Author Topic: Sainthood  (Read 9019 times)

Offline Easy E

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Sainthood
« on: August 31, 2009, 06:36:05 PM »
Any ideas on how Sainthood works in the Imperium.  The background is rife with examples, however I'm not exactly sure with how they fit into the "grand" scheme of the Church of Man's dogma.

Are they simply intersetional figures?  You can't pray directly to the Big E, so you pray to Saint Nobody instead? 

Were the  Saints devine instruments of his will?  Were they avatars of the Emperor? 

Were they simply martyrs that are being honored? 

Are they just local od's combined into Imperial faith to bring the locals in line? 

I suspect the answer is... YES. 
 

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Offline Kaled

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Re: Sainthood
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2009, 06:57:23 PM »
I suspect the answer is... YES. 
I'd agree with that.
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Offline Charax

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Re: Sainthood
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2009, 07:06:27 PM »
They are inspirational figures bestowed the title of Sainthood to inspire awe and reverence among the Ecclesiarchy's followers. Focal points of worship that can be used as examples of virtue and faith when conducting speeches to the masses. They are not divine instruments of His Will (although they may well be called such in speeches) and nor are they all avatars of His Power (with very few exceptions)
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Offline Tullio

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Re: Sainthood
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2009, 01:30:27 AM »
Sainthood is discussed at length in The Inquisitors Handbook, but it basically boils down to this -

1. Links between the mortal and the divine - the Saint acts as a shning example of how the Ecclesiarchy wants the masses to act. They are the best of all, and yet at the same time more accessible than the Emperor. They were all mortal once, after all. Saints therefore can be a rare (And thin) ray of hope to the masses

2. Subverted local beliefs - like the Christian usurping of local Pagan belief systems, more recently converted cultures can have holy men and demigods rehashed into more acceptible Saint-worship (Or into local devils and djinns)

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Offline GhouraAgur

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Re: Sainthood
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2009, 06:57:18 AM »
1. Links between the mortal and the divine...

Strictly speaking, as the "divine" is simply the "positively" focuses psychic energy of the teeming masses of the Imperium (Think Hellblazer) it is doubtful that they were instruments of "His will" as "He" isn't willing much these days.

(Personal speculation! Warning! Warning!)
However, I theorize it is entirely possible that by the combined faith of the Imperium, a warp entity was created, much like Slaanesh, and that HE, the Emperor, a true GOD and not some
superhuman-psychic-corpse-on-Terra, could will stuff.  And the Saints could be sent, and directed by him.

Where, for all their psycic power, the Eldar in their depravity gave birth to Slaanesh, so by the pure, honest, loving faith of the masses was a being born, wrathful against the enemies of mankind, but willing to save (so long as the 'dex is Imperial) his servants.

All in all, humanities ultimate salvation might arise from their worship after the Emperor's demise, as what protection was there for their souls under the aethistic regime of his-imperial-greatness?  Yet now, it is known that in the warp is a great light, and a place of peace and rest, where souls are protected and free from danger, free from the perils of the Warp.  Why?  Because enough folks with enough psychic energy coursing through them willed such a place into being.   It could be said that the faithful created the saints, in a roundabout sorta way.

Offline Inquisitor Sargoth

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Re: Sainthood
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2009, 01:08:34 PM »
I think it's alll a matter of press coverage.

Is a long-dead martyr really famous on a world? Candidate for sainthood. Is a local system of belief fairly easily subverted? Likewise. Is there a famous, pious and somehow holt person out there doing the Emperor's work? Candidate for living sainthood. Or burning as a witch.

Whether some saints are instruments of Emperor's will can be argued either way. But even if they do exists, doubtlessly not all of them are honoured accordingly. Many die unknown.

So, as I said, it all depends on how famous you are.
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Offline Dosdamt

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Re: Sainthood
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2009, 02:26:29 PM »
Oh lordy lord not the Emperor-Power-of-Love concept again. Quick, kill it!

The Imperial Faith, as far as I can tell, is one of fear, hate, shame and guilt.

There's nothing positive about it at all!
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Offline GhouraAgur

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Re: Sainthood
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2009, 04:43:40 PM »
Oh lordy lord not the Emperor-Power-of-Love concept again. Quick, kill it!

The Imperial Faith, as far as I can tell, is one of fear, hate, shame and guilt.

There's nothing positive about it at all!

Nothing positive about its followers/enforcers.  But whenever "His grace" manifests itself through "miracles" who could argue it a bad thing?  Shot through the heart three times, but still going, not for any physical reason, but simply because humanity on the whole decided that every now and then, they deserve to win.

But like I said, depends who you're reading.  Holy water will be of little use where Chaos is the protagonist, whereas, were the protagonist a Sister of Battle, it'd be very effective against the deamon.  Then again, perhaps the shoddy performance of "holy" things is because humanity isn't quite psychic enough to make things work all the time.

At the same time, Chaos would loose a deal of its scaryness if it proved essentially harmless against a character of faith.  Where's the tension?  The conflict?  The drama?  Make the "holy" things too powerful, and the universe becomes a fairly boring place, at very least, for a wargame.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2009, 05:57:39 PM by GhouraAgur »

Offline Inquisitor Sargoth

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Re: Sainthood
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2009, 05:30:28 PM »
Most 'miracles' tend to occur on the battlefield against His enemies, of course...
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Offline Aidan

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Re: Sainthood
« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2009, 10:59:04 PM »
I'd say the Saints, on the whole, are just convenient objects-of-worship to get around the fact that they're trying to maintain a monotheistic religion while people naturally gravitate towards belief in lesser deities. It's true in real life at well. So there are saints to represent all the other little facets for which the Emperor (or god) is to impersonal for.

That, and honest-to-goodness martyrs who'se p.r. campaigners have gone that little extra step for the good to the Imperium ('s propaganda engine!).


I'll make an analogy to Catholic sainthood in medieval Europe. Sainthood was achievable for people who emulated acts of Jesus - water into wine (or beer, for the Irish!), the ability to commune with animals, virginity, ability to fast, cure the sick, blah blah blah.

Yeah, there's a holy site in Amsterdam about some guy's vomit that wouldn't burn. No kidding.

-Aidan.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2020, 06:44:35 PM by MarcoSkoll »

Offline N01H3r3

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Re: Sainthood
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2009, 07:50:20 PM »
Oh lordy lord not the Emperor-Power-of-Love concept again. Quick, kill it!

The Imperial Faith, as far as I can tell, is one of fear, hate, shame and guilt.

There's nothing positive about it at all!
The Imperial Creed isn't any one thing. In some instances, it's whatever your culture's pre-existing belief system consisted of, with all the names changed. In others, it's a unique combination of fanatical martyrdom, staunch traditionalism, a religion-based protection and extortion racket, ancestor worship, uncertain recollections of history, and variously a justification for pyromania, racism, sadism, masochism, intolerance of variation and fear of the unknown.

Combine those elements as desired to define the Imperial Creed. Every individual interpretation of the above (and many more besides) is equally acceptable, for there are more variations on the beliefs of the Imperium than there are people on Earth today.
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Offline Nash

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Re: Sainthood
« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2009, 03:47:43 PM »
An idea for a one-off Dark Heresy or Inquisitor scenario I had may be of relevance to this thread:

Knowledge of Chaos is supposed to be very restricted in the Imperium, and the Imperial propaganda machine would probably don't hesitate to go to any extremes to cover it...

Now imagine a Imperial citizen who's unknowingly a nascent psyker. There's a xenos attack on his planet and the pressure he's put through makes his talents reveal themselves in the most current way a weak psyker can: he ends up possessed. The possessing demon's first acts when he takes control could be to get rid of any danger to his new envellop and thus to kill all xenos in sight. Now, there were witnesses of the "lowly Imperial citizen suddenly turning into a killing machine" and this possessed got himself killed (blown to bits for example) after somehow managing to deal a blow to the xenos which then ensured Imperial victory (because his actions also motivated others to "get into the fight", eventually pushing back the xenos)... Wouldn't the propaganda machine make a "small local Saint" out of him? I'd say it's possible.

What's interesting to me is that, by praying to that "local Saint", pious Imperial citizens may be slowly making it possible for that demon to come through into the materium again...

Offline GhouraAgur

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Re: Sainthood
« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2009, 11:13:38 PM »
....
What's interesting to me is that, by praying to that "local Saint", pious Imperial citizens may be slowly making it possible for that demon to come through into the materium again...

Except that their psychic energy is directed towards a "holy" ideal.  No one worships Chaos by accident...really.  The Redemption, for instance, could easily bring about a demon, as their violent and hateful ideals would perfectly channel their psychic energy towards Khorne, or some other blood demon.  I even think some death cult might end up, in a round about way, end up worshipping Nurgle, who at times plays a role more akin to a Grim Reaper than just Papa Plague.

But the people in the scenario above were not at all aware of the diabolical nature of the pitiable psyker, rather, all their psychic energy is poured out into notions of hope, devotion, and salvation from mankinds enemies, they would not inadvertently be empowering any Chaotic deity...with the possible exception of Malal, but the above scenario said the man fought Xenos, not Chaos, so I doub't even he'd be involved.

Offline N01H3r3

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Re: Sainthood
« Reply #13 on: September 12, 2009, 11:17:39 PM »
No one worships Chaos by accident...really.
But many worship it unknowingly. A great many Chaos Cults operate on this notion - the majority of lesser members do not know what it is they worship, only gaining true knowledge of the object of their devotions long after they're too deeply ensnares or too heavily tainted to go back, if at all.
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Offline Nash

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Re: Sainthood
« Reply #14 on: September 13, 2009, 01:00:14 AM »
No one worships Chaos by accident...really.
Erm... The Eldar didn't worship Slaanesh yet they brought it to life... True it's their actions and not their "prayers" to another god which did, but still... You don't need to worship Chaos per se to play its game.

In the case I was talking about it's the not prayers themselves that'd count, but their emotional charge... That's something a demon can tap into. Imagine all those pious Imperial citizens praying to Saint Whatever with hearts full of hate for the xenos abominations, that'd probably be stronger than most rituals performed by a handful of willing cultists...