In the peaceful darkness of the future, there is rarely war

Discuss Tau background and even your own Cadre fiction here.
User avatar
Jewelfox
Por
Posts: 12

In the peaceful darkness of the future, there is rarely war

Post#1 » Jan 12 2016 06:17

Sometimes I toy with a headcanon where the 40k galaxy is actually a super-benign place where most sapients rarely resort to violence, sort of like in Alan Dean Foster's The Damned trilogy. And all the playable factions are those rare creatures that relish it, or see it as a legitimate means to an end.

Here's my take on each of the 40k factions (except chaos), based on the actual fluff when viewed from the right angle.

Eldar

Most of Eldar society abhors violence, and seems to be basically incapable of it. They have highly-ritualized warrior "paths," which include things like the use of psychic helmets to focus their thoughts and suppress their remorse. The leaders of their "aspect warriors" are universally pitied, because they are the unfortunate ones who became subsumed in their psychically-imprinted war personalities.

Orks

40k's designated "comic relief" characters, based on British football hooligans. Their society is a literal joke, where the punch line is always "more dakka."

Necrons

Terminator robots, created by a society of Great Old Ones to fight the Eldar. Now entombed on thousands of worlds across the galaxy, only a few of which are awakening due to chance events. The Necron "overlords" on these tomb worlds have extremely bad mental illness due to programming degradation, and command the other space skeletons who lack individuality.

Tau

Uplifted by the Eldar, who secretly engineered "Ethereal" Tau with mind-control pheromones. Their cooperative natures made them extremely pliable, to the point where the Eldar could create separate "castes" (breeds) of Tau, including one that was made just for ground combat.

Even the Fire Warriors, though, are physically weak and unimposing, and rare is the individual with enough determination to stand up to the horrors of war without an Ethereal compelling them. Most of the ones that do have sufficient backbone are given the "hero's mantle" (battlesuit), an anime mecha that multiplies their ability in combat.

Tau alien auxiliaries

Dozens of species have supposedly been integrated into the Tau Empire, but the only ones we ever see on the (planetside) battlefield with them are humans, Kroot, and Vespid. Kroot are highly-athletic, natural carnivores, and the ones who fight alongside the Tau are mercenaries who see it as an extreme sport and a chance to vary their diets. Their loosely-knit squads break easily when challenged, only to reform after the battle once it's safe.

Meanwhile, Vespid are insects, that it's strongly implied the Tau learned to mind-control using Ethereal-style pheromones. Remove the (pheromone-emitting?) Strain Leader from combat, and the rest of the Vespid squad scatters.

Tyranids

Who freaking knows, man. If Tyranids have an alignment, it's like, "Chaotic Hungry." Plus, they aren't strictly from the 40k galaxy.

Humans

Called gue'la ("Morbid Ones") by the Tau, humans are highly-social primates, whose identities are so easily subsumed into factions and groups that they lose the ability to empathize with outsiders, who are no longer considered people. The Imperium of Man is the ultimate example of this mentality, as it considers all "xenos" and non-Imperial humans to be hateful monsters.

Much like today's humans, Imperials undergo lifelong conditioning, which teaches them to obey orders and that their individual lives are meaningless. The only things that matter to them are continuing the legacy of the past (embodied by the skulls that Imperials venerate and adorn their buildings with), and killing the hateful outsiders. Their "Angels of Death," the Space Marines, are quasi-mythical beings, who are physically transformed into monsters and practically worshiped by those rare humans who glimpse them.

Without this extreme conditioning, though, or in more benign social environments, humans can be friendly and docile. It helps to avoid inequality, to separate them from factional markers, and to promote empathy by letting them mingle with those they consider "outsiders." The Tau have had great success in so rehabilitating the humans who find themselves in their domain.

Wrapping things up

Is this just heresy, or are we on to something here?

User avatar
Pseudomancer
Shas
Posts: 151

Re: In the peaceful darkness of the future, there is rarely war

Post#2 » Jan 12 2016 07:04

Jewelfox wrote:Is this just heresy, or are we on to something here?

Called gue'la ("Morbid Ones") by the Tau, humans are highly-social primates, whose identities are so easily subsumed into factions and groups that they lose the ability to empathize with outsiders, who are no longer considered people. Much like today's humans, Imperials undergo lifelong conditioning, which teaches them to obey orders and that their individual lives are meaningless. Without this extreme conditioning, though, or in more benign social environments, humans can be friendly and docile. It helps to avoid inequality, to separate them from factional markers, and to promote empathy by letting them mingle with those they consider "outsiders."


You're definitely onto something. In the grim darkness of the immediate present!

How about this for Tyranids:

The Tyranid species is a single spacefaring being. It is the hive-body of a transcendent mind that spans the Warp, an enlightened being, contained fully within itself and immune to the tides of Chaos. The Hive Mind is a realm of perfect harmony, a consciousness so vast that thoughts travel through it in shoals thousands of light-years long. Though it is one consciousness, the limited speed of thought means that it (slightly) resembles the distributed, individualised constructs of its physical form - and the minds of those ensouled beings that it has consumed live eternally in this paradise, either keeping their own original identities or expanding, assimilating, or transforming, each according to their desire. In this spiritual realm, two beings can become one or one being become many. But all are embraced by the great mind - of all children of the Universe, this being is most like God.

