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Rogue Sun
20-04-2006, 01:11
I was just kind of curious if the Old Ones were considered "good guys" or just kind of neutral. I'm pretty sure they're not evil like the C'tan and Chaos gods, but I didn't know were the Old Ones stood.

Minister
20-04-2006, 01:53
In the battle between good and evil, they are on the side of green.

Khaine's Messenger
20-04-2006, 01:54
I was just kind of curious if the Old Ones were considered "good guys" or just kind of neutral.

I suppose to call them good or evil would be to reduce them to our own standards of morality...but insofar as their morality pertaining to interacting with other races as a human might perceive it...they're rather cold, indifferent, logical, capricious, scheming, manipulating, and well-versed. They allowed the Necrontyr to suffer not because it amused them or because they wanted the Necrontyr to suffer or even because they thought such suffering would make them a hardy race, but because they wanted to see what would happen if they didn't lend the Necrontyr an "uplift" out of simple curiosity. They look on us as we might an ant, and consider mucking about to be an engineering project, the rewards of which we can only speculate at. As such, a human might consider them rather immoral. Their only real interest is in quantification and observation, as a child might wonder what would happen if he changed the gravitational constant of the universe...and then did.

The Old Ones have never really been taken to task by their "pet projects" for their flagrant manipulations and mucking about besides their near-extermination during the Enslaver Plague and the War in Heaven...which is entirely the wrong way of going about it, but I think they really did have it coming.

El_Machinae
20-04-2006, 04:15
They've always had a 'good guy' feel, though they likely weren't. Just like the Vorlons in the beginning of Babylon 5.

Briareos
20-04-2006, 08:02
The Old Ones viewed other species as insects, manipulating the evolution of many species and used most of them as fodder against the Necrontyr. Just because the fought the Star Gods doesn't make them 'good guys'.

Were the Old Ones 'good' or 'evil' ? Probably neither. But they were very arrogant - it that was what precipitated their downfall.

gunhed
20-04-2006, 10:53
Were the Old Ones 'good' or 'evil' ? Probably neither. But they were very arrogant - it that was what precipitated their downfall.

Agreed. They had their own agenda and you can't prescribe human notions of Good or Evil to an incredibly ancient long extinct race of cold blooded aliens that had nothing in common with humanity.

Forbiddenknowledge
20-04-2006, 15:41
So, just like the eldar then?

grimsnagga
20-04-2006, 15:45
So, just like the eldar then?

The idea being the eldar learned their tricks from the Old Ones... abused children becoming abusers themselves. (IMO)

erion
20-04-2006, 16:01
In the battle between good and evil, they are on the side of green.

Consider yourself sigg'ed

Briareos
20-04-2006, 16:11
The Eldars are capable of emotions (anger, fear, sadness) and thus their action can (more or less) be judged through the lense of human values.

No background gives any hint of Old Ones emotions. Since we have zero knowledge of their psychological make-up, pasting human values (or more accurately occidental values) on them is so much dust in the storm.

setekhite
20-04-2006, 18:55
The Old Ones viewed other species as insects, manipulating the evolution of many species and used most of them as fodder against the Necrontyr. Just because the fought the Star Gods doesn't make them 'good guys'.

Were the Old Ones 'good' or 'evil' ? Probably neither. But they were very arrogant - it that was what precipitated their downfall.

That's not the impression I get from the Necron codex.

"The Old Ones understood that all life is useful..."; they seeded intelligent life where there was none. When attacked by the Necrontyr, they were content to drive them back rather than wiping them out. Only when confronted with the power of the C'tan, and pushed to the brink of extinction, did the Old Ones deliberately create warriors.

Other than their failure to build a peaceful relationship with the Necrontyr, there's nothing in the Necron codex to suggest the Old Ones were arrogant or malevolent. A number of fan theories have suggested the idea, and it makes the War in in Heaven a more two-sided story, but it's not canonical.

GavT
21-04-2006, 09:34
Bear in mind that the Old Ones is a catch-all term for several truly ancient races, of which the Slann (Slanni, Slaan?) are but one. They are certaonly moral, but not necessarily in the way described above. In nearly all respects the Old Ones' values, of order versus chaos, nurture versus destruction, freedom versus servitude are what founded the morality of the younger races they encoutered or created. The Old Ones might be 'good', but only because the instilled in the races they manipulated their own value system, including mankind. To put it another way, good is good and evil is evil because that's what we were taught by them. To the Necrontyr, ruled as they were by the C'tan, an entirely different system of values applies, where terms like good and evil are insufficient. Duty and slavery versus rebellion and freedom, perhaps? To the Necrontyr, the first is 'good' and the second is 'evil'.

