PDA

View Full Version : What exactly is the webway?



Col. Tartleton
17-09-2008, 13:08
Obviously its a tunnel through space time and all that, but what is it like? Is it like a man(elf)made structure inside or is it all blackness and spacey sci fi ness or something entirely different.

Death Before Dishonour
17-09-2008, 13:16
http://wh40k.lexicanum.com/wiki/Webway

Well I always kind of imagined it as like the wormholes in star trek, but who knows :D

Neknoh
17-09-2008, 13:27
I'd say it's more like the slipstream of Andromeda.

As for x-made, the portals into it were created by Eldar IIRC, but that be about it

Death Before Dishonour
17-09-2008, 14:58
I'd say it's more like the slipstream of Andromeda.

As for x-made, the portals into it were created by Eldar IIRC, but that be about it

I like that idea more chaotic than a star trek's worm hole, more organic even like wraithbone

WEEVILWOOD
17-09-2008, 15:11
I think of it like massive babylon5 style "jumpgates" with a more eldar look. and inside like long white corridors with wrailthbone walls.

PondaNagura
17-09-2008, 17:19
there the physical world
the webway
and the warp

i always liked the depiction in the HH artbooks, where it was like some ultra-dimensional coral labyrinth of tunnels. it exists next to the warp, but not necessarily within it, like stable wormhole, with hard candy shell.
some of the caverns are small enough to be traveled like a conventional tunnel, while others are vast enough that they rival the space colonies of the 60's, or as depicted in the gundam series [like a ringworld], hence where commoragh is.
i do wonder if either space is compressed, or time is enhanced.
then their the displacement thing with the gateways/portals where they enter/exit into craftworlds that move, yet the gate you enter is always the same...

of course this is my own speculation, so don't quote me on this.

Azriel45
17-09-2008, 19:34
if you've ever read the Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan. There is a structure called the Ways that i've always thought of when thinking of the Webway.
Just my take on it.

Kage2020
17-09-2008, 23:30
It's a part of the warp, yet separate from it. Yeah, useful answer, right, but that's pretty much what we understand of it.

The origins are contentious. You've got the "new crowd" who argue that the Old Ones created it and the Eldar don't understand it, and the "old crowd" who tend to argue that the Old Ones created the original technology but the Eldar, in their arrogance took up, mastered, and surpassed the technology laid down by the Old Ones. I'm part of the "old crowd," but that doesn't mean that I personally devalue just how much the Eldar might have learned from the technologies of the Old Ones. With that said, I also feel that the Eldar now straddle both worlds of mundane science (encompassed by the C'tan/Necron archetype), and that of psychic engineering. This creates a "unique" (well, humans have some of it as well) that one might refer to as "technomancy."

That last bit about "straddling both worlds" is just my interpretation. I sometimes get the feeling that GW would like to think of the Eldar as "wizards," but there we go.

So, what else do we know? Well, generically we know from the older materials of Watson that to the Inquisitor Jaq Draco and (presumably) his companions as a blue, fog-wreathed tunnel of varying diameters. To a Navigator, though, they were akin to seeing through "absences" in the warp, though take that as you will.

We are also given to understand that time can get funky, with specific "nodes" (crossroads of tunnels) allowing the slow down of time -- the "Crossroads of Inertia," which are used by certain individuals (Eldar or otherwise) to hop forwards through time. The Eldar also have something called the "Theory of Uigebeleach" (sp.) that suggests that there is one Crossroads out there that time actually turns backwards, and some Eldar believe that if they find this place then can travel back in time to stop the Fall. Traditional paradox ensues.

Erm, what else?

Well, there is the idea that much of the tunnel system collapsed and... Well, most other things tend to be fan creation.

What exactly is it, though? Ask GW. Don't expect an answer, though. The fans will, however... Well, let's just so that you run into serious speculation. :D

Kage

Colonel Mercy
18-09-2008, 19:42
Obviously its a tunnel through space time and all that, but what is it like? Is it like a man(elf)made structure inside or is it all blackness and spacey sci fi ness or something entirely different.


A SERIES OF "BACKDOOR" TUNNELS HIDDEN DEEP WITHIN THE WARP ALLOWING INSTANT RELOCATION FROM ONE PLACE TO ANOTHER"

PondaNagura
18-09-2008, 19:56
it's the dimension that Escher built

Templar Ben
18-09-2008, 21:34
It is like the back hallway to the Matrix. I imagine that it looks like you are inside a piece of wraithbone but if you have Neo Eyes (or Navigator eyes) you can see the warp bleeding through and can use that to know which way to turn.

But I am pulling all of this out of my butt.

Messiah
18-09-2008, 22:07
You can apparently also breathe in the webway since Commoraugh is part of it, or it is large enough to house planets with atmosphere, Or Commoraugh is a Craftworld, take your pick.

But i believe its breathable, IIRC eldar travel the webway without crafts.

MvS
19-09-2008, 11:55
I was just discussing this on another thread, so I'll transpose across some of the stuff from there.

In the ever contentious 'Visions' art/background books, there were descriptions of abandoned and haunted cities within the part of the Webway that the Emperor's unstable tunnel connected with. This raises interesting questions about who built them and when.

As Kage has said, we know that the Eldar adopted and (importantly) perfected Webway technology, expanding it massively, but does this imply they created the entirety of the Webway or absolutely everything in it? Did they just inherent concepts from the older races or did they also inherit elements of an already existing Webway, or at least prototype Webway-esque bubbles, not quite in Realspace and not quite in the Warp?

Although it's supposition, I think that there must have been some bits of pre-Eldar 'Webway', even if these bits of Webway weren't actually connected and so not really a web at all.

I think this simply because of the mention of abandoned Webway cities and because I like the idea. 'Canonicity', as ever, is up for grabs.

I think my preference would be that the Old Ones created a very limited Webway that was more of a mid-way point between the Warp and Realspace. Like the back hallway from the Matrix that Templar Ben has already referenced. It had some of the flexibility of the Warp, like the hallway to the Matrix had similar rules to the Matrix, but was an independent controlled environment that was not effected by what happened in the Warp as a whole.

So perhaps the original 'bubbles' or 'islands' of Webway that I like to think existed before the Eldar created the Webway proper fulfilled a similar role. Perhaps whenever the Old Ones created a device (vessel or weapon) or experiment that was a mix of Warp and Reality that would be unstable in Realspace or the Warp itself, they built it in the controlled environment/laboratory that was a sort of limited Webway, which encompassed elements of the Warp's reality and elements of Realspace reality.

I say this because we know that time and distance run funnily in the Webway and we also know that the Laughing God is supposedly running around in the Webway somewhere and daemons can survive indefinitely within it, so the environment is friendly to Warp entities already within it.

In addition we know that the Eldar are relatively safe in the Webway from the predations of Slaanesh and that gravity can exist and breathable air and so on. This indicates to me that the Webway, or parts of the Webway, is adaptive to the needs of those within it. If a Craftworld needs a lack of gravity and a lot of space to travel through, then there are vast tracts of the Webway that accomodate it. If individual people within the Webway need gravity to walk and air to breath, then that appears to be present as well.

So the abandoned cities previously mentioned might be pre-Eldar cities created by Old One races in 'bubbles' that would one day be linked together and vastly expanded upon by the Eldar into the Webway. Likewise, some other Webway cities might be the remains of waypoints within the Webway built by the Eldar themselves. So instead of having to hop in and out of Realspace during long journies within the Webway, ancient Eldar could stop off at the Webway equivalent of roadside towns and villages (to use a more rustic image than perhaps appropriate) to resupply, fix damaged vessels or whatever.

The Eldar who became the Dark Eldar fled into the Webway for a reason. They knew that it would offer some sort of protection and that they would have somewhere to live, not just a misty but otherwise blank tunnel. I don't remember there being much emphasis on them gathering lots of stuff to take with them. They just grabbed what they could and ran for the nearest Webway portal. Perhaps they were already very familiar with the cities within the Webway and Cammoragh was just one of these cities that has been massively extended over the millennia (like the Craftworlds have been).

