General 40K Lore Q&A

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Re: General 40K Lore Q&A

Postby Xisor » Tue Aug 16, 2011 1:31 pm

In Iron Hands the three dreadnoughts seen in one seen all appear to be quite sane, albeit more prone to angry shouty impatience and intolerance than the other Iron Hands.

Being trapped in inhuman confines is probably enough to damage someone's sanity regardless. It begs the question how sane anyone would be after many hundreds of years of even normal life?
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Re: General 40K Lore Q&A

Postby Liliedhe » Tue Aug 16, 2011 1:43 pm

Probably depends on the person and what their life is like. ^^

Also, since we are discussing dreadnoughts... Would it be possible to put a normal human into a sarcophagus? Does it actually say anywhere that this is only possible with Space Marines?
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"I learned such things as you and your brothers applied brand to my flesh and parted skin with rasp and knife," snarled Astelan. "When your witches tried to prise open my mind they opened me for an instant and I stared back."
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Re: General 40K Lore Q&A

Postby Tyrant » Tue Aug 16, 2011 1:53 pm

Liliedhe: if I recall a lot of the sockets an Astartes already has in his body is used to interface him with the dreadnought. But considering ordinary humans can be modified extensively enough to enable them to interface with titans, there's no reason they couldn't be placed inside a dreadnought.
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Re: General 40K Lore Q&A

Postby Vivia » Tue Aug 16, 2011 7:19 pm

Gaius Marius:
That makes a lot of sense what you said.
Now that I have think more of it, being confined in a steel box can't be good for anyone's mind. I thought that perhaps since the Dreads are Space Marines they would cope better but now I remember the Space Wolves put their Dreads in long hibernations.
In a way it's rather cruel fate to be made into a Dread, something that it's more understandable for SM since they're rare and expensive type of bio-engineered soldiers. The Imperium can't afford to waste any of their resources.

Xisor wrote:Being trapped in inhuman confines is probably enough to damage someone's sanity regardless. It begs the question how sane anyone would be after many hundreds of years of even normal life?

The sci-fi manga Blame talks about this subject. It theorizes that no matter how bio-engineered or artificial the human body can get, the memories are the first to suffer with long age and perhaps most of our personality and humanity are based on our memory. That could mean that memory equals sanity.
(I'm thinking of posting about Blame in the Other Worlds section but I don't know if it's allowed for recommendations other than novels.)
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Re: General 40K Lore Q&A

Postby Xisor » Tue Aug 16, 2011 8:28 pm

Vivia wrote:It theorizes that no matter how bio-engineered or artificial the human body can get, the memories are the first to suffer with long age and perhaps most of our personality and humanity are based on our memory. That could mean that memory equals sanity.
(I'm thinking of posting about Blame in the Other Worlds section but I don't know if it's allowed for recommendations other than novels.)


Intriguing! I'd say you should feel free to. Media's media, afterall. I'm sure we'd be allowed to discuss Batman Live. :)

As for that, it's also mentioned within 40k with regard to the leaders of the Cult Mechanicus. Some live for hundreds, possibly thousands of years. Most end up thoroughly, thoroughly insane. Highly intelligent, sure, but entirely insane.

This one suspects it's, as you say, a matter of time. (Well, unless you keep purging bits of your mind that are useless.)
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Re: General 40K Lore Q&A

Postby Vivia » Tue Aug 16, 2011 9:12 pm

I posted it!
Hopefully someone will be interested in Blame because it's pure awesome in a grim evil way.
(I saw a poster of Batman Live on my way to work and I thought it couldn't be real. It was! It was! XD)

The Dreads are fascinating and after reading Dark Apostle they're even more so. There was a Tech-magos in there and he had separate brains, one was old and had his memory and the other was more machine. I found that disturbing.
It's odd how they are nothing more than a thing in metal box and yet they seem to have compelling personalities. I recall the Space Wolf Dread who could tell old stories of honour and it reminded me of a great-great grandfather. Senile machine-creatures but it made them more human.
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Re: General 40K Lore Q&A

Postby Liliedhe » Wed Aug 17, 2011 7:56 am

If I ought to hazard a guess, going by the varying sanity of Dreadnoughts, I would say that the Iron Hands and some others have less trouble because they are already used to getting most of their sensory feedback through artificial implants. It's not new for them then and maybe they even like it?^^ Since they already want to be rid of their frail organic bodies...
"You were a warleader, a fighter, when did you gain such illuminating insight into the minds of others?"
"I learned such things as you and your brothers applied brand to my flesh and parted skin with rasp and knife," snarled Astelan. "When your witches tried to prise open my mind they opened me for an instant and I stared back."
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Re: General 40K Lore Q&A

Postby Vivia » Wed Aug 17, 2011 7:23 pm

I have been a lot on Lexicanum lately and I found the info on the Librarians very interesting.

