galaxy mercilessly. If a farmer harvests all his grain but doesn't plant any more, does he stop existing? No, he just eats something else, but he's not a farmer anymore.

So where does this tie in to the Nightbringer's ability to die? Well if the Nightbringer were to stop being worshipped as a death-bringer, "he" would lose his personality, this being the truly immortal part of the C'tans. Like humans, C'tans have multiple parts. They have a physical body that munches on stuff, the same energy bound by the Necrodermis, and a higher, individualistic essence that separates one C'tan's behavioral patterns from another. (The Outsider actually has many of these essences, which is why he's nuts. In all other cases though, the essence of the eaten C'tan was subdued as it forfeited its identity to its cannibal. This didn't happen to the Outsider due to how the Outsider ate its victims, and probably has something to do with Mephetran / the Laughing God.) But if the Nightbringer stopped being feared, he would just turn into a cold lump of energy. He'd still be energy, but that energy would cease to be "The Nightbringer". He escaped this fate, however, with his galaxy-wide fear curse, right before he went into stasis. This ensured that he would still be feared and would not cease to exist while he waited. Apparently, it worked.
Um.. you're adding in a layer of metaphysics that doesn't really exist in 40k. The "higher self" of a human is its warp presence. Just because humans have a "higher self" doesn't mean C'tan need/have one. If people stopped fearing the Nightbringer, it wouldn't be any less of a C'tan. There is no "essence"... there's just a god. If you were talking about Chaos powers, I could almost see where you're coming from as they require constant turmoil in the warp to continue to exist. But C'tan only require food.

And I also disagree that C'tan need our fear. They eat electromagnetic energy, it's flat out stated in the Codex. There is no mysticism in Necrons or C'tan, there's just cold hard science. They enjoy the complexities of life, that's why they eat life rather than stars. If you were offered a juicy steak or a protein bar, both of which contained the exact same nutrients but one tasted nasty, what would you choose? Yeah. Now, say you could either go to sleep for a million years or eat protein bars for a million years until more cows sprung up from which you could make more steak... which would you choose?

There's absolutely nothing magical about the C'tan or Necrons. Nothing. There's no secret soul or essence they want to feed on. The best way to view a C'tan's train of thought is to compare yourself to a C'tan and a human to a chicken or a cow.

Imperialis_Dominatus
04-04-2008, 03:13
I've given up on any thread with these properties:
Discussing C'tan
Azimaith on opposite sides of DantesInferno
Rockerfella also taking part

Combined, those three say mostly everything there is to be said, and have said it before in about 10 other threads already.

Haha, more or less agreed.


I love conspiracy theory threads about C'tans. It's quite the compensation for Necrons being such a frustrating army in the game.

You mean you don't find them frustrating fluffwise too? :p

*Necron players, don't mind my C'tan hate. I'm just bitter.

ReveredChaplainDrake
04-04-2008, 03:25
Um.. you're adding in a layer of metaphysics that doesn't really exist in 40k. The "higher self" of a human is its warp presence. Just because humans have a "higher self" doesn't mean C'tan need/have one. If people stopped fearing the Nightbringer, it wouldn't be any less of a C'tan. There is no "essence"... there's just a god. If you were talking about Chaos powers, I could almost see where you're coming from as they require constant turmoil in the warp to continue to exist. But C'tan only require food.

And I also disagree that C'tan need our fear. They eat electromagnetic energy, it's flat out stated in the Codex. There is no mysticism in Necrons or C'tan, there's just cold hard science. They enjoy the complexities of life, that's why they eat life rather than stars. If you were offered a juicy steak or a protein bar, both of which contained the exact same nutrients but one tasted nasty, what would you choose? Yeah. Now, say you could either go to sleep for a million years or eat protein bars for a million years until more cows sprung up from which you could make more steak... which would you choose?

There's absolutely nothing magical about the C'tan or Necrons. Nothing. There's no secret soul or essence they want to feed on. The best way to view a C'tan's train of thought is to compare yourself to a C'tan and a human to a chicken or a cow.

C'tans are a bit cyclical in their logic. They're limitless beings made of indestructible physical energy and they bend the laws of reality for sport... yet they need to eat for sustenance, because if they don't they die. But if they die, how godlike could they be? Therefore, their power must have some kind of limit in some way that we can't quite see. But they can't have any metaphysical parts because they're made entirely of indestructible physical energy and nothing else. Furthermore, if they're all physical, and they're all made of the same physical energy, why is it that some C'tan behave differently than others if they are completely devoid of a metaphysics?

Remember this is GW writing this stuff. These are the same guys who misspelled "flehborer", thought for a time that Terminators had 3+ saves, and assumed that everybody knew that "equal to" meant "equal to or GREATER" without being told. The bottom line is that so much of the C'tan's backstory is left unexplained so that if GW writers ever find themselves in a bind, they can just pull something new out of a certain non-oral orifice and make it canon. It's quite possible, given what's been written, that GW screwed up.

Sekhmet
04-04-2008, 04:46
C'tans are a bit cyclical in their logic. They're limitless beings made of indestructible physical energy and they bend the laws of reality for sport... yet they need to eat for sustenance, because if they don't they die. But if they die, how godlike could they be? Therefore, their power must have some kind of limit in some way that we can't quite see. But they can't have any metaphysical parts because they're made entirely of indestructible physical energy and nothing else. Furthermore, if they're all physical, and they're all made of the same physical energy, why is it that some C'tan behave differently than others if they are completely devoid of a metaphysics?

I'm guessing you're pretty religious because the way you wrote that, you're implying that a soul is required for humans to be distinct, otherwise all humans would act exactly the same.

I'm not, and I don't believe that.

Also, you state that if something can die, it's not a god . Thus, nothing is a god in 40k because all the warp entities can presumably die, as can C'tan. Again, presumably, even though we've never really seen a warp god die except to another warp god and we've never seen a C'tan die except to another C'tan, it's theoretically possible.



Remember this is GW writing this stuff. These are the same guys who misspelled "[I]flehborer", thought for a time that Terminators had 3+ saves, and assumed that everybody knew that "equal to" meant "equal to or GREATER" without being told. The bottom line is that so much of the C'tan's backstory is left unexplained so that if GW writers ever find themselves in a bind, they can just pull something new out of a certain non-oral orifice and make it canon. It's quite possible, given what's been written, that GW screwed up.

While GW sucks at writing rules, their strong point is the fluff.
But GW and BL have stated that NOTHING is canon. Nothing. Not the codices, not the rulebooks, not the novels. Nothing.

MrBigMr
04-04-2008, 06:01
Then again, a black hole is a gravitational singularity from which light cannot escape. C'tan know how to move faster than light. They either found ways to entirely ignore relativity (which is VERY possible), or they have their own dimension through which to move (which is also VERY possible)... or both.
The mass is the same, but as a more tightly packed matter, the escape velocity increases to infinite. At the same time, according to theories on gravitation and all, time would alter inside the black hole too. So even if the C'Tan would be able to break away from massive gravitational fields (which I don't see as an impossibility, but even energy seems to have some sort of a mass on some scale) the effects on spacetime might make it so that it gets frozen in time if nothing else. So the daring dash out of the black hole would slow down and in the end the C'Tan would be trapped within it. I doubt even they have that great of a mastery over time (yes, the Necrons have a device for that, but just because a man can make a bolter doesn't mean he himself can shoot bolts out of his hands) and space in such a sense.

Besides, little can escape a black hole. There's not much stuff coming out of them. We can only study the effects of the hole in comparison to stuff around them.


I can turn water into wine. What do you think alot of wine is :P/
That's the point. You understand the chemical reactions needed for such operation and with the right things can turn water into wine, but you can't alter the chemical composition of water just like that.


"The Old One's mastery of the warp was now countered by the C'tans utter supremacy in the material universe, and the enemies of the Necrons suffered greatly in the slaughter which followed."
Page 25 Necron dex.

"The C'tan are able to warp reality around them to varying degrees."
P27 "Immune to Natural Law" How much "Varying degrees is, I don't know.

"The C'tan weild the primal energies of creation. Their power is such that they can defy natural laws and alter the fabric of reality itself. Even if a C'tan is detroyed in battle, its essence will reform in a Necron tomb and return to wreak its vengeance later."
P27

So they can most definately defy natural laws and alter the fabric of reality (as much is said).
What laws they defy are at least somewhat defined. Obviously they can't defy everything or they'd be invulnerable to real space weaponry (the whole sunstorm fluff is against that) but they can defy some. How many exactly, to what degree, and how quickly we don't know. But they are definately not beholden to all natural laws nor is it just a matter of understanding them as they both contradict the statement that they can defy natural law and alter the fabric of reality.
Who's natural law? At some point in history flight was impossible (damn, beaten to it) and until the quantum theory, many things were as well. The Old Ones had great understanding of the Warp, but I don't think they were that psychic. They created races with psychic powers to study the effects of it on the Warp. So the same way I would assume the C'Tan to have great understanding of the physical realm, but needing help to alter it.


But GW and BL have stated that NOTHING is canon. Nothing. Not the codices, not the rulebooks, not the novels. Nothing.
On the contrary, everything with GW-bear Seal of Approval is official. I have an official quote that states that as it's all in world POV stuff, facts can alter and when it comes to GW's rules on canon... maybe they have them, maybe they don't.

In either case, GW can eat the cake, have it and say the cake is a lie all at the same time. A marvelous set up.

Imperialis_Dominatus
04-04-2008, 07:37
I'm guessing you're pretty religious because the way you wrote that, you're implying that a soul is required for humans to be distinct, otherwise all humans would act exactly the same.

But he's talking about a Warp-soul, not the kind Jesus is supposed to save. I always thought 'soul' in 40k was an archaic word to reference a metaphysical entity that resembled the idea of a soul enough to attach the word to it. Like Daemons, you know... there's a rationale like this in Horus Rising when that dude gets possessed and Horus explains that such 'spiritual' language is applied to things associated with the Warp even though they don't believe in those things themselves- the terms fit.

I'm rambling, but I hope my point is made.


While GW sucks at writing rules, their strong point is the fluff.
But GW and BL have stated that NOTHING is canon. Nothing. Not the codices, not the rulebooks, not the novels. Nothing.

No, it's that nothing has to be true. It's a little different, as their definition of 'canon' doesn't include 'truth,' but still IMHO kind of stupid. From your tone you might agree.

MvS
04-04-2008, 09:42
I'm guessing you're pretty religious because the way you wrote that, you're implying that a soul is required for humans to be distinct, otherwise all humans would act exactly the same.

That's an odd leap Sekhmet. He didn't say 'soul', he spoke of a metaphysical element.

Metaphysics refers to the investigation into concepts such as: mind, the problems of universals, identity, change, space and time, necessity and possibility, abstract objects and pure mathematics, determinism and free will, cosmology and cosmogony (where everything comes from, how and why), and, yes, spirituality and religion.

What I draw from ReveredChaplainDrake's comments are questions about what makes each C'tan unique and what gives them their identities. As dispersed, intangible and immense clouds of energy that feed on stars the C'tan don't seem to have any culture or psychology, appearing a bit like bizarre space-squids of some sort, but space-squids without physical brains to think with. So what makes the Nightbringer so obsessed with making mortals fear him, or the Deceiver so tricksy?

Are these traits that have manifested since becoming corporeal within their necrodermi? If so, where did these identities come from? Were they somehow programmed into the molecular nano-tech of the necrodermi by the Necrons, projecting how they perceived their individual 'gods' into the vessels they created to 'house' their gods. Like a statue of Zeus looking a particular way, how did mortals know he actually looked that way (pretending he's real). Maybe the Necrons didn't just make physical depictions of the gods they thought they perceived, but also tried to create semi-living vessels that were already predisposed to focus the energy of those deities in particular ways, essentailly prompting them into particular identities.

Or maybe the C'tan always had the potential for personalities and intelligence in the sense that we mortals mean, but weren't even aware in the manner needed to comprehend the possibility for such things as personality and intelligence UNTIL theie whole 'beings' were focussed into necrodermi and made to interact with other entities they would not otherwise have been able to comprehend. So like impossibly powerful infants who could learn in seconds anything they are told, they started to develop charicature identities, based around their first and only experiences with other beings, i.e.: desperate and frightened worshippers -> gods.

If this is the correct model then the C'tan would probably have developed personalities in isolation without having their corners 'knocked' off by others like we mortals do. If your first and only experiences of consciousness is to posses effectively limitless powers and to be surrounded by trillions of desperate and adoring worshippers, to say you would be a bit spoilt and odd would be an understatement. How many rulers or offspring of millionaires have turned out as total nutters because they can do almost anything and no-one says 'no' to them? Imagine that these people didn't just have money and adoring fans/subjects, but also fanatical worshipers and seemingly divine powers...

In other words, to say that the C'tan have no Warp-element is very different from saying they have no metaphysical element, bearing in mind the questions of metaphysics. Also remember that whereas in the 40K imagery there has been a very handy separation between Realspace stuff and 'magical' stuff from the Warp, this separation is still arbitrary when it comes to questions of identity, personality, intelligence, self awareness or why and how the physical universe bothered starting in the first place.

All the effectively unknowable/beyond comprehension things in our universe are wholly part of the entirety that IS our universe. There's no handwavium, just 'beyond comprehension'. So just as human physical scientists, social scientists and philosophers can confuse themselves and each other over the nature of human identity, intelligence and where It All (tm) comes from, so too can we project these same problems onto entities within the Realspace of 40K without having to ask for recourse to the Warp.

The C'tan obviously FEEL that the need mortals for some reason, even though the objectively don't. They will also expend massive amounts of energy, time (which to be fair they may perceive a bit differently) and risk pain and perhaps even destruction, all because they seem to 'like' playing with mortals. This is irrational behaviour in terms of the requirements for survival and indicates a very complex and odd non-Warp metaphysic to C'tan identity.


While GW sucks at writing rules, their strong point is the fluff.
Well yes and no. I mean they have borrowed a lot of strong imagery from dozens of other places and they have develped/changed those imageries with varying degrees of success. There has been a lot of cheesiness, contradictions and downright stupid dead ends before now.

But that's all part of the development process though I guess.


But GW and BL have stated that NOTHING is canon. Nothing. Not the codices, not the rulebooks, not the novels. Nothing.
'They' have also said that EVERYTHING is canon. The codices, the rulebooks, the novels. Everything.

It seems to depend on which 'they' within GW we happen to ask. I think that might have been the good Reverend's point.

MrBigMr
04-04-2008, 10:10
'They' have also said that EVERYTHING is canon. The codices, the rulebooks, the novels. Everything.

It seems to depend on which 'they' within GW we happen to ask. I think that might have been the good Reverend's point.
Not "canon", "official".
I came across this once and just had to save it:

Keep in mind Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 are worlds where half truths, lies, propaganda, politics, legends and myths exist. The absolute truth which is implied when you talk about "canonical background" will never be known because of this. Everything we know about these worlds is from the viewpoints of people in them which are as a result incomplete and even sometimes incorrect. The truth is mutable, debatable and lost as the victors write the history...

Here's our standard line: Yes it's all official, but remember that we're reporting back from a time where stories aren't always true, or at least 100% accurate. if it has the 40K logo on it, it exists in the 40K universe. Or it was a legend that may well have happened. Or a rumour that may or may not have any truth behind it.

Let's put it another way: anything with a 40K logo on it is as official as any Codex... and at least as crammed full of rumours, distorted legends and half-truths.


