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magath
09-08-2010, 21:39
Hi guys

Obviously 40k is very human centric, it focuses on humanity and so on, yet one thing has been puzzling me. In the fluff it states that khorne, nurgle and the rest of the Jackson 5 all feed on human emotions to thrive, in fact, one of the background books (Possibly one of the big rulebooks, although I forget which one) says that humans are their main source of sustenance (apart from Slaanesh, who's a bit picky about who's soul he eats, obviously)

This does raise an interesting question though, what about other galaxies? Given that every man and his dog has an ork/nid/eldar infestation, its a fair guess to assume that some other galaxies are inhabited by a variety of alien races as well. Now, given that khorne and such are stated as being mainly dependent on humans in the fluff, does this mean that the warp for the milky way (stupid name for our galaxy, whoever made that wants slapping) is localised, and that theres a massive bit of calm and then another tumultuous bit linked directly to another galaxy far far away? Is it possible that the chaos Gods are just localised gods and that the warp elsewhere is inhabted by other chaos gods?

Anyone have any thoughts on this (obviously, other than "Duh, Its GW, it doesnt have to make sence?")

Son of Sanguinius
09-08-2010, 21:55
Parallel dimension.

Lars Porsenna
09-08-2010, 22:04
Maybe an alternate dimension. I don't think a "parallel galaxy" is really an adequate description. Perhaps "The Warp" is the fabled 11th Dimension?

Damon.

MvS
09-08-2010, 22:19
Yup, parallel dimension.

We could split hairs and say parallel universe, but that would mean we'd have to argue forever and a day about what we mean by 'universe'.

In fact I like to see the Warp as a the 'cell membrane' between all universes and all realities. So it's no just another dimension so much as THE other dimension. A bit like the corridor with all the doors in the Matrix sequel, only infinite and a LOT scarier, where absolutely anything is possible, given the right momentum.

Sebavin
09-08-2010, 22:20
Well since real life Theoretical Physics is being turned upside down and inside out. The thought of a warp like Dimension is not really as crazy as it sounds.
We only know of 3 Dimensions and there are an estimated 12 if I remember correctly.
Long winded rant short:
The Universe is the area below this sentence and over the line below
l l l l l l l l l l l l
__________________________________________________ ________
The first 3 lines are the physical Dimensions we interact with every day, The other lines represent Dimensions that are not understood at this moment.
Each Dimension is incredibility thin and they all kinda lay on top of each other like laminated film. The Warp in 40k may be one of these films that lay on top of our reality....

Confusing... just roll with it :p

Son of Sanguinius
09-08-2010, 22:27
I know the warp is often described as not being beholden to physics as we understand it, but can you imagine how much more sense it would make if it did?

I've never seen anything to lead me to believe that the warp doesn't adhere to Newton's laws.

I've always preferred Philip Sibbering's interpretations, where the warp has different levels, rather like a planet. As you get closer and closer to the "surface" (or the barrier between the warp and the material realm), things like time and gravity have a more definite effect because our souls (and the laws that affect them) feed directly in at the barrier. As you get closer to the core, you'll find the things that are not as readily bound by such constraints, like ageless gods, ships traveling backward through time, etc.

Actually, I'm not sure that one was Phil's, but I think it was.

baphomael
09-08-2010, 22:31
Hi guys

Obviously 40k is very human centric, it focuses on humanity and so on, yet one thing has been puzzling me. In the fluff it states that khorne, nurgle and the rest of the Jackson 5 all feed on human emotions to thrive, in fact, one of the background books (Possibly one of the big rulebooks, although I forget which one) says that humans are their main source of sustenance (apart from Slaanesh, who's a bit picky about who's soul he eats, obviously)

This does raise an interesting question though, what about other galaxies? Given that every man and his dog has an ork/nid/eldar infestation, its a fair guess to assume that some other galaxies are inhabited by a variety of alien races as well. Now, given that khorne and such are stated as being mainly dependent on humans in the fluff, does this mean that the warp for the milky way (stupid name for our galaxy, whoever made that wants slapping) is localised, and that theres a massive bit of calm and then another tumultuous bit linked directly to another galaxy far far away? Is it possible that the chaos Gods are just localised gods and that the warp elsewhere is inhabted by other chaos gods?

Anyone have any thoughts on this (obviously, other than "Duh, Its GW, it doesnt have to make sence?")


Chaos doesnt just thrive on human emotions, it thrives on specific emotions. It doesnt matter who feels them - if they have a warp-connection (ie, are not a pariah) then if they feel associated emotions (amongst the spectrums rage, hope, despair, lust etc) then Chaos feeds off it.


What is suggested is that chaos doesnt just exist within the galaxy, but that the warp may theoretically exist in other galaxies and, indeed, other "universes". Indeed, the Old Ones were trans-dimensional, so too might chaos be.