GAV

Wolf
21-04-2006, 10:09
I would say that the Old Ones are good as long as they continue to fight the imperium's enemies as it goes 'The enemy of my enemy is my friend'

Charax
21-04-2006, 10:14
I'd hardly call the race that (indirectly) caused the Horus Heresy and the 13 Black Crusades "good"

Sai-Lauren
21-04-2006, 10:17
Bear in mind that the Old Ones is a catch-all term for several truly ancient races, of which the Slann (Slanni, Slaan?) are but one. They are certaonly moral, but not necessarily in the way described above. In nearly all respects the Old Ones' values, of order versus chaos, nurture versus destruction, freedom versus servitude are what founded the morality of the younger races they encoutered or created. The Old Ones might be 'good', but only because the instilled in the races they manipulated their own value system, including mankind. To put it another way, good is good and evil is evil because that's what we were taught by them. To the Necrontyr, ruled as they were by the C'tan, an entirely different system of values applies, where terms like good and evil are insufficient. Duty and slavery versus rebellion and freedom, perhaps? To the Necrontyr, the first is 'good' and the second is 'evil'.

GAV
So, would that include the Vorlons and Shadows as well? :D

I've always kind of thought as the Old Ones as a group as neutral - neither good nor evil, in fact, such concepts are alien to them, they just "are". No more involved in the species they created than a scientist is involved with the specimens under their microscopes.

Wolf
21-04-2006, 11:00
I'd hardly call the race that (indirectly) caused the Horus Heresy and the 13 Black Crusades "good"

I still think theyr'e good mostly cause I play Nids and Tau and every imperial world that falls means less defences against me.:evilgrin:

Unholy_Ghost
21-04-2006, 11:29
That's not the impression I get from the Necron codex.

"The Old Ones understood that all life is useful..."; they seeded intelligent life where there was none. When attacked by the Necrontyr, they were content to drive them back rather than wiping them out. Only when confronted with the power of the C'tan, and pushed to the brink of extinction, did the Old Ones deliberately create warriors.

Other than their failure to build a peaceful relationship with the Necrontyr, there's nothing in the Necron codex to suggest the Old Ones were arrogant or malevolent. A number of fan theories have suggested the idea, and it makes the War in in Heaven a more two-sided story, but it's not canonical.

I don't have the necron codex at hand at the moment, but didn't the Old Ones create races such as the eldar, mankind and even orks (!) to do the fighting against the necrontyr and the star gods? I think the orks are called the kroks or something..

it sounds to me that the old ones where kinda neutral (nor good nor evil) as mentioned before, by creating mankind and eldar etc (which we by our standards regard as "good") and the much more violent orks (concidered by some as evil).

Prodigalson
21-04-2006, 17:05
"First to cross the stars was a Race of beings called the Old Ones. They possess a slow, cold blooded wisdom, studying the stars and raising astrology and astronomy to a arcane science. Their understanding of the slow dance of the universe allowed them tomanipulate alternate dimensions and they undertook great works of psychic engineering. Their science allowed them to cross the vast gulf of space with a step and the spread their spawn to many places. The Old Ones understood that all life is useful, and where they passed they kindled new species and impregnated thousands upon thousands of to make them their own." (Necron Codex p24)

They were one race, not a myriad of races. In a Babylon 5 sense, they were neither the Vorlons nor the Shadows, but were Lorien. In addition this paragraph and notation appears before the information on the Necrons, and thus I assume it happens chronologically, thus they walked the stars and created races in the universe before what follows.

"As the Old Ones spread accross the galaxy, younger, fiercer races struggled in their wake. The Necrontyr were such a race, born under a fearsome, scourging star..." (N.C. p24).

This paragraph even sudgests that the Necrontyr may have been created by the Old Ones. I reference here, "...struggeled in their wake." This comment seems to sudgest that as the Old Ones passed through, the Necrontry struggeled in what they had done, or created. Perhaps the Necrontry were so mad becuase they had been created wrong. However, besides this, which could have been a mistake, there has been nothing so far to indicate the Old Ones were Evil.... or really Good either.

After the War and Heaven and the Old Ones are besieged on a few of their best areas, then:
"Eventually even the Old Ones, legendary for their patience and implacability, becamd desperate. They manipulated life into new forms with an even stronger link to the warp, desiring minions that had psychic powers to defend themselves with." (N.C. 25)

This area is where the Eldar came from (and is mentioned in the next paragraph). Also the K'nib as well, which I find intereting that they are that old. At any rate it appears the the Old Ones were probably good by our definition. They did not kill for a whim, they were almost god-like in power, but used it to create, not destroy life. They only ended up making serious weapons at the end of the war, after they were at their last. Before that, while they made life, it seems they were not designed to be weapons.

I would sudgest from the Codex that the Old Ones then perhaps were not even overly arrogant. They were pushed into a corner and did the best they could to survive. In that situation they did something that caued the neigh extinction of the universe.

On the other hand, if they had done nothing the Necrons and the C'tan would still be harvesting, and wouldn't have gone to ground. Which present would we like better. I think I'll go with the one we have.

EarthScorpion
21-04-2006, 17:23
"

This area is where the Eldar came from (and is mentioned in the next paragraph). Also the K'nib as well, which I find intereting that they are that old. At any rate it appears the the Old Ones were probably good by our definition. They did not kill for a whim, they were almost god-like in power, but used it to create, not destroy life. They only ended up making serious weapons at the end of the war, after they were at their last. Before that, while they made life, it seems they were not designed to be weapons.

I would sudgest from the Codex that the Old Ones then perhaps were not even overly arrogant. They were pushed into a corner and did the best they could to survive. In that situation they did something that caued the neigh extinction of the universe.

On the other hand, if they had done nothing the Necrons and the C'tan would still be harvesting, and wouldn't have gone to ground. Which present would we like better. I think I'll go with the one we have.

With respect I disagree with that. I agree with ther idea that they created the Necrons, but their treatment of them is almost akin to a person kicking a kitten when it complains that it is hungry. The Old Ones were (from my viewpoint) amoral, arrogant to a degree that makes the Eldar look like Mr Humble 897.M36, and completely alien. They seem to have viewed their creations as toys or tools, rather than sentients.

kleomenes
21-04-2006, 20:34
With respect I disagree with that. I agree with ther idea that they created the Necrons, but their treatment of them is almost akin to a person kicking a kitten when it complains that it is hungry. The Old Ones were (from my viewpoint) amoral, arrogant to a degree that makes the Eldar look like Mr Humble 897.M36, and completely alien. They seem to have viewed their creations as toys or tools, rather than sentients.

I don't think that they saw their creations as toys at all. Their treatment of the Necrontyr was more akin to scientists testing drugs on mice. They did it in the name of research and development, so that they could be more succesful further on. The Old ones were neither good nor evil in my mind. They were cold,indifferent and arrogant, but not evil. In the universe, they were like the commanders in a game of chess. Willing to sacrifice their pieces to further their way to victory. For them to be evil would be like the players in the chess match to toss their pieces away just to see them defeated by the enemy. They were not good or eveil, they just were.

Kjell
21-04-2006, 20:51
The Old Ones were neither good nor evil, merely curious. All they did, they did because they wanted to know what would happen. They likely had a mind so far removed from humans, orks, eldar and so on that the Old Ones literally could not know how these life forms would react to stimuli or how they would affect the Immaterium.

That's my take on it, anyway.

sulla
22-04-2006, 00:19
The Old Ones were neither good nor evil, merely curious. All they did, they did because they wanted to know what would happen. They likely had a mind so far removed from humans, orks, eldar and so on that the Old Ones literally could not know how these life forms would react to stimuli or how they would affect the Immaterium.

That's my take on it, anyway.

Jeez, that sounds like a pretty good description of evil/cruelty to me, just modifying creatures or races to find out what would happen...

DarkstarSabre
22-04-2006, 00:30
No background gives any hint of Old Ones emotions. Since we have zero knowledge of their psychological make-up, pasting human values (or more accurately occidental values) on them is so much dust in the storm.

Yep. The only actual 'hint' of their true natures be it 40k or Fantasy is in the WFB Lizardmen- all of whom are cold blooded and emotionless in their natures.