In other words, the Hive Mind is Heaven.

Most of the Tyranids' hive-body consists of star-sails, orbital organs, and drifting synapse-tendrils that permeate its physical space and allow total sense of everything within it. Though living in Heaven, none need ever be separated from the material Universe. These organs also conduct the necessary business of all organisms: feeding. The Hive consumes planets, asteroids, even stars, and the thin mist in the vacuum between them. The vast majority of the matter in the Universe is uninhabited, and so the Hive feeds mostly on the flux of energy and matter welling from the burning hearts of stars. Dyson membranes like vast balloons collect the entire output of suns; vast siphon-halos suck gas giants into hungry lungs; toothed vines drill and munch rocky planets, steadily rendering dust to dust. In the end, the entire energy content of the Universe will hopefully fuel a spiritual realm of eternal bliss and wonder. It is the Hive Mind's sincere hope that this energy will be sufficient to create a permanent existence within the Warp, thereby side-stepping the eventual heat-death of the cosmos and forever escaping death, for all life.

For this reason, as the Hive grows in the Milky Way, stars go dark, their light consumed. This is a sign of the Rapture.

The Tyranid organisms encountered by other physical inhabitants of the galaxy are the Hive's immune system. They are only ever produced when the Hive encounters a species that is known to pose a threat to Heaven. The destruction or damaging of the perfect world cannot be countenanced in any morality, and so the civilisation is de-fanged, its weapons annihilated and its souls brought into the kingdom of Heaven. The messianic consciousness of the psychically-dominated genestealer cults is no lie: all inhabitants of the world are on the verge of ascension to Paradise and union with God. Once the infection has been cleansed from a world, the Hive strips it of all organic matter to dissuade the return of the dangerous creatures. This is not an act of feeding; the hive fleets strike far, far from the world-stomachs of Heaven.
The Eastern Fringe Co-prosperity Sphere wants you!

User avatar
KuroRyu
Shas'La
Shas'La
Posts: 284
Contact:

Re: In the peaceful darkness of the future, there is rarely war

Post#3 » Jan 12 2016 11:21

I have seen it posed by many people that there isn't actually as much war going on in the 41st millenium as we'd think. It's just that the daily business of agriworld farmers, planetary governors on backwater worlds and aliens who mostly keep to themselves aren't of much interest to people playing pretend sci fi warfare.

The Eldar mostly keep to themselves and are concerned mainly with staying alive and preventing people from messing up the galaxy any more.

The Tyranids enter the galaxy periodically and from the fringes, large portions of the imperium have never even heard of a tyranid.

Necrons, like the nids, are few and scattered.

The Tau live in a corner of the galaxy and can't as of yet leave it.

This leaves orks and chaos

Orks are present all over the galaxy however it's not often a proper waaagh gets together. Chances are average imperial worlds will see orks from time to time and they will be dealt with by their planet's local military, thought of in much the same way as packs of violent animals moving in outside town and threatening produce.

Chaos is something that only really affects psykers. As we know, psykers are routinely found, reported and picked up by black ships. Most of the rest of the population of the Imperium happily follows the religious dogma set out by the ecclesiarchy who are threatening enough to deter most from worshiping chaos.

User avatar
Kael'yn
Fio'Ui
Fio'Ui
Posts: 1120

Re: In the peaceful darkness of the future, there is rarely war

Post#4 » Jan 13 2016 08:39

Everytime someone look at the 40k setting, it recalls me this: https://1d4chan.org/wiki/Setting:Brighthammer_40,000/2nd_edition :smile:

"Chaotic hungry" ... I love it ! (Tau are "Lawful Techy" ?)

Seriously, war is not the main business of the majority of people in the galaxy. On average imperium worlds, there are roughly 1 to 5% of people in the army (except some worlds like Cadia). Maybe half of them is not on their worlds, the other half is PDF. Of all the recruited soldiers, then you may have 5-10% in transit, 10-20% guarding worlds, 10% on conflict zone but outside combat, ... this means that less than 1% of humans are really in "war".
It is probably the same for other factions (Even nids, if you count by biomass and not number of people, and maybe daemons too).
This means very few are effectively in real combat.

But the motto "there is only war" is more because war is the way of life of the galaxy (i.e. most people/organisms live and work to maintain/live on/counter a galaxy-wide state of war).

User avatar
Jewelfox
Por
Posts: 12

Re: In the peaceful darkness of the future, there is rarely war

Post#5 » Mar 25 2016 04:32

Thanks for the replies, all! Belatedly.

I've looked at Brighthammer before; I remember I loved that the Tau are exactly the same in both settings. ^^;

I think one could reasonably take exception to these fan-Tyranids' devouring everyone, on the basis that it overrides people's consent. The 40k galaxy, however, offers precious few alternatives.

If I do another headcanon post, maybe it'll be on the subject of gue'la diversity. >_>; The IoM is supposed to represent all of humanity, but except for the occasional Vostroyan regiment it seems like all we ever see are identical white guys and bombed-out faux-gothic ruins. I think there ought to be more room for visual portrayals of the diversity we've read about in the fluff, like how one planet can have a completely different culture from another and even a different religion (just with the Emperor copy-pasted over their creator god).

This is relevant to Tau since we've got quite a few "Morbid Ones" in the empire.

Return to “Library”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests