Author Topic: Pariah's and the Imperium  (Read 2843 times)

Offline Warmenhoven

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Pariah's and the Imperium
« on: September 09, 2010, 11:49:51 AM »
I've been thinking of some more backstory and fluff for my Inq and whilst perusing teh internet some intresting articles involving pariahs came up which got me wondering how they fit into the 40K universe?

I know that they are supposed to not have a 'soul' and all phycic effects are nullified in their area of effect but i was more intrested in their interaction with other humans. I've read somewhere that they make normal people feel ill in their presence but that there are belts that dampen this effect. What would it be like working with someone like this?

On another note where do they fit in the Imperium? Are they snapped up like psykers by a special ordos? What would someone who's born a pariah's life be like?

Thanks in advance for any answers =]

Offline RobSkib

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Re: Pariah's and the Imperium
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2010, 01:28:55 PM »
Miserable!

The clue is in the name - a Pariah would live a life of social outcast, repulsion, hatred, fear and isolation. However, there are different 'levels' as it were, and pariah is the most extreme form of the mutation (that I know of). Pariah's do not just have no soul, but an anti-soul - a literal void in the warp where nothing warp-based can pass through. All forms of living and unliving creatures with a connection to the warp can feel it and are made physically ill by it. People would not want to live with individuals who make them ill, and without special treatment, someone with the pariah gene is likely to have been killed by his peers.

Of course there are other less intense versions of the pariah mutation - nulls and blunts and everything in between.
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Offline MarcoSkoll

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Re: Pariah's and the Imperium
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2010, 01:48:06 PM »
I was more intrested in their interaction with other humans. I've read somewhere that they make normal people feel ill in their presence but that there are belts that dampen this effect.
Not heard of the belts thing before, and even if it is "canonical", I'm not sure I like it as an idea. Yes, there are (canonically) nullification collars that damp a psyker's powers, but the idea of a "pariah belt" - well, it sounds very Mary Sue-ish to have an artefact that protects you from some disadvantage/weakness.

I'd steer clear of that idea - it sounds like an excuse someone's invented to have a character who is immune to psychic powers, but who doesn't suffer the normal social drawbacks.

Quote
What would it be like working with someone like this?
Most people - and particularly psykers - would generally want to spend as little time around them as possible. It would less of a case of "working with them" as "someone you tolerate only when necessary".

Quote
Are they snapped up like psykers by a special ordos? What would someone who's born a pariah's life be like?
The most powerful Pariahs can end up as Culexus Assassins. However, emphasis on "can". Many pariahs are lucky not to be killed in their youth because of the unnatural hatred others have for them.

On the note of Pariahs and the Ordos, I'd note one thing I'm not a fan of - Pariah Inquisitors. Promotion to the rank of Inquisitor demands the favour of other Inquisitors, and you're not likely to get that if you're a Pariah - you're also not likely to have the charisma needed to actually do the job. Blunts or other lesser psychic nulls are a possibility, but Pariahs are too heavily socially disadvantaged to ever really make Inquisitors.
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Offline DapperAnarchist

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Re: Pariah's and the Imperium
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2010, 02:04:29 PM »
Pariah-Dampening (or whatever the word should be - Dryening?) collars appear in Ravenor. They aren't perfect, for two reasons - one, a bit of the Pariah effect leaks through, and two, Pariah's are all jerks, due to being really badly treated early on. But yeah, it wasn't one of Abnett's better ideas. I preferred the relation between Eisenhorn and Bequin to the slightly hand-wavium collars.
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Offline Warmenhoven

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Re: Pariah's and the Imperium
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2010, 02:07:00 PM »
ah yes completely forgot about the nulls and blunts, atm i'm just intrested in the whole pariah gene so any info on them would also be apreciated.

The idea popped into my head when researching teh Black Ships whilst trying to figure out what my Inquisitors ship would be like. Aparently all the sisters who worked on them before the fall were pariahs/ had the pariah gene which got me wondering would the ships crew would be pariahs as well or could they survive as normal people. Source for all this is The Voice by James Swallow in the Tales of Heresy.

Offline RobSkib

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Re: Pariah's and the Imperium
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2010, 08:19:47 PM »
Yeah I've never been a fan of the pariah belt, it takes all the interest out of it. Nulls and blunts are worth looking further into, I can't remember if they're terms for the same thing or if one has a more developed version of the pariah gene then the other.

