The Tau Sorcerer

Discuss Tau background and even your own Cadre fiction here.
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Shas'O Bentu'nan
Shas
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The Tau Sorcerer

Post#1 » Aug 07 2017 09:32

Now hold onto your anger of talking about the warp and tau in the same breath! This exercise in 40k lore is not about what does happen, but rather what could happen. Im interested in examining the possibility space in the exsisting lore, not make new stuff up.

So, is it POSSIBLE that a Tau could use warp powers?

I would argue, yes, it is. :eek:

Let me explain...

There are, broadly speeking, two forms of warp powers. For this exercise its important to understand the differences and how each relates to the tau.

The first type, the most common, is psyker powers. This is when an individual has a powerful connection to the warp and can directly channel warp energy using their mind (intentionally or not). Because tau have weak coonection to the warp (weak souls) the likelyhood of a tau ever having any amount of psyker potential is extremely remote. By some sources the tau brain also produces a chemical which actively deadens warp potential, so even if a tau was born with ANY psyker potential, their brain would completely negate it. This makes a tau psyker all but impossible.

The second type is warp sorcery. It is a bit more rare but very distinct from psyker powers. It involves casting warp spells much like you imagine a wizard from dungeons and dragons (waving your hands, saying magic words and then lightning!). Critically it can be used by anyone reguardless of warp potential. It only takes the knowledge of how to preform the spells and rituals in order to use them. Often this knowledge is taught by a demon in exchange for the soul of the student (which is why chaos sorcerors are common, and unlikely for a tau as their souls are so weak). However some tomes of magic do exsist which have all the information nessisary to cast spells.

If a tau got a hold of one of these spell books and had the desire to learn its meaning, it is entirely possible they could use it. Since the powers don't emanate from the user but rather warp energy that has bleed into the universe itself ANY creature could do this, the tau are in no way excluded.

Alternately a demon could be on a serious diet and make a deal with a tau to teach them sorcery for their ultra low calorie soul :biggrin:.

That all said, Tau culture makes any of this next to impossible. But with a bunch of tau having just gone missing and seperated from that culture... you never know! :evil:
Commander wiseblade

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Panzer
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Re: The Tau Sorcerer

Post#2 » Aug 07 2017 09:44

So you are talking about what's basically Summoning/the Blood Tithe system in the rules. Making the warp do things without having the ability to actually harness the powers of the warp on your own.

Since T'au have such small signature in the warp they are EXTREMELY unlikely to influence it in a way to make sorcery happen. Even human cultists need many follower and/or big sacrifices to do anything worth mentioning.
T'au would probably need the population of several Sept worlds working together on one huge ritual to make anything happen.

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Bel'kro
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Re: The Tau Sorcerer

Post#3 » Aug 07 2017 09:46

Or perhaps a huge colonisation fleet? Like the Fourth Sphere expansion? I'm fairly sure GW have been saying they want to bring the 40K narrative back to everyone vs Chaos.
Legend says his name contained over 20 apostrophes!

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Panzer
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Re: The Tau Sorcerer

Post#4 » Aug 07 2017 09:56

Well we don't know how big that fleet was so it's hard to say.
Anyway, the scenario was about whether T'au could use something like that. Yes they could with a HUGE amount of T'au taking part in it.
The real question though is why should they do that. The general T'au population doesn't even know the warp exists or that they actually could do something like that. Magic is really no concept among T'au. They are a science race.
Even if they learn about what the warp actually is, the efford to create a mediocre effect would probably let them argue whether it's actually worth it anyway.

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Bel'kro
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Re: The Tau Sorcerer

Post#5 » Aug 07 2017 10:05

The why doesn't seem particularly important to me. The Tau were tricked into trading a bunch of themselves with the Dark Eldar, which didn't exactly end well. I'm sure an appropriate agent of chaos could manipulate a large number of isolated Tau into doing something they would later regret. The Tau just have to believe whatever they are doing is in the best interests of the Greater Good.
Legend says his name contained over 20 apostrophes!

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Panzer
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Re: The Tau Sorcerer

Post#6 » Aug 07 2017 10:06

space pope II wrote:The why doesn't seem particularly important to me. The Tau were tricked into trading a bunch of themselves with the Dark Eldar, which didn't exactly end well. I'm sure an appropriate agent of chaos could manipulate a large number of isolated Tau into doing something they would later regret. The Tau just have to believe whatever they are doing is in the best interests of the Greater Good.

That's really not on the same level. Plus T'au learned their lection with Drukhari. They aren't THAT naive anymore.

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Bel'kro
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Re: The Tau Sorcerer

Post#7 » Aug 07 2017 10:17

By no means is it on the same level, but there is evidence the Tau have been manipulated before, and if a Lord of Change suddenly finds a race with little to no warp signature, I suspect they would want to have some fun with their new toys.
Legend says his name contained over 20 apostrophes!

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Shas'O Bentu'nan
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Re: The Tau Sorcerer

Post#8 » Aug 07 2017 10:20

Panzer wrote:So you are talking about what's basically Summoning/the Blood Tithe system in the rules. Making the warp do things without having the ability to actually harness the powers of the warp on your own.

Since T'au have such small signature in the warp they are EXTREMELY unlikely to influence it in a way to make sorcery happen. Even human cultists need many follower and/or big sacrifices to do anything worth mentioning.
T'au would probably need the population of several Sept worlds working together on one huge ritual to make anything happen.


As such tau would make a miserable sacrifice to power such a spell, but that is independant of the caster. The caster needn't have a warp presence, just they cannot be a null. Tau are not nulls. Also not every spell is a blood ritual or some dark magic. Some spells are quite strait forward, say some words, wave your hands funny and burn some incense and you got lightning you can throw.

I agree that its unlikely a tau would be interested in magic to begin with... but as I noted, this isnt a question of would but could.
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Panzer
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Re: The Tau Sorcerer

Post#9 » Aug 07 2017 10:27

Shas'O Bentu'nan wrote:
Panzer wrote:So you are talking about what's basically Summoning/the Blood Tithe system in the rules. Making the warp do things without having the ability to actually harness the powers of the warp on your own.

Since T'au have such small signature in the warp they are EXTREMELY unlikely to influence it in a way to make sorcery happen. Even human cultists need many follower and/or big sacrifices to do anything worth mentioning.
T'au would probably need the population of several Sept worlds working together on one huge ritual to make anything happen.


As such tau would make a miserable sacrifice to power such a spell, but that is independant of the caster. The caster needn't have a warp presence, just they cannot be a null. Tau are not nulls. Also not every spell is a blood ritual or some dark magic. Some spells are quite strait forward, say some words, wave your hands funny and burn some incense and you got lightning you can throw.

I agree that its unlikely a tau would be interested in magic to begin with... but as I noted, this isnt a question of would but could.

Not really. Doing some gesture and saying spells is more what people with psychic abilties do.
People without something like that need to do something that gets the warp entities attention and that, at a loss for words to describe it properly, "concentrates" the warp to a degree that it allows to seep into the marterium.
Of course it's not always a blood sacrifice, that would only work for Khorne based stuff, but depending on what Chaos god you want stuff to do you need to do different things. Like infecting whole planets with a terrible disease or indulging in overly excessive behaviour with a LOT of people etc.

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khayman
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Re: The Tau Sorcerer

Post#10 » Aug 07 2017 11:29

As Panzer said, the Tau society is heavily based around science. And, I would add, utilitarian pragmatism. However, what seems to be confusing a lot of people (GW writers among them) is that science is not about the denial of the extraodrinary or the elusive but the denial of metaphysics.

In short, if a phenomenon is proven to exist, it is no longer in the realm of metaphysics but, on the contrary, in the realm of physics and, so, science. Whether you understand how it works or not is irrelevant, as long as you can consistently observe the phenomenon. If it passes the scientific method, it's physics.

So, it kind of strikes me as odd that a race as curious and dynamic as the Tau would be this ignorant in something that's so blatantly abundant in the galaxy, particularly in an era where half of it is ripped apart by otherwordly warp storms. The Tau have fought humans, surely they've seen psykers among them. It is entirely implausible that the Tau are clueless about the warp. And it is also entirely implausible that they can't get their hands on a psyker, given their unique tendency to assimilate gue'vesa populations. I won't even go to Tyranids, Orks etc.

And, on another note, there's always stuff like the Gellar Field. That's as scientific as you can get AND it's an anti-warp device, which would make similar technology extremely suitable for giving non psyker races a rudimentary way to at least protect themselves, i.e. not a huge boost out of nowhere. Hell, there's factions out there that protect themselves by sheer willpower, which is as extreme a plot/gaming device as you can come up with.

I won't go into the Nicassar as they would require models to be made and a very well thought out plan on how they fit into the balance etc.

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Shas'O Bentu'nan
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Re: The Tau Sorcerer

Post#11 » Aug 07 2017 11:56

I think aun'va had said something to the tune of "the warp is no place for the greater good." The tau know the warp exsists but have concluded that its safer to avoid looking into it. At least at the state level. Its likely that the true leaders of the tau are fully aware of the warp and its extreme dangers and thus steer the tau away from it to avoid the dangers.

But my idea isnt bound by if a tau or tau culture would allow it... it most surely would not. The crux of my argument is if it could happen. Could a tau make a deal with a demon to learn warp sorcery (or learn it from lore fragments)? I'm sure they could! Its unlikely any tau would pursue it though.

Its like, its POSSIBLE a squad of 4 drones COULD kill a imperial knight in melee combat. It just WOULDNT likely happen.
Commander wiseblade

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Vector Strike
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Re: The Tau Sorcerer

Post#12 » Aug 07 2017 12:19

If you have any kind of soul, you can leran how to manipulate the warp. Tau citizens do have souls, so technically they can learn.

But, as all deals with the devil, it won't end well...

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Panzer
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Re: The Tau Sorcerer

Post#13 » Aug 07 2017 01:04

If a T'au ever manages to get the attention of a Daemon and would get convinced that making a deal with it is not a bad idea, then yes they could technically learn how to interact with the warp.
What exactly that means though is not save to say. Possession would be the most likely outcome I'd say. Oh and of course the doom of all the T'au living with him since he managed to draw the Daemons attention to that place in the marterium plus gave them a way to spread the power of Chaos there. Unless of course his fellow T'au notice something is off with him and take care of it.
The problem is to make a Daemon aware of a T'au without them fighting eachother. T'au are like ants to them with their minor warp signature and the universe is full of way tastier and easier to reach targets (humans for example).

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Kael'yn
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Re: The Tau Sorcerer

Post#14 » Aug 07 2017 01:20

Sorry, but I don't even see one thing that a tau could want to do with a 'spell' that is:
A) not currently available or doable through tau tech (cast lightming , fireball, levitate, heal illness, go invisible, ...)
B) fit the tau way of thinking (mind control, planet extinction, mass murder, ...)

Tau may have studied the warp and its effects but without extensive experimentations like humans and necrons have done to manipulate the warp (Geller field, Cadian gates, ...) They could not have warps manipulating technologies. They may have studied humans and maybe nicassars for quite a short time compared to others to make significant breakthroughs.

And why daemons would do with a race without a religious mind (Greater good is a goal to achieve, not a faith to rely on)

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Panzer
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Re: The Tau Sorcerer

Post#15 » Aug 07 2017 01:25

Kael'yn wrote:Sorry, but I don't even see one thing that a tau could want to do with a 'spell' that is:
A) not currently available or doable through tau tech (cast lightming , fireball, levitate, heal illness, go invisible, ...)
B) fit the tau way of thinking (mind control, planet extinction, mass murder, ...)

Tau may have studied the warp and its effects but without extensive experimentations like humans and necrons have done to manipulate the warp (Geller field, Cadian gates, ...) They could not have warps manipulating technologies. They may have studied humans and maybe nicassars for quite a short time compared to others to make significant breakthroughs.

And why daemons would do with a race without a religious mind (Greater good is a goal to achieve, not a faith to rely on)

That's what I meant with them being a science race. Sure they would try to study the warp as much as possible but they wouldn't go around and try to work huge rituals. Rather they would try to achieve those things via technology.
Depending on how grimdark you want to go they might even try to see what happens when a warp entity possesses a T'au in a controled environment like they probably did with the Genestealer Cult. However they wouldn't suddenly start seeking for possession to get new abilities.

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Shas'O Bentu'nan
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Re: The Tau Sorcerer

Post#16 » Aug 07 2017 01:58

Oh its clear to me that even if it can be done, the tau wouldnt do it.

Knowing the imperium, I think a lot of psyker tech like geller fields require a person with psyker potential being used as a material in the construction of the device. Both having a psyker to use and the concept of turning a person into a half dead servitor is clearly outside tau concept of the greater good.
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khayman
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Re: The Tau Sorcerer

Post#17 » Aug 07 2017 03:52

Shas'O Bentu'nan wrote:Oh its clear to me that even if it can be done, the tau wouldnt do it.

Knowing the imperium, I think a lot of psyker tech like geller fields require a person with psyker potential being used as a material in the construction of the device. Both having a psyker to use and the concept of turning a person into a half dead servitor is clearly outside tau concept of the greater good.


Ok, so, the servitor, let's say that's beyond the Tau. Is a half dead servitor required though? Could a fully functional crew member not do the same job, willingly?

In terms of having access to psykers, I think it is entirely inconceivable that the Tau gue'vesa population has 0 psykers. So the question isn't whether the Tau have access to psykers (again, Nicassar) but, rather, what they do with them.

It's blatantly obvious that the reason we have no way to answer this question is that GW hasn't decided to do anything with this plot hole.

You could claim they don't want to do anything with them, I could say the psyker gue'vesa mysteriously disappear in labs as (thus far) failed experiments. And we'd both just be guessing, nothing more, nothing less.

Jacket
Shas'Saal
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Re: The Tau Sorcerer

Post#18 » Aug 07 2017 04:05

The closest thing I could see for Tau psykers is similar to Kharadron Overlords anti-warp tech. It's not explained at all how they do it just that they can and it involves a rare substance.

For the Tau I could see "nanotechnology fields" as their anti-warp technology. All it would take is a neural uplink for the Tau in question and some training to use the nanites to affect the environment. To outsiders it would look like magic, but if the nanites reform instantly to create an ice barrier then your effectively "casting magic" to the uninformed. The second thing the individual would need is a nanite projector/assembler which would create a field of nanites around the wearer he can control.

Depending on how advanced the nanites are almost anything is imaginable for them to do even reforming the land and air itself. All at a single thought.

I always think this would be a cool direction to take them considering even today we're experimenting with this stuff. This would be Tau "mind science".

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