Iracundus
10-08-2010, 02:36
The gods of 40K arose out of the turmoil generated by the races of the Milky Way galaxy, in particular Slaanesh out of Eldar and the other current big 3 Chaos gods out of humans. Furthermore in the old novel Space Marine, which though largely outdated by fluff advancement is still partially canonical in that some of the Imperial Fist characters are acknowledged in the Index Astartes, has a Zoat say the Hive Mind detected savage entities floating upon the warp of this galaxy like scum on a pond.

This suggests the Chaos gods are local galactic entities. If there are gods in other galaxies, they have no input or effect in 40K as the 40K stage is purely that of the Milky Way galaxy. The only known entity in 40K known to come from outside the Milky Way is the Hive Mind.

Iuris
10-08-2010, 08:00
While I'm certain that the Warp is a paralell dimension, I often wonder whether it covers the other galaxies, too. Maybe it doesn't - I'd loveto see the look on Tzeentch's face when he sees other gods or galaxies he just can't get to :)

MvS
10-08-2010, 09:22
Well I think it's worth mentioning, at least, the difference between the Warp and the entities that exist in it.

I think there's no problem in regarding the Warp as infinite and touching all points of the universe, or all points of any other universes, but the point is whether there is as much cross-pollination and/or overspill at all other points of the universe(s). I'd say perhaps not.

The Milky Way in the 40K imagery seems to be particularly blighted by creatures that intenionally and unintenionally thin or even break the barriers between the Warp dimension and the combination of a less scary dimensions that we refer to as 'Realspace'. This creates a reaction between these two realities, a kind of taint or momentum that alters both where they touch.

The 'gravity', for want of a better word, of either reality pulls on the other, creating tempests of possibility. The 'radiation' of either reality to either reality taints and warps what it comes into contact with - so wherever they touch, the Warp alters Realspace in a manner that it would not and could not 'normally' be altered, and Realspace alters the Warp in a manner that it would not and could not 'normally' be altered. It's a two-way street.

As in any systems where two environments meet (like where super-heated water and gas leak into the ocean from far below the earth) parasites and other entites can evolve that are essentially tailor made to benefit from, and thrive within, the otherwise inhospitable environment - hence we can have psychic mortals and stable Warp entities in the 40K galaxy where Realspace and the Warp touch.

So whereas the Warp may be infinite, the 'parts' of the Warp that intersect with the mortal entities in the Milky Way may be very particular in form and process - hence gods, daemons, Enslavers and all the rest.

Importantly though, the processes, parasites and entities that evolve in the points of crossover are tailored for that specific environment. So you couldn't take some sort of deep sea bacteria near to a sulphur-pumping lava vent in the ocean, stick it in a bath of scalding salt water and expect it to survive happily. The environments may be similar, but not enough necessarily for the bacteria to survive. The same might be said for Warp entities that are known in the Milky Way. Perhaps they have 'evolved' only able to 'scent' the minds and lives of realspace creatures from that specific galaxy - and even then maybe not all of them.

In other galaxies, and certainly within other universes, there may well be species and civilisations that are either invisible to the Warp entities we know and love (and call Chaos), or toxic to them, or both. If you are a creature that has a steady source of vital sustenance right in front of you, you aren't going to wander off into the infinite unknown just on the offchance you might find something tastier. At least, you wouldn't do this unless you absolutely had to to survive.

Looking at the sheer size of the universe, and liking the idea of multiple universes, I think it logical enough to suggest that there are other places with other 'types' of cross over between Warp and 'Realspace'. There may well be other 'gods' and 'daemons' somewhere, evolde specifically to predate, or exist symbiotically, upon the entities of the specific part of 'physical' reality that they flock around.

Moreso, there may even be places where the interplay between Warp and Realspace is managed and entirely benign. There may be places where the Warp is in symbiotic balance with entities in Realspace - the Tyranids and their Hivemind may be an example of this.

Personally, I like many of the ideas put forward by Michael Moorecock in his Elric and Eternal Champion novels. So there are gods of 'Chaos' and 'Order' that we see time and again, but every so often 'other' completely alien 'gods' - alien even to the Chaos gods - appear from 'elsewhere'. They don't interact in ways the gods and mortals of the target region expect or can understand, and they seem bizarre in whole new and inexplicable ways, and they only materialise because they are (or were, before their journey) incredibly powerful and because their usual stomping grounds have died or dissipated, and so they needed to find somewhere else to exist or else face oblivion.

This hasn't happened explicitly in 40K imagery, but I like to think it's a possibility. That said, the Hivemind is at the same time a Warp entity and a physical entity. Every Tyranid organism is an extension, or sorts, of the Hivemind, while the Hivemind itself is a singular, massive Warp entity/process. The Tyranids are the Hivemind as much as the Hivemind is the Tyranids, they create, influence and sustain each other equally and simultaneously. How different, then, from the relationship between the Chaos 'gods' and mortals in the Milky Way.

So one could say, a completely alien 'god' from another galaxy that doesn't conform to the patterns and processes of the entities that are called 'gods' in the Milky Way galaxy, has come looking for new sustenance because its galaxy of origin has all but dried up as a source of nourishment. Maybe there are many other entities in the 40K universe, just as different as Khorne and the Hivemind/Tyranids.