Anyway, apart from Cammoragh, there are other descriptions of these cities and structures within the Webway. The Sisters of Silence and Custodes had supposedly been fighting a series of battles within the Webway near these cities where the Emperor-made tunnel intersected with existing tunnels. But they were fighting daemons and mutants, not Eldar.

This implies to me that the area of the Webway that the Emperor hooked up with had been abandoned and overrun by daemons and other creatures, indicating the Emperor's ignorance in terms of how to detect 'safe' areas of the Webway and what was waiting for him at the other end of his tunnel. I think to the Emperor the Webway was probably mostly theory, hearsay and hazy psychic visions, not something he was fully prepared for or could plan for properly. Then again, I imagine he thought all of this worth the risk if it freed humanity from swimming around in the Warp.

This also adds weight to the whole 'Emperor-as-Plug idea too. For whatever reason, the Emperor's tunnel wasn't (or perhaps couldn't be) collapsed, and as the other end of the tunnel had countless daemons running around in it rather than Eldar (who could, potentially at least, be reasoned with), when Magnus accidentally collapsed the wards the Emperor had mojo'd up to keep the hordes of daemons back from the Terran Gate, the Emperor had to intercede in person, making himself the boy who plugs the dam with his own thumb.

The idea put forward in the Visions books (Visions of Death, Visions of Heresy etc) is that it was this issue that directly involved the physical and mental presence of the Emperor that explains why the Emperor didn't do more in the run up to Horus' invasion after reports started coming in about hence his rebellion.

This could tie in with the idea that the intelligences of Chaos had orchestrated many of the circumstances that led up to Magnus sending his warning to the Emperor and why the one section of the Webway that the Emperor intersected with attracted so many daemons - although that might make things a little too neat for some people.

Kage2020
19-09-2008, 15:15
Although it's supposition, I think that there must have been some bits of pre-Eldar 'Webway', even if these bits of Webway weren't actually connected and so not really a web at all.
I would personally agree. My interpretation has always had the Webway being a "fine lattice" constructed over the top of a framework of supporting structures originally built by the Old Ones. This becomes an inherent flaw in the system, since with strong "psychic shock" you can fracture the original structures and, in so doing, bring down quite a bit of the Webway.

Of course, I also tend to view the Webway as a proto-consciousness that organically develops and shifts as a matter of its own nature, but there we go.

Then again, I also believe that travel through the Webway is essentially a negotiation between the traveller and the Webway... Lots of little oddities crop up as a result, but it works for me. (Which is about as good as you can get in the 40k universe, apparently.)


...and we also know that the Laughing God is supposedly running around in the Webway somewhere...
Always found this somewhat hokey since it never came attached with a price and, for me, T.A.N.S.T.A.A.F.L.


In addition we know that the Eldar are relatively safe in the Webway from the predations of Slaanesh and that gravity can exist and breathable air and so on.
Ah, the 'ole "soul drain." Personally I have it as "immune to Slaanesh," but the Webway itself extracts a price. Again, though, that's just my own little heresy to make up for the lack of information upon this structure.


This implies to me that the area of the Webway that the Emperor hooked up with had been abandoned and overrun by daemons and other creatures...
Or a fractured, and perhaps decaying, remnant shattered off during the Fall. I personally like the idea of the integrity of the Webway, not needing yet another reason to get the "Chaos hook" in every single bit of 'fluff'. :D


This also adds weight to the whole 'Emperor-as-Plug idea too.
I'll stick to the original 'fluff' myself, putting the metaphorical blinkers and sticking my fingers in my ears, going "La la laah!" while thinking, "Too much Merrett! Too little merit!" over and over again.

Yeesh. The Emperor has to be involved in every darned little conspiracy in some way, apparently. The Emperor in the Xenology tablet, the Emperor that prevents the universe from dying, the C'toe... etc.

YMMV...

Kage

Col. Tartleton
19-09-2008, 15:52
Wow a lot of good ideas.

Good to know the consensus of people are thinking like me that its a physical sort of place you could walk in/ live in made of enormous amounts of wraith bone.

I imagine it as being an enormous elegant cream colored set of pillars with a cream floor all of which being wraith bone. The ceiling being arches of the stuff in a set shape thats rather arcane looking and classic eldar design.

The space beyond the arches and columns of the actual pathway would look like red glass almost like a shell (ruby and cream just seems very eldritch) and through it the warp is visible. That keeps the place very real, while still keeping the flow of the warp at arms length. Close enough to keep the laws of space liquid, but far enough and behind the "glass" that is the only thing keeping you from being devoured by the demons that lurk beyond the edges of reality...

Kage2020
19-09-2008, 16:10
Erm, actually I don't believe that it is made up of wraithbone. In fact, I nigh on think that it would be impossible for it to be made of wraithbone. Rather, I imagine it to be made of warp space - reality and unreality - twisted and compressed in on itself.

The aesthetics of it, however, are something else entirely. I keep it as cylinders and spheres as a nod of the head towards the "pressure" of the warp and, well, those are just good shapes for it. It's very much a "whatever twiddles your biscuit" kind of thing here, or "YMMV."

The Webway can look like whatever you want it to look like. Maybe that's kind of the point.

Kage

heretics bane
19-09-2008, 17:01
Also is big enough to have the black library in it and Corrmagh(sp? dark eldar city) theres also the eldars laughing god who knows every room and door way.

Its like the euro tunnel of the warp, except somtimes it dosnt exsist as ships can sail throught it etc. its abit crazy like the warp itself and can basicly provide a very high degreee of proection from warp predators but when deamons get in its a wee bit sticky and its not on fire:p sorry.

Col. Tartleton
19-09-2008, 18:56
What I'm imagining is like a white hallway suspended in nothing, and around that the warp is swirling and is held back by a impermeable force. The actual dimensions of the hallway would be subject to the whims of the artisans, and in some regions the ceiling is miles above and in others thousands of miles across, small planets would fit within.

Commaragh is within one of these passages I would imagine. The Black Libary within another. These cities, ect. would be built on the ground of the thing I would think. However the thing would be rife with portals to other parts of the webway and navigating the paths for a non eldar would probably be like traveling in one of those painting with the stairs going every which way.

Kage2020
19-09-2008, 22:30
Also is big enough to have the black library in it and Corrmagh(sp? dark eldar city)...
I was always preferred the approach to the Black Library that merged both the old and new editions of the background. That is, the Black Library was both a "dark craftworld" and integrated as part of the Webway. Perhaps a bit too obvious a homage to L-space but, well, there we go.


What I'm imagining is like a white hallway suspended in nothing, and around that the warp is swirling and is held back by a impermeable force.
You're allowed to imagine whatever you want. Just don't expect everyone to agree with you... ;)

Kage

ChaplainVarnus
20-09-2008, 12:06
I think it's a massive spider web in space, made of wraithbone and hollow so you can travel through.

Kage2020
20-09-2008, 14:54
And there's another approach, as equally valid as anyone elses (as long as "space" is actually "warpspace" since otherwise it would seem to contradict GW's background material).

Kage

Blacula
20-09-2008, 20:27
above comment = rofl

th webway is a locked portion of the warp that is unaccessable by anythng but through a portal, these exist in every eldars brain as a psychic power , i think, i should know i live there, I LOVE YOU ELDRAD (this biggest fan, slannesh)

MvS
21-09-2008, 12:52
My interpretation has always had the Webway being a "fine lattice" constructed over the top of a framework of supporting structures originally built by the Old Ones. This becomes an inherent flaw in the system, since with strong "psychic shock" you can fracture the original structures and, in so doing, bring down quite a bit of the Webway.
Yes, I find that to be the most interesting idea too. Although I think that the original 'supporting structures' created by the Old Ones, whoever they are now supposed to be, may be both more interesting (in terms of potential for spookiness) than the Eldar Webway in general and more fragile, as you've suggested.

Interesting because the Eldar Webway seems to be 'just' a method of transport - at least to start with - whereas the Old Ones Webway 'bubbles or 'foundations' may well have served all sorts of different purposes perhaps now lost to history. I mean if they weren't for transportation, what were they used for. Laboratories? Living environments? Temples or other places of religious/cultural siginificance? Safe house or fortresses? Spawning grounds? A cocktail of several of these options?

If we believe that the Old Ones weren't just one race (the old Slann imagery) but many extremely ancient, advanced and Warp-capable civilisations, these Webway bubbles could have served a myriad different purposes depending on the civilisation constricting a specific one. They might also have been built using related but subtly different means, so some might have strengths and weaknesses that others do not.

The Eldar, at least so I imagine, might have found the most stable and durable method to connect these stable and self-contained pockets within the Warp - a connection that was adaptive to the differences between each pocket, and, as you suggest (and I like), that the connecting web as a whole was sentient in a sense, perhaps just in a similar way to a plant leaning towards the sun, or maybe even more.

The flaw in the system might be that although the Eldar's construct is durable and resistant to almost all weathering and/or attacks, the larger pre-Eldar pockets that the Webway links up may not be. Or, at least, some of them may be indestructible to physical attacks but vulnerable to certain psychic attacks, and/or vice-versa, depending on the experiences, 'technomantic level' and forward planning of the Old One civilisation that constructed that particular webway pocket.

Perhaps the Old Ones didn't build their original superstructure to withstand the birth of Warp entities of the magnitude, sentience and aggressin of the Chaos Gods, so their structures in the Warp weren't as durable against the shockwave of Slaanesh's awakening as much of the later-built Eldar Webway proper.


Then again, I also believe that travel through the Webway is essentially a negotiation between the traveller and the Webway... Lots of little oddities crop up as a result, but it works for me.

This idea is satisfying because it allows for flexibility. If you want a Webway journey to be perilous and long, then this might be due to the relationship between the traveller and the Webway. What is the traveller's purpose? Is he/she intent of something destructive or constructive to the Webway or the Eldar? Does the Webway prtect itself at all? Or maybe the Webway is a bit like that place that was heavy with the 'Dark Side' of the Force in the Empire Strikes back. So it reflects back at you the darkness and danger you bring with you. Or maybe this is just what it is like closer to the Black Library...

Your vision of the Webway also opens things up to the idea that the Webways takes you where you need to go. So if you are 'in tune' with it enough, wittingly or unwittingly, perhaps it just leads you to the place you need to arrive at, even if that place wasn't where you wanted to go or thought you needed to go.

But even if any of this is the case, I would imagine that there are those so familiar with the Webway that they can plot a dependable course through it regardless of any other factor. Perhaps there are 'motorways' and main highways that always stay the same regardless of who enters and how.

It's entertaining to tease out all the possibilities/ :)


Always found this somewhat hokey since it never came attached with a price and, for me, T.A.N.S.T.A.A.F.L.
Well yes. Although I suppose we would have to understand what was actually meant by the Laughing God escaping into the Webway. Is this literal? Is it figurative? Are the Harlequins as a whole the Laughing God, and if so, is this literal (like mini avatars) or just a way of saying that the Harelquins are 'one' with their god? Or is it symolic, in that those Eldar who escape into the Webway can essentially have a good laugh at Slaanesh's expense...


Ah, the 'ole "soul drain." Personally I have it as "immune to Slaanesh," but the Webway itself extracts a price. Again, though, that's just my own little heresy to make up for the lack of information upon this structure.
But it's a nice idea. I didn't really like the idea that Slaanesh still sips at Eldar locked away in the Webway, but if the Webway itself drains something psychic/magic/spritual from those exposed to it for too long gives a nice angle. How the Webway maintained? What powers it?

Maybe oddities like Mandrakes, certain members of the Harlequins and so on are products of the price of living for millennia in the Webway 'magical' and quasi-sentient Webway, rather than because daemons, gods and Warp can leak into the Webway willy-nilly.


Or a fractured, and perhaps decaying, remnant shattered off during the Fall. I personally like the idea of the integrity of the Webway
I agree that the Eldar will have sealed off any 'strand' of Webway that has had its integrity compromised. I think my point was that once inside even abandoned and sealed up portions of the Webway, you may, at least, be able to see where the sealed 'doors' are, which in turn gives your intruding sorcerer something to play with.

basically, I like almost anything that allows for plot hooks for adventure. A perfectly and 100% consistently sealed Webway is fine, but it sort of precludes the odd exceptional Inquisitor, sorceror or whatever else finding a way in, which although may be more realistic doesn't really allow for many cross-over plots.

Of course too many such plots devalues the imagery too, but I'm sure a balance can be struck between a sieve-like Webway where everyone can run around and a hermetically sealed Webway.


I'll stick to the original 'fluff' myself, putting the metaphorical blinkers and sticking my fingers in my ears, going "La la laah!" while thinking, "Too much Merrett! Too little merit!" over and over again.
:D

I understand your pain.


Yeesh. The Emperor has to be involved in every darned little conspiracy in some way, apparently. The Emperor in the [I]Xenology tablet, the Emperor that prevents the universe from dying, the C'toe... etc.
Don't you know it!


YMMV...

Which means...?

(excuse my ignorance)

Messiah
21-09-2008, 13:19
While I personally do not subscribe to the idea that the entire webway is made of wraithbone, perhaps the stabilizing structure the Eldar built into it is, and that might itself drain at the Dark Eldar souls, consider that wraithbone is a highly psychic material, and that over the millennia it might have become changed by the Warp/webway/"magic". Another even better thought is that the Dark Eldar, when they die, their souls might be absorbed by the wraithbone lattice, and in turn it is the souls of dead Dark Eldar who suck the souls out of their descendants?

Kage2020
21-09-2008, 20:03
I mean if they weren't for transportation, what were they used for. Laboratories? Living environments? Temples or other places of religious/cultural siginificance? Safe house or fortresses? Spawning grounds? A cocktail of several of these options?
Seems that we're going down the road of "astral constructs," or what might be thought of as such. Not that I have a problem with that. ;)


If we believe that the Old Ones weren't one race (Slann?) but many extremely Warp-capable and civilisations...
Not, for me, one of Gav Thorpe's better moments. Then again I'm rather fond of the Progenitor race cliche, rather than having it more... Sagan.


This idea is satisfying because it allows for flexibility. If you want a Webway journey to be perilous and long, then this might be due to the relationship between the traveller and the Webway.
Aye, that was the general idea. One imagines that the feeling of "disconnect" that Draco alluded to was the partial result of this.


Your vision of the Webway also opens things up to the idea that the Webways takes you where you need to go.
Another "aye" here. I haven't written anything down that articulates this idea, but that is definitely an extension of the "proto-consciousness" of the Webway. (Not forgetting that the Webway also moderates the Eternal Matrix, so there are other angles as well. ;))


It's entertaining to tease out all the possibilities/ :)
That it is!


Although I suppose we would have to understand what was actually meant by the Laughing God escaping into the Webway. Is this literal? Is it figurative?
I take it as a literal truth, but also attach a cost to it. That is, the Laughing God is "bound" to the Webway in much the same way as the Bloody Handed Avatar is bound to the Infinity Circuit. Its consciousness merges with the proto-consciousness of the Webway, and the individuals that claim that they have seen the Laughing God have only seen an "avatar," or possessed Harlequin (more specifically Solitaire, for me, but there we go).


How [is[/] the Webway maintained? What powers it?
For me? It powers itself.


I think my point was that once inside even abandoned and sealed up portions of the Webway, you may, at least, be able to see where the sealed 'doors' are, which in turn gives your intruding sorcerer something to play with.
That works for me.


Which means...?

Your Mileage May Vary.

Kage