Why aren't the ranks among the Librarians mentioned in stories? I can't remember ever reading anything about Lexicanium or Codicier, I had forgotten about the ranks and it would be useful to know of what level they are on or if they would want to reach the position of Chief Librarian.
Are the ranks even important in the tabletop game? Is this lazyness from the authors? :)
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Re: General 40K Lore Q&A

Postby Tyrant » Wed Aug 17, 2011 7:27 pm

Vivia: the ranks do play a role in the game, to my limited knowledge. I'm sure the ranks have been mentioned in stories too, but unless there is more than one psyker that you need to differentiate between they're generally just called "Librarians".
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Re: General 40K Lore Q&A

Postby Liliedhe » Wed Aug 17, 2011 7:28 pm

The Librarians in the Salamanders books have their ranks given, with Pyriel being an Epistolary and Dak'ir a Lexicanum. The Librarian in Black Tide is a Codicier. In the Ultramarines or the Grey KNights series, there are no Librarian main characters, except for Tigurius in The Chapter's Due and I don't think his rank needs to be given.

So I wouldn't say the ranks are never mentioned (this is just what I can recall off the top of my head).
"You were a warleader, a fighter, when did you gain such illuminating insight into the minds of others?"
"I learned such things as you and your brothers applied brand to my flesh and parted skin with rasp and knife," snarled Astelan. "When your witches tried to prise open my mind they opened me for an instant and I stared back."
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Re: General 40K Lore Q&A

Postby shadowhawk2008 » Wed Aug 17, 2011 7:40 pm

Vivia wrote:I have been a lot on Lexicanum lately and I found the info on the Librarians very interesting.

Why aren't the ranks among the Librarians mentioned in stories? I can't remember ever reading anything about Lexicanium or Codicier, I had forgotten about the ranks and it would be useful to know of what level they are on or if they would want to reach the position of Chief Librarian.
Are the ranks even important in the tabletop game? Is this lazyness from the authors? :)


On the TT, in 4th Ed (which is what I started playing) there were two ranks and the difference was in their stats and the amount of psychic powers they could take IIRC.

As Liliedhe said, the ranks are mentioned in the Salamander novels for Epistolary Pyriel, Chief Librarian Vel'Cona and Lexicanium Da'kir. In Fall of Damnos, Chief Librarian Tigurius plays a central role. In Brothers of the Snake, Chief Librarian Petrok plays a crucial role towards the end. Shaidan, Atreus and Ashok are mentioned only as Librarians in the Deathwatch novels. Lyandro Karras is referred to as Codicier-Librarian in Steve Parker's Deathwatch shorts. Father-Librarian Jonas' official rank is never mentioned in the Blood Ravens novels but I assume he is an Epistolary-level given his senior position in the chapter.
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Re: General 40K Lore Q&A

Postby schaferwhat‽ » Wed Aug 17, 2011 7:56 pm

You're a Librarian when you're in the Librarium (rather than a battle company proper) there are ranks within that organisation.
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Re: General 40K Lore Q&A

Postby Vivia » Wed Aug 17, 2011 8:02 pm

Thanks for the replies.

That's cool the Salamanders books mention the ranks, the Librarians deserve respect. :)
What I have seen the SM psykers are almost always just Librarians.
Perhaps one should guess their ranks by their age and experience. The Space Wolves novels mention the Rune Priests with suspicion but it's not clear of what they can do exactly. To me mentioning their rank would give a clearer view of their abilities (I didn't even know there were any abilities).
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Re: General 40K Lore Q&A

Postby Xisor » Thu Aug 18, 2011 3:02 am

Vivia wrote:That's cool the Salamanders books mention the ranks, the Librarians deserve respect. :)


Notably, it's something I've found Nick Kyme does very well in his book. He goes to a great length to marry the background of his story to the background of the tabletop. Though his dwarf books are very enjoyable (albeit for some uninspired villains), his Salamanders books really take the biscuit. I'd even go so far as to say Assault on Black Reach presents one of the most 'plausible' takes on Astartes existent. It's certainly a step up from Grahm McNeill's stories. (Though McNeill tells a fine tale, I find they don't reward scrutiny and indeed are penalised under it; Kyme's very much reward close inspection.)

