Gather round, children, and I will tell you of the Dark Times before there was time, before Heresy had a new server, before even we were on a vBulletin platform.
In those days, we were few. Not the 5,000 or more we are today, but about 600 of us. At that time, a new Heretic came to the fold, a young upstart called 'Red Orc'. He was young and strong, but unready for the tasks ahead. He had not learned the ways of the Force, or how arguing with Galahad about interpretations of the rules is generally a losing battle. When he came here, he was 22. Now, a year later, he is 38 and has a very long beard. Such is the way of Heresy, my children.
In these almost mythical days of which I speak, the 'Post New Thread' window was not populated, to the right, by a bunch of smileys at least one of which is making a rude American gesture (middle column, fourth row). No; believe it if you can, the smileys in those days lived in a little box upon the left
. Shocking and unbelievable as it is, it was so.
And among the smileys, there lived one called :cyclops:. This smiley was... a cyclops. I bet no-one expected that. Red Orc saw :cyclops: and realising its loneliness took pity on it, for no-one ever used the cyclops emoticon, not really knowing what it was for.
Now, despite being young and strong, Red Orc suffered a terrible affliction; being an Orc, and not a member of the Adeptus Mechanicus or some Tech-loving Tau, his computer was old and bodged together from string, chewing gum and old telephones.
Because of this, Red Orc had neither a funky avatar nor let's face it a cool signature. So he decided to adopt :cyclops: to use as his own badge, seal, sign, portent, sigil and marker. Because no-one knew what the cyclops was for, and it seemed like a good idea at the time.
Ages passed. Heresy grew. Some people went to sleep, others woke up. A daring few had brunch. And in all those age-long weeks, :cyclops: served the Orc faithfully. But then... storm-clouds wracked the Ether; the t'interweb became increasingly unstable, contact with outlying Heretics like Jeridian was lost... until Jez led us to the promised land of vBulletin. And as the stragglers staggered in over the next month, battered, bruised, bleeding and burping, Red Orc realised that his faithful :cyclops: was gone.
When it had happened, no-one knew. Perhaps the move to the new continent had disorientated the smileys. Perhaps some rare element had caused them to evolve, like tadpoles. But many were subtly changed, some had gone, others had taken their place. Perhaps :cyclops: has become
, who were not there in the time before time. Who knows?
But Orc did not weep, because he has no pituary glands. And because the being known as Viscount Vash, one of the great leaders of the Migration of the Heretics, in his traversing of t'interweb, found four other cyclopes (correct plural of 'cyclops' I'm told), who were
(fluffy cyclops, red/embarrassed/Thousand Sons cyclops, sad cyclops, happy/psychic cyclops). These cyclopes he reported to Red Orc, and Orc went to the place where Viscount Vash had been before, braving many dangers, and brought the cyclopes back with him, to live in Heresy's new home of vBulletin. Are they, as some of the wise and Bored have speculated, the Sons of :cyclops: who was lost in the Wastes of Ether? Are they fragments of his essence, somehow multiplied but seperated? We may never know.
Red Orc used these cyclopes for many moons;
was used to sign off threads in the fluff forum.
was used to show going red with embarrassment, especially when praised, and to show allegiance to the Thousand Sons, for is he not the image of Magnus, the Red Cyclops?
was a sign of doom, for many things make cyclopes sad, among them Jezlad pooh-pooing the idea of a Heresy Campaign, for yeah, it was spake that many of you buggers will cheat, though we're hoping to do one soon anyway.
was a more general happy cyclops, but, if one watches, this cyclops has a special and Chaotic talent, for beams come from his head and his Eye gets bigger, for he is reallly
a psy-clops wot's putting a spell on you.
In the end though, Orc could not be bothered to go to the special place where he kept
, for due to his browser problems and the shocking state of his Tech, he had to make a special place for them, and to go there meant tripping over his increasingly massive beard. So instead, he began to write things like :sarcastic cyclops: and :don't really know what I'm talking about cyclops: instead. Because it was easier.
You may ask how I know these things. I know, because... I heard it from a guy who used to work at a place where some other people used to make sandwiches for a guy that knew some people who lived in the same house as someone who used to live there who went to school with someone who heard it from two old ladies that had a friend who drove a bus and one of the passengers mentioned it to their little baby... who was a cyclops.
:heroic tale-telling cyclops: