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Avenging Dentist
23-05-2005, 04:45
I've been wondering about this for a while, but how do psykers affect the Warp? I know that psykers draw their energy from the Warp, and that more powerful psyker are better able to control these energies, but there are a lot of details left out of the background (at least based on what I've read).


It seems to me that psykers learn specific powers (i.e. "spells"), as opposed to general techniques. Obviously, this is reflected in the rules, but the fluff (Soul Drinkers in particular) suggests that this is actually so. In that book, the Librarian uses a particular power called the Horror on several occasions. Now, I know alpha-level psykers would be an exception to this, since their power is great enough that they can do just about whatever they like.
What effect does drawing energy from the Warp have on the Warp itself? There doesn't appear to be a whole lot on this topic, though I assume that something happens, since it has the potential to attract daemons. My theory (unfortunately not based on the fluff very much) is that using psychic powers, as well as merely having psychic potential, generates turbulence in the Warp. Daemons and other Warp-entities can sense this turbulence and are attracted to it, since the source is usually some unwitting psyker. The Fall of the Eldar sort of suggests that this may be true. As the Eldar became more and more decadent, Warp storms (i.e. "turbulence") grew to isolate most of the galaxy, culminating in the birth of Slaanesh. Like I said, it's not based on the fluff very much, but it appears to be consistent with it.
Primary psykers: are they less likely to suffer possession because they simply have better mental defenses against daemons, or are they able to sort of hide their presence in the Warp? I favor the latter, since there isn't anything to suggest that powerful psykers are always beset by daemons.


So, does anyone else here have any insight on how psychic powers actually work?

Hell's Angel
23-05-2005, 05:43
The warp is omnipotent in its morphic ability. A 'spell' is able to tear a small hole from realspace into warpspace and allow warp matter to escape into the 40k universe. Once there the warp matter conforms to whatever the spell's shaping was. Imperial Psychers use hexagramic warding and ritualized wording to tightly control the opening and effect. A sorcerer throws open the gate, and with that greatly increases the chance that something will either possess him, or come through with the spell.

Delicious Soy
23-05-2005, 08:18
I think the issue is best summed up in your title. Psykers are the point were faith and science collide in the 40k universe, therefore being prone to all sorts of illogical logic. But I'll take a shot anyhow :)

Something is biologically different in psykers (specifically in their brain). This in turn affects their 'soul' or their reflection in the warp if you will. This puts them 'closer' to the warp in that the whims of their mind can utilise the warp to affect reality, defying certain inviolate laws of nature (like animating someones intestines and strangling them with it). To do this it requires the weakening of the barrier between real and warpspace. This is what attracts the daemons. Craving physicality, they are drawn to this breach in the defense, or the being that created it. So bascially a psyker is a manipulator of the warp, using it's energies to affect the real world. The more powerful the psyker, the more they can weaken the barrier between reality and the warp, therefore the ability to melt a titan at a glance.

Now to draw a difference between 'psykers' and 'sorcerers'. A psyker draws upon the mental energies of his own mind, no outside assistance is necessary but he may use some form of religous observance or meditation that makes it appear that he/she/it is casting a spell. Sorcerers call on powers outside of themselves. They perform rituals to draw in entities from the warp who, being made of the stuff of the warp, are far more adept at manipulating it. The sorcer himself is most likely a psyker, through the ritual he utilises his abilities to weaken the barrier between him and the warp so that he can act as a channel for the entities power, distracting it with sacrifice or pledges of servitude to prevent posession. Alternatively, the enitity is so focussed on one thing, that the ritual bounds it to servitude, therefore the sorcerer can call on it again and again with impunity without fear of possession.

Therefore, the working of a psyker and tied up in the mysteries onf the mind, something in there malfunctions in a psyker and makes them concious of the warp, and if strong willed enough, the ability to manipulate it.

Briareos
23-05-2005, 08:59
It seems to me that psykers learn specific powers (i.e. "spells"), as opposed to general techniques. Obviously, this is reflected in the rules, but the fluff (Soul Drinkers in particular) suggests that this is actually so. In that book, the Librarian uses a particular power called the Horror on several occasions. Now, I know alpha-level psykers would be an exception to this, since their power is great enough that they can do just about whatever they like.
It can be presumed that psykers are taught spells and other rigid rituals so that they may better control their powers.
"This is the effect you want, this is how to obtain it - get to it, pup."

Now, once a psyker reaches (or thinks he has reached) a specific threshold on the "psy-scale", he may stop using rituals and try to use his powers on his own - with just his mind as barrier against unforseen difficulties. Needless to say that this isn't much of a problem for the more powerful psykers. For the others, it's would be more of a gamble.

Eldacar
23-05-2005, 09:12
I think Delicious Soy pretty much got it. Psykers have something biologically different in the makeup of their body. This difference brings them closer to the Warp, and for those who have more of a difference than others, they can manipulate the energies of the Warp.

Sojourner
23-05-2005, 10:23
i am reminded of the Star Trek episode where Tuvok is teaching Kes. He tells her something along the lines of "Don't try to interfere with the matter, just focus on the effect you want". That is, if you want to heat something up, you don't bash the molecules around, you just think "heat" and your subconscious will do the rest.

In the 40k universe, this is pyromancy and of course is an isolated discipline among many. There are many other abilities that don't directly afect the materium at all - and I'd imagine most abilities operate primarily on the warp plane - interfering with sentient creature's minds and tinkering with the warp aura of inanimate objects.

Briareos
23-05-2005, 10:43
Inanimate objetcs do not have 'warp auras'. Only sentients and their emanations have a Warp presence.

Sojourner
23-05-2005, 11:25
See Eisenhorn. Everything retains a smudge of the aura of those who have interacted with it.

Briareos
23-05-2005, 12:15
What you are refering to are the emanations of the sentients and what they leave behind them, not warp auras of inanimate objects per se.

Delicious Soy
23-05-2005, 13:24
Anything biological has warp resonance. More inanimate items (like say a rock) are manipulated by either using the resonance left behind from previous organic contact or by weakening the barrier between warp and reality to the point that the warp can envelope it. To put it simply, the illogical nature of the warp can defy the logic of reality.

TheSonOfAbbadon
23-05-2005, 13:41
On the 'rules say they learn certain skills' note:

Let's take the power 'Doombolt'. Now, this can be manifested in many ways, the sorceror can shoot out black bolts of energy, he could open a rip in the warp near the target which attempts to suck them in, he could grab some throwing knives and empower them with warp energy then throw them at the target.

Although it is called 'Doombolt' it can be represented in hundreds of different ways, not just lightning bolts.

Avenging Dentist
24-05-2005, 02:39
Re: Abbadon's post, I think there's a marked difference between Chaos powers and ordinary abilities. A Chaos worshipper would naturally be less worried about possession than an Imperial (or eldar, etc) psyker. This gives them the freedom to interact with the warp however they see fit. I tend to agree with Briareos on "ordinary" powers, in that most psykers are going to learn how to use a specific power as taught by their masters. I sort of doubt that the Imperium would let its psykers do whatever, since the danger of possession is very real. In fact, if using "spells" is generally safer, I doubt most psykers would do anything else unless absolutely necessary...