On the topic of Assault on Black Reach, ask yourself this: since the introduction of Thunderfire cannons, have you ever considered them a significant plot-point for a novel?

I heartily admire their inclusion in AoBR. Well placed and sensibly done. (I think they also appear in Salamander, but that's much more 'now'!)
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Re: General 40K Lore Q&A

Postby Vivia » Thu Aug 18, 2011 6:00 pm

I can see that about Graham McNeill's Space Marines stories. The Ultras I only know from his books and from what I have read here it may not be accurate. Much of it seems to be for dramatic effect.
It gets more obvious when you start asking questions about the Dreads and Librarians that the stories ignore certain aspects, most likely what the authors find boring.
Of course too much detail can bring a story down but if the facts aren't detailed then you get stories like the Space Wolves novels where some facts just hang in a void, for example the role of a Rune Priest or senile Dreads without any sort of background or explanation.
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Re: General 40K Lore Q&A

Postby shadowhawk2008 » Thu Aug 18, 2011 6:23 pm

Vivia wrote:I can see that about Graham McNeill's Space Marines stories. The Ultras I only know from his books and from what I have read here it may not be accurate. Much of it seems to be for dramatic effect.
It gets more obvious when you start asking questions about the Dreads and Librarians that the stories ignore certain aspects, most likely what the authors find boring.
Of course too much detail can bring a story down but if the facts aren't detailed then you get stories like the Space Wolves novels where some facts just hang in a void, for example the role of a Rune Priest or senile Dreads without any sort of background or explanation.


What was unclear about Rune Priests in the Space Wolf novels? Or senile Dreads, of which none were featured in the novels IIRC?
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Re: General 40K Lore Q&A

Postby Vivia » Thu Aug 18, 2011 6:44 pm

Well, it has been more than 5 years or more that I read the novels but I remember something. All right, so the word "senile" may have never been used in them but something along the lines, slipping mind. :)
So from what I remember (terrible memory aside :) ), I didn't get a clear understanding what the Rune Priest were or that they were Librarians, it took some before I got it, how could I know they were called witches. Rune Priest and Wolf Priest confused me all the time and that's why I got the SW Codex, after I read the second novel.

Edit: Not 5 years more like 8+ years ago. Wow. :o
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Re: General 40K Lore Q&A

Postby shadowhawk2008 » Thu Aug 18, 2011 6:53 pm

Vivia wrote:Well, it has been more than 5 years or more that I read the novels but I remember something. All right, so the word "senile" may have never been used in them but something along the lines, slipping mind. :)
So from what I remember (terrible memory aside :) ), I didn't get a clear understanding what the Rune Priest were or that they were Librarians, it took some before I got it, how could I know they were called witches. Rune Priest and Wolf Priest confused me all the time and that's why I got the SW Codex, after I read the second novel.

Edit: Not 5 years more like 8+ years ago. Wow. :o


Hmm, always seemed clear to me, and I started my BL/GW journey with Grey Hunter. When I eventually got the First Omnibus (old edition), Ragnar's Claw gave me a slightly deeper understanding of what/who a Rune Priest was.
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Re: General 40K Lore Q&A

Postby Vivia » Thu Aug 18, 2011 7:10 pm

it wasn't to me so I got the Codex. I don't play the game and I have no idea about who the SW were back then, or the SM for that matter, when I picked Ragnar's Claw. I have read the Norse Sagas and Snorri's Edda (Snorres Edda in Swedish) so I was intrigued except the SW novels are nothing like them. What a surprise. :)

The sagas are pure awesome with berserkers, death, betrayal and family grudges.
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Re: General 40K Lore Q&A

Postby Xisor » Thu Aug 18, 2011 10:19 pm

Vivia wrote:The sagas are pure awesome with berserkers, death, betrayal and family grudges.
http://www.cybersamurai.net/Mythology/nordic_gods/LegendsSagas/Edda/ProseEdda/ContentsEnglish.htm


And, like the Bible, full of baffling lineages? Or just as good as Njorl's Saga
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