I think the real problem for me, and I speak for no other, is that the topic as a "big question" doesn't matter. It's all as true as everything else, and all just as false/half-remembered/sort-of-true. The answer you are seeking is "Yes and no" or perhaps "Sometimes". And for me, that's the end of it.

Now, ask us some specifics, eg can Black Templars spit acid and we can answer that one, and many others. But again note thet answer may well be "sometimes" or "it varies" or "depends".

But is it all true? Yes and no. Even though some of it is plainly contradictory? Yes and no. Do we deliberately contradict, retell with differences? Yes we do. Is the newer the stuff the truer it is? Yes and no. In some cases is it true that the older stuff is the truest? Yes and no. Maybe and sometimes. Depends and it varies.

It's a decaying universe without GPS and galaxy-wide communication, where precious facts are clung to long after they have been changed out of all recognition. Read A Canticle for Liebowitz by Walter M Miller, about monks toiling to hold onto facts in the aftermath of a nucelar war; that nails it for me.

Sorry, too much splurge here. Not meant to sound stroppy.

To attempt answer the initial question: What is GW's definition of canon? Perhaps we don't have one. Sometimes and maybe. Or perhaps we do and I'm not telling you.

Rockerfella
04-04-2008, 10:29
The simple plain fact this guy here, erm... Marc Gascoigne says "and at least as crammed full of rumours, distorted legends and half-truths."
-when talking about codices in relation to anything else with a 40k logo on it, clearly means that codex info and fluff is dodgy too.

Also, if whenever an Eldar god is brought to a discussion, and his powers, nay, existence is immediately questioned as a result of 'metaphor', then crikey, the same is certainly true of the C'tan.

If Asuryan fought Kaleis Ra, and moved starts to give him a dose of sun stroke, then he either did it, he did something like it, or something else happened. For me, the same is true of the C'tan.

Thanks Sekhmet for the mention, i appreciate that very muchly. :P

I apologise for this desperate, and seemingly fragile and puny attempt to get the thread back on topic. I had to try...

;)

MvS
04-04-2008, 14:10
Not "canon", "official".
Ah yes, indeed.

But then I have been told 'canon' while speaking face to face. Consistency didn't seem to be a priority for Mr. Gascoigne, or rather it was, but no-one really minded too much if something was inconsistent, providing it read reasonably well.

Things may change now he's leaving/gone, at least for BLP. You never know.

Sekhmet
04-04-2008, 15:59
The mass is the same, but as a more tightly packed matter, the escape velocity increases to infinite. At the same time, according to theories on gravitation and all, time would alter inside the black hole too. So even if the C'Tan would be able to break away from massive gravitational fields (which I don't see as an impossibility, but even energy seems to have some sort of a mass on some scale) the effects on spacetime might make it so that it gets frozen in time if nothing else. So the daring dash out of the black hole would slow down and in the end the C'Tan would be trapped within it. I doubt even they have that great of a mastery over time (yes, the Necrons have a device for that, but just because a man can make a bolter doesn't mean he himself can shoot bolts out of his hands) and space in such a sense.

Besides, little can escape a black hole. There's not much stuff coming out of them. We can only study the effects of the hole in comparison to stuff around them.


Nooo you misunderstand.

Ok, say a C'tan is sitting in the corona of a star, a stable "orbit" and happily munching away on nuclear fusion. Suddenly and magically, said star collapses into a black hole. The gravity the C'tan feels at his location will be exactly the same. The planets in that solar system won't suddenly spiral into the black hole, they'll maintain their stable orbits because as far as they can tell, the gravity is exactly the same. The only difference is that the mass of the former sun is compressed into a singular point in space/time, and there is an event horizon that's tiny compared to the former size of the star. Unless C'tan feed on stars by flying into their core and eating the much hotter nuclear fusion there, the chance of one being caught in the event horizon of an instantly forming black hole is effectively 0%. But if C'tan do feed on stars by sitting in the core, it's extremely unlikely that any physical attack will do damage to the actual C'tan. Solar flares pale in comparison to what happens within a star, so if C'tan indeed live in the core of a star, throwing a solar flare at one would be like flicking water at a whale.

So again, unless Vaul magically increased the mass of the star by 1000 times or more, it's highly unlikely that the C'tan would be anywhere near the event horizon when the black hole formed.

And besides, C'tan can shift into another dimension. As far as we know, nothing in real space affects phase space, so if he does somehow get trapped in a black hole, he needs only to phase out.

DantesInferno
04-04-2008, 21:48
Are these traits that have manifested since becoming corporeal within their necrodermi? If so, where did these identities come from? Were they somehow programmed into the molecular nano-tech of the necrodermi by the Necrons, projecting how they perceived their individual 'gods' into the vessels they created to 'house' their gods. Like a statue of Zeus looking a particular way, how did mortals know he actually looked that way (pretending he's real). Maybe the Necrons didn't just make physical depictions of the gods they thought they perceived, but also tried to create semi-living vessels that were already predisposed to focus the energy of those deities in particular ways, essentailly prompting them into particular identities.

Or maybe the C'tan always had the potential for personalities and intelligence in the sense that we mortals mean, but weren't even aware in the manner needed to comprehend the possibility for such things as personality and intelligence UNTIL theie whole 'beings' were focussed into necrodermi and made to interact with other entities they would not otherwise have been able to comprehend. So like impossibly powerful infants who could learn in seconds anything they are told, they started to develop charicature identities, based around their first and only experiences with other beings, i.e.: desperate and frightened worshippers -> gods.

If this is the correct model then the C'tan would probably have developed personalities in isolation without having their corners 'knocked' off by others like we mortals do. If your first and only experiences of consciousness is to posses effectively limitless powers and to be surrounded by trillions of desperate and adoring worshippers, to say you would be a bit spoilt and odd would be an understatement. How many rulers or offspring of millionaires have turned out as total nutters because they can do almost anything and no-one says 'no' to them? Imagine that these people didn't just have money and adoring fans/subjects, but also fanatical worshipers and seemingly divine powers...

The Necron Codex seems to leave it up in the air: "[After being bound into their necrodermis] The powers of the C'tan were indeed those of gods and it was not before long the C'tan became truly worshipped as such. Perhaps they were tainted by the material world they had entered, or perhaps their manifestations were true to the sun-bound existence they had enjoyed before, but they were as cruel and capricious as the stars that bore them."

For what it's worth, the latter interpretation makes more sense to me (ie. that the C'tan had embryonic personalities, or even the potential for personalities, but didn't fully develop them until they were able to manifest in the material world.


Also remember that whereas in the 40K imagery there has been a very handy separation between Realspace stuff and 'magical' stuff from the Warp, this separation is still arbitrary when it comes to questions of identity, personality, intelligence, self awareness or why and how the physical universe bothered starting in the first place.

All the effectively unknowable/beyond comprehension things in our universe are wholly part of the entirety that IS our universe. There's no handwavium, just 'beyond comprehension'. So just as human physical scientists, social scientists and philosophers can confuse themselves and each other over the nature of human identity, intelligence and where It All (tm) comes from, so too can we project these same problems onto entities within the Realspace of 40K without having to ask for recourse to the Warp.

Indeed. Just for emphasis, I'll reiterate that having a warp signature is not necessary for consciousness and identity in the 40k universe. Plenty of beings without "souls" are capable of the level of cognitive functions and sense of self existing over time which mark out consciousness (eg. Pariahs, the C'tan themselves, etc).

MrBigMr
04-04-2008, 22:11
@Sekhmet
Ooh, I have an idea. Ok, Warp energy can be converted into matter. Daemon bodies, juggernauts and all form from it and general corruption grows all sorts of extra stuff that tend to need Warp presense to function (like daemon princes).

So, lets say the Talismans of Vaul don't simply stream Warp energy, but convert it into matter as well. This way it could place far more mass into a star in an instant and collapse it. So when it goes down, the mass would be greater and as such so would the event horizon. After that either the Warp energy seeps back into the Warp and the black hole grow smaller, or something like that. But the C'Tan would still be trapped inside.


God, what the hell have I been smoking?

I think that would have worked on non-discovered C'Tan the best, as they probably wouldn't have been as able to comprehend what was going on or something like that. I mean, an animal doesn't understand what is happening when you cock a shotgun and place the barrel on its forehead.

The C'Tan would be all "Ooh, shiny things coming this way."


On a small note, has anyone ever wondered why Blackstone Fortresses form an 8-pointed star when looked at from above (or below)?

And:

Sounds cool! When's it being released?
Just got the story finished, but it's late and I'm pooped. I still have to post it (20 000 limit per post doesn't do good when trying to post 60 000+ word stories), not to forget to over it once or twice (well, only the last few chapters, as I've filed the others already).

As I'm away tomorrow, I'll do it on sunday.

Imperialis_Dominatus
04-04-2008, 22:14
But then I have been told 'canon' while speaking face to face. Consistency didn't seem to be a priority for Mr. Gascoigne.

Well, you just have to look at BL as a whole to see that. :p

azimaith
04-04-2008, 23:05
[quote]
Besides, little can escape a black hole. There's not much stuff coming out of them. We can only study the effects of the hole in comparison to stuff around them.

Actually if I recall black holes zap out all sorts of radiation. Mainly X-rays if I recall.




That's the point. You understand the chemical reactions needed for such operation and with the right things can turn water into wine, but you can't alter the chemical composition of water just like that.

Erm if you can manipulate sub-atomic particles you can. Molecules are hardly unbreakable, same with atoms.



Who's natural law? At some point in history flight was impossible (damn, beaten to it) and until the quantum theory, many things were as well. The Old Ones had great understanding of the Warp, but I don't think they were that psychic. They created races with psychic powers to study the effects of it on the Warp. So the same way I would assume the C'Tan to have great understanding of the physical realm, but needing help to alter it.

Except they *defy* it. This isn't written from the point of view of some magos or other scholar, its third person indicating that its taken at face value. Defy is defy.

MvS
04-04-2008, 23:10
Well, you just have to look at BL as a whole to see that. :p
Q.E.D. indeed!

DantesInferno
04-04-2008, 23:12
Except they *defy* it. This isn't written from the point of view of some magos or other scholar, its third person indicating that its taken at face value. Defy is defy.

OK, they "defy" natural law. But what does that mean? As far as children know, planes "defy" gravity. "Defying" a natural law could just mean doing what you want in apparent breach of natural laws. But that doesn't mean that the natural laws were actually breached, only that they appeared to be.

In any case, merely because a text is written in the third person doesn't mean we should necessarily take it at face value.

azimaith
04-04-2008, 23:15
OK, they "defy" natural law. But what does that mean? As far as children know, planes "defy" gravity. "Defying" a natural law could just mean doing what you want in apparent breach of natural laws. But that doesn't mean that the natural laws were actually breached, only that they appeared to be.

In any case, merely because a text is written in the third person doesn't mean we should necessarily take it at face value.
Becuase its not written from a perspective where we can limit their knowledge on the subject. If the book says: "And the Nightbringer ate his fellow C'tan." are you going to say: "Well how does the book know he ate other C'tan! It might have *appeared* like he ate other c'tan to a child, but he didn't really!

Of course not, it would be ridiculous and every single line written in every single fluff piece would be subject to doubt. Oh well it may look like space marines use bolters, but thats only to a child. In reality they could be using any gun thats not a bolter because it says they use bolters.

See how silly it is?

If it says they defy them and its not from a source thats discountable then thats what they do. Otherwise nothing is "true" in 40k background at all. The text isn't written from the perspective of some random child or even a magos.

DantesInferno
04-04-2008, 23:25
Becuase its not written from a perspective where we can limit their knowledge on the subject. If the book says: "And the Nightbringer ate his fellow C'tan." are you going to say: "Well how does the book know he ate other C'tan! It might have *appeared* like he ate other c'tan to a child, but he didn't really!

Of course not, it would be ridiculous and every single line written in every single fluff piece would be subject to doubt. Oh well it may look like space marines use bolters, but thats only to a child. In reality they could be using any gun thats not a bolter because it says they use bolters.

See how silly it is?

If it says they defy them and its not from a source thats discountable then thats what they do. Otherwise nothing is "true" in 40k background at all. The text isn't written from the perspective of some random child or even a magos.

You missed my point entirely: it's not whether the C'tan defy natural laws (though that is a valid question); it's what we should interpret "defying natural laws" to mean in this context.

And while I salute your attempts to derive a slippery slope from "we should look carefully at the context of even apparently objective statements" to "nothing is true in 40k", it really doesn't follow.

azimaith
05-04-2008, 06:39
de·fy Audio Help /v. dɪˈfaɪ; n. dɪˈfaɪ, ˈdifaɪ/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[v. di-fahy; n. di-fahy, dee-fahy] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation verb, -fied, -fy·ing, noun, plural -fies.
–verb (used with object) 1. to challenge the power of; resist boldly or openly: to defy parental authority.
2. to offer effective resistance to: a fort that defies attack.
3. to challenge (a person) to do something deemed impossible: They defied him to dive off the bridge.
4. Archaic. to challenge to a combat or contest.
–noun 5. a challenge; a defiance.

The c'tan are offering effective resistance to natural law. Challenging natural law to do something deemed impossible, or Challenging natural law to "combat or contest".

Thats what defying natural law means. Your taking defy as "appear" which is not at all related.

The context is in a third person statement of what they do. Its not in context of some magos or some eldar, its an out of universe voice.

Thus if you are going to try and turn something thats completely objective into something thats subjective then nothing in 40k can be trusted as fact. The emperor could be a potato, guardsmen could fire kumquats, and tyranids could dance the polka with all the other words being fancy metaphors and figures of speech rather than whats said. To arbitrarily apply this sort of logic to the C'tan is no way to exhibit credibility.

MrBigMr
05-04-2008, 08:28
Actually if I recall black holes zap out all sorts of radiation. Mainly X-rays if I recall.
It comes from the matter speeding into it, reaching such speeds it starts to radiate energy into space. But once past the event horizon, we can't see what happends.


Erm if you can manipulate sub-atomic particles you can. Molecules are hardly unbreakable, same with atoms.
Does it say somewhere the C'Tan can do it all on their own, just like that? It's not like they can turn people into candy or anything.



But on the subject of natural laws, lets remember that even the speed of light as we know it is in vacuum. The theory of relativity doesn't deny the use of mediums. For one, Cerenkov radiation:
Cerenkov radiation is electromagnetic radiation emitted when a charged particle (such as a proton) passes through an insulator at a speed greater than the speed of light in that medium.
And I remember reading about an experiment where they shot a laser through a gas. The beam actually came out of the cloud before it entered it. But I believe the definition of faster than light is about the ability the transmit information that way.

But unlike the Warp, the physical world has a strick rules, math and all that. Everything is relative to each other and all that. Why do you think people are working on the Theory of Everything and things like that. Those are things that govern this world of ours and the C'Tan are part of that world. They are bound by the same rules and even if they know everything there is to be known about the very fabric of existence, they cannot break the rules. They can move around them, exploit various things, but never break the rules.

And this doesn't mean we can't break the rules known to us. Our rules are mere theories, but they're all set on the experimentation and proven calculations. Sure, an equation might not always take every little thing into fact, but if we had knowledge of all the little forces at play, we could factor those in too.

The C'Tan don't defy nor break the universal rules of the material plain. They cannot as they're bound by those rules. The Warp is a place for that, able to work outside of the limitations of real space. It's just that as we have no idea what the true rules are, we have no knowledge on what the C'Tan can do.

