Author Topic: Whiteships?  (Read 2642 times)

Offline Inquisitor Goldeneye

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Whiteships?
« on: April 13, 2011, 08:09:31 PM »
I was just wondering; we all know that the Inquisiton has a dedicated arm for finding and picking up unsanctioned Psykers (the Blackships, of course), but what about psychic blunts/ Pariahs?


Obviously, even the most severely psychically negative individual doesn't pose the threat that even a low-level rogue Psyker would present, but they are usefull individuals, and the Culexus temple doesn't find its new recruits in a horrifying, un-natural cabbage patch, so does the Assassinorum temple search out the carriers of the Pariah gene themselves or does the Inquisition have anti-Blackships (Whiteships, if you will) out looking for them?

More importantly, is there any background which would contradict me if I said there was (say, for the purposes of a campaign set around the highjacking of such a ship)?
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Offline DapperAnarchist

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Re: Whiteships?
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2011, 09:36:21 PM »
In Nemesis, Iota, the Culexus, was bred in a vat in one of the Emperor's old gene labs... So, cabbage patch made of surgical steel and exotic materials?

Also, the Blackships are from the Adeptus Astra Telepathica, not the Inquisition. The Inquisition assists, but does not operate.
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Offline Ulgavitch

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Re: Whiteships?
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2011, 09:45:14 PM »
From what I understand, Blunts are very, very rare. Considering that the blackships visit a planet once a century to sweep up their psychers, the logistics of setting up a shipping line to deliver them would be prohibitive. After all, if the blackships only visit rarely, how often would the 'whiteships' go?

I would guess, like much in the Inquisition, it's done in an ad-hoc fashion. Like all the really effective institutions of the Imperium ;-)

Offline Dolnikan

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Re: Whiteships?
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2011, 09:47:37 PM »
It could be that the black ships also pick up pariahs if they find them but as they are harder to find and have less uses I think the Imperium wouldn't bother. The Calexus are easier to supply with vat-grown recruits, after all, they might find some pariahs but who says that these pariahs will also have the other talents required of them?
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Offline MarcoSkoll

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Re: Whiteships?
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2011, 12:36:08 AM »
It sounds very unlikely. Untouchables are no threat to the Imperium, and they're both far rarer than psykers and harder to detect.

And, of course, the moment you round them up, there'll be a big punch up in the local Conclave to decide which Inquisitors get first pick of these very rare and valuable individuals. Far better to just leave them out in the wild for Inquisitors to find themselves, then there's far less arguing about who has the right to them - the answer becomes "Whoever goes and finds them".

I would say that a small cabal or perhaps an individual Inquisitor might possibly run a whiteship, but its Pariah complement at any one time is likely to be just a very, very few. When thinking about numbers, bear in mind, it took Eisenhorn decades to find only a couple of dozen untouchables for his Distaff.

Considering that the blackships visit a planet once a century to sweep up their psykers...
More like every decade, but it will depend on the size of the planet, its location, psyker rate, etc.
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Offline Kaled

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Re: Whiteships?
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2011, 06:52:24 AM »
In the old Codex: Assassins ot was said that the Imperium used to collect pariahs on the Blackships and bring them to Terra until it was found that they had collected so many in one place they were casting a shadow in the warp which was disrupting astrotelepathic communications and threatening to block out the astronomican. That brought an end to the collecting of pariahs and nearly resulted in the High Lords declaring that they should be exterminated.

The Culexus Temple obviously has it's own supply and has worked with the AdMech on the pariah gene. I'd say that any 'Whiteship' was a local thing, perhaps run by a sector Conclave or something like that, rather than an Imperium wide thing.
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Offline Charax

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Re: Whiteships?
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2011, 06:58:16 AM »
Dammit, Kaled ninja'd me about the whole "blocking the astronomicon" thing. They're certainly a threat.

I see no issue with them being on blackships (other than the AAT wanting them all destroyed). The ships are designed to supress and torture psykers anyway.
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Offline Ulgavitch

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Re: Whiteships?
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2011, 10:13:15 AM »
Crewing the blackships - Weren't the silent sisters all blanks anyway? I'm sure I read that somewhere .. but no-one really knows what happened to them.

Offline Ynek

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Re: Whiteships?
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2011, 08:39:14 PM »
Just a thought -
To your average Citizen Joe, is there any real difference between a latent psyker and a pariah? Both will feel 'unnatural' and 'strange'. Since the average Citizen Joe doesn't really come into contact with either pariahs or psykers on a daily basis, they probably wouldn't know one from the other if they ever came into contact with them.

I can imagine the conversations now...

"I was talking to that Malcolm fellow down in the slums... And I got this really unnatural feeling."
"What sort of feeling?"
"Just a feeling that something wasn't quite right with him."
"Hmm. Are you suggesting 'warp wierdness'?"
"I'm not sure, but I'd watch him closely, if I were you."

And, as the 17th Century Witch Hunts prove.... If you watch someone for long enough, anything can become evidence of witchcraft.

In fact, that's how my pariah-inquisitor, Inquisitor Lord Nethis, was first discovered by his mentor Inquisitor Eisenstein...  Due to his incredible psychic negativity (registered at omega minus - officially one of the strongest pariahs on Imperial record,) he generated a feeling of palpable nausea and fear in the people around him. They mistook him for a psyker and had him incarcerated in a high security stasis prison on Theros Prime. 25 years later, upon the blackship's arrival, he was handed over to them. Naturally, his extreme psychic negativity was quickly recognised by both the crew of the blackship and the psykers on board. Inquisitor Eisenstein (who was hitching a ride on the blackship from Theros back to Sol to present evidence at the Inquisitorial fortress on Nemesis,) quickly organised for the now thirtysomething year old pariah to be signed over to him. And the rest? Well, the rest is just history. :P

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Offline Dolnikan

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Re: Whiteships?
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2011, 09:19:38 PM »
That would work for the powerful pariahs, the weaker ones don't have such a large effect so could very well just pass under the radar. These would only ever be discovered by chance.
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Offline Ulgavitch

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Re: Whiteships?
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2011, 10:53:25 PM »
Quote
"I was talking to that Malcolm fellow down in the slums... And I got this really unnatural feeling."
"What sort of feeling?"
"Just a feeling that something wasn't quite right with him."
"Hmm. Are you suggesting 'warp wierdness'?"
"I'm not sure, but I'd watch him closely, if I were you."

Would you mind if I re-wrote this in a style I imagine the low gothic of the Imperium goes...

'You know Malcolm? Works the night shift, down the manifactorum?'
'Yeah'
'Have you seen his sister?'
'Oh yeah!'
'I've always thought he's a bit ... wierd, you know. Keeps himself to himself and all, but I've always thought that's a bit odd. Haven't you?'
'Well .. I don't - '
'I don't want to have to tell the tech-priest about that screw up you did....'
'Oh Yeah, proper weird. Like there was something up with him.'
'What, like the priests talk about?'
'Yeah, you know. 'eretical, kinda thing.'
'Nah, I wouldn't say that much ... you know what happens if -'
'Don't make me tell the tech-priest'
'All right, yeah. Heretical...'
'lets keep an eye on 'im, eh? Maybe someone will get interested. We could do alright with that...'

(apologies, but I liked the scene...) 

Offline Inquisitor Dionzi

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Re: Whiteships?
« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2011, 06:33:50 PM »
I'd argue for the Blackships take - as is illustrated in "Eisenhorn" and "The Inquisition War" Inquisitors pop into the Blackships to recruit and to oversee.

I dunno about anyone else, but Dan Abnett's take on the Inquisition makes the most sense to me out of all of them - just add in the paranoia and true gothic darkness of Ian Watson's Jaq Draco story line and we've got what we're playing!
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Offline Aidan

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Re: Whiteships?
« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2011, 05:49:35 AM »
Just to clarify (in case you didn't know) blunts and blanks are VERY different things.

A blunt is someone without any psychic potential. Rare in most races (whereas the Tau, for example, are (almost?) all blunts), but not *that* rare. It would be impossible for regular (mid-level psychic reaction) humans to recognise a blunt. Being blunt has little meaning to the average human other than a handy resistance to warp influnce (hence protection from demonic corruption).

A blank, also known as a pariah or untouchable, is a very different matter (if you refer to them as a blunter, you should be beaten repeatedly over the head with the copy of the Ravenor omnibus that spawned that misnomer into your mind). They are souless abominations which, by their own nature, inspire instinctive revulsion in others - hence most pariahs are killed at birth. The anti-psychic 'untouchable' effect has obvious applications, however, hence the very lucky (or very well connected) Inquisitor might keep the company of one despite the drawbacks.

The idea of collecting pariahs has, of course, already been used (by the controversial Abnett). It would be unlikely to be an Imperium-wide institution, for the simple reason of blank rarity - but it would be an interesting pursuit for a particularly determined inquisitor or similar agency.

Offline N01H3r3

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Re: Whiteships?
« Reply #13 on: June 18, 2011, 08:27:39 PM »
Considering that the blackships visit a planet once a century to sweep up their psykers...
More like every decade, but it will depend on the size of the planet, its location, psyker rate, etc.
I tend to assume that extremely populous worlds, or those with a high proportion of psykers, will be visited by multiple Blackships at regular intervals - each Blackship has a route assigned to it starting and finishing at Terra, with the routes of individual Blackships overlapping to ensure that no world goes without a psyker collection for more than a few years.
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