Subject: Fixed it. Thanks for letting me know! (nm)
Posted on: 2021-11-28 16:42:29 UTC
Subject: Fixed it. Thanks for letting me know! (nm)
Tales From the Discord: The PPC's Reading Guide by
on 2021-11-28 15:25:17 UTC
A couple of weeks ago, I decided to start watching Digimon so I could find badfic of it. This was probably a mistake because the series is a convoluted mess of movies and reboots.
However, my mentioning this did lead to a hilarious conversation about complicated universes. I copied the chat log, threw it into a GDoc (with permission from the participants), and decided to post it here.
I forgot how funny this was, well done y’all. XD (nm) by
on 2021-12-11 22:45:37 UTC
Multiple continuities, you say? by
on 2021-12-09 19:43:01 UTC
sips tea like a gentlewoman while looking at the "Sonic the Hedgehog" franchise and its more than 10 different official continuities
Okay, but is no one going to talk about the Arrowverse and the MCU? by
on 2021-11-29 18:22:44 UTC
Because you know you have to work in Star Wars IV-V before you get to all that, and they go between the first Dune movie (you know, the one with Sting) and The Matrix. You can work in The Animatrix anytime between Star Wars II-III and the first season of Supernatural, though. Oh, and don't forget Buffy the Vampire Slayer before you even think about watching Avengers, let alone Firefly.
And, of course... by
on 2021-11-29 19:05:42 UTC
After those, it's best to watch Agents of Shield, then read the Original Series. Then just sprinkle in some webcomics. No one has ever regretted reading Ctrl+Alt+Del.
Oh, and I almost forgot... by
on 2021-11-29 18:36:45 UTC
As we know, Warhammer 40,000 starts right after A New Hope, so there's that, and of course Revenge of the Sith goes between Farscape seasons 2 and 3 so you understand Scorpius' backstory.
~Neshomeh couldn't resist plugging hS's Star WarHammer, and just found out Wayne Pygram (Scorpius) plays Grand Moff Tarkin in RotS. ^_^
Of course, that's only 41st millennium 40K. by
on 2021-12-02 11:19:31 UTC
The Heresy-era stuff is a whole different ballgame; you can't read that until you've done the Percy Jacksonverse. You need to understand Kronos and Apollo to get Horus and Magnus (respectively), and of course the Romans, Egyptians, and Norse are obvious grounding for the various Legions.
And before that, you have to watch the Pitt/Bloom/Bean Troy. Sorry, but I don't make the rules.
Which naturally places it after the LotR trilogy, but allows Pirates of the Caribbean (the proper ones) to fall into place after Sea of Monsters, and before the 2010 Clash of the Titans. Don't ask about the Hobbit movies - all I know is they come after Willow.
(StarWarHammer was fun, wasn't it? ^_^)
On the topic of Star Warhammer: by
on 2021-12-08 15:15:50 UTC
I am now wondering what the combination looks like in the present timeline, with stuff like the Cicatrix Maledictum, the fall of Cadia, and the Indomitus Crusade. Plus, in ninth edition, T'au need all the help they can get...
I think I deliberately avoided the question. ^_^ by
on 2021-12-08 15:54:23 UTC
I've just checked, and we namechecked the Thirteenth Black Crusade in the original. It looks like the plot had been revealed up to the hunt for Commorragh and the repairs to the Golden Throne when we wrote it (there's a note dated to November 2017 to that effect), but I'm almost positive Guilliman hadn't reappeared when we started - there's no way we would have deliberately missed a chance to drag in a Primarch!
I was vaguely following the events of M42 for a while there, but I've rather lost track. What is going on in the galaxy of war these days - and how has it affected the T'au?
Well, the T'au are a bit more spread-out... by
on 2021-12-09 20:03:35 UTC
But that can't happen in Star Warhammer because the Fourth Sphere Expansion went so drastically differently. In the canon one, the T'au accidentally blew a hole in the universe with a mass jump using experimental warp drives. This led to the formation of a wormhole in realspace to the Nem'yar Atoll and further conflict with the Imperium. That part of the galaxy is really far away from T'au space, so it's highly unlikely that they're in contact.
However, the biggest problem for the T'au is the forces of Chaos - and it's the only ones that weren't really mentioned in the Star Warhammer doc. Typhon, the Herald of Nurgle, has attempted to breach the Nem'yar Atoll and bring plague to the T'au, and if he breaks through then there's a wormhole right to the T'au Sept. The Tyranids are still around, there's problems with Drukhari raids on T'au and Kroot worlds alike, but the worst part is that it's kind of accepted as canon that the Ethereal Caste are a bunch of moustache-twirling villains who get what they want via pheromone-induced mind control. Which is fine. It's awesome. I'm so excited that this is a thing. Just giving me the best vibes. I have not once groaned like a frustrated walrus. And you can't prove it not neither. =]
As far as the Imperium goes, it's in a period of resurgence. Rowboat Guiltygear has basically taken over as the Imperial Regent, and is currently reuniting both halves of the Imperium after the galaxy was cut in half by a gigantic warp storm. He is aided in this by Belisarius Cawl, who has made a ton of super-awesome new Space Marines to refill the ranks of the Astartes, and the geneseed definitely all came from Loyalist Primarchs honest please ignore the ones in purple armour who are called the Sons Of The Phoenix they're descended from (checks notes)... Rogal Dorn.
Obviously Abbadabbadingdong and his Thirteenth Black Crusade went really well for the Everchosen. The entire planet of Cadia was thoroughly kerploderated, which meant so were the Cadian Pylons, which were holding back the Cicatrix Maledictum from forming. Abaddon succeeded and is now the target of retribution by Imperial forces. The Orks are still piling on the hurt too, with them growing stronger and fightier than they used to be before, as well as more cunning. As it turns out, the only thing more dangerous than a Waaaagh! is a Waaaagh! led by somebody with a plan.
Drukhari are still Drukhari, which is to say just the worst people in the setting, and they're raiding everyone. The Craftworld Aeldari are just trying to stay alive, though something is brewing between them and the T'au. The Tyranids are hungrier than ever. Most terrifying of all, though, are the Necrons. Their whole history has changed, making them into people who broke free from the C'Tan and shattered them into billions of pieces, then enslaved those pieces and turned them into living weapons. The Genestealer Cult of the Four-Armed Emperor has made its way to Holy Terra itself, and the Custodes are having to hunt them down. Basically, everything's going to hell in a handbasket and everyone's killing everyone else.
Plus ca change. =]
Meanwhile, in the Galaxy Far, Far Away... by
on 2021-12-09 23:03:41 UTC
Well, not so much 'meanwhile'. SWH ran up to 994.M41, but that's a year after the 13th Black Crusade falls on Cadia. "Meanwhile" would be 14 ABY in the Star Wars timeline, or what should be 9 years after the Battle of Endor and the declaration of the New Republic.
The remnants of the Empire have fled into the Unknown Regions and been met by secret reinforcements. Reading between the lines, these probably come from Snoke, as a puppet of the not-exactly-dead Palpatine. They may also have a Chiss element. Grand Admiral Rae Sloane is probably still in command.
The Republic is firmly established. Luke Skywalker has spent a few years wandering around looking up Force lore, but by now seems to be building a class of students, including one who looks a lot like Yoda as a baby. He would officially restore the Jedi Order in 15 ABY.
Han Solo has tried family life - he and Leia had a son, Ben, who is now 9 - but seems to have given up on it. By this time the Falcon has already been stolen, which implies Han and Chewie are out smuggling again while Leia helps run the galaxy.
The sequel characters are all pretty young still. Poe Dameron is already flying ships. The likes of Finn and Rose are small children. Rey's mother might just be pregnant.
Elsewhere... well, the problem with the Disney Canon is it hasn't got a lot of 'elsewhere' yet. The Knights of Ren are active, so we can postulate several Force cults now that both the Light and Dark have been decimated. The Chiss Ascendency is probably still its isolationist self; an interesting point is that we now know their ships are navigated by specialised Force-sensitives known as skywalkers (no connection). Rogue Imperial factions are still causing trouble. There's still criminals, and still heroes.
Most of which can't carry over to SWH except in the broadest strokes. Your stuff, though... well, the T'au won't be experimenting with warp drive when they have access to hyper drive, but a lot of the rest can make it over. In particular, we left the 13th Black Crusade at the gates of a weakened Cadia. There is every possibility of 994.M41 being the year the Rift opens across two galaxies.
Two questions, while I contemplate the state of the galaxies:
How many Primarchs should enter the fray? Bobby Gulls is probably a given - but the SW sequels made 'sacrificial Force resurrection' a canonical power. Can we give someone a vision and send them to, say... the Rock? How does the prospect of Guilliman and the Lion as unwitting rivals on either side of the Rift strike you?
Ten thousand years ago, the Cabal had a plan to destroy the Gods of Chaos by wiping out humanity. The principle was that the Powers were so heavily invested in humanity that its death would utterly deprive them of the emotions they feed on, wiping them out. Is that plan still viable? More specifically, could Palpatine have foreseen or intuited it while a 'prisoner' of Tzeentch? Because if the Great Powers of Chaos can be destroyed by starving them of the minds of humanity, well, ol' Sheevie might have a few ideas about free will and how to do away with it...
(I know last time there was a faction who were firmly on the 'Chaos can't be destroyed' side, but we're not talking about force of arms this time.)
on 2021-12-10 03:49:54 UTC
The Cabal's plan rests heavily on a genocide of humans upon whose emotions the Chaos gods feed and thrive, which isn't a great plan for humans however you slice it. This would not in fact work, at least in part because the Chaos gods feed on all emotions, not just those of humanity; if you can't get an eight-course banquet with attendant wine list, a bowl of plain white rice is better than nothing. What you have there is a plan that feeds all of them in various ways. The Emperor's plan wouldn't have worked either: he tried to outlaw religion, when the Chaos gods didn't need religion - they needed people to believe in things, which is not quite the same thing.
The thing that would have stopped the Chaos gods was cutting off humanity's dependence upon the Warp, which was what the Emperor was working on in his lab when Magnus teleported into it and accidentally blew it all up. Magnus did, in fact, do something wrong; he just had no way of knowing that he had, and was (imo) used as a catspaw to kerplode Neoth's sanctum of Webway tech, probably by Tzeentch. Now, hyperdrive? Hyperdrive is a similar threat. No contact with the Warp means a dimming of power far beyond what the Chaos gods foresaw, even though psykers maintain a tiny connection to it through their powers. That's something they'd try incredibly hard to prevent the Imperium getting their hands on... though they wouldn't actually have to try that hard. It threatens the very foundation of the Imperium. The Astropath Houses would decry it as forbidden. The Mechanicus would decry it as the work of perfidious xenos hereteks. Guilliman would see it for what it was, but he'd need to actually know about it first, and that, I think, is where the Chaos gods would strike. Mortal puppets prevent the Imperial Regent from ever finding out what hyperdrive is beyond "some terrifyingly effective warp drive of foul xenos invention". This is a job for Alpharius! And also Alpharius, and Alpharius, and probably also Alpharius.
I will also say that touching the spirits of dead Primarchs through the Force and possibly resurrecting them is... probably not a great idea for anyone. I mean, first of all you'd have to find them. Now, the thought of a Knightguide-piloting Rapid Insertion Fire Team (yeah i worked hard to make that anagram RIFT) breaking into the Rock and resurrecting the Lion is just plain awesome and would make for an unbelievably tense story, in a similar manner to Rogue One's war-story approach where anyone could die at any moment. But then what happens after that? The Lion is resurrected by the T'au and a human witch in some piece of heretical techno-arcana. What happens then? What does the Lion, the architect of countless Imperial xenocides, whose greatest failure came as a result of getting tied up killing humans who had allied with xenos, do with that information? And furthermore, what do the Angels?
I can imagine it now. The last remaining Knightguides and their Jedi crashing through the warded doors deep into the Rock. They're fighting now, every trick of T'au technology and Force mastery needed to descend deeper into the Rock's stasis-dungeons. One by one they fall, battlesuit systems overloaded. Only the greatest pilots remain, guarding and guiding the Jedi to their destiny. The tides of the Immaterium have pulled in dark tricksters from the ranks of the Fallen - making it a three-way battle through the catacombs of sundered Caliban. Cypher catches up to the T'au force and tries to block their path with blade alone, for he knows these xenos don't like the taste of cold steel. He of course has not reckoned for the presence of Jedi training and an adaptation of T'au fusion blasters into a battlesuit-scale proto-sabre. Still, he fights. His mind is focused on duelling the battlesuits to a standstill in a great hollow chamber. He doesn't notice the Jedi's battlesuit slip away into the recesses of the chamber until the wall parts and a rush of psychic energy sends him to his knees. This wall of presence cripples the Fallen Angel long enough for him to be run through by one T'au sabre thrust, mortally wounding him. With the threat down, the last surviving T'au take up defensive positions to protect their Force-sensitive bondmate, dimly aware of some kind of pressure in their heads. But they feel the Force as it manifests. The Jedi loses herself in it, her body suffusing with cosmic energies, and she says to the sleeping giant: "Awake". And awake he does, and awake he is, and he has been saved. And now, from the shadows, appear the Watchers In The Dark, with raiment and armour. And now, with his last strength, Cypher returns the broken Lion Blade to its master.
"This I have foreseen", says the Lion. "This I have known would come. For this day would I wait to return." The Jedi slumps forward, her battlesuit systems redlining in an effort to keep her alive. "I am the First, and I have known that xenos would save me. The Watchers told me of this as I slept. They would send a knight and her guides when the time was right to wake me." A T'au XV-97-0 overloads its nova reactor to block a fusillade of bolter shells and searing plasma. "And now, my sons, my Angels, I return to you and command you. Cease your fire. The Lion wakes."
And Azrael, Supreme Grand Master of the Unforgiven, looks on. He sees this vision of the Primarch, resplendent in his ancient plate, bidding his Dark Angels... do what? The Primaris Angelus Mortis, the bane of xenos and their collaborators throughout the Great Crusade, the noblest and truest to the Emperor's will of all his mighty gene-sons, bids them abandon their paramount duty? Madness. Or worse. Does the First Son forget the creed of the Imperium, or has it been driven from his waking mind? Suffer not the alien, so the Emperor said. Suffer not the witch, so the Emperor said. And the Emperor also said...
"Suffer not the traitor," says Azreal, and opens fire upon the Lion.
The Lion bows his head, for he was forewarned of this, but what he does not know is the depths of honour in a Jedi. Acting on pure, force-guided instinct, and aided by the burning star in the engine of her battlesuit, the Jedi powers forward with battlesuit-sized lightsabre - a true lightsabre, with a giant crystal once mined in the darkness of Ilum - and deflects the onslaught of fire back into the ranks of the Dark Angels. The battle rages on, the Imperium's most ancient order of warriors against the youngest race in the stars. The Re'b'el pilots know what they must do. And so, they buy time for their Jedi to work. She guides the Lion to a corner, away from the battle, giving ground to take it later, patient, Kau'yon, Jedi. She equips him with a miniaturised, unbelievably low-rated, hyperspace motivator, connecting it to an incredibly advanced computing engine that fits upon his armour like a jump-pack would on an Assault Marine. The Lion likens it to a Ravenwing warrior's equipment, and she smiles, and it's sad. The T'au are giving it all they've got, but a RIFT squad is few in number by design. The Jedi and the Lion look upon the last remaining battlesuit as its pilot sells her life dearer and dearer, and the two hold hands as their motivators charge, and just as the last Knightguide is overrun, they disappear, teleporting to the cloaked Kor'vattra ship above the Rock. It fires its hyperdrive and it too disappears, and Lion El'Jonson watches the smear of stars in realspace and real time, and he knows now what that vision was and what it means.
The Lion has returned, on the side of right. Against him is his brother, who is on the side of right just the same. Both are convinced of the justness of their cause; both, in time, shall be convinced of the other's madness. Who shall triumph? It is beyond my knowledge. Finding out seems like a great read though.
994.M41: Cadia has fallen. by
on 2021-12-11 18:21:30 UTC
But first: you realise that is definitely being used verbatim, right? :D We just need to get the T'au to the point where they're both able and willing to awaken the Lion.
Okay, back to this:
Cadia has fallen.
Weakened by the Galactic Empire's long-term blockade of the Eye of Terror, the chaotic (naturally) effects of firing a superweapon into said Eye, and elements the Eldar Armada raiding around their borders, the Cadian garrison was unable to stand against the Thirteenth Black Crusade. It has always been said that Cadians would fight to the last man - and Abaddon the Despoiler has proven that to be the case.
Cadia. Has. Fallen.
With the Cadian pylons gone, the boundary between the material universe and the Immaterium is rent in two. A massive cascade of Warp storms spills out, spreading out in a ragged arc from the Eye of Terror - and spreading across both galaxies.
The Imperium of Man is rent in two. Holy Terra is entirely cut off from the bulk of the galaxy, but by a strange twist of fate - or the mocking plans of the Powers of Chaos - maintains control over its grand Crusade into the invading galaxy. Beyond the Rift, the light of the Astronomican is darkened, and even mighty Ultramar is shrouded in an ocean of darkness.
Yet the Imperium's many enemies, already strengthened by the collision of the galaxies, are largely unaffected by the changes wrought on the galaxy The Tau-Rebel Alliance is far from the Rift. The New Republic is cut off from its sparse southern systems, but also from the Galactic Empire which has been attempting to reconquer the Core. The Chiss Ascendency, fighting relentlessly against the Crusade in the invading galaxy, isn't even aware it exists. The hordes of Chaos are positively revelling in the chaos (naturally), and the Black Crusade is forging southwards from the rubble of Cadia.
In these times of division and doubt, there are no accurate records of the secrets and schemes enacted by agents of the Imperium. Agents delve into the Webway, seeking the Dark Eldar and Commorragh. Others are seeking Necron Tomb Worlds, to awaken the sleeping machines as a desperate defence against the forces of Chaos. A group of Inquisitors has banded together, seizing one of the Imperium's few hyperdrive-capable ships and transplanting a Genestealer Cult from an infected world to the Republic-held rim of the new galaxy. And in darkened Ultramar, an ancient agent of the Mechanicum named Belisarius Cawl is gathering allies for a scheme of his own.
Far away, in the sundered southern half of the Galaxy Far, Far Away, Emperor Palpatine has finally returned to his people. Gathering the Imperial Council at the shipyards of Fondor, he looks out towards the galactic core and the visceral Warp-infused light of the Great Rift that lies there.
"The Warp is an affront to my New Order," he says to the gathered Admirals and Moffs. "The Powers that live there thought to corrupt me, to break my will - but they failed, and in my captivity I learnt many things. There is a way to defeat them, to destroy them utterly. I have foreseen it." And the Emperor... smiles.
Yes, I diverted the Rift. ^_^ I had to, if I was going to bring it into the other galaxy. Great for the Tau, not so good for everyone else.
Other notes on where we left off: the New Republic is using Hutt-created faux Space Marines on the front lines, but the Rift has cut them off from the source. The Tyranids have Force-sensitive monstrosities and are doing awful things to the Tau-Rebel Alliance. The Eldar are tentatively on the side of the New Republic, largely because they think Palpatine is going to ruin everything if he actually achieves anything against the Warp entities. At least one Alpharius is controlling raiding parties of Chaos Clone Troopers in the GFFA. Hyperdrive tech is becoming more common, with only the Imperium really missing out. And, oh yeah, Darth Vader is now a daemon-prince in the service of Khorne, leading a hideously corrupted army of Orks and Imperials in a two-front war against Slaanesh and Tzeentch, which is largely why Abaddon has gone a'crusading.
Star WarHammer - where everyone's headaches are about to get much worse...
Such is the power of the Warp by
on 2021-12-16 12:00:09 UTC
But it is far from the only power at play. The T'au philosophy is not to stand idle when progress can be made, and the Ethereal Caste has tasked the Rebel Alliance's finest minds to figure out how to improve Kaminoan clone technology, with the assistance of the Earth Caste. Between this, the Huttstartes, and a brainwave on the part of Han Solo after a chance meeting (that definitely wasn't a smuggling op gone wrong) with the noted Kroot shaper Dahyak Grekh, the T'au elect to build from scratch a truly united citizen of their Empire, reflective of the Greater Good in form and physiology as well as belief. These are the Ron'tau'va'la, the Clones of the Path. They incorporate the incredible diversity of the T'au Empire's client races (a term to which the Rebellion takes an immediate dislike) into a single body. Not only that, but the Earth Caste scientists theorise that they can adapt their physiologies further to suit specific purposes, in the manner of the Kroot, through a combination of nymune organ stimulation and biomimetic technology. This all sounds good, but Master Yoda does not rest easy. All this seems familiar: events of the past may not be happening again, but they seem to rhyme with those of the present.
The Force is the other power rising in the Merged Galaxies. It reaches out towards life. All life. Mostly it finds humans, minor sensitives who can do minor tricks without being executed by the Ecclesiarchy. The ones who awaken with gifts of the Force are... changed. They are calmer and more resolute in some cases, but more often than not they become consumed with hatred and rage, flooding their minds and souls with the power of the Dark Side. And it is far from limited to conventional examples of humanity. Emperor Palpatine is the first to sense it: little fires in the dark, fell warriors upon an eternal quest to prove their loyalty and devotion. Their God demands such from them, and they in turn demand it from the Force. Darth Sidious tries to foresee their path, but they are both strong and dangerously weak; their almost animal madness shattering his attempts at prescience. It will be some time before he can accurately predict the movements and ensnare the minds of these so-called "Black Templars".
One thing that the Chaos forces are learning - particularly those who are psychics - is that the presence of a channel to the Warp in a person's brain massively inhibits that person's ability to tap into the Force. Nobody is quite sure why, though a leading theory is that the Empyrean is a kind of false life, and so something that is powered by life cannot fight through its influence. Daemons certainly cannot use the Force at all; the Neverborn were, well, never born, and are a mimicry of life born from emotional resonance within the Immaterium. Obviously, they aren't fans of this, and as such there is a mad rush to convert non-Psykers to the ways of the Ruinous Powers. The cults of the Thousand Sons and their Crimson King, along with other Tzeentchian-aligned Traitor Astartes, outwardly disdain such practices, but they too seek to pervert the force-sensitives of realspace into working for the Lord of Change. It is among the World Eaters that the Force finds its strongest home: the Dark Side crackles in terrible lightning around their Butcher's Nails, their madness and bloodlust empowered by newly-forged connections to the Dark Side.
Conversely, the Light Side has its own adherents among the rebels. While the Ethereals are not natural Force-sensitives, they can be taught to perceive it, and so can T'au from other castes. This is most obviously prominent in the Fire Caste, with the Jedi Council's remaining members searching through the T'au and their various auxiliary races for those among their number who can tap into the Force. The Vespid's ordered minds mean they have excellent aptitude for tuition in the Jedi ways, while the Shaper Council of the Kroot convenes to seek out the Force and connect themselves to it the only way they know how: by eating other Force users. Soon the Jedi ranks begin to swell, as peoples from across T'au space who had never touched the Force before find their power, their balance, and their serenity. Of course, with many of the first students being T'au and Vespid, the ancient wisdom of the Jedi Order is perceived through the lens of the Greater Good; T'au Jedi in particular often struggle with conflicting loyalties to the Order and the Ethereal Caste. Still, the Order is getting back on its feet, and with new knights finding their own padawans, it looks like it will continue to grow. But the lure of the Dark Side is strong, even for the T'au and their regimented lives, and its temptations become all the stronger when guided by the fell hand of Alpharius. The Alpha Legion already corrupted the Suam'kha in its first iteration, and it is one of Master Yoda's many troubled thoughts that they will seek to corrupt this new generation of Jedi too.
It is against this backdrop that General Leia Organa, herself a powerful force-sensitive, has her first visions of the tomb that is not a tomb, built for a dead man who is not dead. She is shown this by two ghostly figures. They are disfigured beyond imagination: broken, mangled, suffering things that hurt the General to look upon, but she refuses to look away from their suffering. They show her the bitter twilight of the human race: its proudest and finest brought to barbarous squalour in nightmarish hives that stink of incense and death. The two figures lock eyes with her, despite having none, and show her what must be done. There is one who waits for them. He will aid them, as he knows he must. Humanity is a fortress built on sand and the tide is rising. She sees a shattered planet, Alderaan all over again. She sees a gothic fortress among the ruins. She sees a giant green blade that burns like starlight crashing against the blade of a broken sword. She sees a path, like golden hair, running through walls and doors and lightless passages. She hears nothing, for space is silent and the three drift through it as if frozen. Until the end, when she hears some great beast open its mouth and roar, in some defiant mix of pride and pain. She wakes. She sees the vision still, when her eyes shut. She knows what she has to do. But first, it's time she learned how to do something she should have learned a long time ago... pilot one of those giant damn robot suits the locals keep building for her army.
Han thinks it's suicide. Mon Mothma thinks it's a waste of resources. Aun'va (for it is he) thinks what he thinks, and says nothing. Luke and Yoda, though, they understand. The visions sent by the Force are powerful things - Luke remembers a dark and dreadful apparition, and his hand grips his lightsabre a little tighter as he remenisces - but to ignore them is far more dangerous than to follow them into peril. Yoda, for his part, reminds her that she will need a lightsabre. A true one, not a T'au fusion sabre, for all that they are elegant weapons in this uncivilised age. And so they journey with a specialist Earth Caste asteroid mining team to Ilum, to seek out a crystal. Yoda drags Leia along, apparently deaf to her pleas that she already has a lightsabre, dammit, it's the blue glowy thing that she slices bug monsters in half with. These pleas, even when combined with unfurling the blade and waggling it at him, elicit no more than an amused hrrrmmm from the ancient master. Ilum awaits. The Empire's forces in the area are long gone, with only a paltry Imperium garrison force around this pointless mining world. The T'au ships stealth into the system and make a clandestine planetfall in the world's giant trench, and the Earth Caste begin their crystal-hunting.Yoda and Leia begin too, the latter with a distinct air of confusion, but it is soon replaced with wonder. There are kyber crystals here. Big ones. Big enough to focus a really powerful beam. "Lightsabre you have, mmmm, yes," says Yoda. "A fine lightsabre. Know it, you do. But build it, you did not. With this crystal, build a lightsabre, you shall. Know it, you shall. And a Knight you shall be." The T'au dig out as many crystals as they can cram in the hold, large and small, and return to Rebel space before the Imperium defence force figures out what's happened. Crystals choose their masters, you see, and having a great many on hand will help with the new Jedi. And Leia, with a lump of green rock the size of a Wookiee's fist, has been chosen.
Chosen for what, she cannot yet say.
Once again, all of this /will/ be going in verbatim. by
on 2021-12-29 09:23:45 UTC
Probably in 995, but maybe 996 if the Sacred Timeline demands.
I was going to quibble the somewhat off-piste depictions of the Force, but I've just been rereading the Thrawn: Ascendency books, which establish that in the entire western third of the GFFA, the Force is used primarily for navigation, and that among the Chiss, the only Force-sensitive are rare girls under the age of 14.
Also, what the Empire calls the Unknown Regions, the Chiss call the Chaos. So, like... I'm going to have to do something with that.
Thoughts continue to percolate.
Yay! I'm glad I'm making thoughts be thunked. by
on 2021-12-31 01:32:35 UTC
Good word, thunked. Nice woody sort of word.
Anyway, I was chatting with a friend about this project and she mentioned that there's one faction we've kinda glossed over in Star Warhammer, so I'm attempting to put that right...
As word of this new power spreads across the Merged Galaxies, it reaches truly ancient ears. Tomb Worlds awake prematurely to disgorge terrifying silver warriors upon hapless Imperial Stormtroopers, their armour and bodies disintegrated in seconds by flashes of green light. Dark Side cultists have more effect, their powers of lightning shattering even necrodermis. But where the Tyranids are a shadow in the Warp, these warriors are as shadows in the Force: as utterly without presence in it as a lifeless asteroid, devoid of even bacterial life. As the interlopers are chased off of the Necron worlds, agents of one dynasty above all else begin to investigate the Force and the power it brings. Palpatine peers into the darkness and can find nothing at all, but his spies and agents can supply one word that keeps cropping up.
The Silent King of the Necrontyr is awake, and his interest is piqued. His people are impossibly ancient; to see something truly new is rare, even among the young races. His own Dynastic agents send missives to the vassal phaerons and phaerakhs, a call to action for their Crypteks and their greatest minds. Force lore is to be found and studied. Force adepts are as well. And so, as the Merged Galaxies adapt to their new realities, the silver warriors begin to collect - and if something needs collecting, there is always and forever a collector. Trazyn the Infinite seeks out the new life and new civilizations after the Merging, and he barters (and steals, and double-crosses, and just takes by force) in the name of expanding his collection. Surviving Separatist battle droids disappear; Imperial Stormtroopers and Clone Troopers go AWOL from the Imperial Military; and outcast Jedi hear vague, terrified calls for help from their comrades before those cries are suddenly silenced. The Hutt cartels try and barter, but their double-crosses end in several bosses being torn apart by green thunderbolts. Those loyal, though, are rewarded handsomely. Gimcracks and baubles by the standards of a Technomancer, but princely gifts of alliance to the primitives among the Young. Local knowledge is useful for Trazyn's purposes, and the while it does trickle back to Szarekh and the other Triarchs, it is Trazyn who begins to truly understand Force lore - in theory, at least.
Necrons lost their bodies and their souls to the deception of the C'tan sixty million years in the past, replaced with the living metal that is necrodermis. Downloading their consciousnesses into constructs made of this substance and casting off their pitiful, fleeting flesh has in turn cut them off from the Force in a way that drives Trazyn mad with envious fury. This is a power he looks upon but cannot touch, a world he cannot own, a collection he can never start, let alone complete. His experiments and tinkering with esoteric devices brought to him by the Hutts and his other contacts (as well as plentiful supplies of new species) remain utterly fruitless. He meditates. He clears his mind. He studies the scattered teachings of the Jedi and the Sith alike. He stretches out with his feelings, and feels... nothing at all. Nothing save a hole in the world where something should be. Perhaps that is what Jedi see in him and his kind. Perhaps that is why they are so afraid. There are other reasons, of course, but this one is more vexing than the consequences of flaunting his power and knowledge. Trazyn the Infinite is proven finite, and this will not stand.
There are other powers arising. The Bell of Saint Gerstahn has tolled already, years sooner than in Canon. Trazyn's travel to the Oruscar Tomb World and his contemplation of the Celestial Orrery are similarly accelerated. His tuition of Cawl is faster paced, aided by the serenity that it amuses him to seek in his studies of the Force. And as in canon, it is not enough. Ursarkar Creed is still somewhere in the chambers of a Necron labyrinth, a silent order and a prayer to the Emperor on his lips. Neither will ever be answered, for Cadia has fallen. And through it all, Trazyn still cannot touch the Force. His serenity and balance leave him poised and calm; his depthless rage at being so thwarted elicits only his own frustrated screams echoing off the walls of his world. He tries, and he tries, and he tries again... and then another brace of whispers from his sources in the new systems comes his way, from each end of the Merged Galaxies. One of an old warrior, returned from millennia of almost-death solely by the power of the Force. One of a dark story, not one the Jedi would tell, of a power a Jedi could neither learn nor teach. And this is where Trazyn understands, truly, what must be done.
He travels to the courts of the Triarch, seeking audience with Szarekh. With him, he brings the fruits of his research. Digitized copies of Jedi and Sith holocrons rendered in eerie green light. Full-body scans of the Force sensitives he has captured. Documentation of his creation of artificial midi-chlorians through nanoscarab technology, a work that proved pointless. All his dead ends. All his follies. All his failures. A powerful gesture in Necron politics, where the mighty and the unremembered are separated by a hair's breadth. He lays them bare before Szarekh, because this is something he knows the Silent King wants more than anything else in the universe. Within the Force and its power to heal and restore, so Trazyn is convinced, lies this most holy grail of the Szarekhan dynasty. Apotheosis.
The Silent King is moved to action at last. Even as the Merged Galaxies reel from the shattering of Cadia and the formation of the Cicatrix Maledictum, Szarekh commands his legions forth into the darkness. Crescent-shaped Necron ships like rotten moons slip through the darkness, seeking out the systems of the Galaxy Far Far Away. Apotheosis, an end to sixty million years of suffering, might just be within their grasp. The Crypteks of the Dynasties are summoned forth and put to work, as the voice of Szarekh travels far and commands obeisance and fear alike. Steadily the forces grow. It is 996.M41 in Imperium reckoning, and a cure for biotransference is in sight. All they need is to survive...
And to work out why inert necrodermis nanoscarabs are being detected within a volume of space owned by a Merged faction called the Chiss.
Consider the Chiss. by
on 2021-12-31 18:11:04 UTC
The Chiss Ascendency has a different view of the galaxy to the other races. The wide-spaced stars which the Republic, Empire, and Rebellion have fought over for decades are dismissed by them as Lesser Space. Their domain, the tangled mass of systems never even mapped by the other major civilisations, is what the Empire calls the Unknown Regions - and what the Chiss and the races around them know as the Chaos.
By 990.M41, the north-eastern regions of the Chaos had suffered greatly under the hand of the Imperium of Man. The commanders of the Great Crusade cared nothing for distinctions of Empire, Rebellion, or Ascendency - as far as they were concerned, the whole galaxy was an affront to the glory of Mankind and its Emperor. And the Chaos... was /easier/.
Easier to navigate: further from their own galaxy, the currents of the Warp were calmer, almost placid. Easier to keep pace with their enemies: long-distance hyperspace travel was impossible in the Chaos, forcing native ships to travel jump-by-jump between the packed systems. And easier to deal with: with the worlds of the Empire, Crusade forces had expended vast energy to bring the human inhabitants to compliance with the Imperial Truth. But there were no humans in the Unknown Regions.
They were all Xenos. Their best navigators were deemed by the Inquisition to be heretical psykers. They literally named their region of space Chaos. The order came down from Crusade command, and the order was Exterminatus.
The Chiss Ascendency watched their advance with growing concern. By ancient tradition and strict law, the Ascendency military was forbidden from preemptive strikes or offensive attacks. The very existence of the Expansionary Defence Fleet, split off from the Defence Force to explore the Chaos a generation before, pressed against the bounds of this prohibition; despite the clear and present danger the Imperium presented, the Syndicure would not allow the rules to be further bent.
Still, the Expansionary Defence Fleet did not sit idle. Under secret but still just about legal orders from Supreme General Ba'kif, Admiral Ar'alani and her ships shadowed the Crusade's advance. If the Imperium ships had attacked them, with a flag officer on board, it would have been considered an attack against the Ascendency as a whole, and would have permitted retaliation. Yet the Crusade, busy crushing minor worlds with overwhelming force, never seemed to notice Ar'alani's presence.
Other, even more secretive operations were put into motion. Eli Vanto, an Imperial officer who had joined the Chiss some years before the merger, was sent back to the Empire - not to seek the aid of its leadership, but to contact hidden networks put in place by the supposedly-exiled Chiss warrior Mitth'raw'nuruodo. Thrawn himself had attained the rank of Grand Admiral under the Empire, but had gone missing shortly before the merger... but his agents, whether they called themselves that or not, remained in place.
For two years, the Chiss watched the Imperium's grinding advance, while General Ba'kif gathered every advantage he could find. Technology, personnel, even entire ships were ferried in secret from the Galactic Empire to isolated worlds in the Ascendency, and melded with the Expansionary Defence Fleet to create the greatest navy the Chaos had ever known. Yet still - still! - the Syndicure would not authorise an attack, as the Imperium drew ever closer.
To all things there is a price. For the Chiss entry into the war, the price was one world - one world of the Ascendency, burnt to ash and then shattered by the guns of the Imperium. Not one inhabitant survived.
When the black ships of the combined Ascendency Fleet fell on the Imperium's victorious vanguard, they too left no survivors.
The Crusade had never faced anything like the Ascendency. Every Xenos civilisation they had ever encountered had been tiny, one or two worlds huddling together against the dark. The Chiss were a vibrant and ancient civilisation, fully prepared to face the Imperium's assault - and to beat it back.
It took three months for the northern tendril of the Crusade to be driven entirely from the Chaos. In desperation, they dug in over the compliant world of Ord Mantell, hoping to stem the Chiss tide.
There they remained - not due to their own might, but because of the resistance of the Chiss Syndicure. Ord Mantell was a world of the Galactic Empire, the Syndics pointed out, and far away in Lesser Space. The Ascendency had no obligation to it, and had fulfilled its own needs: the invaders had been driven from the Chaos, and had certainly been taught that further incursions would result in their destruction. The fleets should be recalled, and the normal state of affairs restored.
Ba'kif and Ar'alani resisted, and managed to gain one concession: while no further advances were authorised, they were permitted to maintain a blockade over Ord Mantell. For four years they remained there, and as the Great Crusade spread its tendrils through the remains of the Galactic Empire and the New Republic, the Chiss were content to watch.
Until the fall of Cadia. Until the forming of the Rift. Until the Emperor's return, and the messages he sent to the Ascendency's capital world of Csilla.
This is basically all back-filling for the 990 chronicle. I know vaguely what the Emperor has asked of the Chiss, and will work on it, because I think it should kick off in 996.
Grand Admiral Thrawn... is not dead in the new canon. He and his fleet got dragged into hyperspace by a bunch of space whales, along with Jedi Ezra Bridger. They could literally pop out anywhere at any time. :D
Grand Admiral Thrawnisco Thrawnco Still Not Dead =] by
on 2022-01-02 05:18:17 UTC
I'll have to take you at your word regarding the Chiss. The novels of the Expanded Universe are, haha, a closed book to me. I picked them because frankly the thought of the "we're very good at tech" guys getting their hands on Necrontyr technology is extremely bad for the setting, for all that they're a bunch of isolationists. I also think the Syndics are entirely correct in their decision not to push back the Crusade further - not because they can't win the space war, they absolutely can, but because I think they'd struggle mightily to win any kind of protracted ground engagement with the Imperium. Even with their magpie approach to tech, the Chiss ground game likely doesn't have the numbers to deal with the Astra Militarum; maintaining a blockade over Ord Mantell is all well and good, but the moment the Chiss drop planetside they'll receive the traditional Guard welcoming committee of enormous cannons. And that's assuming it's just the Guard; Crusades tend to attract the local Space Marines, and the Realm Of Ultramar is fairly close by in Galactic terms, so the Successor Chapters would definitely support the Crusade effort.
That's a point, actually. Rowboat Guiltygear's gonna wake up first, and despite the Dark Angels' reputation for secrecy, the awakening of the Lion is something I think Big Bobby G's gonna know about sooner or later. The Cicatrix Maledictum is extremely difficult to push through, but his homeworld and his captured brother are on the other side. Right in the path of Tyranids, the Chiss xenos that reversed the Imperium Crusade, that upstart Empire of witches with the big triangular ships, and of course, the filth that is the T'au. The T'au whose propaganda efforts make their way to Roboute by the hand of trusted servants, who we can be at least 80% sure aren't Alpharius. The T'au who showcase their high command not as saints or officers, but celebrities. The T'au whose Water Caste of foul sirens interview those celebrities to further indoctrinate the masses in revolting displays of impious filth. The T'au who show his brother... peacefully interacting... with his interviewers? The T'au who have put together a montage of moments from history involving his gene-brother?
Ha! The foolish xenos have sown the seeds of their own annihilation. See, he says to his aide. Here they give him one of their "battlesuits" - vile heresy, but, Guilliman grudgingly admits after perusing notifications from the Damocles Gulf Crusade, effective vile heresy. It is clearly armed and operational, and thus they seal their fate; for what xenos could stand against the First Angel bedecked in battle and armed to the teeth? He will turn on them now! He tests that screaming gatling weapon, his Legionaries did always so favour the destructive capabilities of plasma weaponry, and now he will turn it upon them! Now he will!
Now, surely he will.
The captured drone, already mildly damaged, is smashed to pieces by the rage of the Lord of Lightning's gene-son. Then the broken parts are smashed further. No trickery could so fool Roboute Guilliman that he succumbs to rage. His attendants do not quail in fear, which takes considerable effort. The servants outside make no such efforts, and they swiftly find other jobs to do, which coincidentally involve them going somewhere else. The Alpharius in the building, because of course there is one, hears this and smiles in his heart; for sometimes the greatest act of sabotage is not to lie, but to tell the truth, unalloyed and unprotected by its bodyguard of falsehoods. The Imperial Regent sees his brother consort with xenos. With xenos that did not even exist during his previous lifespan! Such perfect betrayal. Such a blow to the mind and spirit of the Primarch. The perfect plot. Alpharius wishes only that he'd thought of it himself.
Had he the stomach to continue, Roboute would have seen just what else his brother had been doing. Lion El'Jonson is not just consorting with xenos - he is actively submitting to their doctrine. For he is a padawan, under the guidance and teaching of the Jedi Knight General Leia Organa, who herself is aided in her teachings by Master Yoda and her brother Luke. Whatever psychic pulse had coincided with his awakening, it was not of Lion's doing; the man was no psyker, and as such he was able to dedicate himself to learning mastery of the Force as he had mastery of the hunt on Caliban and of warfare during the Great Crusade. Han attends these training sessions too, partly to see how the new guy's settling in, but mostly to see him get whacked with a stick by a two-foot swamp goblin that looks small enough to have fallen out the guy's nose. It is intriguing for the Lion as well - it is incredibly rare for him to be bad at something, and his lessons with Leia and Master Yoda have taught him that he is far from strong in the Force. Other padawans seek him out to spar with him, and it takes his training as a Knight of Caliban to hold his own against them. He wins as often as he loses, but that is his swordsmanship alone. In contests of Force manipulation, he finds himself lacking and falling behind. But there is no mockery. No laughter, like that of the Wolf. There is no feeling of failure. Should he fall, he is offered a hand up. The hand is often blue, or green, or covered in spiked chitin, but it is offered in comradeship. The Lion has had ten thousand years of slumber and contemplation to unlearn a lifetime of hatred, and he is still learning. He takes the hand, whenever it is offered, and offers his own in return. For all that he dwarfs his fellow padawans - Kroot, Vespid, Demiurg, T'au, and so many more - he is kept humble by their progress. It is they, more than Leia, who truly teach Lion to stretch out with his feelings.
I don't know when Roboute and Lion will meet again. I don't know what Cawl's planning. I don't know what kind of battle will commence. I know only that it will. The tides of fate will bring them together. What wreckage will be left afterwards, I cannot say. War is coming. The Imperium of Man is now headed by a man riven with a fury not felt since the Horus Heresy. There are the Rebels. There is the Empire. There is the Ascendancy. And there are the Hive Fleets, and the Ork Waaaaghs, and the Drukhari raids, and whatever in the Throne's name the silver terrors of the Necrontyr are up to.
There is Chaos too, their minions ascendant after the success of the Thirteenth Black Crusade. Angron, the mad Daemon Prince, is rage incarnate, a hurricane at the head of a legion of storms. He and his warriors burn with the power of the Dark Side. For all that they have been steeped in the Empyrean for ten thousand years, the original Legionaries of the World Eaters have a natural affinity for it. I've mentioned it before, but the implants in their heads that make them so savage also make them potentially very strong in the Force, or at least in the Dark Side. They reward passion by stimulating the brain directly, and they deaden neural responses to all passion save that created by slaughter. No more perfect means for submerging someone in the Dark Side could be created, at least in my opinion. These things break people. Angron was broken by them more than ten millennia ago, and his Legionaries are no different. Their minds might be fractured, but they're still alive and not one of them is a psyker. It is those implants, though, that funnel the Force into their bodies and brains. The Nails have coiled deep into their bodies, infecting every nerve and sinew even as they yet live. They are truly mad. The Force, the Dark Side, makes their madness all the deeper. The chainaxes of the Eaters of Worlds hum with power, lightning skipping from tooth to bloody tooth. Khornate Daemons, Angron included, cannot perceive it, but Kharn the Betrayer is himself rapidly becoming stronger and stronger in the Dark Side with every passing moment. These moments are truly eternal, for time flows differently in the Eye of Terror. It is Kharn who finds himself most empowered by this, Kharn whose immense strength and power is warped further by the Dark Side... and Kharn who finds himself directly arrayed against this upstart Vader. Gorechild is a Daemon artifact in a Daemon Realm, and it was a masterwork of archaeotechnology before that, but it is nearly sundered by Vader during the duel that seals Anakin's fate. It also almost seals Kharn's. The duel lasts for four hundred and forty-four days and nights, for four is the sacred number of Khorne. Each nearly has the killing blow four times. Khorne revels in this bloodshed. Every ounce of strength either has is utterly spent. Kharn and Vader are both broken, unable to continue. It is Vader, though, who still has strength enough to knee once more before Khorne. Kharn can only watch, beaten and broken, as Vader achieves the selfsame apotheosis that was given to his master and Primarch. The black armour that preserved Anakin Skywalker's torn and pallid flesh shatters as the man grows to enormous size. Whatever is left of Ani dies there, on a planet of blood before a throne of skulls. Vader is the only thing left. The flesh knits as it swells, but the hideous scars remain the same, and his body explodes in blood-red fire along the places where Anakin Skywalker burned on Mustafar. This is apotheosis. This is Daemonhood. This is a Daemon Prince who can still touch and shape the Force. All hail Prince Vader.
Let the galaxies burn.
The Force is Life. by
on 2022-01-02 10:27:57 UTC
The Force is Life.
Across the Galaxy it has been given myriad names: Ashla, the Life Current, the Great Presence, simply It. It has been seen as an emanation of living beings, as an energy field binding star to star, as a spirit that watches over its adherents. But all those who touch it agree on one point:
The Force is Life.
Nightsisters. Navigators. Sorcerers. Monks. There are as many ways to touch the Force as there are adherents. Each of us perceives it in our own way, through the lens of our own reality.
Some of us have been allies. Some of us have been enemies. Many of us have been the bitterest of foes. But one understanding connects us:
The Force is Life.
And the Warp is not.
The Warp is madness and death. I have seen the Warp, have been bound within its shackles of insanity, have faced its lures and promises of death, and have only escaped by the strength of my will and the Force that is in me. If any of you have believed the Warp to be an aspect of the Force - as I once did - put aside that notion, for it is a lie. The Warp is the antithesis of Life.
And we can destroy it.
Tens of thousands of years ago, all knowledge of the Force was combined. All our countless orders worked together as one. Now, to face this abomination from another galaxy, we must join together once more.
I have seen that the Warp draws its corrosive power from turmoil in the souls of the living. Each of us who touch the Force know of the need to focus our will upon it - and this very focus, this control of our own spirits, can be applied to the vile Warp. Calm your minds, soothe those around you, and - whether you follow the ways of Ashla or Bogan - the Force will work through you to still the roiling Warp, and weaken the unnatural creatures that dwell within it.
If we every one of us combines our will - the Force of an entire galaxy united at last - we can give the daemons of the Warp the fate they have offered so many others.
Madness. And death.
I have foreseen it.
- Message from Emperor Palatine, broadcast across all accessible networks and frequencies, 997.M41.
The many adherents of the Force receive Palpatine's appeal in myriad ways. Some ignore it. Others mock it as a transparent attempt to bring them under Sith control. Others - among them the Knights of Ren, the Sorcerors of Tund, and the sky-walkers of the Chiss - accept it wholeheartedly.
The resurgent Jedi Order, at the very limits of the transmission's reach, convenes a great Council of every member it can summon. Masters, Knights, and Padawans sit side by side, debating the message and its hidden meanings. Master Yoda is firmly opposed, remembering Chancellor Palpatine's betrayal. Luke Skywalker is more ambivalent, reasoning that all the Emperor is suggesting is the same battle meditation the Jedi have employed against the Tyranids for years.
In the end, it is the Lion of Caliban who tips the balance. Though a mere padawan, he stands tall amongst his fellow Jedi that day. "I do not know this false Emperor," he says, "but his words are true. The Warp brings only madness and death. The Jedi are - must be - its sworn enemy. By the strength of the Force, let its vile whispers be silenced at last."
My inclination is to say that Palpatine's plan, as written, will calm the currents of the Warp in locations with heavy Force user concentrations. That should weaken enemy Psykers and (particularly) Chaos creatures in the vicinity, and also have some effect on the Rift, but nothing major.
It will also make it easier for ships of the Imperium to travel. That's great for Palpatine - his Empire isn't in contact with the Imperium right now anyway! Not so great for everyone else.
It won't affect the Chaos Gods , of course. But it will begin the process of attuning the minds of the galaxies to the Force, and thus preparing them to accept a singular will: Palpatine's.
One mind to rule them all.
The key conflict in this whole story is that 40K is a setting where individuals don't matter. There are no true heroes (or villains, because that's just the same thing from a different version of the story), because even the greatest individual is nothing against the galaxy of war. Bobby Gulls has achieved basically nothing in the prime timeline; just a continuation of the grind.
But Star Wars is very much a story of heroes. One shot can end an empire. One hand can steer a galaxy. One word can rewrite fate.
So far, we've got a lot of hero-centred writing, but none of it has really changed anything. By attempting to turn the Force and all its adherents into an extension of his own plans, Palpy is making a concerted effort to change that.
Good grief, Greasy Sheev's thought up a plan that might actually work? by
on 2022-01-03 10:11:00 UTC
This really is an AU. =]
Seriously though this is all so cool and I've been kinda remiss in telling you that. Thanks for entertaining my ramblings.
I also really like your point about great heroes and greater deeds not mattering in the Grim Darkness of the Far Future. One person cannot win against a galaxy of madness. But one person can touch the Force, shape it, lose themselves in it. The Force can change the tides of vast empires, through its use and mastery by a single person. A speck, on the galactic scale. It reminds me of that one Doctor Who quote: "I've been travelling for nine hundred years, and in all that time, I've never met someone who wasn't important before."
The thing is... now I don't really know what to do next. I have zero Warsy knowledge beyond the films. I know that Bob and Lionel are going to fight (and make Christmas dinner awkward). I know Leia's going to become a Master. I just... don't know what else. And there's other stuff that just bugs me. What about the Farsight Enclaves? What are the Craftworlders up to? Has anyone told the Exodites what the hell is going on? Given that Nids can brute-force the Force, what about Force sensitives within Genestealer Cults? What's happening with the Indomitus Crusade and the Primaris Marines? I can't answer these questions. I mean, I probably could, but I can't answer them all at once, and each time I answer one the nagging from the others gets worse. Hell, I just realised that Sheev might be planning to break into the Black Library with a force of Sith in a dark mirror of the Rebel Alliance's raid on the Rock, and now I want that to happen, but I can't make the right words come out.
So what's next in this conflict? We're sixteen years into the Merged Galaxies setting and there's so much stuff left to explore. Where do we go? Where do we start?
Balance, I need, Master. =]
Strong am I with the Force. by
on 2022-01-05 00:09:03 UTC
But not that strong.
For starters, though, thank you too! Your ideas are what make this setting; most of what I'm doing is just pulling the bits together. The very next thing I intend to do, in fact, is to get all these pieces into the doc in a coherent fashion. (Other than Robuertieoue's awakening, I think everything has been described up to the point of Palpy's message, so it seems a logical place to take stock.)
For everything else, though... I think the galaxies are in a bit of a stalemate. Ultramar under Guilliman is probably gearing up against the Tau, and my inclination is that an army of Space Marines can probably stymie the small Jedi Order. The Primaris marines are... nowhere near Guilliman! They're on the far side of the Rift, I believe - weren't they made in the Terra system? I think they're probably occupied fighting the Black Crusade, which didn't exactly stop at Cadia.
Obviously there's Chaos forces everywhere, but so far there's no coherent threat there (although, Vader). The SW armies are all just shuffling around. The 'nids are lined up against the Tau. Nobody has any openings.
So we need to create some.
Focusing on a single character again... one possibility is bringing Thrawn and Ezra out of hyperspace - the greatest strategic planner in history could do some damage, especially since his alliegence to the Empire was based on their ability to fend off outside threats. Palatine hasn't exactly done that, so Thrawn could easily go to whoever /ellse/ he thinks has the best chance of keeping the Chiss safe. It might be the T'au, actually, particularly if two decades in hyper with Ezra has brought them to some kind of understanding. (And he has a fleet of Star Destroyers to offer...) It would tie in nicely with Sheev's "Force-control everything" scheme, too - which could include a Black Library raid. (I'd suggest the Knights of Ren for that, probably accompanied by rogue archaeologist Dr Aphra, because that would be /fun/.)
On the 'vast armies' side, pushing significant numbers of (Primaris) Marines into the Crusade could break the Imperium out of its box. Best case for them is that they acquire hyperdrive tech, which would let them drop in anywhere they please. Yikes.
But it might well be more fun to leave that until we need it. Pick a destabiliser! Nothing is sacred. We want the T'au and the Empire to stick around, but we can straight-up kill any other faction. Blow up the New Republic. Drop Prince Vader onto Terra, and leave Guilliman as Emperor of Mankind.
But you want my favourite option? I've just come up with it now, but I think it's viable... Eldar Craftworlds are almost living beings, with a collective mind of dead souls in their Infinity Circuits. With the shift in the psychic environment from the Force awakening and Palpatine's plan suppressing the Warp, what do you say to some of them becoming fully sentient - and touching the Force?
I reckon Craftworld Ulthwé would make a /great/ addition to the Jedi Order. >:D
(PS: And then we drop Thrawn, Ezra, and a sizable ex-Imperial fleet into their laps. Thrawn would love the Eldar, and Ezra's speciality is communicating with very alien species, which a Craftworld would certainly be. Since he currently has a swarm of hyperspace-capable space whales in tow, they could move Ulthwé, or any other Craftworld, to anywhere it needs to be.)
(Oh my gods I think I just invented Mogo. )
Just for fun... by
on 2022-01-05 12:46:22 UTC
... could the two galaxies actually be the same galaxy, 65 million years apart?
The 40K backstory is pretty clear. The first race was the C'tan, who are star-dwelling energy vampires. After them come the Old Ones, who bop about the galaxy seeding and uplifting life. They encounter the Necrontyr, which turns out pretty badly all round: there is War in Heaven, the Necrontyr become the machine-life Necron, and both the Old Ones and the C'tan are destroyed. The next rulers of the galaxy are the Eldar, but it's not clear exactly when they built their empire, and the only source for their direct succession is, er, themselves.
The Legends-era SW timeline is also pretty clear. Around 30,000-20,000 years before present, the Rakata were uplifted by the Kwa and built their Infinite Empire. They waged war on both the Kwa and the Celestials, destroying both, but their own civilisation ultimately vanished. This... this is the same story! The initial point of conflict between the Rakata and the Kwa was the technology for the Infinity Gate, an interstellar teleporter which could easily be a Webway gate.
So the Rakata are the Necrontyr. In the few tens of millennia after their fall - most into Necrons who went to sleep, some into fading remnants of their race - the histories of the younger races don't mention the C'tan. The Old Ones and the Celestials are the same beings, though after millions of years the Kwa and Celestials get merged into a single concept. The 'humans' of the Republic and the Empire are actually proto-Eldar - or perhaps the Eldar are tucked away in the Webway, waiting for the flash-in-the-pan human civilisation to die out before they emerge. The balance of the Force is maintained by the last three Celestials, the Ones of Mortis; when they ultimately die, its power fades against the rising strength of the Warp.
I've had a fiddle with the relevant maps - if you rotate and resize this Milky Way to put Terra and the Core in the right places on the 9th Edition Map, you find that the Eye of Terror (and the former Eldar Empire) lies somewhere under the label "1. Perseus". If you rescale the same Milky Way map to match this SW one, you find that Earth lies about as far from the core as, uh, Ord Mantell, oddly enough.
And if you assume Ord Mantell is Earth, then the future Eldar Empire falls slap bang on top of the Chiss Ascendency.
And we know that the 40K universe has all kinds of people who screw around with time... by
on 2022-01-06 01:19:22 UTC
That's a really awesome idea! I love it!
Prodding this a little more, purely for giggles. by
on 2022-01-06 17:12:31 UTC
Rather than fixating on the Chiss-Ord Mantell setup, I decided to spin the SW map around freely and see what lines up. For my map, I've marked Terra, the Eye, Ultramar, and Fenris (because Fenris is funny). (Also, the SW galaxy spirals in the opposite direction to the other two, so I've reversed it to look at it from underneath.)
Earth and Ultramar are about equidistant from the core. Key SW systems which fall on their latitude are: Endor, Naboo, Yavin 4, Dathomir (full of witches), Csilla (the Chiss homeworld), Mandalore (as in that TV show), and... Nal Hutta.
If you put Earth on top of Nal Hutta (which frankly we deserve), Fenris falls on Kasyyyyk. There are no wolves on Fenris - only Wookiees. ^_^ The Eye winds up between Ossus and Lothal, two key Jedi-related planets, suggesting the Eldar were once Force-sensitive. Ultramar is around Endor.
If you slap Ultramar on top of Mandalore - they're basically proto-Astartes there anyway - you wind up with Earth in Chiss space, and the Eye of Terror out around Ahch-To, that planet Luke stranded himself on in the sequels. Putting Bobby's private empire in Hutt Space doesn't shift things much (the Unknown Regions are large and, well, unknown).
If we swing out and put Earth on Endor - humans are clearly descended from Ewoks - the Eye of Terror falls somewhere around Hoth, Bespin, Dagobah, and in particular Vader's favourite lava nightmare, Mustafar. Ultramar comes in somewhere up by Yaga Minor, which was part of the remnant Empire in the old EU.
I might play around a bit more with the Endor and Nal Hutta options, see if anyone else (like the Tau) fall somewhere interesting. This is fun. ^_^
EDIT: No, I have a better plan.
Ultramar is Hutt Space. There's a tight cluster of worlds there which is a perfect astrographic fit. That puts the Eye of Terror back on the Chiss Ascendency, right where it belongs. Holy Terra is right on the edge of explored space, kind of in the middle of nowhere (a little north-east of Ilum on the SW map).
But the reason I've gone for this is that the Tau Empire is right in the region around Kamino, Geonosis, and Tatooine. Clearly, the T'au descended from the Kaminoans - they've got the colouration for it! Exactly how much of the local region they currently own is up for debate; there's 60 million years of stellar drift in there, it's not simple.
Coming at this the other way... Coruscant falls right in the heart of the Maelstrom, so clearly something happened there. Jakku is somewhere near Baal. Endor is out near the Malefactus. Yeah, there's no really outstanding points of correspondence, but, like, 60 million years, so.
Okay, I've got the document up to scratch. by
on 2022-01-05 11:22:32 UTC
Here it is with comments enabled. I've shuffled the timeline so far slightly - most notably, I've put Prince Vader down in 997, as the last thing so far.
The only missing text at present is the awakening of Guilliman. I need to skim some of your other pieces to check no continuity errors have crept in, but I've written brief linking bits to tie it all together. Also: structure! I love a table of contents, me.
Coming back to last night's brainwave... I was reading up on Ynnead, and realised that Force-sensitive Craftworlds would go a long way towards awakening it. Assuming Eldrad Ulthran's plan to prematurely awaken it is both viable and accurately described on the Lexicanum, it centred on linking all the Infinity Circuits together. And, like... linking living things together is what the Force does.
So... could we accidentally create the Eldar God of the Dead? And drop it into the Warp? And kill* Slaanesh? By accident? Because that would be hilarious.
*Theoretically it shouldn't be strong enough to accomplish this yet, but we're also giving it access to the Force, which would strengthen it.
(And would also wildly unbalance the realms of Chaos in Khorne's favour, and give a powerful motive for the Eldar to get properly involved in things, and quite possibly drag their other surviving gods into the situation.)
998.M41: The Force is many things. by
on 2022-01-06 12:22:51 UTC
It is power and strength, wisdom and guidance. It binds all living things into one great whole. It has a will of its own, and can make real the will of those who touch it. It is life, and light, and a promise that there is no true death, but only itself.
And... it is a beacon.
Ever since the Jedi Order began their meditations to calm the roiling Warp, Force-sensitive pilgrims have been drawn to them. Their ranks have been swelled by former Jedi who have been on the run since Order 66; by Navigators and Adepts and Monks fleeing the Imperium's Crusade across their home galaxy; and even by refugee ships from the nearer parts of the Imperium itself, which inevitably turn out to include agents of the Inquisition, the Ecclesiarchy, or the Alpha Legion (and sometimes all three at once).
Despite this, the Order is utterly unprepared when the fabric of space ripples directly over their temple, and starship after starship drops out of hyperspace, each one the distinctive white arrowhead of an Imperial Star Destroyer. Last to appear is the flagship, battle-damaged but still bearing the twining serpents on its hull that mark it as the Chimaera.
As the Jedi and Tau scramble their fighters, an ominous voice sounds over their comms. "Rebel forces," it announces, "this is Grand Admiral Thrawn of the Imperial Seventh Fleet. Stand down your ships and return to the surface, or I will be forced to-"
"No, listen, that's not going to work." Another, younger voice cuts over the Grand Admiral, and in the Temple's communication centre Ashoka Tano looks up in shock. "Give me the-"
There is a brief commotion on the comm lines, and then the younger voice speaks again. "Hi guys, sorry about that, you know what Imperials can be like. But, look, we've come to an understanding up here, and I promise the Admiral isn't planning to attack or anything, so you can turn the fighters back. Okay?"
General Leia frowns and picks up the comm, but before she can speak Ashoka snatches it out of her hand. "Who is this?" she demands. "Identify yourself!"
"Ashoka?" The young man on the Star Destroyer laughs. "Wow, you really do get everywhere. It's Ezra, remember? Er, I mean," and his voice becomes more serious, "this is Spectre Six, reporting for duty."
"Ezra." Leia gives Ashoka a stern look and reclaims the comm. "Ezra Bridger?"
"That's the one," Ezra replies. In the background, Grand Admiral Thrawn can be heard giving orders to secure the fleet from hyperspace and prepare a shuttle. "Is that Princess Leia? I guess it's been a long time for you - I think the Purrgil carried us through time or something, and when we came out the galaxy was," he laughs again, "well, you probably know all this. Point is, we've picked up enough of what's going on that the Admiral finally realised the Empire is rotten to the core, and-"
"I remain loyal to the Empire," Thrawn cuts in, "but until this crisis is over and order is restored, I must follow other paths-"
"Yeah, that," Ezra interrupts. "Upshot is, we've got a kind of truce now, and when I felt something in the Force, the Admiral agreed to come out here and find you."
Ashoka opens her mouth, but Leia raises an eyebrow and she backs down. "I'm glad you were able to sense us," the Jedi General says, "but I'm sure you can understand our allies aren't happy about having an Imperial fleet over their world. If the Grand Admiral can pull back to the outer planet of this system-"
"Um, sorry." Ezra doesn't sound particularly apologetic as he interrupts yet again. "I don't think you get it. It wasn't you that I sensed - well, I did, but that's not what I meant. There's something else out there. It's big, it's intelligent, it feels really weird... and it's calling out to me through the Force."
'It' may or may not be Ulthwe ^_~. Thrawn has a sizable fleet - at least 25 Star Destroyers with all attendant fighters and ground support - and is willing to ally with the Tau Empire. His logic is that the Republic and the Tau are both fighting against the invaders who still threaten the Chiss Ascendency, while Palpatine is sitting back and laughing.
These two were last seen being dragged into hyperspace by space whales at Ezra's request. There's enough Force-related time travel malarkey in Rebels that I'm happy to just drag them into the present, rather than stranding them on an empty planet somewhere for a couple of decades. Probably their emergence now is the will of the Force.
*tidies up Ashoka the mini-Rancor* by
on 2022-01-08 08:13:28 UTC
(It's Ahsoka, for the record)
("You killed my punishment beast", said Jabba without rancor)
The Force is a beacon. A comfort to the widow and a light to the child. It is life, but that is far from all. It is hope. It brings hope for tomorrow to those it touches. And across the Merged Galaxies, scything through tunnels in the infinite darkness, are those who have not felt hope in a very, very long time.
The Asuryani of the Craftworlds have been slowly growing more despondent in the years since the Fall and the birth of She Who Thirsts. The forces of Slaanesh grow ever stronger, and the god's machinations ever more intricate and potent. By 980.M41 in Imperial reckoning, hope is all but gone from the ancient world-ships and the Aeldari within. Even the master Seers of Ulthwé can foretell little beyond a slowed pace of doom. The sun sets. The Asuryani are dead; they just linger still, fading streaks of blood-red sunset in a starless night. And so they travel despondent through the Webway in their giant psychic crystal tombs, concerned only with keeping themselves alive one more day at a time.
Then the galaxies Merge. It deserves the capital letter.
The transposition of a whole other galaxy into their own massively disrupts the three pillars of the Aeldari's home space. Realspace is made vastly more populated, with masses of star systems and worlds. For the Drukhari, this is a golden opportunity, an influx of souls to render unto Slaanesh with raids against which no defence can possibly be mounted; one particular Haemonculus abducts a small army's worth of Wookiee madclaws for whatever deranged purpose suits his fancy. The Asuryani, by contrast... feel little. All remains in place, and aside from putting down any Imperial Stormtroopers fool enough to set foot upon a Maiden World, they care little for the new worlds.
The Webway, by contrast, is quite shaken. Not damaged, no; despite the tide of souls coming into being from far away and the ripples it sends through space and time, the Labyrinth is quite safe. If anything, it is safer. The Warp around certain parts of these places is far calmer, and the delicate capillaries of the Webway are given respite from the turmoil of the Empyrean. Damage once thought catastrophic begins to slowly be repaired, as the paths no longer have to fight unending battles against the tempestuous Immaterium to remain stable enough for use. This has benefits for the Drukhari too, as Commorragh can send its raiders to spaces and gates far removed from their usual hunting grounds. The Asuryani feel it, and assume it is but a calm before a greater storm, that this too shall pass, as shall they themselves.
Greatest by far, however, is the effect upon the Immaterium itself. Specifically the Eye of Terror. The mass influx of trillions of souls sends a shockwave through the tortured rend in the fabric of the material universe and explodes across the Warp from that fell point in a grand and devastating blossom of presence. While the Warp might be calmer to the galactic East, to the West it is maddened as a snake-bitten bear. The Eye screams, terrible and incessant, and its weak hold on the real grows thinner. There is one Aeldari in particular who senses a golden opportunity - and Maugan Ra's most fervent hopes are answered. He takes a dreadful and dangerous sojourn into the Warp, his presence masked by psychic trickery and the boiling waves of the Empyrean, and while he enters alone he leaves with the greatest prize he could ever hope to know: his home. The Craftworld Altansar had been lost to the Eye during the Fall, and the Merging was a golden opportunity to get them out of the Immaterium while its grip was at its loosest. Ten thousand years in the Warp has changed Altansar, yes, but the Aeldari of that world have not been corrupted, and their great ship rejoins the Webway and skitters off to safety right from under the nose of the Prince of Lies.
Even this great victory is marred by distrust. How could the Altansari not have fallen to Chaos in the ten millennia of their incarceration? The Asuryani of the other Craftworlds are wary and diffident of the returned worldship and her children, despite the protestations of no less a personage than a Phoenix Lord vouching for them. One world, however, aligns itself with the returned Altansar much more closely, and it is far-sighted Ulthwé and her greatest ever Farseer. For the skeins of fate are the fourth great pillar of Aeldari cosmology, and now the future shows Eldrad Ulthran great and terrible things. Terrible indeed are battle stations the size of moons that move with the speed of a striking snake, its fangs piercing stars to render great vomiting bloody bursts of energy unto She Who Thirsts. Terrible is a burning hail whose names are stolen from them by a man with two faces and none, born from a sun that rises to the East. But most terrible of all, and greatest of all, is that demon thing with feathers called hope.
Ulthran knows well the tears of Isha. It is the symbol of his home and indeed of his whole life. He knows she languishes in the feculent plague gardens of Nurgle, her silver tears giving medicine for each of his ever-deadlier plagues. Perhaps this is her greatest elixir yet. For this Force is life, as Isha is life, and its appearance in the galaxy like the first snowdrop after winter is great indeed. Its energies seem to calm the Warp - slightly, too slightly, but they do. He can feel it. It calls out to him. And not just to him. Ulthwé herself answers.
It takes him many years. Bizarre performances by Harlequins of the Fall cover strange and almost imperceptible thefts. The elaborate ritual upon Coheria occurs as it did in canon, with Eldrad channelling the great spirits of fallen Seers through an entire moon of psychic sand. It is disrupted by the Deathwatch, the Imperium's most Xenos-hating clone troopers, but the ritual has a little more effect than in canon. Perhaps Eldrad was aided by this mysterious Force, his sight into the far future guided by its own. Ynnead is that bit closer to wakefulness. The Night of Revelation comes to Commorragh that bit earlier and that bit stronger. The Eye opens for Abaddon's Black Crusade, and Cadia shatters, but the Aeldari endure this latest deathblow and have counterpunched with one of their own, the Yncarne scything down an entire House Traitoris of Chaos Knights on her own with a mystical soul-shredding blade. And through it all, Eldrad has learned. Learned of how a people with no psychic abilities can see further than he ever could. His last act, before disappearing from the surface of Coheria and reappearing in blue-edged holographic form back upon Ulthwé is to truly stretch out with his feelings.
For all that it comes from Mon-Keigh, Jedi teachings are extremely compatible with the Paths of the Asuryani. Even Ynnari Dark Eldar can use its teachings to find peace, though their butchered, shriveled souls cannot touch the Force themselves. But they're not the only ones. The youngest, the bright dawn of the Merged Galaxies, have taken to Jedi ways easily. Eldrad has met with some of them, albeit briefly. They are base people, yes, but industrious and hopeful. They are truly youthful. Biel-Tani call them Young Kings, and the fact that it is only mostly an insult is praise indeed. Eldrad sees in their contact with the Force a new power arising to combat the Great Enemy, and in them a future for his people that finally has the sparks of hope. Not the old hopes of an old race, but a new hope, for a new era.
And that is why, emerging on the very borders of the T'au Sept itself, the Craftworld Ulthwé appears with its millions of Aeldari souls aboard, and stretches out with its own feelings.
This is Star Warhammer, but it might be the first time every one of the Force-sensitives in the Tau-Rebel Alliance has a headache all at the same time. =]
I see what you did there with the "rhyme" line. ^_^ by
on 2021-12-16 16:12:50 UTC
Also, wanted to say I've been cheering this thread on from the sidelines. Loving it!
On a slightly unrelated note, what about just reading the mythology? by
on 2021-12-02 20:48:11 UTC
Also, there is a new Dune movie. It's nice and faithful to the book. Yes, I'm rambling and probably missing the whole point of the conversation, but I couldn't resist putting my two cents in. - Claire
P.S. Unfortunately, I don't have time to watch much TV because I have schoolwork and other things going on but it does sound very interesting. Maybe I will have time to look into things when the Christmas holidays start when I hopefully won't have much homework.
Er, the file is protected… (nm) by
on 2021-11-28 16:11:14 UTC