The Conclave

The Ordos Majoris - Hobby, Painting and Modelling => The Dark Millennium => Topic started by: DapperAnarchist on August 12, 2010, 01:36:09 AM

Title: Cult/Faction idea - Senescitians
Post by: DapperAnarchist on August 12, 2010, 01:36:09 AM
Reading Eco's Baudolino, quite inspirational for the medieval mindset that should be part of 40K, so came up with this -

Senescitians – Founded on the works of Inquisitor Vako Kunven and the so-called ‘Mad Savant of Monelir’, Lambaer Datin, starting with the essay “The True History and Path of Imperial Glory” and ending with Galaxia Senescit.

“The Galaxy ages. It is decrepit, worn out, and rotting. Our own Imperium is trapped in an eternal circle of corruption and infighting. The decay and collapse of the Eldar is so evident it requires little argument. The Orks sink lower and lower into ferality. Those minor races that pester Sector Governors are little more than maggots born in a dying body. For all of us, there is but one thing to do – prepare for death with honour and courage.” – From Galaxia Senescit.

The Senescitians teach preparation for death, both individual, and communal. As such, they can be found tending many graveyards, sepulchres, and other monuments. The most powerful have been known to employ the Mechanicus to create technological wonders or vast constructs that will never fall – palaces trapped in stasis fields, moons carved into holy symbols, and plaques formed of incorruptible materials such as adamantium.

Quite brief, but I thought it covered the basics... Any opinions?
Title: Re: Cult/Faction idea - Senescitians
Post by: Zakkeg on August 12, 2010, 06:32:12 AM
Interesting. Very interesting. I'm not sure that sort of large-scale fatalism works all that well as a faction within the Inquisition, but I could see it as, say, a sect of the Cult Mechanicus. Have you thought about tackling it from that angle?

I really ought to read more Eco. Never even finished The Name of the Rose...
Title: Re: Cult/Faction idea - Senescitians
Post by: Flinty on August 12, 2010, 07:47:51 AM
Excellent, I think the idea slots right in with the ethos of the grimdark. I dont quite understand why this hasnt appeared more in the literature, when much of the cannon (especially the images/graphics) give a distinct impression of a declining fatalisim being a central aspect of the Imperium.

After all, untold billions live lives of grinding, even pointless, labour in foetid, crumbling conditions; brow beaten with stale dogma, repeated and learned by rote alone, directed by individuals with no concept of growth or any allowance of change - even the figurehead of the whole thing is 'dead'...

As an Inquisitorial faction - most definately. Whilst those who struggle to destroy chaos, resurrect mankind or reforge humanity tend to be vigourous in expounding thier views, there must be a siezable chunk who find the inevitability of mankinds failure and sublimation by the forces of the universe a very stark and unavoidable truth. If the Eldar fell, what hope for us? I can see some taking up the struggle to make sure mankind makes the effort to leave some permenant mark of its passing on the universe.

I also dont see a problem with militant fatalisim, surely Death Cults are merely the (misguided/mislead/misunderstood) tip of the iceberg?
Title: Re: Cult/Faction idea - Senescitians
Post by: Molotov on August 12, 2010, 07:54:44 AM
Given that Inquisitorial "factions" can simply number a handful of Inquisitors, I don't see why this couldn't work. I think the idea that the Imperium is certain to fall, and that it is important to prepare for death could well work. Of course, those that held such views would be scandalised, scorned and attacked (figuratively and literally) by other Inquisitors...
Title: Re: Cult/Faction idea - Senescitians
Post by: DapperAnarchist on August 12, 2010, 01:35:39 PM
I'm thinking of this as something that cross over boundaries, not purely an Inquisition Faction, but more of a cult with strong Inquisition Patronage - something like the Templar Orders before Philip's purge, where you had the Monks at the top, but also they provided support and protection to Lay Orders of masons, carpenters and the like who built their castles, and that spread into guilds of various kinds.

The reason it isn't considered heretical by the powers-that-be is that 1) the powers-that-be are often those who are most open to this idea, as they can see how everything really is wearing out and crumbling and 2) it doesn't say that the Imperium is worthless and will be defeated, but that EVERYTHING is going to die. The fact that they build massive shrines (to leave their mark on the Galaxy) and preach bravery in the face of defeat also helps.

Eco is very good at capturing how people can simultaneously know something is a lie, but believe, even as they craft the lie themselves - it is a lie of facts, not of spirit, etc. This would be pertinent to the post-Heresy High Lords and Primarchs, how they allowed the Imperial Truth to be hidden and suppressed, and lied about what the Emperor really said, because it is what he would have said, or should have said, to protect Mankind... And so, so quickly, it becomes what he did say.
Title: Re: Cult/Faction idea - Senescitians
Post by: TheNephew on August 18, 2010, 02:28:45 PM
I really like this one.
Especially since the image of an order of monks spending generations carving a moon into a likeness of Sebastian Thor, or a local Saint or similar, or inscribing it with the collected writings of A N Otherius or whatever would probably look real suspicious to anyone not aware of who they were and why they did it, regardless of the apparent goodness.

And of course these stasis-palaces would undoubtedly be the repositories of some of the finest art, most revered scriptures, and perhaps the most potent of relics.
Prime targets for Inquisitors looking to expand their own archives.

POTENTIAL SPOILER if you haven't read the Eisenhorn trilogy:

There's space here for the construction of the odd doomsday weapon as well - 'weapons' like Quixos' pylons, where the collateral of a billion souls would be meaningless to a Senescitan, since these weapons are intended for use during the twilight of humanity.