Author Topic: The Chaos Gods and Dark Mechanicus  (Read 2603 times)

Offline Aurelius 12

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The Chaos Gods and Dark Mechanicus
« on: February 28, 2011, 09:30:43 AM »
Hello chaps,

I have a question about the Dark Mechanicus and a somewhat related question regarding the chaos gods.

One of the warbands Iím working on (relating to Lady Eleanor, almost certainly her nemesis!) is a group of Adeptus Mechanicus. The group, an explorator team, were left of Harakis to die by Lady Eleanor, sealed away beneath the surface of the planet in an ancient Mechanicus/ Imperial Army facility filled with deadly levels of radiation.

My idea is that over time the Magi turned to chaos to survive the radiation, which presumably puts them on the side of the Dark Mechanicus. Is there a symbol used by the DM to demonstrate their separation from the AM, and if so would the tech priests in question be likely to decorate their armour/equipment with it and desecrate the old symbols?

Secondly, and this is the more important question. Does this justification for their fall to chaos sound acceptable?

The lead explorator, so convinced that the greatest discovery is at hand, orders his men to delve deeper into the complex, exposing themselves to more radiation as they go. Eventually the men begin to get sick and stop working. The leader, frustrated, believing them to be so close to their prize, prays that the Omnissiah grant them strength.

Intrigued by the mortalís ambition, and knowing that his goal will bring about the death of Harakis, Tzeentch comes to him in the form of the Omnissiah, granting him his wishes, making him and his men seemingly impervious to the radiation, but at a cost the explorators do not fully appreciate or understand...

At first I figured Nurgle would be the way to go, but it strikes me radiation seems more to do with random mutation and change rather than disease and pestilence as such. Also, Iím not sure of a way to get a tech priest to believe a fleshy pustule-ridden sack of rotten filth, given his preference for cold hard machinery and logic.

Anyway, thanks for your thoughts!
And the Saint did weep when she saw how lost the people were. Seven tears fell upon Gomorrah. Seven tears to wash away their sin. A deluge of heavenly tears drowned their world in an ocean of forgiveness. The people cleansed in a sea of nuclear fire.

Offline Allod

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Re: The Chaos Gods and Dark Mechanicus
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2011, 10:30:25 AM »
Hey there,

I'll start this with a question: I do not understand how the adepts were "left beneath the surface to die", yet their leader seems to be quite eager to chase the "greatest discovery" in the depths of the complex. Maybe I'm a little dense today, but does this mean that the adepts exposed themselves willingly to the dangers of that underground complex, and Lady Eleanor simply knew that they would find their deaths there and "sealed the hatches"?

Now, to answer your questions from my point of view:

Yes, in principle your scenario sounds reasonable enough, although I'd avoid the whole "Tzeentch himself appears in the form of ..."-thing. I simply feel that this has been done to death in the more recent (and more annoying) background of 40k and Warhammer Fantasy. Furthermore, why would this lead techpriest, inducted into the secrets of the Omnissiah and very much realizing the allegorical nature of the Omnissiah as the "power behind" technology and science as opposed to some beardy guy sitting in the clouds, not even flinch when all of a sudden, after tens of thousands of years, the Omnissiah appeared in person to communicate with HIM, of all people?

I think this would be much more elegant if they strayed from the path without entriely realizing it, i.e. in parts they think that they do not deviate at all in their actions and beliefs from the established dogma, and in parts they rationalize their deviant behaviour as necessary or beneficial to their personal agendas, which in turn makes them more true to the Omnissiah's will than the blind fools who are entirely bound to dogma.

So, I would also only put a small symbol or something on their "standard" robes that denotes their attachment to this little group of "enlightened" individuals. This could be something that they think they came up with themselves - although the players immediately recognize the Tzeentch symbolism. Like the sign of Tzeentch with a cog instead of an eye in the middle.

Finally: even if there is a symbol for the Dark Mechanicus (though I can't think of one now), I would only attribute it to the members of the original Dark Mechanicus that stems from the Heresy, and not to every renegade/chaos-y band of techpriests. Just like being a terrorist (even an islamistic one) doesn't make you a member of al-qaeda, if you excuse the analogy.

