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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-15-11, 10:27 AM Thread Starter
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Default Astropaths in 30k

Back before they started releasing the HH novels I had always made the following assumptions:

1. There were no Astropaths

2. Interstellar communication was therefore reliant on "couriers"

3. Interstellar communication was therefore VERY slow

4. This explained why the Heresy was not known to all Astartes Legions (in particular the Ultramarines prior to Calth)

The reason I thought there were no Astropaths is because I assumed they needed to be soul bound to the Emperor to protect them as they "journeyed" through the empyrean and that this only started happening once the Emperor was interred in the Golden Throne. I also assumed (wrongly it now seems) that Astropaths, like Navigators, used the Astronomicon to help direct their psychic messages.

Personally this all seemed logical to me and rather neat!

As it is it feels a bit of a convenient fudge that the Warp was in a bad way and blocked messages to Terra and the UMs regarding the Heresy.

What do others think?
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-15-11, 10:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duke_Leto View Post
Back before they started releasing the HH novels I had always made the following assumptions:

1. There were no Astropaths

2. Interstellar communication was therefore reliant on "couriers"

3. Interstellar communication was therefore VERY slow

4. This explained why the Heresy was not known to all Astartes Legions (in particular the Ultramarines prior to Calth)

The reason I thought there were no Astropaths is because I assumed they needed to be soul bound to the Emperor to protect them as they "journeyed" through the empyrean and that this only started happening once the Emperor was interred in the Golden Throne. I also assumed (wrongly it now seems) that Astropaths, like Navigators, used the Astronomicon to help direct their psychic messages.

Personally this all seemed logical to me and rather neat!

As it is it feels a bit of a convenient fudge that the Warp was in a bad way and blocked messages to Terra and the UMs regarding the Heresy.

What do others think?
Lol this post confuses me.

You are right about most (if not all) of your assumtions, so ... well done?

In saying that, it's not a bit 'convenient' that the messages were slow to reach the Ultramarines, as the Chaos Gods (who control the Warp) were actively influencing events in Horus' (and thus their) favour.

Also, it has been intimated that the Chaos God's were also expending alot of power blocking the Emperor's powers back on Terra so that he didn't become aware of the Heresy until it would ultimately be too late.

Finally, don't forget that the Warp was in very bad shape until the Birth of Slaanesh, which was actually the event that allowed the Emperor to begin his crusade, as it both removed the Eldar entirely as the Galaxy's sole and uncontestable superpower and stabilised the Warp and allow people to travel in it once again.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-15-11, 11:53 AM
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Astropaths, as far as I've always thought, have always been a mainstay of Human communication. The thing about Astropathy is that it's not an exact science. A message can be caught in the warp for a long time, or it might be received before it's sent. There's just no telling. Also, as an Astropath is basically trying to interpret a message that comes to them very much like a dream, it might be that working out what the message says takes a lot of the time.
As for news of the Heresy spreading slowly, as has been mentioned the warp was incredibly turbulent. Just as Imperial starships require a calm warp, or at least stable warp currents, to be able to actually get anywhere, so Astropathic messages are jumbled, delayed and lost in the warp storms. At this point couriers are more necessary, but then the turbulent warp delays them a well; at least if they get where they're going the message doesn't need interpreting!
I suppose what I'm trying to say is that the warp, and its use, is the backbone of Human mastery of the galaxy. Interfere with the warp, make it violent and implassable, and you hamstring the Humanity's ability to communicate with itself and to move its forces to where they need to be.
The warp storms surrounding the gestation and immediately before the birth of Slaanesh are what curtailed Humanity's first great Empire. No messages or ships could get through, the storms clearing intermittently and at huge intervals for only tiny periods of time. This is why the first Empire split, as it couldn't administer such a large area without comms and military/humanitarian support.
TL;DR the warp and Astropathy (to my mind) has always been indispensable to Humanity as it's the only way that communications can span galactic scales in anything like a useful timeframe.
Did I actually make any point there at all, or did I just ramble on and waste everyone's life?

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-15-11, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Giant Fossil Penguin View Post
Astropaths, as far as I've always thought, have always been a mainstay of Human communication. The thing about Astropathy is that it's not an exact science. A message can be caught in the warp for a long time, or it might be received before it's sent. There's just no telling. Also, as an Astropath is basically trying to interpret a message that comes to them very much like a dream, it might be that working out what the message says takes a lot of the time.
As for news of the Heresy spreading slowly, as has been mentioned the warp was incredibly turbulent. Just as Imperial starships require a calm warp, or at least stable warp currents, to be able to actually get anywhere, so Astropathic messages are jumbled, delayed and lost in the warp storms. At this point couriers are more necessary, but then the turbulent warp delays them a well; at least if they get where they're going the message doesn't need interpreting!
I suppose what I'm trying to say is that the warp, and its use, is the backbone of Human mastery of the galaxy. Interfere with the warp, make it violent and implassable, and you hamstring the Humanity's ability to communicate with itself and to move its forces to where they need to be.
The warp storms surrounding the gestation and immediately before the birth of Slaanesh are what curtailed Humanity's first great Empire. No messages or ships could get through, the storms clearing intermittently and at huge intervals for only tiny periods of time. This is why the first Empire split, as it couldn't administer such a large area without comms and military/humanitarian support.
TL;DR the warp and Astropathy (to my mind) has always been indispensable to Humanity as it's the only way that communications can span galactic scales in anything like a useful timeframe.
Did I actually make any point there at all, or did I just ramble on and waste everyone's life?

GFP


Nope, true story.

Another factor which needs to be taken into account where astrotelepathy is concerned is the emotional response as well. Messages can not only be lost, misinterpreted, or delayed, but the individual (and universal) emotional interpretation and responses can effect the messages content as well.

But as for Astropaths themselves. The Emperor created and organised the Astra Telepathica in the final months of the Unification Wars on Terra. I imagine the soul-binding ritual still would have taken place (primarily because the Emperor was paranoid of psykers other than himself), just not always in the Imperial Palace (at least that's what the CV suggests).

Also I imagine that Astropaths (in varying forms) were present long before the Unification Period and the Great Crusade, whether or not the Dark Age human federations bore some other technological means of communication across the vast gulfs of space is unknown, but if not then Astropaths would have likely formed the primary means of communication.



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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-15-11, 08:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Duke_Leto View Post
The reason I thought there were no Astropaths is because I assumed they needed to be soul bound to the Emperor to protect them as they "journeyed" through the empyrean and that this only started happening once the Emperor was interred in the Golden Throne. I also assumed (wrongly it now seems) that Astropaths, like Navigators, used the Astronomicon to help direct their psychic messages.
Soul binding can and probably was carried out during the Great Crusade, if anything it might have been easier to organize as the Emperor could meet psykers half-way (at least until he became to busy). And as Thousand Sons indicates the astronomicon is bound to the Emperor and existed before he was interred in Golden Throne. As such it could still be used as a beacon provided the Emperor`s location was known.

"Look into my eyes, and see your death."
"Let them hate, so long as they fear."
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-17-11, 05:25 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for the response. I obviously made my point badly...I KNOW the real reasons put forward via the HH novels (Chaos Gods manipulating the warp, the fact that the Astronomicon existed before the Emperor "died" etc).

My point was that *I* think having Astropaths and the Astronomicon come into existence with the death of the Emperor seems more, well interesting as it creates some more clear differences between the 30k setting and 40k setting.

In addition it adds an additional dimension to the Emperor's death - ie in death he gave life to the Imperium of Man.

Just thoughts!
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