Perhaps there are many that are the very similar.

But these are considerations of what might exist within the singluar, though vast, 40K uinverse - different galaxies with different, and even unique, Warp/Realspace crossovers and effects. But what about parallel universes? I personally like the idea that 'our' Chaos in 40K, with its gods and daemons, touches upon other universes (not just galaxies) that have similar psychic spoor or emanations as the 40K Milky Way galaxy. So, just as one example, the Warhammer Fantasy world.

So Khorne needn't try to exert himself to find and/or perceive other galaxies in the 40K universe where mortals might be, because he already touches upon thousands of other galaxies that are in parallel universes that the Warp touches and that exude similar psychic 'scents' or doorways for his to latch onto as the 40K Milky Way galaxy does.

True he may have to manifest slightly differently in those parallel worlds, because the expectations, psychic emanations, size of the 'door' in (or whatever) are slightly different, but he still has his toehold and can still feast on the souls he finds there. Again, Moorcock came up with this idea, where entities like the Chaos God Arioch could be amongst the most powerful in one universe, while at the same time only being able to manifest as a slightly weaker god in another universe - although he is the same being in the Chaos Realm. He even appears and behaves slightly differently in different physical realities, because the pressures and 'rules' of different-though-connected realities push and squeeze him in different ways.

...and that's how I like to view the gods and daemons in GW's Warhammer imageries. :)

Eternus
10-08-2010, 09:42
OK, my head hurts. I think of the warp in a far simpler way. Imagine existence itself is a giant raspberry jelly (jello) with Malteasers suspended in it - the Malteasers are the material realms, Universes and Galaxies if you like, and the jelly is the Warp. The Warp-Jelly is made of pure energy, and has no substance or form, except in the places where it contacts one of the material realms - so the Warp-Jelly is just energy, but the surfaces of the Malteaser-Realms are the place where the energy can take form and become Jelly-Daemons. The Jelly-Daemons that exist in the Warp-Jelly and are not in contact with a Malteaser-Realm have Jelly-Daemon-Conciousness, but no form. They are created as a response by the Warp-Jelly to the Jelly-Emotions emanating from the Malteaser-Realms, and without those Jelly-Emotions, the Warp-Jelly would just stay as Warp-Jelly and there would be no Jelly-Daemons.

That's how I understand it anyhow. You keep all your complicated explainations, I'll just stick with jelly. ;)

MvS
10-08-2010, 09:57
That's how I understand it anyhow. You keep all your complicated explainations, I'll just stick with jelly. ;)
:D

Okay, but remember: too much Chaos jelly will give you a stomach ache.

Eternus
10-08-2010, 10:07
:D

Okay, but remember: too much Chaos jelly will give you a stomach ache.

Don't worry, I always use the packet with 'Only 3% Chaos Jelly' printed on it. It's amazing how many different food packets and tins you will find have the statement 'May contain Chaos' on them - I mean, if the Factory is Chaos free, and the Ingredients are Chaos free, how on earth can there be Chaos in my Chiili Nuts?

MvS
10-08-2010, 10:16
Don't worry, I always use the packet with 'Only 3% Chaos Jelly' printed on it. It's amazing how many different food packets and tins you will find have the statement 'May contain Chaos' on them - I mean, if the Factory is Chaos free, and the Ingredients are Chaos free, how on earth can there be Chaos in my Chiili Nuts?
You need to go organic.

Costs a little more but it's worth it. You get to keep your soul for a start.

Bargain.

Eternus
10-08-2010, 10:21
You need to go organic.

Costs a little more but it's worth it. You get to keep your soul for a start.

Bargain.

Yeah, you get to keep your soul, but I bet they don't taste as good!

ashc
10-08-2010, 10:23
Or to quote The Doctor, Wibbly-Wobbly, Timey-Wimey.

Philip S
10-08-2010, 11:03
I wrote up some pseudo-science warp physics (http://www.philipsibbering.com/WH40KRP/40K_7_AM_9_Physcis.shtml), with a handy diagram, as a basic framework when working up my concept for the warp drive (http://www.philipsibbering.com/WH40KRP/40K_7_AM__13_Warp_Drive.shtml).

Chaos gods: I like the idea that the popular images we see are personifications of the chaos powers in the same way the Grim Reaper is the personification of death. The Grim Reaper is nothing like actual death, just as I imagine the reality of the chaos gods to be nothing like their personification.

As to why the daemons look the way they do (which is surprisingly uniform) I put this down to the expectations of the summoner helping to shape the daemon's final form in the Materium. That the raw creative power of the warp, combined with the emotions and thoughts of a human, can conjure a daemonic body than can be inhabited by an alien entity formed from fragments of 'souls' drawn together in a comment mindset. In effect the summoner determines the host form and the type of mind. The summoner is creating 'life'.

Different summoners will conjure different versions, but in a shared culture they are all going to be similar. The type of demons or gods depicted in a given culture is the ones that will turn up if a person summons a being from the warp. This can make a drawing of a demon, created by an artist to be the most scary to humans, can be so potent - as it given form to mental image, it personified and give an anchor in the mind that the creative powers of the warp can lock onto.

This means that your worst nightmare, personal to you, they one that has the most power to scare the life out of you, is what will turn up if you are a psyker and summon a being from the warp.

In the case of 40K, a different species with a different culture and mindset can create very different beings. The Eldar create similar but different version of the chaos gods, as do the Orks.

This makes the warp a rather odd place, very unlike our reality, filled with the power of creation. Accessing it is literally playing god.

Forbidden Planet: To give a concrete concept of this, think of the classic sci-fi film the Forbidden Planet (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forbidden_Planet). Replace the Krell machine with the warp and you have it. Anyone with Psyker ability can access the warp (Krell machine) and bring into reality anything they can imagine, and just like in the film, bring forth creations of their fears buried deep in their subconscious mind - demons of the Id.

In the film it happens when they sleep and loose control - the creations of the warp, and distortions of reality, could be more like our dreams made manifest. If you ever had a nightmare: the warp can make that 'real'. This is because our subconscious drives are more powerful than our waking imagination.

Chaos Gods Mark II: They are nothing like their portrayal by those in the know in the Imperium. They are not 'beings' in the warp, the warp is pretty much creation energy waiting to be moulded into something. Khorne, Nurlge etc. actually live inside the heads of humans are concepts (memes), they endure as long as humans endure.

The storms are the effects of trillions of unconscious minds stirring the creational powers of the warp. The latent psyker potential of all humans unleashed as we sleep, our dreams forming in the warp, trying to become real. If enough people dream the same dream, and they can if they link to the warp, a dream may take on a life of it's own.

It would not be a being as we know them, more a shared cultural concept driving a force within the warp, it gains sentience though us. It sees what we see, feels what we feel, it knows what we know. It is our collective shadow in the warp. Aspects of this shadow can be conjured into reality and put into a body, and it will be given a sense of self by untold trillion of minds. A fragment of our cultural identity.

The problem for those in 40K who learn of the warp often come to fear the warp, what it can do, how it works. They have demonised the warp. Those that can handle the idea are probably mad. Therefore most of the popular beings brought forth are less than angelic, and brought forth to smite foes, for revenge and murder, for power.

Such beings that are brought into reality cannot be controlled because they are driven by us, they are of singular purpose, and are as smart as all of us working together.

More chaos: I also like the idea that these cultural identity shadows can drive deeper entities, that cultural identities can combine at a deeper lever and share common concepts.

If you go deep enough you can find entities born of all the sentient beings in the universe (400 billion galaxies) and perhaps alternate realities, and maybe alternate dimensions.

All these entities can affect each other. Some higher entities which are closer to reality, the cultural identity shadows, can be influenced by far deeper entities.

Philip

Finn
11-08-2010, 11:08
Yup, parallel dimension.

We could split hairs and say parallel universe, but that would mean we'd have to argue forever and a day about what we mean by 'universe'.

In fact I like to see the Warp as a the 'cell membrane' between all universes and all realities. So it's no just another dimension so much as THE other dimension. A bit like the corridor with all the doors in the Matrix sequel, only infinite and a LOT scarier, where absolutely anything is possible, given the right momentum.

I agree. I didn't realize until just now that I've always thought of the warp as a sinister version of the faerie mists of Irish/Celtic/Druidic legend (or more sinister, depending on the perspective the mists are viewed from in the telling). Faerie creatures as daemons? Totally.

To address your first paragraph - I think the term 'universe' is no longer strictly defined as to encompass all of reality, merely the reality we're familiar with, which is the premise behind the idea of a multiverse. Philosophy ('cause that's really all cosmology is when you get to talking about stuff like this) is a queer beast.

One of these days, one of us should compile a 40k Metaphysics Bible from the ideas of the greater thinkers of the Internet. One that's not Lexicanum.


EDIT: @ Phil S, others, on the topic of the form of demons - there was an Arthur C. Clarke novel (Childhood's End is the title) that plays with this notion a little bit. I don't want to spoil the plot any, but stereotypical images of death became associated with humanity's end from the future - creating a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy as well as shaping human culture throughout its entire span. Great book actually (short too!), I'll have to read it again - and I think a fair number of the notions implied in Clarke's works made it into the 40k universe as well.

Koschai
12-08-2010, 17:01
So now I really want to sculpt up a bunch of Jelly Demons as a counts as Demon army!

Some real solid debating points here and I think MvS pretty much nailed my opinions on the topic. It's worth noting that the Chaos Gods are really not Gods at all. They are merely powerful entities. Further they are described as being the manifestation of human emotions within the warp...

This I think is the Rosetta Stone of this topic. The Warp, affected by nearby emotional energies is twisted/altered to manifest a physical representation of that energy much like the energy of a magnet seperated from a pile of iron filings by a sheet of paper will manifest a ball out of those filings. This mass will vary dependent on the power of that emotional energy.

Something as primal as Anger, Hope, Ambition, Extacy will manifest something so vast within the local warp area that it gains sentience and through flaws in the barrier can actually leak through and affect its own creation by affecting the material realm that powers it.

Other galaxies might have thier own localised warp disturbances based on the types of life to be found there.

Ironically the Hive Mind however I see as a whole different creature. This is not so much a warp disturbance like the Chaos powers, but a rare species that evolved simultaniously in multiple dimentions. Its physically in the material world while intellectually in the warp. This therefore free roaming entity does not affect the material to enable its own continued existance but rather exists independently. This you could call a true warp native rather than merely a sentient reflection.

Still think Jelly Gods FTW! :)

Goosey_J
12-08-2010, 17:31
OK, my head hurts. I think of the warp in a far simpler way. Imagine existence itself is a giant raspberry jelly (jello) with Malteasers suspended in it - the Malteasers are the material realms, Universes and Galaxies if you like, and the jelly is the Warp. The Warp-Jelly is made of pure energy, and has no substance or form, except in the places where it contacts one of the material realms - so the Warp-Jelly is just energy, but the surfaces of the Malteaser-Realms are the place where the energy can take form and become Jelly-Daemons. The Jelly-Daemons that exist in the Warp-Jelly and are not in contact with a Malteaser-Realm have Jelly-Daemon-Conciousness, but no form. They are created as a response by the Warp-Jelly to the Jelly-Emotions emanating from the Malteaser-Realms, and without those Jelly-Emotions, the Warp-Jelly would just stay as Warp-Jelly and there would be no Jelly-Daemons.

That's how I understand it anyhow. You keep all your complicated explainations, I'll just stick with jelly. ;)

This is how I see the warp as well. As limitless and endless as the known universe, but only 'active' in places where life exists. Therefore the 'warp' (and all the gods and daemons that reside within it) of the Milky Way can only be local to our Galaxy. As there are billions upon billions of light years of uninhabited, empty space between the Milky Way and any other galaxy, one can confidently assume that the 'warp space' of these vast spaces must be empty and void of activity as well.

As for other galaxies? Well, that's entirely dependent on what creatures live there, and how the history of their galaxy panned out.

Son of Sanguinius
12-08-2010, 18:44
It's worth noting that the Chaos Gods are really not Gods at all. They are merely powerful entities. Further they are described as being the manifestation of human emotions within the warp...

That entirely depends on your definition of what a god is.

Koschai
12-08-2010, 18:52
That entirely depends on your definition of what a god is.

Touché :)

Wont argue your semantics there as thats a whole other discussion lol, would just comment that a lot of people view the Chaos powers as Omnipotent (in my vernacular Gods) which has been pointed out as incorrect at several points in the fluff (depending off course on which fluff you call canon... but then that's yet another discussion!).

I believe it was the Horus Heresy books that specifically refered to the Chaos powers as just powerful entities but here your in the realms of my memory and that's real treacherous ground!

Son of Sanguinius
12-08-2010, 18:55
Just as sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, sufficiently powerful and sentient individuals are indistinguishable from the divine.

Koschai
12-08-2010, 19:56
Which is precisely why they are refered to as the Chaos Gods despite not in fact being such :)

Son of Sanguinius
12-08-2010, 21:06
You're missing my point.

What I'm saying is that for all intents and purposes, they are gods.

When Magnus looks upon the true nature of the entity he bargained with, that being Tzeentch, he feels like a child surrounded by an ocean. Even for someone like him, Tzeentch is a god because it is so much more powerful.

Similarly, if you take an MP3 player to the middle ages, the device would be magical. Magic is defined as the use of supernatural forces to manipulate natural forces. Yet we don't know what the boundaries of the natural are. Even mathematics and physics are nothing more than approximations of those boundaries. We use temporary boundaries that are relative to our understanding of the scope of the universe. So for the people of the middle ages, the abilities of an MP3 player are supernatural.

When we have the capabilities of the Old Ones, we'll be able to look on something like Khorne and say "that's not a god." Until then, Khorne is. :)

MvS
12-08-2010, 22:06
Indeed so.

There is a difference between the semantics surrounding what a 'god' is or isn't in the 'real' world, and what the Chaos Gods actually are within the GW imagery.

It's true that in the 'real' world I could regard a rock as my god and that would be that. You could give me all kinds of reasons why I shouldn't regard my rock as a god, but really that wouldn't 'disprove' my item of blind faith - that's the nature of blind faith, I get to set the parameters of what my god is and does, however illogical they may seem to anyone else

The Chaos Gods, on the other hand, are gods in a more 'objective' sense. They aren't the omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient mono-theo (singular god) of, say, the Abrahamic traditions. They are more like the gods of ancient Greece, the Norse or even some Hindu sects.

Souls are real in the 40K setting and the Chaos Gods actively care about souls, even if it is just to consume them after mortal death. The Chaos Gods are not part of the physical universe but instead some 'other' realm of spirit, emotion and concept. They have immense 'supernatural', or 'unnatural' powers both in this Heaven / Mount Olympus / Asgard / Chaos Realm and in the mortal realm. They have created hosts of incredibly powerful 'spirit' enforcers, servants and messengers to mediate between gods and mortals of the mortal universe - entities that therefore fit the profiles and tropes of angels and daemons. They respond to worship and prayer. They actively seeks to start up religions amongst mortals and attract followers. They speak to their faithful in the quiet of their hearts and minds, or sometimes through more ostentatious supernatural displays (so perhaps buring pillars of flame, etc), through 'holy' artefacts or other through 'sacred' places. They have 'holy' laws, can give blessings, grant 'miracles' and enact 'divine' retribution on those who displease them or blaspheme against them.

So, really, in all the senses that matter, these are gods, it's just that in the 40K setting we have a description of where these gods have come from and how they developed - which to be fair isn't unique to 40K. There are creation myths for all pantheons in human history except for the monotheistic deity of the Abrahamic religions, Zoroastrianism, Sikhism and for very particular gods in Hinduism.

40K is not just a sci-fi environment like Star Trek where we discard mythology as just that, myth, and where gods turn out to be powerful though misunderstood aliens. The 40K setting is a sci-fantasy setting, a bit like King Arthur in Space, or Jason and the Argonauts in space, or Beowulf in space (or, dare I say, Lord of the Rings in space), but with Lovecraftian gothic horror and Michael Moorcock fantasy thrown in to the mix and with any number of 'crusader' and 'world at war' tropes dominating everything else.

The characters within the 40K setting may argue about the nature of gods (at the very least during the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy eras). In the contemporary 40K setting (the 41st millennium), a character may argue that the Chaos Gods are just odd aliens that hear prayers, are comprised of 'souls' (which are apparently taken for granted as being real) and respond to, and even encourage, worship, but this character would be splitting hairs semnatically in order to actually do so.

The entities of the Warp are more objectively 'gods' than my rock ever could be. :)

Finn
13-08-2010, 01:52
What is a god, but a being worshipped by those beneath? ;)

Koschai
13-08-2010, 13:25
Interesting points and frankly I agree with all of them so theres really no argument here, however I still would not call the Chaos "Gods"... Gods. The people of the 40k world would I agree (but then by that measuring stick the Emporer is a God too...) but we, as the objective viewer looking in from outside (the role of narrator if you will) know better, we know that these are just powerful warp entities.

An alien race coming to earth with advanced tech and being worshiped as a God, doesn't change the fact that he is an alien with advanced tech. Its all in the perspective.

Our knowing this does not diminish the fact that they are as Gods to the people of the setting with all the soul dealing one would associate with Gods. However when we look at other warp entities such as the Hive Mind (note the pond scum comment earlier in this thread) we are treated to an alternate perspective and the "not a God" part becomes more relevant.

Still the debate is somewhat pedantic as all we are really doing is defining what is a God and that is a debate that has had philosophers disagreeing as long as there have been philosophers :)

My initial point however was that Nurgle, Khorne, Tzeench, and Slaneesh along with any other warp entities out there are fully engaged with the localised reality of the Milky Way. They are not omnipitant beings spread across all time and space, but warp sharks circling a bleeding carcass feeding of anything they can reach.

MvS
13-08-2010, 16:57
Interesting points and frankly I agree with all of them so theres really no argument here, however I still would not call the Chaos "Gods"... Gods.
But... but... this means you don't agree with them, or at least mine. That's okay of course, but, you know, that's not what you said. :)


we, as the objective viewer looking in from outside (the role of narrator if you will) know better, we know that these are just powerful warp entities.
My point is that 'powerful Warp entity' is a bit pedantic, bearing in mind the nature of these entities and the Warp itself. As far as 'god' can mean anything, these entities are just that.


An alien race coming to earth with advanced tech and being worshiped as a God, doesn't change the fact that he is an alien with advanced tech. Its all in the perspective.
In that context, yes, but we would be foolish to worship them. The aliens wouldn't actually need our worship and us doing so would just be akin to 'cavemen' worshipping one of us if we somehow managed to travel back in time. There would be a reason why they mistook us for gods, but that doesn't mean we are gods objectively speaking.


Our knowing this does not diminish the fact that they are as Gods to the people of the setting with all the soul dealing one would associate with Gods.
The fact that within the 40K setting there are souls in the setting as real things shows us the difference. The supernatural is real.


However when we look at other warp entities such as the Hive Mind (note the pond scum comment earlier in this thread) we are treated to an alternate perspective and the "not a God" part becomes more relevant.
But then the Hive Mind doesn't behave as a 'god', because 'gods' are products of the sorts of intelligence and cultures that we or the Eldar have for instance. It is its own thing.

That said, because it is an intelligence in the Warp that actually controls, or even wholly expresses itself, through a gestalt hive of physical entities in Realspace, it isn't the same as other mortal creatures whose thoughts and identities are generated within their physical brains. There's nothing to say that the Hive Mind isn't a super-massive, though completely alien, god.


Still the debate is somewhat pedantic as all we are really doing is defining what is a God and that is a debate that has had philosophers disagreeing as long as there have been philosophers.
Yes, but that's in our universe where there are no objective proofs for divinities. As I said in my last post, in the entirely fictional 40K setting things are different.

There are souls that join together in an entirely supernatural realm to form gods. Gods like in any other fantasy setting. I won't repeat all the reasons I give for this because I listed them pretty exhaustively in my last post.


My initial point however was that Nurgle, Khorne, Tzeench, and Slaneesh along with any other warp entities out there are fully engaged with the localised reality of the Milky Way.
As far as we know, but then that's only because GW writers haven't said that they do. With a whim and a stroke of the pen this could all change.

Aside from that though, I like to imagine the multiverse idea where the Chaos Gods touch on countless worlds, galaxies and potentially universes in different ways. This doesn't mean they are omnipresent or omnipotent, nor does it mean that there aren't other gods and entities in the Warp, both similar to and exntirely different from the Chaos Gods. It just means that the Chaos Gods are more interesting and multi-layered than some of their imagery might otherwise imply.

Son of Sanguinius
13-08-2010, 17:06
Pen being mightier than the sword, of course. :)

And yes, Chaos and the warp are far more intricate and fascinating than often advertised. It's a damn shame. I don't suppose you can talk GW into letting you write a Liber Chaotica-esque work for 40k?

As I post this I realize I'm probably not the first person to request this. :D

Leez
13-08-2010, 18:49
Well from the opening line in the fluff section:

The Realm of Chaos, also known as the Warp, the Immaterium or Warpspace, is a dimension parallel to our own, a universe devoid of matter and life, without laws of time and space.

My personal take on chaos, ultimately is: You don't ask what Chaos is, you tell Chaos what it is.

MvS
13-08-2010, 19:06
Well from the opening line in the fluff section:

My personal take on chaos, ultimately is: You don't ask what Chaos is, you tell Chaos what it is.
A very Moorcock approach and one I like quite a lot actually.

I remember one tale in one of his books about a hero who strode into the Chaos Realm and imposed reality on the parts of it he encountered, essentially pushing out the borders or Realspace.

Now that's a neat trick!

Leez
13-08-2010, 19:23
A very Moorcock approach and one I like quite a lot actually.

I remember one tale in one of his books about a hero who strode into the Chaos Realm and imposed reality on the parts of it he encountered, essentially pushing out the borders or Realspace.

Now that's a neat trick!

I wish I could say I thought of it and it bothers me to no end that I don't know where I read it. But a very long time ago while reading an interview of a poet he said something along the lines: "You don't ask the poet what he meant, you tell him." it was followed with a discussion of why he thought that was so.

Problem is I only remembered the jist of it more then a decade later in university. But I don't remember the interviewer, interviewee, if they were discussing the interviewee's work or someone elses or if the "quote" was spoken using the word poet or artist. I can't even remember the genders of those involved. I know I read it in a magazine or a newspaper.

abasio
16-08-2010, 16:10
I find it interesting to see different people's opinions of what "a" god is.

From the dictionary definition;

god (n.)

1. God
a. A being conceived as the perfect, omnipotent, omniscient originator and ruler of the universe, the principal object of faith and worship in monotheistic religions.
b. The force, effect, or a manifestation or aspect of this being.
2. A being of supernatural powers or attributes, believed in and worshiped by a people, especially a male deity thought to control some part of nature or reality.
3. An image of a supernatural being; an idol.
4. One that is worshiped, idealized, or followed: Money was their god.
5. A very handsome man.
6. A powerful ruler or despot.

If you go with the capitalized God then it is the creator, the omnipotent ruler of everything. Something the chaos gods are not, they are by-products of sentient races not the creators of sentient races, nor do they rule everything.

However they do fit all the non-capitalized definitions. They are gods, they are worshipped, they are powerful beyond evey other being in the setting and they are supernatural.

Therefore I would definitely say they are gods.

Born Again
17-08-2010, 14:07
Ok, here's how I see it:

I wouldn't describe the warp as a 'parallel' anything. Parallel in it's current usage implies a mental imagery of things existing side by side, ie; imagine the two lines in an equals sign = one being the material universe, the other being the warp. Given the right tools (warp drive) or a tear in reality, the border between the two can be crossed.

However, as I've always seen it, this may be the simplest way of looking at it but it isn't the most accurate. The warp, we know, is heavily influenced by the thoughts and emotions in the material universe. Therefore I think it is more accurate to think of it as an 'alternate' reality (I'm refraining from using the word 'dimension' as that is something different, involving C'Tan phase knives and Old One portals) that exists, for want of a better term, inside our reality. The warp flows through everything: people, planets, the space between stars. This, to me, gives more sense to mentions of material world events having a "reflection" in the warp, rather than two separate places having a magical link that allows them to affect each other.

Another way of describing it would be to think of real world Chi energy, or Star Wars' The Force... it goes through everything, in varying amounts. Now just imagine that energy is an actual physical place (not literally of course as pure Warp space is entirely non-physical and devoid of the laws of physics, however it is, for all intents a purposes, somewhere you can "go").

Anyway, given this, in answer to the question, this would mean the warp is out there in other galaxies. However, what effect does it have? Although there may be life in said galaxies, they may all be extremely un-psychic (as most, possibly all, psychic races in our galaxy were created by the Old Ones) and hence have little or no interaction with the Warp. This could, in theory, make their part of the warp be very calm, as it was in our long ago. Given the nature of the Warp and the fact that locations can be of little relevance, Chaos Gods could theoretically reach out there and send daemons, but why would they? If the inhabitants are so un-psychic they will be extremely hard to corrupt (think Tau) and hence they may perceive it as being of little value.

I could go on with more, but it's late and my brain is frazzling :p

LordLucan
18-08-2010, 20:03
Pen being mightier than the sword, of course. :)

And yes, Chaos and the warp are far more intricate and fascinating than often advertised. It's a damn shame. I don't suppose you can talk GW into letting you write a Liber Chaotica-esque work for 40k?

As I post this I realize I'm probably not the first person to request this. :D

MvS did...

It's called Liber Chaotica. It deals with the 40K versions of Chaos Gods too you know...

Son of Sanguinius
18-08-2010, 20:36
MvS did...

It's called Liber Chaotica. It deals with the 40K versions of Chaos Gods too you know...

I've read that many times, including the visions of the 40k universe. I was saying that I'd be very happy to read something done for the 40k universe, especially if it highlights the differences in the universe and how Chaos relates to the 40k races.

LordLucan
18-08-2010, 21:51
But it'd be essentially the same book surely? simply with visions of whf instead of visions of 40k?

Actually, I've changed my mind! I want a Liber chaotica sequel too! You could have it from the perspective of that mad prophet who at the start of M41, prophesised of the time of ending and was executed. In fact, a sourcebook along the same veins of Xenology, but about the warp, would be perfect!

Son of Sanguinius
19-08-2010, 00:06
But it'd be essentially the same book surely? simply with visions of whf instead of visions of 40k?

Actually, I've changed my mind! I want a Liber chaotica sequel too! You could have it from the perspective of that mad prophet who at the start of M41, prophesised of the time of ending and was executed. In fact, a sourcebook along the same veins of Xenology, but about the warp, would be perfect!

I think there could be quite a few differences. First and foremost, there are no gods (that we know of) that survive in the warp save for the Ruinous Powers and (debatably) the Emperor. Somehow, in Fantasy, the other Gods are able to exist as extensions of or with ties to the Big Four without being totally consumed. Secondly, there is no gravitation of warp energy to certain elemental forces or natural occurences in 40k (at least not to those present in Fantasy). Lastly, there are no Pariahs in Fantasy. Their origins, their effects on the warp, and their legacy could form a great chapter within such a book.

Iracundus
19-08-2010, 09:05
I think there could be quite a few differences. First and foremost, there are no gods (that we know of) that survive in the warp save for the Ruinous Powers and (debatably) the Emperor.

You forget the Ork pantheon of Gork & Mork. You also neglect all the minor Chaos gods and independent daemon princes of Chaos Undivided that essentially are their own demigods. There are also possibly the racial gods of minor alien races. Just because GW focuses extensively on the Big Four doesn't mean others don't exist.

Son of Sanguinius
19-08-2010, 16:48
You forget the Ork pantheon of Gork & Mork. You also neglect all the minor Chaos gods and independent daemon princes of Chaos Undivided that essentially are their own demigods. There are also possibly the racial gods of minor alien races. Just because GW focuses extensively on the Big Four doesn't mean others don't exist.

I was under the impression that Gork and Mork lived on literally in the subconscious of their children. Could be entirely wrong on that though. I'm also completely unfamiliar with any minor Chaos Gods, though any such entities would certainly be allowed existence (I would think) if they ultimately served the purposes of Chaos.

But in essence, you're making my point for me. (So thanks!) There is a lot to expand upon in 40k that you can't just port over from Liber Chaotica.

Clockwork-Knight
19-08-2010, 18:38
In fact, the strongest warp beings are Gork and Mork, and everybody flees from their tremendous might.
Even the emperor fled than face them, when Gork and Mork shielded the very mek who tried to build the first ork titan, and succeeded. Now the imperial agents face ultimate despair when fighting the very avatars of the twin-gods of cunning and violence, who are reborn every day from the earth and scraps that made them.

Son of Sanguinius
19-08-2010, 18:51
I take it I'm to refer to you as the "Prophet of the Waaagh!"?

Clockwork-Knight
19-08-2010, 19:00
No, Gaazkhul Mag uruk Thraka didn't create the first Gargant. It was some other mek-boy, detailed in "Waaargh. The Orks", a book from 1st or 2nd edition.