Sekhmet
05-04-2008, 08:30
@Sekhmet
Ooh, I have an idea. Ok, Warp energy can be converted into matter. Daemon bodies, juggernauts and all form from it and general corruption grows all sorts of extra stuff that tend to need Warp presense to function (like daemon princes).

So, lets say the Talismans of Vaul don't simply stream Warp energy, but convert it into matter as well. This way it could place far more mass into a star in an instant and collapse it. So when it goes down, the mass would be greater and as such so would the event horizon. After that either the Warp energy seeps back into the Warp and the black hole grow smaller, or something like that. But the C'Tan would still be trapped inside.

The talismans would have to produce a mass greater than all the planets in the system combined, and then some. They'd create the biggest daemonic invasion of real-space by far. If they just created energy then turned that energy into mass, they'd be the most powerful weapons in any form of fiction I can think of. The Death Star would be child's play compared to a Talisman.



I think that would have worked on non-discovered C'Tan the best, as they probably wouldn't have been as able to comprehend what was going on or something like that. I mean, an animal doesn't understand what is happening when you cock a shotgun and place the barrel on its forehead.

Except even animals know when there's a forest fire or an earthquake and leave the area immediately. And it's not like C'tan have no intelligence before they condense themselves. They just don't care about what happens to beings much smaller than themselves until they've experienced it first-hand.

MrBigMr
05-04-2008, 08:46
The talismans would have to produce a mass greater than all the planets in the system combined, and then some. They'd create the biggest daemonic invasion of real-space by far. If they just created energy then turned that energy into mass, they'd be the most powerful weapons in any form of fiction I can think of. The Death Star would be child's play compared to a Talisman.
1. War in Heaven era Eldar sez "What's a daemon?"
2. If daemons did exist back then, imagine being born directly into the core of a star.
3. I think it would have been the smaller evil at that time.
4. I remember one anime had a black hole bomb the size of Jupiter that when detonated obliterated the center of our galazy and turned it into a big donut galaxy. It was used to battle some race of giant space monsters.

The thing is we know that Abaddon tried to use/did use the Talismans to turn a star into a black hole (or was it supernova, I'm confused now), so we know they work that way and I would like to know how this would actually happen. If it's a mere supernovan, I could imagine the Talismans opening a rift in the center of the star, sucking the core into the Warp. With it gone, there wouldn't be enough mass to hold the star together and the contained explosion that a star is would be free to expand in all directions. There wouldn't even be a neutron star or anything left. The whole system would first be burned alive and then with no center of gravity drift off into space.


Except even animals know when there's a forest fire or an earthquake and leave the area immediately.
More like getting nuked.
But yes. On all accounts.

MvS
05-04-2008, 09:57
For what it's worth, the latter interpretation makes more sense to me (ie. that the C'tan had embryonic personalities, or even the potential for personalities, but didn't fully develop them until they were able to manifest in the material world.
I think I prefer that one too.

Granted that the Necrons might have treated each C'tan slightly differently (the Nightbringer was eating their homeworld's sun after all) and this might have effected how the personalities of the different C'tan developed, but otherwise I think the C'tan became self aware and conscious in the mortal senses of the words after manifestation within the necrodermi and that they always had the potential to perceive things this way.

I also think that the C'tan aren't just super-intelligences following an agenda mortals can't understand because we're not clever enough. I think that the C'tan are effectively insane. Not dribbling in the corner insane, nor are they completely irrational, but their whole identities are structured counter-logically. They are manically, megalomaniacally and morbidly obsessed with mortals when they simply don't have to be. The Warp Gods need mortals in an absolute sense. The Star 'Gods' need mortals only because they want to need them or choose to need them, or perhaps because they are somehow addicted to mortals.

Azimaith:

I think you're overstating your case.

The idea that C'tan 'defy' natural laws, as in they can circumvent natural laws through some preternatual means, is a circular position.

Stating the 'absolute' factuality of the throw away Codex reference 'defy' (used how many times precisely?) and then comparing it to the developed imagery of Astartes and their bolt guns is a overstatement and a fallacy - as is comparing the reference to the nature or existence of the Emperor, or the methods and purposes of the Tyranids and so on.

All these other things have been explored in some depth. We have quite extensive descriptions of what bolters do and how they are supposed to do it. We know the Emperor was a man (what sort of man is left up to us to decide), and although he may have become a vegetable of sorts after fighting Horus, we can be certain he was never intended to be a potato.

Instead of fetishising the dictionary meaning of the term 'defy', which I would imagine was written by a designer to express how powerful and cool the C'tan, rather than in absolute knowledge or concern of the precise dictionary meaning of the word 'defy' as an in depth explanation of how such fictional entities might operate in the 'real' universe, why not look to the overwhelming themes of the C'tan and the complexity of the physical universe and try to open your mind to what others are trying to say here.

No-one is saying that the C'tan don't have exceptional powers that mean they can 'defy' physical laws that we, in the 21st Century, regard as pretty absolute. What we are saying is that looking at the logic of the C'tan as creatures of the physical universe (and all its implicit and concurrent dimensions), the C'tan don't break natural laws and don't HAVE to break natural laws to do all the amazing and seemingly supernatural things that they can do.

But the C'tan do not have objectively 'supernatural' powers (in the 40K sense) in the sense that their powers come from 'beyond' the natural world/physical universe. If you could understand, harness and use all the forces and dimensions of the natural world/physical universe then you could do almost anything. That doesn't mean you are breaking the laws of the universe. It means that you have understood that almost every law and phsyical reality can be manipulated in conjunction with another law, even if it has to be traced down to something as tenuous spooky-science' as time, dark matter, liquid dark matter, tightly packed dimensional strings, quantum uncertainty or whatever other funky notion you want to employ. This weeks New Scientist has a brilliant article on levels of impossibility, with teleportation, telepathy, faster than light travel and some other being only 'level 1' impossibilities - as in impossibilities that we have already made headway into making possible.

If we destroy and atom or create an anti-gravity device or slow down the speed of light by using blue lazers, strange gases and refraction, this doesn't means we are uncreating matter, destroying gravity or negating light speed's constant. We are using other naturally dervived processes to alter them in a specific cases as they apply to a specific areas or things, in particular ways and for distcrete periods. We are using other 'physical' possibilities brought about through our wider and deeper understanding of physical laws to circumvent other 'laws' that we knew about first and so thought originally thought immutable. Or in other words, we can break our own rules because the rules we believe apply to the universe are just our own limited theories on how things work based upon our own limited observations. These theories can be shattered by new discoveries, but that doesn't mean some underlying principle of the universe has been shattered.

The only way to 'defy' natural laws (break them without actually employing a knowledge or use of other natural laws) is to use 'magic'. I don't mean 'magic' in the sense that something we don't understand = magic.

I mean magic = supermnatural/non-natural/preternatural/beyond natural/unnatural powers and processes.

The C'tan don't have our limitations of understanding or practice within the physical universe and so the term 'magic' is irrelevant to describe the C'tan's abilities if we are trying to speak objectively and not in-character.

Magic in the 40K universe is very particular and is from and of the Warp. The Warp is the only 'thing' that is not part of the natural world or physical universe in any meaningful sense. Oh it may have been a near infinity in the past, before matter, particles, wave forms and dimensions, when Everything started, but by the time the 40K galaxy began to develop the Warp was supposedly so completely separate from the dimensions and processes of the physical universe, working in ways antithetical to any and all natural laws of the physical universe, regardless of what dimension within the physical universe you want to suggest, that its nature could truly be called magic.

It isn't just inexplicable in that it is so complex and beyond our means to measure that it seems magical. It's magical because its nature is so completely shifting, illogical, random, counter intuitive and often counter productive, making real 'somethings' from nothing and making actual things into true nothing, the Warp does things and is a 'thing' completely divorced from any law of any dimension of Realspace.

When it 'leaks' into Realspace it interacts with 'real' laws and real things, and so can sometimes seem to have consistent symptoms, but that is only in its interaction with Realspace. In itself it is supposed to be, for want of a better term, non-real.

So only the Warp defies, unravels, breaks, alters and ignores natural laws without necessary recourse to other natural laws. Only the Warp is supernatural/preternatural in the absolute meaning of the word. Only the Warp can create energy from true and absolute nothing and only the Warp can turn Realspace energy into true and absolute nothing (rather than just changing it state or diffusing it).

THIS is why the Warp is antithetical to the C'tan. The C'tan have instinctive understanding and natural mastery of the physical laws of the 'natural universe', of Realspace, regardless of whether that 'Realspace' is in 3 dimensions, 4 dimensions or 18 dimensions, including spooky phase dimensions or whatever. The Warp is beyond the C'tan's natural and instinctive understanding and control. More than that, it is somehow harmful to the C'tan because of its complete unnaturalness.

No one is saying that the C'tan aren't immensely powerful and capable of doing things that are completely inexplicable to all but themselves. We are saying that these abilities are not supernatural in the objective, outside the imagery, sense. Only the Warp is truly supernatural within the 40K imagery.

DantesInferno
05-04-2008, 10:38
de·fy Audio Help /v. dɪˈfaɪ; n. dɪˈfaɪ, ˈdifaɪ/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[v. di-fahy; n. di-fahy, dee-fahy] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation verb, -fied, -fy·ing, noun, plural -fies.
–verb (used with object) 1. to challenge the power of; resist boldly or openly: to defy parental authority.
2. to offer effective resistance to: a fort that defies attack.
3. to challenge (a person) to do something deemed impossible: They defied him to dive off the bridge.
4. Archaic. to challenge to a combat or contest.
–noun 5. a challenge; a defiance.

The c'tan are offering effective resistance to natural law. Challenging natural law to do something deemed impossible, or Challenging natural law to "combat or contest".

Thats what defying natural law means. Your taking defy as "appear" which is not at all related.

Unfortunately, merely throwing dictionary definitions at problems rarely solves them. Not only do you then have to then have to pick between which meaning you want in an non-arbitrary fashion, but you have to pick which dictionary you want to use in the first place. Assuming you got yours from dictionary.com, there's another definition offered lower down on the page which seems to fit much better in this context: 'elude, especially in a baffling way; "This behavior defies explanation"'

For what it's worth though, the meaning of "defied" which I was going for is closest to the third one on your list: doing something which seems to be (or is "deemed") impossible.

But of course the larger problem with relying on dictionaries to resolve disputes of interpretation is that merely going through what the dictionary says doesn't tell you about the context in which the word is said: what is the tone; is it part of a metaphor; and so on. And that's why focusing on what the words mean in isolation is such an impoverished way of interpreting background pieces: it needs to be interpreted in context.


Thus if you are going to try and turn something thats completely objective into something thats subjective then nothing in 40k can be trusted as fact. The emperor could be a potato, guardsmen could fire kumquats, and tyranids could dance the polka with all the other words being fancy metaphors and figures of speech rather than whats said. To arbitrarily apply this sort of logic to the C'tan is no way to exhibit credibility.

Err...Right. Surely you're begging the question by assuming it was completely objective in the first place?

The fact of the matter is that there isn't the slippery slope that you want. We can surely agree that there are some statements which are stated in the 3rd person in GW background but which are not literally true (or at least, are true for a given value of true).

For an easy example: "The Blood God sits upon a brass throne atop a mountain of skulls. The remains are those of his victims and his champions both, for he cares not whose blood is shed in his name. The skull mount forms an island amidst a vast ocean of blood: the living sacrificial essence of every victim of violent death throughout the ages." Codex Chaos 3.5, p47.

How much of this is literally true? Is there literally an island of skulls somewhere in the warp where a dog-headed god is sitting? Couldn't this be an abstract and conceptual representation of the complex process of flows and accumulation of emotion and soul-energy in the warp?

In any case, I hope it's fairly clear that the whole 40k universe does not come crashing down around us if we entertain the notion that certain statements might not be the literal truth, and should be looked at as part of a broader context.

EDIT: [Wholehearted agreement with MvS]


I also think that the C'tan aren't just super-intelligences following an agenda mortals can't understand because we're not clever enough. I think that the C'tan are effectively insane. Not dribbling in the corner insane, nor are they completely irrational, but their whole identities are structured counter-logically. They are manically, megalomaniacally and morbidly obsessed with mortals when they simply don't have to be. The Warp Gods need mortals in an absolute sense. The Star 'Gods' need mortals only because they want to need them or choose to need them, or perhaps because they are somehow addicted to mortals.

Mmmm. I always thought of the C'tan as entirely rational, in that they select the actions which have the most desirable outcomes (i.e. the outcomes with the maximum expected utility).

The "problem" is that their preferences are ordered in a way which seems highly unintuitive to us, so that overall their actions seem insane, even if the C'tan are completely rational.

MvS
05-04-2008, 11:44
I always thought of the C'tan as entirely rational, in that they select the actions which have the most desirable outcomes (i.e. the outcomes with the maximum expected utility).

The "problem" is that their preferences are ordered in a way which seems highly unintuitive to us, so that overall their actions seem insane, even if the C'tan are completely rational.

Very true! And for what it's worth, I think you're entirely right.

*hands DantesInferno the proverbial banana*

:)

The C'tan don't seem irrational as such. Their is also a logic to how they execute their harvests, it's just the reason of their logically executed pursuit, mortal food, obedience and worship, serves no purpose that we can understand to their survival.

EDITED TO REPLACE FANBOY EXUBERANCE FOR LEVITY.

;)

DantesInferno
05-04-2008, 12:06
Very true! Let down by my own choice of words!

For what it's worth, I think you're right.

*hands DantesInferno the proverbial banana*

:)

*eats the banana* Given that I was making a minor quibble about one point out of twenty great ones, I don't think I really deserved it...

I've done some study when it comes to rationality and preference-ordering, which is why I thought it might be useful to split the terminology up a bit.

It is interesting to think exactly how human theories of rational choice can be applied to beings which seem to reason instrumentally the same way we do, but have such wildly different preference structures.

It's a bit like trying to work out how smart the Deceiver is. Who knows exactly how much of it is conscious planning, when the being is that powerful.

Iracundus
05-04-2008, 12:11
So only the Warp defies, unravels, breaks, alters and ignores natural laws without necessary recourse to other natural laws. Only the Warp is supernatural/preternatural in the absolute meaning of the word. Only the Warp can create energy from true and absolute nothing and only the Warp can turn Realspace energy into true and absolute nothing (rather than just changing it state or diffusing it).

Actually we have no evidence of any of that energy from nothing. Even psyker powers and the like are merely converting warp (ie psychic) energy into realspace forms, and likewise when material gets sucked into the warp to break down into warp energy. Energy conversion is all that is involved. The warp is just one part of the sum mass/energy total of the universe. Psychic energy in the 40K universe is just one more form of energy.



It isn't just inexplicable in that it is so complex and beyond our means to measure that it seems magical. It's magical because its nature is so completely shifting, illogical, random, counter intuitive and often counter productive, making real 'somethings' from nothing and making actual things into true nothing, the Warp does things and is a 'thing' completely divorced from any law of any dimension of Realspace.

When it 'leaks' into Realspace it interacts with 'real' laws and real things, and so can sometimes seem to have consistent symptoms, but that is only in its interaction with Realspace. In itself it is supposed to be, for want of a better term, non-real.

Honestly there is far too much chucking around of infinities, energy from nothing, and illogicalness in an attempt to inflate the warp. It is a realm of psychic energy, highly mutable, that responds to forces and laws that may not make sense from a rational scientific perspective but rather more from a mystical magical perspective. That however doesn't suddenly make the warp unknowable and beyond all knowledge.

We know the warp obeys certain mystical phenomena and laws such as sympathetic associations and the power of names, such as True Names, and that the warp is a reflection of the warp presences of living things. It isn't random just for the sake of being random. Psychic powers and psychic based technologies most notably Eldar technologies are possible precisely because warpspace and realspace interact in ways that can be rationalized and controlled for in order to be replicated on a wider scale.

The very possibility of having technological means of constraining the warp, whether it be by the Imperium's Gellar fields or the Necrons' pylons mean the warp once again isn't illogical, or beyond knowing.

MvS
05-04-2008, 13:00
Actually we have no evidence of any of that energy from nothing. Even psyker powers and the like are merely converting warp (ie psychic) energy into realspace forms, and likewise when material gets sucked into the warp to break down into warp energy. Energy conversion is all that is involved. The warp is just one part of the sum mass/energy total of the universe. Psychic energy in the 40K universe is just one more form of energy.

This is very grey stuff Iracundus, on both our 'sides' to be fair to you.

There is no clear definition of whether psychic energy is generated my sentient mortals and then leaks into the Warp to mess it up, or whether warp leaks/reaches into the brains of particular sentient mortals for various reasons.

We do have distinct imagery separating psykers from sorcerers - the former being like athletes with natural talents and the latter being 'technicians' of a sort who improve or even create 'talent' by reaching into the Warp, drawing on whatever 'it' is and even making deals with entities that exist within the Warp.

There is no simple 'energy conversion' formula expressed anywhere in the imagery, although different writers allow their own preferences to come through in their writing as to whether the Warp is just complex and weird energy with freaky aliens in it, or indeed an impossible 'non' place with sentient nightmares in it.


Honestly there is far too much chucking around of infinities, energy from nothing, and illogicalness in an attempt to inflate the warp. It is a realm of psychic energy, highly mutable, that responds to forces and laws that may not make sense from a rational scientific perspective but rather more from a mystical magical perspective. That however doesn't suddenly make the warp unknowable and beyond all knowledge.

But of course it does.

The physical universe in its widest and most absolute form is unknowable and beyond all knowledge and seemingly 'supernatural', with every new discovery revealing more question to ask and problems to solve. To create a simplified (though generally accurate) binary, the physical universe is either discrete in size and duration, and came from absolutely nothing at a particular point (which is an impossibility as far as we have any understanding of existence), or the universe it is infinite in some as yet inexplicable though real sense (as in SOMETHING has always existed somehow and in someway, and this *something* only changes state in various ways over endless trillennia).

Both the concept of something from nothing and the concept of infinity are largely unexplainable through current scientific/mathematical methodologies and elucidations, and that is quite 'magical' and spooky enough.

As the Warp supposedly doesn't even belong to the same points of reference as Realspace I would imagine that however hard it is to conceive the ultimate nature, genesis and direction of the physical universe it is infinitely (that word again) harder hard to conceive the ultimate nature, genesis and direction of the Warp in its absolute form.


We know the warp obeys certain mystical phenomena and laws such as sympathetic associations and the power of names, such as True Names, and that the warp is a reflection of the warp presences of living things. It isn't random just for the sake of being random. Psychic powers and psychic based technologies most notably Eldar technologies are possible precisely because warpspace and realspace interact in ways that can be rationalized and controlled for in order to be replicated on a wider scale.

You've hit the nail on the head there - mortals within 40K's physical universe have gleaned some effective constants about how Warp and Realspace interact. At those points of interaction some bizarre rules seem to apply, and these rules can be gleaned and manipulated.

But you'll notice that Warhammer imagery doesn't state that the absolutes within the Warp are explicable. It doesn't state clearly that knowing a daemon's True Name gives you sovereign power over it within the Warp necessarily, so much as attract it to the physical universe where the True Name can then be used to bind it within the rules that generally apply where the Warp and Realspace meet. Even the idea of True Names only makes sense in a frame of reference where 'daemons' can be conceived and identified. Realspace.

In the Warp these entities don't have cities and civilisations. They don't have cultures. What mortals call daemons don't have a mother and father who give birth to them and then give them names like Zarkazzith the Eradicator while they burble in the cradle. Names and identity only matter to mortals looking into the Warp, and it is perhaps partly because of this that the strange disturbances within the Warp are drawn to mortals - perhaps because they are sort of nothings that are automatically drawn towards being made into somethings and being fulfilled; conceptual vacuums that suck identity and mortal perception towards themselves as a function and purpose of their being. Who knows for sure?

The point being that even the Eldar's amazing feats of psychic engineering are designed to impose stability into the Warp, or pehrpas to utilise certain elements of the Warp (compression of physical dimension) but while still separating themselves from the broiling nonsense of the Warp through psychic/physical means. The Webway.


The very possibility of having technological means of constraining the warp, whether it be by the Imperium's Gellar fields or the Necrons' pylons mean the warp once again isn't illogical, or beyond knowing.

But again we know that their are supposed 'depths' to the Warp. The Tau swim in the 'shallows'. The Imperium only go to a 'depth' where there are still correlating points between the Warp and Realspace. In fact looking at the often contradictory nature of the descriptions of the Warp that we have in the imagery, the idea of different 'depths' to the Warp provides one of the very best ways of rationalising them.

'Closer' to Realspace the Warp has tenuous rules that generally hold up. Just like where warp filters into Realspace the rules of Realspace mutate and unbind in various ways, why can't this be a two way street? Where elements of Realspace (even if these elements are just emotions or thoughts or whatever) leak into the Warp some consistencies are generally imposed. This doesn't mean that these apparent consistencies inform on the Warp beyond these 'zones' of general cross-over.

If concepts of something from nothing and/or infinity are confusing and inexplicable possibiltiies within the physical universe, they are certainly possibilities within the Warp, especially regarding the few descriptions of the Warp that we have to go on.

The reason GW writers are told not to delve too deeply into objective descriptions of the precise nature of the Warp is because other than saying "it's magic and scary beyond all comprehension where whatever you think is the case, isn't, or can be, but can also change, or not" anything that might be said is regarded is being limiting. And even what I just said is limiting in the sense that it doesn't actually help understand the Warp other than to say it can't really be understood in absolute terms.

This is a deliberate gambit by GW writers because it allows there to be no objective truth to how they conceive the warp and allows us to conceive it in a way that we understand or in a way that pleases us.

So I'm not saying you're objectively wrong to believe that the Warp is explicable and is 'just' another form of energy that obeys different rules from Realspace. But I would say that you are objectively wrong to say that my view of the Warp is objectively wrong, if that makes sense. All we can really discuss is what seems most likely and what we think seems more pleasing and cool vis-a-vis the comments found in imagery.

Iracundus
05-04-2008, 13:34
This is very grey stuff Iracundus, on both our 'sides' to be fair to you.

There is no clear definition of whether psychic energy is generated my sentient mortals and then leaks into the Warp to mess it up, or whether warp leaks/reaches into the brains of particular sentient mortals for various reasons.


The Ork background explicitly mentions how Orks generate a gestalt psychic field and it is this which Weirdboyz tap into, rather than drawing energy from the warp.

The Chaos gods explicitly seek the worship of mortals and the pledging of those same mortal souls to themselves because the accretion of such psychic energy is the means by which they sustain themselves and grow, as they are quite literally conglomerations of souls on a vast scale.



We do have distinct imagery separating psykers from sorcerers - the former being like athletes with natural talents and the latter being 'technicians' of a sort who improve or even create 'talent' by reaching into the Warp, drawing on whatever 'it' is and even making deals with entities that exist within the Warp.

Other than the part about making pacts with warp entities, there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of difference between the two in background or in stories. Both engage in practices that ultimately in modern viewpoints boil down to mystical magical practices, with the latter taking it perhaps just slightly more in that direction.



There is no simple 'energy conversion' formula expressed anywhere in the imagery, although different writers allow their own preferences to come through in their writing as to whether the Warp is just complex and weird energy with freaky aliens in it, or indeed an impossible 'non' place with sentient nightmares in it.

Actually there are quite a few examples. All the pyrotechnic psychic powers or lightning based powers described in a multitude of 40K systems just to name a few, interact with the material world in entirely mundane ways. A pyromancy generated blast of psychic flame burns things, and can cook off ammunition like its mundane counterpart.

The Eldar have no significant mundane means of power generation on Craftworlds. Their entire society is based on drawing psychic energy from the Craftworld core and expending that to produce such realspace forms as light and heat. The pride of their materials technology is energy drawn from the warp and solidified into a solid form. All of this direct from the Eldar Codex from 2nd and 4th ed.




But of course it does.

The physical universe in its widest and most absolute form is unknowable and beyond all knowledge and seemingly 'supernatural', with every new discovery revealing more question to ask and problems to solve. To create a simplified (though generally accurate) binary, the physical universe is either discrete in size and duration, and came from absolutely nothing at a particular point (which is an impossibility as far as we have any understanding of existence), or the universe it is infinite in some as yet inexplicable though real sense (as in SOMETHING has always existed somehow and in someway, and this *something* only changes state in various ways over endless trillennia).


That statement about the knowability of the universe is entirely subjective and lacking in objective evidence. Not knowing the universe in its entirety does not preclude or mean it is NOT knowable. Ancient peoples thought many phenomena about the universe was unknowable and supernatural yet we deal and manipulate some of those very things on an every day basis. Simplest one offhand: electricity, the stuff of lightning bolts that ancient people could not understand.



As the Warp supposedly doesn't even belong to the same points of reference as Realspace I would imagine that however hard it is to conceive the ultimate nature, genesis and direction of the physical universe it is infinitely (that word again) harder hard to conceive the ultimate nature, genesis and direction of the Warp in its absolute form.

Once again you seem to be chucking a lot of forms of the word infinite apparently for the sole purpose of trying to inflate and build up the warp. We do know the warp has some correspondence to realspace geography as that is how the warp travel works, and also because those areas in which the Necrons have built pylons have a corresponding becalmed section of the warp.



You've hit the nail on the head there - mortals within 40K's physical universe have gleaned some effective constants about how Warp and Realspace interact. At those points of interaction some bizarre rules seem to apply, and these rules can be gleaned and manipulated.

But you'll notice that Warhammer imagery doesn't state that the absolutes within the Warp are explicable. It doesn't say that knowing a daemon's True Name controls it within the warp, so much as attracts it to the physical universe then can be used to bind it within the rules that generally apply where the Warp and Realspace meet. Even the idea of True Names only makes sense in a frame of reference where 'daemons' can be conceived and identified. Realspace.

In the Warp these entities don't have cultures and cities and they certainly don't have a mother and father who give birth to them and then name them Zarkazzith the Eradicator while they burble in the cradle. Names and identity only matter to mortals looking into the Warp, and it is perhaps partly because of this that the strange disturbances within the Warp are drawn to mortals - perhaps because they are nothings that are automatically drawn to being fulfilled; conceptual vacuums that draw indentity and mortal perception towards themselves as a function and purpose of their being. Who kknows.



We have background from 40K books showing the existence of discrete daemonic entities within the warp proper. The unaligned or lesser daemons may lack coherent existence other than as potentiality and be of animalistic intelligence and desire, but the higher greater entities such as greater daemons and Chaos gods show all the signs of sentience and individuality. The Realms of Chaos books also show that greater daemons are merely smaller subsections of their patron gods given individual autonomy and will. By that, what are the gods but greater daemons on an incredible scale?

The True Name of a daemon is nowhere described to be calling the daemon to the material universe. The True Name of a daemon is described as having its power over a daemon in the Realms of Chaos because that Name is supposed to be a distilled reflection of the essential nature of that daemon. Even then it merely gives greater power and influence, not outright control. The most powerful of daemons or gods may not care about having their True Names known to mortals. Indeed in the novel Space Marine by Ian Watson, there is a section where the very name Tzeentch (which may or may not be a part of the True Name) conjures up visions of insane geometries and vistas in the mind of a character who is barely brought back from the brink of madness.





But again we know that their are supposed 'depths' to the Warp. The Tau swim in the 'shallows'. The Imperium only go to a 'depth' where there are still correlating points between the Warp and Realspace. In fact looking at the often contradictory nature of the descriptions of the Warp that we have in the imagery, the idea of different 'depths' to the Warp provides one of the very best ways of rationalising them.

Do we? The Tau and their ether drive are never truly described as going in any sort of "shallows", but sort of skipping along the interface. There has never been any real evidence of different layers to the warp other than fan speculation.




The reason GW writers are told not to delve too deeply into objective descriptions of the precise nature of the Warp is because other than saying "it's magic and scary beyond all comprehension where whatever you think is the case, isn't, or can be, but can also change, or not" anything that might be said is regarded is being limiting. And even what I just said is limiting in the sense that it doesn't actually help understand the Warp other than to say it can't really be understood in absolute terms.

This is a deliberate gambit by GW writers because it allows there to be no objective truth to how they conceive the warp and allows us to conceive it in a way that we understand or in a way that pleases us.

Translation: It permits sloppy or non-existent continuity checking

MvS
05-04-2008, 14:53
The Ork background explicitly mentions how Orks generate a gestalt psychic field and it is this which Weirdboyz tap into, rather than drawing energy from the warp. The Chaos gods explicitly seek the worship of mortals and the pledging of those same mortal souls to themselves because the accretion of such psychic energy is the means by which they sustain themselves and grow, as they are quite literally conglomerations of souls on a vast scale.

Yes. I'll try to be clearer.

You conflated psychic power as 'warp energy'. One and the same. I attempted, obviously not clearly, to show say that the Warp existed before sentient mortals existed.

Yes mortals generate psychic power. I have no argument there and nor have I made one. Yes warp leaks into Realspace. No argument there either. Yes mortal thoughts, emotions and psychic powers filter into the Warp and causes all sorts of effects, vortices and conglomerations.

But warp energy, or just 'warp' existed before mortals. Psychic power seems to be generated by mortals, although there is some question as to whether this is just a function of the genetic makeup of certain mortals or whether psychic abilties have developed because of influence/contamination from the Warp.

So there remains a question about psykers/sorcerers. One using just the powers generated by his brain/mind and the other dipping into the Warp. As I said, the imagery is sometimes contradictory on the differences between these two.


All the pyrotechnic psychic powers or lightning based powers described in a multitude of 40K systems just to name a few, interact with the material world in entirely mundane ways.

All this shows us is psykers and/or sorcerers using their minds/warp to create a particular effect. 'I want to throw a fireball' or 'i want to attract and wield lightning' and so they do.

How this is supposed to constitute an energy conversion formula I don't know. Or rather, I do know, but then it is just as viable to say that 'warp energy' or 'psychic energy' whatever these might be are converted in the... what... mind(?) of the user into fire or electricty. That's the imagery you prefer yes?

I prefer the idea that the 'energy' that is warp is a blank slate and is whatever you are psychically/sorcerously strong enough to will it to be. But then to explain what warp is in its natural state we can only use the word 'energy', but sadly that comes with all sorts of connotations and baggage. What I could say in an effort to step closer to your position is that warp, even though it isn't anything that is 'factually' measureable or explainable in physical terms, creates many effects within the physical universe that can be spoken about in terms of 'energy'.


The Eldar have no significant mundane means of power generation on Craftworlds. Their entire society is based on drawing psychic energy from the Craftworld core and expending that to produce such realspace forms as light and heat. The pride of their materials technology is energy drawn from the warp and solidified into a solid form. All of this direct from the Eldar Codex from 2nd and 4th ed.

I'm sorry, I simply don't see how this contradicts what I'm saying.


That statement about the knowability of the universe is entirely subjective and lacking in objective evidence. Not knowing the universe in its entirety does not preclude or mean it is NOT knowable.