Hopefully some of this was useful to you!


Offline Aurelius 12

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Re: The Chaos Gods and Dark Mechanicus
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2011, 11:11:52 AM »
Thanks for the response!

As for how the adepts were left to die, you're pretty spot on. The idea is that a techpriest with leanings towards Omnissiad philosophies is sent out on a (presumed) fruitless quest, mostly to cut him off from the local mechanicus forces. Goven only limited resources he hires Lady Eleanor and her mercenaries to serve as bodyguards for the duration of the mission.

After a while, the adepts discover an ancient mechanicus facility, itself a research station with an attached excavation. Radiation levels eminating from the dig are so high the adepts refuse to open the seals until they have sufficient protective shielding.

Eleanor springs her trap, using powerful mind control technology to induct a priest to her cause. She and her men loot the facility, then the brainwashed techpriest releases the seals to the digsite. This in turn causes the main doors to seal as a safety precaution. Unable to venture upwards, the leader of the expedition decides simply to discover as much as possible before their deaths, travelling further and further downwards.

Hope that helps!

In answer to your question about 'Tzeentch himself'. If the techpriest in question holds a very different view of the omnissiah then presumably whatever appears to him won't cause such a sense of doubt and bafflement! I agree that the whole 'Tzeentch appears in person' is a little clunky though, I haven't worked out the details yet.

Your thoughts on the matter of symbolism and decoration are useful too, I'd imagine only the leader of the band, if anyone, would do something to their armour.

And the Saint did weep when she saw how lost the people were. Seven tears fell upon Gomorrah. Seven tears to wash away their sin. A deluge of heavenly tears drowned their world in an ocean of forgiveness. The people cleansed in a sea of nuclear fire.

Offline Flinty

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Re: The Chaos Gods and Dark Mechanicus
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2011, 10:49:34 PM »
This is something I've been thinking about a bit myself. 'Mechanicum', the (MacPherson, semi-canonical at best) novel, which you may have read, desribes the split of what was later to be called the Dark Mechanicus, due in part to a system wide infection of 'scrap code'. This subverted those exposed, and lead them to support the heresey. The origin of the scrap code is never fully explained or explored beyond it having being sealed away at some point in the distant past. It seems to me to be a combination of:

a) a direct link to Chaos in a machine specific format


b) a form of logic or code that was introduced and utilised by agents of Horus to subvert the Cult to his view,   but being one or more steps removed from a direct Chaos origin.

It is also possible, although not mentioned in the text, that this is either an older/ancient code or logic that was rejected by early Cult members as an antithesis of thier beliefs, or considered heresy and deliberately sealed away with associated technologies. This would suggest to me something akin to Cult members finding a source of A.I code and hardware; very attractive to a minority, reviled by the majority and something that could possibly escape its confinment and become a 'techno-plague'.

A specific source within the Chaos pantheon is never mentioned, and whilst Tzeentch is one of the more likely, it is equally possible that there has always been a 'Dark Omnissiah' lurking in the empyrean.

As for Dark Mech. symbols, I have not seen anything agreed by any number of people except that some shade of purple is favoured over red. As for abased or desecrated cog sysmbols, I have yet to find anything hinting at that or an alternative motif.

I personally think that it is possible that a part of the Dark Mech. actually views itself as the true channel of the Omnissiah, and that all others as heretics, so would continue to use the unaltered cog and skull. Others may use altered colour schemes....maybe something like the black and yellow of the Iron Warriors instead of black and white.

Given the lack of specific canon, I think your pretty safe coming up with whatever you think looks good, since the Heresy there must be countless off-shoots, sub-cults and so on.

As for your background, I think its very apt, and quite likely, that virtually any Explorator party is going to be far more interested in what new technology may await discovery than a minor inconvienience like being sealed under a planet.

I do agree with Allod that a direct manifestation is possibly a step too far, its equally likely the band changed thier views through being sealed in by a traitorous heretic/advanced radiation poisoning/an internal coup in leadership/madness/exposure to lost technology etc, etc.  

Whatever you decide, I'd be interested to hear more...

Edit - wrongly attributed authour and misspelt novel title

« Last Edit: March 03, 2011, 10:03:13 PM by Flinty »
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