Author Topic: Merusian Philosophy  (Read 3019 times)

Offline Molotov

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Merusian Philosophy
« on: September 01, 2009, 12:13:58 PM »
I've posted this a number of times, but with the collapse (and revival) of the Conclave, I figured I ought to put it up again:

Merusian Philosophy



It has always been the case within the Inquisition that differing philosophies and interepretations have held differing levels of influence among individual Inquisitors. The agents of the Inquisition seem to naturally polarise, associating and banding together with others who share their views and beliefs. In this way, differences of opinion can quickly become political factions. The popularity (and therefore influence) of philosophies can vary greatly depending on the times. Whilst certain philosophies are widely accepted and followed, such as the beliefs of Monodominance or of Amalathianism, others are only supported and defended by a small group of Inquisitors who believe whole-heartedly in their cause.

Such is the case with the Merusian philosophy, which originated in .M35 with the work of Inquisitor Korin Merusias. Those Inquisitors who subscribe to Merusian philosophy suffer skepticism, scorn and sometimes worse. But they gladly endure such trials - for they consider theirs to be a vital task. It is well known that the warp is a hellish domain, inhabited by all manner of monsters and daemons. It is said that to gaze upon such creatures is to be driven mad by the certain knowledge of your damnation. It is also known that daemons constantly claw at the boundaries between their world and ours, seeking out the vulnerable minds of unsanctioned psykers and using their untapped power to try to force their way into real-space.

The psykers' vulnerable mind is exposed to a myriad of nightmarish scenes and images, for they commune with intelligences far older - and far greater - than their own. Many of these tortured souls have been documented attempting to rid themselves of their torment - through literature and, occasionally, through art. These heretics are known by the Merusians as 'the illuminated'.

Much is made of heretical texts captured by the Inquisition, but along with books, Inquisitors will often encounter frenzied sketches, blood-spattered drawings, arcane sculptures and idols, even hideous paintings. To an Inquisitor with the adequate protection, any of these can provide a vital insight into the warp.

The Merusians are seen as a radical philsophy within the Inquisition - Tales abound of them kidnapping powerful psykers and inviting daemons to commune with them, in order that they might provide them with clues to combat the powers of the warp and better protect the Imperium.

It is suggested that they even maintain cavernous libraries filled with heretical artwork - paintings daubed with archaic runes, possessed statues, drawings that shift and twist on the page, all carefully studied and catalogued. One fanciful tale maintains that the Merusians dismantled the palace of Salath the Destroyer, rebuilding it brick-by-brick on another world, pain-stakingly reconstructing the enormous mosaics that adorned every surface.

The Merusians also pay close attention to the prophets and visionaries of the Imperial cult - the cathedrals and paraphenalia of the Ecclesiarchy are adorned with many extravagant pieces of artwork. Some in the Merusian philsophy study these carefully for signs the Emperor is interacting with and guiding humanity in an attempt to discover the Emperor's plans for humanity. Other Merusians investigate the interaction between the real-world and the warp in different ways - through contact with the psykers of the Eldar, study of the Tyranid's ability to cast a shadow in the warp, the Tau's apparent lack of psykers - even the innate psychic abilities of the Orkoid horde.

The Merusians have clashed with puritanical Inquisitors on many occasions - it is said that they toy with powers beyond their comprehension; that such arcane lore should be destroyed. The Merusians contend that they perform a vital task in defending the Imperium. Despite calls from influential Inquisitors to investigate and if necessary eradicate the 'Merusian Heresy', the Merusians have remained stubbornly persistent in their actions. Only time will tell if they shelter the Imperium from the coming storm or cast it down in ashes...
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Offline TheNephew

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Re: Merusian Philosophy
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2009, 04:30:45 PM »
I remember liking this last time round as well.
Am I right in thinking that the basic drive behind the philosophy is a desire to understand the workings of the Warp, so that it's denizens can be combated more efficiently?
If memory serves, this was introduced alongside a Merusian 'archivist-Iinquisitor' last time - is that still the vision you have of the Merusians?
I quite like the idea of an Inquisitor with a stable of sages, psykers and librarians that study the secret libraries of the Inquisitor, kept stocked by snatch squads and archive raiders.
Also it might give you an excuse to break out the fedora and bullwhip for some good old-fashioned forgotten library raiding.

Offline Mang

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Re: Merusian Philosophy
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2009, 06:49:49 AM »
I like that a lot! If you don't mind, I'm going to save that and have a think about it...

And as TheNephew said, it leaves all sorts of options open for hunting things down.

Offline Molotov

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Re: Merusian Philosophy
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2009, 09:49:04 PM »
Thanks for the responses, guys (and TheNephew - sorry for missing your post!)

On one of the earlier iterations of the Conclave, I did have a couple of extra posts where we talked about a number of "artefacts" that a Merusian might use, one of which was a corrupted version of the Imperial Tarot used to commune with daemons.

I think the aim of the Merusians was just to explore the tenuous barriers between realspace and the Immaterium - and how some individuals were able to commune with the warp. Perhaps some Merusians might use that information to different ends - a Merusian might well be of equal use to a Thorian or a Xanthite, I guess! The idea of the archivist-Inquisitor is a very interesting one, and it was something I was thinking of. Obviously there are other options for a scenario. You might have a Merusian (or his agents) trying to steal a particular piece of art from a Rogue Trader or a Planetary Governor. Perhaps a Merusian might attempt to persuade a bombastic puritan not to bombard a den of heretics lest he destroy the artwork inside - I suppose there are other avenues that the Merusians could go down; I just wrote up this piece with the aim of starting discussion and seeing where it went!

Oh, and here's the fluff for that Tarot deck, courtesy of Lord Xaras:

Quote
Klecker's Tarot: An infamous version of the Emperor's Tarot painted by the illustrator Sanz Klecker, a heretic burned in 616.M40. His Tarot was printed and distributed amongs the general populace of 26 systems before the taint was recognized. In 113.M41, the Inquisition concluded that the majority of Klecker's cards were no longer in public circulation, but several hundred of decks are still unnacounted for and thousands more are sealed away in the guarded vaults of the Inquisition.

The Tarot itself carries hidden Chaotic sigils and runes that weaken the bond between reality and the Warp when the cards are used. This means that a skilled reader can actually commune with Daemonic entities, rather than the Immortal Emperor as the case should be.
 
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