Actually, this binary, though expressed in simplistic terms, is a real concern of cosmology and cosmogny.

If the existence is inifinite in some way, then investigation into it would only ever be an on-going process because no matter how much we learn there will always be a point where we still don't know what happened 'before' and so will keep having to ask.

Conversely, if existence really came from nothing (not vacuum, because that requires dimension) then it is impossible to know beyond the start point. We can guess and theorise of course, but as 'nothing' is not a 'something' that can be empirically observed we can never really 'know'.


Ancient peoples thought many phenomena about the universe was unknowable and supernatural yet we deal and manipulate some of those very things on an every day basis. Simplest one offhand: electricity, the stuff of lightning bolts that ancient people could not understand.

And yet I wasn't making such a simplistic point. I didn't say that if existence is infinite in some way we cannot keep learning more and more until we know how to do things that seem impossible today. Likewise, if all existence had a discrete beginning before which there was nothing, then that nothing IS unknowable, because if you can know it and fully understand its nature then it isn't truly 'nothing' and that just passes the buck backwards to "what came before the 'nothing' that we have discovered and exlained before what we originally though of as all history began?".


Once again you seem to be chucking a lot of forms of the word infinite apparently for the sole purpose of trying to inflate and build up the warp.

Yes exactly.

Although the word 'chucking' implies a sort of random or pointless process, which I'm pretty sure I'm not doing.


We do know the warp has some correspondence to realspace geography as that is how the warp travel works, and also because those areas in which the Necrons have built pylons have a corresponding becalmed section of the warp.

Yes, as I mentioned in my post.


We have background from 40K books showing the existence of discrete daemonic entities within the warp proper.

Yes


The unaligned or lesser daemons may lack coherent existence other than as potentiality and be of animalistic intelligence and desire

Yes


the higher greater entities such as greater daemons and Chaos gods show all the signs of sentience and individuality. The Realms of Chaos books also show that greater daemons are merely smaller subsections of their patron gods given individual autonomy and will. By that, what are the gods but greater daemons on an incredible scale?

Yes indeed. I'm not sure your point is clear.

My point was where any and all Warp entities come from and more importantly how they get their identities, personalities, motives and names.


The True Name of a daemon is nowhere described to be calling the daemon to the material universe.

Really? Here I thought that knowing the True Name of a specific daemon was often (though not always) required to bind a daemon within Realspace.


The True Name of a daemon is described as having its power over a daemon in the Realms of Chaos because that Name is supposed to be a distilled reflection of the essential nature of that daemon.

Nice. This doesn't actually explain the importance of a particular formulation of sounds as a True Name however. Why is saying Tzzzzzgghrqquuthdopprddeerg or whatever more objectively a True Name than saying in English whatever it is that name is supposed to mean: He-Who-Creates-Nervous-Giggles-In-Blonde-Haired-Children-Aged-Between-Five-And-Seven.

In other words, the True name imagery is cool and certainly has a logic within the idea that the Warp has some generally consistent rules where it meets Realspace, it does not deomstrate a consistent rationale in absolute terms within the imagery of daemons, gods and what they are.

The best we can say is that because entities are formed in the Warp because of mortal emotions and concepts and also because mortals conceive and perceive the daemons, we could say that mortals can impose rules upon daemons like the True name thing - or maybe that this rule was imposed on daemons by Old Ones when the first ones started to form millions of years back. Whatever the case specific names in specific languages for creaturtes created by mortals does not inform to any deep degree upon the nature of the Warp, other than to say that rules created by abstract ideas and dreams are as tangibly real as any other law could be.


in the novel Space Marine by Ian Watson, there is a section where the very name Tzeentch (which may or may not be a part of the True Name) conjures up visions of insane geometries and vistas in the mind of a character who is barely brought back from the brink of madness.

Smacks of sorcery to me! :)


The Tau and their ether drive are never truly described as going in any sort of "shallows", but sort of skipping along the interface. There has never been any real evidence of different layers to the warp other than fan speculation.

Okay, interface. Interface being what...? Perhaps a 'place' closer to Realspace than...? What? 'Actual Warp'?

Depths. Layers. I accept that the language is probably insufficient.

Here's a time-consuming game for anyone who's interested: see how many times you can find phrases like 'deep into the Warp' or 'depths of the Warp' or anything that mentions 'endless', 'infinite', 'impossible', immeasureable' or any other term that designates depths, layers, infinity and/or the general inexplainable impossibilities of the Warp.

Once done, see how many references you can find to the Warp as explainable, singular, discrete, contained, measureable, rule-bound or generally contradictory to the previous list. I'm sure you will find references to both, because as I said different writers like different emphases.

On the other hand I'm also sure you will find more 'infinite' and 'impossible' sorts of phrases than not.


Translation: It permits sloppy or non-existent continuity checking
See, that's just rude Iracundis and I'm not sure I want to play with you anymore.

I maintain my position that I am sure you can find a means to support your stance because the imgery is complex/vague/contradictory enough (take your pick) to support it, so you obviously can't be objectively wrong. I'm also dead certain that I can do the same, so the best I think we could do is explore whether there are interesting reasons for either of us to think what we do.

I would suggest you try not to get so seemingly irate while posting on this forum though. No one was attacking you. You just didn't agree with what you were reading, which is obviously fine. I mean the only reason we post on these forums is to share opinions. But still, no reason we can't all play nice.

azimaith
05-04-2008, 18:59
Azimaith:

I think you're overstating your case.

The idea that C'tan 'defy' natural laws, as in they can circumvent natural laws through some preternatual means, is a circular position.

Its not a circular position. I just said *they defy natural law* because it states they do. How they do it is just handwavium to me.



Stating the 'absolute' factuality of the throw away Codex reference 'defy' (used how many times precisely?) and then comparing it to the developed imagery of Astartes and their bolt guns is a overstatement and a fallacy - as is comparing the reference to the nature or existence of the Emperor, or the methods and purposes of the Tyranids and so on.

Once you start picking out one particular piece of fluff to turn statements into metaphors you can do it to any fluff.



All these other things have been explored in some depth. We have quite extensive descriptions of what bolters do and how they are supposed to do it. We know the Emperor was a man (what sort of man is left up to us to decide), and although he may have become a vegetable of sorts after fighting Horus, we can be certain he was never intended to be a potato.

Maybe the golden throne is a metaphor for really nice earth, maybe horus is a metaphor for potato rot. See metaphor that can't be disproven despite it being ridiculously stated against. If they state the emperor is a man then its no more questionable than them stating the c'tan defy natural law.



Instead of fetishising the dictionary meaning of the term 'defy', which I would imagine was written by a designer to express how powerful and cool the C'tan, rather than in absolute knowledge or concern of the precise dictionary meaning of the word 'defy' as an in depth explanation of how such fictional entities might operate in the 'real' universe, why not look to the overwhelming themes of the C'tan and the complexity of the physical universe and try to open your mind to what others are trying to say here.

Because your adding in opinion to something thats clearly stated! Well the emperor as a man could just be a cool way of saying he was a man sized potato and horus could represent the constant struggle between potato rot and potato growth. From that the emperor could be extrapolated to represent the battle between growth vs destruction due to his potato nature. Gee why don't you open your mind to what i'm saying here.



No-one is saying that the C'tan don't have exceptional powers that mean they can 'defy' physical laws that we, in the 21st Century, regard as pretty absolute. What we are saying is that looking at the logic of the C'tan as creatures of the physical universe (and all its implicit and concurrent dimensions), the C'tan don't break natural laws and don't HAVE to break natural laws to do all the amazing and seemingly supernatural things that they can do.

Where do people get this stuff. All we know about the C'tan is they were born out of stars at the beginning of the universe and they defy natural law. Thats *all* we know about their nature. Anything else is just speculation.



But the C'tan do not have objectively 'supernatural' powers (in the 40K sense) in the sense that their powers come from 'beyond' the natural world/physical universe.

Lets see, they fly around, they can summon "etheric winds" whatever that means. They can kill things by looking at them, produce lightning imprint the fear of death on nearly all species in the galaxy, apparently become immune to harm from a warp god for an unknown period of time, and turn people into dried up husks by being in proximity.

But none of this is "Supernatural". I'll tell you that most of this makes the laws of nature look like a joke.



If you could understand, harness and use all the forces and dimensions of the natural world/physical universe then you could do almost anything. That doesn't mean you are breaking the laws of the universe. It means that you have understood that almost every law and phsyical reality can be manipulated in conjunction with another law, even if it has to be traced down to something as tenuous spooky-science' as time, dark matter, liquid dark matter, tightly packed dimensional strings, quantum uncertainty or whatever other funky notion you want to employ.

The problem is that doing that sort of thing would require ridiculous quantities of equipment. Sure making lightning isn't that hard with the right equipment, now try making it without any equipment. Turning someone into a dry husk of skin and bone is easy with the right stuff, its not so easy when you don't have anything to do it with. The lack of accompanying equipment is what makes it supernatural.



This weeks New Scientist has a brilliant article on levels of impossibility, with teleportation, telepathy, faster than light travel and some other being only 'level 1' impossibilities - as in impossibilities that we have already made headway into making possible.

If we destroy and atom or create an anti-gravity device or slow down the speed of light by using blue lazers, strange gases and refraction, this doesn't means we are uncreating matter, destroying gravity or negating light speed's constant. We are using other naturally dervived processes to alter them in a specific cases as they apply to a specific areas or things, in particular ways and for distcrete periods. We are using other 'physical' possibilities brought about through our wider and deeper understanding of physical laws to circumvent other 'laws' that we knew about first and so thought originally thought immutable. Or in other words, we can break our own rules because the rules we believe apply to the universe are just our own limited theories on how things work based upon our own limited observations. These theories can be shattered by new discoveries, but that doesn't mean some underlying principle of the universe has been shattered.
So then I can argue simply that *no one defies* natural law. They just appear to. Khorne doesn't, nurgle doesn't, psykers don't, they all just appear to defy it.



The only way to 'defy' natural laws (break them without actually employing a knowledge or use of other natural laws) is to use 'magic'. I don't mean 'magic' in the sense that something we don't understand = magic.

I mean magic = supermnatural/non-natural/preternatural/beyond natural/unnatural powers and processes.

Then I can claim just as well no one uses magic if the c'tan's powers aren't "magic". After all, we can explain away warp phenomenon with "natural law we don't know how to manipulate yet."



The C'tan don't have our limitations of understanding or practice within the physical universe and so the term 'magic' is irrelevant to describe the C'tan's abilities if we are trying to speak objectively and not in-character.

Magic in the 40K universe is very particular and is from and of the Warp. The Warp is the only 'thing' that is not part of the natural world or physical universe in any meaningful sense. Oh it may have been a near infinity in the past, before matter, particles, wave forms and dimensions, when Everything started, but by the time the 40K galaxy began to develop the Warp was supposedly so completely separate from the dimensions and processes of the physical universe, working in ways antithetical to any and all natural laws of the physical universe, regardless of what dimension within the physical universe you want to suggest, that its nature could truly be called magic.

For one the warp is ordered despite arguments otherwise. Its just ordered differently. Otherwise gellar fields would never work because the warp doesn't have to follow real space rules thus by extension, real space technology. Things can be predicted in the warp, hell are predicted through the warp, psykers are trained to resist influences from it, which would be impossible had those influences been impossible to predict. Beyond that the warp isn't unnatural. If it was unnatural it wouldn't exist. Instead it exists right next to the material universe naturally.



It isn't just inexplicable in that it is so complex and beyond our means to measure that it seems magical. It's magical because its nature is so completely shifting, illogical, random, counter intuitive and often counter productive, making real 'somethings' from nothing and making actual things into true nothing, the Warp does things and is a 'thing' completely divorced from any law of any dimension of Realspace.

The warp isn't completely shifting, illogiocal, random, and counter intuitive at all. Otherwise you'd never navigate it whatsoever because the astronomicon would be completely pointless. After all, if its counter intuitive the light wouldn't necessarily show through and navigators would essentially by flying blind be they could never predict where they were going. THe warp is not true chaos and randomness, its just different.



When it 'leaks' into Realspace it interacts with 'real' laws and real things, and so can sometimes seem to have consistent symptoms, but that is only in its interaction with Realspace. In itself it is supposed to be, for want of a better term, non-real.

So only the Warp defies, unravels, breaks, alters and ignores natural laws without necessary recourse to other natural laws. Only the Warp is supernatural/preternatural in the absolute meaning of the word. Only the Warp can create energy from true and absolute nothing and only the Warp can turn Realspace energy into true and absolute nothing (rather than just changing it state or diffusing it).

Energy is often specified as drawn from the warp. The warp is no more supernatural or magical than the c'tan are. By your own words and logic it just uses different laws we don't understand yet.



THIS is why the Warp is antithetical to the C'tan. The C'tan have instinctive understanding and natural mastery of the physical laws of the 'natural universe', of Realspace, regardless of whether that 'Realspace' is in 3 dimensions, 4 dimensions or 18 dimensions, including spooky phase dimensions or whatever. The Warp is beyond the C'tan's natural and instinctive understanding and control. More than that, it is somehow harmful to the C'tan because of its complete unnaturalness.

No, the warp is not ever specified as any more harmful to the c'tan than anything else. The warp is anathema to them. Anathema is a *noun* not an adjective. The warp is loathed, hated, and consigned to destruction by the c'tan. If anything the warp is a convienent source of energy to use against the c'tan that can be rather readily managed by psykers within the materium while a bunch of suns taped together is not. C'tan can be killed by real space energy, same with warp energy. Ones just easier to access the ridiculous amounts you need.



No one is saying that the C'tan aren't immensely powerful and capable of doing things that are completely inexplicable to all but themselves. We are saying that these abilities are not supernatural in the objective, outside the imagery, sense. Only the Warp is truly supernatural within the 40K imagery.
And i'm saying your employing a double standard for the warp by ignoring the fact that the very argument against the c'tan is just as valid with the warp and both are impossible to prove with your habit of turning statements into metaphors which in turn makes the statements of the warp being a place of random chaos just as silly as the c'tan defying natural law.

You really don't have a foot to stand on.

You claim the warp is a place of chaos and randomness where natural law doesn't apply. I counter with your argument against the c'tan. Well just because it says that whose it coming from.After all to us or to some magos is may *seem* as if they don't apply, but they're really just being circumvented.

You claim its stated as magic, I say "Well it may seem like magic but its just natural law being circumvented.

In essence I could just take your argument against the c'tan and replace "C'tan" with Warp and paste it as the reply to your argument and still remain consistent with claims you've made on the way this should be logically interpreted.



Once done, see how many references you can find to the Warp as explainable, singular, discrete, contained, measureable, rule-bound or generally contradictory to the previous list. I'm sure you will find references to both, because as I said different writers like different emphases.

Oh *this is rich*.
Well



Instead of fetishising the dictionary meaning of the terms 'explainable, singular, discrete, contained, measurable, rule-bound or generally contradictory', which I would imagine was written by a designer to express how powerful and cool the warp is, rather than in absolute knowledge or concern of the precise dictionary meaning of the words 'explainable, singular, discrete, contained, measurable, rule-bound or generally contradictory' as an in depth explanation of how such fictional realms might operate in the 'real' universe, why not look to the overwhelming themes of the warp and the complexity of the warp and try to open your mind to what others are trying to say here.

Look familiar?