My own inquisitor is a psychic blunt, possessing little to no 'soul' in the warp. He can still be affected by physical psychic attacks, missiles and pyromancy and the like, but he is next to impossible to mentally influence. He does suffer from people taking an instant dislike to him, but he's learnt to take that in his stride, which is why he is always performing solo missions. Plus, he always gets away with it because he's just so damn good at his job ;)
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Offline Ynek

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Re: Pariah's and the Imperium
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2010, 02:12:52 AM »
On the topic of pariah-containment collars.... I think that although not a great idea, it may be possible.

I like to think that a null collar functions in a similar manner to a psyk-out grenade or psycannon round. In essence, they either contain or are made from a mysterious material which emits/has a negative warp energy (and some believe that such materials are produced as a by-product from the Golden Throne itself). This helps to dampen, or completely blank out a psyker's powers.

There are hundreds of psychically active materials in the WH40k background - from Eldar Wraithbone and spirit stones to the crystalline compounds used in the production of force weapons. Such psychically active materials could perhaps be used to construct a device for the containment of a pariah. In essence - a pariah is a bit like a negative number. All you really need to do is add a positive number of equal 'value' to negate it (at least in theory).

However, although I think that such a thing is perhaps possible, I'm not exactly a fan of the idea. I always preferred to think of pariahs as complete, bottomless, unquenchable sinkholes in the warp which no amount of energy can ever fill or negate. This is what makes them so effective against even the most powerful psykers.





On the topic of the Black Ships and the Sisters of Silence:
As far as I'm aware, the reason why the Sisters are on every black ship is to negate the powers of the psykers on board. Although this is absolute torture for the poor psykers, it makes things a lot safer for the crew, and the entire ship.

Considering that the ship travels through the warp, and daemons seem to have a particular fondness for psykers, traveling through the daemon's domain with a ship full of daemon-catnip would probably not be possible without a powerful negative warp presence to help mask the presence of the psykers.

I'm not sure if the Sisters are still present on modern Black Ships.  I've heard that since the Black Ships are so secretive, it's actually not known whether they're still around or not. However, if the Sisters are truly gone, then I would reckon that they've made some sort of technological replacement, such as a giant null field which encases the entire ship in negative psychic energy.






On the subject of Pariah-Inquisitors....

I think that Pariah-inquisitors are stretching the boundaries a bit, but provided that it's all explained and rationalised properly (and the severe negative effects of being a pariah are addressed), they aren't an impossibility, and I've actually got a Pariah Inquisitor character, myself (although I've never finalised his background or made a miniature for him just yet. He's a character who appears in a few of my other character's background stories, but is largely a 'background figure' due to the way in which he chooses to deal with the social problems of being a pariah. I.E. Virtual isolation.)

Inquisitor Lord Nethis is something of a desk-jockey. He corresponds with all of his subordinates through astropathic mail (using an astropath who lives a comfortable distance away from him, and ironically has a very close friendship with, even though they only ever communicate through textual correspondance and mail-regicide games) and Nethis is very rarely seen face-to-face, even by those who he trusts the most. He always prefers to communicate from a distance, since this allows him to keep his psychic negativity from interfering with his work. At Inquisitorial conferences and suchlike, he appears by proxy as a hologram, emitted by a machine carried on the back of a mono-task servitor. Through such a hologram, he communicates with his peers, even though he might be several hundred miles away at the time.

Of course, he has never yet appeared in any of my games, and I have no intention of ever including him in a game, since he is almost perpetually bound to his desk, and is therefore, unlikely to appear in any sort of conflict. (Unless it happens to be a full-scale conflict on the Inquisitorial Fortress of the Levitus subsector, in which case, it would probably be better represented with Epic40k than Inquisitor....) He was recruited originally by Inquisitor Edward Eisenstein, who was deliberately seeking a powerful pariah who would be immune to psychic interrogation. Nethis's early life (being tortured, tormented, hated and reviled by his people) had hardened him physically, so he was already very resistant to physical torture. This made him virtually un-interrogateable, making him exactly what Eisenstein was looking for. Nethis was originally on board a black ship destined to take him to the Culexis temple on Terra, when Eisenstein 'acquired' him.