It's tricky. They're about as 'good' or 'evil' as a crocodile is.

Sgt Biffo
22-04-2006, 05:02
Jeez, that sounds like a pretty good description of evil/cruelty to me, just modifying creatures or races to find out what would happen...

I wouldn't call ignorence evil.

Fained ignorence maybe, but true ignorence: No.

Inquisitor Engel
22-04-2006, 05:10
The Old Ones were curious and none of their experiments came out badly. None of them are disappointed with their lot in life. ;) Things that were less than great were probably euthanized fairly quickly.

Besides, the Slaan/Old Ones became the Eldar gods (my new theory) and crossed the barrier from one realm to another altogether. They tutored the Eldar in all their works who them exceeded their former tutors in all realms and, in my belief, did a bit of dabbling of their own...

unforgiven555
22-04-2006, 08:34
Besides, the Slaan/Old Ones became the Eldar gods (my new theory) and crossed the barrier from one realm to another altogether.

Odd.. I always thought the old ones were destroyed from the warp beasts/enslavers created from the turbulence of their creation's emotions. The eldar gods couldn't quite be destroyed so much as absorbed...

Kjell
22-04-2006, 09:48
Jeez, that sounds like a pretty good description of evil/cruelty to me, just modifying creatures or races to find out what would happen...

Not being able to relate to another lifeform doesn't mean that you're cruel, as such. You're more likely to do cruel things to said lifeform, yes, but I don't think that the Old Ones ever did something that they considered cruel. Lacking empathy doesn't have to mean that you go out of your way to be malicious. You just can't understand how others feel, for whatever reason.


By the way, didn't the Old Ones as a whole lack (strong) emotions and thus found them to be incredibly interesting in other species?

Prodigalson
24-04-2006, 16:04
I'm not offended by differences of opinion, I welcome them.

Not using the Warhammer background, and staying stricktly in the 40K background, I fail to see where there is any proof that they are evil, arrogant or used races. They created sentient races, that is a fact. And later, they created sentient races that could use the warp as a weapon, also a fact.

Neither of these things make them evil. The information that I quoted is the only background from 3.0 or 4.0 that I know of. While we may all read our subjective beliefs in the way we think they were, if it is not founded in the background material. I will be glad to change my mind, but if you believe they are evil, post the source information for their arrogance and use for this, and let us discuss it.

Besides, when it comes down to it, we are discussing the morality of fictional creatures that are long dead, in their own universe.

Tastyfish
24-04-2006, 16:17
I don't think the paragraph regarding 'younger races struggled in their wake' implies the Old Ones created the Necrontyr - rather than because the Necrontyr had evolved naturally without the Old Ones trying to bring life to the universe they were left alone.
To me it seems more like the natural history documentarians who film wildebeests struggling across crocodile infested rivers, or baby turtles racing down the beach being picked off by crabs and sea gulls. Its not cruel, nor even nessarily indifferent - its not wanting to meddling in complex systems that are sorting themselves out.

Most of the Old One's uplift projects probably started from dead worlds - the 40K universe has a vast number of terraformed worlds (far too many for the Imperium or Dark Age Man to be responsible judging from Mars) compared to how many we think there should be. The Old Ones wanted to bring to the stars, and that requires extreme astronomical engineering that is beyond what the Eldar can currently do (though they claim they did have that ability, but then the Eldar claim a lot of things...)
Barren and arteficial worlds are fair game for terraforming and playing God, but the few precious worlds like the one that gave birth to the various Old Ones where life has arisen unaided are to be treated like sanctuaries.

Prodigalson
25-04-2006, 16:26
Ohhh, I would be very surprised if the OO really made the Necrontyr. I just meant that it was conceivable, but highly unlikely.

I think that you are right, but likely they terraformed worlds. Perhaps the life they are credited with creating wasn't even sentient, just bringing life to dead worlds. Intelligent life I think inevitable springs from life itself. The more intelligent a creature the better it's chance of survival. Therefore they were responsible for making many younger races. This excluded the Eldar, K'nib etc... which seem to have been created with a purpose.

FlashGordon
26-04-2006, 18:05
Sorry but i just could not ignore the fact that Kjell has the most AWSOME avatar ever!

GO DECEPTICONS! Down with megatron!