No-one is saying that the warp don't have exceptional powers that mean they are 'infinite' and 'impossible' to us, in the 21st Century. What we are saying is that looking at the logic of the warp as part of the physical universe (and all its implicit and concurrent dimensions), the warp doesn't break natural laws and doesn't HAVE to break natural laws to do all the amazing and seemingly supernatural things that they it does.




I maintain my position that I am sure you can find a means to support your stance because the imgery is complex/vague/contradictory enough (take your pick) to support it, so you obviously can't be objectively wrong. I'm also dead certain that I can do the same, so the best I think we could do is explore whether there are interesting reasons for either of us to think what we do.

I'm sorry but I seem to have countered your argument with your own argument and a couple replaced words. Perhaps you would be easier to take if you were not speaking out of both sides of your face. Claiming that certain statements are accurate and absolute while others are metaphors and figures of speech in an arbitrary fashion.

And the slippery slope begins, as you start making statements arbitrarily metaphors.

Ashnari Doomsong
05-04-2008, 21:42
Azimaith.
Stop intentionally being a ****. You know that there are some things that you can take on face value simply because they make sense. When something doesn't make sense, they need interpretation. The C'tan denying the laws of physics doesn't make sense, because the C'tan are physical beings and as such subject to said laws. When it is stated that a lasgun fires laser shots, you can assume it fires laser shots because this is what an impartial observer with our degree of insight would observe.
When it is stated that Khorne sits atop a gigantic pile of skulls and plays knucklebones with Joe the Bloodthirster every saturday at seven, you can be reasonably certain that he does not actually spend his days sitting on a pile of the collected skulls of all those who have suffered a violent death, because those skulls are elsewhere and it wouldn't make sense for said skulls to be two places at once.
When it is stated that the C'tan break the laws of physics, we can be reasonably certain that they don't, because that is impossible for physical beings such as the C'tan.

This isn't maths. Common sense is applicable.

azimaith
05-04-2008, 22:23
Azimaith.
Stop intentionally being a ****. You know that there are some things that you can take on face value simply because they make sense. When something doesn't make sense, they need interpretation. The C'tan denying the laws of physics doesn't make sense, because the C'tan are physical beings and as such subject to said laws.

Translation, stop arguing because I can't figure out something logical to counter with besides calling you names.

Close? It states specifically they defy natural law, the rest of what you put is all assumptions with absolutely *no basis*. Get some proof then come debate it.



When it is stated that a lasgun fires laser shots, you can assume it fires laser shots because this is what an impartial observer with our degree of insight would observe.

And an impartial observer of our degree of insight would see C'tan defying natural law. Whats your point besides you holding a double standard.



When it is stated that Khorne sits atop a gigantic pile of skulls and plays knucklebones with Joe the Bloodthirster every saturday at seven, you can be reasonably certain that he does not actually spend his days sitting on a pile of the collected skulls of all those who have suffered a violent death, because those skulls are elsewhere and it wouldn't make sense for said skulls to be two places at once.

Hmm lets see, its the warp and its from a big angry chaos god. Who needs sense, its handwavium. Since when I actually *read* the background and I *accept statements of fact written in the background as part of the 40k universe*. Hes a warp god and the idea of having two skulls of any person just like a person has a presence in the warp and the materium is not an amazing leap. What is an amazing leap is to categorically deny certain things and accept other things based on a completely arbitrary system.



When it is stated that the C'tan break the laws of physics, we can be reasonably certain that they don't, because that is impossible for physical beings such as the C'tan.

Its *NEVER* stated they do not. Its stated that They defy natural law.

Your attempting to take negative proof as proof, what makes it worse is that the negative proof doesn't even exist as it already tells us they defy natural law. So your basically going and pretending part of the book doesn't exist to fit in with your assumptions about the C'tan which aren't even accurate.




We have an impartial direct statement telling us they do yet for some reason people seem to think that these assumptions about the C'tan *must* be more accurate that whats directly stated in the book even though they have no background support.



This isn't maths. Common sense is applicable.

Math does make sense, hell math is amongst the most logical things humans do.

Heres a tip, go get some evidence and put forth a well thought out argument, in essence do the exact opposite of what you did here.

DantesInferno
05-04-2008, 23:05
Once you start picking out one particular piece of fluff to turn statements into metaphors you can do it to any fluff.


Maybe the golden throne is a metaphor for really nice earth, maybe horus is a metaphor for potato rot. See metaphor that can't be disproven despite it being ridiculously stated against. If they state the emperor is a man then its no more questionable than them stating the c'tan defy natural law.


Because your adding in opinion to something thats clearly stated! Well the emperor as a man could just be a cool way of saying he was a man sized potato and horus could represent the constant struggle between potato rot and potato growth. From that the emperor could be extrapolated to represent the battle between growth vs destruction due to his potato nature. Gee why don't you open your mind to what i'm saying here.


And i'm saying your employing a double standard for the warp by ignoring the fact that the very argument against the c'tan is just as valid with the warp and both are impossible to prove with your habit of turning statements into metaphors which in turn makes the statements of the warp being a place of random chaos just as silly as the c'tan defying natural law.

You really don't have a foot to stand on.


I'm sorry but I seem to have countered your argument with your own argument and a couple replaced words. Perhaps you would be easier to take if you were not speaking out of both sides of your face. Claiming that certain statements are accurate and absolute while others are metaphors and figures of speech in an arbitrary fashion.

And the slippery slope begins, as you start making statements arbitrarily metaphors.

The problem is that there is no slippery slope here. The key is the concept of using the context to derive a reasonable interpretation. It's not about arbitrarily making statements metaphors at a whim: to suggest it is completely misses the point of what MvS and myself have been saying.

To take one of your examples, to suggest that the Emperor is in fact a potato is ridiculous because there's nothing to support it or suggest that it is, in fact, a reasonable interpretation in the context.

I wouldn't have thought it was that revolutionary to suggest that there are pieces of 40k background which should not be interpreted strictly literally.

Repeating "the C'tan defy natural law" over and over doesn't help, because it doesn't tell us how what we should interpret their "defiance" to be.

azimaith
05-04-2008, 23:25
The problem is that there is no slippery slope here. The key is the concept of using the context to derive a reasonable interpretation. It's not about arbitrarily making statements metaphors at a whim: to suggest it is completely misses the point of what MvS and myself have been saying.

Of course you are. Your taking a statement of fact and changing it to mean something else.



To take one of your examples, to suggest that the Emperor is in fact a potato is ridiculous because there's nothing to support it or suggest that it is, in fact, a reasonable interpretation in the context.

But somehow with a statement of fact "C'tan defy natural law." there is.



I wouldn't have thought it was that revolutionary to suggest that there are pieces of 40k background which should not be interpreted strictly literally.

Repeating "the C'tan defy natural law" over and over doesn't help, because it doesn't tell us how what we should interpret their "defiance" to be.
Well the most obvious way is to infer from the following text about the C'tan.
"The C'tan wield the primal energies of creation. Their power is such that they can defy natural laws and alter the fabric of reality itself."

So instead of inferring that they just go around laws we have evidence here that they just alter the fabric of reality.

Above this it says:
The C'tan are able to warp reality around them to varying degrees."

So how they "defy natural laws" is by warping reality. Thats as far as your going to get with supporting evidence on this matter because thats all there is on it. If your warping reality then your not working within its bounds, your changing the bounds themselves.


Thats with support from the book. The idea that they're actually just hiding technology or just understand the laws better is not supported. What is supported is that they change reality to varying degrees.

And amazingly, you can get all of this by just reading what is written.

DantesInferno
06-04-2008, 00:08
Of course you are. Your taking a statement of fact and changing it to mean something else.

Err...Only if you assume that "the C'tan defy natural law" is a statement of fact in the first place, which completely begs the question (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circular_logic). If people are arguing that a statement shouldn't be interpreted literally, you can't just turn around and say "No, it should be interpreted literally because it's a statement of fact". That's the whole matter in question.


But somehow with a statement of fact "C'tan defy natural law." there is.

See above.


Well the most obvious way is to infer from the following text about the C'tan.
"The C'tan wield the primal energies of creation. Their power is such that they can defy natural laws and alter the fabric of reality itself."

So instead of inferring that they just go around laws we have evidence here that they just alter the fabric of reality.

Which then brings us to the question of what "altering the fabric of reality" means. Interpretation is ultimately going to have to come into it somewhere...


Above this it says:
The C'tan are able to warp reality around them to varying degrees."

So how they "defy natural laws" is by warping reality. Thats as far as your going to get with supporting evidence on this matter because thats all there is on it. If your warping reality then your not working within its bounds, your changing the bounds themselves.

OK, here we go. What does "warping reality" mean, then? Why have you apparently settled on one of the possible dictionary meanings of "warping reality" at the expense of others? How do you suggest the C'tan "warp" reality, anyway? Is it really reality if it can be changed at will by creatures existing within its bounds? And so on.


Thats with support from the book. The idea that they're actually just hiding technology or just understand the laws better is not supported. What is supported is that they change reality to varying degrees.

And amazingly, you can get all of this by just reading what is written.

Sorry, why do you think the C'tan would have to be hiding technology or understand the laws better? Birds "defy" gravity by flying around all the time, and they don't have secret technology strapped to them, nor do they know more physics than me.

azimaith
06-04-2008, 06:49
Err...Only if you assume that "the C'tan defy natural law" is a statement of fact in the first place, which completely begs the question (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circular_logic). If people are arguing that a statement shouldn't be interpreted literally, you can't just turn around and say "No, it should be interpreted literally because it's a statement of fact". That's the whole matter in question.


Then you go straight into the slippery slope of whether the emperor being a man should be taken literally or if lasguns shooting lasers should be taken literally because they are all written in as fact in the same manner. So if you want to say we don't know anything about the background because we have no idea of whats literal and whats not thats your business. Otherwise your adding in an arbitrary double standard by which to judge a specific statement while ignoring all the others. And if thats your stance then so be it, its completely illogical but thats your business.


Which then brings us to the question of what "altering the fabric of reality" means. Interpretation is ultimately going to have to come into it somewhere...

It means altering the fabric of reality. Altering means
al·ter Audio Help /ˈɔltər/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[awl-ter] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–verb (used with object) 1. to make different in some particular, as size, style, course, or the like; modify: to alter a coat; to alter a will; to alter course.
2. to castrate or spay.
–verb (used without object) 3. to change; become different or modified.

Its called a definition. Thats how we can speak to one another and understand that when I say potato I am referring to a subterranean tuber, not a fruit cup.




OK, here we go. What does "warping reality" mean, then? Why have you apparently settled on one of the possible dictionary meanings of "warping reality" at the expense of others?

Because they are all with similar meaning.
warp Audio Help /wɔrp/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[wawrp] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–verb (used with object) 1. to bend or twist out of shape, esp. from a straight or flat form, as timbers or flooring.
2. to bend or turn from the natural or true direction or course.
3. to distort or cause to distort from the truth, fact, true meaning, etc.; bias; falsify: Prejudice warps the mind.
4. Aeronautics. to curve or bend (a wing or other airfoil) at the end or ends to promote equilibrium or to secure lateral control.
5. Nautical. to move (a vessel) into a desired place or position by hauling on a rope that has been fastened to something fixed, as a buoy or anchor.
6. Agriculture. to fertilize (land) by inundation with water that deposits alluvial matter.
–verb (used without object) 7. to become bent or twisted out of shape, esp. out of a straight or flat form: The wood has warped in drying.
8. to be or become biased; hold or change an opinion due to prejudice, external influence, or the like.
9. Nautical. a. to warp a ship or boat into position.
b. (of a ship or boat) to move by being warped.

10. (of a stratum in the earth's crust) to bend slightly, to a degree that no fold or fault results.



How do you suggest the C'tan "warp" reality, anyway? Is it really reality if it can be changed at will by creatures existing within its bounds? And so on.

Magic. Seriously, the same way psykers do their stuff and anyone else. They do it because they can and because they tell us they can. Speculating how they do it is useless because we are not in full possession of the facts, thats knowledge that a c'tan would know and being fictional, are not exactly available for questioning. They may not even know how, it may be immeasurable or unquantifiable. It may very well *defy reality* that it even happens. Paradoxical or not, its what they do. Maybe c'tan don't exist entirely within its bounds, maybe they are just able to alter reality in the same way our hearts beat, by their nature, an in born skill. Its really not important. All thats important to know is what stated.


Sorry, why do you think the C'tan would have to be hiding technology or understand the laws better? Birds "defy" gravity by flying around all the time, and they don't have secret technology strapped to them, nor do they know more physics than me.
Birds don't defy gravity, they have wings which create lift counteracting the acceleration of gravity. C'tan *defy* natural law and can warp reality to varying degrees which is very different.

The moment a bird cancels out the affect of gravity at will you'll have a case, until then your association between the two is completely arbitrary as one doesn't defy anything and the other is stated to defy natural law.

DantesInferno
06-04-2008, 09:51
Then you go straight into the slippery slope of whether the emperor being a man should be taken literally or if lasguns shooting lasers should be taken literally because they are all written in as fact in the same manner. So if you want to say we don't know anything about the background because we have no idea of whats literal and whats not thats your business. Otherwise your adding in an arbitrary double standard by which to judge a specific statement while ignoring all the others. And if thats your stance then so be it, its completely illogical but thats your business.

The problem is that the slope isn't a slippery one. There's a really obvious stopping point between "everything is literally true" and "nothing at all is true". It's all about a reasonable interpretation of the background, taking into account the whole context. If a literal explanation is the best way of making sense of a given piece of background, then that's what is called for. If, however, the passage is best understood as a metaphor or other non-literal meaning, then that's the interpretation which should be favoured.

There's nothing particularly revolutionary about this, we do it all the time when reading the background. If you take everything literally all the time, you're going to end up in a horrible mess.

Let's have a look at the Necron Codex to prove the point:

In time, [the C'tan] learned to fly on diaphanous wings of magnetic flux, leaving their birthplaces to drift to new feeding grounds and begin the cycle anew.

First to cross the sea of stars was a race of beings called the Old Ones.

What little is known of the Necrontyr tells that their lives were short and uncertain, their bodies blighted and consumed by the searing caress of their cruel star.
These are all examples of figurative language, just pulled from p24 of the Codex. You can't explain everything with a dictionary.


It means altering the fabric of reality. Altering means
al·ter Audio Help /ˈɔltər/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[awl-ter] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–verb (used with object) 1. to make different in some particular, as size, style, course, or the like; modify: to alter a coat; to alter a will; to alter course.
2. to castrate or spay.
–verb (used without object) 3. to change; become different or modified.

Its called a definition. Thats how we can speak to one another and understand that when I say potato I am referring to a subterranean tuber, not a fruit cup.

But how did you pick between 1 and 2? Perhaps the Codex really means that the C'tan castrate reality? Did you just roll a dice to pick?

Fairly obviously, merely providing the dictionary definition doesn't settle the dispute on its own anyway, because interpretation is required to settle on which of the myriad meanings you're going to settle on. And that requires looking at the context of the sentence and deciding what would be a reasonable interpretation.


Because they are all with similar meaning.
warp Audio Help /wɔrp/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[wawrp] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–verb (used with object) 1. to bend or twist out of shape, esp. from a straight or flat form, as timbers or flooring.
2. to bend or turn from the natural or true direction or course.
3. to distort or cause to distort from the truth, fact, true meaning, etc.; bias; falsify: Prejudice warps the mind.
4. Aeronautics. to curve or bend (a wing or other airfoil) at the end or ends to promote equilibrium or to secure lateral control.
5. Nautical. to move (a vessel) into a desired place or position by hauling on a rope that has been fastened to something fixed, as a buoy or anchor.
6. Agriculture. to fertilize (land) by inundation with water that deposits alluvial matter.
–verb (used without object) 7. to become bent or twisted out of shape, esp. out of a straight or flat form: The wood has warped in drying.
8. to be or become biased; hold or change an opinion due to prejudice, external influence, or the like.
9. Nautical. a. to warp a ship or boat into position.
b. (of a ship or boat) to move by being warped.

10. (of a stratum in the earth's crust) to bend slightly, to a degree that no fold or fault results.

As above.


Birds don't defy gravity, they have wings which create lift counteracting the acceleration of gravity. C'tan *defy* natural law and can warp reality to varying degrees which is very different.

The moment a bird cancels out the affect of gravity at will you'll have a case, until then your association between the two is completely arbitrary as one doesn't defy anything and the other is stated to defy natural law.

On at least one level of meaning, birds do defy gravity: they have mass, and yet they continue to soar around in the air in a way which we cannot, boldly resisting gravity as it drags them earthwards.

Of course on another level of meaning, birds don't defy gravity: they're subject to it in exactly the same way as everyone else, but they've come up with ways to manipulate natural forces so they merely appear to defy gravity.

My point, as I hope I have made clear, is that it is not enough to merely say "the C'tan defy natural law" and provide a dictionary definition of "defy". Interpretation is always going to be required, and that's always going to entail looking at the context of the statement.

azimaith
06-04-2008, 10:53
The problem is that the slope isn't a slippery one. There's a really obvious stopping point between "everything is literally true" and "nothing at all is true". It's all about a reasonable interpretation of the background, taking into account the whole context. If a literal explanation is the best way of making sense of a given piece of background, then that's what is called for. If, however, the passage is best understood as a metaphor or other non-literal meaning, then that's the interpretation which should be favoured.

Except this isn't the difference between a potato and the emperor, the way its written does not indicate its not meant to be taken literally. Its similar in fashion to most any statement on entities in 40k.



There's nothing particularly revolutionary about this, we do it all the time when reading the background. If you take everything literally all the time, you're going to end up in a horrible mess.

And if you arbitrarily assign things as metaphor despite it being written in the same fashion as any other statement on entities (Ie the emperor is fed psykers) and you attempt to argue it on a forum your going to show everyone a double standard.



Let's have a look at the Necron Codex to prove the point:

Learned to fly on diaphanous wings of magnetic flux.
wing Audio Help (wĭng) Pronunciation Key
n.
One of a pair of movable organs for flying, as the feather-covered modified forelimb of a bird or the skin-covered modified digits of the forelimb of a bat.
Any of usually four membranous organs for flying that extend from the thorax of an insect.
A winglike organ or structure used for flying, as the folds of skin of a flying squirrel or the enlarged pectoral fin of a flying fish.
Botany

di·aph·a·nous Audio Help (dī-āf'ə-nəs) Pronunciation Key
adj.
Of such fine texture as to be transparent or translucent: diaphanous tulle.
Characterized by delicacy of form. See Synonyms at airy.
Vague or insubstantial: diaphanous dreams of glory.

mag·net·ic Audio Help /mægˈnɛtɪk/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[mag-net-ik] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–adjective 1. of or pertaining to a magnet or magnetism.
2. having the properties of a magnet.
3. capable of being magnetized or attracted by a magnet.
4. pertaining to the magnetic field of the earth: the magnetic equator.
5. exerting a strong attractive power or charm: a magnetic personality.
6. noting or pertaining to various bearings and measurements as indicated by a magnetic compass: magnetic amplitude; magnetic course; magnetic meridian.

Also, mag·net·i·cal.
flux Audio Help /flʌks/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[fluhks] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–noun 1. a flowing or flow.
2. the flowing in of the tide.
3. continuous change, passage, or movement: His political views are in a state of flux.
4. Physics. a. the rate of flow of fluid, particles, or energy.
b. a quantity expressing the strength of a field of force in a given area.

5. Chemistry, Metallurgy. a. a substance used to refine metals by combining with impurities to form a molten mixture that can be readily removed.
b. a substance used to remove oxides from and prevent further oxidation of fused metal, as in soldering or hot-dip coating.
c. (in the refining of scrap or other metal) a salt or mixture of salts that combines with nonmetallic impurities, causing them to float or coagulate.

The statement tells us they moved on wings that are characterized by their delicacy of form with a flow pertaining to magnetics. Thats not a metaphor, its a statement of how they moved.
Explained via dictionary.

"First to cross the sea of stars was a race of beings called the Old Ones. "

sea Audio Help /si/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[see] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–noun 1. the salt waters that cover the greater part of the earth's surface.
2. a division of these waters, of considerable extent, more or less definitely marked off by land boundaries: the North Sea.
3. one of the seven seas; ocean.
4. a large lake or landlocked body of water.
5. the degree or amount of turbulence of the ocean or other body of water, as caused by the wind.
6. the waves.
7. a large wave: The heavy seas almost drowned us.
8. a widely extended, copious, or overwhelming quantity: a sea of faces; a sea of troubles.
9. the work, travel, and shipboard life of a sailor: The sea is a hard life but a rewarding one.
They were the first to travel an extended/copius/overwhelming quantity of stars.
Statement of fact describing they were the first to travel between the stars.


"What little is known of the Necrontyr tells that their lives were short and uncertain, their bodies blighted and consumed by the searing caress of their cruel star. "

ca·ress Audio Help /kəˈrɛs/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[kuh-res] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–noun 1. an act or gesture expressing affection, as an embrace or kiss, esp. a light stroking or touching.
–verb (used with object) 2. to touch or pat gently to show affection.
3. to touch, stroke, etc., lightly, as if in affection: The breeze caressed the trees.
4. to treat with favor, kindness, etc.
cru·el Audio Help /ˈkruəl/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[kroo-uhl] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–adjective, -er, -est. 1. willfully or knowingly causing pain or distress to others.
2. enjoying the pain or distress of others: the cruel spectators of the gladiatorial contests.
3. causing or marked by great pain or distress: a cruel remark; a cruel affliction.
4. rigid; stern; strict; unrelentingly severe.
Description of necrontyr being blighted by being under their star.
Once again,statement of fact, necrontyr were cursed by the touch/stroke of their star which is caused or marked by great pain or distress.

You seem to miss that words have multiple definitions based on context.



These are all examples of figurative language, just pulled from p24 of the Codex. You can't explain everything with a dictionary.

I just did.



But how did you pick between 1 and 2? Perhaps the Codex really means that the C'tan castrate reality? Did you just roll a dice to pick?

Reality has no genitals nor does it reproduce thus it can not be castrated. Thus that is obviously not the correct definition. Thus it is number one. Unless of course you think reality has family jewels in which case you have bigger problems.



Fairly obviously, merely providing the dictionary definition doesn't settle the dispute on its own anyway, because interpretation is required to settle on which of the myriad meanings you're going to settle on. And that requires looking at the context of the sentence and deciding what would be a reasonable interpretation.

And the context of the sentence is a statement telling us what the C'tan do. You keep going back to interpretation and different meanings where theres only one stated. It tells us they defy natural law and alter the fabric of reality. Reality doesn't have genitals thus its not castrating it. Context done, c'tan make reality different in some particular. You keep taking the line stating what they do and pretending it means something other than whats obviously stated because of some magical different context that only you can see.




On at least one level of meaning, birds do defy gravity: they have mass, and yet they continue to soar around in the air in a way which we cannot, boldly resisting gravity as it drags them earthwards.

They don't defy gravity. Gravity still affects them to an equal degree it affects every one thing. They simply counter act gravity with lift. There is no defying gravity whatsoever. They don't even get around gravity as its still affecting them fully. They defy gravity no more than a human jumping does.



Of course on another level of meaning, birds don't defy gravity: they're subject to it in exactly the same way as everyone else, but they've come up with ways to manipulate natural forces so they merely appear to defy gravity.

No they don't appear to defy gravity at all. If a bird falls from a tree it falls from a tree, a bird still continues to accelerate to the earth. Objects floating or falling slowly is observed by anyone whose walked in the grass or blown the wisps from a dandelion. If they "appeared" to defy gravity it would need to be unique to them which it is not. (Because abnormal phenomenon is dictated by the most commonly occuring result of actions."



My point, as I hope I have made clear, is that it is not enough to merely say "the C'tan defy natural law" and provide a dictionary definition of "defy". Interpretation is always going to be required, and that's always going to entail looking at the context of the statement.
And the context is a statement of what they do. Its a statement telling us specifically they weild the primal forces of creation, defy natural law, and alter the fabric of reality. You keep trying to grasp at straws that aren't even there inserting supposed leeway by going on about context thats already clearly evident. It isn't some poet. Its not some magos describing it. The context is third person omniscient narrative on the nature of the C'tan. If you want to be pretentious and go on and on about context, thats fine, but the context is right there and the more you argue it the farther you get from ever actually *making a point about the subject.*

The codex is clear, if you decide you don't like it then just say so, but don't try to "alter the fabric of reality" to fit your desires.

Ashnari Doomsong
06-04-2008, 11:30
Translation, stop arguing because I can't figure out something logical to counter with besides calling you names.
I am pointing out that your arguments are circular and that you are committing the argumentative version of putting your hands around your ears and saying "NANANANANA I CAN'T HEAR YOU!".


Close? It states specifically they defy natural law, the rest of what you put is all assumptions with absolutely *no basis*. Get some proof then come debate it.
The laws of physics, a.k.a. natural laws are absolute. For a physical being there is no way that they can defy them.


And an impartial observer of our degree of insight would see C'tan defying natural law. Whats your point besides you holding a double standard.
That they aren't really defying natural law. They *appear* to be defying natural law, because we don't understand what they're up to.



Hmm lets see, its the warp and its from a big angry chaos god. Who needs sense, its handwavium. Since when I actually *read* the background and I *accept statements of fact written in the background as part of the 40k universe*. Hes a warp god and the idea of having two skulls of any person just like a person has a presence in the warp and the materium is not an amazing leap. What is an amazing leap is to categorically deny certain things and accept other things based on a completely arbitrary system.
Common sense. You may have heard of the concept.


Its *NEVER* stated they do not. Its stated that They defy natural law.
Which is the same, since the laws of physics are effectively the same as natural law.


Your attempting to take negative proof as proof, what makes it worse is that the negative proof doesn't even exist as it already tells us they defy natural law. So your basically going and pretending part of the book doesn't exist to fit in with your assumptions about the C'tan which aren't even accurate.
I don't see what you're getting at here.


We have an impartial direct statement telling us they do yet for some reason people seem to think that these assumptions about the C'tan *must* be more accurate that whats directly stated in the book even though they have no background support.
I can quote at least three separate army books in Fantasy that objectively claim that they are the greatest power in the world. These three statements are mutually exclusive. It's the same with defying natural law and the C'tan, because defying natural law is impossible for a natural creature. Simple as that.



Math does make sense, hell math is amongst the most logical things humans do.
Logic, yes. But it is not necessarily common sense. A lot of the more advanced maths run completely contrary to common sense. Common sense states what is reasonable. Logic is a stringent and extremely querulous process in which you pedantically pick out every part of the hypothesis.


Heres a tip, go get some evidence and put forth a well thought out argument, in essence do the exact opposite of what you did here.
I could accuse you of flaming here, but I'm no better myself.

DantesInferno
06-04-2008, 11:58
Except this isn't the difference between a potato and the emperor, the way its written does not indicate its not meant to be taken literally. Its similar in fashion to most any statement on entities in 40k.

Well this is where we disagree: MvS and I think that the way some of these statements are written do indicate that they are not meant to be taken literally. This is where, for instance, the internal incoherence of the idea that the C'tan circumvent natural laws through some preternatual means becomes important.


And if you arbitrarily assign things as metaphor despite it being written in the same fashion as any other statement on entities (Ie the emperor is fed psykers) and you attempt to argue it on a forum your going to show everyone a double standard.

But as we've said all along, there's absolutely no arbitrariness involved. It's just whatever is the most reasonable interpretation in the circumstances. It's not determined by chance or whim.

And I don't think there's any basis to suggest we have double standards, either. I have argued for "metaphoric" interpretations of the Chaos Gods (for instance, in <this> (http://warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=101208) thread); Gork and Mork (<here> (http://warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=102332)); the Emperor (<here> (http://warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=82288)); and the Eldar Gods (<here> (http://warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=115196)). And MvS has participated in many more.


Learned to fly on diaphanous wings of magnetic flux.
[long dictionary definitions]
The statement tells us they moved on wings that are characterized by their delicacy of form with a flow pertaining to magnetics. Thats not a metaphor, its a statement of how they moved.
Explained via dictionary.

But the C'tan don't have winglike organs or structures at all! I thought they were beings of pure energy! :rolleyes:

In any case, I'm interested in knowing how you went about picking between the alternatives offered in your dictionary definitions without looking to the context of the sentences and larger background pieces in which they occurred.


"What little is known of the Necrontyr tells that their lives were short and uncertain, their bodies blighted and consumed by the searing caress of their cruel star. "
[long dictionary definitions]
Once again,statement of fact, necrontyr were cursed by the touch/stroke of their star which is caused or marked by great pain or distress.

Stars don't touch or stroke lightly, as if in affection. They're massive luminous balls of plasma.


You seem to miss that words have multiple definitions based on context.

No, that's actually been part of my whole point. Words have multiple definitions based on context, and therefore we need to look at the context in which they occur to interpret them properly.


Reality has no genitals nor does it reproduce thus it can not be castrated. Thus that is obviously not the correct definition. Thus it is number one. Unless of course you think reality has family jewels in which case you have bigger problems.

And the context of the sentence is a statement telling us what the C'tan do. You keep going back to interpretation and different meanings where theres only one stated. It tells us they defy natural law and alter the fabric of reality. Reality doesn't have genitals thus its not castrating it. Context done, c'tan make reality different in some particular. You keep taking the line stating what they do and pretending it means something other than whats obviously stated because of some magical different context that only you can see.

OK, so if you're prepared to look at the rest of the sentence to place the statement in its proper context, why aren't you prepared to look at the background piece as a whole to come up with the most comprehensive interpretation? After all, it's just a natural extension of a principle you're already apparently perfectly happy to employ.


And the context is a statement of what they do. Its a statement telling us specifically they weild the primal forces of creation, defy natural law, and alter the fabric of reality. You keep trying to grasp at straws that aren't even there inserting supposed leeway by going on about context thats already clearly evident. It isn't some poet. Its not some magos describing it. The context is third person omniscient narrative on the nature of the C'tan. If you want to be pretentious and go on and on about context, thats fine, but the context is right there and the more you argue it the farther you get from ever actually *making a point about the subject.*

The codex is clear, if you decide you don't like it then just say so, but don't try to "alter the fabric of reality" to fit your desires.

The Codex isn't clear at all: what it says seems on its face to be internally incoherent. That's why we're looking to the background as a whole to try to make as much sense of it as we can.

MvS
06-04-2008, 13:56
Its not a circular position. I just said *they defy natural law* because it states they do. How they do it is just handwavium to me.

That's great.

I'll cut out all the other stuff you wrote rather than just re-state my position endlessly and make 3 major points:


1. You are basing an entire argument on the use of one verb, saying that the word 'deny' settles objectively the specifics of whether the C'tan magically break the implicit rules of the physical universe or whether that it only appears that they are doing so because we simply don't know all the rules of the universe nor what it would be possible to do if we did.

This is no argument at all. Or, at least, one with no merit.

You use this one word to form your belief that the C'tan are objectively supernatural (magical and/or beyond any possible objective, God's eye explanation or whatever), rather than just apparently and effectively supernatural, in the sense that no-one knows how they do what they do. There is a difference between saying no-one knows how the C'tan do what they do because the C'tan's mastery over the physical universe is so far in advance of all other mortal creatures (or perhaps in-built in them?), and saying no-one knows how the C'tan do what they do because the C'tan are just spooooky and godlike and, well, magical.

If the term and concept of 'magic' is to retain any independent and relevant meaning within GW imagery, it must apply to the Warp and its effects. Anything in and of Realspace that cannot use the Warp cannot be said to be magic in an objective, outside the narrative, sense. That being the case, the C'tan are not magic or supenatural in the objective sense that we employ to explore the real/unreal binary of GW imagery.

This doesn't mean the C'tan cannot be similar to the Q Continuum of Star Trek (though obviously not as powerful as the Q are supposed to be). They still appear to be magical and still have godlike powers and still manage to perceive and manipulate the forces of the physical universe in ways that no-one else can possibly understand. Smashing.

I see no point in you intellectually masturbating over one verb describing what the C'tan seem to do.

If they 'defy' the laws of the universe, this is only because the 'laws' of the universe are mortal inventions and only small fragmentory parts of the actual whole. Floating above the ground and apparently defying the 'laws' of gravity and momentum may seem impossible to us, but that is only because we have formulated the 'laws' of gravity and momentum as laws independent from the wider system, at least in terms of coherent discussion. If we knew where unites all the conflicting ground between Quantum Theory, Chaos Theory, General Relativity, Thermo Dynamics and every other THEORY we have come up with to describe, and if we knew and were able to control this new Theory of Pretty Much Everything, and if we weren't bound to fleshy bodies with lots of very basic mechanical requirements, we could be pretty amazing in what we could do as well.

If you are going to accept every single word found in the imagery in its literal form without ANY interpretation, then you will have to either pick and choose arbitrarily what you like (as you seem to do), or else study the precise etymology and structural context of every verb, adverb, noun and adjective to find the supposed 'truth'. Remember how many meanings there are for defy? I shudder to think how you will objectively decide which one is the 'correct' one if you think interpretation has no part of your argument.


2. If you believe that the use of one verb is signifies an absolute, comprehensive and universal measure for how the C'tan (or anything) do what they do, and is comparable in its absolute comprehensiveness as all the books' worth of explanation and investigation that clearly show that the Emperor was not a potato (your example, not mine), then I can only believe that you are either being knowingly obtuse and facetious, or that you might be over-extending your understanding in this context.

You are saying:

"There can be no doubt whatsoever about what the one word 'deny' means in this one context!

I have stated clearly what that one possible meaning is!

To anyone who says there CAN be doubt when this turn of phrase is weighed against the entire body of background associated with the C'tan and Realspace I say that if we give these doubts credence then we are entering into groundless opinion and might as well doubt even direct references to the Golden Throne being a sort of device within the Imperial Palace instead of a green and happy planet, or we might as well doubt that the Emperor was a man of some sort and not a potato, even despite all the direct references to him looking, talking and fighting like, well, a human male of some sort.

I see no inherent flaw or logical deficit in anything I'm saying!"


3. Having followed the development of GW imagery since I was 10 (so that's 21 years), having been a gamer since I was 15 and having been given all the available material GW had to write 4 background books on Chaos, and then having kept up with changes and additions to that imagery since finishing working with the company, I happen to think that there is an intentional separation in the imagery between the Warp and Realspace.

I think this separation is as much a narrative device as anything else, whereby writers for GW can explain that the stuff we refer to as magic comes from the Warp, while everything else comes from Realspace. Anything that is supposed to be non-scientific, daemonic, divine, magical and sorcerous comes from the Warp either directly, or through the minds of mortals.

All disturbances within the Warp came into being because of sentient mortals. The Warp was always there, but it only started to get freaky once intelligent and/or emotive being developed in Realspace. All the disturbances are reflections of mortal psyche and they are an analogy for Man Against Himself. The medium these disturbances exist within has nothing to do with mortals, because it existed before any and all life Realspace developed.

Any phenomena within 40K's Realspace can conceivably be observed, understood and explained through empirical investigation - with the caveat that being as Realspace is so incredibly old and so incredibly vast and diiverse, it is unlikely that any one race mentioned in the 40K imagery could explain every phenomena they witness. This is not because that phenomena CAN'T be explained in absolute terms, but rather that no race even knows what HOW to properly observe and quantify what they are experiencing to get the answer. In other worrds, just because they experience something does not mean that they know what the right questions are to ask about it and HOW to ask about it, let alone answer problems thrown up by it.

The Warp, as I have come to understand it, interacts with Realspace in particular ways, and where these interactions happen (i.e.: wherever and whenever sentient creatures from Realspace perceive the Warp) the Warp appears takes on attributes that seem quantifiable to a certain degree. This means that Warp travel, with Gellar Fields and so on can work. I'm happy with all of this.

What I am not personally interested in accepting is the idea that because things like Gellar Fields have been mentioned in the imagery that therefore the Warp is comparable to Realspace but just requires a different sort of analysis and contains intrinsic and very specific laws (beyond the fact that the Warp is effected by the thoughts and emotions of sentient mortals in Realspace) that can be measured and manipulated consistently given the correct tech level. I'll explain that a bit more:

When I read on the one hand that the Warp is supposed to be inexplicable, unimaginable chaos/Chaos, that if you THINK you understand then you are either insane or deluding yourself, I try to reconcile that with the imagery of consistent Warp manipulation (Gellar Fields and Warp navigation) with this 'impossible, unmeasureable nightmare Chaos'.

Either I can say that different GW writers interpret the Warp in a way that they perosnally like best and so there is no dependable or consistent way of describing the Warp using the background imagery simply because there is no specific agreement within GW of what the Warp is and does. OR I can say (as I do) that there IS a way of reconciling these two seemingly opposed positions that allows for mortals to manipulate the Warp in a consistent manner in some circumstances while still retaining the absolute, unknowable nightmare imagery of Chaos.

For this I take references to Tau 'skimming' across the surface of the Warp and I pick up those often throw away references to 'depth' or 'layers' within the Warp, which again are words that are hard to avoid when trying to describe how physical objects travel through and from a non-space like the Warp. I take the Sea of Souls imagery as a good analogy as well as the analogy used by GW writers of the 'observable' Warp being like a big black blanket thrown over the galaxy, with the souls of mortals shining through this blanket like pinpricks, bullet holes and even football-sized holes, epending upon the mortal.

But there is a 'space' behind the blanket that looks down upon the blanket (bearing in mind that terms like 'behind' and 'looking down' are just useful analogies here rather than literal descriptions of dimension, just as we should take the warp as LITERAL blanket or sea, these are helpful analogies). To employ the Sea of Souls analogy, we could say that a sea has different depths where the currents run differently.

For me these analogies show that there is more to the Warp that what is navigatable and observable, not just laterally along one plane - backwards, forwards, left, right - but also up and down, deeper and shallower, and this applies to time as well as physical space.

I would say that the imagery as a whole takes this further and suggests that there are also counter-intuitive possibilties and 'directions' within the Warp, such as inside-out, or walking into one's own mind, dreams, nightmares, hopes, fears and so on. Also, I would imagine, that depending on the 'depth' of the Warp you enter at, one might become or comprehend absolutely nothing, or indeed become or comprehend absolutely everything in some way.

With all this in mind, the way I have rationalised the seeming contradictions of Warp imagery as both objectively impossible and yet also navigable is to say that within the Warp the etheric 'shadows' of all living creatures create a disturbance, or an echo. Higher sentiences leave a stronger echo than non-sentiences who barely register in any way. BUT everything that lives and, equally importantly, is perceived by living things within Realspace, has an echo within the Warp, as do other things like Warp tainted itens, ruins, planets - even if nother is no life on them any more. The echoes of destroyed planets linger on for an indefinite period, but fade in time (bearing in mind that time is mutable in all ways within the Warp). It is these echoes that Navigators essentially 'listen' for while travelling the Warp.

For me this means that there is within the Warp an area that is one massive 3 dimensional echo of the 40K galaxy, with also a time dimension. But this therefore 4 dimensional echo of the galaxy warps and wobbles, some parts stretching and other parts contracting, even without the massive disturbances and vortices caused by Chaos (which just make it worse). The only constant in the Astromonican, which doesn't wobble or stretch or contract and essentially imposes a definite navigable point and a degree of certainty to the hazy echo of reality around it.

Mortals experience this echo, with its general, though often mutable, rules, and believe it to be the entirety of the Warp. But they are entirely wrong. This is part of the reason why humanity remained so oblivious to the disturbances and entities of Chaos before they started to close in ipon humanity durting the Heresy. The major disturbances of Chaos were Somewhere Else within the Warp.

Some of the older imagery even talks about 'pure' Warp that the Emperor could draw on - Warp that was far from the tainted or disturbed parts of the Warp where mortal emotions begin coagulate. So this would have to be a 'part' of the Warp that is not generally effected by the echoes of Realspace.

So, to summarise, I think that the navigable part of the Warp that seems to have general rules that can be manipulated to a degree is in fact an 'area' that is a cocktail of the echoes of all living things and all living perceptions of things and all mortal memories of things within Realspace. All this is added to the expectations brought by the mortals who enter into the Warp and which are then consciously and subconsciously imposed upon the Warp. Like a more spooky version of Quantum Uncertainty, with a wave or particle only deciding whether or not it is a wave or a particle when it is observed, so too do I rationalise the conflicting imagery of the Warp by deciding that the few measurable and controllable rules within the Warp are functions of Realspace interacting on any and all levels with it, not as functions of the Warp in its 'pure', absolute and 'natural' state.

There is nothing in the imagery to say that this rationalisation is the Absolute Objective Truth, but then there is nothing in the imagery as a whole that allows for any consistent and Absolute Objective Truth about how the Warp functions and why.

That said, we have plenty of theories and rules that explain how 40K's Realspace works, because it is supposed to be anogolous with our real universe. Take away the Warp from the imagery, then GW's science fantasy becomes science fiction where we are expected to believe that everything that happens, however fantastical and marvellous, is a product in some way of the forces and possibilities present within the real universe, but just beyond our understanding at the current time but which we may come to understand and be able to replicate sometime in the future through empirical scientific research.


I'm sorry but I seem to have countered your argument with your own argument and a couple replaced words. Perhaps you would be easier to take if you were not speaking out of both sides of your face. Claiming that certain statements are accurate and absolute while others are metaphors and figures of speech in an arbitrary fashion.

Perhaps. Or perhaps you simply didn't understand what I was saying. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and suggest that perhaps I could have been clearer. I'm not sure I could, but here's trying:

The game I posited, if you give it another look, was to find whole groups of words that indicate the sorts of THEMES I was referring to. Themes Azimaith. I work from the point of view that the imagery can be inconsistent, so if we look for repeated exact phrases about the Warp we come across inconsistencies. I was clearly suggesting that words like infinite, eternal, immeasurable, unknowable and so on indicate a particular theme, or 'style', within the imagery about the Warp.

I wasn't in any way replicating what you were doing, fetishising ONE verb as the deontological truth about an item within the imagery.

If you check, you will even see that I say outright that there will be many words that support other views than the one I was positing, but that I believe that there would be generally descriptions and terms that generally support what I was saying.

Can you see the difference between what I was actually doing and what you decided to think I was doing yet?

Your second point, replacing "C'tan" for "Warp", was irrelevant in the context given and by no means a negation of my own argument with my own words.

As I've said ad nauseum, although the imagery can sometimes be a bit contradictory depending on which writer we read, the Warp is generally depicted as being separate from the physical universe. It is not simply another dimension of Realspace, like a fifth dimension after time, because that starts to defeat the Warp's rationale and descriptions within the imagery.

Yes the binary separation between the Warp and Realspace is a little bit simple and flawed, but then the imagery wasn't developed in a consisted line by theoretical physicists and philosophers. It developed in fits and starts, written by paid hobbyists as an accompaniment to a pure fantasy and a science-fantasy game. So yes there are inconsistencies.

If, however, we say that the Warp is just another dimension of what it referred to as Realspace, the Materium or the physical universe in the 40K imagery, then this suggests that it shouldn't be anathema to the C'tan who are masters of the physical universe and that it should also not be beyond the ability of non-psyker species to manipulate through non-Warp technology and scientific discovery alone. If the Gellar Field was simply a technological advance due to the empirical sciences, there's no reason why the Necrontyr, perhaps the most technologically advanced race ever to grace the 40K imagery, shouldn't have been able to come up with it as well.

So even though I accept, and always have accepted, that there are inconsistencies within the idea that the Warp is somehow completely separated from the 'normal' dimensions of Realspace within the imagery, there are also big inconsistencies in the idea that the Warp is just a fourth, fifth or sixth dimension of Realspace that can be manipulated fundamentally through the physical sciences without recourse to psychic/Warp revelations and processes.

With this in mind Azimaith, we are all perfectly free to believe whatever we please about our hobby. But if we choose to try to prove what we believe to be the objective 'truth' of our preferred view through discussion or argument, denying the very obvious limitations of our standpoint is very poor practise and will always lead to circular arguments, especially when one's entire position is based upon the interpretation of one word, as indeed yours is.

On a side note, I think we might all be slipping into a Picard vs. Kirk style debate. :(

Iracundus
07-04-2008, 00:01
If, however, we say that the Warp is just another dimension of what it referred to as Realspace, the Materium or the physical universe in the 40K imagery, then this suggests that it shouldn't be anathema to the C'tan who are masters of the physical universe and that it should also not be beyond the ability of non-psyker species to manipulate through non-Warp technology and scientific discovery alone. If the Gellar Field was simply a technological advance due to the empirical sciences, there's no reason why the Necrontyr, perhaps the most technologically advanced race ever to grace the 40K imagery, shouldn't have been able to come up with it as well.

Why shouldn't it still remain anathema to the C'tan? Just because the warp being another facet of the universe, doesn't suddenly mean the C'tan "should" have mastery over it. One of the key things about the way the warp works is it seems to require psychic ability to actually manipulate warp energy and psychic energy either directly as in psykers or via psychic engineering like the Eldar. Purely technological means like the Gellar field and the Necron pylons seem only able to restrict and ward off the warp from manifesting in an area. I don't think there are any examples of purely technological ways of manipulating the warp, that don't have at some form some form of psychic or warp related input.

Just as there are humans with no significant psychic potential, there are entire races without any psychic potential like the Tau. Who is to say the C'tan (or even the Necrontyr) are not one of those? That is why the warp can seem so baffling to them, because it doesn't operate according to the rules of the material universe but on rules of its own, that apparently revolve around some form of psychic ability. That is why the C'tan can loathe the warp to such an extent. The warp is a tool in the hands of the C'tan's enemies, and a complete liability to the C'tan and Necrons who have no ability to control it except to ward it off.



Wraithbone is psycho-conductive, and the core of a craftworld acts as a self-replenishing reservoir of power...In a very real sense, the craftworld is a living entity, powered by psychic energy and responding in an organic way to the stimuli of psychic forces. The power contained within it can be expended as light and heat... - Eldar Codex 4th ed, p. 14

The above quote from the Eldar Codex, which is itself lifted from the 2nd ed. Codex, is an explicit example of the interconvertability of psychic and material energy. Psychic energy in 40K is just one more form alongside the more mundane ones of the material universe.