Eisenstein is a member of a secret sub-ordo of the Inquisition, which exists as a series of small, isolated cells each consisting of no more than half a dozen or so members, who for the most part are unlikely to even know about each-other. Each member of the cell is connected to each other member by the cell's Inquisitor Lord, who is sometimes referred to as 'the name keeper' or 'nomengard'. Each cell is connected to several other cells by this Inquisitor Lord, and this is ultimately how information is passed from one cell to another. If any single secret Inquisitorial cell is discovered, it is unlikely that any of the other cells will also be discovered, since these Inquisitor Lords, like Inquisitor Lord Nethis, are extremely resistant to interrogation, and are extremely unlikely to spill what they know.

I just thought I would include that as an example of how Pariah-Inquisitors, although not impossible, are a bit of a stretch to include. (That is - if you think that "being in character X's background story" or other such "background-y" inclusions count as being 'included' in the game, even though they're not on the table.)
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Offline Strozzi

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Re: Pariah's and the Imperium
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2010, 04:12:57 AM »
On the topic of the Black Ships and the Sisters of Silence:
As far as I'm aware, the reason why the Sisters are on every black ship is to negate the powers of the psykers on board. Although this is absolute torture for the poor psykers, it makes things a lot safer for the crew, and the entire ship.

Considering that the ship travels through the warp, and daemons seem to have a particular fondness for psykers, traveling through the daemon's domain with a ship full of daemon-catnip would probably not be possible without a powerful negative warp presence to help mask the presence of the psykers.

I'm not sure if the Sisters are still present on modern Black Ships.  I've heard that since the Black Ships are so secretive, it's actually not known whether they're still around or not. However, if the Sisters are truly gone, then I would reckon that they've made some sort of technological replacement, such as a giant null field which encases the entire ship in negative psychic energy.


You're right, at least in theory, that the Black Ships would need Pariahs (or some sort of psychic nullification) to carry a large number of untrained psychers through the Warp and not have daemons just rip the crew apart.  However, I would not be surprised if some of the people who write background material did not think that much about the issue.  Personally, I like to believe that the Sororitas Silentum still crew the Black Ships (and perhaps even serve the Imperium in other ways), but there are other solutions, like recruiting pariahs for service on the ships, special anti-psychic materials (the entire ships could be made out of the same material from which psycannon ammunition is made), or an absurd amount of prayer

Offline Kaled

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Re: Pariah's and the Imperium
« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2010, 06:47:36 AM »
Descriptions of the Blackships in the 41st millenium make no mention of the Sisters of Silence - the psykers are contained by wards built into the fabric of the ships and powerful null field generators. One book mentions a 'suppressor adept' who's wired up to some arcane machinery and projects a dampening field.

Given that many of these descriptions of he Blackships were written after the introduction of the Sisters of Silence into the Heresy era background, I think it's pretty telling that the Sisters are not mentioned and I have concluded that they have been disbanded/destroyed/etc. Perhaps the Imperium got rid of them when, as is mentioned in Codex: Assassins, the presence of a large number of untouchables on Terra was starting to interfere with the Astronomicon.

Of course, absence of evidence is not evidence of absense - but every time the Sisters of Silence are not mentioned in 'present day' depictions of he Blackships I grow more convinced that GW has a planned fate for them that we will learn of as the HH novels progress.
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Offline Warmenhoven

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Re: Pariah's and the Imperium
« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2010, 11:01:51 AM »
Hmmm, the absence of the Sisters on 'modern day' Black Ships would actually be verry convinient for me as it would explain the lack of any such charachters in my current warband without having to create some ad hoc excuse. As for the psycickly nullifying material there indeed are such things, the quaters of the onboard astropaths for example, are protected by layers and layers of teh stuff IIRC, just don't ask me how they do their jobs in there =/

I can see how pariah Inq.s can be a stretch if their promotion is reliant on other people, i guess you're not going to promote someone who makes you throw up every time he walks into the room. What about subordinates though? I assume it's entirely reasonale for Inq.s from the Ordo Hereticus to pick up pariahs with wich to go hunt some witches with. Just throwing it out there but would it be possible for an assassin on the way to becoming a Calexus to get addicted to (combat) drugs, be writen off as a failure and bound for the incinerators to be swooped up by an Inq so everyone thinks she's dead (that was just off the top of my head so sorry if it's absolutely horrible =/)?