View Full Version : What do C'Tan feed on?

11-08-2006, 10:26
I suspect I already know the answer to this but I thought I might bring it up for discussion anyway...

Alot of people seem to think that C'Tan feed on souls, but the impression I get from the Necron Codex is that they instead consume the "electromagnetic fields" generated by individuals. Am I right and if so/not, where would I find the answer?

11-08-2006, 10:43
C'Tan feed on energy. In their original forms they fed on stars. Now that have been given their necrodermis bodies, they tend to interact w/ the universe on a smaller scale. That is, they are now able to distinguish smaller entities. That said, they feed on the life force (essence) of living things as well as larger sources of power.

I do not believe that the C'Tan have any effect on souls at all. The fluff from the necron codex (Abbadon's vision of mars) states that the souls of the C'Tan's victims are discarded and/or ignored. The only model in the necron list that would affect souls (presence in the warp) is the pariah.

Anyway, if a C'Tan feeds on a person, it will drain all the life energy from the body leaving a husk/dust/whatever and the victim's soul behind. Any daemon in the neighborhood gets a free lunch...

11-08-2006, 11:41
Star-vampires normally feed on stars. ;)

11-08-2006, 12:02
I thought it was entirely clear that they feed on energy and that certain arrangements of energy were tasty.

For example, humans feed on CHNOPS bound in high-energy forms. But I really prefer chocolate to millet.

11-08-2006, 12:16
They eat electro-magnetism, a person's physical life force. The soul/warp signature is the person's psychic self in the warp, which is beyond the reach of the C'tan.

11-08-2006, 13:03
Absorbing the electromagnetic radiation produced by ones synapses is apparently a tasty treat. Hmmm, guess I'll have to try it. :D

When they refer to 'life energy' in any scifi setting, they don't really tell you what it is.

In the case of the C'tan, being themselves entities made of compressed electromagnetic radiation, 'life energy' is this same energy produced in all things. I would assume when they consume anything, it reaches a state of near absolute zero, a state in which there is no free energy and the atoms in question are inert.

So basically it breaks down like this:

Chaos eat the immaterial part of a sentient - in this case their soul.
Tyranids eat the material part of a sentient - in this case their organic molecules.
C'tan eat the electromagnetic part of a sentient - in this case the electrical discharges of the nervous system.


11-08-2006, 14:43
Or put another way again (just to be annoying ;) ):

Tyranids = all things genetic, biological and a bit of chemistry
C'tan = particle physics, thermodynamics, etc
Daemons = metaphysics, psychological and psychical stuff

Khaine's Messenger
11-08-2006, 15:00
C'tan feed on "essense"--as discussed here, that is more along the lines of some quality of the physical world (usu. "energy" of some form), as consuming "souls," or warp reflections, would just be silly as the warp is anathema to the C'tan. However, the Necron background and the developers' treatment of it has clouded this idea:

The C'tan needed warrior-slaves to harvest the life forms of the galaxy so the star gods can feast on souls, and the C'tan's new Necrons served this purpose well.

(emphasis mine; from here (http://uk.games-workshop.com/necrons/who%2Dare/))

On the other hand, the "shadow of terra" comment in the Necron codex proper suggests that feeding a C'tan (if that is indeed what is buried on Mars) does create a feeding frenzy of daemons in the Aethyr....

11-08-2006, 15:26
I would regard the 'feast on souls' quote as just one of those errors that slipped through to printing.

11-08-2006, 15:42
Or using the word souls in the sense of "poor souls", :p

11-08-2006, 15:57
As far as GW is concerned all big evil creatures eat souls for dinner.

Khaine's Messenger
11-08-2006, 16:04
I would regard the 'feast on souls' quote as just one of those errors that slipped through to printing.

Yes...this is an internet blurb meant as the fronter for the section on Necrons, and I think the weight of evidence suggests it's incorrect (or at least inaccurate). But, the last time this argument came up, that very sentence was used to argue "designer's intent" on the subject, so I thought it would be worth it to bring it up again.

11-08-2006, 17:20
Also note that the word "soul" does not mean warp pressence. The Imperium does not fully understand what a warp pressence is, nor what the Necrons ear..they are all unquantifiable (to them) things they classify as "soul". I.e) a warp pressence "soul" isn't truly a soul as the we define a soul (nor as the imperium defines one) as a pariah (souless) still has a soul in the context of what we view a soul to be. What he doesn't have is a warp presence.

Commander Ozae
11-08-2006, 18:48
C'tan wouldn't be able to consume a warp presence because it would kill them but i was always given to understand they consumed life-force, the stuff that keeps the soul bound to the physical body but i could be wrong.

11-08-2006, 22:36
C'tan wouldn't be able to consume a warp presence because it would kill them but i was always given to understand they consumed life-force, the stuff that keeps the soul bound to the physical body but i could be wrong.

Kill them?

I've never been into the C'tan fanservice that seems to be fairly common, but I'd still say they C'tan are tough enough that devouring a soul (or even a daemon, as long as it's not something crazily powerful) wouldn't kill them. They'd gain nothing from it, and might be harmed somewhat, but it would take more than that.

11-08-2006, 23:12
More accurately, the C'tan could not devour a warp presence, or a daemon, full stop. For the sake of simplicity, let's say that the C'tan operate in Medium A, and the Warp/Daemons in Medium B.

The C'tan cannot interact with Medium B in any way what so ever. They operate by manipulating Medium A (for they themselselves are composed of the same "components" as Medium A - over simplified, but easy to illustrate), and this "life essence" resides in Medium A. Warp presences, Daemons and so on reside in (or are composed of) Medium B, and therefore the C'tan (from Medium A) cannot interact with with them in any way.

Therefore, when a C'tan feeds on a human, the feeding process occurs entirely in Medium A. The components of said human that reside in Medium B are cast aside, not through the will of the C'tan, but simply because they suddenly find what they were connected to (in Medium A) is gone. Hence, a "soul" is cast adrift.

If a C'tan were to attempt to feed on a Daemon then nothing would happen, because C'tan feeding manipulates Medium A, and there is no Medium A in the Daemon.

This gets interesting when we start to consider Daemons (of Medium B) interacting with Medium A. We know that a Bloodthirster can carve a tank in half, and that the Eye of Terror can turn a planet into a Daemon world. This is Medium B interacting with medium A in a very forceful way. Is this Medium B operating on the same principles as Medium A so that the two can interact?

We know that the Warp is not bound by the physical rules of our dimension. However, in order to interact with our dimension I suggest that it has to start abiding by those rules, in a very general way. Daemons have to take on a physical form for example. Daemons in their natural state are certainly not as we perceive them on the battlefield. This is how Medium B affects Medium A, and how a Bloodthirster can break a tank in half.

So, can Medium A make a similar transition and begin to abide by the rules of Medium B if it were placed in the realms of Medium B? Ooof, revelation - is this what psychic power is? The ability for Medium A to influence Medium B? And in turn influence Medium B to influence Medium A?

Confusing, and less relevant to the discussion at hand. Sort of. I will bring this analogy to a close with the statement (hypothesis is you will) that the C'tan are incapable of influencing Medium B in any way. This does not necessarily apply both ways though, so Medium B could well be able to influence the C'tan (hence the Blackstones bringing Medium B to the C'tan in the form of a Warp discharge).

That was a long and very general wander into the realms of Warp-Realspace interaction. Feel free to discount it as the ravings of a madman, :D